Archive for the “art” Category

About last night

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

photo: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

I had fun last night performing at the 10 Zen Monkey’s Fundraiser for the EFF. I even busted a few folks twittering during the set :-)

Beth Lisick and Tara Jepsen did a really funny bit with their meshugenah ladies Carole Murphy and Mitzi Fitzsimmons and Will Franken was brilliant. We had a very fun argument afterwards about Israelis and Palestinians. I guess this is how comedians who aren’t easily categorized bond. Beats getting high and talking about failed sexual escapades and poop.

vertically-integrated artist

Monday, March 19th, 2007

This morning I realized that’s what I am.

Industries no longer need integrating. We do.

garden more

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

This is what we all need. How to choose your work/ partner/new venture/PhD thesis/husband/wife/bandmate/major?

What do you want to tend to in an ongoing way?

We don’t need constant initiation. What will thrive out there and in you is what you feed and care for.

This is what I tell myself. And I am someone who writes jokes and epigrams so that I don’t have to finish and nurture each idea (to avoid overwhelm).

Business has turned the corner form “masculine” to “feminine.”

Greatness: The Susan Sontag of Rock ‘n Roll and my call for earnestness

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

patti smith
photo by Annie Leibovitz, another great.

Patti Smith, the Susan Sontag of Rock ‘N Roll will be inducted into the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame this year.

There is not an ounce of “pretty good for a girl.” She rocks. Period.

It is so nice when things are just that simple. Excellence tends to make things so.
She is beyond gender and both genders, like most great creative minds.

Virginia Woolf said that’s so, so it must be true.

Who else is great and beyond gender?

Here she makes “You Light Up My Life” moving and cool. They are the same thing. Earnest is the new edgy. The old cool.

Cynicism is not an automatic indicator of authenticity. It is a broken shield to hide behind.

It is the banner of comedy now, the crippled truth.

Take back your own heart Jon Stewart.

Rejoin us David Cross.

Truth does not wink.

Joni Mitchell blows my mind. Again.

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

“White rhythm is waltzes, marches, and the polka. In Africa rhythm is used for a celebratory groove, but white rhythm doesn’t have such an enormous vocabulary of spirits. It’s basically militant.”

– Joni, talking about her new music and ballet in today’s NYT

Here’s another great Joni quote about the music business I keep in my office:

“They’re not looking for talent. They’re looking for a look and a willingness to cooperate. And a woman my age, no matter how well preserved, no longer has the look. And I have never had a willingness to cooperate”

If you look beyond music to our general industries of culture and our institutions of business in general, is this not what is rewarded?  A look and a willingness to cooperate.

Google buying Dodgeball and the window of indie-hood

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Chris Messina wrotea great post about Google’s purchase of Dodgeball which is a cell-phone-connect-up-with-your-pals-in-a-serendipitous-way-in-the-real-world kind of system.

Chris writes about who owns log ins to sites and your id information.

What I’m wondering about is the fact that I signed up for Dodgeball a few months ago and already it’s been bought. The time between cool things are being made, released and bought is getter smaller and smaller. It reminds me of how you can now see a fashion trend in the Castro or Bayview and it will make it to Mervyn’s in Indiana in a matter of months. It used to take ages for shit like suede construction boots to filter up to fashionistas from the queers and then back down to middle America.

Meryl Streep’s character delivers a great and hilarious monologue in The Devil Wear’s Prada that captures the top-down part of ths influencer cycle in The Devil Wears Prada. But this bit of writing misses the whole cycle.

Much of the fashion looks like this: mid-western fashion in 70s>discarded to 2nd-hand clothing shops>re-contextualized and brought out to queer or urban punk land by poor kids in urban centres on the coast>picked up on by stylists>Milan+ Paris for a week>back to high end stores like Barney’s in NY>knocked off and sold at Mervyn’s in Indiana.

I’m still thinking on the tech cycle. Any ideas?

good news

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

I was just awarded a grant from Theatre Bay Area to finish the script of my Law Project show.

Huzzah! Many thanks to the community of theatre folks in San Francisco.

What happens 40 years after fame and fortune?

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

What happens 40 years after fame and fortune?

Peter Tork is no longer a Monkee and touring as The White Man’s music
with his pal Stanley Lee Jordan. I’m sitting at the Little Fox theatre
in Redwood City watching their clogged and slipper/shoed feet tap
enthusiastically to their acoustic guitar solos and receeding-hairline

It’s hard to know which is worse, the attempts at jokes in the patter
between-songs or the songs themselves.

“Now a song about your first love…..a car of course.”

These guys make the Kingston Trio sound like James Brown.

Just when you think an attempted melody can’tr get worse, there’s a

” Driving/driving/hotrod driving my MGBGT”

And when you think the lyric can’t get worse, there’s a harmony to be
foisted upon you.

So why am I sitting here? Because my lesbian goth pal Ann called me up
today and sais “dude, my first girlfriend is dating Peter Tork and he
wants to meet me.”

As we sat down Ann told me that her ex wouldn’t be here and that Peter
has several girlfriends.

After the first few chords, all I could think was:” this guy gets women
to sleep with him ?”

Ok everything I just blogged above was done during the concert itself, to help me get through the music. There is video to prove the music to you and as soon as Ann sends it to me, I’ll put it up.

Ann waited to meet Peter in the CD purchasing line. Despite the fact that he turns out to be “spending time with ” Ann’s ex (I guess that’s what the 65 year old straight guy musicians are calling it these days :-), he was very nice, excited to meet Ann and wanted to immediately introduce us to his sister (I guess under the theory that all lesbians know or want to know each other). He turned out to be right. We hung out with his sister Annie and her girlfriend until we realized that there was a second half to the show. Of course, it turned out that we know peoplpe in common. Annie was very cool about it all and told me that “Peter has a lot of lesbians in his life…. his ex-wife, his sister…” Peter Tork, lesbian node. L Word, you can add it to the chart.

The new service sector: American Girl

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

While I was in LA for a gig I went to a mall. I ran into a group of 8 girls aged 6-10 who were all dressed to match their dolls. They informed me that this mall housed one of 3 American Girl stores in the country and they’d driven over a day to make a pilgrimmage.

I went to have a look. The word “store” doesn’t quite capture it. There is a restaurant for the dolls with a full menu; a stage show, a Disneyworld-style tour of the lives of the dolls who are all characters from American history from many races (though therer were no slave dolls, they had all been freed). And yes, you could get your dolls hair done.

I really wished I’d had a video camera so that I could share the thoughts of women who were working there, paid to cut and brushing (with toothbrushes)  the hair of the dolls of 8 year old white girls. I wish I could have talked to them at all but they were busy doing their jobs and there was no really appropriate moment to chat.

I had one Barbie doll at 8 and pulled her head off and that was that.

But in this store (which is an anthropological experience like no other I’ve had this year) there was music playing and self-affirming journals mixed in with the doll jewelry and hair products. There were even dolls that had freckles and played sports upstairs and I was astonished to find myself choked up.

Henry Darger helped me understand Michael Jackson. I think.

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Stace and I watched a documentary, called In the Realm of the Senses by Jessica Yu the other night about Henry Darger. She’s the filmmaker best known generally for her Acadamy Award speech about her dress costing more than her film (and best known at to me at Yale for her athleticism, sexy fencing brochure photo, and being Marty’s sister). Like Jessica, I saw the “outsider art” exhibit at LACMA in the early 1990s and never forgot Darger’s amazing and kinda creepy artwork and 15,000 page book about a battle between young girls and an army in lands I cannot pronounce or spell correctly.

This is a really interesting film which animates much of Darger’s amazing collage artwork. It’s about a sensitive and intelligent boy who was abused and abandoned young and lived the rest of his life within his interior realm and imagination, most of which was focussed on children.

He had no friends or social contacts and scraped by as a janitor. He did try to adopt children but was refused. No one even knew he made this artwork until after he had died.

This film made me think a lot about Michael Jackson who, it seems pretty likely, was abused as a sensitive and talented boy and who has had the means to create a world that matches his internal fantasy life in which only children are to be trusted.

There is an odd mix of naivete and sexuality in Darger’s work (he draws young girls naked quite often, with what appear to be penises). I am really interested in understanding the myriad effects of sexual and other forms of child abuse andthe creative ways in which people deal with this all-too -common and overlooked reality. Of course being abused does not exculpate anyone from their actions, but it is important for genuine undstanding. And Michael Jackson is nothing if not an enigma. I haven’t yet had a chance to read Margo Jefferson’s book, but I have thought a lot about how normal people seem to think it is for white women to manipulate the hell out of their bodies via plastic surgery but how odd it is for a black man to do the same.

What if you never quite felt your body was your own?

site by eyephonic