Friday, August 30, 2013

Surf Art by Jesse Miller; Endless Waves Through His Eyes

Since I have a passion for the ocean, I'm easily won over by surf art, and people who can paint. I can write, but my paintings look worse than a preschooler's. So today when
I was looking for my next feature, I ran across Jesse Miller's portfolio, and immediately deemed it WAY above average. The first picture I really fell in love with was "woodies" on the second row of the print page. It's a spectacular view of three surf cars from the rear with some beautiful orange Hawaiian flowers in the foreground.

The "Kneepaddle" print has an awesome vision of the ocean; it is a bit calm and rippled, even though the surfer is going over one wave, in preparation to turn around and surf the next. The hues of blue are immaculate, and these have the spirit of frontside carves, wall drops and Aloha all over them. "Casa" and "Waimea Light" are other treats on canvas, with a view of a pier and very dark dawn or dusk on Waimea. The "8A" painting is still a killer view of one that you may not think would be as nice as the ocean; from the highway. But it is absolutely killer, because you are exiting to the North Shore with some trademark Hawaiian mountains in the background.

Born in San Diego, Jesse was drawn to Brigham Young in Hawaii immediately because of his love for the ocean. Towards the end of school, he had progressed immensely and was winning awards in collegiate displays and exhibits. After school he got on as a lifeguard back on the mainland at La Jolla and Blacks Beaches; He has paintings in galleries in San Diego and has taught many aspiring others in watercolor and beyond. If you live by the ocean, or are landlocked like the rest of us and need a reminder of how pristine and moving it really is; these are some high up on the excellence scale. To check out his work in detail or contact him, click:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Milk: Denver's Killer Kubrick -Inspired Alternative Club

Dj Roland at the helm
My first outing being back to Denver was Milk, the winner of Westword's "Best retro/goth" award in 2011. DJ Roland and Slave 1 were both performing that night. I heard more of Roland in the first room, but DJ Slave 1 sure does love her craft, and patrons really flocked to her to compliment her. A true haven of the underground; this is not for the frat crowd or young executives trying to impress others. Think "The Crow", Jesus and Mary Chain, Bauhaus, Skinny Puppy, and the like. Perfect for indulging in rainy night culture, latex fashion, and the darkly complex but beautiful people.

My hosts Beau Scott and Curtis Zito introduced me to all the bartenders and I met DJ Talcum X, some restaurant proprietors and Tattoo shop owners. Chatting with folks who were inked up to the nines and fully immersed in the music, we agreed that Denver had a huge "boomerang culture", one that would pull people back such as myself after being gone for awhile. Curtis and Beau had boasted so highly of the club because of its multiple room offerings, real underground vibe, and true peek it offers of a scene some other cities have mistakenly left behind for Bieber and the more mainstream sheep offerings.

Spinning + looking stunning; DJ Slave 1
Open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9pm till 2am, this club is a jewel in a city that has been at the top of the utterly hip and music scenesters list for the last decade. At 1037 Broadway, the first room has throwbacks in it's decor to "Clockwork Orange", enough to make any serious artist or critic pay attention. Dark, unique, and complex, there are luxurious seating areas scattered about; a nice plus. A lot of alternative clubs in the beginning were just dark holes that were fun, but not comfortable.

As far as fun and comfort, Milk definitely has both, and will always be at the top of this critic's list. So bust out that Cure or Joy Division cd you have been neglecting, and sample it for yourself. Embracing gothic culture and the individuals that crossed the line of avant garde years ago is art itself, not just opening some cookie cutter joint for profit. Bravo to the owners of Milk, and I'll be digging up some more black shirts and entering gleefully through the alley again soon.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ultra Cool Items: Dinosaur Jr Coffee table book

J Mascis plays a Jazzmaster among others and is very, very, very loud. When I saw Dinosaur Jr for the second time ever a while back, it was so deafening it hurt. Nonetheless, the recorded product is always choice, and believe it or not; has some quiet moments. This November, the book Dinosaur Jr. By Dinosaur Jr. will be released, with two different editions. There's even an extra tour diary and many behind the scenes photos.

In the current climate, some bands could release a book like this and no one would care. I guarantee that a lot of people will care about this one; they are a band with a one of a kind sound. Saying they are influenced by acts like Neil Young is true but doesn't even scratch the surface; There are tons of good riffs and sounds here. From "Green Mind" to "Farm", this band formed in 1984 had one of the most distinct sounds ever created. Large doses of feedback, gain, and distortion will definitely morph into tons of great coffee table pictures to look at.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Best of Denver Neighborhood Icon: City O City; Vegetarian Perfection

If the cosmopolitan city in question you're talking about is Denver, honors such as "Best Bike Friendly Business" and "Best Vegetarian" are like being compared to Scorsese or Tarantino in the film realm. The Watercourse Restaurant was named for both of these, and City O City, a sister venue from the same creators, has snapped up other valuable titles as well. "Best Neighborhood Bar" from 5280 and "Best Waffles" from Westword again last year.

Nestled at the top of Capitol Hill on the pleasantly urban stretch of 13th Street, City O City offers up vegetarian goodies like Chilaquiles, Sardou, Biscuits and Gravy, Hueveos Rancheros, and fruit with granola. On the lunchier side of things, there are delicious Vermicelli, The "El Hefe", a burger with mushrooms, egg and hot sauce; BBQ'd Tofu, and of course wonderful Mac N Cheese.

You can obtain gluten free Ho-Ho's, cakes and pies, pastries, and this gem in the Mile High gateway has an out of this world cocktail list. Happy Hour is from 2-6 PM daily, with an impressive Gin and Tequila stash as well. One of their "City Infusions" which really interests me is the Bourbon with fennel, apple, and clove; something I would love to sip while the first snow comes, and the smell of the tofu and scrambles waft out from the kitchen.

Curtis Zito is an old friend of mine who is a professor of sorts regarding Capitol Hill and dining/happy hour knowledge, and this establishment is at the absolute top of his list. As a longtime Watercourse customer myself, I would have to recommend that all customers take the professor's orders here. To quit daydreaming about all the goodies and check out how to get here and do it pronto, just visit their website: Here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Folks up in arms for "Breaking Bad" final season

Image courtesy of AMC, Inc.
In a few days, everyone gets to take the final ride with Walt and the clan as they most likely descend into sheer depravity. One of the best shows ever penned for TV, period; "Breaking Bad" is the story of a man with cancer who decides to become a meth cook and eventual cartel pawn. Many people think it's the best thing they have ever seen, and watching Walt and Jessee negotiate, scramble, and duck their way through what happens to them is definitely intense. The New Mexico setting as a backdrop, supporting roles and Walt's brother in Law Hank's cat and mouse game are what set this apart from the usual prime time imitation.

When watching a series like this, we all wonder how hard it would be to manage a life with so many secrets. Some of us have had the duality of lying to a few people or cheating on one; but Walt finds himself in so deep that it keeps folks on the edge of their seat in a style that is standalone and distinguished.

Creating the perfect protagonist that many don't ever want to see fail, AMC has concocted a character that is so fleeting and fringe, we almost forget about the dangers of meth.... until we watch Jessee. Mike's character was explored in great detail last season, and I was personally sad to see him go. To see a full length article I did for Hypursuit Blog earlier this year, just click:


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Place Beyond The Pines" hits DVD/Blu-Ray this Week

"The Place Beyond The Pines" was for the most part my favorite movie so far this year. All though it is a travesty I have not yet seen the newest "Star Trek" installment and that could be tops for me as well, "Pines" releases on DVD today. Most Trailers lead you into believing that it is just a tale of cops and robbers, but the mysteries of upstate New York, Gosling's desperation to provide for his child, and the generational span of threefold really unwinds nicely.

Ray Liotta, known widely for "Goodfellas", a true masterpiece, is great here as another rural cop on the take. Some perfectly spun and delicate things happen here when they take Gosling's character out one night to search a house; and Bradley Cooper's portrayal of a cop who has to make a choice with his back against the wall really did surpass my expectations. "The Hangover" franchise was very successful, but the character he emulated here was a bit more like a conservative version of his role in "Alias".

With birthright issues, crime, drugs, and the things that can happen years after an occurrence of tragedy, this movie shines in a lot of ways. Gosling's donning of Metallica shirts and prowess as a getaway driver give this just a bit different of tone than the usual bank robbery yarn. There have been a few films that really do make you wonder what goes through your mind when you jump on the counter with a handgun and demand money, and this one gives a few different angles.

In an age where plastic films and remakes will soon become more commonplace after more flops like "The Lone Ranger", tales like this will be welcome for years by critics. There is a certain element with certain combinations of casts that will always win over many diehards, and watching this one unravel really is certain to do so. Sometimes just existing as a family unit and tending to your demons is hard work; and when you throw in some dirt bike skills and a location not filmed in frequently; you can hit the jackpot.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hot Filmmaker's Topic: the Sony Handycam Full HD 3d Camcorder

Even though many people argue about the future of 3D and the preferences of Indie filmmakers differ, this jewel by the main innovator Sony gives you a massive amount of goodies for the price. There is the Optical Steady Shot image stabilization, and you can view the 3d footage without glasses. With two Full HD sensors, it makes the 3D shooting experience much more layered, and the 2D just as clear and dreamy as ever. Even if your outdoor setting is at the peak hours of brightness, the LCD has glare reduction that will still give you an accurate means of quality controlling what you just shot.

You can get immaculately blur-free footage with this camcorder, and the 3-way shake cancelling gives you optimal sharp results even if you are cruising at warp speed. Well; maybe not warp speed, but you get the idea. A 17x extended zoom would be amazing at locations like the ocean or a cityscape from a distance. I have not myself been able to play with this camera, but can only imagine the possibilities when put in the hands of all the creative talent out there today.

Supposedly the glasses free LCD is better on Fuji models, but as someone that worked in a major broadcast center; I really always stood by the Sony brand. Whatever your preference, there are so many innovations out there right now that the future will have a lot of changes. For quick still images, the camera is 20 mp. Let's hope now that every good film in progress won't have to have a Kickstarter campaign just to get funding, what I believe is a sad new norm in the industry due to risk level. to view this model, click: