Monthly Archives: May 2010

RiP…Dennis Hopper


Dennis Hopper, who was part of a new generation of Hollywood rebels in portrayals of drug-addled misfits in the landmark films “Easy Rider,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Blue Velvet” and then went on to great success as a prolific character actor, died on Saturday at his home in Venice, Calif. He was 74.

The cause was complications from metastasized prostate cancer, according to a statement issued by Alex Hitz, a family friend.

Mr. Hopper, who said he stopped drinking and using drugs in the mid-1980s, followed that change with a tireless phase of his career in which he claimed to have turned down no parts. His credits include no fewer than six films released in 2008 and at least 25 over the past 10 years.

Most recently, Mr. Hopper starred in the television series “Crash,” an adaptation of the Oscar-winning film of the same title. Produced for the Starz cable channel, the show had Mr. Hopper portraying a music producer unhinged by years of drug use.

During a promotional tour last fall for that series, he fell ill; shortly thereafter, he began a new round of treatments for prostate cancer, which he said had been first diagnosed a decade ago.

Mr. Hopper was hospitalized in Los Angeles in January, at which time he also filed for divorce from his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy, with whom he had a young daughter. Mr. Hopper issued a news release citing “irreconcilable differences” for the filing.

“I wish Victoria the best but only want to spend these difficult days surrounded by my children and close friends,” he said in the release.

Mr. Hopper first won praise in Hollywood as a teenager in 1955 for his portrayal of an epileptic on the NBC series “Medic” and for a small part in the film “Rebel Without a Cause,” which starred James Dean, who was a friend of his.

Mr. Hopper confirmed his status as a rising star as the son of a wealthy rancher and his wife, played by Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor, in “Giant” (1956), the epic western with Dean.

In those years, he was linked romantically with Natalie Wood and Joanne Woodward.

Yet that success brought with it a growing hubris, and in 1958 Mr. Hopper found himself in a battle of wills with the director Henry Hathaway on the set of “From Hell to Texas.”

The story has several versions; the most common is that his refusal to play a scene in the manner that the director requested resulted in Mr. Hopper’s stubbornly performing more than 80 takes before he finally followed orders.

Upon wrapping the scene, Mr. Hopper later recalled, Mr. Hathaway told him that his career in Hollywood was finished.

He soon left for New York, where he studied with Lee Strasberg for several years, performed onstage and acted in more than 100 episodes of television shows.

It was not until after his marriage in 1961 to Brooke Hayward — who, as the daughter of Leland Hayward, a producer and agent, and Margaret Sullavan, the actress, was part of Hollywood royalty — that Mr. Hopper was regularly offered film roles again.

He wrangled small parts in big studio films like “The Sons of Katie Elder” (1965) — directed by his former nemesis Henry Hathaway — as well as “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) and “Hang ’Em High” (1968).

And he grew close to his wife’s childhood friend Peter Fonda, who, with Mr. Hopper and a few others, began mulling over a film whose story line followed traditional western themes but substituted motorcycles for horses.

That film, “Easy Rider,” which Mr. Hopper wrote with Mr. Fonda and Terry Southern and directed, followed a pair of truth-seeking bikers (Mr. Fonda and Mr. Hopper) on a cross-country journey to New Orleans.

It won the prize for best first film at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival (though it faced only one competitor, as the critic Vincent Canby pointed out in a tepid 1969 review in The New York Times).

Mr. Hopper also shared an Oscar nomination for writing the film, while a nomination for best supporting actor went to a little-known Jack Nicholson.

“Easy Rider” introduced much of its audience, if not Mr. Hopper, to cocaine, and the film’s success accelerated a period of intense drug and alcohol use that Mr. Hopper later said nearly killed him and turned him into a professional pariah.

Given nearly $1 million by Universal for a follow-up project, he retreated with a cadre of hippies to Peru to shoot “The Last Movie,” a hallucinogenic film about the making of a movie. It won a top prize at the 1971 Venice Film Festival, but it failed with critics and at the box office.

Mr. Hopper edited the film while living at Los Gallos, a 22-room adobe house in Taos, N.M., that he rechristened the Mud Palace and envisioned as a counterculture Hollywood.

It was there that his drug-induced paranoia took full flower, including a period in which he posted armed guards on the roof.

“I was terribly naïve in those days,” he told The New York Times in 2002. “I thought the crazier you behaved, the better artist you would be. And there was a time when I had a lot of energy to display how crazy that was.”

Mr. Hopper was seen mostly in small film parts until he returned to prominence with his performance in “Apocalypse Now” (1979).

In a 1993 interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, Mr. Hopper credited Marlon Brando, a star of the film, with the idea of having him portray a freewheeling photojournalist, rather than the smaller role of a C.I.A. officer, in which he was originally cast.

But Mr. Hopper’s after-hours style continued to affect his work; in “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” a documentary about the making of that film, the director, Francis Ford Coppola, is seen lamenting that Mr. Hopper cannot seem to learn his lines.

After becoming sober in the 1980s, Mr. Hopper began taking on roles in several films a year, becoming one of the most recognizable character actors of the day.

He earned a second Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his role as the alcoholic father of a troubled high school basketball star in “Hoosiers” (1986), and he honed his portrayal of unhinged villains in films like “Blue Velvet” (also in 1986), “Speed” (1994) and “Waterworld” (1995), as well as in the first season of the television series “24” (2002).


Mr. Hopper had several artistic pursuits beyond film. Early in his career, he painted and wrote poetry, though many of his works were destroyed in a 1961 fire that burned scores of homes, including his, in the Los Angeles enclave Bel Air.

Around that time, Ms. Hayward gave him a camera as a gift, and Mr. Hopper took up photography.

His intimate and unguarded images of celebrities like Ike and Tina Turner, Andy Warhol and Jane Fonda were the subject of gallery shows and were collected in a book, “1712 North Crescent Heights.” The book, whose title was his address in the Hollywood Hills in the 1960s, was edited by Marin Hopper, his daughter by Ms. Hayward.

He also built an extensive collection of works by artists he knew, including Warhol, Ed Ruscha and Julian Schnabel.

Born on May 17, 1936, in Dodge City, Kan., and raised on a nearby farm, Dennis Lee Hopper moved with his family to San Diego in the late 1940s.

He studied at the Old Globe Theater there while in high school, then signed a contract with Warner Brothers and moved to Los Angeles.

Mr. Hopper’s five marriages included one of eight days in 1970 to the singer Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. He is survived by four children, all of the Los Angeles area: Marin Hopper; Ruthanna Hopper, his daughter by Daria Halprin, his third wife; a son, Henry Lee Hopper, whose mother is Katherine LaNasa; and Galen, his daughter by Ms. Duffy.

On March 26, surrounded by friends like Mr. Nicholson and David Lynch, the director of “Blue Velvet,” Mr. Hopper received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Looking frail, he began his brief acceptance speech by sardonically thanking the paparazzi for supposedly distracting him and causing him to lose his balance and fall the day before. He continued, “Everyone here today that I’ve invited — and obviously some that I haven’t invited — have enriched my life tremendously.”
from New York Times…By Edward Wyatt

Sad day for film…..

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thizz.face.disco presents: Hooves, Dakota Slim, ManCub &&& Fool’s Paradise DJs


thizz.face.disco presents a night of heavy drinking and rock’n roll..

My boys Hooves hailing from Phoenix, Az are coming thru to promote the release of their new EP “Greater Aspirations, Lower Expectations.” No need to boycott these guys they’re against SB1070 like the rest of us. Roll out!

Hooves


Dakota Slim


Myspace

ManCub


Myspace

&&&
Eloi and Bobby Peru from Fool’s Paradise will be the selectors between the sets..

Here’s a taste of what’s to come…

Let’s have some fun! Come hang out and lets show these people how Oakland gets down. yee!

Artist to know: LOON


A young’n from from Riverside, California this dudes a beast when it comes to the beatz. It makes an old school beat junky feel good about the future. On his myspace page he claims he’s not a Cholo regardless his beats are hard. At the ripe age of 20 the skys the limit. His music is somewhere between FlyLo and Prefuse73…heavily influenced by all the Low End Theory cats, Dilla, and Madlib. He has a new album coming out shortly entitled Playground Berlin, be on the look out.

Peep!!
Myspace
Twitter

***Just in case you don’t know how soundcloud works click info for song title***

yee!

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Memory Screens


Somewhere between Post-Rock and Joyful Noise a project by Canadian Experimentalist Mark Webber, warms up the coldest Canadian days. Fit for early mornings watching the sun rise with a cup of tea enjoying the company of good friends and having nostalgic conversations about youthful adventures. Most of the vocals are over saturated with reverb, percussion and rhythm parts are planned out perfectly and immaculately executed. It calls to mind the Jazz inspired tracks by the Why Because but with less of a Krautrock influence.

We all know the people at Stratosphering have great taste considering the put up my Fourth Realm ep but they also wrote about Memory Screens aswell…

Chordata Primate is now known as Memory Screen…Get this if you’re a fan of Do Make Say Think and miss the way they used to play jazz like they wanted to hypnotize the Titans…All of it was awesome.

Track List
Cycles
Trapp
Bbvroi
Untitled
Kathmandu
Traqq
Botone
NLF
Mt. Kuro
Pin
Arbus
B48
Three Sisters
Taigas
Fleties
Primrose Path

Download..

Watch the video that is available with the download link!

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Swiss Wave The Album


While looking for the Grauzone track “Eisbar” i happened to stumble across this compilation. I love those moments where you know you’ve struck gold. This is the only comp I’ve ever heard of collecting “Swiss Wave” and this thing is no joke. Grauzone kicks things off with a dark wave disco stride but there is pleasant shifts in tempo as you venture along. A great snapshot of the late 70’s/early 80’s post punk and minimal wave movements in Europe. There’s some irresistible classics on here….”Hitch Hike”…hott damn!

Link: SWISS WAVE THE ALBUM

Tracklisting
1. Grauzone – Eisbär
2. Grauzone – Raum
3. The Sick – World War III
4. Jack & The Rippers – I Think It’s Over
5. Liliput – Hitch Hike
6. Liliput – DC-10
7. R. Dietrich & Kraft Durch Freude – Lies
8. R. Dietrich – Do What You Want
9. Jack & The Rippers – Down
10. Ladyshave – Tonight
11. Mother’s Ruin – Heartbreak
12. Mother’s Ruin – With Us

Ha…I don’t think think this is an “official” video, but what the hell

And “Hitch Hike” of course…

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Thieves Like Us Remix Ep


The world was first introduced to Thieves Like Us when they released their indie electronic hit Drugs In my Body it got the girls at club nights, like Pop Scene and BlowUP, shakin’ their booties and having a grand ole time. The dudes are gearing up for a release of their new album entitled Again and Again, which is due out July 6. In preparation for that their label has released a compilation of remixes of their single Forget Me Not .

1. “Forget Me Not”
2. “Forget Me Not (Dance Mix)”
3. “Silence (Dance Mix feat. Ludacris)”
4. “Forget Me Not (Cecile’s small town girl Remix)”
5. “Forget Me Not (Minitel Rose Remix)”
6. “Forget Me Not (Sundance Remix)”
7. “Forget Me Not (Second Date Remix)”

Download…

Here is their Biography from the Label:

Thieves Like Us are two Swedes and one American living in Berlin, Paris, and Milan. They are one of the only multi-nationals that won’t exploit you. Mexicans love them. The French love them. Americans love them. The Japanese love them. Neither Andy Grier (vocals, guitar), Bjšrn Berglund (synth), nor Pontus Berghe (percussion) live in their home countries, and none of them probably ever will again. They first met at a picnic in East Berlin in 2002. Since then, they have also lived together in London, Paris, and New York City. The trio can often been seen in and around night clubs, but they fit awkwardly there. Thieves Like Us were first discovered by the French imprint KitsunŽ who released their single, “Drugs In My Body” in 2007. They make pop music with a vintage electronic feel. Many times it makes you dance. Other times it makes you feel strange and wonderful. Back in the day they probably would have signed a contract in blood with Factory Records.

2008’s “Play Music,” their first album, would definitely have fit the bill. BBC Music called it “consistently exciting … a contender for electronic album of the year.” A writer for the legendary entity Amoeba Music exclaimed: “I have managed to fall deeply in love with this band in a matter of weeks. It is getting to the point where I don’t want to listen to anything else.” They are just about to release their second album, “Again and Again,” and continue their non-stop world tour…

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MeltUP


Over the past couple of years there have been quite a few viral documentaries successes.. it started out with Loose Change, Zeitgeist, and then it went on to a few other socially conscious/New World Order themed Documentaries by Alex Jones and others like him. MeltUP is about the looming inflation crisis that is approaching, it gives freighting information about rise of food cost, the lowering value of the dollar amongst other things. Who knows if all of these words are true but they are definitely interesting to think about. With already 300 something thousand views I feel like this is going to be the next viral documentary success story.

Here is a write up about inflation.us who produced a lot of the information for this documentary….

The National Inflation Association is an organization that is dedicated to preparing Americans for hyperinflation and helping Americans not only survive, but prosper in the upcoming hyperinflationary crisis.

With a $12.8 trillion national debt, $6.3 trillion in Fannie/Freddie debt and $60 trillion in unfunded obligations for programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the U.S. government has total obligations of over $79.1 trillion or 5.5 times our GDP of $14.2 trillion. It is our belief that the United States for all intents and purposes is bankrupt and Americans need to take steps immediately to protect themselves from the potential loss of the purchasing power of their U.S. Dollars.

NIA believes the largest financial crisis in history is ahead of us as a direct result of the U.S. government unwilling to accept a much needed recession. We are now at a point where our national debt is impossible to pay off. Due to rising interest payments on our national debt, it is unlikely the U.S. will be able to balance its budget ever again. Foreigners will eventually stop lending the U.S. money and the Federal Reserve will most likely have to print the money to fund our deficit spending out of thin air.

Our goal is to help as many Americans as possible become aware of the disaster we are rapidly approaching. In our opinion, the wealth of most Americans could get wiped out during the next decade, but it will be an opportunity for a small percentage of Americans to become wealthy by investing into companies that historically have prospered in an inflationary environment, such as Gold and Silver miners and Agriculture producers.

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Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?


Polly Maggoo (Dorothy MacGowan) is a bucktoothed, freckle-faced American girl working as a model in Paris. She is everyone’s fantasy and the obsession of television reporter Gregoire (Jean Rochefort), who is filming the gamine for his journalistic personality show Who Are You?. In between this fantasy figure and this supposedly grounded intellectual is a whole culture obsessed with Polly, fashion, and the new. The film begins with a fashion show where an avant-garde designer (Jacques Seiler) displays his new line of dresses made from bent sheets of aluminum, and the influential magazine editor Miss Maxwell (Grayson Hall, zinging Diana Vreeland) declares that he is magnificent and that he has reinvented the concept of woman. Apparently, the entire female gender was out of date.


Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (directed by William Klein) casts a wide satirical net, but since its biggest target is a staple of popular culture, it’s rather prescient of Klein to see how far his net needs to go. Though the eye of his storm is the over-inflated importance of the fashion world, his Polly is really a mirror to the society that worships her. When we gaze at her gazing at us from a magazine cover, we’re really looking at ourselves. Gregoire claims to want to get to know the real Polly, but he really wants to see her conform to his preconceived theory than truly uncover the girl behind the beautiful face. So, too, is Prince Igor imagining her for the role she plays in his own Cinderella story. His wild daydreams show her in a pretty standard fairy tale, but the longer these fantasies go on, the more an independent Polly asserts herself and the less he likes it.


Cinderella as a metaphor comes up time and again in Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? How it pertains to Polly changes with each telling, each person having their own idea of what the glass slipper would be, allowing Klein to emphasize the cruel fetish of male possession. This also ties into fashion, which abstracts the female form and jails it in absurd concoctions. More than once, Polly is accused as a con artist that is part of some great duping of the feminine mind. Playing Polly, MacGowan stays fabulously above the fray. Though she may be a cypher in many eyes, Klein lets her be a real girl, herself, never hemmed in by the camera lens.


Of course, Klein never lets anything be hemmed in by the lens. His camera is always moving, if not literally, then by never lingering too long on one shot, cutting from one elaborate staged composition to another. There is no technique he isn’t willing to employ, including using stills and freeze frame images, jump cuts that drop frames out of a sequence, musical numbers, and even animation. His sets are like art installations, populated with fads and objects of ’60s modernism; overpopulated, you might say, to the point that they look futuristic. (One would suspect Roman Coppola watched Polly Maggoo when putting together CQ.) Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? is a film that is never at rest, alive with Klein’s anarchic sense of humor, reminiscent of the cinematic practical jokes Richard Lester played with the Beatles. It’s glorious to watch it all happen.

Arguably, Klein’s inability to sit still predicts the attention deficit disorder we find in current pop culture. As much as Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? parodies the 1960s, it also seems like Klein had a crystal ball where he saw MTV, the paparazzi, and other aspects of our celebrity-obsessed media. He even beats Andy Warhol to the “fifteen minutes of fame” punch by a couple of years, shining a light on the fickleness of public taste. By the end of the movie, Polly Maggoo is out of style, and people are moving on to find new faces to love.
excerpt by Jaime S. Rich (check out his great film blog HERE

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Dara Puspita // A-Go-Go


Reminder: If you missed out on last years blog hype of Dara Puspita…pick this up NOW! Around this time last year this Indonesian girl group from the 60’s was all the rage in the blog world. Perfect for summer and with the recent flood of “girl bands”, the resurfacing of Dara Puspita made perfect sense. I’m not sure if this is the whole album, but these 8 tracks are flawless examples of 60’s garage soul.

Here’s what Garagehangover had to say about Dara Puspita:
Dara Puspita (Flower Girls) was Indonesia’s most successful girl band of the 1960s. While there were many popular female vocalists in Indonesia at that time, they nearly all relied on the services of a backing band. Dara Puspita was one of the few girl groups who actually played all their own music as well….they also had a reputation as a sensational live act, bashing away on their instruments, screaming out their songs and jumping up and down. Even though it was often hard to hear the songs through all the mayhem, audiences thought it was great and often joined the band to dance around on the stage.

Link: DARA PUSPITA – A GO GO

Tracklist
1. A Go Go
2. To Love Somebody
3. Aku Tetap Sadar
4. Bhaktiku
5. Soal Asmara
6. Kerdja Kami
7. Believe Me
8. Kau Berdusta

For tastes…

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Food Party


If you haven’t seen this show yet it’s highly recommended, it’s on the IFC Tuesdays at 10pm est. With my ongoing love of all things awkward and comedy that is a bit off the beaten path, I beg you to watch this! Apparently this has been going on since 06, I must have been hiding behind a cloud of pot smoke and acid to have not noticed this gem of a show. Or maybe just didn’t notice because I haven’t had cable television in ages. But let’s not digress, this show is full of puppets, bad singing, silly animations, and a dainty Asian girl with a humorously fake accent. It’s a combination of bad dreams and kid’s television.

Here is what the about section of their blog has to say…..

Food Party is a mind-bending, non-reality cooking show with Thu Tran as your hostess, a cast of unruly puppets as culinary aides, and a cavalcade of fictitious celebrities as surprise dinner guests. Shot on location in a technicolor cardboard kitchen as well as other foreign and exotic cardboard locations, each episode will or will not instruct you on how to prepare wild gourmet multi-course meals with ingredients you probably have on hand in your kitchen already, such as pretzel rods, eggs, narwhal lungs, bizarre plot twists, secret ingredients, and pizza. After all, you never know who might show up for dinner.

Here is the first episode from the first season…..
check it ouuut…

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Today 1:30 to 4:00 pm pst

go to…
www.berkeleyliberationradio.net

and click stream

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