Date Archives October 2011

Interview with Roger Gastman on Los Angeles, I’m Yours

Interview with Roger Gastman on Los Angeles, I'm Yours

Kyle posted his interview with Roger Gastman over on Los Angeles, I’m Yours that I think some of you will really enjoy. You may know Roger already, he helped curate the Art in the Streets exhibit at the MoCA with Jeffrey Deitch and Aaron Rose. He’s also well known for his graffiti skills and he even has a book out called The History of American Graffiti. He even has a collection of serial killer art, it’s fantastic!

Click here to read the interview.


SUPRASTUDIO: a year-long studio probing Disney Architecture

Greg Lynn leads Suprastudio at UCLA AUD

Greg Lynn leads Suprastudio at UCLA AUD

The first time I visited a Disney theme park I was out of college and working at an architecture firm. My inner child was reeling, but the architect inside me expected to retch at all the pastiche that I would surely encounter.  Instead, I loved every minute. From stepping out of the car in the Pinocchio parking lot to the visceral feeling of riding Space Mountain, I was delighted by the attention to detail and forgot to be critical or dogmatic about all of the imagineering that surrounded me; it was too fantastic. So imagine the delight of finding a video where architectural heavyweights talk about how great Disney is, and why. The video documents the work of SUPRASTUDIO, a post-professional degree program lead by Greg Lynn at UCLA School of Architecture and Urban Design. The studio spent a year on four Disney-centric design problems. Can you imagine these serious architecture critics wandering around Disneyland?  I didn’t see any of these folks when I was there, but the next time you go be on the look out for someone wearing all black, spiffy glasses and a fanny pack.


3 Mixtapes for an awesome Halloween

We Never Heard It's Noise,  A Halloween mixtape by The Fox Is Black

Hellaween,  A Halloween mixtape by Punchy for The Fox Is Black

I didn’t really have the time to make a Halloween mix this year, so I thought I’d dig up a few gems fro, the vault to share again. One is by me, the other two are by my buddy Punchy, who makes the best dance mixes out there.

The mix at top is called We Never Heard It’s Noise, which I made back in 2009. I think I spent a couple of weeks on it, it was an obsession to make it completely gruesome and terrifying, but still using modern pop music. This might be the mixtape I’m most proud of, to be honest, because of all the layered sounds and transitions between songs. It starts our pretty slow and haunting, but by 5 minutes in it gets fast and crazy.

The other two are called Hellaween and Hellaween II: The Return of Punchy, and are perfect if you want a straight up dance party. He made the first mix in 2008 and then followed up with the sequel last year. The track lists on these are pretty hysterical as well, featuring everyone from Lady Gaga, Kanye, Nicki Minaj, Fresh Prince, Kid Cudi, Michale Jackson and a ton more great artists. If you’re having a Halloween party you’ll want to have these playing all night, they really don’t disappoint.

Follow these links to download the mixes:

We Never Heard It’s Noise (46:13)

Hellaween (50:16)

Hellaween II: The Return of Punchy (26:25)

‘Chicago’ by Tom Waits

Chicago by Tom Waits

With braying saxes and trombones on top of a deep blues boogie, Tom Waits certainly started his 23rd record, Bad As Me, in a verve. Recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he seems to play anything but rock and roll. No musical genre is safe from the Tom Waits treatment. ‘Chicago’ is a one of the best new blues songs I’ve heard and a great modern take of the electric Chicago blues from the 1930s and 1940s. Complete with harmonicas, speedy drumming, Keith Richards’ guitar and Waits inimitable growl, it’s a great start to one of the most anticipated records of 2011.

The lyrics are on the move. Waits rips out “The seeds are planted here / But they won’t grow / We won’t have to say goodbye / If we all go / Maybe things will be better in Chicago.” The song is on the go, oscillating, wobbling like a train. It wouldn’t be that far of a reach to say the song is recalling a specific moment in time. Possibly when there was a train-powered migration to Chicago in the 40s and 60s where the blues was created, but wouldn’t that be a bit literal? Regardless, this song is a high powered collection of blues energy. And an addictive one at that.


‘In The Room Where You Sleep’ by Dead Man’s Bones

'In The Room Where You Sleep' by Dead Man's Bones

Happy Halloween! For the day that’s in it I thought I’d share this video from the LA-based band Dead Man’s Bones. It would seem that in the last few months there’s been no escaping actor Ryan Gosling. Not content with being one of the hardest working men in Hollywood, as well as being a hugely talented actor and a generally all-round handsome chap, Gosling seems to also want to add “damn fine musician” to his already impressively long list of accolades. Dead Man’s Bones is a musical collaboration between Gosling and his friend Zack Shields and the pair founded the group a couple of years ago. The whole project culminated back in 2009 with the release of their excellent self-titled album and a number of live shows.

The track above is called In The Room Where You Sleep and it features the duo alongside the excellent Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir; a non-profit educational organization founded by Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the hopes of fostering music education. It’s a wonderful track and the video is well worth watching for the choir of spooky kids. I particularly love the kid at the end with the sword. Chances of getting any tricker-treaters as awesome as him tonight seem slim-to-none! Make sure to grab a copy of the album as it’s the perfect accompaniment to your Halloween night.


Matt Kish read Moby Dick, then Illustrated every single page

Matt Kish read Moby Dick, then Illustrated every single page

Matt Kish read Moby Dick, then Illustrated every single page

Call him thorough. Matt Kish has illustrated every single page of the Herman Melville novel Moby Dick. Formerly a high school English teacher, he has read the text several times, each reading reinforcing his appreciation for the depth and breadth of the work. In his own words: “Friends often question my obsession with the novel, especially since I am not a scholar or even an educator any longer, and the best explanation I have been able to come up with is that, to me, Moby-Dick is a book about everything.” Well now there is a book about the book about everything, as Matt’s 500-something illustrations of each page from the novel have been bound together in Moby Dick in Pictures. His idea of illustrating a page each day is almost exactly the opposite of the re-covered contests and you can buy some of the original illustrations here.


Space Suit of the Week

No Surrender

DAL’s newest work, No Surrender, was made in Paris, France this past September. Unlike many of DAL’s other works, this piece is tucked away in an intimate space, enclosed from passersby. The spaceman in No Surrender is traversing through an urban terrain that is being reclaimed by nature: a space that could be easily overlooked, but not forgotten.

While intimate, No Surrender is rather jarring. The spaceman, in DAL’s signature black and white coils, is devoid of a face. He has no identity as does the flag next to him. Its highly reminiscent of Apollo 11 imagery, where astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands next to the lunar flag–but DAL’s No Surrender wipes away the stars and stripes and leaves his space creature empty and full of possibility.

DAL is a street artist hailing from China. After studying sculpture at the NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, he started making street art under the alias DAL in 2004.


‘Hold On’ By The Chain Gang of 1974

I’ve been hooked on this song for more than a few minutes. Something about the house build up, the ascendant beat and a ton of synths keeps me wanting to hearing the chorus over and over. In as modern take on synth pop, Kamtin Mohager aka The Chain Gang of 1974 loves to ride a big hook. The song stretches itself out over a full 8 minutes, almost a tribute to the disco breaks of the early 80s and the start of house. With a hard bass line and disjointed, unconscious lyrics, the song feels like some desperate lucid dream fading into the morning.

The music video is pretty wild. To me it is a surreal hair cutting party in some awesome orgiastic jungle, so if you wanna watch that, check it out. If anything it’ll trip you the heck out. I prefer the full 8 minute track (not the radio edit in the video) for a more head bobbing rhythm that really lets the groove shine. For those of you in LA, he’ll be here on monday.