Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fat Lady on a Bike. . .

Walking Huck this morning in Studio City I hear a high pitched. . . I don't know what . . . over my shoulder. I glance over my shoulder and see a fat lady wobbling down Dilling Street on a tiny 22-inch wheel kids bike. Behind her: three other bicyclists. Lead lady is singing opera, weaving in and out of harmonies with her soprano girlfriend, who's taking up the rear. They're carrying on like chirpy birds in a Disney cartoon from the forties.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hugh Goes Sci-Fi for Underwire

Apologies for the light--okay, nonexistent -- week of posting. I've started to cover sci-fi and related movie and TV stuff for's Underwire site. Spooky creatures and all that. Speaking of which, I had an interesting chat in Manhattan Beach with comic book artist Mike Mignola, the creator of "Hellboy," a few days ago. Bits from that conversation coming soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Divided We Fail: Worst Slogan Ever?

I'm not a professional copywriter or anything, but really, is "Divided We Fail" the best they could come up as the name for a new not-for-profit organization that does . . . what, exactly? I have no idea after watching the TV commercials showing moody black and white shots of Ben Affleck and Reese Witherspoon uttering profound comments about humanity.

But back to the name. I get the point: "United we succeed." But setting up "Fail" as the thematic punchline strikes me as being ass-backwards.

By the way I like both Affleck and Witherspoon. I've interviewed both of 'em and they're bright people so. . . whatever.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Helfer Speaks!

I interviewed Tricia Helfer, the clone seductress from "Battlestar Galactica" for You can listen to audio of our chat in Playa Vista on my website (I don't believe handles audio, right?). Give a listen at

Arty Designers

Alot to like in the April Print and I'm not just saying that because the magazine ran a short piece of mine in the F.O.B. section.

There's an inspiring overview of young designers - - mostly from Brooklyn - - who are doing twitchy, personalized commercial work. (The image above is from Michael Perry). Also, a nifty article by L.A. writer/designer Alissa Walker describing how a revamped "American Crafts" trying to compete with D.I.Y.-flavored "Make" magazine. Hand-made - don't call it a comeback! Alissa blogs smartly at her gelatobaby.comabout the post-millenial free-lance everyman/woman, answering a New York Observer report on the decline of magazine writers and the miserable fate of freelance writers.

She argues: not that awful.

I'd have to agree.

Here's links to the artists in Print's round-up.

From Venice Beach:

Stephan Walter's

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Marianne Faithfull: As Years Go By

I swapped emails with Marianne Faithfull a few days ago. She's the London "It Girl" from the sixties best known for "As Tears Go By." Now she's into Shakespeare. I liked what she had to say about time, voice and the Bard.

"I just came back from Germany where I performed 27 Shakespeare sonnets accompanied by a cellist. As you get older, you understand the sonnets more because they're about time. That's what I've always needed most. Even though I started at 17, I wasn't ready. It never occurred to me to become a pop singer. It just happened. I had no control.

It took until my album 'Broken English' before I realized I could put to use the all the things I'd learned from sitting in on sessions with the Stones, Bowie, the Beatles. Not to put down my early work, but there was a time before I finally found my true voice. That's how Sofia Coppola used me in Marie Antoinette - - that was primarily about my voice. It's a precious commodity.

More on Faithfull in Hugh's San Francisco Chronicle story.