28 December 2010

Summer '10 Recap

I put together a little montage from our summer. My liver hurts from just watching this.

22 December 2010

Larry David's Tax Cut

Larry David wrote a great satirical column about the extended Bush tax cuts for upper bracketeers. He's so thankful that he'll be able to buy blueberries, organic granola, first class plane tickets, and a plasma screen now that the tax cuts are being extended. Suck it, socialists.

Click here.

Tree of Life Trailer

If you haven't seen it yet, you should watch the trailer for Terrence Malick's new film "Tree of Life." It's gorgeous. It's what a trailer can be at its best - a beautiful piece that stands on it's own. It's playing in front of Black Swan, as if there wasn't reason enough to buy a ticket..

15 December 2010

Ferrell + Reilly

So, I was like 30 years late to the Bing-Bowie party, but I'm only a couple days late to this one:

14 December 2010

Bowie + Bing = !!!

Stumbling across this today made my day. Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing The Little Drummer Boy together.

'10 Tunes in Review

Pitchfork came out with their Top 100 Tracks of 2010. I'm a sucker for these damn lists. I kind of want to make a 100-track playlist of it.

Rounding out the top ten are four songs by black artists. Kanye, Janelle, and Big Boi are ecstatic that the arbiters of hipsterdom have become so inclusive.

13 December 2010

.10 in Review

Hello hello,

It's been a while since my last post because it's been a crazy last month. So I took the time to poke around the Internets, and I realized it's that time again, time for one of my favorite things - years in review.

Two thousand ten just flew by.

I'm obviously ahead of the curve on this hand-holding, google-stroking, viral-lauding, feel-gooding, bieber-biebering look back, as there are only two million views so far.

Enjoy, and yay 2010 - another good one!

* (year in reviews?)

30 November 2010

La Motta vs.

Reposted from friend The Holiday Buffet:

The home video montages [in Raging Bull] are the only scenes in color. Though intimate

and blissfully nostalgic, the candid footage is faded and scratched. It is not
reality. The contrast between this kodachromed euphoria and the stark
black and white fighting stills makes Jake La Motta's inevitable downfall
seem all the more tragic.

26 November 2010

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

In this RSA short, renown philosopher Slavoj Zizek discusses cultural capitalism and the ethical implications of charity.

The RSAnimate series is a good one, and this is one of the best installments I've seen.

22 November 2010

yeah, but you didn't

Last March, I posted some of Craig Damrauer's New Math, the blogger's attempt to quantify the world with words and basic math. I just came across this one, which sums up a conversation I've had with many a cynic.

19 November 2010

SS10 Soundtrack: The Official List

I posted in March and again in May about Spring/Summer soundtracks. Now that I'm about ready to pull my winter comforter out, it seems like a good time to post what my SS10 Soundtrack ended up being.

+ LCD Soundsystem This is Happening
+ Beach House Teen Dream
+ Arcade Fire The Suburbs
+ Delorean Subiza

Also a big part of the soundscape:
+ Broken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock, Caribou Swim, Washed Out Life of Leisure, Wild Nothing Gemini.

But, at the end of the day, how much less fun would Summer 2010 have been without Boom Boom Pow and:

15 November 2010

"Battle: Los Angeles" Trailer

great trailer. no dialog. just sparse sound design and a gorgeous, haunting johann johannsson cue.

12 November 2010

Carter:Obama :: Woody:Ryan

I just came across this in the archives, and it seemed like an appropriate, if not unpopular, time to post it. Ryan and I spent Nov 4 at a call center, trying to sway swing states in Obama's favor. I took this picture of him, and a few weeks later spotted a mirror image of Woody Allen stumping for Carter. I thought it made for a pretty funny diptych.

05 November 2010

east side gritty, west side pretty

After two years at Aspect Ratio, this is my last day in the office. And after a decade on the east side, this is my last month in Silverlake. Although I love both, I'm diving into an exciting new venture in Santa Monica with some of my best friends, and life in Venice isn't gonna suck. I'll surf in the morning, jump on my bike and ride down the boardwalk to the office with my (future) dog. *le sigh

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take right?

Sing it, Roland, sing it, Curt.

04 November 2010

dig dig dig dig

Remix of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by new remix phenom Pogo. It's kind of mesmerizing.

03 November 2010


I think Afroman should do a remake with "I was gonna vote Yes on 19, but I got high."

02 November 2010

Falling Down

I dressed up as Michael Douglas' character, Bill Foster, in Falling Down. Obscure, I know. But that's what you get when you decide what you're going to be on Saturday morning, Halloween weekend.

01 November 2010

You like the Smiths? I like the Smiths. OMG

I read a great blog entry on (500) Days of Summer today. There are great lines like this, when in his summary of the film, writer Gabe gets to the end, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character understands that things aren't going to work out with Summer:

Then he goes to an interview for a job as an architect and meets Minka Kelly, and we are led to believe that they will get married and never argue about anything and also her name is Autumn because fuck you.

A great bit:

The most obvious precedent for
(500) Days of Summer (which, seriously, with the parentheses in the title? And I say that as someone who has an insufferable appreciation for parenthetical asides [no duh]), is Amelie. Actually,Amelie isn’t so much a precedent for this movie as it is its blueprint. If Napoleon Dynamite was Rushmore for assholes, then (500) Days of Summer is Amelie for lazy people. The problem, of course, is that Amelie was already Amelie for lazy people. I’m not trying to blow anyone’s minds or shatter anyone’s dreams, but Amelie, too, buried its emotional failings in a weaponized shell of aesthetic armor. The unanswered question in both that movie and this one is: WHY WOULD THESE PEOPLE FALL IN LOVE?

It's a good read. Check it out.

via videogum, via ryan

27 October 2010

Oil & Water Do Not Mix

CRCL (Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana), a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the Gulf of Mexico's coastal wetlands, is selling this limited edition screen printed with oil from the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Great idea, even better cause.

26 October 2010

21 October 2010

Blinky Palermo and William Eggleston Opening

A week from tonight, I'm going to be lucky enough to attend LACMA's opening of Blinky Palermo's Retrospective 1964-1977 and William Eggleston's Democratic Camera: Photographs and video, 1961-2008. My oh so thoughtful and generous friend and right coast nanook-counterpart was nice enough to get me on the list. It's going to be quite a show.

The 'c' in cake

And now an update from Helms-a-Lee

:: I've been on a great run with concerts in the last two weeks. Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, The Sea and Cake and Broken Social Scene all put on great shows. I almost don't want to go to another concert and break the streak.

b :: The Mad Men season finale was a total bust. So poorly written and paced. How did that happen? It's always so good! However, I might be in love with Megan's character. Her teeth and everything.

c :: I'm loving this rain. The weather actually matches the season.

d :: Looking forward to bundling up for Fall and Winter sailing.

e :: A fortune cookie told me to embrace the change.

11 October 2010

Banksy :: The Simpsons

Graffiti and pop artist Banksy storyboarded and directed this opening sequence for The Simpsons. Pretty great turn :30 in.

08 October 2010

Big Bear Weekend Part IV

It's Friday! And I'm leaving it all behind when I drive up to the cabin tonight. Here are a few pics from our first trip up. This time, we'll even have electricity and everything.

Barcelona Globetrotters

equal parts:
+ soccer-influenced basketball team
+ Harlem Globetrotters
+ helpless Lamar Odom
+ confused cameraman

Thanks for the link Alejandro!

01 October 2010

happy fb day

and, go lakers

To infinity and beyond

This is amazing. I was slack jawed the whole time I watched it.

A father and son devise a way to send an HD video camera into space.

and you can never quarantine the past

Last night was Sonic Youth and Pavement at the Bowl. Quite a show. Good times with the boys.

30 September 2010

Hip Hop History

"Hip Hop History" with J Timbo and Jimmy Fallon.

:: When I read the description of this video, I was all "this could be real bad."
:: 1/3 of the way through the video, I was like "ooh, I'm embarrassed. I like this."
:: Then 2/3 of the way through, I was all, I was all "mm mm. Not embarrassed anymore. This is rly good."

They do Seed 2.0! This video took me by the hand through my childhood, high school, college, and then to a frightening place where a big crowd of overweigh white people try to sing and move to Jay-Z.

Bravo Timberlake, Fallon, The Roots!

Collage: the antirational and semi-intentional

Collage is really the practice of a theory of knowledge: antirational and semi-intentional, it takes coincidence and chance materials as part of its method and inspiration. By eliminating transition, it embraces ambiguity, improvisation, speed, and multiplicity of meaning. It is expressive, but not primarily self-expressive. It does not place priority on closure, nor on conventional notions of completeness. In the constant conversation between unity and disunity, juxtaposition plays with omission and collision. It loves the energy of disruption and dislocation. Apollinaire, his contemporaries and their aesthetic heirs were more interested in creating inventive disorientations than in delivering packaged unities.
-Tony Hoagland

29 September 2010

How Ink is Made

This little vignette on how ink is made... made my day.

I love my iPhone as much as the next guy, but long live traditional print media!

y'all ready for this?

Nineties music videos were all about crash zooms. And more crash zooms. In this video for 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready for This," we reach the pinnacle of this "aesthetic."

I dare you to watch this video full screen and neither (a) get a headache nor (b) fall out of your chair. I double dare you.

[thx joe, for the link!]

28 September 2010

Xmas gifts from the Lakers

It's 116 degrees out

You can't stand it. I know you can't stand it. Ya can't stand the heat!

27 September 2010

Reality TV in 3D!

How ahead of his time was Albert Brooks? In the trailer for his feature debut Real Life (1979), a film that predicts and lampoons reality TV, he uses 3D (!!!) as the hook. He uses the exact same conventions we use today - whoa! stuff there's flying at the camera!!! There are reasons why he's Albert Brooks and the rest of us aren't.

May the Schwartz be with you

A funny video of Jason Schwartzman demonstrating The New Yorker's iPad app, directed by Roman Coppola.

Do his eyes really do that?

22 September 2010

Taxonomy of Rap Names

Pretty cool infographic. Someone should make an interactive version of this where when you mouse over a name, a pic pops up and a verse plays.

Also, there's apparently a rapper named "Shorty Shitstain." You come to Helms-a-Lee to learn.

via Fred

21 September 2010

Feels like Fall

The clouds and the chill tell me we've officially transitioned from Summer Spring to Fall.

I got a Kabocha Squash from Silverlake Farms on Friday. I'm going to oven-roast it tonight (work) tomorrow night (work) Thursday night (again) Friday night (jesus. worrrrrrk) Saturday morning? maybe? If it's not spoiled yet? like this. nom nom.

And our sartorially-inclined pal Scott Schuman says it's time to transition to light jackets and long legs. I say he's right.

Roasted Kabocha Squash

it goes: fun/passion/fighting/winning

Or so says the bad ass 10-year old Krish.

This makes me want to play some pong. But what doesn't?

Also, thank you HD-capable Digital SLRs for making our daily internet video experience so, so purdy.

via Jeff

20 September 2010

say it ain't so

My sleeves have been rolled up for years, duking it out with time and energy for success in work, friendships, and love. It's not easy to invest in all three (not to mention family and fitness) and still collect dividends.

I stumbled upon this poem, and convincing as it is, I hate to think that he's right. I still think I'll catch my opponents with a haymaker and find the perfect balance.

The New Yorker, May 18, 1998, via

13 September 2010

Les Frenchies

Silvain Chomet's long awaited followup to his Triplets of Belleville is The Illusionist, an animated adaptation of Jacques Tati's final script.

Speaking of Tati, RIP Claude Chabrol.

03 September 2010

ooooh gaaaawd....double fridaaaaay!

Yet another remix/mashup/versioned out instance of Double Rainbow.

This time with minimalist artist Donald Judd's exhibit.

01 September 2010

WWII Trumpeter

A 90 year old veteran of World War II talks about the power of music.

It's tha 1st of tha Month

get up, get up, get up, cash your checks and get up

31 August 2010

Bothered by the Noise

aaaand another video. A revealing social experiment by Ogilvy Johannesburg.

via Fred

30 August 2010

Arcade Fire and Chris Milk just went 'boom'

Holy hell this is awesome. An interactive music video for Arcade Fire by Chris Milk. It incorporates Google Earth in a really cool way.

Close or hide all other windows and click here.

Ben Folds and Nick Hornby

I promise to post something other than a video clip sometime soon.

This looks like a fun collaboration. Ben Folds wrote the music and Nick Hornby wrote the lyrics (author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, Fever Pitch). Probably not an album I'd buy, but this is a fun piece - something I would have liked to have cut.

27 August 2010


It's been a crazy-in-a-good-way week, and I'm ready for the weekend. I'm going up to the Big Bear cabin with the fam. I'm making crepes for breakfast. yummers

This video is an oldie but a goodie. I'm a sucker for this kind of story.

24 August 2010


My brother in law, who works at NASA, and I are planning on going to Florida in February to watch the Endeavor lift off in what will be the last American-built space shuttle launch. Bryn will certainly be there too.

I think commerce won the battle with art in this spot, but nevertheless, it's pretty good.

23 August 2010

200 Yard Gong Shot

And these guys just turned 13 for a few minutes.

On a stop in Ireland, these pro golfers took a break from their game to... play a game. The challenge was to skim a golf ball 200 yards along a lake and hit a 9-inch gong. Pretty great.

Giant Bubbles

I just became a seven year old again for a minute and 24 seconds.

20 August 2010

Happy Friday, from Cee Lo Green

I've always had a soft spot for this guy. This song cracked me up. I wonder who he's singing about.

Happy Friday everybody!

17 August 2010

Music-tinted windows

Dear Chuck,

I get caught dancing or playing air drums in my car weekly. "Almost," but not quite.

- the staff at Helms-a-Lee

16 August 2010

11 August 2010

In the back and in the front

Oh man. This made my day. Thx art!

02 August 2010

El Sistema

I watched a TED presentation a couple months ago that got me all fired up about Gustavo Dudamel, the hot young musical director of the LA Phil.

Traditionally, youth symphony orchestra competitions have been a monopoly of elites (you would have never guessed that, right?) - internationally (London, Vienna, etc) and socioeconomically. Venezuela wasn't even on the radar, let alone the poorest children in Venezuela.

Thirty-five years ago, this charismatic pianist, economist, and activist Jose Antonio Abreu founded
El Sistema, an innovative youth education system, to both teach lower and middle class Venezuelan children music and to help them develop confidence, responsibility, and ultimately become thoughtful, contributing members of society.

When Abreu started the
El Sistema in 1975, only 11 kids showed up to the first rehearsal. Since then, Venezuela has become one of the top five youth orchestras in the world, consistently in contention to win the "Orchestral World Cup."

Gustavo Dudamel started playing violin as a boy in
El Sistema. Now he's the musical director of the LA Philharmonic and conducts the world's greatest orchestras.

I'm going to both of Dudamel's shows, chock-full of crowd pleasers, this week at the Hollywood Bowl - a nice, summery and inexpensive way to see him, as he spends most of his time at the Di$ney Concert Hall. Tuesday I'm going with friends to see him lead the LA Phil in Gershwin's "An American in Paris" and "Rhapsody in Blue." Thursday, I'm taking my mom and dad for my dad's birthday to see him do Ravel's "Bolero."

That said -

27 July 2010


Either/or or both.

It's kind of fun to hit play on both and alternate the audio. Watch the old ladies dance to the kids' beats or watch the kids pop and lock to Caribou.

25 July 2010

Tron 2.0

Because 1.0 movie about me wasn't enough.

23 July 2010


It's Friday. And you know what I'm doing tomorrow? I'm sailing in the morning. Then I'm kayaking around the A-Basin and gawking at beautiful teak boats. Then we're grilling the Silverlake Farms veggies and meat I prepped in the morning. After a nice afternoon dip in the pool, we're going back out for an evening sail, coming back at sunset.

That is a Saturday.

"because if feels better than unbuttoning your collar..."

22 July 2010

Silverlake Walker

Dr. Marc Abrams, the "Silverlake Walker", was found dead today in his hot tub. Crazy. He'd walk by my house twice, every single day. I thought he'd never stop walking.

Art reminded me of my 4th of July BBQ last year, when the Walker passed by my place and everybody cheered for him. He looked a little startled.

LA Times did a nice profile video on him recently. It's funny - whenever you talked to an east sider about the Walker, you'd get a different theory on his backstory. He addresses some of the rumors in this piece. :: here ::

21 July 2010


Legendary psychologist Viktor Frankl delivers a great talk on humans' search for meaning, using a metaphor of a pilot crabbing - or, aiming to windward of their target to compensate for a crosswind [the staff at Helms-a-Lee would like to point out that the physics here are the same in sailing]. It's worth your four minutes:

Photographer :: Ruben Cox

Photographer Ruben Cox' show "River Pictures" opens at the Hi-Lite in downtown LA this Friday. It's a photo essay of lazy summers on the river in his hometown of Highland, North Carolina in 1990s.

Curator Audrey Landreth notes, "Cox's images capture real moments that speak to a greater experience: an American experience of fleeting summer and youth, the thrill of cool water on warm rocks; of goose bumps and distant laughter, of not wanting the sun to go down."

By appointment only. Let's go.

20 July 2010

This is how you do LA summer nights

Tonight, Ryan, Sarah, Art, Karla and I went to the Hollywood Bowl to see the LA Phil play Mozart. Ryan prepared a great dinner for us - fettuccine with ground turkey bolognese, and a really nice summer salad of sliced lotus root and cucumber, bacon, and rice vinegar. If you haven't tried lotus root, you should fix that.

Mozart under a warm LA summer night sky, $8 seats in the nosebleeds, a picnic, wine, good friends. Happy boy.

16 July 2010

Happy Inception Day

Two good new trailers. Excited to see both movies. Writing in sentence fragments.

I'm not going to see Inception this weekend, but I'm looking forward to it next week. Instead, I'm going to Vegas to celebrate Gary's 30th birthday. That'll make it four 30th birthday celebrations and a 4th of July in a seven week stretch. This weekend is going to be a blast, but I am really looking forward to having a lazy, healthy weekend or four. Maybe sailing this weekend. Or perhaps I'll finally hole up with The Wire DVDs.

re. the Social Network trailer - they nail the zeitgeist. In the front end, they deliver a well crafted iteration of the cliché 'shared human experience' montage, but they show how sad and desperate the 21st century version can be. Post that flattering angle of yourself from above, or better yet, 3/4 and above, update for attention, hope for acceptance. The back end of the trailer is powerful in its restraint. It's the story of an awkward 19 year old nerd trying to make friends and get laid. But he changes the way humans relate in the process!

re. the second trailer - I can't believe they casted Zack Galifianakis for Iron Man 3.

Un Homme et Une Femme x Best Coast

While I'm at it, here's another one. oh la la, Anouk.

Raymond Cauchetier

Photographer Raymond Cauchetier spent a decade shooting behind the scenes pictures on film sets like Godard's Breathless, Demy's Lola, and Truffaut's Jules et Jim. I've done some pretty fun stuff since 2000, but it's safe to say that Cauchetier wins this contest.

His work will be on display at the James Hyman Gallery in London. Hanging out in front of these 30x40" gelatin silver prints of Jean Seberg, Anna Karina, and Anouk Aimée? swoon sign me up.

Also, this is a repost from way back, but it seemed appropriate. One of those "I wish I had thought to do this first"'s. User created Godard/xx video:

14 July 2010

Open letter to Nickelback

I saw this here and I couldn't help but repost it.

13 July 2010

Angles are Attitudes

"Cock your hat - angles are attitudes."
- Frank Sinatra

I'd love to get my hands on one of these. This little digital camera is attached to an inflatable balloon. The photographer has 20 yards of line to send it up and click away.

The Last Jungle Gym

My four nephews/niece decided I was a jungle gym this weekend.

Connor wanted to play The Last Airbender, which he only knows from the TV campaign that we happened to work on here at Aspect. He knew every character ("Madeleine, you can be Katara, Sokka's sister."), every important plot point ("The Fire Nation banned The Earth Kingdom from bending earth."), the action moves with accompanying sound effects ("pphshheww hhhhwwwaaaaap!" *visuals below), and even some of the copy we wrote into the spots ("There is only one who can master ALL the elements."). I am brainwashing my nephews.

It cracks me up that my parents still cover their "new" (it's got to be 15 years old by now) couch with bed sheets. I actually don't even notice it when I'm there.

Lay the beets down

I made a roasted beet salad with purslane, capers, red wine vinaigrette and crumbled feta for my dad's birthday get together. The beets and purslane are courtesy of Silverlake Farms CSA.

I had never even heard of purslane before Tara offered it as part of our share. It's a nice mild alternative to leafy greens, with a slightly spongy (but not in a disgusting way) texture. I looked it up and it turns out it's actually a succulent. Another name the p
ortulaca oleracea goes by is "Little Hogweed." Sounds like a character from a Mark Twain short.

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