Monthly Archives: October 2007

UNKLE @ Vegoose

…was fucking incredible. I caught five minutes of Muse. Eh. Alright. Not great. But UNKLE was amazing. Eight piece — drummer, keyboardist, DJ, bassist, two guitarists at any time, Gavin Clark on vocals and James Lavelle mixing and singing. The Thom Yorke, Ian Astbury and Josh Homme tracks were prerecorded vocals, but Gavin and James did a really amazing version of Psyence Fiction‘s “Lonely Soul”, originally sung by Richard Ashcroft, which was definitely the high point of the show. But the whole thing was really amazing. The bassist, in particular, rocked the house.

It gave me some serious ideas for live electronic performance as well.

Then I got stuck and walked most of the way home. So my feet look like big nasty lobsters. But I’m doing the arrangements for a couple of songs tonight before I go to bed. The arrangement for “Scatterlings And Refugees” in particular, sounds amazing — all Rhythm Of The Saints tribal drumlines and cool organ parts.

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And Let Me Just Say It, Since Nobody Else Seems To Want To

New Orleans, 2005: a festering football stadium with corpses left to rot in place, shit and urine on the floor, and no water. For days. And the National Guard will shoot your black ass if you try to leave.

San Diego, 2007: clowns for the kids, massage therapy and acupuncture during your lovely stay in Qualcomm Stadium. Latte, anyone?

Yeah. Fuck you, America.

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Out Of Nature: Autumn 1

Click for larger image

This is a Flash piece I wrote last night. I took photographs of the flowers in my front yard, and then brought them into Illustrator and ran Live Trace on them (converting the image into vector form). I then separated out twenty of the most interesting shapes, brought them into Flash and made them movie clips, and then made outline versions of each one.

The Actionscript randomly places the forms around the canvas. This has several thousand iterations — I let it run at 60 frames per second for roughly fifteen minutes. I then saved it as a PostScript file, brought it into Illustrator, and did some cleanup. This is a very small version of an extremely detailed larger render.

I think this is very beautiful. I want to find out how much it would cost to make 11 x 17 prints, and then sell unique prints, letting the engine run to create a new piece each time.

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New Wacom Cintiq — 12 inch!

Oh, my God, I really, really, really want this badly. This is the new smaller Cintiq, which — if you’re not familiar — is a pressure sensitive LCD drawing tablet. You draw right on the display, and the stylus is both pressure and angle sensitive, which makes digital drawing as natural as real drawing.

Probably a grand, but I still want it really, really bad.

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Vegoose

James from UNKLE and his management were nice enough to get me a ticket to Vegoose on Sunday, so if you’re there, look for me. I’m hard to miss.

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Why Doesn't Alt.Culture Exist?

SuicideGirls > News > Culture > The Sunday Hangover with Warren Ellis

One of the best non-fiction things Warren’s ever written.

Every corner of the web is blitzed with the light shone by thousands of curational blogs whose job is to parse the internet for their readers. I mean, I hunt for research material all the time and store it on my website, I’m as guilty as anyone. But at some point producing actual content on the web went out of fashion — almost all of the top one thousand blogs are reportage and linkblogging sites. At some point people have to stop checking to see what happened yesterday and start thinking about tomorrow. And it’s that that “alternative culture” comes from — the drive to do what’s next and the impulse to make the sound no-one’s heard yet. That’s just not where we are right now. We’re still suffering exhaustion from the most utterly mad and brain-burning experience in human history — the Twentieth Century.

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Coilhouse » Blog Archive » Mondo 2000: Where Are they Now?

Coilhouse » Blog Archive » Mondo 2000: Where Are they Now?

So, what made Mondo 2000 so special? It was, in my opinion, the best alternative culture magazine that America ever had. They wrote about smart drugs, brain implants, virtual reality, cyberpunk, Cthulhupunk and cryogenics. They covered Laibach and Lydia Lunch in the same issue. The pantheon of writers was a force to be reckoned with: Bruce Sterling, Robert Anton Wilson, and William Gibson all lent their talents, and there was even a Burroughs vs. Leary interview face-off. Then there was the famous U2-Negativland interview, in which Negativland, disguised as reporters, interviewed U2 into a corner to reveal the band’s hypocrisy over their lawsuit against Negativland over sampling. All in all, the magazine took risks. “The good dream for me and Mondo,” said editor R.U. Sirius in an interview with Purple Prose, “is overcoming the limits of biology without necessarily leaving sensuality or sexuality behind.” Issue after issue, Mondo 2000 threw a sexy dystopian bash and invited the decade’s best thinkers.

Including me, heh heh. Good piece. Made me nostalgic.

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Rockity Rock Rocky Rock Rock Rock

Somehow, I’ve managed to write a goddamn Weezer song.

(The song is called “Sky Blue” and it’s probably going to be the single, because it’s a pop song. Fuck you, I can write pop rock songs too.)

We’re going to record all live instrumentation + vocals at Ryan Marth’s home studio. ‘Cause he’s got a Neumann, and I have a bar microphone.

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An Open Letter To America

Hi, America. Josh Ellis here.

So I’ve been noticing, for the past couple of years, a rising backlash against the current presidential administration. I hear a lot of you talking, wide-eyed and horrified, about Bush’s lies and the excesses of the NSA and Gonzalez’s Justice Department, the stupidity of the war…you know what you’re all so shocked about, so I’m not going to make a laundry list. You’re outraged by all of this. You want answers.

What none of you seem to want to do is to shut the fuck up and take it good and hard.

You see, you have absolutely no right to outrage. You have no right to point fingers at anyone. You really, in fact, have no right to complain at all. Because this is all your fault. All those lies you were told? Feeble, silly lies, told by patently untrustworthy people who could barely keep a straight face during press conferences. No one with any sense would have believed them. I didn’t believe them, ever. None of the smart people I know believed them, because they were such blatant fabrications that a small child could have easily seen through them.

My fellow Americans, most of you are now demonstrably less canny and intelligent than a small child.

The war in Iraq? Your fault. Your dead children husbands and wives and brothers and sisters? Your fault. You are guilty of filicide, fratricide, and homicide beyond imagining. Every single American man and woman who died in the dirt and shit and sand of Baghdad and Fallujah and Tikrit? Their death is specifically your fault. You believed those pathetic lies, you hid your ignorance in the cheap cloak of patriotism. You stood by and did nothing while our military — your military — disgraced themselves and us with torture and rape and unjustified murder. You are widowmakers, orphanmakers, you create terrorists by the thousands because you sent your children and husbands and wives and brothers and sisters to a place where they cannot discern between friends and enemies. Those new terrorists, those suicide bombers and jihadists who hate you so much? Their hatred is justified. You see, you killed their children and husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, their parents and teachers and friends. You did it. Not Bush, not Rumsfeld or Petraeus. You did it.

You treat our friends and neighbors with xenophobia, paranoia, hostility and contempt. And then you whine like sick dogs because you are hated everywhere in the world. They, too, are right to hate you. You are spineless bullies, disgusting little thugs who hide behind the big gun of the American military and dare anyone to look at you funny.

This is your fault. I cannot say that enough.

9/11 was a tragedy, but it was not the first tragedy, and not the last, and not even the worst. It certainly was not an excuse to collectively wipe our asses with the Constitution. And that’s precisely what we’ve done, by removing the foundations of the First and Fourth Amendments, just as a beginning. You may not know or believe that, but what you know and what you believe is pretty much irrelevant at this point.

You know nothing. You believe what you’re told.

In fact, that may be the new defining characteristic of the 21st American: you do what you’re told. You do what you’re told because you refuse to think for yourself or make any decision beyond which reality TV show you’re going to watch tonight and which one you’re going to TiVo. You buy what you’re told to buy, you vote for the candidate who seems most like you (meaning oblivious, borderline imbecilic and totally unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions). You don’t want to hear when people who — unlike you — actually pay fucking attention to the world around them try to tell you that you’re being used and lied to.

We’ve been telling you for the past six years that you’re destroying your own country. You. Not them. Because you want freedom and you want democracy, so you live in a nation of elected officials. You picked these people. You should have known what they were. We did. We told you. You picked them anyway.

So quit whining. Quit complaining. Quit trying to find somebody — anybody — to blame. Because this is all your fault. And you deserve what you’ve gotten.

It doesn’t matter who you vote for this time. The Democrats are spineless and the Republicans are all small, crazy men. The damage has been done. And you did it.

Do me a favor. Don’t vote. You don’t deserve it, even if advertising tells you you’re a smart, beautiful, unique snowflake. You’re actually kind of a retard. So stay the fuck out of politics and let those of us who can find our own country on a goddamn map make the decisions for a while, you chimpy little bastards.

Am I upsetting you? Good. I hate you. You suck. Your sense of entitlement and your unwillingness to accept the consequence of your (non-) choices makes me physically ill. Let me reiterate that: when I think about you dribbling fuckmonkeys rolling into the polling booths in your little Electric Weasel scooters, I pray for Armageddon. If there is a God, His most holy purpose will be to rid the world of people like you.

So sit down in front of your TV, put on The Flavor Of Love reruns, shut up, do what you’re told, and stop lying to yourself: you’ve destroyed America. You. Nobody but you. Enjoy the world you’ve made.

And enjoy your show.

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Pushing Daisies…

…is officially my new favorite TV show. It’s from Bryan Fuller, who did Dead Like Me, which used to be my favorite show, until it got cancelled.

It’s about a guy who can quite inexplicably make dead people come alive again. But if he touches them again, they die; and if he doesn’t touch them again within a minute of bringing them back, someone else nearby will die. He and his partners — a detective with a compulsive knitting habit and his formerly-dead childhood sweetheart, whom he loves but cannot touch — solve murders by resurrecting victims and, well, asking them who killed them.

This is plot. What makes it magic is that it’s shot and structured a whole lot like Amelie (complete with omniscient narrator) and written like a cross between a Tom Stoppard play (complete with absurdist dialogue) and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (complete with incredible intelligence and extremely funny grim humor). I guess it reminds me a lot of Lemony Snicket as well.

Also, I am officially in love with Anna Friel, who plays Chuck, the undead childhood sweetheart.

Seriously, go check it out. It’s worth your time. Help me not get it cancelled so I have something to watch.

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