Derek The Dude

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Derek Erdman is the best human friend you could ever imagine having. (I only imagine it because we live in different states and never really hang out unless it’s his birthday or Tit Pig is performing.) This morning, in all the nostalgia that systematically rains over me on April 20th, I was listening to Devin the Dude in my bedroom and asked Erdman in an email if he could whip up a drawing of my favorite Houston rapper. Didn’t expect anything in return, what with Erdman’s huge art opening at The Crocodile tonight from 6pm to 9pm*, but I don’t think Erdman gets nervous about things. Or if he does, he just makes more art stuff to throttle his busy, colorful mind. Because just a few hours later, I had before me an illustrated portrait of the blazing Coughee Brotha I had the pleasure of experiencing in the flesh over the four years I lived in Houston, Texas. Devin got his nickname The Dude because he was just a cool regular, smoothed out dude who likes weed, wine, and women. Just a regular cat on the corner. He was not arrogant, flashy, or macho and could get down with just about anyone in the house. Devin is a family man, a father of four children, who is constantly on his grind, writing, recording, and performing to put food in their mouths and clean clothes on their bodies. He’s as much an important part of Houston rap culture as Geto Boys and DJ Screw. All distinctly with their own voice and style. Geto Boys had a dwarf, Screw had his syrup, and Devin has weed. All day, err’day, Devin don’t give a fuck and just lights it up. This is the song that lit my Devin devotion back then, that still burns hot today.

*Don’t worry, home boys, Derek’s art is still gonna be up next time you go to see a show at The Crocodile.

I Ate This: Post Fruity Pebbles Treats

March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

FREE INSIDE: These words popped out at me as I stared down a box of Fruity Pebbles that was on sale at my neighborhood grocery. Inside the box was one of these new Fruity Pebbles Treats, which I had never seen nor tasted, but appeared to be a Rice Krispies-esque treat (marshmallow-based) with Little Debbie frosting. I looked for other cereals in the aisle that had a free prize inside; a toy, a temporary tattoo, anything really. There were some mail-in offers for a some breast cancer awareness t-shirt, and stupid movies you can find in the Best Buy bargain bin, but Fruity Pebbles was the only one offering instant gratification. From what I saw in that cereal aisle, cereal companies no longer care about those kids who want to dump out the whole box into the biggest bowl they can find, just to get the prize. For kids to get anything from a cereal box, they now have to log onto the the website, scan the UPC labels, and write an eighty word essay why they deserve the glow-in-the-dark Spongebob Frisbee (along with $3.59 for postage an handling). Or so I’ve heard.

Of course the first thing I did when I get home was open the box of Pebbles, knowing that somewhere in there would be this mysterious rainbow brick of a treat. The excitement of doing what I did so many times as a child vanished as soon as I opened the top: the Pebbles treat was resting on the top, not even within the sealed bag of cereal. So much for hunting.

Since I didn’t even have to bother with the cereal, I went right ahead and had at this strange little rectangle. It was light, like one of those volcanic rocks that appear heavier than they actually weigh. The frosting on top was slightly warm and just starting to melt into the bar. It was sticky, as you’d expect from a treat that’s primarily melted down marshmallow with candy cereal and goo drizzle. I took one bite that consumed half the bar, and set it down as I chewed. It was sweet, so sickly sweet that washing it down with Dr Pepper was just about as sufficient as water. The lightness of the Fruity Pebbles made them seem like all their freshness was sucked out, and sealed in a slightly stale gloss. And that goo drizzle. Why?! You don’t see Rice Krispie Treats with goo drizzle. Just stop it.

The good news is that these little bars are Gluten Free and only 90 calories. But if you’re trying to keep the weight off, dammit, buy an apple and some berries instead.

Portable Shrines Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1

March 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Pacific coastline of these United States is one of the most unique, awe-inspiring sights in the world, stitched together by jagged rocks that have slowly been carved out by the ocean’s impenetrable force, rivers and streams that lacerate the land, trees that provide shelter from the ground to the sky, and secluded beaches where anemones pique your colorful curiosity and sea lions laze about.  The tapestry of these spectacular coastal sights are woven with a strong understanding of the music and the life, spirituality, madness, peace, and glory that exists within these confines.

On Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1, Seattle psyche collective Portable Shrines have curated a largely Pacific Northwest-rooted comp that includes some of today’s most lucid visionaries and stoned mongrels. It’s made up of colors that appear in dreams, in drones, and in screams that rattle like bones. From the sacrificial pagans Geist and the Sacred Ensemble, who open the comp with the ritualistic dark seance of “Circle,” to Tiny Light’s mountainous kraut-in-space jam “Shasta,” to Master Musicians of Bukkake’s vinyl-exclusive “BAN A CHU,” the trails that lead you through the Magic Sound Theatre are vast and rugged. The musical sequence of Diminished Men’s “Oblong Trance” unfolds like a stir-crazy, backwoods hermit who sets out into the night to seek vengeance on his soul, before AFCGT’s curmudgeonly “Clocks” descends from the shadows and slams an iron rod into the ground. Such effects induce lightning flashbacks on the rough-n-ready garage of Night Beats “Thorns” and To Get Her Together’s “Gotta Make Your Hands Work.”

With all the valuable musical real estate that is built on this double LP, Portable Shrines own house band, Midday Veil only gave themselves just a tiny little bungalow, with the two-minute Haight heyday hit “Child of God.” But with Emily Pothast’s enchanting spirit and David Golightly’s telepathic musical revelations, it’s hard to go wrong. By allowing Portland psych rappers E-Tap (just kidding, they don’t rap and their name is Eternal Tapestry) and their hometown female companions, Purple Rhinestone Eagle, to flash-blast your mind with “Chrome Forest” and “Burn It Down,” my stoked factor on the comp continues to push itself into the red. This is a comprehensive and essential collection of psychedelic, garage, and experimental music happening in America, stuff that continues to push the envelope in the air, in the eyes, and in the mind, while pulling you into the tide.

Available April 16, 2011 (RECORD STORE DAY) at the best record stores, and exclusively through Light in the Attic Records.

The Lumerians – Transmalinnia

March 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

A pack of hungry wolves wearing leather biker vests came out of the forbidden woods. These woods were the kind of mammoth coastal groves with trees that pierced the sky, where shape-shifting fog drifted in like a ghost and blanketed the fertile forest floor. The wolves chose these woods as their home, for there would not be many visitors. The visitors, when there were a brave few who dared trudge amongst the trunks, were often met by illuminating eyes in the shroud, yellow and cold. Fearful of what they didn’t know existed past what they could not see, the visitors always left immediately but kept hearing whispers as they returned to safety in their nestled hemlocks. These wolves were not the savage types that would disembowel the visitors, but they would seep into their souls. They were cunning and didn’t feel threatened by their curious neighbors. They played in the woods and protected their territory, and only hunted other forest creatures that shared the land. The wolves emerged from the darkness only to feast on a fresh kill. Their eyes would turn blood red, as they devoured, and howled in celebration of sacrificial redemption. No one knows why they wear vests.

A Visual Study Of Alcohol

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Inspired by Trent Moorman‘s pitch to record myself shotgunning beer for his Sound Check column in The Stranger, I wrapped my mind around a tall boy of Rainier. Though many people are apprehensive about throwing 12 oz down their throat in a matter of seconds, I’ve found the 16oz can get the job done just as fast (and those extra 4 ounces will get you waaasted!) I rediscovered the joy of shotgunning beer two years ago, after my friends Ruben and Pete organized Shotgun Heard Around The World, where at 8pm PST/11pm EST the world went silent at the sound of a case full of cans being cracked, and remained that way for a few brief seconds while everyone slammed beer down their gullet. It was raining and we were drinking illegally in the park, but I shotgunned two more after that. I don’t remember drinking anything else that night.

Whiskey colas are my secondary, but preferred drink after I get off at work. Though usually on the sweet side, they pack the right amount of punch that I need after a night of both being nice to people and having to tell others that they aren’t on the list and no, I won’t add them (regardless of how cute they are). This one was made by my lovely friend Tarah at Berbati’s Pan one Friday night, as people drunkenly danced around to Ke$ha. I drank it pretty fast.

Art Inspires Art

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

All those years of doodle practice can come in handy when you’re commuting on the bus and train. It can also come in handy when you’re stoned and you start seeing things in a blur of red roses.

(Side note: what’s black and white and red all over? Colleen Green.)

Load it up!

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

What Up Nugz? Welcome to Nug Life!

This is a blog about vapor trails and stoned grooves. I’ll keep it loaded with the freshest jams to roll in at high noon.

Francie, the mean cat, was purring and let me pet her soft, vibrating little head when I was listening to Colleen Green. She then swiped at me and made me bleed. It all made sense.