Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Watch List

1. Yea Big & Kid Static - The Chicago underground is about to blow up, and this duo is going to lead the charge. Check'em out, I hope to on May 18th at The House Cafe in Dekalb, IL
2. Fair to Midland - More quality music emerging from the farms of Texas, their full-length debut, Fables from a Mayfly, will be released June 12th. Check out: Vice Versa (mp3) and their myspace page.
3. Slaraffenland - Copenhagen, Denmark seems to be the land of gentle guitar drone and hushed harmonizing vocals... and I love it!! Look out for this bands May release "Private Cinema" on Hometapes & Rumkaret. Check Out: Polaroids (mp3)

1. Poor Behavior Linked to Time in Day Care by Benedict Carey - I'm shocked that children actually need to spend more time with their parents!
2. Income Gap is Widening, Data Shows by David Cay Johnston - The data is from 2005, but it is still pretty shocking. 48.5% of the income report in 2005 was collected by the top 10% of Americans.
3. Noo Journal Issue #6 was just released this week, and includes a great piece of flash fiction by Caleb Puckett, "Hat Trick".

1. Snapple's New "Out-of-the-Blue" Berry Tea - Still Made from the Best Stuff on Earth!
2. Dj Qbert for Intellectual Dummies - New DVD from Qbert just released this month.

1. Crush to Pulp Issue #2, April 2007, this issue's theme is "Identity". I submitted some stuff, but it didn't make the cut. Next months theme is: Memory.

1. Dinosaur Jr. on Jenny Jones - J blew the white trash right out of the building. This circa 1997 when the incredible Mike Johnson was in the band.
2. 3rd Bass is givin' you the Gas Face! Look out for MF Doom (he used be know as Zev Luv X), and Gilbert Godfrey in the finest role of his career.

Saturday Morning Cartoon

In honor of the Lollapalooza rumors, this morning while you eat your bowl of Golden Nuggets, enjoy a cartoon from Daft Punk.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Band of the Week


Illinois "makes old loves new and the green grass grow", and that is not easy to do. However, these five men, Chris Archibald (Arch) (vocals/banjo), Martin Hoeger (bass), Andrew Lee (guitar), John Paul Kuyper (drums), and Kyle Goldbach (specialist), have actually managed to make green grass grow. The release of their first EP, What the Hell do I Know?, on Ace Fu records March 6th was exactly what the indie rock world needed to usher in spring and the green grass. This is straight up, whiskey-laced, indie-pop aggression from Bucks County, PA.

It all started while Arch and John Paul where in a band called Mad Action, and began writing song together on the side. During that time they reportedly recorded hundreds of songs together, however, this powerful EP only contains seven of those songs. The current signature sound of Illinois centers around three keys part: the banjo, vocals through the rigged up telephone, and alcohol, lots of alcohol. The banjo is an interesting element, but just Jens and his ukulele it can be easily toss aside for another sound. Listening to each track on its own you can tell that the band it trying to find its sound by looking in several directions, and for some bands that can be a problem. Yet, Illinois is inventive, interesting, and just plain fun no matter what direction they are facing or stumbling.

Back in November Arch was asked to interview some of the band playing at CMJ 2006 for Spin. Here is the result:

Screen Door (mp3) (Highly Recommended!!)
Alone Again (mp3)
Nosebleed (mp3) (check out the banjo!)
To puchase the EP go here.

For more information on Illinois visit their website or myspace.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Writer's Corner

Tobias Carroll

The art of writing can take on many forms, from technical manuals to poetry to philosophical essays to well constructed novels. All of the intricate spaces in between are consistently being filled by passionately creative men and women who simply write because they have to. One of those spaces that is often overlooked genre of music and film review. The ability to objectively and creatively evaluate an album or a band, without utilizing all of the cliché comparisons, is a skill. This skill is only one of the many held by Brooklynite, Tobias Carroll. Tobias has been publishing quality music reviews and interviews for Copper Press, Paper Thin Walls, and Death + Taxes Magazine. He recently had an interesting, well-written short story entitled "Spencer Hangs Over Newark" published by THE2NDHAND.

Tobias was kind enough to answer a few of our questions on music, writing, and of course coffee.

Orange Alert (OA): Who are some of your biggest literary influences?
Tobias Carroll (TC): Paul Auster is a significant one, both stylistically and in terms of thinking about writing; The Red Notebook, especially, has exerted its fair share of influence over me. It's not as apparent here, but I'd say that Robertson Davies got into my brain at an early age; my mother had copies of The Deptford Trilogy and What's Bred In the Bone, and even before I'd read them, the Bascove cover artwork was incredibly evocative -- seemingly, a bridge between the more fantastical novels I was reading at the time and something more mature. Of course, when I actually got around to reading the novels in question, I found that they were nothing like what I'd imagined, though that was far from a bad thing. (I think that What's Bred In the Bone, thematically, has had more of an influence on a few other stories I've written, particularly one called "Twenty Minutes' Road".) Philip Roth's American Pastoral caused a fairly strong shift in how I looked at the novel. More recently, I'd have to put Saul Bellow and Marilynne Robinson onto the list as well.

My background is in film, and I'd say that a lot of non-literary sources affect me in a literary way, whether via a sensation that I carry with me, or something else. The first half of "Spencer Hangs Over Newark" was -- at least in my mind -- heavily influenced by Brian Eno's Music For Airports, and my style for at least that half of the story was, to a certain extent, an attempt to replicate the emotions that that album summons up in me on the page. And looking back at "Spencer", I think I may have been subconsciously trying to translate a visual style not unlike that of Krzysztof Kieślowski into words. (Though that may only make sense to me.)

OA: How has the internet (blogs, lit mags, publishers, etc) affected you as a writer?
TC: It's a great way to find out about new publications, readings, and writers. It's also a useful research tool; the opening of the novel I'm working on is currently set in Halifax, a city I've never visited. With a quick search, it's easy enough to figure out which museums the protagonist should be visiting, in what restaurant he finds himself dining, and what the best route back to the airport should be.

OA: Why do you write? Is it a release, is it to leave a legacy, or does it simple just flow out of you?
TC: At times, it can be a release -- but for the most part, it's something that I just need to do.

OA: I really enjoyed "Spencer Hangs Over Newark" but I haven't been able to find other pieces of fiction that you have written, where can we find more of your work?
TC: "Spencer Hangs Over Newark" is my first published piece in a long time; I have a few other short stories for which I'm seeking homes now. In 2001, a couple of stories I wrote appeared on the TNI Books website; there's an archive of one right about here: I spent a lot of time from 2002 to 2004 working on a novel-length collection of linked stories called The "Polite Rebels" EP, which may or may not resurface in some form. Most of the writing that I've done since 2002 that's been available has been on culture in some form: reviews and features on music and film, mainly.

OA: Which of your music reviews has been the most memorable and why?
TC: I recently reviewed and profiled Loney, Dear. There's a lot of depth to the songs that Emil Svanängen writes, and any number of ways from which you can approach them. It's not every day that you're able to examine pop songs that are so rich.
As far as interviews go -- in late 2004, I interviewed Ray Raposa from Castanets for Copper Press. I was, at the time, pretty well fixated on their album Cathedral, which throws a number of different perspectives relating to religion, metaphysics, and bodies at the listener. I was getting over having been sick for the previous week, and I was definitely in the right frame of mind for the discussion that we had. It was in the early afternoon, in a bar on the Lower East Side, daylight coming through the windows behind me and onto the table before us.

OA: What is next for Tobias Carroll (i.e. readings, books, reviews, etc)?
TC: In the near term, I'll be doing a reading at Galapagos in Brooklyn on Monday, April 16th. THE2NDHAND's Jeb Gleason-Allured will be hosting; Tao Lin and Kathryn Holmquist will also be reading. Two days after that, I'll be in Seattle for the Experience Music Project's Pop Conference; on April 20th, I'll be on a panel discussing basement shows. (
I'm working on some shorter stories now, and am also making my way through the first draft of a novel. I'm continuing to write about music and culture as well.

Bonus Questions:
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite kind of coffee, and what is your favorite coffee place?
TC: Pretty much anything that Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope, Brooklyn makes is golden, as far as I'm concerned.

OA: What is the last great book that you have read?
TC: William Boyd's Any Human Heart still leaves me reeling months after setting it down.

OA: Top five albums of 2007 (so far).
TC: In no particular order:
Dälek: Abandoned Language
Loney, Dear: Loney, Noir
Panda Bear: Person Pitch
The Narrator: All That to the Wall
Ted Leo/Pharmacists: Living With the Living

For more information on Tobias Carroll visit his blog The Scowl or at East River Music Project.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Artist of the Week

Jose Garibaldi

The ability to allow your surroundings to immediately affect your creative production, enables the product to become a piece of it's environment and not just a piece of art. To allow the beat and the flow of a Dj's set to work through you in the creation of art is an amazing skill, but one that Chicago-based artist Jose Garibaldi has become very comfortable with demonstrating. Just imagine, a packed club, a large white canvas empty and waiting, two turntables and a microphone, and the Dj walks out, the crowd goes crazy as the beat drops, and you to the side of the stage splashing colors on the downbeat. What will come out of the show is never know until it is all over, and the artist standing there with several pieces representing the entire culture and the culmination of hip-hop and art.

Jose is not simply a live artist he is also involved in several other creative areas. He is an amazing illustrator and cartoonists, creating images for several comic books including "Imitating Life" for the Project: Romantic book from Adhouse Books.

Jose recently answered a few our questions regarding art, hip-hop, and more.

Orange Alert (OA): How would you describe your style of painting?
Jose Garibaldi (JG): I always suck as describing my work. I don't paint as much as I illustrate and draw cartoons, so I guess a lot of that carries over when I paint. I try to get a little more expressive when I paint, but still remain heavy on using characters. They usually involve a girl and some lovelorn male character.... Or ghosts and skulls.

OA: When you are on-stage creating a live piece, how does the music affect you and the piece?
JG: Music is very important in what I'm creating. Since I don't plan and don't really think about what to paint before I get up, I'm inspired by the vibe. When The Analog Addicts (Pickel, MTM, Daryl Diggs, J.Lee, Jamie, Asif) and The Comeups Soundsystem (Intel, Maker, Pickel) deejay, it's more of a party vibe, so my work is more on the fun side as I get loose while I paint. When I paint while someone like Tony Trimm is deejaying, it's more of a mellow tone, so I take my time and get a little more detailed. I've had bands that have asked me to paint while they play, but even though their music is good I just can't get into it and end up painting crap.... I usually stick to my set of deejays and artists.

OA: Of the musicians that you have worked with who was the most memorable and why?
JG: MF Doom at the Metro in 04 was pretty memorable, since that was my first big art show. I think I'd done only one small party prior, so when I was on stage at the Metro, I turned around to a sea of people watching me. That was a rush.
Z-trip at the Metro in 06 was probably my favorite. It was the right blend of deejays and mc's. Jean Grae, Pugslee Atomz, Dynamic Vibrations, the Comeups opening. Plus it was Revise and I painting some dope art. Z-trip is probably the greatest party dj. It turned into a big dance party at the end. Good times! (The picture below is from that Z-Trip show.)

OA: What is your typical starting point for a new piece and how long does it take you to complete that piece? On-stage or at home?
JG: On stage, I just get into it once the music starts. I'll lay down a wash and try to build towards something (hopefully) good. Many times I switch directions because I'll get an idea while I'm painting. Sometimes the drips and random nature of the wash will create a shape that resembles, for example, a face or a character. I'll work with it. With live art, I usually do a couple pieces, sometimes only one big piece. My homies Dave Crosland, Jim Mahfood and Mike Huddleston always blow me away. I'll finish one piece to find they've already rocked four...

I don't paint as much when I'm home. I'll do the occasional gallery piece. My illustration work is drawn out, scanned and colored in Photoshop. At times I'll paint the backgrounds for these images. When I do work on a painted piece, I'm more careful. I work it out as a sketch, draw it then transfer it. It's more laid back at home, so I take my time, a few days maybe. The art is much tighter than the live stuff....

OA: What’s next for Jose Garibaldi (i.e. exhibitions, performances, etc.)?
JG: I have a lot planned for this year. Live art wise, I'm painting in St. Louis on March 30th, Chicago on April 1st and 5th. People can always keep up with when and where I'm painting (and where I'm getting into trouble) on myspace at .I also keep a blog there where I post sketches and new drawings. As we do every year, this summer we'll have the big live art jam during the Wizard World convention.

Hopefully I'll have everything together for some t-shirts from . That's another one of my crews.

I have two pages in an upcoming issue of Mad Magazine. Don't know when that's coming out exactly, but I'll get the word out as soon as I find out.

I'm working on setting up a collaborative art (gallery) show with extremely dope artist Mike Huddleston, for this summer (I hope).

The project I'm most excited about is the one I'm currently working on. It's going to be an online magazine featuring my comics, illustrations, paintings and character designs. I'm still not set on a title for it, but it will contain short stories ( Deeds, Beastman, Wild Hunch, Scam!) along with the serialization of my graphic novel, Teen Heaven. All my stuff under one cover.

Folks can also check out my website to see what I'm up to.

Bonus Questions: (The painting above is a collaborative piece with Revise CMW for 10/20 Impaired Visions show in Milwaukee, WI 2006 and is available for purchase)

OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite coffee spot?
JG: I'm a cheap dude. When I drink beer, it's PBR. When I drink coffee, it's Folgers Classic Roast. I slam a glass of it everyday before I go to work. I don't go to coffee spots much, but when I do it's either Filter on Milwaukee Ave, or Marshall McGearty's right up the street from there.

OA: What is the last album you purchased?
JG: Trying to remember... On wax, it might be Patrice Rushen- Straight From The Heart. On CD- probably Chromeo- Ce Soir On Danse, a dope as mix of obscure 80's funk/club jams.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Political Bio of the Week

This week focuses on the former 2004 Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards who again is attempting to gain the Democratic Presidential Nomination.

EDWARDS, John, a Senator from North Carolina; born in Seneca, South Carolina on June 10, 1953; attended public schools in Robbins, North Carolina; B.A. North Carolina State University 1974; J.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 1977; textile mill worker; attorney and partner with Edwards & Kirby, Raleigh, N.C.; elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 1998 and served from January 3, 1999, to January 3, 2005; was not a candidate for reelection to the Senate, but was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004; was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President on the Democratic ticket with John F. Kerry in 2004.


Women's Right to Choose
Affirmative Action
Increased subsidies on women-owned non-profit business
More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes
Expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation
School prayer for memorial services
Providing health insurance for every child and vulnerable adult in America
Prescription drug coverage under medicare
Funding for small class sizes instead of tudors
Funding for student testing instead of tudors
Death Penalty
Right to bear arms
Background checks at gun shows
Tax cuts to help the middle class
Shift tax burden from taxing work to taxing wealth
Revising capital gains tax
Roll back Bush tax cuts and address real priorities
Hardworking immigrants can gain American citizenship
Permanent normal trade relations with China
Free trade relations w/ the Andean nations
Military pay raise of 4.8%
Deploying National Missle Defense ASAP
Banning campaign donations from unions & corporations
Banning soft money contributions and restricting issue ads
Re-orienting aid to open societies, giving more to non-governmental bodies and cutting assistance uninterested in democracy and upholding human rights
Working w/ other nations in war on terror
Enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe
Replace coal & oil with alternative fuels
Increase the Earned Income Tax Credit


Privatizing social security
School voucher program
Mandatory minimums for non-violent crimes
More penalties on gun and drug violations
Phasing out the estate tax ("death tax")
Eliminating the marriage penalty
$350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years
NAFTA, Chile trade and Singapore trade
Fast-track - not enough for US workers
Expanding trade to the third world
Capping foreign aid at only $12.7 billion
Preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling
Increasing penalties for drug offenses

New Release Tuesday

1. Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly, Angry Mob (US Release) (Deluxe Edition w/ DVD) (mp3)
2. Kate Havnevik - Melankton (mp3)
3. Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future (mp3)
4. Let's Go Sailing - The Chaos in Order (mp3)
5. Laura Veirs - Saltbreakers (mp3)
6. Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion (find mp3's here)
7. J Rawls & Declaime - It's the Dank & Jammy Show (mp3) *sample
8. Grant Lee Phillips - Strangelet (find mp3's here)

FYI: You can stream the entire album from Kaiser Chiefs, Klaxons, & the amazing Kate Havnevik over at Spinner.

Children of Men
Color Me Kubrick
Happy Feet
National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj
The Pursuit of Happyness

Monday, March 26, 2007

Up and Coming Films

Monday nights will now feature new films in production. Watching movies have always been something that I've enjoyed doing throughout my life but have lately gone by the wayside. Whether it's the thoughts of fantasy and the wonder, or the prospect of what the future will hold, everyone is impacted somehow by the film industry. Some will say positively, some will say negatively. I like it for entertainment. Unless it's a documentary, little should be taken away from films besides ideas and perhaps greasing fingers from buttered popcorn.

After checking out some up and coming features, I'm eyeing four right now...

Spider-Man 3:
Check out the trailers here.

ETA: May 4th

I'm a fan of the Marvel Comic movies. I think it's the old school truth, justice and the American Way ideals of the 50's. That, and the action.

With this film, I'm looking forward to seeing Venom, Sandman, Green Goblin and the mystery 4th villain guessed to be Mysterio. It'll be interesting to see how that many villains in one movie shake things up. I've always hoped they would start bringing in some more heroes like the Punisher or Blade to help Spider-Man out. Who knows what they'll do.

Pirates of the Caribbean : At Worlds End

Check out the trailer here.

ETA: May 25th

I just want to see it because the 2nd movie was just a hanger. It didn't resolve much of anything.

Fantastic Four : Rise of the Silver Surfer

Check out the teaser here.

ETA : June 15th

Again, Marvel Comics. Except this one has Jessica Alba too.

The Simpsons Movie

Check out the trailer here.

ETA : July 27th

The greatest show on television better meet the hype. I'm praying it's not like the last 3-4 years of the tv version.

Monday Morning Mix

Sometime I close my eyes and all I see are sparks and flashes, I open them to a flood of light. However, the sparks remain and look as thought it is storm of tiny microchips. Enjoy "Microchips Like Rain", it features the electronic stylings of LCD Soundsystem, Adult., Miss Kitten, Dan Deacon, Holy F###, Panthers, an more...

(artwork "Undertow" by Dan Kennedy)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Coffee Talk

Since the name of this section is "Coffee Talk", I thought I would talk about coffee this week. If you have read this blog before, then you have probably figured out that I love coffee. I consume approximately 8 to 10 cups (8 oz) everyday, and I have been on that pace for at least 10 years. In contrast, the average coffee drinker in the US consumes 3.2 cups per day. Here is a useful tool to help evaluate your total caffeine intake if you choose to drink other products. Using that tool, I consume 1,075mgs of caffeine each day.

What does this mean? As I search the internet for answers, I see a variety of studies for and against the consumption of coffee using phrases like antioxidant, heart disease, diabetes, moderate, and so on... Why can't I bring myself to open any of them? I don't want to know that something that I enjoy can be harmful to me. Maybe I should be writing about addiction and not just coffee. I open a site called CAFFEINE!, and read that the minimum lethal dose of caffeine is 3,200mgs. That would mean that I consume roughly 1/3 of the minimum lethal dose each day. In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, Hugo Chavez said he consumes 26 cups of coffee each day, which is roughly 2,795mgs of caffeine! (I just took another gulp of coffee) Also on the CAFFEINE! site, I found a list of symptoms associated a caffeine overdose, and here are my favorites:

muscle twitching
psychomotor agitation
rambling flow of thought and speech
rapid pulse

Now I've tried many times to achieve a rambling flow of thought, and it has only been after the right amount of consumption that I am able to achieve the desired results. At least now I have validation for my efforts. Again, what does this mean, basically I need to cut back if I don't want to agitate my psychomotor.

In the comments section, use the useful tool to calculate your daily intake, list your mgs, your excuses, and talk amongst yourselves...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Watch List

1. V8 - Chicago abstract underground hip-hop master, to release the "Trouble Man" lp this year featuring Shortrock, Ira, & k-the-i???.
2. Kixly - Beautiful drones and chimes from tijuana. "Dream Noise"
3. Pien Feith - She just released her debut EP last month on Badmintone Records.

1. Britain Proposes Allowing Schools to Forbid Full-Face Muslim Veils by Alan Cowell - Tony Blair views the Niqab as a sign of separation.
2. Cram Magazine - "CRAM is devoted to the author who writes intelligent, engaging articles and just wants a place to publish". Great outlet, covering a very diverse range of topics.
3. Parazit Issue #2 - Just released and full of amazing Russian graffiti and street art.

1. Rock the Bells Festival: They full line-up will be annouced on Monday the 26th, but with Rage Against the Machine & Wu-Tang Clan already confirmed who wouldn't wish to attend this fest?
2. Johnny Cupcakes "Make Cupcakes Not War" T-Shirt: $38.99

1. Wallspankers Issue #3: The growing community of sticker artists are giving you 250 free b&w stickers here. Now start printing and sticking!

1. Attack of the Show at G4 Tv - This is the future of television.
2. Juice Crew vs BDP: This is a great way to wrap-up what has been a hip-hop heavy week at Orange Alert.

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning while you dust off the box of Mr. T Cereal, enjoy one of my favorite songs and videos of all-time:

Ugly Duckling - The Drive Thru

Friday, March 23, 2007

Band of the Week

Wax Tailor

If you have had your fill of "gangsta rap" (8ball-Three-6-Snoop-Young buck, and so on), but you still have a passion and an idea of what hip-hop should sound like, then you should be anticipating the quick return of the hip-hop producer from Paris, Wax Tailor, as much as I am. JC Le Saout, aka Wax Tailor, made is his debut last year with highly respected album "Tales of the Forgotten Melodies", and he hasn't stopped making beats since. Sure there are other Dj's out there keeping true hip-hop alive, but it is Saout's ability to tell a story that sets him apart for the rest. Maybe he can't cut like Roc Raida, or blend like Z-trip, or manipulate sounds like Kid Koala, but Wax Tailor takes you on a journey and keeps your head bobbing every step of the way.

At one time I would have classified Wax Tailor's music as downtempo, but with this release, Hope & Sorrow (5/07 Lab-oratoire Records) he really moves beyond that genre into more of a soul or funk sound. The beats still creep with a smooth limp, but it's the added elements (horn, guitar, flute, etc) that really make this record shine. Another added element too many of these songs is the amazing guests he has managed rope in this project from the jazzy rhymes of Voice on"The Games You Play", to the power vocals on "The Way We Never Lived" by Sharon Jones. I would not say that Wax Tailor is redefining hip-hop, but he is taking it in another direction. It is a direction that is more positive, and more laidback then many others in the game today.

The Tune (mp3)
The Games You Play ft. Voice (mp3)

Hope & Sorrow Tailer (mp3)
Que Sera (mp3) (from Tales of Forgotten Melodies)

To Preorder Hope & Sorrow go here.

For more information on Wax Tailor visit his website or go to his myspace page where you can stream the entire album.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Artist of the Week

Matthew Feyld
One of the goals of an artist, just as a writer has to find his/her own voice, is to develop a signature style of painting or drawing. Something that sets them apart from everyone else, while still keeping them very much a vital part of the art world. Musicians have to do this as well, whether it is the sound of the singers voice, the sound the guitars, or the pound of the drum, quality bands have their own sound. One artist that has really developed his personal style is, Saskatoon based artist, Matthew Feyld.

Whether it is the shape of the heads, the small intricate facial features, the way limbs bend or the boots, there are so many distinctive characteristics contained in his work. My favorite elements of his work are the playful aspects and the frequent appearance of different animals, from foxes to bear to birds. Also known as Driftwould, Matthew is creating a body of work that is simple in appearance, yet extremely interesting and deceptively detailed. He recently answered a few of our questions on motivation, music, and more.

Orange Alert (OA): The images in your paintings are very unique. What is the motivation behind these imagines, and how would you define your style of painting?
Matthew Feyld (MF): My motivation comes from a lot of things really. I like to take a run in the morning if I can. Afterwards I feel like I can do anything. Whether I be painting a canvas, or piece of paper, I think my style is a "drawing" type of style.

OA: I’ve read that you create a piece a day, typically how long does it take you to complete a piece, and what is your basic starting point for a new piece?
MF: The time it takes me to create is piece varies obviously, but I generally paint/draw for about 8 hours daily. I usually start with a head.

OA: Who are some of your biggest influences artistically?
MF: One of my biggest influences would have to be "Alligator Pie". A children's book with poems by Dennis Lee, and illustrations by Frank Newfeld. I got the book from my aunty in 1989 (I was 5), and I haven't found anything since that makes me feel what i feel from this book.

OA: Do you listen to music while you paint? If yes, who are some of your favorite while painting and who are your favorites in general?
MF: Music is very important for me while I work. Depends on my mood, some days i will listen to "Stars of The Lid" all day on repeat.

OA: I see that you have recently designed the cover for Tom Whalen’s new book “Dolls”, how did that relationship come about and where their any limitations or specification related to that type of work?
MF: Actually the piece for Tom's new book was chosen from an older painting i had done. It wasn't made specifically for the book, but Tom felt it worked well with his title, and so did I.

OA: What is next Matthew Feyld?
MF: Most likely breakfast

Bonus Question:

OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee, and what is your favorite place to drink coffee?
MF: I actually don't drink coffee, but my girlfriend does. We go to Tim Hortons, and she gets a coffee, and I get a hot chocolate.

OA: What is last album you purchased?
MF: David Bazan "Fewer Moving Parts"

Artist Statement:
Matthew Feyld, Saskatoon based artist, is a lad who grew up with a birth defect that made his head swell unbelievably. this happened at the worst times possible... during show and tell... at the science fair... on his first date... it happened from stress. he found that keeping calm helped his head stay normal and drawing, painting, scribbling was his cure. his work is almost voodoo to keep his swollen head from reappearing. it recreates his greatest fears. beady eyed monsters with giant balloon heads fighting off the world in tights.

This is going to be Matthew's year, he is currently being shown at the Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon, SK Jan 19-March25), and in February he was involved in the New Voices showing at Phantom Galleries in Los Angeles. However, look at what he has on the horizon:

Strange Brew, BLVD Gallery, Seattle, WA (Sept 14-Oct 14)
Sans titre, Galerie Rouje, Québec, Québec (May 10 – June 7)
Picks Of The Harvest, Thinkspace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (April 13 - April 27) Masks, Fun and Fluo Vampires, Oeil de Poisson Quebec, Quebec (March 22-May5)

For more information and to view addition pieces you can find Matthew Feyld on Flickr, Fotolog, or his new blog, and you can contact him directly here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New Release Tuesday

Music: (It's a Big Week!!!)
1. Powerhouse Sound - Oslo/Chicago: Breaks (mp3)
2. El-p - I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (mp3)
3. Evidence - The Weatherman Lp (mp3)
4. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha (mp3)
5. Dj Vadim - Like The Wind (mp3)
6. Panda Bear - Personal Pitch (mp3)
7. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (Murphy's Goal is to be number two on Billboard so you've got to buy this one!) (mp3)
8. Ted Leo & The Pharamacists - Living With the Living (find mp3's here)
9. Adult. - Why Bother? (find mp3's here)
10. Hail Social - Modern Love & Death (mp3)
11. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (find mp3's here)
12. Low - Drums & Guns (find mp3's here)
13. Palomar - All Things Forest (find mp3's here)
14. The Ponys - Turn the Lights Out (mp3) Chicago's Very own!
15. Cyann & Ben - Sweet Beliefs
16. Hieroglyphics - Over Time
17. Foreign Islands - Restart Now (find mp3's here)
18. The Locust - New Erections
19. Land of Talk - Applause Cheer Boo Hiss (mp3)
20. The Zincs - Black Pompadour (mp3)
21. J Dilla - Ruff Draft (mp3)
22. Wax Tailor - To Dry Up (Single) (The first single from his 4/07 release) (mp3)
Disclaimer: (sound of silver billboard chart guerilla takeover monitor/thermometer marginally accurate to a degree of +/- 100%)


Monday, March 19, 2007

Political Bio of the Week

This week is devoted to a lead Republican Presidential candidate, John McCain.

McCAIN, John Sidney, III, a Representative and a Senator from Arizona; born in Panama Canal Zone, August 29, 1936; attended schools in Alexandria, Va.; graduated, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. 1958, and the National War College, Washington, D.C. 1973; pilot, United States Navy 1958-1981, prisoner of war in Vietnam 1967-1973; received numerous awards, including the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Flying Cross; elected as a Republican in 1982 to the Ninety-eighth Congress; reelected to the Ninety-ninth Congress in 1984 and served from January 3, 1983, to January 3, 1987; elected to the United States Senate in 1986; reelected in 1992, 1998 and in 2004 for the term ending January 3, 2011; chair, Committee on Indian Affairs (One Hundred Fourth Congress; One Hundred Ninth Congress), Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (One Hundred Fourth through One Hundred Sixth Congresses, One Hundred Seventh Congress [January 20, 2001-June 6, 2001], One Hundred Eighth Congress); unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.

Banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds
Special funding for minority and women-owned businesses
Leaving gay marriage to the states
Prohibiting same sex marriage
Ten Commandments in schools
School prayer
Abstinence education
Recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration
Health insurance for children
More tax-deductible health costs; limits on malpractice
Tax credits for those without employee health insurance
Limiting self-employment health deduction
Negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drugs
Privitize Social Security
Option to invest 20% of payroll taxes in private accounts
Roth IRA's for retirees
Using the Social Security surplus to fund tax reductions
Parents chose schools via vouchers
Education savings accounts
Death Penalty
More prisons and increased penalties
Mandatory prison terms for crimes involving firearms
Absolute right to gun ownership
Repealing existing gun restrictions; penalize criminal use
Banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence
Removing charitable deduction since it only benefits the rich
Middle-class tax cut, expand 15% bracket
Flatter, lower and simpler taxes
Requiring super-majority to raise taxes
Eliminating the marriage penalty
Extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends
More help for legal immigrants when immigrating and once here
English immersion over bilingual education
Limiting welfare for immigrants
Allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security
Guest Worker program
Expanding free trade with anyone
Renewing fast track presidential trade authority
Patriot Act and wiretap provision
Raise military pay to avoid military draft
Closing unneeded military bases
Deploying National Missle Defense ASAP
Requiring on budget funding for Iraq, not emergency funding
Multiple restrictions on campaign finance reform
Sending in heavy wave of troops to Iraq to establish order
Strengthen Clean Air and Water Act; but not Kyoto
Targeting 100,000 hydrogen cars by 2010


Partial Birth Abortions
Military Base Abortions
Abortions, except rape and incest
Prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation
Adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes
Including prescription drugs under Medicare
Federal Government size & scope, including military
Replacing US troops w/ UN troops
Limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungry and Czech
Allowing all necessary force in Kosovo
Reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%)

Monday Morning Mix

This week's mix was mostly inspired by how good the new Evidence album is but as the weather gets warmer, the bass gets fuller, the windows get rolled down and the '95 Grand Prix starts bouncin'... enjoy and blast "Rusted Rims, Blown Speakers, Still Bouncin'..." It features new music fro El-p, Evidence, Wax Tailor, k-the-i, as well as classic from Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Mc Shan, KMD, and more.

(artwork: "Bringing the Funk" by Ric Stultz)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Coffee Talk

"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The Second Amendment of The US Constitution

On the issue of the peoples right to bear arms, as with any debated topic, each side has chosen to focus on different pieces of the second amendment. Those in favor of "gun control" focus on the words "a well-regulated militia", and those opposed focus "the right if the people to keep and bear arms". One legal case that is frequently cited in relation to the second amendment and militia is U.S. Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). The ruling in this clarified that the intent of the second amendment was to strengthen the effectiveness of the militia.
Other arguments, on both sides, always center around the word protection. People either want to protect their families and property by owning a gun, or they want to protect their families and property by removing the threat of the gun altogether.
Now we should clarify what will be meant by the phrase "gun control". We are not referring to the controlling and eliminating of illegal gun trafficking and distribution, and we have very little issue with waiting period and permits needed to purchase a gun legally. "Gun Control" has become the phrase used to advocate the banning of all guns.
So what is the best way to look at the issue of gun control? For starters, let's look at the Constitutional amendment and see what the actual writers had to say about it. Second, let's look at what the opinion has been throughout history since the Constitution leading up to today.
“And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the right of resistance? Let them take arms...The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”-Thomas Jefferson
“A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.”-Thomas Jefferson's advice to Peter Carr, his nephew and ward, in a letter written in Paris in 1785-Aug-19, cited in the Encyclopedia of Thomas Jefferson, p.318 (Foley, Ed., reissued 1967)
“A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country...”-James Madison
"The strongest reason for the People to retain the Right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson federalist papers "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." motto on thomas jefferson's seal [c. 1776]
“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials.”-George Mason
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”-Noah Webster
“To disarm the people--that was the best and most effective way to enslave them.”-George Mason, founding father who led opposition to adoption of the US Constitution before the addition of the Bill of Rights
“A free people ought [...] to be armed [...]”-George Washington, speech of January 7, 1790, printed in the Boston Independent Chronicle, January 14, 1790
“Free men have arms; slaves do not.”-William Blackstone (1723-1780), English jurist and professor of common law at Oxford
“The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.”-Andrew Fletcher (1655-1716), quoted by James Burgh (1714-1775), in "Political Disquisitions: Or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses," (London, 1774-1775)
“If every person has the right to defend - even by force - his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly.”-Frederic Bastiat, The Law, Paris, 1850
"The signification attributed to the term, Militia, appear from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense... And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of a kind in common use at the time." US Supreme Court, US v Miller
Most of these previous quotes are found at this site. What's interesting is the last quote taken from the 1939 ruling of the US Supreme Court v Miller that has sparked this Coffee Talk.
I'm not sure why, but we were not able to find any creditable/historical quotes in favor of gun control. If anyone knows of any please post them in the comments section.
Basically, our founding fathers had placed a premium on personal liberties and freedoms, and those are the same liberties that need to hold close and not let go of simple because our needs have changed. The minute we let go of any of our freedoms is the minute that they take them all. Where do you stand on the issue of gun control? Talk amongst yourselves...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Watch List

1. The Smile Rays - Very polished, big beats and smooth rhymes from this Jacksonville, FL trio. Check Out: By Design (mp3) (check the classic 3rd Bass "Green Eggs & Swine" beat in background.)
2. Lee Bob - I'm not usually one for the cowboy hat, but Lee Bob is different. He has got soul! Check out: Air Stream (mp3), and visit his myspace as well.
3. Ecstatic Sunshine - Dueling guitars creating odd sounds. Check out: Little Big Dipper (mp3)

1. The Next Big Health care Battle - This article deals with state healthcare programs vs tax relief to purchase your own healthcare.
2. Ain't it Strange by Patti Smith - Patti's thoughts on being inducted into the Rock 'n Roll HOF.
3. Retconning VII: Be-bop, Cool, and Hard Bop. This is the most recent addition to a series of articles on CMG that is going back through various musical genres. Next month is post-punk!

1. Crush to Pulp - Issue #1 was released this month. Wonderful articles, stories, artwork, and more. This issues theme was "beauty", and you can visit their website for more information.
2. Klitorik - Issue #4. Their website is stark white plain and unenviting, the zine is an amazing collection of photography. Don't be fooled, enjoy the zine!

1. Toothpaste for Dinner Bad Poetry T-Shirt: $16
2. Converse All-Star Product Democracy Shoes: $52

1. The new video for the soon to be release solo debut from Evidence (of Dilated Peoples): "Mr. Slow Flow."
1. With Spring Training underway I've been watching this:

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning while you enjoy a bowl of Alpha-bits, have some bizaare celebrations with Of Montreal:

Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games

Friday, March 16, 2007

Band of the Week

Dan Deacon

If you are one those people (and I know there is at least one you of) who like your rockstars to be pretty and perfected, then you better look away. However, if like music that is creative, aggressive, electronic, and completely insane then look no further, I give you Dan Deacon.

Known mostly for his energetic, passionate, and spastic live performances, Deacon has self-released 7 albums over the last three years, but none of them seem to capture his entire sound. Recently, this Baltimore native signed to the growing Carpark label, which will release his proper debut, Spiderman of the Rings, on May 8th.

Deacon remains pretty mysterious while gaining popularity. However, I do know he has a degree in Electronic-Acoustic composition and that he would like to run for local office. I also know he is a member of the art collective Wham City. This is how he phrases it in his bio: "Dan’s music strives to take contemporary experimental composition and electronic music out of the circle of the esoteric intellectual gangs and hipster communities, placing it into the more informal “fun time.” His high-energy performances consist of song-structured material performed with Casio keyboard, computer, vocoder and many whosits and whatsits to process his voice and signal generator".

He recently was asked to play on a local NBC newscast, check it out:

Wooody Wooodpecker (mp3)
The Crystal Cat (mp3)
Preorder the album here

For more infomation on Dan Deacon visit him here and here.

(photo at top by Jakob Lodwick)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Writer's Corner

Mickey Hess

"All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day, put the pieces back together my way." - Aesop Rock from Daylight

Now that we, as a society, are nearly thirty years into hip-hop as a genre and culture, we can finally look back with depth and understanding to evaluate the various effects it has had on the people involved. We are beginning to see individuals, who have been raised in and around this culture, move into the spotlight as artists, executives, teachers, parents, Politian's, writers... Basically, hip-hop has become an essential part of every aspect of American culture and the global culture, while adding interesting words, sounds, and concepts at every turn.

One writer focusing his time and understanding on the culture of hip-hop is Mickey Hess. He is the author of the novel "Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory" and several other collections. His shorter work frequently appears on and McSweeney's. Recently, he was kind enough to answer a few of our questions on hip-hop and his future.

Orange Alert (OA): You recently published a piece of cut-up fiction on entitled “HOP-ALONG THE ENTHUSIAST, WHOSE DAD BOUGHT US SIMILAR PANTS”, Can you describe you process for creating this type of fiction as opposed to flash fiction?
Mickey Hess (MH): It’s actually closer to Dali’s paranoiac-critical method than Burroughs’ and Gyson’s cut-ups. Dali would put himself into a sort of trance by staring at something so intensely for so long that it started to look like something else. From the bedroom window of his house in Cadaques, you can see these cliffs that show up as faces in some of his paintings. I spend most of my time staring at words, so sometimes I stare at them long enough that they start to look like other words. It’s all about the shapes of the letters.
Hop-Along was me staring at a boring paragraph I wrote. I usually do this technique with writing I don’t like, but I’ve also used F Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise. Stuff like that. My friend Josh actually came up with it in high school.

OA: Who are some of your biggest literary influences?
MH: "I am influenced by every moment of my waking hour" – Lenny Bruce.

OA: How has the internet affected you as an author?
MH: Some of my favorite stories of the past couple years were online, like Monica Drake’s "See You Later, Fry-O-Lator." I like reading things online. I don’t have the book fetish that some people do. I think most books are ugly, and heavy when it comes time to move.
Having my writing on The2ndhand and McSweeney’s has been great for me. I get a lot of emails from people who’ve seen my stories.

OA: I enjoyed your piece “Non-Sequiturs in the Lyrics of Greg Nice”, and I have noticed that a lot of your work has focused on hip-hop, and hip-hop culture. When you have rappers who could be or are published writers (i.e. Saul Williams, Aesop Rock, and Mr. Lif), are these separate interests or is there a correlation between modern literature and hip-hop?
MH: Hip Hop is much more focused on language and story than a lot of other types of music. Look at the level of sensory detail Ghostface builds in a song like "Beauty Jackson," these key adjectives for smells and colors and shapes that makes his songs very literary. Another thing about hip hop is that it really preserves regional and local dialect and slang – it really values the distinctive ways that people talk (Lil Wayne and E-40 are good examples). I don’t see that going on in a lot of places. Hip hop really emphasizes creating your own voice and style, which is something literature could learn from.

Nas and his album Hip Hop is Dead has everybody whining that today’s hip hop is only about fancy cars and shiny bracelets, but it makes them, and Nas, sound like grumpy old farts idealizing the past. They’re only listening to the hip hop they hear flipping through the radio on their way to work.

There’s better hip hop coming out today than ever before, both underground and mainstream, and its just as political, inventive, and important as it ever was. If Nas hates commercialism, let him release his album as free mp3s like Public Enemy did a few years ago. Instead of asking "where are they now" and listing all the forgotten rappers, why doesn’t he put MC Ren or Redhead Kingpin on his album instead of Snoop and Kanye? As far as Greg Nice – his lyrics are as surrealist as my nonsense writing.

OA: What is next for Mickey Hess?
MH: I have a new nonsense zine called Beachcomber’s Abduction, a book called Icons of Hip Hop coming out in June, and one called Is Hip Hop Dead? coming out on Praeger sometime next year. I also have a new collection of stories called Someone Has Plagiarized Faulkner (on gorsky press). It has some nonsense stuff, some stories that bring Nobel laureates like Faulkner and Hemingway and Knut Hamsun to hang out with hip hop stars, and some more straightforward stories about my childhood, my wife, and my iguana.

Bonus Questions:
OA: Top 5 Hip-hop acts of all-time:
  1. Wu-Tang Clan
  2. Beastie Boys
  3. De La Soul
  4. A Tribe Called Quest
  5. I would have said DOOM for a while, but his recent stuff is less
    impressive. Lately Lil Wayne has been claiming he’s the best rapper
    alive, and I’m inclined to believe him.

OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and your favorite coffee place?
MH: Atomic Saucer in Louisville, KY.

If you would like more information on how to purchase Mickey's upcoming zine or other publications, you can contact him here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Artist of the Week

Dominick Mastrangelo

Photography is an area of the art world that can occasionally be discounted or overlooked, but it is the immediacy and, in many cases, the honesty of photography that keep it a vital medium. When compared to painting or sculpture, the immediacy comes to the forefront because you are able to capture a moment in time quickly and accurately. However, it is the human element, the perspective that which the photo is taken, that makes each photo uniquely artistic. One of my favorite new photographers, who recently has created an amazing, clean and beautiful (much like his work) website, is Dominick Mastrangelo.

Recently, Dominick was kind enough to answer a few of our questions on subject matter, world travel, and as always music.

Orange Alert (OA): Define your style of photography.
Dominick Mastrangelo (DM): My style is firmly in the traditional black and white, analog camp - primarily urban landscape and environmental portraiture. Lots of geometry, symmetry, repetition. I don't rely on any heroic photoshop techniques. Generally what you see with my work is what you get. On more than one occasion I've heard my work referred to as "cinematic." I like that description.

Recently, I've returned to dabbling with photo-based mixed media and alternative processes which I find is a nice change of pace. I make the occasional polaroid picture as well. But I'm never away from traditional black and white photography for very long.

OA: What do you look for when choosing a subject?
DM:I don't think I'm looking for any one thing specifically. I do tend to be drawn to abandoned things - buildings, train stations, grain silos... In Fort Worth they are knocking buildings down at an alarming rate. I think as a photographer I have a responsibility to document all this before it's gone forever. I feel especially gutted when a building is brought down before I have a chance to make a picture.

I think there's something deceptively powerful about repetition and the way simple lines converge and interact with each other. That's probably what I look for most. I think some contemporary art and artists spend too much time trying to figure out how clever they can be. Often to the point of absurdity. I think simple can be just as effective.

OA: Who are some of your biggest influences?
DM: Harry Callahan, Roy DeCarava, Cindy Sherman's "Film Stills," Man Ray, Edward Weston. Diane Arbus's sprawling Revelations exhibition at the MFA Houston really floored me in a way I wasn't expecting. As did the Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibit that just closed at the Fort Worth Modern. The irony that most of their work has nothing to do with architecture, save for maybe some of Callahan's and Weston's work, is not lost on me. I find it quite funny really.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention photographers Peter Feresten and Richard Doherty. They are not only brilliant photographers but were my professors at Tarrant County College in Hurst, Texas. My friend Mark Penland who runs the lab there has been a big influence as well. Their instruction and photographic philosophy laid the groundwork for who I am as a photographer.

Lastly, I'm very much inspired/influenced by films with good cinematography and art direction.

OA: If you could photograph any place in the world where would it be and why?
DM: Of the cities I've visited it would be Barcelona. Hands down. Fantastic architecture and a bustling city by the sea. It reminds me a lot of Chicago which I love photographing whenever I'm home for a visit. There are so many places in Europe I've yet to photograph. Prague is probably the next place I'd like to make pictures.

OA: As a music fan, is there any time when music affects your photography?
DM: When doesn't it! Music and film both, really. I'm always listening to music or humming something to myself. In the studio, driving around looking for things to photograph, scanning images... I'm constantly trying to find ways to meld music and photography. I'm particularly drawn to Danny Clinch and his beautiful images for each song of the Afghan Whigs' record, "Black Love".

I've never been overtly conceptual in my work so music helps in that regard.
A perfectly phrased lyric, a pulsating bass line, a simple melody - I'll latch onto something that I hear and try to work it out in my head.
Eventually, I think it comes out in my photographs. If only recognizable to me.

Bonus Questions:

OA: What are you currently listening to?
DM: Silversun Pickups, Long Winters, Beirut, Tokyo Police Club, centro-matic, Jens Lekman and Loney, Dear. The new Shins and Arcade Fire records have been in heavy rotation as well. Singer-songwriter-guitar virtuoso St. Vincent (also a member of Polyphonic Spree.) Oh, and I can't forget Midlake. A truly wonderful band from Denton, Texas.

OA: Coffee? Yes or No, If yes, where is your favorite place and what is your drink?
DM: Yes, please - with cream and sugar. Though I should point out I'm not one of those people who craves it within minutes of rolling out of bed. My favorite place for a cup of Joe is probably Ol' South pancake house in Fort Worth. Even better if it's at 2 a.m. The Spiral Diner here in the Fort is good as well. I also enjoy various espresso drinks. Lattes mostly.

OA: Last good book you read?
DM: "How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization" by Franklin Foer. I love that he takes such a politically and economically charged idea such as globalization and reworks it in the context of soccer. It's so obvious yet nobody's really made that leap - tying the two together. The anecdotes and the writing are first rate. But being a life-long soccer fan and Liverpool FC supporter for eight years now it was always going to be an easy sell.

Over the past six years, Dominick has exhibited his work in several shows and galleries in Fort Worth. In 2006, Dominick received first prize for two-dimensional work in the Texas Wesleyan University juried exhibition Here I Am at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. He was also selected to the 2002 Art in the Metroplex regional juried exhibition. For more on Dominick, and information on how to purchase prints visit his website.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Release Tuesday

1. The Fratellis - Costello Music (US Release) (mp3)
2. Rosie Thomas - These Friends of Mine (mp3)
4. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black (US Release) (mp3)
5. Aqualung - Memory Man (find mp3's here)
6. Black Milk - Popular Demand (mp3)

Harsh Times - Christian Bale
The Holiday - Kate Winslet and Jack Black

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Morning Mix

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertand Russell

Enjoy "Confront Your Fears", and post some of your biggest fears in the comments section.

(artwork: "The End" by Oksana Badrak)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Coffee Talk

Last week we saw the world premiere of the documentary, "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" on the Discovery channel. There were also many news stories published and hype created for this world premiere on the news. This was followed by an open discussion with the director and investigative journalist Simcha Jacobovici, and leading researcher and author Dr. James D. Tabor of North Carolina at Charlotte answering questions from archeologists and religious leaders with Ted Koppel as moderator. The executive producer of this documentary was no other than James Cameron.

In this documentary, the Talpiot Tomb, or "Jesus Family Tomb" was said to be discovered in 1980 in Jerusalem by a construction crew building apartment complexes. In this tomb was said to contain 10 ossuaries, but the locations of only 9 are currently known. These ossuaries are said to have contained the remains of family members as was the custom in 1st century Jerusalem. On 6 of these 9 ossuaries are marked the words/names of "Yeshua bar Yosef (Jesus, son of Joseph), Maria, Matia (Matthew), Yose (Joseph), Marimene e Mara (Mariamne, guessed to be Mary Magdalene), and Yehuda bar Yeshua (Judah, son of Jesus)." The other 3 names were not mentioned in the documentary as I recall and are not talked about on the Discovery website that I found. Either they did not have names on the ossuaries, or they left that part out in the documentary.

The claim in the documentary is that the 10th ossuary has been found and contained the remains of James, Brother of Jesus. A Discovery documentary on his ossuary is going to be televised on March 28th @ 6:00am. The documentary on the "Tomb of Jesus" would help prove that this was Jesus' tomb that was found, but no solid evidence was proved to link that James' ossuary indeed came from the same tomb. There could be more evidence in James' documentary.

Experts said that these are very common names for that period with the exception of Mariamne. With these names, they had Dr. Andrey Feuerverger, professor of statistics and mathematics at the University of Toronto, concluded a high statistical probability the Talpiot Tomb is the Jesus Family Tomb. In this probability, he used the occurences of all the names and came up that there is a 600:1 probability that it is in fact the Tomb of Jesus and his family. This probability did include taking out Matia, or Matthew out of the equation since there is no mention of a Matthew directly related to Jesus in the Bible.

DNA tests were also conducted on pieces of remains still found in only two of the ossuaries, Jesus, son of Joseph and Mariamne's. These mitochondrial results concluded that the remains of these two individuals were not of the same family. Nuclear DNA results could not be done and since the remains in all of the ossuaries were sent for proper re-burial, no other tests could be done on other ossuaries.

So many questions and discussions have already taken place as to did Jesus have a family? Why would Matthew be buried with Jesus? Who is Mariamne and why is she in the tomb?, etc.

Here are the questions that Orange Alert has...

1.) Why is the life of Jesus and his family been portrayed as such a hot topic lately? With documentaries on Jesus and the way he was crucified, his family, films like The Passion and The DaVinci Code, and now this documentary.

2.) Why have a lot of the recent films and documentaries lately been concluding that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene?

3.) How will any of this be proven without detailed DNA and other analysis of all remains of the tomb?

4.) With all of the research on Jesus lately, does that contradict the faith of Christianity and his being the Son of God and does any of these scientific finding change faith-based religion?

5.) How many people think that they are attempting to tie research together on purpose "to sell the film" as quoted by Amos Kloner, Israeli archeologist, or that it's just a film for skeptics to "poke holes into the story" of Jesus and the beliefs that millions of people hold dear as claimed by Stephen Pfann, scholar at the University of the Holy Land?

Answer one, all or discuss any of these related topics. Please talk amongst yourselves...