Extraordinary Exhibitions (and more)

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We caught the last weekend of the Ricky Jay curated collection of broadsides at the Hammer Museum on Saturday. Here’s a slideshow as well as a write-up in the New York Times.

Other things over the break…went to the Apple Pan (finally), Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, 29 Palms, Palm Desert…visiting some of Amanda’s friends (musicians, artists, etc…) and making new ones. Oh…there was plenty of food, good margaritas, a hot tub (under a desert moon) and quite obsessive bowling matches on Nintendo’s Wii thingamajoo played on a 70+ inch screen flatscreen tv. (That was lots of fun)

Here are some random pictures from the long weekend:

(btw, click the album called November 2007…not the Photostream, after you click the dinosaur)

Harmonies In My Head (November Edition)

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It’s been awhile since I’ve offered some music so…here we go with a mix of the old and the new:

Magazine rhythm of cruelty (single–March 1979)
Wire no warning given (from Read And Burn 3–2007)
The Melvins blood witch (from A Senile Animal–2006)
Enon peace of mind (from Grass Geisers…Carbon Clouds–2007)
Gary Numan/Tubeway Army it must have been years (from Replicas–1979)
Sunburned Hand Of The Man nice butterfly mask (from Fire Escape–2007)
The Field silent (from From Here We Go Sublime–2007)
Morton Feldman piano three hands (from Morton Feldman)
Comsat Angels sleep no more (from Sleep No More–1981)
Nina Nastasia/Jim White in the morning (from You Follow Me–2007)
Burial shell of light (from Untrue–2007)
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins i put a spell on you (from Voodoo Jive)
Liars freak out (from Liars–2007)
Six Organs Of Admittance shelter from the ash (from Shelter From The Ash-2007)
Captain Beefheart cardboard cutout sundown (from Ice Cream For Crow–1982)
Konk elephant (from The Sound Of Konk: Tales Of The New York Underground)
Willie Nelson/Calexico senor (from the I’m Not There soundtrack–2007)
Cat Power song to bobby (from Jukebox–2008)

Everything Changed

THIS weekend’s plans all changed. Instead of hanging out at The Smell, we ended up going to Compton, Watts and Inglewood (for “real” soul food, to bet on horses at Hollywood Park, Watts Towers, etc), Hollywood proper (Canter’s, the Observatory and more food) and the Silent Movie Theatre (which, in it’s current incarnation is THE best rep-house in Los Angeles. Under the guidance of the Cinefile video people, it’s like a mix of the Pacific Film Archive combined with The NuArt….silent Ozu, early Haneke, Contemporary Korean, rare Film Noir, classic John Ford, slasher films, Jan Svankmajer retrospectives, etc… ).

Here are a few photos from the weekend…

A Smelly Weekend

I may have a double header Friday and Sunday at The Smell seeing Health, xbxrx, Aids Wolf, Abe Vigoda, Mika Miko, Jay Reatard, No Age, The Strange Boys, etc.

070129_xbxrx.jpg I haven’t been there in years, but when I did used to go it was a true “hole in the wall”…yet organic and self-sustained so I always liked it (c’ept that they don’t serve booze). I don’t know if it’s due to No Age or what but all of a sudden, the space is in the press as if it’s just opened or something.

There’s a New Yorker write up from this week and another from the NME from about 3 months ago
That aside…I suppose somewhere within this weekend is lunch at Canters and some Fatty Arbuckle shorts at the Silent Movie Theatre.

Dogs and Underground Legends

Every moment of one’s existence one is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more or dying a little bit“.
Norman Mailer

So Saturday, I ended up going with Brian and Mandy to see famed underground filmmaker George Kuchar talk and show some films at Machine Project. Of course…he has made a zillion films and is quite entertaining. You can watch several at UbuWeb. His films have changed over the years. He showed recent stuff for us (but is most famous for 1966’s “Hold Me While I’m Naked“). This was in conjunction with this other “underground cinema” installation where you had to watch site specific videos through holes in the floor.

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On Sunday…hung out by “the river” walking Jack and being lazy with Amanda.

Here are a few photos:

And lastly a new video from the New Pornographers called “Challengers” (featuring the lovely Neko Case on lead vocals). Click David Letterman to see it!

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File Under: Nostalgia

A society that has made “nostalgia” a marketable commodity on the cultural exchange quickly repudiates the suggestion that life in the past was in any important way better than life today“.
Christopher Lasch

I think part of my Sunday will be spent at this 30th Anniversary show celebrating The Masque which was kind of ground zero for the LA Punk scene. I normally wouldn’t care (especially as it’s tied into a new book launch) but it’s curated by the Brendan Mullen and bands like The Plugz, The Eyes and The Deadbeats are “re-forming” for this one show.

Then again…I might just laze about with Mandy and watch the Sun Ra movie “Space Is The Place“.

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Ethiopian Music FINALLY Goes Mainstream

ethiopiques1.jpgI was reading how this new Ethiopiques compilation is sellling like crazy. Having about 15 of the series as imports all I can say is about time people!

There is even a new official website.

And if we are really lucky we can get some of these old guys to tour the U.S. before they kick.

I’ll include a review from Charlie Gillett who does a BBC world music show:

“As I write, this album of Ethiopian tracks recorded in the early 1970s is #12 in Amazon.co.uk’s list of best-selling compilations. Most of those above it, and many below, are advertised on TV. This album has nothing but word-of-mouth going for it, apart of course from the wonderful music contained within. But how many great albums have each of us championed, which have sold next-to-nothing? So why has this collection broken through into the promised land previously reached only by O Brother Where Art Thou and Buena Vista Social Club, finding its way into homes that have never had such a record on their shelves before? Is it all down to Elvis Costello, whose words of praise have been used on the cover?

By now, it has probably sold more copies than his own most recent album, which is sometimes how strangely these things can work. Back in 1994 Ry Cooder had never sold many records under his own name, yet his name was the original lure on first the duo album with Ali Farka Touré and then the Cuban collaboration that was called The Buena Vista Social Club.Anyway, the point is, what have people landed up with, when they start to listen to the album they have bought more or less unheard?

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So Much For Democracy

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Another of Bush’s buddies gives up on Democracy.

It’s kind of baffling how the right gets all worked up over democracies like Iran while unstable, nuclear-armed military dictatorships such as Pakistan which are 10 TIMES as dangerous…aren’t even commented on. We have ensured that Iran is now the most powerful state in the middle east. Congratulations Mr. Bush! Smooth move.

And in your ignorance, you continue to see fit to put all your faith in hated “leaders” of failed states. Once again, such a visionary you are. I remember when at the height of your flakiness, you looked into the eyes of Vladimir Putin and saw his “soul”. What exactly did you see? I’m sure when he looked at you he just saw a gullible idiot. A guy that loves to start wars but has no clue about how to end them.

(from the New York Times)

Musharraf Declares Emergency Rule

By DAVID ROHDE This article was reported by David Rohde, Jane Perlez and Salman Masood, and was written by Mr. Rohde. ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 4 — The Pakistani leader, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, declared a state of emergency on Saturday night, suspending the country’s Constitution, firing the chief justice of the Supreme Court and filling the streets of this capital city with police officers. The move appeared to be an effort by General Musharraf to reassert his fading power in the face of growing opposition from the country’s Supreme Court, political parties and hard-line Islamists. Pakistan’s Supreme Court had been expected to rule within days on the legality of General Musharraf’s re-election last month as the country’s president. The emergency act, which analysts and opposition leaders said was more a declaration of martial law, also boldly defied the Bush administration, which had repeatedly urged General Musharraf to avoid such a path and instead move toward democracy. Washington has generously backed the general, sending him more than $10 billion in aid since 2001, mostly for the military.

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Flying Nun Nostalgia

There wasn’t a Dunedin Sound, except that the bands recorded on the same equipment and possessed the same feel. We all shared a love of good songs and a loathing of stage personas and such.”
Martin Phillips (The Chills)

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Having just come off of seeing David Kilgour last week…stumbling upon this Flying Nun documentary made me all warm and fuzzy.

See it in 9 Parts:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

Movies (Not Coming Soon)

The movies today are too rich to have any room for genuine artists. They produce a few passable craftsmen, but no artists. Can you imagine a Beethoven making $100,000 a year?
H.L. Mencken

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I am in the middle of watching this great three-part BBC series on Mitchell And Kenyon, “itinerant” filmmakers in Edwardian England. Also, I’m belatedly…finally…seeing the work of the amazing Czech puppet-animator Jiri Trnka (in glorious Agfacolor).

I’ll include a clip from his Stalinist allegory The Hand (made in 1965). Using the state’s money to criticize the State wasn’t such a good career move…just ask Sergei Eisenstein. Nonetheless, being an almost “worshipper” at the feet of Samuel Beckett, “The Hand” is clearly one with that aesthetic.