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WFMU’s Beware the Blog:

This is one of the best records in my collection. I have a thing for spoken word records, and this is by far the best spoken word record I’ve ever heard. I usually like to play this record for people without telling them what it was intended for, to see if they can guess why anyone would buy it. The idea is straightforward enough: you put this record on in repeat mode while you’re out of the house in order to fool potential burglars into thinking someone’s home. Like those automatically light timers, except for sound. Of course, it would be far easier and more convincing just to leave the TV or radio on, but that wouldn’t be NEARLY as much fun!! Plus, this is in STEREO so you’re sure to get the extra added illusion that the voices are coming from different parts of the room!

The truly great thing about this record is all in the execution. The couple bantering back and forth here presumably had kind of a rough script they were following, and sort of semi-improvised their banal conversation. It’s actors trying to sound as inconspicuously actor-ish as possible. Add to this the fact that, as per the instructions on the jacket, you’re supposed to play it at a level where someone standing outside the house can hear that there’s people talking inside without being able to make out what’s being said, and to me that’s a recipe for pure performance art! (In fact, I’ve considered staging a performance with two actors, using this LP as the entire backdrop.)

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Wooster Collective:

From Rich Jones comes the photo above of street art in Somalia that depicts the militias that roam Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

Rich says that this article – Doctors Without Borders 10 Most Underreported Humanitarian Crises of 2006 – is “one of the most important things you’ll read this year”.

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New York Magazine via Alec Soth:

The artist Dash Snow rammed a screwdriver into his buzzer the other day. He has no phone. He doesn’t use e-mail. So now, if you want to speak to him, you have to go by his apartment on Bowery and yell up. Lorax-like, he won’t come to the window to let you see that he sees you: He has a periscope he puts up so he can check you out first.

Partly, it comes from his graffiti days, this elusiveness, the recent adolescence the 25-year-old Snow spent tagging the city and dodging the police. “He’s pretty paranoid about lots of things in general, and some of it was dished out to him, but others he’s created himself,” says Snow’s friend, the 27-year-old artist Dan Colen, who—like so many of their friends—has made significant artistic contributions to the ever-expanding mythology of Dash Snow. Colen and Snow went to London together this fall for the Saatchi show in which they both had work. (Saatchi had bought one of Colen’s sculptures for $500,000.) Saatchi got them a fancy hotel room on Piccadilly. They had to flee it in the middle of the night with their suitcases before it was discovered that they’d created one of their Hamster’s Nests, which they’ve done quite a few times before. To make a Hamster’s Nest, Snow and Colen shred up 30 to 50 phone books, yank around all the blankets and drapes, turn on the taps, take off their clothes, and do drugs—mushrooms, coke, ecstasy—until they feel like hamsters.

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Digital Outback:

We conducted our first interview with John Sexton. John is a highly regarded master B&W photographer and printer. Bettina and I had the chance to meet John and his wife Anne in his Carmel Valley studio. We add some of John’s pictures to present the interview in the context of John’s masterful images. Of course these small JPEG images don’t do the real prints justice. But at least you get an idea how the real prints may look.

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The Onion:

BURBANK, CA—Despite having announced plans to retire as host of The Tonight Show in 2008, Jay Leno admitted yesterday that he was “having serious doubts” about leaving the TV show after coming across a recent news item in which a Georgia woman doused her philandering husband’s groin in kerosene and set it aflame. The veteran comedian said the incident would provide a wealth of material for “many, many years to come.” “Boy, talk about keeping your marriage exciting,” said Leno, who claimed he had already assigned 19 of his top writers to the story.

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Wallspankers:

ISSUE THREE STICKER CONTRIBUTIONS:
9.10do, 37 Cents, Air, Alex Robbie, Alexandro Farto, Amy Rice, Blessness, Bloodlet, Capish, Collette Elson, Danny Glix, Deadvolt, Debbie Hill, Demitri Nezis, Dolla Lama, Downtimer, Dres13, Emecuatro, Fabrice D, Fost, Hero, Jamaisvu, Jessica Monster, Jontando, Junichi Tsuneoka, Jurne, Justin G, Lala, Lisenbart, Lococateters, Logan Shirah, Lopez, Michael Metallo, Mike Walshe, Lerk, Angel D’amico, Brandy Flower, 57Even, Andrew Cook, Brian Butler, Chuck Trunks, Destroy All Media, Elider Elizondo, Ipxls, Matt Buden, Mista Breakfast, Munk One, MWM Graphics, Randy Laybourne, Rockabilly, Zoso, Monster Little, Mr. Bluespoon, Mr. Luke, Mr. Snub, Naste, Nevarestin, Nomad, Nuse, Odhill, One Trick Pony, Past, Paul Galaxy, Paulo Arraiano, Pedro Lourenco, Peel, Phlegm, Reone, Ryan North, Stephanie Toppin, Sticky, Street Carp, The Sound Of Drowning, Vhs, WUT Crew, Zerohapi, Ziqi.

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NYT:

Martin Amis’s new novel, “House of Meetings,” tackles the same sobering material his 2002 nonfiction book “Koba the Dread” did: Stalin’s slave labor camps and the atrocities committed by the government during the failed “Soviet experiment.” The novel is everything that misguided earlier book was not. Whereas “Koba” weirdly mixed chilling, secondhand historical accounts of Stalin’s crimes with self-indulgent asides about Mr. Amis’s upper-middle-class life in England, “House of Meetings” is a powerful, unrelenting and deeply affecting performance: a bullet train of a novel that barrels deep into the heart of darkness that was the Soviet gulag and takes the reader along on an unnerving journey into one of history’s most harrowing chapters

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Gamespot:

In addition to all the tracks from the PlayStation 2 version of Guitar Hero II, GHII for the Xbox 360 will include 10 new songs not seen in the PS2 game. While we don’t know the full list yet, Red Octane has announced five of the new songs that will be in the game:

Pearl Jam — “Life Wasted”
Rick Derringer — “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo”
My Chemical Romance — “Dead!”
Deep Purple — “Hush”
Alice Cooper — “Billion Dollar Baby”

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SportsShooter:

Erik Lunsford’s illustrative portraits are next in a series of SportsShooter.com features called “Trade Secrets.”

The Daunte Culpepper image, “The Office”, was produced through a combination of extensive Photoshop manipulation and physical destructive techniques. After printing, the image was subjected to being run over with a car, getting stomped on with very dirty shoes, and having mud ground into the surface. For the finishing touches, a variety of paper clips, plastic knives, box cutters, and cheese graters were used to give the print that distressed ‘feel’ before scanning it to produce the final product. It was quite humorous watching the newspaper security guards in the employee lot stare in confusion as I drove forward and reverse repeatedly to create the imprint texture.

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Wooster Collective:

We’ve been a fan of Amnesty International’s street campaigns for years. This one, about freedom of speech in Belorussia, was done by Saatchi & Saatchi Poland.

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Photo essay by Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum Photos:

In Afghanistan opium fuels everything from the culture, the politics, the economy and the resurgent Taliban fighters. Paolo Pellegrin went to the remote southern provinces where the war on drugs, alongside that with the insurgency is raging. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) is working in Afghanistan alongside the Afghan National Interdiction Unit, carrying out raids in remote villages. Links are being made between the resurgence of the Taliban and the drug industry, as both have nothing to gain from the area being controlled by central government. With the large amounts of money to be made from trafficking opium, criminality and corruption are rife, programmes set up to wean farmers off of producing the poppies neglected to track down the networks doing the trafficking, an unclear policy towards totally freeing areas from the duel influence of poppy growing and the Taliban shows itself through the presence of the D.E.A and it’s frustration not to be carrying out the two monthly missions that was their objective on arriving, through lack of military support.

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WFMU’s Beware the Blog:

You  may recall, last year that the amazing site Greylodge ran a Andy Kaufman Collection that many of Greylodge’s readers wrote in to say was one of their favorite  collections that we’ve run. What better way to start out a new year than to top their previous hit? They proudly present, the Gpod 2007- Tony…er…Andy Redux Collection. Containing over 8 and 1/2 gigabytes of chewy Kaufman rarities, with contributions from the private collections of newest GPod contributor, obsolete and long time contributor Joseph Matheny. The …er…Redux Collection (as it’s come to be known) showcases such works as:

All Appearances by AK on Friday’s
Vol. 1, 2 AND 4 of the Rare Andy Kaufman  Collections. (Vol. 3 is still rumored to exist…will we release it? Wait and see.)
I’m From Hollywood (expanded)
Andy Plays Carnegie Hall (expanded, direct from Andy’s own copy!)
Andy’s Funhouse
AK Bio from A & E
Rodney Dangerfield’s “I Can’t Take It No More” special, with AK of course!
The ultra-rare Johnny Cash Xmas Special, with AK as a featured performer and all-around pest.
Stormy Justice with Judge Tony Clifton
The Tony Clifton Movie
Stick Around (pre-Taxi Pilot that never aired) plus outakes
The Kaufman Files- Vol 1 & 2

Download the Torrent Files Here.

John Nack on Adobe:

Photoshop engineer Geoff Scott spotted a beautiful black & white image from photographer Moose Peterson, made with the help of Photoshop CS3.  (Too bad the online version isn’t larger.)   Moose writes, “I’ve always loved B&W photography but until recent developments such at the Epson 3800 and 7800 and B&W conversion in Photoshop, B&W was downright painful. With amazing paper like Epson’s UltraSmooth Fine Art and the ease of B&W conversion in CS3, why wouldn’t someone enjoy the amazing old art of B&W photography.”

For more info, check out Russell Brown’s 4-minute video intro to the Black & White dialog, where he shows off the ability to click and drag on color regions to adjust them, as well as a technique for hand-tinting the results.  Russell produced some great B&W presets for Camera Raw in CS2, so I’m sure he’ll offer more good info, tips, and settings for the much-improved B&W controls in CS3’s Camera Raw 4.0.  I had fun using the new split toning functions, together with Photoshop’s venerable Lighting Effects dialog, to show my wife contemplating a “Portrait of the Governor as a Young Man” on New Year’s Eve. (It was a weird party. ;-))

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BoingBoing:

When I heard the This American Life episode about the weird documentary called The Beaver Trilogy, which played at Sundance in 2001, I immediately tried to get it on Netflix or Amazon. I was sorely vexed to learn that the film was not available for any price.

Today, Gord emailed me to let me know “some kind soul has recently posted the Beaver Trilogy in several YouTube snippets. From the kid to Sean Penn to Crispin Glover (before they were *name* guys).”

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Thrasher:

To commemorate our 25th Anniversary we are going to post a new mag from 1981 each month.

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A Photo a Day:

We, here at aphotoaday, would like to kick off 2007 by showing your some of our favorite photos from last year.

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Wooster Collective:

For the second year in a row, Dan Witz has an annual New Year’s prank. Over the last few days he’s installed a series of real gloves around his neighborhood in Brooklyn. He’s calling the project “The Third Man” (after the movie).

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Daily Herald:

2006 Staff Photos from Jeremy Harmon, Ashley Franscell, Mario Ruiz, and a flock of interns.

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LA Times:

GUL slowed for a speed bump, and instead of accelerating when a militiaman jumped up with an AK-47, he stopped. Gul opened the driver’s window, apparently weighing the comparative risks of getting shot and getting kidnapped. The gunman stuck his head in, saw me in the back seat and smiled like a dog sniffing fresh meat.

“Get us out of here!” I shouted at Gul, and he hesitated. “Get moving!”

Gul hit the gas. The barrel of the gunman’s rifle clunked off the rear side of the car. Not daring to look back, I tensed for the shot that didn’t come.

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NYT:

Eventually the media tired of Andrew Martinez. And so did Berkeley: in the fall of 1992, the school instituted a dress code mandating that students wear clothing in public. Martinez quickly ran afoul of the rule, and after he showed up naked for a disciplinary hearing, he was expelled.

Martinez stuck around the city, hanging out in People’s Park and strolling along Telegraph Avenue, but he wasn’t the same Naked Guy as before. Friends noticed that something was amiss: Martinez had become angry — angry about his expulsion, angry that the media had moved on to other stories, angry that no rich nudist had come forward to bankroll the lawsuit he wanted to file against the university. He started to talk of sinister forces, like the C.I.A., that he claimed were trying to thwart him. He felt ostracized. “I merely need to take off a four-ounce piece of cotton and reveal something that I have, everyone knows I have, half of the population has as well, to change from an average 20-year-old guy to a sex-offending criminal,” he wrote in a book manuscript that was never published.

He began to wander Berkeley pushing a shopping cart filled with rocks. He’d place the rocks at major intersections, trying to disrupt traffic, and he’d make piles of them all over the city so that, as he explained to his girlfriend at the time, “people would have weapons for when the revolution comes.” He seemed to seek out confrontations with the police, once luring them to the co-op where he lived and pelting them with compost. He was arrested on multiple occasions.

Here.

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