As one of Brushfire's artists who records in the "green" studio, Mark shared his ideas about being environmentally conscious:
"Maybe my next songs will be biodegradable," speculates keyboardist Money Mark later, over the phone from Brushfire, where he too is working on recordings. "People can listen to them for a few months and then they'll just disintegrate. Maybe I'll wear biodegradable clothes in front of the audience. I'll dress in potato sacks and rice bags." Though he's joking, it doesn't seem like too wide a stretch. On tour, the erstwhile Beastie Boys key man uses biodiesel fuel, biodegradable utensils and rechargeable batteries for his gear. He inspects venues to see what generators and lights they use, and he was the first musician to use a recyclable plastic tray for CD packaging. He can't remember the last time he bought new clothes; he makes thrift-store purchases exclusively. "It's sort of something I've always looked for."
"In the late '80s," he adds, "this phrase 'DIY' was going around and I was labeled as this DIY person. When you're that kind of person, you'll look for resources. You look for those things that are a reflection of your personality."
Read the full article about Brushfire Records at LA Weekly's web site.
On their song "Good Communication," Y Society cleverly sample the Beastie Boys' "Get It Together." Y Society's song title is, of course, a word play on the Beastie Boys album title Ill Communication.
Remember, if you like it, buy it -- preferably at your local music store.
Good Communication - Y Society(5.71MB mp3) [EXPIRED]
Would you like to see the Beastie Boys perform at the Langerado Festival on March 7, 2008? Try your luck at winning one of the following contests:
Be sure to read the rules of each contest before entering.
Glide Magazine The Milk Carton (note that the form is the same as Glide Magazine's; however, it's a separate contest) Gydget.com Jambase.com Pluginmusic.com
Ad Rock by Ari Marcopoulos (Nieves)
Paperback, 32 pages of black and white photography
The purpose of a photography book on a single subject is normally to (1) reveal something about the subject (i.e., provide insight into the person's personality or lifestyle), (2) illustrate a history of the subject (i.e., tell the subject's story), or (3) showcase the photographer's skill and adeptness at photographing the subject. Given the photographer's history and personal relationship with the Beastie Boys, as well as his years of experience as a photographer, I expected Ari Marcopoulos' book Ad Rock to do all three things. Instead, the book fails to do any of those things.
When I learned about Marcopoulos' book, I hoped that it would attempt to reveal something about Adam Horovitz, the man (as opposed to the artist). The book title, however, is Ad Rock -- not Adam Horovitz -- and it does not give away any secrets or shed any new light on the man. There are no surprising photos of Horovitz doing something unexpected or with someone unusual. There are no intimate photos of him with loved ones, except for two photos of him with ex-wife Ione Skye, which don't garner the same emotional response if the relationship had endured. Horovitz is presented in Ad Rock as we are accustomed to seeing him: with Adam Yauch and Mike Diamond, in the studio, in rehearsal, and on stage.
When the setting of a photo doesn't tell me anything about the subject, I look to the details within the photographs. Again, the details fail to tell me anything I don't already know about Horovitz: he is an animal lover (there are two photos of him with his dearly departed dog Freddie); he's a multi-instrumentalist and producer (there are photos of him with his guitar, a sampler, and behind the mix desk); and he's a bit goofy (there is a photo of him kissing the Adrock doll). No surprises. Nothing new. In fact, several of the photos in Ad Rock were also published in Marcopoulos' 2001 book Pass the Mic: Beastie Boys 1991-1996.
The photos in Ad Rock are not organized by date, so a history or progression of Horovitz as an artist isn't presented. No photo captions, dates, or text help to explain the photos. Does Marcopoulos think it's not important to identify the people in Horovitz' life? Am I supposed to know who all the people are? (I recognize Mike Watt, Ione Skye, Money Mark, Eric Bobo, and, of course, Yauch and Diamond.)
The photos do not represent Marcopoulous' best photos of Horovitz. You can see better photos of Horovitz by Marcopoulos on the Beastie Boys' official web site (he took all the very stylized photos that rotate on the main page now) and Pass the Mic: Beastie Boys 1991-1996. Many of the photos in Ad Rock are out of focus and oddly framed -- some even seem to be printed from damaged negatives or have been purposely damaged for artistic effect.
In dramatic contrast to most of the photos, one portrait of Horovitz taken to promote the Beastie Boys' 2007 album The Mix-Up (which was also published in the New York Times) illustrates Marcopoulous' technical proficiency as a photographer today. The portrait makes you think of how much photo technology has advanced since Marcopoulous began photographing the band and illustrates how Marcopoulous has grown as a photographer. Likewise, the portrait of Horovitz, decked out in a nice, shiny suit (instead of a t-shirt and jeans) and holding a guitar, also makes you think of how Horovitz has advanced as a person and an artist.
So, Marcopoulous doesn't reveal any secrets about Horovitz, tell Horovitz' story, or show us his best photos of Horovitz in Ad Rock. What's the point of the book then? Something was missing. I decided what might be missing was my fault -- that I don't know enough about the photographer -- so I researched him. The one comment about Marcopoulous that I read repeatedly was on his ability to be accepted by his subjects. Like a National Geographic photographer, Marcopoulous shoots his subjects in their natural habitat without interfering and altering their behavior. This information didn't help me understand Marcopoulous' choice of photos, their layout, or his decision not to narrate the book.
Frustrated that I wasn't "getting" the book, I turned to other people's photos of Horovitz. In my review of others' photos, I realized what was bothering me about Marcopoulous' book: it lacks timely insight. I don't believe Marcopoulous knows the Adam Horovitz of today. I assumed (it seems incorrectly) that Marcopoulous has been a continuous insider, someone privy to Horovitz' true character over the years. I now believe that's not the case. Perhaps Marcopoulous knew Horovitz and the band well back "in the day," but I'm not convinced he knows anything about them today.
Two people whose photographs I referred to for comparison were Cey Adams, who has been friends with Horovitz since before Beastie Boys formed, and Jamie Billett, who was the band's video operator during the Beastie Boys 2004 Pageant tour. Billett's and Adams' photos were published on the tour blog at Beastieboys.com and instantly delighted fans because they revealed the band as they are (i.e., goofy) and the way fans want to see them (i.e., goofy). Billett's photo of Yauch on the banana phone, Diamond wearing a clown's nose, and Horovitz wolfing down a hamburger are infinitely better photos and more pleasing to look at than anything in Marcopolous' book because they reflect the three men today. Adams' photos of his friend are in unique and personal settings (on an airplane, with his brother, etc.) and are evidence to Horovitz having other sides. Both Billett's and Adams' photos say to me, "I really know Adam Horovitz. This is who he is." Sadly, I don't feel that from any of Marcopoulous' photos in Ad Rock. Marcopoulous' photos leave me alienated and unimpressed. I don't feel that the photographer considered who would want to look at the photos.
Marcopoulous shows no understanding for what Beastie Boys fans like with his book. A blurry photo of records? A photo of a video screen in which Horovitz and Yauch are blurred together? Is that what I, as a Beastie Boys fan, am supposed to like? I don't think so. And I don't think I'm alone in my taste. I like the banana phone, the clown nose, the funny faces, and the goofy attitude. Marcopoulous photos in Ad Rock lack personality, intimacy, and illumination on the subject -- all things photographs should accomplish.
In the end, I think Ad Rock does a disservice to Adam Horovitz because the photos make him appear single-faceted -- like all he is a musician. You don't have to know him personally -- or see other people's photos of him -- to know that there must be more to him than what you see on stage and in the studio. On the upside, the book does successfully project one positive theme: what you see is what you get. Clearly, Horovitz is comfortable in his own skin and doesn't feel the need to dress his personality when he's on stage or in front of a camera.
Marcopoulous' book is not horrible; it simply lacks depth into the subject. Marcopoulous is a skilled photographer with an interesting history and approach to his subject; however, he just doesn't show what the average Beastie Boys fan is interested in seeing -- at least not today. I am a huge fan of Pass the Mic: Beastie Boys 1991-1996. Marcopoulous' photo of Mike Diamond and Tamra Davis in that book is one of the most touching photos of a couple in love that I've ever seen by any photographer. There are many memorable and fantastic photos in Pass the Mic, which makes Ad Rock even more disappointing. What happened between then and now? The only answer I can come up with is the photographer and subject's relationship has changed. They aren't what they used to be to one another.
There is only one photo in Ad Rock that captured my interest. And it's not Horovitz who is interesting in the photo -- it's Yauch. The photo shows Horovitz reading and Yauch napping on the floor of a packed airport lounge. It's an interesting photo because it's rare to see Yauch with his guard down.
Priced under $20 [now available to purchase at Amazon.com], Ad Rock is worth getting if you are a Beastie Boys collector. However, if you expect to learn something about Horovitz from the book or see him like you've never seen before, you will likely be disappointed with Ad Rock.
The Diamond Family are smartly enjoying their winter someplace warm. The above photo was taken this week by a celebrity paparazzo in California.
It's nice to see Mike spending time with his son; however, we're not so sure that he is the best person to teach Davis how to ride a bicycle. (The woman and other child are friends.)
More photos are located here.
Let's get caught up with what's happening in the Beastie Boys universe!
In addition to being the Beastie Boys keyboardist, Money Mark is a member of the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez band and can be heard playing keyboards and synthesizers on Rodriguez-Lopez's upcoming album Calibration (Is Pushing Luck and Key Too Far) (N20 Entertainment), which is scheduled to be released on February 5, 2008. Visit the album's Myspace page to hear some songs from the album.
Among the special features on the Live Earth dvd set, released in December 2007, is an interview with Adam Yauch. No one on the Mic to Mic team has picked up this dvd yet, so we cannot confirm if the interview is 1 minute, 5 minutes, or an hour of Yauch talking about how much the environment means to him. If you purchased this dvd and can upload Yauch's interview to Youtube or DailyMotion for the fan community to see, please contact us.
Because we were busy with the Beastie Boys tour last year, we neglected to write much about Adam Horovitz' work with Northern State on their 2007 album Can I Keep This Pen? (Ipecac Recordings). Horovitz produced two songs on the album: "Oooh Girl" and "Sucka Mofo." ("Sucka Mofo" can be heard on Northern State's Myspace page.) Sprout from Northern State recently did a video conference with Beastie Boys fan Allan Baldwin and his music class in which she talked about Northern State collaborating with Horovitz. Baldwin intends to post the video on his Youtube account soon, so watch for it.
A video of the Beastie Boys 2006 concert in Lake Forest, California (aka the etnies GvR show), is currently being shared on the Beastie Boys Hub. Midzi is working on getting the video -- or at least part of it -- posted to our DailyMotion account for fans who do not have access to the hub. If you can assist us with this upload project, please contact us.
Tamra Davis has posted another recipe video on her cooking blog. This time she has whipped up some goat cheese, tomato, and basil baguettes for Mike and their two adorable boys to enjoy on the beach.
Beastiemania.com recently launched a new section at the site that documents the Beastie Boys television appearances. Kudos to Mark L. (aka 9th Beastie) for all the work he put into researching and compiling this section. Please check out the new TV appearance section and feel free to contact the Beastiemania.com staff with contributions to this new section.
Finally, this last bit of news is too weird not to report, and does make you wonder if Beastie Boys are indeed the center of the universe. Ben Lee, who released his first two solo albums on the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label, is now engaged to Adam Horovitz' ex-wife, Ione Skye. Lee announced their engagement recently on his Myspace page.
Did we miss any news? If so, hit our inbox. With the band not doing much, we are now accepting requests to post video, audio, photos, what-have-you. Want something? Ask us and we'll try to make you happy.
When Beastie Boys were asked how they liked playing at the Heineken Festival in Poland, Adam Horovitz replied that he enjoyed playing two shows at the festival much more than when Beastie Boys played the first time in Poland in Warsaw in 1995. Mike Diamond said that he enjoyed the atmosphere of their first show in Poland, even though the sound was terrible. Adam Yauch said it was so hot that sweat was dripping from the ceiling and that he remembers the show in 1995 as being one of their most grueling concert experiences.
Diamond described their first show in Poland as them playing for "a bunch of 13 to 15 year olds in Pampers." He explained that the two shows in Poland [in 2007] were especially important for them because of their heritage. Diamond is one-quarter Polish and Yauch's grandfather comes from Krakow, which Yauch said was in Poland and now is in Austria. The interviewer, however, corrected him that Krakow is on the territory of Poland. Yauch was surprised and said that somebody told him it was in Austria.
Then the interview asked them how the transition from hardcore to hip-hop took place. Diamond said when he grew up, punk was part of his life and that it was his music. To which Yauch and Horovitz interjected that it's not only his music. Diamond then went on to claim he introduced his band mates to punk then to reggae and rap. Horovitz reminded Diamond to add country music to the list. Diamond said that punk is his music, but he doesn't own rap, otherwise he would be a very wealthy man now.
Then there was a question about the first hip-hop song they heard. Diamond replied that he thinks it was Kurtis Blow's "Christmas Rappin'," and Horovitz said he heard "Rapper's Delight" on the radio in a pizzeria in Brooklyn.
The interviewer said that punk and rap are both music of rebellion. He asked them what do they think it's worth to rebel against. Yauch replied to rebel against the war in Iraq and against politicians because there are many reason to criticize them for. Horovitz said that it's good when kids rebel against parents, and that is what he tries to teach them.
Then Beastie Boys were asked why they decided to record an instrumental album. The reply was, of course, that it was Yauch's idea and that Horovitz and Diamond liked and supported the idea.
Then they were asked if they think there should be something like retirement in music -- when the musician should end his or her career. Diamond said that the listeners decide when they retire. He also said he has this image in his head in which all three of them sit in wheelchairs and have races, with the nurses chasing them. Diamond wondered aloud if they would be allowed to rap in a nursing home. Horovitz said they would definitely play concerts in the nursing home, and that sexy nurses would help them.
The interviewer asked them if they are bothered by what is written about them on the Internet. Horovitz said there are a few sites on the Internet that write lies about him or reveal the secrets of his physical trainings (which are his secret weapon). He then said he doesn't trust some internet sites, but things written on such sites doesn't change his attitude toward fans, including the Polish fans whom he respects.
The last question was what they wanted to say to Polish fans. Diamond said that he would like to say hi to everybody and tell them that they missed the Polish fans. He also said he would like to thank the people of Poland for how the band were received in Gdynia. Horovitz said they had great fun in Poland, and they hope to get back to Poland sooner than the last time. Yauch said he think it's unfair that the audience did not focus too much attention on Muse (who played at the Heineken Festival after the Beastie Boys hip-hop set at 1 a.m.). He said that people attending festivals should appreciate all artists even if they do not the like what they play.
Mix Master Mike will be performing in Toronto next Wednesday (Jan. 23) at This Is London, which bills itself as "Toronto's most elite nightclub." Interested concert-goers should use the Guest List link on the club's web site to request admittance.
Cold War Kids
Gang Bang DJs
Instituto Mexicano del Sonido
The festival will be held at Centro Dinámico Pegaso in Toluca (a one-hour drive from Mexico City and very close to the Toluca International Airport). Tickets will be available by phone (5325900 or 1-800-3-MX BEAT) and through Ticketmaster.mx. It seems that ticket buyers must register at www.marlboro.com.mx to be eligible to buy tickets. (Marlboro is the sponsor of the festival.) The festival's official web site is expected to launch on January 28.
Check back here for updates to this report and watch Beastieboys.com for an official confirmation of the appearance.
Thanks to Ektor for providing some festival details!
Update: The Mexican press are reporting the line-up as fact that has been confirmed by organizers.
Photo: Archie's Ice Cream
Somebody likes ice cream, and their initials are "B.B." Click on the photo above to see more photos.
Tamra Davis, aka Mrs. Michael Diamond, has begun a blog, titled Tamra Davis Cooking Show, to showcase some of the cooking videos she has made and posted on Youtube and to share recipes.
Money Mark performed at The Troubadour in Los Angeles last night, and our friend Jenny was there to enjoy the show. Check out Jenny's photos of the show at Flickr. Additionally, you can watch a few videos she filmed at Youtube [video 1 // video 2].
Color of Your Blue
Rock in the Rain
Hand in Your Head
Pick Up the Pieces
Maybe I'm Dead
Jenny had the opportunity to chat with Mark before his set. An avid Beastie Boys concert-goer, Jenny asked Mark if fans could expect any more tour dates, other than the Langerado Festival, to be announced in 2008. Mark answered, "Just Florida." He did, however, speak enthusiastically about the vocal version of The Mix-Up being the big project for 2008.
Whoa, you gotta watch this video! According to the video uploader, the Bay Area Video Coalition, the video was filmed at The Kitchen in New York City on December 12, 1983. The description provided by the Coalition says, "In this clip we get an inside look at the Beastie Boys shortly after going through puberty and well before they had any discernible talent."
The sound is bad on the first song. The second song is the Beastie Boys covering Quiet Riot's "Cum on Feel the Noize," with Mike Diamond taking some liberties with the lyrics. Yowzah!
You may prefer to watch the video at Blip.tv.
Newly posted on Youtube: An interview with Adam Yauch by SIC Radical, conducted when the Beastie Boys were in Portugal last year to perform at the Alive Festival
According to one blogger in attendance, Mark "stood on top of his stool in between playing his keyboard and banging his drums to make kazoo and beat-box sounds by inserting a small microphone directly into his mouth."
Mark is scheduled to perform at The Troubadour in Los Angeles this Wednesday (Jan. 9). Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.
Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Mike Diamond (Photo: Getty Images)
Last month, Mike Diamond attended a party organized by the Food Bank for NYC that launched and celebrated its annual Lunchbox Auction. Beastie Boys contributed a lunchbox to the auction, which was auctioned online for $550.
You can read about one person's experience attending the party and meeting Mike here.
Chuck D and Adam Yauch (Photo: WireImage)
Adam Yauch showed up to support his friends in Public Enemy at the Recording Academy's private industry screening of "Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome" at the Directors Guild of America in New York City on December 21. Beastie Boys and Mix Master Mike appear in the documentary film about the legendary rap group by director Robert Patton-Spruill.
Following the screening, the audience was treated to an interactive conversation with Chuck D and Professor Griff.
Professor Griff and Adam Yauch (Photo: WireImage)
More photos from the screening are located here.
(Thanks to Friis!)
After a two-month hiatus due to the writer's strike, Conan O'Brien returned to late night TV last night with a skit in which he shared how he spent his time off, singing and playing guitar at the office.
Beastie Boys are on the cover of the December/January issue of Relix magazine. You can find the magazine at both Borders and Barnes & Noble in the United States. The Relix web site says if you register for its digital magazine, you can read the article online for free; however, it's a lie. The magazine has not yet posted its December/January digital issue, so don't be a sucker and sign up.
Our scanner is currently out of commission, but we'll try to post photos of the article -- which is an interview with the band before their New York City Gala Event at the Hammerstein Ballroom -- in our Flickr account very soon. (Update: Scans have been posted.)
Our copy of Ari Marcopoulos' Ad Rock book arrived in the mail. We'll be posting a review as soon as Midzi receives her copy. (We don't want to ruin it for her.) We will post a few additional photos from the book with our review to peak your interest, but don't expect us to reveal all the photos. If you want to see the photos, buy the book.
A band insider has confirmed that Adam Yauch is "slaving away" on the Detroit/Chicago Gala Event dvd. A quick check-in with the band's label resulted in our learning there is no scheduled release date yet.
On to the rumors! We've heard from a few industry sources (not from the label) that Beastie Boys may be doing some appearances and shows related to the dvd release. One source tells us that they are "almost confirmed" to appear at one of the bigger music/film conferences in the South (our best guess would be SXSW). Frankly, we are very skeptical about this rumor, but it's the Beastie Boys, which means "Anything goes!" So far, the only 2008 appearance confirmed by the band is at the Langerado Festival on March 6-8 in South Florida.