Not really too much to say about this one – just want to extend a Happy 70th Birthday to Bob Dylan, someone who has definitely been an inspiration to me not just as a musician, but also as an artist in general, mainly for consistently pushing forward and keeping us guessing instead of resting on his past glories as the years go by. The guy takes a lot of chances – many don’t really work out but that’s not really the point. No one bats 1000. And each year as I get older, I look more and more to guys like Dylan, Tom Waits and Neil Young as inspiration on how to keep the creative fire burning and to stay true to the process. So Happy Birthday Bob – thanks for the inspiration.
I’m honored and excited to be participating in Hypno Design’s Creative Partners Roundtable event this weekend in NJ. Brought to you by the same caring folks who put together the annual Create-A-Thon benefit, this event is geared toward lending a hand to over 40 deserving non-profit organizations by offering free advice and consultation on everything from marketing and development strategies to getting the best mileage out of a printing budget.
From the press release: “During this 5-hour “speed dating”-type event, representatives from area nonprofits will be able to seek counsel from experts in a variety of creative disciplines, including graphic design, copy writing, website design, strategic marketing, public relations and social media. The experts will provide any type of marketing-related guidance that the nonprofits need to help take their branding or marketing to the next level. Organizations can ask the experts for advice on web design, marketing strategy, branding, maximizing their use of social media as well as fundraising ideas, volunteer recruitment, and the like.”
For more information as well as updates on this great event, please visit creativepartnersroundtable.blogspot.com.
Earlier this month I donated a collage to the 1 in 91 art show in Venice, CA, to help raise money for the A.skate Foundation – well, Vans’ Off the Wall TV just posted a great video about A.skate and all the work they’ve been doing over the years for children with autism – worth watching and worth supporting.
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Spent the weekend digging through a milk crates worth of random old cassette tapes and, among other things, came across one filled with all the old Obese Pharaohs of Funk recordings, including, much to my surprise, the two songs we recorded for Switch Skateboard Shop’s Switchstance compilation back in 1994. I’m super stoked, since I’d lost my only copy of the comp years ago so it was nice to hear these tracks, which were the first recordings we ever did. These two songs were recorded by Nick Rotundo at our bass player Bret’s house, back when Nick was using his mobile 8 track reel-to-reel recorder. For the comp, each band had to record one “skate rock cover” and one original song – for the cover we went with The Last Goodbye by Agent Orange, a song we played live pretty frequently (As a young skate rat, I was a huge Agent Orange fan). For the original, we recorded a tune called Enchilada, which was one of the band’s earliest songs, and one of the few (along with Last Time I Laughed and Beginnings) where I wrote both the music and lyrics. And, no, I’m not claiming greatness on any of those tunes – this is just a nice walk down memory lane and a chance to finally put these lost tracks out there with the rest of the Nero/Obese Pharaohs of Funk material. The sound quality is a little bit dodgy, as the tape had been through some wear and tear over the years. Anyway, hope you enjoy them.
And, as always, Rest in peace Jeremy Tuschak. Thanks for all the memories.
Don’t forget – this Saturday is Record Store Day so be sure to stop by your local shop and pick up some tunes. Plus there’s plenty of limited edition discs being dropped just for the occasion, so don’t miss out or risk lurking on ebay with their inflated prices.
People often ask why I care so much about record stores (or independent book stores for that matter) and, more often than not, I get told “record stores are dead – they’re on the way out. no one cares anymore.” Well, just because the media are once again ringing the death bells doesn’t mean I’m going to follow the sheep and just give up. The way I see it, the future’s unwritten – so you gotta support the scenes you believe in. And the record store is about community, a gathering place where music fans can meet up, talk about rock-n-roll, hunt through the crates for hidden gems and random discoveries, a place to hang out with your friends and people watch while listening to new tunes being blasted through the house sound system. You can’t get that online. The album cover art and liner notes in all their 12 inch glory – you can’t get that online. And you can’t get in-store performances by touring or local bands online either. Sure, the internet is convenient and easy but that’s what makes it soul-less. And this is no nostalgia trip either – this is about fostering and supporting the culture you love. So, if you’re a music fan, you have to support music and the bands or else watch it all come to an end. So put that on your soap box and choke on it.
Viva indie record stores. Viva indie book stores. Viva indie skate shops. Viva the art of life.
Went to Kinetic for the DE premier of Real skateboard’s new vid, Since Day One. Definitely dug it – kind of an old school vibe, not a lot of fancy camera angles or arty fades, just raw street skating. Busenitz killed it as hard as you hoped he would, skating to Roadrunner by the Modern Lovers. The whole soundtrack was solid actually (Public Enemy, Iggy, Fugazi) and if anyone knows the name of the song in Chima’s part, please let me know. Other standout parts (of the top of my head):Justin Brock, Ishod, Alex Perelson, Ramondetta and Chima. The whole thing’s pretty solid though. Pick it up at your local shop or download it via iTunes.
And below is a nice little video recap of A.skate Foundation’s 1 in 91 Art Auction that took place a few weeks ago in Venice, CA. Looks like it was a fun night – really wish I could have made it out to that one. Bonus points it you can locate my collage in the background.