Monday, January 27, 2014

Holly Herndon, Chorus

Holly Hernon, Chorus, video still

The video for Holly Herndon’s Chorus, (2014 release by RVNG) is possibly one of the visually freshest things I have seen lately.  Directed by Akihiko Taniguchi and using a custom 3D software program it takes you into a virtual realm but it is much more then that.  It is more a reflection of the currency of this time while also being an archetypal reflection of what it is to be human. 

The video begins in a clear-lens video shot of Herndon.  She is distinct looking with her red braided hair and sky blue eyes.  The video then starts to digitize her in a transitory way, but it does not seem transformative.  It is just a sense of becoming.  The video then proceeds to take you deeper into a black space.  This space can be a number of things.  The internet, the subconscious, the void, the matrix, it is zero-gravity and black but it does not feel like a place of entrapment but more like a place of alternate possibility.

The vocals and the music of Chorus is key to the visuality or maybe this is vice versa, the visuality responds distinctly to the music.  The edits shift and punctuate in cuts and syncing that matches and converges with the song.  The music and vocals are like a broken chant but one that is in mid-air shatter versus collapse.  It sounds like vibrations going back and forth in a space that have yet to land.  Listening to the song on headphones emphasis this bouncing effect with brain massage reverb. 

As the video progresses you see workstations with computers and laptops.  It is clear that these are real desks and you get a sense of whoever it is by the clutter, the objects and the miscellaneous evidence of living and working there.  Taniguchi said he asked friends for stills of their workspaces and it is what he does to them is what makes this video so fresh to see.  The desks have a free floating formation and they have an effect on them that feels like they are preserved in some sort of gel, epoxy, plastic but it also feels like some sort of primordial ooze that is simultaneously freezing, preserving and overtaking these spaces.  The relic/preservation element of this effect makes you focus on the state of our technology and the personal implications and sites of using it.

A computer, the desk, a person sitting at a desk is a portal that lets us expand, communicate, create, connect and view.  The physically singular, flat, plane of the computer screen is made infinite in its function as portal.  Taniguchi presents these sites of this act; through one looking at their own screen, but he shows the physical-ness of this site even as it is floating, isolated and captured. 

The swirling, swiveling and rotating of these spaces in addition to what feels like glitch confetti of Japanese knick knacks gives a feeling of lightness and joy even with the stimulation of decay or entombment of the desk surfaces.  Herndon’s music also has this touch of lightness.  It feels like it is thrusting you through a traveling space and at the end, Herndon is a replicate of herself in front of her own work station but this feels natural for her to be there like this. 

Issues of technology, the body, the personal zone of creation and interaction are all topics that will continue to be discussed and doctoralized upon.  Our integration with the virtual is different then it has ever been before but this is how things always are, how they always feel.  What is brilliant and captivating about Chorus as a song and as a video is that it evokes this discord but jumps into it without answer.  It embraces, lets go and in that it shows the beauty and the possibilities of the state of living.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

What’s This Everybody Is Talking About?


Let’s be honest. We all love gossip.  I love it.  I admit it.  Gossip is as natural as apple things and as long as it is not a certain type of gossip, malicious with purpose to undermine or malign, then it is just whip cream filling for our conversation in betweens.  I am always asking people to ‘dish to me,’ ‘give me the juicy,’ and gossip is this, it is the yummy not good for you info that you crave.  Below is some things I have heard a buzzing in the last few days.  Most of these things are not gossip per se but there is a lot of opinions being given on most the below.  Many of these things have been turned into facts, but proof aside, they still leave room for spectral buzz because as they say, the proof is in the pudding. 

Philippe Vergne to MOCA - Well he’s there now, officially released.  What a marked difference to his predecessor Mr. Jeffrey Deitch, and with obvious contrast.  If Vergne’s style of Euro serious can’t realign the boat that is MOCA then god only knows who will.  I think he will succeed.  LA lacks that certain air of something that only someone like Vergne can veer.  Quiet, judgmental, yet with a preternatural sophistication that oozes in every slight brow raised over those glasses.  This will be interesting to see.  Safe perhaps, but interesting nonetheless. 

Jeffrey Deitch in NYC - Related to the above.  HE’S BACK BITCHES.  Bitches meaning NYC.  Ah yes, him.  New York Magazine did a nice little ditty on him recently although similar to those done before.  The Zelig reference is there per use.  He is going to open a big space out in Brooklyn and build his empire part deux.  All I have to say about him is this: HE CAAAN’T STOP AND WOOON’T STOP.  Let’s hope there is not too much molly water and orgy glitter this time around though.  (Sigh).

Whitney Biennial 2014 - Have you seen the 2014 Biennial list?  Have you seen it?!  It’s long as heck and with some inclusions that make you go: Yes! No. Hellz no. What? and Oh my god, what?!  I feel pain for anyone who is saddled with organizing this show, (but seriously have your people call my people if you want me to do it), but really seriously, it is not an easy thing to do.  It isn’t easy because the thing of it, it being a survey of American Art (all caps with meaning here), is something that seems both necessary yet quaint as an idea.  This year there is a chosen triumvirate of curators, Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms and Michelle Grebner.  They are all very good curators but this may possibly be a situation of too many cooks in the kitchen.  We will of course have to wait and see but wow, with a menu like this artist list, it seems to hint at a dinner party biennial disaster.  The few I have discussed this with have all nodded to this same prediction of doom.  I hope to be proven wrong though.  Truly. 

Gallery’s Finding A New Model - The art world is rigged.  Even the usually moderate and ever distinguishing Holland Cotter took to swath at the state of art and money and how it’s made it all so funny (tragically) in his article in The New York Times, Lost in the Gallery-Industrial Complex, this week.  As I’ve written and said (till eyes roll) things are just at a point of no return with the money-art-mix-thing and although there is no “solution” there are those fighting the good fight and/or changing, nay evolving, to stay in the game or to try to niche outside of it.  Rumor and talk is going about how successful (you know the names right away type of successful) galleries know that being a Zwirner or a Petzel is not feasible to do, so they are supporting upstarts in a silent partner sort of way and also opening satellites here and there.  Also, the gallerist/artist relationships are changing as well.  Artists have a lot of power.  They are the ones that makes this really all go around remember, and they don’t want to be married to a gallery.  They want an agreed arrangement, not a life contract.  Many younger and also established galleries are facilitating this by maybe having a body of works or a percentage guaranteed.  It’s a milk/cow thing.   How this will change things, who knows.  But times are a changing and flexibility is key to it all.  As I was saying to someone over lunch the other day, there is a difference between wanting to be involved with art and wanting to be in the art world.  I call the latter something similar to Cotter’s reference, I call it the Art-Industrial Complex.  We are in this complex thingy but still art (lower case art) is still here, thriving and hopefully can’t be completely tainted.  GOOD LUCK to anyone in the biz.  Selling of one’s soul should (hopefully) still be optional.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

MUSIC, Recommended by Friends

Palmistry, Catch, 2013, video still

So the other night I was watching some videos online while drinking some bourbon and I thought to myself, ‘huh, so this is what new music is?’  The videos were okay, the music was okay, it all seemed all very okay but I know that music is, can and should be more then just okay.  So with this in mind I spam-bot emailed some friends and peers that I think have or would have good music taste for their 2 cents on this topic. 

I asked for something new, to be described in positive or negative ways in 2-20 lines.  The vagueness of my request resulted in a variety of formats of reply but I think this is wonderful to see now that the responses have been collected. 

Some gave new, some old, some personal with anecdotes, some lists, some had links, others didn’t.  Below is the collection of the responses given.  I have read, re-read and listened to all that has been suggested below.  It’s a lot, but I promise you, when/if you have time, click or search for what is being recommended.  They are so great, moving and makes me feel an even deeper warmth for these people below. 

Thank you, thank you to Andrew B, Andrew D, Andrew R, Conor, David, D.V., Erika, Francisco, Gina, Jeff, Korkarit, Lyndsy, Maja, Octavio, Olivia, Rebecca, Sam, and Zachary. 

 (Links given are underlined)

Andrew Birk

DJ Michael Watts - Chopped and Screwed / KoRn - Getting Off with intro











Denzel Aquarius'killa Curry - Trippy Phonk 1993 Feat. Nell New Era Yung

Kane (chopped & screwed)













Andrew Durbin

Recently, I’ve loved Martin Creed’s “You Return” and its music video, which he shot for his recent show at Gavin Brown. LaTurbo Avedon’s Soundcloud, when I'm feeling up to it. Albums: 2 Chainz’s B.OA.T.S II #METIME, Sky Ferreira’s Night Time My Time (her collaborationwithAriel Pink is great), Gucci Mane’s Hood Classic 3, (surprisingly) Deafheaven’s Sunbather, Diana’s Perpetual Surrender (I really love ~summer sounds~). Some songs? Palmistry’s “Catch” and its video, shot in London; Dream Koala’s “Odyssey” is good for making out to; and an oldie, Mirror Mirror’s “Interiors.” Wild Beasts' “Wanderlust.” More albums: Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Beyonce. The Standard’s Spotify playlists are pretty OK as is that app’s top 100. In the end, it’s still Drake’s Nothing Was the Same that gets me the most. And Blood Orange’s Cupid Deluxe, which is good for more than just making out to. Oh, and there’s Health’s “High Pressure Drive” from the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack. But wait, wait: whatever feeling I get from Drake I got from Salem’s "withoutu."

Andrew Russeth

Like any good white kid from the suburbs, I was pretty into college radio as an undergrad—hosted a few late-night shows, worked as a music director one year, helped run the station during the summers, the whole deal. (I'm talking about Barnard's station here, WBAR, which a radio could sort of pick up in the all-girls school's nearby dorms, but which mostly broadcasted via the internet.) Anyway, a record called Guitars From Agadez: Music of Niger landed in the station's mailbox one day. It was released by Sublime Frequencies, the label co-run by Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls. So I played it, and it was fucking awesome. Two guitarists—Bibi Ahmed and Adi Mohammed—twist out these tight little jams accompanied by super-spare drums, conjuring up these melodies that loop and flip and slide up and down, and repeat and repeat. They sing with this very serious joyfulness, something I had never really heard before and never have since. Occasionally—and this is where things get really great—a chorus of women come in, signing along, sometimes following the guitars pretty closely, but not exactly. It's incredible. Their best song is "Awal September" but a close second is "AnoNagarus," which is where you should start because there's this amazing video of the band and their chorus playing in this impossibly cool pink room—crisp, beautiful stuff. 

I bring all of this up because, though I have listened to that album probably 20 or 30 times a year since first hearing it, I hadn't heard anything else from Group Inerane since that record, so I looked them up. It turned out there have been a few more records on Sublime Frequencies. However, that wonderful news was overshadowed by the report that Mohammed was apparently killed in a battle between Nigerois forces and Tuareg rebels. Koudede Maman has replaced him on guitar on the newest work, which you can find poking around YouTube, searching for the band or the guitarists' names. It's all great.

Conor Lenihan

Hazy Paradise
Can I Touch You
Lilys - Better Can’t Make Your Life Better - A Nanny in Manhattan
Want To See The Gypsy
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Premature Burial
Mellow- SHINDA SHIMA (1999) - dir. Oliver Marceny
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) - Frankie Valli
Green Pajamas - The first rains of September
Elvis Costello - Big Tears (bonus)
懐メロカラオケ 「能登半島」 原曲石川さゆり
Waiting for October
Stop It
Raising Arizona Soundtrack - Dream of the Future
I Wanna Be Adored

David Fishkind

I went to The Pitchfork Review release party with my friend last month. There was an open bar but they were only serving clear liquor, which included what the bartender called white whiskey. This was essentially low-proof moonshine and tasted terrible. I thought maybe I would see someone I recognized there, but I didn't. A band called Mutual Benefit played. They truly sucked. That being said the song "Advanced Falconry" from their otherwise mediocre and boring debut album, which I'd listened to before the live performance, quickly became one of my favorite songs in recent memory. The chorus goes through this rising and falling thing that is weirdly emotionally intense, weirdly because I can't think of another song where this plays out so quickly—in this case approximately 24 seconds—then disappears when the chorus isn't happening, and then feels equally stirring and cathartic as it returns. When I do put it on, I typically listen to "Advanced Falconry" about five times on repeat, and don't really get bored of it so much as stop listening because I need to do other things.

D.V. Caputo

Pa's Lam System - Bit By Bit
This track hit me really hard in the last half of 2013. It was something that felt so very zeitgeisty and so very now, almost to a fault -- jungle breaks, trap beats, EDM-y pads + sped-up vocals permeate the entire track like a giant sonic time capsule of 2013's collective electronic musical consciousness. There's so much, however, that takes it to the next level:  Digital blips and stabs that sound straight out of a heavily-compressed Ridge Racer OST mp3. A chord progression that sounds simultaneously agile and yet so very melancholy. A hyper-rap section that hypes me into a fractal frenzy. It's all wrapped up with amazing melodic sensibility and truly dreamy arpeggios that simultaneously recall the best of Nobuo Uematsu and Deee-Lite. 

Kelela - Bank Head
Simply queuing up the opening chords and accompanying claps to this track automatically recall a huge chunk of my 2013 -- rushing down Elizabeth Street at 11:30 at night, hoping to reach Chinatown Fair for a last-minute DDR game -- Meeting my girlfriend by the East River to figure the future out -- Almost getting arrested with my best friend at 3 AM. It endures and excites in a way that somehow breaks through all mental rubbish into a personal library of formative musical years, proceeding to make the present feel just as formative and important as the most exciting and important moment any past has ever formed. The extended version kinda sucks, tho : \ 

Bazooka Girl - Velfarre 2000
As a result of a burgeoning obsession with Dance Dance Revolution and an attempt to explore my pop-musical heritage as a full-blooded Italian, I decided to go into a major Eurobeat binge. Eurobeat, one of the many 90s offshoots of Italo-disco, is really insane and satisfyingly overwhelming and is basically the audio equivalent of a total sugar rush, consisting of a basic, insanely-fast four-to-the-floor beat with huge stacked synth leads, trebly voices with thick Italian accents, trebly acid squelches, trebly stabs galore and more treble than you can shake a stick at (Did I mention it has a lot of treble?). In the late 80s/early 90s it became a huge hit in Japan, spawning the upper body-oriented ParaPara dance craze. It's also incredibly fun to DDR to.

Out of that weeklong obsession came one of my favorite tracks from 2013 that's technically from 1998, Bazooka Girl's Velfarre 2000 -- A tribute to Roppongi's premier Para Para club that single-handedly supported an entire segment of the Italian music industry. Starting with a saccharine-sweet countdown, it segues into arena-sized crowds cheering along a giant, hyperactively percussive lead that dominates the entire track, if not the entire world.  Cristiana Cucchi (Bazooka Girl herself) proceeds to sing with a forcefulness that somehow rivals the aforementioned lead and basically makes the track into something that genuinely feels like the biggest Italo-rave ever condensed into a single PCM file. 

Erika Ceruzzi

I'm going to start with a track, because I saw Omar-S spin last night at Palace 88 so that's the tip I'm on at the moment: Omar S ft L'Renee: S.E.X  (While I'm listening to this on the street I will eye-fuck everyone I pass. and I think that's what the track does, is doing.)
This is sexy shit you want to hear in and outside of the club.  I think that the most power aspect of listening to music now is how it dictates affectation, attitude, self-techniques, self-assertion, into the public space. So with everyone plugged into headphones, waiting for the subway, walking to work, we're engaging in some kind of constant dance. 

There are heavy heavy house tracks coming from White Material. This label is everything I want to hear in the club. 

Galcher Lustwerk is producing some sexy smooth shit, their "Blowing up the workshop" mix is light and dark and his vocals are so seductive. Because he's just talking. There is a Theo Parrish track called "soulcontrol" released in 2007 featuring Alena Waters has this unrefined unsteady allure that's also why I like Lustwerk so much. And, maybe in reference to Parrish, Lustwerk also has a track called Soul Control. 

I'm not being sarcastic when I saw I like "deep house." A lot of tracks I like get pretty hard/dark like MaxMcferren's Hunting and grungier: (MinorScience off Trilogy Tapes, another favorite label) Deep is just a good word to describe it. I'm not really able to articulate my music taste in terms of genre or genealogy but I feel like the best music right now should either really throw you off or suck you in. araabMusik dropped this not too long ago. It really throws me off, it's so powerful. All his beats have that capacity.

I DON't know who this is but this is what I love about music right now. DJ tek made a really sexy remix (or did he make it? It doesn't matter) It's out there, accessible, obtainable and proves that the impact of the mainstream radio Rap hit by Ty$ keeps.. becoming ... evolving (not sure I like those words but you get it)  it came from the mainstream and went back into the underground of basement production. And then thrown back out there, uncontrolled and universally accessible on this sexy track can be accessed whenever. 

Francisco Cordero-Oceguera

I realized that recently I’ve been more into particular songs rather than particular bands or acts. The only bands that come to mind that are exciting to me at the moment share a raw quality.

Iceage, these kids are from Denmark
Final Grin, from Chicago

I truly believe the likes of Melvins, Meat Puppets, Hole, Mazzy Star, Biz Markie need to be revisited by everyone.

What is also fresh for me is finding weird uploads on youtube and following the users for other uploads I recently found this user: RicardWar who only uploads right wing/neo nazi music, a lot from Argentina, fucking weird.
I also found this compilation called HappyRave that are really high energy. I have been playing them in the studio for the last couple of weeks.

Gina Beavers

Lawyers in Love by Jackson Browne. I got this tape from Columbia House* for a penny in the 80's, with nine others, like Men at Work and Air Supply and played it over and over on the world's saddest tape deck, where the 'play' button was right next to the 'record' one and if you weren't careful, you'd just record right over the tunes. I often did, with the help of my toddler sister, and her cute ruminations. So 'Tender is the Night' might sound like 'Tender is the....(I'm twooooo)....When you hold your baby tight...'

What I did while listening to this tape looks like some version of a millennium Madonna video/lazy Sophia Coppola shot/Hype Williams joint, I rode my banana seat bicycle in the driveway, danced around my room, put on make-up, looked at myself in the mirror, danced and put on make-up while looking at myself in the mirror, and fantasized about Ricky Schroeder*. 

I've been re-listening to this album for months, and recently heard the kids at the Art store playing it, so I know it's back, and it's about time since it's both meaningful and cool. 

Side one was always the best: Lawyers in Love, Say it isn't True, Tender is the Night, Knock on any Door, aaaand you can probably skip the others (Or side 2. To get an entire good tape side out of a Columbia house deal was pretty rare.) 

Now when I listen to Jackson Browne, it's at the end of a long New York-hustle day, no make-up, no dancing, leaving my studio, heading for the L train, moved by the sweet honesty of words that take on the nuclear 80's with a movie's epic romance:

I'm alive in a city
In a country of the world
And I want to go on living
I want to see my life unfold
You know it's hard to go on looking
At the stories of our day
And the dangers we're all facing
Growing worse in every way
And you would think with all of the genius
And the brilliance of these times
We might find a higher purpose
And a better use of mind

(From Say it Isn't True)

*Google it;)))

Jeff Baij

2013 was not the the dopest year in music but rap did cool things: roc marciano had a mixtape and an album and they were both bangers, a$ap ferg killed it, kevin gates had tracks, so did young thug etc etc. alternatively, yeezus was a really half assed second rate death grips album. also the danny brown record kinda sucked which is obviously VERY disappointing.
the lorde album was perfect.
rashad put out another WONDER of an album (the usual).
like always there were no albums with guitars that was worth listening to save one: adam green & binki shipiro's self titled collabo album, it was pretty and sad and short and smart.
thats about everything, but i also got into some older albums that you should fuck with. maxwells "urban hang suite", the first photek album, anything by moodymann. 
sorry for not actually naming any of these albums, just trying to preserve some of the wonder of discovery
one luv <3 <3 <3

Korakrit Arunanondchai

What I'm listening to at the moment
Drake - Brand New Year Hosted by DJwispas
More Drake is good for the world, always.
Clams Casino- Instrumentals 3
Kelela also best of 2013 in my opinion
Burial- Rival Dealer some real emotions here. Probably best of 2013
Yung Lean definitely an important voice of the 89+
T.E.A.M.S. - Sierra City Center (Diamond Club) Saw him on tour with Mykki Blanco and fell in love.

Lyndsy Welgos

I know they aren't new but I still love Trust. 
Older But still good one of my favorite songs of all time. 
Clan of Xymox 

Sexy Chick  
Chrisma (Black Silk Stockings) 

Chicago Industrial Music 

Maja Cule

I was listening so much of Kalela's Cut 4 Me, that it made my Sound Cloud feed a bit embarrassing, so I had to quit. I'm one-song-on-shuffle type, and this were my 4 favorites today and last 4 months. 

I do a lot of Youtube channels, it's Tinder for music, recently I discovered a lot of Albanian and Macedonian rap that sounds reallyreally good, Tuna.
There is more than one Gucci and more than few Rihannas, I wish all my desktop windows would cascade and make youtube window auto full screen when this is on.
These girls and Leo in Wolf of Wall street, it's the same, accept that Leo was more emancipated on Titanic.
I like how Bulgarian singer can go so much further than any ny downtown performer/singer would, and be bigger.

Octavio Marquez

Receptiveness and an internet connection are the pillars of the magic formula when looking for something to hear. Soundcloud is the embodiment of the golden age of music, new sounds can be streamed as fast as the artist can create them. I don't know who CYBEREALITYライフ are, but i discovered them and their album 2 hours after they uploaded it (or was it before?), i immediately downloaded it and added to my iTunes, call it coincidence but this closeness makes me fall for them more than what i would normally fall for a million-copies-sold album; In this same way i have discovered many amazing musicians. Hot Sugar creates all his music from samples he records on his daily life, coining the concept of associative music. Nancy Leticia seems like a classically trained pianist and creates the most beautiful melodies i ever heard. dʳᵖ⁻₁₃₃ is the smoothest guy around and has basically been the soundtrack of my 2013, everything he puts out is so 'suave', sentimental, sexy and fresh. Yung lean is kid from sweden who's been gaining a lot of attention for his superlush beats and unforgettable rhymes. I love the musical experimentations of digitalcorpse4 [കുറിച്ച്]. Şealaze feels like the rhythms that will define music in the future and builds very invigorating soundscapes. Dystopian chic has a very interesting approach to synth nostalgia and lines from the 80's, pretty amazing. Blank Banshee takes you to places that still don't exist. I could name a few more but part of the process of looking for tunes meaningful to you lies in exploration and finding whatever means something to you at that specific time; I rather listen to Visaプリペイド than any big name on any known festival, for i believe its more powerful the results that these web-based artists deliver than anyone thats been touched by ol' corporate music business (their days are gone and for good), even though is hardest to earn actual buck out of it feels more true to me than any love song written and made a hit, the increasing options to share whatever you do give you the absolute freedom of doing whatever you want, after all its all about expression, right?

Olivia Erlanger

Missingno- xe2  
Alex was playing this as I woke up from an insane twelve hour coma.
Was auditory light in darkness.

CocoTaxi- Suenos de Marimba
Swedish people making downtempo marimba music. v. strange. v. good. 
Was definitely on repeat through October.

Bassinki - Disintegration Loops 
This music set the general tone for my November and December. 
I've since given up listening to it as it quickly sends me into a downward spiral.

Massacooraman - Vissacoor
Such Dark. Much Apocalypse. 

Gatekeeper- Young Chronos
<3...omg though that VIDEO... Ye.

Mick Finesse - Perc Trax Mix 
Dark Denise recommended this and I always take her music advice seriously. Heavy music.

D33J- His Taylor Swift Love Story remix is a classic in my life. 
Ah. So. Sad. So. Beautiful. The Portals mix is good too, lil happier aquatic vibe.

Rich Homie Quan - Some Typa Way
It may have been a summer jam but I'm still waking up singing "makeufeelsometypawayyyy"
While we are addressing Southern Rap, The DJ Pretty Boy Tank Lobby Runners Mixtape... 
* Migos... Peewee Longway... Young Thug * 

Also, everything Sade 4 life. *Cherish the Day*

Rebecca Gilbert

Playlists 4 LIFE

For Moodiness:
"Canada in Springtime" by The Free Design
"Didn't Wanna Have To Do It" by Cass Elliot
"Invisible" by Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses)

For Home:
"Billie Holiday" by Warpaint
"Here Lies Love" (feat. Florence Wech) by David Byrne & Fatboy Slim

For Love:
"Baby" by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (cover of Donnie and Joe Emerson's song)
"San Francisco" by Foxygen
Yekermo Sew by Mulatu Astatke

For Studio:
Walking on a Pretty Daze Kurt Vile's album

"Mature Themes" by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

"GMF" by John Grant

You Are All I See Active Child's album

"Jesus Was A Cross Maker" by Judee Sill

For Driving to Manhattan:
"We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus
"Love On Top" by Beyonce
Hurry Up We're Dreaming M83's album

For Driving away from Manhattan, maybe to the beach:
"Is She Really Going Out With Him?" by Joe Jackson
"Only In My Dreams" by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
"Cool Down The Pace" by Gregory Isaacs
"Hammond Song" by The Roches

For Justin:
"Here I am" by Adam Green and Binki Shapiro
"I Want The World To Stop" by Belle & Sebastian

Sam McKinniss


Apart from Beyonce, who obviously rules everything around me, I listen to the following:

1. Jessy Lanza's record "Pull My Hair Back" out on Hyperdub in 2013 which I think barely anyone paid attention to or obsessed over, but trust me it's cool, understated, beautifully produced and kind of emotional without being dreary, fake or obvious. I pumped this a lot while walking around the ugly, depressing sections of New York because that seemed appropriate
2. If we have ever talked IRL for longer than 3 minutes then you have probably learned that I have an insatiable thing for Angela Lansbury which I am not at the moment able to explain but so what, who cares, I love to obsess and she is a living legend. I listen to this really gross song about bad-tasting meat pies a lot and my boyfriend just yelled at me because he hates this song. Its from the original 1979 musical production of Sweeney Todd, when Lansbury played the role of Mrs. Lovett. It speaks to me.
3. I love nightcore, I love RuPaul, and I love Rizzla.


Zachary German

from Surrender to the Fantasy (Drag City; 2013)

there's some sound in the middle that i don't like: it builds slowly, seems to get really bad around 2:24 then has a little solo around 2:53 and goes away at like 3:38. outside of that i like it a lot

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mike Kelley, Leprechaun Balls / Diana Vreeland Office Memo on Freckles


2014.  It’s here.  We are here.  Or are we yet?  Time to vroom into it if you aren’t already.  I have been saying to everyone and anyone that 2014 is going to be the best year for them, me, for us all.  It feels full of this something that probably has to do with the stars and all that but yes, there is some sort of buzz that seems to make things about to burst but in a splendid way versus a disaster way.  With all this buckled up embrace of what is to come, it is nice, perhaps necessary, to have some inspirational groundings.  Two such sources have stuck with me this past week.  One is Mike Kelley and the other is Diana Vreeland.

Mike Kelley, as most artys know, is an artist who died in 2012.  He currently has a retrospective at PS1 MoMA.  I literally just walked out of this so my brain is still buzzing from it, reflections on this show perhaps at a later time, but he has been simmering in my mind for some time now and even more so after watching Sir Drone, a 1989 film by Raymond Pettibon, earlier this week. It’s a low-fi hoot and Kelley’s vibrancy and humor steals the over exposed show.  Kelley is just one of those artists that just does something to you.  There is such a breadth of practice yet singular core focuses.  It makes you wonder about so many things and this is not just through the art but the life lived.  A way of living that is also the art of it. 

Another figure of this same quality is Diana Vreeland.  I watched the documentary on her, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, 2011, and it makes you just want to be something like this indomitable women portrayed.  For those who don’t know of her, she worked for Harper’s Bizarre and Vogue and basically invented what a ‘fashion editor’ is.  There is more spunk and Cheshire grinning pizzazz in this woman then most that have ever been born.  There was a cacophony of living, and it is in a simple word: inspiring. 

Both Kelley and Vreeland could be described in many denoting words like; misfit, visionary, rouge, madcap, but words are dull in trying to measure a thing that was the life they lived and created.  Below is very small homage to the fabulous wit they both had.  One is a recipe for Leprechaun Balls by Mike Kelley, the other is a re-typing of Vreeland’s notorious Office Memos she sent to Vogue staff.  We need people that are sparklier then the rest of us, it gives contrast and opens boundaries for all of ‘it’ and us. 

Mike Kelley – Leprechaun Balls

3 cups finely crusted vanilla wafer crumbs
(27 ounce package)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons corn syrup
½ cup bourbon
Powdered sugar

Mix Crumbs, powdered sugar, cocoa, nuts, corn syrup and bourbon.  Shape in 1 inch balls.  Roll in powdered sugar.  Store in refrigerator with tight fitting lid.  

Diana Vreeland Office Memo on Freckles, 1967

The Condé Nast Publication Inc.

To          BARON DE GUNZBERG            From MRS. VREELAND       Date June 5, 1967
          **MRS. SIMPSON
Copy to  MRS. SCHIFF
              MRS. MELLEN
              MRS. DI MONTEZEMOLO
              MISS DONOVAN
              MR. DUHE
              MRS. INGERSOLL
              MISS MC KENNA
              MISS WINKELHORN
              MISS HAYS
          **MISS PHILLIPS
              MRS. BLACKMON
              MISS MIRABELLA


I am extremely disappointed that no one has taken the slightest interest in freckles on the models…

I heartily suggest that we get going as soon as possible on this delicious coquetery-- and that you experiment well before pictures are taken…as the only time we have tried doing this, the spots turned out to look like black moles instead of pale red freckles…

All these suggestion were in my telexes from Paris-- and I was hoping to see them throughout the next few issues…and it is high time we get on to this.

Please discuss with Carol Phillips’ department the best stuff to use.