Celebrate Aurora with SFoM at Gibby’s in Aurora Tonight!

We’re ready to believe you

Yeah, so we’re playing some gig tonight. I think the show has already started. Music, beach volleyball, chicken wings, beer… it’s all there at Gibby’s Sports Saloon in Aurora. We take the stage at 7:45 pm.

It’s free to enter.

What’s the occasion? Gibby’s is having an End-of-Summer Party to Celebrate Aurora and benefit the givingfirst.org charity, and their drive to help the victims of last month’s movie theater tragedy. There is a silent auction going on, and also they will be taking donations. According to Gibby’s page about the event, if you donate $50, you get access to a VIP area where there’s free beer.

So if you got nothing going on, come on down to Aurora tonight (August 25, 2012), listen to some music and help a good cause.

Also, Jammin’ 101.5 is co-hosting the event with Gibby’s, so they might make us play some Bobbie Brown (it’s their prerogative).

Stories about Doomsday always start like this…

According, to an article on space.com, the Sun has had itself a little ol’ accident (massive solar storm). We were hit by the light energy already yesterday, but expect the particles and matter to hit us about 5 am Denver time, tomorrow, March 8. It’s going to be a strange night… prepare yourselves.

See how different types of solar flares stack up in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source: SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

If I’m not mistaken, this is how Night of the Living Dead started…

Ticket Scalpers Use Software to Screw Radiohead Fans in Denver – 7News

If you were wondering if it was just you and everyone you know that didn’t get Radiohead tickets in Denver, it wasn’t. It was pretty much everyone. 7News reports that scalpers use software to buy tickets online.

Video Link to 7News Radiohead story

Check out this Facebook page that was inspired by the events of last weekend. Radiohead Fans Against Scalpers

Thanks to our friend Ryan for informing us of this video.

“…but I didn’t inhale.”

I’m riding the bus to meet up with my lady and check out the Gogol Bordello, System Of A Down show at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre. It’s raining, but I’ve seen some good shows in the rain (Pearl Jam in phoenix, October of 2000, for instance).

There was a man on the 16 down Colfax into Denver. A grizzled and bearded old man. He was just sitting there quietly on this crowded bus, and then he started talking, to no one in particular. To the best of my recollection, he said:

“I only took one hit of marijuana in my life. But I didn’t inhale. That made all the difference. They should put elevator music on the bus so we could hear The Doors. Break on through to the other side! Yeah…I only took one hit of marijuana in my life, bit I didn’t inhale.”

Then he started mumbling to himself, and he seemed amused. He would smile, and laugh and talk about his one hit of marijuana. Moral of the story: don’t do drugs.

The Rise and Fall of Hip Hop Music – A Video Journey Through Rap’s Heyday

As a kid, my dad would tell me that rap music was like disco, and it would one day go away. I think I ultimately won that argument; it appears hip hop is here to stay.

Today, hip hop music is a bit stale. It’ been that way for a few years (there are  exceptions, of course). It’s going through a life cycle, the way rock did. Rock music had its fundamental beginnings in the 1950s, followed a heyday in the 1960s. Then, Rock suffered a gradual decline in the 1970s and ’80s, bottoming out with hair metal buttrock, before it enjoyed a renaissance in the 1990s during the grunge era.

Hip hop’s genesis in the late ’70s and maturation through the ’80s lead to its apex in the ’90s, when it began its own gradual declinine into whatever it is today. Like rock, it cannot be disregarded as a once-great musical genre; it will continue to live and be shaped by the times and the artists that use it as their medium, and will once again be great when it reaches its renaissance.

These are just some thoughts I had while I surfed YouTube for some of my favorite hip songs from back in the day. Below are a few of my favorites that I wanted to share. Enjoy!

“Same Song” – Digital Underground

The musical stylings of Tupac Shakur debuted in this song, which was found on the soundtrack of some piece-of-shit movie called Nothing But Trouble, starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd.


 
“Regulate” – Warren G. & Nate Dogg

This song was the “Theme From Shaft” of the ’90s. It was just cool. It was featured in the mediocre basketball movie Above The Rim, which featured Tupac. Not a day goes by where the words, “I’m tweaking into a whole new era” don’t pop into my head for some reason.


 
“Juice (Know Tha Ledge)” – Eric B. & Rakim

Another one with an indirect tie to Tupac. This was the theme song to the movie Juice, which was a pretty cool movie about life in the ghetto… at least that was the perception of this suburban white guy as an naive adolescent.


 
“Chief Rocka” – Lords of The Underground

Something was totally cool about these cats. The way they dressed, what they rapped about, etc. Reminds me of when my friends and I would jam this out and go play basketball during summer afternoons.


 
“Passin’ Me By” – The Pharcyde

A non-grunge song about teen angst. A song that about personal hang-ups that lead to depressing outcomes of personal desires.


 
“Pop Goes The Weasel” – 3rd Bass

Sometimes white guys rappin’ is sort of ridiculous. These guys were so ridiculous, they kind of got a little street cred from it.


 
“Mind Over Matter” – Ice T

This song is just bad ass. Ice T might be one of the realest MCs out there, and this song is about just that. The beat and music just makes you want to scowl, and move real slow like a bad mutha-shutyomouth!


 
Hope you enjoyed this little retrospective. Let us know what you think or what I forgot in the comments below.

Peace!

Peter G. Peterson…The Man Behind “Hugh Jidette”

Hugh Jidette (say it out loud and you’ll get it) is a fake presidential candidate. Not in the same sense that Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal are fake, but inasmuch that he doesn’t really exist. However, the ironic main plank to his platform isn’t fake. Perhaps it’s no less ironic than what really happens in Washington.

In one of the “campaign” commercials, Hugh Jidette says America should double or even triple its national debt, which as of this writing is approximately $13.7 trillion. He says to forget about it because our children will pay for it. Whereas real-life politicians dont talk about it, he talks about his disregard for the debt.

The Hugh Jidette fake campaign is a knock on Washington politicians and their fiscal shortsightedness and lack of leadership in light of their constant bids for re-election. Indeed, tackling such an issue as our deficit and national debt would be political suicide in the reality-TV political circus we have.

The campaign is an attempt at going viral with a message about the U.S. national debt. Like the Pickens Plan, it’s essentially a philanthropic billionaire making a run at saving the world with his fortune in the twilight of his life. Unlike T. Boone Pickens‘ plan, this one aims to go viral without showing the man (with the money) behind the curtain.

So who’s behind this campaign? If you go to the web site in the commercials (www.oweno.com), you’ll find that it’s funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Peter G. Peterson, an investment banker, served as Richard Nixon‘s Secretary of Commerce in the late ’60s and early ’70s.He also served on the Bi-Partisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform in the ’90s, and was named to the commission by Bill Clinton.

Peterson is a fiscal conservative, which is why he has long identified himself with the Republican party. However, during the George W. Bush presidency, in which fiscal responsibility went out the window, Peterson started to push back against his own party. In a 2004 BusinessWeek article, he said “I remain a Republican, but the Republicans have become a far more theological, faith-directed party, not troubling with evidence.”

Peterson became a billionaire in 2007 when the investment management firm he co-founded called the Blackstone Group when public. Through the fortune he amassed there, he started working on philanthropic causes, and in August of this year, he made “The Giving Pledge,” like his billionaire peers Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Now, through his foundation, he champions the cause of fiscal sustainability, and in a 2009 Newsweek article he wrote entitled Why I’m Giving Away $1 Billion, he said,

“For the first time in my memory, the majority of the American people join me in believing that, on our current course, our children will not do as well as we have. For years, I have been saying that the American government, and America itself, has to change its spending and borrowing policies: the tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded entitlements and promises, the dangerous dependence on foreign capital, our pitiful level of savings, the metastasizing health-care costs, our energy gluttony. These structural deficits are unsustainable. Herb Stein, who served alongside me in the Nixon White House as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, once drily observed, ‘If your horse dies, I suggest you dismount.’And yet, we keep trying to ride this horse.”

It’s hard to disagree with this man. Granted, as a billionaire, he will never see the same financial problems many of us do. But in this country we have to look long and hard at what our government does – and what we do in regards to our national spending habits. We are all culpable, and we can’t ignore $13 trillion in borrowed money like it doesn’t matter. We’re culpable because we want more and more, and we elect politicians who tell us what we want to hear. But in reality, they’re just singing us lullabies so we can sleep while they secure one of the 537 jobs in Washington that aren’t going anywhere…Rock-a-bye, baby…

But when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall… we all know how it ends.

Where Does America Go Now?

So are we just going to change our government in this country every two to four years? I get it, people are upset with the direction the country is headed. However, the people need to stop blaming the government, and take some initiative for change on themselves.

Currently, we’re fighting two wars costing us millions of dollars a day. Our national debt is over $13 trillion, and ten years after having a budget surplus we have a trillion dollar budget deficit.

We are addicted to foreign oil, spending God-knows how much annually to gas up our cars, bottle our water and Mountain Dew, and make plastic grocery bags. This is billions we send to other countries annually. Many of the people in those countries hate us too; several OPEC member states are even openly hostile to the United States.

This foreign oil addiction is akin to throwing money in the street. You gas up, and aside from whatever little amount per gallon the convenience store takes off the top, you’re taking that money you earned out of the American economy and sending it overseas.

On top of our deficit, the national debt, and the financing of our way of life by sending dollars overseas, the country wants free healthcare. The country wants more without examining what it has. The United States wants to have its cake and eat it too.

But what does it do to achieve these ends? It puts its faith in a group of career-minded politicians concentrated in a small district between Virginia and Maryland. The people of the US vote new people into the house and senate every two years, and then sit back and wait for the change to come. Then two years later, the other side says the change didn’t come, so the people of the US repeat the process.

Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. What this country needs to do is pick a path, stay on it, and get involved with steering itself down it.

The most important thing right now is finding a path of progress and sustainability. Progress beyond the problems du jour, and sustainability so that we can continue having a high standard of living for future generations. This isn’t going to be something any group of politicians can deliver, it’s gonna come from a reappraisal of our values, and from personal and societal sacrifice.

Prior to and into WWII, this country was in a great depression. What carried us out of it weren’t the dramatic social programs enacted by president Franklin Roosevelt, but the country’s production and sacrifice. This got us through the war, and lifted us out of the depression. When our armies returned home they had the means and an economy to build a new infrastructure, and to start a new society.

We also want jobs and a strong economy in this country. What better way to secure our future by creating something that is ours, and that produces money, and keeps it right here in the United States. I’m talking about ending our addiction to foreign oil, and building a new industry of clean homegrown energy and sustainability. This is the war we can fight to bring production back into this country. This is how we can get a leg up on all the foreign investors we’re selling our future to.

This is the kind of vision and path our country will have to take. These are the values our leaders need to instill in us, and need to adopt themselves. Enough with the finger pointing! The politicians who were replaced were the politicians who were doing what they were elected to do in 2006 and 2008.

Keith Olbermann said, both parties now own the economy. So let’s stick with the government we chose now and take a look a ourselves and what we can do rather than start over with a new government every two years.

As John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

On The 2010 Midterm Election

This Dia De Los Muertos election told me one thing: America is still a long way from thinking about progress and sustainability. That they were able to get swindled into voting against what they voted for two years ago.

Not all of America lost sight of its goal. Indeed, the senate stayed in democrat hands, despite taking it in the gut by losing five seats. The tide is still rolling, but it’s in danger of washing back out to sea.

The tea party didn’t meet with any nationwide success, but it showed it has its strongholds. There are large swaths of backwards-progress thinking folks who really just want to be a roadblock in the way of what must be done.

Rand Paul is a senator now. A liberal protestor got stomped by a volunteer at a Kentucky senate candidate debate. Paul came out against the civil rights act, saying companies should have the right to determine who their clientele can be based on any number of prejudiced factors. This is a rather unwelcome stance for this cultural melting pot in which we live.

In recent years, there has been a worldwide shift towards cultural intolerance. Little over a decade ago there was major ethnic cleansing in eastern Europe, and currently there is major legislation being enacted at curtailing Muslim culture in parts of Europe, like France and Germany. With the problems along the Mexican border, as well as our on-going war on terror, that’s a shift we as a country can’t afford to make, if we want to ensure we are living in an open society in our not-too-distant future.

I don’t necessarily see the country going down that road, or at least, not without a knock-down, drag-out fight. But I do see this as a possible nuisance to progress, after it overtakes the national dialog…even more so than it presently has on talk radio.

What good can come from this partisan shift in the house, and this absent-minded referendum on Barack Obama‘s first two years in office? Well, Obama now has the chance to be the great uniter he pledged to be in his campaign; an easy promise to break when your party has absolute control of the federal government. What choice does he have to be effective, but to either be deadlocked in Congress, or to find a compromise to push a embattled agenda through.

Based on the campaign commercials I saw, there’s going to have to be a lot of backtracking, as well as a spawning of good faith in the intentions of the parties across the aisle.

Back to progress and sustainability; these should be the ultimate goals in Washington. Not party control. Not derailing the president’s agenda. To paraphrase my good friend Isaac Rodriguez, Obama is acknowledging and facing up to issues no president before him has ever faced; due in parts to ignorance, politics and ideologies. Things that shouldn’t be ignored, and can’t be ignored, but were ignored. To be obstructionist to that will not reflect well in history, and would give our country less momentum to get up the hill.

Speaking Out Against Bullying, and Standing Up for Freedom

Election year. In most places in this country, we get to choose which crusty old white dude we want to represent our district and state. In Colorado, the choice for senator is between Michael Bennett and Ken Buck.

This morning, Bennett and Buck debated on “Meet The Press” with David Gregory. According to what I read on Twitter (I didn’t watch it, I drank too much corn whiskey last night), Ken Buck said being gay is a choice. It was David Gregory who tweeted that.

Ok…even if being gay is a choice, so what? Does that mean that people who choose to be gay aren’t afforded the pursuit of happiness expressed in the Declaration of Independence; one of our nation’s most sacred documents? I realize that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness weren’t meant for everybody at the time it was written…Thomas Jefferson was probably excluding black people since he was a slave owner, but since then America has decided, in spite of the people who live here and fight against freedom, that everyone should have that opportunity.

So why not gay people? Why do some people bully gay people? Why do some people even care if another person is gay? It’s not like anyone is trying to broadcast gay pornography on prime time network television. They don’t even do that with straight porn. If someone has that big of a problem with gay people, enough so that they stand up and speak out against them, then the first thing I think is that person must be gay and unhappy because they are violently suppressing their own inclinations. That may not be true, but it’s what I think when I hear someone like that talk. Just so you know: If you’re bullying gay people and making it your cause that they shouldn’t be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples, then I think you’re gay. I don’t mean that as an insult; I mean I feel bad for you, because you’re obviously unhappy with yourself.

But back to Ken Buck. Being gay is a choice according to him. That’s a dumb argument. Even if that’s the case, don’t people who make that choice still deserve to live out their lives in the best manner that makes them happy? This is supposedly a free country. And I, for one, am not concerned with what other people do when they’re naked in the privacy of their own homes, or cars, or wherever people decide to get freaky. It’s not the government’s place to decide these things, and it’s not even society’s. There’s no need to define what behavior is acceptable among consenting adults. There should be little interest in it too, outside of your own bedroom behavior.

It’s all a matter of preference. Why are we so concerned with the personal lives of one another? Why do we try to hurt other people? Bullying and causing pain to people because of their preferences isn’t fair, and it doesn’t advance you as a person; it just makes you look like an unintelligent closet homosexual that has also failed as a human being.