X: The Unheard Music

X: The Unheard Music takes long, detailed, and often funny look at the Los Angeles music scene of the late '70s and '80s and focuses on the group that critics deigned the leader of the underground pack. X: The Unheard Music combines live footage of the band and interviews with the four members (as well as their friends and families) with surreal music videos and montages of newsreel footage and vintage television commercials which help to illustrate the band's uphill struggle against the music industry.

The Band ft Paul Butterfield Mystery Train

Levon Helm, the drummer / vocalist for The Band, has died after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 71.

Helm was born and raised in Arkansas. He grew up in a musical household where he learned to play multiple instruments. As a teenager, he became the drummer for rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins' band the Hawks. In the early 1960s, four Canadian musicians joined the Hawks: Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, and Garth Hudson.

In the mid-1960s, Helm, Robertson, Manuel, Danko, and Hudson parted ways with Hawkins, at which point Helm became their leader for a short period, they were called "Levon and the Hawks." They made a few records, but none were hits. In 1965, Bob Dylan hired them as his backing band. Shortly after, Helm left the band when Dylan was famously booed during his first electric tour.

In 1967, Helm rejoined the others, and Dylan, in Woodstock, New York. They took up the moniker "the Band". They recorded a series of ragged bootlegs, which eventually became The Basement Tapes, as well as the legendary 1968 album Music From Big Pink. The Band went on to major success with classic songs such as "The Weight", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and "Up on Cripple Creek".

The Band toured and recorded until their farewell performance on November 25, 1976 at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. It served as the basis for Martin Scorcese's concert documentary The Last Waltz as well as a live album. The concert featured performances from Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, and several others.

Following the Band's last performance, Helm released a string of solo albums, and in 1989, Helm and Danko joined Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. He also started a career as an actor in 1980, he played Loretta Lynn's father in Coal Miner's Daughter. In 1983, the Band reformed without Robbie Robertson. Manuel passed away in 1986 and Danko died in 1999.

In the late 1990s, Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer. Shortly after, Helm began a series of performances at the Barn, his home and studio in Woodstock, where he performed with an ever-changing cast of guest musicians. His voice recovered, he went on tour, and he recorded 2007's Dirt Farmer and 2009's Electric Dirt.

[source Pitchfork.com]

Insane Slow Mo Yo-Yo Attack

This week, we have a conversation with San Francisco-based artist Doc Pop. Professional Yo-Yoer. He explains the intricate thought process behind his crazy routines as well as answers the question: was the yo-yo originally a Philippine weapon?

Henry Rollins to Ann Coulter

Henry Rollins is an American spoken word artist, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, radio DJ, activist and former singer-songwriter. Many of you may remember him as the front man for the California punk rock band Black Flag, or from his television series The Henry Rollins Show.

Rollins has also hosted MTVs 120 Minutes, and Jackass, enjoyed a recurring dramatic role in the second season of Sons of Anarchy and has also had roles in several films. Rollins has also campaigned for various political causes in the United States, including promoting LGBT rights, World Hunger Relief, an end to war and has toured overseas with the USO (United Service Organizations) to entertain American troops.

A few years ago, as part of his Henry Rollins Show project he created a series of letters to include the one here to ultra right-wing conservative author, journalist and pundit Ann Coulter.

Patience & Prudence: Tonight You Belong To Me, 'Live' on The Perry Como Show

Sisters Patience & Prudence McIntyre enjoyed enormous success in 1956 with this, their classic first Liberty Records single Tonight You Belong To Me, and its follow-up Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now. The girls released a few other singles in the late '50s and made a brief return to recording in the mid-'60s, but they failed to achieve further commercial success.

Nonetheless, their music - for the most part arranged by their father Mark McIntyre, who had played piano for Sinatra in the '40s and worked as an arranger for numerous other major stars of the post-war period - retains its beguiling sweetness and charm more than half a century after it was recorded.

Patience & Prudence never released an album, but the 'A' and 'B' sides of all their singles (plus a few early demos) were collected on a great 'Best Of' CD in 2005. It's still available and has won the girls - who will be 70 and 67 respectively as I write this - quite a bit of latter-day interest, if internet discussion and frequent airings of their songs in movies and commercials are anything to go by.

Detailed information about what happened to Patience & Prudence post-fame is scant. This is because they went on to live ordinary middle-class lives in California. They had no desire for fame and quite reasonably wished to keep their business to themselves.

In fact, as Patience revealed in a rare interview given in 2005 to coincide with the release of the 'Best Of' CD, she and her sister had never wanted to be recording artists in the first place, to the extent that she refers to their recording career as 'the accident'. You can read that interview, conducted by Doug Bright, here: http://tinyurl.com/8zd8sll .

Thanks are due to Mr Bright for soliciting the interview which, succinct though it is, nonetheless represents the most in-depth source of information available about Patience & Prudence's lives before, during and after fame.

Standard biographical material also exists, the core of which is to be found in the 'Best Of' CD booklet, for which I believe Patience was also consulted. You may find snippets of info here and there around the web, but probably not anything that isn't already covered in the booklet.

During their initial period of fame Patience & Prudence made just one TV appearance; on The Perry Como Show on September 15th 1956. Here it is now, for your viewing pleasure.

They made one further TV appearance in 1978, in a 'Where Are They Now' slot on a Dick Clark Special. If you'd like to see that too, I've uploaded it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-4GLbKIZpY .

Patience recalled in 2005 that at the time of its recording she and her sister were somewhat bemused as to why they were doing the Como Show at all, telling their father on set that they knew they were just 'a passing thing'.

Patience & Prudence's parents had concerns about overexposing the girls to the harsh glare of the showbiz spotlight which is why, despite the million-selling success of the 'Tonight' 45, the singing siblings were limited to performing just this one TV spot.

I'd wanted to see this performance myself for a long time and I knew P & P fans would too, so I tracked it down and posted it. I hope you enjoy it. It's for non-commercial use and is not intended to infringe any copyright. I'm simply a fan of this bygone duo and wanted to share this unique footage of them. Originally in colour, it appears that this B & W telecine is what's left.

Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong in 1998

Here's Zach performing comedy at Petterson's Coffeehouse in Los Angeles, 1998. While it lasted, Petterson's was a beloved open mic scene, where comedians worked out new material. Plenty of now famous faces performed there. In this clip, Ken Jeong (Se?or Chang from Community, as well as the Hangover series) joins Zach onstage for some racial stereotyping fun. I saw both of them doing comedy quite often that year, and while I can't say for certain, this may be the first time they performed together.

Police Break into Private Home without a Warrant and Tase Residents (Cotati California)

COTATI, CA -- Police are called out to an apartment for a noise compliant by the neighbors. The three occupants inside non-aggressively exercise their fourth amendment right, refusing the police entry as they demand at gun point to let them inside without a search warrant or probable cause.

As the police quickly holster their weapons after the camera turns on, the three occupants continue to exercise their rights non-aggressively. The police respond by going into "over-the-top" aggressive mode, utilizing excessive force by kicking in the door, assaulting the female and tazing the cameraman four times causing the camera to short out. All three occupants are arrested/cited for obstruction. Incident occurred on 5/10/2013.


Internet Archive

Archive is a documentary focused on the future of long-term digital storage, the history of the Internet and attempts to preserve its contents on a massive scale.

Part one features Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and his colleagues Robert Miller, director of books, and Alexis Rossi, director of web collections. On a mission to create universal access to all knowledge, the Internet Archives staff have built the world's largest online library, offering 10 petabytes of archived websites, books, movies, music, and television broadcasts.

The video includes a tour of the Internet Archives headquarters in San Francisco, the book scanning center, and the book storage facilities in Richmond, California.

Directed by Jonathan Minard

Cinematography by John Behrens, Alexander Porter, and Fearghal O'dea

Produced at the Internet Archive on October 22-26, during the Books in Browsers Conference and 10 Petabyte Celebration.

Project supported by Eyebeam

Ghosts,Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dan Aykroyd

What would you ask a ghost if you met one? Neil deGrasse Tyson offers a few suggestions to keep in mind if you're ever speaking with a dead person in this "Behind the Scenes" video with the original Ghostbuster, Dan Aykroyd. For his part, Dan talks about wanting to see ghosts and the difficulties of selling haunted houses in Los Angeles. Filmed April 11th, 2013 for a future episode of StarTalk Radio. (And that's no heavenly apparition in the middle of the clip: it's Dan's wife Donna Dixon.)

Ted Talks: Pearl Arredondo: My Story, from Gangland Daughter to Star Teacher

Pearl Arredondo grew up in East Los Angeles, the daughter of a high-ranking gang member who was in-and-out of jail. Many teachers wrote her off as having a problem with authority. Now a teacher herself, she's creating a different kind of school and telling students her story so that they know its okay if sometimes homework isn't the first thing on their mind.

Insane First Person Cliff Jump

Check out this first person point of view footage of a cliff jump from the top of Tar Creek Falls in California. That takes some courage!