You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.

May your day be filling!

I’m a trypto-fan,

-Shady

A few weeks ago, in the lobby of the Variety Building on Wilshire, artists created enormous sculptures out of nothing more than canned food.

The sculptures were created for a fundraiser (though I can’t remember for which organization) to raise hunger awareness in the community. There were Munny dolls, melting ice cream cones, pumpkins, and even a Wild Thing or two. (No, not Tone Loc… though that would have been awesome.)

I took some shots while I was there. Click on each image to view a larger version.

Edible art,

-Shady

I forgot to post these earlier, but here are a few photos of our Halloween costumes this year.

Kathy and I went as Dia de los Muertos skeletons. I painted my noggin like a plain white skull, while Kathy got really detailed and decorated her face with intricate patterns and designs. Pretty awesome.

Click on each image to view a larger version:

Halloween 2009 costumes!

Halloween 2009 costumes!

Halloween 2009 costumes!

What did everyone else go as? Post pictures!

Next year we’re going as white people,

-Shady

…from “Sesame Street,” and it is a fun segment; but what’s really great about the skit is that the legendary Frank Oz plays the lead character, Mr. Draper.

What’s awesome about this is that it’s Frank’s first “Sesame Street” performance in nearly 15 years. Bert, Grover and Cookie Monster haven’t been the same since.

Check it out here:

Weird hearing a “Sesame Street” version of Rjd2’s opening song,

-Shady

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…right here:

Books:

Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher by Jake Parker (Graphix/Scholastic)
Scholastic is really putting their graphic novel foot forward, and this first installment in an ongoing series from writer/illustrator Jake Parker is proof. Parker, an animator at Blue Sky Studios, has created an action/adventure sci-fi hero in Missile Mouse, a pint-sized secret agent who packs a big punch. The storytelling is fairly straight forward  for the genre (good versus evil, inter-galactic war, surprise double-crosses, et al.), but Parker’s illustration work is what really makes this book pop. His background in animation is apparent; with clean lines and solid coloring, each frame looks more like an animation still than it does a comic book panel. The humor is definitely there for kids–which is appropriate since the book is geared toward eight- to twelve-year-olds–but I do wish there was some subtle adult humor peppered throughout.

The Customer Is Not Always Right by A.J. Adams (Andrews McMeel Publishing)
A quick-read coffee table book that collects the best material from the website NotAlwaysRight.com. If you’re not familiar with the site, the gist of it is this: People email in recent on-the-job humor/horror stories, and bored worker bees visit the site daily to remind themselves that they’re not alone. The stories focus on the service and retail industries, as well as any other 9-to-5 where pain-in-the-ass customers are a factor. It’s not a hilarious read–I’d say there are more misses than hits here–but the occasional funny/tragic anecdote does pop up, reminding me of why I haven’t had a “real” job in nearly a decade. If you’re looking for a book to throw in the drawer next to your toilet (after all, that’s where I read it), this is an appropriate title for future sittings.

CDs:

Slug, Murs & Aesop Rock “Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez” (Rhymesayers)
In 2002, Slug (of Atmosphere) and Murs created a sex-inspired love letter to actress Christina Ricci. From that moment on, “Felt” was born. Three years later, in 2005, they returned to the world of love letter writing, this time aiming Cupid’s arrow at the heart of Cosby kid Lisa Bonet with “Felt 2.” And this year, the duo returns with the third installment in what has now become the “Felt” trilogy, now passing the tribute torch over to actress Rosie Perez. For the production of “Felt 3,” Slug and Murs turned to their good friend Aesop Rock for production. (The first “Felt” was produced by The Grouch of Living Legends, the second by Ant of Atmosphere.) But while I’m a fan of this disc’s entire creative team, I feel like something is missing from this third chapter. Or, more accurately, there’s too much. Unlike its predecessors, “Felt 3″ feels very heavy-handed both in what it is saying and how it is put together. Because of this, it’s missing a beat in both substance and style. With that being said, the collective talent of this trio is still worth the price of admission, but having the “Felt” label on the album set up an expectation for me that was never truly fulfilled. Oddly enough, I feel like if they had released this album strictly as a Slug/Murs/Aesop joint side project, sans all things “Felt,” I might have had a very different reaction to it. Instead, I was left thinking, “Is that it?” Guess I’ll have to wait for “Felt 4: A Tribute to that Robot Chick from ‘Small Wonder'” to get my next “Felt” fix.

Various Artists “In The Christmas Groove” (Strut Records)
I’m not really a fan of most Christmas music. Sure, there are a few exceptions to the rule (Elvis, the Muppets with John Denver, etc.) but, for the most part, it’s just not my thing. This collection of rare funk holiday tunes from the sixties and seventies, however, is the exception to the rule. Why? Because unlike most other holiday music, these songs don’t scream Christmas. In fact, most of these songs can be listened to year-round, whether Santa’s coming to town or not. Not all of the songs are A-plus material (Wild Honey’s “Angels Christmas” is laughable, especially when they sing about seeing the angels of Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy), but almost every other song on the disc is good music; the fact that it’s also holiday-themed is just a bonus. If you want a taste, track down “Home On Christmas Day” by Captain Elmo McKenzie & The Roosters.

J Dilla “Dillanthology” (Rapster Records)
This three-disc tribute to the late and great J Dilla is a pretty thorough look at an impressive career. The first disc collects thirteen tracks of Dilla’s famous production work, from The Pharcyde and The Roots, to Common and De La Soul. If hip-hop is a genre you’re deeply into, chances are you already own a lot of these songs on full-lengths. If not, this is an appropriate sample platter of what Dilla was capable of in the studio. The second disc collects a dozen Dilla remixes of tracks from Slum Village, The Brand New Heavies, and Busta Rhymes, among others. But for me, the two stand-out tracks are his remixes of Four Tet’s “As Serious As Your Life,” and DJ Cam’s “Love Junkie.” Both songs are a nice break from Dilla’s norm, and it’s refreshing to hear what else he was capable of beyond the realm of straight hip-hop. The third disc collects fourteen tracks of Dilla’s solo work, including songs from his team up with Madlib (known as Jaylib). Again, if you already own J’s solo albums and the Jaylib album, chances are you already own most of this work. But what’s really great about this set is that all three albums are sold individually. So, for example, if you already own most of what’s on the first disc but really want the second disc, no problem. If you are a rabid Dilla fan and already own all of his work, you might want to sit this one out. But if you’re looking for a solid retrospective that touches on each and every facet of who he was as an artist, this set’s for you.

Still getting free stuff,

-Shady

…are these five albums:

1) Feathers’ “Synchromy”

2) Fitz & The Tantrums’ “Songs For A Break Up: Volume 1″

3) Various Artists “Urban Revolutions: The Future Primitive Sound Collective”

4) DJ Cam’s “Mad Blunted Jazz: Disc One”

5) Victor Bermon’s “Arriving At Midnight”

You know the drill.

Blindly picking,

-Shady

PS: I write these posts mainly because I’m honestly interested in hearing what other music people are listening to. If I come across something that sounds cool, or if it’s something I’m not familiar with, I do seek it out. So please, spread your musical knowledge. This is how new favorite bands and albums are discovered.

…right here:

Last night, Dori and I saw the new Twilight movie, “New Moon.”

I’d only seen the first half-hour of the first one, because Dori, who read the book, rented it. But I had to leave when one of the vampires started twinkling in the sunlight. No joke. He twinkled… like the bedazzled little turd-herder he is.

So, outside of the sparkling, I was pretty much out of the loop as to what actually happens in these films, beyond the overwhelming amount of teenagers being pretty put out by, well, everything. (There’s also a record amount of “like” and “um” in the dialogue. Pretty sure the script is just filled with those words, and no others. Maybe the screenwriter for this should hang out with the screenwriter from “Juno.” Then they can make teenagers’ heads explode.) Turns out you don’t really NEED to know what happens in the first film, because the second one is so awful, you don’t care three minutes in. Sure, it made $150 million in its first weekend or something like that, but so did Sarah Palin’s book thanks to that Darth Vader of daytime television, Oprah.

Save for some pretty great special effects when some werewolves fight– yes, the best part of a VAMPIRE film is when NON-VAMPIRES do something– this movie was bad… to a point where it could almost be one of those films we’d rent back in the day and make fun of the entire time.

I’ll stop ripping on it here, so as not to give anything away in case you are a huge fan and don’t care what my heartless, soul-less ass thinks about this supernatural love story. I’ll instead leave you with my favorite piece of dialogue. To set the scene, they’re in the woods (big shock), and something emotionally riveting is about to happen. Twinkle-pants is telling the drippy female lead he and his vampire family have to leave town. I can’t remember exactly because I was trying to count my teeth at this point… by running my tongue over each individual one slowly and carefully. But then this happens. Say it out loud for maximum effect:

Bella: Are you telling me you don’t want me to come?

Edward: (after about two minutes of them just looking at each other, stifling tears… or seizures) I don’t want you to come.

I almost passed out trying not to laugh at this. Largely because these kids would have WAY less problems if they WOULD come. But instead of getting drunk and hand-jobbing each other, like good American teens should be doing at this age, they’re worried about dumb shit, like sunlight and LiveJournal.

Oh– AND, my former arch-nemesis is in this. (Not Tom Hanks. The most recent one.)

Just thought I’d share… in case you can see this with people who will drink and laugh at it with you.

-Dwellephant

Better than any post I’ve ever written,

-Shady

Thanks to Frank for passing it along!

Just killed a man,

-Shady

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seriously.

Also, if anyone knows Catherina Wojtowicz of Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community, do me a favor and slap her square in her ignorant face. My hope is that she’ll have to be taken to an emergency room, and then they’ll refuse to take care of her.

Health care reform is going through no matter how much you morons scream and cry. Deal with it.

Flea Party Patriots,

-Shady

I first saw Jim Henson’s experimental art film “Time Piece” in 2001, during the first (and only) Muppet convention in Santa Monica. (MuppetFest was awesome, so shut it!)

Started as a personal project, Henson would go on to storyboard, write, direct and star in the film starting in the spring of 1964. It premiered in May 1965 at the Museum of Modern Art, and was even nominated for an Academy Award in the category of “Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects” in 1966.

Since 2001, I’ve tried to track down the film online. Finally, someone put it on YouTube. Awesome.

So here it is, Jim Henson’s “Time Piece” in all its jazzy glory. You can totally see how it would go on to influence some of the shorts from “Sesame Street” years later.

Be sure to keep an eye out for brief cameos from Frank Oz (with a full head of hair) as a messenger boy, Muppet designer Don Sahlin as a stand-up comic, and head Muppet writer Jerry Juhl as a bartender.

When you’re done, check out this short “behind the scenes” segment on the making of “Time Piece.”

Help,

-Shady

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