Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Got A Lot

I didn't realize they wouldn't let me bring me camera into Block Party, so sadly I don't have any photos to share from what was a truly nutso first night. Earth, The Live!, Black Lips, Past Lives, Deerhunter, Built to Spill – all outstanding. Mika Miko was a perfect end:

On deck for this afternoon and evening: Pica Beats, Pela, Thermals, The Gossip, Sonic Youth, the aforementioned Girls, and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Street Flash

Viviana Volpicella, assistant to Vogue Nippon fashion director Anna Dello Russo, who has two apartments – one for her, and one for her clothes. Street fashion photography by Garance Doré

Half the time the street fashion sites drive me a little nuts – why do I look at them all the time? Is it really street fashion if half the time you're just waiting outside shows, photographing editors? who cares? – but I had to post this shot, from Garance Doré. Color as explosive as this transcends everything and is worth noting in and of itself. Anyone could wear that outfit and hold that bag and it would look tremendous. Click to enlarge.


Hunter S. Thompson Self Portrait, On the Road to Tijuana, 1960s

I just ran across these photos by Hunter S. Thompson from a past exhibition at M+B.

Hunter S. Thompson Hell's Angels, Traffic Stop, 1960s

Hunter S. Thompson Sandy and Agar II, Big Sur, California 1961

Hunter S. Thompson Self Portrait, Typing, Big Sur 1961

More here

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans

Scrappin' and mixin' it up,
loving every damn minute with this crew.

Is he a fighter?

Yes, he's a fighter.

Well then that's the best we've got.

Lights out old man.

Them's the rules.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

California Girls

There are a ton of good bands playing tomorrow and Saturday at the Capitol Hill Block Party, on the street right in front of our office – Built to Spill, Sonic Youth, the Pains of Being Pure At Heart – but the band I'm most excited to see (as much as I get...excited) is this somewhat elusive two-man duo from San Francisco called Girls (not to be confused with Seattle's The Girls or Parenthetical Girls, Brooklyn's Vivian Girls or any other girls). They put out some limited 7"s last year, such as:

Girls Lust For Life mp3

...and got a deal with Matador, and their album is coming out September 22. All of the songs I've heard are great – I have listened to "Lust For Life" at least twice a day since it came out. I like the way the person singing kind of changes their voice – it reminds me of how Miranda July does the voices of all the characters she writes. I like the vaguely northern-soul sounding bassline and the tambourine, and I like the background vocals. I like the words. I just like the whole thing, really a lot. So I'm looking forward to seeing them live, an experience which they say might involve "lots of floral arrangements, low lighting, kissing, and holding. Like the best girl-boy sleepover party you ever went to." I don't know, it seems nice.

Here's another great one – a perfect summer-night song and video:

Girls "Hellhole Ratrace"

So there's that.

Top photo: Nicole Leighton

Walks of Life

Oh, the blessing and curse of walking my dogs. But what would I know about my new neighborhood besides the quickest route to the grocery store if it wasn't for my morning and evening walks. I find myself constantly staking out different routes and looking for a bit of relaxation, exercise and the unexpected. The neighborhood is full of houses, yards, and gardens of all kinds with, I'm guessing, a third or quarter of the neighborhood being of the Asian persuasion, representing the topiary and bonsai. There are tons of DIY gardeners; there are full-on mini farms around some corners and the occasional hermit house – even cracky-looking houses. (There is even a house around the corner that looks like a crab shack or lobster boat. I kid you not, I've got to get a picture of that one....) It's not the suburbs, and it ain't the city living I'm used to. There's no rhyme or reason to these pictures except that this is a blog, dammit, and this shit is just supposed to roll out and roll on...


Mini Thistle. I had no idea this existed.

Composite pic. I love this place, there is a mini shrine you can kind of see around the corner and the mailbox just sits on the rock there.

Topiary madness, smooth as eggs. (Sorry, its just my phone camera.)

A little of that '60s Americana feel here. Big spaces. More topiary.

Taste the Rainbo

Friend and client Light In The Attic Records recently returned from an epic West Coast roadtrip, stopping at every record store between here and San Diego in a whirlwind 10-day mission. They also got a tour of Rainbo Records and, lucky for us, they filmed the whole thing:

Rainbo is the oldest pressing plant in the country (since 1939), and as far as I know, the only one that still makes picture discs – we used them to press Visionaire SOUND a couple years back.
Long live the vinyls.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guess Who's Back

I wanted to let everyone know that next Tuesday night I will be spinning records at Rob Roy with my homeboy Spyridon Nicon and extra special guests Payton Carter and Alex Newman. You should come check it out.

I'm not sure what I'm playing yet – it will be a game-time decision. Probably some stuff like this and this. Loungey stuff like this, and maybe some of this. Definitely have to pull this one out.

I'll be there from about 6pm on, which is perfect, because you're going to want to unwind after a long day at the office. You know how Tuesdays are: you have drinks Sunday afternoon – you do your best to extend the weekend. You're less than enthusiastic about going to work on Monday, and Monday night you're just reeling from the experience of starting another week. By Tuesday you're back in it and ready to have some leisurely mid-week drinks. A low-key cocktail party is just the thing, and like Kool Keith says: I'm out here for you.

Rob Roy (formerly known as Viceroy) is a really nice place. They have great beers on tap and amazing cocktails by some of the city's best bartenders. It's good – I think you'll like it a lot if you don't already.

I should also mention that this is but the first installment in a brand new series, happening four times a year, wherein Spyridon and I invite a couple people to come play records with us, and a couple more people to come down for some beverages, engaging conversation, and delicious little goldfish snacks. I'm telling you, the place is classy.

The series of which I speak will hereinafter be referred to as:

Won't you please join us?

The Quarterly Disorderly no.1
Tuesday, July 28th, 6pm-11pm
Rob Roy
2332 Second Avenue at Battery, Seattle

No cover charge, happy hour specials 'til 8pm

Removes a Boa Constrictor stuck in engine compartment of cars


John Barry, chief proliferator of WD-40, has died at the age of 84.
Mr. Barry was fiercely dedicated to protecting the secret formula of WD-40, not to mention its trademarks and distinctive container. The company never patented WD-40, in order to avoid having to disclose the ingredients publicly. Its name became synonymous with the product, like Kleenex.
Mr. Barry brought marketing coherence and discipline to the company. He spruced up the packaging and increased the advertising budget, but most of all he pushed for distribution. He emphasized free samples, including the 10,000 the company sent every month to soldiers in the Vietnam War to keep their weapons dry.
People’s enthusiasm for sending in ideas for using WD-40 mushroomed under Mr. Barry. The uses included preventing squirrels from climbing into a birdhouse; lubricating tuba valves; cleaning ostrich eggs for craft purposes; and freeing a tongue stuck to cold metal.
Mr. Barry is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Marian Irving; his sons, Randy and Steve; his daughter, Deborah Faneros; and four grandchildren.

Read the rest of the New York Times' obituary here and browse a list of over 2000 uses for WD-40 at

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rivers Arms

Photos of the temporary performance and installation Mater Matrix Mother and Medium, a collaboration between artist Mandy Greer, choreographer/dancer Zoe Scofield, and musician and friend of the P.S. Morgan Henderson (Blood Brothers, Past Lives).

Henderson and Scofield rehearse

From Mandy Greer's description of the project:
Mater Matrix Mother and Medium began with the creation of a 200 ft.- long fiber river, created in part through a series of over 30 community events all over Seattle, where I [Mandy Greer] taught anyone willing to learn, how to crochet. I then took the fiber “pools” into the forest of Camp Long and spent nearly six weeks on a ladder crocheting the river into the trees, flowing from 25 feet up in the tree canopy to nearly touching the forest floor.

When we arrived for the performance last Thursday evening in West Seattle, Zoe Scofield was totally obscured inside what looked like a gigantic ball of fabric and knots at the end of the crocheted river. As Morgan's music built – he played a variety of instruments, including the clarinet and a weird little megaphone contraption – she unwrapped herself and came alive in the woods.

If it sounds like some hippy stuff, well, so be it – but I found Mater Matrix Mother and Medium to be one of the more complex 'nature-inspired' works of art I've seen, and a beautiful piece in both vision and sound. It's up through the end of the month August 23rd at Camp Long (5200 35th Ave SW in West Seattle), and definitely worth the trip, even without the performance element.

More info here.

That is a Sandwich

At long last, Visioneers is out today on DVD.
I posted the trailer long ago – click here to review.

I'll wait.

Now this:

More info at

Intensely Muted


A few images from the new Miu Miu campaign.

Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vay Ner Chuk


I stumbled on Gary Vaynerchuk's prolific, oenophilic blog a couple years back (he's up into 700+ episodes) and I have always enjoyed it's offbeat, high energy style. His knack for coming up with creative descriptors when it comes to taste ("this wine is like Lebron," or, "a strong fake-fruit taste... like skittles") is bar none.. In any case, if you have always wanted to learn something about wine, his blog is a great place to start (or continue, the hard work is never done). I have chosen this post about wines from Gigondas because it catches his signature style so well (donkey kong references, NY Jets spit bucket, etc).

Modern Love

A brief appreciation of photographer Julius Shulman, who passed away last week at the age of 98. As always (and so frequently of late...) the New York Times' obituary is a must-read. Check their slide show as well for more images.

Julius Shulman in front of Richard Neutra's Kaufmann Residence.
Shulman first photographed this Palm Springs house in March 1947. “I was looking outside toward twilight, and the desert was aglow with that wonderful alpine blue light,” he recalls. “I ran back in the house, got my camera, and told Neutra and Kaufmann that they would enjoy looking at the house and the twilight toward the mountains. So I ran outside ahead of them, held my camera, and by the time I was ready to make an exposure they had come out and seen the view. Mr. Kaufmann said, ‘I’ve never seen that house before at twilight. It’s beautiful.’ Later the black-and-white photo became the most widely published of all Neutra houses.”

Julius Shulman: Frey Residence II by Albert Frey
“When Frey bought the property up in the hills above Palm Springs, there were no houses up there at all, just a lot of huge boulders,” Shulman says. “Frey’s excavation man looked at the property and told Albert that there was a mammoth boulder right on the site and that he’d have to dynamite it away, and Albert said, ‘Oh no. I’m going to build my master bedroom and part of the living area there. I want that boulder to be part of my room.’ And he left the boulder in the middle of the house. It’s delightful. It works. It’s not anything special architecturally, but it’s beautifully suited to the site.”

Julius Shulman: Stahl Residence by Pierre Koenig
“The Stahls purchased a piece of property on a steep hillside with a 270-degree view of Los Angeles,” Shulman says. “Some people might not want to build on such a difficult lot, but Pierre agreed to design a house for them. The house, known as Case Study House #22, hangs over the edge of the cliff, and when it was published it created a sensation. It’s been in nearly every architectural book and magazine throughout the world since 1960. So in approaching the image, I thought: How to best portray this structure and its relationship, interior and exterior, to the site and function of the house? You see the view, the sitting room. This is how the house functions. To achieve the picture of this projecting steel beam in the foreground that directs attention into and through the entire house—to demonstrate how the house literally floats in space—I sat on a wall outside. The key to a successful photograph is about finding the proper balance of light, using it properly, and finding the right time of day. My photographs are successful because the architecture melds so beautifully with the environment.”

Quotations from
Julius Shulman, Modernism Rediscovered published by Taschen.

See also: via Daily Operation, the trailer for a new movie about Shulman.

A Case of the Mondays