History of the Amen Break

The Amen Break is the most famous drum sample in modern music. Just six seconds of a drum solo on an obscure B-side by gospel group The Winstons (for a song called “Amen Brother”) has become the main ingredient on rap songs like NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton” and pretty much all of drum and bass. Nate Harrison’s Installation is really a way of making a documentary without having to clear rights, which is what the second half of the doc covers. It’s also what I hoped will start happening to docs–with a need to make a visual essay, doc filmmakers will have to go underground or create installations in order to bypass restrictive copyright laws. Then maybe we’ll start to see film and video versions of Greil Marcus or Lester Bangs.

Olivo Barbieri’s model world

Using a specially modded camera and taken from a helicopter, Olivo Barbieri’s photos render out the world we know into what looks like plastic models. These photos make me feel all weird and wonderful. Here’s a short article on Barbieri along with a photo gallery. Awesome.
Update: BoingBoing posted this link a few days later (ha ha, beat ya!) and their users passed on two other links: A Japanese photographer doing the same thing and a tip on how to mod your own tilt-shift lens.

Momonga: Feel the Cuteness

I’ve recently been getting into cuteblogs, such as the always awesome CuteOverload, which has linked to Just a Little Guy. They love the cute. They worship the cute. And the latter blog has made me aware of the amazing Japanese Flying Squirrel called The Momonga. This amazing creature looks as if it was designed by manga artists. Or could it be that all manga artists learned to draw Momongas first and couldn’t shake the large-eye thing when they then went on to draw humans? Either way, gaze upon the Momonga in all its glory.

Phil in the Falkland Islands

My friend Phil spent his Xmas break in a location I haven’t thought about since 1982, Falkland Islands. I have no idea what goes on there–I imagine sheep and puffins shivering in some southern sleet–so I was excited when Phil returned to fill us all in:

Most of all it seems a very sociable place. No doubt social connections in any small town or village are pretty tight, but when it is as cut off from the outside world as Stanley, they must be stronger. It feels like everyone knows everyone else, particularly among those who grew up on the islands. As my dad said after visiting, at times it can be like being in the enclosed social world of a soap opera. On our last night we ate at the Brasserie and it seemed like the place was full of people we’d met over the previous fortnight, much like the limited social hubs (the Queen Vic, the Rovers Return) in any soap.

AVN Convention, Baby!

I’ve uploaded to Flickr this last weekend’s trip to Las Vegas and the Adult Video News Convention, a calvacade of porn stars and knobbly toys. Warning: may contain photos of me giddy with joy.
UPDATE (1/12/06): As of this morning, only four days after posting, my shot of me and Mika has become the most viewed photo at my Flickr site, blasting out other photos that took a year to garner the same number of views. Sex sells, what can I say?