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Mingus: Charlie Mingus
06.15.2010
01:36 pm

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Charles Mingus
Beneath The Underdog

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Along with Miles Davis‘s Kind of Blue and John Coltrane‘s A Love Supreme, is there a finer “gateway drug” to the world of jazz than Charles Mingusmassively addictive, Mingus Ah Um?  In terms of sheer buoyancy, how many pieces of music rival that of Ah Um’s lead-off track, Better Git It In Your Soul?  The answer to both questions, in my opinion?  Not fucking many.

Throughout his all-too-brief 57 years as a composer, conductor and activist, Charles Mingus fell into that category of life commonly defined as “larger than.”  You can read about it in the absolutely essential Mingus autobiography, Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus, a book that’s as entertaining as it is sorta, maybe exaggerated.

My random discovery of today, though, serves up another fascinating look at the jazz great.  Fresh to YouTube, and otherwise hard to find, it’s Thomas Reichman’s 1968 documentary, Mingus: Charlie Mingus.  Part I follows, with links to the rest below:

 
Mingus: Charlie Mingus, Part II, III, IV, V

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Learn how to swear in English
06.15.2010
12:31 pm

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Amusing

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Warning! Little children and pregnant women should not watch. Because it won’t be good for their education.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
History of the typewriter recited by Michael Winslow

 
Seriously incredible typewriter sounds created by the “Man of 10,000 Sound Effects,” Michael Winslow.
 
(via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
A Colour Box : The early direct films of Len Lye
06.15.2010
10:13 am

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:
Direct film
Len Lye

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Some stunning early films from the 1930s (!) by New Zealand “direct” film (generally camera-less; images painted and scratched directly onto the film itself) innovator, sculptor and “least boring person who ever lived” Len Lye. These films are pure enjoyment of color and composition and an obvious influence on Stan Brakhage‘s later amazing though far less fun work. Swinging the Lambeth Walk is particularly beautiful; in essence a music video for Django Reinhardt‘s tune of the same name.

 

 

 
Flip Sides of Len Lye: Direct Film (Senses of Cinema)
 
Len Lye - Composer of Motion

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Refait: Football as Everyday Life

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In a stroke of pure Euro genius, France’s Pied La Biche art collective have produced Refait, a complete re-enactment of the 15-minute penalty phase of the 1982 World Cup semifinals between France and Germany in the setting of Villeurbane, just northeast of Lyon.

By mapping the grinding tension of an extended penalty across the wide spaces and casual attitude of a small industrial town, Pied provide an irreverent yet plaintive—and somewhat hypnotizing—perspective on the frailty of human achievement. Horst Hrubesch’s winning shot never seemed so enduring.

 

Refait from Pied La Biche on Vimeo.

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
No Kids Allowed: Scientology’s Anti-Birthing Tactics

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(Scientology’s main man, David Miscavige, front and center)
 
Today’s Broadsheet tips us off to some Scientology news that’s as disturbing as it is, perhaps, unsurprising.  According to a two-part investigation by the St. Petersburg Times, Scientology’s maritime-y power base, Sea Org, has been treating its pregnant members to campaigns of intimidation, isolation and, in some cases, forced manual labor.

In exchange for signing “billion-year contracts,” Sea Org women are given food, housing, and medical care, but being a member of Scientology’s spiritual elite apparently leaves no time for mothering.

Or so believes Church spokesman Tommy Davis (son of actress and Church grande dame, Anne Archer), who says that a no-children policy was created because babies were “viewed as interfering with the productivity of Sea Org members,” and “the long and demanding working hours required of Sea Org members…were obstacles to parents properly raising their children.”

But former Scientology security chief Gary Morehead goes several (more ominous) steps further, saying that the organization considered pregnancies “a slap in the face,” and that “special councils formulated strategies to convince women to abort.”  Interviews with some of these “convinced” women follow below:

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Satan Has Been Paralyzed!
06.14.2010
07:51 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Belief

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Satan. Christian pirate puppets

 
That’s what they mean. Satan’s been literally paralyzed. He’s in a wheelchair now. Or so say the singing Christian pirate puppets. Or something.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Beatsville: Rod McKuen’s Beatnik novelty records
06.14.2010
07:24 pm

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Speaking of Rod McKuen—as you do—what about his late 50’s novelty songs, The Mummy and its insanely catchy (and tres quotable) b-side, The Beat Generation put out under the name Bob McFadden and Dor?

Bob McFadden was a singer and voiceover actor best known for characters like Milton the Monster, Cool McCool, and the ThunderCats’ Snarf. McFadden was also the voice of Franken Berry, the voice of the old guy in the Pepperidge Farm commercials, and the “Ring around the collar” for Wisk detergent. For this collaboration, Rod McKuen used the pseudonym Dor. Legend has it that the band is Bill Haley & His Comets. There would also be an LP called Songs Our Mummy Taught Us.

Eventually McKuen would put out a full album of Beatnik schtick called Beatsville under his own name.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Help name our new puppy!
06.14.2010
05:53 pm

Topics:
They hate us for our freedom

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Winslow
Tong Tong

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Tara and I got a new puppy today. Meet Winslow. Or Tong Tong. We can’t decide what to call him. Help us decide between the two names.

We were going to call him Gorby, but that mark on his forehead faded away already so that name wouldn’t make any sense.

He’s been in our lives exactly 3 hours now and we are totally smitten with him. He is only eight-weeks old. He’s an overdose of cute and he hops like a frog. But we can’t decide on what to call him. We’ve narrowed it down to two names:Winslow and Tong Tong. Which do you like better? Tell us in the comments.

(Here is a picture of his “older brother” (AKA our other dog Paul AKA “Jude Law” (don’t ask). Paul has been amazing so far, super sweet. He’s been king of the hill (a super-spoiled pooch he is) for seven years now, so this could have come as a shock. So far so great. He even brought in his toys and laid them down next to Winslow/Tong Tong. How cute is that? Maybe he was just trying to con me into giving him lots of treats, but it sure worked.)

Vote!
 
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Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Labtekwon: Black Skatepunk
06.14.2010
03:32 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk
Race

Tags:
punk
NEXT
labtekwon
hip-hop

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As James Spooner’s 2003 documentary Afro-Punk has shown, the black/punk marginalization continuum is as old as punk itself, and only scene demography has obstructed its full flowering. Indeed, its [anti-]institutional roots can be traced as far back as the early-‘80s establishment of the Black Rock Coalition in New York City by Vernon Reid and Greg Tate.

With this excellent video, veteran Baltimore MC Labtekwon plunks down a chit into the sweepstakes, positing punk as just another spot for forward-thinking hip-hop to grind. His dude-tacular flow seems a hat-tip to Mike Muir’s campy victim monologue in Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized,” and his new album NEXT: Baltimore Basquiat and the Future Shock is forthcoming.
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
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