Saturday, December 17, 2011

Portrait of of a Bookstore as an Old Man

George Whitman (December 12, 1913 – December 14, 2011) was the proprietor of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. He was a contemporary of such Beat poets as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Whitman was born in East Orange, New Jersey, United States, and while he was still an infant the family moved to Salem, Massachusetts. In 2006 Whitman was awarded the "Officier des Arts et Lettres" medal by the French government for his contribution to the arts over the previous fifty years.

George died last Wednesday. I met George in his bookshop in 2007. RIP George.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) is a documentary film that explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, a linguist, intellectual, and political activist. Created by two Canadian filmmakers, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick, it expands on the ideas of Chomsky's earlier book, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, which he co-wrote with Edward S. Herman. The film presents and illustrates Chomsky's and Herman's thesis that corporate media, as profit-driven institutions, tend to serve and further the agendas of the interests of dominant, elite groups in the society. A centerpiece of the film is a long examination of the history of The New York Times' coverage of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, which Chomsky says exemplifies the media's unwillingness to criticize an ally of the elite. Until the release of The Corporation (2003), made by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan, it was the most successful feature documentary in Canadian history, played theatrically in over 300 cities around the world; won 22 awards; appeared in more than 50 international film festivals; and was broadcast in over 30 markets. It has also been translated into a dozen languages. Chomsky's response to the film was mixed; in a published conversation with Achbar and several activists, he stated that film simply doesn't communicate his message, leading people to believe that he is the leader of some movement that they should join. In the same conversation, he criticizes The New York Times review of the film, which mistakes his message for being a call for voter organizing rather than media critique.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Velvet Underground - Under Review [Full DVD]

The Velvet Underground Under Review is a 75 minute film reviewing the music and career of one of rock musics most influential collectives, a band which esteemed music journalist Lester Bangs claims started modern music. It features rare musical performances never available before as well as obscure footage, rare interviews and private photographs of and with Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Sterling Morrison and John Cale. The film also features rarely seen promo films, material from Andy Warhols private film collection, interviews with colleagues, producers, musicians and friends, TV clips, location shots and a host of other features.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Growing Up In America: Breathing Together, Revolution of the Electric Family"

Morley Markson's 1986 documentary, "Growing Up In America" (or, to give it its full title, "Growing Up In America: Breathing Together, Revolution of the Electric Family"), a '60's profile, featuring interviews with Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, John Sinclair, Fred Hampton, Deborah Johnson, (Akua Njeri), Don Cox, William Kunstler, Timothy Leary - and Allen Ginsberg.

The film begins with him reading from the "Moloch" section of "Howl", but then turns first to Jerry Rubin. The actual Ginsberg chapter (the film is episodic and arranged in chapters) comes on just about an hour in, and lasts for approximately ten minutes.

A brief transcription
AG: “But the problem is, I don’t think they’ve yet been hit by the ecological catastrophe that they have caused (the establishment, that is). ‘Because the whole point is that, karma, the old Indian word, meaning, like, cause and effect , you know - if you eat meat, you turn into.. a meat-eating.. piece of meat! - karma, cause and effect, is the same thing as ecology, in the sense that ecology is the inter-relation of cause and effect, of who eats what and what does what to who and the environment, so that the pollution of the environment that we’re beginning to notice now is the same thing as the pollution of our own moral consciousness, or the pollution of our own human feelings and emotions, the pollution of our own sensitivity, or the pollution of our own consciousness itself…and that it was consuming and shitting up the environment, all put together, making up a kind of matter habit. In other words, America, shooting a lot of gasoline, a lot of electricity, a lot of plastic, into its blood-stream, and dependent for maintenance of the large cities and the courts of justice, and the police, and television, and even the radical movement, dependent on shooting up all that matter - like matter-junkies. It puts the United States in a very weird karmaic position, or very weird ecological position, that, in order to maintain the present standard of living, and maintain the American way, we’re, literally, going to destroy the planet, (which will destroy the American way anyway).”
(Chanting of OM (the younger bearded Allen)

AH (the older Allen in suit and tie) )

“I must apologize for being mistaken in those days (that) I had the wrong mantra all along. My guru, Chogyam Trungpa, a Tibetan lama, had suggested I try a different one, more American, the same one you hear on July the 4th when the fireworks go up in the air which is…AH - which is appreciation of the spaciousness around us”.

“Chanting OM so aggressively didn’t intrigue people to enter that space (it probably just simply mystified them). I didn’t know enough then to send out a calmer vibe, a more thoughtful vibe, and a more sensitive vibe. I wish I’d been more sensitive then, and I wish I’d been kinder to myself actually, less outraged with myself, less guilty, carrying less white guilt, as everybody did, and trust, I wish I had trusted my instincts more freely as I do now, which were instincts of generosity rather than paranoia.”

(Allen at the harmonium singing from William Blake’s “The Grey Monk” and – OM)
soundtrack – “born in this world..” Gospel Noble Truths - footage from Allen’s window on New York's East 12th Street – followed by cut to him indoors, showing off some photographs:
“I had tea every morning almost a decade looking out of my kitchen window before I realized it was my world view August 18th 1984”

Harry Smith - Archivist Anthropologist, Filmmaker and Hermetic Alchemist - his last week at the Breslin, Manhattan, Jan 12 1985 transforming milk into milk.”

William Burroughs, the Sphinx himself! at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, the Egyptian section, I saw Bill as a sphinx in a sense, you know. A sort of a great mind but a mysterious intelligence so I.. when we went to the museum, I pulled out my Kodak and snapped him standing by the stone face.”

Jack Kerouac 1953 on the fire-escape of my apartment with a breakman’s rule book in his pocket, smoking a cigarette, the clothes lines behind him.”

“1964 Handsome Neal (Cassady) in good physique, and Timothy Leary, laughing, in the very psychedelic bus that Ken Kesey drove (with Cassady as driver) across the United States . They arrived in New York, met Kerouac, and then I got on the bus and we went to Millbrook. So this is the meeting between Neal Cassady and Timothy Leary at Millbrook in Ken Kesey’s psychedelic bus.”
“So my interest actually is in sacred moments of character and since the people I hang around with have some awareness of the possibility of a sacramental society, tho’ these may not be the supreme exemplars of such, they certainly are people who had some spirit that helped change the United States and widen the consciousness of the country, and waken up generations around the world – so that’s a revolution – some sense of an open-ness, some sense of camaraderie, and adhesiveness, as Walt Whitman said.”

On the other hand, there might be the skeptic – Burroughs! – skeptical of all that adhesiveness. He’s not quite sure, it’s 1961..”

“think what you think” “die when you die” Allen concludes (outdoor footage) singing from his own “Gospel Noble Truths”.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Conversation with Ingmar Bergman (1971)

Cavett’s wide-ranging, 60 minute interview comes in six parts. Part 1 appears above. The remaining clips are here: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

Ernst Ingmar Bergman (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈɪŋmar ˈbærjman] ( listen); 14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. Described by Woody Allen as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera", he is recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential film directors of all time.

Friday, November 25, 2011

You See Me Laughin' (2002)

You See Me Laughin' is a personal journey into the lives and music of the last of the hill country bluesmen who've kept their music alive on the back porches and in the tiny juke joints of the Mississippi backwoods.

In 1991, Matthew Johnson was an on-and-off college student who in his spare time wrote record reviews for Living Blues magazine. Johnson liked the raw, primitive sound of rural Mississippi blues, but was disappointed that so little of it was being committed to record; after discovering a juke joint in Holly Springs, MS, where proprietor Junior Kimbrough and his friend R.L. Burnside played raucous, electrified country blues til the break of dawn, Johnson decided the music should be committed to tape. Using 400 dollars left over from a student loan, Johnson started Fat Possum Records, and began recording deep Southern blues artists such as Kimbrough, Burnside, T-Model Ford, Cedell Davis, and Johnny Farmer while struggling to bring their music to a broader audience, pay their artists and keep the business afloat. You See Me Laughin' is a documentary which offers a look at Johnson and partner Bruce Watson's ongoing mission to capture this music before it's too late, and more importantly profiles the musicians who record for his label, exploring the wild and often violent lives that inform their work and fuel their often wary relationship with Johnson and Watson. Featuring rare live footage of Burnside and Kimbrough on-stage, You See Me Laughin' was the first feature film from director Mandy Stein. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Fall - The Wonderful And Frightening World Of Mark E. Smith

A 1-hour Documentary looking at the Manchester post-punk group and its infamous leader Mark E Smith. The Film follows the current band recording their final Session for the John Peel Show (they were his favourite group and recorded more sessions than any other band) as well as chronicling the chaotic history of the band & its numerous line-up changes. Featuring John Peel, Stewart Lee, Marc 'Lard' Riley alongside The Fall.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sebastian Horsley on Dandyism

"It's just a joke, life,” Sebastian explains. “It's a whole joke. And given that life is absurd, given that it's pointless, given that it's meaningless; to mirror it with an absurdist dance is in many ways taking up a real position. Dandyism is a ghost dance in the face of defeat.” He grins. “That's a good sentence.”

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Andrei Tarkovsky - Nostalghia, Domenico's speech

Nostalghia (Russian: Ностальгия) is a 1983 Soviet film, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and starring Oleg Yankovsky, Domiziana Giordano and Erland Josephson. The plot of the film centers around the meaning of the term nostalgia, which describes a longing for the past, often in idealized form.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Capitalism Is The Crisis

Capitalism Is The Crisis: Radical Politics in the Age of Austerity examines the ideological roots of the "austerity" agenda and proposes revolutionary paths out of the current crisis. The film features original interviews with Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, Michael Hardt, Peter Gelderloos, Leo Panitch, David McNally, Richard J.F. Day, Imre Szeman, Wayne Price, and many more! The 2008 "financial crisis" in the United States was a systemic fraud in which the wealthy finance capitalists stole trillions of public dollars. No one was jailed for this crime, the largest theft of public money in history. Instead, the rich forced working people across the globe to pay for their "crisis" through punitive "austerity" programs that gutted public services and repealed workers' rights. Austerity was named "Word of the Year" for 2010. This documentary explains the nature of capitalist crisis, visits the protests against austerity measures, and recommends revolutionary paths for the future. Special attention is devoted to the crisis in Greece, the 2010 G20 Summit protest in Toronto, Canada, and the remarkable surge of solidarity in Madison, Wisconsin.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Marlon Brando Interview 1973

Brando on The Dick Cavett Show, June 12, 1973. With representatives of the Cheyenne, Pyramid Paiute and Lummi tribes.

Sacheen Littlefeather refusing to accept the Best Actor Oscar® on behalf of Marlon Brando for his performance in "The Godfather" - the 45th Annual Academy Awards® in 1973. Liv Ullmann and Roger Moore presented the award.

Friday, November 04, 2011

A Propos de Nice by Jean Vigo

À propos de Nice is a 1930 silent short documentary film directed by Jean Vigo and photographed by Boris Kaufman. The film depicts life in Nice, France by documenting the people in the city, their daily routines, a carnival and social inequalities. Vigo described the film in an address to the Groupement des Spectateurs d'Avant-Garde: "In this film, by showing certain basic aspects of a city, a way of life is put on trial... the last gasps of a society so lost in its escapism that it sickens you and makes you sympathetic to a revolutionary solution."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fursaxa - Live at Psychotropic Zone, Stella Star Club, Helsinki, 25.9.2004

Part 1

Part 2

"I still get nervous whenever I perform solo, so I think I am trying to get myself into a meditative state whenever I am on stage. And if it also has the same effect on the audience, than all the better. I think my live performances are much different than my recordings. That’s why I’ve released so many live CDRs over the years. It is difficult for me to be 4 people in 1, so I try and play 1 or 2 of the same instruments that I use in the recorded song, but not everything. Quite often when I practice I will try to play a recorded song and it sort of turns into something else. I guess what I am trying to say is that I start with a basic structure and make it more freeform, almost improvised." Tara Burke (Fursaxa) Entire interview here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rave New World (1994)

EQUINOX examines the rave experience from the technological point of view; the music, the lighting, the new video technology and the neuroscience of ecstasy, the drug that is an integral part of the rave scene. A technological view of the rave scene. Looks at American research on the longterm effects of ecstasy (MDMA) on the brain neurotransmitter serotonin. Dr Charles Grob of UCLA studies its use in therapy. Alexander Shulgin, the `father of ecstasy' creates psychoactive drugs in his garden-shed lab. Charts the evolution of rave and its technology. Moves from 3000 teenagers in an aircraft hangar in Kent, via an Orbital show in Amsterdam to 1000 techno-hippies in the Nevada desert. Examines the science and technology of the rave experience, considering the effects of the music, the lighting, new video technology and the neuroscience of the drug ecstasy. Features Dr. Charles Grob of UCLA, Alexander Shulgin, a pharmacologist, and ambient techno musicians the Future Sound of London.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Beat Generation

The “Beat Generation” is viewed as an influential cultural revolution or a literary movement that emerged in the late 1940’s in the aftermath of World War II. The Beat movement was made up of a broad geographical range, from New York City to San Francisco. At first the majority of the “beats” lived in Greenwich Village, New York. They usually hung out together in coffeehouses, jazz bars, and in Washington Square Park, sharing ideas, creating works of art -especially poetry, listening to music and having wild parties. The poetry and novels they wrote were always about their own life experiences and hence biographical. The autobiographical fiction novels of Jack Kerouac and his fellow Beat writers show that without a specific philosophy, the Beat Generation sought to redefine the American Dream and reject middle class values through the pursuit of kicks and escape from convention.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Banksy's Antics Roadshow

An hour-long special made by Banksy charting the history of behaving badly in public, from anarchists and activists to attention seeking eccentrics.
Contributors include Michael Fagan talking about breaking into the Queen's bedroom: 'I looked into her eyes, they were dark'; and Noel Godin, who pioneered attacking celebrities with custard pies: 'Instead of a bullet I give them a cake'.
Explaining his reasoning behind the show, Banksy said: 'Basically I just thought it was a good name for a TV programme and I've been working back from there'.
Narrated by Kathy Burke and produced by Jamie D'cruz, The Antics Roadshow examines the stories behind some of the most audacious stunts of recent times and what motivates the perpetrators, from mindless boredom to heartfelt political beliefs.
It includes a world exclusive first interview with the man responsible for putting the turf Mohican on Winston Churchill's head.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Brion Gysin - FlicKeR (2007)

Based on John Geiger's book Chapel of Extreme Experience, Nik Sheehan's FLicKeR is a fascinating voyage into the life of artist and mystic Brion Gysin and his legendary invention the dream machine, a device that projects stroboscopic light, provoking a "drugless high" and cinematic hallucinations. In this Hot Docs world premiere Sheehan captures the dynamic, supernatural world of Gysin, the queer cultural terrorist who fused science, magic and art to expand human consciousness and transcend material reality.

Gysin's biography is difficult to condense, but he grew up in Edmonton before reinventing himself as a bohemian globetrotter who went on to become the unacknowledged genius behind some of the most interesting developments in the 20th-century avant-garde. He died in 1986. Sheehan casts him as a radical artist intent on harnessing "the visionary potential of light" (as Geiger puts it) to revolutionary ends. Gysin was not a man but, like the machine, a way of perceiving the world Ñ pure energy. He even tried to make himself invisible.

"It's incredible that nobody's made this film before," says Sheehan, whose previous credits include God's Fool about writer Scott Symons and the groundbreaking AIDS documentary No Sad Songs. Queer heat

"I was surprised how anxious people were to open up and talk about Gysin because people have so many different views of him." What is so compelling about FLicKeR is that Gysin remains mysterious and ephemeral throughout, no amount of talking could ever explain him.

Sheehan's film is populated with a who's who of pundits, countercultural figures and Gysin confidantes, reminding you that rock 'n' roll has always gone hand in hand with the most out-there shit: Marianne Faithfull, Iggy Pop, Kenneth Anger and Genesis P-Orridge all wax poetic on Gysin, magic and their most memorable trips, as do younger devotees like Lee Ranaldo and DJ Spooky. How did Sheehan land all these stellar interviewees? "That's the magical question," quips Sheehan. "It's a very interesting group; they go back a long time. And because they're cult figures they've obviously built up all these defences. So it was a very complicated and long and dedicated effort to bring everybody online." QUEER TRUTH. Nik Sheehan's amazing doc FLicKeR on Canadian artist Brion Gyson argues that the Beats' struggle against conformity and authority must continue.

The film is also chock full of brilliant archival footage, particularly of Gysin, his art and his intensely fruitful and influential collaborations with William S Burroughs. We visit the "Beat Hotel" in Paris where these seditious kooks built a poor-man's lab to transform the world through all manner of strange experiments in perception. "That's one of the things about Gysin and Burroughs and these guys, it's this combination of the silly and the sublime," Sheehan says. "We have to remember how incredibly brave they were. They did not accept what society was offering Ñ it was all lies. And they were very moral, good people in their way. With Nazi Germany they saw what could happen to a government [if] we get a little too trusting.

"That element of rebellion has something really serious."

Sheehan feels Gysin's gayness was fundamental. "A shaman to me is always a pansexual being," says the gay Canadian filmmaker. "These guys all came out of that period where queer was really hardcore, it was part of their radical art Ñ and of course it was illegal."

Sheehan says his film "wasn't so much a biography of Gysin or a story of the dream machine as a story of the dream machine as a biography of Gysin Ñ the way the two fuse together. I think [the producers] were expecting it was just going to be this cute story about this spinning little machine, not these crazy queer mystics.

"The dream machine is [Gysin's] ultimate work, this end-of-art thing that went beyond something you made to something you created individually in your own head."

One challenge that Sheehan encountered was how to represent this internal, neurological phenomenon on screen, so there are many shots of people pressed up close to the device, eyes closed, narrating their experiences in ecstatic tones. It calls to mind Eric Emerson in Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls who just "groove[s] on myself" as coloured lights play over his body, a transcendence through narcissism. The dream machine isn't much to look at Ñ sort of like a twirling lampshade Ñ so you have to take people's word for it. But whether you can imagine what they are seeing or not, the ideas behind the machine are what matter.

"One of the things I really wanted to do is put things in the present tense, to give it some relevance," says Sheehan. "The idea of trying to build a machine to change your world, we're doing that all the time, aren't we?

"The Beats came to fruition in the late '50s in the Eisenhower years where the world was petrified by the bomb and conformity was everything. Well, where are we now? We live in this time when we have this rightwing American government, which has turned into a torture state. There are weird parallels. It was the old message: Don't trust the man, he doesn't always have your best interests at heart. And the dream machine is the perfect metaphor for this: Get rid of television, get rid of cinema, make your own inner movie, be your own person."

In its enthusiasm for this long-gone cultural moment and its most beguiling catalyst, FLicKeR has great poignancy. At one point P-Orridge suggests that the control that Gysin and his comrades were fighting against is now diffuse and all-pervasive, and that rather than deserving to be liberated by the ultimate mind trip, the inert public now "deserve to have their bottoms smacked."

(Jon Davies,

Saturday, October 01, 2011

George Steiner

Part One
Part Two

An interview with the literary critic and writer George Steiner on his life and work, made in 2007. For a higher quality (downloadable) version, and many video interviews of others, please see

Professor George Steiner was born in Paris on 23 April 1929. His family moved to the United States in 1940 and he was educated at the Universities of Paris, Chicago, Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. He was a member of the editorial staff at The Economist in London during the 1950s before beginning an academic career as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in 1956. He was appointed Gauss Lecturer at Princeton in 1959. He has been a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, since 1961 and was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva between 1974 and 1994.

Professor Steiner has held visiting professorships at Yale, New York University, the University of Geneva and Oxford University. He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary fellow of Balliol College Oxford, and has been awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by the French Government and the King Albert Medal by the Royal Belgian Academy. He received the Truman Capote Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature in 1998 and in the same year was elected Fellow of the British Academy. 

WikiLeaks Hasn't Gone Far Enough

Poor quaity cam recording of Julian Assange at the Sydney Festival of Dangerous Ideas Sep. 30 2011 giving the opening talk entitled "Wikileaks hasn't gone far enough" via live video feed from London. This transmission packed the largest space in the Sydney Opera House. 

Wikileaks is a leaking boat, filled with torpedo holes, that is struggling to stay afloat, founder Julian Assange says.

But the organisation has only just begun its work, the under-siege Australian has promised.
Assange, 40, who is currently on bail in Britain facing extradition to Sweden, appeared via videolink at the Sydney Opera House's annual Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Friday night.

"At the moment, WikiLeaks is a rather big boat with a lot of torpedo holes in it that has taken water in and is drifting along and we're doing our best to keep it afloat," Mr Assange said.

But despite this, the organisation had not yet gone nearly far enough, he said. "We have only just begun. We have put into that historic record less than one-thousandth of the series of information that is concealed that needs to be there," he said.

Assange reflected on how 310 days ago he was in Wandsworth Prison in London and the Australian government was doing "everything in their power to see me...shipped off to the United States".
"And that swift reaction from the Australian government was only stopped by the Australian population and our friends in Australia," he said.
"It was an expression of democratic discipline."

Assange is awaiting a decision by Britain's High Court of Appeal as to whether he will be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault and rape against two women.
Wikileaks came under criticism earlier this month after it posted its entire archive of US State Department cables on its website, making potentially sensitive diplomatic sources available to anyone.

Mr Assange has blamed the Guardian newspaper for the leak, saying the newspaper's negligence in publishing an encryption key to uncensored files forced his organisation's hand in publishing the secret US diplomatic memos.
"Who is the biggest critic of all of this, who has been creating three articles a day for the past four weeks on this? The Guardian, the very newspaper that disclosed the password, that is trying to save its a**e from criticism," he said.

Assange's other former media partner, The New York Times, was also trying to distance itself from WikiLeaks to "save its own a**es", he said.
The leak of 251,287 cables was "the greatest intellectual political treasury that has ever been put into the historic records of modern times", Assange said.
"It can't be called a dump -- dump is what you do to garbage," he said.
"This is a treasure."

Wikileaks is also under severe pressure from a credit card ban on donations to the site undertaken by Visa, Mastercard and Paypal, among others.
"That has wiped out 95 per cent of our revenue. Over $US20 million ($A20.53 million) has been destroyed as a result of that completely political blockade," Mr Assange said.
"In your wallet is an instrument of unstated US foreign policy and it's affecting your actions right now," he said.

Assange said he has accepted Wikileaks may not survive as an organisation.
"(But) even if WikiLeaks is destroyed, other people have been inspired by our work and they will continue to carry the flame."

Friday, September 30, 2011

American Juggalo

American Juggalo

Earlier this week, Brooklyn-based filmmaker Sean Dunne released American Juggalo, a documentary that examines the subculture surrounding Detroit horrorcore rappers Insane Clown Posse and the group’s Psychopathic Records roster. As Dunne explains in his synopsis for the film: “American Juggalo is a look at the often mocked and misunderstood subculture of Juggalos, hardcore Insane Clown Posse fans who meet once a year for four days at The Gathering of the Juggalos.”
The subject matter Dunne set out to document is by no means new ground. Many journalists and filmmakers before him have been equally curious about the world of Juggalos (for better or worse). So curious, in fact, that fascination with ICP’s clown-faced minions has spurred what seems to be a new beat: Juggalo journalism.

Last year, for example, Village Voice staff writer Camille Dodero wrote an in-depth piece titled “Live from the Insane Clown Posse’s Gathering of the Juggalos,” in which she shelved the snark normally associated with any talk of Juggalos and provided a sober (and at times frightening) report on the subculture and “The Gathering”:

For 96 hours in mid-August, Psychopathic Records transforms HogRock Campgrounds into a shantytown psycho-porn amusement park. The privately owned property spreads across 115 acres of Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, an Ohio River–traced village that “has a history of violence as long as your tattooed arm!” and a tradition of sheltering “river pirates, smugglers, counterfeiters, ghosts, and some of the nation’s first serial killers!” (Both are blurbs, now deleted, from the “Site Attractions” page of the official Gathering website.)
Forbes Magazine

Aphex Twin Full 90's MTV Interview

Lost of tunes too.....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Guy Debord calls the Apple Store

"The satisfaction that the commodity in its abundance can no longer supply by virtue of  its use value is now sought in an acknowledgment of its value qua commodity. A use of   the commodity arises that is sufficient unto itself; what this means for the consumer is an outpouring of religious zeal in honor of   the commodity's sovereign freedom. Waves   of enthusiasm for particular   products, fueled and boosted by the   communications media, are propagated with lightning speed. A film sparks   a fashion craze, or a magazine launches a chain of clubs that in turn spins off a line of products. The sheer fad item perfectly expresses the fact that, as the mass of commodities becomes more an more absurd, absurdity becomes a commodity in its own right." 

Audio comes from Audio Anarchy

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Man Ray - Emak-Bakia (1926)

In Emak Bakia, the mischievous dadaist and surrealist Man Ray pioneered the technique of cameraless filmmaking, exposing lengths of film to light after sprinkling them with pins, grains of salt and other common objects. In its playful use of disparate materials -- animation, non-objective shapes, rayograms, unfocused and optically fragmented images -- Emak Bakia remains fresh and inspiring nearly 80 years after it was made. Man Ray said he made this one in strict conformity with Surrealist principles. It opens with a series of apparently unrelated shots: grain on film; flowers moving; drawing pins in negative: points of light - out of focus -which order themselves into lines; a signwriter spelling out incomplete sentences; a prism. reflecting bars of light, rotating at different speeds; car headlights, with a huge single eye superimposed over the radiator between them; it blinks; and so on. As the film progresses the car theme becomes dominant: the driver wearing goggles (which mimic the car's headlights). There follow a series of conventional shots of the car driving down an avenue, intercut with close-ups of sheep (in complete tonal contrast). The car stops -a woman's legs are seen getting out -the shot is repeated three times, the fourth time it fades and is replaced by a stepped superimposition of all four shots, one following closely on the other. Individual images are striking for their humour and originality, but Ray still apparently felt it necessary to impose a conventionally readable theme -the car ride -to hold the film together.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rebellion in Tottenham 2011

The police murder an innocent man, then let Tottenham burn. The real story, told by local people who were there.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Can Documentary (Deutsch)

Can was an experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany in 1968. Later labeled as one of the first "krautrock" groups, they transcended mainstream influences and incorporated strong minimalist and world music elements into their often psychedelic music. Can constructed their music largely through collective spontaneous composition –– which the band differentiated from improvisation in the jazz sense –– sampling themselves in the studio and editing down the results; bassist/chief engineer Holger Czukay referred to Can's live and studio performances as "instant compositions". They had occasional commercial success, with singles such as "Spoon" and "I Want More" reaching national singles charts. Through albums such as Monster Movie (1969), Tago Mago (1971), Ege Bamyasi (1972) and Future Days (1973), the band exerted a considerable influence on avant-garde, experimental, underground, ambient, punk, post-punk, new wave and electronic music.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sita Sings the Blues

"Sita Sings the Blues" is based on the Hindu epic "The Ramayana". Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina Paley is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Ramayana. Set to the 1920's jazz vocals of torch singer Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as "the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told." It is written, directed, produced and animated by American artist Nina Paley. "Sita Sings the Blues" was released in 2008 only after long negotiations with the copyright holders of the 80-year-old songs recorded by Annette Hanshaw. Following the experience of almost having her film blocked from distribution, Nina Paley released it freely under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, and now devotes a significant portion of her time to free culture activism. She is Artist in Residence at the non-profit If you'd like to help pay off the $50,000.00 loan she took out to pay the music monopoly fee, you can donate to the Sita Distribution Project (tax-deductible in the US) at . Donations to that project go exclusively to that purpose and other expenses Nina incurred in releasing the film. You can also purchase DVDs, prints, shirts, and other Sita-related merchandise at ; revenue is shared with Nina Paley. For more about the film and about Nina Paley's other work, see .

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This is Thug, Black Eye record launch, Piccadilly Hotel, Kings Cross, Sydney, June 2nd 1987. Thug consisted of Tex (Greg) Perkins (Beasts of Bourbon) Lachlan McLeod (Salamander Jim) & Peter Read (Leather Moustache). Prior to becoming a live act, THUG were initially a home recording project using electronic gear gleaned from Peter Read’s flat mate (who had amassed a collection of gismos). Thug was also a dramatic career change for Perkins who had previously been known as the front man for grunge pioneers The Beasts of Bourbon & swamp-tinged Salamander Jim. In comparison, Thug was confrontational, experimental, electronically-charged; whose live act upon being translated to the stage could be easily deemed pre-multimedia with an assortment of theatrics, improvisation, dancers and super 8/video loops. The finale of these shows resembled a contact sport involving all participants mock brawling and piling on top of each other. I was a fan but never saw them play, being 18 and living in Queensland at the time. Thug put the art into pub rock in Australia.

Other times the audience would get involved or get some special attention themselves. Like the gig when THUG showered an entire audience in flour when the act played a Goth club (a venue Thug were never booked at again). Thug’s debut was the ‘Dad / Thug’ 7” (also referred to as ‘Fuck Your Dad’ BLACK4) which would go onto cement Black Eye as the most demented Australian label, period. It also featured a gimmicky campaign reminiscent of Stiff Records6.

Fighting was Thug's bag, the obligatory end-of-show rumble becoming the spirited finale of every performance in the band's short life between 1986-88. On one occasion at The Site in Victoria Street, Kings Cross, Tex Perkins (for the singer was he) announced that he and Thug were getting tired of the barney at the end of every show and demanded that “you kids down the front” take over the duty and “fight amongst yourselves this time”. Which they did, even Tex watching on in astonishment at the low-level bloodbath he'd so easily orchestrated. And it was the toe-tapping Sneaky Leather Man that invariably saw some strange fellow in leather take the stage for no responsible reason, leaving at song's end having achieved very little.

"..I ran into (Tex) Perkins just on the street one day. We hadn’t seen each other for like six or eight months, and in that time he had relocated to the Gunnery. Well, he said he was involved in doing this thing; he was at a loss to describe it. He was referring to THUG amongst other things so I rolled long to the Piccadilly Hotel with a couple of friends and, nothing could prepare us for what we saw. I think THUG was on stage and off in about eighteen minutes it was just like amazing. Only visual footage and some strong photographs can really totally capture what THUG were about. And also on the same night I think it might have been Lubricated Goat and might’ve been No More Bandicoots or something like that too. But it was quite clear this was something different and it wasn’t called Black Eye at that point, I don’t know when we decided to call it Black Eye; we knew that somehow it has to be documented and well, vinyl records were the medium of the day. Rather than video footage. yep we started a label, it was the basket case son of Red Eye…” - JOHN FOY 2003
For more on an amazing time for music in Sydney here (includes 18 tracks of crackling madness and lots of links)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Animals and Humanity

The video shows a group of 38 chimps that had spent 30 years inside testing facilities in Austria being released into a safari park. After spending decades undergoing medical tests, including being injected with HIV and hepatitis, their amazement at finally being free is clear. The footage shows two adult chimps gazing out of their enclosure at the outside world. After taking a few steps, one chimp turns back, hugging another chimp and squealing with excitement. Clearly overjoyed, the animals almost appear to laugh.

"I refuse to eat animals because I cannot nourish myself by the sufferings and by the death of other creatures. I refuse to do so, because I suffered so painfully myself that I can feel the pains of others by recalling my own sufferings.I feel happy, nobody persecutes me; why should I persecute other beings or cause them to be persecuted? I feel happy, I am no prisoner, I am free; why should I cause other creatures to be made prisoners and thrown into jail? I feel happy, nobody harms me; why should I harm other creatures or have them harmed? I feel happy, nobody wounds me; nobody kills me; why should I wound or kill other creatures or cause them to be wounded or killed for my pleasure and convenience?(...) I think that men will be killed and tortured as long as animals are killed and tortured. So long there will be wars too. Because killing must be trained and perfected on smaller objects, morally and technically." Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz Animals, My Brethren (written in the Concentration Camp Dachau, in the midst of all kinds of cruelties)

Wholly Communion (1965)

Peter Whitehead's first independently produced film, won the Gold Medal at the prestigious Mannheim Documentary Film Festival 1966, and was shown at Film Festivals round the world. It was England's first cinema-verite documentary film - filmed with a silent Eclair camera - 'one of the audience' - at the legendary, spontaneous International Poetry Incarnation at the Albert Hall, London, 11th June 1965 - 7000 people unexpectedly filled the hall to listen to Beat poets from America - making the event into the first major "Happening" , putting the underground and counter-culture firmly into the public eye - not letting it blink too often since. Allen Ginsberg, travelling pal of Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, this time fresh back from Prague where he had been crowned "King of the May", started the proceedings by singing a Hindu mantra, accompanying himself with finger cymbals. Lawrence Ferlinghetti launched into a poem - "To Fuck is to Love Again" - and the evening - and England - was never the same again. Alexander Trocchi kept the police at bay and the events rolling. Gregory Corso read his poem "Mutation of the Spirit". Ernst Jandl read Sound Poems in German. English poets Michael Horovitz and Christopher Logue read calmly, but Harry Fainlight, reading a poem written on LSD, "The Spider" was interrupted by Dutch poet Simon Vinkenoog, high on mescalin, shouting out "Come man come" and Harry's attempts to carry on and read more and more poems are some of the highlights of the film. Not so much about poetry - but poets exposing themselves, reading to a public which can be sometimes hostile. Adrian Mitchell's poem "To Whom it May Concern" - a savage diatribe about the Vietnam War - brought the house down. Allen Ginsberg read a poem written by the Russian poet Andrei Vosnesensky - "New York Bird" - he was present but not allowed to read by his Embassy. Allen brought the evening to a close with a reading of two long poems - "The Change" and "Who be Kind To" - in which he wrote "Tonite let's all make love in London". While he was reading, a young girl danced - in a haze of pot smoke - oblivious of time and space and people - following the rhythm of the poetry as if it was music.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Beat Hotel

Documentary made by Richard Cremon on the residence of the mythical "Beat Generation" (Burroughs, Corso, Ginsberg, Orloswky) in Paris at 9 rue Git-le-Coeur-the "Beat Hotel", narrated by Bryon Gtsin, British director that all 'inside of the "Beat" carried out the experimental film "The Ups Cuts", was the' last tenant to leave the squalid hovel.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Inside Lou Reed's Amp 1969

The Velvet Underground played Boston on March, 15 1969 at famed music venue The Boston Tea Party. Someone put a microphone inside Lou Reed’s amplifier and the result is pretty magnificent. Bootlegged as The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes (Free Download), the recordings are formidable in their unadulterated rock and roll fire and fury and a revelation for anyone who hasn’t paid close attention to Reed’s dynamic guitar playing.

"But The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes makes little justice to the Velvet as a group, it was made by putting a recording device inside Lou´s amp, so what we got basically here is the sound of Lou´s incendiary leads, accompanied backed very far by the rest of the group, don´t dismay, as the songs sound just as you know them, except vocals and certain details are left behind (you can use it as the VU´s karaoke-tape), here you have the unique chance to listen to a guitar player who stood ahead of his time, who applied free jazz improvisational techniques on a rock format, a player who wasn’t afraid of going all the way and applied Ornette Coleman harmolodics to his guitar technique." Julian Cope

Let the Be Light by John Huston (1946)

Let There Be Light is a 1946 American documentary film directed by John Huston. The film, commissioned by the United States Army Signal Corps, was the final entry in a John Huston trilogy of films produced at the request of the U.S. Government. This documentary film follows 75 U.S. soldiers who have sustained debilitating emotional trauma and depression. A series of scenes chronicle their entry into a psychiatric hospital, their treatment and eventual recovery. Some of the treatments involved then-new drugs and hypnosis, and the impression was given of miraculous cures, though the narration says that there will be continuing psychiatric care. Much of the filming was done at Edgewood State Hospital, Deer Park, Long Island, New York which between 1944 and 1946 was part of Mason General Hospital, a psychiatric hospital run by the United States War Department named for an Army doctor and general, . The film was controversial in its portrayal of shell-shocked soldiers from the war. "Twenty percent of our army casualties", the narrator says, "suffered psychoneurotic symptoms: a sense of impending disaster, hopelessness, fear, and isolation." Apparently due to the potentially demoralizing effects the film might have on recruitment, it was subsequently banned by the Army after its production, although some pirated copies had been made. Military police once confiscated a print Huston was about to show friends at the Museum of Modern Art. The Army claimed it invaded the privacy of the soldiers involved, and the releases Huston had obtained were lost; the War Department refused to get new ones. The release in the 1980s by Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander, Jr. was attributed to his friend Jack Valenti who worked to get the ban lifted. The United States Archives now sells and rents copies of the film, and as a government work it is freely copied. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. In 2010, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"

Punk in London (1977)

Special edition of the 1978 acclaimed feature length music documentary featuring incredible live performances from The Clash, X-Ray Spex, The Jam, Boomtown Rats, The Adverts, The Lurkers and many more! This acclaimed feature length music documentary comes to special edition DVD featuring incredible live performances from: The Clash, X-Ray Spex, The Jam, Boomtown Rats, The Adverts, The Lurkers and many more! Digitally remastered to the highest standard from the original 1978 negatives by BBC Post Production, this access-all-areas documentary really captures the punk phenomenon in all its raw power and energy. Featuring early live performances from The Clash, X-Ray Spex, The Jam, The Adverts and interviews with those who strived for anarchy in the UK, Punk in London is a unique and powerful record of punk life as it really happened in the late 1970's. Filled with stunning live performance and insightful interviews, this remastered DVD-9 release features incredible picture and sound clarity along with previously unseen bonus footage of The Clash in Munich. Also included is with a retrospective interview with director, Wolfgang Buld and trailers for other Odeon documentaries.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Clash: Westway to the World

This documentary combines recent interviews and old footage to provide a comprehensive view of The Clash, one of the world's most influential rock bands. Footage from old club shows and stadium concerts is intercut with interviews with band members Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon, and Joe Strummer. The Clash began as rebellious punks eager to combine their influences: Simonon leaned towards reggae, and Jones leaned toward harder-edged British rock, while Strummer favored American R&B. Despite various fights and conflicts, The Clash emerged as "the only band that mattered," a punk rock band which ventured beyond punk to create a unique and unforgettable sound. WESTWAY TO THE WORLD documents their beginnings, their rise to stardom, and their collapse.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fela Kuti Glastonbury 1984 full show

Confusion break bones He orchestrates with his body and being, moving about the stage setting the rhythm and then bringing the thing to life the mass of musicians dancers and audience once it is up and on the rails set by the steady rolling beat it becomes chant and returns swaying preaching gyrations and visitations as Fela strides from microphone to keyboards to drums directing all the time the wall of musicians and dancers flanking Him driving them harder with clenched fists and twisting body the whole thing opens like some bright flower the round returns voices blend into one another riding the spine of the rise and fall one half hour into the whole the first song ends and then comes a description of His love for the vernacular "No coloureds No dogs" he reminisces He is a teacher the english and their democracy and His demo-crazy the demonstration begins again now stripped down ringed and painted teacher don't teach me nonsense He sets the pace with His hard hand cigarette magic like smoke from the keyboard now the dance begins proper fire light and plaited horns blow and we rise to the richest poor in the world while another steps forward from the flow and gives a solo that parts the wash like Moses at the sea sound is the treasure here the whole brass wave breaks over us there are few black faces in the crowd He knows he is the core here and Femi bows to the future trance birds launch themselves from the stage out over the darkness of a night that does not exist lighting the way jewels in the velvet spectacle of sound they hold as a solid mass one with the work of the Master lightning man a hand waves brings the whole to a lull a slow deep roll where words become stepping stones for the mind rounds bend from front round the world Iran Jordan Vietnam New York Spain and back again Nigeria pearl of Africa bleeding like a car dragged corpse on the road side still spitting the name of her murderer poor man he cry rich man he miss I beg everyone to join my song the piano becomes a rhythm instrument now it is but song and beats dancers rush and performs the books the bars to a world they are trapped by and in the circle of knowledge that came with everything they now claim in play like water through the hand a small light makes a grain of sand seem like a diamond it closes over in blur as they leave the stage.

1991 The Year Punk Broke

1991 The Year Punk Broke documents a turning point. Following the 1991 tour of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Babes in Toyland, Gumball, Dinosaur Jr., and The Ramones. Also featured in the film are Mark Arm, Dan Peters and Matt Lukin of Mudhoney, Courtney Love of Hole, and roadie Joe Cole, who was murdered in a robbery three months after the tour ended. The film is dedicated to him.

The divine Kim Gordon, of Sonic Youth, object of youthful adoration when I was a punker.

The Young Ones

The Young Ones S1E3 - Boring

All over the northern hemisphere young people are going off to university. They set up share houses and begin the climb; out of bed and into the machinery of life. Boring.

Monday, August 29, 2011

BBC Arena - T.S. Eliot

For the first time on television, Arena tells the whole story of the life and work of TS Eliot including the happiness he found in the last years of life in his second marriage. His widow Valerie Eliot has opened her personal archive, hitherto unseen, including the private scrapbooks and albums in which Eliot assiduously recorded their life together.

Arena brings an unprecedented insight into the mysterious life of one of the 20th century's greatest poets, and re-examines his extraordinary work and its startling immediacy in the world today. Thomas Stearns Eliot materialises as banker, critic, playwright, children's writer, churchwarden, publisher, husband and poet.

Contributors include Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, Lady Spender, Jeanette Winterson, Christopher Ricks and Andrew Lloyd-Webber.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

RABINDRANATH TAGORE (1961,Documentary) - by Satyajit Ray

Rabindranath Tagore
Script. commentary & Direction: Satyajit Ray
1961, India. Documentary, 54 min, B/W
Producer: Films Division, Govt. of India

Cinematography: Soumendu Roy
Editing: Dulal Dutta
Art Direction: Bansi Chandragupta
Music: Jyotirindra Moitra

Raya Chatterjee, Sovanlal Ganguli, Smaran Ghosal, Purnendu Mukherjee, Kallol Bose, Subir Bose, Phani Nan, Norman Ellis

The documentary details the life and work of the celebrated Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West." Rabindranath Tagore was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, born in Calcutta. He was educated at home. At seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, which he did not complete. Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 1915, but within a few years he resigned the honor as a protest against British policies in India.

The documentary was made to celebrate Tagore's birth centenary in May 1961. Ray was conscious that he was making an official portrait of India's celebrated poet and hence the film does not include any controversial aspects of Tagore's life. However, it is far from being a propaganda film.

The film comprises dramatized episodes from the poet's life and archived images and documents.

The dramatized sequences of boy Rabi (Rabindranath Tagore) and young Tagore in his twenties are moving and lyrical. Ray has been reported to have said, "Ten or twelve minutes of it are among the most moving and powerful things that I have produced".

Awards * President's Gold Medal, New Delhi, 1961 * Golden Seal, Locarno, 1961 * Special Mention, Montevideo, 1962

Meeting a Milestone (Sangemeel Se Mulaqat) - Goutam Ghose (1989)

The film captures the magic of Bismillah Khan's music: the Shehnai, and Bismillah Khan, the man his hometown, Benaras. We learn how Bismillah Khan, the phenomenon, gradually evolved from a 14-year-old boy accompanying his Mamu (uncle) and guru Nabi Baksh Khan at a concert in Allahabad to become, in course of time, one of India's all time greats. Through discussion, Bismillah Khan's music, singing and stunning visuals of his beloved Banaras, we realize that his main belief is that music is the supreme form of living; his abiding philosophical concern for the "Truth", his deep rooted religious convictions and his unshakable faith in the Supernatural. Through various gripping incidents and anecdotes, we go through the evolution of the Shehnai in Indian life and how Benaras is an integral part of his life and sensibility. For all lovers of Indian Music, Bismillah Khan and the Shehnai are one. It is truly meeting a milestone, for he occupies a unique place on the endless road of music.

Director/Camera : Goutam Ghose
Cast : Ustad Bismillah Khan and Party
Produced by : NFDC

1989/ 90 Mins/ Urdu-Hindi/ Documentary

Festival Participation / Awards: Cairo International Film Festival Egypt, 1991/ Rotterdam Film Festival, Netherlands, 1991 / North South Media Meetings, Geneva, 1991

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bikini Kill

A recent Kathleen Hanna interview from GritTV

In 1997 I had just come back from 7 months in Asia living like a Sadhu. Bikini Kill were playing at the Manning Bar at Sydney Uni. I climbed the two story drain pipe to get in for free. I saw them, it was great. Ahhh Youth, where are you today?

Bikini Kill "Suck My Left One"

Bikini Kill was an American punk rock band. Formed in Olympia, Washington, in October 1990, the group consisted of vocalist and songwriter Kathleen Hanna, guitarist Billy Karren, bassist Kathi Wilcox, and drummer Tobi Vail. The band is widely considered to be the pioneer of the riot grrrl movement, and was notorious for its radical feminist lyrics and fiery performances. Their music was characteristically abrasive and hardcore-influenced.

While occasionally collaborating with high-profile acts such as Nirvana and Joan Jett, Bikini Kill was well-known for shunning major labels and the mainstream rock press. After two full-length albums, several EPs and two compilations, the band disbanded in 1998.

Friday, August 19, 2011

People Who Do Noise

People Who Do Noise is a film about the experimental music of Portland, Oregon. Extensive interviews and intimate performance footage provide an intense portrait of the motivations, emotions, and ideas that go into this uncompromising, sometimes brutal musical form. Unwavering in its focus, the film brings to light an art form unfathomable to many, with only the words of the musicians themselves providing any explanation for the pulsating sonic chaos they create.
most inaccessible of genres.

Featuring performance footage and interviews with :
Daniel Menche
Pulse Emitter
Yellow Swans
Honed Bastion
Oscillating Innards
GOD (bryan eubanks and leif sundstrom)
Kitty Midwife
Josh Hydeman
Soup Purse
Sisprum Vish
With Caro

Such Hawks Such Hounds: Scenes from the American Hard Rock Underground (Full Documentary)

Such Hawks Such Hounds explores the music and musicians of the American hard rock underground circa 1970-2007, focusing on the psychedelic and '70s proto-metal-derived styles that have in recent years formed a rich body of unclassifiable sounds.

This is a great documentary film by John Srebalus about heavy music of USA. Music , interviews, live and some of the heavy metal, stoner, doom and drone legends from 1970 till now. More than one hour of great music, historic point of views, attitude and great people.

Features Mario Lalli, Eddie Glass, Tom Davies, Greg Anderson, Stephen McCarthy , Geof O'Keefe, Al Cisneros, Chris Hakius, Lori S., Joey Osbourne, Mark Arm, Isaiah Mitchell, Scott Wino Weinrich, Mario Rubalcaba, Mike Eginton, Joe Preston, Scott Reeder, Tony Tornay, Larry Lalli, Brant Bjork, Matt Pike, Ethan Miller, Noel Von Harmonson, Ian Christe, Joe Carducci, Tony Presedo, Laurel Stearns, Chris Kosnik, Bob Pantella, Finn Ryan, Michael Gibbons, Jenny McGee, Billy Anderson, Arik Roper, Randy Huth, Josh Martin, Jason Simon, Steve Kille, Nicky Emmert, Stephen O'Malley, John Gibbons, Isobel Sollenberger

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

LSD: The Beyond Within (1986)

LSD/ЛСД - Многомерная реальность from gps on Vimeo.

This refreshingly frank and impartial study of the discovery and development of the notorious hallucinogenic drug is notably free of moral judgmental, and features contributions from such legendary heroes of psychedelia as Albert Hoffman - the Swiss scientist who discovered the drug - Aldous Huxley - author of 'The Doors of Perception' - Ken Kesey - author of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

San Francisco 1968 (Music by Pink Floyd)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vertige (1969)

Director: Jean Beaudin
Year: 1969
Time: 41 mins
Music: Serge Garant

Many films were produced in the 60s, both emic and etic, documenting the violent and sometimes silly ideological revolutions that swept Western middle-class youngsters of the time, producing a fascinating an apparently endless vault of cinematic experimentation and increasingly conventional audiovisual tropes. Far more interesting, for instance, than The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda, is Jean Beaudin's debut work Vertige. Though its point is somewhat vague, it is both visually and sonically one of the most compelling exercises in the tradition of lysergic films of the 60s. Sympathetic but subtly critical, Vertige presents itself as a psychological portrait of the escape and/or contestation tactics of the decade's youth: while war, violence, famine and poverty continue to devastate the planet, these youngsters seek refuge in the hedonistic haven of sexual liberation, lysergic research and communal fictions. Richly textured visuals and bold scenic montage are some of the key elements in Vertige, but it is Serge Garant's fine contemporary soundtrack, and its intimate rapport with the scenic rhythms, that catapult the film beyond the conventions of psychedelic cinema. Famed as a pioneer of contemporary music in Canada, Garant provides am eclectic score that ranges from atonal symphonic exercises to psych-rock, concrète and electroacoustic soundscapes. Such diverse approaches, and their powerful connections with the screen, give Vertige a highly nuanced and refined cadence, and render it one of the finest and most compelling examples of the genre. -- Eye of Sound

Alex Trocchi: A Life in Pieces

This biography attempts to portray the many sides to Alexander Trocchi's personality through the words and memories of some of those who interacted with Trocchi during his lifetime. Contributors range from Patti Smith to Edwin Morgan, William Burroughs to Irvine Welsh, Leonard Cohen to Terry Southern, Jane Lougee Bryant to Allen Ginsberg, Ned Polsky to Marianne Faithful, Greil Marcus to Kit Lambert. Combined with these pieces are extracts taken from key essays by the man himself, including "Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds" and "Cain's Film" and previously unpublished interviews. Born in Glasgow in 1925, Alexander Trocchi had by the time of his death in 1984, cut a colourful swathe through many of the important post-war cultural movements both in Europe and America. A controversial figure, he has been variously described as a junkie, visionary, pimp, Scottish beat, literary outlaw, pornographer, philosopher, underground organizer and antique-book collector.

My scow is tied up in Flushing, NY, alongside the landing stage of the Mac Asphalt and Construction Corporation. It is now just after five in the afternoon. Today at this time it is still afternoon, and the sun, striking the cinderblocks of the main building of the works has turned them pink. The motor cranes and the decks of the other scows tied up round about are deserted.
Half an hour ago I gave myself a fix.
So begins Cain's Book, Alexander Trocchi's incredible novel of existential dread. Young Adam, its predecessor, is better known, but the latter is the "Scottish Beat's" classic.
Asked to name the best existential literature, most of us would probably say Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre or Franz Kafka. But Cain's Book actually takes the reader one step further into the philosophical world of existential angst than any of them. It positively drowns us in a word of unremitting absurdity and meaninglessness.
A roman à clef, Cain's Book details the life of one Joe Nechhi, a Glaswegian heroin addict living and working on a scow in New York's Hudson harbor. It is a book almost entirely devoid of plot: Nechhi occasionally details trips into the city to score heroin, recollects his childhood in Glasgow, or talks of his attempts to write a book. What is incredible about the book is its unrelenting bleakness, and the sheer poetic quality of Trocchi's writing.
Heroin for Trocchi, as Remainder author Tom McCarthy noted in a lecture on Cain's Book recently, "is a moveable void: taking that void around the city with him, in him, he ensures that he inhabits negative space constantly. This is his poetic project and it's also the way his whole perception system works at its most basic level (the two are the same)."
In real life, Trocchi seemed very glad to cut himself off from his peers, saying that his only concerns as a writer were "sodomy and lesbianism", that those were the only interesting subjects in the previous 20 years of Scottish writing and that "I have written it all."
Sadly, Cain's Book was his last. As the 60s gave way to the 70s, Trocchi's addiction to heroin took its toll and his talent lay pretty much squandered. The stories of his wild and tragic life are infamous and extensively documented in many of the leading "swinging 60s" biographies (Marianne Faithfull's account of doing drugs with Trocchi is one of the best). Despite his addictions, and his sad death at the age of 59, Trocchi left us some of the bleakest, most beautiful writing to come out of the 60s.
In Cain's Book the writing is all - the words ebb and flow like the inky blackness of the Hudson River. Trocchi's descriptive powers are mesmerising: one barely even notices the lack of narrative drive until after the book has been put down.
His other books includes some interesting pseudonymous pornography for the Olympia Press. (Titles like Helen and Desire, Sappho of Lesbos and White Thighs deliver their smut with a Sadean political edge.) Young Adam, of course, was turned into a successful film starring Ewan McGregor, and helped to raise the author's public perception a little. But it's Cain's book that best fulfils Trocchi's hopes for "the invisible insurrection of a thousand minds".

What's Happening (1967)

From Ubuweb: “An irreverent portrait of America of the 60s seen through the experiences of artists of the Beat Generation and Pop Art. The America of the Vietnam war, ploughed by contradictions and explosive social tensions but potentially saturated with expectations for the future. With: Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Gregory Corso, Marie Benois and Leon Kraushar.”
From the Ginsberg Project:
“The prophecies of Marinetti are coming true some of them, the wilder, more poetic ones”, so, gleefully, declares Allen in this quintessentially 1967 documentary film by Antonello Branca, What’s Happening? What, indeed, is happening? Poets and painters and a brash New York City just for that moment in time and space come together. Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg candidly speak (Andy speaks!). Allen appears first (around six and a half minutes in) being interviewed as he walks along the street and then (circa 3o minutes in) is seen holding forth at a street cafe. Gregory Corso makes a cameo appearance right at the very end (with a baby!). He gets the punch line. “War makes people crazy”.
“We have all come here together. Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground, poet Gerard Malanga, over here, if you move your camera, poet Ed Sanders of a rock n roll group called The Fugs [unfortunately mis-translated on the screen by the Italian translator as The Fags!]..over (t)here, Tuli Kuperfberg, a poet and singer in The Fugs, over there, writing at the table. Peter Orlovsky with the long hair, who is a poet and also a singer, behind him, his brother, who was in a madhouse for 14 years. He’s a superstar of the Underground. Oh, and Jonas Mekas, Jonas Mekas, head of the Filmmakers Cooperative. He’s the one who puts together films like Flaming Creatures and The Brig and sends them around Europe and in America, the impresario. He also makes films, which he’s doing now.”

Love: The Arthur Lee Story

Love Story (Full Version) from Start Productions on Vimeo.

A 1991 “documentary” on Arthur Lee. The three key people involved in its creation are dead or, in the case of Crimson Crout, nowhere to be found. Directed by the mysterious Crout from a concept by Arthur Lee and compiled by Los Angeles writer, deejay and garage/punk/psychedelic promoter Frank Beeson, the video has amateur production values overall but is redeemed by laid back interviews with Lee (conducted by a barely present Beeson) and some decent live footage of Lee performing with latter day Love members Melvan Whittington and Joe Blocker as well as two members of The Knack, Bruce Gary and Berton Averre.

The film was made during Lee’s tentative re-emergence as an artist after a long dormant period during the 1980s. His return to the public eye was interrupted when he was incarcerated in 1995 for possession of a hand gun.

The live footage is taken from a series of gigs in 1989, during which Lee was regaining his footing as a performer.

The documentary, like Lee, is a bit ramshackle. The good news is that a decade after it was shot, a re-invigorated Arthur Lee returned to the stage for some of the best live shows of his incredible life, receiving the accolades he so richly deserved.

I can’t find anything on director Crimson Crout other than he released a 45rpm record in 1975 with two songs, “10,000 Years” and Redneck Ways.” John Einarson, author of the excellent Arthur Lee biography Forever Changes Arthur Lee And The Book Of Love was unable to track down the “elusive” Crout in researching his book. Who is this mystery man? Beeson?

Bed Peace (1969)

Dear Friends,

In 1969, John and I were so naïve to think that doing the Bed-In would help change the world.
Well, it might have. But at the time, we didn't know.

It was good that we filmed it, though.
The film is powerful now.
What we said then could have been said now.

In fact, there are things that we said then in the film, which may give some encouragement and inspiration to the activists of today. Good luck to us all.

Let's remember WAR IS OVER if we want it.
It's up to us, and nobody else.
John would have wanted to say that.

Love, yoko

Yoko Ono Lennon
London, UK
August 2011


BED PEACE is FREE to watch exclusively here on YouTube and for ONE WEEK ONLY, ending at midnight (NY time) on Sunday 21st August 2011.



1969 was the year that John & Yoko intensified their long running campaign for World Peace. They approached the task with the same entrepreneurial expertise as an advertising agency selling a brand of soap powder to the masses. John & Yoko's product however was PEACE, not soft soap, and they were determined to use any slogan, event and gimmick in order to persuade the World to buy it.

BED PEACE (directed by Yoko & John and filmed by Nic Knowland) is a document of the Montreal events and features John & Yoko in conversation with, amongst others, The World Press, satirist Al Capp, activist Dick Gregory, comedian Tommy Smothers, protesters at Berkeley's People's Park, Rabbi Abraham L. Feinberg, quiltmaker Christine Kemp, psychologists Timothy Leary & Rosemary Leary, CFOX DJs Charles P. Rodney Chandler & Roger Scott, producer André Perry, journalist Ritchie York, DJ & Promoter Murray The K, filmmaker Jonas Mekas, publicist Derek Taylor & personal assistant Anthony Fawcett.

Featured songs are Plastic Ono Band's GIVE PEACE A CHANCE & INSTANT KARMA, Yoko's REMEMBER LOVE & WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND & John's acoustic version of BECAUSE.

"As we said before: WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It)" - yoko



Directed by Yoko Ono & John Lennon
Starring John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono
John Lennon
Nic Knowland
Franco Rosso
Malcolm Hawley
Angus Trowbridge
Wendy Bindloss
Mike Lax
Richard Key
Jack Reilly
Mike Billing

Bag Productions
© 1969 Yoko Ono Lennon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The James Dean Story

The James Dean Story, a 79 minute documentary chronicling the life and times of Jimmy Dean, came out two years after the young actor’s death. Most notably, the film was directed by Robert Altman, a young director who would eventually make MASH, Nashville, The Player, Gosford Park, etc. You can find a downloadable version of the documentary over at the Internet Archive.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Revealed

June 24 (Bloomberg) -- "Bloomberg Game Changers" profiles Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive officer of Facebook Inc. and one of the world's youngest billionaires. This program includes interviews with Tyler Winklevoss, Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, who accused Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for the social-networking website. On June 23, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss said they won't ask the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a settlement of their claims. (Source: Bloomberg)