Fri, 29 August 2014
Colin Marshall sits down in Pasadena with Pete Mitchell, visual artist, game designer, zombie enthusiast, and lead singer and co-founder of the band No More Kings, whose latest album III came out this year. They discuss now as an opportune time to be into zombies; how his mom got him into not just zombie movies but Dungeons & Dragons; the "love letter to the 1980s" he wrote with the first No More Kings album; his early forays into game design, typing in code line-by-line and saving it on a tape drive, later struggling against the limitations of software like Game-Maker; Game-Makerish limitations as the true drivers of art; the experience of growing up in Rhode Island, and who thrives there; being a big fish in a small pond, being a small fish in a big pond, and the appeal regardless of the ultimately more interesting big ponds; the eternal struggle to finish projects, and what we can learn from the examples of such "obsessive" creators as Francis Ford Coppola, Shane Carruth, Jerry Seinfeld, and Jiro Ono; the things you make as diamonds compressed from the coal of your time; the wide reach of No More Kings' "Sweep the Leg" music video, which reunited the cast of The Karate Kid and continues to win the band most of its fans; his anxiety about becoming an "80s pop culture" act; specialized interests and the even more specialized places they overlap as the new stages for subculture; his time in Japan, motivated by the thought that he "can't be the guy who only knows one language"; how, to learn languages or make things, you have to give yourself no choice in the matter; the "electric sense of potential" and "ambient ambition" in a city like Los Angeles, not often felt even in "nicer" places; this city as the most internet-like actual place yet established; and the reasons not to want to go back to Old Economy Steve's economy, or to the days of a powerful cultural mainstream — even if, as in the 80s, that mainstream produced a lot of neat stuff.
Direct download: NCC_S4E52_Pete_Mitchell.output.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28pm UTC
Fri, 22 August 2014
Colin Marshall sits down in Highland Park with Javier Cabral, the "food, booze, and punk rock" writer formerly known as The Teenage Glutster, and currently known as The Glutster. They discuss his mission to change the official punk rock food of Los Angeles from the Oki-dog to the taco; the reasons for the taco's current surge of general popularity; the reputation Mexican food has, even among the otherwise culinarily aware, as "just Mexican food"; the humbling his Mexican-food expertise received at the hands of his girlfriend; the singular form of "tamales"; what the bean-and-cheese burrito stands for in Los Angeles Mexican cuisine; his Korean food outing with Matthew Kang; how punk rock got him exploring Los Angeles first, and how looking for punk show listings exposed him to the food writing of Jonathan Gold; what kind of music develops in the backyards of east Los Angeles; the pots of food his mom made for the attendees at his free 21st birthday punk show; how much he enjoyed comped meals (and drinks) on La Cienega as a young, broke food writer, and why he swore off them; why the eastside and westside continually accuse one another of having no food; the cultural overlap he's found between food and punk rock in the most logical city for those two to come together; his long-form Saveur piece "Mexico Feeds Me", which took him back to his family's home state of Zacatecas (and which finally got his parents understanding his job); his love of street food, and his refusal to write about it for fear of getting its purveyors shut down; how both street food and punk rock always come back, no matter who tries to stamp them out; the burden of listicle-writing; and the etymology of the word "Glutster".
Direct download: NCC_S4E51_Javier_Cabral.output.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC
Fri, 8 August 2014
Colin Marshall sits down in Los Feliz with artist, filmmaker, and writer William E. Jones. They discuss what one learns by viewing a city through the prism of its gay porn; how Los Angeles gives away the least of itself in that form as in others; home he introduced Fred Halsted's "gay porn masterpiece" L.A. Plays Itself to Los Angeles Plays Itself maker Thom Andersen, and how the movie helped fund Chantal Akerman's first projects; Selma Avenue, once the "hustler central" of Los Angeles; the city as he came to know it in the movies before he came to know it in real life; the Los Angeles tendency to identify with specific neighborhoods; how truly coming to know the city somehow requires both driving and not driving; what made he and Thom Andersen decide to make a "useful" book of their conversations; his examination of the nonsexual elements of the gay porn, and the other work that got him a reputation for a time as "the porn guy"; his resolution not to create around any obvious unifying concept; why Morrissey's robust Latino fandom confounds people, and how it ties into Los Angeles' long strain of musical Anglophilia; the similarities between the industrial decay of northern England and the forlorn provinciality of Southern California suburbs; how city centers, to an extent excepting Los Angeles', have fallen to "fabulous wealth and enormous corporate power"; the way places never turn out quite as intended here, and what it means for civic pride, the force that begins a city's slide into decadence; what kind of a town Los Angeles has become for experimental film; the city's ability, now at stake, to nurture "something like a bohemia," which Glasgow has done where London hasn't; and what traces of Fred Halsted's Los Angeles survive today.
Direct download: NCC_S4E50_William_E_Jones.output.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20pm UTC