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Friday, March 28, 2008

Chris Jones, This One's For You

Few people understand my love of NorCal and San Fran punk rock - and SF skate rock for that matter - like my friend Chris Jones. Chris has been a fixture on the Raleigh music scene for ages working at the used record store, playing in bands and doing sound at the local clubs. You can currently find him playing the drums in the two-piece garage rock band The Loners (

I saw Tales Of Terror once at the Wilson Center in D.C. back as a teenager and I hated them and thought they sucked. But then again I saw a lot of bands that sucked live. The Meatmen didn't. Anyway, Chris convinced me I should rethink my stance and slid me this burn copy of few years ago of their long-out-of-print debut LP as well as Rebel Truth and some other choice compilation tracks.

I suddenly felt the urge to revisit this record today...

I feel like gettin' ugly...

I feel like gettin'...


Go Heels!


Future Tar Heels in the making.

Point guards at best as I don't see either cracking the six foot mark.

Everybody around - including the neighborhood kids - has a serious case of basketball fever what with UNC currently kicking every body's ass on the way to a NCAA championship.

So basketball has been the top priority on the afterschool play list.

We inherited a hoop that is set at about six feet or so and yesterday I took the sidewalk chalk and made a lane and three-point line.

I earned total cool dad points by dunking the ball in front of the kids.

Didn't matter that I almost killed myself in the process.
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The Sound Of Summer


The kids were all playing in the backyard when one of the middle school kids jumped up and ran out front, hopped on his bike and took off.

"Where are you going?" said my son.

"I hear the ice cream man!" he said.

My wife looked at me and said she didn't think she'd ever seen an ice cream man before in our neighborhood, a spot we've been nestled in for over a decade.

We all walked up to the top of the hill in our front yard to the edge of the street and listened.

And sure enough, you could hear the jingle jangle of an ice cream truck, and then we saw it pass by at the end of the street... and the kids went fucking ballistic!

The biggest mindfuck of this whole situation was when the truck came down out street.

One of my neighbors - and older guy probably in his mid- to late-50s who is arguably a recluse - came out with this confused look on his face.

I jokingly said, "So this is what it takes to get you out of the house."

He looked at me like Jim from Taxi and said, "I haven't heard that sound in FORTY years!"

He paused and then said, "And it's a BEAUTIFUL sound!"

So, in honor of this moment, I give you a little Diamond Dave:

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Kids still play marbles.

The older boys in the neighborhood - the middle schoolers - have turn my boys on to marbles.

I find it downright amazing that in this modern day and age of Playstations and Gameboys that kids still find playing and collecting marbles to be something that is cool.

It's only a matter of time before that start in on the firecrackers...

ah, timeless fun!
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Finding A Honey Hole

Sometime last week I heard the sound of chainsaws coming from up across the street.

It turned out that a neighbor across the street and a few houses up decided to pretty much decimate their front yard and rid it of about a dozen pines trees.

A few days later, the same tree-removing company was seen next door tackling a few more pines in the yard of a neighbor next to the original house.

Then a day later, another house - one who already recently had some (shitty) tree work done - enlisted the help of this same company.

As I was driving up the street, I saw one of my neighbors. Max is an older, retired man who is often seen walking the block with his cane and hat and Harvard sweatshirt. I rolled down my window and spoke to him.

"Max," I said, "seems like those guys hit the jackpot on this street."

"Found themselves a honey hole," he said with a smile.

Today, I noticed that the tree guys had moved on to yet another house.

Honey hole indeed.

It's Officially Springtime

R.I.P. Mikey Dread

Mikey Dread: Renaissance man of reggae

Just as punk rock was peaking in the UK in 1977, a young technician called Michael Campbell took on a graveyard shift as a DJ at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). He adopted the radio name of "Mikey Dread", and the show soon earned him national and then international celebrity, helping to popularise "dub" reggae. It also brought him to the attention of the British rockers The Clash, and reggae veterans UB40, both of whom Dread eventually recorded and toured with.

Dread's innovative DJ-ing had a wide influence, as did his style as a producer. Reggae's renaissance man also became a recording artist in his own right, founded his own record label and later worked in television in both the UK and the United States. He gained a reputation as a shrewd businessman, almost unique among Jamaican artists in gaining control of his entire back catalogue. He was a hard-working and dapper performer; his fedora hat and jacket became a visual trademark.

From an early age, Campbell showed a voracious appetite for learning – a life-long attribute that would serve him well. Electronics fascinated him, and he taught himself the basics from books. His biographer Trevor Holland notes that he improvised with batteries and old bicycle lamps to supply lighting for his mother's house. At Titchfield High School in Port Antonio he began to make broadcasts after persuading the headmaster to get the school a licence.

Later, while studying electrical and mechanical engineering at the College of Art, Science and Technology in Kingston, he applied for a position as a technical operator at JBC in 1976. By 1977, this work had led to him being offered a shift DJ-ing six nights a week from midnight till 4.30am, but because of his professional status, he wasn't supposed to talk on the radio. Thus he began using jingles and sound effects between songs rather than spoken word intros – a style emulated ever since on reggae shows the world over.

Dread at the Controls focused on the rootsier side of local music at a time when most Jamaican radio favoured imported sounds, and it soon became the nation's most popular radio show. Tapes circulated among music industry figures, spreading his reputation to the UK. Mikey Dread's association with Jamaican musicians such as Lee Perry and King Tubby gave him exclusive early access to dub plates and artists they were producing.

He also got to use their studios, where he made the jump to recording artist in 1978 with "Love the Dread". "Dread at the Mantrols" was another early work featuring him toasting over Perry's classic "Dreadlocks in Moonlight", but the song that really propelled him into the limelight was "Barber Saloon", a number one hit in Jamaica.

In 1979, friction between JBC's conservative management and Dread led him to quit. He had already founded the 40 Legs record label with his JBC colleague Pam Hickling, and now had his own label, Dread at the Controls, which allowed him to produce influential cuts for the likes of Sugar Minott, Junior Murvin, Earl Sixteen and Edi Fitzroy. Often working with the engineer Scientist, his sides between then and 1981 are widely credited with helping to repopularise dub at the time. His first album was Dread at the Controls (1978) and the classic African Anthem (1979) would later prove a fertile source of samples for US rappers.

In January 1980, he finally responded to a stream of calls from The Clash to join them on their "16 Tons" tour, shortly afterwards producing "Bankrobber". "I couldn't understand what Joe [Strummer] was saying," Dread recalled of the two-day session, in which he also supplied backing vocals on the song. "So I told him to slow it down, and we could make it reggae-style."

The result became a Top Ten hit, and spawned an enduring craze for reggae among punk rockers. Dread also worked on the subsequent albums Black Market Clash and Sandinista!, and relocated to the UK for much of the early 1980s. He was invited to tour with UB40 in 1982 and reputedly had a hand in mixing their 1983 comeback smash "Red Red Wine".

It was also during this period that Dread became involved in television, working as a researcher, presenter and narrator on the Deep Roots Music series in 1982, and then Rockers Roadshow in 1983. By the mid-1980s, he was beginning to work more in the US, thus precipitating a move to Florida. He eventually resumed ownership of the rights to his entire back catalogue, and was thus able to re-release it on his own label. The Dread did seem to be in control.

In 2004 Dread appeared at Glastonbury, which introduced him to a new generation of fans. He was back in the UK on a short tour in 2006, and continued to work until a brain tumour caused him to lose his voice last spring.

Jon Lusk

Michael George Campbell (Mikey Dread), DJ, broadcaster, producer and singer: born Port Antonio, Jamaica 4 June 1954; married (four sons, two daughters); died Stamford, Connecticut 15 March 2008.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I found this old Maxell XLII 90 minute cassette in the car the other day, it had gone to where all tapes go to die in cars - that is cars that still have tape decks - the nether region that used to house ashtrays.

We bought our Buick Regal off of a rental car fleet shortly before our second kid was born (he's turns 5 in May so do the math) and its probably one of the last production vehicles that had a tape deck and a CD player as a stock option.

Anyway, I vaguely remember getting all tanked up in those first few months rocking a high unlike no other after the birth of my first born son and making a few mix tapes that I would one day share with him.

I had dug out a handful of cassettes from a shoebox under the bed after we bought that car because it was one of the few places I could play one (except for my truck but by that point insertion was a dicey proposition and these were tapes deserving of archival classification and therefore required more care).

And that is where they have stayed for several years, gathering dust after the prerequisite bi-annual rotation, and being forgotten by things like mp3s and iPods.

This said tape would probably have stayed there for many more years yet it was rescue by the fact that we decided to put a boombox outside on the deck sorta permanently.

I dug the cassette out the other day and had this hankering to post some blog with YouTube clips of each song but as YouTube can be - I went off in some other direction and completely forgot my original plan.

Fortunately, I remembered. So here is a clip from the mix... but first you'll need to read the set list:

Side One

Three Mile Pilot - Pinhut
Shudder To Think - So Into You
Magnetic Fields - It's A Crime
Velvet Underground - I'll Be Your Mirror
The Chantells - Children Of Jah
X- Los Angeles
Thelonious Monster - My Boy
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Weeping Song
The Persuasions - You Are What You Is (Zappa cover)
Stubborn Allstars - I Can't Touch You
Otis Redding - That's What MY Heart Needs
Guided By Voices - Mincer Ray

Side Two

Butthole Surfers - X-ray Girl
Metal Flake Mother - Wingtip Lizard
Drunk Horse - Arroyo Grande
P.W. Long - The James
Nina Soul - Sleeping Trees
Funkadelic - You And Your Folks Me And My Folks
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Easily
Flaming Lips - Waitin' For Superman
Blackheart Procession - Blue Tears
Knoxville Girls - He Stopped Loving Her Today
Mountain Goats - Going To Catalina
Promise Ring - Happiness Is All The Rage

Gray Water Up My Ass

My wife, she warms my heart sometimes for the things that she does, like putting a bucket in the shower to use for flushing the toilet in an effort to minimize water waste.

In times of calamity, you make the necessary changes, and here in the southeast we have been in the midst of a serious drought, serious enough that they've contemplated shutting down nuclear reactors, outlawed garbage disposals in sinks in Raleigh, and made it against the law to fill your pool or hot tub.

I think having a bucket in the shower is a practice we'll probably stick with, although I said the same thing about sleeping with sneakers on after "experiencing" the Northridge earthquake and that didn't last very long.

So now the top of the tank remains to the side and showers - which we also do with the boys in an effort to eliminate baths which are such a gratuitous waste of water -and the saving of the cast off, gray water are now the rule not the exception.

But that might have to change soon as well.

Because the other night I heard the sound of my cat lapping up water from that tank, the same tank that is filled with man musk, dingle berries, and stray pubes from my man plume. Toss in soap, God-knows-what-comes-off-the-kids and my wife's salon product - all which sounds like a lethal concoction for felines.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dreaming Of Chicks

When my 4-year-old woke up today, we talked - as we often do - about the dreams we had the night before.

Today he told me he had a dream about two chicks.

"They were outside on the deck," he said.

"Both of them were together in one egg."

"And then I tried to helped them out but one of them bit me on the finger... and his beak came off!!!" he said.

"On my thumb."

"What did you do next?" I asked him.

"I told you I needed gloves for my hands," he said.

We talked about it more on the way to school mostly me applauding him for problem-solving the situation by asking for protection for his hands. When I dropped him off I told him that he should share his dream with his teacher.

"You had a dream last night?" she asked.

"Yeah, about two chicks!" he said.

She shot a glance at me and I cupped my hands into a ball to try to non-verbally signaled an egg.

He went on to explain the rest of the dream to her and she laughed, then paused, and as I was leaving his classroom she said, "A guy dreaming about two chicks, isn't that always the case."

I was kind of surprised because this is the kind of school where parent meetings go on for hours over topics like whether they should use soap, gel or wipes to clean the the childrens' hands.

I'm sure I could have taken offense if I was of the stinky, hippie variety, but instead, as I walked to my car I thought, "Man, wish I had a dream about two chicks last night."

Thursday, March 13, 2008


My four-year-old mooned me today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Daylight Savings Hangover?

Anybody else got one?

I don't quite remember Daylight Savings fucking up my regularly scheduled program as much as it has this time around.

The kids are all off-kilter, my sleep pattern has been totally knocked off course and the sight of the sun up after 7pm seems truly unreal.

But this happens every year?

So why this year is it making me feel more whacked out then I can ever remember?

Mother Nature is a strange beast...

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Kids Are Weird

Yeah, I know the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and all but seriously, sometimes they are weird even by my standards.

Take for example my oldest, I recently discovered that when he goes poo he takes off all his clothes. Now I'm totally can see how one wouldn't want to shit in a public place like school but when I had to get some more toilet paper for him the other day I came into the bathroom to find him naked on the shitter.

"What are you doing? I said.

"Going poo... what does it look like?" he said.

"Well why are you naked?" I asked.

"I always take my clothes off when I poo," he explained.

"That's why I can't do it at school."

"But why do you take all of your clothes off?" I asked.

And, like a typical 7-year-old he replied, "I don't knooooooooow."

Whatever works for you cowboy.

Not to be undone, is my 4-year-old who likes to sleep on the floor of his room. He spent the better part of his early years sleeping with me and mom (thank god for king size mattresses!) so when it came time to finally upgrade him from the crib (which he almost never slept it) to a bed we just gave him our own futon that we had used up until we happened upon the previously mentioned (and greatly discounted) king size mattress.

The futon sits about 8 inches or so off the ground, high enough to stuff crap under but low enough that a roll out of bed for a toddler would be harmless. I guess somewhere along the way he figured he just skip the whole futon nonsense and just sleep on the floor where he eventually ends up.

While he does like to be tucked in, generally by the time you've made it halfway down the hallway you'll hear the thunk of him rolling onto the floor. I don't know how long he was been doing this but a few months back he confessed that he liked sleeping on the floor better then his bed.

And usually on the pile of pajamas - which he feels the need to take every last one out before he can pick which to wear, then leaves them discarded on the floor only to snuggle up on top of them after he's wrapped himself in his blanket and rolled off the bed.

Now I sorta know where this comes from because my last two semesters in college I had taken to the idea that it was pointless to fold my laundry and put my clean clothes back into drawers after washing them. Rather I would just dumped my freshly-laundered clothes in the corner of my bed that butted up against the wall. This way I could just reach over and pick out my clothes and essentially be dressed as I rolled out of bed.

As for naked pooing? Well I did play rugby and have been known to get naked at a party or two but I confess I've never pooed naked (unless it was before a shower or during some bout with the flu where bodily fluids were being released from both ends simultaneously).

Monday, March 03, 2008



The schedule has been crazy around here... last week was the beginning of soccer season so now I have to fit one more thing into my already hectic life.

The days go something like this: drop kids off at school, go to radio internship, pick one kid up from school and entertain him until his brother comes home from elementary school, have a half-dozen neighborhood kids play in my yard, make dinner, tell other kids to go home, eat... and - depending on what night it is - there's either class, band practice, or catering.


One thing I did manage to squeeze in this weekend - a thing that has become a sort of family tradition - was going to the Chapel Hill public library book sale. But because Saturday involved dual soccer games at the same time at different fields and a catering shift, I had to opt for Sunday to go to the sale. Sunday is known as "bag day" at the public libraries and it's where all the freaks come out of the woodwork to purchase as many books as they can squeeze into a brown paper grocery bag for $3.

It's a deal no doubt but sometimes it can look like looters from the L.A. riots where bodies scramble to stuff shit (shit they most likely hope will be resell able via the internet) into a bag in the fastest manner possible. I usually try to avoid bag day precisely because of this: it allows no room for browsing. But I needed the diversion and the kids were up for it so we went.

And despite the mob scene, I did manage to walk away with some decent books:

- The Underground Man by Ross Macdonald. LA gumshoe/dick lit from the '40s. I had doubts that I might already have read or owned this book but I picked it up because you need a start at things like this or you'll just turn around and leave. Oh, yeah, I do already own this in hardcover. If you haven't read Macdonald, I'll send this to the first reply - he's that good.

- The Wishbones by Tom Perrotta. Perrotta hit pay dirt with his stay-at-home dad-centric tome Little Children which became a hit movie. This is his debut novel and it is centered around a wedding band. No shit.

- Pinktoes by Chester Himes. Like Macdonald, he's been name-dropped in the same sentence as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett only unlike Macdonald he's not white or Canadian; he's black and from Ohio.

- The Joy Of Wokking by Martin Yan. A totally informative yet hilarious (think late '70s sensibilities here folks) cookbook about making food with a wok. He's got Canadian ties like Macdonald and has appeared on Cartoon Network's Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. "Food and sex are human nature." Indeed.

- Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks. While I don't know if I've ever read Banks, I did see the movie The Sweet Hereafter several times and it made enough of a mark that I felt compelled to pick up this book.

Not bad for $3 and a thirty minute trip to the local library book sale huh?
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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

I'll found this on the AP wire the other day.

Fucking priceless...

Twin Porn Actors Charged

Feb 28th, 2008 | PHILADELPHIA -- Twin brothers who have appeared in hardcore gay-porn online videos are charged with the rooftop burglary of a South Philadelphia business and are suspected in dozens of similar crimes in at least three states, authorities said.

Keyontyli and Taleon Goffney, 25, of suburban Pennsauken, N.J., were arrested Feb. 19after authorities from a multistate task force said they watched the twins break into a South Philadelphia beauty shop through the roof.

The brothers are suspects in dozens of burglaries committed over the past 18 months throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, where intruders gained entry by hacking through the rooftops of businesses, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Keyontyli, arrested at the scene of the Philadelphia burglary, was released after posting bail. Taleon, arrested a short time later, was being held in a Philadelphia jail.

The brothers face charges of burglary, trespassing, theft and related counts. A preliminary hearing is expected next month, authorities said.

Taleon has a lengthy criminal history, including charges for rooftop burglaries in Alabama and Florida, and previous arrests in Philadelphia as well as Camden and Salem counties in New Jersey, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

There are no records of any felony convictions for Keyontyli in Philadelphia or his native New Jersey.

Taleon faces sentencing in March after having pleaded guilty to burglary and other charges in two cases in New Jersey, his lawyer, Jeffrey Zucker, told the Inquirer.

Zucker told The Associated Press on Thursday that attorney Michael Gushue represents Taleon in the Philadelphia case, and he did not know if Keyontyli has a lawyer. Gushue did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Court documents in Philadelphia did not list any lawyers for either brother.
The brothers have appeared in online gay porn videos under the names Teyon and Keyon, said Erik Schut of Philadelphia-based video retailer TLA Entertainment Group, which sells gay porn DVDs online.

He said they could have had a good career if they hadn't gotten in trouble.
"They are incredibly good-looking, and being identical twins, it's a novelty," Schut said.

Keyontyli has appeared in gay porn since at least 2002 and worked as a fashion model, while Taleon got involved in porn more recently.

Taleon, who police believe is a trained gymnast and karate expert, has used his athleticism to make several daring escapes from police.

He was handcuffed in the back of a moving police cruiser after a 2006 drug arrest in Clementon, N.J., when he broke out the glass with his head and jumped into a lake while still handcuffed, police Chief Dave Kunkel said.

"He swam across like Flipper, taunting the officers, saying, 'You'll never catch me," Kunkel told the Daily News.

Taleon turned himself in a week later.

In January 2007, Taleon jumped 30 feet from the roof of a Camden, N.J., liquor store and swam across the frigid Cooper River before he was caught, police said.

"I told him he should have signed up for the Olympics," Zucker said. "The prosecutor and I even referred to him as Spider-Man."