October 18th, 2008
Posted by Danno
FRAME FETISH (at the movies, on tv, or dvd, or old vhs), NEU-TUBE, PORTFOLIO, THE FUN DIP GENERATION, The Viddies, VISUAL SELECTOR

HERE IT IS! My first short film made with my dad’s Super 8. I shot this to get into filmschool, but it was much more than that. It was the culmination of 21 years of ingesting pop culture, and wanting to purge some of it onto film. HERE’S an expanded version of what’s on the YouTube description:                                                                                                                                                                                





THE STORY: It was 1994, I was living in Oceanside, NY, taking classes(dada and surrealist film, avent garde drama, etc.) at the New School of Social Research and thinking about making a portfolio film to get into film school. After watching Frankenheimer’s, SECONDS (dig this trailer and you’ll see) I started to focus my attention on the commute into the city on the Long Island Railroad. Who do we bring into the city with us? And aside from the layer of grime on your skin, who do we take home? This transformation doesn’t only happen during the day; it happens at night when the bridge and tunnel people come into live out whatever nighttime fantasy they’ve got. I was reading about Nihilism and the whole bag about the destruction of values - social, moral, and linguistic, how maybe that needs to ease the pressure all around us? Maybe, I thought, I should make the film about that? I took my dad’s Super 8 and started to film.


Though I’ve been to a couple of Party Monster parties during that time, we had our own secret place - my room. We called it the FUN DIP FACTORY. Dazed and Confuzed was popular, and we would “hang” out watching Scooby Doo while taping Land of the Lost, while consuming copious amounts of candy. For me, candy was my heroin, the colored bulbs would glow, the lava lamp would ooze, and the strobe light would blow our minds like we were at some kinda acid test party. But we didn’t even have to leave the burbs…or even my room…our Fun Dip Factory. We would name ourselves THE FUN DIP GENERATION.


I was still tripping on that band Green Jelly’s,and their Cereal Killers, because we had an idea of the same name, but slightly different premise. The Cereal Aisle was broken up into territories and space that would be controlled by one of the big “families.” The Kellog’s family, controlled by their Don, Tony the Tiger had Snap Crackle and Pop to do the enforcing. They whacked a brown elephant and then a brown monkey to take over their Cocoa Krispies box, and they branched out to strawberry, marshmallow, and other boxes. Not far behind is the General Mills family, but they’ve got internal problems of their own. For instance, why is Count Chocula always keeping Franken Berry down? And Boo Berry? They treated him like Fredo. Some of you may remember Boo Berry was hard to get in most places. It’s like, they dropped him. We wondered if they even made him anymore, but would still see him take shit in the commercials. Why would they include him in the commercials if they didn’t sell him on the shelves? Hmm. Keep in mind, I was a fan of Oliver Stone’s JFK, and he had just put out Natural Born Killers, so I was ready to do some absurd investigating.


First thing I did was ask the store, “Hey, why don’t you guys have Boo Berry?” They’d tell me that the General Mills don’t send it, and that I should call them to ask why? I called GM and the told me they didn’t send it because Foodtown didn’t order it, I called Foodtown and the said they don’t order it because it wasn’t poplar and that GM wouldn’t send a smaller amount. They suggested I call back GM and make encourage them to deliver Boo Berry. I called back GM and the told me that since there isn’t enough demand they won’t send any Boo Berry. NO DEMAND? I wanted to do something about it, but I didn’t know what. Maybe I could make a movie about that? How does that relate to my city story? Well, what other people don’t know about me, when they see me on the train, is that when I go home I’m gonna go cukoo for Cocoa Puffs (Boo Berry), and I’m not going to let suburbia rest until we get Boo Berry back for everybody…like it or not. My pop culture fixation would inspire social revolt, and activism, even…if I blew up the place I could always plead the Twinky Defense!                                                            

That night I went to bed and had a dream…No, it was much more than a dream…it was a VISION. YES! Boo Berry came to me and told me it was more than just Babylon’s tricks (not the L.I.R.R. stop) but a full on conspiracy…a rubbing out. I believed him. I had to do something.

I wrote my manifesto, Tales of the Yoo Hoo Kid: A Portrait of the Fun Dip Generation, and I  made this film and a T-Shirt line called…Fun Dip Generation…or FDG. I sold the line to PAT FIELDS and XL (Beastie Boys store) among others. I made a few canvases to express my concern, and I started a PETITION for BOO BERRY! If I got my nice neighbors, and a few of my alter ego’s, to sign, BOO BERRY would come back from the dead.

It was HALOWEEN of 94, Tim Burton’s ED WOOD had just come out, and I knew the world was ready for my tribute to a blue marshmallow done wrong!

I was planning to stay in NY, but NYU didn’t like me much. Luckily Cal Arts did. I’d like to give extra thanks to my model Orgal,and Ronald “Stozo theClown” Edwards (of P-funk and Zap) for providing me with my illustrations and for letting me inspire him to revive his FUZZY character…now FUZZY JR. Also thanks to Richard DiBernardo at Pro Graphix for help on the box art.


MUSIC by the Beastie Boys, Bing Crosby, and P-Funk.

Oh, this is a GENERAL THRILLS PRODUCTION, and it was edited in Hollis, Queens (Word to RUN DMC, and the rehab that Dee Dee Ramone went to)


 P.S.S. And Frank-Kay, where ever you went, thanks for the help and for finding a few boxes of Boo Berry for me.




October 4th, 2008
Posted by Danno
FRAME FETISH (at the movies, on tv, or dvd, or old vhs)

Sure, the very concept of our democracy is at stake (someone say A1 Steak Sauce?), but hey, we’re in the middle of the second coming of the 80s (except this time we’re getting rid of the conservatives) and you must allow just a few minutes (like 127 minutes) to indulge in some frivolous decadence. Yes I’m talking about “Rio” and “Hungry Like A Wolf.” I’m talking about DURAN DURAN

They weren’t all boyish looks, made-up in make-up and expensive clothes, Duran Duran actually wrote some good songs, and while we may be into all things Nagel again, they were one of the few bands whose music wasn’t forgotten when the 90s came in, in fact, they were able to produce a few more hits. But really, is there any album that represents the 80s like Rio? There really isn’t. No “retro” advertising goes unpublished or broadcasting without reutilizing Duran’s utilization of that Nagel look.

The DVD has interviews with everyone involved with making the original album, as well as the folks in the U.S. that would try to position them to make it in the States. This was the beginning of MTV, so director Russell Mulcahy talks about what it was like making Indiana Jones for the small screen with the Rio video, and how important it was for the band as well as the new medium. Of course, what also makes the CLASSIC ALBUMS series so cool is when reel up the songs and sit by the mixing console showing us all the different components that went into making a hit. I love that stuff!


October 3rd, 2008
Posted by Danno
BANDS & BEATS, FRAME FETISH (at the movies, on tv, or dvd, or old vhs), IN PRINT (my work in print and online), PORTFOLIO, Sonic Smack (retro music review), VIEWS & REVIEWS

Call them The Wrecking Crew, call them the Clique, but just make sure you call them if you need a posse of top-notch musicians to play on your hit records. Denny Tedesco, the son of the late-great Tommy Tedesco (the most recorded guitarist in history), has made a documentary called The Wrecking Crew, a wonderful tribute to his dad and his co-workers that played for everyone and everything from The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Phil Spector, Frank Sinatra, The Monkees, Bonanza, Jaws, MASH, and on and on and on. They even played on some of Motown stuff, but not that many people know about that. If it was made on the West Coast, they probably played on it, and most of the sessions took place at Capitol or Gold Star. I won’t go into any more hype about the people behind the Wrecking Crew, that’s what THE ARTICLE is for, but I will thank Denny for talking to me about his dad and hooking me up with some of the film’s stars. I was honored to talk to the Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Campbell, and Plas Johnson (it’s HIS sax on “Pink Panther,” and HIS piccolo on “Rockin’ Robin”), Bill Pitman (”Good Vibrations” anyone?), Hal Blaine (the Elvis “Comeback Special” and “A Little Less Conversation”), and Carol Kaye (Her Fender Bass is all over Pet Sounds). They were all very generous with their time, and gave me more gems than I could ever fit into one article.I’m posting the article for portfolio reasons, please read it, but also go to MusicConnection.Com to read the whole magazine, or to order back issues.wrecking-crew-title.jpg


October 1st, 2008
Posted by Danno

It’s true, holy shit! I finally got to interview (not just be in the same room after a show) one of my most beloved figures in the entire universe!I thought it would be a good opportunity to include my friend and Funkateer Frankie “Kash” Waddie. Now Kash has not only played for James Brown and Bootsy, but he rose up the ranks of the P-Funk All-Stars to become George’s right hand man and tour manager. Since it’s a Music Connection article, I figured it would be good to get a little behind the scenes talk about what goes into helping George give up the funk. CLICK HERE to read the PDF, and remember to go to Music for back issues


September 26th, 2008
Posted by Danno
GOING OUT, IN PRINT (my work in print and online), In Town (Nite-Life Nudge)

I wrote a pick for these guys almost a year ago, but there much bigger this time around. Here’s the current LA Weekly pick but also check out their groovy video. 


These Are People Who Died: EARL PALMER R.I.P.

September 20th, 2008
Posted by Danno
News Shmooze (pulp patrol), These Are People Who Died

He was a Jazz guy before there was Rock and Roll, but oh, did he rock and roll. Earl Palmer, drummer for too many hits to mention here, is dead at 84. I had interviewed several members of The Wrecking Crew, and they all mentioned how important he was to the scene, it’s just a shame for logistic reasons that he wasn’t in the documentary. I’m including CNN’s obit, as well as a couple more. 
And here is the NEW YORK TIMES obit

KUTSHER’ S: NOT JUST FOR HEEBS ANYMORE! (All Tomorrows Parties Hits Upstate)

September 19th, 2008
Posted by Danno
GOING OUT, Out Of Town!, The Yid Kid, VIEWS & REVIEWS

kutshers-at-your-service.jpgWhen you mention Kutsher’s to someone they’re likely to ask “You mean Ashton has a restaurant now, too?” Uhg. When I hear Kutsher’s I think of THE MOUNTAINS! Upstate, the Borscht Belt, or the Catskills! I’ve been going upstate since I was in my mom’s tummy…in fact, legend has it that I’m the result of make-up sex on a rainy day from inside a car parked off of Route 17B…yes THAT 17B…the way to Woodstock, except my parents were no hippies…they were more like the couple in that movie A Walk On The Moon. They’ve been going up there since the 60s, as new immigrants to American Jewish life. The Catskills has seen some great times, some ugly times, and more recently some good times again. There’s been talk of gambling for so long now, and it looks like that’s happening, and while there’s people buying Sullivan county up, Monticello and its surroundings is still kinda down and out. Most of the big hotels are being demolished or are in limbo because of asbestos issues, some of them go on fire in the middle of the night because of what some locals have dubbed, “Jewish lightning.”  One of the classic hotels that seems to be a busy as ever is KUTSHER’S.kutshers-monticello1971.jpg I knew they had a big conservative Jewish clientele and they keep the kids busy with all their sports camps, but they also host all types of functions, like the dance competitions my mom would attend. I would stop by just to buy t-shirts and sweatshirts, almost as a proud, but inside Jewish joke. I knew the hipsters from Brooklyn must’ve known about this cool place, but I never in a million years would have thought that the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival would take place up there. Wow. ny2009fl_400x-1.jpgThe New York version of the festival was curiated by the Flaming Lips, but how cool is it that Suicide played their first album? This is My Bloody Valentine playing some noize.

Then there’s this one on the one and only Morris Katz

 And lastly, take a look at this photographer named, SIMON. He took plenty of shots of Kutsher’s.And stay tuned for my photos of the LOST CATSKILLS…yes, be very afraid.


September 8th, 2008
Posted by Danno
Evil Kitsch (Junk We Love), IN PRINT (my work in print and online), PORTFOLIO

Cleaning out the the mess-pad today, I came across my these bid paddles from the Kiss Auction that took place over two days at the end of June, 2000. My coverage of the event appeared in GOLDMINE on September 8, 2000, and aside from mentioning the presence of John 5 and other famous Kiss fans, I noted how crazy it was that a “dolphin sketch” by Gene Simmons went for almost 9 grand! Sheesh, if I had the cash, I would’ve bought every Ace costume there. Former Ace replacement Bruce Kulick was cool enough to give me some quotes. I never thought I’d say this, but seeing what Kiss is doing now makes me long for the Aslyum days (Crazy Nights would be going too far)Enjoy this blast from the near-past.And here’s some more on what sold and for how much, according to Kiss fan-site, KISS ASYLUMkiss-auction-card-1.jpgkiss-auction-card-2.jpg(note how the AUCTION is made too look like AUCOIN) goldmine-kiss-auction.jpg 


August 5th, 2008
Posted by Danno
(not so) Picky Eating, Evil Kitsch (Junk We Love)

Let’s talk about “Energy Drinks!” Before there was Red Bull, Full Throttle, and even Jolt Cola, there was COKE! The line between thirst satisfying beverage and stimulant addiction had been blurred long ago. I’ve always known that sugar is a drug, and that many of us are addicted to it. But there was much more than a little sugar and Kola nut in “Coca” cola…Coca Cola actually had Cocaine in it…or COKE! This new COCAINE beverage is just being more direct about it, and though it doesn’t actually any white powder in it, the can is pretty cool. This is an “adult” beverage, of course, lest a corporation try to sell a vice to kids…like those candy cigarettes or  gum cigars that blow powder smoke.  cocaine-sodasm.jpg cocacola-advert.gifkoke2.jpgcocaine_ad_coke1.gif  


August 2nd, 2008
Posted by Danno
(not so) Picky Eating, Evil Kitsch (Junk We Love)

hot-tamales.jpgIt’s hot out there right? I wish I could say it was SUPER HOT inside the box of Hot Tamales I just bought. I LOVE Hot Tamales and was super looking forward to it when I picked it up this box. I think I got a stale batch, maybe? Cool box though.  

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