Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Check out Nate Dern

Check out a future comedy star NATE DERN

Hey friends,

I hope you are all having pleasant Junes and I hope you all have even better Julies. I just finished making an interactive YouTube video about the indecision and anxiety surrounding choosing an email sign-off. Please watch and let me know what you like, what you don't like, what is fun, what is unclear, etc:



ps - here are some upcoming shows of mine...

End of the World - An improvised apocalypse
Tue. June 30th
11 PM
at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (8th ave and 26th street)
This is your LAST chance to see my UCB 600 level class improvise the apocalypse! The last three weeks have included talking cows, talking seeing eye dogs, Earth patriotism, hot lava cosmetics, radioactive pizza, zombies/robots, and general hilarity. Don't miss out!

Thunder Gulch at Maude Night - sketch comedy!
Mon. July 13th
8 PM
at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (8th ave and 26th street)
My debut performance as an actor with the UCB's house sketch team Thunder Gultch. I'm stoked out of my mind for this and you should be too. Here is a blurb: Come see sketch comedy from some of UCBT's best sketch writers and performers. Maude Night is your chance to see what the funniest, smartest people in New York are creating for the stage.

Heeb Magazine Storytelling Show
Wed. July 22
at the 92nd St. Y in Tribeca
I'm going to tell a story. So will some other folks.

Tiny Town - Improv!
Tue. August 4th
at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (8th ave and 26th street)
Our debut show in our four week run! Tiny Town is the smallest town in America. Why, there's only sixteen people living in this quaint and potentially mysterious 'burg! And in a town where everyone knows each other - and each other's business - there's no telling what might happen.

Big News: Vibe magazine shuts down

By Houston Williams

VIBE magazine has shut down.

The magazine was launched in 1993 by music industry legend Quincy Jones and it served as as widely revered urban magazine.

"On behalf the VIBE CONTENT staff (the best in this business), it is with great sadness, and with heads held high, that we leave the building today," said Danyel Smith, former Chief Content Officer of Vibe Media Group and Editor in Chief of Vibe.

"We were assigning and editing a Michael Jackson tribute issue when we got the news," Smith said in a statement released to AllHipHop.com. "It’s a tragic week in overall, but as the doors of VIBE Media Group close, on the eve of the magazine’s sixteenth anniversary, it’s a sad day for music, for hip hop in particular, and for the millions of readers and users who have loved and who continue to love the VIBE brand. We thank you, we have served you with joy, pride and excellence, and we will miss you."

In the 90's, VIBE experienced meteoric success as a business and an outlet for urban journalism.

It has ailed under the ownership of private equity firm Wicks Group of Companies, AOL reported.

The magazine had seen a dramatic reduction in ad pages and circulation.

Earlier this year, employees were put on a four-day workweek and other cuts were made such as scaling back to 10 issues per year.

There is speculation that the magazine will transform into an online-only entity.

tracey shaw hooked me up with the graf kings website in the uk


everybody is talking about so lets begin the discussion

By Robert Frank

It’s well known that Michael Jackson died with piles of debt.

Despite his millions of records sold, he spent money faster than an Arab prince, but without the recurring oil income. A recent article by Ethan Smith in the Wall Street Journal said Mr. Jackson had debts of up to $500 million.
mjacksondj0626_DV_20090626101134.jpgAssociated Press

Still, Mr. Jackson made one smart financial bet during his life: buying the 50% interest in a music publishing catalog that includes the rights to 251 Beatles’ songs. Estimates for that stake range from $500 million to $1 billion, if you also include the rights to his own songs.

The big question: How will all his debts balance out with the Beatle’s songs and other assets?

The Journal article said the value of Mr. Jackson’s biggest assets probably still exceeds his growing debt, citing sources familiar with his finances. (Mr. Jackson’s spokespeople didn’t comment at the time).

The answer is sure to provide a lifetime annuity for scores of trust and estate lawyers. His estate is complicated by his family and siblings: three children by different women, his brothers, sister, mom and dad.

Mr. Jackson’s latest financial backers included Thomas Barrack, the founder of the Los Angeles real estate firm Colony Capital who bought Neverland for $22 million and is putting millions into the estate to fix it up for resale, and Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, the family-values crusader who was helping finance Jacko’s comeback concert tour. It’s unclear how Mr. Anschutz’s deal may come out in the financial wash.

Whatever the outcome, the Jackson estate will likely make for big headlines long after the music is gone.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Check out the BET AWARDS 09

Normally i am not a big award show person. But i was impressed with the BET awards. Jaime Foxx did a stellar job of hosting especially since he switched into different MJ outfits. Tributes left and right throughout the show for MJ made the show unpredictable which is what it is all about. Oh and i was entertained. Nice. Maybe other shows need to make that move.


I keep on thinking about getting the new Iphone. But i also really want to jump in a bubble in Thailand and roll around a pool like my brother. hmmmmmm....

because i should have done it last week

RIP MJ. Thanks for the inspiration.

Iz the Wiz dies at 50...for the love of the city and hip hop

In the 1970s and ’80s, chances were good that anyone traveling the New York subways rode at least once in a car emblazoned with “Iz the Wiz.” Cryptic but euphonious, often abbreviated to the ultraminimal Iz, the signature could be seen all over the subway system: fat capital letters spray-painted on a door, below a window, across an entire car or even along the full length of a train.

Mr. Martin in 1982. His signature was inspired by a poster for the musical “The Wiz.”

Iz the Wiz was a legend among graffiti artists, by almost all accounts “the longest-reigning all-city king in N.Y.C. history,” as the graffiti Web site at149st.com puts it. In other words, Iz put his name, or tag, on subway cars running on every line in the system more times than any other artist.

Michael Martin — Iz the Wiz — died on June 17 in Spring Hill, Fla., where he had moved a few years ago. He was 50. The cause was a heart attack, said Ed Walker, who is working on a biography and documentary of Iz the Wiz.

“Look at any movie shot on location in New York from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, and you will very likely see an Iz tag,” Mr. Walker said. “He told me once that in 1982 he went out every night and did at least a hundred throw-ups” — letters filled in quickly with a thin layer of color. “People can’t fathom it.”

Not everyone was appreciative. His career put him on the wrong side of the law — he was issued summonses on several occasions — and of New Yorkers who regarded graffiti as vandalism, not art. But he was a hero to generations of taggers. Mr. Martin started out spraying graffiti on walls and buildings when he was 14, using the tags Scat or FCN, for French Canadian National, although he was not Canadian. He soon graduated to subway cars, specializing in the A line, the longest in the New York subway system. He painted his first cars with the tag Ike — his nickname, Mike, minus the first letter.

In 1975, in the 68th Street Station of the Lexington Avenue line, he saw a poster for the Broadway play “The Wiz” with the slogan, “The Wiz Is a Wow.” It had a certain ring. “He said, ‘If the Wiz is a Wow, why can’t Iz be the Wiz?’ ” his friend and fellow graffiti artist SAR (real name, Charles Sar) recalled in a telephone interview last week.

With the graffiti artist Vinny, Mr. Martin mounted an intensive throw-up campaign on the A line. In the late 1970s he branched out to other lines, spray-painting top-to-bottoms (graffiti displays extending from the top of a train to the bottom), burners (complicated works intended to dazzle the competition) and fully realized scenes, like his homage to John Lennon, painted after Lennon was shot to death in 1980. It was a two-car scene with a portrait of Lennon and a graveyard filled with tombstones.

“He was an artist, but also a bomber, recognized as a person who made himself seen by everybody,” said the photographer Henry Chalfant, using the graffiti term for a prolific artist. “At the same time he appreciated the aesthetic side of it. He didn’t do wild style” — complex, interlocking letters — “he had a simple, readable style with great color and interesting forms within the lettering itself.”

With the photographer Martha Cooper, Mr. Chalfant published “Subway Art” (1984), recently reissued by Chronicle Books, and made the documentary film “Style Wars” (1983), which included Mr. Martin in its portraits of graffiti and hip-hop artists. He also appeared in the role of a transit police detective in the cult 1983 film “Wild Style.”

Mr. Martin was born in Manhattan and lived in a succession of foster homes after his mother was imprisoned for burglary. He did not know his father. He grew up in Ozone Park, Queens, and as a teenager lived in Covenant House on the Lower East Side.

Like many others, he found a community in the graffiti movement. Early on he worked with artists like Vinny, Epic 1&2, and Evil 13. Later he painted with many of the top crews, or graffiti collectives, in New York, including the Odd Partners, the Crew and the Three Yard Boys. At one point he was president of the Master Blasters and the Queens chapter of the Prisoners of Graffiti.

When the graffiti artist Spar One, interviewing Mr. Martin for at149st.com in 1995, asked how many complete cars he had decorated (“You mean like burner top-to-bottom jammies?” he asked), he said: “Oh, I don’t know, I never counted. But I know in the years ’81 to ’82 I did no less than 25.” Mr. Martin often added snippets from classic rock lyrics to his tags, like “whole lotta love” or “welcome to the machine,” which became the informal titles for his more famous works.

The displays enjoyed surprising longevity in the days before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began cracking down on graffiti. Elaborately painted cars could run for months or even years. Artists would often gather at certain stations to watch their work and keep an eye on the competition, much like their counterparts did in 15th-century Florence.

Mr. Martin withdrew from the scene in the mid-1980s. He managed a grocery store briefly, then began using drugs heavily. A marriage in the late 1980s ended in divorce. He is survived by a brother, Peter Poston of Spring Hill, and a sister, Evelyn Poston of East Stroudsburg, Pa.

In the 1990s Mr. Martin jumped back into graffiti, painting cars, but also taking part in the legal graffiti movement, expressing himself on walls set aside for the purpose. He was one of the first artists to work on the Phun Phactory, a 200,000-square-foot industrial building in Long Island City, Queens, that artists began covering with graffiti in 1993. It is now known as the 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center, or the Institute of Higher Burnin’.

Mr. Martin learned he had kidney failure in 1996, which he assumed was a result of working with aerosol paint, and for the rest of his life he was on dialysis. His financial situation was dire. “He never made the connections he needed to make to be appreciated in the art world,” Mr. Sar said.