Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A break


I scored a job this week. No behind-the-back high-fiving deserved, though. The work is only for a few days. But hey, it's something! And then I turn back into Michael J. Fox.

The Flying Lizards—Moving on Up

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I hear crickets.



Oh, and R.I.P. Bea Arthur. The emoticon-jailbot is crying for her too.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Photo by E.Kornienko

Late one night I got home. Looking forward to a tall glass of anything I entered the kitchen, turned on the lights to find a silverfish roaming the counter near the sink.
"Ew", I thought. I promptly flattened it with my dish soap bottle. I then looked to my left and all I could do was widen my eyes and say out loud "EW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". It was a large insectoid creature easily three inches long just sitting there dead still. I then took my trusty soap bottle and pummeled it until there was nothing left. I saw a segment still twitching on the counter and watched until it ceased.

It was a centipede and looked about the same as the one above. Unlike past insect murdering sessions, I have had no remorse. I cannot be reasoned with. Something that hideous and scary-looking must die. Simple as that. People made the devil look UGLY for a reason, you know. At the time I wasn't sure what it was but with some internet sleuthing I found that it was a common household centipede. Wait. COMMON household centipede? I've never seen those things in a house. Only in Indiana Jones and my worst nightmares. I also found that, unlike many other scary looking insects that are commonly seen in one's house, like the cockroach, the hairy spider, or the silverfish, it bites! Apparently, it hurts too, like bee sting-style. There's venom involved.
This made me feel even better that I destroyed matter, which is impossible scientifically, when I killed it. Fear produces miracles.

There's one centipede in South America somewhere that grows to be 12 inches long!!! They've found fossils of centipedes that were as large as, get this, 3 FEET long! Thank God Nature downgraded you centipedes. It's the best for everyone. Maybe the dinosaurs died because they were frightened to death of these humongous insects. Astroid shshstroid.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fuck Fail

To address a new phenomenon, you may have seen these images on the web. They usually depict something comically 'wrong' and then there's this big "FAIL" superimposed on top.


Why say ON the image that something is wrong? If you look at the thing you can decide how 'wrong' or funny it is and then go on your merry way.
Nothing short-circuits a punchline more than GIVING IT AWAY as the joke is being told. Don't they remember the classic tenant of good writing, "Show don't tell"? It's so fucking retarded. Furthermore, most of those images are not THAT funny to being with.

These images are the equivalent of a Dane Cook joke. They are obvious and geared towards people who wear Sketchers, and read USA Today.


Dear friend,

I've been tinkering with this for about two weeks and I think I've finally closed the lid on it, more or less. I feel to be a better doodler than drawer, as it were, so your
opinions are most welcome, whether they address the technical, or the arguement itself.

"I will contend, and you can try to disprove it, that the most important thing on this planet, as we know it, is in fact money"

——Gene Simmons


Thus the aging rock star spake on Terry Gross' Fresh Air sometime in the early 2000s. Gross, clearly disgusted by Mr. Simmons, could only hope that his assertion that money trumps love was simply fanning the winds of controversy for the sake of entertainment. For him, basic survival can be distilled into this equation: money=air. Air is necessary biologically speaking and money is not. However, money buys food, housing, and all the amenities for basic survival, making it somewhat a biological accoutrement. It is the stuff that allows multiple producers, buyers, and investors to transact assets, goods, and promises. In a nutshell, the decision to reject money, at least in a grand single gesture, is not unlike choosing to swerve into oncoming traffic.

One could do this and possibly survive, but the intended result is not guaranteed. One could self-asphyxiate to see how long the brain can survive without air, but one would be dead by the time the data came in. Yet the reasons for rejecting societal rules are plentiful, at least when the rewards are ideological or spiritual. The gesture can survive, if not the person, and mutate into a more powerful form later. Even still, it seems people are sooner to take radical risks by jumping motorcycles over yawning canyons or scaling the peaks of Mount Everest. They know they flirt with oblivion, but perhaps fame, reputation, and financial incentive serve as the true dangling carrot. Maybe even a little nookie could be around the corner.

Money = Air is surely a nasty proposition no matter how you spin it, yet we try to make the best of our hallucinations. We have methods to cheat the system temporarily and symbolically; but like PAC-MAN, one has to keep munching units (money!) to prevent the ghosts from closing in. It's the burden of being a part of any financial system—and the art world is no exception. Taking this into account, it is disturbing to see the painter Richard Phillips moralize institutions for having to be PAC-MEN. He's imagining himself as a monk hailing "truth" from the belfry, when in fact it is from the mother ship of all galleries, Gagosian. In the press release, Mr. Phillips states his intention:

"At its core, this show is the conflict between capitalism, fascism, and communism. It looks into the nature of representation, propaganda, and misinformation, and how they redirect the ideologies of institutions."

The essential moral conflict, according to Mr. Phillips, is between critical and cultural institutions, (e.g. Frieze and The Kitchen), and their relationships to money. For these institutions to appoint themselves to enact the greater good for culture is an act of duplicity. The subtext of these paintings frame these institutions as greedy hypocrites with their fingers in the mouths of speculators, who suck on them as if they were straws. In one painting a Frieze magazine literally becomes a straw and is inserted into the vagina of a cooing harlot. In another, a woman is bending over with her vag exposed in front of multiple logos advertising The Kitchen; and in another a sexy woman is looking seductive in fascist military garb. Meanwhile, these bad-boy paintings (bad boy=extra hot air!) will sell for the price of a Cadillac Escalade and Mr. Phillips will buy a new house with the proceeds.


To momentarily forget Phillips' own hypocrisy would not make these paintings less appalling. Using the female tushy to sell things is nothing new in culture; as problematic as that is, Phillips takes this stereotype a bit further by reinforcing that prostitution is a grand symbol of immorality, and that the institutions are whores for flashing their 'goods', as it were. It is especially odd when an artist, setting out to question the socio-economic assumptions of art, takes perhaps the OLDEST stereotype regarding women, which so happens to be a very sensitive one, and goes to town on that without question.

The sloppy forethought that went into this show—–which is generous to assume—–pales in comparison to the greater charge: political and artistic hubris. To quote an old idiom: now that's the escort calling the prostitute a slut!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Commin' Home by Cheeseburger

Finally, the boys from NYC outfit Cheeseburger put this song up on iTunes. It's the opening jingle to their singer Christy Caracas' animated cartoon on Adult Swim called Superjail!. I coveted it and now I finally have it. 99 cent bliss.

If you haven't seen the show it's pretty insane and very gorey, though not in a stomach evacuation kinda way. Think over-the-top ha-ha kind of gorey. It's about a prison sometime in the future run by an ego-maniacal warden, modeled on Willy Wonka no doubt, whose voice is none other than that of David Wain, his trans-gender she-male guardian, and a Doc Oc-like Robot that resembles an angry iPod. The show is wall-to-wall pop-culture winks, which are as clever as those found on shows like 30 Rock or Stella. If you haven't watched thousands of hours of TV and movies as a kid you probably will not 'get' half the material.

Cheeseburger's schtick is basically 70s hard rock with a Ween-like patina, tottering the line between satire and homage. Songs like this make my days somewhat tolerable for about 10 minutes

Cheeseburger—Commin' Home

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yacouba Kante: Le Messenger du Manding

Griots are buried here.

Rivaling the Malian music I posted a month or so ago, this is gorgeous stuff. Of Guinean origin, of the Griot tradition (West African Bards).

Yacouba Kante——Sadjou

Saturday, April 18, 2009


A news reporter wrote an article today (it made 'front page' Yahoo! news) about Gary Sheffield hitting his 500th homer, strongly emphasizing how he broke the record in his first at-bat with a new team—a unique feat in Baseball history!

"Still, it all seems a little strange considering that Sheffield became the first player to ever hit his 500th homer with the same stroke that also produced his first homer with a new team."

Here's my take....

Who gives a rats ASS!

And then he even compiled a useless table of facts comparing other 500 home run hitters moments of hitting the mark..


Why do sport staticians keep track of this crap? There are always new records being broken only because people are CONSTANTLY inventing new categories to put them in. I guess it's kind of like trainspotters or something.

But I shouldn't feel that suprerior. I'm bothering to blog about this after all...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I uploaded the wrong song for Glass Candy. I uploaded the right one with an extra

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)


I went to see this film by the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman last night at LACMA.
It was one of the most painful, masochistic experiences in the theater I've ever had. Not since watching Sean Penn's horrible Crossing Guard (1994), have I squirmed that much. Not that this film was bad. It was in fact quite good, but having to sit through the duration of each statically-shot scene was where the pain lied. Watching someone make coffee for 10 minutes, only to dislike the batch and throw it away can't leave you with any other feeling. However, I now know where Michael Haneke, perhaps my favorite living filmmaker, got some of his ideas.

On Akerman's Wikipedia page:

"Jeanne Dielman's static framing, extended duration takes and lack of reversal shots force the viewer to objectively experience its protagonist and her social role's oppression. Through exposure to "images between the images" Akerman forges new content that, resultantly, requires new form. Though the filmmaker's static frame and extended duration shots stem from structural cinema, their unique application to women's domestic work position Jeanne Dielman outside dominant patriarchal film languages and into one specifically "feminist." The picture inverts normal filmic expectations by removing drama from emotional intensity and attaching it to extended duration takes - takes, that is, connotative of boredom. Jeanne Dielman's temporal dilation equalizes its exposition and drama to transform "knowledge of an object" - Jeanne's oppression - into a "vision" of it."

Thursday, April 9, 2009



Body Double (1984) soundtrack cut by Pino Donaggio

This is may not work for everyone. DRM alert. If you get the password business let me know I'll give it to you...





This film was loosely based on the novel by a certain James Vance Marshall and directed by Nicolas Roeg, who was the DP on Donald Cammell's Performance (1970). This film might have one of the best first five minutes of any film I've seen. Sporting minimal dialogue and amazing visuals of the Australian outback, a must see for 1970s cinemaphiles.

The plot involves two siblings, a tween girl and a 5 year old boy, stuck in the middle of the outback due to their father having a nervous breakdown. They get led back to civilization by a young aborigine boy who finds them on "walkabout". The 'moral' of the story, if you can call it that, lies in the aborigine's encounter with the outside world. Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009



As observant Jews prepare for the beginning of the eight-day Passover celebration Wednesday night, some will pause this morning to recite the least frequently spoken prayer in Judaism.

It is a ritual that comes around only once every 28 years, one that commemorates the sun's return to the place in the firmament where, according to the Book of Genesis, God created it on the fourth day.

This year's confluence of Passover and the sun's commemoration is particularly rare - marking only the 12th occurrence in the 5,769-year-old Jewish calendar.


This clip was originally brought to my attention by s.g.r. about two years ago. Its power remains undiminished.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Watch Out Richard


I'm writing about your new, INCREDIBLY unnerving show at Gagosian. You're going down.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Linda Perhacs


Super soft-focus lensing at the piano time. Daft Punk tipped their helmets for her.

If You Were My Man (Demo)—Linda Perhacs

Malibu Skeleton Update

The Knotty newsroom depends solely on the hard work of other journalists to bring you the latest news, especially news about skeletons in Malibu. They seem to have identified the car to be that of a man named Jeffrey from Thousand Oaks, CA. He disappeared in 1906!

No, I wish. Since 2006, actually. And to make matters worse is that they didn't find a monocle!


Harry Nilsson : The Happy Cynic


I was talking to someone tonight about Harry Nilsson, who've I've recently discovered for myself. We agreed that his music is tinged with happy-cynicism, which is the secret to its appeal. He was bilked for almost all of his life-savings by a close associate around the time of his death, so maybe he wasn't cynical enough?
A pinch of salt on top of happiness is good for rock, though.

Me and My Arrow——Harry Nilsson