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Archive for April, 2010

Hear No Evil

Posted by evankessler on April 27, 2010

Most people associate the phrase “Hear No Evil” with  either half of the title of a Gene Wilder-Richard Pryor action buddy comedy from 1989, or as the entire title of a 1993 thriller starring deaf Academy Award-winning actress, Marlee Matlin.  For our intents and purposes the phrase refers to neither of those things, rather it is the title of the short film Geniot Productions made this weekend for the 24-hour film race.

I know I said that we couldn’t post it until after the screening, but we’re apparently not too concerned about that.  So anyway, without further ado, A Geniot production of Hear No Evil. Rated PG-13 for naughty language and adult situations.

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Tennis Clown, The Movie

Posted by evankessler on April 25, 2010

This weekend I got together with a few fellow members of the Geniot collective to make a film for New York City’s 24-hour film race.  We received the theme  of “side effects” and the action of “a push-up” to include in our film at 10pm on Friday evening and just like that, we were off! After brainstorming and writing for a good portion of our evening we got precious little sleep and commenced filming somewhere around 7am.  By 9pm we had a movie entitled Hear No Evil.  This is not that movie:

In case you couldn’t tell, this was a video of some sort of tennis clown. We had nothing to do with it.  If you’re at all curious as to where the film we made this weekend is, well, here’s that story:

The people at Filmracing.com would prefer we didn’t post it until after the screening next weekend.  So, you’re just going to have to wait…if you can stand it.

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Did They Ever Cover Blackbird?

Posted by evankessler on April 22, 2010

I was walking home tonight and The Dandy Warhols Welcome to the Monkey House album came on.  Lyrics on the title track proclaimed “when Michael Jackson dies, we’re covering “Blackbird.” I had known about these lyrics, but when I first heard them several years back the thought of Michael Jackson dying seemed so far off that I never even considered it a valid occurrence for at least another 20 to 25 years. So I guess my question is, did the Dandy Warhols ever cover “Blackbird?”

Considering a "Blackbird" cover?

On another note, having a map such as the one in the background of that photo is pretty sweet and I kind’ve want one.  Someone steal one from an institution of learning for me.

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Isn’t It Awfully Nice To Have A…

Posted by evankessler on April 19, 2010

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

Here’s a little something I tossed off recently at the Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg:

“Isn’t it awfully nice to have a penis? Isn’t it frightfully good to have a don? It’s swell to have a stiffy, it’s divine to own a dick.” Especially when the line for the ladies room looks tends to look like this:

“So three cheers for your Willy or John Thomas!”

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The Freaks Come Out At Night

Posted by evankessler on April 16, 2010

The great thing about New York City is its diversity. All types of people living in one confined space ensures that at any hour of the day you’re guaranteed to come into contact with something you’ve never seen before.  I believe Alicia Keys and Jay-Z termed it best when they called it “concrete jungle where dreams are made of.”  However, if you’re in the market to see some freaks or people that just leave you generally unsettled, it’s a good bet that riding the subway late at night, you’ll see all you’ll ever need to see.

After enjoy a few drinks in the city yesterday evening, I waited for the 2/3 train at 14th street only to be notified that neither the 2 or 3 was running to Brooklyn.  Rather than hop outside and waste my fare, I decided to wait for the L to take me to Union Square where I could switch to the Q.  After nearly 25 minutes waiting for the L, my patience was rewarded, but my reward wasn’t solely the train that was taking me a measly two avenues.  Rather it was what I saw when I entered the train.

Na'Vi New Yorker

There was a man in full Avatar  Na’Vi garb: Blue skin suit, ears, mini stilts under his feet, the works.  Unfortunately I was at a side view from this James Cameron enthusiast and even though I had my camera I didn’t want to be too obvious about taking his photo, although he probably wouldn’t have minded since he was inviting obvious attention.   I did spy a few people trying to be less obvious with their iPhones as he chatted with a friend in more traditional subway dress, which is to say he was dressed more like John Connor than the T-1000.

Though I wish I had ridden alongside him to gawk even longer, I had to get off at the next stop and transfer to the Q.  Avatar Guy may have been the craziest thing I’d seen all night, but that didn’t mean he was the only crazy that was out.  On my subway ride back to Park Slope, I stood three feet away from a man who was showing off his punching, kicking, and general fighting prowess in the vicinity of the poll whilst doing a little mumbling to himself and flashing the occasional look to any and all who might be moved to invade his subway space. He seemed to back off a bit though when he realized he wasn’t the most imbalanced person on the train.  A woman with a weird gray mark on her head and brown-stained red sweatpants came storming down the aisle to move between cars and he straight backed the hell off, sliding himself defensively up against the doors until she passed.

The subway at night.  It’s a wonderful place.

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The EvanKessler.com Guerrilla Interview: Abdullah Saeed

Posted by evankessler on April 15, 2010

It’s been a long while since I’ve engaged in one of the earliest EvanKessler.com traditions, that of the Guerrilla Interview.  The way it works is, I just start interviewing someone whether or not they’re aware that I’m interviewing them. Almost always the targets are close friends, but sometimes they’re not…but then they eventually grow to be close friends because I’m just that sort of guy.

Today’s subject is one Abdullah Saeed.  Abdullah is a freelance writer.  We’ve both been employed as bloggers for OneRiot and JoshSpear.com. We first met several years ago through Abdullah’s brother Ahmad, who is another good friend of mine.  Abdullah is not only a talented writer, but also a talented musician and a DJ/producer-type.  Currently he’s embarking on “Adventures in Pork“, a blog where he repeatedly confronts a taboo long-forbidden by the law of Islam that is the consumption of pig products.  It’s a rather enthralling read. He’s also one of two main ingredients in the Taqwacore country-punk outfit based out of Philly, Sunny Ali & The Kid.

The conversation began over GChat as Abdullah was notifying me of a new column he wrote for a Taqwacore Webzine.  After paying him a few compliments, I quickly turned the tables. The following is a slightly edited transcript of the conversation or the latest installment of the EvanKessler.com Guerrilla Interview:
Abdullah Saeed: Yo, check this out, new column.
EK.com: Excellent, only comment is a grammar one.
AS: Whats that?
EK.com: When you put “self” before a word you’re going to have to throw a hyphen in there.
AS: Ah,thanks.
EK.com: I smell a 2nd Fatwa.
AS: Hahahahahaha, still waiting on a first.
EK.com: You should hold the Fatwa Awards for Muslims who have gone against the religious mainstream.
AS: Ha! Wow that’s a good idea.
EK.com: Indeed. I just like the word “Fatwa.”
AS: ’tis a good word
EK.com: So how does it feel to have the entire Muslim population calling for your head?
AS: A little congested, actually.
EK.com: Can you do me a favor?
AS: Sure.
EK.com: Can you draw me a photo of Mohammed?
AS: Whoooaaa,
EK.com: Or a picture, while you’re at it.
AS: Are you testing my faith?
EK.com: No, I’m just trying to line you up for another Fatwa.
AS: Hahaha. Wow dude, you seriously just made me think for a second.
EK.com: That’s what I do…I make people think.
EK.com: So Mr. Abdullah Saeed tell me, what is the greatest adventure you’ve ever had in pork?
AS: I f%*ed a pig last weekend.
EK.com: Well, did you cook it and eat it afterwards?
AS: Yes
EK.com: Is bestiality grounds for a Fatwa?
AS: Sure, why not? Bam! Fatwa number 3.
EK.com: I thought we were on 4 by now, but seriously folks…best pork experience so far?
AS: ummm, Pork Belly, bbq style.
EK.com: That sounds tasty. How would you describe your music?
EK.com: In six words or less…I’m all for brevity.
AS: Sounds like…two honorable gentleman with instruments
EK.com: Were you counting “sounds like” as part of your description? If so, you’ve gone over the imposed six-word limit. You are horrible at following instructions.
EK.com: How would you describe my music?
AS: Two honorable straight gentleman with instruments, although, your music I would describe as electro-fuzz pop.
EK.com: I’m satisfied with that. You know me and the other members of Evan Kessler & His Only Two friends really work hard at perfecting that Electro-fuzz Pop sound.
AS: hahaha
EK.com: Who are your influences? And you can’t say Jude Law.
AS: For this project, personally, JJ Cale is probably my biggest influence. That and a few surfrock standbys that I’ve recently revisited: Dick Dale, Link Wray, The Stray Cats…
EK.com: What is this project?
AS: Sunny Ali and the Kid
EK.com: If Father Time had any siblings, what would their names be?
AS: Scissor Sister and Brother Muzzone
EK.com: Those don’t make any sense. The correct answers were Brother Earth and Sister Plate Tectonics.
AS: hahahahahahah
EK.com: On a serious note, what’s are you going to eat for lunch today?
AS: I was just thinking about that. id like to have a pulled pork sandwich
EK.com: I’d like to have that too. Unfortunately, I’ve already indulged in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Abdullah 1,
EvanKessler.com 0.
EK.com: How has EvanKessler.com changed your life?
AS: EvanKessler.com inspired me to write and jump started my writing career by taking me under its wong. shortly after, it destroyed my life with a series of strategically sent post cards. Note i said ‘wong’ and not ‘wing.’ that wasnt a mistake.
EK.com: Well, you’ll be glad to know that EvanKessler.com is going to make up for destroying your life by taking you sailing on your birthday. Remember to wear a life vest.
AS: Yeah!
EK.com: I hope you can swim.
AS: I hope you can save drowning novice sailors.
EK.com: Remember, to fight off sharks, punch them in the nose.
AS: Thanks
EK.com: Mr. Abdullah Saeed, I thank you for participating in the EvanKessler.com Guerrilla Interview…where the unsuspecting start suspecting early on in the conversation that they are in fact, being interviewed.
AS: Thanks man, that was fun
EK.com: I hope it wasn’t too much fun. It was all toil and trouble on this side of the table.
AS: hahahahaha, damn man, your making me laugh-cough over here.
EK.com: Godspeed and good luck dodging all of them Fatwas.
AS: Gracias, I think I might go get that pulled pork sandwich now
EK.com: Sounds delightful.


Posted in blogging, guerrilla interview, humor, music | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by evankessler on April 14, 2010

Tom Petty’s Wildflowers album came along at a strange, but perfect time in my life.  The shooting pain in my heart that I felt from the gaping wound opened by the recent realization of an unrequited teen-aged love was still fresh in my psyche.  I remember a feeling of abject misery as my good friend Rob and I made our way to the Tower Records on Route 59 in Nanuet, New York a few days after my birthday and the subsequent event that left me rather dizzy with the sort of depression that years later you look back on and laugh at; not because it didn’t hurt, but because you’re a kid and you didn’t really know that things would get better.

Wildflowers had probably been out for some time and I liked “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and “It’s Good To Be King,” but I wasn’t that familiar with the other songs contained within.  Rob took it upon himself to bestow me with a birthday gift that has kept on giving to this day.

Admittedly it had been awhile since Tom Petty’s 1994 effort sans The Heartbreakers has hit me in the perfect mood, but today was such an occasion.  I emerged at the end of a subway ride back into Brooklyn from Manhattan when the album came on my iPod.  As soon as the song “Wildflowers” hit my ears I noticed the surrounding cherry blossoms and general flow of life in my immediate vicinity. I began pondering both the springtime metamorphosis and the growth of myself as a more confident and mature individual.  By the time it was over, I didn’t so much care that the people around me “don’t know how it feels to be me” nor did I have the desire to “get to the point and roll another joint” or any joint for that matter. The third song, “Time to Move On” seemed like it was spurring me along to get past all of the petty pointless stuff in life and just get to living.  I appreciated that.  While the rest of the album didn’t have as profound an effect as the first three songs while strolling in the sun, I couldn’t help but feel perfectly in step with Mr. Petty and the music.

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They’ve Finally Done It

Posted by evankessler on April 13, 2010

A little over a week ago, in the midst of a stoop sale at my apartment on Union Street I had a hankering for a sweet drink.  Part of me longed for the ultimate tried and true in  non-alcoholic beverage relaxation that is associated with a nice cold glass of Iced Tea with a slice of lemon.  Then again, a sour glass of youthful sunny day exuberance also called my name in such an enticing manner that it was entirely possible that beverage beelzebub was perched on my right shoulder twisting his steamy pitchfork into my blade and beckoning me to make a move for a lemonade.

I was perplexed.  When I voiced my thirst quandary to my friend Kelly, she offered a rather sensible solution, “Why don’t you get both.”  Ah yes, the good ol’ half Iced Tea-half lemonade concoction popularly known as an “Arnold Palmer.”  Good ol’ Arnie, nailin’ birdies and solving springtime thirst issues in one or two fell swoops of a 9-Iron.

Itching to soothe my liquid sweet tooth I went straight to the Snapple section of the corner store and nearly came out of there sans what I was looking for, but at the last moment I spied that dose of satisfaction in a bottle labeled “Lemonade Iced Tea” and promising me that it was “Made from the Best Stuff on Earth.”

I was pleased with my purchase, grinning ear to ear as I strolled along the sidewalk with a cool drink in my hand.  “Good ol’ Arnold Palmer,” I thought to myself again, glancing at my drink.  I took a big swig and felt refreshed.  As I returned home, I began to wonder why no one had seen fit to just call the damn drink an Arnold Palmer and market the hell out of it?  This had to be a win-win for Palmer.  Everybody knows the damned thing is named after him, why isn’t the guy pulling a Paul Newman and mass distributing his famed concoction to the masses?  The question soon passed and I happily finished my drink.  I hadn’t been too obsessed with Mr. Palmer’s marketability since, that is, until today.

Returning back from a trip to Key Foods, I decided to stop back in the corner store and pick up a green tea.  Lo and behold, as I was thumbing through the green tea selection I spied something peculiar and somewhat awe-inspiring directly to the left. There before me was a shiny, tall, black and white can adorned with the face of a golf legend that was neither Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods. Arnie was staring back at me in three stages of glory. The can read “Arnold Palmer Lite…Half Iced Tea & Half Lemonade.”  Speak of the devil. It seems the folks at Arizona Iced Tea (Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons) knew what I had been waiting for all along, a half lemonade-half iced tea officially endorsed by the man the drink was named after.  Well, they’ve finally done it.  Hats off to you.  This Arnold Palmer’s on me.

Arnold Palmer: The Man. The Drink.

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Let’s Get This Engine Runnin’: Mahogany @ Littlefield 4.10.10

Posted by evankessler on April 12, 2010

The main event of this past weekend took part on Saturday Night at Littlefield, a new-ish and rather excellent art space and venue in the Gowanus/Park Slope region of Brooklyn.  My good friends in Mahogany headlined one heck of a bill with Philadelphia’s Arc in the Round and another band called Long Distance Poison.  Unfortunately I missed the first band, but I really thought Arc in the Round and Mahogany were both excellent. Although it seems the bands were having monitor problems, they dealt with them like professionals and put on a great show.  Over the  last couple of Mahogany gigs I’ve really taken a liking to some of the newer tracks like “Light Brigade” and “Emmanuelle & Valerie”  although the last one doesn’t necessarily feel new to me after having it seen performed a bunch of times.  There’s something about getting lost in a sea of swirling guitars and keyboards, isn’t there? I took a bunch of photo and video and really should put my camera down every once in awhile to enjoy the show more, but I’m a sucker for documentation and I enjoy myself just fine. For those of you in the world who couldn’t make it…and I assume there are a lot of you, because the number of attendees didn’t reach into the billions…here’s a peak at what you missed.

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Bloomin’ Union

Posted by evankessler on April 9, 2010

I thought there’d be more posting this week amid the wondrous weather and its limitless possibility for inane adventuring.  Alas, instead of being involved in high jinks galore, I’ve chosen to admire the sprouting springtime in my humble hood.  It all began last week with a run around Prospect Park, where I noticed colorful buds threatening to become full-fledged blossoms.  After a brief cold snap, the sun and season did their best to welcome those signs of better days to come.  I spied a few early-bloomers on a Tuesday run as the plants in front of my own apartment had their guns and petals at the ready.  By Thursday morning  the block had become somewhat of a verdant wonderland.

Posted in Brooklyn, Park Slope | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »