Archive for November, 2008

November 29, 2008



November 28, 2008

The death of irony

The following is a correspondence between my dear friend Jay Windsor, who really needs a blog (or I need him to have one) and myself.

Windsor: Interesting piece about the rather rapid decline of the use of the word “irony,” in recent times. Me, I enlarged the chart that’s offered, printed it out, and posted it on my fridge. (But I’m weird that way, for weird charts and graphs.)

Cicero: Who the hell even understands irony? In the article they seem to be confusing it with sarcasm. I think irony may be dead for the simple reason that we don’t know what it is. “How ironic,” is almost always said by someone who is utterly confused. Let’s not even touch Alanis Morissette’s hit song. If someone can explain irony to me and give me an example from current events, I will feel much better about the whole thing. What? A newspaper editor who doesn’t understand irony? Now that’s ironic! (Not.)

November 26, 2008

Art, cynicism and Scott Jacobs

Since my story a couple weeks ago, I’ve been following the buzz about Scott Jacobs and his Obama painting “Someday Has Come.” While initially I was one of those swept up in the serendipity of it all, when coverage of Jacob and his art piece spread outside Ventura County, my cynicism crept in.

I mean, what do we know about the photographer who took the pic that Jacobs copied, albeit skillfully, but copied nonetheless. Has the photographer been given his due credit as Jacobs cashes in? And what exactly is he cashing in on? The art piece itself? This of course begs the question: what qualifies as art? Is decent reproduction art? What about the manic optimism surrounding Obama’s election? People are so enamored of the president-elect that virtually anything with his name or image suddenly becomes invaluable. Or is it the story? And the story has taken new forms as it’s been retold.

Jacobs was “homeless” he’s a “veteran” he drives a BMW and he owns a laptop. That he was kicked out of his home on election day because he’s an artist, then after visiting the voting booth was inspired to paint Obama’s likeness (from an existing photograph) in public (where else, he has no home), was invited to show the piece at Sylvia White Gallery’s election night party... has become a little preposterous to me.

I’d like to believe it all went down like this. I do believe in Kismet, but c’mon.

When the Artists Union Gallery took him under their wing momentarily to close their “Election Collection” show, my sigh was audible for blocks.

Turnout for the event was a who’s who of the Ventura artists community. People traveled from well outside Ventura County to purchase a signed/numbered giclee and meet Jacobs. And purchase they did. A physician who had been visiting Ventura saw Jacobs painting, became enamored of the “story” and funded the production of T-shirts for the Artists Union Gallery event. I looked around for a punch bowl full of Kool Aid to explain the collective bliss, the glazed over expressions… my negativity looming, threatening.

Faced with such almost naive enthusiasm from people I respect in the arts community, I began to feel a bit ashamed of my skepticism. Does it really matter why people are happy? Maybe this whole thing had some kind of divine push behind it. Who am I to judge it, right?

When I asked Jacobs what’s next he told me he was beginning a new collection about the Montecito “Tea” fire, ostensibly to raise funds for the victims.

My co-worker, Paul, had a reasonable explanation for my attitude: I’m a reporter, duh. I question (hopefully). I’m still somewhat at odds about the whole thing and I can’t help but look around for validation of my instincts from practically anyone who mentions Scott Jacobs, but I’m also planning to refrain from further examination of this story, for now. If, however, he sells the original for the $100K he’s asking (sheesh, even $10K) you can bet I will resume this conversation.

November 22, 2008

Holy art installation, Batman


It seems someone got the idea to address issues of church and state using public art. I love when art collides with life in this way.

November 20, 2008

So it begins…

Last week someone from the VCReporter camp who will go unnamed, challenged me to find 25 “good” CDs by local musicians. At least two acceptable songs per CD would be required in order to contend. I laughed. Are you kidding me? Only 25? That’s cake. I know for a fact there is a mountain of good music produced locally that’s gone largely undiscovered and I plan to expose it in the coming months in VCReporter.

Off the top of my head I could probably name 25, but time has me hostage at the moment. Here are a few artists anyway: The Spires, Franklin For Short, Todd Hannigan, Park Bench Prophets, Frank Barajas, the Pretty Uglys, the Feisty Piranhas, If It Kills Me, The Phantom Riders, No Motiv, Hindu Kush, Rachael Sedacca, Shades of Day, B. Willing, Army of Freshmen, Dan Grimm, Tall Tales, Coram Deo, Guy Martin, Ashford Gordon and the list goes on.

If your band has a CD or downloadable music that will prove my point, shoot me an email.

November 18, 2008

The Zeitgeist Movement

Something about this movement resonates with me. What has lingered about my consciousness since viewing it last night is this: There is no independence in nature. Everything is inter dependent. When you really absorb this, it changes everything.

November 15, 2008

Germs and antibiotics


These two things dominated my week as antibiotics did battle in my body against one germ and the majority of my conversations revolved around the GERMS.

A few years ago a good friend of mine became an extra in the indie film What We Do Is Secret. As a result, she became quite close to some people from the Germs camp, including Lorna Doom, Hellin Killer and actor Shane West who plays Darby Crash in the movie. During production and post, I heard stories almost daily about shenanigans on set and the fun she was having. It was pretty captivating stuff.

I came onto the L.A. punk rock scene immediately following the Germs era, but the mythology around the band, Darby and the Circle One gang was omnipresent in Hollywood and I couldn’t help be a little fascinated with the subject.

Last week I got hold of the What We Do Is Secret DVD, which was released earlier this month, with the intention to review it and maybe interview someone from the Germs

At the same time, I reconnected with a friend from my makeup artist days (Xavier Salon, 24 years ago) who coincidentally, (if you believe in such things, and I don’t) is producing a documentary about the Germs. I mean, holy crap. What are the odds?

So while we’re playing phone tag, I interview Rodger Grossman, the director of WWDIS and Lorna, with plans to talk to Don Bolles. (Shane is on location in Peru).

At this point I’m beginning to wonder about the two Germs films. Is there bad blood? I mean, certain key figures from the Germs’ history are missing from WWDIS and Grossman was a little too cheery about the documentary, Lexicon Devil (based on the book by Bolles and Brendan Mullen) when I asked him how he feels about it.

As it turns out my instincts were right. Hollywood is a vile place, more like an entity, that brings out the worst in people who are desperate for their moment in the sun, and the nature of filmmaking, the whorishness that becomes necessary to get a project off the ground is a necessary evil.

Unfortunately, I can’t go into detail, but suffice to say there is a story and it will get told by someone at some point.

It reminds me of when I broke the story of dissension in the Z-boys ranks just prior the release of the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys.

I plan to talk to Bolles next week and write something up about WWDIS for this week or next week’s issue of the Reporter.

November 15, 2008

Shoutout: Viceroy the girl

v-28copy“Let the good times roll,” is her credo and she’s one of the rare few not waiting around for someone else to make it happen. A musician turned promoter, Viceroy (not her real name) is putting on shows in Camarillo with 4-5 band bills on almost a weekly basis. Anyone who’s ever taken a stab at promoting local music or anything in Ventura County knows this is often a thankless job and getting people out to live events is challenging.  Anyway, we’ll be featuring this super cool female in VCReporter next month. Stay tuned!

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November 10, 2008

4 days

Gamers rejoice! It’s only 4 more days until Blizzard releases WofLK making level 80 the new level 70 on World of Warcraft. Expansions have a way of leveling the playing field as we all become noobs at least for a little while. If you play, then you know that Blizzard has slowly been incorporating the new content via patches. The only thing we’re really waiting on is the continent Northrend, quests to 80 and much anticipated new class: Death Knight. Every day someone asks me if I plan to roll one, but I haven’t decided. It’s gonna be time consuming enough to level up my warrior from 70 to 80 and my priest, who’s only 61. Nevertheless, I am excited. Two new arenas were revealed this weekend and they make the old content look amateurish in comparison. The big questions for me are: Who in Ventura will have the expansion for sale on Thursday (Gamestop?) and will my computer be able to handle what is purported to be quite the memory gobbler.

November 6, 2008

Another one bites the dust

Old Town Studio Gallery in Camarillo announced it will be forced to close its doors on Dec. 1, due to the economic climate. They are, however, open to the possibility of a last-minute miracle and are asking artists and arts supporters who are interested in saving a gallery to contact them. 10 percent of their sales are donated to Camarillo Hospice. They are currently showing a variety of watercolors and oils.

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