The initial impetus for the award came after I received an electronic invitation to the opening of Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith.”  I am familiar with Jason’s work and knew that it wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved so I spontaneously gave him this award and forwarded the email to everyone on my list.

I told Derek Stroup the story of how I made up this award and he laughed.  He was very encouraging and said, “Just keep doing it, the next thing you know people will be sending you their portfolios.”

A month or so later, Jay Nubile happened to send me a You Tube link to a video he and Toby Kaplowitz made for an experimental video workshop.  I tried giving him five stars but the You Tube software had a bug in it and only three stars were given!  This made me mad so I gave Jay what he rightfully deserved -– 6 GOLD STARS ******!

The idea stems partially from my discomfort with traditional media’s methodology for reviewing books, films, art, etc.  I feel these large entities have too much power over what is promoted nationally.  How often does the New York Times review a photography or multimedia book?????  Most of the decisions to review something are coming from editors with an expertise only in writing and editing text.  The visual arts are so dominant in our society yet only a handful of these editors have a strong background in this area.

I’ve always had complex feelings about awards because they foster competition and if someone doesn’t win, the individual often feels sad.  I’m not a person who likes competition or believes people need to be validated by awards, especially in journalism, photography and the arts.  However, awards often promote stuff that might go unnoticed and the psychology behind an award is still very powerful……so the intent is for this to be a friendly, quirky, happy, nice award.

The name of the 6 GOLD STAR AWARD is derived from my early pre-internet days in photography when I used to star my favorite slides so the editors would know which ones to choose.  The best slides were exuberantly given numerous stars.  Despite my not so subtle efforts, these editors have a mind of their own and often choose photographs I don’t want published.  As anyone in field of communications knows these listening skill problems persist to this very day.

And of course….we can’t forget our days in elementary school when we eagerly awaited our gold stars.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Primus Wins The Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for their Incredible Music Videos

I was turned on to Primus's videos by an old college buddy Dave Lefkowitz (also an SL6 Winner, 5/9/08 ), who just happened to be their manager. I remember when he first introduce me to those guys back in the 80's, they were playing in small bars in San Francisco. Initially, I was unimpressed but by the time the hit the stage at Woodstock in '94 they were one of the best acts. I must say it was a treat to be 3 feet away from Les Claypool on stage. Incredible energy. No one can handle a bass like Les. They're great performers.

I love Primus's music videos. They are one of the only bands who made cool videos. In general music videos tend to be weak, I find them to be too commercialized and poorly filmed. However, Primus managed to put together some really creative pieces. These videos never received enough attention in the mainstream media, thus the award. Congratulations to Les Claypool, Larry "Ler" LaLonde, Tim "Herb" Alexander, the production team and Dave Lefkowitz (manager) for their much deserved Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™.

Southbound Pachyderm

My Name is Mud

Mark Kohr, Director

Wynona's Big Brown Beaver

Les Claypool, Director, Raub Shapiro, Producer

The Devil Goes Down to Georgia


Les Claypool


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