Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crosses 3/28/12 at The Satellite - Los Angeles, CA

Going to concerts has been one of my favorite things to do since I started going to local shows around 1999 or so.  However, I haven’t been making good on this for the last few years due to either lack of funds, lack of interesting active bands (to be read as:  The Paper Chase disbanding), or just blatant laziness.  So when I finally convince myself to buy a concert ticket, I’m pretty excited.

Tonight I had the pleasure of watching a band called Crosses.  I consider myself lucky and can thank the fact that I now live in Los Angeles for this opportunity.  Crosses is the side project for Chino Moreno (Deftones) and Shaun Lopez (Far) so they were able to garner immediate interest without playing a single show.  About a half year after their first release (which can be legally downloaded for free right here) they finally put together a live band and started playing shows.  However, they aren’t really “on tour” since they aren’t packing into a van/bus and carting themselves from city to city on a string of shows.  Besides a week-long run at the start of February, they just kind of pop up here and there.  Currently, their only advertised shows are in Argentina and Chile.  So you can imagine my excitement when I received an e-mail last week informing me that they would be playing tonight at a place that is 3.5 miles from my house.  It came out of nowhere and I purchased my ticket immediately.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

8-Track Memories

Does anybody remember cassette tapes?  They were these little things that people used to use to listen to music.  You couldn’t skip from song to song and you had to flip it over halfway through.  They were kind of a pain in the ass.  BUT, if you had a 4 or 8-track recorder (not the 8-track cassette tapes, those were a different headache from the 80’s) you could insert your normal, everyday cassette tape and chop it up into tiny pieces, recording track upon track until you had a complete song.  Then you’d have to dub the song from that tape onto another tape in order to listen to it in your walkman.  I know this may sound like a hassle to kids these days with their auto-tune and their digital recording programs, but this is how it was done in my time.  Before that they had to use reel-to-reel machines and before that they scratched notes into stone tablets with rocks and played them manually.  Things tend to get easier as time goes on.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

CalFresh Prince of Los Angeles

I took a year off from school late 2005/early 2006 and worked full-time in a deli.  The pay wasn’t great, but I was usually able to eat something for free as soon as I got there and again before I left.  Although this accounted for a good amount of meals, there was still the mandatory grocery store trip every once in a while.  And since a fairly large portion of my income went towards booze, I decided to seek help to make up the extra money.  How did I do this?  Food stamps.

But as I came to learn, food stamps aren’t actually stamps anymore.  They’re not even called “food stamps.”  In Wisconsin, I received what looked to be a credit card with a shitty picturesque drawing of an eagle soaring over a lake with the sun shining in the background.  Written in bold, red letters across the top was “Quest Card.”  The new name for food stamps.  Gone are the simple days of referring to something as exactly what it is.  Now you’re on a quest.  For what?  Probably some spaghetti noodles and a bag of chips.  Not the most noble cause, but still necessary.

Six years later, I am a college graduate and am living on the other side of the country.  How far have I come since the sabbatical from college?  Turns out, not too far at all.  I spent a portion of my afternoon at the Los Angeles Country Public Social Services office.  Applying for food stamps.  Or as they’re called here, CalFresh Benefits.