Culture Stuff

Cultural posts on a wide range of topics.

Music Access Rather Than Ownership

Taylor Swift performs in St. Louis, Missouri in 2013 Photo Credit: Jana Zills

There’s been a lot of talk in the music press about terrible payouts for musicians coming from Spotify and to some degree YouTube.  Some of the biggest headlines last Fall were around news that Taylor Swift would be removing her music from Spotify.   Is this a tipping point for artists making a stand against Spotify […]

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10 Live Music Clips at Full Circle Venice: Alexa Melo, Michael Mowgli & Others

Alexa Melo live

Full Circle Venice is a relatively new community of spiritual people. They’ve been putting on some great live showcases on Friday nights in a show called, “That Cool Music Thing,” with a round-robin of talented performers. Here’s small sampling from this past summer and fall. (UPDATE: These shows have gone on hiatus. Check with Full […]

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Indie Pop Star Jhameel Kim rocks the stage

Jhameel Kim

It’s YouTube indie-pop star Jhameel Kim rocking the new METal stage (at The Crest), below.  Jhameel plays 14 instruments and sings. After spending some time in the military, he turned his focus to music, where he found his voice and his calling. It’s @jhameel rocking the new METal stage A post shared by Steven Swimmer (@sswimmer) […]

Orson Welles: Thoughts on Studio Moguls

Orson Welles in The Lady from Shanghai trailer.

Some compelling material has surfaced from recorded conversations with Orson Welles. Among these conversations, Welles discusses what he thought of the old studio moguls, agents, lawyers and the new breed of movie executives who replaced the the original moguls. Welles is well regarded as great filmmaker, but he had more setbacks than successes along the way […]

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News Photographers Pushed-out at Chicago Sun-Times

Goodbye to News Photographers over Photo of Occupy LA Signs

About 2 weeks ago, the Chicago Sun-Times announced it was laying-off the entire photography department. They will train reporters to take photos on iPhones instead.  Photographers are picketing the news outlet, but but for now there are no photographers on staff. While I’m not surprised by the news that Chicago Sun-Times is eliminating it’s entire […]

The Art of Stunt Marketing, Food & Television

Netflix "Arrested Development" Bluth's Original Banana Stand New York City Day 4 Times Square

A capella singing in the streets for Oreo cookies? Pop-up banana stands stands to promote TV shows? What’s going on here? Marketing stunts are nothing new, but as a cultural phenomena, the bar seems to be rising. And food seems to be combined with other creative elements. And why not? Food is one of the […]

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Chris Hadfield performs Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in Outer Space!

Commander Chris Hadfield performs David Bowie’s Space Oddity

Commander Chris Hadfield performed an amazing version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity in outer space, while on board the International Space Station. The song is accompanied by a most extraordinary video, which would be the most expensive music video of all time, if the cost of the space program were factored-in. At any rate, this has […]

Owl the Band, Live at the Roxy

Chris Wyse & Jason Achilles Mezilis, Owl Live at the Roxy

My friends in the band Owl were back in LA to mark the launch of a new album, The Right Thing on Overit Records. I caught them live at the Roxy in Hollywood on the night of their launch party. This is the second album from the trio headed by Chris Wyse, longtime base-player for alt-rock band, […]

World’s First Goofy Cat Video

Boxing Cats

The first goofy cat video was actually a black and white film called “Professor Welton’s Boxing Cats” by Edison’s studio in 1894.

Coachella 2013

In the crowd with Franz Ferdinand

So I made it to my sixth Coachella of the last seven.  Going into it, I was not nearly as excited as in past years, in large part because of the lack of a stellar headliner.   Yes the Red Hot Chili Peppers are a great band, but being an LA native going to see a […]


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