I have been itching to skate lately – on one of the various sweet ramps around LA – but since I am real old now stuff like my job, making art, being tired, and having Netflix DVDs around to watch keep getting in my way.
Now, if I was somehow stuck in a wheelchair I would be pretty bummed that I would never be able to skate again. But I guess I would get over it and just play guitar more or something.
Not this guy. Idea probably never crossed his mind. I bet he also only went out and got the helmet after cracking his head once or twice too. Super bad ass. Don’t miss the BACKFLIP 2/3 of the way into the video.
Brooklynites are noticing a rash of large fires during the hottest real estate market in a while. Like fires sweeping the Serengheti, historic industrial waterfront property has been going up in smoke once preservationists try to start to fight. Coincidence?
Yay! My mom has a hurricane named after her.. but I bet they are pronouncing it wrong. Go mom! But be nice to the people down there, OK?
For a few minutes, a German art student became one of China’s ancient terracotta warriors.
This is around where we went hiking last weekend. Luckily, it was not on fire at the time, though we could see the smoke a few miles off even then.
t h e r e i s m o r e m u s i c a l t u e s d a y s
This past sunday evening, I took the subway (yes, there is a subway in LA) from Union station downtown all the way into Hollywood at Hollywood and Highland. I walked up the hill, gave the friendly folks at the Hollywood Bowl my ticket, located my seats in section N-1, and sat down with a gang of architect-camper friends. They gave me fried chicken, hummus, cheese and wine. I had also brought some wine, as is customary at the Bowl.
As I walked in, Neko Case was playing some country-pop-rockish stuff. She did that pretty well, and even had a guy with a pedal steel guitar who played some great sliding, slippery licks. That was a good start.
Then when she was done, an announcer came up to say goodbye to her and introduce the next act. Instead of a break, the whole center of the stage – including backdrop – rotated 180 degrees to reveal Ryan Adams and his band already tuned up and ready to rock. Which they proceeded to do. Now, if I ever listened to the radio, I might have heard songs from one or both of these groups. But I do not, and had not, so all the music was brand new to me, and quite satisfactory. This Adams fellow strung together elements of bare blues rock, country, a touch of Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead (I was grateful that element was minimal) with some seriously good guitar playing, a bit of angriness, and a sense of humor. I was impressed.
But this was noting.
Next stage rotation, and a giant Texas flag was revealed. Now, these days I would normally cringe when faced with a 20 foot tall flag from the home state of our current president – but this particular Texan flag represented all that is good from that oversized state. Standing in front of it was the elder stateman of what I like to think of as the-good-country-music (well, Johnny Cash is gone you know). Willie Nelson. Arrayed about him was a fantastic band made up of family and friends, and they whipped those opening young rock-stars arses.
On his beat up, nylon (?) string acoustic guitar – run through the gritty distortion of some some bad-ass amps – he might as well have been B. B. King. And that golden voice of his has aged to perfection. Singing mainly songs I have never heard (he sped through his standard hits as if they were only there to appease the audience), he filled up that gigantic amphitheatre with some kick-ass and heartfelt sound.
His daughter pounded out some honky-tonk piano, son on the headless guitar pulled off a Stevie Ray Vaughan kind of thing – blazing away in counter-point to his dad’s heartfelt blues riffing. It was a real family affair, and a beautiful night out under the stars. So – go back over that old Willie Nelson stuff if you get a chance. Try to get beyond the radio hits, maybe even dig up a live album. That man is one of the old masters, and I am glad I got to see him do his thing in person.
Next month, Bob Dylan is in LA. I gotta get myself to that one, given that he is my hero and all, and is playing on my birthday.
Very cool concept… this guy took new images based on old postcards and made an image that looks like a strange cardboard cutout. Worth a quick look.
I’ve been gradually updating the my portfolio on RISE. There are recent videos, digital prints and collaborations added so far and more coming soon. Check them out…
I think I would drive my car off the road if I caught this building doing its thing at night. Amazing. [seen at Coudal]
Interestingly (or maybe not) I have been working on a video documenting the dramatic evening lighting of the Federal Building in Westwood. Though it’s not as dramatic, or even as intentional, as the one posted above. It kind of glows with a diffuse light as you drive by it, slowly revealing the offices within. I’ll post that one up in its current, immature form when I get a chance.