News

Ornette

June 11th, 2015 by

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Today the world got a little less incredible. Alto saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter and composer Ornette Coleman died at the age of 85 at his home in Manhattan earlier this morning. Growing up in the slums of Fort Worth, TX he fought hard and struggled his entire career to being understood and accepted. His drive and dedication came at a very early age as he stepped on stage in several RnB outfits in the late 40s as an out-of-place rail thin long haired vegetarian who everyone probably assumed was tone deaf. From frequently being booed off stage, physically beat up (his only saxophone was completely destroyed in New Orleans during one of his first touring gigs), to pissing off all the Down Beat snobs when he took the Five Spot by storm in the early 50s with his plastic Grafton, he was constantly pushing what others deemed as possible with jazz and bop. In the face of blind and rabid bigotry, racist epithets from his early audience, patronizing from his peers and constant misunderstanding and ridicule from the world Ornette strode on playing exactly as he wanted to and never once fell short of his personal integrity. Through his musical pursuits he made humbling efforts to encourage and train those young who were just starting out in music, from recording with his 10 year old son as drummer on The Empty Foxhole to creating an ‘open to all studio’ in Harlem where he was sadly robbed, attacked and left for dead in the late 70s. He gave everything for his music. In a word: he was the quintessential American Artist and there will never be anyone quite like him. So long Ornette and thanks for the inspiration, love and beauty you brought and left to this world.

If you have 15 minutes today and have never heard any of Ornette’s music, please take a moment and listen:

Lonely Woman, 1959:

R.P.D.D. (Relation of the Poet to Day Dreaming), 1962:

Street Woman, 1972:

Times Square on SNL (w/Prime Time), 1979 (Thanks Tom!):
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=798627630174468&fref=nf

Only Once, 2006:

L’Illusionniste

March 15th, 2010 by

I generally don’t get excited for new films, but this is a pretty big exception. “L’Illusionniste,” the second feature film from Sylvain Chomet premiered at this year’s Berlinale. It is based partially on an un-filmed script from Jacques Tati and given to Chomet by Tati’s daughter Sophie Tatischeff before she died in 2001.

It premieres in France May 5th and I’m eagerly waiting for it to make it here to the States. Some gorgeous stills can be peeped at here: http://www.daemonsmovies.com/2010/02/23/lillusionniste-the-illusionist-movie-photos-and-featurette-video/

Here is Chomet’s marvelously bizarre first short, “Old Lady and the Pigeons” in three parts:

(more…)

zzzzzz…

June 4th, 2008 by

no updates means i forgot i had a website! i also didn’t realize people actually read this silly thing. as you can tell from this photo, i have been much too busy hiking to post obits, news about the legislation or even spend a second thinking about film:

nick hiking

as i wake from a 2 year slumber, i hope to be posting some updates of future projects up here very soon…

n

bikers

October 23rd, 2007 by

please be careful. especially with vehicles who make right turns. when in doubt, just stay behind in the center of the lane and wait. i want to stop seeing biking fatalities make headline news in portland:

http://bikeportland.org/2007/10/22/victim-was-bike-gallery-employee-avid-racer/

assume anything on four wheels cannot see you.

be aggressive and stay safe.

n

bunch’a monkeys

May 23rd, 2007 by

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reid: “we now have the timeline that the Republicans have set.”

wtf?

spineless

May 3rd, 2007 by

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sourface people

April 25th, 2007 by

i will make you laugh. just you wait.

n

100+ active duty service troops sign appeal for Iraq withdrawl

October 25th, 2006 by

The appeal was made public today here:

http://www.appealforredress.org/

…and more signatures are being collected daily. It will be delivered to congress on MLK Jr day.

n

sven nykvist: 1922-2006

September 20th, 2006 by

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060920/ap_en_ot/obit_nykvist_2

even though he had been sick for 6 years, not a day went by where i did not think of his work.

i really don’t know what to say. i am deeply saddened, that is all.

more war means more innocent dead

July 22nd, 2006 by

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I have avoided posting anything concerning the mounting Israel/Lebanon war if only because I fear alienating people on this otherwise meaningless blog. However, with the ground offensive starting today and with articles like this becoming more common it is difficult not to post something.

Last weekend I met someone and got into a mini-debate concerning the events as they stood then (in addition to the recent Gaza strip attacks). One comment he made was that they have always been fighting. I am always driven to anger at such short-sighted remarks. To be fair, I think he agreed (like much of the UN does) that the Israeli attacks have a total lack of regard for civilian casualties (many of the 350+ deaths are children and whole families; children do not fight wars). And of course the Hezbollah are not saints either; it’s the people caught in the middle of the struggle that are bearing the weight of the yoke. Later, he also inferred that it was a regional issue.

What never jived with this is the extent that our tax dollars fuel the Israeli military. The World Policy Institute recently released a report that shows the US spends about 3 billion a year in aid to the Israeli military; about 70% which is from taxpayers. This money is fueled into US companies Lockheed and Martin, Boeing, etc. to produce missiles and aircraft for the Israeli military. In 82 (the last time they invaded Lebanon) the Regan administration actually froze the export of weapons and aid to Israel for 10 weeks to investigate the legitimacy of their attacks. Does this mean our current Administration is even more messianic and profit hungry?

When I was in High School, I had a very sensitive humanities teacher, Miss Wheating, who closed the curtains while teaching during the Bush family’s first Iraq invasion. She said she couldn’t look outside when such violence was occurring. As an even more naive child at the time, I remember these words resonating with me and realizing that for the first time the feelings I had then were justified and meaningful. No where else in the school or at home was what was really going on ever discussed.

n