: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

Old Californio, Westering Again

I’m loving the first couple of tracks from Old Californio. The album comes out April 7th.

Recorded in their old chicken coop garage turned recording studio in Pasadena, CA, Old Californio set out to mix a gritty soup of bucolic rock and roll influenced as much by Moby Grape, Crazy Horse and The Grateful Dead as by the chaparral canyons and ungovernable San Gabriel mountains themselves. The 10 songs on Westering Again evoke winsome images of riparian vistas and wine stained front porches, and of places forgotten and out of the way. The album ventures from raw riparian rock & roll, to harmony rich folk/ country, to the psychedelic/ philosophic.

Westering Again will be released on their own independent Californio Records label and will available for sale on April 7th through CD Baby, iTunes and and was co-produced by Old Californio and Alfonso Rodenas (Mark Olson, Ben Vaughn, Los Tigres Del Norte) and mixed / mastered at Las Virgenes Recording. The core of the band include singer/ guitarist Rich Dembowski, drummer Justin Smith, bassist Jason Chesney, guitarist Woody Aplanalp and keyboardist Levi Nu̱ez. Also, contributing to the album are their heavy friends Рfrequent collaborator Dave Gleason on guitar, bassist Tony Russell, accordionist Debra Tala, trumpeteer Slim Zwerling, and pianist Dan Mudd.

Fiction Family, When She’s Near

Fiction Family – When She’s Near from ATO Records on Vimeo.

Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman and Nickel Creek guitarist Sean Watkins teamed up to form Fiction Family with a self-titled, full-length album. The sound is like nothing from the bands that made their reputation but is uniquely addictive.

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The Travels and Tribulations of Otis Gibbs

A singer-songwriter from Indiana, Otis Gibbs channels the rust-belt working man ethos into stripped down songs that just seem to stick around on the stereo. He’s at SXSW this weekend and then off to Europe where the singer-songwriter crowd seems to get a little more respect. Catch him while you can. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy St. Paddy’s: A How To

Watch out for Leprechauns

Tim Berners-Lee describes the next world wide web of data, TED Talks

Having a legitimate claim to having invented what we think of as the internet, i.e. the world wide web of hyperlinked text, Tim Berners-Lee describes The next Web of open, linked data.

Buddy and Julie Miller, Written in Chalk

Buddy and Julie Miller are two of my favorite musicians who just happen to be married and play music together. What I’ve heard of their new album Written in Chalk sounds amazing.

Arne Duncan, Obama’s Secretary of Education, on Charlie Rose

A bigger fan by the day.

Franz Nicolay at the Laundromatinee

Franz Nicolay – Cease-Fire, Or, Mrs. Norman Maine from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

Discovering multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay (Hold Steady, etc) of his own right via My Old Kentucky Home

Siftables: Best Toy Ever?

Demonstrated by MIT grad student David Merrill at the TED Conference, and, unfortunately, not yet available in stores.

Google Voice Googlifies the Phone Call

Google Voice launched under cover of beta to a torrent of praise and ebay-auction-fueled tech lust on a scale not witnessed since the great gmail-invite bubble of aught-six.

Is it not fitting a day after the 133 anniversary of the first phone call?

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