Fyre Con


f you haven't seen the Fyre Festival Documentary... its about influencers, explanations, condemnations, exhaltations, adult peer pressure. I enjoyed it. In a world in which social media replaces current events, situational awareness and even common sense with a narcissistic greenhouse, instagram is the opposite of baby boomer culture - i.e. Seinfeld talking about nothing. Seinfeld was a goofy loser. All of his clothes were off-brand, he was continuously duped by circumstance. On social media, everything is awesome. Trustafarian vacations are easy to condemn, but there is also the attraction to the grammable world of pure imagination ... the spiritual self-discovery which most people can't afford or attain. Luckily now there is JOMO - the Joy of Missing Out. Personally I'm somewhere in the middle - I love travel, but have also been on a few trips that wouldn't really be worth gramming.

There was a similar kind of Altamount deal in Louisiana in 1971. McCrea 1971 is equally formulaic (along the lines of Wild, Wild West and Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle - both worth the time to watch). The same cliches are in play - locals against the carpetbaggers, exploitation of income disparity, Nabokovian con artist lingo.

I had a chance to take a master class with Albert Maysles at NYU, filmmaker and arguably a progenitor of reality docs. He made Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens, Salesman - explorations of what's now the blur between reality shows and reality. He was a real talker and a trained pyschologist. The bizarreness of the new now - a reality show president - governmental tweets, really necessitates a filter and critical thinking.

Posted Wednesday January 16, 2019. Conversation(0)



he crazy thing is this video is almost 30 years old and still has 500M views. I met R.E.M.'s manager, Bertis Downs at a Four Seasons in Philadelphia. We were watching basketball in the lobby. I told him how much R.E.M. inspired me and we exchanged emails. I felt like I had stepped through the TV.

Why was R.E.M. so good? Art Direction was a huge factor. There were several dozen trending college bands of their time - 10,000 Maniacs, Guadalcanal Diary, The Smiths - no one could match the visual creativity of Michael Stipe. He always had something new and interesting. I sat next to Michael at a ramen restaurant in Brooklyn. Me and my buddy Alex ordered Tokyo Ramen, he ordered Tokyo Ramen. He talked on and on about the Carol Burnett Show. I did my best not to geek out but did eventually say hello.

Afterwards Alex told me Michael asked the woman he was with - "How did I do?" and she said "you nailed it." I love that guy.

Posted Sunday January 6, 2019. Conversation(0)

burning airlines


urning Airlines was the catalog with everything a young rock and roller could want. Based in Trenton NJ, the catalog was advertised in the back of music magazines. It was 30 pages of photocopied bliss.

Posted Thursday January 3, 2019. Conversation(0)

crawfish fiesta

Jambalaya Joe Burreaux and the tigers showed up and showed out at the Playstation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. The University of Central Florida had won 25 straight games (against mostly obscure teams) and self-proclaimed themselves to be 2018 national championship. LSU played the hardest schedule in the country and had different ideas.

Posted Wednesday January 2, 2019. Conversation(1)



ere's an interview, that's about 10 years old, with my friend Ben. He's from New Orleans. We met at the movie club at LSU. That night he gave me a ride about two blocks in a gigantic 80s Cadillac, the only time I ever saw him with that car. He was in a somewhat comical metal band called Deathwish with a mutual friend Josh. They asked me to join their blog Killoggs in 1999. It was an offshoot of Blogger software that Josh had taken apart and rewritten in php.

Josh did the coding, Ben did the illustration and design. The banner said something like "Killoggs - 100% Mullets". Ben drew a cartoon head for everybody who was a contributor. It was clever. Eventually it became a soft network of friends in Louisiana, leaving the state, trying to make a living elsewhere and learning how to use the internet. New people joined from other cities until there were 100 members or so. This was way before facebook, even before friendster; Killoggs was reviewed in Newsweek at one point. About five years in we concluded that writing about your personal life on the web wasn't always a great idea. It became too much of a reality show despite the fact that most of the post were about bands, movies or pets. People do have an innate urge to share, but social networks also have boundaries and lifespans. And of course, one simply can't go through life with the same 0-5000 friends alloted by instagram/linkedin/spacebook etc.

During college Ben and Josh disappeared during the summer and reappeared every fall. Josh bought a green Saturn and mostly drove it to the thrift store. He picked up honey baked hams from the supermarket for the holidays. I found out years later they had been teaching kids how to make websites at Stanford computer camp during the summers. Ben said the studentsí websites were all guns n' roses themed. They moved to Baltimore together and threw big parties.

Posted Tuesday January 1, 2019. Conversation(0)

such winters days


ately I've spent time in California, mostly San Francisco; working remotely from the Chancellor Hotel by Union Square. My parents lived in Los Angeles in the early 70s. The California state of mind - relaxation, warm weather, is very restorative. I've been dropping in on vinyl from that era, mostly the Laurel Canyon scene. The scene was too slick to be punk, too commercial to be hip (Harry Nilsson, John Denver, Judee Sill). Counter culture is important - misfits always survive.

Posted Wednesday December 26, 2018. Conversation(0)