Photo by G.
New York! Whatever you are doing on October 1, 2015 – cancel it! The legendary Grace Jones will be signing copies of her autobiography, “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs” at Barnes & Noble in Union Square. Be there or have regrets forever for not attending. More details can be found on Barnes & Noble’s official website. Will someone save me a place in line?
Photo of the movie poster and moderately sized rant by G.
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!
Photo courtesy of Young Empires.
2015 got off to a slow start musically, but as the ice starts to melt in New York, Toronto’s Young Empires are heating things up. Earlier this year, in association with Coors Altitude, their first new song in quite a while, the ultra infectious “So Cruel,” became a Youtube sensation, chalking up close to a million views. See video below and you will see why it’s so popular.
March 30, 2015 will see the worldwide release of another new Young Empires song, “The Gates.” They are offering an exclusive preview of the track on their Instagram page (link will open in a new window). You can also follow them on Soundcloud.
Welcome back, Young Empires! We’ve missed you!
Photo by G.
Rod Thomas aka Bright Light Bright Light at Joe’s Pub April 2014
New York’s favorite import is back to stay! Bright Light Bright Light (aka Rod Thomas) is back on our soil and at a sold out show at Joe’s Pub on April 25, 2014 in New York, he gave the crowd many reasons to believe in hope (excuse the pun).
He began the show by performing his upcoming album “Life Is Easy” in full on piano. The record will be released in July 2014 and like his debut album, “Make Me Believe in Hope,” the songs deal with love, despair and and gratitude. Rod’s voice is like a little slice of heaven with ridiculously catchy pop hooks that will make you want to get yourself to the nearest dance-floor immediately. The first single is called “I Wish We Were Leaving” and it features guest vocals from Sir Elton John, whom Rod will be touring with in Europe in June and July 2014.
Rod Thomas mentioned that he can officially call Brooklyn his permanent home (on behalf of New York, welcome to the neighborhood, Rod!) and he is working with another beloved Brookylnite, Del Marquis of Scissor Sisters on the second Slo Knights album, which will hopefully see release later on in 2014.
During the encore, while he played the crowd favorite “Immature” off his first record, he mentioned that if you pre-order “Life Is Easy” on his official website, you will get a digital copy of the audio from the Joe’s Pub show! I was at the show and it was a night to remember, so make sure you order your copy and spread the word!
The tracklist for “Life Is Easy” (released in July 2014) is:
1. Everything I Ever Wanted
2. There Are No Miracles
3. I Wish We Were Leaving (with Elton John)
4. An Open Heart
5. Good Luck
6. I Believe
7. Lust For Life
8. More Than Most
9. In Your Care
10. Too Much
Photo by G.
Devonte Hynes aka Dev aka Test Icicles aka Lightspeed Champion aka Blood Orange
If you are in the giving spirit this holiday season, indie musician Dev Hynes (who records as Test Icicles, Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange) could sure use your help. He lost everything in an apartment fire, including old hard drives, tons of music he’s written and recorded and even his poor dog perished in the fire. So tragic and sad. I’ve lived through an apartment fire (luckily my ‘stuff’ was ok, though the same cannot be said about the building I’d lived in) and I can truly say it was one of the worst days of my life. Massive hugs for a speedy recovery to Dev Hynes on this horrible tragedy that he’s going through.
So here’s where you can help – they’ve set up a GoFundYourself account to help Dev Hynes pick up the pieces. The link is here, and awesomely, they’ve raised over $15,000 US within the first 24 hours. Obviously rebuilding your life from scratch is quite expensive, so please give a thought to Dev this season and give what you can, no matter how small.