Loy Krathong: Thai Festival of Lights

I knew I was forgetting something beautiful:

Via Omae on Flickr, cialis sale thanks.

Loy Krathong is held on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar (which usually falls in November here in the west). This month in the Northern Thai kingdom, case  ritual symbolism and Lanna Thai Buddhist tradition intertwine as communities gather together to celebrate a vast healing ritual.

In a ceremony possibly derived from the Hindu celebration of Diwali in India, hundreds of thousands of candle-lit krathong (banana leaf rafts) and elaborate, glittering floats are set adrift in rivers, streams, lakes, and canals:

Photo via Grant Thai on Flick, thanks.

Countless scores of glowing cylindrical lanterns called khome loi are set alight and released into the night sky as offerings to Lord Buddha:

It is believed that by lighting khome loi and sending them heavenward, “one symbolically casts away grief, misery and ill-fortunes.”

LA: Win Three Tickets to Kenneth Anger Tonight!

The film above, Rabbits’ Moon, was Kenneth Anger’s 1979 tribute to classic themes of love and folly, as influenced by Kabuki theater as well as commedia dell’arte. Japanese folklore’s Moon Rabbit is a symbol of self-sacrifice, not unlike Pierrot The Fool. Pierrot suffers at the whims of Columbine while Harlequin enjoys the show. This seven-minute film took twenty years to complete and its original score included music from The Capris, Mary Wells and Jamie Cullum among others. Anger, [Lucifer Rising, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, author of Hollywood Babylon] one of the world’s greatest experimental filmmakers, is presenting five of his films tonight at the very intimate RedCat Theater.

A towering figure of American avant-garde cinema since the mid-1940s, Kenneth Anger has posited himself at the junction of pop and underground culture, occultism and rock music. Tonight’s screening presents an array of works in which Anger subjects different ideologies and subcultures to his incisive vision and the uncanny re(de)constructive power of his editing skills. Ich Will (2008, 35 min.) montages newsreels from the Nazi era to Bruckner’s music. Mouse Heaven (2005, 12 min.) “does for Mickey Mouse what Scorpio Rising did for neo-Nazi biker gangs,” according to the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Elliott’s Suicide (2007, 15 min.) is an elegy for the late Elliott Smith, while I’ll Be Watching You (2007, 4:52 min.) and Foreplay (2008, 7 min.) explore two different forms of male bonding: sex in an underground parking structure and a soccer team’s training session. The program concludes with the seminal Scorpio Rising (1963, 29 min., 35mm), whose hallucinatory and campy communing with pop culture fetishes (chrome-trimmed choppers, James Dean, zippers, Jesus) has been an enduring avant-garde crowd pleaser.

I have three two [all gone, sorry peeps!] complimentary tickets available to the first three humans to write me with their emails titled “Anger!”. The presentation begins at 8:30 pm – don’t delay!

Better Than Coffee: The “Soy Bomb Incident”

Soy represents dense nutritional life. Bomb is, obviously, an explosive destructive force. So, “soy bomb” is what I think art should be: dense, transformational, explosive life!Michael Portnoy

I sometimes wonder how the NYC folks I’ve lost touch with are doing these days. For instance, my former roomie and occasional partner in performance art/music/fashion shenanigans, Michael Portnoy. A multi-talented, mischievous fellow who rented me a room in his flat on the Lower East Side when I first arrived in town, Michael’s “diverse practice spans dance-theater, metafunctional sculpture, fascist socials, experimental stand-up, prog-operatic spectacle, an aerobic restaurant where food leaps out from the walls, and Icelandic cockroach porn.” Noble pursuits, one and all! However, Mister Portnoy remains best known for his balls-out impromptu guerilla dance’plosion during Bob Dylan’s performance of “Love Sick” at the 1998 Grammy Awards:

(I love that it took almost a full minute for anyone to realize Soy Bomb wasn’t part of the show and “escort” him offstage.)

A bit of background info: the Grammys production team had hired Michael and two dozen other extras to stand in the background and wriggle in a shambolic, vaguely beatnik fashion to “give Bob a good vibe.” $200 to do a bit of insincere finger-snapping on live television? Not bad work if you can get it. But Michael had more grandiose visions, and of course, the rest is history. Love it or hate it (and to be sure, I love it a little more every time I watch it) “the Soy Bomb incident” has become one of the most memorable moments in televised award ceremony history, right up there with Sasheen Littlefeather declining Marlon Brando’s Academy Award for him to a chorus of boos, Jarvis Cocker interrupting Michael Jackson‘s pretentious BRIT Awards spectacle, and Sally Fields mewling “you like meee!”

All Time Greatest Hits of the Twelve Tone Masters!

A very wise, oft-quoted fellow named Joel Hodgson once said “we never ask, will anyone get this? We just assume the right people will get it.” On that note, without further explication, here’s the infamous “Twelve Tone Commercial” raillery (recorded back in 1977 by some super-awesomely eggheaded musicians) more recently set to an inspired collection of moving pictures by some wacky genius who may or may not reside in Austria:

The audio on this was recorded 40 years ago by Robert Conrad, founder of WCLV classical radio. A prolific American conductor named Kenneth Jean produced it, and revered Swiss composer/conductor Matthias Bamert is said to have had a hand in it as well. Bless ’em all.

To anyone peeing their pants and rolling on the floor laughing right now: you are officially the nerdiest music nerd that ever nerded from Serial Composition class.

High fives.

Weekly Ad Uncoiling: Which Visual is Wronger?

Advertising copywriters and art directors are always looking for the never-before-seen visual twist to sell a product; it’s what we live for (well that, and the gifts/ass-sucking of media reps). But sometimes, in the holy quest to be Cannes Gold Lion original, ad creatives shutdown their left cerebral hemisphere and lose their fucking minds.

It’s easy to follow the creative brief thought process here: “Toilet Duck gets your shitter so clean…it (blankity blank blank blank).” It’s a perfectly acceptable toilet cleaner strategy. However, showing a woman using a hopper to wash her face is not an acceptable dramatization—I don’t care how long or bristly her toilet brush is. This image (click here for closer look) has to immediately turn off a large portion of potential buyers, yes? At best, she is getting harsh chemical residue in her eyes/mouth/nose. At worst… Now, I’d personally have no problem washing my face in my toilet, if I had no other choice. But remember, I’m obsessed with commodes

This ad (click here for closer look), via Colombia, is…bizarre. It’s for Nutrecan senior dog food. And that is a blow-up sex dog doll, complete with blowjob mouth. I really don’t need/want to see the rear view. You can kinda feel your way to wtf the ad agency was thinking here: the sex dog doll is for “adult” dogs only, as is this dog food. But, throwing some logic into the dog pound for a sec, canines wouldn’t be interested in a sex dog doll. Only humans (and primates) stick their willies into plastic holes. Plus…why are you attempting to sell dog food with a SEX DOG DOLL? OK. So, which visual is wronger? Tell me, Coilhousers!

Limited-Edition Issue 01: Going, Going, Gone…

Just a quick courtesy announcement to let you guys know that there are only 45 copies (out of 1,000) left of the limited edition Issue 01. So for any stragglers who wanted to order Issue 01 but put it off, now is your chance. We will be selling them until midnight on Friday, after which point the magazine will not be available on the site until Issue 02. We may eventually get some of the non-limited Issue 01’s back issues in stock, but it probably won’t happen for awhile.

We actually didn’t predict that this would happen. Everyone is saying that the odds of a new magazine (or an existing one, for that matter) surviving in the current economy are very bleak, you guys, above all else, have made it possible. Thank you.

Additionally, we would like to request that any customers who ordered the magazine more than 5-10 days ago and have not yet received it to please email us this week. If you ordered it that long ago and didn’t receive it, there was a problem, and we want to get you sorted out! Please let us know sooner rather than later, so that we can ensure that everyone gets their copy.

Stay tuned for news on Issue 02!

UPDATE: aaaaand, they’re gone. Thank you all!

Dziga Vertov’s Truth Machine

When the dust settled from the October Revolution in 1917, diagnosis there was a brief, shining period of uninhibited artistic experimentation in Russia. Before the authorities clamped down on such “decadent” behavior, Russian artists in the 1920s explored communist ideals with more sincerity, hope and optimism than probably at any other time in history in every medium, from architecture to graphic design. In the realm of film, this exploration manifested itself as Kino-Eye, or camera eye. Devotees of this filmmaking style believed that the camera should be used to record the truth of Soviet life without the aid of screenplays, actors, makeup or sets. “I am kino-eye, I am mechanical eye,” wrote Dziga Vertov in the Kino Eye Manifesto in 1923. “I, a machine, show you the world as only I can see it.” The crowning achievement of the movement was the 1929 film Man with a Movie Camera, made by Dziga Vertov (a name that translates to “Spinning Top”) and his brother, Boris Kaufman. The film presents the day in the life of a Soviet city from morning until night, with citizens “at work and at play, and interacting with the machinery of modern life.”  The below is Part 6 of Man with a Movie Camera, one of the most dynamic sequences in the film (the entire film is behind the cut). Best if watched with speakers on:

Though the original, which premiered at a planetarium in Hanover at an event hosted by Kurt Schwitters (someone get me a time machine, now!), was silent, the director left behind notes for how music for this film should be composed. Dozens of interpretations have emerged over the years; the Biosphere, In the Nursery and Cinematic Orchestra versions are among the most well-known.

Sadly, things didn’t end well for Dziga Vertov in Russia, though they ended better for him than for most people in his position. When Socialist Realism was declared the “official form of art” in 1934, many of his colleagues were ostracized or exiled. Vertov was able to get away with a couple more films in the 30s, but they were edited to conform to the government’s expectations. After his last creative film, Lullaby, in 1937, Vertov worked on editing Soviet newsreels for the rest of his life. Interestingly, his brother Boris was able to move to America and worked with Elia Kazan and Sidney Lumet as a cinematographer. Kazan infamously named many colleagues as communists to McCarthy’s committee, but Vertov’s brother wasn’t one of them. I wonder if the two brothers stayed in touch, and how they felt about their work and how their lives had diverged. Was Vertov a bitter man as a news editor? Not necessarily; a lot of people, even when robbed of their ability to make art, made up excuses and remained devoted to communist ideals to the very end.  And how did his brother Boris Kaufman fare in the paranoid environment of McCarthyism? Who felt that he got the better end of the deal, I wonder?

[via my pops, who now has a blog]

Heavy Metal East: “Music is the weapon of the future”

Moe Hamzeh of The Kordz during the Cedar Revolution, photo by Lynsey Addario

In 2007, the documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad chronicled the trials of Acrassicauda, dubbed “Iraq’s only heavy metal band.” No doubt many did a double take at trying to reconcile visions of headbangers with environs like Iraq or Lebanon.

Part of that surprise comes from the tremendous heaping pile of bullshit out there about the Middle East. This is, in mass-media world, the land of They. Here is one teeming mass of zealots, driven as by incomprehensible creeds towards destroying you, dear viewer. Fear! Cower!

This is a lie. Growing from the very real repression and devastation faced in these lands, metal of all varieties is thriving from North Africa to Pakistan. As Moroccan metal founding father Reda Zine proclaimed: “we play heavy metal because our lives are heavy metal.”

The resulting fusion sounds both old and new. Middle Eastern metalheads have gathered in the hundreds of thousands, rivaling the Islamist rallies that induce so much hand-wringing in the West. In defense of the most basic freedoms they’ve had showdowns with dictators and fundamentalists. Sometimes, they win.

Elgar, Pooyan and Fasrshid at the Desert Rock Festival. Photo by Megan Hirons.

In the West, critics and popular imagination have long dismissed metal as unserious, adolescent stuff. Across the ocean, forget it: this is one of the gutsiest musical movements in the world — and they mean every damn word.


Tastee sammich fixinz by Aaron Muszalski.

Yep… definitely had a severe case of the Mondays today. Also, I think I may have suffered a mild stroke. Is it possible for an entire group of people to simultaneously suffer a stroke? Because there really isn’t any other rational explanation for DRGBLZ.com. (Or that phantom smell of burning hot dogs I can’t seem to shake.)

Propaganda by Ariana Osborne.

Tweeting a random, extremely stupid idea born from a typo is, it would seem, the internet equivalent of not covering your mouth as you cough Avian Bird Flu directly into someone’s face. Or in this case, Blimp Macro Flu. (I can haz?)

Seriously, we all temporarily lost our friggin’ minds. We’re talking spontaneous collaborative lollercaust. Our sudden, inexplicable obsession (and regression) would no doubt make for a fascinating study in the viral progression of online memes for some MIT graduate student. Or not.


Wrought by Candice Cardasis. Inspired by Dan Curtis Johnson.

I’m sorry, world. I’m so sorry. We’ve put our disease in you, and now you’ll never be free.

If you haz… er, I mean have, DRGBLZ or baLOLoon macros you’d like to submit, please email theremina [at] gmail [dot] com. Kthxbai.

Coilhouse Co-Editors Interviewed by Gala Darling!

Gala Lumière Darling:

I believe in being enthusiastic & passionate, & thinking big. I believe in turning the music up loud. I believe in celebrating every day, & getting dressed up for the occasion. I love life. I’m a candy-haired gangster with big plans.

We love Gala Darling. She’s a go-getting, effervescent font of optimism, practicality, wisdom and whimsy all in one stunning package. Gala’s been a supportive friend of our venture from day one, sending over one of our first (and biggest) bursts of readers when the blog launched back in October of 2007. We three lucky ladies are honored and tickled oh-so-very pink to have been interviewed by the fuchsia-tinted juggernaut about our Big Coilhouse Adventure thus far. Read it here.

Gala, dahling. We could just drown you in kisses and cupcakes. Thank you again.