Oct 29, 2008

America the Gift Shop

Phillip Toledano worked in advertising as a creative director for a decade before shifting gears to become a photographer. While doing some plum editorial jobs for the NY Times, Vanity Fair and New York Magazine, the Londoner also wracked up impressive work for his ad portfolio, culminating in an Absolut vodka shoot.

Now, he makes art meant to induce squirming as much as reflecting on truths we try to ignore-- or maybe a combination of both. One of his latest ventures in that mode is called America The Gift Shop, an installation project that transforms US foreign policy from the past eight years into ostensibly buyable objects. In an America on the brink of becoming a total consumer environment (if it hasn't reached that point already,) his pieces can be as unsettling as they are on target.

Abu Ghraib coffee table
, Phillip Toledano
Molded resin, plexiglass, 6', 2008

Oct 27, 2008

What I'm listening to

1. My Roots Go Down - The Seedy Seeds/Count the Days
2. You Are My Wonderful... Flower - Day2K/The Rockets
3. Bad Man's World - Jenny Lewis/Acid Tongue
4. LIttle Bird - Angus & Julia Stone/Just A Boy
5. The Rip - Portishead/Third
6. The Windmills of Your Mind - Dusty Springfield/Dusty in Memphis
7. Keep on Walking - Jem/Down To Earth
8. Best For Last - Adele/19

Oct 22, 2008

Excuse me?

Watch how Cindy flinches at the forbidden word. Ah, memories.

Change your underwear

Obama boxer briefs, marked down from $29 to just $7.49 per pair. Change you can believe in, from Andrew Christian.

I Met The Walrus

Jerry Levitan was 14 years old in 1969, when he snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto with a tape recorder and persuaded him to answer a few questions about peace. Lennon was, with Yoko Ono, his wife, to perform at a huge anti-Viet Nam War concert which was subsequently released as an album called Live Peace in Toronto.

Lennon and Ono were into heavy heroin use at that point, as Lennon revealed later. He recalled vomiting violently right before he went on stage, but he electrified the audience made up of worshipful Beatles fans who were also fervent anti-war protestors.

He gave Levitan the time and thoughtful answers at a time when the world needed people to look up to-- much like today and the message that Barack Obama is carrying to newer generations of minds hungry for ideas of promise, change and hope.

From the video's Youtube site:
Thirty-eight years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon's every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit, and timeless message.

Oct 21, 2008

Be prepared for zombies

With November 4th just two weeks away, you don’t want to be unprepared should zombies prevail. These fine forged steel blades were designed with one purpose in mind: Killing zombies. We here at CreepyLA suggest you don’t mess around and order one today.

Even with the economy in its current state, now is not the time to cut corners. Zombie Tools snottily explains their rationale:
It’s been estimate that around 600,000 people were killed with agricultural-grade machetes during the Rwandan genocidal war in the ’90s. We’ve seen the machetes used in Africa. They’re thin, cheap, Asian-made tools designed to chop vegetation. So we’re fairly confident that our blades, which are twice as thick, made from quality steel, much sharper and designed to cleave, will have no problem with a decomposing walking corpse.

Oct 10, 2008

I'm listening to dOP

More French electronica is washing up on my cyber shores in the form of dOP, a group whose members claim to be a former prison cook, an ex-pro soccer player and " a guy who sold stuff on the beach (cigarettes, condoms, drinks and chouchou). But now we only do music. And we're really happy about it."
Final question (from their recent RA interview:) Why do you sing in English?

To make more money.
Not to burst their bubble, but I scored Lighthouse, their EP released in March, as a download from Amie Street for 45 cents, but the price will undoubtedly rise as more people find them there. Their July release, I'm Just A Man, is only available on vinyl presently.

Make your own.

Oct 9, 2008

‘Vote NO on Prop 8′ fund-raiser this Sunday

Equality California and Love Honor Cherish are having a fund-raiser this Sunday October 12th aimed at defeating the anti-gay Proposition 8, a ballot measure this November that, if it were to pass, would deny same sex couples the right to marry in California by actually writing discrimination and bigotry into the California constitution.

The event will happen at the Mondrian Hotel’s Skybar in West Hollywood on Sunday from 6 PM to 9 PM. Tickets can be had for $100 and 100% of the ticket price goes to defeating Prop 8 on November 4th.

Money is urgently needed NOW. “Religious” conservative-backed Prop 8 supporters have far surpassed Equality California and other opponents of Prop 8 in fund-raising, pouring it into TV ads filled with outright lies and distortions aimed at appealing to ignorance and bigotry. ( Take a look at one of the ads.)

You can buy tickets here. And you can download a PDF of the invite here and see the long list of Angelenos, celebrated (you know, celebrities) and otherwise, who will be there.

If it’s at all within your means, it is a very worthwhile cause. I’m not saying everyone can afford it; but if you can afford $200 jeans and a $300 iPhone, then you can afford a donation to fight bigotry in California.

If a C-note is outside your budget, please give whatever you can at Equality California’s site or at No On Prop 8. We can’t allow victory to embolden backward zealots.

But whatever you do, VOTE NO on Prop 8 on November 4th.

Proposition 8 was placed on the ballot by the anti-gay “Protect Marriage” group, an affiliation of so called “religious” conservatives which claims to be seeking to “restore marriage” and “protect children,” according to the scant information on their web site explaining who they are. (There is no “about” link. Pretty telling, no?)

Their real intent is to deny basic rights to gay people. Marriage and children have nothing to do with the goal of these bigots.

Equality California
is a civil rights organization that advocates for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in California.

Love, Honor and Cherish is an independent, grassroots organization whose purpose is to defeat Proposition 8.

Standing up to bigots isn’t always cheap or easy (like me.) I’ll be there with the boyfriend in tow. Look for us and say “hello.” (He’s the cute redhead; I’m the silver-haired Slavic fox.)

Vote NO on Prop 8 Gala; Sunday, October 12, 2008, 6 to 10 p.m.; Skybar, Mondrian Hotel, 8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. Tickets $100.