smoke signals - flashing mirrors - messages in bottles - carrier pigeons - flags in the air - hoofbeats on the ground

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Now on TV! Canned Culture: Season Two

Friends,

No better way for us to kick off our season

It has been too long coming, but we hope well worth the wait. Canned Culture has been hard at work partnering up with the Emmy Award Winning: Current TV.

You have heard mention of Current TV before with our We Create Doc. We Create Again continues to climb the charts and has been bouncing in the top five for the past week or so. This is indeed exciting news as our plans to embark on a larger We Create themed event begin to take shape.


However, the great secret we have been waiting to unveil is finally ready:

Current TV has purchased our latest project: Doll Life.

About two months ago Current TV called us up asking if we would be interested in doing a story on Chicago artists Amber Hawk Swanson and her partner, a life-size real doll made in her own likeness.

With the help of camera men Exal Iraheta (We Create Again) and Ian Sklarsky (both shot and edited Doll Life) we filmed the wedding reception of Amber Hawk Swanson & Amber Doll at their lovely home in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood.

A couple of follow up interviews later, plenty of hours of editing, and a wealth of fascinating dialogue on Swanson's artistic intentions and Current TV was ready to purchase a finished product.

We are in prep mode with some wonderful and very helpful folk over at Current TV to get this on air as soon as possible to run concurrently with the opening date of similarly themed: Lars And the Real Girl.


We invite everyone to check out the video seen here on Current TV's website and keep your eyes peeled on Current TV for our mini doc: Doll Life





Also, if you live in the Chicago-land area then you are surely aware that the Chicago International Film Festival is currently going on. Below is a list of time and dates for the Lars and the Real Girl premiers with Amber Hawk Swanson attending and an anticipated appearance by Amber Doll.

To Purchase Tickets:

AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois
Thursday, 11 October 09:00 PM
Add this screening to my list.

Landmark's Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark
Saturday, 13 October 05:45 PM
Add this screening to my list.


This is just a first of many great things coming from Canned Culture this season, stay tuned, and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Now on TV! Canned Culture: Season Two

Friends,

No better way for us to kick off our season

It has been too long coming, but we hope well worth the wait. Canned Culture has been hard at work partnering up with the Emmy Award Winning: Current TV.

You have heard mention of Current TV before with our We Create Doc. We Create Again continues to climb the charts and has been bouncing in the top five for the past week or so. This is indeed exciting news as our plans to embark on a larger We Create themed event begin to take shape.


However, the great secret we have been waiting to unveil is finally ready:

Current TV has purchased our latest project: Doll Life.

About two months ago Current TV called us up asking if we would be interested in doing a story on Chicago artists Amber Hawk Swanson and her partner, a life-size real doll made in her own likeness.

With the help of camera men Exal Iraheta (We Create Again) and Ian Sklarsky (both shot and edited Doll Life) we filmed the wedding reception of Amber Hawk Swanson & Amber Doll at their lovely home in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood.

A couple of follow up interviews later, plenty of hours of editing, and a wealth of fascinating dialogue on Swanson's artistic intentions and Current TV was ready to purchase a finished product.

We are in prep mode with some wonderful and very helpful folk over at Current TV to get this on air as soon as possible to run concurrently with the opening date of similarly themed: Lars And the Real Girl.


We invite everyone to check out the video seen here on Current TV's website and keep your eyes peeled on Current TV for our mini doc: Doll Life





Also, if you live in the Chicago-land area then you are surely aware that the Chicago International Film Festival is currently going on. Below is a list of time and dates for the Lars and the Real Girl premiers with Amber Hawk Swanson attending and an anticipated appearance by Amber Doll.

To Purchase Tickets:

AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois
Thursday, 11 October 09:00 PM
Add this screening to my list.

Landmark's Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark
Saturday, 13 October 05:45 PM
Add this screening to my list.


This is just a first of many great things coming from Canned Culture this season, stay tuned, and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Canned Culture: Tips A Couple Thousand Hats to VBS TV

I had a great deal to talk about in this blog. However, one item has taken a large presendence and I feel I may have missed the boat on this one, so lets swim like hell and catch up because we sure do not want to be left behind. First eat up this sampling of the Sudanese Situation as covered by VBS TV Vice Co-Founder, Shane Smith:



VBS TV

I have often spoken about Current TV, its incredible diversity of stories and its mind boggling Vanguard Journalism that still vastly outweighs the type of news service the mass media counterparts do.

Now there is something new. I was recently trying to gain insight on pop culture in Africa. I thought it would be a thrilling study of cultural goings on that hit the map for the continent. This did not work very well. I decided to narrow my search to a country, this also wielded little success.

Ultimately, I found myself investigating American Pop Culture, specifically how we define it and how it rises to rank. Upon doing so I was told by former roommate Toby, of the famed Joby's Place Ukrainian Village, Chicago, to check out a blog called Pop Candy. It appeared this blog hit all things major indie (so defined as independent everything) pop culture. Definitely worth a once a day look-see.

Leading to the final connection, VBS TV. It could be that the fact that they were discussing a segment called "Spike Jonez spends a Saturday With" or because this episode was with blow my mind (previously mentioned) Sri Lankan hip-hop, indie, rap, beauty M.I.A., but I have spent that last several hours rampaging the site, devouring as much footage as possible.

Why? Who are they? What do they do? Why not read for yourself, even for a generation with minimal attention spans, if you can get this wee bit absorbed you'll realize how vital its worth is. Say no more:

VBS is an online broadcast network. We stream original content, free of charge and 24 hours a day. We carry a mix of domestic and international news, pop and underground culture coverage, and the best music in the world. People have used words like eclectic, smart, funny, shocking, and revolutionary to describe VBS, but we kind of just snapped our fingers in their faces and went, “Whatever. Tell us something we don’t know.”

With Academy Award-nominated director Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich) as our creative director, original content from a veritable United Nations of contributors, and bureaus in 20 countries, VBS has hit the planet in a manner not unlike a massive global plague. Streaming on VBS’s signature “in-room” widescreen and remote, content will be available all the time, on-demand.

Basically, VBS will exploit every utopian vision the internet has thus far failed to live up to. Thanks for watching.
With tag lines like: "Saving your eyes from the blinding pain of television" and "Rescuing you from television's death like grip" how could I say no.

So the blog with all the R. Kelly Trapped In the Closet and the Amber Hawk Swanson tale of an artist marrying a sex doll made to look identical to her, and the Dolly Party, Burt Reynolds Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Pancakes, etc. will have to wait a little bit longer. Not that it is not worth it.

But the message should ring loud and clear, subscribe immediately to VBS TV. I challenge all of you to visit and NOT find one thing there that interests you.

And if you do find something great, share it here in our comments or email us at cannedculture@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunrise Party


This weekend we started a new annual tradition of the Sunrise Party. Starting at midnight on Friday we put out a buffet of fruits, nuts and vegetables and wine, vodka, rum, and... well way too much of everything.

Needless to say if there are any local folk who want some bananas, kiwis, strawberries or mangoes before they go bad, contact me immediately!

In other news we have had an influx of new items to play with and I thought we'd take a few minutes to appreciate some of these delicacies from our friends.

New Friends

First, joining Harvey the Roomba (made a cameo in our Christmas special last year) is our amigarumi pal Melissa dropped off the other day, his name is Mochi. This photo depicts him still hiding in Melissa's cupboard.

We also had a surprise move-in that my guy brought home to help us with office work. He was a bit pale in the beginning and not very friendly either, but after a brief makeover (Stage 1) by multimedia collage artist Priscilla Ramos he has made a complete turn around.

Introducing Jose!

Viva Pedro

If you have not heard of Pedro Almodovar then your are missing out on a staple of Spanish cinema. Having seen All About My Mother a couple of years ago it was not difficult to except the recommendation for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The film alone could not be found on my Blockbuster mail order and the only one available online was $5 cheaper then the entire collection.

More on that after screening.

'Marklund Home' Shopping Spree


The perfect costume, glam tech, cabaret, Halloween, etc. attire.

including:

1 lavender & pink ruffled tuxedo button down
1 plaid lime green jacket
1 blue sequins cumberbun
1 faux spotted Cruella DeVille-style rabbit fur coat
1 bowling hat
1 ladies throw coat w/ dangling sparkled gems
1 beaded necklace & 2 cute scarves (not pictured) as gifts to friends for make-up work before parties

Ali Spagnola

Ali Spagnola, a future guest on the show, is running a Free Paintings Campaign on her website. You can request anything you like and she will paint it, package it, and send it all free of charge. A couple of weeks ago this great guy arrived featuring a cartoony Brian & I.

Ian Ophelan


Ian does all kinds of great illustrations and if you send him a photo he may very well do one of you. Check out his site to see more work and send in a picture.

That is all for this installment. Plenty more on its way.

Friday, August 10, 2007

hey!

look over there!

melissa ♥ blogs. melissa ♥ amigurumi.

it only made sense.

xoxo

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Canned Culture: Where Do You Get Your Material?

I am glad you asked. We derive our materials from whatever seems to skim the top of our most treasured creative standards. We spend hours each week sifting through internet rubble to find the last slivers of gold. We always go with muts and runts of the litter because they have better character. That and we have great friends who work and have interest in different fields which helps us stay tuned in to the latest. Like these important gems.

we dont typically condone more then 30 minutes of youtubing in one sitting, that is why this is a mere 10. perfect for your lunchtime, typing time, emailing time, staring blankly into space time, off during work.

ala cartoonbrew.com :



and sometimes we get to reclaim people like Alanis Morisette. Listen Alanis, we like the funny things you do when you play God in Dogma and you totally rule over as queen Canadian of 90's old alternative music, but when you tried to appease us and bide your time with a "best of" acoustic album. We figured you either had run out of creative juice or were just getting lazy.

Then you did this and have been fully redeemed (thanks, it was hard to let you go):



Hearing the pitter patter of the Geek Chic revolution is fully noted by the music intentions of Data Rock, we can thank Mary over at - going in for the kiss kiss - :



if your still with us after all that other stuff then you lucked out because this is the after hour special, straight from the experimental animation sources itself Director Andy Huang. I first saw his animation Doll Face, absolutely worth the 3 minutes. Enjoy this short: The Gloaming.




Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Canned Culture Eats The Big Apple

While on my journey to NYC to unearth the best new work to share with are superb clientel I stumbled across some people worth bringing up. For examples:

Julie Brown

No, no, no. Not Dowtown Julie Brown as everyone including my father suspected. This is the classic gay icon that showered us with her MTV Impersonations of Madonna and the most audacious B Films like my personal favorite, Earth Girls Are Easy.

But in case you needed a refreshment: Cause Im A Blonde


Disorient

Spent another long night down in Brooklyn dancing with the people of a style known to us now as Glam Tech. I rocked it out in my lime-green plaid coat and my new shirt apprehended from the reigns of Substance 80.



Miss. Tallulah of the Bayous


Who would have thought that Sunday night playing Bingo could be such a riot. Here with these kids it turned out to be quite the night of entertainment. Followed by the delicacy of delicious French African foods @ Les Enfants Terribles.

However, it is to be noted that champagne, vodka tonic, wine, and more champagne always make a flight much shorter.

Do not fret yet there is plenty more to be discussed including Dolly Parton, Alanis Morisette, Data Rock, Sesame Street Rock-Out-a-Thon........and.......

a release list for our shows airing this fall.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Canned Culture Coming Out Event


We have been cooking up ideas to merge We Create with some of the great venues Chicago has to offer. While I scoot over to NYC to do some hunting for potential collaborators I thought I'd ask for feedback of the space. Owned by Mr. Evan Glassman the E-Space sells itself:


E-Space

is a 4500 sq. ft "ultra-mod" multimedia event & exhibition rental space available for parties, performances & meetings

a sublime venue unlike any other rental space on the southside, studio e offers an alternative to the traditional

features:
modern eclectic design
interior zen garden
full kitchen
private lounge
dressing area
concierge services


Additionally we will be taking in advice from some of our wonderful CouchSurfing friends in NYC.

In other news:

The first rendition of the official Canned Culture website is on the drawing board and being processed as we speak.

DList does Canned Culture. For those in the know, we do not mean Miss Kathy Griffin, but gay social networking site, DList. The interview can be found here: http://news.dlist.com/

My printer has fallen sick with cartoon fever, pictures to come soon.

All this and more...keep on watching!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

On The Horizon

Between sleepless nights and droning days of work I have been wrestling with seedlings of new projects and ideas. Sifting through them to see if the residuals were worth cultivating I have come across various ideas, events, and people. Perhaps one of you might have a suggestion at how to link them.

So lets get back to basics. While I find the raunchiest stripper joint in Chicago for Melissa's bachelorette party you all enjoy this and we will be back before you know it.

The current ABC's are:

- Amy Winehouse Concert - September 29th, Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL

Can I say that I'm shockingly thrilled about this? While Amy has exploded in Europe as the new gay icon, she is slowly creeping her way forward in the states. Even though Joss Stone rose quickly behind Winehouse on the charts, I believe she will endure much longer. Plus the Brit, cynical, Courtney-Love-during-Hole look is gotten a big thumbs up from me.

The British tabloids certainly loved her, as is seen:

"An article about manic depression quotes Winehouse as stating that she is a clinically diagnosed manic depressive who refuses to take medication." - The Independent

"Winehouse admitted to have previously been affected by eating disorders. "A little bit of anorexia, a little bit of bulimia. I'm not totally OK now but I don't think any woman is." - The Independent

"Winehouse made multiple appearances in the British tabloids over alleged alcohol-induced behaviour including heckling U2 frontman Bono." -The Charlotte Church Show

"I have a really good time some nights, but then I push it over the edge and ruin my boyfriend's night. I’m an ugly dickhead drunk, I really am." - The Times
"They’re tryin to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no."

- Casting Calls -

For those looking to find fame, fortune and Showtime network television show appearances in their summer plans, this is your month. Without the best of details, word has trickled down the grapevine that the hit series (and personal pet show) Weeds, starring the amazingly versatile and always amusing Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin, is doing open casting calls in all major cities to acquire some new faces as guest starts on the 3rd season.
"I'm not a dealer, I'm a mother who happens to distribute illegal products through a sham bakery set up by my ethically questionable CPA and his crooked lawyer friend." - Nancy Botwin, Weeds, Season One
Keep your ears and eyes peeled...Details to follow...


- ChaCha.com -

Introduced by a friend to this delightfully user friendly beta search engine, I was instantly addicted. Plus it's free!
Instructions:
1. Type Search Term
2. Get too many unrelated results
3. Activate a one click button giving you access to a 24/7 guide who you can chat with over real time to screen the search items for specifically what your searching for. Kind of like having your own personal assistant for research.

I recommend giving it a shot while it is still fresh, new, and doesn't require payment.

- Couchsurfing -

The best way to travel. Sleeping With Locals as Nick Vivion puts it, check out what it is like to stay for free using the tens of thousands of participants on CouchSurfing.com all over the world.

On my brief skip through Europe I purchased some higher end H&M fashion from a place with hip top fashion called Top Man. While this is a subsidiary of Kate Moss' Top Shop. It is definitely worth the overseas shipping costs for a $40 (£80) suit jacket or a swanky button down at $6 (£12). They seem to be primarily dominated by a regurgitated 80's fashion trend (which I have subsequently begun to fund minor appreciations for). Additionally, all students internationally receive a 10% discount. Their sales always wield some interesting nab that everyone will be asking about, so why not show a little Euro flare.

A much better alternative for those wanting to stay with national independent clothing designers is KarmaLoop.com. Everything from higher end folk such as Paul Frank, Penguin, and Triple Five, to much less known, but superb The Imaginary Foundation, Fuct, and Garbege. The samples below can speak for themselves. Worth the dollar to sport some gear that no one in your 50 mile radius would ever bump into, guaranteed.




That should be all for now, but Im certainly sitting on many more things to tell you all about. I am near busting, but Melissa says to hold off until the next show. So while I fly to NYC to gather some additionally yummy footage you all hold tight.

A bit of feedback wouldn't hurt either. How is the ABC search filling in? Should I keep logging this to you folk? Blimey, I think its time to hit the hay. Give us love.

Also, the We Create Again video's Current TV stats are as follows:

Out of 20,000 docs we are ranked.... 15, with near 600 points, 91 votes and near 1000 views. This is good news for us, slow and steady, aye! Thanks for all the support friends.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

HEY!

We're still alive.

I'm planning my wedding, so bear with us here, kids. Joe V has been working his butt off getting organized and planning new content and exciting new shows, deciding the fate of Canned Culture and how we can best showcase that which we love so much. Me? I've been trying to find the best shoes to go with my wedding dress. What? Don't look at me like that. I've been thinking about art too. But mostly about shoes. And flowers. And what song I'm supposed to dance to....


In the meantime, here's a fun picture of my new frog. His name is Bosaki. Love Bosaki. Bosaki will hold you over until we return. ♥


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Searching the ABC's

Just before we take off for Europe I thought I'd dispense an idea I've been rattling around my head. On my many hours spent mulling around the internet searching for just about anything throughout the day that has caught my attention. Then going back through my search bar I realized that the bizarre and mundane continue to pile over. I figured if for some ungodly reason you folk are bored and need something to look at, there is bound to be at least one thing here:

A - Amigurumi
Japanese art form of making cute little dolls out of fiber. Like this adorable thing:
Much more here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amigurumikingdom/

B - Bikram Yoga
Take 90 minutes in a 105 degrees fahrenheit room doing yoga taught by something resembling a spin instructor. Certainly not my favorite form of yoga, but it was a good challenge.
Started by this creepy looking guy in LA.


C - Charlotte Gainsborough
A singer actress who was recently seen in Michele Gondry's "The Science of Sleep." She also has a great voice as you can hear in the song "The Songs That We Sing" which is a must have download.

D - Def Jam
Yeah, yeah, yeah as in Def Jam records. Anyone follow the recent story about founder Russell Simmons censoring the bullshit out of music to bring back some true hip hop. Hip hop hooray! (Cue your eyes rolling)

E - Electric Catfish
Ryan aka Electric Catfish made us tilt our heads and wonder "What the hell is going on?" He is also featured in our We Create video and has gotten some great comments by our viewers. He has a website here: http://www.theelectriccatfish.com/ where you can find all the artistic nuances of our friend the Catfish.

F - Foccacia Nutritional Info
I love a good foccacia like any good Italian boy, but to be honest it rocks out a hardcore 250 calories for almost every slice. Now this is of course if you get it fresh from some place like Caputos and it is the only way to eat it. In the end, its all worth it.

G - Giant Taco
I wanted to send a picture of a giant taco to my guy, Brian to let him know we were having taco's for dinner, unfortunately all I could find was this:H - HD Code T-Shirts
So for those of you who aren't in the geekery a scandale happened in the past weeks where a code that would allow people to rip HD DVD's was released on social bookmarking sites like digg, reddit, delicious and others. I love things that snub big corporations by freeing information, but then people started marketing it back to us by selling the code on a T-shirt. I nearly bought one, but I guess cultural hegemony will have to continue without my participation.

I - Illinois State Police, lets just say sometimes we run into the wrong side of the law and some times the wrong side of the law runs into us. $75 later Im a free man and I can get on a plane without a warrant for my arrest!

J - Jane Restaurant in Bucktown
If your a Chicago native make sure to hit this place up at least once on the weekend for brunch. Get there early and make sure you get a window seat, you'll know what when you get it. Apparently it can make Brits fall in love with our city.

K - Kurt Vonnegut Quotes
If you've never read one of his books, do so in homage to how incredible a personality as well as an author he was. My current favorite book is and remains
"Sirens of Titan," but this quote isnt so bad either, "Human being will be happier not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie, but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia."
L - Lil Kim Before & After
Alright, so like any good gay I find myself watching a fragment of reality television. My guy and I were hooked on "Whose Going to be the Next Doll" for the Pussycat Dolls. I think only to see if at some point Lil Kim's nose would grow back. I think they gave her the Clockwork Orange treatment in the slammer or they locked her in with Michael Jackson for a while.
M - Matthew Barney
About three years ago my Humanities Professor a lovely lady names Ms. Reuland introduced me to a character called Mathew Barney. Henceforth all bets at normalcy were off. If you can get your hands on some of his Cremaster Cycle (only one DVD for sale, not worth the purchase TRUST ME) get it, most likely it will only play in some tiny indie theater as a cult classic years from now. How can you refuse a guy who makes images like this:

N - New BP Commercial Song
I guess a better letter 'N' could have been chosen. I love hearing that "Say hey, make the day a little better." But it turns out this is just stock music, produced only for commercials, not for purchase. I guess this is for the better since all I can think about are babies driving cards to gas stations whenever I hear it, kind of a creepy image, no?

O - Oriental School of Medicine
I believe it is actually called the Pacific Oriental School of Medicine, but nonetheless they do a shite load of great work there. I'll be attending a de-stressing acupuncture session for the first time this upcoming Friday. Details to follow. A good friend of ours recently got her degree there and will begin practicing post-clinic. For those who'd like more info you can check out this site: http://www.naturalhealers.com/schools/pcomil/

P - Prosper
My guy found this one. Want to find a way to help some people out cause you have too much money and do not know what to do with it? I didn't think so. But this is a very interesting site: www.prosper.com it allows you to invest in people and small groups for various projects including debt relief, building a business, starting an adventure, financing a car, etc. You become the loan agency. Not a bad deal if you do your proper research. I healthier alternative to this is kiva.org where you do the same thing, but instead you are sponsoring people and small groups in developing and under-developed nations.


Q - Quote from movie "Network"
Let's just say, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." If you have not seen this 1976 masterpiece you need to get on it. One of the most relevant and vital films to date in my book and I think we should all take a big lesson from one Howard Biehl.


R - Rick Steves
Whatever happened to the good 'ol retiree who travels the world and writes books giving advice to others on their own journeys. He reminds me of Goble's Uncle Travelling Matt. Any way's, we definitely spent some time wandering around his site prior to making plans and we recommend you do to if your taking off for overseas, underseas, around seas or wherever it is you people travel to: www.ricksteves.com

S - Sushi
Ahh yes, I've finally found a good reason to leave the house from work during the day to get food that is not terrifyingly fatty, greasy, and comes with a 'sell your soul' mark-up. Instead Im riddling my body with high doses of mercury as I begin consuming vast proportion of Sushi on weekly basis. What can I say, when they know me by my name and give me free Kamikaze's Im suckered into coming back. Word to the wise, sushi adds up fast, rolls are different then sushi, green tea and miso soup smell the same at some places, and dont eat it if something seems wrong! (most important rule)

T - Transient Meteorological Event
Does this sound rather vague? I thought it was to. I also though that it was something that only existed in the dialogue of an X-files episode until wikipedia told me otherwise. So if the sky turns black and yellow rain starts falling, or if the everything seems to go black and white while big lights blink in the sky, or if the Aurora Borealis starts swooning through your window, you may be witness to one of the many odd bizarre strange weird and freaky Transient Events. Rarely documented for public knowledge, but if you dig around the net you can find some pretty interesting stuff.

U - Nada, check back next month.

V - V for Vendetta
Im not going to talk about the movie, Im going to talk about the graphic novel. Not even that, but the author, Alan Moore. BUY HIS WORK NOW! From Hell, Watchmen, Swamp Thing (okay, so maybe that one was a slip up) but a guy who lays in a tub of mud and seaweed to get in touch with the character must be doing some good writing. Just look at him, read his work or he'll go crazy on you. He kinda looks like Manson with a lion's mane huh?


W - Walt Whitman
If you dont have a little of Whitman in your repertoire I would reconsider how much a fan or early homosexual authors you really are. Before "Leaves of Grass" was this:
Once I pass'd through a populous city imprinting my brain for future use with its shows, architecture, customs, tradition,
Yet now of all that city I remember only a man I casualy met there who detained me for love of me,
Day by day and night by night we were together — all else has long been forgotten by me,
I remember I saw only that man who passionately clung to me,
Again we wander, we love, we separate again,
Again he holds me by the hand, I must not go,
I see him close beside me with silent lips sad and tremulous.
(Once I Pass'd Through A Populous City)
If you cannot fall in love with a man for speaking that way of love then start tinkering around with your heart, it might not be working.

X - Nothing here either. Woops!

Y - Yoga Retreats
In investigation a vacation for my boss I found that some of these retreats are fairly inexpensive bizarre trips to super spirituality. If you need some instant enlightenment and have some vacation time coming forget Vegas, go to this retreat in Hawaii, where you sty in the jungle in a tree house off volcanic shores, doing nothing all day but yoga, meditation, eating some super yummy native foods, talking with strangers, and feeling good about life in general. Even if its only for a weekend, it sounds like heaven to me. www.yogaoasis.com. This is the view from your living room four stories up.

Z - Last letter lost out. No 'z' here.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

We Create Extra Info

In case you missed the slamming amount of emails we've send out or the multiple posts, we thought we'd mention just once more that how well We Create is doing on Current TV! All thanks to our adoring fans of course.

It can be seen here:

ttp://www.current.tv/watch/25802022



Beyond that we thought we'd give mention to our recent days of absence. We have been at the drawing board redesigning and researching possible contenders for future episodes. We have found some folks that are going to flip your lid

To try a deliver samples of how wonderfully diverse these pool of people are would never do them justice, but take our word, you wont be dissapointed.

Beyond this our journey's will take us North, South, East and West. Cross country, over mountains, across oceans.

After a tour in Europe this May we will have a cropload of new materials. We hope you'll come back soon to see what's going on. As for some of the errors with blogs and episodes, we are still working out the kinks, patience please and we promise it will all be worth it.

Until then, check out our new website (vastly an in-the-works process): Canned Culture

Friday, March 30, 2007

We Create Goes to TV

Friends, Fans, & Family,

Here we go! Canned Culture's 'We Create Again' episode has been launched onto Current TV's website. This is where we need your help more then ever. With enough views, votes, and positive feedback we have a very real possibility of launching this onto Current TV the cable television channel that Al Gore was given a special honorary Emmy for participating in the development of. If you have seen prior episodes of Canned Culture then you have heard reference to Current before. It is an amazing opportunity for citizen journalism and viewer content to bridge the gap between major media sources and us folk fighting to be heard.




For those of you who participated in We Create Again this means there is an opportunity for free publicity if your work was included in our short doc which can be seen using the link above.

For everyone else, teachers, friends, co-workers, family members, fans, classmates, etc. we reach out to you at this point for one thing. If you believe in the work we are doing, if you agree with the movement we are engaging in and the ideas we are trying to promote, if you have ever enjoyed a momentary giggle or a consensual nod of approval for Canned Culture's content I ask that you stop by the lnk above check out the We Create Doc if you have not and give it a GREEN LIGHT, a comment if you like as well. This is such a vital opportunity for growth that we have been given and we hope that we can look back and thank you for contributing to our success.

Thanks again for all those who have made this possible so far. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at any point, my contact information is listed below.

With Much Hope and Gratitude,

--
Joseph R. Varisco
cannedculture@gmail.com
www.youtube.com/joevarisco
www.joevcannedculture.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

CC8: Canned Goes Gay

We are winding up our wrists and dancing with dangling cosmos to this ultra faboo episode Canned Goes Gay.

Accessing the likes of some highly influential, yet very different characters in the gay universe we thought we'd bring you the best of what we've got.

So have at it.

Howard Cruse

While searching through the ranks of The Comics Journal (TCJ.com) I posted a message to find out what substance full gay comics, cartoons, and graphic novels I needed to know about. My lack of knowledge on the subject was only measured by the amount of responses I received. I ended up with a laundry list of different works.

Of course I logged onto Amazon immediately and went to the discount used aisles and started the mass shipments of books to start studying and investigating. Some made me shrug my shoulders, others made me blush, but Howard Cruses work made me think, smile and more importantly left me with a feeling of satisfaction.

Wendel became one of my favorite night time reads. This comic series was featured in The Advocate magazine for nearly ten years. The characters were tangible for a wide audience and in my reading I felt it spoke to the gay middle class (mid-western even) every man.

To speak briefly about Stuck Rubber Baby as so much has already been said including in our discussion in the extended interview below. This graphic novel used as text in university and high school curriculum is a aspiring time capsule of a unique perspective in both gay culture and the Civil Rights Movement. While today we see less of a commonality with our brethren who used to and still are treated as second class citizens. We are distanced from our past connection in a struggle for freedom in all of its definitions, however more relevantly, legally.

The character Toland's experience living in the South during the Civil Rights Movement discovering the homosexual lifestyle, the escapist, the rebellious and revolutionary we are given a true and rare dose that speaks as a mouthpiece for a people's history. Hear more about that in my full-lenght interview with Mr. Cruse here:



I could not do much more then beg, Stuck Rubber Baby is so very worth all of our attention and is and extremely valuable piece of literature to add to every one's collection. For comics, cartoonists, and those in related fields this novel was set at the crest of a pioneering wave, which brought the graphic novel into a more legitimate and matured form of literature and should be renowned as such.

To find more about Howard Cruse visit his blog @ howardcruse.com

Gay Bloggies

(Meliss will post more on this later)

Jonny McGovern

Jonny McGovern is many, many things. One thing he is not, is boring. He walks into a room to knock 'em dead and that is just what he does. Star of the now widely known provocative music video "Soccer Practice," Mr. McGovern, recognized by the title "The Gay Pimp" has crossed into all reigns of media to "keep it faggity" and spread the "Sparkle Magic."

He has released three CD's all of which rival the previous. Following a similar flavor as per "Soccer Practice" Jonny continues to push the boundaries a bit further each time. He makes no apologies for his actions and embraces his inner gay to represent the bold and proud mad crazy queens.

He has hosted, alongside many of his New York show stopper friends, a popularly growing podcast available through iTunes . This podcast helps deliver us a weekly dose of "Celebrity Donkey Punches" and "The Total T." I find it makes great use of time while filing at my 9 to 5. This started up again earlier this month.

It was a great pleasure to hear a more personal and straight forward (no pun intended) side of him. The full lenght interview can be heard below: (Be Up Soon)

Jonny will be working with LOGO Network on a new comedy skit show airing in April.

For more information and specific dates check out his webpage @ www.gaypimp.com

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Drakkar Sauna @ Empty Bottle

Recently we visited the Empty Bottle to bare witness to a Drakkar Sauna show and oh so glad I was to do so. First and foremost we must mention the opening bands as they were quite delightful.
Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons

How blues like and jazzy to the ear this all was. The dank surroundings of the Empty Bottles venue made their music so much more exquisite. Indulge me for a moment: slinking along the steps with a beer in one hand a cigarette in the other hearing gentle intermingling harmonies and watching the accordion breathing with the lyrics, it was all a perfect scene.

Melissa had this to say about it: "I want to make paintings that are like clarinets in dirty bars."



Romping along after to get the blood flowing and make our ears perk came...
Barely American

And it was at this point that the sounds of what I could only describe as Irish punk-esque feelings with some rock-a-billy and a whole lot of loudness came striking off the stage. Fantastic characterization. "Unexpected" would be the word I'd choose to watching their performance, maybe even tagging on "pleasantly" before it.

Then at long last, rolling in around 11:45 on a cold Sunday night in Chicago came the taut harmonic two-stepping tunes of Mr. Jeff A. Stolz and Wallace J. Cochran from Lawrence, Kansas.
Better known to us here as:
Drakkar Sauna

They are a riot. Literally speaking their own language through song and through speech. Their stage routine encourages others to emulate their process laughingly knowing all the while it cannot be attained by anyone other then these two. Each song is succinct, impressively punctual with each note and each key. The likes of which continues to resonate well after you've left the venue. These are musicians who love their craft requiring nothing more then four instruments, guitars, tambourine (tied to foot), the harmophone (basically a small piano that plays like a harmonica) and their incredibly skilled and disciplined vocal cords. If you have a chance to pick up one of their albums, see them in concert, or read some of their work. I highly recommend it. For all those back home tunes folk that cant get enough of two steppin, this is a true treasure.








Wednesday, January 24, 2007

findings

Hey Joe,


Here's something fun i found at school tonight.

















Appears to be some fancy automobile made of mostly chicken wire and tin foil.
















Classy


No signage or signature of the maker(s).
More pics in my flickr

Monday, January 22, 2007

CC7: Hungarians, Sculptist Extraordinaire, & Yarnies

Hello and welcome to the blog entry for Canned Culture, Episode 7. Whoopding and whoop de do.

And here we go with it all...

First off, melissa is sporting a very fetching Scroat Belly T-shirt in this show. Check out the band here.

We are very excited to continue bringing you some of the best of the best of artists names that you should become familar with. These individuals are literally breaking the mold and paving a brand new path for all of us.

With so many wonders to choose from...lets get started.


Nimrod Antal's Kontroll

This film recommended to me by a Mr. Matt Runyen

Id like to use my own words but this wonderful review says it all, so Ill leave the words to Ms. Ella Taylor from the L.A. Weekly:


Kontroll, a Hungarian quasi-thriller of considerable gloomy charm, won the Prix de la Jeunesse Award at Cannes last year, and it’s easy to see why. Set entirely in the depths of the Budapest subway system — at no point in its 106-minute running time do we see the light of day — the movie combines high-speed rail chases and schoolboy prankishness with the kind of romantic alienation that many young people wear with their basic black and assume will see them through the rest of their lives.

Writer-director Nimród Antal, still in his early 30s, lived in Los Angeles long enough to acquire a slight Tarantino swagger. But then he went home to study filmmaking, and his movie is unmistakably European in style — Tarkovsky, by way of the Kaurismäkis, with a dab of Jim Jarmusch. The plot, such as it is, centers on a group of ticket inspectors, a wan, lethargic breed apparently much reviled by Budapest commuters. At their helm is Bulcsú (Sándor Csányi), a moody young refugee from a better life aboveground with the hollow-eyed good looks of a young Paul Henreid.

Though he manages to keep his little band of losers together despite bullying from management, competition from a rival group of inspectors and intermittent provocations by a fleet-footed teenage stowaway, Bulcsú appears to have given up on life. To make matters worse, he’s haunted by a mysterious hooded figure who creeps up behind commuters and pushes them into the path of oncoming trains. Then comes love, and hope, in a form only an Eastern European surrealist could conjure up, that of an exquisite woman in a teddy-bear costume with a ludicrously padded rear end.

Kontroll is goofy, smart and beguiling, and it whips up an almost unbearable luster from its grimy subterranean labyrinth — a gorgeously lit image of Bulcsú sitting disconsolate atop a huge vent in the tunnel is unforgettably wistful. What the movie lacks is a point, unless you count Bulcsú’s rote existential quest. But Nimród Attal has time on his side, and we should expect to see much more, and much better, from this talented young filmmaker.

And here's the trailer: Kontroll Trailer
Leah Brown

What can I begin to say about the wonderful Ms. Leah Brown that has not already been said. Well....I bet we can think of an entire days worth of words, non-stop to say about this incredible sculptist as she continues to develop and evolve her craft. Leah is a resident artist at the Hub-Bub Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

She has a weath of venues and installations on her resume and is currently doing some more really great things. Though I should just let her tell you about that herself. Below is and extra portion to the interview held with Leah Brown featured in our latest episode.




Below are the specifics on the date, time, local of the Scarecrow Wedding if your lucky enough to live near this area of even within a 10 hour radius, hiking down there and taking a gander might be worth your while.

The Scarecrow Wedding will be up at the Cottonwoods Trail in Spartanburg, SC, during the month of February. Reception is Saturday, Feb. 10th from 3-5. Champagne and Wedding cake will be served. Free and open to the public.


As well as her:

Exit Show from the Hub-Bub.Com Artist in Residence Program will be held the last week in March through the 3rd week in April at the Showroom Gallery in Spartanburg, SC. Opening Reception TBA. Gallery hours are Mon-Fri 9-5.
I know I am going to try and make a detour to this amazing opportunity to work as part of Suzan Lori-Parks nation wide tour piece.


Also I'm building an installation to be used as the stage set for 2 weeks of the production of Suzan-Lori Parks project, 365 days/365 plays. The plays are are weeks 22 (April 9-15) and 24 (April 23-29) and are a part of a national project where a different play is performed every day for a year in theaters around the country. This is in association with Woffard College and will be located at The Showroom Gallery in Spartanburg, SC.

All of this and more can be seen here at: Hub-Bub


Amber A.K.A. Applefaerie

Until a few months ago, when Melissa introduced me to the DIY revolution, I had no idea people still spun their own yarn. The concept was a bit astonishing as it is no simple task and the art is intricately detailed. If anyone loves taking ideas and concepts, scenes and seasons, food and poetry - and turning it into tangible thread-like material to be knit/crocheted/worked into anything the fiber-lover's heart desires, it is Applefaerie.
However, it is one thing to be told this and quite another to see for yourself.

Be sure to check out her Etsy account here: Applefaeri

e Yarn

And do not miss the extended version of the process (the kind of wonder journey you'd take with Mr. Rogers to the crayon factory) at her Flickr here: Extended Collection



At some point I seem to remember babbling about one of my super fav shows, CROMARTIE HIGHSCHOOL!

Which was recently made into a great -live action- movie. I rented it from Blockbuster, and Netflix has it too. In short, there's a pretty simple plot: straight-edge kid winds up at the worst, delinquent-filled highschool in Japan. It's the hillarious characters, events, and strange philisophical ramblings (not to mention the gorilla, hard gay, and robots) that make this Top Shelf anime IMHO. (And the art is great too, btw.) The live action movie captures all of this with spot-on casting and a ridiculous script. Do NOT forget to check out the special features. There's a bit with the strange 'pooh' guys that can't be missed. And if anyone finds the theme song from the show in cell-phone-downloadable format, email me! ;p


Join us on myspace.com and check out some of these here folks' pages as well to find out more about the individual, what makes them tick, what makes them smile, and such. That's all for this month. Take care kids.