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‘life’ Category

  1. coolest cop ever

    August 3, 2010 by jjosh

  2. it’s Maxine’s birthday today!

    August 2, 2010 by jjosh

    and yes, we're in the Bahamas. hopefully it's pretty sweet…I'm setting this up beforehand…it's a charming animation about first crushes…really well done…got it from ze frank, who is awesome…

  3. mad beatz

    July 30, 2010 by jjosh

    got this from JeffH and it is a good time. as one commenter says on the vid's page: "my day was going mediocre until I saw this."

    Bhangra in the East Village from Derek Beres on Vimeo.

  4. let’s keep this going

    May 28, 2010 by jjosh

    from JG, who got it from JW…this turned my day around for the time I was watching it…good good feeling of natural good…

  5. fightin feets

    May 25, 2010 by jjosh

    this is so entertaining…there's definitely a "hey I didn't know this was going on" vibe to it…the music is so hard…and I can't really tell what makes one kid better than the other, but somehow, I can kind of tell…check what the kidz is into:

    [via SIEGE]

  6. coming up

    May 17, 2010 by jjosh

    it's gonna be slim pickens for a little bit yet folks, we're off to the Adairondacks and PA and DC for shooting for the doc, back on Sunday, will resume posting then, don't panic…I will try to keep the pics and good vibes flowing…

    meantime, to tide you over here's a picture I made of Tupac's body and Steve Jobs's face.

  7. this is why I love Brain Eno

    April 26, 2010 by jjosh

    making your Monday feel better. here's Mr. Eno:

    "If you walk around with the idea that there are some people who are so gifted – they have these wonderful things in their head but you’re not one of them, you’re just a normal sort of person, you could never do anything like that – then you live a different kind of life. You could have another kind of life, where you say, well, I know that things come from nothing very much and start from unpromising beginnings. And I’m an unpromising beginning, and I could start something."

  8. stop being grouchy

    April 21, 2010 by jjosh

    finally, a 3rd party I can get behind. if I vote Bear next election it'll probably do more good than when I voted Nader in 2004…

    [made by the ever-lovin PDvis!]

  9. activity

    February 26, 2010 by jjosh

    So I'm heading out to the UK for a couple of weeks — if the snowwicaine doesn't spoil my plans, which it probably will — so things may be a little more quiet than usual…I've got a couple of posts scheduled in the queue for next week, and I'm taking my phone, so if I can get the international picture send working, I'll post some pics…

    otherwise, I'll see you back here on 3/16…

  10. the tet offensive

    February 23, 2010 by jjosh

    So last night tuesday I went to see Four Tet at Le Poisson Rouge and it was a pretty interesting show. For one thing, it started at 11pm and I'm slowly realizing that I'm not sure I want to do late night shows if I have to go into work in the morning. The crowd was geek-chic, which was cool. The opening guy was really good, I did an iphone film to kind of give you an idea…it's pretty loud on the vid, but you have to imagine it so loud it hurts your ears:

    Then Four Tet was good. His stuff was more subtle, more in sync, better produced. Sometimes this had the unfortunate effect of kind of sounding exactly like he sounds on CD, which tends to bore me at live events. But people were dancing, it got hot, the sound system was killer. After a while, I'd had enough. I thought to myself "I've seen enough of this show now to know that no matter how amazing he gets, it's not going to blow me away." I started to head out, got to the stairs, and then he dropped this track:

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    It stopped me. The bass sample was do deep and great. The sound system there is amazing, and this track came to life in a big way. Amazing.
    It also reminded me of this conversation I had with Wall Matthews last June. Wall is one of the owners and the main music writer for Clean Cuts, this audio house we work with a bunch. Great people, and Wall is a totally nice guy, talented. (Plus his kids are these hip hop beat makers who've done beats for 2Pac, Bone Thugs, etc. Legit.)
    Anyway, in the 70's, Wall was in this band called The Ensemble or something, with a bunch of other folks. One of the women he was in the band with is now a teacher, and for one of her classes, she did this music appreciation thing where she had her students come in and play a song they liked for the class. Then they'd discuss, etc.
    So this one kid comes in and plays a Four Tet track, and she recognizes the guitar part as being sampled from this song that The Ensemble did! She's blown away! Can you imagine? It's so random. You hear this modern electronic track and it has a part from your old band from the 70's. Amazing.
    (When Wall told me this story I was well on my way to being drunk (Promax) and I'm pretty sure I over-reacted to it in a completely over-the-top manner. But it is pretty wild.)
    She tells Wall, they hunt down the album, and it's confirmed. Then the story takes a old school vs. new school flavor. They get a lawyer and contact Four Tet and basically make him pay some royalties to them for sampling the track. Boooo. When telling me the story Wall was old school adamant "C'mon Josh, he lifted like the entire part! He didn't play anything!" I did my best to make the argument that part of the talent of the sampler (the person who samples) is the ability to dig into a crate of old obscure records and find some great bit and then re-contextualize it. This didn't go down as well as I hoped, but we kind of left it with a "agree to disagree" kind of thing.
    This is the track that has the sample, it's a pretty good one:

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    And then I did a search for Wall and The Ensemble and came up with this gem. The part Four Tet sampled starts around 1:30ish I think. this clip has such a solid freak-out vibe…it's classic. If you know Wall, this is going to blow your mind…if you don't, well, I'm not sure what you'll think…
    Anyway, it was a pretty good show, amazing sound, and too late. By the time I got out of there I was so beat…next time I'm gonna look at the show time before buying the tix…

  11. a jester unemployed

    January 29, 2010 by jjosh

    KFan's post on knowing random songs makes me remember…

    Lisa and Lars had their wedding out in the middle of rural Maryland, near where Lars's parents had a summer house. It was the middle of nowhere, in a forest by a river. Everyone who attended camped out, the ceremony was held in the forest, and afterwords the reception was held in a clearing in the forest around a giant bonfire. Drinking and much hilarity ensued. I remember at one point we were trying to roast marshmallows but the fire was so huge and fierce that we had to get branches that were like 15 feet long to put the marshmallows on. Otherwise it would scorch your face off.

    I was talking for a while to Damien G, who I didn't really know that well. We were well on the way to being drunk, and somehow got to talking about how awesome Danny Kaye is (I would love to read a transcript as to how we got to that point!)…this led to me bringing up the best DK film, The Court Jester. When my family lived in the UK and had just gotten our first VCR, one of the first things we taped was a Channel 4 airing of The Court Jester, and my sister and I would watch that thing over and over. We got to the point where we could do most of the dialogue, and pretty much all of the songs. When we came back to the US, my dad got a special VCR and TV so we could still watch PAL VHS tapes, and KT and I would have a viewing every now and then.

    When I brought it up to Damien he exclaimed how much HE loved the film too. And then we were off, singing the songs and stumbling around. It was amazing, our knowledge was so solid, we were rocking the songs so hard. Everyone else was looking at us like, what the hell? It was like a moment out of a musical brought to life. You know? Like those moments where everything was moving like normal life and then suddenly 2 characters burst into song and somehow they know all the words. It was amazing.

    (the last time I saw The Court Jester was fantastic, Maxine put together a whole surprise birthday for me at a Diner and everyone at the party watched it while we ate onion rings and drank milkshakes…)

    Even now I sometimes find myself singing the main Jester song to myself. I mean, check the rhyme scheme, it's so sweet…say it out loud, feel how well constructed it is:

    when I was a lad, I was gloomy and sad as I was from the day I was born

    when other babes gurgled and giggled and wiggled, I loudly was proudly forlorn

    this slice of nostalgia and niceness and decency and good old-fashioned humor should make up for the creepiness of the previous post, right?

  12. Mr Tall and mr small

    January 22, 2010 by jjosh

    All you really need is this caption: World's Tallest Man meets World's Smallest Man.

    [via the fantastic Miss Fidget, her blog is a hoot!]

  13. encased in Amber

    January 5, 2010 by jjosh

    When I was 13 the pinncle of my life so far was walking downtown with Amber Stein on Wednesdays after school. She was blonde, pretty and in with the popular kids. We were only pals because I sat next to her in biology and I could make her laugh by cracking jokes about Mr. Loy’s armpit stains. 

    I had a huge crush on Amber and it was exciting to spend that half hour with her every week. I was heading downtown anyway because Wednesday was when the new comics came out at the Twilite Zone. After seeing Amber to her door, I would go get that week’s comics and then head over to the Market House where you could get a paper bowl full of thick-cut potato fries for a couple of bucks. The Market House didn’t have seats, but you could stand by one of the big windows overlooking Main Street, and that’s what I’d do, standing there eating potatoes and reading comics and basking in the afterglow of Amber Stein’s presence.

    One walk home in particular I remember because she had really bad menstrual cramps and she told me about them. This was weirdly thrilling to the 13 year old me. She asked if I wanted to know what they felt like and I said yes. She took her fist and slowly pushed it into my stomach. It kind of hurt, but I couldn’t believe it! Touching!

    Nothing ever came of the crush. I was too nervous, and 13, and really actually more into the comics and the potatoes, both of which seemed a lot safer and less nerve-wracking than Amber Stein.

    Later, at our 15 year High School reunion I felt the need to go all sitcom cliché and tell her that I had had a huge crush on her. I told my friend Dave M that this is what I was going to do and he said it was a bad idea. I went over to her. I was wearing a sandy brown turtleneck sweater.

    “Hey Amber.”

    “Oh, hey Josh.”

    “Hey Amber, you know, I just wanted to let you know, I mean, back in junior high when we used to hang out, I had the biggest crush on you.”

    “Wow, what do you do now, you look dressed like you’re a writer. You wanna know what I do? I’m a personal care assistant. I go to old people’s homes and wipe their asses basically. It fucking sucks. I get paid to clean up old people’s shit. Can you believe it?”

    I got out of there.

    When I told Dave M how it all went down he burst out laughing. Thinking about it now it seems weird to me that these two heavily weighted memories of Amber Stein both have to do with bodily functions. Something primal there, fluids and all that.

    Best not to think about it too much probably.

  14. a saga must end

    December 21, 2009 by jjosh

    So after spending all day yesterday in the airport, we finally got on a plane. And after spending a while sitting on that plane, we finally took off. We waited hours and hours, just to fly for approx 1 hour flight time. We landed in Philly and it was a weird ghost town. The rest of the US Air flights to NYC were canceled, and after a showdown with a rep to try and get us on a Continental flight we finally admitted defeat, rented a car and spent the rest of the longest night of the year driving home.

    Where we arrived late last night. Nice. Dropped the rental back at JFK today, and picked up our bags, which had made it to New York even though we couldn’t. When I saw those bags I was so amazed…

    Well nature, it’s been fun, thanks for playing, we’ll see you next time…


  15. re-entry…

    December 14, 2009 by jjosh

    This banner is from Hawaii, one of last days there when Maxine directed us to this beach and reef on the South side of Oahu…it was gorgeous…because it was a wildlife refuge, before you were allowed in they made you watch a video about not walking on the reef or feeding the animals…sure enough, while there we saw tons (!) of people walking on the reef and feeding the animals. It was nuts! WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!?!?! Do they really just not get it? How much heavier can the message get than to have to watch a MANDATORY video. Infuriating.

    Maxine took the above pic, as well as this random sampling of other shots below…

    Probably the best thing we did on the whole trip was when we went to the island of Kauai…it was smaller than Oahu, we stayed in a B&B two blocks from the beach, in the town of Hanalei — which is mentioned in Puff the Magic Dragon! "…and frolicked in the autumn mist, of a land called Hanalei…" That’s where we took the helicopter trip that blew all of our minds. This is the coast of the island, featuring a perilous hiking trail.

    This was a painter named Alex that Maxine befriended. We ended up buying a pen and ink drawing from him, he was pretty interesting. Kauai was full of interesting and friendly characters.

    It was completely weird that it would be sunny and warm with a slight breeze and everyone would be going "Hey, it feels like Christmas!" There’d be all these Santas and Christmas decorations going up, and you’d be in shorts. It messed with my head. The weirdest thing by far was that they’ve kept all the snow assocations with Christmas, so you’d also see all these snowmen and polar bears and snowflakes, even though there’s not a hint of cold anywhere. This one cracked me up every time, with Santa dressed for cold and on a polar bear, but between two flaming tikki torches.

    The first morning after we arrived in Kauai we were pretty jet-lagged and ended up waking up before the sunrise. Maxine and I walked down to the beach and the moon was huge and bright, setting on the horizon. Magnificent. Katie had been telling me about how on every vacation she likes to get a fake-perspective photo, even though it’s goofy. So Maxine took this one of me, and it kind of takes my breath away. One of my favorite shots of the whole vacation.