- a) facts about the large hadron collider
- b) things I ran into while riding a motorized scooter on my family vacation
- c) animals doing people things
Thursday, December 31, 2009
5. Werner Herzog's film adaptation of A People's History of the United States is just an 40-year-old white man in a red Mustang convertible parked on a suburban California talking to a blonde girl in a bikini
4. Me and Big Tigger and Julissa in a limosine watching a fictional Biggie and Mary J. Blige video
3. Swimming in the Japanese Underwater Museum and then flying around with a dolphin lady
2. Playing dominos on a giant manta ray in the Philadelphia airport
1. About a dozen orange tabby cats lamping in a tree
LAST VISIT FROM DAP IN 2009: ARBITRARY ASSEMBLAGE OF STORIES AND IMAGES VAGUELY CORRESPONDING TO THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS
These are ten images and a few "stories" tossed together so I can get in a year-end list like everybody else. I love you all, faithful (and faithless) readers and would love for you to email pictures of yourselves to me immediately (or ASAP!). HERE. WE. GO!
Rob Leitzell (famous film director) was filming something for his NYU Film class at Chris, Kate and Ray's old place on McKibbin Street. Me and Hima had brief parts so while other filming was going on a bunch of us would sit in the hallway and eat pizza and smoke cigarettes and drink beer and be told to shut up. I took off my all-white Nike Blazers with rainbow laces and left them outside for maybe ten minutes. When I came back to get them, they were gone. Later that night, Hima was looking for his shoes that he had left inside. One was found but the other was missing. I had to wear a gigantic pair of silver glitter platform boots home all the way to Jefferson Street (several blocks away) while Mexican dudes laughed at me (which was awesome). Someone gave Hima pair of Pumas he still wears to this very day.
His other shoe was never found, even when they moved out...
One night Quinn Walker (of the band Suckers and general good-dudeness) repeatedly claimed to have gotten into a fight with fifteen (then twenty, then thirty) dudes outside a bar. He had no cuts or bruises and appeared to be in a very good mood.
I spilled an entire frozen box of peas I had microwaved into a silverware drawer at some random's house, I was very drunk and began to clean the drawer. I cleaned maybe 80 percent of it, but then saw several roaches inside the drawer and freaked out and didn't finish. I don't think I did anything wrong but I'm sorry. SORRY ABOUT WASTING THE PEAS YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!
Stuffed Petite (part of the Gordon Gartrelle Group) in 2010 and if you're in the mood for more funny pictures, search for "A Visit from Kate" (who I hear now goes by DA BADDEST BITCH and has like thirteen piercings?). Adios!
...AND KEEP THE CHANGE YOU FILTHY ANIMAL!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I just had a series of a two interconnected dreams. In the first dream I was walking around an insanely terrifying and dilapidated neighborhood with my dude Lonny that vaguely resembled Canarsie. Lonny kept informing me that it was "Church Ave." As we're walking around (there were fiends and homeless people everywhere) we ran into an old white man in a tweed blazer (the tweed blazer is exactly the same as the one on the chair behind me that somebody lent me) started harassing me until I started kicking him in the ribs over and over again and ran away. It suddenly became day, I was alone in the "same place" but it no longer resembled anything from the night before and was actually quite beautiful. I was part of a gigantic film crew who were filming explosions across the predawn sky. At one point I started hearing screaming and the faint image of an airship (somewhat shaped like a cartoon fish) started appearing in the night sky. All of a sudden it exploded and huge chunks of it (which for some reason were made of concrete) started hurtling and rolling down the main avenues, crushing cars and destroying buildings. The next part of the dream is very hazy but I ended up at Madison Square Garden. I was part of some crazy refugee camp that was lying on the court and when I woke up I saw the rapper Common (who was like 7 feet tall) dribbling a basketball and running with another dude (both in Knicks uniforms) to practice. I said "WADDUP MAN" and he ignored me (even though in the dream I knew him well?) and I was pretty angry.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
5) Baby Animals: Cute or Not?
4) An Inquiry Into Notable Historical Figures #1: The Habsburg Chin
3) Can a Jew Catch Swine Flu?
2) Makin' Fun of People Who Are More Talented Than Me
1) Steven Hawking Has a Case of the Floaties
Subterfuge at the Zoo!
Gazing Wistfully Toward the Future
Saturday, December 26, 2009
i posted this in the comments but Despot's number 4 opening rap line he could think of at that moment because he could probably remember more
4. "Ayo we light a candle, run laps around the english channel" : Noreaga
reminded me of this old noreaga interview where he explains the gem:
LSD- Not to change the subject entirely, but can you explain “Light a candle, run laps
around the English Channel, Neptunes’ got a cocker spaniel”?
N- Well, when you light a candle, that’s saluting your dead peoples. Light a Candle.
And then, what’s the English Channel? It’s a big pool of water and it’s overseas.So I’m
trying to say that when I light a candle I’m that strong that I can run laps around the
English Channel. And Neptunes [producers featured prominently on Noreaga’s two solo
albums] have a cocker spaniel. ‘Cause they homo.
LSD- Oh. All right.
N- Neptunes is homo. You won’t hear another Neptunes track again on Noreaga again in
your life. I didn’t know that they hand was broken. [makes limp-wristed gesture]
LSD- Is this a recent discovery?
N- It’s a recent discovery after the “Oh No” video. After money had the tight choker on
in that video. And we started asking questions, and people from Virginia started telling
us that he’s a straight Flagrino. And he takes it up the ass. I cut him off.
LSD- Even though the beats–
N- Fuck the beats! [laughter]
I can’t fuck with nobody that Mohammed used to throw off the hill. You know,
Mohammed used to take all the homo niggas in the village, and he’d take ‘em to the top
of the hill and he tricked them. He’d tell ‘em ‘Yo, jump down there’, and when they'd
jump down there, they killed they. We don’t fuck with homo. I like lesbians,
though. I’ma stand up–I like lesbians and dykes. If you’re lesbian and dyke you’re okay
to me, but if you’re a homo, I don’t even like you.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
okay so I guess us Gordheads are doing our oblogatory (i get extra points for that one) year-end best-of lists, because if we don't, then we'll be immediately ejected out of the blogosphere, and sent into the greater internet void that lies beyond (the farmville-osphere). So I now submit for the approval of the Permanent Midnight Society:
(note: it's irrelevant whether the youtubes were produced or released in 2009 – it's that they were thrown up on GG this year. We outlive time, yo.)
• Best Youtube I Just Posted:
David Byrne Interviews David Byrne
Runner Up: Cecco Beppe (the thing with the futurist scratch-n-sniff cat)
• Best Youtube I Posted That Still Has An Absurdly Low View Count:
Dagsrevyen (description: "Music video, it is a murder ballad")
Runner Up: Eggroll on NY Public Access, 1987. Also James Brown's Japanese Miso Soup commercial.
• Best Music Video Only On Youtube:
Glitter Grit by Sharkula
Runner Up: The Passenger by a bunch of Dutch preteen girls
• Best Youtube I Posted That Someone Already Posted:
the She's Gone video by Hall n'f'n Oates [originally upped by heemz]
Runner Up: Hah! I only did this once! So far.
• Best Youtube I Totally Forgot to Post:
Andrew WK does the local weather
Runner Up: Robocop steals a Korean family's "fried chicken"
• Best Youtube Someone Else on GG Posted:
Floating Dog [via dap]
Runner Up: Highlights from Wildwood, NJ [VIA DAP AGAIN]
• Best Youtube Posted First on Everything Is Terrible:
Runner Up: Don't Talk to Strangers singalong 4 kidz!
• Still the Best Youtube of All Time:
Toby y Sheila (the beagle and the duck)
Runner Up: Let's Paint, Exercise, & Blend Drinks! all at once.
And in the technical categories:
• Best Interview (between two different people):
Dallas Penn and the Tron Guy on the Tron Economy.
• Best Concert Ever:
James Brown, Michael Jackson, and Prince
• Best Music Video (that was somehow released somewhere other than youtube):
Don't Cry by Guns n' Roses.
• Best Training Video:
REMEMBER SMENS for cops.
• Best Youtube Under 20 seconds:
TIE BETWEEN Arnold and Verhooven's DVD Commentary AND Four Seconds in the Life of Jordan Fish
That's it! Thanks for tuning in.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I'm Indian. Im also American. I'm not technically Indian though. I am technically American, having been born here, but I don't really "feel" American. I do feel confused. Oh man.
Gordon Gartrelle was started as somewhere I could rant about music, events, news, and whatever I really felt like. Often I felt like posting about things related to the subcontinent. (See: here, here, or here). It wasn't a conscious decision to create a blog related to South Asia but more a result of where my interests lie. For example, for the last 6 years or so I have not been able to read fiction that wasn't written by a South Asian or member of the South Asian Diaspora (Junot Diaz being a huge outlier). I am not proud of this but it's just what my brain likes thinking about. It's wired that way. I awno.
Anywho, like the Top 5 from Nick from Islands and Despot who have toured together and are buds, todays two top 5s share something in common as well. Though their output is very different, they're both musicians who in some way identify with being Indian. I'd also like to preface these lists with the fact that I didn't suggest any topic to either of these dudes. They were free to list whatever they want.
Vijay Iyer is an insanely talented pianist, composer, bandleader, producer, electronic musician, and writer based in New York City. According to Wikipedia, "after completing an undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics at Yale when he was 20, Iyer then went to Berkeley to do a Ph.D. in physics." Also from Wiki "Iyer received the 2003 Alpert Award in the Arts, a 2006 Fellowship from New York Foundation for the Arts, and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital, the Cary Charitable Trust, American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, and Meet The Composer."
Vijay Iyer makes me feel like a slacker. If he was a cousin of mine, he'd be the one my parents constantly pointed towards as an example of who I should be. That said, unlike my actual cousins, he wouldn't be the type to revel in that. On the sly he'd hook me up with beer and tell me "not to stress about it" and "focus on the music". And he wouldn't be a hypocrite in telling me to do so.
This past year Iyer has appeared on Wadada Leo Smith's "Spiritual Dimensons" (Cuneiform) and Talvin Singh's "OK Remixes" (Island). His jazz trio album "Historicity" (Act Music) was released this past October and I have not been able to stop listening to it. After not having listened to Jazz since my freshman year of college I put his cover of "Mystic Brew" on and have been hooked since. The album even featured a cover of MIA's "Galang". For your enjoyment, here he is with his trio performing that cover. Matter fact, if you dont enjoy this YOU COULD BE OUT THOUGH:
I'll be interviewing him for Gordon Gartrelle soon, but in the mean time Vijay was kind enough to sit down and do not one, but two Top 5 lists for us. Here you go:
Vijay Iyer's Top Five Misspellings of His Last Name:
Vijay Iyer's Five Desis on TV Right Now (complete with Editor's Wikipedia links):
(Update: I originally listed this as Vijays Top 5 but its actually just his 5; period)....
Anand Wilder has the coolest name I could possibly think of. I'm a fan of wilding, as you may know. Sidebar: look at this funny picture of Anand I found on the web:
Hahaha. Oh man. Let me find a less hilarious one. Let's see:
Okay. That's more serious. Right. Anand writes music for, plays guitar amongst other instruments, and contributes vocals in Yeasayer who came to recognition with their AWESOME All Hour Cymbals last year or the year before. This year has seen the release of their lead single "Ambling Alp" (video below), from their upcoming LP Odd Blood (2/9, Secretly Canadian).
The album recently leaked BUT DON'T DOWNLOAD IT ILLEGALLY. I probably would have but Anand asked me if I did a couple of days ago and I said "nah yo" so I'm going to stick with it.
Dude was kind enough to make a top 5 list for us. I was recently chatting with him about plans I was making to leave New York and head to India for a few months to clear my head. I've since postponed those plans but he was nice enough to make me a special list. Without further adieu, here is Anand Wilder of Yeasayer's:
Top 5 Things Hima/Heems Should Bring With Him on His "I Just Got Fired and I Gotta Get My Life Together so I'm Heading to India" Trip:
4. Guide Book
3. Journal (for rap music Raps and other inner thoughts)
2. Cameras- Video and Still
1. Emergency anti-diarrheal pills and antibiotics
That was thoughtful bro. Though I saw number 1 coming from like a mile away. Every brown knows that.
Top 5 Films of 2009
These are the movies I liked the most in 2009.
Where the Wild Things Are - Taught me and baby lady an efficient emotional shorthand for saying goodbye to each other for like five whole fucking days, oh no I love you: "Awoooooo!" (Not to be confused with the Shakira song "Awoooo!" which isn't nearly as mournful or regressive, but I still thought it was cute and okay. I don't really listen to music… mainly podcasts.) Spike Jonze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Say it like "Mike Jones!!!!") People get hyphy that Max runs out of his house instead of his room turning into an ocean, but this is an important narrative choice, which you'll find different versions of in Up and Avatar: A DREAM-LIKE FANTASY WORLD IS MORE FUN WHEN IT "REALLY" EXISTS WITHIN OR ADJACENT TO NORMAL LIFE. It shouldn't be a dream, an internal thing, it should be this ecstatic realist Herzogian delight in knowing that you could run out of your house and physically find such sights and hurting things. Jonze's Wild Things is an intimate (im)perfect film that comes and goes and runs and throws and will keep doing that forever.
A Serious Man - A movie that does everything with plot. This is plot as spectacle. An exercise in storytelling, the film circles around the head of a Midwestern Jewish math teacher haplessly rushing from Rabbi to Rabbi, seeking answers to his mounting stack of troubles and getting only slammed in the face physically and spiritually, repeatedly. Here we have a dense, uplifting movie about nihilism and trembling in fear before annihilation. Two shots of Richard Kind, one of him drinking a large can of pineapple juice in the dark, the other a low-angle shot of him in a bathing suit, are the funniest laughs I had at the movies in 09. Some good jokes about hebrew school!
Fantastic Mister Fox - I rewatched Life Aquatic right before seeing this and felt like I "got it" more. I just rolled more with the sensitized detachment, the tragicomic adventure plus familiar familial turmoil, the self-nostalgia, the boyishness, and found it a balls-out brilliant movie. Felt pretty much the same here, but sleepier and hungrier (like a baby). Fantastic Fox movie is cute and wild and prim and handmade and joyful, full of dancing and eating and drinking and stealing. I like watching these rambunctious critters digging and getting thrown around in sewer pipes full of apple juice, furious actions reduced to mannerisms so the characters could have a conversation during them. Pure Wes Anderson; (it's not a departure in the slightest, yet it's animated, so that's interesting). A pure good time. (First half was more on its toes than the extended search and rescue finalé.) A fact is that they recorded the voice actors outside or underground and in other places to try to match the acoustics and mood of the setting that the animated scene was in. I like that choice. I like all the tiny-ass choices.
PAUSE: THIS WAS A BOYISH-ASS YEAR AT THE MOVIES OH WAIT SO IS EVERY YEAR AT THE MOVIES. I MISSED JULIE AND JULIA. MERYL STREEP 4 PRESIDENT 2016! I ALSO MISSED THE HURT LOCKER, FUNNY PEOPLE, BEESWAX, DISTRICT 9, WATCHMEN, ME AND ORSON WELLES, UP IN THE AIR AND JANKY PROMOTERS WHICH IS 1 OF THE GREATEST MOVIE TITLES OF THE LAST HUNDRED. I WAS NOT IMPRESSED BY THE SHINY STAR TREK.
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans Nicholas Cage knows how to play his drugs. He goes in really hard, but you love him. There's a great scene where you think he's gonna use his prostitute girlfriend as a bargaining chip, but it's a clever, heavy, believable rouse to get the bad guys out. I can't believe how much you love this fucked up mess of a dude. Also, this is just a great procedural crime movie, well-shot, well-paced, well-lit, cheap in only the best ways. But when we get the smooth architecturally-astute takedown, we get Cage pocketing a bag of weed and giving us a big goofy "I love this! …I just love it," along the way. CSI: BATSHIT SWAMPLAND. We should call him Saint Nicholas cause he just gives and gives and gives, and so does the film. Like the original BLt.,, the fall down the pit is shocking but it's a slow boil, not set up as a lame challenge to the audience or afraid of glamorization so it goes nuclear (e.g. moralistic crypto-porno trash like Requiem For a Dream or Thirteen), and it goes even slower here, which is what makes it so much fun to ride with, and sad (in a real way) at the same time. "Sometimes I have bad days." Xzibit is really good. I can't imagine Werner Herzog on the set directing this, it's a huge departure for him. Let's see him do something really really huge next. Let him do the film version of What is the What or the next Hannibal movie. Hannibal Writhing. dumb…
Public Enemies - Michael Mann is not afraid. Michael Mann tells a story through images. Rough, exquisite, sharp, cool, gritty, skewed pictures (and sounds) that sometimes look like the making of documentary has been abruptly cut into the movie. Film isn't film. It's images and sounds doing their work. To this end, fine actors like Marion Cotillard and Johnny Depp are some of your most important tools, as are Viper cameras (many of them). In the 1930s, everyone was walking around feeling like "this is real life." And bank robber John Dillinger was bigger than any movie star or movie screen. He was real life. I don't want to say much more except that this movie MAKES SENSE and IS SEXY.
Avatar - I was watching some talking head interview on youtube today after seeing Avatar last night, and found myself quietly asking, "hey, what's with that background? why isn't it deeper, subtly cuing my perception to the spatial arrangement of the scene?" I was wondering on-reflex why a perfectly normal youtube video wasn't stereoscopic. I just felt like I was missing something, and could use more. You don't get that feeling from great technology. You need great art to articulate it, to show you how supple and important it might be to your life. I'm sleepy but basically this movie is a huge cultural development on the scale of Titanic except instead of weepy walls covered with posters yearning to be authentic, you're going to see increasingly advanced forms of altered, transportative digital consciousness, as a means to achieving raw sensual pleasure. A lot of Avatar is about action scenes! Avatar is about loving CG characters with big eyes because they understand you, because you were raised by them, and they were raised by us/them to be perfected idealized versions of ourselves, children and teachers both. We make noble Gods in our own image, savagely savvy enough to have evolved an organic dreadlock datalink. Which is going to be real. Avatar is going to be real. Believe it while you wear the glasses and then later when you don't have to wear them because they made it so you don't have to wear them any more. Just keep going to the big rooms with the pictures and the strangers because y'know it smells good and it's pretty quiet like living in a really big tree.
Oh that's six movies. And I still didn't tell you that Up is very very good, especially the first ten minutes which are a rapid-fire, hyper-tender life machine for your love. Also Ponyo is adorable and really weird. I love that central anime conflict of trying to decide if this weird thing is a human i'm allowed to fall in love with, i think because it echoes my reservations about why and how that theme would appeal to me. Should have seen some more foreign movies. Should have seen Tulpan.
Monday, December 21, 2009
\\\\\\\\ Top 5 List of Lists from Nick Diamonds of Islands + Top 5 Opening Rap Lines He Could Think of Right Now from Rapper/Contributor Despot
I try not to talk about it here because I talk about it everywhere else but I am in a band; a rap group I suppose. Being in a band means sometimes you hang out with and play shows with other bands. People in bands can often be funny and fun to hang out with. One band I played a show with is called Islands and they are fronted by Nick Diamonds who is funny and fun to hang out with. Islands dropped a record called Vapours this year. Do yourself or a friend a favor and buy their record here for the holidays.
I asked a bunch of our buds, including Nick, to make a top 5 list of whatever they feel like and was lucky enough to get some cool stuff returned to me in my GMAIL inbox. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Over the next few days we'll have Top 5 lists coming in from our buds, starting with Nick from Islands. Without further adieu, here is Nick Diamonds from Islands Top 5 List of Lists:
3. Year-end Best of Lists
2. Craigslist (subcategory: missed connections)
1. The list of potential symptoms to undiagnosed diseases I may potentially have at http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/
Honourable Mention: Schindler's List
Here is DESPOT's list of "Top 5 Opening Rap Verse Lines That Popped Into my Head Right at This Moment Because I Know There Are Some Better Ones but I Don't Want to Think About It."
5. "First off, I don't even LIKE this beat" : Lil Wayne
4. "Ayo we light a candle, run laps around the english channel" : Noreaga
3. "Peep the second part, yo" : Noreaga
2. "Ray Charles, is gay yall" : Camu Tao
1. "My name is Huggy Bear I get thrown outta parties" : Huggy Bear
Tribeca Retail Club
invite you to
Holiday Load in 09
Mix. Mingle. Discover.
between walker & white
4P – 10P
*cocktail hour starts at 8pm*
loving lavishly & extravagantly
ALSO, we'll have year end lists coming from various AWESOME friends, musicians, writers, and etc. etc.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I am a dancer. Everybody knows it. And I grew up dancing to Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints alongside Janet and Michael and Bob. Yeah, Bena, whoever you are, you reminded me. Paul Simon is amazing.
What I want to talk about is stupid shit like authenticity and propriety and cultural theft etc. I want to hate on this dood for shit like Mother and Child Reunion:
Wiki describes it as "one of the first examples of reggae attempted by a white person." But it goes on to mention that Simon used Jimmy Cliff's backing band. There's a lot to say about Jimmy Cliff, but that's for another time. Point here, seems like Paul Simon really just loved the music. Not to mention that this was his first post-Garfunkle solo album and it is not a "reggae" album by any means. See the last vid in this post. Also, this album has that other jam, that Wes Anderson fave, which is a hot cut and not some muddy cultural amalgam. Sic.
I'm getting away from myself here. What I really want to talk about is Graceland, which dood recorded in '85 in Johannesburg with a whole bunch of African musicians. Everybody knows this album and if they don't they can go away. So look here, this video is questionably questionable, especially the opening montage, especially that it was shot in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, whatever whatever. But....
Look how fucking happy that guitarist is!!! Does that make this allright? Does the fact that the song is amazing and starts out with a tight accordian lick make this fine? Is there no way this can be fine? Is it just the fact that my half-blackness has hypersensitized me to everything that Whites and Blacks do in relation to one another?
Okay, another, same concert, but now you line up Ladysmith Black Mambazo and have them do awesome dances....
in front of a mostly black audience. And then the question arises, well, who was the concert actually for? Is he showcasing African culture for Blacks, or for Whites around the world? Does it matter? The song is great, but is it patronizing? And if it is, is the song not great? No wait, the song is great. Should we just thank him for that?
I wouldn't give up Graceland and my childhood of dancing around to You Can Call Me Al for anything, especially not simply in an effort to clear up cultural questions. When dood stayed home in White America he wrote amazing songs too, ones I listen to a lot actually, like this real killer, also off his first solo jam:
So, I guess I haven't figured out anything. Paul Simon made music alone as a whitey and in collaboration with darkies. I like both. Any thoughts?
Minorityfest 2009 was a great success. Thanks you to everyone who came, participants and audience alike. Also, Glasslands for being awesome and letting us do this. Here are some photos by the homie Jason Lalor (video(s) coming soon!). Click to enlarge, DUH!: