These ads for the new, third season of Orange is The New Black — where each character is depicted on the front of a Jesus Candle — started showing up in the subway last night on those interactive information boards that they have in some stations (if you’re lucky). I’m only on season two, so I have some catching up to do!
The late, great singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson was born on this day, June 15th, in 1941. I recently watched the unbelievably well-made documentary, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? which is now available on DVD via Netflix.
I’m a huge fan of Nilsson’s music, as he reached the height of his popularity in the sixties and seventies, when I was growing up, so I thought I knew a lot about the guy. But Who is Harry Nilsson? gave me quite a schooling on the details of Nilsson’s life and career that I couldn’t have imagined.
This insightful documentary goes way back to his childhood, his family life, his early career writing songs for others that grew into his own recording career as a solo artist, his film soundtrack projects, personal friendships with other songwriters and musicians (Nilsson was a favorite artist of all four Beatles and he maintained close friendships with John Lennon and Ringo Starr until his death) and a wildly in-depth overview of his recording process via interviews with those he worked closely with (the interviews with producer Richard Perry alone are worth the time it takes to watch the film).
Of course, it’s not like you don’t know how the story is going to end. A well-covered topic in Who Is Harry Nilsson? is the artist’s ridiculously indulgent and debauched Rock Star Lifestyle, which lead directly to his early death at age 52 – a tragic waste of an extraordinary and irreplaceable talent.
I was entirely captivated, entertained and profoundly moved by the life story of Harry Nilsson, who was extremely respected for his talent and considered by his peers to be the greatest American singer of his generation. There is no doubt that his influence is vast and deeply felt even today. Harry Nilsson died on January 15th, 1994 from heart failure brought on by a lifetime of alcoholism and hard drug abuse. If he were still alive, he would be celebrating his Birthday today. Happy Birthday, Harry, we still miss you.
Stampede By Josh Keyes
One of last night’s hot-ticket gallery openings was the debut of Portland-based artist Josh Keyes’ new show, Migration, at Jonathan Levine in Chelsea. Migration features a series of paintings on panel, study drawings on paper and a ten-foot canvas entitled Stampede (See above), which is the artist’s largest painting to date.
On the subject of his show title, Keyes offers, “Migration and displacement were ideas that continued to surface in my mind while I was painting these images. I was thinking about the effects of climate change and the way some ecosystems that thrive in a specific range of temperatures — like polar or tropical climates —are experiencing a shrinking of their boundaries. Ecosystems that were separate are now slowly merging and overlapping one another, causing disruptions in the food web and increased competition for food and space among species. Some become displaced and are forced to migrate, in order to survive.”
Levine’s exhibit Press Release continues that: Keyes’ imagery in this exhibition pushes the potential consequences of ecosystem clashing to a climax that wavers on the surreal. A bright orange tiger rests contently on top of a graffiti covered dumpster, staring intensely at a pack of wolves, scavenging whitetail deer scraps from the tiger’s morning hunt. Below the smooth floodwater surface, glides a great white shark. A pair of giant pandas, marooned on a submerged jeep, watch with curiosity as the shark’s fin circles by. Deer, elk, wolves and other animals form a stampeding herd, charging through a city street, leaving upturned cars and ruptured pavement in their frenzied wake.
I liked the way Keyes’ paintings encourage imaginative extrapolation in the viewer while combining visual beauty with a sense of foreboding and dread. The story they hint at reminded me a bit of a film I saw not too long ago called The Last Winter, which I highly recommend adding to your Netflix queue. Something I had not seen before at a gallery opening was a formal, organized line of fans waiting to meet Josh, that snaked through Levine’s rear gallery – a line which I waited in for 20 minutes just so I could say Hi to Josh and get him to sign one of his cards. Josh was super nice and took the time to meet and sign stuff for everyone who was waiting – very cool! Also spotted in the packed gallery were notable local artists Michael Fumero, Beau Stanton and Dima Drjuchin, all of whom appeared to be really digging the show. You can read more about Josh Keyes and see additional pictures from the exhibit at This Link.
Josh Keyes’ Migration Runs through November 19, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.
Confession: Most of the time, I can barely recall what Netflick I watched last night or what I ate for lunch earlier in the day, but ask me what it was like to be in Manhattan on September 11th, 2001, and I remember that day like it was still happening. I remember seeing the smoke from the first tower as I stood at the corner of 19th Street and 5th Avenue, walking to work that morning and thinking “Something’s on fire.” I can tell you what the weather was like (the most beautiful late summer Tuesday, ever).
I recall the most minute, bullshit details of numerous conversations I had with people that day. I can tell you what I made for lunch (pasta with chicken in red sauce). I even remember what I was wearing. It’s been ten years since that day and for me it’s like it was, as they say, just yesterday. I’m sure I’ll have the same clarity about September 11, 2001 for the rest of my life. If you were in NYC at the time, you can’t ever forget. But think about this: what is that day like for people whose birthday is on September 11th? That’s something I hadn’t really considered until I read this fantastic story in The Awl built around first-person testimonials from10 people who are unfortunate enough to have 9/11 as their birth date. Ten People Who Observe Birthdays on 9/11 is by far my favorite remembrance piece of the too-many-to-mention that I’ve already read over the past few days. It captures just the right balance of candor and uncomfortable humor that feel appropriate after a decade of 9/11 anniversaries. The piece starts out like this:
Jotham Sederstrom, 34, freelance reporter: On September 10th, my friends took me out for birthday drinks in Chicago. I was out until three or four, I think, at a place called “The Hideout,” among other places. I didn’t wake up until about noon, at which point everything had changed.
George Spyros, 44, executive producer: I got married the weekend before. We had a bunch of friends and family from out of town, and went out Monday night for dinner. My wife and I were supposed to fly out on September 11th for our honeymoon. On top of that, it’s my birthday.
Michael Wright, 44, editorial director: September 11th has always been the best day of the year for me — and then it all goes to shit.
Allison Spensley, 31, mid-career change: It was my 21st birthday, so of course I had plans to go out.
And it just gets more engaging. You can read the rest – and I strongly recommend that you do – Here.
HELP! is an amazing screwball comedy/adventure/musical film that was made in 1965. It stars The Beatles as themselves and is certainly one of my very favorite movies ever. I own a copy, of course, but if you haven’t seen it you should rent it. Because it rules.
A few months back, I watched the above scene (known as “the Roxy Music scene”) from the totally obscure Daniel Craig film, Flashbacks of a Fool, at my friend Randy’s house, and it made my head explode. I finally got Flashbacks of a Fool in the Netflix and watched it last night. Man, what a cool movie! While the scene above is my favorite part of the film – because, you know, I was that girl – it really is a movie that is just so full of surprises that I ended up enjoying it very much. Plus Daniel Craig gets naked a bunch of times. So do yourself a favor if you do decide to add it to your queue: DO NOT under any circumstances watch the theatrical trailer that’s included on the DVD as part of the “Extras,” because I swear to god it gives away every single surprise and plot twist. And I hate it when they do that.
Do you love the Netflix? Then you might enjoy this fun article from the Chicago Tribune about how Netflix gets your movies to your mailbox so fast. Yay Netflix!
Personally, I couldn’t give a crap about the Super Bowl. This evening I’ll be watching some Netflix, then Big Love and Flight of the Conchords in a blissfully Football-free wonderland. And I already had a big lunch at Gonzalez Y Gonzalez (hey, $5 Margaritas at the bar!) so I won’t be eating again tonight. But if I were to attend a Superbowl party (say, because I lost a bet) I sure would be happy to see this stadium made of tasty snacks waiting for me to sample. Here’s what’s in it:
1 Pound of Guacamole
15 Oz. Queso Dip For The Steelers End Zone
15 Oz. Salsa For The Cardinals End Zone
2 Oz. Sour Cream for the Field Lines
15 Vienna Sausages
Helmets – 3 Oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
The Goal Posts:
1 Slim Jim for Each Goal Post
1 Oz. Monterey Jack Cheddar To Anchor (each)
1 Pound of Bacon
1 Bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
1 Bag of Cheetos
1 Bag of Corn Tortilla Chips
1 Bag of Chex Mix
20 Oz. Football-Shaped Summer Sausage (optional) (on second thought, no, this isn’t optional. Go buy one.)
TOTAL CALORIES: 24,375
TOTAL GRAMS OF FAT: 1,285
TOTAL COST: $86.47
TOTAL DELICIOUSNESS: 1 Billion trillion, dude. One billion trillion.
See how to make it at the link below!
Have you perhaps been looking for a way to combine the art of Japanese paper folding with the footprint reducing practicality of recycling and the endless, low cost fun of your Netflix subscription? Then your search has ended! Look no further than a website called simply NetFlix Origami, where you can learn to make the cute little items below, among others.
Friends Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) fall for each other while making an X-rated movie to help pay their debts.
An article in USA Today is hypothesizing that the movie going public will get their collective panties in a bunch because Kevin Smith’s upcoming new film Zack & Miri Make a Porno has the word “Porno” in the title. Let me just tell you that I will be the first one in line to see this film, if only for that reason!