Friday, July 31, 2009
I can't even believe that this is happening, and that I'm going to be there. Seriously.
It would be enough if Pig Destroyer was playing. It would be enough if one of my first Grindcore loves, Brutal Truth, was playing. But no, it's so much more than that. Way, way more. And it's because of the fact that Repulsion will be playing their seminal (and only) album, Horrified in its entirety. Horrified was one of those perfect records that showed up at just the right time and place, building a wicked bridge between Thrash, Death Metal, and Grindcore. Horrified is arguably one of the top 5 most important Metal records ever released. To see it played live in all its raw and rancorous glory is gonna be huge and ugly. Yum. Please pass the maggots. You know. The ones in your coffin.
In honor of this event (And it IS an event.) I've changed the Unbreak My Heart sidebar to Unbreak My Repulsion, and linked to 5 YouTube videos of the band at work.
I don't know why, but I couldn't stop listening to Johnny Madsen once I put him on the Rega tonight. The trip shouldn't have lasted more than a couple minutes, but every time I thought of getting up and changing the disc I left it in. I'm not saying that this is right. I'm just saying that this is what happened. Johnny is a rock star in Denmark, and he'll be having a show of paintings at Denise Bibro in September. It was a toss up for best song titles until I did the Danish-->English translation. "Meg Ryan's Aftensvals" became "Meg Ryan's Night Waltz". But then I knew I had a winner when I couldn't figure out if "Country Sauerkraut Med Fede Grice Og Sharon Stone" meant "Country Sauerkraut With Federica Grice And Sharon Stone" or "Country Sauerkraut and fattening pigs with Sharon Stone". Either one is a winner. Obviously.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Some sad news from California. Danielle Baquet-Long, half of the husband-wife drone duo Celer, has died of heart failure at the age of 26. I only came into contact with their music in the past year, but I was immediately moved by their enveloping sound sculptures. Celer created beautiful drones with unpredictable lines built from a variety of musical and non-musical sources. Layers of sound shift like soft tectonic plates on their way out to sea. Celer was exceptionally prolific, and yet the quality never suffered. Every release I own is like stepping into a golden memory that's happening at that very moment. Baquet-Long and her husband Will Long's work together was a towering, beautiful thing. Through Celer and her sweetly titled solo project Chubby Wolf, Danielle Baquet-Long has left a trail of wonder behind her. And now it means everything. Except for everything else.
Her voice will be missed.
"The Meaning is in the Wonder"
- Kenneth Patchen
Celer on myspace
Chubby Wolf on myspace
Monday, July 27, 2009
Above, dill weed.
Paddy at AFC had this reaction to Richard Polsky's latest blatherings on Artnet. Mine is shorter and more to the point . . .
If you're a collector and you pay attention to ANYTHING Richard Polsky says about art, then you're a fucking idiot. There are a lot of other places to get better collector information. Maybe talk to Tim Nye at a party. Maybe read Art & Auction. Hell, read the Daily Racing Form and you'd be in better shape than if you read Polsky's drivel. Also, one other option would be to look at the art. If you like it, then you could buy it.
If you think I'm holding a grudge against Polsky for writing the worst Warhol-related book in the history of Warhol books, you're right. But mostly I can't stand the clumsy writing, the self-pitying voice, and his consistent choice of ear over eye (While claiming to do the opposite.). He has a long, useless history of advice for people with shitloads of money who don't want to part with it (but expect you to), and whose only taste is in their mouths. It's a perfect storm for a bad collection. Actually, if you pay any attention to Richard Polsky you probably already have the collection you deserve. Go for it, well-moneyed dillweeds!
Obviously, I'm back. Sometimes I'm disappointed in myself for embracing the meanness that seems so easy online. This is not one of those times.
Shit Is Coming, Andres Serrano
Actually, it's already here and I've been dealing with it. (And it's not health-related which means it's not that big of a problem.) So, that and just the usual cleaning of the pipes that needs to go on here at HAA every once in awhile in order to recharge.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
One of my favorite pieces in Creative Time's show on Governor's Island is Klaus Weber's Large Dark Wind Chime (Tritone Westy). Partly because of it's use of one of the most basic rules of Doom Metal, the tritone. (Here, arguably, is the original tritone metal moment: Sabbath, of course.) But also, it's the placement of the piece. Looking out past the field and over the water the eye lands squarely on the porcupine assfuck that is Wall Street. The tritone was prohibited in the Middle Ages, for fear that it could open the door to evil. Clearly, that rule was ignored, and nobody bothered to close that door. But hey, at least Morgan Stanley is going to be showing massive profits. Everything will be alright.
Sidenote of the day: Governor's Island is one wild jewel. If you live in NYC and you don't visit this summer, you crazy.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Alex Waterman in the new IPR space at 110 Livingston
Now, this was some excellent news. The Issue Project Room not only scored a 20 year free lease on their new space in downtown Brooklyn, but they also received a $1.1 million grant from the city to help with the renovations. Sa-weet. This couldn't have happened to a better organization. Hands down, some of the best out-there music curation in the city. Even when the schedule isn't my cup of tea (Which isn't often.) I understand and appreciate the direction and intent. Smart and risky, these guys just kept plugging away. Nice to see the recognition. Even nicer to see the survival and the flourishing.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The The New York Ear & Eye Festival, a massive festival of music, non-music, and film opened tonight. The fest runs through Sunday night at the Knitting Factory and couple other venues around town. I'm especially looking forward to the record fair on Sunday at the 92nd Street Y in TriBeCa because, well, I just don't have enough music. Heh.
"You can dust it, and you can wipe it with a damp cloth."
--Thomas Kinkade, emphasizing one of the many selling points of his art on the ShopNBC Network tonight.
Well, at least one artist has figured out how to sell their work in the new market. Kinkade's secret? The "Try Me Price". And really, when it comes art, what price isn't a Try Me price? I still want somebody to remake Home For Christmas with my casting and soundtrack suggestions. Oh, if only Hollywood.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, Ten Punching Bags (Last Supper), 1985-1986 (detail)
Greg Tate's piece in the Voice, The Man In Our Mirror, will be the best thing you read about Michael Jackson's death today. In fact, this will probably be the best thing you ever read about Michael Jackson, period. The breathtakingly excellent Tate pulls together Jeff Mills, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marky Mark getting his face punched in, and the socio-economics of Gary, Indiana to write the most clear-eyed and least deifying picture of Jackson and what his death means. This shit is fucked up and complicated, and Tate don't mind. You can go listen to "Who Loving You" or that acappella version of "I'll Be There" again. That's cool. But I'm totally getting out Burnt Sugar's Depends On What You Know trilogy. Because, y'know, it kind of does.
"The unfortunate blessing of his departure is that we can now all go back to loving him as we first found him, without shame, despair, or complication. "Which Michael do you want back?" is the other real question of the hour: Over the years, we've seen him variously as our Hamlet, our Superman, our Peter Pan, our Icarus, our Fred Astaire, our Marcel Marceau, our Houdini, our Charlie Chaplin, our Scarecrow, our Peter Parker and Black Spider-Man, our Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke, our Little Richard redux, our Alien vs. Predator, our Elephant Man, our Great Gatsby, our Lon Chaney, our Ol' Blue Eyes, our Elvis, our Frankenstein, our ET, our Mystique, our Dark Phoenix."
But also . . .
"As a people, we have become past-masters of devising strategies for erasing the erasure. Dreaming up what's still the most sublime visual representation of this process is what makes Jean-Michel Basquiat's work not just ingenious, but righteous and profound. His dreaming up the most self-flagellating erasure of self to stymie the erasure is what makes Michael Jackson's story so numbing, so macabre, so absurdly Stephen King."
And yeah. If you were wondering. Jesus is underneath that crown above. While it's shinier and less truthful than Tate's brutal, beautiful, and weirdly loving final paragraph, the parable at the end of the film Basquiat is too replete with echoes for me not to post it. So, here you go.
Monday, July 06, 2009
No, I'm not talking about that great Marvin Gaye record. I'm talking about the title of this Pedro Barbeito painting that's in the group show, LOVER, at On Stellar Rays. Oddly enough, the painting makes me think of this Prince song. Not a bad place to start. Actually, even better and more accurately, it reminds me of the incidental music that's playing when Prince takes Apollonia to the bedroom in his parents' basement in Purple Rain. Yeah. Much better. And way more midnight.
I've been thinking about it. 32 artists, man. This could have been such a typical summer show, but it ain't. This shit is tight.
I wonder if there are lawyers living in those little huts that Richard Woods made for the Public Art Fund? Cuz, yo. The River Café ain't backing down on the whole Olafur-hurt-our-trees front. The Brooklyn Heights Blog reports that the New York Post reports that the RC is totally suing the Public Art Fund and Olafur Eliasson for $3 million for all the tree trauma caused by the NYC Waterfalls. That's a lotta salt water. The River Café doesn't like anybody fooling with their environment. For years GE executives weren't allowed on the premises until they agreed to stop polluting upriver.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Richard Woods' wall and door and roof is at City Hall, but it would have made a lot more sense to have planted these puppies (There's another one on the other side of the building.) in Albany to celebrate the childish clusterfuck of the century.
And yeah. Jethro Tull, muthafuckas! To make you feel much better than you could know.
Hey! Remember the amazingly great Free Store that appeared downtown in March? I happened by the storefront the other day, and the space has been filled by a cellular service store. Who needs a there there when there wasn't one there in the first place? Wouldn't it be beyond awesome if the Free Store appeared again somewhere in the city? Let's all keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
still from Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell
Last night on Sundance I caught Matt Wolf's amazing film about Arthur Russell, Wild Combination. Besides making me weep in an almost uncontrollable way (Ehh, what am I saying? It was pretty uncontrollable.), the film drew an unintentional line between Russell's music and Spencer Finch's The River That Flows Both Ways on The High Line. Mostly because of the math and the water, but there's also the slow unfolding that both carry no matter the light or speed that happens to be surrounding it.