Category Archives: arts & leisure

The Next Big Thing in MUSIC

I recently got a nasty sunburn on my shoulders and I want to divert myself away from politics so I want to talk about MUSIC. The Noisettes is a band that will have their sophomore breakout album “Wild Young Hearts” in August. Their #2 single in the UK, Don’t Upset The Rhythm is pretty good. Great vocalist with a good backing band.

Then if we are looking for electropop we should look at Dragonette with their new song Fixin to Thrill. This is their first single for their upcoming second album. Plus they did a song with Jean Paul Gautier and Martin Solving called Boys & Girls which is pretty good as well, sadly the song will likely not be released by Dragonette.

 

If anyone has any other good related music suggestions, or some suggestions to ease the pain from my sunburn. Please let me know!

The Death of a Cultural Icon

It is not fun to hear about someone’s death even the demise of Michael Jackson. Maybe with his passing he can finally rest in peace without his mortal body giving out on him.

The King of Pop was indeed talented, but his broken childhood and personal issues made him a broken man. May we forever remember his artistic accomplishments and try to make the world a better place for you and for me and the entire human race.

The Presets

Finally I get to see my first live concert since last February when I saw Metro Station and Cobra Starship with my sister. I was going to see Peter Bjorn and John, but they canceled when they realized that Depeche Mode wanted them to open for them.

Since the concert was canceled, I looked at the schedule of shows at the Glass House and found a worthy show to go see. Monday the 20th provides me with a concert at least.

The Presets are an electronic music duo from Australia with two albums to their credit. They may not fill up arenas as in their home country, but in America we are fortunate to experience them in small theaters right now.

Their recent album is Apocalypto and it has some very good singles that have been released. “My People”, “A New Sky”, “Talk Like That” and “This Boy is in Love”. However it was Beams that helped bring forth awareness of their music to the world. The song “Are You The One” helped to lead me to obtaining all of their music. Their elements of punk and electronica help lead with a fresh sound.

Since many people are not able to afford tickets to Coachella, this seems to be the best alternative right after the festival.

The Presets at the Glass House, Pomona California $18 / $20 Day of Show.

Underwhelmed By King Taco

King Taco, a leading Mexican food eatery in the Los Angeles area decided to move towards the Inland Valley for new business. Lines have taken over a hour for the last few days for people to try out the eatery in the city of Ontario where a security guard makes sure that the building is not violating the occupancy rules for fire safety.

The menu of King Taco is simple, we got no frills nachos that you can easily get at a movie theater or 7-11, burritos that are basically overpriced for what you pay for them, tacos that are not like the ones you see at Americanized Mexican fast food restaurants where you would need to order 2 or 3 to get satisfied. However King Taco has weekend Rotisserie Chicken and tamales to also satisfy the customers who come to their stores.

I would love home style quality Mexican food. However I would rather eat at Juanitas or the food counter at Ontario Ranch Market. At least at Juanita’s it tastes better and you get two filling burritos for the price of 1.

3.0/5  ($1.25-5.99 for tacos, burritos and nachos. $7.99/$11.99 for chicken special)

How can the Los Angeles Times become more relevant

Since we are paying top dollar for a shrinking newspaper, I would like to make some suggestions to help sustain their circulation base.

Aside from providing more ideologically balanced news reporting, the newspaper could bundle music, movies, first episodes from a network’s new TV season, book excerpts and much more. This could be a monthly premium that the newspaper could use to keep their circulation intact. Maybe for 50 thousand dollars plus the cost of the media the advertiser could use the newspaper as a way to reach out to the readership of one of America’s largest newspapers.

This idea is inspired by the Daily Mail who has offered music from Prince and the Pet Shop Boys to help attract readers to their newspaper and to help their advertisers sell more music.

The Restaurant Report

David Allen may have the dominance in his columns about the local restaurant industry in the Daily Bulletin and IE Weekly. But I would like to let people know what is happening in my local area about the restaurants around my neighborhood.

At the Mountain Green shopping center in southern Upland California, San Sai shut down in Upland. Having two Asian restaurants in one small shopping center does fragment the market and having Mervyn’s close does not help the proprietor either. It was quite sad, seeing a sign posted on the 30th of December saying that they would have reduced hours due to New Year’s Eve and Day and then on New Year’s Eve they decided to shut down. The sad fact of the matter was they did not shut down for the holiday, they decided to strip the fixtures from the building before the store was scheduled to re-open and close down for good.

If you like San Sai’s menu feel free to visit their other locations.

For one restaurant shutting down, another one comes up from its ashes. Connal’s Burgers, Subs and Salads is a well known Pasadena eatery that decided to open its first San Bernardino County branch after 50 years. This eatery has a very comprehensive menu and serves a void due to a lack of an easily available hamburger stand in the area aside from Wendy’s.

The store offers good portions for the price you pay for the product. It is going to take some time for the store to get its name out locally, but it is worth the try. Very good pastrami sandwiches and the seasoned French fries are worth the money. I am still trying out their menu before I make a detailed review.

The record store is a dying breed.

Tower Records is gone, the record store around the corner is gone and now Virgin Megastore is another casualty of recorded media sales. I remember going to the Virgin Megastore at the Ontario Mills to buy the latest releases in music and video ever since the mall was opened in 1996. Twelve years have gone and now I will have to rely on the Internet with Amazon, Best Buy.com and CD Universe  to meet  my physical media needs since we all have our own esoteric musical preferences.

Digital media has spoiled us today, we are able to have the convenience of selection and price where we can grab anything we want now. We do not have to rely on the gatekeepers at the local music store now, we have choice. However the reduction of physical media sales will only make it harder for people to buy physical media releases at the local store.

Patronize your local independent music dealer, in the Inland Valley Mad Platter in Riverside and Rhino Records in Claremont are the main survivors of stores that sell music to the public. They have cashiers and sales associates that know what they are selling and could make recommendations on new and exciting music to take home.

New Features on the blog

I have decided to add an arts and leisure section to the blog. On Wednesdays there will be a regular feature of reviews of books, music, movies and other forms of entertainment. Sometimes life does not always revolve around news and politics and there is time for a diversion.

If you want to take a look at anything that has been reviewed look under the category of Arts & Leisure for an assortment of past writings of that topic.

Late Night Imagination

At work Martha Stewart has her own paper crafting accessories sold at my store. Last night the comedian Amy Sedaris was on the Conan O’Brien show on NBC. Amy was talking about her appearance in the Shrek Movie, but the crux of the conversation was about her book “I Like You: Hospitality under the Influence”.

Amy was showcasing some of the crafting excitement you could have with Conan demonstrating some of the fun projects that she designed. The projects that were mentioned are not serious like what Martha would envision, but insane in a good way.

It seemed Amy wanted to promote her book more than the Shrek movie, and I am likely going to buy the book for entertainment value when I move out and end up having to entertain guests. Party planning, crafting, cooking and gift giving are all featured here and seem like a good book to pick up.