Saturday, January 31, 2009

RICKY BERRY FOR LB CITY COUNCIL PART 2 has a story about this guy named Robert Garcia and his campaign for the First District's open city council position. The article begins with a detailed description of who has donated to Garcia's campaign and how much they've given. Later, Garcia responded by saying most of his contributions are from people giving $100 or less. Sure, dude.

When you've got the fire and police unions giving $2,500 each, you don't care about the little guy. If my math is correct (and it's usually not), $2,500 from one group equals 25 $100 donations. And with this money coming not from people but from city-backed groups, where do you think this guy's allegiance lies?

The story also mentions how "cigar/smoking/tobacco related businesses" have donated, some up to the maximum alloted $1,000 amount. Garcia disputes this claim, saying, "I recieved contributions from a few Cigar Lounge small business owners that I know, not smoking firms or companies." Well, one look at this list and you can see seven different people associated with smoking lounges donated money. Call it what you want, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out something's up when seven seemingly random business owners who just so happen to be in the SAME business give money to one candidate. That's a bullshit move, the kind the city can expect more of if this clown's elected.

Oh, and twice in his statement Garcia mentions he doesn't smoke. For a guy who doesn't smoke and never has, he sure has a lot of connections within the smoking community.

Later he writes, "However, if a responsible adult wants to smoke a cigar in a cigar lounge, that is their business and I support the current state law guiding that issue." For once, I agree. But does he feel the same when what those responsible adults are smoking ISN'T tobacco?

Everyone I know has nothing but terrible things to say about Long Beach city government. They drop the ball at every chance they get because they want to squeeze out this town's character in favor of glossy high rises and outdoor malls. If the people of Long Beach -- and more particularly, the people of the first and second districts -- were in charge, Acres of Books would still exist, the Pike would never have been built, CityPlace would have stores people actually want to shop at and the Vault would be a viable club. But no, we get shit on every chance the city gets. That's why I'm moving to Portland.

You want more of the same bad ideas, vote for Garcia. He's the guy who's backed by the same people responsible for all those terrible ideas. You want someone with a fresh perspective on things, a person who hasn't been running for political office for all of his adult life, vote for Rick Berry.


So this woman in Bellflower just had eight babies. And the icing on the cake is, she already had six kids.

Instead of everyone asking what's she going to do with all 14 offspring, shouldn't we be asking why someone who already had six kids wanted even one more?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Fernet-Branca is one helluva drink. Read all about it.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Anyone who knows me is aware that I don't back politicians. I think they are slimy, egotistical and lame. But there's a guy running for Long Beach City Council who I can get behind.

It's my friend Rick Berry. He's an absolute great person and very deserving of someone's vote. He's not like all the other politicians out there, which means he's a real human who places fresh ideas over bureaucracy.

Rick has set up a weekly get-together at Zephyr in Long Beach. Last week was his first attempt. I was there. So were a few others. Check it out and ask him some questions. He's very friendly and will bring about more change than any of the people he's running against.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


When he doesn't, he turns into a mess.

I got up at 7 a.m. this morning. Try doing that after months and months of going to bed at 3 a.m. Trust me. It sucks.

Four hours sleep last night. Total bummer. I've been paying for it all damn day.

It's 6:09 p.m. right now and I'm hurting. I have to do it tomorrow too. Let it be known that work sucks.

I can't think straight, can't get anything done. I'm worthless when my sleep is interrupted and it usually takes 24 hours to recover from days like today, which means Saturday is going to be a sleep-a-thon of epic proportion.

Is 6 too early for bed?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Here they are folks. Enjoy!


Friday, January 9, 2009


This issue with the Press-Telegram laying off more employees strikes a chord with me. I worked there for three years and there wasn't a single employee who ever came to my aide when I needed it. The only time I went to the union, they ended up fucking me as much, if not more, than the company did.

That said, I don't like what's happening there. I haven't bought a PT in ages and wouldn't recommend anyone doing that either. I go on their site daily to check headlines. Then I get frustrated seeing, or should I say NOT seeing, what should be covered. More babbling from the codgers who've been there forever, but nothing about what's going on in the community. It's a slap in the face to readers, one of which I won't and don't put up with.

Don't get me wrong. My lack of interest in the PT shouldn't be construed as a knock on the reporters because it's not. It's more of a fuck you to MediaNewsGroup than the remaining journalists.

In fact, I read the Stress-Telegram ( as often as the PT. Unfortunately, that site depresses me just as much. As a former insider, I know firsthand the level of bullshit fed to PT employees. Yet ST readers don't get any of that. We're spoonfed these links to sites that people in Long Beach simply don't care about.

Everyone I know asks me what's up at the PT and I tell them I know as much as they do. That's sad. One way to remedy this would be the Stress-Telegram, but it appears these people are too afraid to report on the newsroom meetings that involve the "lucky" few being caught up on the new round of layoffs. Why not report that instead of a canned message from a union rep who doesn't work at the PT?

I agree with the ST's sentiment that the PT needs a better staff. But please, give those who never worked there the opportunity to know what's going on without the use of whitebread filters. Everyone's job is in the toilet and telling us about their situation in such a manner isn't winning over readers; it's just pushing more people away.

I've written this before and I'll write it again: Stress-Telegram, start saying something. It's sad when your comments section is more interesting and informative than your actual site.

On a related note...I heard the powers-that-be laid off Fred Murdoch, the mailroom guy. If there's a more awesome person on this planet, someone please introduce me to them. Fred was like a bartender to me. I'd go into his office, bitch about everything and somehow leave our conversations feeling much better about myself. He offered a glimmer of hope into what was already a sinking ship. It's too bad more outlets aren't playing up his loss as much as they are a reporter who was employed there for a matter of months.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I saw this band last night. They go by the name of Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss. Wheeler sings in Throw Rag and Schloss plays bass in the Circle Jerks. But they don't sound anything like those two.

It was at this incredibly awesome bar/venue called the Redwood Bar and Grill in Los Angeles. This wasn't some bullshit "we're in LA but it's really the Valley or the South Bay" shit. No, this was in Bunker Hill LA, the real deal. The bar's got this amazing nautical motif that whoever designed should be given credit for. It's really worth going to just to check out all the attention to detail.

Anyway, I saw this duo at the Buddyhead Xmas Party and the Hotel Cafe and they were by far the best thing there. I picked up their 5-song demo and it rules. I had to see them again.

Now that I know some songs, I was excited. They played all five, a few new ones and even one they claimed they wrote earlier that day. Each one was awesome. Schloss absolutely shreds the 12-string acoustic and Wheeler's got pipes that send chills down my spine.

They talked about "the people," and while that might sound like bullshit, these two are playing some real honest, no-thrills tunes, the kind not often heard these days. Imagine a soul/gospel singer over folk/country/bluegrass and that's what they sound like.

They are by far my new favorite band and I'll be seeing more of them. In fact, they're doing every Wednesday in January at this place. I went assuming I'd be the only person there. I was wrong. It was packed. You should go. Trust me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Woke up today to discover Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton passed away. Like the title says, that's a bummer to the nth degree.

To say the Stooges are important to rock 'n' roll is a major understatement. The band's first two records are hailed (now -- they weren't when they were first released) as seminal listening that paved the way for punk. But the band was so much more than that. There's a very primal, raw energy in those first two discs that come from a background of blues and jazz. I used to hear people say that to me, but I didn't know what it meant. Then I got into those genres, and as I started to drift from punk, I began to enjoy the Stooges even more because they couldn't be pigeonholed into one category. Just listen to "Dirt" from "Fun House" and tell me that's not "Born Under a Bad Sign" played in a modern way.

Asheton was a wailer whose voice really came through in his playing. I can't imagine the Stooges carrying on without him, but then again, money talks. And with James Williamson still alive, they could have a second reunion and continue if they wanted.

I saw Asheton live once. It was the first and only time I saw the Stooges. 2003 at Coachella. I had no desire to drive to the middle of the desert for these annual festivals (and still don't), but once I heard the Stooges were playing their first gig in decades and later discovered I could get in for free, well, I would have been a fool if I didn't go. As far as reunions go, the Stooges were solid. And I'm not saying this because he died, but the one thing that really stood out for me (aside from never seeing Iggy in the flesh, which is a treat unto itself) was how much Asheton's playing stood out. He was on point and played in the most primitive, tribal way. He killed it on "Dirt" and I'll never forget that.

The Stooges are still one of my all-time favorite bands and "Fun House" is the "Pet Sounds" of rock. I listen to it regularly and no matter how many times I hear it, I always pick up on new things hidden in the songs. It's as fresh and alive as it was the day it was released. I can't say the same about a lot of the records in my collection.

RIP Ron Asheton and say hi to Dave Alexander for me.