Guitar Hero 3 tracks announced

From the blog of Jeff Gerstmann, GameSpot:

“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


LA Weekly's LA People

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.

Article Index Here.

Underground Artists Take on the Sith in The Vader Project


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.

Some of the artists scheduled to participate include: Troy Alders,
Kii Arens,
Anthony Ausgan,
Aye Jay,
Gary Baseman,
Andrew Bell,
Tim Biskup,
Andrew Brandou,
Buff Monster,
Nathan Cabrera,
Mister Cartoon,
Robbie Conal ,
Steven Daily,
Cam de Leon,
Roman Dirge,
Bob Dob,
Marc Ecko,
Ron English ,
David Flores ,
Brian Flynn (Hybrid Design),
Paul Frank,
Huck Gee,
Fawn Gehweiler,
Mike Giant,
Joe Hahn,

Thomas Han ,
Derek Hess,
David Horvath,
Jim Koch,
Frank Kozik,
David S.Krys (DSK Designs),
Peter Kuper ,
Wade Lageose (Lageose Design),
Joe Ledbetter,
Simone Legno Tokidoki,
Mars 1,
Bill McMullen,
Brian Morris,
Niagara ,
Mitch O’Connell,
Estevan Oriol,
Alex Pardee,
The Pizz,
Plastic God,
Dave Pressler,
J. Otto Seibold,
Shag ,
Shawn Smith,
Winston Smith,
Jeff Soto,
Bwana Spoons,
Jophen Stein,
UrbanMedium ,
Michelle Valigura,
VanBeater and
Amanda Visell.
(Artist list may be subject to change).


Report: Iraqi Government Bans Journalists From Clash Sites

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.


Editor and Publisher

PDN Photo Annual 2007

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.

Link – Here.

Heroes of Photography

(Thanks to A Photo A Day for pointing this out to me.)
From American Photo, “a tribute to ten photographers who inspire us”:

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.

American Photo’s Heroes of Photography
A Photo A Day

Sex Machine (2005)

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.

Releases on DVD May 15, 2007


Banksy Was Here

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.”

It’s Here.

PJ Dmitry Chebotayev Killed in Iraq

From PDN:

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.


Photoshelter’s In Memoriam Page for Chebotayev

PDN Article

Dmitry’s photographs on Photoshelter.Com

Dmitry’s profile on Lightstalkers

Looking for an Icon

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)


Writing about the new ITV series Deadline, this from Sqweegee’s Blog, EPUK:

The tone of the programme is pretty much summed up by elegantly coiffured Darryn Lyons’ dressing down of Lisa L’Anson after the former Big Brother loser takes time out from an assignment to have her hair done: well, who hasn’t?

‘You make me look like a f*ing prick’, seethes Mr Paparazzi, apparently distressed at the idea that he might need assistance in this department. ‘You go and get your f*ing hair done and do your f*ing shopping. That’s all you’re interested in: shopping and f*ing hair.’

Lyon’ rant is a prelude to L’Anson being told to clear her desk by Street Porter. ‘I’m going to tell you the two reasons so you’re f*ing PERFECTLY CLEAR why I want you out of here,’ screams the Fleet Street legend, looking in urgent need of a hairdressing appointment herself. But failing to produce any reasons at all, she just rambles on: ‘Lisa, cut the crap and get out of the office. It’s the second time you’ve worked for me and it’s been just as crap as the first. You are a bullsh*t artist, now get out of here.’

More Here.

Overseas Press Club Awards

From the American Photo site:

Paolo Pellegrin, Q. Sakamaki, Kristen Ashburn and Farah Nosh took the photography prizes at the 68th Annual Overseas Press Club awards, presented by CBS News anchor Katie Couric at a dinner Thursday night in New York. Pellegrin won the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal for his photo essay “True Pain: Israel and Hizbullah,” parts of which were first published in Newsweek. The 43-year-old Magnum photographer received an honorable mention nod for the Capa award in 2002, but this is his first outright win.

Paolo’s work (a sample above) is beautiful black and white. Beginning with his book “Kosovo 1999-2000,” I began to watch his technique. Or rather, a seeming lack of it. Paolo isn’t looking for sharp, clean imagery. He is more interested in capturing mood and motion than perfect technique.

Along those lines, one of Q. Sakamaki’s photographs (above) stood out to me as well. Especially the caption, which reads:

The image of a Sri Lanka government soldier is accidentally overlapped with the image of a Tamil girl staying at a war-torn church in Jaffna, where the long civil war has devastated lives and the Sri Lankan economy.

See how it works, kids? Make a mistake, win an international award. For the record, I think it’s a beautiful accident.

Paolo Pellegrin
American Photo’s story on the awards
Overseas Press Club of America

Acid Sweeties

From Kid Robot:

From Argentina, where suave desserts and happy pills keep company with nauseous oil barrels and 3-D lightning bolts, street art and design collective DOMA firmly plants one foot in reality and the other in psycho-tropics. Acid Sweeties, their first mini figure series, is an absurd medley of happy colors and bright characters.

15 vibrant (and somewhat socially enigmatic) residents inhabit a wide eyed universe where toy oddities come out of the woodwork, brightly colored antics are the norm, and a token nod to making sense is about all your going to get.


A first look at the Canon EOS-1D Mark III

Digital camera guru Rob Galbraith offers up his thoughts after testing a pre-production model of Canon’s new high-end camera. A little quote:

The camera’s features may be difficult to sum up, but the camera’s performance isn’t. It’s awesome. Pixel-for-pixel, the image quality is the best we’ve seen from a digital SLR, and except for one preproduction body glitch, it’s also the best SLR we’ve ever shot with too. The EOS-1D Mark III shows a level of design care and engineering thoroughness that is simply unprecedented. Its list of features is impressive. But actually using the camera reveals how impressive all these features work.

This is the camera that most photojournalists are drooling over right now. If you’ve got four thousand bucks laying around, this is a good way to spend it.

You can read Rob’s thoughts and download sample files from the camera from his review by clicking here.

Flight Patterns

Amazing photos by Richard Barnes of starling flocks over Italy in today’s New York Times Magazine:

Richard Barnes’s photographs capture the double nature of the birds — or at least the double nature of our relationship to them — recording the pointillist delicacy of the flock and something darker, almost sinister in the gathering mass. Many of Barnes’s photographs, which will be shown at Hosfelt Gallery in New York this fall, were taken over two years in EUR, a suburb of Rome that Mussolini planned as a showcase for fascist architecture. The man-made backdrop only enhances the sense of the vast flock as something malign, a sort of avian Nuremberg rally.


Maiden India

From The Observer:

When Britain’s hardiest metal band played their first Indian gig, Ed Vulliamy joined them and their fans for a frank discussion of war, economics – and music

Whereas a Maiden audience in Europe tends to be what Valerie Potter of Metal Hammer magazine calls ‘a family outing, father and son perhaps’, the crowd tonight are almost all in their twenties and there are more girls than there would be in the West. It becomes clear that in India it is frowned upon for a Maiden fan to like any other band. There is particular loathing for Ozzy Osbourne, regarded by Payal Bal as ‘a sell-out. Nothing to do with metal. It’s got to be Maiden and only Maiden.’

‘We may listen to other music, and we all fall in love, but that’s not the point,’ says Alidya Hara. ‘We can get our love songs from any of the others. From Maiden we can get what we really feel – pent-up aggression, the right questions.’