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October 28, 2005;/h3>

{     Cage - Hell's Winter     }    

cage.jpg For fans of indie hip-hop, Chris Palko represents a longstanding source of confusion and frustration. Originally an affiliate of the former 3rd Bass crew through his first group, Mudbones, Cage gained underground cult-status through his 12's released on the legendary Fondle 'Em imprint in the late 90s. Kubrick-inspired confessionals, fist-fuck love ballads and THX-1183esque consumerism critiques showcased his high-pitch, multi-punch delivery and bugged-out, drugged-out lyrical bombast, making Palko one of hip-hop's original "ill white kids." The rep grew bigger with each single, and heads quickly put Cage's original, left-field science at the top of the class. Complex dark narratives, a sinister sense of humor, and an overall lack of giving a fuck spotlighted Cage's genius visual/verbal flair and troubled mindstate while simultaneously providing the prototype for a then-straight and narrow Detroit native to bite; grabbing the bottle of bleach for equally-platinum success.


Film & TV

October 27, 2005;/h3>

{     He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Season One, Volume 1     }    

B000ALM4GW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_heman.jpgThis was the cartoon I raced home from school to catch, 3:30pm on the nose, every weekday, on channel 12. Like Rain Man with Wapner, I was obsessed to an almost clinical degree, and it was critical that I be there before the title rolled and those first few notes of the Filmation theme tinkled out from the single speaker on our 300lb 20" floor-model television. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was the perfect pop-culture cocktail: equal parts sci-fi, fantasy and super-hero action. It was also the vehicle for promoting a hugely successfuly toy line and merchandising empire. And I bought into it all, including a shameful fascination with the She-Ra Princess of Power spin-off target-marketed at the pre-teen girl demographic. A couple years later, as the fad waned and slanderous gossip trickled down from the junior high ("....Jason Vaughan's older sister said that He-Man is totally gay, and only babies watch that show....") my obsession went, quite literally, into the closet. I hid all my He-Man toys so that any friend stopping by would only see the much cooler and socially acceptable Transformers and GI Joe figures lying about. The cartoon still aired, though now it was at the much less coveted 4:30pm spot, and I found myself making up lame excuses to head home from playing with my friends without letting on what I was really up to. (My most often used excuse: "I have to poop.")


Film & TV

{     In the Realms of the Unreal - The Mystery of Henry Darger     }    

realms.jpg This innovative documentary explores the parallel lives of legendary outsider artist Henry Darger...a reclusive janitor by day, visionary artist by night. Darger's 15,000 page novel details the exploits of the Vivian Girls, seven angelic sisters who lead a rebellion against a child-enslaving army. The film delves deep into the parallel life of Darger, really putting that 'no man is an island' theory to the test. What I find most amazing is that while he was living not a single soul would know about any of the work that Darger created. In the Realms of the Unreal features the voices of Dakota Fanning (I Am Sam, War of the Worlds) as the narrator and Larry Pine (The Royal Tenenbaums, The Ice Storm) as the voice of Darger, along with a team of animators that really help to bring viewers into the world of Darger's artwork and life. With so little known about Darger himself, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu approaches the story as part narrative, part fantasy, and overall as documentary, putting together a wholly original film that tells the story of a hidden universe. Since his death in 1973, Henry Darger's work has been exhibited and collected worldwide. His art has inspired paintings, poetry, music, and works in theatre, dance, and opera. - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at

     » View trailer
     » Purchase


{     100 Circus Punks Invade NYC     }    

Ruben Rude Circus Punk.jpg The 100 Circus Punks show just uninstalled at The Showroom in New York's East Village took me back to the brutal culture of critique I lived through in art school. As I looked at so many solutions for the same basic visual problem, I noted a striking similarity to the assignments I was confronted with as an art student. This metaphor took on specific significance here though because these weren't just varying treatments of a platform toy concept (a la Dunny) but rather varying takes on a form that, to reference their history as carnival/amusement park knock-down-dolls, are targets crafted with the specific intent of receiving repeated abuse, as seemed every project I undertook as a student. Allow me then, battered survivor of art school that I am, to repeat the pattern started by zealous professors and take aim here. My first impressions were fueled by the dizzying number of pieces presented, 100+ seemed too many to show at once, and I was overwhelmed. With the recognition of entries from stars like Tim Biskup, Gary Baseman, Tara McPherson, and The Pizz came the realization that many of the participants had simply turned in brands of themselves rather than engaging the form to elicit further appreciation. Haven't we all seen too much of their respective styles to be satisfied by routine entries in shows like this? Absent was the hunger to reveal something never seen before, and it seemed that many creators held only a desire to turn in a commodity for sale. Sure, they sold, but how boring. Fortunately that left me to be swept up in the blessings of St. Surprise (that most hallowed of all aesthetic angels) who revealed some great unknown talents.

     » Circus Punks

By Aaron in Art

October 26, 2005;/h3>

{     YES Laboratories     }    

YESlabs.jpg A few months back while jumping around on an endless number of web I've often been known to do...I was struck in awe over these uber-dooper fly shirts by YES Laboratories. I sat and stared. Colorful detailed vector art patterns, money [as in actual currency] sewn into the shirts, and the fact that YES Lab makes their patterns available to the public via their web site piqued my curiosity. It was very Interesting, I needed to know more. I emailed the scientists at YES to get the scoop. The questions that I sent went un-responded to for months. I thought that was the end of it, so imagine my surprise when the following letter, appearing below in its entirety, arrived printed on a YES Labs T-Shirt in my mail box. The research is best read as if you're doing so off my upper torso.

     » YES Laboratories, inc dot com


October 25, 2005;/h3>

{     AnOtherMan     }    

617.jpg I Often find myself browsing the newsstand like a kid in a candy store. Lifestyles, music, current events, business, women's interest, sports - I don't discriminate. I am in search of good design and every once in awhile I stumble upon some substance that is just as solid. Enter AnOtherMan - a new startup mag launched by Jefferson Hack, the young editor behind Another Magazine. Its large size and curious backward italic folio quickly jumped out of the racks. The first flip-through revealed a refined, masculine typographic wonderland of high fashion and popular culture. The masthead exposes the creator of such elegance: Typography and Design: Gareth Hague, revealing the magazine's focus and attention to its aesthetic beyond the words on its pages.

     » Alias Type
     » Another Magazine


October 22, 2005;/h3>

{     Trailblazin' from Berlin     }    

RQM.jpg So I got this e-mail one day recently from a cat called RQM. Kinda threw me off balance in that he was wondering if I could help him out with some exposure and press. I clicked the link in his e-mail and was kinda blown away. I asked him to send me a full length of the latest endevor he and his partner The Tape have created. I have to say - my head is still swimming. Solid solid work coming from these two chaps. From what I've read about these two - RQM hails from Brooklyn and now lives in Berlin where he and the tape have joined forces. For more on these guys follow the link and listen to the free streams. Contributed by Ness


Food & Drink

October 20, 2005;/h3>

{     Kretschmer's Wheat Germ     }    

4wheatgerm.gifOver the past 5 years, I've found myself cursed with an increasingly strong and entirely unexplainable craving for wheat germ. It's not that I particularly love the flavor or texture, it's just... something I seem to need. It's like when your dog goes out in the yard and eats a few mouthfuls of grass, responding to some mostly dormant instinct telling him that this is necessary while never consciously realizing the digestive benefits gained by doing so. And you think to yourself "What is that crazy fucking dog doing, eating all that grass?" With that caveat comes my earnest endorsement of Kretschmer's Wheat Germ. I usually go with the Honey Crunch variety, if for no other reason than that the flavor seems to mix better with yogurt. The label tells me that wheat germ is an excellent source of Vitamin E and Folic Acid, and I am assured that there are a bounty of delicious recipes available that capitalize on the nutritional boost and nutty crunch of Kretschmer's. Who am I to argue?



October 17, 2005;/h3>

{     Fuck This Book - Bodhi Oser - Chronicle Books     }    

0811850722_large.jpgThe art of stickering centers around a single concept: placement. You just can't call it street or geurilla art if you're only bothering to slap your work on the back of your sketchbook or the bumper of your dad's '84 Ford Escort wagon. Never has the concept of perfect placement been better illustrated than in Fuck This Book, a photo-documentation of one man's quest to insert the F-bomb into as much public signage as is humanly possible. From the obvious ("Fucking In Rear") to the only slightly less-obvious ("Fuckle-Up and Drive Safely"), Fuck This Book captures the true ubiquity of everybody's favorite curse word. Part of the fun comes in seeing official postings transformed into lewd giggle-inducing statements ("Please Don't Feed the Pigeons" becomes "Please Don't Fuck the Pigeons"). It's also nice to savor the thought of these little landmines laid out in some bustling city park or street corner, quietly awaiting an unsuspecting audience.

     » FuckThisWebsite
     » Chronicle Books


October 12, 2005;/h3>

{     Beach Glass     }    

beachglass Beach Glass is a a collection of photographs from Bob Kronbauer, a super-talented dude that does super-cool stuff with super-cool people, and this book is a bunch of super-cool shots of super-cool moments in surreal Los Angeles super-coolness. Shot over 3 years, all with the same camera and film, processed and printed the same way, this book is a moment in time - a long gaze into LA daze. Looking at Mr. K's pictures is kind of like waking up at just the perfect time. Like opening your eyes right when the best thing that was going to happen in your city all day long just came swinging 'round the corner, and there you are all sleepy-eyed and shaking your head from side to side trying to get your shit straight so you can take it all in. You feel groggy and excited at the same time, you feel like your eyes are soaked in colored water. It's not like LSD in your eyedrops or any hippie jive like that, but it's just good. Soothing. Fun. Makes me want to live in Cali. Makes me want to get outside. Makes me want to be in love. Makes me want to feel hot pavement on bare feet, or better yet, sand between my toes. Makes me want to find a piece of beach glass. For the record, beach glass is a smooth and round piece of glass found in the sand on the ocean shore. Once sharp and dangerous, the trashy remainder of a shattered bottle, now it's a wonderful little stone, holding light and history, shaped by years of drifting and grit. Something to keep. Something to put in your pocket and later place on a shelf. These shots are kinda like that.

     » Buy a copy from FecalFace.
     » Buy a signed edition from Crownfarmer.

Film & TV

{     Motion+61 DVD     }    

77_image.jpg Earlier this now past summer, our friends at Heavy Backpack dropped their premiere release - a DVD entitled Motion+61 (Moving Image Design from Australia). The DVD is a big fat collection of crazy-talented motion video designers showing off their skills and flexing some serious motion-effect muscle. These boys and girls are some of the finest in the Australian film and animation fields, bringing some supreme clicking skills from way down under. On the disc you'll find contributions from Dform1, Digital Pictures Iloura, Engine, Everyday Okay, Mathematics, Qing Huang, Square i, and The Glue Society. Every joint on the disc is under ten minutes and each ones stuns. If video is your thing, then this DVD is your thing - if you just like to get lifted and watch cool shit, then this DVD is your thing too. Go to to read more and watch a sampler preview.

     » Buy from the Heavy Backpack shop


{     Early Man "Closing In" (Matador)     }    

earlyman-closing.jpg Oh yes, the cold of winter is creeping upon us, meaning it's time to pull on the hoodies, take double the swigs of Jack Daniels, and start listening to a hell of a lot more metal. At least that's what we do in Kentucky, so may I suggest you do the same? All you've gotta do really is bundle up a bit, grab a brown-liquor bottle, and put on the same record I'll be shivering to for the cold months to come - Early Man. Early Man is singer Mike Conte on the '73 Gibson SG and Adam Bennati on a big pile of drums, both from Columbus and both now thankfully fucking shit up in New York City. This is the kind of band that gets your hair all wet and matted at a show. This is the band that sells the venue out of beer and leaves shot glasses shattered on the floor and walls. This is the band that you love.

     » Early Man Army
     » Early Man on Matador ( w/ MP3s)

     » Buy it...

By Garrett in Music

October 5, 2005;/h3>

{     Devilrobots - To-Fu Oyako Rubik's Cube     }    

rubixcube1_large.jpgKing of Cubes! Devilrobots have applied their adorable To-Fu Oyako character designs to the quintessential 80's puzzle toy to create this 4" square wonder. There are actually two versions of this Rubik's-remix, the Faces flavor seen here, and an equally cool Cities piece. The Cities cube features a more traditional design, with 6 different color fields (one for each side of the cube) and accompanying illustrations of the To-Fu gang in various vehicles, making for some classic block twistin' fun. The Faces cube is a bit more abstract, with each block featuring a separate To-Fu face design. With no apparent order to the alignment of the faces, there doesn't seem to be much of a puzzle to solve here, it's more about aesthetic arrangement. Or perhaps if you twist it in the right pattern, you'll unlock a pan-dimensional gateway to Devilrobots Hell....

     » Faces Cube
     » Cities Cube


October 4, 2005;/h3>

{     Lewis & Clarke - Bare Bones and Branches     }    

godbarebones225577.jpgWithout being consciously aware of it, Summer got away from me. It melted quickly, as though the past four months were no longer than a week or two. I somehow missed the domestic release of this gem of an album back in June, but really that's okay. I can't imagine enjoying it more than I do right now, as the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to fade. Bare Bones and Branches just might be the perfect album for autumn; combining rich acoustic picking with subdued yet melodic vocals, the barely-there notes of a Hammond B-3 or Rhodes piano, and some sweet sweet lap-steel. It's got a very dusky (almost melancholy) vibe that's the essence of Fall. There's some genius production at work here as well, certain tracks carry an incredible lushness and fullness while others convey whispered restraint. This is the sound of leaves falling, the sight of rolling hills revealed through a lattice-work of barren branches, the scent of woodsmoke, moss on the northern side of a nearly-naked tree.


By Adam in Music

{     Giant Drag- Hearts and Unicorns     }    

giantdrag.jpg Giving this album a title like Hearts & Unicorns is a tad ironic given the fact that the album is not cute or cuddly in the least. This is the long awaited full-length debut from singer/songwriter Annie Hardy and drummer Micah Calabrese. The L.A. duo (unless you count Calabrese's left hand adding the bass lines from his Roland SH09 synthesizer as their third band member) is chalk full of distortion heavy guitar and heavy beats set to pop hooks. Fans will recognize that many of the tracks from their Lemona EP have returned as revamped versions. NME proclaimed Annie as "A woman who plays guitar like Kevin Shields and Kim Deal," while CMJ described their debut EP as "a shortlist of tastefully acerbic pop songs that evoke My Bloody Valentine's multi-layered guitar wash, Polly Jean's sinister lyrical streak and Hope Sandoval's Codeine-syrup vocals." I couldn't have put it better myself. With song titles like 'YFLMD' (an acronym for "you fuck like my dad") and 'My Dick Sux' you know you're not dealing with your everyday pop band. With their unique style this band should have no problem finding their place in the indie-rock world. - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at

     » Listen
     » Buy


October 3, 2005;/h3>

{     Ashbury- Last Sensation EP     }    

ashburylast.jpg I�ve been an aficionado of this band ever since I picked up their self-titled debut EP, which is filled with meloncholic lyrics set to familiar new wave rhythms. Quite simply, they had me at the opening line of �Blood on Stone� (�I could never be the one to trust with your life, I would only break you down with time�). Over time Ashbury have drawn comparisons to The Killers or The Faint simply because they play electro-rock, but to my ears Ashbury finds influence in a Joy Division/ New Order hybrid. With so many L.A. bands gaining notoriety worldwide (The Blood Arm, Moving Units, Autolux, Dios, Giant Drag), it will be interesting to see how much longer can this band remain one of L.A.�s best kept secrets? Last Sensation should act as a steping stone as far as the group working their way past their underground status. On this second EP, the East L.A. five-piece seem to be coming into their own with a darker and more polished sound, which may be the result of working with Hot Hot Heat Producer Warren Huart. The disc opens with the infectious upbeat number �Profile�, complete with sleazy synths, a pounding drumbeat, electric guitar, a hard bass line, and singer Jesse B.�s signature stoic delivery. �Closer Still� finds the group in a vintage new wave groove and the title track displays a much more aggressive Ashbury then were used to hearing. With one foot planted firmly in the past and one in the future, all this group needs now is a full-length album under their belt. - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at

     » Listen
     » Buy

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