Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And a Merry Walken Christmas to All

The play is over, long live the play. I had a great time performing in Snowmiser our twisted little Christmas review at The Dark Room.

The shadowy figure known as Puzzling Evidence shot the below footage of the show on closing night, Saturday 12-20-2008, enjoy....

Friday, December 12, 2008

I AM SNOWMISER: Walken in a Winter Wonderland

Now playing at the Dark Rom (4 performances only)...

Featuring yours truly and a bunch of other talented folks. More details here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RFK Jr. on Rachel Maddow explaing Voter Supression

Incredible, must see. Robert F Kennedy, Jr lays out in detail how voter surpression has and is being systemically done in Colorado and many other states. Steal Back Your Vote is Kennedy & Greg Palast's site to spread the word and help empower voters to defend their rights.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Wicker Man rock opera, live at the Dark Room in October

Mikl-em and an incredible cast bring a cult classic film to the stage

This weekend our production of The Wicker Man opened at The Dark Room in the Mission.

The show runs Thurs-Sat at 8pm through October 25th.
Buy Tickets HERE

photo by Geof Teague poster by Foul Play

Fans of cult cinema know the original Wicker Man film as a great and odd British artifact of the early 70s, starring Christopher Lee (probably the most prolific actor in history appearing in over 260 films beginning in 1948) and that guy who later starred as The Equalizer on tv (aka Edward Woodward). Oh, and hottie Britt Ekland.

It was written by the guy who wrote "Sleuth", who also adapted most of Agatha Christie's plays into films (Evil Under the Sun, etc).

It's about pagans and a christian cop. And a lotta sex. And masks. And did I mention it was 1973?

It's a better than your standard B-movie, with a psychological horror aspect that is a step above Lee's vampire portrayals of that era. It is definitely a 60's free love hangover that could spend quite a while on the analyst's couch gloriously recounting its many much enjoyed transgressions against the Nixon, stadium rock & bell bottoms.

There is an obvious comparability to that desert festival out there in Nevada, though we don't overtly touch on it in our play. From what I hear this flick was a favorite amongst the cacophonists who started Burning Man way back when.

Here's the trailer for the original film:

And an interview with the great Christopher Lee talking about the film's rather star-crossed past (missing footage, a studio that didn't believe in it):

A few years back they slandered this noble savage piece of film history with a redressed, toned-down and Nick-Caged remake. That film is so awful, by numerous accounts including the At The Movies guys, that it deserves no linkage or further mention.

Our 'umble repurposing of the story adds "Rock Opera" with an INCREDIBLE score of new tunes by Jim Fourniadis of the Dark Room in collaboration with the band Live Evil. This show follows in the fine tradition of other Dark Room musicals like Lovesick and Emperor Norton. Great original music and a fine cast (I say, even notwithstanding my own membership in said cast, you know).

In fact I get my own Tom Waitsian solo tune, as the Gravedigger--one of three parts I play in the show.

The cast is incredibly strong including my pal Steffanos, the incredible Flynn De Marco in the starring role of x-tian cop, and a great ensemble who you've seen in various other Dark Room shows like Ten Commandments, Emperor Norton, Clue, Duck Soup & Twilight Zone.

It's great fun, and I hope you can catch it!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Alan Moore self-documentary from 1987

Alan Moore, author of Watchmen and V for Vendetta and "the face of success in Thatcher's Britain"

Wonderful, dated and wonderful. I'm finishing up Watchmen right now, quite behind the times really, since I've known about it since the 80's. But never got around to reading it until now. Can't wait for the movie, and meanwhile the design of website is fantastic.

For Pop Will Eat Itself fans, if there are any out there, note there's a sample pulled from the short above that is used in one of their songs ("Shortwave Transmission"); the quote is near the end of the video: "television, movies, comics" at 9:21 in. PWEI name-checked Moore and his works frequently on their This is the Day, This is the Hour, This is This album. And pages from The Watchmen appear in the video for "Can U Dig It?".

Here's a version of The Watchmen trailer that's been dubbed with the PWEI song "The Fuses Have Been Lit":

different, but it kinda works.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

San Francisco Gin No. 209 featured on MSNBC

This report appeared yesterday on MSNBC. No. 209 is a great gin, made in SOMA right near the Giants' stadium. Great to hear about an excellent local product getting national attention:

Sept. 3: A small San Francisco distiller is combining the best ingredients from around the world with some tech knowledge to make a eco-friendly gin. KNTV's Lisa Bernard reports.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Speech that Barak should give at the convention

The New Vision - Theodore C. Sorensen

The purpose of public office is to do good, not harm; to change
lives, help lives, and save lives, not destroy them. I look upon the
presidency not as an opportunity to rule, but as an opportunity to
serve. I intend to serve all the people, regardless of party, race,
region, or religion.

This is an excerpt from a remarkable speech that the Washington Monthly asked a former speechwriter for JFK to produce several months back, in the heat of the Democratic primary season. There were still many people in the field at the time, so this was written with the thought that any of the candidates might give it.

It's a wonderful idea and an incredible speech. Read it and then let's see how Barak's actual speech measures up.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gavin Newsom may actually be "G.O.B." from Arrested Development

Judge for yourself, folks, but to me Gavin Newsom, at least in the interview below with political blog Talking Points Memo, bears a striking resemblance to Will Arnett who plays the character George Oscar "G.O.B." Bluth II on the late, lamented Fox network comedy Arrested Development.

The only difference here is that "Gavin" is speaking intelligently about some excellent political ideas (and then about his general ambition to be Governor of California):

And for comparison, here's the mayor of San Francisc--oops, I did it again. I mean G.O.B., the (hilarious) loser magician brother on Arrested D. Try playing the above and below videos simultaneously for comparison!!

Convinced? Not convinced? Either way, let's do another one, shall we?

Oh, crap, what about one more?

For the record I am not rabidly anti-Newsom, although I am not his biggest fan. I mainly, like "G.O.B.", find him funny. :)

Rand Corporation says US should abandon phrase "War on Terror"

From Countdown, amongst coverage of 3 ongoing scandals. Note Rand also endorses taking a law-enforcement rather than military-focused approach to fighting Al Qaeda.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My latest laughingsquid post...

New post up on LSquid about the new Neal Stephenson novel Anathem and Long Now

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Support Todd and the Gear Wall

Hey everybody, the arts community of the Bay Area is rallying this weekend to support one of our own. Can you spare something to help Todd Blair of SRL and CCA? More details: http://ping.fm/xgTEu

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

John McCain lies to vets face-to-face

From tonight's Countdown show...

How fantastic that a Vietnam War vet steps up and sticks to it, getting McCain on the record, denying his recorded voting record. Good interview after the clip giving it more context.

I'm judging again... "What's Your Answer?!" on July 27th

I will be helping judge the relative merit of aspiring comedic answers at What's Your Answer?! a twisted take on pub trivia competitions.This is the third or fourth time we've done this show. It's a little like the Match Game on Goldschlaager.

A bunch of loaded questions are put forth in front of a group of pub-trivia type teams (i.e. quasi-random bar-goers and assorted know-it-all's--hey!! this means YOU!). The teams then come up with not the *right* answer but the *funny* answer. Then they send one brave soul (sucka!) up to read their answers aloud.

A group of judge-mental types who think they are the funniest thing since sliced bread (hey!!this means ME!), then present scores for each answer (ala' the former East Germany, but with lower dollar value bribes and more random acts of sadism). The bottom line is really just more fun than the whole family should be legally allowed to enjoy!!

And actually, fortunately , we live in a world where's it's NOT legal for the whole family. Only those in the house who can legally quaff booze are allowed to display their ignoramuses here for all to see. That includes me. I am too old enough!!!

Like I said, it's called What's Your Answer?! it's coming up late in July (Sunday 7/27), so move outta the damn country before then, if it bothers you so frickin much. Here's where you can find out what we in the business like to call "more": http://ping.fm/uRoWc
testing my ping.fm email interface
I just confirmed to @rickabruzzo that I am going appear in his *very sophisticated* gameshow, later this month: http://ping.fm/uRoWc

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jacques Tati's Playtime at the Castro Tonight

Playtime is one of my favorite films of all-time. It is really its own form of cinema, not a typical movie. It's at the Castro tonight and I'm catching the 6pm show! You really should come out tonight or tomorrow to catch this incredible film.

from an article on Jacques Tati
In most cases - in fact, all but one - the real joy of seeing Tati's films is still unknown to me. This is because, out of the six features and three short films he made between 1932 and 1974, I've only seen one of them in what could even loosely be called its proper format: Parade, which was originally broadcast for Swedish television. It is presently available on video in three forms: the Criterion Collection laserdisc, a number of videotape editions, and a DVD from the French company DVDY, of adequate quality. For the remaining eight - Trafic, Playtime, Mon Oncle (1958), Les Vacances de M. Hulot (known alternately as M. Hulot's Holiday), Jour de fête (1948), L'École des facteurs (1947), Gai Dimanche (1935), and Oscar, champion de tennis (1932) (which is believed to be lost) - I confess with great remorse that my acquaintance has only been through DVD, laserdisc, and videotape. The issue of format matters most in the case of Playtime, the only movie Tati shot in 70-millimeter, because although I advocate seeing all of his (or any artist's) work in the proper format, Playtime on video is the same as 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) or Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962) on video: the television monitor cannot possibly suffice. Details from Tati's mise en scène are muted. The spectrum of colour becomes limited. The reduction of a 70mm. presentation to the scale of a television set is similar to reducing the performance of a symphony orchestra to a badly done audiocassette.
The cool thing is that I saw Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm over the weekend, so after tonight I'm 2/3 of the way to hitting the movie geek triple crown!

Here is a tiny example in what is most assuredly the wrong format...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July

it's a lovely day to break meat with friends

BBQ Porn

photo by Robin "Evil Bob" A

Please keep yr fireworks under control!! Cuz we already have too many fires out there!

台灣雙十節國慶煙火 Taiwan's National Day(October 10) Fireworks Show #04

photo by good10740

Two new posts from me up on Laughing Squid for the holiday. A bit of fun fluff from Colbert: a difference-maker who is a fireworks smuggling enabler. The other is about one of San Francisco's great 4th of July traditions: The San Francisco Mime Troupe's 4th of July show.

Whatever you're up to have fun! be safe!!


Friday, June 27, 2008

(it's political) Yoo & Addington play their games

John Yoo & David Addington testify (i.e. dissemble) in front of John Conyers' Judiciary Committee

Here you see the Jekyll and Hyde of the Bush Administration's Justice Department.

John Yoo is the ultimate 'yes-man' who could crank out papers supporting whatever policy was put in front of him. Here we see him for the intellectual lightweight toady that he is. Unable to give an unqualified answers, backing the long way around into word games, all the time slowing down the proceedings.

Addington is a bully, who is a kind of (evil) genius. He is Cheney's lawyer, and he build the large legal justifications that he then gets the Yoo's of the world to execute on the brick & mortar level of position papers. His demeanor and MO is to stand toe-to-toe and bluster and debate, showing no shame or pause in rationalizing his pauses work. This is the modern Machiavellian attorney of the powerful and rich (who want to stay as rich as possible at all costs).

This encounter is really pretty comical, but of course none of this is really funny.

The Cheney's Law episode of PBS' Frontline gives the best coverage of this dynamic, and how these two enabled the worst tortures and travesties of this Iraq War. Don't seem to be able to embed the video on this page, but you can watch here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

RIP Carlin

We'll miss you George

George Carlin a great and long-standing-up comedian has died at 71.

A Ride on the SS Jeremiah O'Brien

Engine room of Jeremiah O'Brien, originally uploaded by mikl-em.

Danielle and I and a few friends rode for four hours on the bay today on the SS Jeremiah O'Brien. A beautiful day, an incredible ship, we had a lovely time.

This video shows you the engine rooms at work. You can see more images and videos from our trip.

And you can visit the boat and witness the power of her engines for yourself when Long Now's Mechanicrawl happens on July 12th.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mikl's little tiny media empire

A primer on where you can read what I write

This is admittedly a little confusing. But such is (my) life. This webpage is my blog, but there are a bunch of other places that I typically update more frequently.

Over the last few years I've most actively written on my Yahoo! Group. This has been and will continue to be where I post about cool events in SF that I am a part of or that I heartily endorse. So it's mostly interesting for folks in SF. Additionally you can expect the occasional political post here. The events are mostly comedy or theater happenings, though some other art events and just plain parties will show up from time to time. The most groups post highlights the closing weekend of Beowulf by Banana Bag & Bodice--great friends who are out from NYC. This is a really special show and it plays in Berkeley only through this Sunday 6/22.

I am now a guest-blogger on laughingsquid.com the site run by my good friend Scott Beale. This is a high honor as Scott has built a large audience and a fantastic voice of blogging the weird, fun and geeky. It's great to jump in and add to the mix. There are seven guest-bloggers in total and I think that both we and Scott are enjoying the collaboration

Another talented friend Attaboy has a magazine and website called Hi Fructose. I've been writing features and a few small pieces for the magazine. You can find my writing in issue #1 and #6 as well as #3 which is sold out. The BIG news is that Last Gasp is publishing a Hi-Fructose Collected Edition featuring highlights from the first 4 issues (2-3 of which are out of print). There's a limited special edition of 3000 available end of summer (order now), and then there's a regular edition coming later. Hi Fructose is an amazing magazine & website full of vital very current art with a razor-edged whimsy that is undeniable. And Attaboy is a great artist in his own right. Make sure you check his stuff out.

Then there's my Flickr stream. There's lots of cool stuff there. I do like to document things, and so it stays pretty fresh. Travels, parties and social mischief, and sometimes backstage stuff from shows I'm in. There's usually fun stuff there.

Rarely updated, but w/ a few interesting things nonetheless, is my blog on Vox. I like the way that Vox enables sharing multimedia, so I've put a few things up there. But it's really rare for me to update it.

Now granted, all of this stuff is listed on the sidebar, plus a few more, but I thought I'd take a moment to explain things in a little more detail. Thanks for stopping by. Sign up for the RSS feed while you're here, if you'd like.

Euro 2008: Germany advances!

You can call me a Deutsche-file

Between Danielle's German heritage and the blissful vacation we had in Germany two years ago for the 2006 World Cup, I am a big fan of things German and especially German soccer. There are other teams that I like, but the experience of watching Ballack, Klose, Podolski and the rest thrill their home country (in an eventual 3rd place finish) has forever endeared them to me.

I realize that this whole post may be a bit of a non-sequitur, but please forgive and be patient. There are only a few games left. :D

Today Germany's national soccer team beat expectations in a thrilling 5-goal game and sent the Portuguese team home. In the process they made it to the final four of the Euro 2008 tournament. Klose got his first goal of the tournament, and Ballack his second in as many games. Here's a detailed match report for any football geeks who stumble onto this page.

I could only watch a few minutes of the game during lunch, but it brought back the rush of being in Germany during the World Cup.

Here's a link for all the Euro 2008 news from Yahoo! News. And here are all my photos from the World Cup trip.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Killer B's last weekend and post on Laughing Squid

Go see the Killer B's at The EXIT--while you can!

I wrote a post at Laughing Squid about this incredible show of 3 great movie-like plays. Just fantastic, must-see stuff. Just some of the fantastic theater going on in the area right now. Beowulf being another, which I will have to post about here soon as well.

Anyway, I said it all in my post on the Squid site. So I'll let you check that out for all the particulars (including gorgeous pix). You can get tickets here.

Gay Marriage legal in California


I had the tremendous pleasure of being at the SF City Hall today with a huge crowd to celebrate the first same-sex marriage since the right for all people to be married was upheld in California. It was a great day! I took some pix & videos, and wrote it up on Flickr. See the description of each pic for more details.

By the way, Danielle and I are also officially thrilled about our right to NOT get married. It's dandy. We couldn't be more pleased than to not have the law involved with our relationship. It's nice to have the choice, even if you ignore it, and I'm glad same-sex couple now have the same option.

Monday, June 02, 2008

My blogging Renaissance

I know, promises promises, but this time for real. Soon I'll be guest-blogging from time to time on the Laughing Squid site, so I need to put something a bit fresher up here at my own place. The 4 of you who subbed via RSS feed are probably having heart attacks right now, huh?

Stay tuned for more. Unfortunately my first post is an unfortunate one, memorializing my departed friend Felicity Perez. The post on the Squid site will be up, probably later today.