Thursday, November 25, 2010

Barricades of Hamburgers Divide the Nation

Voina protests the dull routine of menial labour by whipping cats into a McDonalds in Moscow, May Day, 2007

Last week two members of Voina (meaning "War") were arrested for overturning police cars as part of an action back in September. In the piece Royal Overturn, a child kicked a ball under a police car and Voina overturned the car to free the ball. What choice did they have?! The charges of "aggravated hooliganism" against Leonid Nikolayev and Oleg Vorotnikov carries a sentence of up to seven years in prison. Likely harsher than the level of punishment that would be meted out to apolitical soccer hooligans for the same actions. Voina routinely takes aim at government and police authority, so it is not surprising that one of their organizers would be targeted in selective arrests two months after the group carried out the work.

A recent English language interview with Voina is available at rebel:art and for more info, photos and videos of Voina actions, check out the tag on Animal New York.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Klondike

Old pal and super talented artist Zach Worton will finally be seeing the release of his historical comic on the Yukon gold rush this spring. It's been a long time since he first told me about this and showed me some drawings. The book's contents have been researched in depth and promise to be gorgeous. This is his debut with a major book, and with Drawn and Quarterly behind him I'm sure it will make a big splash. Maybe after he breaks I can sell the remaining copies of our ten-year-old garage rock CDs I still have kicking around my apartment. Congratulations, Zach! Can't wait to get my hands on this.

Image and info ripped from Chris at Comics212. He has the full solicitation and release details over there.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You Don't Own Me

Lesley Gore was a singer-songwriter of the girl group era. Even if you know nothing about Gore you probably know her 1963 song "It's My Party" well enough to sing it. That tune was recorded when she was only sixteen-years-old and it has become part of the canon of girl group music. "It's My Party" is also noteworthy for launching the career of Quincy Jones, who signed Gore to Mercury Records and produced that first single for her when he was thirty-years-old.

In 2005, Gore came out of the closet and revealed she had a partner for over twenty years. Certainly this added a new dimension to Gore's lyrics, but even before the admission, Gore's tunes were proto-feminist "fuck yous" to anyone who dared do her wrong, man or woman.

This story of Gore as closeted pop princess was threaded into Allison Anders' film Grace of My Heart, a fictional history of American pop music starring Illeana Douglas and John Turturro. Although it wasn't too well received at the time, I find the movie to be one of the lost treasures of the 90s indie film boom. Hey, a modest treasure is still a treasure.

Hit the jump to see Lesley Gore performing a searing live version of "You Don't Own Me" for The TAMI Show, a 1964 concert film.

Lookbook: The Baxter

"Sometimes I miss the sun, but I love the crazy people."

Michael Showalter's 2005 romantic-comedy gem The Baxter remains little-seen despite featuring Paul Rudd, Michael Ian Black, David Wain, and Elizabeth Banks, with Showalter and Michelle Williams in the leads. Lucky for you it is a new addition to Netflix so you can do your part by watching it today.