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Werner Herzog on Chickens

February 8th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you may recall that I used to play typewriter in a band with some piano-playing chickens.

I’m here to tell you that chickens, like monkeys, go from cute to despicable in about half an hour. They’re vile, magnificently brainless creatures that defecate the way that cats shed – casually, constantly, and in occasionally impressive clumps.

It comes as no surprise to me that Werner Herzog feels the same way. Here’s a little clip on Vimeo (shared by my former human bandmate Tim Gordon)

Werner Herzog on Chickens from Tom Streithorst on Vimeo.

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Beauty is Embarrassing : Wayne White Documentary

February 3rd, 2012 by D.Billy

Sweet jumping Jeebus, I love me some Wayne White.

He makes beautiful, funny typographic additions to found oil paintings, he designed sets and puppets for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, he art-directed the Smashing Pumpkins’ gorgeous, Georges Méliès-inspired “Tonight, Tonight” video, and he generally embodies the kind of artist that I want to be.

And now Wayne White is the subject of a documentary entitled “Beauty is Embarrassing”, which is premiering at SXSW 2012. Here’s the trailer:

I want to watch this film with all of my heart and soul. (And also my eyeballs.)

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I Am Not Hanging Out with Wild Mountain Gorillas, No Matter How Cute They Are!

January 30th, 2012 by Cyndi Freeman

One of the latest viral videos is of happy gorillas in the jungles of Uganda taking in a tourist as one of their own. Now this is an amazing video, so sweet, so heart-warming, and it got me cruising YouTube for gorilla videos – and there are plenty. That being said, I am personally not going to be hanging with the Wild Mountain Gorillas.

I am not saying you shouldn’t hang with wild gorillas –  if you want to. Go ahead, it looks like fun.

It is just that they are both intelligent and they are wild animals, plus they have ideas on how things should go.

*Note to self – do not take your pet baby orphan gorilla into the jungle.

Personally I think I understand gorilla culture and etiquette, as it looks a bit like the culture and etiquette in my family. But as my husband knows, I avoid hanging with my family because they behave like mountain gorillas. They are cute and cuddly until you challenge them. You never quite know what you said that got them all riled up, all you know is that they are suddenly screaming and somehow its your fault …

Also a Safari into the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda is like $300 a day, and I’d like to see what $300 a day could get me in Vegas.

I know that someone reading this might be thinking, “but  - but –  but….have you seen Koko the talking Gorilla who speaks sign language? Bill Shatner has!”

And I say to the imaginary Koko loving person in my head, “Oh yeah but what about the story of the Petronella Yvonne de Horde, she loved gorillas! She was convinced that the Gorilla named Bokito, who lived at the local zoo in Rotterdam was her friend…and so she went to visit him almost every day.  She would make kissy faces at him and he would make what she thought was kissy faces back….

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Filed under Film & Movies, Found, Travel, Uncategorized, Video having Comments Off

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Reggie Watts Covers Maroon 5, Improvises and Raps In A Death Metal Style at “Heart of Darkness”

January 10th, 2012 by Jeff Simmermon

Creaghead and Company is pretty much Caroline Creaghead. And Caroline Creaghead is pretty much awesome. She helps to book and produce the And I Am Not Lying Live show, in addition to a bunch of others. One of the other shows in Caroline’s stable is “Heart Of Darkness” with Greg Barris. According to Flavorpill, Heart of Darkness (with the live band the Forgiveness) is a

psychedelic stand‐up show … a visceral experience from the downtown comedy underground. Accomplished thinkers, authors, poets, and artists join Barris and his band to become one seamless, improvised comedy freak show.”

I caught the sold-out show at Union Hall last Saturday. What I could see of it was really, really awesome, when I could see around a pillar. Everything sounded great, though.

Reggie Watts dropped in at the last minute and did a hilarious set, improvising all kinds of hilarious music and completely surreal standup that made perfect sense and told right-on truths as long as you didn’t listen too closely. If you did, you’d realize he was riffing on the kind of played-out onstage cliches you hear from most hip-hop and rock ‘n roll stage banter.

Here’s a pretty sweet clip. In it, Reggie Watts covers Maroon 5′s “Moves Like Jagger,” freestyles and improvises, and raps like the lead singer of a Cookie Monster death metal band:

Reggie Watts – Touching Songs Improv – Heart Of Darkness – 1.7.12 from Karmalize Productions on Vimeo.

In this clip, Reggie, Greg Barris and the Forgiveness improve a long jam about slack friends, vampires, teen smoking and more:

Reggie Watts & The Forgiveness – Improv Jam – Heart Of Darkness – 1.7.12 from Karmalize Productions on Vimeo.

Both clips were shot and edited by Alex Gaylon of Karmalize Productions.

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Screaming Rock Trailer for Sunday’s Show – Mildly NSFW

April 13th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

Look, I know I’m flogging this live show on Sunday pretty hard. But I’m really, really excited about it, and I think you guys should be, too.

Our good friend and fellow storyteller Tracy Rowland just made us a magnificent trailer for Sunday’s show, and I’d be remiss in my mission to promote awesomeness on the Internet if I didn’t share it here. There is some mild language, almost- nudity. Which is maybe a selling point:

And I Am Not Lying – LIVE! from And I Am Not Lying on Vimeo.

The music is by Richmond, VA sweatrock legends RPG, permission given by Matt Conner. Show info after the jump:
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“Retarded” Is the New “N-Word”

April 7th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

It’s easy to forget that life is a gift. And it’s easy to overlook the essential humanity of so many people out there on the Internet. It’s easy to get mad at people’s gripes and whines and forget that the Web can be a tool to expand your empathy and connect with people outside your regular routine.

But this video yanked me out of my regular routine and deep into the wild currents of the human experience. I don’t know whether to cheer or weep, to hug somebody or go be alone. My eyes swelled and leaked a little, and I could actually feel my heart expand in my chest.

It’s by a disabled woman who carefully, methodically explains why it’s so upsetting to be called “retarded.”

These are her words:

I made this video after seeing a number of things: Other disabled people rushing to prove that they were not some thing called “retarded,” being referred to here as a “mong” and other such words myself (on and off YouTube) as well as seeing lots of pointless ridicule directed at people with developmental disabilities, and being asked questions about what it’s like to be considered “retarded” in casual contacts with people, or to “look retarded”, whatever that means. I explore these questions, and the prejudice and dehumanization that surrounds cognitive disability of all sorts, in my video.

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Harryhausen’s Outback Showdown: Deliver or Die, Skippy

January 20th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon
Harryhausen's Outback Showdown

I’ve been writing and editing and re-writing my story for this Monday’s Moth GrandSLAM, just scribbling it over and over on a legal pad to make sure I’ve got it. The theme is “Into the Wild,” which poses a challenge. I’ve pretty much told and re-told what I like to think is a pretty solid story on that theme. I’ve told that thing right into the red dirt, to be honest. I’m sure my friends, family, and the odd person I am totally trying to impress is sick to their guts of it. I think I’ve worn a track in my brain from repeating it so damn much.

I got one of the best passive-aggressive guilt trips about this that I’ve ever had from anyone that wasn’t my own mother recently. She’s a great friend I met through the Moth, and when I suggested I wanted to visit that old incarnation of that story for the theme, she said “Yeah, I mean, you could do that. But if you won with it, I think you’d feel pretty cheap.”

She’s right. So I’m working on it, but brother, you never know you’ve got something until it’s over and done with. The challenge here is to find other material in that experience, stuff that didn’t make the first cut and massaging it into something brand-new.
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After Thanksgiving Dinner, “Hell Comes to Breakfast”: Watching Dude Movies With Dad

November 29th, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

I wear the coat that my dad wore on hunting trips with his dad back when a man could kill his dinner with his son for Thanksgiving. Dad never put any dead rabbits in the pocket in the back, and he never took me hunting, either. Consequently, that coat looks just about as good as new and doesn’t have a rabbit-sized scab stretching across the back.

We did plenty of dude stuff together when I was growing up — shot guns, chopped wood, built stuff, threw a baseball and salted slugs on hot afternoons when the A/C was busted and nothing was on TV.

Now I’m all grown and I live in Brooklyn and have a landlord who’s supposed to fix stuff at my house. Note that I said “supposed to.” I ended up getting into art and computers, stuff Dad wasn’t necessarily all that into before his eyes started giving out.

But the one thing we do together every chance we get: we watch some serious dude movies. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. “No Country for Old Men,” the first two “Godfather” flicks, any of the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns are all religious canon in the Simmermon household. “A-Team” reruns will do, too.

I shot this on my iPhone the day after Thanksgiving while we were watching “The Outlaw Josey Wales.”

Me and Dad and 'The Outlaw Josey Wales'
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Kimba the White Lion – What Do You Do With a Herd of Suicidal Antelope?

September 9th, 2010 by Cyndi Freeman

Remember Kimba the White Lion? It was on at 1pm, and every day when I got home from kindergarten my friends and I would watch it. The episodes were full of hard lessons for Kimba and his animal pals.

Hard lessons that often dented my poor little 5 year old brain.

In one episode that I simply was never able to forget, a herd of antelope have gone crazy with some kind of brain fever. They are running wild and if they did not stop they would plunge into the sea and die. Kimba and his friends try to stop them every way they can, but in the end they fail and most of the antelope jump to their deaths in the sea. Kimba and friends do manage to save a few, and that in the end is the moral: Even if you can only save a few wild crazed suicidal antelope , it’s better then not trying at all.

As an adult I do not quite know what to do with that information. But if I ever meet a methed out antelope at least I’ll have food for thought. If you want to see the episode, some kind soul has uploaded it to YouTube!

Kimba the White Lion: Episode 39 – Running Wild.

Another fun tidbit — the show was created by the Godfather of anime Osamu Tezuka. And I found an awesome fan site with English translation covering his massive body of work!

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Smarmy & Vivacious

August 27th, 2010 by D.Billy

As far as I’m concerned, Tumblr’s purpose on this Earth is to provide us with weird celebrity Photoshop memes.
(See Selleck Waterfall Sandwich, or its cousin Bea Arthur Mountains Pizza.)
Here now are selections from the most recent herd of pixel-mashings making their way across the internet landscape, leaving cognitive dissonance and sexual confusion in their wake… Pinup RDJ:

By way of explanation, their creator offers:
“Vintage pinups are the pinnacle of art. Robert Downey Jr is the pinnacle of sexy. It’s not rocket science.”

Previously in WTF imagery:
Chihuahua on Cheeseburgers
Doctored Science Fair Photos
Sci-Fi Fans at Home
Captain America Brushes His Teeth With Whiskey

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