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Conan Neutron
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January 2012
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I think I will write here soon, after I get some rest.

There is a lot to catch up on.
I can count at least 5 sizable entries, most with pictures.

Perhaps it is more likely people will read them now that there has been a mass exodus to Facebook/Twitter, etc.

As a side note, I think I want to make a t-shirt that says:
"I hate your short attention spa-"

Geared towards facebook/twitter, etc, but also in general... to everybody that has ever suddenly started talking/changed the subject 3 seconds before the punchline/point of the story.
Sorry it's true.
I love our modern society in many ways, but people have become flippantly impatient and it's bothersome.
"I hate your short attention spa-"

I like it.

I actually did a search to see if that had been created already, and strangely I found nothing.
I'm used to coming up with a great idea and finding out that it's been done 20 times over.
It's like trying to come up with band names in today's age or something.

So yes, consider this a press release announcing upcoming livejournal posts.

Current Location: home
Current Mood: tiredtired



Good times ahead.
Turks
Police Teeth
Hurry Up Shotgun

yay!



It will be awesome.
Turks
Police Teeth
Hurry Up Shotgun

Get into it!

Yes, it sucks that it's only 2 days a week for 2 hours, but chances are good that this role will expand as time goes on, and... quite frankly I work for a cool company. The only thing is, I can't recommend it to anybody that doesn't drive since the school is by the Oakland Zoo.

If you know of anybody or are interested, comment here or e-mail me at conan at neutron-x dot com.

--

Before responding, please read this ad carefully.
This is for a PART time position as an instructor for an after school computer lab, Mondays and Fridays from 3pm-5pm at a K-5 charter school in East Oakland.

This is for a fixed computer lab, of Macintosh desktops (10.4.11). The purpose of said lab will be to develop the students skills in typing, critical thinking and research. While giving them exposure to a real time computing environment and building skills that will be applicable later in life.

Curriculum: Time will be divided equally amongst typing programs, internet research projects, and educational games. Children will be strictly supervised to ensure adherence to curriculum and their progress shall be charted and reported to administration and the technical manager.

The following programs will be used in the computer lab, and any experience or familiarity with them will be a plus: "Stagecast", "Read, Write and Type learning system", and "Music Ace"

Time will be split between those programs and Educational games such as Carmen San Diego Geography Learning System, Lemonade Tycoon, etc
Basic troubleshooting of Apple OS would be a plus.

Applicants must meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. To meet this requirement, the applicant must have a High School Diploma, GED or its equivalency. The basic skills test will be administered after receiving a job offer but before being officially hired.

This positions starts off as a 2 day a week 2 hour committment for 3rd - 5th grade, that is possibily expanadable depending upon the success of the program.
It pays $25 an hour.

Mount Vicious is no more.

After a year that included a stunningly successful record release, a much beleaguered 32 date US tour with a few very high moments, 2 Pacific Northwest tours and a lot of rock
We have decided to split up as a band.

With 3/5 of the band moving away, continuing on is a spotty course of action at best. Our band worked the way it did because of the unique personalities, characters and talent of each of the members and we have decided against this.

It is inconsolably harsh to be breaking up right at the time where we would normally reap some of the benefits of the very hard work we've done over the past year. However, life outside bands, shows and music not only exists, but has a call that must be answered.

We are all incredibly happy that we've created an album that documents wonderfully what this band does.
If you don't have it, we encourage you to pick up a copy:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/MountVicious
http://mountvicious.bandcamp.com/

The band as a living entity may be gone, but the recordings and memory of what MV did, will live on with your help.
It may seem crass to have an entreaty for purchase in such an announcement, but since the lack of money was a significant contribution for our split, it may be understandable.
Counting nickels and dimes to be able to do what drives you is not fair in the least. However, life is not always fair and even if we do not exist as a band, the sad truth is we all still have bills to pay and lives to lead.

To everybody we've played to, to the wonderful bands we've played with, the venues we've played at, to everybody that took a chance with us, had some fun and helped make this band what it was.
From the very bottom of our hearts, thank you.

-MV

Good Night.

Just a "subtle" reminder, that the Hemlock is the place to be tonight, we'd love to see you.

Now: I will quote myself.


Our long slog across the US is over, please to be marking your calendar for this momentous event!

This is:
A) Our homecoming show after an often strenuous 32 date tour.
B) The first show where our debut cd "Don't Be A Baby, Come and Get It" is available in the bay area. (bring money if you are interested!)
C) Our first bay area show since May.
D) The San Francisco show of excellent band (and MV Band buds) Ifihadahifi (bring money for them too!)
E) The first show in the bay area where you can buy one of our snazzy t-shirts. (I mentioned bringing money right?)
F) The last show before our much beloved guitarist Alli Mayhem (aka: babystrange) leaves for NY and the east coast.
G) The last MV show for a little while as we take a break to recharge the batteries and such.



This show should be considered a do not miss affair!
It would be fantastic to see you, you should come, even if you are broke, we will make it worth your while.


-C.
URLs:
http://mountvicious.com/
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Mount-Vicious/211596245286?ref=ts
http://www.last.fm/music/Mount+Vicious
http://sonicliving.com/artist/385928
http://mountvicious.bandcamp.com/
http://twitter.com/mountvicious

BOAWS

Yeah, I’m quite aware that it hasn’t been too long since Mount Vicious have made an appearance here on the blog, but shit they are good. That and they waste little time in pumping out the rock, so I must keep up. For a bit more background on the band itself, I suggest clicking here and reading my previous post on them. Otherwise, if you’re already up to speed then the band has a new album for all of you to consume titled Don’t be a Baby, Come and Get It out now on Seismic Wave Entertainment. While it features their previous self-released EP Leather Beer Caddy at length on the album, the tunes appear to be re-recorded and there are a handful of new tunes to be found here that are equally as much rocking good fun. The song titles are only the tip of the iceberg as their wit and sharp tongues play out heavily in the lyrics as well, which make for a genuinely fun listen. However, don’t let all of that fool you into thinking that Mount Vicious is nothing but a bunch of jokesters. Far from it really, as these guys bring it in full force laying down a grimey sort of post-punk that for about forty minutes will have you forgetting about all the lame bullshit going on in your life. And if there is none of that, well…you’ll be in an even better mood. Either way, give Mount Vicious a listen.

Those interested in picking up Don’t be a Baby, Come and Get It can do so by visiting CD Baby.
by Jonathan.

Our long slog across the US is over, please to be marking your calendar for this momentous event!

This is:
A) Our homecoming show after an often strenuous 32 date tour.
B) The first show where our debut cd "Don't Be A Baby, Come and Get It" is available in the bay area. (bring money if you are interested!)
C) Our first bay area show since May.
D) The San Francisco show of excellent band (and MV Band buds) Ifihadahifi (bring money for them too!)
E) The first show in the bay area where you can buy one of our snazzy t-shirts. (I mentioned bringing money right?)
F) The last show before our much beloved guitarist Alli Mayhem (aka: babystrange) leaves for NY and the east coast.
G) The last MV show for a little while as we take a break to recharge the batteries and such.



This show should be considered a do not miss affair!
It would be fantastic to see you, you should come, even if you are broke, we will make it worth your while.

-C,
URLs:
http://mountvicious.com/
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Mount-Vicious/211596245286?ref=ts
http://www.last.fm/music/Mount+Vicious
http://sonicliving.com/artist/385928
http://mountvicious.bandcamp.com/
http://twitter.com/mountvicious

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful

such as it is and for now...

There were highs, there were lows.
Bellingham and Portland were definitely highs.
more on that later.

I am still in "acclimate to real life" mode, and so far that has not gone over well... I already locked my house keys and cell phone in the apartment, along with the ipod. Wonderful.

Nothing like a brisk 6 mile walk to celebrate the shackles of everyday life being put back on with gusto.

Denver tonight at 3 Kings Tavern.
Missoula tomorrow at Palace Lounge
then Seattle Fun House(w/Police Teeth)
Bellingham, Jinx Art Space
Portland, East End
and then home!

to my broken life and harsh, harsh reality.
:)

here if you want to buy cds.
here for downloads

Nice video of Mount Vicious ending a set in New York City with a cover of the song ACTION by Sweet. Soon to be appearing on a split 7" with Big Business (much) later this year:

At the Cake Shop w/ Jucifer... good times!
If you are in New York, I truly hope to see you there, if you have friends in New York, please ask them to come by... I'd really like to break the Replicator curse of band New YOrk shows.

We are at the mid point of the tour and start heading home soon.
Also, you can now buy the Mount Vicious record on itunes if you feel so inclined.

And of course high quality mp3, FLAC, etc, and of course on cd too.

I wouldn't keep harping on it, but as you can imagine we need the $$$ to stay on the road and stuff. Think about it as buying me a sandwich, or Alli a pizza or something...

I neglect this journal...
We're on tour right now, it's mostly been a complete blast with the exception of having to cancel Austin. :(

Fayetteville totally kills.

here are the remaining dates:


Sat July 11th, 2009 Savannah, GA - Wormhole Bar w/ Sinister Mustache, Daikaiju
sun July 12th, 2009 raleigh - DIVEbar Raleigh w/Blag’ard
mon July 13th, 2009 Baltimore, MD - The Ottobar w/Jucifer, Nitroseed, Pala
tue July 14th, 2009 Philadelphia, PA - M Room w/Jucifer
wed July 15th, 2009 New York - Cake Shop w/ Jucifer, J.A.C.K.
thu July 16th, 2009 Chicopee, MA - Maximum Capacity w/Jucifer
fri July 17th, 2009 ??
sat July 18th, 2009 Albany, NY - Valentine’s w/Jucifer, Bone Parade, Death is Easy
sun July 19th, 2009 Washington D.C. -DC9 w/Future of the Left
mon July 20th, 2009 Day off in Cleveland (whoo!)
tue July 21st, 2009 Detroit, Mi - Smalls w/Amino Acids
wed July 22nd, 2009 Indianapolis/Bloomington - Melody Inn w/MEDUSA
thu July 23rd, 2009 Chicago - Quencher’s w/ Ifihadahifi, Builder/Destroyer *
fri July 24th, 2009 Milwaukee - Cactus Club w/Ifihadahifi
sat July 25th, 2009 Madison - The Frequency w/Ifihadahifi, Zebras, United Sons of Toil
sun July 26th, 2009 Dubuque, IA - Busted Lift w/Ifihadahifi
mon July 27th, 2009 drive
tue July 28th, 2009 Denver, Co - 3 Kings Tavern w/Spokeshaver, The Nobodys, Off with their Heads, St. Fall Apart
wed July 29th, 2009 Missoula, MT - Palace Lounge
thu July 30th, 2009 Seattle, WA - Funhouse w/Police Teeth, Steel Tigers of Death
fri July 31st, 2009 Bellingham, WA - Jinx Art Space w/U.S.S. Horsequit, Black Eyes and Neckties, Octagon Control
Sat August 1st, 2009 Portland, OR - East End w/Leaders, Police Teeth, X’s For I’s


Tonight we play> in Memphis at the Nocturnal, where babystrange and I get to hang with absolution and play with ateolf's band. Word. We just ate some delicious BBQ ribs at Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous

Also we got a great review from Aquarius.

Mount Vicious certainly have a lot of fun. Their live shows feature (count ‘em) three guitar players, one of whom (Conan) usually rips his shirt off and throws his guitar down to more easily interact with the crowd. The other two often play back to back, axe necks bobbing in unison. Really, with song titles like “Steroid Unicorn,” “Wherewolf,” and “We Enjoy Fucking (To This Music)” how can YOU not have fun listening (or maybe fucking?) to this music? Mount Vicious features Conan Neutron and Chris Bolig of local loudnicks Replicator and Alli Pheteplace of The Holy Kiss, both of which are now, sadly, defunct. Mount Vicious plays a more straightforward (a.k.a. fistpumping) brand of hard rock than either of those two outfits, well utilizing the technique of the harmonized guitar solo. Conan sounds surprisingly like a Misfits-era Glenn Danzig, with a little Mike Patton thrown in for good measure. Listen to this record at high volume.


If you live in SF buy the cd from them.
Otherwise you can buy it here at cdbaby and it goes direct to us.

Our full length album is available to purchase now! http://cdbaby.com/cd/mountvicious, this makes us very happy. please buy a copy!



MOUNT VICIOUS: Don't Be a Baby, Come and Get It


It was produced by John Congleton at Tiny Telephone in SF, and Mastered by Bob Weston.

If you have the ability to buy the cd, we'd certainly appreciate you doing so, as we're now on tour and could use the money. Times are tough and money is tight and all, but anybody that has ever put out an album knows how painful the birthing process is, and anybody that has not, well... trust me, it's quite a process!

You can also get audiophile high quality downloads here.

ok... we're off.

Starts tomorrow.
LA friends, hope to see you!

wed July 1st, 2009 LA - The Scene w/Broken Mirrors (ex-Trail of the Dead, VSS, Pleasure Forever), Post Honeymoon
thu July 2nd, 2009 San Diego - Radio Room w/The Long and the Short of It
fri July 3rd, 2009 Phoenix - The Ruby Room w/Halema’uma’u, Destoroyah

sat July 4th, 2009 shooting off fireworks in west texas
sun July 5th, 2009 San Antonio - Limelight
mon July 6th, 2009 Fayetteville, Ar - George's Majestic Lounge w/the pAperchAse, Counterlife, Perpetual Werewolf
tue July 7th, 2009 Austin, TX - Austin Moose Lodge No. 1735 w/MegaZilla

wed July 8th, 2009 ????
thu July 9th, 2009 Memphis - Nocturnal w/ Family Ghost, The Original Cyndi
fri July 10th, 2009 Savannah, GA - Wormhole Bar w/ Sinister Mustache, Daikaiju
sat July 11th, 2009 Athens, GA - ?!?!??

sun July 12th, 2009 raleigh - DIVEbar Raleigh w/Blag'ard
mon July 13th, 2009 Baltimore, MD - The Ottobar w/Jucifer, Nitroseed, Pala
tue July 14th, 2009 Philadelphia, PA - M Room w/Jucifer
wed July 15th, 2009 New York - Cake Shop w/ Jucifer, J.A.C.K.
thu July 16th, 2009 Chicopee, MA - Maximum Capacity w/Jucifer

fri July 17th, 2009 ??
sat July 18th, 2009 Albany, NY - Valentine's w/Jucifer, Bone Parade, Death is Easy
sun July 19th, 2009 Kingston, NY - w/Jucifer

mon July 20th, 2009 Day off in Cleveland (whoo!)
tue July 21st, 2009 Detroit, Mi - Smalls w/Amino Acids
wed July 22nd, 2009 Indianapolis/Bloomington - Melody Inn w/MEDUSA
thu July 23rd, 2009 Chicago - Quencher's w/ Ifihadahifi, Builder/Destroyer *
fri July 24th, 2009 Milwaukee - Cactus Club w/Ifihadahifi
sat July 25th, 2009 Madison - The Frequency w/Ifihadahifi, Zebras, United Sons of Toil
sun July 26th, 2009 Dubuque, IA - Busted Lift w/Ifihadahifi

mon July 27th, 2009 drive
tue July 28th, 2009 Denver, Co - 3 Kings Tavern w/Spokeshaver, The Nobodys, Off with their Heads, St. Fall Apart
wed July 29th, 2009 Missoula, MT - Palace Lounge
thu July 30th, 2009 Seattle, WA - Funhouse w/Police Teeth, Steel Tigers of Death
fri July 31st, 2009 Bellingham, WA - Jinx Art Space w/U.S.S. Horsequit, Black Eyes and Neckties, Octagon Control
Sat August 1st, 2009 Portland, OR - East End w/Leaders, Police Teeth, X's For I's


Bold means confirmed
italics means it's being worked

^ w/Jucifer
* w/Ifihadahifi
+ w/Police Teeth

We sound good, we sound strong, we are ready for this tour!

Current Mood: excitedexcited

And I still have about a million things to do. We should have the cds in hand in about a week... that will be one less source of teeth grinding for me.... buttons, stickers, t-shirts shortly after that.

Desperately trying to fill the final holes on tour. At least half are in good hands, the Georgia dates should be fine. We have a venue in Pittsburgh, but no god damn bands to play with us now. LAME.
4th is either going to be Albuquerque, NM, El Paso,
I have a feeling we'll have at least one or 2 "days off". I usually hate "days off" on tour, it's a wasted opportunity.

Jul 1 2009 9:00P
The Scene w/ Broken Mirrors (ex-Trail of the Dead, VSS, Pleasure Forever), Post Honeymoon Glendale, California
Jul 2 2009 10:00P
Radio Room w/The Long and the Short of It, Archons San Diego, California
Jul 3 2009 10:00P
The Ruby Room Phoenix, Arizona
Jul 5 2009 8:00P
Limelight San Antonio, Texas
Jul 6 2009 9:00P
George’s Majestic Lounge w/ the pAperchAse Fayetteville, Arkansas
Jul 7 2009 9:00P
Austin Moose Lodge No. 1735 w/MegaZilla Austin, Texas
Jul 8 2009 9:00P
TBA New Orleans, Louisiana
Jul 9 2009 9:00P
Nocturnal w/ the Family Ghost Memphis, Tennessee
Jul 10 2009 9:00P
TBA w/Entertainment Athens/Atlanta, Georgia
Jul 11 2009 9:00P
TBA Savannah, Georgia
Jul 12 2009 9:00P
DIVEbar Raleigh Raleigh, North Carolina
Jul 13 2009 9:00P
the Ottobar w/ Jucifer Baltimore, Maryland
Jul 14 2009 9:00P
M Room w /Jucifer Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jul 15 2009 9:00P
Cake Shop w/ Jucifer New York, New York
Jul 16 2009 9:00P
Maximum Capacity w/ Jucifer Chicopee
Jul 17 2009 9:00P
TBA w/ Jucifer Boston
Jul 18 2009 9:00P
Valentine’s w/Jucifer Albany, New York
Jul 19 2009 8:00P
TBA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jul 21 2009 8:00P
Small’s Pub w/ Amino Acids Detroit, Michigan
Jul 22 2009 9:00P
Melody Inn w/MEDUSA Indianapolis, Indiana
Jul 23 2009 9:00P
Quenchers w/Ifihadahifi, Builder/Destroyer Chicago, Illinois
Jul 24 2009 9:00P
Cactus Club w/ Ifihadahifi Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jul 25 2009 9:00P
the Frequency w/ Ifihadahifi Madison, Wisconsin
Jul 26 2009 9:00P
Broken Lift w/Ifihadahifi Dubuque, Iowa
Jul 28 2009 9:00P
3 Kings Tavern w/ Spokeshaver, The Nobodys, Off with their Heads, St. Fall Apart Denver, Colorado
Jul 29 2009 9:00P
Palace Lounge Missoula, Montana
Jul 30 2009 9:00P
The Funhouse w/ POLICE TEETH!!! Seattle, Washington
Jul 31 2009 9:00P
Jinx Art Space Bellingham, Washington
Aug 1 2009 9:00P
East End w/POLICE TEETH!!!, Leaders Portland, Oregon

All in all a pretty great tour. We're going to be playing shows with some of our favorite bands, playing some places I totally dig, and hitting new territory Replicator never did. It's also a great chance to see some old and new friends (i'd call you out by LJ handle, but you know who you are)
The only big disappointment so far is Boston/Providence. Love Boston, but it just doesn't look good at this point.

Oh and for the bay area folks:
Aug 29 2009 10:00P
Hemlock Tavern w/ Ifihadahifi (WI), DON’T BE A BABY, COME AND GET IT record release w/Ifihadahifi, Pegataur San Francisco, California
Mark yr calendars!

Current Mood: excitedstresscited
Current Music: Silkworm - Slave Wages | Powered by Last.fm

May 22 2009 9:00P Lil' Red Lion
5th st in eureka between N&S liqours and pro sports center. Eureka, CA
w/ (the mighty) POLICE TEETH (Seattle/Bellingham), and The Zygoats 21+

May 23 2009 6:00P Queen Bean
1126 14th St
Modesto, California
w/ (the mighty) POLICE TEETH (Seattle/Bellingham), Anthem, and Reggie, all ages! Note the early start time.

May 24 2009 10:00P Hemlock Tavern
San Francisco, California
w/ (the mighty) POLICE TEETH (Seattle/Bellingham), The Lights (Seattle) do NOT @$% it up and miss this show!!!, 21+



Police Teeth are also playing at Thee Parkside on Memorial Day proper with Generalissimo and Moggs, so if you can't go to our show, please, please, please do yourself a favor... and go see that show at least.

This will be our LAST BAY AREA SHOW UNTIL LATE AUGUST.
We'll be touring the whole US for July, but won't be playing again until the record release, so if you'd like to see us play, this too... is your opportunity.

we'd love to see ya!

Artist - Song
AC/DC - Rock 'N Roll Damnation
Police Teeth - Northern California
Sweet - Teenage Rampage
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Today's Lesson
Queens of the Stone Age - If Only
The Rolling Stones - It's Only Rock 'N Roll (But I Like It)
Obits - Two Headed Coin
Thin Lizzy - Whiskey In the Jar
Tom Waits - Hang on St. Christopher (extended mix)
the pAperchAse - The Common Cold (The Epidemic)
Sparks - Amateur Hour
Mott the Hoople - All The Young Dudes
Shocking Blue - Send Me a Postcard
Alice Cooper - Long Way to Go
TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me
Modern Lovers - I'm Straight
The Cars - Just What I Needed
Cheap Trick - Southern Girls
Van Halen - Dance The Night Away
mcclusky - She Will Only Bring You Happiness
New York Dolls - Personality Crisis
Stooges - T.V. Eye
Police Teeth - Big Hearts, Small Riffs
The Who - Can't Explain
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - The Weeping Song
David Bowie - Starman
Queens of the Stone Age - Misfit Love
AC/DC - T.N.T.
Spinal Tap - Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You (Tonight)
Mudhoney - You Got It
Led Zeppelin - Heartbreaker
Federation X - Southern Comfort
Rolling Stones - Get Off Of My Cloud
Lo Han - The Fan and The Bellows
Gang of Four - At Home He's a Tourist
T. Rex - Jeepster
Television - Elevation
Nirvana - Verse Chorus Verse
Runaways - Cherry Bomb
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts - I Hate Myself For Loving You
Sweet - Action
Torche - Across The Shields
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - We Call Upon The Author
Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World
Stealer's Wheel - Stuck In The Middle With You
The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There
Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls
Yardbirds - Baby Please Don't Go
Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds
The Foundations - Build Me Up Buttercup
Otis Redding - Hard To Handle
Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man
Electric Eel Shock - Rock 'N' Roll Can Rescue The World
Van Halen - Everybody Wants Some
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Zig Zag Wanderer
Hot Snakes - Our Work Fills the Pews
Dion - Wanderer
Queens of the Stone Age - In The Fade
Judas Priest - You've Got Another Thing Comin'
AC/DC - Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
Stevie Wonder - Superstition
Sonic Youth - Schizophrenia
Talking Heads - Road to Nowhere
Thin Lizzy - Cowboy Song
David Bowie - Heroes
Tom Waits - Heartattack and Vine
The Ramones - Surfin' Bird
The Flaming Lips - Talkin' 'Bout The Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everybody Wants to Live Forever)
Tom Waits - Mr. Siegel

I DJ tonight at House of Shields.
whataboutprom bartends.


whoo!

The Economist isn't half as good as it's fanclub claims it is, but this article is fantastic, and it describes the issues we have here with 2/3 majority, budget lockouts, gerrymandering, democracy by ballot propostion and such. Additionally, it is in plain english.


ON MAY 19th Californians will go to the polls to vote on six ballot measures that are as important as they are confusing. If these measures fail, America’s biggest state will enter a full-blown financial crisis that will require excruciating cuts in public services. If the measures succeed, the crisis will be only a little less acute. Recent polls suggest that voters are planning to vote most of them down.

The occasion has thus become an ugly summary of all that is wrong with California’s governance, and that list is long. This special election, the sixth in 36 years, came about because the state’s elected politicians once again—for the system virtually assures as much—could not agree on a budget in time and had to cobble together a compromise in February to fill a $42 billion gap between revenue and spending. But that compromise required extending some temporary taxes, shifting spending around and borrowing against future lottery profits. These are among the steps that voters must now approve, thanks to California’s brand of direct democracy, which is unique in extent, complexity and misuse.

A good outcome is no longer possible. California now has the worst bond rating among the 50 states. Income-tax receipts are coming in far below expectations. On May 11th Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor, sent a letter to the legislature warning it that, by his latest estimates, the state will face a budget gap of $15.4 billion if the ballot measures pass, $21.3 billion if they fail. Prisoners will have to be released, firefighters fired, and other services cut or eliminated. One way or the other, on May 20th Californians will have to begin discussing how to fix their broken state.

California has a unique combination of features which, individually, are shared by other states but collectively cause dysfunction. These begin with the requirement that any budget pass both houses of the legislature with a two-thirds majority. Two other states, Rhode Island and Arkansas, have such a law. But California, where taxation and budgets are determined separately, also requires two-thirds majorities for any tax increase. Twelve other states demand this. Only California, however, has both requirements.

If its representative democracy functioned well, that might not be so debilitating. But it does not. Only a minority of Californians bother to vote, and those voters tend to be older, whiter and richer than the state’s younger, browner and poorer population, says Steven Hill at the New America Foundation, a think-tank that is analysing the options for reform.

Those voters, moreover, have over time “self-sorted” themselves into highly partisan districts: loony left in Berkeley or Santa Monica, for instance; rabid right in Orange County or parts of the Central Valley. Politicians have done the rest by gerrymandering bizarre boundaries around their supporters. The result is that elections are won during the Republican or Democratic primaries, rather than in run-offs between the two parties. This makes for a state legislature full of mad-eyed extremists in a state that otherwise has surprising numbers of reasonable citizens.

And that is why sensible and timely budgets have become almost impossible, says Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council, an association of corporate bosses. Because the Republicans are in a minority in the legislature, they have no sway until budget time, when they suddenly hold veto power thanks to the two-thirds requirement. Because in the primaries they have run on extremist platforms against other Republicans, they have no incentive to be pragmatic or moderate, and tend simply to balk.

What was unusual about this year’s deadlock was only its “record lateness”, says Mr Wunderman, which amounted to an “anti-stimulus” that negated much of the economic-recovery plan coming from Washington, DC. “No real conversation is possible on anything that matters,” he says, whether it be California’s fraught water supply, its barbaric prison conditions or its teetering public education.

Representative democracy is only one half of California’s peculiar governance system. The other half, direct democracy, fails just as badly. California is one of 24 states that allow referendums, recalls and voter initiatives. But it is the only state that does not allow its legislature to override successful initiatives (called “propositions”) and has no sunset clauses that let them expire. It also uses initiatives far more, and more irresponsibly, than any other state.

Direct democracy in America originated, largely in the Western states, during the Populist and then Progressive eras of the late 19th and early 20th century. It came to California in 1911, when Governor Hiram Johnson introduced it. At first, it made sense. The Southern Pacific Railroad dominated politics, society and the courts in the young frontier state, and direct democracy would be a welcome check and balance. The state in 1910 had only 2.4m residents, and 95% of them were white. (Today it has about 37m residents, and less than half are white.) A small, homogenous and informed electorate was to make sparing and disciplined use of the ballot to keep the legislature honest, rather as in Switzerland.
Citizen-power gone mad

Sparing and disciplined it stayed until the 1970s. But then came a decade of polarisation and voter mistrust. In 1978 Californians sparked a nationwide “tax revolt” by passing Proposition 13, which drastically limited property taxes and placed a permanent straitjacket on state revenues. That launched an entire industry of signature-gatherers and marketing strategists that now puts an average of ten initiatives a year on the ballot, as Mark Baldassare, the boss of the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California, has calculated. In 2003 direct democracy reached a new zenith—or nadir, some might say—when Californians “recalled” their elected and sitting governor, Gray Davis, and replaced him with Mr Schwarzenegger.

The minority of eligible Californians who vote not only send extremists to Sacramento, but also circumscribe what those representatives can do by deciding many policies directly. It is the voters who decide, for instance, to limit legislators’ terms in office, to mandate prison terms for criminals, to withdraw benefits from undocumented immigrants, to spend money on trains or sewers, or to let Indian tribes run casinos.

Through such “ballot-box budgeting”, a large share of the state’s revenues is spoken for before budget negotiations even begin. “The voters get mad when they vote to spend a ton of money and the legislature can’t then find the money,” says Jean Ross of the California Budget Project, a research outfit in Sacramento. Indeed, voters being mad is the one constant; the only proposition that appears certain to pass on May 19th would punish legislators with pay freezes in budget-deficit years.

More than half of the initiatives don’t pass, and some that do are sensible. But much of the system has been perverted into the opposite of what Hiram Johnson intended. It is not ordinary citizens but rich tycoons from Hollywood or Silicon Valley, or special interests such as unions for prison guards, teachers or nurses, that bankroll most initiatives onto the ballots.

Then comes a barrage of television commercials, junk mail and robo-calls that leave no Californian home unmolested and the great majority confused. Propositions tend to be badly worded, with double negatives that leave some voters thinking they voted for something when they really voted against. One eloquent English teacher in Los Angeles recently called a radio show complaining that, after extensive study, she could not understand the ballot measures on grounds of syntax.

The broken budget mechanism and the twin failures in California’s representative and direct democracy are enough to guarantee dysfunction. The sheer complexity of the state exacerbates it. Peter Schrag, the author of “California: America’s High-Stakes Experiment”, has counted about 7,000 overlapping jurisdictions, from counties and cities to school and water districts, fire and park commissions, utility and mosquito-abatement boards, many with their own elected officials. The surprise is that anything works at all.

As a result, there is now a consensus among the political elite that California’s governance is “fundamentally broken” and that the state is “ungovernable, unless we make tough choices”, as Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles and a likely candidate for governor next year, puts it. What are those choices?

Incremental reform, says one set of analysts. Darrell Steinberg, a thoughtful Democrat who is the current leader of the state Senate, says that the dysfunction is often overstated, since the system was deliberately designed “to ensure that change occurs slowly”. He believes that several piecemeal reforms already slated will fix most of the problem.

So does California Forward, a bipartisan think-tank supported by several of the state’s éminences grises. A change to districting rules should end gerrymandering, starting next year. And there is talk of open primaries in which people vote irrespective of their party affiliation, and then elect a candidate in a run-off between the top two vote-getters, whether from the same party or not. Together, these two steps would make the state’s representative politics more moderate, says James Mayer, California Forward’s director. Representatives should also have longer terms in office, he thinks, to reduce the permanent turnover that pits greenhorn legislators against savvy and entrenched lobbyists.

Many others, however, now believe that California needs to start from scratch, with a fully-fledged constitutional convention. California’s current constitution rivals India’s and Alabama’s for being the longest and most convoluted in the world, and is several times longer than America’s. It has been amended or revised more than 500 times and now, with the cumulative dross of past voter initiatives incorporated, is a document that assures chaos.

Calls for a new constitution have resurfaced throughout the past century, but never went far. That changed last August, as the budget negotiations were once again going off the rails, when Mr Wunderman of the Bay Area Council renewed the call for a convention and received an astonishing outpouring of support. Mr Schwarzenegger has called a constitutional convention “a brilliant idea” and thinks it is “the right way to go”. (The new constitution would take effect well after he leaves office.) Most encouragingly, says Mr Wunderman, nobody, not even the so-called special interests, has yet come out against a convention.

To the extent that there is scepticism at all, it is not about the idea of a new and cleaner constitution but about the process that might lead to it. If a convention set out to rewrite the entire constitution, it would end in the usual war over hot-button social issues such as gay marriage or the perennial Californian fight over water. And there is concern that “the nutwings are the ones who will show up, not the soccer moms,” as Ms Ross of the California Budget Project puts it. The same partisan extremists bickering about the same controversies would lead nowhere.

To address these concerns, the Bay Area Council, which has become the driving force behind the scheme, has put forth two ideas. First, delegates to the convention should be chosen through the general jury pool to ensure that the whole population, as opposed to partisans or voters, is represented. Second, the scope of the constitutional convention would be explicitly limited to governance issues and the budget mechanism and would exclude all others.

This should enable reform in the most vital and interconnected areas. These are: reducing the two-thirds requirement for budgets and taxes; mandating two-year as opposed to annual budgets; giving local governments more access to local revenues; creating less partisan districts and primary elections; disciplining the process of direct democracy with new rules about signature collection; and introducing a “sunset” commission, as Texas has, that would gradually retire overlapping jurisdictions and offices to achieve something more manageable.

The plan is to introduce voter initiatives in next year’s ballot calling for a constitutional convention, to have the convention the following year, and to put the new constitution on a ballot in 2012, when it would take effect. In the meantime both the incrementalists, such as California Forward, and the wholesale reformers, such as the Bay Area Council, are backing the propositions on next week’s ballot. Even if they succeed, this would only temporarily reduce the urgency for radical reform; failure would cause intolerable pain.

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Built on a weak spot review


It was a shame to see Replicator call it quits awhile back, but like many bands that I enjoy at some point or another, the members usually splinter off and occasionally you get all new projects to fall in love with. As is the case with Conan Neutron & Chris Bolig (or known here as Rick Necklace) from Replicator who have decided to start another group under the name of Mount Vicious with members that have played in various other groups such as Holy Kiss, Stay Gold Pony Boy, and City Volume.

Mount Vicious is certainly a different animal, however one that will undoubtedly rock you from start to finish. One thing that has definitely been carried over is the members’ sharp sense of humor, which reveals itself very quickly through song titles and most notably the lyrics found on their recently self-released Leather Beer Caddy EP. While it certainly has the bounce and energy of many of post-punks past luminaries, they also manage to channel a bit of the swagger of The Jesus Lizard while rubbing it all down with a bit of Cows/Heroine Sheiks inspired filth. That’s just some sort of frame of reference though, listen to some of tunes for yourself. Whatever the band has come up with here, it’s a wonderful concoction of rock that I greatly look forward to hearing more from.

In the meantime, for those searching for more tunes by these guys, they are serving up their Leather Beer Caddy EP for free on Bandcamp. If you’re interested in obtaining higher quality files, throw a few dollars down and they are yours. Either way, grab it if you dig what you hear. The band has recently finished recording for a full-length that they expect to have out in August and should be ready for pre-sale in late June. So definitely keep checking the bands website for more.
-Jonathan

May issue

This is not, technically speaking, a real and formal introduction to this Oakland "supergroup" featuring current and former members of popular Bay-area bands like Replicator, City Volume, Cold War, and The Long Thaw (among many, many others) -- these are current versions of five songs scheduled for eventual release, in different form, on the band's impending full-length debut. They recorded these songs and issued this ep (with only fifty copies available on cd-r; everybody else can download the tracks on the band's web site) to give people an idea of where they stand right now, musically speaking. Not surprisingly for such a high-energy outfit, they're impatient and want to bring the rock to you RIGHT NOW. And this they do, with much flair. Their songs are a weirdly distinctive amalgamation of classic, mainstream Big Rock and spazzed-out postmodern math rock, heavy and catchy and baroque all at the same time, with big riffs and squiggly guitar lines over a monster rhythm section. If you've heard Replicator -- particularly the material they were doing at the tail end of their existence -- it's not difficult to see this as the natural progression of that aesthetic, but the material here is a shade closer to anthemic rock and, while still plenty complex and proggy, not quite so totally mired in the obscure rhythms of math rock. I haven't heard any of the other bands germane to the members of the band who weren't in Replicator, so it's hard to guess what they bring to the table, but the sum of the parts is certainly exciting. The emphasis on guitar frippery (there are three guitar players, offering plenty of opportunity to get some really rocking polyrhythmic six-string action going) definitely works for me. They're certainly off to a promising start with songs this good and playing so energetic.
-RFK


Thanks korperschwache!

4 G4 keyboards down due to strategically placed cup of water bombings,
3 iBook G4 keyboards now repaired or replaced due to keys being pried off via tiny claws.

I swear the little beastie is getting money from Bill Gates himself, it's a good thing i've got a good supply of them at work.

The only thing the PC laptop suffers is CAT LIKE TYPING DETECTED!

I should really take a picture, because the little jerk is cute as a button even when he does it, but i'm done with this "negative attention" phase he is going through.

-C.

yes, yes, crossposted... at least i'm posting damn it!

--

Hello everybody,
Long time no talk.
Just a quick update from us at Mount Vicious HQ. We recorded a 10 song full length DEBUT album at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco where many, many fine records have been made by some mighty fine artists.

It's called: "Don't Be a Baby, Come And Get It", and it comes out this summer, presale available June 30th, "official release" August 29th.

Here is the track listing:
1. Da Proposition
2. Princess of the Brodeo
3. Skin Flautist
4. Steroid Unicorn
5. What's My Emotivation?
6. Martyr Party
7. Wherewolf?
8. Make Room For Daddy
9. We Enjoy Fucking (To This Music)
10. The Long Walk

You may have heard some of these songs before, but I guarantee you, you have NOT heard them like this.

It was masterfully produced by John "Crunch all you want mate, they'll bloody well make more" Congleton (Modest Mouse, Explosions in the Sky, R. Kelly, Mountain Goats and about a million others) and sounds pretty damn badass. (if I do say so myself!)

But don't take our word for out, check out the two songs we've posted PRINCESS OF THE BRODEO, and THE LONG WALK.

Bob Weston of Shellac fame has mastered it, who has worked on many fine records himself.

Nextly, we are doing a 33 date tour of the United States of America to celebrate this opus we created.
There is a good chance we will be coming to your city.

Check out the shows area, as it's updated in as real time as we can get it.
We still have some holes, and some things that are being worked that have yet to come through.
If you can help though, we would be sincerely thankful.

This tour should be a blast, we are going to be playing with some of our favorite bands, POLICE TEETH, Jucifer, Ifihadahifi, the pAperchAse, and many, many more.

Oh, this won't be the last time this is mentioned, if you think that you or some key person or organization should be getting a copy of the cd. Please message us and let us know.
E-mail is also good (conan at neutron-x dot com is probably best)

oh yeah! We're also doing 3 date in Northern California with Police Teeth, Eureka, Santa Cruz and San Francisco.
Attendence for these shows will be compulsory as they are one of the best things going right now and you don't want to fail it, do you?!!

DO YOU?!?!?

-Conan Neutron
("Daddy" Dre Burgerwolf, Brian Jet James, Alli Mayhem, and Richard "Wreckless" Necklace")
Mount Vicious

dates:wed July 1st, 2009 LA
thu July 2nd, 2009 San Diego - Radio Room
fri July 3rd, 2009 Phoenix
sat July 4th, 2009 Alb./Santa Fe, NM
sun July 5th, 2009 San Antonio - Limelight
mon July 6th, 2009 Austin
tue July 7th, 2009 Fayetteville, Ar - George's Majestic Lounge w/the pAperchAse
wed July 8th, 2009 Little Rock???
thu July 9th, 2009 Memphis
fri July 10th, 2009 New Orleans
sat July 11th, 2009 Athens, GA
sun July 12th, 2009 raleigh/durham
mon July 13th, 2009 Baltimore, MD ^
tue July 14th, 2009 Philadelphia, PA ^
wed July 15th, 2009 New York - Cake Shop ^
thu July 16th, 2009 New York ^
fri July 17th, 2009 Boston ^
sat July 18th, 2009 Rochester/Buffalo, NY ^
sun July 19th, 2009 Pittsburgh, PA

mon July 20th, 2009 Columbus, Oh
tue July 21st, 2009 Detroit, Mi w/Amino Acids
wed July 22nd, 2009 Indianapolis/Bloomington
thu July 23rd, 2009 Chicago - Quencher's w/ Builder/Destroyer *
fri July 24th, 2009 Milwaukee - Cactus Club*
sat July 25th, 2009 Madison - The Frequency*

sun July 26th, 2009 Minneapolis, MN
mon July 27th, 2009 Omaha, NE?/Lincoln. NE
tue July 28th, 2009 Denver, Co - 3 Kings Tavern w/Spokeshaver
wed July 29th, 2009 Missoula, MT
thu July 30th, 2009 Seattle, WA - Funhouse +
fri July 31st, 2009 Bellingham, WA - Jinx Art Space+
Sat August 1st, 2009 Portland, OR - East End+


^ w/Jucifer
* w/Ifihadahifi
+ w/Police Teeth

(Bold is confirmed, italics is being worked)

First Mount Vicious group interview by Lisa Hix for CHOPS
CHOPS is a bay area zine about music and food.

Since it's distro is pretty limited, here it is:

By Lisa Hix

If you get the full force of all five members of Mount Vicious together,
you are going to hear dick jokes. Mostly likely within one minute of
conversation. In fact, it takes a brave person to go to dinner with Mount
Vicious, and a brewpub like Cato's Alehouse is ideal – just maybe not on a
Tuesday night. When bassist Brian James pipes up about gay porn, women
studying for their college classes scoop up their notebooks, and move
across the room. But Mount Vicious isn't all locker-room talk; this band
has a serious mission – to bring back the RAWK, and it isn't at all joking
about that.

Mount Vicious is something of an Oakland supergroup formed by
singer/guitarist Conan Neutron and drummer Chris Bolig (a.k.a. Richard
"Wreckless" Necklace) of Replicator, bassist Brian James of We're Gonna
Fight the Eskimos Next and City Volume, guitarist Alli Mayhem of the Holy
Kiss and the Cold War, and AnDré --- (a.k.a. Burgerwolf) of the Long Thaw,
Boyjazz, Stay Gold Pony Boy, and Generalissimo.

Because it's a brewpub, naturally, pitchers of beer are purchased and
consumed. Alli orders the Super Chili Billy, tortilla chips topped with
melted cheese, vegetarian black bean chili, salsa, sour cream, and
pepperoncini. Brian, who grew up in San Antonio sniffs, "Those are
white-people nachos!" Dré reaches for the plate, "Being an authentic white
person, I'm gonna take some." Chris, Alli, and Conan agree the nachos are
pretty tasty. "So three out of three white people agree, that these nachos
are great! Is this a pepperoncini? Because a pepperoncini is a white
person's pepper. It really is! Like, Papa John's serves them in their
pizzas." Brian: continues ranting that the nachos (which, for the record,
aren't even called nachos) don't have enough cheese, and that really good
nachos can be found in the Mission District. And Dré calmly points out
that nachos are not real Mexican food, but something American invented
anyway. "White-people nachos, that is kind of redundant isn't it?"

Dré, a.k.a. "Burgerwolf," naturally, has the Cato Burger, ½ a pound of
Painted Hills natural beef with bacon, avocado, aioli, and grilled onion,
which comes with coleslaw and the house home fries, Catatoes (Cato's
potatoes, get it?). The Burgerwolf has a burger at everyday on tour, so
he's something of a burger expert, and the Cato Burger gets a thumb's up
from him. Your fearless interviewer had the tasty Krabby Cakes, a special
with garlic aioli and a spring mix salad, and fortunately for me, no one
in Mount Vicious heard the name of my dish.
Full text of da interviewCollapse )

One and all!

Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Replicator - Happy Loyalty Day! | Powered by Last.fm

I haven't announced this to the internet, but my cell phone, the Palm Centro died.

Again.
They are pieces of crap.

I only got it because it was the closest thing to a Treo 680 that AT&T offered.
It's my 3rd one and it's been nothing but trouble.

After the 3rd one died, apparently because of "water exposure", which is amazing since it was NEVER EXPOSED TO WATER*, I was told that I would have to buy one new for $180.

uh, how you say?
FUCK NO.

I temporarily went back to my old Treo 680, which was a damn tank and still works... even with a cracked screen and looked around on craigslist for Treos.

I found one! Almost new... perfect deal, and I bought it.
Guess what though.
IT HAS WINDOWS CE ON IT!!!

for those not in the know, that is my single most hated smart phone OS, and with good reason... you can only sync to Outlook (which I loathe and never use), nothing is where i've been used to for the last 5 or 6 years, and... duh... it's WINDOWS.

it sucks because it's otherwise a very nice, new phone.
But I have to get a new one soon or it's going to make me mental.
And of course I loathe all the phones AT&T have to offer.
(the only one that would make me switch up is the Gphone, which Lindsey has one of, and I totally dig)

Soooo... I need to get one second hand... again.
Obnoxious.
Way, obnoxious.

I should do it soon though, because I think everybody is getting sick of me announcing how much I hate my phone.

-C.

*Amazingly, I was actually told that this can happen if you take it with you in the bathroom while TAKING A SHOWER! As in, IN THE SAME ROOM as steam. wow.

I'm absolutely flabbergasted that some media outlet hasn't picked up on the Tumor Circus song Swine Flu.
It's a great song by a band that has Jello Biafra fronting Steel Pole Bath Tub, I think Charles Tolnay of Lubricated Goat played with them.



yes, I have this on 7", yes, it came out in 1991.

Yes, there really are only two good songs...
yes, this is my favorite.

Current Music: Tumor Circus - Swine Flu
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