Been back in L.A. for a week now. Finally. So now, not only can KenBurns daily blog posts continue with impunity, but I also have time to visit interesting websites recently discovered...
Ryan's Daily Music Post. Not your run-of-the-mill song-of-the-day website, this eclectic music blog straight outta San Antonio reflects the crazy cultural mix of South Texas and its music fans. Esteban Jordan next to Leon Russell next to the Drive By Truckers (yes!) next to Nick Lowe!? But, even more surprisingly, it all makes perfect sense. A clean, well-lighted site with no frills, no blather, just a daily song post that lets the music stand and deliver.
(Notes on) Politics, Theory & Photography. "Images," William Burroughs famously wrote, "that's what I eat." Been mulling for years exactly what Wild Bill truly meant with his wonderfully ambiguous dictum, but I'm guessing whatever it was the Beat writer would be pleased with the "Notes on..." blog's critical mix of pictures and politics. Not so much semiotic photo deconstructions a la Barthes and his black French soldier saluting the flag, but analysis on law, the election, images, and and, yes, the occasional opine on, say, the Miley Cyrus - Vanity Fair - Annie Leibowitz photo controversy, complete with links to Germain Greer essays on the subject.
The Kareem Abdul Jabbar Blog: The Insights of the NBA's All-Time Leading Scorer. OK: For hard core NBA fans looking for intelligent discussions on everything basketball head on over to TrueHoop.com -- there is not a finer site for that kind of insider info -- but for everyone else head on over to Kareem's more expansive blog. Jabbar's musings on history, culture, politics, and, yes, even the hated Lakers, make for thoughtful reads. Check out his recent post on the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Kareem was there. And Jabbar's insight on race, the Vietnam War, his personal conflicts felt as a Black athlete contemplating a boycott, and how it all matters in the context of today, Beijing, and the Iraq War is a must-read. He's the consummate scholar/athlete. John Wooden would be proud.
Oh! Industry Smart, fun, and extended posts about Pat Benatar power ballads, Harold and Kumar going to Guantanamo, and the ABC soap General Hospital (alas! no mention of All My Children, but no one's perfect, right?) -- with the occasional Monkees YouTube TV show clip provided as apt audio visual aid. What more could you want in a blog? Run by a trio of savvy academics -- the collectively self-described "Audre Lord of the Rings" -- their entries prove PhDs can not only be fun, but illustrates how the scrutiny of contemporary pop culture can be relevant, political, and revelatory -- in the right multi culti hands. And a Camper Van Beethovan sample? Be still my fanboy's heart.
6767. Dave Navarro's blog. Admittedly, not officially a favorite site. Yet. In fact, I just became aware of 6767 three days ago. But I mention it because Navarro blogged this week how Girl in a Coma is his favorite new band -- plus homeboy posted my music video for 'Say.' Badass. While on his site I discovered Navarro's side band project: Camp Freddy. A Who's-Who of rock musicians playing entire sets of cover songs. Last week Camp Freddy jammed with Steve Jones for some Sex Pistols covers and opened their set the always witty choice of Cheap Trick's Hello There Ladies and Gentlemen. How cool is that? Camp Freddy's doing a residency at the Roxy all this month. Last week's set also included some Bowie, the aforementioned Pistols, Led Zep, Motorhead, and the Stooges. I'll for sure be there next Thursday. Stay tuned for a review...
And, lastly, in the spirit of the above recommended Oh! Industry blog, I leave you with the brilliant proto riot girl Poly Styrene and her band X Ray Spex (mini doc here) with their punk classic "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!" Very badass. Rock on. Have a good weekend. And don't forget Mother's Day.