Denton, Dallas, and new beginnings

If anyone still subscribes to this site’s RSS feed, it’s a testament to either your fandom or laziness: with the complete lack of new content for, oh, ever, I really deserve no readers at this point.

That said, my relocation to Denton has me in the blogging mood. weshotjr.com is quite good, but more focused on the Dallas scene, and Denton deserves dedicated bloggers. Hell, they probably already have them: I’m so green, I have no idea.

For the San Diegans that read this, I encourage you to stick it out for a couple weeks, and see if you don’t find that there’s still something for you here. For those in the metroplex that stumble across it, I encourage to you to take a look at some older posts and see what a garrulous prick I can be once I’m acclimated to the environment.

This news is a little old, but Be Your Own Pet broke up. I reviewed their record for Citybeat and, on second thought, I was far too generous. This band was not very good. They were not very lucky. And they are now not very…are.

Interview: Jared Palomar of Augustana

Hard work and (not so) divine intervention propel Augustana to mainstream acclaimThe morning before my scheduled interview with North County folk pop chartbusters Augustana, I get a polite but rather urgent call from the band’s ebullient publicist. The band needs to push the interview up, she tells me, as they’ve been offered a last minute spot on the Today Show. I gladly accommodate—having your interview rescheduled because the band’s singer is heaving Schlitz Ice into a bar toilet is one thing, but getting bumped up so they can pal around with Al Roker on national television is another. When I finally get bassist/vocalist Jared Palomar on the phone, the band are just hours from a flight that will take them to New York City to perform their hit single “Boston” for the show’s estimated 6.2 million viewers.

“We’ve met Matt Lauer before, when we did Letterman, and he was a really nice guy. Al Roker seems like a character, I’m not sure what to think about him,” he chuckles. Palomar then mistakes their cohost Anne Curry for vicious right-wing pundit Anne Coulter: “Anne Coulter’s kind of crazy, too. I used to read a lot of her columns, but now I don’t know.”

If Palomar is a little confused, it may have something to do with the band’s dizzying schedule. In addition to the Today Show, they’re in the midst of a national tour with the Goo Goo Dolls (to be interrupted again by a flight to Burbank to appear on Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show) before their own headlining stint through the South and Southwest. Speaking from Detroit, Palomar, vocalist/pianist/guitarist Dan Layus, drummer Justin South, lead guitarist Chris Sachtleben, and keyboardist John Vincent have been recording demos in a friend’s studio.

Palomar’s voice is friendly and familiar, though his tone bespeaks some fatigue, as if he hasn’t quite had a chance to catch his breath in months. Their first full length, All the Stars and Boulevards, has just been certified gold, and over the next few months, the band will be taking their Counting Crowes-meets-Coldplay brand of alternative folk rock on its second headlining tour. Their sound is full of swelling choruses and the kind of personal yet open-ended lyrics that listeners from teens to the stay-at-home moms have found appealing.

Success, however, wasn’t preordained. Augustana’s rise from beginnings at a conservative Christian college to being the type of band that rubs elbows with major network television stars is a story that takes place over two time zones, two years of performing in relative obscurity, and the not-so-divine providence of one Garden State filmmaker. It’s also a story of one of the longest incubating hit singles in history.

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Hillary at SDSU: maybe we can get some resolution on that mini-dorm issue, afterall.

Hillary Clinton will be hosting a “town hall event” this Friday at SDSU. Details via this link.

What is a town hall event? Cox Arena isn’t a town hall. Maybe that means the scripted questions don’t show up until the day of the event?

Clinton’s campaign isn’t the only one guilty of staging events that have all the spontaneity of Kim Jong Il’s birthday celebrations. I ostensibly love politics, but most of this stuff makes me want to vomit.

That said, anyone have Obama tickets?

Converge, Red Chord, Ghengis Tron, Baroness SKIPPING San Diego

Thanks, bros. What promised to be a hell of an evening of hardcore and metal and all out weirdness is skipping San Diego, opting instead to follow up a show at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles with another is East LA county. I understand showing love to the San Bernardino county kids, but c’mon: San Diego loves this kind of stuff. Or did. I do have a recollection of seeing Cave In at the Casbah recently and them being good for only about sixty tickets–with the Doomriders in tow. God, where were all the dirtbags that night?

I’m especially bummed because the tour opener, Baroness, would have been the highlight of the evening for me. For a few words on why Baroness is awesome and As I Lay Dying is less so, lemme refer you back to an older post.

Superdome and Qualcomm Stadium: a ridiculous comparison

Limbaugh has apparently been talking about this, and, predictably, Matt Drudge is wallowing in it, too: the comparison between the “savage” behavior that prevailed at the Superdome during Katrina and the “civilized” behavior that we’ve seen at Qualcomm here in San Diego during the fires.

First off, you don’t have to be very good at unraveling conservative code to see that the comparison they’re drawing is between black people, the primary affected population at the Superdome, and white people, the majority (though even this point is up for debate) at Qualcomm.  The argument seems to be that white people are more civilized and handle emergencies better than blacks.

This is a ridiculous comparison for at least three reasons:

1. The wild fires are a disaster, no question, but to equate the overall magnitude of their effect to Katrina is ridiculous. If the wildfires had destroyed all of downtown, midtown, and hit the populated areas along the coast, then we might have a direct basis for comparison. Perhaps 1500 homes have been lost in the fires; 275,000 homes were destroyed by Katrina (source: Congressional testimony, US Homebuilder’s Association).

2. Qualcomm has been completely out of harm’s way, and thus accessible to caregivers, THE ENTIRE TIME. I can drive right down, right now, and hand out deodorant if I want to. Yes, we are doing our best to live up to the most positive of California stereotypes: the evacuee centers have yoga an tai chi classes, as well as clowns and balloon animal makers for the kids, and all sorts of different kinds of food. That’s because, for all the fire-related insanity going on, things here are completely different–sure, lots of people are displaced, but many of us aren’t affected in the slightest. Restaurants are still open, grocery stores–hell, I could go see a movie. Yoga instructors can wrap up their last class and head down to the evacuation center to help out, and be back home, safe, for dinner an hour later.

In contrast, the Superdome was completely cut off from all supply lines and from anyone wanting to help for days on end, due to the massive inundation of roadways in the area.

3. Many of the evacuees in San Diego are from the most wealthy parts of town; you don’t have to be a genius to recognize this fact when looking at aerial shots of the fires, which show many homes that line golf courses and have multiple structures on the property. In contrast, the people trapped at the Superdome were those that lacked the means to leave New Orleans even under an (and late) evacuation order. These were people of very limited means. To the extent that there’s a kernel of truth to the comparison, it’s not race–it’s economic class.

Eye is the sky: Southern California Wildfires

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has satellites trained on Southern California. Those aren’t clouds–those are plumes of smoke. The javascript movie can be seen here.

Ron Roberts press conference…

100,000 acres burned, 250,000 people evacuated, as of 10 AM.

Uploaded by Corey.