• 12.04.09 Couchsurfer Ben Castledine – met up and hosted in Bangkok

    Ben Castledine

    Ben Castledine, Australian

    One of the first people on the later became a massive couchsurfing hosting in Bangkok, Ben Castledine came to Bangkok after a life in Russia. A drummer of a prolific band, he was on his slow way back home Australia, but not before spending some time in India. We first met up for a beer and later hung out in a couple of evenings. He was instrumental in  consulting and helping setting up what to be known as “N6”.


  • 12.04.09 Tina Liao at Royal City Avenue (RCA) Bangkok

    Tina Liao

    Tina Liao, Thai-Taiwanese American

    Tina was a friend of a friend who came to Thailand. She was visiting in celebration of her citizenship officialization. Ben Castledine and I met up with her over at this crazy nightclub road in Bangkok. The most memorable part of the night was how Tina was adorably, in her broken Thai, able to negotiate the cab fare to a reasonable rate. We all later learned cabs leaving from this area were not going to charge less than triple fare. She saved us.

     


  • 8.13.9 Wayne Horvitz’ Sweeter Than The Day – UCLA Hammer Museum

    Wayne Horvitz

    Wayne Horvitz

    Keith Lowe

    Keith Lowe

    Eric Eagle

    Eric Eagle

    Timothy Young

    Timothy Young

    band

    band

    Wayne

    Wayne

    Keith

    Keith

    Wayne

    Wayne

    Eric

    Eric

    Keith

    Keith

    Timothy

    Timothy

    shadow

    shadow


  • 7.23.9 Malaipet Training at the Muay Thai Academy in North Hollywood

    Mongkhon "Malaipet" Wiwasuk

    Mongkhon "Malaipet" Wiwasuk

    Only days away before an important match to reclaim his WBC International Superwelterweight title, Malaipet seemed plenty relax. I met up with him on Friday July 17 to catch his last 4 days of training at the Muay Thai Academy in North Hollywood. I was excited to start my extended documentary project with him. I heard of his remarkable reputation from various friends. None the least of him being the only Thai fighter competing in the MMA scene right now. An Intercontinental Muaythai Champion with boxing record of 168 fights, with 136 wins, 27 losses, and 38 KO’s, MMA record of 6 fights with 3 wins and 3 losses, I was more than curious on what this guy is made of.

    In contrast to the ‘fighter’ mean, dark, and gruesome image in the mainstream media as perpetuated by such fight leagues as the  UFC, I already found many fighters I’ve met to be very personable, if not sweet. But above and beyond my expectations, Malaipet tripped me out entirely to an extreme degree. Much of this had to do a lot with my understanding of the various Thai cultural nuances. “The country boy” means a whole lot different in Thai than in the US. The class distinction undertone runs strong. He and his crowd often mocks the darker color of his skin, and the country boy face. It’s a way to humor one’s way out of social ‘sub standard’. I wanted to learn as much as I can about him, so I spent some time at the end of his training each day talking about whatever that came to mind.

    Malaipet, or Mongkhon Wiwasuk in official name, is a son of a boxer. His father had 7 children, 6 of which were boys. They all were boxers, including his sister. He told me proudly – always with a smile. The smile though, tipped off something else – a sense of acceptance, the way it is. He has an additional 2 half brothers, one of which is a 20 year old training along side him.

    Malaipet, or “Teay” as the other Thais call him, turned pro at 8, much like most of Thai boxer stories. He was touring around the country fighting matches until 15 when a boxing camp swooped him up. I think he said he was ‘bought’? I assumed this to be the case rather of an investment of a camp seeing a potential, as opposed to something oppressive. Because of it, he was given the chance to fulfill the life of a Muay Thai boxer and rose his way to the nation’s championship status, which later brought him to the US to pursue international/intercontinental titles.

    After watching him for 4 days, his massive kicks and shrieks still ring in my ears. The match he’s immediately facing in a Muay Thai super event in Las Vegas this coming Saturday July 25. He will be facing Richard Fenwick from the UK. It’s a rematch to regain his WBC championship title. I have a feeling he’s going to win purely basing it on his carefree attitude of getting the job done on his way to a much anticipated the Contender tournament held next month in Malaysia. He was looking forward to party after the fight, karaoke party…..  I asked his brother, in his presence, what would you do if he loses? The brother chuckled, and said, “we’ll just cut one of his nuts off.”

    So – I’ll be heading out to Las Vegas in a couple of days – and see what happens next.

    bag

    part of the warmup

    knee

    various tactical trainings

    hook

    punching exercises

    push up

    in between rounds

    run

    running just outside the gym

    sit up

    part of conditioning routine

    rest

    in between sets

    bag

    elbow exercise

    leg work

    quad work on tire


  • 3.19.9 Zu with Mike Patton at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco

    MassimoZu’s Bassist Massimo

    In a limited way of words, how is it possible for me express the level of my anticipation in seeing this show? When Nels told me he’s friends with this Italian band Zu, their long reputation for being extremely supportive in the music community, as well as being these hard working super guys, I was even more all over this. I was up in the Bay Area for a 10 day hang with Nels, and his trio, the Singers for their recording… many of favorite people/friends in one place, Devin, Scott, Breskin, and Saint, doing what each of them do best. This show was thrown into the mix of one of The Things to be attended.

    Once again Nels was extremely generous with his impossible schedule. Even when he needed all the possible time to write, rehearse, and practice for the recording session just a few days away, he still made the time to take me to this show. He knew I would like the music, this “Roman metal/math/no-wave/free noise/punk/jazz trio”. (Well, he did want to see his friends, too.)  Little did we know the kind of near-red carpet reception from the Great American Music Hall would later make this evening such a… trip. If only I was a drunkard, I would have abused the loads of free drink tickets given to us. I instead stuck with my known limit of the outrageous number of 3 beers, that is, when I’m shooting. Otherwise, I could have as much as 5? These days, anything in excess just makes me sleepy.

    Never in excess, actually, is the amount of music I can compile on lately. As I drift along, attaching myself to different sources of music branches of personalities, I’ve learned to live on it.

    The opening band cancelled (who and why, I’ll never know…) DJ Belladonna of the local radio station KFJC stepped in and played some insanely awesome stuff. Her selections of the evening was on the tip of industrial experimental low level ground covering…. mmmm…… undertone beats and drones. One after another was just freaking me out. I had to run and get her information. One band I got her to write down for me was C.O.T.A. , and their song “Children of the Apocalypse”. I still can’t find it. This music gave me all kinds of ideas for my future projects.

    The band promptly started at 10 p.m. The audience was of mixed age, loosely packed yet excited. This type of crowd I still haven’t gotten the right impression of… They are a combination of too cool and too enthusiastic. I wondered if I was also one.  But my enthusiastic was well reasonable. There I was about to meet my new set of amazingly talented, visionary friends. The too cool part, I’m still trying to shred, but I can’t help it sometimes knowing that it took me years to feel like I belong somewhere – No, scratch that, more like, it took me all my life to be comfortable enough to accept that people don’t hate me by default…. Ah, too personal. Back to the jolly night that it became….

    Immediately I was drawn to Massimo, the bassist. His smile was sincere and welcoming. Soon after, I got the good nature sense of Luca’s, the baritone player. I eve dropped on Nels and Patton’s conversation a bit over their discussion of gear boxes. That was amusing. I’ve met Patton a couple of times before, the last being from the Moonchild gig over a year ago, also in this same GMH place. He was polite. I didn’t get to talk to him at all after a friendly introduction, only got to watch him wrapping up his gadgets. I also didn’t get to talk to Jacopo, the drummer. The rest of the short after show evening was funny and pleasant. Nels was in a great mood, maybe the quality of their tequilas were acceptable? I threatened to go to Mexico City with the band, as I could see them for being my newest potential favorite (I did not miss my chance to diss Nels’s trio as old news to me, now that I’ve secured the Silent Fourth Member slot. Nels was so sweet as to recommend that I’m not much trouble to have along.)

    And the night was concluded in such a super weird ideal way. We didn’t even have any problems finding a street parking near the venue. I want to make a point to see them again, Europe or where ever.

    Mike Patton

    Mike Patton on Voice

    Jacopo

    Zu's Drummer Jacopo

    Luca, Nels, and Jacopo after show

    Luca, Nels, and Jacopo after show

    Massimo and Luca

    Massimo and Luca

    Patton and Jacopo

    Patton and Jacopo


  • 3.17.9 Trevor Dunn Trio and Nels Cline Quintet – 21 Grand, Oakland CA

    Trevor Dunn Trio :
    Phillip Greenlief – saxophone
    Trevor Dunn – bass
    Kjell Nordeson – drums

    Nels Cline Quintet :
    Nels Cline – guitar
    Trevor Dunn – bass
    Scott Amendola – drums
    John Dietrich – guitar
    Ben Goldberg – clarinet

    Kjell Nordeson

    Kjell Nordeson

    Phillip Greenlief

    Phillip Greenlief

    Trevor Dunn

    Trevor Dunn

    Scott Amendola

    Scott Amendola

    Trevor Dunn

    Trevor Dunn

    Scott Amendola

    Scott Amendola

    Nels Cline

    Nels Cline

    John Dietrich

    John Dietrich

    Trevor Dunn

    Trevor Dunn

    Nels Cline

    Nels Cline

    Scott Amendola

    Scott Amendola

    Scott Amendola with Greg Saunier

    Scott Amendola with Greg Saunier

    Ben Goldberg and Trevor Dunn

    Ben Goldberg and Trevor Dunn

    Ben Goldberg and Trevor Dunn

    Ben Goldberg and Trevor Dunn



  • 3.14.9 Couchsurfer Event – Ben Walther’s “Flavor Tripping Party” in Topanga

    .

    .

    Max

    Max

    Mike

    Mike

    Max and Janice

    Max and Janice

    Rachel

    Rachel

    ..

    ..

    Janice

    Janice

    Ben Walther

    Ben Walther

    Jason

    Jason

    Aaron

    Aaron


  • 3.4.9 GE Stinson and Nels Cline

    GE Stinson and Nels Cline

    GE Stinson and Nels Cline


  • 2.18.9 Mike Watt in Los Punkinhedz recording

    Los Punkinhedz :
    Money Mark
    on keyboards
    John Wicks
    on drums
    Mike Watt
    on bass
    Raymond Pettibon Guest vocal

    guitars at the studio

    guitars at the studio

    Mike Watt runs over some songs

    Mike Watt runs over some songs

    Money Mark

    Money Mark

    John Wicks

    John Wicks

    Mike Watt

    Mike Watt

    Raymond Pettibon

    Raymond Pettibon

    John Wicks

    John Wicks

    Money Mark

    Money Mark

    Mike Watt

    Mike Watt

    Mike Watt and Money Mark in studio

    Mike Watt and Money Mark in studio

    Raymond Pettibon in studio

    Raymond Pettibon in studio

    session engineer : Nick Pavey

    session engineer : Nick Pavey

    Money Mark

    Money Mark

    Mike Watt, Money Mark, and my couchsurfer Abbéy Odunlami

    Mike Watt, Money Mark, and my couchsurfer Abbéy Odunlami

    John Wicks, Mike Watt, and Money Mark

    John Wicks, Mike Watt, and Money Mark

    Raymond Pettibon, Mike Watt, and Money Mark - LA River

    Raymond Pettibon, Mike Watt, and Money Mark - LA River


  • 2.17.9 Couchsurfer Hanna Rosendahl – Hosted

    couchsurfer Hanna Rosendahl

    couchsurfer Hanna Rosendahl

    Out of all couchsurfers I’ve hosted, I think I miss having Hanna around the most. Nothing bad about all the boys that’s came through here but this girl is much tougher than anyone. A librarian by trade, a boxer by hobby, she carries my favorite quality – a super woman gene. That is – the nurturer of all strengths, inclusive of femininity, along were intelligence, wit, sarcasm, humor, fighting spirit.

    I sent couchsurfer Ulrik to pick Hanna up from Koreantown where she was sitting bored. She was couchsurfing with some college students who had no time to hang with her. I got a series of messages from her looking for actions. I already had several couchsurfers at my place, but figured what the heck could it hurt to add one more. Besides, seeing her interest in boxing, I wanted to get to know this girl.

    During the time of her stay,  I was only doing mostly fight classes (took a break from music attendance). Like a shadow, she went with me to both of my 2 camps, the Krav Maga training center, and Wildcard Boxing Club. We sparred a little in one of the boxing classes. She was a righteous partner. I got to introduce her to some of my favorite instructors and classes.

    It was also interesting to join a debate with Hanna. Luckily I was on her side and occasionally high-fiving at times. One such memorable moment was a ‘discussion’ we had with fellow couchsurfer Abbéy. It was a formidable topic of men vs. women and the view of dating / relationship. That was fun. It nearly went off edge many times, a disaster near miss. The result was yielded no alteration of anyone opinions. Just more awareness of each other’s level of stubbornness… and traces of any awkward humor.

    Schopenhauer: “Argument is not so much for those who want to learn as for those who want to dispute”.

    It felt as if she was my little sister. There were times I had to throw my hands up and let her run the show. All I could do was to accommodate, which I did gladly. I doubt if I would ever go visit her in Gothenburg, Sweden – but I would love to run around with her again. She’s pure fire.

    couchsurfer Hanna Rosendahl

    Hanna Rosendahl at Wildcard Boxing Club

    Hanna Rosendahl with the (in)famous Freddie Roach

    Hanna Rosendahl with the (in)famous Freddie Roach

    Hanna Rosendahl in a ground fighting class at Krav Maga Training Center

    Hanna Rosendahl in a ground fighting class at Krav Maga Training Center

    Hanna Rosendahl

    Hanna in Los Angeles