Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dissed by The Source

Getting dissed by The Source for repetitive lyricism is like The Enquirer accusing the Star of tabloid journalism. For a magazine that sustains itself by perpetuating the dumbing down of hip-hop into hooks, chants and casio keyboard beats, its a tough pill to swallow. Maybe Conan Milne(whoe wrote the review) would like us better if we had lyrics like "lets kick it like TyBo" and "Smack that ass till you get sore." Or maybe we should do something like "this is why i'm hot, this is why i'm hot, this is why i'm this is why i'm this is why i'm hot." maybe then it wouldn't be too repetitive. The only encouraging thing is that we got a ton of calls and email saying "F**k The Source they're full of s**t". But everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I guess it means that we truly have a unique sound if Conan Milne from The Source doesn't get it. Read on:

"Respected live performers like Stetsasonic and The Roots, coupled with use of live instrumentation by many notable producers, suggests there's great potential for the Hip-Hop band. On that note, 40 Watt Hype returns to deliver instrument-laden sounds on its uneven third studio album, "Strong Feet on the Concrete." Tracks like the rap critical "Controversy" prove that the group's MCs can rhyme.
Sadly the verbal muscle isn't flexed enough throughout the rest of the 16 cut collection. Twanging guitar pluck make the title track a funky affair, although is is hindered by the redundant chant "just let go/Lose control." "Animated World" starts promising, only to descend into "One time for the bass" chit chat. With this album, the eight piece outfit proves that impressive drum or guitar work can't always compensate for repetitive lyricism. While the group has talent, 40 Watt Hype is a rap band not quite ready for prime time. -Conan Milne"

Thats tough to take for a dude named Conan. The fact that he doesn't get it is a reaffirmation that we're doing the right thing, thanks Conan......

Friday, January 26, 2007

IQ Review (Albuquerque Weekly Publication)

IQ Albuquerque NM Music Preview

The type of hip hop that 40 Watt Hype plays could only come from the state of California. Sure, people will compare them to The Roots, which is justifiable, but it’s mostly because the band, which includes Brian Robinson (Vagabond), Jared Dyar (percussion), Adan Infante (trombone), Sean Alderette (drums), Aaron Wall (MC AWALL) Enrique Gonzales (guitar) and Bronson Garza (bass), performs with live instruments. Others will point to their Latin leanings and bring up less applicable and predictable comparisons to Santana and still others will mention how 40 Watt hype sounds similar to the Black Eyed Peas in terms of kinetic energy both on stage and on record. The truth is, 40 Watt Hype sound exactly like themselves, which always seems to be a problem when it comes to hip-hop; not so much for fans of the genre, but for the recording industry, radio and critics like myself who need to come up with new words to describe fresh new music.

As they boast in song, “we are true players but we don’t play, the same way that you play.” Still an unsigned act (but likely not for long), the group outwardly criticizes the inner workings of the music industry in song and (annoyingly) in skit, but to do it with such unforced flair and stately fashion that the music is less about the words and more about the groove.

Instrumentally, the groups is stacked to the gills with enough horn, key, percussion and rhythmic armor to spontaneously start a New Orleans street party. But whats’ appearant in listening to tracks from the group’s latest recording Strong Feet on the Concrete, they are simply a well rehearsed group that happens to know the secret to on stage success: restraint. Never coming off as ostentatious, the group still manages to flip the wigs of many listeners.

Along with that, they stay down to Earth in an over-hyped genre that floats like a million dead fish- as evidence in lyrics like “In this Animated world, spinnin’ in its axis, life death and taxes/we wll wanna know the answers to questions under the sun/but all we really need to know is one”. Their message oozes positivity and unity, and their relaxed sound matches that message in beats, but not to the point of an Arrested Development. In other words don’t start singing Kumbaya just yet.

There’s been many hip-hop group’s such as this in the past and there will likely be many more, but the Billboard charts never seem to find room for them until they approach Fugees status.

Unfortunate, but for those that like to keep their favorite bands a secret, they now have 40 Watt Hype to add to that list.

1/15/07 The Launchpad (Albuquerque NM)

We left our lush spot and headed for the Launchpad, it was cold, I mean cold. The Launchpad is a big venue with upstairs pool tables that overlook the stage and a bar downstairs. We loaded in and checked out the opening acts. After these sets one of my favorite DJs-Dj Ill kid Madrid was killing. Every song he dropped was a gem from the golden age of hip-hop. Thanks to Miles and Left Coast Cartel for helping promote the show. We got a great write up in the IQ(a weekly publication). The show went well and we met a lot of cool new friends, hopefully we'll be back soon.

1/14/07 Gambling in Albuquerque NM

On the way into Albuquerque I jumped on priceline.com and got the the best deal I've ever, thats a lot coming from a Dutch guy. I got this fancy hotel for $35, pool, sauna, hot tub and both our rooms were connected. We had the day off so it was all about getting some rest. I took off with Adan, Sean and Bronson on a shuttle to the local casino that had craps. Sean won $60 off 1 quarter and I introduced Bronson to the game of Craps. The Aaron Wall Foundation is very generous, so I started winning and brought him into the game. I got smoking hot and hit 5 points in a row!! They had to pry me from the table and we headed back to the room. From then on it was all about gin and spades. We put on Dave Chappelles "Block Party" and entered a marathon session. The obvious kingpins were Sean and Ben who were teamed up with me and JD. I was bringing us down since I was new to the game, but it was baptism by fire. I still want a rematch.

1/13/07 El Paseo Bar & Grill (Sante Fe NM)

We left at 7am to avoid any black ice at night. The ground a roads were completely covered with snow. I couldn't even see the dividing lines in the highway. Fortunately the sun came out and the drive wasn't bad. Santa Fe is a cool little town full of a little bit of everything. All those everythings come out to the El Paseo Bar&Grill. Its a cozy little joint full of locals. We met some cool tattooed chick from Detroit and this Indian guy named Brian Arculeta. I remember his name because he probably introduced himself to me 25 times that night. Think American Indian John J Rambo, after 10 drinks too many. At the end of the night he kept wanting to help us load our equipment into the van, but we wouldn't let him cuz he was way too drunk. He ended up grabbing my little amp and of course dropped it. It didn't break but we got pissed and 86'd him. He kept yelling "I just wanna heeellpp" as he disappeared into the snowy night. As we were pulling out we saw some people chasing him after he had thrown a snow ball at their car.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

1/12/07 Flagstaff Brewery (Flagstaff AZ)

We left the beautiful Malibu coast in the morning and hit the road. We all felt pretty good and had a laugh as sean retold the story from the night before. As the day grew on and it got darker we stopped for gas in Kingman City (a few hours from Flagstaff). I called the venue to let them know we were on our way and they cautioned us about the black ice that was on the road and for us to be careful. I got a little spooked but we had plenty of time to get there so I wasn't to worried. We continued driving and then the snow started to fall, then the road was wet, then drivers were slowing down. Then the black ice was everywhere. We were stopped in the middle of the highway and a truck had jack knifed and was blocking traffic and trying to put on chains. We realized how serious it was when the semi started sliding back towards us. We all started freaking out because we couldn't move. Luckily it stopped before hitting us. The car in front of us was spinning its wheels and going nowhere. Right then and there I was thinking "there is no way were going to make it." A highway vehicle that looked like a tank with a snow plow showed up and chipped away at the highway and salted the road. As the worker passed by our window I asked him about the road. He said "there is now way your getting to Flagstaff tonight but there is a truck stop 12 miles up you can pull into for the night." The semi eventually moved and we were then faced with a decision do we try to move? I put it in 2nd gear and gently touched the gas. It was like driving with ice skates instead of tires. If we go off the road we are really screwed. All of our luggage and equipment is in this van. We followed in the tracks of the semi which crisscrossed the highway to creat traction. We inched along at 8 mph, holding our breath the whole time. The storm was getting worse. It went from can we make the gig, to can we make it to the truck stop 12 miles up. Other cars were pulling off the road and calling it a night, we continued and decided we would try to make it to the truck stop. We called the venue to tell them it would be impossible to make the show. We really neede that money too. They were disappointed and offered us more money if we showed up, we appreciated it but they had no idea what we were facing. While I was inching along in this storm I realized it was Jan 12th. It was the anniversary of the death of my father in law. Once I realize that, I knew I could not let anything happen to me, it was all about safety, forget the gig. Over a 10 mile stretch we saw 9 accidents between overturned cars, semi trucks and spun out vehicles. All I remember was that every few miles we saw sirens and emergency vehicles. It was one of the most treacherous roads I've ever been on in my life. Little by little it started to clear up. When I say clear up I mean now the semi trucks weren't overturned they were only jackknifed on the road. We decided to bypass the truck stop because we were afraid to get on a ramp in fear we wouldn't be able to stop. Icy roads are no joke, the only thing helping us was our gear holding us down. It started to look like we would make it to Flagstaff, not to play the show but to get a good nights rest. The venue called back check in on us, they said that there was an article in the paper about us and that the place was packed. We arrived late but they didn't care. We left Malibu at 10am and arrive in Flagstaff at 11:30pm after loosing an hour. Besides bathroom breaks all that time was on the road. I told the venue to have 7 shots of jack lined up and a couple of cases of beer ready and we would come through. We pulled up after this crazy life threatening drive and went straight on stage and rocked the show for the rest of the night. The crowd was giving us so much love, because they had heard of our experience getting there through the grapevine and they appreciated it. We ended up having a great finish to one of the crazeist days of my life. But I got what i wanted, not to die on Jan 12th.

1/11/07 On the Rox (LA, CA)

Ricky couldn't do this tour due to work obligations so we got a hired gun. Ben Leon a guitarist from LA (who has a great band called How to Win at Life) filled in. Our first show was at On the Rox, which is about the Roxy. We hit a gnarly traffic jam on the way there which was a sign of things to come on this trip. A semi and some type of red car that had been demolished except for a bumper and some scraps. One dead, several injured. We had to go on last since the accident held us up for over 2 hours. There were rumors of industry people abound and that the 2 rap acts in front of us were either signed or going to be signed. A few years ago I would have been pumped up and scoping the crowd and tryng to find out who was who. Nowadays translations LA person says "there are some A&R people" translates into "a guy that works in the mail room is here." The group that actually was signed was terrible and reinforced our opinion that being signed don't mean a thing and that the people doing the signing have no taste. It was typical LA. Beautiful people in a room listening to something trying to look around to see if other people liked so they could decide if they like it. It was good to see my brother(he is on the coaching staff at Pepperdine University, mens basketball, my brother-in-law is the assistant coach). There were some girls there talking to Sean afterwards, they were having a good time, at one point one of them was on a pole. One was a friend from back in the day so he said he was going to hang and we could pick him up in the morning on the way out of town. We said cool and started loading out into the van. We were almost done when Bronson got a text from Sean, saying hold on we got pulled over off of Sunset. The driver gets popped for a DUI and Sean and this other girl he doesn't know are on the curb gettng the 3rd degree. Sean was wearing a nice winter jacket with fur on the hood that he brought especially for this trip since we were headed to cold territory. At some point the arresting cop made a comment that Sean should lend his jacket to the girl since it was cold, so he did. The cops take off and were on our way to pick him up, when he has to take a leak. After taking a leak he turns around and the girl is gone, and so is his jacket. he was pissed whe we picked him up. We crashed at the coaches pad in Malibu. It was all of 40 Watt Hype and all of the coaching staff of the Pepperdine Mens baskterball team. Aerobed Nation as we call it. My brother gave sean some Addidas sweat shirts for the rest of the trip and we were off the next morning.

1/6/07 Starline (Fresno, Ca)

I wish I had some pictures from this show, if anyone does please send them. It was another great night at the Starline. I think it is the most consistent streak of packed quality shows that I have ever been a part of. Its on point every time, there is something about those nights that just gets it together for everyone. Were glad we could be a part of peoples nights, and thanks to everyone who came out, we really appreciate your support. A great way to kick off the new year, 07 here we come!!

12/8/06 Grant & Green (SF, Ca)

Every time we play the Grant&Green it is raining, 3 for 3. So this was no exception. It was a cool night, but its the kind of place were we play all night to a light crowd. Then just as we are wrapping up and exhausted since we had been playing for 3 hours 50 people crash in ready to dance and have a good time. So we keep going, then when we announce our last song, they yell "NOOO, we just got here, c'mon!!" and get all crazy. Then I want to say "yo, we aren't a juke box or a cd, and we've been playing since 9:30pm and now it is 1:45am and we have to drive home tonight." But they wouldn't understand anyways, so we just push forward and deal with it.

12/7/06 G St Pub (Davis, Ca)

We usually have great nights at the G st Pub. But college towns are hit and miss. This was a miss, there was a test or midterm or basketball game or something going on, that had taken everyone out of their element, but thanks to Nikki and your crew for coming out anyways.

11/18/07 Elbo Room (San Francisco, Ca)

After the Owl Club we had a foul taste in our mouth and determined to take it out on our next show. The Elbo Room is a dope venue in SF with a bar/pool tables downstairs and great stage/bar upstairs were the shows are. We loaded in up the stairs and kicked back with the Bayonics for a minute before sound check. We had played with them once in Berkeley at the Shattuck down low in September. We knew they were quality. By the time we hit the stage, the place was full and we hit it pretty hard. It was exaclty what we needed after the Owl Club. A room full of people who got it. I guess we had a write up in the SF Chronicle. I was getting emails after our set and some people mentioned it. Also met a couple of people who had seen us open for Ozomatli a couple of months earlier, so that felt good. We could end the month a hight note. The Bayonics came on a killed it, we couldn't stay for the whole set, since we had to drive home that night.

11/16/06 Owl Club (Roseville CA)

We all hate the Owl Club. If you see us playing there again in this lifetime, either the owner has died or we are getting paid so much money that it will numb the pain and bad memories. Thanks to Gabe and his friend, Gereard and Crystal for coming out, without you I would have stuck my head in the oven that night. The owner has no clue, no words to describe the unorganized, pathetic atmosphere that this "venue" promotes. We show up and check in with the owner, and tell him we were going to go eat then come back and load in and play. When we get back he says our slot has been move to last because he didn't know if we were were going to show up. He didn't realize that I was the guy he talked to 30 minutes ago. His head was so far up his ass, he was definitely a burn out from the 60s, I couldn't tell if he was drunk or just confused. Needless to the the Owl Club is a den of amature dealings, frustration and a commitment to chaos and confusion. Just a side note that the this was written when Bob (the owener) was running this place. Fortunately he was run out of town and there are some upstanding people resurrecting the place and are committed to changing the reputation.

11/10/07 Starline (Fresno, Ca)

It was great to be back in the front of the stage and have Sean on the drums again. We were all glad to play a relaxed show with no pressure, no drive the next morning and no icy roads. Starline is always a place were we can count on a packed house full of people wanting to connect and have a good time through music. We shared some road experiences, but its hard to translate the stuff we've been through without experiencing it for yourself. We all had definitely been changed. We had fun and set it off like always....

11/1/06 Burts Tiki Lounge (Albuquerque NM)

Burts Tiki Lounge is an amalgamation of every style of music and decor that is possible. So we fit right it. It was Vinyl and Verses night and all the breakers and b-boys were out in full effect. It was a really cool scene, everyone was paying homage to the golden age of hip-hop. When we took the stage our reception was warm. The breakers were shredding the dance floor and I found myself watching them during the set. It was the last night of the trip since Santa FE and Flagstaff had been canceled. We hung out and met some really cool people, went to our rooms and got some sleep. We hit the road early in the morning, there was a strange sense in the van. This trip was very different from our previous experiences, it was more real. Sometime shows are bad, sometimes stuff happens back home, sometimes you get shorted and have no place to stay. But we perservered and finished, we made a decision that I would finish the tour on drums and it wasn't %100 because of the change in dynamics but it was as good as it could have been considering the circumstances.

10/31/07 The Summit Durango CO

We had been warned at KWSB during our interview about the drive to Durango. Appearantly there was a treacherous part of the road that there was no shoulder or guard rail and it was windy and icy. We hit the road pretty early and were enjoying the beautiful scenery. By then we had heard from Sean and he and his family were doing well, so that was good to hear. As tough as it was to finish the tour without him, he needed to be with his family. We all respected him so much for making the tough decision to head home, and it was absolutely the right one. JD was at the wheel and we were cracking jokes and listening to music. JD was also on his phone talking to his dad, when we hit a dangerous curve. He hit the brakes and slowed down, everone collectively paused then continued doing whatever. Then another curve came, only this one was right by a cliff and there was no shoulder, no rail and ice and water dripping down the mountain side. Everything go real quiet. It went from "Hey JD be careful" to "Hey JD slow down a little" to "JD maybe you should get off the phone so you can concentrate" to "JD get the F**k OFF THE PHONE SO WE DON"T DIE!!!!". It got real quiet real quick, no jokes no music no laugher. I was sitting shotgun and could look out the window down the ravine. It continued in this tense balance of turning and braking cautiously. It was one of the most scary experiences we have had on the road. We were all relieved when it was done. We all were realizing that this was for real. We are on the road far from home, Sean's had to go back because of tragedy and we were risking our lives to get to a gig that could end up like last night. The thought of us flying off a cliff to get to a club in Durango CO scared us straight. We arrived at The Summit and checking into our rooms and didn't say much. The Summit is cool spot in Durango, all wood inside, like a cabin, multi leveled club. This would be our last of the Halloween shows, we were all sick of the costumes and fights and craziness by this point. That night didn't dissappoint. At one point Brian was dancing with a blue smurf and a really smelly hippie chick. I could smell her from behind the drums. I took out my frustration on a heckler and almost got up from behind the kit when Brian calmed me down. I knew something was up because usually its the other was around. I was ready to head home. Playing drums and doing vocals and getting emails and dealing drunk idiots and driving for hours was taking its toll. Plus at the end of the night the drunk door mand stiffed us our money and I got into it with him and we had to be seperated, so I said F++k you and we took off.

10/30/07 Gunnison Brewery (Gunnison CO)

We arrived to the small strange town of Gunnison Colorado, it was really cold and we were hungry. We had a radio interview on KWSB so we found the campus and headed into the studio. The interview went well so we hung out for a bit then decided to check in at the venue. It was a small little bar but 2 really cool girls were working there and helping us figure out what was going on. We were supposed to have a sound system provided, but there was none. We were also supposed to have hotel rooms, there were none. Here we were in chilly CO, I'm playing drums and doing vocals at a club with no sound system, no place to stay, cold an tired from driving all day. Eventually we found a decent place to crash, the girls at the club called up a friend who dropped of a couple of speakers and a board from the early 70s. Plus it was the day before Halloween and everyone was going to be dressed up and acting crazy. We cracked the code on the sound system and tried to get the levels somewhat listenable and dove into the set. The more the night went on the the crazier the costumes got, the crazier the costumes got the crazier people started to act. On our break another N-word was dropped to me casually by some old guy in a trenchcoat and a cowboy hat. Is this normal out here? What am I supposed to say, just because I'm white do I look like thats cool with me? Don't they notice that there are only 2 white guys in the band and the rest are either Black or Mexican. The night was a blur of bright costumes, terrible sound and us just trying to get through the show.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

10/29/06 Ketchum ID

Ahhh a day off. We really needed it after all the driving, playing and Seans situation. We went back to Whiskey Jacques for bloody mary's and football. We made one of the best video game discoveries. We discovered Big Buck Hunter Pro. This game is amazing, we all agreed that there is no better arcade game out there for the price. We played that game for about 3 hours and 4 pitchers. The Rams lost to the Chargers but none of that seems so bad whe you can numb the pain of losing by shooting an innocent buck in a video game.

10/28/06 Whiskey Jacques (Ketchum ID)

Ketchum ID is a ski town in Sun Valley, absolutely beautiful. One thing is for certain, this band has seen some beautiful landscape in the past 2 months. Whiskey Jacques was having their Halloween party that night so everybody is pumped up and ready to party. From beat 1 the crowd was on the floor. One thing about halloween is that it gives girls an excuse to wear that skimpy nurses outfit our wonderwoman costume they've been dying to wear and working out for weeks to get into. Costumes also give people a reason to act more crazy than usual. The party was rocking all night, one of the best shows of the tour since September. By the end of the night spiderman had dry humped a female zombie some bottles were shattered, one guy left with a bloody nose....all in all a good night.

10/27/06 Zebra Lounge (Bozeman MT)

I haven't gotten nervous before a show in a long time but this was different. I was attempting to play drums and rap/sing at the same time. I'd never really done it before. I just told Vagabond to be on his toes in case I drop a lyric or a beat...or a stick. It turned out to be one of those experiences where you perform outside of yourself, I was really happy with the way it turned out, the sound engineer recorded the whole show, I did my best Sean impression and I was pretty proud of the result(if anyone wants the bootleg just let me know) We weren't banging at 100% but we rose to the occasion. I was really exhausted by the end of the night, playing drums for 3 hours alone is tiring, but doing vocals too is really tough. After the show I knew we could manage the rest of the trip and be alright.

10/27/06 Cactus Records in store (Bozeman, MT)

We woke up with heavy hearts remembering what went down the night before. On the drive to Bozeman I was trying to think of the songs and remember the drum parts. Luckily we had an instore performance at Cactus Records at 5pm so we could test it out in case of disaster. It went suprisingly well, we just acted like it was normal and nobody really noticed. We played for about 40 minutes but the night show would be the real test.

10/26/06 Silver Dollar (Butte, MT)

Butte, MT. We will never forget this town or this night. We roll into town and got directions from a store clerk who said the Silver Dollat changed its name and location. We followed here directions and pulled up to a cheesy casino/bar. I got a sinking feeling....this is gonna be a long night. I walked in to check it out only to be more horrified. All I see is hunter orange, camoflage, cans of coors and dudes that look like stone cold steve austin. Again, with our ethnic make up, this could get ugly. The minute I set foor in the door it was like somebody bumped the juke box, it was like I entered another dimension, or more like a time machine. Luckily we were given bad directions and the Silver Dollar was down the street. Wow, that was close, at that point we didn't care if it was a closet we were happy to play anywhere else in the world. The real Silver Dollar is a really old bar with an elevated stage. We stayed above the venue in what could only be described as Tyler Derdens house in Fight Club. Several rooms a bathroom, a tree trunk with a hatchet in it, a cast iron fireplace probably from the 1800s. It was all really bizarre. We played a couple sets, and met some people and had drinks inbetween, because we knew we could get faded and just go up the stairs to our rooms and crash out. After the set the bar closed down and we hung out with the staff and some other folks on the late night. Then tragedy struck, Sean got a call on his cell phone, anytime you get a call at 3am it can't be good, and it wasn't. He got the bad news that his grandmother had passed away. He took it with a heavy heart, and he also heard that the family back home was taking it really rough. He knew he had to get home, now. So there we are hundreds of miles from home in depressed little Butte MT, above the venue is Tyler Derdens house trying to balance family, sanity and music. Sean knew he had to get home so, we immediately drove him to the airport and he got on the first flight back to Fresno. We eventually got back to the room after dropping him off and had to figure out what to do. The buzz of the night is slowly wearing off and the frigid cold is setting in, its now 5am, we have a show tomorrow in Bozeman MT. We decided to keep going and I would play drums and do vocals from the drumset a la phil collins. Needless to say that was one of the most bizarre, long and sad nights this band has ever had.

10/25/06 Johns Alley (Moscow, ID)

By this time we were starting to feel the chill, California October is much different than MT, ID October. Inside was nice and warm and smokey. We caught a lot of weird vibes this night. Some good some bad. We had a lot of people see us that had seen us when we came through in December. But then there was another element there. While getting some emails between sets I heard the N word at least once, for a band with our ethnic makeup we feel a loooonnggg way from home. Seans'(drummer) sister came to check out the show with her husband. They are both very calm and collected people, then the next thing we know, from the stage we see her exchange words with another couple and exchanged birds. She had to get Fresno on some on out there. By the end of the night we just wanted to get the hell out of there, hippies mixed with frat boys mixed with locals mixed with college kids mixed with rurul Idaho racists makes for odd company.

10/24/06 Flanagans Central Station (Whitefish, MT)

Northern Montana is a sight to see. One of the prettiest drives we have been on. We passed by Phil Jacksons Montana home on Flathead Lake, so you get the idea. Whitefish is a small resort/ski town, really cozy and christmasy. Flanagans is a big room with a really high stage (5 ft). We had to load up 3 flights of stairs, so we were ready to play after being in the van for so long. The venue put us up in a nice little condo down the road. We could see the stickers and other items from previous bands on the beds and mirrors. Stanton Moore had recently played there as well. The sound was great and the set went well, we played all night and worked out some rust and ended coming out with a decent live recording(if anyone is interested just hit us up for a copy). Met some cool people and when we come back we can get some snowboarding lessons from a local pro(we'll take you up on that Kitty!)

10/18/07 The Bronco (Santa Clara, Ca)

This was one of those gigs where nothing went well and the stars were not aligned. At colleges sometimes its feast or famine.... The sound system was pretty bad, no monitors, no people. Well people would come in and pick up dinner and listen then go back to studying. We have been pretty unlucky as far as playing campuses in the middle of finals, this was one of those. Plus the last two times we played there it went off, once was infront of 4000 people with The Roots and the other was at a cultural festival, so we had our hopes pretty high.

10/12/06 CSU Chico (Chico, Ca)

After a great night in LA we packed up and headed way up north to Chico. It was Dia de la Raza(Day of the Race) we got into to twon and hooked up with our boy Ivan from the University (one of the nicest guys we know) loaded in, did a sound check headed to the hotel. The event was well put together. On one stage were folklorico dancers, very well done. Then we performed, it took a while for the crowd to digest what we were doing and shift gears, but midset the dance floor started to fill in. Lots of salseros y salseras. Very nice people, we kicked it for a while after the set with them and took some pictures before heading back to the room.

10/11/06 Temple Bar (Santa Monica, Ca)

The Temple Bar is by far the dopest club we've played in LA yet. It doesn't have that seedy, industry wanna be underbelly. Its well run, with good music, good sound, great reputation. We showed up early to load in etc. and we heard this bangin music coming from inside. It was only 8:30pm so we thought it was a cd, but as we walked inside we saw this soulful R&B gospeldelic group playing a showcase for about 20 people. These guys were killing, I think their name is Chaz or something like that. So from that point on, we knew it was going to be a good night. The group before us was a reggae duo, the DJ took forever to set up/tear down, he acted like he was setting up a symphony. One of the vocalist in the group was in a wheelchair and had people carrying him around all night. The Temple is defenitely handicap accessible. But this guy was pimping, he asked me and the bouncer backstage to carry him up to the second floor green room, instead of taking the elevator, at that point I knew I had met the first handicap primadona, I guess egos know no physical limits. We had a great set, it was probably our most successful LA show ever.

10/6/06 Crossroads (Fresno, Ca)

The Crossroads is a venue that reminds me of that movie Roadhouse. Little bit of biker, little bit of frat, little bit of thug and a lot of drinking. When we showed up early to sound check there was a bearded guy with a headband alone on the dance floor. He was pretty faded with a old school shirt on that had the pepsi logo but instead said "Jesus" if you remember those. The night went well, we had a good crowd, saw some old friends. But the night didn't really get going until after the show. After the club had closed my(awall) friend Gabe came in to tell me that my car windshield was smashed. Sure enough, sometime during the last part of our set, somebody walked by and got mad and randomly punched and smashed the windshield. The bouncers chased the guy who then got into a truck and took off. They got the plate ... so now we start the detective work. Lets figure out if they ran a tab at the bar, then we can get their names. My friends brother is a cop so he called in the plates and ran them. So now we have names and an address. Next is the most bizarre thing. By this point its me, my wife and 2 bouncers in the parking lot about 2:30am, the bouncer gets a call from....the culprits. We end up talking on the phone, he wants to have one of his friends fix the windshield. At that point my girl gets on the phone and spit venom in the guys ear. Horns came out of her head, it was a mix of English and Spanish, but she let it rip. Imagine what you would say the person who smashed your windshield??!! One of the bouncers took a step back and turned to me and asked "does she negotiate your contracts?" So thanks to the staff at Crossraods, my wife, Gabe ad some detective work, the next day the culprit ends up paying cash for the whole thing. No police involved, just street justice.....

9/30/06 Club Boost (Lake Tahoe, NV)

We pulled up to the casino in beautiful Lake Tahoe and saw the big sign in front of Harrahs and there it was in hure red lights "Tonight....40 Watt Hype Club Boost....Bills Casino...10pm" There it was, our name in lights, then the next message came accross the screen...."$9.99 steak and lobster inside"....so for what its worth, we got excited. The second time around at Boost was better than the first. The cool thing was Aaron Hagar(son of Sammy Hagar) came by to check out the set and hang out. Right when he walked in the club it was popping, so we're stoked to be rocking the crowd while he's here. Then some idiot dropped a beer bottle on the dance floor so everyone cleared out while it got cleaned up. So needless to say the dance floor was completly empty by then, except for a few pieces of glass. That night they put us up in the dopest hotel in Lake Tahoe, the Block. I highly recomend checking it out. Its a hotel themed with different rooms (Vivid, Delta9ine clothing). All are equipt with playstations or xboxes and some have poker tables and huge stereo systems. If you want a quiet get away don't come here, but if you want to party......The next morning we all went down to the Casino and got started with some bloody mary's and placed some football bets. Ricky can through with a nice parlay, but he was the only one who did.

9/29/06 Agenda Lounge (San Jose, CA)

Ahh the Agenda Lounge, a very intersting place. Last time we played here a bouncer was stabbed and killed and two others were injured. This night was a different story. We showed up and played a 2 hr dinner jazz set. 40 Watt Hype has been known to turn into the players quartet and make a little extra $$ on the side. By day the Agenda Lounge is a upscale restaurant filled with yuppies tasting wine and choosing the finest cigars from behind the bar. By night it is a freak fest full of scandal, short skirts and usually by the end of the night multiple people have puked, kicked out, hit on a transvestite or gotten in a fight. I have personally seen all of these things happen from my cozy spot on the stage. Downtown San Jose is poppin, I must admit. Its crazy, when the clubs close the cops line the streets and shut everything down as people stumble back to their cars. We always leave the Agenda Lounge after playing with a mixed bag of emotion, sometimes disgusted, sometimes scared, a few times happy but mostly with a need to get the hell away from big bouncers with headsets on and chicks taking their heels off trying to hit eachother

9/23/06 Club Boost(Lake Tahoe, NV)

Lake Tahoe is a beautiful place to visit and even a better place to play. Club Boost is located in Bills Casino, cool spot right in the middle of the casino. It will always turn out to be a decent night when ladies get in free, because the fellas see a bunch of girls dancing inside and then the crowd begins to multiply. Played all night, met some cool folks, trew some dice, won a little money but nothing too big