Must See Movie: “The Yes Men Are Revolting”

Posted by The G on June 25, 2015 under GNN, The G Spot | Comments are off for this article

Photo of the movie poster and moderately sized rant by G.

The Yes Men Are Revolting

The Yes Men Are Revolting

Before we discuss the must see movie, “The Yes Men Are Revolting,” let me ask you if you’ve ever heard of The Yes Men?  If you answered no, I am here to shame you into getting your head out of your ass and telling you to wake up.  The news media loves to report on all of the “isms” and all the “phobias” – racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, phobia, phobia, phobia, ism, ism, ism.  The media has cleverly packaged these crimes against humanity it as “your life is totally fucked because of these people.”  Before you call me a callus asshole (maybe it’s too late?), yes – all these problems suck.  Yes, it’s a ridiculous shame that in 2015 we still have people killing others because their belief system varies from that of another person.   Yes, it is ridiculous that people are still holding grudges about injustices that happened long before any of us were alive.  Yes, it’s ridiculous that there are people who hate you because you are different than they are.  When you think about it, haters have existed since the beginning of time.  There are always a few bad apples ruining it for everyone?  What is being done about it aside from spreading more fear?

Are we teaching the “theory of gravity” in schools?  The “theory of gravity” is this:  take a black person, a white person, a man, a woman, a straight, a gay, a religious person and a non religious person and have them all leap off a 50 story building at the same time and who is the superior group?  Gravity doesn’t give a fuck about your circumstances!  Therefore, we should respect the laws of gravity and we should respect ourselves!  You don’t need a degree in physics to figure this out!

I see a lot of Facebook and Twitter bitterness but I am not really seeing people taking action to make change happen.  I think people get off on being angry, to be perfectly honest.  This is why people share stories before fact checking and this is why there is an influx of people complaining but not taking action. The reason I bring all this up is because while everyone is ‘Facebook madder than hell’ about all these issues, the one issue that affects EVERYBODY ON THIS PLANET – global warming (or climate change), is an issue that is being swept under the rug.

While we are being distracted by all this unnecessary bullshit, corporations and governments are ensuring that we are all one step closer to the grave.  There can’t be haters if there are no people left on the planet.

Enter the Yes Men. For over a decade, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno (Not their real names, which makes them even more awesome), have been pulling pranks on corporations and government agencies to bring forth change.  They are not sharing stories on social media about cute animals and they are not writing posts about the top 20 reasons a particular issue makes them mad.  Instead, they are taking action and more than that, they are documenting it to try and spread these important messages to the masses.

I could not describe the Yes Men better than they way they do on their website, so I am just going to quote it verbatim because this paragraph alone is the reason you should not only know who they are, but follow their every move for updates on how to make this world a better place.

“The Yes Men are a group who use any means necessary to agree their way into the fortified compounds of commerce, and then smuggle out the stories of their undercover escapades to provide a public glimpse at the behind-the-scenes world of big business. The stories are often both shocking and hilarious. They have been called “the Jonathan Swift of the Jackass generation” by author Naomi Klein. The Yes Men have impersonated World Trade Organization, Dow Chemical Corporation, and Bush administration spokesmen on TV and at business conferences around the world. They do this (a) in order to demonstrate some of the mechanisms that keep bad people and ideas in power, and (b) because it’s absurdly fun. Their main goal is to focus attention on the dangers of economic policies that place the rights of capital before the needs of people and the environment. Right now they’re focused on passing carbon emissions laws in the USA.”

Each of their films – “The Yes Men,” “The Yes Men Fix The World,” and their latest “The Yes Men Are Revolting” are part documentary, part prank and if you think you have balls, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen the Yes Men in action.  They are like the Banksys of environmental issues and they are truly gods who walk amongst us for risking everything to try and bring forth positive change.

Please please please go see their films.  They are available to stream and “The Yes Men Are Revolting” is showing in select theaters across the country.  Please please please sign up for updates on their site.  Please please please become a member of The Yes Lab, where you can help carry out these types of projects on your own.  The world depends on it.

I dare you to share this story on your social media networks!

“To Thine Own Selfie Be True” by Geoffrey Dicker

Posted by The G on June 22, 2015 under Artsy Fartsy, The G Spot | Comments are off for this article

Photos, photo manipulation and words by G.

To Thine Own Selfie Be True by Geoffrey Dicker

To Thine Own Selfie Be True by Geoffrey Dicker

From our preoccupation with paparazzi candids to our obsession with taking selfies, we are a world hypnotized by the siren call of fame. No one knows this better than cultural commentary artist Geoffrey Dicker. His life work has been the examination of celebrity. Starting as a teenaged autograph collector in his hometown of Los Angeles, and progressing to authoring 3 books and helming his popular NYC art, music and pop culture blog, According2G.com, Dicker has deeply explored the ramifications of social media, celebrity, and self-obsession. In his latest endeavor, “To Thine Own Selfie Be True,” Dicker turns his camera lens both on himself and the famous simultaneously. His visually arresting self-portraits are celebrity candids without celebrity. Tabloids may have pronounced that the famous are “just like us,” but Dicker takes this message to a haunting and satirical extreme. As twin “selfies,” they take a humorous look at the implications of fame and social media in our culture – namely that while we worship these false idols, we secretly want to be the one everybody is chasing after.

To Thine Own Selfie Be True by Geoffrey Dicker

To Thine Own Selfie Be True by Geoffrey Dicker

The project will gradually be updated on its home, which is: www.tothineownselfiebetrue.tumblr.com  Please keep checking back for new content.  And tell a friend!  We’re going viral!

“Leave The Lights On” Live by Mainland at The Chelsea Hotel

Posted by The G on June 15, 2015 under G Videos | Comments are off for this article

Photo, video and words by G.

Mainland

Mainland

If you aren’t already familiar with the 4 piece band Mainland, here’s a quick primer:  Jordan Topf, Corey Mullee, Alex Pitta and Dylan Longstreet have been making a splash on the New York rock scene, releasing two well received EPs, before taking a little break from touring to get signed to a major label and record their first full length album (in Los Angeles).  To celebrate the release of their upcoming single, which I am told will be out in about two weeks, Mainland played an intimate set at a pop-up space located in the historic Chelsea Hotel.  The scene looked like something out of an Andy Warhol film as the space was half art gallery, half living room and a whole lot of fun.  Their 45 minute set included a rockin’ cover of Velvet Underground’s “I Found a Reason,” and the video which you are about to see, the infectious party rock anthem “Leave The Lights On.”  Discover all you need to know about Mainland on their official site (link will open in a new window).

Now get ready to party… just by pressing play.

 

Review: Billy Idol live at Pier 97 in New York

Posted by The G on June 1, 2015 under G Reviews | 2 Comments to Read

Photos and Words by G.

Steve Stevens and Billy Idol!

Steve Stevens and Billy Idol!

Billy Idol and his guitarist Steve Stevens are rock gods!  On May 29, 2015, they played an outdoor concert on Pier 97 in New York and it rocked so hard!  I’ve seen Billy Idol perform a few times over the years (including earlier in 2015 at the Beacon Theatre – but there is no review because I was on a blog hiatus) and Billy Idol never disappoints.

On a blue highway.... Billy Idol!

On a blue highway…. Billy Idol!

If you know little of Billy Idol’s history, he’s been performing for nearly 40 years, which in and of itself is an amazing accomplishment.  There was a period of time where he was a major drug addict and he was nearly killed in a horrible motorcycle accident where he was not expected to ever walk again, let alone perform.  I mention these things because Billy Idol showed no signs of being anything other than a rock god for the duration of his performance.

Billy Idol!

Billy Idol!

Before I discuss how great Billy Idol looked and sounded, let me paint a picture of the scene.  Pier 97 is located at 55th Street and the West Side Highway, and what that means to non-New Yorkers, is that you have a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline in the background as you watch the concert.

"The Vibe"

“The Vibe”

New York suffered a punishing winter, and the weather has just started to get nice, so being able to be outdoors and not freezing your ass off is such a treat and during the Billy Idol concert, the weather was absolutely perfect.  The show kicked off with “Postcards from the Past,” a track from Billy Idol’s latest album “Kings and Queens of the Underground,” his first new album in almost 10 years.  “Cradle of Love” was next and from then on, he had the audience in the palm of his hand.  His signature moves of jumping around, “the snarl,” and fist pumping were present throughout the show and it drove the audience wild!

Billy Idol!

Billy Idol!

Because Billy Idol’s songs were played to death on the radio in the 80s, you sort of forget how great they sound when you have a concert full of people singing along to his songs and how many times, the songs lend themselves perfectly to crowd participation.  For example, hearing the whole of Pier 97 shout out “FLESH!  FLESH FOR FANTASY!” at every chorus during that song along with Billy gives me chills thinking about it.  Or during “Rebel Yell,” when the crowd shouts out “More! More! More!  Woooooooowwwwww!” or during “White Wedding” when the audience sings “It’s a nice day to…. STAAAAAART AGAAAAINNNNN!” is also chill inducing.  During “Dancing With Myself,” at every chorus, Billy Idol said “If I had a chance, I’d ask NEW YORK to dance,” and if people hadn’t completely lost their minds by that point in the show, that sure did it.  He also changed the lyrics of his cover of The Doors’ “LA Woman” to “New York Woman.”

Billy Idol

Billy Idol

Billy Idol gave many shout outs to New York, where he said that a lot of his hit songs were written here.  He thanked the audience for “making my life so fucking great” and he also thanked his long time guitarist Steve Stevens for the same thing.  Steve Stevens is a killer on guitar and he was given several guitar solos whereby he slayed the crowd!

Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens plays the guitar so effortlessly, that you could not help but watch him in awe as he shredded his guitar.  During a lengthy solo, he was playing fast and slow which lead to the inevitable opening notes of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” and after a few seconds, he looked at the audience and shook his head no as if it was too cheesy to play that song and then he went back to his solo and scorched the guitar.  He also slayed during his solos on songs like “Flesh For Fantasy” and “Rebel Yell” and during “White Wedding,” the track started off acoustically before transforming into the rockin’ version we all know and love by the second chorus.

Billy Idol

Billy Idol

The show closed with Billy Idol’s famous cover of Tommy James and the Shondells’ “Mony Mony” and as always, it featured the in between lyrics crowd chants of “Hey Motherfucker, get laid, get fucked!”  The show was about all you could ask for when it comes to the setlist as he dug deep in his back catalog all the way back to the Generation X days (with “Ready Steady Go!”), and he played the majority of his hits, with the exception of “Catch my Fall,” “To Be A Lover,” and “Don’t Need A Gun.”  Perhaps he will resurrect those great songs for his next tour?  If you have ever loved a Billy Idol song, and how could you not?, you should make sure you see him live the next time he comes to your city, because he and Steve Stevens are true rock gods!!!

I’d like to give a shout-out to Bar 9 for hooking me up with tickets.  Thanks so much, I had a blast!

Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens

The setlist was:

Postcards from the Past / Cradle of Love / Can’t Break Me Down / Dancing With Myself / Flesh For Fantasy / Save Me Now / Ready Steady Go / Sweet Sixteen / Eyes Without a Face / LA Woman (Doors cover) / Steve Stevens Guitar Solo / Whiskey and Pills / Blue Highway / Rebel Yell

Encore:  White Wedding / Drum Solo / Mony Mony (Tommy James and the Shondells Cover)

The May 29, 2015 sunset

The May 29, 2015 sunset

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