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Alain De Botton: Writer In Residence, Heathrow
08.20.2009
05:15 pm
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Lending further merit to my sense that the shape of things to come will have “Ballardian” contours, London’s Heathrow Airport has just established Alain De Botton as its first “writer in residence.”  Leaving aside such notions as to how De Botton’s supposed to “reside” in an airport (he’s sleeping in an adjacent Sofitel), the author of The Art of Travel and How Proust Can Change Your Life starts his day like any other writer—at a desk, typing at his laptop.

De Botton’s desk just happens to be, though, in the middle of Terminal 5, and his typing appears in real time on a screen behind him.  What’s he writing about?  De Botton’s book title says it all: A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary.  If you think this smells like a stunt, you’re right.  As Dan Glover, from Heathrow’s PR agency, says,

the campaign sought to stimulate ?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.20.2009
05:15 pm
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The Beatles: The Video Game (And Trailer)
08.19.2009
01:39 pm
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While my video game muscles have long since atrophied (I was always more a pinball man), and I reach for my Revolver only rarely these days, I read every word of the NYT’s While My Guitar Gently Beeps, which describes the enormous effort that went into pulling off The Beatles: Rock Band.  Beyond its account, though, of welcome, surviving Beatles-Yoko Ono-Giles Martin d?ɬ

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.19.2009
01:39 pm
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Versailles Philharmonic Quintet: Japanese Heavy Metal in Drag
08.17.2009
07:50 pm
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From Wikipedia: “Versailles (known as Versailles Philharmonic Quintet in the United States) is a Japanese metal band formed in 2007. It is composed of several notable figures in the “visual kei” scene. Versailles’ key characteristics are their Renaissance-esque costumes, dueling guitar sounds and heavy but melodic arrangements.”

Take a gander at these guys! Versailles’ shredding guitarist, Hizaki, is a fetching tranny fan favorite who can put Eddie Van Halen to shame (at least in the hair and make-up departments):


Here’s one more music video by Versailles. This one is called The Revenant Choir:

 

Facebook fan page of Japanese Metal Princess Hizaki

Thank you John Bertram!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.17.2009
07:50 pm
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Dylan Dog: To American Horror What Italian Vogue is to American Vogue
08.16.2009
06:21 pm
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Supernatural investigators are a time-honored tradition in genre fiction. Sherlock Holmes, Randolph Carter, Carnacki the Ghost-Finder, Kolchak the Night-Stalker, Harry D’Amour, Harry Dresden, John Constantine, Fox Mulder. It’s as important of an archetype as, say, the cowboy.

Which explains why, as with cowboys, Italy has appropriated the tradition and made it vaguely more gay and better-dressed, specifically with Dylan Dog. I saw these comics for the first time in Rome in 2004, in Archie’s Digest-format, where they stack them at newsstands along with, well, the cowboy comics. The eponymous character is a macho detective in a black blazer and open-collared red shirt, with a sidekick who is, um, Groucho Marx. Literally. Why, I have no clue. (Also, his boss is named “Inspector Bloch” in an homage to Robert Bloch, Lovecraft protegee and author of Psycho.) All of the stories are pastiches of American movies or fiction, usually with more violence and boobs.

It all works well enough that apparently Hollywood is counter-appropriating it and making a film version, called “Dead of Night,” with Brandon Routh, directed by, um… the guy who did Snakes on a Plane. Actually, that might fit perfectly, now that I think about it…. Fun!

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.16.2009
06:21 pm
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Tim and Eric: We’re All Riding In Our Minivan
08.16.2009
12:06 pm
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Here’s some old guy synthpop madness courtesy of Tim and Eric.  Kraftwerk’s got nothin’ on these dudes!


Minivan Highway EL Remix

Tim and Eric

Thanks Gord Fynes!

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.16.2009
12:06 pm
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Coachella 2009 Timelapse
08.12.2009
12:00 pm
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(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.12.2009
12:00 pm
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The Comedy Genius of Sharon Horgan
08.11.2009
12:08 pm
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Actress/writer Sharon Horgan (right) is amongst the first ranks of British comedic talent. Up there with Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan and The League of Gentlemen. But I don’t mean to compare her solely to males, I’m merely comparing her to other writer-performers. Horgan’s so good that, like her closest contemporary Julia Davis, her work so thoroughly transcends the notion of “female comedy” or “comedy for women” that it would be ridiculous to insist upon it.

Still, Horgan does happen to be a female, and a very attractive one at that. The series she is best known for Pulling (the second series comes out today on DVD in America) follows the travails of three single women in dead-end jobs and even worse relationships. Her acting style is similar in many ways to Warren Beatty or Gary Shandling’s awkward hemming and hawing, half-finished sentence school of acting (ugh, there I go with male comparisons again). With creative partner, Dennis Kelly, she knows how to write for her strengths. Like Gervais and Larry David, Horgan is a master at finding uncomfortable truths in the in-between moments of life. It’s tempting to describe Pulling as Sex and The City meets Curb Your Enthusiasm.


Sadly, the suits at the BBC—for whatever DUMBASS reason—decided not to renew Pulling for a third series. They did commission a one-off ending to the series, so it was neatly tied-up, but boy did they drop the ball on this one… However, the BBC’s loss is America’s gain as Horgan has reportedly signed a deal with HBO (Great move, HBO!)

Here are two more scenes from Pulling, one where Horgan’s Donna meets an old friend on the street and a second clip featuring fan favorite Karen in a typically awkward encounter in the supermarket.

More Sharon Horgan brilliance: In this painfully observed scene from Horgan and Kelly’s ensemble comedy for Channel Five, Angelo’s, husband and wife police partners, Dave and Karen visit the fertility clinic.

The Awl’s Alex Balk likes Pulling, too

‘There’s no moral centre to Pulling because we don’t have one!’

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.11.2009
12:08 pm
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The Now Explosion: The Original MTV
08.10.2009
01:56 pm
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The Now Explosion was an early attempt—ten years before MTV—to make a music video network. The programming on The Now Explosion consisted mostly of professionally produced music videos of the era, but they also generated dozens of hours of homegrown music videos featuring lip-sync and amateur performers slathered with tons of primitive special effects (and this was 25 years before YouTube!).

The “Now Explosion” first aired in Atlanta on Channel 36 in 1970. It was a Top 40 music program which, along with airing the current songs of the day, showed images to go with the music, all to the patter of an unseen DJ. Images came from promotional films and videotapes from the bands’ management, but the show’s producer, Bob Whitney, also created in-studio and on-location film and tape images to play with the songs. He created psychedelic visual effects over the images, producing rapid zooms, shapes morphing on top of images, multiple colors and images. The show is a very good depiction of the music, cultural imagery, and clothing styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

 

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Not much survives from The Now Explosion, although many hours were recently preserved by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection in Georgia.

Click HERE to see a video reel of highlights from The Now Explosion.

The Now Explosion website

An interview with Atlanta reporter, Miriam Longino, about her efforts to uncover the history of The Now Explosion

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.10.2009
01:56 pm
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Super Montage of Dan Meth’s Cartoon Influences
08.08.2009
12:02 pm
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I had a total blast watching this!  Dan Meth says, “When people ask ‘What are your cartoon influences?’, it usually stumps me?

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.08.2009
12:02 pm
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Interactive 360?Ǭ? Panaorama Video = AWESOME
08.03.2009
02:16 pm
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If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s this video worth?


Brought to you by the fine folks at yellowBird

 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.03.2009
02:16 pm
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