Artist Current Event Holidays

Goodbye 2016

2016 Has been a really rough year

Beyond all of the politically motivated lies, distortions and animosity generated by the U.S. Presidential election, 2016 was intense, to say the least. My friend James passed away early in the year. His long battle with lung cancer and COPD sort of prepared us, but it was still shocking when his passing finally happened. He was one of the first people I met when I moved to San Francisco. While he hadn’t been a day-to-day friend for some years, he was still in the mix. I’ve thought about him quite often throughout the year, and for me, I’ll always remember 2016 as the year of James’ passing.

Good things happened in 2016, too.

One of the definite highlights of 2016 for me was the 25th anniversary of the Wicked Sound System. I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished as a collective over the past quarter century. We held several events to celebrate our milestone, and it was awesome to see so many people that have supported us over the years. Wicked represents a community of like-minded, musically-focused people and we create a powerfully uplifting energy when we groove together. I’m looking forward to another 25 years of dance-magick with a touch of mayhem.

I’ve been interviewed for and featured in several documentary films. All of them are at various stages of production, but one finally had a premiere. I thought it was OK, but it reflected the filmmakers’ version of events and IMHO the story telling was tepid at best. I believe they received a lot of similar feedback because they told me the film is being recut. We shot my parts about 4 or 5 years ago, so it was cool to see the work come to fruition. I’m glad I got to go to the film festival and experience the premiere, overall, it was a great experience.

Another lovely but mainly bittersweet experience of 2016 was the memorial service for my friend James. His partner of 16 years did an excellent job of organizing everything through his grieving process. He had help, James had quite a few friends, and it was a beautiful and fitting tribute. We held the service in Golden Gate Park on a lovely spring day. It was sad, and I cried more than a few times that day, but it was so nice to reconnect with people I haven’t seen live and in person for years. As much as I love the Internet and social media for keeping in touch with far-flung friends, nothing beats being together IRL.

I had a lot of fun traveling in 2016. I got to reconnect with friends in the Mid-West, and I even met some new friends. It was busy, but still an exciting summer for me.

In Autumn of 2016, I focused mainly on work. One of the highlights was participating in my first NaNoWriMo. I met some interesting writers, and I won NaNo by writing 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. To document the project, I set up a YouTube channel and that has been a cool experience. I was in the AV club in Junior High and the video club in High School. I went to film school for a couple of years before dropping out for financial reasons. It’s been exciting to see how the technology has evolved. Production and editing are so much easier now, and I’m learning a lot about the platform and the medium.

Music Lost Some Luster

IDK if this is a comprehensive list of those who passed in 2016, but it sure made me sad to compile it.

From my world of late night dancing:
David Bowie, David Mancuso (DJ & Pioneer of NYC Dance Culture), Colonel Abrams (House Music artist).

From my world of 80’s classics:
Prince Rogers Nelson (better known as Prince)m Denise Matthews (aka Vanity), John Berry (Beastie Boys). As well as Pete Burns (Dead or Alive) and George Michael (Wham!).

From my world of 90’s classics:
Attrell Cordes (aka Prince Be from P.M. Dawn), and Malek Isaac Taylor (aka Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest).

From my world of black radio:
Nicholas Caldwell (Whispers), Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Joey Feek (Joey + Rory), Leon Haywood (The singer is best known for, ‘I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You’). Also, Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic), Juan Gabriel, Prince Buster (original pioneer of Ska music),

From the realm of, I never knew how much I should have appreciated you:
Rod Temperton (Band member of Heatwave; Songwriter who penned ‘Thriller,’ ‘Rock With You,’ ‘Off the Wall,’ ‘Give Me the Night,’ ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Always and Forever’).

From my world of Baby Boomer Rock:
Glenn Frey (Eagles), Signe Andersen (Jefferson Airplane), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane), Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer).

While their work doesn’t personally resonate with me, the world also lost Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Gato Barbieri, Sharon Jones, Lemmy from Motorhead, and Merle Haggard.

Connect with Q

I won #NaNoWriMo2016 by writing the first 50,000 words of the first draft of my current work in progress #WiP. You can follow the development of this project on my YouTube channel

Otherwise, if you have a question or comment, please connect with me on one of these social platforms:

Word Nerd

Emoji is the fastest growing language in the world

Shigetaka Kurita designed the first emoji set that laid the foundation for what is now the world’s fastest-growing form of communication. Kurita’s original 176 designs, which launched in February 1999 for Japanese mobile phones, were weirdly specific, including no fewer than five phases of the moon, three timepieces (watch, clock, sand-timer) and two states of an umbrella (open, closed).

Today, more than 1,800 emojis are in the current set. And emoji are estimated to be used by more than 90% of the world’s online population.

For some, these “brainless little icons” (as Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones described them last year) represent not an adjunct but a regression for our species. Their precursor, hieroglyphics, Jones argues, never produced an Iliad or an Odyssey because, put simply, the written word is infinitely more adaptable. But, for most, emojis offer not a substitute for the written word, but a complement, lending brevity or wit, irony or joy, to a text message.

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The people who use emojis are indeed proving detractors wrong, at least regarding the form’s adaptability. For example, denied a pictorial penis, millions have come to rely on the aubergine emoji – purple engorged, topped with a pubic shock of green leaves. This abusage is now so widespread that, in 2015, Instagram banned search results for photographs tagged with an aubergine emoji, fearing their users would include it as a signifier of nudity. An American woman solidified the double meaning in the minds of many, when, last month, she launched a vibrator made in the eggplant’s image.

QBooks

NaNoWriMo Wednesday Weigh-In #5

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NaNoWriMo Update

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NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, an annual event where writers try to complete a 50,000-word draft in November. This is my 5th, and final progress report.

This week’s Word Count
It’s the last day of the month, and The NaNoWriMo HQ Team has verified my final word count as: 50,212
I passed the 50k mark around 8 pm on November 30th. I did it! I set a goal for myself, I worked every day to achieve it, and I accomplished my goal. Yay me! Continue Reading

Current Event QBooks

Clown Pranks reported all across the country

Keep Calm and Carry On

Based on a (sort of) true story

All month long, I’ve been working on the first draft a manuscript for #NaNoWriMo2016 As I was discussing my #WiP with another writer, I mentioned that my subplot includes pranksters who dress up like a ghost. She told me there’s currently a creepy clown epidemic in this country… I had no idea Continue Reading

QBooks

Diversity in Progress for my WiP

Same-Sex Love Story

Diversity in my WiP

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The mix of characters in my WiP reflects the diversity of my experience in the SF Bay Area. It only seemed natural to me to have my characters reflect the diversity of the place where the story takes place.

While discussing my Work in Progress (WiP/Two weeks into this, and I’m already learning the lingo!) with one of the other NaNoWriMo participants, she told me about this group called, We Need Diverse Books.
Continue Reading

Word Nerd

Fallacies | Word Nerd

Logical Fallacies

Defined as common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument, fallacies can be either illegitimate arguments or irrelevant points. They are often identified because they lack evidence to support their claims. Continue Reading

QBooks

NaNoWriMo Wednesday Weigh-In #2

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NaNoWriMo Update

NaNoWriMo Logo
NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, an annual event where writers try to complete a 50,000-word draft in November. This is my 2nd progress report.

This week’s Word Count
Second report of the month and my word count is now,
16,747
Hopefully, I can keep this up for a strong finish! Continue Reading

Word Nerd

Word Nerd: That’s What She Said

Double Entendres

This week’s Word Nerd features the concept of a “double entendre,” which comes to English from a French phrase that can be understood to mean, ‘two ways of hearing.’ It is a word or phrase open to two interpretations, one of which is usually risqué or indecent. Continue Reading

QBooks

NaMoWriMo Wednesday Weigh-In #1

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NaNoWriMo Update

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NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) spans the month of November which ends on a Wednesday this year. Because of that, Wednesdays are the days I’ll be posting updates every week.

As a first-time participant, I have pledged to write 50,000-word words of the first draft of a new novel in 30 days. Each week, I will report my word count totals as part of a “Wednesday Weigh-In” series. This video is my 1st progress report.

My word count right now is, 2,571

At a minimum, I need to write about 1,667 words every day to reach the 50k threshold. Given that metric, I’m already ahead by about 904 words! Hopefully, I can keep this up! Continue Reading

QBooks

NaNoWriMo Preparation is going fairly well

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NaNoWriMo Prep

With one week to go before the event officially begins, I have completed more than half of my summary/outline. I’m fairly confident that this approach will put me in the best position to just sit down and bang out words every day. NaNo is all about daily word counts, which is a metric fraught with inherent tension. Continue Reading

QBooks

NaNoWriMo – I signed up

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NaNoWriMo Logo

NaNoWriMo is a global event

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) began as a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. Over the years it has grown to be a global event for writers of all kinds who commit to writing at least 50,000 words during the month of November.

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. And I signed up to do this! Continue Reading

Current Event Holidays

Hunter’s Moon is also a “Supermoon” this year

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Hunter’s Moon: Oct. 16

Fall has set in. Crops have been harvested, and it’s time for hunting. At least that’s how it’s traditionally been done for centuries. In subsistence cultures, at this period of the year, the deer have fattened themselves up on summer grasses. It makes them more desirable to hunters preparing for the long winter, hence the name, Hunter’s Moon. Continue Reading

Current Event Film Holidays

Happy Mean Girls Day

Mean Girls – The Movie

The 2004 movie, Mean Girls clearly illustrates the passive-aggressive ways that girls are socialized to interact with one another. It’s a slice of life type of film that resonates with the zeitgeist. It’s a rare film that resonates in such a way to transcend its own time period to become a classic. IMHO, Mean Girls is just such a film. Even a decade on, I think it still holds up really well. Continue Reading

Community

IDK Why This Is A Thing on Tumblr

I set up a Tumblr

One of my author friends suggested I check out Tumblr. She’s been very successful on the platform; connecting with other authors, finding beta readers and interacting with a community of people who are passionate about books. It didn’t take much to convince me. She wasn’t the first person to sing the praises of the platform. Continue Reading

Word Nerd

Word Nerd: Another Batch of Podcasts to Checkout

The UK’s Guardian Online posted their top podcast picks to “make you smarter by listening”

A Podcast For Fans of Fiction

The New Yorker Fiction PodcastPodcast for Fiction Book Lovers is close to being the greatest book group, English seminar and public lecture you never joined. Each month the magazine’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, invites a different New Yorker author as a guest. Each guest chooses and reads aloud a story from the magazine’s archive then they discuss it.

The Guardian started with AM Homes reading Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery, set in a sinister and haunting village. It’s the short story I wrote about back in 2012 when I covered some of the parallels it has with the Hunger Games.

A Podcast For Language Lovers

Is the English language your bag? Then Helen Zaltzman’s “The Allusionist” is the etymology party you’ve been waiting for. After all, who knew a simple word like ‘please’ could have such completely different meanings and uses on either side of the Atlantic?

A Podcast For Journalism Junkies

If you like your journalism lengthy, give a listen to the Longform Podcast. It features interviews with journalists such as Malcolm Gladwell and Kathryn Schulz. Speechwriters like Jon Favreau who worked with President Obama and editors like David Remnick have also been featured.

The Guardian’s own excellent podcast is a nice option too. It’s called, Long Reads audio series.

Artist Current Event News

RIP: Alexis Arquette

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

Alexis Arquette died today

Alexis made her transition surrounded by family in the late night hours of September 11, 2016. We were quite friendly for several decades and it was extremely shocking news to wake up to this morning. Continue Reading

Word Nerd

Word Nerd: “Abracadabra”

The word “Abracadabra” is often said while one uses slight of hand. A magician might say it before pulling a rabbit out of his hat. Your kid brother could utter the word with a theatrical flair while doing a card trick.

Past Power of Abracadabra

In the past, the word itself held a power all its own.

Yes, hundreds of years ago people actually believed that the word “abracadabra” was a magical spell and its mere utterance could have a magical effect. Continue Reading

Artist Concerts

Albums are a fading barometer.

This week I was reminded of how irrelevant albums have become. Back in the day, they were kind of shoved down our throats and albums were the only way to get certain cuts by favorite artists.

There are relatively few albums that I would never fast forward less than two or three songs. So out of all the albums I’ve purchased over the years, the skip-to-listen ratios were always quite high. Continue Reading

Current Event

Haterade for Cargo Shorts? I don’t get it.

Cargo Shorts - Summer Fashion

Recently my social media feed has been filled with lots of hate for cargo shorts. The tirades have run a wide gamut. They go from trite quips on Twitter to tongue in cheek barbs that might be serious. (Thanks, Derrick Carter).

This morning I found an all-out screed railing against the “fashion infraction” of cargo shorts. Continue Reading

Streets

Chicago

I’m excited to go to Chicago for a week to see family and friends. Of course I’ll stop by Gramophone Records and Smart Bar but until then, here’s a song to get me in the mood.

Birthdays Fun

Wicked 25 Event in SF

I can sum up my twenty-five years with the Wicked crew with the old adage that, “time flies when you’re having fun.” As a founding member of the Wicked Sound System, I feel really blessed. I’ve been to the vast majority of events produced by the crew. I’m really proud of what we have accomplished over the years. Many of our all-nighters are legendary. They’re the kind of events that people still talk about decades later. Our monthly “Full Moon Massive” events have become an iconic part of San Francisco’s cultural history. Continue Reading

Books

Bucket List: Important Books to Read

MsMojo’s video below counts down their Top Ten Books To Read Before You Die. They claim that reading these novels will help to change your understanding of what it means to be human, will help you develop or deepen aspects of your character in some way or just make you a better person. In any case, they can make you a more thoughtful person if you consider the ideas they put forth and ruminate about how they might be applied to your own experience and to your own life. Continue Reading

Current Event QBooks

Brexit Vote Results Shocker

Albert Union Jack UK

Wow! Brexit passed…

Welp, the people have spoken. The United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union has shocked the world. Like many people who value #Unity of all kinds, I’m doing my best to make sense of it now. My initial shock hit Thursday night but after some sleep and a bit of reflection, I’m not entirely surprised by the result. The Remain Campaign seemed weak in their marketing efforts. In my view, Cameron was the wrong face to lead the ‘stay in’ appeal. He engenders such visceral antagonism, that in many ways a vote for Brexit was, by proxy, a referendum on Cameron and Tory policy. In my view, the Remain Campaign didn’t do much to resonate with people’s emotions beyond a few knee-jerk fears. They appealed to reason too much and emotion too little. As a result, they ran a lackluster effort and the poll results reflect that.
Continue Reading

News

Social Media Accounts are now updated

You can now follow Quartknee on social media again

Everyone has their faves, so I’ve updated my web presence. You can find everything from the world of Q on the three main social platforms.

QuartkneeK on Instagram
Illustrates a slice of life from an author’s wanderings. Sidewalk Sofas, Good Times and Garden Lions are all recurring themes.

Mythosonix on Instagram
Follow the fictional adventures of the Mythosonix crew as they dive deep into the mix of Festivals, EDM Nightlife and DJ Culture.

Birthdays

Happy Birthday Boy George

Happy BirthdayI love running into Boy George in random spots. Despite his reputation as an acerbic wit, I’ve always found him to be quite lovely, personable and genuinely friendly.

I caught some of his acoustic set on the main stage at last October’s Halloween Carnival in West Hollywood and even with just a guitar and stripped down accompaniment, he sounded amazing.

Best known for his soulful voice and androgynous appearance, the thing I’ve always admired most about him is the way he’s remained true to himself and his personal journey through life.

These days he is releasing fewer musical recordings instead splitting his time between songwriting, DJing, writing books, designing clothes, and photography. It’s been great to see him on tellie again recently as one of the celebrity judges on the UK version of the Voice. Look out for him on American TV as well as he has some new projects in development that I’m really excited to see.

Happy Birthday Boy George!

Previous birthday post for George.

Word Nerd

Word of the Week: Mansplaining

The word of the week is: Mansplaining. It is a portmanteau of the words ‘man’ and ‘explaining.’ It is generally defined as “to explain something to someone, typically a man to woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.”

Lots of men ‘mansplain’ to one another without condescension. When present, it often goes unnoticed or unacknowledged. As such it’s often unlabeled and just considered a normal part of conversation. To rise to a level that requires a label, the explaining has to be done without regard to the fact that the explainee knows more than the explainer. This is too often done by a man to a woman. Continue Reading

Fun Holidays Streets

LGBT Pride Month? Sam’s Not Having It.

Who needs ‘Blue Steel’ when you have ‘Counter Attack’, ‘hat trick’, and ‘swan dive’, did he just pop something?

If you’re going to celebrate Gay Pride this month, just remember that Sam will notice your orbs. Jesus is his helmut and he’s not having it.

(That’s Not Milk)

Word Nerd

Word of the Week: Homunculus

Homunculus is our word of the week. It comes from Latin and generally means “Little Man.” Some translate it as “Little Person” which has become an emotionally charged term. Many see “Little Person” as condescending while others feel it empowers them. The Midget/Little Person issue has caused an outsized sense of consternation. Like many ‘politically correct’ terms, “Little Person” is a clunky alternative. The options for the plural often overwhelm. “Little Persons” and “Little People” are both acceptable English variations. Use of either term often leads to confusion as to which might be more acceptable. With no clear agreement, a neutral alternative was needed. Homunculus is a centuries old word with a variety of applications. Because of its Latin origin, homunculus has a more scientific or medical ring to it. The term has gained wider use in recent years. It often replaces both ‘midget’ and ‘little person’ in spoken and written communication.

Homunculus Online

Babies in Medieval religious art were often depicted as small, diminutive men. To modern eyes they are “Super Ugly Medieval Babies.” Its acronym, ‘Sumba’ or ‘FMB” (Fugly Medieval Baby) can be seen all over the Internet and especially social media.
Continue Reading

Holidays Uncategorized

BBQ’s Place in the American Culinary Cannon

As many Americans prepare for the Memorial Day holiday next weekend, I think it’s safe to say that many of us will be preparing for a great bit of BBQ. After all, barbecue is deeply entrenched in not only many regional cuisines but it’s also deeply embedded within the American culinary cannon.

Barbecue, like so much of the dance music we love, is laced with the ideas and inspirations of black folk. When Memorial Day invites us to remember our country’s heroic, it is crucial to include African Americans because, since before America was even a thing, BBQ was seasoned and flavored by Africans in the Americas.

I hope you’ll do something to honor them this weekend, even it’s it’s just a tip of your favorite barbecued food.

For further reading…

Word Nerd

Word of the Week: Multisyllabic

Multisyllabic is an adjective used to describe words that have two or more syllables.
Some use the word interchangeably with ‘polysyllabic’. Words with only one syllable are called, “monosyllabic.” English has over nine thousand monosyllabic words. In comparison, words with six syllables are fairly rare. “Accountability” and “Generalization” are two words with six syllables.

Poetry and Rap Music have long championed multisyllabic rhymes. Continue Reading

Word Nerd

When Words Are Not Enough

Words are incredibly versatile things. Even when they are supposed to be simple and unambiguous, they can often be anything but.

Ordinary communication is replete with figurative, non-literal word use. Juliet is the Sun. Time is money. Linguists have documented in detail how pervasive metaphor and other types of figurative expression have become. They are now so pervasive in everyday language that most can no longer discern them. These days, a fish is more likely to notice the water it swims in. Continue Reading

Birthdays

Florence Nightingale – Happy Birthday

Florence Nightingale, born on May 12, 1820. She became a nurse at a time when the profession was considered a degrading occupation. Hospitals back then were cesspools of disease. Basic operations, though common could be a death sentence. Nightingale changed all of that. In addition to her nursing duties, she was also a talented author. Her writing changed hearts and minds to solidify her lasting legacy on the healing industry. Continue Reading

Books

Classic Literature For Listening

Classic literature used to be required reading for high school and college students. As the idea of “language arts” replaced English language studies, these standards have fallen by the way side. Just because they’re no longer required as they once were, the classics still have so much to offer. Continue Reading

Artist Current Event

A Post-Prince World

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Like many people, I’m still coming to grips with the passing of Prince. Dave Chappell called it “The Black 9/11” and it certainly feels like the same kind of earth shattering occasion with such a poignant sense of loss that touches every aspect of my world. Music means so much to me, and to many people #SoundtrackToMyLife Continue Reading

Holidays

My Manischewitz Miracles

About six weeks before Passover, my local grocery store put up an end cap display for the holiday. Included among the items were Manischewitz Potato Chips, both salted and unsalted. They provided me with an opportunity to try something new and to experience something miraculous amidst my mundane visits to the grocery store. Continue Reading

Word Nerd

A truce for use – Oxford Comma

A battle rages online about the serial comma. It is more commonly known as, “The Oxford Comma.” While I typically tend to favor it, I’ve never been a ‘grammar nazi’ about its use. Seeing so many rants and screeds online that demand its universal use seem like a waste of time to me. Often it feels like people are just tilting at windmills. Continue Reading

Word Nerd

Understanding Grammar

I think grammar is interesting and useful but I’ve never really considered the question, “Does grammar matter if you’re still understood?”

It can be hard sometimes, when speaking, to remember all of the grammatical rules that guide us when we’re writing. When is it right to say “the dog and me” and when should it be “the dog and I”? Does it even matter? In the video below, Andreea S. Calude dives into the age-old argument between linguistic prescriptivists and descriptivists — who have two very different opinions on the matter. Continue Reading

Birthdays

Happy Birthday Cathy Dennis

Happy BirthdayEven if you only know her as a songwriter for Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Katy Perry or one of the Pop Idols, Cathy Dennis is pretty amazing.

She was a moderately successful pop act in her own right with an international solo career that featured a number of US Dance Club chart-toppers. Eventually she veered away from dance music to Britpop and then Adult Contemporary but overall, she’s had 8 singles on the Hot 100 Chart.

Of course, she’s really made her mark as a songwriter though. She’s scored 8 UK number ones and five Ivor Novello Awards in that country. She won a grammy for her work on Kylie’s “Come into my world.”

Happy Birthday Cathy!

The birthday post from five years ago.

Holidays

Spring is Here

Whether you’re celebrating Persian New Year (Norouz? Nowruz? Nouruz? Nouroz?) or Wiccan New Year (Ostara)… Or just the Spring/Vernal Equinox (Northern Hemisphere) today is the day we mark the season of new beginnings. All of these celebrations are centered on a flowering sense of fertility, a reborn sense of abundance, re-growth, new growth and light. Continue Reading

QBooks

Beginning Betas

Mythosonix Musical Logo

Today I sent the first part of my next series to several Beta Readers. It’s the first sign that the composition phase is pretty much completed now and the editing/revision phase has officially begun.

Beta Readers review an early draft of a manuscript while it’s still in the revision stage but before it’s had a professional edit. It’s a little scary to send out something so raw but I feel my work is at a point where I can no longer nurture this project on my own and I need a fresh set of eyes on the material.

I’m so happy to be starting this new phase of the project!

Books Uncategorized

Combing the Backcatalog

Creation and innovation are driving forces in our society and consequently we are, for the most part focused squarely upon the new. Jane Smiley wrote in her forward to a novel resurrected from the ‘out of print’ back catalog, “Most novelists, no matter how popular, fall into obscurity.” The same could be said for musical works as well. I’ve spent countless hours digging for treasures among the stacks of long out of print records.

The promise of digital formats is that nothing need go out of print ever again. Of course that reality is a fair ways off at this point but it’s an amazing goal to strive for. Continue Reading

Current Event

A good case against Time Zones

Time Zones cause DST

Many people have suggested doing away with Daylight Savings Time as irrelevant and anachronistic. The same case can be made against Time Zones. They were basically invented for train travel and now that most people travel by air and Internet, I think we should do away with them entirely. Continue Reading

Clubs

Silent Discos – Together, Alone…

Nautilus posted this great article about our ever evolving ways of listening to music.

It explores the ways society used to be more private and as our ways of being private and social have changed, technology and the ways we listen to music have changed as well.

I’ve been to many silent discos and found them to be kinda cool but also kinda weird as well. It’s definitely a way to redefine what it means to have a ‘shared experience’ and refocuses the life elements of dancing back to the dancers themselves.

You can read the full article here.

Birthdays Song

33 Years Old This Week: Blue Monday

The BBC calls New Order’s Blue Monday, “a crucial link between Seventies disco and the dance/house boom that took off at the end of the Eighties.” If you frequented a dance club during the 1980s, you almost certainly know this song.

It seems the Orkestra Obsolete, a group of musicians specializing in antiquated and obsolete instrumentation, wondered what Blue Monday would have sounded like if it had been made decades earlier.

They gathered together instruments available in the 1930s – from the theremin and musical saw to the harmonium and prepared piano – to present their re-interpretation of this dance classic. Continue Reading

Birthdays Clubs

Honey Sound System Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that the Honey Soundsystem is turning ten this month. For many of us, this is definitely a case of “time flies when you’re having fun.”

Honey Soundsystem is a collective of disc jockeys, musicians, performers and designers. Co-founders Ken Woodard and Jacob Sperber formed the group in January 2006. Pivotal gay underground parties, who offered a unique take on dance music, provided inspiration. The collective coalesced around a shared love of timeless sounds and iconic imagery. Their bonds solidified with the complete look, indulgent behavior, and most of all, attractive men. Continue Reading

Books Current Event

Printed Card Catalogs for Libraries are Dead

Yep, it’s official. The last company to print card catalogs for libraries has called it quits.

“Print library catalogs served a useful purpose for more than 100 years, making resources easy to find within the walls of the physical library,” Skip Prichard, CEO of OCLC, said in a blog post. Now, with comprehensive, cloud-based catalogs like OCLC’s WorldCat available to libraries, there’s just no need for cards any longer.

Read more: on the Smithsonian Website

QBooks Word Nerd

British Regional Dialects/Accents

I have plenty of friends from all over the English speaking world. Because I know where they are from, and what they sound like, I have become quite familiar with the nuances of each variety of English. By hearing someone speak and then comparing it to the way my friends talk, I can almost always deduce a person’s origins. Continue Reading

Artist

Prince’s Purple Reign

On this day in 1984, Purple Rain by Prince began its 24 week run at top of the album chart. It’s tied for 6th longest chart topper of all-time!

Spirit

10 Simple Things To Be Happier At Home

Scientific studies have shown that we can have an impact on our happiness by adjusting the tiny little habits and routines that constitute our daily lives — we are, in fact, in control of our outlook on life.

It’s amazing how a few tweaks to our daily habits can become a catalyst for meaningful, positive change. Here are a few simple things you can do every day to feel happier at home.
Continue Reading

Song

A Brief History of Rock N’ Roll

Alex Chadwick plays 100 famous guitar riffs in one take giving you a chronological history of rock n’ roll.

Here’s the playlist:

1 Mr. Sandman – Chet Atkins
2 Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
3 Words of Love – Buddy Holly
4 Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry
5 Rumble – Link Wray Continue Reading

Holidays

Independence Day 2012

This year I went to 3 different BBQ’s and bar hopping with the blonde boy. It was fun but the only fireworks I saw this year were the illegal ones people were lighting in the streets.

Today I saw this photo posted of the fireworks along Main Beach in my hometown, Laguna Beach. Got a little melancholy twinge thinking of all the fun I had down there over the years.

Artist

RIP Tony De Vit

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

14 years ago today Tony De Vit made his transition to the other side of Life. Tony was a British club DJ, Producer and Remixer. He was also one of the first gay friends I met when I moved to London.

His single “Burning Up” reached number 25 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1995, with “To The Limit” making number 44 in September 1995. When I arrived his star was on the rise but he was always so friendly and nice – not just to me, but to everyone.

He is widely credited with helping to take the “Hard house” and faster “Hard NRG” sounds out of the London gay scene and into mainstream clubs.

So many young producers now seem to be rediscovering the sounds of that era. Tony was such a musical innovator and a total sweetheart – he remains gone but not forgotten!

Song

A “Good Song” is good in many genres

I’ve been hearing this song, “Somebody That I Used To Know” By Gotye everywhere – someone is going through a break-up at work so it’s probably featured quite a bit more than it should be around the office…

I can always tell a song is a “good song” when I hear it in a different genre.

Here’s the original version of this song:

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Artist News

RIP Robin Gibb

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

The Brothers Gibb, aka The Bee Gees brought the underground sound of black disco to a largely white mainstream audience which paved the way for so many artists to cross over to the pop charts.

In many ways the homophobic disco backlash in the early 80’s helped obscure many of Robin’s contributions to music but not for long as the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

I was shocked when his fraternal twin Maurice died in 2003. As a twin myself I could only imagine the horrific grief he must have felt. When they announced a new Bee Gees tour a couple of years ago I thought it was amazing that he could be so resilient and it’s so tragic that he’s gone now too.

Books Film Word Nerd

Can’t stop thinking about The Hunger Games

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

I’ve been thinking a lot about different aspects of The Hunger Games film and something that keeps coming to mind is a short story called, “The Lottery.” We read it in High School back in the 80’s but the story was first published in the New Yorker Magazine in 1948. It is sometimes seen as a protest against totalitarianism, a form of authoritarian government that permits no individual freedom. The story explores the potential of ordinary people to do evil things solely because of a sense of tradition. Only it doesn’t do that exactly… there is no authoritarian government forcing people to take part in the Lottery the way it is in the Hunger Games. I think for me the story explores what happens when people cling to old ways of doing things not because they work or because they continue to serve society’s cohesion or progress but unquestioningly because that’s the way they’ve always been done.

An unexamined life is no life at all so I decided to explore some of the parallels between The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and 1948’s short story, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson…

HG – Josh Hutchinson stars as the boy whose name is drawn
TL – Bill Hutchinson is the man who draws the dot

BOTH – names are drawn and the “winner” will be killed to make the crops grow or keep people eating well for another year or a variety of reasons.

BOTH – villagers gather in the town square for the lottery/reaping/drawing of names

HG – Only older children ages 12 to 18 participate
TL – Everyone participates

Artist News

RIP Donna Summer

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

Undeniably talented but such a conflicted character. As the “Queen of Disco” Donna Summer was a gay icon. As a reborn Christian she said some amazingly ignorant things about gay people. When the gay backlash began she began to deny that she ever said that AIDS was a punishment from God for the immoral lifestyles of homosexuals. She wrote letters to Act-Up and the Advocate Magazine but the gay boycott was in full effect. From 1987 to 2012 I never heard a Donna Summer song ever played in a gay bar, restaurant or dance club.

During her “Geffen Years” which coincided with the height of the boycott, she released the single “Dinner With Gershwin” and I heard it on the radio while driving around LA. I always liked that song but because of what she allegedly said I couldn’t bring myself to buy the single. Even now, decades later it’s still painful to think about how the allegations affected all my sick friends, now dead, who loved her music in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

The statements alleged to be hers were quite common from the “reborn” at that time. There was much fear and loathing not just of gay people but also of the newly discovered disease of AIDS which seemed to only affect gay people as far as the mainstream media was concerned. I will never know for sure if she was misquoted or if her denials were motivated by commerce or conviction. I do know that my friend Charles died believing she turned her back on people like him who loved her so much. I also know that to this day, I can’t hear a Donna Summer song without thinking about Charles.

Such an amazing talent, squandered by personal demons… hopefully now she can finally be at peace.

Film

The Hunger Games

Just saw The Hunger Games and it’s so… wow.
I’m not in the target market for teen thrillers so I missed the sensation caused by the books but after seeing the film, I’m totally reading the whole trilogy. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie. You know where the pacing is so action packed and the world is so similar yet different to our own that one can’t help but wonder what kind of background and context the author originally brought to the material.

The film is a totally stand-alone entity in that it totally works on its own without the books. Total edge of your seat, OMG what will happen next kind of movie… I might need to see it again.

Artist Concerts

Subway Violin

violin subway joshua bell

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. Continue Reading

Artist News

RIP Whitney Houston

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

After the erroneous Internet reports of Jon Bonjovi turned out to be false, I was reluctant to believe that Whitney Houston died tonight. When someone so young dies it’s shocking but in her case, it’s also not very surprising. I feel she kind of died inside years ago.

Such an amazing talent, squandered by personal demons… hopefully now she can finally be at peace.

I wish Whitney listened to the lyrics of her song and let them lift her the way they’ve lifted me over the years.

This is probably my favorite Whitney song – def my fave mix:

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Holidays

Gung hey fat choy! Happy New Year!

There was a new moon in late December so the second new moon after the Winter Solstice falls on January 23rd this year. That means that Monday marks the lunar new year.

Gung hey fat choy! Happy New Year!

People all over Asia celebrate the lunar new year. Since I live near Little Saigon, I’ve seen all the little pastries and moon pies arrive in the shops. Even non-Asians get into the spirit of the holiday. Water Dragon decorations can be seen far and wide across San Francisco – even the windows of an optometrist shop in the Mission District are decked out for the holiday.

I don’t know why the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade is next month and not next weekend. I thought the new year festival lasted a week. Perhaps the parade marks the end of the lunar month.

Over 100 contingents will participate in the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade this year. It’s been a San Francisco tradition since just after the Gold Rush and one I look forward to every year. As far as I know it’s the only nocturnal parade in San Francisco and there are tons of parades and marches around here.

When the weather is good hundreds of thousands of people come to watch the parade on the street and many more tune in to watch it on San Francisco Bay Area television. Will I see you there?

Current Event Spirit

Please don’t fear 2012

There are strong forces that find it convenient and useful for people to remain fearful. Please do not feed into them by buying into the fear. Instead, please acknowledge that these forces do exist and understand that they only have power because you make it so.

We do co-create our own reality and our conscience does have an effect on the outside world. Because we are so interconnected we also have to deal with the realities and effects of others.

2012 is about a planetary alignment with the center of our galaxy – please use this as a prompt to make your own personal alignment with the center of your being.
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Current Event

Occupy SF Action: FAIL

Last night I stopped by Walgreen’s on my way home. It was the one on Franklin Street just up from the old Cathedral Hill Hotel which looked like the end of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) “January 20th Day Of Action”

I should say that I agree something should be done to fix things in this country and that those responsible for ruining the global economy for their own personal gain should be held accountable.

Having said that, I think the SF Occupy group is completely and utterly embarrassing. Continue Reading

Holidays Spirit

MLK Jr Day – Follow Your Conscience

“Cowardice asks the question: “Is it safe?”
Expediency asks the question: “Is it politic?”
Vanity asks the question: “Is it popular?”
But consciences asks the question: “Is it right?”

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s own conscience tells one what is right.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

News

A New Year – A New Look

You may have noticed that I’ve updated the template for this site… this new one should be better for mobile devices… comment below if you like it.

News

Tap, tap, tap… this thing on?

I haven’t completely forgotten this site – just got busy with other things… From the emails and notes on Facebook/twitter it seems people have missed my updates – so I’ll do my best to post more stuff throughout 2012.

Artist

Top Ten With Ten+

Rihanna has just scored her eleventh pop chart #1, prompting an update in Billboard’s list of acts with ten or more chart-topping pop singles.

1. Beatles – 20
2. Mariah Carey – 18
3. Elvis Presley- 17
4. Michael Jackson – 13
5. Madonna – 12
6. The Supremes – 12
7. Whitney Houston – 11
8. Rihanna – 11
9. Janet Jackson – 10
10. Stevie Wonder – 10

NOTE: Paul McCartney has nine additional #1 singles as a member of Wings and as a part of duets with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Similarly, Diana Ross had six number one pop singles as a solo act.

ALSO NOTE: Mariah Carey’s initial string of consecutive #1 singles is highly questioned by some, as at the time she was romantically involved with Sony president Tommy Mottola, who dumped millions of Carey’s singles into the retail market at hugely discounted prices. Those singles often sold for 99 cents at retail when other releases were selling for three to four times that much. I’d love to see her get three more and show all the H8ers that she earned her place in history.

News

I’m back – I think

I haven’t disappeared and joined some jihad. Quartknee.com was hacked by someone in Saudi Arabia. I think I have full access again and have finally secured it… will post some stuff again soon.

Artist

Thank You Shakespeare

So many common phrases and idiomatic expressions in English come from the works of Shakespeare… here are just a few:

Seen better days

Too much of a good thing

Send him packing

Laughing stock

Wear your heart on your sleeve

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Artist Birthdays

Happy Birthday Sylvester

Sylvester James known as a one-name artist, Sylvester, was an American disco and soul singer, and a gay drag performer. He was sometimes known as the “Queen of Disco,” although that moniker has also been bestowed on some of the best known women of the disco era (i.e. Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer).

He’s probably best known for his exploits in the milieu at the I-Beam Disco and his many collaborations with Patrick Cowley. His most significant works are the songs “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, “Dance (Disco Heat)” (both 1978) and “Do You Wanna Funk” (1982).

Sadly Sylvester made his transition in December of 1988 and I never got to meet him but I have met many of his friends and I-Beam family and I’ve always loved hearing stories about his fabulous life and amazing music.

 

Happy Birthday
Sylvester!

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Film

Synth Britannia Documentary

I just saw this fascinating BBC documentary on synth music in the UK. It features appearances by quite a few synth music pioneers. They include Philip Oakey, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, Bernard Sumner, Gary Numan and Neil Tennant. If you are into synth music, this is a must watch.

Here is a description of the documentary from BBC:

Synth Britannia is a documentary following a generation of post-punk musicians who took the synthesizer from the experimental fringes to the centre of the pop stage.

In the late 1970s, small pockets of electronic artists including the Human League, Daniel Miller and Cabaret Voltaire were inspired by Kraftwerk and JG Ballard. They dreamt of the sound of the future against the backdrop of bleak, high-rise Britain. Continue Reading

Birthdays

Happy Birthday MTV

On August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., MTV launched with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack. They were so obviously committed to the rock format that they leaned heavily on Hard Rock, Classic Rock and Heavy Metal. The channel only begrudgingly featured the New Wave of rock and Synth Pop and virtually ignored all music made by black people beyond tokenism until Michael Jackson’s label threatened to yank all their content and MTV was forced to feature the video for Jackson’s song, “Billie Jean” in heavy rotation.

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Birthdays

Happy Birthday Honey

Hard to believe our little baby is four. Honey came together through a shared love for similar sounds and influences. We met through the gay club scene here in San Francisco and the hive now includes a collective of disc jockeys, musicians, performers and designers creating a vibe not scene in SF for years.

The thing I love most about HNY is its mix of alterna-queers, burners, gypsies, faeries, underground celebrities, future legends, and full frontal faggotry with a few gipsters (Gay Hipsters) and a range of bearish types thrown in with an ever growing straight crowd hungry for cutting edge dance music.

 

Happy Birthday
Honey Soundsystem!

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News

Amy Winehouse Dead (Finally)

After being dead inside for nearly a decade, she will be remembered by a whole generation as a cautionary tale and mentioned at every intervention attempt for the foreseeable future.

The only thing really shocking about her passing is how long she managed to hang on living the half-life of a heroin addict. When you’re so brazenly antagonistic toward going to rehab there are really only two options left: jail or death… I guess now we know which one she chose.

Fun

12th Annual GayVN Awards Show

Showtime is finally airing the 2010 GayVN Awards. Tonight marks my cable TV debut as I’m featured in the behind-the-scenes portions of the program as well as parts of the stage show.

Comedian Alec Mapa hosts the show that honors the best in gay adult filmmaking. Many consider the GayVN Awards the porn world’s version of the Oscars©.

The “fleshtivities” of the program include a red-hot red carpet, prison-theme dance number and the Top Ten awards, plus other categories that include Best Newcomer and Best Actor, with appearances by the hottest stars in gay adult movies.

The show will also include me dressed as a prison guard

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Film Song Word Nerd

Revenge Of The Nerds

Last night I watched the 80’s teen movie, “Revenge of the Nerds.” I’ve seen it before and I’ve always remembered really loving it. What I didn’t remember was how much they stretch the nerd hating and bullying. It’s awesome that they never devolve beyond that, especially when taunting Lamar, the gay black character. IRL the word “Faggot” would have been used quite a bit not just for Lamar but I’m sure for all of them.

Also missing were other nerd related epithets like, geek, spaz, dweeb, dork, etc. It made the antagonism a bit one-dimensional and more than a little bit corny but maybe that’s part of the appeal.

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