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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Medford, Troy, and Buffalo, the All-American City

posted by on February 26 at 12:06 PM

#22 Oxfam Cafe at Tufts University/Feb 22nd/Medford, MA
It snowed so much today, we were skeptical if we could get to Massachusetts.

Oxfam Cafe is a part of Tufts U dorm. Their most popular menu item is a Pizza Bagel. The first band canceled, so Capillary Action played first, then me.

I usually stand up when I play but this time I sat down on a chair. After the show, we went to Nicole's (who hosted the show) place and watched Simpson's while eating pizza and drinking National Bohemian, Baltimore's own PBR. We got a dozen at the Baltimore show, 6 pack=$2.50.

#23 Ground Zero/Feb 23rd/Troy, NY
GPS is amazing. You type in an address and it tells you where to go.

Today, we went to a bagel shop in Allston. "It's the best bagel in the country," Jon of CA said. To me, bagels taste the same and the statement sounded funny.

Ground Zero is also a basement at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute dorm. There was a good crowd already when we got there. A guy with glasses came up to me: "Hey, Kaz, do you remember me? it's Jessi. We went to Shoreline Community College together."

What a coincidence! Especially in such a small town like Troy (20 min. away from Albany).

The show was very fun. During the set, I asked if anyone was selling Adderal for finals and later I heard a girl sitting right in front of me was. Of course she has some, it's a college dorm!

#24 Recess Cafe/Feb 24th/Syracuse, NY
Capillary Action headed to Canada and I headed to Syracuse. We are going to meet up in Detroit. Dirty D.

I took the greyhound from Albany to Syracuse. There was a diner in the station. I had a greasy, greasy breakfast. The diner was so ghetto and I loved it.

On the bus, a kid behind me was asking "Hey mom, there are ten hundred women in the army. How many more women do you need to have 1200 women?"


"Mom, you are SMART."

This conversation is pretty deep. I don't know what the heck he was talking about. Why Army? Why 1200 women? I am not a huge fan of the army, I am glad there are only 1000 women in it, not 1200.

As soon as I got to Syracuse, I bought a sandwich at Subway. I have been craving bad foods on the road, Subway, Mcdonald's, sketchy diners, etc. When I turned around, there was a guy with bright red glasses. That was Anthony from Know Nothing. He came to pick me up.

The Recess cafe is pretty similar to that cafe on 50th and University in Seattle, one with a movie theater. There was a good mount of punk kids already. "Shows in Syracuse usually turns into punk shows," Anthony said.

The show was fun, I played with Lemuria. They know Eric from Tacocat and we were all about Eric.

"Do you know his band the Trashies?"
"He took us to the Sub Pop office last time we were in Seattle."
"We played with his new band that covers a Bikini Kill song."

I asked them to take me to Buffalo from Syracuse, that way I can go to Ohio easier next day. After hours and hours of conversation on Eric and Good Will Hunting in their car, we started listening to Carissa's Wierd. I have only heard one song on YouTube. They had 50 some CW songs on their iPod. (By the way, when I played Scrabble for the first time in my life, iPod was the only word I came up with. And it didn't count)

"There's a good burrito place called Super Mighty, let's go." I got a Super Mighty burrito and Pepsi. It was only $2.40. I noticed that eating out in Seattle is veryyyyy expensive.

I went to bed early at their place. They pay $850 for 5 bedrooms (only $700 till last month).

Buffalo, an all-American city.

PWRFL Power is one of this year's Young Ones. For the full list--including Throw Me the Statue, Talbot Tagora, and Truckasauras--visit


Monday, February 25, 2008

Baltimore and New York (M.I.A. Has Dry Hands)

posted by on February 25 at 4:25 PM

After the East Coast tour, I was supposed to spend two weeks in Oberlin,OH to practice with Capillary Action, my tourmate. However, their living situation changed, they weren't able to host me anymore. So I was told to stay in NYC until the 19th, which turned out good. I got to spend an extra two weeks with my gf and ate bagels. Also, I got the flu.

#19 Talking Head/Feb 19th/Baltimore
I took the Chinatown bus to Baltimore. It's a super cheap bus line literally leaving from Chinatown. It's usually faster than the Greyhound.

There were six bands on the bill that night. Santa Dads played and everyone from Wham City, a Baltimore art-collective lead by Dan Deacon, was there. I met them for the first time in Jan. 2007 and it was so nice to see Lizz King, Adam (of Creepers), and Kevin (of Videohippos) again.

And wonderful news: M.I.A came and liked it. Thanks to the City Paper for writing about me, Diplo's Manager brought M.I.A. to the show.

It was awesome to see someone everyone's talking about. Her hands were dry.

#20 Inciting HQ/Feb 20th/Philadelphia
I was supposed to go to Geno's for Philly Cheese Steak since I went to Pat's last time but we didn't have time.

The venue was somebody's loft space. Nobody came. M.I.A didn't come either.

#21 Cake Shop/Feb 21st/New York
Cake Shop! My favorite place to play in NYC all the time! I wanted to buy an electric guitar before the show but I couldn't find a Fender Mustang. I decided not to.

The show was very fun. I saw my friend Anthony who now makes the TV show Made, Kiriko, and Ryan. Yes, Ryan from Catbird Records; it's also a blog ( and they are releasing my EP and I made this show a CD release party.


After the set, the lead singer from Shudder to Think bought CDs from me, I wonder if they can cover one of my songs... when they tour with the Smashing Pumpkins again... (*_*).

39 more shows to go, this national tour is going to be very fun.

PWRFL Power is one of the Stranger's 2008 Young Ones


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hot Sex & Cheese Whiz

posted by on February 5 at 1:45 PM

#16 AS220//Jan 30th//Providence

Providence is my most favorite in city in East coast all the time. As soon as we got into town, we headed to AS220, a wonderful all ages venue/art organization I play every time I go through Rhode Island. Same faces, same faces, John of Deer Tick was there, Diego Perez, Chloe, Arley, and Sasha, etc.

I played an acoustic set that night with the mystical Yamaha FG-180 made in Taiwan (For some reasons, Yamaha doesn't have a record of making 180s in Taiwan, only other person who owned the same model is Elliot Smith as far as I know). I have good followings in Providence, so everyone was quiet and listened to me.

After the show, I went to a house called Little Pancakes, a 3-story house that got a spacious living room recently. They tore down a wall. I slept on a couch that was 4 feet wide. This is part of the touring, I have to be all curled up and sleep on a tiny couch. In the morning, I went to White Electric Coffee, one of the most decent coffeehouses in Providence.

AS220-Little Pancakes-White Electric Coffee---This is my Providence trip every single time.


#17 Colins room at University or Delaware//Jan. 31st//Delaware

6 hours drive from Rhode Island. I forgot a name of this diner but we went to a really cool place to eat by the university. I ordered a cheese steak sandwich. Maybe I miss Philly Cheese steak.

"What kind of cheese?"
"Cheese Whiz, please."

While eating I noticed there were a bunch of packed turkey sitting. Their labels said "Golden Legacy". I started wondering what it's like to be turkey. Think about it, you and me, we will be packed in plastic wraps and called "Golden Legacy".

Conclusion first, 2 people came to our show. I played 5 songs. I didn't wanna look at the 2 audience members, so looked at the end of the microphone through out the set.

On our way to Sean's place (he set up this show), we stopped at a liquor store. There was a hard liquor called "Hot Sex".

What's wrong with Delaware? Turkeys are called Golden Legacy and the liquor is called Hot Sex.


$18 The Parlor//Feb 1st//New Jersey

The Parlor is a house in New Jersey and we played in their basement. They served me a good vegan chili. I drank orange juice. Its package said "lots of pulp". I pictured members of the Pulp getting drawn in orange juice.

Audience there was very noisy. It was like a party where kids get trashed and hang out, so slightly far from my scene.

"These people like to party, these people must like drugs..."

I chose tomato song for a starter, a song about tomato and drugs. Nobody cared. When I sang loud, a girl in gold leggings gave me a look and kept talking.

"All right, that's it".

I played 1 song and decided to stop. Some people who were starting to give me attention and my tour mates seemed to be feeling sorry for me. That was the first time I stopped playing because "I didn't feel like it".

I caught an early train off to NYC. There were a group of about 10 or 15 college kids on the train. A blonde girl in the group was eating a big long candy that looked like a penis.

I noticed one (and only) dorky guy in the group was gazing at her.


Friday, February 1, 2008

10 Toothbrushes, 10 Ice Creams

posted by on February 1 at 2:54 PM


On the road with PWRFL Power (upcoming tour dates here):

#13 Sound Fix Records//Jan. 27th//Brooklyn

I left Philadelphia around 5PM with Shawn, Mike, and Party Steve. We all got Philly cheese steak at Pat's. I was told Geno's is way better but they are racists so they won't serve me.

First you tell them if you want onions, then a kind of cheese you want, pay and wait.
Actually, you don't have to wait cuz they make it in 5 seconds. Faster than I counted 8 $1 bills. 3 people in front of me ordered "cheese steak with onion and cheese whiz". I didn't know what cheese whiz was but 3 people ordered the same thing.
there was a pure pressure.

"Can I get...cheese steak...with onion....Cheese....whiz, please..?"

It was a fake chesse I get with Nachos. It tasted good though. does cheese whiz stand for "Cheese Wizard"?


Sound Fix bar is neat. Steven, a bartender, knows Zac Pennington who put out my latest CD. Ric who works for ToddP helped me set up this last minute show with Steven.

I liked what I played. Very calm and sophisticated set, I thought. I saw familiar faces (Clark, Daniel, Ashley from Seattle, Archer, and Earl). It was during a potluck and I enjoyed free pizza and free beers.

I went to Archer's place after the show. She lives with 4 other people. In the bathroom, there's a cup holding about 10 toothbrushes. Also, 5 different colors of bath towel were hung in a row. It's amazing to see people are living "together" not like there's a mess and looks like there are more than 3 people living in one place. Impressed.

#14 Fontana's//Jan 28th//NYC

I had a photo shoot with Theme Magazine today. Dorothy Hong, a freelance photographer, came to this place I was staying and took a bunch of pictures on her Mamiya medium format camera. I don't know anyone who does photo gigs with film cameras and it was very fresh. "Tilt your head a little bit and look up?" She told me what to do and shot 4 220 rolls.


I killed afternoon at Cake Shop in lower east side. It was same as the last time I was there, I always come visit when I'm in town. My friend John Chavez's Hard Bop was playing that night.

I met up with my old friend Kiriko. I gave her my Olympus EE-3 camera. That takes half-framed pictures. And 10 rolls of films.

Fontana's is located in between Chinatown and Lower East Side. The venue is surprisingly spacious and has a pool table.

As soon as I got to the venue, I started fixing 70's Yamaha FG-180 I got in DC. I filed down its bridge and saddle, so I can lower the strings.

"Are you... Taz?"

A lady asked when I was frantically sanding wood. Her name was Alena, an interviewer from Theme Magazine.

"Kaz. K A Z. not T A Z." (>__<)

We talked about a bunch of random on my music, Japan, and touring. She got me Asahi beer and we talked about rent in NYC.

My set was fun and hot. They had a heater on the stage. The room was already hot, so I felt like I was playing in a sauna room.

After the show, I went to McDonald's with a friend. I saw a sign that says "Get 6pc. of Chicken Mcnuggets for $1! (with a purchase of special value meal)". My friend ordered Big Mac meal, so I ordered 3 packs of 6pc Mcnuggets.

"One pack per meal."

A cashier woman who can't pronounce "hamburger" sounded angry. We paid $12.56 and she gave me 4 dimes and 4 pennies. There was a donation box filled with change, one $1 bill, and a receipt.

"Where is this money going to?" I asked.

She pointed at a picture on the donation box. There was a picture of starving kids smiling tiredly.


She turned around and disappeared in the back.

#15 PA's Lounge//Jan 29th//Boston

This was my forth show in Boston and third at PA's. For some reasons, I don't remember much from this show, so I would like to talk about this place I stayed.

It was my tour mate Katy's aunt, Laurie's house in Cambridge. She's a doctor and has 2 cats that don't have tails and 1 dog that seemed out of mind all the time. Actually, her cats seemed out it too, they keep their eyes wide opened all the time and don't stop staring at you until you move.

Her fridge was filled with 10 different kinds of ice creams. Most of them were old and not eatable. So, i ate a can of beef soup and went to bed.

There were so much food and it made me eat. I woke up next day and started eating a bagle and a can of Tom Kha soup. Then, Mango mochi ice (which I threw away after the first bite), and another bagle.

I keep losing weight so I have been trying to eat. While eating and enjoying the internet, I saw a myspace bulletin by Daniel, another tour mate. It said PWRFUL POWR and his band are playing in Providence.

We have played 7 shows already and he never spell my name right /(;__;)\


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How I Roll

posted by on January 29 at 1:18 PM

#10 The Lab//Jan. 24th//Washington DC

I was so lucky to have Bauhaus in walking distance when I lived in Seattle. Here in suburb of Washington DC, I have to walk 30 minutes round trip to get a cup of okay-tasting Starbucks coffee. That was my morning ritual for 4 days as I came back every night after Richmond, DC, and Baltimore shows.

The Lab is a new all ages space and even sound men volunteer to be there. The ex-church space has good acoustics and is appropriate for my kinda music. My set was laid back, I and audience talked back and forth. It was pretty peaceful.

A guitarist from the last band happened to know me. He plays with Travis Morrison & Hell Fighters and I opened for them once. I guess it makes him a hell fighter.


#11 Charm City Art Space//Jan. 25th//Baltimore

CCAS is an all ages art gallery/performance space located by Baltimore's premier gay bar Gallery.

That night, I ate at McDonald's. It was a chicken nuggets meal (that comes with a large coca cola and fries). My tourmates are both vegan and I wanted to be bad that night. Bad like Jessi James.

It was surprisingly good. Pieces of chicken were crisp, fries were crisp, and coca-cola was sensational. You can get all of these pleasure for mere $6.

Thanks for the chicken meal, I could sing louder with even more confidence than usual. I didn't even need a PA system and sang upstairs with my tiny amp (Fender Champion 600). Everyone played in the basement. It was too cold for me to play the basement..


#12 Green Line Cafe//Jan 26th//Philadelphia

Philadelphia is magic. Every time I visit this city, it just hits me so bad. Philadelphia is deep.

We got into town around 6PM. Daniel (of the Vonneguts) wanted to take a look at this place we were going to stay. That was a 3-story house where 5 people lives. One of them was world famous "Party Steve". I have never met anyone who parties more than he does. He doesn't drink, doesn't do drugs, and has 2 phones (a normal cell phone and party phone). He knows all the cool parties in town or all the cool parties want him so they tell him to come. who knows.

After the visit, we headed to Green Line Cafe. The cafe is small and has drawings by kids on the wall. The crowd was small at first but by the time I played, the house was nicely packed (still 30 people max. capacity..).

Before my set, I went to this pizza stand/deli across the street and had a slice of BBQ pizza and buffalo pizza. Also, red stripes. I watched basket ball games surrounded by 3 black men in 50's holding 40oz. bottles of Colt 45 and talking about their wives.

When I drink a beer or 2 and play, it turns out good in general. That night was no exception. The audience (80% female) laughed at my songs, at my life, and felt sorry for laughing.

I met 2 Japanese girls, Eri and Naoko. I get excited when I see Japanese kids at my shows outside of Seattle. Later, I went to a house party with Party Steve, Daniel, and Naoko where I saw Jucifer play.

I feel like everything/everyone I dealt with at house parties in Philadelphia was lacking senses of time/colors, etc. Or they have totally new standards I am not familiar with.
A lot of kids were wearing whatever they found on the street or dumpsters. They eat stuff from dumpsters (i.e found cheese pizza) and play weird free folk jam in their living room at 2PM. One guy was dressing in a pair of pink leggings and a bright blue sweatshirt. I could see his balls. Also, I noticed a lot of people has gap-teeth like I do. Their obnoxiously colorful outfit and gap-teeth made them seem like aliens or some kind of wild animals and I felt like I was in another country.

I went to a tiny art space after the Jucifer show. The space was called Bo-Bo's. As I enter, I saw about 7 people covered in pieces of fabric. They seemed like dresses but they were just pieces of fabric of 2 colors;Lavender and bright orange. The room was full of sage smoke (?) and one girl was lying down on the ground. I thought everyone was on LSD/Shroom but later I found out they were all sober.

This one guy kept saying illogical and pretensiouly spiritual things to me and I felt like he was fucking with me. I noticed his sweatshirt (!!) had a scorpio patch, so I told him I am scorpio asked his sign. He ignored and kept talking about out space, etc. I was bored and picked up a bunch of stuff from the ground. I happened to pick up a knife and flipped open.

"Close it! you need to close it!"

The guy got real serious suddenly, got the knife away from me and threw it away.

I wonder if he though I was gonna stub him. (u___u) no..

When I looked around the room, I notice there's a futon about 4 feet high and an old guy was sleeping on it. The guru woke up after all the conversation.

"Hey, how are you? Did I wake you up?" I asked nicely.
"Oh, well... I was trying to sleep...but I couldn't. I wanted to sleep so when I wake up I don't know where I am."

I thought that's weird and told him when I fall asleep, I do because I know where I am and relaxed. And when I wake up, I know where I am.

The guru seemed very uncomfortable because that's true. He has never forgotten where he felt asleep. Especially, on the stupidly high-up futon.

"Can I come back?" I asked. and everyone except him was "NO!".

I should have told them not to fuck with a Zen-man but i just made a sad face and turned my back.

"You can come back, I can issue a ticket or something" said the old Guru.
"Really? cool! I wanna come back and wear the dress!"

He posed for a second and whispered

"Oh, I wish I could marry you."

"Why not? let's get married, don't wish, just do. That's how I roll."

He seemed sad to see me leave and waved his hand softly.

I got out from the sage-smoke-filled room and all I could think was chicken nuggets meal.


(For more tour dates, go to

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Collection of Empty Liquor Bottles

posted by on January 24 at 9:29 AM

#7 Solo Bar//Jan 19th//Seattle,WA

I flew back in town to have a closing party for my photo show.
Palmer AK played a short set. That was the first time I saw him playing.
I played a fun short set.
It made me nostalgic to think of pictures getting taken down soon. I
sang for not only audience members but also pictures. There was no
picture of cats or cars.

After the set, 2 nice gentlemen who are lawyers gave me kind words.
"You don't really know me but I love you, I love your music."
"Yeah, if you ever need a legal help, we would work for free."

One of them was a tax lawyer and the other one was a criminal lawyer.

Also, he said he will give me a ride from Sea Tac Airport.


#8 Greenhouse//Jan. 20th//Seattle,WA

Greenhouse is where Nathan, a bartender at the Showbox, lives.
He has a collection of empty liquor bottles.
He was dressing like a jesus and giving me drinks.
I told him "Jesus is serving me whisky, I feel like I am in heaven."

Paper Whales, Little Party and Bad Business, Generifus, and Seahouse
all played excellent sets and the show was easily the best house show
I have ever had.

After the show, Jesus gave me another whisky shot. Then I went to Cha
Cha to get more drinks.

I puked in a bathroom at my friend Julian's place. It has been a long
time since I did last time so I looked myself in the mirror and smiled.


#9 Halfway House//Jan 22nd//Richmond,VA

I had to transfer flights at Detroit airport.
I remembered the first visit to the states, I had a cup of Caramel
Macchiato at Starbucks and Florida's Natural orange juice. They tasted
so good that I thought I would live here to drink those 2 everyday.
Now, neither of them tastes good.
I am worried for cavities too.

The show in Richmond was supposed to happen at the Camel but it got
moved to the halfway house, a small 2 stories house in a quiet

This was the first show with my touring mate "The Vonneguts" from
Portland and we played in a tiny bedroom for 9 people.

"I am sorry your first Richmond show is small like this." someone said.

So I said "Now I play for bigger crowds in Seattle but I have played
for 3 people in the past. I have my own definition of party;if there's
more than 7 people excluding myself, there's a party happening. How
many people here...9...? yeah, there's definitely A party happening."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cosmic Pizza vs French Toast

posted by on January 22 at 11:27 AM

#4 Someday Lounge//Jan 14th//Portland,OR

This show was amazing. Thanks for the Portland Mercury and their blog, there was a good crowd at the neat venue. Ah Holly Fam'ly and mattress played wonderfully and I felt like I was doing something wrong during my set.

I felt I am dirty. My songs are about sex, drug, and fake IDs. How dirty.
However, I can't change that suddenly, we just have to accept who we are.

Surprisingly enough, I sold about 15 CDs and Shirts.
That was the day received my debut album on Slender Means Society too.
I love the artwork by E-rock. It's such a pleasant feeling to have my music "looking" nice.
Next day, I had big french toasts and coffee with Matt Carlson.


#5 Cozmic Pizza//Jan 15th//Eugene,OR

Wow, this is the hippie town everyone is talking about.
They don't have plastic bags or Coca Cola.
They have brown paper bags and fake cola made of organic sugar.

The space reminded me of Trabant Chai Lounge in U-district Seattle.
They had a good pizza.
I played a fine set and met Chad, who sets up house shows. Next time, I will play a house in Eugene!

I went to Diablo's Downtown Lounge with Sho, Junior at U of O and had 2 beers.
It was Free Pool Tuesday Night, we played 10 games and he quickly got good at it.


#6 Hemlock Tavern//Jan 17th//San Francisco, CA

I took a 13 hour greyhound ride from Eugene at midnight.
In the early afternoon of Jan 16th, I met up with Clark who used to live in this Central District house "Holy Land".
We went to Casanova Lounge. I sat on a couch and felt something soft.

That was a black beret hat. Everyone there said it looks good on me, so I kept it.

Next day, I did an interview with Giant Robot.
They asked me who I think is the best guitarist, so I told them Roland Dyens is.
He is a classical guitar composer and he plays flawlessly.
"What about Yngwee Malmsteen?" they asked me back.
So I said he is pretty funny but not the best. Kind of like a cult leader.

Hemlock Tavern is on the border of a yuppie neighborhood and a sketchy crackhead neighborhood. I was told so. The show was with Jib Kidder and Beefy Cakes.
Although I liked their sets a lot, neither of them were satisfied with what they did.
A lot of kids were from Seattle and yelled after each song and I felt like I was being welcomed by the whole city.
All the girls who bought my CDs were really cute and it made me wanna move there.
I don't know cute girls are buying my CDs or the fact they are buying my CDs make them look attractive.

I asked a girl at the bar where I can party and she took me to a bar called Delirium in the mission district.
She paid for the cab so I bought 3 40s on our way to Clark's place.

Monday, January 21, 2008

PWRFL Power Tour Diary, pt. 1

posted by on January 21 at 12:00 PM


This is the first post of PWRFL POWER tour diary.
The tour started on Jan 11th and it's about 60 shows-long.
I've got a macbook to blog this, hope you enjoy reading what I am up to!


#1 Island Music Guild//Jan 11th//Bainbridge Island

I took the ferry to get to the island.
It was moving so quietly, I didn't know where I was.
At 6:15PM, I asked people around

"when does this ferry leave Seattle? we have been stuck here for like..40minutes!"

And they gave me a weird look and said

"We are already here, boy."

1st "B" island experience, yes.
Julia, a tall young girl with glasses, came to pick me up from the terminal.
There was a basket ball game at the same night and a lot of people chose the game over me. My balls were not big enough for kids, aw.
We indie musicians should know that, in small towns, basket ball games/dance parties/meetings at churches DIRECTLY affects the draw to your show.

I met Korum, Jherek (dead Science)'s brother and we ate cakes. Actually the show was very fun!


#2 Healthy Times Fun Club//Jan 12th//Seattle

Capitol Hill's coolest DIY venue HTFC! Shows here can't be bad, like no way!
Baby Cakes, the most awesome protagonist, the alskas, and Everett Trust all played delightful sets.

I decided to act a little angry/sad that night, that added a weird layer to my performance and I didn't sell that many CDs.
Experimentation is cool but looking pissed isn't mentally and financially. Lesson learned!


#3 Le Voyeur//Jan 13th//Olympia

I got into town on Greyhound. The city was cold and so was a music room at the Voyeur.
Conclusion first--There was no one and the venue has never been good.
3 Japanese kids showed up to see me. I felt real sorry for them because their PA system is beaten up like nothing else and the room was as cold as outside.

After the show I went to one of the kids, Yuki's House and drank Olympia beer.
We all slept there and next day, I found out a blanket I used has a lot of Elmo faces.

At Capital Music, I tried this parlor guitar made by Washburn.
$700 and totally worth it!
"I will be back from LA on monday, so call me." This owner guy gave me a card. I looked at it and his name was printed with big bold letters; ROBERT JOHNSON