New Release! Zirafa - Hipshooter EP

I promised some big updates...here they are!

I'm happy to announce a new music project I just finished, the Hipshooter EP. Hipshooter was inspired by dancing, blips and bleeps, old cowboy movies, lasers, free jazz, forgotten technologies, and bagel sandwiches. It's a listen-from-the-hips type of record (a first for me). So if you get a chance, please visit zirafamusic.com to stream the album, download it for free, or purchase a very limited CD release.

» $0...DOWNLOAD
+ Includes 320 kbps MP3 version of the album.

» $6...CD (LIMITED SUPPLY)
+ Full Color 8x11 CD-Poster with CD mount, and hand drawn CD. Very limited supply since they are made by hand. Free shipping!

Feel free to forward this to people you think might be into it! I hope to be releasing more work through zirafamusic.com in the future.

Also, if you didn't notice, I gave this site a nice makeover to match with the new zirafamusic.com.

RIP SOLVE

Ah, birthdays...

WE MADE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!

Major, mind-blowing updates coming soon. Promise. For real.

Attached audio files: 

Save Chicago's vibrant music community!

Please take a moment, read the following, take action and save the Chicago music community.

PLEASE READ, DISTRIBUTE AND SIGN THE PETITION!

The City of Chicago is trying to pass an ordinance this Wednesday (May 14th, 2008) that could severely damage the live music and theater scene.

In summary:

The "Event Promoters" ordinance requires any event promoter to have a
license from the city of Chicago and liability insurance of $300,000,
but that's just the start:

* The definition of "event promoter" is so loosely defined it
could apply to a band or singer-songwriter that books their own shows
or a theater company that's in town for a one-week run.

* "Event Promoter" must be licensed and will pay $500 - $2000
depending on expected audience size

* To get the license, applicant must be over 21, get
fingerprinted, submit to a background check, and jump over
several other hurdles .

* This ordinance seems targeted towards smaller venues, since
those with 500+ permanent seats are exempt

* Police must be notified at least 7 days in advance of event.

The first link gives a summary of the proposal, and the second is a
petition (Chicago Acoustic Underground is one of the sponsors of the
petition). Please read the links and contact your alderman before
Wednesday, when the City Council will be voting.

SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL:

Jim DeRogatis's story: Chicago Sun-Times

PETITION:

Sign the petition and Save Chicago Culture!

FIND YOUR ALDERMAN & CALL THEM ASAP:

Click here to find your local aldermen.

The alderman for The Empty Bottle is Manuel 'Manny' Flores.

Make your voice heard, call your alderman and call often!

PoliceTopia

Every year there is an all night event in downtown Chicago (the loop) called Looptopia. My roommates had told me that this event was a bunch of crap. But Griselda and I headed downtown to check it out anyway to see for ourselves.

It indeed was Crap-topia. Or rather, we felt it was more like Police-topia. There were dozens and dozens of cops on each corner, eyeballing everyone, breaking up any chance that people were having fun.

We thought we heard a band playing, but upon walking towards it saw a movie projector playing terrible music videos. Nobody was watching it. Why they didn't they hire a real band is beyond me. And the one guy who was dancing was told to stop by a police officer. Huh?

So we decided to go to the Art Museum which was supposed to be open till 1 am. We get there at 12:20am and they are kicking people out. Apparently there were too many people. Huh?

So we decide to walk to Millenium park. Surely there must be lots of things happening in the park for an all night festival. The park was closed, with police officers and barricades at every entry point. Huh?

We start walking back to the train and finally we hear MUSIC. Street performers in front of the cultural center. A man playing saxophone and 2 tap dancers. These guys were killing it and a big crowd quickly formed. Not even 10 minutes into the police come and break it up. WTF??? People shouted "fuck the police!" as this happened. It didn't make any sense.

What a waste of time. This event could have been cool if it had an ounce of planning put into it. I bet that secretly the Chicago police department organized this festival to have an excuse to get paid mad overtime and waste tax dollars, practice harassing lots of people for no reason, and create the sense that Chicago is a draconian police state.

They could have hired ANY block party organizer from ANY neighborhood and they would have done a better job!

a) Block off the streets from traffic!
b) Let lots of street performers loose on the streets!
c) Let street vendors do their thing!
d) Have some stages with live entertainment happening!
e) Let people have fun!

It was really depressing to see that the city was more interested in wrangling up people and having them shop in Baskin and Robbins than actually putting on a festival that had any sort of value. To me it is weird that downtown isn't always alive and bustling, like Times Square at 4 am. But even when they try to make it alive and bustling, they turn the place into a tense police state and restrict people from doing anything.

Here is a picture that summarizes the event. CPD on the side of a building - Chicago Police Department. You can see Millenium park, closed, in the background.

A Bit of Nostalgia

Recently I discovered a 2003 archived version of this site. Back then I didn't know shit about how to make a website. But you know what? I think when I knew less I did more. Or maybe I just had more style back then??? I mean compared to this current site, 2003 was bumpin.

ARE YOU READY TO TIME TRAVEL BACK TO 2003???? CLICK HERE

I am thinking about bringing back Click-Your-Own-Adventures. I forgot how much fun those were! Also, back then picsounds and stuff actually opened properly. What's the deal, zirafa?

Go-go and Trouble Funk

Robert Reed, keyboardist for DC go-go band Trouble Funk died recently.

Courtesy of kaveh:

If you are 1) into any hip-hop at all, 2) someone with even a tenuous connection to the DC area, or 3) a lover of deep, funky music, then you should be saddened by the recent passing of Robert Reed, keyboardist for the seminal go-go band Trouble Funk. Since I'm far less an expert on this music than Henry Rollins, I'll let him do the talking.

Popperton University

I've been meaning to announce this for some time: I'm a student again! I've been taking a few classes at Popperton University since February and so far, it's pretty good. Some courses I'm taking include: Listening seminar, Music Technique, Music Composition/Deconstruction, and Farsi. It feels pretty weird to be back in school, but it has been a positive experience overall.

Here's what my acceptance letter said:

January 10, 2008

Dear Farsheed Hamidi-Toosi,

Congratulations! You have been accepted for the spring semester here at Popperton University. We are proud to welcome you to our campus and encourage you to browse through our course catalog. You’ll find that we offer almost any class you could imagine, in any field, for any subject. Because of our unconventional no-campus, non-teacher, no-grades approach, you can basically do whatever interests you in any time frame you’d like. Nobody will correct you or watch over you, or even know you are doing it. The goal is to break the boring structure of everyday life by challenging yourself and by pushing yourself to the limits (whatever limits you set upon yourself). There is no imposed structure whatsoever - you are free to make mistakes, experiment, create, succeed, or fail. Rather than saying what is right or wrong or defining levels of success through external validation, use your internal compass to guide you on the path of your own choosing.

Sincerely,
Chancellor Popcorn Popperson, Leading autodidact

Pitchfork.tv launched

Pretty cool so far. I think it will be really successful with a few more tweaks. Not just because it's a music channel that actually aims to play music (!!!), but also because it introduces the concept of a-website-as-a-tv-channel idea(which I think we'll start to see more of soon). Sort of a natural progression/combination of podcasting, video blogging, and flash video sites.

http://pitchfork.tv/

April Explosion

I use google calendar for keeping track of things, and today when I opened up my email I got a million reminder emails for things coming up this weekend:

In Champaign, IL:

UC Hiphop is throwin' their annual Hip-Hop Awareness week. Friday night is the DJ night with Bozak, Spinnerty, Limbs and more! Saturday night is IL Breaks!
Check out uchiphop.com for more details. Really wish I could make it, but I got some fam coming into town this weekend. Haven't seen UCHH kids in forever...

*EDIT* I took a last minute greyhound bus and to champaign and was able to check out the DJ night!

In Charlottesville, VA:

My good friends Kaveh and Aaron (Clarence Thomas Action-Adventure Unit) are throwing a benefit show in C-ville. Originally Drew and I were supposed to go down and actually perform at this, but things didn't work out. Again, wish I could make this one! Check out audiozine.org for more details.

"BENEFIT SHOW FOR THE CHARLOTTESVILLE FREE CLINIC
APRIL 05th
8 PM
$5
@ The Bridge (209 Monticello Rd)

3 Bands + 1 DJ
Adam Smith + The Invisible Hand (Tunefulness + Zigging where others Zag = Cville-by-way-of-Philly Indie Rock Mainstay)
Clarence Thomas Action-Adventure Unit (me + Aaron playing guitar, vox, drums, megaphone, toy laser gun, iPod, sampler, handheld tape cassette recorders)
Quiet My Dear (Cville Melodic Indie Pop)
DJ Hummingbird Feeder (the mighty James Ford kicks out the interludes and the post-show jams. Dance party?!?!)"

In Chicago, IL:

Drew will be rockin' a dance set @ Mutiny on 4/5/08 (saturday)

Here's his video preview:

Orange Drink - noise preview for 4/5/08 show! from Hemlock Records on Vimeo.

In anywhere, usa:
It's also my roomate Charlie's birthday. Shoutouts. And finally I leave you with this amazing video by Brooklyn pranksters Dave Segal and Jesse Novak! Hey! Even Sashe Frere-Jones likes it...