Monday, March 27, 2006

Inside Man

Well...Quite a departure for Spike Lee. I only saw it once, but I don't recall seeing the director in the film. I did see Denzel, Clive and Jodie though!
Movie opened with a fantastic remix of "Chaiyya Chaiyya" and took off from there.
With an all-star cast it would have been easy to skimp on the script. The bank heist mold has been imploded. Social commentary, film commentary and current events are..Can't say scrambled because that implies disorder--are mixed in the DJ sense of the word--(yeah, that's it)in this great film by Spike Lee.
Blog updating has been on hold for a bit as I percolating in vain on how to discuss the final reveal without spoiling the film. What all that backbrain concentration left me with in the end is the understanding of just how many levels this film works on.
It is as deceptively simple as Prince Funk. Seems effortless even in the new textures that are given us without a price greater than the matinee ticket or a CD, belying the genius behind them.
Neither Spike nor Prince are making art because they need the money. Nor are their offerings attempts to stay relevant or young. Hi Madge ;)
"Inside Man" is a great film. No one is going to see it, and that is a shame. Rent it please, shouldn't be long before the DVD hits. Spike's "Summer of Sam" was a terrific deconstruction with fine cast, "Inside Man" raises the bar.

16 Blocks

Can I get a Gauntlet?
Bruce Willis and Mos Def entertain in this by the numbers bad cop redemption flick. Less pacing problems than the superior "Inside Man" but man-we have seen this film over and over. Has Hollywood really ignored HBO?
I am thinking about "The Wire" and the complex, conflicted characters that series does better every week. Don't let me bring "Vic Mackey" in either--not even HBO.
All those criticisms aside, this film will leave you smiling and at one with a corrupt world.
Waiter..can I get a "Serpico" over here? We have a country in need of a wake-up call...

V for Vendetta

A movie with a masked man that works. Remember way back to Spiderman and the Green Goblin mask Willem Dafoe wore? "V" never takes his off, and it works. Made some of the terrific dialogue hard to hear, but what better excuse to see it again?
V hits government, media and complacent citizens..but he trusts the citizens. He knows the people have it in them, but they have been tricked by "Manufactured Consent".
This is a movie with style and several points to make. Sure, I would have enjoyed a few more "action" scenes, but I would not have found more exposition bad either.
We are brought up to speed about the state of the world in short quick strokes and the details fill in around the investigation of just what is wrong in this future UK. The United States is seen in newsclips to be largely irrelevant thanks to a civil war. That is the only false note--America lost its spirit when we embraced imperialism and left the details to Haliburton Inc. We don't care enough about the bigger picture to bother with a civil war.
Where's my X-Box controller?
Vendetta eggs were served here two weeks in a row in homage...

New Music

The Celluloid Years 12"es and MORE..
This is a CD collection of the now defunct Celluloid label. I have owned most of these records, and find listening to this and liking it nostaglia inducing. I am also keenly aware that this batch of "new music" has another Label sampler from the way back machine. Christ, am I gettin' old? I promise not to fall into the classic rock trap. Track highlight: Hendrix and Lightning Rod doing "Ms Doriella Du Fontaine".

AGF.3 + SUE.C - MiniMovies
CD and DVD combo. AGF is, as always, eclectic and wonderful. Sparse beats, sparse poetry truly accessible and off-kilter all at once. The DVD is video as art by Sue Costabile. The "main movie" (27 minutes) is terrific. Some still photos, beat edited in 5.1 Surround (lost on my 2 channel analog viewing room)...worth checking out. It is packed full of provocative --not prurient-- images that trigger feelings, memories without a metronome. I very much liken this pair of mixed media disks to what Laurie Anderson was doing in the way back when. Which is not to say "copying" or evene related, but the concept of art and tech commenting on our world of art and tech in a most human way, with the sense of wonder and gee whiz and genius few can do well.

Uffie - Pop the Glock <--Vinyl
Pink Vinyl at that. 4 songs, 45rpm, good bottom to this dancetronica cum rap. Lyrics on sleeve to sing along ;)

Axiom: Reconstructions and Vexations
This is what I had hoped "Subharmonic in Dub" was going to be: sweet remixes.

Prince - 3121
Another polished slab of funk from the purple Prince. Pay no attention to the tabloids, make sure your subwoofer has plenty of power and get down.

Ai - Quality Electronic Music
A fantastic title for a label sampler. I love this largely instrumental collection. Truth in labeling..and yes, the cover looks nothing like the crappy jpg I was able to find online. My and my Minolta will reinvent the wheel eventually and I'll do my own cover image shots. Don't feel worthy yet, but this tiny illegible shot "really makes me wonder."

Jel Soft Money
This is some hippity hop. Bone rumbling bass, lyrics conspicously devoid of bling references. The tracks that hit hit hard. Mind the beats, boys and girls and nod the head.
Pedro/Fear & Resilience
This is a two disc set, the second disc being "Pedro" with remixers and additional production. Ambient DJ? Not sure how to describe this gentle music. Piano, strings, turntables evoking melancholy..Eyes close to listen better, electronic manipulation peeks through, then beats crash in.

Sleep With 4AD
DVD size case, but "just"(ie no dvd) a 2 CD collection from the 4AD label. 4AD gave us some of the most accesible goth and industrial pop ever recorded. Band after band of terrific music with just enough hits to keep the label in "wine money". This is no nostaglia, this is history.

Up, Bustle and Out
These splicers/dj's/sampler folks combine live instruments, "ethnic" samples and a fine sense of humour. "Up, Bustle and Out" are consistently better than good on every Ninja Tune release I own. Yes, I'll get the rest. Some of the salsa numbers are a tad hectic for me, but solid bass groove(s) throughout require replaying often enough!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mixed Nuts

The new equipment rack, Mixed Nuts.
This is an in progress shot, during load testing.
Mixed Nuts was born when we moved into the new building at work. The building had been a light manufacturing plant and had rails to move materials around that had to be taken down and converted into office space.
The rails were on their way to recycling to be sold as scrap. Since my new* TV is sitting on my coffee table while the stand comes together I have had my stereo equipment under that table on the floor. Mixed Nuts will accompany the new TV stand, and draws on the same design elements, if not materials.
Mike Malec helped me refine the germ of an idea, and a local metal shop milled the X config slots. Doug and I tapped the holes and discovered the reason the rack is called Mixed Nuts: Excess Inventory Control.
Just In Time ordering is a concept for manufacturing that has bled through to retail. Even shoestores--which used to carry many styles in all sizes--are now just what you see. This rack required 28 of the same bolts.
Neither the big box Home Depot or the smaller independent carried that much inventory. I know what you are thinking: 28 bolts will fit in the palm of your hand and cost a couple dollars. Well, there it is, like missing a paycheck loses your house the no margin for error stock levels grinds the system to a halt.
Or you use Mixed Nuts.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

New Music

A mixed lot, as usual. Source was the same (PBE) mostly, but Darren gave me the Cat Power CD. The only disappointment--the problem with expectations I suppose--was "Subharmonic in Dub". It is more of a greatest hits of the Subharmonic label as opposed to a dub reworking of some terrific songs.
I have had all the source records at one time or another, but it was still nice to revisit the "Praxis" songbook. Nice part about the new way we listen to music -- random shuffle -- has prepared us for the fracturing effect that "best of" records tend to have.
Random shuffle disturbs and delights me in equal parts. My earlier incarnation as a DJ rebels against the whole lack o' structure in the roll o' the dice of randomizer. It reminds me of the "college radio playlist"--you know-- whatever I feel like hearing that is laying about the station method. I digress.
The Horvitz and Coldcut CDs are pretty sweet numbers..stay tuned for word of Podcasts using these source materials--after all, I don't have enough projects yet!

Sunday Shoot

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Saturday, March 04, 2006


Second viewing is 5 hours away.
First impressions:
the evolution of Gunkata in hi-def...
I can't wait for nanotech clothes..

The birth of live action Anime, years before Cameron finishes Alita.
FURTHER COMMENTS post second viewing:
Warts and all this is the future. There is no other movie out there that looks like this. I remember when "Bladerunner" first hit the screen. Critics hated that movie then, as did most audiences. "2046" puzzled critics and audiences and fell flat at the Box Office, and remains one of the most textured and evocative film visions of all time.
Film is a young medium and has as many rules as it's even younger ex-rebel cousin, "Rock n' Roll". Groups banned in the '60's are being knighted in the '00's. It took the "Sex Pistols" to hurl a gob at the queen when she asked them to kneel and receive..
Style over substance some may suggest about "Ultraviolet"..but "Sin City" is up for no Oscar(s) and turned out to be the best "Comic Book" movie of all time. Rodriguez put his career on the line to make the film.
I am excited by the boys and girls pushing the tech side of cinema..and it is good to see some actors and actresses outside of Asia willing to take on the demanding physical roles...
See Ultraviolet on the big screen--it is a Hi Def vision of the now, the iPod of film.

Ok, ok, I'll explain that: the iPod is an extremely attractive wrapper around an expensive inferior product: the compressed, license restricted, frequency range challenged, "itune".
Yes, I have one 2.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Net Nannies, Family Filters, John Ashcrofts--call them what you will--are filtering out pictures of great art. I'm posting "David" and "Liberty" here in protest.
Please protect your children from censorship--what they can't see might set them free.