Nomad/Filmmaker Bill Brown

Bill Brown is the sort of guy we all wanted to be in film school.  Traveling incessantly, chronicling the ride with a trusty Bolex and a rolling narration that chronicles the corners, the details, the little things and carefully arranges them into constellations to invoke The Big Cosmic Everything.  He makes zines, fills his website with vignettes from Detroit, Lubbuck, Texas and California City, California.  Rust, decay, space, dust, emotion, travel. May I recommend his compilation DVD The Next Best Place?  A better 25 dollars you are not likely to spend with an education on Spring-Heeled Jack, nuclear missiles, the Roswell crash and the little joys of being in motion in North America.

Loss of Signal: VHS and Photoshop Image Decay

I found the above Cinemassacre experiment via Make: an exercise in decaying video footage by redubbing it over and over.  Maybe I’m weird but I found the deterioration fascinating, watching the colors mutate and the details dropping out until I was following the action by the motion rather than the forms. A similar tactic but an aesthetically different experience than watching Bill Morrison’s film Decasia, clip below. You can also see echoes of both in the Very Small Array post where a picture is run through every (default?) Photoshop filter.  Shape and form decays while the decay produces accidental new forms.  Click here and look at the whole thing to see this man and this cat transform.

The Forbidden Secrets of Mark Twain

Mark Twain had his nut together, as the feller says.  In perhaps the classiest move in the realm of tell-all books, Twain added a stipulation to his reputedly vitriolic autobiography for a hundred year delay in publication, saving all but perhaps the youngest of targets of his invective the embarrassment of still being alive. This year that century is finally over.  No longer shall Twain’s crankiest gripes be denied us.  The manuscript is still being polished, at the moment, giving us a golden window of irresponsible speculation as to the contents. DOES IT… reveal Twain as the true lyricist of “Hey Man Nice Shot“, originally a scandalous tribute to Leon Czolgosz, assassin of William McKinley? uncover lost secrets of mustache maintenance, long since outlawed? (hint: spare the placenta, spoil the ‘stache) sketch out an unpublished novel that served as inspiration for Jurassic Park, entitled A Connecticut Yankee in a G_____n […]

My Reignited Theremin Obsession

Game Reviews – E3 2010 – It’s #&*%ing Science! Just had my theremin lust reignited by this 3 minute history/build video from G4’s Attack of the Show, via Create Digital Music.  Oh man.  I’ve been planning to build one of these since a random reference on the Slanky-L* to a theremin sample sent me off in search of just what this weird musical instrument could do. Turns out the history is just as fascinating as the ghost sound machine’s electronic guts.  Here’s an excerpt from the first interview with the Theremin’s inventor, Leon Theremin, after he first emerged from the U.S.S.R. after 51 years of state arrest: Mattis: When did you first conceive of your instrument? Theremin: The idea first came to me right after our Revolution, at the beginning of the Bolshevik state. I wanted to invent some kind of an instrument that would not operate mechanically, as does […]

Crass: There is no Authority But Yourself

Found this via Dangerous Minds. I have little to add beyond advising you to clear out an hour to watch this Dutch documentary about the collection of people, practices and ideals that came together to form the punk band Crass.  With a militantly anarchist outlook and a very DIY devotion to living what they screamed, Crass was one of the very few in art who lived their ideals 100%.  A great hit of inspiration if you’re feeling like you’ve got no option but the treadmill you’re on.

Wintergreen Teaches You How to Make Meth

Listen dicks, the new crack is making fake drugs to promote your band. I know it, you know it, these guys have managed a force multiplier on their fairly middle of the road alt. rock by hitting on a concept we all wish we’d thought of before: a how-to video for making drugs from easily obtainable ingredients.  Drugs that don’t really exist, that is. Yeah, hate to be captain bring-down here, Beavis McTweakerson but Egyptian meth and Hillbilly Quaaludes only exist in the realm of fiction.  Still, how genius is it to piggyback on the how-to format, mixing up your band’s image with an engaging supermarket to kitchen alchemist walkthrough? The way they dump the vinegar gives me a little flashback to the soap making montage in Fight Club.  Which is never a bad thing. Yeah, I know, shoulda saved this for Saturday Morning Movie Club but this is too […]

Adam Curtis Says You're as Crazy as Richard Nixon

In summary: the media is a vast jabbering mouth screaming all the ways you will die in terrible pain and loneliness.  Why the hell would we let a wretched creature like that in the room? Well, because maybe, just maybe, it might finally cough up a scrap of truth.  And we’re wired to hang onto that hope. I recommend you embrace doom, joyfully.