Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Busan Blues

This past weekend I went to Busan, the second largest city in Korea in search of fun and adventure. I was fortunate enough to be accompanied by Rachel and my swell new friends, Jason & Oakley.

We took the bullet train from downtown Seoul to Busan. We caught the equivalent of the red eye as we departed from Seoul on one of the last trains. Departure 9:40, arrival 12:30. Spirits and expectations were high. We had heard that the train was equipped with a snack cart that sells beer, but an hour and a half into the trip, there was no such thing in site. The anxiety of catching a glimpse of the snack lady started to give way to disappointment as it appeared the mythical cart would never appear. Finally, the cart appeared sparkling with beer. The weekend was off to a good start. Fearing that the cart would continue to be as elusive as it had for the first stretch of the trip, I quickly ordered three beers. After a quick glimpse of what appeared to be a mixture of surprise and disapproval, the pro handed me my beers. I drank those and then had two more.

Looking real self satisfied after my 5th beer

Posin' in the photo zone

This is Oakley. He rules. He also has an inexplicably strong dislike for having his photo taken. He probably hates that this is on the internet for all to admire, but fuck it. He'll get over it.

Jason and I engaged in my signature move: Back 2 Back shredding. I can't recollect exactly what song this shredding was accompanied by, but I do remember that Night Train and Dancing in the Streets were in the mix. The rokes joint was a pretty shady little affair. The jams were only 10 bones for the hour, but you had to order a big ol' plate of food and some of their shitty expensive drinks. Not to one to be had, I managed to sneak a bottle of Johnny Walker Black in the old trousers.

After the rokes we took in Busan's natural beauty at the beach. There is absolutely no fucking smoking there. You can however, drink as much as you like, which is exactly what we did.

I buy American.

This was the juncture in the evening where I became hell bent on taking a picture of myself totally horizontal in the air. I'm not really too sure what all went down here, but it looks like I blew it.

I think this was about as close as we got to capturing my ambitions. While I don't think I managed to accomplish my goal during this shot, I do fairly accurately recall damn near getting the wind knocked out of me. Bummer.

It was a pretty excellent evening.

The next day I think we all felt a little of kilter. These feelings of intense mediocrity were combated with an assault of abalone porridge and coin operated bumper cars.

Going dumb on an intergalactic spacecraft. No big deal.

The Three Amigos.

Rachel calls this our band shot, although I remember it more as the self timer shot that I farted during. Jason thought it was pretty funny.

We met up with some folks that Oakley had met via Last Fm. They all turned out to be very hospitable folks with excellent taste in music and culture. The young lady on the far right of the photo is an assistant director who was scouting locations for a film to be shot in Busan this December. She was a real nice gal.

This is Dan. There was some major name redundancy happening at this party. Two Daniels, Two Jason's, Two Rachels, & and a man that went by the name of Oak to compliment our Oakley.

This is Rachel with the other Rachel. They were both wasted at this point, no question. The other Rachel gave us a nice little chap book she had made along with some of her friends in Busan. It's called The Hotdog Catalog. If you'd like to contribute email her at: wilma.henn@gmail.com

Jason- A fine Knoxvillian and friend.

This is the other Jason. Apparently he lived in Portland for a pretty long stretch just before he left for Korea. He was a man of polite manners and discerning taste. We talked a great deal about westerns, portland, and rock & roll. Trifecta.

This is Oak and David. Oak is a big fan of online networking and music. David is a big fan of getting wasted and dancing like Mary Poppins all over the god damn place.

This is Kong. I thought he was handsome.

The man front and center is Matt Jones. He used to work at Ecstatic Peace and was in a band called Baby Jesus Burnout. One of the former drummers for Sebadoh was in it. You can listen to them at MySpace if you are so inclined. I liked Mr. Jones. He was a very affable man with good conversational skills. We're still in touch.

Oh here's a good Matt Jones story. About 5 minutes into meeting Oak and Matt a discussion arose regarding Matt's likeness to various celebrities. It was debated as to whether he resembled Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Brad Pitt. I don't really see either one too intensely, but go figure.

I bought 6 shitty roman candles for 5 bucks. It was too much damn trouble to light the things with all the wind and such, so I more or less lost interest after two of them. After I had grown tired of the candles, I took a little dip the Pacific and strangely found myself taking loads of pictures with similarly minded Koreans. Those pics are currently MIA, but hopefully, i'll wrangle some of those up in the near future.

Busan was fun.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Case of the Nostalgies

For some reason this commercial really reminds me of my childhood. A latch key childhood filled with too much tv and even more Nintendo. I don't think that catch phrase, "How many licks does it take to get to the middle..." will ever escape my consciousness

I don't know that this song really makes me feel all that nostalgic, but it does make me feel better. Always. I'm pretty sure it's my favorite Tommy James song.

In other news: I recently received my plane tickets back to the good 'ol US of A. I'll be touching down in San Francisco at 6:30 pm on November 27th. I'll probably be spending the better part of December in the Bay Area before I make my way up to Portland, but that could change pending any major employment or shelter options.

Friday, October 9, 2009

San Francisco Press Hounds

Hopefully, this will be the first in a series of post calling attention to some of the excellent bands that are currently hailing from San Francisco and gobbling up beaucoup press. Why San Francisco? Allow me to explain. First, in my humble opinion, it's home to some of the most rippin' Garage, lo-fi, psych outfits of the moment. Second, to honor one of my favorite cities in the world and the future landing site of my US return, unofficially slated for the 27th of November (More on that as the story develops).

Enough already, The Mantles. These guys have been hovering below the radar for the last couple of years releasing just a couple of 7''s, the first on Dulc-I-Tone Records, most notable for containing the hit track "Burden." The second single with the A Side) Trust and the B Side) Secret Heart was released through the art collective/record label Mt. St. Mtn., the very same people responsible for earlier releases from The Oh Sees & Sic Alps. Their first full length was put out a couple of weeks ago by the good folks at Siltbreeze, who seem to do no wrong these days. Check out the opening track from the album here:

The stand-outs for me are Disappearing Act, Don't Lie, & Burden. Their tunes definitely reside in the realm of moody garage pop. On their best tracks they seamlessly merge elements of Pink Frost era The Chills style pop with lo fi surf licks. Add a dash of garage rock revival into the mix and you've got some idea of what The Mantles sound like... to me at least. This is one of the best long plays I've heard in a while and I highly suggest anyone with the means to go out and pick it up at their local record shop. Portland area shoppers would be advised to check out Exiled or Mississippi Records.

Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I like this song and I hope you do, too.

Never you mind those silly Europeans in the crowd. I know the live version leaves you wanting, but if you're so inclined, get their record and listen to this jam (It has some really great, simple production, but more importantly, some super echo effects), i think you'll find it...awesome.

Detroit may not make cars worth a shit anymore, but they sure do make good Rock & Roll.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Small World

Man, I just got back from hongdae and i've got some good stories... Especially if you're JW or MMcG... Uggh Wasted.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Here are a couple of soul tunes that are really doing it for me lately. Hope you dig.

It's a soul group from New Orleans called the Skull Snaps. First up. What the fuck? What is a skull snap and what is the name supposed to imply or mean? I don't know, mang. The song bangs. The album cover rules, the name rules, and the songs rule. The PR however, makes not one bit of sense.

Next up we have an Oakland legend by the name of Darondo. The man was born in Berkeley and resided in the the great Bay for the majority of his life. He was never a big hit, never managing more than some modest noteriety and playing residencies at several hip bay area clubs. His music career more or less bottomed out in the early 70's and he turned to the pimping as a way of life. Not much of him was heard until recently when a compilation was issued with one of his songs... not my favorite tune, but one that caught the attention of many collectors and afficionados. Anyway, I love this song for it's hard funk back beat and it's poignant, politically conscious lyrics, particularly for a man who would later make a profit on selling women. I first heard his songs in the basements Carib & Alex at the urging of my good friend Sean A. Smith. How I miss the days of listening to old records in musty basements.


The dude, had something to him, a real smooth cat . Dig the rings. How could I not love him?

I love Darondo's commentary on the space race.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


This past weekend R-dog and I went to the Korean National Museum of Contemporary Art. It was pretty bitchin'. The place is way out in the cut. It's located at a subway stop called Seoul Grand Park, which from what I could gather is sort of bastard child between Washington Park (The place has hiking trails, a rose garden AND a zoo) and A second rate amusement park, plus... well the MOCA.

This is the artist statement for the permanent exhibit in the foyer. It's pretty colossal. If you can't read the statement it mentions that the exhibit is comprised of two different exhibitions (I think that is the right term, I'm not to hip to art terminology). One of them is basically a retrospective of this guys work dating back to the early 80's and consists of around 60,000 3x3'' tiles and other assorted objects that line the spiral walkway that goes up a good 4 floors, easy.

There was no flash photography permitted at the light situation was pretty low. The pictures suffer a little.

I believe this piece was entitled, "The More The Better." Duh.

The piece was composed of just over 1,000 televisions of various sizes. Most the televisions were blaring their own independent images, but several of them were synchronized to display massive images with like a 10x10 tv spread.

There is a Werner Herzog quote that goes somewhere along the lines of, "Our children will hate us for not throwing grenades into TV stations..." And another that explains that the greatest problem facing mankind is a lack of new, compelling images. I can't decide if i think he would love this or hate it. I'm veering towards the latter.

Elton John's wet dream.

This is what Transformers look like in Korea.

This is a photo of Seoul Land. Walt Disney must be turning in his fucking grave.


Later in the evening we retired to Kagnam for some Korean BBQ, frozen yogurt, and a session of those sticky pictures all the FOBS from high school used to plaster all over their lockers and key chains... I don't know, maybe that was just my high school.

I've got less than two months left. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Music For A Better Tomorrow

While I have to admit that my favorite song by Royal Trux at the moment is Lightning Boxer (off the same album as this fine song. The second self titled album- the one with the skulls on it) this song was the first one that really blew my mind. I first heard about this band from my friend John W. who is in my humble opinion a master and scholar of relavent 20th century-contemporary music. The man mans a record label by the name of Holy Mountain and if you don't know you ought to. At any rate, he being a big Rolling Stones fan mentioned that he felt like RT was the modern equivalent of my favorite band, the Rolling Stones. Now I'm not sure if I totally jive with that, but that said, the band rules and shares it's fair share of traits with the greats. The song always reminds me of William S. Burroughs in the G. V. Sant film Drug Store Cowboy- A very positive connection in my mind. I love these modern day outlaw heros & romantics. I hope you do, too.

Preambles first. Now I readily admit I am not computer saavy in the least and have often been drinking before posting (Read Always). While this may not be the highest quality video, I still love it. For fuck's sake the vocals and video are out of synch. This video reminds me of my good Polish friend, Jack Janowski- A prince among thieves, a lord among the lost. The man is ghetto rich. He is broke on the regular, has the bills to prove it and yet he still has the biggest fucking TV I have ever seen. It is on that TV that we would retire back to his house in West Oakland and channel youtube videos of the Stones until our eyes burned or superior senses emerged. It is that feeling of being three sheets to the wind, slumped in an old couch and watching the Stones stilted and out of synch that this video reminds me of. It is my favorite Stones song of the moment and I hope you dig.

Stay tuned

Bruno Delicious

This is a short film collage by my man Nick Bruno. He is a real swell guy who just loves to chop it up- music, art, and film. I'm pretty sure he's still working at Video Verite, so if anyone catches eyes with him, make sure you tell him I send him my love. I feel like this video is particularly blog worthy, first because I think of all the films in his modest catalog i may like this one the best, although his short film entitled Ornamental Heart does a lot for me as well. Second, because i feel like this video's collage form is postmoderism incarnate, much like the blog. Now I have always been more Hobbesian in my perception of the world (I mention this because J. Locke and Hobbes are often compared to one another in political philosophy) in that I believe that life is a fundamentally, short, brutal, solitary, and a rather cacophonous existence. Be that as it may. I like the film- The images and the poetry. At any rate, dig it.

If you are schmitten with the man's work please view more at the youtube. His handle is FilmbyNick. Duh.

Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome to the Void

This song totally rules. Please excuse the excessive use of force.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Above Ground Sounds

While this is not my favorite song on the album it was the best one I could find during a rudimentary search on the old tube. This guy totally rules. The dude was super handsome and wrote some righteous tunes. I highly recommend the songs, "She belongs to me" and "Hard to Keep My Mind On You." Both songs are about man and his perennial affection for the attractive.

In other news....

Floyd Mayweather, who many considered the best pound for pound fighter prior to his sudden retirement (And it should be noted, pre- Manny Pacquiao hayday), remerged in the ring to take on the Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez. Now let it be known straight off the bat. I'm not a big Mayweather fan. I think the guy is an excellent fighter. Without question an amazing fighter in the same tradition and Pernell Whitker of his father, Floyd Sr. All amazing defensive fighters, all quick as lighting, all very skilled pugilists, all weak on KO power. That said... I don't like the guy. I think he is an immature man who blames his inability to sell a fight and unpopularity on racism, when in fact i think it has more to do with the perception that he is an arrogant prick with a chip on his shoulder. Many have also claimed that he emerged as the greatest in an era when his division was not especially deep. Sure, he fought and beat some amazing fighters. I mean the guys is 40-0 at this point. There's no denying that he has amazing skill. Now however is the time for him to prove his greatness. His weight class is deep, there are some real stellar fighters out there in his division. Now is the time to come out of retirement and prove himself. Anyway, i diverge. What I wanted to comment on is how lame I think it was for Mayweather, a naturally heavier, bulkier, muscular fighter to call a catch weight for the fight ( I believe it was 144 although i know there was some discrepancy about that weight in july when the fight was originally scheduled... but it should be noted that the vague terms were 143 give or take a pound not above.) and then come to weigh in 2 pounds over weight. While this may not seem like a big deal, I would argue it is, although i don't necessarily think it was the deciding factor in the fight. First of all, Marquez is a naturally smaller fighter, considerably smaller. He typically fights around 130 lbs. The man had to gain about 10 lbs for the fight, which meant he had to adjust his speed to that weight. No easy feat. Second, as mentioned before, Mayweather is a larger fighter, he fights more in the 145 to 155 range. Third, you can assume that both of the fighters were denying themselves fluids and making an effort to make weight JUST below the limit. However, Marquez was most likely already pushing himself pretty hard to bring himself up to the fighting weight while still maintaining his speed and agility, therefore we can assume he probably isn't gaining much weight after weigh in, maybe 5 pounds, tops. Mayweather on the other hand is a naturally heavier fighter and we can assume, that he is going to gain much more weight after the weigh in. Likely, Marquez came into the ring somwhere around 148-150 whereas Mayweather, who weighed in at 146 was probably coming in somewhere around 155. Now as I said before, I don't think that this was a deciding factor in the fight. I think Mayweather probably would have won regardless. He is quicker, stronger, and a better boxer... he lacks Marquez's heart, but simply put, he has a better skill set. I do however think that it was disrespectful for Mayweather to not take the weight in seriously enough to make it. He could have, he was a partner in agreeing to it, he just did not show the discipline to make it and discipline i have to think is a fighters most prized asset. I feel for old Marquez getting hit with an extra few pounds over the course of 36 minutes... It isn't sportsman like. At any rate, this sets the stage for a premier fight in about 6-12 months for a bout between the winner of the Cotto v. Pacquiao fight in november. I eagerly anticipate it, A) Because I would love to see Floyd beat and B) because i think the likely match up of Pacquiao v. Mayweather to be a rather exciting if unsure fight. Enough said. The next few months are going to be exciting for boxing fans and i hope you stay tuned for my admittedly amateur analysis.

To wrap things up: I have less than 9 weeks left in Koreaville. I shall be returning to the hinterland the third week of November and no later if all goes according to plan. Next week will mark the one year mark of my sojourn from the great city of Portland. I miss you lady Portland and hopefully we will share embraces soon.

Bam. That's it. I'll be posting something at least bi weekly from here on out. there I said It.

As always. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yeti Fest

So if you're in Portland tonight and you're not going to Yeti Fest you might want to get your head examined.  The event, hosted at Holocene is going to feature music from some of the best bands in the old rock & roll business (that is if your preferences tend to lean towards the low-fi, garage punk, psych-drone end of the spectrum).  The whole shebang is organized by the proprietor of the esteemed local (maga)zine Yeti, Mike McGonigal (who also happens to have all my shit stored in his attic).  As well as being able to lurk around some bitchin' bands, you'll have the esteemed pleasure of hearing DJ Yeti (Mike, duh) spin some of his fabulous records, of which there are thousands.  While you're there you should also  take the opportunity to grab the latest issue of Yeti which has features and tracks from some of the finest acts gracing the stages of today including and not limited to: Vivian Girls, Eat Skull, Sic Alps, Times New Viking, Cystal Stilts, Cause Co-motion, Blank Dogs, e*rock,The Clean,  and a look back at outsider musician Mingering Mike.  As if that wasn't enough of a  reason to attend, I'm pretty sure there is going to be some radical merch being hocked at the show, including, from what I understand to be reliable information, CDR's of Eat Skulls upcoming release on Siltbreeze, Wild & Inside and a compilation of all of their previously undigitized 7'' releases.  Both are Winners.  Don't be a loser.

For your own edification, or if you're an unlucky bastard like myself and will be unable to attend due to geographic constraints, here is a look at some of the talent.  Enjoy: 

This song is fantastic... and really seems to work well with the bizarre Asian tv show.

An absolute banger.  I love this song.

These guys are one of my favorite bands.  Period.

In related news, on the other side of town Psychedelic Horse Shit, Coconut Coolouts, & Pierced Arrows are playing a show at KLC's annual Sunburn festival out in the cut (Lewis & Clark College 0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd).  This is the first time in the last couple of years that it has had a stellar line up.  The thing lastspretty much all day and has some really decent bands playing.  I think it is only like five bucks, too.  For more info check out:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Facial Features

In the spirit of change, the spirit of spring I decided to shed my winter beard, as sparse as it was, and opt for some new facial features.  Given my limited facial hair growing abilities I went with this charming little configuration:

I can't say I'm crazy about the look.  I have to say I pictured it looking a little more appealing.  Perhaps more conquistador and less barrio.  So given my indifference and curiosity regarding the matter I have decided to open the question up to my dozen or so blogologists: What should I do with my face?

Beyond the pure aesthetics of the issue, lets take a look into the practicality of said topic.  The beard is the easiest configuration to maintain.  It require absolutely no maintenance for about 2 months and then only a trim about once a week after that.  Shaving everyday for the hairless looks is kind of a pain in the ass, but I suppose millions of men do it everyday, so i'll limit my complaining.  Furthermore, the hairless look would be a change from the last 3.5 months, so there's that to consider as well.  The mustache is probably about the same amount of work as shaving everyday, but there is the added benefit of looking like a total creep, which is appealing on some level.  Finally, there is the status quo option, the above look.  I don't know, like I said, i'm a little skeptical... I'm not too sure I can take it seriously or how much I really like it, so please weigh in.  Please cast your vote in the upper right hand corner of the blog and leave comments to convey the conviction of your votes.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Get Buck: Black Out Club takes it to Nippon

Just bringing Buck to the land of the rising sun.  Zerked.

Rachel was easily the most poised person present at any point in the evening.  When others were getting shitty she was getting her glam on.

Just two office jocks cutting loose like freshmen on spring break.

Bringing it down to stand by mode.

This picture kind of reminds me of a killer whale crashing through the water and ascending into the air.

Getting buck with some Hotel wrestling

It's worth noting that this was all fully on autopilot, if it wasn't already painfully obvious.

Sean looks flabbergasted, Takuoka looks happier than a pig in shit, and I'm looking downright ferocious.

The self satisfaction of a blacked out drunk in his underwear.  Everyone was pretty caught off guard by this move, but as anyone who has put in some serious drinking time with me knows it's only a matter of time before the clothes come off.

I'm fairly certain TK is pointing at me accusingly as if trying to convince someone to do something about my state of undress.  Sean is looking pretty unsure.

Down for the count.

Sean putting it down like a champ

There is something strangely erotic about this photo...