My playlist of the week – Week 2- April 1, 2013 – “A Place to Bury Strangers”

My current list of songs I have been obsessively listening to this week come from a band I have only recently discovered, A Place to Bury Strangers.

I found them by accident on iTunes and bought a few songs. I never do that, NEVER. I’m conservative spending money on bands I know I like, so again, I never do that, but I was so taken away by the 30 second samples, I just had to own some of their music.

Their music sounds like the bands I’ve loved since high school. You can hear the influences of Joy Division and Jesus and Mary Chain the most.

I bought Exploding Head and loved it so much I went back and bought several more versions of the song from an EP. Since then I have bought a few more, but Exploding Head is still my favorite.
A Place to Bury Strangers – “Exploding Head”

My playlist of the week – Week 1- March 25, 2012 (…plus informal review of Rancid show in SF)

I can get stuck, almost obsessed with, with about 5 to 10 songs at a time for a week or so. I am introduced to, or I re-connect with, music I absolutely love so on many levels, and post them everywhere so I can talk about them. I don’t know why I never thought of posting stuff like that here where I can talk about them all I want.

… Of course just posting music videos from YouTube only represents the music artists top singles instead of what I’m actually listening to. I don’t know what else to use. Any suggestions?


Rancid – Time Bomb,     Rancid – Ruby Soho,    Rancid – If I Fall Back Down Again,   Rancid “Last One to Die”
I was definitely into Rancid this week! My husband, David, and I went to their 20th anniversary concert in San Francisco at The Warfield! This year is actually our 20th anniversary also and we have been fans from the beginning back when we lived in Berkeley….. but somehow they managed to make it to my, “How in the hell have I never seen them live?” list. No more! The night was nostalgic (David is dealing with vertigo so no moshing), fun (easter eggs for me), and incredible to watch.
Transplants (side project for Rancid singer, Tim Armstrong, long-time friend/crew Skinhead Rob, and Blink 182’s Travis Barker) are one of my favorite bands but since I’ve never seen them live, I was hoping for an appearance by Skinhead Rob tonight. 🙂 It was short (just his part in Red Hot Moon & no Transplants song) but he killed it, making it a highlight of the night for me. Really looking forward to the new album and HOPEFULLY a tour. Much more on Transplants (and Travis Barker’s music and album) later.
So, 20 years later and after that show, I’m still crushing on Tim Armstrong. …And with that shallow and not related to music statement, I’m sure I’ve just dropped my legitimacy down a peg or two, and blowing my position on why I can feel dismissed as a music fan being female. All in the very first post of my new topic too. Oh well.

It was also really cool seeing Branden Steineckert playing drums live again. He has been drumming with Rancid since 2006 but before that he was in another one of my all-time favorite bands, The Used before they… oddly… kicked him out. I have only seen him play live with The Used and that was a while ago.
Speaking of The Used, I listen to their first two albums A LOT regardless what week it is, The Used “Taste of Ink”, The Used “Bury Myself Alive” , The Used “I Caught Fire”. When we lived in Ukiah, California “The Taste of Ink” was my anthem! (Sorry AFI, but you had just left and we hated it there). In fact, I was pretty sure the song had to be written about living in  Ukiah too, hahaha, of course, you know, until I found out they were from Utah and not Ukiah (lol). Anyway, this favorite makes me happy because I relate to the lyrics and feel I escaped too.

Playlist of Rancid performing at my show on 3/24/2012

Until next week…

My Story about Modern Slavery.

(If at any point it sounds like I’m bragging, I promise you, I’m trying to make opposite point).

I’ve been informed about some kinds of modern slavery since the early 1990’s when I attended UC Berkeley and read about brothels with children for tourists, the diamond industry in Africa, war-lords “recruiting” soldiers, our clothing being made by in sweat shops (most lured and kept in the US the same way Russians girls are today), and then shortly after, all the Serbian rape camps in Bosnia. And although I have memories of being horrified and sick to my stomach, this actually didn’t stand out too much from everything else I was learning. For the most part, these are normal feelings when you do your homework at UC Berkeley.

I got fired up and wanted to change everything being exposed to at Cal. No doubt friends and family got tired of me talking about every social injustice I came across. (And I won’t even go into being the only Liberal at my church. The warmth received during this time did however motivate me to give most my tithes and offerings as alms to various organizations. I mean, what would Jesus do, right?)
Since then, I’ve been involved with said groups only here and there, nothing really monumental or too consistent from year to year. Although I will add the unforgettable day I received a post card from Amnesty International celebrating the release of a tortured prisoner whose letter writing campaign I worked on, serving as everlasting testimony that small tasks for huge issues through non-profits can make a difference.

So 15 years later and hundreds of new devoted organizations onboard to fighting forced labor and slavery, you would think that some things would have changed by now, right?

Well they have changed… and drastically. Human traffickers realized how much more money can be made from having foreign girls do more than just sew. The human slave trade is exploding, literally expanding every year. Today there are 27 million victims in the slave industry, 80 percent of them being women and children. This is twice the amount when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Human trafficking makes 32 billion dollars each year; more than Nike, Google, and Starbucks combined. These revenues are twice the annual budget of NASA and eight times that of the UN. The millions of women (and children) taken from their lives and forced into a life of rape and torture see an average of 30 “clients” every single day. It is atrocious that we are not hearing about this everywhere. It is atrocious to me that I am not doing more to stop it.

So I’m done with my minimal commitments to many organizations covering an array of social ills and ready to focus all my energies into taking real action and give my all to this.
I am ready to be the abolitionist that I looked up to so much growing up.

I implore you to join me because now is the time to do so.
There is a movie, CALL + RESPONSE, being released in September that has the potential to bring the needed awareness to the situation. (visit CALL + RESPONSE to watch the trailer and read more details about the film) This is the perfect time to involved because the massive movement related to this film can actually lead to making real changes. It’s powerful in it’s operation because the film was made completely through donations so it has 100% of the profits going straight into global field projects on the front lines of this issue. This modern abolitionist campaign is a grassroots movement, working from the bottom up, utilizing all talents, interests, and skills to work together on diverse goals and projects.
With music so involved in the slavery issue, it has been said that “… is a ground-breaking robust online interactive platform, which combines the passion of justice, and scope of a Presidential Campaign, with the swagger of Rock & Roll”.

So it is this is the rapidly growing movement that I have chosen to use to make my stand against the most evil things I can think of. Mostly because it’s been a long time since I have had this much hope on seeing this deplorable industry addressed by all. And I will be waiting for my postcards I plan on getting informing me of the many accomplishments we will achieve.

Ronda Gupton –Pruett


One of the most important things you can do right now to join the abolitionist effort is visit CALL + RESPONSE to watch the trailer, then click on “Act” to sign up with your zip code to help bring the movie to your town.
.Getting this convincing documentary to as many people as we can is crucial to exposing what’s happening and bringing this issue to the forefront of all media. .

You can also visit CALL + RESPOND on myspace and facebook to see what people are saying, add as friends, and join the causes. Then post the CALL + RESPONSE links, trailers, and news to your profiles or blogs.
Any and all efforts in the abolitionist movement by helping spread the word about this film are beyond appreciated. Everyone needs to see it and 100% of the proceeds are given to projects taking place out in the field.

You can also email me at if you have any questions, would like additional information, or are interested in being active with CALL + RESPOND.