Gary Hustwit Releases a Film on Helvetica Font; Consider This an Extended Love Note I Left on the Fridge Because I Don’t Want to Stay Home and Cuddle with You Tonight; But, Seriously, I’m Really Invested in “Us”
Hey Reader, Baby, Sweetheart --
The thing is: we’re busy people, you and I. I’m surprised we’re making it work. I’m glad, though. I’m glad I have you to come home to, to share things with.
Relationships are about sacrifice, baby. I hope you liked the flowers I had sent to your office today, baby. Yellow roses, baby. Your favorite.
I know you wanted it to be just us tonight, reader, but, the thing is, I have plans in five minutes just itching with prospective HOOK UPZ, drinkin’, and puppy-saving.
I’d never lie to you. You know that.
Here’s the straight story, so I can get on out and you can position yourself on the couch waiting for my return. I think Fresh Prince is on.
I won’t be gone long. I promise.
THE STRAIGHT STORY, BABY:
Filmmaker Gary Hustwit (his past work includes High Tech Soul and Wilco’s I Am Trying to Break Your Heart) debuted Helvetica at the South by Southwest Film Festival to a sold-out audience in March. Not his typical music documentary, Helvetica is about the omnipresent typeface. Want tickets? Check the global screening tour. Read more at this website.
I hope you loved those yellow roses, reader, baby, sweetheart, xoxo,
P.S. It’s the 50th anniversary of the typeface this year, baby. Champagne? More yellow roses?
Maybe Principal Vernon was right. Maybe Judd Nelson’s’ character in The Breakfast Club really was a “gutless turd.” Silber Records to stand up for dads everywhere with Father’s Day e-zine.
“Stupid, worthless, no good, goddamn, freeloading son of a bitch. Retarded, big mouth, know-it-all, asshole, jerk.” “You forgot ugly, lazy and disrespectful.” “Shut up bitch. Go fix me a turkey pot pie.” “No Dad, what about you?” “Fuck you.” “No Dad, what about you?” “Fuck you.” “Dad, what about you?” “Fuck you!”
Most dads are not like the one described by "John Bender" in The Breakfast Club. With Father’s Day rapidly approaching, most of us are not concerned with corny but classic John Hughes films, but are instead racing to find something for our dear old coot before Sunday so he’ll go one more year without writing us out of his will. It is not as easy as it seems. The tough question confronting almost everyone every June isn’t if you’ll buy your dad a goodie for Father’s Day, but what to get him? Do you go for the golf-related, desk organizing asinine knick-knack from Den For Men? No, you got him that idiotic prezzie five years running. A tie? Nope, Dad doesn’t wear a tie at IHOP's dish-pit. A Shrek the Third or Orlando Bloom Pirates...: At World’s End beach towel (Wal-Mart is out of those featuring Depp)? A novel idea, but too risky perhaps. Do you really want your dad parading over white sand with such a passé movie tie-in draped over his liver-spotted wrinklefest? What can we buy our fathers for his big day, oh gift pixies, what?
Silber Records, our favorite family-first labels, doesn't have a clear-cut answer to this quandary but has something to read that will make Sunday go a bit easier. The label’s latest zine “QRD” is an online one devoted to musicians who are also fathers and their views concerning the oft-complicated balancing of full-time papa-ing and full-time music-making. “QRD” #33 will eventually include a Q&A with Colin Newman (Wire) and currently contains interviews with Alan Sparhawk (Low), Chris Olley (Six by Seven), Joe Kendrick (of WNCW radio), and many more with fatherly folk from the label’s killer roster of bands. It’s worth a try. It will certainly put a smile on your mug, which you will surely need after you see your dad’s face when he opens your present of a “Who Farted?” t-shirt.
The many-years-my-senior chef at the restaurant I used to work at asked me one night if I knew who The Flying Luttenbachers were. I replied that I did indeed, and that I had, in fact, seen them the night before. He immediately grew upset. "Why didn't you tell me about it?" he whined.
I don't remember why, exactly, I didn't tell him. I think part of it was an assumption that people had no interest in that sort of thing. By sort of thing, I mean Weasel Walter — the brains of the outfit, wearing a militaristic uniform, complete with a pair of S.S. pants and aviator sunglasses, pummeling on a tiny, cheap-looking drum kit, erstwhile leading a rag-tag crew of guitar shredders. I also didn't want to be hanging out with someone many years my senior, lest people get the wrong idea. I told the chef that the show sucked anyhow.
I went to the show with Phil, a peer of mine — a friend — and I had an absolute blast. After the show, I told Phil that I thought the show sucked, apologetic that he had spent $5 he ordinarily wouldn't have, especially on a bunch of brash, almost prog-rock, brak-noise. Phil loved the show and said he thought it was awesome people would do such a thing. I wasn't going to take my words back, you know, be a liar, so I just maintained that the show "sucked."
Anyway, though I had seen The Flying Luttenbachers before and knew what I was in for, I didn't know that Weasel Walter was so accomplished, a jack-of-all-trades.
In addition to high B.P.M. on the drums, Weasel is a bass clarinetist, guitarist, saxophonist, bassist, mellotronist, electronics wizard (knob-twiddler), and all-around wanker. He also has a reputation that precedes him, in the most endearing way -- and heads up To Live and Shave in L.A. 2, To Live and Shave in L.A.'s splinter group with Misty Martinez, Nandor Nevai, and Rat Bastard.
Fans of noise, free jazz, no wave, and experimental music would be well-informed to know of Weasel Walter's new CD Early Recordings: 1988-1991 out on Lyon, France's Savageland Records. The album is a collection of pre-The Flying Luttenbachers mayhem, showcasing all of Walter's instrumental talents.
What's more, Walter Weasel will be screeching in Oakland and San Fancisco on select dates with select musicians in myriad improvised forms:
06.16.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
●The Bangs: Jacob Lindsay (Clarinets), Ava Mendoza (Guitar), Damon Smith (7-String Ergo Bass), Weasel Walter (Percussion)
●Jacob Lindsay conducts an ensemble including Kristian Aspelin (Guitar), Matt Davignon (turntable), Phillip Greenlief (reeds), Scott R. Looney (electronics), Ava Mendoza (guitar), Kinoko Nishi (koto), David Slusser (winds), Damon Smith, (double bass), Weasel Walter (Percussion)
06.24.07 - San Francisco, CA - Musicians Union Hall
● Kristian Aspelin Group: Weasel Walter (drums), Kristian Aspelin (guitar), Scott R. Looney (electronics), Damon Smith (bass)
06.26.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
●Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly!
●Weasel Walter Clarinet Choir: Weasel Walter (percussion, clarinets), Jacob Lindsay (clarinets), Aram Shelton (bass clarinet), Damon Smith (cello), Alan Anzalone (alto clarinet), David Slusser (bass clarinet, sluss-o-matic)
●Scott Amendola/Matthias Bossi Duo
06.27.07 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
●Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly!
●Weasel Walter Quartet
●Wendy Atkinson (solo bass guitar)
06.30.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
Lou Harrison Tribute Concert featuring:
●Weasel Walter's Cellular Chaos (WW on guitar, William Winant, Mark E. Miller, Damon Smith)
●William Winant and percussionists performing on the instruments designed and built by Lou Harrison and William Colvig.
●f.u.b.a.r. 1 (John Hanes, M.E. Miller and Henry Kaiser) Film backdrop provided by Heike Liss
07.05.07 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
●William Hooker (with Damon Smith and Oluyemi Thomas)
●Weasel Walter, Aram Shelton, Liz Allbee Trio
07.17.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
●Ahleuchatistas (Cuneiform Records)
●Weasel Walter Ensemble
Indie rock needs more beef. I really do not think that anyone can deny this. Rap has become the WWF with its intertwining storylines and backstabbing intrigue. One moment Lil’ Wayne is making it rain alongside Fat Joe, the next he is bashing him on his new album. Cassidy (WHO?!) calls out Jay-Z for no apparent reason. El-P and Sole get to write diss raps against one another. This, frankly, rules. I want this in indie rock (Brian Jonestown Massacre v. Dandy Warhols and Pitchfork v. Tim Kinsella is simply NOT enough). I want Tim Kasher to compose a concept album about how much he hates Spencer Krug. I want Owen Ashworth to write vicious LiveJournal entries about Will Sheff. I want Jamie Stewart to tell Will Oldham to perk up... and then to... punch... him...
Point being: indie rock needs to have the kind of interpersonal intrigue that got Fitty shot (too soon?). Obviously if the musicians aren’t going to facilitate this, I feel that it's my duty as part of the media (OH COME ON, this totally counts as the media) to just go ahead and create incendiary stories which will produce the animosity which I can, in turn, report. So: The New Pornographers hate Broken Social Scene. Always have.
Some say it started when Amy Millan released Honey From The Tombs, stating that she could make a better album than Neko Case after huffing the ashes of Kathryn Calder’s dog... which she killed... and sacrificed... to Satan... on Kathryn’s birthday. While she failed, miserably, it was enough to set off A.C. Newman who, in a rarely cited press release, stated that The New Pornographers would simply exist “to crush those bizarro New Pornographers.” After a brief scuffle involving Dan Bejar brandishing a switchblade, Broken Social Scene went on “indefinite hiatus.” Thinking they had won, A.C. and his crew retreated to the studio to work on their new album You Fear Us Beat Broken Social Scene or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground. While deciding the correct amount of clap tracks for the upcoming album, a certain, inferior website leaked that Broken Social Scene would return to making music under the flimsy “Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew” alias. Needless to say, A.C. Newman was enraged and, after contacting the Matador lawyers and having the album changed to Yo, Kevin Drew and Posse. Suck It., he began to contact venues to create a façade that would mask his ultimate goal of finding Kevin Drew and squashing the beef. Through violence
09.13.07 - Victoria, B.C. Canada - McPherson Ballroom
09.14.07 - Seattle, WA - Showbox
09.15.07 - Seattle, WA - Showbox
09.16.07 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
09.17.07 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
09.18.07 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
09.19.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater
09.20.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater
09.21.07 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
09.22.07 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
09.24.07 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
09.25.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
09.26.07 - Boise, ID - The Egyptian Theatre
09.28.07 - Vancouver, B.C. Canada at Commodore Ballroom
ALL DATES SUPPORTED BY FANCEY, LAVENDER DIAMOND, PONY BOY, AND THE ENTIRE CAST OF THE WARRIORS.
To earn enough to buy lead pipes and to bribe cops to let up the location of “Broken Social Scene Presents...” The New Pornographers have put up their new album for preorder in two versions. The “Standard Edition” is being sold for $14.99 and will include an already available full, online album stream, three unreleased B-sides, and advanced ticket-purchasing options. The “Executive Edition,” which Bejar said will contribute “maxium BSS pwnage,” will be a box set including three discs of B-sides, demos, alternate mixes, live tracks, videos, photos, Leslie Feist fingernails, and artwork for $19.99.
Challenger subtitled: Sleep With One Eye Open Broken Social Scene.
Cat Power's 2006 album, The Greatest claimed this year's Shortlist Music Prize, beating out albums by Girl Talk, Band of Horses, Beirut, Bonnie Prince Billy, Hot Chip, Joanna Newsom, Regina Spektor, Tom Waits, and Spank Rock. The Shortlist Prize has been around since 2001 and honors artists who haven't become certified Gold by the Record Industry Association of America. Which is a good thing, but who really gives a fuck about the RIAA? Anyway, so Cat Power won it this year, so good for her/them.
The judges are a collection of well-known artists who, honestly, mostly suck real bad. See, the terrible injustice here is that these asshats are nominating some indie artist who could own their ass any day. To make it worse, they give them a prize that basically says, "well, sorry you didn't go Gold, we did and you didn't, so here is a music prize for you." That's really not very nice. Let me go on and name a few of these so-called "artists": Panic! At The Disco, The Killer's Ronnie Vannucci, and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody. Panic! At The Disco? Are you kidding me? That's almost a fucking insult to Cat Power and all the other great artists up for the prize. It's hard to believe they're serious.
Well, congratulations Cat Power -- although, you probably didn't care whether or not you won it. I'm going to guess that you make music because you love it. Not to have some atrocious teenie emo band vote for you. Making music because you love to. That's kind of the point isn't it?
In other news, The Killers still can suuuuck it.
In 1998, we thought The Jesus and Mary Chain released their final album, the conflicted and divided portrait of a band on the brink of deterioration titled Munki (spelling courtesy of Jonathan Davis).
In 1998 Scarlett Johansson starred in the Robert Redford vehicle The Horse Whisperer, the year's winner of Oscars for Best Director, Best Actress, Best Picture, and Best Child Actor (if I'm not mistaken).
In 2003, Jim and Will Reid (a.k.a. Jesus and Mary, respectively) were sitting around in their underwear, eating Oreos and playing Battleship.
Also in 2003, Scarlett Johansson was blasting off into superstardom as the apple-bummed beauty she is, lighting up the screen as Charlotte in Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation. The film's final moments included a tense whisper from Scarlett's Charlotte into the ear of Bill Murray's Bob Harris (proof that starring in Ghostbusters will ALWAYS get you laid) to the sound of the JAMC's "Just Like Honey" from 1985's Psychocandy.
On April 27, 2007, Scarlett joined the Scottish lads on stage at the Coachella Music Festival in Pomona, California to sing backup on "Just Like Honey" and proceeded to announce her commandeering of the entire entity, effective immediately. The Reid Brothers, now subservient to Scarlett's sex appeal and sultry voice, would follow every order and fulfill every whim of the starlet.
Luckily for fans of washed-up, money hungry has-beens (just kidding, I still love you JAMC... and Pixies... and Morrissey... and The Police... and Genesis... and Poison.. and...), Scarlett has demanded a new album be recorded as soon as possible. The album is said to be built around the centerpiece of the new jam "All Things Must Pass," which the band performed live on The Late Show with David Letterman, as Scarlett controlled the Reid Brothers by a combination of remote control and puppet strings from the wings.
From the mouth of Jim Reid himself (with Scarlett playing ventriloquist), the reunion "is not necessarily about any nostalgia trip," but is purely about money, I mean, love and art (and money). "There will be a new record, otherwise there wouldn't be any point to reforming," said Reid. Well, besides the cash and blow, Jim... besides the cash and blow...
[Who's up for some good ol' misogyny-lite? Good! Keep reading!]
The genius behind Tegan and Sara lies within the simplicity of both their music and looks. When most girl bands come on the scene, they either bring it home with their music or with their looks; a la Aretha Franklin versus Hilary Duff. Tegan and Sara, however, keep both at an even pace. Their music is modestly good and looks much the same; so they innocently draw in girls who think the dream is still alive and boys who dream they can date them.
Since TnS are talented and pretty, most girls relate to them and hope that some day they can reach the point that TnS have. This, unbeknownst to the female fan base, is a clever way to draw in tons of money. Then, also because of their talent and looks, the males think they have a chance to get with them. Males will sacrifice masculinity points and listen to TnS in hopes that one day they will get to sleep with one of the members.
This whole talk of modesty leads me right away from whatever dribble I was just talking about to the current event's topic: TnS’s modest tour of looks in the key of modesty.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, Neil Hamburger is touring. He isn't stopping until all the dates are complete, whether you like it or not. And, truth be told, a lot of people don't seem to like him. I did my own unofficial polling of people facing me, and half of them, when prompted, decided to face a different direction. Compelling results? Of course. Neil ‘The Burger’ Hamburger is, to some, hard to stomach. He coughs a lot. He's awkward. He tells bad jokes. People boo him. If you were in any doubt that the ‘boo’ was passé, that it had fallen into the annals of public appearance lexicon, watch him perform his stand-up. There certainly are laughs to compete, however, and apparently enough to propel a bunch of CD releases and this tour from Drag City.
With my unofficial poll and common understanding, those that boo fail to get the joke: that he is acting 'bad' on purpose (or at least it appears that way). Those that cheer have a strange sense of humor, or are laughing at him. It is perplexing. I have friends who tell bad jokes, and they do not have CDs and tours. I tell bad jokes all the time, too, and I think I would be much better off if I were rewarded with tourdates instead of a whopping dose of humiliation and mockery. But in Neil Hamburger's defense, he has a certain image and charismatic appeal that I will never have. Maybe we are indeed laughing at him, but I get the feeling the joke's on us.
Like a fine trip to Dick's Last Resort, where the waitstaff insult and abuse the patrons and we all pretend to enjoy it, Neil Hamburger is giving us what we don't want and making us laugh. That's something, isn't it? It's the perfect marketing strategy: give us a product to solve a problem we never knew we had. He's good for the economy, he's good for comedy, and he's good for us (Neil Hamburger prevents free radicals!). So boo or don't boo, either way he's touring, and you'll wonder if he's for real or not, but rest assured, he is. Help us, he is:
# Dr. El Suavo
Freeloaders can catch a glimpse of America's $1 Funnyman here.
In a darling action that has surprised environmental activists and computer nerds alike, Steve Jobs has reportedly been undergoing a one-man struggle to protect the earth and all that is sacred therein from the brink of environmental destruction. News feeds from the small Pacific island of Iwo Jima recount eye-witness testimony of a wet-suit clad Jobs single-handedly commandeering Japanese whaling ships and harpooning all crew members on board in the heart. When asked about his newfound passion for the elephants of the sea, Jobs stated that he's really just a bandwagon jumper trying to capitalize on North American's new green-chic movement in an attempt to corner a larger share of the home computer market.
Coincidently, Greenpeace has started championing Apple as the green computer of the new century. Apple has announced it will phase out the worst of the worst e-waste chemicals, Brominated Fire Retardants (BFRs) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) by 2008. Greenpeace representatives were reached for comment but were too busy ejaculating in their pants to respond; however, they did make a statement on their website. The plan puts Apple ahead of Dell by one year; Dell committed to stop manufactoring products with these chemical by 2009. But c'mon, Dell announced its plan first. It's like bidding your way on-stage on the Price is Right. If some asshole bids $560,000 on a pair of scooters, you get the change to bid $1 and walk away looking like a genius. Of course you're going to win, and this is exactly the same thing.
To be completely fair to the world's fifth-largest computer manufacturer, it did take the environmental lead in 2006 by being the first company to fully dump cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays. Now you may be asking, "EZ, how bad can these monitors be? I know they're big and all, and don't get you laid very easy, but its not like they're killing children or anything."
Well they kinda are, just not in North America. A typical CRT monitor contains approximately 3 lbs. of lead. And since our illustrious leaders have brokered some pretty liberal free-trade deals with our East, South, and South East Asian friends, the vast majority of our monitors end up in landfills in Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines, where some industrious children make a relative shitload of money (compared to your little brother's paper route, and... well that's probably the only job), salvaging what their politicians, currency speculators, and military leaders throw away. But we send them our old monitors, so the tetnus is their leaders' fault. The lead poisoning? That's all us.
And even if you're an elitist douche bag who couldn't give a fuck about some Tamil kid in Sri Lanka, you should be concerned. Because the good ol' US of A still allows a lot of e-waste to find its way into your landfills. Currently, e-waste makes up only 2% of all garbage in the United States but releases 70% of all toxic chemicals found on American soil.
But hey, why should you care, Steve Jobs has it all taken care of. And with Greenpeace on his side, he's an unstoppable behemoth... a whale savin', Japanese harpoonin', kid-savin' behemoth. Wait... I'm confused... I thought Greenpeace hated capitalism. What a bunch of sell-outs.
Just like my clamoring baby niece who likes to wail and bang away on just about anything she can put her fleshy little fingers on until someone pays some goddamn attention to her, Austin eating utensil advocates/overgrown toddlers Britt Daniel and Co. aren't about to let you forget their presence in the upper indie rock echelon this summer.
And as if squawking guttural nonsense at you (in the form, of course, of their new record Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, due July 10 via Merge in the U.S. and July 9th via Anti- in Europe) wasn't obnoxious enough to get our attention, the babyboys of Spoon will turn the tables on all of us buttoned-down adults this summer when they get all up in our collective grill, forcing us to open the ol' hangar and slurp down a chunky slurry of vitamin-enriched tourdates as they rev-up this weekend and rampage their way through a series of festival and show dates that won't tire them out until sometime in mid-October.
That's quite the attention span, when you think about it. So we might as well all just give in and eat up now if we want to get any sleep tonight. Besides, when's the last time you got spoon-fed anything that was this delicious???
Here comes the airplaaaaaaaaaaane:
06.10.07 - Chula Vista, CA - KZBT Independence Jam
06.16.07 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06.29.07 - Calgary, Alberta - Sled Island Festival
07.04.07 - Detroit, MI - Comerica CityFest
07.05.07 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest
07.11.07 - New York, NY - Rockefeller Park - River to River
08.04.07 - Chicago, IL - Grant Park - Lollapalooza
08.05.07 - Baltimore, MD - Virgin Festival
08.10.07 - Oslo, Norway - Øya Festival
08.11.07 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Way Out West
08.12.07 - Leicester, England - Summer Sundae Weekender
08.14.07 - Paredes de Coura, Portugal - Paredes de Coura Festival
08.16.07 - London, England - Cargo
08.17.07 - Hasselt, Belgium - Pukkelpop Festival
09.07.07 - Vancouver, British Columbia
09.10.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre
09.11.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre
09.14.07 - Austin, TX - Zilker Park - Austin City Limits Festival
10.10.07 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
10.15.07 - Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix Concert Theatre
10.20.07 - New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga tracklist: