Video the Vote 2010

voting is sexyFor the fifth year in a row I’m volunteering with Video the Vote, a nationwide team of individuals prepared to capture statements and video to document and defend any persons or groups who may be actively intimidated or disenfranchised at the polls. The purpose of collecting and posting these videos immediately has proven effective in the pastmany polling places have been kept open later following complaints of long lines and other more serious complaints that have made it on to CNN.com and the local news.

Needless to say, all is quiet on the home front here in Elysian Heights, although I am standing by with my multiple devices should I get a call. So just for kicks, I video-ed my vote below. Did you vote today?


Honoring Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew on its 40th Anniversary

miles davis bitches brew 40th anniversary
Don Cheadle, Jeremy Sole, Henry Rollins, Maggie Lepique, Bennie Maupin, Vince Wilburn, Jr., and Erin Davis discuss Bitches Brew on its 40th anniversary at the GRAMMY Museum. Photo: Earl Gibson.

When Bitches Brew came out in 1970, the critics were split and many fans were turned off to hear Miles Davis turn toward a definitively more electric sound. But it became Davis’ first gold record — probably because so many people just had to hear it for themselves.

Bitches not only marked a major turning point in Miles Davis’ sound but also laid the foundation for the jazz-rock “fusion” sound to come while featuring grooves and sequences that would inspire the hip-hop generation. It’s 40th anniversary is an ideal time to honor the record and Sony and the Davis family have done just that, capped by last week’s panel at the GRAMMY Museum and Sony Legacy’s release of a deluxe edition featuring a bonus DVD of the group performing in Copenhagen a couple months after the recording sessions (see a clip from it below).

The 40th Anniversary of Bitches Brew has been celebrated in many ways including last month’s remix performance featuring J-Rocc at Sunset Junction and Dogfish Head Brewery even released its own special edition Bitches Brew.

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Crooked Fingers Afternoon Set at Old Style Guitar Shop, LA, 9/7/2010

What a treat it was to catch Eric Bachmann and Liz Durrett of Crooked Fingers just a half-block from the coffeeshop where I was drinking and WiFi-ing yesterday! I never knew of this shop — which is a tiny walk-in with old wood floors — basically a studio for Reuben Cox, who makes the super-old style guitars by hand. Got some great photos and took a couple videos with the Blackberry Torch (9800). AT&T gave me the latest and greatest Blackberry to mess around with so you’ll see me posting more and more content from and with it. This also resolves my which-Android-phone-should-I-get dilemma for the time being 😉

Crooked Fingers at Old Style Guitar Shop 9/7/2010
Reuben Cox, Liz Durrett, Eric Bachmann (photos taken with Canon PowerShot S90)

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Public [Dis]service Message: Regular People Use the Library for Internet Access EVERY DAY!

la public libraries are closed on sundays andn mondays. this is beverly hills public library on a monday
Beverly Hills Public Library is open seven days a week. Some spaces are exclusively for public internet use. No books on these shelves. | Photo by Andy Sternberg/LAist

LA Public Libraries are closed on Sundays and Mondays due to unruly budget cuts. This includes the historic Central Library – a downtown landmark and one of the largest libraries in the country – in addition to all 70 LAPL branches. Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Burbank patrons can access their library’s resources 7 days a week.

How do we fix this? LA City Council President Eric Garcetti told me last month (in a Twitter reply) that the library cuts signify about $10 million in savings for the city “…and I am working to see if this 15% cut can be mitigated as soon as economy/receipts pick up.”

This is an issue that should irritate everyone who feels part of the community as it affects education, jobs, and the digital divide, not to mention the amount of waste contributed to people who are forced to buy new books because the library is closed on their day off.

As long as our elected officials are corrupting our tax dollars for personal and professional gain, we should not allow them to take away our communities’ most precious resources (a far more valuable allocation of taxes, dontcha think?). This shouldn’t require a costly amendment that, if passed, would add a $39 parcel tax to our plate.

Continue reading “Public [Dis]service Message: Regular People Use the Library for Internet Access EVERY DAY!”