Posts tagged adam goldberg

i think i may have gotten billie holiday tattooed on me today as an extravagant excuse to take more photos of old pal and muse mark mahoney…

…and his co-pioneer of black-and-gray fine-line tattooing, freddy negrete (who first tattooed me in 1993 before I met mark who later covered that tattoo up, but that’s another story…or a story at all).  

today reunited diminishing hoard of polaroid chocolate with lately neglected long suffering mistress mamiya universal press. 

Confucius in the Marketplace. 

Every so often when I’m feeling disheartened by television network ABC’s (a network for which I worked only last year) apparent disregard for my 25 year career in show business and for the marketplace confusion it has caused, by airing a program whose protagonist bears its creator’s name but one which I also possess and have for some time longer…..I remind myself it could be worse: 

I could be brilliant singer/songwriter Scott Walker (not to be confused by  douchebag fascist governor of Wisconsin with the same name). 

I could be groundbreaking developmental psychologist Erik Erikson (not to be confused by his homonym, douchebag fascist editor of RedState.com, Erick Erickson ). 

Hell I could be 1950’s tv sitcom, The Goldbergs (totally unrelated to the contemporary series to which I’m referring, which borrowed? its name). 

And I don’t feel better. But I imagine I could feel worse. 

the bowery. 

i’ve just landed. by far the most harrowing landing in personal aviation history. the passengers applauded. but that is neither here nor there. except that i’m here. i’m staying at a hotel catty corner from my old bowery apartment where I lived the last time new york was my only home — in the year leading up to and months after 9/11. 

there was no hotel on bowery back then. halfway to gentrification, it was still populated by as many flophouses as hipster’s lofts, but not so many as to deter the flocks of scenesters from the bowery bar, to which my leaning tower of a railroad loft was attached. i can’t believe it’s still standing. i think the bowery bar must be holding it up.  i hated that bar. I’d rarely get a drink there. i opened my building door one night to discover one of their patrons pissing on it.  it was tacky sceney. every once in a while i’d lazily drop in in the hopes of picking up a tacky sceney girl so i could show her the errors of her ways. and  by pick her up, i mean, sit there until nothing happened, which it did invariably.  i preferred, phebes,  the quasi sports, aspiring hipster bar across the street, that kept changing its name, and back again until finally it reclaimed it original name. it kept remodeling itself in the hopes of understanding who the hell it was that was hanging out on the bowery in those days. but mostly i preferred the now defunct marion’s downstairs, a sort of throwback cocktail lounge with decent food and occasional revues. 

when i had the stomach and even possibly enjoyed playing live, but couldn’t barely write a song to justify such vim, old pal eric who lived a few blocks away and i would play in our sebadoh cum sonic youth cum telvision cum shit band at the acme underground around the corner or push my gear down the bowery to cb’s gallery where we played our last gig as that band i believe. 

I was miserable those last months in that apartment . in the throes of a shitty winter, a breakup, and 9/11’s haunting shadow. mine was a soundtrack of karen dalton and a blood curdling wake up call each morning for weeks, courtesy of a  billboard being built by the landlords who, unbeknownst to me, bought the building so they could build the the thing. my bed, effectively in my kitchen, which faced the dead zone that was the build site between the bowery bar and my apartment, would shake. 

right around the corner was/is the great jones cafe. great drinks, food, jukebox, and the fucking bass player from pavement tended bar. this blew my mind. have wonderful memories from that place. eventually i had to avoid it though — or not so much it, as a waitress friend of my good friends with whom i managed a feeble rebound and besotted makeout session. pathetically, or as if to honor the worm i was or, rather, the worm i did not want to reveal myself to be, i still have not been back. 13 years. 

weekends were the worst. the sting of the bowery bar’s jovial congregation bit harder those last months. from my second floor window I could almost touch the young and happys (I was still old then) that flocked to the bowery on the weekends. i could almost touch them. but not quite.  i moved back to l.a.

i can see my old apartment from this hotel room. i miss it.  

An important message from Celeste (bottom right) of The Goldberg Sisters (a website so current it’s missing nearly all the videos and any mention of the last album). 
Hello fair readers, lookers, and browsers all - 
It has come to our attention….well, my attention, as Adam is too busy “editing” his movie (if in fact that’s what’s going on behind that closed door) — that there has been a negligible uptick in merch and CDs sales from our Shoppe recently. I can only attribute this to an also negligible,  and no doubt ephemeral,  uptick in exposure Adam has received concurrently due to that Fargo soap he played in. While it pleases me that “our” music might be gaining more exposure, let me be perfectly clear: If Adam wants to prance about waving a gun and recycling that tired scowl, it is all very well with me, but I have little interest in trading on such banalities, if even it shifts the spotlight in the general direction of familial justice. 
Indeed I would like to thank those of you who have recently patronized our humble Shoppe,  and invite you to it if you’ve never been. The first record we made, under the LANDy moniker (I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT AFFRONT TO TYPOGRAPHY) was recently digitally reissued under The Goldberg Sisters moniker, but you can still find the original album at our store. Unlike Stranger’s Morning, for which “Adam” played all the instruments, the LANDy record features some wonderful guests, including Steven Drozd (and even Wayne briefly in a choir section) of The Flaming Lips. Okay, this is getting unseemly, this hawking of wares. But Adam is at a birthday party of some old friend of ours, well, of his, by appearances — and if we don’t make a little scratch, and right quick, there won’t be a 4th record to produce this year, most of which I’ve already written. 
Well, adieu, for some long while I imagine, as he’ll be changing the password once this posts. 
xoC. 

An important message from Celeste (bottom right) of The Goldberg Sisters (a website so current it’s missing nearly all the videos and any mention of the last album). 

Hello fair readers, lookers, and browsers all - 

It has come to our attention….well, my attention, as Adam is too busy “editing” his movie (if in fact that’s what’s going on behind that closed door) — that there has been a negligible uptick in merch and CDs sales from our Shoppe recently. I can only attribute this to an also negligible,  and no doubt ephemeral,  uptick in exposure Adam has received concurrently due to that Fargo soap he played in. While it pleases me that “our” music might be gaining more exposure, let me be perfectly clear: If Adam wants to prance about waving a gun and recycling that tired scowl, it is all very well with me, but I have little interest in trading on such banalities, if even it shifts the spotlight in the general direction of familial justice. 

Indeed I would like to thank those of you who have recently patronized our humble Shoppe,  and invite you to it if you’ve never been. The first record we made, under the LANDy moniker (I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT AFFRONT TO TYPOGRAPHY) was recently digitally reissued under The Goldberg Sisters moniker, but you can still find the original album at our store. Unlike Stranger’s Morning, for which “Adam” played all the instruments, the LANDy record features some wonderful guests, including Steven Drozd (and even Wayne briefly in a choir section) of The Flaming Lips. Okay, this is getting unseemly, this hawking of wares. But Adam is at a birthday party of some old friend of ours, well, of his, by appearances — and if we don’t make a little scratch, and right quick, there won’t be a 4th record to produce this year, most of which I’ve already written. 

Well, adieu, for some long while I imagine, as he’ll be changing the password once this posts. 

xoC. 

Agnes Obel - Brother Sparrow 

Made of Polaroid and other instant films.

Occasionally I direct a music video of music which is not my own. And occasionally I post this one because, while I’m rather fond of it, the artist chose never to post it. The finished product was such as I pitched it to her and the label month before — a video consisting almost entirely  of still photographs, shot on instant film. The video would feature a woman, played by the artist, alone in her apartment — but without the trappings of many music videos — namely lip synching or anything performance related to the song, which neither she or I was  a fan. She would in essence play the character, the protagonist, about which she sings. Although it took some months to win the bid, the artist chose my concept and, I was told, was enthusiastic about it and a fan of my recent Goldberg Sisters video for “The Room.”

After some weeks of email exchanges, through the label, she was flown from Europe and we’d  meet for the first time in person at my DUMBO apartment, where most of the video takes place.  We would have this one meeting,  then only one shooting day together, the following day.  I was acting in a television show and she would commence a European tour two days later — and so this one day was literally the only one we could both find that would work.  When we finally met, much to some surprise, she expressed ambivalence  about  being in it — about  playing a character in her own song. It was becoming clear that perhaps the label was forcing her hand a bit, in this regard? I told her I understood, which I did. I could relate to the uneasiness of trying to balance the expectation of an audience who wanted to see the performer of a certain song, with the priority of making an artistic statement that didn’t undercut or simply commodify it. But, I assured her it would not come off as Narcissistic, that it was common of course to see the singer in their own video, and furthermore these were hardly glamour shots, so much as, I don’t know, Cindy Sherman-esque, film stills. Still, I could relate; I had just directed a music video for one of my songs in which I play no role, nor is there anything related to performance of the song. I could relate — up to a point.  In my case, it never really much mattered; relatively few people have any expectation of my musical output and therefore I’ve felt few constrains about how I’ve presented it in video form. In her case, even an upload of one of her songs to youtube was getting nearly a million hits (which I must admit was an incentive to do the gig.) But again, it was a little late in the day to swap her out with a model and this was a project, that had been explicitly pitched, illustrated, and signed off on by label and artist weeks prior.

And once we began, the following day, it was a bit magical really. She was a fantastic collaborator. Our sensibilities seemed so in synch. It was grueling and seemed impossible at times — the time constraint conjuncted with the limitation of using unruly instant film (and some motion 16mm film) to illustrate a story — but with a dedicated crew — consisting of davebias and Anne Bowerman from The Impossible Project (much of whose film I used) and others —  as well as a very game artist, by day’s end I felt like we had created something kind of special. (I also created horrible glutes .) 

The following day, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 actually, while she was in the air, I skulked around my neighborhood in Brooklyn and shot additional still and motion footage — creeping up behind parents holding their children’s hands, stalking a footpath where I grabbed various passersby from a bench, waiting for the dog day summer sun to finally dip so I could capture headlights as they streaked across the cobblestone. It was kind of a lovely weekend.

It took about a week of scanning before I could begin to edit  and when I did it was a bit overwhelming at first. Although I had done some tests, and had fully outlined the video (I can’t draw, so my storyboards are descriptions), I simply wasn’t sure I would be able to find a cutting pattern that would work rhythmically. After a couple hours, however, it began to flow. It was kind of exciting actually. I turned over my first cut, within about a week and the notes I get via the artist, via the label, were that she felt it featured her too much, was too straightforward, not edgy or  not “weird” enough. This was a bit ironic as I had never been accused of not being narratively elliptical enough. But as I finessed I tried to find ways to feature the sole subject of the video more implicitly when I could. And, in truth, like many notes that seem objectionable at their face, one often finds ways to find themselves, an interpretation of those notes that suit themselves and even improve the project. So I felt good. I felt finished anyway, when a couple of weeks later I handed over my final cut. 

And the rest is history. Like actual history.  Like shitcanned.  What remained were a befuddled but grudgingly deferential label; an incommunicado artist; an angry me, but I was angry before, so I just went back to being angry, playing an angry cop on a cop show. And a song — the best for my  money on her album — that was never to have an “official” music video, so far as I know. 

I’ve posted this video and some background, as I’ve said, in the past. The Impossible Project did a blog/interview with me about it. So it’s not as if I’ve kept totally quiet about it. But I genuinely have such a fond recollection of the collaboration and feeling about its result that such does not get completely obscured by any acrimony of its wake. 

The Goldberg Sisters’ “The Room.”

In honor of hep kitten Lana Del Rey’s new music video, and in an act of reverse coattail riding, here is a repost of my 2011 music video,  from my second lp —  featuring mutual muse Mr. Mark Mahoney. Shot on glorious and ass paining 16mm. While it may never go viral, the video has been known to cause fungal itch. 

His trip to heaven is redundant. 

I was lucky enough to know JImmy Scott…

Here’s a clip from my first film in which I recreated the moment I first saw jimmy sing this tune, which ripped my guts four years prior, in 1992. Seven years after Scotch and MIlk, I asked if I could use an old recording of  Jimmy’s  for a scene in my second film,  and he and his wife Jeanie could not have been more lovely and supportive. Jimmy wanted to come down to the editing room so he could see the context in which I was using the source track — and it — as it always was — was deeply humbling. Not just his genius, but his grace, warmth, humor  and own humility was startling. HIs life  story is remarkable, tragic, beautiful. His music is all of that and more. Please discover him. He passed  away yesterday at 88. His days on earth were spent as a celestial creature, so his trip to heaven is a formality at this point. I’m keeping Jeanie and JImmy, and the countless he moved to ineffability, in my heart today and always. xoag

4x5 portra 160 taken today…

to test my newly acquired jobo cpp2 processor, about which I have had wrenching ebayer’s remorse, and with which I had terrible results the other day with 120 and 35mm (the latter of which I never process or scan…except in lieu of self flagellation). But these today did help to slightly mollify mounting anxiety and searing ambivalence about opening a 1 hr photo lab next to my toilet. 

a year ago a crazy frenchman (redundant?) convinced me that making 40 vines in 2 weeks during its buggiest iteration would not put me in a straight jacket. he was wrong. but, still, thank you Pierre. And the institution thanks you.  

Hey Tumblr, who do you have to hot plate around here to get a #blackandwhite tag when we need it most? This is bigger than me and my solipsistic blog.  The future of film is in your hands. (I mean, not really, but you could probably help a little). 

adamgoldberg:

i took one, actually two (three actually, but I didn’t like one of them) for the team today….

I broke into my last pack of Polaroid 665 in honor of the last three days of THIS — YOU MUST SUPPORT OR I’LL STOP LOVING YOU — KICKSTARTER for New55 Film.  Inventor Bob Crowley needs your support to market and distribute new positive/negative 4x5 instant film — to fill the chasm left by the defunct Polaroid 55. The stuff I used up there is its 3x4 iteration, shot in my 4x5 camera. You generally rate your ISO for the glorious, printable negative ( which, in these cases, I hastily cleared and barely waited to dry in order to make this post). You also get a usable print, that depending how you rate the exposure can be potentially preferable (as is the case with my self(ish) portrait up there). 

The point is, the shit is magic. And they don’t make it no more. It’s a fortune on ebay and getting scarcer. I know you guys, at least some of 50,000 of you, love film or you wouldn’t be here. You may even hashtag your photos #Ibelieveinfilm. Well #ibelieveitsgoingbyybye. Stock by stock, company by company. 

I quite literally can’t imagine a world without THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT . I’ve been shooting Polaroid all my life and the gap they managed to fill, in such a short amount of time has been nothing short of miraculous.

New55 has the potential to fill another crater left by the demolition of Polaroid. There are too many artists to mention whose work you admire,  who have used such pos/neg instant film, without you possibly knowing it, but without which they simply wouldn’t have managed to create such iconic images. Or you yourself, as a photographer,  perhaps have loved and lost it. 

Time is running very short and  Mr. Crowley is alllll….most there.  The campaign has currently raised 300k. Remarkable. But not enough. So, PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR HASHTAGS ARE 
and help make history by contributing to the future of film. 

good evening….ag