Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You Get The Leary You Deserve

The Leary Project

Beyond Life with Timothy Leary
11 mp3s - Beyond Life with Timothy Leary is a bit of a bizarre release. A combination of interviews, new music that ranges from ambient dance to Ministry and excerpts from Leary's 1967 album Turn On, Tune In Drop Out, the record attempts to create a trance-like atmosphere, one perfect for his vaguely mystical new age sentiments. - AMG
Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out (OMPS)
4 mp3s - Timothy Leary, PhD., Speaks on L.S.D. Leary’s rarest LP is also one of his best. Recorded at Millbrook and all spoken word.
Space Ghost interview (mp3)

Timothy Leary's Last Trip
This authorized documentary of Leary's life pays homage to Leary and other '60s counterculture personalities such as Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters... - Rotten Tomatoes
Getting High - The History of LSD
An episode of The History Channel's History's Mysteries series
LSD - The Beyond Within part 1 part 2
1986 BBC documentary

As well as letters, a ridiculous amount of photos, and more.

I posted this a while back on MetaFilter (mining the archives!), and sure enough the thread is bright full of additional fun Leary/LSD linkage and commentary.

A political post


I'm justifying linking this article because it's just like they say in the movies! There's a lot of dollars being thrown around, everything is at stake, and the Modern modern Prometheus of Ward Abbott and Captain O'Hagan is at the helm of a Military Industrial Death Machine!

Tomgram: Chalmers Johnson, The Pentagon Bailout Fraud

Be informed. Contact your elected representatives. Vote.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

303 909 fx

...in your browser!

Hobnox Audiotool

I had a lot of fun just fooling around, but if you're interested in working it out for the benefit of all mankind, here's a tutorial.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Find the Star

Each stage hides a star. Click, drag, wiggle, and shake them out of their hiding spots.

Hoshi Saga I
Hoshi Saga II
Hoshi Saga III

There's something like 100 different stages between the three games; should keep you busy for a while this afternoon. Jay Is Games has a walkthrough for each of the sagas, should you get stuck.
via MetaFilter

Little Things

Spent the last two days tweaking bits and pieces and poking odd corners of my pc. It was freezing randomly. Actually, not randomly; it would lock up fairly consistently during any important function. Upgrading to SP 3, freeze. Uploading files, freeze! Streaming porn FREEZE! I couldn't get anything done.

Finally I narrowed it down to a bad stick of RAM. Just a little thing, but so much pain.

Download Hanne Hukkelberg - Little Things
RIYL björk, cocorosie

Design by Si Scott

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh!, how you inflict me with wounds of paranoia and desire.

Complimentary Surrealism
on the Surrealism Server

You mutter such objects of equine delight that the mind's ability to sew slices of mordant ivory becomes tamed with visions of Tamils in Constantinople.

˙ʇoɹ pıp ɹǝʇsuoɯ ƃuıʎp ʎuɐ ɹǝʌǝ sɐ 'ʎןsnoıɔɐɹƃ ʇuǝɯoɟ noʎ‬

More to come...check back.

Unemployment Blues Blondes

Flash Games: thinking around corners


A one-dimensional game where you must guess the name of 2-D objects passing through a 1-D window. Surprisingly challenging.


An old one, but worth coming back to again and again. Direct the laser through the light bulbs while avoiding bombs.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pinback Tour EPs

The Chameleon Transmission was Blake's show. As a green trainee I was assigned to learn from him the intricacies of broadcasting eclectic music over hopeless airwaves. He had listeners, a few, and the show was even during a prime slot on a weeknight, but our station was in the middle of being shuffled around campus and interest had waned. He and I and Jello J, my co-trainee, would spend two hours once a week raiding the ridiculously large stacks of new music and the station's nearly incomprehensibly huge library of CDs and vinyl and pumping out awesome and unlistenable music to anyone who would listen.

We were terrible, and nothing could stop us.

After a few weeks Blake began to get a sense of my taste in music, and began recommending albums. One of the very first tracks he played for me instantly became my new favorite song, and the performers my new favorite artist. That track was 'Penelope' from the album Blue Screen Life by Pinback. I fell in love, and fell hard. Since then I've done everything in my power to familiarize myself with Pinback's music, and the various winding tentacles of Rob Crow's other musical projects.

Back then Tucson was still overshot more often than not by touring indie bands. They'd hit Modified Gallery in Phoenix or some dump in Albuquerque and then speed through town on the 10. Slowly, though, a couple of venues established relationships, reputations, and the local scene grew strong. Before all that, though, Pinback was a regular. I saw them every single time they came to town, and I never failed to hit up their merch table.

Being a poor boy (some things change; some things stay the same) I couldn't load up on all the swag, but I had a sharp eye for what was worth my dough and what was just another band t-shirt. So every year, when Pinback rocked my world live, I'd pick up that year's tour EP. The first three are sleeves, thick folded stock stitched up with colorful thread. They got fancy with the fourth, though, so Too Many Shadows comes in a bare-bones digipak. This came out just as they were signed to Touch-and-Go records, who put out their album Summer in Abaddon.

I've been in a lot of great music stores, and never once have I seen one of these CDs up for grabs. I know for a fact that the first, Live in Donny's Garage, is a reprint of a tour CD originally distributed on their "first real european tour" ('cause it says so on the little blue insert), but as far as I know the other three are originals, issued each year the band went out on the road here in the U.S.
Update: I haven't been in enough great record stores, apparently. All four of these discs are available for purchase at the Pinback store. Please support a great band and harbor the good taste to own these fine discs for yourself. They're cheap!

So, with great pleasure (now I have great pleasure; putting these together digitally all at once was a bitch and froze my computer innumerable times) I present to you four Pinback tour EPs, in chronological order, complete with scans of the covers (front and back [.jpg]) and the CDs [.gif, so I could crop out the corners and the center hole =o)]. (The scans are included in the archive folders.)

Please enjoy.

Download Pinback - Live in Donny's Garage (Aug. 2000)
(Slight water damage on the back of the sleeve — goddamn cats!)

Download Pinback - More or Less Live in a Few Different Places (2002)
(My copy is signed on the back, "Rob C.")

Download Pinback - Arrive Having Eaten (2003)
(More water damage — STRAIGHT TO HELL, CATS!)

Download Pinback - Too Many Shadows (2004)

Prop. 8 Shaming

From Ballotpedia.org:
Proposition 8 will appear on the November 2008 ballot in California. It is variously known as the Protect Marriage Act, the Same-Sex Marriage Ban or the Limit on Marriage Amendment. If it passes, it will add a new constitutional amendment to the California Constitution that will have the following text: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The ballot title for the measure says that Prop. 8 "eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry".

As is the case with so many things political these days, the money counts. People are voting with their wallets because personal beliefs aren't enough anymore; a person needs to pay someone they trust to put an advocacy up on TV so they know what to believe. Brad Pitt just donated some absurd amount to the 'against' folks. Mormons are being encouraged to donate 'for.' Millions are going towards this proposition, one way or the other.

Perhaps I am so disgusted by this $ituation only because I have no money to give.

Anyhow, if you'd like to see which way the people in your neighborhood swing (whether you're in CA or not; plenty of out-of-state money is coming in) and exactly how wide they open their wallet-maws, check this LA Times page.

So far everyone who has donated from 90026 has been opposed. I love Echo Park.


Perhaps my favorite form.

It is easy to lose myself, staring at a fractal. Or thinking of an endless coast, a mountain's infinite altitude, and then Zeno's paradox. They are like a calendar of days, each piece of a week the same part of a whole, itself a part of a whole composed of like bits, and on into the infinity of time. But each day (supposedly) has its own rough edge, a unique swirl that is potentially repeated forever—identical one and all save time. Fractals to me represent individual experience, the infinity and continuity of perspectives on this one rather large universe.

Figures for impossible fractals

An impossible fern (balanced 30° Pythagorean tree).

Mystery of the REAL 3D Mandelbrot Fractal

I have these two images layered on my desktop:

click for larger

Shorthand for the Liberal Boogeyman

"I’m getting a little worn out on hearing the Ivy League implicated as shorthand for the liberal boogeyman.

"Firstly, I’m not sure how many people even know what the Ivy League is – it’s an athletic conference, made up of only eight schools: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. The linked article does an excellent job of how we ended up lumping them together – they are the oldest schools in America, they generally have Protestant origins, they have been playing one another in sports for hundreds of years (though the conference was only formalized in the 50s), they are all academically selective, they are all well endowed and wealthy, and they are all in the East. Historically, West Point and the Naval Academy have been lumped in with the Ivies, sharing many of their characteristics. Also equivalent to them in many respects are other highly selective private colleges: Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Stanford, Georgetown, Washington & Lee, and many more.

"If you think of Ivy League as "educated at any elite, selective, moneyed, private institution of higher learning," then it certainly takes in a large swath of our public servants, most of whom find that an advanced degree is necessary to gain the education and make the connections that will allow them to get and understand policy jobs.

"But even if you think it’s the eight colleges in the Ivy League themeselves that are poisoning the public with softheaded, communist ideas, and that we need to rid government of their graduates and their thinking, you’re still not going to be able to vote Republican. Both the Bush Administration and the McCain campaign are lousy with the graduates of these supposed hotbeds of unAmericanism.

"I’ve been having a look around, and with the help of others have compiled this list of Ivy League graduates, and graduates of other elite non-public institutions, in the Administration and the campaign. It looks as though it’s not only Democratic leaders, but both Bush and McCain as well, who rely upon the kind of thorough, world-class scholarship this institutions provide. McCain, in particular, is drawing upon the knowledge of a great many advisors currently in the academy in these very institutions.

"I wonder what it’s like when they get together for roundtables? When they compare college rings and ties, and discuss who was in what honor society and who had who for constitutional law, laughing about old times on the ol’ campus, and then watch their candidates malign "Ivy Leaguers" and "elitists?" to the public? I guess they laugh it off, letting Republican Party leaders badmouth them and their alma maters, knowing that it’s all a show for the dimwitted public. Anything to stay in power! If takes misreprenting yourself and your advisory teams, letting voters think you’re a lot less well-off, privileged, well-educated and well-connected than you really are, then so be it. At the Faculty Club victory party it’ll all be behind you. All’s fair in politics, right?

"So the list has found a home on this website, thanks to the generous support of the host. Please note that this is just a sampling, not a comprehensive list of advisors or appointees. Information has been taken from public sources such as WikiPedia, WhiteHouse.gov, the personal and company websites of the individuals, and news outlets. We welcome additional submissions."

- The About page at
Ivy League Elitists
via Projects

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Night at the Atomic Speedway

click for larger

Download 30 Amp Fuse - Saturday Night at the Atomic Speedway
Stephen Thomas Erlewine says: ...an entertaining but lightweight collection of roaring punk-pop in the vein of the Buzzcocks, but without the clever hooks or lyrics of Pete Shelly. While the record is plagued with inconsistent songwriting, it nevertheless has enough moments to make the record appealing to genre specialists.
The Get Up Kids, Kerplunk!, Fountains of Wayne, dancing
Recommended Tracks
02. Love Is A Catch-22 ♠♠♠
08. Tilt-A-Whirl ♠♠♠
11. Blastin' Room ♠♠♠♠♠
15. Sound On Sound ♠♠♠



Jenny, Are You There?
8675309 Wiki
More at Spyder's Random Things

Paul Avril

From Wikipedia: "Édouard-Henri Avril...was a French painter and commercial artist. Under the pseudonym Paul Avril, he was an illustrator of erotic literature.

"Avril studied art in various Paris salons. From 1874 to 1878 he was at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Having been commissioned to illustrate Théophile Gautier's novel Fortunio, he adopted the pseudonym Paul Avril.

"His reputation was soon established and he received many commissions to illustrate both major authors and the so-called "galante literature" of the day, a form of erotica."
Galleries: 1, 2
via cosias do arco da velha

A Puzzling Weekend

These two games work similarly; your goal is to power up, gain strength/armor, and open doors to the next room. You do this by solving the riddle of the room you're in. How do you get there? What clues are there? What's under that rock/behind that wall/above you/below you, etc.

Dwarf Complete

Use your arrow keys to move around, push things, and go up and down stairs. When you collect items from treasure chests, go to the spellbook, click the red buttons, and use your newly crafted tools to further your quest. If you've ever played the first Zelda game, you'll love this.

An Untitled Story

You begin as a little bouncy egg, and the sky's the limit from there. This is a game you download to your computer and play. It's free, charmingly designed, mind-bogglingly huge, and very challenging.

Connection made at AskMe

Friday, September 19, 2008

Loving Cinema Lovers

Early Visual Media

"[A]n online Media_Museum explaining intriguing and mostly forgotten Early Vintage Visual Media and their history. The aim is not to bring a complete overview of the history of Visual Media but rather a personal selection."

The History of the Discovery of Cinema
This chronology is presented in fifteen chapters, and represents an exhaustive and historical overview on the subject of cinematography. It encompasses among others, the works of Layard, Sophocles, Herodotus, Empodocles, Mo Ti, Plato, Aristotle, Democritus, Euclid, Archimedes, Shao Ong, Vitruvius, Lucretius, Pablius Statius, Pliny, Seneca, Heron, Ptolemy, Ting Huan, Galen, Boethius, Geber, Chao-Lung, Kuang-Hsien, Alhazen, Avicena, Shen Kua, Averroes, Grosseteste, Bacon, Magnus, Witelo, Peckham, Saint-Cloud, Villeneuve, Gershon, Fontana, Alberti, Gainsborough, Vinci, Maurolycus, Caesariano, Durer, Reinhold, Gemma-Frisius, Cardano, Porta, Barbaro, Fabricius, Diggs, Risner, Danti, Benedetti, Casciorolo, Kepler, Scheiner, Sala, Snell, D'Aguilon, Drebbel, Gassendro, Schwenter, Leurechon, Bate, Kircher, Descartes, Horrocks, Herigone, Martini, De Chales, Zahn, Niceron, Huygens, Schott, Walgensten, Vermeer, Reeves, Hooke, Boyle, D'Orleans, Balduin, Kohlans, Cellio, Homberg, Molyneux, Sturm, John Harris, Van Gravensande, Van Musschenbroek, Schulze, Bion, Cheselden, Guyot, Smith, Cuff, Caneletto, Costa, Nollet, Parrat, Dollond, De la Roche , Ledermuller, Martin, Van Loo , Brander, Sheraton, Schropfer, Priestley, Seraphin, Lambert, Boulton, Scheele, Joseph Harris, Storer, Charles, Wedgewood, Balsamo, Chretien, Guinard, Harrup, Robertson, Hare, Davy, Philipsthal, Wollaston, Niepce, Brewster, Chevalier, Talbot, Herschel, Dageurre, Gurney, Birckbeck, Roget, Ritchie, Fitton, Paris, Drummond, Barker, Farraday, Wheatstone, Plateau, Stampfer, Marey, Janssen, Anschutz, Muybridge, Horner, Donisthorpe, Lumiere's, Goodwin, Eastman, Dickson, Casler, Friese-Greene, Carbutt, LePrince, Edison and others.

Why do we spend so many precious hours of our lives watching films? What is it about cinema that it should occupy a place of such prominence in our lives? And why do we even need movies? It is as though we are trying to fill a gap in our lives - a void, an emptiness within ourselves. So to even begin on the path of our Truth Quest, we have to see the broader picture of how film correlates to life, and life to film. To find this higher perspective, it is helpful to look towards the other arts, as well as philosophy.

Cinema Seekers: Searching for truth in cinema and in life.

"Crazy Song"

via blort

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Marilyn Monroe Screen Test For Something's Gotta Give

On repeat.

An Open Letter to Pitchfork from the Airborne Toxic Event (Literary Music #2?)

Over the past few years a number of my co-alumni Dorados have distinguished themselves on the national level. Certain sporting types I'll avoid mentioning because deep, irrational resentment is so easy to cull from those four long years. However, plenty others have hit it big on the musical stage. I was a total fanboy for my friend Jeremy's band, The Actual (sadly, 2001-2007) and now I've transferred that blind love to another bass player friend's band, The Airborne Toxic Event (myspace). (Should this be another Literary Music post? That's a Delillo reference, if I'm not mistaken.)

Anyway, their new album just came out (buy it!) and received quite a burn review from all-holy Pitchfork. 1.6, ouch. The band has issued an open letter to the review's author in response:
Dear Ian,

Thanks for your review of our record. It's clear that you are a good writer and it's clear that you took a lot of time giving us a thorough slagging on the site. We are fans of Pitchfork. And it's fun to slag off bands. It's like a sport -- kind of part of the deal when you decide to be in a rock band. (That review of Jet where the monkey pees in his own mouth was about the funniest piece of band-slagging we've ever seen.)

We decided a long time ago not to take reviews too seriously. For one, they tend to involve a whole lot of projection, generally saying more about the writer than the band. Sort of a musical Rorschach test. And for another, reading them makes you too damned self-conscious, like the world is looking over your shoulder when the truth is you're not a genius or a moron. You're just a person in a band.

Plus, the variation of opinions on our record has bordered on absurd. 80 percent of what's been said has been positive, a few reviews have remained on the fence and a few (such as yours) have been aggressively harsh. We tend not to put a lot of stock in this stuff, but the sheer disagreement of opinion makes for fascinating (if not a bit narcissistic) reading.

And anyway we have to admit that we found ourselves oddly flattered by your review. I mean, 1.6? That is not faint praise. That is not a humdrum slagging. That is serious fist-pounding, shoe-stomping anger. Many publications said this was among the best records of the year. You seem to think it's among the worst. That is so much better than faint praise.

You compare us to a lot of really great bands (Arcade Fire, the National, Bright Eyes, Bruce Springsteen) and even if your intention was to cut us down, you end up describing us as: "lyrically moody, musically sumptuous and dramatic." One is left only to conclude that you must think those things are bad.

We love indie rock and we know full well that Pitchfork doesn't so much critique bands as critique a band's ability to match a certain indie rock aesthetic. We don't match it. It's true that the events described in these songs really happened. It's true we wrote about them in ways that make us look bad. (Sometimes in life you are the hero, and sometimes, you are the limp-dicked cuckold. Sometimes you're screaming about your worst fears, your most vicious jealousies and failures. Such is life.) It's also true that the record isn't ironic or quirky or fey or disinterested or buried beneath mountains of guitar noodling.

As writers, we admire your tenacity and commitment to your tone (even though you do go too far with your assumptions about us). You're wrong about our intentions, you're wrong about how this band came together, you don't seem to get the storytelling or the catharsis or the humor in the songs, and you clearly have some misconceptions about who we are as a band and who we are as people.

But it also seems to have very little to do with us. Much of your piece reads less like a record review and more like a diatribe against a set of ill-considered and borderline offensive preconceptions about Los Angeles. Los Angeles has an extremely vibrant blogging community, Silver Lake is a very close-knit rock scene. We are just one band among many. (And by the way, L.A. does have a flagship indie rock band: they're called Silversun Pickups). We cut our teeth at Spaceland and the Echo and have nothing to do with whatever wayward ideas you have about the Sunset Strip. That's just bad journalism.

But that is the nature of this sort of thing. It's always based on incomplete information. Pitchfork has slagged many, many bands we admire (Dr. Dog, the Flaming Lips, Silversun Pickups, Cold War Kids, Black Kids, Bright Eyes [ironic, no?] just to name a few), so now we're among them. Great.

This band was borne of some very very dark days and the truth is that there is something exciting about just being part of this kind of thing. There's this long history of dialogue between bands and writers so it's a bit of a thrill that you have such a strong opinion about us.

We hear you live in Los Angeles. We'd love for you to come to a show sometime and see what we're doing with these lyrically moody and dramatic songs. You seem like a true believer when it comes to music and writing so we honestly think we can't be too far apart. In any case, it would make for a good story.

all our best--

Mikel, Steven, Anna, Daren, Noah
the Airborne Toxic Event

I think it's a pretty good response, measured and honest. TATE is keeping things interesting for me in other ways, too. In the month or so before their album release they uploaded live acoustic versions of each of the album tracks filmed in unexpected places. The musical renditions are awesome—I almost favor them over the album versions—and the videos themselves are charming. Here they are in the order they were released:

Wishing Well



Happiness Is Overrated

Does This Mean You're Moving On? [My favorite!]

This Is Nowhere

Sometime Around Midnight

Something New



Yep, they're good! I saw them perform on the set of the Carson Daly show, which was surreal to say the least. They were also on Conan recently, and tore it up. Here's hoping a Pitchfork pan won't hold this band back. Enjoy!

Open Up Your Heart and Let The Patrick Swayze Blog Post In

Best wishes for a full recovery and courage to a good man and a great actor, Standing Up 2 Cancer.

Personality Comics Presents...


"I think it's kinda hot to be wearing these scarves in here."