Monday, November 28, 2005

Currently Watching
Walk the Line
see related
Wow - One of my favorite little secrets could be going under in a few months - If only a different time/different place I would love to bid. Wouldn't it be awesome to co-own a place that could brew and bring in music for music's sake? That's a community I'd love to be a part of constructing. Anyway - Good luck Judy, you were always really nice to chat with (and order food from! I'll miss your bread pudding)-But they've got a few months worth of shows lined up, so go ahead and check out the 'ol Espresso in the meantime. Some of my best memories were there: seeing Nickel Creek for the first time, catching Chris Thile & Mike Marshall for the first time and celebrating Chris's 21st!, open mic thursdays when Vienna Teng was just another local talent, Megan Slankard a few times, and this summer catching the Dukhs there- Good times, indeed. Check it out before it is over--hopefully someone will buy them and continue the tradition!

Roots music hot spot put up for sale by owner


Mercury News

San Jose's Espresso Garden & Cafe, Silicon Valley's best club for acoustic roots, bluegrass and Americana music, is up for sale because owner Judy Hackett plans to move to Wisconsin to help care for her mother.

Against difficult odds, in a city that has fewer live music venues than some towns a tenth its size, Hackett has consistently filled the 200-seat club on Bascom Avenue with national acts as well as upcoming Bay Area groups.

Performers have included the We Five, Peter Rowan, Byron Berline, Jimmy LaFave, David Grier, the Cowlicks and Fred Eaglesmith.

``It's been a great run,'' said Hackett, 51, who has managed the club across from Valley Medical Center for almost eight years. ``I hope someone buys it who loves this music as much as I do.''

If the club closes, roots music fans will have to travel to Berkeley or Santa Cruz for similar lineups of acts.

Hackett and her husband, Gene, 55, owned a cafe in South San Jose off Branham Lane and bought this second, larger one, as a place to host the music they love.

With little advertising, they managed to fill it nightly, utilizing Web sites and newsgroups focusing on eclectic, authentic music that often gets overlooked in larger night spots. It was like a slice of Austin in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Shows are booked through April, when the current lease runs out. Hackett says she is asking $175,000 for the club, and if she doesn't get it, will close the doors when the lease runs out.

``You are liable to catch anyone from John Renbourn to a 5-year-old singing `Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' '' she said in July, when the club was featured as a Mercury News Hot Spot. ``There's not a lot of money, but there's a lot of heart in it.''

Her husband will stay in town to manage the club while Hackett travels to Wisconsin. She is throwing a big final bash Dec. 16, featuring her own band, That Jazz Band, in which she sings. Admission will be $15, with food provided.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Long Short End of It All

Hi There. It's been over, what, two weeks since I last wrote? My apologies. As if my life, what I do, or what I have to say actually strikes a chord with anyone, anyway. No, really, I know that it does matter. But I'm having a hard time thinking that I'm not sounding so pretentious right now. OK, enough with that, the reason that I haven't had time to update is twofold. The first is the same old, the triple duty of school, student teaching, and work. There's finally light at the end of the tunnel with two plus weeks to go, but before that the construction of a novel sized work of text has to be done encompassing all of my classes. I'm actually excited about one of them and not about the other. The excitement lies upon coming up with a community action plan against stealing and vandalism within a low SES (social-economic status) community/school neighborhood. We're to ground our plan on principles learned in class (relating to the idea that school is an agency of socializing students into their adult role and in essense keeping the status quo) and to involve all pieces of a community such as teachers/administrators/parents/etc. So - I'm working on an after-school community action plan. Not as easy as it sounds - but, the idea is to avoid direct-cause/effect actions such as installing metal detectors in schools because of weapons brought onto campus. The idea is that there are overarching engrained reasons to why something like that is happening.

The other reason I've been unbelievably unavailable is that I went through my first major car accident, one in which I'm not sure if I'm fully recovered from - Massive amounts of guilt ensued after it happened, as I had three passengers involved, and countless questions concerning what if??? came as a result for the next few days, even after knowing that, really, there was nothing that I could do about it. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and ironically, I got over it quicker than most because of the massive amount of work I had piled on-There was just no time to wallow in self-pity! Something like that does bring you back to earth, though. I had the pleasure of realizing how great most of my cohort was in that many of them offered rides (my car was out of commission for a week) the entire week even though they lived on the other side of town and our classes ended at ten pm. I wonder, however, that once all of this work is over in the next three weeks if I will feel the weight of the accident over me mentally?

That's the personal side. What else has been up? Let's see.

-Arnold lost all of his propositions in California. Great job, people! Now to make you feel better, here is a gem I found courtesy of mblog, it will make you laugh, scare you, and make you say words in your language that you may not be able to translate in english at the idoicy of our state. click here for the video (quicktime)

-Ugliness at De Anza protests leads to charges of racial profiling -- I have been so out of touch with reality that I just found out about this recently - Read the article, I am really stunned. Well, not really. But just disappointed. Still believe we live in a land of milk and honey? This occurred at a community college near my area.

-Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek surprisingly without much notice released his latest -- blinders on -- online for purchase! The album comes out on cd format early next year, but you can purchase it at -- It's a headphone album, imo. A lot of great tracks like runaway girl, roses never red, starve them to death, and no lighted windows. A few "what was he thinking?" songs, but, hey, that's what solo records are for, right? Speaking of solo records, Sara talks about her upcoming as well as Sean and Chris talking about upcoming here. Sean's latest also features Jon Brion, Sara, Rashad Eggleston on cello (he's amazing live-saw him with darol anger's republic of strings band), and wilco's drummer, Glenn Kotche, and also Dan Wilson of Semisonic. The full band actually will hit San Francisco's Warfield on Dec. 10 for locals reading this.

-some new favorite cds to listen to: wilco's new live cd "kicking television", broken social scene's self titled album, fiona apple's latest-- enjoy.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Waking Dead

There's a reason I never took night classes as an undergrad.

Every 7-10pm class I have, everyone tells me that I look like I'm about to fall apart. It happened again tonight during our professor's long rant about how we need to believe in the philosophy of our program if we stand to make any difference against those fighting for a mechanistic and archaic philosophy towards education. I was actually really engaged, but my face and eyes apparantly were not. Now I realize why a few weeks ago one of my professors told the class to repeat a particular idea specifically for me (i was sitting in front that day). I thought she was joking, but it must really be because I always look smashed by 9pm.

That's the long version of why I need to get more than four hours a sleep a night.

As of right now, props 76-80 have all been rejected. 73 is 53% no as of this minute. I'll cross my fingers.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Thanks L Hollie

What makes Proposition 74 so sinister is that it retroactively removes any teacher who received tenure status back to 2003-2004 and requires them to reinitiate the probationary process for the next five years. This means that every certified teacher who received tenure status (after the two probationary period)become a "new teacher" and returns to the probationary period for an additional five years. That means many teachers will have to complete a total of seven years on probation to receive tenure. Where is the equity and integrity in that? The short answer is that there is no equity and integrity in this proposition.

Probationary employees are by nature at-will employees. Tenure simply requires that a poor performing teacher be given a opportunity to improve, and if the improvement has not been made in a reasonable time frame, then a due process hearing is required before termination.

Anyone who agrees with this proposition is a willing accomplice to the destruction of the teaching profession in this State.

Election day is the 8th. Go vote.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Britney, oh Britney

Wow, I've got a Britney song lingering in my mind. Check out this disturbingly cool rendition that, somehow with mando and fiddle, makes for a neat rendition of Toxic as performed by Nickel Creek Catch this rendition at a Nickel Creek stop near you during this tour.

Here's a short video clip

A full length mp3