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Social Media Is Depressing as Hell

August 2nd, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

I saw this at the Lafayette stop on the C train heading into Brooklyn last night — just chalk on a black painted rectangle. It’s true, too:


For Google, e-readers: the text reads “Social media is depressing as hell.”

Filed under Art & Design, Brooklyn, Found, New York City, Street Art & Graffiti, Zen having Comments Off

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Geologic Paint Formations On the Subway at 4th & 9th

January 13th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

I saw these doorways on the subway at the 4th and 9th streets in Brooklyn – with layers and layers of paint chipped away so that workmen could get to the padlocks holding them shut. I thought they were just breathtaking, like a micro-geologic event in slow-motion action. The paint looks like steppes or a canyon slowly eroded by wind and time, doesn’t it? Kinda like another planet where people have to hike down those paint layer steppes into this treacherous valley with a gigantic ceremonial padlock in the center, like some sort of ancient alien ship.

And like, every million years a giant hand yanks the ship away and rips the planet apart, shaking everyone off to drift into their deaths in the cold wilds of the outer atmosphere.

In case you were wondering, I was, in fact, late to my destination. And yes, I do find psychedelic drugs to be redundant. Enjoy the pics:

Geologic paint layers on the subway

Subway paint geology

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Rogue Copy Editor Corrects the C Train

October 20th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

My grammar isn’t always perfect, but I do okay. When something’s misspelled or written incorrectly, it feels like a string out of tune. Or like hearing bagpipes – in tune or not.

It seems like copy-editors are getting laid off left, right, and center – as though nobody cares anymore. Sure, typos happen when you’re writing and posting fast. And everyone knows what you meant to say. But it’s like giving a big presentation with your fly all the way down. Sure, people know that you meant to put pants on. And your wang is probably still covered. But it still makes a distinct impression.

It looks like a rogue copyeditor took the red Sharpie to this Uniqlo ad on the C train. They just couldn’t take it anymore.

Edited Uniqlo ad

Good for them. It works better now, doesn’t it?

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The Spirit Of Rock Is Alive And Well And Parked in Brooklyn

December 14th, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

Well today was a day. It was right up there, man — about as dumb as a day can get without generating anything worth repeating publicly. Actually, come to think of it, pretty much everything dumb that happened today is highly confidential. Now that I really focus on it, a participant in every single conversation I had today said “this is highly confidential.” For the last few, I was that person.

Let me tell you something: it ain’t fun.

Now I am sitting here at my desk with the top button of my jeans unbuttoned, practicing the lost art of the perfect smoke ring while writing this in one window and downloading Led Zeppelin tunes in another.

Things are looking up. And really, they could be a lot worse. A really good old friend of mine is in jail right now, and he just sent me a pretty bleak letter. I had to have a confidential conversation about its contents.

I could have written that letter.

But do you ever have those days where you’re just like “my GOD, what has happened to the spirit of ROCK?” Where you just look back at the stuff that you liked from your twenties and forget all the scraping for respect from the world in between the good moments and say to yourself, ‘hey man, I used to ROCK. I used to feel the Spirit of Rock and now it has shambled away forever.”

On the worst days you are standing behind a tall fence in the back of your own mind and listening to the Spirit of Rock play beach volleyball on the other side.

I might be having one of those days. They’re listening to Led Zeppelin on the other side of the fence, and apparently someone’s just shown up with a fresh pitcher of margaritas but I will never be invited to taste those drinks again.

So here’s my antidote to feeling like that – I just keep this picture on my iPhone and look at it whenever I need it:

Spirit of Punk

I saw this while I was out walking around about a month ago, parked right on Marcy Ave. Just look at it. It looks like things in there smell bad but feel great, like the thing is crouching on its back wheels to leap on the highway to hell. I took it on my iPhone and then fiddled with it in a few apps and on Photoshop to make it look like an old movie. This photo may not be exactly what it looks like to look at that van, but it’s a pretty good representation of what it feels like.

The Spirit of Rock is alive and well and parked on Marcy Avenue. He may not be a roommate, but I’m still in his neighborhood. And overall, I think I like that dude a lot better now that we’re not living together anymore.

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Setting a Plane on Fire and Landing It: Last Night’s Show Was Spectacular

December 6th, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

I was all squirrelly last week leading up to last night’s show — wrangling machines, sending e-mails (so many e-mails) and in between the cracks, getting my own stories ready.

And it tickles me to no end that the show was a success. It was Tauntaun weather out last night, the first seriously cold night we’d had in New York this year. Anyone in their right mind would have been home under a blanket watching TV, but we had a full house. And they weren’t ALL our friends, either!

A bunch of people — total strangers — saw the flyer on BoingBoing and came on out to check it out, too. That’s so exciting to me, and that’s the Internet at its best: connecting people who never would have known about each other otherwise.

Everyone else’s performances were tight (say what you will about mine, I’m hardly objective) and the thing ran perfectly.

Here’s Brad Lawrence, hosting:

Brad Lawrence at Under Saint Marks' Theater

And here’s Cyndi, Magdalena Fox and Maggie (my girlfriend and a patient, helpful lady) waiting backstage:

Ladies behind the show
Read the rest of this entry »

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December 1st, 2010 by D.Billy

It had been a looong day of walking around Brooklyn with a bag full of colored tape, looking for something to touch off an idea for another site intervention. That’s how it works for me. I’ve gotta lug the materials around and just sort of wait for the lightning to strike. I can target an area that’s likely to have some interesting detritus to do my wandering in, but that’s about it. The rest is out of my hands.

Late in the afternoon when I was pretty well sick of walking, and the sun was hitting a beautiful angle that I knew wouldn’t last for long, I turned down a dead-end industrial street in western Greenpoint. I can usually count on the side streets and factory lots near the East River waterfront to give me something to work with, and it seemed like this spot would be no exception. Among the mostly empty parking spaces of this factory lot, between cracks in the pavement that were filling in with tall, unruly grass, there was a wood-paneled TV with its screen smashed in; a metal folding chair missing its seat; a scattering of food wrappers and discarded shoes; a stack of plywood and shipping pallets; and the requisite nasty mattress, old tires, and busted auto glass. I stared at all of that bizness for a while, mentally rearranging things and visualizing appropriate sound effects for the possible vignettes… but nothing was switching me on. Not really.

I turned around ready to leave, and saw that I had been joined on the ground by a group of pigeons that had been watching from the factory roof. They were slowly head-bobbing in the direction of a rock-hard partial loaf of bread that someone must have been using to feed them at some point. It hit me like (insert your favorite metaphor for inspiration here): with a combination of crusty old bread to draw them in, and a good stomp on a stack of plywood to make them scatter, I might be able to choreograph these dirty little bastards.

So I laid down my tape, bloodied my fingertips a little bit breaking up the hardest loaf of bread known to man, arranged the bread near the tape-writing, and then repeated the picture-taking cycle: I waited for the pigeons to get up on the bread, stomped like hell on the nearby plywood, and snapped a picture of them scattering. Wait. Stomp. Snap. Wait. Stomp. Snap. Now let me tell you – it is damned hard to properly frame a shot without a tripod or remote shutter release, while repeatedly thwomping your leg down like a jackass. But I managed to get a few decent photos in the end. Here’s my favorite:


Mini-promo time: This shot, along with documentation of other recent interventions “WAAHHH” and “ZZZAP”, and a handful of my recent collages, will be on display (and for sale) from December 11th, 2010 through February 13th, 2011, as part of the group exhibition “PARTY CRASHERS” in Arlington, Virginia. Check it out if you’re down that way!

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And I Am Not Lying, Live: Hopefully, Not Average At All

November 28th, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

I have climbed a mountain of my own bullshit and started yodeling. The avalanche is picking up steam and it’s gonna get real on December the 5th.

Some time ago, I whipped up a bunch of big talk about turning this blog into a live show. I got D.Billy and Brad and Cyndi all excited about it, and then we went and made it happen. For real.

And I’m a little antsy about the whole enterprise.

Here’s a flyer for the show:

Read the rest of this entry »

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More Tapeography : WAAHHH! in Red Hook

September 2nd, 2010 by D.Billy

I don’t know about you all, but I spent MY last Saturday biking around Red Hook, getting selectively sunburnt and looking for weird scenes that I could make a little weirder. Mid-afternoon (after a stop for some amazing pulled pork and root beer on tap at Brooklyn Ice House), I happened upon an abandoned baby stroller between a couple of warehouses and went to work with the colored tape. Here is the result:




More photos at the end of this Flickr set.

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August 11th, 2010 by D.Billy

A truck graffitied with an image of a graffitied truck. I heart this.

Spotted in Brooklyn & tweeted by Museum Nerd.

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Well, At Least Things Can’t Get Any Worse

July 9th, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

I saw this on the streets of Philadelphia in the Fall of 2008. I think. It’s pretty much a lot of my favorite things in one place: bright pink, comic book imagery, a worn and weathered texture.

The rest really needs no commentary.

Well, At Least Things Can't Get Any Worse

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