Sunday, August 31, 2008


I walk the urban streets as an African/American. Do you? Well, I do.
During these walks I can usually count on at least two or three people to do a strange dance, as I call it. have to picture this from my perspective, ok? First of all, I do not have a criminal record. I have a clean drivers record. I don't drink alcohol and I'm not a very loquacious person. So, this dance, I do with some folks on the side walks is a conditioned routine that I have just gotten used to:

I will be walking up the lane with no real expression on my face. Sun, rain, wind....whatever. Usually I am thinking about music arrangements. Well...ALWAYS. I am always arranging and rearranging music in my head. A subsequent routine to the vocation, none other than, you guessed it, being a musician. And I will occasionally look up and notice a woman walking towards me. When I was a kid I used to get a smile and sometimes a hello. But that changes when you become an adult, I guess. At least for me. What happens now is that the approaching woman will step to the VERY opposite side of the walk way before passing, looking frightened, nervous or uncomfortable. And sometimes I will say hello to ease this sudden tension, often startling them or making them more uncomfortable. This is a strange dance for me. Because it seems that I am put in to this role without having a choice or say. I become 'usual-suspect-dude'. It's weird. It's common. And it's me? WTF? Strange dance, I say.
Now, if I were to statistically report the ethnicity of most of these women...I would have my own usual suspect list. And I refuse to say, here on a public blog, the exact ethnicity which seems to be constantly repeating itself with this strange dance.
NOW...I'm not saying that this is right or wrong, because nothing happens, really. It's just a passing moment on the sidewalk. And I can't say that it will continue on into the future, either. But what I do know is that this is what I have seen for at least 25 years in a row. It's constant material for song writing, I can tell you. I look into the faces of these women. Some adorned in Obama wear. MLK jr. wear. Bob Marley T-shirts. I wonder...but it's not JUST them. It's a Tango, of course. There are enough bad apples in society's barrel for this kind of mental armor. I do not blame women for being cautious and safe. It is a jungle smeared in concrete out there.

But before I finish this personal topic of opinion, I want to add one more strange thing.
I have met a few women on the streets, randomly, sipping coffee, waiting for a movie ticket, in a line to buy smokes. There are some moments which last long enough to have an actual conversation. An average amount of these women will often be guarded about themeselves as we BEGIN talking. Then, at some point, I am obliged to explain the origin of my name. Often the name Musashi sounds Muslim to some of these women. Wrong. I'm Buddhist! It must be because I have carmel skin. But when I tell them I am half Japanese...they become intrigued and seem to relax and become interested in the reputation that Japanese people have here in America.
" Oh my're half Japanse? That is so fascinating!"
They ask me if I eat Sushi, or drink Sackee. What the hell is SACKEE, I'm thinking?
It's pronounced Sah keh...KEH, I say. Vowels are short, I say. It's Sah keh. If I said 'bur' instead of 'beer', I would get corrected, too, right? And in this moment I instantly remember how stand offish they were BEFORE I mentioned that I am half Japanese. And so, like I said at the beginning of this blogged soliloquy...I walk the urban streets as an African/American.
Do you?

But I'm representing Norcal.
Fully, dude. Totally.
For sure...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama is already the president...

Obama is allowing some of us African/Americans to feel WAY better about speaking with an articulated education. Which puts most Americans on the same page of communication, which we have haven't really seen yet. At least not in this degree.
This part of change is so important.

And if you listen close to this speech...I swear that in the back round you can hear some of the women having little micro orgasms. Obama is awesome!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Cancer's thought...

Moonlight becomes her...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Moonlight Memories

When one looks back on pain and grief
the feeling taints the heart's belief

The answers wait behind the moon
the light that shines like silver spoons

And soon the breath of life itself
will teach you about someone else

To gaze upon a glass half filled
with thoughts of what you might have spilled

When all along the thirst you quenched
is what you taste and reminisce

As time ticks on and sunlight brings
that once and oh familiar ring

Which makes you hold your smile up
like morning coffee in my cup

You know I'm here and there I guess
with thoughts of your sweet sexiness

Horizons kissed by starlight lips
the beacon of relationships

The faith I have in us remains
so smile like that moon again

smile like the moon...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Gargoyle woyld and a gigabyte goyle: SNOWCRASH

Hey geekers! Just a quick shout out to my peeps who hack and chew gigabytes.
Don't forget who Hiro Protagonist is. If you have then I suggest reading SNOWCRASH again. Ya see, Hiro is of Black and Korean decent, by way of Nippon. And that is fairly close to what I am. Black and Japanese. When I read this story of sword fighting, multi hacking, swash buckling , motor cycle buying( OH that motorcycle! sigh ), fantasy adventure that takes place in the 'real world' and the meta verse( The Internet ), I just about lost my half-rican mind! So I will have to read it again soon. And if there is a beautiful woman out there who knows what I'm talking about...I'm single!

"To condense fact from the vapor of nuance"
-Neal Stephenson * SNOWCRASH*

And now some real Japanese geeked out shit
-click me-


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shaffer the DARKLORD

A linguistics major has a way of deciphering soliloquy after soliloquy without feeling inhibited about the results. Right?

Me? I'm a guitar player. I listen for emotional tone, phrases, melody and volume before the lyrics even make sense.


 In a world of music being dominated by the hip hop genre, it seems that language and the expression there of has been one continuous event of exploitation. Words are the bullets now. And what the industry machine, also known as the RIAA, has been doing for the last 10 years, is filling the auto clips of loquacious weaponry to unleash on society. For HELLA DOLLARS! It seems that everybody is a rapper now. Cool, right?  For some of these artists it's a way out of poverty. Which must feel good. And for some, it's a way to make a little extra bread. WHich must feel good to. And for some it's a way of life. When you look at the big picture, the combined total of all these ways to look at rap, you have a HUGE industry of people trying to use words. Right? That's a lotta lingo for our ears. 
 Now, every so often... a rapper will stand out among the millions. Original. Unique. Explicit. 
And that is getting more and more difficult to do these days. I think that this world could use
a good tongue lashing from New York's Shaffer The Darklord. Because what Shaffer seems to use best in this shady world of rap...are words. Words that most people can comprehend without having to google a linguistics browser for literary meaning. Which, as a guitar player, I have had to do, so that I could "rap" along while driving with hot some babe, who seemed impressed with my articulation skills. And THAT'S what Shaffer has. Articulation skills.
So check him out, he's hilarious, witty, comprehensible and EVIL....


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

1983 A merman I should be...

That is the title of a Jimi Hendrix song I know. I'm not entirely sure what he meant by that statement, but back in 1983 I was playing bass in a band called Sacrilege B.C.
If you check out the former bass player will see Moose. That's me. (The black guy on the far right in pic above)
I helped start that band by writing our entire set minus one or two songs, when I was 14...

The SF Bay are Metal/hardcore/punk scene...
 ...that was back in the day, man. 
Back when you could choose between seeing the midnight showing of Rocky Horror at the U.C theatre OR go see a slammin' metal/punk rock show near by.
 Well, I admit that I HAVE seen The Rocky Horror Show once or twice, but all those other nights were spent at Ruthies Inn, The Keystone Berkeley, The Stone, The Mabuhay Garden, The Rock On Broadway, The Berkeley Square, The Omni...and many other venues that have existed. That was the 80's. There was only one metal scene. And it started back then. It is STILL going, but it started back in the early 80's. And I was an avid participant by the time I was sweet 16. I played ALL those clubs at some point. Before I was even legal to drink or drive. It was so much fun. A perfect way to spend my teenage angst for humanity. Especially during the Reagan era. Remember THAT guy? Yeah. And so to balance out that particular amount of politics, I would go to the Cow Palace and check out the real masters of the scene. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, The Scorpions, Dio, Sabbath.. Meanwhile it was bands like Metallica, Slayer, Mercyful Fate,Venom,Suicidal Tendencies, DRI, COC, The Accused, Fang and our eastbay favs...EXODUS. Exodus was the reason to say or do anything when I was 15. It was Exodus who was WAY better than Metallica. Even as we watched Metallica take off from the Keystone Berkeley in to fame and fortune...we were still, very much bonded by blood over Exodus. SLAYTEAM BERKELEY!!( heheheh) The shows were demonic and had an attitude that would never adjust to anything but pure mayhem and impurity. Talk about what a teenage boy wants to be a part of!  It's only a phase for some of us. 
For some...a way of life. 
 For me it was a quick lesson of humility and a fast trip to rehab.
It was not the life style that worked for me, even though I  still hold on to all those memories and songs. I learned how to play fast during those metal/punk years. So different back in those days. Things are different now, of course. Like, now you CAN have your own video game arcade in your house as opposed to WISHING you could take Galaga home...
OK...that was a trip down memory lane...back to what I was doing...

thinking about that girl I saw the other day...

Oh yeah!
I can still remember most of the lyrics. 
It makes sense to me now what this band was trying to tell us back then...
about war...


Michigan J. Frog was his name...

I met a princess while sitting on a log
kind of like that Warner Brothers Frog
she kissed me on the mouth so very warm
and sat to watch and see if I'd transform

I kissed her back and forth and to and fro
and all those other places don't you know
and for about a year we weren't forlorn
as she sat to watch and see if I 'd transform

 but then a year goes by and what of this
slowly she begins to feel distressed
to her sweet kisses, kisses are returned
but still she waits to see if I'd transform

And finally I see things going right
and all those sleepless bliss filled sweaty nights
bring to it's fruition from that log
I've finally transformed
into a frog!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'll take an i phone and a mini cooper and a...

Do I want one of these? These hyper tech gadgets?
Will I be able to afford the cost of the phone AND the bill that comes with it?
The answer is yes.

This is just one of the many luxuries that I will have within the next two years of my natural life. I will also be able to afford a Mini Cooper as well as maintaining the up keep on my truck.

You wanna know how I know this is gonna happen?
I will tell you why. Having the same dream for the last few months is all the proof that I need. It's a dream that entails me and a motley crew making a success story unveil itself. It's about the path that I'm on. It's about the last 25 years of work about to make a bold and well deserved statement. It's about the last year or two of people asking me not to forget them. It's about me humbly signing autographs to complete strangers. It's the look that I have been getting from strange exotic women. It's the phone numbers that they offer me with a look of covert naughtiness. And most of all, it's about paying back the karma to my family for holding me up this whole time. This kind of love is undeniably the corner stone to my inevitable
path of "success"...however you define that. Was hoping to do all this with a companion...but... that seems to be another story that I will not go into at the moment...

In the's all about the Uptones!

Here we go...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bolt ahead of the rat race...

Usain Bolt has done something for Jamaica that I thought could never be done. Because when I think of Jamaica, I think of a slow and steady reggae beat. I think of songs by Bob Marley that will talk about the pace of the 'rat race'. Moments spent after a huge splif, pondering the universe by a river. Jamaica, to me, is synonymous to NOT BEING IN A HURRY.
So...hearing about someone from Jamaica breaking the world record for the 100 meter dash sounds a bit outta left field to me. I'm used to the news telling that someone from Jamaica has won the cross country event. But the 100 meter dash?
That's like them winning the bob sled competition. And somebody already made a big deal about that whole Jamaican bobsledding competition! I wonder what movie will spin out this record?

Congrats to Usain Bolt for, not just having the most appropriate name for the event, but winning AND setting the new world record, mon.

What is in a man's heart that could make a man run faster than the world record? Maybe this song can explain... -play-

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thanks to The Uptones and producer Matthew King Kaufman, a song that I wrote is on the radio!

Feels good after being a musician in the bay area
for this long. Really good!

Anyway, KFOG selected an Uptones song
for their new Local Scene cd 5 compilation.
"I don't know Emilie" and they are on sale

We celebrate August 28th @SLIMS


Friday, August 8, 2008

Take it easy Blind Lemon...

I read the Blind Lemon Jefferson blog....the Fake Blind Lemon Blog, that is. He just ripped this sfgate article to pieces! It was about the Us Air Guitar contest that's goin' on in the city. It looks like fun...for them. The reward is an actual guitar, too. Which is strange, if ya ask me. Can you imagine winning a guitar and not being able to play it? Not me. 
Maybe I should enter. The prize is a new guitar and the finals are in Finland. I would LOVE to go to Finland in the summer...

(violins of imagination)

" Hi Ingrid, Oh I'm fine, How are you? Good...yeah I would love breakfast...but would you mind giving me a few minutes...I have to tell Greta and Anna that their cab is here...s'cuse me...HEY ANNA? Don't forget to grab your bikini top, too...ok I'll see y'all tonite!......what? Oh that's great...I was just thinking about cleaning the hot tub...thank you..."

Yep...I'd be exhausted. And I would have a new guitar...

back to work

Thursday, August 7, 2008

TADGEAR is high tech durability

When I think of this day and age, I'm thinking high tech, durable, instantly gratified, worth redemption value, quick and easy, low maintenance with a high output...and survival of the fittest...


And of course, Quality.
Now, I'm not an avid outdoors man currently. I spend more time in doors composing music/lyrics and writing blogs. But I ran into a friend of mine who works for

And now I have that urge to hit the mountain trails or the snow peaks this winter, fully equipped with the best gear I can find. And now that I have seen this company's product, I know where I'm gonna be spending my first quarter million of record sales. These guys are giving R.E.I. and Gortex a run for their money. TADGEAR is a reputable quality company with clients that will remain as faithful as the durability of their gear and equipment. I may be naive to the militaristic side of things, but the fact is...durable gear and clothing is something I am a big fan of.

Like I said before...
I'm proud to be a Black and Japanese American...

Now back to the Muzic...


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Paris to the Hilton

Been looking for a decent pic to post of our dear celeb diva, Paris Hilton.
After her ad for presidential potentiality, I started looking.

It took me a good hour of browsing to find this one.
SO MANY to choose from...

And now that she has said some things about our country that no one can really say is 'bad', I think it's time to put Paris in a different perspective.
No...not in my bedroom either, but in a place that allows us Americans to see her in a different light. Not a video camera light. In the left over lime light that our two candidates are not using at the moment. And Paris is just thin enough to squeeze in there. And when someone like her decides to speak, fully clothed, about our country's's got to be something worth hearing. Like the new Hilton for president video below.

Some of us would rather look at her and hear Obama speak.
And some of us would rather not....

Maybe Paris should run for vice...THAT would be amazing.
Obama and Paris, running the show. Obamas wife would probably have to buy herself a tazer
to keep them both in check...
Enjoy the viddy if you haven't seen it yet...

and now...
some Uptones for your listening pleasure
-play song-

your friendly neighborhood
Uncle Samurai

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Too Much Coffee, dude...

When I drink too much coffee I feel normal. I feel like I'm moving at the pace of the 'real' world.
Is that a statement that anyone else can relate to?

Anyway...the other thing about drinking alot of caffeine is that I can write for days, dude.
Here is one example.
A poem, if you will, about politics.
Imagine that...
It's important to know what we hate, I'm sure
it's agreed that the wrong things are clear
but what would you do to make change for the good
if the question was bent to your ear

I hear people complain about things left and right
and it's easy cuz I do it too
but if someone elected you our president
just what in the hell would you do?

It's a rough rowdy crowd that we all seem to to be
if it's one side or if it's the other
it's easy to say can't we all get along
can't we all just be sisters and brothers?

So I'm thinking that maybe we might start a list
of some goals that we ought to consider
before somebody else puts another four years
in the ground do we have any bidders?

It's hard to say positive things about u.s.
as our history climbs up our back
but please I insist we can reset this shit
if we try to determine some facts

why do we need to rely on one dude
can't we make our decisions stand tall?
the old declaration of independence
it was written to speak for us all

in it's union address it had declared a mess
of the way that the old laws were kept
I have reread these words and I think it's absurd
how we seem to be losing the script

if you look in the mirror it's you and the world
and we ALL have this view once a day
and for every one person that doesn't spread hate
is one more that has found the true way

and we all take a turn on the moodswing of life
as we make our days fold into nights
with our blood sweat and tears we will look in that mirror
before bedtime and know we are right

yeah it's hard to be glad when you just became mad
and somebody won't let your mood swim
so you drown with a frown from those tears of a clown
spreading gloom to the room you are in

but a mood is a mood just like food is to food
and the two coincide just the same
and with good moderation we lose separation
of apathy sadness and grins

in a full day of life there is so much to like
and the negative news spreads so fast
that's why I take the time to relieve my old mind
watching girls on the avenue pass

it's the perfect distraction, it's free satisfaction
and ladies, they love the attention
it might not bring peace to a world of disease
but it's natures most prime intervention


(Fake)Blind lemon jefferson has an opinion on

What the hey...

No Seoul for Bush

Bush is making his goodbye trip. I support that.


In Korea they had 20,ooo protesters that were not so supportive. I figure as long as he is leaving, then just let him go. There aint much else we can do as a nation of people besides
 wave. Waves is what happened yesterday in Korea. They didn't do the wave, they USED the wave. Water cannons. That makes some of us in the states start thinking about the 60's. Gotta bring some kevlar swim trunks to a protest these days.'s a mad, crazy, hectic world that's moving faster and faster each day.

So I'll leave you with something nice...
Bush has 167 days left.

And now...

a puppy

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Video killed the radio star...

Video killed the radio star?
Oh kinda did...

Speaking of radio, I was on line posting at bay area ska and got some info I was searching for.
I was inquiring abut ska music on the radio... got some pretty good results, too. The people at this forum actually have some feedback! It wasn't the usual rhetoric. It was more than what I was counting on. There are quite a few radio stations that play ska music. I love ska music lovers...
-check it out-

It makes me really happy inside.
Because... The Uptones are on KFOG's new cd...
-check it out...track 15-

Life is getting gooder...


Good advice from a lady...

Try to be happy...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba

Sometimes I forget about the heroes in our history.
Then I do some reading and remember.
The Art Of Peace is a little pocket sized book that I have been reading for many years now.
It's author is Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido.
This book reminds me of the basic , little things that can re center my perspective, in a world that is simply going buck crazy, for lack of a better term.

Here is a quote from the book : The art of Peace I practice has room for each of the world's eight million gods, and I cooperate with them all. The God of Peace is very great and enjoins all that is divine and enlightened in every land.
-Morihei Ueshiba

There is only one Aikido.
It's roots start with O sensei Morihei Ueshiba.


Friday, August 1, 2008

The Invisibles

To balance out the endless news of grief
in a world that searches for some quick relief
I think of all the people I can't see
who live for peace and good old liberty

Just because they aren't within my view
or if I don't hear everything they do
I know that on this scale we stand upon
The Invisibles make right to fix the wrong

The facts are plain as day when I think twice
or this whole world would not be half as nice
The folks who hold this light of optimism
Allow the world to shine inside this prism

Reality suggests that things are dim
and chances for good fortunes's wearing thin
but isn't every generation tested
by the goodness we have mindfully invested?

The happiness that comes to us is here
I hear it everyday with my own ears
If Stevie Wonder opened up his eyes
I'm sure that he'd be pleasantly surprised

So keep in mind the visions that are clear
and hold this thought to heart if you have tears
Just because you cannot not see them clear
The good ones on this earth are always here

Uncle Samurai