69 to 99 Moving Finds: Part Four

I can say with all certainty that some of the best times I’ve had was when the Philadelphia Film Festival was at it’s peak in the early-aughts. A week of trying to see as many films as humanly possible along with a handful of friends doing the same was a blast. 2002 through 2005 were the most memorable, for a variety of reasons.

It was like working another job; you get up in the morning, pack the essentials for the day and head to see the first film, usually around 11am. Three of the theaters are within a four block radius of one another in the Society Hill section of the city. A lucky day would be when that’s where all your films for the day were set. The challenge is when something is in West Philly or Center City and you’ve got to make like a bandit to get across town.

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69 to 99 Moving Finds: Part Three

This one wasn’t really a “moving find” per se, since it’s been hanging on my wall since returning from the first time I went to Iceland in 2011. Jón Sæmundur Auðarson is an Icelandic artist who created the Dead project in 2003, nine years after he was diagnosed HIV positive. The message behind Dead is simple: live life to its fullest. More specifically: “He Who Fears Death Cannot Enjoy Life.”

I had seen locals all around Reykjavik wearing the shirt which had the saying in English, Icelandic and a host of other languages. My new friend, singer/songwriter Myrra Rós told me Jón’s story and where his shop – which doubles as a gallery – was located. I checked it out, hung with Jón and talked about his friendship with Brian Jonestown Massacre leader Anton Newcombe.

This original oil painting was hanging up in his shop and I purchased it along with a couple other items. The next time I came through town, I got a tattoo of the skull. Everything behind Dead resonates deeply within me, and as I prepare to go return for my 10th time to the country, look forward to seeing him again.

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69 to 99 Moving Finds: Part Two

I’ve become so deeply immersed in the education of the suicide prevention movement over the past six years that it’s hard to remember a time when I wasn’t involved. My reasons for initially discovering the campaign were both serendipitous and personal, and it turned out to be, what I believe to be, one of the most meaningful accomplishments in my life.

Six years and five overnight walks later for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I’ve heard stories of loss that would break the most jaded heart, traversed more miles in the name of a cause than I ever though possible and met some of the greatest and strongest people imaginable who I now consider the best of my friends.

While on the 69 to 99 Moving Finds expedition, I came across the shirt for the first walk I did in late June of 2010, and it definitely brought up some memories.

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69 to 99 Moving Finds: Part One

“Moving sucks” is an oft-repeated phrase which I can’t add to in any way.I’m currently in the midst of leaving a place I’ve been in for 10 years. That’s a large chunk of time. Certainly the longest I’ve ever been in one place for any one period of time. Hell, maybe ever.

My old address is 69…moving to 99.

I’m digging up some things I haven’t seen in quite awhile that I thought would be interesting to post and reminisce briefly about. An early business card is up first, story behind it after the jump.

OG Business Card MC

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“I Was Spinning Free…”

This week marks the 15th anniversary of Jimmy Eat World’s breakthrough effort Bleed American.  To mark the occasion, I did a short piece on the record for Diffuser. But personally, the album remains one of those which represents a particular period in time; in this case the summer of 2001.

Having just graduated from college, there was a glaring sense of, “Alright, now what?” I shoulda traveled the world then, but have always been a bit behind when it comes to those sorts of things and would wait a few years for that part of my life to begin. What I did end up doing was heading out on a fairly destination-less cross country road trip with noted culture vulture the Ninja. It was a sense of lingering adventure to do something big before entering the so-called “real world.”

When I say there was no set plan, there was absolutely no set plan. It was for the most part a bit like an Abbott & Costello episode (those who still have both grandparents living can ask them to define that reference). We crashed in random dorms, shelters, hostels and on various couches. There was one concrete idea to attend the Green Party affiliated Campus Greens’ “Rally for Radical Change” held at Chicago’s Congress Theater on August 10.

An e-mail about the event was sent to college mailing lists which stated:

Confirmed speakers and performers include Ralph Nader, Winona LaDuke, Robert Miranda and Jello Biafra.

Invited speakers and performers include Cynthia McKinney, Howard Zinn, Michael Moore, Amy Goodman, Ani Difranco, Radiohead, Common, Chuck D, Zach de la Rocha, and many, many more!

“Holy shit!!” the Ninja and I collectively thought. “That ‘invited speakers and performers’ list is ridiculous.” Radiohead! Chuck D! Zach de la Rocha! Michael Moore! Howard Zinn! The “many, many more” could only make the whole thing even astronomical.

Off we went to take part in this thing and pick the brain of Chuck D.

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Soak Me To My Skin

I’ve always had an interesting relationship with the Stone Roses. Not that there was any snuggle time with Messrs. Brown and Squire; no, this was purely based on sonic love and lust.

The band’s 1989 debut is looked at – rightfully so – as their one-off masterpiece. Due to a much publicized court battle with their UK record label, the Roses didn’t release another record for five years, by which time their initial draw had passed with the entire genre of Britpop pouncing on that one album influence.

Second Coming, released in December of 1994, has been looked at as one of the biggest disappointments of any legendary outfit. It’s the true definition of a sophomore slump; that follow-up to a stellar debut which just doesn’t serve the prior justice. Think the Strokes, the Killers, Weezer (itself worthy of a whole other post) and Portishead. For some reason though, I gravitated toward Second Coming.

From the four and a half minute spacey lead-in to the album kick off “Breaking Into Heaven” to the super catchy “Ten Storey Love Song” to the Beatle-esque “Your Star Will Shine” to the menacing  closer “Love Spreads,” it stirred something within me. Were there clunkers? Oh yeah. But driving around with Second Coming on repeat at the time was a great joy I fondly recall to this day.

The Stone Roses never broke big in the States – like most quality Brit acts who cause a mad sensation in their home country – and didn’t make it out of the mid-90s alive. The legend remained intact, while the bandmembers had varying degrees of success in and out of music. Frontman Ian Brown was the most high-profile in music, releasing a string of solo albums, which is where our paths crossed again.

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The Stone Roses circa 1989

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