So, Agingsnob is finally officially ending. You can find my twitter feed @danatrombles and you can, oh yes, buy my jewelry at http://www.etsy.com/shop/DaisyDreamsinColor.
I love you! But I’m getting old and now I do digital promo all day for living. I promise I’ll start another blog soon. Maybe a Vlog? ohhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
I love, love, love 70’s NYC underground music–Suicide, DNA, James Chance, etc. Yeah, you know that already (oh but I found a nice No Wave Primer if you are still curious)
Despite my No Wave comp cds galore, I had never, until recently, knew much about Glenn Branca or his music, even though he was a key player in the scene. A few months ago, Bryan played me Branca’s “Lesson No 1 for Electric Guitar” after we saw some posters Branca had made for his late 70’s No Wave band The Theoretical Girls at a gallery. I’ve been digging his work since–from the “maximalist” guitar music (or, rather, minimalist rock music) to his newer experimental classical music–symphonies that are slightly less abrasive than his no wave work, but still deeply avant garde and primarily guitar-based. Also, it is noteworthy that he looks like he could be David Lynch mad brother, which is a plus if you are working outside the mainstream, yes?
Here’s Branca thrashing guitar at a Soho Loft in 78
Theoretical Girls: “You Got Me” (dig that industrial-before-industrial style percussion)
Branca’s solo masterpiece “Lesson no. 1 for electric guitar” (1983)
Branca conducting like “a frenzied goat” with his orchestra at alt performance space the Kitchen, sometime in the 80s
At All Tomorrow’s Parties fest, 2007
Jens Lekman gets Swine Flu and is mistreated by French stewards.
I was crossing the Atlantic when things started getting really bad, the fever was hallucinogenic and shaking me like a leaf and I grabbed the sleeve of the Air France steward. “I’m not feeling well, I should see a doctor” I said and the reply came as a brilliant mix of death anxiety and french rudeness: “Uh, yes… Terminal D… go there maybe… when we land”. After that the stewards and stewardesses took long detours. A ring of empty seats formed around me. Peoples eyes were kind but determined, they read “Poor you, I really wish you all the best but if you come near me or my kid I will have to stab you with this plastic fork”. I got up and went to the bathroom where I fainted.
Now I’m in quarantine for ten days. I can see the summer through my window and it’s just perfect. Summer is always best through a window.
Get better Jens! I can’t wait for the album that comes out of this…I know for once I’d like not to “Put my arms around you”…hahahah, punning. Thanks Pfork for the deets.
A very Jameson approach to Hipsterdom from the writer of the Hipstser Handbook…I thought oh no! at first but actually it’s an excellent read. Here are the best bits (This is reposted from the wonderful The Morning News):
First and foremost, hipsterism is about stuff. It’s the natural byproduct of a consumption-obsessed culture with a thriving middle class. The complete works of Johnny Cash on vinyl. An iPhone packed with apps. Thick-framed glasses without the lenses. Throw in an unwavering certainty that your tastes are superior to everyone else’s, and you’re on your way to establishing a hipster aesthetic. Future generations may not have the same resources to squander, but there will undoubtedly continue to be artistically inclined young people who define their identity and their aesthetic, by accumulating meticulously selected possessions.
The James Deans and Fonzies of the world never got the girl by gushing. Instead, they made them swoon by pretending they didn’t give a damn. The second element is pastiche, the hodgepodge blending of elements from pop culture to create a sensibility. Whether it be the goofy “post-punk-electro-blog-house” labels associated with hipster music, or the entire film career of Wes Anderson, pastiche is essential to hipsterdom. And clearly, as our already overwhelming inventory of pop culture references continue to grow with the passing of time, pastiche will continue to flourish…
While he deconstructs the hipster (and yeah, it’s a lot about stuff…) he admits real creatives do come out of scenes. And you are not an asshole for wearing skinny jeans in Bushwick. You might be an asshole, yes, but it’s not all the clothes that make the hipster.
But let’s get real. For every cynical slacker sitting around “ironically” watching The Real Housewives of Orange County and turning his beard orange with Sparks spittle, there’s a legitimate artist who’s working his/her ass off, dare I say it, doing something cool. There’s no contrived lack of aesthetic to the films of Michel Gondry. He’s an artist, and yes, he’s cool. There’s no artificial, ironic detachment to the music that TV on the Radio produce. They’re artists too, and yes, they’re cool. And perhaps it should go without saying, but hipster profiling is about as effective as racial profiling. Owning a pair of skinny jeans and living in Bushwick doesn’t make someone cool. But it doesn’t make them a hipster douchebag either….
As Pandamonium illustrates, there’s no shortage of hipsters worthy of our mocking. But our challenge is to make the distinction between the artists and the pandas. Otherwise, when the next generation finds its own Jackson Pollack, John Coltrane, or Dorothy Parker, we’re likely to stifle their talents with our misappropriated cynicism. Or worse, we’ll turn them into a joke.
This is how my parents must have felt when Lennon was shot….
Gina did a great round up of personal memories of MJ–and her childhood, which is really why we’re all so upset isn’t it?
My buddy Ray keeps sending me videos of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, who, I will not deny, I did love at one point in my life (when I listened to Meat Beat Manifesto incessantly). This makes me think of early Gregg Araki films. So very, very 90s they are kind of like My So Called Life if it were X-Rated. And they feature a young, pre-diet pills-era Rose McGowan. Here’s two McGowan-filled clips from two of the “teenage apocalypse” trilogy films (Totally F****k Up is impossible to find it seems online…):
The Doom Generation
One of the few shots in Nowhere (or really, any movie) where McGowan is wearing clothing…
Also please do note that Araki did go on to make one of my favorite films, the earily heartbreaking Mysterious Skin starring soulful manboy Joseph Gordon Levitt. Even A.O. Scott liked that one!
Tonight I had to miss a dinner party because I worked late, needed to pack, and had an extreme urge to make collage. While collage-ing, I watched a documentary on Phillip Glass. How arty!
Hmmm, well, anyhow, as for Glass, I still love his music, but this doc shows that he’s kind of a pretentious, more-enlightened-than-thou fellow. Reminds me why Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and Steve Reich (the composers from that crazy 70’s Soh0 musical avant garde who actually did drugs) are that much more rad. Those are guys you want to go and hang out with while you listen to their glorious repetition and eastern inspired compositions. LaMonte Young, the so-called grandfather of the scene (and big psychelics fan), well, here’s what Warholite Billy Name had to say about him: “If you were going across the prairie in a Conestoga wagon, La Monte was the father and he always had a wife and everything was like his scene. Everybody was there playing with him, but he was the hierarchical chief.”
Or how about Reich on the appropreation of his work: “In my generation we tore the wall down and now we are back to the normal situation, for example if Brian Eno or David Bowie come to me, and if popular musicians remix my music like The Orb or DJ Spooky it is a good thing. This is a natural normal regular historical way.” Yes, Mr. Reich, you Pulitzer Prize-winning musician, you are correct!
And Riley, well just look at him:
Anyhow to learn more about Minimalist Music go to Alex Ross’s awesome Rest is Noise page (or better, read the book) or go here for a very academic explanation. But for now, here’s a smattering of Minimalism 101 pieces
- Go here to hear Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians live on streaming audio.
- Just an image here but sound quality is good for YouTube of Riley’s Music for the Gift
- La Monte Young’s Well Tuned Piano can be downloaded here
- And to give Glass his due, he’s still a genius even if he’s kind of an egotistic square–just listen to that Einstein on the Beach here! Numbers chanted again and again never sounded so beautiful.