Archive for the the past Category

The New Rules

Posted in America, EAST COAST, lists, the past with tags , , on November 12, 2010 by John

Rules on how to make a great publication from one of America’s finest magazines, The Atlantic.

Rule #9 is probably a big part of why I subscribe: “The Atlantic has three dimensions — breadth of interest, height of interest, depth of interest.”

All twelve in pixels below.


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Little Fela

Posted in africa, Guns, music, the past with tags on July 13, 2010 by John

This piece does a good job capturing a little bit of the magic that was Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Ghariokwu Lemi, the artist that created the covers for many of Fela’s albums, talks about the man. Lemi seems like a pretty normal guy and to me at least, it’s interesting to hear his take on a “personality” like Fela.


American Ruins

Posted in America, film, photos, the past with tags , , , on June 8, 2010 by John

Preservation of the great Movie Palaces is generally considered a noble but foolish endeavour. There are always a few small voices saying how much history is being lost, and then there’s the howl of progress.

When looking at these pictures though, it’s easy to see what the preservationists are saying. To this day, these palaces are still jaw dropping sites. At least I’m a sucker for these types of things.

Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre are two photographers that found that their style of photography was so similar, they’d start shooting with the same camera. They documented what the NYT aptly called “Tattered Palaces”.

Their Ruins of Detroit is another fascinating and sobering set.

Of course, there are quite a few palaces left, expecially here in LA. And for those suckers like me, there’s Last Remaining Seats, which is going on right now. Take a look. Continue reading


Posted in 2010, A Put It Up Summer, california, death, drunk post, los angeles, music, the past, videos on June 8, 2010 by Thomas

This song echoed in the school buses of my childhood before we were driving around in our parents cars.

This video reflected on the wood walls of unattended houses under large dark trees.

I remember glaring football stadium lights as we pull onto a road that doesn’t know whether it’s in the country or the city. The smell of dirt, turf and sweat. Boys jeering and trying to one-up each other with the next most depraved band. Tool. Crystals in windows, toys from Elementary school stuffed away in the closet.

Some things to note about this nostalgic curiosity: The lead singer is Mr. Peppermint’s son. Mr. Peppermint was a local PBS favorite a la Mister Rogers (of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood). There is another revealing video of Gibby Haynes that Mr. Greg Fronczak urgently shared with me while abiding at the Lemon Flats.

I realized this song has been floating around in my head lately while I entered into a hypnogogic state on my couch. There was a westward breeze blowing through large tree outside the open bay window.

On another note, the following song has also recently entered into my swampy clustered mind:

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – In The Country

Nice Try

Posted in photos, technology, the past with tags , on April 20, 2010 by John

Life put up a great slideshow of inventions that didn’t quite make it. There were so many to choose from: the cigarette holder for two, the baby cage, neon tires; but I decided to go with an old standby- girls yodeling.

Cary Grant: “He liked to take the trip”

Posted in the past, white people with tags , on March 24, 2010 by John

“I learned many things in the quiet of that room … I learned that everything is or becomes its own opposite … You know, we are all unconsciously holding our anus. In one LSD dream … I imagined myself as a giant penis launching off from earth like a spaceship.” – Cary Grant

A ridiculous and amazing post on WFMU about how Cary Grant was one of the first proponents of LSD.


My Favorite Films This Decade – John

Posted in film, lists, the past on December 19, 2009 by John

#1 Gomorrah-

Powerful from the first shot. There’s lots of beauty in this film’s ugly. The plot reminds me of Italian film at its best. Meticulous mese en scene.


#2 2046-

An entrancing dream. Wong Kar Wai makes some of my favorite fantasies in cinema, and this is his best. He has a shocking command of visual and music. Tony Leung…


#3 The New World-

The cinematography is so engrossing and poetic you almost forget about the story. The drama more than lives up to it though.


#4 Syriana-

So underrated. The best thriller of the decade. So multi-layered it puts you off-balance. Intelligent in all the best ways, and ahead of the curve politically. And it’s brave enough to have scenes in mall parking lots where nothing explodes.


#5 American Psycho-

It creates it’s own bizarre world that makes so much sense. Hilarious and terrible. So many classic scenes. And C. Bale might have created the decade’s best character.


#6 The Royal Tenenbaums-

Anderson at his peak. No self-doubting here. The soundtrack is simply perfect, the jokes rattle off, and the family melodrama comes off organic, even with all the beautiful artifice.

#7 Wall-E-

Pixar with swagger. Bold and beautiful. A sad film. Much love to Chaplin and Keaton (there’s a ton of old Hollywood in here I don’t know too). And when Wall-E’s flying through space, you’re a sucker for the special effects too.

#8 There Will Be Blood-

Looks incredible, sounds incredible, acted incredibly. You watch it and feel like it’s film at it’s fullest potential.

#9 Talk To Her-

Almadovar has a way of making the simple so layered and make the difficult things in life so airy. A joy to watch every time.

#10 Paranoid Park-

Uses a completely different language. With so many films so bad at depicting the life of a teenager, this film is almost shocking to watch. The beautifully simple plot structure orbits around the crime at the center of the story.

10 more. Continue reading