I went to Burnt Ramen in Richmond. Burnt Ramen reminds me a lot of 924 Gilman circa 1991. I am not a big fan of that place.
It is in a poor neighborhood which serves to keep away the more normal weekender kids that all go to Gilman these days, but it is also packed full of wasted teenagers smoking cigarettes that incidentally are all probably banned from Gilman.
I went to see Bad Reaction and Broken Needle. Both great bands full of great dudes. However, the bands are pretty much secondary to this “review.” Just as the bands are most likely secondary to getting drunk for the Burnt Ramen crowd.
The more we talked over the following 18 months, however, the more painful his adolescence began to sound. Apatow was always small for his age, and he grew adept at making fun of himself before others could. He began audiotaping “Saturday Night Live” when he was 11, transcribing the show and then trying to figure how they made it funny. When TV Guide arrived each week, Apatow would underline all the comics scheduled to appear on “The Mike Douglas Show.”
Apatow’s childhood hero was Steve Martin. On a summer trip to L.A., Apatow persuaded his grandparents to drive by Martin’s home until Apatow spied his hero in the driveway. Martin wouldn’t give him an autograph, so Apatow wrote him an angry letter saying it was his patronage of Martin’s projects that allowed him to live the high life. A few weeks later, Martin sent Apatow a copy of his book “Cruel Shoes” with an apology: “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I was speaking to the Judd Apatow.”
Nothing ever happens in the tiny Orange County, Calif., town of Blanca Carne, but that’s about to change. Hella Burger’s evil mascot, Horny the Clown (Van De La Plante), is on a murderous rampage. Tired of seeing her friends slaughtered by Horny’s meat cleaver, 17-year-old Mackenzie (Leighton Meester) decides to put an end to his killing spree. Nicholas D’Agosto, Lola Glaudini and Larry Joe Campbell co-star in this darkly comic terror-fest.
Some titles say it all, and this document of the Cheffins Tractor Millennium is no exception. All told, 1,958 tractors turned up for this extravaganza in the summer of 2000. The event was capped off by the great dynamometer horsepower challenge, which pits modern tractors against vintage machines. Participants include John Deere, Fordson, Marshall, Doe and Caterpillar. Relive the magic of this thrilling event for tractor enthusiasts.
There are profiles of six photographers on Canon Europe’s professional website. Most interesting to me was the profile of Swedish photojournalist Per-Anders Pettersson, who has been doing fascinating work from the Congo (that’s his photograph above), where millions of people have died in conflict since 1997 with almost no international attention. You can read Pettersson’s profile and see his photos (and a video) at this link.
The other photographers profiled are: Kai Pfaffenbach, Martin Eisenhawer, Bill Frakes, and Alessandra Meniconzi.
I’ve been staring at this photo by Florida photojournalist Chip Litherland for a few days now. I kept a browser window with his blog open, intending to post it. His blog always has something cool on it.
My subsequent meetings with the Islamists and their sympathizers were equally frustrating. There was no discussion of the peace plan that had brought me back to Somalia. Instead, the discussions centered on matters they deemed important: whether theaters should be open; whether girls could be permitted to wear jeans or go about unveiled; whether tea houses should play music, or young men watch soccer on television. There was no serious talk of governance.
What struck me in these conversations was the presence of Arabic. These men, I surmised, had received their education in Sudan, Libya or Kuwait. For the first time since the Middle Ages, Arabic was the lingua franca in Mogadishu; Somali was practically a second language.
“Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones
“Cherub Rock” by Smashing Pumpkins
“Sabotage” by Beastie Boys
“The Metal” by Tenacious D
“My Name is Jonas” by Weezer
“Knights of Cydonia” by Muse
“Rock And Roll All Nite” as made famous by Kiss
“School’s Out” as made famous by Alice Cooper
“Slow Ride” as made famous by Fog Hat
“Cult of Personality” by Living Colour
“Barracuda” as made famous by Heart
From LA Weekly, a series of profiles of cool people. My favorites:
Kelly Benway. “Fuck school, fuck a daytime job.” It just gets in the way, says Kelly Benway. You can tell right away that punk runs through Benway’s veins. Always has. She grew up with the Talking Heads, Blondie, Television and the Ramones.
Stephen Hauptfuhr. From creeky warehouses to raucous bars to swanky boîtes and back again, Stephen Hauptfuhr has bash-ed ’em all. The 33-year-old L.A. native isn’t your average chatty, social-butterfly-type party planner, and he comes off supermellow, even a bit shy, but beneath the soft-spoken exterior there’s a creative spark and knack for getting people together that’s been flickering for almost two decades. Just into his teens in the early ’90s, “Mr. Kool-Aid,” as he called himself, was a hot electronic-music DJ and promoter helping put on some of L.A.’s biggest dance-music events, many at unconventional locales like water parks and shopping malls.
Rick Klotz. Rick Klotz is one opinionated mofo, and he has every right to be. The local clothing designer/artist created L.A.’s first streetwear company, Freshjive, and 17 years later it’s still going strong with a bold collection of T-shirts, hoodies and bottoms that, even alongside a host of multimillion-dollar competitors, continues to set the standard for casual Cali cool.
Jason Lee. Some years ago, before the lucky lotto-winning guy named Earl Hickey came along, Jason Lee was a professional skateboarder from Huntington Beach. Pictured shredding on the covers of magazines like Thrasher and the now-defunct Power Edge, he made his first memorable film debut in an epic 1991 flick for BLIND skateboards called Video Days, directed by another former skate-industry grom, Spike Jonze.
Dave Naz. One of the most disturbing images to appear on the Internet this year may have been Dave Naz’s snapshot of his girlfriend, Orianna Small, still groggy from anesthesia, with her freshly extracted wisdom teeth arranged into a loose mound on her lolling, half-extended tongue. Naz is an erotic photographer best known for his books Legs and Fresh: Girls of Seduction, and Small is famous in some circles as perversion-friendly porn star and director Ashley Blue.
Todd Taylor. Todd Taylor loves to write about punk rock, but don’t box him in. Even though his globally distributed and admired music magazine Razorcake solidified its foundation with interviews and articles on roots punk, garage punk and pagan-core-crust punk, the L.A. music scene’s ubiquitous four-letter word is more than just the bedrock for multi-hyphenated subgenres. If it’s grassroots, DIY and below corporate media’s radar, Razorcake will cover it.
Stella. Will someone please buy this woman a silver watch already? Stella, the ever-serene host of KXLU’s Stray Pop, has been on the air for nearly 27 years, and in the world of L.A. radio, that’s far more than mere longevity. Stella’s taste-making three-hour thrill ride of punk rock — with pop, rarities, interviews and other weirdo stuff thrown in — is the place where rockers of every stripe still tune in each week as Friday night turns into Saturday morning, midnight to 3 a.m.
Jeffree Star. It’s 9 a.m. and I’ve rung the buzzer twice at Jeffree Star’s apartment in Valley Village. Did he forget I was coming, or is he fucking with me? I’m about to try his cell phone when the doorknob turns and the fuchsia-haired, rail-thin 21-year-old appears, rubbing the traces of last night’s mascara out of his eyes.
Julius Shulman. Julius Shulman, the great-grandfather of American architectural photography, has been at the top of his craft for so long that, when asked his earliest memory of photographing great architecture, he can’t decide: construction of the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal in the 1930s — or wait! — what about when they filled Boulder Dam with water?
Robert Scheer. “Let’s cut to the chase,” says Robert Scheer, “there is no real objectivity in journalism, and there shouldn’t be. If you pretend you’re a dragnet cop when you’re reporting, you know, just give me the facts, you show your stupidity, your mindlessness. I think the best thing that’s ever been said on the subject of objectivity was from the great Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti who said, ‘Keep an open mind but not so open that your brains fall out.’”
Bob Say. Bob Say loves records. He is a collector and a connoisseur, a gentlemanly purveyor of vinyl discs and related objects, an enthusiast’s enthusiast. In a milieu full of cranks, snobs and cutthroats, Say is affable, open and unabashedly excited to share his passion. While others have burned out or moved on from the business of selling music, Say, who is 55, continues to live, breathe and champion records.
Henry Rollins. Henry Rollins supports the troops. Yeah, that’s right, the virulently anti-Iraq-war, anti-Bush-administration flame thrower has been quietly putting serious time in with the USO. Not the Bob Hope organization of yesteryear, but a modern-day nonprofit that takes its military morale-boosting duties seriously.
Pop surrealist, graffiti, tattoo, lowbrow, comic and underground artists Shag, Paul Frank, Tim Biskup, Frank Kozik, Marc Ecko, Amanda Visell, Tim Biskup, J. Otto Seibold, Gary Baseman, Joe Ledbetter, Urban Medium and Jeff Soto, among others, show their allegiance to the dark side by customizing Darth Vader helmets in landmark gallery exhibition called The Vader Project, to debut at Star Wars Celebration IV on May 24 to 28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
From Iraqslogger via Editor and Publisher, a report that journalists will be banned from covering violent incidents by the Iraqi government. Among the reasons given by man with a long title Iraqi Interior Ministry Operations Director Brigadier General Abdul Karim Khalaf:
— To protect journalists from being victims in follow on attacks (insurgents often target first responders).
— “We do not want evidence disturbed before detectives arrive.”
— “The respect of human rights by not photographing dead bodies who fall by bombings and other incidents.”
— “The Ministry does not want to give terrorists information that they achieved their goals.”
With tongue in cheek regarding the first point, this must be the first government in modern times that’s interested in protecting journalists. Maybe the next step is to ban all journalists from working throughout Iraq “for their own safety.”
The last point is an interesting one. There is a war of information being fought, and terrorism needs publicity to fan its flames. And that’s why terrorist groups have taken to filming their own operations.
You can say that desperate times call for desperate measures, but these restrictions will have larger effects than the stated goals. Shutting down the freedom of information over there is either a really bad idea or an illustration of how bad things are in Iraq.
A collection of galleries from Photo District News (or is it just PDN now?). Terrific photography, guaranteed to inspire. From PDN:
As PDN’s Photo Annual marks another year of extraordinary photography, we honor the contest winners who grace the following pages. From Lauren Greenfield’s heart-wrenching multimedia project, “Thin,” to Gary Schneider’s hauntlingly beautiful photo story about obesity, this year’s contest was a study in extremes. Whether it be a poignant social statement, such as Jan Grarup’s Newsweek documentation of the devastation in Darfur, or a perfectly nutty ad campaign like Lyndon Wade’s for Nestle Crunch, each image has its own identity, worthy of recognition.
Not one of the photographers featured on the following pages wanted to be called a hero. We sympathize: The word is immodest and certainly overused these days. Nonetheless, we can’t help but consider them heroic, and when you read their stories, we think you’ll understand why.
The photographers are:
Phil Borges, John Dugdale, Timothy Fadek, Stanley Greene, Chris Hondros, Yunghi Kim, Joseph Rodriguez, Fazal Sheikh, Brent Stirton, Hazel Thomspon
The photo above is from Stanley Greene. His book on Chechnya, Open Wound, sits on my bookshelf. It’s too powerful to go through in one sitting.
Sometimes the description of a film newly releasing on Netflix is worthy of a post. This one, Sex Machine, is described thusly:
Frank can’t really explain why he has the words “Sex Machine” tattooed on his arm. In fact, he can’t seem to remember much of anything about his life lately — including why his head is throbbing, bleeding and wrapped in gauze. Seeking solace in the arms of his girlfriend, he sets out to find answers to a long list of troubling questions and, in the process, butts heads with a gang of deadly assassins and a vengeful mad scientist.
Lauren Collins has a piece in The New Yorker on Banksy:
If Bristol is, as James told me, “the graffiti capital of England,” then Banksy is its patron sinner. One morning last June, citizens were surprised to find a new mural downtown, on the side of a sexual-health clinic. It depicted a window, a perfect imitation of others nearby. From the sill, a naked man dangled by his fingertips. Inside, a fully dressed man scanned the horizon, next to a woman in dishabille. Directly facing the fake window are the offices of the Bristol city council, which, in a departure from policy, decided to put the mural’s fate to a public vote. Of about a thousand respondents, ninety-three per cent said the mural should stay. So it did. (In late April, however, London authorities whitewashed Banksy’s famous “Pulp Fiction” mural, which showed John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson holding bananas instead of handguns.)
“Banksy’s latest work of art is superb,” a man wrote to the local paper. “If the council wants to do something it should cut down that dreadful shrub which is obscuring the piece.” Gary Hopkins, a councilman, told me, “I think we undermined his street cred by making him mainstream.” Even James admitted to a grudging affection for Banksy. “I like the one where he’s got a picture of a stream and a bridge and he’s just dumped a shopping trolley in there,” she said, referring to a painting that Banksy did in the style of Monet. “I can relate to that, because we’ve got a problem with shopping trolleys.”
Photojournalist Dmitry Chebotayev was killed in a bombing Sunday while on assignment in Iraq, according to news reports and his agency, World Picture News.Chebotayev was traveling with U.S. forces in Diyala province when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. Six American soldiers were killed and two were wounded, according to the U.S. military. Russian news organizations identified Chebotayev as one of the casualties on Monday.
The documentary film, “Looking for an Icon” opens this week (if you live in a major market (and I don’t)). It’s a 55 minute look at four photographs that took top honors in the World Press Photo contest. World Press is hands-down the finest photojournalism competition in the world.
Here’s a clip from the movie review from the NYT:
This documentary by Hans Pool and Maaik Krijgsman about four World Press Photo contest winners defines icon to mean a still image so searing that it supplants memories of the event it was supposed to record.The selected pictures pass the test: a South Vietnamese brigadier general executing a Vietcong guerrilla in 1968; a 1973 image of President Salvador Allende of Chile, soon to be assassinated; the 1989 snapshot of a Chinese protestor blocking a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square; and a 1991 Gulf War photograph of a United States soldier in a helicopter, weeping near the body of his best friend.
Can’t wait to see it. Whenever that is.
You can read the rest of the short review by clicking here. (requires free registration)