Friday, April 29, 2005

Tribeca Rosie Media

OK, a roundup of the week, focusing basically on the past couple days: Yesterday I saw a film with VP at the , the first time I've ever been. I kinda like festivals; it's just that I never really end up going to them. Come to think of it, I seldom end up going to anything unless someone invites me. Hmmm, I guess I'm a hermit-in-training.

Anyway, we went to see The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green, a movie I suggested since I remember reading the comic strip somewhere, maybe Tallahassee or Atlanta or somewheres. The movie lived up to its name: Mostly Unfabulous. To be sure, it had its moments, maybe 18 or so of them, but largely it was trite and predictable, like pretty much any romantic love story. It was also for the most part badly acted and cast (the guy who played the young sexpot who everyone's all about was, well, doughy). Prolly the best part of the movie was either Meredith Baxter or her hair. And, surprisingly, even though she had a good bit of camera time in the film, no one in the story was raped or forced to have an abortion or came down with severe mental illness. I thought those things just kinda happened around Meredith Baxter, and all those Lifetime movies were kinda demi-reality shows, where they put her in a situation and said, "Mer, just pretend to be this girl's mother," and then all hellz breaks loose. Imagine my surprise when the whole flick was tame.

Preceding the Ethan Green movie was a short called Billy's Dad is a Fudge-Packer. This film was lame. Basically, it's pretend 50s-style black-and-white educational film. Billy's dad works in a candy factory, supervising people who are literally packing fudge and other confections. The whole movie just relied on wordplay and visual innuendo, and tried very hard to be clever. It came off as something you'd see on a skit show, only a li'l better produced. The high and low point was an appearance by Alex Boorstein of Family Guy and MADTV--the high point cux it's Alex Boorstein(!) and the low point because Alex Boorstein took part in something like this. Anyway, if you're wondering what all the innuendos of the movie are trying to say or what the grand meaning you take from the flick is, here it is: Nothing. It was just a bunch of word and image play. In the beginning of the short, however, you get the sense that something is going to happen or be said, because Billy, the son, seems to be looking at everything that happens around him with a puzzled expression, as if he senses something going on under the surface and isn't sure how he feels about it yet. But by the end of the movie he's lost this expression and it's never given any kind of resolution. You're left wondering if the director changed his idea about where the movie was going about half way through.

So anyway, that was that. The films were really late last night, so I prolly should have picked something earlier, cux I'm real tired today. Alas!

I've made a new online discovery: As I understand it, it's a site that offers you storage/archiving of all your media files--images, mp3s, videos, etc. It's designed to archive your own works, so you should be the copyright owner of anything you post. But the site claims that it's free permanent storage, forever. And you can link to your files. So that's pretty coolz. I uploaded my Bingle Jells Etude No. 2 and another file which hasn't yet been approved. I like the idea of the site. Hopefully one day soon I'll have some VIDEO to upload.

Lastly, I just find bizarre. From her blog where she posts bland poetry. (I largely think the definition of 'poetry' has gotten waaaaaaaay out of hand, to the point where the verbal equivalent of taking a crap, and not even a satisfactory one, is called poetry. It's kind of like the definition of 'bipolar'--once upon a time if you were bipolar it basically meant you were 'fucked,' but now anyone who has had more than one mood in hir lifetime calls hirself 'bipolar.' Some call it 'bracket creep'; often I call it 'horseshit.') On her flickr she posts aggressivly mediocre pictures. And yet, they often reference famous people or things related to celebrity ( eg., On her flickr are backstage shots from Access Hollywood). On the one hand, it strikes me as a little pathetic, like she's trying to hang on to shreds of the celebrity she once enjoyed. On the other hand, it's almost like she's purposefully trying to demystify the world of celebrity making it mundane, putting up these shittly-looking pix of her world and writing this insipid poetry. I look at the pix and wonder why she didn't retouch any of them, or at least take them on a good camera. And for the love of cod, WHY are they on a FREE account on flickr?! You know Rosie isn't bankrupt! she? And this blog of hers: it just leaves an icky taste in my mouth. It's just uncomfortable for her to be striking this peculiar everyman position. I think she's trying to be a b9iatch or something. I dunno. It's odd to me; I'll have to process this Rosie O'Donnell concept some more.

And that's the beep for now.

Ed Shepp

Monday, April 25, 2005

Some Blips for the Beepners

Here are some blips for you:

That movie that's out/coming out now called Crash--it's not the same story as the Cronenberg film of the same name (and font). It's a shame, cux Sandra Bullock is in this new film, and if it were the same Crash, then finally there would be a Sandra Bullock film worth seeing. Alas, it is not to be...

Did anyone see that episode of The Apprentice where the 'prize' was to have a meal with George and Carolyn? What did you think of that prize? At first I thought it was pretty lame, cux G&C aren't exactly celebrities, you know? Not like Anna Kournikova or the Mentos commercials kids. But then I was like wait a minnut--to the people who follow this show, they kinda are celebrities. So then it became sorta cool. And I guess if you really want to win the show, maybe it would help you to know them better. But probably not. So my verdict went from lame to unlame-but-not-like-way-cool-or-anything. Then I saw the clip, and it was back to lame. Actually back to waaaay-lame. Cux in the clips they showed of the breakfast, after the introductions, the conversation went something like this (paraphrased): Carolyn: "There are 2 Georges in my life, George and my husband George, who I call 'My George.'" George: "Her husband's a great guy." Carolyn: "I'd like to think so." And there was a clip about her saying she has 2 kids and what not.

Mind you--those were the clips they showed from the meal. That means those were likely the MOST INTERESTING MOMENTS. LAME!!!! You'd think they'd have something more interesting to talk about than their demographics and the like. And 'My George'??? This woman is paid HOW MUCH and she can't come up with something the teeniest bit more original or evocative than 'My George'?? I reiterate: ?!?!??!!!?!??! What about Beefcake Boombox George of the Jungle? Glittery Groovzy Glamtasticplastic George? George of the Gorge? 'My George'? Ugh. That was a bum 'prize' if there ever was one. I would rather hear her talk about hair or bulimia. Actually, there's one thing that I really want her to do: I really want Carolyn Kepcher to use the phrase Hellz yeah! or the word beeyotch on an episode. It would really give the show that dash of glam that it's lacking, especially given the charisma-bereft cast of this season.

Lately I'm alls about that mashup of Ray of Light with Eleanor Rigby. If you like that kind of thing, you should download it--it's called Eleanor Ciccone. I know someone who doesn't like it; I was saying to him that I don't usually like mashups where they just put one song into another, and he was like, Totally! But I think he meant something thematically (and I think it's why he doesn't like Eleanor Ciccone), but I just meant that I hate when people mix a full song into another, as opposed to, say, putting the vocal line into the music of another (eg. Eleanor Ciccone, Oops! The Genie Is Out of the Bottle). At any rate, I'm all about this song. Especially because I think there had to be some key adjustment going on there, cux Ray of Light doesn't seem like it's in an all-minor key, but I wouldn't dare say for sure. Anyone out there know? I feel like the jacking around with the key makes the mashup cooler than if that wasn't necessary.

Speaking of sounds & keys and all that gwazbatazzle, I've recently had the opportunity to play around with a pitch shifter that allows you to check whether you want to shift the formants of a sound while shifting the pitch. This is exciting for me, cux I'm alls about the piatch shifting, as you know if you've heard much of my stuff. With regular pitch shifting, you automatically shift the formants in the original sound, which gives it that 'sped up/slowed down' quality (I don't understand the actual meaning of the word formant, but I understand the concept as it relates to shifting pitches, sort of). But there are shifters which allow you to control, to a greater or lesser degree, the shifting of the formants in the sound. And I've always wanted to try that. So using this piatch shifter is really cool. I've learned that when you shift the pitch down, it pretty much always sounds really effected, even with 'Preserve Formants' checked; but pitching up is a different story. You can pitch up like 9 semitones without things sounding totally bass-ackwards. An interesting thing: I thought that pitching up while preserving formants would make a man sound like a woman, which doesn't happen, unless you're putting on a female voice. In fact pitching way up like that actually makes you sound like a preteen, which is really interesting. Going way, way up makes you sound like some kind of talking violin. The best part is that pitching around while preserving the formants does really, really interesting things to the timbre of a voice: you can sound like a totally different person and still sound human. So I'm having lots of fun wit dat.

And those are my beeps for now!

Ed Shepp

Thursday, April 21, 2005


WATCH OUT if you see this logo! If you see this logo on a bus, watch out! Do not cross the street or do anything (maybe keep your camera phone out) until it's far away.

I was walking with a friend up 42nd street today, up to the park near the U.N., and we saw this bus from Burke Christian Tours hit someone crossing the street. I didn't see the actual moment of impact, but my friend did, and it was evident when she did: we were walking along and this group of girls passed by us on our left. All of a sudden I hear my friend yell, "OH MY GOD!" I was taken aback, and thought she must have recognized one of the girls and was having an exaggerated reaction, but then I looked where she was looking and she said that this bus had just hit this guy trying to cross the street. You could clearly see what had happened, as he was yelling at the driver and his walkman was splayed all over the street in pieces. The bus pulled over to the side of the street and the driver called the police. We walked up and told him we'd seen what had happened. (Curiously, no one else stopped to help. I think it's possible that no one else had seen it, although I can't imagine the person who was in the car waiting at the light not seeing it. It's certainly possible, though.) So we waited for the police to arrive.

Several minutes elapsed with no one showing up, in spite of the fact that it happened almost directly across the street from the U.N., and the driver called again. This driver, whose voice reeked of hick, clearly, indubitably had no business driving in New York City. We heard him say that he didn't know what borough he was in (he even mispronounced the word borough); and we also heard him telling the person on the other end of the line that he was on "42nd avenue." We began to wonder whether he had even called the police at all, but after a few minutes a fire truck and a police car showed up.

As for the person who was hit, he kept saying that he was fine and didn't need an ambulance, but with something like that, I kinda think going to the hospital is a good idea even if you feel fine. He wasn't knocked over (although he had to ask my friend if he'd fallen--it's not a good sign if you don't remember), but it appeared as if his mouth was bleeding. Also, it's not like he would have to pay for it--the tour company's insurance should cover it. At any rate, my friend gave her name for the police report, and after that we had to leave. So a lot of drama there!

V.P. blames the whole incident on the new Pope. And to look at him, I'd be inclined to agree. That biatch could totally be right out of a horror movie.

And that's the beep I can think of right now.

Ed Shepp

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Swiss News

The newspaper I have a column inIt's a hectic week with tons to do, so I've had no time to post, but I thought I'd put up this li'l bit. I've been waiting til I had some kind of image to scan in to accompany the entry, and since I received some long awaited mail a couple of days ago, now I do. So here's this week's beep:

If you're passing through Zurich, Switzerland sometime this year, keep an eye out for the Rote Fabrik Zeitung, the newspaper put out by Rote Fabrik. I have a column in it called American Life. Yes, partly a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Madonna song/album. Basically it's about American politix & Bush and all that gawazzle; it's in my regular easy breezy style. Well, except that it's in German--it's translated. Here's an image of the first column I wrote, which came out at the end of February this year:

Here's the short version of how the column came about: Someone from the group that publishes the magazine picked up a zine that I made (Another Ed Shepp Magaxine-Type Thinglet) (the first issue, no less!) last summer, and liked it enough that she offered me a column in their monthly newspaper in Zurich. And my first deadline was in February, and I'm about to send in the third column tomorrow. And that's basically the story, or as much of it as I can recall among all the distractions around me as I type.

So anyway, I got the first coupla issues in the mail a couple days ago and scanned some stuff in today. And that catches everyone up. I also scanned in a coupla other things and plopped them on flickr (the drawing a presumably schizophrenic artist made of me and an old pic of Stephen Guarino) .

And now, gotta get to bed soon and then get to the rest of the week's bidneff. So that's the beep for now!

Ed Shepp