Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Forgot to Tell You About This Explosion in April. A Guy Died.

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The Santa Monica Police Dept. press release about the incident I photographed above:
April 22, 2007

At about 3:53 PM Sunday, April 22, 2007, Officers from the Santa Monica Police Department responded to reports of an explosion and fire at the mobile home park located at 1930 Stewart Street. Upon their arrival, the officers found a male victim with critical injuries near a vehicle which was completely destroyed. The victim was treated at the scene by Santa Monica Fire Department paramedics and transported to the trauma center at UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he later died. The victim’s name is being withheld, pending notification of his next of kin.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Summer's Here, Let's Imagine Snow

See the tousled mane. She's boyish but singing like an exposed woman who hasn't lost the little girl inside of her. Julie Doiron's songs have this mesmerizing effect, possessed of a kind of purity, but not innocence. No. There's edge and not edge defined by brutality I don't think. Whenever I hear her songs, I feel like I'm being let in on a secret. And I feel a sense of gratitude for the fact that I can hear these haunting and validating miracles. Her music presents a lovely ambiguity of feelings. Just right. Just right.

Doiron's latest album "Woke Myself Up" has secretly creeped into my life this year and has become my favorite thus far, if only because I've listened to it more than any other and I can't stop. The songs on this album are movements, they build (not necessarily building up to cacophonous). You have to hear the whole song to get a sense. Every song has this unexpected turn in sense, melody, or texture that makes it transcendent. Yet they're all kind of matter-of-fact. That's what I like about her. Life is moving enough without too much embellishment or overarching dramatics. Because when the smoke clears, I think it's the genuine, hashed out connections that matter. Doiron connects with me like that. And I can only hope that she's allowed to continue to create. Please.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Woody Doo Jew Dah!

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LA's ex-junkie jew scribe Jerry Stahl reviewed NYC's little jew movie wondermanboyman Woody Allen's latest collection of writings, "Mere Anarchy" in last Sunday's LA Times. The review is positive and very jew-y. Stahl also manages to gloat, in an aside, about another funny new jew book, Michael Chabon's "The Yiddish Policemen's Union." Yay jews! Stahl says of Allen's rehashing of his material:
Not even Allen's most ardent fans will claim this as original turf. So what? As Flaubert once remarked, "If you want to be avant-garde in your art, lead a conventional life." And no one could accuse a man who marries his partner's adopted daughter of leading a conventional life.
Touché. (Wait. Stahl's saying Allen is a conventional, yet great practitioner of humor? Ok. Ok. Hell, what more could one want from life?) Allen gets a lot of shit for his uneven cinematic output and his personal life. To that I say, "Fuck you, he still poops out some nice fibrous and funny wonders for the New Yorker now and again." And regardless of his personal life, his best works cannot be denied. Unless you hate the nebbish and neurotic (and I have friends who do, so perhaps they are justified because these traits permeate Allen's work. But let's leave the artist's personal life out of judgments of his art pleasethanks). Let us revisit the opening monologue of "Annie Hall," his Academy Award winning film for which he ballsily didn't bother to show up to receive his Oscar:

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