Archive for January, 2007

Hip-Hop is dead: ‘Rap is Like A Ghost Town’

Posted in ODD Guests, Music on January 31st, 2007

Over at the Blog Critics Magazine music section and Sterfish we read that Hip-Hop Is Dead. Or at least according to the hip-hop artist Nas and his new album titled “Hip-Hop Is Dead”.

Sterfish writes:

“Driven by a James Brown sample, ‘Where Are They Now’ name checks virtually every notable rapper of the late 1980s and early 1990s. [Nas] bemoans the fact that many of these artists have been forgotten by newer generations: ‘Rap is like a ghost town / Real mystic / Like these folks never existed…’ He also gives them praise, calling them ‘the reason that rap became addictive’ and any artists he doesn’t mention in the verses, he shouts out at the end of the song.”

“The theme of disappointment with some of the current generation of hip-hop appears more prominently on ‘Carry On Tradition.’ The song is all about continuing the traditions of previous generations and Nas uses the opportunity to talk about the way some newer artists (who remain nameless) don’t do that. He chides them on their ignorance of early hip-hop (’Let’s see who can quote a Daddy Kane line the fastest?’) and the way they use acclaim for their ‘bricks’ to hate on bigger, more established names.”

“‘Black Republican’ is the long-awaited collaboration between Nas and former rival Jay-Z. The end result is pretty good with the two of them showing off their contrasting styles from the hook (where Nas calls himself a ‘black militant’ as opposed to the title) to their verses. The dramatic classical music sample adds to the spectacle.”

“Even though Nas titled his album Hip Hop Is Dead, the album serves to prove that hip-hop is far from dead. In fact, with all the controversy over the album title, anyone who listens to it will realize that Nas doesn’t actually think hip-hop is dead. He is just frustrated with the way things are right now, just as some fans who grew up with him are. Hip-hop has survived being called a fad, censorship, tragedy, introduction to suburbia, and even police raids against mixtape DJ’s. It’s not going anywhere but that doesn’t mean we can’t demand more from it. That might really be the message of Hip Hop Is Dead.”

~~The ODDones for

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Sidney Sheldon, best-selling author

Posted in ODD Guests, Literature on January 31st, 2007

Sidney SheldonBy way of the Toronto StarSidney Sheldon, best-selling author, dead at 89.

Sydney Sheldon had a prolific and award-winning career writing for theatre, movies and television, but he often proclaimed his greatest love for another creative outlet.

“Writing novels is the most fun I’ve ever had,” Sheldon once said.

The best-selling author died Tuesday at 89 of complications from pneumonia at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. His wife Alexandra was by his side.

“I try to write my books so the reader can’t put them down,'’ Sheldon explained in a 1982 interview. “I try to construct them so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she has to read just one more chapter. It’s the technique of the old Saturday afternoon serial: leave the guy hanging on the edge of the cliff at the end of the chapter.'’

Sheldon mostly wrote about stalwart women who triumph in a hostile world of ruthless men. His notable novels included Rage of Angels, The Other Side of Midnight, and If Tomorrow Comes.

“I like to write about women who are talented and capable, but most important, retain their femininity,” he said. “Women have tremendous power – their femininity, because men can’t do without it.'’

Before turning to novels at the age of 50, Sheldon had a successful career writing Broadway plays and films. He won an Academy Award in 1948 for The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, starring Cary Grant, and created long-running TV series Hart to Hart.

Speaking in 1982, Sheldon likened his writing style to that of “the old Saturday afternoon serial”.

“I try to write my books so the reader can’t put them down,” he wrote.

~~The ODDones for

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Dan Saxon Palmer, designer of the Tract Home

Posted in ODD Guests, History, Arts on January 30th, 2007

“Alex we’ll take Dan’s and Moderism for $1,000 please.” The Answer is…

By way of Market-Day Daily World News comes that Dan Saxon Palmer, an architect who designed Modernist tract homes for Southern California in the 1950s, has died in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 86.

Aye, tis Dan you can thank for those lovely homes you and your friends grew up in.

Palmer and his partner William Krisel began designing the “Modernist” homes, which featured post-and-beam construction with lots of glass and open floor plans that connected the living room, dining room and kitchen, in 1950. The buildings featured clean, simple lines on the inside and outside of the buildings.

“They took on one of the great problems of Modernism, which was to create good, decent contemporary housing that was affordable for the masses,” architectural historian Alan Hess said. “Palmer and Krisel did it, and on a large scale and keeping the inherent qualities of Modernism.”

Remember to take the architectural tour next time you find yourself wandering LA.

~~The ODDones for

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Dan Christensen, abstract painter

Posted in ODD Guests, Arts on January 30th, 2007

From the Earth Times web site comes that Dan Christensen, an abstract painter known for free use of color in various styles, died in East Hampton, N.Y., of heart failure due to a muscular disease.

“In the late 1960s, Christensen, 64, found that the realism of his classical art training was restrictive and began using spray guns to paint colorful stacked loops on canvas, winning him critical acclaim, The New York Times said. Besides the process of painting and experimentation, he was concerned about how color interacted.”

“Christensen, who initially was inspired by Jackson Pollock, painted until his death. His works are featured in museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and the Whitney Museum of American Art.”

Terry Fenton has a nice write-up from 2001 covering Dan and his art. Mind you that the article does have a number of “post-painterly abstraction” and “post-postpainterly” type phrases in the write-up, but in general even non-artists such as the ODDones get the drift.

You may view one of Dan’s pieces at, another over at Spanierman Modern, another at Ask Art, and one more at Abstract-Art.

Go get cultured.

~~The ODDones for

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Career Guidance

Posted in ODD Blogs, Music, Movies & TV, Politicos, Media on January 29th, 2007

Certainly we all need a wee bit o’ help from time to time with and about our chosen careers. Well that is the normal “we” actually as those who are Not One Of Us worry not.

With that ridiculous preamble now safely out of our ODDsystems we provide yet another episode in our continuing series of Self Help and Community Service Announcements.

Tis this, simply and without ornamentation: if you find that your once high flying career has you surfing the bar at the Holiday Inn instead of dancing [butt] cheek to [butt] cheek with Paris, why then no doubt you need to give your flagging career a new launch. We read that one of the surest means is the old bit of a strip for a nude photo shoot. At least according to photographer Motoji Takasu by way of the Mainichi Daily News. But then he does have vested interest in getting you naked so mayhaps his is just another pickup line.

And speaking of naked flagging careers, perhaps the excess exposure explains ol wassernames behavior recently, eh what?

But just think and consider (and ponder too if you are willing to go that far)! Once your career is again stratospheric you can give up some of those old haunts of yours…for example your gig at the Player’s Nightclub at Hobart’s St David’s Anglican Cathedral. Sure the setting is nice, but the tips are probably lousy (unless you finger the collection plates that is). Won’t you be happy to avoid all that leaping from pew to pew and dogma to dogma? We must admit however that we’ll miss your genuflecting.

Naturally if you never really had a career, but still need that another hit of your “Look At Me” drug you can take a cue from Heidi and Seal. Invite the media over for a bit of a bash to show off the nude pictures of you and the family. Surely one of those pics will work later as a donation to raise funds for someone’s school or hospital or church don’t ya think?

And then, when your career just seems like so much T&A we suggest politics. No not Bush politics (although we couldn’t resist that). Our sage advice? Chuck it all and move to Spain. Once there we urge you to consider, especially with your checkered background and vast experience, the position of Deputy Mayor for Economy.

~~The ODDones for

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Marcheline Bertrand, actress

Posted in ODD Guests, Movies & TV on January 29th, 2007

Angie's mom Marcheline BertrandFrom downunder and the Sydney Morning Herald comes word that Marcheline Bertrand, actress and former spouse of actor Jon Voight, has died of cancer in Los Angeles. Ms. Bertrand died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre after a 7½-year battle with cancer.

Bertrand had small roles in the movies Lookin’ to Get Out in 1982 and The Man Who Loved Women in 1983. Bertrand and Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight divorced in 1976.

Oh, and by the way, Ms. Bertrand and Voight had a baby daughter during their time together. They named her Angelina. This youngster later had her name legally changed to Angelina Jolie. If you haven’t yet you may read up a bit Angelina, her career, and some of her childhood over a the Wikipedia Angelina page.

~~The ODDones for

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