Feb 26,2017: Pato Banton and Wheeland Brothers

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Feb 25,2017: American Martyrs 36th Annual 5K Run/Walk

Known to be a popular community event, this race offers a fun family environment including a Costume Contest and Stroller Competition.  As always, a special discounted family registration fee is available.

For the serious runner, this fast and challenging 3.1 mile run offers certified timing and large digital clock at the finish.  Awards of $100 in gift certificates are given to the top overall male and female finishers, and additional medals are awarded.

A healthy continental breakfast is served following the race in the school parking lot.

Race begins and ends on Laurel Avenue between 15th and 17th Streets.

Adults $25, Children $20
Register your entire family for only $75! 

Click Here For Registration



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Feb 24,2017: The English Beat


One tempestuous weekend in March 1979 was not only the date of the Three Mile Island nuclear incident, but also, in Birmingham, England, the very first show by a nascent band known as The Beat. Introduced as “the hottest thing since the Pennsylvania meltdown”, the band had a sense that the next few years could well be explosive! The Beat hailed from working class, industrial Birmingham, England. When The Beat rushed on to the music scene in 1979, it was a time of social, political and musical upheaval. Into this storm came The Beat, trying to calm the waters with their simple message of love and unity set to a great dance beat.

The Beat were all about inclusion, rather than exclusion, and this showed in their personnel and their music influences. The six member band consisted of Dave Wakeling on vocals and guitar, Andy Cox on guitar, David Steele on bass, Everett Morton on drums, Ranking Roger on vocals and toasting, and foundational first wave ska legend Saxa on saxophone. The band crossed over fluidly between soul, reggae, pop and punk, and from these disparate pieces they created an infectious dance rhythm. Along with their contemporaries The Specials, The Selecter, and Madness, The Beat became an overnight sensation and one of the most popular and influential bands of the British ska movement.

By Christmas of 1979, The Beat were riding high in the UK charts with their first single, a smoking remake of the classic Smokey Robinson tune “Tears of a Clown”. Over the course of the next five years The Beat toured relentlessly and released three studio albums: “I Just Can’t Stop It”, “Wh’appen”, and “Special Beat Service”. The band toured the world, touring with such artists as David Bowie, The Police, REM, The Clash, The Talking Heads, The Pretenders, and The Specials, to name but a few. The Beat kept scoring hits with tunes that have now become so popular that it’s hard to remember a time when they didn’t exist, such as “Mirror in the Bathroom”, “Save it for Later”, “I Confess”, “Stand Down Margaret”, and their serene cover of Andy William’s “Can’t Get Used To Losing You”.

Despite their huge success, The Beat didn’t stop singing and acting on the problems caused by the noise in this world. They donated all the profits from their highly successful single version of “Stand Down Margaret” to the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament. They donated their music to causes including the anti-nuclear benefit album “Life in The European Theatre”, “The World of Music and Dance” album focusing on indigenous people’s art, and lent their voice to The Special AKA’s freedom cry “Free Nelson Mandela”, to name but a few.

Dave Wakeling once told me that every great band only has three really good albums. And true to form, The Beat decided to call it quits after their third album, “Special Beat Service”. Of course, that was not the last we would hear from the Beat boys.

After The Beat, Dave Wakeling formed General Public with co-front man from The Beat, Ranking Roger. The band took off quickly, scoring back to back hits off their first album, “All The Rage”, with the tracks “Tenderness”, “So Hot You’re Cool”, and “Never You Done That!” Dave’s good looks and soulful crooning combined brilliantly with Roger’s gravelly toasting, high intensity showmanship and upfulbeat, and they took the critics and fans by storm. It didn’t hurt that their line up included, among others, such music luminaries as The Beat’s Saxa on saxophone, Mickey Billingham on keyboards (Dexy’s Midnight Runners), Horace Panter on bass (The Specials), and none other than punk legend Mick Jones on guitar (The Clash). General Public release two more albums, “Hand to Mouth” and “Rub It Better”, notched up additional hits with “Come Again!”, “Too Much or Nothing”, and “I’ll Take You There”, and helped to secure the legacy of The Beat, before they disbanded in 1996. However, true to The Beat’s philanthropic bent, General Public reformed in 1998 to play at Sweet Relief, a concert to benefit ailing artists.

While Dave and Roger were working on General Public, Andy Cox and David Steele were occupied putting their own band together. Embracing the new “music video” paradigm, Andy and David placed an ad for a singer on MTV. After receiving hundreds of tapes from across America, ultimately it was Roland Gift who got the job. Roland was the lead singer from a band from Hull, UK, called The Acrylics who had opened a few gigs for The Beat. With Roland onboard, the Fine Young Cannibals was formed. From the release of their first single “Johnny Come Home”, from their self-titled first album “Fine Young Cannibals”, the band received critical raves and outstanding success. Their second album “The Raw and The Cooked” was nothing short of a musical phenomenon, with singles such as “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Good Thing” becoming instant classics. The Fine Young Cannibals achieved multi-platinum record sales and, perhaps more importantly, universal fan approval.

After General Public, Dave and Roger went different directions to follow their own muses. Roger has put out two solo albums, “Radical Departure” and his 2001 release “Inside My Head”. These albums show Roger’s return to his reggae and punk roots. For his part, Dave produced Greenpeace’s “Alternative NRG” album, the first album recorded completely with solar power. Dave also recorded the title track and produced the soundtrack for the John Hughes’ film “She’s Having a Baby”. After that he recorded his first solo record titled “No Warning”, which maintained the pop sense for which General Public had become famous.

While the other ex-members of The Beat were busy with their own projects, Saxa and Everett Morton put together their own band, known as International Beat. The band blended modern pop with traditional ska rhythms to form a hybrid sound reminiscent of The Beat. International Beat has toured around the world and released two live albums to date.

After the release of his first solo album, Ranking Roger joined some old friends from the heyday of the 2 Tone scene who had formed a ska ensemble band called Special Beat. The band included Neville Staples on vocals (The Specials and Fun Boy 3), Brad on drums (The Specials), Horace Panter on bass (The Specials, General Public) and Graeme Hamilton on trumpet (The Au Pairs and Fine Young Cannibals) to name but a few. Special Beat toured Britain and U.S. extensively and released two live albums.

February 2003 saw a dream come true for many Beat fans as the band reunited for a mini-tour in the UK, which culminated in their acclaimed, sold out command performance at the Royal Festival Hall! It was a magical homecoming for the band and for the fans, with band members and fans gathering from around the globe for a night or irie, ska-ful rock-steady Beat!

Being the hard driving ska legend that he is, however, Dave was not content to rest on his laurels after the RFH reunion. Dave continues to tour the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the UK with an amazing all-star ska backing band playing the hits of The Beat, General Public, and his new songs.

You just can’t stop The Beat!



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Earth Talk: Is alternative energy still the next big thing?

Dear EarthTalk: Is alternative energy still the next big thing for American venture capitalists? — J.M.

A decade ago, in the wake of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and rising gas/oil prices, many of the same venture capitalists (VCs) who had made fortunes betting on software, hardware, Internet and biotech start-ups began shifting significant chunks of their investment dollars over to alternative renewable energy and related investments, putting the so-called “cleantech” sector in the spotlight as the “new new thing.” Given growing global concern about greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution, it made sense that our highest stakes investors would be attracted to placing big bets on little companies jockeying to be the next major players in the fast growing alternative energy sector.

 

But a funny thing happened on the way to the next round of initial public offerings (IPOs): the cleantech bubble burst. According to a July 2016 report from the MIT Energy Initiative, some three dozen U.S. venture capital firms poured some $25 billion in cleantech start-ups between 2006 and 2011—and lost over half their money: “The results are stark—cleantech offered a dismal risk/return profile, dragged down by companies developing new materials, chemistries or processes that never achieved manufacturing scale.”

 

 

The MIT researchers studied the performance of hundreds of cleantech investments and compared the results against medical and software technology investments over the same six-year period. Their conclusion? “The VC model is broken for the cleantech sector, which suffers especially from a dearth of large corporations willing to invest in innovation.”

 

So where did cleantech go wrong? Unlucky timing may have had something to do with it, given the overall market collapse at the end of 2008. But the MIT researchers point out that cleantech start-ups have a longer timeframe of growth than, say, software ventures—and VCs don’t want to wait around for 15-20 years to cash in on their bets. Also, the cleantech sector suffers from underdeveloped supply chains and an “immature acquisition space” compared to more conventional tech startups.

 

The result is that most of the 150 renewable energy start-ups launched in Silicon Valley since 2006 are long gone. The flame-out of high-flying solar tube manufacturer Solyndra—after securing $500 million in federal loan guarantees—undermined investor confidence in cleantech, while cheap natural gas and a glut of Chinese solar panel exports undercut the competitiveness of American start-ups in the sector.

 

But cleantech’s fortunes may be turning around, given an influx of interest in leveraging technology and efficiency to help the U.S. meet its emissions reduction commitments under the Paris Climate Accord. Just prior to the landmark December 2015 Paris meeting, Bill Gates announced he was launching a new venture fund, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition—with a little help from 27 mega-rich friends like Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg. The nascent billion dollar fund is focused on “fighting climate change by investing in clean energy innovation” and represents a new type of venture financing that aims to not only make money but to help solve social and environmental problems as well. Gates and company are optimistic that other funders will follow in their footsteps to re-energize American cleantech innovation, create millions of new domestic green jobs, and help finally move us beyond fossil fuels.

 

CONTACTS: MIT Energy Initiative, energy.mit.edu; Breakthrough Energy Coalition, www.b-t.energy.com.

 

 

 

EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of the nonprofit Earth Action Network. To donate, visit www.earthtalk.orgSend questions to: question@earthtalk.org.

 



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Feb 22,2017: Hermosa Beach Farmers Market

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Feb 21,2017: Josh Arbour and Kira Lingman

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Feb 21,2017: Manhattan Beach Farmers Market

Market Hours:

Winter Market

December, 2016 – Febraury, 2017
Tuesday, 11AM – 4PM

Location: Metlox Plaza behind Shade Hotel – 13th Street and Morningside Drive



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Feb 19,2017: Meiko and Nick Shattuck

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Feb 16,2017: Authority Zero and eken is dead


Authority Zero is a band that doesn’t give a lot of thought to product placement. Just ask AZ guitarist Bill Marcks. “A lot of bands would ask us, ‘Where you gonna put your disc in the record store-is it gonna be punk or reggae or ska?’ And that’s not what we’re about.”

Straight outta Westwood High School-the same Mesa, Arizona, institution responsible for Jimmy Eat World-Authority Zero started kicking out the jams in 1994 when Marcks met vocalist Jason DeVore and quickly learned that the Wyoming native “could write catchy songs in fifteen minutes with really sticky hooks.” Next, the pair recruited bassist Jeremy Wood, who had actually taught Marcks how to play guitar (Stone Temple Pilots’ “Plush” was his first lesson). A drummer or two later, Los Angeles transplant Jim Wilcox was a fixture behind the kit. “We’re all from different musical backgrounds,” Marcks offers. “I’m a Chili Peppers, Buddy Guy kind-of-dude; Jason’s into SoCal punk; Jeremy’s all about Metallica and Slayer, and Jim’s into hardcore and Hip Hop.”

After a best-selling local EP recorded between cigarette and skateboarding breaks, Authority Zero hooked up with Lava Records and released their full-length debut, A Passage In Time, in 2002. Loaded with nods to musical entities as disparate as Sublime, Bad Religion, Dick Dale, and Manu Chao, the album put AZ on the road for the better part of two years, thanks to the success of the singles “One More Minute” and “Over Seasons.”

Tours with punk stalwarts Guttermouth and H2O ensued, “which was cool, because those are the bands we listened to growing up,” DeVore enthuses. Stints on Warped Tour, the No Use For A Name/Starting Line tour, and Sum 41’s “Sum On Your Face” extravaganza followed. “Our audience has grown a lot as we tour more,” Marcks explains. “It’s good to see our efforts pay off-sleeping for four hours a night, driving for six to get to the gigs, partying all night afterward.” The Warped Tour was especially gratifying for AZ. “We loved it, because that’s our crowd,” Wilcox beams. “That’s what we grew up on. That’s what we based our band around.”

Remember the days before wireless Internet, Friendster, and email-when people used to talk to each other? AZ’s fans certainly do. “Whenever we go back to towns, we’re playing bigger shows,” Marcks confirms. “We don’t always have a lot of radio support everywhere, so it’s been word-of-mouth. It’s pretty cool…like alternative communication,” he laughs.

By the time the band landed back in Arizona, the word-of-mouth had taken on a life of its own. The group wanted to be sure and stay close to their local scene, so AZ began playing under aliases in their hometown. Bills featuring bands called the “Irish Car Bombs” or “Hurley Bro Dogs and The Pop Bitches” would occasionally surface in and around Phoenix. “There was this shit-talker on our message-board who said all our fans were Hurley bro-dogs and pop bitches. So we kinda wanted to irk him by calling ourselves that,” Marcks explains. An Authority Zero song even turned up on Playstation 2’s Tony Hawk Underground. “We think it’s because Tony Hawk watched our set out in Aspen at the Winter X-Games,” Marcks offers.

Before AZ could catch their collective breath, it was time to record a new album. They enlisted famed Fat Wreck Chords/NOFX knob-twister Ryan Green and unofficial Sublime member Mike Happoldt (a.k.a. Miguel) to co-produce. “We pretty much wrote the album in a month,” DeVore says. “It all happened pretty quickly,” Marcks adds, “but I think the short amount of time added to the intensity.”

Authority Zero has dubbed their second album Andiamó. “It’s the Italian equivalent of ‘we go,'” Marcks-the band’s resident linguist-explains. “Jeremy is of Italian descent, and he’s always saying it to us. We’ve always had Irish and Spanish influences in our music, but we haven’t had any Italian yet. Also, if you say it out in English, it reads, ‘And I am zero.'”

Andiamó was recorded at Steve Smith’s SJS Studios in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Marcks had a run-in with the local wildlife. “Instead of putting our garbage in a can, we were putting it in a bag outside the door of the studio, and it attracted a family of Javalinas [the Mexican name for the Southwest’s indigenous peccary, or wild boars],” the guitarist laughs. “I went outside one night to use the phone, and we scared the shit out of each other. One of them grunted at me, so I ran back inside, but he ran after me, and I had to slam the door on him.”

It’s these kinds of brushes with maiming that provided AZ’s creative inspiration. From the strident Bad Religion wail of “Painted Windows” to the taut Dead Kennedys velocity of “1000 Years Of War” to a cover of Wall Of Voodoo’s “Mexican Radio,” Andiamó is the sound of a band that has honed their far-flung influences to a surgical strike. “It’s all really new, but at the same time, we went back to the roots of what we played originally,” Marcks says. “There’s a song on there, ‘Society’s Sequence,’ that we wrote back in ’96, and we have this old recording of it that we did with three mics that we clipped and put on the beginning of the new track.” Former Sublime DJ “Field Marshall” Goodman even lent a Long Beach all-star hand to Andiamó, mixing a recording of the Bill Of Rights into “PCH-82” (Pacific Coast Highway-82 beats per minute).

As with A Passage In Time, Authority Zero maintains their Portuguese and Spanish tendencies on Andiamó. From Marcks’ flamenco guitar fills to the occasional song title (“Siempre Loco”), the members of AZ are always looking to give the musical gyroscope a healthy twirl. It might confuse the shit out of the genre police, but that’s the local record store’s problem.

“People are no longer taking what’s being fed to them,” Marcks says. “It’s forcing the world to become more contemporary. The borders are starting to get blurred; there are more influences involved-and we’ve been doing that for ten years. Good music is universal-anyone can dig it.”



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Feb 15,2017: Hermosa Beach Farmers Market

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