Yes, new vocabulary words. You must have chinese installed to see them.

ÈÄöÈÅìpassage, throughfare (Ë°å‰??Áî®ÈÄöÈÅì – pedestrians use the walkway)

§ßʶÇroughly, approximately (§ßʶǧöÂ?ëÈí±? – about how much money?)

Êàê‰??to become (Âè؉ª•Êàê‰??ÊúãÂèãÂêß? – want to be friends?)

Â??Â??ordinary, common (Â??Â??Êó• – weekday)

ʆ?Ê?¶Âô®nuclear weapon (Áé?Âú®ÊúùÈ?úÊúâ‰?ĉ?™Ê†?Ê?¶Âô® – now North Korea has a nuclear weapon)

ÁßçÂ?êseed (ÊúâÂᆉ?™ÁßçÂ?ê? – how many seeds are there?)

ÊĪÁªüpresident (ÁæéÂõ?ÁöÑÊĪÁªüÂ?±Á•ûÁªèÁóÖ – America’s president is crazy)

ÂâØÊĪÁªüvice president (ÁæéÂõ?ÁöÑÂâØÊĪÁªüÊòØÊúâÈí±‰?? – America’s vice president is rich)

Èô™accompany (‰?†Ê?°ÊúâÈô™‰?†ÁöÑÁà?Áà?Âêó? – you’re not accompanying your father?)

˱?Â?êleopard (ÊàëÁöÑÁãóÂè´Èªë˱? – my dog is named Black Leopard)

•áÊÄ™strange (ÈÇ£Êó?•áÊÄ™ÁöÑÂêçÂ?ó – that’s a weird name)

Published on October 14, 2006


24 hours in the wet wilderness, miles from the nearest person. The enduring pattering of rain dropping on the blue tent with lightning illuminating everything. And then, my personal favorite, the constant low rumble of thunder echoing off the mountains around us, bouncing back and forth. It didn’t start, stop, and continue again; it started and rumbled for a minute at a time. I’ve never heard anything like that.

Published on September 27, 2006

Daoist Temple

After spending the day climbing around the mountain, exploring the gardens and hillsides, the sun was falling behind the distant mountain peaks and a 10-foot high door to a Daoist temple stood before us. The log laid horizontally on the door keeping it locked was lifted by a monk who let us look inside after Sascha peeked inside and asked politely in Sichuan dialect if we could pass through and have a look. Shocked that foreigners who speak Chinese had found their way to this temple, we were guided through the grounds and various courtyards by a monk who lived in the temple along with 10 others. I felt lucky just to be let inside, but the courtyards revealed an unbelievably well-kept location, lush with gardens and decorated by beautifully ornate statues, sculptures, and scriptures. The monk who guided us through the temple as we chatted provided a backstory to every detail – from the meaning of the enormous characters carved into the thick wall which we couldn’t decypher, the sculpture of the car-sized turtle which protects the monestary, to the intricate stone dragons which sit atop the buildings to ward off hostile spirits. He taught us the ying yang fist position which traditional Daoists practice and meditate with and ceremoniously beat the gong while we paid tribute in the great hall by kneeling in front of the brooding figure of the first emperor of the Shu Dynasty.

As we said our thanks and goodbyes as we stepped out, a light rain started to fall as the darkness set in and we began the 30 minute walk along the river which led to the road.

Published on September 17, 2006

Consulate Lecture, Qing Cheng Shan

Last Wednesday I gave an hour-long lecture at the American consulate on DJ’ing in China. After six months or so of hesitation I decided to commit myself to it, I suppose to broaden my horizons and try something different. I saw a list of the topics that the previous lectors selected and was fairly put off by the entire idea when I found that people are lectured there on topics like classic French literature, 20th century American colonialism, and China’s economic growth. Boring. So, the primary objective was to make it fun an interesting. I didn’t think this would be too difficult considering the countless bizarre situations I’ve found myself in over the last year, so I decided to focus primarily on identifying the largest disparities between the two club cultures and the talking about the observations I’ve made as a first-hand witness of how China’s nightclubs operate. I thought it went very well and flowed much more like an open dialogue than I expected it to, which was a welcome surprise. I was also surprised to find that many of the people who showed up to hear me speak barely knew what a DJ was, while others were themselves DJ’s. Overall a good experience which yielded almost all that I hoped it could. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll give another lecture on another topic that isn’t so boring – I’ve already been thinking of doing one on creationism or scientology, which I don’t think many Chinese people are even familiar with. We’ll see.

Today I took a tour of Chengdu along with Sascha, who was able to obtain a big car and driver for the day, courtesy of the Chinese government, since he’s authoring a book on Chengdu. I tagged along and took photos as they dropped us off at all of the major tourist sites in the city, granted us entry into special ordinarily-restricted areas, and took us out to lunch. Most of the sites both of us had been to, but we checked out a few temples that I hadn’t been to before, in addition to a giant museum that’s set to open next year. The museum is actually an airplane-hanger-type facility built around a location filled with excavated fossil remains and 1,000-year old petrified trees. We were also taken to a storage facility guarded by three men which held a collection of ancient artifacts. 3,000 seemed to be the magic number dating all the articles, including a number of stone figures and small jade sculptures and scriptures. The day as a whole was largely impressive – after splitting with Sascha I met with Jade, who I went to Tibet with (she worked for Chivas at the time) last March. It’d been a long time since we’d seen eachother and it was a welcome opportunity to practice not speaking any english for the evening. New vocabulary include breakdancing (jie wu), cross the street (guo ma lu), and gua wa zi (crazy person) in Chongqing-hua (haar!). Pretty fantastic times.

Tomorrow I’ll set out and try to find a decent electronic piano to set in the studio. It’s been ten years now, but I’m committing myself to learning again!

Published on September 15, 2006

September 11th Five Year Anniversary

As you’re probably already aware, today is the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on New York and Washington DC. It being a nice round number, half a century, grants it a little more significance in our hearts, so I’ll write about my own experience on 9/11 and what I remember of what it.

My story isn’t the most dramatic, but took place in Tysons Corner, VA. That Tuesday morning I awoke before the first plane struck the North tower at the same time as my friend Zach, who was coming to work with me. I had gotten him a job at my office and he stayed at my house the previous night so we could go to the office together for his first day. Listening to the CD in the car and not bothering to turn on the TV or radio, we remained blissfully unaware of what was happening until walking past my boss David’s office where he was seated intently in front of a 9″ television. Generally the television was reserved as a late-night still-working comfort and not a morning distraction, so I walked inside to see what was going on. He relayed the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center as I saw on the TV what looked like a smoke stack. The significance of what had happened was evident in David’s voice.

And then, while standing there, the second plane was flown into the South tower. I could hear gasps from other offices as I stepped out of the corner office and walked down the halls witnessing a handful of employees experiencing varying levels of denial. Some continued to work and didn’t want to hear or talk about what was happening, while others were becoming hysterical. One employee fearing for her safety, Jamie, a recently married marketer in her early 30’s, called her husband and quickly formulated an escape plan to rural Maryland. Another employee, the ex-Marine Manny, showed a tender, vulnerable side after years of being the defacto ex-military office brute.

Eventually, all of us who stayed watched TV and read reports on the internet of what was happening while trying to render conclusions from the buzzing rumors. The Capitol had been bombed. The Sears tower had been evacuated. LAX had been attacked. Not five minutes would pass without another indication of the mounting threat, until the Pentagon was struck. Only 15 miles from where we were, this seemed to hit us the closest. Shortly afterwards, a fire alarm went off in the building. I felt a rush through my body as I felt a threat not from fire, but from hysterical people in this building. Zach and I stepped out into the 11th floor lobby to see fifty Merryl Lynch employees milling around amidst the loud fire alarm as one woman loudly screams “There’s a bomb in the building” with a quivering lip. Knowing that uncontrollable fear had captured so many peoples minds, this no longer seemed like such a safe place. Moments later the building was evacuated, with the fire alarm still going off. The elevators were crowded to capacity as Zach and I took the fire escape down 10 flights of stairs to the ground floor. The echo of the fire alarm and of our hasty steps down the stairs filled my ears and mind until we arrived at the ground floor to find the door locked. With the insanity fully enveloping us, Zach and I looked at eachother and shared a laugh as we pounded on the door hoping someone would hear us and open the door from the outside. After two minutes of pounding the door is opened, we’re released, and we take our final steps out of the building with the fire alarm still buzzing behind us.

I found this video last night. It’s a 30-minute unedited capture of the attacks in New York, filmed by local residents. It captures the surreal nature of the unexpected attacks perfectly.

Published on September 12, 2006

To Chungking and Back Again

A few hours ago I arrived back at home in Chengdu after spending half of the weekend in Chongqing, playing on Saturday night at one of my favorite clubs in China called Cotton Club. This was my second time in Chongqing (pronounced “Chong
Ching”) in a month and this show was a totally different environment than the last one at “Falling”, but further solidified Chongqing as my favorite city to DJ in.

Several weeks ago an American, Joe, called me representing the club and expressed interest in booking me to play funk, soul, reggae, and hip hop. A general roots-oriented set, which is an extraordinarily uncommon request in China – especially in western China. I was immediately excited because this is the kind of music that I’d rather be DJ’ing these days. To be honest, I’m getting bored of listening to and playing house music entirely. Fortunately, last time I was in Chongqing I was able to play an entire breaks set and have people go nuts, but even that doesn’t trump being able to play Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, and E-40 to a throbbing dancefloor with an exploding b-boy circle. Fortunately a Swedish photographer was there to capture some photos of the ambience in the room which wasn’t short of incredible. When I stepped into the club at 10pm the place was already packed. I really can’t say enough good things about Cotton Club and the Chongqing nightlife scene in general. I went with Jovian who VJ’ed right beside me, and Sascha who returned to Chongqing to finish writing his story on the city.

Published on September 11, 2006

Serato Busted

Oh no, my Serato Scratch Live was fried during a gig on Friday night because of an electrical storm and I’m temporarily out of comission until I can get it fixed! I haven’t yet found out whether I can ship the malfunctioning unit to the international distributor in Guangzhou (SE China) or have to send it back to the factory in the US, but it looks like I won’t be able to get it fixed for at least a week, minimum. Oh noes. I wasn’t even able to play at my own party on Saturday at the Hemp House! I got my Scottish friend to DJ instead and the headlining band was still able to play, so it worked out fine.

But still, :(

Published on September 4, 2006

New Photos Online

I signed up for a new google service, Picasa web, which interfaces with their photo editing software which is a really quick and easy way to get photos online. So, I uploaded a few hundred from various places. Check it out!

Published on August 27, 2006