BUKOWSKI: BORN INTO THIS is the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the life and times of the hard drinking, hard living, and hard loving author Charles Bukowski. Director John Dullaghan traces Bukowski’s life, from an abusive childhood through decades of poverty and alcoholism; numerous menial jobs and turbulent relationships; through 14 years as a postal employee; and his eventual international celebrity as a poet, novelist and underground cult icon. Both an intimate portrait and an expose’ of Bukowski’s sordid lifestyle, Born Into This is a story of struggle and redemption, pain and humor, and above all, artistic truth and authenticity. Watch the film in full after the jump:
In case you missed it, watch a clip from last week’s Yo Gabba Gabba episode featuring Band Of Horses performing the super kid (and adult) friendly new song “Out in Nature”. The episode featured appearances by the Decemberists, Biz Markie and 30 Rock star Jack McBrayer. Pretty Solid lineup for Nickelodeon. Why didn’t they have kid shows like this when I was a kid! Watch the video below:
Here are some of our other favorite performances on the show because listening and dancing to music… is… awesome. :
Before you break their hearts, they’re going to break your nose. So sing Peter Bjorn and John on “Breaker Breaker”—the kinda punk, kinda bare, totally infectious album preview for Gimme Some, out in March. We have not seen the sugarpop Swedes rock this hard before, and we are into it, big time. This less-is-more video of the trio speedily pounding the pain away doesn’t hurt, either.
MP3 DOWNLOAD:Peter Bjorn & John – Breaker Breaker
Aussie born/New York-based street artist Ian “Kid Zoom” Strange has been making some big moves in the urban art world. Last month, under the mentorship of Ron English, Strange put together his first international solo show: “This City Will Eat Me Alive…” at pop-up gallery in New Yorks Meatpacking district. The short run space was filled with a collection of work ranging from massive sculptures to even more massive paintings. Strange also put together a time lapse video this past summer overlooking NYC that you can check out after the bump.
Check out more of Kid Zoom here: kid-zoom.com
Graphic designer Mike Perry and his photographer girlfriend Anna Wolf, talk about art and moustaches, in a short film from director Bill Stepanoski for the non-profit organization Movember which fights cancer and shaving: two of society’s greatest ills. Movember 2010 launched in New York, LA and Toronto with “The Fine Line”: a moustache-inspired art exhibition featuring artists Chris Johanson, Natas Kaupas, Cheryl Dunn, Patrick O’Dell, Gia Coppola, Sage Grazer, Kelsey Brookes, Mike Perry and Anna Wolf.
Under Great White Northern Light, the 92 minute documentary film about The White Stripes containing footage from the bands 2007 Canadian tour is now available from the iTunes Movie Store for under $10.00.
In the summer of 2007, shortly after the release of their 6th album ICKY THUMP, The White Stripes headed north of their hometown of Detroit to embark on an ambitious journey across Canada. The plan was to play a show in every province and territory in Canada, from B.C. to Newfoundland to Nunavut. “Having never done a tour of Canada, Meg and I thought it was high time to go whole hog…from the ocean to the permafrost” says Jack White. “We wanted to play out of the way towns that don’t usually get shows…the shows are better, it’s better for the people, it’s a better experience, it’s way more unique, something interesting is going to happen…hopefully.”
White called upon filmmaker Emmett Malloy to come and document this trek for the band. Malloy had directed videos for the band in the past, and seemed eager to hit the road with them. Equipped with a couple of 16mm cameras, and a few other documenting devices, the band and crew all headed north. The end result was UNDER THE GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS.(ifc)
“Crime Pays”, pays off for Brooklyn’s tribal pop quartet Bear Hands. Dogfighting, illegal gambling, S&M, prostitution, armed robbery and kidnapping have never looked so cool as in this elegantly shot video from Andrei Bowden-Schwartz. Make sure to watch until (1:10) for a cameo from big Mike! (Tyson).
Neon Indian’s music video for “Mind, Drips” off Psychic Chasms is a psychedelic chill wave trip directed by Lars Larsen and Edward Lecki using a technique called the LZX Visionary; an analog synthesizer that manipulates images.
Here’s a rad sampling of what to expect from Pop Gun Booking’s upcoming shows in January in New York. Check out the mix below:
January 2k11 by popgunbooking
1. Smith Westerns – Weekend
2. Guards – Resolution of One
3. Bass Drum of Death – Get Found
4. Minks – Funeral Song
5. Yuck – Georgia
6. Nightlands – 300 Clouds
7. Tony Castles – Black Girls
8. Oberhofer – Landline
9. Parlovr – Pen To The Paper
10. Motive – Nobody Eats My Dinner
So, it’s a new year, and I think we could all use some new music! What better way to start, than by checking out Yellow Ostrich tomorrow night, Tuesday January 4th, at Mercury Lounge.
Apparently Wisconsin is a really cool, creative place? I didn’t particularly feel that way when I lived there, I mostly felt hung-over and cold…Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that I have had the good fortune to stumble across Wisconsin’s Alex Schaaf, a.k.a Yellow Ostrich. I first heard them live on KEXP while lying in bed listening to John in the morning. The thing that struck me about Yellow Ostrich was not the sound they are creating, but the sounds they are not creating. The minimalist, stripped down harmonies backed by a little drum and even less guitar sounds refreshing in the sea of lo-fi noisy garage rock that seems to be sweeping Brooklyn. The band consists of two guys, Schaff building vocal harmonies with precise looping and a little bit of guitar and Michael Tapper of Bishop Allen and We Are Scientist on drums.
Warhol-ish new video from Eternal Summers for “Pogo” directed by Cameron Nelson off their new LP Silver.
British Sea Power’s latest video for the new track ” Living is so Easy” off their forthcoming album Valhalla Dancehall was shot on London’s Brick Lane. Directed by Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull, the video pulls inspiration from Henri-Georges Clouzot’s unfinished film L’Enfer.
We weren’t sure what to get you this year for the holidays… so, we made you a mix! We’ve loaded up the player below with some old classics and new rock, punk and indie holiday jams from artists like Julian Casablancas, The Kinks, The Knife, The Flaming Lips to the Ramones. So, whether you have been naughty or nice this year, pour yourself a drink, click play and get your jolly on with discosalt! Happy Holidays and feel free to re-gift this link to your friends.
London based photographer/ motion image designer Chloe Rose Hayward’s work is very broad, encompassing elements of design, directing and creating unique visual effects. Her “photographs are enveloped by a sort of nebulous periphery. Simply put, they seem more like snapshots of daydreams.” You can check out some of Chloe’s photo portfolio above or watch Hello Mexico ‘Five Twenty Seven’ from Chloe Rose on Vimeo.
The Go! Team may have slipped into the indie back blogs of a few years back, but they are still making explosive music and making another go at the hype with their new video for “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.”off their forthcoming 2011 release, Rolling Blackouts. It’s like day-glo baby Einstein for spastic people.
DOWNLOAD: The Go! Team – “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.”
Aussie psych-rockers Tame Impala rock out in the new Clemens Habicht’s video for “Expectation”. The track is off this year’s Innerspeaker, which is easily one of the best albums of 2010. After their last video for “Lucid”, the band not only continues to explore their psychedelic sound, but some tricked out camera devices, using a fish-eye panoramic effect that keeps the camera spinning around the band for the duration of the video. Check it out below:
If the scripts from Stigmata, Vertigo and Basic Instinct were re-worked into one perverse triller, then sent back to the 60’s and shot by Roman Polanski, you might get The Scissor Sisters new Nicolás Méndez directed video for the track “Invisible Light”. Trippy evil clowns, unicorns, stigmatas, crotch shots, laser beams, nudity and the most memorable ass-grab of the year after the bump. The track appears on the band’s most recent album Night Work.
Tim Exile (Warp Records) is hosting a pioneering interactive online jam session tomorrow,Thursday 9th December at 7pm. He is giving fans the chance to collaborate with him live via the internet using Soundcloud’s new capture and share feature. Sound interesting? Tune in HERE
This jam will highlight the launch of SoundCloud’s upgraded iphone app, which allows users to easily record sounds on their phone using a simple record button and upload them to their account online, or send to other users. A whopping two million people use SoundCloud to hold their recorded music.
Having released three studio albums on respected labels Warp and Planet Mu and collaborating with artists such as Imogen Heap and Micachu, Tim is also famed for his rather different approach to performing live. He uses software he has created himself to make layers upon layers of algorithms allowing him to manipulate anything and everything in real time. Songs are improvised and morphed until they have been taken to an entirely new and exciting plain. Now Tim wants to take his own performance and make it interactive.
Independent filmmaker Martin Scanlan and Steve Lawes, a UK based Director of Photography, shot this short film Convergence with music from Micah Berek. Convergence is the first short film in the world to be shot on the new Sony PMW-F3 camera and Martin and Steve are just giving the film away for nothing. You can download the final film from Vimeo, read more about the film on their blog convergenceblog.co.uk or watch the film below:
Written and directed by Adam Christian Clark, with cinematography from Shu Chou, Goodbye Shanghai tells the story of two Western bankers who while embezzling $14 billion from a Chinese bank for the US government, grab $15 million in cash for themselves. They store it in an upright bass case and wander the streets of Shanghai, waiting for their morning departure. When the more experienced of the two insists they spend their last night partying in a local club, the night takes a wild turn. Goodbye Shanghai explores the negative effects of Western imperialism on modern Chinese culture.
Skateistan: To Live And Skate Kabul is a beautifully shot film that follows the lives of a group of young skateboarders in Afghanistan. Operating against the backdrop of war and bleak prospects, the Skateistan charity project is the world’s first co-educational skateboarding school, where a team of international volunteers work with girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 17, an age group largely untouched by other aid programmes.
A sleep-deprived office worker accidentally discovers a black hole – and then greed gets the better of him in this short film from Diamond Dogs.
Reputable purveyors of compelling niche music, Scion A/V has made it’s first foray into feature length cinema with New Garage Explosion!!: In Love With These Times, a gritty cross section of one of rock’s most exciting subgenres, garage. Produced by Scion and Vice, the film will premiere in three parts on Scion A/V’s website Monday, November 22nd, Tuesday the 23rd and Wednesday the 24th and then will stream in its entirety on Scion A/V’s website as well as VBS.tv, the webcast arm of Vice Magazine, on Thursday the 25th.
WATCH NEW GARAGE EXPLOSION!!: IN LOVE WITH THESE TIMES HERE:
After a brief nod to garage’s humble beginnings amongst American youth in Detroit during the 1960s and its contribution and influence on ’80s punk, the documentary focuses on the scintillating present. As it pans trans-nationally, the camera profiles artists like the late Jay Reatard, Black Lips, The Dirtbombs, Thee Oh Sees, Smith Westerns, Vivian Girls and many more in an attempt to understand not only the exponential ascent of garage rock’s popularity but the reason these people feel so passionately about it. A wide-eyed glimpse into a musical movement, New Garage Explosion!!: In Love With These Times is as much about the music as it is about the people contributing to the distinct scenes of the San Francisco, Oakland, Detroit, NewYork, Memphis, Atlanta, and Portland garage communities.
VBS directors Joseph Patel and Aaron Brown worked with producer/journalist Mike McGonigal to offer a particularly in depth examination of a multi-dimensional and often misunderstood slice of popular culture unfolding in front of us. New Garage Explosion!!: In Love With These Times is a candid snapshot of this magically vibrant moment in rock history, inspirational and brimming with DIY purity.
Amp Live (one half of Zion I) remixed Lyrics Born’s ‘Lies x 3’ from LB’s latest album, As U Were. A Bay Area dream team collab worth checking out:
Lyrics Born – Lies x 3 (Amp Live Remix)
Check the video out below:
In a couple of days Girls are set to release a new 6 song album “Broken Dreams Club”. And in case you missed this a couple of days ago, Christopher performed a suite of songs he wrote at the Matador 21 event in Las Vegas in October. The video shows a big part of what we love about Girls, touching and heartfelt songs written and performed with the spirit of a true craftsman. Although they’re not currently recorded, they’re definitely worth checking out.
Switzerland’s entfant terrible, WILDLIFE! first gained public attention for his unanimously praised musical productions on Terry Lynn’s debut album “Kingstonlogic 2.0“. He continued making waves with his signature dancehall influenced take on contemporary electronic music with remixes for the likes of The Very Best, Poirier, Marina & The Diamonds, The Do, and released his debut EP “Jumbie” in Fall 2009 getting dancefloors bubbling with mad love from many a key player around the globe, with remixes from Schlachthofbronx, Mixhell, Edu K, and Beware & Motorpitch. After hitting hard with his uptempo club material like “Jumbie” or his recent 135 bpm smasher “Metazoa“, released on Buraka Som Sistema’s Enchufada label in early fall 2010, WILDLIFE! now hits back with a fresh dancehall soaked project. BUCKUP! The new EP rolls across dancehall’s golden eras, with Sammy Dread and Major Mackerel re-licking some of their biggest tunes that had the scenes on lock in the 80’s and 90’s. Alongside these two legends we have new era vanguard Terry Lynn paying tribute to the times by flipping a touch of Ini Kamoze’s “How You Living” into her own contemporary genre-bending monster with a double jeopardy attack.
“Buck UP” is officially released on the 22nd November but is exclusively available now via Bandcamp with a rather flexible price tag. He’s asking you to name your own price, with no minimum for a limited time!
Stream the album Below:
Brad Elterman’s golden rule of concerts?
“There’s always a party.”
And if anyone is an authority on this, it’s Elterman.
Around a curtained corner in the posh Le Parker Meridien hotel on Manhattan’s West Side, under a neon burger sign, I sit down with prolific rock photographer, Brad Elterman. The Burger Joint is a crowded hole-in-the-wall in the middle of this luxury hotel. Elterman has suggested this place for dinner, which turned out to be apropos for the man himself.
Elterman is a sort of Everyman – a completely unpretentious, quality guy, who just happens to seat himself in the middle of decadence. At sixteen, he borrowed a friend’s camera and snapped a shot of Dylan performing on stage, launching a whirlwind career that has given him backstage access to just about every rock/punk/pop legend to grace the stage and my high school bedroom walls. He has partied with the best, and he has spent his life chronicling these adventures.
As we talk, I realize how genuinely interested Elterman is in hearing my perspective on his photos: why do I like them and what do they mean to me? He talks about music, his disgust for today’s pop culture, why he likes Lindsey Lohan. He appreciates a good burger, a good beer, a good whiskey. He just also happens to be good friends with Cherie Currie, used to party with nude girls at The Mega Mansion in Beverly Hills four times a week, and still has dinner with the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones.
Elterman’s new, limited-edition, signed, seventy-two page book, Like It Was Yesterday, which has graciously included Discosalt in the intro, is a personal collection of fifty-five provocative black and white and color glossies. Pop culture aficionados are transported back to the long gone, but not forgotten, rock-and-roll renaissance of the seventies and eighties. It’s a collection of raw, candid, often intimate snapshots of celebrities at a point in time when celebrity meant something very different than it does today. Brad’s unadulterated images manage to capture and transcend something beyond the guise of the lens: a loner slacker Joey Ramone in a parking garage; a workaholic David Bowie hustling to his car at 6am; Steve Jones showing off his “sex pistol” in a swimming pool. These are moments that can never be reproduced in a studio.
As we chew the fat about his prolific career and the book, I realize that Brad’s rule for concerts, doesn’t only apply to concerts. It’s sort of his life mantra. There is always a party, if you are looking for one. And Brad is always looking, thankfully right behind a camera.
DISCOSALT: Do you have an all time favorite photo you have shot over the years?
BRAD ELTERMAN: Probably the photo that I took of Bob Dylan backstage at The Roxy in 1976. It wasn’t just the photo, it was getting to meet Dylan, shaking his hand, chatting with him and to take his photograph with Robert DeNiro. It was really something.
DS: Craziest Party you’ve ever been to?
BE: Warner Bros Records threw The Faces with Rod Stewart a party at The Green House in Beverly Hills. That was probably around 1976. I was invited by Rod’s colorful publicist Tony Toon and at one table sat Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, David Blue, Cher with Greg Allman and Paul and Linda McCartney. I did not own a wide angle lens so I just zoomed in on Dylan at the table. Floating around the party was Jimmy Page, Rod with Brit Eklund and best of all Bryan Ferry. I will never forget that evening as long as I live.
DS: How is Celebrity different today than it was back in the 70’s and 80’s?
BE: Celebrity today? There is no real celebrity today. I had Dylan and The Ramones and today you have Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga. No interest to me. Pop Culture today is created in an attorney’s office in Century City. In the office is a lawyer, manager, publicist and a booking agent with some hand selected overproduced starlet. Let’s see how they are remembered in three decades.
DS: Are you still in touch with any of the musicians in the book and have you gotten any of their reactions to the photos today, looking back?
BE: I see Leif Garrett once in a while. Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols lives up the street from me and we dine from time to time. Steve adores the photograph of him jerking off in my pool in 1978. We talk about it all the time! I just saw Bebe Buell in New York last week.
DS: Who would you love to shoot today?
BE: Lindsay Lohan. She is a photographers dream and she is loaded with controversy. That’s what makes a great photograph. I am sure that I will photograph her one day, but I refuse to pay her for a photo session. Instead I will share with her all of my stories and sign for her a copy of my book! I will photograph her with a roll of black and white film just like it was yesterday.
Like It Was Yesterday is officially out this Decemeber 2, in all its signed, 500-limited-edition, seventy-two page glory. Can’t wait until December? We found two hard-cover copies available on Amazon for $150 here. This is sure to become a collector’s piece, so grab one!
No guitars, no keyboards, just a big pair of lungs and two drummers attempting to discourage apathy and incite people to stand up and say NO! Really? I’m indifferent….but The Agitator’s rousing call to arms ‘Give Me All That You Got’ video was released this week in an attempt to become a spokesperson for a generation disillusioned with their situation, be it the huge increase in tuition fees, money grabbing bankers, the poverty gap, the return of the McRib, Coffee houses without kombucha or whatever else that is effecting them. The video was filmed in Central London amongst the revellers on a buzzing Saturday night.
Jónsi (Jon Birgisson) front man of Iceland’s Sigur Rós, played the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York last night (11/10/10), marking an end to the bands North American Tour and treating the audience to a sensory maelstrom. The show set opened with a striped down acoustic “Stars in Still Water”, brandishing Jon’s trademark falsetto croon which permeated every hidden crack and cranny in the room, swooping and soaring through a forest of nature inspired animation projected behind the stage. The musical elements of the show, notably piano, harmonium and Jon’s signature sustained “ooooo” were only heightened by dramatic lighting and graphics that provided just the right stimuli to push the performance into a mesmerizing sensory realm, unearthing a wonderland of magical Icelandic forests, fire, animals, and spirits of the night. The only thing missing… elves.
The set ended on “Around Us”, with Jon alone on his knees fiddling with vocal effects pedals, returning for a ceremonial encore of “Sticks and Stones”, showboating an enormous feathered headdress, spinning around on stage like a mystical shaman. The final song, “Grow Til Tall” was easily the most moving track from the night; Jonsi’s fragile tenor escalating the dizzying volume of sonic layers and then gliding back down, only to completely take off into a beautiful moody falsetto flight of “You’ll… know,You’ll… know,You’ll… know,You’ll… know!…” Only then, resonating into an intense percussive firework explosion, as bright lights flashed like lightning against a raging snow storm and blowing branches.
You can check out some videos from the show that have made their way onto youtube and a performance from Jonsi which aired last night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon below:
Strange things happen in the dark and photographer and Cargo Collective artist, Trinh Huynh has a new photo essay that chronicles her night time adventures. “There is something so intriguing about non-descript night time shots of people, places and things during an adventure outing. Maybe it’s because it stirs up raw, almost adolescent emotions that make you want to recapture your youth; or perhaps it makes you pause and think of your own foolishly awesome adventures. Either way, Trinh Huynh’s series of photographs seem like quiet reflections of amazing escapades.” Sick Of The Radio
DFA label mate and LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Whang lends her vocal stylings and jam pants to Shit Robot’s (Marcus Lambkin) single “Take ‘Em Up” off their debut album Cradle to the Rave. Clicks and beeps from Ireland mixed with some new wave synthy nostalgia to keep your toe dragging. Watch the video below:
Exciting news from Discosalt Artist Pam Glew. Her long awaited second London solo show is coming to town. Eddie Lock and Death by Daylight will present the ‘Circus’ exhibition at Red Bull Studios.
The exhibition will showcase 15 brand new pieces. This is her most iconic series of work to date and includes European flags, a ‘love series’ made from deconstructed stars & stripes and new distinctive portraits of cult figures.
Where: Red Bull Studios • 155-171 Tooley Street • London • SE1 2JP
Nearest tube London Bridge
When: Friday 26 November – Thursday 2 December
Opening hours 11-7 weekdays • Sat 10-5pm • Sun 12-5pm
The no frills indie garage band will team up once more with Welsh rockers The Joy Formidable for a November tour. This time Grouplove joins in the fun as well. Grab some downloads from the The Dig’s EP Electric Toys and check them out of tour. Tour dates below:
MP3: THE DIG-“YOU’RE ALREADY GONE”
MP3: THE DIG- “TWO SISTERS IN LOVE”
THE DIG & THE JOY FORMIDABLE
Nov 3 – Toronto @ Horseshoe Tavern
Nov 4 – Montreal @ Petit Campus
Nov 5 – Quebec City @ L’Agitee
Nov 6 – Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse
Nov 8 – Columbus, OH @ Wexner Center For The Arts
Nov 9 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas
Nov 11 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat (also with Grouplove)
Nov 12 – Harrisburg, PA @ The Abbey Bar (also with Grouplove)
Nov 13 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott (also with Grouplove)
Nov 15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s (also with Grouplove)
Nov 16 -NYC @ Bowery Ballroom (also with Grouplove)
Hermanos Inglesos have sent over a little post Halloween treat for you. They’ve remixed one of my favourite Yeasayer songs ‘Madder Red’. It has all the greatness of the original with the added bonus the Hermanos Inglesos injection of fun. There are a few noises in there that wouldn’t sound out of place on Rip it Up and Start Again by Orange Juice. That might seem like a bold claim but that’s kind of what it reminded me of. Check it out below:
Pop Le Top! This years Halloween debauchery might be over but thanks to Discosalt.com, your drunken party photos will live on…forever. You’re welcome! Big thanks to our friends Team Genius, nihiti, and The Surveyor for bringing the noise Saturday night! And to everyone who came out to celebrate, support, piss in the hallway and make this years Discosalt Halloween Bash such a great night, we salute you. Hope to see you all at our next party! (minus you: hall pisser)
Discosalt Costume Contest Winner!!!
And to the lucky Raffle Prize winners: we will see you ladies on our magical date…dress to impress!
Time to dust your wig, trick your treat, reeces your pieces and freak the demons again! The celebrated Discosalt Halloweekend Bash is back by popular demand. This year we are taking over the DCTV Firehouse on Lafayette Street, with live music from Brooklyn’s Team Genius, nihiti, a DJ set from The Surveyor and some special tricks and treats to satisfy your Halloween sweet tooth. The details:
LOCATION: DCTV Firehouse, 87 Lafayette Street (6 Train to Canal Street)
WHEN: 9pm-2pm, Saturday October 30
***OPEN BAR 9pm-2pm***
$25.00 at the door
Warpaint’s official video for “Undertow” is the directorial debut from indie girl hottie Shannyn Sossamon (The Rules of Attraction, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). Shannon, who briefly played drums with the band, is also sister to Bassist Jenny Lee. Grab the free track and watch the video below:
Ground control to Wolf Parade. In the new Scott Coffey directed video for the cinematic “Yulia” off Wolf Parade’s Expo 86, a Soviet astronaut on a secret black mission is rocketed into space leaving behind a woman he may never see again. It’s sort of a Major Tom, Cold War conspiracy style with a nod to Russian cinema. In the song, the protagonist is in a (metaphorical) space away from a woman named Yulia, but is he lost in space forever? Watch the video.
“During the Cold War at the beginning of the Space Age, the Soviet Union was rumored to have two space programs – one a public program, the other a secret ‘black’ one, in which dangerous and sometimes downright suicidal missions were attempted. Cosmonauts would be shot into orbit without the means or resources to get them home, stranded in an expanding orbit around earth, slowly pulling away, frozen in space for eternity. I wanted to create a kind of formal and slightly nostalgic vibe. At the same time, I wanted it to feel untethered to an exact era — not specifically in the past. I shot in Portland Oregon and a little in Romania and I was really inspired by Russian cinema and Communist propaganda posters. It was an ambitious idea and I’m really stoked thatDeschutes Brewery and North were able to help support the production of this video for Wolf Parade’s great song, Yulia.”– Scott Coffey
Southern Cali duo Best Coast serve up some much needed sun drenched pop stylings in their new video for “Boyfriend”, directed by Taylor Cohen. In the video, frontwoman Bethany Cosentino and band mate Bobb Bruno gig a Quinceañera Party and provide the soundtrack for a budding sweet fifteen year old romance. Anyone else have a crush on Bethany or want tacos now?
New York’s Electro-pop duo Shy Child pick up the pieces of MGMT’s “Electric Feel”, conjuring Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights Big City on Liquid Love; a post-modern new wave album drenched in enough pulsating 80’s dance beats, lush synth and wispy vocals to make Michael J. Fox self-destruct in comfort. The bittersweet friendship ballad “Dark Destiny”, which comes as a cool-down from the more glitzy, higher energy tracks on the album, leaves us with crooner Pete Cafarella declaring “I’ll keep defending choices you’re making” in a way that is both strangely uplifting and sincere…and makes us want to keep defending choices Shy Child is making. As to what the video has to do with all this, your guess is as good as mine but check it out below:
Matt W. Moore has been hard at work in his Portland, Maine studio on a bunch of new projects. His most recent collaboration is with his friend James Chiarelli. 3 hand-painted Telecasters and 9 effects pedals. The Guitars are available completed with Fender standard series necks, Jason Lollar pickups, and vintage style Fender hardware. All of which are hand-painted by Matt in his signature vector style design. Contact for pricing and availability.
Matt has also released volume #1 of his new book series: MWM : Diagonal Thinking. An 88-page softcover book filled with Black & White images, Art, Design, Illustrations, Murals, Graffiti, Patterns, Adventures, Discoveries, and Studio Process.
In the basement of New York’s Mercury Lounge, Discosalt sits down to chew the fat with seven members of the eight piece Brooklyn based musical group Team Genius. We discuss their new and yet to be released second album, the popularity of prime time vampire housewives, Latin pop-rapper Gerardo, Man-Dogs vs. Bears, and the future of Indie Rock.
Team Genius is: Drew Hermiller on vocals and guitars, Chad Hermiller on bass, bells and inspiration, Scottie D on drums and dreams, Emma Firth on vocals, guitar and mandolin, Chris Hudik on bass, Rebekah Allen on Trumpet, Elizabeth Allen on Sax, Keys and somewhere in South America, but with us in spirit, Erin Griffith.
DS: Is there one genius or a team of geniuses responsible for the bands name?
Drew: Hudik. (Chris Hudik, Bass) He was actually naming something else Team Genius. And then, I saw it, and I was like, yeah, that will work. And then, we just used that. At the time, we all pretty much used to play together but we were called Gee Whiz. But there is some old California pop funk group that already has that name and they sent us a “cease and desist”. So, we had to “cease and desist”. And then we were looking out for a new name and Hudick, who wasn’t even in the band at the time, came up with Team Genius.
DS: Where did you all meet and how did you all start playing music together?
Drew: Chad and I are brothers, so we met pretty early on. Rebecca and Elizabeth are sisters. And then lets see…we knew Scott in college. Chad and Scott both ran cross country at Ohio State, so we knew Scott pretty well. And then, Scott moved out here, maybe a year or two years before I did. Then, a month after I moved out here, Chad did. Sometime within the next six months we started kicking around and playing, just as a trio.
Scott: It was essentially a Ramones tribute band.
Chad: It was very Ramones style songs, yeah.
Drew: So, we did that for about a year or so (the trio). Then we started adding in pieces. One of the first pieces we added was Emma, who was friends with Chad’s girlfriend (now wife). And uh, lets see, we added Erin about the same time. She’s been a friend of mine from back home for a really long time. She moved out to New York a couple years after I did; so, that was keys. And then next, we added singer and guitar. And then, we brought in Hudik when he moved out here. And then he was friends with Rebecca and Elizabeth, so we brought them in. I think we brought in Rebecca first and then she brought in Elizabeth. And then we had eight.
DS: Isn’t that how the Brady Bunch got started?
Scott: We’ve been together for like a year and half and we’ve put out an album and a half. And we are working on a new album right now.
DS: Awesome. Are you at liberty to talk about the second album or is it too soon?
Drew: Yeah, we can talk about it. It’s all tracked. We are just basically fooling around with post production and arrangement stuff, and then mixing it. Now, we kind of need to sit down and figure out our business plan with it.
Chad: So actually, we made an EP, then we made the first record, then we made the whole second record; recorded it, mixed it, everything. It was the finished product. And then we decided to shelve it. Then, we just started all over, basically. We took two of the songs from that record and wrote like 9 or 10 more.
DS: Your song “ABC” was recently featured in an episode of “The Gates” which coincidentally airs on ABC. How did that collaboration come about and have you ever seen the Gates? I think it’s like Desperate Housewives that suck blood. So, basically Desperate Housewives.
Drew: We saw the first twenty-eight minutes of it, and then we all shut it off.
Scott: Um, yeah it’s terrible. We have no allegiance to the show. It was a company that someone told me about, so we checked with them. There are big companies that you send stuff too and they submit it to people and it’s basically just business. We sent it to them. They liked it. They took a couple songs, pitched them around and one landed.
Drew: I don’t know how that show is so popular? It’s like weirdly popular!
Chad: I don’t know if it’s REALLY popular?
Elizabeth: Not with you.
Scott: But it goes head to head with Madmen. Who would pick The Gates over Madmen?
[Discosalt is on Team Draper]
DS: You have been credited to a “sophisticated understanding of pop music” in other interviews, which I agree with. Does this come from a sophisticated study of pop music?
Chad: I would say that Drew sophisticatedly studied pop music for a very long time.
Drew: A lot of Beatles and Beach Boys. I didn’t take a class, but yeah. I took some theory in school here and there. And I also um, when I moved to New York, I didn’t really know how to sing, so I took some classes with a guy who graduated from Berkeley up in Boston. He taught me a lot of theory. Basically our classes were like half learning how to sing and the other half was just like a theoretical study of pop music. So, I did learn a lot from him. And then yeah, just a lifetime of listening to like Beatles, Beach Boys, and Stones and kind of moving up through modern music.
Chad: Elizabeth studied music.
Drew: She’s a music teacher!
Chad: Our first album was actually very poppy and on our second one, we went in a lot of different directions and then we realized that…
Scott: ….That kind of sucks?
Chad: We just like to dance and have fun.
Elizabeth: And jump around.
Chad: Jump around and make music, yeah. So this stuff is a lot simpler and a lot more fun.
Rebekah: And Drew’s got a really good ear for hearing the finished product, so he will write and have the shell but he can hear it already done. This is really amazing when we are learning the music.
DS: At what age did you first hear Gerardo?
(An eerie chill of Dead Silence)
DS: Rrrrrrrrico Suave!!? Should we discuss Milli Vanilli instead?
Drew: Oh shit! I remember seeing the video. That was like, what? Nineteen-ninety? Ninety-one? Two? Something like that.
Chad: Did he have like a follow up song?
Scott: Is he still trilling his “r’s” somewhere?
DS: Who are you recording with now? Who would you like to record with?
Drew: Um, anyone talented who will have us. We are recording right now with Eric Xyler from the band Xylos. You may have heard of them? They are popular around town.
Chad: Yeah, we played a couple shows with them. Specifically, we played one here in February. He and I kind of became friends and then, when it came time to start recording the songs we were working on, I just tossed it to him. and was like: ‘would you be interested in producing and recording it?’ Because I know he does a lot of that for his own writing. He was down for it too! Yeah, we’ve been working with him.
DS: Is “While We’re Asleep” an obvious nod to “Oh Yoko”? or is the track similarity completely in my head?
Drew: There’s definitely a similarity there. For sure.
Chad: We used to cover “Oh Yoko” And sometimes we would play them back to back. I think they are both just simple pop songs. Just a bouncy, high vocal, pop song.
DS: All three of your videos seem to have been shot locally in New York. Wondering if we could talk a little about them.
Drew: Did you see the one from when we were Gee Whiz? That’s my favorite.
DS: “I’m Just an idiot”?, yeah. That one is shot in a classroom, which I’m assuming was in New York?
Scott: I might get fired for saying where that was filmed. It was an old school out in Brooklyn and, um and we yeah, we went into it. We had access to it through my job. It didn’t have any electricity
Drew: Your company bought it and were talking about redoing it?
Scott: Allegedly, yeah. So it was in this real cool state of decay and I just always thought it would be a great place to do a video. We drove everybody out there and then realized it didn’t have any electricity, and the sun was going down so the entire video was shot in like 15 minutes.
Drew: Oh my god. Probably like 45 minutes. But yeah it was so rapid. And it was scary being there. Cool though
Scott: There was just like weird dust in there…and shit in the air. Nails coming out of the floor! Paint peeling off!
DS: Who owns the “pube onesie”? Fess up.
Scott: That’s an Adam and Eve costume! I’ve worn that several, several Halloweens. I still have it.
DS: Can I borrow it?
Scott: Absolutely. Let me know when. Seriously, it’s sitting in a closet.
DS: “While We’re Asleep” is shot in an apartment in Park Slope Was someone really moving in the video? or have I been duped by the magic of Hollywood… magic?
Chad: We were moving out that day and decided to shoot the video that day.
Drew: Well, we used to practice there. We had to do it all acoustic because they had neighbors. It was one weird little practice space
DS: Can we clear up some controversy? In the video fro “Take me Home” is the protagonist a bear or a man-dog?
Drew: It’s a bear. It was shot by Iyabo Boyd. She’s a good friend of ours and she’s very talented. We gave her creative license.
Chad: I’m a school teacher and my kids found out about that video and they all thought I was a dog and then I had to hear about it for two months at the end of last school year. Not very fun!
DS: Can you tell us which bar, you and the “man-dog”, I mean “man-bear”, are all playing pool in?
Drew: Oh the bar was our old standby for years. Like when we first moved to New York, we hung out at that bar a lot. So much so, that our friends all moved in above it. The owner of that bar lives above it and our friends lived in that same building. Like, he rented the apt right below them. We were regulars at that bar for like a year. They shut down the whole bar for like a Saturday so we could film that video.
Scott: East village. 7th Street between 1st and 2nd.
DS: Seems you all have really stable other jobs besides playing together. How do you balance it all?
Drew: We practice very little? No, every Monday night we practice.
Chad: I try to keep it as much a secret as I can.
Scott: We all have day jobs that we are passionate and interested in. It’s a little different for us.
Drew: I actually think its more the way more modern music will go, since music is pretty much wholly unprofitably anymore. Its more like, people still have careers and make music because they like it or, you know, when they have time to play because its fun. To me I guess that’s the most honest way to do it. We still like doing it and I love writing tunes with these guys and they love playing them. It’s fun to record with them and if people like it, I’ll assume, you know, that it’s nice to play shows when we can. But the idea that we will sell 500,000 copies and like be on the covers of a bunch of magazines and tour for ten years straight. It’s just not like that. That’s not really reasonable anymore. If you do that in the modern world you still would barely make enough money to pay your rent. And that definitely shapes our music. We are in it to have fun. We enjoy each others company.
Chad: If we got signed by Columbia that would totally be amazing though. Id definitely quit my job.
DS: Do you have a favorite venue to play?
Drew: Probably this one. Mercury Lounge.
Scott: Monkey town before it closed.
DS: If you could play someone elses instrument. Not necessarily functionally in the band, what would it be?
Elizabeth: If I knew how to drum I’d play drum
Scott: Id play guitar
Rebekah: I’d play accordion
Chad: Wait, I’d like to be Mick Jagger.
Elizabeth: He does do a good chicken dance!
DS: Who would win in a fight: Team Genius or Team America?
Drew: Probably the puppets?
Chad: 18 inch wooden puppets! We could totally kick their ass!
Drew: Maybe we should cover “America, Fuck Yeah!”?
DS: Do you guys have any favorite indie music blogs?
Drew: I read you guys.
Thanks to Team Genius for a great interview. If you haven’t seen these guys live, do yourself a service and check them out next time they are in town. Also, check back with Discosalt for our full Video interview with the band…coming soon.
A conversation with Jeffrey FriedmanDirectors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, Where are We?; The Celluloid Closet and Paragraph 175) give their cinematic take on Allen Ginsberg’s famously confessional, provocative poem in their most recent film, Howl. James Franco stars as the young Allen Ginsberg-poet, counter-culture adventurer, and chronicler of the Beat Generation as he recollects road trips, love affairs, and his search for personal liberation. The result is an incredibly engaging and visually stunning film that is part Beat documentary, part courtroom drama, and part hipster Fantasia meets Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
Discosalt spoke with independent filmmaker /director Jeffrey Friedman about making the film, growing up in a Bohemian upper west side left-wing intellectual family, meeting Ginsberg for the first time, and both the personal and cultural impact of the poem.
DISCOSALT: When did you first discover the poem and what kind of impact did it have on you ?
JEFFREY FRIEDMAN: I read it in high school. I went to a lefty-progressive high school in lower Manhattan, and I spent most of my junior year cutting classes and getting high in the park on the corner or tripping on acid in Central Park. Howl was an anthem of our counter-culture rebellion, passed to me by radical seniors who talked about “Moloch” when referring to “the Man.” I have no idea what I made of the poem, except I knew it was cool, and I knew it was speaking uncompromising and mind-dazzling truth. (Somehow I missed all the queer stuff at that age—amazing what the mind is capable of!)
I was aware of Ginsberg himself, of course: he was a kind of far-off guru figure to me. I encountered him once in person. I was dating a young teenage girl, I was very young myself, maybe 16, bursting at the seams, and my girlfriend came from an esteemed off-off-Broadway theater family. She took me backstage before a performance of Paradise Now, an event featuring Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s troupe of naked or near-naked actors—collectively known as The Living Theater—tripping and high and (as I recall it) running through the audience primally screaming. We joined the cast as they gathered to prepare backstage in a large circle meditating and chanting, led by big-bearded Allen in white Indian attire, Ommmming and chanting and droning his squeezebox. Allen too seemed to be bursting with life. It is startling to think of Allen as the slim, attractive, charismatic young man of 29 who produced “Howl” and hurled it into the world as “an emotional time bomb that would continue exploding in U.S. consciousness.” He seemed to embody youthful rebellion infused with intellectual rigor, social consciousness, and a loving generosity of spirit—all qualities we worked on with James to capture in his character.
DS: What sparked you to revisit the poem and make this film together?
JF: Howl spoke eloquently and passionately about what Allen saw as the dehumanizing militarization of the culture, the rape of the planet, the colonization of our minds by corporate advertising, and the marginalization of dissidence by the psychiatric establishment—among many other themes! Allen responded with “angelic bombs” of verse, joyfully celebrating this precious world into which we have been briefly brought to consciousness, insisting that “everything is holy.”
This time rereading it in conceptualizing the film, I got the queer stuff. (Duh.) Allen’s frank discussion of sexuality—including his own queerness—was revolutionary in 1955 and is still startling today. All the counter-culture movements from the 1960s onwards were foreshadowed in “Howl.”
The counter-culture was my culture. I grew up in a Bohemian upper west side left-wing intellectual family. My father had started a writer’s workshop in Chelsea in the early 1950s, which evolved into a literary magazine called Venture that he edited and published from the time I was 3 until I was 9. (The last issue featured what turned out to be the last interview given by Albert Camus before his untimely death.) My brothers and I lived uptown with my mother, who took classes at Columbia and acted in off-off-Broadway productions, notably at Ellen Stewart’s La Mama Experimental Theatre Club. Weekends my parents ran the coat-check concession at the Village Gate on Bleecker Street, and I would go down there and hear jazz, and especially the new musical revue O, Oysters! (which would evolve into the off-Broadway hit Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.) There was a diva in that show named Elly Stone who transported me to dizzy heights every time she sang a song translated as Carousel (“We’re on a carousel! / A crazy carousel! / And now we go around / Again we go around / And now we spin around / We’re high above the ground / And down again around! / And up again around! / So high above the ground / We feel we’ve got to yell! / We’re on a carousel! / A crazy carousel!…”)
So somehow it made sense to me when Rob and I found ourselves 40+ years later in the SoHo loft of Tuli Kupferberg. Tuli was 82—the age my father would have been if he had lived another 13 years, and, in his own way, as radical. His politics and my father’s would have been pretty close; I suspect it took my father a little longer to get over his romanticized vision of the Soviet Union, but maybe I think that just because I’m his son and I know about this soft spot. Certainy Tuli embraced the romance of extroverted sexuality as a political tactic in a way my Pop wouldn’t have been altogether comfortable with.
Tuli’s loft was an impressive life-sized maze of makeshift wooden bookshelves, crammed to bursting with books and manuscripts and vinyl records. (Somewhat randomly, Tuli’s friend Thelma Blitz was there, a kindred spirit who had translated the liner notes of Infiniment, a newly released Jacques Brel box set.) Tuli had been mentioned in Howl as one “who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer.” Tuli later become a founding member of The Fugs, a radical rock band featuring poet Ed Sanders. (I read in Tuli’s recent obit that the name of the band was derived from Norman Mailer’s euphemistic spelling of “fuck” in his novel The Naked and the Dead. I saw them perform live once, possibly in Tompkins Square Park, singing their country-rock ballad “I Feel Like Homemade Shit.”) We videotaped Tuli as part of our research for HOWL. He read for us the piece he had written, at Allen’s request, about Tuli’s suicide attempt, which Allen included in the annotated edition of the poem. Tuli also entertained us with his song Go Fuck Yourself With Your Atom Bomb—inspired by a line from Ginsberg’s poem America. (A lot of this stuff will be on the DVD.)
Tuli also introduced us to the work of Eric Drooker, whose New Yorker covers we were familiar with, and whose graphic novels Flood! And Blood Song are wordless poems themselves. Tuli showed us a copy of Illuminated Poems, a Ginsberg-Drooker collaboration featuring Allen’s poems and Eric’s artwork. As Rob and I leaned over the book and turned the pages and came upon a section of Howl, a sudden lightbulb switched on over our heads.
What was the question?
DS: Did filming this movie give either of you a better, changed or different understanding of the poem itself?
JF: Absolutely, every day. I’m still discovering new things in the poem. (As in life, thankfully!)
I grew up on the verse of Dr. Seuss (And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street) and A.A. Milne (“Christopher Robin had wheezles and sneezles, they bundled him into his bed. They gave him what goes with a cold in the nose, and some more for a cold in the head….”) and could recite Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky by heart. I discovered the magic of Shakespeare when I was nine, acting in a children’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But poetry wasn’t my first language; I was far more comfortable with prose. As a teenager I was reading a lot of Zen by way of Alan Watts, and some of the first poems to speak to me deeply were Zen haiku (“Old pond / frog jumps in / splash!” – Basho).
Allen’s Howl seemed to bridge the gap for me between prose and poetry—he was able to play in both worlds, and to find ways of using the energy generated from this back-and-forth to create sparks of feeling and insight. As the language has become more familiar, I’m able to lose myself in the images, meanings have blossomed and become richer. Phrases from the poem float through my consciousness like “winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain.”
DS: Why did you choose to make the film focused on the poem and not film a more traditional biopic on Allen Ginsberg’s life?
JF: That felt too boring and predictable. The poem Howl was—and still is— startling, fresh and liberating: the way it mixes language sacred and profane, the mashup of sexuality and politics and visionary prophecy—how could we approach this with a conventional treatment? It wouldn’t feel right. The poem challenged us to find an audacious approach in the filmmaking. We chose to mix a variety of cinematic styles to build a narrative that would feed into and branch out of the poem itself.
DS: There is a line in the film:“You can’t translate a poem into prose”. But the film attempts to translate, although abstractly, the visual elements of the poem through animation. Were you at all conscious or worried that this choice might receive criticism or detract from an individuals personal experience with the poem?
JF: It’s weird how many people jump on that quote from the trial and try to corner us with it. Honestly, it seems like apples and oranges: we’re not “translating” the poem, we’re interpreting it, or better, adapting it, as we might adapt a novel. In any film adaptation, the filmmakers must make specific concrete choices about events, characters, ambience—everything, really, that readers of a book (or poem) construct in their minds. When we discovered Illuminated Poems, the book that Ginsberg had published in collaboration with artist Eric Drooker, we realized that Allen himself was confident enough in the power of his words that they would only be enhanced by Eric’s striking images. Our concept with Eric was to imagine a dream ride through the poet’s imagination. Obviously, this is our imagined trip, no one else’s. But we wanted to create a cinematic experience, using words and music and images, and invite the audience to drift along with the music of the imagery and experience the poetry in a new and different way. We wanted to offer this as a way to experience the poem from the inside, as it were. Our goal was to view the poem from a multitude of angles: from the perspective of the poet, struggling to make sense of his life by transforming it into art (the “lost” interview); from that of his intended hipster audience (the first presentation of the poem as spoken-word performance in 1955 at the Six Gallery in San Francisco); as well as from that of the Establishment (the obscenity trial, where the poetry is parsed as evidence in a San Francisco courtroom).
DS: The film looks at three different aspects of the poem which are all separated stylistically. What prompted your decision to break the film down this way and which sequences did you film first?
JF: In the re-created interview with Allen (played by James Franco), we wanted to evoke the sense of intimacy and honesty we try for in our documentary interviews. Our models were traditional documentary films from the last half-century, and specifically Portrait of Jason, by Beat filmmaker Shirley Clarke. The framing of these scenes was inspired by the photographs of Ginsberg and his contemporary Robert Frank. These photos were also inspirations for the flashback sequences of scenes from Allen’s earlier life that fed into the writing of HOWL, as was Frank’s invaluable Beat film Pull My Daisy. We were also inspired by jazz—and the free-form jazz-like structure of the Frank film—to use improvisation as a technique in creating the flashbacks. The obscenity trial represented for us the world in which the poem was born, and how that world responded and tried to make sense of it. This was the conformist, conservative world of the 1950s, and we chose to film it in the style of a traditional courtroom drama.
We shot the film in 14 days in New York City in April, 2009. The shooting order is a blur.
DS: Is the poem still relevant or shocking today? What do you think is the poems legacy?
JF: It is still relevant (and shocking) to me. We wanted to introduce the poem and Allen to a new generation, and it seems to us they are responding eagerly. But our film is out there, as is the poem—in its original City Lights collection, as well as a gorgeous new HarperCollins graphic edition featuring Eric Drooker’s artwork from the film—and it’s now up to the audience, and the reader, to experience, interpret and re-imagine.
Howl is currently playing in theaters. Check www.howlthemovie.com for locations near you.
Discosalt Video Of The Week 10/10/10: “Hey Cool Kid” , the debut single from Wichita Recordings newest snot nosed lo-fi pop signings Cloud Nothings, is out 18th October on 7″ and download. The video premise is simple: Nerd creates basketball monster capable of insane zone defense. Monster drops a leg. Scoreboard Melts. Fire. Confetti. It’s a nerd rewrite of Highschool where the nerd gets the attention of the cool kids, defeats the jock and throws his own ticker tape party to celebrate. Check out the video below: