Author Archive | JoeNolan
In the wake of the NSA/Snowden revelations, and the general sense of paranoia that has taken grip of the news cycle and the internet, a few pundits have assumed the roles of cultural watchdogs, taking the pulse of public taste to measure the effect of the spooky news on the hearts and minds of the people.
A number of journalists and commentators have noted that one possible side effect of the recently-revealed government snooping on personal communications has been a spike in the sales of the George Orwell classic 1984 on the mega-book-selling-site, Amazon. But, how big is the sales spike and how much of it can be attributed to Snowden’s bravery in the face of the NSA’s dubious doings? This article at Slate offers a measured interpretation:
Sales of one particular edition of George Orwell’s dystopian classic are up some 5,000 percent on Amazon.com in the past 24 hours, according to the site’s list of “movers and shakers.” The figure was as high as 7,000 earlier today.… Read the rest
In the late ’80’s and early 90’s, Jane’s Addiction brought the druggy, draggy Los Angeles underground sound to mainstream audiences with a trio of unforgettable albums: Jane’s Addiction (1987), the classic Nothing’s Shocking (1988) and Ritual de lo Habitual (1990). The fact that Jane’s guitar player Dave Navarro claims to have no recollection of recording the band’s third album offers a peek at the group’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and their attraction to dangerous drugs.
During the recording of Ritual, Jane’s lead singer and lyricist Perry Farrell directed a film featuring his actress/music-video-director girlfriend Casey Niccoli. Gift wasn’t released by Warner Brothers until 1993 and it’s likely that the delay can be chalked up to the film’s bizarre content: Gift mixes live footage of the band at the height of their powers with quirky vignettes featuring a cast of oddball characters. It starts out silly enough, but soon spirals into a vortex of intense heroin injection scenes, an overdose, a Santeria wedding, a meeting with a sadistic gynecologist, surfing visions, moronic cops, airhead pizza delivery dudes, an Ice-T cameo and necrophiliac fantasies.… Read the rest
This week: The Beast cometh!, Weed Weekly, Wake up and smell the bacon, Joe’s infomercial, Beware the Build-A-Bear Group, Kim wants Google glass to look at porn because Kim is a massive perv, Icke-TV, Bradley Manning’s trial, Kim wants to join the Israeli army to perv over girls because Kim is a massive perv, and Lou Reed gets a new liver…for cash.
Awwwwwwww – Link
Bradley Manning’s Trial Begins Link
Lots of reasons to join the army – Link
Lou Reed Gets a New Liver Link
The player (ya’ll)
As if there weren’t enough Kubrick conspiracy memes floating about the auteur and his work, this interesting short video claims that the HAL 9000 computer that serves as the villain in 2001: A Space Odyssey is actually a veiled criticism of IBM.
Here is the gist:
For the most part audiences have assumed that HAL had genuinely made a mistake in predicting the AE-35 fault and that the conflict afterwards was due to HALs desire not to be shut down. However, there is plenty of evidence to support a much more sinister hypothesis … that HAL was actually ordered by mission control to kill the crew.
For starters there are a multitude of references to IBM. The three letters comprising HALs name come just before the letters I, B and M in the alphabet. This was claimed by Arthur C Clarke to be a coincidence, but the other references you’re about to see demonstrate that Kubrick simply did not want to publicly acknowledge the encoded references.… Read the rest
Nico was a fashion model, an actress and a siger/songwriter who is best known for her time with The Velvet Underground and her contributions to their debut album The Velvet Underground and Nico. The Warhol Superstar is familiar to cinephiles for her gorgeous turns in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and Warhol’s Chelsea Girls.
Christa Päffgen was born in Nazi Germany in 1938. Her father was killed in the war. By the age of 13, she had quit school to sell lingerie. At 5′ 10″ with outrageous cheekbones, she was a star model on the rise while still in her teens.
While taking acting lessons in New York with Lee Strasberg, Nico met rockers like Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. Jimmy Page produced her first single and Bob Dylan wrote the song “I’ll Keep it with Mine” for her to perform. An introduction from Jones got Nico into Warhol’s inner circle and the rest is history.… Read the rest
Sad news tonight for rock fans: The Doors’ keyboard player Ray Manzarek died on Monday after a long battle with bile duct cancer. Manzarek brought jazz influences to The Doors’ brand of dark, poetic rock and held down most of the bass duties on stage and in the studio – playing a keyboard bass with his left hand and an organ or electric piano with his right. Manzarek had a jovial, engaging persona, but was also known for his controversial and obstinate relations with his surviving bandmates and the band’s music. In this Los Angeles Times article, Doors drummer John Densmore remembers his friend:
… Read the rest
“There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words,” Densmore said through a spokeswoman. “Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of.
Celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain recently premiered his new show on CNN. The title of Parts Unknown references both the remote locations the show focuses on as well as the odd bits of fruits, veggies and animals that make their way into the more exotic dishes Bourdain spotlights. The title also has a hint of ominousness to it and it’s these dark overtones that tell you Bourdain is really on to something, here.
Fans of No Reservations will find plenty to like here, but fans of particular episodes of Bourdain’s former, famous Travel Channel show will be especially pleased. For me, No Reservations was at its best when the places were gritty and the stories Bourdain uncovered were dark and deeply human – episodes from Columbia, Laos and Lebanon all leap to mind.
The first handful of episodes from Parts Unknown are packed with Bourdain at his edgy best: He recalls the destructiveness of the L.A.… Read the rest
WSB haunts the entirety of counter-cultural curation like the grey eminence he was often portrayed as, but, it’s important to note that Burroughs rarely portrayed himself this way.
I thought I’d seen every Burroughs documentary, but this one was news to me.
Words of Advice: William S. Burroughs On the Road is a 1983 documentary that finds the Beat Generation icon touring Scandinavia, signing books and giving readings of works like The Place of Dead Roads in his inimical, laconic snarl. Along the way, he waxes philosophical about cats, Hiroshima, Brion Gysin and the illusion of duality. He’s polite and hilarious throughout.
Here Burroughs bemoans the high cost of death in ancient Egypt:
Watch the full movie at the Snag Films website.
British playwright Tom Stoppard has announced that he’ll be producing a new broadcast for BBC Radio 2. Inspired by and featuring the music from the Pink Floyd classic Dark Side of the Moon, the long-simmering project will hit the airwaves this August -just in time to celebrate the 1973 release’s 40th anniversary.
Here’s what The Guardian has to say:
The play, called Dark Side, was described by Radio 2’s head of music, Jeff Smith, as a “dramatic examination of themes including conflict, greed and madness”.
The project has the blessing of Pink Floyd’s frontman, David Gilmour, who said he had read the script and found it fascinating.
Stoppard, whose plays include Arcadia and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, is a long-time Pink Floyd fan. His 2006 play Rock’n’Roll, which also starred Sewell, featured haunting allusions to the band’s founder, the late Syd Barrett, and was described by one critic as a “deeply moving memorial to the great lost leader of British pop”.… Read the rest