A snowy “Fire” music video, feat. cool tilt-shift

Fire (Jimmy Edgar Remix) from Erik West on Vimeo.

Artist: Codebreaker feat. Kathy Diamond
Directed, Shot and Edited by Erik West
Copyright 2009 Disco Demolition Records

Pretty awesome tiltshift video by Erik West. I haven’t got tired of this technique yet.

None of the snow in this piece is simulated. I went out and show on the snowiest days of winter. The last scenes in the video were shot during a blizzard.

This was shot on a Canon Powershot SD630 Point & Shoot.
Additional footage was shot on a Sony EX1 by Jeff Thomas.
Posted using Final Cut, Photoshop, Motion and Color.

The End of Bling?

With reports like these about the ailing economy coming out daily, with no more lines to easy credit, and rising unemployment, when will this hit popular culture? Channels like MTV started off as an alternative to the polished world of regular TV, but now I can’t think of a channel that better epitomizes the culture of showy capitalism. Artists showing off their huge mansions, reality shows about the young, dumb, and affluent, and endless (mostly hip-hop) videos of displayed wealth. When will the culture turn? When will showing bling (usually bought on credit from the record company against future record sales) just seem, you know, icky and out of touch? When will the fans revolt?

Here’s a popular and stomach-churning example of what I’m on about.

One could argue that such songs represent dream fulfillment for their fans, much like the jet-set life of previous decade’s stars appealed to legions of folks who could and would never attain that lifestyle. But I would say the difference is that the fame that accompanied older stars was sold as a different world that surrounded the person, that they had entered this world through talent, and it was there waiting for them. Now, we see stars dressed down like you and me, but sporting expensive items, driving expensive cars, and living in expensive homes. And for a lot of the fans, that was attainable through easy credit, and so they followed. Now the fans, like a lot of the stars, are screwed. So what now?

Extreme tourism

Italian tourist turns up in Iraq, looking to tour the country. Iraqis are baffled. Who is this guy? And is he naive or just plain crazy?

“I am a tourist” were his first words. The telephone line from Falluja was bad, but there could be no mistake. Possibly Iraq’s, and certainly Falluja’s, first Western leisure visitor was in town.
Not for long though. A guard at a checkpoint caught sight of Luca Marchio among the Iraqi passengers on a bus that was heading from Baghdad to the once-notorious – and still tense – western city and alerted his superiors.
Marchio, 33, a native of Como, Italy, soon found himself in the Falluja police headquarters surrounded by bewildered officers trying to make out why a Westerner would wander around their city without a translator or guards. Marchio may have worried the police, but his main concern was saving money.
In two telephone conversations with journalists, he brushed away concerns for his safety and offers of help. “I am a tourist,” he said. “I want to see the most important cities in the country. That is the reason why I am here now.

There’s a delightful movie in this somewhere. That is, if he survives.

Paul’s Boutique, 20 years later, on Google Maps

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One of the benefits of buying the 20th Anniversary vinyl of Paul’s Boutique is owning the 8-foot-long wraparound cover. Friend Nik and I were checking it out today and decided to see if we could find the same street corner on Google Maps. This is something I’m sure somebody else has thought of, but we didn’t know. Anyway, It’s only because of the super size album that I could see the cross-street is Ludlow and Rivington. Paul’s Boutique is long gone, now replaced by Three Monkeys Shish Ke Bab. (That probably wouldn’t be a good name for an album). We were able to match architecture and see what had changed, and what had not. If you have your old vinyl (or the new one, for $23.99! $17.99!!!) spend a few minutes playing spot the difference.

Recent albums: January 2009

The latest stuff, found here and there.

Various Artists – Ngoma Vol. 2 (African house music, go figure)
Ami Marie – Verrückt Nach Glück
Brian Eno – Music For Prague (more of the same hour-long droney)
Andrew Hill – Point of Departure
Serge Gainsbourg – Du jazz dans le ravin
Philip Glass – Heroes Symphony
Howie B & Hubert Noi – Music For Astronauts And Cosmonauts (from emusic.com, but with terrible audio glitches, wtf!)
A.R. Rahman – Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack
Brian Eno & Peter Sinfield – In a Land Of Clear Colours (glad I didn’t pay for this “rarity”)
Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass – Passages
Zu – Carboniferous (amazing!!!)
The Undertones – True Confessions: Singles = A’s + B’s
Bobby Hutcherson – Dialogue
Don Cherry – Eternal Rhythm
Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane – At Carnegie Hall
John Coltrane – Olé Coltrane
Robert Fripp & Brian Eno – Air Structures (yet another version of ye olde bootlegge)
Roland Bocquet – RCA – Robot Bleu
Akiko – A White Album

Not pictured: Roberto Cacciapaglia – Sei Note In Logica