Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pat Robertson is God's Psychopath

Okay, so Pat Robertson recently recommended that the US assassinate Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. As a caller to the Ed Schultz Show said today, maybe we should go to Virginia Beach and place a citizen's arrest on this bastard.

Or, someone else, Oscar in Louisville, has a much better suggestion. Check it out here.

Also, last Saturday sent the great Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson's remains exploding into the heavens. Godspeed, you crazy bastard! Mahalo.

Finally, sorry I've been gone so long. I'll try to make an effort to be a bit more social. The weather's still hot as hell here, so it's the least I can do.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Coachella 2005: a weekend of music and artistic mayhem in the desert

After spending the past several years jealously reading about great times and even greater music every year at Coachella, my wife and I decided to take the plunge this year and find out what all the fuss was about. It doesn't hurt that my mother and aunt live less than a half hour away; makes for a fairly inexpensive trip. Either way, it was a great way for us to celebrate our first anniversary!

This account will gradually be expanded, with photos, but for now, here are just a few of the incredible bands we saw over the weekend of April 30th and May 1st:

Day One:
Snow Patrol
Rilo Kiley
MF Doom
Cafe Tacuba
Four Tet
The Chemical Brothers (from afar)

It wasn't all about music, either. Some of the art on display was quite impressive and fascinating. The first thing you are greeted by at the entrance is the Horn Massive, a gigantic scoop speaker weighing 2 tons and measuring 4 meters wide! The dancehall they were playing out of this on Saturday evening sounded particularly impressive.

There were also sculptures to relieve your stress through percussion. First, the Platonic Chamber was hardly what its name implied. Festivalgoers gathered around the steel sculpture, pounding it with the sticks provided or they simply used their shoes or whatever their eager hands could grasp upon. There was also the drum orb, an impressive round cage consisting of dozens of drums of all shapes and sizes. The band had several shows throughout the day, encouraging audience members to play the orb along with the assembled musicians.

The evening brought many of these artistic pieces to life. Close to the entrance was the CAUAC, a gigantic teslacoil that had been at the festival previous years. This year they claimed to have upped the juice on the sucker quite a bit, making for an awesome electrical show as tongues of lightning licked the cool desert evening air while emitting a sound similar to that of a helicopter engine. Propane gas also came into play with the Thermo Kraken, a 20-foot-high sculpture that pulsed and spat fire throughout the evening. At times, the Kraken's noise would become so loud that it would often drown out the acts playing the nearby Gobi Tent.

Other impressive works included a massive misting dragonfly, a gigantic sphere full of pulsing techno and dancers wearing traditional Far Eastern garb, and the quite politically incorrect RoboChrist show, which was basically an R-rated version of the robot wars you often see on television. There, mechanized terrors would decapitate human effigies, overturn Jaguars (the car, not the animal) and rip the faces off of blood-spewing gigantic babies. This, of course, provided the perfect opening act for Nine Inch Nails on Sunday evening.

Speaking of which...

Day Two:
Tegan and Sara
Gang of Four
Z-Trip (with Chester Bennington)
New Order (with a taped Kylie Minogue)
British Sea Power
Nine Inch Nails
The Prodigy
Bright Eyes

Eco-friendly exhibits were also on display (this is California, after all!). There were rows and rows of creatively-decorated recycle bins, dubbed TRASHed. These were not unlike the plastic wheeled containers that those of us in Gainesville use as our main trash bins. All of these were up for sale, with proceeds benefiting fashionpeace.org.

A couple of the drawbacks were eventually seen as pluses. First, the ticket prices were rather high (about $75 per day), but it was almost worth it to not see the constant corporate banners in your face from the stages, exhibits, etc. Also, alcohol was being served, but could only be consumed within restricted fenced areas well away from any of the stages. I thought this was quite bad at first, until by clever wife pointed out to me, "would you really want all of these inebriated assholes hanging out with you in the crowd?" Damn, she's got a point. Just one of the many fine reasons I married her... :-) Anyway, a note to the responsible drinker: simply pretend it's a Gator game and pack a flask.

The worst part of the whole festival was the parking situation. There were several lots around the polo field, all of them marked by high-flying yellow balloons with the lot number on them. One problem that festival organizers Goldenvoice apparently didn't anticipate was the strength of the desert winds that kick up after sundown. Saturday evening, it took us over an hour to find our rental car since the winds had blown the balloons almost to the point where they were horizontal. It's much harder to see these yellow balloons when they're only about 15 feet off the ground thanks to blustery mother nature.

All in all, a good time though. Music Midtown in Atlanta, with all it's corporatization, is still the better value. Coachella, however, may be on our radar screens once again if the band lineup proves worthy.

Friday, April 29, 2005

R&R in the CV!

Well, Michelle and I are off to the Coachella Valley for a week of chilling and checking out good music. The Coachella Music Festival is on for this weekend and should be an amazing time. We'll be checking out the likes of Bauhaus, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Kasabian, Bright Eyes, and Bloc Party. Should be a most excellent time. Then, it's Sarah McLachlan time again, with Sarah playing in Orlando next Friday and Tampa a week from Monday. What a music-filled vacation. We'll bring back pictures. Promise.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


What an amazing evening. We just returned from The Top downtown where Jack Donovan pulled off an incredible victory against the incumbent City Commission shouter Tony Domenech in District 3. Dems from far and wide came downtown to celebrate and a good time was had by all. On his way out this evening, Jack said to us, "Keep in touch. This was a group effort and will continue to be a group effort." Amen!

I started the day out signwaving for Jack on the corner of NW 34th Street and 16th Avenue. Although I was severely outgunned, Tony's supporters arrived late and left early. Such lukewarm support was evident with the motorists' reactions as well. Tony himself showed up briefly with a staple gun to staple some "vote today" signs to his existing campaign placards. He nearly got run over by an SUV in the left turn lane as he attempted to run back to his truck...

This was indeed a victory for Gainesville's grassroots. I believe Donovan truly realizes this. It can only appear to be a bit lonely in the Braddy camp these days - and a bit shameful in Bryant's. Sure, Rick's may still be flying high after his outright victory last month, but how long can that last once the reality of his backing the wrong horses truly sets in?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Brinkman and Thrall are out; Donovan vs. Domenech in a runoff...

Well, after signholding earlier in the week, I survived a horrible bout of wretching and puking after DJing the Greater Gator Beer Festival in the pouring rain for 3+ hours. Today was the first time I called in sick in over 3 years! Stumbling out of bed to check the election results this evening didn't help matters at all. Rick Bryant won the at-large election with an unbelievable 50.5% of the vote, avoiding a runoff with Rob Brinkman or Diyonne McGraw. The most right-wing member of the City Commission, Ed Braddy, squeaked by challenger Grant Thrall as well (there was no change of a runoff here with only two candidates). One beacon of hope, though, was Jack Donovan going toe to toe with Tony Domenech to force the only runoff. I was pretty undecided on this race, but I've now thrown my full support behind Jack Donovan. Jack is more of what we need on the commission: a compassionate, listening voice that will listen to the concerns of ALL of Gainesville's citizens. Tony Domenech seems to be putting a lot of effort into courting the UF frat-boy vote. Did anyone tell him that students in this town rarely vote? Apparently not. Just keep going after those non-voters, Tony. Great job!

One last thought on Rob Brinkman's campaign: one bit that probably cost him the runoff was his decision to piggyback all of his campaign streetcorner signs with the NO NEW COAL PLANT signs. I signwaved extensively for Rob, but I was seen my most people as nothing more than a protester and not a campaigner. It's not my campaign, though, so who am I to say? The coal plant is an important issue for this city, but not one that should dominate to the point where it should be placed ABOVE your own campaign sign, IMNSHO. I'm tired at this point, but I did help Jack a bit monetarily on his campaign. Go Jack! Make us proud on April 19th!

Back to soup and saltines...ugh!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

We survived the Big Apple

Finally, a well-deserved vacation! We spent it chilling out in the Big City. Much thanks to Lenny for putting us up for a few nights, as well as to Michael, Dorothy, Jason, Dave, Rachael, etc., for being fine hosts on our trip. We got to see the Gators both win and lose in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, respectively (at Buster's Garage). Later, we met the infamous Barry at the Nancy Whiskey Bar, locaed in Tribeca, down from the Garage. We hung out largely in the East Village, but also in Brooklyn Heights, Tribeca, Union Square, SoHo, Chinatown, and Riverside. Thanks for Jack Price for giving us the heads up on NYC's only Chilean restaurant, Palmaire. Phenomenal food, plus the infamous drink the Pisco Sour. We were also treated to a fine Peruvean restaurant in Brooklyn by Michael and Dorothy (you guys are too kind!). It was also nice to see our good friend Edward again, albeit for a quick meetup at the Union Square Barnes & Noble and dinner at The Kiev (yes, the same one mentioned in King Missile's "Detachable Penis!").

Witnessing the insanity of the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade was unforgettable, too. We got plenty of pictures, including the pipes and drums from County Cork for Shauna. We'll share the memories and photos with her soon at her bar Durty Nelly's, I'm sure.

Every time I visit New York City, I feel like a belong there more and more. Hey Danny Goldberg, please a seasoned radio veteran a gig with Air America already!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Medeski, Martin and Wood play a gigantic tin-can shithole!

Yes, Michelle and I went back to Brick Shitty, er, City Music Hall for the first time in nearly 3 years last night to see the great Medeski, Martin & Wood. The musicianship was top-notch as usual. However, it was not really surprising that the venue remains one of the biggest shitholes on the PLANET!

The security still thinks they're working at a Washington Avenue South Beach club. They got the rolled-up black t-shirts, the whole nine yards. Yeah, buddy, you really look authoritative! Schmucks! Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies was right: that club continues to hit new lows in lack of class and quality. The ownership seems to change constantly, but the crap just stays the same. A message for the Gainesville Planning & Zoning Board: either see if you can bring back Skeeter's Big Biscuit to that building or have it condemned and demolished. You'd be doing the whole downtown landscape a HUGE favor!

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Wow, what a game! Pete, Nancy, Kai, Michelle and I caught the game from Gators Dockside. We had a ringside seat by the big screen for a very memorable 70-53 Gator victory over the Kentucky Wildcats. Matt Walsh was on fire, David Lee dominated like the senior that he is, and Peep (Anthony Roberson), Corey Brewer, and Al Horford played vital supporting roles in this bit of roundball perfection. Now the big dance looms. Looks like we'll be checking out the first and second rounds from a bar in the Big Apple. NYC, here we come! Mahalo.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Broward Supports, Miami-Dade Rejects Pari-mutuel slot machines

Being the social darwinist that I am on many related issues, I applaud the voters of Broward County for supporting this measure. Dade County, however, looks as if it will continue to shoot itself in the foot when it comes to further developing their primary industry of tourism...

Joining the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee

This country is going down the wrong road -- it's as simple as that. The radio industry, which I had grown up enjoying and striving for as my lifelong career, is in ruins. Corporate interests have taken such a stranglehold on the wireless medium that forms of governmental dissent can be construed as "profane" or "indecent" and be grounds for dismissal. The age of widespread format experimentation is long since dead. Time has come to stand up and take action! That is why I'm joining the ACDEC with my induction this evening. One of my immediate goals is to work with their Issues Committee on a report on the current state of corporate and independent media as well as to help the Civic Media Center get its low power FM (LPFM) radio station off the ground. There's much more to address than this, of course, including the bastardization of the judiciary and Social Security. Now is when the hardest work needs to be done. Good luck to us!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

City Commission Candidate Budgets, Round 1

It's all about the benjamins, baby!

City Commission, District 2:

Ed Braddy (I) $9,978.00 raised $2,191.76 spent
Grant Thrall $6,423.54 raised $2,702.72 spent

City Commission, District 3:

Tony Domenech (I) $8,895.00 raised $ 259.25 spent
Jack Donovan $7,326.25 raised $1,568.91 spent
Michael Belle $6,272.97 raised $2,356.17 spent

City Commission, At-Large
Rick Bryant (I) $11,941.38 raised $2,079.87 spent
Rob Brinkman $8,085.50 raised $2,365.30 spent
Diyonne McGraw $2,613.84 raised $860.60 spent
"Gabriel" N/A raised N/A spent (what an enigma!)


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Satellite: Brinkman, Thrall, Donovan, and Belle shine

Well, well, well...

While at the forementioned show at Common Grounds, I picked up the brand spankin' new copy of Satellite Magazine. As a part of Rob Brinkman's campaign, I was instantly drawn to the article on the Gainesville City Commission candidates. To no one's surpise, Rick Bryant declined to participate in the questioning posed by the magazine. To my disappointment, Tony Domenech did as well. To my amazement, Ed Braddy did respond, but probably did himself more harm than good by doing so.

All candidates were in favor of changing the 2am alcohol cutoff and bar closing time that is foolishly being enforced (except for Braddy, of course!). All candidates were also in favor of GRU examining all posibilities on a new power plant before a plan is put into action (except for Braddy...surprise!). All candidates were also in favor of holding Wal-Mart's feet to the fire before giving them any concessions involving park land in northwest Gainesville in exchange for building a supercenter in the economically-strapped east side of town. Oh yeah...there was one candidate that was basically in favor of giving Mall Wort whatever it wanted - how many guesses do you need as to who that was?

Overall, I'm still glad that I'm not voting in the Domenech/Donovan/Belle race. I respect all three (3) candidates running there, albeit for totally different reasons. I will probably attend Jack Donovan's little party this weekend, nonetheless, particularly since the other 2 candidates haven't contacted me regarding their activities. The other 2 races (Braddy/Thrall and Bryant/Brinkman/"Gabriel"/McGraw -- see recommendations below) are no-brainers, although I believe Diyonne McGraw would be a quality City Commissioner if she simply possessed more resources.

Finally, tonight is the meetup for Democracy For America, the organization founded by DNC chair Howard Dean, at 7pm at Virtually Cuban. An ex-coworker of mine, Carlos Camejo, runs the place and makes some great Cuban dishes that makes you think you never left Miami. See you there!

The Enablers Rock opening for AVAIL!

To thine own ruin be true!

The above is the credo for the mighty Enablers! Last night, they played Common Grounds Coffeehouse on a Spring Break weeknight when the rest of downtown Gainesville was desolate. The Enablers kicked out the jams (muthafucka!) with a great set, now featuring former guitarist Addison Burns (ex-Quit) on drums and bass. Also setting the fine vocal tone was Rob Coe (ex-Cell 63/Fay Wray/Naughty Puritans), who is rumored to be considering making Gainesville his home. (Can'tcha hear the buzz?)

Shame is that The Enablers should've been second on the bill. That dubious distinction instead went to the lukewarm Lucero, whose bassist looked so catatonic that it seemed as if he were ready to keel over at any time. Finally came the feature presentation: Richmond, VA's own AVAIL! These guys were great - lots of energy and hijinx onstage which resulted in a large mass of folk surging, pogoing, and otherwise having a slammin' good time at the front of the stage. On my way back from work this morning, I saw the AVAIL van and trailer pulling out onto 441 heading north. Safe travels, guys. Rob, call or email me, dammit!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson as cannon fodder...it could happen!

So, Johnny Depp and some of Hunter's other friends say they are trying to find a cannon that they can use to blast Hunter's cremated remains into the sky. Depp says he may be able to get one of the stunt cannons from his Pirates of the Caribbean film. Sheriff DeSalvo (prominently featured in his book Hey Rube) says it probably can be done.

For the full Denver Post story on this, click here.


Monday, February 21, 2005

The Death of Gonzo: Hunter Stockton Thompson (1937-2005)

As you can see 2 posts ago, I just finished reading his latest (final?) book. Well, this morning I wake up to this news. Shocking, to say the least.

I was aware of Thompson for quite some time but really started getting into his work around 1998 thanks to a professor of mine at the University of Florida by the name of Charles Burke. It was in a class entitled "Journalism as Literature," where we read the likes of Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, and the Good Doctor himself. After reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which I followed with seeing the film, I became curious for more of his writing. From there, I went to The Gonzo Papers, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, and lastly to Hey Rube. I think I shall journey to The Rum Diary next, since that is in the midst of being made into a film. If anything, today's events should inspire those working on said film to complete it more quickly.

Ol' HST was no doubt an inspiration to many and will continue to be for years to come. I'm sure Hunter's up there now enjoying a good cognac with some fine Afghan hashish. Mahalo, Hunter, mahalo...

One additional note: it seems that today, more people are concerned, at least online, about Paris Hilton's cell phone getting hacked and posted on the Internet than the death of one of the greatest literary journalists of our time. Is there any question as to why this country is in such deep shit? Someone pass me a shovel.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

whoreculture's Still Got IT!

Michelle and I went to see the venerable Gainesville band whoreculture last night at Common Grounds. These guys can still rock and can definitely still pack a room! The crowd was great - some old school folks here in town I hadn't seen in quite some time. Rich, the singer, was commenting that it was great to see CG's throw a 30 and over night, which wasn't too far off the mark. Many of us had enjoyed these guys for years. Let's hope they continue with more shows soon! Rock!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Off the bookshelf...

Well, I finally finished Hunter S. Thompson's latest book, Hey Rube. It's a collection of his columns from ESPN.com's Page 2. A worthy read, needless to say. Now it's time to pick up George Lakoff's Don't Think of An Elephant. Howard Dean will most likely want is to do stuff, after all. ;-) Not like I'm sitting on my ass, anyway. I'm helping Rob Brinkman's campaign any way I can. After all, Mr. Godfather's Pizza has to go!

Well, I'm going to have some time off in the coming days, with President's Day and all. Let's take this time to remind ourselves where we are with our current one and what we need to do to make change happen for the future. If Iraq's not reason enough, just pick any other issue - you'll easily find something.

Back to yard work and perhaps some Miami-Florida baseball on Sunday. I talked myself out of going to tonight's game, especially since it's on TV. There's still plenty of opportunity to wear my UM shirt out to the ballpark and point and laugh at Chip Howard. After all, there's yard work to be done! Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....................

Monday, February 14, 2005

DD for V-Day: not as bad as you'd think.

Well, my wife and I got back from Jacksonville last night, exactly one week after Super Sunday, where we went to see Duran Duran at the Jacksonville Veteran's Arena. This was the Valentine's Day gift she wanted, so that made my life easy. I did forget my earplugs, because as I predicted, the women in the audience put forth the loudest shrieks they could muster once the band took the stage. Not only that, but a groups of women on the arena floor were waving a sign that said "Moms Gone Wild." Wow.

While not as entertaining as last month's excellent Camper Van Beethoven show at Common Grounds, the Durannies were not as bad as I thought. Yes, they were HUGE teen idols back in the day, but they can actually play their instruments. They're real musicians! If anyone's still in the dark as to why the music biz is in such horrible shape these days, just compare the current "hot" acts to these guys. There's really no contest for quality here. Clive Davis, are you listening?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Brinkman and Thrall for Gainesville City Commission!

Yes, last night's meeting has reminded me to bring this up. There will be elections next month for 3 of Gainesville's 7 City Commission seats. Most importantly, perhaps, is the at-large seat, which is voted on by all Gainesville residents. Rick Bryant, the encumbent, is up for re-election after siding with big business over his constituents time and time again, most notably in last year's Wal-Mart vote. Luckily he was out-voted and his vote was meaningless. Rob Brinkman is the challenger most fit to take his place this year. His ability to listen to the people and his tenacious concert for the future of Gainesville's environment make him a far-superior candidate than Rick Bryant and his faux-Democratic posturing.

Also up for election is the commission's arch-conservative Ed Braddy. This is a man who's got to go! UF geography professor Grant Thrall is the challenger here and the early returns are looking good on this one. Thrall has done many urban-planning consultations for the city and knows the meaning of responsible growth. Sad this seat is not in my district so I don't really have much of an effect here. (Our district commissioner, the superb Craig Lowe, is not up for re-election this year.)

The last seat up for grabs is a toughy. Most Dems get their ire up for a candidate like incumbent Tony Domenech, but I personally find it hard to do so. Out of all the times that I've emailed the commission on various issues, Domenech has been the ONE commissioner to respond, often showing sympathy to my cause. Plus, he was shown the error of his ways and voted AGAINST the Wal-Mart site at the headwaters of Hogtown Creek. The tough thing is that both of his challengers are great men as well. Mike Belle is determined to get the voices of the UF students heard, a highly admirable effort. Also, Jack Donovan, a former Reverend at the Gainesville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, is a religious leader you can really get behind. He walks the walk instead of preaching hate. Pat Robertson he is not! This one I'll have to keep myself out of. May the best man win!

Speaking of Pat Robertson, I was flipping though the channels a few weeks back when I passed ol' Pat speaking the words "George W. Bush." "This oughtta be good," I thought as I clicked back to the 700 Club. Robertson went on to say that the recent Tsunami disaster in Asia was basically God's way of punishing the Muslims for their blasphemy. This guy needs serious mental help! Enough said.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Join the ACDEC? Me?

Well, I guess it has come to this. This country is in such a dangerous predicament that it cannot be avoided. I've put in my application to be an at-large member of the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee. Tonight is yet another meeting, but they didn't receive my paperwork in time, no doubt. We'll see if I'm inducted next month. Bring it on! (Ooops, maybe a poor choice of words. Remember the last guy to use that as a slogan? Look where it got him!) Anyway, with Howard Dean poised to be the new chairman of the DNC, it looks like we're ready to kick some arse!