Another ironic name - Benjamin Todd Jealous, is the president of the N.A.A.C.P.
I’m always delighted to see an actual person’s last name be ironic.
In this NY Time article about people who believe in a “gay cure,” one of the therapists who performs the “anti-gay treatment” is named David Pickup. Mr Pickup is also an officer of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.
Two news items about physical books got my attention today, which leads me to think the future of book publishing is in creating an expendable book that imparts knowledge or a message and then is used for another purpose.
A cookbook that you can eat:
A book of Snoop Dogg’s lyrics that you can smoke:
Why bother with tying the dog on the roof when you can put it on the hood?
Note that this was shot in Michigan…
As I passed a Chevron station in San Francisco that was being remodeled today, I spotted this sign for $100 a gallon gas.
Unbelievable to me that Amazon would place the Kindle Fire name on the outside of its shipping box.
I live in an apartment house and it was left by the door near my mailbox.
Sure, UPS, et al, are supposed to get a signature, etc., but many times they don’t…
Though it might be good for branding purposes, its stupid otherwise. It’s an invitation to any thief to help themselves.
Minor theft is usually about opportunity, and this presents a big one.
I’ve lived in Marin County, just north of San Francisco for most of the last 35+ years.
I have been fortunate to live here. Two of my all time favorite music-related venues in the world were both located nearby, in Mill Valley. The legendary Sweetwater Saloon for live music and the ultimate record store, Village Music. I literally spent many hundreds of hours listening to music at the Sweetwater and thousands of dollars purchasing music at Village Music. Unfortunately, both are now closed due mainly to absurdly high rents.
To say Village Music was a record store is like saying Mount Everest is a hill. It was a University of American Music. John Goddard, the owner, was it’s professor and also it’s ringmaster.
I could go on touting its greatness, the in-store shows I experienced, the people I met there, what I learned… but instead there is documentary being made by Gillan & Monroe Grisman, children of the great musician, David Grisman.
They just began a Kickstarter campaign and need to raise $50K.
This is a story that needs to be told – it was a remarkable place and John is a remarkable man.
Kerner Optical, former home of Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic, has succumbed to the ravages and convulsions of the recession, and the glut of digital special effects houses worldwide, and is now formally closed. They had been struggling to stay out of bankruptcy for the last few years, but it was official when CEO Eric Edmeades tweeted last night:
Sadly, the “model shop” is now closed. #kerneroptical
George Lucas chose to set up ILM on Kerner Boulevard in an industrial area of San Rafael, California, during the making of The Empire Strikes Back in the late 1970′s. The sign outside said Kerner Co, but it may have been the worst kept secret in movie making history.
Besides the incredible innovations in digital image technology, the invention of motion capture, and so many more groundbreaking special effects we now take for granted that were created there by ILM’s wizards, there was also the fabulous Model Shop, which built everything from miniatures to the Death Star to the ship Black Pearl in Pirates of the Caribbean.
When Lucas moved his operation to San Francisco’s Presidio in 2006, and decided to focus on purely digital effects, a group of investors bought the physical and practical effects divisions of ILM and renamed the company Kerner Optical.
Even though they continued to do exceptional work, and even built their own 3D camera rig, it apparently wasn’t enough.
Insiders will continue writing about all that went on there, but for now, check Wikipedia for an idea of some the amazing accomplishments that were achieved there.
Update – Eric tweeted me:
Nice blog piece — it certainly is a sad day. It is worth noting that Kerner 3D Tech is still alive and kicking.
Update – September 30,2011 – Doniphan Blair has written a comprehensive, well researched article in Cinesource Magazine on all the monetary shenanigans behind Kerner’s demise – Kerner Collapse: Hubris, Hustle or Outright Scam?
Why not add a few more words to the gazillions that have been generated this week about Steve Jobs?
The computers & gadgets he had a hand in creating provided me with the tools I’ve used to make a living most of my working career, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
I met the Steves (Jobs & Wozniak) at the West Coat Computer Faire in 1979, when I worked for the software company Stoneware. We were showcasing the revolutionary (at that time) DB Master – a comprehensive database program for the Apple II. We chatted small talk about our software & the computer business.
Later, my work at various software companies had me visiting the Apple campus many times, working at most MacWorlds, etc., but I never encountered him again. I also heard hundreds of anecdotes about him – both how difficult it was to work for him, as well as how wonderful it was.
While I was VP, Business Development & Marketing for Final Draft (#1-selling scriptwriting software), part of my job was to visit retailers and demo our software. At end of October, 2001, I went to the Apple Store in Glendale, California, which had been the first to open on the West Coast a few months before. Before my demo, I was talking to a group of young employees – 2 female, 6 male, I think – and asked what costume or character they were planning to be on Halloween, which was that evening.
Every one of them answered “Steve.”
That’s both funny and kinda creepy. And not surprising.
Granted, it’s an easy costume and one that now almost become iconic, but that’s a very telling testament about the devotion they felt for him.
How many company’s employees willingly want to dress up as their CEO to honor him?
I am stating the obvious, but I’m still going to say it anyway… This great article by Bethlehem Shoals about the evolution of the song Try a Little Tenderness reminded me about how amazing and fun the internet is, how it has changed the way we learn & discover history, etc. It would have been impossible to deploy this research in this fashion just a decade ago. And its incredible that YouTube has all these different versions of the song:
William Morris Endeavor’s Global head Graham Taylor gave the keynote at the LA Film Festival today. He may have given the one of the more insightful and inspirational overviews of the situation all content creators and artists are facing today with all the old models of distribution crumbling while the media revolution is continuing.
I like to give similar advice, but never as succinctly as he has.
He concludes with:
What’s not boring is making shit happen. We are the inmates taking over the asylum. We Build, Enable and Activate content, financing and distribution. We are in a revolution and now is our time. We finally have a bigger seat at the table.
For most of the past year, I have been advising and old friend, Tom McAlevey, as he & his team get ready to launch a revolutionary internet radio startup called Radical.FM in a few days.
That Tom’s led an interesting life is an understatement. Some highlights include riding his motorcycle around the world, starting what may have been the very first internet radio station in Sweden in 1999 – which he had to abandon when the dot.com boom crashed in the early 2000′s – and driving a dune buggy from Stockholm to Cape Town, which he documented in a film called Adventuress Wanted. He is an innovator and as well as one hellava determined guy.
Radical.FM combines user tailored music radio stations (like Pandora and Slacker) with on-demand playlist functionality (like Rhapsody and Spotify), and adds social networking and personal broadcasting capabilities. For the first time all of these functions will be available in one integrated service. It will initially offer free personal radio services, with full Play-On-Demand functionality for a paid Premium subscription tier.
The player is cool. It’s based on an audio mixing board, so you can blend as many Genres as you want, and then assign each Genre a value relative to the others. Since blending can be changed instantly, the result is an endless stream of exactly the kind of music you want to hear at any given moment.
There’s also a separate service for Independent artists called Radical Indie.
It’s gonna be interesting to rid along with them…
My good buddy, Jimmy Z, played harmonica on the original Eurythmics hit Missionary Man (read his post about Meeting Eurythmics).
After naggin’ the hell out of him for years to do his own version of the song, I finally got him to agree to do it when I found an old YouTube video of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart doing a stripped down acoustic version.
He wound up doing a Delta Blues take on it. He originally meant for it to be acoustic dobro and harp but one thing led to another and they added drums and bass.
I hope you enjoy it and you purchase it on iTunes.
We recently released a great parody called ‘Monster for President,’ from author Hal Pollock. It takes aim at the political process and elections with the headline “Politicians May Behave Like Monsters, But What If They Were Monsters?” It is very humorous and has beautiful illustrations by Anthony Parisi, which we animated in comic book layout form.
I also liked the fact we used a real movie trailer VO artist, Andrew Dawson, in the video promo.
It is an interesting marketing challenge as it is a definite PG13 rating since it has some mild sexual innuendo. However, it’s presented like a kid’s book – and that’s part of the satire.
We’ll see how it goes as we attempt to get traction over the next few months.
You can purchase the app here.
Dylan was the first major artist I saw in concert – Winter, 1966, I believe – after Highway 61 Revisited was released. Because I was only 13, my Dad kindly drove me and my buddy Larry Lindsey about 30 miles to see him at the Westchester Community Center’s 200-300 seat auditorium. Sopworth Camel (a one-hit wonder) opened, followed by the Loving Spoonful. Dylan did an acoustic set, followed by an electric set. I was awed. I will always remember him there – having fun, and ROCKING OUT!
Who knew I’d still be listening to him after all this time, and, more importantly, that he would continue to write amazing songs. Thanks, Bob.
But time goes on and he’s now 70. Damn.
And to keep things in perspective, my buddy Jimmy Z, legendary blue musician, has blogged about being with Tom Petty at Live Aid and playing a prank on ol’ Bob:
There where we were after our Live Aid show safely done, the pressure is off and everyone is congratulating us. The party was just starting to heat up as the afternoon wound its way toward evening. At one point I was standing with some people, talking and laughing when all of a sudden everyone went quiet and I looked up and noticed that Bob Dylan was walking by us and everyone just turned so reverent. I half expected the heavens to part and violins to start playing the way some of these people were behaving. They were saying things like “ssshhh…its Bob Dylan…he’s getting a drink.” Or “ooohhh.….its Bob Dylan…he’s going to the toilet!” Now don’t get me wrong, Bob Dylan as a writer and innovator is tops in my book. But Jeez…come on people…he’s just one of us.…isn’t he?
Well that’s what I thought that day and still do. There were three porta-potties set up in the back stage area right next to these giant parachute tents which had been set up to protect us from the heat. As Dylan is heading towards the portables, the people around me were saying, “Bob’s gotta take a leak” So right then I decide to saunter on over to the outhouses myself. As I got there, Bob was already inside and I could hear him peeing. I looked back over my shoulder at the expectant backstage crowd and them at me, then back at Bob’s outhouse. I grabbed it with both hands and gave it a good four second shake. Everyone else backstage could hear Bob yelling, “Hey! Hey!! Hey!!!” I was laughing so hard and when I turned around I was greeted by a sight I won’t soon forget. There was Tom Petty, management and probably at least thirty of the biggest rock stars of the day with their jaws on the ground looking utterly aghast at what I had just done. I walked around back to Tom Petty and he laid into me. All that slow southern drawl and laid back humor was gone. He said, “I can’t believe you just did that…I can’t believe it …that was Bob, fuckin’, Dylan! Are you out of your mind?” To be honest I didn’t see what the big deal was. I was still trying not to laugh.
What I do remember is the sight of Bob Dylan coming out of that portable outhouse with a piss stain trail right down the left leg of his Levi’s, looking to see who did this to him, like any other mortal would. And in my mind looking pissed off and humored all at the same time. Any way Bob, I’d just like to say I think you’re a good sport and you handled yourself with grace and aplomb in an awkward situation…I wish you could have seen it from where I was because it was fuckin’ funny…
Read the whole post on Confessions of of a Glorified Sideman.
My favorite Dylan song? Hard to say. Though many of his words and songs changed me and helped me grow intellectually and politically in ways I still can’t completely grasp, probably his one of his shortest is one my favorites – All The Tired Horses, from his much-maligned Self Portrait. It’s not sung by Bob, it has female singers and overly-lush orchestrated, mawkishly sentimental strings. I first heard it while I was on the road and it drowns me in nostalgia, for whatever reason. Kinda like his You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
For the first time, on a birthday tribute today, I heard him reading Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie – could be the best thing he ever wrote.