Friday, February 27, 2009

Kanye <3's Mistakes

This is hardly blogworthy but since it would seem like I swing from Kanye West's nutsack sometimes, I figured it deserved some equal airtime.

During the taping of VH1’s ‘Storytellers,’ West brought up Chris Brown and asked the crowd, “Can’t we give Chris a break?"

Look, I don't know what went down between Chris Brown and Rihanna but EVERYTHING indicates that basically Chris Brown beat the shit out of his girlfriend who did NOT call the police or press charges against him!

As Yeezy loves to point out, rap is a very patriarchal macho world (just like greater society). While high profile people like Jay Z have helped inject some sympathy into the situation, people like the scumbag NY Post have towed the line that Rihanna must have deserved it. Even hipster Upper Playground have released a shirt essentially pitting Jay Z as the male savior to Rihanna's helpless victim.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Law Is Above The Law

Tweet Tweet, Future Man

(thanx Mel)

"Entitlement Crisis"

I am going to tie together some thoughts in my head and some current events.


Big news in the USofA is Obama's stimulus/economic package. I was less interested in seeing what Obama actually planned to do to save capitalism and try to keep his campaign promises as I was to hear the Republican rebuttal. Boy, was I disappointed! The Republicans essentially offered no plan to save this economy or those who are or will be most affected by it.

Big Government (or One Step Backward, Two Forward)
The Republicans resurrect their favorite spectre: big government. Of course, big business, which doesn't even pretend to be democratic, is A-OK. They rail against Obama's tax-hike... But fail to mention it is only a tax increase on the wealthiest. It really gets me heated how the social services which the right-wing want to further destroy are being rebranded as "entitlements" and this crisis is an "entitlement crisis."

So am I, as an anarchist, championing larger government? Not exactly although I do have to laugh when I hear someone like Huckster jackass Bobby Jindal talk about less or no government being a better solution.
The socialist free association anarchists dream of is a far cry from the Ayn Rand-esque nightmare these fuckers are proposing. Afterall, I would rather see a populace take for granted healthcare which is more of a survival service than anything else.

Speaking of healthcare and the survival of capitalism. Y'know, if the USA instituted a cheaper/more efficient healthcare system like France or Canada, it would also end up helping industry which would no longer have to minimally support employees' healthcare and retirement!

Watchmen Spoiler

No, I am not printing the spoiler(s) here.

Every fanboy/girl knows Zac Snyder changed/adapted the story's ending for this film.

I gotta say- He changed it more than I expected.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"...Stronger" Reinvented

I know there is no real need for another Yeezy post. In many ways, he don't need it on this blog but... I can't think of another popular performer who continues to blow my mind and get me hyped.

For a long time, my major critique of hip hop has been its inability to perform live. This is a direct result of the lack of touring opportunities presented to rap as it grew to maturity in the late 80's through the 90's. Kanye West is DEFINITELY an artist who understands the theatrics of live performances.

Monday, February 23, 2009

From Monument To Masses- Live in 2009

This Thursday, Feb.26th, FMTM will be playing Bottom Of The Hill in SF as part of Noise Pop.
They are playing with Crime In Choir and Built For The Sea.

On March 10th, the new FMTM 'On Little Known Frequencies' drops.

In April, FMTM will hit the road supporting Dredg and Torche.
April 3, 2009 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
April 4, 2009 Bellingham, WA Nightlight
April 5, 2009 Seattle WA Neumo’s
April 7, 2009 Salt Lake City, UT Avalon Theater
April 8, 2009 Denver, CO The Marquis Theater
April 10, 2009 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theater
April 11, 2009 Des Moines, IA Vaudville Mews
April 12, 2009 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
April 13, 2009 Pontiac, MI Eagle Theater
April 15, 2009 Boston, MA Middle East Downstairs
April 16, 2009 Philadelphia, PA Theater of Living Arts
April 17, 2009 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club
April 18, 2009 Baltimore, MD Sonar
April 19, 2009 New York, NY Highline Ballroom
April 21, 2009 Raleigh, NC The Brewery
(potentially more dates to follow)

Coming Soon: A discussion with From Monument To Masses on music, politics, love, and life!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nazis <3 Michelle Malkin

... Of course, what the silly man's sign really says is that Obama is a Nazi. Ya, makes perfect sense.

Nazis can still love the self-hating fuck, Malkin.

(thanx Mel)

Battlestar Galactica is complicated

I think I understand now...

(thanx Mel)

FBI Arrests 4 Activists as “Terrorists” for Chalking Slogans, Leafleting and Protesting

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dining With Terrorists

RIP, Tofu Yu

I am writing about a death… a death of a restaurant/café.
Tofu Yu on the Berkeley/Emeryville border closed its doors. I assume it was due to poor business. This is totally unfortunate for a number of reasons. It was near my work, they had good tofu and nice Panini, and the staff was always super friendly and even espoused anti-Zionist views.
I don't know if Tofu Yu will continue to exist as a tofu producing company but I will sure miss them.

PLEASE NOTE: All Tofu Yu locations might have closed. Please let me know if the other location(s) are open.

On a related subject, word is that Pizza Plaza is having a very tough go of it.
I would love to see this veg/vegan pizza joint stay open. If you stop in and order some pizza perhaps you could let them know that they would gain some customers back if they upgraded the quality of their pizzas which took a serious dive at some point.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chaos In Tejas 09

OK, I hate fests. I also don't know about 95% of the bands playing this year's Chaos In Tejas (I do know and like Iron Age, The Young Offenders, and a few others). But...

(Ya, I also hate reunion shows and CockSparrer gotta be hella old and there are probably better new street punk/oi! bands but CockSparrer are (were?) the best!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Welcome To Heartbreak

"Welcome To Heartbreak" opens up '808 & Heartbreaks.' If you had only heard "Love Lockdown" and this song comes on, you would think it was full of bangers (which it is not). I like this one and the video is cool even if it seems to be shot pre-mullet.

KANYE WEST "Welcome To Heartbreak" Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Packard Jennings

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ben Edge On Music 12

The Killers:
"Totally embarrassing to watch. Brandon Flowers is one of the less intelligent rockstars around today. The verses of that song sound VERY similar to "Dancing in the Dark" by Springsteen. Rolling Stone ripped them a new asshole on Sam's Town for ripping off Springsteen, and then gave them a good review on the new album, BUT they're STILL ripping off Springsteen!"

No Wave/Post Punk/Art Punk:
I am violently allergic to any attempt at creating music by art school students, or anybody who wanted to go to art school. That said, I bet a lot of bands I like went to art school, and I don't even realize it. Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious dropped out of art school, so I don't count them."


Fat Mike vs. Avenged Sevenfold:
"I read that Fat Mike quote somewhere recently. I can't say I disagree with him at all, although I've never played poker with Avenged Sevenfold, so I can't either confirm or deny that statement. Avenged Sevenfold, who if you think about it, are the worst band in the world, because at least we derive endless enjoyment out of trashing Brokencyde."

Mouthpiece - "Can't Kill What's Inside" Discography:
"If you put the CD in your computer, there is an entire 13 song set from CBGBs, 1996, as well as their only music video, which is actually not embarrassing despite how the band members feel about it.

The CD (or LP, when it comes out) is worth owning, because it has a list of every show they ever played, and who they played with. If you're a "hardcore historian" like me, then you're stoked on that kind of stuff.

Listen to the last track, "Control Interview 1990". Mouthpiece was originally called Control, and this is an interview from when they were all 15 and 16 years old, and it's hilarious. They joke about how they don't even have a demo out and labels like Revelation, Enigma, Dischord, In Effect, Caroline, Capitol, and RCA already want to release their album. Ironically, they're now on Revelation, post-mordem.

Best straight edge band of the early 90s"


"Not very good. I still own it."

Quicksand- ep:
"I was confused by it, because the first song I heard was "Hypno Jam with Dan", which is a bullshit track, and isn't representative of Quicksand's sound.
The other three songs are great. People say that this started the "post-hardcore" sound, but that's ridiculous, because tons of hardcore bands started playing different kinds of music way before this record. I say Homeland by the Middle Class is the first post-hardcore record. It's no good, but it's still a band that used to be hc doing something different."


Last Rights - "Chunks":
"Fuck yes. Choke's band after Negative FX, but before Slapshot. They played one show ever. Taang Records put out a CD that has everything by Negative FX and Last Rights on it.
Dinosaur Jr. covered "Chunks" on an earlier single, and they stayed pretty true to the original.
My favorite Last Rights song is "Out of Our Minds". It totally sounds like a missing Minor Threat track. Well, the music does at least."


Crippled Youth - "Join The Fight":
"Crippled Youth changed their name to Bold right around the time they started going through puberty. You'd think this was a joke record, until you realize that all the members are 15 years old. It has its charm to it.

Mike Phyte wanted to do a band I think with Jeff Capra back around '96 called Join The Fight, and it was supposed to be '88 youth crew style. I said I wanted to play guitar in it, and Capra said, "No, I want it to have only one guitarist, like the second Youth of Today record." I didn't think much of it at the time, but he picked one of the only records of that era that had one guitarist to follow the example of. Subtext: Jeff didn't like me. Now I'm in a band with him. Ha ha.

It's a positive positive positive scene!"


Broken Needle (with Ben on bass) will be playing with Zero Boys and Crucial Cause at 924 Gilman in Berkeley on Feb.20th!

Becks Is Back

Major League Soccer & LA Galaxy are insisting Beckham will return from Loan with AC Milan by 9 March. AC Milan would not give the $10+million that LA was asking for as of the MLS enforced deadline for negotiations.

This is an illustration of how naive MLS is and how little they actually understand football!
You cannot bring back a player that has clearly stated he does NOT want to play on your club/league. An unhappy player is not a good player (and face it- Beckham wasn't that good for LA the entire time he played with them)
Beckham's marketing force is no more. MLS's retarded deadline is so that they can prep marketing tools for MLS that either feature Golden Balls or do not. Sorry MLS, that ship has sailed. No one cares about Beckham anymore outside of football fans and we are only going to show up to hail him with boos.
Capello has been clear that Beckham will only continue to be chosen for the England squad if he stays fit IN EUROPE. As it is obviously Beckham's primary goal to make cameo appearances in games until he has surpassed Peter Shilton's 125 caps. Beckham has proved so determined to achieve this that I cannot believe he would allow the AC Milan deal to go through... And this might be the only loophole. The deadline isn't FIFA enacted. It is only MLS trying to play with the big boys, so room for negotiation is still possible. Unless AC Milan don't really want Beckham, I can see Beckham and his management paying whatever it takes to keep him in Italy and solidify his England legacy.

If Beckham does take the pitch for LA Galaxy next season, I can't wait for his return to San Jose (do you even think LA Galaxy games will continue to be played in larger venues?).

Are Pierre et Gilles working for MLS?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Today at work we had a presentation from reps of the devils that manage our 401k program. The whole thing was completely infuriating.
These finance fucks can tell me with a straight face that I should easily be able to put aside $500/month in order to achieve sufficient savings to retire on (hopefully). As if rent and food don't enter the picture.

Of course we had one ivy league educated MBA 'big tuna' try to debate types of investments with the reps and then leave. He must have money to set aside. The only other highlight was when the devils told us how much a 25yr old should set aside each month, then a 35yr old, finally a 45yr old (I believe it is $1000/mo). When asked if they even needed to tell how much a 55yr old should do, I just blurted out, "commit suicide?"

How the fuck can people even begin to accept that their retirement is a gamble?! It is a religion named capitalism.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

When Were Jews Created?

“When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?” is a popular book by Tel Aviv University scholar Shlomo Zand.

It investigates the origins of european Jews and how they were/are not as directly connected to Palestine as is commonly believed. They certainly are not ethnically connected to Israel/Palestine as Palestinians who are more likely the direct descendants of ancient Hebrews/Jews.

HERE is an article with all the very intriguing information.

(thanx to Kasama)

Avenged Sevenfold are Fascists

As if you need another reason to hate Avenged Sevenfold... I just found out "A7X" are flag-waiving rightwingers.

This week, Fat Mike called A7X, "the epitome of what’s wrong with rock and roll. They support Bush. Support the Iraq War... And play to a fucking DAT tape."
A7X's song "Blinded In Chains" is even about Republicans fighting Democrats!


Life's Blood Cop

Life's Blood are one of my favorite late 80's punk bands. I think their appeal has to do with being future members of Born Against, coming out of the NYHC scene right before (or as) it was overrun with clones, and, of course, great tunes. (I also think Life's Blood is one of the best band names ever.)

I just came across a recent interview with former Life's Blood singer, Jason O'Toole on True Punk & Metal blog. He is a fucking cop!!!
What a bummer. He seems like an average duochebag now but the interview is interesting.

Jason circa 1988

Jason circa now

He is even thinking of playing shows that might involve some sort of Life's Blood reunion. Oh I fuckin' hope not!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Oscar Grant Is Still Dead

Some of the attention has waned and some of the rage has subsided but Oscar Grant is still dead and the pigs are still fuckin it all up.
THIS is a FANTASTIC update on the murder of Grant and all the pig coverup as well as the continued brutality of OPD.

"BART police chief Gary Gee, who seems hell-bent on infuriating the public as much as is humanly possible, was circulating a memo instructing all BART officers on how they could show their solidarity with Mehserle by making a donation to his defense. “You have our full support,” writes Gee

"The recording shows a different officer, now identified as Tony Pirone, who would later have his knee on Oscar Grant when he was shot by Mehserle, punching Grant in the face for no apparent reason

"Mehserle’s lawyer simultaneously suggested that Mehserle meant to deploy his Taser against Grant, while adding that he thought Grant was reaching for a gun. Again, both claims have been thoroughly discredited"


wild in the streets

Culture Thoughts

I am an artist and have long struggled with making art that serves a people and progress rather than individualism.
I remember adamantly insisting to an art history professor that the Dyonisian Principles of art meant nothing to me and I would, instead, study social realism.
I continue to make art and continue to explore the role of artist as producer of culture.

Check out Kiwi's excellent thoughts on the matter.

Is everyone as sick of Shepard Fairey as I am?
Well, regardless, he is having a retrospective of his very impressive body of work.

His appropriation of radical political images and people has always rubbed me the wrong way. Of course, he has totally proven himself to not be aligned with any actual radical political agenda. Shouldn't he be "taxed" for his appropriations that are only making his pockets fat? ;)


Sports are not entirely different. They are a cultural arena. Of course, watching, rather than playing sports, is nothing less than the spectacle manifest and usually serves to satiate restless masses. However, athletes are people and do come from material communities.
Today we see a lot less of the likes of Muhammad Ali or Bill Shankly as millionaire athletes seem to be divorced from reality.


on the subject of culture, here is what I think of NBC's Heroes:

For a while now, I have been hearing/reading how Heroes has lost its magic and along with it, most of its viewers. I don't put too much weight on what the US audience is watching (at least not in regards to quality). However, after watching the 1st episode in the latest story arc, I have also come to the conclusion that Heroes has lost most magic it once had.
As a comic book geek, I was delighted with season one of Heroes. It was just like a comic book! Even the show's shortcomings smelled of comic book clichés that fanboys/girls easily gloss over in interest of believing in the theme of a story. The second season still felt like a comic book. I loved the way loyalties shifted and felt like we were witnessing some interesting character development. The introduction of new characters with new abilities felt like the world of Heroes was being fleshed out and multidimensional.

Many viewers began to stop watching around this time. It could have had something to do with the writers' strike and fatigue from waiting for the show to return. However, other fantastical serial shows such as Lost have not taken quite the dive. (It should be noted that I believe both Lost and Heroes have taken a big hit due to US audience's difficulty in following too involved serial dramas.) The show began tinkering with the story and the staff to drum back an audience. Was this why all characters were dumped except for the completely inbred (literally) original characters? Even significant secondary characters deeply involved in the story and ambiance of the show were left to the wayside.

The most recent story arc began with a whimper last week. It is for the best. No need to get everyone excited for such a letdown. What might have been an attempt to get back to basics and what originally made the show popular has resulted in reinforcing the most two-dimensional characters that repeat the same story over and over again. There has been no character development! What first looked like complex switching of loyalties has resulted in simplistic good guys becoming simplistic bad guys.

I will continue to watch the show for now. I will hope, like comic book fans all too often do, that things will improve. Perhaps Heroes' execs ought to bring back Jeff Loeb or hire good comic book writing vets. Dumbing it down or trying to go back to beginnings is not going to work.

On an end note: What is up with Claire's hair?! Is that a bad wig?!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Arshavin, finally a Gunner.

Terror Porn

"the problem is not 24. To try and correlate from what's happening on a television show to what the military is doing in the real world, I think that's ridiculous."

Kiefer Sutherland is a naive douchebag. (And so is Janeane Garofalo.)

24 is only about torture. It was designed to make the public sympathetic to torture by right-wing nut, Joel Surnow.