Monday, September 29, 2008

Thudian and Mundoose

If you like Ren and Stimpy and Indian food, check this out. It's the first episode of a cartoon created by my friend James Jacob, who drew on his Indian roots and his experience animating Looney Tunes to create some amazing characters. It's about 2 lazy, flatulent guys from Kerala, India, and their quest for food. You'll never be the same once you know what "loose motion" is.

Watch Episode 1 of Thudian and Mundoose

Thudian and Mundoose Homepage

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Mini-me vs. mini-me

Here's a short video I made of my kids skating at the Culver City skatepark. I really like this park because it's public, free and very friendly - and it's new and well designed too. I've found that if you go early on the weekends, it's not too crowded and there's usually a lot of little kids and dads, along with some old-schoolers and the more serious kids. Later in the day it gets crowded with teenagers and a lot more hectic with people hanging out and it gets more dangerous for the wee shredders.

If you find this stuff boring, leave me a note in the comments - I figure it might not be as interesting to others, but I'm trying to keep some videos so the kids can see their progression over time and get motivated. Skating rules - and the best part about taking your kids to the skatepark is you get to skate too without feeling like a geezer who doesn't belong there.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

KAWS blog

KAWS is a graffiti-ish artist who just launched the store (clothing line?) Original Fake. I used to see his work around NYC when I lived there in the late 90s, mostly adding cartoony elements to print ads... I wasn't that impressed at the time but I have to hand it to him, he ran with some simple ideas and developed them into something very distinctive and cool. Now he's getting some recognition as a serious artist and hopefully making some cash too. Nice work dude. Check out his blog, it's pretty nice.

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And now... a Murphy's Law Moment

For those of you who don't know, Murphy's Law is the best live band ever. Rising above the oh-so-serious NY Hardcore scene with wacky lyrics and on-stage hijinks including kegs and bongs, here they are in 1989 performing "Cavity Creeps". Yeah, those Cavity Creeps. Just look at how into it the crowd is... I'll post more soon with some stories from the times I saw them live.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Music for one apartment and six drummers

This is a great short film about 6 percussionists who play the hell out of a small apartment while the owners are away. The music is great and so is the filmmaking.

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My Baby Pictures Are Like a Virus

I noticed recently that some of my old baby pictures (of my babies, not of me) have spread virally to the far corners of the internets. And I do mean the far corners - some Farsi-language sites, a Dutch bodybuilding site (my kids are ripped), and even YTMND. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I guess I'm proud - nobody was using the images in a negative way, and I guess I took a few good snaps. So in the interest of jumping on a trend, here's a few of the most linked images.

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Shake it Wario, Shake it!

Now I really want a Wii - Wario is my favorite Nintendo character. But what I really like is the ad they've got running on Youtube for the game, it's definitely Wario-approved! Go check it out and be sure to watch the whole thing - trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Wario Shake on Youtube

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Monday, September 22, 2008

DJ Mudfoot Video Mix #1 - Classic Jungle April 2008

For all the ragga jungle and dubstep heads out there, I'm going to start posting some of the video DJ mixes I've been putting on Youtube in the last year. These were made in my garage studio, and I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from listeners in the US and the UK. So excuse the unoriginal content, but it's actually my own stuff - I've just never blogged it before. If you like it, let me know because I can always make more.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Barack Obama Reggae Song by Cocoa Tea

Yes Rasta - show your support and skank for change in the USA! Pretty catchy.

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Game and Watch Music Video

This music video made me smile - the music is very 8-bit, and the video superimposes LCD graphics like the classic Nintendo "Game and Watch" games on outdoor scenes. Not sure if these are the actual graphics from games or just done in that style, but either way they kick ass. I never owned any of those games, but I remember playing them a lot - I must have mooched off friends.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Silophone, the Ultimate Reverb

This public art project turns a defunct grain silo near Montreal into a giant echo chamber, and anyone can upload an audio file to be automatically played through the chamber and re-recorded for you to download. Use it for processing your Garageband tracks or any other kind of audio production. Or make your own ringtone that sounds like it's coming from the depths of hell. Only the internet could have given us something this cool... now when are they going to do this with the echo chamber at Abbey Road Studios?


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Millions of Mini Ramps

When I was growing up skateboarding in NY, I knew a lot of skateboarders but almost nobody I knew had a halfpipe. That was the kind of thing you saw in magazines, in pictures from California. The ones that were around on the East coast were usually either super-sketchy or even more sketchy. And small halfpipes were generally looked down on as 'beginner' ramps, to be abandoned or torn down once you were ready for vert. Nowadays, it's a whole different thing - as you can see from this site. Mini ramps are all the rage - less pain, less space required, good for skaters of all abilities, and better for today's technical tricks. The free ramp plans distributed by Rick Dahlen have been used to create ramps all over the world, and many are pictured here. It's like a dream - an endless plywood playground.

Mini Ramp Photos


Funk and Soul Wants to Be Free

Baby Grandpa is an awesome music blog - excuse me, "vault." Not only do they write great reviews of classic, out-of-print funk/soul/R&B albums, but they also link to full downloads. Keep it on the DL.

Baby Grandpa


WTF? Racist, Lying Republican Sleazebags

This just shows you who the McCain campaign has in their corner. AP reports this product was on sale at a conservative political forum. The box also features Obama in a Muslim hat and has a note on the side that says "for best taste point waffles toward Mecca." Un-be-LIEvable. Especially considering how the Republicans have reversed themselves on so many issues this fall.


Barack Obama is Muhammad Ali

It struck me yesterday that as Democrats have called on Obama to be more aggressive in the face of smears by the McCain campaign, he has to walk a fine line between not being a wimp and remaining above the fray. In the last few days, he seems to have risen to the occasion - and I think he's taking a page from the playbook of the Greatest Of All Time, Muhammad Ali. Ali beat bigger fighters by relying on the jab instead of more powerful punches, and playing the 'rope-a-dope' - staying on the ropes to diminish the impact of his opponents punches and wear him out. Obama is doing the same thing - diminishing the impact of swift-boat attacks by not responding to them directly, and waiting until McCain gives him an opening to attack swiftly and directly. It doesn't hurt that McCain is providing plenty of openings, but I like Obama's judicious use of the less-substantive attack, it keeps him from appearing to have given up his integrity in the way McCain has. Obamarama!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Atari Video Music Trip-Out Machine

Atari made a bachelor-pad music visualizer in the 70s that you could hook up to your TV in order to induce a seizure in your date and take advantage of her while the sounds of Journey blazed over your 8-track stereo. Check out the video, visit the Atari Museum for a full description and then pull out your wallet, because there's one for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles.

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Beware the Mongolian Death Worm

Read more... and visit this great blog, Neatorama.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DJ Rig from the Ancient School

Sighted recently on ebay - if you know what Serato is and it really pisses you off, you might want to pick up a set of turntables like this one.


The Dub (Sea?) Scrolls

Anyone who has any interest in making or just understanding dub music should check out this great site, which explains the various machines and techniques behind dub reggae.

The Dub Scrolls


Monday, September 15, 2008

Looney Tunes Are Invading Your Supermarket

Safeway and Vons are rolling out a whole new line of "healthy eating" products featuring classic Looney Tunes characters. Check out this insightful post about it on the excellent animation blog, Cartoon Brew.

Daffy Tapioca


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scraper Bikes - The Latest Trend from Oakland, CA

From the place that brought you hyphy and ghost-riding, now comes the bike version of "donks", the Scraper Bike. These are small frames with big wheels, decorated with loud colors and junk food wrappers. WTF? Looks pretty cool though, and they even have their own rap video.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sesame Street Pinball Psych-Out

I think this clip is the reason I ended up playing guitar in a funk band after college - and probably had something to do with a lot of other bad behavior. The music is just too funky, and I don't know what they thought they were doing to kids with the psychedelic graphics. Yo Gabba Gabba's got nothing on this.

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Depressing Classic Rock MIDI Songs

There's some seriously depressing classic rock out there - just ask Dan Fogelberg. But what happens when you combine depressing songs with General MIDI, the most depressing music format known to man? I don't know but you're about to find out if you're brave enough to click the link below. Don't forget a Kleenex.

Depressing Classic Rock MIDI


Buy Big Stuff Now

For all you big spenders out there, here's a store that specializes in big stuff - mostly big versions of things that aren't really so big, which is what makes it cool. Big coolness.

Great Big Stuff


Mr. Fastfinger Speed Guitar Tutorial

You need guitar lessons, grasshopper - head over to Mr. Fastfinger and learn "the way of the exploding solo". This site has some amazing flash animation and seriously mind-blowing guitar lessons. Why didn't they have this when I was a kid in the 80s? We had to fight over the school library's copy of "Guitar Player" magazine.

Mr. Fastfinger


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mike Mika's Video Game Collection

If you can get past the annoying fanboy interviewer, this is a great interview with the studio head of Backbone Entertainment where he shows off his insanely huge video game collection, featuring pretty much every home system and a bunch of vintage computers and arcade games.

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Bombing the Berkeley Hills

Holy smokes this is absolutely nuts. These two guys bomb through Berkeley's Claremont Canyon on longboards, wearing suits. This is like skydiving except you could suddenly hit the ground at any time - not to mention oncoming traffic. They even pass the camera back and forth a couple of times. I am in awe - but I would never, ever try this. I used to bomb hills in my neighborhood but nothing remotely like this, and I don't even do that anymore.

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McCain gets BarackRoll'd

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How to Find Great Deals on Craigslist

I've found a lot of great deals on Craigslist, mostly on musical instruments but also furniture and other cool stuff. I often get things for way less than you'd expect. Partially it's because I'm a notorious chiseller. But I also have some specific tips on how to find the best deals. This is best for musical instruments but it works well for any kind of item:

1. Visit often and only look at the newest posts

This is my ultimate Craigslist technique. If there's a really good deal on Craigslist, odds are it's going to get snapped up quickly. So check the listings as frequently as you can, and only look at the most recent listings. You want to be the first one who responds. Usually people will hold the item for you to be fair, even if other people call after you and say they can come right over. Once I saw a vintage tube guitar amp for $50 and I knew it was a great deal. I was the first caller and I said I'd come right over and get it. When I got there, the guy told me that 10 people had called right after me. I gave him $60 because I didn't have change. A year later I saw the same amp on Craigslist for $350. Another tip to make this easier is to always click on the first listing, that way when you come back you can see which listings are new since you last visited.

2. Try searching for misspellings

If you're looking for congas, try "congos" or "congo". If you're looking for cymbals, try "symbols" or "cymbols". You'll find things that other people won't.

3. Get creative with your search terms

I was looking for modern furniture, and I realized that there were certain words that were likely to find things that appealed to me. One of the words was "Danish". Not all the results were actually Danish furniture, but they tended to be to my taste. For music gear, I often search for "vintage", "60s", "tube", "reel", etc. - I like vintage 60s tube amps and reel to reels. When I was looking for a Gibson Melody Maker, I searched for both "melody maker" and "melodymaker" - different results each time.

4. Use the min/max amount fields

If you're just looking for bargains, try leaving the search field blank and putting in a max price of $50, and see what comes up. If you're looking for high-quality things, take the opposite approach. You can even search in all items for sale and see what comes up, you never know what you'll find.

5. Check the "free" and "barter" categories

You'd be amazed at what people are giving away on Craigslist, or what you can get by trading. And you can always offer money instead of barter. These categories are 'off the beaten path.'

6. Search in nearby regions

Depending on where you live, you might be able to search in multiple communities and get good deals with a little extra travel. I live in LA, and when I was buying a drum set I got a great deal on one in San Diego. I had to spend a few hours in the car, but this was before $4/gallon gas, and the deal was so good it more than made up for the extra time and gas money.

7. Ask people if they have anything else for sale

When I bought the aforementioned drum set, the seller was a professional drummer with a house full of drums. I needed more than what was included in the drum set, so I asked if he had any old cymbals or stands he could sell me. I ended up getting a great deal on some vintage Zildjians and I didn't have to go back to Craigslist for more.

8. Haggle

Some people don't like to haggle. I'm not one of them. I think it's a time-honored tradition that helps both parties walk away feeling like they got the better deal. Wait until you're at the seller's house with cash in pocket, and ask for a break on the price. Be reasonable and know what the item is worth, people don't appreciate lowballers or time-wasters... but most people would rather not have to show an item multiple times, and they are often very motivated to sell. Ask for extras, like cables, accessories, power supplies, and spare parts. The seller might throw in something that would be quite expensive if you had to get it from a store.

9. Look at items and know your sh*t

When I'm looking for a specific item, I try to become a total expert on that item - that way I can recognize a good or a bad deal when I see it. Look at all the listings for a given item, even if they're out of your price range or region. Learn about the details so you can inspect the item carefully and know whether it's in good shape or not. Look at listings on ebay for the item in mint condition, they tend to have lots of nice pictures you can use to know what a prime specimen looks like.

10. Be cool

The great thing about Craigslist is that people treat it like a local community, even though it's an international marketplace. As a result, people often just want to "find a good home" for their stuff, and have little interest in profit. This is not always the case, but I've met some really nice people and gotten some great deals, and there's always this conspiratorial vibe like we're both in on some big secret. It's so good, let's not mess it up.

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Happy Birthday, Sega Dreamcast!

How about some irony with that birthday cake? Today is the 9th anniversary of the Dreamcast's US launch on 9/9/99. In honor of the failed console, check out this awesome game that never made it to the US. Segagaga takes place in the year 2025, where you find Sega has a 3% market share. The object of this "Sega Simulation" is to take over the company and compete with Sony's Playstation. How'd that work out for you, Sega?



Jesus Is My Friend

Oh man this is good. Why can't today's Christian Rock be more like this? I especially love how they have a grand piano but the keyboard player is rocking the Casiotone. And how about that headless Steinberger bass? Serious 80s action here. Skank out for the Lord!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Japanese Punk Butts

This one's an oldie but a goodie. Did you know that Japanese punks have taken butt fashion to previously unimagined levels of awesomeness?

Japanese Punk Butts

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Guess Who?

I'll give you a hint: he's known for a certain project.