Category: Uncategorized

Proving Rancid filmed "Time Bomb" at Kickstarter's Old HQ

A month or so ago, Andy Baio was watching 120 Minutes and thought he recognized the wall moulding in Rancid's Time Bomb video:


Here's the video:

Rancid was playing on the 4th Floor of 155 Rivington, Kickstarter's former home on the Lower East Side.

Andy sent it around to everyone at Kickstarter and it was obvious -- it had to be the building we had spent the last 4 years in.

I watched the video repeatedly, and knew it too, but I wanted proof.

So I started digging through my photos of the place.

When we first moved into the 4th floor of 155 Rivington, a decision was made to take down some of the drywall on the west wall:

REAS / 155 Rivington
The wall on the 4th floor after we removed the sheetrock in February 2012

Underneath we discovered graffiti that must have been at least 15 years old, probably older. My colleagues Alex and Tieg recognized the H₂O H/C/N/Y tag as from the band H₂O, a punk rock band started in NYC in 1995. Ensign, in the upper right, was also an local hardcore punk band, so they must have been there too.

Other tags were easily Googleable. One was Lord Ezec is Danny Diablo, a famous underground recording artist, who is still very active in the scene (@dannydiablo on Twitter):

Lord Ezec

Danny was Sick of It All's roadie around the same time, which explains the "Alleyway Crew" tag, the story of which is referenced in this biography of the band:

Numerous Sick of It All fans have tattoos of the "Alleyway Dragon", the band's official logo. The Dragon is from a sheet of Greg Irons flash. It is not, as some people have claimed, a misappropriated gang symbol, but then the Alleyway Crew was never a gang to begin with. It was, and is, a group of friends. The dragon is a symbol of friendship as well as a way that members would relate who was hanging out at a particular gathering. The "Alleyway" is in a school yard in Flushing, Queens, where the band and all of their friends would gather.

The other acronyms, such as C.C.C. and D.M.S. and SNS are too hard to Google, but I'm sure if you were in the scene at the time you'd recognize them.

The biggest piece, however, was the big white REAS tag

REAS was a well known NYC graffiti artist who hit tons of spots in Manhattan and around NYC:

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 12.33.38 PM

Rumor has it REAS still painting, and he even recently collaborated with the well known artist KAWS on a vinyl toy:

KAWS / REAS Toy

Something told me that if I looked hard enough in the Rancid video, that REAS' tag might be there.

Sure enough, around 1 minute and 17 seconds in, it makes an appearance.

I transformed my photo onto a screen grab from the video and mapped it onto an animation:

So barring an explanation involving REAS and a time machine, I'd say this is proof that Rancid shot their video at Kickstarter HQ.

If you want to learn more about the making of video, check out Flaming Pablum's post from October 2013 on it here.

On SIEC, or Sudden Involuntary E-mail Cessation

I had a dream this morning that I was about to be executed. I was in some kind of prison with padded beige walls. Somewhere else in that dream someone was showing me a long list of their e-mails and I was like "wow" I also lost my camera bag and saw big waves.

After I woke up I frantically checked my phone to see if GMail was still down. It was. Then about half an hour later I had 30 unreads in my inbox. It had been almost 24 hours with no-access to my non-work e-mail and I thought I was going to die. I realized that I've gone offline for much longer but being online with no e-mail access and being unprepared (no vacation message) is much much worse.

After tweeting (the irony that Twitter was up while Gmail was down was not lost on me) that I was unraveling I received a number of Facebook messages comiserating and suggesting remedies from people whom I haven't talked to in a while (one was years -- like a decade, sudden e-mai loss brings people together.) A suggestion was to setup gmail to forward to a yahoo account. While this wouldn't have helped in this situation, it's definitely a good way to do e-mail redundancy backups in the cloud. Maybe I'll also have that account forward back to a separate Gmail backup. The only single thought that was worse than having to go another hour without e-mail was losing it all.

Why all this fuss about e-mail? Why are you such an egotistical communication nut, Fred? The basic reason is that I find e-mail immensely more enjoyable and reliable than any other communication medium. Despite yesterday's downtime, my e-mail reliability has actually been quite high compared to my phone or any other medium's reliability. And I like asynchronicity.

About

CV / Resume // hi [at] fredbenenson.com // @fredbenenson

Fred was Kickstarter's second employee and worked there from 2009 until 2016 focusing on data, engineering, research, and everything in between. In 2015 he became their VP of Data, managing a team of data scientists and analysts developing and deploying online machine learning classifiers, recommendation engines, and analytics infrastructure.

He spends most of his time in open source data-focused programming languages (R, SQL, Python), but has worked at each layer of the stack.

He's currently taking on part time consulting work advising small teams on best practices for machine learning and data projects.

Before joining Kickstarter, he worked as Creative Commons’ representative in NYC, and taught at ITP, where he graduated in 2008.

In 2010 Fred published Emoji Dick, a emoji translation of Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick. In 2013, the book became the first emoji book acquired by the Library of Congress. He is also the author of "How to Speak Emoji" published by Ebury Press, a Penguin / Randomhouse UK imprint.

He studied philosophy and computer science in undergrad, and was influential in the students for free culture movement, a copyright reform organization.

He’s an occasional contributor to Wired Magazine on topics that interest him.


Humanity UX – 2016
On the next 2,271 days – 2016
Websafe 2k16 – 2016
This is the story of analytics at Kickstarter Kickstarter – 2016
Lunch Roulette Kickstarter – 2014
Creator Video Analytics Kickstarter – 2012
The Year of the Game Kickstarter – 2012
Blockbuster Effects Kickstarter – 2012
Shortening the Maximum Project Length Kickstarter – 2011
The New Creator Dashboard Kickstarter – 2011
Soul-Crushing Realism Is a Videogame Hit WIRED Magazine, 2011
Hidden Treasure: Lost Photos From the Set of American Graffiti WIRED Magazine, 2011
Trends in Pricing and Duration Kickstarter – 2010


SQL Styleguide – 2016
virgil.dog / source – 2015
Kumquat a reporting tool for rendering RMarkdown files inside Rails – 2015
Lunch Roulette is a command line tool for generating diverse lunch groups from a list of staff – 2014
Cause Caller an empirical test of participatory democracy // ITP Thesis – 2008


How to Speak Emoji Ebury Press // Penguin Randomhouse UK – 2015
Emoji Dick – 2010


MoMA / PopRally – 1, 2, 3, 4
DFA Records – Hercules and Love Affair, LCD Soundsystem
Wikipedia – Aaron Swartz, Jonatham Lethem, Tonka Beans, more
Kill Screen Magazine


The Emoji Translation Project – 2015
SOPA shirt – 2011
Hackers Party – 2010
Emoji Dick - 2009


@emojidreams – 2014
@robodrudge – 2012


How to Speak Emoji Chicago Humanities Festival – 2016
MoMA R&D Salon 11 Unfair/Fair - Copyrights and Us – 2014
I Have No Words: Emoji and the New Visual Vernacular Eyebeam – 2014
Skynet via the Darknet: How We're Unwittingly Training the Next Gen of Strong AI Ignite – 2012
A Startup's First Dataist DataGotham – 2012
Crowdsourcing: Innovation and/or Exploitation? SXSW – 2011
Can you Copyright a Tweet? SXSW – 2010


Interview with Popular Science – 2015
Meet the guy trying to turn emoji into a legitimate, usable language – 2015
NPR Marketplace – 2015
WNYC – 2014
Interview with The Guardian – 2013
Emoji Translation of Moby-Dick Accepted Into Library of Congress TIME Magazine – 2013
The New Yorker's 'Eustace Tilley' Made With iPhone Emoji Icons ABC News – 2012
Revenge of the Cyberpunks – 2010
Graduate Student and Halloween Enthusiast Gothamist – 2006
Code Warriors Village Voice – 2006


Rhizome.org board member & Seven on Seven co-founder
Founder Students for Free Culture – 2004
HackNY Judge – 2011