Burning Flags Press The website of Glen E. Friedman. Renowned for both his work with musicians like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Slayer (and many, many more) as well as his groundbreaking documentation of the burgeoning skateboard phenomenon in the late `70's, Glen has been privvy to (and has summarily captured on film) some of the coolest stuff ever. He's also an incredibly insightful and nice guy to boot.
SoHo Blues - Photography by Allan Tannenbaum Allan Tannenbaum is a local photographer who has been everywhere and shot everything, from members of Blondie hanging out at the Mudd Club through the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center on September 11th. You could spend hours on this site, and I have.
Robert Otter Photographs Amazing vintage photographs of New York City, specifically my own neighborhood, Greenwich Village.
oboylephoto Just some intensely cool photographs of abandoned places.
The Weblog of Spumco's John K. The weblog of cartoonist John Kricfalusi, crazed mind and frantic pencil behind the original "Ren & Stimpy," as well as "The Goddamn George Liquor Show." Surreal, unapologetic, uncompromising genius.
Hey, y'all. Leaving bright and early tomorrow morning with kids in tow out to ring in Thanksgiving on Strong Island (as Public Enemy used to call it). Lots of turkey consumption, drinking and -- invariably -- heated political arguments (though I'll get to do some needlessly venomous gloating) will be the order of the holiday. Here's wishing one and all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
The above photo, by the way, is one that I think perfectly encapsulates Thanksgiving in New York. It was taken by the great Elliott Erwitt. If his name doesn't ring a bell, please go check out his amazing website. The man is a master.
I bought Ride the Lightning by Metallica as a gormless high school junior in 1984. I hadn't heard a note off of it, but the mere fact guitarist Kirk Hammett was depicted on the back cover wearing a Discharge t-shirt (a slovenly British punk band I was a fan of at the time) indicated that these gentlemen had encouragingly good taste. Similarly, I was aware that Metallica had opened for my belovedly ludicrous Venom at some recent point (Venom thanked Metallica on the liner notes to At War With Satan, saying they were "really happening!"). With accolades and signifiers like that, I felt that purchasing this unheard record was perfectly justifiable.
I was not disappointed. I immediately warmed to the breakneck sprint of "Fight Fire With Fire" and "Trapped Under Ice," pairing the frenzied tempos of hardcore punk with the unmistakable heft of metal, like a (decidedly) less bluesy Motorhead. By the time I'd soaked in "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and the sublimely violent "Creeping Death" (I defy you to find a teenage boy who doesn't thrill to a tune with a middle-eight chant of "DIE – DIE – DIE"), I was hooked. I'd later glean that the boys in the band were fans of GBH, The Misfits and - oh, wait for it – Killing Joke. It was settled. I was now a devout Metallica fan.
By the time I was to go to college, however, I'd half-heartedly decided to curtail my metal fandom. In a nutshell, I had amassed an unwieldy record collection (this was all before the age of the compact disc) and there was no realistic way to transport all of my prized vinyl to school out in the Midwest. I spent some late Summer evening pruning my record collection like a scene out of "Sophie's Choice," tearfully extracting albums by bands like Accept, Fastway and Helix from the greater pile. As such, when Metallica's follow-up to Ride the Lighting, Master of Puppets came out in 1986, I didn't immediately rush to the record shop. My friend Jeff across the hall from me did, though. All it took was a single high volume airing of "Disposable Heroes," and I was off like a bolt to Threshold Audio in Newark, Ohio to prize my own copy of the inarguable pinnacle of then-burgeoning thrash metal.
Master of Puppets was a whole different beast. It may have been more stream-lined and polished that Metallica's two previous records, but the end results were no less feral. The angry locomotive riffing and frenetic arrangements were still in place, but now there was more of a vast sprawl to the sound. The title track alone (clocking in over eight ferocious minutes) was enough to leave any headbanger sore and exhausted. I still find it nigh on impossible to sit still when "Damage Inc." plays. The album was then and remains an utter masterpiece.
I think a lot of people find his work to be either pretentious, offensive, exploitative or simply messy, but I've always loved the photography (and accompanying mixed media) of Peter Beard. Yes, he's a flagrant jet-setting posh boy with famous friends and all that, but I can't help but be captivated by his depictions of the wild, augmented by random found objects, collage, doodles and buckets of the man's own blood. Maybe it's simply the exotica aspect of it or the fact that he likes big scary beasts, self-mutilation, skulls and naked supermodels (often within one single piece), but I find his work really striking. There was a gallery on Broome Street in the early part of this decade that boasted a fine collection of his work. Peggy and I actually bought a tiny print there in 1999; a snapshot of two cheetah cubs, replete with drops of Beard's blood. It hangs in a rustic driftwood frame (also made by Beard), incongruously over our front hall telephone.
Our friend Sarah from over at Workman Publishing (pictured at left, behind Judy Collins) came over today to provide some last-minute babysitting help while Peg and I started wrestling with some kindergarden applications (which handily eclipse the college applications I filled out twenty someodd years ago in terms of complexity and potential for eye-welling exasperation). Per usual, Sarah came with a batch of goodies from Workman. My gift was a brand-spanking new copy of Sleeveface: Be The Vinyl, a truly hilarious (especially if you're a vinyl-fetishizing music geek like myself) collection of photographs of....well....I'll let the video below explain. Seek it out, it's awesome. Check out their website right here.
Lots of my fellow grizzled NYC bloggers have been mentioning it, but I figured that I might as well join the chorus. Evidently, there are efforts afoot to reserve landmark protection status for a few East Village buildings, the one that houses Trash & Vaudeville among them -- an excellent spot to visit if you want to pay way too much for a Dead Boys t-shirt.