The other day, I ran into actor Armie Hammer. He’s in “The Social Network,” which I am excited to see this weekend. He’s also the grandson of Armand Hammer. I wish I would have put two and two together when I saw him. I am a Los Angeles native and I recently visited the Armand Hammer Museum for the first time about a month ago. They had a great exhibit by Friedrich Kunath. The museum was really excellent as well. Oh well. I also was probably distracted by Armie’s good looks as I also didn’t recognize his wife, TV personality Elizabeth Chambers, who happily volunteered to take a photo of Armie and myself. Thanks to both Elizabeth and Armie for being so cool. “The Social Network” is out on October 1, 2010.
On September 29, 2010, I met one of the most talented artists of all time – Alex Grey. If you live in New York, you’ve surely gone to the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (and if you didn’t make it, it relocated to upstate New York and is a MUST SEE). His artwork is beyond amazing. When you see his art with your own eyes, it makes your head explode. His precision and detail defies logic and as you view work after work, you immediately feel the need to share his wonderful talent with anyone you can for their own sake! I met Mr. Grey at the book launch party for “Trespass,” an anthology of Urban Art at the Taschen store in New York and he was very nice. When I talked to him, I had to control myself from shaking. I told him that I used to take every person who visited me to the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors from art lovers to non art lovers to my parents and almost everyone left the Chapel in tears. His works are extremely powerful and oh so brilliant (and enormous!). He was very humble and in addition to taking a photo with me, he gave me a 3-D card with one of his works on it! WOW! How Alex Grey is not a household name is beyond me. If you don’t know his work, you owe it to yourself to click on either of the 2 above links because I promise you – you’ll never see anything that even comes close to his stuff. Thanks again Alex. All I can say is that you are really an inspiration and my life is better for having discovered your work!
On September 29, 2010, London punk trio Male Bonding opened for California surf-pop band Best Coast and stole the show. Every song was super fast and made you want to just dance your ass off until you are physically unable to body slam anymore. As my long time readers know I actually hate it when that happens at shows, but I lucked out and the crowd was well behaved in the front row. I definitely think it stemmed from two things: the audience was unfamiliar with the music and it was an odd choice as an opening band for Best Coast. Regardless, I loved it and I am really looking forward to getting their album “Nothing Hurts.” At the show, the vocals were drowned out by the music, but it actually worked out fine. Instrumentally, the band was so great. Drummer Robin Christian played the shit out of them, bassist Kevin Hendrick had a Kurt Cobain vibe going on and guitarist John Webb and his tattooed self was a treat for both my ears and eyes. I loved it! I met 2 out of 3 members after the gig and I complimented them both on their awesome performance. They were both extremely cool. Looking forward to hearing more great things to come from Male Bonding.
See the set list after the jump. Thanks to John Webb for it!
Jill Jones fans – take a seat because the video you are about to see is going to give you chills! A few weeks ago, the wonderfully talented singer Jeremy Gloff was in New York on tour promoting his newest record “21st Century Love Songs,” and he announced he’d be accompanied on stage by the one and only Jill Jones! Due to an unfortunate scheduling issue, Jill was unable to make the show. Jill did not want to disappoint her fans, so her and Jeremy got together and recorded an acoustic version of her classic song “Violet Blue.” Jeremy sent me the video this morning and I can’t stop watching it. I spoke with Jill and she’s on the verge of announcing some pretty exciting news, so stay tuned for that! And now, Jeremy Gloff and Jill Jones singing an acoustic version of “Violet Blue.”
Brooklyn-based-band Small Black (whew, tongue twister) opened for California band Best Coast at the Bowery Ballroom on September 29, 2010. They describe their sound as “Casio dream noise pop,” and they pretty much hit the nail on the head with those 4 words. Citing influences from Gary Numan to Wu Tang Clan to hot boys (oh, behave!), the band played a great 7 song set, getting the crowd ready to rock. If you missed the show last night, they’ll be performing at the upcoming CMJ music marathon.
Our good friends at RCRD LBL have 3 free mp3s of Small Black, while supplies last, so if any of these words tickle your fancy, check out their music. I met lead singer Josh Kolenik after Small Black’s awesome set and he was very nice. Thanks Josh! See a picture of Josh and I as well as the set list after the jump. Good luck to Small Black!