Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
It's late September and that means the change of season is making itself known. Autumn always seems to be so emotionally weighted and I dislike it for that reason. The weather outside was rather cloudy after practice so Peter and I went to see a movie called The Exiles at Anthology Film Archive.
Limitedly released in 1961. The film follows a cast of Native Americans who were the first generation to leave their reservations and seek out a modern life in LA. Shot mostly in downtown, the movie documents an aspect of LA I've only read about in the stories of John Fante. The story follows a group through one day and night, seemingly a reenactment of an average day. In addition to that, there is real testimonials to their experience of moving off of the reservation and into the city used as narration. Great shots of the marquees downtown and Angel's Flight (no longer in existence).
The only movie I've ever seen that is comparable to this would be On The Bowery. Filmed in a similar way using real people and candid cameras in real places. On The Bowery documents the life of day laborers living to drink and drinking to live.
I never actually understood that alcoholism is a serious problem until I saw this movie. It was like the crack epidemic of it's day. The scenes are littered with faces contorted by drinking which, is another thing both films have in common. I saw this at Anthology as well. Fascinating shots of down town in the early 60's. Including landmarks like The Bowery Mission and the train over Bowery (also no longer in existence).
Sunday, September 27, 2009
THIS MONTH'S SHOWS (AND THERE'S A LOT OF THEM):
Deitch Projects LIC, NY
Heartworm Press presents
THE HISTORY OF LOVE
Opening with Her Dead Twin
Germ Books Philadelphia, PA
Mercury Lounge with Chain and The Gang
Cake Shop with The Present, Indian Jewelry
Monkeytown with Former Ghosts
University of Hartford
Friday, September 25, 2009
I never listened to Lash Out but most of my friends in high school were really amped about them. I spaced out all afternoon after getting an email from Rob about blogged and quartered and downloaded like 200 songs. Then I started clicking on all of the links from that blog and found this other one called Bring Honour or Walk Away that rules! The author name drops Dwid (from Integrity) super casually, like "Dwid sent me these photos..." I saw Integrity in Cleveland when I was 18, Dwid wore a human ear around his neck and encouraged the audience to fight each other. It kind of breaks my mind imagining him with an email address, scanning photos of old shows for a blog. Anyway, their most recent post is a scan of this 1994 fax from the father of Håvard Godøy, bass player for Lash Out. Apparently he intercepted a fax from Lash Out's label, Stormstrike, which was full of Satanic rhetoric, aka the kind of stuff all of my friends in high school (the ones that were into Lash Out) wrote all over their schoolbooks: "AVANTI SATAN"; "BLACK CIRCLE"; "HAIL!" etc. The dad, ashamed and indignant, takes it upon himself to reply to Stormstrike. He threatens to warn the other band members' parents, promises to investigate this Satanic activity, and cancels the upcoming Lash Out tour. It rules. I've been really into stories of parents derailing the underground like this, the rawness of the generation gap. Bridget Cross told a story about having to sneak out of her house when she was in Velocity Girl in order to play shows. The Danaides almost didn't get to open for Huggy Bear because the day of the show, Sonia's parents decided they didn't feel comfortable with it. The band all stood in her driveway crying until they relented. I have a demo tape of my high school industrial band where my mom comes downstairs and yells at us. At the point in the song that she interrupts, I was standing on an overturned shopping cart and screaming about my hurt feelings while my bandmate Sachin hammered a rusted gas tank with a table leg. She kind of took the wind out of our sails, but I'm glad we thought it was funny enough to include in the demo.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I used to watch this clip from the DMC 1995 championships over and over again. I actually hooked my tape deck up to the VCR and added this routine to a mix tape. I would listen to it on my way to work. I never really thought you could listen to "turntablism" before this routine, for me it was like watching skateboard tricks, really fun and exciting, but it didn't really have a lot to do with music. But the part where he's playing Ed OG and using the speed/pitch adjuster on the horn part to make this woozy, seasick melody is one of my favorite songs ever! And I always loved that he never used headphones, like he just knew the records so well he could drop the needle in the silence before the song even starts and know when the beat's going to drop. But I think what I liked best was his antagonism. The whole "all you other DJs..." cut from Marley Marl Scratch, or the other one where he would use Biz Markie "to all the competition that try to compete..." Right around this time I also got the X-Men vs. Invisible Scratch Pickles video where Shortkut does the routine with that LL Cool J song, I think "Going Back to Cali"? And it's this meticulous, carefully rehearsed, super-tech thing and then Roc Raida goes right after him and does a super aggro, rough-edged routine using the same song, even some of the same tricks. Like it took Shortkut 10 months of rehearsal to get that routine together and Roc Raida just gets up and copies his thing after watching him do it once. Amazing! I think that maybe this stuff is completely irrelevant these days, I was walking up 6th Ave the other day and saw that the "DJ school" is still operating, which tripped me out. But for the most part I think that "turntablism" is over for now. And it's not like I miss it, but I will definitely miss this guy. What a tragedy.
DJ Roc Raida RIP May 18, 1972 – September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
These guys are too smart for me...