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The Cliks are everything they are billed to be and more! I have seen some high energy acts in my day, but what The Cliks put forth in their show at The Knitting Factory (8/22/07) is incomparable (100_2136_edited.jpgespecially considering the miserably hot and humid conditions in the venue), and to have been witness the next day to seeing them taking the small, quiet Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson studio (before Craig had even come out) and INSTANTLY turn it into the most rocking, electrified space you could inhabit in a matter of merely one or two hits on the drum by Morgan Doctor, and the first lyrics by Lucas Silveira–well, it was nothing short of miraculous and memorable. I certainly hope you all got to catch their fantastic Late Late Show performance, but I’ll keep my eyes open for a replay for those who didn’t. (Craig is on hiatus for two weeks and they have a tendency to repeat the most recent shows, so maybe, just maybe it will air again soon!)

My best buddy Sheryl (who interestingly enough is also my ex-sister-in-law ;)), and I headed off for our 1 1/2 hour drive to Hollywood last Wednesday, with The Cliks blasting on the sound system and excitement brewing for seeing not only them, but also another band I’d just discovered that morning, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast. Sadly the infamous Los Angeles traffic kept us from arriving at the venue until the last minute or so of Tanner and crew’s final song “Hole in My Soul” (sigh), but the 60 seconds that we did see made me realize we had missed out on one heck of a unique, exhilarating (and sweaty! ;)) performance. (For any of you in the LA area, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast will be having their CD release party at 14 Below in Santa Monica, this Friday (8/30/07), with their CD being included in your $10 cover charge.  You can also get their 6-song EP on iTunes for $5.94!)

Can I just say again how unbelievably freaking-sticky-hot the Knitting Factory was?! I mean what the heck was the deal with folks having to feel like they were stuck in the middle of “Humidity Hell”? If we were sweating buckets, I can only imagine how the band felt, and that was actually pointed out by Lucas when he mentioned a couple times knitting-factory-hollywood.jpgduring the show that he had sweat in his eyes. The stickiness really left a bad taste in my mouth for driving all the way out to that venue again. Thankfully Sheryl and I did find what appeared to be the ONLY fan in the place (hence, the “heavy breathing” sound on the videos I taped…wasn’t me, was the fan :)), and camped out in front of it for the better part of the night. The only time we moved from it was to get some really good drinks from the bar (only $5 AND the cup was overflowing–woo-hoo!), or to head into the humid swamp known as the restroom…ick. Thankfully The Cliks were so amazingly powerful in their performances that you were almost able to forget about the beads of sweat finding their way down your body.

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To say Lucas, Jen (Benton), Nina (Martinez), and Morgan had the crowd wrapped around their collective little finger would be an understatement. I think Lucas could have asked the crowd to do more than sing along to “Oh Yeah” (not that anyone needed any enticements to sing along–just came naturally) and everyone would have done whatever the request, without batting an eyelash. This concert was truly one of those times where the musicians, the crowd, the music, and the energy all organically combine into one incredible force that just can’t be put into words—something you had to be there to experience for yourself. I’m so thankful Sheryl and I were there to share in it, and hope that all of you reading this and viewing the videos, get even an inkling of what a Cliks concert has in store for you.

Here’s one of the videos I took, but unfortunately the sound at the venue wasn’t very good, and the lighting was horrific. That being said, it’s the freaking Cliks, folks, so deal with it! 🙂

The Cliks “Back In Style” to “Oh Yeah” at The Knitting Factory 8/22/07

I also taped the encore of “Nobody Else Will”, but kept getting my shot blocked by the dancing head in front of me, and for some reason the middle part was really blurry (think I tried to zoom in too much under poor lighting conditions), so I opted to remix the 3 shorter videos into one using YouTube’s remixer. Unfortunately, despite SEVERAL attempts over the past 3 days, the YouTube remixer will allow me to create the video, preview it, then publish it–but no video ever shows up! ARGH! Went over to100_2150_edited.jpg Photobucket and used their remixer (basically the same one YouTube has by Adobe) and it worked. Sadly WordPress doesn’t allow for Photobucket videos to be embedded, and the Adobe remixer doesn’t allow you to save the final product to your hard drive, so if you’d like to see the video you’ll need to click here for “Nobody Else Will” on my Photobucket account. Again, it’s not the best image quality, but Lucas’ vocals are absolutely out of this world. The lyrics are as heartfelt as they get in the first place, but add Lucas’ intense, raw, sexy vocals and hot damn, one heck of a good performance.

the-cliks-rosie-self-pic-8-22-07.jpgJen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas were so accommodating and kind with their fans after the show, as was Rosie from Tommy Boy/Silver Label records who jumped right in and took a couple pictures for us when the camera was acting up. As a matter of fact, Rosie snapped an overhead shot of herself while she was waiting for the band, my friend, and myself to pose. Wish it would have turned out better because it was pretty funny when she did it.

As if seeing The Cliks at the Knitting Factory wasn’t enough, Sheryl and I also had tickets to their taping for the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson the next day. So back into the car we went (diabetic dog at home, so couldn’t stay in LA for the night…the things we do for our poochies :)), facing even ickier Los Angeles traffic on Thursday since we were traveling during the day. We did finally make it to the studio, and were pleasantly surprised to land a spot in the CBS studios parking lot–usually not an easy task! We made sure to get in line more than an hour early since there was no way we were taking any chances that we wouldn’t get in, especially after driving so far. Thankfully there were no worries late-late-show.jpgon that front, and when we did finally get into the studio, we were only about 4 rows back on the aisle (hey, a gal with long legs just HAS to have an aisle seat…plus I wanted a better view of the band!), but of course we wished we were even closer. For those of you who have never been to a taping of the Late Late Show, it’s in a fairly small studio with an audience that Craig doesn’t want to exceed some odd number like 113. We were told the reason he likes to keep it so small is because he likes the feel of a comedy club atmosphere, and the connection he can have with a smaller audience such as ours. I went to a taping of his show last October and the intimacy of the studio does lend itself to having you feel like you really are an important part of the entire show. “Audience Enhancers” is what Chucky B. (the warm-up guy) calls the studio audience.

So we finally get into the studio, everyone is seated, Chucky B. is cracking jokes, videos of some previous musical guests are playing on the monitors scattered over the seating area, Craig’s desk is pushed off to the side, and the band equipment is set up already. (Sorry to burst the bubble of anyone who didn’t know this, but segments for the show are not taped in sequence, and quite often are taped for airing on subsequent days, hence Craig hadn’t even been on stage until long after The Cliks were…his loss!) Then a few minutes later, out of nowhere and without much ado, Jen, Morgan, Nina, and Lucas walk over to their equipment and start testing it all out. It was really quiet in the studio, so Chucky B. starts whispering, saying “This is what bands do, they tune up their equipment. I think I see them checking me out. Apparently they don’t see this.” (He then flashes his wedding ring to everyone.) Um, apparently Chucky B. knows diddley-squat about The Cliks since wedding ring or not, chances are slim-to-none any of them would be interested. 😉 So the other Cliks fans that were there (probably about 15 or so of us throughout the audience), Sheryl and I, are all on the edge of our seats, just waiting for something…anything. Then BAM, out of the blue, and with a not-very-enthusiastic introduction of, “The Cliks”, the band jumps right into “Oh Yeah”. Well, despite the apparent lackluster enthusiasm on the part of the Late Late Show‘s folks, there was no way in hell I was going to not show my excitement, so I was rocking out the whole time, as were the other Cliks fans, clapping, shaking our asses in our seats, hollering out, and hoping we were letting the band know just how much we enjoy and adore them.

(***Video below ADDED 9/6/07: Thanks to Silver Label for making this video available!***)

The Cliks on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 8/23/07 (First TV appearance!)

I have to say it all seems like a blur, totally surreal, and WAY too short of a time to have the band play, but the short time they did was absolutely the most energized four minutes or so you could ever ask for. From the overhead lights to the microphones near our feet, and from the phony Los Angeles cityscape backdrop on stage to the bustling real-life LA streets outside the studio, there was NO WAY anyone within earshot could help but feel the energy and enthusiasm the band was putting out. When it came to the last notes on the guitars and Morgan’s last drum hit, the sudden silence was incredibly deafening and made your realize how much The Cliks had filled up that short time and space with most intense rhythm, vocals, and music possible. Talk about living in the moment! WOW!

I really do believe that those in the audience who had no clue who The Cliks were beforesnakehouse.jpg their performance (unfortunately that would seem to also include the majority of the Late Late Show staff), were definitely impressed with them afterward. A CBS page made sure to tell us (Sheryl and I were both wearing our The Cliks black t-shirts, so it was pretty obvious who we were there for ;)) how hard The Cliks rocked and that they were off the hook (or something like that), so we know they made at least one new fan–especially since we saw him a bit later at Barnes & Noble in the “C” section of the CD area, obviously looking for The Cliks “Snakehouse”.

Side note…Morgan’s parents were in the audience and were so morgan-the-cliks.jpgcute! After the band was done and they’d left the stage (after some seriously long and loud applause and hooting and hollering from the audience!) an older couple started walking down the stairs toward the stage, Chucky B. made some comment, then someone on staff said they were the parents of “the drummer”, so Chucky B. made nice, and we all clapped for them. When Morgan’s parents hit the stage, right before slipping behind the wall to find the band, they faced everyone and waved, and boy could you tell they were Morgan’s folks–especially her mom, who she really looks like.

Alas, the good times had to eventually come to an end…sigh. It goes without saying that I am beyond anxious to see The Cliks again and am going through some serious withdrawals in the meantime. There is just something so pleasing about finding a band that is so vested in not only their music, but also in their fans. Jen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas, could NOT have been any nicer to everyone during and after their shows, and I think that speaks volumes about the kind of people they must be–very sincere and caring. This was especially evident when I explained to Lucas after the Knitting Factory show, that one of my best buds, who had actually met them a couple of times in Vegas and at True Colors, was unable to make it back to LA for the show. Lucas was kind enough to tape a short, sincere message to Jackson–something I will never forget. How unbelievably cool of Lucas to do that!

Thank you SO MUCH to The Cliks, for all you give to your fans, personally and musically. Now get your asses back to SoCal ASAP! 😉

(***UPDATE 8/29/07:MUST SEE: Our “The Cliks” Adventures at The Knitting Factory and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Videos, Pics)***)

Am so excited about FINALLY getting to see The Cliks live tonight! My buddy Jackson got me hooked on them a few months ago when “Snakehouse” just came out and I’ve been dying to see them since then. Guess I’ll be going from one extreme to another because I’ll not only be seeing them tonight at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, but also at a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tomorrow. I believe there are still tickets available for tonight’s KF gig, but alas the tickets for the talk show taping are gone. You can catch The Cliks on this Thursday’s (technically early Friday AM) showing of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in most markets at 12:37 AM on CBS. Definitely check your local listings (and set you VCR or DVR!) since times do vary in some areas of the country.

Only thing that could make these two days perfect would be if Jackson were able to join us as planned, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball just to keep you on your toes. (Doesn’t life know staying on your toes gets tiring? ;)) You already know you’ll be missed like crazy, my dear friend, and that it mostly definitely won’t be the same without you, but in your honor I will dance my ass off and make lots of noise–as usual, on both counts. LYB

MySpace pages:

  • The Cliks
  • Maxitit (The Knitting Factory calendar has them listed as opening for The Cliks)
  • Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast (Their web site states they are opening for The Cliks even though the KF site doesn’t say so. I hope they are performing since I’m now hooked on them after discovering their music yesterday morning!  Get their 6-song EP on iTunes for only $5.94!)

The Cliks

Maxitit

Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast

marc-broussard-hob-8-20-07.jpegFirst off, Marc Broussard is one act you do NOT want to miss if he’s in your area. Second, WTF San Diego concert-goers?!?! Let me just get my rant out of the way before I rave.

While I love San Diego county like crazy and have spent the better part of my life there, I find myself becoming more and more disenchanted with the downright rude behavior I seem to run across at local concerts. Can someone PLEASE explain to me why anyone would pay for a ticket to a show, then stand around and talk–LOUDLY?! In my opinion it’s beyond disrespectful to practically drown out the performance of someone on stage who is giving it their heart and soul, but it’s also stupid to spend your money on something you obviously aren’t there to enjoy. If you’re there just to pick up on someone, save your money and just hit up a bar or go online–sheesh! There ARE those of us who must obviously be somewhat demented because we assume that folks who come to a show actually want to enjoy the show. Mind you, there was a healthy dose of attentive fans in attendance last night (despite the surprisingly small crowd), but it was embarrassing to hear so much talking when Toby Lightman and/or Marc were singing something without heavy band back-up and you could hear all the morons blabbing away. Sigh. (And yes, I eventually did tell a few to shut the **** up. 😉)

That being said, oh my gosh what FUN last night’s House of Blues-San Diego show was (rude idiots aside), and what energy and enthusiasm Marc brought to each song. For those of you not aware of Marc Broussard, you are totally missing out on what many are calling this generation’s “King of Blue-Eyed Soul”, and they are so on the mark with that one. The first time I heard of Marc was a couple of years back when his chart-climbing “Home” off his first major labelmarc-broussard-carencro.jpg album, Carencro (an homage to his hometown of Carencro, Louisiana), caught my attention upon first hearing it on the radio, in much the same way Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”, or The Cliks’ “Oh Yeah” song and video made me stand up and take notice. I love it when a musician and his/her music is something so different from the rest that your ears alert your brain to something magical. Have to admit that when I tracked down more info on “Home” I was shocked to discover this Bayou Soul voice and energy came from such a young man, let alone a white one at that! That point is played upon in the first 35 seconds of the “Home” video where you are led to believe the soulful humming is coming from the African-American man on the bus, then POOF, the young white boy sitting behind him pulls out his guitar and starts wailing away. Love it!

Marc Broussard: “Home” from Carencro

Marc’s latest CD, S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, is full of classic soul tune covers except for one marc-broussard-save-our-soul.jpggreat original song, “Come In from the Cold”, penned by Marc. Several reviewers have wondered what the point was to doing a CD of covers but I say why not? Marc’s voice is perfect for these songs and it has reawakened in me the appreciation of old-school soul music. And heck, they’re fun! Plus it’s a bit of a “filler” while he’s working on his next CD.

Marc Broussard: “Love and Happiness” from S.O.S.: Save Our Soul

This current tour is called the “Soul Revue” tour and with the soul that Marc, the band, toby-lightman.jpgand featured guest Toby Lightman (subbing for Shannon McNally) put forth, the show most definitely lived up to its moniker. Unfortunately we missed the first twenty minutes or so, so only caught the last two Toby songs. We were very disappointed to walk in and discover that Toby was taking Shannon’s place because we’d seen Toby open for Carbon Leaf a few months back and she was incredible. I’m sure Shannon is great too, but missing out on songs from Toby was a bummer. What was great, though, is that she came out and joined Marc and the band for several songs throughout the night.

Marc Broussard and Toby Lightman at Stubbs

“If I Could Build My Whole World Around You”

What was also surprising and great, was that for the encore it was just Marc, sans band. He was giving it his all and having a fabulous time with the crowd, as we all were with him. (Especially when we all helped him remember the words to his memorable performance of “Lonely Night in marc-broussard-solo-sd-hob-8-20-07.jpegGeorgia”.) Who he wasn’t so thrilled with (and boy did he let his feelings be known, capped off with a flipping of the fingers under the chin directed at HOB ;)) was the fact that HOB apparently is pretty strict with getting their performers off-stage at a particular hour–enjoyment of performer and crowd be damned. Marc was in a bit of a “f**k you, I’m playing for my fans as long as I want” mood (pretty much the words he used. ;)) and continued his encore for about thirty fantastic minutes more. He did apologize at the end to the employees of HOB for making them have to work late. 😉

All in all, and despite the rude talkers in the crowd, it was a VERY enjoyable night (even more so than when I saw him there a couple years back and got to do a meet and greet with him–THAT was a great experience!) and one I would highly recommend you take in for yourself as soon as Marc and his “Soul Revue” hit your town. Now if they’d only all worn some classic soul garb like crushed velvet jackets and some shiny pants . . .

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As is evidenced from my previous entries relating to music, it’s pretty apparent that my taste runs toward the eclectic side, and if there is a band I listen to that probably exemplifies musical eclecticism and fusion best it would have to be the fantastic band I’ll be seeing at a private radio station (KPRI) gig tonight, Ozomatli. This quote from a BC Music review puts the band’s sound on their latest venture “Don’t Mess with the Dragon” into perspective quite well, “Ozo is, as ever, a instrumental atom bomb compared to most pop out there – the disc burns with their unique energy and soul.” While I don’t think I’d use the category of “pop” for Ozomatli, it is so true that their music IS an instrumental atom bomb compared to most others. Their CDs are truly worthy of spending a bit of time getting to know–as is the band!

I really don’t have time to write much about them other than to tell you to get your fannies over to iTunes or your local record shop to buy “Don’t Mess with the Dragon” ASAP! Here is a link to a Google page of reviews for the CD, and here is the Ozomatli web site. I’ll also include a couple of videos for you to enjoy. I did do a brief story about Ozomatli about a year ago, so will post that for you, too. Off to get ready for a night of fun with friends, incredible music, TONS of dancing, and an all-around celebration of life! 🙂

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*** 8/7/07 UPDATE: Ozomatli was ON FIRE at Anthology in San Diego last night!!! While they only played just under one hour of music, it was jam packed, crowd-pleasing, shake-your-ass-until-you-can’t-shake-it-anymore music, and they definitely had the crowd eating out of their hands. I implore you to hit the link I offered above to Ozo’s web site to find out when they will be hitting your town, then buy those tickets ASAP and prepare for one hell of a good time! Thank you Ozomatli (especially for performing one of my new faves: Magnolia Soul-lyrics copied below!) and KPRI for a fantastic night. Despite the fact the bathroom door at the venue decided to slice a chunk of my right thumb off, it was STILL an incredible evening of great music, high energy, and memorable times with friends. :)***

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“City of Angels” from Don’t Mess with the Dragon by Ozomatli

(Ozomatli “City of Angels” music video directed/edited by Matthew Johnston and shot by Willie Tipp. Winner of the “Wanna Mess with the Dragon?” music video contest)

“Magnolia Soul” from Don’t Mess with the Dragon by Ozomatli

This isn’t the best video, but is from a live performance of one of my favorite songs on the new CD. As a reviewer said, it’s a scathing indictment of post-Katrina chaos. Ozomatli does an incredible job of getting out very important political messages in their music.

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Magnolia Soul

magnolia.jpg

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

Justin:

Dear magnolia, what’s crackin’?

Been a long time since I last saw your face

Never forget the day out in the sticks I saw your crecsent smile in place

All the way from uptown, downtown, lakeside to river

Heard W don’t care about them

Gotta watch who you make ya friend

Otherwise FEMA will come through and backstab you again

Just some advice to lend

Weak ties will bend

Through the dark true light will win

And they said that this the end

But we fixin’ to make them saints march on again

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

Jabu:

Polite little hurricane, called for she came

Officials knew the deal and they didn’t do a thang

Knew her every move

Yep Katrina was her name

The mayor had the whole game in the palm of his hand

Hand in the pot

Caught cold and oh!/ shouldv’e fixed them damn levees long time ago/ but they didn’t take the chance to do it

Pitty pat between the pres and the mayor

Folks was dying (die) too

A gang of us in the superdome

We’re in the heat

Folks in wheelchairs feet swole, nothing to eat

So to the kids and the families that lost

I rhyme for, ‘nolia clap

Show the world your sooooooul

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

Bridge:

Everybody clap them hands

Still steppin to the second line band

Still stompin’ to the zulu drum

You can’t stop this native son

A huh huh

Let the good times roll

Let the good times roll pretty mama can’t stop magnolias soul

CHORUS:

Let the good times roll,

Bad times gone

The suns gonna shine

Rise up, get on your feet

Let the good times roll

Sad times gone

Let the good times roll

Pretty mama can’t stop

Magnolia’s soul

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Here’s the story I did last year:

ozoaacover.jpgI dare you to not move your feet and fanny (and any other body parts you so choose) while listening to this band! As a matter of fact, the first time I ever heard Ozomatli we couldn’t see them, but boy we sure could hear them…and feel them! Our bodies sensed the excitement and the rhythms from their horn section and drums…they infused our bodies. We were magically drawn toward the music like bees to honey…to the sweet sounds of their voices and the potent lyrics. Unfortunately such was the case with hundreds of other bodies who were all trying to get near the stage, and sadly blocking our ability to get anywhere near it. The closest we could get had the band members looking like small dolls dancing on stage. Sadly this first encounter with the band would not allow us to embrace the entire Ozomatli experience (and trust me, an Ozo show IS an experience!), but it did allow us to get a taste of what would soon become an addiction.

ozofillmore.jpgThis first brief experience with Ozomatli was back on a beautiful Saturday in September of 2002 at a music festival called Street Scene. Back in the day it was held in the Gaslamp Quarter, an area of downtown San Diego, California. Sadly the festival has moved to Qualcomm Stadium (where the San Diego Chargers play…at least for now…sigh), and even though I have to admit to not having attended Street Scene since they moved there, I just can’t imagine it having the same ‘flavor’ as it did by being held in the fabulous historic streets of downtown San Diego. (Street Scene has moved a couple of times since I did this review–twice this year!)

Since that initial taste of addiction was born on 9/7/02, thankfully the fixes have had much more success than that day at Street Scene. The next couple of times I saw Ozomatli were at one of the BEST venues to see a show in San Diego County, the Belly Up Tavern. It’s located in Solana Beach, which is in Northern San Diego County, literally just north of the Del Mar Race Track and Fairgrounds. I L-O-V-E the Belly Up Tavern! I’ve pretty much spent some of my best concert-going times there since I became legal (oh so long ago!)…awesome music…great service…small venue with great sound…and incredibly memorable times with friends! Yup, love that place.

ozostreetsigns.jpgSo back to Ozomatli. Right now this GRAMMY® Award winning, Los Angeles-based band with an active political conscience has ten band members, a wide array of instruments, and several of their members contributing to vocals. It’s hard to describe Ozo‘s music other than to say it’s a FABULOUS fusion of latin and world music, hip-hop (which I’m usually NOT a fan of), heavy doses of political activism, reggae, a hot brass section and elaborate percussion, all woven together to get you rocking your body off on the dance floor. My experience has been that there truly is NO WAY you can be at an Ozomatli show and NOT move your body. No way possible! The music invades your soul, your head starts to bob, your toes start tapping, next thing you know your fanny is off the seat and you’re moving like you’ve been dancing to this blend of music all your life. It honestly is an experience that consumes every fiber of your being, mentally and physically. While it may leave you completely drained after the show, there is actually an interesting sense of renewal and invigoration you feel when all is said and done. And speaking of done, this band finishes each show by grabbing their instruments (drum included!), heading out into the audience, snaking their way around folks, while singing and dancing with the audience as they head out the door. I guarantee an Ozomatli concert will be one of your BEST musical experiences EVER!

So click on the links I’ve provided throughout this page to get more information on the band, sample some music, check out their merchandise, and most of all find out when they might be touring in your area.

May you fall victim to the Ozomatli addiction like I did and soon consider yourself an Ozo fanatic. No 12-step program required.

guitard_cover.jpgLast night I read an incredible, thought-provoking, straight-from-the-heart blog entry by Candye Kane and just knew I had to share it with all of you this 4th of July. I immediately sent off an email asking for her permission to repost it here and was very pleased when she graciously responded with permission to do so. The thoughts she shares, the feelings she expresses, and the desires she has, are those which I hope speak to as many of you as they did to me. As much as I abhor this current administration and the horrific choices GWB and his right-wing, closed-minded, power-hungry cronies have made, I DO love my country and all that it CAN be. I think Candye has put into words the hopes and dreams we would all like to see come true.

And for those of you who haven’t heard of Candye Kane, tsk-tsk-tsk. Okay, I’ll cut you a little bit of slack since she’s a local talent I’ve had the good fortune of knowing about for some time, but Candye’s reach goes far beyond her SoCal background with worldwide fans of her distinctive, enjoying-the-heck-out-of-life persona and musical abilities. I HIGHLY advise you to click on her MySpace page, hit up her web site, catch her on her current “Guitar’d and Feathered” tour, Google her if you’d like, then hightail it over to iTunes, Amazon.com, or Ruf Records, and buy, buy, BUY all the Candye Kane music you can afford! I’ve got “White Trash Girl” playing on the computer right now and am enjoying the heck out of Candye’s powerful voice, the fun lyrics (track #13…enough said! ;)), and the energized mood her music puts me in. It’s admittedly hard to actually sit still at the computer to type this out when her music is infusing my body with the desire to get up and dance around!

Candye’s life story is one I think even the most imaginative of authors would have a hard time coming up with, and her music can’t really be pigeonholed into any one category, so check her out for yourself. You can thank me later! 😉 Happy and safe 4th of July, everyone!

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Here’s her fantastic blog entry, reprinted with her permission. Thanks, Candye!

  • Tuesday, July 03, 2007

    Happy no more war, light up the smog free sky w/fireworks 4th!

    Tomorrow is the Fourth of July and I am here in Lincoln, Nebraska. This is corn field country where people actually stop for you when you get a flat tire, drive you through the Mcdonalds on the way to pick up the new tire, pay for lunch and then insist on changing your tire for you on the side of the freeway while the whole band stands aghast, watching. (This actually happened!) This is plain-spoken people country where they look you in the eye, with a firm handshake that they mean, and do what they say they will do. This is the heartland part of the US where young boys and girls go off to war because they really believe in our Grandparents vision of a democratic, honest country that would never condone torture. This is the part of the country where young soldiers go off to war not only because they want to see the world and get a shot at a good education but because they were brought up to respect the flag and the people whose blood spilt for it.

    I am not a real patriot. There are a lot of problems in this great country of ours. We are stuck in the quagmire of this losing war in Iraq; we will leave our huge deficit to our kids and grandkids; The President has an imaginary friend who gives him advice (that, or he hears voices in his head.) Our government seems to virtually ignore global warming and is so gluttonous from the big money they get from oil lobbies that they spend zip on research for new energy resources. They would rather worry about keeping hard working Mexicans out of the USA and worry about whether two men might choose to marry and live in a committed relationship. The health insurance problem is vast, not only because we poor people have to choose between paying our phone bill or getting a check up, but because a woman of my size can be denied health insurance even with low blood pressure and low cholesterol, just based on my weight. Yes, it’s a mess here, my friends.

    Still, I am happy to be an American. Why? Because in my neighborhood growing up, there were black people, Mexicans and white kids. There were Catholics, Jews and Mormons. (I have been all three!) We didn’t all agree about everything and we spent a lot of time fighting with each other but I learned early that people come in all sizes and colors. Here in America, there are mosques and churches of all kinds, synagogues and Krishna temples. There is Eckankar and Paganism, self-realization and even the dreaded scientology. There are women who walk around in cut offs and halter-tops, butches with beards and rings in their noses, women wearing Islamic head coverings and Amish dresses and bonnets at the same rest stop. There are hookers who hang out on my street and sell their wares to men who drive by in their souped up Toyotas with their stereo so loud it makes my I,U.D. vibrate. There are surfer boys, retired Marines, lesbians, Jehovahs witnesses, Rastafarians and Samoan Christians all on the block where I live.

    I love America because my government sucks, but I have the right to write about it and talk about it and write letters to my congressperson and my local paper. I have the right to protest and hold up signs and yell and scream at rallies. I don’t have every right that I should have. I should have the right to marry whomever I want and I should have the right to be treated the same way under the law as any married couple, heterosexual or otherwise. Poor people and regular folks should have the right to run for office and it shouldn’t be about money. But I still believe in an America that will eventually try to right its wrongs. (Not the ones that can’t be righted; we can’t bring back the buffalo or give the Native Americans back all their land. We can’t take back our historic mistakes like slavery, refusing shiploads of Jewish children and women during WW II and Japanese interment camps. Some wrongs are so horrific they cannot be reversed or fixed.)

    However, just like women fought for the right to vote, and people fought in the 60’s for freedom and civil liberties for every American regardless of skin color, I believe someday we will get back to the noble American ideals of our forefathers and mothers. The America that our Grandparents loved and fought for; The America that valued honor and believed diversity made a country stronger just like the statue of liberty inscription said. An America that really does take care of its poor and its meek and huddled masses; An America that doesn’t just fill us with fear while lining their pockets but cares about each citizen, poor and rich, gay and straight and strives to protect each of us. That’s the America that I am reminded of when I am here with the good people of the Midwest.

    There are good and bad people in every city in the world and I am not naïve enough to think otherwise. But I want to be the kind of American who helps my neighbor fix a flat and pays for lunch while doing it. I want to be the American that holds out a hand to someone who is suffering. I want to get my childhood vision back of an America that was good and noble, honest and true. A country where your vote counted and you didn’t just have to vote for the evil guy or the other evil guy. A country where we would never hold people in prisons without due process or overthrow the Geneva Convention as antiquated and out of date. I believe in an America that is compassionate and cares about our planet and all its inhabitants, realizing that we are all one in the great cosmic universe. So, when I sing that National anthem tonight at my show in Lincoln, I will envision that America and these salt of the earth American kids who are dying to defend her. I will envision us all as one human family protecting and caring about each other in a pollution free, peaceful world with polar bears and hybrid cars and health insurance affordable to us all!

    Happy no more war, light up the smog free sky with fireworks 4th of July!

In preparation for the True Colors Tour 2007 gig on the 30th in Los Angeles, I’m checking out some of the groups I’m not familiar with, and am SOOO now hooked on The Dresden Dolls. WOW! They are so unique and incredible. If you aren’t aware of them you should really check them out. I can’t stop listening to the two CDs I got on iTunes, “The Dresden Dolls” and their new one, “Yes, Virginia.” I love live theater so they are right up my alley, with their very extravagant and engaging performances that I’ve caught online. They describe themselves as punk cabaret and that is pretty much how I’d describe them, too. Totally awesome. Each song on their CDs is like a story, not that all songs aren’t like stories…these are just so intense…love it!

Anyway, here are a few videos for you to check out, along with their web site link (check out their photo galleries for some, um, uh, “interesting” pics…especially #14! ;)) and their MySpace page (which has a great live video of a few songs with striptease in between). Enjoy!

Here’s “Coin-Operated Boy” from their self-titled CD. (As a single gal I’m thinking a coin-operated boy not be such a bad idea…especially if it’s Brian. ;))

And this video, “Backstabber: The Dresden Dolls-vs-PANIC! At The Disco”, is just hilarious, especially since a friend’s nephew is in one of the bands. (PANIC! At The Disco…hey there proud Auntie JD ;))

Here’s The Dresden Dolls “Shores of California” video from their new CD “Yes, Virginia”, which is a total play on…

…David Lee Roth’s “California Girls” video.

(***Added 6/19/07: LOGO will air a True Colors special beginning this Thursday, June 21st.***)

Thanks to a VERY generous and spontaneous friend (Thanks, Jackson ;)), I’ll be hitting the True Colors Tour 2007 when it makes its final stop in Los Angeles at the Greek Theatre on June 30th. Totally something to look forward to, for so many reasons (especially after finding out just today that The Cliks are rearranging their own tour schedule in order to add the last three True Colors gigs–woo-hoo!), but especially since it will be a incredibly memorable time spent with fabulous friends. Btw, the LA stop is SOLD OUT (Not sure if more tickets have been released or what the deal is, but TicketMaster is no longer showing the LA show as sold out), so I would highly recommend jumping on tickets for the other remaining shows NOW!

I’ll let the following Cyndi Lauper interview on The View fill you in on what the True Colors Tour 2007 is all about, and I’ll include links to the MySpace pages of several of the scheduled performers. I do have to say, though, that I continue to shake my head in disgust, dismay, and ultimately sadness, over the fact that so many people continue to harbor such hatred toward others just due to one’s sexual orientation. Sigh. Life is far too short, folks. Appreciate the incredible diversity around you (who on earth wants to be just like everyone else?), embrace it, and for crying out loud just get out there and enjoy the heck out of life!

Cyndi Lauper on The View discussing True Colors Tour 2007

Cyndi performing an acoustic version of True Colors

MySpace Pages

True Colors lyrics

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then,
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

(***ADDED 6/5/07: 2-part videos of Michael’s appearance on Oprah are included below for those who missed the show.***)
From a Michael Moore email:

Michael Moore on Oprah Tuesday
Michael Moore will appear on Oprah tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5, and will present, for the first time on television, scenes from his new film, “Sicko.” Oprah will interview Michael about the movie and the attention it’s receiving before its release (opening day everywhere is June 29). The theme of Oprah’s show is the one film you must see this summer — “Sicko” — and the one book you must read (Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”). Oprah loved Michael’s film and wants to make health care for all one of her main missions this year.

So set your recorders for Oprah tomorrow, Tuesday!

Oprah’s SiCKO message board, Michael Moore Web Site

And here’s Michael’s 5/25/07 appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher–two of my faves! 🙂

***ADDED 6/5/07: 2-part videos of Michael on Oprah today.***

Oprah: Michael Moore on ‘Sicko’ – Part 1

Oprah: Michael Moore on ‘Sicko’ – Part 2

(***UPDATE from CA Healthy Pets Act official site: June 6 – AB 1634 passes the Assembly Floor, moves to the Senate.***)

I’ll start by letting Bill Maher introduce you to the VERY IMPORTANT pending legislation in California, Assembly Bill 1634-California Healthy Pets Act, in case you aren’t already familiar with it. Thanks, Bill!

I spent nearly seven years working in the veterinary field, and also spent a good deal of time volunteering with various animal organizations, including our local animal shelter. Saying I love animals is a huge understatement. Unfortunately during my volunteer time at the shelter, which also included interning with the shelter veterinarian, I saw far too many loving animals put to sleep because there was just not enough room to house them, and definitely not enough kind souls willing to give these pets a chance at a new life. Trust me, folks, it is not a pleasant thing for anyone to have to do–ending the life of a pet. And while this photo is disturbing, it is also the cold, harsh reality of what happens after a shelter pet is euthanized and awaiting transportation to either rendering or a mass grave, depending on the disposal service.

Quite often these pets were dogs who were brought into a new home as young puppies, but once they grew to full size (gee, don’t you hate it when an animal has the audacity to actually grow! [insert heavy sarcasm]), suddenly the owners decided they were too much to handle. Other poor animals were bred for fighting and were never even given a chance to show their gentle side. Of course there are the aging pets which usually are passed by as prospective owners seek out the cute and cuddly puppies or kittens. Regardless of why these 4-legged beings are brought to shelters, the reality is that had more stringent spay/neuter laws been enacted there would not be in the range of 800,000 abandoned pets in our state of California each year, nor over $250 MILLION dollars spent on their housing, with well over 400,000 of them ultimately being euthanized.

Animals cannot speak up for themselves, so it is up to us to do it for them. I urge my fellow responsible citizens of California to take a few moments out of their busy lives to help ensure the passage of AB 1634, the California Healthy Pets Act. This paragraph, from a Humane Society of the United States email, highlights the urgency of IMMEDIATE action:

Urgent! Opponents of this animal welfare bill have organized large numbers of people to target legislators in an attempt to change their votes and prevent its passage. They are even calling from out-of-state, and harassing particular lawmakers. We can’t let the puppy mills out-hustle animal advocates on this important pet protection bill. Legislators need to hear from their constituents—you!—so they know you support this sensible reform.

PLEASE check out the following sites for important information on the California Healthy Pets Act, and also spread the word to anyone and everyone you know in our great state of California, to CONTACT their State Assembly member ASAP!!! Thank you.

_________________________________________________________________

(***Added on 6/7/07***)

The Truth About the CA Healthy Pets Act-AB 1634 Marty Catalano of Rescue Roundtable interviews guests Jane Velez-Mitchell and Ed Buck who dispel all the fallacies being put forth by the opposition to the California Healthy Pets Act AB-1634.

Missy Woodward of Critter Crusades interviews Judie Mancuso, Sponsor / Campaign Director of the California Healthy Pets Act – AB 1634.

Not Born to Die: California Healthy Pets Act AB 1634

Sooo don’t have time for a full blog entry, but just HAD to implore you all to hit one of The Cat Empire shows when they’re touring in your neighborhood. The show at the Belly Up last night (5/8/07) was INCREDIBLE, and I wish, wish, wish, I could make their show at The Key Club in Los Angeles on Thursday night, but two “week night” shows just don’t work with my schedule. You will NOT be disappointed in one of their live shows. I’ll write more later, but just wanted to let you know to start making plans! 🙂 Here is my previous entry which lists their upcoming shows (they’re in San Francisco tonight 5/9/07).

A couple cool reads:

Cat Empire busy dancing with ‘Two Shoes’-Examiner.com

Jackson Jackson strikes back-Adelaide Now

“As a member of the Cat Empire, Harry Angus is used to breaking the rules. he is used to people being unsure of how to define the Cat Empire’s sound.”

Just a heads up that one of my current obsessions, The Cat Empire, (the others being The Cliks and Amy Winehouse) will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno TONIGHT (5/7/07). The email I’m including below says that they’ll be performing “The Car Song”, but I could have sworn they sent out a previous notice saying they were playing “The Chariot”–either is cool. I’ll include both videos for you.

Tomorrow night we’ll be having a blast at their show at The Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA! Soooo in need of a night of immersing myself in some good music, and escaping the realities of life for a few hours. (LYB and miss ya! ;))

***Just caught the boys on The Tonight Show. I think my poochie must be a Cat Empire fan, too, because he jumped on the bed and woke me up about one minute before the Leno appearance (never fear, had the VCR set ;)). Harry seemed a bit restrained in the beginning, as if he was trying really hard to NOT move outside some predetermined space, but boy did he burst with energy after playing the trumpet. The audience needed to have a LOT more excitement (bad audience, bad audience ;). And oh my goodness, was Felix looking HOT, HOT, HOT with that shorter hair and sans hat, or what?! Why yes he was! What a great tease the Leno gig was for the show tonight…can’t wait! But for now it’s back to sawing logs. Night.***

The Cat Empire “The Car Song”

The Cat Empire “The Chariot”

From The Cat Empire:

The Cat Empire on Leno/Cali Tour/Summer Dates Announced

The Cat Empire will make their third US late night TV appearance in 2007 tonight (May 7th) when they perform “The Car Song” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The Tonight Show is on NBC and airs at 11:30PM in most cities. Be sure to tune in!

After their Tonight Show performance they’ll be hitting the road for three California shows.

5/8 San Diego, CA — The Belly Up
5/9 San Francisco, CA — The Grand Ballroom
5/10 Los Angeles, CA — Key Club

You can purchase tickets for any of these shows at Ticketmaster

We’ve also announced that The Cat Empire will be joining us stateside for June-July as they tour North America this summer.

6/28 Atlanta, GA – Roxy
6/29 Chattanooga, TN – Rhythm and Brews
6/30 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
7/01 Ann Arbor, MI – Mountain Stage
7/03 Pittsburgh, PA – Diesel Club (WYEP)
7/05 Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest
7/06 Minneapolis, MN – Basilica Block Party
7/07 Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Folk Fest
7/10 Chicago, IL – Double Door
7/11 Toronto, ON – Kool Haus
7/13 Ottawa, ON – Ottawa Blues Festival
7/14 Quebec City, QC – Festival D’Ete
7/15 Montreal, QC – Olympia
7/16 Albany NY, – WEQX Festival
7/18 Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
7/19 Portland, ME – Alive at Five Monument Square
7/20 Trumansburg, NY – Grassroots Festival
7/21 Camden, NJ – WXPN All About The Music Festival
7/22 New York NY TBA May 22nd
7/25 Providence, RI – Lupos
7/26 Boston, MA – WBOS Copley Square
7/27 Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
7/28 Floyd, VA – Floyd Fest

And be sure to visit this link to see a few live videos from TCE’s Winter Tour visit to San Francisco. You can also stop by Amplifier Magazine Online, where Ryan (bass) gives us the low down on the perfect mix CD.

(***UPDATE:MUST SEE: The Cliks at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood TONIGHT(8/22/07) AND on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS TOMORROW(8/23/07), also MUST SEE: Our “The Cliks” Adventures at The Knitting Factory and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Videos, Pics)***)

“I think there’s something really sexy about feeling comfortable in your own skin.” ~Lucas Silveira

Time for us all to take a wee break from the never-ending pet food catastrophe, wouldn’t you say? Mind you, I’ll still be doing my best to keep folks updated while I’m back to full-time student teaching (one week down, seven to go…LOVE being back with the kids! ;)), but I figured an upbeat, fun post was in order, don’t you? And to help me with that, I’ve enlisted some help from my dear buddy Jackson, who is not only the man responsible for turning me onto the band we’d like to introduce you to, but also quite a musician himself. I knew he’d do a much better job using his musical background and writing prowess to get you hooked on the band than I would, so here’s what he has to say:

There’s a certain band that’s up until now kept rather quiet and under the radar of the mainstream music industry. With the release of the astonishing album, “Snakehouse,” hitting stores on April 24, the little-known foursome are captivating new fans of all types. And why should they not? This band has it all.

The pace is kept at a steady rate for the majority of “Snakehouse,” allowing a multitude of infectious melodies to seep into your mind and will remain there on some level until your next listen. The music is kept simple and is very much the definition of rock ‘n’ roll, timeless pieces nearing the style of Joan Jett but driven more so by the enthralling and powerful voice of Lucas Silveira. Fan favorites such as “Oh Yeah” and “Complicated” are just a fraction of the excellence to be heard. You might find yourself thinking you know how the specific tune over the speakers might develop, only to be amazed by a melody that’s not only completely different but instantly pleasing to the senses and intoxicating in its severity. Never once does Lucas shy from the microphone and never once does the album seem slow, despite the gentle ninth track, “Nobody Else Will,” which breathes an intense beauty in our ears before charming and impressing us one last time with the closer, “Back in Style.”

The band is The Cliks. Give them a try.

Thanks, Jackson! And I totally agree with giving them a try. After some arm-twisting from him, I hit their MySpace Page, liked what I heard, then headed over to iTunes and bought “Snakehouse” for $9.90. Have to say I have been listening to it for most of the day and still can’t get enough! “Oh Yeah” and “Nobody Else Will” are instant favorites of mine, but honestly there isn’t one song on the CD that didn’t grab me. The energy and intensity put out by the band, the incredible strength of Lucas’ vocals, and the honesty and raw emotion of the lyrics just has me entranced. I LOVE it when I run across music that affects me in that way.

Here is The Cliks web site, some short clips on YouTube, their management page, and a really good read about the winding path that has brought Lucas Silveira to where he is at now. Also got the okay from Kelly Davidson (Etched on Film) to link to her blog page, where you’ll find a link to a gallery of some incredible pictures she took of The Cliks on April 26, 2007. The only video out so far is “Oh Yeah”, which I’m including below. I dare you to not play it over and over again! Enjoy the music, everyone. And mark my words (okay, they were Jackson’s words first), this band will be HUGE in no time at all.

The Cliks-“Oh Yeah”

Happy Earth Day, everyone! I suppose this is a post I should have made prior to Earth Day so that you could use the resources to plan your own Earth Day events, but better late than never, right? I’ve compiled a list of web sites that offer great ideas on how you can help make EVERYDAY Earth Day, and also where you might find an event in your area. I also want to share a great article I read about “living” roofs, and thankfully Sunset magazine has the story available online. It’s a very interesting read and even if you don’t have your own home whose roof you could turn into a “living” roof, I would highly recommend taking a look at the article to read how local governments and community members are taking the initiative to create environmentally friendly, money-saving green roofs in their cities.

  • EarthDay.gov: US Government web site for Earth Day, which has a link to some fun activities for kids.
  • Earthday Network: EDN seeks to grow and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable planet. We pursue these goals through education, politics, cultural events, and consumer activism.*
  • Eaves of Grass: Fascinating article from Sunset.com on “living” roofs…check it out! 🙂
  • Envirolink: The Envirolink Network has served as the online clearinghouse for environmental information since 1991. this website compiles a comprehensive list of Earth Day events occurring in 2007, regardless of size, geographic location or organizational affiliation.*
  • Greenroofs.com: Our Mission is to facilitate information, and as “The Greenroof Industry Resource Portal,” Greenroofs.com serves an important role as the information database and clearinghouse for the green roof movement worldwide. Founded in 1999, the website has evolved to better reflect the needs and desire of our ever growing readership while continuing to provide an interactive platform of greenroof learning. We launched our news magazine-typed format in May, 2003, and website-wide access is always free!*

  • Whole Earth Weigh-In: This great idea via Whole Foods Market, actually started April 1st but you can access their program guide online and use it anytime. Here’s the introduction, “Shed some pounds and take a bite out of global warming! Our “diet” plan is not for your waist, it’s designed to help you reduce your carbon dioxide load. April is Earth Month, a perfect time to start making choices for a healthy planet. Our simple steps will show you just how easy it is to lose C02 weight, reducing your carbon footprint.”

*Italicized sections were taken directly from the corresponding web site.

Hope you found some interesting information in the links above. To wrap things up here online (before you head off to do YOUR part for Earth Day 2007), I’ve got a video clip for you from this week’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Keep in mind, it IS shown on HBO, which means language and content might be a bit much for some. (Not me. ;)) The commentary on the environment is near the end of his New Rules, and can be found in print on The Huffington Post blog. Enjoy, and again, HAPPY EARTH DAY! 🙂

Sniffin’ out the info

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