Friday, July 08, 2011

Left-Handed Darling featuring mikl-em

The brand new play that I'm in is called Left-Handed Darling. We've been working on it for months, there is an incredible team around this project, and it is a wonderful, dark & twisted story, set in the carnival sideshow world of early 20th Century America. It has a Twilight Zone-esque feel (coincidentally), or maybe more Creepshow-esque. Esque anyway, definitely esque. I'm very proud of the show as a whole and my part in it. I hope you can check it out....

Set in the rural 1930's American "Dust Bowl" era and centers on [a young girl] with a very unusual upbringing and a unique sense of beauty [...] the audience are transported from the macabre environment of her family's home to the surreality of a carnival sideshow, an equally bizarre court room, and more strange sights [....] With creative staging, a versatile cast, theatrical puppetry, original music, and a lot of mason jars, LEFT-HANDED DARLING will thrill you, surprise you, make you laugh and transport you back to a colorful era when Vaudeville ruled and a nickel was really worth something.

Produced by Foul Play, who brought us the Attack of the Killer B-Movies (I & II), a rock opera Wicker Man and the runaway smash hit Stale Magnolias. They have started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund Left-Handed Darling. I hope you will take a look and consider donating.

It's a great show, your support helps make our play possible and future shows under Foul Play's "New Writers Program". Click the links for more info.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stage Werx 446 Kickstarter: Down to the Wire!

Please help support this new and improved theater space

My friends Ty & Cory have just over 1 day left in their fundraiser.

Ty and Cory

Please help out if you can and help spread the word if you know other folks who might want to support this great small San Francisco small theater.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Please help me support San Francisco's next great theater venue--StageWerx moves to the mission

My pals Ty & Cory McKenzie are moving their theater space StageWerx from their current location near Union Square to the heart of the Mission—16th & Valencia, the former Intersection for the Arts space. The location is fantastic and so is their commitment to helping indie theater. They are unique in having a large space (4000 sq. ft.) with high ceilings and capacity of over 70 seats. There’s also a separate rehearsal space. Those are sensational additions to the SF local theater scene, and to the Mission in particular. Especially in a time when many small theaters are closing.

They need to raise a bunch of money to do this, and they’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to make it happen. There are lots of licensing fees and important upgrades to make to the space. And they really need your help to make it happen.

Ty has asked 100+ friends to each help bring in $200. Danielle and I are hoping that we can between us get at least $500 from folks in our network. Please take a look and give something if you can to help enable great theater in San Francisco.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Last Tuesday's Can Haz DJ: Legends of Punk & New Wave Past

Ah, Blogger is back up, that's nice.

Had a fun show on Tuesday night, featuring the then & now of some classic punk rockers. You can grab the mp3 podcast here. You will find the playlist for the show on my Can Haz DJ blog along with other good stuff.

Reminder: you can stream or download all the past Can Haz DJ shows and you should, you really should. Sometime soon, I will post a guide to these past shows, to point you to ones that you might particular like (or that I'm particularly proud of). Here's more on some of the music from the most recent show....

Well, good news first. A great new song by guitarist Ivan Julian, one of the original twin guns of Richard Hell's Voidoid arsenal. The Voidoids were an absolute punk revelation for me, even though it took me quite a while to find out about them. Blank Generation is absolutely one of my Top-5 albums of all time.

Perhaps my favorite punk band of the original era are Australia's The Saints. For a very long time I've said it's essential to have their 1976-77 era material and to avoid their later work with just as much determination. That's when Ed Kuepper left the band and lead singer Chris Bailey marched The Saints in a much poppier direction.

Here they are in their prime:

That said, the more recent Bailey-era stuff which is again in a power-trio format is the best since 1977. In fact I actually picked up (or rather down loaded) 2005's Nothing is Straight in My House before the show, and I'm pretty impressed with it. Another Saints album, the most recent, came out in '06 which I haven't heard yet. But the original lineup, Kuepper included, came back together in 2009 to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival. Here's a lo-fi glimpse of that:

And here's a look at the video for the original version of that song, I'm Stranded which was their break through to the world back in 1977:

The sad news is that the great Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex recently passed away. She was incredible, a true original in her punk days. She dropped out of punk as it became more and more the music business as usual. And, sadly, after years away from music, she was just mounting a comeback when tragically she lost a battle with cancer.

Below are the title track from her brand new album, a feature on her from her X-Ray Spex days and a recent interview with her talking about the new record.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

What I'm Putting On The Radio Tonight

Tonight on Can Haz DJ: Listening to an Electronic World

Tonight at 10pm Pacific on, I'll be playing a bunch of great electronic music that incorporates various world musical traditions (Indian, African, Latin, to name a few). There's lots more on the show besides, but here's a taste of some of that "worldly electronic" that you are likely to hear:

And a whole lot more.... Details on the whole show & more videos on the CanHazDJ blog.

And remember all of my previous shows are in the Radio Valencia podcast archives which you can either stream or download as mp3s.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Really enjoying this Beats Antique album (funny cuz it's 4 years old) via rdio. I will be playing some on Tuesday's Can Haz DJ show

They are based in Oakland, and I'm realizing that I probably know some of the folks involved, or 1-degree away at most as there's an Extra Action Marching Band connection.

Here they are in action, looks like fun:

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I'm going to SXSW! And Califone Video from Last Year

I'll be in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest from March 12th to March 22nd!

Last year I got to see Califone one of my favorite bands at the festival. Parts of the video below were shot at a show I attended (they played several times, I was at the one that was under a tent outdoors).

better angels from Califone on Vimeo.

This year I'm sure there will again be both old favorites and new surprises. I'll be posting a bit more here during the fest, I hope. And also blogging about both SXSW Interactive & SXSW Music at and on my Radio Valencia blog.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What Mikl-em is doing lately (circa 2011)

Until very recently, I hadn't written much here for a while. But I've been doing a lot elsewhere. So I wanted to post a quick summary and a bunch of links...

mikl in the mirror, wide shot
  1. Blogging regularly at Laughing Squid on topics including but not limited to TV Nostalgia; San Francisco art, people, weather, and theater events; comedy of all sorts (esp. British and internet flavors); and odd soccer-related videos.
  2. Playing music on the virtual air of Radio Valencia, San Francisco's newest and best pirate radio station. My show Can Haz DJ airs every Tuesday night from 10pm-12am. You can go to my blog on the RadioValencia site to listen live, or download mp3s of the show afterward and listen any time.
  3. Being funny myself at places like The Dark Room (goofing MST3K style for Bad Movie Night or on-stage in Caddyshack Live).
  4. Writing for Hi Fructose magazine (in-print only and with several features appearing in their just released second collected edition)
  5. Um, other stuff.
That's a good overview, I will write up a list of recommended Squid posts in another post here. Also keep in mind that you can subscribe to my occasional email list if you'd like to keep up on what I'm doing and other SF-local things that I recommend.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

How come Charlie Sheen and Newt Gingrich don't get the same punsihment?

Bill Maher as usual does incredibly funny and intelligent commentary with no punches pulled. The Sheen-Gingrich comparison is great, but the Gingrich-Edwards one is a really interesting one to ponder. And from there it slaloms through Ensign and Vitter and Spitzer and on and on. It is a strange old world that some people live in.

Monday, February 28, 2011

More on Unions, no really, you better watch out!

This joke is making it's way around Facebook, and it really nails it (which I think 'the kids' are saying again, right?)
So, a unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies. He looks at the tea partier and says, "Watch out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."
Here is a very informative clip from The Rachel Maddow Show about the underlying motives and dynamics of the Wisconsin fight over public sector workers collective bargaining rights...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The unions in Wisconsin have already said that they are willing to make concessions, but the Governor's goal is not really to solve the "budget crisis" (which, per the clip above, might not have been so much a 'crisis' if he had not proactively passed a bunch of business tax cuts as his first act upon taking office). What he wants to do is to remove unions' voice, to neuter their ability to represent a large group of workers on their salary, benefits and working conditions. And in so doing to tilt the balance of power in the Republicans favor for ever more.

Wisconsin is not the easiest place for this piece of the GOP agenda to get across, it may be the toughest. And that's why they are doing it--they wanted to act quickly, sneak it in on a general positive wave of just-elected-governor vibe, and thus get it straight in as a mainstream national policy issue. But it's not. It's an attempt to radically retrench how employees are treated in this country, especially blue collar employees, and it aims directly (if much less intuitively) for the source of funding for the Democratic party. Which in a post Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission world is very dangerous for all of us.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Radio Show and Music Blog on RadioValencia.FM

I have a show on RadioValencia.FM, San Francisco's latest & greatest independent non-commercial radio station (there are those who call us pirates, Arrr!).

My show is called Can Haz DJ, and it is on every Tuesday night from 10pm-1am. Here's a little bit of my thoughts on getting back to radio after 15 years or so (I unofficially majored in radio as an undergrad, meaning that I got no credits for it, even though I dedicated so much my time and energy to it). I started doing the show in August of last year, the same timeframe when Radio Valencia started up. You can download mp3s of my previous shows. It might help to review playlists of some of my shows to see what you are getting into--I also include videos in some of those posts.

Working in college radio was probably the most important experience that I have ever had, in terms of my personal development. It was practical experience for a real life work enviornment, and especially for one where a group of people are passionately dedicated to the task at hand. That's the way that I hope to always work, and it's something common to great startups, great small teams and awesome arts & theater groups, all of which I've been fortunate enough to find my way into ever since.

If you want to listen to Radio Valencia live, you can go to the website and click the play button, or tune in (in some parts) of San Francisco on 87.9FM.

Jazz at Club Deluxe in San Francisco Last Night

I've put up a couple videos on my Flickr stream of a great jazz performance that I went to last night at The Club Deluxe in Upper Haight (note to self, and anyone who is listening, that their WikiPedia entry needs a lot of work).

The two videos are below--one is :30, the other about 1:15. FUN. Nine-pieces, sometimes ten, including 3 trumpets, trombone, and tenor, alto & baritone (I think, iz big) saxes. Not sure if it is a regular thing or what, but it was a great time, would love to see it again.

It reminded me of the time that Danielle and I stumbled into a performance of the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra at a small Harlem joint where they do sort of a mid-week practice gig, playing to neighborhood locals with a church basement style dinner spread. That was amazing (and more than twice as many players), but there's just nothing like the vibe of

Here's the HRO in a bit more upmarket surroundings, playing at Lincoln Center:

Unions Really Are Important

This video pleases me.

There's more to say on this. But I don't think I will get into it right now. But if you, like me, are inspired and excited by what has been going on in Wisconsin in terms of protests by the people, then you will be happy to see this video of the police union (they are workers also, after all) expresses their support for the peaceful actions of tens of thousands of their fellow citizens.

via Crooks & Liars

yes, an update is long overdue

Thanks for visiting. Or reading my feed, or however you are getting these words.

It's not that I haven't been busy. But you can't see the full extent of it here.

I'll do a few updates here, and soon give a summary update of what I am doing and some of the recent stuff that I am proudest of (which hopefully will also be interesting to you).

A quick flurry to follow....

And, yes, eventually, I will switching over to WordPress with a new look and more frequent posts to this space. But not quite yet.