Friday, September 28, 2007

11 Balearic Singles from the 1980's

What is balearic music, you ask? It can be a lot of things but essentially it is music that was played by DJ's like Alfredo and Jose Padilla in Ibiza in the 80's and early 90's. Their style was wildly eclectic and helped pioneer downtempo and house music. A lot of balearic music is usually fairly slow, with rolling drum patterns and deep bass lines, with some nice guitar and piano over the top. But it really can be anything that fits a certain mood. Somewhat trippy, poppy, mellow, and funky. Most of these tracks have radio versions and extended versions. Always get the extended mixes if possible. So here are 11 of my favorite classics from the 80's. They have all featured pretty heavily in my DJ sets at one point or another. Click on the title to listen to the song and make sure you hear them through some decent speakers at an appropriate volume.

1. Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill

This is simply one of the best songs ever. It has the classic balearic beat, heavy lyrics, cool chanting, and an amazing guitar riff. Unbeatable.

2. Art of Noise - Moments in Love

This tune is much mellower than a lot of Art of Noise's other work. There are a lot of different versions out there, I included the long 10 minute version that is the centerpiece of their classic album Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?

3. The Cure - Lullaby

I'm sure you know this tune. So dark and so beautiful. Supposedly it's about being sick from heroin. This is the far superior extended version from the underrated Mixed Up album. Warren says to check out the video and that he lost his virginity to this tune.

4. Flash and the Pan - Midnight Man

I first heard this on a Rub N Tug mix a few years back and it took me a while to track it down on vinyl. Flash and the Pan are two Australian guys that were in the Easybeats, and then produced AC/DC. Angus Young is one of the guys little brother. They made interesting new wave pop in the late 70's and 80's. They have a lot of classic songs like Waiting For A Train and Walking In The Rain. This is the 12" mix of Midnight Man.

5. Tullio De Piscopo - Stop Bajon(Primavera)

This is a party jam. Every time I play this out people start smiling and grooving. There really isn't anything else out there like this. He is an Italian drummer and singer and thats about all I know.

6. Carly Simon - Why

The music is by Chic. You can tell by the skronked out electro groove and the super funky bass. Lyrics and singing by Carly Simon. Its an unusual style for Carly. The B side has an instrumental that is just credited to Chic. The version I posted here is the radio version, not the extended mix that is an Ibiza sunset classic.

7. Chris Rea - On The Beach

Chris Rea is an English songwriter and this was a hit for him in 86. The version I included is Tangoterje(aka Todd Terje)'s Megamix re-edit. He took three different versions and cut them up and put them together. He took out most of the words because the radio version is kind of corny. He vastly improved on the original to make one this one of the Ketamine Brothers favorite records of the past few years.

8. Tina Turner - Whats Love Got To Do With It?

I dont know. I love this song. Super groovy in a very subtle way. The key is to turn the bass way up so you can hear how deep this B line is. Incredibly soulful singing and lyrics from Tina.

9. Jah Wobble, The Edge, Holger Czukay - Hold On To Your Dreams

Francois K produced and wrote this music with Sid Vicious' best friend and bass legand Jah Wobble, U2's The Edge, and Stockhausen student Holger Czukay from Can.
I first heard it when Juan Nunez gave me the amazing 12" re-edit he did on his label Freestyle.
This is the original version from 1983.

10. Kongo Band - Afrikan Man

This is more Italian Disco than anything. The dub version, included here, has some really nice acoustic guitar soloing and tripped out singing. Kongo Band have style. Here is the incredible video for the vocal version. !!!

11. Sade - Hang On To Your Love

Sade has lots of balearic hits like Paradise, Make Some Room, and this one off the classic Diamond Life album. So smooth.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Misconceptions About Jonestown

We've all heard about the cyanide in the Kool Aide and how cult leader Jim Jones somehow convinced 918 people to commit suicide. Thats not what went down. I saw this interview with one of the four survivors of the tragedy on TV last night. This man, Tim Carter, had some crazy shit to say.
A quick history of Jonestown: The Peoples Temple gained popularity in San Fransico in the early 70's. Jim Jones preached love, leftist politics, and multi-racial community living. Jones was white, many of his congregation was black. The Temple grew to have thousands of members and in 1977 he took a thousand of them to live in Guyana on a huge plantation he had bought. They were going to start the perfect harmonious community. Apparently it was for a year until things began to change. Jones' mood and outlook became darker and more paranoid, probably due to his swelled ego and pharmacutical dependency problem. He used fear and other brainwashing tactics to control his congregation. He would send his minions into the jungle to shoot guns over Jonestown then tell his people that attackers were trying to invade them.
In 1978, a US congressman came to visit and found some of the members were being held there against their will. He took them and tried to leave. As they boarded a plane to take them out of the jungle, Jones' people opened fire, and killed the congressman and three others. Quickly, before the news spread to his people, Jones gathered everyone in the pavillion where he gave his sermons. As over 900 people gathered, armed guards surrounded them. He brought out a huge bucket of grape Flavor Aid laced with valium and cyanide, some cups, and syringes. Jones started preaching that "they had lived" and this was to be a "revolutionary act" and "hurry up before they come."
The usual story is the people lined up and drank one by one, dieing. Acorrding to Tim Carter, that was not the case at all. He had sensed early on something was wrong and went back behind the pavillion and heard Jones telling one of his inner circle to make the poison taste less bitter. In earlier sermons, Jones had brought out wine and various beverages and told people to drink it. After everyone had, he lied and told them it was poison. It was some kind of ritual/control tactic he used and in those cases no one died.
Carter started running around looking for his 3 year son and his wife. Before he could comprehend what was happening people started foaming at the mouth and dying violent agonizing deaths around him. Jones decided that children were to be the first to go, all 227 of them. As Carter started to panic while looking for his family, he turned to his left and saw poison being squirted into his sons mouth. He lost it as he screamed at his wife for letting it happen. He turned to Jones and asked him 'Why?" His screams turned to "I love you" as she took the poison. They died in his arms as he wept.
Some drank the poison willingly, those that refused were held down and injected or shot by guards. A lot of people lost the will to live after there children were killed. They used syringes to squirt the poison into the mouths of babies. The elderly were helpless to escape and recieved injections. 3 or 4 escaped into the jungle.
Jonestown is generally remembered as a mass suicide, in reality, it was a mass murder. I have trouble getting my head around the fact his actually happened. Imagine being there and seeing that go on around you. Absolutely mind boggeling.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tims Tripped Out Art

Check these out! Tim made them. They are not digitally made. There are more at his website Click on them for a bigger image.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jumbos Clown Room

The Clown Room is pretty amazing. My friend Golda took me there for the first time last night. The dancers are extremely hot and very nice. Especially Pris, I've never seen a more unique or original dancer. The pics are of her. My friend and I both commented she was the only one to actually turn us on. She danced to pretty good music too. She said she'd been working there 9 years.

People in the crowd were showering the girls with money. I saw girls make like 100$ in 5 minutes. They deserved it. The bar is nice and the drinks are fairly strong. People cheer for the girls when they break out the moves. It's pretty fun in there. Jumbos is a classy joint in that old school Hollywood style. Its been around since 1970. Had to post this lovely photo of Pris as well:
edit oct 8th: I just heard David Lynch wrote Blue Velvet in there!

Saving Bukowski's home

These people are trying to save the apartment from demolition that Charles Bukowski lived in from 1963 to 1972.
It is where he wrote his first novel Post Office and wrote classic poetry collections like the The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills. The building is probably worth saving as he is the best and most famous international poet from Los Angeles. It's inspiring that there are fans out there that care enough about his work to try and do this. His poetry and writing is some of the most truthful and beautiful I have ever read.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Tribute to Cinema: Features

We are at the 100 year anniversary of cinema so here are some of my favorite movies. I watched part of the 'AFI top 100' on TV and I was just NOT feeling their selections. I only included one movie per filmmaker. No documentaries either, strictly feature films. I admit, there are a lot of old movies and 'classics' I havent seen but this list represents what has resonated with me the most.


This is the real thing. Full-on unadulterated expression from the mind of a 23 year old genius. If you only saw this once when it came out in 97, look again. It grows on you and gets better with each viewing. Trust me.

Blue Velvet

The masterpiece that changed my life when I saw it in 10th grade. The darkside of a seemingly normal life was revealed in the most surreal and beautiful way. It was a toss up between this and Fire Walk With Me to represent Lynch.

Paths of Glory

This is the best film about about war and the absurdity of the human condition. I get angry every time I watch this. The injustice depicted is almost unbearable. It was impossible to chose one film to rep Kubrick. A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, 2001, Eyes Wide Shut, and Dr. Strangelove are all incredible.

Cries and Whispers

Ingmar Bergman creates a haunting emotional portait of three women. He shows us things we know happen but don't want to think about. This film comes at you in a different way than any other. With this movie, and his other far out classic Persona, he truely took cinema to its limits. The work of a man that has mastered his art at his most creative. Mind blowing.


Naked is Mike Leighs film about a conflicted and philosophical man wandering the streets of a poor London neighboorhood. The film was improvised by the actors, then shot. The dialogue is so incredible, it blows my mind to think it was improvised. Contains some of my favorite acting ever, by David Thelewis and Katrin Cartlidge. It is dark, unpleasent, disturbing, thought provoking, and one of the great artistic acheivments in recent times.

Festen (The Celebration)

The first in the Dogme95 method of filmmaking (no props, all naturally occuring light, only hand held camera work, etc..) uses the rules of the manifesto to the best result. The point of Dogme was to bring film back to a raw state, void of unnessecary complications, relying on writing, acting, and passion. Festen has the very best of all of these things. I shead a tear every time I see the letter reading scene. Not everyone I know digs this movie like I do, but check it out if you like heavy dramas.

Aguirre: The Wrath of God

Werner Herzog is my favorite artist alive. I have watched over 40 of his films and read everything I can about his methods. While some of his films dont work as well as others, they all contain some kind of revelatory moment or estatic truth that you can't find anywhere but in his work. The cinematography in Aguirre is sublime. It contains an all time classic performance from Klaus Kinski and was made on a stolen camera in the jungles of Peru.

The Holy Mountain

The most psychedelic film ever made. I didnt know images like the ones in this film were conceivable until I saw it in high school. It was recently released in theaters again after 30 years of being bootlegged due to a buisness deal gone bad. This was one of the most intense experiences in a movie theater I've ever had. The movie is about perception, alchemy, searching for meaning, and getting high. Alexander Jodorowsky made it the early 70s after living with his cast and crew in a commune for month in order to prepare for the shoot. It was all communal living, meditation, and sex. They brought in a Guru from from India who gave them LSD. The result is a mind boggling and enlightning journey towards understanding the mystical experience.

The Fountain

The most underrated and misunderstood film ever. A lot of people have been waiting for someone to make a film on this level and we are thankful Darren Aronofsky did. It went over most peoples heads or maybe it just appeals to New Age psychonaut freaks like me. I don't know. The film contains three stories existing in three states of consciousness or time/space. A couples love connects them all and thats essentially what the story is about. Sort of. It is also about death, evolution, consciousness expansion, eternal life, pain, loss, and whatever else you can get out of it. Instead of CGI, it features stunning micro-photography of chemical reactions to represent space. One of the boldest and ambitious films I've ever seen.

What Is It?

This film takes it all to a whole new level. A film about the inner workings of a young deformed mans psyche and the heirarchy of ‘dueling demi-gods’ within his mind. The only way to see this is in the theater, and the filmmaker, Crispin Hellion Glover, is always present to perform a slideshow presentation beforehand and an in depth Q and A afterward. The film deals with breaking taboo and Crispin says it is a reaction to his experiences as an actor in Hollywood. Most of the cast have downs syndrome. I think Crispin used them as a metaphor for living outside of society and culture. The most visionary and original film I’ve seen in a long, long time, maybe ever.

The Piano Teacher

Deprevity. Sex. Loneliness. Power. Micheal Hanekes masterpiece is a dark, twisted, and stunningly beautiful portrayl of one of the most complicated relationships ever caught on film.

Allison Cortson

Allison has a show down at the Happy Lion Gallery in Chinatown right now. She makes portraits of people by collecting the dust from around their house and uses it to make the piece. She told me a lot of dust is skin that falls off a person so the paintings are partially made up of the actual person. The works are all really big in size and look amazing in person.
Not all the dust paintings are of people. I like this one a lot:
The piece above is a painting of the "debris of a hypothetical high energy collision between two protons." It is a new work included in the show downtown.

Allison collects 8mm porn from the 1970's and this piece is an oil painting of a still from one of the films. You can see more of her work here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pondering People # 1: VEGA

Vega once told me he is in 'the alamo of his life.' I thought that was very poetic and insightful. I think what he means by that is: he is in a band and this is his last shot at pulling something big off, like making a living playing music. He has been in bands before but this one he is taking very seriously. He is from Manhattan and if the group doesnt work out he is moving back, after a decade in Los Angeles. Vega is a funny man. He once said 'man down!' when someone spilled a drink at breakfast. I'd never heard anyone say that in that context and it cracked me up. He also is introspective and that works well when it comes to his songwriting. Check out his band Castaneda.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Dreamhealer Revealed!

This guy was flipping bicycles with his mind as a kid. As a teen he was curing peoples cancer just by looking at their photo or talking to them. Now he does group distance healing. He had never revealed his identity until recently. Read his first book 'Dreamhealer'. It is an incredible story. Click here to see a video of him at work.

the best ice cream

Fuck Pinkberry. Forget Ben and Jerrys. I buy this ice cream from the ice cream man that comes by and rings a bell outside my apartment a few times a day. It only costs one dollar. It's probably available in your neighboorhood. Make sure you get the strawberry kind. It has white chocolate in the end of the cone.

Hot For You

Here is a re-edit of Hot For You by Brainstorm I did.