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.
Once again, in the wake of the events of the past weekend -– to say nothing of the events of the past ten months -– it strikes me that the usual bullshit I post about here on Flaming Pablum seems implausibly trivial. I’m not trying to be needlessly self-deprecating, but it just feels disengenuous and inappropriate to be waxing nostaligic about lost record stores, street photography and old post-punk album covers while the nation is violently convulsing. Last Saturday’s events in Charlottesville, and the continuing fallout are only the latest horrific episode in an acclerated descent. Where does this nightmare end, and at what point does everyone finally wake up?
I fleetingly thought of addressing the latest chapter (i.e. empowered white supremacists and deeply ignorant douchebags waving swastikas around) by way of this blog’s usual predilections and joining the chorus of boos about how the so-called “Proud Boys” have appropriated a uniform of Fred Perry shirts, despite the fact that said storied British clothier already has a long association with working class British subcultures like the Mods, Skinheads (not just the racist variety), Rudeboys, Punks, etc. Wisely, I thought better of that. I mean, seriously, if your biggest takeaway from these current events is a sartorial grievance, you are irretrievably drowning in white privilege.
Nothing about where we are is funny or positive, but I want to believe that maybe Charlottesville (and our president’s abject failure to address it properly) can, at least, act as a long-overdue wake-up call. Prior to the election, there were a few Hillary-haters in my family that decided to hold their noses and vote for Trump. In the months that followed, they dug their heels in, but now they’re finallly conceding and admitting that a greivous mistake has been made. This isn’t to say that they’ve changed their tune about Hillary, but they can no longer support the agenda of the man in office. And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the whole North Korea situation.
There used to be a few regular commenters on this blog who’d routinely voice their opposition to certain political posts of mine. I don’t know if they were genuine or if they were just “trolling” me, but I was inclined to let their comments stand, as I felt it was important to keep the dialogue open. They no longer comment, it seems, although that might just be that they’ve gotten bored and moved on.
I’ve been known to take a photograph or two of NYC, and some of them have even been a little alright, if I’m feeling self-congratulatory (should you care, beyond what you see here on my blog, you can find examples here and here).
But as great as my best shots might arguably be, I don’t think I’m even anywhere near the same goddamn zip code of quality as those by one RayLivez. That's one of his above. I stumbled upon his Instagram page by accident, and it pretty much blew me right off the porch. His images are crisp, stylish, clean and sharp, with haunting subtleties and bold colors. There’s a grace and sophistication to these photographs that I doubt I could ever replicate.
Mysterious Ray clearly has his favorite techniques, his time-tested themes and his preferred locations. I believe I even passed the man himself crouching down in my beloved Courtlandt Alley earlier this week, doubtlessly trying to frame the perfect shot. And his shots –- more often than not -– are just that: PERFECT!
Treat yourself to his images. At their best, they will make you fall in love with NYC all over again.
Much has been made in the usual channels of the new cache of archival NYC photos by one Carole Teller. If you’re unfamiliar with same, you need to check them all out here. So many similarly inclined blogs and outlets have already beat me to the punch, so I won’t waste my breath. Suffice to say, they’re entirelyl worth your time.
The one image of Ms. Teller’s I did want to weigh in on, however, was this one….
Captioned: 36 St. Mark’s Place, south side, just west of 2nd Avenue, next to Gem Spa ca. early 1980’s, this image shows that same line of phone booths in the New York Dolls photo by Bob Gruen that I posed a quiz about here.
More recently, those phone booths became inaccessible because of another storefront. Here I am standing in the approximate location of same in 2011.
Sort of an amalgam of SleeveFace and My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection (is that even still going?), Vinylwife is the work of a young lady in Finland named Sonja. A self-professed music enthusiast and vinyl collector (I will always prefer to call them LPs, and emphatically frown at anyone who refers to the plural as vinyls), Sonja fills up her Instagram account with myriad photographs of herself posing coquettishly with whichever album is floating her boat at the moment. Suffice to say, the example above (featuring Meddle by the estimable Pink Floyd) is one of her tamer shots. While her tastes skew towards metal and classic rock, there are some curve balls here and there.
A fun little walk down memory lane, courtesy of David Letterman circa 1982.
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, neither of the businesses in question still exist these 35 years later -- or at least not at these same locations. The space that was Just Bulbs is now a furniture place, and the shop that was Just Shades is now a bespoke blue-jeans restorer called Nudie Jeans.
I was asked to exhume a selection of my photographs by a member of my family for a special project. As such, I started experimenting with different ways to showcase them. Here's one of them. The music, in this instance, is entirely incidental and not just a little annoying. Frankly, the video is invariably more enjoyable with the sound off. You were warned.