If you don't who Lee "Scratch" Perry is or what his music is about, you need to start with the Lee Perry station on Pandora for a quick education (it's a good one). He basically began reggae music defining its sound in the late '60s. He began the career of a young Bob Marley producing many of his biggest hits. Perry's prolific career includes beginning the sound of DUB music and could argue much electronic music and hip hop as well. He's an energetic creative force that at times during the 70s, in his home studio "Black Ark Studios", produced an astonishing 20 songs a week.
The film isn't your traditional VH1's Behind the Music where other musicians and critics rant and rave about Perry's genius and his importance in modern music history. Instead, the film takes you inside the mind of Perry (or attempts to) by focusing a lot of screen time to Perry's long winded monologues where his stream of conscious religious/ poetry rants are intriguing in illustrating his talent at word play and musical mastery. Some may find the film focuses too much on Perry's ramblings, but I found it refreshing and a way to get inside Perry's head and thought it helped to truly illustrate how creative and interesting the man is. Scrawling words and phrases spray painted on his home walls. Burning gasoline in his snowy driveway. Dancing and seemingly truly being himself, it's nice to see someone so mentally free of any self restriction or those imposed by society. He lives within the space of his own mind.
The film follows Perry's rise through the music scene in Jamaica to the present day where he lives in Switzerland with his wife and children. It tracks him at his highest peaks to the lowest of lows of an artist refusing to compromise- pushing those around him away for what Perry calls parasites reeling about his consciousness sucking his energy and creativity for profit and fame. At times Perry's a self described Mad Man, as those believed he was, but he pondered if it was too many years with the smoke (he's since stopped smoking ganja). He is no mad man but a creative force who deserves not only this spotlight on him and his music but so much more. Following a life of true creativity and focusing his energy on his music rather than a chase at fame and money, it's this reason why Lee Scratch Perry will be remembered in musical history while those around him seeking rich and fame will be enjoyably forgotten.
I caught up with Corey earlier this week and asked him a couple questions that hopfully aren’t duplicative and the one question that everyone who has seen it wants to know, “When can we get the DVD?” The film is multi-layered and while skating plays a central role in the film, if was replaced by, let’s say pogo-balling it would not have hurt the main content of the film. Although, it would have been pretty funny to see Steve Olson on a pogo-ball.
I have a film called Machotaildrop that is playing at the SF indie fest.
Where is the film playing?
The screening will be held at the Roxie theater.
Have you been here before?
I have been there a few times. We actually shot a small piece of the film there with Frank Gerwer. Who hopefully knows about the screening. He is a very hard man to get a hold of. Frank if you read this we would love to see you there!
Corey Adams photographed by Isaac Randozzi
I know you are sick of this question but it is all people want to know. When can we get our hands on a DVD of Macho Tail Drop? Or will it be in theaters before that?
Well we are hoping for both. I am learning that getting a film out for people to hold in their hands is a very difficult task when you don’t really own the entire film. Others have there hands involved so we are dealing with higher powers.
So bummed to have learned that Macho Taildrop will be screened in San Francisco at The Roxie on Fri, Feb 11th as part of the SF IndiFest... Well, we were stoked for a half a second after we bought tickets here, and then realized that Corey Arnold's opening at Fecal Face Dot Gallery is the same night... Bummer, as we've been waiting to see it for some time... But don't fret us. It'll also be screened on the 16th too.
Directed by Ralph Arlyck in 1970... This kid was only 4 & 1/2 years old at the time and lived with his parents in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco...
Filmmaker Ralph Arlyck interviews his neighbor, Sean Farrell, a 4-year-old living on San Francisco's Haight Street in 1969. Sean gives his thoughts on life in his home, a hippie crash pad, and casually mentions that he smokes pot, which caused this short film to become a national sensation.
STRANGE POWERS explores Merritt’s songwriting and recording process, and focuses on his relationships with his bandmates and longtime collaborator/manager Claudia Gonson, revealing an artist who has produced one of the most engaging and confounding bodies of work in the contemporary American songbook.
Robert "Budd" Dwyer served in the Pennsylvania State Senate in the 80s and was caught up in a bribery scandal that ended with Dwyer taking his own life in front of television cameras during a press conference at his office in Harrisburg, the state capital of Pennsylvania. The film tells the complete story of the scandal and suicide. Jesse Pollock reviews the film which premieres this Saturday @The Red Vic here in SF.
Before the days of internet video you had to watch your snuff films on VHS
and let me tell you, they were not easy to come by. I didn’t happen upon the
1970 Faces of Death series until I was well into my mid-teens and even then I
had to sneak around to watch the endless compilation of live autopsies, crime
scenes and suicides. When a person is subjected to countless hours of murder
and mutilation, the senses become numb and after a while it’s hard to summon
up any empathy at all - much like the famous eyeball scene depicted in A
Clockwork Orange. There was one scene in the series however, that made me
snap back to reality and proceeded to sear itself into my mind. In this scene,
a man calls together a press conference where he then reads for a short time
reaching into an envelope, pulling out a gun and shooting himself in the
This part in the movie halted me so suddenly because it seemed to come
from a place I could empathize with. The intensity and starkness that these
images conveyed had connected with me on a more personal and intimate level.
I remember, as I’m sure many others have done as well, that I instantly wanted
to know who this man was. I wanted to know more about what happened on the
day a group of journalists crowded around a successful politician to watch him
end his life.
It would be many years before I would come to know this man as State Treasurer
R. Budd Dwyer of Pennsylvania, and finally read his story for the first time. Now
that video is so casually splashed around the internet at every turn, it’s not hard
to find and watch this scene within five minutes of searching for it... ~continue reading
"I know very well that I’m out of your life. But the day I die, I now you’ll have to cry..to cry and cry. You may say you never loved me. But you’re going to be really sad and that’s how you’re going to stay. A stone in the journey taught me that my destiny was to roll and roll...to roll and roll...Then a cowboy told me you don’t have to get there first. But you have to know how to get there. With or without money I always do what I want. And my words are the law. I don’t have a throne or a queen. Or anyone who understands me. But I’m still the king” His name is Saúl Ezqueda and he is a Mariachi.
We interviewed this SF based artist a couple years back. Well, he now has a new website featuring his new drawings of sourced material he takes from google and youtube which he juxtaposes with alternate movie titles, tv show titles or characters, creating new fantasy entertainment teams. ~read the mini interview
Fans of artist/ designer/ science/ thinker duo that is Charles and Ray Eames and their great film Powers of 10? This Sunday The Exploratorium is devoting the day 10/10/10 to the couple... The day will include activities, demonstrations, conversations, and of course, films, exploring the relative scale of things, and the philosophy and ideas of Charles and Ray Eames. Free w/ cost of admission. ~Details
To celebrate 40 years of Sesame Street, Yerba Buena will showcase a three-program series which includes some of the most memorable moments as well as never-before-seen footage beginning this Friday, Oct 1st. We're excited to check out Jim Henson & Friends: Inside the Sesame Street Vault which highlights the contributions of Jim Henson and his early Sesame Street collaborators, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Fran Brill and Caroll Spinney. In addition to old favorites, there are some extremely rare clips from specials and guest appearances on other television programs. This film shows Thu, Oct 14, 7:30 pm & Sat, Oct 16, 2 pm -~full schedule here.
Filmmaker, Director, and One Way or Another documentarian Corey Adams recently paid us a visit for his public and private screening of Machotaildrop, which premiered at the Downtown Independent Theater as a part of the LA Skate Film Festival. Last time we saw him he had accidentally mis-booked his flight and stayed for a week. We were really hoping he would do that again because Rachel really wanted to watch Excalibur with him again.
As part of the San Jose Biennial ~ the film Flood Tide (playing tonight, 9/15) tells the story of four musicians who craft extraordinary boats out of whatever junk they can find and set out for open water. Blurring the line between fact and fiction, Flood Tide was shot on the Hudson River during the real-life art-raft project The Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, a concept dreamed-up by the artist Swoon and built by an eclectic group of artists and performers. DETAILS
The meteoric rise and fall of Jean-Michel Basquiat, born 1960. In the crime-ridden NYC of the 1970s, he covers the city with the graffiti tag SAMO. In 1981 he puts paint on canvas for the first time, and by 1983 he is an artist with “rock star status.” In 1985 he and Andy Warhol become close friends and painting collaborators, but they part ways and Warhol dies suddenly in 1987. Basquiat’s heroin addiction worsens, and he dies of an overdose in 1988. The artist was 25 years old at the height of his career, and today his canvases sell for more than a million dollars. With compassion and insight, Tamra Davis details the mysteries that surround this charismatic young man, an artist of enormous talent whose fortunes mirrored the rollercoaster quality of the downtown scene he seemed to embody.
Working Class is a feature documentary loosely based on Charles Dickens book "A tale of two cities. With San Francisco artist Mike Giant, and San Diego artist Mike Maxwell discussing themes found in Dickens 1859 novel that are just as relevant today. Religion, Country and War, History, The Economy, and Art are chapters that tell the tale of the artists, the cities, and the country. Dir. Jeffrey Durkin / 95 mins.
Tonight they're playing JAWS aboard the 1890 paddle ferry boat Eureka in San Francisco Maritime Museum down in North Beach. Great film, amazing location on a classic old timey boat... Sneak some wine, watch the film, walk along the water... sounds like a date night... Seating 7:30. Film begins @8pm. $5 suggested admission benefits at risk youth boat building programs.
LOS ANGELES --- mark down Saturday, June 22nd on the calendar as New Image Art will be opening Tonight We Fight featuring works by John Malta, Pacolli, Mildred, Dillon Froelich, Eric McHenry, Teddy Kelly, Luke Pelletier, Sean Morris, Yarrow Slaps, Ben Jensen, Nathan Brown and Miles Jackson.
Tucker Nichols emailed over this Whole Foods poster (below right) which looks a lot like one of Corey Arnold's photos (bottom left). Coincidence? Where they inspired by Corey's photo? Did Corey actually shoot the photo? Who knows and Corey is fishing for salmon right now (like this), so we can't ask him to find out.
Yeah, bad tattoos are basically a bummer, right? But they're also pretty much a rite of passage for bored and disenfranchised-feeling teenagers the world over. At least it was for about 95% of the people I know. Going to a reputable tattoo shop and getting a wizard or unicorn drilled into your lower back is totally fine, but nothing really takes the place of sitting around with a bunch of friends and some beers, enthusiastically taking turns poking each others' arms full of bad ideas-which actually is fun at any age.
OAKLAND -- First Fridays is hoping Oakland hasn't seen the last of the one of a kind event... The street art party is free to attend, but organizers say with police and other costs the price tag to throw the monthly party is $20,000... The City of Oakland has been footing the bill for months and after kicking in $500,000, it's pulling the plug... Organizers are now asking for donations and developing a vendor fee schedule to try and keep the party alive. ~continue reading
SAN FRANCISCO -- Guerrero Gallery, here in the Mission, opens their summer group show this Saturday, June 15th, featuring works from a steller lineup: Daniel Albrigo, Ryan Travis Christian, Alejandro Diaz-Ayala, Frohawk Two Feathers, Michelle Guintu, Justin Hager, Cody Hudson, Terry Powers, Rye Purvis, Victory Reyes, Jamie Williams, and Yarrow Slaps.
SAN FRANCISCO --- Southern Exposure hosts thier annual Monster Drawing Rally Friday, June 14, 2013 at THE NWBLK, 1999 Bryant Street (at 18th). Tons of great artists auctioning works at a starting price of only $60.
A live drawing and fundraising event with 120 artists working side by side. The event lets spectators to observe artists in the act of creation, providing the opportunity to watch a drawing come to life, and to purchase a work of art minutes after its completion. Drawings are available for purchase immediately for just $60 each.
Wonder if our old emails with Banksy are worth a few thousand dollars. It seems everything the dude touches is worth a million dollars these days! Nutty and much deserved.
A disputed Banksy graffiti artwork removed from a gritty London neighbourhood has sold for approximately $1.1 million US at auction. The provocative Slave Labour (Bunting Boy) sold at a private auction held by concierge firm The Sincura Group at the London Film Museum on Sunday, according to Bloomberg news service. The spray-painted, stenciled work depicts a child labourer using an antique sewing machine to create a Union Jack bunting. -Continue reading
Daniel Cronin was hired to shoot photos for the ongoing feature series: the Road Trips USA: Pacific Coast... An interesting idea where the trip was live blogged/ tweeted/ Instagramed with people making suggestions for what to check out, and well, into FFDG they stopped.
Look ma, we made The Guardian U.K.
Come on, guys. Don't call San Francisco "San Fran".
These days New York-native multimedia artist, Michael Alan, has been incredibly active artistically in the big city. Between staging hours-long Living Installations at the New Museum and other DIY spaces, exhibiting his drawings and paintings in group exhibitions and hosting an unusual solo show in the home of his mother, Alan proves that there is no rest for the wicked. I caught up with him recently to hear the latest, the backstory, and what's next.
Henrik Haven, who keeps us up to date in all that's Copenhagen, emailed over some photos from the Viborg International Billboard Painting Festival that's running throughout June. In this short installment he introduces us to the work of urban/graffiti artist and illustrator NYCHOS.
Brendan Monroe, whose show Melting Into the Floor runs through June 15th at LA's Richard Heller, creates these great wooden sculptures and featured a bunch in the show... He's often asked how he goes about making them and gives us at Fecal Face a little 'how to' on the process.
Mexico City based Curiot, whose sold out solo show Age of Omuktlans ran last March at FFDG, just finished this great mural entitled "El Retorno de Akhankutli" in Mexico. He recently completed one in Berlin too which we'll be posting in the coming week. The guy is very very talented in our eyes.
This made our day. Not only do we love pizza but we also love Henry Gunderson... So a board shapped like a hot slice designed by Henry Gunderson for The Good Company, well... this writer needs to go for a slice right now.
Wendell McShine (lives in Mexico City, from Trinidad) opened his newest show, Raccoon's Law, at Fifty24SF on Saturday night. ARYZ was a tough act to follow, but McShine held his own in the space... With a combination of a mural, a video, and both drawings and mixed-media works on paper, the diversity of this solo show was impressive. The Raccoon drawings were especially attractive as the way he executed them looked like they actually had fur coming off the page, and you can only imagine how soft it would be to touch. I was lucky to see his work in person through this show, and I hope to encounter more in the future.
Ingrid Wells just got her MFA from The San Francisco Art Institute and these oil paintings from her Honey Boo Boo's Amurrican Starquest were on display as part of the recent MFA exhibition... Ingrid Wells works and lives in San Francisco.
I got there the day after the tornado came through. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. My mind just could not grasp what my eyes were seeing. It was just too much to take in, too much to process. So, I did what comes naturally and took images. It sort of helped me separate from the chaos and helped me focus.
Jeffrey Cheung emailed over some photos from a recent one night show he had at Terra Gallery/ event space. The May 19th show also featured live music by Oakland garage rockers Twin Steps and Coldtergeist.
Great solo show by LA based Alison Blickle (Born 1976) up now at San Francisco's Eleanor Harwood gallery. History of Magic Part 1... The Hermitage runs through June 15th 2013. -- 1295 Alabama St. Hours: Wed thru Sat (11-6pm)
Well, it looks like John Felix Arnold rocked Tokyo with his opening with Koutaro Ooyama at Spes Lab a few weeks back. Even a language barrier couldn't prevent the success of their collaboration. They invited everyone they met on trains, in cars, cafes, bars, restaurants, and people responded by attending, and bringing their families and friends as well.
Last Thursday evening, I was lucky enough to get invited to Nickelodeon's premiere party for their newest cartoon, Sanja & Craig, created by three awesome dudes - Andreas Trolf, Jim Dirschberger, and Jay Howell. Hosted at Tony's Salon with pizza provided by Pizzanistas, the premiere party was filled with libations and celebrations, even a break-dance battle broke out. Congrats to everyone who worked on the show, and especially Trolf, Jim, and Jay who all have been working tirelessly on it. Sanja & Craig premiered Saturday 10:30 am 11 am on Nickelodeon. You can watch Sanjay and Craig Episode 1: Brett Venom on hulu. and read about how the guys came up with it in this interview with The LA Times. Now, here's some photos from the premiere.
Los Angeles Christofer Chin (Tofer) emailed over some install shots of his current show Ar running in NYC at Lu Magnus through June 29th. Simple/ clean and continuing his op artstyle Tofer Chin features new paintings, photographs, and sculpture continuing his exploration of geologically and architecturally inspired Minimalist forms.
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