Monday, July 13, 2009

Trent Reznor's How To Make It List Is Crucial, Inspiring

Nine Inch Nails
mainman Trent Reznor recently announced that NIN was going on an indefinite hiatus. But before heading into premature hibernation, he gives young musicians a leg up on making it by sharing his list of do's and don't. It's fascinating, even if you aren't a musician trying to make it. Alot of his advice applies to design too.

From Stereogum:

The Beastie Boys' site offers everything you could possibly want in the formats you would want it in - available right from them, right now. The prices they are charging are more than you should be charging - they are established and you are not. Think this through.

The database you are amassing should not be abused, but used to inform people that are interested in what you do when you have something going on - like a few shows, or a tour, or a new record, or a webcast, etc.

Have your MySpace page, but get a site outside MySpace - it's dying and reads as cheap / generic. Remove all Flash from your website. Remove all stupid intros and load-times. MAKE IT SIMPLE TO NAVIGATE AND EASY TO FIND AND HEAR MUSIC (but don't autoplay). Constantly update your site with content - pictures, blogs, whatever. Give people a reason to return to your site all the time. Put up a bulletin board and start a community. Engage your fans (with caution!) Make cheap videos. Film yourself talking. Play shows. Make interesting things. Get a Twitter account. Be interesting. Be real. Submit your music to blogs that may be interested. NEVER CHASE TRENDS. Utilize the multitude of tools available to you for very little cost of any - Flickr / YouTube / Vimeo / SoundCloud / Twitter etc.

Head over to Stereogum and read the entire thing. It really is superb.

"Treat Me Like Your Mother" Video Is Here

The Dead Weather - Treat Me Like Your Mother

After all the it is, the Treat Me Like Your Mother video from The Dead Weather.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Music Video of the Week: The White Stripes

The White Stripes
are one of the best bands of the decade. It fills my heart with pride that they are from Detroit. Whether with the White Stripes, Raconteurs, or the new Dead Weather, Jack White has proven himself to be one of the the most prolific musicians to emerge from the wasteland.

Here is their Michel Gondry directed clip for Fell In Love With A Girl. You remember it. It's awesome.

Chalkbot For Live Strong Is Awesome

This is awesome!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Top Ten Sunny Day Real Estate Songs

In honor of their recent resurrection, I give you my Top Ten Sunny Day Real Estate Songs. One of the greatest bands of the last decade. A bit of an acquired taste, but man will they infect you.

1. In Circles (Diary)
2. Friday (The Pink Album)
3. J’Nuh (The Pink Album)
4. Seven (Diary)
5. The Rising Tide (The Rising Tide)
6. Rodeo Jones (The Pink Album)
7. 5/4 (The Pink Album)
8. Killed By An Angel (The Rising Tide)
9. Faces In Disguise (The Rising Tide) - best version on youtube, sorry.
10. Red Elephant (The Pink Album)

Treat Me Like Your Mother Trailer Looks Interesting

Jack White's new side band, The Dead Weather, release their new album on July 14 - Bastille Day, and my birthday too. The video for "Treat Me Like Your Mother" was directed by Hollywood big shot Johnathan Glazer. Jack is calling it a short film, and will premiere on Cinemax on July 11th at 9:55.

Here is the trailer - it looks pretty Tarantino-esque.

BTW - There are actually two trailers, and I kind of like the other one better, but there is no embedding on that one.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ladies And Gentleman, The Fabulous Stains Is Fabulous

Late last night (really, really late) I watched cult classic Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. I had heard alot about this film, and always wanted to see it. TCM (they have really been amazing lately) played it as part of their Friday night, late night Underground Film series.

From Amazon:

Some movies just stumble towards cult, mythic status; Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains is one of those magnificent accidents. Besides in-fighting, the few previews shown to the public were unanimously panned, Paramount was at a loss as to how to market it, and the movie had never been available on DVD (or VHS, for that matter). This has just compounded its status as a "lost" film, with the few people who have seen it being evangelical in their gossip about this pseudo punk 'n' roll documentary.

Now that it’s here, was it worth the wait? Does it hold up over time? You bet it does. Orphaned girls (Diane Lane, Marin Kanter) along with their cousin (Laura Dern) channel their frustration into a band, The Stains. After a few gigs, the media picks up what they consider a novelty. This leads to a tour with The Looters--idealistic punks from London--and the Metal Corpses (headed by Fee Waybil of the Tubes in a perfectly oblivious performance). Head Looter takes head Stain under his wing, only to become disillusioned as he watches the American media, and by extension American teens, chose popularity over talent (as he sees it). Despite their differing views about how the movie should be handled, both the message of girl empowerment (screenwriter Nancy Dowd) and the idea that all great ideas become co-opted and watered-down (director Lou Adler) resonate throughout the film. The performances, while not uniformly great, work so well within the context of the documentary style that they have their own charm. And Diane Lane, as Stain leader Corinne "Third Degree" Burns, is simply outstanding, simmering with angst that bursts out at all the right points. A young Ray Winstone turns in a fine performance as the lead singer of the Looters, showing both contempt and sensitivity towards the fledgling Stains. Adding to its cult credentials, the rest of the Looters are played by Steve Jones and Paul Cook (Sex Pistols) and Paul Simonon (The Clash). With audio commentaries by not only director Adler, but stars Lane and Dern, this movie is not only great for any fans of Times Square and Rock 'n' Roll High School, but it’s a great addition to any library of music films in general. --Robert Arambel

What really makes this film hold up is that the cheese factor is pretty low, extremely low given the time period. I fully expected poor dialogue, bad music sync ups in the live performances, singers clearly mouthing the words instead of singing them, crappy 80's theme music, wooden performances from the musicians, amateurish direction (this being only 1 of 2 films Adler ever directed, and Up In Smoke was the other), etc.

Instead the film features solid dialogue (provided by the Oscar winning writer of Coming Home, and even funnier - Slap Shot - yes, Slap Shot was written by a woman, and that is totally awesome/hilarious, but I digress) that has actually aged extremely well. It seems that one of the reasons that the film failed to secure a wide release upon it's completion was that it was created on the fringes of the Hollywood system (largely filmed and cut in Canada). However, this outsider positioning "kept it real" - the film remained mostly untampered with by BIG HOLLYWOOD, and as such feels like a snapshot of the punk era, rather than a contrived, BIG HOLLYWOOD take on the era made palatable for mass consumption.

The live performances crackle with energy, as the Looters performance of Be A Professional is seriously fantastic. Steve Jones and Paul Cook are still fresh out of the Sex Pistols, and Paul Simonon is still in the Clash at the time, and they fire on all cylinders. This is not surprising - what is surprising is that Jones, Cook, and Simonon give fine performances off stage as well. Sure, they are essentially playing themselves, but they help lend an authenticity to a rock and roll movie, which is all you can really hope for from them.

The performance of Diane Lane is of course the centerpiece here, and she is truly great (to me and to many guys of my generation, she will always be Cherry Valens). She is spiteful, intelligent, street smart, beautiful, confusing, etc. - sometimes at the same time. In short, she rocks here. The always excellent Ray Winstone plays the lead singer of the Looters, and he is the most three dimensional character here.

Rent it, it's well worth it. It's a superb B movie that's time has finally come.

Art For A Dollar Is Ingenious

Art For A Dollar is too cool. From Divine Caroline:

Critically acclaimed tattoo artist, Scott Campbell, recently showed his work at the O.H.W.O.W. gallery in Miami, FL. The highlight of the evening was a series of laser-cut etchings, each on a stack of $1 bills. The collection is entitled “Make It Rain” and shows a sampling of the artist’s dark and beautiful undertones. Scott Campbell was born in rural Louisiana and began his career illustrating before mastering the art of tattoo. In 2004, he opened Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn where he perfected his signature style.

More at

Go check them out, they are awesome.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Posters and Toys Is The Place To Buy Cheap Art

Posters and Toys is an excellent site. Go there and spend money! Cheap art that is fantastic - it doesn't get better than that.

Typographic Dresser: Yeah, You Heard That Right

Ok, this is awesome.

From Lost At E Minor:

Kent and London, darlings of the sustainable design world, have come up with an adorable concept. Their FSC-certified chest of drawers is perfect in a bedroom or a play room, and each letter, patterned after vintage printing blocks, has its own drawer. The design house, which currently has a shop in Whitstable Harbour, Kent, prides itself on custom-ordered work and their ability to do ethical business.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Favorite Films of All Time: Barfly

One of my favorite films of all time - Barfly - remains out of print on DVD. What a joke.

It features Mickey Rourke in his career defining performance as writer Charles Bukowski (or Henry Chinaski as he's known here). An incredibly quotable film, Barfly made a huge impact on me when I was 16 or 17. I was reading alot of Bukowski at the time - I had found Women in a used bookstore and it really blew me away. So it was around this time that I discovered Barfly.

Barfly had been a part of that whole Bukowski/Tom Waits thing that my buddy Seth's older brother Tavis had been a part of. A whole lexicon of terminology and phrasing (tipping, etc) that I was unfamiliar with. Barfly quotes became currency - I once had a 6 hour talk with my friend Tim Braun which consisted almost entirely of direct quotations from the film. When I think about Barfly, I get nostalgic - it reminds me of late, late nights in Old Town Saginaw, the place of my birth.

Anyway, this whole post was spurred by the always excellent Sheila Variations. She has written an excellent treatise on Barfly that really says it all. Read it here. And rent Barfly on iTunes, the only place you can do so. A lost classic.

"This is a world where everybody's gotta do something. Somebody laid down this rule that everybody's gotta do something. They gotta be something. A dentist, a glider pilot, a Narc, a janitor, a preacher, all that. Sometimes I just get tired of thinking of all the things I don't want to do, all the things I don't want to be, all the places I don't want to go, like India, get my teeth cleaned, save the whale, I don't understand that." - Henry Chinaski, Barfly