Amoeblog

MAY IS BIKE MONTH

Posted by Billyjam, May 16, 2008 07:24am | Post a Comment

With gas prices going through the roof and environmental issues on the rise in most peoples' minds, riding one's bike to work/school/store etc. now makes more sense than ever.

And as you probably already know, this month is 'bike month,' with this week (May 12 - May 16th) being bike-to-work week with different regions recognizing different days as "bike to work day" this week. Today (May 16th) is bike to work day in New York City.

Yesterday, Thursday May 15th, was the official ride-to-work-day in many other places, including San Francisco, where many people cycled to and from their respective places of employment with many coordinated events taking place.  One such event was organized by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, who yesterday had their Bike Away from Work Party centered at The Rickshaw Stop, where bikers on their commute home could stop and unwind (they even had valet bike parking provided) and share stories and biking tips with fellow cyclists.

But really any day is a good day to ride a bike (with helmet of course). It is healthy and cheap and even if you work or go to school an impossible cycling distance from your home you can always cycle part of the way and either A) lock up your bike where you board a bus or train or B) bring the bike with you on the bus or train or C) throw the bike in the back of your car, drive most of the long distance, and cycle the last few miles to your destination. One interesting statistic posted this week by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition on their website is that almost 40% of Bay Area commuters live within five miles of their workplace -- which is the ideal distance for a bicycle commute. 

The fine organization Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) is meeting up at 6PM today (May 16th) at Mama Buzz Cafe at 2318 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland for an all-volunteer bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group with music and beverages and lots of information on bike and pedestrian projects in Oakland.  Meanwhile, up in Seattle, today Starbucks (who, remember, were once a small hometown coffee business in the north west town) are organizing a bike to work day today (May 16th)  Info
For information on other bike events this month in places in and beyond California, check out the League of American Bicyclists website.  Meanwhile, the Bike Month NYC group is really well organized with lots of great events -- you can find more info here.

Vexing

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 16, 2008 01:04am | Post a Comment

Reading about East L.A. punk while in high school was inspiration. I had known about Los Lobos and knew about the 60’s Chicano bands like El Chicano and Tierra. However, these punk bands were Chicanos and around my age, playing music that I was into. It made me feel less like a freak to know there were others just like me somewhere in the barrios of East Los Angeles. Hippies wanted to move to San Francisco, rockers to the Sunset Strip and I wanted to move to East L.A.

On Saturday, The Claremont Museum of Art will present Vexing: Female Voices from East LA Punk, which will run from May 18 to August 31, 2008. There will be live performances by Vexing artists Teresa Covarrubias (Lead Singer from The Brat) Angela Vogel, Lysa Flores and Alice Bag. I have been looking forward to this exhibit since I heard about it a few months back. The women that are featured in this exhibit were the pioneers of a thriving women's art movement that is happening now in East L.A.

2008 has been turning out to be the year for Retro-Chicano art. LACMA’s Phantom Sightings: Art After The Chicano Movement is currently showing and starting June 15th, LACMA will also feature Los Angelenos/Chicano Painters of L.A.: Selections from the Cheech Marin Collection.

I found some great articles on East L.A. Punk, Vex era and Beyond. The first one is written by Josh Kun and is the story of the Vex. The second one comes from Jimmy Alvarado, who wrote about the history of all the EAST L.A. punk bands that not many have heard about. In this article originally written for Razorcake Magazine. Jimmy covers the minions of pre and post Vex bands as well as all the backyard party giants that were huge in the East Los backyard scene.

Ghosting

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 15, 2008 10:40pm | Post a Comment
Ahhh, my favorite LP oddity. The Mercury/Wing/Emarcy shellac ghosting effect. It seems that something in the printing process that this family of labels used for their 50's sleeves lent itself to clouding up underneath the shellac. You occasionally see it on other releases, but most often it's the Mercury and related LP's that have the best "ghosting."  Truly stunning!




Able Team #13

Posted by phil blankenship, May 15, 2008 02:41pm | Post a Comment
 



out today 5/13...the black angels...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 15, 2008 11:09am | Post a Comment
I have been really obsessed with My Morning Jacket lately. We still have a couple weeks to wait for the new album, but I get more and more excited as the weeks go on. I picked up most of their albums last year after I got obsessed with them, and it was all because of that little Bob Dylan movie called I'm Not There. It just came out on DVD last week and I really recommend that you check it out if you have not done so yet. Most people who have seen it either love it or hate it -- there is not much in between. I really loved it, which says a a lot since I am not really a big fan of Bob Dylan. I respect the man and am glad that he exists and I understand his effect on millions of people, he is just not really my kind of musician. But I am a big fan of the biopic. Maybe I am just too lazy to read that many books, but I love learning about musicians lives and seeing their stories up on the big screen, even if it is just narrowly based on some sort of reality. But the movie did really get me into My Morning Jacket, which is great. I always worry that I have already discovered and gotten into all the bands that I am going to like. I know that there will always be young new bands that I like, but it is just a different feeling to find some band that has already been around for 5 or 10 years. I don't really feel like I should of liked them earlier. I don't feel embarrassed or get mad at myself that I didn't like them right away. There are simply too many bands out there to like them all at once. I listen to a lot of music but still do not have the time to devote to everything that I might like. Some bands fall through the cracks, but it almost makes it more exciting to go back and explore their old albums. It is sort of like intentionally missing a whole season of a TV show just so you can look forward to watching the entire thing when it comes out on DVD. The anticipation somehow makes it better.

The Black Angels
are another one of those bands. Their second album comes out this week. It is called Directions to See a Ghost. I didn't really intentionally wait until now to listen to them. It just sort of happened that way. I can't really remember if I ever listened to their first album Passover which came out in 2006. It may have been playing at work when I was in the room but I don't remember paying attention or ever intentionally listening to them, so I was not really expecting to like this new album when I put it on a couple of weeks ago. I just had it in my head that they were a band that I was not going to like. I really was surprised and was immediately a brand new fan of The Black Angles. They had quickly converted me by the second song on the album. It is always a little humorous to me when you first get into a band, because I really knew nothing about them. I knew they were somewhat popular but didn't really know anyone personally who was a fan. I knew they were on the label Light in the Attic, but that was about it. I had never seen pictures of the band and I had no idea they were from Texas-- and by the time I was done listening to this new album, I was convinced the lead singer was a woman. It really was not a very typically feminine voice but I still pictured a woman singing all the songs. I thought her voice was really unique and sort of dark and deep. I didn't really ever question myself and think that it might be a man. Of course, I was wrong. I had to go watch some videos and actually see Alex Mass singing to be fully convinced that he was indeed a man. It sort of makes more sense now.

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