Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Ask The Dust by John Fante

This is the book. One of the best I've ever read. It's hard to describe the way Fante writes. It is funny, insightful, introspective and extremely honest. Fante writes from the gut. He is Charles Bukowski's favorite writer and his influence is obvious. The story is an autobiographical tale of a young man living alone in downtown Los Angles in the 1930's. It's about his adventures trying to become a published writer and his experiences with women, poverty, money, and life on Bunker Hill. Out of all the books here, I recommend this the most. Arturo Bandini is my idol.

A Long Strange Trip by Dennis McNally

So this is the official biography of the Grateful Dead. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to read another book about them, I had read all the others years ago, but I went ahead and did. It was a good call. This is an amazingly detailed saga. McNally was appointed biographer and publicist by Garcia in the 80's. He breaks the band history down month by month, but skips a few years when the shows got monotonous in the early 80's. Besides that, every show and everything that ever happened to them is documented in this 700 page book. The first 100 pages alone are on Jerry's career before the Dead. McNally is extremely intelligent and an excellent writer. His chapter on LSD is one of the best pieces of writing on the subject I've read, and I've read a lot. His chapter on the importance and influence of Neal Cassady is incredible. My only complaint would be that he skips over discussing the subtleties in the performance of the last show. And sometimes he interjects his opinion to much (Apocalypse Now, which Mickey Hart did some music for and Bill Graham was in, was 'deeply flawed'??). One of the enemies later in the story is Jerry's last wife, Deborah. Did you know she banned Mountain Girl (Jerry's ex and one of his lifelong best friends) from his funeral and the scattering of his ashes? What a bitch! Anyway, if you are new to the Dead, this is a good place to start, and if you've already read the other books this is still crucial reading.

God Is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

An excellent argument for Atheism. The first chapter is amazing, I recommend going to a bookstore and just reading that. The rest of the book has it's moments but gets bogged down in the details of various religious wars and jargon. But Hitchens makes his points well and I'm glad a book like this is available in every library and major bookstore chain in America.

Trier on Von Trier edited by Stig Bjorkman

This series of interviews with Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier. It is a very detailed account of his work thus far. He comes across as a strange but intelligent man with a lot of anxiety. Some of his movies are brilliant, others not so much. But he is always trying new ideas and images. His early work like The Element of Crime is very stylized. Then he created the Dogme 95 style of filmmaking with Thomas Vintenburg. Their films Idioterne (Trier) and Festen (Vintenburg) are two of my all time favorites.
All his other major works are discussed here including Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, and the first in his new trilogy about the USA, Dogville. Check out the other two in the trilogy he has done since: Manderlay and Wasington.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Whoa, this is throughly fucked up. I was being sent for Jamba Juice a lot when I was working for a director on an all juice diet and they sell this book there. I started reading the chapter on slaughterhouses while waiting and I couldn’t put it down. It paints a dark, dark picture of what slaughterhouses have done to the towns in “Americas heartland.” Even darker is the way the workers are treated. Absolutely crazy. The rest of the book goes on to discuss disease, the history of fast food, what its like to work at McDonalds, and tons of other stuff. Pretty important work.

Since Then by David Crosby

This is part two of his autobiography. If you haven’t read either, skip this one and just read part one, Long Time Gone. That is a crazy story. It goes beyond shocking into inspirational. It’s all about threesomes, rock n' roll, hitting rock bottom, and a whole lot of freebasing cocaine. He ends up in jail and gets sober and that's where this book picks up. Part 2 is more about his medical problems as a result of his previous lifestyle. Throughout the book, he has children he doesn’t realize he had get in touch with him, totally out of the blue. Then there’s the whole donating his sperm to Melissa Etheridge and her partner. The rest of the book is filled with his thoughts on current issues like the music business, terrorism, and organ donation. It’s interesting but not critical reading.

Herzog on Herzog edited by Paul Cronin

Werner Herzog is a true original, one of my favorite artists in any medium. This book goes through each of his 50 plus films and tells the stories of how they got made, and what they are about. I have seen 40 of his films and each one is worth tracking down to watch. The more crucial ones, I’d say, are Aguirre, Even Dwarfs Started Small, White Diamond, Strozeck, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Bells from the Deep, and Fata Morgana. He thinks in a completely different way than anyone else and has insights that changed the way I view cinema, and life in general. Even if you’re not into his films, the adventures he went on all over the world to make his films are fascinating.

Love Saves the Day by Tim Lawernce

This is a history of America dance music culture from 1970 to 1979. It starts with David Mancuso selecting music for Timothy Learys League of Spiritual Development parties (note the initials of this and the books title). Those gatherings morphed into the first underground dance parties called the Loft. It details the diverse but heavily gay and black disco parties that sprung up in Manhatten throughout the 70's, pioneered by DJs like Francis Grasso and Steve D'Aquisto. The best part is the book has playlists of the records that the DJs were playing each year! I find them very helpful when buying old records. Lawerence seriously did his research. He writes a lot about the magic of The Sanctuary, the Continental Baths, The Gallery, and The Paradise Garage. If you're not into disco or the history of dance music, avoid this, but if you are, this is essential knowledge.

Lady Sings the Blues by Billie holiday

Wow. She had a tough life. Makes the Anthony Kedis and Motley Crue stories look like a walk in the park. Racial hatred, heroin addiction, jail, rape, death- it's all there. I wont even tell you about her deal with dead bodies. She almost always refers to women as 'bitches' and white folks as 'ofays.' There is lots of other well-used slang in there too. This book was published over 50 years ago. It's the real deal.

Scar tissue by Anthony Kedis

This book lives up to the hype. Anthony describes his entire drug history in chronological order, every detail of every bender and trip to rehab. With frightening realism, he conveys what its like to be high out of your mind or seriously fiending. Even the part about this childhood in the LA rock scene is interesting. He met Keith Moon, and Sonny Bono and Cher were his baby sitters.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

This dude comes across as an egomaniacal snob but he was actually a heroin and coke addict for a long time and still smokes weed. His tone in the book is often annoying but I learnt enough about cooking and dining to make it tolerable. He breaks down the "underbelly" of the cooking world and goes into some good tips about how to size up a restaurant, and what not to order. He hates vegetarians.

The Dirt: Confessions of the Worlds Most Notorious Rock Band by Motley Crue

Good easy read. I didn't put it down. Basically Vince has had everything bad that can happen to someone, happen to him. Nikki was the most talented and fucked up, as well as the most engaging writer. Tommy's story is interesting, and Micks just a weirdo.

Imperial Ambitions by Noam Chomsky

The greatest political thinker alive breaks down what's happening with America's imperialist strategy. Enlightening. Anyone interested in global issues or the future of the world should read this. The Iraq invasion is just the beginning. Welcome to the new Dark Ages.

Who Built the Moon? By Alan butler and Christopher knight

This is some serious bullshit. My aunt's friend gave me this in Australia. I should have known this was going to be retarded when he told me he was a devout catholic. When we first discussed it, I said it might be a good exercise in thinking different ways about things so he gave me a copy. It's boring to read. The authors think humans in the future sent "chronobots" back in time to build the moon for us. Their proof is tons of measurements made using "metric yards" which they get from looking at pendulums in front of stars. Strictly for the dumb pseudo new age crowd.

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakuar

Ho. ly. Shit. This is the most disturbing book I have ever read. It's about the pedophile cults that call them selves the FLDS. You know, the fundamentalist Mormons. These guys have as many daughters as they can (they kick most the guys out of town), then start having sex with them when they hit 12(or younger), and/or trade them with their brethren, who are doing the same thing. They also commit serious welfare fraud. I went into more detail here but I erased it because it's just to twisted. These people need to be stopped.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Notes on Heath

Another lesson on the fragility of life. It seemed he had it all: youth, looks, women, a child, money, and a career as a successful artist. But one day shit slipped over the edge for him: popping pills in a high society friends loft, naked waiting for a masseuse, he died. Not a bad way to go. But so sad. My heart goes out to his family, for them this is a tragedy beyond words. It's unfortunate that we wont see his acting performances again. Like many others before him, he was just another guy in a situation, and drugs are drugs no matter who you are.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nick's Book Corner

Book Reviews by Nick Sinclair.

Dear Mom: A Sniper's Vietnam
By Joseph T. Ward

Oh Shit. Back when I was wasted off my ass on a permanent basis I read Dear Mom, A Sniper's Vietnam. J.T. Ward is a complete bad ass. Upon joining the marines with his three other best friends from Colorado, he ended up joining the scout snipers and doing a tour of Nam 1969. He carried a 500 Remington bolt action rifle. The gun was his free pass to say, do, and kill anything he wanted, and he used that privilege. J.T. had over a 100 confirmed kills. That means after you kill someone, one has to somehow reach the body and search for anything important like papers, maps, or money. He smoked junk when hurting. All he wanted was a new pair of boots. J.T. chilled with the locals and ate dog.
Moho introduced this book to me and I read it immediately. We would drink beers and create an alter ego of J.T. Ward, which we would always say in a deep voice, babbling for hours about Vietnam. People thought we were insane, maybe we were..this book is no joke...It's a MUST read.

The Polynesian Family System in Ka'u, Hawai'i
By E.S. Craighill Handy and Mary Kawena Pukui

Ka'u is unique and amazing. This book was written from 1930 to 1950 by an Al'i women and her friend. It is taught at the universities of Hawai'i and is one of the keys to understanding the Hawaiian culture before white man. Filled with Hawaiian sayings, customs, spiritual beliefs, food, and general ways of life- this book is the roots! There are a lot of Hawaiian phrases that are translated to English. This is one of my favorites: "O ka moa i hanai ia ka la, ua 'oi i ka moa i hanai ia i ka malu." Translation:
A rooster raised in the sunlight is stronger than the one raised in the shade....
In this book you are brought into the reality of Hawai'in life. They discuss the importance of Kalo, the food staple, that is grown on the wet uplands. The Ohana(family) is of the highest importance. Working and keeping it tight with one another is what's all about. I can't speak more highly of it's cultural significance.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Help Slip Frank

This is it. The Grateful Dead. This upload comes from a CD made directly from the original master tapes recorded by a New York taper that Bob Panknin knew. Maybe he could shead some more light on this recording because years ago he gave me this CD with 'unknown early 90's GD' written on it. What an unbelievably joyful performance! For the uninitiated, Help Slip Frank is a term for a long piece of music the Dead played that combined three songs: Help on the Way, Slipknot, and Franklins Tower. It was one of their major works and a high point for any show, especially as an opener. The date of this jam is unknown at this point, but Bruce Hornsby is all over this, putting it somewhere between 1990- 1993. You can just picture him and Jerry grinning wildly at each other during their solos. Listen to the tone of Phils bass, have you ever heard anything like that? He had worked on that sound for 30 years at that point. Jerry brings Franklins to a climax that is way beyond description. So this is a treat for old school heads and will hopefully turn some new people on to the greatest American band ever. No doubt.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

God's Money

Have you heard this album? It's by Gang Gang Dance. I've been listening to this for a few years and every time I hear it, it gets better. This a seriously intricate record. Very psychedelic and unusual music. It is inspiring to know there is a band out there that sounds totally original. I'm not sure how describe the music, it's percussion heavy, diverse, and very strange. The whole album flows together incredibly, going from ambient soundscapes to percussion jams to fairytale epics. It is best to hear the whole album in order but here is one of the songs: Egowar. The record can be bought here from the Social Registry label. If you're into far out music of any kind, I recommend this. It's a masterpiece.

P-Lords Music Mix #4: Donny Don

Do you like to have your mind blown?
I do.
Listen to this mix.
It has been two years since DJ Donny Don has put his wax on the tables. He has been retired in the rainforest of Hawaii for years. He recently resurfaced and dropped this mix on us. Unbelievably, the records you hear here were scored at the Keeau dump in Puna, Hawaii. From the jungle to the city, this is a personal note to the life he loves.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pop Songs

Here are four big radio hits I've been feeling lately. Usually this style goes unnoticed by me but these ones have stood out over the past few years. Click on the title to listen. When you hear them, keep an open mind and be in a happy mood.

Natasha Bedingfield- Unwritten

I heard this song in a shampoo commercial and loved the sing-a-long gospel chorus and had to find out who it was. Turns out it was Natasha Begingfield, an English Christan singer. Super corny self empowerment lyrics but nevertheless, I like the feel good vibe of this one.

Tegan & Sara- Back in Your Head

I love eveything these ladies do, especially their last record So Jealous. The new one, The Con, isn't quite as good but the first single from it is. Amazing melodies, incredible voices, and a great structure. This tune has even found it's way into Ketamine Brother Dj sets.

Kelly Clarkson- Since U Been Gone

I'll probably be discredited by some people for including this but oh well. I got into this song because I worked on a theater production that played this before every show. There were some other songs by Ashley Simpson and KT Tunstall that grew on me too but this Clarkson tune always had me rockin when it came on. Turn it up!

Nelly Furtado- Say it Right

I got into this tune because I spent two months with a girl who listened to this all the time. Maybe I just like it because it reminds me of her. Probably not. The beat and sampled vocal bits Timbaland uses sound incredible with the moody tone of her layered voices.

Friday, January 11, 2008

P-Lords Music Mix #3: Yacht 2 Nowhere

Check out this guest mix from the Yacht 2 Nowhere DJ's from Florida.

Yacht 2 Nowhere: Live from Key West 1986


The Sanford Townsend Band- Smoke From A Distant Fire
Christopher Cross- Never Be The Same
Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina- Nobody But You
Toto- Rosanna
Michael McDonald- Sweet Freedom
Steely Dan- Old School
Rupert Holmes- Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
America- Magic
Christopher Cross- Ride Like The Wind
Glenn Fry- Smugglers Blues
Hall & Oates- I Can't Go For That (Live)
Orleans- Reach
Mike Post Featuring Larry Carlton- Theme From Hill Street Blues
Jan Hammer- Theme from Miami Vice
Vangelis- Chariots of Fire Titles

Sunday, January 6, 2008

David Lynch on iphones

Holy shit. This is funniest thing we've ever seen. This man is my hero.