Finn the Groove Operatah, United Districtz, Rhythm Lounge, Long Beach, 9.10.2011

Had a helluva good time playing the Rhythm Lounge in Long Beach this past weekend, where United Districtz was the backing band for Finn the Groove Operatah. Sold out show, and the crowd was off the chain, showing us love all the way. Definitely want to give a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support Finn and United Districtz.

More shows coming soon.

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New United Districtz website

Been a hot minute since I’ve checked in, but I am back.

Check out my band, United Districtz’s, new site when you have a chance: 

www.reverbnation.com/uniteddistrictz

Me and the guys just played the One Love, One Heart festival in Sutter County, where we had a great time playing amid the cool vibes and laid back reggae rhythms on the banks of the Sacramento River. Not to mention, some really outstanding acts from far away as Jamaica.

Gearing up right now with the band for shows in Los Angeles, Seattle, Reno and more. Will have dates soon. Cheers and One Love ya’ll.

New TV on the Radio album drops April 12

Per TV on the Radio’s Twitter page, the band’s latest album, “Nine Types of Light,” drops April 12. Here’s the first slice from the album, a transcendental ditty titled “Will Do.”

Good news for the West Coast as well. The band will play 4th and B in San Diego on May 14. For tix: http://tixx1.artistarena.com/tvontheradio/

Visit to Jimi’s grave

“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye. The history of love is hello and goodbye. Until we meet again”…..Jimi Hendrix

Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve logged into this site — but I’m back for the New Year. Between my real job as a newspaper managing editor, playing guitar in a reggae band, and just living life in general, Caliblackrock has been pushed to the side.

Regardless, I will make a concerted effort in 2011 to drop in from time to time.

On another note, me and my girlfriend finally made the road trip from Cali to Renton, Wash., just outside Seattle, to pay our respects to the prophet, Jimi Hendrix.

Took about two days to drive up from NorCal, listening to “Valleys of Neptune.” “Band of Gypsys” and other goodies along the way. Drove several hours through heavy rainstorms all the way from the Oregon, Washington border to the site.

We took some wrong turns, so it took awhile to find the place. Stopped at a gas station for directions. The clerk, in his late 50s, says “We don’t really like outsiders comin’ round here and causing problems. So if you wanna find out where Jimi’s buried, I a’int the one to tell you.”

There was an awkward silence for about five seconds. “Okay,” I said, puzzled.

“Ha ha! I’m just joshin ya!” he laughed.

Gotta admit, he’d fooled me, but I was relieved it was a joke. “I bet you tell that to everyone who comes through here asking for directions!”

Clerk wrote the directions on the back of a piece of paper. “You do know, Jimi is dead, right?” he quipped.

“Well,” I replied. “I guess that depends on who you talk to.”

Arrived at the memorial, and other than a family leaving, hardly anyone else was in the cemetery, Greenwood Memorial Park. The memorial is a small stone dome, mounted on pillars with marvelously drawn etchings of Jimi, along with lyrics to songs like “Angel” and Voodoo Child.

I left a yellow Dunlop guitar pick at the site and laid my hands on the headstone for a few minutes, hoping to absorb some residual Hendrixian guitar playin’ power energy. Others had laid flowers at the site, and there was also a pack of Japanese Marlboros. Someone had obviously come far to pay their respects.

After saying our goodbyes, a flock of ravens descended upon the memorial. The contrast between the grey sky and multitude of birds was surreal and a tad macabre. “Do you think it’s an omen of some sort?” I asked my girlfriend.

She smiled. “I think they’re just birds.”

Jimi Hendrix – 1983….(A Merman I Should Be) Apartment 1968

Dez Dickerson, Modernaire redux

Anyone who’s seen Prince’s “1999” video probably remembers the brotha in the funky kamikaze headband, who also sang background vocals.  Dez Dickerson was the first guitarist in Prince’s backing band, remembered for his eviscerating guitar solos, including some impressive fingerwork on “Little Red Corvette,” which is ranked #64 on Guitar World’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.

Despite a brief appearance in the film “Purple Rain,” by 1984 Dez had dropped out Prince’s band, the Revolution.  After leaving Prince’s band, he became a born-again Christian,  founded his own Christian rock label, but for the most part dropped out of the mainstream spotlight.

Regardless, as illustrated by this clip, Dez never lost his chops. Here’s a recent 2010 Minneapolis performance of his song,  “Modernaire,” which appeared in the film “Purple Rain.”

United Districtz, free downtown Merced show, Nov. 6, 9-11 pm Off the Shelf books

For all ya’ll reggae/lover’s rock heads out there, come check out my band, United Disrictz, 9-11 pm Saturday, Nov. 6 at Off the Shelf books, located at 315 West Main Street in downtown Merced. The show is our first in Merced, and we’re looking forward to seeing all the Central Valley reggae party people. Oh yeah — and it’s free. So come get some coffee, purchase some left wing propaganda and snuggle up to the reggae jams — ah-ight!.