Jul 29, 2009

Forts, Visionaries, and Squaw Valley

First off, I would like to say that Dave Wilson of 'Ribbons Publications' is one of the most gentle people I know. How does he make the simple seem other worldly and turn obvious mindblowers of nature-notions into purist sketches and still carry on like a 5 year old discovering that plants have roots and people have teeth and everything seems to fall into place just as they should? He invited me to the fort he is currently working on. I brought my new/old friend Leslie who is also a graphic designer and lover of things. We climbed a hill, fell into a mountain crotch, ate plums, drank champagne, and stood in the long light.

Here is a mini patio I made in Vanessa's backyard. The wood was piled up against the back fence, dying to play. I have some more ideas that I want to see happen here.

Jeffrey Manson makes kaleidoscopes. He also makes beautiful color & light patterned projections. He also plays music from within the color filled room he creates. This happened last Friday at a small nook of a gallery in Oakland (Temescal) called 'Smokey's Tangle'- I had a super time and got to play and sing during the intermission. Here are two images from that. Those are Vanessa's eyes in there.

He also made this video using Terri's footage- set to a Rubies song. The Studio remix of 'Room without a Key':

Here are two more hard working musicians. Kori and Jason from Mates of State. I went and saw them, Broken Social Scene, Rogue Wave, Andrew Bird, Spoon, and a bunch of other bands play at 8,000 feet elevation in Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe. I arrived on Sunday, took a gondola up to the top of a mountain, got stoked, and sat side stage for 3 hours. Then, jumped in small lakes, danced on beds, swam in bigger lakes the next day, talked about knowing what a perfect melody is, played black jack for 3 hours and won $200 in Reno, ate a 'california burger', saw Thomas's favorite pier, thought about summers in Tahoe as a child, woke up, made decisions, got quiet, took a nap on the sand, had epic talks, and asked Kevin Drew if we could be friends forever after he read me his 'first kiss' journal monologue and put $300 on red at the roulette wheel and won at 3am. These are the moments! Paced social activity. Curating the perfect 2 days can solve months of grey area. This is all part of the plan.

Jul 24, 2009

Afterwards, there is a double rainbow

I think I saw a spirit. A rainbow ghost. I went to Vallejo the other day to Brooke's mom's house. We went on a walk along the cliffs, looking at Mt. Tam in Marin across the bay. We saw an ambulance and a few people crowding around someone that had collapsed in front of their house. There was sadness in the air and we didn't want to disturb the moment so we quickly continued our walk. We arrived back at the house and went out to the front deck to see where we had walked. At that moment a rainbow appeared shooting out of the house where we had seen the person collapse. It was like no other experience. There was not a cloud in the sky from where we were- and then suddenly this rainbow right before sunset. It felt special. We had chills. I hope that happens when I go.

Jul 20, 2009

Felix the boy.

I get to hang out with this 5 year old sometimes.
Those are good days.

Jul 16, 2009


These 2 images couldn't be more different. The 1st quite disturbed me the other day at the 'king' of longs in Oakland.The 2nd is a giveaway, sneak peek, fast forwarded, glimpse of the end. (end of this)

Jul 13, 2009

Vivid: A California Dream

When I was little, summers smelled like sweet jasmine and salt water. There was a lot of the old Santa Ana winds that would carry us all through until we hit the stride of indian summer. I haven't been in California during the summer for this long in an even longer time. It's thin fabrics, golden skin, electric knee touches, and taco salad will bring back everything if you want it to. If you don't wanna go back, because for some of us going back is scary, then go forward. Back and forth forever. Leap and bound until you can't feel yesterday. There is such a romance in longing for things. Don't get trapped! It feels so good to embrace either. I will digress. I used to make up names for foney bands. In 8th grade I remember 'Faze.' It was going to sound kinda like Ride, Blur, or The Stone Roses mixed with a little house music- because that was the strange shoegazey, mod, brit-pop, reggae, 1960's, punk, house, scene that used to go to the small raves in Santa Barbara or Prince's club in LA. I used to hang out in the middle of the dance battle circles and dance battle people until 6am. I used to turn my head every time I heard a skateboard roll over a sidewalk (still do). I also used to be really shy and then over compensate with humor around boys I liked (still do).

I want to embrace summer. Do it for real. I think it's because I've experienced my first real winter back. I spent last winter in Canada. I am finally thawed and am completely star struck by the summer here in northern California. It hit me like a hangover this morning. I'm almost paralyzed with options. In between designing these film credits and making paper lettering, do I go up to the top of the hill? Do I just walk through the neighborhood and admire the plants and all of their blooms? Do I trip out on all the colors and details that the sun brings out? Do I get a tan? Do I play tennis on any of these free courts? Do I swim? Do I stay up all night outside walking because I can without a jacket? I'm a born again Californian.

When my band 'Rubies' was asked to play this Saturday at a park in San Francisco, I instantly felt the hectic and inspired photons clatter around in my bones and remind me of the Santa Barbara summertime. This time it will be in San Francisco and this time it will be a real band! And I'm in it! Not a foney one. Guess you get what you wish for. 2 of the other bands are bands that I've been listening to for a long time. Bart Davenport and The Moore Brothers. I just visited The Moore Brothers in Grass Valley recently and jumped up and down a lot, laughed even more, and got still on a rock by the Yuba river. Yuba got capitalized because I think that's what you do when you wanna honor something. Capitalize it. I got to listen to Thom and Greg sing 'Heard About You' off their new album 'Aptos'. It sounds like the real California.

I'm also figuring out my next move. I know it would be a lot harder to just stay put. It's the easy thing to keep going. Everything has flipped. Trying to stay in California to see this Summer turn to Autumn. So like til mid August. Until then, help me find a retreat. Somewhere I can go and write music or think about what I wanna say or make. Or why it feels this good to be alive. Or how hard it is to get even closer to a friend you've stayed close to for 10 years. I would trade anything or pay.

So to dot the i here, i'll also cross the t. This Saturday, July 18. John McLaren park in San Francisco. Jerry Garcia Amphitheater (can't believe I just wrote his name when referring to a park in SF). Free show. Bart Davenport, Moore Brothers, Kelley Stoltz, Dead Meadow + more. We will be providing a lot of the dance portion. Music starts at noon. We play around 3pm. I'll be on a technicolor mexican blanket drinking a Pacifica and eating a trail mix burrito. I'll bring ping pong paddles in case and will probably hug you a lot. We need more hugs. Stay close.

ps. Thanks for coming to our album release dance party last Saturday. It was unreal and it was a blur. So many people I wanted to talk to and dance with! We've been working super hard overseas- So it felt great to have the homecoming feel like coming home.

Jul 5, 2009

Dance Party. YOU. US. THEM.

I'm pretty sure this is gonna be the best show ever. Mainly because I get to see some of my tight bros play music that I love. Also, how much does this drawing my Nat Russell rule? Explode from the Center. Oh yeah, this is a night I've been looking forward to for 2 years. I'm nervous, which means it will be a good show. Cliff hanger. I'm really hoping that the songs we've been playing for a while now overseas, finally find their sneaky way back to the USA on this night. I've been so confused lately on blurring art and music and life- trying to become a specialist- but in a random pattern. Random specialness. Help.