Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Video from "OFF!" with cool cameos

“Red White and Black” directed by The Admiral, starring Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall) and Brian Posehn (Mr. Show) with cameos by Dale Crover (Melvins), David Yow (Jesus Lizard), Jack Grisham (TSOL), and Danny Carey (Tool)

Dave Foley and Brian Posehn, play fascists who get what they deserve in the new OFFicial video from OFF!, "Red White and Black."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Los Angeles Philharmonic plays through an earthquake

From Amy Seidenwurm at Boing Boing:
Here's a video (well, real audio with some graphics) of the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloé during a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. It's pretty interesting to hear the gasps and murmurs of the audience followed by the lovely music continuing without a hitch.

A couple of things to note here:
-Walt Disney Concert Hall was built only 10 years ago and is made to withstand seismic activity.
-I work for the LA Phil and had a hand in making this video.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Invoking blackface, conservative idiot whines that Stephen Colbert is racist towards conservatives!

from our friend Richard Metzger over at Dangerous Minds


I seldom write about political matters anymore on DM because there’s an assumption that if you hate Republicans then you must automatically be a Democrat and I got tired of offering the disclaimer that the only reason I would ever vote for a Democrat is to keep the Republican out of office. Not only that, once-reliable traffic-generators like “Glenn Beck says something OFF THE WALL (again)” or “Sarah Palin says something IDIOTIC (again)” don’t really bring in that much traffic anymore. Republicans are fucking idiots. If they weren’t, then they wouldn’t be Republicans. Most people who read this blog probably don’t need anyone, including me, explaining that to them. I prefer to ignore them.

Today, though, I’m making an exception for the #1 dumbest rightwing reaction to Stephen Colbert taking over for David Letterman. This is just too good.

Young Ben Shapiro was once the wimpy “boy wonder” to Andrew Breitbart’s blob-shaped crusader and he usually makes about as much sense as his blustery late mentor, except that no one takes him nearly as seriously. Lil’ Ben is now the editor of a silly blog called Truth Revolt that no one reads except for lefty bloggers who want to mock him. He’s written a new book called How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them and he’s proud of the fact that he was still a virgin on his wedding day.

Shapiro possesses pretty much the most punchable face I think I’ve ever seen. He fills me with visceral hatred. Which is kind of funny because in his latest Truth Revolt “think piece” Shapiro makes an inadvertently hilarious argument for the comedic genius, not to mention vital cultural importance of Stephen Colbert by complaining that:

“It is nearly impossible to watch an episode of The Colbert Report without coming away with a viscerally negative response to conservatives.”

Sharply observed, fuckwit! Give that man a Kewpie Doll…

But in the wake of all the conservative hand-wringing about Colbert replacing Letterman (Rush Limbaugh said that CBS was declaring “war” on the heartland with this pick) Babyface Ben sees something far more sinister going on:  Colbert IS a racist! He’s a racist against conservatives!

Blackface, which has an ugly history dating back to at least the fifteenth century according to historian John Strausbaugh, was used to portray demeaning and horrifying stereotypes of blacks. Such stereotypical imitation has not been limited to blacks, of course; actors tasked with playing stereotypical Jew Shylock often donned a fake nose and red wig, as did actors who were supposed to play Barabas in The Jew of Malta. Such stereotypical potrayals [sic] create a false sense of blacks, or Jews, or whomever becomes the target of such nastiness.

And this is precisely what Colbert does with regard to politics: he engages in Conservativeface. He needs no makeup or bulbous appendage to play a conservative – after all, conservatives come in every shape and size. Instead, he acts as though he is a conservative – an idiotic, racist, sexist, bigoted, brutal conservative. He out-Archie Bunkers Archie Bunker. His audience laughs and scoffs at brutal religious “Colbert” who wishes to persecute gays; they chortle at evil sexist “Colbert” who thinks men are victims of sexism. This is the purpose of Colbert’s routine. His show is about pure hatred for conservatives in the same way that blackface was about pure hatred of blacks. In order to justify their racism, racists had to create a false perception of blacks; in the same way, Colbert and his audience can justify their racism only by creating a false perception of conservatives.

No, no Ben, you’re confused. Colbert gives a very, very, very accurate portrayal of conservatives. Didn’t you just write:

“It is nearly impossible to watch an episode of The Colbert Report without coming away with a viscerally negative response to conservatives.”

It’s because conservatives are assholes, Ben. Like you. Someone who doesn’t get the fucking joke..

The comments below Shapiro’s logic-addled rant are as delicious as you might expect:

The only thing this article accomplished is making me think that I might not be too sad if society as a whole started systematically disenfranchising and dehumanizing conservatives. After all, if this guy is that attached to the blackface metaphor he should at least get to experience it for real firsthand.

Here’s another:

Is this an article or a rationalization? Sounds like more right wing sour grapes to me. Colbert’s character is successful because it is such a dead-on satire. You can listen to Rush and Fox News and conclude that Colbert is misrepresenting them as somehow worse, or more extreme than they really are? Laughable. Go re-examine your life. You’re on the wrong side.

Tee-hee. Expecting self-awareness from the likes of lil’ Ben seems a tad far-fetched, though.

Oh, brother. There’s this thing called satire and it always exagerrates its subject. That’s how it works. Minstrel shows weren’t satire. They were mockery and cultural appropriation. Is Mr Shapiro claiming that people are born conservative and Mr Colbert is stereotyping the entire conservative “race?”



What about?

it’s almost as if you’re providing the source material for him to be successful…oh wait, you have

Here’s another good one:

You just compared the schtick of a comedian on a comedy network to the institutional and societal approved degradation of a entire race of people. Which in addition to being monumentally stupid is also precisely why folks like Colbert mock conservatives, your feigned attempts at equivocating always shines a light on the underbelly of your magnificent ignorance.

Not sure if Ben Shapiro and Truth Revolt are important enough targets for Colbert and his writers to take notice of—some attention from him is what Shapiro seems to be aiming for with this insipid drivel—but it would be amusing to hear their take on how the author of How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them scored such a humiliating own goal.

Meanwhile, Colbert did what he does best on last night’s program, totally pwning “Papa Bear”:



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Eyes on the Prize
A Nation of Law?, 1967-1968

Episode 12

By the late 1960s, the anger in poorer urban areas over charges of police brutality was smoldering. In Chicago, Fred Hampton formed a Black Panther Party chapter. As the chapter grew, so did police surveillance. In a pre-dawn assault by the police, Panthers Hampton and Mark Clark were killed. The deaths came at a time when movement activists were increasingly becoming targets of police harassment at both the local and federal levels through COUNTELPRO, the FBI's Counter Intelligence Program. During this same period, inmates at New York's Attica prison took over the prison in an effort to publicize intolerable conditions. During the police assault which ended the takeover, several inmates and guards were killed. For some, Attica came to symbolize the brutality of a hardened political regime.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dirty Old New York aka Fun City
part 2

The second installment of a multi-part series devoted to the Fun City years. Again, shots are connected by actor, location, character, film, recurring object or motif.

Friday, April 11, 2014

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New York City

1. Pinball was banned in the city until 1978. The NYPD even held “Prohibition-style” busts.

2. It is a misdemeanor to fart in NYC churches.
3. It costs $1 million to get a license (medallion) to operate a taxicab.

4. The first pizzeria in the United States was opened in NYC in 1895.

5. In 1857, toilet paper was invented by Joseph C. Gayetty in NYC.
6. The Jewish population in NYC is the largest in the world outside of Israel.

7. Up until World War II, everyone in the entire city who was moving apartments had to move on May 1. 
8. The city of New York will pay for a one-way plane ticket for any homeless person if they have a guaranteed place to stay. 
9. There’s a man who mines sidewalk cracks for gold. He can make over $600 a week. 
10. According to New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, the last hurricane to pass directly over the city was in 1821. The storm surge was so high that the city was flooded up to Canal Street.

We will post more from this list every friday for the next 5 weeks ;-)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

new video from CHAIN & THE GANG


and the promo clip for the LP

WHAT IS A GROUP? is a film by Ian F Svenonius starring Katie Alice Greer, Daniele Yandel, Chain & the Gang, Alex Minoff, Kid Congo Powers, Michelle Mae, Mary TImony, Francy Graham, and more. It explores the uses and origins of the rock n roll group.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I had a quick shoot with 'Nadya' and 'Masha' of PUSSY RIOT over the weekend.

After many phone calls, e-mails, and connections worn out, I finally had an opportunity to get a few minutes with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, two members of Pussy Riot, between their busy schedule, while they were here in NYC on their way to California.

I was hoping to get one last shot for my next book. I wasn't able to get the balaclava image i was hoping for, but got a couple of good ones (probably even better since I could actually see their faces), and had a nice time talking with 'Masha' and 'Nadya' about film, vegetarianism, and what happened to them at the Olympics. We got to shoot about half a roll of film (I let my son finish the roll on our way to school monday) and a couple of snaps with my digital point and shoot as well. I think i got one for the book, but you'll have to wait and see that one in September. Here are a few of the cool left overs:

checkout out their channel on YouTube Гараджа Матвеева

p.s. one of my sons' photos from the last half of the roll...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Domino Chain World Record

The Seattle Public Library launched the 2013 Summer Reading Program by setting a new world record for the longest book domino chain!

The books used to make this domino chain were either donated or are out of date and no longer in the library's collection. They are now being sold by the Friends of Seattle Public Library to help raise money for library programs and services.

No books were harmed during the filming of this video.

Filmed by Playfish Media:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Eyes on the Prize
Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More, 1964-1972

Episode 11

An awareness and sense of pride emerged through the struggle of World Heavyweight Champion Cassius Clay to be called by his new Islamic name, Muhammad Ali. No longer content to use the mainstream culture as their standard and rejecting images which traditionally stereotyped them as servile and inferior, a new generation of African Americans began to redefine itself. Propelled by the Black Consciousness Movement, they celebrated black values and culture and their African roots. Howard University students demanded a more black-oriented curriculum, and African-Americans of every persuasion met to forge a new unity at the Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dirty Old New York aka Fun City
part 1

Another installment in a continuing project that aims to document the life and times of New York City--on film--from the Lindsay years through the first two Koch terms. As indicated, this piece will likely be revised / supplemented with additional footage. The project will continue with a second installment, which will pick up in some way from where Part I ends. All shots are connected by at least one of the following: location, film, character, actor, signage, repeating object, or recurring motif. I've tried to source everything from 16x9 DVDs, but have had to compromise this standard in some cases.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Lost Art of Surf Movie Tickets

from Dangerous Minds:


Movie tickets are not something to which we give a lot of thought from an aesthetic point of view, and really why should we?  They exist to be torn in half within minutes of purchase. The generic, bluish, thermally printed and perfectly utilitarian stubs we’re used to today were preceded in my youth by the classic red “ADMIT ONE” tabs that did the job just fine in the days when most cinemas had only one or two theaters.

So it was a truly pleasant surprise to find The Gallery of Surf Classics’ trove of 1960s surf movie ticket stubs. Many are very plain, but some of the graphic tickets are marvelous. Now, apart from breakouts like Bruce Brown’s classic The Endless Summer, surf movies weren’t nearly as mainstream as the Frankie & Annette beach party movies that simplified the culture for America’s landlocked. (As a Cleveland kid and a great indoorsman who doesn’t doesn’t tend to much get hung up on the whole So-Cal vibe, movies formed the basis of my knowledge of surf culture, to which I’m a consummate outsider.) These were essentially niche sports documentaries that screened in high school auditoria and civic rec centers, so I find it pretty amazing that anyone would have taken the time and expense to craft such elaborate tickets for these films.


The Endless Summer, 1964


Walt Phillips’ Once Upon a Wave, 1963


Grant Rohloff’s Too Hot To Handle, 1963


Peter Clifton/DES Films’ A Fluid Journey, 1969

MacGillivray Freeman Films moved on from surfer flicks in the ‘60s and ‘70s to retool as an IMax production company, whose body of work includes the massive success Everest, but their Five Summer Stories is a surf genre classic.


Five Summer Stories, 1972


Free and Easy, 1967


The Sunshine Sea, 1970


A Cool Wave of Color, 1964

The following stubs are quite special—they’re designed by director/artist/surfer John Severson. Severson began filming surf documentaries in 1957, founded Surfer magazine in 1959, and remains to this day a gifted graphic artist celebrating surf. His block prints are especially awesome, but all his artwork is worth a peek.


Surf Fever, 1960


Big Wednesday, 1961, related only by title to the 1978 Jan-Michael Vincent/Gary Busey surf film.


Going My Wave, 1962


The Angry Sea, 1963

I could hardly show you surf movie ticket art without showing you a surf movie, right? Here’s a fantastic looking and sounding upload of the Citizen Kane of surf movies, The Endless Summer. The premise is tantalizingly wishful—if one had the time and resources, one could continually travel the globe so as to always be in a part of the world where it’s summertime, and thus live a life of neverending surfing. It’s all at once a helpful primer about surf culture basics (as of 1964), a fantastic travelogue, and a collection of beautiful footage.