Friday, September 26, 2008

Wonder-Full Events

I found myself at Cafe Tropical enjoying a fine cup of coffee on a beautiful unemployed afternoon and came across so many noteworthy events that I had to rush back home and spread the word.

Oct. 3rd / 7PM / "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison"
This documentary covers the making of Johnny Cash's album "At Folsom Prison." This screen is free at the Hammer Museum and is the west coast premiere of the film.

Oct. 18th / Wonder-Full LA3
DJ Spinna and Bobbito return to LA for their Stevie Wonder tribute night "Wonder-Full." This is their 3rd time throwing this event in Los Angeles. I attended last years at The Crash Mansion and it was amazing--an entire club singing along to Stevie Wonder classics!!! This year they're throwing it at The Echo/Echoplex. Attendance is mandatory.

Presale $15 / Door $20 / The Echo/Echoplex / 1822 Sunset Blvd + 90026

Nov 4 / Diplo/Mad Decent Crew
Diplo is coming to LA?!?! An election day party?!? Diplo makes it trough LA regularly but I never pass up a change to be inspired by what he lays down live. This is a party I really really want to go to but I have to admit I've become a bit of a political junkie so I may be at home glued to the TV.

Presale $15 / Door $17 / The Echoplex / 1154 Glendale Blvd+90026

Nov. 7 / Brainfeeder LA
This event features Flying Lotus, Gaslamp Killer, Kode 9, Samiyam, & more. When you look at Flying Lotus's latest album "Los Angeles" and Gaslamp Killer's lastest "I Spit on Your Grave" it becomes easy to see these cats are at the forefront of a new sound and it's being cultivated right here in LA. If you haven't already, make the discovery.

Cost TBA / Echoplex / 1154 Glendale Blvd.+90026

Sunday, September 21, 2008

HW Bowl

I attended the MGMT/Spoon/Beck show this evening at the hollywood bowl.

As we entered the venue a ticket-taker took my ticket and scanned it. It made the ticket feel used and now worthless. I recall a time of cassette tapes where your ticket was ripped and that meant that you were there.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I have been following the work of "obey giant," a.k.a. Shepard Fairy, since 1996 when he had a small gallery show in Santa Barbara. Actually the gallery showing was a secondary discovery, the initial discovery came from the posters he sparsely pasted on electric boxes surrounding my house, which was 2 blocks from the gallery. I was heavily into graffiti at the time, making trips down to Los Angeles just to check out the art, so I was immediately struck by the posters that came to be known as the "obey icon" & the "giant icon."

I recall thinking that it wasn't real graffiti--it was cheating. It had become popular amongst some writers to tag "hello my name is" stickers and then throw the stickers up around town. This was viewed as complete bullshit because graffiti, and all the glory that came with being up, was about risking your ass to create art on the spot. Pasting posters seemed like an extention of the sticker philosophy and thusly total bullshit.

Despite all these beliefs the "obey icon" poster had a powerful impact. It tapped into anti-establishment rebeliousness that drove many of us to write. The statement was not to obey but to rebel against those that were telling you to do so. It was ironic propaganda but propaganda nonetheless--highly effective that created a large and loyal following.

As Shepard's work expanded from the "obey icon" he began to use other pop culture icons such as Public Enemy, Angela Davis, Ice-T, The Misfits, Jesse Jackson (w/afro), Sid Vicious, etc to promote the same underlying philosophy until the Obama "hope" poster. The "hope" poster is a sincere piece of propaganda that is supposed to inspire the viewer to believe Barak Obama is our hope for the future and we should vote for him as president. This marks a complete 180 degree shift in the politics of Shepard's work--after so many years of emphasizing rebelliousness he is now telling us to believe in the American political system and vote.

Now there are 2 ways to look at this. Perhaps Shepard is buying in to the idea of change from within and by electing radicals to the government our country will become what we want it to be. In order to buy this you have to believe that Barak Obama is a radical politician. I don't buy this.

While he may have once been a political radical by the very nature of running for president he will be shaped into a more populist/centrist candidate and thus will not retain the radical qualities that would align him with anti-establishment/revolutionary thinkers. Some may argue the point that I'm wrong in this statement but it is indeed true. A president is elected when he receives 51% of the vote. The strongest believers will vote according to party lines so it is the populist center, those willing to be swayed in either direction, that will determine who is elected. It follows naturally then that any candidate for office would, after winning the base over, become more populist to acquire these swing voters and win the election.

The other way to look at this is that Shepard's sold out. His prints have sold out; the most recent one within an hour of it's release on Retailing for $35/print in an edition of 750, Shepard made $26,250 in 1 hour for 1 design. Considering there are usually several release during a month, his design studio services corporate giants, and he now has a successful clothing line, the guy is a millionaire. Naturally he's bought into the political system. The irony of the "obey icon" has evolved into the sincere propaganda of the hope poster and so marks the death of a movement. I say all of this being someone who has followed Shepard's work out of love and will continue to do so. No matter how logically I can argue his philosophical demise I am moved by his work.

I am not alone in seeing the irony of the "hope" poster in relation to Shepard's career. Below is a picture I snapped off last night with my phone, which inspired this piece and is worth all of these words.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

NeoConservative Republican Hypocrisy

Can I get political for a moment?

I was just reading about the government take over of Freedie Mac and Fannie Mae and felt compelled to comment on the hypocrisy of the neoconservative run Republican party.

One of the main tenants of the republican party is that we should have smaller government that is less intrusive on the lives of it's citizens and, of course, business. So what does this administration do? It takes over 2 of the largest private lenders of morgates in the country, thereby expanding the governments reach into private sector and using our tax dollars to solve the problems created by greedy bankers who capitalized off of deregulations.

Some may argue I'm not being fair and that this action was necessary to keep many Americans in their homes. Fair enough, I can use another example to point out their hypocrisy: Terry Shivo.

With regard to the election, I find great hypocrisy in John McCain's decision for vice president. While McCain more closely represents the values of the republican party past, Gov. Palin represents the values of the neo conservative right--which are vastly different. McCain is clearly playing politics with this decision but the greater philosophical statement is that he will retract from his "maverick" ideas and further adopt the neocon philosophy in order to win votes. This is the same philosophy that has placed us in Iraq and, consequently, has run this country's economy into the ground because of huge debt/deficits.

So the question is how can McCain represent the change this country needs when he's just resigned his ticket to the political philosophy that is currently running the white house? Can the repulicans save us from the republicans?

enough for now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Street artist NECKFACE is having a show. It's called "Cannibal Carnival."

He reminds me of Metallica during the "Master of Puppets" years--when it was cool be a longhaired hard-ass. If you're into paper mache vampires that spit fake blood all over the walls I highly recommend checking out his work. The opening reception is this Saturday Aug. 16th from 7-10pm at New Image Art . The show goes until Sept. 20--catch it while you can.

Azymuth 08/16/08

This one's a must see.

You'll find this poster on freeway ramps.