Friday, January 29, 2010

Radical Feminist Punk Rock Band's First Song

Hot Mess is back! And they're rehearsing their would-be hit single in cousin Bernie's new game room. Take it away, Hot Mess.

- The formation of Hot Mess, radical feminist punk rock band.
- Hot Mess's first cover song and sell-out session.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

MADtv predicted iPad with impunity

Sorry to jump on the "making fun of iPad" bandwagon, but who knew MADtv would predict Apple's new cutting-edge technology? All the way back in 2007.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Otis Redding, now THERE was a man - Company C Contemporary Ballet pays tribute

I splurged on some contemporary dance the other night. Mom and my cousin Mary Ann and I all headed down to the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek to see some Company C Contemporary Ballet. What in the world attracted me to contemporary ballet? This man: Otis Redding. Company C's winter program has an entire performance set to his music. When I read about it beforehand, I thought: Now THAT I want to see. And it was great--set in a kind of minimalist speakeasy with lots of emotional interaction between the company and the soloists.

They mix it up a lot, Company C, to an almost schizophrenic degree, but they're highly professional and artistic as hell. I don't know much about contemporary dance, other than the few classes I took in college, but the choreography was really intricate. And there's this very strange and somewhat hypnotic Nine Person Precision Ball Passing program that is just that: dancers set on risers, passing balls to each other like a finely tuned factory machine working in synch with almost childlike electronic music; transfixing. Their winter program continues in San Francisco in February. The 2010 Spring show starts in April and I will be at that show, which will feature choreography by Twyla Tharp.

Company C 2010 Winter Program from Rob Goldring on Vimeo.

Let's listen to the incredibly soulful Otis Redding. All these songs (and more) are featured in the world premier ballet, “Dreams to Remember,” choreographed by Amy Seiwert.

I miss your voice, Otis Redding.

Chronicle says of Company C: A+

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sound Tracks - Music Without Borders (tonight)

I'm going to check out this new PBS show, "Sound Tracks" tonight at 10 p.m. It looks great. Informative blurb:

Sound Tracks will guide millions of PBS viewers, young and old, into a world of exciting music, exotic destinations and different cultures. It is music without borders told by experienced journalists.

Host Marco Werman and his band of journalists will explore culture, music, food, and report their findings back to us in high definition. Tonight's episode features Vladmir Putin propaganda pop, Fela Kuti and the Broadway show he inspired, Mariza, queen of Portuguese blues music, and the phony Kazakhstan national anthem, written and performed by Sacha Baron Cohen's brother, Erran, for "Borat." The "anthem" was entirely recorded by Erran, who overdubbed his voice 40 times for that big, big sound.

You can also watch tonight's episode right here.
The review is in.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Green Porno by Isabella Rossellini

The delightful Isabella Rossellini and filmmaker Jody Shapiro have enhanced our knowledge of insect sex with these creative little films. Charming and somewhat NSFW due to graphic language. Especially the snail.

Sundance Channel's Green Porno site with all three seasons and "behind the scenes" films, featuring costumer Andy Byers. Thanks to Audrey for the link.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Please Don't" - David Byrne, Fatboy Slim, Santigold

I've been looking for something tangible to post about this upcoming David Byrne/Fatboy Slim album, "Here Lies Love," and finally, here's the first single, Please Don't, free for download and featuring Santigold. I admit I'm here for the Santigold, but I can't deny that I'm looking forward to the February 23rd release of this album that covers biographical stories of Imelda Marcos within a completely disco format, inspired by her love of clubbing.

David Byrne, beloved freak genius, is definitely the only person on the planet who could possibly pull this off. The double album is being released on Todomundo/Nonesuch Records and features vocals by Sharon Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Sia, and more.

[Flash 9 is required to listen to audio.]

Thanks to Pretty Much Amazing for the links.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Say hello to our friends the puppets

Craig Ferguson has a special relationship with puppets.

Peter Hartlaub interviews Charley and Humphrey pupeteer and all-around Bay Area TV personality, Pat McCormick. More Pat. He deserves it. Charley and Humphrey PSAs reside on the SFGate channel--childhood memories revisited!

Referencing another beloved pupeteer, Captain Kangaroo and his friend Moose.

Will Conan O'Brien get to keep the rights to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog? WHO would want Triumph on their team, unwillingly due to contract dispute? That could get ugly.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wake Up Everybody - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes

Jackson says, "Martin Luther King worked really hard to make our country a better place for everyone."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Town Called Panic trailer

A Town Called Panic is a Belgian animated film featuring plastic figurines and their baffling world of chaos. It's coming to a theater somewhere near your universe. Shorts (in English) are available for viewing on the Aardman Channel. And oh, so worth it.

Roger Ebert likes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jack Logan - Female Jesus

Today's video is from 1994's "Bulk," a double CD put out by Jack Logan on Medium Cool Records. Who is Jack Logan, you may wonder? He's kind of the Peter Frampton of early 90s indie rock. Remember (children of the 70s) how "Frampton Comes Alive" just seemed to APPEAR in everyone's record collection almost instantaneously even though no one had ever heard of Peter Frampton until that moment? And the crazed frenzy of the live shows recorded therein made perfectly plain that This Was Superstar Material. It was kind of baffling at the time.

Well, "Bulk" was kind of the low-key version of that. It just showed up in record stores (remember those?)--two CDs stuffed with songs that were pretty accomplished and thoughtful from a guy no one had ever heard of. But I guess the right people had because Logan had created some superhero comic books featuring REM's Peter Buck as the superhero. When Peter Buck came calling, Jack Logan was there to receive the calls. And even MORE prepared than the average comic-book creator, he had 600 songs ready for publication.

"Bulk" wasn't quite THAT bulky, but it did seem to exist where there was formerly nothing there. And Female Jesus is my favorite song on it (although there's quite an array to choose from), so here's a video with some 40s-era Chicago scenes. My other music videos were more naturally "born" of archival footage. This one I sort of crammed my own ideas into it, using what I had on hand, which is rich in scope, thanks to the Prelinger Archives.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Tiny Fuppets - Internet Follies

Doing stuff on the Interweb takes longer than you think. That's the first rule of any project, I suppose (except those involving Tumblr--near-instant gratification every time). While I work out the computer (and brain, upstairs toilet, and roof-top squirrel invaders) kinks around here, enjoy Scott Gairdner's delightful romp into fake-Portuguese children's television programming, Tiny Fuppets.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

McCabe & Mrs. Miller - Time for Leaving

Not the Robert Altman movie, but the band featuring Victor Krummenacher and Alison Faith Levy. The video was shot by Danny Plotnick in and around a swell motel in Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree. Evocative!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Make it a Nancy Sinatra / Lee Hazlewood kind of year

Nancy Sinatra is a classic 60s icon for the ages. Her collaborations with songwriter Lee Hazlewood (he of the consciousness-exploring gunslinger image) helped make America one of the greatest places in the history of Earth's habitation of humankind. Let's explore the philosophical life lessons of pop music's dynamic duo.

Hang tough in 2010, everyone. Know when it's best to just walk away from a psychotic situation. Sometimes having the right footwear is your best defense.

Make time for romance in your life. It doesn't always have to be with a person. Sometimes passions run deep for the concepts that make life worth living: food, wine, art, silver spurs, a nice string arrangement. Just enjoy in moderation, especially with the spurs.

Your narrative doesn't always have to make sense. It might be complete nonsense. As long as you have a mythical, sweet-singing goddess to break in and alter your key changes, you'll be fine.

Let your freak flag fly. Maybe someone will come along and make a video of it. And it will include a hot air balloon. I think if you keep a positive attitude and wear a polka-dotted item of clothing once in a while, this can come true.

And if the blues set in, don't let them do you in. Just learn some blues chord progressions. Cathartic!

A seminal moment for me was meeting these two backstage at the Filmore in '95 when Nancy was touring to promote her album, "One More Time." My dad, who has an excellent radar for greatness, made a beeline for Hazlewood (a surprise guest at the show), shook his hand and told him how cool he was. You can be sure that if my dad makes a point of crossing the room to shake your hand to tell you how great you are, you're pretty fucking great. We clustered around Nancy like preteens at a Beatles concert while she urged us to sample the crafts services offerings so they wouldn't go to waste. I have it on very reliable source that she is a most kind-hearted soul. I do not doubt this one iota. If only 2010 could be so great. Here's to hoping.