12.31.2006

CONSTANT QUARRY



New Years is usually a tricky holiday, the pressure to have a blast can sometimes lead to weird results. In the past I've ended up spending mine stranded at a train station, lost in suburbia (and subsequently trespassing like mad to take photos when I realized most people were out at parties), and even once chatting with strangers at a town square in Cuba. Since it looks like I'm randomly going to end up spending this year's sitting naked in a hot tub in the rain hoping the neighbors don't notice, I'm not really sure if I'm landing on the "blast" or "chill" side of the holiday line. Either way, have a good one.

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MP3:

Spunky Brit #1 (Lady Sovereign) covering spunky Brits #2 (the Sex Pistols). F*ck shit up in your gold chains and Adidas.

• Lady Sovereign - Pretty Vacant

A band's place in myspace.

12.25.2006

HIPSTERS ARE THE PARASITIC STAGE OF CREATIVITY



Xmas without snow kind of sucks. Xmas with 50 degrees and sunny is just downright scary. Someday you'll be able to sit down with your children for the holidays and tell them Xmas stories. . . after you describe what snow was like, and life before everyone moved into the bubble cities. But hey at least the oil companies are doing really well.

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MP3:

And it's all over, till next year.

• Ugly Cassanova - So Long To The Holidays

A band's place in myspace.

12.21.2006

BACK WHEN BROOKLYN WAS FOR PEOPLE



So I am headed home for the holidays, but before I disappear into state routes, big box store shadows, and the shell of a dying industrial giant, I want to draw attention to some organizations that have impressed me as of late. The first one is Know More, a website with extensively researched information/articles on various corporations. Have you heard how Starbucks and American Apparel are evil? Would you like to know why? Well read about it at Know More and decide for yourself. It's an amazing resource and avoids falling for the usual rhetoric. Another organization is the Rock Dove Collective. They are an anarchist organization addressing the health care crisis in the US, aiming to help provide access to free health care for those that need it. Not only does this speak volumes about how dire health care is in this country (when you have DIY anarchists mobilizing on something like this, the system has definitely failed), but it also personally gives me some hope (over 7 years uninsured and counting). The final tip of the hat is also a request for help. Josh MacPhee's online street art/political infoshop Just Seeds has had the floor pulled out from under it, pretty literally. Through mismanagement by another organization, and hardball tactics by collectors, Just Seeds has had it's online store/site pulled down. They were not the only site affected by this, Left Turn Magazine, $pread Magazine, and Critical Moment among others have also been affected. These various organizations are asking for donations (however small) to help them bring all these sites collectively back to life. If you can spare the $5 or $10 you'll drop on lunch tomorrow, a lot of DIYers will be very grateful. You can donate to Just Seeds here.

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MP3:

Here's a little Wesley Willis, in case that last bit left you feeling too serious. And for those of you who might be unfamiliar with Willis' work, he suffered from chronic schizophrenia, heard "demon voices," and had a stream-of-consciousness style of song writing. He also developed a large callus in the center of his forehead from always greeting people with a headbutt. You can't even make that stuff up.

• Wesley Willis - Merry Christmas

A band's place in myspace.

12.17.2006

IT'S AMAZING WHAT SHAMELESSNESS
WILL GET YOU



Lesson learned this week: when you're going to be spending the day sitting on a couch with your arm around models, or adjusting lights in close quarters. . . remember to wear deoderant if you ride your bike to work. Yes.

I was so exhausted after working several 12 hour days in a row that when I ended up at the Big A little a show last night my (fragile) mind was totally blown by these two teenage girls who were dancing during Aa's set. It wasn't just that they were dancing, it was how. They were dressed to the nines in the style of suburban junior high school, and just kept doing these "shitty-dance-club-in-midtown" moves. To Aa. Which makes no sense. I just could not wrap my mind around what I was seeing and what I was hearing. It was like I was staring at a wall of scribbles with someone yelling in my ear that they were really words, i just had to look harder. Obviously there was something wrong with me, and I decided I should go home immediately at that point. Oh, and Narchitect was killer at that show too.

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MP3:

After the last holiday tune snaffu, I'm pretty sure this one is in the clear. Especially since I just downloaded it for free from iTunes. And it's quite good, too.

• The Knife - Holiday Reindeer

A band's place in myspace.

12.14.2006

LIFE ISN'T ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK
IT'S ABOUT HOW YOU LIVE


(Amateur Female Jello Wrestling)

The nice folks over at Group Show have put together a 30-artist photo show over at 3rd Ward. And with the help of myopenbar.com they are throwing a big closing party on Saturday with (you guessed it) LOTS of free booze, and toy giveaways from Kidrobot. If you haven't seen 3rd Ward yet, you'll be impressed. If you are unfamiliar with Group Show, you'll become a fan. And if you don't like free booze, well there's not much I can help you with there. And as an added bonus, I have a photo in the show too. Not that it can compete with free booze, but I'm just saying. . .

:::

new in town: group-show.com pinned up and story

exhibition dates: december 11 - 16, 2006
artist reception and closing party: saturday, december 16, 2006, 7-11p

the gallery at 3rd ward
195 morgan avenue | brooklyn, ny 11237

view photos from the exhibit and book

humble media, in conjunction with myopenbar.com, is pleased to present new in town: group-show.com pinned up, an exhibition of photographs by new, emerging photographers. the show is a physical extension of group-show.com, a loosely themed online gallery that showcases the work of 24 different photographers each month. like the online gallery the show serves as a potpourri of contemporary global culture -- a portrait of the world as we know it.

participating photographers include asha schechter, gavin stevens, stephanie diamond, steven brahms, ye rin mok, geoffrey ellis, angie smith, alex brown, chuck avery, stephen brookbank, diane ducruet, marc mcandrews, grant ernhart, sophie lvoff, amy elkins, ashley macknica, maggie percell, marni horwitz, matt nighswander, tammy mercure, mike marcelle, olivia malone, regine petersen, mark rubenstein, sam morgan, sarah sudhoff, tod seelie, justin visnesky, adam williams and barry stone.

all work is priced under $300.

in conjunction with new in town, humble is delighted to announce the book launch and exhibition of story, a collection of images that address traditional and new interpretations of documentary and narrative photography.

participating photographers include mikael kennedy, rafael goldchain, mandy larson, joshua kristal, davi russo, todd deutsch, stephen miller, andrew hillard, jack bridges, alan duke, michael itkoff, alison grippo and kate philbrick.

story is 8.5 x 11, perfect bound, 184 pages, $25

:::

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MP3:

I do believe this track is a new Xmas holiday addition this year. It's always nice when you can add something fresh to the canon of seasonal bangers.

• The Killers - Great Big Sled (removed in deference to supporting charity, go buy it on iTunes! ps. you'll have to search for the song title, it's kinda hidden.)

A band's place in myspace.

12.12.2006

POISONED BY PROTECTION




(street art by Brad Downey, piece one: Clay and Commercial St. in Greenpoint, piece two: Jackson and Queens Blvd. in Long Island City)

I got to tag along with street artist Brad Downey today, as he installed a few pieces in Brooklyn and Queens before he departed for Berlin. Things got off to a rocky start when the first piece (a three-headed phone sign) bounced out of the back of the truck in the middle of the Pulaski Bridge. Luckily the car behind us was able to swerve out of the way in time (some real knucklehead business). Then the pay phone had some plastic plugs in it that clogged up the holes that the sculpture needed to anchor through, so that added about 20 minutes to the process. While this was going on I was standing on the corner, waiting for them to finish. In that time I saw 6 cops cars roll by, and no one even batted an eye at what was going on. Sometimes I love this city. The second sign was a beast to wrangle, but pretty satisfying to get up. So go check them out before the city swoops down to save us from being subjected to any unscheduled art experiences. The locations are in the caption above (Jake, Will, I'm looking at you).

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MP3:

Back when Christmas went Hip Hop.

• Sweet Tee - Let The Jingle Bells Rock

A band's place in myspace.

12.05.2006

LOVE AND RAGE



Friends of Eric Ng have put together a memorial ride for him this Saturday. Stop for a moment and show your support. Show that people out there actually do care, even if the media isn't telling you so.

A personal account on Eric from Visual Resistance can be found here.

:::

MEMORIAL EVENTS FOR ERIC NG
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9

1PM: Memorial bike ride for Eric Ng, 22 year-old bicyclist, teacher,
and friend who was killed by a drunk driver on the West Side bike
path. Meet up in Washington Square Park at 1pm. We will ride
together to the site of Eric's death at 1:30 SHARP. Non-bikers can go
directly to the West Side Greenway, near Clarkson St. By train: take
the 1 to Houston St.

2:30PM: Directly after the memorial ride there will be a memorial
service at St. Mark's Church. Friends & family will share stories,
show photos, and play music. St. Mark's Church is at the corner of
2nd Ave and 11th St. By train: 6 to Astor Place, R/W to 8th St, or F
train to Houston St.

8PM: Memorial dance party. Do not go gently into that good night.
DJs & live punk rock. At Time's Up, 49 E. Houston St. By train: 6 or
B/D/F/V to Bleecker-Lafayette.

:::

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MP3:

It feels a bit wrong to be posting an Xmas track considering the somber nature of this post, but at least I picked a sad one.

• Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - Cold White Christmas

A band's place in myspace.

12.04.2006

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T HAVE A CAR?



I'm currently in Texas freezing my ass off. The Parts & Labor shows have been really energetic and a lot of fun. Like tonight at Emo's in Austin, with Matt & Kim ending up on stage during the audience-demanded encore (BJ's really sorry about hitting you in the head with his bass when he jumped off the speaker, Matt). One of the best parts of touring is getting to explore cities and hanging out with cool locals (like total bro Ryan at the Homestead in Pensacola). New Orleans was fun, we even ended up at the 25th anniversary party for the landmark bar Vaughn's over in the Bywater section (which had great music). And we came within inches of ending up at an after hours club located in the shoe section an old department store in Houston, but alas they were currently "laying low."

Unfortunately there is more sad news to report from NYC. A drunk driver hit and killed a 22 year old cyclist while he was driving on the west side bike path in Manhattan. Yes, he was driving on the bike path like it was a street. Apparently Eugenio Cidron traveled on the bike path for over a mile before he fatally hit Eric Ng. Eric was struck so hard that the force of the impact threw his bike and one of his shoes out into the west side highway. The strange part of this story is that I had seen a car driving on the west side bike path earlier this summer. I chased after it on bicycle to take a photo, but they were traveling way too fast. At the time I just chalked it up to another uncanny asshole giving drivers in NYC more of a bad name. Too bad it didn't stay an isolated incident. Anyone want to start placing bets as to how light a tap on the wrist the driver gets? Read more about the incident here.

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MP3:

I'm gonna try to keep the Xmas tunes rolling, even if they are as cynical as this one.

• The Wailers - Xmas Spirit??

A band's place in myspace.