From the May 28, 2009 New York Times, a piece on Vice Inc as corporate ad agency surrogate and “brand presence” distributor, masquerading as independent magazine/tv/media producer:

The Vice and the Virtue of Marketing

As publications continue to struggle or fold because of dwindling advertising revenues, one is thriving by selling not just ad space, but entire marketing campaigns.

Vice magazine has its own antonymous agency, Virtue, which serves as an advertising firm, Web site developer and branding partner. In what may rankle media traditionalists who favor a bright line between advertising and editorial, Virtue’s approach includes using editorial staff at Vice to help develop marketing plans for clients.

…To that end, for its current campaign for Alli, the sports alliance that is a joint venture between NBC and MTV, Virtue built a Web site that features short documentaries about skateboarders and BMX bike riders who compete in the Dew Tour, sponsored by Mountain Dew, a PepsiCo brand.

Rather than trumpeting Alli, the networks, or the soft drink, the videos highlight the competitors’ backgrounds, aiming to engage even those with little interest in skateboards or BMX bikes.

Virtue also produced a 30-second spot featuring those same competitors airborne and silhouetted against a wall of lights. The ad made its debut on May 10 on networks including NBC, MTV, Comedy Central and ESPN.

“We wanted to make these athletes look like rock stars, so we made in essence a rock video,” said Spencer Baim, founder of Virtue, of the spot, which was directed by Warren Fischer, of the band Fischerspooner.

…For Red Bull, the energy drink, Virtue produces a series of videos hosted on VBS.TV called “School of Surf,” about high school surfing team competitions that are themselves sponsored by the beverage, whose logo figures prominently in the footage. …

Mr. Baim said that while agencies typically circulate a client brief to a few copywriters and an art director to generate advertising concepts, at Virtue, he confers with any number of Vice’s 480 international employees, most on the content rather than the business side

“The process at an advertising agency — and for the most part the process works — is you do research, you understand the customer, you get an insight, and that insight is translated into creative,” Mr. Baim said, referring to the idea that is taken back to the client. Virtue, however, avoids focus groups and turns to the young writers and filmmakers plugging away at Vice, who presumably are a microcosm of clients’ target market.

“I have just been amazed at how they come up with ideas that are on-brand,” Mr. Baim said.

Read the whole article at the New York Times site…

Today's Autonomedia Jubilee Saint—GAMEL WOOLSEY

American belles-lettriste, chronicler of Spanish Civil War in Death’s Other Kingdom: A Spanish Village in 1936 (pub’d 1939, see extract below)

1830 — Removal Act signed by U.S. Congress, moving all Native Americans to west of the Mississippi River.
1888 — Native American athletic great Jim Thorpe born, Shawnee, Oklahoma.
1897 — Spanish Civil War chronicler Gamel Woolsey born, Aiken, South Carolina.
1953 — Edmund Hillary and guide Norkay plant flags on Mt. Everest.
1955 — Two-hour work-day advocated in the United States by Albert Whitehouse of the U.S. Steel Workers Union.

Above info extracted from The 2009 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints: Radical Heroes for the New Millennium by James Koehnline and the Autonomedia Collective


Extract from Death’s Other Kingdom by Gamel Woolsey:

“After the bombing began the atmosphere had grown steadily worse. It is inevitable where open towns are bombed. Hate is the other side of fear. And it was horrible to see and feel this wave of hate-fear rising around us like a menacing sea. The talk of the villagers came to be more and more about Fascistas, and the Fascista was a purely mythical creature of unimaginable wickedness (twin brother I should think to the ‘Red’ of some of our daily papers) always mentioned in a special tone of horror. There was of course a great deal of talk about atrocities the Fascistas were committing; but also (a most curious feature of the war mentality) a good deal about atrocities they were supposed to be committing themselves, many of them quite imaginary. For instance I was told a melodramatic story about a hunt for a Fascista which had taken place near us, and how they had fired the cane brake to burn him out. ‘That men should hunt each other like beasts!’ they added in enjoyment of horror. But the whole story was quite fantastic. The hunt had never happened. The cane breaks were always catching fire in dry weather from the sparks from the train which ran through them at that point, and the sight of the blackened field had suggested that whole story to the atrocity making instinct.

“I was struck by what I can only call a look of dreamy blood-lust upon their faces when they told such stories. I realised then, what I realised even more clearly later at Gibralter, listening to the English talk of atrocities, what atrocity stories really are: they are the pornography of violence.”

FWAF 2009 – 'CHAMPIONS' by Mato Atom

The 3rd annual Floating World Animation Fest features senses shattering video art and psychedelic animation from the secret world of motionography.  3+ hours of mind melting, soul loving psychedelicanimation… this summer’s ultimate videocation!
Remembering the New World Order with ‘CHAMPIONS’ by Mato Atom.

Floating World Animation Fest 2009 – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Portland OR – June 25th

Double Dose of Drone: White Rainbow, Windy & Carl in Los Angeles this weekend

Windy & Carl’s “Undercurrent” from their 2001 album, Depths.

Los Angeles hosts some of the best bands in the country this weekend (if one were to judge such things based on the soundsystem at Arthur’s Atwater office and distribution center) creating a real stumper when it comes to Friday night. If you forgot to snatch tickets for the Animal Collective/Grouper show at the Wiltern and you’re sitting out on the Brightblack show in Eagle Rock for some reason, then might we suggest you consider Windy & Carl along with White Rainbow on Friday at Synchronicity Space? Local avant-dub banana-peelers Sun Araw are also on the bill, which is good news. Here’s the details:

Who: Windy & Carl, White Rainbow, Nudge, Fantastic Sleep, and Sun Araw
Where: Synchronicity Space
4306 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
When: Friday May 29, 8pm to 12am
How much: $5
More info:

Adam “White Rainbow” Forkner explains his music to Pauly Shore.

And in case you’re going to be at either the AC or BBML happenings on Friday (or if you’re coming down from Dublab’s Tonalism up in Big Sur), you can still gorge yourself on gentle granola drones as Windy & Carl and White Rainbow will be playing on Saturday afternoon at Echo Curio.

Who: Windy & Carl, White Rainbow, Nudge
Where: Echo Curio
1519 Sunset Blvd.
Echo Park, CA 90026
When: Saturday May 30, 3pm to 6pm
How much: $5 donation
More info: