Category: Fascinating People

Fascinating People

Tupperware Party by Phranc

Phranc sells Tupperware

Self-professed “all-American, Jewish, lesbian folksinger” Phranc will come to your house and have a Tupperware Party!

Phranc got her start in the late ’70s Punk rock movement with synth rock band Nervous Gender and reggae Goth band Catholic Discipline (a band that would be immortalized in the first installment of the Decline of Western Civilization movies). During this period, she would sing some of her more political songs acoustically to allow the audience to clearly hear her words. It was these performances that eventually led to the discovery of her voice as an acoustic folk artist. During the span of her early solo releases (Folksinger and on), she discovered her niche — a voice for not only the gay and lesbian community, but for the socially conscious everywhere. Phranc’s music is often humorous in approach, but the underlying message is always based on serious subject matter.

Phranc Confessions

A Passion for Plastic

Hillary’s Eyebrows


Un-Silent Night


Every year since 1992, artist Phil Kline has presented UNSILENT NIGHT, an outdoor ambient music piece for an infinite number of boomboxes. It’s like a Christmas caroling party except that people don’t sing, but rather carry the music, each person playing a separate track that is a “voice” in the piece. In effect, they become a city-block-long sound system.

The more tracks that are played, the bigger and more amazing the sound is. In recent years, UNSILENT NIGHTs in New York and San Francisco have attracted crowds of over a thousand people, with hundreds of boomboxes… it’s spectacular. If you’d like to participate, just check the schedule in your city. If you’d like to participate but don’t have a boombox or a music player with speakers, you can just show up and join the parade. Everyone is an important part of the procession.

Un-Silent Night

Hair Museum

Hair Museum

Leila’s Hair Museum is perhaps the world’s greatest collection of jewelry and other artifacts made of human hair.

On display are hirsute necklaces, hat pins, wreathes and even hair trees, one of which resembles a palm. No pruning necessary.

Beyond the thousands of just plain curiosities, the museum gathers strands of history. “We have a mourning broach that contains a lock from Daniel Webster with 32 seed pearls representing tears, and it’s dated the day of his death,” says Linda Goldsmith, tour guide.

Leila’s Hair Museum

Hair Museum on Roadside America

Artists build secret apartment in shopping mall

Apartment in the mall

The leader of an artists’ cooperative has been sentenced to probation for setting up a secret apartment inside a shopping mall’s parking garage as part of a project on mall life.

Michael Townsend, 36, said he and seven other artists built the 750-square-foot apartment beginning in 2003 and lived there for up to three weeks at a time.

The artists built a cinderblock wall and nondescript utility door to keep the loft hidden from the outside world.

But inside, the apartment was fully furnished, down to a hutch filled with china and a Sony Playstation 2 – although a burglar broke in and stole the Playstation last spring, Townsend said.

There was no running water – instead they used the mall bathrooms.

Apartment at the Mall

The Elvis Cup

Elvis and his Cup

Three tablespoons of water that could have possibly graced the lips of Elvis Presley nabbed $455 on Ebay for Wade Jones of Belmont, N.C., who has had the treasure since 1977, when he took it after a concert as a memento.

Jones insists that he’s not an Elvis-maniac. “It’s one thing to be an Elvis fan, but then you tell them you have this cup of water and they think you’re a fanatic,” Jones defends. “I’m not like the people bidding on the water.”

Nooo, of course you’re not like them. Fanatics are die-hard fans. All you did was go to the concert, nab a souvenir, deep-freeze it for eight years, then melt it and transfer it into a glass vial. This obviously does not qualify as “fanatical behavior.” It’s just common business sense.

Elvis Cup

Jones, 40, offers what he calls proof of the water’s authenticity: photos of the King during the concert with several foam cups in the background, as well as a photo of Presley holding a foam cup.

But the cup wasn’t for sale. Says Jones: “I’m kind of attached to the cup. I thought it was a little quirkier to sell the water.” You got us there.

The Elvis Cup

Unusual Life meets Grow-a-Brain

Hanan Levin Grow a Brain Marlow Harris

In our never-ending quest for more Unusual Life, we met with the renowned Hanan Levin of Grow-a-Brain, the quintessential blog of the known universe. He took us to this fabulous artist-created restaurant and folk-art environment in Riverside, CA (photos to follow shortly) where we spent a few hours touring, eating and getting to know one another.

Thanks for the great day, Hanan! It was a highlight of our trip.

Pimp My Crib! Russian Gangster Builds World’s Tallest Log Cabin ?

One-time Russian gangster Nikolai Sutyagin’s home is certainly unusual. The eccentric former convict’s seemingly accidental 15-year project begun in 1992 stands 13 floors, 144 feet high. He claims he was only intending to build a two-story house – larger than those of his neighbours to reflect his position as the city’s richest man.

Read the story here.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day

What a lovely sentiment.

How many people can wish their loved ones Happy Valentine’s Day like this? Hairshirt? Sacred undergarments? Italian sweater? Flak Magazine’s Essay on Back Hair.

Wunderland Long Hair Index

In Korea, there’s a government campaign against long hair. It stressed the “negative effects” of long hair on “human intelligence development”, noting that long hair “consumes a great deal of nutrition” and could thus rob the brain of energy. North Korea wages war against long hair.

Ultimate romantic guy giftwraps home for lover

Valentines House

Some say it with flowers, others with a candlelit dinner. But Jasin Boland put every other Valentine gesture to shame by presenting his loved one with a gift-wrapped house.

The Hollywood stills photographer flew fiancee Maria Moral Pena to the Cotswolds by private jet from a skiing holiday in Switzerland to show off the spectacular gift.

Ultimate Romantic Gift-Wraps Home

Happy Birthday Elvis

Happy Birthday Elvis

If Elvis were alive today (and I guess there might still be some debate about that), he would be 72 years old today.

This weekend in Memphis there were several events to mark this day, including a Scavenger Hunt, a dance party and Elvis Bingo. More Elvis fun at Elvis Junky.

Can’t make it to Memphis? Then check out the GracelandCam for live shots of both the interior and exterior of E’s former home.

One can’t have a proper birthday without a cake. Last year the Food Network Challenge traveled to the Peabody Hotel and Graceland for pastry and bake-caking competitions. The challenge? Bake the most beautiful Happy Birthday Elvis Cake.

Are you going to be in Seattle? Be sure to attend The Elvis Invitationals, on Friday, January 12, where amateur impersonators get one chance to perform a song, in costume, backed by the Memphis Mafia all-star band, while competing for over $1,000 worth of prizes.

Are you lonesome tonight? Send your loved one a special Elvis Greeting Card.

If you just can’t make it to Seattle or Memphis this week, you can see 100’s of Elvis Tribute Artists as they compete for cash, prizes and the title of “The World’s Finest Elvis Impersonator” in New Orleans January 19-21st at the Elvis Extravaganza.

Looking for a summer event, maybe something international? Collingwood Elvis Festival, Collingwood, Ontario, Canada July 26 – 30th, 2007. Speaking of which, Collingwood was the location of the setting of a new World’s Record for “The Largest Number of Elvis Tribute Artists Performing the Same Song on the Same Stage at the Same Time”

Palm trees, soft white sands, and the sweet sounds of Elvis await you on the cruise ship “Pride of Elvis”. Join Shawn Klush, One of the world’s top Elvis Presley tribute artists and Terry Mike Jeffrey & the TMJ Band and exclusive events, including performances and photo sessions.

Other fun Elvis events…

Elvis Birthday Celebration Concert featuring Kraig Parker in Oklahoma

“Elvis Memories Show” in Belguim

The 6th Annual Elvis FANtasy Fest Cruise from Miami to Grand Cayman Islands.

Friends of Elvis¨ 2007 Fan Club Convention in New Jersey.

Return To Splendour Elvis Weekender (30th Anniversary) in Great Britain.

Bill O’Reilly – The Opera

Bill O\\\'Reilly

A man. A woman. A lawsuit.

Mackris v. O’Reilly” is an oratorio for 31-piece chamber orchestra, 32-voice chorus and three soloists (soprano, tenor and baritone) set to the original court complaint filed against pundit, Bill O’Reilly, on October 13, 2004 and O’Reilly’s on-air settlement announcement given on October 29, 2004. The style of the piece is a traditional neo-baroque that makes the most of the oratorio format. Its 31 parts include seven chorales, two madrigals, three choruses (parts of the chorus matched up with components from the orchestra), four stand-alone recitatives, two instrumental entrances and numerous arias. All of these parts add up to a two-hour running time.

“Mackris v. O’Reilly” makes its world premeire at Meany Hall on January 12 & 13 at 7:30 pm in Seattle. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.

The Smoking Gun: O’Reilly Hit With Sex Harass Suit
Female Fox coworker details lewd behavior of cable TV star

Bill O’Reilly, plaintiff settle harassment suit

Treasures of Long Gone John

The Treasures of Long Gone John

The Treasures of Long Gone John chronicles the eccentric art and musical obsessions of a self-described anti-mogul of the music industry, indie record producer Long Gone John.

The Seattle premiere of this film is a chance to view John’s incredible art collection which includes Mark Ryden’s “Snow White”. Long Gone John, a life-long resident of L.A. has recently moved to the Seattle area.

In the past seventeen years, he has single-handedly released over 750 records without ever signing a contract and has helped launch the careers of the White Stripes, Hole, The Dwarves, Rocket from the Crypt and The Muffs.

Todd Schorr

Juxtapoz (#64) features a fantastic article by Todd Schorr describing the origins, ideas, and process behind his amazing work “A Pirate’s Treasure Dream” featured in the film. The article also includes eight still images from the timelapse footage director Gregg Gibbs took while documenting the nine month process.

Schorr Painting

Sympathy Records continues to be one of the more successful indie labels in the US. Many of his releases also involve commissioned artwork from well- known artists such as, Mark Ryden, Todd Schorr and Robert Williams, often involving subversive riffs on other famous works, like the album cover of The Rolling Stones, “Their Satanic Majesties Request.”

Sympathy for the Record Label

Some of the artists featured in the film are Mark Ryden, Marion Peck, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Camille Rose Garcia, Liz McGrath and a dozen more.

John amidst his treasures

Last year, before his move to the Seattle area, I was able to view his home and snapped a few photos.

John\'s bedroom

Long Gone John 1

Long Gone John 2

Long Gone John 3

Long Gone John 4

Long Gone John 5

More incredible photos of Long Gone John’s Home

Just the Girls by Mark Ryden
Sympathy for the Record Label

Interview with Long Gone John in Little Cracked Egg.