Recession what? According to a press release I just got, the soundtrack to Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel has qualified for gold record status (meaning it has sold at least 500,000 copies) after spending four consecutive weeks at the top of Billboard's soundtrack chart.
According to the press release:
The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
Whoops, my bad. That's an excerpt from John's description of the Apocalypse. The actual press release sounds a lot worse:
Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features The Chipmunks and The Chipettes covering some of today’s top hits and classic tracks as well as original songs. Alvin, Simon, and Theodore put their spins on Dead Or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” and the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.” The Chipettes also offer ‘munked versions of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold.” The soundtrack concludes with The Chipmunks and The Chipettes coming together for a memorable cover of The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling,” a special bonus track that is not featured in the film.
What's worse — the idea of CGI rodents singing Katy Perry and Black Eyed Peas covers in shrill cartoon voices, or the use of 'munked as a verb? Yes I realize that people are buying this album for their children, who don't yet know how to pretend to have better taste in music — that's not the point I'm making. The point is that the government should be taking these people's children away from them. If they'd followed my advice and sterilized all the Black Eyed Peas fans back when "My Humps" came out, this probably never would have happened.
In related news, the RIAA has decided to stop siccing their team of attorneys on people illegally downloading music and will instead have them scouring the sewers for the millions of dollars they now assume American consumers are wiping their asses with everyday.
Best Latin Jazz Album:
Juntos para siempre
Bebo Valdés And Chucho Valdés (Cuba)
(Sony Music/Calle 54)
Best Latin Pop Album
La Quinta Estación (Spain)
(Sony Music Latin)
Latin Rock, Alternative, or Urban Album
Los de atrás vienen conmigo
Calle 13 (Puerto Rico)
(Sony Music Norte)
Best Tropical Latin Album
Luis Enrique (Nicaragua)
(Top Stop Music)
Best Regional Mexican Album
Necesito de ti
Vicente Fernández (Mexico)
(Sony Music Norte)
Best Tejano Album
Borders y Bailes
Los Texmaniacs (USA)
(Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)
Best Norteño Album
Tu noche con...Los Tigres Del Norte (Mexico)
Los Tigres Del Norte
Best Banda Album
Tu esclavo y amo
Lupillo Rivera (Mexico)
(Complete list of winners in grammy.com)
Check out the CAM website!
Ahora con Calendar!
Good job, y'all.
Lots of nifty things coming up.
Luminaria on 3/13
Get to work.
Now here's an unrelated trailer for a documentary made by my friend Kat Green:
J.D. Salinger died yesterday at 91, according to a press release sent out by his literary agent.
Most famous for his novel The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger was best known in the house I grew up in as the author of the book with all those GDs in it. The obscenity spouted by teenage character Holden Caulfield got a lot of attention in 1951, but it's probably Caulfield's distrust of authority figures and dissatisfaction with the artificial nature of human interaction that continues to make it controversial. At my high school in Lubbock Texas (in 2000, mind you) I remember my teacher having to encourage us to read the book by presenting it as a semi-covert extra credit opportunity rather than assigning us to read it.
Catcher also reportedly encouraged Mark David Chapman to murder John Lennon (though I'm pretty sure Chapman was messed up long before he read about Caulfield's hatred of "phonies") and the cultish response the book must have at least in part pushed Salinger into reclusiveness (though his early writing indicates his misanthropy preceded his fame). Accounts of his strange behavior and general old cussedness aren't really relevant when you're discussing his work, though. He hadn't published anything since the mid-'60s, and his main interaction with the outside world in recent years has been via lawsuits to prevent biographies and unauthorized Catcher sequels from being published, so it's hard to claim the literary world will suffer much from this old man's death, but we've definitely lost a great thinker and a man who was once a great artist. I'll remember him best for Franny and Zooey, a much more subdued account of the pain of being strange and idealistic in a hateful world, and for his short story "A Perfect Day for a Bananafish," (read it here) which I've reread several times, but still couldn't really tell you what it's about. I also can't argue with the many people I've talked to over the years who said it's one of the best stories they've ever read.
May all such intelligent, creative, damaged people die peacefully at an old age after lives lived on their own terms.
SA's own Joshua Friedberg took the audience award in the Nikon Festival, an online showcase of super short films — 140 seconds or less — shot in HD. As recipient of the most viewer votes, Friedberg will receive $25,000 dollars and a Nikon camera. Have a look at the video above if you haven't already, especially if you're looking for a cinematographer. It's awfully pretty, even if it is footage of some squalid Yankee shit-hole where they can't even make passable picante sauce.
(Many thanks to Ed Saavedra for posting this video on Facebook.)
Howard Zinn—political science professor, lauded (and controversial) author, social historian, playwright, and activist, died today at the age of 87.
Dr. Zinn, a Brooklyn-born World War II vet, the son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants and an educational product of the GI-Bill, represented what is best about America: The transformative force of immigrant parents who raise American kids able and eager to serve the democratic ideals and opportunities of their new nation; respect for our vets and support for policies which ensure that education should be available to them and to all; and the primacy of free speech in a true democracy.
America's virtues empowered Zinn to chronicle our worst vices: A colonial consciousness that made slavery feasible and widespread and continues to dominate foreign policy; a reliance on warfare as a hideously destructive economic system; and a distribution of wealth that makes for useless wealth and numbing poverty. Zinn stood up for civil rights for people of color, women and dissidents, questioned the necessity and humanity of war, and had a goddamn rap sheet to prove it.
Read some Zinn. You may not always agree with him, but unless you're made of stone or entirely indoctrinated by FOX News, you won't remain unchanged.
It's a tough time we're living through; the gap between the rich and poor grows, the long wars we're entrenched in make the kinds of human tragedies Zinn railed against a matter of routine, and the American working class from which Zinn emerged and so often championed has been hornswoggled into a kind of populist delirium that makes not for progress, but for lynchings. There's so very much more work to do, but I think Zinn believed we shall overcome. Let's not let him down.
A couple of great quotes from the man:
There is the past and its continuing horrors: violence, war, prejudices against those who are different, outrageous monopolization of the good earth's wealth by a few, political power in the hands of liars and murderers, the building of prisons instead of schools, the poisoning of the press and the entire culture by money. It is easy to become discouraged observing this, especially since this is what the press and television insist that we look at, and nothing more.
But there is also the bubbling of change under the surface of obedience: the growing revulsion against endless wars, the insistence of women all over the world that they will no longer tolerate abuse and subordination... There is civil disobedience against the military machine, protest against police brutality directed especially at people of color.
--A People's History of the United States, 1999 edition
If those in charge of our society — politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television — can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves. Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology (1991)
You can purchase the full-length documentary on Dr. Zinn from which this clip was taken here. You can buy his groundbreaking book A People's History of the United States here.
Here is a video of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, who will be performing at the Carver Cultural Community Center this Saturday. Cool, huh? Click the link for details.
San Antonio came out in droves to welcome legendary civil rights activist Angela Davis on Wednesday. Over a thousand people filled Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium to hear Davis deliver the Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Lecture.
Most amazing was the diversity of those attending - from college age students to veterano activists from the 1960s civil rights movement, from elementary school youngsters to the more visible GLBT community.
Most were in awe and inspired by Davis’s presence and message.
At times, the charismatic and simpatico Davis chided the audience to test its cred in matters of progressive civil rights. (“Is there a street in San Antonio named for Mumia like there is in Germany?”] When she included Mexican Americans and Chicanos in the struggle, there were gritos from the audience. [“Chicanos in the house!”] When she mentioned the struggle for transgender rights, there was scant applause [“I guess this is San Antonio where things aren’t as progressive when it comes to transgender rights.”].
Davis said that when Rev. King declared in his “I had a dream” speech that he had been to the mountaintop, he never told us what he saw. Davis challenged the audience to wonder what he might have seen. Davis said that the civil rights laws changed many things, but the purpose was not only equality but also freedom.
She said people watching the devastation from the earthquake that hit Haiti take their poverty for granted. Few realize that Haiti is the first republic ruled by people of African ancestry to abolish slavery and achieve complete freedom. Still Haiti had to pay France twelve million dollars to secure their freedom. “Maybe France during this time of crisis in Haiti should give back those 12 million – and begin its reparation to the Haitian people.”
Davis also spoke about how her current involvement in the movement to abolish the prison-industrial complex is tied to the civil rights movement. (In a short snippet on the video report, Davis directs readers to the Current’s cover story on Suicides in the Bexar County Jail.)
The audience was thrilled when Mario Salas presented Davis with a copy of the original petition of the SA chapter of the Free Angela Davis Committee which included the names of prominent Black and Chicano citizens, including the late Albert Peña, the Rev. Sutton and Rosie Castro, mother of Mayor Julian Castro.
For a moment, Davis jump-started a social activism that San Anto seemed to welcome – energizing both young and veterans alike. Her parting advice:
“Trust yourselves. Be creative, be innovative, and take risks. I want you to give me the advice that I will need to better know how I can support you when you do your revolutionary thing.”
It's FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, so I'm not gonna sit on this one.
San Antonio Art League and Museum wants YOU! Here, read the press release.Then there's a video at the bottom. There's a monster at the end of this book!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The San Antonio Art League & Museum announces a CALL FOR ENTRIES for the Annual Artists Juried Exhibition.
Artwork to be included in the jury process will be accepted on Friday, February 19 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and on Saturday, February 20 from 12 noon-6 p.m. Artists may submit up to three entries to be juried. Artwork must be original and have been completed within the last year. All work should be museum display-ready. Outdoor sculpture will be juried by slide or digital image.
Edward M. Schad, Curator at The Broad Art Foundation in Santo Monica, CA, will act as the 2010 juror. The exhibition will run from April 11-May 22, with an opening reception on Sunday, April 11 from 3-5 p.m. Awards, including the prestigious Onderdonk Purchase Prize, will be announced at the opening reception.
For further details, please contact the San Antonio Art League & Museum for a prospectus. The Museum is located at 130 King William Street across from King William Park. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. For more information call 210-223-1140 or visit www.saalm.org online.
– End –
Cartographers' self-titled debut — the subject of our July 29 cover story, which you can check out here (readers raved: "god, what a fuckin long article" and "is the article title a reference to the band the Swell Maps?") — have rereleased that album with actual cover art and shit on Buttercup's label Bedlamb Records.
To celebrate, they're playing Limelight tonight with Morris Orchids and Austin's Framing Strangers. Doors open at 10, definitely worth checking out if you're into that swingin sound the fine young dudes all dig. Or if you're bored.
Here they are in action:
call to artists
LoneStar Studios is getting ready for this year's Contemporary Art Month.
Our Second Saturday One Night Only art opening for March 2010 is a group show with a call to artists going out around the world.
If you would like to participate in this year's CAM show at the LoneStar Studios there are only two rules:
1. Your art must be delivered to the LoneStar Studios through the United States Postal Service.
2. The postage must be UNDER $11.00.
If you have special instructions to hang the art work, it must be included in the "package"; i.e. name tags & labels, special hanging equipment (I have screws and nails, thats about it), etc.
If you do not live in San Antonio and would like your work mailed back to you then you must include a self addressed stamped envelope, unfortunately I cannot afford to send everyone's work back.
Unless otherwise instructed, I will decide what will be hung on the wall from the package that is sent to me; meaning, if I really like the box the art came in, it will get hung up with the artwork, if it is just a plain "flat rate" box, it probably wont get hung on the wall.
The art must be here before Monday March 8th, 2010.
The show will be Saturday March 13th 2010, one night only.
If you have any questions please let me know, email me @ LoneStarStudios@gmail.com
c/o CAM Art Show
107 Lone Star Blvd.
San Antonio, TX 78204
And here's an unintentionally funny Australian video about facial isometrics. I plan to take up this practice.
Scott Miller, founding member of Knoxville, Tennessee, roots rock/alternative country greats The V-Roys (who had Steve Earle produce both of their studio albums), will perform at Sam’s Burger Joint on Wednesday, January 20 (330 E. Grayson, 8 pm, $7-$10, 223-2830, samsburgerjoint.com). Miller will be presenting his new solo album, For Crying Out Loud, from which this song comes from:
On Friday we have more country, and for a good cause: Wade Bowen, Paul Eason, and Aaron Einhouse will perform on Friday, January 22, at the 5th annual country concert organized by ConcertForTheCureSA.org at Cowboy Dance Hall (3030 NE Loop 410 @ I-35, $10-$20, 18 & up, 7 pm, 646-9378). The show benefits Camp Discovery, which treats kids diagnosed with or in remission from cancer. Here's some Bowen:
HEY! Our online producer, Manny Moreno, taught me how to add videos to the blog. Onwards and upwards, people!
OK, so this first video is a musical number written by Italian performer Adriano Celentano in 1972. It's "about" incommunicability, but has been (rightly, I think) described as a attempt to document and satirize American English as it sounds to non-English speakers. Almost as brilliant as the gibberish songwriting is the wild-ass choreography. I wish those Filipino inmates would take this on.
Oh, I made so many. Maybe you did too. You can even read some of the ones I made in this other blog post. I tried to distract myself from having made these resolutions in that blog post by doin' a lot of trash talk about Medusa and people who talk about yoga and/or Burning Man and tauntauns and hovercrafts.
So what else is new.
So here's what I said I was gonna do:
1. Become more technically literate.
And you know what? I've sort of taught myself the rudiments of GarageBand, so I feel OK about that. HOWEVER, I also vowed to be able to post video on this here blog, and I still do not know how. Oh the things I could show you. Baby pandas sneezing, that scene from Half Baked wherein Scarface quits his burger-fliipping job by pointing at his co-workers and saying to each one "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you" then pauses at a zany, weird-looking customer and decides, "you're cool" then "fuck you-s" one more dude and throws a burger at him.
Oh, and there's the Christian Side Hug rap, and that crazy video with the Italian guy singing in awesome fake English.
BUT CAN I SHOW YOU ANY OF THESE?
NO, I CANNOT.
Which reminds me, and not for the first time, that New Year's Resolutions are pretty much bullshit in my personal opinion. Have YOU ever read an astonishingly inspiring anecdote about somebody who changed her life — forever, and for the better — based on the ritualized, personal-improvement whims of Jan 1?
"I used to live in a culvert, lying in wait for passers-by so I could ambush, skin and eat them. I drank far too much sangria, also. My husband Claude complained that there was no zing in our sex life anymore, and I'd let my Greenpeace membership lapse. And frankly, I could also stand to lose a couple pounds."
"Then what happened, Joyce?"
"Well, last New Year's, I resolved to get me a muscle car, dress in evening wear pretty much all the time, skin and eat Claude, and erect a swingset made entirely of tomato cans. Also, I decided to lead that troupe of blind children up Everest. And I'll be damned if I didn't do it all!"
It's a very American practice, I think, to announce new beginnings and regimen changes arbitrarily, to exclaim "and now, I remake me into a wealthy and French-speaking AFTER photo who doesn't eat meat!"
Maybe it's our not having a frontier anymore--we pioneer and settle ourselves endlessly. New Year's Resolutions (and their failures) represent a collision of Americans' unrealistic idealism and our national torpor.
So, the other resolution I professed was:
2. Become more financially literate.
I have not done this yet. However, I've not renewed the lease on my too-expensive house, and am shacking up with my parents (!) until I find a more reasonably-priced place. See, I'd been living in a very cute and quaint 19th century limestone casita. It was an interesting experience, sort of like living in a Witte exhibit. Charming as all git-out, but the plumbing didn't really work, the kitchen wasn't all that user-friendly, my bed was in the living room, and there were holes in the floors that led directly outdoors. It was constantly me against nature. At night in the summertime (the house, by the way, was well-nigh impossible to keep either cool, or warm), if I turned on the back patio light, I could see stately swarms of cucarachas lording it over the dirt yard like bison herds of old on the Great Plains. And I was paying A LOT for this.
So there's one expense knocked down. Yet I still spend too much dough on stuff like makeup, coffee, cocktails and lunches out. Time to make a budget.
The third resolution was in. re. Current improvements, still underway. So we'll see how that goes.
My point is, I guess, that if you, like me, made New Year's resolutions and haven't been keeping them with the vigilance and vigor you'd intended... dude. C'mon. New Year's Resolutions are a set-up for failure. Shame, failure, and NutriSystem commercials.
So I guess maybe just declaim some New Years' hopes next time, if you want, then make a little progress here and there in those general directions, and feel as good about that as you can. Get outside yourself a little, help somebody out. You could start by explaining to me how to put videos on here.
Billy Corgan gets all kinds of critical crap (some of it from me), for lots and lots of legitimate reasons, but this Teargarden by Kaleidyscope album he's sporadically releasing is so far pretty awesome, though we're only two songs out of 40-something in. Check out "Widow Wake My Mind" at the Smashing Pumpkins' Mypsace page. (Also checkout the other Teargarden track, "Song for a Son"). Purposely weird title, organ breakdown and all, you can't tell me modern pop rock wouldn't be improved by this song climbing up the charts.
Not sure if these Feathers are heavy in the sense of mass, importance, or that vague multipurpose way that Back to the Future claimed teenagers used the word in the '80s.
Also, I'm not sure where to direct you if you want to preview their music beforehand. The Myspace page for Heavy Feathers belongs to a band in Barcelona, and Heavy Feathers' frontman is Marc Smith, formerly of the Blend but I don't think it's a good idea to judge the Feathers based on Smith's past work. I've seen them play briefly recently, and they seem to be importing sweaty energy and good natured grandeur straight from the early '70s.
The lineup does feature, however, two bands we've written about pretty extensively — Blowing Trees and Morris Orchids — so you should go just to see exactly what we're incessantly blathering on about in our stuffy pseudo British stuffed-shirt speak.
And as always, if you know about a kick-ass band we're missing out on (even if it's yours), please send me info. If you've sent it before, keep sending it, and I'll make it out to see you when I can in my ongoing quest to review every original musical act in San Antonio. What do you guys figure my odds are?
Musician Jay Reatard reportedly died last night in his sleep of unspecified causes. He was a prolific, talented songwriter, and modern music's a lot worse off without him. Read Rolling Stone's slightly more extensive write up here.
Yet another volume in the Johnny Cash: American series has been announced, with a scheduled release date of February 26. This will be volume number six in the series, and it's the final one, they swear.
Though the American series, which began in 1994, mostly features Cash's noticeably weakened (increasingly so as the series progressed) but still incredibly authoritative voice on traditional folk and gospel songs and country music standards, it's more famous for the stunt covers producer Rick Rubin got Cash to do. Most famously, his version of Nine Inch Nails "Hurt" made the original seem cheery (also irrelevant), but he also covered Depeche Mode ("Personal Jesus"), Neil Diamond ("Solitary Man"), and most awesomely Nick Cave ("The Mercy Seat," which you must listen to below before you proceed any further.)
Wow. Why don't you listen to that again? I don't mind waiting. But before you get too excited, the press release says the track listing for American VI is scheduled to "include Sheryl Crow's moving 'Redemption Day,' close Cash friend Kris Kristofferson's 'For The Good Times,' 'Can Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound' by Tom Paxton, Bob Nolan's 'Cool Water,' the hopeful 'Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream' by Ed McCurdy, J.H. Red Hayes and Jack Rhodes's 'Satisfied Mind,' Queen Lili'uokalani's song of farewell 'Aloha Oe,' and the never before heard Cash original, 'I Corinthians: 15:55,' written over the last three years of his life."
The big news I guess is that Sheryl Crow song, but until I hear it, I'm going to be afraid that's the sort of embarrassing studio artifact Rubin should've erased out of respect for the dead. "For the Good Times" will probably be horribly depressing and awesome, and if anyone can wring some feeling out of "Aloha Oe" it'd be Cash. The Cash original is obviously something to look forward to, but how long before we let the man go, and let his already phenomenal body of work stand on its own? In case you're wondering, I Corinthians: 15:55 reads, "Where, oh death, is your victory? Where, oh death, is your sting?"
Do these releases serve to remind us that artists can produce meaningful work their entire lives, help us not only to rebel as teenagers and relate to others and ourselves as adults but also to cope with our own aging and eventual death — if we can keep from looking away in their final years? Or is this just a ghoulish cash grab, selling tickets for a peek inside the coffin of a legend? See also, Michael Jackson.
On Saturday, January 9, the Guadalupe Theater (1301 Guadalupe Street) will render tribute to the great Chicano poet Angela De Hoyos, who passed away on September 24.
The free tribute will take place at 7 pm and will include music by Juan Tejeda (accordion) and his cousin Armando Tejeda (bajo sexto), food, beer, and wine.
We asked author Carmen Tafolla for a few words about De Hoyos, and she delivered these paragraphs that we now share with you:
“At every single Chicano literary event, reading her work with flair and flourish, applauding others, animando, taking a young poet aside to say, ‘I'd like to publish a book of your work,’ taking a cultural arts org onto her shoulders to say ‘Sí, se puede. What do you need? I'll help.’ Energy, creativity, and compassion. She published award-winners in distinguished contests in Rome and London, or on the cheap newsprint 25 cent a copy SA-based Chicano magazine called Caracol. She wrote a poem for us when we lost our first baby; she wrote a poem for organizer Willie Velásquez when he passed away. She attended every single one of the theater productions at the Guadalupe for years on end. She edited with Bryce and Mary Milligan two major Latina anthologies. She was everywhere, everywhere.
None of her friends had any clue she was even seriously into her 70s (much less 80s). Her level of activity and activism, and her involvement in social causes had been legend for many decades, but they had brimmed with youth and optimism, courage, and a trademark De Hoyos gentleness.
I had been writing, publishing a poem here and there, reading everywhere I could, and she said to me one evening, ‘Carmen, I'd like to publish a book of your poetry. Moisés and I can do it, in our garage. Through M&A Press. Just give me the poems. We'll take care of the rest.’ My book Curandera was the result.
Raul [Salinas] was right , but in a very understated way, when he called her ‘the den mother of the Chicano Movement.’ She empowered us … "
What in Sam Hell is going on with this here "I'm not a victim of mind control" statement from Andrew W.K.? We got a press release about this shit, even. Is anyone seriously worried there's some kind of reptilian Illuminati conspiracy behind the "Party Hard" dude? Is soundtracking frat keggers eight years ago really an effective global domination strategy at this point? Unless your nefarious plan involves increasing sales of styrofoam beer coolers and Valtrex, you've made a bad move, Masons. You'd have gotten more mileage from puppetmastering Sum 41 or Jason Mraz.
Mr. Wilkes-Krier's (if that's his real name) blog is reposted below. I'll meet you at the bottom.
"Since 2001, I have been accused of being part of a conspiracy in which I knowingly entered into a contract with creative directors called Steev Mike, who proceeded to invent a new identity for me to perform under. I'm here to say this is simply not true and a gross exaggeration of easily explainable and common-place music industry practices. Of course I work with people who choose not to include their whole names or real names in the credits, or who aren't on stage with me during my shows - but taking advice and guidance from other people doesn't mean I'm a victim of mind-control. That's like science fiction! Andrew W.K. is about partying and doing what you want! We want fun, and that really is what I am about.
These lies have unfortunately been with me since my career started - critics were saying I had to be a fake puppet for the record industry because I appeared over night. These simple untrue allegations have grown over the years to the point now where I have to defend myself. I have done many interviews and talks where I have explained the nature of how I got into music, and I admitted that I did work with people. But people have still taken what I said and tried to call me a liar and a fake. What alarms me most about these accusations is that they remind me of witch trials: The kind of people who accuse me of being a talking head for some secret conspiracy to corrupt people's morals are the same people who claim MTV and Cartoon Network are owned by secret rulers of the world out to poison kid's brains, or that pop stars like Beyonce or Lady Gaga are part of some occult society, or that companies like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, or Hollywood are secretly promoting hidden plans. Or that the President of the USA is just a figure head and reading a script given to him by a secret world power. Come on!
We're working in a business where there are different ends and different means. No one controlled Frank Sinatra or told him how to sing. No secret group of managers has been telling someone like Jay-Z what to do or how to look. And no one tells me what to do, except me and the people who believe in me. I am a real person who thinks for himself and am not the victim of anyone or group of people trying to influence my career or life. I take responsibility for everything in my life, including who I work for and what happens to me because of it. Just because a person has mentors or advisers doesn't mean they don't have their own brain and soul. And just because I work with other people who advise me doesn't mean that I am a puppet for an evil cult or a have some sort of master plan. I make party music - plain and simple. In fact, it is me who is the innocent victim of a conspiracy of critics and haters who don't believe in the power of music and pure true fun. It is us artists who are the victims. It's crazy that still today, brand new artists like Lady Gaga have already been dealing with the same sort of paranoid allegations that I've has been dealing with since 2001. It just doesn't stop! We are not puppets, we are human beings.
Musicians are not acting, we are real people. We are not part of a conspiracy! It's really intense when people are telling you who you are, so I'm going to tell them who THEY are! On behalf of all musicians, the entertainment industry, and everyone else who's ever been falsely accused, YOU ARE NOT HURTING US AND YOU ARE NOT STOPPING THIS. The party will continue! We will endure! It has become too common for musical artists and performers to be labeled as part of some global scam to control the world, or that we're puppets for a larger agenda designed to hurt people. That's why I'm speaking out and loudly declaring: I am not evil and neither are any of my other fellow members of showbusiness. We are here to bring fun and light into the world, not doubt and darkness. I have been accused of having people design my image, tell me what to say in interviews, design my clothes, the way I look and talk, and of course my music. It's true I do work with people, but not to accomplish anything bad, just the basics that any person does in this business and with this opportunity to live out my dreams.
I have always admitted that I worked with people and I have confessed that time and time again, even if the critics twisted what I said. I did this hoping it would quiet people up and put an end to all the speculation and exaggeration. I was never an actor and the partnerships I made with friends, family, and the companies I've worked with have all been to promote entertainment, excitement, and fun - to give people something fun to focus on and to occupy our thoughts, instead of a bunch of fear or negativity.
I will always keep my focus where it matters most:
1) On being grateful for the incredible people who believe in the feeling I work to create
2) And on that magical feeling itself: BEING ALIVE!
Long live music and long live life. PARTY HARD!"
- Andrew W.K.
Well doesn't that beat the buzzkill cult I grew up in all to hell? It's nice to know that there's no team of image consultants and fashion designers carefully calculating his sweaty, blood-covered hobo look.I'm still 100 percent certain Lady Gaga's a robotic suit controlled by a bunch of tiny bad-ass aliens, though.
One thing's sure, pretending to refute crazy conspiracy accusations is apparently a really effective way to remind me for the first time in like five years that Andrew W.K. exists. Well played Andrew, or should I say Steev Mike?
Must ... party ... party ... party ... hard.
Happy New Year.
Look at this awesome hovercraft diagram:
When I was a little kid, I envisioned 2010 quite differently. I totally figured on personal hovercrafts like that one up there, and moon colonies and underwater cities and pet Bubos
(slight quibble with Bubo image/joke: that's not the pinche Kraken, it's Medusa!)
I thought for sure that by 2010 Bigfoot and Nessie would totally come out of the closet, and I'd be wearing a lot more zip-up-the-front jumpsuits.
(tauntaun not included)
I believed that in 2010 I'd be in Egypt digging the hell out of some tombs, based on an article in Cricket magazine which described the mummification process that completely obsessed me (did you know they took the dead person's brains out through her NOSE?)
I thought all food would all be in pill form, my asthma would clear up, and that
women would be earning as much money as men.
I also assumed I'd be married to Tom Brokaw by now.
As a little kid, I used to have it BAD for Tom Brokaw, 'til somebody told me that a whole team of people writes the news and he was just the one who got to read it on the Today show. DAMMIT! I THOUGHT HE WAS THE SMARTEST MAN IN THE WORLD!
But seeing as how it's the future anyway, hovercrafts or no, I'm making some "new decade general-improvement and progress plans." I decline to call them "New Year's Resolutions" because that seems to put some people off. Often the same kind of people who are proud of not owning televisions and who talk a shit-ton about yoga.
Rule #1 about yoga: don't talk about yoga.
I actually respect yoga but there is no such thing as a good yoga anecdote. Same with Burning Man. Probably fun in person, but NEVER INTERESTING in conversation. Same with cats, babies and small children, unless you have one/some.
But I digress.
Here are some new decade plans for me, and maybe for you!
1. Become more technologically literate.
I don't like reading instructions, I fear technical language and I have a low tolerance for confusion and frustration, but I like even less how I don't know how to upload a video to this here blog. I wish I could post a video of me learning how to post a video. That would be sweet. I'll work on that as a subset of my tech literacy goal!
All is not lost: I am coming along swimmingly with the Wii! Also, I am teaching myself Garage Band, and while I'm frustrated and it's slow going and I'll likely have to enlist aid, I WILL LEARN GARAGE BAND.
2. Become more financially literate.
I am not terribly financially literate. This, I hear tell from peeps like Suze Orman, is a bad state of affairs, especially for women. I don't understand my taxes hardly, or my 401K, I don't budget effectively, and I never have. I think I saw my heretofore perpetual brokeitude as some kind of badge of arty/boho/hipster honor. What horseshit that is.
Y'all, I'm gonna end up like this lady.
I'd have to lose some weight and move to Moscow, but still.
HUGE DIGRESSION AGAIN: whilst searching for an image of a homeless woman, I came across one who may be the chic-est and most attractive homeless woman I've ever seen:
The photo is from a Salvation Army campaign in South Africa exhorting people to donate their old clothes. That woman may be in a landfill, but she is wearing the hell out of that dress. Making do with what she can. It's goddamn inspiring, is what is is. I'm gonna strive to be less like the Moscow homeless lady, who appears to be more or less at the end of her rope (and to be fair, likely for reasons beyond her control) and more like the South African homeless lady who's scrounging with real elan.
3. Current-related improvement ideas
I intend to learn how to do video and sound pieces, and put 'em on here. Heretofore I've been somewhat intimidated (see #1), but I figure if I put the idea on this blog, maybe y'all will hold me to it, or I'll be embarrassed that I mentioned it without doing anything about it and I'll get off my ass.
Also, if you have video or sound pieces you'd like to share on the Current, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rants, makeup demonstrations, dancing, character pieces, alt comedy.
Furthermore, it has been suggested to e several times by various readers that the Current could use a sex column. Something with actual information and issue-addressing, maybe even techniques and concerns. Something brainful to balance out all the titty-bar and bowdlerized sex-worker ads in the back of the book (dear titty bar advertisers et.al.: I am not bad mouthing you. Please continue to help us stay afloat).
Finally, I'd like for more of y'all to write for the Current, and I am not kidding. It's not even the first time I've mentioned it. You can read a whole blog post full of suggestions and guidelines and stuff here. I'd like this paper/electronic medium to reflect as much of San Anto as possible.
Happy New decade, y'all.
There are 2 local bands featuring Mauricio Gudiño you should check out.
I wrote about Mauricio and others in this article awhile back.
Seriously, they're both good.
hovercraft from http://www.freewebs.com/iondynamics/hovercraft.htm
Bubo 'cartoon' from http://www.seibertron.com
Homeless woman in wedding dress from http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2007/any-old-clothes-will-do-for-salvation-army/