Sunday, May 11, 2008


Don't get your hopes up for an entertaining account of my travels to the West Coast. There wasn't really much to it. It was a convention. What NARM means in exciting travel is usually quite overstated. I spent 85% of my waking hours in conference rooms or suites. The remaining 15% was spent between the lobby, bathrooms, restaurants or walking to the restaurants. We did, however, manage to get down to Haight Ashbury, the epicenter of the hippie movement some forty years ago. I wanted to hit the Amoeba Records down there and blow some cash. This was Haight back in the day. You know, think Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company ("you wanna feel like a man..."), Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane (long before "We Built This City"). These dudes built this city on hallucinogenics and five-hour drum circles. This is Haight Ashbury now.
We made it to Amoeba Records after leaping over bums and addicts like hurdles and I planted myself in the hip hop section for about thirty minutes rummaging through the racks of vinyl in a panicked state. It's much like searching for someone with asthma searching for their lost inhaler. By the time I snapped out of it, I had about twelve records in my arms, a couple of CDs and I was about to pass out. I had to pulled away because we had a meeting in about an hour and David and I had yet to eat. This is Amoeba on Haight.
When it was all said and done, I had purchased the following:

Eric Dolphy Out to Lunch vinyl
Mandrill Mandrill vinyl
Mandrill Mandrill is vinyl
Cymande Cymande vinyl
Beatnuts Stone Crazy vinyl
Madlib The Remixes Vol. 2 vinyl
Funkdoobiest Which Doobie U B? vinyl
EPMD Business As Usual vinyl
Company Flow/Cannibal Ox EP vinyl
Donald Byrd Blackbyrd vinyl
Blackalicious Blazing Arrow vinyl
Percee P Perseverance Remixed CD
J-Rocc Live at the Sex Machine CD
J-Rocc James Brown and Friends CD

I would've spent another $100 or so had I not been stopped. Keep me away from this store.

We start heading back to the hotel, but first we needed to hail a cab. We begin walking up Haight through crowds of junkies and sleeping bums just sprawled out on the sidewalk. I don't mean to make a big deal out of the locale except that I'm usually quite agitated by bums. I realize it was probably a series of bad decisions that put them there. I can be fair and agree to that, but it ain't my fault. So don't take it out on me and call me an "asshole" because I'm unsympathetic to your situation. But I digress.

We're walking down the sidewalk and I look ahead of me to see a somewhat familiar face. Now, I probably only know a handful of people in California and I can't recall anyone I know from San Francisco. But I watch a lot of TV. And I watch alot of Real World. I have for ages. I can't stop. It dawned on me who I was looking at. It was Pam from Real World: San Francisco.

She was looking back behind me and I whirl around to see Judd--her husband and comic book writer. I'm such a loser. I had to do everything in my power to be get starstruck. I need to get out more.
Two other notable locals. While David and I were walking up the sidewalk, I look down to see a woman molesting a dog. Yeah, I'll let your imagination take it from there. Whatever you think up is probably pretty close to what I saw. Also, there was a man pushing along a crate that had about five records in it and he sees our bags from Amoeba and he says, "Hey, man. Y'wanna buy some records?" I politely decline and proceed to walk past him. He says, "How about you just give me some money so I can go smoke more drugs in the park?"

Once we got back to the hotel, I didn't leave that city block for the next three days (except for, of course, dining in the evening which we managed to make it near a half a mile a way). That's my San Francisco experience.

Dude, why can't the Celtics win a playoff game on the road?

Atmosphere are now the sweethearts of MTV, I see. They're getting some pretty heavy bumper rotation. It's about time. Those dude's hussled their asses off for a long time. Speaking of, my brother-in-law Jacko snapped some shots over two nights in Austin where Atmosphere did a two-show stint. Here's just a sampling of some of my favorite shots.Good jerb, Jacko. The rest of his photos can be found here:

Before I go, check out the trailer for The Strangers. Looks dope. Who knows? Appears to be my kinda flick. Masked murderers, isolation, typical hunt-and-kill setup. Go love ya moms.

1 comment:

sarahsmile3 said...

I love that Judd.