And another from the same thread:
Also, check out Twin Cities Photo Hunt, fellow WordPress blog from a guy I know, for some great photography of my neck of the woods. Stay dry and warm.
Oh God no. Say it ain’t so. Please… I’m begging here. Please pop cultural sphere, please don’t start the undeserved criticism/undeserved hype for Chris Nolan’s last Batman movie already. Please, I beg you. It was bad enough last time around.
Yesterday, on the social-network (where else?), I read something that may be pointing in that direction. Some dude posted a link to a Reuters article about how Anne Hathaway was cast as Catwoman. He did, of course, post this as a negative thing. Whatever, fair enough. If you don’t like her as an actress okay. But the comments implied nothing of the sort. The comments implied people not only don’t like her, but they’ve likely seen barely any of her movies, especially the independent films she’s been in. One person wrote, “From Princess Diaries to Catwoman?? Noooo!”. Cause, ya know, she hasn’t been in anything else since 2001 right? Including a recovering drug addict who tries to kill herself by crashing her parents car in Rachel Getting Married?
She was also in this movie called Brokeback Mountain, and we all know how a veteran of that film didn’t exactly get a fair shake when he was cast in a Nolan Bat-flick either. I don’t wanna go back to that time, the 06-07 Winter when message boards and blogs lit up with some of the most uninformed, nastiest comments I’ve ever read about a guy being cast in a movie. I don’t think Hathaway’s plight will match Ledger’s exactly. She won’t get the ridiculous, even if somewhat deserved, praise Ledger got (possibly because of his death, but I feel would have been there even without his death). But she’s already getting the digital groans of the Net, from people who I can assure you either don’t watch a lot of movie movies, or don’t read Batman at all. Or, most likely, both.
These are the people though, who will praise the movie when it comes out (what, 6 years from now?) as being the best movie of the year, the best super-hero movie of all time, featuring the best performance of the year, with the best soundtrack of the year, etc etc. Or maybe, just maybe, this time will be more like Batman Begins. Where it doesn’t even crack $50 million on opening weekend… to give you a comparison, a pile of shit like X-Men Origins: Wolverine made even $90 mil opening weekend. Wishful thinking I suppose. Is it me, or does it feel like that extra $50 million worth of theater-goers are the ones who criticize so heavy-handedly (and ignorantly, I might add) before it comes out, and rain down the most ridiculous of praises after it comes out? What the hell is it with these people and the Chris Nolan Batman movies??
And, have any of you fuckers even seen Bronson?
I don’t know if these are even applicable to any musician in any real sense, but they’re a lot of fun. The iNudge and aM-Laboratory are similar in design: matrix based online synthesizers based in point and click and a side scrolling tempo. They’re probably only fun at best, due to their design. Although, the iNudge does feature options like BPM, 8 different “instruments” (they all sound alike), adding/removing measures, and messing with the pan system I mentioned earlier. I prefer a set of keys or an guitar any day of the week… but I’m not necessarily oppose to the use of more experimental instrumentation or noise-makers. A guy on Whitechapel recently posting a video of his band jamming at one of their houses. From the poster himself:
“Just an odd note, Hunter Vaughan, the eldest of the group and a hippie from way back, used to have a bag of hand made percussive instruments, flutes, and a sax then one day he shows up with these two little computers leaving all us young cats in the dust.“
Again, I’m cool with this (I’d be some hypocrite to post about open-mindedness then follow it with a post about how much experimental instrumentation sucks). Last night I was browsing around on my phone for possible noise makers. Like I say, I’d rather have a six-string strapped to me, but hey… open-mindedness is my friend.
Here’s the YouTube vid (guy on the left is using his phone):
I’ve been reminded, almost continuously lately, how close-minded we can be. I’m guilty of it too, everyone is to some extent, even if we don’t want to be. No good can come of it. Absolutely the only good thing that could ever happen, if you’d even consider this a “good” thing, from this thinking is a stable and unflinching status-quo. Close-mindedness will not change anything, and I suppose if you hate change you wouldn’t be oppose to being close-minded. But change is natural. Not only natural, but completely unavoidable. Look at your body today, now look at it 20 years from now. Has it changed? Look at what’s happening around you. Has your town/city changed in the last 50 years? 20 years? 5 years? The Universe, and literally everything inside it, changes with time. That amount of change and time varies dramatically, but it always persists. That is the natural order of existence. Of all things. So then, close-mindedness is some sort of resistance the natural order of the universe. It must be, right? But animals do it too. Like I said, we all do. The key is to resist it as often and as much as possible. Conversely, open-mindedness is the sister of change, of evolution, of the natural order of things. Open-mindedness, the ability to take the natural order of things not only in stride, but as expected and in perfect contentedness, is a gift. It should be enjoyed at all costs. With an open-mind you will rarely if ever be disappointed. Or disillusioned. Or disenfranchised. With open-mindedness comes acceptance, acceptance of the natural order of things. And happiness is always closely behind acceptance. A friend also reminded me recently of the Hassan i Sabbah quote: “Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.“ I’m not trying to preach, just trying to remind myself of the seeds of (this was for me, more than anything) happiness.
- A guy who tattooed me recently is named Spencer Hodgson. His tattoo work is really cool, but he’s also a painter, a drawer, a photographer, and a designer. He does good work. He’s got his own website, click here. He works for a place in St. Paul, MN, off West 7th, called 7th Street Tattoo. Their website can be found here. Spencer’s paintings are amazing, and I know he’ll sell some stuff or work on commission (just e-mail him).
- On the concert poster/design/illustration front, I’ve got a guy here hailing from Seattle, WA, Shawn Wolfe. This dude is unreal. He’s designed for music festivals, album covers, concerts, magazines, art fairs, and more. His website can be found here. And this is his portfolio. He’s done a huge amount of amazing concert posters, right here. He’s even written a book, called “Uncanny: The Art and Design of Shawn Wolfe”, buy it on Amazon here. “Gross National Products” is his brand, the Etsy store of which is here.
- And finally I’ve got a cool cartoonist here named Dan Hipp. Dan’s got a cool site over on Blogspot, right here (featuring a cartoonish but grimy looking Wolverine on its header). He regularly posts excellent versions of his favorite comic characters with his trademark smile. A quick view will get you zombie-Sean Connery’s 007, Batman and his rouges, his take on District 9′s protagonist/Frankenstein/Luke Skywalker. He’s worked for several of the big comic companies and has several graphic novels for sale. This is his limited wiki-page. Buy his stuff here, YES he does commissions.
Goddamn. Living is getting in the way of this page… but I am on the first draft of a novel, so that’s a pretty legitimate excuse not to be posting Walking Dead covers and the like.
I really don’t understand why so many people were/are up in arms about Ron Reagan coming out and saying that his Dad suffered from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of his second term as President of the United States. His older brother, Michael, especially took offense apparently (although they do both have books coming out in February; Dad’s 100th b-day; a cynic would say this is all for publicity). First of all, from a personal standpoint this is an important part of Ron Reagan’s book about his Dad. Unless he doesn’t want to be totally candid about the whole thing, but isn’t that the point of a project like this? For anyone to say what should/should not be included in a book written by a son about his own father is bullshit. That was his life, and he’s going to write it how he wants/thinks he should write it. Beyond that, there’s historical implications here that the so-called “Reagan lovers” — those who paint him in effigy as if he was THE Saint of modern America, the Champion of red, white, and blue, Superman in a suit — are crazy to ignore. If you were to write a biography about the man, his presidency, his life, his legacy, this is an important tidbit of information that would no doubt be included. If you really are a Reagan-lover, purely fascinated with the guy, you’d want this out there, wouldn’t you?? For scholars of presidents, and especially of Ronald Reagan, this is an important footnote of study.
Don’t sweat the technique, fellas! Here are some samples/MP3s from upcoming hip-hop albums of the new year. Enjoy (and if you hate hip-hop… I dunno, head on over to Pitchfork or something?)!
Here’s a track from a Twin Cities guy, called Sims (member of Doomtree), off his upcoming album “Bad Time Zoo” (produced by Lazerbeak):
New Murs track off his new album, hopefully out by the summer, produced by Aesop Rock:
And finally some new Mac Lethal off a mixtape he’s calling “North Korean BBQ”, which will be free, called “I’m Odd”: