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Cody’s Books Lives On In Spirited Defiance of Bourgeois Berkeley

from Shelf-Awareness

Image of the Day: The Show Goes On

Cody’s Books may have closed suddenly 10 days ago, but Bob Calhoun aka Dante, author of the recent punk-wrestling memoir, Beer, Blood and Cornmeal: Seven Years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling (ECW Press, distributed by Independent Publishers Group), plans to hold an event scheduled there for tonight anyway. Calhoun will read on the sidewalk on Shattuck Avenue in front of the shuttered Berkeley, Calif., store at 7 p.m. A Bay Area resident and regular for years with the Bay Area’s Incredibly Strange Wrestling tour, Calhoun may draw many fans as he did at BEA, where he gave free headlocks.

 Click here to buy Beer, Blood and Commeal at Amazon.com

[ click here to read Shelf-Awareness Daily Newsletter ]

Posted on June 30, 2008 by Editor

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300 x 2

from E! Online

Counting Down to 300 Sequel

Gerard Butler, 300
Warner Bros. Entertainment

For Greece! For glory! For ripped guys in skimpy armor!

Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. are looking for a plot to hang a follow-up to 300on, as they try to repeat the surprise blockbuster success of the 2006 flick adapted from Frank Miller‘s graphic novel.

Fanboys will be heartened to know that, according to Variety, original director Zack Snyder is being wooed for the next installment, which will be based on a new graphic novel from the acclaimed comic-book writer.

The problem is exactly who will be going to war this time around, considering nearly all of300‘s main characters were killed off at the end of the first film, including Gerard Butlerand his heroic pecs. Butler’s testosterone-fueled King Leonidas led Sparta’s small yet fierce army in a doomed but inspiring standoff against the Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae.

Miller must work out whether the new saga will be a prequel, a sequel or a possible spinoff headlining those who survived the brutal fighting, and whether there will be a number referenced in the title (1506003,000?).

[ click to read full article at E! Online ]

Posted on June 30, 2008 by Editor

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Dali’s Words Performed @ MOMA

from The Village Voice

WRITING DALÍ: THE ARTIST’S LETTERS, POETRY, AND MANIFESTO

MOMA, Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters
11 W 53rd St.
New York, NY 10020, West 40s

 “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs,” the self-proclaimed genius Salvador Dalí once said. Indeed, no one should expect to go home feeling sober after tonight’s mind-altering program Writing Dalí: The Artist’s Letters, Poetry, and Manifesto. Performance artist Laurie Anderson, poet Jorie Graham, former U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic, and Wooster Group founding member Kate Valk will channel the madness as they perform a range of his works, including excerpts from his film scripts, his musings on New York, and his provocative 1928 Manifest Groc (Yellow Manifesto). The evening is part of MOMA’s summer-long exhibit and performance series, “Dalí: Painting and Film.”

Ticket price: $10, students $5
Running dates: 06/30/08 6:30 pm

[ click to read blurb at The Village Voice ]

Posted on June 30, 2008 by Editor

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Fine Art At 30 Feet Per Second

from The Guardian UK

Tate exhibit keeps on running

In Pictures: See a gallery of the work here 

Charlotte Higgins, arts correspondent, Monday June 30, 2008
guardian.co.uk
 

Richard Creen's Work No 850, Tate Britain

A volunteer runs through Tate Britain as part of Richard Creen’s Work No 850. Photo: Reuters

Martin Creed cheered up the Turner prize no end seven years ago, when he won the award for a piece that consisted of a gallery’s lights being switched on and off.

Now the artist is back with a new work that is likely to prove just as irritating to traditionalists.

Creed’s Work No 850 is a single athlete running at top speed through the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain – every 30 seconds, all day, every day.

Visitors to Tate Britain will see a runner streak past them, dashing “as if their life depended on it” according to the artist’s instructions. After a runner has made the 86 metre sprint (which will take around 12 seconds) there will be a 15 second pause, like a rest in a piece of music. Then the next runner will dash forth.

The runners have been recruited from various athletics magazines. Each will work a four-hour shift, with sprints interspersed with rests.

They are to be paid £10 per hour; and the Tate will be recruiting more runners through its website in due course. “We’re desperate to find enough people to keep it going for eight hours a day until November,” said Creed.

 

The piece has a certain mystery to it: why is the runner running? To what? From what? “They are running urgently,” said Creed, “to complete the work.”

Is it pretentious, asked someone. “No, it is not pretentious. No one is pretending. They are just running,” said Creed.

And is it art? ventured another. “It’s not for me to say what art is. I hope people enjoy it and I hope they find something in it. I make my work because I want to make my life better, to make things exciting and fun and enticing.”

The appeal of the running figure, according to the artist, is simple: “Running is a beautiful thing. You do it without a pool, or a bike; it is the body doing as much as it can on its own.”

The pauses between the sprints, he said, provide a “frame” for looking at the runner.

It was crucial, he said, that there should be no separation between runners and visitors; that the runners should have to weave past visitors and the visitors should be able to experience the runners directly, without a roped-off area. Nevertheless, those who take it upon themselves to join in the fun will be peremptorily stopped by museum security. “Running is not allowed in the galleries,” said Creed.

 

[ click to read full article at Guardian UK ]

Posted on June 30, 2008 by Editor

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The Best Right Jab In The Music Business

I wonder what Mandela thinks of this.

Posted on June 30, 2008 by Editor

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Government Intrusion Into Personal Lives Continues

from the NY Daily News

Busty lady’s breasts could ‘burst’

Monday, June 30th 2008, 11:32 AM

A woman has been denied her ninth boob job because she’s reached the legal limit for silicone in the body.

boobies.pngSheyla Hershey, 28, can’t use the excuse of having had children to account for her enormous boobs.  With only one kid, eight past surgeries in the last five years is definitely the culprit for her size 34FFF bras.

Determined to get move up to size 34GG even though the U.S. forbids it, she’s planning on going to her home country of Brazil to get the job done.

“I think big boobies look beautiful,” she told The Sun. “I am just following my dream and I won’t let anyone stop me.”

Even though her wish for cleavage to literally spill would fulfill the fantasies of many men, another surgery could actually endanger her health, according to Dr. Robert Rey, plastic surgeon to the stars.

He told her, “Your breasts could literally burst.”

Is Sheyla’s husband Derek Hershey, an American, the luckiest man ever, or is he just cursed with too much of a good thing?

[ click to read article at NY Daily News – my back hurts just looking ]

Posted on June 30, 2008 by Editor

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Walter Iooss Jr.’s book ‘Athlete’

from the NY Daily News

Credits: ‘Sports Illustrated Athlete’ by Walter Iooss Jr.

Posted on June 30, 2008 by Editor

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Scrabble Rules

from the Guardian UK

Spell bound

When the Great Depression left architect Alfred Butts out of work, he scrabbled around for something to do – and came up with a game whose ingenious mix of anagrams, crosswords, chance and skill is still a winner, 60 years on. And yet it nearly didn’t see the light of day… Oliver Burkeman reports 

Saturday June 28, 2008
The Guardian
 

At the 36th National Scrabble Championship, Paul Allen plays the word 'bum'
At the 36th National Scrabble Championship, Paul Allen plays the word ‘bum’

The highest score that it is theoretically possible to achieve in a single turn in Scrabble is for the word “oxyphenbutazone”. Even at the top levels of tournament Scrabble, this has never actually happened: it would require the game to have unfolded in exactly the right way up to that point, leaving exactly the right open spaces, and the right combination of letters in the bag. But if it did, it would span three triple-word scores, creating seven other new words on the board, for a total of at least 1,778, depending on which official word list you used. The closest anyone has come in real life was a now deceased Kurdish player, Dr Karl Khoshnaw, who got 392 points for “caziques” at a contest in Manchester in 1982. (Oxyphenbutazone, in case you’re wondering, is a chemical compound used to treat arthritis; caziques were ancient Peruvian and Mexican princes. But if you had a Scrabble champion’s mind-set, you wouldn’t waste brain-space on what words mean: that’s not the point.)

Scrabble’s perfect equilibrium between chance and skill wasn’t an accident; Alfred Butts meticulously studied the matter. He had plenty of time to do so: born in Poughkeepsie in 1899, he trained as an architect and took a job in Manhattan, but by 1931, aged 32, he fell victim to the economic chaos engulfing the country. Years later, asked what he did after losing his job, he was self-deprecating. “Well, I wasn’t doing anything,” he said. “That was the trouble.”

He tried his hand at art, drawing New York scenes, but they didn’t bring in serious cash. “So I thought I’d invent a game.” He had a role model: by 1931, Charles Darrow, a Philadelphia heating salesman who’d lost his job in the Wall Street Crash, was on his way to becoming a millionaire thanks to Monopoly, which he claimed to have created. (It later emerged he was probably bending the truth.) “I think Alfred was hoping he could do something similar,” Robert Butts says. “Invent a game and make some money.”

[ click to continue reading at the Guardian UK ]

Posted on June 29, 2008 by Editor

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The Best New Pipes of the 21st Century

Mo’ Flo’ and The Machine. Lungs.

  
   

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE have two songs on iTunes – you can get them both for a buck98 – let’s send Florence to the top.

Posted on June 28, 2008 by Editor

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48 Minutes of Classic Carlin for 89cents

from Amazon.com

No Better Way To Wile A Saturday!

 carlinoncampus.jpg

 4.0 out of 5 stars it’s ripped from vinyl (but it merits 4.5 stars nonetheless)June 24, 2008

By  Jeffrey Thames “King of Grief/KPFT 90.1 FM” (Houston, TX)

 

Carlin on Campus (recorded at UCLA’s Wadsworth Theater in 1984) is the only album from the master that has yet to see a CD release. (Perhaps not coincidentally, it’s also his only solo album barring his RCA debut not distributed by Atlantic.) What you get with this mp3 is the complete program, both sides, unindexed, and ripped from a very-good-condition LP. You’ll hear the occasional light surface noise that shouldn’t detract from your enjoyment of the album. The question you have to ask yourself is if you want to pay for a vinyl rip. 

Look at it this way: Carlin was apparently a vinyl guy. He had Atlantic press up promo copies of Parental Advisory on wax for his personal library, and the albums chronicled in the Little David Years box are housed in LP jacket replicas (complete with ringwear). Vinyl was apparently good enough for Uncle George, why should we quibble? (It’s also an economic alternative to seeking out the actual LP on Internet auction sites.) 

Technicalities aside, this was Carlin’s most consistent release of the 80s and contains some favorite routines cited often in the past two days’ obituaries. If this is the only means of mass availability for On Campus, so be it. 

[ click to download at Amazon.com ]

Posted on June 28, 2008 by Editor

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When Birds Attack

from Guardian UK

A Tern

The Arctic tern is fiercely defensive of its nest and young. It will attack humans and large predators, usually striking the top or back of the head. Although it is too small to cause serious injury, it is still capable of drawing blood   Photograph: Andrew Parkinson/Corbis

 

[ click to view full slideshow at Guardian UK ]

Posted on June 27, 2008 by Editor

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Oates Ditches Hall in Bald-faced Rejection of Men Missing Facial Hair

from Billboard.com

Oates, Mustache Make Cartoon Crime-Fighting Team

    

John Oates may be coming to a cartoon near you.

June 27, 2008 , 11:15 AM ET

Kamau High, N.Y.

John Oates wants people to know that he is nothing like what he was when he had a mustache. The Hall & Oates principal is firm about the distinction, because if things go as planned, his mustachioed image could appear on TV in cartoon form kicking ass, rocking out and wearing tight pink pants.

Independent publisher Primary Wave Music Publishing, which owns a majority stake in most of the biggest hits in the Hall & Oates catalog, is shopping a cartoon titled “J-Stache” that further illustrates the dichotomy. As laid out in a two-minute trailer, Oates is portrayed as a modern-day family man and finds himself enticed back to the rock star life by his mustache, which is voiced by comedian Dave Attell.

“In a cartoon setting, the mustache has its own personality,” Oates says from Aspen, Colo., where he’s finishing his latest solo album. “Just as I’m represented as the John Oates of today, the mustache is the John Oates of yesterday. The focus of the music will be on the back catalog, but it’s an open-ended situation. There’s even talk of the mustache trying to bring new bands into the picture.”

 

The pilot, which Primary Wave estimates will be between six and 10 minutes long, is being storyboarded, and the aim is to have it completed in the next two months. It will portray Oates opening a new wing of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that focuses on mustachioed musicians.

 

Suddenly, a dying David Crosby appears and with his last breath warns Oates of a mysterious secret group of mustache wearers bent on killing other mustache wearers. As actor Tom Selleck attempts to escape from the latest murder scene, Oates summons his own mustache with a fist pump that simultaneously changes his clothes from conservative attire to pink pants and white boots.

 

  
 

[ click to read full article at Billboard.com ]

Posted on June 27, 2008 by Editor

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Mexican High

A friend of mine just wrote an awesome novel called Mexican High.
Check it out if you can

MEXICAN HIGH by Liza Monroy

Posted on June 27, 2008 by JF

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Museum Of Bad Art

moba.jpg 

Posted on June 27, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | 1 Comment »

Madonna “Give Hard Candy 2 Me” (The Chris Ciccone Sticky Mix)

from World of Wonder TV 

Posted on June 27, 2008 by Editor

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Gene Simmons Gives Music Biz It’s Last Lick

from E! Online

Gene Simmons’ Kiss of Fate

Gene SimmonsKevin Mazur/WireImage.com

KISS mainman Gene Simmons has been blaming the death of the record industry on bands like RadioheadNine Inch Nails and others who have experimented with alternative methods of releasing music.

Oh, and the fans, too.

“The record industry is dead. It’s six feet underground and unfortunately the fans have done this. They’ve decided to download and file share,” said Simmons, according to an AOL Australia report.

“There is no record industry around so we’re going to wait until everybody settles down and becomes civilised. As soon as the record industry pops its head up we’ll record new material.”

Are you happy now, ungrateful fans of music?

Anyway, the death of the music industry has at least gotta be good for the Kiss Kasket, the $4,700 coffin the band used to sell on its website. It could be used as a beer cooler until the lucky fan died and was placed inside.

[ click to read full article at E! Online ]

Posted on June 27, 2008 by Editor

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Tim Burton’s VINCENT

Posted on June 26, 2008 by Editor

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Win a Free Copy of HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT

from the San Jose Mercury News

Contest: Win a copy of ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot: The Ultimate Guide to Karaoke Domination’

Enter to win today

About the book

Author Raina Lee helps beginners and veterans conquer stage fright, pick songs to showcase vocal talent (or disguise a lack thereof), and master their moves (mic twirls, Mick Jagger kicks, etc.). She turns what can be a terrifying social rite of passage into a party no one wants to miss.

With lists of the best songs for all occasions, advice from World Karaoke Champions, hand-drawn typography and illustrations, plus party scene snapshots of people singing their hearts out, this pocket-size resource will turn up the volume on happy hour.

Attend the karaoke book release party with author Raina Lee

9 p.m. on Friday at Seven Bamboo in San Jose

7 p.m. on Saturday at the the Mint Karaoke Lounge in San Francisco

 

[ click here to enter contest online ]

Posted on June 26, 2008 by Editor

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Axl Don’t Mess

from Rolling Stone

Guns n’ Roses’ “Chinese Democracy” Leaker Gets FBI Visit

6/24/08, 5:45 pm EST

Last week, the Internet was rocked when California blogger Kevin Skwerl posted nine newly leaked Chinese Democracy tracks, including three previously unheard songs allegedly from Guns n’ Roses long-awaited album. Skwerl — who used to work in the distribution department of Universal Music and is now a Web designer — runs the blog Antiquiet, and says he received the tracks from “an anonymous online source.”

Yesterday Skwerl was surprised to find himself face to face with two FBI agents who paid a visit to his day job. “It was kind of an ambush,” Skwerl tells Rolling Stone. “When I came back from lunch they were waiting in the lobby for me. It’s a little creepy they know where I work.” Two young FBI officers, who Skwerl describes as “Mulder and Scully types,” questioned him for 15 minutes about where he got the tracks and made plans to visit his house at 7:00 a.m. this morning.

“I wasn’t sure if they were going to come by with a warrant and trash the place, like in the movies,” he says. “It was nothing like that.” The FBI officials wanted to see the original files, but Skwerl erased them last week per instructions from Axl Rose’s attorneys. Skwerl ultimately gave them second-hand files that are now widely available on the Internet.

Last week Skwerl’s blog crashed from the traffic flood that resulted from his controversial posting. “My host contacts me and says, ‘What the fuck did you do?’” I go, “Uhhhh. I posted some music.” He goes, “What exactly did you post?” I go, “Uhhhh. [Meek voice] New Guns n’ Roses.” He goes, “Motherfucker.” Before long his cell phone rang with an unfamiliar 323 number. “It was a really cool guy from the Gn’R camp that was a middle man between someone who was very angry and me. He was trying to reach out and see if I’d go without a fight, which is more or less what I did.”

[ click to read full article at RollingStone.com ]

Posted on June 26, 2008 by Editor

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Geisha Head So Good Cultural Revival via Internet

from The Guardian UK

Renewed respect as geisha make a comeback – and take to cyberspace

Teenage girls are flocking to enter ‘floating world’ in return to traditional culture

 

Kyoto geisha girls

Kyoto geisha girls. Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Miehina has barely taken a dozen steps along a Kyoto street before the audio backdrop to her every public move comes to life. In the fading light of an early summer evening, the metronomic clip-clop of her platform okobo sandals is accompanied by the clicking of shutters, as a gaggle of amateur photographers seeks the perfect snapshot of one of Japan’s most venerated women.

They stay with her until she retreats down a backstreet and slips through the sliding wooden door of her teahouse, her emerald green kimono, worth tens of thousands of pounds, now no more than a photogenic imprint.

In the past tourists would have had to wait hours for a fleeting glimpse of a lone geisha on her way to an appointment. Now they are spoiled for choice.

After decades of decline, Japan’s traditional entertainers are making a comeback. Earlier this year the number of geisha trainees – known as maiko – reached 100 in Kyoto for the first time in four decades. 

Much of the mild embarrassment many Japanese felt about the geisha thread running through their cultural fabric arose from popular misconceptions: the suspicion that, beneath the veneer of cultural exclusivity, they were little more than high-class prostitutes.  

 Though illicit sex is not unheard of, the myths surrounding the geisha are slowly unravelling amid unprecedented media exposure and a belated embrace of the internet among the teahouses of Kyoto’s five geisha districts. 

Experts believe the recent surge in teenage girls hoping to enter the “floating world” of tea ceremonies, performing arts, and yes, flirtatious exchanges with inebriated clients, is evidence of renewed respect among the Japanese for their traditional culture.

[ click to read full article at Guardian UK ]

Posted on June 26, 2008 by Editor

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The 14,000 Words He Left Us – Carlin’s Last Interview

from Psychology Today

George Carlin’s Last Interview

By Jay Dixit on June 23, 2008 in Brainstorm

George CarlinTen days ago, on Friday, June 13th, 2008, I had the extraordinary privilege of talking to George Carlin. As far as I know it was the last in-depth interview he gave before he passed away yesterday at age 71. Originally it was slated to run as a 350-word Q&A on the back page of Psychology Today. But I was so excited to talk to him—and he was so generous with his time—that I just kept on going. By the end I had over 14,000 words.

On stage, George Carlin came across as a grouch, often vulgar and sometimes misanthropic. But with me he was patient and warm, happy to talk through the minutiae of his creative process and eager to share stories about his childhood, his evolution as a comic, and his influence. What struck me most was the joy in his voice as he talked about the wonderful feeling he got in his gut while writing. I was also moved by the gratitude he expressed for his mother, who he said “saved” him and his brother—leaving her bullying, alcoholic husband when George was just two months old, getting a job during the worst years of the Depression, and raising two boys on her own.

He spoke about the pride he took in his work. As a ninth-grade dropout, he said, it was gratifying to see his words quoted in textbooks, classrooms, and courtrooms. And he was proud to have inspired other comedy greats, who routinely called him to say, “If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be doing this.” As he looked back on his astonishingly prolific 50-year career—which includes 130 Tonight Show appearances, 23 albums, 14 HBO specials, three books, and one Supreme Court case—the interview became a sort of retrospective of his life.

[ click to continue reading at Psychology Today ]

Posted on June 26, 2008 by Editor

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One Artist We Hope Has Filed His Tax Returns Properly

from WIRED.com

Photographer Documents Secret Satellites — All 189 of Them

By Bryan Gardiner Email 06.21.08

Artist Trevor Paglen’s time-exposure photographs show the streaks of light left by classified satellites.
Photo: Trevor Paglen

 

BERKELEY, California — For most people, photographing something that isn’t there might be tough. Not so for Trevor Paglen.

His shots of 189 secret spy satellites are the subject of a new exhibit — despite the fact that, officially speaking, the satellites don’t exist. The Other Night Sky, on display at the University of California at Berkeley Art Museum through September 14, is only a small selection from the 1,500 astrophotographs Paglen has taken thus far.

In taking these photos, Paglen is trying to draw a metaphorical connection between modern government secrecy and the doctrine of the Catholic Church in Galileo’s time.

“What would it mean to find these secret moons in orbit around the earth in the same way that Galileo found these moons that shouldn’t exist in orbit around Jupiter?” Paglen says.

Satellites are just the latest in Paglen’s photography of supposedly nonexistent subjects. To date, he’s snapped haunting images of various military sites in the Nevada deserts, “torture taxis” (private planes that whisk people off to secret prisons without judicial oversight) and uniform patches from various top-secret military programs.

spybird.png

While all of Paglen’s projects are the result of meticulous research, he’s also the first to admit that his photos aren’t necessarily revelatory. That’s by design. Like the blurry abstractions of his super-telephoto images showing secret military installations in Nevada, the tiny blips of satellites streaking across the night sky in his new series of photos are meant more as reminders rather than as documentation.

“I think that some of the earliest ideas in the modern period were actually from astronomy,” Paglen explains. “You look at Galileo: He goes up and points his telescope up at Jupiter and finds out, hey, Jupiter has these moons.”

More significant than the discovery itself, Paglen says, was the idea that anyone with a telescope could verify it and see the same exact thing that Galileo saw — an idea Paglen is trying to re-create in his own photographs.

“It really was analogous to a certain kind of promise of democracy,” says Paglen, who sees a similar anti-authoritarian premise running through his own work.

[ click to read full article at WIRED.com ]

Posted on June 26, 2008 by Editor

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Richard Prince’s Fast Cars, Nurses and Other Male Obsessions

from The Guardian UK

Girlz on the hood


Richard Prince has a thing about fast cars, nurses and other supposed male obsessions. Adrian Searle wonders what lies behind all the secondhand jokes and macho excess 

Tuesday June 24, 2008
The Guardian
 

A sculpture installation of a car at the Richard Prince: Continuation exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London
A sculpture installation of a car at the Richard Prince: Continuation exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi

Walking into Richard Prince’s show, the bonnet of a car greets you, like a shark or a maître d’ with perfect American teeth. Every exhibition at the Serpentine gallery in London now has to have a dramatic opening: last time it was a self-portrait by Maria Lassnig, naked and pointing a gun at us, another gun pressed to her temple; Anthony McCall opened his show last year with a projector aimed straight at the door, like a Gatling gun. Such gambits are designed to make us forget the gallery was once just a tea house in Kensington Gardens.

Prince chartered his own flight to London, stacked with work for the Serpentine, and installed the show himself, in record time. But his car isn’t going anywhere – it’s just a fibreglass body set into a chunky cubic block. Surrounding this are further car hoods, hung on the wall like paintings, or the shields of gasoline warriors in a comic-book universe. These, too, appear to have been sculpted from some plaster-like material. Their chevron shapes are inset with cowls and scoops, giving them the air of a certain kind of painted, post-industrial abstract relief I haven’t seen in years.

carhoods.pngNever mind that what I’m actually looking at are auto bonnets and custom cowl induction hoods. According to Carhoods.com, where Prince orders these bizarre body parts, they “can be flanged, trimmed and easily welded in place to fit your needs – whether you want to draw more air into your engine, are in need of engine clearance, or yearning for a cool new look”. They could have been manufactured with art in mind.

These objects also appear to have been coloured with loose, brushy paintwork; one might think of early Richard Diebenkorn or Ron Gorchov. Up close, it turns out to be the work of a disk sander and a filler knife. That’s not impasto – that’s Bondo. Instead of Cézanne gone abstract, or a sensitive balancing of directional brushstrokes, we have the tough but tender swagger of the bloke in the garage.

Prince, of course, knows this. It is one of the things his art is dealing with. Nevertheless, works such as Gomper, Hum Bomb and the wonderfully titled No Milk No Butter Since My Cow Left Home have a satisfyingly weighty, chunky feel. The masculinity in Prince’s art is as unavoidable as it is ambiguous.

Prince also expects his audience to be as knowing as he is. (It never does to overestimate the intelligence of the art lover, especially the collecting classes. They say Rothko killed himself because he met the people who bought his art.) Prince has chosen these forms both because he’s a car nut, and because he, too, recognises their resemblance to art. And also, undoubtedly, because the car and the artwork are both commodity fetishes whose place in culture is more than utilitarian. His art often depends on its resemblance to other things – to other art, as well as to its overt references in popular culture. If you hold a mirror to the world, are you responsible for what it reflects?

Lots of artists have worked with cars – from the French artist César to Gustav Metzger, from Sarah Lucas to Gabriel Orozco to Joseph Beuys. There’s another automobile-cum-altar in the centre of another room in this show, and a real Buick 1987 Regal, whose entire body has been covered in a vinyl wrapping of images of hot young babes. Prince is really tripping on the unreconstructed male psyche here, unless, that is, he’s deconstructing it.

Prince has just held a Guggenheim retrospective, of which the Serpentine show is a pared-down continuation (hence the exhibition title). Yet, it is disarmingly accessible and oddly attractive. In the middle of one gallery is a giant garden planter, fashioned from a truck tire and cast in glowing orange resin. You could say that Prince has domesticated his art for London, except that the artist, who lives in depressed, upstate New York, has always liked to see his work in domestic situations: he has bought several countryside properties to work in and house his stuff.

The artist is also an avid collector of books – from Nabokov to pulp, hardboiled crime to Beat poetry – and, in the words of Jack Bankowsky, the Artforum editor-at-large, ” traffics in rumour and refusal”. There is much that remains opaque about Prince’s practice. For ZG magazine in the mid-1980s, Prince invented an interview between himself and JG Ballard, and insinuated that his father did something shady for the CIA down in Panama, where Prince was born.

Elsewhere in this show, there are appropriated photos of biker chicks lounging on motorcycles, their stockings ripped, their chests bared. There’s a recent set of drawings riffing on the style of Willem de Kooning, except the old abstract expressionist only drew women who looked like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, while these are manic androgynes, De Kooning’s swervy charcoal swipes and blurry erasures reduced to a merely competent and mannered style. One figure shows his/her willy, encased in a pair of see-through plastic panties. Prince’s art appears to celebrate trashiness and low-rent style. He has rephotographed Marlboro adverts, keeping the wild west cowboy fantasy and losing the logo and the fags. His art is full of recycled gags; he also has a thing about nurses, whose images fill a concurrent Gagosian gallery show in London’s West End.

Either Prince just lets his obsessions hang out, or he has something to say about the state of American culture – or both. It is too late to be a wide-eyed pop artist. Prince is not just an appropriationist, though he first appeared on the New York scene in the mid-1970s as just that, and as the then partner of Cindy Sherman, for whom success came much more quickly. In the end, Prince’s problem is that he’s just not as good as Bruce Nauman or Matthew Barney, or Sherman at her best. His art knows this and tries to deal with it by way of jokes and excess.

Prince’s nurses stalk the Serpentine as though patrolling the wards on night duty. In their masks, mascara and starched uniforms, they appear both bloodied and predatory. Derived from the covers of pulp novels, Prince photographically reproduces these images on canvas and then overpaints them, giving them the transgressive frisson of medical fetishism. His nurses are more Carry On Matron than Sister Ingrid the Catheter Queen.

Somehow, Richard Prince’s art spurns my critical advances. My excuse is that what Prince does and deals with is just too much a macho guy thing for me. I don’t drive, I have no interest in cars, I’ve never had the fantasy of nailing a nurse on the hood of my Buick or of being picked up by a bare-boobed biker chick riding a throbbing Harley. I even had to have the cultural significance of Brooke Shields, about whom Prince once made an iconic and infamous early work, explained to me. Prince the artist is cool and fashionable, both attributes I have some difficulty keeping up with.

When he copies old New Yorker cartoons and sad stand-up jokes on canvas, stencilling their punchlines or using them to interrupt achingly vacuous fields of colour, he is just compounding one kind of empty gesture with another. “A girl phoned me the other day and said, ‘Come on over, nobody’s home.’ I went over, nobody was home,” reads one canvas. Ba-boom.

Maybe the artist sees himself as the failed comedian, the fall guy in the gag. Or maybe that’s us, his audience. Maybe the art is like the girl on the phone, promising everything, delivering nothing. It’s a joke all right. It’s painful.

· Richard Prince: Continuation is at the Serpentine gallery until September 7. Details: 020-7402 6075.

[ click to read article at Guardian UK ]

Posted on June 25, 2008 by Editor

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“So just where you think you’re goin’ there, boy…”

from the NY Daily News

Denied! No U.S. visa for Boy George

Monday, June 23rd 2008, 12:41 PM

Boy George won't be touring the U.S. as planned.Kitwood/Getty

Give the Boy a break!
 
U.S. Customs is denying Boy George his visa, cutting off his hopes for a U.S. tour. 
 
The denial comes after the British pop icon’s offer to show his appreciation for the Department of Sanitation of New York (DSNY) and play a free concert for their Family Day on August 17.  George got to know the DSNY in 2006 when he swept the streets of New York while serving a community service sentence.  

“I’m pretty devastated because I am so excited about this forthcoming tour, and having my visa application denied seems unfair after I swept the streets of New York spotless,” George tells PaperMag. “I committed a crime and I happily paid the consequences, and I should be allowed to move on and get on with what I do best – and that is performing and making people dance and cry!”

[ click to read full article at NYDailyNews.com ]

Posted on June 25, 2008 by Editor

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Shaq Invites Kobe Over For Warmed Sushi

from Funny Or Die

Posted on June 25, 2008 by Editor

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Dying For Porn

from TwinCities.com

Disgruntled porn store owner dies in standoff

Little Falls gunman had history of disputes with county officials

By Tad Vezner 
tvezner@pioneerpress.com

Article Last Updated: 06/25/2008 07:11:09 AM CDT

A man who lost numerous legal battles with Minnesota’s Morrison County over his now-closed adult entertainment businesses was fatally shot after he walked into a county board meeting Tuesday and held at least seven people hostage.

Gordon Wheeler Sr., 60, of Little Falls, was wounded after the county sheriff, a sheriff’s lieutenant and a state trooper opened fire, minutes after he took several county officials hostage as they were wrapping up a board meeting.

Wheeler died later at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls, about 100 miles northwest of St. Paul.

It was unclear whether Wheeler returned fire or if he turned the gun on himself, said Dave Bjerga, assistant superintendent for the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

“He talked the whole while, he never quit talking for at least 10 minutes, until the climax,” Wenzel said. “He looked to me like a farmer; he didn’t seem out of the ordinary. I thought, ‘Oh, maybe it was somebody with news or something to say.’

“He had something to say, I guess.”

Wheeler had owned a few adult businesses in the county. In 2003, the county tightened its land-use ordinance for sex-related businesses and shut down an adult book and video store Wheeler owned near Swanville called Lookin’ Fine Smut and Porno, according to reports by the St. Cloud Times.

[ click to read full article at TwinCities.com ]

Posted on June 25, 2008 by Editor

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Monet Still Moving Major Moolah

from The New York Times

A Monet Sets a Record: $80.4 Million

Andy Rain/European Pressphoto Agency

“Le Bassin aux Nymphéas,” the record-breaking Monet.

LONDON — The summer auction season here began at Christie’s on Tuesday night when a standing-room-only crowd of dealers, collectors and art lovers came from all over the world to watch and bid on one of the largest London sales the auction house has held. Early in the evening a record price for a Monet, $80.4 million, was set for one of the rarest of his waterlilies.

A sea of hands shot in the air when that painting, “Le Bassin aux Nymphéas,” which had been expected to sell for $36 million to $47 million, came up on the block.  The previous record for a Monet, $41.4 million for “The Railroad Bridge at Argenteuil,” was set last month at Christie’s in New York.

“Le Bassin aux Nymphéas,” from 1919, a large horizontal work measuring more than 3 feet by 6 feet, is from a series of four that Monet signed and dated and that experts consider to be among the most important paintings from his late period. Unlike most of his late works, which remained unfinished at the time of his death in 1926, this series was sold by him. One is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; another was cut in two; and a third is in a private collection, having been sold at Christie’s in New York in 1992 for $12.1 million, a stellar price at the time.

The Monet up for auction Tuesday belonged to J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller, collectors from Columbus, Ind. Mr. Miller, the chairman of the Cummins Engine Company who died in 2004, and Mrs. Miller, who died in February, helped transform Columbus into a showcase for modern architecture by supporting historic buildings and projects.

In addition to the Monet the Millers also owned a Cubist Picasso, another popular work in the auction. “La Carafe (Bouteille et Verre),” painted in the winter of 1911-12, went to a telephone bidder for $7.3 million, above its high $5.9 million estimate.

Another big seller on Tuesday was “Dancers at the Bar,” a Degas pastel being sold by an unidentified private collector. The work, from around 1880, is considered important not only for its composition — two young dancers, their white skirts and pink ballet slippers perfectly rendered — but also because of its provenance. It had been owned by Louisine Elder, the wife of H. O. Havemeyer, the American sugar magnate whose bequest forms the bulk of the Met’s Degas collection. The pastel remained in the Havemeyer family for three generations before being sold at Christie’s in New York in 1982 for $1 million. 

Playing to Russian collectors, Christie’s sale included a group of works by Russian artists. One, called “The Flowers,” from 1912, by Nathalia Goncharova, was estimated to bring $6.9 million to 8.9 million. It sold for $10.8 million, a price that set two records: for the artist at auction, and for a female artist at auction.

Several works that had belonged to Simon Sainsbury, the British philanthropist and grocery store magnate who died in 2006, were also for sale Tuesday. Among the best was an early pointillist painting by Signac, “Collioure, Les Balancelles,” a composition of sailboats in the water created in September and October 1887 while he was in the seaside Mediterranean town of Collioure. The painting sold for $5.8 million, higher than its expected estimate of $3.6 million to $4.9 million.

[ click to read full article in the New York Times ]

Posted on June 25, 2008 by Editor

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Van Man Black Disses Sedaris

from The GalleyCat @ MediaBistro

‘Why does David Sedaris hate America?’

my custom black van.jpg
Michael Ian Black, author of My Custom Van: And 50 other mind-Blowing Essays that will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face is endorsed by Amy Sedaris (“Enjoy the ride of your lifetime”) but is gunning for her brother David. Since Black realized that his book is currently higher ranked on Amazon.com than David Sedaris’s 1994 book Barrel Fever, Black’s begun a “desperate bid to dismantle that mo-fo David Sedaris’s lock on all things ‘best-selling,'” Most importantly he wonders “Why does David Sedaris hate America?” (Sedaris lives in France)

In Black’s laugh-out-loud collection of short comic essays from Simon Spotlight Entertainment (which includes an introduction from Abraham Lincoln) he throws down the gauntlet with the essay ‘Hey David Sedaris – Why Don’t You Just Go Ahead and Suck It?’ He now continues the fued online with several Sedaris blogs at the moment including Some Ways to Casually Put Down David Sedaris at Your Next Social Event Without Looking Like a Total Jerk which includes this gem:

Say, for example, you are at league bowling night and your buddy finds himself facing an easy pick-up for a spare. Just before he bowls say something like, “Don’t miss, Bob, or you might hear David Sedaris telling a long and humorous story about what a boob you are on ‘This American Life.'”

[ click to read full piece at MediaBistro ]

Posted on June 25, 2008 by Editor

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Interview w/James Frey in Macleans

from MACLEANS.CA

Interview with James Frey

‘I would say hello but I can’t imagine Oprah and I would have much to talk about’

 

HEIDI STASESON | May 28, 2008 |

 

It’s been 2-½ years since James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, published as a memoir, was denounced as a liar by the queen of daytime television, Oprah Winfrey. The scandal over Frey’s book not only ruined his reputation among readers (the book had by then sold more than 3.5 million copies) but called into question the integrity of the entire book publishing industry. Frey has just released a novel, Bright Shiny Morning, with a new publisher.

Q How important will Oprah’s opinion about this new book be to you? Do you think she might ever trust you again?

A: Um, you know, I don’t really even think about it. If she reads it, cool; if she doesn’t, cool. I don’t expect ever to be back on her show.

Q: What if you saw her walking down the street, what would you say to her?

A: I would say hello and be as polite as I needed to be but I can’t imagine that we would have much to talk about. I wish Miss Winfrey the best in everything she does.

Q: After A Million Little Pieces, you lost your agent, were abandoned by friends and peers, shunned by the publishing industry, and cast out as a not-to-be-trusted pariah. How has this life experience changed you?

A: I mean it was an unpleasant experience. I can think of a lot of things in life that would be much worse.

Q: Like what?

A: I mean nobody died; I didn’t lose anybody in my life. My family is okay, my wife and child are great. I’m not a soldier fighting in a war, I’m not sick. There are many, many, many things involved in life that are a much bigger deal than anything I had to deal with. How did it change me as a person? It definitely humbled me; it definitely made me realize how fortunate I am in a lot of ways to have a family who was there, and friends who were there.

Q: Evgenia Peretz [in Vanity Fair] talked about how it was humiliating to the point where you actually felt driven to go back to the bottle for a while. Is that true?

A: It was hard, sure. I have a history of addiction. Sometimes when you feel things you might want to drink. But I never did. I was never, I felt, in any danger. It was a sh—y situation but you get through it like any other sh—y situation. I mean at no point was I, like, in the corner, huddled up crying. It was a bad couple of months. And there were some really, really hard moments, but you get through them.

Q: You just plowed into the book and didn’t [succumb]?

A: I mean I wrote a movie before I wrote the book. I didn’t start the book until October of 2006.

Q: Was that the Hells Angels movie by [director] Tony Scott?

A: Yes. I don’t know when it’s even getting made or if it’s getting made. I had been hired to write it in 2005 and after everything happened Tony was like, “Well, I still want you to write it. Let’s get to work.” And so I did. I wrote the movie.

Q: You have a fascination with gang life and bikers and tough guys — they’re all in this new book. Did that research from Scott’s movie help you with this book?

A: The bikers in Bright Shiny Morning are absolutely not Hells Angels. I got an interesting education in biker culture writing the Hells Angels movie. I had a lot of fun hanging around with some of the members of the club.

Q: Why are you interested in Hells Angels?

A: They’re rebels. They do what they want, when they want. They don’t care about what people think about them.

Q: Kind of like you. Didn’t you hang out with the Top Dog of the club?

A: I met Sonny Barger on a number of occasions and he’s a really cool, funny, very, very smart guy. It was a real honour to get to hang out with him. Sonny’s had a really interesting life. He’s an American hero to millions of people. He’s 69, maybe 70. He’s the founder of the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels.

Q: But they’re tough guys and you portray a lot of tough dudes in your novels, including even yourself in A Million Little Pieces.

A: I’m nowhere near as tough as any Hells Angel on the planet.

Q: Let me see your [right wrist] tattoo?

A: Those are my daughter’s initials.

Q: How many tattoos do you have?

A: Ten, 15 — I don’t know. I don’t want to talk about my tattoos.

Q: While labelled as fiction, your novel is strewn with factoids about Los Angeles. It seems more akin to the non-literary fiction style of contemporary American pros like Joan Didion or the Mailers of the world. Were you going for something like that here?

[ click to continue reading interview ]

Posted on June 24, 2008 by Editor

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New Titles Out Next Week

from Shelf-Awareness.com

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, July 1:

Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World by David Maraniss (S&S, $26.95, 9781416534075/1416534075) examines a politically eventful yet often overlooked Olympics. 

Death Angel: A Novel by Linda Howard (Ballantine, $26, 9780345486547/0345486544) features a woman fleeing her crime lord lover after stealing his money.

The Last Patriot: A Thriller by Brad Thor (Atria, $26, 9781416543831/141654383X) chronicles the worldwide struggle to uncover an ancient Islamic secret.

A Summer Affair: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown, $24.99, 9780316018609/0316018600) tells the story of a Nantucket glass artist having an affair with her friend’s husband.

Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais (S&S, $25.95, 9780743281645/0743281640) continues the Elvis Cole series.

[ click to view full list at Shelf-Awareness.com ]

Posted on June 24, 2008 by Editor

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The Modern Day Definition Of Hope

from UPI.com

Many Dutch prepare for 2012 apocalypse 

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, June 23 (UPI) — Thousands of people in the Netherlands say they expect the world to end in 2012, and many say they are taking precautions to prepare for the apocalypse.

The Dutch-language de Volkskrant newspaper said it spoke to thousands of believers in the impending end of civilization, and while theories on the supposed catastrophe varied, most tied the 2012 date to the end of the Mayan calendar, Radio Netherlands reported Monday.

De Volkskrant said many of those interviewed are stocking up on emergency supplies, including life rafts and other equipment.

Some who spoke to the newspaper were optimistic about the end of civilization.

“You know, maybe it’s really not that bad that the Netherlands will be destroyed,” Petra Faile said. “I don’t like it here anymore. Take immigration, for example. They keep letting people in. And then we have to build more houses, which makes the Netherlands even heavier. The country will sink even lower, which will make the flooding worse.”

[ click to read article at UPI.com ]

Posted on June 24, 2008 by Editor

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Kevin Teare: Bumpology, the Clinton Years @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller

Kevin Teare: Bumpology, the Clinton Years - New Exhibit at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller

Kevin Teare: Bumpology, the Clinton Years
June 28 through August 3, 2008

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Kevin Teare. Teare admits to a perhaps unhealthy level of preoccupation with covert U.S. history, English rock bands from the 60s, and other matters pop or political. You wouldn’t immediately know it to look at his paintings – gorgeous abstract compositions of shape and color floating on pale expanses of primed canvas—but titles like There Are Exactly 57 Reds (for John Frankenheimer), which alludes to both a notorious quotation from Senator Joe McCarthy and to Frankenheimer’s film The Manchurian Candidate, suggest that Teare’s paintings are operating on other levels besides those immediately apparent. Visit our website for more information.

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87 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937
P: 631.324.5511
www.ghbookseller.com

Art Gallery & Bookshop
Mon thru Sat: 10am to 5pm
Sun: 12pm to 4pm
Closed Wed & Thurs, Oct thru April

Posted on June 23, 2008 by Editor

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Carlin Gone

from Reuters via Yahoo News

COMEDIAN GEORGE CARLIN DIES AT 71 IN LOS ANGELES

7 minutes ago

Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero famed for his routines about drugs and dirty words, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday, a spokesman said. He was 71.

Carlin, who had a history of heart problems, died at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica about 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT) after being admitted earlier in the afternoon for chest pains, spokesman Jeff Abraham told Reuters.

Known for his edgy, provocative material, Carlin achieved status as an anti-Establishment icon in the 1970s with stand-up bits full of drug references and a routine about seven dirty words you could not say on television. A regulatory battle over a radio broadcast of his “Filthy Words” routine ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Patricia Zengerle)

Posted on June 22, 2008 by Editor

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