Thursday, April 30, 2009

keepin' it local with muh science education

Bio-rad is rad. I point out that the main part of the shoot is in "hour park" which was/is a favorite haunt of mary's and mine.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

specter mixes it up

well, it will be interesting to see what happens with specter's move to the Ds. can't wait to see the press release on this one.

Monday, April 27, 2009

poland attacks US air infrastructure with piano

This article is mildly interesting, until you get the part that says this:

Zimerman has had problems in the United States in recent years. He travels with his own Steinway piano, which he has altered himself. But shortly after 9/11, the instrument was confiscated at JFK Airport when he landed in New York to give a recital at Carnegie Hall. Thinking the glue smelled funny, the TSA decided to take no chances and destroyed the instrument. Since then he has shipped his pianos in parts, which he reassembles by hand after he lands. He also drives the truck himself when he carries his instrument from city to city over land, as he did after playing a recital in Berkeley on Friday.


About the most retarded thing I think the TSA has ever done, which is saying a lot.

very well done


love the part about working with animation in real time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


So, coachella. There it was again, the hot desert.

Some thoughts:

1) I do not know if it was a result of the talent budget being short or a deference to the quiet of some of the acts, but there was a real crowd flow problem at Coachella this year. This created two problems:

a) it felt way more crowded than it actually was as a result of everyone migrating from one area to the "next" instead of wandering from one show to another as it were.

b) this really created a problem at the bathrooms. For the first time that I've noticed there were people pissing all over the place from rows of dudes pissing on bales of hay that appeared to be placed there just for that purpose to drunk girls standing around giggling trying to provide a visual obstruction to their friend copping a squat against anything that seemed okay to them to pee near. This is seriously bad form and seriously preventable. It always seems obvious to me that more women's restrooms are needed (every year I have seen women using the men's facilities because their lines are too long), but this is the first time I've seen women peeing in random places because lines are too long or the conditions of the crappers are unacceptable.

2) greater diversity in the lineup. I for one appreciated the older, more traditional performers' presence. for me music has always been about understanding music history and the influence of earlier performers on later ones. So it's fine to see some great songsmiths from other eras still doing it, this applies as much to booker t and leonard cohen as it does for throbbing gristle (who are decidedly not more traditional) and paul weller.

3) highlight sets for me:

a) fucked up are good live. the blood was funny. the song "no epiphany" is great.

b) I saw Johnny Marr in the VIP area and thought it was remarkable that he was here with no modest mouse at the same time morrissey was playing. it was extra funny to me because I thought to myself that whoever is playing for morrissey was playing those totally unique and necessarily identifiable with only one person guitar parts and then probably ran into the creator himself in the audience. that would suck, given the dynamics I am guessing - who knows, it'd be hard to not be a fan so maybe it'd be good. But why was mr. marr there at all? was it just because there was good music at coachella? We may never know, but it sure did surprise me and put me in an awesomely good mood when he came out and played town called malice with paul weller - I was just getting ready to head off dejected about not hearing any jam songs when weller announced his good friend johnny marr will be joining on guitar for this song. it was a bit sloppy, so I'm guessing it was a last minute thing, especially given the communication between the two guitarists about who should do what during the song, but it was a real joy for me to experience.

c) Busy P. dude can spin. awesome taste in music no wonder he's an (h)ed banger.

d) If you kill my dog I'ma slay your cat - PE - as a band that never played their entire album and honestly never impressed me as totally awesome live back in the day (they were good, but not great) it was great to hear all of nation of millions, and with terminator x back on the wheels is was pretty choice to say nothing of flavor being a better spazz than I've ever seen him be (at 50!). I am increasingly conflicted about the don't look back phenomenon, (it was the meat puppets performing II that really turned me) but I suppose it's nice to see a forum for bands to play the old stuff without feeling like they've got to play the same 3 hits off of each old album ever time. It was interesting that Chuck said coachella specifically asked for the don't look backesque performance, it's the first I am aware of them asking such. It was surprising to see professor griff on stage (apparently he has been forgiven for being a racist) and I was bummed that none of yo bum rush the show got played. my uzi weighs a ton remains an all time favorite.

e) devandra burnhardt has a pretty great band. I don't know any of his stuff, but they looked like they were having a great time and they were awesomely tight while being loose at the same time - in a way that reminded me of crazy horse.

f) peanut butter wolf - never seen him before - was GREAT.

g) the hold steady (who I know nothing about) were great. lead singer sounds like steve albini!

h) hank rollins spoken word.

i) MIA - no matter what anyone says she rocked the main stage. I think people that think she was unprepared etc are just wrong - she was great.

j) superchunk - why? because I love the song slack motherfucker and I always will. wish they would have played sick to move.

k) no age - these guys are good. anyone willing to play baseball with a guitar as a bat and a stuffed dinosaur as a ball deserves respect.

there were of course many other enjoyable sets, but these jumped out for me.

J.G. Ballard

Salim pointed out that, while I was in the throes of Coachella, J.G. Ballard died.

I owe a great deal more attention to his body of work than I have given it, but will point out that the nytimes article linked to above does not reference the sugarcubes song which I think is better than the Cronenberg film based on Crash.

In any event, the man's life story and his approach to art, as well as his willingness to push both boundaries and buttons in the name of creativity, is something I have long admired.

Friday, April 10, 2009

marianne faithful

yo. I was pretty psyched to see mark ribot on the marianne faithfull letterman appearance - but who was the drummer? damn dude is GREAT. turns out it's none other than Naked City's own Joey Baron. Now that's a band I miss. Apparently so does letterman - it's weird to see him so excited for the band and the drummer in particular - they must be friends from back in the day.

also, marianne faithfull is awesome.


Roger Ebert, most famous for nearly running me and my bicycle over on wacker drive (well, maybe most famous to me for that) or maybe secretly having good if not great taste in movies if you're willing to go down to Champagne-Urbana to see them, or maybe not being able to stand the completely intolerable baffoonery of Gene Siskel on some really, really funny outtakes of their old tv show is now locked into a heated battle with bill o'reily (not sure on teh spelling there.

Mad props are due for telling the squeeky the mouse story.

this is nuts!

insert rimshot

okay okay I'm dying to know what the pinback on the doctor's lab coat is.