Friday, December 18, 2009

Sun Dogs


So you’ve heard of the Jamaican bobsled team? Well this was a documentary about the Jamaican Dogsled team- a film made for and by dog lovers. My girlfriend giggled and made those sounds that girls do when cute dogs are on screen throughout the entire 1 ½ hour running time. That was the best thing about this movie.

A white haired Jamaican man had a crackpot idea to start a team and soon garnered the support of the likes of Jimmy Buffet. He and his people went to a pound and rescued some mongrels. They found an upstanding young Jamaican man that was good with animals to be the “musher”- the guy on the sled controlling the dogs. The first hour is spent getting to know the various dogs- Smiley, Squeeze, and so on. We follow the young Jamaican musher as he leaves his homeland for the first time to train in Minnesota with a 30 year mushing veteran.

Director, off camera: “How do you feel?” Musher: “I feel… Joy.”

The team starts to build up to their first race- in Scotland. Around this time the tolerable film goes seriously downhill. Turns out our smiling mushing hero isn’t such a beacon of light after all. Off-screen he takes one of his bosses cars out for a joyride and crashes it. He is kicked off the team. I would have kept him on for the sake of cinema- especially when, I can almost guarantee, the creator of the dogsled team financed the film. But, no, they kick him off the team and send some other guy with no training to Scotland. The worst part is the dogs don’t get to go to Scotland either- they wouldn’t be allowed back into Jamaica if they leave. The whole message of the film up to that point was dogsled racing is about the relationship between the musher and his animals. So now we have an inexperienced guy we don’t care about racing dogs we have never seen before at the supposed climax of the movie. I kind of admire it’s realism but the scenes are awkward to say the least. They are obviously not wanted at the Scotland race. Though it is not said out-right, the Scots and the other teams think the Jamaican musher and his and his entourage and camera crew have shown up to make a mockery of the serious sport of dogsleding. They finish 47th with the new musher arriving at the finish line crying full blown tears with an injured dog in the dog bag (the rarely used little bad attached to the sled for emergencies). The Scots run up to help the dog yelling “oh my god- what did he do to you!” as the man stands there ignored, beaten, and broken. This scene is both a testament to the dog fanaticism of these racers and the failure of humanity to help one another.

Anyway, the film ends with a montage of dog-osophy with the main characters reflecting on the importance of saving dogs and Jamaican pride. The movie, which is available to watch on Youtube, contains some good insights into the nature of the relationship between man and dog. The Jamaican Dogsled Team definitely built something from nothing that saves dog lives and helps their local economy. But does this make for a good documentary? No. If you love dogs, I recommend watching the first 45 minutes for some solid dog porn. If not, don’t bother, I already told you what happens anyway.

The Boss of It All


This is one of Lars Von Trier’s experimental movies that plays with convention like The Idiots, or The Five Obstructions. He appears as himself in these films- either adding little narratives or by purposely showing the camera crew in the reflections of windows. This one is his attempt at a genre film- a comedy. It succeeds as a funny movie and would probably is hysterical if you were Danish.

An out of work self-important actor is hired by the boss of a software company to pretend to be the “boss of it all” that no one has met. That way he can blame him for all the fucked up stuff he does- like selling off the company and firing his all his employees/investors/developers without compensation. Of course the actor going into this gig doesn’t know this and throughout the film he struggles with the dilemma of sticking to his “role” and doing what he is told- and fucking the unknowing employees over. The movie ultimately deals with ethical questions. And the end is really a jab at the art of acting. It really works largely because the guy playing him, Jens Albinus’ (Stoffer from The Idiots) performance is perfectly perplexed and laugh-out-loud funny.

Trier used a technique called Automavison, probably something he made up or helped develop. He establishes a scene, points the camera at the actors, and then lets a computer select the angle, movement, pan, tilt, and zoom of the camera. Then they shoot it. So in the final product there are a lot of jump cuts but it makes for interesting viewing- and occasionally you come across some amazing unintentional compositions that are striking.

If you like the weird shit Trier does- I imagine you will like this- I think it’s among his best work. Or if you want to see a superior and subversive office comedy and you don’t mind that it’s in Danish- check this out for sure.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Remembering Whips


Her catch phrase was “It’s Showtime!” She would announce it before she'd get on a table in the back room of the famous club Max’s Kansas City in Manhattan to start her song and dance routine.

Born and raised in the city, Andrea “Whips” Feldman was a character in Andy Warhol’s 1960’s scene. A Warhol Superstar who acted in three classic Paul Morrissey films: Imitation of Christ, Trash, and her greatest performance- Heat. Her bizarre disposition and heavy NY accent along with crazy improvised dialogue made her a stand out weirdo- in a cast full of freaks. Besides being a wild partier who loved drugs, she struggled with depression and insecurity. In 1972 on the 10th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, everybody was hanging out in the back room when she jumped on a table, and uncharacteristically, silently held Marilyn’s photo above her head. After a while she said “Marilyn is dead, love me while you can” and jumped down. No one thought too much of it at the time.

A few days later she called up a bunch of her ex-boyfriends and told them to come over to witness “her final performance.” As they gathered on the sidewalk out side of her aunt’s ritzy apartment in mid-town, Whips jumped from the 14th floor to her death. She held a can of coca-cola in one hand and a rosary in the other. She was 24. Her suicide note was addressed to everyone she loved and ended with the proclamation “I’m going for the big time, I hit the jackpot!”

Monday, October 5, 2009

D.A.F - GREIF NACH DEN STERNEN

This has to be up there with The Style Council as some of the "coolest" shit ever.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Hole In My Heart



A weird little Swedish film from a few years ago. It was directed by Lucas Moodysson who is probably best known for a disturbing and important film about sex slavery called Lilya 4-Ever. If you haven't seen that- do so asap. This was his follow up and while still dark in tone, is way different. The film mostly consists of four characters in a tiny apartment. A woman and two men are trying to make a porn film. One of the men has a son who hides out from the madness in his room. He listens to noise music on his headphones to block out the sounds of degradation and fucking. The interesting thing here was he is actually listening to harsh noise, not metal or industrial like most "disturbed" teenagers in movies. I hadn't seen that in a film before. Also the noise, along with the quick and trippy editing, makes for a very jarring viewing experience. There is definitely a claustrophobic feel to this movie and it gets under your skin. The scenes in the apartment are inter cut with shots of night-vision confessionals, operations, dolls, meats, sex toys, all sorts of shit. The characters are all sad and fucked up people, emotionally isolated from each other and the world. Only through perversion and self-hate can they feel anything. Before exploring darker terrain, Moodysson's first two films were popular comedies- so the man is definitely on a journey of some sorts. If you're into challenging and unique film making, you'd like this. Everyone else, stay away.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Idjut Boys and Laj - Fool'in

I Haven't posted shit lately. I wrote an entire thing about the band Music Go Music but my computer at work broke down and I lost it. Until inspiration strikes- here is a masterful house track from the Idjut Boys and Ray Mang. I was recently given this record and we ripped it and put it on Youtube. Check out the user Sharkweak, you'll find other awesome tracks we posted and a bunch of other mind blowing music.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Coil

I haven’t had time to post much lately but here are two songs currently blowing my mind. They are both by Coil. The first is The Last Amethyst Deceiver: a re-working of one of their classic tracks. The second is The Dreamers Is Still Asleep. This was recorded just before John Balance, the singer/lyricist, died from falling 12 feet after slipping over a rail in his house in 2004. Like a lot of his writing, it’s a heavy meditation on death that is even more poignant knowing he would be experiencing the focus of his life’s work within weeks. This song was played to begin his funeral celebration. You can read the lyrics in the service program.



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Icehouse, anyone?

Got turned onto this tune last night, had to share. Should I laugh? Should I cry? Who knows? This shit rules! Love the backup vocal work.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009



Michael Jackson was a beacon of light for humanity and all its eccentricities. He was a symbol of forward thinking evolutionary progress- for the powers of transformation that we have as a species now. He realized one doesn’t have to be the color they were born or the gender they were born. In this day and age, with science where it's at, we can move past archaic concepts like these- you can be whatever you want, and Michael was living proof. He harnessed creative energy and changed the world with it. He was one of our all time greatest dancers, singers, and arrangers- on par with James Brown.

But anyone shattering the status quo and living such a highly visible alternative lifestyle will inevitably be taken down by the forces that be: the people that are afraid of change and things that they don’t understand. These people found opportunistic families that Michael was nice enough to help to “make their dreams come true” and used them to slander him and rob him of his money and dignity. Throughout the trial that acquitted him the media portrayed him as a freak because he identified with Peter Pan and was into plastic surgery. One media meme led to the next and now in the majority public opinion- he is guilty. It is sickening. All his accusers admitted they were forced into lying about what happened to them. Their parents admitted they were extorting him for money, a fact sadly left out of the news. I know people that worked closely for and with Michael for decades and they say the charges against him are ridiculous. The “jesus juice” story was cooked up by a writer for Vanity Fair trying to make a name for herself by riding on the back of the Gloved One, just like that irresponsible sad excuse for a news reporter- Martin Basheer, a condescending morally righteous scumbag. I know a woman who followed the trial religiously and was there everyday. She was so convinced of his innocence she made a marionette puppet of him and marched across the country with it. This is how much people love MJ!

But all that is beside the point. What matters is the joy that Michael brought to the millions of people throughout the world with his music. Just hit after hit, groove after groove, shaking booties of all shapes and colors. That is his legacy. Go back and watch him do his thing in his prime- he is one of the greatest entertainers of all time, not to mention arguably the most famous person ever. I mean, how much more powerful can one man get?? Michael Jackson was walking, talking, empowering evolution and he challenged people’s perceptions of what it means to be a human being. And, boy, could he move.



My mother tells me that when I was 7 I bought Thriller and had a little "Michael Jackson Radio" and did the moonwalk around the house.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

DVD Review: Traitor


Ok, Ok we get it! All Muslims want to kill as many innocent people as possible! Americans good! Muslims bad! This film is nothing more than more right-wing propaganda. It tries to play off this intention with a few ‘tolerant’ one-liners but the message is overwhelmingly prejudiced. The FBI cops are righteous and smart, all the Muslims are deadly killers. Cheadle is the American bred non- violent faithful Muslim caught in the middle.

The film plays like a bad episode of 24. Intense situations build up only to dissolve with lazy writing cop-outs like “oh, I have a stomach ache” in order to move the plot along. The dialogue, brought to us by Jeffery Nachmanoff, who wrote “The Day After Tomorrow”, is heavy-handed and unimaginably cheesy. Most lines are standard Hollywood crap lifted from other films. The weird thing is that the one and only Steve Martin wrote the initial story. Even more mind-boggling is why he would hand it off to a hack like Nachmanoff.

Every role would have benefited from better, lesser known talent instead of rich actor dudes that are in every other crappy movie. Not that it was an exceptionally good movie, but Body of Lies is a better take on similar material, even if Dicaprio is poorly cast as well. Cheadle just isn’t believable in the role. That last conversation between him and Guy Pierce is one of the most cringe-inducingly corny I’ve seen in recent memory. My roommate actually got mad at me for bringing this home.

In conclusion, if you are a conservative ideologue or republican moron looking for justifications for your judgmental world-view, this movie is for you. Everyone else, stay the fuck away.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Final Flesh


Final Flesh is a film by Vernon Chapman, one of the creators of PFFR, Xavier: Renegade Angel and Wonder Showzen. He screened the film last night in LA to a packed house at the Silent Movie Theater. The films set-up is this: There are porn companies online that do custom porn. You can send in whatever your fantasy is and they will act it out, record it, and send you the tape. Well, Vern wrote a series of absurd scripts for the porn actors to do- weird and bizarre shit, no sex. He made it so the actors thought he would be getting off on it- not turning their videos into art films. He presented the films exactly as he received them- the companies did all the titling and editing. The result is very twisted, often times gross, and always funny. The film is in four parts. The first begins with three black actors talking around a table moments before the Atom Bomb is about to drop. One of the ladies goes into the shower and pours a jar of ‘neglected children’s tears’ over herself in an erotic manner. Read into this what you will… She goes on to give birth to a piece of raw meat that she breastfeeds. And that’s just the beginning; the parts get progressively crazier from there. Check out the DVD that will be released by Drag City later this year.

I couldnt find any images online from the film so I just put the PFFR logo...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nurse With Wound - Swansong


Here we have yet another piece of music made up entirely of the human voice. After the Maja Ratkje and Robert Ashley pieces, I thought I’d include one more, this time by Nurse With Wound. NWW is Stephen Stapleton, an English guy that lives in Ireland on a farm he built himself with recycled materials. He also makes incredible art, like that above. He has been doing crazy dark psychedelic ambient noise music as NWW for over 20 years. He has barely ever performed live and had never in the US until a few years ago in San Francisco, pictured below. It was him with 5 or 6 other people creating a sea of sound that completely enveloped the room non-stop for an hour. It was one of the heavier live sets I’ve seen. Anyway, this piece is called Swansong and, according to Stapleton, was "spewed out after watching a documentary on the American A-Bomb tests off the Bikini Islands which left me sad, helpless and fucking angry- an ocean of death." The piece perfectly captures the raw feeling of destruction and devastation, especially when the ‘bomb’ drops halfway through the track. Enjoy! As always, play this very loud.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Visions of Cannes

Potion Lords had a representative at The Cannes film Festival these past two weeks. Tim was out there, his film The Aphrikan was screening at in the 'Short Film Corner' of the festival. He handed out promotional scalpels. Below is what he sent us.



Visions of Cannes
05 24 09

-dark green mountains salted with pockets of white villas nestled along peachy sand beaches.

-swimming out to a buoy, opening my eyes along the way under the clear emerald water

-watching Neil Young film at sunset on the beach with yachts aglow in the distance

-mothers in high heels and 500 dollar daisy dukes pushing strollers along the croisette

-giving Quentin Tarantino a scalpel talking about Redondo Beach

-topless 8 year olds
-topless 68 year olds

-Tan young French girls poolside. No plastic surgery

-watching Dario Argento´s Giallo, wishing it was good, but witnessing how very bad it is :(

-eating Mussels that look like pink labia, and taste like heaven.

-Lobsterazzi burnt by the sunbeams from Hell

-Catching the premiere of Tetro. Vincent Gallo winning my heart back with the performance of a lifetime

-Being blessed by a screening of Von Trier´s Antichrist, one of the most original statements ever filmed. More shocking in its subtlety than any horror film this year, or ever.

-Agora, a history lesson on religion with a grace and beauty that smacks you in the face

-Having to make the choice between catching a reprise screening of Gaspar Noe´s Enter The Void or going to the to see Psychic TV play in Marseilles..........

-walking the red carpet to see Inglorious Basterds in the grand lumiere theater with Nico. the 2hr20min flew by as Nazis were slaughtered by Jews,

-giving Terry Gilliam a scalpel, him exclaiming "Now this is something I can use."

-reattached body parts, especially toes.

-missing body parts, especially arms.

-sagging leather

-attending the Min Ye premiere with a griot in attendance. Africans filing in as I listen to Am I black Enough by Schooly D.

-Standing in a HOT line for 2 hours to catch Das Weisse Bande by Haneke (pictured). His greatest photographic achievement yet. STUNNING black and white. He channeled Bergman and stepped up to a new aesthetic of emotional storytelling.

-Walking out of the palais for the final time, catching a glimpse of Gaspar Noe´s face on the screen, knowing they are inside, entering the void without me.

-realized you can´t see em all.

-running through the crowded streets of Cannes to meet my girl at the train. Hop on. Roll out by stunning ocean and mountain landscapes on the way to Marseilles and Genesis..............................................................;)

T
I
M

Saturday, May 23, 2009

PFFR

PFFR. An art collective from New York. These people are way, way out there. They made the mind blowing television program Wonder Showzen. Now they do an animated show called Xavier: Renegade Angel that is completely strange and totally psychedelic. It's about a philosophical faun-like creature with backwards knees "seeking the mystery of his own origin." He is often fending off violent rednecks or meeting with his Shaman. PFFR describes it as "a warning to children and adults about the dangers of spirituality." Also check out their website, it's one of the raddest I've ever seen. They are a band too and this is a video they made:



And here is a link to a totally mental episode of Xavier.

They are screening their new avant garde porn film Final Flesh at the Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood June 9th.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Book Review: Blackwater


Jeremy Scahill’s Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army is a detailed and fascinating chronicle of a private corporate army run by Christian supremacists that subscribe to the idea of imposing their morality on the world. The company was founded by Erik Prince a young silver-spooned Christian wacko, whose father, Edgar, was an influential billionaire who gave millions to right-wing religious causes. Blackwater started as a small training facility in North Carolina in 1999 but after 9/11, went on to make over a BILLION dollars on the war on terror, mostly from contracting their “security” services to guard top government officials in Iraq. They operate outside the law and can kill anyone they want for no reason, which often happens, without any repercussions. This is possible because Paul Bremner, who was running Iraq the first year, handed down “Order 17” that stated private contractors could not be prosecuted under Iraq law.

The Blackwater men are mostly drawn from retired Army, Navy, and Special Forces, as well from other countries like Chili and South Africa, where those troops took part in the torture and slaughter of thousands of innocents under brutal dictatorships. In Iraq, they are paid 3 or 4 times more than an American soldiers and are often blamed for inciting hatred among insurgents and citizens, consequently doing more harm than good in the war. For Iraqis, the typical Blackwater solider is a picture of everything wrong with America: chiseled bodies, wrap-around sunglasses, goatees, khaki pants, backwards baseball caps, lots of guns and heavy artillery. They drive armored SUVs throughout the country indiscriminately firing at anyone that gets to close to their moving convoys. The stories in this book are horrifying and enraging.

Recently Blackwater have expanded beyond contract security in Iraq. They now operate a company called Total Intelligence Solutions, a private CIA type company run by J. Cofer Black, the legendary US spy and head of the Counterterrorism unit of the CIA for years and one of the architects of the government’s secretive “extraordinary rendition” policy. So now the CIA’s talent, information, and contacts are on sale for corporations and countries to purchase at will. The book explores in depth the other services offered by Blackwater and Prince’s other companies. Without getting too detailed, I’ll tell you- they’re really fucked up. It’s a jarhead fantasy of kidnapping, espionage, and violence.

Blackwater has recently come home and began terrorizing Americans too. They went into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and “patrolled” the city with machine guns. Instead of sending food and supplies in, the Bush administration sent these worthless heavily armed douchbags in- and paid them 73 million dollars! Needless to say, these people are extremely well connected to government. Their ties to the Christian fundamentalists and their donations to crazy hate groups is probably the most disturbing aspect of their existence. Anyway, I’m merely scratching the surface of the evil antics of this company. Scahill goes way deep into it and the book reads like a cinematic thriller. My only complaint is it gets bogged down too much with legal jargon in the middle, and it repeats itself a little. But the main point gets through. Your tax dollars are funding the biggest, scariest, lawless army in the world that wants you to worship Christ, just like they do. Hooray!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Maja Ratkje: Acid / Insomnia


I figured, after the Robert Ashley piece, I'd post another experimental work created entirely by voice. This is from one of my favorite contemporary composers Maja Ratkje. She is a Norwegian woman that is one half of the noise duo Fe-Mail and the improv group SPUNK. These pieces are from her album Voice. Its an extremely beautiful and varied record from 2002 made up entirely of her voice. These are the last two tracks on the record. Acid is short and very trippy, indicative of the other songs on the album. Insomnia is an epic noisy masterpiece. I've seen her a live a few times and got to hang out with her when she was in San Francisco recording at Recombinant Media Labs. Totally cool lady and is as stunningly beautiful in person as she is in these pictures. These are among my favorite new music works. Play loud.

Acid:



Insomnia:




One of my favorite record covers ever, Voice. I wish this image showed the subtle coloring.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Frownland



What happens when someone has so much social anxiety that they cease to function? How alone can one man get? When the mundane crap we have to endure in order to be part of society gets to be too much, what happens? Frownland explores these questions. Its the first film by a guy named Ronald Bronstein, a film projectionist in New York. Definitely a startlingly original debut. The tone is strange and claustrophobic as we get inside the mind of a guy named Keith that is so messed up he can hardly form a proper sentence. We follow him around as he tries to make contact with people and function day to day. Most of us have known people like this- people that say "sorry" too much and have very awkward communication skills. So we know there are people out there like this but why would someone want to make a movie about them? Well, because its interesting and Bronstein and the lead actor, Dore Mann, do an excellent job. This may seem like something difficult to watch, and at times it is, but I found it oddly fascinating. I found myself contemplating the film days afterward. This film is about as un-commercial as a film can get. A few friends filmed it over the course of a few years as they saved money. It was shot on 16mm and the scratched film look is beautifully low budget. With no distributor, this may be a tough one to find, I think it's been screening randomly for the past year or so. Hopefully it'll be on DVD at some point. I saw it at the Silent Movie Theater here in LA. There were 10 people in the audience, among them Crispin Glover, if that tells you anything about how weird this movie is. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Political Reading


I haven't had much time to blog lately since the corporate overlords at my job decided to treat their employees like children and take away our Internet access. So instead of fully summarizing these articles I'll just link to them. If you have any interest in politics, war, finance, etc.... check these out.

I came across this one, entitled The Big Takeover, in Rolling Stone. It is an engaging and well written explanation of the financial crisis and the bailout. The author is pissed off as fuck and maintains a refreshingly angry tone throughout the piece. Basically, with the aid of media propaganda, the bankers are taking over the government and stealing taxpayer dollars to make themselves rich.

The Other War was an article that appeared in The Nation in July 2007 and was one of the first comprehensive pieces that explored the Iraqi citizen death toll (100,000) and the morally ambiguous behavior of some US troops in Iraq. My thoughts: The US has a bunch of kids over there that grew up playing video games about killing and are spoon-fed government lies, so the fact that they are systematically terrorizing families, not to mention indiscriminately murdering woman and children, isn't surprising. War is hell. Its a long piece but worth the read.

And here are two new ones by Naomi Klein. A piece about Obama's treasure secretary and megalomanical moron Larry Summers. And A Lexicon of Disappointment is poking fun at the Obamamanics and is a call too arms to get over this "hope" phenomenon and start making sure "change" really happens. Well, it's not- the illusion is over and it's back to the same old shit.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bob Presents: Elvis

We have a new guest blogger- Bob. He is taking the site to a whole new level with this contribution. Bob on the video:

"Oh yeah - the air lasso is heavy duty - I have been watching a lot of it lately when I'm feeling not so perky - fire up some air lasso and you are ready to face world".
(air lasso around minute four)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

She Was A Visitor


A piece by Robert Ashley. A professor of mine, Maggi Payne, had been a student of his and turned me on to his mind melting creations. He was one of the early electronic music pioneers that came out of the scene centered around the San Francisco Tape Music Center in the early 70’s. Now he is probably best known for directing operas but back then he was known for a piece called Automatic Writing. She Was A Visitor was included on the same CD as that classic composition but for whatever reason Visitor has always resonated with me a bit more. It is a experimental work for voice from 1967 performed by the Brandeis University Chamber Chorus directed by Alvin Lucier.

Ashley's notes on the piece: "She Was a Visitor is a form of description, it is intended to be understood as a form of rumor. The chorus is divided into groups, each headed by a leader. A lone speaker repeats the title sentence throughout the entire performance. The separate phonemes of this sentence are picked up freely by the group leaders and are relayed to the group members, who sustain them softly and for the duration of one natural breath. The time lag between the group leaders' phoneme choices and those phonemes being picked up by members of the group produces a staggered, chant-like effect, with the sounds moving outward from the nearest performer to the farthest".

Play it loud.

Stream or download:

Robert Ashley - She Was A Visitor

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Martyrs


I watched what is probably the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. It is a French film called Martyrs that came out last year. It is a existential journey into the heart of depravity and pain. Though it is truly horrifying, it is not a "horror movie." There is nothing supernatural in the film and there are no obvious scares and starling noises in the dark. The story is told in a cold, calculated, detached manner. It is about the bad things humans do to each other and the motivations behind their actions. I won't get into the plot here, it would ruin it. But I'll say it concerns confinement, transcendence, and ritualized beatings. The director, Pascal Laugier, wrote it in a bout of depression and has been apologetic to the films haters and thankful of its appreciators.

I watched it alone at night and I still I can't get the images out of my mind- and I'm having nightmares about it. The only other time I have been actually been truly scared by film making was in 8th grade when they revealed who Bob was on Twin Peaks. Remember the scene right before Bob/Leland kills Maddy when hes putting on the gloves in front of the mirror? That got to me. Martyrs did too.

This is a serious film not for the light of heart. If you are interested in the darker aspects of human nature and can handle un-glorified violence, I highly recommend Martyrs. This is a movie you will never forget, the power of cinema in full force.



Edit 5/2: This film is on DVD now. Don't get it from Blockbuster! Those Christian idiots censored it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Revisiting A Classic

Bob Marley is a Prophet. So friggin amazing...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jeff Mills: The Exhibitionist

I found the entirety of this classic Jeff Mills DVD on Youtube. If there was a musical hierarchy, Mills would be at the tippity top... truly intense music from a master. I suggest headphones or a good sound system to hear this.









Wednesday, March 4, 2009

One Line Film Reviews


I've been watching new releases and semi-new releases online at home. In case you are wondering what to see, don't have a lot of time, and trust my opinion, here are some one line reviews.

Revolutionary Road- The film has some good things to say about the price of conformity but its delivery is a little heavy handed and its basically two actors arguing a lot.

Slumdog Millionaire- Couldn't get through it but I'm glad the amazing Anthony Dod Mantle won an Oscar for his cinematography.

Man on Wire- Kind of inspiring.

An American Crime- Could have been awesome (Ellen Page tortured to death by kids) but just didn’t work due to bad direction.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall- Pretty funny but I’m sick of these people.

Appaloosa- Jeremy Irons, Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen in a western, rad.

Savage Grace- I turned this story about rich gay people in the 50's off about half way, even though I heard there was incest involved.

Taken- Suspend your disbelief and this is a fun trip into the world of sex slavery.

Gran Torino- Clint Eastwood ends his acting career on a seriously racist note, he even calls white people “Ofays” in this film.

Baby Mama- I seriously regret stealing this movie, it was terrible.

The Last House on the Left- Way toned down from the classic 1972 version but still slightly disturbing fun.

Stuck- Girl hits homeless man and he gets stuck in her windshield and she leaves him to die in her garage.

Rachel Getting Married
- Intense moments of sadness as well as insights into the emotional complexity of family, addiction and grief makes this one of the heaviest films I've seen in recent memory.

Burn After Reading- The Coen Brothers present a bumbling comedy of errors in which John Malcovich and Brad Pitt are particularly hysterical.

Role Models- I found this surprisingly funny, I recommend it.

The Reader- Corney classical music plays over the entirety of this contrived and emotionally manipulative Oscar-hungry Holocaust drama.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Life and Times of Chris Gaines


This is weird: ever heard of Chris Gaines? In 1999 American superstar Garth Brooks created an alter ego for himself in order to have a parallel career to his pop-country one. He claimed he created the character for a film he had written and was to star in called The Lamb. The bizarre thing is, well, look at the guy! Your supposed-to-be-cool alter ego is a cheeseball emo rocker dude? What the fuck? Brooks created a fictional back-story for Gaines, complete with 6 different record covers. He played SNL as Gaines and released the one and only Gaines record as a “pre-soundtrack” to the film. A god-awful single from the record actually charted on the pop top 40 charts. But when the film never materialized the public got a little weirded out and, as Wikipedia puts it “the majority of the American public was either totally bewildered or completely unreceptive to the idea of Garth Brooks as anything but a pop-country singer.” Brooks didn’t really get famous until his forties and after becoming the highest selling solo act of ALL TIME he probably felt he could do anything- even become a shitty rock singer. I guess Chris Gaines was just a byproduct of a mans ego gone haywire.



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Clipd Beaks - Visions



Clipd Beaks released a video for there new single Visions. It's one of their more intense tunes. They are a 3 piece now that Greg left the band. In his absence, Nic's vocals have come to the front of the mix. This is a good thing because his lyrics are downright beautiful. I'm surprised these guys aren't indie sensations yet. They are one of the best live bands around.

Monday, February 23, 2009

NEW MIX!!!!!!!!


The Ketamine Brothers played records at Beverly Hills City Hall over the weekend. We recorded part of our set. Check it out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

COPS


I applied to an ad on Craigslist looking for people thats lives had been changed by watching the TV show COPS. This was my application.


I have a sick addiction to COPS. In watching it, I really get to see what life is like outside of my little Los Angeles bubble. There is something about watching white trash getting beat up by stupid redneck police that I find strangely educational. The way they exude brute force on weak drug addled people is an insight into the nature of humanity with all its wars, hate, and disease. I find it emotionally compelling too. Did you see the second episode on Saturday? They busted that kid for coke (that’s him below). I felt for him, he was watching his life shatter before his eyes and he knew it. The dude was just trying to get high- his god-given right. COPS often makes me pissed off about drug laws. I mean, the kid was just minding his own business... I get angry about how self-important these cops think they are. They are just another gang out ruining people’s lives but the legacy of COPS makes them think they are doing good work. I hate the show in that way. I love COPS, I hate COPS… I watch COPS.


Filmed on location by the men and women of law enforcement.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bobbie Marie


This is a band that does it right. Thomas and Rene write and produce the music. They release 3 limited vinyl only 7”s on the best label on earth. Get a killer band to back you up for gigs in Los Angeles (sans Thomas). Play a free show at the best venue in LA- 3 Clubs. Bobbie Marie. Check these dudes out. They know how to put on a show. Renee is a real deal frontman, in the tradition of Nation of Ulysses/ James Brown/ Iggy Pop/ Jesus Lizard. Dude went pretty crazy. They kind of sound like a combination of those bands too. The music is weird backwoods forward-thinking rock n’ roll. I’ve heard it described as “barnyard punk.” There is also a slight house element that creeps through in slower songs. The new 12” is totally out there. Ship Overboard sounds like a sea shanty being sung from a mile under water. There are still some copies available at Amoeba. Next show is Feb 24. Peep it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ride Like the Wind

My friend Stew turned me on to this video. It puts Christopher Cross into perspective. He's a soulfull motherfucker. The keyboard player might be the raddest dude on earth.
Da da da da- da da da daaahhhh!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Good Vibrations

The Gaza massacre is bumming me out. I thought I should cheer up the vibe.
Here is a classic from the great Psychic TV, in their hyperdelic phase.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Slaughter


UPDATED JAUNARY 9th.

Look at this picture. This is the result of Israels attack on Gaza. You won't see this image on TV but this is what happens when the worlds fourth largest army bombs a UN school in a REFUGEE camp tucked into the worlds largest open air prison. The official word from the Israeli Army is there was gunfire coming from in the school and that "Hamas cynically uses civilians as human shields." Hmmm... Maybe you shouldn't fire at them then?! They are, after all, CIVILIANS. From the linked article: "A medic who treated the wounded, said he saw no gunmen among the casualties."

The mind boggles.

One has to wonder how far Israel will take this. If or when they take control of Gaza, who will get the billion dollar Haliburton-style reconstruction contract to rebuild the Gaza strip? How soon will Israel and American corporations be profiting from this? How soon will a McDonald's be opening?

Hopefully never.

Barack Obama is a piece of shit for siding with Israel and should be impeached as soon as he hits office. His "if rockets hit where my daughters sleep" argument is one-sided and backwards. Why doesn't self-defence apply to Palestine? I have lost all respect for him.


This dead little girl was one of 110 people the Army evacuated to a safe house. They were told to stay inside and less than 24 hours later, Israel shelled the house, killing over 30 people, most of them children.

On the bright side, there is a movement that is gaining traction called BDS: Boycott, Divest, Sanction. It calls for serious economic repercussions for Israel if it continues with its crimes: Illegal settlements, wars, and running the largest concentration camp ever- Gaza. Naomi Klein breaks it down in this radical article.

For more reading, I highly recommend reading this fascinating portrait of life in Gaza. It is centered around Nizar Rayan, the Hamas leader that was killed, along with his 11 children, when Israel jets dropped 2 missiles on his house.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thoughts on Gaza


The death tole rises as the oppression and subjugation of a people continues in Palestine. The Zionist war-hawks that run Israel have a few objectives with this new wave of killing. One is to create fear in the entire middle east and show that they are dead serious about their security and sovereignty. Another is to continue to systematically wipe away the Arab people and their culture from the region. They have waged what they call a “total war” against a people that are essentially defenseless. They have no army, no Apache helicopters, no F-16 bombers, not even electricity at this point. But Israel does, and with these things, they are massively bombing a tiny piece of land home to 1.5 million people. The “news” we hear is mostly pro Israel because America has a vested interest in selling Israel weapons. Like the US, Israeli companies have made millions on the homeland security boom, a disaster capitalism complex born of fear after 9/11. It has made Israel more powerful in the world market and the "terrorism" catch phrase has been a convenient one for them to adopt in order to continue Palistinian suppression.

The much discussed rockets that were fired into what was once Palestine, now illegally Israel, may or may of not been fired by Hamas. Some say it was the US backed anti-Hamas group Fatah that operates in the area, in order to provoke an attack from Israel. But even it was the democratically elected Hamas, does a few non-lethal rockets equate a full scale invasion- 400 dead already, half of them children? I don't think so. It is a crime against humanity. The sad thing is the Palestinians have nowhere to go. Their movement is restricted by Israeli troops that don't allow people to go from one town to another, let alone leave Palestine. The Israeli army does not let in food, medical supplies, or fuel. The already poverty stricken people are caged in and trapped as the war machine bombs them deeper and deeper into unsurvivable conditions.


Israeli citizens smile and watch an air strike from the safe side of the apartheid wall.