Tag Archives: silicon valley

David Mejia’s Before and After Thanksgiving

Finally, finally made it to the fourth floor of my beloved King Library, after a bitter monthlong absence, to be shit last in seeing San José old hand David Mejia’s exhibition Before and After Thanksgiving. It’s a painting (watercolor, right?) exercise and a modest history lesson. Mejia has been pushing his stuff for years. One of my favorites is the profane and puerile Ballman. It’s excellent that he’s getting some love at the library. Go see the paintings before November 30! I’ll let the paintings speak for themselves:

 

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Low-res, off-center photos posted for collegiality and appreciation only. I really dig the playful but purposeful use of color and the comic book-style planning in general. It gives an emotional directness needed by the subject, just as an improvised shamanic performance would in a more advanced culture than our own.

I also like how he mentioned using fish as fertilizer in poor soils, because it reminded me of the many years of my life I spent wondering why the fuck, as it said in some school textbook of mine, they “planted fish.”

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Roadbeers: Coronita

Found this guaife-proof Coronita, seven lousy ounces, once again tossed in the recycling in a pack of empties. Froze solid on top in the freezer. Approaching the mid-20s of how many road beers I’ve found since I started looking!

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Acts I Loved at SJ Summer Jazz Fest 2017

Don’t know why it took me a week to publish this. The Jazz Fest this year will remain in my memory as starting with a raging, vacant-lot-squatting Friday, and as plagued by music-killing hour-late starts, but there were still several acts that I really liked. Here are the ones of whose sets I saw at least the majority proportion. See videos of all of them at SJ Jazz.

On Friday the standouts were Howard Wiley/Extra Nappy at the tiny boombox stage, and The Seshen at Stritch, where the drinks are overpriced and the ambience is perfect. What did we do downtown after Cactus Club and before Stritch?? It was great to have the Seshen to turn to when George Clinton’s band turned out not to be present. I don’t know what I expected, other than that they’d put some fire under it.

This below is the College Fund Street Band, as the sign says. From very little sister to dad, on bass, were singing pop songs. They had two gigs that I know of, this one Saturday in front of the Chinatown monument and one Sunday on the corner of San Fernando outside the art museum.

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They weren’t at all as thrilling, nevertheless, as the stumbling drunk guy sitting on the history table fifty paces away. His buddy says that it’s like babysitting today, they’re both drinking Mike’s God Damn White San José Men’s Obsession Lemonade, and he’s got a guitar on his belly. So I sez do a song about Mike’s Lemonade. He asks me for seventeen cents, or a dollar fifty nine or any amount within that, and I find a dollar for his drunk ass.

He stands up on the history table, almost falls on his face, slams down on his ass to play the guitar, still can’t hold steady, and then gets down on the paseo. He gives his buddy the guitar like, PLAY, and DON’T BREAK A STRING, then stops him tells him to play softer, and his buddy is mad and hisses never make me stop. Later I thought that’s not what she said. Finally with his friend holding the guitar he does the Homer Simpson pose, knees bent, ass out, huge belly forward, head back and belting the words MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE, and he picks up the pop tune that the College Fund Band are playing. I sez thanks and walk away and he calls after me (reading my shirt) EYY!! GET BACK HERE GIZDICH!!!

Saturday felt like kind of a wash because the damned shows kept going on late. But Ray Obiedo was awesome. He had fusiony unison heads on clean texmex guitar, soprano sax and steel pans. Hip! Also at the hotel was Kalil Wilson, whose standard croons put lots of young children to sleep. And of course half the fest is just the Salsa Stage, where I saw, amongst others, Conjunto Karabali and Carlitos Medrano y Sabor de mi Cuba. Never miss Cubans playing in your town! I wanted to see a lot more people, such as Millennium Sounds, but again the gad damn late starts killed it. Standout of Saturday Night was vocalist Kavita Shah and her bassist Francois, who were so good that we missed Chris Botti entirely. Darn!

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Above: Junior Dixieland Czech Republic, directed by Bedřich Smrčka. These kids got dragged all the way out in their school uniforms from the Czech Republic and made to play their stuff for us, and were incredulous when I told them how great it was and how much I loved the whole notion. I sed, it’s a shame when the Czech Republic across the world cares more about our awesome historical music than we do. The singer/washboard is probably 11 and the low banjo is probably 16, 17.20170812_221551

Above: Crowds were very warm for Jackie Gage, just happy to see a San José native making it and singing songs. Her bassist was very good. She did a shuffle version of Afro Blue, which was alright. Maceo Parker’s band was also pretty straight-ahead, but not as mechanical as George Clinton’s. Below is Sunday night’s Allan Harris, photographed as above at Jade Leaf, which remains way too small for the kinds of crowds at the Fest as long as they insist on seating, but sounds great. Harris’ high string licks were spot-on.20170813_171301

Lastly, can’t forget the “jazz noir” put on by Dmitri Matheny, who was so stoked to be there with his “bay area Wrecking Crew” of Ron Belcher, Leon Joyce and Matt Clark, that it was infectious.

I didn’t really see any acts that redefined my sense of music, such as Sonex ’15 and Miguel Zenón ’16, but it was still fun. I hope the organizers read this and crack down on the late starts. For those of you reading this out of town, the Fest is setup so you hear 2 different bands constantly, so late starts or false starts, like the band that never started at San Pedro on Friday, are a major buzzkill. Still it’s a hundred bucks for three days of music. That’s an investment, kids!

All photos by the author on a piece of shit Samsung shart phone.

Update: Guadalupe River 22.1.2017

Here’s some photos of the Guadalupe at Virginia St on Saturday morning, not only big and beautiful again after last night’s rain but also moving fast, as I got it at about 8 in the morning this time. It’s kind of best that it’s being unceremoniously pumped out to sea, as no one in San Jose, especially not Willow Glen, deserves this life-giving water. You’re just gonna water your organic lawns with it.

I know it’s hard not to be an innovator every second of your existence, but try not to focus on the real estate at the margins of the photos, like your liberal president would. In other news, 17 North is blocked again. Time to consider that this road was a bad idea and do something different… remember the train tunnel?? It’s gotta still be there, right?

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Women’s March San Jose 21.1.2017

Went to the Women’s March this morning, a response nationwide to Trump’s inauguration, and hoped to see a bunch of little 12 year old girls rule motherfuckers on their special day. But of course that kind of confidence and ownership takes time. This is your world, girls, do your thing! There were lots of teachers, lots of retired liberals, lots of babies and lots of pussy hats. Some generally bored-looking men, some obligated-looking men, some young girls scoping the whole thing out doubtlessly trying to figure out where they fit in.

Here’s the crowd at Shitty Hall, fourth and Santa Clara:

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The whole thing remained pretty Hwite, I’m sorry to report, unless there was a section of people of color on the other side of the street that I never saw. The crowd was of such size and I was with a group of people of such size that once the thing got moving you were often stuck where you were.

Hwite liberals:

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As far as I saw there was only one elderly man in a contrary position, up on the balcony of the Rotary building’s parking garage with a sign that said we were bullying Trump by marching. Can one bully, can one be bigoted against, those who have all the power?

Apropos bullying, my favorite sign is the one about the mango:

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All in all the day was a success, because any day when car traffic is barred from downtown is a good day. The convocation at Plaza César Chávez devolved into a bit of a pissing match for local politicians en lieu of a better-organized guide to groups represented in the march to inform the interested. There was even a shameless appearance by Sam Liccardo himself, él de la mayor desvergüenza, hijo de puta y mamón de su propia verga, so I left before it ended. A good time was had by all and we practiced being squished together on the streets!

Guadalupe River during Pineapple Express 1.17

Here are some photos of the Guadalupe River taken from the Virginia bridge in downtown San José on 11 and 12 January 2017. The river has risen during the “pineapple express” that has made major problems for Santa Cruz, Hollister and Gwairnville, to name a few. These are photos of the spillway, in fact, full to the ramp from the expansion of the river from the levee at west where it remains confined during most of the year. One begins to wonder why Coyote, which flows admirably for a creek, is a creek, when Guadalupe is a river, and flows no better than a creek.

Here is the spillway facing south on Wednesday, Harliss St at east:

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In all photos if you look close you can see the highwater mark in the grass from the early morning when it was still raining. At 3pm when the photos were taken each day, the water has slowed its roll. I wish I could’ve photographed the river form above by the lurid streetlight at 6AM when I drove up onto the 680 ramp and could see the river really moving in the rain, at its peak volume.

Here’s Wednesday facing north:

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Here’s Thursday to the south at about the same time and the same angle as Wednesday:

20170112_152506Only wish I’d picked up even more trash than I had all autumn thanks to you asshole landlords and gentrifiers making sure that our own neighbors can’t afford housing. One fun thing is that a lot of people were out just looking at the river same as me. A chance to get to know your neighbors, pendejos!

One not fun thing is the continued streak of uncritical incompetence on the part of the Murky News, who without a second thought parroted the grossly irresponsible suggestion by NOAA themselves that the drought in California is “over.” HELLO. You reading this just bought a bag of almonds grown with thousand year-old water drilled out of a mile-deep well in Tulare to make a salad that’ll impress your yuppie mother in law. That doesn’t refill with four inches of rain. Incidentally, KCSM played “I’ve Known Rivers” this morning…

This incompetent call shows the idiocy of our water supply measurements in California, which favor surface levels in reservoirs (luxury items) rather than considering the TRUE hydrological realities of local aquifers. In any case, California has no “drought;” we are a dry state and we use our water stupidly including paving the whole state so the rain can’t soak in and gets piped into the ocean. Break some pavement up today!