Mixed Media

Bored I-5 Radio Listening Confirms: Rush Limbaugh a Complete Tool

| Mon Mar. 3, 2008 6:18 PM EST

mojo-photo-i5rush.jpgOther parts of the country may have rough roads, other far-flung cultures may have haunted paths of doom through dark forests, but we in California have the I-5, a straight-arrow 300-mile death-bahn connecting NorCal and SoCal. It's a harrowing journey through the dust-and-smog-filled wasteland of our dreaded Central Valley, chased by monstrous semis and LA douchebags on their cell phones doing 95. When one's driving it, like I did today, and one gets bored listening to stuff on the iPod-radio system, and turns with great trepidation to the radio, there are few options: lots of Spanish, lots of Jesus, and Rush Limbaugh. I settled on the latter, and it was an interesting day to tune in.

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After Altamont, Mick Jagger Targeted For Death by Hells Angels

| Mon Mar. 3, 2008 3:40 PM EST

As the Rolling Stones learned at Altamont, be mindful of the company you keep. Mick Jagger's decision to hire members of the Hell's Angels to work security for the band's 1969 free concert at the speedway ended when a fan was stabbed to death by gang members, allegedly after drawing a gun and pointing it at the stage. (See footage above.) Jagger fired the Angels after the show.

That much is the stuff of rock-n-roll legend, but revelations about Altamont's aftermath are still making news. According to a BBC documentary, to be aired today, Jagger's decision to look elsewhere for security guards enraged the Angels, which hatched a plot to kill him. According to the BBC:

"They were going to kill him in retribution for his firing their security forces," former FBI agent Mark Young told the documentary.
"Their plan involved making entry onto his Long Island property, going by boat.
"As they gathered the weaponry and their forces to go out on Long Island Sound, a storm rolled up, which nearly sunk the watercraft that they were in, and they escaped with their own lives.
"They never went back and reinstituted the plan."

Unknown is whether the FBI ever informed Jagger of the plot. The singer has so far declined comment.

LOST: Following the Money Trail

| Fri Feb. 29, 2008 7:01 PM EST

lost-the-constan.jpgWow, last night's episode of LOST was chock-full of action. There was a love story, time traveling, an art auction, even military exercises in the rain. It was almost as if the creators didn't feel they had enough time to pack everything into one episode.

Time, of course, is the key to the island and why our plucky survivors are still there instead of in balmy Los Angeles. The time difference—now established beyond a shadow of a doubt, though exactly how long it is is still to be determined—is why people are so keen to study the island, and also why it's so darn hard to get off it. But there's still the question of who knows about this time difference and what they are doing, or trying to do, to exploit it. To answer that question, let's use an old journalism maxim: follow the money.

Dance Beat Sneaking Back Into Hip-Hop

| Fri Feb. 29, 2008 12:32 PM EST

mojo-photo-snoop.jpgWhat I wanna do right here is go back: way back, back into time, to the early 1990s, and to a short-lived musical genre called "hip house." Bridging the sonic and cultural gap between the up tempo 4/4 beats of house music clubs in Chicago and Detroit with the energy and lyrical flow of New York hip-hop, the hybrid genre was everywhere for a brief moment. Artists like Fast Eddie and Mr. Lee threw down the party jams, while bands like A Homeboy a Hippie and a Funky Dread and Genaside pushed musical boundaries. And don't forget Technotronic! It seemed like the future, a musical genre that broke barriers of race and sexuality. So, what happened to it?

Is Collecting Records Stupid?

| Thu Feb. 28, 2008 5:19 PM EST

mojo-photo-beatles.jpgVia Uncut comes news that an exceedingly rare copy of the Beatles' 1968 "White Album" is set for auction this week, and is likely to bring bids of up to £5000 ($10,000). The record has a serial number of 00000007 (kind of like Mr. Burns' Social Security number) and since it's rumored that the first ten copies of the album were all given to band members, that would make this "the lowest numbered original mono copy" that has ever been up for auction. Is this silly, or a justifiable appreciation of a landmark work of art?

Study: Anything With a Beat Causes Sexism

| Mon Feb. 25, 2008 6:36 PM EST

mojo-photo-eminem.jpgVia AllHipHop.com, it's a study that appears to connect hip-hop to sexism, but not in the way you'd expect. Political science professors at North Carolina State University placed male and female students in three groups. One listened to Eminem's "Kill You" (representing the "misogynist" team: "Slut, you think I won't choke no whore/ 'til the vocal cords don't work in her throat no more?"), the second listened to the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" (representing absence of misogyny: "I'm-a set it straight, this Watergate") and the third group "was not exposed to rap music." So did they play them Josh Groban, or just sit them in a quiet room? It doesn't say. Anyway, the study concluded that hip-hop music made people more sexist, no matter what the lyrics were about:

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Kimmel's "F***ing Ben Affleck" Video: Homophobic?

| Mon Feb. 25, 2008 4:14 PM EST

mojo-photo-kimmelaffleck.jpgThere's a bit of a comments war raging at gay-oriented blog Towleroad over an elaborate sketch from last night's Oscars after-show. The video in question was the latest installment in a running joke on Kimmel's ABC late-night show: recently his girlfriend Sarah Silverman brought in a video in which she announced she's "f***ing Matt Damon," with the Bourne star himself providing backup vocals. Kimmel scoring (with) Affleck was the only logical response, of course, but they really stepped up the production values, recruiting a slew of stars in a "We Are the World"-style sing-along: Robin Williams, Huey Lewis, Josh Groban?! It wasn't quite as funny as Silverman's bit (which twirled wildly through a pastiche of pop culture and musical references) and relied mostly on the shock value of its guest cameos, but some viewers are also finding that certain parts of the video crossed the line into homophobia. Kimmel and Affleck are dressed in ridiculous outfits that include skimpy jean shorts and a metallic green t-shirt, and they paint their toenails at what appears to be a gay tiki bar. While late-night comedy sketches aren't exactly, you know, hate-crimes legislation, and I typically side with comedians rather than the easily-offended, this one does bring up the question of how to tell when stereotypes are being mocked and when they're being exploited. Watch both Silverman/Damon's and Kimmel/Affleck's after the jump, and then commenters, rant away: are we watching a troubling bit of subtle gaysploitation, or should the PC police chill out and realize that laughing at stereotypes defuses them? And in general, how many times funnier is Sarah Silverman than Jimmy Kimmel?

MoJo on Oscars' Picks (and a Truly Awesome Oscars Moment, for "Once")

| Sun Feb. 24, 2008 11:36 PM EST

A pretty weighty Oscars bill this year. So no surprise that a slew of our picks were nominees. Check out these tidbits: a revealing interview with Iranian exile Marjane Satrapi, the artist behind Persepolis; an inside look at War/Dance; and our review of tonight's winner in the best documentary feature category, Taxi to the Dark Side.

And the feel-good story of the night? Hands down, best-song winners (up against two Alan Mencken powerhouses) Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who won for "Falling Slowly" from the way-Indy film Once. Irglova, who faced music before she had her chance to get a word in, was later granted time to speak. And she took eloquent advantage: "Fair play to those who dare to dream, and don't give up. This song was written from the perspective of hope, and hope, at the end of the day, connects us all, no matter how different we are."

See Once (and skip Atonement). And like Hansard said: Make Art, Make Art.

Lost Focuses on Plot, But Ploddingly So

| Fri Feb. 22, 2008 7:10 PM EST

claire-aaron-and-sun.jpgAfter last week's action-packed, mind-bending episode of Lost, I had high hopes for this week's installment. I hoped that there would be allusions to physical laws, mathmatical theories, and the theory of relativity. Or that the series, which is now a blogged about by the Washington Post and has legions of intricately-researched fan sites, would give me some new twist to investigate. So did it? Eh, not so much.

The plot did move along, though, in a way it didn't in the last season. But it felt like the writers were simply going through the motions, dutifully moving the plot along, without having much fun along the way.

'Cinema of Truth' Was Born in 1960's 'Primary': NPR on the Invention of Cinema Verite

| Tue Feb. 19, 2008 6:53 PM EST

and why we journalists deserve all the credit. Who knew documentaries sucked before us ink-stained wretches?

From NPR today:

'Cinema of Truth' Was Born in 1960's 'Primary'
by Mike Pesca, NPR

All Things Considered, February 19, 2008 · In 1960, a team of documentary filmmakers descended on the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary in order to record the campaigning between John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey. Politically, the results propelled Kennedy to the nomination. Artistically, the documentarians invented a new form.
Using technology that made cameras lighter and sound equipment more portable, the documentarians took a "fly-on-the-wall approach" in a style that would come to be called cinema verite.
We use the occasion of the current Wisconsin primary to talk about D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles and Robert Drew and their 1960 collaboration Primary.