Fascinating Library of Congress talk from Ian MacKaye via Jenkem, including his insightful thoughts on skateboarding and how he got into punk. Well worth a watch.
The soul, folk, jazz legend died in Chicago yesterday. Here's two great tracks that showcase his talent for setting a mood and taking it as far as it can go: I'm A Drifter from 1968's The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier and Lazarus Man from Timepiece, his 1998 comeback.
After his supposed retirement/hiatus Clint Eastwood is back in front of the camera, being directed by someone else for the first time since In The Line of Fire. Looks alright too.
While digging up old Beastie Boys clips in the last couple of weeks (#RIPMCA) I came accross an upload of the entire Tougher Than Leather movie - starring Run DMC, but with cameos from the Beasties (doing non-album track 'Desperado') and other 80s Def Jam stars.
The movie itself is like a feature-length A-Team episode.
Absolutely gutted to hear that MCA has passed away, and I suspect Nathaniel Hornblower might have gone with him. As an 11 year old hip hop fan, the disreputable Beastie Boys were clearly going to be a one hit wonder as far as the parents of the world were concerned, but who would have thought they would have evolved to be so endlessly influential and culturaly significant. As a director, Adam Yauch put his hand to many of the Beasties inspiring videos - and more recently through his company Oscilloscope he has become a truly influential character in the world of indie film.
A true loss that hits hard, especially when he was taken so early. RIP.
Lovely website up documenting John Peel's record collection, with an interactive view of his studio, plus clickable racks of records with scanned covers and links to play on Spotify where available. It's just the first 100 A's for now, with a plan to upload the first 100 of a new letter every week. That's still going to be a tiny dent of the 24,000 LPs and 40,000 singles ...but it's a start.
Great low-key campaign up for the power of Lego over at Creative Review: http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2012/march/imagine-with-lego
the legendary French comics artist est mort
Fast Company magazine has an interesting list of films mentioned by Martin Scosese as influentual to him. He's certainly consistent, as he's been talking a lot of these up since I was at film school - directly prompting me to check out Faces, Duel in the Sun, Gun Crazy, Kiss Me Deadly, The Leopard, A Matter of Life and Death, Peeping Tom and The Red Shoes ...amongst others. Pretty sure he put me onto Black Narcissus too - my favourite Powell & Presseburger movie.
Fascinating video of Steven Spielberg watcing the live Oscar nomations in 1976, following the massive box office success of Jaws.
New two-disc best-of David Sylvian on the way, covering his solo stuff from 1982-2012. Still hold up Ghosts as one of the most original singles to ever chart in the top ten ...
1. Ghosts (Remix)
2. Bamboo Houses (Remix)
3. Bamboo Music
4. Forbidden Colours
5. Red Guitar
6. The Ink In The Well
7. Pulling Punches
8. Taking The Veil
9. Silver Moon
10. Let The Happiness In
13. Pop Song
15. Every Colour You Are (Live)
16. Heartbeat (Tainai Kaiki II) Returning To The Womb (Remix)
1. Jean The Birdman
2. Alphabet Angel
3. I Surrender
4. Darkest Dreaming
5. A Fire In The Forest
6. The Only Daughter (Original)
7. Late Night Shopping
8. Wonderful World
9. The Banality Of Evil
10. Darkest Birds
11. Snow White In Appalachia
12. Small Metal Gods
13. I Should Not Dare
15. Where's Your Gravity? (previously unreleased)
Dinosaur Jr guitar legend now available in replica form
Film based on the adventures of explorer Thor Heyderdahl who was so convinced that Polynesian people had sailed the Pacific before Europeans that he built his own balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki and sailed off on a 8000 km trip with a tiny crew for 101 days. No sat-nav, no iPod. Loved the idea of this guy when I was a kid
Dazed and Confused legend Wooderson is back in business, for this promo for the Butch Walker and the Black Widow's track - Synthesizers. Quite the coup.
Have a look at this fascinating video made by Saul Bass in the 1970's, as his pitch to redesign the identity of Bell System ....now AT&T.
The first half is all about identity design, the second half is the actual pitch. Amazing that anyone was making a video pitch in the 1970s.
Via Brand New.
From the AT&T Archives:
Bass' work in logo design and movie title credit sequences spanned the latter half of the 20th century, with prominent work in each field. He worked closely with AT&T, designing not only the 1970 "bell" logo that was ubiquitous for a decade, but also, upon the divestiture of AT&T, he designed the original "death star" logo, unveiled in 1984.
One reason for this bell logo's ubiquity? That redesign was the largest corporate re-identity program in the U.S., ever. The redesign covered:
* 135,000 Bell system vehicles
* 22,000 buildings
* 1,250,000 phone booths
* 170,000,000 telephone directories
This film was made by his company as a presentation to AT&T executives. It would have extended to be shown to the public, but a number of his ideas in the film were not ultimately adopted, like his phone booth designs, and men's and women's uniforms. But a great many were—including, most memorably, the telephone vans and hardhat designs of the 1970s. He designed down to the details, showcasing in this film a myriad of ideas, right down to the yellow pages book designs, cufflinks for executives, and flags.
Bass' other very recognizable logo designs that persist today include those for Minolta, Girl Scouts of America, Avery International, Geffen Records, Warner Int'l, and many more. Bass' design for AT&T was the foundation for the logo that the company has today, redesigned in 2005 by Interbrand.
Produced by Saul Bass
Footage courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ
Chimp heros The Wedding Present are back with a new album in March. Valentina will be released through the band's own Scopitones label in the UK on March 17th. Other labels around teh world in the days after that.
The band will be at SXSW to launch the album and then on tour in America, Europe, The World. Can't wait.
More info on that fIREHOSE reunion: Consequence of Sound are reporting that as well as playing at Coachella, the band will reunite after 18 years for a US tour. Which makes me 18+ years older than I thought, as me and Cnrth saw them at the Marquee in 1991-ish.
Needless Natas Kaupas plug below.
fIREHOSE 2012 Tour Dates:
04/05 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
04/06 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
04/07 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
04/09 – Bellingham, WA @ Wild Buffalo House of Music
04/10 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
04/11 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
04/12 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Historic Coconut Grove Ballroom *
04/13 – Fresno, CA @ Fulton 55
04/14 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Music Festival
04/17 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
04/18 – Flagstaff, AZ @ Orpheum Theatre *
04/19 – Tucson, AZ @ Plush
04/20 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Music Festival
The Velvet Underground are taking on the Warhol Estate's plans to licence Andy's banana design for iPod covers
The record is the first to feature the 'classic' line-up of the band since 1996. That's the classic line-up pictured in 1995 above. And the vintage version of the classic line-up below.
Brilliant video capturing a son's reaction to the brutal truth.
How does Peter Weir rate in the Chimpomatic Star Status Movie Maths Generator?
It's 10 points for a Hit, 5 for a Maybe and 1 for a Miss... No TV movies or shorts, just cinema releases to date.
After re-watching Dead Poet's Society recently, for the first time since its release, I was struggling to think of a non-spectacular film by Australian director Peter Weir.
A quick disclaimer: I haven't personally seen early efforts Three To Go or The Last Wave but IMDB rates them 8.2 and 7.1 - so I've erred on the side of caution (due to their enthusiastic rating) and rated them Hit / Maybe here.
The Way Back (2010) MAYBE
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) HIT
The Truman Show (1998) HIT
Fearless (1993) HIT
Green Card (1990) HIT
Dead Poets Society (1989) HIT
The Mosquito Coast (1986) HIT
Witness (1985) HIT
The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) HIT
Gallipoli (1981) HIT
The Last Wave (1977) MAYBE
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) HIT
The Cars That Ate Paris (1974) MAYBE
Three to Go (1971) (segment "Michael") HIT
Another disclaimer: No generosity applied to these ratings, with the possible exception of The Year of Living Dangerously, which is perhaps merely 'good'.
So that's 125 points out of a possible 140.
Peter Weir: you have scored an unbelievable 89.3%
If you dare make a purchase (and, er I think you should), you can do so here, allowing Chimpomatic to profit from his success. Check back soon for more Star Status movie maths. Same Chimp Channel, same Chimp Time...
The picture above left has served as one of the only publicly available images of reclusive director Terrence Malick for a couple of decades - but last week he popped along to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, with Christian Bale and a camera crew.
Bale must have gotten a hall pass from the still-shooting Batman sequel, as he was swanning around around the festival playing some sort of rockstar type - check out the fascinating video here. It had been announced that Bale was cast in a Malick film, set to shoot in 2012, so this shoot may have only been a test - or just grabbing the opportunity to film at a large event like this - but a possible project could be something based around the life of Jerry Lee Lewis that Malick has been working on, which would tie in with the casting of the much-younger-than-Bale Haley Bennett as the other lead. More pics and info here, here and here.
Probably the most surprising thing about all of this is that Malick still looks exactly like that archive photo, right down to the hat.
Fun piece up at AICN documenting Jeff Bridges' musical appearance on legendary TV show Austin City Limits.
UPDATE: Rolling Stone have a live session with the band.
The Harrison Ford revival continues, with this amusing skit from the Jimmy Kimmel show.
Another epic, over-long promo up from the Beastie Boys and Spike Jonze. This one features action figures.
Fascinating discussion video up at the Director's Guild of America website, with a panel of James Cameron, JJ Abrams and Michael Apted chatting with Steven Spielberg about his career.
It's something of a circle jerk in places, with Cameron coming off as a bit of a know it all, but 's well worth watching. And 1hr 45mins long.
Click the first thumbnail for the full video.
Despite his many zombie-esque performances in recent years, this series of interviews show that Harrison Ford is in fact still a functioning human being - even with a sense of humour. If he can just translate that to screen.
Mildly embarrassing mid-80's Beastie Boys promo surfaces on YouTube.
World's most unlikely team-up? Lou Reed and Metallica are recording together...
Waiting For The Sandman
And Justice For All Tomorrow's Parties
Here's a nice featurette on the Tree of Life, with Christopher Nolan and David Fincher discussing Terence Malick's work.
Don't worry if that sounds too much. His next movie is a romantic drama. Which is promised to be "More experimental that Tree of Life".
Via The Filmstage
Malick has also asked his crew to keep summer and autumn free for another possible feature shoot.
Via LA Times
Here's a mystery: I was watching a Smiths concert on TV last night, recorded for German TV institution Rockpalast in 1984. As Morrissey and Marr were followed back to their dressing room, I spotted the above Beastie Boys sticker on the dressing room door.
As we all know, the Beasties didn't get anywhere near the mainstream until the build up and release of Licenced To Ill in 1986 - and research shows that they didn't appear on Rockpalast until 1998. A quick Google brought up the video below of them from 1984 (not from Rockpalast, from the Scott and Gary Show), so they were on the radar to some extent and Ad Rock even seems to have a similar sticker stuck on the front of his guitar.
Add your suggested explanation in the comments.
proper legend, great songs
Mike Watt wrapped up his US tour in Seattle this week - and in a throwback to his epic 90's feats album "Ballhog or Tugboat?", he was joined on stage by Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder and Pat Smear for a run through of Big Train, followed by an extended, enthusiastic jam. Dave Grohl rules it.
A suitably excited fan filmed the performance.
Terrence Mallick's new movie The Tree of Life is having it's Cannes Festival world premiere screening on May 16th - though it may
allegedly or not be arriving in UK cinemas on May 4th. Cannot wait either way. I might even go to the cinema to see it.
Visit www.twowaysthroughlife.com for some more vague info.
ever since I spent three days thinking I'd finally blown my hearing after standing a bit too near the speakers at a Dinosaur Jr gig, I've kind of preferred it when J Mascis keeps things quiet... so I'm looking forward to this acoustic-ish album he's got coming out, with loads of guests (Kurt Vile, A Silver Mount Zion’s Sophie Trudeau, Kevin Drew, Ben Bridwell, Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins, Matt Valentine etc). great primer track over at PFork and if you hand over your email Sub Pop will give you another
Avant garde musician and visual artist Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, has died aged 69.
Back to the Future is getting a re-releases in UK cinemas next month, in honour of its 25th Anniversary. It's a digital print, re-mastered especially for the upcoming Blu-Ray release by the sound of it - and it has been described as 'breathtaking' by writer/producer Bob Gale. Need I say more?
Steve Albini is perhaps one of only a few musicians who could challenge Jeff Tweedy at an open mic night at the Stand Up Comedy Club. Great interview over at VBS.tv showcasing his many unique viewpoints on music and more.
Via Sound Theory
Also, check out two previous Albini classics:
RIP underground comics legend Harvey Pekar 1939-2010
RIP the fantastic Frank Sidebottom
the Easy Rider has bowed out at 74. Take a load off dude
he's literally quite good! nice rundown of his skills/ways to pay the bills here. didn't see him on the slopes during the recent chimpolympics mind you...
It's official. Guitar hero John Frusciante won't be returning for the Chili Peppers 10th album, and has officially left the band. According to his website, he left 12 months ago while the band took a hiatus.
The Empyreum still ranks as one of my albums of the year. Read the review here.