So the other morning as I am sipping a latte, watching TV, reading Emails, listening to Bowie's Hunky Dory at the wrong speed and pitch -- - 8 on 45RPM -- and typing up an AMOEBLOG... multi-tasking, I guess you could say... who should stop by my mountainside cottage but my dear friend Zsa Zsa? She (as usual) makes herself way too comfortable at my place -- pouring herself a large glass of my fresh squeezed orange juice and munching on my very last fresh croissant as she reminded me that David Bowie was one of pop music's early cutNpaste, deconstruction, post-modern type, lyric sampling artists. "Huh. Say what?" I asked confused - stopping typing for a second. As she explained (and a little bit patronizingly in her know-it-all-music-fact way) how Bowie back in da day (the day being the early seventies) would reportedly just flip through books and magazines and literally cut out sentences randomly here and there, and literally paste them all together in any which order - and viola -he had "Panic In Detrot" "Queen Bitch" or "Life on Mars" etc
"Wow" I said - not about Bowie's lazy songwriting techniques but the bright shiny blue pageboy wig I just now noticed she was wearing. I quickly pointed out that M.I.A., who was just at Amoeba Music Berkeley last Saturday to a packed house, also wears a blue wig...just like that but that MIA has been wearing hers for longer - at least for as long ago as she took that single publicity shot that shows up in every story on her these days. .And, somewhat smugly I admit, I noted that so does that Aussie woman chef/baker in the East Bay (Bettie I think her name is) who does a great baked chicken, I hear, and who was featured in the front page of the Food Section of this past Wednesday's San Francisco Chronicle. But that the stylish baker woman's blue hair was not a wig at all but her own real hair - dyed blue of course. All of this I rattled out as I continued to type that day's AMOEBLOG with my back turned to Zsa Zsa. And when I finally swung around in my suede swivel chair expecting to see a look of some kind on her face I realized that I had been talking to myself (again) because she had already split...gone for who knows how long . But I noticed that she had left a magazine on the purple sofa in the hallway. It was one of mine that she had borrowed and on its cover had a picture of a former friend of Madonna's.
Now before you start second guessing that you clicked on the right blog, I’ll explain myself. While I’m known to ogle a pretty gal now and again, the reason for my purchase is for one woman in particular: Sandra Bernhard. There’s a small chance that you and I don’t have the exact same tastes in everything, right? Maybe you don’t think that “Love & Rockets” is one of the finest works of literature in the history of mankind; perhaps you’d disagree that beholding a Rothko in person can be an emotional experience. If you are under 25 and you are reading this, remember this; I think I’ve finally found an answer to the ol’ question “When did the attitudes of the freewheelin’ 60’s shift in the 70’s, and is there an exact date when it was nailed into the proverbial American forehead?” As it happens, you may not always realize what an important moment it is. It may be months or years later when you look back and reflect on that pivotal moment when you first heard some song that you are now obsessed with. I am a big fan of the hand claps. But only if they really work with the songs.
But of all of the interviews he conducted on his NBC program The Tomorrow Show the clip below (in my opinion) is one of the most compelling to watch. It is Snyder's 1980 interview with both John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten) and his Public Image Limited (PIL) band-mate Keith Levene. Bear in mind that by this stage that Rotten as main spokesman of the Sex Pistols had earned a justified reputation as one of the most difficult and unpredictable interviewees for any radio or television host. But watch it and witness how brilliantly Snyder handles his tough subject and how Lydon, used to knocking over - especially older generation - interviewers seems to have finally met his match and has to struggle a bit to keep in character and try to maintain an upper hand.
The end result is a perfect sparring match, with both Snyder and Lydon puffing away on cigarettes, that makes for the most engaging type of TV. Do me a favor: watch it and in the COMMENTS box below rate (on a scale of 1 to 5) both Snyder's and Lydon's performances. EG: Tom = 3, John = 3.
I understand that many of the readers of this AMOEBLOG may not dwell in New York City or be anywhere even close to the East Coast, but the issue that is planned to be protested today (Thursday, August 2nd) in NYC -- fighting the possible ban on our freedom to take photographs in public places in New York City -- is something that seriously affects all of our civil liberties.
Here's the deal with this latest possible ban (bear in mind it may not even happen or may not be enforced even if it is made law) as reported recently by the New York Times and by a New York City politically charged group called NYC 911 Truth. They say that the proposed banning would essentially mean that any non-insured still photographer or filmer, solo and more specifically a team of camera operators, would be targeted by this proposed ban that calls for a requirement of a one million dollar liability insurance policy in addition to a permit for various photography and filming actions that occurs for more then 10 minutes.
Reportedly the city claims it is only enforcing and "adjusting" old permit laws, to justify these actions. The police department has stated it will begin enforcing the laws, as of today August 2nd. Hence the planned protests for today, which are scheduled for protesters to begin gathering at 4:30PM today (Thursday August 2nd) at City Hall, downtown New York City to challenge the Mayor Bloomberg-enduced ban on filming and photography.
If indeed this ban were to fully go into effect (and even in these crazy post 9/11 paranoid times seems unlikely, but possible), the implications would be very great and far-reaching. For example, at one NYC Critical Mass gathering I attended some time back (like in SF, also held on last Friday of the month) there were countless cyclists (unfairly in my opinion) arrested by the ever-vigilant NYPD, who packed them into the backs of Paddy Wagons and hauled their asses off to jail.
Posted earlier this year on YouTube by "AlwaysThrowROCK," the video clip below of street art (mostly murals rather than graffiti) is a collection of stills of pictures taken throughout 2006 around the city of San Francisco in areas such as the Mission District and transferred to a five minute slide show in video format with music soundtrack by The Books. If you live in the Bay or spend any time in the city of SF, many of the pieces will be familar to you already. And you will also notice that there is a lot of street art that is not included, and also some that has already disappeared.