Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Verve - Fourth - CD Review

The Verve really never made it too big in the United States, but have seemed to have a very good following in the UK even though they have been absent, as a band, for the better part of the last 10 years letting Coldplay slip in and take some of their fan base. Actually I think they would certainly have a similar base.

The band is still made up of the four original members, Richard Ashcroft, Simon Jones, Nick McCabe and Peter Salisbury. They were formed in 1989 at Winstanley Sixth Form College in Wigan. They started out as a jam band type putting together psychedelic sounds and space rock music. They had their first full length CD released in 1993 and had some success in the UK. In 1994 they played on the Lollapolooza tour in the United States, but had all sorts of issues including drug problems that got them into trouble.

The band went through a lot of turmoil and had members leave and come back as they struggled. In 1997 the release of “Urban Hymns” was a huge success in the UK and hit the charts in the US. The song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” was the big hit off this cd. The song “Bitter Sweet Symphony” borrowed a looped sample of the Rolling Stones song “The Last Time”. This ended up causing all sorts of issues and they ended up losing the royalties for this one and had to give the Rolling Stones songwriting credit as well.

The band broke up in 1999 after a couple bust ups and McCabe walking out again. The individual members have gone on to do other projects and solo stuff and Richard Ashcroft appeared along with Coldplay at Live 8 to sing “Bitter Sweet Symphony” once again and in June of 2007 The Verve were back together touring and putting out this new CD called Fourth.

This year they finally release their 4th cd Fourth and have been on the festival tours, such as Cochella, Pinkpop, T in the Park, Oxegen and The V festival.

So that’s a lot to bring out of the history of the band, but I wanted to do so for those who may not know much about them.

Fourth starts off with “Sit and Wonder”, which was originally released as a 14 minute download jam on NME. They scaled it down for the cd and from there through the rest of the CD, you can hear a really nice sound once again from The Verve. Many of the tunes on this CD, to me, seem like they scaled them back from long jams. I bet in concert they do jam on with some of these. The overall sound is great, Ashcroft sounds as good as he did back in the 90’s. The rest of the band seems to add just what is needed to make this cd a hit.

Check it out for yourself. Amazon has it for $7.99 and iTunes I believe is $9.99, but however you find yourself picking this one up you will be happy you did.

Track Listing:

1. Sit And Wonder
2. Love Is Noise
3. Rather Be
4. Judas
5. Numbness
6. I See Houses
7. Noise Epic
8. Valium Skies
9. Columbo
10. Appalachian Springs

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Review

The new Mummy film brings back Brendan Fraser as Rick O'Connell to this third installment. The rest of the cast is different from the past movies. Maria Bello takes Rachel Weisz's place as Mrs. O'Connell and now there is a grown up son Alex played by Luke Ford. This one adds a different flavor with Jet Li as the Dragon Emperor and Michelle Yeoh as Zi Juan. The writters of this one are new to the series, Millar & Gough, the creators of Smallville. Rob Cohen directs it.

So you always wonder why continue with a 3rd after all these years. Is it really going to be anywhere near as popular as the original? In this case I would say NO - plus it was going up against The Dark Knight and there was no chance of taking it out of the top spot.

Still it was an entertaining film with it's typical action, chase scenes and loads of explosions. This one takes place in China and tells the legend of the Dragon Emperor who was encased in stone and one day would return to rule the world. Well, that day has come. Alex, who's following in his dad's footsteps finds the tomb and unleashes the Dragon Emperor.

Isabella Leong plays Lin, who is trying to help stop the Emperor from awakening his troops and trying to rule the world. They are on the search for the gateway to stop the Emperor.

This film is filled with all sorts of CGI effects and loads of action. There's even Yeti's and they do look pretty cool. Although it isn't as epic as the original film theis one has some good and bad to it. I thought the action and effects were good as well as the role that Jet Li played.

I would say it certainly would be better to see this one in the theater because of the special effects.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Wackness - Movie Review

Wasn't sure when I picked this one out what I was getting into. All I knew is was that Ben Kingsley was in it, but so was Mary-Kate Olsen, so that threw me off.

This film takes place in 1994 on the streets of New York. You have Ben Kingsley playing the pot smoking psychotherapist who takes payment in weed from one of his patients Luke Shapiro, played by Josh Peck. There's a funny line in there about "don't you think it's fucked up that you get your pot from the same guy who deals to your daughter?" Dr. Squires replys "Step Daughter".

So Lukes family is in financial trouble and he just wants to get high and get laid. He figures selling weed on the streets will get him some money to help on the bills and pay for school as well. But he is living a crazy life.

Most of the movie is great dialog between Dr. Shapiro and Luke and then it progresses to Luke digging Dr. Shapiro's stepdaughter. Luke knows nothing about relationships and learns to deal with them over the course of the movie.

The music in this one is great. There's a bunch of hip hop stuff as well as some Smashing Pumkins and Neil Young. It's all over the place with music.

Kingsley always does an amazing job and he keeps me pleased in this one. His best role to me is as Don Logan in Sexy Beast - that is a classic nutter film.

Lots of Pot, relationships stuff, nerdy stuff and it's all about 1994, not a bad year. Brazil won the world cup that year.

I really like this one and I would say check it out for sure.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lost Boys: The Tribe - DVD Review

So the new Lost Boys movie was a straight to DVD release. So I pretty much was thinking - classic Steven Segal and Wesley Snipes cheese. There was some good cheese and a little entertainment.

The seaside town of Luna Bay is once again hopping with vampires and surfers. This time around instead of Kiefer Sutherland playing the lead vampire it's his little brother Angus who plays Shane Powers a surfer turned vampire. So this one certainly has it's fill of blood and guts as well as it's booze and women.

You know you're in for a treat when the first scene of the movie starts off with three surfing vampires who ride the waves and come on shore at a wealthy man's house who happens to also be a vampire. He talks big and the boys rip his head off and punt it into the ocean.

So the story begins!

The story is about a brother and sister who are broke, their parents are dean and they are moving in with their aunt Jillian or at least into an appartment of hers. Tad Hilgenbrink plays former pro surfer Chris Emerson, who lost all his sponsors and spot on the tour because of his behavior. His sister Nicole is played by Autumn Reeser, formerly of The OC. She's the good looking younger sister who's about to get them in trouble.

They get invited to a party at Shane Powers and that's where it all begins.

Now without getting too much into the story what I will tell you is that Nicole takes a drink, which turns out ot be the blood of the head vampire and now her brother needs to kill the head vampire before she drinks and the spell will be removed.

How does he know all this? Because the famous Edgar Frog is back and he's over acting in the best way possible. The cheese starts here. Corey Feldman is back as Edgar Frog and he is what makes this movie fun. He is so serious in his role that it's hard to take him serious at all. I laughed my way through some good fun stuff.

There's some sex, violence and good action in this one. The best are the one lines that Edgar shoots off. Here are a few classics. "Smell that? It smells like fungus and death....Vampire B.O." and there's "I Smell Ugly" as they are running around the vampire lair. He shoots off the head of one of the vampires and says "Pop goes the weasel". Then there is a great scene where good old Edgar say "Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day, light a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life!" Classic!

I've got to say it really was better than I thought it would be. It had a story, vampires and Cory Feldman.

Rent it or buy it, but you will have fun as long as you have a nice cold one!

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Donavon Frankenreiter - Pass It Around - CD Review

Pass It Around brings some new songs and a different sound in some ways to Donavon Frankenreiter. Donavon used producer Joe Chiccarelli who has done work in the past with Frank Zappa, My Morning Jacket, The Raconteurs and many others. With a little help with some friends putting some songs together and helping finish some thing us, G. Love, Ben Harper and Grant Lee Phillips did some work on this new CD. This is Frankenreiter's third CD, the first was on Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records and now he is currently with Lost Highways.

Frankenreiter is not only a musician, but a pro-surfer as well. He travels around with his guitar and surfboard looking for waves and playing tunes. Not quite Jack Johnson, but they are friends and all run in the same circle of friends. He's from Laguna Beach, CA and loves nothing more that to be out on the water.

This CD is a bit of a different take from his past works. He's gome to a little more of a mellow side and not as much of a soul type presence in the music. Life, Love & Laughter still holds a bit of the last CD Move By Yourself in it. This one you can tell that he has put some really good time and effort to find the sound he wants. He even uses a Mariachi Band sound on the song Come With Me and it works - fits the song well.

I guess in the past, Frankenreiter has had a difficult time writing about the Ocean and his love for it. I read that I think in his bio, but on this CD he gets a feel for the ocean on songs such as Too Much Water and Mansions In the Sand. I'd say overall there a good mix of style in this one. Some of it sounds a little on the pop side and some sounds like it should be on a 70's greatest hits album, but it all fits and makes one really nice mellow cd.

Saturday night KPRI in San Diego with be airing a 1 hour live performance of Donavon Frankenreiter live from a concert at The Belly UP Tavern in Solana Beach, CA. Which is a great venue to see a show at for sure. I have been to so many I can't really remember all of them. There have been some really amazing acts that have played there over the years and it might hold about 1200 people at its capacity. Not sure the time, but check it out online http://www.kprifm.com/Default.aspx

Really nice sound and really good to hear more Donavon music. My recommendation is to get this one, it's about the same price on Amazon download as iTunes - no bonus stuff, just the 10 songs.

Track Listing:

Life, Love & Laughter
Too Much Water
Come With Me
Your Heart
Hit the Ground Running
Mansions In the Sand
Someone's Something
Sing a Song
Pass It Around
Come Together

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jack Johnson - 08-15-2008 Sandstone Amp, Bonner Springs, KS Show Review

This is going to be a review of both the show and my time helping Volunteer with The Surfrider Foundations "Rise Above Plastics" campaign at the show on 8-15-2008 at Sandstone Amp in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
So the day started out early getting to the venue 1 1/2 hours before the gates open to help out volunteering for the Surfrider Foundation to talk about Rise Above Plastics to ask people to take the Plastics Pledge and to educate them on how to reduce the number of plastics they use by getting reusable bags instead of plastic ones and to get a reusable bottle for water instead of buying bottled water. There are many options out there from bags at the store to other options like Chico Bags to use. There are many websites that give out great information on this topic, so just do a search or link through the ones in my text.


I commit to do my part to rise above plastics and protect the world's oceans, waves and beaches from plastic pollution. I will do this by:

- Using reusable bottles for my water and other drinks. By using just one reusable bottle, I will keep 167 single-use plastic bottles from entering the environment.

- Using cloth bags for groceries and other purchases. For each reusable bag I use, I will save approximately 400 plastics from being used.

- Recycling the plastic bags and bottles I already have. For every thirteen plastic bags I don't use, I will save enough petroleum to drive a car one mile.

So now getting back to my time volunteering. I met up with Elizabeth Willes, from the San Diego Chapter of The Surfrider Foundation. She is the one coordinating the effort on the whole Jack Johnson tour for the summer. I stopped by to see them at Alpine Valley and ended up helping out in Kansas as a result. There were to others that volunteered with us that were really awesome people as well. I didn't to put there names in here as I haven't asked them if it was ok, but I did post the picture of all of us meeting up with Jack before the show.

One of the cool things is that if Jack has time, he likes to come out before the show and meet and take pictures(I'm the one on the left) with the volunteers. So we all had the opportunity to meet Jack and get a picture as a group, it was pretty cool. Jack was a very mellow dude, wearing his typical green Sprout T with jeans and flip-flops. That was really cool of him to do. The whole Village Green thing is pretty awesome and he really does a great job getting the word out to people through this. I hope he will continue to do this on future tours.

For the first 15 minutes or so when the gates opened, people were more concerned with getting into the front GA section as there was going to be a 5,000 person limit. So after that people started coming up and asking a lot of questions and taking the pledge to reduce plastics.

At first I kept thinking that I'm going to fumble over my words, but it all just started to flow. There were a lot of questions about things like "What can I do to help" answer is simple - stop buying single use plastics and use reusable bags at the store. Stop buying beer, soda and water in single use bottles. It's better to buy them in cans if you are going to buy them ast all. Personally I buy beer in bottles and take my empties to a recycling facility. People asked about the Great Pacific Ocean Trash Vortex which I've linked an article on it. All sorts of stuff came up, but the overall feeling was of support and many already started doing their part.

At the end of the Village Green area, Zach Gill put on a little show for the fans around 6pm as a warm-up. He sang a couple of songs from his new cd Stuff that just came out on Brushfire Records a couple weeks back. I highly recommend it. After the third song, Jack Johnson joined him to play three more songs, which included Family & Girl I Wanna Lay You Down, which is a song he sings with his other band Animal Liberation Orchestra that he plays with when he's not playing with Jack. It was pretty cool to hear. I only saw part of it since I was volunteering.

Afterwards, Zach came out and signed posters and cds for people and I had a chance at the end of his signing to ask him to take a picture and chatted a minute about his new cd. It was pretty cool. It was kind of funny not seeing him with his signature hat on. Very nice guy and a great entertainer, he really does add that little bit to Jack's performance that makes it just that much better.

So we finished up out time volunteering and we really did meet a lot of interesting people and it was a great experience volunteering and helping out. I would certainly do it again at any show in Kansas City regardless of what band it was. Just getting the word out about Rise Above Plastics is helping every little bit it can.

So my wife, who happens to be 8 1/2 months pregnant and my daughter, who is almost 2 1/2 came out to the show to see Jack play. My daughter will not take a nap unless we are playing the Curious George Soundtrack that Jack did with a bunch of his friends including Zach Gill, G. Love, Ben Harper & Matt Costa. I would pick it up if you don't have it. Kid or Adult, it really is a great CD.

So we went up and sat in the grass and Jack came on ans started it off with Hope and into Taylor. My daughter was excited about hearing Jack sing. She clapped her hands and spent most of the time sitting up on my shoulders looking out to see Jack and hear the songs. She was really happy to get to hear Upside Down, that got her fired up. She recognized it right away and bounce up and down to it. She really had a blast.

I tried to keep track of the setlist, but was having so much fun playing and dancing with my little one that I lost track sometime about 10-12 songs into the show. Still I did my best to keep track of the songs at least. So my setlist listed below will be out of order and it ends at the first song of the encore. I will make updates as I see a full setlist pop up.

The crowd was pretty cool. Some people tried to keep from blowing smoke at my daughter and we did move around a bit to avoid it. A lot of other folks we just having fun saying Hi to my daughter and playing around with her. She was fired up and then just before the encore she crashed big. So it was time to go. Fortunately I had already seen Jack on this tour at Alpine Valley, so it was alright to depart.

Jack and the band really played some good stuff and had some fun out there and the crowd was really into it. It was a sold out show with some 18,000 fans there. Great place to see and hear a show if you get there early enough to put yourself in a good spot.

Jack keeps doing amazing things on the stage and off. I really respect him as an artist because he's a good guy and really does do his part and uses the music and concerts as a way to educate people on the issues of the environment. I think it's great, he's not preaching politics but just asking people to do their part and get involved however you feel like.

Great show again. If you can make a JJ show this tour, please do. Many are sold out, but if you can get out there and see it and stop by The Village Green do it. Don't forget to stop at Surfrider and take the Pleadge.

Setlist - Subject to Updates and Correction:

8-15-2008 Sandstone Amp Bonner Springs, KS

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
Sleep Through the Static
Go On
Mother and Child Reunion
Do You Remember?
Upside Down
Bubble Toes
Wasting Time
Where Do the Children Play/Fall Line(w/Zach Rogue & Neil Halstead)
Banana Pancakes
Same Girl
Family (Zach Gill Song)
Staple It Together - with some rap from bass player
If I Had Eyes/ Time Is On My Side
Good People

All At Once
Times Like These
Better Together

The full setlist is now in order thanks to Ryan Hoyt who recorded the show and it can now be found at 08-15-2008 Bonner Springs, KS Live On Archive.org . Download it and have a listen, you will enjoy it and I'm happy to be able to play it over again.

Dave P.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The X-Files: I Want to Believe Movie Review

Scully and Mulder are back in this new installment of The X-Files. Probably one of the most successful shows on television has decided to come back with another movie to carry on it's legend. Fortunately they brought back David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson to play their roles again. Many of us fans have been waiting a long time to see another X-Files. Chris Carter is once again directing as well as writ ting this feature film.

This film isn't like the previous one, there is no black ooze and the conspiracy of aliens isn't a part of it. This is back to some of the old originals that deals with some strange occurrences that lead them to call Fox Mulder back into the FBI to help them solve the case. Mulder was a wanted man and this will give him his freedom. The story starts off with an FBI agent getting attacked outside her home and a strange priest leads the FBI to a buried arm that is connected to the disappearance of the agent.

Billy Connolly plays Father Joseph Crissman, a former priest who was convicted of child molestation and now lives in a halfway house to help heal. He gets visions of the woman and leads the FBI to an Arm and then eventually to a whole series of body parts to open up a really strange case.

Amanda Peet plays agent Dakota Whitney, who is fascinated with the works of Fox Mulder and brings him back into the game. Hip Hop star Xzibit plays Whitney's partner Mosley Drummy. So no smoking man or other mystery men in this one, just pure strange stuff and a hunt ot find the missing woman.

Without giving too much away all I can tell you is that Mulder and Scully are in a relationship at the start of this film, you will have to see it to know where it goes from there.

This one has some good twists and turns and keeps you thinking through out. Mulder and Scully were awesome as always and Chris Carter once again put together a good film. Even Skinner makes an appearance as well.

Check this one while it's still in the theaters if you can.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Dog Waste Composter - Make or Buy One!

There are two ways to go about the process of having a dog waste composter/septic system in your back yard. One way is to make one yourself and the other is to buy a product like the Doggie Dooley, which comes in several different sizs based on the amount of dogs you have.

There are some really basic steps to building your own that I have found on many websites and they are all the same:

1. Take and old garbage can and drill a dozen or so holes in the side.
2. Cut out the bottom (A keyhole saw works great for this.)
3. Dig a hole in the ground, deep enough for the garbage can.
4. Toss some rocks or gravel in the hole for drainage and position the garbage can so it's a little higher than the soil level.
5. Place the lid on top (you might want to paint it with something like Dog Waste Composter.)
6. When you scoop some poop, put it in the hole and sprinkle in some septic starter (available at hardware stores) and add some water.

They typically take about 24-48 hours to start to break down and from there you can add daily and it should hold it's own. You also want to consider the location for this contraption. Don't put it close to a garden or in a wetland, also keep it away from any water sources if you are on a well system. Outside of that, once you get the thing started, it's no more plastic bags or smelly garbage cans.

The second product the Doggie Dooley comes in different sizes. The 3000 that I talk about here is for 2 large dogs, that's what I have. Basically it's all set to go, you just need to dig the hole, add water and septic powder and you have you system ready to go.

From what I have read and what I have seen it sounds like the septic bacteria is environmentally safe, so you really aren't harming anything, just make sure it's not near food sources or water sources. You still don't want environmentally friendly bacteria to get into your food and water. It may not be bad for the environment, but not so good for you.

Just think of all the plastic bags you will no longer be using and the garbage guy will be happy that when he opens your cans, they won't stink horribly anymore.

Do your part and start with simple solutions

Monday, August 11, 2008

Alter Eco - The So Far Series Review - The Good & Bad

Alter Eco is one of the first shows I saw on the new Planet Green TV station. This is a Discovery Channel station and focuses totally on being "Green". I found the first episode of the show to be pretty interesting. The though that Adrian Grenier was doing his part of being green was pretty cool. Here's a guy who is spending extra money to completely remodel this house in the Hollywood Hills to make it totally "Green".

So based on that episode I thought it was really cool that Adrian utilizes the show to talk about all the stuff he's going to do on his house as well as some really cool ideas that his friends explore. The friends are Boise Thomas who is into finding ways to do things green, Darren Moore, who owns his eco-remodelling company called Ecovations and Angela Lindvall, a fashion model who runs a non-profit eco friendly company called Collage.

So the show really focuses on the three friends and the cool things they do to help out people from many different companies. Yes, there's a lot of advertizing plugs, but all for good reason. Like when they put some sort of converter on the Paul Frank bus to get it better gas mileage or they went to Sheperd Fairey's house to help build a nursery and brought a mobile food unit to his office to feed the people. Those along with making a nice compost bin for a family with limited space. Some pretty cool stuff is done by the three of them.

So the three of them are the backbone of the show and really Adrian Grenier and Rick Byrd play small roles in the show, but not nearly as effective as the other three. Adrian shows up in the first episode and then every once in a while he makes an appearence. Rick Byrd is on each episode, at first I thought he was a goofball and a bit annoying, but he grows on you that's for sure. By the later part of the season he seems to have loosened up and is a pretty cool dude. Seeing that the show hasn't even finished airing it's first season and Big Rick already has the house for sale. What's that all about, bought for something like $1.2 million and selling for $3.5 million after all the work. Claiming it to be LEED certified Platinum - and the first and only of it's kind in Los Angeles. Maybe it really is LEED Platinum, but what documentation is needed for that to be proven?

Here's a Link to Alter Eco Dundee House to see that it is the place. It says that the owner of the house is Rick Byrd not Adrian Grenier, so what's the story? I still think that the show has a lot of value added to it, by the things they do to the house as well as the things the other three do out on their adventures. Not sure what is up with the whole selling of the house and was it always the plan or did it just work out that way.

Personally if Rick Byrd is really building and promoting LEED homes, that's pretty cool and I regardless of his profits, he's still doing something good in the end.

Still outside of that little BS move on the show, I would love to see Darren, Boise & Angela continue on with or without the others as they really seem to put a lot into the show and really were the stars. I don't know where all the ideas came from, but the different things they did really make you start to think about some of the things you can do.

I like the episode where they went to Cochella and show all the cool art and green ways of making things. I think they should catch up with Jack Johnson and the Village Green area at each of his shows when they are out in So Cal in the near future. I know Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews and others are doing something like what Jack is doing, but Jack really speaks well to it and has some awesome folks out at the shows. Some local farmers and green groups as well as some others like Surfrider Foundation and the Rise Above Plastics Pledge to elimate the use of plastic bags and bottles, a good cause in my book.

So certainlly check out this show and see all the cool stuff that you can do and places around LA you can visit. I would love to see it continue on in the future, no need to spin off as a star having his house built maybe as much as Rick has a new project and the crew is going to team up to help get it done and during the episodes, continue to do the little things they do.

Excellent show!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Chico Bags - Great Reusable Shopping Bags

With all the talk about plactic bags and what we need to do to get them banned all over the World, here's a great solution to use, Chico Bags. The Chico Bag is pretty awesome, it folds up into a small little sack with a clip that you can leave in the car, clip to your cart and use.

These are nice durable bags that can be used over and over. They run $5.00 per bag or if you get them on the web, if you buy 4 you get the 5th one free. They come in a whole mix of colors, Green, Pale Green, Red, Mango, Brown, Black, Blue, Pink, Purple and the Earth edition. Check them out on the web at http://store.chicobag.com/.

They also have a zero waste program and will accept any of your old reusable bags which they will recycle. They use them to make rugs and other cool things. Check out that website and pick some awesome bags up.

There's a good link to a cool blog called The Bagmonster Blog as well. That's worth checking out at http://bagmonster.blogspot.com/

Do your part and reduce your use of plastics.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Jack Johnson RAP Surfrider Membership Pack

So for those of you who are fans of Jack Johnson and support environmental causes, here's a great opportunity for you. You can join the Surfrider Foundation and along with that get Jack Johnson's new CD "Sleep Through The Static" and two other really cool items, a 1 Liter SIGG bottle and a black tote bag with the Rise Above Plastics/Jack Johnson 2008 Tour logo on it. All this for $45 which includes the one year membership to The Surfrider Foundation and you don't even need to live near the ocean to join. You just need to support what they are about and help out in any way you can or just be informed.

I lived lived in San Diego County for most of the last 12 years with a brief stint out on the New Hampshire coast as well. So even though I recently moved to the middle of the United States and as far away from every ounce of saltwater possible, I still have my membership and will continue to follow what goes on with the organization.

Over the years, The Surfrider Foundation has done a lot to get involved in the local communities and the government to make sure that things are happening for the good of the ocean. They are currently heavily involved in a couple of big campaigns including one to save Trestles, which is an amazing surf break in the far north end of San Diego County. Just up past the Nuclear Power Plant at San Onofre, Trestle could be in danger of it's surf break and much more because Orange county and the Toll Roads system want to extend the Toll Road all the way down through the area. Honestly there is no reason to continue the road and hopefully they will fight the good fight and win.

The other big campaign is for "Rise Above Plastics". This is to get everyone to realize the cost of every plastic bag or bottle they use and throw out and how to educate people on other options to use. There are more than just plastic bags and bottles, but these two along make up for a large portion of death and destruction of our environment. Over 1 million sea birds and over 100,000 sea mamals die because of plastics each year from suffocation and ingestion. Plastics never really go away, but just shrink and becore little pellets of pollution.

Jack Johnson has teamed up with The Surfrider Foundation and this summer they will be talking about Rise Above Plastics at each of Jack's concerts. They are part of the Village Green that Jack going on from the opening of the gates until he comes on stage. There are many other organizations involved as well, you can check them out at Jack's website www.jackjohnsonmusic.com.

There's a great blog that is run by Elizabeth of the Surfrider Foundation's San Diego Chaper you should check out as well at http://riseaboveplastics.blogspot.com/.

So please sign up for this great deal, it's only $45 and you get some cool stuff, here's the website link and more info:


Package Includes:
1) Jack Johnson's "Sleep Through The Static" CD
2) RAP (Rise Above Plastic) SIGG Water Bottle (1 liter)
3) RAP (Rise Above Plastic) Black Tote Bag
4) Surfrider Membership

Surfrider Membership Includes:
- 1 year’s worth (6 issues) of Surfrider’s award-winning publication, Making Waves
- Discounts at a growing number of retailers and restaurants
- Surfrider Membership sticker
- Surfrider Chapter contact and volunteer information

The Surfrider Foundation (www.surfrider.org) is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 80 chapters worldwide.

If you have any questions in regards to your membership please contact us at membership@surfrider.org.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Neil Halstead – Oh! Mighty Engine – CD Review

Neil Halstead is one of the latest editions to Jack Johnson’s Brush Fire Records Label. Neil is currently a member of the band Mojave 3 and was previously a member of the band Slowdrive. He currently lives in Cornwall, England near the coast. He’s a surfer and fits right in with the mellow relaxed sound like the rest of the Brushfire crew. I haven’t listened to Rogue Wave yet, but even G. Love’s grooves, ALO & Zach Solo are all in line with what seems to be how Neil is.

This 2008 solo recording of Halstead’s was partially recorded at The Solar Powered Plastic Plant in L.A. and the rest from his home in England. This CD to me is one of those that you throw on while driving along in the car or just kicking back on the porch at night looking out at the stars.

There’s a little Nick Drake feel to part of it in style but not as dark. Overall it’s a pretty mellow CD, but has some really nice tones, the acoustic guitar and piano mix is nice in some of the songs. Neil has one of those calming type voices in song.

I really like this one and look forward to going back and hearing some of his older stuff to see if it’s as good or is the same style.

Neil describes his style as “Nylon Rock” whatever that means. Neil is said to like his beer and his surf. Two of my favorite things.

Check this one out there are a lot of nice mellow tunes on it for those hot summer days ahead.

Track Listing:

Oh Mighty Engine
Little Twig
Witless or Wise
Paint a Face
Always the Good
No Mercy For The Muse
Sometimes The Wheels
Queen Bee
Spinning for Spoonie
A Gentle Heart
Baby, I Grew a Beard
New Whites and Brights (iTunes Bonus Track)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Kung Fu Panda - Late Movie Review

I actually saw this one a little earlier this summer, but never wrote a review of it. I would start by saying that I would not recommend taking a 2-3 year old to this unless they are OK with violence and scary tigers. My daughter freaked out at the opening scene and the scene of Tai Lung the Tiger breaks out of jail. But over that age, I think they would be fascinated with the opening scene and the breakout.

Jack Black plays Po, the panda who wants so bad to be a Kung Fu master. But he's just is a overweight, clumsy panda who works at his families noodle restaurant. He is obsessed with Kung Fu and the Furious Five who are Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey. They have all been trained by Master Shifu. So one day Master Oogway sends for Master Shifu to tell him it's time to select the chosen one.

Po hears about the selection of the chosen one and makes his way up the mountain to the palace to see what's going on. He wants to be a Kung Fu expert, but his father wants him to take over the family business. Po gets there and is locked out.

After desperation sets in he tries to lights some fireworks off to get him in and it works only to land in the center of the ring and be chosen by Master Oogway as The One.

So goes the story, which you will have to go and see to know the rest. I will tell you that it was quite an enjoyable film to see and had it's funny moments. I did like this one and was looking forward to seeing it for a long time.

I would certainly recommend going to see this one, it was entertaining, not much on the violent side and was funny.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Dark Night - Movie Review

Dark Knight is the latest installment in the Batman Series wrtitten and directed by Christopher Nolan. Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne/Batman again as well as Gary Oldman as James Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox . There's a new Rachel Dawes played by Maggie Gyllenhaal taking over for Katie Holmes - not sure what kept her out of this one except that maybe that freak of a husband of hers wouldn't let her be in it. The Dark Knight also introduces to the latest incarnation of The Joker played by Heath Ledger in one of his final roles before dying. A few others to mention are the new DA, Harvey Dent played by Aaron Ekhart and Eric Roberts as Salvatore Maroni.

This was certainly a darker and more violent version than the first one. It was pretty intense from the start to the end. Heath Ledger did a great job as The Joker, probably the best one of all the incarnations to date. He was very intense and they did a great job writting his part. He certainly has some good plots to foil Batman and Gordon through out the film. I can't say that it was certainly an oscar nominating performance, but he really got into the role and made everyone a little scarred of him.

I think they did a great job with the plot and really thought out the tricky situations that needed to be played out. The interraction between Batman and The Joker was fantastic.

It was funny that they made no effort to hide that Gotham was actually Chicago, showing the Tribune Building, the River and the underground street and the skyline as well as Navy Pier. I think at one point they even used the actual Chicago street names.

Without giving anything away I can say that is really was a dark one and the outcome wasn't typical Hollywood for the most part. I will be interested in seeing where they will go from here with the loss of Heath Ledger, will they use a new Joker or will they just change up the villian. Hopefully they change up the villian to The Riddler or Catwoman. Only time will tell where they will go with the next story.

Great performance by all in this one and a great writting job by Christopher Nolan. I would highly recommend that you go out and see this one.

Rating: 5 out of 5