The Oh Sees – Last year, these guys had a holiday benefit concert and gave all their $$$$ to L.A. Kitchen. It was insanely generous…but their show blew me away. Want a taste…check out this video from a gig last year in Paris.
Dead Moon – Our daughter Julia, who lives up in Olympia, WA turned me onto this band. HOW could I have missed them…garage punk at its best.
The Makeup – One of DC’s greatest bands. Seriously. Put their name on Pandora and within seconds you’ll be baptizing yourself. Ian’s rebel gospel punk/funk squeals can cut diamonds, and James Canty is a great friend, spirit brother and amazing musician. The Gobi Tent at Cochella could barely contain their heat.
Deathfix – Brendan Canty is somebody I dig, admire and have liked for a long time. He was the drummer in Rites of Spring and Fugazi, and his film work (Ashes of American Flags, Burn to Shine and Water on the Road) is way above the grade. He is now playing guitar and singing with this new outfit, and they are well worth a spin.
James Brown “I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing” – I saw JB perform in DC when I was 20, and he sang this song. It’s one of my favorites, and it defines the work I do. If it doesn’t liberate, I don’t tolerate.
Tim Timebomb – Tim Armstrong is one of my favorite songwriters alive. His music trajectory includes Operation Ivy, Rancid (a fave band) and the Transplants. Since October, he’s been putting out a single a day – some original, many nuggets, but all are pure Tim.
Saint Blues Guitar Workshop – A few years back, my longtime friend Bryan Eagle, (a proud Memphisian & scary good BBQ master) grabbed ahold of history when he took a major stake in a cherished old guitar company that had fallen on tough times. Because of his faith in the company, the city, ad rock and roll, St. Blues is BACK, making some of the sweetest axes anywhere. Bryan is my kind of entrepreneur–he do what he loves and loves what he do…and he does it for the community he digs the most.
Invisible People – Mark Horvath is so real he makes real look fake. He’s been on the streets himself, and while he escaped, he never left. His commentary and poignant videos are constant reminders of the power of personal connections and caring.
Great Nonprofits – In 1970, there were only a handful of GREAT restaurants in America, and they were ALL French. Now there are great restaurants in every town. How did that happen? Reviewers who began to push the boundaries of what is “good” and who gave customers the “right” to ask questions. Great Nonprofits is doing the same thing by giving volunteers the ability to rate their experiences. The idea has a ways to go, but it’s a beginning. And imagine if 90 million volunteers began to ask “What did I do today that really changed things?”
Some of MOST daring work in the Social Enterprise movement is happening in the UK, where the government has a decidedly different view of the role of the “Third Sector”. You can see that evidenced in Social Enterprise UK which is a coalition that I highly recommend you follow if you want to see the future. Social Enterprise has a LONG way to go, but they are out front. For the US version, please check out the Social Enterprise Alliance.
Food Cycle – Kelvin Chung, who founded this great food empowerment group is a man to be watched. He’s moving on, but the organization is on a roll. They are part of a growing, global, youth driven, anti-food waste agenda…and if that’s your bag, also check out the Hong Kong based Food Angels, Europe’s Feeding the 5000, and US, college based Food Recovery Network, and (my fave) The Campus Kitchen Project
Nonprofit VOTE – One of the ONLY groups attempting to get nonprofits to own their greatest asset–their votes and the votes of the people they work with.
The Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies – Center Director Lester Salamon is a machine, and he and his team crank out amazing data on the economic role of America’s nonprofit sector. More to the point, Lester speaks UP and uses the data to drive the conversation. He’s my kind of academic badass!!
North American Street Newspaper Association – Whenever I travel, I will ALWAYS buy a street paper. It’s a first step for many, and having served as the founding chair of Street Sense in DC, I’ve seen how it can impact a person’s life.
LA Street Art Gallery – I love the street art of LA, or any city. Send me any pics of cool art.
Taco Journalism – My Main Man Mando Rayo has been cutting a trail of tacos across Austin and documenting the best of the best. Most people go to Austin for the music, but when I go, I roll with Mando.
Letter of Note – This new site features intimate, daring, provocative, humorous, sweet, loving notes, letters and cards. How human we all are.
NASA – Seriously…who doesn’t like daily pics of cool space shit?
Clyde Butcher – I LOVE photography, and black and white studies, a Ansel Adams, ring my bell like Quasimodo. I was recently in Sarasota and got turned onto Clyde by a friend who knows how much I dig his kind of work. Simply stunning.
Brave New Films – The mission of BNF is to champion social justice issues by using a model of media, education, and grassroots volunteer involvement that inspires, empowers, motivates and teaches civic participation and makes a difference. They take it right to the man!!!
The Big Shift by Mark Freedman – Marc Freedman has been a great friend, and you’ll never meet a man more aptly described a “dear.” The dude is sweet as pie and criminally brilliant when it comes to seeing the opportunities that aging boomers have to be real leaders…in the way they finally grow up.
Shock of Gray: The Aging of the World’s Population and How it Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation by Ted C. Fishman – I met Ted Fishman when we both spoke at the Aspen Institutes Festival of Ideas a few years back. This book really has informed much of my thinking about aging from a global perspective. Want a tidbit? Try this on for size: “These days people are living longer lives than ever before. Ancient Romans expected to live an average of 25 years. Today, thanks to advanced medicine and nutrition, the worldwide average is 64. In all, we will enjoy 250 billion more years of life than if we had been born a century ago.”
Subversives, The FBI’s War on Student Radicals and Reagan’s Rise to Power – Seth Rosenfeld just won a PEN Award for this deeply researched book on the turbulent 60s, when generations grew to fear and then turn on each other. Guess which side won?
Mohammed Yunus – Simply put, Yunus changed the world with small change…and the simple belief that the entrepreneurial spirit burns just as bright in a woman’s heart, as it does in that of a man. The only thing needed to unleash that energy was access to capital, and that was his breakthrough when he launched the Grammen Bank.
Dig! – Probably the most tragi-brilliant movie about one good band, and one great one. Plus, Joel Gion is as fun as it comes.
Zoolander – Overall, this is just a silly as all the fuck get out movie, but Mugatu is one of my all-time favorite villains.
When I get bored or need a break, I love live feeds….here’s a few that I think are fun to check out: