Saturday, November 15, 2008
Black Moth Super Rainbow:
I Think That It Is Beautiful That You Are 256 Colors Too mp3
Friday, November 14, 2008
Have a good weekend.
What made the show great was that he didn't really care. He was alone – no DJ, no hype men – and to do his songs, he'd walk back and pull up a new beat or put an instrumental on the turntable, and then go back to the front of the stage and bust his rhyme. When the song was over, he'd walk back and switch the record, sometimes pausing between songs to play a couple bars of a new beat he was working on, or some old records he had just found. He'd say things like 'Yo, check out this loop I just found…prob'ly flip that some time. Check this out....'
It was weird but it was one of the more intimate shows I've been to, and as a hip-hop nerd, totally gratifying. I ran into Premier at the bar and I remember thinking it was cool to see these two genius producers in the same room – that they probably had a common understanding of the trials and tribulations of hip-hop that few other people could understand.
I bring this all up because Large Professor is in Seattle tonight, playing a show at Nectar. (Or is it Nektar. I hope it's just Nectar.) I don't think I'm gonna go – one show a week is enough for me, I have other plans, and honestly I'm pretty sure my current mood will also require sustained activity at one of the city's finer dive bars. But if you ever do get a chance to see him, I recommend it – whatever happens, you can be sure that he will stay real.
A couple semi-obscure Large Pro gems for good measure:
Large Professor & OC freestyle from Stretch & Bobbito's show, 11/93
Large Professor & Pete Rock The Rap World mp3
Organized Konfusion Stress (Large Professor Remix) mp3
Gang Starr Gotta Get Over (Large Professor Remix Instrumental) mp3
A Frontier Story
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I found a bit of info on the author. According to The New York Times, Philip Ressner (1922–2006) authored half a dozen successful children's books, starting in 1965 with August Explains, "the tale of a wise old bear who is very good at magic."
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
It reminds me a little of this 1930 Mies van der Rohe house:
That is all.
Update: Jess from Vintage Seattle was kind enough to do a little research, and found out that the Green Lake house was built in 1948.
…and here's a lesser-known b-side of the last single from that record. More of a long interlude than a fully delineated song, "Dedicated" was one of my favorite cuts Digable Planets ever recorded. The group had followed the Grammy-laden whirlwind of its first record with a much more underground-sounding album, Blowout Comb, which was not exactly loved by critics (it has since gained much more respect, and I find myself appreciating its lyrical and musical complexity more in recent years than I did when it first came out). This non-album cut seemed like an artist's statement of sorts – an explanation of where they were coming from, regardless of Grammies or critical response.
Digable Planets Dedicated mp3
For now, here's a photo of our President-elect from the Times this morning. This struck me as an extraordinarily quiet, moving image.
President-elect Barack Obama marked Veterans Day by laying a wreath at the Bronze Soldiers Memorial in Chicago. He was joined by Tammy Duckworth, Illinois’s director of veterans’ affairs, who served in the war in Iraq and lost both of her legs there.
First there was Visionaire 51 Harmony, a limited-edition set of puzzles featuring the photography and artwork of Maurizio Cattelan, Vik Muniz, Yayoi Kusama, and others. Now Art+Commerce gets into the puzzle game ("the puzzle game?" seriously? what is my problem?! i hate it when people call things the [fill in the blank] game, and here i am doing it. the absolute worst is in that Cadillac commercial where the girl from E.R. says "In today's luxury game...." ugh, the worst. maybe it's okay for a puzzle though)…anyway…gets into the puzzle game with this new 1000-piece, signed-and-numbered offering featuring a classic Steven Meisel photo. My puzzle-obsessed friends—they know who they are—know what they're getting next time I have a spare $750.
More info at Art+Commerce.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
On the way back, we stopped through Ellensburg, where the skies are not cloudy all day, gas is $2.04 a gallon, and it would be very, very easy to spend a lot of money in antique stores.
We showed considerable restraint in picking up only the following:
An odd little metal bookshelf with a horse on it. There's a coil on the back that holds the books in place.
A children's record with music by Dick Hyman, and a cover illustraton by Leo and Diane Dillon. They illustrated a bunch of children's books my brother and I loved as kids, as well as this beautiful cover for Lalo Schifrin's The Fox soundtrack, among other things:
I also snapped up a 1904 wax cylinder recording for the truly low low price of $3.00. This is what records looked like before they were flat:
The song is called "I May Be Crazy but I Ain't No Fool." The Library of Congress has a listing for it here.
The grooves are on the inside of the tube. When my friend Mike and I were at Joe Bussard's house a few years back, he had a bunch of these and a machine on which to play them. Obviously I will probably never be able to listen to this one but it's a cool little thing to have on a shelf.
[Click here for a little more info on Joe Bussard, including a short audio documentary; I think I've recommended this before, but the film on Bussard entitled Desperate Man Blues is a must-see.]
It was nice to get out of town for a minute.
Roy Last Climb Up Indian John Hill mp3
Monday, November 10, 2008
On the advice of the excellent mostly-art blog Best Of, we checked out the current show at Vermillion: Ryan Molenkamp's The San Juans. It's very good—it evokes the otherworldly quality of the San Juan Islands without being overly reverential or literal.
There's something about Molenkamp's technique that reminds me of a cross between this Peter Doig painting, which I clipped out of Harper's magazine long ago and look at all the time…
…and the drawings of BMX tracks they used to have in Bicycle Motocross Action magazine when I was a kid, where they had these hatch marks showing the angle and elevation of the berms:
Also showing right now is Cheryl Gilge's Spatial Transgressions series.
The two shows kind of bleed together, both being topography-related, and I think both artists' work is good enough that it might have been better to give them each their own exhibition. But no matter really – there's lots of interesting things to look at either way. I recommend checking it out and then having some drinks and delicious snacky foods in Vermillion's lovely back bar room while you're at it. More info and images at vermillionseattle.com.
The next day we went to Punch Gallery (on Prefontaine just South of Yesler), which is currently showing Justin Colt Beckman's Honky Tonk.
The Ellensburg-based artist has transformed a modern space into a convincing honky-tonk bar, complete with sawdust on the floor, cans of peanuts in shells, and a metal tub of Busch beer on ice, which he offered us as we walked in. "The show's about to begin," he told us. "Grab a bench."
For the show, Beckman appears on stage in video-projection form, lip-synching classic country songs ("There's a tear in my beer / 'cause I'm crying for you deer / you were on my lonely mind") to an enthusiastic audience (that would be us, plus an applause track). You might think it was one of those one-man show kind of deals where you're not sure when it's okay to leave, but you would be wrong – the whole thing was oddly captivating and we stayed right up through the encore-with-banjo.
Honky Tonk is a really unusual idea, executed just about perfectly. The thing is, a lot of actual bars have adopted this kind of decorative scheme in real life, and it would have been easy for Beckman to simply echo that explosion of nostalgia (which actually does often succeed in being relaxing, fun, etc.—who doesn't like to kick back and listen to tunes in the comfort of old stuff while they drink some beers?) Instead, Honky Tonk is a thought-provoking meditation on city vs. country, high-tech vs. digital, and real vs. not real. In other words, it goes beyond the decorative surface appeal and addresses the impulse behind it…or something. I enjoyed the gallery's description of the show, so maybe it's best if I re-print it here in full and leave it at that:
Inspired by music variety shows, karaoke, and childhood lip-sync concerts, Justin Colt Beckman’s Honky Tonk transforms PUNCH Gallery into a full-scale country bar for three weeks during the month of November. Combining video projection and sound, with found materials he's dragging over from rural Washington, Beckman continues his investigation into the urban/rural dichotomy and its associated stereotypes as he explores the act of country music stardom vicariously through his art-making.
In their many manifestations, the terms hillbilly, redneck, and white trash have been used in national media representations and by Americans within and outside rural areas to both uphold and challenge the dominant trends of contemporary American life, including urbanization, the ever-expanding centrality of technology, and the resulting routinization of American life. While often used to define the benefits of advanced civilization through negative counterexample, these terms have also been used to question the legitimacy of modernity and progress. Whatever. We just want to drink some cold beer, throw our peanut shells on the floor, and watch Beckman sing a few of his favorite country tunes.
Cheers to that. I would have happily stayed for another, but we had places to be. The show is up through November 22nd; more info at punchgallery.org.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Two sequels followed: Futureworld, and a little smutfest called Sexworld that a friend of mine got a hold of in high school.
Thank you, Michael Chrichton, for making the world a little warmer.