Tuesday, April 28, 2009

all it takes is a good idea

i love these postcards from the "advice to sink in slowly" series. per grain edit they're part of an ongoing series of posters designed by recent graduates aimed at helping and inspiring first year students. all incoming students at participating universities receive one of the posters.
every one of these maxims and adages certainly applies to life after school. i should do better to remember them all on a daily basis, especially "finish what you start" and "call your mum." (appropriately these seem like something kjm would particularly enjoy).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

we had a choice we chose rejoice

its been a week since returning from coachella. it's hard to articulate just how amazing a weekend it was. incredible music, people, accommodations (horse ranch/makeshift rv park)... an all around great scene. i'm left counting the days till next year and looking forward to outside lands all the more. musical highlights were black keys, beirut, tv on the radio and devendra banhart, devendra banhart, devendra banhart. also devendra banhart. DB will get his own personal post once the photos from that show are developed. below are some favorite shots culled from the flickr gallery. i want it back.

Friday, April 24, 2009

let's go out in this community

been listening to the album "...and girls club" by the strange boys on pretty much constant rotation (perfect album title) for the past week. heavily blues and surf rock influenced quartet out of austin just drip cool despite looking like a band of fourteen year olds.

here's a video for their single "woe is you and me" as well as two vids from a show cap and asp attended at the smell in '07. so so good.

the idea of the forced proximity

nytimes today has an article about asp obed daggett neighbor livingston taylor. the article and pics make me want to be there now. thanks to wap for forwarding.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

meet me at the FROPJF

as an apology for not posting in a week i invite everyone to this party

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

fresh beats without rap

apologies for being truly delinquent when it comes to posting lately.

this interview with avant garde roots musician will oldham is getting attention for his talking smack about wes anderson's soundtrack choices (a little bit deserved on the darjeeling front, but also not given how much native music was used and the fact that the kinks were originally slated to comprise the entire rushmore soundtrack and this kind of made up for that but let's not delve too deep here...). anyway, the real gems in this interview come up when will shares his take on working in film and expounds on his admirably stubborn thoughts on music supervision, righfully referring to jonathan richman's participation in there's something about mary as being a stroke of genius before discussing the role of credits in film, music and, interestingly, publishing:

AVC: You’ve been doing a lot more movies lately, after a long layoff. Do you find acting more satisfying now than it was when you first started out?

WO: It’s only satisfying because these specific things have come up with these people I trust. It can be more like a friendly and open and trusting working relationship, which is not the norm in the film industry, and wasn’t when I was trying to pursue it professionally, and wouldn’t be now if I tried to do that again. I think everybody works from a defensive position, for the most part, in the film industry.

AVC: How so?

WO: First off, every job is short, relatively. Like, an insanely long movie would take six months or something like that. So everyone is either living in the present or living in the future, and they’re personally guarded because they’re in an intense situation for a short period of time. You have to protect yourself when you’re working with people who are talented and strong like that. You just have to ask, “Is this a friendship, or is this a working relationship? Is this a love affair, or is this whatever?” And then professionally, it’s always, “This is my agent, this is your agent. You got that job? How’d you get that job?” And not ever just, “Yeah, I’m happy with what I’m doing. Are you happy with what you’re doing? Good.” With these situations I’ve been in lately, it has been happier, because everyone knows that acting isn’t what I do full-time, so I don’t feel any sense of competition, or I don’t feel like I need to be professionally on the ball outside of the work situation itself. All I have to do is pay attention to the work at hand, and that works out for everybody, I think.

AVC: You mentioned talking to Richard Linklater and Caveh Zahedi about your ideas on movie music. Can you summarize those ideas?

WO: Well, for a while, it seemed like you were always seeing movies where all the music was determined by the music supervisors and their special relationships with certain record labels. And I just felt like, “Wow, I’ll bet they spent months or years writing this screenplay, and I’ll bet they spent months shooting this, and I’ll bet they spent months editing this, and now they’re spending no time at all picking these completely inappropriate songs with lyrics to put under a scene that has dialogue.” How does that even work? How can you have a song with someone singing lyrics under spoken dialogue and consider that mood-music, or supportive of the storyline? As somebody who likes music, when that happens, I tend to listen to the lyrics, which have nothing to do with the movie. And then I’m lost in the storyline. Not only is that a crime, but it’s a crime not to give people who are good at making music for movies the work. It’s like saying, “We don’t need you, even though you’re so much better at it than I am as a music supervisor.”....But again, someone wrote me recently and said, “We wanna use your songs in our movie, and we’ve already got this artist, this artist, this artist, this artist.” And I was thinking, “Well that makes for like, no integrity to your movie. All these different voices combined with the actors’, writer’s, director’s and DP’s voices. That sounds like the worst place to be. That sounds like a music festival.” [Laughs.] I liked it when those crazy, dirty, Rhode Island brothers made movies like There’s Something About Mary.

AVC: The Farrellys?

WO: The Farrelly brothers. Was it Something About Mary that had nothing but Jonathan Richman songs in it? I like Jonathan Richman a lot, and while those weren’t my favorite Jonathan Richman songs, I liked that whole idea of lacing one voice throughout the whole movie and having it be a conscious decision made somewhere during the writing and pre-production, and not during post-production. “This is the voice that we wanna have, and these are how we want songs to work with this movie.” That’s all I ask for, that a little bit of time and respect is given to the musical part of filmmaking.

AVC: How much do you consider mystery to be an element in what you do? Keeping things shrouded?

WO: Shrouded like how?

AVC: Some of your earlier records don’t have a whole lot of information on them, so it was difficult for fans to find out who was actually making the music. And you haven’t been big on doing a lot of interviews until more recently.

WO: I guess I don’t know where any information other than what I choose to provide on the records is really anybody’s business. That’s kinda it. I understand that doing interviews… Look, the record labels like that to happen, and I understand on some level why they like that to happen, because it provides some sort of eye-catching thing. It’s like some kind of advertising, for a minimum expenditure of energy and money. But to me, the best purpose of an interview would be to illuminate some things about how somebody works for the benefit of somebody else who wants to do those things. And that’s not where most interviews go at all, so to me, they seem like strange exercises in small talk and wasted air.

And printing credits… I think for those of us who make records, it’s our business how we put it together. Same with a book. You know, the publishing industry has somehow avoided having a light shone on their process. In a book, you basically have the name of the publisher and the name of the writer, and you’re led to believe that those are the two things that created this book. And you and I both know that’s not the case. There’s an army of people involved with the production of each book, most essentially the editor or editors who work closely with the writer on shaping and forming and developing a piece of work, plus the writer’s agent, blah blah blah. And yet somehow it doesn’t matter to us that all of that information is never publicly, readily available. Yet we want that on our records.

I mean, look at all these endless bullshit lists of credits at the end of movies. I guess it works as a résumé for the best boys and the key grips and everybody else, but I’d think that would be something that you could just tell a prospective boss, like “I was the assistant costume designer on Forrest Gump.” You can check their references. You don’t have to watch a two-and-a-half-hour movie about a mildly retarded guy to prove that so-and-so was the assistant costume designer.

AVC: Can you be sympathetic to the idea that people who are fans of a certain artist are curious to know more about their process?

WO: I can be sympathetic to that, but I’ll say that if enough energy is generated by a piece of work to develop that kind of curiosity, then I don’t necessarily think that satisfying that curiosity is the best place for that energy to go, you know? Like if somebody makes a movie like Milk, which to me was a very exciting and emotional, inspiring movie, then I don’t personally want—nor would I want any audience member to want—to take the excitement and energy that came from that viewing experience and spend it on the IMDB, researching the other films that, like, Diego Luna has been in. I would hope that part of the point of the movie would be to do something that had a little bit less to do with movie-making, and a little more to do with real life. And if I don’t have access to that information, then I have no choice but to push that energy into something ideally more specifically related to my experience of the world and my relationship to other human beings.

Plus there’s the satisfaction that comes from finding out privileged information. It used to feel great to use a card catalogue at the library to find the information that you were looking for. One thing that the Internet has created is the sense that information is at your fingertips, when it’s really only a very, very limited, specific, and slanted kind of information. Even though you might be able to enter Diego Luna’s name in your search field and get 7,942 hits, there’s so much information that’s not available about him. But you’re probably going to feel satisfied with having done just that minimal amount of research, you know? And it just seems worthwhile to me to remove myself from that process and encourage people to realize that there’s more to learning about what a record means or how it’s made than just giving you this weird, superficial, nuts-and-bolts information.

AVC: What if, for example, in reading an interview with Gus Van Sant you learn that he shot part of Milk in the exact location of Harvey Milk’s original camera shop? Couldn’t that help enhance the viewing experience?

WO: It depends. Again, when you leave the theater after watching a movie like Milk, there should be a lot going on inside you. And if the first thing that you do is sit down and get that weird little facsimile of an important piece of information, some part of you is going to be satisfied—quieted—by that weird little bit of insider knowledge. And what a terrible place for your satisfaction to lie, when it should or could lie in something, I don’t know, that might benefit somebody else, or might benefit you tomorrow, rather than just in this five minutes today when you feel like “Oh, that was the real camera shop. Neat.” I mean that’s the kind of thing that could be neat to know in five years, if you work in film or you work in progressive civil rights for homosexuals, and in casual conversation someone says, “Oh yeah, in the movie Milk, that was actually Harvey Milk’s camera shop.” That’s when it’s a valid piece of information. But not when it’s just in a magazine article or on an IMDB page.

and this is just as great as always:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

sometimes they rock and roll, sometimes they stay at home

if you ever find yourself with the means to set a christmas tree on fire at sunset on a beach in malibu, i highly recommend. it is so...choice

more recent shots on flickr site

Friday, April 3, 2009

soon right away, right away

it's been two consecutive weekends without getting wet. the longest i've gone in over two and a half years, so i'm jonesing for a wave slide like the one pictured above.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

whats new to me is old news to you

white denim destroyed it at spaceland last night. we caught a glimpse of them at the troub a few months back, opening for tapes 'n tapes, getting an appetite whetting taste of their skills, but last night, despite playing to a crowd that had bizarrely thinned out after a mind numbingly boring set from the pains of being pure of heart (why are WD playing with these horrible bands?), they put on one of the most impressive live shows i've ever witnessed leaving spaceland's collective ear ringing. somewhere between hendrix, yes, and the bad plus, they play with more power and energy than one could reasonably expect from any three piece. i wish there was a higher quality video out there that demonstrated the raw musical talent that these bros demonstrate, but this rad video shall suffice.

pour me a grey goose and red bull

another video destined for viral greatness here from the mind of dj lubel. with a song reminiscent of jonathan richman doing five years time by nd pals noah and the whale. reminds me of my own days at lehman and evenings spent pregaming at windsor court...a very different time in my life.