Friday, August 29, 2008
With nine new That's Newstastic! entries for the long weekend, he's here to roast your weenies with the blue flame of freedom!
how to win your wife's weight in beer
an american life worth less today
garment device convertible to one or more facemasks
doctors, activists work to stop clay eating in africa
kentucky fried chicken sizzles in fallujah
the 25 most vicious iraq war profiteers
olympics: spain's eye-catching faux pas
our very own blackwater? sri lankan mercenaries in iraq
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
So, this is pretty much how it's been for me:
Get up early. Spend a couple of hours struggling to dig in on the new draft of the novel, which has gotten big and unwieldy.
Get to work by 8:30. Come home around 5 or 6 beat with a pocket full of sawdust and a head full of self-doubt about my level of precision with hand and power tools and wondering what I might have accomplished if I'd had those hours to write...
Spend a couple hours helping Edna silk-screen new stuff for her booth at Artists and Fleas (N 6th street btw Bedford and Berry, Saturdays and Sundays 12-7).
Get a couple hours of restorative horizontal time.
Repeat five to six days out of the week in order to keep the bank account hovering at about $100 once the rent, bills and groceries are paid. (This is why I didn't like Hillary's health-care plan: how exactly are you going to require someone in this position -- I work for an independent craftsman who himself operates on tight profit margins -- to pay for insurance without subsidizing it?)
Anyhow, them's the breaks. Glad to be working. Etc. etc.
But every once in a while I try to remind myself why I persist to tough it out in this rich man's town.
Maybe I bicycle down to the Rockaways on a Sunday morning and spend some time in the ocean. (Ten minutes in the ocean can take years off my week.)
Maybe the movie gets picked up by Netflix. Hardly a payday, but it makes me feel like a somewhat accomplished individual with a day job instead of a dead-ender in a rut.
Maybe Matt Morandi finally plays a show as pantagruel on a picturesque corner of Staten Island as thunderstorms pelt Jersey across the water. (see my last post)
And maybe I give up the horizontal time on a Thursday night to go see Asa Ransom.
In this city that's such a magnet for ambitious careerists, I can't help but love it when those bands or artists or movies or writers come along, the ones who come out swinging like the New York goddamn Giants against the New England Nazis and manage to trigger that response in me that the stuff I love triggers -- that thing that keeps me spinning a record twenty years after I first fell in love with it, free of self-conscious posturing and meticulous posing...er,'quoting' of whatever's in vogue-- a rhythm not enslaved to beat -- a style not enslaved to fashion -- who also happen to be genuine and nice people (kudos to TV on the Radio, Johnny Society and Dave Deporis, by the way. Just to name a few).
And when they come along -- and I'm fortunate enough to hear about it -- well -- it's a pleasure to break out the camera, stay out late and double the coffee intake the next day. From time to time. I'm not a young man anymore, after all.
I know, I know. That's an unprofessional attitude. I shouldn't be shooting bands because I want to. This is an industry. Nothing's special and nobody's any better than anybody else unless their label pays me to say they are.
How else is the media to be controlled?
The measure of art is marketability. Focus groups. Featured artists. Target demographics. Glossy magazines and sponsored blogs. Database advertising. Quantified individuality. Corporate patronage. Ivy league bricolage. Ones to watch. Hot or not. Synergy. The appropriate and accepted soundtrack for your preferred lifestyle. Listen to what you're supposed to listen to, look at what they show you, eat what they shove in your face and like what you're told to like.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a firm believer that art and media have both cultural and monetary value and commercial viability beyond low-cost broadcast filler, American Idol and paid product placement. Heck, I even think the potential exists for the arts to be a vibrant and lucrative sector of the economy should viable and sustainable decentralized (read as 'not centered in giant corporations...I didn't say it'd happen in my lifetime...) revenue models be established.
In the meantime, I say fuck 'em.
This city ain't dead yet.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
While Georgina has led a fascinating life that lends itself to a fearless and entertaining autobiography, her decision to write and publish her book independently - under her own imprint! - is nothing short of remarkable. As we at New Texture prepare our first releases for publication, we know all too well just how difficult it can be when you’re doing it all yourself, and let there be no doubt: Georgina did it all herself.
That fierce independence and determination to publish her story on her own terms makes her an inspiration to independent artists everywhere, but Georgina didn’t stop there. She is now shepherding two more books for release under her Little Red Hen Books imprint: Where the Sun Sets, a children’s book by John Welsh with illustrations by Liz Kovler, and Who ARE These People?, a collection of satirical sketches by Irv Bramberg. (You can purchase the books here.)
We’re crazy about Georgina, and we’re extremely proud to have pitched in to help in her adventures in independent publishing.
Again: Georgina Spelvin, Book Soup, Wednesday, August 20, 7pm.
“The big, bad bear has to eat the poor little bunny. It’s sad to think of it that way, but that’s the way it is.”
Stop Requested is the premiere release from New Texture Books. To reserve your copy of the first edition at a special pre-publication price, email your name and mailing address to NewTexture@gmail.com. Your personal information will be neither shared nor sold.
UPDATED: STOP REQUESTED is now available SIGNED by both Doyle and Zappa.
Purchase a signed edition HERE, or order by clicking the "Collectible" option on STOP REQUESTED's Amazon listing.
Thank you for your support!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thanks to the good folks at indiepix, "Every Dog's Day" is now available for rental via Netflix.
As the primary authorial voice behind it, I feel a certain ambivalence to the fact that much of what it satirizes has only become more relevant in the five years since it was shot insomuch as, while I'm glad it's relevant, I kinda wish it weren't...
So if you, like me, prefer to laugh at the global and economic mess we're all in rather than cry about it, put us in your queue.
And as always you can order it directly through indiepix. Download it for only $7.95 or order the DVD for $24.95.
In the meantime, send some good wishes to our good friend Niko, who played Vlad, and happened to have arrived in Tblisi, Georgia to visit family and friends two days before the goddamn Russians blew up the airport.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Fire trucks and rescue squads blaze by the Museum so often they hardly raise an eyebrow. Somebody fucked up…again.
The Museum is a stone's throw from the raging waters of the James River. People park in our lot to go over to the river, or to go Belle Isle to swim, picnic or hang out. Kayakers occasionally get themselves in trouble and rescue teams get called out to what? Upright them? I don't know.
But it was a preponderance of fire related and rescue vehicles today, and it just never seemed to stop… Every ten minutes, more fire department, cops, and now news vans. Then a hazmat vehicle. Now THAT was different. What did THAT mean? Body in the water. Some poor woman, washed down, finally caught on a rock, dead for some time. Not a good thing. I've found dead people underwater; not exactly a pleasant experience, especially when you're not expecting it. They ingest stuff...not by their choice...water, sand, whatever... Makes ’em heavier to lift. Now if there for a number of days, well, you don't want to know the details. The James River is a dangerous place, and people don't realize just how dangerous. Though there are the little places, closer to shore, that are quiet and serene.
I trust lakes over rivers. Or at least small lakes. No current.
Will wait for more info on this unfortunate victim of whatever. Another sad story, so close and nearby, floating down the river.
photo copyright © 2008 Wyatt Doyle
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
"Likewise I will not dispute after the manner of the Academics by
declamation; nor yet by numbers, as Pythagoras was wont to do, and as Picus de la Mirandula did of late at Rome.
"But I will dispute by signs only, without speaking, for the matters are so abstruse, hard, and arduous, that words proceeding from the mouth of man will never be sufficient for unfolding of them to my liking."
Francois Rabelais, Pantagruel, chapter 2.XVIII
Matthew Morandi, electronics, percussion, vocals
Fred Wright, electric guitarifications
shot by Andy Biscontini
Friday, August 8, 2008
Indeed, one of the paradoxes of what we have been describing is that the pressure of the "burden of the past" was felt most sharply by the major writers and artists, if only because they had the intelligence to see where their opportunities lay; and it is they who set the tone for the new formal style, the new mode, and the genres associated with the period, especially satire and the verse essay. Yet it was also they who were least blithe or slapdash in disposing of, or downgrading, their predecessors. True, they might occasionally forgivably, cluck the tongue or shake the finger about particular details. But this was not the same thing. In a deeper way than others, they knew how much was involved.
It was not at all the confidence of "superiority" so loudly proclaimed by others that sustained them as they developed one of the greatest formal poetic styles the English language has yet seen, the finest comic and satiric writing in modern literature, and a prose never excelled in English before and rarely since. It was, as we said, a realization of where the opportunities lay at this particular time. Had the circumstances been different, they took it for granted that they would have written differently. As Dryden said about the use of rhyme in dramatic tragedy (speaking through Neander in the Essay of Dramatic Poesy), this was one of the ways of writing that Shakespeare and his contemporaries had not exploited; and, far from implying adverse criticism of what they had done, the attempt to turn to other modes of writing now was a tribute. It involved the recognition that "there is scarce an humor, a character, or any kind of plot which they have not used." Would they themselves, after so rich an expenditure of all that could be done in the art, have been able to "equal themselves, were they to rise and write again?" We "acknowledge them our fathers," but they have already spend their estates before these "came to their children's hand."
+ + +
If John Coltrane came back to life, and started recording this January, 2009, what would his music sound like?
Would it sound like John Coltrane in 1956? Would it sound like John Coltrane in 1966?
Would it sound like Michael Brecker in 1976? 1986?
Would it sound like Charles Gayle in 1986? 1996?
Would it sound like Ravi Coltrane in 1996? 2006?
What if John Coltrane came back to life and recorded an album in the year 8420? Would it sound like John Coltrane from 6455 years earlier?
+ + +
What if instead John Coltrane was born into an incredibly wealthy family and always had a whole bunch of money he could access with great ease so as to facilitate his every whim and fancy?
Would that reality have made any difference in the musical output of John Coltrane?
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
To see the whole series, click here or on the image of Ernie below.
Ernest Borgnine will sign copies of his autobiography, Ernie, at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena Wednesday, August 6, 7:00 pm. For details, click here.
The American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre presents Ernest Borgnine In Person, a three-day tribute from Friday, August 8 through Sunday, August 10. For details, click here.
copyright © 2008 Wyatt Doyle
Monday, August 4, 2008
Animator John Muto, co-producer Nick James, Susan Tyrell, Richard Elfman
copyright © 2008 Wyatt Doyle