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.
With everything that’s going on in New York City right now — to say nothing of the rest of the United States — I have to say that it feels remarkably disingenuous and trivial (more so than usual) to carry on posting entries here about gripes about gentrification, forgotten punk bands, since-closed record stores and photo quizzes asking to name the location of that park bench where Lynne Goldsmith once photographed the Boomtown Rats.
90% of the time, I try to avoid discussing big issues and social causes here on Flaming Pablum. While it’s a topically open-ended blog, it just doesn’t seem like the place for that. I’m more than happy to argue `til we’re all red in the face about whether or not it’s “hardcore” or “hardcore punk” or who the best drummer for the Circle Jerks was (inevitably Chuck Biscuits, with all due respect to Lucky Lehrer), but much like at the holiday dinner table, I find that getting into politics and divisive social issues only invites trouble — although I’m currently feeling like that’s a major league fuckin' cop-out right now.
Suffice to say, I’m a big ol' liberal lefty. Draw whatever conclusions you like from that. And while I don’t like earnest displays, catchy hashtags, simplified sloganeering or symbolic grand-standng (you will never see me wear a friggin' Guy Fawkes mask — and, really, isn’t it time we retired that anyway?), I firmly stand with those who are shocked and appalled at the grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officers involved with the death of unarmed Eric Garner (which, let’s remember, the medical examiner ruled a homicide).
If that assertion means you will thornily never visit this weblog again, well then — thanks for reading.
I have no further point other than that I hope that in the days to come that the proceedings involving protests and demonstrations remain smart and peaceful. Let’s all try to learn from this and move forward together.
I'll get back to my usual shtick shortly. Sit tight and stay safe.
For some reason, my mother thinks Mick Jagger is the lowest mutation of human life on this planet. I can’t understand it. I could play her any number of suitably ribald selections from albums like Dial ‘M’ For Motherfucker by Pussy Galore, Filth by SWANS or, say, Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies by G.G. Allin, and she’d still think the Rolling Stones were the rudest, evilest, most degenerate gaggle of transgressive, drugged-up cut-throats to ever blight the earth. I mean, Jagger’s even been knighted by this point, hasn’t he? (He has, but it seems the Queen shares my mother’s view). I don’t get it.
I’m not even the biggest Stones fan in the world, but as a result, I cannot stop myself from picking that scab. I just don’t see how one of the most revered rock bands in history inspires such palpable disgust in her. Even the sight of the fabled Rolling Stones logo — Jagger’s exaggerated tongue -- makes her scowl (which, of course, means I started wearing that t-shirt on the regular).
In any case, it’s Thanksgiving week, which means my little brood and I will soon be bound for my mother’s house for the holidays, where I’ll be undertaking the perilously herculean task of side-stepping any/all conversations of even a tenuously political nature (especially in the wake of Monday night’s events in Missouri). Thanksgiving should be about good cheer and the reinforcement of the bonds of family — not venomous teeth-gnashing and circular arguments with no hope of meaningful resolution.
This Thanksgiving, don't take the bait. Regardless of your side of the fence, don't get into a heated political debate, no matter how tempting. You'll be doing yourself and your whole family a favor. Keep the peace!
But don’t ask me to back down on the Stones matter — `cos that ain’t never gonna happen!
I found the image above courtesy of the Facebook page of Julia Caffritz (ex of Pussy Galore/Action Swingers/Free Kitten, etc.)
The unbelievable events in Boston are still unfolding as I type this. It's somewhat hard to fathom everything that's going on at the moment, from the manhunt for the surviving Boston bomber (and his possible co-conspirators) to the ricin letters arrest to the massive fertilizer explosion in Texas to the incredibly dispiriting gun bill filibuster to North Korea. How can all this be happening at once?
In any case, there were a few other items I would have otherwise spent large amounts of time on here on Flaming Pablum if the world wasn't currently imploding around us. Here's a quick roundup.
I'd originally penned a longer piece on this -- and may revive it at a later point -- but I was very saddened to learn of the death of graphic designer Storm Thorgerson of Hipignosis. As a budding music devotee, I was a tremendous fan of his work on so many seminal albums, notably for Floyd and Zeppelin (to name but two). The visuals he helped pair with the music are truly iconic. We have lost a master.
Iggy & the Stooges have a new album titled Ready to Die slated for release later this month. Presumably, the artwork for the sleeve was designed months ago, but I'm wondering if it's going to get a radical re-think in the wake of this week. The artwork in question looks like this.
Sorry for the relative slowdown in activity here this week. It’s just tough to rationalize posting my usual trivial nonsense here in the wake of Monday’s horrific events. After a senseless act of violence like that, it’s a little tough to go immediately back to bitching about gentrification, whining about closing record stores and talking about old photographs.
I’ll resume when the time feels right. In the interim, please enjoy the frivolous photo of lovingly presented quality vinyl, taken within the interior of Generation Records on Sullivan Street.
Because I'm ultimately juvenile and silly and somehow need to make everything connected in some way to punk rock, I spotted this yesterday on Facebook and it immediately appealed to me. In any case, here's hoping the Supreme Court gets its head out of its ass and does the right thing, dismantles DOMA and finally paves the way for marriage equality for ALL. Let's all RISE ABOVE together (see what I did there?)
By this point -- especially in the wake of his now legendary appearance on Piers Morgan's program -- picking on bug-eyed, conspiracy-crazed gun-nut Alex Jones seems like, er, shooting at an easy target. But, one of my colleagues posted the clip below on Facebook recently, and it made my blood boil anew, so I'm sharing it here.
The sad and scary thing in this instance is that a large swathe of the American people thinks like this man. Granted, it's not a particularly bright swathe, but still. On a purely surface level -- subtracting his requisite, frothy-mouthed alarmism from the equation -- the mere fact that he's reinforcing the demonization of kids who aren't jocks -- let alone kids who possess even a modicum of intellectual curiosity -- is irresponsible enough. Don't we already have enough of a bullying problem?
He's right about one thing, though. We nerds ARE dangerous.
In about a half an hour, it'll be 2013. My e-mail and television are both screaming about the fiscal cliff negotiations. But as Positive K used to say, after a very long day, I'm not tryin' to hear that. I'd much rather listen to this. Have a happy New Year, everyone.
D-bags, it was none of those things. None of those things – not even Jon Stewart’s charm – have the ability to wreak the sort of havoc that went down on Friday. None of those things are responsible for all those deaths.
Last night, my wife I and I listened to President Obama's speech to the community of Newtown, CT. at the memorial to the victims of Friday's elementary school shooting, and we were genuinely moved. Say what you will (and I know you will) about our president, but I -- for one -- am continually struck by his poise, eloquence and sensitivity. Sadly, not everyone feels the same way I do in this instance, as this story regrettably amplifies. Suffice to say, I found this story unspeakably depressing.
This morning, however, my spirits were lifted by a different story -- one about striking back against the same sort of willfully blinkered hatred and virulent ignorance that seems to be blooming unchecked between our coasts. This story made me stand up and cheer.