Friday, April 30, 2010

Tim Minchin - Pope Song (Warning - Offense Possible)

Another great one from the musical comedian, Tim Minchin. This is his tribute to Pope Benedict XVI and the child rape he has helped to cover up and has yet to take responsibility for or do anything about.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Iannis Xenakis - Metastasis (Spectral View)

Metastasis is an experimental music composition written for orchestra in 1953 by the Greek experimental composer Iannis Xenakis. I have always thought of his compositions visually, almost as if they are unfolding alien landscapes. This spectral view of the music timed exactly with the music illustrates that idea perfectly. This is another that I would suggest watching fullscreen.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Synesthesia: A Short Film

A very odd short film I saw a few months ago about the neurological condition known as synesthesia.
Synesthesia from wikipedia:  A neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Barry Mcgee Interview

I introduced my beginning Drawing students to the San Fransisco artist, Barry McGee, and then one of them, in turn, introduced me to this great San Fransisco art website called that has an interview with Barry McGee while he is installing a large scale exhibition at the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art.
Barry McGee Feature from The Creative Lives on Vimeo.

Thanks to Matt Bradley for the link.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Totally Goth

It is a cloudy cool rainy day. I've lit some candles and there is a soft spot in my heart for all that is goth... I think I'll spread the love.  Here are a few favorites.
 Some Edward Gorey and the Gashleycrumb Tinies.

What dark day isn't complete without a little Bauhaus to dampen the mood.

A classic clip from Harold and Maude.

And to finish off with the gothest of them all. Here is the full film, Nosferatu...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Miles Davis - Herbie Hancock - Wayne Shorter - Ron Carter - Tony Williams

A great piece from the period that was after the Kind of Blue cool jazz of the fifties but before the Bitches Brew era electric space funk of the late sixties when Miles was doing abstract jazz with his classic acoustic quintet. I am never short of amazed at Tony Williams' machine gun virtuosity on the ride cymbal.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Evening Music- Portishead- The Rip

From Portishead's Third album and their first in more than a decade, this song has one my favorite animation sequences from a rock music video.

A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel

A Humument, by Tom Phillips (1970) is one of my favorite treated books. It's been long out of print, but it looks like there is a new paperback edition printed recently.

Here is a website where someone has scanned beautiful copies of each and every page of the 370 page book.  And here is the official website for the new edition of the book.

 This is some history on the book from Wikipedia:
A Humument: A treated Victorian novel is an altered book by British artist Tom Phillips, first published in 1970. It is a piece of art created over W H Mallock's 1892 novel A Human Document whose title results from the partial deletion of the original title: A Human document.

Phillips drew, painted, and collaged over the pages, while leaving some of the original text to show through. The final product was a new story with a new protagonist named Bill Toge, whose name appears only when the word "together" or "altogether" appears in Mallock's original text.
When asked about the book, Phillips replied:
"It is a forgotten Victorian novel found by chance ... plundered, mined, and undermined its text to make it yield the ghosts of other possible stories, scenes, poems and replaced the text [he'd] stripped away with visual images of all kinds."
Here are five pages that are taken from the first thirty pages of the novel.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Texas Stadium Demolition

My wife, Erin works at a company very near the Texas Stadium and they had a ringside seat for the implosion of the stadium early this morning. It's a long video because there was a fireworks display beforehand accompanied by the funny and unintended co-worker commentary. For the impatient, the actual implosion begins around 7:15.
 She wrote a very nice post about it on her blog, Lived as Art

Saturday, April 10, 2010

John Cage about silence

The Future of Net Neutrality

The Los Angeles Times Online has an interesting editorial about the misguided and devastating court ruling which opens the path for internet providers to essentially destroy net neutrality as we know it today. But not so fast, the FCC may step up to save the day.

Giving FCC authority to set policy on net neutrality

Congress should give the FCC specific authority over broadband to keep traffic flowing freely.


April 08, 2010
A federal appeals court reined in the Federal Communications Commission this week, ruling that it overstepped its authority when it penalized Comcast for surreptitiously disabling a popular technology that let people share files online. But the ruling did not quell the commission's interest in regulating the way Internet service providers such as Comcast manage their networks. Instead, it set up a potential fight over whether the commission's regulatory authority should be expanded, either by Congress or the commission itself. We think the best course is for lawmakers to give the FCC clear but limited power to preserve the openness that has made the Internet not just a hotbed for innovation but also the most important communications medium of our time.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Late Night Music- Nurse With Wound - "The Bottom Feeder"

I know I'm a creep. Call me a snob... But my favorite musician since I first bought "The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion" in 1986 has been Nurse With Wound, AKA, Stephen Stapleton.

I've always been drawn to strange music, my first exposure to odd music was "Radioactivity" by Kraftwerk... But it wasn't until I heard Nurse With Wound that I found the music that I would later learn is termed sound collage. That is, music that doesn't necessarily have beat, meter or even melody, but is simply sound in time. Sampling and appropriation were a big part of sound collage and I later learned that the style has a rich history beginning with people such as John Cage, Luc Ferrari and even Frank Zappa.
Anyway, the video for this piece of music is great, even more so to realize that it was simply a fan-based montage video. The images are taken from films by a person named Jiri Barta; a filmmaker who I am completely ashamed to say that I have never heard of. I do need to research this person because I think his work is beautiful in the same tradition as Jan Švankmajer and the Brothers Quay.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fluid Fire Simulation

This is a pretty cool user-interactive software... I am not so interested in the fire aspect of it as I am the fluid. It's fun to play with.

Flogging the Scientists

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Late Night Music with Tom Waits

You know... I might take up the tradition of the blog, Crooks and Liars, and start doing late night music posts when I am not asleep or busy.

That sounds pretty good... Just random music video posts of whatever is going through my head at the time, because there is so much good stuff out there.. This one is great. From the album, Bone Machine (1992). The video is made by filmmaker Jim Jarmusch.

TomWaits "I Don't Wanna Grow Up"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Autechre- Oversteps

Autechre's brand new album called "Oversteps" is out as of last week. I am such a geek about Autechre that I ordered both the vinyl as well as the cd. Although I would suggest for anyone except the FLAC snobs to just get the vinyl, because it has a download code so that you can get a free 320kbps MP3 download along with your purchase of the vinyl (which is indistinguishable from FLAC in my opinion).
The vinyl album really does have incredibly deluxe packaging. The two 180g vinyl records along with a foldout poster are each kept in thick cardboard sleeves and then housed inside a hardback "boxed set" style outer cover. Very nice...
Someone put together a sampler of the album on you tube.

While this album still has the obvious Autechre hallmarks, it does have some big departures from the albums of the last decade. The two departures that stand out the most to me are the use of tonality and the allowance of space between areas of tangled density. This could have been a very bad thing, because I myself, love the atonality and the density of the "techno-beats-in-a-digital-blender" of their albums since EP7.  But I think what has tied all of their albums together since "EP7" is their ability to make something as non-organic as purely digital music into something that is very organic and very abstract. After all, musical editing technology makes it easy to create beats in exactly the 4/4 time signature and tones exactly according to a specific key. What is difficult is to get the technology to go outside 4/4 beats and to work with dissonance and texture..

Autechre almost reminds me of techno music's answer to free jazz....

 What I like about "Oversteps" is that it keeps the organic quality of their previous work but creates more space. The percussion seems to be pushed to an accompanying role, while allowing the abstract tonality to step in as a major player.

The Onion: Pope Vows To Get Church Pedophilia Down To Acceptable Levels

From The Onion :

VATICAN CITY—Calling the behavior shameful, sinful, and much more frequent than the Vatican was comfortable with, Pope Benedict XVI vowed this week to bring the widespread pedophilia within the Roman Catholic Church down to a more manageable level.
Addressing thousands gathered at St. Peter's Square on Easter Sunday, the pontiff offered his "most humble apologies" to abuse victims, and pledged to reduce the total number of molestations by 60 percent over the next five years.
"This is absolutely unacceptable," Pope Benedict said. "It seems a weakening of faith in God has prevented our priests from exercising moderation when sexually abusing helpless minors."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen!

Happy Zombie Day!

 Matthew 27:51-53
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Photos of Dew Covered Insects

These are amazing photos that were taken before dawn, when insects are still covered in the tiny water droplets of the morning's dew. The artist is Polish amateur photographer Mirosław Świętek.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Brothers Quay- Street of Crocodiles (1986)

While we are on the subject of stop-action animation. I'll post one of my all time favorites. The Brothers Quay create beautifully dystopian worlds that are one part Franz Kafka, one part Joseph Cornell, and one part Hans Bellmer...
Part 1

Part 2

Street of Crocodiles (1986) by Timothy & Stephen Quay.

And no, these are not the people who animated the Tool videos. That person badly ripped off the Brothers Quay.

Grizzly Bear - Ready, Able

 Grizzly Bear is one of my favorite rock bands to come out in recent years. They also have some amazingly strange videos to go along with their odd brand of abstract pop music. This stop-action animated video is a favorite.

Video for "Ready, Able," from Grizzly Bear's 'Veckatimest.' Directed by Allison Schulnik.