shout out sunday, Adam Yauch Edition, 5.6.12

A special edition of SOS in honor of Adam Yauch, aka MCA of the Beastie Boys. Yauch’s passing is a monumental loss to the worlds of music, film, politics and the texture and beauty of life as a whole. One of the true voices of a generation, Yauch was a pillar of independent art and freedom of expression. He will be missed, but his legacy will live forever. Today we honor him.


Adam Yauch, August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012.

Movies: Beastie Boys Video Anthology, directed by Various Artists , 1981-2000, United States.

Adam Yauch was far more than a visionary musician in a pioneering band, he was also an exceptionally talented director, creating music videos and feature films under the pseudonym of Nathanial Hörnblowér. Yauch, along with directors like Evan Bernard, Adam Bernstein, Tamra Davis, Spike Jonze, Ari Marcopoulos, and David Perez crafted a canon of work that redefined the music video as we know it, combining cinephilia with a sharp and intelligent sense of humor. This canon was immortalized by the Criterion Collection, the only music videos to be in the library. Essential viewing.


'Body Movin' directed by Nathanial Hörnblowér.

Music: Paul’s Boutique by The Beastie Boys.

This was the second hip-hop album I ever owned, and it remains in my Top 10 Albums of all time. With sample-heavy production by The Dust Brothers, Paul’s Boutique represents a watershed moment in hip-hop, a collision of texture and density that was started by pioneers like Hank Shocklee and DJ Premiere. But the album is where all of these ideas came together brilliantly, and the rhymes match the brilliance of the production. I’ve gone through four copies of this record and it refuses to age, in fact with each consecutive listen it still sounds like the future of music. The crown gem of the Beastie’s body of work, and easily one of the greatest records ever made.

You can buy the entire album here. Trust me, if you haven’t experienced this album before, you will not be disappointed and your life will forever be changed for the better.


'Eggman' from Paul's Boutique.

Funding: Free Tibet.

Adam Yauch was a Buddhist who followed the most beautiful tenets of the religion with authenticity and heart, and he used his fame and influence to spread the word of peace and mutual respect. An ardent supporter of the freedom of the people of Tibet, Yauch tirelessly campaigned for the end of the brutal Chinese occupation of the territory. It was because of Yauch’s advocacy that I joined the cause almost ten years ago, and when I can’t attend demonstrations I make an annual financial donation to the Free Tibet organization. I ask that we all make a contribution in Yauch’s honor and ensure that his efforts did not go in vain.

Contribute to the Free Tibet campaign HERE.

Trailers: Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold.

Adam Yauch and the Beasties’ love of cinema was channeled into a passion project called Oscilloscope Laboratories, an upstart film distribution and production company that has, for the past few years of its existence, championed the art of independent cinema and arthouse film. The company has released some of the most bold films that others wouldn’t dare to touch, films like Monogamy, Meek’s Cutoff, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Bellflower. Upcoming from Oscilloscope is one of my most anticipated films of 2012, an absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I had the great fortune of meeting some of the executives from Oscilloscope at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and I know that they all share the same passion for cinema as Yauch, and the company will continue to expand his bold vision of cinema and his legacy to the artform.

Blogs / websites worth checking out (with Twitter links, if available):

Oscilloscope Labs

Keep up on Oscilloscope’s past, present and future releases and continue to support their efforts. They are one of the few good guys in the business, and they deserve our patronage.

The Beastie Boys, the band’s official Tumblr.


Got heart like John Starks.

The Beastie Boys receive the MTV Video Vanguard Award, a post from Color Lines.

Chuck D beautifully encapsulates what the Beasties mean to the hip-hop and music overall, beautifully calling them “a shot of Jackie Robinson in reverse.” Adam Yauch lives up to his beliefs by addressing what was, at the time, the first public denouncement of America’s war on Islam, spoken without vitriol or an ounce of self-servicing, but rather a heartfelt and genuine call for mutual respect and understanding. Amazing.


Remember, if you want to get a shout out, you gotta let me know!

Shout Out Sunday Archive:

April 29, 2012
April 22, 2012
April 15, 2012
April 8, 2012
April 1, 2012
March 25, 2012
March 18, 2012
March 11, 2012
March 4, 2012
February 26, 2012
February 19, 2012