TS5Q: Matthew Vasquez of Delta Spirit

Posted: April 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

At some point in time, I heard a phrase that I remember as “in brevity lies the soul of wit.” Always kinda liked that one. Made sense to me. Rattled around the brain for years, in exactly that word order. Checking the great giver of good, Google, I see that Shakespeare’s responsible for “brevity is the soul of wit,” which works, too, though I’m going to hold onto the prior version, if you don’t mind.

As just as brevity offers the soul of wit, Blackberry’s tend to provide the brevity of information exchange. So much so that Matthew Vasquez of the Delta Spirit appears to chime in at the record-setting TS5Q, when measured in both word count and turn-around time. He’s the Usain Bolt of repondees, really.

Sara Casella, the hard-working publicist of Tell All Your Friends, is beating the roster’s bushes for TS5Q participants, bless her.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
Vanity.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?
UFO’s existence.

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
Contentment.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war,or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?
Total war.

Five-a: You lost it as a child and you want it back.
My metabolism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slsTymdPtGQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADifNNwa1P8


TS5Q: J Neo Marvin

Posted: April 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Those of us who still treasure our physical/musical media know the sensation. You peruse your cabinet of CDs at home. Or you comb through a box of records at a flea market. Or you simply read an article in a dogeared magazine, purchased (if not rescued) from a quality record store. And when you’re not expecting it, a band, or song, strikes your attention, a group or track that may’ve long since been relegated to an unfair spot at the end of the your bench.

I used to love X-tal. In an active, play-all-the-time manner. Of late, X-tal’s been in lighter rotation; I still love what they put together in the 1980s and ’90s, but in a more abstract, passive way. But after finding frontman, vocalist, songwriter and founder J Neo Marvin on Facebook, I’m rekindling my enjoyment of the band. Based in the Bay Area, the band created a handful of crackling records, filled with something akin to folk-punk. Or perhaps punk-folk. Ah, to heck with genres. It was thoughtful rock’n'roll, with  lyrics that wound put a wry smile on the face of any Nation reader, while also causing your feet to tap in time.

Once, oh-so-long-ago, X-tal came through St. Louis and with my roommates on the road with their own band, X-tal stayed at my crib in Webster Groves. I’ve seldom felt quite so locked into the idea of DIY. And 20 years later, I interrupted the digital peace of J Neo Marvin for TS5Q, which he sent back, thoughtfully, of course, in a matter of a day. At the end of the piece are a handful of links he’s sent along, getting me (and TS5Q’s thousands of readers) up-to-speed with his latest efforts. In fact, if you find your way into some of those links, you’ll find links to music, progressive politics and all the good stuff that made X-tal so special, but in the newer guises of J Neo.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
Mmmmmm… let’s start by ruling out sloth, which prevents one from accomplishing anything at all in life, art included. Gluttony might inspire some artistically rich recipes, but other than that, I can’t see too many results. Greed might make for bad commercial pop music at best, while envy would inspire someone to imitate another artist rather than come up with anything on their own.

So, it’s down to pride, wrath, and lust. Pride is essential for an artist to get off his/her ass and get started, certainly. Wrath can produce some great art, but lust might just edge it out, if you consider that eros is an essential component of the life force itself. As angry as I can be at the state of the world today, I would have to say that lust without wrath will bring you more rewards than wrath without lust.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?
That everything’s all right and there is no need to be concerned.

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
To be effective at focusing on creativity, a minimum of personal security and freedom from worry is essential. That said, the creative process starts with restlessness and ends with contentment.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?
None of the above. Little wars will continue to be conducted in small areas so the general population can cheer it on or ignore it as they please while the spacemen and spacewomen will look on, shake their heads, and sigh, “maybe they’ll grow up someday”.

Five-c: These are your generation’s greatest successes.
Having been born in 1957, what constitutes my generation is an open question. I’m either among the youngest baby boomers, or among the oldest of the generation following the baby boomers. The latter rings more true to me. The greatest success of the generation between the baby boomers and Generation X? Punk rock, perhaps. We did finally elect our first president. The jury is still out on whether he can, will, or even wants to, live up to his potential.

=====

My wife and I have our own label and production company that puts out our current music and videos:
http://www.earcandleproductions.com/

Here is my own site, which has lyrics, old photos, a history of X-tal, some interviews I did in the past for different zines, and more:
http://www.jneomarvin.com/

Here is our Ear Candle Productions blog: http://earcandleproductions.blogspot.com/

Here is our online radio station, Ear Candle Radio: http://www.live365.com/stations/jneomarvin

(Photo from jneomarvin.com, circa 1982.)


TS5Q: Ariel X

Posted: April 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: | Comments Off

Having just watched the remarkably sly and inventive “The Girlfriend Experience,” it’s not hard to imagine how certain blue cinema performers, like Sasha Grey, begin to transition out of the erotic arts and into the mainstream. Should they want to, of course.

Were Ariel X to make the same move, it’d be easily imaginable. An actress in a variety of lesbian-themed titles for multiple studios, Ariel X is also a serious star in the world of niche porn; for example, at the site UltimateSurrender.com she’s been a champion as a solo wrestler and as a tag-team participant, while she’s also worked in a host of bondage series, as well as other fetish sub-markets. Our guess is that whenever she makes the big, career-changing burst it could come from numerous angles, whether it be as a WWE Diva, or as a supporting player in a John Waters or Kevin Smith movie. (Out of those options, we’re betting Kevin Smith, actually.) Not that she’s uncomfortable with where she’s at today, as evidenced by her TS5A’s.

While some might shy away from discussing their work in a public context, Ariel X does a pretty thorough job of explaining the peculiarities of the business, as well as giving a glimpse into her personal travels (and some travails) with a blog on her homepage. It’s an intriguing read, giving a glimpse into an adult performer’s life, with amusing asides running through the text. That spirit’s hinted at below.

In the earlier months of this experience, an accurate observer noted that the site was dominated by the answers of esoteric (if not outright eccentric) white guys. And lately, musicians are pouring forth their thoughts. Based on these five answers, Ariel X adds some interesting, new perspectives to the mix, and we thank her for the time.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
Wrath makes for the best art in my line of work. I am a competitive and sexual wrestler/fighter as well as a lesbian porn films star. When I’m on the mats with another woman, my fans don’t want to see two girls who are silly slapping each other, they want to see an intense fire burning in each girls heart. They want to see the girls give themselves completely until one finally falls. The women I fight all feel my wrath. I have a hunger for winning. I hate to lose and I will strike out against anyone who threatens me in any way in my playing field. I’m sure most people would think I would say LUST makes for better are in my lesbian porn genre. But I feel something very animalistic inside me when I perform with a woman I enjoy. I do want to tear her apart. I do show her my wrath. When not working on a scripted bondage shoot where I am playing the “submissive”, typically the women will start off trying to control me in bed as I am a very small person ( 5’3, 118 lbs). Perhaps they do this because I am small or because they have seen me play a submissive role very well and they believe they are “entitled” to dominate me. When a woman assumes something of the sort without discussing it with me, I go out of my way to be aggressively dominate and they always  become submissive to me after sensing my experiences and drive. The is nothing more beautiful than seeing the power struggle between two lovers and then seeing the underdog or small/delicate one come out victorious.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?
That this world isn’t all made up in my own head, that any of this is real and that I’m not in a coma just dreaming up this world. I think therefore I am but I don’t know about the rest of you.

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
Are those my only two choices? I think I work best when I hit rock bottom so I am neither content and I’ve tried everything else and too tire to be considered restless. Most of my business ideas have come to me while I was in my darkest hour when I needed something to save me the most. I am a single mother and being able to provide for me son is the most important thing in my world. I probably would not have gotten in the wrestling had someone not offered me a job when I needed the money. It’s not something I would have sought out on my own. In that same respect, I didn’t start doing affiliate marketing until the holidays of 2009 when I wanted to really treat my son to something nice. I work best under pressure, in business and on the mats. My life imitates a wrestling match. If my opponent is weak and doesn’t push me to be a great fighter, then I will sandbag the match and give it only 20% because I don’t need to. But if you put me with someone who’s bigger, faster, stronger, I will adapt and FAST. So if my job just allows me to scrape by , I will allow it to not push me. I need to be pushed. I need something to fight for.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?
I believe I will find true peace. I regret nothing, fear nothing, love everything and everyone regardless of how the see me or treat me. As much as a badass as I try to make myself sound, I am a lover not a fighter. I am, however, pretty stubborn (I am a Taurus) and I don’t necessarily turn the other cheek at first if someone’s really pissed me off. If I am pushed I will lash out (remember, I love showing my wrath).

Five-a: You lost it as a child and you want it back.
I want my innocence back and I’m not saying that because I’m in porn and think I’m a sinner. I see young kids everyday finding the joy out of the most simple things. Things like a paper bag can make a small child laugh for hours. When did I start taking the small things in life for granted. It was probably when I learned there were evils in the world; people who will try to hurt me mentally, physically, sexually, financially. I miss not knowing or being aware of all the evils in life (like murders, frauds, rape, war). I think a baby’s laugh is the most pure, innocent thing in this world and I always cry when I hear it because I know that child will realize all the evils as well and that laugh will change. I guess they say Adam and Even put clothes on when they became aware they were naked…. I wish we just never became aware of these stupid things… ignorance is bliss as far as I’m concerned. I miss my ignorance.

(Photo compliments of Ariel X and Triangle Films.)


TS5Q: Tony Visconti

Posted: April 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: , | Comments Off

Holy smokes, friends, we’ve established contact with Tony Visconti.

He’s a legendary rock producer. To repeat: he’s a legend. At rock production. A total superstar, people.

You can read his thoughts on the craft right here.

You can also listen to the music he’s helped create. You might know the names: David Bowie and T. Rex and Morrissey and Thin Lizzy. And, the lady who hooked this up, Kristeen Young, who has become quite omnipresent on the site, of late.

I wrote to Tony Visconti. He wrote back, hours later. We exchanged pleasantries. Goodness. I’m tickled pink.

And happy to present this special edition of TS5Q.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
I am afraid my answer is going to be extremely cynical: Greed. In a broad sense I haven’t met one artist who doesn’t long for fame and its just rewards. Creating Art (in all of its forms) is the best way to make a living. I might add — if you can! Like the Rockefellers and Trumps, artists also dream of fame and a higher value for their efforts beyond death. I think Greed is proper motivation for the other six. Of course human beings are quite capable of having higher, intellectual and spiritual thoughts which are important factors in the creation of Art. But a human without an ego is a dead human.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?
I’ve already given up on all organized religions. I want the God that answers our prayers to walk up to me and shake my hand (and maybe throw in a little levitation to establish its credentials). A God that creates tsunamis that kill tens of thousands and saves one child clinging to a tree does not technically make miracles (or enough to call them miracles). The human mind, however, is capable of infinite creation.

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
I’m still a chronic nail biter. Does that answer the question?

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?
Possibly alien contact. I think it’s obvious there is ET intelligence, simply by the law of averages. However, it could be very disappointing. They could be football fans from another solar system. As for war, it will get worse before it gets better. America is putting way too much of its resources into its War Machine. 1984 is drawing closer.

Five-A. What I lost as a child and want back.
Honestly, I still think like a child. The big bad world is a joke. There are a lot of nice, non-reactive human beings out there who like to play. My parents threw out all my Superman and Mad comic books. I would love to have them back again.


TS5Q: Federico Aubele

Posted: April 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: | Comments Off

There was a time in my life when music publicists were my favorite people in the world. Establish a few contacts, drop some business cards at the conventions, get hooked up by friends… before long, these relationships were born and prospering. In the days of physical media, that meant package after package of material hitting the desks of young writers at alternative weeklies, filled with sounds from the latest and hottest labels and bands. These days, the packages pretty much don’t exist, the music arriving in the form of e-mail.

But when I see notes in the in-box from Tell All Your Friends Publicity & Management, I tend to stop for a moment, or two, for consideration. They’ve got a rich stable of acts. Some of them I know, some I know by name, and many are completely unknown to these aging ears. But I appreciate the good, new stuff and try to give it a “spin” for radio purposes.

Today, Sara Casella at Tell All Your Friends kicked my request note to Federico Aubele, an Argentinian artist that I regret saying is basically new to me, despite the fact that I semi-worship The Thievery Corporation, a talented duo who release and produce his music through the Eighteenth Street Lounge label. I’ve checked out his site today, his interviews, his music. He seems a cool guy. With great hair and a genre-blending sound that I’ll not attempt to describe, but will instead link to below, in video form. But as this process kicks into the finishing stretch, I’m struck by how kinships can be made. His final answer unites us. There’s a complete understanding there. Karmically, we’re down.

Federico, it’s good to meet you. Digitally. Through a publicist. But with some tacit understanding that we’re all looking for something and some of us don’t mind reaching out and getting random. So, thanks, man. All best to you.

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
Lust. Sexual energy and creative energy are the same energy.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?
To believe in the USDA.

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
It’s a 50-50 split. One feeds the other.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?
Arrival of spacewomen. It actually occurs to me often.

Five-a: You lost it as a child and you want it back.
The lust I felt when I first saw Julie Newmar playing Catwoman on the 1960′s Batman TV series. Since I couldn’t have her I became an artist, which takes us back to your first question.


TS5Q: Seaton Lin

Posted: April 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: More Than 100 | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Let’s just deal with that pesky elephant over yonder: this project was sitting for a bit, minus updates, tending and spark.

There’s a very specific reason for renewed motion, beyond the fact that my self-imposed, one-year deadline’s only a few weeks away: yesterday morning, previous TS5Q participant Kristeen Young sent along a new music video, which she created with the talented Seaton Lin. The piece is particularly eye-catching for a St. Louisan, as many of the City’s finer features are put on display, alongside a pretty awesome track. Seemed that the director in question might be the kind of creative cat to tackle TS5Q. And sure enough, after a marathon evening of requests, I’ve awoken to find a complete questionnaire from the man, himself.

Already linked above, we’d invite you to take a peek at Lin’s website, which offers a great look at his portfolio of work.

You don’t need to be from St. Louis to appreciate the “Fantastic Failure” video, found below, but it sure don’t hurt.

(Update. In kicking some correspondence back-and-forth, Lin wrote: “Before making this video, I’ve never been to St. Louis, but  I quickly found a great appreciation and fondness for the city.” Bonus points!)

One. Which of the seven deadliest sins make for the best art?
It’s a toss up between Anger or Lust. I think John Lydon said it best “Anger is an energy…” I like to feed off that energy.

Two. For what are you going to need a little more evidence?
I want to believe in Extraterrestrial Aliens. I want to believe that they’ve come and visited us in the past, are visiting us now and possibly bestowed some great knowledge on the human race. I need a little more evidence before I can fully commit. For something as momentous as this, I can’t rely on blind faith.

Three. For personal creativity (or productivity), are you better served by contentment or restlessness?
I’m definitely better served by restlessness. I never feel content with anything I’ve created. I just see the mistakes and that makes me want to avoid those in the next project. But then the next project has its own mistakes. So essentially it just becomes it’s own vicious cycle of restlessness.

Four. Likeliest occurrence within your lifetime: true peace, total war, or the arrival of spacemen/spacewomen?
We have total war now. We’re just lucky enough that with technology we can chose to ignore it.

Five-A. What I lost as a child and want back.
My sense of immortality.

Thank you!
– All thanks to you, Seaton!