The things Twitter can do

A few days ago, I was looking at a recent issue of Sports Illustrated that featured photographs from a current exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles called “SPORT: Iooss & Leifer,” looking at more than 40 years of sports photography from the two legendary SI photographers.

Now, I became familiar with Walter Iooss Jr. as a child because my dad grew up with him in East Orange, NJ, and played stickball with him. He also admitted to questioning Walter’s manliness at the time for walking around with a camera all the time. Well, that camera led to Iooss covering some of sport’s greatest icons — Michael Jordan, Joe Namath, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus — and photographing some of the world’s most beautiful women for SI’s annual swimsuit edition.

(Way to go, dad!)

Anyway, I checked out the exhibit’s web site and posted a link to it via Twitter, adding that my father played stickball with Walter in East Orange. The venue tweeted me back saying that it was “a great connection.” I then replied to ask if the video portions of the exhibit would be made available on DVD for people like me who can’t get out to L.A. for the show.

Well, today a David Scharff from the Annenberg Foundation tweeted me to say that a SPORT DVD is definitely in the works.

That’s all well and good, but when I get tweeted by somebody, I like to know more about him or her. So I usually check to see if they have a link to a web site on their Twitter profile. David didn’t, so I turned to Google.

As it turns out, David Scharff was once a songwriter and singer for a New York-based band known as The Student Teachers.

Never heard of them? Well, most people probably haven’t. But oddly enough, I have heard of them because one of their songs, “Looks” (listen below) has been covered and performed quite often by one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Mike Doughty.

And while I don’t have any personal connection to Mike Doughty (besides following him on Twitter and going to several of his shows)  or The Student Teachers, I feel a personal connection with Mike Doughty’s music. So it’s just kind of funny how my dad’s personal connection to Walter Iooss Jr. led to my having a Twitter conversation with somebody who wrote and performed an obscure song made somewhat less obscure by one of my favorite musicians.

“Looks” – The Student Teachers

Mike Doughty – “Fort Hood”

Above is a video Mike Doughty shot for the song “Fort Hood” from his latest CD, “Golden Delicious.”

The song, which borrows its chorus from the musical “Hair,” is named after the base in Texas that has suffered the most casualties during the war in Iraq. On his blog, Mike Doughty asked fans to post the video wherever they could…

Bex Schwartz directed this video for “Fort Hood.” We made it together, without the record company, because we wanted to get a message out there, about young people whose bodies and minds are still being damaged in Iraq.

Actually, by posting it here, and making it available on YouTube, and embeddable, we’re bumming the record company out. They liked it when we showed it to them, and wanted to coordinate a whole marketing and radio campaign about it. We were going to wait, and let them do their thing, but I watched the primary last night, and hearing Obama and Hillary snark at each other while this terrible nightmare is still going on, I realized I didn’t want to wait.

It’s up at AOL Spinner right now, and soon will be on Stereogum; we’d be humbled and grateful if you guys put it on your profiles; we’d like to get our message out. Thank you.

Thank you, Mike!