dear fourth of july,

first of all i love you and may i wish you a happy birthday.

from what i understand it was a risky situation to declare independence from britan back in those days due to the fact that they had a very strong military and a rich history of gaining empires, not losing them.

because location is everything, america benefited from being a good fortnight’s sail away and england had no idea really what they were missing out on.

fourth of july i get a lot of international readers here so maybe i should say hello to them and let them know that a lot of time i might adress the reader as america and today i will explain why.

sometimes i might say something like, damn its hot outside, america, the sorta hot that reminds you of those summers by the nude lake in the forest where the kids werent really into being nudists, we were just poor, and hot, and drunk from the mysterious keg that would appear each afternoon

realize that im not excluding you, international readers, and im not dissing our neighbors in central or south america who arent as bold as to refer to themselves simply as america. im just being lazy, and secretly admitting to being an ugly american who really does go to foreign lands and eat at mcdonalds as much as possible.

fourth of july i think youd agree that the united states is still benefitting from being at the right place at the right time. and we know we’re lucky. hell, im an unemployed black man who had to make payments on a nine hundred dollar car and i know im in a better situation than a lot of the planet.

so when all these people go around today talking about how proud they are to be an american, i will say how fortunate i am to be an american.

yeah we cant say fuck on tv and the chicks cant show their nipples, but other than that in most cases the average american has a greater chance of dying from being too fat or from a car wreck in a $20k automobile than dying from disease crime or famine. its fucked up that in 2005 we should still have to be able to compare things to such low standards but i do believe that in a generation or two we as a society will rid ourselves of allowing the most greedy and conivving to run our nations.

if mc hammer was president five years ago africa woulda been fed. you can believe that.

so anyway fourth of july i hope you have a great birthday today and know that you will be celebrated in so many different ways, and diversity, as you know is part of the magic of america.

there will be sparklers in car ports, m80s atop garbage cans, whistling willies in cul de sacs and million dollar pro shit fired off barges just a little bit south of tj which is technically america if im there, which i am

sometimes i’ll come down here to get it all together, to take a breather, to miss america just a little bit, or to say things like, damn you know how much this land would go for if this was south san diego?

fourth of july i dont know where this country is headed but all i gotta say is if the democrats cant turn this karl rove fiasco into a way to balance the scales in regards to the supreme court nominations then the democrats are the pussy ass bitches that everyone keeps saying they are and they deserve to go the way of the whigs. which they shoulda done after losing last year anyway. instead the lord had mercy on them and gave them a boy named emmanuelle from illinois and a woman named sarai from park ridge. He did this out of love for the nation, and thus the world.

as an independent i like the intermingling of church and state. im not ashamed to call myself a Christian. why should we bullshit each other? Jesus is definatley on my mind every day and even though i know a lot of people who pretty much hate american Christianity, i also know a lot who are into it even though they really dont know why. i have no problem with that.

fourth of july i ordered the thing i need to start doing podcasting. i know i said that “those who cant blog podcast” but i was being funny. its still funny.

but one thing that i would like to do in a podcast is post someone singing the entire national anthem of the united states. including the original verses that included in God we Trust.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Bles’t with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

p.s. please help the cubs stop losing

fook the people gives the tsar record 8/10 + this dude saw tsar in york + bible gateway

ok fine, obviously i was going to probably love the new tsar cd

but what about other people who aren’t friends with them?

lets take a little look at what the critics and bloggers are saying about Tsar…


At first i thought, what the eff am i doing–making an impulse buy based on some guy’s blog recommendation? He talks it up like it’s the second coming. Then i found out why.

TSAR is the reason no one can take bands like The Darkness seriously. When you listen to this album, you feel safe in knowing that you’re not being lied to–or that this isn’t an experiment based on some studio exec’s formula for producing the next big thing. TSAR’s charm lies in their authenticity. They are probably similar to The Darkness in terms of what they set out to do; but TSAR exhibits a comfortable familiarity with their music, they keep their sound raw enough to avoid the hookish post-punk-pop over-production which has now become frighteningly common place, and manage to avoid sounding manufactured like they were spit out of the same machine that asks us to buy Good Charlotte or Simple Plan…

(read the rest)

hartford advocate:

These guys play fast, wicked-clean, are Typhoid Mary, infectiously hooky, do Bay City Rollers meet Iggy Pop choruses and are just plain stupidly good and good fun. With a real lead guitarist who’s thrumming just past warp-speed, obviously a stoked Gameboy adept, and, also, clearly a minion of Satan.

Equal parts Cheap Trick and T-Rex, Tsar are the antithesis of mawkish, navel-lint pickers like Keene or Coldplay; they blithely conjure the sheer esprit and puckishness of the glam-rock/tranny-mascara era: Tsar assuredly does not tsuck.

– bob renstrom

Spin, Band of the Day 6/30/05

Maybe the next best thing to a band that wears its heart on its sleeve is one that declares its priorities through its album title. For L.A. rockers Tsar, it’s a simple triumvirate: Band-Girls-Money. This actually plays out more like a formula: By crafting an ambitiously diverse array of concise, fast, rock’n’roll expressions as a band, Tsar aims to appease the largest number of girls who will, in turn, fork over their hard-earned money on Tsar CDs, concert tickets, and girlie tees. Let’s do the math.

If she sports a mullet and prefers ratty black concert t-shirts, she’s likely to dig the bratty, speedy “Straight”; its punchy power chords and blazing guitar riffs recall latter day rockers like Murder City Devils. Does she crave new wave? Try “The Love Explosion,” with its percolating build-up and keyboard-laced sing-along chorus. Is she a glam princess? “Superdeformed” or “Startime” should do the trick. Frontman Jeff Whalen displays agility throughout, managing to sound very much at home in these varied arrangements, although the album could do without a few wimpy forays towards whiny pop punk predictability. But the real airplane glue holding it all together is guitarist Daniel Kern; his solos lend a swift, defibrillator-like charge at several crucial moments.

So how does the equation work out? Did you show your work? Tsar has certainly been patient for solutions; after releasing their debut on Hollywood Records in 2000, the band was stuck in limbo for some time before signing with TVT in 2004. Answers will certainly come this summer now that Band-Girls-Money is in stores and the band is out on the road. Girls and money: beware!

the critic (reviewing the single):

Rock’n’Roll! Screaming intro by guitar and vocalist! They hail from Los Angeles, but have all the energy and gumption of New York. This is the title track of their second album filled with lyrics by their vocalist Jeff Whalen and guitar histrionics by Dan Kern backed by drummer Chuck Byler and bass player Derrick Forget to explosive effects. This party political broadcast by Tsar lays down their priorities fair and square: Band – Girls – Money. The right order, the right attitude, the right music.

Based on this single track I urge you to listen to their new album and seek out their self titled first album on Hollywood Records from 2000.

– Wolfgang Steuer

Upcoming Tsar Shows

7/8 Spaceland, Silverlake
7/12 Bricktown Live, Oklahoma City
7/16 WKRL Radio Festival, Syracuse
7/20 Springwater Supper Club & Lounge, Nashville
7/23 TT the Bear’s, Boston
7/26 Grand Rapids, MI (10 Bells)
7/31, Buffalo, NY (WEDG-Edgefest)

get the cd + whalen conducts an interview with a british radio dude

hi summer, you sassy little lassy.

the heat blows through my bedroom window and makes itself comfortable. i have no heater and no a/c in this hollywood bungalow and sometimes i need a little fan.

and sometimes i need a little space heater but im about to rent a beater and drive around tonight with the windows down and count the shooting stars and think about ice cream bars, theres drumsticks and popsicles and bomb pops and push ups and strawberry shortcakes and chocolate eclairs, mickey mouses, choco tacos

the ones with the gumballs on the bottom, the ones with the quarters in the middle, the ones with the peanuts on the top.

ice cream sandwiches and eskimo pies. soft serve. triple scoop.

when i was a kid and this is how long ago ive been walking around, they used to have at baskin robbins this thing called the super heater, three scoops of ice cream, hot chocolate, nuts and whipped cream in a cup for ninety nine cents and it seemed like a lot of money and it seemed like a lot of ice cream, but it was four video games so i would always think about the super heater but i would always pass.

except once when my mom bought me one after grocery shopping. and i couldnt believe my amazing luck.

i need a new pair of shorts. all i have are swim trunks which are fun to wear as shorts in the summer but chris always rolls her eyes when i wear em.

its hot, hi summer. if i was smart i would shut the windows and turn this thing back into a cave. a cool dark cave where the lovely ladies in their summer dresses will sit down and cross their legs and try to act all demure but my demure detector doesnt overheat

like my candy bag on top of the microwave

next to the window.

– busblog, 7/3/03

raymi + zulieka unstrung + the mighty doc searls + sean bonner

im pretty sure

the queen of hearts, karl rove, is about to do a belly flop into history. my children will never know him as the evil genius that he sorta was if it wasnt for always getting caught, which he apparently did yesterday when laurence o’donnell announced on one of my favorite shows, the mclaughlin group.

long story short former US Ambassador to Iraq (and UCSB alumn) Joseph Wilson was sent to Niger in 2002 to see if Iraq was really buying nuclear material from the african nation. Wilson found no business being done between to the two countries. In 2003 during Pres Bush’s rush to war with Iraq, the president in his state of the union address said that Iraq was getting nuclear materials from Niger, and Wilson was so upset that the wrote a column in the New York Times called “What I Didn’t Find In Niger” saying that that nothing of that kind had happened and that the president knew it.

BushCo was so mad that to retaliate, someone high up in the white house staff leaked information that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative. the information was leaked to rightwing columnist Bob Novak who immediately outted Plame in his column denoucing Wilson. Two other reporters know which white house staffer leaked the info, which is a federal offense, and the court gave them an ultimatium that they either tell who the source is or go to jail.

one of the reporters, Matt Cooper, works for Time. he said that he wouldnt tell but when the Supreme Court refused to force the reporter to cough up the info it got bumped back down to the court that originally demanded the name. at that point Time magazine said that it would tell the court, and show how they can prove it via a series of emails.

O’Donnell says that he knows that the source is Karl Rove. If it is Rove, he might be sent to jail for Perjury if he previously lied under oath to the Grand Jury by denying that he was the leak.

Rove, by the way, was fired in 92 from Bush Sr’s campaign for… leaking things to Novak

the obvious question is why isnt Novak being brought to court and pressured into revealing his source like the other two reporters? on today’s mcglaughlin group o’donnell speculated that it was probably because Novak has already told the court on the grounds that he not have to testify or go on the record if one of the other two reporters spills the beans.

the juicy chocolate center could be if Rove is tried for Treason since he outted a CIA agent during a time of war. and even though Plame herself might not have been in immediate danger by the revelation, her cohorts, informants, and business associates very well could have been.

because of the complexity of this case it might be hard for it to capture the imagination of the american public, and it couldnt have come at a worse time for the President who received what was tantamount to a Christmas gift this week when supreme court judge sandra day oconner announced her retirement. but now with his best bud, his brain, his puppet master, looking at hard time in the pokey for serious federal offenses what we might be witnessing here is the begining of the end of the bush dynasty.

live by the reckless unlawful immoral abuse of power, die by the reckless unlawful immoral abuse of power.

the democrats couldnt have been pitched an easier underhand soft toss to knock over the fence.

tied to that the fact that journalists are caught in the middle of this means that theres no excuse for the media to ignore this, plus it involves the mastermind of BushCo who many thought was the most untouchable of a teflon administration.

pay very close attention to how the right wing bloggers and their commentors will squirm and try to find an angle out of this corner. theyve already tried to denounce odonnell, which is sad because hes not even a player in this greek tragedy, and watch how they will try to denounce every person who actually is a player

except for bob novak for writing the treason

and karl rove for being a fat bastard traitor

these people go on and on about patriotism and citizen journalism, but they dont mean it. their dude got caught


handed involving someones wife, the lowest attack a gentleman could make.

and then he lied about it under oath, and then he sat back and watched as two journalists played chicken with the supreme court by saying theyd go to jail before theyd reveal their source even though their source was someone who nobody should go to jail to protect.

difference is, these people were willing to go to jail to protect their profession, not to protect a person.

and in a world where commentators are constantly trying to determine the difference between a blogger and a journalist, may i suggest that a journalist is a professional willing to go to jail for their profession.

i made a photo essay + rabsteen gets it + tsar will attend cmj in sept