All posts by Justin Lancy

Michael Jai White and Scott Sanders make a tribute to 1970’s Blaxploitation cinema that’s….well…SOLID!

Black Dynamite!

As regular readers might remember, I’m a fairly big fan of blaxploitation cinema and I’ve been waiting to see a movie called “Black Dynamite” since January. After playing the film festival circuit for months, it was picked up by Sony for distribution and was (finally) released this past Friday.

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This year, like previous years, offers more great stuff than you could ever see in one weekend.

The NEW YORKER Festival

I was lucky enough to catch a couple of events at this year’s THE NEW YORKER Festival, including a very interesting interview with Rachel Maddow of The Rachel Maddow Show and a presentation by Simon Schama that was ostensibly about Barack Obama and “Words-as-Actions”, but was really a virtuoso demonstration of Schama’s eclecticism and his force of spirit.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to see some of the other eventsRicky Jay, for example, is someone who’s wide-ranging work I’ve enjoyed for years. You know that the organizers of a festival did a good job when you find yourself getting angry at them for giving you more incredible events to see than time to see them.

Hey Guys — Festival WEEK next year? 😀

I was sipping my morning coffee, thinking about last night’s Red Hot benefit show Dark Was The Night….something along the lines of ‘Man — Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings just *killed it* last night…” when a tweet from BrooklynVegan pops up on my desktop: “i never finished last night, but Sharon Jones also killed it…”

I think anyone who didn’t leave early would agree.
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Links that I thought you might enjoy!

  • Boing Boing Cosplayers, manga fans and cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
    Brooklyn is like no other…
    (Via Boing Boing )
  • Edward Champion's Return of the Reluctant The Novelist as Used Car Salesman
    Ed says: “There is a type of novelist who saddens me: the kind of novelist who prefers the status of having written instead of the consistent joys of writing, the type of author who only communicates to people if he wants something instead of being curious in other viewpoints. This novelist’s primary subject of interest is likely to be himself, but he’s capable of cloaking this solipsism by suggesting to others that they are just as much a part of his process. The novelist, in cues straight out of the Dale Carnegie playbook, will remember one specific detail about the other person that nobody else has and thereby create a greater impression.”
    (Via Edward Champion’s Return of the Reluctant )
  • 11 Rock Reunion Dos and Don’ts – Page 1 – The Daily Beast
    Creed just joined the long list of bands to give music a second chance after calling it quits. Dear God — NO!
    (Via )
  • 3quarksdaily Genius: The Modern View
    David Brooks in the New York TImes: What Mozart had, we now believe, was the same thing Tiger Woods had — the ability to focus for long periods of time and a father intent on improving his skills. Mozart played a lot of piano at a very young age, so he got his 10,000 hours of practice in early and then he built from there.
    (Via 3quarksdaily )
  • Cliffs of Nintendover
    Reader Clark sent me this link — What is it about 80’s guitar music that lends itself so perfectly to the 8-bit treatment?
    (Via sliv.4× )
  • Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, presented by Orson Welles | Smashing Telly – A hand picked TV channel
    A documentary version of Alvin Toffler’s classic 70s book, Future Shock presented by Orson Welles.
    (Via )
  • Classic Serge Gainsbourg | oOoo Squeak E Clean Website oOoo
    Classic Serge Gainsbourg
    (Via )

In art, there is a discernible difference between what is sufficient and what is sublime.


“Did the projector bulb burn out or something?” was my very first reaction to hearing a score by Maurice Jarre, the composer behind some of the finest movie music ever, who died on March 29th.

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New Beginnings for Old Friends

ninjaBeing in a band is a bit of an emotional tightrope walk.

Trying to make any art can be difficult. It’s hard enough to write one good song on your own — let alone to do it with a group of people, each with a different aesthetic.

And let’s face it: Most musicians tend to possess, kindly put, an independent streak and so — almost inevitably — there is a residue left by the day in/day out friction from collaborating on any body of work.  If you’re lucky, that creative process is followed by rehearsing, recording, and touring.  Sprinkle on top of that whatever “personal demons” existed beforehand and you’ll see that, for all the clichés of a band being like a dysfunctional family, it’s inevitable that there is some truth to it.

Is it really any wonder that so many bands quickly lose their balance and fall off the wire?
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Gina Trapani’s new blog is a “must read” for people who use technology to improve their lives.

Former Lifehacker guru, author, and former Brooklynite Gina Trapani is back in action with her new blog, Smarterware.

The quote she uses in the footer of her new site tells me that this is probably a less-corporate, more heartfelt venture :

“Be true to your work and your work will be true to you.” —Charles Pratt

Best of luck to you, Gina!

Radiohead meets Tusk at this year’s Grammy’s

Radiohead meets Tusk at this year’s Grammy’s:


Radiohead feat. USC Marching Band ‘15 Step (02/08/2009)’ (mp3)

Also: (Radiohead ‘15 Step’ Video)

(Via Culture Bully.)

Human Stop-Motion Performance of Mozart on Guitar

(Via Neatorama.)

I am not a fan of Rush.

And I hate most things having to do with drummers.

But if Sara, a 13 year old Japanese girl, twirls her sticks while bashing along with “YYZ”, it makes everything that is wrong,…right, somehow.


I wish she wasn’t such a fan of Prog Rock but, really, how snooty can you get after reading stuff like this on her home page?:

Sara Santa

Check out her other stuff and watch as chica tears it up on the kit and a DrumKat.

And if Mr. Santa doesn’t come through for her, we should all just cancel Christmas forever.

(Via The Stranger.)