Blog Nap Time

Sooooo… I recently moved from San Francisco to Davis, California to pursue an exciting employment opportunity. I’ll be totally occupied by that challenge for the foreseeable future, so I have no choice but to put this blog down for an indefinite nap. Should circumstance allow me to revive it, I certainly will. Until then, I recommend reading this one.

If you’re starving for more from me, you can buy my novel. That’s right. I said novel.

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Frank Turner: Pulling punk rock from an acoustic guitar

Although Frank Turner stops short of embracing the term “folk-punk” as a genre, he admits that playing in punk bands since he was 16 has certainly guided the acoustic music he’s making now.

“Punk rock is kind of like Catholicism,” the British singer-songwriter says. “It’s either in your life or it isn’t, and if it is, you’re probably going to spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about it. And you’ll spend half of that time loving it and half of that time hating it.

Turner, who spent four years fronting hardcore punk band Million Dead, will soon release his fourth solo album, “England Keep my Bones” and just played a show at Bottom of the Hill yesterday (May 4th).

“The thing I took away from punk was the fierce independence and self-reliance,” he says. “Like, ‘We don’t need to be told what to do and we’re going to make our own space culturally.’ People did that before punk came along and people have done it since.”

While such socially driven messages are weaved deeply into his songs, they’re almost never delivered as complaints aimed at specific political issues in the style of, say, Anti Flag or Rage Against the Machine.

“If I wanted to do that I’d be a politician,” he says, describing his views as more libertarian than anything. “And as much as I grew up with [Rage] – I think they make a great noise – I certainly don’t agree with their politics. For example, Che Guavara was a murderous, homophobic thug and I wouldn’t want him on my t-shirt.”

On “England Keep my Bones,” Turner is accompanied on most tracks by a full band, just as he was on his previous release, “Poetry of the Deed.” That wasn’t the case on his first two albums, “Sleep is for the Week” and “Love Ire & Song,” both of which lean heavily on his thickly strummed lonesome acoustic guitar.

He’s been accompanied by his band on tour in the U.K. for the past few years, but could never afford to get them across the pond until he signed with Epitaph Records last year. The full band then went on tour in support of Flogging Molly.

Turner is a nonstop globetrotter, so if you missed him at Bottom of the Hill yesterday, you’ll have another chance in October. And this time he’ll have his band in tow, so don’t blow it.

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Saturn Cafe – April 23

I’m  playing a show in  Berkeley on  April 23 with my close friend Ryan Dishen. Doors  open at 7 pm and music will go from 8 to midnight. The  menu at Saturn Cafe is a 100% vegetarian. The food lucks delicious; I can’t wait to try it.

If you’re in the area, come hang out and have some dinner. Here are  directions.

Saturn  Cafe

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More video from Brainwash

I’ve never given this song a satisfying title, and yet I find it to be one of the more satisfying I’ve written. My friend Jeff filmed it at a little show I played earlier this month. Feel free to give it a title if you’ve got a clever turn of phrase or noteworthy alliteration you’re willing to part with.

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Is Journalism Grad School Worth It?

A Masters degree in journalism is not cheap. Couple that with the fact that the industry is low-paying, very crowded, and rapidly changing, and what you have is a pretty complex career path.

A friend of mine recently graduated from UC Berkeley’s journalism school and is thinking about continuing on to grad school. About a week ago she wrote me an email in which she asked me this question: Are you glad you went?

Read my full blog on the Huffington Post.

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I wrote a book!

I wrote a 50,000 word fiction novel during the month of November as part of a challenge. A few weeks later, I formatted it, designed a cover, and had it printed and delivered. Upon reading the first copy, I discovered a minefield of typos and grammar errors (more than 150!). That’s what you get when you write 1,700 words a day for a whole month. My finance went though and circled them for me, and yesterday I swept through for an hour and cleaned up the mess.

Click the book for more information, or to buy a copy.

If you’re interested in reading it, you can buy a fancy copy with a shiny cover for $11.99 or a print-ready .pdf for $2.99 by clicking the link below. All profits ($2 a book) will go toward my student loans. I’ll autograph it for an extra 500 bucks. Or mayyyybe I’ll let you borrow my original copy (with Bianca’s edits) for free, cause 12 bucks is pretty damn expensive.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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The Brainwash Cafe – ‘Duncan’ by Paul Simon

I played some songs at the Brainwash Cafe in San Francisco Sunday night. It was a really nice time with some really good friends, even though we had to take BART from Oakland after my brother’s car broke down at the airport. I played from 7 to 8, and then my buddy Ryan Dishen played for an hour while I swigged Guinness and ate a burger.

My friends Dori and Jeff were in the city and came by to deliver some wedding-related photography documents with my fiance Bianca. They ended up sticking around for the set after filing the paperwork, which was nice of them.

The picture above and the video below were shot on Jeff’s iPhone. The show was great all around, and I look forward to doing it again soon.

“Duncan,” by Paul Simon

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