Baltimore band, Beach House, recently released a short film called Forever Still, which captures the beauty of live performance in a magical setting. I should preface this post—because it’s brimming with enthusiasm—with the fact that the film was shot in and around my hometown of El Paso, Texas, as well as where the band recorded their latest album, Bloom.
Starting at sunset and ending at sunrise, we follow the band to four different desert locations where they perform to sweeping vistas, a gang of cars, and darkness punctuated by a lone wolf. It’s slow and epic, which is what the band was going for when teaming up with Pitchfork.TV to collaborate on a project that would represent the spirit of their music. They recorded Bloom in Tornillo, Texas, at the legendary Sonic Ranch studio, a desert oasis dotted with lazy kittens, positive energy, and an otherworldly mysticism that cannot be captured in words. I’m wild about the place (evidence here), and Beach House captures its dark magic brilliantly in this film.
Directed by the band with Max Goldman, I suggest you take a moment in your day to sit back, relax, and let it take you somewhere mysterious where the dust seems alive and time moves with the crickets.
If you’re not listening to the new Beach House album Bloom at least once a day then I’m pretty sure you’re doing it wrong. But let’s say you’re not really sure who these Beach Houses are, then here’s a perfect example of what to expect. Last night they performed on Later with Jools Holland showed just how amazing they are, recorded or in person. This just confirms that I need to see Beach House live this year.
I was literally just saying to Kyle the other day about how amazing it would be to have a new Beach House album to listen to, and what do you know, that’s going to happen. Coming May 5 they have a new album called Bloom, and to give you a taste is this new track called Myth. It sounds like you’d imagine, ethereal, magical and pretty damn epic, but that’s not a bad thing. It just goes to show that they’ve defined a sound for themselves and they’re going to keep on perfecting it till they’re over it. Definitely love the guitar solo towards the end as well.
Instead of actually going on vacation this week, I will be dreaming from my land-locked city of employment, and writing each day about a beach house where I would rather be frequently applying sunblock and taking many unneeded naps. The first is this Beach House at Cerro Tacna designed by dNR Arquitectos. Located on the Chilean coast, the vacation home is modern without being too flashy or severe– staying comfortable without fading into the row of holiday homes that line the beach.
The project is constructed as a platform with three enclosed volumes (two above and one below), giving both views and privacy to visitors. The architect describes the project as being built from “impregnated pine wood” which I am guessing means that the lumber has been pressure treated? Or maybe it’s actually pregnant and the path to the beach is littered with pine cones. The diagonal supports are an obviously striking feature, and I like the contrast between them and the horizontal living volumes.
Back in the end of 2008 Shoot The Player (it’s like the Australian La Blogotheque) got together with the folks in Beach House to record a song. They ended up playing the song Used To Be which wasn’t released until their most recent album Teen Dream. It’s definitely one of my favorite songs on the album, but the album is pretty flawless anyhow. She also does a janky rendition of TLC’s Waterfalls which is pretty funny, it’s almost a karaoke quality performance. I hadn’t seen this video until the other day, I’m probably a little behind on this, but I thought I’d share it with you.
Amsterdam-based NL Architects have recently shared three versions of a project designed for a Canadian entrepreneur on the beach in Florida. If this seems like a strange mix of characters and settings to you, you’re not alone. The collaboration is not a product of rampant globalization, but one of logic. First, pools in Canada are frozen solid year round* so a beach house with a habitable pool had to be built elsewhere. Second, who, other than a Canadian, would scour architecture firms around the world, searching for the firm best equipped to build a nearly tropical beach house and decide to go with a firm in the Netherlands?
One of the reasons it can be difficult to talk about architecture, if you ask me, is because there are so many ways to describe the same geometry. Let’s say you have a cube shaped building that you like, so you call it a “compelling geometric primitive” to put your positive spin on it. Other folks who hate cubes may call it “another dumb and boring box.” Constantly infusing descriptions with subjective opinions may be annoying, but I was reading this description of this auditorium designed by Estudio Barozzi Veiga when I came across a description that I disagreed with for a different reason:
“A seafront auditorium in southern Spain has concave walls that resemble the deflated cheeks of someone taking a deep breath.”
This is where I have to let a little bit of my science geek come out because when I saw the massing of this building, I didn’t think about it being deflated, but of it being crenated. For people who don’t remember learning about what happens to cells in concentrated solutions: they shrink into these pointy shapes as water migrates out. The auditorium (not really an operahouse) sits overlooking a large body of saltwater, so maybe I’m thinking about osmosis because I’d like to be on that beach, reclining in the shade of a pretty nifty looking auditorium and thinking about getting into the water.
So along with watching people work I love to see inside people’s workspaces, seeing where they work and make amazing things. Cambio Goes Home did a feature on artist/photographer/skateboarder Ed Templeton and his home in Huntington Beach. It’s funny to me how he’s both kind of horrified by the suburbs but enthralled with them. It fuels his work and helps him to create.
As for Ed’s home it’s a suburban house in a suburban neighborhood, something I’m very familiar with since I grew up in something identical. He uses his garage as his primary painting area and he also has a pretty large looking dark room for developing his photos. Once he goes inside it’s crazy to see all the art he has on his walls, a lot of the biggest artists of the last 20 years. I wonder if he’d let me come over and hang out?