Site 1 Bluetooth Speaker

Site 1 is a wireless speaker that I purchased from Princeton Audio during their start up campaign.  Having cycled through several dozen bluetooth speakers in the past, I am happy to say that the Site 1 performs its duty admirably for my streaming needs.  The company offers several choices of woods for their sound capabilities – Cherry, Mahogany, Walnut, Maple.  Based on your music preferences, the questions on their site will help you configure a speaker based on your music preferences.  I chose Mahogany which PA says … “Mahogany is another tone-transmitting wood that is used in the bodies of guitars, cellos and upright bass”  

Overall – things I love about this speaker – has a great sonic quality that is warm and real, it’s made in the US, great customer service (Beth Pelland is great!).  Buy directly online from

Analog Vinyl in Costa Mesa

As a vinyl enthusiast I often get the question “You can still buy records? who sells them”  Here is a fact – Vinyl records sales are up 745 percent since 2008!  Digital music is a great advancement but if you want a holistic and immersive music experience – get a turntable and then head to Analog – a tiny little store located inside the OC Mart Mix – 3313 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA.  They carry a nice little collection of select new and used vinyl across many genres along with a small mix of vintage audio gear.


Limited Edition John Varvatos Iron Maiden T-shirt

Found this tee a few weeks ago and just in time to wear at the 4th of July Iron Maiden show at Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI.  Super soft, great screen graphic of “Eddie” (the band’s skeletal demon mascot) and a nice fit.

With my friend Jason before the show.

Flight To Mars

What do you mean you haven’t heard about Flight To Mars?  Alright let me introduce you – FTM is a UFO tribute band featuring Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and friends.  You haven’t heard of UFO either?  That’s sad … UFO is an English band from the seventies featuring guitar virtuoso Michael Schenker, singer Phil Mogg and crazy bassist Pete Way.  Flight to Mars played The Casbah in San Diego on their 10th anniversary West Coast tour.  Fans of UFO and Mike McCready were treated to a night of some fine rock n roll.

Opening bands were Vendetta Red and Mistresses of Reality, an all female Black Sabbath cover band from Los Angeles.  How cool is that?  These gals rocked the house to warm up the crowd for FTM!

At 10:30pm, Flight of Mars took the stage.  From the first chord, this band blew me away!  Alongside Mike McCready, you had North Twin guitarist Tim DiJulio, bassist Gary Westlake, drummer Kelly Van Camp and  frontman Paul Passereli who sounds amazingly like Phil Mogg!

This was a high energy, octane filled slice of guitar based melodic rock at it’s finest.  As a UFO fan, I enjoyed every fist pounding moment.  McCready’s shredding was fluid and resplendent on a Gibson Flying V favored by Michael Schenker during his stint with UFO and beyond.

After running through a blistering set of UFO hits, Mike introduces a special guest (a hero of his … more on that in a bit).  The set-list went like this.  I didn’t memorize it because I was lucky enough to score it from McCready!

So here’s the development that caught fans by a surprise in a special way.  As the set was drawing to a close, McCready announces that he’s bringing on to the stage a man who was the reason why he picked up a guitar.  That special man was none other than Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley.  So Ace jams with the band with fans screaming … it was a pretty special moment.

I leave you with a clip from the band performing Lights Out … This was an amazing show.  If you get a chance to catch FTM on tour, do it!

Good night and thank you San Diego!

The Chai Cart in San Francisco.

Meet Dennis Walker – Chai Wala, musician and just a damn nice human being.  I met Dennis manning his Chai Cart that brings the sweet, spicy, fragrant Indian tea to the masses roaming the streets of San Francisco.  He offered me a sample as I was heading to grab breakfast and coffee.  So began our conversation …

I learned that Dennis has a degree in film and media, is a musician and band leader of local Ghost Town Refugees that play “greens” music (so branded by him vs. the blues).  It is eclectic music that you can dance to?  Would like to hear it first hand sometime.  Here’s a snippet from YouTube.

Dennis is passionate about his band, traveling the world and loves talking to people.   So on to the actual product from the cart … The chai was decent but could have used a bit more spice, a little less milk and a bit more sugar.  But as I told Dennis – I am so used to my family’s chai … nothing could top that goodness.

Dennis – stop posing and let me know when The Ghost Refugees can get to your hometown of San Diego so we can catch you guys live!  See you around.