The Whistleblowers – Snake Lover Man

So on Friday, November 12th, 2010 we played a stinky little dive called Fitzgerald’s in Huntington Beach.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disparaging Fitzgerald’s.  At least they have the cajones to feature unknown original bands on weekend nights.  Live bands, Original Music! Holy Crap, Really?

Hey, I still have kids under 18, so I use terms like “crap” and “cajones” if you don’t like it, blow.

The camera sucked, the lighting was bad, but neither was as bad as the sound, so here you go:

Twitter-doom?

Ross Mayfield, Twitter doomsayer.  Quit it man.

Ross Mayfield’s blog post, “Mourning The Loss Of Twitter“, made a few points but their validity will remain to be seen.  At least as they are in the context of the post.

Twitter is not dead.

Are there spammers and blackhat marketers abusing this current form of  free expression?

Sure.  So what.

Point me to a time in history when a greedy troll hasn’t attempted to exploit an opportunity by whatever means necessary.

As long as we pay attention and use a modicum of common sense everything will be fine.

Will Twitter evolve?

Of course, it must in order to grow.  If it’s not evolving, it’s not living.

I’m all for sentimentalism when it comes to movies, but keep it away from my technology.

It’s the spirit of the thing that makes it work.  And the spirit is a culmination and a tribute to the heart of the individuals that participate in it.  The nonpluralized use of heart in the previous sentence is not a grammatical error.  I mean the collective heart of those of us who have fun with the interaction.  With the ability to say whatever the hell we want with out explanation or  expectation.

The ability to share.

So Ross, I’m sure you’re a gifted something-or-other, but I think you have this one wrong.

Love Dave.

Nickel Beer Night

Inebriation Isn’t Just an Adventure, Its a Career

Some of them do it once in a blue moon, some every now and then.  Some of them do it regularly, and some do it all the time.

Wednesday’s at Close Encounters. Yes he did, the Persian owner, Ezra, named it after a popular Spielberg flick.  I say owner, but in truth, his mom owned it.  He runs it so he can meet chicks.  Problem is, it’s in the middle of suburbia.  If you’re a stag female, sucking down brews in a mid-suburbia dive on Nickel Beer Night it means you’re married, overweight and angry.

Tina, the singer, designed and sewed costumes for everyone in the band.  Nobody asked her to do it, nobody ever hinted at it, but they arrived on Nickel Beer Night with high expectation.

The costumes consisted of long-sleeve beige turtleneck shirts and beige pants.  Each horrible shirt was hideously amplified by “artsy” themed-designs made of misshapen, sloppily sheared rayon sewed in random patches. A unique fluorescent color scheme for each band member.  The seams were bulging and some of the thread matched.

We started the set as usual, with a medium energy pointless pop number but there was magic in the air.  Although that might have been someone smoking pot.  It was the 80’s in California.  You could still smoke indoors in those days and the foul stench of sour smoke encrypted on your clothes when you went home at night was an added bonus.  Sticky floors, stained chairs and someone always passed out on the bar.  Ahhh, just like home.

There was a lovely “one big happy” family sitting in front of the stage, just off the dance floor. Frequent toasts and gulps, joyous laughter, crackling guffaws.

Beer is 5¢ a glass, and a dollar a pitcher from 8PM – 915PM.  If you’re a bartender, you know what this means.  People with only a dollar to their name come in and drink 20 beers in an hour and fifteen minutes.  Probably the worst drink promotion ever conceived.

By 10PM the initial friendly buzz of carbonated domestic swill has worn off and the violent uglies begin to emerge.  At the friendly, loud, squinting smile “one big happy” family table in front, all of a sudden the mom, late 50’s, and daughter-in-law, early 40’s, furiously jump to their feet.

Fire bellowing from all four eyes, in a blink clenched fists pummel wrinkled skin cheeks, smearing foundation and blush.  Arms swinging and flailing, profane screams of fierce acrimony released.  Strikingly more terrifying and vicious than ultimate cage fighting.  A couple of the men at the table get up seconds too late to pull them apart, but manage to rush them outside.

The band plays on, doesn’t stop, doesn’t miss a beat.

Mock Manager Mark is the self proclaimed manager of the band. A friend of Mark, the drummer, Mock Manager Mark professes to be the bands manager in an attempt to get free drinks whenever he attends one of our gigs. Never one to miss an opportunity, Mock Manager Mark goes outside to inspect and possibly wager.

Seconds later Mock Manager Mark and one of the female pugilists’ escorts fly through the door, tumbling across the dance floor.  Toppling tables over, flinging half empty glasses through the air, flipping the torn vinyl chairs upside down and more fists recklessly swing with abandon or poor drunken aim, you pick.

The band plays on, doesn’t stop, doesn’t miss a beat.

The two bleeding drunk strangers are pried apart, but two more fights break out across the room, people fighting about the fighting.  Enraged suds soaked patrons turn on each other in riotous dysfunctional union. Enraged fractious anarchy right here, in the middle of a bedroom community in sleepy South Orange County.

By the time police arrived, shattered glass was swept up, stained bent chairs and wobbling tables were put back in place and all members of the “one big happy” family had escaped.

Tina was pissed and a little hurt. Not one word about the new threads.

Another freaky night in the life of the working musician.

You Wake Up Suddenly, You’re a Glove

Part 2

When we left off, Tina was coughing, I was drinking and the unknown drummer was doing alright.

The odd assemblage of players in the band was a tribute to tolerance.  Tina was a washed-up waitress from Buena Park with a kid.  Lots of gumption, but no goods.  Paul was the keyboard player who gigged with us when he wasn’t touring fairs with 70’s bands.  Henry the sax player, was big, black and really black.  An okay player, but great charisma, we always put him center-stage.  Mike, my guitar playing brother and myself, well let’s just keep us out of it for now.

The fill-in drummer was a Basque.  If you’ve never met a Basque then I apologize.  There isn’t enough space in this story to adequatly describe the psychological complexities of the Basque heritage.  Suffice to say that the tension was high and the behavior erratic.  This does accurately describe every drummer I’ve ever worked with, but being Basque adds an entirely new dimension to the equation.

The night wears on, the drunks get braver and the room stinks.

The dust and scum filled corners of the 34 year-old building hasn’t seen a sober broom since 2 months after inception.  The gum stopped urinals are stained and just plain nasty.

The frequenters of this establishment are locals.  There is nobody at home they want to hang out with, so they come here.  The bartenders and waitresses are their family.  The clientele choose to soak their heads in alcoholic splendor rather than have an actual life.

That’s where we come in.  It’s our job to encourage and incite the rabble and boost sales.

We think we have it.  The people are dancing and smiling and getting it on.  The staff are bobbing their heads and nudging their neighbors in excited, useless conversation.

People are buying rounds, the manager is smiling and nobody has been arrested or died.  It’s been a good night.

The last song is played and I expel a sigh of ouzo drenched relief as the evening seems to come to a close without incident. But of course, it’s never over until it’s over.

We’re packing up, carelessly swinging the heavy equipment through the thin doorways and tossing it into our cars.  The Basque wants a beer, but the place is closing and the bartender and the manager are anxious to leave.  The answer is no.

The Basque does not accept this answer and waits until no one is looking and while the competent staff are busy restocking for the following day, the Basque steals a 6-pack off the top of the bar and runs out the back door.

None of the band members are new, but we are a new band trying to break in to the club scene.  We start getting regular work and BAM, it’s gone.

Welcome to Rock-n-Roll

Everytime You Go Away, You Take a Piece of Meat With You

PART I

The Rendevouz Room, 1988

A young but frivolous group of slightly stupid musicians mount a stage covered in rotting orange plush carpet and old duct tape.

Their mission:

Entertainment.

It’s the first time the group has attempted to crack this smelly crowd of regular suds swaggers and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be pretty.

A cloud of stale cigarette smoke hangs face level and Tina, our singer, releases a dry, lung-damaged cough, buy it’s okay.  She’s a smoker.  She can’t sing that great anyway.

There’s a twist in my pre-gig martini and in the night.  Our regular drummer is double booked.  He took the higher paying gig, just like the rest of us would have.  The keyboard player, Paul, asked one of his friends to sit in.

He assured us the guy was good and we all believed him because, well… we didn’t have anybody else.

The guy, we’ll call him the drummer, was alright.  That was, until the end of the night when things started getting freaky.

We’d been on freaky gigs before, like when Andy, the 60+ year-old owner of the Bunkhouse would do a complete striptease in the middle of the dance floor.  A gay, 60-something, overweight man suggestively removing all of his clothing in middle of biker bar in Garden Grove.  Freaky.

I could tell this was going to be exactly the same, but different.

Stay Tuned.

Lights on, Nobody home – Adios mi amor

Is anyone paying attention to what vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is saying?  

Why is an ethics violator recklessly lobbing character assasination darts into the air?  

If this is the strategy, are McCain campaign advisors frantically posting their resumes on Monster.com?

Answers to these questions and more on Ramblings, forthcoming.

 

Palin guilty of ethics violations
Palin guilty of ethics violations

The state Personnel Board investigation found that Gov. Palin did commit ethics violations by allowing her husband to use her office and position to put pressure on state employees in the effort to fire state trooper Walt Monegan.

 

To date, two other ethics complaints are being investigated involving Palin.  One, by activist Andree McLeod, alleges that state hiring practices were circumvented for a Palin supporter. The case is not related to Monegan’s firing. The other, by the Public Safety Employees Association, alleges that trooper Mike Wooten’s personnel file was illegally breached by state officials.

In what could concievably be called Palin-speaque “let’s just call a spade a spade.”

After watching Palin’s carefully scripted (yet still clumsy) responses in the vice presidential debate, is there any question that anything she says is NOT meticulously composed?  The Republican propaganda machine is far, far too controlling to allow someone of Palin’s popularity to fly solo.  

So what could possibly be the motivation behind sending this inexperienced, slightly stupid, albeit affable, less-than-squemish curd out to do the dirty work?  

Let’s consider the two possible outcomes.  

If the Republicans win, party loyalists can laud the feisty, fresh exhuberence of a political outsider who helped champion the cause and initiate true change in a stodgy, suffocating, good-old-boy network.  

If the Democrats win, she’ll become a scapegoat for all the incoherent, asnine blunders made obviously by campaign organizing underlings with more venom than gray matter.  

Either way, she’s screwed.  

If the Republicans win, she’ll dissappear.  I expect a few controlled appearances, but for all intensive purposes, her political career will be over.

If the Democrats win she’ll be disowned and fade back into the perpetual Alaskan dusk, never to be heard from again.

by David Kelsen – scourge

MCCAIN IN FAVOR OF ABORTION!

By David Kelsen

McCain in favor of abortion
McCain in favor of abortion

Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, admitted on Saturday (10/11/2008) in Johnstown, Pa. that Republican presidential candidate John McCain is IN FAVOR OF ABORTION in cases where the pregnancy threatens the woman’s life. Additionally, In an interview on “Meet the Press”, McCain stated that cases of rape and incest are legitimate exceptions to anti-abortion views, which is in direct opposition to The National Right to Life stance. John McCain also told associated press reporter Ron Fournier that he would not support the repeal of Roe vs. Wade. McCain has got this voter thinking, What is going on? When it came to so-called legitimate exceptions, Dan Quayle correctly answered yes to the cheap-shot attempt by a savvy 11 year-old girl (obviously a democrat) in 1988. When asked if she should bring a baby to term that was conceived by paternal incestuous rape, the illustrious Mr. Quayle responded:

“You’re a very strong woman… Though this would be a traumatic experience that you would never forget, I think that you would be very successful in life. ” —-

Of course at the time, the girl was 11 years old, and not technically a woman. Quayle’s sharp sense of character assessment aside, telling a complete unknown prepubescent she’ll be successful post excruciating traumatic event is simultaneous artificial encouragement and deep ignorance. Which brings us back to McCain. Flip through some of his documented quotes sorted by presidential race and you’ll find a variety of different answers pending on the year, which makes sorting by relevance that much more difficult. Cut back to abortion, what determines a threat to a woman’s life? A physical condition exclusively? What if the expectant mom is a sociopathic convicted felon for child sexual abuse? How will she take to the child she was forced to birth? Or as in the example brought before VP Quayle, can you say with complete confidence that an 11 year-old girl’s life would not be threatened by a pregnancy and subsequent birth? Who are YOU to determine someone else’s fate? Pro-lifers call abortion murder, yet they can justify murder when the expectant mothers life is threatened. Why…? If pro-lifers believe as they say and life begins at conception, then why are there any exceptions? Murder is murder.
The abortion issue is too complex for a one-size-fits-all ruling. The decisions need to be made by the individual families involved. Diversity is one of our country’s greatest assets. The over zealous religious right believe that their way is best and continue to impose themselves on those who do not believe as they do. Some call that lack of respect. The republican spin-doctors are using the highly charged emotional juice from this issue to further their agenda. Freedom and the right to choose is called Democracy. What’s it called when the government chooses for you?

(the statements above are all true, although some may appear out of context, the author accepts no responsibility for the enlightenment of others through manipulation.)

TROLL SWILL

San Clemente City Council Candidate Crosby recently stated in the Sun Post News, “The streets of San Clemente today are a police state patrolled by sadists and thugs…”.  This remark makes two things very clear. 

1. Mr. Crosby has no clue what a police state is, and

2. He is short on aptitude and long on attitude, thereby eliminating himself as a potential candidate for anything, at least in my book.

In online forums people who spew this grade of swill are referred to as trolls.  There were no examples supporting the accusations made, nor were there any solutions offered other than re-instituting the city police force which merged with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in 1993. How well do you think Mr. Crosby considered the fiscal ramifications of that statement? I’m sure there weren’t any complaints against the SCPD in the 68 years they ran police services.  Please choose wisely in Novemeber.

David Kelsen

Technorati Profile

“I” is for insolent

Aren’t safety, fairness and the pursuit of the ‘greater good’ the only reason to enact any law or ordinance? If Measure “I” (San Clemente) does not treat each of these Shorecliffs residents equally, then who does it serve? Being that California state law is based on precedent, this seemingly insignificant and isolated restriction does have a potential to inhibit some form of our freedom down the road. Shorecliffs Aerial ViewI understand how it got to the ballot, that is merely a result of overactive egos and lots of money in a small town. What I don’t understand is the myopic, self-serving attitude of those behind this debacle. Is it considerate to build a second-story that blocks a neighbors ocean-view? Absolutely not. Is it illegal? Absolutely not. Does removing the view lower your neighbors property value? Possibly. Is that potential loss mitigated by the upgrading of a neighborhood as a whole? Possibly. This mutant growth of “Me” generation ideology obviously feels that the whole world needs to be apprised of personal differences. Should we get in the middle of every fight between your kids as well? Measure “I” is a “Lose-Lose” proposition, regardless of the outcome. A “No” vote negatively impacts part of a neighborhood, sort of, meaning they still would have the freedom to build up to 25′. A “Yes” vote imposes a restriction on some of the houses in a neighborhood, but sets a precedent. Think about it people. And for those of you with 2-story homes and “Yes on I” signs in their yards, the “I” stands for insolent.