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Month: February 2010 (page 2 of 3)

Wham’s “Careless Whisper”

Because it’s been a few days since I posted anything at all and this song is undeniably awesome. You disagree? I DISAGREE WITH YOU!

I mean, how fucking killer is the sax solo? So fucking killer.

Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK”

Dear Ke$ha,

Two things.

1 – I’m having a hard time typing Ke$ha for some reason, so from here on out it’ll just be Kesha.

2 – I liked you better when you were called Uffie. Oh zing! See what I just did there?

Sincerely,

The Black Laser.

PS – I’d like to stop hearing this song everywhere. If you could do something about that and then get back to me, I would appreciate it.

Daedelus’ “Fin de Siècle”

This is very nice. I like all the colors in the video and the richness of the electronic audioscapes. Yeah, I totally just wrote that.

Wingsuit Base Jumping.

Good morning, Black Laserites! I’m not working this week, but I haven’t forgotten about you. Here’s an amazing video that will make your stomach drop.

The whole thing can be summed up in one quote, “At the beginning of wingsuit base jumping we were trying to get as far from the wall as possible, so basically clearing out the whole thing. And now it’s getting boring so we play around.”

Yeah, you read that. Jumping off the side of a mountain wearing only a jumpsuit with flying squirrel-like wings attached GOT BORING. What the fuck are they putting in the water in Norway?

An Analysis of 2009 – The Year of 5000 Photos and 50 Short Stories.

Now that February is clipping along rapidly, my application to Hunter is finished and submitted, and I have had a moment to think about the results of last year’s theme, the time has arrived to discuss 2009 – The Year of 5000 Photos and 50 Short Stories. I know that you were all super excited for yet another text-heavy Black Laser posting in which I muse about things that matter to me but probably don’t matter to you. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

In case you missed it, here is my original statement of intent for 2009.

2009 was wildly successful for my photo work. Not only did I hit 5017 out of 5000 photos, but I really do think that my photos got noticeably better over the course of the year. I’ve throw together a gallery of some of my favorites from the last year. There’s no rhyme or reason for the selections; I just went through 2009 and picked a bunch I liked. They are arranged in chronological order, oldest first.

[flickrset id=”72157623234441883″ thumbnail=”square” overlay=”true” size=”large”]

I took a lot of good photos and a handful of great ones. I feel much more confident with my tools than I did before. I learned and experimented and limited myself. Tremendous success. We’ll see how many photos I take this year. I’ve hardly touched my camera since the year began because I was working so hard on my graduate school application, but that will soon change. Making photos is fun and rewarding, even if I don’t make a damned dollar doing it.

Here are all the galleries I’ve posted on this site. Anything tagged “Year of 5000 Photos and 50 Short Stories” is, obviously, part of this theme.

The results of my writing last year are much less clear. In one quantitative manner, it was only a partial success with only 38 of 50 short stories being written. Even once I lowered my goals in terms of word count, I was unable to get as much done as I had strived for. There is no excuse really. I missed the mark and that’s it. It’s disappointing too, because once I really got down to it, I was able to crank out piece after piece. Between the middle of November and the end of the year I wrote 36 of my 38 short stories. If you do the math, that works out to an average of 6 stories a week for 6 weeks. Not bad at all.

And that’s the rub. More importantly than whether or not I met the quota I set for myself in December of 2008, in terms of my skills as a writer, I think that 2009 was a complete success. Writing as often and as much as I did undoubtedly helped my writing. “Duh,” you say, but it’s true. I believe that whipping through those short stories made me a stronger writer. It’s one thing to know that practice makes you better at things, but it’s entirely different to have experienced it. I am sure that the writing I did last year contributed directly to the quality of my creative submission to Hunter this year, which is quite clearly superior to the work I submitted last year. And that is awesome.

I’m still not that great with writing about myself, though.

Check out all posts with the tag “Year of 5000 Photos and 50 Short Stories” to see the work I did.

This year I’ve already written 1 of my assigned 12 Finished Short Stories. I’ve not yet done any real work on the music videos, but it is only February and there is time. I hope to continue the roll I started in November when I decided that all the worrying I was doing about the quality of my work was preventing me from doing any at all (stupid). I’ve got more writing to do and photos to make. It feels great to make something out of nothing, and I hope all you lovely readers of my tiny speck on the face of the Interwebs will continue to read and look. And if you don’t, at the very least, I enjoy it all and that’s really what matters.

A letter to Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale.

Dear Sierra Nevada Bigfoot,

Why? I remember the first time I drank you. It was at Deegan’s house in Portola Valley. His parents were gone and we were maybe Seniors in high school. We’d been drinking Red Tails and then he decided to bust you out. I took only a few sips before I called it quits and decided that it was no longer worth my time to force you down.

And then age happened. And I discovered what beer could be beyond the stale, miserable experiences I’d had as a youth. I learned there was more to the world that Coors Light and Hamm’s Gold and Natty Ice. I learned that beer was an art, an experience to be had, not just the easiest way to get drunk without poisoning myself on hard liquor.

Oh, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, you are one of my favorite seasonal brews. I thank God every day that I can find you on the East Coast. Sure, you’re no Six Point Righteous Rye, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a place in my heart. You do. I love you.

As I sit here tonight, on my second bottle, I am reminded that I’ve been given a gift. And that gift is strong beer. When everything around me is crumbling and horrible, I always know that somewhere, somehow, someone is making beer that will lift me out of the darkness and make everything all right.

So, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale, I salute you.

Sincerely,

The Black Laser.

Further information dug up regarding Die Antwoord

I’ve been rustling through the interwebs today and found out a little more about Die Antwoord. Apparently, the group is the brain child of Watkin Tudor Jones, aka NINJA. His career in South African hip-hop stretches back to the halcyon days of the mid-90s (remember those?) and across several different projects, such as Max Normal and the Constructus Corporation.

Now, I could go and rehash all the info I read, but instead I’ll just send you to the site where I read it.

How about some samples of their previous work?

Max Normal.tv

Constructus Corporation

I’ve also learned about this concept called “zef” which is a South African word meaning something like “common.” Based on the description I got from Kameraad Mhambi’s blog post “What is Zef?” is that it’s like a blend of ghetto and trailer park sensibilities. Read the article though, it’s more informative than what I just wrote.

Where does that leave us with Die Antwoord? Exactly where we were before. They are still awesome. If these guys ever came to New York, I’d be in line an hour before doors. Seriously, I don’t care if there’s a whole scene in South Africa, this shit is fresh as fuck here in the States and I am into it. I need—NEED—the record. Need it so bad.

Following up on a post made yesterday concerning rap-rave music from South Africa

Yesterday, before posting Die Antwoord’s music videos, I sent them to my friend Gardner, absolutely sure that he would enjoy them. I was, of course, right. He loved the hell out of them right away. And, being Gardner, what does he do? He finds the band’s e-mail and send them an e-mail about how awesome they are.

To: Die Antwoord
From: Gardner Loulan
Subject: You are now my gods.

I just came across your stuff via my friends blog TheBlackLaser.net and I am totally obsessed now. I was a VJ for MTV Networks in the US a few years ago and have a knack for getting excited about the next level of music and you are it. It’s like you’re bitch slapping Lady Gaga while melting The Knife in her propelled by The Sounds and blowing up Golgol Bordello with an M.I.A. bomb—- putting them all int he past and back together again in the future where you clearly reside.

Well done,
-Gardner Loulan

Now, one usually expects this sort of missive to go unnoticed or unreplied to. But did it? Of course not!

From: Die Antwoord
To: Gardner Loulan

what a FUCKIN nice thing to say
we fuckin love you for saying this

once my blaar!

NINJA
out

This trifecta of e-mails was completed with a brief note from Gardner to me.

To: Me
From: Gardner Loulan

My day is now complete.

Awesome. Thank you, internet, for allowing us to have such remarkable instantaneous contact with such diverse people from all around the world. Though we often take it for granted, the ease with which we can communicate with folks from such places as far from us as South Africa is truly incredible.

And also thanks, Die Antwoord, for being cool enough to respond to Gardner.

And thanks, Gardner, for being enthusiastic enough about everything to go out of your way, if only a little bit, to track these dudes down.

If you haven’t yet watched the music videos below, do. And get yourself to Die Antwoord’s website and listen to their, frankly, amazing debut streaming in its entirety. Go now!