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The Life and Times of Grandpa Parm & Scheme-On

Nonchalant Domination…

james2Nonchalant Domination…

The Importance of Finesse

(Style, Life, Sports)

 

San Diego, CA (11/29/08) – Now I don’t consider myself someone who possesses any exceptional talent or even someone with good style for that matter, but last night in Encinitas while sapping a non-alcoholic Tecate light (courtesy of Stamp’D LA – thanks barn) I managed to nonchalantly dominate Chris Stamp, Jerrell Wallace and this girl named Melly at high-stakes ping pong. We moved on to Goldschlager / cranberry and charades… nonchalantly dominated. We moved on to the Saloon… nonchalantly dominated. We moved on to D-Street… nonchalantly dominated. We moved on to 4th meal Susan Stamp Thanksgiving leftovers… nonchalantly dominated. Next thing I knew I nonchalantly woke up extremely hungover and I nonchalantly epiphanized that in these troubled times of economic peril and unprecedented violence, finesse and nonchalant domination is what really matters. These qualities are absolutely critical to achieving success and respect as we move through life. According to a freakishly short drug-addict, woman beating, politically retarded, bankrupt black child star whose character name rhymes with fester, nonchalant domination can be defined as having an air of easy unconcern or indifference while exercising mastery, supremacy, preeminence or ruling power over another. Whether socially, professionally, in sports, or just in life, some feel that the end result is all that matters, but I would argue that the way in which an individual goes about achieving that end result makes all the difference. Individuals like Allan Iverson of the Detroit Pistons, Leon Washington of the New York Jets, Tom Penny of the skateboarding world; people like this are what make life worth living and sports worth watching. The ability to accomplish an extremely difficult task and look good doing it is a highly commendable quality and something we all should strive for in our own lives, because if you can’t exude a level of finesse and nonchalant domination in your craft, you might as well be Tim Duncan or George W. Bush.  

 

Get Nonchalant or Go Home

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November 30, 2008 Posted by | Life, Sports, Style | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The One-Man Band…

The One-Man Band…
Independent Mastermind or Anti-Social Scumbag???
(Music, Life)

picture-15San Francisco, CA, 11/15/08 – So last night I wandered into this little black hole of a concert room at Hemlock Tavern, through the pieces of industrial car wash plastic to find what sounded like an extremely sloppy Wolfmother-type band. I couldn’t fully see the stage, only the top of the singer’s head, so pushed my way closer to try and spot the drummer and to my surprise realized that this band was not a band at all. It was one super exhausted dude, pounding Pabst Blue Ribbon, wailing on a guitar, screaming into a mic, with his right foot on a bass drum and left foot on a high hat… it was awesome. Witnessing this demonstration of musical multi-tasking made me start thinking about how one makes the decision to start a one-man band. What’s the natural progression? Do these people usually start off in a normal band then end up going rogue, or are they just hardcore one-man banders from birth? What’s the motivation? What type of individual has the passion to take on what a group of 3-5 people generally do? Are they just independent musical masterminds with exceptional creativity and talent, or are they anti-social panhandling scumbags who are so awkward and annoying that they can’t even find 3-5 other people who want to be in a band with them? There are plenty of solo artists out there, but this shit’s on a whole ‘nother level. You have to give them props for their talent though, I mean I can barely pat my head and rub my belly at the same time let alone play 5 instruments simultaneously and sing. The closest I can get to multi-tasking is drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette at the same time, and shit, I’ve even had trouble with that. That being said, I leave you with this quote from Joe Barrick’s one-man band webpage:

“The one-man band exists, in all its uniqueness and independence, as a most elusive yet persistent musical tradition.  As a category of musicianship it transcends cultural and geographic boundaries, spans stylistic limits, and defies conventional notions of technique and instrumentation.  Defined simply as a single musician playing more than one instrument at the same time, it is an ensemble limited only by the mechanical capabilities and imaginative inventiveness of its creator, and despite its generally accepted status as an isolated novelty, it is a phenomenon with some identifiable historical continuity.”

Get Independent or Go Home…
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November 16, 2008 Posted by | Life, Music | , , , , | 4 Comments

Reggae Review – Fallen Stars

Jah Fire

Jah Fire

Hugh Mundell has long been one of my favorite voices in roots reggae and his music is still beloved by the irie masses. It was his neighbor who introduced him to reggae, and at age thirteen helped Mundell record his first song. At the delicate age of sixteen, he recorded what has become a timeless classic in, “Africa must be free by 1983”, writing the lyrics as well as the music. This album was released in 1978 and became an instant classic earning five stars from Rolling Stone magazine. Unfortunately for all of us who enjoy his music, Hugh Mundell was shot to death in 1983 driving around Kingston, JA with Junior Reid. He was twenty one.

644The album “Jah Fire”, pictured above is produced by Prince Jammy and features Lacksley Castell, a friend and colleague of Mundell who shares a similar voice and singing style. Castell was helped along by his good friend Mundell, and made a name for himself by releasing two amazing solo albums and singing backup for Sugar Minott’s famously-known, “Black Roots” album. Lacksley Castell’s “Morning Glory” tells tales of leaving women, meeting women and being a traveler unbeknownst to his women. His voice is unlike all others (with the exception of Mundell) and of course with a flourishing career ahead of him, he passed away in the prime of his life. He was also twenty one.

2113Jacob “The Killer” Miller is easily one of the most recognizable figures in roots reggae. His voice is literally one of a kind and his stage presence is unlike any reggae star out there. His 1977 album, “Killer Miller” contains many of his well-known anthems and gives his short career tons of validation. Not only does his physical presence require attention, but his lyrics were deep and honest while his energy never ceased. One thing that did cease was Miller’s beating heart as he was killed at age twenty seven in a tragic car accident in 1980. Just before his death, Miller had signed an international record deal and was to tour with Bob Marley before fate took its course. The uncle of Maxi Priest and an icon of roots reggae, Jacob Miller, will never be forgotten.

These gentlemen all died young and left us wondering what could have been. Their gifts to the world through music will forever be cherished and heard. Whether it was a tragic accident or a result of growing up in a dangerous environment, these artists died with dignity and should be respected for that.

-Gramps

November 14, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ghostland Observatory…

Ghostland Observatory…
Gods of Electro-Rock
(Music, Concerts)

San Francisco, CA, 11/1/08 – The first time my ears were blessed with this shit was sometime around the beginning of 2008 after stumbling upon someone’s MySpace page with a song called “Sad Sad City” on auto-play. Instantly hooked like DiCaprio in Basketball Diaries, I began playing the shit out, then randomly this dude Greg I work with mentioned that Ghostland Observatory was playing at the Mezzanine in SF… it was on. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but from the moment the first beat was dropped the motherfuckers were electric. You know how some bands are just ridiculously sic slash insane when you see them live? This is one of them. Part of it is the impressive light shows, part of it is the extremely unique and upbeat tracks, but the main element making these displays of electric excellence so awesome is the energy from front man Aaron Behrens. With his eccentric steez, intense dance moves, aviators and pigtails, it’s not humanly possible to stand still. The second half of the Austin based duo is Thomas Ross Turner, who often wears a cape onstage, and plays the drums or synthesizer. The band describes their sound as “A robot making love to a tree,” which I guess makes sense, but you really have to experience it for yourself to even attempt to figure it out. Ghostland followers run the gamut of live music aficionados, but overall it’s a young crowd that is ready to get hype and rage. The laser shows and electronic undertones make for a rave-esque atmosphere, which brings out a handful of wide-eyed teenagers who’s jaws will endure some damage before the night is done, but bottom line it’s a rock show, so really it’s just pure energy from start to finish. I’ve been lucky enough to catch them twice in SF and I’m just waiting for the next opportunity to get weird. If you have a chance to check them out it’s highly recommended, and whether you end up enjoying it or not, I promise you will never forget it. Turns out last night for Halloween Gramps and I dressed up as Ghostland and didn’t even know it! While Gramps may not have realized he was Behrens and while I may not have realized I was Turner, we definitely rocked it as hard…

Get Weird or Go Home…
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November 2, 2008 Posted by | Concerts, Music | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments