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New York Is Red Hot!!

Squeezed a quick pre-Xmas/New Year trip to NY. Took advantage of great exchange rate & went berserk in HMV & Virgin, snapping up 'nuff DVD box-set bizness like 'Director's Label', 'Ed Wood', 'Educational Archives Lunchbox' (!) + plenty of browsing/buying in Bleecker St.'s record stores; many like those in High Fidelity.

Then, M.O.M.A, recently renovated and celebrating its 75th anniversary:

New York - 12.04 - M.O.M.A (1) - Half Guy.JPG

As ever, I enjoyed soaking up the Pop Art - when I look at those famous works from the likes of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein & Jasper Johns, I tend to draw parallels with Mash-Up and Bastard Pop culture.

New York - 12.04 - M.O.M.A (5) - Warhol (2).JPG

Warhol 'borrowed' Campbell's Soup cans and made a lot of money from them, Lichtenstein 're-mixed' comic book frames into striking prints. Did these artists have any problems with copyright? Without more research, I don't know the exact answer but doubt it; they were reflecting everyday images that are and were pretty much unavoidably public domain. The Music Business however takes a more agressive stance if you decide to reflect it's content in a new creation. Just read the surreal story of Negativland and what happened when they parodied U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".
Negativland's web-site is a fascinating resource for reading up on Copyright, Intellectual Property & Fair Use law.

grey album.jpg

Furthermore, what about DJ Dangermouse unleashing the phenomenal 'Grey Album' late last year which wasn't even for sale? Surely just a piece of art? Parody & the First Ammendment are serious defenses in such a murky world. Respect due & props to Illegal Art as well who treat Mash-Ups as just that, Art - check their site and big them up!!

My mind was blown away a couple of days later by a visit to The Museum Of Television & Radio. Pushed for time, I hurried to the 4th floor to test the computerized catalog of over 120,000 TV & Radio Programmes and Adverts too. OK, what do I want to see? One of my all-time faves, Rod Serling's 'Twilight Zone' was too easy/obvious. OK, how about 'Omnibus - Video Jukebox', a little more obscure. I remembered watching this as a kid circa 1986, still at school, it was presented by the late great John Peel and brilliantly covered 'Pop Video' just as MTV was about to blow up in Europe.

ny_library.jpg

So I find it on the system, go up to the counter and within about 2 minutes the friendly staff printed me out a slip, I took it downstairs and, again within 2 minutes another friendly staff member showed me to viewing console no.6 and explained how to easily view my nostalgia - game f*cking over!!!

ny_consoleroom.jpg

Oh, if you go to NY and visit The Museum Of Television & Radio and want to check that cool 'Omnibus - Video Jukebox', save a minute of your life, tape number is "071376"- aiiiiit!!!!

More madness when I popped in to catch up with Henry & Bill at Jaybee Magazines. Last time I saw them was about 7 years ago when I came over to shoot a G-Shock/Junior Vasquez piece for MTV with Simone.

New York - 12.04 - Jaybee Mags (2).JPG

Much of my magazine collection was built up from Jaybee's; you'd go down into a basement and Jerry Garcia, sorry, Henry would ask what you were looking for. Like the TV & Radio Museum, Henry worked at lightning speed - say you asked for an issue of Rolling Stone, Vogue or Entertainment Weekly from years back, within seconds Henry would re-appear with numerous copies of that one issue so you could choose the one in best condition!!! Bill revealed he'd never been to London, moreover, he'd never been on a plane in his whole life!! Maybe that's why he looked so good for his age. Henry & I haggled over some Interview mags & his CD collection which he was about to put up on ebay and having paid, I left the shop. We all reckoned the spooky green mist colour of the photo was the spirit of Lou, who ran the business before Henry (he's the dude in the picture I'm holding). Guys, if you're reading this blog; you rule!!!

Caught some movies. Ray is fab, one of the best Hollywood bio-pics though Tony Hackford's film does omit some major bits if you know Ray Charles' life story well - no mention of Mary-Jane Robinson or first wife Linda who went with him to Seattle in 1949 and who had a daughter with him.

Ray Charles.jpg

Anyway, talk about method acting, Jamie Foxx IS Ray Charles. Before he passed away, Ray Charles met Jamie and gave his serious seal of approval. Best Actor Oscar? I hope so. No Oscars for 'After The Sunset' but nevertheless, highly entertaining. Like a light-hearted 'Heat', retired (but not for long!) criminal Max (Piers Brosnan) & FBI agent Stan (Woody Harrelson), play cat-and-mouse with a tropical paradise backdrop. Brett Ratner's spot-on casting, locations and overall direction is super-slick with an obvious nod to another De Niro flick, 'Midnight Run'. Good to hear Mamas & Papas as part of the soundtrack too.

NY SHOUTS: Rockstar, RadioShack, Jonnie Lia, Johnny B, Markert!!, DJ Reset & Phil M.

Posted on January 12, 2005 at 11:57 PM

2005 Green Bandana Productions Ltd. Website design by Steve Mannion.
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