Boston Teen Hunger Force

The fallout from Boston’s freakout about the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Guerrilla ad campaign continues to amaze me. It all started at 8:05AM on 01.31.2007, when someone reported an unidentified device attached to an overpass on I-93 in Boston, and the city responded with “an army of emergency vehicles”, effectively shutting down parts of the freeway and ensnarling morning rush hour traffic. Then, that same evening, the two goofballs who placed the devices in Boston were arrested and charged with placing a hoax device to incite panic. And just this past Friday, Jim Samples, a Cartoon Network GM, resigned due to the negative publicity, and also agreed to pay Boston $2 million in damages… this is all due to some glorified Brite-Lite type devices being slapped up around the city of Boston. Whaddup, paranoid?!?

It’s funny that these things were also scattered all over New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, but yet were barely a blip on the radar in any of those cities. In fact, here in SF, Jamie Alexander, the owner of the Park Life Store, found one attached to the sign above his shop. His response was, “I thought, ‘What the hell is this?’ “, followed by, “I left it up. I though it was cool.” Jamie, what were you thinking? The terrorists could have been so close to blowing your ass up! I’m stoked to see that you (and your shop) prevailed.

I think this video sums all the shenanigans up best (click on it to kick it off)…

There is a sliver lining in this cloud of ridiculosity though. A rad new commemorative T-shirt, one that would have probably never seen the light of day had all of this not gone down, was unleashed upon the interwebs. I know I’m gettin’ in on that one!!

Actually Joel, FedEx Ground is Faster Than You Think…

I’m sure my extended family is all but destroyed that Da Bears took a pummeling in this year’s Super Bowl, but not everything that went down during those 4 hours was bad.

So! and I were flying back from a quick hop to Palm Springs while the Super Bowl was being played. We were there to celebrate what was about to be the beginning of her “no fly” period. During our 27 hours in the desert, we: ate lunch outside at Tyler’s Burgers, took a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, went on a scenic, snow covered hike at the top, ate dinner at Blend Restaurant in La Quinta, kicked it poolside at our hotel, The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa (So! also got herself a massage), swung thru the really good Desert Hills Premium Outlets, and manage to drive over 120 miles. Good times.

Anyways, by the time we made it to the airport and through security on Sunday evening, we had about an hour to kill before our plane boarded. We got ourselves a decent table in the bar, ordered up a sammich & some drinks and proceeded to watch the Bears get scored on again and again. In between all of this ass whooping, they showed some commercials. We knew that all the good ones had probably already been aired, but we watched anyways. Lame spot after lame spot ran (why so many companies run crappy ads during the Super Bowl, a time when they should be pulling out all of the stops is beyond me), but we continued to stay focused on the 25″ screen that was perched up above the semi-crowded bar. A short time later, the FedEx Ground commercial ran, and looking down upon us was a face that was very familiar to me and So!(but not so familiar to anyone else in the room). After what seemed like an eternity, the outer body experience that I was having pulled back inside, and I found that I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I finally let it all go and blurted out, “HOLY CRAP, THAT’S JOHN MCCARTHY!!”.

Yup, John McCarthy. A dude who goes way back to my brother’s class during the St. Pius X High School days in the ATL. I know he’s been working and acting in NYC for the past 8 or so years, and it doesn’t surprise me that his talents landed him in a nationally run ad campaign. I was just floored that there he was, in a commercial, being run during the friggin’ Super Bowl. Talk about crazy exposure.

I emailed back and forth with John’s sister, Ann, and she told me that he had no idea that the ad was going to run during the Super Bowl. Nutz. She also hooked me up with a link out to the commercial on iFilm. Check it out (and if you’re feeling thick today, he’s the dude reciting the title of this blog entry)…

Can’t see the video? Well click here then.

Horray for Free Music Downloads

I made it by the recently demised Tower Records Sunset store a number of times over the past couple of days, and was able to snag some photos. Other than the malfunctioning digital sign, the whitewashed album posters, the empty parking lot and the locked up doors, the building looked pretty much as it has for as long as I’ve known about it. That might sound like a lot of changes, but it really wasn’t. The red and yellow paint and the Tower Records logos had not been touched, so the casual passer by probably never noticed any differences whatsoever. The state of this place was really surprising to me though, as the SF Castro Tower Records shop right near home was immediately transformed into a faceless shell as soon as that store shut down for good.

I imagine that this will be the last time I lay eyes on this building looking like this. Who knows what’s going to go into this space, but I have a feeling that whatever does is going to involve razing and rebuilding. People in this country are too quick to destroy the old and replace it with a “bigger and better” new, and given the prime West Hollywood location of this site, that will probably be no different here. The kids of today and tomorrow could probably care less… what the hell was a record store anyways?

Rally ‘Round the Family, With a Pocket Full of Shells

I’m in L.A. on bidness right now, and given the announcements of the past few days (RAGE is back, for ONE SHOW!!), can’t help but keep the phrase, “Rally ‘Round the Family, With a Pocket Full of Shells”, rolling over and over in my head. L.A. always weirds me out, and being in the heart of West Hollywood with the Whisky a Go Go and the Viper Room (anyone remeber River Phoenix?!?) a block away from my hotel and the office doesn’t help much. Tomorrow I’m gonna have a look and see what’s left of the iconic L.A. Tower Records on Sunset

Posters are Qoöl

This past Wednesday was poster nite #3 over at Qoöl Happy Hour, which reminded me of a few things I meant to post last summer but never got around to for one lame reason or another. I want to be able to look back on these things down the line, so better late than never, I suppose.

1st up is the inaugural quarterly Qoöl Poster, brought to us by BoyKani, and introduced to the masses (or at least the Qoölios) while So! and I were off in Italy this past May. Being a lover of the free posters (I’m always the one annoying the Fillmore employees with, “hey, where are the free posters?” at the end of every show), a long time attendee of Qoöl Happy Hour, and a close bud of the arteest, I made damn sure that I got my hands on a couple of these puppies. If you didn’t make it down to 111 Minna that fateful nite, then chances are you didn’t get one and have never seen the artwork… until now.

2nd are the web images of the posters that were available for purchase at the Foo Fighters “Afoostic” shows over in Berkeley last July. Being a lover of the *free* poster (as overly stated above), I had a hard time justifying the cost of purchasing either of these. As they’re no longer available I’m kinda bummed out that I didn’t add them to my collection while I had the chance, but I guess I did score the next best thing in snagging the digital copies off of their site while they were up.

Finally I’ve got the “proof” (I say “proof” because how is that one correct?) and the actual Fillmore poster from the Beck show last May… can you tell which is which? And if so, can you spot the difference? I’ll give you a hint… we saw this show in 2-0-0-6. DOH! Part of me says, “lame”, but it is what it is so part of me thinks it’s aiiiiiiiiiight. Good one on So! for spotting the flock up. I’ve always wondered how the poster’s artist feels about the whole thing. Kinda embarrasing, but what can you do?

SomaFM Brings Me the Yuletide Joy

SomaFM independent internet radio

I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for the holidays. I’m not as much into the crass commercialization of it all as I used to be back in my dizay, but I’m definitely all about the general excitement of hanging out with friends & family, chowing down on killer food, taking in at least a few of the classic movies & tv specials and listening to the sounds of the season.

Over the past 4 X-mas holidays I’ve been getting my fill of festive tunes not from a weak collection of watered down Christmas CDs, but rather from my favorite (and possibly not coincidentally, main/only) regular streaming music website, SomaFM. What’s SomaFM, you ask? Well let’s just say it’s the numero uno, listener-supported, commercial-free, underground/alternative, web broadcasting station from San Francisco available on all of the interweb. (Wow, that’s a mouthful.) SomaFM hosts 11 channels (which cranks up to 13 during the holidayz) of mainly electronic-flavored music that suits most all my moods. My absolute favorite of their offerings is Groove Salad, which I often crank up and just let roll for hours on end. It’s a great chilled out, downtempo station that has taken me and So! through the beginning and end to many a day. Highly recommended.

Xmas in Frisko
Xmas in Frisko
Christmas Lounge
Christmas Lounge

As far as their holiday channels go, they’ve got two up and running right now. Ye olde standby of years past, Xmas in Frisko, is back in full effect, and there’s a new addition to the roster, Christmas Lounge. Xmas in Frisko is definitely all over the place, and is at times completely inappropriate (which is friggin’ awesome). I’ve experienced Bing Crosby, followed by the Muppets, followed by Ella Fitzgerald, followed by Mr. Hanky, followed by Snoop Dogg. As for Christmas Lounge, it’s pretty much what it sounds like it’s gonna be. Chilled out PG-rated seasonal smoothness. Both have their place, and I’m sure I’m gonna be flipping back and forth between the two stations until they’re retired for the season and I’m forced to move back into reality. If you find yourself doing the same, then may I suggest that you take out that wallet and show them some love? After all, your SomaFM’s don’t come along every day. Dig?

Happy Holdays.

M R DUCKS

I was in a Napa Auto Parts store while I was working at Rhonda Smith’s Windsurfing Center in Hood River, OR during the summer of 1994, when this old guy who was in front of me in line turned around, handed me a slip of paper and shared some words of wisdom with me. I thought it was about time that I shared ’em with the rest of you.

M R DUCKS
M R NOT
M R 2
C D E D B D FEET?
L I B
M R DUCKS

Thanks Larry, Thanks Gavin…

Just a quick note to thank Larry and Gavin for the awesome time that was the Oracle World conference last week. Jamming 45,000+ additional people in with the SF locals who live, work and socalize in the area couldn’t have gone any smoother. Personally I loved waiting in line more than usual for my morning coffee, midday lunch break and my after work beersoda. Oh, and blocking off Howard between 3rd and 4th for 8 days was a genius move too. Funneling more traffic into downtown was just what the doctor ordered. Can’t wait until y’all are back for what’s sure to be an even bigger bash next year!


Howard St. between 3rd & 4th during Oracle World


Howard St. between 3rd & 4th now

Siiiiiiick Banner Campaign in the Lower Haight

I was going to take some photos and post about all of the new kick ass banners that were recently put up on the light poles in the Lower Haight, but Upper Playground beat me to it. Apparently Upper Playground, in collaboration with San Francisco’s Lower Haight Merchants Association, got together with forty seven (yes, 47!) artists to create a seemingly permanent art installation in the Lower Haight.

Artists involved in the banner project include: Blaine Fontana, Alex Pardee, Andy Howell, Will Barras, Ben Belsky, BENE, Boogie, Brian Flynn, Craola, Dalek, Date Farmers, David Choe, Denis Kennedy, Dora Drimalas, Doze Green, Estevan Oriol, Faile, Mike Giant, Grime, Herbert Baglione, HVW8, Mr. Jago, Jeff Soto, Jeremy Fish, Jim Houser, the London Police, Mars One, Maya Hayuk, Michael Sieben, Miss Van, Mode 2, Morning Breath, Nate Van Dyke, Nome, Norm, Obey, Ricky Powell, Rob Abeyeta Jr., Ron English, Saber, Sam Flores, Seak, Travis Millard, Usugrow, Victor Reyes, Vitche, and Thesis.

Much props to the peeps that put this all together. The Lower Haight is lookin’ good!

Go here for UP’s blog entry w/pix.
Go here for Fecal Face’s message board entry w/pix.