Wednesday, February 29, 2012

graffiti squared part 2

what it is: more weird patterns
where i found it: around town

One of my favorite unintentional art forms is when people do a poor job of covering over graffiti (usually in a color that's not quite the shade of the original, but sometimes they don't even try). While it clearly does nothing to un-deface their property, it usually leaves some great and unusual shapes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

gangs of new york

Here's a list of creative and excellent old school gang names from the New York City Police Museum, which sucks other than this list and a wall of improvised weaponry they have on display.


Monday, February 27, 2012

abandoned monuments

what it is: abandoned soviet monuments
where i found it: crack two

Here is a great series of pictures of abandoned Soviet momuments, looking like alien vehicles that crashed in the middle of nowhere. I found them on the Crack Two site, which is horribly hobbled by advertisements, yet has alot of interesting photography.


In other news, Erland Josephson died, who was a main man for both Andrei Tarkovsky and Ingmar Bergman. I'd be afraid of meeting either of those guys, much less being at the whim of their direction. If you like long, slow, harrowing movies you can see his work in Scenes from a Marriage (where he slowly, mercilessly devestates his wife) and the Sacrifice where he philosophizes endlessly towards obliteration.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


what it is: christian vikernes' take on instrument choice
where i found it: researching drum machines

I came across this essay that Christian ("Varg"/"Count Grishnach"/"Burzum") Vikerness - I can't resist using his real first name - wrote about how he chooses instruments. For once, I am in total agreement with his opinion. At some point in the future I also can't resist posting one his early interviews, which along with a couple of other black metal gems of extreme nihilism really takes the cake.  

Ancient Nord wisdom regarding Marshall amplifiers

Equally nonchalant in his choice of medieval weaponry?

Friday, February 24, 2012

RIP reichel

what it is: hans reichel, leaving earth a while ago
where i found it: word of mouth

Someone mentioned to me yesterday that Hans Reichel had died a few months back. I cannot not post about a German guy that invented crazy, exquisitely sculpted instruments and wrote operas for them. He was also a master of prepared and altered guitars. His records (mostly on FMP) are expensive but worth it.

Here's a video containing some of his music and more "daxophone" visuals.


I guess while I'm at it I may as well do an extremely belated (10 years) RIP for Peter Kowald, also from Wupertal, Germany. An upright bass virtuoso and throat singer who apparently rode his bicycle around Wupertal all the time, played on Peter Brotzmann's devestating Machine Gun album and in last years of his life fulfilled a dream of driving a station wagon around the USA playing with all of the local improvisers he came across. They should make more guys like this.

Old classic footage, not much Kowald visual

Newer footage, much Kowald visual

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

very good voivod video

what it is: very good voivod video
where i found it: the underside of the 80s

I've been on a Voivod kick ever since those early demos got released. I cannot not share this video with you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

stooge stories

what it is: stooge stories
where i found it: requiem metal podcast

Iggy Pop wearing white golf shoes while dancing on a metal washboard connected to a contact mic and hooked up through a giant PA. This is one of the short excellent tales related by Ron Ashton (RIP) in these never-before-heard-in-full interviews. As usual, the guys who do this podcast are simultaneously pretty goofy and pretty interesting. Plus, their banter and the Ron Ashton material is interspersed with classic Stooges tracks. How could you not like this?

"we were in love with contact mics"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

the grateful dead is not good

what it is: the grateful dead not being good
where i found it: the tape deck of my car

Maybe it was the LSD. Maybe it was being swept more than once into the dark side of the hippy kingdom that the Grateful Dead brought to town with them. Maybe it was the bad judgement of a teenager.
When I was 18, I used to kind of like the Grateful Dead. I even have a number of old bootleg tapes that (according to the heavier 'heads I knew) are supposedly where it is at and that I used to enjoy toking up and listening to. This morning I popped one in for the first time in a few years and guess what I discovered. The Grateful Dead is not good.

Bad Ray Charles imitations, aimless guitar solos, half-hearted vocals, uninteresting dips into the avant-garde, lackadaisical white people grooves. They're all there in force. At least Phish had some well rehearsed compositional twists. That's right. After all is said and done, The Grateful Dead do not seem to be good.

Friday, February 17, 2012

bill cosby. naked.

what it is: bill cosby. naked.
where i found it: word of mouth

Check out this cartoon series House of Cosbys, including a naked Cosby, a bathing Cosby, a cleaning Cosby, a silent Cosby and a curious  Cosby. It's much funnier than this summary makes it sound. And it's no longer in production b/c B.C's lawyers shut it down. Sort of like they supposedly shut down the Dukes of Hazzard.

I've only watched the first episode, which reaches a fever pitch of hilarity and insanity. Let's see how far it can go.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

hostile trees

what it is: hostile trees
where i found it: they're everywhere. run.

A while back I posted about my fear (and hope) that trees would take over civilization. This guy obviously has the same idea and has documented it much more extensively here.

He also offers these other great photo posts:

Rock Stars with their parents

Imprints made when birds hit windows

Abandoned Soviet monuments

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

more stuff i've gotten rid of

what it is: new years resolution update
where i found it: my junkyard of a house

I'm not totally up to date on my pledge to get rid of one thing a day, but I'm still trying. Here are a few recent discards:

some jalapeno vinegar i made five years ago that will burn your gums out

a lengthy and weird book that's sort of about time travel

a bottle of gross strawberry lemonade that a guest brought over
an outdated comedy text

a zebra named ryan

Monday, February 13, 2012

tweet tweet

what it is: wfmu twitter feed
where i found it: the 'net

I recently joined Twitter, thinking there had to be something to it. There is. Millions and millions of stupid little sentences being launched at you all day long. Ugh. One exception to this is WFMU's feed, which sends awesome links of all kinds, one after the other. Here are a few examples from the last several days.

Jan Svenkmeyer on youtube. I hadn't seen this short in about twenty years. My favorite parts are the flying ears and when the brain crawls through the door.

Survival research laboratories. I had forgotten about this too. I hadn't seen it since I went to one of their long ago performances at a motor speedway in middle-of-nowhere-Texas.

Justin Beiber's face made of meat.

Friday, February 10, 2012

poor reportage

what it is: poor reportage
where i found it: the new york times

The Times published an obit yesterday of Zalman King, speaking at length about his fame as a Cinemax soft core porn director and his most famous work, 9 and 1/2 Weeks. I was appalled, however, that they didn't even bother to mention his starring role in the film Blue Sunshine, one of the best horror/LSD movies ever made. As far as I'm concerned it's essential viewing, far better than watching Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger court in soft focus. Below is a summary from Wikipedia, which which concisely outlines the preposterous plot.

In the midst of a party a reveler croons to the rest of the room and has his hair suddenly pulled off by a curious friend. The bald crooner then has a psychotic break and starts killing everyone. Jerry Zipkin (Zalman King), is wrongly accused of the murders, and tries to gather evidence to prove his innocence with the help of Alicia Sweeney (Deborah Winters). He discovers that 10 years prior, a group of college kids had taken a new form of LSD called "Blue Sunshine," which causes its users to lose their hair and become homicidal maniacs many years after their trip is over. Zipkin manages to defeat the crazed bodyguard of a local politician, and save the shopping mall discotheque by carefully remembering the advice of the gun shop employee.

Please see this movie.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

welcome to fugazi mountain

what it is: more fugazi than you can shake a stick at
where i found it: my 15th year on earth

If you were ever a Fugazi fan then today you're a lucky person. The folks at Dischord are posting every live show they ever did, all available on their sight for sliding scale prices ($1-100) per show. That's way too much Fugazi for me, even though I liked them a lot and their Repeater album absolutely stretched me. If the thing you enjoyed most was their stage banter (brow beating people who danced, insulting your town), then you're also in luck. Someone has posted a 40 minute compilation of Mackaye yapping, which is better than it sounds.

Here's the link to the archives.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

imaginary strangers in a child's mind

what it is: imaginary strangers in a child's mind
where i found it: my seed

My son is trying to get his head around the idea of what a stranger is. It's really hard to convey to him that they're not all evil, but some are and that they're not all creepy dudes in a van with a mustache, but some are. We were driving around the neighborhood the other day and he asked me if the below object was a stranger. At first it just looked like a wrapped up garden umbrella, but now I can't drive past it without getting the creeps.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

bye bye ben

what it is: RIP ben gazzarra
where i found it: a marathon texas cassavetes film festival

Three RIPs in a row is pushing it, but all three are worth it. Now we have the death of Ben Gazzarra, one of John Cassavetes' core crew. If you've never seen the Cassavetes movies, now is the time. For those of us that have, this gives us all good occasion for a review. Loose-limbed and emotionally wrenching, they're all well worth your time. The trio of Cassavetes, Gazzara and Peter Falk (more famous as detective Colombo) as no good business men spouses on a bender in Husbands is confusing, chaotic and super. You also might want to check out his work as devastatingly f'ed up father in Buffalo 66 and as a depressed casino owner in Killing of a Chinese Bookie Bye bye Ben.

Friday, February 3, 2012

suicide pact?

what it is: a don cornelius/mike kelley suicide pact?
where i found it: the news

This week has brought news of the alleged suicides of both Mike Kelley and Don Cornelius (the suicide part is new to me since yesterday's Cornelius post). Is there a chance that the two were doing some psychologically entwined dance of death?

If you don't know, Mike Kelley was a co-founder of the weirdo performance art band Destroy All Monsters (get a hold of the Ecstatic Peace box set if you can - good luck), who influenced pretty much every post punk band there ever was, whether they know it or not. You also might know him from his sculptures made of dirty stuffed animals, some of which appeared on the front of Sonic Youth's Dirty LP. I got to see one of his sculpture shows about a year ago in Long Island City, which left me feeling empty inside despite being constructed out of fuzzy and cute creatures. Maybe that was the point.

If you're interested, here's a PBS documentary about some of his art making.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

bye bye don cornelius

what it is: RIP don cornelius
where i found it: saturday morning

Growing up a white kid amongst white kids, Soul Train always appeared to be a Saturday morning delivery from a strange alien planet. Decades later it seems like a fantastic archive of unapologetically black, pre-gang obsessed urban culture that may have never otherwise been amassed. My job these days involves playing music with a lot of old black people, so Soultrain and Don Cornelius are an invaluable resource for brushing up on my old soul. It's not only about the music, though. The clothes, the moves and the attitudes might just blow your mind. Thanks Don.

You can spend all afternoon with this stuff, but here are some good places to start:

look for rerun

super brother himself

the queen (too short)

maybe you prefer the digest, infomercial style

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

concealed firearms

what it is: concealed firearms
where i found it: the eternal fount of reader JPW

You probably shouldn't watch this at work. Reader JPW and the people of Japan deliver the goods again.