Thursday, November 8, 2012

Prodigal Son Returns Friday to the Sunset Strip! Jason de Cordoba debuts Siren Call

The photo above is of the "de Cordoba boys" as we were known growing up in the Palisades, Jason, Tony and me, with the Road Runner shirt and the blissed out smile on my face. My last name preceded me everywhere I went. Tony and Jason were my role models. We lived to raise hell and have as much fun in the sun as humanly possible. Fireworks, smoking pot, jumping bikes off ramps over the neighborhood children, riding motorcycles and ATVs in the middle of the night all over the Palisades, putting bananas in tailpipes, setting boobytraps for cars, playing ditch, hiking through sacred tribal grounds of "our" Chumash ancestors, and always getting into trouble. As my mom reminds me, we all made it out ok, as we're still alive. Yes mom, we are!

Jason became a legend for his dedication to music, turning our garage into a recording studio and throwing insane houseparties while the rest of the family went on vacation. I still don't quite understand how Jason convinced my parents to let him stay alone at home. He even recorded the performances of local bands in our living room, where close to a hundred kids from as far as Malibu and Mar Vista came to party. Somewhere there's a vhs tape of early performances by the fuzz rock band Mustard in our living room. Fred Bucher crashing mom's porsche into a wall. It's the stuff of legends.

His love for music was contagious. Tony learned bass and had good success with his own band. And before I knew it, I was learning to play drums so I could join Tony and Jason for long sessions playing Rush and Led Zepellin in the garage.

Jason was born to rock. His guitar was and still is his best friend. Our dog Duke habitually pissed on it whenever he got a chance, perhaps he was jealous. Jason is his happiest when he has the Fender Stratocaster in his hands, channeling Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana or Alex Lifeson. He's a bad-ass, guitar weilding , troubador expat living in the capital city of Austria, Vienna. For well over a decade he's been sharing his shred with Europe in various guises.

This weekend, he returns to L.A. to share with us his latest project, Siren Call.

Siren Call make's their Los Angeles Debut this Friday Night (8pm) at Hollywood's Legendary Roxy's On The Rox.

Siren Call - Vienna meets California in this new and fresh international line-up. Pop/post grunge tunes with an original flair! Siren Call delivers a sunny kind of darkness, mixing Nirvana's raw emotional power with the playful sensuality of Gwen Stefani's vocals. 
ON THE ROX: The Roxy Theatre 
9009 West Sunset Blvd. 
West Hollywood, CA 

Then on Saturday they are playing the Whiskey.

I'm sure when he takes the stage, I'll have flashbacks of the endless hours we spent hanging out, playing music and raising hell. He's never strayed far from that guitar. The song truly remains the same.

See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Political Pundits, The Sirens Of The Airwaves

First of all, you'll run into the Sirens,

who seduce all men who come across them.
Whoever unwittingly encounters them
and hears the Sirens' call
never gets back.
The Odyssey, Book 12

Why do we listen to the grand predictions made by political pundits? Their predictions aren't nearly as accurate as a coin toss.
Pundit Prediction Scorecard from
Tech Crunch reports on the most successful predictor of yesterday's election, Nate Silver of Silver successfully predicted the election outcome for every single state in the nation.

Silver’s analysis, and statistical models generally, factor in more data points than even the most knowledgeable political insider could possibly juggle in their working memory. His modelincorporates the size, quality, and recency of all polls, and weights them based on the polling firm’s past predictive success (among other more advanced statistical procedures).
The answer may be that Americans rather enjoy the talking heads, regardless of the veracity of what they are saying. Television networks would have a hard time selling ads if they couldn't spend endless hours debating competing predictions all day long, all the while generating the perception of uncertainty which they can then relieve with their "news." These sirens of the airwaves render (nearly) all who listen incapable of rational thought. Nate Silver is a rare example of a person who takes an empirical approach to answering the question, "Who will win the election?" His is an example I try to emulate. Until then,

Tie Me To A Mast And Fill Your Ears With Wax!

Friday, October 19, 2012

How much money was Dr. Shery Franklin, a San Diego Pediatric Endocrinologist, paid to discredit Prop 37?

Who is Dr. Sherry Franklin and why is she discrediting Prop 37?


Dr. Sherry Franklin is president of the San Diego County Medical Society. Was she or the San Diego County Medical Society paid to discredit Prop 37?

San Diego County Medical Society on Facebook

San Diego County Medical Society on Twitter: @SDCMS

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavor's Last Mission Thru Los Angeles


This morning, I woke up at 3:45am to see if I could photograph the space shuttle Endeavor travelling the final 2 miles along Martin Luther King Boulevard to it's final home at the California Science Center. It was a surreal experience seeing this mythical machine that as a child existed somewhere between science and science-fiction rolling past you at half a mile per hour.












Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mia Doi Todd, Frohawk Two Feathers and Om'Mas Keith Sing Vote Yes On Prop 37

It's voting time! I got my absentee ballot yesterday and am hanging chads as I write this post. When I got to Prop 37, I wasn't sure what to do. Lots of commercials on TV were telling me to vote no, but then I saw that my good friend the amazing Frohawk Two Feathers recorded a public message for all Californians. Let's take a look together, shall we?

Election day, November 6, 2012 is fast approaching, and Californians have the opportunity to pass this very important law. 
Proposition 37 would require food sold in supermarkets to be labeled if it contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Studies have shown links between GMOs and cancer, allergies, and organ toxicity. 
Monsanto and other GMO and pesticide firms have contributed nearly $35 million to oppose Proposition 37. 
All of Europe, Russia, India, Japan and China require labeling of genetically engineered food, and so should we. We are what we eat, and we have the right to know what we are eating! 
For more information on Proposition 37, visit: 
Performed by Mia Doi Todd, Frohawk Two Feathers and Om'Mas Keith Produced by Om'Mas Keith and Mia Doi Todd
There you have it! Vote Yes On Prop. 37! Thanks Mia, Frohawk and Om'Mas!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Death at Los Angeles Critical Mass, Rest in Peace Jerico Culata

If reports are true, Jerico Culata died last night for a number of reasons. The most important one was that we was not wearing a helmet. The second reason was he was riding a bicycle with no brakes. The third reason was he was riding beyond his skill level. It is extremely sad but comes as no surprise that someone has died at Los Angeles Critical Mass.

When I was told of his death, my mind instantly played out following scenario: A young inexperienced cyclist was riding a fixie with no helmet and lost control on a downhill descent. It turns out my guess was not far off...
Jerico Culata of Los Angeles was participating in the Critical Mass ride with up to 700 other riders when he lost control of his bike and slammed into a masonry wall, Clark said. He wasn't wearing a helmet, said LAPD Officer Sara Faden. Faden couldn't confirm reports about whether the bike Culata was riding had brakes. She did say, though that there is a trend of riders are using bikes that have no brakes. Culata went wide on a downhill curve, his friend told a photographer outside the hospital.

After a near death experience thanks to a hit and run driver, I no longer ride critical mass. Sometimes I miss the experience of riding with thousands of others, but it also comes at great risk. Young children with no helmets and no brakes abound at the rides. It's been a ticking time bomb for quite some time. I recall seeing a young rider lose control on a descent in West Hollywood several years ago, run right thru a red light on Santa Monica Blvd and slam right into an Audi. The impact was so severe, the Audi's radiator was crushed and instantly spilled coolant on the street. The cyclist got up, brushed himself off and rode away. It was humorous but also foreshadowed the events of last night.

My heart goes out to Jerico's family and friends. I hope the cycling community will learn from this tragedy.

Please. Wear a helmet, and put a brake on your bike.

Like This Guy!

Or These Guys!

Keep your eyes open at all times!

Know the limits of your skills.

Always look out for your friends.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Beach House at the El Rey


Live music, when done right, is an immersive experience for the audience. The sound washes over you, filling the entire concert hall and bringing all who listen into a unified resonant frequency. Such was my experience at last night's performance by Beach House at the El Rey Theater.


Words can't describe exactly how a certain combination of sounds and rhythms result in virtuosity, but when you hear it you know it.

I have to make a confession. I had no idea that the voice singing those hauntingly beautiful songs by Beach House were a woman's. Does it matter? Sort of...


Here's a set they recorded for NPR in December 2010.

A bonus was hearing a set by Wild Nothing, a solo project of the incredibly talented Jack Tatum. The songs were poppy, danceable yet full of emotion.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Frohawk Two Feathers: We Buy Gold, We Buy Everything, We Sell Souls, at MCA Denver

Frohawk Two Feathers
The Battle of Tallow (Blood) River Or The Bear and The Wolf destroy the King of Gold and The Two Hells for enemies and traitors are opened. 1794, 2012
Graphite, and acrylic on elk hide, bison rawhide, and nails.
70" x 50"

I'm in Denver this week preparing for the opening of Frohawk Two Feathers's first solo museum exhibition at MCA Denver. The show, entitled We Buy Gold, We Buy Everything, We Sell Souls, opens this Thursday. Here's a preview of the installation.

Taylor De Cordoba is thrilled to announce that MCA Denver will present the first solo museum exhibition dedicated to the work of Frohawk Two Feathers, the pseudonym for L.A.-based artist Umar Rashid. The exhibition, entitled Frohawk Two Feathers: We Buy Gold, We Buy Everything, We Sell Souls, will be on view from June 21, 2012 through September 9, 2012, and feature more than 20 paintings, works on paper and sculpture. 
Over the course of his career, Frohawk Two Feathers has created works that provide a magnificent re-imagining of history, narrating the story of Frengland, his fictionalized empire of a combined France and England. His drawings are detailed accounts of the traditions and rituals associated with the Frenglish leaders and culture, confronting issues of racism, power, greed, and ideological opposition within an invented period during the eighteenth century. By re-imagining colonial history, his work shows the subjective nature of historical recollection. 
Co-curated by Nora Burnett Abrams and Tricia Robson, the presentation at MCA Denver focuses on key characters and battles from the initial formation and early expansion of Frengland, as well as subsequent imperial conquests and campaigns against the crown. Rooted in this early history, the artist produced new works for this exhibition that further develop the complex narrative of the Frenglish empire, expanding the scope of his earlier work to North America and linking the narrative of Frengland to Colorado.

If you're in Denver be sure to check out the show.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Portraits in the garden

Last night, I cooked salmon for a group of lovely ladies. The light was perfect so I talked them into some snapshots.




Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Hunger: Diana Nyad and the pursuit of an "Xtreme Dream"


In August of last year, I received a phone call that changed my life. I had just married the woman of my dreams, our art gallery was beginning to recover from the recession and I was in the early stages of launching a web development and social media consultancy business.

When I answered the phone, the voice of a close friend said to me "Alex, I have a job for you." Diana Nyad, the world champion long distance swimmer needed my help. Her attempt to swim across the Florida Straits from Cuba to Florida ended after 26 hours in the water. But she was not finished. In fact, she would be leaving for Cuba in a couple weeks to try it again, a dream that would not die, so difficult some would call it impossible, but in her mind it was a forgone conclusion that she would walk on the Florida shore 60 hours after jumping into the harbor in Havana.

I joined Diana's team as her webmaster, tasked with a similarly impossible task of keeping her website from crashing when 1 million people stopped by to get hourly updates on her progress. The blog posts I  transcribed arrived to me via a sat phone on ship to a scribe in New York and then on to me, to post on the website and spread the word on Twitter and Facebook. At all hours, I would await a phone call with the latest news to share. Being the #1 trending topic on Twitter was a heavy cross to bear! Luckily, I had many friends supporting me in this herculean effort.

Alas, Diana was stung twice by deadly box jellyfish and yet continued to swim towards her dream, until the poison forced her to abandon the swim. But quit is a word not in Diana's vocabulary. In about a month, Diana will once again set off for Cuba to make her swim across the ocean, at the youthful age of 62. When I speak to her, there is no doubt that this time she will make it. And I could not be prouder to be a part of her team.

Rivka Galchen has written an amazing profile of Diana in this month's issue of Elle Magazine. If you have ever faced a seemingly impossible challenge, take a moment to read Diana's story and be inspired to live your life with no regrets, and pursue your goals with passion and determination.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Amgen Tour of California Mashes Across Los Angeles

A thousand or so die hard cyclists woke up this morning to ride the downtown Los Angeles circuit where Amgen Tour of California concludes today!

Including MOM!

and DAD!

and a lion

and a frog











After riding the circuit, I quickly rode home to see the pros race down Sunset Boulevard!

Le Tete De La Course

and the peloton!