Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Winter Wackiness E-Coast Style

Well it only took about one week away from SoCal to miss the palm trees and sunshine...Though it's not unseasonably cold, I am not enjoying the chilly temperatures here in War-shington DC. On top of that is the stress of avoiding the emotional minefields associated with family get-togethers and the inevitable bickering associated. This is probably my last trip back here (non-music related) for some time. WHY is it that sometimes the further an individual is situated from the inner workings of the music industry, the more they feel entitled to make sweeping judgments calls and critiques?? Suppose sharing a surname might explain alot, still I'm not in the mood for toleratin haterz right now, was looking forward to some R&R before charging into the New Year but looks like that will have to wait. Did I forget to mention that the muffler on my Mom's car fell off today while driving my sis to the airport? Add to that randomly running into a long-lost friend at the auto mechanic's garage.

The best way to settle down after a day like this is enjoying a bowl of home-cooked Korean kimchi chigae which is incidentally great for warding off a cold. A random web search just revealed that DMZ//38 was chosen as a Top 12 Indie Pick on Independent Songwriter Web-Magazine. You can vote for us here ...Keep on rockin in the real world

Monday, December 19, 2005

The World Is Not for Sale

Much love and solidarity to comrades in Hong Kong who are protesting against the greed of the WTO, especially the Korean activists struggling against unfair policies impacting farmers and the poor. Once again it's on...And congratulations are in order to newly-elected President Evo Morales or Bolivia, the first indigenous president in the Western Hemisphere. Seems like we here in the old U.S. of A may be behind the times, how long before a woman, African American, Asian American or Latino occupies the Oval Office?? Speaking of which, isn't it about time to INDICT THE PRESIDENT? If an individual has knowingly broken the law, especially one who should be the exemplar of civil propriety, then let than individual be prosecuted according to the letter of the law. NO ONE is above the law, right?? Everybody is reporting that Prez personally ordered ILLEGAL surveillance on US AMERICANZ...why y'all sitting obediently at the office, school, wherever? Let's rock this boat, turn this mutha out and seize the time!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Power, Corruption and Lies

So now it's coming out into the mainstream media that the NSA is engaging in wholesale domestic spying...actually this has been known by the activist community for years, lately we've also discovered that the Pentagon has been monitoring peaceful antiwar groups. When does this all end?? You would think that these agencies would have better things to do with taxpayer money like combating "real" terrorism. Then again the Feds have shown they can't even handle basic functions like disaster relief and prevention. All that money spent after 9-11...lining the pockets of the military-industrial-police state complex. At least there is a real fight going on right now over this horrible piece of legislation known as the "Patriot Act." I've endured a lot of repression in these past five years, more enough to justify expatriation to a saner culture like Canada or those fry-eating fools in France...but like homegirl Margaret Cho says "I have chosen to stay and fight."

Thursday, December 15, 2005


I am having fun with this software application called Masterwriter that helps songwriters compose and organize material. I've been holding off on setting up my demo for awhile, but already I'm quite impressed with ease of use and a wealth of features. Just recently I realized that I had loads of incomplete lyrics and themes scattered in various notebooks, easily enough for a full album or more...of course I have to finish recording this first one haha.

Enjoying some down time before a trip back home next week, and still researching before making a final decision on selecting a recording studio. Am also reading Angela Davis' excellent Are Prisons Obsolete? Seems like a timely pamphlet given the recent execution of Tookie Williams, which still rests heavily here in well as the last couple shows connected to the theme of political prisoners. The criss-crossing lines between this Iraq madness and the injust conditions revealed in the Katrina disaster are clear not only to activists but "average" working people as well...there is an old revolving door between the jails/prisons, gangs and armed forces replete with racism, brutality, hatred, exploitation and violence which must be addressed by the growing Antiwar Movement. Especially young men of color have so few positive role models mystery why the FBI wanted the Black Panthers smashed, and leaders from Malcolm to Martin, Huey to Pac have been assassinated. "They killed all my heroes, locked the rest up but I rose from the dead to tear this shit up!"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Winter In Amerika

As the clock ticks toward midnight we here in LA are bracing not only for yet one more death, but what could follow. It seems that this society and certainly Gov. Terminator have no faith in the power of redemption...With all the killing already going on in the world today this is hardly necessary. I don't believe that Tookie is "innocent" however I believe that he is potentially more valuable to civil society alive than six feet under. We need strong voices like his to help sway our youth away from "thug life." But then, without more gangstas running loose...where would the justification for more prisons, guards, cops (pro-Republican no doubt) come from?! So perhaps there is a twisted logic behind this mess after all.

My community was right in the cross-hairs last time but this is not 1992...if white Amerikans have still not come to terms with the racist underpinnings of this nation after Hurricane Katrina maybe it's time to give 'em back their white sheets and masks. I won't be the only one sayin "I told you so" and we as a community will NEVA AGAIN be a sacrificial lamb...Screw the mainstream media, neo-con whites and police...To the brothas feeling that Tookie's execution is the last straw, consider that the man himself has stated for the record that he wants to be remembered for his PEACE-MAKING WORK, not fomenting more violence. We need y'all to be working, FREE, representin, takin care of yr families, making music, not rotting in jail under watch of the downpressor man or lying dead. Let's just make it thru the next 24 hours y'all.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Death or Glory

A very encouraging note to end this year...Here I am holding the "Outstanding Political Band of the Year" plaque at the Rock City News Awards from last Thursday, presented to DMZ//38. Thank you to everyone who voted for us, this is just the beginning!

The same night, I also ventured over to John Lennon's Hollywood star in front of the Capitol Records building on Vine near Hollywood...there was a small gathering to honor this tremendously inspirational artist who was taken from us 25 years ago. We miss you, man - IMAGINE

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sleepless In Silverlake

This cold weather has me stuck indoors and fighting a weird cold/anxiety spell. I am feeling unusually keyed into my surroundings to the point where it's getting uncomfortable. In the past a term like "Seeing the Matrix" would have seemed appropriate but now that sounds quaint. What about being a fully-conscious member of the "reality-based community?" With all the recent setbacks for the neo-cons you would think that we progressive-minded types would be more cheerful but unfortunately the struggle continues as we seek to re-define a vision of a more equitable, just and healthy society. I believe that many of the generalized, entrenched conditions widespread today in the U.S. - from a mental health epidemic, affordable housing crisis, dysfunctional health care system, violence in the cities and rural areas - have their roots in the 1980s rollback under Reagan. It's almost as if America itself has experienced a long-term Structural Adjustment Program which is typically enforced by the IMF/WTO on developing nations to dismantle civic society protections to bring in foreign investment (let's call it what it is - corporatized rape or good old fashioned imperialism)...Who profits? The usual suspects - wealthy, elites, corporations, reactionaries...Who suffers? Those most at risk - mentally ill, elderly, poor, ethnic minorities, well as an ever-shrinking middle class "public" expected to pay for it all. In the meantime continue to distract the masses while they are being pickpocketed with ravenous headlines about a Never-Ending War On Various Foriegn Undesirables and you have the makings of a techno-cratic, religious fundamentalist authoritarian state. PEOPLE- WE ARE BEING LIED TO!! Excuse the rant, but WHAT is it going to take to turn the tide? How much bare-faced corruption are we expected to tolerate passively? How many body bags? How much pollution? Is this the future we want to bequeath to future generations?

Here's a picture from last Saturday's event down in the hood, I don't know where the rest of y'all were hiding but I'm gonna be harrasin suckas in the New Year to make it out to one of our shows before we bolt L.A.-

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Indecision Time

One of the big drawbacks to maintaining artistic independence is the constant threat of being spread too thin and pulled in many directions at once...every so often I remind myself of the importance of a centripetal outlook, and at least attempting to keep activities organized, planned and reviewed methodically. So much easier said than done, practices I honed over 10+ years of business experience in stressful corporate IT environments doesn't necessarily translate consistently into successfully developing the career of an upstart political rock band. And having several interviews but nothing final yet in the way of a day job is keeping things in limbo going into next year. I have great hopes for the full-length debut album (tentatively titled "No Man's Land") and the material is nearly completed, but nagging questions relating to personnel and budget may delay the schedule further...

In other news, the clock is winding down for Tookie Williams and while there's still a chance that the Governator may grant clemency it's looking uncertain at best. Keep the pressure on, your fingers crossed and pray.