Rollin' deep in the heart of the I.E. through the gnarled concrete arteries of 60+10+91 east to neon sunsets and Naugles, Taco Tia, the Mad/Friendly/Happy or Lucky Greek,The Menagerie, Spanky's, Butch's Grinders, The Denny's Cocktail Lounge at Hardman Center (in pace requiescat). We spell Paris P-E-R-R-I-S, bitches!


I.E. Quake!!! || 5.4 - Epicenter Chino Hills

My favorite thing about an earthquake in So. Cal is the calm, butchy presence of "the earthquake lady," Kate Hutton from Cal Tech. I guess I'm not the only dyklette who grew up totally stoked for her no-nonsense, skirt-suited seismological updates. Check out Kate's interview with The Advocate back in 2001 for more lesbionic subtext. [Below Right: Kate in action]

I have to say, she seemed a bit grumpier on the Channel 7 Eyewitness news today,
totally willing to complain overtly that the Governator's budget cuts leave little room for developing early quake detection technology. You go, Doc! When the Big One strikes, we'll all be waiting for you to tell us the real deal...

Despite the relatively slow roll we experienced out here, 40 miles west in Silver Lake, Kangagi and I still sensed we at least had something in the upper 4's on our hands. Today's 5.4 quake happened to be epi-centered in the I.E.'s very own Chino Hills, my Oh! Industry sistah, CBB's hometown.

When the quake struck, my mom was at the Tyler Mall (or is it the Gal
leria at Tyler now?) in nearby Riverside, getting her prescription glasses fixed, while Dad was at home, apparently just apres shower and hence nervous about not having the option to flee out of the house. I know, TMI.

Like everyone else, I couldn't get through using a cell phone (so much for their emergency effectiveness), but our prehistoric landline worked just fine. Dad reported no damage or toppled books at home (surprising given how they're such pack rats), but neither of us could reach my mom. She finally got a text through about 30 mins. later, and complained that "there's really no place to go in a mall that feels like it's built entirely out of glass."

Otherwise, there isn't much more to add to the good ol' Press Enterprise report. I wonder how the controversial, year-old Ranch 99 Asian Market is holding up? Check out Angry Asian Man's take from
last April, or for all sides of the "we don't want this to turn into another Rowland or Hacienda Heights" story, visit the P.E. archive. Could today's quake be a case of the Karma Chameleons? Kate Hutton would probably say no. The ancestors meanwhile...


I.E. Summer Songs with Soul Sides

Inspired by Paho Mann's "Reinhabited Circle Ks" project, my contribution to Oliver Wang's annual "Summer Songs" feature on Soul Sides crawls from the I.E. up to the Bay Area and back. Click on Club Tattoo for a peek and a listen...


In Memoriam || UCR Professor, Lindon Barrett

Excerpted and reposted from something I wrote on Oh! Industry:

This morning we received tragic news about the passing of someone whose work, spirit and strength has inspired us for many years. Lindon Barrett, formerly the director of African American Studies at UC Irvine, and recently appointed Professor of English at UC Riverside, was found murdered in his residence this weekend in Long Beach, CA.
There is much to say about the beautiful complexity of Lindon's work--about the prescience of his early essay on Ann Petry's The Street; about his brilliant book, Blackness and Value: Seeing Double (Cambridge, 1999), which has continued to exert a tremendous influence, both theoretical and lyrical on scholars of critical theory, aesthetics, musicality and race. In honor of him, and of a life and work so richly consumed by (in his own words) the "sly alterity of the singing voice, a voice assuming much more than mere 'traditional' speech," we offer this tribute in song:

Good morning Heartache - Billie Holiday

Read the entire post here.
To follow up, a few remarks from the Chair of UCR's English Department, Katherine Kinney:

"The English faculty are devastated by the death of Lindon Barrett. Lindon joined the department just last year, but many of us had known him for years. He embraced his new position at Riverside, bringing a personal warmth and passion to the

department and his field of African American studies. A brilliant scholar, Lindon was just finishing a major book on slavery’s central role in the evolution of Western modernity. Lindon offered so much, personally and professionally, to the department, the campus, and the scholarly field of African American studies. He will be missed by friends and colleagues across campus and across the country."

Memorial services will be held on a date TBA in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. Further information can be found here.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity, as brief as it was, to share ideas with him at UC Irvine's Humanities Research Institute. My heartfelt condolences go out not only to his family and former colleagues at UCR and UCI, but also to his Inland Empire communities, and to all who were inspired by him in this region that he occupied with such vivacity.


donwill +suhBURB's "Suburban Sprawl" album

This is a little different from my own suburban soundscape of new-Ro inspired melodia, but worth a good listen nonetheless. Check out Suburban Sprawl--the latest collaboration between the producer, suhBURB and the Brooklyn based donwill of Tanya Morgan fame.

The collab was born like lots of things in the suburbs, during idle time:
this project began in early 2006 i believe. suhburb would send these 15 minute long mp3 beat tapes to us and they would flow like an album. i remember the one that originally sparked the idea was the Brazil Beat tape (sounds like a porno now that i think about it) and when i had heard it i liked so much of it that i jokingly suggested to him that i would just write verses, two track it and release that. a few emails, aim conversations, phone calls and years later and we are both proud to present to you suburban sprawl."

Listen carefully for fun with digital watermarks in tracks like "Fly Me" and "Diwadiwadonald." Special thanks to la Doyle for passing the link on to me. Read the rest of donwill's liner notes here. And listen to the whole album right hurrr....


Skullphone at R.A.M.

As the L.A. Times recently reported, Skullphone, the anonymous and elusive guerrilla artist (a la Banksy), is making a splash at the Riverside Art Museum in the city's historic downtown.

AMID THE stately Mediterranean and Classical architecture of the Riverside Art Museum, a 1929 building on the National Register of Historic Places, the underground street artist known as Skullphone has left his mark -- a black-and-white human skull chatting on a cellphone. The gritty images are everywhere -- on a Dumpster outside the museum, in common areas and throughout installations by other artists.

I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but will at some point in the coming 3 weeks as I try to cram in some I.E. fieldwork, despite being focused on the OC chapter these daze.

All this to say that
I'm sorry I've been so remiss about posting here. The Inland Emperor lives, I promise! I'm aiming to post more frequently, but need to stick with quickie posts, re-posts and photo essays for now, as I try to keep up with the regular features at Oh!, and crank out some other pieces on the side...not to mention that whole book thing.