Buster the Ska Doggie, Immortalized In Pumpkin

A few years ago I asked Jesse Michaels to draw an interpretation of The Uptones’ hat-and-shades logo for our album, “Skankin’ Foolz Unite!” and Jesse sent us this wonderful ska doggie.buster the ska doggie We had a contest to name the pup, and numerous fans sent in the name of “Buster.” Buster also happens to be my cat’s name so it seemed natural that I’d have a Buster Doggie as well. Now Buster is all grow’d up and he turns up in the strangest places. A ska fan in Oregon had a skalloween jack-o-lantern contest, and one of the winners was this brilliant likeness of Buster. So naturally we’re inviting our fans to draw, carve or photoshop their own Buster interpretations, and send them in for a photo album. Deets in my post at Uptones.com:
The Many Faces Of Buster the Ska Doggie.

Experience A Psychotic Reaction

I recently started a new band with young singer-guitarist Emily Jayne. Emily had joined The Uptones for the 2010 Warped Tour, and we started writing some songs. Producer Matthew King Kaufman liked the stuff and encouraged us to start a band. I recruited Eric Knight and Pete D’Amato to play bass and drums. Michael Rosen recorded an early show, and the result is “Check Out The Fashion Slaves” – our first CD. You can buy a copy direct from the band at www.thefashionslaves.com. It’s also available at iTunes. Here’s the opening number – our cover of “Psychotic Reaction” – along with some visuals by Emily herself. Hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed playing it.

Ridiculous Ska In Berkeley!

“Ridiculous” is one of my favorite words. It’s also the name of a song on The Uptones’ “Skankin’ Foolz Unite!” album. Here are the lyrics. The trumpet player with goggles in the picture there is our very own “Ska-T” Bertrand. Naturally, he plays his leads on this with a plunger. Read Ska-T’s comments about rocking the ska with the Uptones horn section in this interview with Skanking Fool himself. It’s redonkulous.

It’s Always 4:20 At Seven Pools

Seven Pools was a creekside hideout, one of those spots where kids with long hair and Led Zep or Bob Marley shirts would migrate to on the 20th of April at around 20 minutes after 4. I expect they are there today! Many 4/20’s ago, Stiff Richards recorded this original instrumental number in tribute to that special time and place.

Me on guitar, Bennie Wood on bass, The Rev. Paul Jackson on various keyboards and percussion (plus he wrote and arranged the tune), and Tuan Titlestad on drums. Enjoy responsibly.

Spam Spam Spam! And why we don’t take Akismet for granted!

I try and remember that lovely Louis CK bit where he explained “Everything’s amazing, but nobody’s happy” as part of my everyday rules for living. It’s in that spirit that I’m thanking, in this blog, the authors of all of the pieces that make a WordPress install such an awesome publishing tool.

Which brings us, to Comment Spam! I left Comments enabled on this blog. I NEVER would do that, in the vast hurricanes of Spam that is the Internets, if it weren’t for a stalwart unsung hero of WordPressdom, called Akismet. Akismet obliterates the Comment Spam problem which would make running a discussion-enabled blog a total nightmare. Who are these heroic coders? Ah, they are bloggers, what a surprise! This key piece of the WordPress puzzle was actually written by some of the same folks who created WordPress.com – at a company called Automattic. Their site header says, “We are passionate about making the web a better place.” And their work proves it. Thanks, Automattic!

And here is Monty Python. Because I can.

Booker T. Jones Podcast – Great Radio Show

Just listened to Booker T. Jones interviewed about his music and recordings. It’s priceless to hear a man of his accomplishments and stature, speak so humbly and joyously about creating songs like “Born Under A Bad Sign” with Albert King, and “Green Onions and other classics as if the sessions happened yesterday.

Public Domain 4U + Internet Archive = Old School Music Bliss

One of my personal faves of the music blogs I manage is Public Domain 4U. The musical content is superb — great old recordings of blues, jazz, folk and classical gems, some famous and some fairly obscure. All of the mp3s there are hosted at the brave and brilliant Internet Archive.

Hello world!

There’s no such thing as a blog that starts at the beginning. They start in the middle. Hopefully not at the end. This is a stock WordPress install. I haven’t changed the theme or done anything to it yet. Fresh canvas. And what the heck. My first post will be called “Hello World” which is the WordPress default 1st post. Why not? Hello world! Nice to meet you.