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Friday, September 30, 2011

Chris Bavaria's Photography

Julian and new friend Jason from Chicago sitting on the stage at the React! Records Showcase between bands. Excellent photography by Chris Bavaria.  If you are getting married or have other photography needs, you should consider his services.  Check out his site at ChrisBavariaWeddings.com...

-PMAKid's Dad

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

President Barack Obama's Drug Czar - Gil Kerlikowske

Gil Kerlikowske
Director of
Office of National Drug Control Policy

I have always been told that if I wanted something that I should work hard to get it.  I wanted to interview President Obama's Drug Czar, so I asked and they let me!  How cool is that?  Thanks Director Kerlikowske!


PMAKid: I know you were a police officer for a long time and made your way up to being the Police Chief in Seattle, Washington.  Why did you want to be a police officer in the first place?   What did you like about being a police officer that made you do it for so many years?

Director Kerlikowske: I spent nearly 40 years working law enforcement. I served as a beat cop, a narcotics officer and eventually the Chief of Police in Buffalo, New York and Seattle, Washington.   When I entered this line of work I really enjoyed helping people and doing everything I could do to make communities safe.  I continued in this line of work because I found it very rewarding not to mention it was exciting and fun.

Michelle Rhee - Former Chancellor of D.C. Schools and head of StudentsFirst.org

Michelle Rhee and staff from the
Connecticut Black Alliance for Educational Options
I had heard about Michelle Rhee from the movie Waiting for Superman.  I thought it would be interesting to interview her because I am interviewing the Superintendent of my own school district and because some of Ms Rhee's positions are controversial with some people.  She is really cool and nice too!


PMAKid: What are your three favorite books and why?

Michelle Rhee: A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind: He followed Cedric Jennings from his last year in a DC high school to Brown University. In a compelling way it highlighted the urgency for reform in DC and cities like it.

Why Boys Fail, by Richard Whitmire: I even wrote the foreword to this one! He points out a lot of the research showing challenges boys face in particular, and I would definitely recommend it to educators, parents, and students.

Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch. Read it and you'll see why it's one of my favorites :).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Matt Gill's React Reacts Showcase Photography


The React! Records Showcase this past weekend was a blast.  Lots of good positive vibes! A sample of the fine photography produced by new friend Matt Gill.  Not Sorry was absolutely great live (as always).  Check out Matt's other stuff.

-PMAKid's Dad

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Interview with Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Dischord Records

Ian MacKaye
Ian MacKaye is the guy who actually coined the term "straight edge" by writing a song with that name. Last week he was really cool and let me interview him over the phone before school.  He is obviously really smart and has a lot of interesting things to say.  I am really excited about this interview.


PMAKid: What are your three favorite songs and why?

Ian: I was looking at some of your interviews and I see that you often ask about your three favorite songs and your three favorite bands.  The problem for me is that I - actually - I don't think like that. I don't have three favorite songs.  I don't have three favorite bands. What I can tell you is that music that is important to me is music that is being made by people that sounds to me that they don't have a choice in the matter. What I mean by that is that I think music is something that is deep, and something that is very serious, and a part of all of us and some people - the music is so powerful in their lifes that they have to make it.  That's the kind of music that I like to listen to.  So I can tell you that - in terms of my life - one of the first musicians that I listened to - that made me think that way was Jimi Hendrix.  I still listen to Jimi Hendrix.  I listended to him this morning. I've been listening to Hendrix now for forty years.  I'm still interested.  I'm still listening.  I'm still thinking about what it is that he is wrestling with, the sounds that he was trying to capture - what was in his mind - and then represent it into his guitar.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

React records showcase...

We got to the React! Records showcase early and we got put to work stamping test presses and other stuff. It was fun!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Interview with Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento


Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson played professional basketball for the Phoenix Suns.  He is now the Mayor of Sacramento.  He also works to improve education.  He was really nice and let me interview him.  Thanks, Mr. Mayor!


PMAKid: What are your three favorite books and why?

Mayor Johnson: My three favorite books are A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Wooden by Coach John Wooden.

A Prayer for Owen Meany is about a boy who discovers his purpose in life at a young age and relentlessly pursues his objectives. I aspire to exhibit the passion and diligence of young owen meany.

Martin Luther King, Jr. has always been one of my role models. His ability to show compassion even to his oppressors is admirable.

Before his passing, I considered Coach John Wooden both a friend and a mentor. Wooden is a guide to life. His simple yet provocative lessons teach how to treat people and how to "make each day your masterpiece."

Jeff Terranova of Up Front, Smorgasbord Records and Long Beach Vegan Eatery

Jeff Terranova played in the band Up Front and runs Smorgasbord Records.  He also is opening a new restaurant in Southern California called the Long Beach Vegan Eatery.  Mr. Terranova is one of the really cool guys that helped my school out last year with our Hardcore for Education fundraiser that helped raise money for my school band and other stuff. I hope you like the interview!
Jeff Terranova

PMAKid: What are your three favorite books and why?

Jeff: I am honestly not an avid reader. I have tried numerous times in my life to read more and I actually own a ton of books that I look at and constantly say to myself that I need to read them. I do love Charles Bukowski though and I have read almost all of his novels as well as some of his poetry books. If I had to pick a favorite, I would have to go with Women. He has a magical way of describing things, in particular women, that I really relate to. Another favorite of mine is written by Legs McNeil, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History Of Punk. It is extremely well written, informative and was enlightening to me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Former 7 Seconds guitarist Chris Carnahan, Currently serving in Afghanistan

Captain Chris Carnahan with an Afghan soldier

One of my favorite 7 Seconds albums is Soulforce Revolution.  On that album and for a little while after, Chris Carnahan was the guitarist for 7 Seconds.  I thought it would be cool to interview him because he was in 7 Seconds, but also because he is currently a Captain in the United States Army.  He is currently serving in Kandahar City in Afghanistan.  


PMAKid: What are your three favorite books to read and why?

Chris: Siddharta by Hermann Hesse because it was one of the first books that turned me on to the idea that there could be an internal spiritual life, Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac because it was one of the first books that made me want to be creative, and Dune because it helped me to escape while I was in Iraq.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PMA All Day Wristbands - Ford and Felix from Chicago!

Ford's and Felix's dad bought some of my PMA All Day wristbands and he sent me this really cool picture!  Thanks!!!

Interview with J25 from Straight Edge band NOT SORRY

J25 (John) from NOT SORRY
I first met J25 (John) from NOT SORRY in 2010 when I went to the React! Records Showcase with my dad to see our friends 7 Seconds play.  I was wearing my DRUG FREE t-shirt and J25 and his girlfriend came up to me and told me how much they liked my shirt.  He was so cool that a couple months later he sent me two H2O 7" eps from his own personal collection!  I hope you enjoy the interview!

PMAKid: What are your three favorite books and why?

J25: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, Preacher by Garth Ennis, and Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad. Ishmael is a great book about how life can evolve and move forward without being destructive and that it is possible to move away from how we live now without going back to living in huts and foraging for berries. Preacher is just a gnarly comic series that deals with religion and the ideas of good and bad, right and wrong. Also features probably the most bad ass character ever created, The Saint of Killers. Lastly, Our Band Could Be Your Life is a great read for anyone who cares about underground music. It destroys the barriers that mainstream music puts up and shows that anyone can play an instrument, get in a van, and let loose.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Donate to my school for Red Ribbon Week, Please!

I go to a really great public school in Sacramento, called Golden Empire Elementary School.  The web address is GoldenEmpire.info.  I am trying to raise money for my school's Red Ribbon Week activities.  If you don't know what Red Ribbon Week is about, you can google it.  It is basically a way to remember a DEA agent named Kiki Camarena that was killed by drug gangs and to help kids learn why it is important to be drug free. My school does not have a lot of money, so it would be REALLY cool if you could donate a few dollars to help my school pay for the Red Ribbon Week activities.  Just like the Hardcore for Education fundraiser my school had last year, any donations are for a non-profit group, so if you want a letter or something from the school for when you do your taxes, you should add your name and address and stuff so the school can send you a letter for taxes.  PLEASE HELP MY SCHOOL!!!!  Thanks!




The Donate button above goes right to my school's PTO account, not to me. That's why it is important for you to put your name and address in the comment box if you donate so the people at the school know who to send the tax paperwork to. If you need to check with the school about it, you can call my Principal, Dr. Eister. Her phone number is (916) 228-5890.  THANKS!

Interview with Tom Hedrick and Lorraine Popper of Partnership at DrugFree.org

Before school yesterday, I got to interview Tom Hedrick and Lorraine Popper from the Partnership at DrugFree.org. A lot of people have heard of them by their old name, the Partnership for a Drug Free America.  A lot of people have seen their "This is your brain on drugs commercials". I was a little nervous as this was my first interview over the phone instead of just emailing my questions.  Mr. Hedrick is one of the founders of the Partnership and Ms Popper is one of the people on the Parent Advisory Board.  She also works on the commercials and other advertising for the Partnership.  I hope you like the interview!


PMAKid: Tell me how the Partnership at DrugFree.org first started.  My dad remembers the commercials from when he was young so you have been around for a long time?

Tom Hedrick: Yes. I was one of the founders - not quite twenty five years ago - in 1985 and 86 - when drugs were an even bigger problem for the country then they are today. Crack cocaine in particular was an epidemic of use of young people and people in the cities and it was creating a lot of violence and crime.  It was associated - unfortunately - with the spread of AIDS, the breakdown of families, school dropouts and a lack of productivity in the workforce.  The Partnership was started to be a voice for families and for parents about how harmful drugs can be to families and individuals and society and help provide a different point of view then was being promoted at the time, which was that drugs were fun and harmless and okay for everybody.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The guys from Outlast wearing my wristbands! Cool Photo!

This is such a cool picture! As a thank you to Dave from Outlast for doing an interview with me, I sent the band some of my wristbands.  I really like this picture!

The guys in Outlast are so nice and so COOL!

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) ALL DAY!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Interviews Coming Up!

Hi everybody!

I have some really cool interviews coming up! I am waiting for some of them to come back and I have some I am working on. They are

1. The band NOT SORRY from Seattle
2. John Porcelly from Youth of Today and Judge
3. Tom Hedrick from the Partnership for DrugFree.org
4. Gil Kerlikowske who is President Barack Obama's Drug Czar
5. Ian MacKaye who was in Minor Threat, Fugazi and runs Dischord Records

And a bunch of others!