Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck

Well, that didn’t work. At some undetermined time last night I nodded off on my couch and woke up at 9am halfway lying over. Super cool, I missed my flight. I booked another to give it one more shot this afternoon at 4pm. This is the first time I’ve ever missed a flight. I’m glad it was only a $50 one. I woke up so frantic and with so little sleep that I can’t figure out if I’m dead tired like I should be, or strung out from frantically formulating a backup plan. I’ll listen to Herbie Hancock to soothe my frazzled nerves. Oh hello, Watermelon Man.

Published on November 18, 2005

Digweed in Chengdu

Digweed was here tonight on a Chivas tour, along with Sasha and Deep Dish. Yeah whatever, Digweed, who cares – but it’s hard for people outside of China to imagine how much of a big deal that is here. He played at Babi, a club down the street which I’ve been going to on and off for the last 9 months. I can’t really describe how weird it was to see Digweed playing in a small place so familiar, out here in west China. He played some slower tempo, deeper progressive jams, as opposed to the in-your-face trance that I’ve only heard him play (5+ years ago). The place was pretty much going bonkers, which is why I decided to stay and hang out, despite knowing that I had to board a plane early the next morning. It’s 5am and my plane departs in exactly three hours, so I’ve made the decision to stay up and bear it. I saw a bunch of people I haven’t seen in a while, including a German guy with some weird name that I can’t remember who’s nearly as tall as I am. I never think of myself as the oversized giant among a room of Chinese people, but I tend to ocassionally think of myself in that sense when I see him lumbering over everyone. Cruel Intentions is playing on the tv in front of me, but I’m not really watching. When I’m done on the computer I’ll pack a small bag for Kunming and be ready to go. My sister arrives in five days – I’ll take her to see Sichuan opera, the panda reserve, the art and computer markets, and hot pot.

Published on November 18, 2005

The Shoe Dilemma, New Apartment

    No matter where I go, you elude me.
I see you in the shop, but alas, you are the wrong size and don’t fit my evidently gigantic feet.
All I want to do is wear you because you are comfortable and look nice.

I went to three Adidas shops today to try and invest in a new pair of shoes. All of the stores have the pair I want, but none of them have a single pair in my size. My size is 12.5, not some ape-like size 16. But the search continues, and I always hear ‘dui bu qi, wo men mei you’. Do you know how difficult it is for me to find shoes? Not only because of the continental size issue at hand, but because I’m picky. I’ll go in ten shops and not find a single passable pair. But I found them here and they continue to taunt me.

I moved into a new apartment. I rented the old one out to Rob, an American from Portland. He’ll live out the remaining three months on my contract, while I’m across the street in the new spot. It’s a new complex, this time I’m on the 11th floor instead of 10th, but the major draw of this place is that it’s a larger fully furnished 1BR spot, as opposed to the last one which was a furnished studio. I’m trying to get wireless internet working and it’s been a bitch, so for now I have an unsightly network cable running from room to room to my laptop. The view up here is pretty excellent and my DJ equipment arrives with my sister around Thanksgiving.

I’m throwing a party in exactly a month, at a local club here called the Loft. It’s not really so much of a club as a warehouse, but that’s the reason why it’s perfect. It’ll be a drum n bass and hip hop/funk party. A Parisian drum & bass DJ is coming up from Kunming and besides myself I’ll get a handful of Chinese hip hop DJ’s to play. I’m anxious to make some real music available to people living in this city. Mostly foreigners, but the Loft is right next to a place called Hemp House. It’s a marijuana-themed lounge where you can’t really sit upright anywhere in the place, you have to lie on beds of pillows. It’s a fairly insane concept for the average Chinese person, but this is the kind of place which hosts an exceptionally eccentric crowd. The area seems to be conducive to alternative styles of music and culture which is why we selected it.

I’m listening to a new DJ Shadow mix called Funky Skunk. True to its name, it’s funky.

Published on November 10, 2005

In Mei Shan, Sichuan

I’ve been in Mei Shan for the last two days for 3 gigs here on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It’s halloween weekend, but in a crowded club there might be 30 people in costume, which I suppose isn’t too bad. I read in the newspaper today that 12 children were trampled in a school when there was an electrical blackout and some of the students yelled “Ghost!” inciting a violent and frenzied dash to the exits.There isn’t a sponsor at these parties, so there’s nothing that they’re trying to sell, which is different. It’s more laid back and casual and less structured. On Friday night they opted for me to hang out with them and drink rather than go back on to play another hour from 1-2am like I was supposed to. Okay, whatever you guys want.

Today they took me to a park where I had tea with them, Brandon, and a pair of Swedish girls. We saw half a dozen or so Chinese people jam out in an outdoor gazebo area, playing traditional instruments and singing. It really sounded more like whining, but I took a video of some of the performance with my camera. Oh, last night I took a video when I was playing which I think turned out well. I help the camera up and pointed to it and everyone went nuts. Now that I have a (another) new domain, maybe I’ll host the file and put a link to it here.

Tomorrow I get back to Chengdu and I’ll meet with a landlord of a new apartment which is right next to where I am now. I’m learning about the flexibility that renters have here which you aren’t really afforded in America, and I’m capitolizing on that to score a slightly larger place to stretch my legs out.

I see my sister in 3 weeks!

Published on October 30, 2005

Worship That?

Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time. Look but don’t touch. Touch, but don’t taste. Taste, don’t swallow. Ahaha. And while you’re jumpin’ from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He’s laughin’ His sick, fuckin’ ass off. He’s a tight-ass. He’s a sadist. He’s an absentee landlord. Worship that? Never.

Published on October 26, 2005

Sweet October

I’ve been at home for two weeks now and besides the ocassional gig a few times a week, I’m chilling at home and with friends full time. It’s unreal, it’s like the summer vacation that never ended, except I also DJ… and it’s not hot here.

I’ve been watching a ridiculous amount of movies and recently gotten back into downloading and playing PC games. I beat Fahrenheit and I’m playing Simcity 4, Age of Empires 3, and F.E.A.R. on and off. These hold me off until my turntables and 56 arrive in a month.

I don’t think this makes particularly interesting reading, so I haven’t been writing much, but I posted new photos from Laos and Bali.

I have gigs in Shanghai the last week of this month and then a 3-day gig in Song Pan from the 29-31st. I’ll dress up as something for halloween, but I still haven’t figured it out. In good time.

My new cell phone should arrive today – Motorola E398. All of my Chinese friends love me for getting a new phone. They hate my old one (Panasonic) on the base of it being Japanese. Yes, they really hate Japan that much.

Published on October 19, 2005

Climbing the Sacred Mountain

There are four sacred mountains in China, Emei Shan (shan means mountain, in Chinese) being the tallest of the four, where I just got back from climbing up the length of the mountain and then down from the summit.

At just under 10,000 feet, it was my first mountain climb. It took three full days and it fully kicked my ass. I can’t remember the last time, if ever, I’ve gotten an extended cardiovascular workout like that. The summit goes higher than the clouds, so when you look out and around you from up there, it looks like you’re looking out at the sea – everything is white, but there’s nothing around you as far as you can see in every direction. Lots of unbelievable sights, including dozens of monkeys happily living in their natural habitat, and lazy tourists being carried up the mountain by the most fit Chinese people I’ve ever seen in my life. They crafted bamboo stretcher-like structures which two of these guys put on their shoulders, and they climb up the mountain with some lazy fucker sitting in between the two of them on this bamboo chair. Totally bizarre sight.

At the top there’s a visual phenomenon known as Buddah’s Halo. At sunrise, when the fog rises to the peak of the summit as the sun hits it, somehow a circular 7-color rainbow is naturally produced. As if this weren’t enough, if you stand at the right angle, you can see your reflection within the center of the halo. Centuries ago monks from the monestary at the peak saw this blissful sight and thought they’d reached Nirvana – and, full of unspeakable pleasure, instinctively threw their bodies from the cliff. I saw this with my eyes.

I downloaded a new DJ Shadow mix from Fight Club called Funky Skunk. I’ve been listening to it on repeat for 3 hours. It’s fuckin’ off the hook, and I’m searching everywhere for a tracklisting.

Yesterday I saw It’s All Gone Pete Tong and Wag the Dog, both of which were good, but “…Pete Tong” was fantastic.

Published on October 7, 2005

5 Film Reviews

Batman Begins

9.5/10

Shockingly great. I was really apprehensive before seeing it, not only because I’m sick of comic/film adaptations, but because of the Batman movie curse (which is pretty clearly the fault of Joel Schumacher now). The first Batman (from ’89 with Nicholson) was fantastic and this one might have even surpassed that one. Bale was perfect for the role; he wasn’t a nice guy, and that seems more like the way that it should be. I’m told that this one is much more faithful to the original Batman, issue number one, which includes things like the Tumbler instead of the bat mobile. The villian, Cillian as the Scarecrow, was incredibly great. Who could have seen this coming? I can’t wait for the next one, but I believe there’s really almost no chance at all that anyone can match Nicholsons performance as the Joker. My only qualm – why did they cast Katie Holmes as the love interest?

It’s All Gone Pete Tong

8.5/10

Surprisingly touching. I expected it to be more like Go or Groove, but it was sentimental, insightful, and introspective. Included a lot of hilarious scenes, and the protagonist for most of the film is sort of a cartoon. Not just a movie for the dance scene like I thought it’d be. Wilde’s interview on Radio One with Tong at the beginning of the film is outstandingly absurd.

Wag the Dog

7.5/10

I’d heard a lot of talk about this, especially after 9/11. It tells the story of a presidential scandal (the movie was released weeks before Clinton/Lewinski scandal) and a government cover-up involving a fake war to distract the public. It’s meant to be a political satire, but post-Clinton it’s not so much of a satire anymore at all. Deniro was only okay, Hoffman was great.

Jersey Girl

8/10

Another surprisingly touching film. When I think of View Askew and Kevin Smith, I think of Jason Lee and Mallrats. All of View Askew cast members were present – Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and so forth. A few scenes were incredibly funny, but I suppose that would make this some kind of romantic/familial comedy. The protagonist, Affleck, copes with an inner struggle to move on in his life, away from his lost wife and into a domestic life raising his young daughter. It could certainly be classified as a feel-good movie, which generally means that I don’t care for it, but this one had enough pockets of greatness to prevent it from getting too slow. George Carlin was great as Afflecks father and the caring grandfather of the child.

2003 Cannabis Cup

6.5/10

Can this even be considered a movie? In 2003 High Times cast and filmed a reality show at the 15th annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. They selected half a dozen High Times readers and set them up in a house in Amsterdam for three to be official judges of the ‘Cup. The responsibilities to smoke, grade, and eventually vote of all but one strain of bud off the list of nominees falls squarely upon the motley group of potheads and medicinal marijuana patients. Most of it consists of them sitting around getting obscenely stoned, watching live shows, and participating in local events. It looks like a blast, but somehow it felt like I was watching someone eat a hamburger on TV while I myself was starving. One of the six cast members gets so high that he claims to have a religious experience in which he’s instructed to never smoke anymore weed, for the rest of his life, and hence, he drops out. The guy is a white American college-age guy who calls himself Gat and wears a giant black afro wig all day long. I wouldn’t expect any less of the Cannibus Cup. It still didn’t really make a worthwhile viewing experience.

Published on October 5, 2005