Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Active Ingredients

Active Ingredients started in 1992 with founding members Jeremiah Cravens and Dennis Harrison. The two met while ditching class at BHS. Jeremiah and Dennis had common interests in punk rock, skateboarding, and raising hell. Shortly after high school graduation, while skating Jeremiah's half pipe and listening to Gang Green, Jeremiah and Dennis decided to start a Skate Rock band. Dennis owned a guitar, so he became the guitarist. Jeremiah was already playing bass guitar in the legendary Bakersfield thrash/metal/punk band Four More Feet so he wanted to play a different instrument for the other band. Jeremiah bought an old drum kit from the drummer of F.M.F for $50 and attempted to play drums. Jeremiah and Dennis recruited Jack Cruz on bass and started playing gigs. Every gig had a different singer. All of the dudes that did vocals at the early Active gigs were skate buddies of Jeremiah and Dennis. Matt Browne rhythm guitarist of F.M.F was the vocalist on the very first Active Ingrediants demo. Matt sang lead vocals for A.I. at 3 or 4 gigs. Matt eventually took over playing bass guitar for Active. Jack was only 15 and his mom kept grounding him from playing gigs. This sucked for the rest of the band. As a side note Jack's mom was hot. Somewhere along the lines Ben Smith begin playing second guitar for A.I. One day Ben jumped behind the drums, he was damn good. Jeremiah was writing most of the music at the point so Jeremiah and Ben switched gear. Four More Feet was broken up by this time so Scott Burton lead guitarist of F.M.F became the official vocalist for Active Ingrediants. The band began to get musically tight with everyone finally playing the correct instruments. Matt moved to S.F. to go to college so Scott took over bass guitar duties. In 1993, A.I. recorded their second first demo. The demo was mailed to various punk record labels. Beer City Records & Skateboards signed the band. Active Ingrediants' first album was released in 1994. A.I. backed up that record with a 5 week U.S. tour. After returning from tour A.I. went into the studio to record a few songs for a couple of punk rock comp c.d.s. While in the studio A.I. recorded their third first demo. In 1995, Beer City released Active Ingrediants' second record. The band had plans to back that release with a U.S. tour but had numerous problems with their booking agent. The problems ultimately resulted in a failed tour, missing money, death threats to the booking agent, and the whole band being jobless, homeless, and broke. Late 1995 A.I. went to Beer City headquarters in Milwaukee, WI to record their first full-length c.d. Beer City treated the band like royalty. A city view room at the Hilton, dinner at the rotating restaurant, and all expenses paid. The new full-length was released in 1996 and was featured in thrasher magazine as the get this when you subscribe. A.I. followed up that release with a 2 month U.S. tour. After returning from the tour A.I. recorded various songs for various comp c.d.s. In 1998 Active Ingrediants went into the studio to begin recording a new c.d. While in the middle of recording Scott quit the band. Jeremiah and Dennis tried out local bass player. During these auditions the two came to the conclusion that most so-called serious musicians are jokes. After realizing this Dennis decided to trade his guitar for a bass. Jeremiah and Dennis would split vocal responsibilities. Active Ingrediants' new c.d., "the balls out way of life" was released on Firmament Records in 1999. Although A.I. did not tour for this album, they played a ton of gigs throughout California. A.I. went back into the studio in 2000 to record an e.p. c.d. and some stuff for a Beer City comp. Shortly after recording, while on the road, after a long weekend of gigs and cocaine, Ben quit the band. Jeremiah and Dennis then recruited Keith Campbell for Active's new drummer.
A strange turn of events took place early 2001. Jeremiah found himself in church and ended up finding the Lord there. Jeremiah instantly quit all drugs and gave his life to God. Jeremiah and Dennis were roommates at the time and after many invitations to church and much prayer Dennis too found the lord. Jeremiah and Dennis decided to play their music only for God. Jeremiah and Dennis put a hold on the "FreeDumb" c.d. and shelved the master. In addition to that the two took all the A.I. merch they had, roughly $1200 worth of c.d.s and burned them out in the foothills; a literal burning sacrifice to God. Keith wanted no part of any of it so he was kicked out of the band. Mid summer 2001, 3 days after Keith was dismissed, Jeremiah and Dennis received a letter from Javier Cruz. Javier was writing to encourage them with their faith and mentioned that he was a drummer. The three met and talked that following Sunday at church. The next day Jeremiah, Dennis, and Javier got together for a jam session. It seemed right so they began practicing and writing new songs. The "new" Active Ingrediants began playing shows that following November. A.I. recorded their fourth first demo in 2002. In 2003 Active Ingrediants started their own record label "Holy Hardcore Records." Active Ingrediants' sixth release, the "hymns of holy hardcore" full-length c.d. was out May 2003. A.I. backed up the release with a 3-month U.S. tour. -side note- Every song off the "hymns of holy hardcore" c.d. has been featured on either a comp c.d. or a skateboarding dvd/video, Ray Harwood recorded a live "A.I." DVD in 2004.
A.I. went back into the studio 2004 to record a few songs for a split 7 inch that has yet to be released. A.I. followed that unreleased record with a 3-week U.S. tour summer of 2004. Active Ingrediants is hitting the road August 1st, 2005 for a 4-week U.S. tour. When A.I. returns home they will be back in the studio to begin recording a new full-length c.d. to be released early 2006. While in the studio, Active will also be recording two new songs for a split 7-inch release with The Kookoonauts. This record never was released.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Mach 29, 1984, Salinas, California.
Program Abstract: Coyote Press.

Harwood, Ray and Cay Singer
Northridge Archaeological Research Center


A series of experiments were conducted to determine something about the variables affecting the breakage patterns of projectile points. Thirty identical points were made from fused shale (a local meta-sedimentary Sio2), and then hafted to three different types of arrow-shafts: 1) One-piece solid hardwood, b) two piece hardwood, and c) two-piece hardwood and cane. The three groups of arrows, ten of each type, were shot at identical
Wood plank targets with hand held bow from a distance of 25 feet (8m). More than 90%
Of the points broke on impact leaving the broken tip imbedded in the plank. Breaks occurred either at the tip or midsection, sometimes accompanied by basal fractures (broken tangs0. Both hinge and languette fractures were generated but no burinations occurred in the thirty trials conducted. Fracture type and location appear to be strongly correlated with hafting form and style of shaft. Compound shafts of wood and cane seem to absorb more shock on impact and therefore fewer points are broken. Also, breaks tend to occur closer to the tip with compound shafts. Points with broken tips are easily resharpened and reused, whereas medial breaks usually render the point useless as a projectile. Broken projectile points from archaeological contexts may be understood more clearly if the cause and mechanisms of use-fracture are better understood.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Merle Haggard Drive

Yesterday, I and hundreds of people, gathered at Bakersfield's Harley Davidson store along the new Merle Haggard Drive as the roadway was officially dedicated to Merle Haggard. It used to be 7th Standard road in Oildale. Merle drove up about 12:30 in his RV. He was walked up to the outdoor stage where he was praised by local dignitaries. He was accompanied by his wife, daughter and son. His son plays guitar in the band.

The owner of the Bakersfield Harley shop made Merle a custom made leather jacket that Merle put on to applause. The same giant flag that flew at Buck Owens funeral flew high above the stage thanks to the Bakersfield fire dept.