Parks Have Birthdays Too

Parks Have Birthdays Too

Happy Birthday to California State Parks! 150 years and still look’n good.

“California State Parks commemorates the 1864 establishment of the first state park in the world. On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill granting 39,000 acres of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the State of California. Never before had land been set aside to protect its natural state for the public to enjoy. This historic legislation was the beginning of not only the California State Park System, but the national park idea we know today.” Learn more and check out the Cal Parks timeline.

Looking for a park? Check out the Cal Parks finder. No two are the same and the seasons give them all a little something different. Explore!

The Things of Youth // Jon Fee

The Things of Youth // Jon Fee

After years of writing and re-writing, thinking and dreaming, a lot of help and encouragement from my dear friends Cory Gray, Daniel Mckenzie, Adam Cimino, Jake Krohn, and a ton of patience and support from my beautiful family, I am ready to share my latest musical adventure, The Things of Youth.

I’m still getting used to referring to The Things of Youth as my solo project, but it is what it is. More importantly, my first album “Volume One” is done. It’s getting mastered and then off to the pressing plant.

I’ll be posting a couple of songs soon. In the mean time, go here to watch a fun short film made by Adam while we were recording out at Stinson Beach.

Hopefully my return ends better than Apollo Creed’s!


A letter to the Queen

A letter to the Queen

Dear Elizabeth II,

We just spent six weeks in your country and we must say your parks are spectacular! From the Royal Eight to other gems like London Fields, Battersea Park, and Fulham Park. Not to mention a medley of little green spaces packed into the nooks and crannies of lovely London. All set the standard and all are equally unique in their own way.

What we found most fascinating is the foresight in your urban planning, the respect your people have for their beloved parks, and not a noisy mower in sight. How do you do it? How did you know? Who is this magical mower who is never seen or heard, but who’s work is impeccable. And who planted all the wild flowers in London Fields?



Team Parks and Records

B.A.R.F. Bay Area Record Fair this September

Exciting news! Parks and Records will be taking part in this year’s Bay Area Record Fair. Very exciting. We will have all our releases and merchandise for cheap. Giveaways, 80s trivia, live music, yep. More info below:

The second installment of the  Bay Area Record Fair, a celebration of the unique music scene in the Bay Area and the people who help make it so, will be held Saturday, September 27th at Thee Parkside in San Francisco.

Get into the Fair an hour early and be first to dig through crates without the wait and crowds. $5 Early Bird Tickets get you into B.A.R.F. at 11am.  Noon entry is free.


Greening San Francisco

Greening San Francisco

Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) started planting trees on the streets of San Francisco back in the early 80’s. Today they have planted more than 48,000 trees. That’s more than 40% of the trees you see throughout the city. We like this. The trees clean the air, help with storm water run-off, provide homes for birds, and beautify the city.

But, like most things, there’s still work to be done. A lot of work. San Francisco is falling short when it comes to cities of its size and trees. Yup, when it comes to trees we are lagging.

Thankfully FUF is leading the charge and you can help too. Go here to check out Friends of the Urban Forest and find out how.

High five!

Number 9.  Number 9.  Number 9.  Number 9.  Identical Homes  “A. Hydrophelia”

Number 9. Number 9. Number 9. Number 9. Identical Homes “A. Hydrophelia”

We like to think the Beatles were the first to anticipate this release. Sure it was the late sixties and we were yet to be born, but they were musical visionaries and knew our ninth release would be something of great promise.

With that said, we are excited to announce the arrival of the new album from Identical Homes, “A. Hydrophelia”. Not often can you some up an album in two words, but this one you can. EAR CANDY.

And it gets better. The 12″ vinyl is a beautiful picture disc and limited to only 100 copies. Likely to sell-out folks. For those of you who do the mp3 thing – it’s on all major platforms.

Many thanks to all the friends and family who pitched-in via KickStarter to help bring this beauty to fruition.



Listen/Buy – A Hydrophelia: 12″ Full Color Vinyl Picture Disc | Bandcamp | iTunes | Amazon MP3

One Less Building, One More Park

One Less Building, One More Park

Been meaning to write about this for some time.  About one year to be exact.  A new park!  Ok, we write about parks all the time, but this is less about what it is and more about how it came to be.

Imagination Park in the town of San Anselmo, CA was an old furniture store once owned by George Star Wars Lucas and then handed over to the town to be demolished.  Then came the trees, grass, paths, and a pretty cool fountain with Yoda and Indiana Jones.  I’m sure there was a lot of behind the scenes rhetoric, but why let the details spoil a good thing.

Their was a building and now there’s not.  Period.  I like that.  Although I’m not a big fan of its name ( “Yoda Jones” would have been my choice) I do like to imagine every town tearing down buildings to make way for little parks.

Here’s a link to a jenky site about the park: Imagination Park

Jan Solo



Urban Self-Reliance

I recently discovered Just One Tree – a San Francisco (SF) nonprofit with a focus on planting fruit trees for urban self-reliance.  And it gets better.  LEMON TREES!  The lemon is my fruit.  What can’t be done with a lemon?

Their goal is to plant 12,000 lemon trees in SF.  If they hit their goal San Francisco will become the first American city to be self-sufficient in a tree crop.  Just One Tree is making progress – 1,300 lemon trees are already in the ground.  Can they do it without you?  Maybe, but it will take too damn long.  Now close your eyes and imagine SF transformed into a lemon utopia.  Dreamy.


Musicians on Bikes Getting Beer, E05: Lia Rose

This is the fifth installment of posts I am doing with my friends to promote my Kickstarter project. The idea is stolen from Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee). Instead, I am riding bikes and drinking with my friends, talking about records. Enjoy, and if feeling supportive, please take a peak at my new record here »

MOBGB E05: Lia Rose

This post will be a bit different. No bar, no beer, no bikes. If you know Lia, you will not be surprised when the theme of the evening turned out to be more about Pink Pearl apples, tea and a living room. I vaguely remember being with Lia when she had a staggering TWO cocktails at the bar, and man, it was hilarious. Anyhow, I respect a true lightweight. I consider myself one.

I remember the day I met her, she walked up to me at a show and said “Oh, Hi! You are my new bass player.” Seriously, that is what she said. And no, we hadn’t talked about it before and, well, she was right. We played in Built for the Sea together for several years, played some huge shows, toured Holland, played South by Southwest, and we have also collaborated on other projects, including a song on my new album! She is an enigma, a force of positivity, and is blessed with one of the most beautifully classic voices ever. I have heard her sing the entire Little Mermaid Soundtrack in the tour van, and she NAILED it.

Lia has an extremely hard time committing to a  “favorite album”, so these are a few records that she mentions loving:

Classic albums

Paul Simon Graceland, Billy Joel An Innocent Man, any Motown from the 50s and 60s.

Contemporary Albums

Bon Iver Self Titled, The Shins Oh, Inverted World, and anything by Dave Bazan or Damien Jurado

Guilty Pleasures

Propagandhi, hah, this still cracks me up!

Local Album

Goodnight, Texas A Long Life of Living

Lia on records

Lia brought up one of the most important things about records that I had not yet thought about. In today’s world of digital music, it’s so easy to just skip a song if you aren’t feeling it at that moment. “It adds to this rapidly increasing pace of life that we are all feeling the pressure of, and sometimes, it’s really nice to just slow things down. Listening to a record demands patience, it means you are going to listen to that strange song that you always skip on an iPod.” In a way, it gives the artist a certain amount of respect.

I can’t tell you how many times I have downloaded an album, and repeatedly skipped a certain song because I am unimpressed with the first few seconds. Then, one day when I not paying attention, the song plays through, and the most beautiful moment is uncovered, right in the middle. This actually just happened with a new Mogwai song yesterday. The first 3 minutes were good, but not really enough to bend the ear, and then at minute 3:00, shit gets real. I love that.

Big thanks to my good friend, Lia Rose! If this post has got you feeling warm and fuzzy about vinyl, please support the newest Parks and Records vinyl release, Identical Homes, Hydrophelia, below:

Musicians on Bikes Getting Beer, E04: Adam Cimino

This is the fourth installment of posts I am doing with my friends to promote my Kickstarter project. The idea is stolen from Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee). Instead, I am riding bikes and drinking with my friends, talking about records. Enjoy, and if feeling supportive, please take a peak at my new record here »

MOBGB E04: Adam Cimino

I didn’t like Adam at all when I first met him in 1998. He just strolled into my KSUN radio class at Sonoma State and had all the indie girls talking about him, in between rumors of a new Modest Mouse or Elliot Smith album, or why they desperately wanted to move to Olympia. Remember those days?

I first hung out with him when I recorded his band, Desert City Soundtrack, at the Cotati Sound Machine (my recording studio), and I was floored by his style. He hits as hard as hell, but has this gentle jazz-like flow on the drums. It was an engineer’s worse nightmare, but a musician’s dream. Ever since then, he has been one of my favorite people to hang out with. He is freakishly artistic in everything he does, when he rides a skateboard, writes his blog, takes a photo, tells a joke. But the real friend crush came when I heard his solo music, called Namesake. I can say confidently that it’s my favorite music that any of my friends make, period.  The albums come infrequently, but I listen to them always. They are one of the few constants in my collection.

My favorite thing about Adam is that he acknowledges that there are great and beautiful things outside of making music. Our conversation over lunch was 75% about climbing Mt. Shasta this year. At the same time, I am awfully damn excited to see his new band, Male Gaze,  play in San Francisco this February.


Louie’s Bar, San Francisco. We met for lunch in business casual attire.


Adam has an old, black Maruishi that he paid $50 to have shipped out from Michigan by a family friend and has been commuting on it since 2002.


Beer at 11am? Why not, it was Friday. Adam had a Lagunitas and a strange grilled cheese sandwich. I had a Fat Tire and a salad.

Vinyl Releases

Adam has a long list so I’m gonna bullet point this sucker:

  • The Mall Emergency at the Everyday
  • The Mall First, Before & Never Again
  • Family Band Miller’s Path
  • N amesak E Hot & Cold Issue 1 Compilation
  • Male Gaze COMING SOON!

Favorite Classic Records in his collections

Ahmad Jamal Live at the Pershing, Michael Hurley Hi Fi Snock Uptown

Favorite Contemporary Record in his collections

Gonzales Solo Piano, E*Vax Parking Lot Music, Sam Prekop Sam Prekop

Guilty Pleasure Record in his Collection

Jeffrey Osbourne Emotional, he is a really big fan of the “woo woo woo” song, called “You Should Be Mine”. He started singing it, and it got awkward.

Best Record Packaging in his Collection

“No Flashlight” by Mount Eerie LP, it holds the World’s Record for the longest record cover.

Favorite Local Record Store

No question, Aquarius on Valencia.

Adam on records

We didn’t really get to this part of the conversation because we had too much catching up to take care of for an hour lunch break, but we did follow-up by email. That is how I uncovered this gem:

“I’m not really sure why I enjoy listening to records. I feel goofy sometimes getting up from my computer to go put on an album that I have readily available in my iTunes. The poetic reason of why is somewhere in that nonsensical habit. I’m conveying it to you right now with my mind and you are totally understanding me.”

For all of you non-psychics out there, I apologize.

Big thanks to my good friend Adam Cimino! If this post has got you feeling warm and fuzzy about vinyl, please support the newest Parks and Records vinyl release, Identical Homes, Hydrophelia, below: