I think Springtime Positivity has finally caught up with me now that the Springtime Pollen of Negativity has spent itself and released me from its Deadly Grip, because I feel like my mind has cleared and I am Excited about stuff for the first time in a long time since last time. Firstly, more than the new Star Trek movie or the Iron Man or Great Gatsby or Before Midnight or anything like that, moviewise, I am officially one million percent hyper-mega-ultra-jacked about the new Fast & Furious movie, with cars. Check out this picture I have included, which reveals part of the movie—not Spoilering anything, in my opinion—and I [...]
Buckle up, space nerds, and cue up the "Star Trek" theme song in your iPod. (Since that's currently leading NASA's contest to pick music for astronauts to listen to on the space shuttle's next flight. Much cooler, though: space stoners have pushed Steppenwolf into second place.) Because, amazingly, some of you will be able to buy a ticket for a flight into low-earth orbit as soon as 2015. That's very soon! (Although not as soon as the predicted discovery of Earth 2.)
"The burst was so bright when it first erupted that our data-analysis software shut down. So many photons were bombarding the detector each second that it just couldn't count them quickly enough. It was like trying to use a rain gauge and a bucket to measure the flow rate of a tsunami … When I first saw the strange data from this burst, I knew that I had discovered something extraordinary. It was an indescribable feeling when I realized, at that moment, that I was the only person in the whole universe who knew that this extraordinary event had occurred." -Phil Evans, a postdoctoral research assistant at the [...]
So you heard how the waves got big enough this week-averaging over 20 feet in height-at Oahu's famed Waimea Beach to hold the prestigious Eddie Aikau big wave surfing contest for the time in five years? San Clemente, California's Greg Long won the event by riding the "monster drop" of the day, a 40-foot wave that broke during the competition's final heat. Totally awesome, for sure. Also awesome is the above video, put together by the contest's sponsors that assembles footage of the biggest waves and craziest wipeouts from The Eddie over the years. The song that makes the soundtrack is good. It's called "Land of the Lost," [...]
It does not sound like anything I would have been interested in, and you may easily feel the same way. And yet, "The Art of the Samurai," just put up on view at The Met, is an exquisite, do-not-miss, unbelievable exhibition-even for those of us who know absolutely nothing about Japan, ancient or recent history, ferrous metallurgy and/or war. At heart, this exhibition is actually about super fabulous outfits! I mean, mind-blowing, 400-year-old, space-age, unbelievable, gorgeously-made rock star outfits, constructed from hay-smoked deer leather and steel and silk and gold.
The most passionate purple people might already have seen this—it's been up on YouTube for more than a month, posted by the account of 3rdEyeGirl, who as best as any of us can tell are Hannah Ford Welton, Ida and Donna Grantis, the three women in Prince's new band. For the slightly less passionate—those of us who were just happy to watch our newly afro'ed hero slay the the audience at Jimmy Fallon's show Friday night ("Bambi!")—this recent live performance of Sign o' the Times' "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man," all slow and pared down and heavy, a style which this [...]
Hey, want to see what a star exploding looks like in 3-D? Of course you do, it's totally amazing. Astronomers using the Very Large Telescope (that's what it's called) in Chile, have sent back zoom-lens images of supernova 1987A, which blew up 168,000 light-years away from earth and was first discovered in 1987. How we're able to see this event, that happened in the past, and was apparently visible to the naked eye 23 years ago, today, is one of those questions that hurts my brain to think about. Moving stuff is frozen in time by the incredible long distances in space? I guess? I don't know. But [...]
Because I am old and look back fondly on my days of harder rocking, I have spent the last two days looking for the YouTube video that best displays just how glorious Guided by Voices concerts were in between 1993 and 1996-the era of the classic line-up that is reuniting for the first time since then to play Matador Records 21st anniversary party in Las Vegas this October. (Excuse me, Rocktober.) People are excited about this show for lots of reasons but this should be everyone's main one. Watch this bit of a 1994 concert in the band's hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Look at Robert Pollard's sweater!
Instrumental rock is a tough sell. It's hard to sing along with, for starters. (What I am supposed to do with this hairbrush, brush my hair?) And it's often boring, a film score without the film. But Australia's Dirty Three do it right. Really right. Violinist Warren Ellis is like Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson without the flute and the ren-fair tunics (and, of course, the singing)-all shambling madman with crazy eyes and messed-up hair and guitar-hero chops and poses. Drummer Jim White and guitarist Mick Turner provide him with elegant, restrained romance for backdrop. By all means, see them live if you get the chance. Here, in this Pitchfork video [...]
What did you do this week? Go forÃ‚Â ramen in the East Village? Take a romantic stroll on the High Line? Maybe you just stayed in and watched I Survived a Japanese Game Show? Whatever: compared to the night had by the 17,500 rockers who gathered just 45 minutes down the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel, New Jersey on Wednesday night, you missed out. Because those 17,500 rockers were watching Cheap Trick, Poison and Def Leppard rock theÃ‚Â PNC Bank Arts Center-and shot-gunning millions and millions of beers. Here is a wonderful gallery of photos to give you a taste of what you missed. And yes, Def Leppard [...]
With apologies to Arcade Fire, Cee-Lo, Hot Chip and Kanye, Nick Cave and Grinderman get my vote for best music video of 2010, for the glorious "Heathen Child." And here they go, just before the year ends, following it up with another one that feels like it was taken right out of my subconscious. Like, is there anything I could possibly like watching anywhere near as much as aging rock stars dressed in gladiator gear and leopard-print underpants, dancing in space, conjuring society's nightmares with the magical power of their laser beam eyes? Oh, yes, maybe. How about a canary having heart palpitations and [...]
Harvard magazine profiles class of 1969 dropouts from Harvard. It's awesome! They are great! Here's one: "She moved off-campus as a sophomore and had a great time 'hanging out, smoking dope, and having sex with a lot of different guys…. It wasn't Harvard that made me leave Harvard, it was me. I wanted to be young, alive, and free. Free to hitchhike around the country, check out California, try living in a commune. And I did all that.'" Now she works in a family planning clinic in Maine! Love you, Joanne Ricca!
The video for "The Power of Pussy," the classic Bongwater song (with B-52s frontman Fred Schneider singing backup!), had a budget of "$1000 and $600 of that went to Ann [Magnuson]'s hair and make-up, with the remainder going to pizza and videotape stock." And: "Ann threw a big party to premiere the video and it was the first time I was ever in Los Angeles. There were tons of TV and movie stars there (Albert Brooks, Richard Lewis), rockstars (members of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone) Russ Meyer actress Kitten Natividad and even Simpson's creator Matt Groening, who asked me for a copy for his personal [...]
Whoo Hoo! It is time to celebrate. Why? Because it's Friday? No. The weekends and the weekdays are largely indistinguishable in the great joblessness of 2009. Saturday might as well be Tuesday. The reason to celebrate is that the ten winning photos of the "2009 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition" have been chosen, and Scientific American has made a photo essay out of them. And it is MIND BLOWING in its AWESOMENESS.