"Don't rock the jukebox; I wanna hear some Jones. 'Cause my heart ain't ready for the Rolling Stones."
I just returned from my annual trek to Dallas, which is always a bit depressing, but it's "home." Dallas is sort of the nexus where God meets commerce, with the former and its cognates of tradition and morality always losing out to the latter. All a moneyed interest has to do is play to the ideal Dallas existing in the minds of its citizens, and the local governing body will allow just about any historical site to be torn down. Hell, this largely conservative population will even vote for increased taxes if sports are involved. (As parochial wisdom has it, sports -- despite being universally popular -- are part of our Southern essence; God bless the Cowboys.) Consequently, the town itself (which, due to white flight, is more Dallas County than just Dallas these days) has little charm or uniqueness -- i.e., no sense of place -- left to it. It exists as pure concept, which is why it's a great place to be from, just not to live. To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, thar ain't no thar thar. Anyway, I have friends in Austin, so I use them as a good excuse to go to the one true Texan town, Austin (although many of its long-term residents wouldn't agree -- but they ought to try living in Dallas). After listening to the Townes compilation that I brought with me, I discovered that my aunt had removed the cds I leave in her car for this particular occasion. That meant once more through Townes and then on to the accursed Texas radio.
Now, listen to this, and I'll tell you 'bout the TexasI'm no Morrison scholar and can't say I pay much attention to his lyrics, but naming a song about Texas radio "The Wasp" captures what often passes for culture there: bourgeois consumerism in place of illusory country values. I've yet to hear King Bob Wills on the radio (including the 25 years when I was a resident), but I always get my yearly dose of Van Hagar and 50 Cent every time I visit, just by using the scan function on the car radio. And if you ever wonder why bands that used to be called nü-metal are still putting out albums, out yonder is the answer. It all is the continuing (de-)evolution that I remember from high school, where all the wannabe cowpolks in FFA used to wear dusters and cowboy boots. They would pull into the school parking lot alternately blasting RUN-DMC or Reba from their shortbeds. They exaggerated their drawl and said stuff like "bulldoggyshit." Urban Cowboy was lost on them, if they saw it at all, taking it as another fashion code rather than a lament for dying cowboy authenticity within modernity's sprawl. Unfortunately, even as a fashion statement, it was already out of date for these future suburban cowboys.
I'll tell you 'bout the Texas Radio
I'll tell you 'bout the hopeless night
Wandering the Western dream
Tell you 'bout the maiden with wrought iron soul
-- The Doors, The Wasp
This interview with Orson Welles by New Wave assistant director and Cahiers critic Charles Bitsch and film critic André Bazin reminded me of why The Bourne Ultimatum won the Oscar for editing this year:
For me, almost everything that is called mise en scène is a big joke. In the cinema, there are very few people who are really metteurs-en-scène; there are very few who have ever had the opportunity to direct. The only mise en scène of real importance is practiced in the editing. I needed nine months to edit Citizen Kane, six days a week. Yes, I edited [The Magnificent] Ambersons, despite the fact that there were scenes not by me, but my editing was modified. The basic editing is mine and, when a scene of the film holds together, it is because I edited it. In other words, everything happens as if a man painted a picture: he finishes it and someone comes to do the touch up, but he cannot of course add paint all over the surface of the canvas. I worked months and months on the editing of Ambersons before it was taken away from me: all this work is thus there, on the screen. But for my style, for my vision of cinema, the editing is not one aspect, it is the aspect. Directing is an invention of people like you; it is not an art, or at most an art for a minute a day. This minute is terribly crucial, but it happens only very rarely. The only moment where one can exercise any control over a film is in the editing. But in the editing room, I work very slowly, which always unleashes the temper of the producers who snatch the film from my hands. I don’t know why it takes me so much time: I could work forever on the editing of a film. For me, the strip of celluloid is put together like a musical score, and this execution is determined by the editing; just like a conductor interprets a piece of music in rubato, another will play it in a very dry and academic manner and a third will be very romantic, and so on. The images themselves are not sufficient: they are very important, but are only images. The essential is the length of each image, what follows each image: it is the very eloquence of the cinema that is constructed in the editing room.
After seventy years, Jerome Siegel’s heirs regain what he granted so long ago – the copyright in the Superman material that was published in Action Comics Vol. 1. What remains is an apportionment of profits, guided in some measure by the rulings contained in this Order, and a trial on whether to include the profits generated by DC Comics’ corporate sibling’s exploitation of the Superman copyright. -- Judge Larson
A nonprofit night of collaboration and experimentation embracing the
concepts of improvisation in any genre and any sound.
Created as a labor of love by a handful of Amoeba employees, it is
designed to be a space for people to step outside of what they
normally do and collaborate with others in an unexpected live setting.
IZZY COX: VOODOO MURDER BALLAD QUEEN
The Muse Project (burlesque/cabaret): Featuring Uni and her Ukelele
along with Tippy Canoe
Kawaiietly Please with Japanese Extreme Super Sushi Chef Assassin Kung
Fu Master Masochist Percussionist TAKA
END.USER (breakcore.sonic insanity)
Live 16mm film projection, manipulations & hand-painted slides by Televega
Vegan Delicacies by Komeme
Live Painting by Hive Gallery Artists
Vinyl Records & Other Giveaways by Amoeba & KXLU
We have quite a few visual artists doing live painting for this show.
Here they are:
Amoeba Music & KXLU present: undergounDNUOS
@ Charlie Os (downtown at the Alexandria Hotel)
501 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, 90013
THIS SHOW IS FREE!
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
-- Lee Greenwood
Depicting beauty gets a free pass compared to depicting violence. Mankind's history of brutality indicates that violence is as much -- if not more -- a determining factor in the creation of what now constitutes civilized self than our love for beautiful things. Why, then, no "that portrait of the beautiful Contessa is pure exploitation?" Accusations of exploitation only enter when there's a gaping wound involved (or prurient nudity, which is objected to on the grounds that it does violence to its subject -- an objection that is, in practice, limited to pornography for heterosexual men). It's assumed that there's something wrong with you for taking any sort of pleasure in the the depiction of the violent side of our cultural constitution. Despite that, I had a real enjoyable time the other day at the moving picture show thanks to Michael Haneke. Funny Games is a good, psychological thriller that's no more gruesome than Psycho, largely due to Haneke's mastery of Hitchockian prestidigitation. Just like Morrison in Florida, the meat of the matter is more suggested than shown. Many critics were distraught over Haneke's hooks-on-the-eyelids sadism anyway, referring to his film as another instance of "torture porn" and/or that it's nothing but a misery to sit through (at least for right-thinking folk):