Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Politics + OS = Epic Win

As a leftover post having to do with the one yesterday, I present this OS comparison to politics. No further comment necessary.

Monday, September 29, 2008


In another moment of randomness, here's yet another reason I can't stand Microsoft's OS...it just generally makes no god damned sense.

One question. HOW?

In other news, I have so much else to talk about, and so little time. I think this week I'll be talking about my Adventures in Higher Learning from last week, (deep shit...I watched "Boycott" the HBO movie on Rosa Parks and the beginning of the civil rights movement), as well as more NFL shenanigans, more lulz from Owned, and other random shit that makes me laugh...since so little does anymore.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I felt like this would be a good post today because I just had to refrain from wholesale murder or assault at the workplace and the COMPLETELY FUCKED shenanigans going on there. I feel quite beat down as a result. And so...


And now, the reason I'm a superhero, and why this one in particular:

So there are only a couple blogs thus far that I follow on a semi-regular basis. One of them would be Dart Adams' Poisonous Paragraphs. (Follow the handy dandy link on the right hand side of this page if you'd like to see more of his blog. It's fantastic if you're anything like me...read: into music, comics, video games, and sports.)

Anywho, I noted several days ago he had done a Livications post where he discusses various blogs he likes or is affiliated with and their posting styles etc. This one was dedicated to comparisons of blogs to comic book characters. Of course the idea of this was tremendously original not to mention amusing to me since I'm familiar with a few of the blogs on the list. Only thing that made me a little sad, all the characters were from the Marvel Universe. *sigh* Anyway. I started scrolling down and going through it, a lot of the blogs I didn't know of so couldn't tell if the characterization was accurate or not. But some them I did think were quite a propos. As an example: XXL.com as Kingpin. The Rap Up as Iron Man. The Smoking Section as the Thunderbolts. Yellow Rebel as Shang Chi. Fucking perfect.

I get to the end, and last but not least...was MY blog! I was shocked. I didn't even really think I'd be mentioned, I mean, I think maybe like 3 people read or have read my blog like, ever. It's just basically my own sort of stream of consciousness and crazy ranting and raving about totally random shit and other shit that amuses me. However, there I was at the end nonetheless...and my characterization was as follows:

Oh! That Vixen as X-23:

"If any of you are familiar with former Dumpin.net contributor Diora than you know why I matched her up with a female version of Wolverine. Check her blog out, too."

Now I personally only vaguely remembered X-23. My immediate reaction was "Aww I wanted to be PSYLOCKE!" since Betsy's my girl. I even had the same hair for a while and dyed it purple. Yes, I'm a retard, thanks for thinking that. But what did I do when I read that, immediately went to Marvel's website and also hit up Wikipedia.

Now lemme break down something about me and Dart Adams. We've exchanged jokes, shit talking, and conversation strictly through various blog commentary and email. I don't even talk to him on AIM. (Although that reminds me Dart, DO you use any IM client? Hit me up and lemme know.) For all intents and purposes, all Dart knows about me is that random shit I've said about myself on Dumpin' and my own blog.

With this in mind, I looked up more information on X-23, aka Laura Kinney. If anyone's interested, here's the links to the Marvel page on her, and the Wiki on her. But in a nutshell:

1. She's a clone of Wolverine.
2. She was subjected to a lot of violence and just overall bad shit at a young age.
3. She has a trigger scent that sends her into a murderous rage when detected.
4. She was never close to her mother for a variety of reasons and ends up killing her.
5. She was born and raised in "captivity".
6. She was trained in martial arts.
7. She is educated and fluent in 3 languages.
8. She's got a "darker and more complex" personality.
9. She engages in the act of what I call /emocuts.
10. She kills all her opponents with little emotion or remorse.

Now, when I read all this and more, I was shocked. My first thought was: How the fuck did Dart figure out comparing ME with HER? To be honest, the similarities are, in a lot of aspects, surprising.

1. Okay so I'm not a clone of Wolverine. BUT, I did have a fangirl crush on him back in the day. I would never really admit that though, since everyone and they MAMA loves Logan these days.
2. Check.
3. Well, not a SCENT per se, but there are a few things that can really tip the scales towards murder.
4. Check. Except I haven't killed my moms. Although there have been times when I wanted to.
5. Semi-check. I was raised SUPER sheltered. I didn't watch anything on TV that my parents didn't approve of. Nor did I see any movies other than documentary type movies, preferably the ones by Oliver Stone, etc.
6. Check. I trained for 21 years and taught for 6.
7. Educated...sure I guess...I've got my BA and am in the midst of getting my MA. I'm semi-fluent in Spanish and Korean, and obviously fluent in English.
8. Check.
9. ...Okay, okay...I DID do that a LONG LONG time ago. I was a kid. And LONG before all these emo kids showed up with their emocuts to be cool.
10. Well, I've haven't killed anyone yet, but I often wonder what I would feel if anything if that time ever comes. Honestly, I don't think I'd feel anything because if I've gotten to the point where I'm going to kill someone, it means they've done me a SERIOUS wrong, or else deeply hurt my loved ones in some way. At which point they deserve it, and I'd probably be happy.

I will say this. Any bitch who can do this to ol' Wolvie deserves MY props at LEAST.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Me, the Misogynist. Kind of.

Yes, I am. And yes, I am really a girl. And yes, I DO know what "misogyny" is. It's defined as:

mi·sog·y·ny - [mi-soj-uh-nee]:
hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

And I have to say that I fit all three types. I can't STAND most females, and depending on the female it ranges from either intense hatred or mild dislike. And I DEFINITELY don't trust them, either. Freud would say I had bad experiences with my mother and older sister as a child...and he'd be totally right. I blame them. They scarred me forever from thinking women in general were worth anything. Hence the reason why I have always tried to be as DIFFERENT from them as I possibly could. I suppose it's kind of sad that my life in large part was shaped by my perceptions and the actions of my mother and sister, but hey, it is what it is.

Nonetheless, I do hate most stereotypical individuals in general, whether male, female, black, white, Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern, etc. So you can imagine my disgust the other day when I came upon a collection of pictures of your typical camwhore/stupid internet biatch these days. My problem with her is...I don't judge looks, because I know I have my type of chick I find hot. But I DO judge stupidity. And this girl...I don't know where she got the idea that taking open-mouthed pictures was sexy, but in EVERY SINGLE GOD DAMNED picture of her (there were 12 on the site I found them on) she is posing like she's all that and a bag of chips, AND she has her mouth open. Yes, in every single picture.

Now, don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong at all with girls making the sexy "Oh" face in pictures. My time in the *cough* industry has shown me that it's an art to perfect the "Oh" face, but MAN...when they do, its something else. You can almost imagine the girl's about to tell you how much she wants you. And that's pretty fantastic. There are a few girls I hired for scenes that had AMAZING "Oh" faces...so I present you with the DO and DO NOTs of face making. I'll start with the DO NOTs, so that way no one's scarred by the madness of Mouth Open Girl.

DO NOT #1:

First of all, please DO NOT open your mouth all the way to the point that your jaw cracks. Because it just looks like you're gonna EAT the dude standing next to you. And for that matter, maybe HE thinks you're gonna eat him and he's closing his eyes because he's scared.

DO! #1:

Mmm. Roxy Deville. I hired her for a Vivid feature. I love this girl. She's SO upbeat and smart (yes, she really is, believe me when I say I don't suffer fools gladly) and has an amazing sense of humor. She's fantastic. And this picture to me, well it just seems like she's saying, "O hai...I was just thinking about how sexy you are while I stand here naked...let's totally have sex!"

DO NOT #2:

Please don't try and pretend you're making a face that says, "Tee hee, I'm so cute yet sexy at the same time!" Especially when it looks like you are about to either bite someone, or else you're catching flies in the vicinity.

DO! #2:

Mmmmm. Maya Hills. Now this girl is amazing. #1, look at her, she's HOT. She also is down to earth and a totally cool chick. She was an investment banker before doing scenes. Yes, she proved it. But she's got the whole "I'm cute yet sexy" look down PAT.

DO NOT #3:

Ugh. Another moment of trying to be cute yet sexy. She just CAN'T do it. She needs to practice in front of a mirror. A LOT.

DO! #3:

Ms. Flower Tucci in her heyday was something ELSE, man. I mean...she had this incredible ass. INCREDIBLE. And the girl could pose her ass off and make really really good face. It was crazy. This picture isn't whorish or slutty really, but says something like, "Why hello there...I was just sitting admiring the palm trees over here, didn't see you there...but c'mon over this way, why don't you?"

DO NOT #4:

God. I think she's trying to do the sexy with attitude thing here. I can't tell. Or else she's a vampire.

DO! #4:

Keeani Lei. Man...this girl came to set dressed in total surfer girl clothes and black framed glasses. Which I kind of thought was hot as it is, but damn she sure did clean up well. And she was TOTALLY cool, in the Behind the Scenes for the movie she was in I interviewed her, and it turned into a long discussion about anime and surfing, and a variety of other things. It was great. But I think in this picture she's captured the "Sexy/Naughty With Attitude" perfectly.


I actually cringed when I saw this picture, I shit you not. This is SO OBVIOUSLY a camwhore picture, albeit a very poorly taken one. This bitch is ACTUALLY trying to do the sideways sexy face! /facepalm. Kill me. I don't think she realizes how ridiculous she looks.


I saved the best and most drool-worthy for last. The amazingly sexy and gorgeous and statuesque GIANNA~! She's just SO well built...amazing breasts that don't sag. And just well built everywhere else...and NOT fat in the least. PLUS, she's so damn amazing, she's like the epitome of Around the Way Girl. I'm sure if LL saw Gianna he'd agree. SOOOO low key and chill, and SO sweet, and just super super cool. She even sent me a Christmas card...*sigh*. I told her if I could be her sugar daddy and marry her I totally would. She responded with, "Hell yeah...and don't worry, I'll sex you up RIGHT, EVERY NIGHT." My heart damn near stopped and I don't think there was ever a time that I wanted to win the lottery MORE. And as you can see, she does the sideways sexy QUITE well, thank you very much.

Note to Mouth Open Girl- Practice your face making in the mirror. Check out some pics of the professionals. Ask your friends to tell you honestly what they think. If you were MY friend, I'd disabuse you of the notion that your faces are sexy in the QUICKNESS.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


1. Plaxico Burress of the Giants was suspended for violating team rules. But said team rules were not disclosed. HMM. Interesting. I wonder why they won't share? Maybe he needs more hugs?

2. Jamar Nesbit of the Saints suspended because he's a druggie on roids. BWAHAHAHA. (As previously mentioned, someone I don't like is a huge Saints fan, so any bad news for them fills me with unholy glee.) Then again, I feel kind of bad for the dude...only because he's a big guy and maybe he just wanted a little "help" losing weight? I can sympathize with that.

I just WISH I could do this MYSELF. Anyway...I digress, as usual.
3. T.O. and his latest shenanigans. He released a new book on fitness this week talking about how his beverage of choice is water. "Do yourself a favor: don't drink your calories," he writes. "Raise a toast to a refreshing beverage that makes the most sense." Then he signs a deal with Venom, an energy drink, to be their spokesperson. GG, T.O. Good fucking game, you hypocrite.

(I know, I used this one already, but its too epic.)

4. In news on my Chargers, LT scored his first TD this week against the Jets. YAY!

Meanwhile Favre was sucking balls, and the consistently...shall we say, "solid" Philip Rivers out-QB'ed Favre. That made me snicker.

5. Other news that made me snicker was that the Pats got booed FROM THEIR OWN FANS when they lost to the Dolphins. (Sorry Dart, that's just funny.) Looks like Matt Cassel ain't working out so well after all. I bet Tom Brady is kicking himself right now. Repeatedly. I bet Bill Belichick is ripping out his hair too. Serves him right, the sour puss. Or maybe...he doesn't really HAVE HAIR! DUN DUN DUNNNN! *cues suspenseful music*

6. Man, the Raiders, their fans, and apparently their officials are crazy. My family's always been Raiders fans, since we're from around Oaktown and all, but I'm a rebel. The Raiders' representative John Herrera actually got ALL UP in this writer's grill on Monday. It was great. I can't possible sum it up better than the writer himself, Tim Kawakami:

"Oh man, that’s really really interesting to walk into the heart of the Raiders. That’s what happened to me just a little while ago and it was like dropping into Wonderland for few minutes–I could see what the Raiders see, I could feel what the Raiders feel, I was really tapped into the mania.

Man, it was trippy. Head-spinning. Hallucinatory.

Herrera brought me there by angrily confronting me about a question I asked Kiffin. I feel bad for the guy (well for BOTH guys), but Herrera’s the one who closed Kiffin’s Monday news conference by stepping up to me, shouting at me, calling me a liar.

I didn’t get mad. You’ll see the video. I wasn’t mad. I was interested: THIS IS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE

It was crazy. It was other-worldly, where normal truths didn’t mean anything. Yep, I feel like I know the Raiders soooo well now.

Here was my question to Kiffin: Given that there are reports (that Kiffin earlier didn’t deny) that Raiders officials have told him he’s going to be fired, given that we all know a Raiders official distribued printed copies of an espn.com article critical of Kiffin, given that Kiffin came to today’s news conference without a single item of Raiders garb…

… How isolated does Kiffin feel in this organization?

(I know, a long question. But Kiffin was there with me on it. He understood.)"

And that's when John Herrera lost it. Check this shit out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Banksy's Got Balls. Yes, I Said Balls...And Other News

My favorite insurgent graffiti artist Banksy is at it again. I always love hearing about his latest shenanigans, and this time he's brought his art back to the US...New Orleans and Alabama to be exact.

Here are a few of the pieces of art that graced the public areas of New Orleans.

The only comment I can make is on the last one, and that comment is one word: Damn.

The next piece of work was found in Birmingham, Alabama, at an abandoned gas station.

And another comment for this one: "Damn. That's hardcore." If that isn't a statement, I don't know what is. Social commentary, anyone?

Apparently someone had the nerve to be offended.

I personally love graffiti art that really is art, or that's a serious statement, or both. Banksy seems to hit on both of these themes quite well, and it seems like more people are taking up the torch.

My top 5 favorite pieces of Graffiti Art Making A Statement are:

Is he? Who knows.

Could just be me, but seems like the last 2 artists don't think much of the Bushes.

The geek in my loves this characterization. I can't help it. It's JABBA, man!

Big Brother is STILL Watching YOU. Recognize.

RFID chips = the mark of the DEVIL~!!!!!11111!!!! For a brief background: RFID chips were first planned to be used by Wal-Marx in 2003. I'm not good enough at math or science to describe what they are and how they work, only good enough to understand the concepts. So if you're interested (and you should be) then check out the Wikipedia entry on RFID chips.

A few years ago in my Performance Activism class my final project was on Wal-Marx and its usage of RFID chips. I wrote a paper and staged a guerrilla activist performance at a local Wal-Mart, but what I noticed at that time is the people that shop at Wal-Marx don't actually give two shits about the privacy concerns usage of the RFID raises. They just want their shit .40 cheaper than anywhere else.

Now, at the time Wal-Marx stated they'd only be using the chips for inventory purposes, but my research discovered that when the technology went up for sale, the two biggest buyers were the American military, namely the DoD, and, yes, Wal-Marx. Honestly the deal is, ALLEGEDLY, SUPPOSEDLY, HYPOTHETICALLY, all types of law enforcement agencies or even private security companies will be able to track where you've been, where you're going, (they're in all newer Passports now, too, in 14 countries so far, almost all 14 first world countries at that, INCLUDING the US), and what you own. The radio signals transmitted by the chips can be received from a central computer...somewhere.

If you think that all this conspiracy shit is far from you, you'd better think again. Washable RFID chips have been created to be implanted into clothing. The European bank was considering putting them into actual bank bills. (No idea if that was implemented or not.) If you ain't a little skurred yet, consider this. What happens when a store you buy clothes from links your clothing's RFID tags with the credit card you used at purchase, and then when you return to the store, they recognize you AND all your information. And the crazy shit in Minority Report at the market isn't out of the question either...you can be shown ads specifically to target you and your spending habits at the market, or sent spam emails, or sent spam texts to your phone. Now if you're STILL unconcerned, then if you live in New York, you'd better be downright paranoid. All the new NY IDs and DLs have the chips in them.

I think the worst part is, yeah, sure, the RFID chip makes law enforcement, inventory tracking, etc, easy as hell and inevitably cuts costs...but what about the fact that German hackers were able to clone RFID chips as of 2 years ago? And just this year it was discovered that two different security teams were able crack the encryption on a brand of RFID chips...of which there are a billion or so in circulation. A good portion of these billion RFID chips actually form the basis of a national payment system in the Netherlands. Okay, so you think that the Netherlands is far away from you and doesn't affect you at all...but they are a founding member of the EU and NATO, and is the home of the UN's International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court.

As you can tell I'm not a fan of the Wal-Marx for a variety of reasons. The way they were treating their employees with practically sweat shop conditions, the RFID chips, the corporate greed...the list goes on. And in spite of the fact that I was a fan of the X-files for MANY years, I don't ascribe to the conspiracy theory mentality in everything...nor do I think the guv'mint is out to get ME per se...but I am a little scared as to what sort of policies have been implemented, and what more could be implemented if we have another President in office that cares as little for people's privacy as the current one does.

Adventures in Higher Learning

As anyone might be able to tell, this week has been a very angry one for me. But it's totally okay because I just found out:

I mean, if Jesus was down with it, it MUST be ok.

Anyway, so I had my first class on Monday. I'm not sure I'll last the semester. First of all, there's this girl in my class who I CANNOT FUCKING STAND. She's one of those people who really isn't that smart, slacks off, copies off of everyone else, and yet acts like she's FAR superior to everyone else in the class. Furthermore, she pulls the race card whenever possible. In fact, in almost every class she's in, from what I understand, she writes all her papers and journals about how the man is holding her down, and how she's a member of an indigenous society being oppressed by the white man, even in an academic institution. And don't mistake her for Mexican, she's not Mexican, even though her people came from Mexico, that's a name given to her people from the white man. She's CHICANA. Now, I don't have an issue with what people want to call themselves. I don't want to be called Oriental. But I don't care if someone who just doesn't know better calls me Oriental. She cares. She will also give you a scathing 30 minute lecture about how you're feeding into the white man's racist ways. Furthermore, you damn well better pronounce her name correctly...its CAROLINA, and you MUST roll the R. My professor can't roll her Rs so she had to APOLOGIZE to this girl because she couldn't pronounce her name the way it should be.

To make everything worse, every one of the professors in this program is white. So they can't actually say anything to her without being accused of being racist and oppressing her. One student actually protested her actions and this girl went to the program director and said she was going to report the incident to the school board unless he did something about it and forced the student to make a formal apology. It pisses me off that this girl is going to get a graduate degree after doing almost NO work...and only complaining.

I digress. The good thing is that thankfully I know a few cool people in the class, but the bad thing is that the class is only 11 people including me. Which just means that anyone that annoys you is going to have their annoyance factor increased tenfold (at least) because of your constant close association with them. There's another man in the class who has a difficult to pronounce name, and the professor struggled over it, it was like 4 syllables and started with Mont- something. He said he would take it easier on her and have her go with the European pronunciation. She stared at him blankly, so I said, "What, Monty?" He glared at me. I was a little confused so I said, "So...not Monty?" He didn't even LOOK in my direction the rest of class or acknowledge my presence on this earth. Sheesh. He also is the type of person who asks totally irrelevant questions. The professor herself was a bit thrown off about 3 times because she was struggling to understand how his totally random questions pertained to the lecture.

My overly aggressive and violence-oriented nature might not survive the whole semester without a homicide or my own suicide. Seriously.

Wish I Could 1.50 Some Fools Sometimes...

I often wish murder/assault with a deadly weapon/aggravated assault weren't illegal. OR I wish I could be one of these two:

On a sidenote, I prefer to be Punisher sometimes, since what Punisher's got over Batman though is that he's totally okay with killing baddies. Batman usually tries to apprehend them instead of killing them. Best believe he puts the hurtin' on them before he turns them over to Commissioner Gordon.

So where does this come from? Things are crazy up in the San Fernando Valley these days, especially on the Western end, up in Chatsworth where I work. Monday there was the huge crash of a freight train and a Metrolink, which happened a mile away from my office.

Tuesday though, I was getting gas in Chatsworth on my way home. I pull up to the pump, get my wallet out, get out of the car, start paying for the gas. I've got my phone headset on and I see a car pull up behind me. Not unusual because it was an Arco, which out here in LA usually has THE cheapest gas. Anyway, as I start pumping the gas, I notice this old man in the car behind me, flailing his arms around and throwing me the ice grill. I had no idea what he was doing or why he was mad at me.

I get into the car to wait for the gas to finish pumping, and I notice him getting out of his car and looking at the pump and stomping around out there. I open the door because I see him casting angry looks in my direction. Still sitting, I turn around and say loudly, "IS THERE A PROBLEM?" and this guy kind of walks towards me and starts yelling in broken English at me, asking me what the fuck my problem was and why am I wasting everyone's time. I was puzzled because the gas was pumping...I wasn't sitting there just letting people wait. I pointed this out to him, saying, "I have NO idea what you're talking about, the gas is pumping, so just wait." Then he starts going on about the fact that I'm on the phone and wasting time and gets angrier and angrier...of course not coming close to me or anything, but from a safe distance. I finally just said "Whatever, the gas is pumping so relax already!" Well he decided it was time to resort to more cursing and insults. Now, I know I could stand to lose a little weight, but he took it upon himself to comment on that fact by flailing his arms around more and walking back to his car, saying as he walked away, "Yeah whatever you fucking fatass!"

Okay, that was crossing the line on multiple levels. #1, not even my mother's called me that, and she has had no problem calling me every other name in the book. #2, I AM a big boned female, but I hardly think I qualify as a fatass. #3, This old man was not very good looking, very overweight (his gut hung over his genital region) and had a lot of pretty gross looking moles and skin tags all over his face. Because I'm immature, I said, "Takes one to know one buddy! Thanks a lot!" and slammed my door.

I got back inside and tried to calm down. Don't get me wrong here...I'm no wilting violet of a girl. As I mentioned, I'm a big girl. As I've also mentioned before, my dad taught me martial arts from when I was a wee little tyke, and after getting my black belt (and best believe he didn't hand it to me, I had to train twice as hard as everyone else, that fucker), I know a fair bit on how to defend myself. And also how to open up a barrel of whoop ass if necessary. (Once you get your black belt you learn all about pressure points and all about where to hit and how hard to knock someone out. Or worse.) Its not a fact I broadcast, but there it is nonetheless. I really, really, really wanted to get out of my car and kick that old man's ass. However, I thought about a few things. #1, there were tons of people there, so if I told the old man to get out of his car, it'd be obvious that it was me that provoked him and not vice versa. #2, my dad told me way back when after I got my black belt, that I should really try not to get into any fights in public because if it ever became known that I had gotten my black belt, I could be brought up on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. (I thought he was BSing me, but I later I asked a cop friend of mine and he confirmed it. Bah.) And I don't want to go to jail for some stupid old man.

Finally I HAD to say something, especially after he took it to a personal level. So I got out and went over to his car and leaned over so we were face to face. I asked him what his problem was. Of course when I confronted him, he leaned back into his seat and tried to act all nice like he HADN'T just insulted me. He told me that I was wasting his time and everyone else's time talking on the phone instead of pumping my gas, I told him the gas was pumping right at that moment and asked him wtf exactly did he expect me to do. He couldn't really articulate himself very well but showed a very different demeanor than when he was yelling at me earlier. I basically told him that I didn't give a shit that he felt his time was being wasted, and why the fuck would he think that his time being wasted was MY problem, exactly? He just kept spluttering away at me and basically coming back with the "NO U" type of responses, so I just walked away disgustedly.

I mean, wtf was that all about? Why do people always talk shit when they're walking away? Why do they always bitch out when you confront them? I've actually had a few less explosive incidents lately as well when people were pissed at me for some reason or another, and made angry noises and gestures but when I looked them in the eye, they look away and drive off. What is that about? If you're gonna step up, then man the fuck up and do it. If you're not, then don't even try.

Word. Asian Girls Ain't Nothin' to Fuck With.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kinda Sorta Music Review #1 - Hydrophonix!

Today I have a review and some news on music that's on the personal tip that I was excited about. But first, a word from our sponsors...

I feel at this point the need to give a little background again on what exactly I'm representin' music-wise, here's a little personal history on why I like what I do and what's influenced me, etc.

I was born in the Bay Area of Northern Cali, in Castro Valley, and we lived in and around all the suburbs and cities in the area, namely Oakland. For anyone who doesn't know, Oakland is predominantly a Black American community, so as must be obvious, a Korean family up in there was a bit on the odd side. Anyway, my dad taught martial arts up there and most of his students were black, which didn't matter at all to my dad, he just wanted to teach people who wanted to learn. This ended up in me being raised in good part on both Korean food and soul food, as well as on jazz/R & B/hip hop music. Interestingly enough I didn't get seriously into Oakland hip hop until after we moved to LA. Anyhow, I had a lot of music in my life in those days in the Bay Area. A few of my dad's black belts ended up having some success in the music industry in jazz and hip hop. One of them became one of the pre-eminent jazz bass guitarists of our time (although to me he's a dude who used to help babysit me and change my diapers) and another became a manager for a few notable hip hop bands. A lot of the music I ended up listening to during my formative years was soul, funk, old Motown, and big band.

I think my older sister ended up pulling away from these genres of music to be a bit of a rebel, so she ended up listening to a lot of rock music. Since she drove me to and from school and everywhere else, I ended up listening to a lot of different types of rock music, and later on, a LOT of horrible 80s music. (And on the NFL tip, because my whole damn family are Raiders fans, to be a rebel myself I'm a Chargers fan now. Ha.)

The combination of the two parts of my upbringing has essentially led me to enjoy most types of music, and ultimately be a fan of hip hop AND rock music in all its various forms and incarnations.

...And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

As mentioned previously, I've heard a few hip hop oriented bands of some note that I actually enjoyed...it's been a while in my mind since I heard any good hip hop, but I suppose part of it can be attributed to the fact that sometimes I just don't CARE anymore because I have no faith things are gonna get better. But I just hope and pray that some of these bands can gain some commercial success because I think we really need thinking type music to make a comeback.

And as I posted previously as well, a band that caught my attention when listening to Pandora was Hydrophonix. I thought their song "Jungle" really reflected a lot of my feelings about news media (which for the most part is really conservative, don't let those Republicans lie to you...we all know that Fox News is hardcore to the right, don't get it twisted.) and about the state of affairs in America in general. Some lyrics that stood out to me were:

"MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News the networks all the same no matter which one you choose
Just a secret disguise for the political guys
The Senate and the House representin' corporate lies"

"This land is only for rich
The middle class is now the poor and the poor don't exist
I resist, reserve the right to keep my freedom of speech
The Constitution is just a contract that our leaders will breach"

When I was listening to this song, I swear I was a member of a Baptist congregation, I was seriously saying "TELL IT!" and "THAT'S RIGHT!" along with the lyrics, because I felt they resonated so strongly with my own feelings on a LOT of topics.

Well imagine my surprise when I received an email this past Sunday from the peeps at Hydrophonix! I guess they noticed I had mentioned "Jungle" on my blog so they emailed me to let me know they appreciated the props. They further asked if I'd like a copy of their cd, to which I said HELL YES of course. (C'mon I AM Asian, and we're notorious for being cheap. I mean Jay-Z even put us out there in Girls, Girls Girls, saying a Chinese girl was bootlegging his shit) I was even more surprised when they came through and I got a cd in yesterday's mail. Come to find out they're based out of LA, so heyyyy now!

I'm not generally a music critic or even a competent music writer, but I'll say this about their album. It's very well put together, and all the peeps of Hydrophonix do seem to be exceptionally talented. Most of their self-titled album seems to be on a variety of topics but again, as I noticed when I first heard "Jungle" its all thinking type music. Their track listing is as follows, with a little commentary of my own on some tracks:

High -
Seems to be a little intro on the band in general and a little taste of what themes to expect on the rest of the album.

Bringin' the Funk Back -
With my own fondness for funk, let's just say consider the funk BROUGHT BACK. The guitars, horns, the soulful vocals, the lyrics..."We comin' funk like afros and pinky rings". That says it all.

Ego -
Still very funky, and I think is an admonition of what happens if you let your ego get the best of you. It's a problem these days.

Hollywood -
Word to them naming a song after the city I currently represent. This song also seems like a statement on the "Hollywood" mentality, and how you can't ascribe to it or else it will ruin you.

Drugs -
The theme of this song I am sure is self-explanatory, and seems to be a sort of warning to overindulgence in drugs. I like them not being too preachy on it, but still putting the warning into it.

L.A. -
Ah, this song joins the long list of many songs about the City of Angels. All the good, all the bad, everything. But overall there seems to be the feeling of pride in LA in it. Seems like artists and groups from all genres have done songs about L.A. - like Tool, Hole, the Distillers and Ozomatli did a song with the same name, the Game, Madonna, Beck, Ice Cube, MURS, Frank Sinatra, Atmosphere, People Under the Stairs, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, Sublime, Dr. Dre...and the list goes on and on.

Happy Feet -
This is their dance oriented song I think...combining a lot of different genres successfully...a little rock, a little funk, a little hip hop. I like it!

Jungle -
See above.

Actions -
As Redman said, it's time for some ACTION! Kind of a commentary on their own views, the music business, and sort of a call for everyone to take some action and DO something in their lives...as they say "Action, louder than words, and never lie"

Electionaire -
Ahh reminds me of a lot of old blues and funk...obviously talking about the elections...and a call for change in our country, for the better.

I'm not affiliated with Hydrophonix in any way, but I really feel the need to support local music and bands that are trying to put out some good thinking music, so I'll ALWAYS support that. Anyway, apparently they're doing a new project called Urban Assault, which should be interesting. If you wanna check them out, and I suggest you do, here's a few places you can go:

Hydrophonix on Myspace

Urban Assault Music on Myspace

New video with Chino XL!