the photography, music and ramblings of Matt Lipstein

What up With That? I love it!

A few weeks ago I posted this tweet, previous to seeing a certain skit on SNL. Karma? Coincidence? Serendipity?

Then I followed with this tweet.

And now, a few weeks later, I still can't stop watching it. Maybe it's because I sing songs like this in my head all day long. Or that this most closely approximates the alternate reality I wish I lived in. Regardless, this to me is pure genius.

I had a friend when I lived in Vermont who had a dream in which I was an R&B singer with a 12-piece back up band. We were called "Matt Lipstein and the Jews-Who-Groove." Marinate on that!


Take this lying down - Marvin Gaye

I mean, if you're going to sing a deep soul track, you're probably going to want to lie down. And you'll want your bass player to have dookie braids. That's the way Marvin would do it.

This clip is from the documentary "Remember Marvin Gaye" which chronicles the two years Marvin spent living and recording in Belgium (1981-1983). Ranztron and I checked the movie out at BAM a few years ago, and I remember being underwhelmed by the film itself. However, the recording sessions did stick with me and I was pleased as punch to see this clip come up on Soul Sides the other day.

Which brings me to my next question: Are music documentaries for dudes only? Amanda hates most of them and claims it's a boy thing. Early in our relationship I tried to get her to watch the making of Steely Dan's Aja, which is one of the most informative & entertaining documentaries ever made in this dude's opinion.

She hated it.

Is she right? Music & performance docs = boy's club? Hit me back in the comments.

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Simply incredible

I've been meaning to post this for at least a week (since Rebecca D. kindly sent it to me), but you know - sometimes life gets all up in your piece.

Oh my god. So incredible. I would like to write up all of my analysis and feelings about this video, but life is, again, in my piece. As type a baby lies next to me on the couch needing my arms to hold him. Awwww...

In short: this piece makes me happy to be alive in this time. It proves that not everything has been done before and creativity is still very much alive.


Summertime and the living is soulful

An unbelievably soulful and fun interpretation of the classic track "Summertime", this time by Billy Stewart. After about 35 seconds it kicks into a TV performance synced with the track.

His outfit is almost as good as his singing. Good looking out Big Shanz!


The Belvedere 2009 Food Competition

The 2009 Belvedere Food Competition from Matthew Lipstein on Vimeo.

All the details for the Food Competition at this year's Belvedere party in Brooklyn.

This is just one element of what is always a great day. See you on May 2nd!


The old How's your Father

It seems like high time for a general checking in and a good ol' how's your father:

• Amanda is now about 8 months pregnant and looking and feeling good. The midwife says everything is right on track and we're getting more and more excited for our June 1st delivery date!

• We went down to the Dominican Republic for vacation a few weeks ago. It was really relaxing - we stayed at a no-kids resort (our last chance!) The weather was dodgy on days, but it didn't stop Amanda from lying out by the pool, or me from enjoying a 9:30am Coco Loco.

Yeah, I said it.

• The following week was all about getting the apartment ready for the baby. We emptied what had been simply known as the "back room" and then painted the walls to transform it into "the Nursery". I also assembled the changing table. All this activity made me feel very much like a father to be. Amanda accuses me of nesting, but I disagree.

• It's official: come this July I'll be moving on to a new technology job at the Spence School! It's been a great run at Montessori, but this is a welcome change. And, you know, I like grouping major life events within a few weeks of each other. It's good for the system.

• We started our birthing class with BKLYN Birth, which was good. It's 5 sessions so there's lots left to learn. We also had a 4-hour orientation at the Birthing Center we're hoping to use. Very educational.

• Tonight we're off to my folk's house for the first night of Pesach (Passover to all the goys in the crowd tonight). I'm hoping to raid my dad's vinyl collection because...

• I have a DJ gig on the books for Saturday April 25th at Last Exit - flier and details to follow, but mark your calendars now.

• There's rumor of another Belvedere gig in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

• This Friday we'll be going to the Loser's Lounge show featuring the music of Ms. Dolly Parton. Very excited as I've never been to a Loser's tribute show, or to Joe's Pub. I'll report back with details.

• And lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't offer up some link or video to keep you happy. I'm going to give you this little gem - a parody of those NY Times Weekender ads.

The runner up to share was this video compilation of Mariah Carey high notes. If you're looking for 6 and a half minutes of goodness, click the link.

Hope all is well and stupidfresh with all of you out there. Talk soon.


Have more fun in bed

I'd seen this posted a few times in the past few days, but only got around to watching it today via Design*Sponge. This video is incredible. Beyond the technical accomplishment itself, this stop-motion video is relaxing, whimsical, and inspirational. Take a few minutes out of your day to enjoy it.


Pretty much everywhere it's gonna be hot

I try not to post the trendy youtube clip of the moment here on SF, but this is giving me all sorts of joy

The Original

The Remix


Darth Vader is an awesome harmonica player

After not posting for some time, what better way to get back into the groove than this clip. Darth Vader plays harmonica - and nails it. Definitely wait until the 35 second marker - that's when it goes from good to great.


Siberian Trainer

Ok - This is a bit out of left field. Rebecca knows this girl through some connection or other (you know how these viral connections work), and she directed me to this Film (note the use of the word film rather than movie.

I love it. Do you love it? Let yourself get at least a minute into it before you click away. You'll be entranced!


Time to hang up my needles?

I know I haven't been out in the clubs hitting the ones & twos in while. And due to space constraints in the homestead, there hasn't been much practicing on my scratch technique. While I feel I still have mad skillznillz, when I see a video like the one below I start wondering if it's even worth going wicky-wicky anymore.

I believe the children are our future, treat them well and let them scratch the way.

This video comes courtesy of Rebecca via The Shamblers website.


The Best of the Best of 2007

Hey there Internet reader. Long time no see.

Here we are at year end and many a website you know and trust is offering it's Best Of 2007 lists. I do love me a list, and I have a few go-tos for the music. It reminds me of some of the great tunes from the past year, and more often than not it exposes me to tracks completely off my radar. You may like to peruse:

Said The Gramophone Best Music Songs of 2007 - 50 downloadable (for now) songs with an indie slant but some rap and miscellany in there as well

Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2007 - This is a lot more all over the map, but their indie selections are fairly snobby (hey it is Pitchfork after all). A mix of downloadable MP3s, streams and videos. Worth a look, overwhelming at times.

And for the visual learners out there, check out the 12 Best Music Videos of the Year. Something for everyone.

I'll be posting my own Best of 2007 list, with possible d'loads for you, but these should whet your whistle for now. In the meantime, let's round it out with my pick for the best video of the year:

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Dramatic Squirrel

And now a little drama for your momma:

And of course some spin-offs:


Open House NY Rundown

It's Wednesday and I think I may still be tired from this past weekend! It was the 5th annual Open House New York festival and we did it up big. As in big-time. OHNY is a yearly event that opens the doors of some 200 sites that are normally closed to New Yorkers. The locations have an Architecture or Design bent to them, and almost all offer something interesting.

We saw 10 sites over two days, and traversed just as many neighborhoods. I won't go into all the details here, I'll let the photo set on this page do the talking. However I will indulge with a few highlights:

• We started the weekend by volunteering at a site. Not only does it feel good to give back for a change, it also feels good to get a pin that lets you cut the line at all the other locations! We were switched at the last minute to the Target Community Garden that just opened in Bed-Stuy (do-or-die, Biggie Smalls baby-baby! Uh.) The neighborhood folk were really excited about this beautiful place taking over what had been a lot "filled with crap" as one local explained to me. Nice.

• The Forbes Galleries were the biggest surprise of the weekend. Housed in the Forbes building just below 14th street, these galleries are the private collection of Malcolm Forbes' childhood relics. I have never seen so many odd things in such numbers! There were easily 5,000 toy soldiers alone, each one more mint than the last. The design of the galleries are as unique as the collection. highly recommended.

• Not a stop you'll find in the Open House event guide, but we couldn't pass up a few sesame pancake sandwiches from the Dumpling House on Eldridge. Perfect when on the go, and quite a bargain at 75 cents each!

• The last stop of the weekend was also the most impressive. We rode the tram to Roosevelt Island (see video below) for a special public art project setup on the normally off-limits south side of the island. Yes, this is the area that houses the small pox hospital that burned down. The exhibit was top-notch and the experience was thrilling.

Don't forget to check the full photo set here!


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Falling Water, Virtually

The mrs. and I daydream a lot about trips we'd like to take, both long and short. In west Pennsylvania is Frank Lloyd Wright's world-famous creation Falling Water. We haven't been able to get it together to make it out that far - it's about 5 hours west of Philly.

We did get a lot closer recently when I read on Design*Sponge about this computer animation of the house and it's environs. It's an amazingly beautiful facsimile and inspires us to make it out there all the sooner.

Well done Cristobal Vila!

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The Final Countdown

As of tomorrow (Saturday) we are at T-minus 6 weeks until the wedding. BAM! We watched a British comedy last night about weddings that Rebecca recommended to em, called Confetti. It was hilarious. I think anyone would enjoy it, but anyone who has gone through the process of having a wedding will certainly identify with this film. Trailer below:


Time Machine

I can't tell how I feel about this. Akward if nothing else

From the creator: "putting myself into my family's home movies from the 1940s and 50s. Music by Peggy Honeywel"


These movies will change civilization...

Thanks to Google Reader I've been much more on top of reading my favorite blogs around the net (is it time to abandon Bloglines - *gasp*?). In the past day I've seen posts about two movies that look really good that I may have not know about without the good ol' Internets.

First off is Chalk, a mockumentary about Teaching. When watching this trailer I forgot it was a joke, and started getting a little nervous for our nation's future.

Next we have 10mph, the story of two friends travelling cross-country on a Segway (remember these machines whose inventor claimed will "change civilization"?) The trailer reminds me of The Straight Story, that great David Lynch G-Rated movie about an old man who travels a bunch of miles on the roads of America on his lawnmower to see his brother. Great flick based on a true story, but this one is the real deal.

Check the websites and see if these indie flicks are playing near you anytime soon.


Mr. Rogers B-Boy

This clip speaks for itself. So I will stop talking and moonwalk.


D.A.N.C.E. it up

Justice - D.A.N.C.E.

This will pretty much be your favorite song this summer. Great video too!

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Air / TV on the Radio Review - May 10 Theater at MSG

Amanda & I went to see Air play at the Theater at MSG last week (May 10th) as part of the Highline Festival. A few days earlier, it was announced that TV on the Radio were going to open with an acoustic set. Did someone creep into my brain and ask me what my favorite line up would be? This was pretty close.

The show was great. TV killed it, playing stripped down versions of rocking tunes. To be honest, I'd written them off as of late - so much press as the indie darlings in the last year. I guess I still get that little 18 year old in me who gets all pissed when other people start liking my favorite band (lets call this the Pearl Jam Problem).

Their performance last week brought me back to why I love them in the first place. It's indie rock soul music. Tunde is belting out some deep, and often times dark lyrics up there. He throws his whole boy into it and the band is along for the ride. Testify Tunde!

Here's a clip of the song "Tonight" from the show, that also showcases their use of typewriter in the set.

Air followed with a mellow and sexy set - no shocker there. This was my first Air show, and I never realised that while one of the Frenchies is playing keyboard, the other on the bass guitar. Ripping it no less!

This clip doesn't feature the bass, but it does show a nice version of "Cherry Blossom Girl".

Is anyone else amazed that I can go onto youtube and find someone who filmed lots of songs from this show and now I can blog about here? For me it's a mix of great and gross (also known as a situation of "crap-candy"). I mean, awesome that I can share this, but it does take away from the special memories I have of living through these songs.

Is this my new Pearl Jam problem?

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Web 2. Oh!

This 5 minute video shows a great history of Internet development through web2.0 and raises some interesting thoughts as to where we are going. Great food for thought.

"The Machine is Us/ing Us"
by Michael Wesch

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Daft Punk Links

Some great Daft Punk videos to get you energized for the shows this summer:

This one minute video shows a small smattering of where Daft Punk got their samples from. Who knew they were borrowing such large chunks form other sources? House beats make everything sound good.

For a full list of Daft Punk samples check here. Thanks to Dro for the heads up.

A mash-up of people doing the Charleston dance set to "Around The World" by Daft Punk:

I hate acapella music. No really - it's irritating. However this rendition of Harder, Better, Better, Faster, Stronger makes me only want to beat them up a little bit.

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While we're at it...

On the old school hip-hop tip, this Madlib track makes more rap references than you know, sucker. Now the video adds a visual to your memories.

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De La Flashback

I remember being 13 years old going into the city and grabbin a copy of the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Awards issue. De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising swept every category.

I went out the next day and bought a copy - my life (and hip-hop) were changed forever.

Below is a seven minute slice of that. This was straight ripped from Via Big Ranz.

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Future Tagging

While were at it, another example that we are making our transition into the future is the work done by the Graffiti Research Lab.

I'm not going to preface this much, other than these graff writers are tagging whole buildings with lasers. LASERS I SAY!

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Boing Boing Bonanza

I've been flagging a ton of posts on Boing Boing "A Directory of Wonderful Things". And now, those links will be yours!

Personal vehicles on abandoned light rail tracks

Horror remix of When Harry Met Sally

Photos of people wearing fezzes

Pulp Fiction as typography

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Ga Ga

When I was eleven years old, I watched Live Aid in awe. I really have many memories from the concerts, but perhaps the most vivid is of Queen performing Radio Ga Ga at Wembly Arena.

I have this image burned in my head of Freddie Mercury controlling the crowd as hundreds of thousand fans clapped their hands in unison. It was very powerful and even at that young age it thrilled me to see the power of music in action.

Thank goodness for You Tube:

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Peter Boyle, RIP

Peter Boyle passed away yesterday at the age of 71. While most will remember him for his recent work in Everybody Loves Raymond, I will always maintain his finest work was in Young Frankenstein.

Although his roll as the tough cop in Turk182 was pretty awesome too. That was a great flick, it just made me think of The Last Starfighter. Damn...they don't make them like they used to. Am I becoming my parents?

Wow - this really strayed from Peter Boyle. Rest In Peace Abby Normal. Watch the tap-dancing Frankenstein right here.

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Proof is in the pudding

If there was ever any doubt that Elvis did drugs - this video should end all speculation. This footage is total crap-candy (a term coined by my friend Julie meaning when something is both awesome and awful at the same time. It's almost unbearable to watch an American icon go through such an intense drug-induced tailspin (on stage no less). It's almost harder not to watch.


Damn You Canada - You've Done it Again!

This video has it all. The song is catchy as all get out, it's in
French and the video itself is just precious. This band is Malajube and the song "Montreal -40°C". Enjoy yourselfCanada. Watch out U.S.

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Standing on the shoulders of giants

There' s quite a bit of good electronic music coming out these days. Hot Chip are one band who have really been doing it for me (check their album "The Warning" - it's tight from start to finish). This renaissance of electro-pop kicked in a few years ago with The Postal Service and their unique brand of digital music coupled with emotional lyrics. It was right up my alley.

But is it unique?

I got to thinking about the bands I enjoyed when I was a young teenager. Bands like Joy Division, Erasure, Yaz, Depeche Mode. And New Order.

I had this VHS tape (remember those?) of New Order videos, and the one for their song The Perfect Kiss stands out in my mind. In the video they are performing the song live in the studio. What blew me away (and still does) is how organic their production of the song is even though it has such an Electronic sound to it. You'd think it was all done using synthesizers and computers but there is as much good ol' electric guitar in there as there is digital equipment.

Thank goodness for YouTube where we can all re-live our childhood memories. Watch this New Order video for The Perfect Kiss and then think of all the "ground-breaking" indie music you like now. Wild.

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Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together

Together at Last: The Temptations and the Supremes on Ed Sullivan. Just wait for David Ruffin's howl and the synchornized dancing. DAMN. I mean - DAMN.

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Robots Royale With Cheese

This speaks for itself. Spotted on Boing Boing.


Get inspired about Technology

If you don't know, I am the Director of Technology for an independent school in Brooklyn, NY. The main part of my job is finding ways to use technology in classrooms to help enhance kids' education. It's challenging and rewarding work.

Last week I went to a conference in Mohonk to meet with my colleagues. It's always inspirational, and opens my eyes to the big picture. I can get very brought down into the minutia of day to day life: a particular laptop not working, or the internal politics of working in a school. Stepping back and seeing the big picture of how we are effecting children's education and ultimately their future is heavy business!

I was forwarded a link to the TEDBLOG. A description from their site:

The TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference is an annual event where leading thinkers and doers gather for inspiration. (More at The TEDBlog covers the same ground, on a rather more frequent basis.
It's higher-level thinking and incredibly inspirational for anyone interested in technology. They have videos of their speakers from the last few years.

And they have a video of Bono speaking (which could be good or bad)

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It brings tears to your eyes

On Sunday night I went to check out Amateur Female Jello Wrestling at Arlene's Grocery. Now that's real jello wrestling, not a band. It was surprisingly disappointing - the wrestling was all staged (I guess I'm a purist) and the crowd energy was non-existent.

All was not lost however. I met some of Amanda's friends who were in from Wales. We got to talking about music, and I was pointed in the direction of The Broken Family Band. The first link I clicked on was for the video below, "It's All Over".

I must be their target audience because it totally floored me - both the video and the song. A note from YouTube to explain the background a bit:

The song is from the album BALLS by The Broken Family Band.The video is edited from a silent film made by Natalie Toumbas ( called Silent Treatment - she asked two strangers to sit in a room for an entire hour - all they had to do was look at each other and not speak while being filmed (They could not hear any music.)
So in any event, here it is. It would be interesting to watch the full hour of footage from the silent film, but the images coupled with the song is breathtaking. Thanks for the tip Alex!

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