Curios

Gettin' Some Jazzmatazz On...R.I.P., Guru

guruGuru AKA Keith Elam (17 July 1962 - 19 April 2010)

Back in '86 when I moved back to New York from Los Angeles, I'd seriously considered starting a label with my friend Stu Fine. We had several think-tank meetings trying to figure out what the label was, but more importantly what it wasn't. Both of us were fervently passionate about music. He was gaga over hip-hop, I was certainly a fan as I was managing The Nastee Boyz outta Newark. They were budding young entrepreneurs that were not only creating some of the dopest and craziest tracks of the day but were publishing the very first rap magazine called The Hip Hop Hit List. I wanted the label to include other genres of music; well, actually rock and alt-country, but Stu could see the value of narrowcasting to corner the growing rap and hip-hop market. Stu, being a massive baseball fan, came up with the name Wild Pitch Records. I liked it, didn't love it, as football was my main sport.

Solex vs. Cristina Martinez + Jon Spencer - Free MP3!

solexPunk rock royalty Jon Spencer and Cristina Martinez and Dutch electronic heroine Elisabeth Esselink, aka Solex, bring you the single "Galaxy Man" taken from the forthcoming album Amsterdam Throwdown, Kingstreet Showdown!. "Galaxy Man" is 2 minutes and 40 seconds of life-affirming therapy! You know you want this punked-up slab of electro fury! Go ahead and download their free track "Galaxy Man" today!

Earth Hour Power!

earth-hourTURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS!!!

Earth Hour!

A truly profound event happens this Saturday: all over the world, people will be turning their lights off for one hour to save energy and "cast a vote" against global warming and climate change. Individuals, entire residential and office buildings, even entire towns and cities are participating. In its first year, 2007, over 2.2 million people participated; in 2008, 50 million. So far this year almost 3,000 towns and municipalities in over 84 countries will be participating, with the numbers growing daily. Global landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Petronas Towers, Great Pyramids of Giza, and Golden Gate Bridge will be dimmed. The goal is for 1 billion people to participate.

Teenage Fanclub - Free MP3

teenage-fanclub-shadowsAh, finally. One of my favorite Scottish rock bands returns! Teenage Fanclub will release a brand new album on June 8, 2010 and launch a UK tour. Only 5 long years since Man-Made was released to universal acclaim, so it is no overstatement to say the new album is keenly anticipated. While most bands are lucky to have one great songwriter, Teenage Fanclub boasts three, hence Shadows is overflowing with the kind of gorgeous, harmony-driven classics you'd expect to find on a greatest hits album. For those of you who love jangle pop rock, DOWNLOAD "Baby Lee" for FREE now!

Queens of Burlesque!

Immodesty-BlaizeLe Poisson Rouge was ablaze last night, and not just Immodesty (photo left), although she was in full ermine regalia, albeit until she shared her bodacious body with the ravenous crowd.

All hail the Queens of Burlesque. An international cavalcade of women that would melt even the flimsiest veneer of even the most stoic prude. This is not your granddaddy's bump-and-grind of days gone by.

Some of the hottest gals on scene strutted, shook, shimmied, stretched, whipped, and preened to the catcalls, table thumping, and whistles of adoring guys and dolls en masse.

My head is throbbing just thinkin' about it all. I could barely keep off the Mrs. when I finally staggered home and crawled into bed.

But where does one begin?

From the neck down?

Bat Boy to the Rescue!

bat-boy-comicsFew can predict the success of new adult comic books and graphic novels. There are many of us who relish the fringe area of this literary wonderland. No doubt that numerous titles come and go, yet some remain permanently etched in our psyche, such as Peter Bagge's Hate and Bob Burden's Flaming Carrot. Imagine my joy when I happened upon the new four-part, limited-edition cover series from IDW Publishing featuring everyone's favorite mutant, Bat Boy (half-boy, half-bat found living in a cave). "I've been a big Bat Boy fan since I saw him in the paper about 10 years ago," says IDW publisher and editor-in-chief Chris Ryall. That the Weekly World News supermarket tabloid, one that created absurdly outrageous faux news stories for 30 years, could be turned into a compelling narrative seems like a very risky endeavor in today's volatile print world, but Mr. Ryall has hit it out of the park.

Haitian Earthquake Relief

haiti-flagThe devastation continues. But there are still simple ways to pitch in. Scott Harrison of Charity Water is asking that all current donations be made straight to two affiliated partner charities. Wyclef Jean suggests texting "Yele" to 501501 to automatically donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund. It will be charged to your cell phone bill. If you prefer donating your money to someone who is actually in Haiti, send Ms. Alison Thompson -- filmmaker and relief effort worker who helped rebuild an entire village in Sri Lanka, documented in her award-winning documentary The Third Wave -- a PayPal payment through her new website with Sean Penn entitled J/P HRO. And check out my friends at One.org for practical relief efforts. peace, Dusty

Beauty By Unusual Means: Alexander McQueen 1969-2010

Alexander-McQueenSometimes the stability of an individual's world is fatally rooted in the life of another. When that person dies the surviving entity is paralysed, and a state of emptiness consumes them. In the case of the fashion designer Alexander McQueen, his anchor was his mother, Joyce. For all his bravado, swagger and attitude, and he had these aplenty to shower on the unsuspecting, her death heralded his own. Although he seemed to be coming to terms with his loss, McQueen hanged himself in his Mayfair flat on the eve of her funeral, a month shy of his forty first birthday.

Adam Kritzer's 2009 Culture Recap

adventureland2009's cultural landscape has been a year of fresh faces mixed in with returning ones. Though there are many things I enjoyed this year, I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight a few specific people and releases that I believe will have a particular cultural impact well into the next decade. If you disagree, then please utilize the comments section below. Don't be a dick though. It's not that I'm wrong so much as we're both right.

Television:

Dexter was killer this year, as good as its first season, and featured John Lithgow in the most frightening role of his career.

Dusty's Culture Round Up for 2009

zenick-yearbookReasons to be cheerful in this bleak economy should be the celebration of the death of excess. We don't need to be fat and lazy and entitled because we happened to be born into one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The scales have been tipped. We need to refocus our attention on things that are significant in our lives. Even if culture seems trivial, it truly mirrors our times. And with that in mind, let me present my culture picks for 2009. Some of it may resonate with you, and some of it may appear gratuitous. Regardless, it helped soothe my muse.

Jeff Zenick - I collect outsider art AKA art brut; self-taught artists who've never perfected their craft in a formal university capacity. Folks like Howard Fintzer gathered loads of press back in the early '80s by rendering wonderfully unique LP covers for R.E.M. and the Talking Heads.