Nov 4, 2006


I remember when Saturdays meant that I finally had time to wander around the valley, alone and happy. Books about Russian Lovers, View Cameras, the ORB, Grain Elevators, overcast skies and cheap gasoline. I spent most of my post high school years doing this, thinking it would go on like this forever and ever.
Driving towards Knights Landing–alone, brings back many great memories of my random visits and perpetual picture taking back in my early 20's. Now, as I drive south on Highway 113 I can look left and see the miracle of community and art in this small island town. Luiseno first encountered the work being done on the side of the Plug N' Jug gas station wall back in September, two women sat atop scaffolding working globs of paint into the primered surface. Even then, the mural was an amazing site. People and Place. In an otherwise lonely little town, colors shifted out from the surface, resonating the history of the sleepy hamlet. I received an email from Alyssa Nelson a while ago inviting us to grand celebration in honor of the artists and community that supported the mural's creation.

When I first arrived, I wondered if it was all a dream. The whole thing, did September 2006 ever exist? Was I still 20 years old, dreaming of something like this in the next town I stumbled across... but it couldn't be. I was looking at the completed mural, more alive than I remembered. The shapes and figures within it, swaying back and forth. Colors shifting. Winter on the horizon, cold air and perfect grey skies one minute, breaks of light the next moment; sweat beading up on my forehead. All the while, videotaping... Trucks passing by.

At this point, my disappointment in missing the festivitess had been flashed out of existance and I was just happy to be in Knights Landing again, alone, Saturday.... As I panned the video camera south, a small procession began to appear. Slowly, it move quietly north towards the Mural. Dozens of people, children, neighbors, college students, artists, musicians, farmers, high school kids; everything into my camera. No longer dreaming I stayed still. Eventually, as the crowd grew thicker and thicker, the drumming began.

Saturday, will you marry me?

Nov 3, 2006

Los Nuevos Ricos

On the air, in the place. Thank You Emobos for letting us do whatever we wanted live on the air. We had fun and were glad to do our first on the air live Zelbond session on your show. I love the Unicorns. Emotional HoboCore friday nights 8pm to 10:30. Streaming online. KRBS 107.1 FM in Oroville. Podcast of the live Zelbond session coming soon.

Afterwards, we got invited into the home of a family of Musicians
and got an amazing performance of original material and general warmthness, Thank You Too. The potential for the Oroville Music scene is BIG.

We hope to help make it a reality, yet again another long term project.

Before all of this, we spent the day with Ms. Mahanna's 7th Grade classes at Sycamore School. Returning to my old stomping grounds was therapeutic at the very least. I remember walking around the open air halls with my friend Ramiro as he tried to find girls to make out with; I, feeling wired and distant, dreaming of Depeche Mode.

We brought most of our gear and laid it out on a table so that the kids could see our art and filmaking tools. Needless to say, they went straight for the cameras and started to take pictures of each other. They also delighted us with some skits about jewelry store thefts and muggings. Somewhere in between we gave an off the wall talk about the wonders of life in a small town.

( !@!%?)

We'll be back again.

Dream of the Falling Party

We were at someone’s "apartment" located in a tall building. It was called an apartment, though it was more like a giant structure made of 4x4s, a skeletal edifice of painted brown wood, the color of the wooden steps at the mobile home. We climbed to the top, or took an elevator. Everyone had to be careful and balance on the wooden skeleton. At the top, a very precarious party. I dont' remember much about the girl who was throwing it, except that she was white, had brown hair. Despite the danger, everyone was having fun fun fun.

Then the structure collapsed. It happened slowly, it gave plenty of time for everyone to brace themselves. I remember gathering my equipment close to me. I did a practice jump, and then I timed it just right just before we all landed. I remember 'Cardito shouting with joy when we realized we were all still alive.

Our equipment however did not survive. We were completely ruined, stressed. I remember looking at my bolex, beat up beyond repair. We felt some resentment toward the girl who’s apartment it was: why'd she have the party there, anyway? Then she called us over and faced us, saying frankly: “none of us really want to talk about what happened up there, but we have insurance for your equipment.” Vindication.

Nov 2, 2006

Gridley and Friends.

General Wandering and photographing. Finally finished watching Batalla en el cielo, hold on tight, don't fall over when the tension breaks...

Eventually we ended up in the Farm Labor Camp in Gridley late at night. It felt a little strange being there after dark, walking around and look for the danzantes that invited us. When we finally found the place where they practice, we realized that it must have been cancelled due to the heavy rain that had pounded the Valley all day –sending farm laborers home in time for lunch and a rare afternoon with the family.

When I lived in El Campo many years ago, we managed to keep busy, but what little art and music there might have been was a far 6 miles into town. Back then, as a child walking a mile to the nearest market took a full hour or so, the rest of the trip was not an option for me, so we would walk back to our sunken homestead with our bags of chips and pepsis in hand. Now that this community is gaining access to this type of art and dance culture many great things are at hand.

El campo is a special place, here you can find backyard weddings, palletas de arroz, bootleg Tears For Fears tapes that play both sides at once, discount clothes sold out of vans, small pets, directTV, a hopeful levee, garbage pail kids and an old carving in a tree that I made when I was 7. ( I couldn't make out my primitive markings, but lets just imagine it says "OAXACA")


Oct 31, 2006

he’s standing on Frog Road looking at a tractor driver till a prune orchard. he waves at the tractor operator, driver waves back. it’s late october, all the prunes have been shaken off, sorted, processed, dried. The peach picking is also long over—the only thing left, according to the pickers on ninos heroes rd., are Kiwis and of course Walnuts. It’s 4pm and mexicanos are working, driving tractors.

frog road is adjacent to an irrigation ditch; he’s being attacked by ten slow mosquitos. In years past he’s spotted in the ditch: carp, crawdads. In still younger days, he’d wade into the ditch with Brother Jordan and Afsheen, catch crawdads, play with them until they died. Once he heard of a way to feed them and eat them so you wouldn’t get sick.

In the distance su carnal Glue Dobbs emerges around a bend, camera in hand. Juan Cicada takes a picture of him coming down the road with his plastic green and yellow camera:
“What’s the dealio, chamelio?” Cicada shouts.
“I backed the truck into a rock!” Glue likes to tell stories. He once had Cicada convinced that he peed his pants just so he could avoid going into McDonald’s. “The neighbors came out and looked. I think they called the cops.” the facts don't always match up but taht doesn't mean he's not telling the truth

where are we? where we are.

Today. We drifted down Concow Rd. towards the end of the world.

Oct 29, 2006

Luiseño Films y que?

Juan Cicada and Glue Dobbs outted live on the air?

Yes it is true. 90.1 fm KZFR dj Smiley introduced us the North Valley on his "Cultural Roots of Aztlan" radio program friday night. Despite the 80 thousand things on our minds; we had few words to say. But it was good being in the mix with the late night KZFR crew during the pledge drive, I even got a call from a fellow Grid-town native, sup Indiana Street Juan.

Besides that, as we started working on a commercial for the zeph' we managed to run into a few long-lost friends and random hippies at the KZFR costume crawl in Chico last night, for a few hundred moments, I felt like I was in Heaven, or Alaska ( I've yet to decide since I have not been to either).

Too good.

The next morning we found ourselves driving back up the historic 99 towards Chico again, on our way to the station again to introduce ourselves to Washington Quezada, host of "The Trip". Needless to say, he welcomed us in the station and on the air again. Since it is pledge drive time at the station we decided to offer as premiums, a set of portraits in the homes of the donor. We got three pledges within a few minutes and one call from another long lost friend and teacher who just happened to be mousing around on the lower edges of the fm spectrum. Too good, again.

As things begin to pick-up, we take more time to think and roam. Excuse the dust on our website, multi-tasking can be heartbreaking.

Being as this is our first official blog post, I would like to recognize a few of the new friends along the way;

The Walnut shakers and movers and sorters and fathers and sons and daughters and mothers and aunts and uncles, you make for fine human beings. The Kiwi pickers, if I can step in and do one thing besides follow you around with a camera I will.

RIP Bradley Will

~Glue Dobbs