Tag Archives: Thee Oh Sees

favorite 2016 music

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briefcase full of blues

they say when a man’s happy, he can’t write for shit. actually i said that!

life is too good right now. every minute, every day. i spent a stupid amount of money on meals today. $100 to be exact. $50 at dinner, to take my dad out for father’s day in effing fisherman’s wharf. he and Billy ate half a crab each, i ate the chowder in a bread bowl. then we got coffee:

fathers day 2013

happy early father’s day! (we celebrated early because i’m leaving for Montana in three days; more on that in a second, maybe.)

the other $50 i spent taking a freshly graduated claremont girl out to a schmancy SoMa tech bubble bullshit lunch place by my office. for every bit of advice i couldn’t give her, i fed her deviled eggs, lamb, and avocado. hopefully it helps her in all her endeavors.

can i go day by day? week by week? joy by joy?

sunday i felt like shit so i skipped Sarah’s birthday party. in the evening, Claire came over and we had a jolly good strange time as always. later on, i came completely clean about my girlfriend, and it’s all good, i think, thank god. we can still be friends.

saturday i broke my fucking neck, went deaf in my left ear, and took a sweat shower so i could rub John Dwyer’s PA while getting elbowed in the back. Thee motherfucking Oh Sees at the Eagle motherfucking Tavern. holy jesus christ, son of the virgin mary, loveless adulteress to god, creator of heaven and all the bursts of disco across the earth. that good. then Natalie kissed my wounds w every cell in her epidermis, like the beautiful creature she is.

i basically spent all of friday night making out w her. not much more this man needs.

no memory in mind, i must dig into the facebook archives for further proof of joy passed.

well, fuck, on the sixth day of june, news broke out that the NSA is a fucking filthy piece of shit. but guess what, most people in this country fear “terrorism” so much that they’re okay with it. oligarchs love democracy because common people are stupid. oh yeah, and the Field. the motherfucking Field.

on the fifth day, Dorothy and i recorded ourselves onto cassette for the first time ever. we sound fine, but not great. we have a great amount of work to do, and that’s just fine.

on the fourth day, good god, i have no idea. on the first day, i recounted every drink i drank last month. last month, i found out i have a girlfriend. she’s the most beautiful girl in the world but it gets better because underneath all that beauty her mind works miracles through her fingers and her eyes, it’s like food and jewelry in no such physical form, feeding my hungry, poor heart. she is wonderful and more. i also found out about Drakes Beach. keep it a secret. i also found all about Random Access Memories. i found about the age 25. i found out about going to Montana.

in three days, i’m driving to Bozeman, MT w Cameron and Amanda. he’s going back home. we’re going along for the ride. we’re gonna camp Yellowstone. we’re gonna walk around. we’re gonna think things. i’m gonna miss my girl. she’s gonna miss her boy. Cameron’s gonna miss his Bay, barely. then we’re leaving him, riding the boring ass salt flats back to our beautiful golden city of legends. Continue reading

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twelve-bar blues

i’m in a really good mood right now, and it feels like a comet. that is, this ain’t no flash in the pan but rather something with a tail extending many, many days into the past. here are reasons why:

— i am.
— i am currently listening to the nearly 30 minute version of “Dazed and Confused” found on Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same.
— i’ve been playing music regularly, be it drum, bass, or vinyl.
— Chris and i can cook a damn good breakfast.
— i’ve been reading a little bit, splitting my time between Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim and the Qur’an.
— i experienced Thee Oh Sees live twice this weekend.
— girls seem to like me.
— i love Tina.
— work isn’t getting me down.
— American rye whiskey and bourbon.
— Big Sur, specifically Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and the Pacific Ocean it kisses.
— 100 MPH on the PCH. Continue reading

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my favorite albums from 2012

all the important decades are here except the 90s. Continue reading

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with the birds i’ll share this lonely view

one of the first albums i ever bought on the Compact Disc format was Californication by Red Hot Chilip Peppers. i bought it at target on the same day that i bought Renegades by Rage Against the Machine. i loved all the Rs in their names. i loved how i had chosen such weird, crazy bands. i loved how they sounded pouring out of my can’t-be-beat portable Aiwa cd player.

i was probably over 10, but still far from 15. today, as i approach a quarter of a century of age (a month away if birthdates start at conception), i still adore both bands.

that’s “Scar Tissue.” most people know it. last night, riding across the Bay Bridge back into the city after a psychedelic experience of a show provided by Animal Collective, the radio station of my teenage years (Live 105) churned out this baby. picture me, stoned, and my favorite girl, Amanda, stoned, cruising in slow motion back to the City by the Bay, while RHCP enchants us w their meaningful, conscious, crazy cooing of bass, drum, electric, and vox.

such good things i’ve been immersing myself in. Animal Collective last night at the Fox was four trips and a half. their stage setup had giant, inflated, illuminated teeth and behind the teeth were giant spikes of fangs and behind the fangs was a screen to oblivion and in front of oblivion was the band belting out their dark disco jams and arhythmic rhymes.

the day before… just nearly twelve hours of drinking, dancing, and disco w coworkers. and by disco i mean soul like “you just call on your brother, when you need a hand… we all need somebody to lean on…” and i mean sass like “i know he used to do nice things for you, but what has he done for you lately…?” and i mean a big bright shining sun like a 9-2 victory over the rockies. the Giants are going to the World Series. take my word for it.

the day before… RHCP live. i would have been happy seeing Red Hot Chili Peppers play anywhere—in my bedroom, at the Fillmore, surrounded by hippies, surrounded by thousands of sales, business, and tech stars? okay, maybe that last one isn’t ideal, but i took it. and you know what, no matter how many notches of cool you lose for playing a mega massive tech conference, you earn them all right back for using 3D projection mapping on city hall:

Amanda and i made a spectacle of ourselves by drinking all the free beer, smoking a few fat bowls very openly, and then headbanging in an uncontrolled fury to all the best, like “Higher Ground, “Scar Tissue,” “By the Way,” and “Give It Way.” good god we gave it away to the higher ground.

the day before… sure, a long day of tech conference. but conferences are awesome! you get to go to some place new, listen to people pontificate about the future of social business, do stuff on your computer while they pontificate (multitasking is fun), eat free lunches, talk to friends, talk to long lost friends, avoid long lost friends, and then, at the end of it all, free beer and food and dancing w the one and only Amanda! yeah, i snuck her in (even though “snuck” is technically not a word) and we, again, made a spectacle of ourselves by having too much fun. god i love her.

the day before… was hell.

about three weeks ago, the above mural went up on the building across the street from mine. for most of my time living here, nothing had popped up on the wall except random flyers and shitty tags that Alex would blotch out the very best he could. then a little over a month ago, someone put up these giant hilarious dogs wearing Giants cap. it was random and cute and appreciated… but they didn’t last long. sadman up there soon came, shuddering and scared, tripping out in the center of the city about god knows what. you see girls sitting on curbs crying, you see grown bearded men screaming and cursing, you see strange sadman shuddering on the falls of the Franklin River, and you think nothing of it. it’s the city, and cities are designed to kill people. you walk on and think nothing of it.

then the fences went up. not all at once, of course… that would be too obvious. first, it was a small square of fences around an entrance underground, right next to the building. looked like some routine check, some benign maintenance. but it wasn’t. the fences proliferated so fast that, before anyone could take a second from their busy lives to see, the entire building was surrounded. and still, no one, especially me, thought anything of it.

until last friday. i was dead in the center of a fantastic and trippy night with my girl Ayelet, wandering from Pretty Lights at Civic Center to Public Works in the Mission, and we passed the mural on the way. but the mural was now surrounded by fences. and, in my inspired, loving, drugged out state, it hit me. the sadman was not shuddering because of the death in the family. he was not shuddering for too many bad drugs. he was not shuddering for attention. he was shuddering because he was going down. him and the entire building. the fences were more than an omen, they were walls to shield us from the blast of future ballistas, set to destroy the ancient structure.

my girl said no, you can’t just assume. but i already knew with 99.9% certainty.

the following monday, the day of hell, i left my little lover in my bedroom after a morning of warlike drilling outside our apartment and in my mind. the drilling hurt a thousand times more because the girl wasn’t returning the comfort i craved. it’s not her fault; i was being needy, so she responded (like a woman) in kind. i biked away from bermuda but stopped for one last shot as the Franklin River busily, uncaringly whizzed on…

biking back after work, i returned to a graveyard.

i felt like crying. i needed a drink. it was just a stupid building but i had grown to love it. back in the apartment, i was drawn to the deck by a crowd of neighbors (including my cousin Chris) cheering and photographing and drinking. a lot of the old neighbors had remembered the building when it was an old, ghetto club whose dance parties inside would be followed by knife fight encores outside. so they were pleased… which somehow comforted me a little. it was just a stupid building but i had grown to love it. after all, i knew it as the Pastime building:

from our kitchen, from our roof, the Pastime wall was always visible. for over a year, i think. people would walk past it and stare, brides and grooms-to-be would go stand in front of it holding flowers and have their pictures taken, skater punks would zoom past it drooling w lust. it was one of my favorite pieces of urban art ever and, in less than a day’s work, it was demolished so that some lucky landowners could put up a five-story apartment building to house a couple scores of tech startuplandia hipsters. people with a relatively short history of SF appreciation. people with little to knowledge of the underground urban workings. people with money. people with interests. people with money. people with too little time to realize how much time they really have. people a lot like me.

if only this had happened in august or october. if only it happened two weeks ago or two weeks into the future. why did it have to happen on this very monday? why did it have to happen at the end of a fantasy i lived too hard? why do i fall in love so easily?

one of my favorite people in the world, Chris, came out w me to the Mission for a pitcher of beer as my clothes laundered. i smoked cigarettes and sipped the IPA, thinking about Pastime, thinking about sadman, and thinking about myself. thinking about Ayelet. why do i fall in love so easily?

i had just met her a week ago, and some change. it was at Andrew’s party in the Outer Mission. i was the first guest because i wanted to bring my vinyl over, and then go meet up w Rich. but the second i walked into the apartment i was greeted by her pretty Mediterranean face and a bottle of Flor de Caña. and i was floored. she poured me a stiff rum as i spun some disco for Andrew to soundcheck to. things were off to a great start.

several hours later, drunk and dancing w everyone—Rich, Chris, Amanda, Zoe, Naomi, Vivian, random dudes, random girls, Ayelet—i wasn’t thinking very much. that’s happiness, right? i was surrounded by awesome friends and beautiful, brilliant girls, and we were getting down, and it was sometimes sexy, and it was sometimes sloppy, but maybe the only thought that kept creeping into my head was, this is good. no strings, no pursuits, no worries, all happiness. all rhythm. dancing.

the night didn’t end incredibly positively except for one ray of light. outside on Mission St, Ayelet drunkenly tells me something in Hebrew. i ask her what it means and she says not to worry, that it’s just very respectful. okay. later, she wouldn’t even remember that she had something to me in Hebrew, so she couldn’t even remember what it was that she had said. no matter. the spell was cast.

i proceeded to spend the saturday and sunday of that weekend in the most magical of musical dazes, playing bass for several hours both days, seeing dOCs in Oakland the first night, and djing myself at dada on the second night. where she showed up. goodness gracious the gifts the universe presents you when you’re too busy looking in the wrong direction. i was on one, spinning my mama’s vinyl while she danced with my dad, rubbing up against the wall like a self-aware Jim Morrison to get photographed, and, of course, trying to flick Ayelet’s curls, trying to hold her waist, trying to lick her psyche. and so i did.

at the office, not even seven hours later, my entire body, mind, and soul were in complete disbelief that it could possibly be monday. to be fair, a girl had laid her dark long curls across my body both at midnight and in the morning. i was sinking, stupid, smitten. a sorry sad puddle of holy fuck and wow. heart of golds melding so fast the whole thing would fall apart, and i should have known. i claimed to have a hint. i pretended to be in control. i acted like i could handle it. how many more times? how many times can love teach me the same lesson? she never tires.

after a couple nights of acting like boyfriend and girlfriend, we started sharing a bedroom. she was a backpacker and i was a lover. she was bedless and mine was big. so she stayed through the weekend. we danced and danced and danced and danced and ate and danced and danced and danced and danced and whispered poetry and danced and danced and danced and danced and smoked and danced and danced and danced and danced and stared at the big beautiful pond of a Pacific and danced and danced and danced and danced and all the while i feared and knew and felt her slipping away and then we danced and danced and danced and danced and then i biked to work a week later almost on the brink of tears because sadman was getting torn down, the city had decreed it, and there was nothing nobody not even Allah could do about it.

just because you repeat something ad nauseam means not that you have internalized it. cities are designed to kill people. om shantih shantih shantih. Continue reading

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hey, i just met you

two weeks. strange clubs. strange streets. Valencia. Phoenix. sausages. Irish sausages rolling along and $1 vinyl. basslines all day long, twisty spine through my life from now on. dada, duh, even when it sucks. it doesn’t always suck. what if we trick the masses? what if we make them believe? two weeks. strange clubs. strange streets. old friends that were never even friends. Greek food, Johnnie Walker, self-induced nostalgic indulgence. shitty bands? fuck a shitty band. give them their money and hand me my bass. basslines all day long, straight spine through my life from now on. a luau. aluau. a limbo. akimbo. African-influenced Oakland rhythms with a side of bacon burger and near-consciousness. strange streets. strange clubs. two weeks. Continue reading

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my friends have marvelous taste in music, which they sometimes demonstrate via pay-what-you-want demos

i once had an uncle who firmly believed that any bodily ailment could be cured with a little hot water. cut yourself? no alcohol, no hydrogen peroxide, no antibacterial nothing… just rub it under some hot water for however long you can stand, and you’ll be just fine. inflated lids? aching tummy? broken bones? hot hot hot!!! fucking water. his fascination with the miraculous effects of steaming fluids flew far beyond the even relatively acceptable realms of reason. suffering from heartbreak? get in the shower, and don’t come out until you’ve stopped crying.

oh wait… it wasn’t my uncle that believed that stuff. it was me!

god all i ever do on this fucking thing is write about myself.

Christ. i just did a fucking search (lord why the fuck do i swear so fucking much?) of my entire blog, and found zero instances of the phrase “Radio Lily.” how the hell did i get to like post 4,073 and never mention Radio motherfucking Lily. Radio Lily, which broadcasts live daily from a small spot in New York City, does this exact thing 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

that is, it spins curvy reggaeish music.

a girl named Sara introduced me to Radio Lily. i am eternally grateful to her for the gift… so much so that i often think about her and wonder whether she’ll actually visit me in SF like she’s promised on several occasions. i just want to pull a blunt w her again and blast Lily on Lily. that’d be nice.

i write the strangest things on my phone’s notepad, like this: “nobody’s whiter than Jack White, no matter the clothes he wears nor the grow he hairs.” i was high on white and weed watching the very man wank around onstage when i wrote the lines, so i have very little insight into what the fuck i was actually trying to say. maybe you can guess?

outside lands was so good. extra sweet because of the free vip pass for the entire weekend. sheesh. here are some other amazing acts i caught:





huh? what? there were all these, like, legendary dudes gripping their legendary weapons, and then, like, you break the pattern with some legendary dudes gripping their weapons too far in the distance for me to notice and some horse banner thing. some crazy horse banner thing. and then i’m just, like, standing here holding this harmonica, listening to pretty aery girl pick her banjo like a badass, and i’m like, what? huh?

what makes me so sure that any of this is worth publishing on the Internet?

here’s another note from my phone: “how is a string of hair a dj?” see, the funniest thing to me about all these notes is how nonsensical they are even to me, the supposed author. the vast majority of the time i’m compelled to pull my phone out of my pocket, tap ‘Notes’, and scrawl down some craziness like “how is a string of hair a dj,” i am pretty fucked up on at least one thing. and every one of those times, without fail, i convince myself that i can get away with writing something like eight words to convey the thousand page manuscript of an idea exploding inside my head. i convince myself that, with just those eight words, i will be able to reconstruct the manuscript at a later date. this is rarely, if ever, the case. how is a string of hair a dj? only god knows now.

just below that nonsense, however, is something that makes sense to me. it’s the name of a song i started singing one night:

it came directly from the heart. crawled out of my bloody valves, climbed up my esophagus, and collapsed a spineless critter on the span of my tongue, the song. i had spent the entire day, evening, and night w a girl and her friends, but i couldn’t be w them anymore. they were drunk and couldn’t stop singing songs. it wasn’t about pounding corn to the rhythm of the sun or strumming strings to the pleasing of our guts, no no no. it was all about hitting a note at the proper time and coming up with clever lyrics to match the proper rhyme. i was bored and/or lazy. so i retreated into the stranger’s house, being house sat by a bunch of irresponsible vagrants like us, and scraped the critter off my tongue w my iphone. the operation, to this day, has resulted in zero complications.

“baboon
beneficial ape”

i have no idea what that’s about either. i thought it may have been an artist and album, but i can’t find anything of the sort.

201206241522. i’m listening to the original version of “Blue Monday” as performed by the illustrious New Order. i am rocking and dancing and shaking my head, as i am apt to do when listening to a single considered to be the best-selling 12″ of all time, when i hear the line “those who came before me.” i then have a thought. an idea. specifically, the development of an idea. you know how the catholic church used to have everybody at mass, including the pastor leading the fucking thing, facing the same direction? and then they changed it to the priest facing the congregation. well, the next step is everyone facing each other. OH WAIT THAT’S ALREADY EVERY DANCE PARTY EVER. okay, i get it; i think a little too catholic. so stab me.

Itty Bitty Nitty Gritty Heart. Continue reading

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disexual

as it turns out, they wrote quite a few songs about saying goodbye. it’s like we just vomit this shit, it’s all natural. even if we’re fumbling in the dark, lost and confused, there’s little doubt that we’re doing what … Continue reading

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OFFICIAL BALLOT
CONSOLIDATED MUNICIPAL ELECTION
City and County of San Francisco
November 8, 2011

in which the Hero votes in San Francisco. Continue reading

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Hardcore, Hardstyle, Electro, Hard Trance

it’s before 1000 on a saturday, and yet i am awake and bursting. it’s much too early to start up the bass, so i might as well try to wank with words instead. last night, i went to Amsterdam. J … Continue reading

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