Three days and a ton of friends, artists, and artist friends at San Diego Comic Con 2015

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Last week, I went to the San Diego Comic Con. My brother and I have only missed one since 1979 when we were little kids who collected comics. Most chatter about the Con entails movie stars, entertainment news, and how hard it is to get tickets. But what about the less popular panels or how you get to see so many rad people from all over the place–longtime friends, badass artists, and personal heroes, too?

I already wrote something about the panels I attended this year, so here’s a rundown of some of the people I saw.

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Lalo Alcarez is the guy behind the La Cucaracha daily strip, which I’m a big fan of. He and Ask a Mexican writer Gustavo Arellano have been working on a new cartoon for Fox called Bordertown. It expands on their celebration of La Raza and underdogs everywhere, and at his panel my brother Greg and I got to see some advance footage that cracked us up and is sure to offend people to the right of us. We went to his signing afterward and he was a real cool guy.

Every year we see Los Bros Hernandez and every year we buy something that at least one of them can sign. This time I got Yeah!, an anthology about an interstellar girl band drawn by Gilbert Hernandez and written by Peter Bagge. Talk about a dream team; how could I have missed it when it first came out? It never gets old meeting and supporting legends of underground/indie/punk comics and it was awesome to see that Beto’s daughter Natalia is making mini comics now, too.

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Later on, we caught Beto on a panel that included Peter Bagge. Of course, we tracked him down afterward, took a picture, and made him sign Yeah! I love Bagge’s comics and totally would have brought Hate and some records for him to sign if I knew he was going to be around.

Above right is our friend Mike Shah, who attended the same second and third grade class as Greg and me. All of us discovered comics together and started going to the Comic Con together, too. We must have been going into fifth or sixth grade at the time, and who knew that Greg would live in San Diego and all of our families would be crashing it his place for the Con more than three decades later? All that’s missing is our long-lost childhood friend Brian Brown, our fellow comic collector and D&D player with the un-Googlable name…

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Can’t not mention Brian Tse, without whom I wouldn’t have been able to get into this particular Con. And this is not the first time he has helped me secure a badge. There have been times during the mad rush to purchase passes online when I’d feel defeated and start getting philosophical, but he’d come back with, “You have to go! You’ve been going since you were a kid and can’t stop now. I’m going to help you get a ticket.” He was a great GR softball teammate and huge mag supporter, too, and I’m glad we actually got to attend the Con on the same day this year.

I was also glad to see David Walker, who I got to know from Giant Robot’s days in Indie Alley. He published and wrote practically all of Badazz Mofo, which featured essays and interviews with just about every living Blaxploitation star. Now he’s writing Cyborg comics for DC. Love it when the good guys (or ladies) win.

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Greg and I were stoked to see Carlos Ezquerra, co-creator of Judge Dredd, at the 2000 AD panel, and then I tracked him down at the booth. One doesn’t cross with creators with such legendary status very often. How could we not buy  anthologies to have him sign?

I was waiting to buy a sketchbook from Geof Darrow when Gaston Dominguez-Letelier from Meltdown walked up to whisk him away to a panel. Gaston was an early supporter of Giant Robot mag and I still enjoy stopping by his shop to buy comics and chat with him, his brother, and all the cool people who work there. What a small, awesome world we live in. Of course they would know each other and of course he allow Geof to pause for a quick photo with him and me.

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I’ve seen Matt Groening at the Drawn & Quarterly booth before, but I swear I don’t go there to stalk him. What a nice guy and what a huge supporter of comics and culture. Always love talking about new comics, new music, and everything else that matters.

I like to hang out by the  Drawn & Quarterly booth because it is run by the nicest people with the best taste, but this time I kept circling back to have my 25th anniversary book signed by the artists and staff that were present. My shoulders were killing me from lugging that awesome brick of a book for three days. Above right, that’s Marc Bell, Julia Pohl-Miranda, and Michael DeForge.

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Talk about the stars aligning. I missed Saturday and our friend Daniel Wu’s panels but returned on Sunday along with my family. My pal from Hong Kong Ryan Hui (a.k.a. The Stay Up) happened to be in town and was able to get a ticket for that day, too. After scoring the toys he was looking for, he let me drag him around to all of my indie comics spots as well as the cute stuff that Wendy and I wanted to share with Eloise.

Of course, we stopped by the Giant Robot booth to say hi to Eric Nakamura. I had a lot of fun working our booth when we made the mag together. Wendy did both graphic design for the publication as well as doing shifts at the booth and Eloise’s babyhood was well-documented in the last two years of the mag. I miss the mag and Eric, but can’t complain about our excellent 16-year ride.

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More legends at the Con. John Lewis was a Civil Rights activist who became a Senator and then a graphic novelist. Impressive resume, and very cool to spot him at the Top Shelf booth and get a quick photo of him with my family as well as my niece. When they get older, Eloise and Saoirse will be blown away to realize that they met Lewis–at Comic Con!

My family has gone on pilgrimages to the Schulz Museum numerous times and we’ve taken photos with the World Famous Super Beagle at the Con before, but Snoopy is still a real big deal to my family. We went to a panel featuring graphic designer Chip Kidd and Creative Associates honcho Paige Braddock, and the Schulz art book they’re working on will be amazing. Missed a photo with Paige, though. Rats!

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So many friends from all over the place. How cool to spot Ashley Mae from Keep Company shoes just one week after seeing her at Anime Expo? Where will we see her next Sunday?

Eloise was a little disappointed by the quantity and level of cosplay compared to Anime Expo, but was pretty excited to see Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask toward the end of the day.

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I used to work with Michelle Kim back in the Giant Robot garage, and now she’s at the Mimoco booth. I’m glad we’re back in touch and she always makes our visits to Comic Con more fun (and fashionable with her Simpsons and Rilakkuma gear). Thanks, Michelle!

The Con was being shut down as we were walking by Super7 at the moment when the founder/my friend Brian Flynn was standing next to Darth Vader! An awesome ending to another awesome Comic Con. Hope we’re all able to get in next year…

Carsick and Role Models by John Waters

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I’ve decided to start sharing some of my Imprint pieces on this blog… This post includes reviews of the last two books by underground filmmaker John Waters and also describes his influence on my attitude toward writing.

http://www.imprintculturelab.com/carsick-and-role-models-by-john-waters/

I Want My MSG

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This editorial originally ran in Giant Robot 66 (July-August 2010). Seems like a long time ago but my position hasn’t changed. Any typos or misinformation stand as well.

Decades before children’s toys made in China were discovered to be adorned with lead-based paint or White Rabbit Candy was found to include Melamine, there was monosodium glutamate. The fear it inspired was big enough to not only inspire a disease (“Chinese Food Syndrome”) but also start an industry (“No MSG” neon signage for restaurants).

But if the crystalline form of MSG was patented by Professor Kikunae Ikeda and marketed by Ajinomoto in Japan in 1908, why is it associated with Chinese food? And why do Cheetos, Doritos, and KFC get a pass on containing the ingredient but not kung pao chicken? And aren’t the symptoms somewhat random and unproven anyway?

It’s obvious to me that the demonization of MSG is nothing more than thinly veiled China-bashing, sadly carried on by celebrity chefs from Martin Yan to Mr. Chow to Philippe Chow, who turn out to be nothing but Charlies in the kitchen.

I recall my grandmother, who moved from China to the United States in the 1930s, adding Ac’cent (an American brand of MSG) to just about everything she made, and she was healthy into her eighties.

Americans glorify the eating of bacon, donuts, lard, and a host of other much unhealthier foods for the sake of being rebellious, comforted, or hedonistic, and I think the same should be done with MSG but in the name of Yellow Power.

The challenge is to eat MSG with as much purpose as pride. Because it comes in a crystallized powder form, it isn’t visible like mayonnaise (the White Pride condiment). Sprinkling it into your food as it’s being prepared isn’t as dramatic as deep-frying (which has been claimed not just by the South but also by the carnie sub-culture).

So how can you fly the flag?

Boycotting restaurants that advertise “No MSG” is an obvious step, but a more active route is carrying a box with you everywhere you go. MSG is rather cheap and usually available in the Oriental Foods aisle at supermarkets that cater to lower tax brackets.

It might be most effective to add MSG to your food while cooking it, but that is just selfish and benefits nothing except your palate. A more subversive strategy is to bring out a box of the substance in public places–a restaurant, your break room, a picnic–and simply sprinkle a spoonful over whatever it is that you’re eating.

The first few times I put the box on a table in public weren’t easy and, to be honest, I still haven’t done it while dining out with my young daughter. Heads turn, eyes glare, and mouths clench tight. But I know that behind the haters’ pursed lips, salivary glands are gushing at the very thought of the forbidden “fifth flavor.”

Supposedly, MSG unlocks a food’s hidden flavor that stands apart from the traditional four: sweet, salty, bitter, sour. It was first described by the Japanese inventor as “umami,” or savoriness, and is a riff off of the glutamates found naturally in dried seaweed, mushrooms, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.

Most often, I add the flavorful crystals to my lunch–typically leftover Chinese food made by my in-laws. Again, I dust it onto my food only after leaving the kitchen and entering the office so others can see.

I’ve even been adding it by the spoonful to non-Chinese food, such as Mexican leftovers and delivered pizza. But that doesn’t make it fusion cuisine and it isn’t even that weird; MSG is found in just about all store-bought tortilla chips as well as most pizzas from chain restaurants.

Chinese patriots aren’t alone in the fight to rescue MSG’s reputation. There are also foodies who have joined the cult of umami, flocking to themed restaurants not only in Los Angeles and San Francisco but Boston, Miami, and Westchester. They may see a difference between “their” hip glutamates and MSG, but we know the truth.

And what about the snobs who will eat nicely packaged Japanese crackers, seaweed snacks, or bricks of ramen that are loaded with MSG, but scoff at the suggestion of eating Cantonese diner food? Korean, Vietnamese, and other Asian cuisines use MSG, as well, but also manage to avoid the stigma suffered by Chinese food and injustice directed at Chinese people.

Fighting a war by oneself can become lonely, so I’ve been offering my box of MSG to others in the office–namely, volunteers and interns. Most politely decline, but one was quick to add it to a slice of pizza when I ordered pies during deadline. In the evening, she claimed the powder made her parched during her drive home, but I think that’s just because I was too cheap to order drinks.

Headaches, heart palpitations, numbness, diarrhea, swelling, and chills–the list of alleged symptoms goes on for pages and everyone’s reactions are different. I’m not saying that no one suffers them, but isn’t fear the real cause? Fear of a communist cuisine served on a round table, family style? Fear of laundry owners that know your stains and secrets? Fear of economic domination by a nation of billions?

But these days Chinese culture is also cool culture, as evidenced in fields such as modern architecture, contemporary art, and new cinema. This is the time to eat MSG with pride. This is the time to promote monosodium glutamate as the real MSG, while Madison Square Garden is home to losing basketball and hockey, and the Michael Schenker Group’s legion of headbangers is losing its hair and hearing.

So pile on the MSG and share it generously–but in moderation. I don’t want to see your eyes bleed.

R.I.P. The Robot Lounge, Long Live The Robot Lounge

grl1The Fun Boy Three sang that “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” and that’s exactly what happened with the Robot Lounge. I helped start Giant Robot magazine but I was just a tourist at the discussion boards on the Giant Robot website.

Sure, there were a few threads in which Eric or I would announce a new issue or let the public know about art shows at GR2, GRSF, GRNY, JANM… But I don’t think the Loungers were exactly refreshing those feeds. The magazine and shops were just a starting point, bringing together a group of wildly curious outliers who were into Asian and art cinema, new and underground art, toys and cartoons for grown-ups, and other stuff that otaku, punks, and weirdos were seeking out but was hard to find at the time. Their conversations went much deeper than our articles and interviews, and strayed off into new tangents, inside jokes, actual gatherings, and in a few cases, marriage.

A handful of Loungers contributed to the magazine, worked at the store, and even played softball with us. But those overlapping instances were quite small compared to larger group that would go on pilgrimages to see art movies at the Nuart and get wasted at meowy barbecues at Randall Fairbrook’s pad.

The Lounge itself lost a little luster as time spent on bulletin boards was replaced by newer forms of social media and suffered another blow (probably more like a dent) when the mag bit the dust. But the friendships lasted beyond the fairly recent bitter end and now there is a closed group on Facebook that I am honored to be a part of. When the old site was finally dismantled, I asked the crew to share some words about it.

I can flip through a set of GRs that sits on my bookshelf when I got nostalgic about the magazine but only the NSA has a record of the Lounge. For the rest of us, this small and very incomplete tribute will have to suffice…

joetron2030: I came late to both GR the magazine and the GRL. But once I discovered both I felt like I’d found the neatest place ever. Both really went a long way into influencing my tastes in art and culture. Plus, I’ve come to know some really great people through the GRL.

wnoodle: The magazine and the Lounge were two communities (admittedly they were more or less the same community) that made me realize, “Holee carp, there are other people out there as weird as me.” It was liberating.

Shaftoe: This may be long for a quote, but here are my thoughts.

I found the Lounge not through Giant Robot magazine, but from a completely unrelated web search back in 2002. The Lounge made me aware of GR, not the other way around. It was the coolest forum I’d ever seen: a small, active, intelligent, thriving community. It had its own culture distinct and separate from anything else on the Internet. While the “Asian Pop Culture/Arts Community Kitsch” style of the GR brand was well-represented, it was never a focus nor a requirement for feeling like you belonged to the Lounge community.

I lurked, I posted, I kept posting. I loved it. The people on the Lounge were witty, intelligent, progressive, and cross-cultural. I learned, I laughed, and I counted myself lucky for this orange message board that was often my first stop when firing up a web browser. I’ll never forget the inside jokes, the personalities, the humorous-in-hindsight rivalries, or any of it. I went through my twenties with the lounge. Talked through triumphs and tragedies in my life, others’ lives, the world.

Now that it’s gone, I regret ignoring it in recent years. At least I still have my Bruce Made Tapes shirt to help me remember. And when I walk up to groups of friends talking about something and say, “Hey guys, what’s going on in this thread?” it’s okay if they look at me like I’m a weirdo. Because I know that somewhere, 35ft6, myleftlung, shawgirl, evillilgirl, atomiclotusbox, iago (Well, maybe not his pretentious ass, LOL.), martin, ja.net, aaron, ninjakid, Randall Fairbrook, dragonchic, and everybody else who I should remember but whose screen names are sadly fading from memory as these things do, are laughing right along with me. GRL por vida, bitches.

atomiclotusbox: I feel like you bots know me better than anyone else. And that might not be very well at all, but I interacted with the Lounge far more than I did with that large a group of diverse people in real life.

35ft6: Evil Mastermind’s recounting of seeing Shaquille O’Neal in person was hilarious. Some of Happy’s flame posts while battling Iago were just genius. This is a toughie because a lot of the posters were great, but it was usually more about how an intellectual poster responded to a mush head, for example. Or a sarcastic, ironically detached poster responded to a sincere emo type. Like MMA, it was all about match-ups. In a vacuum, most of my favorite posts weren’t that great. It was the timing, what led up to it, knowing the posters’ histories, etc.

fmstlr: The tower was built by hate.

noeruna: I remember that I bought the 10th anniversary issue of GR magazine and there was a mention of the message board. That’s how I ended up spending all those hours reading and reacting to the Robot Lounge. Although I lurked more than I posted. Oh, and clicking the refresh button on the screen just meant that I wouldn’t get work done for the next few hours.

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Tsar Nicholas: The Lounge was a whirling, treacherous, sloshing, molten anomie crucible inhabited mainly by several dozen specimens of elevated-octane crafty nut-bar. An orange haven for the strange and highly specialized. Awash in equal parts Laphroaig and horchata, Missy and Furtwangler, hate and hormones. Even after the GR mag had stopped being “The Magazine For [Me],” the Lounge gave me a connection to the zeitgeist that was live like Fresh Kid Ice.

wnoodle: The wit found in the Lounge was pretty first-rate (although, what do I know about how to gauge something like wit?) and at the very least forced me to up my game of funny-isms. My wife and friends thank you

joetron‬: The lounge is where I came across “JDM tyte” and I am all the better for it.

Bosie Herzog:‬ Thanks to board, the terms “robot,” ” juice box,” “Post-It,” and “self sampling” will never be the same.

SDP: Without the lounge, there would be no Crampu.

feralmuppet: I have interacted with many people from the Lounge on a daily basis for over a decade. I have shared with them my secrets, passions, and tragedies. But I haven’t met most of them in real life. I have this fantasy in which we all meet up in SoCal or Vegas for a night of drinks and jokes only Loungers would understand. I think the gathering would feel like a high school reunion. We’d look at each other and think, “Yeah that’s how I always pictured him, but he’s a bit different.”

Invictus‬: I joined the GRL when I was still living in Minneapolis. For me, the magazine came first, then the Lounge, then moving to LA, then Eric posting that he was looking for help on Sawtelle when I was deciding I didn’t like working where I was working, then an interview in his kitchen (where I think he was nervous), and then becoming manager of the stores, then overseeing the retail operations, then going through a lot of growing pains and greats, then going on vacation one year, then sadly saying goodbye to my GR family.

angoraphobia: Nostalgia is a strange beast. It yields a certain sentimentality through one’s own blinders. My association with GRL is bittersweet. But in the end it was all about learning. The things I didn’t know (but needed to) about sub-culture, art, music, food, ideals, philosophy, psyches, fears, flirtation, betrayal, and hilarity (dark or otherwise). As much as GR informed me, so did the Lounge. They may have been two different beasts, but they will forever be intertwined to me. And then there’s my own personal triumph, the rambling three-letter chat threads at the fringe of the board for folks who didn’t have anywhere else to be. It was like our own little Breakfast Club. That’s what I’ll miss the most.

650lex: I have made awesome friends through GRL that I may never meet in person and the those I was lucky enough to meet hold a special place in my heart. Especially the one I made my Mr. 650Lex and created a family with. Yes, we love telling friends and family how we met. I wrote how Reno, NV is the armpit of America and he wrote in response, “Obviously, you’ve never been to New Jersey.” That’s how he got my heart. We’ve known each other almost 10 years, married for 6 of them. Thanks GRL… I think

Chauncey Chauncey‬: Over the years, several times, I’ve thought if my sister could have grown up with some of the hilarious, sassy Asian girls of the GRL, her life could have been totally different. Instead she grew up wishing she looked like a skinny tall white chick and is currently a pretty damaged human being.

atomicscissors: What can I say? You just had to be there. If you weren’t, sucks to be you.

Shaftoe: For some odd reason I remember that ninjakid, I think it was ninjakid, was an extra in Sweet Home Alabama, that Reese Witherspoon joint, and proudly posted a pic of his backside at some movie set press conference with Patrick Dempsey. So random. I also remember all the celebrity sighting threads in N.Y. and L.A. and being totes jelly because the only celebrity I’d ever seen up until that time in Sacramento was Jim fucking Palmer when he was shilling for the Money Store.

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Jim Haku: It was great from the beginning in late 2000, until the redesign in 09 or whenever. There was still some cool people posting but it felt like nobody on the site really gave it shit about it anymore to even fix the banner, etc. The thing that made it great were the people from the mag posting there and it really felt like a community that made sense all together, instead of like a buncha weirdos in the backroom of a store who have nothing to do with it. Also all the girls left cause dudes started posting straight up porn. The board started with a relatively healthy gender mix, mostly college grads with real lives who talked about real shit. And the meetups were real important. The next phase were everyone who stuck around evolved in weird caricatures of themselves had a lot of great, funny writing, the whole mid-2000s.

As is often the case with the Lounge, the conversation went on many tangents, went deep into in-jokes that no one else would get, and kept going on even after I said that I had enough quotes. (I apologize if I missed you.) It’s telling, also, that I didn’t need to do any copy editing at all. The Loungers are as smart as they are odd. The magazine dipped into the worlds of Huruki Murakami, Wong Kar-Wai, and David Choe, for example, but the Loungers actually own and read every book, have seen every single movie lensed by Christopher Doyle, and started debating Choe’s ethics/sanity way before it was cool.

R.I.P. Robot Lounge, long live the Lounge, and see you guys on Facebook until that fades away, too…

Save Music in Chinatown 4

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One week from today, my wife Wendy and I will be throwing the fourth Save Music in Chinatown DIY punk matinee/fund raising gig at Human Resources gallery to pay for music education at Castelar Elementary, where our daughter goes to first grade. This an unplanned and awesome extension of my days of writing about music and hanging out with artists when I edited Giant Robot mag. Getting to share and push culture on the printed page was a real gift. But to do something that happens in real life and try to make a difference in the community where my immigrant grandparents and in-laws have spent time is a different type of radical. Especially since Eloise goes to school there now.

The harebrained idea was spawned last year when our daughter started attending kindergarten. Her inner-city campus looks like a prison but it’s an excellent school with passionate teachers, bright kids, and a kick-ass dual-language Mandarin program that Eloise is thriving in. Then, in the first week, we parents received a flyer stating that the music program had been defunded. Could the households help pay the $50 thousand bill? In that particular mostly immigrant and blue-collar neighborhood, probably not.

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Wendy wondered what we could do, since we’re not loaded and don’t do bake sales. It occurred to us that Chinatown has a punk rock heritage that can’t be beat (X, Zeros, Weirdos, Black Flag, Dils, Germs…) and a lively art gallery scene (post punk) as well. Although the scenes don’t overlap much with the locals outside of bars and restaurants, of course they’d help kids if they could. Especially for music. And since Wendy and I have ties to all three cultures, we decided to have punk matinees in art galleries to help the local kids. Wendy came up with the name: Save Music in Chinatown.

I was fortunate that my old friends Gabie from KCHUNG and Wendy from Ooga Booga Store introduced me to the crew at Human Resources right off the bat. The gallery’s vibe is perfect with its past lives as a kung fu movie theater, porno theater, and sweat shop before it was abandoned and was reborn as a gallery that specializes in difficult to show or sell art. Eric, Grant, Luke, and everyone else there have been nothing but super cool and supportive.

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Save Music in Chinatown 4 flyer by Louis Perez III

And how awesome is it to have punk rock back in Chinatown. In the afternoon. I have a lot of friends who don’t get out as much as they used to because they don’t like staying up late or dealing with getting a babysitter. These all-ages matinees are a perfect way to get everyone out but also expose kids to cool music.

At six, Eloise has seen the likes of The Chuck Dukowski Sextet, California (with Jason from Green Day and Adam from Jawbreaker), Channel Three (with guest appearances by Maria Montoya and Tony Adolescent), Money Mark, Hector Penalosa from The Zeros playing with The Baja Bugs, and Bob Forrest from Thelonious Monster. Not to mention art rockers like Lucky Dragons, L.A. Fog, Deradoorian, Bitter Party… (Conversely, a lot of the artists who are used to playing late-night, sketchy venues dig being able to bring family and kids to our shows.)

While groveling for raffle goods is definitely the most awkward part of planning, I think it’s a key part of the fund raising. It allows us keep the door price low but raise some extra bucks. And it allows all sorts of friends and neighbors to contribute and build a scene. Regulars like Una from Keep, Mark from Donut Friend, Chris at Scoops Chinatown, and Vicki at Berndt Offerings, all the bands that sign records, artists who donate autographed books and prints, and everyone else–what would I do without them? And on the the bake sale end, gourmet goodies from so many parent/volunteers plus baked goods from Wendy’s pasty chef/cousin Linda, coffee courtesy of Julia and interTrend, and other treats add to the awesome experience (and funds raised) substantially.

And Sunday afternoons are ideal because there’s plenty of free street parking and everyone can leave early enough to grab some noodles in Chinatown before getting home at a decent hour and not being a wreck on Monday. A perfect day.

Save Music in Chinatown 4 flyer by Eloise
Save Music in Chinatown 4 flyer by Eloise

So please come to our next show. I still can’t believe Bob Forrest (Thelonious Monster) and Josh Klinghoffer (Dot Hacker) are playing their first hometown show as The Bicycle Thief in 13 years for our little matinee. And I love Evil Hearted You’s carefully crafted post-punk roots sound on their debut album but their live show is going to kill you. I’m not even going to get into how great Hector Penalosa’s mini set of My Revenge was at the second show–a perfect mix of power pop, garage rock, and O.G. punk–and how much I want to see a full set. All that tied together by the garage rock tunes spun by KXLU’s Molotov Cocktail Hour DJs? Damn.

I hope you can tell that although Save Music in Chinatown was born out of necessity, and there are worthwhile cultural angles that I’m interested in and proud of, this project is mostly just super fun for us. And I hope it’s that way for everyone who helps out by playing or promoting the gigs, donating raffle items, working the bake sale, or attending.

Save Music in Chinatown 3: with Chuck Dukowski Sextet and California (May 18, 2014)
Save Music in Chinatown 3 with Chuck Dukowski Sextet and California at Human Resources (May 18, 2014)

We can’t count on media, press, or calendar listings to get the word out, but friends with radio shows, blogs, and word of mouth all add up. If you can help spread the Facebook event page, Eventbrite ticketing site, or even this post, we would love it.

Have a blast. Build community. Help kids. Get advance tickets and save some dough on admission… See you there!

Reintroduction

SLF at the El Rey (September 3, 2014)
SLF at the El Rey (September 3, 2014)

I remember when Eric introduced blogs to the Giant Robot website. I didn’t think I had much to share, but in his estimation I did enough interesting things people would want to read about. I’m still not sure if that’s been the case, but it is pretty fun writing outside of the magazine format.

Even after the mag stopped publishing in 2010, I kept up my GR blog. Pictures from punk shows, zine and movie reviews, an occasional Q&A with an artist, and recaps of gatherings like Comic-Con and Agenda–the best parts have always been simply sharing the rad stuff that my friends do.

However, even as I type this, giantrobot.com is being rebuilt as a more dedicated retail site. My blog there will be on the cutting-room floor.

Since the the rad stuff keeps coming, I’m going to continue blogging on this site. Less art, more rock. Less cool stuff and more crap about being a dad. Doesn’t that sound awful? We’ll see how it goes.

Please read, share, and let me know what you think.