Mighty K.C.

In September of 1995, Gainseville, Florida's For Squirrels were returning to Florida following a performance at CBGBs at New York's CMJ Music Festival. The van they were in blew a tire and the van spun out of control. The lead singer, bassist and manager lost their lives in the wreck. The remaining two members suffered extensive injuries, but survived. One month later, Sony released the band's first and only record, "Example". It was a smash hit on college radio, primarily due to the haunting "Mighty K.C.", a beautiful and tragic pop masterstroke, which also served as a tribute to the late Kurt Cobain. In the mid-90s, this record rarely left the tapedeck of my Mazda 626. "Mighty K.C." along with "Orangeworker", were, and still are, two of my favorite pop songs ever recorded.

The career and art of For Squirrels was cut short just before they were set to leave their mark on the pop-rock world. Although a few of the tracks ultimately garnered a bit of attention from the music masses, this shortlived act has largely been forgotten. That is, until you get around to putting the record on. When you do, as I'm experiencing as I type this message, it's clear that For Squirrels are hard to forget.

And It's Hard To Believe.....



Bottom of the Hill, SF

I may take the week off and travel with them up-and-down the West Coast.

Aside from Springsteen, this is the most inspiring band out there right now.

Racing In The Street

1980 would probably be the year that I fell in love for the first time. Mind you, I was only seven years old. And it wasn't falling in love with a girl. (That happened for the first time ten years later.)

My folks divorced before I hit the age of five. It was a fairly amicable split (mostly because my mother was and is so classic). Following their divorce, I was raised by my mother. She supported my brother and I by working as a crossing guard in our suburban town in Northern New Jersey. She put every penny earned towards feeding us, clothing us and paying rent in our two-family house. My father's career was taking off at the time, and he only lived one town over. Nevertheless, we still lived a pretty meager life, but I look back on those days as a strong source for what I believe shaped my character.

Ok, back to falling in love. Every other weekend (or so), my brother and I would head to my father's house for the weekend. Given his penchant for the bottle (err, the beer can), and other things that probably shouldn't be mentioned, those weekends were far from memorable. However, there was one thing that those weekends brought to me, and that was music. Whenever my father would have one of his weekend benders with his friends, I'd lie in my bed late into the night, grasping for sleep while listening to the rock n' roll that vibrated throughout the house. The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan and others were often in the mix. But it was a New Jersey up-and-coming phenomenon named Bruce Springsteen that captured my pre-teen soul. Of all the great Springsteen records already released through 1980, it was "Darkness on the Edge of Town" that FLOORED me. I can't say I understood the political and social lyrics that made up this record, but the fury, passion and longing bled into me.

Now over 25 years later, this record has not lost an ounce of luster. It's all still there. It's all still just as relevant. Fawn Hill Court, Ramsey, NJ was where I first fell in love, and that love was for the ten songs that make up Springsteen's fourth record.

A True American Hero


Coming (Not As) Soon (As Expected)

Those Top 100 Albums of All-Time. I've decided to take more time and actually include a little review of why each record made the list. And keep in mind, this list will not be the records that I think are the greatest of all-time, but rather MY Top 100 (which, if I were more of a narcissist, would mean the greatest ever).

This is going to be one hell of a list.

Show of the Year?


This could be it:

The Independent, SF, CA
June 28
Apollo Sunshine
Cold War Kids

Coming Soon

My Top 100 Albums of All-Time. It's been about ten years since I've put together such a list and it's time to see where things stand. Many of the records that stood atop my list in 1996 will probably still be there, but there's been a lot the past decade that should position pretty well.

On the weekend front, just a great few days in SF. Finally met my buddy Joel's wife and adorable daughter, shot some hoops in the park, saw an outstanding new band called Cold War Kids, sat on the fringe of the Pacific Ocean in Ocean Beach, caught up with some siblings, family and a long-lost friend in London.

Technology, The Rush, Not a Moment

Last weekend I went to my local park to sit on some grass, read a book and waste away a few hours on a Sunday. I've actually started doing things like this quite a bit on the weekends. Whether it be sitting on a bench in the Marina, driving up to the mountains and having lunch or just driving, I've felt the pull to spend maybe half a day each week just doing, well, nothing. I never bring my phone on these mini-trips and usually the only thing on hand is my ipod. It's been unbelievably cathartic.

While laying in my local park last weekend, a young couple walked up and sat a few feet from me. They rolled out a blanket, dropped some snacks on the blanket and before sitting, both fired up their cell phones (the man was actually alternating between two phones). I tried to relax for about 15 mins. but I couldn't help but listen in on their conversations. I moved. While I finally managed to find a little peace, I looked over a few times and sure enough, both of them were on their phones. What was the point of this trip?

I hate to sound like some existentially-driven freak, but I've noticed this type of behavior no matter where I am. This isn't a big city thing; this is an everywhere thing. People are always either on their cell phones, in a rush to get to their next destination, or planning their next move via text or e-mail. I'm not one to argue against technology, shit I work in technology, but there's a simplicity that's all but void in most of society. Does something need to be accomplished every single second of every damn day? If I had to pinpoint the most memorable moments of my life, nine out of ten would be unplanned events: something I witnessed, something I felt, something I was moved by. We need more of this. It's all right there for the taking.

Latest Playlist

I've been on a bit of a media craze lately. Having been bitten by a bit(ten) of the flu, I've had a lot of time to listen to records, read books and watch movies. Here's what's captured me attention:

Neutral Milk Hotel "On Avery Island" (John's pumped)
Emmylou Harris "Wrecking Ball" (Belgium)
K. McCarty "Dead Dog's Eyeball" (Brings me back to 1995)
Damnations TX "Half Mad Moon" (SXSW)
Cracker "Kerosene Hat" (Boston)
Tim Easton "Ammunition" (New one)
Yo La Tengo "Fakebook" (1995)
Bruce Springsteen "The Seeger Sessions" (Shocking)
Cat Power "The Greatest" (Favorite Record of 2006)
Paul Westerberg "Stereo" (It's about time)
Luna "Lunapark" (Oh yeah)
Sam Cooke "Portrait of a Legend" (Most accurate album title ever)

Raymond Carver "Cathedrals" (Brings me somewhere)
Harp Magazine (Great new issue)

"Murderball" (moving)
"We Don't Live Here Anymore" (Watched over and over)

Now Playing: Tim Easton "Jesus Protect Me From Your Followers"

A Real San Francisco Weekend

I'd have to say that this past weekend was the most satisfying weekends I've had in this fine city. One of my closest friends from NYC arrived on Thursday night. We made pretty much no plans and figured we'd just do whatever comes to mind.

Friday: Outstanding mexican food in Noe Valley followed by a trip to see an MIA-imitation hailing from Japan named Tigarah. She was ok, but left a lot to be desired. Another friend met up and she was in quite the jovial mood, somewhat surprising given that by the time she landed at the bar we were about 48 drinks in. We all ended up going back to my apartment, drank a bottle of wine (ok, I drank a bottle of wine) and listened to T. Rex, The Replacements, Centro-matic and other great shit until about 4am.

Saturday: Late start. A great breakfast. A trip down to the Embarcadero to catch "An Inconvenient Truth". Although Al Gore remains one of the my present-day heroes and his environmental ambitions are extremely inspirational to moi, the movie left a bit to be desired. A good movie, no question, but it could've been more powerful. Then some great Chinese food. Then Vesuvio for a few beers. Then sleep.

Sunday: Another great breakfast. Trip to the airport to drop off NYC. Then I sat in the park in the blazing sun and read a book. I ended up down at the Ferry Building and had one of those moments. The moments that are fleeting. One of those moments when something grabs you. I think it was the wind, the sky, the spirit and just a moment of perfection. It was while I was walking back to my car. Everything washed away. It was the first time in years that I'd experienced this feeling. The last time was on a beach in Ponte Vedra, Florida a few years back. I stopped. I took a breath. I looked up to the sky. I walked slowly and that feeling drifted off. It was there and it was gone.