Some Saturday Morning Guitar.

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Another Gig 2 Nite….

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At Joe’s Steakhouse!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Steak!!!!

Here a little clip of us playing some tastey blues. We had a guest drummer, Jerry Herrington, come up and play. It was spontaneous. The song in the vid is a clasic swing / blues number, which is easy to pick up. Some of our original music is more complex, and he still nailed it. He’d never hears our songs but did quite well playing cold. But, he’s an old session musician from Bakersfield, played with Buck Owens and that crowd, so it’s not a surprise he did so well. Anyway, here’s the vid.

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Fresno In The News

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Signs of the times – Hoovervilles, coming to a town near you! Here’s the picture they used in the New York Times article.

An encampment of tents under an overpass in Fresno.

Of all the cities in the US, why feature Fresno? There are certainly other cities that have bigger Hoovervilles than us. Given that we always have higher unemployment here, usually two to five points above the national average, due to the nature of the farming industry and the constant influx of undocumented individuals looking for work in that field (no pun intended), it’s no surprise that this is happening here. There is a sub-context to this story. A couple of years back, the city was trying to deal with the homeless problem here in town. They would send police to places where the homeless were breaking camp on private property, and kick them out. When doing this, they would confiscate all the “junk” as some local radio personalities called it (KMJ’s excellent Ray Appleton was fair with this issue, as usual), that these homeless were hauling around, and incinerate it. Yes, some of the stuff in question was shopping carts full of the gains from dumpster diving and petty thievery, but, included in the confiscated “junk” were pictures of families, the tents that they owned and other belongings, including medicine and other necessities. The ACLU sued and the city capitulated and settled the case. One of the provisions of the settlement was that Fresno had to create a refuge for the homeless. This is why we have the “Village of Hope” featured in the accompanying Photo Slide Show. It may be due to the repercussions from a lawsuit, but Fresno is ahead of the game in dealing with the plight of the unemployed and homeless. It would have been nice for the Times to have pointed that out, but you can’t ask for everything I guess.

PS. I’m curious how long it will take the political jabbering heads to rename these “Bushvilles” or “Obamavilles”.

PPS. Hmm. Just noticed something. (A) The video used in the news segment I linked to used the same local in the montage that is featured in the NYT picture, and (B) the ACLU lawyer, with whome I share the same last name, is of no relation AFAIK.

Change We Can Believe In???

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Obama stand on the ridiculous RIAA lawsuits? Same as Bush.

The government said the damages range of $750 to $150,000 per violation of the Copyright Act was warranted.

Well, at $150,000 dollars per track, at least now we know how Obama intends to balance the budget.

Well, That's One Way To Ease The Tenson Of A Stressful Job…

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NOW I know why Clinton loved this job so much!!!!


Obama proves to the Church that he is, indeed, Catholic!

PS. I lay blame to this post squarely on the shoulders of V the K at Caption This. He is a bad influence.

Rock N Roll Reminiscin'

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I have a Facebook page, and happen to be FaceFriends with one of my favorite musicians David Baerwald. For some reason a memory popped into my head that involves a song by the artist. First, make sure that you understand that when I find a song or artist I like, I just don’t listen to the music, I dissect it. I listen for all the little things that goes into mixing and engineering a good recording – what effects are used on the guitars, is the vocal track split or doubled, listen for little guitar or bass or vocal fills discretely peppered throughout the song, etc. etc… You get the idea.

The year is 1996. I went out of town one weekend and let my guitarist borrow my stereo speakers for a party. I get back in town, hook the speakers back up, and start cleaning the house… or something (hey, it was a long time ago, don’t remember all the details). I’m listening to “Born For Love”, a hopeful song about the triumph of love over everything dark, violent, and depressing that preceded it on Baerwald’s wonderful Triage album. It’s a favorite song and I’ve played it a zillion times. I know the song inside and out. All of a sudden, the bass abruptly cuts out toward the end of the song. I’m all “WTF”, thinking my guitarist blew my speakers!!! Only after replaying that section numerous times do I realize the bass cuts out in the recording. I was really annoying with myself, since (A ) I’m a production freak and usually notice those little subtle recording touches, and (B) my guitarist is very trustworthy and I shouldn’t have doubted him with my stuff. And worse – I’m a bass player! You would think I would have notice the cut-out long before I did!!!

Today's Question.

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Why is it, that the same party that is so outrage – OUTRAGED – that AIG has “wasted” government handouts for executive bonuses, is the same party that will defend to the death the right of welfare recipients to spend their government handouts on crack? I’m just asking.

Being In Power Is A Bitch!

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This is the reality the Democrats are facing. Everyone is making a fuss over the $165 million bonuses paid out to AIG execs, money that was available to them via the government bailout. The Obama administration and Congress are whining and moaning about it, feigning outrage, swearing they will get the money back. As it turns out, this could have been prevented if THE DEMOCRATS would not have struck a provision from the bill that WOULD HAVE PREVENTED EXECS TAKING THIS MONEY FROM GETTING BONUSES!!!!!! Ooops!!!

Another Broken Promise?

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My bandmate Jim, a Viet Nam vet and avowed socialist (yes I know, strange, since we were fighting against socialists), is going to be pissed. He voted for Obama, mainly because Obama swore he would preserve government health care for vets. Well, it looks like Obama is faltering on yet campaign promise. He is planning to shift the coverage from government entities to insurance companies, making it the responsibility of the injured soldier to pay the bill. So, I ask, since this is similar to McCain’s plan while campaigning, and McCain was called a tool of the insurance industry, does this new broken promise make Obama a tool of the insurance industry.

Bill Tapia Is Coming To Fresno

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Amazing! Born January 1, 1908, he’s 101 years old and still playing. And rumor has it he’s releasing a new album soon (what the hell is my excuse). The chances are slim to none you’ll find another entertainer anywhere in the world who can introduce a song as “something I learned during World War I”. He’ll be at the Fresno Art Museum, Thursday, April 23, 7:30 pm. I’m going.

If I live to anything near that age, I hope I can still play half as good.