Wednesday, December 19, 2018

18 for 2018: My Favorite (Mostly) Indie Music Releases of the Year

Why do we make lists? Why do we rank things that are 100% subjective? Why am I writing this article?

It would take too long to answer the first two questions, but the third one is easy. I hear music that I enjoy, and I like it when other people discover that music through my recommendations. So, as I often do as the year dwindles to an end, here are 18 music releases that I enjoyed over the course of 2018. Most of them would be classified as "indie" music, aka music that was released independently of large record labels and didn't get much attention beyond the underground music scene. No single genre is favored, though I'm kind of a rock guy (as opposed to hip hop or country or polka or whatever). I tend to like stuff that gets lumped into the "alternative" category, though the only meaning of that word seems to be "stuff that you almost certainly won't hear on pop radio". It ranges from fairly straightforward indie rock to super experimental stuff. I've included a song sample for each release, though it would behoove you -- assuming you enjoy the sample tune -- to check out the full albums if possible, all of which were released in 2018.

Anyway, enjoy. Note: these are presented in alphabetical order only; the whole "ranking of art thing" irks me.




Beak>: > > >

Invada Records/Temporary Residence

Yes, their name is Beak>. Yes, their album title is the rather unsearchable > > >. They're a Bristol, UK-based band that includes a member of Portishead, and like most of the music I enjoy, they're weird (or at least their sounds are weird; I know nothing about them personally). The song "Brean Down" had an immediate appeal to me when it was released in July. I don't know how to classify it genre-wise, and perhaps that's for the best.


The Bevis Frond: We’re Your Friends, Man

Fire Records

So, this is kind of funny, I guess. While perusing new music with Christina one morning, I came upon this release by a London-based band called The Bevis Frond. I'd never heard of them before and initially assumed they were a new artist. Then I started doing a little research and discovered that their origins go all the way back to the late '60s. This band that I thought was new is literally older than me. As my friend Jim said when I professed my discovery of them, "Damn Zak... welcome to 1988!" Anyway, their new album that was release just a couple of weeks ago is absolutely great, and I want to be sure that more people don't do what I did, which was to sleep on their excellent band.


Childish Gambino: “This Is America”

mcDJ/RCA

This would not be an indie release, or an album like the other items on this list. I mean, it's pretty much the opposite; it has four Grammy nominations including song and record of the year. No, it's on this list simply because this would be an Important Fucking Song, a single that a huge impact and will be remembered as one of the most defining songs of 2018. As of the moment, this video has 445,809,752 views on YouTube, but its importance isn't really about its popularity. It was back in May, when 'Bino's alter-ego Donald Glover did double duty as the host and musical guest on SNL, and simultaneously released this song that addresses aspects of being black and dealing with gun violence in the USA, and the message of "This Is America" was widespread and eye-opening for a wide swath of the population going far beyond the hip hop community. The video itself is a work of art on its own, directed by Hiro Murai, and it's unthinkable that I'd put out a year-end list and leave this off. By the way, the song is also great on its own.


Dungen + Woods: Myths 003

Mexican Summer

I've enjoyed the music of Dungen, a Swedish psychedelic folk band for quite awhile. I'd appreciated the work of Brooklyn-based folk rockers Woods, though never considered myself a huge fan. But this album where the two like-minded groups got together was like putting chocolate with peanut butter and creating a delicious and sweet musical snack. The two bands are label mates and friends, and knocked out this album in a week while both bands were in Marfa, TX for a festival. I like it.


Hanterhir: The Saving of Caden

Easy Action

Hantehir is another UK-based psych folk band -- I mean, these lists are deeply influenced by the individual tastes of the list makers, right? -- and I enjoyed them from the moment I heard them when this album was released in June. This release takes the extra step of being a 21-song concept album in both English and Cornish. I genuinely don't know as much as I should about Cornwall or any Celtic ethnic groups. It all seems very interesting, and the album's theme -- a boy who tries to drown himself in a lake but is saved by a cursed spirit -- is pretty geektacular. The music is adventurous, the band has a story to tell, and it doesn't sound like anything but itself. What's not to like?


Sean Henry: Fink

Double Double Whammy

Every year, I stumble onto some guy with a somewhat bizarre voice and an interesting sound... think Connan Mockasin or Jib Kidder. I really enjoy what Sean does on Fink. It's fuzzy guitar-driven but also soft; it throws in some odd time signatures while remaining poppy; it has ambivalence of being simultaneously silly and sad. This is his debut studio album, and I'd like to think he'll continue to mature as an artist (and hope that said growth doesn't cause him to lose the vibe that he offers on this album). Here's something odd; for whatever reason, I don't find Fink to be particularly likable, but I do find it relatable, which probably says more about me than it does about the album.


Julia Holter: Aviary

Domino Recording Company

I said up top that I wasn't going to rank the releases on this list. That having been said, Aviary by Julia Holter is one of the most amazing and unique musical listening experiences of my life. It's so good that I almost can't listen to it. Hearing what a true modern avant-garde artist can do can be slightly depressing for me, as I inevitably compare my level of talent and musical adventurousness to hers. But every track on this double album is mind-blowingly beautiful and lush, and it certainly qualifies as one of the best of 2018. I'm definitely not alone in this opinion; Aviary made many year-end best-of lists, and Julia deserves every possible accolade she gets from this album and everything else she does.


Jo Passed: Their Prime

Sub Pop

My enjoyment of bands that don't try too hard (or at all) to pretty-up their sounds has been around for a long time, going back to Sonic Youth, the Pixies, and many others. Their Prime is the debut album of Jo Passed, a band from Vancouver. Its sounds are ambitious while remaining grungy, making them rather classically appropriate for their label Sub Pop. I found it genuinely enjoyable, though if I had to pare down this list by one, this would probably be the album on the chopping block. Sorry kids. Still good, though!


Adrianne Lenker: abysskiss

Saddle Creek

Here's another example of how not to overthink an album. Adrianne Lenker recorded abysskiss in a week or so, and it's sweet and pastoral, with really well-performed acoustic guitar. I like the sparse production that allows the song to be the star. I am not familiar with Adrianne's band Big Thief, but I certainly intend on checking out their albums after having discovered her first solo piece when it was released in October. Really nice, contemporary yet timeless singer-songwriter stuff here.


The Love Language: Baby Grand

Merge Records

It's funny; I have an entire mental category of music that I call "KCRW music". KCRW is our local NPR affiliate here in the Los Angeles area, and they are definitely one of the most highly influential radio stations in the world for breaking new music. That having been said, there is a particular vibe that seems to cross over regardless of which DJ is spinning records, and The Love Language's Baby Grand definitely has that semi-indescribable vibe. Bubbly synths meet textured guitars and great lyrics. I can't help but like it.


Metric: Art of Doubt

Metric Music International

The second Canadian band on this year's list, Metric's Art of Doubt is perhaps the most straightforward rock band I've chosen to highlight for 2018. Reminiscent of other great female-fronted rock/pop crossovers like Blondie and Garbage, I've always enjoyed the band, but there are certain aspects of darkness ni the album's songwriting and production that I was drawn to for this release. That, and Emily Haines just sounds fucking great. Enough said.


Mitski: Be The Cowboy

Dead Oceans

I usually prefer to feature artists on my year-end lists that the majority of people have yet to discover. That may still be the case with Mitski, but in my musical circles, this album was toward the top of just about every "best albums of 2018" list. Like, just about everywhere from Pitchfork (#1) to Paste (#6) to Consequence of Sound (#1) to... well, you get the idea. Something that matters only to me: I discovered Mitski's music in 2016, when my band They Stole My Crayon released our debut which did fairly well, and I was looking at other releases at the time that were also getting noticed via Bandcamp, and her previous album Puberty 2 was up there on the charts. I liked her then, but I was not prepared for Be The Cowboy, which is one of the most impressive collections of indie rock music I've heard in a long time.


Mount Eerie: Now Only

P.W. Elverum & Sun

The story of Phil Elverum and Mount Eerie goes back aways. He was the frontman and main songwriter for the Microphones starting in the '90s, and switched the name of the band to Mount Eerie in the early 2000s. I've enjoyed his stuff off and on for quite awhile, but Now Only is a masterful collection of singer-songwriter tunes, full of acoustic beauty and vulnerability. It's a sad album, but it doesn't dwell too deeply in its melancholy vibe. A great album for a rainy day and feelings of introspection.


Jeff Tweedy: Warm

dBpm Records

"Warm" is a good description of Jeff Tweedy himself, as well as the happy familiarity of his voice after many years of enjoying him in Wilco and Uncle Tupelo. I enjoyed the hell out of Sukierae, the album he did with his son Spencer in 2014. Warm, his first solo album of entirely new material, is apparently a companion piece to Jeff's recently-released memoir that I haven't gotten around to reading yet (but will). I can imagine sitting on a patio of a rented cabin in Joshua Tree on a spring day and putting this album on and eating nachos while watching lizards scurrying by. I may do exactly this at the next opportunity.


Kurt Vile: Bottle It In

Matador

This is, perhaps, the only artist/band on this year's list of whom I've been a massive fanboy at an embarrassing level for a long, long time. As a performer, I've covered Kurt far more than any other indie artist, to the point that there are probably hundreds of people who could sing along with songs like "Never Run Away", "Shame Chamber", and "Pretty Pimpin" who have never heard Kurt's versions of those tunes... just mine. You're welcome, buddy. Also, I adored Kurt's 2017 Lotta Sea Lice collaboration with Courtney Barnett, and we saw them do that album live last year, which was awesome. I always get a bit nervous that the artists who I really enjoy are going to fuck things up out of boredom or bad influence, but Bottle It In is exactly what I was expecting from a new KV album. It's totally enjoyable and laid back, and continues to show that when you have artists who are driven by the same sounds that drive you, nothing but good things happen.


Kamasi Washington: Heaven and Earth

Young Turks

I was a somewhat early passenger on the Kamasi Washington train, having taken notice of him as a sideman on albums by Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus before he released his label debut album The Epic in 2015. I first heard some of the material for Heaven and Earth while watching the live stream from Coachella last spring, and knew that this was going to be something special. At this point, I have a slight amount of that silly hipster resentment, with a bunch of people in both the jazz and pop worlds suddenly finding out about this guy (and trust me, this album is on many of the world's "best of" lists at this point). But there's no denying his special skills as a writer and, above all, a performer on the tenor sax who will be regarded as one of the innovators of jazz for years to come.


Erika Wennerstrom: Sweet Unknown

Partisan Records

Here's a case -- it happens sometimes -- where someone comes out of a band I'd never heard of, but I get totally into that person's solo material. Apparently, Erika Wennerstrom was in a band out of Cincinnati called Heartless Bastards (whom I should probably check out retroactively), and did this solo album, her first, during a hiatus. It was released in March, and I love it. I love her songs, I love the guitar tones, I love the organic vibe... but most of all, I fucking love her voice. The songs aren't particularly challenging to listen to, but that's cool. I'd put this on and drive through the desert in the late afternoon as the shadows grow long and the sun dips down over the rocky horizon.


Yawning Man: The Revolt Against Tired Noises

Heavy Psych Sounds

To have any clue about Yawning Man, you first have to familiarize yourself with an entire scene of music that is called either Desert Rock or Stoner Rock. Tons of bands that came from that scene or were influenced by it, like Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Fu Manchu and many more, were first inspired by Yawning Man. Here's the weird thing about them: they were playing at generator parties in the SoCal desert going back to the mid-'80s and were a great live band, but never put out a studio album until 2005. We got to see Yawning Man's frontman, Mario Lalli, as part of his other band Fatso Jetson at Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneertown a few years back, and it was a remarkable experience. Anyway, The Revolt Against Tired Noises is a case where the album title lives up to its name. Plus, it includes "Catamaran", a song that Kyuss covered and released in 1995, and has only previously been available by Yawning Man on nearly unlistenable noisy cassette tapes. Hallelujah!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Zak's Autumn Playlist 2018 - Episode 13

Well, here we are, together at the end. This is the 13th and final episode for my 2018 "Autumn Playlist". Next weekend will be the official beginning of winter, which will obviously make my fall music curation project a thing of the past, at least until next year. But looking over the whole thing, it's a pretty damn good list of 65 tunes in total, and hopefully includes some you already enjoy and some you might not have heard if not for this little project of mine. In any case, here are our last five tunes, presented in chronological order as we've done each week of the season.

ICYMI...
EP 1EP 2EP 3EP 4EP 5EP 6EP 7 • EP 8EP 9EP 10EP 11EP 12

1. Claude Debussy: “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” (1910)




2. Kings of Convenience: “Misread” (2004)




3. Songs: Ohia: “Farewell Transmission” (2003)




4. Fight Cloud: “No Grain, No Pain” (2013)




5. Ultimate Painting: “Song for Brian Jones” (2016)


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Zak's Autumn Playlist 2018 - Episode 12

We're coming close to the completion of our little journey down this musical path of songs that have an autumnal feel to me. Next week is week 13, the final episode; the following week will be the official start of winter and this playlist will have ended. I've found that I look forward to the routine of waking up on Saturday mornings and selecting the songs for this musical collection, and will miss it when it's over. An interesting thing I've noticed, looking through the various songs that made my list: there's certainly no single genre or even specific musical feel that defines all of these songs. Even I, who curated this whole thing, couldn't tell you precisely why some of these songs are on here. But here they are. Anyway... five songs in chronological order that give me a fall feel. Enjoy.

ICYMI...
EP 1EP 2EP 3EP 4EP 5EP 6EP 7 • EP 8EP 9EP 10EP 11

1. Hank Williams: “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (1949)




2. Nick Drake: “Pink Moon” (1972)




3. Neil Young: “Philadelphia” (1993)




4. Alice in Chains: “I Stay Away” (1994)




5. Radiohead: “Daydreaming” (2016)


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Serenity Gardens (12.03.18)

Doing December tunes at Serenity Gardens. Photo by Kat.

Last night's show at Serenity Gardens in Second Life was quite good, as most of them are. Before I talk about that, I want to mention something about the upcoming changes to Tumblr, the blogging platform.

It's sort of funny that I'm here on Google's blogging platform (Blogger) to mention something about a competing service, I suppose, but many people use multiple forms of blogging and social media for different purposes. Some of that is due to the nature of the platform itself. Twitter, for example, with its character limitation and ways of reaching followers, is very different from Facebook, which is in turn very different from Instagram. Tumblr, for those unaware, is set up sort of like Twitter (minus the character limits), with a dashboard that allows you to scroll through the feeds of any account you follow, arranged chronologically, with lots of content being re-blogged between users. Tumblr posts can be liked, shared, and commented on. It allows for longer text-based posts (like Facebook) and inclusion of images (like Instagram) and videos (like YouTube). That combination of features has made it ideal for what has become a sizable base of users... various kinds of artists, and people who enjoy NSFW content, aka porn. And yesterday, Tumblr made the announcement about upcoming changes in its community guidelines that will essentially remove all NSFW content on December 17.

Making a judgement on Tumblr's new community guidelines doesn't seem to have a right or wrong answer.

To backtrack a moment and give this some business context, Tumblr (like many online properties) started as an independent entity. This happens a lot. YouTube was a standalone platform until Google wrote them a big enough check to allow themselves top be absorbed under that corporate umbrella. Instagram was already successful when they were acquired by Facebook. Up until not that long ago, Tumblr also stood alone... but then they were bought by Yahoo, who was in turn bought by Verizon, who set up a subdivision called Oath to handle their digital content business. What does a company like Verizon want? To make money... duh. And how does a publicly-traded corporation make money? Via investment in their stock. So let's say you're Verizon, and you end up owning this blogging platform, and you find out that a huge portion of its existing content is user-created porn, and that your goal of encouraging investment is perhaps somewhat hampered due to the public's uneasiness about investing in what's essentially a giant porn site, with almost 450 million blogs and over 500 million monthly visitors. What do you do?

You probably do what Verizon has done, which seems fairly obvious... tell the users that there's a new set of guidelines that doesn't allow for the type of content they've been creating and posting. To be clear, I'm not here to make some argument in favor of porn. Especially in previous times, pornography has been inherently problematic on multiple levels, and that's been true of Tumblr as well, with instances of child porn and other aspects of adult content that are socially unacceptable and sometimes illegal. However, per many reports in the case of Tumblr, over the years it's become a sort of safe haven for consenting adults and the sorts of victimless porn that is not in any way against the law. An article from the BBC says it well:

"Unlike typical pornography sites, which overwhelmingly cater to men, and serve an often narrow definition of what is attractive, Tumblr has been a home for something else - content tailored at vibrant LGBT communities, or for those with tastes you might not necessarily share with all your friends.

If society deems it acceptable for any porn to be on the internet, then that acceptance must surely be inclusive. Unlike most of those other sites Mr D’Onofrio speaks of, Tumblr has been a space where different body types are sexually celebrated, not degraded."

Again, to be very clear, I'm not advocating for any kind of pornography. But what has grown from Tumblr is an interesting, almost unique case. There are entire communities there of people who find similar sexual interests, with a much larger percentage of female users than is typical in porn, who feel like the platform has been a safe haven for them to express themselves in ways that would not be possible otherwise. Those people will either find new sites that are more focused on adult content, or abandon that aspect of their lives altogether. The other aspect of this change would be funny, if it wasn't sort of sad. The algorithms being used to scan the millions and millions of posts of all Tumblr blogs is misidentifying many images as being against community guidelines... things that have absolutely nothing to do with porn at all. The ironic end result is that in the effort to make Tumblr more appealing to investors, Verizon/Oath may inadvertently end up removing the value of the platform's content and killing it entirely. As the same BBC article concluded, "That change means marginalised people, those who are all-too-used to being ostracised in their offline lives, now face it in their online space too. Some of the internet’s most-needed communities are now homeless."

Didn't You Have a Show?
Ah yes, the show. Over the weekend, as I often do before my bi-weekly shows at Serenity Gardens, I took a look at my set list and decided to a) make some additions and b) pull out some tunes that are only appropriate to play at this time of year, and I think that worked out very well at last night's show. I also had an unplanned moment of hilarity when I got a request for my silly cat-themed song "Pickles", but hadn't intended for it to be in my set, so I ended up doing a live mashup of that song with "Holly Jolly Christmas" and that was about as ridiculous as it seems it would be.

"Have a holly jolly... Pickles?" Photo by Kat.

Ilsa does a remarkable job of keeping the decor seasonally appropriate at Serenity Gardens. Photo by Kat.

Serenity Gardens set list...
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
River (Joni Mitchell)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Here’s Where the Story Ends (The Sundays)
*Badge (Cream)
The Crystal Ship (The Doors)
Blew the Dust Away (They Stole My Crayon)
Among the Leaves (Sun Kil Moon)
*Time in a Bottle (Jim Croce)
*Holly Jolly Pickles (Burl Ives/Zak Claxton)
Where Are We Now? (David Bowie)
Long December (Counting Crows)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)
*Serenity Improv #792 (Zak Claxton)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Gigantic thanks to all who came out to Serenity Gardens and had a good time, with special kudos to the following people who helped support the show!
Kat Chauveau, go2smoky Resident, Asimia Heron, Tyche Szondi, Kat Claxton, TheaDee Resident, Aurelie Chenaux, my superb manager Maali Beck, and the fabulous team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Zak's Autumn Playlist 2018 - Episode 11

How is it December already? Look, I understand the elastic nature of time as much as anyone, but this year really flew by. I'd say that as we get closer to wrapping up 2018, I'm more confident and optimistic about the upcoming year than I was about the one that's nearly over. Speaking of nearly over, this is week 11 of my fun little Autumn Playlist project, meaning there are just two episodes left before I run out of fall, and that will be the end of this little music curation exercise. Below, five songs in chronological order that have the feel of the season.

ICYMI...
EP 1EP 2EP 3EP 4EP 5EP 6EP 7 • EP 8EP 9EP 10

1. Joni Mitchell: “A Case of You” (1971)




2. Steve Earle: “Pancho & Lefty” (2009)




3. Ducktails: “Hamilton Road” (2011)




4. German Error Message: “Everything Is Scary” (2014)




5. They Stole My Crayon: “Things Under Trees” (2016)


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Zak's Autumn Playlist 2018 - Episode 10

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now we're in the midst of that weird weekend where you've been eating for a couple of days, and society is telling you that you should be shopping or something. It seems quieter than usual for a Saturday morning. It's barely a week until December, somehow. Getting out of this bathrobe and into the shower feels like a chore, so why not delay that task and just drink coffee and post another five songs that have the feel of fall? Enjoy... just three weeks left until winter is upon us.

ICYMI...
EP 1EP 2EP 3EP 4EP 5EP 6EP 7 • EP 8EP 9

1. Vince Guaraldi: “Happiness Is” (1964)




2. Jim Croce: “Time In a Bottle” (1972)




3. Gravenhurst: “The Diver” (2003)




4. Beck: “Turn Away” (2014)




5. C Duncan: “For (Autumn Rebuild)” (2015)


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Serenity Gardens (11.19.18)

Throwing down the sweet rocking vibes at Serenity Gardens. Photo by Kat.

There's something I briefly mentioned not long ago in regard to my bi-weekly Monday evening shows at Serenity Gardens in Second Life: during the fall and winter, I am in direct competition from an entertainment standpoint to one of the USA's most powerful entities: the National Football League. Don't laugh; it's 100% true. Since debuting in 1970, MNF has been one of the highest-rated prime time programs on television. So, for my shows between September and January, I am fully aware that a certain percentage of people want to get home from work, put their feet up, and watch the game.

Do I blame them? Hell no! I've been a football fan since I was a little kid. I participate every year in football pools, and spend plenty of time discussing the sport with like-minded friends (I'm looking at you, Jess Smith, whom Christina calls my "football wife" due to our steady stream of NFL-related chats, often on Sundays). I've heard people say that folks who would be likely to be in Second Life aren't usually football fans. Guess what? That's not true. Like any cross-segment of the population, some are, and some aren't. So I am perfectly fine with accepting that some folks will want to watch the game instead of listening to me do live music, and that is perfectly fine.

Do I expect that more people will be interested in my little live music show than perhaps the best football game ever? No. No, I don't. Rams/Chiefs photo via Sports Illustrated.

The Attention Battle
As a performer of any sort, you are constantly in a battle for people's time and attention. Even among the segment of people who might really like my music, not everyone feels like sitting in front of a computer at all moments of their day. People like to read, spend time with their loved ones, watch TV, play video games, exercise, travel, go out to eat, and do creative stuff of their own. Also, even if you narrow the focus down to "people who happen to be in SL on a Monday night", I'm not the only musical performer playing shows at my time slot, and people might very well choose to see another show... or to build, or to socialize, or do things other than be at my show.

All of that is fine. I am not the type of person who views it as a competition. Whatever folks want to do is cool with me, and if they choose to check out my show and enjoy themselves, all the better. But not checking out my show is cool too. Do what you feel like doing! Life's too short to spend your free time doing things you don't really feel like doing. I'm always glad when people come to my show, because that means they chose to see me out of literally thousands of other things they could do at that moment. It's quite flattering, no matter if it's nine people or 90.

Me, in a sweater for some reason. Photo by Kat.

One thing (of many) that I admire about Serenity Gardens: Ilsa always changes up the decor to match the season, and the place always looks lovely. Photo by Kat.

Why Are You Writing About This?
Why am I writing about this? Because last night, as I strummed and sang for the folks at Serenity Gardens, there was what might be the most epic Monday Night Football game in history going on at the same time. If you haven't heard (or, in some cases, don't care), the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs went into the game as two of the top teams in football, both with 9-1 records. Everyone knew going in that this highly-anticipated game would be big, but few would have predicted it would end up being the highest-scoring game in MNF history, with a combined point total of 105 points (the Rams, perhaps due to home field advantage, ended up beating the Chiefs 54-51 in a hard-fought battle). Some people as of this morning are already calling it one of the greatest NFL games ever played.

I guess the reason I'm mentioning this is as follows: no matter what it is that you like to do, I never want anyone who comes to my shows to feel obligated to do so. If you have something else going on that you really enjoy, or some special event, or whatever... I will never be upset or annoyed that you don't come to every one of my shows! From time to time, I have people contact me to tell me that they had to miss the show for some reason or another, and that's nice of them to do so. But be aware: there has never, and never will be, a time that your presence at my show is an obligation. I won't be hurt by your absence. Quite the opposite: I'm grateful for each show you attend, whether it's every time or a few times a year. But it's never mandatory, and if there's something else going on that you feel like doing while I'm playing music, do that thing, and come to another show when you feel like hanging with me. It's all good, and I'll be happy to see you whenever you come around again.

I'm always happy for each and every person who takes the time to hang at my shows. Photo by Kat.

The Show
Ah yes, the show. It was a good one! I was in a somewhat silly mood, probably because my previous show was a bit more serious. We had a nice crowd at Serenity Gardens, and folks seemed to be enjoying my musical antics. I did manage to get one previously-unperformed cover song into the set, which was fun, along with a few rarities from my repertoire. My voice and guitar were both, for the most part, doing what I wanted them to do, which is always a bonus.

Serenity Gardens set list...
Airport Bar (Martin Courtney)
I’ve Been Waiting for You (Neil Young)
Rocket Man (Elton John)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
The Arrangement (Joni Mitchell)
Don’t Let It Pass (Junip)
*You Wreck Me (Tom Petty)
Box by the Cliff (They Stole My Crayon)
Everlong (Foo Fighters)
Long Time Gone (Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Tribute (Tenacious D)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Big thanks to the folks who weren't watching the game while I was rocking... especially the following who helped support the show!
Asimia Heron, Kat Chauveau, go2smoky Resident, Trouble Streeter, Eli Schlegal, Kat Claxton, Tyche Szondi, TheaDee Resident, my fine manager Maali Beck, and the fabulous team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Lutz City of Templemore (11.16.18)

Templemore is back, and I loved being up on that magical stage once again. Photo by Aurelie Chenaux.

It wasn't very long ago, maybe a month or two ago, that I noticed some cryptic photos posted on the Facebook page of my friend Luis Gonzales (aka Luis Lockjaw in Second Life). I didn't want to get my hopes up, but it seemed that he was doing a rebuild of his famous Templemore sim, an environment and live music venue that has been one of my personal favorites in all of SL for many years.

Templemore has opened and closed a few times, and I've never pressed Luis for the reasons why. I've gotten the idea that he's run into mental and emotional burnout at times. I also know Luis' real-life work keeps him extraordinarily busy, and the time and effort he puts into the place can probably be overwhelming. I will say -- as I've noted many times in this blog -- that his artistry as a designer of virtual environments is right there at the top, placing him among the best at this unique art form.

Photo by Aurelie Chenaux.

Anyway, as Luis continued posting pics, I was excited that Templemore was seemingly headed for another reboot. I wasn't even thinking about the possibility of performing there; I was just stoked that it was coming back. Then one day a couple of weeks ago, I glanced at my live show calendar that's maintained by my manager Maali Beck, and there, on Friday November 16, was a listing that said "Lutz City of Templemore Grand Opening". I understood right away that the new Templemore was a dedication to Garrett Lutz, a friend who passed away from ALS in August of 2017 -- I wrote about it at the time. At that moment, I knew I had to plan something special for this show.

I think two things happened when planning for this show. First was the selection of my set list. Garrett had been literally the only person in SL who seemed to be aware of Sun Kil Moon, an indie band I loved and covered occasionally. I purposely did a mini-set list of Sun Kil Moon songs just for Garrett, which -- at the opening night of a sim dedicated to his memory -- seemed to be entirely appropriate. Second was the posting of the artist lineup for the night; in addition to me, there was Anidia Huet, Gravey Jones, and Sassy Nitely (who, with the onset of a bout of pneumonia which I'm happy to say she seems to be recovering from, was replaced by the also-excellent Toxie Darkmatter). All of these people are super talented in their own unique ways, and being on a bill with them was inspiring for me to make sure I did as good a show as I'm capable of doing.

Photo by Aurelie Chenaux.

Photo by Aurelie Chenaux.

One other note... while Templemore is always a feast for the eyes, it's also a beast of a sim with tons of detailed textures, and I probably should have dialed back my own graphics settings before doing the show. I managed to not crash during my performance, which is good, but just getting my ass out to the stage was a nearly impossible task. I will tell you, it's totally worthwhile for the splendor and beauty of Templemore's design. I just had a couple of freak-out moments before my show when my streaming software was like, "Hmm, your computer seems pretty busy right now, so I'll just take about ten minutes to launch while the seconds are ticking down to the start of your show."

I took a quick screen cap while peeking out from backstage during Anidia's set...

... and made it through all four shows before this happened as I left to TP home.

Lutz City of Templemore set list...
Pink Moon (Nick Drake)
The Last Time I Saw Richard (Joni Mitchell)
Among the Leaves (Sun Kil Moon)
Carry Me Ohio (Sun Kil Moon)
Half Moon Bay (Sun Kil Moon)
So. Central Rain (R.E.M.)
If I Had a Tail (Queens of the Stone Age)
The Waiting Boy (Zak Claxton)
One of These Things First (Nick Drake)
*Don’t Let It Pass (Junip)
Bull Black Nova (Wilco)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Huge thanks to every person who came to the opening of Lutz City of Templemore last night, with special thanks to the generous folks who supported my show!
GraveyJones Resident, bblbabe Resident, Luis Lockjaw, Lunette Kyomoon, Asimia Heron, JimmySkat Canucci, Gideon McMillan, Lyxz Delicioso, J453A13x Resident, Tyche Szondi, Alex Zelin, Aurelie Chenaux, BrynnLynn Resident, my awesome manager Maali Beck, Templemore hostess Bee Blackrain, and the astoundingly talented dude who makes Templemore happen, Luis Lockjaw!

Zak's Autumn Playlist 2018 - Episode 9

It's already the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This season has been jamming along. The world is crazy, but at least my state is less on fire than it's been in recent weeks, and things seem to be settling down a bit after the Midterm elections. It's a nice weekend to chill and listen to some music. This week's selections aren't all in a traditional Fall vibe, but there's still an element of melancholia and introspection even in the harder-edged stuff. As usual, all five songs are presented in chronological order. Enjoy.

ICYMI...
EP 1EP 2EP 3EP 4EP 5EP 6EP 7 • EP 8

1. Carole King: “So Far Away” (1971)




2. Nirvana: “Pennyroyal Tea” (1993)




3. Broken Bells: “The High Road” (2010)




4. Mac DeMarco: “Treat Her Better” (2014)




5. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: “Over Everything” (2017)


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Zak's Autumn Playlist 2018 - Episode 8

It feel like a month has gone by since last Saturday morning when I posted the previous episode of my Autumn Playlist. If you look at all the things that have transpired since then, it almost seems impossible that only seven days have passed. Nevertheless, here we are, on a Saturday morning where the rising sun is tinted bright red via smoke from the still-raging fires here in Southern California. Hopefully this playlist will bring some mellow and introspective vibes to all who listen. Each week throughout Fall, you get five songs in chronological order that have, for me, the feel of the season. Here's Episode 8.

ICYMI...
EP 1EP 2EP 3EP 4EP 5EP 6EP 7

1. Elton John: “Your Song” (1970)




2. Desertshore: “The Town Alight” (1994)




3. Yo La Tango: “Our Way to Fall” (2000)




4. Junip: “Don't Let It Pass” (2010)




5. Joanna Newsom: “Sapokanikan" (2015)


Friday, November 9, 2018

"Nobody Is Above the Law" Protest in Torrance, CA (11.08.18)


This week has been, in a word, brutal.

Don't get me wrong; the blue wave that drove this year's Midterm Elections was fantastic, and the positive results are still flowing in. But despite the overwhelmingly positive outcome, the stress of leading up to election day and the intensity of following dozens and dozens of local, state, and federal races on Tuesday and throughout the week absolutely took its toll. Add to that yet another mass shooting here in Southern California, immediately followed by massive fires that drove many of my friends and their families from their homes, made it a tough week to get through. I mentioned to someone today that Monday seems like a month ago, and I meant it.

In the midst of all that, on Wednesday November 7, the morning after the elections, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to resign by the president. It wasn't entirely unexpected; if you've been following along, you were aware that staff changes were going to happen as soon as the Midterms were over. But another aspect of that firing/resignation was that the president put in an acting attorney general named Matt Whitaker. It is still very much in dispute as to whether Whitaker can legally act as AG, but one thing is clear: his conflict of interest places the Robert Mueller investigation of meddling in the 2016 election in jeopardy.

Christina and I feeling good about doing our duty to stand up for what's right.

Fortunately, this specific occasion was one for which we've been prepared for a long time... "we" being members of various action groups across the USA. Christina and I had signed up months ago for alerts in this regard, and now that the occasion to protest had indeed arrived, we were ready to mobilize on the spot. It's really incredible, if you think about it, that thousands and thousands of people in cities across the country would be willing to drop everything they were doing on a random Thursday evening with little notice, and get out into the streets to make our voices heard.


Rachel Maddow covers the nationwide protests on November 8, 2018.

On a side note, I frankly never thought I'd be in a position to be forced to give my support to public protests like the ones we've done in 2018. Last night's #ProtectMueller protest event was the third such one we've involved ourselves in this year, after the March For Our Lives rally in March and the Families Belong Together event in June. Do I think these things make a difference? Yes, and the more I've had direct involvement, the more I see how effective they are. The city of Torrance, where last night's event was held, has a somewhat conservative side compared to many local areas here in Southern California. However, I saw zero counter-protesters, and the number of attendees (over 400) and the cars driving by and honking to chow support both indicated to me that the prevailing feeling we shared was mutual among a good chunk of the community at large.

All we knew by way of instruction was that we'd be gathering on the northwest cover of Hawthorne and Sepulveda, near Del Amo Mall. We could see that there were a lot of people who'd RSVP'ed for the event, which wasn't very surprising; the location was central to residents of Torrance, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, and other South Bay cities. But you really never know what kind of turnout an event like this one would get until you get there, and while we arrived a few minutes before the start time of 5PM, there were already over a hundred people set up along Hawthorne Boulevard as we pulled up. The crowd swelled immediately after we got out of the Jeep and joined the action.

Some of the Indivisible team at the Torrance protest. Photo by Christina.

Roughly 400 people came out in our little suburban area at a moment's notice to protest the danger to the Mueller Probe. Photo by Christina.

Was this what I felt like doing at that moment? No. Hell no. I'd greatly prefer living in a world where protest wasn't necessary. I'd have rather spent my Thursday evening after a hellacious week relaxing at home. But am I glad I did it? Yes. Hell yes. And I can promise you that there are many other similar events planned across the US should certain circumstances call for them. I believe the movements against the immoral and often illegal actions of the president and his administration are really only gathering steam at the moment, and no matter where you are, you should count on seeing this kind of thing more and more over the next couple of years, if not longer.

And I'll be there supporting them. Count on that.

Protesters stretched as far as the eye could see along Hawthorne Boulevard. Photo by Twitter user @Betsy_Boyz.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Serenity Gardens (11.05.18)

I'm back! And so is my happy crowd at Serenity Gardens. Photo by Aurelie Chenaux.

The more sharp-eyed among you might have noticed that it's been about a month since I last wrote a report from one of my live shows. There's a reason for that.

I was scheduled to play my bi-weekly show at Serenity Gardens in Second Life on Monday October 22, but the moment I launched into my first song, it became very obvious that something was dreadfully wrong. "Something's wrong with the sound" are nearly the worst words that any virtual world or other remote performer can hear, second only to no sound coming out at all. I tried every way I knew to fix what was wrong, and frankly, we never did really determine why on that night, instead of my glistening guitar and mellifluous voice coming through folks' headphones and speakers, the tinny sound of a sad robot had somehow replaced me. After trying in vain to make it work -- and a very kind audience who hung out for some 20 minutes -- I had to admit that the show doesn't always go on. It was, to put it mildly, a massive bummer.

The following weekend, we tried some tests with my audio system, with the stream, and the same thing was happening. It became worrisome that something major was broken and that it might have ended up being an extended time before I was able to perform in the virtual world again. Finally, it was just last Saturday that I went through all of my system preferences, reset some data and audio cables, and more, and voila... we tested again and things seemed normal. That having been said, it was still a bit of a question mark until the beginning of last night's show, when I strummed a chord and the audience let me know that things were back to normal. Halle-fucking-lujah! I was so happy just to be able to be heard normally that my mood skyrocketed and the subsequent show was full of energy and positive vibes.

And Now, A Brief Interlude
I'm writing this post at 7AM on the morning of November 6, 2018. As most of my friends/fans/fam know, I have been an ardent supporter of causes that all seem to be in direct opposition to the current Republican administration. Despite all the polls and pundits, I really have no idea what the outcome of today's Midterm Elections will be. I will say only this: I am so very happy that all signs point to a very engaged populace who will likely shatter voting numbers for a non-presidential election year. I am hopeful that the results will be a positive step for the USA, but regardless of what ends up happening, I will always remain a fighter for what I know in my heart to be right, and will continue to support people who are marginalized in our world, and do what I can to protect the environment. It's going to be a pretty tense day for just about everyone, so I advise a) voting and b) remaining calm and focused on the end goal.

And Now, Back to the Show
For some reason, I was pretty convinced that we'd have a really small crowd at Serenity Gardens. A few friends had already indicated they wouldn't be able to make it there, and since it had been four weeks since my previous show, there's always a concern that she folks would find better things to do on a Monday night. I mean, I'm literally competing with the National Football League with shows on Monday evenings in the fall. But I was wrong; we had a large and happy crowd right from the start, and everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves. I know I did. I also whipped out a couple of tunes I'd never played before, and pulled out a couple that have been rarities in my set list.

Rocking and rolling the Zaksters. Photo by Aurelie Chenaux.

Tyche Szondi seemed to think the song "Pecan Pie" may have been about something beyond a simple delicious dessert. My fans have dirty minds. Photo by Aurelie Chenaux.

Serenity Gardens set list...
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
A Case of You (Joni Mitchell)
Space Oddity (David Bowie)
Tea in the Sahara (The Police)
*Pecan Pie (Golden Smog)
Wichita Lineman (Glen Campbell)
Thank U (Alanis Morissette)
Pickles (Zak Claxton)
*Boys in the Trees (Carly Simon)
Things Behind the Sun (Nick Drake)
Texarkana (R.E.M.)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Gigantic thanks to all who came out to the show, with special super thanks to the following who helped support it!
Galen Bookmite, Richy Nervous, Turn Pike, hynesyte Harbour, go2smoky Resident, Asimia Heron, Cordelia Cerise, Kat Chauveau, Jamerson Knoller, Aurelie Chenaux, Tyche Szondi, my great manager Maali Beck, and the fabulous team at Serenity Gardens, Tilly Rose and Ilsa Wilde!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Zak Claxton Endorses -- Part 2/2 -- Midterm Elections 2018 (House of Representatives, Senate, Governor Races)

While Part 1 of my endorsement report dealt with only the candidates and issues that were on my ballot here in Los Angeles County, CA, the list below is quite different. All of these are Democratic candidates in various areas across the USA in three major positions of government -- the House of Representatives, the Senate, and state Governorships -- who I feel have a potential for victory on Tuesday if enough people get out and vote. Some of these candidates may seem like a sure thing; some are admittedly somewhat long shots (but that can still mean they're within the margin of error with current polling techniques).

Regardless, I ONLY included candidates on this list who I feel have a completely realistic, legitimate chance of winning. Are there other candidates in tight races who could win (or not) who aren't on my list? 100% absolutely yes. I also may have easily overlooked some races in my research -- I'm not an expert at this stuff by any means. In any case, a) please, please, please vote on Tuesday, if you haven't done so already and b) take a look through the list below and if your area is included, be aware that your vote matters even more than I can possibly impart to you. Grab some friends in these last two days before the election and spread the word! Feel free to comment below. Zak also endorses free speech.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES


AK At Large: Alyse S. Galvin

AR-2: Clarke Tucker

AZ-2: Ann Kirkpatrick
AZ-8: Hiral Tipirneni

CA-10: Josh Harder
CA-25: Katie Hill
CA-39: Gil Cisneros
CA-45: Katie Porter
CA-48: Harley Rouda
CA-49: Mike Levin
CA-50: Ammar Campa-Najjar

CO-6: Jason Crow

FL-15: Kristen Carlson
FL-25:P Mary Barzee Flores
FL-26: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
FL-27: Donna Shalala

GA-6: Lucy McBath
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux

IA-3: Cindy Axne

IL-6: Sean Casten
IL-12: Brendan Kelly
IL-13: Betsy Dirksen Londrigan
IL-14: Lauren Underwood

KS-2: Paul Davis
KS-3: Sharice Davids

KY-6: Amy McGrath

ME-2: Jared Golden

MI-7: Gretchen Driskell
MI-8: Elissa Slotkin
MI-11: Haley Stevens

MN-1: Dan Feehan
MN-2: Angie Craig
MN-3: Dean Phillips
MN-8: Joe Radinovich

MT At Large: Kathleen Williams

NB-2: Kara Eastman

NC-9: Dan McCready
NC-13: Kathy Manning

NH-1: Chris Pappas

NJ-3: Andy Kim
NJ-7: Tom Malinowski
NJ-11: Mikie Sherrill

NM-2: Xochitl Torres Small

NV-3: Susie Lee
NV-4: Steven Horsford

NY-2: Liuba Grechen Shirley
NY-19: Antonio Delgado
NY-22: Anthony Brindisi

OH-12: Danny O’Connor

OK-5: Kendra Horn

OR-5: Kurt Schrader

PA-1: Scott Wallace
PA-7: Susan Wild

TX-7: Lizzie Pannill Fletcher
TX-23: Gina Ortiz Jones
TX-32: Colin Allred

UT-4: Ben McAdams

VA-2: Elaine Luria
VA-5: Leslie Cockburn
VA-7: Abigail Spanberger
VA-10: Jennifer Wexton

WA-8: Kim Schrier

WI-1: Randy Bryce
WI-6: Dan Kohl

SENATE


FL: Bill Nelson
IN: Joe Donnelly
MI: Debbie Stabenow
MO: Claire McCaskill
MS: Mike Espy
MT: Jon Tester
MN: Tina Smith
OH: Sherrod Brown
ND: Heidi Heitkamp
NJ: Robert Menendez
NV: Jacky Rosen
TN: Phil Bredesen
TX: Beto O’Rourke
VA: Tim Kaine
WV: Joe Manchin

GOVERNOR


CO: Jared Polis
CT: Ned Lamont
FL: Andrew Gillum
GA: Stacey Abrams
IA: Fred Hubbell
IL: JB Pritzker
KS: Laura Kelly
ME: Janet Mills
MI: Gretchen Whitmer
MN: Tim Walz
NH: Molly Kelly
NM: Michelle Lujan Grisham
NV: Steve Sisolak
OH: Richard Cordray
OK: Drew Edmondson
OR: Kate Brown
SD: Billie Sutton
WI: Tony Evers
VT: Christine Hallquist

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Zak's Autumn Playlist 2018 - Episode 7

What makes a Fall song? Sometimes it's purely the musical vibe, with Fall sounds being a little slower, quieter and more introspective than the other three seasons. Sometimes, though, it's just some association with the time of year, and that can vary a lot from person to person. Anyway, here's Episode 7 of my personal Autumn Playlist, with five songs presented in chronological order each week of the season. Enjoy!

ICYMI...
EP 1EP 2EP 3EP 4EP 5EP 6

1. Fred Rogers: “You Are Special” (1968)




2. R.E.M: “E-Bow the Letter” (1996)




3. Cat Power: “Say” (1998)




4. Unknown Mortal Orchestra: "Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)” (2013)




5. Robyn Hitchcock: “Autumn Sunglasses” (2017)


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Zak's Autumn Playlist 2018 - Episode 6

It's a super quiet, foggy Saturday morning here in Southern California. I think it's extra subdued after people were up late last night, watching the Dodgers pull off a win in the 18th inning of Game 3 of the World Series. In seasonal news, I am now able to wear flannels on a regular basis since the temps are in the 60s/low 70s here at the beach. I'm enjoying this. Anyway, here's this week's Autumn playlist... five songs of fall each week in chronological order. We're already at episode 6. Tempus fugit!

ICYMI...
EP 1EP 2EP 3EP 4EP 5

1. Miles Davis: “Blue In Green” (1959)




2. Lou Reed: “Perfect Day” (1972)




3. Slint: “Washer” (1991)




4. Kurt Vile: “Baby’s Arms” (2011)




5. Syd Arthur: “Forevermore” (2014)


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Zak's Autumn Playlist 2018 - Episode 5

The fall season is flying by; we're already at Episode 5 of this weekly playlist of songs that have an autumn feel. I think all the craziness going on around the country and the world as we get closer to the 2018 Midterm Elections might make it seem like time has sped into overdrive in some aspects. Anyway, enjoy Episode 5. Songs are listed weekly in chronological order.

ICYMI...
EP 1EP 2EP 3EP 4

1. Neil Young: “After the Gold Rush” (1970)




2. Tindersticks: “Tiny Tears” (1995)




3. Beth Orton: “Stolen Car” (1999)




4. Elliott Smith: “A Fond Farewell” (2004)




5. Weyes Blood: “Generation Why” (2016)


Monday, October 15, 2018

Zak Claxton Endorses -- Part 1/2 -- Midterm Elections 2018 (Los Angeles County, CA)

Dave Chappelle had a bit from a number of years ago about white people being very secretive about who they vote for. I won't repeat the good part verbatim, but it involved a guy being offended by being asked who he was voting for, then immediately turning around and openly talking about intimate details of his sex life with his wife. While I definitely support people's right to maintain privacy about their voting, it does strike me as odd that classically, it was of distasteful etiquette to inquire about someone else's voting choices. The more recent political environment of the past few years has changed that to some degree; people feel a need to be more forthcoming about their political views since the stakes seem much higher than before.

That having been said, there are plenty of circumstances where remaining private about your voting choices is very, very important. I know people who are married to very conservative spouses who would be very angry with them if they were aware that they were voting in the opposite direction as them (sorry for the anonymous pronoun game here, but I don't want to be the cause of busting anyone). I also know people who live in areas or work at companies that are highly swayed in one political outlook who vote in the opposite way, and those folks might run into serious danger if they allowed their voting record to be public. So trust me, I get it and support it.

But me? I'm very open about whom I support, and since I vote early via mail, my selections are literally signed, sealed, and delivered already. Therefore, I'm doing a two-part post that may help those of you who remain undecided to make some choices. Part 1, today's post, is for my California ballot here in Los Angeles County. It's who I actually voted for, along with the ballot measure I chose to support or disapprove. Part 2, perhaps more important on the large scale, will be a synopsis of candidates I support across the USA in various regions. That will be forthcoming.

Why Would You Care?
One other note: why should you care who I'm voting for? I'm just some guy, a random person whose words you occasionally read, a performer and songwriter whose music you may have heard. The answer: you shouldn't care. You should make these decisions for yourself. However, I will say that my choices are based on quite a lot of research, and I stay very up-to-date with news and information about issues that affect us locally, nationally, and globally. It should be fairly obvious that my votes below are supportive of a liberal/progressive view, and yet I still refuse to merely vote along party lines. I would gladly vote for a Republican candidate if I truly felt he or she was the better choice, and if I didn't feel doing so would help legitimize the current GOP administration.

Here are my choices. You are welcome to ask me about the reasons for my decisions in the comments below.

STATE:
Governor: Gavin Newsom
Lt. Gov: Eleni Kounalakis
Sec of State: Alex Padilla
Controller: Betty Yee
Treasurer: Fiona Ma
Atty General: Xavier Becerra
Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara
State Board of Equalization (3rd District): Tony Vazquez

US SENATOR:
Kevin De Leon

US REPRESENTATIVE (33rd District):
Ted Lieu

STATE SENATOR (26th District):
Ben Allen

STATE ASSEMBLY (66th District):
Al Muratsuchi

JUDICIAL:
"Yes" to all except for Carol A. Corrigan.

JUDICIAL ELECTED:
Superior Court Office 4: A. Veronica Sauceda
Superior Court Office 16: Patti Hunter
Superior Court Office 60: Holly L. Hancock
Superior Court Office 113: Javier Perez

SCHOOL:
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony K. Thurmond

COUNTY:
Assessor: Jeffrey Prang
Sheriff: Alex Villanueva

STATE MEASURES:
Measure 1 (Bonds for housing programs and veterans’ home loans): Yes
Measure 2 (Bonds for homelessness prevention housing): Yes
Measure 3 (Bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects): No
Measure 4 (Bonds for children’s hospitals): Yes
Measure 5 (Taxes for home buyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments): No
Measure 6 (Repeals 2017’s fuel tax and vehicle fee increases): No
Measure 7 (Permanent daylight saving time): No
Measure 8 (Requires dialysis clinics to issue refunds for revenue above a certain amount): No
Measure 10 (Allows local governments to regulate rent): Yes
Measure 11 (Ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during breaks): No
Measure 12 (Bans sale of meat from animals confined in spaces below specific sizes): Yes

COUNTY MEASURES:
Measure W (Capture, clean and save up to 100 billion gallons of rain each year): Yes

DISTRICT:
Beach Cities Health District Board of Directors: Noel Lee Chun, Michelle Anne Bholat
Beach Cities Health District Special Election: Andrea N. Giancoli