Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coke Adds Life (to the party)

Hal Ashby's Bound for Glory screened at the Aero last night as part of a "Kevin Thomas' favorite movies" series, and a Hollywood Elsewhere correspondent reports that the panel discussion that followed -- a confrontational psychodrama between a bizarrely behaved David Caradine, the somewhat more moderate Ronny Cox and dp Haskell Wexler, and an all-but-invisible Thomas -- turned into a "near-riot."

"Carradine, very probably high on something, made some anti-union statements and got into a shouting match with someone in the audience," he says. "Cox at that point walked out, and that's before things even got good. Carradine threw a mike toward the audience so a lady questioner could speak, and the mike accidentally hit American Cinematheque publicist Margot Gerber on the head. "Then Carradine started insulting Wexler's cinematography, at length. 'You got an Oscar for ruining my movie,' Carradine kept telling him. Wexler finally got into it, agreeing that, yes, Hal Ashby had fired him one day, and that he'd responded about the massive amounts of coke being snorted on the set, which got him unfired. Then Carradine denied doing coke with Ashby but defended directors who like their powder -- including Quentin Tarantino!

Well, he called Tarantino a coke freak and if you listen to the linked mp3 you'll catch enough of the "coke talk" to have a nice chuckle. Apparently there was video shot as well so look for that when the dust settles. Kill Bill or Kill Kwai Chang Caine? That is the question.

UPDATE: And then things got really incestuous as Drug Cartel halts Hollywood Production!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Department of Eagles

When a band premieres their videos at MOMA you know the guys are getting laid. The confluence of Rock and Art that meets at No One Does It Like You is sexy place to be kids.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Al Sultan for Trading Cars

The USA has a funny effect on world culture. Levi's for Russians, Jerry Lewis for the French and now the car most likely to win a date with a booby trap, the Hummer, has become the de rigueur vehicle in Iraq. Never mind that GM is the tank and may stop making them or that IED's have been shown to blow then to smithereens with determined regularity, canary yellow and fire engine red Hummers are selling like hot cakes.

It seems to me this clannish obsession with status is part of the systemic problem in Iraq; the need to define yourself as a superior devotee of God's brand is the crux of the Sunni-Shiite breach. While Islam may not be alone in this hatred amidst a seemingly homogeneous religious tribe (see Hollywood) Muslims are doing most of the internecine killing in the world today. Face it, these guys are religious racists but to their credit they at least drive American! And as long as they're outfitted with the an after-market mayhem package of Iranian missiles, a Soviet rifle, German tires, and Japanese GPS this shared infatuation for a non religious idol (thanks be to God) could lead to a reconciliation of sorts, an American common ground between the two dominant slices of Muslim pie. Me, I'm hoping the Sufi's end up with most of the Hummers. It's the mystic in me.

[Via NYTs]

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Heat of Bill Buford

A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards. A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion. The Great War, for instance, could never have happened if tinned food had not been invented. And the history of the past four hundred years in England would have been immensely different if it had not been for the introduction of root-crops and various other vegetables at the end of the Middle Ages, and a little later the introduction of non- alcoholic drinks (tea, coffee, cocoa) and also of distilled liquors to which the beer-drinking English were not accustomed. Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market-gardeners.
~ George Orwell

This aforementioned quote is the introduction to Heat by Bill Buford. You should read it if you like food and check this link to hear the story regardless.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shanty Town: A Cock and Bullshit Story

What do Nashville, Olympia, Seattle, St. Petersburg, Fresno, and Sacramento have in common with Mexico City, Nairobi, Kabul, Soweto or Bombay? Shanty towns are the new boom towns. Tent cities are cropping up across the nation as the country's recession deepens and people who used to make more than minimum wage become unable to house themselves. Drug use, violence, and prostitution are turning these hobo Hoovervilles into ever more tenuous survival encampments. America, the slumdog millionaires have come home to roost. Where the fuck is John Gault?

[Via NYTs]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How To Spot An Evil Spirit

The exorcism ritual stipulates that there are three signs that the priest has to look for: abnormal strength, the ability to understand unknown languages and the knowledge of hidden things. But they're very arbitrary, even those things. So they have to be in concert with something else. And typically what priests look for is what they call the aversion to the sacred, which is a person's inability to pray, to say the name of Jesus or Mary, to even look at the priest. Typically, when the person comes to see them, it's the last thing they want to do. They tend to have gone to see many doctors in search of a medical cure for whatever is afflicting them. They don't believe that the problem is demonic. They don't come in and say, "Father, I'm being attacked by demons. You need to pray over me." When someone says that to them, the priests immediately discounts that the problem is demonic.

Read an excerpt of Matt Baglio's The Rite: The Making of a Modern Excorcist

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Wanna Thank You Mr. Madison

James Madison is more responsible than any other single American for one of the nation's greatest characteristics -- religious freedom. At a time when we're fighting over faith-based initiatives and the proper role of religion in politics, it's worth appreciating that America's experiment with religious liberty has largely succeeded, thanks largely to James Madison.
[via WSJ]

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy”
-James Madison

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The NYT's story of Death: The Band Was Punk Before Punk Was Punk is a fascinating tale of the vagaries of rock n roll. Give the song "Politicians in My Eyes a listen, it's better than 99.9% of the crap that will dominate SXSW this week. The only thing that's certain: Death was a fuckin' rock band.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Street Carnage vs SXSW

This promo video is for our (free) party at SXSW. After going there for 15 years, we noticed the biggest problem with this festival is all the fucking music. Shut up already. Your band sucks.

So, we chose our 4 favorite live acts and then cut the list off after that. Too many showcases in Austin are about pleasing sponsors or labels or your buddies who hope to get signed (only artist ever signed at SXSW was Timbuk 3 btw). This may be the first party ever where the promoters started with a list of bands they actually want and worked backwards from there. It’s all short sets with plenty of space in between bands to get free beer, free BBQ, and free cognac (yes cognac). It’s at the Scoot Inn where our best frienemy Stockbauer has been abusing clientele since way before it was open and we’re going to be showing Street Boners and TV Carnage in the indoor part between bands. No shirts is going to be strongly encouraged and that goes for both sexes but whatever floats your boat. It’s from 2 to 6 so please don’t be cool and show up late or you will miss the Cerebral Ballzy / Ninjasonik experience. You've got one week to get ready.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

With Not A Moment to Lose De-Evolution is Back

Our mythic heroes from Akron, OH return this fall with their first studio album since 1990's Smooth Noodle Maps. "De-evolution has finally arrived and who better to guide us through the mess than Devo," DEVO explains. "It's pretty much fact -- we now live in a devolved world that's getting wackier each and every day."

Look for Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA wackiness at a SXSW near you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

UPDATE: The Con Man You Know

Our original post The Con Man You Know concerned itself with the nature of Madoff and Ponzi's individual schemes. The following report from Lucinda Franks of the Daily Beast delves into the first leaked specifics and who is likely get sucked down along with Bernie.

Two days before Bernard Madoff enters an 11-count guilty plea in Manhattan federal court, the investigation into his giant Ponzi scheme has broadened to include a number of suspected co-conspirators, according to federal officials involved in the case. Madoff’s lawyer told a judge today that there was no “deal” connected to Madoff’s confessing to money laundering, mail fraud, and other counts that will likely result in a life sentence.

That tallies with the revelation, from another source involved in the probe, that Madoff has not been cooperating in good faith with investigators. “He is not reliable. He’s jerking everyone around,” said the source. “Every day he changes his tune about where the money went and where it is. He’s trying to protect his family.”

A source close to the Madoff defense team agreed that Madoff’s main concern was to preserve as much assets as possible for his wife and children and to keep them from legal entanglements. “The US attorney’s office is still trying to resolve what is tainted or clean money, what real property in the US is appropriate for the Madofffs to keep,” the source said. That may prove difficult. Sources say new information has surfaced that suggests several members of Madoff’s inner circle transferred assets to their wives, transactions thought to be laundered through an English bank. Ruth Madoff, who was considered “innocent at first,” according to this source, is believed to have received at least $70 million from her husband and is now therefore an object of the investigation. That is one reason why she recently decided to retain her own lawyer, leaving Ira Sorkin, who has represented both of the Madoffs since December, when the Ponzi scheme was revealed.

Investigators are focusing their attention on three groups of possible co-conspirators. “There should be at least 20 indictments, between the three groups, if the feds are doing their jobs,” said one highly placed lawyer involved in the case. “Some will be conspiracy, the ones who were deep into it with Madoff, and others will be civil cases sent to the SEC for prosecution.”

In the first group are employees of Madoff’s firm who concocted false trades and sent out phony statements to thousands of unsuspecting clients.The second group is comprised of principals in feeder funds such as Cohmad Securities Corp. and Fairfield Greenwich Group, which funneled investor dollars to Madoff and received large fees for steering this business. If they were aware of Madoff’s fraud, they could face criminal charges; if they were not, they could be hit with civil charges for a lack of due diligence. “It’s a question of state of mind,” said a lawyer for a Madoff employee. “If the feeder fund principals like Walter Noel of Fairfield Greenwich or Robert Jaffee of Cohmad didn’t ask Madoff any questions, if they simply turned the money over to a Madoff account without doing the work they were supposed to do to make sure their clients were well-protected, they would be guilty of fiduciary violations, which is a civil matter. But if they knew about the Ponzi scheme, if they had the intention to deceive, that is a felony.”

One attorney close to the defense team of Walter Noel, who is reported to have offshore bank accounts, says the belief is that Noel could be indicted in England on money laundering charges. The third group is the target of an investigation that's still in its early stages into money laundering through British banks, in which US and British authorities are cooperating. This group consists of solicitors, accountants, and others in London who may have assisted Madoff in transferring funds from client accounts to a Madoff entity that lists Ruth Madoff, brother Peter Madoff, and sons Mark and Andrew Madoff among its board members.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Tricks are for Kids

General Mills is reembracing the simplicity of another advertising age with the release of throwback cereal box designs. But it would be foolish to assume their mission is anything less than to lure hungry kids into the cult of branding. Photoshop might be the Devil's plaything but Madison Ave is assuredly the highway to sugar-coated hell.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Church of the Long Now

The Omega Glory by Michael Chabon

I was reading, in a recent issue of Discover, about the Clock of the Long Now. Have you heard of this thing? It is going to be a kind of gigantic mechanical computer, slow, simple and ingenious, marking the hour, the day, the year, the century, the millennium, and the precession of the equinoxes, with a huge orrery to keep track of the immense ticking of the six naked-eye planets on their great orbital mainspring. The Clock of the Long Now will stand sixty feet tall, cost tens of millions of dollars, and when completed its designers and supporters, among them visionary engineer Danny Hillis, a pioneer in the concept of massively parallel processing; Whole Earth mahatma Stewart Brand; and British composer Brian Eno (one of my household gods), plan to hide it in a cave in the Great Basin National Park in Nevada, a day’s hard walking from anywhere. Oh, and it’s going to run for ten thousand years.

Read MORE>> it gets better

The Long Now Foundation

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Gods I Love Breakfast

A steady diet of the word of God might make for a healthy lifestyle choice in these belt tightening economic times but unlike this dynamic duo, when God calls me home, I am gonna be expecting endless breakfasts of maple syrup, grits, sausages, Captain Crunch, gravy, eggs, pork chops, sugar & rice, beef steaks, country ham, strawberry jam, and biscuits ad nauseam. Jesus died for his own dietary sins not mine.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Daggering Street Side Reggae

Last month the Jamaican government banned “dancehall” music and videos that show “daggering,” the grinding, pelvic-thrusting dance that is popular. Now Jamaica’s Broadcasting Commission has banned all explicit references to sex and violence in songs and videos aired on radio or television. This is not gonna work out well because girls, as Cyndi Lauper noted in pop ecstasy, like boys, just wanna have fun. And underage sex and juvenile delinquency, otherwise known as fun, can't be stopped unless the Jihadists of the world are in charge. Can't we just agree that what happens under the burka should stay under the burka?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Robert Guskind

We are deeply distraught to spread word that Bob Guskind—our good friend and former co-worker—has passed away. Bob's Gowanus Lounge blog had recently gone offline, and messages were going unanswered. Amidst concern, Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn reached out to the Medical Examiners Office, which confirmed that Bob died on March 4th. We are still waiting to hear more, but for now, our condolences go out to Bob's loved ones.
~ via Curbed

I heard of Bob by way of Blackoutman's infatuation with the blog Gowanus Lounge. Quickly, I recognized how articulate and dogged Bob was about all things Brooklyn I knew I wanted to work with him on some project. So when the opportunity arose to make Toxic Brooklyn, I quickly roped him in.

Early on he told me he didn't drink anymore but hinted he'd done a lot of hard living and even at the fact he'd formerly been a dope fiend. It looks like his death might have been a suicide but that doesnt really matter. He'd stopped Twittering, the Gowanus Lounge had gone black and maybe the dope started to look pretty could again amidst the incessant creep of depression. It's so very sad to think about it. To me Bob was always generous and thoughtful and the shitstains that have moved to Brooklyn for their hipper-than-thou lifestyle will never have another advocate like Bob Guskind and his blog. His death, however, is an even greater loss to the whole of the human community. RIP.

Here is cool video of Bob walking around my neighborhood for A Walk Around the Blog segment. And his collected writings for Underground Voices. Plus tons more videos of his on YouTube.
Guy was prolific.

And more about his passing
[OTBKB, Brownstoner]

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

south by south west

Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Texas

March 2nd is one of the most important holidays on the American calendar. Known worldwide as Texas Independence Day, the date marks the formal declaration of "bye-bye now" of the Republic of Texas to their patrons in Mexico in 1836. The Texas Revolution was sealed at the Battle of San Jacinto where the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" accompanied the Texan charge. The enemy, taken by surprise, rallied for a few minutes, then fled in disorder. The Texans had asked no quarter and gave none. The slaughter was appalling, victory complete, and Texas free!

Related posts ~
End of An Era
It Takes No Teeth To Eat our Beef
The Proverbial Turd Blossom
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Lyndon James Stockbauer

the running mule

the running mule