Friday, August 28, 2009

Random Aesthetic Loveliness of the Day: Havana Opulence

Andrew Zimmern asked via Facebook for some suggestions on all things Cuban to help him create a Facebook album + Youtube playlist in honor of the Havana episode of his new Bizarre Worlds (which I'm skeptical about—love Bizarre Foods, but that's about as much Andrew as I can take (although as anyone knows I'm always starving for quality armchair/vicarious travel, since I'll seemingly never have the funds to actually visit any of the places I long to go)... Nevertheless it's always nice to have an excuse to dig), and while I'm feeling foggy + not terribly vibrant this morning—having to miss Os Mutantes tonight will do that to a boy (SIGH!!!!)—but I did flash on this lovely stock photo of a Havana street that I've always loved, whether inverted or not (I love it both so I thought I'd just post it here as a duo—it was the invert that I used on the cover of one of my DJ comps, Rare Mint Nectar). Other Cuban things I love that have come to me off the top of my senile head: Alberto Korda (not only the Che photos but also all of his early editorial work, and even the fashion photos—I scribed an exhibition review of a Korda retrospective for the L.A. Weekly circa 1998 that I was always rather proud of), Perez Prado, Beny Moré, for anything else it's poco un demasiado temprano (a little too early—love my Spanish-English translating widget, + heaven knows I need it...)! But of course the most immaculately burnished/indefatigably and ineffably LUSTROUS Cuban artifact will always be Mikhail Kalatozov's 1964 masterwork I Am Cuba. Dig!!! xo, B.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Swing Out Loveliness Redux: An Utterly Sublime Essay on Filth + Dreams!

Hello again all,

Thanks to a link from Andy posted on the Swing Out Facebook page, I was directed to a remarkable—to say the least!—essay by one Thomas Cooney on the 10th anniversary of Filth + Dreams. Now anyone who knows me knows that Swing Out are essentially my religion, and that F+D, Somewhere Deep in the Night, and Shapes + Patterns, are all aesthetically immaculate and resplendently flawless masterworks as far as I'm concerned, essentially gospel, but Thomas took it leagues further in a beautifully thought-out treatise. I thought about just reposting the whole damn thing in its entirety, but thought it better to just link to it. Dig... this ESSENTIAL reading!!! xo, B.

Far from Random Aesthetic Loveliness: In Praise of Ida Lupino + Fritz Lang's While the City Sleeps

When searching for an image to post alongside a Facebook note on TCM's 24-hour Ida Lupino marathon all day tomorrow, I came across this rather resplendent Italian poster for one of my favorite Hollywood b+w films—Fritz Lang's ultra-bitter, cynical as all hell...+ hilarious and brilliant While the City Sleeps. I have many reasons for loving this black-hearted epic—not the least of which is that it's roughly based on the story of "Lipstick Killer" William Heirens, via Lucy Freeman's classic true crime account Before I Kill More... (one of my favorite crime books, bar none)...+ that the teddy boy killer is played by one of my perennial cinematic loves/one of the most beautiful men in history in his youth: John Barrymore Jr. JB had already started losing his boyish loveliness by this time (to find him at his most sublime you have to go further back to Joseph Losey's 1951 The Big Night). But back to this particular epic, it also includes Ida at her loveliest + bitchiest as a proud/admitted opportunistic slut + gossip-monger, with the ever-brilliant George Sanders as her equally opportunistic fishwife cohort, + young Vincent Price in cute-dolt mode (Price was so much more in non-horror mode than he ever was as the ridiculous caricature that he turned into... age-old story). Never mind that Dana Andrews + Sally Forrest are both as hideous/tedious + painful to watch as ever—there's more than enough to make them forgettable here! One of Lang's best Hollywood bitter diatribes, and, with The Blue Gardenia, probably Lang's best for my money (yes, I do love the Hollywood films more than the German ones)...

Also on TCM's line-up + every bit as bitchy + even much more grim, is Robert Aldritch's The Big Knife—another absolute masterwork that I don't have time to even begin to do justice to at the moment, suffice it to that Ida stars as the wife of a young—+ honestly pretty fucking lovely—Jack Palance as a Hollywood star/part-time boxer, with Shelley Winters along for the ride (no pun intended—as her starlet (yes, she was almost thin at the time) gets drunk + run over by a bus!!!), + at the film's ultra-bleak end Ida gives forth with one of the most blood-curdling screams in the history of film. All this + a bile, piss + vinegar-drenched screenplay by Clifford Odets that puts the film version of Sweet Smell of Success to shame (Ernest Lehmann's novella is another story). Just seek it out!

And the goddess Ida's role as one of Hollywood's earliest female directors isn't slighted either, with her Bigamist also included. While this one might be a little too gritty/faux-verite/drab for my taste in some respects, there are other things I love about it, most notably the combination of Ida + Joan Fontaine...

The marathon runs all day tomorrow, August 27, on TCM, but all of these films are findable in some form of another, + testament to a great + beautiful woman... Now if only they had the cojones to include The Trouble with Angels!!! Dig! xo, B.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Random Aesthetic Loveliness of the Day: Cocktail Brilliance via Food2

Two beautiful new cocktail jewels via Food2...

Summer Soltice Sake Sparkler
Prep Time: 5 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 1 drink

1 fresh basil leaf, chopped
6 fresh mint leaves
2 lemon twists
2 orange wedges
1/4 English cucumber, seeded and diced, very cold
1 1/2 ounces orange flavored liqueur (recommended: Cointreau)
Ice cubes
250 ml bottle sparkling sake
Put the basil, mint, lemon, orange, cucumber, and orange liqueur in a cocktail shaker. Add the ice, cover, and shake vigorously, or stir, until combined and chilled, about 30 seconds. (In general, the drink is ready when the shaker mists up.) Pour into a chilled Collins glass and top with the sparkling sake. Drop in a pair of chopsticks to pick out the cucumber and oranges, if desired. Drink.

Easy Mellow Melon Margarita
Prep Time: 5 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: serves 1 - 2

1-1/2 oz. Patron Silver tequila
1 oz. fresh lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 oz. orange juice
1 Tbs. agave nectar
5 watermelon cubes
1 small watermelon wedge
Here's a cocktail my good friend Tom Drelles discovered on one of his many spiritual journeys.

Muddle the watermelon cubes in the bottom of a shaker glass. Add ice, Patron, lime juice, orange juice and agave syrup. Give it a good shake for approximately 10 seconds. Strain and pour into large rocks glass. Garnish with a watermelon wedge.


There's also a Peach Cobbler cocktail on the same page that could also be a lustrous prospect. Elsewhere I was intrigued this morning by a RareDaily Miami mention of RA Sushi's "Wonderland Mojito"—white rum, blueberry purée, triple sec, 7up (they say "lemon-lime soda," but there's ONLY one!!!), + fresh blueberries. Dig! xo, B.

Early Morning Loveliness: A Lustrous Jewel from the Mighty M-Flo circa '01

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random Aesthetic Loveliness of the Day Pt. 2: The Ever-Brilliant Fussible in Stockholm

Random Aesthetic Loveliness of the Day: House Industries

I'll freely admit that as much as I still love House Industries, the time when their name commanded my instant respect and awe are gone, partly for financial reasons (I don't see how anyone can still pay hundreds of dollars for fonts (I don't think any freelancer without a company expense account can), especially when the quality of available free ones has skyrocketed leagues + miles further into the stratosphere than I EVER thought it could—I've gotten hundreds of brilliant + beautiful fonts in the last year without paying a dime—and all legally), partly for others, but I'll always inherently love what they do + have boundless respect for their genius mod-Eames/Neutra aesthetic! Case in point—these resplendently lovely case study pics from the current House Industries home page. Dig! xo, B.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Random Aesthetic Loveliness of the Day: Rare Daily +

Today's random loveliness is of a less specific source... in fact I don't even remember where this cocktails photo came from, but it is radiant nonetheless... The bottom photo is of the mod lovely Hotel Erwin in Venice, and came to me via the consistently eye-candy-providing Rare Daily e-newsletter. Enjoy! xo, B.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Random Aesthetic Loveliness of the Day: Lisa Adams

Today's bit of loveliness comes from a new Facebook friend referred by several other FB friends — the mightily brilliant artist Lisa Adams. Dig this in all it's ineffably radiant loveliness! xo, B.

New Loves: Giles Coren

I've discovered countless new loves in the past months (since I've been posting regularly) but the newest that I'm swooning over is what might seem to be an unlikely one — + one sure to invoke the scorn of all my Brit friends: Giles Coren: UK food critic + regular fixture on hideous Gordon Ramsay's The F-Word (CAN'T help loving that as a food show title!). With lustrously beautiful eyes + an equally lovely wit — whether milking a horse ("Ugh, it feels like warm scrotum!") or grilling an upscale grocery store dietician about detox products — I've found Giles to be a honey indeed... But that's just me. xo, B.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Feature: Random Aesthetic Loveliness of the Day

Hello again all,

Being as how I've been so neglectful for so long... and more significantly find aesthetic eye-candy (+ not just of the beautiful boy sort, though I'll start catching up on that again soon as well) on Facebook + elsewhere virtually everyday, I thought loading the blog up with random loveliness when I find it seemed in order. Today, a lovely Charley Harper-esque illustration by Ernst Haeckel, and an ingenious photo of 4Hero + crew recreating the Abbey Road stance. Dig. xo

Another Brief Interlude @ 5AM — Eye Candy/Sonic Loveliness via Mo' Horizons

Left Austin Behind to Come Back to Southern Cali... But Not Before Finding Dignan

Yes, I'm back in Long Beach — and have nothing nice to say about my unfortunate time in Austin apart from time spent @ the beautiful lake, and having found a new pick for the best band in the world — the mighty + utterly, resplendently + ineffably sublime Dignan, from McAllen TX. It's late + I'm not for rhapsodizing enough to do them justice right now, but take my word for it — they're not a band, they're A RELIGION!!! Or don't take my word for it... just watch and LISTEN for yourself...

As for the rest of my happenings, part of the reason I've been so sadly neglecting this blog is that I'm spending all my time on + posting to Facebook. Feel free to hit me up @, but I do intend to catch up here on the Liq Blog as well, about Austin (the parts I haven't blocked out), being back in Long Beach + much more when I get time... Thanks for bearing with me! xxoo, B.