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MOVING VIOLATIONS PART TWO: GRAF ON THE GO

Posted by Billyjam, March 12, 2008 11:33am | Post a Comment
  
       

This is the second part in the "moving violations" series of photos of graffiti on moving objects: never trains, mainly trucks and taken in New York, California, and Amsterdam.

      

   
       

       

       

       

      
       

MOVING VIOLATIONS PART ONE: GRAFFITI ON THE GO

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2008 08:25am | Post a Comment
      

New York City subway cars of a bygone era, where graffiti started and was once most prolific, or freight trains in the US or passenger trains in Italy and other European countries where graffiti is currently commonly seen, are not the only types of vehicles or moving objects that graffiti can been found on.   Trucks and sometimes cars in cities are also quite common targets for graffiti artists to tag up. Generally these are commercial vehicles since the code (albeit not always a strict one) among graf artists is to exercise respect for private property - but to hell with businesses and city owned property, especially when you can get away with the illegal act.

Always fascinated with this aspect of graffiti done on moving vehicles - oft times really rushed tags since the truck or van is only parked temporarily for as short a stop as a traffic light - I have been snapping pictures of what I have named this "moving violations"  part of graffiti.  Taken over the last few years in various cities including San Francisco, Oakland, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and New York City they include a broad spectrum of graffiti from some intricate pieces to some very basic and obviously rushed tag jobs - kinda like the one above on the truck with Santa Rosa plates parked in the Mission District of San Francisco.

One truck owner in Chinatown in New York told me that he had long stopped trying to erase the tags on his once white van that he used to transport garments all over the city in. Other vehicle owners said that they actually commissioned artists to paint their trucks because then they knew that most other graffiti artists out of respect would then leave the vehicle alone. This way at least they could pick the art themselves.  There are also some shots (including immediately below) of a graffiti'ed barge on a canal in Amsterdam, a city rife with graffiti everywhere, even along its waterways.

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WHAT IS A NEWSPAPER'S WORTH?

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2007 02:30pm | Post a Comment

For a long time the New York Times has cost one dollar-- just a dollar, whether purchased in New York City or a newsstand in California. But the price of today's (7/16) edition of the New York Times, which coincidentally seemed slimmer than usual, went up in price by a quarter to $1.25 -- which is still good value because it's a great newspaper (despite some faults) that does a thorough job and covers topics that others do not, and has been doing so since 1851 -- winning more Pulitzer Prizes (95) along the way than any other American news journal.

But regardless of its historic legacy, like all newspapers across the US today, the New York Times is also feeling the economic fallout of the new digital age in which advertisers are increasingly taking their dollars elsewhere, and news and information seekers are going online in increasing numbers.  Simply put: people don't read newspapers quite like they used to. In a recently published study entitled "Young People and News," reported coincidentally in today's New York Times, findings showed that only 9% of teenagers surveyed read a newspaper every day. Meanwhile 18 to 30 year olds rated higher, with 16% of those surveyed daily newspaper readers.

Recently both the San Jose Mercury News (long considered among the country's finest newspapers) and the San Francisco Chronicle laid off a chunk of staff. They had no choice: the economy ruled, and journalists lost jobs. But the tragedy is that with these investigative reporters gone, or going, so too is good journalism. The idea of the traditional city newspaper office, filled with reporters who go out with a pad and pen to dig deep in investigative stories has pretty much become a thing of the past -- and that sucks. While there are now more and more news and information sources than ever before, with everyone and their mama blogging, it often seems in this new digital age that we've traded in quality for quantity.

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KEALA TAKES NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS TO NEW YORK

Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2007 08:41pm | Post a Comment
Keala C Ramos used to work at the San Francisco Amoeba Music, until he moved out East in the last couple of years. He lives in Queens and likes living in New York City but notices certain cultural differences from San Francisco -- like how coffee is served and the difference between the MTA and the MUNI. Keala continues to make music in New York under his own name and also his band name, the Nervous Breakdowns.

The Breakdowns, who were named by Esquire magazine in 2004 as "the rock band to go and see if you are ever in San Francisco" made a rep for themselves also by getting into constant conflicts with the SFPD -- usually while playing out on the street in places like the Castro.

The Nervous Breakdowns' discography includes The Begining of the End EP (featuring the song  "Undependent," which also appeared on Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. V) and the full-length Panic. As a solo artist Keala appeared on Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. IV with the song “E Kaha'oe.” The Nervous Breakdowns' lineup in SF was Keala Ramos (lead guitar), Matt Kajiwara (rhythm, vocals), Donelle Malnik (bass), and Charlyn Villegas (drums). Check out their MySpace where, among other things, you can hear the songs "Garage Sale" and "Nervous Theme."

*This is the second interview with a former Amoebite who has moved coasts to become a New Yorker.  The last one was with Nick Lesley.

AMOEBLOG: What exactly went down with the SFPD and the Nervous Breakdowns?

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