Morphizm Main

Present Tense
David Gedge and The Wedding Present are coming straight outta L.A. on El Rey: MORE

Spaced Out
Jason Pierce has a thing for fire. So together we poured gasoline on Spiritualized: MORE

Meowwww!!
From slicing up cat dicks to signing up Fonzi, Big Tobacco has pulled some weird science: MORE On the Beach
Dream pop standouts Beach House are catching heat. But can they catch fire live? MORE

Stipe On Speed
R.E.M.'s thrash attack has gone into hyperdrive on the brilliant Accelerate. Stipe tells us the targets: MORE

Slugs 4 Obama!
Atmosphere's When Life Gives You Lemons... is all about the hope. And so is Obama: MORE

I Say God Damn!
What's left unspoken in the Obama flap is this: Has God blessed America recently? MORE Ass Out!
Assy McGee is one hell of a cop from hell. So where are his arms? Our interview explains: MORE

Miss Fortune
China's Olympic intrigue has reached critical mass. Who says politics and sports don't mix? MORE

Nirvana's Son
Kurt Cobain: About a Son is out on DVD. Its peek into bipolar stardom is still hard to watch: MORE

Betrayed?
Boxing legend Joe Louis gave body and soul to God and country. Did they repay the favor? MORE

Taxi!
Those in need of war films are scoping the wrong Oscar bait. Try the Dark Side: MORE

Pro Choice
Clinton or Obama? Good question. Now, all you have to do is answer it, and wisely: MORE

In Cold Blood
Rick Geary creates comics that paraphrase history without passion. Our interview explains: MORE

RIP, Prof
Kashmere pioneer Conrad Johnson has passed. But his upstart funk still lives on: MORE

Past Proust
Adapting one of canon lit's most knotted yarns into a comic just might work. Wait, it did: MORE

Disowned!
The housing collapse is a failure of white-collar proportions. Klein saw it coming: MORE

Trash It!
Is your home worth less than your mortgage? Then walk away, baby. Just walk away: MORE

Dystopia Drift
Unembedded journo Dahr Jamail has seen Beyond the Green Zone. And it's looking ugly: MORE

Best of 2007
El-P's I'll Sleep When You're Dead was the most brutally honest music of the year: MORE

Fed Up
Bernanke's rate cuts won't stop the bleeding. It will just cover up the tracks. Thanks, Greenspan! MORE

Beat This!
Ike Turner has passed on. But Morphizm's last interface with the funk maestro never will: MORE

Hyperrealist
Karl Rove now says Congress rushed Bush into war with Saddam. Revise your textbooks! MORE

Shop or Die
The Kubler-Ross Model works for death, but it also works for the mall. Even around the Bratz: MORE

The Fixer
Gordon Brown is a go-to guy if you're a lobbyist. Or a fan of Rupert Murdoch: MORE

Guns, Green?
The market has spoken, says Naomi Klein. And it wants bullets rather than renweables: MORE

Pak Attack!
Musharraf may be Bush's nightmare, but he started out as Clinton's daydream: MORE

TomorrowSci!
From pain rays and flying cars to innovations to save our sorry hides from climate change, tomorrow science is here today: MORE

Not a Moralist
The Serbian photographer Boogie has seen his fair share of the global underworld. Good thing he took pictures: MORE

Party's Over
Serj Tankian's debut solo effort Elect the Dead says civilization is over. So why is he smiling? Our interview explains: MORE

The Perv
Pakistan dictator Pervez Musharraf has declared martial law and suspended the constitution. Who's surprised? MORE

God is Bond
Barry Bonds isn't the only sports superstar who points to the Man Upstairs when he scores. Piety has gone viral: MORE

Hypermarket
From plunging dollars to skyrocketing oil, the hyperreal American economy is due for a real-time ass-kicking: MORE

Pin is Back
It's been a long time since the stunning Summer in Abaddon. Good thing Autumn of the Seraphs is on the way: MORE

Ignore Nothing
Indie-hop titan El-P's newest epic I'll Sleep When You're Dead is filled with biohazardous truth. So is he: MORE

Sicko 'Em!
Whatever. Michael Moore's new movie on the corrupt American healthcare system is good for you: MORE

Water For War
If you think the clusterfuck for oil is scary, just wait until we're more worried about H2O than CO2: MORE

Altered States
Don't know much about global warming? Keep it that way. Trust us, you don't wanna know more than that: MORE

Pelican Echoes
If you think wordless metal can bring noise but not brains, we talked to a band that wants to talk to you: MORE

Steampunker
Rasputina has finally embraced the War on Terror in Oh Perilous World. What took so long? We asked: MORE

Osama's Diary
It's a stone cold Morphizm classic. And it will still make you cry. Almost as if it was real. Really: MORE

Slice and Dice
Cake blew up with a cover song, but they're even better at blasting "War Pigs." Our interview explains: MORE

Gaza Lab
Israel. Hamas. Fatah. What the? Gaza is looking less like a prison and more like a petri dish every day: MORE

BagCalgary
Fronts in the War on Terror are shifting. Which means Canada's oil sands are up next for a global warming: MORE

Crow's Nuts
The indie Tony Millionaire strip Maakies is at last making the legit jump to Adult Swim. Bottoms up, sailor: MORE

Vulture Funds
You've got to get in on this one. You buy $5 million in Third World debt relief, then sue for $50 million. Suckers buy it every time: MORE

DIY or Die
Art-punk corn dogs The Minutemen were brazen heroes. It's about fucking time someone gave them a biopic: MORE

Not a Slave
300 director Zack Snyder may be a friend to CGI, but he knows when to leave it alone. Our interview explains: MORE

Physics of Iraq
What goes up must come down and what gets jacked must come back. Ask the British. While you're at it, go ask Icarus: MORE

A Bit Awkward
The Pixies' doc loudQUIETloud captured the band selling out stadiums and ignoring each other. Our interview explains: MORE

Total Chaos
According to our interview with journo and author Jeff Chang, the hip-hop arts movement is far from dead: MORE

Get Truthy!
Stephen Colbert's vivisection of the stoopid Republican machine is an example of linguistics at its ballsiest. Suck on it: MORE

Cry Wolfie
Let's not drink the Kool-Aid. The World Bank was fucked up long before fuckup Paul Wolfowitz took over: MORE

Object: War
Our hyperreal narrative in Iraq is in search of an ending. Will the American people write one before it's too late? MORE

Good Machines
In these liner notes excerpts from his compilation Fuzzy Warbles, XTC architect Andy Partridge's love of tech goes haywire: MORE

Torture Works
Is it just us? Or is the tight-lipped Bush administration's call to torture for information more than ironic? Hey, wait: MORE

Go Fuck Yourselves
President Bush's speech on the war's escalation revealed much. Including how little he cares about...well, everyone: MORE

"How My Brain Works"
From sci-fi to hip-hop, Michel Gondry has a gift for visual invention. And we have a lot of questions for him: MORE

When PNAC Attacks!
Get to know your well-heeled presidential family and other comb-lickers in this excerpt from Fanta's comic Bush Junta: MORE

I'm the Distorter
Sure, the Democrats may have taken over Congress, but the Bush administration hasn't blinked on Iraq. And it never will: MORE

Trial of Trials
Jose Padilla was once a terrorist. Now he's putting U.S. torture policy on trial. Only in America: MORE

Garrison State
Muslims rioting. Americans killing. Too bad no one's made a film called Why We Fight. Wait, Eugene Jarecki has! MORE

Guilin
"The smell of damp earth that hangs over Guilin will surrender, and join the cosmopolis cropping up along the Li:" MORE

Game/Theory
"In the cinematic fashion of the dying antihero, I expired while reading the stars. Coordinates on a grid of contested terrain": MORE

Fanta Goes Beastly
A comics powerhouse compiles a massive tome on our collective nightmares. Vampire and Harpy haters beware: MORE

Shit Happens. Real Fast.
In our continuing exegesis on exponology, China explodes and Antarctica's demise accelerates: MORE

Exponology
The planet is heating at an exponential rate. But what is the exponent, and who are the people spinning it? Enter Morphizm's formative science, awaiting your learned modification: MORE

Panther Power
Fuck Hoover's race paranoia. The Black Panthers have survived, from Marvel comics to hip-hop to a loud ass protest near you: MORE

Surfing With Rosa
In honor of the Pixies doc, Morphizm pays homage to their Surfer Rosa/Come On Pilgrim split, an enduring classic: MORE

Friday, August 31, 2007

 

"Them Poor Niggers:" New Orleans, Two Years After


What a surprise. Two years after bungling one of global warming's epochal disasters, the Bush administration is still screwing the poor of New Orleans. Never has hypercapitalism's "Poor People = Who Gives a Fuck?" equation worked to such perfection -- at least for those who cashed in on the disaster. I call it the socioeconomic blueprint for the 21st century, Morphizm pal and investigative muckraker Greg Palast calls it some fucked up shit:

"Them Poor Niggers:" New Orleans, Two Years After
"They wanted them poor niggers out of there and they ain't had no intention to allow it to be reopened to no poor niggers, you know? And that's just the bottom line."

It wasn't a pretty statement. But I wasn't looking for pretty. I'd taken my investigative team to New Orleans to meet with Malik Rahim. Pretty isn't Malik's concern.

We needed an answer to a weird, puzzling and horrific discovery. Among the miles and miles of devastated houses, rubble still there today in New Orleans, we found dry, beautiful homes. But their residents were told by guys dressed like Ninjas wearing "Blackwater" badges: "Try to go into your home and we'll arrest you."

MORE @ MORPHIZM

MORE @ MORPHIZM

Thursday, August 30, 2007

 

I Repeat: Matt Taibbi is America's Finest Journo

I must first apologize to Seymour Hersh, who I recently interviewed for a feature for the LA Weekly, coming up soon. He is easily America's most revered journalist: From My Lai to Abu Ghraib and onward, he's been a bulwark against some of the most heinous corruption this side of Halliburton.

But he's a journalist, who I purposely and with no responsibility separate from journos, who are new-millennium and new-media hybrids that can walk the tightrope between reportage, opinion, and more importantly for the 21st century, utter hilarity.

See, there's no good reason at all that the news shouldn't be hilarious. Its issues and subject matter, from Larry "I am Not a Homosexual!" Craig to anything that comes out of George Bush's mouth, demand laughter, if not outright cardiac arrest. And no one does cardiac arrest better than Matt Taibbi.

Here's his latest, lengthy rant for Rolling Stone on the blatant profiteering of Halliburton (who is still paying Dick Cheney's salary, I might remind you), Custer Battles and the other Milo Minderbinder grifters ripping American taxpayers blind in the so-called War on Terror. You're going to need a glass of water:

The Rip-off in Iraq: You Will Not Believe How Low the War Profiteers Have Gone
Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. George W. Bush's war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity -- to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up.

And just maybe, reviewing this appalling history of invoicing orgies and million-dollar boondoggles, it's not so far-fetched to think that this is the way someone up there would like things run all over -- not just in Iraq but in Iowa, too, with the state police working for Corrections Corporation of America, and DHL with the contract to deliver every Christmas card. And why not? What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureaucracy. This is the triumphant culmination of two centuries of flawed white-people thinking, a preposterous mix of authoritarian socialism and laissez-faire profiteering, with all the worst aspects of both ideologies rolled up into one pointless, supremely idiotic military adventure -- American men and women dying by the thousands, so that Karl Marx and Adam Smith can blow each other in a Middle Eastern glory hole...
MORE @ ALTERNET

I read. I weep. I hate Matt Taibbi, the journo's journo.

MORE @ MORPHIZM

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

 

Smoke Up, Terrorist!

UPDATE: Our pals at the Huffington Post have syndicated this fine rant, under the title The War on Stupid. Check it out and tell them that Morphizm sent you.

The War on Drugs, just like the War on Terror, drags on pointlessly. Wasting billions of dollars, millions of lives, and precious time with no progress made and no goals met. And not just because the Founding Fathers themselves grew hemp either.

Rather, declaring war on anything, especially abstracts, is a cash bonanza like few others. And with hyperreal grifters like the Bush administration, the most deadly weapon in the war chest is language itself. You start throwing around loaded terms and the next thing you know, Congress gives you military authority to do everything from spy on your own citizens to waterboard someone else's in the same torture rooms that caused you to invade in the first place.

Pardon my tone, but some things you just have to laugh at. What else can you do, really? (Ask Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert about that one.) Especially when the terrorists your draconian administration tackles after the Saudi-fueled mayhem of 9/11 end up being people like Seymour Hersh and Tommy Chong, or the National Education Association. This is the type of lunacy I tackled in a piece that went up on Alternet yesterday:

Pot Growers Are New Target in "War on Terror"
Last time we checked in on the bizarro nexus between cannabis and terrorism, it was none other than actor/director Tommy Chong who was feeling the Bush administration's post-9/11 wrath. In fact, the stoner icon, whose fabled act was concurrently resuscitated for Fox's drugged and confused comedy hit That 70s Show, was being slapped by John Ashcroft with a nine-month prison bid, a $20,000 fine and over $100,000 in seized assets for selling bongs. The terrorism connection? He was sentenced on Sept. 11, 2003. And if you think that's a specious connection, it's only gotten worse since. In fact, over the last few years, "terrorist" has become an epithet for all seasons... MORE @ ALTERNET

The latest "terrorists" this time around, according to the White House's Office of National Control Drug Policy, are Mexican cartels ferreting undocumented immigrants into Redding's national forests to grow weed. Because nothing says "I want to destroy your country, American infidels!" like raising crops for the sole purpose of getting you and your neighbors totally high.

OK, I'm joking. OK, I'm not. I thought it was hilarity until I recently read that our military campaigns in Afghanistan haven't defeated the Taliban or sniffed bin Laden's trail but have nevertheless managed to make sure the poor nation's heroin trade remained fully functional if not better than ever. Hey, wait. I get it now. They're fighting the War on Terror in Afghanistan, not the War or Drugs. OK, I feel better. OK, I don't.

I'm not here to tell you that anyone should be able to plant and cultivate crops of any type in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest whenever they feel like it. Or that Seymour Hersh can't try to hip the United States to neocon schemes for doomed occupations. Or that the National Education Association's millions of teachers can't have a lobby heckling the father of "No Child Left Behind" for some accountability. Or, at last, that Tommy Chong isn't high some of the time his son is selling bongs.

I'm just here to tell you that these people aren't terrorists. They're just targets, taken down by terminology.

Words have power. We cannot live without them, but we can also use them to imprison, oppress and even kill our fellow inhabitants of this lucky planet called Earth. In fact, we do it all the time, since before the Bible, Koran and every other narrative governments use to consolidate that power and, in the end, watch that power fade into memory.

MORE @ MORPHIZM

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

 

From Pink's Piper to Swervedriver's Bolts: It's Comeback Time!

Synchronicity is a fine thing. Here I am writing up an interview for Swervedriver standout Adam Franklin, whose debut solo effort under the moniker Bolts of Melody is a refreshing blast of guitar-driven psych-rock that makes me wish the new millennium and its digital fuckoffery never dawned. And I write for Wired.

But I'm no Luddite, I just like guitars. Franklin plays a mean one, and is inspired by the best, including Pink Floyd. To wit: His solo release boasts an atmospheric nugget called "Syd's Eyes," an homage of sorts to early Pink Floyd's doomed frontman Syd Barrett. (Look for more from Franklin in a lengthy interview with Morphizm later in September.) But no sooner had I asked him about Barrett and Floyd than I got this email from EMI:

"EMI Records will celebrate Pink Floyd’s 40th anniversary by releasing 2 and 3-CD sets of their debut album, The Piper At The Gates of Dawn (Special Edition), on September 4th...The 3-CD packaging, designed by longtime Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson, resembles a cloth-covered book with the original Vic Singh photo on the front, and holds three CDs, along with an eight-page reproduction of one of Syd Barrett’s notebooks. Newly remastered by James Guthrie, Discs one and two will contain the full album, represented in both stereo and mono versions. Disc 3 includes bonus tracks, including all of Pink Floyd’s singles from 1967 ('Arnold Layne,' 'See Emily Play,' and 'Apples And Oranges'), plus the B-sides 'Candy And A Current Bun' and 'Paintbox.' Other tracks include an exclusive edit of 'Interstellar Overdrive,' previously available only on an EP released in France, and the 1967 stereo version of 'Apples And Orange,' which has never before been officially released."

It's a small world after, all. Fire up your immortal copy of The Prisoner and enjoy the time machine. It's still a serious trip.

WATCH: PINK FLOYD, "ARNOLD LAYNE"



WATCH: THE PRISONER

MORE @ MORPHIZM

Monday, August 27, 2007

 

Big Brother Democracy

[It's always an honor to syndicate Naomi Klein's work. Her ability to merge corporatism, culture and media is stunning, and her research is even scarier. Keep an eye out for her forthcoming book on all of the above called The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism on her official site. -- ST]

Big Brother Democracy
[Naomi Klein, Morphizm]
Recently, as protesters gathered outside the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit in Montebello, Quebec, to confront US President George W. Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Associated Press reported this surreal detail: "Leaders were not able to see the protesters in person, but they could watch the protesters on TV monitors inside the hotel.… Cameramen hired to ensure that demonstrators would be able to pass along their messages to the three leaders sat idly in a tent full of audio and video equipment.… A sign on the outside of the tent said, 'Our cameras are here today providing your right to be seen and heard. Please let us help you get your message out. Thank You.'"

Yes, it's true: Like contestants on a reality TV show, protesters at the SPP were invited to vent into video cameras, their rants to be beamed to protest-trons inside the summit enclave. It was security state as infotainment — Big Brother meets, well, Big Brother...

MORE @ MORPHIZM

MORE @ MORPHIZM
 

Don't Get Comfortable

First Karl Rove, and now Alberto Gonzales. The Bush administration is clearing brush from its pathetic ranks, but let's not fool ourselves: They're not doing it to save face. Or because they finally saw the error of their ways.

George W. Bush may be many things, but contrary to popular opinion, he's no idiot. With weights like Alberto V05 and Turd Blossom hanging around his neck, there was simply no way he could ever compete with the news cycle, which fed on those guys like Rupert Murdoch feeds on apathy. Everything the Bush administration did or wanted to do would have been filtered through those twin monsters and their flippant lack of compassion and culpability.

But now with them out of the way, Bush can take better control of the perception industry, and steer his doomed administration into the type of "bipartisan" waters that the Democrats have been drowning in since they took over Congress. After all, the Democrats did everything from give Bush the keys to the Iraq War and greenlighting the Patriot Act to exploding what terrorism can be with the Military Commissions Act. In other words, we are still going to war with Iran. Or we're going to at least carpet-bomb the shit out them, just as Bush's predecessor in institutional lunacy Richard Nixon did to Cambodia, long after the Vietnam War was an utterly lost cause.

Call it the last throes. Call it wargasm. But just make to call it before Christmas. By then, we should be swimming in Bush's last plans for his doomed legacy.

If you think that the Bush administration is going to sit idly by while they have a year left to invade or assassinate someone, you need to think again. The American people have won nothing at all with the recent fleeing of Gonzales and Rove. Bush's hyperreal war machine is still humming at optimal speed, and it could trample us all if we sit back and chill, thinking that the loss of two losers amounts to anything more than musical chairs.

Don't get comfortable. Our job isn't over. It's just beginning.

UPDATE: Our pals at the Huffington Post have syndicated this entry here. Please post a comment and tell them Morphizm sent you.

MORE @ MORPHIZM

Friday, August 24, 2007

 

The Jesus and Mary Chain Saves, You Score

All hail The Jesus and Mary Chain, who have reunited to land the deserved type of payday lavished on the immortal Pixies when they finally reconvened in 2004 for a monster tour and comeback. Among other reasons, I'm sure. But they're needed, because their sound is everywhere. Sofia Coppola's used their atmospherics, along those with of the sublime My Bloody Valentine, to win an Oscar. Everyone has copied them, even though they were Velvet Underground replicants themselves. And the threads continue: The Pixies covered The Jesus and Mary Chain's "Head On" for their final effort Trompe le Monde, and it became that album's biggest single. Then they broke up. Then reunited. And got paid. See, everything truly is connected!

A few scattered dates have been nailed down, so I'll loop those in first, followed by a couple videos. But first, here's a snippet from MorphBlog's interview with The Jesus and Mary Chain on why they decided to come back rather go gently into rock's good night:

"The last Mary Chain gig was in 1998 and was such a bloody awful mess, too much drink, too many drugs, nobody seeing eye to eye on anything and the band just blew up, and I suppose you could say this is another good reason for our reformation, cause that was no way for the Mary Chain to end."

TOUR DATES
10/20 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
10/22 - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
10/23 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre #
10/26 - San Francisco, CA @ the Fillmore #
10/27 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore #
All dates with Evan Dando (solo acoustic)
# - Soulsavers (featuring Mark Lanegan)

VIDEO: "Just Like Honey," The Jesus and Mary Chain



VIDEO: "Head On," Pixies


MORE @ MORPHIZM

Thursday, August 23, 2007

 

Eddie Vedder Goes Into the Wild

According to my pals at major label behemoth SonyBMG, Pearl Jam frontman and conscientious good guy Eddie Vedder scored nine original compositions for Sean Penn's upcoming screen adaptation of Into the Wild. I'm not a fan of DRM, so I'm afraid to download the first single "Hard Sun" from Sony's redundantly named Play MPE Player and stream it for you here. But those of you who can prove it's not a DRM tangle should contact me and quell my justified fears.

That said, here's the trailer for Into the Wild, which should have enough Vedder ambiance to satisfy Jam fans and cinephiles alike. Those listening for "Hard Sun" should check out Spinner here. The best part? Vedder performs the tune with Sleater-Kinney siren Corin Tucker.

R.I.P. Sleater-Kinney. We need you more than ever.



UPDATE: Man, I missed some good info on this one. Evidently, this soundtrack is more or less Vedder's upcoming solo effort. And he was also handpicked by Sean Penn to soundtrack the movie. Wait, does that mean Penn is responsible for Vedder's first solo album? Even more reason to like him.

MORE @ MORPHIZM
 

Amy Winehouse. So What?

OK, Morphizm usually avoids pop starlets like they're bird flu, which they more or less are, metaphorically speaking. They go viral even though they taste like chicken, and before long they've exhausted the population. Someone sent me a heads-up on Lily Allen but I waited on doing anything about it until I saw her perform on Saturday Night Live, at which point I forgot all about her. She can sing like William Shatner, which is an insult to Shatner.

Same goes with Amy Winehouse, who I must admit made me look twice at her disc's cover. And listening to one of her tunes talking about how fucking cool she is while my wife tried on dresses in Forever 21 was interesting, so I thought about doing something on her, months after she'd gone triple-plat and become a stalkarazzi victim. (I'm not one for manufactured news cycles.) Then I get this sent to my inbox from one of Morphizm's PR pals at Cornerstone:

Amy Winehouse US Tour Cancelled
"Due to the rigours involved in touring, Amy Winehouse has been advised to postpone her upcoming September US and Canadian tour dates. All ticket holders may obtain refunds at their point of purchase. Amy's European and UK tour dates in October and November remain in place. Plans are being made to reschedule her US tour for early 2008. Until then, Amy has been ordered to rest and is working with medical professionals to address her health."

Rigors of touring? What, getting in a car or plane and sitting on your ass for hours? Performing in front of adoring fans? I can think of thousands of bands off the top of my head who can handle that rigor. Rehab, addiction or whatever, get it together Winehouse. You're here today, but you can be easily gone tomorrow. And the popscape will be fine without you.

MORE @ MORPHIZM

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

 

I Am Old

Today is my birthday, which is another way of saying that Morphizm and the MorphBlog posts will resume normally starting tomorrow. I've got a sick backlog of stuff needing to be posted, so content junkies set your watches.

But today and tonight I've been celebrating my wisdom, but not my age, with my wife and child. And drinking. And smoking. And stressing. The first person who guesses my correct age wins a prize. I promise not to lie.

See you tomorrow. Bright and not so early.

MORE @ MORPHIZM

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

 

Bow Down to Bob Mould

Old-schoolers know him from the grinding pioneers Husker Du, while younger fans might recognize his tasty riffs from not only the opening and closing credits for The Daily Show, but also The Colbert Report. Others may know him from a variety of projects: the post-Husker solo noise machine Sugar, or perhaps from the performances like that found on Bob Mould's latest DVD Circle of Friends.

But those who don't know what I'm talking about -- and those that do -- should check Mould on tour coming this October. He's chatting, signing and performing in honor of the new DVD, along with his backup band, who are pretty storied themselves, including Brendan Canty, drummer for another set of punk pioneers called Fugazi. Tour dates are below, along with a teaser clip:


10/9 Schuba's - 3159 N. Southport - Chicago, IL
10/10 Bryant Lake Bowl - 810 W Lake St - Minneapolis, MN
10/12 Chop Suey - 1325 E Madison St - Seattle, WA
10/14 Doug Fir Lounge - 830 E. Burnside - Portland, Oregon
10/16 Herbst Theater (City Arts & Lectures series)- 401 Van Ness - San Francisco, CA
10/17 The Roxy (presented by Filter Magazine)- 9009 W Sunset Blvd - West Hollywood, CA
11/2 - New York @ Highline Ballroom – 431 W. 16th Street, New York, NY
11/5 – Boston @ Paradise Lounge – 969 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA
11/8 – Charlottesville @ Gravity Lounge – 103 South First Street, Charlottesville, VA
11/10 – New Hope @ John & Peter’s – 96 S. Main Street, New Hope, PA
11/11 – Philadelphia @ World Café Live – 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

MORE @ MORPHIZM

Monday, August 20, 2007

 

Back From the Road, Rebooting Morphizm

Sorry for the brownout at Morphizm lately, early adopters and latecomers to our bizarro party. I am the biz, as the cliche goes, and I've been gone, gone, gone for the last few days. Birthday is on the way soon, and the reminders of age are jacking me up. But my space baby Sofie keeps me young, as does my brilliant wife.

In short, look for a solid month and a half of craziness from the Morphizm metaverse. Chats with guys like Seymour Hersh, David Cronenberg and James Kunstler as well as ladies like Jessica Hoop and more. Some upgrades in video, and perhaps our first podcast. Hyperhighway to Hell is back on track after a wheel in the ditch, so look for a shorty film if we get the time. The stars are aligning, and the future is so bright you might at well go solar. Nanosolar.

MORE @ MORPHIZM

Thursday, August 16, 2007

 

Rob Swift + Total Eclipse + Precision = Ill Insanity

Say it with me. Turntablism. The science and study of turntables, what they can do, envelopes they can push, rules they can break. For years, the all-DJ outfit X-ecutioners were titans of the trade, a NYC powerhouse to match the West Coast's fabled Invisbl Skratch Piklz. Good times, people. Good times.

Ask Rob Swift, friend of Morphizm and well-traveled X-ectutioners grad, who is reuniting with fellow X-men Total Eclipse and Precision under the name Ill Insanity for a turntablist showcase in San Francisco, nerve center of our Wired nation. The throwdown goes down on August 25th at Poleng Lounge, so don't miss it.

And if you're crate-digging on Swift, check out Morphizm's past work on the virtuoso DJ here:

"Something That Makes People Think": An Interview with Rob Swift
[Scott Thill, Morphizm]
"I'm always going to try and take the time out, although I'm not a rapper or someone like Chuck D or KRS-One, who's going to pick up a mike and try to spread knowledge; I do it through scratches. That's why there are songs on there like 'The Program' and 'The Ghetto.' I figure, hey man, I might as well take five or 10 minutes out of the album to say something that makes people think, not just flood it with amazing scratches"...
MORE @ MORPHIZM

Rob Swift Turns the Tables
[Scott Thill, Wired]
Speaking of funk, Swift's DVD release is a bonus for turntablists and the sonic and tech loyalists that follow them. Rob Swift was perhaps the most popular of the reputable, NYC-based X-ecutioners, the all-DJ sensation that fractured over the last few years due to squabbles -- money, cred, crossovers -- that more or less kill every band that's worth a damn. The DVD spiels more on the issue, but is most electric when footage of the X-ecutioners hits the screen, especially during their legendary battle with West Coast turntablists Invisibl Skratch Piklz, a knockout crew of vinyl wizards made up of Mix Master Mike, DJ Q-bert and others. You probably will not find a more funked-up collection of DIY tech heads in one place. It was a battle royale. Swift's doc also charts his ascendance as one of the world's most recognizable DJs. He's worked with everyone from art-punk icon and Ipecac label honcho Mike Patton to jazz titans Bob James and Herbie Hancock, who Swift performed with at, of all things, the 2002 World Economic Forum. Just to show that turntablism and the hip-hop it has supported for so many decades is one of the planet's most potent economic forces...
MORE @ WIRED

Opensourced: An Interview with Rob Swift and DJ Spooky
[Scott Thill, XLR8R]
The thought of talking politics, tech and turntablism with DJ Spooky (a.k.a. Paul D Miller) and Rob Swift sounded like an innocent enough proposition in the formative stages. But as the date for the meeting of the minds crept closer, so did the anniversary of 9/11. Then Hurricane Katrina changed the game even further. Both artists’ new works (Swift’s War Games audio/DVD release and DJ Spooky’s forthcoming Rebirth of a Nation, a sound/image remix of D.W. Griffith’s 1915 canonical yet utterly racist film Birth of a Nation) provide vital street-level critiques of the US’s social and political climate...
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Monday, August 13, 2007

 

Cambodian Rock Night!

I filed a shorty for the LA Weekly on the Cambodian groove factory Dengue Fever, who are headlining a Los Angeles multimedia homage. If you haven't heard Dengue Fever, their psychedelic pop trips are seriously addictive. And they can move the crowd too:

Cambodian Rock Night
August 14, The Knitting Factory
Los Angeles, Cali
Who is Ros Sereysothea? Good question. You should ask the Khmer Rouge, who threw the Cambodian pop star into a gulag during the mid-’70s and did everything in its power to suppress her musical output altogether. Her disturbing trajectory is recounted in the documentary The Golden Voice, which kicks off the Knit’s all-night celebration of Cambodia’s fertile pop and psych-rock scene before the Khmer took over and fucked everything up.
MORE @ LA WEEKLY

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Friday, August 10, 2007

 

From Subprime Collapse to Dollar Devaluation, We Could Be Screwed

The subprime collapse at the hands of the hedge funds has wreaked holy hell. And it might get much, much worse, especially if China gets sick of us and kills the dollar. Now remember, this is from Krugman, an economist who writes for the NYT. Not some moonbat.

Very Scary Things
[Paul Krugman, NYT]
"What’s been happening in financial markets over the past few days is something that truly scares monetary economists: liquidity has dried up. That is, markets in stuff that is normally traded all the time - in particular, financial instruments backed by home mortgages - have shut down because there are no buyers. This could turn out to be nothing more than a brief scare. At worst, however, it could cause a chain reaction of debt defaults."
MORE @ NYT

So let's say the economy tanks and the dollar goes into the toilet. China would help us out. Right? Not if we keep fucking with them, they won't:

China's Threat to the Dollar is Real
[Paul Craig Roberts, Counterpunch]
"China's announcement was not made by a minister or vice minister of the government. The Chinese government is inclined to have important announcements come from research organizations that work closely with the government. This announcement came from two such organizations. A high official of the Development Research Center, an organization with cabinet rank, let it be known that US financial stability was too dependent on China’s financing of US red ink for the US to be giving China orders. An official at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences pointed out that the reserve currency status of the US dollar was dependent on China’s good will as America's lender...The Chinese made no threats. To the contrary, one of the officials said, 'China doesn't want any undesirable phenomenon in the global financial order.' The Chinese message is different. The message is that Washington does not have hegemony over Chinese policy, and if matters go from push to shove, Washington can expect financial turmoil."
MORE @ COUNTERPUNCH

The dude who wrote that piece worked at the Treasury for Reagan and was an editor for the WSJ. I'm just saying. Things are looking very bad. I'm new to the markets and economics, but the more I learn, the more freaked I'm getting. Read the comments on the Krugman piece if you want more on that score. Those are only for the brave. Stay tuned and stay positive: If the negative scenarios all these Ph.Ds are suggesting come to pass, there will be enough negativity to go around. A ton of it.

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Chris Kelly is Fucking Hilarious

My fellow contributor on HuffPo is not to be missed. While I usually like the rough and rugged language, as it more directly reflects the hearts and minds of this foul-mouthed nation, this dude's rants are as clean as a whistle. Yet he hits you harder where it hurts. I've got to learn that trick.

Bush Baby Einstein
[Chris Kelly, HuffPo]
According to a new report in the Journal of Pediatrics, for every hour a day that toddlers watch Baby Einstein, they learn six to eight fewer words than toddlers that don't. I think we're going to spend a lot of time, cleaning up after the Bush Years, correcting things that were glaringly wrong from the start. "Make your baby smart with TV." "Let the extraction industries write their own laws." "Merge the government and the church." "Get the Arabs into democracy by murdering them"...

MORE @ HUFFPO

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Seymour Hersh? David Cronenberg? Negativland? What's the Connection?

What's the connection? I'm interviewing all of them this month. For different publications, of course. The muckraking legend Hersh, pictured here, goes to my pals at LA Weekly, although you can bet I will be picking his dense brain for pieces of Hyperhighway to Hell. Body horror auteur David Cronenberg -- director of phenomenal films like Videodrome, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and many more -- meanwhile goes to Wired. Same goes with arch pranksters Negativland, who have morphed from small-time pains in U2's ass (read the Wiki for more on that) to big-time defenders of the digital age.

Can you say, "Busy fucking month"? I can.

There's much more to catch up on, but I'm too busy watching Apple's stock crater. I knew I should have got in at $120. But we waited too long for the red tape to unspool, and now we're left holding the bag somewhat. I'll try to forget that as things implode further thanks to the credit market collapse.

Speaking of, my Alternet piece on subcrime, naked shorts and the coming rerun of the 1929 depresssion was awarded a sequel, thanks to my forward-looking editors. Look for another potent dose on that as well in the coming days. And whatever you do, pull your money out of your mutual and pension funds right now and get it away from Schwab, Fidelity and other jackasses giving your money to Exxon, McDonald's and Halliburton. Their time has come, and you're going to need all the money you can get.

Stay tuned for more Morphizm, following this solipsistic post. And thanks for listening. It's a lost art, I hear. Hersh does that well, I read. Speaking of, let's adjourn to our weekend on a money quote from his conversation with neo-gonzo journo Matt Taibbi for the ridiculous Rolling Stone:

Matt Taibbi: But why isn't there more of an uproar by the public at atrocities committed by American troops? Have people become inured to those stories over the years
Seymour Hersh: I just think it's because they are Iraqis. You have to give Bill Clinton his due: When he bombed Kosovo in 1999, he became the first president since World War II to bomb white people. Think about it. Does that mean something? Is it just an accident, or is it an inevitable byproduct of white supremacy? White man's burden? You tell me what it is, I don't know.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

 

The State of the States? Sucks.

Things aren't shaping up to nicely for next year. The Dow has been getting its ass kicked across the floor of Wall Street, hitting its second worst day of 2007. The first worst? That was a couple days ago. And sure, that makes me happy. but even my Apple stock got hammered, and my hedge on Sprint is getting its balls further stuck in the vice.

But that's just the markets. Your state governments are now officially strapped for cash. They're going to dip into the reserves, and no doubt be useless when it comes to keeping the federal government out of their business:

State government finances to weaken
[CNN Money]
"The finances of U.S. state governments remain generally strong but will likely weaken in fiscal 2008, with many states planning to tap reserves, according to a survey of state finances released Thursday.

"All in all, the state fiscal situation was solid in almost every state through [fiscal year] 2007," the survey from the National Conference of State Legislatures said. "But it appears that state finances are in transition."

"Drawing on budget information from 45 states and tax information from 41, the survey said the fiscal health of states had likely peaked for the decade during fiscal 2006 and was now showing wear and tear as the U.S. economy slows."

MORE @ CNN MONEY

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

 

Lost Girls TV!

In what seems like a lifetime ago, I interviewed narrative wizard Alan Moore about his revisionist pornography epic Lost Girls. It was painstakingly constructed by both Moore and his partner Melinda Gebbie, who recently married earlier this year, over more than a decade, piece by piece. And now it is finally out and knocking down the doors between highbrow erotica and lowbrow smut, along the way recombining past folklore with its hidden sexualities.

Now word arrives from the very cool Chris Staros of Top Shelf Productions, publishers of the mammoth Lost Girls set, that "Tanya Spreckley of the Canadian TV show SexTV has just aired the one-and-only filmed TV segment" on the massive metafiction. Spreckley flew to Moore's native Northampton to nail the segment, which she posted on SexTV website. Enjoy the show here!

And for those of you who missed Morphizm's dense interview with the author of such labyrinthine classics as From Hell, Watchmen and V For Vendetta, let's get hyperreal:

We are All Complicit: An Interview With Alan Moore
Morphizm: Why are we still grasping for a hypocritical sexual purity at this late stage of the game?
Alan Moore: Yes, this is the American fundamentalist view of purity and virginity. And I'm over here on the Atlantic, so I might not be up on this as other individuals, but there have been quite a few evangelists who have been spending prayer dollars on blow jobs, whether it's Jimmy Swaggart. Jim Baker and so on. In fact, you have to wonder whether there is any actual genuine agenda behind any of this at all, other than some fundamentalist one-upmanship interested in appearing to be pure. When in fact, this kind of thing tends to cover a multitude of sins. We only have to look at the Catholic church, the Anglican church and, although it is not fashionable to say so, the Muslim church. I mean, we've got a lot of imams who are often self-appointed, and who can just turn up at a mosque and say, "This is my mosque now." Over here, a number of them have been charged with child abuse, and it has all happened exactly in the same way it happened with the Catholic church. Several parents who have expressed concern have been visited by high members of the church who advise them, for the good of the church, to keep quiet. When you actually look at reality rather than what a lot of people interpret from their sacred books, which were written hundreds or thousands of years ago, it turns out that countries such as Holland, Spain and Denmark, where pornography is openly available in every family bookstore and not really thought about, don't have a lot of children being raped, strangled and thrown into the canal. Which we do have quite a lot of over here in sexually repressed Britain. And I should point out when I say that that Britain is not actually a sexually repressed country, but it does have a sexually repressed upper and governmental class. Actually, Britain is a very bawdy country; you only have to read a little bit of Chaucer and Shakespeare, and you get the picture pretty quickly. Yet over here and certainly in America, you have this strange little sect that has got out of hand that seems to insist that everyone must think and behave the way they do, even if the way they think and behave often leaves a lot to be desired. So yeah, I'm not at all surprised that it usually turns out to be the people who are actually in charge of enforcing these moral codes who turn out to be transgressive or worse. And I suppose that's to be expected. After all, if you were somebody who enjoyed preying upon children, then there's only a certain number of jobs that are actually going to send that kind of action your way.

Morphizm: (Laughs) Priest.
Alan Moore: That'll do!

Morphizm: Teacher?
Alan Moore: Some teachers, and if you're perhaps part of this kind of task force cracking down upon child pornography, that would probably put you in the arena. You'd probably be contacting some people who would be involved in that. There'd be opportunities. Not that I want to cast aspersions on the great many, I'm sure, perfectly honest and respectable men and women working in this capacity, but it's worth remember that people who live in glass houses really shouldn't throw stones....

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

 

Morphizm Science Fix!

OK, since I spend all day researching this and much other stuff for Hyperhighway to Hell, as well as my articles for Wired, Alternet and further pubs who are cool enough to keep me self-employed, I decided that it was high time to share what I find with all of you. Enter our nerdcore epicenter, Morphizm Science Fix! (The exclamation point is mandatory.) Prepare to be mindfucked!

Eight-Million-Year-Old Bug is Alive and Growing
[Catherine Brahic, NewScientist.com]
An 8-million-year-old bacterium that was extracted from the oldest known ice on Earth is now growing in a laboratory, claim researchers.

If confirmed, this means ancient bacteria and viruses will come back to life as ice melts due to global warming. This is nothing to worry about, say experts, because the process has been going on for billions of years and the bugs are unlikely to cause human disease.

Kay Bidle of Rutgers University in New Jersey, US, and his colleagues extracted DNA and bacteria from ice found between 3 and 5 metres beneath the surface of a glacier in the Beacon and Mullins valleys of Antarctica. The ice gets older as it flows down the valleys and the researchers took five samples that were between 100,000 and 8 million years old.

They then attempted to resuscitate the organisms in the oldest and the youngest samples. "We tried to grow them in media, and the young stuff grew really fast. We could plate them and isolate colonies," says Bidle. The cultures grown from organisms found in the 100,000-year-old ice doubled in size every 7 days on average...

MORE @ NEWSCIENTIST.COM

Astronomers Witness Whopper Galaxy Collision
[Ker Than, Space.com]
A major cosmic pileup involving four large galaxies could give rise to one of the largest galaxies the universe has ever known, scientists say.

Each of the four galaxies is at least the size of the Milky Way, and each is home to billions of stars.

The galaxies will eventually merge into a single, colossal galaxy up to 10 times as massive as our own Milky Way.

"When this merger is complete, this will be one of the biggest galaxies in the universe," said study team member Kenneth Rines of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The finding, to be detailed in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters, gives scientists their first real glimpse into a galaxy merger involving multiple big galaxies.

"Most of the galaxy mergers we already knew about are like compact cars crashing together," Rines said. "What we have here is like four sand trucks smashing together, flinging sand everywhere."

Galaxy collisions are a common occurrence in the universe. Our own Milky Way is fated to collide and merge with its neighbor, Andromeda, in about 5 billion years...

MORE @ SPACE.COM

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Internet Radio Stalemate Stales

Back when Morphizm had its own Live365 radio station, things were going south on the internet music front with a vengeance. And even though the technology has gotten better and sites like YouTube, Last.fm and others have validated the open-source music sharing metaverse, dinosaur companies like the major labels and studios have only become more greedy and more desperate. Which wouldn't be a problem, if the regulating agencies and government stooges weren't still in their pockets. So where is internet radio headed now? Down the rabbit hole:

The Sounds of Silence
It's a marriage made in heaven. But, as usual, the Recording Industry Association of America, infamously known as the RIAA, is taking that marriage straight to hell.

I'm talking of course about Internet radio, the perfect platform for distribution of creative expression around the world, one offered at a low cost that made conventional radio a thing of the past. A mere decade ago, if you were looking for a radio station that rotated anything except mainstream Top 40 playlists, you were left out in the cold. Well, as far as radio was concerned, that is. Fans of pioneering P2P sites likes Napster kept everyone else well-fed on a steady diet of easily downloadable music catered specifically to their tastes, which they then plugged into any number of players for even easier listening. But those looking not to download but only to listen to something different than what they could have on increasingly consolidated standard radio networks didn't have much of an alternative.

But that was before Internet radio went supernova. As more and more web-savvy publishers started building their own sites and playing whatever they felt like playing -- even a nonstop rotation of Christmas tunes -- mainstream radio, and the music industry along with it, went belly up with irrelevance.

The question begged to be answered: Why should listeners be straitjacketed into formats they want nothing to do with, when they could log on to any indie webcast, like the thousands that could be found on Live365 and similar netcasters, and listen to exactly what they were looking for? Better yet, why would they ever buy a CD again, when not only is it a precious waste of plastic and paper, but altogether narrow compared to the massive playlists they can beam directly to their stereos from their iPods or other portable players? Why, in the end, would they ever go back to the major labels and mainstream radio at all?

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Monday, August 06, 2007

 

Burning Down the House

Thanks to the cool kids at WireTap, I've absorbed my articles written for them into Morphizm, and more importantly Hyperhighway to Hell. A hat tip to liberal content policies that make sense in the digital age. And another set of stated cases for why America and the world it is trying to dominate need to unplug from their managed hyperrealities in time to save us all from a planet getting more pissed off by the day. Here's my review for UK journo George Monbiot's Heat for more on that score:

Flame On! George Monbiot's Heat
"A faith in miracles grades seamlessly into excuses for inaction ... For all the agency this faith affords us, we might as well perform a climate-cooling dance." -- George Monbiot, Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning

George Monbiot should have put the moving eleventh and last chapter of his latest book Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning first. But he didn't, and it's pretty easy to see why.

The previous ten chapters fire like lightning over the technical details of both catastrophic climate change and the myriad ways in which its fatal blows can be avoided. Each chapter is filled with footnotes; Chapter 1: A Faustian Pact boasts 132 of them, while the other chapters either push or surpass 100. Then there is the endless roll call of mind-numbing data -- on fossil fuels, solar power, the tidal and wind industries, carbon-capture, hydrogen, microgrids and much more, all the way down to the finer points of Norway's housing code. Read Heat for a few days, and you likely will begin to see why the impending doom of climate change will play out like the worst chemistry class you have ever had.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

 

Funking Up the Future

I wrote the following piece on the resilient energy of funk and those who seek to preserve it, including the stellar Los Angeles label Stone's Throw, for the skate culture mag Vapors more than a few months ago. In fact, I think it was due right after New Year's Day or something. But it had yet to pop online, until I found it during a depressed link search tonight. (It's Friday. A very lame one at that.) I'm happy to show off a chunk of it here, and send the rest of you interested parties the way of Vapors. Go ahead and tell them Morphizm sent you.

Funking Up the Future
[Scott Thill, Vapors Magazine]
A few years ago, I caught a set by DJ Egon of the indie-hop label Stone's Throw during DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist's acclaimed Product Placement tour, and was taken aback. And not just because he had sick skills, but rather because he chose to show them off with the immortal James Brown as his sole sonic subject. That Egon executed a set using only the Godfather of Soul stuck out like a sore thumb in a show that featured turntablists like Jurassic 5's Numark spinning hits from across the spectrum, or Shadow and Cut seamlessly mashing obscure 45s for an hour straight. More importantly, the move signaled Egon's dogged determination to give the funk pioneer his due, a methodology that is quickly losing its primacy in a wired world looking for the next and newest, even if both ripped off the past, blind to make their names.

Fittingly, in the time before and since the recent passing of James Brown, Stone's Throw has grown in stature and relevance, landing deals with animation heavyweight Adult Swim and more, and Egon—known as Eothen Alapatt to the IRS and his folks—has become a go-to guy for funk old and new. As such, Stone's Throw's label manager has set aside an imprint strictly devoted, like his engaging set for Product Placement, to old-school funk that the mainstream has passed by. Launched in 2001 and called Now-Again Records, as Egon explains on the Stone's Throw site, its "access to so many lost treasures" makes Stone's Throw one of the foremost labels "dedicated to the preservation of one of America’s great musical forms." In other words, they're not about to let you forget who felt the funk long before you heard it sampled.

That drive to archive is what makes Egon and the rest of the Stone's Throw crew—Peanut Butter Wolf, Jeff Jank and the mighty Madlib—powerful protectors of the culture's collective memory, as well as indie-hop badasses with cred deeper than your dreams. Hard work pays off, after all, as Egon and Wolf found out after releasing Now-Again's formative compilation The Funky 16 Corners, which collected deep funk from bands you might have never heard of like Bad Medicine, Spider Harrison, Revolution Compared to What and more.

"I don't think I'm bragging to say that it was a benchmark," Egon tells me. "We only released music when we could officially broker a license. We used master tapes whenever possible. We annotated each session, dug up photos, told stories. And we made a promise to pay, when royalties became due. Over the past five years, that comp has sold over 30,000 copies and the artists have been paid many times over. We're very proud of that fact. We feel like we kick-started something."

Indeed they have, including another Stone's Throw imprint called Soul-Cal, which reissues soul and disco from the ’60s and ’70s. But they're not alone in the archive resurrection game; far from it. Brooklyn's own Daptone Records leapt into the void as well, capturing funk old and new on vinyl and disc, and download eventually, hopefully. From the new-school time warp of the increasingly popular Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings to the recent recovery of the soul-stirring Bob and Gene's If You Were Mine, Daptone has conquered the East Coast's funk loyalists as surely as Stone's Throw has enraptured the left coast. Better yet, according to archivist/DJ David Griffiths, who compiled the heartbreaking lost work of Bobby Nunn and Eugene Coplin recorded in the converted basement of their musical father William Nunn, the two share a kinship of sorts.

"Years ago," Griffiths explains, "I was inspired by guys like Egon who set the bar higher than I had previously seen anywhere else. And the depth of discovery was personally inspiring for me. But it's a calling you can’t put down if you have it. Many of my associates working in the same vein are truly driven, at base, not by money or a scene (there is very little of both), but by the belief that we are doing this because it is what we are here to do. We believe in the value of the recognition of these artists and music, and accept responsibility in our time for its documentation and safe-keeping"...

MORE @ VAPORS

(Photo: DJ Egon, Stone's Throw. Photog: C. Woodcock)

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

 

Twilight of Empire

UPDATE: The Huffington Post published my blog entry on Twilight of Empire earlier Friday, so go there and comment. They love the interaction, and I love to love them.

Back in 2003, my wife and I were lucky enough to work with Viggo Mortensen and his indie publisher Perceval Press on a book calling out the war in Iraq as a mammoth clusterbungle before it really got started. It was called Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation. Since its publication, those of us who have been criticizing the Bush administration as crusading cash grabbers have been validated by the very people who gave them the green light to bomb the living daylights out of Baghdad.

I'm sure you'll recognize some of the enablers, as many of them are running for president on the Democratic ticket. Hillary Clinton, the tough-talking New York senator who rubber-stamped Bush's right to "shock and awe" innocent civilians until they were not much more than body parts or Abu Ghraib torture fodder. John Edwards, a man who lost a son in a tragic accident and whose wife is now battling cancer but still couldn't manage to drum up enough foresight or compassion to understand that his personal tragedies would pale in comparison to the political ones he would level on the Iraqi people in service of Bush, Cheney and their neocon contingent. Joe Biden, who I can't understand half the time he's talking, but still should have known better, having served his own time in the equally ridiculous Vietnam War. I think you see where I'm going with this.

I'm proud to say that Viggo is now handing out Twilight of Empire for free at Perceval, so log on and grab yours. The essays from ambassador Joseph Wilson, disaster capitalism theorist Naomi Klein, Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, HuffPo contributor Mark Levine and many others (including Howard Zinn, who wrote the new edition's introduction) are charged exercises in conscientious objection, which grow more relevant as time passes and Iraq slipstreams into hyperreal madness.

But I'm less proud to say that many of the so-called alternatives to the Bush administration running for president in 2008 are the same ciphers that paved the way for our current chaos. It couldn't have been done without their help, and for that they should be thrown into Guantanamo along with the neocolonial Republicans you love to hate like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and their grifting ilk. I'm serious as a heart attack.

But I'm also pragmatic as a hedge funder. They like to play both sides against the middle class, and why not? That's where the money is to be made. Which is to say that I will most likely lay down my vote for whoever the Democrats decide to give the White House to in 2008. I say "give to" of course, because the only chance the Republicans have of winning the White House is if Bush goes nuclear and elects himself to a third term with the help of his pals in the Supreme Court. That said, I won't give the Democrats my loyalty, as they have to lose something for their capitulating trespasses.

I'm going Independent, and you should too. There's no earthly reason that America needs an exclusive two-party system, especially when the difference between the two parties is as hard to find as Dick Cheney's heart. Or Hillary Clinton's penis.



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Wes Anderson Returns!

OK, I will agree with most that The Life Aquatic and The Royal Tennenbaums weren't exactly quantum leaps forward for Wes Anderson, king of the postmodern soap opera. But this is the guy who made Rushmore, and for that he gets my undying loyalty. Hopefully, he'll hit a home run with The Darjeeling Limited, coming to screens small and large in September. Here's the trailer from Fox, who had to actually email me the embed code. (Uh, Fox, embed code is like those old AOL discs; you can get it anywhere.) Take a peek and tell Morphizm how you're feeling:


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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

 

Stop Seeing Crap: Watch These Documentaries!

There is no shortage of popcorn headaches out there to waste your hard-earned cash on. But isn't it time to unplug from hyperreality and peek behind the curtain the Bush administration has pulled across your eyes? Yeah, it is. It really, really is. Here are three movies, courtesy of longtime Morphizm film scribe and George Mason professor Cynthia Fuchs, worth your time, money and headaches. Just make sure to keep your eyes open:

No End in Sight
The war in Iraq stretches into forever, while American interests cash in. Mission accomplished!
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Nice Bombs
You think being torn between two lovers is rough? Try being torn between two countries at war. Then we'll talk.
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Shadow Company
The Founding Fathers banned private armies. But the Bush administration turned them into cold, hard cash.
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Your conscience will thank you.

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