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Hurray! It's almost that blurry pre-new year's week, and maybe you're beginning to experience flashes of the months gone by. It's normal. But are you retaining unwanted cargo? Are you clenching when you could be purging? A little psychic constipation got you in a mind bind? Would you like to feel calmer and wiser and open to a world that conspires towards you? Come embrace all of this around our blazing fire pits. Something or nothing might happen. It's really up to you.

Hypnotic flames are great for storytelling and listening. Bring one along and let it out if you feel the urge. No pressure. No judgment. No anxiety. Puhleez. Just some words among friends. The theme is: A mysterious thing I can't let go of... Interpret as you like.

There will be some good food, wine, and music.

Limited seating, please rsvp you and your guests asap.

Con mucho amor,

Paul & Sarah

(December's Stupid Pills took place in a yard in Venice...)

Tress Maksimuk, who came to play the bagpipe for us and tell stories of Scotland.

Invite image for the event.

Invite reminder image.

Thursday, December 12, 2013
at HUMAN RESOURCES LA in Chinatown
410 Cottage Home St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Doors at 7 pm, screening at 8, discussion at 9

SENSES ON LEAVES: The Fall of Perception
Comprehension-scrambling shorts for your untapped awarenesses.

Stupid Pills takes a field trip to Human Resources in downtown LA for an evening of cinematic misunderstanding. Discover uncharted territories of experience, fertile areas of creativity, and, with luck, the sublime.

The shorts:

Pasadena Freeway Stills, dir. Gary Beydler
(1974) 6 min.
Lydia's Interiors, dir. Diaz
(2013) 22 min.
The Georgetown Loop, dir. Ken Jacobs
(1996) 11 min.
RGB XYZ, dir. David OReilly
(2007) 12 min.
The Girl Chewing Gum, dir. John Smith
(1976) 12 min.

The talk:

Maja Manojlovic
from UCLA's Cinema and Media Studies
and USC's Media Arts + Practice Program
Mark Toscano
film archivist/curator/filmmaker
David OReilly

The central heating for the soul:

MC Hymnal, disc jockey

Thanks HR!

Photos from the event:

(L-R) David OReilly, Maja Manojlovic, Mark Toscano, and Diaz.
Audio from the event (allow for load time):

>> (turn your volume up!)

Friday, November 22, 2013.
Doors open at 6 p.m., performance at 8 p.m.
Hyperion Tavern
Free. Cash bar.

Aurgasm #2: UNTHEM
Unthem is a recording collective working in Los Angeles. They produce audio and video for free distribution.

Unthem is an evolving non-band situation creating killer soundscapes and images that slink into your nervous system to cause pleasingly raw detonations over and over. No two tracks are alike, but we'd reckon, if pressed, that the experience links to Rauschenberg's combines or Dusan Makavejev's black wave cinema in a parallel universe. Complex notes of Velvet Underground, Muslimgauze, and just a whiff of early Pink Floyd, mingle with swirling aromas of handpicked murk, acoustic flowers, harmonic feedback, and rusty box cutters. Modern doom never seemed so hopeful. A must with cake and beer.


Most of us are artists also working in media other than sound, and this informs how we treat sonic material. We meet regularly in a studio setting, in different groupings of members, and make improvisational recordings. Then we sift through the material we've made, narrow it down, add, subtract, collage...

Eventually pieces are either rejected into a "materials" file to be collaged or collided later... or, when everybody agrees, they become final tracks to be released for free on albums, via our website at unthem.org.

Certain albums will also be pressed to vinyl; and we are increasingly working in video, by a similar process. We also work with other video artists doing soundtracks and live performance.

The people playing in this show are involved in the following Unthem groups: Outside Forgetting, 117, and Soft Hold.

Visit unthem.org, where you will find our first releases available for download. Also check back in the near future, as we have a number of albums nearing completion.

LISTEN (allow for load time) >>
>> Soft Hold - SH3 - I
>> 117 - Medley

The Unthem Hut.

Hyperion Tavern
1941 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Photos from the event:

The Unthem cake.

50 years.

Sunday, October 27, 2013
Doors open at 4 p.m., panel discussion at 6 p.m.

Hyperion Tavern
Free. Cash bar.

exploring the future of art colonies in a million questions

Night Shining (2007), by Dean Monogenis

Mark Allen
Rene Daalder
Robby Herbst
Michael Parker
Jodi Wille

moderated by:
Luke Fischbeck

utopian algorithms:
MC Hymnal

Is the golden age of the art colony still to come? Or are dreams of utopian settlements (à la Black Mountain College, Cadaqués, Drop City, or East Hampton in their heydays) just regressive bobo longings for bygone analog times?

What happened to art colonies? What human foibles doom such communities to dust? What is the pragmatic/individualistic institution of the "residency" missing out on?

Have artists abandoned the search for functioning utopias? If not, where is the frontier? What qualities would convince you to leave your current life to live and work in a remote place with a group of artists, builders, and thinkers?

Concentrated creative outposts within cities are definitely in the ascendency. Los Angeles alone has countless examples of "colonies" generating unstoppable geysers of good and bad art. But could creative villages set apart from society generate "serious art" or is this a bucolic bohemian fantasy fraught with unseen dystopian perils?

A panel discussion on the loss and possible rebirth of art colonies. What might a good one look like, where and how might it exist, and how might it serve/subvert the existing art/commerce machine?

Hyperion Tavern
1941 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Photos from the event:

Left to right: Jodi Wille, Michael Parker, Rene Daalder, Robby Herbst, Mark Allen, Juke Fischbeck, and Paul Gachot, and a toast to Lou Reed, who died earlier that day.

The night's cake.

Supersurface: an Alternative Model for Life on the Earth (1972) by Superstudio.

The trailer for The Source Family (2013) directed by Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos.

(Audio and video clip to come.)

The program:

Cover: anonymous illustration for the gatefold image of The Art Colony, by Leland Cooley (New York: Avon Books, 1975).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hyperion Tavern
map: 1941 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

7:30 pm
Free. Cash bar.

Stupid Pills is pleased to present:

Endless Summers
Join us at the tavern for music by MC Hymnal and a slideshow of your photos from your summer.

Ah August... Tranquillo. Briny. Jaunty. Sultry. Restorative.

And while balmy summer breezes are still blowing through the jasmine of our minds, a ping from the deeper delirium tremens of our minds tells us that we'll soon be swapping Bermuda shorts and bare chests for scratchy sweaters and moon boots.

Yes. Another dark and polar Los Angeles winter is nigh dear citizens! Are you prepared? Chopping wood? Salting meats? Stockpiling Cronuts? Of course not... that's why we live here. Smiles everyone. Smiles... Let the poolside languor linger. Let the markets crash. Let the sunset cheeses sweat and re-congeal under starry nights of skinny dipping and whispered fantasies. Make beautiful memories, and bring them to us...

Send us up to 20 unique photos that capture the essence of your Summer. We'll project them all night long to the daydreamy mushroompillow sounds and psychoacoustics of MC Hymnal.

Include your names and a blurb with details or impressions of whatever it is we're looking at (optional). Images should be screen resolution or bigger, around 1400 pixels on the long side.

Photos brought on a flash drive the night of the show may also be incorporated.

Photos from the event:

We began the evening with some endless Sommers...

Her poetry.

The night's cake.

MC Hymnal.

Watching the slide show of summer photos.

300+ photos from all over the planet.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Hyperion Tavern
7:30 pm
Free. Cash bar.

Stupid Pills is pleased to present:

The Lady Who Loved Lightning
An indoor experience dedicated to outdoor energies larger than us

Few things are as humbling and exhilarating as the slow approach of a summer thunderstorm. The thickening atmospheric pressure, the charge of electricity in the air, the sky yielding to massive anvil–headed cloud gods. The stage is set for nature's oldest and flashiest son et lumière show: dark rolling thunder and bright lightning bolts.

Because you are not a rain–splattered cow on an open Oklahoma plain.
Because you are not a lobsterman racing to shelter in a New England port.
Because you are not a rumrunner sitting cross–legged on a Caribbean island porch.
Because in spite of Los Angeles' bragging rights when it comes to weather, there is shockingly little weather to speak of.
And because it's National Lightning Safety Awareness Week...

We invite you to an indoor thunderstorm to remember.

With intercosmic psychedelic sounds by MC Hymnal (Terry Robinson).
With commentary by NOAA lightning safety specialist Dr. John Jensenius.
And more...

Photos from the event:

Vivian Darkbloom, Clare Quilty, Paul, and MC Hymnal.

Bolt cookies, home-made.

Dr. John Jensenius on the finer points of lightning.

Hyperion Tavern
map: 1941 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

photo by NASA/Sam Walton

Friday, May 24, 2013
Hyperion Tavern
doors at 6:00 pm
program at 8:00 pm
Free. Cash bar.

Stupid Pills is pleased to present a night of birds.

Here and Not
an illustrated and animated performance by Elkpen
with John Linton and Simon Reilly

by Elkpen


6 pm
Robin's Nest
Video courtesy of BoydTV

8 pm

For Stupid Pills:
Boria Sax reads Sunday Morning, by Wallace Stevens
Recorded by Jason Evans, Grand Central Station, New York City
on May 22, 2013

8:30 pm
Here and Not
an illustrated and animated performance by Elkpen
with John Linton and Simon Reilly

Following... More beer cocktails, music, and a screening of
The Cameraman's Revenge & Other Fantastic Tales
by Ladislaw Starewicz

the program


All of these species of birds (and many more) have gone extinct. Let's consider one of them.

Over the course of a century the population of passenger pigeons in the United States went from billions to just one, named Martha, who lived in the Cincinnati Zoo. She died in 1914.

Human impact on the world's life forms and ecosystems is probably here to stay (at least until we're gone). Some scientists proclaim this the beginning of the Anthropocene Era—a time in which evolution responds more to technology and hubris than natural selection. Who's footing the bill for our experiment?

Join us for a freestyle elkalogue on extinction, plenty, gone-ness, eating and being eaten, time, serendipity, cataclysm, unintended consequences, progress, and the shifting silicones of evolution. "Here and Not" will recount the plight of the passenger pigeon with illustration, animation, and music.

With an opening number by Stupid Pills.

About Elkpen
elk-ol-o-gy: n. 1. the branch of street art dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment.

Elkpen uses public space to frame images that talk about the state of nature in urban places. By placing a sign in a public space Elkpen hopes to bring immediacy and context to important topics while pointing to what we expect to see in our environment, what we overlook, and what we take for granted.

Photos from the event:

Robin's Nest video by Boyd Anderson.

Boria Sax reading Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens.

The "Here and Not" art cake.

Short animation by Simon Reilly.

Elkpen (Christian Kasperkovitz)

Elkpen and John Reilly (left of stage)

Audio from the event:

Elkpen and John Linton, "Here and Not"

Hyperion Tavern
map: 1941 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Friday, April 26, 2013
doors at 6:00 pm, program at 8:00 pm
Hyperion Tavern
Free. Cash bar.

Photography without Tears
A Conversation between Farrah Karapetian and Marco Breuer

Marco Breuer
Untitled (Chair), 1999
silver gelatin paper, exposed
7 by 5 inches
Courtesy the artist and Diane Rosenstein Fine Art

Farrah Karapetian
Stool Study, 2006
unique chromogenic photograms
three at 30 x 40 inches
Courtesy the artist

Where will you drink, think, mingle and unwind after a long day at PARIS PHOTO LA? We have an idea...

Farrah Karapetian is a Los Angeles-based artist who works with cameraless photography in a sculptural field. She believes in transparency of process, and in the capacity of photography to communicate the marks of its making. Her work raises questions of the nature of—and difference between—abstraction and representation, pictorial and sculptural space, and the experience of control and surrender.

Marco Breuer is a German artist who makes photographic works by scratching, scraping, burning, and folding—among other techniques. He strips the act of photography down to essentials—light-sensitive paper and mark—rejecting conventional photographic practices in favor of the endless pitch between chance and control.

Come see what they have to say to each other.

Farrah Karapetian took her BA in fine art from Yale University (2000) and her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles (2008). She has been a MacDowell Fellow (2010) and an artist-in-residence at the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War (2009) and earned a Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her blog Housing Projects (2012). Upcoming exhibitions include Flint Public Art Project, funded in part by grants from Artplace and the Center for Cultural Innovation, the OCMA California-Pacific Triennial, and LA Louver's Rogue Wave.

Breuer is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2006) and a Japan-US Friendship Commission/NEA Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship (2005), among other awards. He has exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe. Breuer received his academic training at the Fachhochschule Darmstadt (1988-92) and the Lette-Verein Berlin (1986-88) in Germany. He now lives in Upstate New York. The exhibition Marco Breuer: Now and a Half, will be on view at Diane Rosenstein Fine Art beginning April 25 until June 8.

Hyperion Tavern
map: 1941 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Photos from the event:

Farrah Karapetian and Marco Breuer in conversation.

Marco Breuer and Farrah Karapetian on stage.

The "Photography without Tears" art cake.
Audio from the event:

Marco Breuer and Farrah Karapetian in conversation.

Sunday, March 17, 2013, doors at 6:00 pm

Program begins at 7:30 pm sharp.

Spomenik photography by Jan Kempanaers.
Live singing by members of Nevenka choir.
A screening of Bill Morrison's Decasia.

Hyperion Tavern
map: 1941 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Above, top: Spomenik #1 (Podgarić), 2006, by Jan Kempenaers
Bottom: a still from Decasia, by Bill Morrison

Everything falls apart. We make things and nature takes them back. Even Los Angeles, the anti-entropy metropolis (tear it down! fill it with plastic! Photoshop it!), will someday fall to dust. But no moping. Instead, let's celebrate the abstract beauty of crumbling artifacts, noble rot, existential sag, and the rich, melancholic romance of time's corrosive touch.

This Sunday, Belgian artist, Jan Kempenaers, will discuss his treks through Balkan backcountry to photograph the forgotten Spomenik—surreal, futuristic monuments erected in the '60s and '70s with the intention of uniting the people of what was then Yugoslavia. Instead, years of brutal ethnic violence followed, breaking the country apart and relegating these monoliths to a collective blind spot of bitter memories and natural decay. Today, they are forgotten but not gone.

Beginning at 7:30, projections of these stunning contemporary ruins will be accompanied in song by members of Nevenka, a local Eastern European women's choir.

Also screening: Bill Morrison's Decasia, a radical, hallucinatory collage of disintegrated silent film footage. Upon viewing Errol Morris stammered, "This may be the greatest movie ever made."

Spomenik: Photographs of the Monuments of Former Yugoslavia is on view at the Fowler Museum through August 11, 2013. Jan Kempenaers will give a lunchtime tour of the exhibition on Friday, March 15, 2013, 12 pm (free).

Excerpt from Decasia:

The event on Facebook.

Photos from the event:

Members of Nevenka, Jessica Ng, Ronda Berkley, Terri Prizant, Leslie Yeseta, Anna Cross, Rebecca Stout, Susan North, and Liseli Walan (not in order), singing to a slide show of Spomenik by Jan Kempenaers.

Jan Kempenaers (right) talking about his photography.

The "Art of the Decayed: Spomenik/Nevenka/Decasia" art cake.
Audio from the event:

Members of Nevenka singing.

Video from the event:

A short clip of members of Nevenka singing.

Friday, February 22, 2013. 7 pm to 1:30 am. Free.

The Roy Scheider Film Festival and Honors

In advance of the Oscars, a full dose of one of cinema's most inconspicuous and confounding artists: Mr. Roy Scheider.

Hyperion Tavern
map: 1941 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Cash bar.

He got his nose in a boxing match, his discipline from the US Air Force, his angst from an overbearing father, and his ambition from a mentor who told him regularly he wasn't tall, handsome, or leading man material. The name Scheider comes from the German verb scheiden, meaning to separate precious metals (such as gold) from lesser ores. Twice nominated, Roy never took home an Oscar.

Delve in with us—savor this tough/sensitive-guy genius from that glorious decade of film that was the 1970s. We're screening three of his best: The Outside Man, Sorcerer, and All That Jazz. They are films to hang out and drink beer to; they are films to bring your loved one to, or your friends, or just bring yourself. We're honored to present to you the total immersive Scheider environment.

7 pm
The Outside Man
1972, 103 mins.
Scheider plays a Detroit hitman hired to kill a novice assassin from France (Jean-Louis Trintignant). Directed by Jaques Deray, The Outside Man offers up a cultural smorgasbord of 1972 Los Angeles as seen from a European POV. The city is the star—leaner, flatter, and with awesome cars. It's a city that no longer exists, cinematized with (unintentional?) humor and gripping action. Also starring Ann-Margaret and Angie Dickinson.

9 pm
1977, 121 mins. (Nominated for one Academy Award.)
William Friedkin's re-imagining of Clouzot's Wages of Fear, is possibly the most jaw-dropping, white-knuckled, and insane of Scheider's entire oeuvre. You will experience the edge of your barstool while Scheider and three other criminals risk their lives trucking highly-volatile nitroglycerin over 200 miles of horrific South American no-man's-land—places a mosquito would reject—to the beat and electronic wizardry of Tangerine Dream. Also starring Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, and Amidou. Who can explain the title? A free beer to the first to answer that...

11 pm
Honorary award accepted by "ROY SCHEIDER"

11:15 pm
All That Jazz
1979, 123 mins.
Nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Scheider, All That Jazz slices breathlessly through the spectacular life and death of choreographer, filmmaker, entertainer, lover, dreamer, drug addict, philosopher, and father Joe Gideon (Scheider). It's complicated. This is one of those movies you should probably watch once a year. Directed by Bob Fosse, and also starring Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer, and a special appearance by Ben Vereen.

Video from the event:

James King channels Roy Scheider in sax before accepting the first Stupid Pills Lobster Award on behalf of Mr. Scheider.

Photos from the event:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Doors at 7. Film at 8:45. Performance at 9. Music and beer til late. Free.

An invitation to right brains everywhere to experience a slow-motion sonic eruption designed to echo in your insides and points beyond for weeks to come.

Hyperion Tavern
map: 1941 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Ever ridden a crooning humpback whale in deep space? Ever piloted a nuclear subterrene through Earth's rocky mantle to unspeakably beautiful dreamworlds nested in the planetary core? Do you like beer? Then this could be your night.

For our second Stupid Pills outing we invite you and your right brain to experience a slow-motion sonic eruption designed to echo in your insides and points beyond for weeks to come.

Archie Carey is a bassoonist, composer, and transcendent sound artist living in Los Angeles. He has traveled the world playing everything from Mozart to a metal plate. As a bassoonist he works to master music of the past in order to create timeless music for the future. His electronic bassoon compositions melt pitch, muddle timbre, and magnify environments calling forth subtle sonic details, saw-toothed textures, and hypnotic states as immersive points of focus. He will be accompanied by David Duncan, experimental bagpiper.

We're honored that Archie has written an original piece for our inaugural Aurgasm that will reach your core and poke your third eye. Sound surprises, experimental bagpipes, and special guests likely. This could get loud (or silent). Visuals too.

Meanwhile on the crust, our skies are increasingly filled with unmanned robotic aircraft watching some of us, working for some of us, killing some of us, freaking most of us out.

May the better drone win...

(Anoushka Shankar not included.)

Photos from the event:

Archie Carey and bassoon.

Mike and drum.

David Duncan and bagpipes.

David Duncan and bagpipes, Mike and Richard and drums.

The "Stupid Pills: Aurgasm #1 - The Attack of the Drones" art cake.
Videos from the event:

Archie Carey performing at Stupid Pills: Aurgasm #1 - The Attack of the Drones, video 1.

Archie Carey performing at Stupid Pills: Aurgasm #1 - The Attack of the Drones, video 2.

David Duncan on bagpipes and Archie Carey and drone whale setting up for Stupid Pills: Aurgasm #1 - The Attack of the Drones, video 2.


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