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The Cat Has Left The Bag

Today was my last day at the best job I’ve had to date. I quit because my business partner and I signed the lease on our retail space in Noe Valley and are opening a skin care boutique. We will primarily sell our own line of skin care products and will do custom-scenting and aromatherapy.

More on this later, but here is our FB page in the meantime:

I am now my own boss.

New Year’s Eve 2009 – Better Late Than Never
























Pale Blue Dot

I wonder if people would be so interested in hurting one another if they had the perspective explained in this four minute video.

Henry Rollins Is Still My Hero


Ke$ha & T-Pain

I haven’t listened to the radio in 16 years. I was turned off then, and after briefly dipping my toe (ear?) back into those waters these last few days, I can’t say that my decision was a poor one.

Hot on the charts are Ke$sha and T-Pain, otherwise known as “two acts who think that autotune is the new hot shit and use it to disguise the fact that they are only marginally talented, if at all.” I’ve taken in no fewer than five songs by each of these ‘artists.’ Every song was driven by the most basic of beats and structure, following the beaten-to-death formula of 16 bar verse – 4 bar hook – another 16 bar verse – another 4 bar hook – bridge – verse – hook – outro. Music has progressed FAR beyond this formula, but musicians like these (and the rest of the 90% of the billboard top 50) choose to rely upon it despite that fact. Is this such a terrible thing? No. The Beatles first album was rooted in that formula. You can pull it off if you have something to say. These acts do not.

The lyrical content of their songs consist of recollections of nights partying, complete with wholly embarrassing behavior, general cataloging of their belongings and star-friends, and braggadocio. Nothing is being said at all. And the only time the content strayed from that arena was when the songs were about a lover, an ex-lover, or someone with whom they wanted to be lovers. These songs lacked the sincerity that makes love songs work. No vulnerability, no yearning. It’s all very plastic. And as if this trite, assembly-line shit isn’t bad enough, they include (always lately, it seems) autotune. What was once the recording industry’s dark secret – one that helped convince hoards of idiots that Britney Spears could sing – is now brandished and embraced. Autotuning was neat when it was sprinkled in to albums here and there. As a crutch, though, it reeks of laziness and mediocrity.

So my brief visit with the radio is over and probably will be my last. What comes out of the radio is embarrassing, even from the ‘casual listening’ perspective. My exploration of legitimately interesting music created by talented and brave musicians will continue via the method that has proven itself for these last 16 years. I guess I just needed to vent.

(Note: I understand that these musicians may actually be talented and am speaking more about what they choose to put out there.)

Justice Video Clip – Violence In The French Suburb

One Thing Leads to Another

The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy is a 1908 book claiming to be the essence of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, published anonymously by a group or person under the pseudonym of “the Three Initiates”.

So, that’s the book I’m reading right now. It’s an interesting read for sure, but what’s really interesting is the path that led me to it. I was browsing the internet one evening, taking in the usual combination of provocative content and mindless imagery, when I happened upon this video:

That’s Die Antwoord, a South African hip-hop group. After watching that, I giggled heartily and moved on. A couple of days later a coworker mentioned that he couldn’t stop watching Die Antwoord videos. Remembering their name and the enjoyment I got out of the video, I decided to revisit it. I didn’t laugh as much during the second viewing. In fact, I found myself bobbing my head. I watched it a couple more times and realized that I really liked it. The music, their appearance, the cinematography – I liked it all! So I searched on and watched this video next:

After watching that one, I was fully hooked. I took in everything I could, which amounted to a couple of videos of them performing live, a couple of articles, and their official website. Such an interesting group!

The coworker and I passed whatever Die Antwoord content we could find back and forth. We tracked down an extended interview, a bit of pre-Die Antwoord history on the members (notably, Max, and a couple of videos of the fella from the ‘Enter The Ninja’ video. His name is Leon Botha, a friend of the Die Antwoord group, who is one of the longest surviving sufferers of progeria. He’s a visual artist, a DJ, and an all around deep-thinker. After reading about him and watching the below video where he waxes philosophic, I couldn’t help but to be downright intrigued and inspired.

My coworker mentioned that most of what he’s talking about has to do with Hermetic Philosophy, and that I should check out the Kybalion. I threw it on my Kindle, delved in yesterday, and here I am writing about it. I also can’t stop listening to the Die Antwoord and Max albums. I’m hooked!

Here, have a little dessert:

Taxijam presents Die Antwoord from taxijam on Vimeo.

Now I Live In Berkeley

I’ve moved from San Francisco to Berkeley. Three times the space for the same cost of rent, less street noise, and Mario’s La Fiesta. Now to put this place together…

Trailer for The Best Film of 2010

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Arrived at work, sat down and opened yogurt, 100% of splatter hit my shirt. Now I must kill everyone.