Smith Blog Archive: Rants from a DJ... Author... Journalist
Book publishers clean up nicely!
Man, I remember back in the mid ‘90s when I discovered the
Internet. As an English Lit major -- before I'd even finished one novel
-- I’d rummage around the writers chat rooms at AOL (remember when it
was called America Online?) and gripe about how the book scene was a
closed industry that's buying into the same old stale formulas and
resistant to change. Well, based on two press releases in the last week
there are signs this antiquated industry is finally waking up.
announced a deal with Scribd a few days ago to get its
titles flowing in eBookland. Today Penguin
launched a new user-friendly website with audio, video and free
excerpts in a bid to capture the short attention spans of today's
Internet savvy consumers. If these two major publishers represent an
emerging trend then it looks like the staid, insular book scene has
jumped off its collective white tower and finally joined 2004 -- I
We’ll have to see if this opens the floodgates to various publishers
trying new things and saving the biznis from the doom that’s embraced
the newspaper industry. There are many parallels. Book sales are
profit margins are slim and authors complain
about meager compensation, so don't bother trying to cut expenses by
getting even cheaper. Meanwhile, readers who a decade ago cuddled up to
their novels and newspapers are now on a train to social networking
site and blog oblivion.
Is this newfound
appeal to consumers too late? Ask me in 2010 when my novel’s on
submission to these people. Because that is the acid test. That's when
we'll see if they're gonna buy more turgid lines of formulaic crap or
some real gritty prose that's got urban drama and a bit of literary
flourish. Tha'ts when... What's this? DJ whatshername just broke up with
Lindsay Lohan via text message? Sweet! Lindsay it's time to step up to this!
No shortage of killers in the big city!
Remember a few weeks ago when my neighbor Ivarene Lett got beat to death in
Oakland’s Van Buren Towers? This week I carpooled into The City with a
woman who lives in the building. She, like everyone else, believes it
was an inside job because security in that building is heavy. No way
could random thugs break in. The building manager said "screw this" and
upped the security even tighter. She changed all the locks without
announcing it to anyone -- even the tenants -- leading to a bit of
chaos for those arriving home late at night who were locked out.
A week after Lett’s murder I returned from a run on my beloved
Cleveland Cascades to find a cop interviewing a bunch of people across
the street. Cops creep around all the time so I gave it no thought
until hearing a new rumor this week. Turns out they were taking reports
after a hammer-brandishing thug beat another woman down and tried to
carjack her. My neighbors, who are MFing pissed nowadays, tackled the
bastard. Wish I would’ve been there to join the fun cuz I’d use his
face as a punching bag! Now he’s in the jug but rumors have swirled in
my Adams Point neighborhood since. Someone told me this week the
basatard was Lett’s killer. Uh, read the
newspaper folks, the cops already said weeks ago there’s no
relation. So, there’s still a killer on the loose.
Cut back to San Francisco’s dot-com boom days of 2000. I’m a recent
college graduate developing my chops in the journalism game. I wrote
for this guy Rex Farrance at
PC World for a minute before bailing to the tech industry in Silicon
Valley. Rex was a bit flakey but more importantly he was knowledgeable
and kind, the type of boss whose strengths totally outweigh his flaws
and you end up liking. Sadly, he got killed by thugs in search
You never know what’s gonna happen in the SF Bay. Even folks at the studio
are warning us to watch our backs when we come and go because, "This is
Oakland after all." Sure. I've seen some weird shit late on Friday
nights. A few weeks ago some dude got pummeled just outside the door. I
ignored it and kept on mixing my DNB. Screw intervening, that's what
gets you capped. But if one thing the murder of Rex Farrance
showed us is in the big city your particular neighborhood matters
little. The killers move around town like zombies staggering in the
UPDATE June 6, 3:30 pm: As I posted
this blog an earthquake rattled hell out of the WORD'N'BASS HQ.
Therefore, the risks of Oakland include thugs bashing your head in with
a hammer, capping your ass with a 9mm, and Earth deciding to shake you
down. That's life in California, baby.
J.D. Salinger will beat you down!
The man is one of the last living legends and among a
handful of authors I consider my "Original Masters." It's a short list.
Hell, I named my precious Zoey
after one of his books.
But no matter how much you covet his work, don't screw with J.D. Salinger. Or he'll beat your
ass down like a New York City pimp on Holden Caulfield! Some dude
calling himself J.D. California wrote a sequel to his 1951 classic "The Catcher in
the Rye." What? I know there are plenty of novels out there
alluding to original classic literature but c'mon now. You can't write
a sequel about a character
who is a one-and-out. J.D. said so, back in 1980:
"There's no more to Holden
Caulfield. Read the book again. It's all there. Holden Caulfield is
only a frozen moment in time."
So the notoriously
reclusive J.D. emerged from his cabin to throttle this
impostor -- in court filings, because he wants nothing to do with us
savage human beings in person. I normally favor freedom of speech
straightup but not here. In fact I'll bet two pieces of my Whole Foods
banana nut bread that J.D. wins this battle. J.D. is one of America's
best novelists ever, he's by far our best living novelist, and he calls
bullshit so GTFO, J.D.
California! It's interesting this is happening because
during a time when public consciousness is occupied with reality TV
"stars," I sense considerable pent up demand for true icons like J.D.
The shallow and vapid will eventually get replaced by people of depth.
I often wonder if
J.D.'s in that cabin still banging out novels but refusing to release
them so he can maintain privacy. I fancy maybe we'll get a novel a year
out of him yet, when he no longer has to deal with unwanted fame. But
we don't need fakes fulfillng that untapped demand. Want your dose of
Holden, re-read the book. Two or three or four or five times. That's
what I did, and when I finally put Bistro de Mars
to sleep I'll read it again.
Zoey is in the building!
While Americans celebrated Memorial Day getting sunburned
and chugging Budweiser around barbecue pits I spent the weekend just
outside Fresno picking up Zoey,
the latest addition to mi familia.
As you can see, Zoey is a
beautiful blue and white mink Sphynx. Been wanting a Sphynx
for months. Spent many hours researching this rare breed and talking to
some eccentric "cat people" who had Sphynxes that I wanted to adopt.
Pass, panned, GTFO! I dunno, most of them probably saw my email
address, checked out the website and figured, "Screw that raver
he'll snort rails off her bald head!"
I finally located Magical Purr
Cattery in Clovis, CA, a boutique breeder that has show
champions and was very accomodating. Catherine,
a nice woman with laser-like attention to detail, decided I can handle
a Sphynx. Cuz make no mistake, these breeders are't dishing their cats
to any fool with a bankroll. Once I got a look at the queens and sires
Catherine had it was ovah! We made this Zoey pickup a weekend-long
event, taking in the NBA Playoffs at an epic Fresno joint World Sports
Cafe (local note: It's owned by former San Francisco Forty
Niners safety Tim McDonald),
downing pints of Sierra Nevada Ale and frequenting lame hotels.
No matter where
you stay in Fresno it's not exactly the Four Seasons, Vancouver.
Picture leather-faced bikers lurking in hot tubs and round people
in Bermuda shorts wolfing down banana nut muffins with piss water
coffee chasers. Anyhow,
Zoey is now in the haus and she is an amazing little cat -- sleek,
affectionate and well-socialized. Can't wait for her to strut her stuff
in a new pink sweater! PS:
Thanks for the pic, JC.
Make book and music awards a democratic
Establishing the stars of electronic music is increasingly
a democratic process. Along with the annual Winter Music Conference
online voting we've got America's Best
DJ where voting is a combination of online and in-person
tallies. Loves it! The book industry should take a similar path by
democratizing the votes for our biggest awards. Yeah it's happened a
few times but invariably "popular" authors who churn out tepid
formulaic trash win. How about opening the Pulitzer Prize, an
established literary contest -- along with various media categories --
and letting us vote on who the best authors are? Half the time their judges blow it
Make this like the NBA All Star game. Opening votes to the public
automatically gives us a sense of ownership and in turn, buoys interest
in the contest itself. Can anyone name the last three Pulitzer Prize
for Literature winners? Me neither. Meantime, the ABDJ tour's expected
to draw 150,000 dance music fans to its shows in a sign that if you
just do it the public will follow. Everyone talks about how the book
industry is shit kicking but aside from publishing more "sure thing"
formulas what are they doing to reverse that trend? In the meantime, at
least we can vote for the best DJs. Have your say at the ABDJ website.
Another Oakland murder!
Television news crews were camped outside mi casa the
other night. Because, months after completing the final draft of my
de Mars, I finally finished proofing! No. But I pulled up to
their satellite-clad vans bumping an album of Thievery
Corporation remixes with the bass heavy and watched them
old couple loading bags into their trunk. What's newsworthy about that?
A passing couple gave me a weird look, I figured because the bass was
loud enough for the cameras to hear twenty feet away.
So I rolled up to Lilian Kim,
a reporter with KGO-TV and asked what's the news? "A 97-year-old woman
was beaten to death in that building," she said, pointing to the Van
Buren Towers. "Do you live there?" No. This neighborhood's normally
peaceful and safe, I told her. It's a nice part of Oakland. Problem
with that is depraved motherfuckers know there's no money in the 'hood
so they commute to "work" nowadays. When you're an urban dweller you
just never know when violence will occur.
was a tiny five foot tall woman born the year the Titanic sank. She was
an active woman who took a weekly exercise class and enjoyed cruising
around our Adams Point neighborhood in her big Chevy. Who the hell
would kill a 97-year-old woman? Someone on the hunt for dough. I'll bet
it was an inside job or commuting thugs. After my chat with Lilian I
walked along Lake Meritt and looked extra close at the people. There
are freaks among us. Who are the innocents and who are the killers? I
hella <3 Oakland. Haven't regretted even once moving here from San
Francisco. But this city is always setting records. Ivarene Lett was
the oldest murder victim in Oakland's history.
Never visit the great outdoors!
After a week in Vancouver working as a financial
journalist and breaking news instead of reading it, I was totally
bummed to discover that Craig Arnold
passed away. He's the poet whose disappearance in Japan was
a bizarre mystery that sparked tons of media to actually cover a story
involving a poet. It's a sign of our times that the only way for a poet
to get media attention is by disappearing off the face of the Earth.
Too bad this is how it
ended. I know a novelist who is also researching volcanoes
and recently traveled to a foreign country to check one out for her next book.
She's safe and sound back in the USA now. Luckily.
It's a majestic experience visiting the great outdoors. Not enough of
us urbanites go out there, really. When I take hot springs road trips
in rural places I always try to remember that not everything is safe,
even if it appears so. Maybe you'll fall off a cliff like Arnold or get
eaten by a bear or drown like I saw happen to three people at Ocean
Beach once. Now that summer's approaching we should all keep this in
mind. Or, we should never visit volcanoes, forests or beaches and
instead vacation in Vegas or Vancouver -- where I'm gonna return for
the World Poker Tour this fall. During the past week I had no time for
anything recreational and since 95% of people vising the great outdoors
die I'm only visiting big cites from now on.
BPM Smith is like a diseased pig!
I'm now on my usual last-minute packing rampage for this
Vancouver biznis trip despite a bit of panic over the swine flu, which
now has hundreds of confirmed cases in the USA and 24 in California,
prompting some to cancel travel plans and health
officials to say chill the hell out. Got a group email
yesterday from one of our East Coast guys stating he's not going due to
swine flue concerns. Of course I replied-all to say this among other
"In any case I'll take my usual seat at the press conferences and
cocktail parties, dressed in a pig suit."
Five minutes later our CEO replied-all stating that we should do what's
best for our health and our families. Um. Didn't realize the CEO was in
on that... Hours later after finishing my editorial deadlines I made
final plans. Dinner reservations at my favorite Vancouver joints like Zin Restaurant
& Lounge, call AMEX to ensure they're straight, collect
paperwork and laptop computer shit that all traveling journalists gotta
drag around. Now done, I burst out of my office door with an
"Oh my god, I have swine flu!"
... *golf claps*
There was only one journalist left in our San Francisco bureau, since
it was way after the closing bell. Oblivion means my dumb jokes fall
flat nowadays. See y'all Friday, May 8 when I'm back in the studio for
the WORD'N'BASS Show.
Oh Canada, you'd better serve Saphire gin!
After Friday night's WORD'N'BASS Show I've got time to
sleep a few hours, pack the suitcase, hit Bacheeso's -- yae they opened
a new shop near
Oakland's Lake Meritt! -- for some eggs Benedict and haul ass to the
airport. Just two weeks after my LA trip I am off to Canada but instead
of poker and Disneyland this one's all biznis. Despite mixing records
and writing novels at night I'm still a financial journlist
during the day.
The timing is shitty. Everyone's in Vegas now for the Ricky Hatton fight. ESPN
has a nice
behind-the-scenes blog happening if y'all want details. While they
focus on the
fight, I focus on the important stuff. Like who the hell is that
smoking hot blond following Hatton around? Well, my research (google
rummaging) indicates his girlfriend Jennifer
Dooley, who quit her job as a teacher
to become his full-time pin cushion, is shadowing him
as he does the publicity rounds in Vegas. She used to have small, saggy
breasts but after he got KTFO by Floyd
Mayweather he spent part of his multi-million $ payday on new
boobies. Now she's a top-heavy tart!
Anyhow, I was supposed to hit Vegas for Fight Week and to reel in fish
at the poker tables before Saturday's Hatton-Pacman bout but alas.
Working like a jerk. So I'm outta here for a week in Vancouver. Boo. I
shouldn't complain because there are worse gigs than four star hotels,
cocktail parties, press conferences and working the media credentials
like a motherfucker in my Lora Pianna suit. For example, I could be
lost on a Japanese volcano like award winning poet Craig Arnold
who is temporarily missing, disappeared or got vaporized by lava. Or I
could be jailed in the UK and run into a naked Boy George
all soaped up and leering in the jailhouse showers. That perv's in the
jug for chaining some escort to a bed and beating his ass with a chain.
Don't mess with Boy George!
PS: Why do the UK press
still call him the former Culture Club
singer? He's been a top House music DJ for a decade now with a bunch of
Happy 420 from Los Angeles!
My annual 420 Drum & Bass mix is going live a bit
early cuz when April 20 rolls around I'm going to Disneyland! So at
Friday night's WORD'N'BASS Show I mixed a blunted
DNB set with all you smokers in mind. Meantime we're gonna
hang at Amoeba Records in Hollywood tonight to celebrate Record Store Day,
where they've got a bunch of bands and DJs spinning, then to Boardner's
where they often have House and DNB parties and Newcastle Ale for us
lounge lizzards who stake our claim on their cozy booths. Don't really
know Boardner's schedule this weekend and could care less cuz it's one
favorite places in LA that I always spend time at. Then it's another
poker tournament at Commerce
Casino with my former neighbor Chris,
Pink's on Melrose and... Mickey
Mouse. Time to grab the aviators and vicodin cuz our flight's about to
leave. Ciao for now, and I hope y'all enjoy my latest DNB session.
Amazon hates the gays!
Many of my bookish friends believe Amazon is taking over
the world and homogenizing the literary landscape. The premise goes
like this: Amazon is cheap, convenient and user-friendly so they're
running independent bookstores out of business. Almost all indies that
close shop blame Amazon and soon we'll only get books at huge chain
stores or click our way to literary oblivion as alternative voices find
it increasingly difficult to be heard in the vortex of Mainstream Book,
Leftist conspiracy or common knowledge? Last weekend an ominous
"glitch" or "filter" or "conspiracy" erupted when all the sudden more
than 57,000 books that Amazon decided were "adult" titles got
"unranked" -- and BTW nearly all the unranked titles were geared toward
gays and lesbians. Y'all know authors trip on their Amazon
rankings, right? Bigtime! Cuz if your ranking is low nobody will see
your work, if it's high then you're rolling naked in piles of $100
bills. That's what rich authors do.
The LA Times
says "Running with Scissors" by Augusten
Burroughs, "Rubyfruit Jungle" by Rita Mae Brown, "Fun Home: A Family
Tragicomic" by Alison Bechdel
and many other books got their rankings eliminated. Why? Cuz they're
gay! Meanwhile, "Tropic of Cancer" by Henry
Miller, "American Psycho" by Bret
Easton Ellis, "Wifey" by Judy
Blume, "The Kiss" by Kathryn
Harrison, the photobooks "Playboy: Helmut Newton" and "Playboy:
Six Decades of Centerfolds," all kept their rankings, despite their
obviously adult content. Why? Cuz they're heterosexual! Well, few
scream foul as well as the gays and after a shitstorm, Amazon said,
"Soooo sorry, our mistake!"
By late Monday the AP reported
Amazon's latest spin and that the "glitch" emerged around the same time
that the American Library Association announced the death of Judith Krug. She's the head of the
ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom and founder of Banned Books Week,
which features an annual list of the books most often criticized or
removed. Oh, the irony. Meanwhile, Amazon has entered damage control
mode and rounded up all their PR hacks to come up with new excuses.
Glitch = busted.
David Foster Wallace is alive!
Taxes are coming due real soon and the last person I
figured to burst my oblivious bubble was author David Foster Wallace, who is
out a new novel from the grave! "The Pale King" takes place at an
Internal Revenue Service office in Illinois in the 1980s and never got
released. Why? Because nobody wants to read about the IRS! No. Writing
a novel that's hundreds of thousands of words tends to make publishers
nervous. Little, Brown
and Company, which put out many of Wallace's works, has
slated the never-published novel for 2010 publication
and said it will include notes, outlines and other things. Oh man, I
can hear the clamoring of academics at universities across America as
they arm wrestle in a Battle Royale over the first available
PS: An accountant in the
elevator on Tuesday said tax day is April 15. I said, "OMG! Kill me!
Kill me now!" as he gave me the side-eye. Now I realize there's no
reason to fear. Cuz I'll put a .45 to my head
on April 14.
"Can't we all just get along?!"
Rodney King, who became an iconic urban figure more than a
decade ago for getting beatdown by some L.A. cops who were later
ruled not guilty of assault, turned 44 today (April 2, 2009). I
remember how significant he seemed back in the '90s, but nobody thinks
about him anymore. I wonder what he's doing nowadays. Anyhow, you old
schoolers remember the Rodney King Riots? In L.A. there was massive
looting, Korean shopkeepers busting caps and a truck driver who got a
brick smashed on his head.
Nothing like that happened in San Francisco. For us it was one big
partAY. Punks and hippies marching on Market Street, blacks and whites
and Mexicans cleaning out Copeland's Sports together, a bit of rioting,
some petty crimes. Hell, one of my friends even looted the
looters. Who's gonna report a robbery when the goods were already
stolen amiright? All that stuff is represented in my 100% done (nearly,
ha) novel "Bistro de Mars."
My sister Lis, a political
activist and Cal undergrad at the time, wanted me to hit the
demo-turned-riot but I was a boxer back
then and couldn't miss practice. It dawned on me how serious this all
was when my coach made a long speech about how we were each a different
color but none of that mattered because we all had the same day-to-day
struggles. In this gym, we were are all just fighters, he said.
Outside, people judged each other on the color of their skin. Here, we
were judged by our heart and our character. Maybe those police officers
should have to box, because that would teach them about equality.
The other fighters looked down at the hardwood floor just kind of
taking it all in. Most of them were black. As I watched Absen and Dwayne, a fighter from Richmond who
had slickness but little punch, I tried putting myself in their
position. What the Rodney King not-guilty judgment represented to them
You might have equal schools, you might get a real job, you could even
become wealthy one day, but bottom line they’ll lynch your ass whenever
they really want to.
Nowadays -- what with two wars, a recession, everyone losing their
jobs, and yes we're all grown up now
-- those days seem quaint. San Francisco sure as hell changed over the
years. Back then a certain *ahem* 18-year-old could pick up a forty of
Olde English at any corner liquor store and smuggle it into a
nightclub. Try that today and the store clerk is liable to call the
cops. And no way will any nightclub bouncer let teenagers pass the
velvet rope, let alone with a
forty shoved in their belt. Fun times are gone. Happy birthday, Rodney,
wherever you are.
Winter Music Conference not for writing
The Winter Music Conference just ended, attendees of the
annual electronic music blowout are nursing hangovers, and I missed it
-- again. You won't even believe the number of parties I got invited to
this year. They even put me on the guest list at Paul van Dyk's
"private party." When a girl recently asked if I was going my first
reaction was "Lame ass stays in San Francisco!" second reaction was
"Too busy working like a jerk." Not just in these media salt mines
documenting the recession, depressed commodities and bankruptcies.
No. I'm still proofing and chopping away at the novel Bistro de Mars.
This stuff is such a grind my only relief is the weekly WORD'N'BASS Show
and exercising like a madman. In other words, dropping bass bombs on
the radio and lifting weights to blow off steam. Yeah, getting wasted
on vodka amid heavy bass and hot babes in Miami is more fun but I guess
this is what happens when you decide to juggle careers as a journalist
and author at once. Hemingway
should've told us this will beat a bitch down.
Up the Irish, down the Shooting Stars!
St. Patrick’s Day always is a bit nostalgic. As an Irish
American it's a day of celebration that evokes memories of The Fam's
big dinners in which Grandma Smith cooked up the corned beef and
cabbage and Grandpa doled out slices with his electric carver as I sat
there licking my chops. Also memories of a closed Geary Street in SF
where we got too wasted to drive and ended up cabbing to Lucky Penny
for breakfast at 3 am. And who can forget that night in Sactown's
legendary (insert four bar/clubs) with my man Ben on a spring break road trip?
Tonight I'm recovering from an all-nighter spent playing poker at Bay
101 in my latest attempt to qualify for the World Poker Tour. So I'll
skip A Sides' party
at SF Underground and instead chill with some CB&C and
Boone's ale. No breakdown of how the satellite went other than I busted
out at 5 am when my A-6 failed vs pocket 4s with all the chips in
preflop -- the exact same hand that crippled pro Allen Cunningham in the $2k no limit
hold 'em preliminary event right before the final table was set. Now
the main event is underway and the WPT is providing live updates as the
here. Man is it a blood bath for Shooting Stars. 2007 champ Ted Forrest, Jennifer Tilly, Nenad Medic
and Bay Area natives Antonio
Esfandiari and Phil Hellmuth
all got smoked like Cohibas early in Day 1.
$3 million? In this economy?!
So much for the shit kicking economy putting an end to
mega book deals. Remember the pilot who landed the jet in the Hudson
River? Remember his name? Didn't think so. It's Chesley Sullenberger and his
literary agent Jan Miller just
cut him a two-book deal with HarperCollins imprint William Morrow worth
$3 million. Jan knows how
to work it! Instead of setting up a standard auction, she
scoped out this pilot and saw he was way more personable than most
authors or -- since he never wrote a GD thing let's be frank -- dudes
basking in their 15 minutes of fame.
So, Jan dragged pilot-hero-wanna-be-author around Manhattan, introduced
him to a bunch of publishers and let him turn on the charm
afterburners. One editor who met him during these pitching sessions
said, "he's the real thing." Yeah whatever. He's not an author so he's
not the real deal. His ghostwriter might be though. Anyhow, props to
Jan whose agency is Dupree Miller
& Associates, located in Texas of all places. You've so gotta click the link, even
though they mainly rep self-help books. Why? It's the first literary
agency ever to bump House music on their homepage intro. And it's a
Happy birthday James Ellroy!
Years ago my one-time partner in literary crime Jon said I must read James Ellroy
because "you like crime so read 'Brown's Requiem' -- he does it great."
Not "LA Confidential," not "Black Dahlia," read Ellroy's very first
novel. So I wrote the title on a post-it, put it on my desk and there
it stayed. "James Ellroy Brown's Requiem crime novel" gazed at me for
four fucking years while I sat here writing my own sorta borderline
crime novel "Bistro de Mars."
joined a small handful of such notes like "Love.bomb the ex model
idealized innocence is destroyed" and "I ran to Reno to get away from
shit" and "Blackout -> past reveal dirt w/ Nicole -> motive Doug
to get cash, rob coke dealer, be free agent." I never read Brown's
Requiem but am putting it back on my reading list because it's
Wednesday, Mar. 4, 2009, James Ellroy turned 61 years old today, he
once said some
interesting things that I can relate to, and following up
late is better than never.
PS: Jon what is up holla!
The WORD'N'BASS Show's Internet stream is
That mention last week about having good news for The
WORD'N'BASS Show was not a poor attempt at coyness. I just wanted to
make sure not to screw it up since those who have known me a long time
understand that the "B" in BPM Smith stands for Break It Bitch! Anyhow,
our sound engineer at 104.1 FM has fixed the live Internet
stream, bringing all our shows back to a global audience. Woohoo! Seems
to me some of the old schoolers there actually like being exclusively
on the FM dial but not me. Who wants to have only folks in the SF Bay
listen when there is a world of DNB heads in need of heavy bass? The
stream is once again live 24/7 here,
so you listeners in Europe can feel free to send email
shout-outs once again.
In related news, I received my new drivers license from the DMV today
and am disappointed. My pic actually looks good. Now when cops pull me
over for no reason they will see a smiling dude with neatly combed hair
in a new LRG
jacket. Boring. I liked
presenting officers, club bouncers, and airport Nazis the old
bedhead-suffering corpse with a crazy smirk and bulging cocaine eyes.
Their double takes provided comic relief during times of stress.
UPDATE 2/28/09: Alright you can keep
the B for Break. One listener said the stream timed out during last
night's show but the glitch is now fixed. I understand it worked on new
laptops but now those of you running dinosaurs can hear too.
What are 'frivilous titles,' or, another
tale of book industry Apocalypse!
Here we go again. The latest
book-industy-is-a-corpse-and-we're-all-starving-vultures story hit the
SF Chronicle's website, where Oakland's own Novella Carpenter wrote a tirade
bemoaning the economy, slumping book sales, and the terrible fortune
that her upcoming book from Penguin Press
faces -- plug alert, she's gotta promote like a motherfucker in this economy, y'all! An unnamed
publishing exec out in NYC rounds off her conclusion:
She knows that if her books
don't sell, her job security may be compromised. She is confident other
cost-savings will be implemented before job cuts take place. Instead of
hours-long lunch meetings at high-end restaurants, for example,
editors, authors and agents now settle for coffee or in-office
meetings. As for the future, Kate's publishing company isn't going to
be acquiring any frivolous titles.
Notihng new here. Forget about the recessionary "doom and gloom"
economy, today's catch prase a commodity trader mentioned in my day
job. This is what I wanna know: what are "frivolous titles?" That
pink-covered chic lit novel about the woman who's dealing with a
breakup and buying clothes? The 666th novel about a disgruntled yet
dedicated CIA agent solving a mystery in which failure would kill him,
his wife, son, grandmother, and finally, an entire US city? Or the edgy
novel about a tranny who robs banks by holding a gun to her head and
threatening to kill herself, accompanied by her pug dog Precious who
barks, "Only unmarked $100 bills!"?
I'd like to think the edgy novels stay and the generic formulaic ones
are frivolous. But I am not so sure about this book publishing
industry. If I'm wrong, well, they're driving another nail into their
own coffin. We need more trannies.
Lady Sovereign returns!
When Grime rapper Lady Sovereign
did a North American tour in support of her debut album "Public
Warning" I jumped on her bandwagon because she had skills and brought
the UK sound to mainstream American audiences. So naturally, I am
stoked to find her back in the studio working on new material. Here's a
video for her catchy new track "So Human."
Isn't she cute? Now everyone knows I'm impartial to British women
artists but I am not so sure about this one. What's up with her
tackling fashionistas while looking like one herself? Her delivery is
meticulous and smooth as always but The
Cure sample is causing flashbacks of middle school horror.
Excuse me while I peg my cargo pants, hairspray some spikes and sprain
an ankle while skateboarding a halfpipe in checkerboard Vans. If this
isn't hard enough for you, check out some dark tech bass/DNB beats from
Chop off Chris Brown's hands!
During the dot.com peak I knew a girl who was smart,
talented and gorgeous. One of those rare women who cause whiplash when
you roll into a swanky restaurant and men turn around to stare while
shoving proscuitto wrapped shrimp down their throats. When we came out
I returned to San Francisco's media salt mines and she stayed in
Silicon Valley, eventually meeting a "bad boy" type who charmed her and
one day started beating her. Man, did I wanna drive down to her pad and
beat the shit out of that punk. Men who beat women need severe legal
penalties, not this pat on the hand BS cops invariably pull.
So tonight when I cracked a Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale and
settled into some gossip blog reading, it was a bummer seeing a police photo of
pop singer Rihanna taken after R&B wanna-be rapper Chris Brown beat her ass. Makes me
sad for Rihanna and also inspires a reminder: Men who beat women should
have their hands cut off. This way, the only beating they'd issue is
with their stumps! Plus, future victims would quickly ID wife beaters
because they couldn't shake hands at "hello." A vivid warning to stay
away. That pic going public renders meaningless Brown's earlier
statement when some newly hired PR hack announced he's "sooo
sorry, kind of, whatever."
Statement: "Words cannot begin
to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired."
Translation: "I am so pissed
they discovered I beat the crap out of this bitch on the regular..."
*don't admit guilt... don't admit guilt, it transpired, like when you
step on dog turds on the sidewalk.* "BTW, how are my CD sales doin'?"
Statement: "I am seeking the
counseling of my pastor, my PR exec, my mother, my gimp and other loved
Translation: "I have a MOTHER. Y'all have mothers, right? Just think
about that. I have a MOTHER, just like you. Feel sorry for me yet?
Today is Presidential!
Normally on the Monday of a three day weekend I wake early
and play a poker tournament but not today. Instead I got my beauty
sleep, posted a phat drum & bass mix by San Francisco spinmeister DJ Noah,
hit up the Revolution Cafe and hooked up with a girl who dished keys to
our new studio and had good news for the WORD'N'BASS Show
that I'll post later this week when it's finalized. Then I donned my
Prada shades, cued up the iPod and proofed 13 more pages of my novel Bistro de Mars
fueled by this DNB mix
and one of their excellent lattes. Then I returned home, pounded a
Hyper Growth Formula shake and lifted weights to the smooth beats of Apace Music's
"100 Drum & Bass Anthems."
If you're annoyed by such productivity have no fear -- slovenly
nights must always counter productive days. I'm now gonna
drive six whole blocks to Philadelphia Cheesesteak, buy "Saw II" and
and down Samuel Smith's ale while enjoying a double feature of
carnage and torture. I've seen the original and part IV of this horror
franchise that the Valentine's Day maniac was reportedly obessesed
and tonight is a theme of killa killa killa! I will not let that insane fool
taint Jigsaw, the demented Saw protagonist. Nothing
beats a night of beer, sadistic killers and transfats.
In another bit of good news, my precious Hayden
Panettiere broke up with some clown named Milo Ventimidgetlia. Oh happy days!
Why'd she kick that bum to the curb? Because Panettiere, 19 and in need
of a thorough spanking by BPM Smith, "is young. She likes to go out in
the Hollywood scene and that's not his style." Age is just a fucking
number! Hell, what happened during my LAPC outing? After the tournament
I spent the rest of the night at Boardner's of Hollywood. Trip before
that? The Cabana Club. Hayden baby, it's time to step up to this!
Ladytron, Goldfrapp and Christina Aguilera?
Electro bands Ladytron
are well known
for pioneering the genre and bringing it to a somewhat mainstream
audience out in Europe. Love 'em! I even work Goldfrapp into my
Downtempo sets on occasion. So naturally, I was horrified to read
they're in talks with plastic pop tart from
Aguilera about collaborating on her fourth album. Don't do
Yes, she pays but no, your artistic credibility is not worth selling
out like this ladies. I hate it when these hacks prop up
sagging careers by hiring actual talent to help them churn out musical
diarrhea. GTFO Christina!
Anyhow, in case
you don't know what I'm talking about, here's the best Goldfrapp
song ever. That leech with plastic tits and busted up makeup
face probably saw this video and wishes she can be Goldfrapp. I'll bet
this thing doesn't go down. Pop culture vultures
have repeatedly tried to drag her into their realm of nonsense in
recent years but she keeps kicking them to the curb. I even heard last
year some stupid TV show "Big Brother" tried getting her to move into a
house with a bunch of B-list celebs but she said no go. Because she's
an artist, not a famewhore.
DNB, Techno, Lounge producers fucking remix
Yeah, Christian Bale
was on fire in last year's "Batman" flick but as everyone knows by now
he's a fucking asshole! Don't need to mention his F-bomb tirade at a
cinematographer during the filming of the latest "Terminator" flick.
Thankfully some Drum 'N' Bass, Techno and Lounge producers stepped up
to plug our bleeding ears with some phat remixes. Checkout Jossip
who compiled a bunch of them.
By far the best effort is at the bottom of the page, where a Lounge
remix is both amusing, chilled out and haunting. Downtempo beats are
juxtaposed with Bale's uh, vocals, striking images of Afghan dog fights
and an odd floating kid's face. Dog fighting makes me sad. The DNB is
below-par IMO. Dude should've looped the dialogue more and where the
hell is the bass anyhow? All DNB must have rumbling bass lines! That
Techno remix is the shizit -- in terms of sound quality his remix is
maybe the most polished of the three. I don't bother with rap and other
remixes cuz they usually suck. Hip Hop is quickly dying thanks to an
excess of fake thug R&B monotonous material made by clowns who
should get back to
real Hip Hop or shoot themselves in the head.
Degenerates don’t care about the recession!
"A lot of them are
gambling addicts." -- Poker dealer, on players in LA.
Am back in the WORD'N'BASS haus and back to the routine of proofing Bistro de Mars
at local cafes, hitting the gym and digging through
my records. Well, there’s also that little thing called work
but no suprises there -- the economy still sucks and so I'm writing
more bad news.
Wherever I travel the routine follows. I hit up Amoeba Records'
Hollywood store for a boatload of new DNB, drank organic coffee at some
joint I cannot remember, swigged Newcastle ale at my favorite bar Boardner’s
of Hollywood, and downed two double espressos, one latte and a 5-hour
Energy at Commerce Casino, where the poker action was heated. Whomever
says the poker boom is over doesn't know shit. Every tournament at the
LA Poker Classic is drawing huge fields, and local business reporters
are kind of stupefied given we’re in a recession. It’s amusing reading
their stories speculating why poker
tournament fields are growing when unemployment is rising
and everyone's supposedly broke.
Hello? Poker players are the most degenerate gamblers around. Skilled
or unskilled, they know the best players can win cash and since most
poker players are deluded about just how awful their abilities are,
they keep playing till they go busto. I busted out of the LAPC on a
suckout when some idiotic chick called my pot-sized bets all the way
down to the river when -- you got it -- an improbable card hit, saving
her pretty ass from getting fisted as a 4/1 underdog.
This exhiled me to the cash games, where I reloaded the bankroll by
repeatedly check-raising the flop. One difference characterizing LA's
poker scene today vs. last year is there's more scared money. Dudes
fold quicker in cash games because they're afraid of losing the rent
money but you'll never stop donkeys from stampeding in tournaments.
Then there's the flip side. Sometimes their "pot odds" logic -- if
there's already significant money in the pot gambooool! -- makes them
play hands in which they're way the fuck behind. Just as Michelle
was pulling up to the Commerce Casino I decimated the table when my big
pre-flop raise with pocket kings got five callers and then everyone
shoved all-in on the 8-9-Q rainbow flop. It took four racks to drag
those chips outta there. None of them had an ace in their pocket.
See ya Chongo and Bistro, time for another
poker road trip!
When the Finland Suomi hockey jersey, LRG tracksuit, Prada
shades, Peet's Coffee, APEX bars, supplements, vitamins and Vicodin go
into the suitcase it can only mean one thing: Another poker road trip.
The LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino prompted this, despite the
endless project called proofing my novel "Bistro de Mars" and my man Ricardo
Carpenter's Chongolized Film Festival 09. Totally forgot
it's this Saturday! But after seeing what tournament director Matt Savage said
about Event #1:
"I can only tell you that we
ended up with 1,592 players, smashing the record for a Los Angeles
tournament. First place is $124,985 with 100 spots paid..."
I promptly booked the Virgin Airlines tickets (best airline ever, I
will put a bullet in my head before flying Southwest ever again) and a
2008 Charger to roll in style in La La land for the next several days.
So Bistro will have to wait. One mistake I made during the intermittent
frenzied writing sessions of 2008 was bailing on the poker circuit for
two-month stretches. Yes, the writing got done but it killed my game
and rust resulted in a month of bleeding cash before I could get it
straight. No more.
Besides, there's no rush given the book publishing industry is in the
doldrums, they're buying fewer novels, laying off editors and, hell,
even the Washington Post's long-standing Book World is
dead meat. Besides, my day job contacts on Wall Street say
this recession will last until fourth quarter 2009, when things will
begin to improve and today's fear and panic -- "OMG! I can only buy
sure thing novels with a predictably drab hook!" -- will subside. So
publishers can now anticipate the end of the economic Apocalypse, and
Bistro. When it'll go to auction. Ha.
BS1 reminds why I <3 vinyl DNB!
Remember when Drum 'N' Bass label BS1 relauched after
falling off the face of Earth from, say, 2002-2006 and signed phat
producers like Kubiks?
Well, they signed Blame to
remix some tracks, I just heard one and it's MFing sick! Full news to
follow soon on the homepage; meanwhile listen to this gorgeous
track. Yes, it's a new vinyl release available worldwide at
the end of January. I have a feeling those UK DJs are already having
wrestling or soccer or curling matches to see who can first slap it on
their decks since it's now on "promo." I <3 vinyl DNB.
Publishers pan McGuire roids rager book,
Margarito taps Mosley's ass (NOT)!
I love it when family members dish dirt on their famous
$iblings but someone please tell Jay
McGuire his brother Mark
McGwire is not famous anymore,
he's just an old busted methface!
Jay is shopping a tell-all book about the former Oakland A's slugger
"The McGwire Family Secret: The Truth about Steroids, a Slugger and
Ultimate Redemption," stating Mark used both steroids and human growth
hormone during his career. Well, all the big publishers
panned it because Jay can't write his way out of a paper
bag, everyone hates him for selling out his brother, and guess what? It
ain't 2005 anymore!
Sure, Jose Canseco's
book "Juiced" was a home run. But this BALCO stuff
was still fresh news and it came straight from Jose's slackjaw.
Ironically, I'll drive right by the BALCO office in Burlingame tonight
enroute to watch Antonio Margarito
beat roids rager "Sugar" Shane
Mosley's ass. Unlike athletes who had their Olympic gold
medals scrapped in the wake of their cheating, Mosley never got
punished. He was juiced on EPO, "the cream" and "the clear" when he
"won" a fight over Oscar De la Hoya
in 2003, but the NSAC doesn't care.
The win stays, and Mosley has since banked millions. Let's hope
Margarito, a 100% clean athlete, mashes him like refried beans tonight.
Unlike baseball, the cheaters in boxing get punished with a
thorough ass fisting and if Mosley's off the juice he's a dead man
walking. Meanwhile, I'm off to my man Dave's
for a night of Mexican food and beer, boxing and poker. Ciao!
UPDATE Jan. 25: Mosley outpunched
Margarito and knocked him the
hell out in front of the biggest crowd to watch any event at
LA's Staples Center. Did I say Margarito was 100% clean? Not exactly.
He tried loading his gloves with a cast-like material and got busted.
So ultimately, the BALCO roids rager beat the Plaster of Paris
mugger. One cheater KOed another cheater. But judging by the more than
20,000 fans who showed up, boxing's sure popular in SoCal.
Well, Obama made
it through his first day as the 44th President of the United States
without anyone bombing a landmark or getting coked to the gills and
crashing a stolen '74 Cadillac Coup de Ville through the White House
gates - with a bomb in the trunk. Eveyone I know is more optimistic
about where this great country's going than they've been in many
months. Since I'm feeling a bit patriotic, I found the contrast in
Thailand's treatment of Aussie Harry Nicolaides pretty damn
stark. He's a writer who self-published a book and was sentenced to
three years in jail for a passage that insulted the insane country's
Think about this for a second. You write something bad about a public
figure and your ass is getting pounded in jail for over 1,000 days by a
train of Thai sex perverts. This thing even has news reporters scared
of getting charged if they quote the offending 12-word passage. Chicken
shits at CNN admitted it!
I don't care that many Americans have no medical care, no pensions, no
future without accruing crippling debt for an education. Here in the
USA we can write whatever we want and remain free. Well, except ransom
notes for Lindsay Lohan who is
tied up in the attic writing bad
checks. And letters threatening to kill everyone who was
responsible for La Pequeña losing
the Hot Slut of the Year award. And holdup letters when at the bank packing a .45.
So avoid these three things and write away, fellow authors!
All hail Adrienne Kress and La
Okay, time to change up the pace here. First, it's rare
that I cover fantasy books because my tastes trend toward gritty
literary fiction but I do enjoy reporting on hot women authors. And
because Adrienne Kress is
smoking, I gotta give shoutouts for her novel "Timothy and the Dragon's
Gate" from Weinstein Books, a sequel to her last novel "Alex and the
Ironic Gentleman." Adrienne announced on her blog
that her latest work launched at bookstores across America today
(January 13). Isn’t she cute? Therefore, Timothy and the Dragon's Gate
is a guaranteed awesome book. Check it out!
Second, I'm here enjoying a post-workout martini with the smooth tunes
of Kid Loco
and trashy gossip blogs when -- lo and behold -- a La Pequeña sighting!
Everyone's favorite little tranny apparently has a bandwagon of fans
now. She's competing with Spaghetti Cat and Rojo Caliente for the title
of Hot Slut of the Year 2008 over at Dlisted.
I don’t know who or what these other two are but La Pequeña
needs your help. Voting kicked off Monday and she's a distant third
place with 13% of the vote. Who are these people voting for a cat that
eats spaghetti? That's not a slut it's a piglet. As I've mentioned
times before, La
Pequeña is Queen of the World. This is her title! So hitup Dlisted and
Adrienne's website. It’s a win-win for Hotness.
Another indie bookstore bites the dust!
Back when my daytime employer in these media salt mines
had its HQ on Market Street hitting Stacey’s Bookstore next door was
one of my favorite lunchtime activities. Even after we hit SOMA I’d
still often make the rounds, starting with a ham and cheese croissant
and ending up rummaging through Stacey’s bookshelves for the latest
gritty novels. Better browse while you can, cuz Stacey’s is shutting
down forever this March! The Chronicle
Stacey's had been hurt over the
past decade by the rise of national chains, like Barnes & Noble,
and Web-based booksellers, such as Amazon.com. The store's general
manager, Tom Allen, said sales had dropped 50 percent since March 2001.
But the final blow was the crumbling economy...
Ugh. B&N is like Starbucks, it gets the job done when you need
their goods but will never replace the friendly neighborhood bookstore.
The Bay Area’s now lost a bevy of indie bookstores. Last year we lost
Cody’s Books, an institution to Berkeley bookworms. I remember when Kepler’s
died a few years ago in Menlo Park. Long part of my book browsing
circuit, I was shocked one Sunday to find them shuttered and a ton of
notes taped on their windows from disgruntled clients. The place looked
like a memorial for someone who got blasted with a
.45. The local community held protests and eventually
Kelper’s came back. Will San Franciscans try to do the same? Doubt it.
Café rundown from Oakland!
Nowadays I'm proofing a hard copy of my WIP Bistro de Mars
in cafes across Oakland. Hard copy means the bulk of this novel is
done. But I'm damaged from thousands of nights spent in my hovel
writing tales of San Francisco after spending the same number of days
writing about big biznis. Too much writing, too many nights of blasting
Trance music and staring at a computer screen. Last thing I need is
another week or month or year spent proofing at the dining room table,
away from the world. Enter the cafes.
In cafes my iPod distances me from the artsy fartsy dude sketching in a
notepad, the marketing methfaces holding an impromptu meeting and the
two hipsters on their first date. Cafes are the new bars since
cocktails are another way of saying "let’s fuck" while a cappuccino
appears far less lecherous, amiright? Anyhow, thanks to Michelle
for uploading a ton of my DNB and Downtempo mixes on the iPod so I can
concentrate during these sessions of blasting my manuscript with red
First up was Hudson Bay Caffe
on College Avenue, where I enjoyed a fantastic Cuban panini and a
double cappuccino with perfectly integrated foam. They roast some
quality organic coffees here but the tables are small and the old
creepy book dude is two feet from your table. If privacy is your thing
go elsewhere but if you’re all about the best cappuccinos and coffee --
served in real mugs instead of paper cups -- this is among Oakland's
best. Thanks to my iPod and this Drum &
Bass set I was able to block out creepy geyser and the
cackling thirtysomething chicks nearby.
Onto the World Ground Café
on Macarthur. I proofed 10 pages in an hour bumping a Downtempo mix
on their pillowed chairs and drinking a giant double latte that's above
average. It's 20 oz of liquid served in a big porcelain mug, which
helps you ignore the black walls and floor. Maybe it wasn’t black; I
was hungover but it felt black. Order a coffee or cappuccino to go and
hit Full House across the street for some eggs benedict and poker
inspired art. I always get coffee at World Ground first because Full
House’s coffee doesn’t hold up to their great eggs Benny.
Jumpin’ Java Coffeehouse
on Shattuck, a neighborhood they’re pitching as a new art locale. You
might remember one block away some Oaktown hoodlums bum rushed The
Nomad Café in a "take-over style" robbery. They got
arrested. I’ve spent lots of time in this neighborhood and am pleased
there are two good cafes here. Jumpin’ Java is a small, laid back joint
where students and artsy types work on laptops. Their double
cappuccinos are expertly made by a hot barista who looks like she’s
from an African country. Like Hudson Bay, there’s not much space
between tables so expect some dude twice your age to turn his pivot
head and make small talk or ask for a date. Ignore him.
Coffee With A Beat, on
Grand Avenue right next to Lake Merrit, is where the neighborhood’s
young professionals, artists and slackers hang out. I ran into Dub MC Trinidad here. The last time I ran
into him was in front of a liquor store where he gave me his latest
tracks that I mixed into this set.
It’s that kind of place. The staff is chilled out, meaning they’re not
the best at making cappuccinos and don’t really care. But there’s
plenty of square feet and large tables so guests can have privacy or
socialize with equal comfort. If a trendy Asian dude starts pounding on
the piano so loud it overwhelms your iPod, avoid beating him senseless.
Turn up the volume. I did this and proofed 15 pages in one hour flat,
fueled by their double latte and this DNB.
A Happy New Years 2009 starts with DNB in
I <3 vacation. In the leadup to New Years Eve I spent
the days and nights in the studio mixing fresh Drum 'N' Bass, playing
poker and proofing the novel -- my three favorite pastimes. Now that
NYE is here, everyone is in pre-party mode before hitting the town
and I’m here to help with all your heavy bass needs. Click here
to bump my specially cooked NYE 2009 DNB mix, served just in time for
the New Year. Now that I’ve brought this DNB live it’s time to switch
from organic French Roast to a decadent aperitif called French 75.
Before getting smashed I’d like to send out a virtual toast to everyone
who’s enjoyed WORD'N'BASS.com for the nearly four years since we
launched. Here's to a happy and healthy 2009, when all your dreams can
Marcus Sakey has competition!
authors can hold a candle to my man Marcus
Sakey nowadays but it looks like he has a growing list of
projects competing for Ben Affleck's
attention on the movie making front. Y'all might rememeber Marcus' crime thriller "The Blade
Itself" was sold to studio Miramax with Ben's firm LivePlanet set to
produce the movie version
of his novel. Well, that's just one of many projects in the
works now that Affleck's negotiating to direct the story of Arizona
journalist Don Bolles and the
events his murder
provoked back in the '70s. According to the Hollywood
Reporter, a group of elite national journalists that Bolles
had been trying to organize at the time, Investigative Reporters and
Editors, responded to the murder by convening dozens of investigative
reporters in Phoenix from 23 different newspapers and launching an
unprecedented crusade to finish Bolles' work.
How is it I never
heard about this ruckus? Bolles was investigating political corruption
and the mafia when he got blown the hell up after a source never showed
for a meeting. While I'd rather see Marcus' Blade
get its day in film, this sure sounds like an interesting story. And I
don't normally like flicks about journalists anymore than I do ones
about novelists. Cuz we're boring in movies. Journalists just make
phonecalls badgering people for information and novelists sit around
typing while bumping trance music and downing pots of Peet's Coffee.
Anyone remember The Paper with that Mr. Mom dude starring? It made me
wanna switch majors back in college, put a .45 to my head, or to the
head of the journalism prof who made us watch that stupidity. Affleck
better not screw up this story about the mafia, political weasels and
Vegas is dead, like colluding poker hags
in 10 years!
"All I’ve been doing is
smoking weed." -- Twentysomething British poker player, on his 23rd day
in Las Vegas.
The crappy economy has led to smaller crowds in Las Vegas. After a week
playing poker at the Venetian, Caesars, Bally’s and Montecarlo I’m
shocked at how slow most rooms were. All over town, casino workers and
cab drivers complained about how the economy has hit them bigtime.
Between the buildup to Pacman crushing
Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM and a major rodeo I expected
lots of action but most casinos were dead. I even hit the Rio, home of
the World Series of Poker, one night and there was only one table of no
limit hold ’em so we just got drunk at the Irish bar that has replaced
Tilted Kilt. Hell, I didn't even get propositioned by hookers for the
first time ever. In all, Vegas is a cadaver. But there are still
vultures. Like me.
The Venetian is
the bomb. I ended up played mostly at The Venetian and
Caesars. Next trip I'll hang mostly at the Venetian. This is due to
their competent floor staff, lots of action, solid twice daily NLH
tournaments and smoking hot waitresses who are friendly and dish my
double espressos on the regular. They also dished carrot juice, orange
juice, cappuccinos and Fiji water. Other casinos, which serve crappy
coffee and soda, will have to make changes to compete in a players’
market. We’ve got the bankrolls and if they want a piece of it they
should take notice of these things.
On Thursday I finally got my A game back during The Venetian’s noon
tournament. After several hours of grinding,
adding teaspoons of Emerald Balance green powder to bottles of Fiji
water, an executive in town on business tried bullying me off a pot and
I had to make a decision for my tournament life. I had raised 4x the
big blinds pre-flop with suited Ace-7 and then fired off a half pot
sized bet after missing the 4-3-Q rainbow flop but in good position. Of
the four remaining players, got two folds and this one stubborn exec
remained. He checked the 8 turn, I fired another half pot sized bet, he
called. River was 7 and he shoved. Dude had more chips than me and my
little pair of 7s with an ace kicker. After watching him for one minute
I realized he was playing pressure poker and called. Sure enough, he
had only pocket 5s. Big pile of chips came my way.
Stoned Brits are good table
companions. Often in tournaments you run into guys who you kind
of like and end up rooting on. A British poker degenerate in Rayban
aviator shades was such a character. He talked a lot to his opponents
during big pots and everyone thought he was drunk because he’d talk
about his hand and what he thought others had. That’s not really in the
rules. Turns out he’d been in Vegas for 23 days and counting, during
which he’d smoke weed, play poker everyday and check into whatever
hotel he happened to play at. As the tournament proceeded they broke
down our table and he was moved elsewhere in the room.
Hag gets owned, flips out.
I picked my spots carefully, playing small ball and avoiding huge pots
until we were in the money. The British dude was one of the chip
leaders when we met again at the final table, where a 60 year-old
grouch to my left with a stack tried bullying me off a pot by moving
all in before the flop. Once again, I sat there for one minute watching
his face for tells. He clenched his jaw and wouldn’t look at me. I
called with suited A-9 and decimated his stack after he showed A-8
offsuit and failed to catch an 8. The geyser flipped! He whacked the
table and stormed off. British dude mimicked him with a table whack.
Tournament director tried cooling off the old geyser and warned the
Brit for taunting.
"I can’t believe the worst player at the table is the chip leader!"
said old man when he returned.
"Excuse me? This is my eleventh final table this year. How many have
you made?" I asked him. "I got enough game to call you down."
When I said he should only be mad at himself for getting outplayed, the
tournament director warned us that we’d both take a penalty if we
didn’t STFU. Shortly after this little ruckus, the Brit busted out in
6th place on a semi-bluff before the flop, shoving with A-3 offsuit and
going against A-8. I picked off a retiree and another $80k with pocket
8s after he went all in pre-flop. Eventually it came down to three: Old
grouch with a $400k stack, me at $350k, and a contractor from North
Carolina wearing poker cliché baseball cap with sports
sunglasses, who had just $150k.
Colluding duncecaps. I
outplayed both these guys at the final table but the problem was they
started colluding. Grouch would either fold or shove all in when NC was
on the blinds, a clear tell that the dude must fold. They didn’t want
to run up big post-flop pots against each other. One time Grouch even
told NC, "I keep catching cards against the wrong player," meaning what
he really wanted was to catch cards against me, his nemesis. They both
took turns firing chips at me whenever I was in the blinds. This was
fine because all I needed was to catch good cards and tear down their
I eventually got pocket Kings and when NC fired half his stack I
re-raised all in pre-flop. He called with unsuited A-3. He was a
serious underdog but he flopped an Ace, taking $150k from my stack.
Twenty minutes later, after a series of raise/folds between the three
of us, I caught Ace-Jack while on the big blinds of $16k. NC called, I
raised to $66k, he shoved all in and I instacalled. He flipped over
unsuited King-3. He was done! Or should’ve been. Inexplicably, he
rivered a 7 high straight, saved by total improbability and sending me
walking to the rail. Naturally, the two colluders immediately chopped
the remaining purse after my elimination.
I'm a loser,
baby. After 9.5 hours of play I busted out in 3rd place, a
decent but annoying cash. I hadn’t sucked out even once all day. Every
time my chips were in I was either the dominant favorite or had bluffed
at the right time to make opponents fold. My second tournament win of
‘08 was in the bag, but sometimes it doesn’t matter if you play perfect
poker -- they’ll suckout anyhow. Still, I’m not gonna bitch anymore
because this was my third consecutive Vegas trip with a net profit.
Before my poker playing days, vacations were always fun money burners.
Now it’s fun ending a vacation with more money than I started.
Las Vegas again!
Cue up Elvis!
I am once again hitting Las Vegas for a week
of poker, cooling down from tournament blowups with casino bar
martinis, and enjoying a quality dinner or two. Since these biannual
trips began in 2003 I now have enough trips in the bank to offer some
advice. Don't want advice? Go back to reading the literary talk
of hot authors like Andrea
Portes. First, keep in mind that all Harrah's properties will
make you fill out tax forms at the tournaments you win. Some joints
like Caesars, Paris, Bally's and the Rio are included. I always spend a
good chunk of the week playing at the Mirage, which holds a sweet no
limit hold 'em tournament on Thursday nights and has NLH sit 'n' go
action day and night for various buy-ins. The MGM is rich in fish but I
have horrible luck there. Busted out of a tournament flopping trips vs
a full house. Same with Caesars. Top pair, top kicker (AK) with a
flopped straight draw busted by two dudes who had both flopped straights. Absurd. I
am not superstitious by nature but this, combined with Caesars' tax
Nazi stuff will lead me back to the Venetian and the Mirage, whose
Thursday tournament I blew to pieces during last summer's WSOP trip.
Also, dinner recommendations. The Montecarlo steakhouse and Rau's at
Caesars. They are both the bomb. The Montecarlo is one of the few
places serving fois gras and Rao's is Rao's. Legendary in NYC where you
must get reservations one month in advance (not a joke, I tried and
failed to get in). Also, the Tilted Kilt at the Rio for wine steamed
clams, Bass ale, and smoking babes in extra short kilts that hopefully
reveal tats above their asses. Um, anyhow... Eat steak but don't bother
playing the Montecarlo NLH tournaments. What lots of folks don't
consider is the rake these casinos snake from tourneys. This dude
has catalogued all regular Vegas tournaments and the percentage of cash
that is returned directly to the players. The difference is what the
casinos take in the form of a rake, administrative fee, or whatever the
hell they call it. Bottom line it ain't going to you so IMO it's worth
paying attention to the percentages. The suitcase is packed, new
tracksuit is tailored and stuffed with Vicodin, and the Ray Ban aviator
shades are on.
Time to endure airport terror, during which I will burst into tears or
accuse security of stealing my canned espresso, or both. Be back in a
week, when I'll post a new drum & bass set and a review of Behrouz'
new album! Till then checkout the audio
section for lots of Downtempo and DNB sets, along with Lantz' Breaks
and Denise's House
beats that are ready to blow up your speakers.
So by now you’ve all drank a pot of Peet’s Coffee followed
by two double cappuccinos and are ready for an evening of forced
conversation over appetizers in your grandparents’ living room followed
by tons of good ol’ American food. When you ask for martinis they give
you bourbon or some old school liquor nobody drinks anymore, except
Chevy Nova driving methfaces. Don’t complain! It’ll wash down the
turkey, mashed potatoes, canned cranberries, mystery casserole and
boxed wine that you can’t drink when sober.
After dinner, waddle out the front door, follow the sounds of blaring Led Zeppelin
and escape into your brother-in-law’s RV. He parks that thing in front
of Grandma’s to avert Family Overload, downing Sierra Nevada Holiday
Ales as he furtively burns Camel Lights in private. Yes, FO is so
universally understood it needs no definition. On Thanksgiving it comes
in all shades, like the leaves of Fall or my face after running the
Cleveland Cascades in a plastic suit. So enjoy your five pieces of
pumpkin pie, be polite when answering questions like, "So when are you
gonna settle down and get married?" and enjoy the holidays, kids!
BPM is at Facebook not as BPM!
I ran into a girl recently who suggested I join Facebook.
I said, well, I've got little old WNB
for blasting out info but she said I needed to sign up anyhow to "keep
in touch." So I did, and while this is not a BPM Smith
the DJ/author thing -- it's my personal page -- anyone who is a member
and wants to become my "friend" can click here
and holla. Two weeks after joining I've decided I like this Facebook
thing. My main concern was about burning time that I should spend
rewriting and proofing the novel, or dwelling in the lab banging out
fresh Drum & Bass.
That's totally unwarranted because there's hardly any time spent on
that page, and it's cool because I'm in better contact with friends
around the world who I don't call often enough. Also, I got in touch
with two long ago friends who it turns out are fellow Bay Area poker
degenerates. One keeps IMing reports when he leaves a poker room. Dude
pulls all nighters and sends updates upon arriving home, after loading
another $1k in his wallet. So it's a nice way of keeping in touch but
there remains a problem: I can't recall the girl who insisted that I
get a Facebook page "to keep in touch." So we're not in touch.
Bring on the young degenerates!
watched ESPN or reads the sports section knows that Peter Eastgate
from Denmark won the WSOP and its $9.15 million prize. He's just 22
years old and broke Phil Hellmuth's
record as the youngest winner ever. The
kid's pretty damn good and beat my man Ivan in a four hour headsup
battle. ESPN made it look like a 10 minute showdown but I could tell
from Ivan's exhausted demeanor that it was a longer session. My
predictions in the last blog were somewhat accurate. Montgomery didn't play as
horribly as the leadup to the final table. Chino busted in 7th place
with a taste of his own medicine: a suckout. He then cursed out a
reporter who asked him how it felt going busto at the WSOP.
What a bitch! And he
was supposed to be the "pro?" More like an immature punk who cracked
when he was overmatched. The reporter should've smashed his camera over
Chino's head and asked him how that felt.
Ivan made Phillips his punching bag all
night and bluffed him twice for huge pots until finally Phillips had to
shove all in with a mediocre hand. See what happens when he doesn't
flop the nuts? A superior player owns him, despite 300 screaming
hillbillies from Hicktown, USA all dressed like Phillips: starched
white shirt, red baseball cap. WTF? Ivan's as game as they come, but
his audacity killed him in the end. He wouldn't stop bluffing at the
Dane, who caught cards and won it on a straight vs two pair. I've
thought about what Eastgate's win will result in and it's good and bad.
First, more twentysomething degenerates will hit poker tournaments
shades, hoodies and iPods with the belief that all you
need to do is play aggressively and you'll win at poker. Bring 'em on!
The flipside is this kid's from Denmark. I've already encountered Scans
at major tournaments but that does little for the overall scene. What I
want is more fish to fry at small to midsize tournaments and local cash
games. Man, if a 22 year-old college dropout from America had won this thing it would
go through the roof. My appetite for raw sea bass becomes ravenous just
thinking about it.
PS: Those of you who play online
poker are fucked. One of the last things the Bush Co. Nazis are doing
before their asses get kicked to the curb is finalize the
online poker ban, requiring US financial institutions to
prevent the ballas from getting their payments by December 2009. This
ban was a midnight addition to a larger bill about US national security
as pork, and backed by the NFL lobby among others. Yet another reason
why football is for drunken meatheads and Bush needs to GTFO.
Nine million bucks to read!
Book industry participants often talk about how fewer
Americans read nowadays due to the Internet, television,
iPods, Crackberries and a bevy of other entertainment platforms. Sure,
I'm guilty. My vices are literary message boards, snarky gossip
websites, online electronic music
(link to Lee Coombs is now
fixed, sorry!) and live poker (never online, I'm old school like that).
things both help and hamper the pace I can write novels, let alone read
them. Help, because I must have beats to write anything at all. Doesn't
matter if I'm banging out a news story or a 300 page novel, music is my
bitch. Hamper, because how am I gonna write or ingest the boatload
of novels we receive here at the WNB HQ
if I'm busy scouring the Internet for the latest Bijou Phillips
Then there's poker. That it ruins writing is not surprising,
considering I'll play 12-15 hour days for a week straight when on
poker road trips and often burn half days playing local tournaments at
Lucky Chances, the Oaks and Artichoke Joe's. Time burner, poker is. But
what my literary pals don't realize is poker players are some of the
most voracious readers anywhere. Example: my longtime friend Pete took up the game and has
been a regular cash player at the Oaks for several months now. Pete,
who rolled with me to AJ's last night for a no limit hold 'em
tournament, whipped out three different poker strategy books at dinner.
There aren't many literary types who lug around a few novels
simultaneously, outside my man Jon.
Why do poker players read? Because they wanna learn about the game. I
don't care how many websites you troll, sometimes you need the depth of
a full-length book. Why do people read novels? Because they want to
learn about different subcultures, cliques, civilizations and
vicariously have experiences that they can't in their daily lives, in a
that's richer than the zombie written screenplays of shitcom America.
The intense curiosity of novel readers is similar to poker players, yet
it's more pure. After all, nobody's paying us literary aficionados $9
million bucks at the end of the road, like tonight's World Series of
Poker Main Event winner. Man, if $9M isn't enough to inspire
reading you may as well snort rails in the Oaks restroom and weep in
your bottles of Sierra Nevada Ale. This is the dream of all poker
players worldwide, and one of these lucky bastards is about to make the
big score. Can't wait till the show begins at 6 pm PST on ESPN!
PS: I am in a poker news blackout
because I want to watch tonight's tape-delayed show as if it's live,
but have a prediciton anyhow. Überdonk Montgomery
pisses off his stack on senseless bluffs, panics, and shoves all in
with crappy cards to crash outta there in 9th place. Chino the
Burglar's ability to merciliessly suck out after shoving
with the worst hand falters, he's bust-o in
6th place. Truck driving hillbilly
Phillips stops flopping the nuts or trips every single GD hand,
gets stomped when he must play real poker, and finishes in 4th place. Ivan Dementedov schools everyone
because he's the best player with solid aggression and reads on his
opponents, becoming the first Russian to win the WSOP Main
Today is the only time y’all will ever hear me rant about
politics. But I’m sure relieved that Obama
won. Yeah, even though I’m pretty apolitical I am stoked over this
result. Am so goddamn sick of George W,
the wars, wasted money on bullshit and the backwards sense of
entitlement these clowns have. Kick their asses out of the White House
and the Senate. This is not to say Obama’s administration is going to
fix things right away but anything’s better than continuing the damage,
and that’s what McCain
represented. Let’s move on to a new era. It's not perfect going forward
but at least we’ve got change.
My college buddy Gartsu, who
is serving in Iraq where we are burning $300 million a day instead of
financing public schools or assuring that Social Security will exist by
the time you and I retire, sent over a vase this week. Thanks, Gartsu!
I’ve been shipping him cigars and CDs of my DJ mixes.
Last time I shipped him a box of Partagas, a box of Macanudos and this DNB set.
Our soldiers can't drink, but they can smoke cigars. They gotta smoke
with non-alcoholic beer because the Iraqis don't drink and our military
doesn't wanna alienate them. Okay, great. Now you're running around
packing M-16s trying not to get your ass blown up and you can't crack a
brew at the end of a hard day in the war zone? Screw that.
PS: Am I the only one who
thought SF Mayor Gavin Newsom
gave a damn good speech in support of Prop 8? He brought his A game.
You watch, he's going places. Hard to believe that just a few years ago
he was viewed as the next JFK
and on a fast track to national politics. Then he divorced his smoking
hot wife and was found chopping rails, downing liquor and banging hot
babes all over SF. Nothing wrong with that. He got re-elected despite
the media frenzy and is living it up. In ten years that stuff will be
long forgotten and they'll prime him for something big.
Thank you, Moby and Emerald Balance!
I am always a zombie the first Monday after daylight
savings time kicks in. Today I drank eight cups of Peet’s Coffee
instead of the usual five and still had to grind it hard in the media
salt mines just to maintain. Before long, 7 pm had passed and I was
still writing my last story of the day hours after darkness had fallen
in downtown San Francisco. The only thing that kept me from collapsing
today was Moby’s people, who
sent me the press release
and link to his Myspace rave event. Thanks, Betty!
They archived some of the sets there, so if you missed it live then you
can still listen. Glad to see Moby once again hitting his stride with
the Techno beats, and happier yet to have used his rhythm to buoy
writing -- both in the day job and as I sit here rewriting my
novel Bistro de Mars. Everyone
who knows me is aware that the beats must
flow when I am writing or else the prose will not. Beats got
me through daytime but tonight they were not enough. I felt as
tired as a cokehead midget whore after a little people’s convention!
Something extra was needed for another late
night writing the WIP.
On the kitchen counter was this Emerald Balance that I’d bought on a
whim. An addition to my ever-growing mad as hell collection of
supplements. So, I added a teaspoon to my regular fruit and soy milk
smoothie. It’s a very dense powder made of barley wheat, flax seed,
beet juice, bamboo, gingko baloba, horsetail and a bunch of other
ingredients. Whoa… This stuff has me so energetic I’m worried that it’s
gonna keep me up all night. For now, it’s all good. I’ll let you know
if life sucks at 4:20 am Tuesday morning, though. PS: Y’all know what I’m rolling on
during the next Vegas poker trip!
journalists please kill yourselves!
"I told him eating
marijuana brownies is ok -- I think." -- Overheard in lobby of San
Francisco media office building.
The Phillies beat the Rays Wednesday and now sports reporters across
America are battling to see who can write the most trite and stupid
headline like 'Phinally Phillies win!' No, they didn't write that, did
they? Yes, Sports Illustrated and ESPN both posted variations of this
shit. Kill me! Kill me now! Or better yet, kill the sports journalists.
These stories are so contrived and melodramatic it's embarassing. Hot runny
diarrhea like Jayson Stark's shouldn't even have a byline.
Think I'm kidding? His lead went something like:
"For a quarter of a century,
they'd waited for this night, waited for this moment. For a quarter of
a century, they'd watched these scenes happen in somebody else's town,
on somebody else's field of dreams, in somebody else's busted down '82
Chevy Nova littered with cans of Pepsi, KFC Extra Crispy drumsticks and
Cut to the chase asshole, the Phillies won 4-3! Instead of a byline he
should wear a bag on his head and write his jabber on bathroom stalls.
The Philies won the 2008 World Series so stop crapping your
pants. No wonder most in the media business consider sports
journalists the bottom feeder fanboys of the industry.
Anyhow, I'm done
with baseball cuz my GS Warriors and New York Knicks debuted. GS
outplayed the Hornets most of the game but Jax blew the win with a bad inbounds
pass. Beating last year's No 3 Playoff seed sure would've made a nice
statement that the Warriors mean biznis. And
what's up with this ACC kid from Duke who played the point in Monta
Ellis' absence? He kept turning the ball over and now I'm even
pissed at Monta for celebrating his huge contract with drunken moped
riding. The NYK won though, and Jamal
Crawford scored 29 points. Lots of haters said he couldn't adapt
to the new "seven second offense" but as I've said all preseason, Mike D's run and gun system is made
Good times at George & Walt's with Pete
and Michelle and pitchers of
quality Sierra Nevada and Blue Heron ales. G&W's is not really a
sportsbar, more like a laid back dive bar. I even got a Pabst
Blue Ribbon story. After GS lost by 5, Michelle noticed that some
hipster had fallen asleep in a lounge chair with a PBR in hand. He
awake, and instead of going home or to bed or to the gutter, reeled
over to the bar and ordered another PBR. "Pabst Blue
Noisia & Pacific are hard, Tampa Bay
Rays are soft!
First, a word from two of my very favorite drum & bass
production crews, Noisia &
Pacific, who just
collaborated on a new 12" for UK record label Sound Trax that includes
an especially phat new
track "On your mind." Check out the A
A - Noisia &
Pacific - On your mind
Is this banging
DNB or what? Put 80 such tracks in my shiny silver record case and I
will blow up speakers from now till Halloween. I’ve been remixing
Pacific in my DNB sets
since Day 1 but the Noisia crew are by far my favorite discovery of the
past two years. Put these talented artists together and we are talking
From the hard to the soft -- the Tampa Bay Rays ain’t shit! Take them
out of an air conditioned dome and they wilt. Tonight, anticipating an
end to the World Series, I turned the WNB.com HQ into a sportsbar with
a six pack of Tona Cerveza in the fridge, a fresh bottle of Saphire gin
in the freezer and carne asada tacos grilling on the stovetop. All was
fine until MLB pulled the plug with the Phillies and Rays tied at 2-2
at the bottom of the sixth. Man, it was funny as hell watching that
Rays baserunner steal and straight up hydroplane
into second base at the bottom of the sixth, amiright? You could see
the Ray players, accustomed to balmy Florida heat and piped in 70
degree air, sniveling in the dugout about the playing conditions.
Hello? Baseball must be played outdoors, on grass, in weather natural
to the cities in which teams reside. It’s 39 degrees and raining in
Philadelphia. Deal with it, bitches!
And so, the game will continue on Tuesday even though rain and cold
are forecast in Philly till forever. That’s why they should’ve played
it out in comical rain and mud mayhem. Also, come
Wednesday nobody will give a damn since my Golden State
Warriors make their 2008-09 season debut against the New
Orleans Zombies, Pete
and I are hitting George and Walt’s, and baseball is nothing but human road kill
in the rear view mirror of life.
Lowlights of LA, or, how rewriting a novel
kills your poker game!
Back from Los Angeles and here are the highlights: Downing
Newcastle Ale and a bevy of appetizers at Boardner’s,
an old school bar with an adjacent nightclub in Hollywood where after
cocktails you can enjoy a stroll among drug addled teens, burned out
former "actresses" turned to meth and assorted hipsters... Some three
story bar/club whose name I can’t remember, where we had a great time
hanging with Chris and Monica an hour after closing time
without the staff hassling us to GTFO... Hot dogs at Pink’s
and shopping at the boutiques of Melrose Avenue, where I bartered down
the price on some quality 7 Diamonds
shirts... The four bikini-clad British tourists on Hermosa Beach who
said they "can’t wait till we get to Vegas." In particular the one who
swatted sand off her butt. Which amounted to pointing her ass at me and
spanking herself for one minute
straight in the sun. *slackjaw ensued*
Now I am back in the media salt mines by day and by night trying to
cook Philly cheese steaks, watch the Phillies school the Tampa Bay
Rays, monitor the latest Isiah Thomas
soap opera with the New York Knicks
and today's expected announcement that Patrick
Ewing's son will (not?) make the team, escape reality with tales
of crime and murder,
and finish rewrites of Bistro de Mars.
I am supposed to hit next month's WSOP Circuit Event in Tahoe in what
amounts to a reunion tour with my former crew buddy Dave, but will prolly have to cancel
it. Too much to do, not enough time, and my poker game sucks right now
due to spending all spare time on the novel and not playing poker.
Which leads me to one last LA lowlight: Busted out of a NLH tournament
at the Commerce Casino with suited A-9 after missing the flop and
bluffing. Sensing weakness, I shoved all-in and got called by a maniac
who had also missed the flop, yet after a 30 second pause said, "I
guess I’ll gamble." WTF? I had heard about Commerce’s absurdly
aggressive players who routinely call with nothing but overcards but
c’mon... calling a bet for 3/4 of your stack after missing the flop? It's one thing to
bluff, entirely another thing to call in this situation. And no, the
clown did not have a read on me, he's simply a donkey. No wonder it’s
called "happy hunting grounds" for cash players who like to reel in
fish. Maybe I should join a certain friend (not Dave) at the cash games
instead of being strictly a NLH tournament player. He called today to
report doubling up despite breaking a rib and being loaded on Vicodin.
"I'm playing poker on drugs," he said. Is there any other way to fry
PS: Commerce Casino
is a dump populated by cokehead poker degenerates. In just
four hours I encountered a jerk yelling at a floorman "I'm a pro!",
insane Russian brothers who disputed the tournament director after he
pointed out obvious gaffes such as "English only at tables," and a
cantankerous grandfather who berated the donkey above with, "Don't you know how to play tournaments?!"
But they’ve got a nice sports bar with decent food and beer. Just don’t
bother ordering a martini. Why is it no bartender on Earth can make a
proper gin martini?
UPDATE: The NYK announced Monday
that they are dogging Patrick Ewing
Jr. in order to keep the somnambulist "Drunken" Jerome James as a practice squad
punching bag. Fan reaction at the NY Post.
It's not positive.
Off to see the clubs, beaches and poker
degenerates of LA!
Okay, I’m off for a weeklong vacation in Los Angeles
beginning Saturday (Oct. 11) night. There’s a big backlog of pending
content here at WNB.com as usual -- bunch of news and reviews on
authors and DJs -- but I did blast up this interview with Karen Dionne
as well as my latest Downtempo mix
to tide y’all over and avert bass withdrawal. Got a busy week of
chilling on the beach, hitting clubs, checking out Chris and Monica's new digs and playing poker
at Commerce Casino, where guys like Men
the Master call home. Thanks to my man Dave, we won’t miss the big Kelly Pavlik fight next Saturday cuz
he’ll pick us up at the airport right before the opening bell. He’ll no
doubt find me loaded on Vicodin as always after flights. I’ll probably
burst into tears behind these aviator
shades as soon as security starts patting my ass down. Maybe
a pint of Red Tail Ale will help...
Cleveland Cascade draws girls with six
packs, hecklers and meatheads!
Day light savings time ends with October and soon darkness
will set in before we escape the office each night. How depressing.
This will also mark the end of exercise because most of us get
sedentary during the winter. Why work out when it’s six months till
Bikini Beach, amiright? No! This year, I’ve decided to stay fit and
day-by-day am developing a plan that will offset these fourth quarter
doldrums. First, hit the gym. Second, run the historic Cleveland
Cascade stairs. Third, do both of the above instead of
working 10-14 hour days in media salt mines that can leave you soft,
gasping for breath and shoveling Big Macs down your throat at your
desk. I once worked for such an editor at the Reno Gazette-Journal and he taught
me a lesson: Journalism will kill you if you let it.
So tonight I was determined to leave the office no later than 6 pm,
chug a Hyper
Growth Formula by Bio-Phase, and get punished by these stairs.
Well, as usual I worked late and despite concerns about spraining an
ankle in the dark, said fuck it. I put on my basketball shorts, two
t-shirts and hit the streets. Running in Oakland at night is quite
different than the afternoon. Darkness does something crazy to people.
I ran past a liquor store and some black dude yelled, "Run for help!" A
block later a girl screeched, "WOOO!" from the window of a passing car.
At the playgrounds of Lake Merritt, rambunctious children were replaced
by high schoolers flirting and cackling at one another in the dark.
Finally I made it to these five flights of stairs, nestled up a hill
between apartment buildings. They are my wild card in overcoming winter
laziness. And they will break a bitch down! Just ask the brother who
was big enough to play center for my GS Warriors. He moaned at the top
of the stairs like a cattle that a slaughterhouse forgot to finish off.
A woman who I saw earlier this week also showed up. She has a six pack.
I know this because after heating up she always removes her tank top,
wearing just a sports bra and sweatpants. Whatup! Now if a woman
develops a six pack she is training like hell. I believe she’s an
athlete, either pro or semi-pro if there is such a thing. No way does
anyone climb 10 Cleveland Cascade laps straight without a break unless
this is their biznis. I wanted to ask her what she’s training for but
strange men cannot approach half-naked women who are alone in Oakland
at night. Unless they’re kidnappers. Then it’s fine.
Turn down the music!
So this morning I picked up two car poolers on my way into
San Francisco, a coffee drinking hipster and a fiftysomething woman I
mistook for this awesome Mexican who always wears Versace shades. No
such luck! Instead this one asked me to turn down my Pure Behrouz NYC album that’s
bumping my car stereo woofers day and night nowadays (review coming
soon). Okay, I understand that grannies don’t wanna nod their heads to
progressive and tribal house first thing in the morning. Fine. Her faux
pas occurred when she added, "It’s repetitive and never changes."
"That’s the point," I said. "The DJ makes
gradual transitions so you're not consciously aware of what
"Maybe he’s effective at what he’s doing but to me it’s not enjoyable."
Enjoyable? I’d already turned down the GD music and she’s still
bitching about the aesthetics of house music, a medium that wasn’t even
invented till she was watching "Thirtysomething" on TV drinking
white zinfandel in the 1980s. Because I’m a grouch when
undercaffeinated and was still working on my third cup of Peet’s, her
critique prompted a rant. This one centered on why all music comes down
to personal taste. Example: Britney Spears
is no longer insane, bald headed and flashing coochie in
public, so she has a new album coming out soon. Even though Brit’s
singing sounds like gurgling filtered vomit, there are evidently
millions of people who disagree with me. They like her. Which led to
commercial radio and how I haven’t listened to it in months because
it’s all pop crap that sounds the same. Good morning!
I finally made it to work and was on track to hit Gail Konop Baker’s
reading at Books Inc this evening, one day after her appearance
on KGO-TV, when a rumor happened. One of the biggest
commodity producers I cover had possibly dropped prices worldwide (USA,
Asia, Europe) and I needed to confirm whether this was true ASAP.
Unlike pork bellies or oil, prices for the commodities I cover are not
flashed on trading floors for public knowledge, they are changed
quietly through global networks. When this happens, us financial media
scramble like mad to break the news first by calling the buy and sell
sides of the market individually. Anyhow, I worked late. And missed
another reading. Seems like every time an
author comes to town it’s another late night spent in these
media salt mines.
Lee Combs, Behrouz show melody is relative!
So I was driving around San Francisco with a bunch of
coworkers and one of them asked, "Is there any melody to this music?"
His question referred to Lee Coombs,
whose "Lot 49" mixed CD is slated for US release on November 11. I
scored a pre-release from Lot49 Records and Coombs’ dirty Electro and
Breaks rumbled heavy in my car stereo. Obviously the bass bombed the
hell out of my coworker. It’s not a beginners’ type electronic music
album so I flipped in another upcoming release, by Behrouz
from Nervous Records. "That’s better," coworker said. Not that Behrouz
is "beginners electronica" by any means but his style is all rhythm and
melody, and the result is a beautiful album of Progressive House. Even
casual music observers will love "Pure Behrouz NYC" when it hits stores
beginning Oct. 7.
I am down with all styles of electronic music and these are the type of
artists who fit nicely in the middle of my Downtempo and Electro sets
during the WORD’N’BASS Show.
So I’ve always gotta test them out in my car stereo beforehand, to find
the sweet spots for remixing, transitions, and to locate the heaviest
bass lines. As a longtime aficionado of Electro I actually find Lee
Combs’ work quite melodic. There is a melody to continuous and
repetitive bass lines, but I can see how unfamiliar ears would hear it
differently. Check out how I reconfigure these beats tonight (Friday,
Sept. 26) beginning at 10:30 pm on 104.1 FM if you’re in the
Oakland/Berkeley/SF Bay Area.
Now that 104.1 FM is once again in effect I am stoked to
be back in the studio with my man Abdul.
What’s not so great is the location. Cuz it's ghetto as hell! I am not
looking forward to this Friday’s journey if it goes anything like last
I drive past
dozens of abandoned warehouses and wandering hoodlums who do a double
take as if thinking, "Oh shit is
this a driveby?!" Then pull up to the studio location to find
three "Jamaican drug dealers" (Abdul’s description, not mine) waiting
on the sidewalk and a large group of teenagers nursing 40s on the porch
next door. Hours later at 1 am the teenagers are still sitting on the
porch. A full 12 hours later, at 1 pm on a Saturday, these same dudes
are on the sidewalk threatening a passerby with their two pit bulls.
"We’re gonna get shot in this neighborhood!" Abdul says in the studio.
He was quoting one of the DJs who does The God Hour,
my favorite Hip Hop show on or offline. "Which one said that?" I ask.
Abdul starts flailing with the mixer, finally transitions to a John Coltrane track and then says:
"I dunno, some blonde, white kid."
Um, don’t mind me. I’m just a white and blonde guy trying to
maintain in the ‘hood. Years ago while living in The Fillmo'
neighborhood in which the novel Bistro de Mars
is set, I learned that you can maintain
by befriending young thugs and Jamaicans. This way, they’re less likely
to blast you and somewhat likely to intervene when the crackhead
zombies try stealing your car. And since they’re always on the street this is a
positive. Hell, they’re like built-in lookouts. But if I become
homicide of 2008 y’all know what happened.
PS: For more on 104.1 FM,
our recent hiatus and some phat freestyle check out Al Gore's
Current TV, which did a mini documentary on The God Hour
BPM back in the studio!
On Wednesday good news arrived. First, I found pics
of Italy's gorgeous Margherita
Granbassi fencing at last month’s Olympics. I forgot to mention
we met* in Vegas when I played in the World Series of Poker and she
competed in some pre-Olympic qualifying tournament at the Tropicana
Hotel, home of hookers and a terrible espresso bar where the counter
people get huffy when you order a quadruple cappuccino -- "Yes,
quadruple meaning FOUR SHOTS!" -- since their doubles are weak as hell.
They retaliate by stealing your half-eaten banana when you leave for a
two minute Marlboro break. Anyhow... you wouldn’t believe how
passionate these fencers are. They screech when attacking. It’s an
underrated spectacle in sports. Second, panic arrived in the form of a
jury duty court summons in my mailbox. Oh shit, they found me! Not so
fast. Turns out it’s addressed to some dude I never heard of. Yes. Toss
summons in garbage!
Last, and best of all, the WORD’N’BASS Show is back in effect after a
nearly one month hiatus due to our studio relocation and other drama.
So tune into 104.1 FM on Friday from 10:30 pm to 1 am for the regular
Downtempo, Drum & Bass, and cosmic vibes. We’re old school like
vinyl though, as the stream is down until Natasha our tech support figures
stuff out. Remember The Long Haul
ruckus a few weeks ago? Yeah, the pigs ganked our computers that send
streams of beautiful bass into dot-com land even though legal analysts
are shocked that judge Cretin
Ford granted a vague search warrant in the first place. So
until further notice the show is on the radio but not streamed live on
the Internet. I’ll still post regular sets in the audio section though,
so keep it dialed.
* Met = me leering behind Rayban aviators as Margherita fenced in her
white outfit, occasionally pulling off her helmet to reveal golden
locks and intense brown eyes.
Among novelists there are no words more pleasurable to
write than "The End." These words now appear at the end of my novel Bistro de Mars.
What an exhausting road to the finish line it had become. This novel,
which some old school friends might recognize as semi-biographical, is
about a San Francisco boxer trying to make the Olympic team whose dream
is potentially scuttled by hooligan friends, a fickle girlfriend, and
other inner city drama. Finishing it took longer than expected. The
result of nearly four years of grinding away, this manuscript has
existed as a Word file even before WORD'N'BASS.com, which launched in
During the three and a half years since, I’ve come to know many authors who can
bang out a novel a year but unlike these ubertalents,
I am a slow writer when it comes to prose. Which is ironic since at the
day job I’m known for banging out news breaks quicker than anyone and
never suffer from so-called writers block. Novels, especially ones that
return you to dark times, are a whole different matter. Sometimes I
just didn’t want to return to the Lower Haight fiascos of my past.
Still, one chapter at a time, I slowly banged out this thing until it
is now a whopping 94,000 words, 289 pages, and already rewritten a half
dozen times in some sections. Tonight I’m gonna celebrate with -- you
got it -- gin martinis, baby! Then it’s onto more rewrites. And more
Seven years falling!
Exactly seven years ago we got hit with the worst
terrorist attack in our history. None of us expected such a thing could
happen. We’re the USA, an impregnable society founded by warriors. But
it did. This week I got so buried in my day job as a
hitman, I mean, financial journalist, that I didn’t even
realize 9/11 was upon us until a friend mentioned it. Which reminds me
that, after the towers fell and everyone had departed The City in BART
trains and cars to be with family, I slaved away for 12 hours working
the phones and reporting on what seemed like the fall of civilization.
Realizing that guys I knew at Deutsche Banc, Smith Barney, CIBC World
Markets and other investment banks had offices in the World Trade
Center or nearby, I also spent the day madly calling everyone hoping to
confirm they got the hell outta there. Amazingly, they all did.
Including one trader in the WTC who saw the first plane arrive while he
gazed out the window drinking his morning coffee. I think he's out of
the biznis now because we've not talked in years. Lots of folks ended
up making lifestyle changes after surviving that carnage.
Seven years later the net result of 9/11 was 2,974 people dead in the
immediate wake of the attacks, untold billions of dollars wasted on
war, one friend serving in the Army in Iraq (Gartsu, I am shipping
another box of Partagas this weekend!), and haunting images of people
falling from the sky. I watched a documentary The Falling Man
last night that’s worth checking out. Even if it bucks what
we want to remember from that day. It's not only a fitting
reminder of the lives we lost, but the struggle of Catherine Hernandez to refute media
reports about her father the so-called jumper is a reminder that we
journalists had better get the facts right.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
I recently watched this classic Clint Eastwood flick and
it blows away
any Western made in the forty years since, so I’m gonna drop this GBU
The Good: The Keystone
Cops, I mean the Oakland PD finally caught three hoodlums who
terrorized the city with a dozen takeover-style
robberies over the past month. It was the latest crime trend
in Oakland and resulted in newspapers from California to Germany
gleefully running stereotypical "Oakland’s Just a Bunch of Thugs"
stories all summer. Also, their capture means I’ll no longer pack a .45
during espresso and pizza runs. Yes! I hella love Oakland!
The Bad: For
a good 50 years Ernest Hemingway
was the baddest man
on the planet and his epic 26 pages in "The Snows of
Kilimanjaro" was among best short stories of the 20th century. Today, I
hit Peet’s Coffee where they’ve got a new varietal that I’ve never
tasted before: Tanzania Kilimanjaro, produced in small batches by
farmers near the snow-crested mountain and described as "refined and
smooth with fruit-tinged layers of malty sweetness." Alright! I’m gonna
brew my first pot Tuesday morning and come Saturday I’ll make
cappuccinos out of it to enjoy while reading Hem’s short for the first
time since college.
The Ugly: JK Rowling had
her lawyers beat
the crap out of Steven Vander Ark, who wanted to publish an
encylopedia about her Harry Potter series. Rowling issued a statement
after Monday's ruling, saying, "I took great pleasure in bringing legal
action and am delighted that I can now return to my palatial estate,
where three cabana boys are waiting to provide my weekly mani-pedi,
poolside, in their Speedos. Toodle doo!"
Bitch please! She should be flattered there’s interest in her little
magician stories at all, let alone folks wanting to write encyclopedias
about them. The only thing worthwhile in Harry Potter is Emma Watson.
She’s adorable. The rest is stupid wizard crap. And Rowling is setting
a dangerous precedent here by narrowing the line between fair use and
excessive use. This could have a chilling effect on academics' research
and appraisals of literary works. None of that matters to Rowling cuz
she’s rich and pubbed the greenest
book ever. Besides, she's busy getting another shot of
Botox, shopping for granny drawers at Nordstroms and dousing herself
with Charlies fragrance.
Thugs GTFO of Oakland cafés!
Remember the new Olympic sport I joked about Restaurant
Rob ’N’ Mob? Well, these take-over style robberies have continued in
Oakland and it’s happened a dozen times in the past month alone. Only
now they’re hitting Italian restaurants and organic cafes. This is war!
Once you mess with café society get ready because we’ll bust
cappuccinos on your ass. I can just picture these thugs showing up
Friday when the Bryan Harrison
Band is hosting a benefit for Nomad Café. After all,
the thugs robbed
this staple of the Oakland coffeehouse scene while community
members held an anti-crime rally nearby "to reclaim the streets."
Oh, what bold bastards they are. Think I’m worried? Bring it! I wanna
catch these fools and collect the $50,000 reward the Oaktown cops
finally announced. And remember by Friday evening we’re
coming down from three cups of organic French Roast, two double lattes,
a double espresso and a bunch of chocolate covered espresso beans. That
means we’re hard. Hard, know what I’m saying? PS: You Oakland pigs must cease
your tireless issuing of parking tickets and moving violations when
folks pull a "California stop" and go arrest the thugs. Protect Oakland
citizens, serve us some justice, and do your damn jobs instead of
racking up the easy "violations."
Great White sharks get the Labor Day
I think Labor Day has something to do with unions getting
established way back when and so America gets to celebrate workers
rights and whatnot. Even though unions are a dying phenomenon in this
country and Americans work harder and longer than just about any
developed nation on Earth. So, America’s guilty conscience throws us
grinders a national holiday instead of stuff we can really use like
universal health care, pensions, month-long summer vacations or a
higher standard of life that are routine in Europe.
When we get three days off we either party like maniacs all weekend,
hit the beach or BBQ with our brews. Since it’s sunny and warm, I was
asked to hit the beach. Okay, let’s check Pacific Coast
Shark News to make sure this is safe.
The waters off Stinson Beach
were closed to swimmers and surfers until sunset on Friday, August
29th. A surfer… spotted a shark, 8 – 10 feet in length (and) said the
shark was possibly a Great White Shark.
Um, you can scrap Stinson Beach off the list! This isn’t the first time
Stinson has freaked me out. Years ago I nearly made a second attempt at
taking up surfing after watching those Stinson surfers do their thing.
Then a Great White shut down the beach for a week. End of all surfing
adventures. Let’s keep it closer to home. Ocean Beach, anyone?
Mike Anable, Evan, and Melissa
were surfing Ocean Beach, San Francisco. Anable recalled: "Evan and I
observed the dorsal fin of a shark, 10 – 15 feet in length, about 75
yards from our location in the line-up. The dorsal fin was about 2
½ feet high. After seeing the size of the shark’s dorsal fin...
I was kind of freaking out. I have never seen a fin that big."
Oh shit! A 15-foot shark? You know that’s a goddamn Great White! No way
am I getting anywhere close. It’s guaranteed they are fiending some
human sushi rolls. Think we’ll stick to collecting new Vital Elements
DNB tracks, running trails near the Cliff House, chowing
piroskis at the Moscow &
Tbilisi Bakery and downing Sapphire martinis. At 10 am.
UPDATE: Whoa, did you click the
shark link? On August 29, 2008 Peter
Maris was surfing Ocean Beach... "I spotted a large dorsal fin of a
shark 40 yards from my position... I would estimate the height of the
fin at about 3 feet. Run! Swim fast! Carry grenades when you
enter the water! A three-foot fin means it was like a 20-foot Great
Solve this mystery: why is Bijou Phillips
with that tool!
Got an interesting email from literary agent Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency,
who says she’s doing a "Mystery Week" on her blog.
She actually started this back on August 18 and has got so much
mysterious content lined up this is a two-week theme, easy. There’s
interesting and useful stuff happening there so check it out! Lucienne
is blogging (in no particular order) with:
Diana Orgain whose debut
mystery POSTPARTUM DETECTIVE has just sold to Berkley Prime Crime,
along with two sequels… Sarah
D'Almeida/Sarah A. Hoyt of the Three Musketeers Mysteries for
Bantam… T. Lynn Ocean of the
Jersey Barnes Mysteries for St. Martin's… Tony Perona, anthologist and author
of the Nick Bertetto mystery series… Lee
Lofland, who runs the cops and robbers blog The Graveyard
Shift and is author of Police Procedure and Investigation, A
Guide For Writers.
Meanwhile, I am here at the WNB.com HQ tryiing to figure out the
mystery of my precious Bijou Phillips
while listening to Calyx beats
and watching Ike "The President"
Ibeabucchi beat crap out of Chris
Byrd on mute. I like stimulation on multiple levels
simultaneously, which is why Bijou is my favorite actress. Not only is
she a former model but she also is a damn good folk singer as you’ll
hear at her Myspace.
She even plays poker
(photographer, would you please
tell that jerk to GTFO next time you’re snapping pics of Bijou), which
means that she and I are made for each other.
Yes, they say she’s got a mean streak to her. Fine by me. She can punch
my face while I spank her butt! Bijou has a new film out
about old school punk band The Germs,
so she met some reporter at a NYC café. Given she’s well-known
for chopping dudes with cigar clippers and beating rivals down at
nightclubs, I’m surprised Bijou didn't pull out a .45 and shoot the OK
Magazine reporter’s ass. PS:
Bijou it’s time to drop that tool and step up to this!
Like TV, the US Olympic boxing team sucks!
In the nine days since these Beijing Olympics began I’ve
watched more TV than anytime in four years. Was gonna watch tonight’s
CNBC broadcast of the boxing quarterfinals from 11 pm to 2 am (yes, 2am
Monday morning, on a workday) to see if USA Boxing can salvage these
Olympics with their two remaining guys, welterweight Demetrius Andrade and heavyweight Deontay Wilder. But decided it’s not
a good idea. This Phelps thing
and the insanity of television -- machine gun advertising every 10
minutes, talking heads who make no sense, general stupor -- has me
ready to jump out of a window. Whether it’s sports or not, TV makes me
feel sorta insane. How do people stare at this idiot box for hours
Anyhow, I saw our middleweight, some dude named Shawn Estrada from LA. He's so
horrible it was embarrassing and comical. All he did was lunge in and
flail with punches. How he's our best amateur middleweight is a
mystery. Seems he was overwhelmed by the moment and not thinking in the
ring, but his boxing skills suck irregardless. He lost 11-5 to Great
Britain’s James DeGale
who took Estrada so lightly he even admitted he was distracted by
smoking hot Brazilian babes all week. Afterwards, Estrada couldn't
answer Jim Grey's questions
like "What was your strategy?" and "Why didn't you jab?" Like I said,
he was comically bad. There are many reasons
why USA Boxing sucks. Whatevs, that's besides the point. As
a former boxer whose two novels are:
1. About a boxer
who kills people and flees to Mexico with his smoking hot girlfriend...
2. About a boxer who gets massacred by
the night creatures of America...
I enjoy watching
the Olympics to 1. Talk shit about dudes who are 10x better than I ever
was and 2. Gauge the future big name pros. I have decided that
Ireland’s Darren Sutherland,
who blasted some dude into Bolivian
with 4 seconds left to advance to the quarterfinals, is a future star.
Super Heavyweight David Price
of the UK is on fire and y’all will hear about him in the future. Our
own welterweight Andrade is looking real good. I guarantee he’s a
future world champ unless he hardly fights at all like our one and only
2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward,
who is practically a neighbor of mine.
Also, one Alfonso Blanco of
Venezuela is a nice pro prospect as well. Am gonna keep my eye on him.
Quick, great footwork, aggressive, good power. But the stupid ref
almost got Blanco KTFO when he let him get cold cocked by an opponent
after he told them to stop punching but failed to separate them. The
incompetence of the Olympic boxing officials is manifesting itself in
many ways. Germany’s Olympians are sure competent, though, if competent
means smoking hot, fit women athletes
who show their breasts to us. Woohoo! This is surely worth a
Downtempo and Electro is back in the haus!
Okay I don’t know what the hell happened but that latest Downtempo and
Electro set wouldn’t play for awhile. One minute the beats
were flowing and then Friday I tried bumping some bass. "File reached
end," it said. WTF? After tinkering with this technological stuff for
two hours and blowing my top two times it’s playing like normal and
y’all can once again enjoy smooth
beats mixed in the following tracklist order:
Thievery Corporation, Zab, DJ Krush, Thievery Corporation, Trinidad,
Ben Wa, Bjorn B, Kruder & Dorfmeisterer (remix), Markus Schultz,
Lemongrass (remix), DJ Cam, Big Bud.
Yeah, those are all blunted producers. Most are from offshore places
like Great Britain, Japan and Austria with the exception of Trinidad. I
met him right here in Oakland while on a beer run. Imagine that --
meeting an Oakland rapper in front of a liquor store. This mix is about
as mash-up as you’ll ever see from me. It goes from Dub to Hip Hop to
Downtempo, rises the BPMs during a bit of Electro and then downshifts
back to slow chilled out beats. I call this style of mixing the
mountain. Hope you enjoy it, kids!
Miramax: Get writing, bitch!
Buried deep in the pages of a UK newspaper comes news that
Miramax’s book division is suing novelist Allison Pearson for failing
to deliver a book called "I Think I Love You" despite their $700,000
advance for the film rights alone. This comes seven years after they
also paid here a cool $1.4 million for the film rights to her novel "I
Don’t Know How She Does It," a story that sounds like cliché
chick lit fare about "the life of a successful investment banker who
tries to balance her career with motherhood." Yawn. Anyhow, Miramax
filed suit against Pearson in NY and now their lawyer says they’re
gonna beat a bitch
I just don’t get it. You score over a million British pounds or 2.1
million bucks in our devalued US dollars and you can’t find the time to
write one freaking novel? What’s Pearson been doing all this time?
Probably spanking her American cabana b oys at a beach house out in
Ibiza while twirling glow sticks to the smooth beats of Chus &
Ceballos. Which is surely a nice way to pass your days. But
c’mon, if you want the lifestyle it’s bad form to ditch your publisher
like you’re John
Steinbeck's wife dogging his sons. You gotta write sometimes.
In related news, I am here in an Oakland apartment writing my novel
"Bistro de Mars" while swatting the buttocks of my latest imported
British hottie and drinking Bombay gin. Don’t care how many US
publishers they burn down, British women are the bomb. Because they
have cute accents. And are cute. I’m also downloading Downtempo mixes
in case you skipped the homepage.
This little stat counter thingie says lots of folks have saved the blog
section under their "favorites" instead of the homepage. Which is
weird, considering that’s where the real news is at while this little
blog is just my page to rant about stuff.
We need a vegan, wheat grass-eating
Whenever I read Ernest
Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" I wanna eat Spanish food. Henry Miller’s novels like "Tropic
of Cancer" and "Quiet Days in Clichy" make me crave escargot and
most recently, JA Konrath's
"Fuzzy Navel" makes
me wanna drink a martini. His mystery novel includes a recipe for the
Rusty Nail but I’m not down with peach Schnapps. Since I also associate
JA with his prior novel "Dirty Martini"
a round of martinis is an easy thing to inspire. Gin
martinis, preferably a British label like Bombay Saphire or Tangueray
10. Served dry, with a splash of Italian vermouth and an olive.
Anyhow, I've now run out of Tangueray gin. WTF! If the liquor
deliveryman doesn't arrive in 20 minutes I'm putting a .45 to my head!
Um. No need to panic, there is a solution to everything. When I got
new novel Fuzzy Navel
this week it included one of his branded coasters. One side advertises
"Bloody Mary" and the other side shows his latest (greatest?)
novel. Since I love my coasters -- my man Mike sent over an official US Senate
coaster used by the Senate majority leader and someone else gave me a
Leffe coaster but I was too drunk to
remember who or where, other than it was a kinda weird European chick
I found that reading JA's novel while drinking a bottle of Sierra
Nevada ale is perfect. Or two bottles. Or three, four... This is all
appreciated JA, but could your next novel please include a protagonist
named Jack "Organic" Blueberry who has kinky sex with smoking hot
British actresses like Imogen Poots?
Thank you very much.
Goldie the classical composer inspires new
File this under mismatches or odd pairings like that
lezbot DJ and my precious Lindsay Lohan.
Longtime Drum ‘N’ Bass DJ Goldie
is trying his hand at classical music and they say British conductor Ivor Setterfield is mentoring him as
he attempts one of the more unusual musical transitions. Who’d have
thought a DNB
artist would even like classical music? It’s true. Setterfield says:
"Recently Goldie came to a concert I was giving where we played a piece
by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. The next week he mentioned it in
his top 10 tracks of all time in a London paper. That was fantastic to
Don’t think this is a shock to me. I’m down with unusual combos. For
example, in the spirit of the Olympics, here in Oakland the thugs have
invented a new Olympic sport called Restaurant Rob
‘N’ Mob. In case you've not heard, take-over style hold ups
are the latest hot trend in restaurants across Oaktown. So to earn an
Olympic gold medal, you go out for some Thai food while packing a .45.
Since there's 3/1 odds of surviving dinner without getting blasted that
earns you a bronze medal. If the thugs barnstorm the restaurant and you
escape without giving up your wallet that’s a silver medal. If you
complete a meal while surviving a shootout and take down at least one thug
either through murder or capture then it’s gold, baby!
Speaking of the Olympics, who watched them light the torch? I caught it
because for once I was not out on a Friday night since the WORD’N’BASS Show
is on hiatus till mid-August while we move studio locations. Their
amazing visuals sure whetted my appetite for watching these Games.
Check out CNBC for three hours of Olympic boxing coverage daily. NBC is
hardly covering boxing since it’s a crappy network. Also catch the
swimming, beach volleyball and track and field. Forget basketball. Our
prima donnas can get their asses kicked again for all I care.
Especially since none of my GS Warriors
or NYK players are in it.
PS: To makeup for missing last
night's studio session I'm posting a new Downtempo mix later this
weekend. Keep the homepage
dialed! UPDATE: Yeah my bad,
the weekend flew by. After running too many laps up Cleveland
Cascade in successive days I'm exhausted. Time to watch the
Olypmics. Downtempo set will go live early this week, I promise. USA,
I guess Thursdays are a rough day for Drum & Bass
parties. Back in 1999 we’d hit up those amazing Ekektic parties where
DNB reigned and a bevy of great DJs who are outta San Francisco like Star Eyes and UFO! dished beats to appreciative
DNB-heads of all ages. Climbing those stairs you’d feel the bass
rumbling and just know something exciting was going to happen that
The next day
closing out the work week sure was exciting, if by exciting you mean
hung over and half asleep despite six shots of espresso, a Nodoz and a
fire extinguisher blast to the head. During those pre-millenium dot-com
Fridays I wouldn't know "alertness" if it was a racoon thrown at my
face. Eventually Eklektic stopped, other regular DNB events began, and
years later we all found that nostalgia had set in. Turns out no matter
how many great DJs passed through San Francisco or what kind of epic
shows occurred, there was only one Eklektic.
Fast forward to 2008 and every Thursday night Compression has been
dropping the bass bombs with resident talents like DJ Mal, DJ Ivry, Colonel MC and Audio Angel
(an Eklektic alumna). I was surprised to find that as of last Thursday,
not anymore. According to this blog,
"Well, shit, gang: it looks like this Thursday may be the last ever
weekly Compression… Doors open at 10pm, then at 3am close FOREVER."
Apparently there’s been problems with the club’s management ever since
they moved their weekly show over to Temple.
I really haven’t been at Compression much because Fridays are absolute
murder in the media salt mines in which I suffer, where you’ve got to
bring your A Game and a hangover is the difference between victory and
getting your ass kicked by some journalist who you’d normally scoop
like Fenton’s ice
cream. Still, it’s a bummer whenever you hear about a
longtime DNB party closing shop. Ciao for now, kids. While one crew is
closing shop, another one continues. Check out Redline's
two year anniversary party this Saturday night at San Franscisco's
Matador, where Ultraviolet, Kozee, MC
Child and others do their thang. You can get in free before 11
pm if you RSVP here.
PS: Kozee is the cutest DNB DJ ever,
Aside from Alley Cat
Women authors, welcome to the SFC!
I’m back in The City, tanned, well-rested and fit after
several days in the wine country. I totally bailed at the last minute
without realizing that I was skipping out on fight night with the
fellas. They say that Antonio
Margarito is a brutal motherfucker and Wayne McCullough, whose bio I
covered when it was a hit in the UK, says I missed the
fight of the year. I also missed some smoking hot women
authors who wanted to meet for cocktails before this Romance Writers
of America thing started. In fact several "meetings" fell
through because of two main reasons:
A.) I was busy soaking in hot springs, sun bathing poolside, running
wind sprints up Mendocino Lake, downing organic brews at the Ukiah
Brewing Co., or lining up six simultaneous glasses of wine at a
beautiful place I cannot remember due to being drunk.
B.) Their email asking, "Do you want to meet for a cocktail at the
Marriott?" was greeted with the reply: "Sure let’s meet for five or
fifteen cocktails from 5 pm to 4 am." No email reply came back. Oh. Welcome to San
Francisco my hometown, ladies! You know I love ya!
Hot springs road trip, wine tasting, hell
yes it's summer!
Since returning from Vegas the day-to-day life of big
biznis media work has ground me to a pulp. When this happens there is
only one solution: hot springs
road trip! Will also work in some wine tasting while up in
Sonoma, but I’m talking about Vichy Hot Springs for a couple days to
soak the hectic city life away. This is the only naturally carbonated
hot springs in North America. You lay in the mineral water and bubbles
rise like champagne, an odd sensation that they say revitalizes the
On the wine front, I am skipping the tourist traps in Napa and
Calistoga in favor of Mendocino and Sonoma. There are many fantastic
wineries up there. Instead of battling with stampeding tourists for bar
space it’s better to enjoy Ferrari-Carano's
excellent chardonnays and cabernets in relative peace or enjoy roasted
garlic, cheese and bread at Robert Mondavi's Mendocino winery after a
tasting. He also has one in Napa but this one is better.
Also, I decided to finally stay at a quaint Victorian hotel called the Hopland Inn
that I've passed by many times. Cuz it’s right across the street from
Mendocino Brewery, maker of Red
Tail Ale the best beer in America. Yes, there’s nothing like
pounding brews and then staggering a whole 50 yards back to the hotel.
But before the brews start, I gotta earn it by running for miles up
these madly steep trails over some lake off highway 1. This will
probably beat my ass down. Pain is pleasure as long as you get the
reward afterwards. Yes, the reward!
Can’t remember the name of this lake but it’s on the map somewhere and
I’ll figure it out on the road.
You say La Pequeña is hot?
Put down your Sunday Negro Modelos and listen up. Our
sometime book reviewer Michelle
just said, "I can’t put down this book." Since this only happens about
twice a year, consider my interest piqued. I stopped scouring the
gossip blogs for the latest pics of Sienna
Miller naked on a yacht and asked: "What book?" "Falling Under,"
a sexy, edgy, dark and amusing novel from Danielle
Younge-Ullman published by Penguin imprint Plume. Michelle
was last seen heading over to the new San Francisco H&M store with
my advanced readers’ copy in tow. Wait a minute. "Can’t put down" and
book goes on clothes shopping sprees? Sounds like a hot read for the
late summer when this novel launches in August.
Speaking of hot, yesterday I hit a charity BBQ for the Taqueria El
Balazo workers who got ICED
and need legal funds. I fully expected your standard BBQ chicken, hot
dogs and burgers, and was stoked to find a bunch of El Balazo cooks
grilling carne asada, chicken and tortillas along with fixings like
homemade guacamole, salsa and pinto beans. They also had the liquor
flowing and an eight-piece band playing either mariachi, Jewish folk or
Afro-Cuban music. I’m not sure what in hell they played actually. Maybe
a fusion of all three. Then a crazy old Mexican woman dressed like Harry Potter’s
grandma busted out with performance art in Spanish. I
recognized words like "chinga" and "cabron." Their BBQ had already
raked in thousands of bucks when I left. Now that’s how you raise money
and build hype.
While I am intrigued with Danielle’s promising debut as a novelist,
given "Falling Under" launches in just a couple weeks and bookish folks
can pre-order it
here, IMO she should take a lesson from Mexican Witch
and the brilliant La Pequeña.
executing lesson No. 1 on garnering big time hype: latch onto a widely
reported news story -- in these cases the federal crackdown on
immigration and the Chilean stripper who pole danced on subways --
repackage it utilizing your own unique skills and blow up large. Go La
Pequeña, go La Pequeña, go! EDIT: Youtube pulled the video
and flagged another equivalent one. Apparently, obsessive parents are
afraid their screaming brats who shouldn't be surfing the net anyhow
cannot bear seeing a tranny midget pole dancer strutting his stuff.
Jerks. Here's an alternate video of the Legendary La
Evacuation is over - I hope!
"Paradise is burning," I told a dude Friday on the drive
into San Francisco. He thought I was talking hypothetically about the
fact California today has more simultaneous wildfires than ever before.
No. The town of Paradise caught fire and was evacuated for the second
time in less than a month on Wednesday. My parents moved up there from
the SF Bay a few years ago and so this summer’s been pretty stressful.
Twice now they've loaded up some belongings and made the long drive
It basically went
similar to these folks’
exodus only replace a Red Cross evacuation center with a
quaint hotel in some town and substitute newspapers and board games
with reading novels in the sun. Mom, who doesn’t do the public
evacuation thing, instead hit up 20 hotels until finally locating one
with vacancies. She’s precious. High maintenance? Maybe. Now you know
where I got it from. She probably gets to return home today (Saturday),
hopefully for good, but the writers at CNN were wrong. Two days ago
they said it was contained
but the evacuation wasn't over till today. Whenever a reporter puts a
question mark in their headline that means they don't know what they
hell they're talking about. And if they don't know then they should
Ace-Queen is a bad mix like Pimp-Ho!
"I’m a hooker not a
thief." -- Natalie the prostitute, outside the Tropicana Hotel at 2:30
So I am back from Vegas, land of hookers, degenerates, gamblers and
participants in the 2008 World Series of Poker. The week started well, which is another way
of saying this is a good news, bad news situation. First the good: I
qualified for my WSOP event by winning a satellite and therefore didn't
have to pay the buy-in out of pocket. This was an improvement over last
year when I failed to qualify. Bad news is once in the WSOP, I was card
dead all day. Who gets dealt shitty cards for five hour stretches?
Since my constant folding led everyone to figure I was a very tight
player, I exploited their misconception and bluffed like a
motherfucker. There was no other way to accrue chips.
One amusing bluff involved Sam Simon,
creator of The Simpson's TV show who last year donked his way deep into
the WSOP Main Event and had lots of air time on ESPN. Because he's rich
he tried bullying other players. I noticed that he always overplayed
Ace-Paint. So, after he fired two loads of chips pre-flop and at the
flop, I waited till he checked the turn. I had Ace of spades, 10 of
clubs and there were three spades on the board. I could check and hope
for a spade on the river, but decided to move all-in rather than hope
for a 1 in 4 chance of spiking the nuts. He folded and meekly said,
"Good bet." This bumped my stack to a reasonable level.
Naturally, a half hour later I pissed off six hours of hard work in a
single hand. On an absurd bluff. My opponent raised to $1k before the
flop and I bumped it to $2k holding Ace-Queen of spades. He stared at
me for 30 seconds and finally, we went heads up to a flop of 8-2-4
mixed suits. He checked and I immediately moved all in. Bad timing.
First, because he had pocket 8s and had flopped the nuts. Also, the guy
I had tried to bluff was named David "The
Dragon" Pham, a well known pro with over $7 million in
career tournament earnings. My bad.
There were other events played like the WSOP nightly NLH tournament
that doesn’t get you a bracelet but yields some good paydays. This wife
beater-wearing dude specialized in playing big pots with junk hands and
then brutally sucking out. One night at 2 am we were down to the final
50 players and I turned two pairs with an Ace kicker, only for him to
have trips when I played the trend rather than the hand and moved all
in. Rail time.
On Thursday nights the Mirage hosts a NLH tournament that is one of my
favorites because I always cash there. Once again, I was card dead and
pulled off some crazy bluffs including a raise pre-flop with unsuited
Queen-3 and a big bet on a flop of Ace-Ace-10 that was folded by two
players. Finally when we got it down to two tables I started catching
cards, moved into second place by the final table, and had built a huge
chip lead once we were down to six players. My $80k dwarfed the second
place guy, a muscular redneck with whom I’d battled all night.
The short stacks were a red haired woman and a 70-year-old misogynist
who said, "Poker is a man’s game," and I decided to bust the old man.
He moved all in pre-flop and I immediately moved all in as well, a
standard isolation play. He flipped over suited Ace-7 vs. my Ace-10 and
I had him dominated. But the board made a straight, making us split the
pot. Seeing my anger, the sexist geyser said, "I’m going to make the
kid tilt," to which I said, "You can’t make me tilt, bro." I took him
down a few hands later when he tried an absurd bluff with nothing.
They tried chopping when we got down to four but I don’t do that.
Unfortunately, my refusal to chop coincided with another round of card
cadaver horseshit and I had to selectively bluff once again. The pace
slowed. Nobody would take the lead and we went into an ebb and flow of
raise-folds. One time, after a flop of King-8-10, a guy bet $10k and I
fired off a re-raise of $30k. Unbelievably, he folded and showed a
King. I said nothing and mucked my hand as an older gentleman from
Seattle said, "Don‘t mess with the master!"
During a break I was smoking a Marlboro Light pondering whether I could
close out my second tournament win of 2008 or if this would end up
another late meltdown when an Italian dude rolled up with his
girlfriend and said, "You‘re the best player here. I can’t tell if
you’re bluffing or not." I thanked him.
Eventually, if you bluff often enough you’re going to get popped. The
Italian did it. Holding Ace-Queen and missing the flop, I had already
burned $40k in chips on busted draws and decided it was time to reload
or get the fuck out of there. I checked the flop with the idea of
moving all in if he bet. Sure enough, he bet a tiny $5k and I moved my
remaining $35k in there. That was one bluff too many. He had flopped
two pair and I got sent to the rail in 4th place with far less money
than I should’ve earned with a win. Hell, I could’ve walked away until
heads-up play and guaranteed 2nd. But I specialize in burning large
piles of chips in record time.
On the 2 am cab ride down Las Vegas Blvd, I sat there in my Golden
State Warriors jersey (goodbye, Baron
Davis, we'll miss you) still wearing aviator shades in a
daze. Replaying how that nice $80k stack had disappeared. Two hookers
in a Mustang convertible pulled up at a red light and hollered, "Hey
baby! Where you staying?" A dump called the Tropicana Hotel. "Do you
want company?" I’m alright, thanks.
How is it that one minute you’re arranging chips into a double pyramid
and next minute you’re chilling on a bench in front of the Tropicana
talking to another hooker named "Natalie" about how half the girls in
Las Vegas clubs are underage and trying to pick pocket dudes’
bankrolls? BTW, if your idea of a fun hotel is running a gauntlet of
aggressive merchants to get your morning watered down espresso at Cafe
Crap Bucket and catching front row seats to late night hooker trolls,
hitup the Tropicana. If not, go to the Rio with the normal WSOP
players. So, the good news is my Vegas vacation was essentially free
thanks to the satellite win and Mirage cash. Bad news is I’m not good
enough to bring back a suitcase full of Benjamins from the WSOP, where
they’ve now started the Main Event. Better luck next year. PS: Happy Fourth of July!
Alright, the suitcases are packed, the DNB mix is live,
and I have am now joining this year’s migration of poker
degenerates, world-class players and donkeys
to Las Vegas. The WSOP tournament I’m playing is Event #44 No-Limit
Hold 'em with ReBuys, a three-day tourney that starts Wednesday, June
25th and finishes Friday, June 27th. You can catch parts of this event
live because it’s getting broadcast on ESPN 360. Also Poker News
and Card Player
cover the event in real-time in their "Live Reporting" sections. I
understand ESPN is rebroadcasting the final table only on their TV
Originally I was coming back June 28 for a family party but it got
canceled so who knows? A new poker buddy Kurt turned me on to a group of home
gamers here in Oakland who are all playing the $1,500 NLH event that
kicks off June 28, so maybe I’ll stick around. Ciao for now!
Congratulations, Chris and Monica!
"Oh my gawd, you’re getting
married?" - said by a girl next door.
This evening my neighbors Chris
and Monica are hosting a
BBQ/party. Sausages, burgers and fish on the grill, Mojito cocktails,
girls in sun dresses, and guys who actually maintain the grill instead
of let everything burn like someone we know. I just finished explaining
to Chis how my drinking Sammy Smith’s ale is an example of discipline
-- by holding off on liquor in favor of beer -- when he says matter of
factly: "By the way, Monica and I are engaged." Shock ensues. I’m so
happy for them both!
Chris chose the oddest venue for his proposal. People’s Park. Yes, the
park from which the civil rights movement is said to have sprung. More
recently, where the Tree Sitters
have sprung from. And where Food Not Bombs still serves organic, vegan
food just about every day. Also, it’s where dozens of crackhead zombies
drag their assess around looking for a hit or clothes to sell from the
"free box" and where various bums sleep day and night. Chris proposed
to Monica on a tree in this setting yesterday. "I waited until the
crackheads stopped screaming," Chris says. Romantic!
PS: Brews, BBQ and heat
wave laziness mean my DNB mix will go live Sunday morning, right before
hitting the airport.
Hot, hot, hot Drum ‘N’ Bass coming today!
It is a smoking hot Saturday here in the SF Bay. So hot I
nearly passed out drinking my afternoon cappuccino shirtless on the
porch just now. I’d have done it iced except yesterday Café
Trieste served up the worst iced coffee ever, and I am now scarred.
Normally a day like today calls for a beach excursion but I’m flying to
Vegas for the World Series of Poker and must pack up the clothes, Prada
shades and drugs, then post some Drum ‘N’ Bass first. Gotta throw y’all
a bone to keep you occupied since I’m leaving for a week + right? Not
only will my latest DNB mix go live shortly but Grid Recordings
sent over a podcast with labelmates Zen,
Skibadee, MC Fun and Harry
Shotta. So checkout the homepage later today for all your DNB
UPDATE 4:20 pm: The Grid crew's set
is now live on the homepage.
Timing of this update is strictly coincidental. Ha.
Die Lakers die! - a liveblog!
Longtime readers know I love me some basketball. And as a Golden State
Warriors fan I will relish tonight’s season-ender when the Celtics crush the Lakers like ants on a sidewalk.
Since after tonight my total television experience is getting reduced
to only boxing and poker, it’s also the end of excuses. No longer will
these NBA Playoffs scuttle my evening workouts and novel writing --
like they have for the past several weeks. So, to mute the pain of TV,
advertisements, and talking heads that never STFU, I am gonna liveblog
this thing. Assisted by several rounds of martinis, of course. How I’ll
relate basketball to novels and electronic music is beyond me but
whatevs. Hit F-5 for periodic updates throughout the game.
6:07pm: Some chick Paula Cole just
sang an understated
national anthem without botching the hell out of it. They just did the
starting line-up intros. That was way
They're onto crappy ads nobody watches. Tip-off shortly!
6:23pm: Refs called a foul on Paul
Pierce and Kevin Garnett just minutes into the game. Y'all know how
these refs do it. They want a game 7 and just love Kobe & Co.
Kobe's firing shots like a maniac but we all know how that goes. Choke
6:35pm. They say multitasking is a
sign of intelligence. Well just so you know, I suck at multitasking.
Lakers down 18-20 and I put a couple martini glasses in the freezer, to
get them properly frosted. First round is in 5 minutes after a thin
layer of water turns to ice. My updates will decline sequentially with
each cocktail... then the rants might kick in.
6:49pm: Good martini. Tanqueray gin
with Italian vermouth and a kalamata olive, served dry and cold.
Kobe missed an absurd 3 point shot and the broadcast booth spent a
minute straight capping on the Lakers fans who made no noise during the
series. What, do they think LA fans are there to watch the game? Jack
and his Depends diapers are there to be seen, not heard. Like screaming
brats should be seen and not heard. Especially on flights. I’m flying
to Vegas on Sunday and if they sit one next to me I’ll strap him to the
ceiling and use him as a punching bag. Anyhow, Celtics are up 24-20.
There will be no 20 point 1Q leads tonight. This means the Lakers
should lose by 69 points.
7:09pm: My biggest disappointment in
Kobe is his hair cut. Why the hell did he shave it off? Now I can’t
call him Buckethead. Locker room update says Ray Allen is still in
there. A Laker scratched his eyeball awhile ago and nobody knows when
he’s coming back. He dropped a nice 3 earlier. Despite this Boston is
up by 6. An old hag called a technical on coach Doc Rivers for no
reason. Someone needs to throw an egg at his bald head.
7:32pm: Halftime already? Told you
the updates would get jacked. Celtics up 58-35 at the half. It is a
bloodletting, baby! BTW Ray Allen is back, a repeat of Paul Pierce’s
game 1 return from an injury that appeared bad. TV-head guy just said,
"The Lakers gotta regroup." Oh really? TV-heads are already talking
about the Celts adding to their history. Expect torturous halftime show
where they once again overstate the shit out of this game and this
series. I need a Marlboro and another martini.
7:45pm: It’s the halftime show.
Boring! Except some locker room clips of Doc Rivers talking. He out
coached Phil like a MFer all series. I went outside for a smoke and
drink to escape these horrid TV ads. BTW did you kids see that
Fischer fool on the Lakers take out a row of courtside photographers
back in the 2Q? My man Ben Furtado called. He is a courtside
photographer at Sacramento Kings games and after Fischer’s anal fisting
of the photags I asked him if he ever got taken out like that. Yes, he
did. By Mike Bibby who clobbered him then started humping his leg and
rubbing Ben Gay all over him. Bibby’s in Atlanta now which is hell in a
shit bucket if your girlfriend is not white. Trust me on that, right
Jody? Anyhow, Ben was my sidekick back in college who would roll with
me across Reno playing pickup basketball. We also spent lots of late
nights dwelling in the photography lab. Check out Ben's website
Furtagraphy.com. He shoots gorgeous pics, not just sports.
8:05pm: Ray Allen dropped a vicious
3 and the Celtics have now extended their lead to 28. Humiliate them!
Celts had more steals than the Lakers had field goals in 1H, according
to a TV-head. Just like the last game, Kobe had a hot 1Q then
disappeared. He is not clutch. Sorry Maurice, La La Land is going down like Heather
O'Neill did in London. Celtics will win this big like Rose
Tremain won the Orange Prize. How’s that for a literary reference?
Yeah, that’s stretching it but um, this martini is a good one. 50-50
gin to vermouth ratio is the way to go. Checkout the homepage,
I just posted video of the Orange Prize awards ceremony. Swanky event.
I so gotta hit London one day. Maybe hang with my favorite Drum ‘n’
Bass diva Alley Cat.
And Savitri, one of the most brilliant young journalists today. Holla!
8:16pm: Ball-sucking TV announcer
pretends he’s Paul Pierce and says, "Hey, Kobe Bryant is the best
player in the world but that doesn’t mean I can’t outplay him." Wrong!
Paul Pierce already proved Kobe ain't shit! Buckethead is a front
runner and a stat-hungry scorer. Celtics have 13 steals in this game so
far. That's sick! "Defense wins championships" is a cliche for a
reason. Thank gawd the Lakers are getting the shit kicked out of them,
ending the torture of basketball fans everywhere outside LA. Announcers
haven’t made the Michael Jordan-Buckethead comparison since before
tip-off. If he scores more than 8 points when we get to 4Q they’ll
bring it up. Side bet - if they evoke Michael I’ll immediately pound
another martini. As a shot, not in the normal civilized sipping manner.
Which reminds me. Time to hit the porch for another Marlboro and
8:37pm: Rondo, who’s had a crappy
series but is a talented young guard with major upside, took a flagrant
foul on what seems like the first fast break of the series. That was
almost Warriorseque. Celtics steal the ball and chuck it up court where
Rondo tries to dunk but gets clotheslined. He made the layup and the
freethrows. Celtics now up by 36 points and the lead is stretched as
wide as James Nae’s ass.
9:00pm: Garnett, playing with
passion, swatted Kobe’s shot awhile back. Spiked it! Lead is up to 40
points now with 1 minute to go. This is an absolutely devastating
beating. If it was a boxing match it’s a KO. You can’t do that in
basketball so the Lakers misery continues. Kobe is about to burst in
tears. My man Pete just called. He’s gloating and so am I. We gotta hit
some Warriors games next season. Turns out Pete recently took up poker
and has been playing at the Oaks Card Club. Oh oh, we’re gonna get in
9:22pm: Celtics win 131-92. The
confetti is falling and they’re playing We Are The
Champions by Queen. Paul Pierce is the series MVP. Kevin
Garnett cried on TV when they asked him what this meant and after
pulling himself together shouted, "Anything’s possible!" He then
approached Celtics legend Bill Russell and told him, "I hope we made
you proud." Wow. Unlike so much in the NBA it was a legitimately
touching moment. Anything is possible. Including me drinking a dirty
martini. Mine are always dry but author J.A. Konrath,
who wrote a kickass novel "Dirty Martini" and once told me something I
can’t remember due to too many martinis, has inspired me to mix it up.
So it’s time to enjoy one last drink and burn the hell out of dinner.
Ciao for now, kids!
The end of a catfight!
During my college years I once broke up a catfight between
two smoking hot girls at a kegger. There they were, in the middle of a
crowd pulling hair and scratching each other to shreds, so I stepped
between them, disentangled the claws and said, "C’mon girls, stop that.
Let’s act like ladies here." A few screeches later and it was over. You
won’t believe the dirty looks some guys in attendance dished me. That
moment was one of recognition: in certain ways I am socially
conservative. While many guys believe two college babes scratching and
pummeling each other is the pinnacle of hotness, to me it was sad. I
don’t like seeing girls get hurt.
Literary catfights are different. In publisher boardrooms like
HarperCollins, nobody gets beatdown except in theory. So I sure was
disappointed when a socially, fiscally and every otherly conservative Rupert Murdoch stopped the slapping,
scratching and hair-pulling between the flamboyant Judith Regan and Jane Friedman by chopping
Judith’s head off. Boo! Well, Judith’s long gone but last
week I missed this press
release announcing that Jane "is stepping down" as
president/CEO. Yeah right! Everyone knows that curt announcement is
PRspeak for Murdoch beat a
Judith is probably skipping on the clouds right now clinking martini
glasses with her lawyer Bert Fields.
In the bigger picture, there’s other more bookish fallout on tap and
IMO it's bad for authors seeking publication. Gawker says Friedman’s
replacement Brian Murray
doesn’t give a fuck about the literary aspects of
publishing. So you can bet HarperCollins is going to churn out tons of
cliche novels by "celebrity authors" while rejecting the fantastic
novels of talented authors. That’s called watching the bottom of the
barrel... I mean... the bottom line.
PS: Who wins a catfight
when both got KTFO?
Whomever gets the bigger severance package!
June is all about summer memories!
Burning Man. Meh. Why spend days washing layers of Black
Rock Desert off yourself after some pervs posted video of you half
naked in a drug haze
acting like a fool for a week? Especially when you can drive
one-third the distance and camp surrounded by Drum 'N' Bass and Trance
beats for a few days at the Memories Campout? Three days is plenty.
Like my man Nick said after
one Burning Man trip, you’ll end up spending half the week lobotomized
and showering repeatedly in your RV after the third or tenth brutal
dust storm. Nobody can handle a week of that shit.
Campout thing is tempting but I’ll miss it. Cuz I am hitting
Vegas for the World Series of
Poker beginning June 22, where a stampede of donkeys will do
their best to play their worst and then cross their fingers in hopes
that they’ll suck out on me. Not this year, bitches! I am practicing
more discipline nowadays, which includes not only folding when I’m beat
but sometimes even when I am not. I got second place at last Sunday’s
NLH tournament at Artichoke Joe’s practicing this Zen style poker,
which first cropped up while cashing in three out of four tournaments
back in February/March. It was my seventh cash at a NLH tournament this
year. Keep my aggression in check and things should go fine. Barring
And barring the adorable blonde who begs us to chop because she
has no money for her flight back to Wisconsin. And a meltdown from a
third consecutive 12 hour poker session without eating a meal. And the
hot slut with a tattooed back who keeps talking about how she wants to
open a vegan restaurant. And those mad ape taxi drivers. And the
Bellagio fountains that are a danger to all
vaginas. And covert trannies
scampering into tournaments screeching, "You go girl!" And
the jerk who crashed his car into a light pole, causing a blackout at
the Rio last year just when I was about to actually eat a meal and
instead had to settle for a Powerbar. Again.
Thank you ganga, DNB, Sonya Slowinski and
After sleeping till noon Saturday due to a late night Drum
‘N’ Bass hangover, I dropped by the 104.1 FM studio
where the cool kids were dropping "conscious Hip Hop" during The God Hour. They do my favorite
show over at the radio station. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon
cruising around Berkeley’s cafes and record stores. Scored another 20
records and CDs ranging from Portishead,
who recently launched their first album in a decade, to Luke Slater and Adam F. Normally I’ll only shop on
sunny days but even though it’s cold and overcast, I gotta reload the
supply of Electro and Drum ‘N’ Bass on a monthly basis for you folks
who are down with the Word ‘N’ Bass Show.
Later I checked out this site’s traffic stats and was stoked to find
folks are enjoying my latest 420
DNB set. It got downloaded 1,118 times in May alone, making
it the month’s most popular content at WORD’N’BASS.com. Either you kids
appreciate my mixing or the DNB beats make you "think this is
just a freak show here." Either way, thanks so much for
listening to my Friday night shows, whether you bump it live or catch
the archived sets. Lots of you chill out with Downtempo as well,
judging by the 1,088 who downloaded this particular
set over the past month.
Meanwhile, the search engines are a good indicator of what readers are
interested in. It should come as little surprise that dazzling novelist
is the most popular author who search engines led folks here. You folks
have good taste in literature. Andrea’s my favorite debutant since
launching WNB.com more than three years ago. Among literary agents, Fifi Oscard
is the most searched, with Melissa Flashman
and Ayesha Pande
-- who is not only a great agent but a truly kind person -- close
behind. Also, I can’t forget Bill
Contardi, who first put me in touch with his client the kick ass
crime writer Shane Gericke.
Bill pops up every single month high on the searches. So does novelist
and screenwriter Seth Greenland,
who BTW I’ll post an update on very soon.
Other folks who regularly make the top 10 search engine referrals are
my longtime favorite DNB DJ/producers, the ubertalented DJ Fresh and Photek. Last, Sonya Slowinski is a popular
I-don’t-know-what. A model/actress who once dated Trance and House DJ Pete Tong,
Sonya is constantly among the top five searches leading folks here. I
don’t know if she’s even a real person. Or an illusion. It’s pretty
ironic that she gets more searches than Pete Tong himself. What does
that say about our priorities? Ask yourself what you’d rather have:
bass or babes? I must investigate this one day. Cuz it’s a close
Today was hump day yet I had honest intentions. I would
leave the media salt mines at 5 pm sharp, do three sets of push-ups (40
reps per set) and sit-ups (80 reps per), run at Lake Merritt, shower
for the second time today, post an interview with a very cute and
prolific author Jessica
Brody, and write the novel. There was a time when girls
called me words like "cute" and "prolific" but in reality I have not
shaved or written the WIP "Bistro De Mars" in two weeks, and keep
first into doors. Anyhow, Taco Bell ruined my workout.
Late in the day I broke two major stories that the commodity industry
is now mulling over, worked late, and got tired and frustrated when I
became too hungry to immediately workout. Just before logging off the
work computer an acquaintance e-mailed about a bunch of stuff and also:
He must have a Taco Supreme. Yes, I replied. There are hundreds of
taquerias here in the SF Bay that serve tasty and authentic Mexican
food, but sometimes you just can’t beat a Burrito Supreme.
Instead of calling Vancouver or Beijing or Tokyo for yet another scoop,
I hit the road. Bay Bridge traffic clogged up, so I darted across three
lanes and exited as soon as we hit land. Must find Taco Bell. Drove
awhile and before you knew it I was in West Oakland. If you’re not from
here, you might not know this is "the hood." You can’t find Taco Hell
in the good parts of Oakland so this exit strategy worked in 5 minutes
flat. Pulled up to the drive through line, The Dub Pistols
bumping in my trunk’s new 12 inch woofers with the windows down on a
balmy Oakland evening. We didn’t move. A drunken bum carrying a
backpack and a cane started panhandling the cars, one by one. Luckily,
a fish handed him 50 cents so I did not say: "Can’t I order a fucking
taco in peace?"
The line didn’t advance. Ten minutes later I parked it, removed the car
stereo, and went inside where a dozen people stood in line. They knew
what they wanted because apparently a fast food run is what people do
on the way home from work each day. I hadn’t set foot in Taco Hell in
years. "I’ll have a Burrito Supreme, soft Taco Supreme, and a hard
taco… No, I don’t need anything to drink." Mountain Dew is gross.
While waiting for the order, I noticed another panhandler had
positioned himself next to the drive through window. This way, when
customers exchanged money at the little window, they indeed had "spare
change." Indisputable! Yes, the panhandlers worked both the front and
the back of the drive through line. Very efficient. Meanwhile, a bald
dude with tribal tattoos on his shoulder, neck and head studied the
menu. He had cut off his sweat jacket’s sleeves and apparently got
dragged in an oil slick an hour ago. He studied that menu a long time.
With bleary eyes. Drug stupor?
Then a crackhead zombie made a charge at the food counter. He wore a
thick winter coat like you see in NYC crack dens during the winter and
a beat-to-shit top hat. Today it was 70 degrees and sunny. He secured a
half dozen napkins and stormed away. After securing my tacos and
burrito, so did I. It tasted good for five minutes and progressively
declined into greasy lard and liquid refried beans that either were
mashed or sourced from something called "acme bean powder." I can’t be
sure. Burrito Supremes aren’t worth the effort. Next time I’ll hit
Lily Allen is hot, The Chemical Brothers
still doing it!
I really don’t know how The Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons could break up with that
adorably cute pop singer Lily Allen.
Girl seems fun. Dlisted caught her having a blast out in Cannes, where,
"She's boozing, flipping people off and airing her chocha out in the
French breezes." Look at her givng the one finger salute while holding
a big glass of
liquor in her elegant cocktail dress. Hot!
In related news, The Chemical
Brothers, one of the first bands to throw me deep into
electronic music, have taken on a heavy touring schedule throughout
Europe this summer in support of their album "We Are The Night." No
dates in North America at this time, unfortunately. They’re booked like
motherfuckers through summer in England, Ireland, Poland, Germany,
France and the list goes on. Oh, the life of a touring DJ. I gotta
figure out a way to hit England one of these days. And have a plan.
PS: Lily, it’s time to
step up to this!
Throw this bum out of San Francisco!
Poor San Francisco hipsters. The SOMA District got hit
with a James Nae appearance at
San Francisco club Slim’s this past Friday night, where he tossed a new
literary turd "Bright Tiny Boring" at a gullible audience of pseudo
fans. In its announcement, Slim’s said,
"One of the most hated and controversial authors in America delivers
his first novel -- a lurching chronicle of contemporary Los Angeles
that is old, stupefying, and utterly ridiculous."*
Controversial is code word for sham which is another word for drunken
failed novelist posing as a redeemed
crackhead, as Nae did in his so-called memoir "A Million
Little Pieces of Shit." In the true spirit of the SF Bay, Berkeley’s Jan Frel organized a counter
demonstration, even issuing a press release and holding a conference
call with media.
"James Frey is a disgrace, a sham, a fraud and a plagiarizer," Down With Frey
founder Jan said. "He peddles the worst lies about society: that drugs
are bad and the cause of addicts problems, and that people can change.
While most authors make a straight bee-line for the exit doors after
being revealed as frauds, Frey is shamelessly sticking around, peddling
his latest trash novel."
You go girl! So, who out there actually attended this Nae appearance?
Nobody I know. Looks like the local media ignored his appearance too.
Good! Forget James Nae. Dude needs get the fuck out of San Francisco,
go back to NYC and break a martini glass over his head! Then get an
acronymic tattoo meant to evoke images of a tough guy. Like DEPENDS.
* Something like that.
Big ups to the Purple House!
Back in the 90s, when I discovered that Saturday nights
were best spent at house parties, punk shows and raves with a 40 or
something stronger in hand, we ended up at a dilapidated, huge
two-story house in Oakland one night. An off-the-hook party was
underway with a keg or two and several punk bands playing consecutive
sets. Taking in the spray painted walls, spacious layout and lack of
furniture, my man Dave said,
"This is a sweet party house but I can’t imagine living here." Cosign
that. Little did I know lots of history would end up centered at this
Years later, Lis had moved in,
John was also there, and DJ Chongo
and I would spin Electro and Drum ‘N’ Bass at some of their fantastic
blow outs that lasted until dawn. Usually kick ass punk bands like
XBXRX play their parties but lots of DJs have passed through
as well. Remember my on-air shout-outs
during a set earlier this year? That went the Purple House,
which was hosting a dance party that I couldn’t attend cuz I was busy
spinning records in the studio.
Turns out it is featured in a book
"Punk House: Interiors in Anarchy" (Abrams Image) by authors Abby Banks and Sonic Youth founding
member Thurston Moore that’s
garnered some hype, especially for a book about architecture. Check out
the SF Chronicle
story on the Purple House, where I’ve got many fond
memories. This is where a famous (notorious?) reunion with Sharon kicked off. It’s also where
another girlfriend and I broke up for the third or fourth or fifth
time. I first met my man Nick,
who everyone remembers as the guy who rode up on his dirt bike wearing
a bear suit, at a Purple House party. It was pretty funny drinking beer
with Nick on the sidewalk as the brothers rolled by in their chromed
out rides bumping bass and doing a double take at the white boy in
aviator shades next to the dude in a bear suit at 3 am.
Thing is, sites like this aren’t so odd, because everyone in Oakland
knows if you pass by the Purple House any day of the week you’re apt to
catch a surreal image. Like the 10-foot frog on the porch. No
explanation about why, the frog just is.
More than oddball parties, the
Purple House is also where Food Not Bombs churns out healthy organic
foods for the homeless population. Where they grow banana trees. And
where lots of hippies and punks consider their home away from home.
This is what killed "Fast" Eddie Schuyler!
The week’s over and I’m now recovering from 15 hour days
alternating from caffeineated to drunk doing the biz news thing at a
global commodity event. Recovering by playing a NLH poker tournament.
In addition to regular news I was asked to real-time blog, and here's
one day out of the Monday-to-Friday madness, from a blog that I killed
to preserve my 'reputation’ as a staid financial journalist. Ended up
publishing an alternative blog that began Tuesday early AM with a CEO
interview, which was more civilized (tame). Had to change all names to
protect the guilty.
4pm drank my fourth double cappuccino today during my third back
to back meeting with market participants; Company X just sold spot
market X in the US East at $695, lowest price this year...
6pm drinking gin and
tonics at a cocktail party, they're strong. Bartender poured 2/3
Saphire, 1/3 tonic on ice with a lemon. That’s how you do it properly.
Company Y is closing its commodity plants, according to two drunk
contacts in separate 'interviews'...
7pm at my second cocktail
party tonight, another gin and tonic where a guy tells me Company Z is
selling X in Korea and Company Q is offering 7% discounts on X, double
the normal discount...
8pm riding cab to a
dinner meeting with a sober contact who confirms same info as I learned
earlier on Company Y closures... He offers to text message inside guy
at Company Y. I say don't bother, we know the same guy who was told not
to attend this Commodity Event... cabbie is lost, we're circling the
same block for the third time.
I tell him the meter's still running...
8:10pm call editor X
telling him to post the following: "Big story's getting announced
Tuesday, Company Y is shutting down several plants, big impact on the
market going forward, we need to post the scoop ASAP before the idiots at
Reuters get the press release..." yada yada long rambling
9pm hot Asian woman
giving us the eye as we down prime rib and Dynamite cabernet vintage
2004... however, she's not as hot as Media Company X editor XY, a smoking British
11pm back at the Sir
Francis Drake hotel, wrote Company Y closure story but wireless
Internet doesn't work... for second week in a row I break the "no
screaming FUCK!" rule....
12am hotel tech support
is incompetent, after 40 minutes on the phone told him to "just make it
work"... rant followed... couldn't sleep till 2am, must've been all
Room service calls 1 minute after alarm sounds, saying they’re sending
up coffee. How'd they know I am a zombie before coffee? Have a CEO
interview in 1 hour. Since the Internet is still dead in my room, call
a fellow editor in SF bureau and read my report over the phone. This is
how former AP boxing columnist "Fast"
Eddie Schuyler used to send in ringside reports... way back in
the 1950s. This is also what killed Eddie, if by killed we mean retired
to slow evenings spent drinking gin martinis. Eddie is a nostalgic
figure in another era of
coverage. (And now the real blog kicked in)… Multiply the above by 4
days and that's how my week shaped up.
PS: Sir Francis Drake is
now on my banned hotel list along with the Radisson Lexington in NYC.
Both got me beat on major stories not because of my information
gathering and writing speed, but due strictly to their inadequate
Entering media salt mines, see ya in 5 days!
As always in May, I gotta cover a global commodities event
for the day job as a financial journalist. Instead of getting trashed
on Vicodin and hiding behind Prada shades for a long flight to Montreal
it’s happening right here in San Francisco. Yae! Monday to Thursday
it's nonstop CEO interviews as early as 7:30 am, press conferences,
cocktail parties and private meetings that run as late as midnight all
over the SFC, meaning I’m rolling 15 hour days. Boo! Upside is this
absurd schedule forced me to check into the Sir Francis Drake, one of
SF’s most elegant and storied hotels, and I’m flossing the Loro Piana
and Pierre Cardin suits all week. Yes, time to play dress up.
Downside for my fellow bass- and lit-heads: I am taking a hiatus until
the WORD’N’BASS Show this Friday (May 9) at 10 pm, streamed here
and broadcast locally on 104.1 FM. So there’s no editorial updates this
week, even though I got some cool announcements including from DJs Lantz
and Sasha &
Digweed, and kick ass novelists Seth Greenland
and Patricia Wood. Maybe you
heard about Patricia’s latest news. If so it’s time to gloat: I told you she
was the next big thing!
I was hoping to have a relatively clean first draft of "Bistro de Mars"
completed before this conference because the World Series of Poker is
coming up fast, they just held
a press conference to inform us some damn thing, and once
this poker grind resumes my novel writing pretty much halts. Didn’t
happen. But I’m thisclose to finishing the WIP! So, at the end of this
week I’ll exit the media salt mines disheveled and ready to drop some
bass bombs, finish the novel and then hit some poker tournaments before
flying to Vegas in June.
Since a 60 hour workweek
is gonna leave me trashed, you could be amused
listening to my Friday night Electro and Drum & Bass train wrecks -
scratch that, studio sessions. Meanwhile, need some DNB to tide you
over? Check out the many archived mixes on my audio page. Also, here’s a set
that local DJ Aye~n performed
with MC Colonel at the 2008 Winter Music
Conference and the World of Drum and Bass.
Novelist Ray Loriga is brilliant, Kayne
West is a tool!
"You know what, fuck you
and the whole fucking staff!!!" - Kayne West, to Entertainment Weekly.
I tell anyone who will listen that Spanish author Ray Loriga’s "Tokyo Doesn’t Love Us
Anymore" (Grove Press) is the best novel of
the past decade. This story about a "chemical" dealer in the
future who erases clients’ bad memories yet is haunted by his own past
is gritty, engaging and most importantly, entertaining. Not enough
novelists get this last part. It shocked me that Tokyo actually got
mixed reviews, with Publisher Weekly saying it "feels cobbled together
from the work of past sci-fi masters." Bullshit!
If Ray took the Kayne West
approach, he’d rebuke any reviews that don’t
pander to him with, "You're fucking trash! I make art. You can't rate
this." That’s what Kayne ranted on his blog yesterday after
Entertainment Weekly only gave him a B+ in a concert review.
Afterwards, he entered his walk-in closet and proceeded to bash his own
face with 200 pairs of Florsheims while screaming at his personal
assistant to get shining. Now! Shine 'em bright! Damn… Bitch better
a Depends diaper at his next performance.
Just imagine if a brilliant author like Loriga - who makes real art,
not bubble gum pop-rap targeting a mass audience of hip hop wannabes -
started ripping the asses of book reviewers like that. PW would counter
by sending one of their 300 lb. bat wielding literary goons. What, you
didn’t know they’ve got a staff full of ‘em? Word on the street says
they picked up an unemployed Barry
Bonds and he’s finally got a job. Uh oh, he's on a roids rage
now. PW just plopped him into a yellow cab. Watch out authors, he's
Update: Just saw an interview
Ray did in Spanish. Since I studied Spanish in college (finished two
years of credit in three years flat, woohoo!) let me translate. "You
American reviewers can all die! You die right now!"
Update II: Ray has a Myspace
that he never updates, it just plays quaint Spanish music. Apparently
he's now living in NYC. Wonder what's cracking. If I had a Myspace I'd
say whatup, but I don't have time for that. Too busy looking at
hot women pretending to be kids in granny drawers
and scouring gossip blogs for news on my precious Lindsay Lohan. Speaking of that,
I've decided Natalie Portman
is my new favorite actress. Because she was in this French film "Paris,
Je T'Aime" that I saw at some indie theater in Palo Alto last year and
now plays a poker hottie in an indie film called My Blueberry
Nights. It just opened in Vegas and hopefully it will bomb
so I can buy the DVD in a discount bin. Don't you just wanna spank her in
this photo that was shot on set?
Iced coffee buoys writing, heat wave
"Hope is a fickle bitch
who fades away." -- latest excerpt from WIP novel Bistro de Mars.
Another heat wave has hit the SF Bay Area and unlike my neighbor Monica I didn’t spend Saturday
afternoon strutting on the beach in a bikini. And I’m not spending
tonight getting drunk at a dinner party in SF’s Mission District with
everyone else celebrating Elizabeth’s
birthday. Instead, I’m in my cave squeezing out the last few chapters
of my novel "Bistro de Mars." This puts me in a bad mood so I’m
blasting out lines like the one above.
Maybe it's sleep deprivation. I got little sleep due to another late
night mixing drum ‘n’ bass
in the studio and got rousted this morning by some loudmouth
jerk who wouldn’t STFU at 7 am. Since there’s a solution for
everything, I came up with a new coffee recipe that cures tiredness
while supporting organically produced goods and sustainable
BPM Smith’s Soy Coffee Smothie
2 cups Peet’s
Gaia Organic Blend, cooled
1 cup organic soy milk, or if you must, whole milk
1 tablespoon local honey
10 ice cubes
Blend on puree 1 minute
Drink that and you’ll take off like a rocket. But don’t think I’m a
lightweight who downs just two cups of Joe and thinks he’s rolling.
This recipe works best if you first brew a whole pot of coffee and turn
off the burner so it cools gradually to room temperature. This way,
you’ve already drank plenty of cups when it’s an ideal blending
It’s 420 so here comes the Drum 'N' Bass!
Some folks like to spend the 420 holiday chilling out
smoking a Blunt with guys like Kid Loco
and Tarwater. I prefer mixing
Drum ‘N’ Bass and dropping the lows extra high -- real high, know what
I mean? And so this year’s 420 DNB mix
comes to you unfiltered and raw, kids. As you might
remember, this continues a ritual where I posted a 420 mix last year
and the year before
so we may as well call it a tradition now.
Uh oh. Tradition. Understand that in my book, once something becomes a
tradition it must continue forever. Which means one day I’ll be 80
years old and still living on a diet of Peet’s Coffee and Marlboros,
still deluded enough to think I’ll become a boxing
legend, and still mixing DNB in the studio late Friday
nights. Probably in an Elvis jumpsuit instead of an LRG tracksuit
though. Or one of those fluffy white robes and a Depends Diaper,
sitting on a rocking chair and scratch scratch scratching! Whatevs. PS:
Happy birthday, Michelle.
Publisher ‘doesn’t pay enough,’ disgruntled
writer nukes Lonely Planet!
Years ago I'd heard that Lonely Planet paid chump change
to its authors so it shouldn't surprise anyone that this guy Thomas Kohnstamm
is claiming he got less than minimum wage. What is surprising is he
wrote a book "Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?" cataloguing his adventures
blowing their meager advances on drugs and partying. And BTW he didn't
travel to Colombia to write that Lonely Planet guidebook because
"they didn't pay me enough." Instead, he got some chick he was dating
to tell him stuff like where to go aside from cocaine dens.
Normally these type of literary pissing contests don’t become headline
news but this thing was on the CNN homepage today. To me it's an
amusing story that raises so many ethical issues I'm not even gonna
break all of them down. One thing that's a certainty, there's plenty of
journalists who will confirm
or refute the truthfulness of his claims not only about Lonely Planet
but of Kohnstamm’s book itself, which Crown imprint Three Rivers
Press is publishing in a few weeks. This dude seems to
portray himself as
quite the jet setting Cassanova. Watch, soon the Smoking Gun’s gonna
report he’s a pale nerd living in his mother’s basement "working" for
less than minimum wage as a tester for the latest version of Grand
Shout-outs to DJ Rap and all smoking hot
Maybe two people were surprised DJ Rap
took down the Best Drum ‘N’ Bass track at the 23rd Annual International
Dance Music Awards in Miami. Girl’s been crushing it since way back, so
I don’t know why when I first got into DNB in ’99 folks sniped about
her as "that model" turned DNB diva. She won an IDMA for "Brave New
World" that she cut with Kenny Ken,
beating out my boys Noisia.
Full disclosure: I didn’t vote for her. Because even though in politics
I always vote for the attractive woman over any qualified opponent,
when it comes to DNB, I take this shit seriously. Noisia fucking
owns it in the studio and on stage, where their go-go
dancers pound bottles of ale. Hot! That’s why I’m gobbling up as many
Noisia tracks as possible. They’re one of the few production crews
whose work you can randomly grab and they are all great.
But listen, DJ Rap deserves this thing. She’s a very worthy winner,
just like cutie pie Georgia Horsley
deserves to become the current Miss England. She celebrated by strutting her
stuff on some London street in a bikini. Two thumbs up, the
voters did the right thing. In related news, they* have now identified
who the next Kate Moss is and
her name is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Not only is she smoking hot, but on April 18 she turns 21 which is
perfect - she can get smashed on martinis while I spank her! Check out these pics,
they are indeed SFW and gorgeous. Like all British women.
Unfortunately, these photos don’t include audio where she talks in a
cute British accent. What, you think I’m not trying? Eh, mate? Oi, oi!
Check back latuh, mate!
* My balls.
Knicks fans finally have a reason to cheer!
Those of you who've been reading this little blog since we
launched three years ago know I'm a long-suffering New York Knicks fan.
There was even a time where I'd hit the Golden State Warriors vs Knicks
games and cheer on the NYK instead of my hometown team. Those days were
a long time ago.
The Knicks are a punchline to most NBA jokes because Isiah Thomas destroyed my favorite
sports franchise with awful trades (Curry
and Randolf tandem, WTF?),
overspending on marginal players (Richardson,
Jeffries salaries?), drafting journeymen talent in the first
round every year, and ruining their cap space for the next decade as
GM. As a coach he's worse. He gets outcoached every game, implements
absurd substitutions, mishandles the time-outs, doesn't bother to coach
defense at all, alienates his players who
now hate him (remember the players' vote he overrode?) and
sucks ass on all fronts of the game.
So, there's not been a damn thing to cheer all year. Now, the Donnie
Walsh era is getting ushered in Wednesday at 1 pm. I don't
know if it's good news, but I do know that many changes must happen
starting with new leadership. However, if they keep Isiah the Moron on
board, the shit at the MSG toilet bowl will continue to stink because
of his ineptitude on all levels of coaching and managing. Example:
In his postgame news conference on Tuesday - before Walsh's arrival
became public info - Thomas was, as usual, oddly optimistic. "I look
back and I look at what we started with and where we’re going, and I
think we have a very bright future. Also, I smoke crack every night and
scream at my puppy dog named Precious," he said* after the pathetic
Knicks dropped to 20-54. Yes, that's 54 ass whuppings this year already
and they're on pace to lose 60. Fire Isiah during the press conference
and catapult him into a dump truck on Broadway!
* He really said that, I promise.
For once this is not a suckout story!
So there I was, the chip leader with 22 players left in a
preliminary NLH tournament at the World Poker Challenge in Reno. It was
after midnight, I had played poker for 12 hours straight (except for a
20 minute enchilada scarfdown at my old Mexican taqueria Beto’s)
and had won two big pots in the last 20 minutes. After bouncing a young
preppy who’d moved all-in pre-flop when my pocket aces held up against
his K-J, I had difficulty stacking and counting my chips. Racked up the
$500 chips in stacks of 10. What’s 500 x 10 again? Then I stacked the
$100 chips and built a rectangle topped with a pyramid of chips. I
counted them out loud, got flustered, guessed it was something over
$30,000 and told the old guy next to me: "I’m gassed out, man. Gotta
take a break, get an espresso."
"Take your time," he said. He didn’t want me at the table since I had
position on him with a bigger stack.
I staggered across the tournament floor that the Grand Sierra had set
up, passed a bunch of dudes playing cash games, drunken club hoppers
who nearly collided into me, and made it to Starfucks. Closed. Needed
espresso. Said in the cell phone that, "Those Starbucks assholes are
closed," and ignored it when a reply came: "Hello! It’s after midnight,
of course they’re closed."
The cafeteria had weak French Roast so I ordered a cup but they only
let you smoke at the bar. So I took a stool and watched in disbelief as
the TV showed Duke winning by just 1 point over some scruff 15 seed.
They killed my little $50 parlay that would’ve yielded 13/1 odds. A tall, brown
haired hippie who appears like a ghost at every single
major tournament I’ve played in the past year sat at the table next to
me. His friend smoked a cigar. I wanted to ask what kind it was,
remembering that I still needed to mail some Cohibas
to my homeboy Gartsu who's in
Iraq because the Army called him up last month, but was too
tired. They said nothing, just gazed at basketball and snapped looks at
the pretty girls who strode by in cocktail dresses. I lit another
Marlboro Light, drank more coffee and waved off the bartender.
Back at the table, it appeared that someone stole $10,00 of my chips.
No way could they have blinded off that many chips in 10 minutes.
Everyone seemed in a panic. There were only 19 players left, bubble
time since only the top 18 paid. Fold, fold, fold. Then the bubble
and they either folded or went all-in before the flop. I tried playing
a couple hands by simply calling or raising three times the big blinds
with suited K-10 but everyone would fold with the exception of one guy
who, naturally, went all in. I folded. This style poker is crap because
even if you’ve got pocket aces your success or failure comes down to
Finally, I got A-Q and called, prepared to move all in if someone
raised. A manic-looking twentysomething moved all in, and the old guy
to my right moved all in as well. He’s the only one who had more chips
than me. He had solid game. I was suspicious. Yet the pot odds were
now hefty. Take down the pot and I’d nearly triple up, once again
building a huge lead and positioning myself to win the tournament
outright. It was a coin flip, yet do you want to coast into the top 10
or try and win this thing? "Call." Sure enough, twentysomething had
pocket 6s, we were virtually 50-50. Old guy turned over pocket aces. I
This is the lesson of NLH that ignorant donkeys
never learn: You will not ever suckout when someone outplays you. The
young manic fool who had overplayed his 6s sucked out though. He caught
another 6 on the turn, the aces had my stack covered, and I wished the
old man good luck. He was the best player in the tournament, always got
his chips in with the best hand. I had as well, until then. And busted
out in 14th place.
Walking to the elevator a sixty-year-old man with wiry hair and a
starched white shit rolled up and said, "I know you!" Turns out he was
a dealer at the WSOP Circuit Event at Harvey’s Tahoe last fall.
Apparently he remembered me because I’m the player who reels through
hotel lobbies at 1 am wearing a tracksuit and Prada sunglasses. Here I
was again. A player the next day asked where I’d went after taking the
chip lead. "You were gone a half hour." In a time warp. Hopefully next
time I’ve got a chance at winning a tournament I won’t have a
total physical meltdown, exacerbated by six double espressos, a 5-Hour
Energy shot and lack of food.
The next day, my man Mike told
me at dinner that he’s worked out every single day since February 2007.
Yes, he’s worked out 390 days in a row. He looks healthy as fuck. Also,
his boss, Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid, can do 100 consecutive push-ups without a
rest. He demonstrated this in front of school children recently. How
old is he again? I also understand that Gus Hansen
once played poker for 72 hours straight, just to show that he could.
So, since my return from Reno I’ve decided to work out every damn day.
By June maybe I’ll be able to go 12 hours at this year’s WSOP without
crashing like a wimp. PS: RIP Art Aragon,
the original LA Golden Boy.
The world's shortest fairy tale!
"Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl, "Will you marry
me?" The girl said, "NO!"
And the guy lived happily ever after and wrote novels, mixed records,
and played poker a lot and drank beer and burped loudly whenever he
wanted. The End."
I am back in the House
and will dish a full rundown about this latest Reno jaunt tomorrow.
This past week has taught a few lessons, including the fact I must get
back in shape, so I am donning the plastic suit
and running at Lake Merrit. Later kids.
Dish Downtempo, accept the World Poker
Beginning this evening (March 19) I’m at the World Poker
Tour’s stop in Reno, where the Grand Sierra Resort is home for the next
week. The World Poker Challenge is my favorite WPT event because
they’ve got preliminary NLH tournaments twice daily, plenty of
satellites that can qualify you for the main event, and many ‘name’
pros participating in all of the above. Last year TJ Cloutier, Maria Ho
and main event winner JC Tran
played at my tables.
Online mag Card Player
covers the main event hand for hand in their live coverage section and
they’re also posting all of the tournament results here.
Hopefully you’ll see my name cashing in a few of these but I’ll have to
convince them to use BPM Smith
instead of my real name. When making final tables the tournament
officials always ask for my birth name. C’mon, with a last name like
Smith do you think anyone gives a damn?
Since I’m outta here like Tupac in ‘96
there will be no editorial updates, so I've left a
little gold nugget for my fellow bass-heads: a new Downtempo mix that’s
got some fluid transitions, heavy lows and even a bit of uptempo.
Shoutouts to Star 69 Records for sending that phat album of Starkillers
remixes, which is included in the Electro part of this mix. And oh yes,
West Side Chemical
straight outta Oakland is in there too. Listen to it
here. Ciao for now, kids! PS:
No DNB beats
this Friday, see y'all next week!
Weekend laziness, more of the same!
As usual, Friday was another late night mixing downtempo
and drum n bass. I just started listening to the downtempo and it’s
pretty solid, so maybe I’ll post it here.
Later this week. Later, because I am tired since my girlfriend rousted
me out of bed at 8 am by bolting out of bed so fast I couldn’t hold her
against her will like a cat. Her cat Sparkle?
Yeah, she cuddled, with an anxious get-me-outta-here-now look on her
face. So five or seven cups of coffee and I’m still too dull to deal
with anything techie like mp3s.
Also, the Bay 101 Shooting Stars poker tournament is about to start and
I still gotta qualify this weekend for my seat. Last year I was inches
away from making the main event but some old crap
guzzling jerk called a penalty on me a few slots before
qualifying, forcing me to sit out 10 hands that were the difference
between making it or not. This year, I am playing better poker, have my
temper in check, and curse far less than a year ago. I am serene. Yes,
tranquil. To further this serenity, I am off to catch a heavyweight
title fight and my GS Warriors at Ricky’s Sports,
where we’ll down a pitcher of Sierra Nevada ale, steak and fried
calamari. Wait a minute -- DNB, poker and sports? This weekend’s like
every single weekend. What's that? You say I should try something
different? I'm in a rut? Okay, how 'bout I mix it up by snuffing out a
Marlboro Light on my cheek and running in some good old
fashioned Oakland side
Hunter S. Thompson is still The Man!
This is what I get for ignoring the inbox. While rummaging
through today’s spam and a few dozen potentially useful emails from the
past month, I decided to click the press release from HarperCollins
dated mid February. Glad I did! Turns out they released a new book
about one of my very favorite authors Hunter S.
Thompson. It’s almost like I don’t have to say another damn
word, since every book fan and budding author I’ve ever known is
nodding their head right about now.
Like lots of kids, I discovered "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" right
after graduating high school and it forever changed me. Don’t watch the
fucking movie. Read the book. Rarely has an entire novel made me laugh
page after page and left me bummed that it had to end. So I quickly
snapped up "Hells Angels," "The Great Shark Hunt," "Fear and Loathing
on the Campaign Trail '72" and a bunch of other works.
Hunter S. also got me interested in journalism, a field I’ve worked in
nearly all of my professional career. I remember a guy at the College
of San Mateo’s student newspaper who acted and dressed like Hunter’s
gonzo persona Raoul Duke. Normally I would ridicule such a person but
no; I respected him in a way because his obsession with Hunter S. was
even stronger than my own.
Then, when Hunter blew his brains out in 2005 and I was feeling
nostalgic and sad, my old friend Govinda
gave me a copy of The Rum Diary,
a novel -- not NF, it’s a thinly veiled biographical novel -- that
Hunter wrote at just 22 years old. Much more sardonic and touching than
the stuff he’s known for today. Check that one out, before they release
the film version
starring Johnny Depp and your
perspective is tainted by Hollywood horseshit. His young protagonist’s
odd concerns about growing old made me think, yep, we’re all going in
that direction so we’d better live it up before we’re dead. Here’s the
suicide note Hunter S. left for his family:
"No More Games. No More Bombs.
No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years
past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy.
No Fun - for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age.
Relax -- This won't hurt."
A Warriors player walks into an Oakland
Tonight after escaping the media salt mines I'm at Whole
Wallet picking up some organic, non-roids raging meat, organic veggies,
organic chocolate chip cookies and organic French Roast when I spot
Golden State Warriors’ forward Mikael Pietrus
in the produce section. You all know I am a Warriors fan. In fact, a
Warriors game is the only thing that will drag me away from writing the
novel, working out and playing poker on weeknights. Tuesday night was
typical. I originally planned on writing the WIP as late as possible,
but found out my GS Warriors were scheduled to beatdown the
Seattle SuperSonics. So instead, I banged the keys until
7:25 pm, then hauled ass to my girlfriend’s house since I hate TV, will
never pay for cable, and therefore must watch games at friends’ houses
or sports bars. One minute after tip-off I totally forgot about the
novel, which is a slow grind to finish. And is weeks or months or years
past due. Oh well!
Anyhow, WTF was I talking about? Yes, Mikael buying groceries. I
actually cut him off in a race for plastic produce bags. He gave me a
startled look that said, "This is another rude American. I will hit him
over the head with a baguette! Oh no, he recognized me…" Once I
realized he was one of my Warriors rather than a random athlete in
understated blue workout clothes (no Warriors logos), my impulse was to
compliment him for not blowing that absurd 3 point shot he fired off
Tuesday night with two minutes to go in regulation, 24 seconds on the
shot clock, the Warriors up by a half dozen points, and Basketball
Strategy 101 demanding he burn the clock instead of launching low
percentage shots as soon as he touched the ball. He did sink the 3,
But I didn’t. Because I’m not acting like a fanboy to athletes and
besides, can’t a man buy groceries in peace without fans saying, "Hey
Mikael, good game! Can I get an autograph? On my forehead? How about on
my ass?" Yes, better to leave them in peace. Later, the butcher’s
grabbing me some ginger and thyme sausages and pork loins made from
organically-fed pigs that weren’t juiced to the gills on steroids and
growth hormones or worse yet, cloned fucking
pigs the corrupt FDA wants you to eat, plus some ground
beef. There’s Mikael again. He scuttles off. Finally, I’m in the bakery
section getting some organic chocolate chip cookies (mediocre) and
bagels and there he is again. Now they’ve got some tasty looking
croissants at Whole Wallet
and since Mikael is French, I can guarantee you he was getting some.
Croissants. Also a baguette to hit me over the head with.
Cold Sunday musings on DJ mash ups, the
I met a local hip hop and dub producer Trinidad
in Oakland a few
hours before the WORD’N’BASS Show on Friday, scored his recent "Free
Dumb Vol. 1" and then worked it into my downtempo set. I’ve yet to
review the mix but if you missed the live stream
then I doubt you'll hear it archived in the audio section. My mixing
okay but after leaving the studio I realized that was one helluva mash
up. Typically my weekly sets are either down tempo and electro, or drum
& bass and jungle. Well, that set included down tempo, hip hop,
dub, house, electro and even some lighter DNB. A six genre mashup,
which isn’t really my style.
I’m not one of those purists like the British dude who sat in with me a
few months ago and said, "You’re mixing jungle and DNB together" as if
I’d committed some kind of faux pas. But once you veer into a half
dozen genres the beat variety usually disrupts the flow. Yes, I know
mash ups are big with these "celebrity DJs" like Paris Hilton, who I hear is spinning
at some cheesy Chicago club this week, but not me.
Since it’s once again cold as frozen dog shit here in the SF Bay, I
didn’t feel like going anywhere on Saturday night. If you’re on the
East Coast you can call a California wimp. Instead, I found myself
playing online poker with a Bass ale in hand at 2 am with the heater
blasting as rain poured outside. Since Lucky Chances’ daily NLH poker
tournament begins early, I suddenly realized there were two choices. 1,
hit the sack immediately, grind it out at the poker tables five hours
without breakfast and return home in the late afternoon wrecked.
Recover by downing several martinis while watching the Oscars and
talking shit with this girl J. Harvey
over at A Socialite’s
Life. 2, sleep in and hit Artichoke Joe’s Sunday evening
instead. Since I hate TV, the choice was obvious.
I’m prolly gonna regret this because since discovering Lucky Chances a
month ago, I’ve made two final tables out of four tournaments, placing
3rd and 10th to buoy my bankroll ahead of the upcoming World Poker Tour
frenzy in March, when the tour hits San Jose and Reno. The cards
haven’t been running especially hot, but I’ve navigated my way through
the larger fields at Lucky Chances in part because their tournaments
favor my tight-aggressive style.
First, there aren’t as many donkeys as there are at AJ’s, so the
suck-outs aren’t as frequent or brutal. Second, the blinds increase
slower, enhancing real poker play instead of forcing the short stacks
to go all-in pre-flop out of desperation. Again, this reduces the
number of absurd suck-outs. Last, there aren’t re-buys, so many of the
donkeys are eliminated due to Darwinism. Sooner the fools bust out the
more logical play flows late in tournaments. So, long story short, I
fully expect to bust out near the cash bubble tonight against some
moron who I force all in, having him dominated by 85% and then he’ll
catch an improbable river card. But hey, it’s good practice for Bay 101
PS: If you’re watching
the Oscars go check out J. Harvey, who is "live blogging" all evening.
Talking shit with her will ease the pain of watching red carpet train
wrecks, talentless famewhores and the general misery of TV!
Drum ‘N’ Bass in the house, D.Kay knows
It’s been a minute since I’ve posted a new Drum ‘N’ Bass
mix here, but if you’ve caught any of the live Friday night
streams you know I’m cooking fresh beats all the time. Did
some record shopping and was stoked to find new full-length albums from
some of my favorite DNB producers like Nu:
Tone and D.Kay. Nu:
Tone’s latest is what you’d expect, he’s still working that Jump Up
style we all love. D.Kay has actually done what few people are able to:
surprise me. His stuff in the past was always fast, melodic and bass
heavy, which is why I’ve made him a staple of my DNB sets from Day 1.
But D.Kay, whose birth name is David
Kulenkampff, has thrown us a curveball in this new album
Individual Soul. He actually brought in a bunch of live musicians,
adding guitars, sitars, sax, woodwinds, vibraphones, trumpets -- all
kinds of shit! The result is off course more jazzy and softer than his
usual productions. So I decided to open up last Friday’s mix with him
because frankly, the opening is the only part where I’m down with
slower, jazzy DNB. But have no fear, the hammer drops hard and never
lets up 10 minutes into this set.
Cuz my boys BSE and Noisia slow down for nobody,
bitches! Hope you have half as much fun listening as I had mixing this
set, which was a perfect start to the three day weekend.
Which is over. And I’m now slaving away in the media salt mines as you
read this, guzzling Peet’s Coffee and calling various commodity traders
for the latest scoops while this very mix bumps in the background. PS: Did you see my precious Lindsay Lohan's latest photo shoot?
Smoking hot. Freckles. Loves it! They are NSFW but you must see
Fight night with the fellas!
Tonight my very favorite boxer Kelly Pavlik fights a rematch with Jermaine Taylor, who he beat last
year for the undisputed middleweight championship. The fellas are going
to BBQ here in sunny California, bet the fights, and play poker
afterward till late. Normally I’d play a Sunday NLH poker tournament,
especially since it’s gone great so far in 2008. Made three final
tables in eight tournaments played including one win and third place
last weekend. I will bet heavily on Pavlik and use tonight's earnings
to buy-in to a tournament on Monday, not Sunday, because I plan on
being too hung over to play after tonight's action. While I’m waiting
for Saturday night, I’m watching a heavyweight eliminator between Nicolai Valuev and Sergey Liakhovich out in Germany.
One of my homeboys in Russia just sent the live stream, which you can watch for free
here. It includes several good undercard bouts you can watch
as well. Thanks, Stalin.
Another Cesar piping beats!
His name sounds like the ubertalented
author but instead of writing beautiful prose, Cesar hit the 104.1 FM studio last
night and churned out some interesting music in lieu of my homeboy Abdul’s show The Annals Jazz, Blues
and Other Things. My girlfriend listened to him and said this morning,
"He doesn’t sound like Abdul." No, cuz he’s not Abdul. But when I
entered the studio he and a sidekick sure had it, uh, smoky in there
like Abdul’s been known to do. Nice guy, Cesar is. A kick ass trumpet
player from what I hear. So while I’m missing my main man from Friday
nights, we’re in good hands during his absence.
Meanwhile, some jerks stole our turntables. If I catch them their asses
will get a thorough fisting! Until they’re a hotter mess than a wedding in the
projects! Luckily, I knew about this before the WORD’N’BASS
Show and spent a couple of the Benjamins earned from last week’s final
table on a ton of drum & bass CDs. Good stuff from some of my
favorite producers like Noisia
System but you know how the mixing goes when you’re DJing
new material without knowing the tracks’ structure beforehand:
transitions and flow are off a bit. Another way to compensate for my
beloved turntables was the mp3 player and an extra CDR, so at least I’m
still working off four stations. But I need to put the needle
on the record soon, help! PS: Check us out Sunday for an
announcement on the other Cezair.
The bus will tear your donkey ass up!
I got a call from my studio sidekick Abdul, who does a classic jazz show
Friday nights before the WORD’N’BASS Show
kicks off on 104.1 FM. He tells me the other night he’s
riding the bus home after our shows with his stack of music. When he
goes to exit, the
driver -- who was probably drunk -- closes
the fucking door on him, catching his foot and sending him crashing
face down to the pavement in the rain. He fractured his hip and is now
rehabbing on pain killers so who knows how long he’s going to be away
from the studio. Since Abdul is hardcore and the show must go on, he
lined up a trumpet-playing friend to sub for him. This is why I
don’t ride the bus, train, BART or any other public transportation. If
you’re not getting tortured by a smelly bum in the next seat or the
screaming infant down the aisle, the driver will whup your ass.
Since he’s busted up like Brittany Murphy
on coke and pills, I wanted to bring some Peet’s coffee to
Abdul but am too selfish and played a NLH tournament at Lucky Chances
instead. Made my second final table of 2008 and should’ve won it
outright, but three brutal suck-outs burned me into a short stack once
the final table began. Twice my Ace-Paint got beat by bullshit hands
A-7 and Q-10 unsuited. Naturally, these were all-in pre-flop for big
pots and could’ve
crippled me but I fought back each time to keep my stack middle of the
pack. Just before the final table, an aggressive Filipino moved all in
for $16,000 and was called by a short stacked dweeb in sunglasses who
read his bluff
(unsuited 9-10, ha ha) and took down the pot with suited connectors.
Filipino grumbles to me, "That was a donkey call." Then I pocket suited
A-10, raise $6,000 and he goes all in. I knew he didn’t have shit and
called. Sure enough, he turned over unsuited A-5. Victory? No, he
sucked out like a leech and I asked him, "So do you still think that
guy’s a donkey?"
James Nae go away!
The downpour has finally stopped here in the SF Bay. Yes,
the sun is out once again but author James
Nae, best known for raining lies on the book scene in his
best-selling "memoir" A Million
Little Pieces of Shit, is already spinning gullible media on
his upcoming novel that launches in May from HarperCollins. Says the NY Post:
Frey has been busy since the
literary establishment turned on him two years ago, when his
best-selling memoir, "A Million Little Pieces," was found to be
Embellished? That’s a soft word. More like it was found to be full of
hot runny bullshit! Dude has been busy spending those millions he made
from acting like a tough, macho junkie who served time in prison and
rose from the ashes to pen his story. Lies! If you’re a part time
drinker you’re no junkie and spending one night in the drunk tank isn't
hard time. I am not reading this new novel. There’s a Million Little
Authors who are 10 times the
writer Nae is whose work gets 1/10 the amount of publicity
of his literary turds. You know media across America are gonna ride his
nuts come May. But not here at little old WORD‘N’BASS. FTBITTTD. It’s
time to throw down. Nae.
Everybody big up debutante Patry Francis!
Novelist Patry Francis
can forever mark January 29, 2008 as the day she leaped from being just
another writer to yes, a full-blown author. Her first novel launches
today, and the excitement of such days are something that
long-suffering novelists like me cannot speak of from experience. But
I’ve got enough imagination to guess: Relief. Elation. Redemption.
Finally, she’s got validation for all those hours spent grinding away
on her computer while everyone else was getting loaded during martini
hour. Payoff time, baby!
Penguin imprint Plume is being a bit coy about the premise of Patry's
novel "The Liar's Diary" in their press release.
Is this the story of a friendship between women, tale of a teenage
killer, adventures of a fortysomething sexpot, or is it procured from
someone’s diary? The book trailer
here doesn’t really give the answer. I guess we’ll have to
read it to find out, but it’s safe to say that when a novel includes
copious pill popping, promiscuous sex and forbidden liasons, I am down
with it. Throw in a corpse or two, please!
Those who have checked out WORD’NBASS with any kind of regularity over
the past three years know that I love supporting debut novelists.
Patry’s entry into the publishing world is one that about 300 of my
fellow bloggers, authors, and publishing industry professionals are
helping spread the word about. It turns out that the best day of
Patry’s writing life is bittersweet. She’s been diagnosed with a
terrible illness that prevents her from doing the standard book tour
and promotional stuff that should mark her big day, so we all decided
to big up
Patry all at once. Congratulations, Patry! PS: Thanks, Karen.
Miguel Migs is back, better than ever!
There’s a reason why San Francisco is synonymous with
House music: we’ve got producers churning out beats that make you
bounce but with a soft touch that keeps the edge off. Miguel Migs is one reason why The
City is a vibrant club scene locally and respected by House aficionados
globally. He’s got a remix
of his critically acclaimed 2007 album "Those Things" coming out soon
that is straight up banging. I so can’t wait to plug this CD into my
car stereo, which has brand spankin’ new woofers with even heavier bass
than before. I must feel the bass vibrate up my spine, not just hear it!
to enjoy some of Migs’ totally addictive and funky house tracks. What
do I think about that track ‘Mesmerized?’ Hells yes! It will mesmerize
you till your head involuntarily bops nonstop and you end up hitting
repeat, repeat, repeat. When "Those Things Remixed" drops in April it
will be the perfect soundtrack for Spring road trips. You know I’m
gonna bump it full blast while hauling ass to Reno for the 2008 World
Watch out, the apes are chasing bananas
Today was Martin Luther King Day and naturally, I spent it
acknowledging human rights and playing a no limit hold ‘em tournament
at Lucky Chances. It was my first time visiting this casino,
appropriately located across the street from a cemetery. Dead money
lives here because, like most tournaments in the SF Bay, it’s populated
by suicidal gamblers who continually move all-in before the flop. These
people think the strategic game of poker is a game of chance, like a
roulette ball hitting your number. Some dude with the SF Fire Dept.
consistently moved all his chips in with the worst hand and proceeded
to brutally suck out on his opponents over and over. Another dude
caught a lucky river card and instead of sheepishly raking in his
chips, said: "That’s what I’m sayin’!"
That’s not my game. During these tournaments of apes chasing bananas, I
tone down my normal aggressive style and pick off the maniacs who
make outlandish bets at the pot. For several hours I
observed, played only hands I knew were winnable, and had
the best of it every single time we went to a showdown. You’re not
among the chip leaders playing this style but you’ll survive deep into
the tournament with a big enough stack to make people worry. After
getting moved to table 1, I took down a few pots with starting hands
like A-Q and even J-9, where some guy tried to bluff me on
the flop and I moved all in with just a pair of 9s, forcing him to fold.
After 137 cadavers hit the rail, there were just 18 players left and I
decided to raise pre-flop two hands in a row. My chip count
totaled a healthy $14,000 but I dislike coasting to the final table,
likely cash but end up so short stacked you’ll have no chance at
winning the tournament outright. The first pot I took down, the second
one my suited A-J got busted by a reckless player who (of course!)
$4,000 pre-flop raise by immediately going all-in, gambling his
tournament life with just pocket 10s. I took a calculated risk and
called. Catch one of two overcards and I'm the chip leader, but
Ace-Paint never hits for me in a race. Ever!
In related news, a guy in San Mateo got his brains bashed
in at TGI Friday’s last night. It was the first slaying
there since 2006, and all 10 of the city’s police detectives are now
working on the case. SMPD Lt. Mike
BruniBacardi said, "Oh my Gawd, a killing! Now we can’t waste
tax payers' money by staking out someone’s NLH home game for months and
then raiding them!" Yes, the pigs actually
went "undercover" to this home tournament after "several
neighbors complained about weekly parking problems." What happens when
cops and suburban busybodies have no real crime to deal with? Their
panties get in a bunch over shit that’s none of their business. Here’s the poor guy
who got busted for no reason. Give him a shout-out, he could use some
Here come the Breaks!
Back in ‘99 when I returned to San
Francisco after a stint
in Reno -- first to try my hand at boxing and when that failed, to get
an education -- it seemed Lantz
was DJing half the parties we hit. His energetic sets were always one
of the highlights of the night, which wasn’t surprising considering
homeboy has been doing this since ‘94. Weeks ago I promised y’all we’d
soon have another one of his Breakbeat sets and finally, yes it’s here.
It’s got everything you want in a phat session of beats: smooth
transitions, wicked remixing and heavy lows. Enjoy!
Bjork a star, will beat your ass!
Despite the emergence of electronic music since the late
90s as a major force driving the music scene globally, there aren’t too
many of our artists given the full paparazzi treatment. You know, where
their photos are snapped as they pass through airports to their latest
gigs. Bjork is an exception.
And photographers beware, if you snap her pic she’ll beat your bitch
ass down! According to the AP:
"Bjork, who is in the northern
city of Auckland to perform at the Big Day Out concert on Friday, tore
"New Zealand Herald" photographer Glenn Jeffrey’s shirt after he
photographed her arriving at the airport early Sunday."
This isn’t the first time she went bonkers on a photographer. Maybe
this is just cuz I had pre-teen fantasies about Bjork back when she
fronted the Sugar Cubes, but I
think it’s kinda hot. Hey Bjork, anytime you want to rip off my shirt
and fire a few left hooks and right crosses you know where to find me!
We need more paparazzi ruckuses to get mainstream coverage of our
scene. How about DJ Fresh,
who is known to harass people
after a night of excessive ale, running over a few bell hops
next time he hits the USA? Then he can hitup the Fairmont Hotel
bar, break two champagne glasses on the heads of the paparazzi and have
them arrested for trespassing. It’ll be huge!
Enter the salt mines, undead!
Yeah, it’s been a slow rebound out of the post-holiday
blues here at WNB. First, because this site’s server had some weird
downtime due to a technical glitch and they had to move it
temporarily to another server where I couldn’t update with shit. Also,
I am still trying to finish my novel Bistro de Mars
and it’s taking longer than expected. A month ago I thought the finish
line was 10k words away and every thousand words later my gut tells me
it’s a helluva lot longer than you think. Another 10k so get to work,
Today was my first day back in the office since vacation, which I spent
visiting family, drinking British ale
and playing poker in Reno. Not necessarily in that order. In Reno I
killed at the cash games and took down eight pots on ridiculous bluffs
in just two hours at the Eldorado poker room. Won more pots bluffing
than playing legit hands. One time I fired off
chips before the flop, on the flop, the turn, and finally got one last
stubborn guy to fold on the river. I didn’t even have one pair. Also
won a no limit hold ‘em tournament by folding and attacking at the
right times. At the final table I had suited A-K and raised to $2,000
pre-flop. An Asian dude to my left moved all in for $4,500,
and a hipster who I knew was a bit reckless moved all in for $10,000.
Having a stack of about $16,000, I told him: "You want to gamble, so
I’ll gamble with you." He showed unsuited A-Q and groaned when I
flipped over Big Slick.
Later, when there was only four of us left they tried splitting the pot
but I told them we had to play it through. Eventually, I was heads up
with a middle aged woman who played very aggressively at the final
table and had double my chipcount. But she fell apart after I won five
out of six hands to take the lead with a mix of bluffs and raises off
solid cards. You cannot crack under pressure in poker, but this woman
seemed to go into panic mode right away and said, "I’m horrible at
up." Soon, she committed virtual suicide by moving all in every single
hand pre-flop. After folding to a couple of these absurd all ins, I
took her out with just Q-10. Inventory
time: three out of my last four
poker road trips have been profitable with the only exception the World
Series Circuit Event. I've posted net profits on two Reno trips and one
in Vegas since September.
Oh yes, a quick side note for my fellow Bay Area travelers: Do not
drive to Reno this winter unless you know the sun’s gonna shine. Many
of you were hating life in the rain here in SF, but a fucked up
blizzard dumped 10 feet of snow on the Sierras in two days
and burst a levy that flooded Fallon, Nev., last weekend. We drove
through it. The journey home was pure misery. My girlfriend, being an LA Woman
and unaccustomed to bad weather like snow, had no idea how to
drive in it. She veered off I-80, ignored it when I said, "You’re
driving off the road," over steered, and before you know it we’re
backwards on the freeway looking at all these cars driving toward us.
Instead of concentrating on fixing this mess, she burst into tears. My
thought process consisted of: "Fuck!" Lesson: never let girlfriend
drive car in snow. Be a gentleman and drive, even if you're jacked on
Vicodin, five espressos and no sleep. Anyhow we made it through,
exhausted but not dead. It’s sure good to be home. Even if it's back in
the media salt mines.
Last call to shop till you drop!
"It’s back to Oakland,
baby, Merry Christmas." Warriors forward Stephen Jackson, after scoring 29
points to beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland Sunday night.
Christmas is practically here and as always, I waited till
the last possible minute to do massive gift buying. While my precious Vanessa Hudgens
was busy looking cute in her velour tracksuit and begging
BPM Smith to spank her two times, I procrastinated shopping. Instead, I
spent the weekend dropping drum & bass bombs, taking in Warriors
basketball and pale ale with my homeboy Pete at George &
Walt’s, and busting my entire apartment to shrapnel while
searching for Choriza. Why is
it when you allow your iguana to free roam they always choose the worst
possible time to disappear for three days straight? No way in hell was
I leaving the SF Bay without her safely returned to her heated cage for
a Christmas feast of mustard greens, mango, French beans and alfalfa
The Fam’s annual Christmas party is four hours away -- boring drive
alert! -- but our feast will thankfully include meat, tons of side
dishes, and Mom’s homemade cookies as we attack piles of presents. This
gluttony comes after last week's proscuitto wrapped prawns, cranberry
blue cheese salad, steak in port wine sauce, Deb's chocolate torte, and Cuban
Punch Coronas paired with a 1970 Warre's
port. As usual, Nick
is rolling up in his RV. He'll surely have it decked out in red and
green lights, bumping phat beats and stocked with Celebration Ale.
We’ve got big love for the parents, aunts, grandparents and all, but
one key to a harmonious holiday is making sure you’ve got your own
little party vehicle to take breaks from the socializing. Time to wish
y’all a Merry Christmas and start making the gifts look like a pack of
drunken, blindfolded elves wrapped them. PS: Remember to drive safe!
Update: After tonight's Warriors
game I did another round of shopping and bought tons more stuff. First,
I scored Grandpa a too-stylish shirt and accidentally set off a
clothing store's alarm, causing "shoplifter panic" by ignoring the
security guard's plea to come back. It's a good thing I did cuz the
countergirl had forgotten to cut off the tag. Que this holiday
conversation: "Merry Christmas, Grandpa... No, I don't know why this
huge security tag's here. Usually I just steal items that aren't
protected." At Borders I ran into Pete,
and we decided a perfect present for your mother is strong coffee like
Peet's Holiday Blend. I also told him about my new
coffee experiments of mixing my own blends -- brewed three pots today
(yesterday) with mixed results. Back to shopping: scored my nephew "The
Christmas Kitten" by some children’s author. The hard work completed, I
then bought myself
"Trainspotting" and "Reservoir Dogs," on DVD and a bunch of Jazz CDs.
"Mulligan meets Monk," a live album by the highly underrated Cannonball Adderley and one of the
greatest live jazz performances ever recorded: "John Coltrane Live At
The Village Vanguard."
I’ve spent hours
searching for this album at stores and finally lucked into it
tonight when I’m supposed to be shopping for others. Mi casa is now flowing with these
majestic jazz classics on random. Vanguard includes Coltrane doing the
phattest rendition of his song "Spiritual" you will ever hear. In fact,
this was my studio sidekick Abdul’s
sound theme that kicked off his weekly show until he lit a joint on it
one night and ruined it. He’ll sure be excited about this score. It’s
now 1 am on Christmas Eve, I’m drinking martinis and thinking
about not wrapping these presents. Oh, there goes Frank Sinatra singing "The Little
Drummer Boy!" Time for another round of Saphire/Cinzano martinis and a
Marlboro Light. Later, kids…
Christmas cigar dinner... hangover pending!
You know it's the holiday season when three consecutive
posts involve liquor. Due to another late night mixing Drum
& Bass, I am slow to start preparing for tonight, when I
am hosting our 13th Annual Christmas Cigar Dinner. We started this
event sophomore year in college back when I lived in Reno, my so-called
boxing career had crash and burned, and we were trying to live a
champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. It’s always smoker-friendly
throughout -- hell, oftentimes I burn a cigar before and after dinner -- and we
shoot craps for presents instead of doing those boring gift exchanges.
You want the loot you gotta shoot!
This event has
evolved over the years to where it's typically six to eight guests,
martinis quickly concede to many bottles of vintage wine from
chardonnay to zinfandel to port paired with recipes from the legendary Escoffier
Cookbook, I bust out the two humidors with Cuban smokes
and the party doesn't end till 3 am or later. Since there's still
shopping to do, I am sitting on lots of content that there’s no time to
post. In a couple days we’ll have an exclusive new mix from
Lantz and a holiday shopping list that y’all can use to jack
up your credit cards and score some awesome gifts for the book and
music fans in your life. Happy holidays!
Back to the Bistro and decking the halls!
Last weekend we enjoyed four different British ales, Quintessential
gin added to the carnage, and you know things are out of
hand when someone says, "Oh, no! Did you break your nose?" No, I
didn’t. Since nobody will believe the truth, let’s just say I was
pissed Ricky Hatton
got KTFO and got drunk enough that when someone threw a beer
bottle I forgot to duck. That split my nose open like a geyser, so I
couldn’t even wear Prada shades on a sunny day like Monday, when it was
back to the salt mines, bitch! Despite this, I feel good and am
resuming the daily schedule of workouts followed by an organic
soymilk and fruit smoothie, and two hours of writing "Bistro de Mars."
Yes, it’s taking too long but nobody said writing novels was easy,
It really feels like the holiday season now. Downtown San Francisco is
decked out with wreaths for the shoppers, our regular watering hole Thirsty Bear
has red ribbons everywhere and the white lights are illuminating one of
my favorite restaurants the Flytrap.
Meanwhile, I am preparing mi casa
for our yearly Christmas Cigar Dinner. My old school pals know how we
roll: five course French dinner, different wine with each course, my
pal Deb will create one of her
legendary desserts, then we’ll smoke Cuban Partagas and Cohibas. And
no, I’m not saying how we got ahold of these glorious cigars. But the
humidor is stocked, baby.
Bigups to the Brits, Hatton, DNB and
"Quite impressive. But
not as good as me on 15 pints of Guinness." - Boxing champion Ricky
"Hitman" Hatton, on Floyd Mayweather’s recent appearance on "Dancing
with the Stars."
Ever since climbing onto the Drum N Bass
train in 1999 I’ve had an affinity for British culture. After all,
London is ground zero for DNB and my favorite genre is still king in
Great Britain while here in the USA it’s pretty much an "underground"
thing. Tonight, one of my favorite boxers Ricky Hatton takes on pound for
pound champ Floyd Mayweather,
and up to 25,000 Brits are now in Vegas for the action. I so wish I was
there! But Ticketmaster fucked me by not processing my tickets and
selling out in 10 minutes, flat. Originally me and my homeboy Dave were gonna hit Vegas anyhow
just to take in the vibe, play countless
hours of poker and party hard with these Brits whose
pre-fight ritual of all night drinking puts American
football tail gaters to shame.
Oh well. We’ll have a great time downing our Boddingtons, London Pride
and Bass ales with some damn tasty British cuisine while watching on
PPV instead. Here’s my prediciton: Hatton breaks down Floyd with a
vicious body attack and wins by TKO. For an interesting take on all the
pre- and post-fight action check out the UK coverage
and skip our American boxing writers since aside from Michael Katz they don’t know shit. PS: Thanks for your awesome British
food recipes, Savitri!
A thing called a Dead Man!
Last month’s writing rampage closed with a wimper. The flu
hit big time, I wrote nothing during the last two days of November, and
the month’s word count for Bistro de Mars
ended at 13,509. That said, Bistro was never really done in the spirit
where you’re supposed to begin and complete a 50,000 word novel in 30
days flat. I just use this thing to buoy the progress of my WIP* and so
without actually ‘winning,' I feel somewhat victorious. I
also feel feverish, have a terrible head ache and sore throat, and have
to DJ a party tonight that I’d committed to weeks ago. Never cancel a
show. So, I will guzzle another Theraflu, take a disco nap and show up
despite my wretchedness. Since I was supposed to post a Person, Place
and Thing from this novel, here’s the Thing. A corpse, which is another
word for me today:
"He peered left and right, left and right, then stood up from a crouch
and gazed in the direction of Fillmore. "Dead man," he said when
catching our puzzled looks. Sure enough, at the bottom of the Hayes
Street hill lay the body of a thickset black man as if floating in a
pool, arms stretched and legs spread eagle. We couldn’t see any blood.
But he was as still as death. An eerie and cold sight that evoked
images of gangland slayings in mafia movies. Only this was the
Fillmore, where young black men lived their last moments on the
streets, not in restaurants or social clubs. Always on the streets,
where there was no honor, nobility, or respect for those who have
* Authorspeak for Whacked and Insane Project.
Back in the saddle a bit richer, tore up!
"I’ve got so many $100
bills I get sick of counting them."
-- Poker player at Circus Circus, before I wipe out his chip stack in
three hands and he requests a table change.
You know the holiday weekend is over when a ballistic pace in these
media salt mines has you on tilt before the closing bell. I cover
global commodities, not just US markets, so when most guys outside the
USA decided to hike prices intead of being thankful and gorging on
turkey that left me running like a madman all of Monday trying to catch
up. After writing too much at the day job I am now writing
"Bistro de Mars," so I won't likely update the homepage
as much as normal until December 1. Cuz the thousands of absurdly
prolific writers who are masochistic enough to have entered National
Novel Writing Month have left me in the dust. My stomach is tore up
from too much Peet’s Coffee
and chocolate covered espresso beans. I've got DJ Krush
with Toshinori bumping. And
the novel writing is underway.
As for Thanksgiving weekend in Reno, it was more of the same. Played
five poker tournaments, made just one final table. And beat a bitch
down at the cash games like three
transvestites on a McDonald’s! Saturday night was the best
single session, at the Circus Circus poker room. A bunch of calling
stations and loose players threw their chips away like they
were going out of style, I applied many of these
techniques at detecting liars, and took down pot after pot
because they didn’t suck out like they did in every fucking no limit
hold ‘em tournament this year. Man, it took two racks to drag all those
chips out of the room after just two hours of play.
This helped offset
the rage from busting out of one tournament when I hit a full house on
the turn and a fool put all his chips in – only to suck
out with a bigger full house on the river. Don’t even mention the cash
game in which I had Kings full of 10s and got crushed by quad Kings.
Shit was sick! Miraculously, I avoided going all in with that big a
full house simply because I was suspicious of the guy's re-raise on the
river and only called. Despite that madness, it was nice returning to
my beloved San Francisco with a wallet full of $100 bills.
A place called Thanksgiving!
Ready, set, go! It’s mid-afternoon here on Thanksgiving
and the mass exodus from the SF Bay has begun. My neighbor Monica actually headed out on a long
drive to LA last night, saying she’d arrive in La La Land at like 2 am.
All across America, we’re hitting the open road that will lead us to
the benchmark of civilization: family. Before joining a million apes on
the freeway, I just realized I’ve yet to post a Place from my
semi-biographical novel Bistro de Mars.
Last time it was a Person called Hayden, this time it’s a Place called
"We cruised down Fillmore, passing upscale restaurants, cafes, and bars
through the heart of Pacific Heights until reaching Pine Street. Pretty
girls dressed up in this neighborhood just to get a drink or four on
weeknights. They had dyed blonde hair and black overcoats that hid
their sexy bodies underneath cocktail dresses. The men all looked like
well groomed bastards five years removed from frat houses. It sure felt
like we were sharks cruising amid these fish."
Not exactly my part of town, but every novel’s gotta bring the
protagonist out of his comfort zone. Speaking of that, after hitting my
grandmother’s for an evening of gluttony with The Fam, on Friday I will
continue East to Reno, where four poker tournaments await. So I will
skip Friday night’s studio session and miss the WORD’N’BASS Show.
Yep, I’m outta here, bitches! Catch you all next week. Meantime, if you
need your dose of Drum 'N' Bass listen to last week's
session here. Have a
fun Thanksgiving weekend!
Poker degenerate returns from Harvey’s!
I made it back from our latest WSOP adventure in time for
Friday’s WORD’N’BASS Show,
which is another way of saying I failed to make the Main Event and am
now reduced to watching live
updates here. My
poker playing, and chip stack, went up and down like a roller coaster
all week. Fared sort of shitty in tournaments and failed to cash in
three events. My play alternated from good (read bluffs and re-raised
appropriately, slow-played the nuts to maximize pots) to bad (flopped
two pair and called an all-in bet from the overall chip leader who had
flopped three of a kind). Naturally, since I suck out on nobody, he
sent me to the rail dropping an f-bomb. Yes, I committed that faux pas. Mainly due to anger
at myself because before calling, I said, "You slow played trip sixes,
didn’t you?" And still called like a donkey!
In the end, I burned money on tournament buy-ins but did okay at the
cash games. So many players hit Harvey’s Tahoe this week they had to
add a couple extra tournaments, and the cash games were filled to
capacity pretty much 24/7. I pummeled one of the pros, a regular on
televised tournaments whose name I can’t recall, so badly that after
the second beatdown I had wiped out his entire stack of chips and he
stormed off without comment. That’s what happens when you push
all-in before the flop and I’m holding pocket Queens, baby! It’s quite
pleasing sitting there at a table of sharks with a pile of chips so big
you can create a double pyramid out of them.
Suckout of the week.
Busted out of this event
despite having a perfect read on a bluffing moron who had just joined
our table. I raised pre-flop, he moved all-in, and I asked him: "Are
you a gambler? Because you’ve not been here long enough, or played
enough hands for me to know." He stared, I stared back for 20 seconds,
was positive I had him dominated, and called. Sure enough, my Ace-Queen
made his suited 8-7 look like dog shit but he caught a lucky 8 on
the river. Had I won that hand, I would've taken over the leader’s
position and been poised for my first final table at a WSOP tournament.
Lesson of the week. You
must eat organic fruit, trail mix, soy milk and Peet’s Coffee. Not fast
food, or you will turn into a zombie during these brutally long
poker sessions. Reeling from too many free WSOP hot dogs and pizza, on
our second day I stocked our hotel room with various organic goods.
As a result, I played 13 hours without crashing.
Mantra of the week. My
homeboy Dave has what he calls
"Play position and take your time." Those are words of wisdom. In
light of this latest WSOP meltdown, my new mantra is: "Do not call the
chip leader’s all-in bet unless you know
you’ve got the best hand." On future trips I am printing these
mantras out and hanging them on the hotel room’s wall.
Tahoe is beautiful -- when it hosts the
Well, it’s 1 am on Monday morning and I’m here drinking a
Saphire and Cinzano martini (olive no juice) and packing for tomorrow’s
trip to Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, where Dave
and I are playing two WSOP Circuit
Events this week. Gotta wake up at 6 am, an uncivilized time
for any human, but the tournament begins at 12 noon. Our latest poker
road trip means the writing of my novel "Bistro de Mars" is on hold
till end of this week, which is not a concern since I’ve added more
than 6,000 words of solid prose in the past 11 days. This WSOP no limit
hold ‘em event likely represents our last chance at winning a major
tournament in 2007, so it’s time to bring the fucking heat.
I think we’re ready, despite impending sleep deprivation and a high
speed drive into the mountains, fueled by Peet’s Coffee and a few of my
recent Drum ’N’ Bass mixes. This is three late nights in a row between
tonight’s packing, Saturday’s boxing/BBQ/poker get-together with our
crew (Miguel Cotto won,
as predicted to anyone who would listen), and Friday’s WORD‘N‘BASS
Show, with me not sleeping before 2 am any night. After many beers, it
was pointed out late Saturday/Sunday that that I play shitty poker when
tired -- passive and uncreative instead of my normal aggressive style
-- so I’d better hit the sack soon. See you Friday when I’m back in the studio
dropping bass bombs, kids!
a novel Saturday? It must be November! Launch parties in SF, NYC!
So originally I planned on rounding up the fellas tonight
for some Bass ale and T-bone steak while taking in the Joe Calzaghe
Mikkel Kessler super middleweight championship fight at Ricky’s
Sportsbar. But after sleeping in late as hell due to another
of drum & bass, the writing front is way behind schedule. Because
NaNoWriMo began days ago and I’ve only got 1,301 new words written
since Nov. 1, punishment includes no fight night with the fellas.
Instead, it’s a night of bumping Kid
Loco, John Digweed and
down as many pages of "Bistro de Mars" as possible.
You all will benefit from my shut-in ways cuz not only do you get the
scoop on former SFPD Chief of Police Prentice Earl
courtesy of agent Jessica Kaye,
I will also post a brand spankin’ new
DNB set soon. The archiving of DNB and Downtempo sets have been
slow lately but I do hope y’all have enjoyed the live streams via my
audio page. Nothing’s better
than real-time because you never know if a
certain sidekick DJ will have stoney echo effects going while smoking
something that results in me laughing uncontrollably during the intro
while transitioning from Boards of
Canada to Tarwater and
trying... trying... to
state the track list. Cuz that kind of train wreck’s never getting
posted for the permanent record, kids!
While I’m being a
homebody tonight you’ve got lots beats to catch. In San Francisco, Full
Melt is holding a record release party for two new albums on tap, Mr. Rogers’ album "The Ooze System"
that will be available for the first time as well as Ripple's "B.A.D. Vololume 1," a
compilation of San Francisco Bay Area Dubstep and Grime artists. It all
happens at Jelly's Nightclub - Pier 50, located at 295 Terry Francois
Blvd - San Francisco $10 door before 11pm / $15 after 9 PM - 4 AM...
Are you in NYC? Felix da Housecat
spins tonight (Saturday, November 3) in the official record release
party for his new CD "Virgo Blaktro & The Movie Disco." Operating
the decks alongside Felix da Housecat is a who’s who of New York City’s
most taste making DJs including DJs
Are Not Rockstars, Alexander Technique, DJ Cat, Alex English and
Dances With White Girls.
The party happens at Rebel NYC, 251 W30th St (Between 7th and 8th Ave)
in New York, NY. Doors: 9PM, $15 before midnight / $20 after midnight
with RSVP / $25 without.
Update: Calzaghe won impressively.
This moves him up to the world's No. 2 best boxer, pound-for-pound, and
he called out Bernard Hopkins
afterwards. Joe is now approaching PFP No. 1 Floyd Mayweather, who will crumble
on December 8 when another great British boxer Ricky Hatton spanks that ass in
Homepage gets hit like an earthquake!
Apparently our homepage is so loaded with content it’s
beyond capacity and won’t let me post any of the sweet announcements
that recently came in until my tech support homeboy Joe archives it. So, a bunch of news
from literary agent Jessica Kaye,
Felix Da Housecat, DJ Krush and AK1200, plus my latest drum &
bass mix and a fresh new set from Lantz
will all have to wait till this weekend. Bullocks! Tonight, instead of
posting new content for y’all I am gearing up for this NaNoWriMo
stampede that kicks off Nov. 1 by rummaging around the net in search of
my precious Hayden Panettiere.
Turns out the adorable little actress is out in Japan, where she was
one of 22 surfers who paddled into the water and formed a prayer circle
to protest the 25,000 dolphins
killed each year in a grisly ritual slaying where Japanese
fisherman drive dolphins into shallow coves, then slash their throats
or stab them to death. Just as I’m sitting here thinking, "While others
in the young Hollywood set are out buying purses, Hayden helped spread
the word about something I didn’t even know existed. Girl’s got a
social conscience and... looks smoking hot in a bikini. Yes, a bikini
that’s wet, making you wanna spank her butt over and over, harder and
A big fucking earthquake hits the SF Bay Area. The quake lasts so long
I actually hold down the desk lamp cuz it’s about to fly onto my head.
The news just said it was a tiny quake, just a magnitude of 5.6, but
they are liars. And Hayden is smoking. Yes.
A Person named Hayden!
Sandra Kring, a
fellow writer who frequents Backspace
-- a message board that’s to literature as 2+2
is to poker (minus the insults) or Groundscore
is to Drum & Bass (minus the streaming midget videos) -- recently
started a thread where novelists must post one Person, Place and Thing
from their current projects. Loves it! Not only have I been enjoying
soon-to-be published excerpts by a bunch of kick ass novelists, this
little exercise makes you wonder how efficiently you’re actually
writing these elements. Since National Novel Writing Month is just
around the corner and this WIP will get done by Nov. 30, I’m gonna post
one Person, Place and Thing from my semi-biographical novel Bistro De Mars.
Starting with Person:
ate nothing but super burritos and Big
Macs, and it seemed she had always loaded up on junk food before I ever
saw her. You’d see Hayden only at night, like an elongated shadow that
appears at particular times, and she was never plagued by things like a
sweet tooth or nutritional needs. She would observe me wolfing down a
brownie or crème brule with the derision of a construction
worker eyeing a homosexual. One time, she watched me nipping at a
crème brule and said, "Jesse, you’re as happy as a fag with a
bag full of dicks!" A natural smart ass, I had an immediate affinity
for Hayden. She had arrived from Brooklyn just a few months earlier but
we’d welcomed her as though introduced by long standing friends. In
reality, Hayden’s arrival seemed to trigger a theme, a harder element,
that gradually changed all of us. She had brought her machismo with her
from New York."
Since this is semi-biographical, Hayden’s a real live person. Who
created dozens of shit disturbances. Not too long ago I had a reunion
with some of my old school friends who together make up the setting of
Bistro, and after saying, "I always kinda liked Hayden, she had a hard
edge that I related to at the time," all of them looked at me like I
was crazy. Still crazy, that is. And they never called again.
* Replace a smoking hot cutie pie who must get spanked with a Puerto
Rican thug who must be dead by now.
Absolute Poker is a bunch of weasels!
Here’s another reason why the fascist US government should
legalize online poker. Some weasels running Absolutepoker.com rigged it
so one of their owners entered a no limit hold ‘em tournament in which
he could see the hole cards of all of his opponents. ABC News
A network of professional
gamblers turned amateur sleuths followed the money in what appears to
have been a series of rigged online poker games, gathering what they
say is enough evidence to accuse a part-owner and former executive of
the Web site Absolutepoker.com of cheating by looking at other players'
If the online poker websites operated legally in the USA, the feds
could tax and regulate online poker and the stupid government would get
phat tax revenues while we poker players would have an honest game to
play. It would be a win-win situation for the players, government and
even the casino industry, which could have their own dot-com poker
rooms that would promote their bricks and mortar casino resorts. Doubt
that business model would work? Did Barnsandnoble.com
kill off Barnes & Noble bookstores? Hells no! Aside from the
obvious scams like at Absolutepoker.com, another long-suspected racket
is the prevalence of bad beats and carnage hands happening online
compared to casinos.
I’ve played at two different online poker sites and dozens of live
casinos and the carnage hands - where say in one hand you’ve got AA vs
KK vs. AK, or two guys with two different full houses and a third guy
with a flush end up in spectacular shoot outs - happen much more
frequently online. It’s a fact! Also, I've had just one four of a kind
in casino tournaments (The Legends of Poker) over the past three years,
yet have gotten them several times online despite playing far less
online than at casinos. Probability says I should’ve bagged more four
of a kinds since I’ve played far more hours at casinos than online. If
they had regulated poker sites operated and owned in the USA these
sketchy situations would miraculously evaporate.
Beter go "all in" now because NaNoWriMo’s
two weeks away!
So Colleen at the
hold ‘em desk just said, "Come on down hon,' we’re doing it," and so
I’ll hitup Artichoke Joe’s Sunday night no limit hold ‘em tournament.
Hopefully one of these mental midgets won’t pull something stupid like
call after I raise five times the big blind pre-flop with suited Ace-7
when he’s got just 10-8. Cuz last weekend after flopping my pair an
idiot flopped two pair at The Oaks, sending me to the rail. I
am sick of this lame Bay Area poker scene and will probably make
another trip to Reno before November, when the National Novel Writing
Month kicks off its annual dose of madness.
There’s no way I can "win" NaNoWriMo
since I’m only using it to bolster the page count of my novel "Bistro de Mars,"
which has been nearly three years in the making. But it’s cool to have
solidarity with a bunch of authors who are writing like crazed
speedfreaks and feeling the pain of having no social life or
recreational activities for a month straight. So, since there will be
an embargo on poker next month it’s time to load up the bankroll now.
Better not suck out on me, bitches!
Update: This time an idiot called
with suited J-7 when I raised 5x the big blind with A-K. After flopping
top pair and the nut flush draw I moved all in but the fool had flopped
a flush, which has a 200/1 chance of happening. I am sick of playing
against these Bay Area idiots and am bailing to the World Series of
Poker Circuit Event at Harveys next month!
Author Philip Roth will not blow his brains
Did I mention losing a huge pot while playing a no limit
hold ‘em cash game at the Bicycle Casino a couple weeks ago? I rivered
a full house, 6s over Jacks, only to go against four-of-a kind that
this frat boy punk lucked into. It was sick as fuck! Did I make my
prediction of the 2007 Nobel Prize in literature winner? They're gonna
announce the winner today and it will be Philip Roth.
If not -- and those Swedes make another politically motivated choice as
they’ve done over and over instead of granting their prize to the best
damn writer like they're supposed to -- Roth will probably feel like Daniel Negreanu did when he lost
$300K of cold hard cash in one hand of
poker to Gus Hanson when his full house went against
Hanson‘s four-of-a kind.
Book awards season is here, bring the
It’s that time of year when the world’s "high brow"
authors begin fretting over who’s gonna bag the big literary prizes.
Over the course of October we’ll find out who wins America’s Quill
Award, the UK is in a tizzy over the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and
from a global perspective, everyone’s looking at the Nobel Prize for
Literature. It should surprise nobody that the Brits have drummed up a
controversy over who’s the Man. In a country whose citizens read far
more per capita than us Americans and even bet on the eventual winners
like we do the World Series, ruckus is the name of the game, baby!
The AP reports that "British author Ian McEwan
defended himself against criticism that his book, "On Chesil
Beach," which has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, is too
short to count as a novel" at about 200 pages. Of course he’s defending
himself cuz the haters are there to hate. This isn’t the first time
McEwan got in a brawl during the lead up to the Man. A couple years ago
his novel "Saturday" initially competed with "The Sea" by John Banville
after garnering strong reviews, but eventual winner Banville
cattily shredded the work as "dismayingly bad" when
reviewing it for The New York Review of Books. Boy, they sure gave
Banville a platform to pummel his competitor, didn’t they?
Here’s where I’ve observed a trend that will yield a prediction to
garner riches! Because McEwan got dissed before and because they just
love a bit of scandal, he will win this year. The Man Booker Prize
judges never give it to you early, they wanna make you squirm first.
So, as soon as the Man organizers send me the odds I’m gonna post them
here at WORD'N'BASS and then bet money on him, say at 3/1 odds, parlay
those earnings on another trip to Vegas where I’ll get drunk with
10,000 Brits and bet Ricky "Hitman"
Hatton at 2/1, then enter a major poker tournament like that
one the folks at Caesars were talking about the last time I hanged in
their poker room. Win that, bang out two novels, and bail to London
where from then on it’s nothing but Drum 'N' Bass,
novels and poker! Easy money!
Writing prose with a La la land hangover
and four C-notes!
Whenever I ever saw
Fergie* she was committing some kind of crime. Either picking up a drug
shipment, dropping one off, or hiding guns in her Lexus. She did all of
this with an aloof charm, as if none of it risked her a year or two or
ten in the jug. But her eyes always moved... -- recent excerpt from my
WIP, "Bistro de Mars."
So I am back from Los Angeles but before I dish those highlights give
it up for my man Kelly Pavlik,
who knocked out Jermaine Taylor
to win the middleweight title Saturday. He also won me $400 since I’ve
been telling everyone Pavlik’s gonna be the champ for years and happily
put my money where my mouth is. Kelly’s kinda like the protagonist of
my first novel (unpublished, don’t ask), a white boy boxer who brings
the heat. The only difference is instead of getting his face fractured,
quitting the game, killing someone and then bailing to Mexico with his
smoking hot girlfriend, Kelly is one of those rare knockout artists who
does nothing but win. And so will I. Vicariously, by betting all of
that $400 profit on his next bout and all those earnings on his next
fight, rinse, repeat, paydays multiplying until I am eventually
drinking margaritas for breakfast in a Baja beach house.
We watched the fight at Dave’s,
who just returned from Cabo San Lucas and said you can get a beach
house there for $400K or elsewhere in Baja for half that. We downed
many bottles of Pacifico beer so that when the cell phone rang and
someone said to meet him at a bar I couldn’t drive and Michelle was passed out on a chair.
Probably too much beer but it just as easily could’ve been due to that
30 lb. box of burritos and tamales from Tito’s Tacos that I drove all
the way up from Culver City. This taqueria always has a huge line of
folks spilled out to the sidewalk because they know what’s up. Tito’s Tacos is
Other LA highlights included shopping, poker, gluttony on Alvarado
Street and don’t forget Maurice
grilling up BBQ chicken amid palm trees. Another thing I love about LA
is the Bicycle Casino, where they roll no limit hold ‘em nonstop and
host two well-attended NLH tournaments per day. I will not bore you
with details on how I grinded it out, took the chip lead after five
hours of play and then promptly blew most of it when this other big
stack flopped a full house and I had pocket queens. Instead, since I am
back here in the SFC it’s all about today, not yesterday. And today I
am writing the novel. This thing will be finished months late but it’s
getting done and it’ll be better than the first one. And it’s
semi-biographical, meaning everyone’s real only you’ll have to guess
their real names and gender because admittedly Fergie is not
out jacking stores.
* This was actually Christina
before she got preggers and her bulging breasts filled up with milk.
Time to bail on Suckout City!
Once again I am on the road, this time to Los Angeles for
a week of sun, soaking in hot springs, dining at great spots like the
Cabana Club, shopping on Hollywood Blvd where I’ll pick up a new LRG track suit,
check in on the Muse Drum &
Bass folks, and play a couple rounds of poker. It’ll be nice
playing outside the SF Bay’s regular venues like Artichoke Joe’s, where
I am sad to say most of them just aren’t very good players. Everyone
goes all-in pre-flop, reducing the strategic elements and turning no
limit hold ‘em into a game of chance. The end result? More suck-outs.
The past two tournaments in a row I busted out with A-K and pocket
Aces, respectively, against inferior hands that saw my opponents luck
into improbable straights. It’s not like they saw a flop, calculated
the odds of a straight hitting, and decided to move all-in. No. I
pushed my chips at ‘em as a bigtime favorite and they stupidly called
with crap. I hear these so-called poker strategy books say that lesser
players should go all-in pre-flop because it will drag more skillful
players down to their level. Hopefully the players at Bicycle Casino,
home of the yearly Legends of Poker WPT event, have got a little more
Zombie staggers to Peet’s Coffee while
mixing DNB, news scoops!
So it was another late night spinning records on Friday. I
had a joyful time during both the Downtempo and Drum & Bass sets
because my timing was pretty decent and there’s some new records in my
shiny silver case. Figuring out how new stuff flows into your sets is
always a fun challenge, and let me say my latest discovery, producer Psidream
is on point. Working in his track "Crossed Off," ominous DNB without
going dark, was so wicked you think murder yet the beats totally induce
head nodding. It ended up a more theatrical DNB set than usual with
some F-15 sound effects, a girl in a shower "Psycho" style and other
elements that always seem to prompt some stoner to call the studio.
It’s all good to chat but I just don't answer the phone while I’m in
Meanwhile, the Purple House down the street from the 104.1 FM studio
was having a dance party but I was too exhausted after finishing at 1
am to do back-to-back sets. Sorry, kids. This daytime gig as a
financial journalist turns reporters into workaholics because we grind
out 12 hour work days trying to beat each other on scoops, which ruins
your late-night energy reserves. I did score a hot news scoop in Canada
before it was announced by a major publicly traded company and reported
by media worldwide. Of course, since these companies can’t officially
tell a reporter something before it’s public knowledge, I burned like
three days straight talking to guys across North America in order to beat the asses
of mental midgets. Was it worth it? I’ll let you know when
it’s time for a raise.
Also, I’ve been writing the novel Bistro de Mars
in earnest to try and finish the motherfucker and all this stuff leads
to a trade-off: little time spent with friends and sleep deprivation.
Because spending long hours writing at the computer will ruin anyone’s
health, last week I compensated by doing half-workouts everyday except
last night. A healthy lifestyle offset by pounding triple lattes,
double cappuccinos and multiple pots of coffee. Long story short, I
don’t think the nights of spinning club and house parties till 6 am are
coming back unless I win a WPT tournament
or HarperCollins decides to dish a seven figure advance, like they
probably did that buffoon James Nae.
James Nae buoys street credibility, shares
‘roids needle with Bonds!
So the discredited memoir author James Nae is back, repackaged as a
novelist and since novels are fiction then the haters aren’t gonna
ostracize him, right? Wrong! You might remember he got roundly beat
down for making up all the dirty stuff in his so-called memoir "A
Million Little Pieces of Shit" and the follow up "My Friend Elmer
Fudd." Now word comes out he’s working on
a novel. Not interested. What is intriguing is how a weasel like
Nae can get bounced out of Doubleday and land at HarperCollins
unscathed. Nine lives, baby. It didn’t hurt that his new literary agent
is Eric Simonoff, who looks
like he did a pre-emptive deal with HarperCollins. They say Eric is
small handful of agents who publishers scream "BUY!" at before he can
even get on the phone with multiple publishers.
Here in San Franciso, everyone is laughing that Marc Ecko, owner of the clothing
company Ecko Unlimited, is the guy who won the Barry Bonds
record-cheating* homerun ball at auction. Marc launched a website that
lets us vote on what he should do with the ball: Bestow it to the Hall
of Fame, Brand it so that it’s permanently disfigured like Bonds’ roids
raging head that’s outgrown his rookie year noggin by five sizes, or
Ban it to outer space. Have your say
here. PS: I will be wearing my various Ecko pants and
baseball caps the rest of this week in solidarity.
* Hank Aaron owns the homerun
on Friday night or tune into 104.1 FM if you’re in the
Oakland/Berkeley/SF area to hear me spin Downtempo Electronica and Drum
‘N’ Bass live during the WORD’N’BASS Show, which rolls from 10 pm to 1
am PST. Beginning tomorrow I’m gonna run a permanent link to the stream
on my audio page
so you guys can hear whatever’s going on in the 104.1 FM studio 24/7.
My fellow DJs do anything from House to Electro, Hip Hop, Punk and
Jazz, plus political rants. Shout-outs to studio sidekick Abdul, who always makes me start the
show late due to deep talks about… weird stuff. Weekend's here, baby!
Dear Senator Jon Kyl: Take your Ex-Lax to
"The purpose of the
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is to prevent Americans from
engaging in their fundamental rights to conduct their lives in the
manner they wish to live it." -- Eric M. Bernstein, Esq., attorney for
The US government keeps fucking with our rights to entertain and
express ourselves as we see fit and everyone’s too preoccupied with the
war, making a living, or trying to get off academic probation to do
anything about it. First the weasels at the
Copyright Royalty Board tried to shut down Internet broadcasters, but a
new deal from
SoundExchange looks like it will end the coup, for now. The
CRB essentially tried to carve up a huge void in Electronic music and
(they hoped) push everyone back to the regular radio airwaves, where
commercial schlep is dished in 12 tired formulas that the big record
companies and corporate radio stations want you to hear. Nobody I know
listens to commercial radio because it’s all crap!
Then last year, shit-guzzling Senator Jon
Kyl of Arizona, who helped draft the infamous Unlawful Internet
Gambling Enforcement Act, finally got the online poker and gambling
"legislation" passed while nobody was looking. Is this crazy old geyser
constipated? Evidently yes, for a decade straight! That's why he spent
10 years trying to pass this bill in one form or another. Well, it
lobbying group iMEGA filed a case against the US government that has a
good chance of beating Kyl’s
ass like the dildo he probably uses each night, and getting
the fascists to back off.
If iMEGA's announcement is good news, I’ll be able to qualify for next
year’s World Series of Poker in, oh, one day! This is important.
Because wouldn’t you like to know you've a seat waiting in the Main
Event before burning
thousands of dollars flying to Vegas, getting a suite at the Rio and
acting mentally retarded whenever one of the hookers asks for a date?
Plus, it’s so easy to school these clueless Internet poker players,
I’ll qualify while sipping cappuccinos, stalking Bijou
Phillips -- I mean, scouring the
Internet to find out what my precious is doing -- and
bumping the chill out channel at Digitally Imported. Woohoo! PS: Bijou
ditch that ugly ass hat Danny
Masterson and step up to this!
The annual tech implosion is here, no new
It seems once a year some kind of technical collapse
happens at the WORD’N’BASS headquarters, usually because I am inept.
That promised Drum & Bass mix I was supposed to post this weekend?
No go! My computer won't read CDs today and so if you missed Friday’s
DNB set streamed live
here on the Internet or on 104.1 FM then it ain’t happening.
For now. What’s up with computers always dishing bullshit? They’re
supposed to just work! The set will be heard, however. By me, played
loudly in the trusty Ford Thunderbird as I haul ass to Sunday night’s
poker tournament at Artichoke Joe’s. I am late, must shower, and will
hopefully get some tech support this week to roll out the beats once
again. Meanwhile, check out my audio page
for lots of earlier DNB goodies.
Megan McCafferty is tight, Vanessa Hudgens
I’ve been sitting here reading Megan McCafferty’s
"Fourth Comings," and while this isn’t my typical novel-reading fare, I
gotta say she is a tight writer. When it comes to capturing the
challenges and insecurities of a twentysomething woman she’s the real
deal. Last year, when Kaavya
Viswanathan went down in flames after stealing Megan’s
material for her debut novel "How Opal Mehta Got Drunk, Got Insane and
Got a Her Ass Spanked," I’d never even heard of Megan. I figured this
Ivy League weasel had simply decided to dig up some obscure yet
talented author who the public wouldn’t ID in two seconds flat. Yeah
right! Kaavya’s even dumber than we thought, since Megan has once again
hit the New York Times Best Seller’s list. So much for thieves laying
In related news, while I spent Friday working on Bass ale, linguini
with clams, Zab "Super"
Judah’s comeback fight and a long night in the 104.1 FM
studio churning out Drum ‘N’ Bass
bombs, the rest of the world was busy log jamming the
Internet in a mad search for naked Vanessa
Hudgens photos. Who is she? The star of some Disney TV show who
took some scintilating photos that got leaked to the celebrity gossip
blogs. Problem is, after her publicist confirmed that yeah, they are
the real deal and not as fake as a Kaavya Viswanathan novel, her
lawyers attacked my favorite bloggers like Perez Hilton and Tyler Durden with cease and desist
Fuck lawyers! Vanessa sure looks cute
in a dress at a Hollywood premier but she’s hotter in a
bikini and sets the world on fire in her underwear.
And if you wanna see the "banned" naked pic that is Not Safe For Work
check this out
and this one
if you like your photos big. Yummi! These were located strictly as a
service to our readers here at WORD’N’BASS, of course. And these pics
were certainly worth the effort of searching. Smoking hot… I am
melting! PS: Wanna hear last
night’s DNB set? Come back later this weekend when the mp3 goes live!
It is an Orwellian world!
So it turns out Big Brother was watching after all. The
British government kept tabs on literary icon George Orwell for like twenty years.
This prompted tons of UK media to pen pieces about how England was sorta like
George’s 1984 but not really. If nothing else, their stories
gave one of my favorite underrated novels (some reports reversed the
cities’ order in an ethnocentric smashing of the title) Down and Out in
Paris and London a nice phat plug. Depending on who you
believe, the British intelligence group M15 took a vague interest in
Orwell or put him under close scrutiny.
This story sure does make
for an ironic headline, doesn’t it?
Which brings to mind that the US government has closely monitored me,
they did the true master Orwell. Most notably, at the
Las Vegas airport where they demanded I remove the Prada sunglasses and
then confiscated my Tom’s of Maine toothpaste because it weighed over
3.2 oz. Oh, you just wait till I write all about these jerks in my next
novel, a fascist American story set in the not-too-distant future. It’s
got robot sex, a truth serum, gladiator games in prisons, government
spies, and snipers. When the public reads this, anarchy will prevail.
I’m back, tanned, hung over, with Benjamins
in the wallet!
"I can’t pick you up.
Eric just won $2,000 on the horses." -- Dave, via cell phone from
Caesars Palace sports book as I stagger through the Las Vegas airport.
These Las Vegas trips could happen once a month and I’ll be a happy
little shark or guppy or let’s break it even and you can call me a wild
Pacific salmon, smoked. Turns out my man Dave rented a five-bedroom house in
Vegas because George is
launching some software venture and has a bunch of guys running around
town like the Keystone Cops. Headquarters had a pool that I didn’t use
due to 12 hour days at the casinos trying to grind out some poker
Money results: 3rd place at a tournament at the Monte Carlo,
plus twice in cash games at the Paris. This cash game thing
is intriguing because I’ve only done it four times this year -- Paris,
and Circus Circus and Atlantis in Reno -- and it was profitable every
time. At the Paris, after busting out of a tournament I doubled my
money in two hours. The next day I tripled my money in three hours of
murder, pounded a ham crepe and then flew the hell out of there. I
don’t play poker in general, I play no limit hold ‘em
tournaments only. Yet these cash games made up for the other seven
buy-ins at tournaments across Vegas and drove a net profit overall for
Two out of eight tournaments I should’ve won outright. One was at
Harrah's. After realizing that a speed freak wearing head phones had
bluffed me one time I set a trap: raised only double the blinds, he
came over the top with a $3k raise and I moved all-in before the flop
with suited Ace-Queen. He called with unsuited Ace-Jack and was
completely dominated. His only outs were the three remaining Jacks, yet
he caught two of them and ended up winning the tournament with my
chips. That fool knew he sucked out like a Saturday night hooker. The
other suck-out came from Steve,
an amusing British guy who went all-in all the time and not
surprisingly, told me during one of our breaks that he'd lost $25,000
in three weeks of Vegas madness.
So, I slow played a set of Kings on the flop, he raised the turn, I
re-raised, he went all-in and got his ass tore up. But we battled it
out again at the final table and after recognizing one of his bluffs I
pushed all-in with just suited King-9. That was better than his
unsuited Queen-6, yet he caught a Queen and I bailed to the steakhouse
for some amazing fucking fois gras, filet mignon and Dynamite Cabernet.
Thanks for the heads-up Mike!
I sure can’t wait to return when British boxer Ricky Hatton
brings some 10,000 of his best friends on December 8. Since returning
to this lovely SF Bay, I’ve been recuperating by drinking Gatorade and
smoking Marlboro Lights at the pool. Because a healthy life is key, ya
Round 2 of the poker battles -- Ding Ding!
Here I’ve barely recovered from that European press tour
and it’s already time to bail out of my beloved Bay Area. I am flying
to Vegas for the second time in just over a month to play in several no
limit hold ‘em poker tournaments. We’ll see if they can handle this
California heat! My homeboy Dave,
who also represents the Bay, is already there scoring us a condo so we
can get off The Strip between 10-hour sessions. I’ll return in time for
next Friday’s 10 pm PST start of the WORD’N’BASS Show that is streamed live here
on the Internet, in addition to the usual radio broadcast on 104.1 FM
locally. We’ve gotten lots of sweet
announcements lately but didn’t have time to post them all
and I’ll try and catch up on all the literary and DJ news upon
returning. Meanwhile, Viva Las Vegas
These ghosts have names like Marcel Proust!
Well, well, OJ’s
murder rendered by a ghost writer is finally coming
to a bookstore near you this fall. Also, Paris Hilton, who the gossip blogs
say is currently in some Eastern European country stuffing orphans into
her purse, is in the planning stages of "writing" another literary
masterpiece. Paris’ literary agent Dan
Strone of Trident Media Group, who handled her 2004 book
"Confessions Of An HeirAss," told 24sizzler
that it’s not gonna "be a so-called prison diary." Two things. How
could a non-author dirtbag like OJ lead to the downfall
of one of book publishing’s most iconic woman executives, and how can a
formerly hot but currently STD-ridden chick who never
graduated high school become a best selling "author?"
Check out this poll
that shows Americans don’t read in general and those who do are old.
Readers are falling like flies! The
survey reveals a nation whose book readers, on the whole, can hardly be
called ravenous. Not for books anyhow. But Americans stare like
whatever garbage they're chumming the television airwaves with
nowadays, along with Big Macs. So maybe I shouldn’t trip on these
publishers doing books written by ghosts and not authors, since
everyone’s gotta make a buck… (snags garbage can from floor and
projectile vomits). NO! Bitches aren’t writers so STFU! Instead of
rewarding their poser asses they should get banged over the head with a
copy of Marcel Proust’s
"Remembrance of Things Past!" And then forced to read it -- cover to
cover! There, now I feel better.
DNB, sun, BBQ, it’s gotta be California!
First thing I noticed upon entering the 104.1 FM studio on
Friday night was we got new turntables and I immediately figured, okay,
time to go balls to the walls, baby. This led to one of those Drum & Bass
sessions that my fellow DNB-heads know well: three hours of non-stop
cueing up beats, letting those four channels (two turntables, two CD
mixers plus an iPod I never use) absorb me into the mix until I was
conscious of nothing outside sound and rhythm, began dripping sweat and
had to strip down. Every one of those transitions got aced. Sadly, my
technical incompetence means unless you caught the show live, you all
will never hear that mix. Because
the CD burn was an error read and my studio sidekick Abdul had gone and Donovan the techie was nowhere in
sight. Oh well. Sometimes you’ve gotta accept fate because after all,
music evaporates into the air, never to happen in quite the same way
After sleeping in late, I awoke to a pot of organic Mexican coffee and
beautiful sunshine. We hit Saul’s for some phat corned beef hash, then
drove through Oakland, passing a house that appeared to be on fire
until I recognized two big ass BBQ pits and the smell of steak and
ribs. Three brothers were readying a mad Saturday night BBQ party. Now
I am off to the fair, and to my hometown of San Mateo where they’ve got
a great British pub called Prince of Wales.
My parents used to drink there back when they were twentysomethings and
I was just a screaming infant. Old school joint. Last year when we did
this fair/pub routine a girl drank too much, got sick from one of those
jacked up fair rides that shake you like a martini and ended up saying
"Pull over!" so she could hurl in somebody’s driveway. Now that I’ve
settled into the regular routine it’s sure good to be back
here in sunny California.
Finland is the bomb, so are the Brits!
So I just got back from a press tour across Scandinavia,
where it was sunny, beautiful and green, and luckily everyone speaks
English. After a 14 or 16 hour flight to Helsinki, Finland, our host Leo brought us to a swanky Russian
restaurant called Shaslik, and the next day we dragged our asses onto
another plane to Norway where the trip began in earnest. Picture a
bunch of business journalists in various states of jetlag staggering
onto a bus that tore down highways overlooking trees, trees and more
trees until finally there’s a bunch of guys at a commodity-producing
mill or Norwegians in suits at some office overlooking the city and
going through long Power Point presentations. That’s the boring part.
The dinners were the good stuff. I’m talking vodka shots and
four-course meals, a different wine with each course, and the best damn
salmon you’ll ever eat. Then we flew to Stockholm, Sweden, and did it
all again until eventually we caught an overnight cruise to Turku, a
city in Sweden or Finland, which country I cannot recall. The best part
of this trip was bonding with my fellow journalists because as long as
they’re not competitors in my beat whose asses are getting beatdown,
I’ve got love for all reporters across the globe. We all go through the
same grind, face similar pressures of chasing news and
double-confirming facts and making sure we get the stories first with a
.45 pointed at our heads saying deadline, bitch!
There was an Italian reporter Chiara
who told me to forget about that Lavazza espresso I’ve been brewing,
Illy makes the best cappuccinos. Another guy Kyosuke dished me a scoop out of
Japan that’s not been reported yet, and he doesn’t even know English.
We drank vodka and smoked cigarettes together on that cruise to Turku,
communicating via this translator Yoshi
who could drink with the best of them. Yoshi and I closed out the trip
back in Helsinki’s club district drinking gin and vodka till late as
hell. Instead of breakfast he kept eating some magic hangover pill that
I’ve gotta find somewhere but never will.
The journalist I got to know best was a British commodity reporter
named Savitri, a 23-year-old
just a year removed from Cambridge University. Think she's young for
this biznis? Age is just a fucking
number! She was smart as hell, a bit snarky -- I called her a brat and
gimp on separate occasions -- but a real charmer who put me in check
with statements like, "I should’ve known you’d say that, after all,
Americans are rude." I couldn’t help thinking, damn, how’s she got her
act together like this? At 23 I was busy refilling 40 oz. bottles of
King Cobra at keg parties in San Francisco’s Haight District. We became
good friends at Company M’s guest house overlooking the sea at
Helsinki, where they hired two chefs to serve champagne, wine and vodka
during an epic five-hour dinner. The government used to own this
estate, and so it was eerie seeing photographs of old Russian
presidents and KGB directors who’d passed through those digs before us.
Beware the Viking in Rayban shades!
Since returning from the WSOP last month, I’ve spent much
of my spare time lifting weights, running wind sprints and eating
organic foods. That stuff sure makes you feel healthy. But it’s all
going down the toilet because I am flying to Helsinki, Finland, where
they drink gallons of vodka and a too-busy-for-anything-healthy
schedule will run me into the ground. Not DJing at phat European venues
amid gorgeous Scandinavian club hotties, mind you. No. This is a biznis
trip and since the day job is writing about global commodities I’m
meeting folks where the strong euro means they’re sucking up US exports
Even though it’s work I’ve been warned that "You’ll be hung over every
day." Thumbs up. But six flights and four countries means I’m popping a
dozen Vicodin, so I will be either loaded to the gills or recovering
with alcohol during long nights spent chatting with commodity producers
and my fellow journalists. Do they even have espresso in Scandinavia?
They’d better have strong
motherfucking coffee like we've got here in San
Francisco. If not, this
is what I’ll look like, only replace the suit with a burlap sack and
trade in the Rayban aviators for cheap purple-framed drug store shades
and since I’m also hitting Oslo, Norway, some Viking will probably mug
me with brass knuckles since nobody there has guns. Anyhow, time to
bail. Fuck America
I'm outta here, bitches!
Forrest Gump does not bang hotties
If I had to write a novel about Forrest Gump winning
Lotto, you know it would be populated by beautiful and loose women, a pocketful of
snow and a worldwide freak show that ends with him getting a
bottle smashed on his head in Shanghai. Since every novel’s gotta pull
the heart strings, he would bring along a neglected gimp named Randy
who learns big lessons about "trust, loyalty, and what distinguishes us
as capable." After they burn $12 million, Randy rebounds by ganking cars
for cheddar and launches a new career as a thief. The end.
But since author Patricia Wood
is way more high-brow than me, her premise is much more
wholesome and inspiring. Did I recently say this summer’s book releases
suck? Scratch that and check out her debut novel Lottery!
Two thumbs down, bring out the midgets!
Back in the day, I had dreams of writing novels for Grove
Press because they published classic novels by the great Henry Miller, whose once-banned
"Tropic of Cancer" still reads fresh to this day. John Rechy, well if you’re into
hustlers and drag queens go knock yourself out. He was also a Grove
Press author. Either way, Grove published gritty literary fiction until
somewhere along the line they decided to pay some billz. They are now
reduced to churning out punch lines to the question, "What do you get
when you cross a brain-dead rip-off of a John Grisham novel with a bad
imitation of "Bridget Jones's Diary"?" I can totally see their editors
huddled up after Saira Rao’s
manuscript "Chambermaid" arrived. "Hmm, Chic Lit is still semi-hot and
you know legal thrillers are guaranteed sellers… who cares if her
writing sucks, buy buy buy!"
Meanwhile, the adorable Lindsay Lohan's
latest film "I Know Who Killed Me" got released this weekend.
"Director" Chris Sivertson
decided to flop this into theaters without a pre-screening for the
media, a transparent effort to stave off some of the most hilarious film
reviews you’ll ever read. They sure kept this pile of shit
under wraps, because all I’d heard until last week was "it’s the
stripper film." And who wants to see Lindsay play a stripper when she
never takes off her clothes? I’d rather watch Steve Forte
snort five rails of coke, don a gorilla suit and play bumper cars in an
IMAX parking lot. Anyhow, her flick sounds like a horrible train wreck
so I'll watch... on DVD for $3.99 next month. If you're uninspired by this summer's
film and book relases, forgetaboutit, check out these midget brawlers
and the hot chicks who love them!
Floyd Mayweather is a punching bag, A-Rod
is an "author!"
Zab "Super" Judah recently faced nemesis "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather in a street fight
their scintillating 2006 boxing match that resulted in a riot at
Madison Square Garden. Word on the street is the supposed
pound-for-pound king smashed up Zab’s knuckles with his face. According
to this guy:
In Vegas this weekend at Chris Webber’s
BadaBling welcome party at OPM Zab Judah had a fight with Floyd
Mayweather. He decided to do an impromptu rematch -- except it wasn't
planned. The buzz around the club (after folks spotted Zab’s bloody
knuckles) is that Floyd was talking shit per usual and Zab went and
styled on him. Security had to break everything up but y’all know it
took a minute. The fight happened early on in the night so I missed
that mess...but Zab did confirm the fight went down later on. Zab is a
Well, at least we don’t have to worry about Zab "writing" a children’s
book. After all, his habit of answering questions with "You know what
I’m sayin’?" means even the most gullible book readers will never fall
for the bullshit. The lame trend in which publishers sign celebs to
six-figure contracts for books they probably never wrote continued this
week as Yankee’s slugger Alex Rodriguez
did a reading and signing of his children’s book, "Out of
the Ballpark," at FAO Schwarz in NYC. How did A-Rod end up an "author?"
Sign the contract’s dotted line, let some underpaid hack bang out a
story, make a few public appearances: slam bam thank you ma‘am, we’ve got an
author kids! HarperCollins should’ve hired a couple
blonde strippers to spicen up A-Rod’s appearance!
A Ho was the last woman standing!
Now that the 2007 World Series of Poker has ended a guy
you’ve never heard of is the reigning world champion. But the
interesting thing is not the aggressive play, occasional luck and
outright bluffs that helped Jerry Yang
score a coveted WSOP bracelet, $8.25 million and bragging rights for
the rest of his life. No, I am interested in the last woman to bust out
of the Main Event, Maria Ho.
Back in April, when I was one suck-out from my first televised main
event at the World Poker Challenge in Reno, a gorgeous Asian girl
played at my table for maybe 20 minutes before she crash and burned
going all in with a moderate hand like King-Jack or something like
that. Not the best move but I had noticed she played with confidence
and aggression and all the pros seemed to know her. Who’s that? I
figured maybe she was dating one of the pros who had taught her some
tricks like Phil "the Unabomber" Laak
did with actress Jennifer Tilly.
Well, it turns out that woman is Maria Ho and she’s got serious game.
At the WSOP Main Event she advanced further than any woman this year,
bagging $237,865. Check out this interview
with Maria to hear about her plans to burn the payday on "girly things
like diamonds." And check your desire to turn her over your knee and
spank her at the door! Then again, when you look at her myspace
she seems like a bit of a party girl. Like she needs a bit of a swat,
know what I mean? Anyhow, I’ll shut up now. PS: A Californian has won the WSOP
Main Event two consecutive years which means you can't handle this
California heat, bitches!
Harry Potter spoiled like a coked up
I’m not into this Harry Potter thing but I do give shout-outs to the
publishers cuz they’re going green baby.
Since there’s no way a gazillion kids are whipping out their platinum
Visas to buy these books that means tons of adult readers are snapping
up copies as some sort of escape from boring day to day realities.
Fantasies don’t always involve leather masks, a coke addled runway
model, gallon sized bottle of extra virgin olive oil and a wooden
What I mean to say, is if you can’t wait ‘til Saturday for the release
of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,' there’s a ton of leaks and
spoilers all over this great Internet where you can get all that
wizard-zombie-midget shit for free. Scholastic is no doubt freaking but
since they don’t publish gritty and engaging literary fiction and J.K. Rowling is already richer than Diddy who cares? Check out this link
and don’t forget this one
for all your pre-release Harry Balls. Click them quick before a lawyer
orders them shut down like this guy!
Notes from a beach house in Thailand!
I am back from the World Series of Poker. Back to drinking
six cups of Peet's coffee daily, calling traders around the world for
scoops and navigating through Bay Bridge traffic at high speeds. Yep,
they tossed me back into the salt mines from which I came. How the hell
I get back here? My game was decent but the cards did not fall
properly. Boo hoo. It is weird reading about the amazing suck outs of
dunce caps who are somehow still playing at the Rio. Guys misplay hands
spectacularly, calling an all-in bet when their opponent flops a
straight and all they’ve got is bottom pair, only to suck out with
consecutive cards that give them a full house against all laws of
probability. You know something like that happened to this poor sap
From the live reporting coverage at PokerNews:
A laugh just went up around the
Amazon Room as a player dropped the "F" bomb. The laughter was because
of the volume -- it was loud enough to be heard in all corners of the
room, and trust me folks, the Amazon is a very big room.
That fool must’ve been screaming "FUUUUCK!" because big is right. One
thing that’s surprising when you play the WSOP is just how huge the
venue is. I got lost while trying to find my place at Table 48, Seat 6
and a floor manager said to go back 100 yards because it was another Table 48, Seat 6. After
bluffing at the right times and pressing with moderate cards for a
couple hours my chip stack had tripled. I sent several guys to the
rails, made friends with a hipster who bumped gangsta rap on his Bose
headphones, made enemies with some old geyser who was a bitch, and
eventually they had to fold down our table and move us all. First few
hands at a new table, I am always somewhat weary. After 20 minutes you
figure out how to
play against certain opponents but at a new table you’ve got no idea
what styles are out there.
Still, I got suited King-9 in good position and called to see a cheap
$400 flop: 5, 8, Jack in three different suits. Everyone checked, so I
fired off $800 and got two calls. Turn was a King. I figured with no
raise pre-flop there’s a good chance these two had a smaller pair, but
with no re-raise from my flop bet that’s all they’ve got. I fired
$2,000 and got one caller, a buffed out frat boy. River was 5. There’s
mixed suits, no chance at a flush or straight and I’ve got top and
bottom pairs. Frat boy checked and I bet another $2,000 wanting action.
He check-raised $4,000. A bit surprising, but I called. He showed
suited 3-5. That’s right, the fucking retard had called those bets with
nothing but bottom pair. It is inexplicable that you’d continue calling
when you’ve got nothing but a pair of 5s, the worst pair on the board.
Yet I still had some chips and knew his ass would get bounced soon
playing like a stoned monkey. Dead
Sure enough, I spent the next hour fighting my way back -- two all in
bets got my stack pretty healthy once again -- and frat boy got smoked like a
Blunt in 20 minutes flat. My one strategic mistake was
moving all-in before the flop with pocket Jacks. Cuz I ran into pocket
Queens. Long story short, content here at WORD’N’BASS will not be
getting updated from a beach house in Thailand. Because my ass got
bounced. Hey, that’s bad luck. I’ll take an honest beatdown over a
moron sucking out on me any day. The rest of Vegas was great. Tanning
at the Rio pool, pints of Bass at the Tilted Kilt, gin and tonic at
Paris. And oh yeah, reloading the bank roll at the Mirage by playing
those mini tournaments and pounding away raises at the third place
finisher, who almost always refuses to play any hand at all because
they don‘t want to finish on the bubble, out of the money.
Back at the Amazon Room, tons of celebs played this year and some of
them actually have game. Actor Toby
Maguire is still in it and here it is Thursday night. Others got
no game at all: Rapper Nelly
crash and burned right out of the starting blocks and light heavyweight
boxing champ Antonio Tarver
totally misplayed pocket aces. He couldn't pull the trigger and raise,
so he lost to something ridiculous like unsuited 7-5 on the river when
this guy caught three 7s. Also, before The End, Charles Barkley and Phil Helmuth
MCed some charity tournament at the table next to me where Ben Afleck was playing. Ben seemed
nervous for some reason and hardly said anything. When asked who he
wanted to win Barkley said he’s rooting on some girl player because
"It's one hot woman against a bunch of ugly men." And that, kids, was
quote of the week.
Las Vegas here I come!
The suitcase is packed with track suits, Prada shades, a
bunch of Balance and Apex energy bars, and I am off to Las Vegas. After
checking into our suite at the Rio, the 2007 World Series of Poker is
on tap where madness happens for who knows how long. A week? Two weeks?
That all depends on how far I advance, whether my A Game is in effect,
and a bit of luck. If the clueless players suck out on me,
forgetaboudit, I’ll hit Planet Hollywood aka Aladdin for Bodog’s open
casting calls from 12 pm to 5 pm July 5-8, where they're
gonna decide who's on the Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker TV show, cuz the
winner gets paid a cool $2 million.
WORD’N’BASS will not get updated until I return from Vegas, so
meanwhile you can read Poker News
to see WSOP tournament updates in real time. Also, I posted my latest
Electro set to tide over your need for beats. As always
during road trips, I am late and about to jump in a taxi to hit the
airport. Ciao kids! PS:
Shout-outs are in order - to my sister Lis
who "charmed" a good luck candle
to help offset the luck of mental midgets, to Smigg Dirtee and Boog for providing this week’s theme
song In my L.R.G.,
and happy birthday to Chris
and the adorable Lindsay