Fierce and bluesy East Bay garage rockers Shannnon and the Clams premiere the new video for “Tired of Being Bad” from their “Sleep Talk” album, animated by Owen Cook, in this SFBG exclusive. (And check out their recent revealing interview with us.)
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This past weekend Honey Soundsystem held a release party for the 7-inch single release of Alexis Blair Penney’s “Lonely Sea.” Now the video for “Lonely Sea,” directed by Justin Kelly, is up for viewing. We’ve written about Kelly’s videos a few times in the past, and devoted a cover story to High Fantasy co-hosts Penney and Myles Cooper last year. Kelly’s video for “Lonely Sea” finds him and Penney tapping into at least a triad of ’80s video divas, as well as natural and mythological undercurrents.
One of our favorite Katy Perry-shredders, Beth Ditto serves a “Justify My Love”-era Madonna look and the kind of sound Madonna lost touch with after her first album. Guardian Video Issue cover star Justin Kelly made a fab recent Gossip video, but this teaser from an upcoming solo EP hints that it might deliver the dancepop Rick Rubin didn’t for Ditto’s group.
It is extremely encouraging that A: hundreds of people still show up at Justin Herman Plaza to beat the living crap out of each other on Valentine’s Eve (with love!), B: We only resort to semi-violence for our kicks, and C: In the Facebook age, the “flash” in “flash mob” refers only to cameras. (Real spontaneous flash mobs RIP.) Video h/t: kevinsyoza
Honestly, we meticulously avoid the TV, the radio, the mall, the Explorer dealer, and Chili’s all year, just so local wiz DJ Earworm‘s annual mashup of Billboard’s top 25 hits will surprise us — with brilliance. It’s the only way we can digest all that auto-syrup in one big candy-colored blast.
Smoking Baby, Preacher Baby, Iron Baby, Samba Baby, Mini Daddy — Is it too premature to nominate 2010 for “Year of the Video Baby”? Copious amounts of Gaga-goo aside, this year had plenty to offer li’l sprout gawkers — the baby meme has definitely replaced the baby mama as our go-to young ‘un pop cultural signifier of choice. Here are some of our favorite kid video (kideo?) shout-outs from the past year …
>>Heavy Metal Baby
>>Mini Daddy (NOT Smoking baby)
>>Awesome Poetry Baby
>>Chronic Reggae Baby
>>Baby Monkey Riding Pig
>>Demon Baby from Hell
>>BONUS Two-Headed Baby Turtle
Well, the ’80s are back (again and again and forever). Here’s an echo of the tedious, right-bred “Culture Wars” of that decade. Republicans John Boehner and Eric Cantor have successfully pressured the National Portrait Gallery to remove this beautifully rage-filled, pretty-innocuous-for-nowadays (and NSFW) 1987 video work by late AIDS acivist and artist David Wojnarowicz, with singer Diamanda Galas, from LGBT-centered “Hide/Seek” exhibition. On World AIDS Day. Because there are ants on a crucifix. As one astute Gawker commentor noted: “Why not just wash them off with some piss?”
Obviously, this situation is sickening and ridiculous. But the silver lining is it puts Wojnarowicz (and Galas, and early video art, and the fading gay-AIDS communal memory) back in the spotlight. The work may not seem like much in our video-drenched, commodified-rebellion now, but back then, this was a spectacular instance of protest art during an actual civil war, a period when the religious right and the government laughed as gay people and people of color died horrible deaths, and blamed them publicly for bringing it upon themselves. People did these things! And blood itself was terrifying.
Also, it wasn’t like Wojnarowicz could just pop open iMovie and cruise the net for Youtube clips he wanted to stitch together. All of this archival crate-digging and self-filming had to be produced, edited, duplicated, distributed, and promoted by hand and word-of-mouth, by someone who was often penniless, infected with AIDS, and who never knew how much time he had. It was as much a work of craft, underground networking, and temporal investment as an act of pure expression. (Plus, the team-up of downtown heroes Diamanda and David at the time was orgasmically exciting.)
Protest this douche move! This is a valuable document of American art and deserves to be shown, especially on today of all days. No censorship, right? The “Support Hide/Seek” Facebook page is here. And here are the addresses to voice your complaints and disgust:
Martin Sullivan, National Portrait Gallery Director:
Richard Kurin, Undersecretary for the Arts and Humanities:
Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute:
Our friends at Boing Boing just posted this awesome amateur clip — but really, who else thought these guys were gonna start making out before playing with their toys?
Liza: is there nothing she can’t do? The ever-amazing Rich at FourFour watched all two hours of Liza Minelli’s Home Shopping Network extravaganza. And of course he made a highlight reel. Give that man a Z!
You decide. (h/t Nick Larimer and Richard Bott)
Just in time for Pride Month, the winner of this year’s International Mr. Leather competition (held this past weekend in Chicago) is New Mexican transman wheelchair-user — and self-described “Leather Gimp” — Tyler McCormick. We teared up at his speech. Diversity x 1 million = work the runway. In a leather jockstrap, even.
I don’t know what you’re planning for your long weekend ahead — Carnaval? Himalayan Fair? DEMF? Rehab? — but I’m heading back up to Arcata and Eureka to peep the Kinetic Sculpture Race, the “triathlon of the art world.” It is truly one of the wonders of California — and yes, those things have to go into the water.
Directors Ricky Angel and Samuel Hernandez sent over this energetic and colorful short documentary about the screwy rationale — and possibly devastating impact — of the proposed sit/lie law that Mayor Newsom now intends to put before voters, bypassing the Board of Supervisors. Local activists and San Francisco citizens express dismay and hope.