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May ‘08 No. 2

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What are you doing on the 10th annual Big Sunday?

Join in and help out on America’s largest citywide community service event! Big Sunday is a multi-cultural, non-denominational, non-political week-end of community service and community building.

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The WaSSerman foundaTion


Volume 01/Number 02

Saul Williams 4 Color Serigraph on Paper 18” X 24”

Original Photo By: Daniel Boud [http://boudist.com]

on the cover:

On Stands:

Benjamin Hunter

7

Interview

9

Interview

Murder by Death

High on Fire

12

Tribute Essay

16

Art

Brad Nowell

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May 1st - Jun 1st

Interview

Thrice

Interview

Shepard’s Hope Shepard Fairey Interview Part 1 of 2

15

Essay

Questioning “Mr. Deity”

Editor-in-Chief

David Dodde

Creative Director

Shaun Saylor Publisher

House Industries

20

Cover Story

Interview

Saul Williams

Assistant Music Editor: Juliet Bennett-Rylah Music Editorial: William Case • Brian Hoekstra • Benjamin Klebba Eric Mitts • Nick Stephenson • Elizabeth Viernes • Andrew Watson • Nick Weaver

Essays: Corey Anton • Wes Eaton • Nikos Monoyios Copy Editors: William Case • Elizabeth Viernes Contributing Art Director: Andy Cruz Contributing Artists: SK Madden • Jason Murray Photography: Tom Brooks • Daniel Boud • Erin Klebba Website: Chris Martinez • Shawn Melton

22 28

Essay

Culture vs. Capitalism

Essay

Wiki-Truth

23

Interview

30

Film Review

Birds of Avalon

NOFX: Backstage Pass

Advertising Sales:

ads@wideeyednation.com

Headquarters:

Wide-Eyed LLC 1158 26th Street Suite #724 Santa Monica, CA 90403

32

Essay

Drinking the Digital

Comments:

feedback@wideeyednation.com

General Offices: Wide-Eyed, 1158 26th Street Suite #724 Santa Monica, CA 90403. Wide-Eyed assumes no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic or other material. All rights in letters and unsolicited editorial and graphic material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and material will be subject to WideEyed’s unrestricted right to edit and to comment editorially. Wide-Eyed, date of production January 2008. Custodian of records is Shaun Saylor. All records required by law to be maintained by publisher are located at 11740 Wilshire Blvd. Building A2203 Los Angeles, CA 90025. Contents copyright ©2008 by Wide-Eyed Publishing LLC. All right reserved. Wide-Eyed, the “Eyecon” and the Torn Edge mast head are marks of Wide-Eyed, registered U.S. Trademark office. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any electronic, mechanical, photocopying or recording means or otherwise without prior written permission of the publisher.

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Department

Music Review

Department

Flavor Savior

Epicurean Delight

26

Local Interest

Store Front


Letters

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We are completely ecstatic to bring you issue #2. Last month we peppered Los Angeles with 20,000 copies

of our premier issue. From the surf communities of Hermosa and Venice, up into the hills and over to Silver Lake, and Echo Park, Wide-Eyed brought you our finest delivery of music, art, and thought. Issue #2 channels the theme of love. In this vast universe of creativity, there is love. From the passion of Saul Williams’ inspiring words, to the enduring propagation of just causes through the works of Shepard Fairey, and the gift of Bradley Nowell’s legacy of timeless heartfelt jams, issue #2 is the issue of love.

This summer marks the 41st anniversary of the “Summer of Love.” Growing up in Michigan, my Pa always told me stories about the summer of love and the “Love-In” which took place on Belle Isle in the Detroit River. There was a spirit of change in the air in the summer of ‘67. The Vietnam War was dragging on, the economy was uncertain, racial tension filled urban centers of America, yet youth had courage. They wanted to change. From Detroit to Chicago, and from San Francisco to LA , there was a movement of art, music, and love. Those cities eventually erupted into violence and later that summer Detroit was on fire… it has never fully recovered. There are too many variables to suggest that one thing or event lead to love’s entropy. There was a backlash from the establishment, there were dress-up hippies that didn’t follow through with the love, there was a general, cognitive dissonance in the approach towards change. On one hand people wanted to come together, but the other hand was a clenched fist ready to destroy. Change isn’t easy, it creates a sense of chaos and all too often people embrace the status quo. But, there is no denying change is in the air, and this time perhaps we the creative culture, can lean on each other and uplift one another. It may very well be our last chance, so don’t hold a fist with your other hand, extend that hand to your fellow brother or sister, because we need love.

All the Best,

Editor in Chief, Benjamin Hunter

eeye feedback @ wid

dnation.com


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Murder By Death interview by Eric Mitts

The best mystery novels have shadowy figures who appear and disappear without warning, leaving clues and revealing information in their wake. Thanks to a poor cell phone signal and a touring schedule through the middle of nowhere, Wide-Eyed’s recent conversation with Murder by Death’s Adam Turla had a similarly strange storyline. The deep-voiced guitarist and songwriter discussed how his literary interests have influenced each of Murder By Death’s four albums, including Red of Tooth and Claw, released earlier this spring. Turla’s insights ranged from how he now draws more musical influence from books and movies than he does from other bands, how much more intertwined independent bands and independent film have become over the past few years, and how some of the more frequent comparisons critics have made of his band’s dark, cello-rock songs to certain legendary artists have actually introduced him to their music for the very first time.

yeah, I felt a little influence. But the idea in that story is that Odysseus is a good guy and he’s trying to do his best and he’s trying to get home to see his wife. In this version, the main character is just the opposite. He’s a bad guy, and he’s just young and angry and stupid. He makes it home and he’s going to kill his wife and he kind of realizes that he’s pathetic and he wants to turn it around because he doesn’t want to be motivated by this pain, this negative emotion. So it’s kind of a story of turning things around. WE: So that revenge to redemption concept came as you were writing the songs, like from the songs themselves? AT: Yeah, I like to have things be very natural. I never force writing. I don’t ever set out to write something that

Wide-Eyed: During the writing of each of your four albums have you found yourself reading more than listening to music? Adam Turla: Absolutely, and that’s a question I get a lot. I read more and I watch more movies than I do listen to music, at least ever since we started doing this seriously, five or six years ago. Lately I’ve been trying to read everything that Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and Gabriel Garcia Marquez ever wrote. I’m reading the complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway right now. It’s a lot of material, but I’m almost done with all of them. I read especially when I’m on the road. I bring a box of books for each tour. When you’re in the van for five or six hours a day traveling, you’ve got to do something, so I just figured instead of just sitting and staring out the window or sleeping, I may as well learn something. WE: I understand that your new album, Red of Tooth and Claw, was influenced by Homer’s The Odyssey. Was that a more peripheral influence on your songwriting than, say, Dante’s The Divine Comedy was on your last album, [2006’s] In Bocca al Lupo? AT: The way that I start writing an album is that I write an introductory song or two and try to get a feel for the lyrics that seem to come up. The first song I wrote was ‘Comin’ Home,’ and I don’t know why it was so bitter, but that line, ‘I’m comin’ home and there ain’t nothing you can do about it,’ I thought there was a story in it. So I wanted to develop that story and then we continued to write more songs that fit around it. And

to me, is in some ways similar to, say, viewing the work of the Coen Brothers, who have frequently dealt with the consequences of revenge. The album almost sounds like if they were to make a dark, spaghetti western send-up of their own take on The Odyssey, O’ Brother Where Art Thou. AT: Yeah, I think there is some of that in there, especially that ‘Theme’ we put in there which was more than somewhat suggestive of Ennio Morricone, who did the soundtracks to lots of those spaghetti westerns. We just thought that would fit in there well and give a fun feeling to it. Ultimately, what we were trying to do is create a different world. We weren’t trying to re-create a spaghetti western, but instead create just a different place that shares some similarities but also is its own place. I actually wasn’t trying to write a western at all. I’ve never tried to do that. But I think for some people it reminds them of that, so why not? I’ll go with it. I like to picture the Murder by Death world as this unique place where all the songs are set. WE: Since you mentioned Morricone, how big of an influence has he been for you musically all along? AT: Morricone was actually someone that I didn’t get into until later. What happened was there were a few reviews comparing our music to his. My mother, who grew up in Italy, had seen some of those reviews that compared some of our older albums to the works of Ennio Morricone and she actually bought me a CD of Yo-Yo Ma playing all of the themes from all the movies Morricone scored, so that’s how I actually got into his music.

it happened at some point while we were writing the album that I re-read The Odyssey and I noticed some similarities, so I kind of just threw in a few small references, and,

sounds like something else. I like to be very natural in how things develop and take my time and let a story tell itself. WE: Listening to Red of Tooth and Claw,

WE: Why did you decide to do a direct tribute to him now with the song ‘Theme’ on Red of Tooth and Claw? AT: I did it because I like the idea or the context of a bunch of Italian people making a western and sort of redefining the genre. He really redefined what people think for that, like when people think of music for a western, they think of what he did, even though that’s not what the music of the time [period] would’ve been. I thought that was really cool and we were trying to create our own style or world and I think his outsider perspective helped him create something that was much more interesting. So I thought it would be a cool song to make. (concluded on page 31)


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Thrice interview by Eric Mitts

At this point in their career, understanding a band as experimental as Thrice might take a reference manual. Here’s a quick primer. Born to the bombastic Southern Californian hardcore scene in the late ‘90s while their four members – vocalist/guitarist Dustin Kensrue, guitarist/programmer/producer Teppei Teranishi, bassist Eddie Breckenridge and drummer Riley Breckenridge – finished high school, Thrice self-released their debut EP, “First Impressions,” before screaming their way through two full-lengths, 2001’s Identity Crisis and 2002’s The Illusion of Safety for indie Sub City Records. In 2003, Thrice switched to major label Island Records and released The Artist In The Ambulance. After extensive touring, including runs on the Warped Tour, they followed it with 2005’s more eclectic Vheissu, before creative differences and industry woes sent them back home and on their own once again. Free to do whatever they wanted, the band set about recording a four-EP experiment titled The Alchemy Index. Breaking the artistic inspirations and explorations of their growingly dynamic sound into four pieces mirroring the four natural elements of fire, water, earth and air, Thrice recorded the four EPs all at once, choosing to release the first two discs, Vols. I & II: Fire and Water last fall on Vagrant Records and the second set Vols. III & IV: Earth and Air this spring. Drummer Riley Breckenridge, the band member charged with providing such dark art experimentation with a steady pulse, explained to Wide-Eyed the science behind how Thrice broke the mold for what hardcore bands can be, and hinted at what’s yet to come.

Wide-Eyed: You recorded The Alchemy

Index at the studio you have in your house. Has it been a lifelong dream for you to have a home studio? Riley Breckenridge: It’s kind of weird, how that came about. Teppei and his wife actually bought a house in Orange here with some of the money that we had in the recording budget for Vheissu, and in the property that they had, we decided to build a little studio in this detached garage out back, because Teppei’s really into recording and stuff like that. He’s learning how to engineer and produce and stuff. So we decided to do that and about a little bit more than a year ago, Teppei and his wife got a different house and asked me if I wanted to rent it. So I’ve got the studio at my disposal, and I can play my drums whenever I want to, which is amazing, since I always had the cops called on me when I was a kid. But yeah, it’s great, it’s really, really cool and it’s making the making of records and doing demos and stuff like that a whole hell of a lot more cost-effective than it used to be.   WE: Since you had that studio at your disposal, is that partly what led up to the band’s decision to take on an ambitious recording project like The Alchemy Index? RB: Yeah, but I think it was something we had been thinking about for a while. Just because we had the studio here at our disposal, we knew that we could make a record that would end up sounding exactly the way we wanted it to sound, because there’s no outside influences trying to maybe homogenize the record, or make everything more cohesive, and it seemed like a fun challenge for us. We’ve learned a lot from the producers that we’ve worked with through the years: Brian McTernan and Steve Osborne and Paul Miner. And we’ve learned a lot by talking to people about stuff and we just felt like it was the right time to do it. I don’t think The Alchemy Index could have been fully realized if we had done it with an outside producer.   WE: You’ve always expressed a very broad range of interests when you’ve shared the music you’re listening to with fans through posts on your website (thrice.net), and you’ve always seemed like someone with very broad interests all along. Just how long in the making

has a far-reaching album like The Alchemy Index been, for you and for Thrice? RB: I think for us, in our minds, it’s a logical progression. When we started out, we were all pretty young and we were listening to a lot of punk rock and a lot of metal and it showed. As the years have gone on, our musical tastes have broadened. We went from a point, I think right in between The Artist In The Ambulance and Vheissu, we went from a point where we were almost afraid to incorporate our new influences, because our tastes had broadened so much over the years. So we were like, ‘Oh man, what if we worked in some dynamics to our music and incorporated piano or electronics or something.’ I think Vheissu was the first record where we really took a chance and weren’t afraid to incorporate those new influences. And I think with The Alchemy Index, it was almost like an exercise in a sense to see how far in different directions we could take stuff. And we kind of learned what we can and can’t do. It definitely motivated us to try harder and try new things. The real exciting thing is going to be when it comes time to make the next record. Drawing from all these far out areas we’ve reached with The Alchemy Index, and bringing it in and doing a, I don’t want to say ‘standard’ because that sounds like it’ll be cliché or generic, but a more standard record for us.

Photo By: Myriam Santos-Kayda

WE: So when you do the next record, would you want to go back into a studio with a producer or continue working entirely on your own? RB: I don’t know. I think things are so different right now, with how things are with the music industry. We’re not on a major label anymore, we don’t have the budget to go back East and lock ourselves in a really nice studio for two months, and record sales are down, not only for us but across the industry, so it just seems more cost-effective. We’ve thought of all the different ways that we can get our music out to people and it seems like it’s more cost-effective and it’s just a wiser decision to try to do things as ‘do-it-yourself ’ as possible. Which means recording yourself, doing artwork yourself, trying to take care of most band relations yourself. I think that’s the way that things are going to have to go and whatnot. I’m kind of excited about that, actually. I would assume that the next record would be done by ourselves again. But maybe we’ll kind of spark the creative process or whatever by incorporating some guest musicians or something like that.   WE: You recorded the other two installments to The Alchemy Index, Earth and Air, in the same recording sessions as Fire and Water. Had you intended on releasing the discs in two sets of two EPs? RB: No. We went back and forth so many times, I swear there was a period between that we mixed the record and then when we actually put it out that was like, ‘ We should do it as just one. No we should split it up into two. No, we should do this or that or the other thing.’ I think that the idea behind splitting them up was so that people probably wouldn’t want to pay whatever we would have to end up charging for four EPs. It just wasn’t going to make sense to have two years pass between records and then for us to say, ‘Okay, we’re back with new music, but it’s going to cost you twenty-five bucks or thirty bucks or something like that.’ And then I think splitting it up allowed people time to digest two volumes at a time. It’s hard enough to get people to sit through it seems like eleven or twelve songs these days on a regular full-length. If we were to come at them with twenty-four, something might not get the time it needs to be listened to. It was completely recorded and mixed all at the same time and then when we put out Fire and Water I just went, ‘Man, I wish we would’ve put out the whole thing together.’ Just because I don’t think you can fully grasp the concept and the depth of the process without hearing all four discs. Luckily, that’s going to happen in April and I think we’re all really excited about that.   WE: So was it frustrating to be touring in support of just Fire and Water and having those other two discs done but not being able to really share those with your fans when you played live? RB: Actually, it’s kind of nice, from the touring aspect just because like, a normal touring cycle for a record is like a year, a year and a half or two years, and this way it almost seems like we’re touring on one record, but we’re getting a new life right in the middle of the touring cycle. Like we got to do that tour with Brand New last fall where we played a bunch of Fire and Water songs, along with a bunch of old stuff. Every once in a while we’d sneak in a song (concluded on page 31)


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By: Nick Stephenson Next year will mark the 10th birthday for Matt Pike and the Oakland, California-based High On Fire. It certainly doesn’t seem like it because the metal trio has never really aimed for or found the center of metal mainstream. Instead they enjoyed an underground existence on Relapse Records that produced a diehard group of smart, passionate fans willing to keep the band alive by snatching up copies of critically acclaimed albums like Blessed Black Wings and, more recently, Death Is This Communion. Pike confessed that he probably couldn’t write a mainstream song if he tried, during a phone call with Wide-Eyed before a show in Corpus Christi, Texas. He added that he doesn’t try often. “It’s for special kind of people,” he said, with an emphasis on “special.” The 35-year-old guitarist and vocalist has made a life of writing highcaliber, often replicated metal riffs and lyrics since forming Sleep in the early 1990s. When HOF released Death Is This Communion last year, they did so knowing it was the end of a chapter for them. Their contract with Relapse Records had been fulfilled, and they are now free agents. The question is however, after 15-plus years traveling from town to town on a tour bus with a long, long, long trail of beer cans and whiskey bottles in their wake, is this the last chapter for High On Fire? “I just like lighting a fire you know,” he said. “It makes everyone play better if you have some sort of competitive ‘I’m gonna make the touchdown throw tonight,’ and give ‘em shit. But it’s out of jest at the same time.” Before a show, you’ll find Pike pacing around backstage nervously with bandmates Des Kensel and Jeff Matz nearby. He’ll have a few beers and maybe a shot of whiskey. “In my younger days I used to fucking pound like a fifth of Jack Daniels and play, you know. It leads to bad things happening. Even though you’ll pull off a bunch of shows and be spectacular... [but] you end up pissing off other band members. So I keep it to a minimum – but I still, you know, I indulge a little.” Pantera/Superjoint Ritual’s Phil Anselmo began stepping away from the life at a similar age as Pike, and is focusing more on producing albums and songwriting as he approaches 40. Drummer Kensel, who along with Pike formed High On Fire, is expecting a baby this summer with his wife. New sounds from Scandinavia and Europe represent the next generation of metal. No one would argue Pike and HOF’s legacy if they decided they couldn’t or didn’t want to keep up at the same pace as younger guys. Listening to him talk, you hear mixed emotions – or maybe just what seems like mixed emotions? The fire still burns. Pike spoke with passion about new metal bands like Goat Horn and Tragedy and other black metal bands. On the other hand, he’s definitely reflective, and less likely to go Motley Crüe before a show than he was 10 years ago.  Pike emphatically answers speculation that he’s running out of gas. “Oh, hell no! If anything, I’m better than ever!” High On Fire is still a baby band in his eyes, and he said he’s nowhere near a loss for new, innovative riffs, styles or lyrics. The latter stems from his personal life, which, fortunately for fans, features plenty of disaster.  There will be a new record deal, but Pike said it didn’t look like the band would come to terms with Relapse. Other offers are being considered, and at the heart of the discussion is the reminder that the music business is a business. “It has to do with money, how we want to record, what sort of royalty deal we have. Will we ever [recoup] money? When you’re on a record label, it’s like a big credit card, and you want to get the best APR financing... that’s the only way I can explain it.”

Illustration by David Dodde

The band is looking forward to their club shows. “They’re easier to play,” he said. “ You feel more at home because people know who you are. You’re not playing for a crowd that’s never heard of you before.”   Additionally, the band can play a longer set, and not have to worry about pissing anyone off if they do decide to kill a bottle of Jack Daniels before the show. 

High On Fire comes to Long Beach Arena May 21st


Part I Shepard Fairey interview By: Benjamin Hunter

Photos by Tom Brooks

Wide-Eyed: You give props to Marshall McLuhan on your site using the coined phrase “The Medium is the Message.” Being a fan of the phenomenological approach to interpretation, you ask your audience to make their own interpretation of your work, essentially assigning their own meaning to it. How does this dynamic come into play when conveying imagery which has political overtones? Shepard Fairey: There are a couple of different approaches that I am taking with my work. The phenomenological aspect of it was the central thing that I was pushing at the beginning with it because no one knew what it was. So every single viewer was interpreting it with their own set of ideas and experiences, with no real preconceived ideas about it. That was great because it functioned like a Rorschach test, where everyone’s interpretation was a reflection of their personality. That was really cool, and I have tried to keep some of the images that I think were part of what’s worked so well about that approach within my quiver, and they are put out there. There is always a little bit of the phenomenology that I am pushing, but then I realize that there is a point of entry in a project where people go, “ What is this thing?’ Then hopefully in thinking, “ What is this thing?” they begin to go, “ Well, what is that thing… and that thing,” and it’s got a domino effect. But then once they figure out that, “Oh, it’s this guy that is trying to get me to question everything,” then I have their attention and I can put out images that have a little more obvious political position. Then, at least hopefully, they have a frame of reference where I am not just trying to tell people how to think, but I’m just asking them to think in general. It’s a real struggle in trying to find the balance in being both topical and open-ended. You are never going to please everyone. There are people that said when I began that I was way too obtuse and that I wasn’t willing to stand behind any specific idea because I was scared to be called on the carpet about it, where they would say, “Hey, that can mean whatever you want it to mean,” - and that was lazy. Then I have the people saying now that I have become too didactic, and that I am a stick in the mud now, that I am too political with everything, that there isn’t this sort of fun, open to interpretation, free-associative aspect to it anymore. So I just go with what feels right to me. The one thing that I love about street art and the idea of “The Medium is the Message” is that when you put something up on the street, it doesn’t really matter what the content of it is. It could be completely content free or it could have a message, but it is politicized in that you are saying, ‘I’m going to express myself, even if it is illegal.’ So that is a political act to say, ‘Even though I am not a huge corporation, and I am not a member of the government, I can still have a voice,’ - and that’s political.

WE: You have been involved in several campaigns where the aggregate result of your work becomes a contribution to a cause of social justice. Aside from the Obama campaign, which campaign were you most adamant about making a statement for? SF: This campaign that I did for the genocide in Darfur. I was pretty moved by that cause because entire villages are being displaced, the women are being raped, the villages are being burned - it’s ethnic cleansing. There are Arab Janjaweed militias displacing the native Black African population. It is funded mostly by oil that is paid for by China and their relationship with the government of Sudan, which is Arab run. And that is why a lot of people are boycotting the Olympics. A guy that was over there, who had been in the military and then got a job with the African National Congress, he did a book and a documentary called The Devil Came on Horseback and it is just heartbreaking to see the stuff. To think of how good I have it and how most people have it in the United States, and then to see this stuff… it’s crazy that we would say that we went into Iraq for humanitarian reasons and we are not sending troops into Darfur. So that was something that I felt really strongly about. I don’t really get involved with anything that I don’t feel strongly about. I have done stuff for the environment. I did stuff for The 11th Hour. I feel like global warming is a really important issue, like one of the most important issues out there. There is a ton of stuff that I would like to do, but there just isn’t enough time in the day. I’m in a privileged position right now where I can work on charity stuff, because I make enough money to be able to do it. A lot of people, they are living so hand-to-mouth, they feel like they are the ones that deserve charity. It’s that sort of position that the powers that be rely on people being in, that they don’t have the time to step back and look at the big picture and participate in a meaningful way. All I am trying to do is bring some awareness to these causes, and through my art, generate some funds for them. I feel like I am not trying to be self-righteous about it at all. I’m just lucky that I am in a position where that feels like the right thing to do. It’s not a public relations thing, either. It’s just stuff that I want to do. I would just donate money, but the only way that I can generate money and publicity simultaneously is through my art. So there is this sort of publicity aspect to it. WE: It i s t h e c u r r e n c y i n wh i ch yo u can participate. SF: Exactly, it’s the currency for me. I mean, when I first did the Obama poster for example, I had no idea… I just wanted to help out his campaign. I had no idea whether or not people would buy a poster of Obama. I guess I was being an idiot and not paying very close attention to the climate of things. So I put the Obey logo inside his logo knowing that my collectors would have to get it just because it had an Obey logo on it. So I was like, ‘For sure I’ll generate enough money to do a small poster campaign.’ But then, if you

noticed I did not put my logo in the big offset run edition of 50,000 posters we have done. I didn’t want to look like I’m trying to hijack Obama’s currency. I don’t want it to look like it’s just Obey/Shepard Fairey self-promotion, even though I am proud to be associated with him and for people to know that I am behind him. It’s a very delicate thing. WE: In an op-ed piece on April 12th, in the LA Times, by Meghan Daum, you come under fire for your Obama campaign posters. She states, “There’s an unequivocal sense of idol worship, a half-artsy, half-creepy genuflection that suggests the subject is (a) a Third World dictator whose rule is enmeshed in a seductive cult of personality, (b) a controversial American figure who has been assassinated, or (c) one of those people from the Warhol silk-screen that you don’t recognize but assume to be important in an abstruse way.” How do you respond to criticism like this, knowing your intentions are pure and knowing all of the time you have dedicated to the Obama movement? SF: I had a long conversation with that woman, and by the time it was over I could tell what angle she was going to take with the piece, because she kept saying, “ Yeah, but, don’t you think it has like kind of a creepy, third-world dictator, Che Guevara kind of feel to it?” I was like, ‘No, I don’t, actually.’ I respond to a lot of that kind of imagery, and there is no doubt that a lot of that kind of imagery is stuff that I look at. But, I intentionally made this image using a red, white, and blue-USA color palate and I tried to use an image of Obama that felt like a fairly, friendly image. I said, ‘I think that you (Meghan Daum) are suffering from residue McCarthyism, or something.’ And I don’t think she liked hearing that. I said to her, ‘I think that you underestimate the sophistication of the younger voter. You underestimate their ability to be able to differentiate between this very positive iconic statement about Obama, from a more totalitarian approach to this kind of imagery.’ I told her that I just honestly didn’t think that she was very graphically sophisticated. She at least included the part that I mentioned about how FDR’s Works Progress Administration, had used a very similar aesthetic. But what I really think this [LA Times article] touches on is the power of paranoia. When fear is associated with anything, it will frequently overpower the positive. So, if Soviet propaganda and Nazi propaganda and that scared you, and then you had the Works Progress Administration stuff next to it, like ten years later, because they knew that the content of the Nazi and Soviet stuff, they were ideologically opposed to it and may remember it more. But I feel that I have the opportunity in a lot of ways to reverse that thinking. This is because good art and good graphics are just good graphics. Everything may have a little bit of cultural baggage, but one thing that made me want to use more of a reductive poster style that is similar to the style of a lot of propaganda posters, is that it is just effective graphics, more so than an ideological

connection to the way that the form has been historically used. There where plenty of Vietnam protest posters that were clearly not having anything to do with Fascist dictators that were rendered in this style. I think that a lot of the younger more sophisticated people are responding super-positively to the image. And it is on Obama’s website. I read something like forty posts and only one out of those forty said it looked like a Russian poster, it was almost all positive. I think that Meghan [LA Times Columnist] was just a little bit paranoid and wanted to put that across. She printed the image, so it is at least not up to people’s imaginations to think that it has fangs and a swastika. The image is there and I think that it speaks for itself. WE: You have been a strong critic of the Bush administration and the wars that have ensued underneath his administration. What movements of justice are you looking to tackle when Obama is president? SF: Hopefully, Obama is president. Well, you guys are making that presumption not me; I don’t like to jinx things. WE: We have to put it out to the universe... SF: Bush has definitely been a great fuel for angry art, but I think that just as big a topic is the environment, and global warming, and fossil fuel consumption. It is not as easy to make art with simplistic metaphors for that stuff, but I think that I have gotten a lot of anti-war stuff out of my system, and hopefully a lot of people have gotten that out of their system, and they are ready for it to be done. That is going to be a topic that can be put on the shelf for a minute if Obama does get elected. A lot of the themes in my work are timeless, which is authority abusing power, and that is going to be true whether Obama is president or Bush is president. I’ll continue to work on pieces with the environment, and disparity in income, and big corporations trying to affect legislation and being in bed with government. I mean, there are so many different things that need to be critiqued. You know a lot of the stuff that I do is about things that I see as positive, like counterculture figures like musicians and people like Noam Chomsky, and celebrating people that have questioned the status-quo and have been thinkers and doers. Then some stuff I just enjoy that has a sense of humor. I’m working on a graphic for a tee shirt right now, it’s a bird on the roof of a barn with a match in his hand and a gas can with a speaker on it. Then the barn says ‘Disco’ on its side and the roof is on fire, and it just says, “ We don’t need no water, let the motherfucker burn.” It’s just like the celebration of life in an irreverent way. I think that is important to me. There are so many things to make art about, that I don’t think who ever is president is going to keep me from having good things to make art about. (Part II in next month’s issue of Wide-E yed)

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By: William Case Beyond death, Bradley Nowell i n s p i r e s . Hi s l i f e was pu r e. The passion and pain that he experienced was expressed through every song that he wrote. A weathered soul, sharing a simple wisdom, apparent and honest, Bradley carried a clear message of hope through his music. He lived and loved at a depth that few people ever know, and his music with Sublime stands in monument to the bottomless faith that Bradley carried on stage. This prophesized truth rings for our youth more clearly now than ever.

With bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh, Sublime turned out music that felt good, never straying from the easy-loving vibe that Bradley radiated. An organic blend of reggae, punk, ska, hip hop, surf, and dance, delivered in both electric and acoustic forms, Sublime released three energetic LPs, selling over 17 million albums to date. While Bradley was a member of Sublime, Sublime was an extension of Bradley. The blood, sweat and tears of his life came pouring through his music. It was a spirit that lived then, just as

it lives now, in the brilliant and ever-present dimension of song. The man was an original in every way, and his raw creativity was the fuel for one of the greatest bands to ever rock the coast of California. W hen 40oz to Freedom was released under Bradley ’s label Skunk Records, the music scene was mostly unaware of Sublime. Th e r e c o r d w a s c l e v e r a n d melodic, but not fully appreciated at the time. They released another full-length album two years later called Robbin’ the Hood. It was a collection of self-produced 4-track recordings and Sublime continued as one of those bands that few

knew. Then, in 1996, just before the release of their self-titled album Sublime, Bradley Nowell passed away - and suddenly everyone saw the light. “ What I Got”, “Santeria”, and “ Wrong Way ” became mainstream hits and Sublime grew to represent the best of Southern California music. Today, kids no older than twelve are skating through Venice Beach, rocking to Sublime, soaking up every single lyric and chord, feeling every heartfelt note, and realizing every shared truth that Bradley provided. Kids know that he is real. They can hear it in his vocals, in his words. People


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see it in YouTube videos and hear it in new tribute albums. Sublime stands as a model for sincere music, in the shape of beautiful melodies and vibrant rhythms, dancing under Bradley’s irreplaceable gift of voice. He is one of very few musicians to carry energy over multiple generations, across all genres and styles, through life and death. Now an icon in many music circles, Bradley is renowned as a d ynam i c vo ca li st a n d marvelously-skilled guitarist. Bradley, as the distinct voice and firm strings to countless jams, was blessed with the gift of

Knowing the hard-knocks of life, and in spite of them, Bradley was compelled to believe in the greater good. By his frequency and his word, he was an honest musician and an honest man. He carried this tone of ultimate confidence, like a superior wisdom, that in the end, no matter what, everything was going to turn out fine, passing an infinite sense of hope through every song that his soul touched. An endless faith in ourselves through music - that was Bradley’s gift to us. Sublime’s music was the epitome of groove and Bradley Nowell was the epicenter. His music was

Illustration By: SK Madder

“Sublime stands as a model for sincere music, in the shape of beautiful melodies and vibrant rhythms, dancing under Bradley’s irreplaceable gift of voice.” rock, sharing some of the most genuine music ever created. In performance, Bradley seized lead in a style that drew the attention of everyone within earshot. He carried a natural groove with the guitar strapped to his chest and the mic-stand in his grill. The man was comfortable in himself and he glowed with the confidence of an angel when he was on stage. As the creative breath and soul of Sublime, Bradley was blessed with a gift that he immediately returned to others through his m us ic. The glory of his life’s work and the bo u n t y f o r h i s legacy is the millions of lives that he has touched.

gripping and his lyrics were truth. Beloved by his fans then, now, and forever, Bradley lived a n d b rea t h e d l i f e i n to e ve ry creation that was ever exposed to his beauty. “If you only knew all the love that I found, it’s hard to keep my soul on the ground.” – Bradley James Nowell, Sublime, “Garden Grove”


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Questioning “Mr. Deity” By: Corey Anton Someone recently recommended to me a series of YouTube videos called Mr. Deity (www. youtube.com/watch?v=Qzf8q9QHfhI ). The videos, basically a set of comic dialogues, open by addressing heady issues like why God, “if all powerful,” allows the existence of evil and human suffering. I only watched the first video, about three and a half minutes, and I feel the need to register a few concerns.

and yet it manages these functions (such as respiration, blood circulation, digestion and metabolism, healing wounds) all simultaneously and without any conscious forethought. Such “mindless wisdom” is the culmination of millions of years of adaptation. We also might benefit from considering how the Stoics understood and talked about the Divine. Divine Providence, for the ancient

First, are we not all sick to death of “God talk” that boils down to a some-bearded-guy-in-thesky scenario? Is this how sophisticated we are as a culture? Why such reductive personifications? Seriously, are the only viable options in today ’s culture a kind of uninspired individualistic atheism or a ridiculous caricature of outdated religious dogma? At the least, too many people act as if disease, sickness, and death disproves all divinity, as if disproving a fantasy (some kind of all-powerful cosmic dude in the heavens who grants eternal life) is proof that all “God talk” is illegitimate. Clearly, once people take the Divine to be some kind of guy, a being, who thought about what he was going to do before he did it when he created the world, they inevitably wonder why God “let such suffering happen.” Couldn’t God have created a world without cancer, or plagues, or earthquakes, or other forms of unjust human suffering? All such questioning, I would argue, is a distraction and it partly guts out the possibility of real spirituality. We ought to be able to begin by admitting, de facto, that the universe somehow had the potential to achieve a most miraculous balance of countless relations. For life to emerge – and especially for self-conscious life to emerge – many dialectical relations need to be balanced, and they could not each have been balanced one at a time. We need heat but not too much heat, light but not too much light, water but not too much water, salt but not too much salt. We might be able to build a car one piece at a time, but a living body never grows or develops in such piecemeal fashion. The total wisdom operating in your body at this very instant would take many, many books to describe,

Stoics, was like the eternality of π, or like Euclidian principles. They saw God as a regulative ideal, a principle of order behind the particulars of the world. π and the “golden section,” for example, characterize the proportionality relations throughout the natural world, including the bones in your hand and body. Eternally registering such form and order, the Divine was therefore likened to the kinds of symmetry and proportionality and harmony

that one finds in music, geometry, and botany. These were taken as evidence of miraculous balances that needed to be achieved and eternally managed. And so, we need not imagine some kind of guy in the sky, we simply need to consider the possibility that life itself emerged only by countless relations that were balanced and harmonized simultaneously. People ought to read Philip Ball’s book, Life’s Matrix: A Biography of Water, to realize how miraculous are the properties of water, the source of life on this planet. Water, for example, is one of the very few fluids to expand when it freezes, and this is because all the molecules align at right angles to each other during the phase change. Such properties were crucial to the development of life and its maintenance underwater. To meditate upon such delicately balanced relations, and all that eternally needs to be harmonized and simultaneously integrated (gravity, heat, light, amount of water, oxygen for the atmosphere), is to give new form to the “supposed” problem of evil. Do you want to know the truth? No one really knows why, but the universe somehow balanced a miraculous number of opposing tensions, and, without death, life wouldn’t have emerged. Furthermore, we need not put an “omnipotent and responsible” Divinity into existence before the universe emerged, as if some grand fellow in the heavens, through conscious forethought, produced a product that now stands independently. Why separate off a creator from all that is? Why not see the universe itself, with all of its precarious balances, as the Divine mystery as well as the product of the mystery? If we can do that, we might actually shift the spiritual question from an adolescent whine, such as, “ Why does God let humans unjustly suffer?” to a more mature and philosophical reflection: “ Why did the Mysterious All That Is, the Divine, allow itself to be subjected to the balancing acts such that place and moments of itself, ‘self-aware’ animals who are caught in endless chains of births and deaths, can emerge and yet yearn for an eternality they cannot have?”


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Wide-Eyed: You grew up in a family that had serious involvement in the custom car scene. This must have had an influence on your design sensibilities. Andy Cruz: My dad was the hot rodder/bad influence. Some of my earliest memories are admiring the red vinyl interior of his ‘56 vette on the way to the babysitter. My father did body work by day and wrenched at home at night. It seems like every aspect of growing up in part had something to do with cars. From the model kits to my first bike that he painted candy-apple red for me, I was fortunate to have this as a foundation. WE: As an east coast kid growing up in the skate and hardcore scenes, could you speak to how the DIY movement has made an impression on your career? AC: Skateboarding was the gateway drug to a lot of the graphics that influence our work. The flyer art of the punk/hardcore scene, zines, etc... they all exposed me to design and illustration before I had any real notion of what graphic design was. WE: Through observing the catalog of House’s material, it is evident that your aesthetic is derived from popular cultural icons. Could you speak to us about the process of deciding which icons become the thematic of your typefaces?   AC: We like to incorporate our hobbies in our work. When creating the Ed “Big Daddy” Roth font collection, we pay tribute to the impact that Roth had on custom car culture. We take it upon ourselves to make small contemporary art history lessons based on some of our favorite sources of inspiration... hopefully this is evident in the presentation of our type collections, from the packaging and collateral that accompany each set. WE: Was your original intent to design fonts? AC: No, we didn’t know shit about fonts or typography in the beginning. We were a design shop that decided that we wanted to be in charge of our creative output, so rather than provide design as a service we needed to provide design as a product. Fonts would be our product. When the Creative Director at Warner Bros. (House’s first font customer) wanted to purchase one of our sets, I don’t think she was aware of the twelve week turn around indicated in the fine print of the contract {laughs}. At that point we had only conceptualized

the letters that made up the name of the font. So that being said, we live and die by our design work. While we have the ability to have freedom in our work, we’ve gotta be able to continue to produce things we like that also pays the bills. Doesn’t always work. WE: Many designers find themselves locked into the digital realm as their primary mode of output. What are the benefits of using traditional tactile mediums when conceptualizing your typefaces?  AC: The reality is most everything we do these days ends up going through or is eventually produced on the machine. We try our best to retain that craft/warmth that you can only get by using pencils and paint... then making sure that our hand work comes through in the final piece. WE: Like the recent Agent Provocateur book… It comes in a pink vellum envelope, with valentine tones, as if you are receiving their product (lingerie). The aesthetic is embedded with the creation of the lettering and identity. AC: We do take on commission jobs, as was the case with Agent Provocateur. They had a nice script logo, and it worked for years. But after all the Victoria’s Secrets of the world started using the same “off the shelf ” font, the folks at Agent asked us to give their mark a make-over to help distinguish the brand from their competitors. In taking on commercial work, unfortunately we have to do the cost analysis; will this gig justify taking us away from developing a product that can be part of our catalog? In this instance we could. There are many other projects we’d would love to work on, but it has to make sense. WE: Could you say you have perfected the marriage of art and commerce? AC: I think I would be on a beach right now talking to you on a satellite phone if that was the case {laughs}. Has anyone really pulled that off ? It’s still fun to come to work knowing that some people dig some stuff we’re producing. WE: Like a refined rock band that gets to pick their studio, producer – on their terms. AC: Yes and no. We have been fortunate enough to have loyal customers who afford us the luxury to do things our way. Rather than remaking our “best album” every time we find that customers have responded to some of our down-tempo numbers. After doing the flashy display-type thing for years, our personal tastes “matured” and we did quite a few geometric san serif fonts. It’s tough but you’ve gotta step outside of the vacuum/studio every once and a while so this stuff doesn’t always look the same. WE: Outside of your crew at House, who are the new pioneers of low-brow, in your opinion? AC: The outsiders who couldn’t care less about getting into a gallery.

Photos by Carlos Alejandro

Wide-Eyed had the privilege to chat with Andy Cruz, co-founder and creative spark at House Industries and House 33. Through House Industries, Cruz’s contribution to the creative landscape is legendary. With accomplishments too abundant to list, look no further than the Vegas logo, Crackhouse type face, and Rat Fink Fonts for examples. Together with the design staff, Cruz’s shared vision of great design and typography is evident in every detail he puts out. 


Saul Williams interview by Benjamin Hunter

Photos by Evan Cohen

Poet, actor, activist, rock star, and emcee; Saul Williams’ talents cover a large terrain of geography on the creative map. His current avatar, Niggy Tardust, lends him the opportunity to examine topics through the voice of another character, and to take advantage of his theatre training (he holds an MFA from NYU’s Graduate School of Drama). He spoke with Benjamin Hunter of Wide-Eyed about his new collaboration with Trent Reznor, his excitement for the upcoming election, his open letter to Oprah Winfrey, and his thoughts on licensing a piece of his music to the Nike Corporation. Saul’s message is pure; he wants to uplift and empower his audience to be conscious of their surroundings, and to instill in them that they can be and are excellent human beings.

Wide-Eyed: You have a background in theatre and an MFA in drama from NYU. Is this one of the driving forces behind your character Niggy Tardust? Saul Williams: Oh, definitely, man. Most of my interest in making music is for the sake of touring and performing. By creating this concept, it helps me better express myself. Putting your experiences in the context of a story, or a character, or what have you, disconnects you from the personal experience. It gives you the context to delineate certain things or to exaggerate certain things. So, yes, my background in theatre has helped in the creation of this particular character, of Niggy Tardust, both in the studio and now on the stage.

That takes someone special, or something special to happen. Being that, I think we were misled after 9-11 to tune into our fears and to become warmongers. We were led to believe these so-called leaders as they actually said out loud that ‘might was right.’ They lied to us and propagated this war to us. I didn’t fall for it, but it’s sad that so many of us did. It’s beautiful that we have an opportunity to shift out of that in a really exciting way, so I am excited about the state of politics in this nation right now.

WE: When you put out the hard copy of this album, will there be more tracks than on your previously released Internet download version? SW: Most definitely, yes. By the way, we just got the release date and that is June 24. There are a few songs that I didn’t decide to put on the original download and I specifically saved them for the release. They are all songs that Trent [Reznor] and I worked on.

same gangsters that rule our nation. 50 Cent and George Bush have the same birthday.’ So the question is: If art reflects and directs mass culture, would you agree that we are due for a paradigm shift as Bush leaves office? SW: Well, definitely. It’s the same paradigm shift that is happening in music right now. There is no real love of, or desire to pump up, the idea of gangsterism right now. In music overall, people are slowly losing interest in the idea of the whole gangster mentality. And it’s the same thing that is happening in politics. People are losing interest in the warmongers and the political gangsters, as well. People want to identify with someone who is a bit more real, and a bit more grounded in their compassionate, giving self.

WE: You have been a strong opponent of the Bush Administration and the wars that have ensued under his leadership. What are your thoughts on American democracy with elections right around the corner? SW: Well, I am really excited with everything that is up in the air right now considering the run for the Presidency. It’s truly exciting times. Between Hillary and Barack, I think that there is a huge opportunity right now that we have to really transform this nation. I’m actually mostly excited about Barack and I’m also excited about all the excitement surrounding him. At the end of the day, there’s that idea that one person can change a country. I think one person can inspire everybody to see their country and themselves as different. That they can behave, respond, and react differently. Really, we make that change, but we have to be inspired to become it.

WE: This leads to another question for you. You wrote an open letter to Oprah Winfrey last year saying, ‘The gangsters that rule hip-hop are the

WE: You have responded to this on your website, but we wanted to go over it in this interview, as well. You recently sold your song ‘List of Demands’ to Nike and there have been mixed reactions from your fans and critics alike. Can you address the criticism you have been receiving? SW: Oh, definitely. I licensed the song ‘List of Demands.’ I think that, overall, a lot of the mixed response has to do with several levels. One, there are a lot of fans who question Nike’s corporate integrity, which, of course, is up to question. I questioned

Nike on that beforehand, before I even encountered them, just because I have a daughter who was interested in me purchasing her Nikes. And for a long time I didn’t support Gap, Nike – a lot of companies I wouldn’t support. But then over the years all of these companies have started addressing the issues, and Nike has done the same thing. You know, now Wal-Mart wants to go green and Home Depot is going green. Nike has this whole campaign of shifting responsibility with their workers and what have you. So aligning themselves with artists like me, I guess it keeps them on their toes because my fans are no joke. They are quick to call me out and especially call [Nike] out. So that is one thing. The other layer of response has to do with the fact that there are a lot of people that have had a very intimate connection with me and have this sense of ‘I knew about him, and a lot of people don’t know about him.’ I kind of like that; there is this sense of an underground, cultish following where you don’t want too many people to know. WE: That indie rock sensibility? SW: Yes, exactly. And that to me was a huge part of the subtext of the response, which to me, in many ways, can be very elitist. Because people would have this sense of like, ‘ You don’t want those people listening to your music, I can’t believe you would let

those people play and listen to your music, those jocks!’ {Laughs} So I’m like, ‘Listen to my music.’ To me, there is one product that any one of my songs or poems sell: it is a heightened sense of self-empowerment. That is what I have always embedded my music with. That’s the trademark. That is the design. If you listen to my stuff you are going to walk away from it hopefully asking questions about the world in which you live in as you nod your head and dance. So for me to be in the background of a sports campaign, it’s perfect and fine for me, because I’d rather have music there that is challenging the listener to think in new ways than something that doesn’t. That has always been the goal. Like I said on my last album in ‘ Talk to Strangers,’ ‘ This ain’t for the underground, this is for the sun.’ And ‘List of Demands’ is a song that is practically written in the voice of the oppressed factory worker. WE: So there is irony in that marriage here. SW: Definitely, but the real test for me was in learning essentially how a ‘fuck you’ from the sideline was not nearly as powerful as saying yes. When I said yes to that, the first thing that came was an invitation to meet the Global Director of Nike. And what came from that meeting was my first opportunity to say, ‘So what’s up with that? What happened in Indonesia? What happened in Vietnam? What are you guys doing there? So

why have you gone this way?’ So all of the ‘He 21 said, she said,’ you know, all that shit, all of a sudden I had a one-on-one opportunity to address these concerns. I can now give them feedback and see all of their campaigning and actually realize what they’re working on, and say, ‘ Wow, that’s awesome, that’s great what you are working on.’ I had it explained to me from every level that it is not, like, only Nike’s factories, but people didn’t realize that it was those countries’ practices. Nike worked in places where they had these practices, and since Nike is one of the only major corporate presences in those places, they had the opportunity to have dialogue with the government to change the laws for the country. They went from being behind in what was happening to being the leaders in making the changes of not only how Nike does business, but just about any corporation that does business outside of America. So it was a really huge learning experience for me, and a step up, I guess, from just being the guy that says ‘fuck you’ from the sidelines, which would get me nowhere, which would get me no new information, which would create no change in action. I think that a lot of the socalled rebellion gets chalked up as apathy a lot of the time, in my book. It’s not as powerful to say, ‘fuck you,’ sometimes, as it is to try to find the path towards dialogue. So I ended up learning a lot. I tell you this, and this is the cool thing about Myspace,

because it allows me to put a face with – you know how you said there was a lot of dissent among fans. Well, I noticed this: 98 percent of people who were like, ‘ What the fuck are you doing, sellout?’: white male. And the people who were like, ‘ Yo, I saw your stuff in there and I heard your song on TV, and it made my fucking day, this is amazing!’: black Americans. I don’t know what that means. WE: I just interpret it as you have fans who aren’t true fans anyhow, and they are just jumping on the bandwagon with their mall-boy, fake-ass bullshit. SW: I don’t think that it has to do with fans. I just think that we have to upgrade our understanding of truly what it is to sell-out or to strategize a greater plan. To not be so selfish with our ideals and values as to think that. Okay, let’s be realistic. The fact of the matter is, a corporation of that size in this day and age, that’s so grounded in sports and what have you, they are not going anywhere. So it is actually really important that we make them change their ways. It’s not realistic for us to drive them out of business. What was really funny is that a lot of those kids who are walking around saying, ‘Fuck Nike,’ are walking around wearing Converse, not realizing that Nike owns Converse {Laughs}. (concluded on page 31)


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motivator has become the pursuit of wealth. The earlier, the better, right? Gotta’ get a jump on those retirement mutual funds, you know? We have been trained to make decisions solely on the economic return and we put off really enjoying life until we retire.

Culture Capitalism

We all know an older person, maybe a parent, who has tried to steer you toward a career because of the money you could make. Sometimes this person may even criticize your choice of study because, “ What are you going to do after you graduate?” These old folks speak of the wisdom of realism, and laugh at your idealism. We have been trained to follow a path toward the land of satisfactory salaries so that we can afford stuff that we pretend will produce a desirable

By: Nikos Monoyios

In 1905, Max Weber argued in his book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, that capitalism was inadvertently spawned by Protestant values. He surmised that an individual ethic of hard work and frugality that facilitates the pursuit of wealth is done in God’s glory and is morally and spiritually uplifting. These Protestant values argue that, to use the parlance of our times, “busting your ass” for economic gain was the only recipe toward heavenly salvation. It’s important to remember that in those days, obtaining wealth had a stronger correlation with hard work than it necessarily does now. The infancy of capitalism was not yet corrupted by a societal addiction to getting rich. Of course, in today’s world, this addiction is rampant, and perhaps has become the new American pastime. During the 20th century, capitalism quickly convoluted society into a consumer orgy, promoting individualism and materialistic gratification. Furthermore, the explosion of mass media in the mid-20th century exponentially increased our insatiable appetite for consumption, broadcasting a constant array of information on consumables through the airwaves.

Consequently, consumers become gluttonous and blind to this hunger. After all, this is the ‘American Way’, right? This current state of capitalism has displaced its founding ethic of hard work with making more money easily. This has become a new definition of our American culture – and it’s dangerous. Capitalism reinforces competition, individualism, and economically outdoing your neighbor. Culture reinforces homogeny, community, and socially identifying with your neighbor. Capitalism and the cultivation of social values are inherently on opposite ends of society’s spectrum. Our pursuit of wealth has taken precedence over our culture to the point where the actual pursuit of wealth in and of itself has become culture. Magazines, television broadcasts, and radio shows have dedicated a lot of resources toward the art of obtaining wealth. Social traditions and the perseverance of heritage are becoming more challenging tasks. The values have become displaced by the pursuit of wealth as we try to discover our American Dream. This dream that we hold dear to our hearts has been masked by retiring such virtues as freedom and hard work. The new American way is to amass wealth

Our nationality no longer has much to do with culture, tradition, or heritage. We even go as far as to romanticize the culture, traditions, and heritage of other countries that we take vacations to. with a smile, no matter if it’s fake or real. Our nationality no longer has much to do with culture, tradition, or heritage. We even go as far as to romanticize the culture, traditions, and heritage of other countries that we take vacations to. Could we ever fathom the idea that we could champion and celebrate our culture like these foreign countries do? Our culture is spotted with some vague tradition and heritage, but there is no true societal glue that we all can relate to and identify with because our society does not reinforce the value of it. This will continue as we push our youth to choose a career path earlier and earlier in order to get a jump on their peers. Do 17-year-olds really have any clue about who they are, what they are all about, or what profession they want to pursue? Hell, no. However, we don’t question this as a society because the primary

quality of life, while believing we’re only supposed to tolerate what we spend our working hours doing... and then do it again tomorrow. It is the accumulation of stuff and status that has taken over our culture. We relate to material goods and economic success, and allow these characteristics to define who we are because this is all we have left. We’ve grown lonelier, unhappier and more isolated from each other, left with dollar signs in our eyes, with nothing left in our souls. However, since this societal consciousness has manifested itself, a subconscious recognition of community and brotherhood is being discovered. Social capital is finally being valued with more potency. People, places, and ideals are becoming the new heartbeat of America and questioning these values of yesterday is giving birth to a new cultural horizon.


23

Birds of Avalon interview by Ben Klebba

The Birds Of Avalon make me wish I still owned my truck. They weave a sound that’s downright massive, with dueling Les Paul guitars ricocheting in tandem, strutting next to an unbeatable rhythm section as the vocals “drive a knife into the sun.” Damn! How is that NOT road trip material? Then to have my old truck blasting Birds Of Avalon – don’t get me wrong, with BOA, any vehicle will do – but my old truck? Shit! The debut from Birds Of Avalon, Bazaar Bazaar, was one of the best albums of 2007, and one of the best guitar rock albums for many years. Melding dynamic riffs with instrumental passages that never stray too far, the simultaneous twin guitar leads shred. The lyrics are like surrealist images hanging next to drifting constellations coming from the honey-coated pipes of Craig Tiley. And this is all done in service of the song. Birds Of Avalon toured, opening for the Flaming Lips and Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, and then released an inspiring new EP Outer Upper Inner in March. Now, BOA tour again, with the likes of The Raconteurs, and Mudhoney. Benjamin Klebba of Wide-Eyed recently spoke with husband/wife guitar duo Cheetie Kumar and Paul Siler at the East End in Portland, OR. They’re married, and they absolutely rip on guitar.

CK:Yeah, we’re watching CSI and one of us will be like ‘Hey, that’s cool,’ and we’ll just start working on that. We never know who did it, you know? WE: Your interplay is awesome, the guitar parts are amazing, the whole band rules… playing off each other. CK: {interrupts} You are really gonna jinx our show. You know that, right? {laughs} WE: I’ve never seen you guys live – I can’t wait. It’s really good to hear guitar rock done well, not as butt rock, but really intelligently. PS: Guitar rock done in a non-cheesy way. That’s the goal. It shouldn’t be cheesy. At some point classic rock or whatever just got this machismo that doesn’t really need to

Wide-Eyed: So you guys were in a band called the Cherry Valence when you met? Cheetie Kumar: We’ve known each other since, like, the 1840’s. Yeah, it was right before the civil war and we were on the same team... WE: The good team. CK: Yeah, the winning team. {laughs} So, yeah, and then after the industrial revolution it seemed like a good time to start playing guitar. So… {laughs} But no, we’ve been together and known each other since way before The Cherry Valence. And we toured a lot with that band, and it [The Cherry Valence] just kind of ran its course. So we sort of stepped aside and started this. WE: With the two of you being together, how’s your creative process work within the band? Do you say, ‘Lasagna… jam in the basement... Now let’s take these riffs to the band…’ – How does it work? Paul Siler: The songwriting is pretty {pauses} democratic. CK: Well, I think as far as the couple thing goes, we definitely will have guitar parts, and you know, sometimes lasagna is involved, and after dinner things. But it’s not any sort of clear cut thing. Sometimes we’ll have one part, we’ll go to the practice space, and we’ll hammer it out. Sometimes it works out great, and then other times it’s like it goes from point A to point Z in two hours and it’s completely changed. So, sometimes we’ll have this idea of a cool guitar part and it’ll turn into some song that

WE: You brought up something here, and I’ve got to ask - and I know that everyone has probably asked you about this - but, a bunch of press about the band says, ‘They sound like Led Zeppelin, and Thin Lizzy, and the Beatles, and Black Sabbath.’ And OK, I get that, but how do you feel about the whole retro rock tag? It’s being thrown about quite a bit lately, and obviously you listen to tons of other stuff. PS: I mean, I don’t know. Some people seem to get that we’re not trying to do that. CK: Tha t ’s j u s t a l l we k n o w h o w to d o. {laughter} PS: I mean, there’s music in the ‘60s, and music in the ‘70s, and music in the ‘80s, whether it was the late-‘60s Stones, or mid-‘70s Aerosmith, or… CK: …or the late-‘70s krautrock, or David Bowie… PS: …or Big Star. Big Star’s guitar interplay is awesome! You know, it’s like it doesn’t just have to be the Zeppelin or the Thin Lizzy side, though obviously we like the stuff. I think it’s just so easy to just notice that part of it. But I think neither one of us care about having four minute blues-based guitar-hero solo things. It’s more about just being part of the song. CK: Also, we don’t know how to do that. We’re not good enough to do that anyway. {laughter} WE: The new EP is all done by Mitch Easter, producer for early REM and Wilco. It was pretty exciting, huh? CK – Yeah, it was so, so fun

we never envisioned, and then sometimes it’s like something will start at practice and we’ll come home and sort of tweak it out a little bit. I think the biggest advantage is that we live together and we can say things that maybe people who aren’t as close as we are can’t say to each other. PS: It doesn’t have to be planned like, ‘Hey, can we get together on Friday and work on our guitar parts,’ we can just do it, you know? I mean, I wish we could do it more often than we do, but still it’s a lot easier than if it was another person that you don’t live with, or has another life.

be there. We like guitar rock, but we like all kinds of stuff. But we just like for it [guitar rock] to not be in your face. CK: Well, I think guitar rock as a genre just became ubiquitous with this jock/ sports FM radio type thing. There’s cheesy reggae and there’s amazing reggae, there’s cheesy new wave and really good new wave. So, I think that really the symbol of the guitar is just macho - a tall, strapping sex symbol who’s really full of himself and making lots of money. PS: That’s me. {laughter}

WE: The whole thing was recorded to half-inch four-track. Do you guys want to talk about that a little bit? PS: Cheetie can talk about it. Cheetie and Mitch - it was really their baby. CK: It was kind of spontaneous. We recorded a lot of Bazaar Bazaar and mixed the whole thing with him, and we’re all really good friends anyway. So he went to some music engineering conference and Joe Boyd (who recorded the first Pink Floyd single) was there talking about four-track recorders. And Mitch has so many tape machines and he’s had these two four-tracks for a long time, and I think he was just really anxious to see if they worked. Then, he just sent me an e-mail and said, ‘ You guys would be the perfect band to experiment on.’ We were (concluded on page 31)


24

Es Tiempo

Thrice

De Novo Dahl

Animal Collective

The Alchemy Index Vol. III & IV: Air & Earth

Water Curses

Crammed Discs

Vagrant

Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound Roadrunner Records

Domino

Upon first listening to Allá, Sergio Mendez and all it’s little subtle nuances comes immediately to mind. Allá has a rolling, lilting effervescence to their music as well, a little less on the “holy crap i opened up a can of worms” effect, and maybe a little more of a “hey we definitely have the relaxed latin vibe”. I hear a great segue from “La Montana Sagrada” into a very Torotoise-esque drum intro which then throws a surprising bit of rap from a second male vocalist that adds an unexpected touch to the song. To pull off a clean-floating-in-theatmosphere with a hint of what stars and meteors might sound like if they were muffled by your space helmet effect, there has to be an almost pure and flawless sound. Allá executes this brilliantly. -Liz Viernes

When a band sets out on a creative adventure like Thrice has, by attempting to record an EP for each of the four elements, an open mind goes a long way. Like Fire, off last year’s Vols. I & II, Air, more closely resembles Thrice’s previous material, with tons of fast guitar runs “The Sky Is Falling” and mythological references “Daedalus”. Unlike Fire, Air has more softness, alluding to its counterpart with the naturalistic “As The Crow Flies.” Earth’s the heavier of the two, despite its acoustic instrumentation. Of the four Alchemy discs, it has the most depth, heading down the dusty trail with shuffling-feet piano-blues “Digging My Own Grave” and a gritty sense of purpose “Come All You Weary”. – Eric Mitts

The album builds like a rewarding relationship, with each song bringing the listener to a new and exciting climax. Diverse song-sculpting and well-timed breaks push the pace patiently as the varied rhythms and textured guitars deliver a musical tapestry tailored like Bowie in polyester and suede. Layered choruses and dynamic lyrics fully develop the soundscapes over the crafted rock structures leaving brilliantly total compositions. A description like modern indie rock married with late-70s disco-tech falls short as the heart of the album pumps with an enormous and genuine love of musical expression that could only come from an original. The music gliding like a self-made, self-realized rock babe in rollerskates and shades, I fell hard at first listen and told the album that I love it. - William Case

Water Curses, Animal Collective’s EP and follow up to Strawberry Jam, consists of four tracks that refuse to have much in common with Strawberry Jam at all, and in fact, sound more like 2005’s release, Feels. The title track is fast, over-populated with sound effects, a mash-up of octaves, time signature changes and scattered vocals. The other three are less frantic and more ethereal. “Street Flash” is the longest track, running seven mellow minutes of alien soundscape with uncharacteristic and unexpected crescendos. “Seal Everything” is a dreamy and slow, with definitive piano driving hesitant synth chords to a soft finish. There are a lot of beautiful moments in this brief collection, proving that Animal Collective is still one of the strangest and versatile bands around. – Juliet Bennett-Rylah

Allá

Mountain Battles

Hold On Now, Youngster…

Los Campesinos!

No Age Nouns

Last Night

4AD

Arts & Crafts

Sub Pop

Mute

The best thing I can say about Mountain Battles, The Breeders fourth LP, is that it barely resembles anything in the band’s back catalogue – not the confused half-sketches that made up the underachieving Title TK, nor the glistening pop perfection of Last Splash. This record gives you bubble-punk “It’s The Love”, gorgeous drawl “We’re Gonna Rise”, Latin lingo “Regalame Esta Noche” and noisy dub-folk “Bang On” without seeming difficult or over-wrought – an amazing achievement. Kim Deal’s songwriting sounds as brave and confident as ever and her bandmates devour the opportunity to branch out. Last Splash may go down as the band’s pinnacle, and rightly so, but this record certainly qualifies them as more than just a one-hit ‘90s relic. –Andrew Watson

This Welsh outfit, made up of Cardiff University dropouts, supersedes its lack of technique with a heaping supply of exuberance and a level of enthusiasm that is a joy to behold. Los Campesinos! treat songs like junk art, compiling loud, youthful arrangements out of whatever instrument happens to be lying around the flat. Lyrically, the group is incredibly and stupidly blunt; alas, there is nothing here that would pass for honesty or enlightenment. Keep walking, you fans of poetic, revealing verse! That said, most of these songs sound great coming out of your speakers at loud volume, and, really, when you get down to it, what else matters? –Andrew Watson

No Age’s latest disc, and first studio album, Nouns, is beautiful, terrible noise. Though there are only two of them – that is guitarist Randy Randall and vocalist/drummer Dean Spunt – they manage to create a wall of solid sound, the whole album through, sampling upon samplings to amass twelve diverse tracks. Sometimes crushing, thrashing guitar and pounding drums, sometimes fun, rough and insistent, and other times slow, swelling crests of the strange and surreal. They are minimalists, but their sound is full. Distortion is heavy, but every piece of this monster collage comes through. They are underground, musically speaking, but their sound is subterranean. This album will make your heart pump to the tempo of its choosing – it’s some of the best aural sex you’ve yet to experience. -Juliet Bennett-Rylah

Those who have already spent plenty of nights with Moby will be more likely to be moved by his concept album about a night out in New York City. Tracks like “Everyday It’s 1989” sound lifted from his early ‘90s, rave-ready days. Fans will find his familiar piano parts all over the somewhat modernized beats, but won’t find any of the rock star inklings from his last few records. There isn’t a track featuring Moby’s vocals, as he allows a deluge of disco divas and a handful of hip-hop guests to control the mic. Behind the scenes, Moby does what he does best, counterbalancing the energetic electronica of the disc’s first half with a complementary comedown, laying on the new-agey synths and strings that made his music ubiquitous. –Eric Mitts

The Breeders

Moby


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The Raconteurs

Walter Meego

Sun Kil Moon

Death Cab For Cutie

Warner Brothers

Almost Gold

Caldo Verde

Atlantic

God, I fucking love Jack White. I know I’m one of a million likeminded dorks when it comes to my feelings about this guy, The White Stripes, the whole garage-blues revival… but I swear there is something about White’s music that we all will be talking about years from now, long after he’s hung up his red pants and his cheap K-mart guitar. The Raconteurs might be nothing more than a big-budget side-project for White, but the music they produce is as ferocious and drastically relevant as anything else you’ll find on the shelf at Best Buy. Consolers Of The Lonely is nothing short of goddamn brilliant. I’ll be listening to this stuff forever. –Andrew Watson

As if deep in the vein of the ‘80s feel-good synthesizer explosion, Voyager by Walter Meego injects electronic pop lovers from every generation with a smile. Sometimes wandering and psychedelic, other times bottled and cured, these supersonic jams cry for a smoky club with happily bouncing heads, crawling wall-images, and slow strobes. When curiosity, eagerness, and experimentation collide, strange and wonderful music can occur. On Voyager, the steady beats and ear-catching audio patchworks stimulate both physical and emotional activity, while the poppy lyrics sit kindly over the diversity of laser-sharp synth sounds. The album is loaded with high-grade songs, but “In My Dreams” and “Girls” should be monster hits that leave listeners faded with delight. All it took was one rip to know that Voyager by Walter Meego is dope. -William Case

Mark Kozelek released the brilliant Ghosts of the Great Highway 5 years ago, a lifetime for most pop singers, but initial spins of his latest album, April, would lead you to believe that not much has changed in the former Red House Painter’s worldview. Opening track “Lost Verses” is 10 minutes of heavenly sorrow, Kozelek’s flat and weary vocal balancing expertly atop a simple, perfect guitar progression before finally giving way to a cranky instrumental outro. Neil Young is an obvious touchstone, but Kozelek specializes in much more personal tomes. Memories, forgotten feelings and profound sadness dominate these songs, yet one never gets the sense that Kozelek is entirely alone. A gorgeous and remarkable effort. –Andrew Watson

On any other album, “Bixby Canyon Bridge” would be a big, bombastic beginning. Yet on the slow climb of Death Cab For Cutie’s sixth album, it’s just a teaser – a false, if not fantastic, prelude to monumental single “I Will Possess Your Heart.” With their last album, 2005’s Plans, the emphasis rested mostly on frontman Ben Gibbard’s indie-pop songcraft. This time the band emerges in full, each member playing with gorgeous confidence. Just listen to the way “Heart” opens up, creating this obsessive sense of need in its relentlessly looming groove. More transcendent than 2003’s revered Transatlanticism, the band locks together better than ever on Stairs, even on such short bursts of catchiness as “No Sunlight” and “You Can Do Better Than Me.” –Eric Mitts

Consolers of the Lonely

Voyager

April

Narrow Stairs

Colin Meloy Sings Live!

With Arrows, With Poise

The Myriad

El Perro Del Mar

Tapes ‘N Tapes

Kill Rock Stars

Koch

The Control Group

XL

As leader of the medieval folk rock outfit the Decemberists and avatar of all things literate and precious, Colin Meloy’s choice of employer is especially fitting. He may not want to kill rock stars, but his rabid fanbase and near universal acclaim may render the prototypical rock star passé. Fans of Meloy’s work will fawn over acoustic versions of classic Decemberists material as well as unreleased tracks like “Wonder” and “Devils Elbow,” the former an unreleased number and the latter written for Meloy’s first band, Tarkio. Hidden amongst the trees are snippets of beloved pop gems by groups like the Smiths, R.E.M. and Fleetwood Mac. Not the best introduction to Meloy’s canon, but a must-own for serious followers. –Andrew Watson

Despite the array of influences The Myriad might claim, even they can’t deny they sound like an American Radiohead. While young, and most definitely a product of the post-post-punk period of disco-revival dance-rock, the Seattle band brings together several of the atmospheric, streamlined elements of Radiohead’s earlier records. On “Forget What You Came For” they layer searing stabs of electric guitar over a steadily strumming acoustic, more or less reinventing “Paranoid Android,” and throughout vocalist Jeremy Edwardson reaches for Thom Yorke’s soaring spirit “Braver Than The Rest”. With the hushed pulse of “Throwing Punches” and the wondrous “Holiest of Thieves” ironically not stealing a thing, the band shows potential for earning their own place at the end of the rainbow. –Eric Mitts

This whimsical ethereal album respectfully nods at Stereolabs’ aesthetics as well as ‘twee pop’ sweetness. I can almost hear the happy thoughts being chanted in my head in a lulling voice that somehow fully capitalizes on my open mind to deposit its wares. Luckily on The Valley to the Stars, they repeat a distinctly positive mantra, even ones you never really gave a thought to, like “The Sun Being an Old Friend”. This one really makes you feel like you stumbled on Stonehenge and there just so happened to be a naked dance-off. I felt my body resist a little bit at first but when you give in, you really get the full relaxing effect, and ‘Jubilee’ gets you started on a magical trail that begins with you dancing up a mountainside wearing funny animal masks and finishing with a big hug from the Wicker Man. -Liz Viernes

Colin Meloy

The Valley To The Stars

Walk It Off

I was maybe the only rock crit guy who missed Tapes ‘N Tapes’ debut record when it first came around. Sure, I noticed all the drooling write-ups, and maybe I was a bit curious about the buzz, but for one reason or another I skipped it. As I now become familiar with said debut, The Loon, I feel oddly indifferent towards it, a shabby indie rock grab-bag at best with the requisite nods to Pavement, Built to Spill, Pixies, etc., etc. Heard it before from, I don’t know, 500 other bands? Their follow-up is a cleaner, fancier version of the same, mostly due to producer Dave Fridmann’s heavy touch. In other words, yawn. –Andrew Watson


26

Locals Only Neighborhood Favorites

*See our Free Tee Promotion on Page 26

Blonde

Hama Restaurant

2430 Main St, Santa Monica

213 Windward Ave, Venice

Phone: (310) 396-9113 • Web: blondela.com

Phone: (310) 396-8783 • Web: hamasushi.com

An expansive boutique, Blonde has everything the female clothing consumer could want. Designer choices in every vein, Blonde has a chic and stylish array of choices for every level of formality and for every piece of an ensemble.

Hama Restaurant has more than just the rogue gallery of mainstream sushis. They feature a vast and innovative menu, including eyebrow raising combinations and sakes, putting them above the rest. An informal atmosphere appeals to a diverse clientele, from celebrities to regulars, from sushi experimentalists to connoisseurs.

Fly Or Die Gallery

Nine Star

10958 Weyburn Avenue, LA

1103 Olympic Blvd, LA

Phone: (323) 428-4368 Web: myspace.com/flyordiegallery

Phone: (310) 477-3999 • Web: 9star.com

Fly Or Die is a new streetwear company with styles deeply rooted in and inspired by custom sneakers, fixed-gear bikes, and Japanese pop-culture. In December 2007, president and head designer, Lord Ceniza, opened the flagship store in the heart of Westwood Village by the UCLA campus. In addition, the gallery carries limited edition sneakers and artwork celebrating urban life.

El Compadre

On the corner of Olympic & Sepulveda  in Los Angeles lies the one stop shop for any Surf Skate Snow or BMX junkie on the west side. Nine Star stocks everything for or about action sports. Including a stellar selection of clothing from the likes of RVCA, LRG, Quiksilver and Obey. Come to shop, get your snowboard tuned or just hang out. They have a full service shop, video game lounge and a full on half pipe in the parking lot!

C&O Trattoria

7408 W. Sunset Blvd, LA

31 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey

Phone: (323) 874-7924

Phone: (310) 823-9491 • Web: cotrattoria.com

Quality Mexican cuisine, live music, a bustling party scene and the Flaming Margarita are all staples of El Compadre.  With both traditional and more experimental Mexican offerings, El Compadre is never boring. El Compadre has flavor in food, décor and atmosphere alike.

C&O Trattoria prides itself on generous portions and rich Italian dishes, stating that “people generally don’t leave here hungry.”An optional garden patio, nightly sing-a-longs and signature cultural cuisine like Killer Garlic Rolls, Calamari Fritti and pastas of all mixes and blends combine for a true experience.

Rocker Board Shop 12204 Venice Blvd, LA

Phone: (310) 397-8300 • myspace.com/rockerboardshop

RBS specializes in gear for women while representing a large assortment of board shorts, wetsuits, rashguards, tees and flip flops for the men. You’ll definitely want to check out the surfboard selection from Guy Okazaki, Scott Anderson, GSI’s sick line of Merrick designed Anacapa boards and skateboards from the local boys at Arbor, Loaded and Juicebox plus knockout decks from Pura Gallo as well.

Re-Mix Classica Vintage Footwear 7605 1/2 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles Phone: (323)936-6210 Web: remixvintageshoes.com Re-Mix is a true vintage store, with a special twist. Re-Mix offers unused, never-worn shoes that smack of the 1920s through the 1960s. Authentic reproduction and true treasures, Re-Mix offers men and women alike quality retro footwear from pumps to wingtips to saddles shoes to loafers.

M Fredric & CO 11677 San Vicente Blvd #214, LA Ph: (310) 207-3438

2302 S. Sepulveda Blvdz, LA Ph: (310) 477-3006

16101 Ventura Blvd, Encino Ph: (818) 990-0445

A fashion retail company with heart, M Fredric provides sophisticated clothing for Women, Men and Kids, while also paying attention to charity and community. For 26 years, they’ve been a popular source for professional stylists, and casual consumers alike.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery 1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica

Phone: (310) 395-8279 • Web: baycitiesitaliandeli.com

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery operates as both fully-stocked grocer specializing in all the Italian delights one could ever desire, as well as a deli with a healthy bounty of thick sandwiches, hoagies, baked goods and treats. With emphasis on quality, variety and freshness, Bay Cities’ become extremely popular.


C

“SMILE” the brand new full-length studio album

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

smile

from the masters of darkness and light... The Boris brush paints deeply intense blistering psychedlia, mammoth hooks, innovative songwriting, and a reinvention of dark heaviness. Features collaborative guests: Michio Kurihara (Ghost, White Heaven) & Stephen O’Malley (sunnO))), KTL)

...you put up your umbrella, and SMILE! will be available on CD/2xLP and download (iTunes etc.) sunn92


28

By: William Case

relative, at best. In 2005, Stephen Colbert propagated the term ‘truthiness’ as a satirical response to the notion of random, perception-based ‘truth.’ He later used the term to describe Wikipedia and the ‘wikiality’ he defined as, “the reality we can all agree on – the reality we just agreed on.” The ‘truth’ communicated in a ‘wiki’ system will always be up for questioning, simply because the words that we use to convey our concepts are not interpreted the same universally. In ‘truth’, some words don’t even make it around the block.

How many clicks, sites, links and

bytes does it take to get to the center of a cyberspace ‘truth’? Stick it in a ‘wiki.’ Not the whole phrase, just key words. ‘ Wiki’ worlds BIG and hungry will spit out something nasty if we are careless with language. Check the search results for utility, some ‘truth’ to sway our cyber-mining, wide-eye. Or perhaps the lies are more interesting, and opportunity for conflict most useful. Inherently, useful dialogue is an exchange of known and unknown components. As both an element and consequence of communication, conflict is natural, even necessary. The social forces that restrict and inhibit interpretation of the ‘truth’ are active, and ultimately, our sense of the ‘truth’ might depend upon our willingness to be an openminded communicator, and a positive member of the dialogue. Differences can be embraced as opportunity to engage and rearrange our understanding, stimulating conflict with resolution, and further community growth. If our ‘truth’ is a result of basic communication, we can create a collective awareness that evolves as we grow in our understanding of ourselves. Forces that define our ‘truth’ are rooted in conflict, conscious and unconscious, personal and social, through passive and aggressive expression. We are bound to engage tools that sort and resolve confrontations, and these developments define us, becoming the body of ourselves as a society, and our understanding of what we know to be ‘truth.’ War, law, science, literature, and pop culture, communicated and recorded via various technologies and media, collapse space and time into a digital here and now. Infinite communication through shared databases, incorporating an enormous range of expression and comprehension, the Internet has created new digital communities, new conflict, and new opportunities to build resolution. In randomly woven ‘wiki’ worlds, some strange ‘truth’ emerges. ‘ Wiki’ communities exist in all types of digital realms. Espousing the ideal of freedom in communal knowledge-building, Wikipedia is the best known ‘wiki,’ with millions of articles, factoids, data sets, and resources, contributed by countless well-meaning ‘wiki’ users. Wikipedia develops under steady criticism, representing approval from the ‘wiki’ community. The belief is that the more people that contribute, the healthier the ‘truth,’ evolving through conflict, resolution, and the forces of content selection. Under

Harnessed and developed in some large ‘wiki’ systems, a sloppy, broad ‘wiki-truth’ emerges that is widely accepted and open for scrutiny, but often presented in a quick, sound-bite manner. Consensus is not a substitute for ‘truth,’ and under the umbrella of ‘wiki’ approval, sources are lost, facts are glossed, and poetry gets tossed. ‘ Wiki’ communities are subject to the same conflicting forces that drive, constrict, and mangle the ‘truth’ in any community, and the hyperactive ‘wiki’ world can sometimes border on schizophrenia.

impressions of specialized and general contributors, the ‘wiki’ changes, as do the elements of its existence, redefining and recreating the community, documented digitally for as long as the contribution is accepted as ‘truth.’ If ‘ wiki’ users and administrators are not offended, the ‘truth’ will remain intact. An aspect of the well-documented digital divide is the limited population that is capable of participating online. A limitation in skilled computer users is a cap on the community capable of investing in a particular ‘wiki.’. Not everyone has physical access, and it seems even fewer have the knowledge to utilize and contribute ‘truth’ to a ‘wiki.’ Resource and informational gaps prevent a totally inclusive ‘ wiki’ system, and though we continue to make strides providing tech-knowledge and resources to everyone, it is silly to expect a fully inclusive ‘wiki’ system. We all weren’t meant to be on the same page anyway… literally. Beyond base conflicts in access, knowledge, and contribution, cultural differences will always remain as a point of dispute. In general, different cultures uphold different values in collective interests. Specifically, Western cultures tend toward

a more individualistic sense of self, a more independent approach to satisfying wants and needs, and this sense of being is not easily reconciled with the ‘wiki’ community ideals of collaborative knowledge and consensus ‘truth.’ Some people in Western culture tend to claim ownership over ‘truth,’ as if it were theirs to defend, embracing ‘truth’ to the point of feeling personally offended when someone dares to think differently. While this frame of thinking may be useful in building knowledge and ego for an individual, it often fails to reconcile the needs of a greater community. Differences in mental and emotional understanding will always contribute to natural discord. But how is the value of a individuals contribution ultimately measured by those with the ability to support or dismiss it on a whim? The pursuit of understanding in a ‘wiki’ system gets more convoluted when we begin to consider linguistic conflicts. Language is gooey, and language across cultures can be downright sticky. Even word choice and language style can be changed and rearranged, back and forth, in a linguistic ‘wiki’ war. ‘ Truth’ is elusive when we attempt to share it with words. Language we ascribe to ‘truth’ is abstract, often vague, and the metaphors we design to relate ‘truth’ are

As we engage in the endless shoving match, pushing and pulling ourselves through inter-related concepts, seeking basis by which understanding can be forged. Our vast differences will require us to build bridges that make resolution possible. Continued interaction stimulates further dialogue and further opportunity for conflict. In communication with people unlike ourselves, we become compelled to find common ground that allows for a sense of understanding to develop, then a relationship, and a greater sense of connection. Laughs and smiles, love and hope, progress and change, are all expressions of ‘truth’ that transcend universally. Ultimately, if ‘wiki’ systems are to be a tool of human ‘truth’, we must include expressions that are irrational, illogical and filled with poetic possibility. Sometimes a ‘truth’ in a ‘wiki’ is not enough. In the wisdom of yogi Sat Daya, “This pursuit of absolute truth in knowledge is, in a sense, an avoidance, because the only way that truth can be known is intuitively. In this culture we have allowed the mind to become the definition of us, instead of a tool of us. While we cannot know the truth, we can glimpse it. We can be quiet and sense this truth, and live this truth, instead of reaching for something that is right there in front of you.”


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Epicurean Delight By: Wes Eaton The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341 – 270 B.C.) said, “ We cannot live pleasurably without living prudently, gracefully, and justly; and we cannot live prudently gracefully, and justly, without living pleasurably.” Interestingly enough, the man was talking about food and drink. His philosophy, Epicureanism, sought to admonish the pain accompanying a mortal life with pleasure and happiness derived from sensory experiences and friendships. He also talked about abstaining from sex, but that has sort of fallen from the record in my book. Modern Epicureans are simply people who enjoy good food, wine and beer. However, culturing an appreciative palate involves more than just the appreciation of creative eating and sipping; for as Epicurus himself noted, pleasurable partaking is inseparably intertwined with the ideals of justice, grace and prudence. Quite contrary to those ideals, what we Americans actually consume is such a confusing mess even food experts such as author Michael Pollan can’t trace how modern meals make it to our plates. Like many, I was weaned on dry, bland burgers, Kraft Mac & Cheese, fountain soda pops and eventually yellow, fizzy beers and legless Chardonnays, completely unaware of how the food and drink our family purchased was raised, g r o w n , produced or transported to the local grocery store we bought it from. The re ’s something grossly wrong with not on l y t h e ea t ing and drinking choices many of us make, but also with how our food in general is produced, distributed, advertised and prepared. How imprudent! Some personal life experiences helped start a change in my eating ideals: heart illnesses and lactose intolerance in my family, Ebola and e coli in the news, nationwide rampant obesity and the constant rise of food and fuel costs dissolved my temperate ignorance of not only my meal choices but also our culture’s collective diet. You are what you eat, even if you don’t know what it is you’re eating. We are now slowly waking up from this Blue Light Special, fast food, toxin-induced slumber while everything around still says to chill-out and eat another double cheeseburger. But hey, it’s a capitalist economy, you know? Big fish eats the little one. Budweiser has budgeted $35 million alone to advertise for the forthcoming Bud Lite Lime! How could we resist? Profit has been the purpose,

not the production of healthy and ecologically sustainable products, and certainly not prudent, just, or graceful food. However, as the Epicurean awakes in more and more of us eaters and drinkers, things are beginning to change. Unhealthy and downright dangerous foods are increasingly under the wide eye of discriminative consumers and, as always, we’re ready for next new and better thing. We are dynamic beings. Our taste changes and preferences shift. For most of us lucky Americans, there’s a lot to choose from when it comes to quenching our thirst and satisfying our hunger. Unlike my dog, who rolls and shakes with pleasure every morning for the same cup of Eukanuba, I scratch my head and rub my belly thinking, “bacon, oatmeal, venison tenderloin and onions, rice and raisons, or Carnation Instant Breakfast…” Lots to consider there, but eventually we all decide and eat. Economics plays a big part in this decision. To be an epicurean today is to base the decision of

who and what to support with our daily purchases on more than just self satisfaction and personal pleasure. An Epicurean recognizes that personal health, sustainable food and beverage production and the enjoyment of intriguing and well-prepared food and drinks are all things interconnected in the local and national economy. Do I want to stop at the local bakery this morning, or try the new Wendy’s breakfast chicken biscuit? Did I know there was a local bakery? Can I resist the billboard staring at me through the window? We all hold dear our personal freedom of choice and individual preference, but making decisions of this sort is kind of like casting a vote. Who is getting my money and what are they going to do with it? Actually, my mouth probably wouldn’t mind the breakfast biscuit, the flavor of saturated fat and high fructose corn syrup has been ingrained in my psyche since childhood. That is, were it not for my knowing that those birds were pumped with antibiotics I can’t pronounce and caged so tight they couldn’t turn

around. Feeling good about which businesses you support really makes life taste better. Unfortunately, learning about where our food comes from can lead to disillusionment. Still, it’s a petty tradeoff for enlightenment. The success of the organic, green, local and slow food revolutions coupled with the rise of independent and innovative craft breweries, wineries and distilleries shows we eaters and drinkers are seeking new sources for nourishment and enjoyment. And we are supporting them with our purchases. Such cultural movements attempt to succeed not only economically but also idealistically. This is viable because consumers continually patronize businesses, growers, producers and retailers who offer products which match the consumer’s personal values and budgets. This culmination is the crux by which Epicureanism is spreading from the privileged few to the middle-class many. In general, higher ethical and ecological morals invariably tend towards higher quality food and drink across all economic planes. This is not to say that every environmentally and socially conscious eatery serves first-rate food and that every craft brewery makes excellent beer. Not without talent, ambition, creativity and a sense of higher purpose can fine victuals and glorious ales be produced. Good ingredients, however, never hurt. The Epicurean then demands a lot of the food they eat and the beverages they imbibe. Don’t be afraid to join our ranks; we’re not snobs, elitists, or princesses. We eat and drink pleasurably as a celebration of daily life. We purchase consciously and patronize purposefully. Taste is subjective, and many factors determine what each of us likes and dislikes flavor-wise. There is no static standard by which food can be judged against. A flavor can only be labeled good, bad, indifferent or confusing by the individual partaking. The more experienced of us know too that even those perceptions shift and evolve. Discovering what it is you desire is a big leap down the Epicurean path. Many of us eaters, however, have relegated eating to a mere daily chore which gives no joy and endows no inspiration. Few can eat brilliant and outstanding dishes three times a day, but we can all start to pay attention to what our bodies and mouths are telling us about or choices.


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NOFX: Backstage Passport Fuse TV By: William Case NOFX is NOFX. Not much more needs to be mentioned for punk music fans to perk an ear and crack a cheer. For people that have somehow missed out on NOFX, Fuse TV is currently running a reality show documenting the punk legends as they tour the world. Bringing their So Cal punk flavor to venues far, farther, and farthest, NOFX traveled this wide and wacky planet demonstrating a deep love and respect for punk fans new and old, making history with their hilarious and harrowing adventures abroad. While keeping the true spirit of punk alive with their honest, hard-hitting music, the clown-Kings of the genre navigate the globe in their own free-wheeling style. NOFX is not the first punk band to document their concerts, nor the first to travel overseas, but they just may be the first punk band to document their “sketchy” tour across multiple continents, capturing everything from the wonderful to the absurd. In the illustrious words of Fat Mike, “ We have more fun than any band in the world.” NOFX have a unique ability to rock the truth without getting caught up in heavy emotional blindness that keeps away the fun, presenting heavy punk and light grooves, hard truths and the easy goofs, in one stinky breath. NOFX lyrics satire a range of social and political topics, and their musical style can flex from punk to hardcore to ska to punk, over a variety of melodies and rhythms. And with Backstage Passport, that dynamic flexibility and steady backbone is all on full display. In their usual fun-loving manner, NOFX represents the best of punk around the world and their Fuse TV show represents the best of them. After a recent NOFX show at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, Donald from Santa Barbara expressed it best, ‘NOFX is like the face of punk rock, I’ve been a fan for all these years, I’m an old fuckin’ dude, now, but it was the face band. Douche bags would be listening to Michael Jackson and shit, but I was listening to punk rock. NOFX was there to represent for the punk genre. It was that band that you equated with punk when you were young. No one knew what it was, but when assholes were wearing their leather and their long hair in the ‘80s, talking about Bon Jovi, NOFX was there for punk fans. NOFX wasn’t the first band, but they were the first So- Cal punk band that other people would know, and then it broke the way for everyone else.’ Totally independent, NOFX represents as one of the great bands of all-time. Now, they showcase their many talents in this hilarious documentary-style reality show on Fuse TV, Backstage Passport. One viewing and anyone with a pulse will feel NOFX and the heart for NOFX that beats all over the world. Putting their balls on the line with every stroke, NOFX bust love on crowds all around the globe leaving no doubt about their deep love for their fans. Grab your passport and join the adventure.


Coda... Murder by Death

(continued from page 7) WE: For a band that sounds unlike other bands out there right now, what comparison have you gotten in a review that has just plain confused you? AT: We get a lot of reviews that I can’t believe. Usually the reviews have been pretty strong, but lately, because I’ve been singing lower, we get Johnny Cash a lot. But what I don’t get is, we’re a rock band with a cello, it’s not country music. And even if the singing is low and the subject matter is dark, I think it’s still very different. But then again, it’s a lot cooler to be compared to a great, someone people will remember in a hundred years, as opposed to just some current act. We used to get compared to Cursive because they got a cello for, like, one album [2003’s The Ugly Organ]. It was really funny because we had been putting out records for a few years and then they got a cello and as soon as that happened we started getting compared to them. The cello player has since left the band and we have not gotten compared to them since. But that’s just because they’re bigger than us. People were using it as a point of reference. I just thought it was odd because I didn’t listen to their music at all. I don’t know… It’s very hard to have an objective opinion about your own band. I feel like I know the most and the least about what we actually sound like. {Laughs} WE: I’ve got to ask about the song ‘Sometimes The Line Walks You’ off your last album, In Bocca al Lupo. Was that song in reference to him? AT: [Bassist] Matt [Armstrong] came up with [the title] and we just thought it was funny and we just went with it. At the time it did not occur to us. We had never been compared to Johnny Cash before, so we just sort of threw it in there because we just felt it made sense for that song, which was about a character who’s just a real shithead and who’s going to bust out of jail and we just thought it kind of made sense. WE: I’ve read that you’ve long wanted to have a live DVD done but just haven’t had the right opportunity yet. Would you consider doing a partial film score, sort of like, say, DeVotchKa did for Little Miss Sunshine, if you had the right opportunity? AT: We’ve been trying to do that for quite a while. We’ve just been trying to find the right film. There’re some Cormac McCarthy movies coming out of his books that I was turned on to by some fans, so we’re really pushing to try to do the score to one of his next two movies that are coming out. But, yeah, it’s something that we’d definitely want to be involved with. WE: Do you see the merging of independent media, like indie films and bands collaborating or inspiring each other, as something that will happen more and more often in the future? AT: When we started this band [in 2000], to sell your song to a movie or a TV show or a commercial was… you just weren’t going to do it. That was selling out. That was not okay. We’d lose our fans because too many people would think that you’re only about the money. But now, it’s almost expected of you and it’s funny to see how much public opinion changed, both from listeners and

musicians. It mostly comes from the fact that people stopped buying CDs, for the most part, and musicians still have to get paid in some way. So I think that, thankfully, people didn’t stop buying CDs and also condemn people for licensing their music. In the last few years I’ve seen independent music being used more and more in films and TV and it seems like it’s becoming really popular. They’re going to continue using more and more source music and get bands to score films and I’m hoping we can be there for some of the cool films.

Having spent the past two years opening for acts as disparate as Clutch, The Reverend Horton Heat, Flogging Molly and Against Me!, Murder By Death have embarked on their first headlining tour since the release of their last album and will hit Troubadour May 18. Red of Tooth and Claw is in stores now. To hear songs off the disc, check out myspace.com/murderbydeath.

Thrice

(continued from page 8) from the Earth disc. And I think on this tour that we’re doing now, we’ll probably incorporate an Earth song, maybe even an Air song and then in the spring when we do our headlining tour, we’ll have the entire project to draw from and it’ll be representative of the entire project as a whole and a lot of our older stuff as well. WE: I’ve read that the Earth disc will have a very rootsy sound, almost like an old blues record, while the Air disc will be more ambient. Do you think those two discs and the dynamic that they have together will be more of a surprise to people than the Fire and Water discs were? RB: Definitely. I do, definitely, just because I think Fire is probably the closest to our older material of the four discs, and the Water disc, even though it was pretty different for us, you could look at a song like, ‘Atlantic’ from Vheissu, or ‘Red Sky,’ and they might have worked on the Water disc. With the Earth disc, we’ve done a lot of acoustic shows, Dustin put out his solo record (last year’s Please Come Home), so it’s not something that’s totally foreign to those who have listened to us, but I think people will be really surprised by that disc as far as the things we’ve pulled off and we’re all really happy with it. And the Air disc is kind of a mix of a bunch of stuff. There’s some high energy stuff that, it’s not heavy, but it’s got a lot of energy to it. There’s some real mellow stuff, and there’s some acoustic stuff on it as well that has a general vibe that felt airy to us. I think people will be surprised at how different these two discs are, but not in a bad way. It’s not like it’s totally foreign to people who have been following us for a while.   WE: Since there are four elements to The Alchemy Index and there are four of you in the band, did each of you gravitate more towards one element than any other? You have a band photo where each of you is holding one of the elements. Was there one element that you liked making the most? RB: I’m not sure. For me, as far as the stuff that I listen to, I would say I’m more drawn to the stuff on the Fire and Water discs. That’s not to say that I think that they’re better than the other two discs, but if you went through my iPod, you’d probably say “I see how this is influencing the Fire disc,” or “how that is

influencing the Water disc.” I think for Dustin and Teppei, they’re probably more drawn to the Earth disc and you’d see the same kind of thing with them in their music collections. And Ed’s probably more drawn to the Air disc as far as the stuff that he listens to and the stuff that influences him. It’s cool to have an element that you gravitate towards and get to incorporate some of your influences in that regard, but it was also a really, really cool challenge to kind of have to make things work in an element that may be more foreign to you. I don’t listen to a ton of bluesy stuff, or acoustic stuff. I do, but it’s not a frequent thing on my playlist, so when it came down to laying down percussion for some of the bluesier, jazzier stuff, it was a challenge for me and a really, really cool learning experience, so the project was really fun in that regard.

Thrice will play The House of Blues in San Diego April. 16th and 17th. The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IV: Fire and Water is in stores April 14th. A portion of the proceeds from the release go towards Blood: Water Mission, a nonprofit group that helps to secure clean water in Africa. For more on the band, check out thrice.net.

Saul Williams

(continued from page 21) It’s hilarious. When you are dealing with something of that size, how realistic is it to get them to change their ways. Some people are like, ‘ Well, fuck that, man. They just lied to you. They are not changing anything. I’ll believe it when I see it.’ Then I’m like, ‘Okay, now I see what is happening – your cynicism.’ WE: It is an organic process and you just got yourself in the mix, which is a good opportunity for change. SW: Yeah, and the coolest thing for me, though, was when those guys in the Nike headquarters started e-mailing me, telling me, ‘Hey, I’m reading this thread on your website, which is like twenty-five pages long, and it is interesting to hear what people think about us, or what information they think they have about us.’ It heightened Nike’s dialogue in their office as well. So I was happy for all the different types of feedback, because on one hand I think that Nike needed to know that there are a lot of kids that are that concerned. WE: You recently were married, and your wife Persia is also a musician. Do see any future collaborative effort with your bride? SW: I’m sure that we will be doing some stuff together. She guests really slightly on a song on Niggy Tardust called ‘Skin Of A Drum.’ She does some vocalizing on the background of that song. I’m sure that in the future there will definitely be some collaborative efforts. WE: Congratulations on your marriage. SW: Thank you. WE: Is Niggy Tardust a one trick pony, or do you think there will be sequels? SW: I don’t foresee any sequels. I think that after this hard copy release, it’s on to the next project.

Birds of Avalon

(continued from page 23) touring a lot and really wanted to record a little bit, but we weren’t quite ready to make another record. And, you know, we can’t possibly have three weeks off with nothing to do, so we just planned this project {laughter}… We really went into it right after Christmas. The band spent two intense weeks working on the songs that we were going to use, arranging them in a way that wouldn’t require WE: Serious overdubs. CK: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And also wouldn’t require a lot of punch-ins. We really needed to know every aspect of our parts. There was no ‘ Well, we’ll go in there and work it out, and we’ll try a few different passes.’ No, you need to know what you’re playing right then. And honestly, it wasn’t until the second day that we realized, ‘this is going to work.’ There were some technical problems. Like just punching in the stuff was a nightmare, and Mitch was really so good. We couldn’t have done it without him being amazing, splicing tape, and just doing these synchronizations like running two tape machines at the same time down to a mix. These things that are all so exciting to us because they’re so natural and had absolutely no – we weren’t cheating at all. So when it worked, it was really rewarding, like building your own engine or something. PS: You read about those Beatles records where they bounced down tracks. It’s really hard to visualize that being done, you know? But then to actually do it was a really eye-opening experience. And it’s just cool to be in the control room, and two of them are singing parts, two of them doing percussion parts, all at the same time. It’s really cool, because that’s how everybody used to do it, you know? And if somebody messed up on their percussion part, well, we rewind it and do it all again. CK: Everybody has to do everything again, so you have the pressure of your other band mates being like, ‘I’ve got to do my part again, too.’ WE: Step it up! CK: Exactly! It was a stepping-up experience and I think it was really good for us because we really had to talk about all of our parts, and it’s so easy to not talk about those things. And I think that just makes you a better band when you can say, ‘Hey man, you know, let’s try this, and that note clashes right there,’ and you have to be micro-managing going down the tape, and there’s no fixing it in the mix, it’s happening right there. So, yeah, it makes you communicate a whole lot better. WE: I mean this in the coolest way, but you guys seem like some serious music nerds. CK : We’re just nerds. We’re nerds all-around, we really are. The size of a microwave, the East End is a basement venue with a small stage. Like jumping out of the old truck into your friend’s smoky garage with a bunch of sweat, tight jeans, flannel, and beer as the lanky dude playing bass runs into a pillar and the bearded drummer is just killin’ it, under two rad guitar players and vocals that just soar. You feel like you’re eighteen listening to your favorite band again. They’re that good..

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Drinking the Digital By: Corey Anton Within the NET-this and NET-that of the digital age, we really ought to reflect upon one of the major changes currently afoot: the erosion and disappearance of condensation. Traditionally, authors of books agonized over their phraseology, writing and then re-writing paragraphs many times. They also sought out editorial assistance all the way along. One might be seduced to think that all of this was to make the piece more readable and quickly digestible. This was partly true in some cases, but certainly not in all. Many books simply required much time for study and research, and authors revised, edited, and then, after many years of refining and reducing down to its essential elements, they offered up the finished product. Such books, as integrations of narrative, argument, evidence, and conclusion, would be thoroughgoing condensations,

products that correlatively demanded digestive capacities for those who would consume the whole. The word “ruminate” comes to mind in this context, for this word is commonly used to describe processes involved in reading. But the word, “ruminate” is actually a farming term that means “to chew cud.” Cows are unable to digest all that they swallow, but fortunately they have four stomachs. And so they have some partly undigested food, cud, tucked into one of the stomachs, and then they occasionally kick the cud up for more chewing and digesting. Many texts, similarly, are to be ruminated upon and they take time and our own digestive juices to break down their condensed substances; they need to be chewed again and again, masticated, to release their imbedded nutrients. And, admittedly, someone with considerable digestive capacities can sit down and, within several days (or perhaps a week or two), read a book that took many years to put together.

Yes, some people can read, in a relatively short period, books that took many years to compose. But in today’s all 24-7, Instant Everything Now world, more and more people are exposed to more and more media that are uncondensed and thin, and correlatively, need no chewing. So much from the worlds of video, blogging, and text messaging are unscripted, unedited, and instantly consumable. They are not so much condensations, as drinkable shots of life. The digital age has ushered in a host of communication media that give permanent record to what was fleeting and evanescent, and it deals with what can be consumed, drunk right down, in minutes or even seconds. Most of the stuff on YouTube is for drinking, not for chewing. Film culture, at its inception, was highly aligned with early book culture: films were carefully constructed and thoughtfully edited, and much footage was left on the cutting room floor. Unfortunately, like stillphotography, non-digital film increasingly is going the way of the buggy-whip. It is used, but often in an antiquated way, perhaps for nostalgia’s sake. The youth of today consume either what has been digitally altered or what has been shot on the fly. Witness the rapid growth in homemade slices of life, actions and scenes that have neither actors nor multiple angles, and where there are no re-takes, though there may be considerable post-production digital modifications. Consider, too, the rise of “blogs.” Anyone and everyone can have their own blog, and blogs can be filled with typos, misspellings, countless factual and historical errors, and other signs that very little time was spent carefully thinking about, composing, and proofreading the work. Leadership consultant and scholar Lee Thayer tells us that it is no less difficult being a great reader than being a great writer. The latter is simply more romantic. What will be the consequence of people increasingly consuming uncondensed pap? What will be the result of people consuming countless hours of unscripted and raw video, stuff that takes little digestive juices to break down? A tragic but comic prediction is forecast by a recent Saturday Night Live skit: the setting is a restaurant called “Pre- Chew Charlie’s,” where dinner guests have wait staff at the table who chew the food for the patrons and then deliver the pre-chewed food to patrons’ forks. Increasingly dining on potables and pabulum, children of the digital age may become unable to digest anything that isn’t drinkable. And, if they do encounter anything condensed, they may be unable to chew it themselves.



WIDE-EYED NO.2