Off The Charts
: "In his wildest satirical dreams, not even Christopher Guest could top Off the Charts for sheer folk-art eccentricity. And yet, the creator of A Mighty Wind would find comedic inspiration in Jamie Meltzer's hilarious and sincerely affectionate tribute to the subcultural phenomenon known as the song poem. For over 50 years, a small, strictly amateur music industry has thrived on the fine-print ads that appear in alternative newspapers and music-industry magazines, inviting would-be songsmiths to send in their lyrics (and perhaps even "earn royalties") when their songs--and we use that term loosely--are set to music, recorded by seasoned musicians, and returned to their creators as a kind of one-shot fantasy fulfillment of dreams that will never come true. What drives Meltzer's film is a uniquely American combination of pathos, fringe-dwelling ambition, and free expression by assorted misfits and "regular folk" who seek elusive immortality by turning their lyrical musings into trash-art that's simultaneously fascinating and pathetic. But despite the end-credit claim that not a single hit has resulted from the estimated 200,000 song poems that have been recorded over the decades, Meltzer's not out to ridicule these wonderfully ungifted artists. Instead, Off the Charts gives a memorable spin to the flipside of the American dream. --Jeff Shannon" (PBS, 54mins.)
posted by puny human
on May 10, 2011 -
Jaron Lanier's new book, You Are Not a Gadget
-- a cri de coeur
on the commercialized, despoiled, fallen Eden of the modern Web-- is reviewed here
. MetaFilter name-checked by reviewer, though with the aid of a shoehorn. The Mondo 2000
-era dreadster explains himself here
. Lanier, previously discussed
posted by darth_tedious
on Jan 3, 2010 -
The Dervaes Institute
is an 'off the grid' homestead in Pasadena, CA and supports 4 adults full time. It also produces 3 tons of produce annually. It's all run from solar panels and biodiesel. Over 350 different plants and a handful of farm animals thrive on a 1/5 acre lot, not too far from the middle of Los Angeles. An 'urban homestead' indeed!
posted by drstein
on Jan 26, 2007 -
"If you love someone, you want to give something of yourself to them... Go big or go home you know?" Show that special sweetie of yours that you care with the magic of mutual self-mutilation.
Really, how often were you using that ring finger, anyways?
posted by Simon!
on Jul 8, 2005 -