Posts tagged ‘zeitgeist’

September 16, 2014

Eyes Wide (open)

I’ve heard the theory that Stanley Kubrick was hired by the U.S. government to fake the Apollo moon landings, but I never knew that during his youth, Kubrick was a crack photographer. (If you were born later than 1970, you probably don’t understand the previous sentence. That’s OK. You have Google.) Turns out the great director of such seminal films as A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining, was a staff photographer for LOOK magazine in the 1940s. You can buy the book, buy me the book, and/or peruse some of them here. I’m particularly fond of this one:

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December 27, 2012

…………………..2012: A List………………

(Hope you don’t get seasick) p.s. it’s all local

massenger

Cassettes were all the rage this year. Massenger was my favorite band.

Recorded Music
Massenger
No//Se
The Pullmen
Kapeesh
D on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers

Wussy

Wussy

Live Music
Wussy at Zoey’s
Pangea at Indie West Fest
The Pullmen at Bombay
Kapeesh at Red Cove
Alexandra and the Starlight Band at Zoey’s
Miguel Garcia & the Vaquetones at Yolie’s
OFWGKTA at the Ventura Theater (for the sheer spectacle of it)

bob-and-the-monster-promo

Outstanding film! Bob Forrest actually remembered me from the old days.

Film
Bob and the Monster at Indie West Fest

scavenger

Shenanigans at the Scavenger Hunt. (Appropriately, I stole this photo.)

Event
The Local Rock Picnic
86 Scavenger Hunt (I was a secret weapon. Plus, I sacrificed my son’s innocence. See pic.)
Westside ArtWalk

comics comics

Comics and Comics at Hypno Comics

Comedy
Comics and Comics at Hypno Comics

tully

I purchased one of these pieces from Sean Tully. Can you guess which one?

Art
Sean Tully at The WAV
Stacie Logue’s guerrilla bluebirds
Paul Lindhard’s gateway to Ventura
Evan Ames’ and Lauren Mosinka’s yard sale
Everything at Sylvia White Gallery
Michael Pearce at Carnegie Art Museum
Art of Autism at Westside ArtWalk
MB Hanrahan’s Scabenue Calendar

KSSR_logo_p

Story
End Transmission: The Life and Death of the People’s Radio

June 24, 2010

Crimes and misconceptions: covering arts and entertainment in VC

In the past week a few prickly issues have become lodged in my gmail, so I figured I would address them here, if for no other reason than to stop the itching.

1. Coverage, or how one gets a piece of VCR’s valuable real estate:

It’s rumored that in order to get ink in our publication, one must be an advertiser. This is, of course, false and anyone who actually reads on a regular basis would know it. Why people insist on perpetuating this nonsense is beyond me, and the irony is, our advertisers are frequently miffed about not getting editorial love. So if advertisers aren’t getting it, and no one else is getting it, then who the heck is getting it? Answer: people, places, occurrences, creations that are interesting,  fresh, relevant and in some way impacting the county’s cultural  evolution. It never hurts to drop us a line if you’ve caught wind of such, as we are not omnipresent or telepathic (contrary to popular opinion.)

2. Locals only policy:

We are the only publication in Ventura County (or anywhere for that matter) that gives exclusive priority to locals. I cannot emphasize enough how rare this is. From what I can tell, no one else in the U.S. does this, especially for music. We will not (as long as I’m arts editor) ever review a CD by an artist living outside Ventura County. The only time you will read about someone or something not produced within the geographical boundaries of this county,  is if they are exhibiting or touring here. Sorry Santa Barbara, sorry SLO, sorry L.A.–someone needs to champion the talent here and if that’s a crime, then I stand accused! (insert appropriate emoticon) That said, if you feel we’re overlooking anything or anyone, drop us a line.

June 3, 2010

The NEW new art city

Long ago in a galaxy far away, some people in that cool old building on Poli and California streets, decided it would be a good idea to give the city of Ventura an identity.  At the time, (pre-911, pre-economic disaster) cultural tourism was a fairly new concept and people governing the city were beginning to realize how dominant a force the arts were here.  Two plus two equaled California’s New Art City and a marketing plan/identity was born.

Not coincidentally, this came at a time of redevelopment downtown– the Laurel Theater (Rubicon Theatre Company), Ventura Music Festival, the Artists Union Gallery and the Century 10 movie theater, materialized during this period.  At the same time, historic preservation was being embraced as a crucial element of downtown Ventura’s cultural, and was folded into the cultural tourism plan.

All these years later, we have some amazing accomplishments to show for this change in direction: most notably: Bell Arts Factory/Vita Art Center, Working Artists Ventura (WAV), Ventura Film Society and the ongoing county museum expansion (which will partially unveiled on July 3).  Add to that a couple handfuls of art galleries and studios, festivals and a local music scene that if properly fertilized could yield big dollars and national recognition for Ventura, and it becomes difficult to understand why there  is so much empty commercial space downtown.

Clearly it’s time to reassess and reimagine.  We should be proud, we’ve accomplished much, but if we are to survive this economy and a changing market, we need to wise-up.

Recent changes within city government reflect both the need to reshape our vision and the willingness on the part of city officials to adapt. Eric Wallner, formerly the Cultural Affairs Manager for Ventura, is necessarily molting in order to respond, to this somewhat urgent need for a new phase. Wallner, along with others, will be turning his focus to the creation of jobs that will help sustain us culturally and economically. This means finding ways to court businesses that employ creatives and others.

This will undoubtedly be a big part of the discussion at the second annual economic summit “Partnering for Prosperity” to be held Saturday, June 12 at 8 p.m. Anyone interested in taking this city to the next level, artistically, culturally and economically, should consider attending.

May 6, 2010

Good vibes at the WAV: jazz and film

Despite some reports that life at the Working Artists Ventura (WAV) community is reminiscent of Animal House, great things are happening there as its performance space is beginning to show signs of life and the project as a whole is pumping fresh blood into Downtown and Westside Ventura’s arts scene.

Tonight, Thursday May 6,  the WAV launches its first Thursdays series with live jazz featuring Nick Mancini, Bruce Lett, Karl Hunter and Davey Miller. 8 p.m. If the $15 admission seems a bit steep… remember it helps the WAV grow, which enables  many of our artist and musician friends to continue pursuing their respective disciplines, and, other than Davey Miller, the musicians performing this concert are world class. Vibes players, especially accomplished ones, are not in abundance, and Nick Mancini‘s got the chops.

The WAV community has also partnered with the Ventura Film Society for a monthly screening series to debut at 7 p.m. June 2 and first Wednesdays through the remainder of the year.  The first film is Touch the Sound about deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

Jazz and film seem like a perfect pairing with the Westside/WAV zeitgiest. Photographer and historian Stephan Schaefer recently published the “HERO” photo of the WAV pictured above. Pick up VCReporter for continuing updates and calendar information about the Gold Coast’s vast talent pool.

March 18, 2010

We Live in Public at Ventura Film Society Festival 2010

I had the opportunity to see We Live in Public tagged “the story of the greatest Internet pioneer you never heard of.” I already forgot his name.  Josh something or other. While he may have been intelligent and intuitive enough to see the future of electronic communication–social networking, user created content etc.–back when only a few insider geeks were exchanging e-mailmuch of his so-called genius was really an expression of deep rooted emotional/psychological issues. Sure, show me an artist who’s emotionally stable and I’ll show you a poser, but there are degrees of neuroses.

None of that is to reflect poorly on the film. The documentary film which the festival will open with, is a fascinating portrayal of an unlikeable, creative, opportunistic, sad figure during the dawn of the technology revolution when people didn’t know any better.

For me the most poignant and maybe even salient aspect of Josh’s journey to virtual fame and relative fortune then failure and irrelevance, is his emotional relationship with electronic media. It proves that human contact is not essential in order to feel and relate, but electronic interaction may not be the healthiest path to connectivity.

Josh was raised on TV. It was his mother, father,  brother, sister. Later, in the form of web broadcasting it would become his lover. In the film Josh says something to the effect that Gilligan was his biggest influence. Well into his adult life, he pursued his fantasies of living out the story of Gilligan’s Island.

His great contribution to the whole virtual experiment was his “quiet” project, where people were locked into a communal living situation where every moment was committed to video and broadcast live. Participants were essentially owned by Josh, and a decade later he would attempt to sell them back their lives digitally. Those involved (citizens of quiet) became comfortable being watched in bed, at the table, on the toilet, in the shower, having sex, shooting guns, being interrogated and finally falling apart.

Admittedly, it was an brilliant if somewhat mean-spirited exercise. While most of the participants moved on, Josh’s craving to be watched took a new, even more intimate turn as he and his girlfriend broadcast on webcam every moment spent at home while strangers chatted with them and about them.

Ultimately Josh failed to harness the internet for practical and lucrative purposes. (This could actually qualify him as an artist). Unable to distance himself emotionally from the medium, he lost out. Toward the end of the film, we see him attempt to sell his ideas to the founder of MySpace. It’s perhaps the most powerful scene in the film, because after everything, he is unrecognized and his love of the Web goes, once again, unrequited.

All hope is not lost, though. He finds peace and perhaps finally purpose in the unlikeliest, yet most necessary of environments.

You will have to see the film to find out. It screens on Thursday, March 25, 5:30 p.m. at the Lodge. For a complete schedule of films screening at the festival, visit the official Ventura Film Society Web site.

April 16, 2009

For the record

I like my iPod as much as anyone, but it will never replace my need for packaged product, much as the Internet (my lover for many years now) will never do me better than a juicy issue of Mojo, Paste or Vanity Fair.

I remember my first record the way I remember my first crush. It was Help! by the Beatles and I gazed lovingly at every inch of the sleeve as the 12″ lp spun round and round on my record player.  I was maybe five years old and despite being raised in a non-musical home, my obsession with music was already taking root.

Just last night Aerosmith’s Rocks–a remnant of my original collection which, sadly, was mostly lost in the wake of a punk rock lifestyle in the ’80s–took a spin on the turntable while I attempted to exercise.

Records and CDs are a big part of my life, and I’m happy to say, my 14-year-old son has the bug too. An afternoon at the record store is one well spent for both of us. There is much to be culled from such, and more to relish. The sights the sounds, the smells. The impromptu conversations, recommendations and conversations with patrons and staff.

Unlike other retail environments (save for the comic book store), the record store is unique in its stature as a cultural centerpoint where consumption of music and popular culture to some extent, is experienced communally.

Saturday, is national Record Store Day. Locally, Salzer’s Records and Buffalo Records will host a variety of free events and great deals on music with live entertainment by Army of Freshmen, the 88, Dirty Words, Franklin for Short, Delaney Gibson and others.

Plan to be there.

April 9, 2009

… Seattle, Austin, Portland . . . Ventura?

cover_s

VCReporter’s Local Music Issue is on the stands so pick it up and drink deep.  This last six months working as arts editor for the paper has given me tangible evidence for what I already knew intuitively: there is a music scene.

Beyond that, the level of talent here is getting ridiculously high.  A while back, I was challenged by someone here to find something like 20 good local music recordings.  At this point I’m challenged to make room for everything that’s worthy of coverage.

I’m not alone in thinking that Ventura County’s music scene is positioned for national attention. Seattle, Austin, Portland . . . Ventura? It’s not outside the realm of possibility. That said, it occurs to me how much money is funneled into highbrow ventures like the Ventura Music Festival (rightfully so) but homegrown local rock-oriented music is sort of dismissed despite its ability to generate significant revenue for the city.  Not to mention what we could do event-wise with all the venues downtown.

It’s my hope that next year we can pull out all the stops and create a live music event to happen in tandem with our annual music issue (which, in my scheme of things, would be a pull-out resource). A girl can dream, right?

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.

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