Monday, August 27, 2007

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

I caught a very interesting show on PBS tonight. It was called The Anti-Americans and it showcased British, Polish, and French peoples' (from a wide range of backgrounds) opinions of America — their thoughts on our leaders and our common folk. From some pretty spot-on critiques to a charming story about a Polish cowboy in love with John Wayne-ish americana, it was quite good.

But instead of sitting and fumbling over a half-assed post about my thoughts, I figured I'd link to yet more music. It's not quite unrelated, however...

Nick Cave. "God is in the House."

Tongue-in-cheek brilliance:

"...Homos roaming the streets in packs
Queer bashers with tire-jacks
Lesbian counter-attacks
That stuff is for the big cities
Our town is very pretty
We have a pretty little square
We have a woman for a mayor
Our policy is firm but fair
Now that God is in the house
God is in the house
God is in the house
Any day now He'll come out
God is in the house

Well-meaning little therapists
Goose-stepping twelve-stepping Tetotalitarianists
The tipsy, the reeling and the drop down pissed
We got no time for that stuff here
Zero crime and no fear
We've bred all our kittens white
So you can see them in the night
And at night we're on our knees
As quiet as a mouse
Since the word got out
From the North down to the South
For no-one's left in doubt
There's no fear about
If we all hold hands and very quietly shout
God is in the house
God is in the house
Oh I wish He would come out
God is in the house"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Day of the Baphomets

when all the buzz about The Mars Volta came several years back, I checked them out and really wasn't too into them. but my tastes must have changed slightly, because after hearing their Deloused in the Comatorium album a lot at work over the last year, i started liking a few of their songs quite a bit.

here's something newer that i dig. a lot. angular and dischordant, sometimes noisey and sometimes a hand-clapping latin drumming bridge. you can't make this shit up. live music on television should be more like this - not like the absurd posturings of fuckheads like avril levigne or fall out boy.

The Mars Volta, Day of the Baphomets, live on the Rollins show:

part one.
(there's a "death march" breakdown at about 2:30 remaining)

part two.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

mos def

ghetto rock

Monday, August 20, 2007

a particular Kerry James Marshall piece...

The other day i was thinking about a trip to the mca i made back when i lived in chicago. I took an afternoon to the museum to see the Kerry James Marshall show , and although not overwhelmingly "throw my hat down on the floor" blown away, i really enjoyed most of what i saw. As i sat and watched a bio/interview video featuring the artist, i even felt like i was seeing work by a pretty common, decent guy (i later learned from a friend that he was kind of an ass during installation... ah well).

Regardless, the other day i was thinking about one piece in particular that really got me. I wish i could find an image of it to share, but i haven't been able to find anything when i search online. My description will have to suffice for now...

First off, look at this famous photo:

now... Kerry James Marshall made a triptych of large photographs that were probably actually screenprint phototransfers, where the three individual pictures were all the same - all this image shown above. Look at everyone's faces. Almost everyone's attention is diverted away from the awful scene in front of them, and re-focused on the photographer's lens, in some sort of an appalling group celebratory picture. See the three women in the foreground (middle-left) who are looking directly at the camera? They almost look like "hey! - smile! - i'm on camera!" as if nothing at all is wrong. Kerry picked these three white women - one each for the triptych pieces - and drew these elegant little nooses around their faces. He created these cutesy, yet well-drawn jewelry pieces — if my memory serves me right, pearl and diamond necklaces — around their necks, and screened everything else back by 50%. He made you, the viewer, focus in on these ladies' blatant disregard towards the ultimate act of racism right in front of them. It read to me like an elegant little "fuck. you." that came partly from extreme anger and partly from a deep, deep sadness. Elegance juxtaposed with absolute horror. It hit me hard. If I ever do come across images of this piece, I'll certainly post them and write an update.

well, what do you know. some more snooping this morning brought me to the title of the piece - "Heirlooms and Accessories" - which brought me to an image to share. The background is much more screened back than I had remembered. Click on the thumbnail below:

Thursday, August 9, 2007

understanding duchamp

in all honesty, duchamp is not one of my favorite artists (sorry, bob). the discussions on him in art history classes - or amongst friends while working in studio classes - were always wonderful and provoking. but my somewhat lazy, knee-jerk "it's not aesthetically pleasing" reaction always got me. that's not the sole barometer of a work's interest to me, but... well, maybe back then it was. who knows. anyways, this is an interesting web site:

understanding duchamp

Monday, August 6, 2007

new painting...

new painting up on the web site:

Sandburg: Grieg Being Dead

after a hiatus of 9 months or so, i think things are finally kicking again.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

White Whale, Holy Grail

Coach and Chad introduced me to Mastodon about 5 years ago, maybe 6, after they had received a demo CD at their radio station show. We first saw them at The Metro in chicago, as one of a few opening acts for Dillinger Escape Plan. Mastodon was amazing, and I was hooked on them right off the bat (by the way, dillinger escape plan "made me want to kill" because of the pure hatred I feel for that bandful of arrogant, egotistical pieces of shit. a whooooole other story about what happened that night). Then we saw them a year or so later, at the more intimate, smelly, punk-rock Fireside Bowl in chicago. The last time I saw them was at a show at... that other place in chicago that closed down... on Belmont, right by the red line... can't... remember.... regardless, they're super nice guys - i talked to them as they drank beers amongst the people there to see them.

"Mother Puncher" first, "Workhorse" second. awww, hell with it - one more - "I Am Ahab" last.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Two Things...

First, some live Seein' Red footage via youtube. I saw them in Chicago before we moved away - one of their "once every 10 years in the US" tour shows. All three in their 40s, and still punk as fuck. I have no idea why there is a crazy "heavy metal light show" going on, but who cares. "Ongoing War." Love it:

Second, a poem by our beloved Carl Sandburg. Keeping with the theme, here is "Grass" from 1918.


PILE the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.

Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.

Let me work.