Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Antago-Photos

Some of my hard work from this semester, definitely paid off.





Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some Boy

don't feign to deny
something you had in mind
for the lines within the lie
can only string you out as far as a
hand can reach to pull you back in

everything you give to me is halfhearted
and the reasons for my
utter ridiculous adoration of you
come very few.

for i dont really have any.

but nonetheless, i pick the problems
that tend to seek me out
and the only way to deal

is a very
slow
drag
on my cigarette.

often that doesn't help either.

and the alcohol is never the way to solve a problem
but to keep coming back to the one
who is so unavailable

in a way that reminds me of me.

drawn
drawn
drawn
to you for completely unexplainable incentives
and it makes life very difficult

but exciting
clearly in a fucked up way
how twisted does one have to be to enjoy
being on the recieving end of nothing?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kickstarter My Ass to Lisbon!

I'm part of this group of people called the Antagonists. We're going to Portugal. If you pledge, it's like you're going there in spirit.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Soccer is Rough

So, everyone I know who knows I play soccer has been sending me this video. So I'll post it.

Yeah, the girl is probably a bitch in real life, but I always said, women play dirtier than men do.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Anyone Notice the Makeover?

Yeah, the yellow and whatever it was, was getting a little old. I always liked rearranging my bedroom when I was younger (actually I still do) so why not my blog?



Oh yes, Fat Man is in a box.




This is Little Girl. Every morning.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jeramy Made Me Do It

Baddest-ass artist ever.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rad Bike Videos





Fun happens everywhere.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Seattle & New York



Blog Digression

Actually, my blog has not digressed, it has all but become invisible, because I have no time in my life to do such things as learn about rock salt, or see why humans have eyebrows...So, for now, to at least keep this up and running, and somewhat, kind of interesting (or at least continuous), I'm becoming a photo and video blog.

Cliché yes, but it's really just another way for me to get my photos (and other photos I like) onto the internet without posting them all on Flickr or facebook or whatever. And it's whole hell of a lot faster.

Perhaps someday, when I am settled down, with children and white picket fence, I will continue my blog of knowledge. Until then, enjoy these at your leisure.

*Note: None of these are in any order, it's all based on how I feel for the day, and a lot of them will be OLD. And, each duo will be interconnected in some odd way, through the maze of my mind. The fun part for you will be figuring out what that is!

















*courtesy of Carrie Thomas

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Antagonist Videos

Once again I have found my way back to my blog, and I hope that I will once again be able to post more often than once a month. My life has been busy with much Antagonist stuff lately, so I think I will simply post all of the videos we've done in the last 6 months.

























Stay tuned for more videos, we do this all the fucking time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Where Pepper? How Cannoli?

In the entire month of June I have managed now 3 posts. Really pathetic. So how will I make this one spectacular to the max? Aw, who knows, I have a long list of things I want to write about, but I think I'll make this one a double dose of food stuffs.

First off, my friend Jeannette and I were talking about something weeks ago, and decided that I should do a post on How Pepper is Made. I think we must have been eating it. After doing some research, I came to find that there's really no science to it (I don't know why I thought there would be).

Pepper is a flowering vine of the Piperaceae family. The fruit of the plant is known as the peppercorn, and when it's dried, that's basically what we grind up and put on everything. It is the single most commonly used spice in the world (not including salt, but then again, salt isn't a spice).

Pepper has been used for thousands and thousands of years, has been found in the noses of mummies in Egypt where it had been used in the mummification rituals, so valuable in the Roman Empire that it was sometimes used as currency, and has been used for medicinal purposes, to treat, constipation, diarrhea, heart disease, indigestion and many other ailments.

Vietnam is the world's largest exporter of pepper, accounting for 34% of the supply, and while they dominate the market, they use almost none if it within their own country. I personally think pepper is delicious on mac & cheese and other pastas. Yum.

Secondly, I found this wonderful, yummy recipe for vegan cannolis in cyberspace and wanted to share it. When I have time, I plan on making these puppies because I LOVE cannolis. You will need:

1 box silken tofu (organic firm)
1 container tofutti better than cream cheese
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons organic powdered sugar
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 good squeeze from half of a lemon
2 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 flax egg (whisk 2 tablespoons flax powder/meal with 3 tablespoons water)
2/3 cup marsala wine
1 EnerG egg substitute egg (1 1/2 teaspoon EnerG powder with 2 tablespoons water)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

For this recipe, you will need cannoli forms. You can buy a pack of four for about $10 at a kitchen supply store. You will also need a pastry bag with a big tip.

Whirl tofu, "cream cheese", powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender then put the mixture in the fridge to chill. This is your filling.

Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, shortening, flax egg (whisk 2 tablespoons flax powder/meal with 3 tablespoons water), and wine together to make a dough. Chill in the fridge for about 1/2 hour.

While dough is chilling, mix 1 EnerG Egg Replacer egg (1 1/2 teaspoon EnerG powder with 2 tablespoons water). You will use this to stick the shells together.

Roll out dough on floured surface to about 1/8 inch think.

Cut out 4 inch circles and then roll them one way so they turn into ovals.

Roll the long side of the oval length wise around the cannoli form and brush a little EnerG egg on the edge to make it stick. (I made 4 at a time because i only have 4 cannoli forms). the ends will be flat and flayed out.

Fry in canola oil (or other neutral oil) until dark golden brown.

Drain on paper towels and carefully pull out cannoli forms so you can make more shells.

When you have made all your shells, melt 2 cups of vegan chocolate chips and using a butter knife, line each shell with chocolate. Allow a little chocolate to rim the ends.

Cool chocolate shells in fridge until chocolate is set.

Using a pastry bag with a big tip, squeeze the filling into the shells from each end.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and put back in fridge until ready to eat! They are ready to eat on the spot but the longer they chill the better as the cream filling sets up.

The only problem with this recipe is the filling and the shells do not add up. You will end up with 10 cream filled cannolis and 2-3 extra empty shells. But the shells are good buy themselves too!

Serves: 10 Preparation time: 2-3 hours



So, my mouth started to water as I re-read this. The photo is the finished product from the other blog I stole this from. Yuuum.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Quote Generator

I found out about this project because the woman behind this whole thing came into my place of business to get some DVDs made. Not only did she walk in with an amazing sweatshirt of shark teeth but her whole manifesto was brilliant and I was thoroughly intrigued by what she is doing. I can't really explain her whole deal, but in short, the girl spoke in only quotes for three years. Yeah, I'm not even kidding.

The Quote Generator

Video of What She Does

Naked Mole Rat

Having a full time job means I don't get to do a lot of work for my own blog anymore, which makes me sad. But right now I have a few moments to put up another awesome post about a weird animal. This time I chose another animal that is near and dear to my heart: the Naked Mole Rat. Back in Seattle, the Science Center has a community of Naked Mole Rats living in a viewable subterrain.

Quick and dirty: Naked Mole Rats are rodents that live in underground communities. They are one of only two known eusocial mammals, meaning they live similarly to ants and termites, in large groups with a queen and workers and such. They live in harsh conditions, and have adapted to such, with skin that has almost no pain sensation, and a low metabolism.

The very first thing one might notice about these strange looking little guys is their lack of pigment, interesting dental work and nearly blind stare. Their teeth are situated in front of their lips, so that when they burrow (by using their teeth) they don't get dirt in their mouths. They are very nearly blind, can run backwards as fast as they can run forwards and very little hair (naked...).

These guys are native to Eastern Africa, and despite the harsh living conditions they inhabit, they aren't an endangered species. They can live up to 20 years, but a large portion of that time is spent sleeping. These funky little creatures are despised by some and often called ugly (but really, come on, they're endearing), yet they manage to live on, albeit, in a very unusual way. Check them out, at your local zoo if possible, or on the web, they're really quite something.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Artist Interview: Pat Conlon


My poor, neglected blog needed some art love, so I have a short and sweet interview with mister Pat Conlon, a New York City artist who is having an art exhibition at Alphabet City Soup on June 8th. Get to know him a little here, and come see his work in person there.

Q: When did you know you were going to become an artist?

A: When I was a kid, I would disappear underneath coffee tables, dinner tables or basically end up on the floor drawing to escape the chaos of big family Christmas dinners.



Q: Where does your inspiration come from?

A: I'd like to think of myself as an out of work comedian. I'll hear a good joke or have a funny experience and think about how it would make for a great drawing or painting.



Q: Who have been some influences in your art and in your life?

A: My father is one of my biggest creative inspirations. He inspires me anywhere from what he can make with his hands, to his spirited personality, which deems him the life of any party.



Q: Tell me about your connection to the Antagonist Art Movement.

A: I got involved in the late nineties when they would do potluck or Chris Cringle type art exchange between the collective. I was lucky enough to get Arturo Vega and we've become friends, as well as collectors of each other's work. Ethan Minsker and the crew have established a great thing and I'm proud to be involved.



Q: What is your thought process while making a piece?

A: Various streams of consciousness.



Q: What is your physical process when making a piece?

A: Material to material, pencil to paper, paint on canvas, etc. I don't have a ritual that I go through if that's what you're asking.



Q: What do you hope to bring across in your art?

A: To give people a taste of the assorted box of chocolates that God in his infinite wisdom has given us.



Q: Do you have a dream piece that you have yet to attempt?

A: I get flashes of my dream piece, but my dream piece is the one that I haven't made yet.



Q: What are your hopes for the future?

A: To enjoy myself as much as possible.



Q: You are given $1Million in funding for anything you want to do. What do you create?

A: I'd create myself a trip around the world.


Alphabet City Soup is part of the Antagonist Art Movement, and occurs every Monday night. There is live music, sometimes art, sometimes comedy, sometimes dance, but there is always, ALWAYS, fun.

Niagara Bar
112 Ave A (@ 7th ST.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Photobooth Funny



I'm always the last person to discover things, such as Photobooth, the Mac application that comes on all of their computers and might be the best time waster ever invented. This is just a short video (it does video too!) that me and my roommate made when we were messing around with it. We laughed forever, it might not be as funny to you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Format - "Dog Problems" Music Video



Another music video. This one takes me back a few years ago, to The Format, who are no longer together (sad to say), but the video endures, because it's happy and smart and makes me smile.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

World's Fastest Banjo



Doing the lazy thing and putting another video on here. This only until I get enough time in my life to create real posts that are informative and interesting. But for now, settle for some AMAzing banjo.

For those of you who don't know, I love banjo.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Menomena "Evil Bee"



I don't know what to think about this. It is amazing. And freaky, and I absolutely love it.
On a related note, Barsuk Records, who this band, Menomena, is on, have some of the greatest bands on earth on their label.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Schocholautte on QuietColor.com

The gentleman of Schocholautte have been featured on a fabulous music website called QuietColor.com, and I think you should all go check it out, leave a nice comment, come to Alphabet City Soup tomorrow night, see them rock you out of your pants, and then buy the EP. Sound like a plan?

Schocholautte on QuietColor.com!

Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog



Courtesy of miss Jeannette, here's Neil Patrick Harris being funny. It's long, but for you who truly enjoy fun things, the time will just fly by.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

NYC Favorites

Since I have clearly been neglecting this blog for at least a week, and I don't have the time to really get in a good quality post right now (thanks school and all my crazy activities), here's a list of a bunch of places and stuff I love about NYC. Clean and simple.

Franchia Restaurant
Antagonist Art Movement
Niagara Bar
Tea Spot
Babycakes
Grassroots Tavern
Astoria Beer Garden
Peanut Butter & Co.
Trade Fair
Andhow! Theater Company
Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company
Sacred Chow
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Schocholautte
Wednesday Night Skate

Seeing movies being filmed, and celebrities is no longer cause for awe, it just is.
Hating Times Square.
Sushi. Everywhere.
Indian food. Everywhere.
Cool graffiti on every building.
24-hour subway.
4AM last call on the weekends. 2 or 3AM on weekdays.
St. Marks Place.
Free hugs.
Central Park.
Soccer in the Bronx. And in Brooklyn.
Bedford Ave.
Astor Place rotating cube.
The smell of honey-roasted peanuts.
24-hour CVS and Duane Reade. Everywhere.
24-hour Mac Store.
24-hour everything.
Fernando Botero inside Columbus Circle.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pac-Man is Real!


Real-Life Pac Man Terrorizes People - Watch more Funny Videos

Thank you to miss Haley Jane for sending this to me. And to the French, for reaffirming what the world already thinks of them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Crazies Come Out in Seattle



This is so fabulous. Even after watching it and reading the article, I'm still not really sure what these people are protesting. It might be taxes, or gay marriage, or a black president, or....legalizing pitchfork capital punishment? Hysterical.

This Is Berlin, Not New York

Unable to sleep last night at all (like until the sunlight began showing) I decided to pop in the movie that Ethan Minsker (see previous post) gave me to review a few days ago. He talked about This is Berlin, Not New York some in the interview, but I had yet to actually see more than the trailer myself, and I wanted to see it damnit.

Regardless of the fact that I already love the Antagonists and everything they do, I really did like the movie. I watched it from the point of view that Ethan had made it from; it's about the process and the people, and not necessarily the art. While there was good art in the show in Berlin, and the idea of transforming an abandoned building into a huge art palace is kind of ingenius, it really did show a group of people who want to just make art, because it is their passion.

Background on the documentary would be good probably. A portion of folks from the Antagonist Art Movement went to Berlin in 2007 to have an art show, create connections, and visit another city where art is being made. They did things that were probably illegal, other things that were brilliant and other things that were downright silly. But they "experienced life artfully".

The movie was, in fact, inspiring, which I do think was part of the point. I definitely wanted to go out and make some art (maybe break a few laws) and live within my creativity. The DVD is available through their website antagovision.com. Below is the trailer, which I believe I have posted before, but no matter. Remember that the documentary itself is a work of art too. It all comes full circle.

And you don't have to travel long distances to see the Antagonists, they have a show every Thursday night from 9PM to 2AM at Niagara Bar (112 Ave A) in the East Village. There are different emerging artists, experienced artists and those in between each night, but you will never want for a good time, because that is the one constant.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Original Antagonist, Ethan Minsker

As an homage to the past and future Alphabet City Soup shows, here is an interview with Mr. Ethan Minsker, man and superman. A filmmaker, writer and artist, and co-founder of the Antagonist Art Movement, located in the East Village of New York City, Ethan was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in Washington, DC. He has lived in New York City since 1988. Ethan is an honors graduate from the School of Visual Arts and holds a Masters Degree in Media from the New School. He has a number of films to his credit; This is Berlin Not New York is his most recent film. Ethan has also written original screenplays and is now working on two memoirs. He is married to Miss Un Lee.

On February 27, 2009, Yoshitomo Nara, one of Japan’s top artists was arrested for drawing on the walls of a New York subway station. Nara’s paintings can sell for over one million dollars. Shortly before his arrest, he was at Niagara, a bar in New York’s East Village, as a guest of the Antagonist Art Movement. He was attending a regular Thursday night art show sponsored by the Antagonist Art Movement that featured six new artists. Nara was given markers by Niagara’s owner and told that, if he wished, he was welcome to draw something on the bar walls. Nara covered most of the bar’s walls. Inspired by his work in the bar, he took the markers and kept on drawing on things as he made his way home, up until his arrest. The Antagonist Art Movement is known for inspiring those in its midst to be creative. And this is not the first time someone connected to the Antagonist Art Movement has been arrested. In 2004, two of its members were arrested for putting up stickers with the Antagonist Art Movement logo. Locally, on occasion, the Antagonist Art Movement has been called infamous and sometimes it’s been called an art gang. In reality, little is known about the group.


Q: When did the Antagonist Art Movement begin?

A: In 2000, Anders Olsen, a painter, Sergio Vega, a musician who played in bands such as Quicksand and the Deaftones, and I, Ethan H. Minsker, a filmmaker, writer and artist, started doing art shows with live bands at Niagara bar.

Q: What are you guys all about?

A: It’s a social movement; meaning it’s the connection between friends and their creativity. The name implies that we want to push you to action. How do we do that? We created venues for artists: Monday night is Alphabet City Soup, a variety show, Tuesday is the public access show, Thursday is the one-night art shows and the first Sunday of the month is our writers’ night. The venues bring artists of all types together. They become a part of this scene. They develop and sometimes create something new. People have asked what style of art we do. It’s not one type or one style of art but a theory that we can make an environment that fosters creativity and originality. As Nietzche would say, “nothing is ugly but degenerate man”. Clearly, some of the influences are from the Andy Warhol factory. Not Warhol‘s art but the place where films, music, and art of all types was produced. Or the beatnik writers; not their writings, but their connections among friends.

Q: Tell me about some of the artists you’ve worked with?

A: Sumner Dilworth is a photographer that showed with us and did cover art for our fanzine Psycho Moto. I took the magazine with his photos over to friends at Harris Publishing and told them that I believed in his art. They called him in and hired him. Now he has worked on everything, from the rock magazines to the New York Times. Jonah Hill, who is in movies such as Superbad, Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was discovered at our writers’ nights. The first time he came in and did his standup routine, he was great so we asked him to come back every week, pushing him to explore his potential. If they ever let him write a movie, I’m sure it will be funnier than anything he has appeared in to date. Currently we are working with a number of artists like James Rubio, Un Lee, Brett Farkas, and the band Schocholautte. Michael H. Houghton is a designer who has worked with the Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses and just about every large rock group there is. He has been taking some of our clothing line and is turning it into Punk Couture. On average, we show seven to eight artists every Thursday and more if you count Mondays and Sundays. We figure we have shown more than 3,000 artists over nine years. It’s at a point now where we find artists that we have worked with are now curators, showing in bigger galleries and so on. As Ted Riederer would tell you, one of the gratifying things about showing new artists every week is that many times we are the first time they have shown publicly. From the artists that show, we select those we would like to help develop. We do that by giving them more shows and bringing them on our out-of-state and over-seas shows. We give them a stream of feedback as well as an audience with which to interact.

Q: What are you hoping for the future of AAM?


A: Personally I try to think of us 30 years in the future and being in a museum as part of a permanent collection. I imagine walking from room to room and seeing our fashions on mannequins, walls covered from floor to ceiling with the work of our artists, displays of our fanzines and the chap books we published, then walking into a room with our films playing. When you hear about these legendary punk shows at CBGB’s where Television, Blondie, the Talking Heads, or Richard Hell played, you might think they were all sold-out shows but the truth is there were like six people. By comparison, we are doing pretty well. But in the meantime, we are working on our next over-seas show which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. The title of the show is Dolls of Lisbon, which will also be the title of a movie we are shooting. We are making dolls and shipping some over to the Lisbon artists to work on.

Q: Who is the AAM? Who are the Antagonists?

A: It’s a state of mind so anyone who is antagonistic in some way: degenerates, criminals, villains, heroes, artists. But here is a short list: James Rubio, Ted Riederer, Un Lee, Julian Stockdale, Arturo Vega, Anders Olson, Dan Graff, Crispy T, Johnny T, Anthony Ferraro, Mystie Chamberlin, Richard Allen, Brother Mike Cohen, Zeke T, Bryan Middleton, Gabriel CD, Sylvia Ortiz, Lucho, Brett Farkas, Sergio Vega, Michelle Halabura, and I could keep going and going.

Q: Tell me about your recent film, This is Berlin, Not New York.

A: I have watched a lot of art documentaries and the thing I hated about them is that they always have the artist just talking about his art and then cut to images of his art. What I want to see is the personality of the artist. I made a film about artists that really isn’t about their art but about the creation of their art. Like Warhol’s super stars, I want the artist to be the center of the film. Some might watch it and think of it as a home video, but I see it as the love of being an artist and being passionate about what you are doing. Many people who have watched it say it’s inspiring, but the real message is that anyone can be creative and should be. Show art anywhere even if you have to bend the law a little to do it.

Q: What kinds of art do you look for?

A: We have a new gallery that looks great. We love to look at new art of any type. Artists who are interested in showing with us can contact our curators by email at Antagonistart@aol.com or meeshamitch@gmail.com. They will want to see our website and send us three jpgs of the art they would like to show with size and a description. Our shows are about the community of artists. We sometimes do sell art but it’s not our focus. This is why our gallery is unique. We have no overhead. Where most galleries in New York have to pay rent and staff, we don’t. If we sell art, we take 30%, which goes right back to promoting artists or creating art. We don’t pick art based on if it will sell. We are interested in the integrity of the work and the artists themselves. We have shown artists from around the world, but definitely favor the locals. If you are an artist out there and have had a hard time finding a place to show, don’t be timid. Contact us.

Q: What one thing do you hope to put across to people who see the AAM shows?

A: Art is exercisable.

Q. How is Niagara Bar connected to the AAM?

A: One of the Antagonists is a part owner of the bar. They provide us with work, a space to show and have put up with our shenanigans for nine years now. It’s our home base. The bar has a great history with the punk rock world. Bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat played their first New York City shows there. Jimmy from Murphy’s Law was a DJ there when he was 13. It was a hangout for the likes of Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone.

Q: How is NYC a good city for this as opposed to another city?

A: People move to New York City following their dream to do something creative. But once they are here, they realize they are caught in a cycle of having to work regular day-jobs in order to pay their rent and other bills, just to live here. There is an army of talented people who want to do something creative. For us, it means art shows, films, publishing our writers, and so on. New York City has a rich history of art movements and artist groups, from punk to pop. NYC has been the center of the art world for more than a hundred years. I can’t see us in any place else.

Q: What are the Antagonist Venues?

A: Alphabet City Soup - Monday nights, 8 pm to 11 pm at Niagara Bar, 112 Ave A, southeast corner of East 7th Street, NYC, 212-420-9517 – variety show

Antagovision- Tuesday nights at 11pm on MNN, Cable Channel 67 or RCN Channel 110, NYC public access TV show

One-night art shows - Thursday nights, 9 pm to 2 am at Niagara Bar, showcase of visual artists

Open mic writers’ night- First Sunday of the Month, 9 pm to 11 pm, Black and White, 86 East 10th Street, NYC

Our clothing line and films can be found at 99x, 84 East 10th Street

Our film, This Is Berlin Not New York, is available for sale on a dozen sites online and at our website, http://antagonistmovement.com.

To find out more about the Antagonist Art Movement or to read our manifesto, go to www.antagovision.com.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Alphabet City Soup April 13th!

Again again, there will be a fabulous show at Niagara Bar! Alphabet City Soup returns for your visual and aural pleasure. However, some tragedy has struck! Our host-to-be is stranded on a deserted island and won't be able to return for this show. But regardless, we will have a great lineup with:

Bob Juergens - doing some stand up comedy!
Mariah MacCarthy - the first act to return for a second time, also with some stand up!
Schocholautte - the effervescent brown trio!
Kadafi - some metal infused rock, necessary on a monday night!

Like always, cover is free to everyone over 21 (no under 21's allowed, sorry kids).

Show up, drink some beer, laugh and dance, it's inescapable.

Alphabet City Soup sponsored by the Antagonist Art Movement
Niagara Bar
112 Ave A (@ 7th ST)
Show starts at 8PM!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sumo Sumo Sumo


How many types of wrestling are there? Greco-Roman Wrestling, freestyle, thumb wrestling to name a few. But how about Sumo wrestling? The only country in the world that practices it as a professional sport is Japan, where it originated and has a long history.

Quick and dirty: Sumo wrestling consists of two men (XX-large men by Japanese standards) trying to knock each other out of a ring or to the ground. Today, like centuries past, they still use many ritual ceremonies before a competition, such as salt for purification, and the traditional loincloth, which is actually a much stiffer version today, than in years gone by.

The only people who are allowed to train sumo wrestlers are former wrestlers and the members of the Japanese Sumo Association. The wrestlers adhere to strict diets, take on wrestling names (just like pro-wrestling in the U.S.), and are ranked according to a centuries old hierarchy system.

Foreign wrestlers are beginning to enter the professional Sumo circuit, and more are reaching the higher ranks each year. Women are not allowed to enter or even touch a sumo ring, and even to this day the rules for sumo are strictly regimented and carried through.

Check out some Sumo Wrestling, it's not really that much different from all the WWF or WWA or whatever our wrestling association in the U.S. is. These men are just as identifiable in Japan, and regardless of their seemingly obese size, they are looked upon as true athletes.

Sumo on Wikipedia
More Sumo!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Alphabet City Soup: 2nd Edition

The second night of Alphabet City Soup has occurred and boy did it go over well! We had an outstanding lineup, and even a surprise guest again this week! The night began with our surprise, Argyle Johansen, playing like a trooper with his mini-guitar underneath one arm in a sling. Next we had the improv troupe The Black Boxes in the Corner, who were nothing short of hysterical. My good buddy Carlo Fiorletta then came on to give us some banjo. It was Banjo (with a capital B). The phenomenal Dustin Edge played a solo acoustic set, which I know I totally got into. That guy can rock it. The finale for our variety show was Grace Anatomy and she performed a short (but sweet) burlesque dance for the crowd and everyone was Pumped (with a capital P).

After a brief intermission and short parade up and down Ave A., Schocholautte went onstage to add to the already brilliant evening. They played supremely and even left a pile of exhausted bodies lying on the floor when they were finished. Things like that tend to happen at their shows, scientists have yet to figure out why. Have a look at some pictures, and don't forget to put next week on your calendar, we are having the official official night with our host Julian Stockdale. This could turn out dynamic or disasterous. You have to come and find out.

Click HERE to see more photos!

Making Dinner for His Demons

For those of you who don’t know, there is a Monday night showcase at Niagara Bar called Alphabet City Soup, and it manages to find some of the strangest and less well known people in NYC and bring them all to one place and turn them into superstars. These are not your average, run-of-the-mill nobodys, but people who are just not famous.......yet. Who might we have to wrangle all of this talent? None other than the fabulously funny comedian, Julian Stockdale, who managed to take time out of his fervently busy life to let me in on some of his dirty secrets.



Do you think you're funny?

Me? Do I think I'm funny? No...But other people do and I'm a "follower".

Are there any drawbacks to being a comedian?

Are you kidding me?

The biggest drawback I have, and I get it all the time, usually comes right after I meet someone for the first time. You're at a family gathering or a bar with friends and one of them introduces you to someone in the crowd and you start talking and then they ask that dreaded question: "So what do you do for a living?" and this never fails, but right
after you say "Oh I'm a comedian" they say
"Oh yeah? Tell me one of your jokes"
I fucking hate that and it never fails.
I've really been considering making something up next time they ask, like "Yeah, I work at Home Depot" instead, but I'm really terrified that they're just going to ask me to help install their bathroom tile after that.
Some people just expect you to be funny ALL the time in your personal life, and I kinda cherish the option of feeling downright miserable every once in a while.

Give me some backround on your life. Where are you from? Why did you start doing stand-up comedy?

I'm one of the last native New Yorkers. They should put my accent in a jar after I die, because there are already people I've met from fucking Wisconsin or wherever, that have no idea that there's such a thing as a New York accent.
It's a long story but I wanted to do comedy as far back as I could remember. In the early 2000's when I was in high school, I started getting seriously into comedy and making movies and filming skits with my friends. I even did a wonderfully terrible show at New York Comedy Club around that time. After high school when the class clown is finally unemployed, I decided to give being a professional "serious person" a shot, and I became a mischievous poet and writer...and I was really good at it. But then after a couple years of all that I realized a room full of people laughing sounded a hell of a lot better than the sound of a room full of people scratching their heads.

What made you go back to comedy?

Well, this sounds awful, but I'm really inspired by one night stands. My one night stands are like these little inspiring "The More You Know" segments. About two years ago I had a one with a comedienne, I'm not going to mention any names, but she was one of the funniest girls I've ever met. A dark, sly wit. By this time I was winning spoken word slams but I was cracking more jokes on stage than I was dropping "head spinning lyrical aesthetic", and this girl kind of subconsciously sealed the bag for me somehow and I went back to comedy.

How did you end up the host of Alphabet City Soup?

Well, like any responsible young man, I make most of life's most important decisions when I'm extremely intoxicated. So I really don't recall how the deal was made...I just woke up one morning with all this responsibility. I had a lot of fun naming it though.

How did you become involved with the Antagonist Movement who produces the Soup?

A extreme case of mistaken identity... After I broke with most of my serious poet and writer friends, they practically put a Fatwa out on my life, so I started to hang out more with my OTHER friends like the party kids. There used to be this great party called Motherfucker by Michael T. and Justine D. a couple years ago downstairs at Niagara, and one particular week, probably one I haven't slept, I was under the impression that Motherfucker was going on one night, but it was the wrong night, and I walked into an Antagonist night downstairs and the first thing I saw was the artist Rib One painting some naked girl and I said "Wow, this is more fun than fucking Motherfucker." It's been a wonderful romance since then.

What's the best thing about being involved with the Antagonist Movement, Alphabet City Soup and Niagara bar?

Growing up in New York, I've had friends everywhere in every group and scene you could think of...the skaters, the hood rats, the musicians, the comedians, the party kids...and now the Antagonist Movement...and through them I've found in them not only some of my best friends I've ever had, BUT some of the best friends I've ever wanted to have.
Believe it or not, Comedy is an art form... and Ethan Minsker, Un Lee, Ted Reiderer and everyone's support, even when they didn't know me very well at first, was remarkable. There were times I've been my usual fucking mischievous self and a very, very bad boy.. and I needed a good kick in the ass from Ethan or den mother Un or whatever, and that was great. A lot of the Antags have been around a while and they're older than I am, so there's a lot of looking up and looking out going on there and I love them for it.
Niagara is my generation's Mudd Club and Alphabet City Soup is going to be the next TV Party. It's going to be a pretty big deal because we're going to make it a big deal.

What would you be doing if you haven't decided to do comedy?

I don't know. My grandmother scared the shit out of me when I was little because she said I had "hands like a priest"... so I thought about nothing but entertainment a little too fucking early. Little priest hands don't almost choke their grandma's because of stupid comments.
Some people think I'm a musician because I guess I look like one...but I'd never be able to be in a band. Comedy is basically the only profession that allows you the excuse to consistently break the rules of life and look good doing it at any age. People assume you could do this as a musician too--- but who looked cooler on stage at 65, Mick Jagger or George Carlin? Schocholautte are going to be sexy 65 year olds, though.

Finally, tell me a joke. Make it funny.

Don't be a smart ass.



(Photo courtesy of Allison Harris)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Schocholautte Interview Online!

The interview I did with Michael P! of Schocholautte is available on TWO websites, so go check that shit out!

Schocholautte on ShortAndSweetNYC.com

Schocholautte on ComfortComes.com

And then come and see a show, like next week at Niagara, or the Charleston, or in Harrisburg, PA!

Do it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Join Alphabet City Soup this Monday!

The second edition of Alphabet City Soup sponsored by the Antagonist Art Movement, is coming to a Niagara Bar near you. April 6th will see some incredible performers and sweet, sweet fun. Those who will be entertaining you are as follows:

Dustin Edge - music spectacular
The Black Boxes in the Corner – improv troupe
Carlo Fiorletta - banjo
Grace Anatomy - burlesque
SCHOCHOLAUTTE!

There will probably be one or two more performers that have yet to be confirmed, but we like to surprise the folks who come to these shows. Someday it will be someone super famous. Not today, but someday.

Check it out fools! There is defnintely nothing else you could be doing, it's monday after all, the (former) most boring day of the week. Check back here for pictures after!

Niagara Bar
112 Ave A @7th St.

SHOW STARTS AT 8PM!
FREE!
21+ ONLY!

Come get drunk and dance.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Ropes – Be My Gun



I was sent this music video by a member of The Ropes' street team (thanks Natalie!) and I agree, the song and the video both rock, so in accordance with all I hold dear, I'm posting it, because this is how new music is found!

Check out their myspace and website too, they've got more good music!

Please follow in Natalie's footsteps, if there is some great music out there, let me know; I post just about anything (so long as it's good!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Glorious Monday and Someone's EP is on the Internet

Last evening was sort of the official opening for Alphabet City Soup, hosted by the Antagonist Art Movement at Niagara Bar, down in the good ole' East Village. We had Mariah MacCarthy doing her first stand up routine ever, lots about lesbians and a vegetarian girls rap. It was hysterical I think. Then Ibrahim Siddiq (aka POET) graced us with his presence and some spoken word, much of which was heartwrenching and hilarious at the same time. Amazing. Then mister Adam Lash did some comedy for us as well, he almost battled it out with Mariah about all the lesbian jokes, I was waiting for a brawl. And he was funny as shit. Right before the band went on we had Nick Ignazzi perform some illusion stunts which were super; my personal favorite was the paper cutout of Abraham Lincoln (I'm still a sucker for all that sleight of hand stuff).

Of course we must not forget, we had a special surprise guest early on in the evening. The original opener couldn't make it, so Ramzi Khoury (who was only coming to see the show, and participate on a later date) got up on stage and did a set with himself and the guitar. Three cheers for him, what a sport, we will definitely be having him back. Unless we scared him away. Hopefully not.

Last but not least, Schocholautte went on at 10pm and played magnificently (is there any other way?). They played a few new songs, a few awesome songs, a few songs not heard in a long-ass time, and a few from their new EP. Segue. Schocholautte's new EP, "Oodles of Charm" has made its way to the internet! I know it's on Amazon, Rhapsody and some other places. Just google it and you'll probably find it on your favorite music purchasing website. It will be out on i-Tunes soon enough kiddies, have patience.

And don't forget to admire the album artwork, created and conceived by Michael P! and Haley Jane (who did the photos too!). I know how much time went into it, a lot, so appreciate what these guys do for you. They love you, love them back by buying the album, it's all of $6. I know for a fact that a Starbucks drink can cost more than that. And you won't feel sick after buying the EP, so, bonus points!

At long last, here are some pictures of the evening, look forward to more!







Monday, March 30, 2009

Some Other Writing Endeavors and Great Websites

So, I now write music stuffs for a few other blogs and I thought, both because I write for them and because they're cool in general, I should link some stuff to their websites. Promo for me, promo for them. No downside.

QuietColor.com (Decemberists Review!)
ComfortComes.com (Schocholautte review!)
ShortAndSweetNYC.com (review and interview to be posted soon!)

Hang out at these websites for a while, they've got lots of cool stuff on them. Check out the visual art section of QuietColor, and the food section of ShortAndSweet, and the awesome videos on ComfortComes. Do it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Funniest 18-Year Old Alive


Oh my god. Where does this kid live, I want him in the monday shows...damn, he's not old enough. Awesome bastard.

Another Fabulous Animal: The Ostrich

Whoever says that birds are not descended from dinosaurs, needs only to take a look at the Ostrich to know they are wrong, wrong, wrong. About the only thing this bird has in common with other birds is it's egg-laying capabilities. Other than that, it's essentially a Gallimimus with some feathers.

So, the quick and dirty: the Ostrich is the largest bird in the world, a cousin of the nearly as large Emu, and related to Kiwis and other such flightless birds (not penguins though). These guys can grow to nearly 10 feet tall, weigh more than a sumo wrestler, and can beat a horse in a footrace. Most people already know that they lay the largest eggs of any bird, averaging around 6 inches long.

Contrary to what cartoons say, when an ostrich feels threatened, it doesn't stick its head into the ground, but rather lies flat, or runs like the dickens. They live in communities and travel together, but when held entirely in captivity, it is very possible for them to be unable to court other birds; however, they may try their tricks on humans.

These creatures are ever fascinating, one of the last species of flightless birds in an order where most have died off (such as the "Elephant Bird", Aepyornis). They have long been adored for their luxurious feathers and tough leather, but to a greater extent they give us a real glimpse into the past. We have, living on this planet, such a close relative to the ancient beasts of prehistoric times, and we should appreciate them as they are; walking history. And come on, they're pretty cute too.

The Ostrich
More About the Ostrich
More About Flightless Birds

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Best of the Worst of America

As a child I was fascinated by colors, lights, toys and the like. I think most kids were probably the same. So it only seems right that as an adult, being still fascinated by colors, lights, toys and the like, I should have a soft spot in my heart for the anything that reminds me of childhood. This is true, and untrue at the same time. Kitsch has become something short of an obsession for me; an undying love of all things in bad taste and ridiculous existence. This leads me to my thoughts on Disneyland and Las Vegas.

















There are few places in this country, let alone the world, which can cater to the imagination and fantasies like Disneyland and Vegas. Though there is a broad distance between the median age for tourists in Disneyland and those in Vegas, the concept is still the same. The world's largest playground. In essence, Vegas is the adult version of Disneyland, with rides, sweets, costumed characters and anything the mind can wish.

Admitting all bias, I adore both places, but not for their gambling opportunities, or roller coasters or anything. Disneyland makes we want to cry, and Vegas usually makes me want to vomit. However, I appreciate them as pieces of American culture, something that only the United States could ever really invent, and something that reminds the world that there is in fact a common culture in this country. So many nations have characteristics that immediately come to mind when describing a member of that country. I won't name them, but you can think of a few I'm sure.

But when given American, often ideas come the way of "melting pot", or "a mixture of cultures". While this is, of course, very true, over the centuries, this country has managed to find its own home in the world, with a strange culture all its own. Kitsch was not invented here by any means, but the culture of utter ridiculousness has been perfected by places such as Vegas and Disneyland. America has managed to turn luxury, kitsch and ostentatious "It's all about me!" culture into a guilty pleasure that lies as a backbone for the more well-known all powerful United States of America.

Bravo!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Antagonist Art Movement presents: Alphabet City Soup

This is now official news, the Antagonist Art Movement (those lovely people who brought you thursday nights at Niagara Bar) have a new night of great things! Every Monday, beginning March 30th, will turn this little East Village bar into a crazy house of ruckus!

This show will consist of variety acts, local NYC folks who do their thing, and do it well. Julian Stockdale, will be the host and keep it all running funny. Schocholautte, those New York rock idols, will be capping the show off each night with their set at 10pm!

The shows are free, and 21+ (sorry kiddies), but come ready to party, and have a beer or two. Better yet, bring a friend or two and buy their drinks also. Each Monday will be a little bit different so you never get the same show twice! Niagara Bar is located at 7th St. and Ave. A in the East Village. Bring the love, bring the sweat, bring your ears and eyes, this show will knock you on your ass, and then pick you up again!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bat for Lashes "Daniel" music video

Daniel - Bat For Lashes

I had never heard of Bat for Lashes before, but I think this song and video are incredible! Definitely a new one to add to my list.

Bat for Lashes Myspace

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Good Music is Good Anywhere

There are people who like listening to albums, and there are those who prefer live music. Personally I prefer music live, and can't comprehend those who would rather sit at home, but who's judging? However, my point is this, if the music is good, it doesn't really matter when or where you hear it, because it should do the same thing to you. Whatever that may be depends on lots of things.

Take one example, last night in south Jersey, there was a house party. This party had a band booked to play it. Four songs into the set, the cops showed up with a noise warning. Mostly it was ridiculous because it was barely 10pm (yes I was there). After a short break, people still wanted to hear more, so the band tried playing with less instruments and no amps. Still to no avail, it was too loud outside. So, as a last resort, they moved to an upstairs bedroom.

The idea of cramming 20 people, instruments and beer into a small bedroom might not sound that great to some music lovers, but when the lyrics and beats make everyone in the room close their eyes and bob their heads in unison, the close proximity and awkward situation make it that much more intimate and meaningful. This band got to finish their set and have dozens of new, amazed fans, because of this one evening.

Sitting next to the guy singing, or drumming or whatnot, makes you almost feel like a part of the band, and instinctively, a part of the music. Every song is, of course, about your life, and you cannot fathom how the songwriter managed to get inside your head to pull out these deep thoughts. And really, they only pulled out what is human in all of us, and the evening took everyone back to the time when people would sit around, and not watch television or even listen to the radio, but would actively entertain each other, with music, conversation and laughter.

What Band Was It?

(Photo courtesy of Karen Pobicki)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Alfred Jarry is the Man

In college, I was a student of the theatre. And during one class on European Drama, I read a play which, to this day, is still one of my fondest and most cherished favorites. Ubu roi, written by Alfred Jarry is one of the great precursors to modern drama. The man is little known outside of his home country of France, and I thought I should give some blog love to the genius playwright.

Alfred Jarry was born in Laval, Mayenne, France in 1873. He was a precocious student, often making fun of his less than worthy professors and, along with other boys, would create puppet shows based around the characters in his own life. He moved to Paris at the age of 17, both of his parents died, and he discovered absinthe, as many of the great playwrights did.

His great work, Ubu roi, opened on December 10, 1896, to a crowd of horrified viewers, astounded at his use of "Merdre!" (translated as "Shitter!" in English). The word sparked a riot and the play was not seen again until 1907. Among the many other talents Jarry possessed, he was the inventor of Pataphysics, a strange pseudoscience, still not completely understood. He wore a pistol on his midget frame, and rode a bicycle, of which he referred to as "that which rolls". All the while his health continued to deteriorate from his massive alcohol consumption.

Jarry died in 1907 at the tender age of 34 from tuberculosis but his influence lives on in his plays, fiction novels, pseudoscientific studies and through his legendary status which he took on during the last years of his life. There is even a band named Pére Ubu, which is not coincidental. He is often known as the first absurdist playwright, the first surrealist or one of many labels. He was, however, none and all of these things. Ubu roi is still a timeless piece, as relevant to the trials of the modern day as was to his 19th century France.

More on Jarry
Even more on Jarry

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Monday is a Success!

Last night Schocholautte had their first evening in the newly renovated Niagara Bar. As previously posted, they're going to be doing a show every monday night, with variety acts and a host as an opening show. I attended and the night was a complete success! There were worries early on about the volume and echo because this is a new space where bands will be playing, but after getting a few drinks in the audience and some sweat flying around, it didn't seem as loud as previously thought. And, now the music is upstairs, so the upstairs bar can hear and see the entertainment, as well as the people walking by outside.

It was a night of new music! Good friend Argyle Johansen opened the night with some oldies and goodies, and some new songs, that I don't think I've even heard. The audience started out small, but as people realized that the music was GOOD, the place began to fill up. Schocholautte came on and rocked everyone out of their pants, and they even played 3 new songs never before heard at a show!

Make sure to look them up on myspace and stay updated with their upcoming shows, they're even going on the road for the first time! These boys are moving up, let's give them some support!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Beatbox Recipe


This is sweet, and I wish all chefs would cook like this.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chocolate Brontosaurus Mondays

Schocholautte, my buddies, and favorite band ever, are doing something awesome. Technically they always do awesome things, but I'm biased. Starting this monday (the 16th of March!) they will be playing a residency at Niagara Bar. They will be there every monday, playing to their hearts content (or from 10-11pm, whichever comes first).

The best part of this is that not only will they be playing, the entire evening is becoming a variety/talk show type of deal, with different people performing different crazy things. Actually, there is still plenty of room for acts to join, so if you have some insane or inane thing that you do (drag, poetry, dance, anything) then we would love to have you join us! But if not, then just show up and give support, because nothing matters if no one is there to see it!

Low down: Every Monday at Niagara Bar, which is on the corner of Ave A and E. 7th in the East Village. Schocholautte will be playing at 10pm and the variety show will be for the hour or two beforehand. And the clincher, it's FREE! Although since it is a bar, having a beer or two can't hurt. Plus, they card at the door, so sorry to anyone under 21, but the doorman is big and doesn't take crap. From anyone, I've seen it.

This is going to be amazing, I promise. If you or anyone you know is interested in participating, contact my gmail at mbea121@gmail.com!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dinos!!


This is simply a brief reminder of childhood. The one show that everyone remembers somehow....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

National Geographic Blog

So, I have a wonderful friend who works for National Geographic and she emailed me asking if they could use my recent posting about Geoducks in their Strange Planet blog! Like I would say no...she should really have just stolen it and surprised me. Anyways, here's the link to that blog, which, regardless of any contributions I make, is an amazing blog anyway! You should also vote for them as best consumer travel blog, because they've been nominated!

Intelligent Travel Blog

VOTE!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Iditarod

Iditarod Dog Dies
I just read this short article, which in itself is not all that interesting, but the coments at the bottom, concerning a whole meleé of things were far more intense. I'm not a fan of animal sports really. Horse racing, and dog racing and all that kind of seem abnormal. If the dogs/horses hadn't been bred that way, there's no way they would do it on their own. I'm not even a fan of horse drawn carriages, because seriously, the poor horses have to pull around lazy tourists in the cold? That's mean, no two ways about it. Save yourself $40 and walk around the park; you'll go just about as fast and you'll get exercise. And you can walk on the grass.

But I digress. Personally, my thoughts on the Iditarod? I don't care how well the animals are cared for in any animal sport; if it puts their lives in jeopardy, it's not worth it.

The Body Modified

Tattoos are amazing. So are piercings. Hell, body modification in general is the most interesting thing that humans do to beautify themselves. Ironically enough, modifying is the only thing humans can do to beautify their outward appearance. I was on the train not too long ago and a man stepped on with tattoos covering his entire face. Not only did people stare, they did so with no concern for his feelings and I felt offended by their blatant lack of respect. So, it's about time I put up a post regarding the issue of body modification.

Naturally I think I should start with something that most people consider extreme (or weird or crazy or what-have-you). This brought me immediately to someone from my own neck of the woods. Catman, as he is now legally called, lives on Whidbey Island (that's in Washington State) and is one of the more extreme examples of how humans can, and do, change their appearance.

First, before anyone gets all hyped up in judgments and suppositions, a little background on body modification. Humans have been adorning their bodies for basically as long as we have existed. In fact, we are not alone in this respect. Other animals do things to "beautify" themselves, or to appear larger or stronger than they may actually be. Think of any male bird who shows off his plumage to attract a mate. Or a cat that fluffs its hair when it feels threatened. Though humans might be the only animal to use objects not already attached to our bodies, the basic concept is still the same. We love adornment.

Every culture in history has found some way of concerning themselves with adding to what we were given. If we didn't, we would all be running around naked all the time. Tattooing has a known history that dates as far back as fourth or fifth century BC. That same mummy was also found with piercings. Those and other modifications are still practiced to this day, including branding, neck rings, implants, binding and countless more, in places from Thailand to Japan, Africa, the Arctic and to the Amazon. Things we take for granted such as painting our nails or cutting our hair are forms of modifying the body to create a specific, desired look.

Catman is one man who is, in his own words, "...following a very old Huron Tradition [and] I am transforming myself into my totem, a tiger." He has filed his teeth to a permanent point, tattooed most of his body, wears cat-contacts, has whisker implants, and has had more surgery than Joan and Melissa Rivers combined (no really). Not only is he partaking in a tradition that relates to him personally, he is also part of the larger tradition of modification.

So why do people such as Catman become the essence of a freak to the masses? Personally, I have only one answer for that, and it's the fact that most people have welcomed a more conservative taste in this modern era. If one can remember that men used to regularly wear makeup and wigs only a few hundred years ago, then we might not be so quick to judge nowadays. It is most unfortunate that the people who are simply living honestly become the butt of jokes, and can only find acceptance in places such as tattoo conventions, where luckily the people honor them for who they are.

As a personal collector of body art, and appreciator of all modification, I applaud the men, women and transgender people who are able to be themselves in a world that does not yet understand. Though such extremes may not be for everyone, we should all be able to accept those who find solace in making themselves beautiful in the way they see fit.

Suggested Reading:
The World of Tattoo by Maarten Hesselt van Dinter
The Customized Body by Ted Polhemus and Housk Randall

Online Info:
The Catman
Body Modifacation