Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jon Humphries' The Dream

If you're a skateboarder, you're going to love this short movie by skateboard photographer Jon Humphries.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Berlin's John Crawford's Solo CD

Any Berlin fans out there?

John Crawford, founder and former Berlin bassist, has a new solo CD that is being sold only over the Internet at this point. You can check out all of the tracks here here.

MinneNAPolis at Mall of America

update 5-18-06: no one wanted a nap. the place with the cute name closed.

The gigantic spread of a retail center in Minneapolis has a new store where you can buy a nap for 70 cents a minute. I'm wondering if they have alarm clocks.
Here's the story:

This megamall experience will put you to sleep

Chris Serres, Star Tribune

As a longtime janitor at the Mall of America, Jim Jones thought he'd seen just about every retail concept imaginable.

But even Jones, who cleans floors and wastebaskets on the third floor of the mall, was taken aback by news that a "napping center" would be opening next month near the Nordstrom department store.

That's right, the same mall that brought you a 74-foot Ferris wheel, a shark tank and a children's dinosaur museum has leased 1,076 square feet of space to a company that charges 70 cents per minute for nap time.

"A lot of people are tired around here, but I'm not sure they're ready to lie down, stretch out and fall asleep," Jones said.

Founded by a company called PowerNap Sleep Centers Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla., the new store will be called MinneNAPolis.

It will consist of at least three themed rooms: Asian Mist, Tropical Isle and Deep Space. Each suite will have its own unique ambience and walls thick enough to drown out the sounds of squealing children at Camp Snoopy.

To read the rest, click here.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Yahoo Domain Renewal Rip

Beware... Yahoo! billed me two weeks early on my domain name. They are supposed to bill annually, if that is how you originally registered the domain. So I called and the guy on the other end said it was another one of those unexplainable computer glitches. Two weeks is not a big deal but it's still a ripoff and it could add up if you had a lot of domains. Intentional? Not sure. But what a great way for Yahoo to earn some extra cash.

Oh, and while I am it, without notice, T-mobile got rid of its loyalty minutes (50 mins.) for longtime customers. So don't count on the minutes anymore. If you do get charged for overages, they will credit you only once.
Just for Fun!

Snoop Dogg Skateboard Company

When he's not coaching football...
This from the Ireland Online:

25/08/2005 - 12:23:17 Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg is venturing into the world of skateboarding, with the launch of the Snoop Dogg Board Company (SDBC).

Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg is venturing into the world of skateboarding, with the launch of the Snoop Dogg Board Company (SDBC).

The rapper's older brother, Bing Worthington Jr, came up with the idea to create the company, which will boast a complete line of long and short skateboards, accessories and backpacks, according to AllHipHop.com.

Duane Pacha, president of Pentagon Distribution, says: "Snoop Dogg's brother, came to us with a vision of bridging these two industries together because there is already so much crossover between skateboarding and the rap/hip-hop market."

Plans are also in the pipeline for SDBC to launch a complete line of high-end
Snoop Dogg luggage and travel bags, which will hit stores in January.

Friday, August 19, 2005


This from the latest edition of the Video Static newsletter:
"This video is so uncool that it is unbelievably cool. Not only did OK Go create their own dance routine to "A Million Ways" and practice it until they got it perfect, they actually committed it to tape. And, not only did they tape it, they posted it online and it's now airing on music video channels and shows."

I had to check out OK Go, a Swedish band. Video Static was right, the video is cool and the the song "A Million Ways" is cooler still.

While we're on the subject of cool, Video Static is one of the coolest blogs out there. It tracks video production. This from the blog:
Video Static is the creation and work of Steven J Gottlieb. The site is meant to be the SOURCE for keeping track of music video production. Video commissioners, label executives, executive producers, director reps, directors, managers and even fans can find out what videos are going to be hitting their TV screens next. Also included are the weekly music video adds to the major national channels, music video DVD releases and much more

This week on Video Static, we see that rocker Tommy Lee has finished shooting a video for "Good Times," the themes song to his new reality series on VH-1.

Video Static gives us the director and other fine details:
SHOT: Tommy Lee - Dean Karr, director

artist: Tommy Lee
song: "Good Times"
label: TL Education Services
director(s): Dean Karr
production co: The Mine
The beautiful Tommy Lee, photo by Statia Molewksi

Monday, August 15, 2005

Andy Land

Proving that you never know who you're going to run into on the Internet, here is Andy Land, the blog of a Chicago comedian who is strangely attracted to penguins. He's got them all over his blog and happened to visit me on the day I posted about penguins!

Then there's the manager of one of my favorite rock bands. I sent him a message, thinking no one will read it or a handler will read it and send me back a pat response, but I'm pretty confident that the message back was the real deal.

Yet another time, a member of a now-defunct band, which was one of my faves, saw my post and contacted me. He's now playing in Darby O'Gill.

One of my recent favorite online meetings was Drew Danburry. I blogged about his skateboarding documentary -- he's a musician and a filmmaker -- and he sent me an email to set me straight. Glad he did, cause he ended up sended me his CD, which has rocketed to permanent spin status.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Penguins rock!

oh, I couldn't resist. This photo is from the LA Times "my best shot"
Here's the description:
March of the penguins
David Hurwitz, a rheumatologist from Calabasas, and his wife, Cindy (who is his travel agent), took Orient Lines’ Marco Polo Antarctic cruise ship with 14 friends in January. At Port Lockroy he photographed these Gentoo penguins. “They are very noisy,” he said. “And they don’t smell great either.”

Monday, August 08, 2005

Marilyn Monroe not suicidal but wacky

The Marilyn Monroe transcript printed in the Los Angeles Times a few days ago leaves the impression that Marilyn had zero plans to commit suicide.

In fact, she comes across as nothing more than one of those wacky wealthy celebrity types with not much to worry about except the science of the day, psychology, Freud in particular, orgasms or the lack of in her case, lesbian affairs, her dalliances with men, the joys of enemas, spankings, how she couldn’t tell Bobby it was over, and the way she looked – “My breasts are beginning to sag a bit. ... My waist isn't bad. My ass is what it should be, the best there is. Legs, knees and ankles still shapely. And my feet are not too big. OK, Marilyn, you have it all there. It is decision time.”

She also was fond of the F-word, which was represented throughout the text with ellipses.

She comes across as arrogant during her “free associating” session with a tape recorder “Dear Doctor,” she starts, addressing her psychologist, Ralph Greenson, whom she’s obviously flirting with throughout. She thinks that her idea of free association (a Freudian technique for uncovering memories by letting the patient say whatever pops into their mind) into a recorder is such a good one that she “offers” it to her shrink as a revelation.

“What can I give you. Not money. I know that from me that means nothing to you. Not my body. I know your professional ethics and faithfulness to your wonderful wife make that impossible. What I am going to give you is my idea that will revolutionize psychoanalysis.”

The funny and ironic part about the transcript is that the sexually-charged beauty that she was had to fake her own orgasms until the doctor told her how.
You said there was an obstacle in my mind that prevented me from having an orgasm; that it was something that happened early in my life about which I felt so guilty that I did not deserve to have the greatest pleasure there is; that it had to do with something sexual that was very wrong, but my getting pleasure from it caused my guilt That it was buried in my unconscious. Through analysis we would bring it to my conscious mind where we could get to the guilt and free me to be orgasmic. Well, we sure worked it and got nowhere. I'd go home and cry and vomit from the frustration. Then you said for the orgasm problem we'll try a different approach. That you would tell me how to stimulate myself, that when I did exactly what you told me to do I would have an orgasm and that after I did it to myself and felt what it was, I would have orgasms with lovers. What a difference a word makes. You said I would, not I could. Bless you, Doctor. What you say is gospel to me. By now I've had lots of orgasms. Not only one, but 2 and 3 with a man who takes his time.

And later in the text:
Speaking of Oscars, I would win overwhelmingly if the Academy gave an Oscar for faking orgasms. I have done some of my best acting convincing my partners I was in the throes of ecstasy. If he were alive I'd have Johnny Hyde be the presenter. ...Johnny Hyde was special. He wasn't a lot to look at. A little shrimp. Little shrimp, is that redundant or tautological. I always get them mixed up. Anyway, he only came up to my chin.

But moreover, the transcript shows she had ambitions:
I'll take a year of day and night study of Shakespeare with Lee Strasberg. I'll pay him to work only with me. He said I could do Shakespeare. I'll make him prove it. That will give me the basics Olivier wanted. Then I'll go to Olivier for the help he promised. And I'll pay whatever he wants. Then I'll produce and act in the Marilyn Monroe Shakespeare Film Festival which will put his major plays on film. I'll need you to keep me together for a year or more. I'll pay you to be your only patient. Oh, I made you another present. I have thrown all my ... pills in the toilet. You see how serious I am about this. I've read all of Shakespeare and practiced a lot of lines. I won't have to worry about the scripts. I'll have the greatest script writer who ever lived working for me and I don't have to pay him. Oh, Monroe will have her hand in. I am going to do Juliet first. Don't laugh. What with what make-up, costume and camera can do, my acting will create a Juliet who is 14, an innocent virgin, but whose budding womanhood is fantastically sexy. I've some wonderful ideas for Lady Macbeth and Queen Gertrude. I feel certain I'll win an Oscar for one or more of my Shakespearean women.

She ends:
“What is amazing is I solved my problem just through the free associating I did for you. ...
Well, that's something for you to sleep on, Doctor.
Good Night.”

Read the accompanying stories here. and here.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Paltry purses for Women skateboarders

While one of the best female skateboarders Cara-Beth Burnside earned $2,000 for her victory, Pierre-Luc Gagnon won $50,000 for winning men's skateboarding vert. That's according to a story in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.
The North County Times wrote the story a few days earlier here.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Las Vegas 100 murals

Las Vegas is keeping its artists busy for a change, commissioning 100 murals throughout the city. Neat idea. Here are some of the works.

On Monday, Las Vegas artist Jerry Misko gets a turn to unveil his mural titled "Chase" at the Cashman Center. Misko, co-owner of Dust Gallery in the Arts District, mostly focuses on neon signs. The acrylic mural is about 80-feet long by 7-feet high and was inspired by the neon signs stored in the adjacent Neon Museum Boneyard.

The Boneyard, one of the many things that make Vegas interesting, is a resting place for the city's old neon signs such as the famous Silver Slipper that used to sit atop the sign at the Silver Slipper hotel.

It is open for tours Tues. through Friday. I knew i forgot to do something in Vegas. Check out some of the restored signs here.
This site has more on Vegas' fabulous signs.

Here's an interesting neon tidbit that not many know. When the University of Las Vegas Nevada put up its new dorms (yes, Las Vegas has a university), they decorated them with pink neon tubing. But the university quickly took it down. It was a bit gaudy, but soooooo Las Vegas.

John Frusciante assists Mars Volta

Dang it!
If you want to see John Frusciante these days, you got to see the Mars Volta.
This from the Rolling Stone:
System of a Down have had an ambitious year, releasing Mezmerize -- the first of their two-part album Mezmerize/Hypnotize, which debuted at Number One -- and touring Europe, as well as playing a guerilla tour of small venues in nine U.S. cities. Considering their bombastic year, which culminates in the release of Hypnotize this fall, System's massive new tour is less of an arena-rock spectacle and more straight-up rock & roll.

Opening for System at the sold-out Long Beach Arena in California were fellow guitar-heavy, counter-culture rockers the Mars Volta, who provided a far more visual show with oversized psychedelic projections. Guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez was in fine form after recovering from a stomach ailment that forced the band to cancel its European tour dates earlier this year. And while rumors of an onstage collaboration between Rodriguez-Lopez and System frontman Serj Tankian proved to be just that, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante surprised the audience by guesting on nearly the entire Mars Volta set.

Once System hit the stage, they powered through an hour and a half of material. Although they opened with cuts off of the latest album, the hard-hitting "B.Y.O.B." and "Revenga," System's set list featured several tracks off their eponymous 1998 debut and follow-up, 2001's Toxicity. In contrast to the Mars Volta's environment, System's set was sparse, save for a few plush rugs, minimal L.E.D. projections and a nice long row of Marshall amps. For such a big arena show, the stripped-down set seemed to underscore the sense that this band has nothing to prove.

Read the rest here
The Man

Monday, August 01, 2005

Razorlight, Up All Night

Look out! This is a review I wrote that first appeared on Blogcritics.org

If you’re the type who likes to find good music before the rest of the crowd, better get to your favorite record shop for Razorlight’s debut CD Up All Night.

The London band is about to make a splash in the U.S., thanks to a car ad. The British hit “Golden Touch” is now prominently heard in a TV ad for the Honda Accord. But unlike the one-hit wonder of Dirty Vegas’ “Days Go By” made popular by a commercial for Mitsubishi, “Golden Touch” isn’t the only hit on this record.

Other bona fide hits include the title “Up All Night,” “Rip it Up,” “To the Sea,” “Rock and Roll Lies,” “Dalston” and “Leave me Alone.” A British friend introduced me to the band, already a smash in the U.K., by way of “Golden Touch” via email. The CD was released last October.

The whole darned CD is a rollicking good time. It's been called "brash garage rock." I would call it my Pacific Coast Highway jam… windows down, music cranked, driving along the coast of Cali. Zen. The CD also will do quite well in your iPod for morning runs or workouts.

This quartet of boyish-looking mates, all in their early 20s, also got some exposure at Live 8 and recently supported U2 in Sweden.

Up All Night is not heavy by any means. It’s Pop to the tenth. “Golden Touch,” for example, is about a beautiful girl who’s got some jealous friends:

But then all they know is how to put you down When you're there, they're your friend But then when you're not around They say, "Oh, she's changed" Oh we know what that means Well it means they're just jealous But they'll never do the things That they wish that they could do so well

“Rip it Up” simply commands: Get on the Dance Floor! Rip it up Girl. That’s what it’s there for!

Yes Sir.

On “Leave Me alone,” the first track, lead singer Johnny Borrell strikes out – screaming Just Leave Me Alone. And you know he's getting sweaty. The song starts with a gentle piano and then leads into one beat, then another on top of that and another on top of that. Three layered driving beats lead to a final question: “What part of that don’t you understand?” Leave Me Alone!

Rounding out the band is drummer Andy Burrows, who gets a major workout on the CD; Swede Björn Ågren on guitar and backing vocals and Carl Dalemo, bass and backing vocals, also from Sweden. Andy is the band’s second drummer. The first one left for “health differences.” Hope that’s not a sign of a quick shot to stardom for this band.

What’s bad about this CD you ask? Nothing really. But if I was being picky I’d say Razorlight likes to spell out words such as L-O-N-D-O-N and L-O-V-E, which reminds me of the Bay City Rollers -- S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night. In my best English accent, "it's a bit corny, but it works for the CD."

The band also ends virtually every song on a manic high but Johnny’s charming English accent and fierce vocals are magnetic. On “To the Sea” Johnny gets himself so worked up that it’s as though he’s crawling along the desert toward the watering hole. He cries out: to …. the ……. Sea taking his last gasps of air. Give that man a drink!

So soon, you might be hearing a catchy tune:

I know a girl with the golden touch She's got enough, she's got too much But I know, you wouldn't mind You could have it all if you wanted You could have it all if it mattered so much

When you do, you’ll see.