Friday, February 29, 2008

KEITH SAYS: LAY OFF THE DOPE

Rolling Stones guitar player Keith Richards advised young people "to lay off dope" in a recent interview in the British music magazine, UNCUT. Richards, famously known for abusing quite a few substances in his time, said "Give it up, it ain't really worth it. I know the fascination but it ain't worth it."

For years, Richards was the Rasputin of the rock world: seemingly unkillable. A former heroin addict, and heavily into booze and various other drugs, Richards bolstered the confidence of users everywhere, most of whom didn't have the wealth and resources of a Rolling Stone to pay for their habits. We're glad to see the old geezer finally straighten up and fly right.

In the interview, Richards also called Mick Jagger a power freak and "a vain bloke." Tell me something I don't know, Keith.

BEAUTIFUL MEDIEVAL WOODCUTS

Once in a while, to balance out all the contemporary, topical, post-modern posts, I like to post something really old and extraordinary. This qualifies beautifully.
Medieval woodcuts! Being an artist who works heavily in line drawing, and pen and ink, I can't get enough of this look. Sea serpents, monsters, leaping stags, religious illustrations, old German blackletter, map marginalia -- there's plenty to be learned from the old stuff, even in this glossy, slick, Age of Photoshop. It seems that everyone is a graphic designer these days, and nobody can draw a straight line. Something is lost, when we cut ourselves off from our artistic past.
Yes, I may be out of step with the times. In another life I'd be some monk going blind by a sputtering candle, hunched over a scroll, scratching with a quill pen.

To see more authentic woodcuts, check out this great site here. To see my own humble attempt to imitate the old styles, see my riff on Durer and Bushmiller here.

WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY DEAD

Patrician conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. is dead at 82. This illustration for Time by artist David Levine beautifully captures his air of superiority and bite-a-lemon sour-puss look of disdain. Still, he was an intellectual, and enjoyed a good tussle with the likes of Mailer or Chomsky. Compared to these greedy neo-con mouth-breathers, he often seemed like the last conservative with any intelligence or integrity left standing. (Imagine Bush debating Chomsky!)

A self-appointed guardian protecting America from the barbarians at the gate, Buckley will surprise no one with his dislike of singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. Here, he is quoted in the 9/6/85 issue of the National Review, a conservative magazine he founded and edited. He's referring to Dylan's performance on the LiveAid telecast.

"Fair enough. Bob Dylan comes on stage, and on either side of him are two famous guitarists from the Rolling Stones. Dylan last shaved, oh, three days before. (Why?) He is wearing blue jeans and a scruffy T-shirt arrangement of sorts. (Why? Trademark? Change trademarks?) The two guitarists arrive smoking cigarettes, which dangle from their lips for the first minute or so of the first song. (Why?) Their arms are entirely bare, and they otherwise wear what looks like a stripped-down dark-colored T-shirt. (Why? Heat?) Then intense concentration on Dylan, and neither I nor spouse can pick up a single word he sings, and we frankly doubt that anyone else could. (Why?) The songs were without discernible melody, the voice was whiny, with enough gravel in it to stop Jean-Claude Killy in mid-slope, the guitarists were hard to listen to (why? why? why?). But we were engaged in transcending history."
- William F. Buckley, Jr., 9/6/85

Goad us ever so slightly, and we'll rise to the bait. Here Dylan sings "Cold Irons Bound." If, like Buckley, you can't understand the lyrics, just click here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

BUDDY MILES, R.I.P.


Here's a rare clip of Band of Gypsys, with drummer Buddy Miles, who passed away today. That's Billy Cox on bass, and guitar hero Jimi Hendrix playing "Who Knows?" I love this tight little R and B funk band, and the call-and-response vocals between Buddy and Jimi.


So long, Buddy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

GEORGE SHEARING


Ken Kesey once said George Shearing, the blind jazz piano player, was God. Regarding that statement, I'll remain agnostic -- I mean, he might be God. It's impossible to prove or disprove. Either way, he's definitely a great piano player. Here he performs "Swedish Pastry" with his quintet. Check it out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

STRANGE SCENES FROM AMERICA (1969)


Maybe these damn hippies seem naive by today's standards, but these clips of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young should melt your cynicism a little if you're not already too far gone. Hanging out, shooting the breeze, jamming on Stills' "Black Queen", "Find The Cost of Freedom", and Crosby's "Laughing".
The second part is the morning after Woodstock, so a little utopian enthusiasm is forgivable. Literally just off the plane from the festival, the band has arrived blissed-out at Dick Cavett's TV studio, ready to spread the news. Stephen Stills sings "4+20." Friends Joni Mitchell and some of the Jefferson Airplane are there, too. Use your imagination. For one golden moment it seemed the world might change for the better, and pessimism and superstition would be swept aside for peace, love, and understanding. Corny, right? I guess you had to be there.

FIGHTING DIRTY WITH CAMPAIGN VOODOO

I read the news today, oh, boy. In case you missed it, it's getting nasty on the campaign trail. As a result of winning the last eleven contests, front runner Barrack Obama has caught a load of crap from John McCain and Hillary Clinton. Well, not officially. They say they are shocked, shocked, shocked by such crap, and they show their spotless hands and smile, but I'm sure they're watching the polls to see if it worked.

At a big McCain rally in Cincinnati, the introductory speaker slammed Obama, shouting "Barack Hussein Obama" three times to stir up the crowd. Then he accused Obama of sympathizing "with world leaders who want to kill us."

Of course, the candidate distanced himself from such bad behavior.


Hillary Clinton's in a tight spot, desperate to win Ohio and Texas and losing the last eleven primaries to Obama. She needs to win, and you can't blame her. Suddenly, a photograph is circulated (by someone in her camp, according the Drudge Report) showing Obama in traditional African dress on a trip to Kenya in 2006. In the photo, Obama appears to be wearing a turban. This plays into the fear and misconception some stupid people have that Obama is a Muslim loyal to our sworn enemies.

Of course, the candidate distanced herself from such bad behavior.


It's called DISINFORMATION. The trick is getting it out there and letting it do it's damage, then playing dumb, distancing oneself from it, and taking the high moral ground. Tricky Dick Nixon called it "plausible deniability." You have your henchmen, your Watergate plumbers, your swiftboaters -- they do the deeds while you keep your hands clean. Sure, it's desperate and pathetic, but sometimes it works.

Monday, February 25, 2008

OSCAR MEET DIABLO


Diablo Cody won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Juno, a witty little movie and my favorite coming of age/teen pregnancy film of the year. You know, cool soundtrack, sassy dialog -- snarky with a heart. The story behind the story is Diablo Cody's meteoric rise from stripper and phone sex partner to Oscar winner, and sure she's sexy, but she's also whip-smart, and wrote a screenplay that didn't follow the tired old formulas that insist on a bump every ten minutes, and "plot points" that you can set your watch to. I got a kick watching this quirky oddball in a leopard skin mu-mu snake her way through the gowns and opulence of Hollywood and grab the gold. Or brass, or whatever it is.

This interview is a year old, when she was flogging "Candy Girl," a book she'd written about her experiences "stripping for Joe Sixpack," as she puts it. The other screenwriting award went to the Coen Brothers for their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men," which also won an Oscar for Best Picture. If you haven't read McCarthy, read the Border Trilogy (starting with "All The Pretty Horses") or dive in to the darkly brilliant "Blood Meridian."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

READY, STEADY, GO! 1965!



My friend Tommy turned me on to this clip of Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames performing on Ready, Steady, Go! It's a cool performance from the mod British pop singer, another great one from an amazing year, 1965.

As music goes, 1965 is hard to beat. The Byrds had a huge hit with Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man," and Dylan came out with "Like a Rolling Stone," perhaps the greatest single of all time. In a year of classics, The Rolling Stones couldn't get no "Satisfaction," the Who sang about "My Generation", and The Animals screamed "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." The Beatles, still riding a wave of hits since they'd shown up in America the year before, gave us "Help!", "Ticket to Ride," "Day Tripper," and the brilliant Rubber Soul album that marked a new level of sophistication and introspection in pop music, and showcased such classics as "Norwegian Wood," "In My Life," and "Nowhere Man."

There were so many good songs that year, it's hard to keep track.
The Temptations sang "My Girl," the Supremes urged us to "Stop! In the Name of Love," and the Four Tops sang "I Can't Help Myself." James Brown came out with "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Sam Cooke released "A Change is Gonna Come." Nina Simone played "I Put a Spell on You," and Otis Redding released "Otis Blue." The Kinks released The Kink Kontroversy, Sam the Sham danced with the "Wooly Bully," The Righteous Brothers lamented "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," and the Beach Boys rhapsodized about all those wonderful "California Girls."


I could go on. There were plenty more. There was so much great music that many tracks that would normally have been huge in a regular year got plowed under by the wave. Here's a clip you might have forgotten, with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. A great clip from a great year, 1965.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

HELP! I NEED SOME ASPIRIN (1965)


OK, not everything in 1965 was great. This clip from "Hullabaloo" shows us American family entertainment in all it's plastic mid-60s glory. Thank God a revolution was waiting in the wings. Here is possibly the worst rendition of a Beatles song ever, performed by Jerry Lewis and his son Gary (remember "This Diamond Ring"? remember nepotism?). See if you can endure their jaunty little version of "Help!"
I'm not a religious man, but if there is a hell I'm sure these guys will be singing in the lounge.



Friday, February 22, 2008

CIGAR BOX ART




I love old cigar boxes -- and the old weird artwork that decorates them. The beautiful lettering, and rich lurid colors make me want to smoke a nice Cohiba or Montecristo -- and now that Castro has stepped down perhaps our fearless leaders will lift the longtime ban on Cuban cigars. (Damn, I promised myself I'd be civil. Oh, well.) Anyway, these are some of my cigar box favorites! Smoke 'em if you got 'em!

POST-APOCALYPTIC CAVE PAINTINGS

Gary Panter is great. Blowing out of Oklahoma like a doomsday twister, this guy knocked down barns and silos and blew up big in the LA punk hardcore scene, in the magazine Slash, and later RAW, contributing an often-imitated raw punk aesthetic to an anesthetic world of design. He later became head designer for the cool and weird Pee Wee's Playhouse. I like Jimbo, his post-apocalyptic comic about a man surviving in the future in a poisoned wasteland of cultural detritus. You know, like all of us.


"I was crazy about dinosaurs and art and robots and forced to read the Bible, in childhood. I didn't really read until the 4th grade. I sat in the car and taught myself to read on the OZ books of Baum. Read Swift, Poe and Twain. At 12 I decided it was time to read an adult book and so I checked out Fowles -- The Magus, because it had a minotaur on the cover and I was into Picasso heavily by then. In college read everything by Phil Dick, J.G. Ballard, William Burroughs, Anthony Burgess, Gravity's Rainbow by Pynchon and not much else."
-- Gary Panter, from an interview at Reader's Voice

Gary Panter website here. Say hello.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

CEREMONY (1981)


"Ceremony" was written a couple weeks before Ian Curtis took his life in 1980, after which members of the band decided they could not continue as Joy Division -- so the song became the first single for New Order (backed by "In a Lonely Place"). This performance was recorded live at the Ukrainian National Home in New York City, in 1981. Mixing post-punk with electronic dance, which was to be their trajectory throughout the eighties, New Order had a string of solid hits. This was their first, but in a way it's really the last Joy Division song.


FRIENDS TRIP TO FLOATING WORLD


Friends of the Nib rides again! The notorious art gang is shown on a recent road trip to Portland for our opening at Floating World. The crew had a great time, met some wonderful Portland artists, got interviewed on the radio, and had a surprise visit from my family (that's my niece Siena, in the hoodie).
Here we're jamming in the backroom of Floating World. Afterward, we enjoyed some delicious salt and pepper prawns. Thanks, Portland!
Filmed by David "Bear" Lasky

FOTN art jam at Floating World

VISCERAL REALIST


Maybe you know Roberto Bolano, but probably not. Even if you pay attention to such things, an experimental author who writes in Spanish might be easy to miss, even when he is lauded worldwide as a big deal. I mean, it's not like he's Brittney Spears or an American Idol, after all -- you know, really important. He's a writer, for godsakes! And he doesn't even have the courtesy to write in English, so how good could he be?
For a while he's been traded among the cognoscenti as a secret commodity, a contraband item, something to turn someone on to, an antidote to jaded tastes. Now he's finally getting his well-deserved due in the English-speaking world after important critical essays in the New York Review of Books ("The Great Bolano," July 19, 07) and the New York Times ("The Visceral Realist," April 15th, 07).
Bolano died on 2003, at the age of fifty. A Chilean novelist and poet, he traveled Latin America on his own version of "The Motorcycle Diaries," the trip that radicalized Che Guevara, and befriended revolutionary poet, Roque Dalton, in El Salvador. Bolano returned to help the elected socialist Allende in his native Chile, but in 1973, in a US-orchestrated coup, the dictator Pinochet took power, and Bolano was jailed. He was rescued by a couple classmates who had become prison guards, and escaped the country.


A descendant of brilliant fabulist Jorge Luis Borges, but highly unique, Bolano has written several books now in translation, including the novella "Night in Chile," and "Distant Star." His latest novel to be translated into English is "The Savage Detectives." It tells the tale of two desperately poor poet travelers, members of the secret philosophy movement "The Visceral Realists." Philosophical, whimsical yet political, Bolano is a new animal, a rara avis in letters, something special to seek out if you venture beyond the Comfort Zone.
There is talk of another book, the massive "2666" published in 2004 (in Spanish), a novel that is divided in five "parts," four and a half of which were finished before Bolaño's death. Centered around the unsolved (and ongoing) serial killings in Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican border, the book features a wide cast of characters in it's 1100 pages, including the secretive, Pynchon-like German writer Archimboldi. That should be interesting.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

LISTEN TO MUSIC! DOCTOR'S ORDERS

For a long time, music has been used to treat the conditions of autism, dementia, and schizophrenia, but now a new study from Helsinki University has analyzed the effects of music on patients recovering from a stroke. Some patients listened to music, some listened to audio books and some listened to nothing.

"After 3 months, verbal memory was boosted by 60% in music listeners, 18% in audio book listeners, and 29% in the third group who listened to nothing."

Enough said. Put on some music!

To find out why, read more on the study here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT

These heavy, fuzztone riffs launched a thousand garage bands. The Kinks were a highly influential British Invasion band, and the true ancestors of punk -- and they did it with style. The Beatles may have been more creative, the Stones more bluesy, but the Kinks were a crack little outfit that blasted riffs like nobody else. They changed over the years, and created little baroque masterpieces of English life, but I prefer the early angry years. Ray Davies was something of a genius. I always expected him to grow up to be Vincent Price, but maybe it was just the Edwardian outfit. At any rate, dig this clip from Shindig, in 1965!

For Kinks 101, from the Onion, click here.

FIDEL CASTRO RESIGNS

After surviving invasions, assassination attempts, and embargoes, old age has forced Fidel Castro to announce his retirement. For nearly fifty years, the tiny island ninety miles off the coast of Florida has remained a socialist country, ever since a small band of rebels led by Castro overthrew the US-supported dictator, Fulgencia Battista, on New Years Day, 1959.


President Bush predictably called for "democracy," a word he doesn't seem to fully understand worldwide (since the US picks and chooses which dictators to support) and certainly doesn't understand in regard to Cuba, where the US controls Guantanamo military prison (see map); in "our" Cuba, prisoners wait years for secret "trials," experience torture at secret CIA "black sites," and systematically lose rights guaranteed by the Geneva Convention.

I'm just saying, if you live in a glass house...

Photograph: Castro and friend, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who was killed by the Bolivian Rangers directed by the CIA in 1967.

Monday, February 18, 2008

VANISHING POINT


I thought this movie was pretty cool when I saw it at the drive-in (remember those?). It's the quintessential 1970s movie: a lone, anti-establishment, anti-hero, with plenty of chase scenes. What more can I say?

IMAGINARY PARIS


This is chilled martini music, ultra cool, nearly frozen, something you'd drink in Paris -- not the real Paris, but Imaginary Paris -- very sophisticated, not even entirely French, a place of mind that exists in wintry light all year round, where the discotheque never closes and you look like Jean-Paul Belmondo -- or Jean Seberg, if you're a girl. Meet for drinks and cigarettes -- Gauloises and Gitanes - and effortless, witty conversation. Meaningful glances. Laughter. Godard, moth wings, rain...what else? You go in that team, I go on this team. What is this? Stereolab. Les Yper Sound.

NEW EVIDENCE FOR JFK CONSPIRACY?

Newly discovered documents thrill conspiracy buffs.
November 22, 1963. President John F. Kennedy is assassinated while riding in a Dallas motorcade. That much we know. The rest is uncertain, in spite of countless exhaustive investigations, including the official 888-page report of the Warren Commission. A single shooter? A conspiracy? Theories abound, and counter-theories. Don DeLillo encapsulated them in Libra, a literary "fiction" about a conspiracy of Cuban exiles, mobsters, and CIA spooks -- all with axes to grind, all trigger-happy -- who use "blank slate" Oswald as the perfect patsy.

(warning:film clip contains violence)


What's new? A batch of papers was just discovered in a forgotten Dallas courtroom safe that purports to be a transcript of a conversation between nightclub owner Jack Ruby and alleged lone assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. The conversation supposedly took place October 4, 1963, at Ruby's strip joint, the Carousel Club, more than a month before the assassination. In the papers, the two discuss the mob's plans to kill Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who had cracked down on the mob. From the transcript:

Oswald:
There is a way to get rid of him without killing him.
Ruby: How is that?
Oswald: I can shoot his brother.

Is this a "what-if" scenario? A speculation, a play, some kind of brain-storming, or the transcript of an actual conversation between the two? According to ABC News, "official records from Ruby's trial, a gun holster that probably belonged to Ruby or Oswald and personal letters from former District Attorney Henry Wade, the prosecutor in the Ruby trial, also were found inside the safe."

Oswald: I can still do it, all I need is my rifle and a tall building; but it will take time, maybe six months to find the right place; but I'll have to have some money to live on while I do the planning.

Oswald in police custody. Lone assassin or patsy?
Whatever the case may be, two days after the Kennedy assassination, Jack Ruby shot Oswald during his transfer to the County Jail, while surrounded by Dallas cops. End of story.

Ruby killing Oswald.
Read the ABC report here. The Associated Press report here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

RICK STEVES' MARIJUANA CAMPAIGN

Popular travel guru Rick Steves has joined forces with the ACLU to promote the decriminalization of marijuana. Steves, a longtime supporter of a sensible pot policy, admitted five years ago that he smokes pot when he visits Europe. In a Seattle Times article, the Edmunds, Washington-based writer says he's not “pro-marijuana,” but in favor of discussing the laws that affect the 830,000 Americans who are arrested annually under existing marijuana laws. About 90 percent of the arrests are for possession.

“Marijuana use should be treated primarily as a health issue, not a criminal one," Steves said. "In Europe, I've seen how more thoughtful approaches to social issues can really work. Our government's war on drugs sounds very tough and results-driven, but all it really succeeds at is being enormously expensive, tearing families apart and treating nonconformists as criminals."


In a related story from today's LA Times: The American College of Physicians (ACP), 124,000-member group that is the nation's largest for doctors of internal medicine, contends that the rancorous debate over marijuana legalization has obscured good science that has demonstrated the benefits and medicinal promise of cannabis. The ACP is calling on the federal government to ease its strict ban on marijuana as medicine and hasten research into the drug's therapeutic uses.

"We felt the time had come to speak up about this," said Dr. David Dale, a University of Washington medical professor and the ACP's president. "We'd like to clear up the uncertainty and anxiety of patients and physicians over this drug."

The following clip shows Rick Steves interviewed at the 2007 NORML conference in Los Angeles. Ignore the silly song intro. For more Rick Steves at the "Europe Through the Back Door" website, click here.

JAMES BROWN DANCE LESSONS


It's Saturday night, and you can't dance. Your moves are tired. You need a crash course in COOL. Unless you want to stand on the sidelines and watch life pass you by, you need to get busy. "Acting" cool doesn't work, and saying you don't dance only convinces people you're an uptight wuss and no fun at all, but dragging out those ancient ballroom moves from your wedding (the disco thing, with that unconvincing lip-bite) is a big mistake that will send folks screaming for the exits. Sure, you can stay at home and mope, but that's a lousy option.

Fortunately, you're in luck. At great expense, we've brought James Brown back to give you a dance lesson. You'll never be as cool as Soul Brother Number One, but having James Brown as your personal trainer can only help your odds. Don't thank me, thank JB. Now get busy!

Friday, February 15, 2008

ON THE SET OF DR . STRANGELOVE


These interviews of Peter Sellers and George C. Scott were conducted on the set of the Stanley Kubrick film "Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." Of particular interest to me is Peter Sellers discussing the broad range of British accents. Great stuff!

After all these years, Dr. Strangelove still holds up as a masterpiece of dark comedy and a savage satire of the military mindset. It's also prescient as hell, and many of the folks running the country today seem to be represented in it's scathing archetypes. Watch this movie and you'll never look at Cheney and Rummy the same way again!

NEWS FROM OUTER SPACE

Top stories from beyond the beyond...

"U.S. WILL TRY TO SHOOT DOWN SPY SATELLITE GONE BAD.

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration has decided to try to shoot down a failing 5,000-pound spy satellite, fearing its rocket fuel could turn into a deadly toxic gas if the spacecraft crashed in a populated area, officials said Thursday." -- from today's LA Times

And a story from today's New York Times:

"SMALLER VERSION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM IS DISCOVERED

Astronomers said Wednesday that they had found a miniature version of our own solar system 5,000 light-years across the galaxy — the first planetary system that really looks like our own, with outer giant planets and room for smaller inner planets. 'It looks like a scale model of our solar system,” said Scott Gaudi, an assistant professor of astronomy at Ohio State University."

Maybe there's a miniature version of the Earth, and a miniature me sipping a tiny coffee, writing a much smaller version of this blog. I'm just saying.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! w/CARDS & MUSIC!

Hope to see you at the Valentine's Day show at the Cafe Racer this evening (see post below) but whatever you do, have fun. Today you have license to be a romantic! Here are some classic vintage valentines from the days of yesteryear to put you in the mood...and some music to turn on your lovelight.

First, the classic Victorian valentine. This bespeaks a heart-shaped box, a difficult fastened bodice, and a special kiss on the river bridge. Oh, dear! Froggy went a-courtin, and all that good old-fashioned repression masking unbridled lust! In these days, they even put pants on piano legs. Perish the impure thought!


A half a century later, this valentine is from a pack of 32, with one card for everyone in class. This is the 1950s, the world has gone only halfway to hell, but true love competes with atom bombs and science fiction and hot rod cars -- not to mention rock and roll. On the surface, it's all golfing with Ike, but even that kind of heavy sedation can't kill the urge to merge, as long as you save it for marriage. You have a secret admirer!


The present day. This is the future you dreamed about, but not quite. Unless you dreamed of being a couch potato glued to reality TV. Our hearts may be a little smaller, but our asses are growing to elephantine proportions, and we can barely reach the remote without wheezing out of breath. Give this special "Veal-entine" to trendy vegans, or any friend stuck on a diet! No box of chocolates for these folks!

And now for some special Valentine's Day music, courtesy of Minnesota Public Radio. Click here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

HEY BABY (NEW RISING SUN)


Jimi Hendrix playing "Hey, Baby (New Rising Sun)" live at Rainbow Bridge, on Maui.
Dedicated to brand new baby Ruben Cornelius Churchill, born February 11th, 2008.

KENNY ROGERS BLOWS HIS MIND


Somebody must have slipped Kenny Rogers some mind-bending drugs in this hilarious clip. Most people forget that the Santa-bearded country "Gambler" was once a psychedelic pop singer with the First Edition. Obviously, regarding drugs, Kenny didn't know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

WE LOVE YOU!

Do you still believe in LOVE in this tired, cynical, ironic, post-modern age? I hope so. Come down to the Cafe Racer, famed clubhouse of the notorious art gang Friends of the Nib, for a Valentine's Day Party and Art Show! No white-wall gallery pretensions here, just good food, booze, and pure love. Art for sale, and artists in attendance. Leave the TV behind for some actual human interaction -- you won't be sorry!

Thursday, February 14th, from 7 till 10PM. Cafe Racer, 5828 Roosevelt Way NE.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

AL GREEN IS LOVE


The amazing Al Green. This is an early Valentine's Day gift, a special one-two punch of pure love and soul wrapped in a snappy 1970s jacket. There is nobody like Al. Coming after heroes Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and James Brown, Green embodied sweet soul music that was more silken than gritty, and, like Cooke, a combination of Sunday gospel and Saturday night club, the sacred crossing paths with the profane. Conflict makes a story, right? Currently, the Reverend Al gives Sunday services in Memphis, but this clip should take you back to the sweet sexy sinful Seventies.
Can you dig it?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I DIED A HUNDRED TIMES


British soul singer Amy Winehouse is big trouble. You know it, and I know it. The US government agrees, and denied the singer a visa to enter the country and attend the Grammys, where she's been nominated for six awards, including Album of the Year. It's well known that she's struggling with rehab (insert obvious comments here) but we think the girl deserves a break.
The Department of Homeland Security
(perhaps fearing bad publicity) finally issued a waiver to the "dangerous" soul singer, but Amy has decided to stay home. The latest in a long line of self-destructive, addicted, soulful singers, she will perform via satellite.

Yup, there are more important things in the world (insert your list here) but we had to run this clip of Amy performing "Back to Black" at the 2007 Glastonbury Music Festival. Wicked cool.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

FRIENDS OF THE NIB AT FLOATING WORLD

The Friends of the Nib, a casual artist's salon founded by Jim Woodring and myself over a year ago, and featuring some of Seattle's most talented cartoonists and illustrators (if I do say so myself) will be featured at The Floating World in Portland, Oregon. Original art will be available for sale, and artists will be in attendance. Come say hi, howareya.

"Mr. Mojito Rescues the Muse from the Pond of Despond."

Opening February 7th, from 6-10. The Floating World, 20 NW 5th Avenue, #101, in Portland

Poster by Nibsters David Lasky and Scott Faulkner. For more on the Friends of the Nib, click here

MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, former guru to the Beatles, has died. The Maharishi is credited with introducing transcendental meditation to the West in 1959. The Maharishi, sometimes known as "the giggling guru," was a controversial figure whom some considered an enlightened holy man, and some a charlatan capitalizing on his Western contacts. At one point, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Donovan, and Mia Farrow were at his ashram in Rishikesh seeking spiritual guidance. When the Beatles left him, amid allegations of impropriety (including an alleged pass at Mia Farrow by the guru) Lennon wrote a song of his disillusionment called "Maharishi" (..."what have you done, you made a fool of everyone"). He eventually changed the title to "Sexy Sadie."

for more, see the article in the New York Times. For even more click here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK


Playing "Seasons" at Montreux, 1972.

FAIR AND BALANCED ELECTION COVERAGE

Here are some great FOX moments.

Here's FOX News on Obama and Hillary...and Fidel Castro!


FOX News on Barack Obama:


We all know FOX News is a right-wing propaganda machine, but this is ridiculous. Critical thinkers, take note. These are classic examples of what these moth-eaten wolverines do best. For extra credit, define "fair and balanced."

If FOX had covered the Civil War, it might have looked something like this:

thanks to democraticunderground.com

SUPER FAT TUESDAY

Today is Super Tuesday -- and Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras. Act a little crazy. Express yourself. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which is not nearly as exciting. Give it up for the music, food, joie de vivre, and soul power of those hurricane-survivors of New Orleans. "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

Click button to hear "Hey Hey (Indians Comin')" by the Wild Tchoupitoulas.