//oakland, calif.
//age 33
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:: 5.19.2001 ::

(listening to: Tortoise: Standards)

The archive pages are now up. There are about 2.5 million broken links and images that I'll get around to fixing one day. Sorry.

(5:52 PM) :: (link)

(listening to: Faith No More: Easy)

Autechre was weird last night. The venue was great, located smack dab in the middle of downtown Oakland. We rolled up around 10:45, right when the evening's activities at the Paramount Theater were ending, so there was this strange mix of young and old, the young heading to see Autechre, the old going home after watching a classic movie. We arrived to a large room, more a hall than a theatre, and a very disorganized bar staff trying to stay on top of drink orders. They were handing out warm Heineken from 12 packs on the floor that had obviously just been purchased at the grocery store, and serving rum & Coke's with generic can soda. We listened to a DJ spin for a bit, then DHS came on. There was a screen set up with visuals, mixing live camera shots from the venue in with wacky movie footage and digital effects. They impressed the crowd with their live use of a Speak & Spell and other gadgets and we danced a bit and generally had a good time.

The room was packed with sweaty, stinking, and altogether dorky music geeks who kinda twitched around with the music, and by the time Autechre went onstage we were pretty tired and impatient. No stage show whatsoever, the music was louder than God, and the two guys kinda huddled behind various computers making beats and whatnot. It was an altogether unimpressive live outing, we ended up leaving pretty early. I didn't understand why they had three large screens set up around the room, but showed no visuals during their performance. After the first song, most of the audience looked around glassy eyed and a great number turned and began talking to their friends, shouting over the beats, until the room turned into a loud conversation accented by pounding noise. Bah.

(4:37 PM) :: (link)

:: 5.18.2001 ::

(listening to: Autechre: ae)

Red curry with chicken and bamboo shoots make my tummy tremendously happy. Washed down with some Thai iced coffee to buzz me through the rest of the day, feeling good and ready to call it a week, only an hour left of work.

Started watching Swimming with Sharks last night, and was perplexed to find that, upon cruising in his convertable and chatting on his outdated cell-phone, Kevin Spacey was listening to Swervedriver. Very strange to hear "Last Train to Satansville" playing in the background as he screamed over the phone.

Heading out to see Autechre play in Oakland tonight. My roomate and I are amazed that not only are they playing, but they're playing in Oakland instead of San Francisco. We'll see how those goodie-two-shoes dot commers like coming over to *my* city for a change. I'm a tad nervous, since this definitely is not my scene. It will be strange to not really know how big the show is going to be, or how people will react to the music. I bet I'll stick out like a sore thumb, with my indie-ness and all. It should be interesting though, nothing like watching a couple geeky English guys fiddle with some laptops all night to start the weekend off right.

(4:10 PM) :: (link)

:: 5.13.2001 ::

(listening to: The Rolling Stones: Exile on Main St.)

Idiot, Slow Down: Today was another Sunday where we didn't have anything to do, so this afternoon we ended up taking off down into the trashy southern suburbs to visit the Krispy Kreme Donutery. These donut stores are huge in Southern California, and they built one up here recently. We hopped in the car, more out of curiosity than of any actual desire for super sugary donuts and watching fat suburban people in huge SUV's try and park in compact car spaces, and headed down the despicable freeway.

The store was huge, located in a mini-mall area with a grocery store, a Jollibee (some generic "Asian" fast-food store), a TGI Fridays, a Wal-Mart, and a million other chainstores that sparkle with their newness. Krispy Kreme is sort of the In n' Out of donuts, all old-school style, with big windows where you can watch the donuts being made inside. We marveled at the big vat of fat that the dough is fried in, as well as the shower of glaze that coats the little round darlings as they exit the machine. I ate a chocolate custard filled treat and Miss Rodeo America had a sugary one. Good, but nothing spectacular.

On the way back, we wanted to avoid the freeway so we traversed the long, long roads back up to Oakland, checking out the urban decay prevalent everywhere, listening to some OK Computer, and generally pondering the differneces between suburban and urban America, a popular subject between us. I almost hit a million mindless pedestrians as they crossed the street without looking, jesus, that's dangerous. Sometimes if these guys would *pull their pants up* they'd be able to cross the street faster.

What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?: Our hookup at the video store has increasingly grown over the past few months, and we're clueless as to why. There's one guy who started out giving us 2 for 1 rentals. Stoked, we continued to be friendly and chatty with him. Next, he began to give us the movies free. You know, scanning my rental card and all, but then not charging us. We liked this hookup even more. Tonight, we went in and got a couple flicks, and he just said "due on Friday," smiled, and handed us back the movies. No scanning my card, no looking for cash under the table, nothing. Talk about trust, man. I wish I could buy that guy a beer or something.

MP3 of the week: It's been a flashback year for me so far this year. First, Los Angeles' BRMC, released their debut album on Virgin Records. These three guys used to live in San Francisco and played under the name The Elements, and my old band played with them a couple times at some small clubs in the city. They're pretty good, have this whole early 90's brit-rock thing going on, and dress the rock part to a T. After awhile in SF, they moved down to LA, changed their name, and were quickly signed. Their drummer is English, but the other two guys speak in these completely overblown faux English accents that they supposedly "just picked up" through living/touring with their drummer. Uh, yah, *sure* 'ya did guys. I wonder if they've given up the accents yet.

One of my old band's earliest shows was with this band who just got together called The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up. We got them a show at a friend's house opening up for us, and they continued to get bigger and bigger, while my band just fizzled out and died. Their debut album, "It's Winter Here," has been in the works for over two years. It's almost too little too late for their oldest core fans, we've been hearing these songs live for almost three years without the recorded versions ever being released, but it's still beautifully if not painstakingly recorded at San Francisco's Makeout Room, a bar more known for a high cover charge and its red curtain than anything else. Their music is a mix of Bedhead's guitars entertwining (three of them), Pedro the Lion's softly sung and heartfelt lyrics, and Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor! fortes and cymbal crashes. Some songs are delicate and poppy, while others build slowly until they blow over in a wall of white noise. Very impressive and beautiful. "Shark Repellant" is an example of their softer side, exhibiting Paul Gonzenbach's smoother-than-smoove vocal fluidity. Every song takes me back to 1998, the last time local music was truly exciting.

(8:46 PM) :: (link)