Page 1

J Summer Festival Review KAnarchy at the RNC K Larry RobertsK The SwordL

Oct ‘08 No. 7






Volume 01/Number 07

On Stands:

on the cover: The Indian

(Coachella Reveler) 3 Color Serigraph on Paper 18” X 24”

Photo By: David Dodde



The Future of Freedom


Festival Review


Festival Review


Festival Review



8 11 14

Oct 1st - Nov 1st

Festival Review


Festival Review

Warped Tour


The Way of the Toothpaste Tube

Benjamin Hunter Editor-in-Chief

David Dodde

Creative Director

Shaun Saylor

Pitchfork Music Festival



Larry Roberts


Assistant Music Editor: Juliet Bennett-Rylah Contributors: Andrea Bailey • William Case • Alexander Fruchter Justin Golinski • John Gourley • Benjamin Klebba • Eric Mitts


Festival Review

Rock the Bells


Emilee Petersmark • Mike Saunders • Andrew Watson

Essays: Corey Anton • Wes Eaton • Nikos Monoyios • Valerie V. Peterson Copy Editors: Wes Eaton • Jennifer Elmer • Scott Pierzchala Contributing Art Director: Andy Cruz Contributing Artists: Jevon Dismuke Photography: Dante Alighire • Dan Boujoulian • Michael Byars David Dodde • Damien Thompson



Bryan Richie of The Sword


Palin, Because We Don’t Need It





How to Understand Your Republican Friends

Website: Sarah Lockwood • Shawn Melton

Advertising Sales:


Festival Review


Anarchy at the RNC


Wide-Eyed LLC 1158 26th Street Suite #724 Santa Monica, CA 90403


General Offices: Wide-Eyed, 1158 26th Street Suite #724 Santa Monica, CA 90403. Wide-Eyed assumes no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic or other material. All rights in letters and unsolicited editorial and graphic material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and material will be subject to WideEyed’s unrestricted right to edit and to comment editorially. Wide-Eyed, date of production January 2008. Custodian of records is Shaun Saylor. All records required by law to be maintained by publisher are located at 11740 Wilshire Blvd. Building A2203 Los Angeles, CA 90025. Contents copyright ©2008 by Wide-Eyed Publishing LLC. All right reserved. WideEyed, the “Eyecon” and the Torn Edge masthead are marks of Wide-Eyed, registered U.S. Trademark office. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any electronic, mechanical, photocopying or recording means or otherwise without prior written permission of the publisher.

32 22 30

Festival Review

All Points West


Flavor Savior The Wisdom of Ali El Sayed


Music Review


Local Interest

Store Front




This month is a recap of all the great festivals of summer . We traveled far and Wide -Eyed to bring you some insight to the cultural happenings across the nation. Our cast of writers vary in their approach. Some provide a detailed recap and others provide a gonzo recreation of their personal experiences. At any rate this issue is sure to be a great coffee table piece for entertaining reading all month long. If you are hungry for photos of your favorite artists, visit our site and grab some! There are hundreds of beautiful shots from 7 festivals. On another note, we have been getting some strange messages on our MySpace page. For some reason, people keep asking us if we are the Illuminati. It’s a real stretch considering how busy the real Illuminati must be wearing capes and masks, or whatever they do. Didn’t Tom Cruise try to join them once? Oh wait that was a movie, we are safe, he’s just chillin’ with L . Ron. So, to set the record strait David and Juliet wanted to put in their two cents regarding this very important distorted representation of our identity. Enjoy! All the Best,

Editor in Chief People, There have been a lot of questions and comments about our little buddy the “Eyecon.” So as the creator of the mnemonic I’d like to set the record straight. When we landed on Wide-Eyed as the title of our magazine I wanted an icon which spoke to the name and the scope of the magazine’s interests. The all-seeing-eye fit the bill. After doing my usual research into the numerous versions of the historic and yes even the Masonic “all-seeing-eye,” one thing stood out very clearly; they all seem both masculine and critical. These were not dynamics that I wanted to communicate nor what my partners and I wanted the magazine to represent. So I opted to reinterpret a very recognizable piece of imagery in a way that fit who we are, and what we stand for. For obvious reasons internally it’s refereed to as the “Bambi eye.” Our version is not critical, it is curious. It is not wholly masculine, but motherly and nurturing. Wide-Eyed is not here to critically stand by and judge the efforts of others. We are here to watch and learn as some remarkable people challenge the world in their own way. We also pay attention to the things that are of common concern and offer a perspective. We recognize effort… when it has been done honestly. We don’t pass judgment on artists, we simply ignore the ones who don’t fit our model of craft first. We don’t judge the Britneys or the Nicklebacks of the world, we simply ignore them to focus our attention on those who have not opted for the blue pill. We are not the Illuminati nor are we the New World Order, collectively… we are all-seeing. David Dodde Creative Director

Dear Readers, Many of you have been frantically messaging Team Wide-Eyed via MySpace wondering if we are The Illuminati, given that our symbol is, you know, the eye. And while Creative Director David Dodde is probably going to throw something in this issue about what it really means, I am going to tell you the truth. We are, in fact, The Illuminati. Since spring of 1776, The Illuminati has been dedicated to secrecy, ritual, enlightenment, and total world takeover. We’ve had little time for fun, games, torrid flagrante delicto or substance abuse, as being the puppet-masters of government and establishment is a full-time affair. But let’s face it. If the world continues on like this, we don’t want it. You can have your energy-wasting, putting-words-in-Jesus- Christ’s-mouth-ers, non-dancing sheepish scum back. We’re done. After centuries of clandestine misbehavior, we want to enter your world. And so, for lack of something better to do, we started this ROCK AND ROLL magazine. Now, instead of donning robes and lighting candles, we’re pursuing the true American Dream. We ain’t your Grandpa’s New World Order, bitches. We’re putting the “naughty” back in Illuminati and we’re getting the fuck down. We’re gonna paint the town red scare. Fathers, lock up your liquor cabinets. Mothers, vaccinate your nubile daughters for HPV, because this time we’re here to party and we’ve got our big, sexy, bedroom eye on you. Love & Rockets, 
J. Bennett-Rylah Asst. Music Editor and Conquistadorable

I noticed that your magazine logo is the all-seeing-eye. What exactly are you trying to get across with using that, along with calling your magazine WideEyed. I’m going to assume you know all about the eye and I have to ask, why? Jules Odessa, Texas May I ask you why you have Illuminati signs all over your page?? What side are you on dude? Anonymous UK

I find it really hard to trust any organization that uses the pyramid and all-seeing eye as their symbols because these are predominantly Illuminati symbols and I find that “ Vote Obama” shit pretty amusing too since it’s on a poster of Bush, that makes no sense. You wanna talk about politics and change? Then what happened to Ron Paul? They just ignored him and refused to mention him and cut him out of the race because he would have changed everything and he wasn’t like those cowards McCain and Obama who are just more of the same bullshit and lies. Psychonautical Astroshaman LA , California


THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM By Corey Anton We talk quite a bit about freedom in the U.S., but I’m not sure how many people really understand what freedom is or even how freedom is related to time. Consider this: people often like to reflect back upon their lives and when they do, they often try to imagine that they could have done other than they did. People commonly think to themselves, “I admittedly did X and Y but I just as well could have done P or Q.” In these kinds of reflections people deeply fool themselves; they basically pretend that they were not there. No fooling: regarding all the things we already have done in our lives, both collectively and individually, none of them can we now not have done. We did them! And also, of all the things we did not do, none now could have been done. We didn’t do them! In a word: the past, as past, is irrevocable. Any other account tries to let us off the hook, tries to lend us what Mikhail Bakhtin calls “an alibi in being.” But we need to advance carefully here. The suggestion that the past now cannot have been otherwise does not make us victims. Rightly understood, we have a beginning sketch of a free will worth wanting. Look back over your life. If you do not want to hear that what has been done cannot be revoked, if you feel a kind of nausea over that thought, if that idea seems too heavy, weighty, and burdensome, you may want to consider it from another angle: take those very feelings, the heaviness and weight, and swing it all around in front of yourself. Set goals and act today, taking the very weight of the past as the wind in your sails. What we commonly talk of as “the future” might just as equally be thought of as that past which is still possible. Understood in this way, the very “set-in-stoneness” of the past can be harnessed and used as a resource. We can use the sense of permanence, the sense of irrevocability, by recognizing that we are, right now, moving toward a past which will-have-been. To illustrate this important point, consider that what we commonly call “the future” might be treated as a species of the past: it is that past we are currently sentencing ourselves to. The practical point is this: in our everyday encounters and mundane dealings, we are moving toward accomplishments that, once performed, are forever accomplished henceforth. As Josiah Royce once wrote, “the deed once done is never to be recalled; that what has been done is at once the world’s safest treasure, and its heaviest burden.” Perhaps some examples might help: Aristotle cannot have not written his Poetics, Rosa Parks cannot have not refused to give up her seat on the bus, Led Zeppelin cannot have not produced “Stairway to Heaven,” and the Bill of Rights cannot have not been created. As a less dramatic example: early each semester, I tell my students that they, when handing in their term papers, should submit a sixth or seventh draft. I tell them to give me their absolute best effort, an honest-to-goodness attempt to show not just me but themselves what their best work looks like. I also tell them that if I receive a paper that looks rushed, poorly thought out, is filled with typos and spelling errors and has other signs of procrastination, I will not think that the paper was put off and frantically done the night before. Instead, I will think and believe that was what they, in fact, were actually capable of. Seriously, who are people fooling with the thought, “I could have written something better?” There is, sorry to say, no world of “could have.” There is only what we do and that is all. At no point am I claiming that we control all the events that shape and impact our lives, but I would argue that not all of the past is already completed. By this, I do not merely mean that the past remains open to re-interpretation. Nor do I intend to suggest merely that the past changes its meaning according future developments and outcomes. These points are not to be denied. But still, the more important insight is that there is a past that has not yet solidified, a past that is currently in the process of becoming itself. In our day-to-day lives we can perform deeds in full wide-eyed realization that we have “no alibi in being.” To understand this is to understand that in the end, once any of our decisions or deeds are finally completed, we could not have done otherwise. As beings with free will, we can call back to ourselves from the future, meaning we can transform the future into the past. What exactly have you created today? If you didn’t create anything, don’t think for even a moment that you could have.


{Indio, California / April 25th - 27th} By William Case

Born from seeds of love and music, under the mind melting heat and shining blue skies of the California desert, the Wide-Eyed family tree was planted at the Coachella Music Festival 2008. From blissful beginning to beautiful end, the festival was a place for all kinds of unique people with unique tastes and ideals to realize their unitedonesameness. For the Wide-Eyed family, Coachella stands as a big bang into a new existence with infinite possibility. WE explored the Coachella grounds from corner to corner, eyes peeled wide. The following is a bit of what WE observed. First, Jack White of The Raconteurs was a sick, sick, son of a bitch. He should be put into a straight jacket and quarantined. Specifically, the fearlessness with which Jack White took on each solo was frightening. Like a man who had come to fully accept his ultimate demise, he left the planet on blues riffs that were just a matter of escaping earth’s gravity on the energetic notes of a wailing lead guitar. Having no desire to dwell on simple earthly concerns like pain and despair, expressing the blues was just a fact of life for The Raconteurs. Like life & death, the blues were real. “Can I have a cold soda pop, sado pop, santo pop, Santogold pop?” Santogold came on as a pop freedom fighter with an intense pulse. People hoping for some sort of R&B princess with easy listening, top-40 love ballads were swiftly kicked to the curb. Santo was a free spirit - free for herself and her music - the kind of act that reminded us that genuine expression is the art and genuine artists are expressive. Santo got the Gobi tent shaking itself loose. “Can we un-pitch this tent if we dance hard enough?” Next door in the Mojave tent Aesop Rock proved once again that tasty hip hop can be served at festivals usually catering indie rock. Chopping up the labels that define an artist or his style of expression, Aesop scribbled through the lines that sometimes divide and separate fans. Cooking up a unique musical expression in the form of funky beats and precise lyrics, Aesop baked a funky cake of hip hop goodness, and just about everybody with an appetite took a bite. After thoroughly enjoying the Aesop offerings, the Coachella fans were still hungry for more. “ Where’s the beef ?” Back at the Gobi tent, Datarock needed no reason to celebrate. Life was quite grand when the fun dudes in red jumpsuits hit the mic stands. Rolling punch lines and funky bass lines put the uptight smart guys in the corner shaking in their hipster cowboy boots. The rest of the crowd was just having a good time with Datarock. They were the free spirits that lead us past our self-conscious narcissism and our misplaced insecurities to a place where we could shake our funky tails freely. “ Why would WE need a reason to have fun?” A violent explosion followed at the Outdoor Theatre. It appeared that a demolition crew had taken stage destroying everything in the vicinity. But upon further investigation…it was actually Serj Tankian screaming and wailing into the sky with the band that he lovingly refers to as the ‘Flying Cunts of Chaos’, or FCC. With an uncensored flair for rant and rage unlike anyone, Serj took on the darkened desert night with raw, unadulterated aggression; inspiring followers to confront the social problems of our day with tenacity. The Serj set was an explosive, furious flash of poly-rhythmic metal and mayhem. Oppression could not last when Serj represented the fury of the oppressed. “ Where’s the dance party?” Fatboy Slim is regarded by some as an electronic pop genius. Appealing to everyone from power-walking grandmothers to soundtrack-seeking Hollywood producers, Fatboy Slim is the kind of artist that escapes boundaries with a simple backbeat. He took the Coachella crowd on a whirlwind tour deep into the record crates, spinning a melodic mix of music. Of course, DJs are known to dig through the crates for fun regardless of the credited composer, and Mr. Slim did a smashing fine job of sifting the sonic sands. In fact, it was the best that Fatboy Slim could do: Keep the party moving!! “Can we be done for today?” At the end of the night on Friday, Jack Johnson took the main stage for a set of his laidback wishwe-were-on-the-ocean jams. Most of the ladies in the crowd screamed for sex. ‘Jack! We love you! Take me!’ Like the dude was just going to step off the stage for a quickie. “The groupie line starts behind the main stage, right?” By the time the Jack Johnson set was in full swing, most people had fallen over stoned asleep in the grass, or started the hike back to tent city for drugs and sex. Day one of the Coachella Valley Music

Festival was a certifiable success. Surely, the rest of the weekend was destined for greatness. “Can we do this again tomorrow?” On Saturday afternoon MGMT was put on the spot with too much inspired sweet pop to drop. The fans were eagerly anticipating their set from the jump and MGMT stepped up to the challenge. Like a bashful Bowie meets swirling 80’s disco pop rock, MGMT broke through the mid-day lulls to shine bright. Primed for more and more and more, the day two Coachella crowd was positively alive, pushing for experience like it was breathing room. Young mothers and old lovers, new others and twisted outfits abound. “Geezus! What the fuck are you wearing today?” Grounded in the fundamentals of rock, Scars on Broadway put forth a heavily classic formula for the swelling Saturday crowd. Unable to hide the Scars, rock & roll survived another day on the backs of this rugged group of axe handlers. And though most of the Coachella crowd spent day two grooving to the variety of electro-glitter musical acts, Scars were not playing to make shiny new friends. They were out to press the crowd with something heavier. Musically, it was not really metal and not exactly grunge - more of an even-tempered hard rock foundation with bullet proof lyrics. Scars proved to carry more and more weight as the tent continued to fill throughout the set, drawing a crowd that stumbled over from adjacent beer tents. “ Want something poppy to bring you to your senselessness?” Meanwhile, Hot Chip was bouncing the crowd like a basketball in the Sahara tent. White lightning from a blue sky, Hot Chip shocked the fun-loving crowd with a bolt of pure pop explosion. It was a good thing that the tent didn’t have walls - there was no one standing still to hold them up. Unrelenting sweat was the only problem beyond figuring out how to most efficiently perpetuate a sustainable bounce. Right, left, right, left… “Do it, do it, do it, do it…” The crowd generated serious electrical heat, so fucking happy shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of sweaty geeks. A small piece of advice for those willing to brave future Hot Chip shows: Do it! “How did she do that?” Jenny Lewis led Rilo Kiley like the kind of super rock babe that makes entire hipster scenes swoon. ‘ WE love her freaking style!’ And when she shook her axe with one hand held high, the entire crowd took a big gulp. ‘Delicious!’ Underrated was a word that came to mind, but then the hipsters reacted and everything was fine. ‘Find your own rock damsel to distress you!’ Jenny Lewis is mine. “Can love at first sight be blinding?” Recognized as originators in the world of electronic music, Kraftwerk brought a startling combination of visual and aural treats to the Coachella crowd. Listening to the original Kraftwerk music that has been sampled by everyone’s mothers was a revelation for many. And for those in the audience that produce sounds for a living, Kraftwerk was reveled as a model of sonic quality. While electronic instrumentals took mentals into new dimensions, the eye-snaring visuals were doubly delineating. Standing completely motionless in the middle of the California desert, the crowd was afflicted with unbounded wandering minds… “Boing, brummmpf, boing, brummmpf, tck, tck, tck, tck… boing, brummmmpf, boing, brummmpf, tck, tck, tck, tck…” WE were completely spaced out of our gourds. “Did that just happen?”

(concluded on page 32)


Photo by David Dodde

Coachella 2008 / For more photos of the desert festivities, go to:


Detroit Electronic Music Festival {Detroit, Michigan / May 24th - 26th} By BRIAN ROBILLARD

The last time I went was in 1996 and I saw more candy necklaces, JNCO’s, goggles, and novelty t-shirts than I have ever subsequently saw. This time, I knew it would be more hipster based and I was sure I would see plaid shirts, majorly styled hair, tight jeans and the newest and brightest line of Nike’s. The music had to When I was asked to write a “Gonzo” be much more evolved from the early “unce unce unce unce unce” to the sample heavy and synth layered article on this year’s Detroit Electronic Music Fesbeats from the electronic music today. Right? WRONG!!! tival, or DEMF, I thought “They must want me to write about my trip back to my hometown of Detroit, I walked into the festival to see the same exact clothes I saw in 1996! HOLY SHIT! Literally nothing at the city I left 4 years ago…never to look back.” The reall had changed. It was like I walked into a time portal and it was 1996 all over again. “I do what the sponse was “No, write about drugs, music, alcohol and voices in my head tell me to do” and “Fuck you, you fucking fuck” where the cleverly placed novelty tpeople who wear pipe jeans in 2008.” shirts. How the hell do people still have JNCO’s? Are they still manufactured? Is there a demographic of people who still purchased the new lines? The music must have changed, right? No! There were When my plane arrived, I waited for my rental car and seven stages and literally, every single stage was playing the same exact song; “unce unce unce”. I went to the bar for a quick beer. I met two gentlemen I met up with some friends in the Red Bull VIP section for free drinks. We were pounding them who could have been my fathers. Plump bellies, thick back and I was hoping the “unce unce unce” was going to finally make sense to me the more moustaches, balding, 9 to 5 jobs and completely fucked up drunk I got. It didn’t. “unce unce unce;” I need to drink more. “unce unce unce;” the place was at 1pm. They explained about their houses being foreclosed spinning as I walked down a dark corridor to find a true underground rave. The glow sticks and how there is going to be a “nigger” president. Thanks for were flying all over the air like mostiqtoes with light bulbs glued to their wings. The music was the welcome back Dads. the same, but the “unces” were faster…”unceunceunceunce;” I was going to throw up. I ran back above ground to find my girlfriend and we went to see the Cool Kids. I drove downtown to meet up with my girlfriend who was there for work, as a sponsor of DEMF. I informed her that Finally, I was able to see good hip hop music. The Cool Kids were as amazing as I was hoping they my family and friends were going to come out for the night would be. Their live show was filled with Run DMC bass lines and lyrics that white kids could totally and that meant Jew (my girlfriend is Jewish), Black, Asian, understand. “My mom, my girlfriend, my gold, my pager.” All relatable stuff. During their set, my women and abortion jokes. And by jokes, I really mean heart was racing so fast that it made me light headed. I think it wasn’t the great music, it must have dead serious comments that you might think were jokes been the 11 or so Red Bull and vodka’s. I needed to take a breather and lay down next to the meth kids if they came from anyone else. Subsequently, my friends on top of the pyramid mezzanine to watch Girl Talk in relative peace. did call me “L . A . pussy boy” for being PC and living in Los Angeles now. I NEED to say this. Girl Talk is not a fucking artist. I’m sorry. Seriously, he is NOT an artist. He is a bad ass fucking DJ, but he is not an artist. I won’t bore you with a Girl Talk review, because it was the A few shots and beers into my night, the editor of same as any other Girl Talk show. “I love this song!,” “I can’t believe he mixed these songs,” “hahaha, Wide-Eyed, Mr. Benjamin himself, showed up remember that song,” etc etc. three sheets to the wind. We started a dance party at the locally famous bar, The Town Pump. Keep in Watching the show from the concrete pyramid monument next to the stage gave me a chance to really look mind the people there were not the DEMF type around to see what my city now was, or maybe was evolving into. The segregation, all foreclosures, money troucrowd. There were Red Wings fans, hipsters and bles, unwanted teen pregnancy, alcoholism, all of it… was normal. Detroit is just a city with people in it. It is no big sexy African mommas who were patiently longer a place where an emerging industry is exploding or even self sustaining. It is a city, with people. There waiting for some fun people to be the jump off really isn’t anything going on. All they have is sports, drugs, booze and techno, and I don’t know why I left. to their night. We were more than happy to accommodate. Our crowd stormed in with such fury, the place erupted with approval at the electric slides, robots, and running man dance moves accurately executed. I don’t remember how it started, but it wasn’t long before I was grinding on a 300 pound nubian princess so hard, that my right butt cheek literally got stuck between her thighs. The bartender hasn’t seen that kind of action since Kid Rock made a local appearance in 2002.

Techno Fest was the original name of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival back when I was in high school. It was the world’s largest free outdoor electronic music festival and claimed to be the “original techno music festival.” Basically, it was a legal rave.

Detroit Electronic Music Festival 2008 / For more photos of The Cool Kids and the coolest kids in Detroit, go to:

Photo by Dante Alighire

The next morning, awake with a belly filled of Lafayette Coney Island hot dogs, rum, tequila, pop (yes, pop), beer, and a penny, I was ready to discover the new sound of DEMF and not Techno Fest.


{Nation Wide / All Summer}

By EMILEE PETERSMARK Inarguably, the most accessible and youth-driven summer tour in the U.S. is Vans Warped Tour. Originally a showcase for skate punk, third wave ska and extreme sports, Warped Tour first entered the scene in 1994, taking its name from the short-lived Warp Magazine. Since then, the Vans Warped Tour has expanded across the United States as well as overseas, featuring as many as 100 bands per show ranging in small-town local bands to big name bands, like Against Me!, Motion City Soundtrack, and Rise Against. One of the most popular venues on the Warped Tour circuit is Comerica Park in Detroit, MI—the festival itself is held in the parking lot, with smaller stages and merchandise tents erected inside of the stadium, with open seating around the ball field to allow concert goers to rest in the shade. July 17, 2008, temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit, worsened by the blacktop of the parking lot and the close proximity of the several thousand people in attendance. These minor discomforts were easily overlooked upon soaking in the enthusiasm from both audience and musicians. Spirits were high, saturated in the scent of beer and cigarettes and heightened by the thrumming pulses filtering through each daunting tower of amps. Right from the get-go, the opening bands came out strong to set the day off right. The Bronx, one of the first bands to play for the day, came roaring out of the gates with an explosion of energy and furious fills by drummer, Jorma Vic. They were received by an equally animated audience as soon as they took the stage, spurring on the giant circle pits that formed in their crowd and pushing their listeners into a frenzy of sweaty, vigorouslymoving bodies. Lead singer Matt Caughthran spent more time in the crowd than on stage, rolling out a long microphone lead at one point to join in the mosh before returning to finish the song.

of the day had to come from Cobra Starship and their performance of “Bring It (Snakes on a Plane).” Not only does the song have its own hand signal to wave along to the music (roughly mimicking the shape of a cobra with fangs extended), a sign which the fans produced with vigor when frontman Gabe Saporta asked for it, but it also features special guests on both the original recording and live performances. William Beckett, a close friend of the band and lead singer of The Acadamy Is… sent the crowd into a frenzy of screaming, emerging from backstage to accompany Saporta in the chorus of the song. Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes also made an appearance, storming the stage halfway through the performance to deliver a powerful freestyle intense enough to set a tangible electric current through the crowd. By far, the sudden appearance of these talented and well-loved performers was possibly one of the best surprises Warped Tour offered at Comerica. The tour settled in for hiber nation this August in Car son, CA , and its 2008 completion adds finality to summer’s last, shuddering death rattle.

Later on in the afternoon, Reel Big Fish’s set was delayed by technical difficulties. Normally, such hindrances are met with an uproar of malcontent from the crowd, angry concert-goers throwing empty Gatorade bottles and food containers and any other projectiles they can get their hands on (sounds extreme for a crowd comprised of mostly teens, poserpunks and emo kids, but hell, just last year at the Warped Tour in Cleveland the crowd turned violent when Paramore cut their set early because of weather conditions). Luckily, Reel Big Fish’s mad improv skills saved them from such a fate—lead singer Aaron Barrett and trumpeter Scott Klopfenstein quickly developed some entertaining banter about shitty sound equipment and the glory of Detroit before proposing an impromptu photo shoot. The whole band immediately leaped into action with amazingly synchronized movements to pose goofily at the front of the stage for the crowd to capture on film, effectively sating any uppity fans before any unmerited bitching could occur.

Photo by Michael Byars

However, despite the enjoyment of skanking to Oreskaband and crowd surfing during Against Me!’s set, hands-down the most intensely entertaining moment

Warped Tour 2008 / For more photos of warped performances, go to:

Rothbury 2008 / For more photos of this backwoods trip fest, go to:

Photo by David Dodde



{Rothbury, Michigan / July 3rd - 6th} By Juliet Bennett-Rylah Rothbury saved our lives, perhaps. Rothbury saved us from ourselves. I mean that Rothbury was an event unlikely to happen again for a long time. There will never be another Rothbury, and while that’s predominantly because the steely jaws of bankruptcy are eating the owners of the Double JJ Ranch alive, it’s also because people are going to know what they’re getting into if there is indeed a ‘next time.’ No, this Rothbury was a unique moment in time, where people of all backgrounds went on a journey to a place where security was limited, drugs were passed out like opinions, dancing was highly encouraged and you didn’t have to sleep alone or sleep at all. And, of course, there was music. Acts that spanned from Phil Lesh to Dave Matthews to Snoop Dog with everything from vaudeville and electronica in between.

Rothbury became a mass of fist-pumping, idiot-grinning bastards concerned with nothing more than finding a downbeat and holding onto it for dear life. The Crystal Method played a set until 3 a.m. on Sunday morning, and no one was ready to quit.

There was a forest. They were calling it Sherwood Forest, as creative people do with Rothbury was named after the town it took place in, and it’s a town you probably forests, and in that forest you could meet a hadn’t heard of before. Rothbury is a town in Michigan—you know, Michigan, the stranger and ask them about their lives. They’d state nestled by the Great Lakes, and battered by a failing economy. The venue, spetell you and it didn’t matter if it was true, becifically, was The Double JJ Ranch and Resort. Styled like the Old West, the Double JJ cause you’d never see them again. And just is over 1,500 acres of water park, golf course, horseback riding and hotel. It opened because you’d never see them again, it didn’t in 1937 and Rothbury Music Festival was perhaps the biggest thing to ever happen mean they weren’t automatically your friend. to it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. The Double JJ’s eyes had been bigger than its No, these people were at one with the planet pocketbook during the construction of new amenities, and so, still crippled with (and they deserved to be, because they spent all debt, The Double JJ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-July. As of September 3, day putting trash in the appropriate receptacles The Double JJ suspended all operations and announced their hopes that someone and drinking out of cups made out of recycled else would buy it come autumn. materials!). These people were on a vision quest, they had realized they were a unique beings of But before those fields became a ghost town, it was haunted by hippies, vaudevilflesh and blood and at one with all other humans! lians, rockstars and those who’d come looking to be saved. These people were voting for Barack Obama. It did not matter that they made their pilgrimage to It was Fourth of July weekend, but no one seemed too concerned about the birthday Rothbury in SUVs, that they stopped for McDongirl. Rothbury was split up into different areas, where elaborate stages had been alds and Starbucks, that they were sleeping on the constructed in spaces of open field. Vendors selling overpriced hot dogs, noodle soil of a state that boasted the highest unemploycups and pizza slices were interspersed with bartenders pouring pints and atment rate in the country, because goddammit, they tempting sangria. Everywhere you went, a volunteer stood by trash and recycling came here to have a good time and they were havbarrels encouraging you to be green. Ah, yes, being green. Rothbury wanted to be ing it. Or else, they were there to see what might green, wanted to prove to the environment that we could party responsibly on its potentially be a Phish reunion. And it wasn’t – so behalf. They provided portable ash trays, and had crews of volunteers dedicated to fuck those people. picking up after us on behalf of Mother Earth. Would I be lying if I said that we didn’t lose our During the day, Rothbury was a commune of hipsters and hippies alike. They minds a little? That we didn’t eat what was disdid yoga, they browsed the farmer’s market, they nodded thoughtfully while cretely palmed to us? Would I be deceiving you if looking at the largest structure ever created out of cans – to be donated to a I claimed that when the whole forest erupted that good cause, of course. They sweated, and they burned in the sun, and they took night into the same song that we had nothing to their shirts off and they smoked marijuana in circles and no one seemed to do with it, that we objectively watched these shemind. They pretended they weren’t at all interested in seeing The Dave Matnanigans from our pedestals of journalistic integrity thews Band. There were workshops by artists, there were concerts on muland total sobriety? And would I be wrong to tell you tiple stages, there were girls walking around with nothing on their breasts that when the security showed up on horseback and but crudely painted butterflies. So, really, just another day touring the music kicked us out of the forest for having a peaceful singfestival circuit. song riot that one of us (certainly not me) declared all the way back to the campsite that no motherfucker on However, by nighttime, the drugs had circulated and one was hard-pressed this whole universe could force me to go to bed, no, sir, to encounter anyone not a) wasted b) caught in the rapture of MDMA (mostly not on a weekend!?! asked for by uttering: “Has anyone seen Molly… you know, guys, Mooooolly.”) c) totally baked or d) a combination plate of all four. Maybe. Night is when people fell in love with humanity. And yes, it might have been the oxytocin talking, and yes, it might have been the serotonin surging, but all anyone seemed to want to do was dance. In groups, by themselves,

But what happened in Rothbury stays in Rothbury…sort of. Rothbury was a contained environment of music, kindness, mercy, dancing, human spirit and copious substance abuse. Rothbury was a special place. Someone rich, please read this and buy the Double JJ and let’s do it all again.


The Way of the Toothpaste Tube By Valerie V. Peterson I have noticed something weird and wonderful

luted city. As soon as I got back to the U.S., I started recycling

when trying to get the last little bit of toothpaste out of a toothpaste

my plastic and cans and glass and paper, and I made myself a

tube: there is really more than one squeeze in one squeeze. Think

compost heap in my back yard. I’m not really that great at mak-

about it. You’re faced with an almost spent tube of toothpaste.

ing compost, but my organic trash now goes there and the rab-

You can really go at the tube and get one more toothbrush full of

bits and squirrels probably eat it. The recycling isn’t that hard to

toothpaste out of it, or you can say, “The hell with it.” and throw it

take every once in a while to the recycling center, and I combine

away and start a new one. If you throw the tube away and start a

that trip with other trips I make into the city so it’s no big hassle.

new one, you’re already one squeeze into the new tube, but if you

What’s interesting about the recycling and composting is that it

take the time to get the last squeez of the toothpaste out of the old

has surprised me with advantages in other unanticipated ways.

tube, then not only do you use rather than waste that toothpaste,

I’ve used a few shovelfuls of the bottom stuff from the compost

but you don’t start using the new toothpaste, so you keep from

pile when I plant things, and the plants really seem to like it. The

using the first squeeze of that toothpaste. It’s really like getting an-

recycling has reduced the amount of my trash so much that I

other free squeeze worth of toothpaste. In math, we might say this

have downsized my trash bin (and my trash pick-up expenses),

is a “multiplicative” effect and not just an “additive” one. (And if

and I could even pony up with a neighbor and cancel my pick-up

you’re really intense, you can cut open the tube open and scoop out

completely if I wanted. When I need a glass jar for flowers, or a

the very last of the toothpaste from the inside.)

metal can for grease, I have some around in the recycling bin.

The same thing goes for hair conditioner. If you’re at the end of

What started as a duty has become a ritual – one that bestows

the bottle and you unscrew the cap and hold the container under

unexpected benefits.

the shower head for a bit, then screw the cap back on and shake it,

I realize now that I learned much of this behavior from my

you can get another “treatment’s worth” out of the bottle. It may be

mother, whose frugal Greek-American efficiency made it possible

a bit watered down, but it gets that way anyway once you put it on

for our family of four to be supported by my father’s one modest

your wet hair. The same goes for plastic bags. If not used for meat

salary, and for us to have more time together than we would have

or other troublesome contents, plastic bags can be rinsed out and

if she’d had to take a job outside the home. I also realize that not

reused instead of tossed. Then there are paper bags, gift bags, bows

everyone has been exposed to this way of taking pleasure. But

and ribbons, old bubble wrap, old sponges, old clothing for rags,

isn’t it a good way to try to excel? Wouldn’t it be nice if more of

padded envelopes, scrap paper, etc. All these things can be reused.

our lives could be spent in cultivating this “way of the toothpaste

This “toothpaste tube” effect exists in other places as well.

tube”? It can bring great pleasure to find new ways to extend the

Let’s say, for example, you have a choice between eating leftovers

reach of one’s resources and reduce one’s negative impact on

or going out and buying something new to eat. If you eat the

the planet. Especially in today’s economy, being frugal may be

leftovers, you not only cut the cost of the original food purchase

a really good new way to get your kicks. For me, it’s fun to find a

in half (a ten dollar sandwich, half of which is eaten as a leftover,

bargain at the Goodwill–to give a skirt or shirt a second life. It’s

has now become two five dollar meals), but you also don’t waste

fun to get an extra mile out of an old envelope by pasting a new

the leftovers (you don’t have to put the leftovers in the trash; they

address over an old one. It’s even fun to rinse out a bag and hang

don’t go into a landfill; they don’t participate in the cost of any

it from a hook because I know that I’ll have a bag if and when I

trash pick-up). Also and most obviously, you don’t have to take

need one and that it’s one less new bag I’ll be needing or using.

time and energy to cook or pay for something new. It’s like you’re

So the next time you face that tube of toothpaste moment,

both saving and making money, while reducing waste at the

think of the benefit that you and others will get if you just

same time.

squeeze that thing one more time. There really is more than one

Then there is recycling and compost. I had always thought

squeeze in one squeeze.

recycling and composting were good ideas, but I was lazy. Then I went on an international business trip to a profoundly pol-


{Chicago, Illinois / July 18th - 20th} By THE Wide-Eyed Superfriends Thirty six thousand people journeyed to this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago and we think most of them biked there. We got there on Friday. We got a late start, we drove through a lot of construction, but we were triumphant. Friday was the kick-off party, held in Union Park and thrown together by All Tomorrow’s Parties. We were late (because we’re poor and don’t know what to wear to All Tomorrow’s Parties) and missed Mission of Burma’s “ Vs.”. At the front gate, however, we were greeted with the sonically pleasing sound of Sebadoh’s “Bubble and Scrape.” Public Enemy finished off Friday night, with their groundbreaking “It takes a Nation of Millions to hold us Back.” Pause. Public Enemy is sweet and Wide-Eyed needs you to know that.

Photo by David Dodde

This year’s layout was vastly improved, which made our little gang of troubadours feel as though our entries to the prior year’s suggestion box were read by a real live human being! This year, they had utilized the grounds to their fullest extent. The venue set-up provided three stages: Two large main stages (A & C) were set up so the crowd could turn sideways to focus their attention on the next act, which is good, because some of us are lazy. Two giant video screens between the stages showed the live streaming video, which was also available online. The third stage (B) was much smaller and located toward the back of the venue. This was the only

place to sit in the shade and still be able to watch a performance. With temperatures in the high 90’s all weekend, we found that we liked B Stage a lot. This could also have been because B stage was where the beer was. They’d trucked in any food request you could think of: BBQ, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Organic, Indian, you name it. The alcoholic beverage options were limited to Sparks (for the classiest of attendees), Goose Island 312, and Goose Island IPA . We didn’t pay attention to non-alcoholic beers because we abstain from those. The art and music tents were grouped together here also, and offered a plethora of awesome finds. It rained on Saturday morning and about halfway through the day a giant mud pit appeared...images of Woodstock danced in our heads, but mostly, lot of people just got dirty. The line-up for the festival was amazing and if you played your cards right, you could see most of the bands for at least a few songs. As we entered the park on Saturday, crystal clear electronic indie blared from the speakers at the second stage where Caribou ( D r. Da n iel Victor Snaith) h a d his

quartet at the ready. Icy Demons, an experimental collaboration of musicians from Chicago and Philadelphia that owes its beginnings to Man Man’s Christopher Powell and Bablicon’s Griffin Rodriguez, took stage B. We caught folk-pop Fleet Foxes by dodging the crowd and being quick. Their vocal harmonies bordered on what one might call a spiritual experience. The Fuck Buttons, an electronic progressive rock duo from England, and The Ruby Suns, a psychedelic indie adventure pop duo from New Zealand, both played on the B. Both duos held their own at such a large festival and impressed a very large crowd, gaining numerous new fans with their original sounds—and by calling themselves The Fuck Buttons. Vampire Weekend packed Stage A. N YC ’ s afro -

pop inspired new wave indie dance quartet (yeah, all that) awed the crowd with their vivacious stage presence and killer tunes. And the energy didn’t stop! The eight piece alternative indie beat driven band kept the vigor in the crowd on Stage C.

Things that happened on Saturday that we missed: Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Elf Power, Atlas Sound, No Age, Titus Andronicus, Jay Reatard, Dizzee Rascal, and Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker.

Back on the B stage, Extra Golden started to chill things down with their afro-beat funk. Then, headliners Animal Collective wowed the crowd with an impressive, albeit short, set that consisted heavily of newer tracks and intense stage lighting.

Later in the afternoon, The Apples in Stereo, perfectly poppy indie-pop, took the main stage, turning the crowd into bobbleheads. Shortly thereafter, King Khan & The Shrines added an old-time groovy feel to the festival on the B stage.

Sunday was hotter than fuck, but Mahjongg kicked the day off late, as they had to wait for church to let out across the street. The boys from Chicago blew minds and made new fans, as each one switched instruments and kept the intensity high. And I’m sure they’re getting into heaven for their courteous behavior, right?

Then, the darkness came. A cancellation due to hold-ups at the airport turned the Sunday schedule upside down. Confusion ensued. While waiting for The Dodos on the B stage, a call came in alerting us to their performance on the A Stage. We missed it. We were pissed. Luckily, Chicago’s own Occidental Brothers Dance Band International had an intriguing enough name to distract us from our misery. NOT a let down! Traditional West African dance perfectly melded with jazz and rock… what more do we have to say? Following OBDBI was Ghostface Killah & Raekwon. Wu Tang Alum. REALLY?!? Do we have to say more? No. We don’t. And we’re not going to. England’s Spiritualized. Holy Fuck. What a presentation of talent. These guys have been at it a long time and know exactly how to destroy the crowd. The quintet produced a sound worthy of a twenty-piece. Heavy guitar plus soul singer strength whipped the crowd into a religious, cult-like frenzy. Next up? Dinosaur Jr. could be heard all over the park, with some old time favorites mixed in with newer, less recognizable tunes. Although they may have a few years on some of the younger bands and attendees, they proved that they still have it. J’s hair sure is long, bleached and dreamy nowadays. Oh, sigh. Cut Copy never showed their faces. They missed a flight or something, running late from the airport? This proved to be a huge letdown, because in their place, the organizers tried to get some sort of “all-star jam” together. Valiant effort, but little satisfaction on the delivery. Spoon ended the entire festival this year, in high fashion and catchy-ass hits. Spoon are no strangers to Union Park and Pitchfork Festival as they have performed there before. As they played us out of the park, it was time to regroup and head home. Stuff we didn’t see on sunday: Times New Viking, High Places, Dirty Projectors, Boris, Les Savy Fav, M. Ward, and Bon Iver. The music attracted the fashionistas, the artistic, the eclectic, the posers, the hipsters, the hippies, the bashful, the brave; allin-all an absolute blast. Each year seems to top the last, so we’ll just have to see what’s in store for next year.

Jason Pierce of Spiritualzed

What can I say…I’ve known Larry Roberts and his work for almost twenty years. The first time I met Larry I was barely an adult, but his work spoke directly to the old man in me. It was sophisticated and enlightened. Dark, rich and textured, like the atmosphere of our oppressed Midwest burg. I thought…”How can someone from this background create such refined and evocative work and not already ‘Be’ someone?” I couldn’t believe that art so honest and genuine could be done only for therapeutic reasons. For it to go unnoticed in this landscape of never-ending posers and repetition was frightening. Things have changed and since then I’ve witnessed Larry Roberts move to the windy city and become someone. I’ve seen his work progress to something unimaginable. I’ve seen it scale up and take on amazing forms of painterly and sculptural presence. The most impressive thing is the process in which it all comes to life: by hand, by tool, and by will. There is

LARRY Wide-Eyed: What was your initial inspiration to paint? Larry Roberts: I think it was both a natural progression material wise, but I also felt drawn towards elements involving the subconscious mind. WE: Where is your work intended to take the viewer? LR: If possible, to scratch their inner cortex, far past the initial glance, through subliminal dimensions slowly revealing themselves, each time and at every angle. WE: Many people see everything from horses to deviant sexual acts embedded in your imagery. Is it all intentional? LR: Wow, all at the same time? Most of my images start from nothing other than raw emotion and gravity. As the liquids congeal and the layers build, the images begin to reveal themselves, still hiding in shadows or illuminated by color and light. I chisel out the details or obliterate them with the edges of subject and suggestion. WE: Can you explain your use of materials, specifically the found object nature of your canvases? LR: I tend to work with thickly poured acrylic grounds over panel board with paper or canvas sub-straights in-between. Finding these panels in various shapes or cutting them presents me with a new set of mind games each time, I can explain. Once the painting is finished, I then build the frame around it using metal, wood and other found objects. This environment is unique to each piece. Nothing worse to me, than a store bought frame. WE: Chicago is your home base. How does the city influence your work? LR: Chicago’s chaotic industrial nature acts as a catapult for creativity since most of my work is anxiety driven. I initially thought I would not be able to find any good dumpsters to dive in, but my worries proved unfounded, the garbage is good!

nothing “low-brow” about Larry’s work, nor is there an intention. It is simply and profoundly what it is. Found, seen, and realized. Amazing. Now at his openings art “critics” from the “major” magazines, dumbfounded, whisper to each other; “This is the abstract expressionist of our time.” They become increasingly awestruck as they progress from piece to piece. This month Larry opens his studio for the Pilsen Art Walk. A festive event where the artist studios of South Side Chicago are opened for the public to walk through, witness the underground fine art movement of Pilsen and drink free wine. This is no paid endorsement for Chicagoland, it is simply an opportunity for you to witness what I and many others believe is one the greatest “fine artists” of our time in his natural environment… so share a glass of wine. Just be sure when you talk to Larry about his work you don’t ask: “What’s in there?”

WE: How would you describe the Chicago art community? LR: The current Chicago art scene is an outstretched limb with many tentacles shifting from one hot spot to the next. The alliances I have formed with other fellow artists, like David Aschenbrener. Who unintentionally stole my marble slab to make a base for his “fucking amazing” bronze sculpture. Who also became my music saviour (now in Wisconsin). Kenneth Morrison, sculptor and leader of the Ever so Secret Order of the Lampreys art group. Davide Nanni, whose selfless process and ability to orchestrate incredible

recycled sculpture and Andy Barker, musician/Co- Producer in my music and other art. These are just a few of the many connections this community has given me. WE: Your techniques are very hands-on. How did this approach develop? LR: I don’t know if you want to go that far back? I think it has always been there. WE: What artist or individual has had the biggest impact on your work? LR: Jesus and Satan, Greek and Hebrew mythology, the Dalai Lama, the Great Spirit or there is none… I remember Heironomous Bosch, the availability of good drugs… what was the question? I strive for the opposite, though the events of the world and my wife, Laurie, are impossible to avoid. WE: When did painting become your medium of choice and why? LR: I began experimenting with paint in my early 20’s. Before that, it was graphite, then ink, which gave way to inky translucent paint. First and foremost, the saturation there of, while constantly testing out different materials, that’s the physical, the rest is therapy. The sheer fact that I have to see segments of my mind in tangible forms. WE: How would you describe your work? LR: I wouldn’t… {laughs}… As if to look at reality as illusion and the dream world subconscience, a pathless stretch of life to travel down. WE: What other creative endeavors are you involved in? LR: I’m co-producing a project called Toucher NonToucher Recordings which spans not only the 2 year course of its origin, but delves into nearly fifteen years of self produced experimental music, many which were produced on cassette using various recording devices. The collaboration of my friends, coerced or voluntary, were involved in the making of all these projects. WE: How has your success changed your approach to your work? LR: a) I haven’t noticed any, b) I tend to hide away more often, c) I have become larger, d) I like having enough supplies of materials to work with, e) these cocksuckers won’t leave me alone, f ) I love you David.

Next month see Larry Robert’s work appear in Elle Decor magazine in the “Dream Home Feature.” See more of Larry’s work at, and his music at


Photos by David Dodde

16 Larry Roberts interview By David Dodde


The Morning in Your Eyes / 2006 / Acrylic / 71.5 x 79 inches



Better Dreams in Acid Rain / 2005 / Acrylic / 52 x 48 inches

Untitled / 2001 / Acrylic / 45 x 45 inches

19 By Alexander Fruchter On a somewhat wet, yet dry day in Mid-July, The 2008 Rock The Bells Festival officially launched in Tinley Park, a suburb of Chicago. The shifting weather was fairly fitting for Rock The Bells, a concert series almost notorious for its complications. The contradictory weather also fit Rock The Bells 2008 M.O., which was to showcase hip hop that was classic, yet also new. So while legendary acts such as A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, and The Pharcyde closed the show through electric headlining performances, it was their next of kin that set the stage for their performances. It was this order of acts that epitomizes Guerilla Union’s affinity for, and place within, hip hop culture. Rock The

Bells 2008 did not just serve as a day of music, but was a real life presentation of a hip hop timeline. The timeline went in reverse chronological order, as relative newcomers, Kidz In The Hall opened the festival. The duo of Naledge and Double- O further bridge the gap between new and old as their first record, School Was My Hustle, released in 2006 on Rawkus Records was deemed the second coming of Blackstar. The title quickly led to them being embraced heavy by the underground and backpack community. Their second album, The In Crowd, was released in 2008 on Duck Down and features a somewhat different sound that has them being paired with groups such as The Cool

Kids. Therefore, they perfectly fit between the two genres of hip hop that are sometimes needlessly at odds. Ironically, the new kids wearing retro gear do so out of respect to an older generation of artists that are sometimes quicker to diss them than embrace them. Rock The Bells gave both groups a chance to connect, and can serve to close a rift that was opened widely earlier this summer via the Internet and youtube diss tracks (see Mazzi Vs. Mic Terror). RTB came at a very good time, one in which younger artists are fighting for hip hop credibility, while others battle to stay relevant. By featuring acts like The Cool Kids, a group labeled too hipster to be hip hop, with A Tribe Called Quest, Rock The Bells serves to widen the umbrella

of hip hop culture. The festival simultaneously provides a chance for younger fans to see some of hip hop’s elderstateman and vice versa. Naledge’s Kidz In The Hall told me, “It’s just surreal to really build with these cats that really influenced you, and you can really get insight into the process that they used to make records, and their little secrets. We’ve been on a lot of different tours, but never have we been amongst this many legends all at one place, all at one time. We’re taking advantage of it to the fullest extent.” Other artists on the tour, but not at the Chicago stop, included Raekwon, Ghostface, Amanda Blank, Wale, Talib Kweli, and Flosstradamus, easily making this edition of Rock The Bells the most diverse yet. That’s not to say that RTB didn’t cast a large net since the beginning, as Sage Francis, Eyedea & Abilities, and Chali 2na rocked alongside the Wu-Tang Clan at RTB’s first run back in ’04. Authenticity is a very touchy subject within hip hop. It is something that is earned rather than given, and it is never assumed. If nothing else, an appearance at Rock The Bells serves as a stamp of authenticity, one that is endorsed and celebrated by all involved. Naledge continued, “This tour is something that we feel very much is a stepping stone for us. It’s solidifying ourselves amongst a group of people we’re getting compared to and look up to and that have been on another level for a long time. We feel that after this summer and after this year, we should be mentioned with those same people.” Kidz In The Hall’s performance was followed by fellow “next uppers” Jay Electronica, and B.O.B, further showcasing hip hop’s youth movement. Moving on, Murs, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, and Method Man & Redman served as the middle passage for legends such as Rakim with Kid Capri and De La Soul who were followed up by Mos Def, Nas, The Pharcyde, and the headliner of headliners, A Tribe Called Quest. It was here that The Rock The Bells upped its diversity again, as the heavily socio-political music of Dead Prez and Immortal Technique blended seamlessly with the party and bullshit heavy earlier acts. The Black Power Movement has impacted hip hop in a tremendous way, and by including acts like Dead Prez and Mos Def (who was joined onstage by Fred Hampton Jr.), Guerilla Union gets a step closer to actualizing their goal to represent the full spectrum of Hip Hop culture.

Photo by Damien Thompson

Since its inception in 2003, Rock The Bells has been a true hip hop head’s dream come true. Artists such as Murs, Dilated Peoples, Wu-Tang Clan, Redman, Nas, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, B Real, and a host of others are regular participants in the annual concert series. Rock The Bells draws such heavyweights because it creates a hip hop summer camp, where artists show up with excitement to see who’s returned, and where their bunk is. A slot at Rock The Bells is not just another performance, or another check, it is a chance for artists to perform in front of a very dedicated audience as well as connect with other artists, some of whom are old friends, some of whom they’ve never met, and even some of whom they rocked with in year’s past. In fact, Rock The Bells has come to serve as the de facto reunion spot for hip hop’s elite. The 2004 concert, documented perfectly in the 2006 Rock The Bells film, served as a reunion performance for the entire Wu-Tang Clan. In 2007, Rock The Bells brought back Rage Against The Machine, and this year’s edition featured the return of the Pharcyde roster fully intact. Rock The Bells has become a staple of the summer. It stands alone and stands out during any summer season, no matter the year and no matter what else is going on. A Tribe Called Quest is a definitive hip hop group. Rock The Bells is the definitive hip hop festival. Alexander Fruchter is a writer from Chicago, IL where he is the editor of and a DJ under the name Roosevelt Treasurechest.

Rock the Bells 2008 / For more photos of M-1 of Dead Prez and his cohorts, go to:

{Nation Wide / All Summer}

Palin, Because We Don’ t Need It By John Gourley, Native Alaskan, Guitarist and Singer of Portugal. The Man

Here is a story from the younger pages of John Gourley (going by Johnny at the time)…

My first hunting trip. All through my smaller years, from a boy through to a man, I have known true Alaskans. People who hunted for a living. By “a living” I should be sure to mean “for survival” or “as a necessity…” Something along those lines… It was just a part of life growing up here in Alaska. People hunt, people work, people live, and fish and sleep and work and work and work and so on. One of my earliest memories is also one of the most influential lessons of life in my later years. My first hunting trip. I must have been around 6 or 7 at the time and the setting is Alaskan winter at my childhood home in the small town of Knik. My parents were both dogsled mushers* and we lived in a house powered by generator alone. (*purely out of the adventure and experience. Not necessarily our main form of travel… though there were some points in my life where it became our most available source of transportation.) Our nearest neighbors were a couple of miles away, give or take. This, again, is not needed in this story but only here for you to understand the place in which the story is set. We happened to be sitting in our living room when, outside our massive picture windows, we spot a moose. I will say, to a young boy, this animal was a giant. I can’t honestly tell you in any way how large it actually was, but to my eyes there was and will be nothing bigger. My family and I were sitting around watching it mill about minding its nature and peeling bark from the young birch trees. After a few moments my father turns to me: “Hey Johnny, you want to go hunting? You want to go get a moose?” My mind went running. I had never been hunting before. EVERYONE I knew had been hunting and hunted. They had gone out with their fathers and now it was my turn. I nodded my little head and ran to throw on my snowsuit while my dad went to get his gun. We walked outside in the cold and the snow, him in his bunny boots and winter coat and myself waddling out like a small scale Michelin man to meet our moose and our dinner for the next few months. I remember the snow being very deep. Realistically, a foot of snow was deep to a small child. I will say it must’ve been the wildest winter I can remember. Meter upon meter of snow. The naked birch trees blending with the white now, leaving little blotches of black and grey at the knots and branches. There was our moose. We had run right into its path. Right where we wanted to be. My father crouches down to my already shrunken size: “Are you ready Johnny? Should we get it?” I again nod my head. My father raises the barrel and looks through the scope. We were less than 20 yards away, if that. He pulls his head away from the scope and looks to me again. “Are you sure? Do you want me to shoot it?” This time I am confused. In my mind I am thinking, “Of course I want you to shoot it! We are hunting! This is what we do, isn’t it? My friends have done it and I know you have as well! What are we waiting for?” But again, I nod. The nod was more out of fear of the moose hearing me. Normally I would have spoken my thoughts out loud. At the very least I would have questioned the hesitance. My dad looks through the barrel one last time. He turns off the safety and readies the rifle. He sights the moose and sits there for a moment. All the while I am looking from him to the moose then back to him then back to the moose. I hear the safety come back on and I turn back to see my father lowering the gun and resting it by his side. At this point I am about as confused as a small boy can be. Dad is looking at me and he says, “ We’re not going to get it.” I ask him why. What he said has stuck with me throughout my entire life. “Because we don’t need it.” We simply stood up and walked back to the house, leaving the moose to its dinner of baby birch. “Because we don’t need it.” Possibly the best lesson a man like this could have taught me. He moved up to Alaska in 1970, 2 years after he graduated. He lived in the deep woods in the mountains of Chase. He has run one of the most intense races in the world, The Iditarod, he worked as a potato farmer, lived off of $300 for an entire year out in these woods… This man is as Alaskan as anyone I know. The lesson he handed me was a respect for the world we live in. A respect for

the animals we live with and the people we deal with. He has traveled around the state working in construction. Building homes for the people and buildings for companies and upon entering these small towns for work always insisted we hire within the community and support their way of life and living, despite what these companies felt to be the most economical. He has handed me so much, all of my family, really. “Because we don’t need it.” My mother, Jennifer Gourley, is much the same. While my father was away working she would take care of our dogs and run the house. She would fix the generator when it would break down. She took us to baseball and hockey and gymnastics. She took on foster kids that needed help. Gave them good meals and a family setting. She volunteered as a firefighter when there were forest fires threatening the areas. When Big Lake and Knik were being evacuated. She has since, in the most recent years become a firefighter, an ambulance driver, a rescue technician, part of the dive rescue team, and Willows firefighter of the year. She is a part of her community. “Because we don’t need it” was something that has been taught to me every day of my life through these amazing people and to watch Sarah Palin get so much attention based on what? 2 years as Governor of the State of Alaska? Or is it based on her time as the mayor of Wasilla? The town of 5,000 at the time.

“Because we don’t need it.” We don’ t need drilling in some of our most beautiful and untouched land. We need to work towards options. We should be investing and working towards clean fuels. We don’t need to be draining our planet of every last drop before moving on to the next. Sarah Palin disagrees. We needed votes to add the polar bear to the endangered species list. (I know, I know, that polar bear rug would really bring the room together!). Sarah Palin disagreed. We don’t need aerial hunting… Again. We do NOT need this. I don’t know of any true Alaskan that feels it is good sport to shoot an animal from a plane. Sarah Palin disagrees. We don’t need book burners and censors. Sarah Palin pushed to get the librarian of Wasilla fired when certain books were not removed from the public library. Who else in history has banned books? Not very good company is it? We don’t need more debts. Palin spent 15 million on a new sports center in the valley, leaving the small town of Wasilla, Alaska in debt to the amount of 22 million. (That’s 22 million more than the debt she took on when taking on this lovely playtime as mayor.) 15 million just for a new sports center. We don’t need family feuds interfering with duties. I know you feel your ex-brother-in-law was a dick…but trying to get him fired based on this may cause a little trouble. Sarah? We don’t need another vote against gay marriage. This is just standard every day equal rights being overlooked. Sarah Palin disagrees. We don’t need to overlook global warming. Science can now tell us “ Yup. That is happening.” Not my words, that is science speak. Sarah Palin disagrees. We don’t need a wolf in sheep’s clothing…or a sheep in wolves clothing, depending on how you look at it. She has billed her self as this overly average “hockey mom” and it is just not what I see. I see the sport hunter, the censor, choice taker, the revelations reader, and the high school cheerleader. It is endlessly embarrassing to watch people fall all over this idea. This is not my Alaska. The Alaska I know. What we do need is love and respect for one another and respect for the world we live in.



The Wisdom of Ali El Sayed By Wes Eaton Eating is not as simple a thing as it used to be. Just a few short years ago most of us Americans were blissfully unaware of the story behind our food – slowly we’re beginning to understand how naive we have been. In the industrialized West (and East), food is produced for profit but not necessarily for healthy consumption. The path our food takes – from plant or animal to plate – has become mired in industrial confusion. Most all of our food is delivered to us courtesy of fossil fuels, genetic modification and corporate agro-businesses who determine how major producers grow their products; none of which has to do with good eating. Meanwhile, a fewer number of people actually cultivate the food we all need to sustain ourselves – and our steady population expansion – which decreases diversity and increases the risk of disease, famine and generally unhealthy food choices. However, journalists, scholars, academics and chefs like Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, Morris Berman and Alice Waters finally have the average person at least questioning what it is they eat. For answers, more and more people are turning to their local farm markets, organic food stores and local chefs. Recently, while roving New York City’s boroughs in search of food and drink, I met a man whose wisdoms and philosophies personally addressed our sad eating circumstances. His name is Ali El Sayed, owner/cook/sage of the humbly titled Kabab Café in Astoria. My friend and guide, a fellow gourmand, brought us on a good night. The tiny mosaic decorated Egyptian diner (twelve seats) bordered by bodegas, a hookah lounge and his brother’s restaurant, was empty. At times there can be a wait. Soon Ali entered, asked if we were hungry, and then told us everything he would cook for us. No menu–no prices, just food. Did we eat meat, fish or vegetable, he wanted to know. Before any conclusive decision was made, Ali set before us small platters with various spices and herbs and a tiny bowl of peppers, lemon juice and oil. Stove hot falafel followed with porous humus and evergreen baba ganouj. Ali El Sayed told us to drink some wine and enjoy, food is for savoring, not devouring! (He could tell we were hungry.) The simple Eastern spices primed our palates and related us to the future courses. I began to take mental notes as Ali continued to feed and enlighten. It may have been the Malbec, but food wisdoms seemed to pour from the man like spices from his tins! The more he spoke, the more I understood the culture of food Ali lives and expresses. His poignant lessons made sense in this our world of senseless eating. Ali first said food should be enjoyed, not gobbled up; basically summarizing the entire Slow Food movement. Eating slowly evokes the mind along with the senses. Work was put into the food you are eating. Care was taken in the cultivation, processing, and preparation of your dish. Savor the flavors and textures. Recognize the experience for what it is: time spent nourishing your body and mind. If you’re patient you’ll discover fulfillment for more than merely for your hunger.

Ali said patience will be rewarded. When you live in the city, long lines may be a way of life. Instead of dwelling on the wait, try slowing down and enjoying the things around you. If it’s good food you’re waiting for, it’s worth it! At Kabab Café, Ali is your host, waiter, chef and friend: a busy man considering you are not the only one dining. A mixed plate will soon be out with hot round bread and warming wine for you to prime with while he begins a desert and critiques the history of Middle Eastern food in the US. We have all become accustomed to immediate gratification, which creates a paradox when it comes to good eating. A short (or long) wait while the food is being prepared is an indication of care and love in the kitchen. In the case of Ali, who prepares the food literally inches from your table, one is actually able to experience this passionate process. Quick food may pacify your impatience, but it will not nourish like a paced and respected dining experience. Ali said food should be flavorful. If not, why eat? To enjoy a meal you may have had to patiently wait for, it must taste good. Food grown or purchased fresh locally generally tastes best and proves to be the healthiest for your body–and soul, Ali would argue. As it turns out, local food also costs less because of reduced transportation and storage times and builds the local community and economy. The Kabab Café is definitely out of the way from the train line and a little walking is in order. You may find the same thing in your neighborhood. Maybe the best grocer, farm market or chef is not on your block or commute. Taking the time to find restaurants and stores which aspire to stock and serve regional fare will connect you to your food, community and develop your food culture. Ali said Food connects us with our past. Queens is as a culturally diverse place as any on earth. The United States as a whole is a conglomerate of the world’s finest peoples. Originally from Egypt, Ali has gifted Astoria and New York City with rare traditional Alexandrian cuisine. His cooking is indelible to his former and current cultural residence. All of today’s foods and cuisines have storied histories; to partake is to acknowledge their successes. Our multiplicity of foods represents our varied cultural contributors better than any census. Digesting a new cuisine mentally and physically is an investigation into what we are as a people. Ali said food should be shared. Dining in the tiny Kabab Café felt like Ali had welcomed us into his home. He personally showed us how he prepared his lamb cheeks, liver and sweetbreads. He spread his spices before us and showed our minds how to understand his cooking. Medium size dishes were set in the middle of the table and we shared each new carefully plated entrée. To participate with another person’s food culture is to share; just as we diners were eating from the same bowls and boards. The culinary experience combined teaching with learning, cooking with eating, talking with drinking and patience with reward. And as any chef knows, the most rewarding part of cooking is serving.


Bryan Richie Interview By Eric Mitts Opportunity often acts as a double -edged weapon. So for Austin doom-metal band The Sword the opportunity to open for all of Metallica’s upcoming U.S. tour can definitely help them continue to carve their place within the pantheon of modern metal, but it can also cut the rising band back down to size. Thus far, the band’s journey with the juggernauts of thrash has gone well. Having completed the European leg of Metallica’s Death Magnetic Tour this past summer, The Sword happily reported on their Web site that some busted rental gear aside things couldn’t have gone any better. Of course this isn’t the first time the band has had to win over skeptical or outright impatient audiences. Just before jumping the Atlantic to take on the heavy metal throngs of Europe, The Sword conquered the tamer tens of thousands at this summer’s Bonnaroo. And while all the wizards and warriors within their music certainly seemed out of place among the tie-dyed and laid-back attendees of the annual jam-focused festival, their attempts at resurrecting both the ‘70s and the seventh century secured The Sword a place not only alongside Bonnaroo’s biggest surprise – the festival featured Metallica as its headliner – but also in the hearts of many who had not heard them before. Even early on, before getting signed or having their song “Freya” championed by Guitar Hero II, when they opened up for the fellow medieval-enthusiast metalheads in Mastodon, The Sword showed a polish that gave them an edge unlike anything the four guys in the band had done previously. “It was one of those situations where the momentum kept building to where it was like you’re unsure of whether it was really happening,” bassist Bryan Richie told Wide-Eyed about The Sword’s start. “It was like, ‘This is kind of strange. I have never been a part of something that’s doing this well; this is strange.’” That strangeness seemingly ceaseless, their shows in Austin kept getting bigger and bigger, leading The Sword to go out on tour for the first time with an unlikely ally, Austin art-rockers… And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead in 2006. “(That) led to more and more people seeing it and going, ‘ Wow, this is actually pretty cool. Maybe I’m not that into metal, but this is awesome; or I’m totally into metal and this is totally awesome too,’” Richie said.

The Sword’s biggest and most successful battle came before that when they first seized the stage of Austin’s annual industry showcase event, South By Southwest (SXSW) in 2004. “That was a shock to me, totally, being from Austin and having tried to play SXSW with previous bands and not being accepted,” Richie said. Only months after joining the band that lead vocalist/guitarist J.D. Cronise had started less than a year earlier as a solo project, Richie, along with guitarist Kyle Shutt and drummer Trivett Wingo took on the teeming mass of critics, cynics and college kids who typically make up most of SXSW. There the band ended up playing two shows, ultimately leading to their signing with Kemado Records, yet another artier associate of the stoner rock/doom metal band. The indie label released The Sword’s debut, Age of Winters, less than two years later and it met with almost constant comparison to Black Sabbath. That of course begs the question: do these guys just drive around the country in a van blasting “ War Pigs” all day? “Sabbath comes on every now and then, but I’m more prone to put on like Steely Dan records or Yes records,” Richie admitted about his road playlist habits. “ We’re all really broad with our tastes. Sabbath is a band that we definitely like, but it’s not the only thing that we sit around and listen to.”

With their second album, Gods of the Earth, released on Kemado earlier this year, the band continues to stake a claim at a sound similar to some of the ‘70s most legendary metal albums, but they don’t want to limit themselves by calling their music retro. “Definitely the sounds that we try to capture are the sounds of the records that we’ve been listening to,” Richie said. “There’re certain things about those records that we hope to sonically be able to capture and stuff like that. As far as just like the general sound of things to make it sound like a ‘70s record or something like that – I guess I don’t get the whole retro thing. We’re just trying to play some jams and play some good jams and if they just happen to sound like some stuff that came out a while ago, well, maybe those were the records that worked subconsciously when we were growing up. It’s one of those things where you get influenced by things around you no matter what.” As with their debut, Cronise produced Gods of the Earth with Richie engineering the effort, an independent-minded undertaking showing their true spirit for making music. “ We want to remain really insular,” Richie explained. “ We didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of someone telling us like ‘Hey, this melody here doesn’t sound right or you need to sing it this particular way or something like that.’ J.D. has a very strong vision and a very firm stance on what he wants to do with the band and I just perceive myself as someone who understands his vision so I’m able to help on my end with like recording and whatnot.” So while the band continues to musically keep a strong foothold in the past, they don’t lose sight on how, regardless of trends, the metal lore of before will live on tomorrow. “I think that there will always be dudes somewhere, chilling out in basements, playing D&D, rocking out to heavy metal,” Richie said. “That’s going to be timeless. It will always happen. Somewhere in 2343 there will be some balding dude rocking out. Or I can at least hope.”

The Sword will conclude a short road stint with Clutch this month with two of their own headlining shows, including one on Oct. 11 at the Henry Fonda Theatre. The band will then open for Metallica for the rest of year, returning to L.A. to play two nights at The Forum Dec. 17-18. For more on The Sword, check out

Photo by J. Thompson


How to Understand Your Republican Friends By Nikos Monoyios We all know Republicans. Whether they are family or friends, we have all been frustrated by political discussions that seem to go nowhere. They don’t seem to understand where you are coming from and you can’t believe that they really believe what they are saying. This can be extremely frustrating, but it is important to remember some fundamentals of engaging a Republican in debate. In order to discuss politics with a Republican, it is critical that certain steps are followed. First, define the terms. For example, does a strong economy mean a strong overall average, or an aggregate measure? Second, use numbers. This is the language of business and those who think only in terms of black & white. Abstract ideas or any concept that requires a metaphor or complex mental simulation to understand must be avoided. Republicans simply can’t do this. Third, forgive. Abusing, manipulating, and taking advantage of the millions of simple minds in the country is how Republicans maintain voters. Okay, now let’s sufficiently and appropriately categorize Republicans. They include: the staunch businessman, militaristic ass-kickers (I mean freedom lovers), the socially isolated and intolerants, the strictly religious, and rednecks. Though Republican demographics could be defined in many alternative ways, it’s safe to claim these aforementioned with convincing generality. Now, notice how interesting these demographics can be separated into two distinct categories. Aside from the business man, the remaining demographics are pretty similar, yet extremely different from a stereotypical businessman. So why and how does the staunch business man share a political platform with those other folks? What do they really share in common? Hmm… let’s discover. General Platforms Republicans desire economic freedom with regulated social control. They want government to stay out of business, but monitor the ethics and morality of society. Democrats desire economic regulations and social freedoms. They want the government to regulate economic activity that exploits and polarizes society, and allow people the right to measure their own set of ethics and morals. Now, this is where the argument must begin. Define the terms. Make sure the terms are agreed upon every step of the way. Let’s examine the platform of the Republican Party. Economy Economically, Republicans have a messianic belief that healthy economic progress exists by the trickle-down theory. This theory dictates that healthy economic progress occurs when wealth is funneled from the wealthy down through to the middle and lower classes. The belief is that the wealthy will create jobs and increase supply, making goods and services cheaper and readily available. Democrats believe that healthy economic progress is derived from the bottom up. Their belief is that ordinary middle and lower class citizens need the primary economic attention to flourish the economy, similar to how healthy roots breed a healthy plant. As history and today’s world has shown, trickle-down economics have not worked as planned. Argument point number two—it’s in the numbers. Census data and the Bureau of Labor Statistics data both demonstrate the growth of economically struggling households since the new millennium, and in the 80s under Reagan. Furthermore, this data also shows increasing economic disparity with a significant growth of the wealthy elite. Overall, the numbers clearly exhibit that our national economy for all economic classes has historically been stronger under a Democratic administration. Oh, and the stock markets have done better as well.

Social Let’s examine the social recipe of the Republicans. First of all, I’d like to address a typical misnomer—the conservative. Conservatives, as we think of them, are not really conservative. The root word is ‘conserve,’ but what does this majority faction of Republicans aim at conserving? Aside from wanting to conserve the welfare of the wealthiest few and growing socioeconomic disparities, the conservative social objective is to prescribe and indoctrinate a set of moral and ethical values onto society. Thus, the definition of conservative is a misnomer for the culture of isolated and intolerable folk. Conservatives should be relabeled to—the homogenites. This social recipe also calls for a pinch of freedom, paranoia, and a dash of fear. It just takes a little to arouse a flavor of patriotism as the senses fill with a montage of heroic glory with overtones of the Stars and Stripes. The Republicans have successfully branded the tragedy of 9/11™ (they’ve trademarked it, by the way) and used it to allure the military ass-kickers to their side. Let this mixture set overnight, and a new culture will emerge, one typified in gas station merchandise. Isn’t it funny how similar gas station merchandise is to the world of Republicans. First and foremost, they have gas and oil. Secondly, they have peculiar quanities of byproducts from hunting. There are racks of venison jerky and homemade meat sticks, camouflage mesh hats wooing the potential buyer to show off how much you kick ass, and disturbing arrays of incomprehensible amounts of nickel & dime paraphernalia dedicated to showing the spirit of the red-white-and-blue. Republicans know that the Democratic Party has a much larger registered population. There are only so many steadfast business men to supply votes, and they are obviously outnumbered by the subordinate socioeconomic classes. Therefore, they needed to market their platform to an easily manipulated, yet massive demographic. The target—suburban and rural isolationists and confrontationalists, a.k.a. rednecks. Unfortunately but not all surprisingly, the United States has a lot of these folks and the Republicans have successfully marketed their brand to this population, hook, line, and sinker. They have continued in their campaign to coax those only thinking in black-and-white… u’know the “ You’re either with me or against me.” or, “Do you want to win or lose the fight against terror?” types. There are also the single issue voters. Issues include: Pro-life, capital punishment, lower taxes, etc. These folks don’t have a clue about the complexities of political platforms so only vote based on the lowest denominator they have the mental capacity to grasp. A recommended counter to these folks is to ask them to pretend they needed to contract someone to build a meticulously complicated house. Then ask them what’s more important, the contractor’s ability to successfully guide the process of building the house according to code and appropriate aesthetic value, or whether the contractor believes in abortion. One of the most successful marketing campaigns in the history of the world is the influence the Republican Party has on half of this country’s population. Try maintaining the appropriate steps to discuss politics with them is nearly impossible. However, the most convincing way to discuss politics with a Republican is to help them determine that they don’t really know why they are one… unless they kick your ass first.


Locals Only Neighborhood Favorites

The Circle, Indie LA Designer Outlet

Nine Star

2395 Glendale Blvd, Silverlake

1103 Olympic Blvd, LA

Phone: (323) 665-5336 Wed-Sat: 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. / Sun: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Phone: (310) 477-3999 • Web:

The Circle is a unique cross between a chic designer boutique and an outlet store. We carry samples and backstock from celebrated Los Angeles designer collections regularly featured in exclusive fashion retail stores and magazines such as Lucky, Elle, Vogue, and US weekly. With prices reduced 40%-85% below original retail prices, it’s like a sample sale everyday!

Surfing Cowboys

On the corner of Olympic & Sepulveda in Los Angeles lies the one stop shop for any Surf Skate Snow or BMX junkie on the west side. Nine Star stocks everything for or about action sports. Including a stellar selection of clothing from the likes of RVCA, LRG, Quiksilver and Obey. Come to shop, get your snowboard tuned or just hang out. They have a full service shop, video game lounge and a full on half pipe in the parking lot!

Hama Restaurant

1624 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice

213 Windward Ave, Venice

Phone: (310) 450-4891 • Web:

Phone: (310) 396-8783 • Web:

Need an antidote to the prefab sterility of the Ikea Age? California Modern meets surfing culture in a match made in Venice (Beach, that is). For 10 years Surfing Cowboys has supplied its global clientele with vintage mid-century furnishings, 60’s surfboards, original artwork, contemporary jewelry, and anything else that catches the eyes of owners Donna and Wayne Gunther.

Hama Restaurant has more than just the rogue gallery of mainstream sushis. They feature a vast and innovative menu, including eyebrow raising combinations and sakes, putting them above the rest. An informal atmosphere appeals to a diverse clientele, from celebrities to regulars, from sushi experimentalists to connoisseurs.


KG Owner/Artist 264 Customs

3323 W. Sunset Blvd., Silverlake

7303 Melrose Ave, Hollywood

Phone: (323) 668-2088

Phone: (323) 935-2494 Web:



Barber Shop & Vintage Boutique • Fades           • Crew Cuts     • Flat Tops       • Shaves           • Hats

• Rock T’s • Western Shirts • Vintage T’s • Sunglasses

Fresh Pressed Screen Shops 4646 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz Phone: (323) 66FRESH Web: FreshPressed™ allows users of all ages to make oneof-a-kind screenprinted wearables, gifts & goods for themselves, loved ones, clients & customers. Deliver a graphic or photo file to them or just go into the shop and doodle your masterpiece on one of their worksheets and within minutes, they can have you ready to pull your first squeegee!

C&O Trattoria

31 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey

What is 264? What does it mean? Yeah we’re a tattoo shop but 264 gives us that edge, that little bit extra, that different experience you’re looking for if you’re tired of the same dull atmospheres you’ll find on hollywood blvd. come check us out, get tat’d or just come to find out what 264 means.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery 1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica

Phone: (310) 395-8279 • Web:

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery operates as both fully-stocked grocer specializing in all the Italian delights one could ever desire, as well as a deli with a healthy bounty of thick sandwiches, hoagies, baked goods and treats. With emphasis on quality, variety and freshness, Bay Cities’ become extremely popular.

Father’s Office

1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica

Phone: (310) 823-9491 • Web:

Phone: (310) 393-2337 • Web:

C&O Trattoria prides itself on generous portions and rich Italian dishes, stating that “people generally don’t leave here hungry.”An optional garden patio, nightly sing-a-longs and signature cultural cuisine like Killer Garlic Rolls, Calamari Fritti and pastas of all mixes and blends combine for a true experience.

This sleek bar offers over 30 beers on tap and a healthy selection of wine, which easily distracts from their lack of hard liquor. The menu offers a variety of specialty appetizers with a Spanish flair, but most are impressed by their signature bleu cheeseburger, often hailed the best around.


{Chicago, Illinois / August 1st - 3rd} Midway through Radiohead’s headlining set at last month’s Lollapalooza Thom Yorke kept reminding himself that this was not a dream. Faced with the very real 75,000person capacity crowd, the frail-framed singer simply couldn’t believe his fortune as his band did its best to give the close of the first of three sold-out nights at Chicago’s Grant Park the feel of a far away dreamland. The icy blue lighting cascading down Radiohead’s elaborate onstage rigging during “House of Cards,” from In Rainbows, the band’s latest, chilled the sweaty concertgoers, and best captured the atmosphere of their two-hour set. The climate couldn’t have changed more by the close of the next night. Despite a slight dip in the 90-plus-degree temperatures throughout the festival on Saturday, Rage Against The Machine’s set brought the crowd to a boil, spilling over into the streets of Chicago, and according to some attendees or passersby, incited a near riot. If Radiohead’s night felt like a calm relaxing dream, Rage’s performance was the sweat-drenched awakening. All too appropriately, Rage vocalist Zach de la Rocha detoured from his band’s blast through its bombastic back catalog on an extended stretch during “ Wake Up.” Welcoming the end of “the last eight years,” he challenged Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama to bring troops home from both Iraq and Afghanistan, if elected, and told the thousands in front of him to get ready for what’s next. On the final night, admittedly battling vocal problems, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor took Lolla listeners back to where things all began, telling the story of how his band played the very first Lollapalooza in 1991. The history he brought simply outmatched anything Chicago’s own Kanye West could boast about on the other festival closing stage, but at least he showed up on time. Here’s a quick recap of the rest for those who couldn’t make it out, or who couldn’t get in. Ten Most Memorable Moments from Lollapalooza 2008 10. After basking in the ever-radiant sun for three days, the soft, subdued sounds of Iron & Wine suitably sound-tracked a siesta for fading festival goers whose energy was nearly gone by late afternoon on Sunday. Those who partook in the performance felt a reprieve from the heat more welcoming then the occasional Lake Michigan breezes, which received cheers from the enthusiastic crowd on more than one occasion during the festival, as even they could not match the lighter-than-air embrace of Sam Beam’s soothing voice. 9. The National closed out their Sunday set with a rousing rendition of “Mr. November,” with frontman Matt Berninger prefacing the performance by saying “this one’s not dedicated to John McCain.” Even the biggest indie-snob or politically jaded could not help but be moved by Berninger’s surprising passion. It was also one of many direct references to Chicago prodigal son Obama, whose presence was felt – from T-shirt kiosks to volunteers working through the crowd for his campaign – almost as if he were part of the festivities himself. 8. That of course leads to Obama’s no-show during Kanye West’s closing performance. Long rumored on the blog-o-sphere and even buzzed about across the park grounds during the event, despite an already announced and conflicting public appearance elsewhere, Obama’s absence only added to the over-hype that was the Achilles’ heel in West’s strong performance. Apologies, or allusions to future greatness to come in the studio aside, West can’t compare himself onstage to greats like Jimi Hendrix and get away with it yet. 7. The way Battles blasted out their absolutely awesome “Atlas” should become the stuff of some new legend. The math-rock masters built up to the song with drummer John Stanier drenched in sweat by the time he rumbled into the song’s intro. Fired up and frenzied, the insanely energized crowd then shouted back the song’s helium-high gibberish vocals in perhaps the strangest call-and-response pseudo-sing-along ever. Clapping along with Stanier’s seriously staggering stamina behind the kit, the crowd knew this was a moment for the ages. 6. On the same stage that Battles barely left standing, Girl Talk set about concluding the next night by bringing as many of the capacity crowd onstage with him as Chicago codes would allow. His standard stage setup of flimsy folding table, laptop, mic, and party favors galore, left plenty of room, and his mash-up mix left no one standing still. Even those pushing through the fringe of his faithful had to get down as they made their way to other side of the midway. 5. As far as single songs go, no one act at this year’s Lollapalooza had a bigger stand-alone hit than Gnarls Barkley with “Crazy.” Yet during their set, where grandiosity and super-sweet costumes should’ve held sway, but didn’t (gold blazers and bowties, c’mon!) it was their

nuanced cover of Radiohead’s “Reckoner” that left the audience amazed. Singer Cee-Lo Green shouldn’t be able to do the waif-ish wailing of Thom Yorke and yet, with Dangermouse aka Brian Burton’s just-right touch on the keys, they nailed it. 4. Radiohead’s set had its own surprise in the form of fireworks during the crescendo of the now classic “Fake Plastic Trees.” The happy accident of some other celebration on the other side of Chicago down by Soldier Field coinciding with Lollapalooza’s location, created an overhead display that took Yorke’s voice up into the heavens. For the first time since the band started playing all eyes left their elaborate, yet energy-efficient lighting to marvel at how Radiohead’s music had magically lit up the entire night sky. 3. Surprised to still be alive and performing at this sold-out Lollapalooza in Chicago – the first time that’s happened since the tour became Chicago’s annual alt-rock festival in 2005 – Renzor battled sickness to bring himself around full circle. If his ailing voice altered his performance it only enhanced the rendition of “Hurt” that nearly concluded the whole event. When he sang the song, all the manic highs and depressive lows of his band’s preceding songs and everything that has led up to Lolla reaching this point just faded. 2. Perhaps because it remains his show, Perry Farrell still holds some pull even amidst this year’s big names. His performance on the Kidzapalooza stage with Paul Green’s School of Rock All Stars shows how far the festival and alternative music have come in the nearly two decades since its debut as Jane’s Addiction farewell tour back in ‘91. How Jane’s went from the bane of the PRMC to the perfect music for kids could only happen in a place with a crowd as loyal and open-minded as Lolla. 1. Nothing can compare to the way Rage Against The Machine and the packed crowd interacted on Saturday night. With ambulances on standby and police on horseback securing the perimeter after gatecrashers stormed through to join the throngs already rushing the stage, de la Rocha had to stop the set on three separate occasions to plead with his fans to move back and take care of each other. Forgetting how all of his band’s songs, and all of his lyrics, are designed to make people do the opposite. Yet they listened. No major injuries resulted from the chaos and multiple mosh pits tens and hundreds of yards away from the stage in all directions moved more with merriment than menace. Forget fireworks, that’s the real magic of music.   Five biggest surprises at Lollapalooza 2008

Since its inception, Lollapalooza has strove to combine some of the biggest acts in alternative music with arts, social action and, yes, bands on the rise. Remember Rage first played the Lollapalooza tour in ‘92 on the side stage before moving up to the main stage the next year, so don’t discount the dozens of daytime gigs that actually made up most of the festival. Sure the top draws pushed ticket sales over the top this time around, but make no mistake some of the lesser known acts made the most of their opportunity to reach tens of thousands of ears. Here’s a handful who likely played the sets of their lives: (concluded on page 32)


Photo by Damien Thompson

Lollapalooza 2008 / For more photos of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and his fellow ‘paloozianz, go to:


Interview by Mike Saunders As the corporate media is consumed with Obama’s pig, Palin’s pit-bull and their choice of lipstick or just admiring Joe Biden’s million-dollar smile, little attention has been paid to the protests at the Republican National Convention and their aftermath. Different groups using different tactics organized the protests. There was one very large permitted march attended by over ten thousand people. There were also smaller groups who had planned direct action to shut down the convention, active all week long. These protesters were working from an anarchist model of non-hierarchical affinity groups that had autonomy in their tactics but support from a highly organized collective community. The converse of this was the Republican National Committee, which also is highly organized but also extremely well funded and hierarchical. The ten million dollar insurance policy that they bought was to guarantee the city protection from “damages and unlimited legal costs for law enforcement officials accused of brutality, violating civil rights and other misconduct.” This gave local authorities license to use brutal tactics of suppression, unconstitutional bans on free assembly turning Minneapolis into a police state: funny how our legal system can be bought and paid for. Police also intimidated and arrested members of the independent media, including Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. Her arrest was captured on video and can be seen on YouTube. Members of the RNC Welcoming Committee (an organization to support anarchist groups) are now being held on terrorism charges. I found it strange when the corporate media described the direct action protests, using the word anarchist could easily dismiss protesters, as if anarchism is a completely discredited ideology. The anarchist labor movement was quintessential in gaining the eight-hour workday in the United States. The Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) are currently using non-hierarchical, anarchist tactics in unionizing Starbucks. While we watch the AFL CIO fade in relevance to our increasingly service based economy, the I.W.W. is growing and working internationally. Anarchists have a history of being at the forefront of meaningful social change and should not be so easily written off as irrelevant or immature. I was able to speak with two Midwestern anarchists, Jesse Sparkles from Michigan and another who we will call Zack Morris, about the protests and their involvement. Wide-Eyed: Why didn’t you choose to focus your energy on the permitted, “peaceful” march? Jesse Sparkles: Historically speaking, “permitted” dissent has not typically led to social change because it relies on a strategy that is weak from the start—asking for permission to make a demand. Instead, the un-permitted actions aimed at “crashing the convention” on September 1 never asked for permission and it was those actions—at times wild and always unpredictable—that made those in power tremble. And indeed the actions—whether they were people locking themselves together to block highway off-ramps or unannounced marches of a few hundred that refused to obey the police—provided inspiration to those on the streets. Every time a bus was blocked, the energy in the crowd would escalate and people could—for at least a short moment—feel that their efforts were contributing to a collective “crashing” of the convention. I also made the decision to engage in the unpermitted actions because at the RNC in 2004 over 200,000 people marched and nobody cared—not the media and certainly not the Republican delegates who never saw the protest. The un-permitted actions allowed protestors to take their message straight to the delegates whether it was by blocking their buses on the opening day or disrupting their fundraising parties on subsequent days. Zack Morris: I was part of an affinity group that came to Minn/St. Paul with the intention of “shutting down the RNC”. The permitted march was just designed to make a political statement but in a sense gave a free pass to the GOP to continue to meet. We felt that since the gang that has been mostly responsible for the direction of the country over the past 8 years has lied about war, profited off war, furthered policy to benefit the rich while stomping on working people, escalated environmental destruction, allowed the people of New Orleans to suffer and violated the civil rights and civil liberties of millions of people should not be allowed to meet and plan more of the same. If you knew that a company was dumping toxic waste in your back yard would you rather physically try to stop them or just write them a letter asking them to stop?

WE: What was the police presence like on the ground? JS: The police presence was omnipresent but largely avoided the brutal force that characterized the last major anarchist mobilization at the protests against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in 2003. To be sure, there were instances of brutality, but for the most part, law enforcement focused on a more subtle strategy of using plainclothes officers to survey crowds and informants to infiltrate groups. During the week of the convention, it came out that law enforcement—including the FBI—had widely infiltrated protest groups. This infiltration led to preemptive raids on the convergence center (a space where protestors were holding meetings and trainings) and homes in the Twin Cities. The raids—complete with outlandish search warrants that authorized the police to look for bomb making materials—were used in an attempt to portray the protestors in the media as being “terrorists.” This effort culminated in charges against members of the Twin Cities based RNC Welcoming Committee for “Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism.” ZM: I have said to many people over the past week that the police presence reminded me of military occupations in southern Mexico and Guatemala that I have witnessed there. Not only were the police numbers around 3500, there were squads of cops in full riot gear armed with pepper spray, tear gas, tasers, rubber bullets and concussion grenades. There were also police squads on bike, on horse and on motorcycles. In addition the police used dump trucks and snow ploughs to block protestors in. Lastly, it should be mentioned that the police were using dozens and dozens of undercover cops who were trying to spy on and in some cases grab protestor while they tried to blend in with us. WE: W ho was more violent , police or protesters? JS: The police—as would be expected with their everyday function as an agency designed to maintain control and order —were more violent than the protestors. The police used a variety of weapons—tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion

grenades, and batons—to attack protestors and journalists. ZM: First it should be said that I am not aware of any of the protestors who acted violently. Destroying property in my opinion is not violence, particularly when that property belongs to corporate America or the State. The police were the only ones who were violent. Only they used tear gas and pepper spray on the public, only they used concussion grenades on the public, only they shot people with rubber bullets and only they beat protestors and inflicted pain on them during arrests. Many protestors went to detention facilities or were jailed bloody and received no medical attention. WE: How has the media’s reaction compared to the reality of the situation? JS: The corporate media focused primarily on the sensational aspects of the protests—police allegations of violent anarchist plots, damage to property, and the trumped up terrorism charges against organizers—while ignoring the reasons people were out in the streets. The anarchist mobilization—noteworthy as the first major mobilization by a movement that has in the past greatly shaped the discourse over trade policy (for example, scrutiny of institutions such as the World Trade Organization after the Seattle protests in 1999)—was treated only as a source of violence. There was no exploration of what anarchism is or why people took such great risks to participate in disruptive street protests. The anarchist critique of representative democracy and capitalism was completely absent from the media’s focus on violence. ZM: The media reacted as we expected to either frame those of us as protestors as violent and miss the violence of the police or to completly ignore our reasons for trying to shut down the RNC. Fortunately there were numerous independent journalists, indy media writers and videographers who reported on what was really happening on the streets, quite often at great risk. WE: What was successful about the protests and what was a failure? JS: The protestors were largely successful in the stated goal of “crashing the convention.” On the convention’s first day, it was the protests—and

not the abbreviated session of the RNC—that dominated the headlines in the major media. Moreover, throughout the week protestors not only repeatedly took to the streets, but they also organized housing, food, legal support, childcare, and a host of other necessary logistical tasks on a non-hierarchical basis. As far as failures…it was unfortunate that anarchists were fairly isolated in their efforts to disrupt the convention. With all of the frustration over the two party system and anger at the Republican administration, had anarchists worked to organize a more easily accessible action aimed at disrupting the convention, numbers probably could have been increased. ZM: I think that what was successful was the ability to disrupt the RNC at some level and to send them a very clear message that some of us will not tolerate their wars abroad or their war against working people in this country. I think the jail solidarity was a great success and the indy media that was generated was a success. I think where we failed was to not engage the people of the Twin Cities enough to generate more local solidarity. We also didn’t have the numbers we had hope to have for the blockades and I think we underestimated the level of police/FBI infiltration of our networks and the police brutality on the streets. WE: Is there anything else that you want people to know about the protests, protesters and the tactics used? ZM: I want to say that the way the whole week was organized spoke volumes to how anarchist politics can work. The meeting space was great, with internet access, a med station, workshops, and bicycles were made available for transportation. Seeds of Peace provided food to hundreds of people daily and the process for meetings was very inclusive. The way the blockades worked was that affinity groups were allowed to choose autonomous actions that fit within a larger framework and that framework allowed for flexibility in what people could do. It was a stark contrast to other action I have been part of where a small group of people make decisions or not all tactics were supported. At the RNC a diversity of tactics were used and all were supported and I think that is important for people to understand. We all don’t have to agree on what tactics to use, but we should respect each group’s choices.


Cold War Kids

Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s



Animal!/Not Animal Epic

Grampall Jookabox

of Montreal

Joyful Noise

Polyvinyl Records

Cold War Kids is the band you know because of “Hang Me Up to Dry,” the bass-heavy single from 2006’s Robbers and Cowards. In 2007, Cold War Kids contributed to OKX, a tribute-album to Radiohead’s third album, OK Computer, with a cover of “Electioneering.” Loyalty to Loyalty has its Radiohead moments—“Avalanche in B” is a lot like “We Suck Young Blood,” and “Welcome to Occupation” is reminiscent of “Electioneering.” “Relief?” Try “Myxamytosis.” This isn’t reminiscent in a bad way, because what self-respecting indie rock band wasn’t at least a little influenced by Radiohead? The Cold War Kids are lyrically dark, but they carry a strong narrative. The album contains a lot of variety— “Golden Gate Jumpers” is carried by bluesy piano, “Every Man I Fall For” is intense minimalistic and poignant, while “On the Night My Love Broke Through” is dark blues ballad, accentuated by low toms and chimes, with a crescendo in manic piano. Willet’s voice is strong on this album, from his falsetto to his growl, and the rest of the band is on-point, even in moments of chaos. —Juliet Bennet Rylah

How does a major label tame the mangy musical beast of bohemian beauty that is Indiapolis’ eightperson chamber-pop collective Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s? They don’t. Instead the two reached a compromise: release one album (Animal!) preferred by the band on vinyl/digital download, and one album of the label’s liking (Not Animal) on CD/download. Five songs appear on both, with the calmly rising “As Tall As Cliffs” emerging at the top of the band’s staggering list of densely-orchestrated achievements. Lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Richard Edwards has rightfully described Animal! as a more cohesive creation, and its songs have a living, breathing quality. Yet the suits get it right, too, with some of the better stand-alone songs coming on Not Animal, specifically “Shivers (I’ve Got ‘em),” arguably the most darkly anxious of the frequently freak-outfueled folk found here. —Eric Mitts

Were you thinking about going totally fucking apeshit crazy, but you just didn’t have the right album to listen to while you were doing it? Well, captain, today’s your lucky day because Grampall Jookabox is one hell of a go-crazy record with track titles like “This Girl Ain’t Preggers” and “We Know We Might Be Fucked.” There’s no snappy high-hat here, no, the beats are thick, meaty, intense tom-tom, trash-canlid pounding death throes-style dancing beats. The lyrics are sometimes hilarious (“You know I love you I love you/ I took mushrooms and then proposed to you because I love you love you”) but other times inciteful (and no, I didn’t mean to type INSIGHTFUL, Microsoft Word, I meant inciteful, even if it’s not a word yet), like when “They tell us what to do/they tell us what to say/they tell us what to wear/they tell us how to behave” in “Let’s Go Mad Together.” Then there’s his song-letter to Michael Jackson. Hmm. Combining all this with strange harmonies and auxiliary percussion and bizarre samplings makes a mystical and beautiful record. It’s a little Tim Fite, a little Saul Williams, a little Animal Collective—dig? —Juliet Bennet-Rylah

Kevin Barnes said that this album was going to be all over the place, musically. And it is. Deviating from traditional verse/chorus pop, the songs transform over and over again as they run their course, and the album covers a stretch of genres. Dance pop, indie rock, surf rock, soul, funk, disco—the influences are vast and wonderful, comrades. The lyrics are brilliant, hyperbolic and dramatic. Example: “I’m so sick of sucking the dick of this cruel, cruel city/I’ve got what it takes to please a woman, but that’s all gonna change” or maybe “He’s just a slutty, little flirt and sister, he’s only going to hurt you/Ladies, I’m screaming out to you from the depths of this phallocentric tyranny.” It’s got all the hypersex and neon of Midnight Vultures, especially thanks to Kevin Barnes’ alter ego, Georgie Fruit, whose aristocratic (and maybe I mean Prince-like) falsetto cuts profanely through it all, but it’s still decidedly of Montreal and you shouldn’t be disappointed in it, Barnes fans—you should just dance. —Juliet Bennet Rylah

Amanda Palmer

Secret Machines

Thievery Corporation

Miss Murgatroid & Petra Haden Hearts & Daggers

Roadrunner Records

TSM Recordings/World’s Fair Group

ESL Records

File Under: Music

Amanda Palmer’s first solo album is a gorgeous record laden with talent including Ben Folds, Zoe Keating (Rasputina), East Bay Ray (Dead Kennedys), Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and others. Some of the songs are fast and some of the songs are slow, and a lot of the songs are songs you might have heard live, except now they’re fully produced with strings and backing vocals. The purists might say they liked them better simple, but the production adds a warmth and depth to Palmer’s original tunes. Her lyrics are occasionally heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, but never ordinary. Essentially, if you like Amanda with The Dresden Dolls, you’ll like this album. It’s got the same heart, but a very different atmosphere, something playful but sort of sinister, like a fairytale for adults. It’s fitting then, that Neil Gaiman wrote the jacket. —Juliet Bennet Rylah

Always explosive, Secret Machines have never got an album started as quickly as they do with “Atomic Heels.” Compared to previous album-opening offerings, the song has some serious pop spring in its step, launching the space rockers into a lush orbit so that subsequent songs on their third set, like “Last Believer, Drop Dead”—which doesn’t get into its solid second groove until after when “Heels” had squeaked to a stop—can delve that much deeper into their signature shoe-gaze psychedelia. The brotherly bond between vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Brandon Curtis and former guitarist/vocalist Benjamin Curtis may have brought life to the band, but drummer Josh Garza’s relentless performance propelled their exploration. His drive rolls on “Underneath The Concrete” and gives closer “The Fire Is Waiting” the ferocity it needs, while new guitarist Phil Karnats provides perfect prods, jabs and sears. —Eric Mitts

Thievery Corporation produces a smooth, sexy album with Radio Retaliation. As usual, they expertly fuse together a myriad of influences, both stylistic and cultural, to produce a swanky martini bar soundtrack. And while the album may be pleasant to put on the in the background, you’ll find that Rob Garza and Eric Hilton haven’t ignored the political climate either if you pay attention. “Vampires” opens with the lyrics “They’ll gain the war/but lose their soul,” and title track “Radio Retaliation” itself challenges the airwaves. The rest of the album unfolds eclectically, trading styles and languages around for a truly globally inspired mix of tight tracks inspiring both impromptu dance parties as well as independent thought. —Juliet Bennet Rylah

Petra Haden, as both a vocalist and a violinist, has done a lot of things. She’s been in The Decemberists and The Rentals. She recorded an acapella version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” for the Guilt By Association compilation. A compilation of covers released in 2007. A cover my friends played so often I began to associate that singular act with the entirety of Petra Haden’s career. Thankfully, Petra Haden and accordionist Miss Murgatroid (alias of photographer Alica J. Rose) have released a follow-up disc to their first collaborative album, Bella Neurox. The album is strange in a lot of ways. The instrumentation is almost entirely expert accordion and violin, which makes everything feel like old-timey historical documentaries about quaint sea towns. While a lot of the album is instrumental, most of the sparse vocals are simply non-lyrical or one-word melodies and harmonies. The ethereal nature of the vocals merges well with the rich sounds of the instruments, and the album, on the whole, is very pretty. Critically speaking, it tends to drone all the same after a while (save “Another Day,” an exquisite and haunting track which has both words as well as percussion), which makes it especially good for art museums, tea parties and libraries. —Juliet Bennet-Rylah

Loyalty to Loyalty

Who Killed Amanda Palmer

Secret Machines

Radio Retaliation

Skeletal Lamping

Coda... Coachella

(continued from page 8)

M.I. A . was the ultimate femme de funk at Coachella. Ferocious, precocious mind bending tribalism—people literally lost their minds for awhile in the Sahara tent. The bump brought the bang with a touch of her UK slang and the crowd was put into a state of chaos. The Sahara tent had been transformed into a place where time and space was erased. The power to unite all people was evident. M.I. A . was radiating more heat than a mob of fire breathing dragons in orange spandex—a wonderfully bizarre spectacle to behold. She brought the third world to the dance party. “How is that possible?” Portishead created a shockingly beautiful sound. With the first crack from Beth Gibbons’ vocal chords, listeners gravitated to the main stage like helium balloons to the sky. Mesmerizing, hypnotic music that journeys deep into the psychedelic soul, Portishead captured the crowd on Saturday night and refused to release them without making a few quiet commands. Music will move you, even if you can’t move to it, and Portishead represented their intricate recorded material so very cleanly. With quiet confidence, the soundscape reached for the desert stars like a tower of musical perfection. “ Where does it come from?” Prince made headlines for his funky purple punch, and when he decided it was time to shred his guitar, he made music unlike anyone alive. Few musicians combined the style and substance with such flavorful purple precision. His cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” may have stolen the show, demonstrating that despite the youthful indie rock/electronic pop crowd, a classic brother like Prince could still pull tricks. Everyone knew what time it was when Prince hit the stage: it was time to curl up with your girl on the side of the main lawn, spend a few minutes rubbing her shoulders, whispering sweet nothings, before taking her by the hand… and passing out drunk on her lap so that she has to ask her cousin for a lift back to the hotel. Smooth. “ Tomorrow is another day, no?” Sunday at Coachella was hot! Thankfully, The Cool Kids were cool enough to know that when the desert heat is bearing down in mid-afternoon the only respite is an unrelenting series of classic hip hop samples and a giant Super Soaker squirt gun. Spinning classics from Nas and Dr. Dre to Tribe Called Quest and Beastie Boys, The Cool Kids paid serious homage to m any of their indie hip hop godfathers. In the hip hop spirit of reinvention, re-working samples, and re-engineering the future, The Cool Kids kept the Coachella crowd fresh from jump. “Can we spin a record in the shade?” Mastersofimprovisational feedback manipulation, Holy Fuck rocked the socks off of the Coachella hookers without paying the extra dime. Creating thick electronic resonations without pre-programmed tracks, Holy Fuck worked their polyphonic rock like mad scientists, grafting feedback and dense electronic

sounds to wobbling rhythms that stuck to the crowd like plaster to a hole in the wall. Thick, sticky noise with minimal regard for any sort of delicate grace, Holy Fuck fucked us up. “Are there hangovers with this stuff ?” Gogol Bordello took on the main stage as the sun set on the last day of Coachella with one bad intention in mind: to inspire an endless dance party. Smiles were impossible to deny when hippie chicks and silly hicks took turns busting their groove. The fact of inspiration through music was so clearly evident - inspiring the artist to dance with the instrument to inspire the crowd to shout to the stars inspiring the artist to shine like the diamond in her eyes. Even people that don’t dance were dancing. Hell, people that shouldn’t dance were dancing—extremely uncoordinated and goofy looking, but up on their feet shaking their rumps nonetheless—and smiling from ear to ear about it. “Are you sure we are allowed to have this much fun?” Of course, for every three or four electronic pop groups that took to the stage at Coachella, there was an alternately funky rock, rap, or disco freak show to catch on the other end of the grounds. On Sunday, My Morning Jacket carried the torch for classically-charged, guitarinspired rock & roll. They took over the main stage through twilight and manifested a casual comfort in the desert with their fiery rock. A seriously impressive set that gave old Jacket fans reason for pride, while grabbing new indie rock fans by their freshly shaven balls. “Is it true?” Yes, Black Mountain is a throwback to a style of rock and roll that inspires long hair and images of empty scotch bottles, but then appreciation for Black Mountain is a must regardless of your sobriety. At Coachella they crushed the unsuspecting masses with a great loud rock sound that brought ghosts of Zeppelin and Sabbath nodding in appreciation. As if we needed further proof that classic rock & roll will never die, Black Mountain put another brick in the wall of rock. “Now what?” The 2008 Coachella Music Festival was nearing an end. But like a cherry-topped sundae, Roger Waters took to the main stage on the last night of the festival to the delight of nearly every soul in the desert. It was a solid chunk of the most timeless music to ever reach the stages of Coachella. Originally recorded before much of the young-ish Coachella audience was even born, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon stands iconic. Under dark skies and slow goodbyes, nearly everyone that experienced Coachella on Sunday had gathered for a final collective sigh to the epic sounds of Roger Waters. There was nobody alive in the desert that night that didn’t feel the relief and redemption that Mr. Waters expressed. Not a single soul could deny the presence of higher powers. WE were officially one united with all. “I feel the same… but different.”

Lollapalooza (continued from page 26) Innerpartysystem Probably put on the bill to balance out the age discrepancy between the aging alt-rockers on the main stages and most of the festivalgoers in attendance, the four young guys in Innnerpartysystem reached down deep for all their energy and put it all out there. Frontman Patrick Nissly particularly commanded the crowd on the band’s soon-to-be-huge single “Don’t Stop,” sounding something like Fall Out Boy playing KMFDM covers, but better. Just watching Kris Barman juggle his guitar, keyboard and digital turntable made these guys worth watching. Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s They played at a little bit past noon on Saturday, so the religious Radiohead fans probably hadn’t recovered in time to make it back into the park for this collective’s performance, but too bad. With two new records coming out this fall they had plenty to prove and for anyone who has watched their rise, they know that they bring it onstage. If nothing else the eight of them brought more instruments than any other band, and made good use of every one of them. From gentle melodica flourishes to marching band-sized bass drum thunder, the band filled their carefully crafted indie rock.   Tally Hall Hailing from Ann Arbor, Tally Hall hasn’t graduated from the side stage, but they’re clearly taking their final exams with shows like Lolla. Borrowing white-boy rap crib sheets from Beck and quirky songwriting study notes from They Might Be Giants, their older songs like “Banana Man” and the introductory “ Welcome To Tally Hall,” proved how they “like to play it all.” But when they launched into a live band cover of Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You,” plenty of people put on their best rendition of the Torrance Community Dance Group’s famous improvisational dance. Priceless.   Gogol Bordello They’ve played Warped Tour more than a few times now, so they’re definitely not newcomers nor are they stranger to sun-shining set times, but no band could have kick-started the middle of the first afternoon of the festival the way these gypsy punks did. Aging violinist Sergey Ryabtsev clad in ripped Slayer shirt and singing alongside frontman Eugene Hutz with more punk rock power than guys half his age matched the energy of the band’s onstage female dancers/drummers, clad in their own outrageous, neon-green costumes.   CSS These Brazilians got stuck at the airport last year and missed out on their first Lolla chance. Thankfully Perry Farrell invited them back right away, and with a second album just released this summer the astoundingly guitar-heavy electro band rocked the outdoor dance floor. And forget Gnarls Barkley, frontwoman Lovefoxxx’s layered onstage costume change mid-set claims the title for best band outfit of the fest.

Three biggest disappointments of Lollapalooza 2008 When a festival is peaking the way Lollapalooza did this summer, the stand-outs obviously overshadow what didn’t work so well. Normally the heat would go here as Chicago in August just has a tendency to turn people into toast, complete with sweat like melted butter, but honestly with plenty of water available, either at free filling stations or moderately priced at beverage stands, and the aforementioned breezes bringing some salvation, it really didn’t detract from the experience. Instead, the invasion of corporate sponsorships continues to question the integrity established by the original Lollapalooza. Why have the AT&T Digital Oasis when you’ve got Rage on the lineup playing “Ashes In The Fall” no less (where de la Rocha screams over and over “This is no oasis!”)? Oh well, such are the times. Here’re a few other missteps. The Weakerthans Why make these loveable Canadian folkies into the biggest whipping boys for the festival? Well, they were the only ones who didn’t show, and in their absence some of the early stages and set times on Sunday got screwed around without any notice at onsite information areas or posted lists of performers. If a festival as big as Lolla can’t get its act together as well as a two-bit tour stop for the Warped Tour, that’s a problem worth pointing out.   Brand New The only emo band to play this year, Brand New had an uphill battle from the moment they took the stage on Saturday. Plenty of Rage diehards had already made their way to the front of the stage, prompting frontman Jesse Lacey to introduce one of their songs as “Bombtrack,” only to later repeatedly berate those who actually wanted to see his band for not choosing to watch instrumental indie icons Explosions In The Sky instead who were playing at the same time on the opposite side of the park. In a meltdown matching the melodrama mocked by those who don’t get their genre, Brand New smashed their instruments and walked off stage more than fifteen minutes before they were scheduled to, leaving silence in the park for the first time since early Friday.   Perry’s Not having a corporate sponsor seize the name of this side-stage was about all it had going for it. A last minute addition and clearly an obvious afterthought from Perry Ferrell, this club-inspired DJ tent just looked sad since it had the hardest time drawing an enthusiastic audience from the thousands walking by it. With celebrity DJs on its list—seriously, DJ Momjeans aka “That ‘70s Show’s” Danny Masterson following tabloid celebrity boyfriend DJ AM?—this side “stage” should just have gotten replaced with another one as Farrell’s surprise, non-DJ performance with “special guest” Slash got the best reaction.   Even an event as jammed packed with amazing artists as Lollapalooza has room for improvement. So with next year’s dates already announced as Aug. 7-9, 2009 and Grant Park remaining the Lolla location through 2011, there’s plenty of time for Farrell and company to take Chicago’s unforgettable festival to the next level.



By Dan Boujoulian People have been looking upon Lady Liberty for generations, coming into our country, passing through immigration and then boarding trains bound for ALL POINTS WEST.

On Day 2 I decided to bike it. I arrived to see K’naan captivating a small crowd. Soon thereafter it was The Virgins, The Black Angels, Animal Collective, Kings of Leon and The Roots. Everyone of them, kicking it up a notch. New Yorkers would not be regretting spending the night away from the city, everyone was into the music, smiling, dancing and trying to get a buzz on.

The buzz on part is a bit difficult. APW has what I call the Beer Corral. This fenced in area is the only place you can have an adult beverage. This may sound good on paper to the suits but it’s just not practical for a festival. It apparently stems from a New Jersey law. This inconvenience upset alWhen you head to this festival, you immediately realize coholics across the board… no one I saw was happy about it this is not Bonnaroo, this is not Vegoose, this is not Roththat day. One of my friends called it The Beer Jail, and it cerbury, nor is it 10,000 Lakes or even is it Coachella, defitainly felt like it. A special effects artist I work with at PSYOP nitely not anything -palooza. This festival belongs to the left the festival early because of it, his British mind could not East Coast. You are a few hundred meters from the fallen deal with the laws of New Jersey. Twin Towers and you’re going to have to pass through a

Now the people of New Jersey have given us all a new reason to head to All Points West. It is in the form of a 3 day music festival, just across a river from New York City.

thorough security check. Getting into this festival takes Radiohead headlined the second night as well. I love Radioeons, the lines coming in are monsterous. Your journey head, and I’ve seen them more than a few times, but this secbegins at home and most people choose mass transit to ond set just didn’t do it for me. Maybe it’s all the jazz and jam get here, I did that the first day, the second day I rode my bands I see on a regular basic, but just watching them play bicycle from my home in Brooklyn, and the third day I almost-the-same set was a let down. I wanted to see them drove the car I purchased in the Motor City. outdo Friday night, but that just didn’t happen. On Day 1, I didn’t really know how long it would take. I Saturday night was a busy night, I was glad to be able to bywas going to take the ferry over the Hudson River, but pass the light rail by riding my bike up to the PATH train. A the line was enormous, so I headed to the World Trade ride over the river back to the WTC and I was on my bike and Center and took the PATH train across. Once you get home in 10 minutes. Had I waited for the light rail, I’d probto New Jersey, there’s a light rail that takes you about ably still be waiting today... OK not really. a mile from the festival, held at Liberty State Park. Day 3: I wanted an early start to see Neil Halstead. I didn’t make it THAT early but I did get there in time to see Rogue Wave and Matt Costa. Both sets were amazing. The crowd ate them both up, as they should. Matt is such an inspiring songwriter, everyone should be checking this guy out. Rogue Wave was my favorite newfound band, I had not heard them before the APW set and I will sure be checking them out whenever they return to the ManSoon thereafter, Underworld took the Blue Comet stage. hattan island. Trey Anastasio and Classit TAB did not dissapoint. These guys fill everyone within earshot with energy and Trey hasn’t played many solo shows recently so it was nice that the motivation to dance dance dance! Sleeky, sultry eleche was a late sign on for this festival. It was interesting to see a tronica that burrows into your soul and makes you want to typical headline act squeezed into a smaller stage, Trey would move and groove, no matter what may have plagued your be comfortable anywhere, so long as that rug is under him, he mind before. It’s all clear now, it’s just good times and always plays on that, it must put him in the zone he needs to be great tunes. in. Ben Harper led in to Jack Johnson, the festival closer.

The New Pornographers were already playing when I approached, I breezed by the CSS set on the way. There’s just something about the New Pornographers that makes you want to celebrate indie rock, they have a spirit that many bands lack these days.

Andrew Bird headlined the Queen of the Valley stage. Andrew is a rare gem of a good time. Rocking the violin, guitar and of course, his mouth, whether it’s his voice or his whistle, he grabs you into the music and you don’t want him to let you go.

All in all, it was a great first year for APW, although I’d like to see them address the beer situation a little better and make the entrance go smoother. Being in New York you understand the need for tightened security, but make it less obtrusive, APW! I missed a lot of good music just waiting to be groped by the security guards at the entrance. The main headliner for Friday night was Radiohead. Opening with In Rainbows “15 Step,” they made sure everyone realized why they are THE sought after headline act. The band was spot on, putting in a set over 2 hours long. The -Dan Boujoulian encore included a track from just about every album from Lives in New York City (and believes we all live in a Wide- Eyed The Bends to today. nation.)

All Points West 2008 / For more photos of Ben Harper and some East Coast antics, go to:


{Jersey City, New Jersey / August 8th - 10th}

Photo by Dan Boujoulian



Summer festival recap for 2008; Coachella, DEMF, Warp Tour, Rothbury, Pitchfork, Rock The Bells, All Points West. Interviews with Larry Robe...