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.
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 (150? 600? 3,000?).
“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
Charlotte Higgins, arts correspondent, Monday June 30, 2008 guardian.co.uk
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.
A woman has been denied her ninth boob job because she’s reached the legal limit for silicone in the body.
Sheyla 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?
Here are images from ‘Athlete,’ Sports Illustrated photographer Walter Iooss Jr.’s new book, with caption information written by Iooss. Here are his comments on this 1961 boxing photo: “Ali and Terrell…I never saw this photo until 20 years after I took it. It’s from one of two fights I was at when he fought.”
Credits: ‘Sports Illustrated Athlete’ by Walter Iooss Jr.
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
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.”
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.
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
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.
“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.
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
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.”
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.