Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ryan Bingham

"the legitimate heir to the hard traveling deep knowing likes of Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams"
-Terry Allen on Ryan Bingham

Living on his own since his mid-teens, Ryan Bingham decided to hang up his bull-riding life on the rodeo circuit for a career in music. The result is a rising star who won an Oscar this year for his song "The Weary Kind" from the film Crazy Heart.

Bingham's third major label release Junky Star was released today on Lost Highway Records. While I haven't heard the album in its entirety, I did happen to catch Bingham last night on David Letterman singing a song from the new album and it is absolutely amazing. I love this guy!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


It's one thing to make a great low-budget video, but it's quite another when the song for that particular video is really good and gets stuck in your head. The band Wavves have achieved a coup with their song/video entitled "Post Acid."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman was a professional football player for the Arizona Cardinals when the World Trade Center Towers fell on 9/11. Profoundly affected by the events of that day, Tillman finished out the season and enlisted in the Army in May of 2002, thus walking away from his $3.6 million contract to enlist in the Army. He would become the most well-known active soldier in the military and the Bush administration often invoked his name to promote the war on terror.

Two years later, Tillman was killed in Afghanistan as the result of friendly fire, but that information was withheld in order to spin a more heroic tale for the media to latch on to. As that story began to unravel and the Tillman family's demand for answers grew louder, a disturbing cover-up would come to light with many unanswered questions that have yet to be resolved to this day.

Yet the cover-up is only one facet of this whole story; the second one being Pat Tillman himself. In Jon Krakauer's excellent book Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey Of Pat Tillman, Krakauer describes, in the wake of Tillman's death, the misguided attempts to define who he really was:
Unencumbered by biographical insight, people felt emboldened to invent all manner of personae for Tillman after his passing. Most of these renderings were based on little more than rumor and fantasy. The right-wing harridan Ann Coulter claimed him as an exlemplar of Republican political values. The left-wing editorial cartoonist Ted Rall denigrated him in a four-panel comic strip as an "idiot" who joined the Army to "kill Arabs."

A documentary film about the Tillman affair -The Tillman Story- was released last week will be released this coming Friday, September 3; and where government misconduct shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, to those unfamiliar with Pat Tillman, his extraordinary life certainly will be.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Soul Train

I know it's hard to think about Christmas in the midst of another brutal summer, but it is right around the corner and if you really want to get that music geek in your life a special gift, look no further than the August 31 release of "The Best of Soul Train" 3-DVD boxed set.

Soul Train ran from 1971 to 2006 and it was, in my opinion, the greatest musical television show in history. When I was a kid, at the conclusion of my Saturday morning buffet of cartoons, I would stare at the tv transfixed by this show, hosted by the smooth baritone-voice of Don Cornelius, that showcased some of the best musical artists of the time as well as dance moves that were beyond compare. Occasionally, there were even attempts by yours truly to mimic the dance moves with about as much success as a whale has in the desert.

If you are otherwise unfamiliar with Soul Train, indulge yourself with a ride on the "hippest trip in America."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Francis Bean Cobain

Francis Bean Cobain(aka Fiddle Tim) recently had a showing of her art at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles entitled "Scumfuck." When Interview asked what her mother thinks of her art, Cobain replied "That's like me asking, 'What does your mom think of your interview questions.' It's irrelevant to the work." Being that this is the first time I've heard her opinions or viewed her creative output, I must say that I am very impressed on both counts.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Greg Mortenson

I spend a great deal of time criticizing President Obama for turning his back on the reconciliation towards the Muslim world that was such a big part of his platform while he was still a candidate running for office. His support of the controversial mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero, however, is deserving of praise given that a recent poll shows that 71% of Americans are against it. He could have jumped on the bandwagon and exploited it for political gain the way so many other politicians are doing, yet he chose to rise above the madness that is gripping our country on this issue.

And while so many people continue to lump Islam and terrorism in the same category, the biggest threat for most Muslims continues to be terrorism by a small minority of Muslims who pervert the religion for their own gain.

Greg Mortenson is an American humanitarian who builds schools for girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan often in very dangerous areas. There's a lot to be learned from Mortenson in regards to moderate Islam and the more fanatical elements. His work is very important and if anyone is deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize, it's this guy.

I try to write and post videos based on my short attention span - the shorter the better, I say. The video below, however, is pretty long, but I highly recommend it if this topic interests you in any way.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Restrepo is not an anti-war film or a pro-war film, nor does it have liberal or conservative leanings. It is simply a documentary about what life is like, day in and day out, for a group of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Directed by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, Restrepo is about as close up as close up can be and, at times, every bit as intense as Saving Private Ryan.