Archive for November, 2007

Alberto Gonzales Heckling

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales delivered his $40,000 speech at the University of Florida last night. Gonzales’ first stop on a nationwide college speaking tour got off to a very rocky start, as he had to endure shouts of “criminal” and “liar” throughout his speech. The St. Petersburg Times describes the scene:

Embattled former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was a few minutes into his speech Monday night when the first two protesters took the stage, their heads covered and hands tied behind their backs like Abu Ghraib prisoners.

One of the young men stood silently beside Gonzales, who looked down at his notes and waited for two police officers to lead him away. Then came a young man in a military fatigue jacket, who stood directly in front of Gonzales with a sign declaring: “Habeus corpus.” (report from thinkprogress)

I can only hope that similar protest action is taken at Gonzales’ appearance at Wash U. February 11th 2008 in 560 Music Center


Charts – 11/19

Monday, November 19th, 2007
2 GRIZZLY BEAR Friend [EP] Warp
3 SUNSET RUBDOWN Random Spirit Lover Jagjaguwar
4 BAT FOR LASHES Fur And Gold Parlophone-Caroline
5 TEMPO NO TEMPO Repetition Double Negative
6 IRON AND WINE The Shepherd’s Dog SUB POP
7 OF MONTREAL Icons, Abstract Thee [EP] Polyvinyl
8 SEA WOLF Leaves In The River Dangerbird
9 SIBERIAN With Me Sonic Boom
10 CAKE SALE Cake Sale Yep Roc
11 BIRD AND THE BEE Please Clap Your Hands Blue Note
12 SOUNDTRACK I’m Not There Columbia-Sony
13 DE NOVO DAHL Shout [EP] Roadrunner
14 MOST SERENE REPUBLIC Population Arts And Crafts
15 GUNSHY There’s No Love In This War Latest Flame
16 WHITE WILLIAMS Smoke Tigerbeat6
17 LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION Galaxy Of The Lost [EP] Domino
19 TULLYCRAFT Every Scene Needs A Center Magic Marker
20 ANTI-FLAG A Benefit For Victims Of Violent Crime A-F
21 LONEY, DEAR Sologne Rebel Group
22 TOKYO POLICE CLUB Smith [EP] Paper Bag
23 ENON Grass Geysers… Carbon Clouds Touch And Go
25 CASTANETS In The Vines Asthmatic Kitty
26 HEALTH Health Lovepump United
27 BRITISH SEA POWER Krankenhaus [EP] Rough Trade
28 CELEBRATION The Modern Tribe 4AD
29 PLEASE QUIET OURSELVES Please Quiet Ourselves Mushpot
30 BABYSHAMBLES Shotter’s Nation Parlophone

Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Monday, November 19th, 2007

On Friday, at the COCA, I had the great pleasure of hearing a talk by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the geniuses behind Tom Goes To The Mayor and Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (yes, that is the full title of the show). In the future, I’ll let you guys know about this kind of stuff in advance, because this show was not to be missed. Both Tom Goes To The Mayor and Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! are some of the most bizarre and absolutely hilarious programs ever to be allowed on television. Here’s an example of a typical Tom Goes To The Mayor plot, from Wikipedia:

Although he has limited experience with dogs (and no dog), Tom is selected by the Mayor to provide a canine matchmaker for Jefferton’s yearly holiday Toodle Day, in which all eligible dogs in town are married. After purchasing the “last dog” from the local pet shop (run by Jeff Goldblum), Tom sets about the difficult task of training his new pup to become the Toodleday matchmaker. But the dog-doo hits the fan when Tom’s pup is waylaid by an accident, and it’s up to Tom to make sure the town’s dogs achieve wedded bliss.

Tom Goes To The Mayor at least goes through the motions of a plot, but the live-action Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! makes no such pretensions, just bouncing back and forth between insane, bizarre sketches, like a hip-hop instructional video that instructs the dancers to “slap your hands” and then to “think about your dad” or the “Beaver Boys”, who are obsessed with eating shrimp and drinking white wine. Here’s one of my favorite segments:
Tim and Eric are about more than just random absurdism, however. In my opinion, their work constitutes some of the sharpest criticism out there of the vicissitudes of American capitalism. Tim and Eric’s America is one wholly empty of any real sort of culture, bland and indistinct, full of meaningless rituals and totally defined by consumerism. The mayor of Tom Goes To The Mayor has his office in a strip mall; the town council meets in a Gulliver’s Buffet. Greil Marcus once famously said that Bob Dylan tapped into the “old, weird America” for his work; well, Tim and Eric tap into the “new, weird America”. Late night TV commercials, cable access channels, local news shows, all the detritus of late twentieth century American life is captured and criticized in their work. It is not merely absurdist, but Dadaist.

Anywho, I could write a whole article about Tim and Eric as art, but more importantly, they were damn funny in person. They showed some stuff that I hadn’t seen before, like their enthusiastic, unprovoked promotions of Shrek The Third, some yet-to-be seen Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! episodes, and an Absolut Vodka ad featuring wigs, bathrobes and Zach Galifianakis that is absolutely the strangest promotion I have seen for any product, ever. Also, I totally got a picture with Tim!
You can read an interview with Tim and Eric at the Onion AV Club here or visit their website to see some really funny stuff here.

Subversive Cinema: Len Lye Tourist Commercial

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

Len Lye edited together “swing” versions of the popular Lambeth Walk (including Django Reinhardt on guitar and Stephane Grapelli on violin), combining them with a particularly diverse range of direct film images, scratched as well as painted. He was particularly pleased with a final guitar solo (with a vibrating horizontal line) and double bass solo (with a stomping vertical line). For this film Lye did not have to include any advertising slogans; friends at the Tourist and Industrial Development Association, shocked to learn that Lye and his family had become destitute, arranged for TIDA to sponsor the film – to the horror of government bureaucrats who could not understand why a popular dance was being treated as a tourist attraction.”

I can’t imagine seeing this in a theater in 1939 (much less as a commercial)!


Maybe record labels do have a clue?

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

RCRD LBL may be unfortunately named, but it’s a fucking awesome idea. It’s essentially an MP3 blog, but it’s a partnership of a bunch of cool labels, such as Downtown, Warp, and Dim Mak. All the MP3s are free, and the artists actually get paid. There are already some cool exclusive Bloc Party and JUSTICE MP3s up there, so check it out. I’m officially excited.