Andy Warhol’s Kiss is probably the artist’s earliest film work that was screened in public. Harkening back to the time when Hayes Office censors would not allow lips to touch and linger for more than three seconds in Hollywood films, with Kiss, Warhol decided to shoot male/female, female/female and male/male snogs that went on for three minutes. The concept was likely also influenced by a 1929 Greta Garbo film called The Kiss which apparently was screened at Amos Vogel’s influential Cinema 16 experimental film society right around the time that Warhol bought his first Bolex film camera.
The Kiss films were started in 1963 and shown in installments during weekly underground film screenings organized by Jonas Mekas. Eventually a 55-minute long version of Kiss was assembled. Among the participants were Ed Sanders of The Fugs, actor Rufus Collins from the Living Theatre, sculptor Marisol, artist Robert Indiana, as well as several of the outcasts and doomed beauties who would come to comprise the Factory’s “superstars.” The woman who you see kissing several guys, is Naomi Levine, who probably also came up with the concept (many of the kisses were also shot in her apartment). Andy Warhol referred to Levine as “my first female superstar.”
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a vintage interview with David Bowie from the BBC that included more footage from his Broadway turn in The Elephant Man than I have ever seen elsewhere. This is a follow-up to that, a personality profile from ABC’s 20/20 shot around the same time.
You don’t tend to think of 20/20 as being so cutting edge today, but this story must’ve been quite a startling thing for some Americans to have beamed into their living rooms 30 years ago. I can vividly recall my parents being very perplexed by this piece and why I thought David Bowie was “cool” in the first place. It just didn’t make sense to them.
People, I have a new guru. A visionary, a sage, a seer. I hang on his every uttering like they are precious droplets of Mana. He is a true master, and I am keen to follow in his ways.
His name is David Gibson, and he is the author of a book called The Art Of Mixing, a text used by some of the world’s top music production courses to show how best to “mix down” a track using its individual parts (drums/bass/vocals/etc). At some point in the early-to-mid 90s David also produced a video guide to accompany his book, using primitive computer graphics to help explain various ideas. Imagine if Wayne Campbell’s cable-access show had been directed by Tim & Eric, and concerned solely with music production techniques and the intricacies of a track’s mix, and you’re in the right ballpark.
The Art of Mixing (subtitled A Visual Guide to Recording, Engineering and Production) uses a very clever two-dimensional representation of a song’s “sound world” to show how effects, pan, track levels and EQ can be used to alter a song’s final mix, its shape, movement and dynamics. As well as imparting valuable information that any music producer will appreciate—be they bedroom or studio, headphone, Mackie mixer or Neve desk, witch haus, thrash metal or trad jazz—what really shines through is Gibsons sheer joy at working with music. This dude just exudes good vibes (in a slightly goofy, 90s-retro way, natch.)
In the modern world music is both hugely rejoiced and profoundly debased. Talent shows spread a myth that music is merely an easy route to fame, and that fame should be a musician’s ultimate goal before they are disposed of by the corporate behemoth in favour of the next big thing that comes down the machine’s pipeline. At the same time the tools for creating music have become easier than ever to obtain, as have the distribution methods, and now everyone’s voice can be heard. I believe we NEED people like David Gibson right now to remind us WHY we make music, and just why music is so precious, so magical, so moving and so much fun.
Gibson does not shy away from talking about music’s innate spiritual dimension and the long path of discovery, both personal and musical, for anyone who chooses to work with music. To the more literal-minded reader this may sound corny, but it is important to remember that music IS an artform, with as much wisdom to impart to the practitioner as any other discipline, be it scientific, artistic or spiritual. David Gibson is the Buddha of the track bounce. He IS the Anti-Cowell.
What you see below is the conclusion of The Art Of Mixing in its video form, as uploaded to YouTube, and it is truly inspiring. I have started at the end because it gives a very neat summary of the topics covered in the book/video, but also, in the words of Guru Dave himself:
Now that we have covered all of the dynamics you can create using the equipment… we’ll let you begin this lifelong exploration on your own.
David Gibson “The Art Of Mixing (Part 17)”
David Gibson’s The Art Of Mixing: A Visual Guide to Recording, Engineering and Production is available to buy, in book form, on Amazon.
Minutemen unplugged on Los Angeles public access TV, 1985. The band’s stripped-down, percussive sound, gets into some sinuous grooves in this soulful acoustic set.
Setlist: The Meter Man/Corona/Themselves/The Red And The Black/Badges/
I Felt Like Gringo/Time/Green River/Lost/Ack Ack Ack/Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love/
History Lesson Part II/Tour Spiel/Little Man With A Gun In His Hand
I Am a Hotel is a rather odd (occasionally kitsch) musical written by Leonard Cohen which was broadcast on Canadian TV in 1983. The plot is composed of a series of five vignettes dealing with love, sex and longing. Each story is based on a Cohen song.
The action takes place in the King Edward Hotel in Toronto. Cohen portrays a character known simply as The Resident, a Greek chorus of one.
Co-written by Mark Shekter and directed by Allan F. Nicholls.
1. The Guests - the characters enter via the lobby and are taken to their rooms; the bellboy and chambermaid meet in the corridor; and the manager and his wife apparently have angry words in the lobby after which she strides off.
2. Memories - the bellboy pursues the chambermaid around the laundry and ballroom.
3. The Gypsy Wife - the manager’s wife, in fetching attire, dances on the boardroom table.
4. Chelsea Hotel # 2 - two lovers try, and fail, to make love, and the admiral and diva at last face each other across the hallway.
5. Suzanne - scenes of “Suzanne” with Cohen are interspersed with shots of the two couples reunited and dancing together, and the hotel manager distraught and then drinking at the bar.
A short epilogue repeats the opening material from ‘The Guests’.
The official website for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is the latest victim in a massive online attack against both the government and entertainment industry.
The Bureau’s official website, FBI.gov, went down Thursday evening after hacktivists participating in campaigns waged by the loose knit collective Anonymous attacked a series of sites in retaliation for a raid earlier in the day against the Megaupload service.
Following a federal raid that not only shut down the file sharing service Megaupload but also led to more than 20 warrants being served and at least seven arrests internationally, hacktivists took to the Web to respond. The result was an attack on the sites of several entertainment industry and government sites that crippled many of them. The websites for the US Department of Justice and Universal Music Group were among the first to go, with the sites for US Copyright Office, Warner Music, BMI, and RIAA following suit shortly after. At around 7:40 PM ET, FBI.gov finally went down.
Anonymous have also issued this video, declaring the launch of Operation Blackout, and stating:
This is not only an Anonymous collective call to action… this is a call for a worldwide internet and ohysical protest against the powers that be.
The reaction to this is going to be interesting, to say the least!