The Dead Kenny Gs Announce 'Operation Long Leash'

Combustible punk jazz trio, The Dead Kenny Gs, featuring saxophonist Skerik, bassist Brad Houser and drummer/percussionist/vibraphonist Mike Dillon, have announced the release of Operation Long Leash due March 15 on Royal Potato Family. Recorded in December at Stone Gossard's Studio Litho in Seattle with engineer Randall Dunn (Cave Singers, Black Mountain, Boris), the band conceived the majority of the material while on the road last summer with Primus, Gogol Bordello and Garage A Trois. The release of Operation Long Leash is surrounded by a 15-date tour that begins in New Orleans and heads north up the East Coast.

If the moniker Dead Kenny Gs doesn’t say it all at first glance, an initial listen to the latest album quickly makes their intentions clear. The trio is committed to musical subversion of the highest order. Exploring a muso obsession of musical styles and sonic colors, The Dead Kenny Gs have both the courage and the chops to realize their wildest aural fantasies. One moment they draw inspiration from punk legends The Minutemen, while the next finds them embracing the spirit of jazz giant Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and still another the influence of indie rock progenitors Deerhoof; yet always remaining purely DKGs. It’s not just music informing the band’s voice either, but an obsession with political conspiracy in American history. The album’s title, Operation Long Leash, comes from the clandestine CIA operation in the late ‘40s to fund Abstract Expressionism as a means for Western culture to undermine the conformist ideals of the Soviet Union during the early years of the Cold War.

Operation Long Leash opens with the sprawling instrumental art rock "Devil's Playground" followed by the skewed go-go funk of "Black Truman (Harry The Hottentot)," featuring special guest Charlie Hunter on guitar. Over the course of the album's ten tracks, they'll blast through avant instrumental punk rockers spiked with Balkan and Klezmer music like "Melvin Jones" and "Sweatbox." The experimental doom metal dirge "Black Death" includes a cathartic lyrical onslaught from Mike D. that turns his past struggles with heroin into a metaphor for the Gulf Coast oil spill and the United States' addiction to oil. In the hands of these three musicians, the disparate  elements coalesce into a complete vision, fearless in its creation and explosive upon arrival. In the words of Skerik: "Dead Kenny Gs is what happens when people listen to Bad Brains and Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sunn O))) and Milt Jackson, Dead Kennedys and John Coltrane, Melt Banana and Fela Kuti."

Listen to "Devil's Playground"

Listen to "Black Truman (Harry The Hottentot)"


Tour Dates:

March 4 | D.B.A. | New Orleans, LA
March 5 | Donna's | New Orleans, LA
March 7 | Engine Room | Tallahassee, FL
March 8 | Pour House | Charleston, SC
March 9 | Five Spot | Atlanta, GA
March 10 | Mo Daddy’s | Asheville, NC
March 11 | Cosmic Charlie's | Lexington, KY
March 12 | Rex Theater | Pittsburgh, PA
March 13 | Beachland Tavern | Cleveland, OH
March 14 | Bullfrog Brewery | Williamsport, PA
March 16 | The Dover Brick House | Dover, NH
March 17 | Brooklyn Bowl | New York, NY
March 18 | North Star | Philadelphia, PA
March 19 | The Jewish Mother | Norfolk, VA
March 20 | Martin's Downtown | Roanoke, VA

Stop Arctic Drilling From Harming Polar Bears

The Chukchi Sea off the northwest coast of Alaska is home to one of America's two populations of threatened polar bears and the only population of Pacific walrus. These great species of the Chukchi are losing their sea-ice habitat at an alarming rate, but that's not the only thing they have to worry about: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar wants to let Big Oil drill in their home.

This summer, thanks to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and our allies, a federal court directed Secretary Salazar to redo the analysis of the environmental impacts of a massive Bush-era oil and gas lease sale in the Chukchi Sea.

But now, just two months later, Salazar has issued a draft document that leaves unanswered hundreds of questions about the impacts of drilling in the Arctic Ocean -- and the potential threat of a spill in those waters.

Don't let Secretary Salazar oil the Arctic. Please act now to tell Salazar that vulnerable Arctic species deserve better than his rushed and incomplete environmental analysis.

Click here to find out more and to take action.

Tell President Obama to increase fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks

Every day our cars and trucks guzzle an eye-popping 378 million gallons of gasoline, spewing millions of tons of global warming pollution into the air. This accounts for about 40 percent of U.S. oil consumption, with freight trucks adding another 14 percent.

Saving oil in transportation is crucial for reducing our perilous foreign energy dependence and addressing the climate challenge. Improving vehicle technology also would keep our domestic auto industry competitive in a world where fuel efficiency has become a significant advantage in the global marketplace.


Lots of great information about the Florida Keys, scuba diving, traveling, the horrible oil spill in the gulf and lots more good information can be found at Dennis and Maggie's blog.  Go check it out and let them know what you think.

here is an example of some of the materials you'll find on their blog:

I just submitted a story on what clean energy means to me, and you should too! The Sierra Club will collect all our stories and deliver them to the Senate with a message - "support the great local work Americans are doing across the country by passing strong, clean energy and climate legislation.  http://action.sierra club.org/mystory


Santa Barbara Celebrates Earth Day's 40th Anniversary with Earth Day Festival

On April 17-18, thousands of communities around the world will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. On the California Central Coast, the community of Santa Barbara, together with regional not-for-profit Community Environmental Council, lays claim to sparking the Earth Day movement forty years ago.

This year, 20,000 will gather for Santa Barbara’s Earth Day 40 Festival (www.SBEarthDay.org) on April 17-18. Under the apropos 2010 theme “Bringing It Home,” the celebration recognizes not only Earth Day’s 40th Birthday, but also the community’s own legacy of environmental stewardship.

For four decades, Santa Barbara has harnessed its mindful community members, innovative leaders, and abundant access to renewable energy resources to help lead the environmental movement. Today, with the ongoing support of the Community Environmental Council and its aggressive “Fossil Free by ’33” initiative, the community continues to serve as a model for how to move an entire region away from fossil fuels.

In 1969, the devastating images of a massive oil spill from an oil platform off Santa Barbara’s coast galvanized California into action and caught the attention of the rest of the nation, including Senator Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day. The resulting swell of outrage and concern gave rise to the first Earth Day in 1970, as well as to the creation of the Community Environmental Council – the largest and most established environmental organization in the region, and the host of Santa Barbara’s Earth Day 40 Festival.

Today, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) is leading a campaign to move Santa Barbara County away from fossil fuels in one generation – Fossil Free by ’33. This bold, regionally driven blueprint seeks to head off a nearly perfect storm of energy-related concerns, including rapidly diminishing oil supplies (“peak oil”), growing concern over our national security because of our dependence on foreign oil, volatile fuel prices, and climate change.

The Fossil Free campaign is particularly timely following the climate talks in Copenhagen last December, in which international leaders noted that more than half of the actions needed to address global warming will be led not by national or international policies, but through local initiatives and leadership.

“Copenhagen will likely be a central theme as communities around the world prepare for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day,” says CEC Assistant Director Sigrid Wright, noting that the collective international Earth Day events are expected to touch over a billion people. “We believe that climate change is the responsibility of every community to address and that Santa Barbara and California are out in front on this issue.”

In downtown Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Earth Day 40 Festival will offer real-world solutions, with participation by approximately 250 emerging green businesses, cutting edge technology vendors, and regional and national environmental organizations. Other features will include:

• a two-day amateur Green Shorts Film Festival,
• the largest known private
Green Car Show in the country, and
• a Green Home Pavilion – a re-enactment of a 1,200-square foot home, featuring the latest green construction materials, home décor products, and energy-saving appliances and technologies.

Earth Day brings us together to celebrate, recharge and focus our energies and resources on ending our dependence on fossil fuels,” says Wright.

“This is a pivotal time in history for the environmental movement because for the first time ever, being free of fossil fuels is actually within reach," says Wright. “The CEC and the community of Santa Barbara are committed to reaching this goal by 2033. The region has unique access to renewable energy resources – particularly the sun, wind and ocean. And, as history has shown, the size of the community – small enough change course with relative speed, yet large enough to matter when those changes are made - makes us poised to lead the charge."

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus Winter Tour

ULTRAVIOLET HIPPOPOTAMUS is an explosive six-piece jam rock band from Grand Rapids, MI with a rapidly growing fan base all over the MidWest and Colorado, as well as online with thousands of listeners nationwide. Recently described by Recoil Magazine as "one of Michigan's most promising bands," UV HIPPO mixes tight funky jams with new dance beats and strange effects for a killer musical experience. The band performs an eclectic array of composed and improvised original material, dancing between genres of funk, jazz, electronica, reggae, bluegrass, and progressive rock.

The Marquee Magazine " experiencing UV Hippo live, jam band fans are quickly reminded why they fell in love with thegenre’s sound in the first place..."

Detroit Free Press "... music Frank Zappa would be proud of..."

Lansing State Journal "UV Hippo is all the rage these days... and fans all over are hooked."

The word is out, and the band is seeing more and more repeat offenders traveling further distances to develop their MidWest following into a national sensation. With a solid foundation of dedicated fans
leading the way, UV HIPPO is embarking on their Winter 2010 Tour, returning to Pennsylvania and Iowa, performing for the first time in Kentucky and Missouri, spending some time in the MidWest and hitting
Colorado for the third time in nine months. UVH kicks off their Colorado run with back to back shows opening for Garaj Mahal at Hodi's Half Note in Fort Collins and Agave in Avon on February 17th and 18th. This is not the first time these outfits have shared the stage, playing two high energy, insane shows in Kalamazoo and Chicago together at the end 2009. UVH is extremely excited about their time with GM in Colorado, as Fort Collins promises to be a night of true badass-ery!

The Official ULTRAVIOLET HIPPOPOTAMUS Tour Schedule is as follows:

Fri. 1/22 The Winchester Music Hall Cleveland, OH
Sat. 1/23 The Docksider Erie, PA
Thur. 1/28 Bell's Brewery Kalamazoo, MI
Fri. 1/29 The Mad Frog Cincinnati, OH
Fri. 2/5 Mac's Bar Lansing, MI
Fri. 2/12 Cosmic Charlie's Lexington, KY
Sat. 2/13 Kaysan's 5th Down Fort Wayne, IN
Sun. 2/14 Parlor City Pub Cedar Rapids, IA
Tue. 2/16 320 South Breckenridge, CO
Wed. 2/17 Hodi's Half Note w/ Garaj Mahal Fort Collins, CO
Thur. 2/18 Agave w/ Garaj Mahal Avon, CO
Fri. 2/19 Ullr's Winter Park, CO
Sat. 2/20 Winter Park Resort Winter Park, CO
Sun. 2/21 Mountain Sun Brewery Boulder, CO
Mon. 2/22 Sancho's Broken Arrow Denver, CO
Wed. 2/24 Tugboat Steamboat Springs, CO
Thur. 2/25 Tugboat Steamboat Springs, CO
Fri. 2/26 First Street Pub Nederland, CO
Sat. 2/27 Owsley's Golden Road w/ Papadosio Denver, CO
Tue. 3/2 Tres Hombres Carbondale, IL
Wed. 3/3 Gramophone Saint Louis, MO
Thur. 3/4 The Uptowner Charleston, IL
Fri. 3/5 Harrison's Landing Elkhart, IN
Sat. 3/6 Booney's Avon, IN

The Winter 2010 Tour is just the beginning of an ambitious list of new initiatives, long-term goals, and a commitment to responsible touring for UVH this year. After signing with Simon Says Booking Agency and
playing the Rothbury Pre-Party with EOTO in 2009, UV HIPPO is ready for a full plate. In addition to releasing their third full length studio album later in 2010, the band plans on touring both coasts and
everywhere they can in between, including stops on the national festival circuit.

A significant part of the 200-show agenda ULTRAVIOLET HIPPOPOTAMUS has planned for 2010, will be promoting green principles and sustainable touring. An important step in making this goal a reality
is investing in a used diesel shuttle bus and converting the bus to run on veggie oil, obtained through the discarded oil from FastFood joints! Coined, the "Hippopota-bus", this 1995 Ford E-350 Mini-Bus will
greatly reduce tour costs, lessen the band's overall carbon footprint and remove themselves from the global oil crisis. To promote their cause and raise funds, while educating their fans about sustainability,
UVH will launch a new line of organic, recycled clothing and other cool products throughout 2010. All profits from this new green line of clothing will go towards the purchase of the "Hippopota-bus" and
veggie-oil conversion. There will also be a donation jar, a limited edition poster and other sustainable 'Help Hippo Go Green' merchandise available, to support the band's new direction.


support the Natural Resources Defense Council- for the Grateful Web

Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Department of Interior's publishing of a final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for commercial oil shale development:

"As the national debate over America's energy future continues, we must be clear that Colorado is committed to helping meet America's energy needs. We are issuing about 35 new oil and gas drilling permits a day. We are building a New Energy Economy that is bringing thousands of new jobs to Colorado. And our research institutions are developing cutting-edge, new energy technologies.

"But with the Department of Interior's action today, the federal government has once again failed to act as a responsible partner for Colorado. The Bush Administration is engaging in last-minute maneuvering in its waning days rather than developing a comprehensive, meaningful and responsible long-term energy policy for America's future.

"Finalizing an Environmental Impact Statement without any clear understanding of the environmental, community, economic and energy impacts of commercial-scale oil shale development is irresponsible, short-sighted and premature. This does nothing to address gas prices at the pump today and has the potential to do much more harm than good."

Oil's Well that Ends Well

Bio Car- for the Grateful Web

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have dealt a one-two punch to the petroleum infrastructure in the Gulf states of Texas and Mississippi. Over 1 million barrels of daily oil production and over 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas remain offline in the Gulf, and to date, 10% of annual oil production and 7% of annual natural gas production have been lost (link).  Natural gas and home heating oil prices are expected to rise about 50% this winter.  Some analysts are now saying that $5/gallon gasoline is not beyond probability.

I'll go into home heating in another article, but for today, I'd like to focus on transportation.

What are you driving?  How many miles per gallon do you get?  Me, I drive a 1983 Mercedes sedan, and I get a modest 25 miles per gallon.  Now, I suppose you're saying to yourself, "If this guy is such an energy expert, why isn't he driving a Prius or an electric car?"  I would, but I can't afford to buy one.  Can you?  Yeah, I drive a big car, but I have a family, and besides, I don't use gasoline.  My car has a diesel engine, and I fuel it with biodiesel: diesel fuel made from vegetable oil.  Most companies that produce biodiesel now produce it from new soybean oil.  However, biodiesel can also be made from used cooking oil, such as might be obtained from the French fryer of a restaurant.

Currently, in several states, drivers of diesel engine vehicles can fill up at stations that sell biodiesel fuel, typically in blends with petroleum diesel (affectionately known as "dino-diesel") of either 20% or 99% biodiesel.  It costs a little more than dino-diesel (about 15 cents per gallon), and that's after a generous $1.00 per gallon tax credit that Congress included in a jobs bill it passed in October 2004.  (Occasionally, Congress does something good.)

So, if it costs more, why buy biodiesel?  There are a number of reasons:

1)      Environmental:  When I buy biodiesel, I know that it was made with a minimum of toxic chemicals, unlike refining petroleum which results in such a high level of solid, liquid and airborne pollutants, Southern Louisiana and Mississippi, home to several refineries, has been given the nickname "Toxic Alley".

2)      Political:  When I buy biodiesel, I'm supporting a locally-owned company that produces an agricultural-based product.  I'm not supporting a multi-national corporation that's responsible for putting the George W. Bush into the White House and sending our armed forces to Iraq.

3)      Mechanical:  The original diesel engine, designed by Otto Diesel (yes, really!), was designed to run on peanut oil.  Diesel engines run better and last longer on biodiesel.  When I first started using biodiesel, I used a 50-50 or 60-40 blend by filling up half the tank with dino-diesel and then topping it off with biodiesel.  If a car has run dino-diesel for a long time, burning biodiesel in it will start to clean out a lot of deposits from the engine and could clog up the oil filter.  My mechanic recommended changing the oil filter frequently at the beginning.  Once I had cleaned out a lot of the gunk, I could run straight biodiesel.

4)      Olfactory:  Maybe I'm weird, but I like driving around in a car whose exhaust smells like French fries.

5)      Futuristic:  So, how is driving a 22-year-old car that runs on refined vegetable oil futuristic?  World oil production has likely peaked, and every year after this one, we can expect to see less oil produced than the year before.  Meanwhile, global demand for oil is going up.   That means higher and higher prices.  But I can live quite nicely without petroleum fuel (admittedly, though not without other petroleum products such as engine oil and compact discs).  Long after my neighbor stops driving his Lincoln Navigator, I'll be driving my quaint biodiesel car.

6)      It's cool:  Musicians such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young have used biodiesel buses on recent concert tours.  Willie Nelson, and staunch biodiesel proponent, has invested in biodiesel projects, including a biodiesel production facility in Oregon and a biodiesel truck stop in South Carolina.

There are some biodiesel users who even make their own.  If they're really brave, they can make their own on the stove with household cookware and some barrels.  (see http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html)   Some have purchased turnkey small-scale (though pricey) biodiesel production units, such as the "FuelMeister" sold by http://www.homebiodiesel.com

Biodiesel production requires lye or sulphuric acid as well as small amounts of methanol as a catalyst, which is toxic and must be handled carefully.  One nice thing about the turnkey systems is that you just mix everything together, and it does the rest, which reduces the hazardous nature of the chemicals.  The major byproduct of producing biodiesel is glycerin, which can be made into soap, though often I wonder just how much soap one person needs.  Then again, that person next to you in the crowded elevator probably could use more.

Presently, in most places, there are still ample sources of used vegetable oil to be found.  However, as petroleum becomes more expensive, more people will be seeking out sources of vegetable oil, and it could become a limited resource as well.  I would advise you to start now and talk the owners of your favorite restaurants to secure their goodwill and their oil.

What about that Prius?

One more thing, which may be obvious, but I've been asked it several times.  No, you CANNOT run your gasoline-powered car on biodiesel.  Gasoline and diesel are two completely different types of fuel, and they are not interchangeable.  So, you may not use biodiesel in your new Toyota Prius.  It seems to me that the ideal would be diesel-electric hybrid, but as yet, I am not aware of one available.  GM is working on a diesel-electric hybrid concept car, and I would suspect that other manufacturers are, too.  We'll just have to wait and see.  That is, if there's enough oil left to manufacture them.

My long-term recommendation:  walk, ride a bicycle, or take mass transit, and save your biodiesel car for only when you really need it.  That will help ensure an adequate supply of fuel for everyone.  Biodiesel will be an important piece of the puzzle of our dubious energy future, and any investment made into promoting biodiesel will most certainly pay off.

Daniel Sapon-Borson holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Energy Policy and Management.  When not driving his biodiesel Mercedes, he can be seen walking or bicycling around the streets of Eugene, OR.


Corn Image Thumbnail Credit: photographer Navin Sigamany  Navin Sigamany's Blogocentricity, Life online and in Chennai

Bio Car Image: Grateful Web hybrid using Storacar image

Related Links: VW Leads Automotive Pack with BioDiesel Research

10/12/2005: Denver Public Schools one of largest fleets in country to run on BioDiesel

A perspective from an oil & gas V.P. from Midland, Texas

A Natural Electric Rig in the field- for the Grateful Web

I need to correct Grateful Web over their bias over the impact of oil and gas on the environment.  First of all... the production that bush wants to open up in Colorado is GAS.  Gas is very clean,  not only for burning, but also to drill and produce.  An average house in Boulder is far, far worse for the environment then either an oil or gas well.  It only take a few weeks to drill a well, where a house is pretty much permanent. An oil well normally has a 20 year life span... if the producer is lucky. Granted oil wells require pump jacks, holding tanks and an access road, but even so,  ten oil wells cause less pollution then 1 household i.e. water/waste, garbage, non-indigenous landscaping, etc. Plus, let me remind you that the Colorado stuff is gas and gas wells are only noticeable when being drilled.  When they are put on production the gas head is smaller then a large dog and the gas is piped so no need for roads, hence, gas is THE cleanest energy source possible.


Hydroelectric power is hundreds of times more damaging to the environment, so is wind power (although I think the huge windmills north of Denver are actually very artistic and awesome to look at), solar power is a great idea, but not practical or economical at this time.. plus who knows what effect all those mirrors might have? (joke) And I don't think I need to say anything about nuclear power.


I am not sure, but I suspect that oil wells are what is purposed for Alaska. And I do agree that oil would impact that environment a great deal.  Not because of the actual wells, but because the heat from the pipeline is bad for the permafrost and obviously tankers suck. However,  when you consider that the Clinton administration emptied the majority of our strategic reserves... and that the US  only has about 24 hours of reserves left.   I think a bit of damaged environment (less then 1% of 1%) is worth world peace.  How on earth did I come up with "world peace"?  Well,  back in 1997 the commerce department reported that if we had another crisis like when Iraq destroyed Kuwait oil production, the US would have no choice but go to war and begin civilian rationing of energy. So you ask... "perhaps things have changed?"  Yep, they have gotten worse.  In 1997 we were only 50% dependent on foreign oil production, we are currently over 60% dependent. Granted, the US only gets about 15% of our imports from the middle east.... but Germany, France & Japan get almost all of there production from the middle east. Hence,  world war.  Like it or not petroleum products are vital to the world economy. (did you know that 80% of ALL chemicals used in manufacturing come from petroleum? Like  petro-based fertilizers that have increased the average yeld 100%,  can you imagine world hunger without the increased yeld of grain?)


I don't think I need to explain that wars aren't about religion or politics,  those are more noble justification,  war is about economics and feeding people.  Look at Ireland... when their economic sucked, they bombed each other... now Ireland has one of the fastest growing standards of living.. and there is peace in Ireland.


Taking the above into account, I feel that the USA is currently raping the entire world by hoarding our domestic reserves and not producing them. What will happen when the world reserves wane and the USA is forced to open up its reserves?  What right does the US have to be gluttons?