Monthly Archives: May 2008

Daniel Johnston’s art sale

Via OTD:

Dirty Pilot, an art gallery based in Cochituate, is hosting an exhibit of Captain America drawings by the indie cult-favorite singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston. The artwork’s entirely online – the gallery used to have a physical space, but now has retired to the Interwebs, according to their website. From the inbox:

“Over the course of Daniel Johnston’s career as well documented through this survey of drawings from the mid 1970’s thru 2005, Daniel has continuously wrestled artistically with his signature character Captain America. This super hero has not only been equated by Daniel with a symbol of Divine Glory and the American Dream, but also with the worship of his father Bill a decorated war veteran.

This overview explores a range of work from Daniel’s early College notebook drawings through his later finished color and B&W drawings.

Recent accomplishments include the award-winning documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston”, a property of Sony Pictures Classics, opened to rave reviews on March 31st 2006, in both NY and LA, and the long-awaited DVD release of the film was released on September 19th, ‘06. Running concurrently with the opening of the film was a major show of Daniel’s artwork at a prominent NY gallery and a collection of Daniel’s work at the Whitney Museum’s Biennial exhibit!”

We’ll admit it – we loved The Devil and Daniel Johnston. It was a fascinating documentary of a musician whose influence is evident in today’s indie rock, yet he’s still not particularly well-known (outside of ’80’s and ’90’s indie rock fans, and the aforementioned cult followers). We feel it should be required viewing for any music fan today, along with Stop Making Sense and Runnin’ Down a Dream. Kurt Cobain liked Johnston’s music enough to rock a “Hi How Are You” t-shirt at televised Nirvana gigs:

And Johnston’s artwork was a common thread in the movie (a reflection of the role it’s played in his life), lending an air of levity to a story that’s somewhat heartbreaking, though Johnston’s still around, still playing the occasional gig. Below, a sampling of works in Johnston’s Dirty Pilot show. Purchase if you’ve got the funds – looks like pieces are selling for about $75 – $1,800, and a few have already been sold.

See more here.

My latest obsession…

…speaks for itself.

Weezer releases new video, pwns YouTube

Via OTD:

Rick Astley may have seized YouTube for a day, but Weezer’s out to condense the whole damn thing into one music video. From the inbox:

“Today, Weezer unveiled the launch of their YouTube channel to coincide with the premier of  the band’s new music video ‘Pork And Beans’ on the homepage of YouTube. This is the first time a major label band has featured such a multitude of YouTube celebrities in their video, which include Tay Zonday (Chocolate Rain), Lauren Caitlin Upton (Junior Miss South Carolina), Judson Laipply (Evolution of Dance) being three of more than fifteen YouTube stars making cameos in the video.”

As reported a few weeks ago, “Pork and Beans” (and the rest of the Red Album) are no Blue Album, but the video’s fairly entertaining, in the schizophrenic way only a mash-up of YouTube favorites can be. They even managed to squeeze a “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” reference in there – that’s one of the pioneering viral Internet vids, in our opinion. And there’s no denying the sheer brilliance of a mustachioed Rivers Cuomo hugging Chris Crocker with tender reassurance, all “It’s okay, Chris, we’ll leave Britney alone now.” Those Weezer kids are tugging at our heartstrings, yo.

Here’s what Phoenix staffer Will Spitz had to say about it:

“Lauren Caitlin Upton on why Weezer have been unable to make a good record in the last ten years and what should be done about it:

‘I personally believe that Weezer are unable to do so because, uh, they don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, Foo Fighters and, uh, the Green Day, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the Rentals, uh, or, uh, should help Rivers Curomo and should help the Weezer, so they will be able to build up a half-decent collection of songs, for our children.'”**

** Note: Lauren Caitlin Upston did not actually say this. We totally made it up. But she would’ve said that, we think.

Not our poster child…

Via the Phlog:

“Exposed,” the front page story of this weekend’s Times magazine (already posted online) feels like one long LiveJournal entry by former Gawker editor Emily Gould, and the internets are already abuzz about it. The ten-page story details everything from Gould’s experiences at Gawker, to her high-drama relationships, and it’s peppered with photos of Gould lazing about, with slightly greasy hair and flower tattoos on display, trying a bit too earnestly to look seductive and nonchalant with her laptop. She writes:

“Some of my blog’s readers were my friends in real life, and even the ones who weren’t acted like friends when they posted comments or sent me e-mail. They criticized me sometimes, but kindly, the way you chide someone you know well. Some of them had blogs, too, and I read those and left my own comments. As nerdy and one-dimensional as my relationships with these people were, they were important to me. They made me feel like a part of some kind of community, and that made the giant city I lived in seem smaller and more manageable.”

All of this seems like a preamble to a tabloid-y, Fox News-type sensatinal piece: “Blog addicts! For some 20-somethings, WordPress is replacing reality.” And in a way that Gould does not state directly in the story, it sort of is. Or, much to the chagrin of Phoenix bloggers, perhaps the Times hoped it’d be a generational commentary. New York Magazine worried yesterday: “What troubles us about Gould’s oncoming article is not that it will be a rehash of everything we’ve seen before. It’s that people will mistake her perspective on the Internet, writing, and fame as the perspective of an entire generation of bloggers.” Exactly! That’s what troubles us too! Gawker’s already calling her our poster child! And the NYT just payed her gads of money to write the words “I” and “me” a gagillion times (actual number: 430, according to the math whizzes at NYMag).

Unsurprisingly, the comments look fairly positive on Gould’s personal blog so far, but on the NYT site things are not looking so good: “I expect more from the New York Times. This article was nothing more than the ramblings of a moronic juvenile who calls herself a writer. I hope that the New York Times is not paying her for this piece. I long for the days when writers were people who had something to say,” writes Joseph from Manhattan. “Dreadful, narcissistic, uninteresting stuff,” writes “hazbin” from New Jersey. “An overlong article about the author talking about how much she enjoys talking about herself. Attention whore, indeed,” writes Dave from New Jersey. And that’s just the first two pages.

Here’s the irony: Here we are, blogging about Emily Gould and Gawker and, well, blogging, and wishing that the media would stop covering everything Gawker media does. We’ll step away if you will?

Street art attack: the crafty side of street art

From the Phlog:

Street art is fascinating enough on it’s own but, given it’s ephemeral nature, the act of photographing it is essential. And sometimes a photograph of street art, when it’s from an interesting angle or incorporates experiments with color, light, and/or contrast, is a piece of art in itself. Annie Ridlon, of Moontree Studios in Jamaica Plain, writes on her Flickr page:

“In my neighborhood there’s a 300 foot wall tucked away behind the train tracks, which serves as the canvas for one of the most gorgeous, ever-changing street murals I’ve ever beheld. It’s pretty much a secret, so there’s not many people who even know of its existence.

The wall is in a constant state of flux. Every day new pieces are added, old paint crumbles or is intentionally destroyed, layers of tags and signs and full-blown pieces are layered on top of one another. It’s an incredible riot of color and texture. It’s also a testament to the creative subculture which created it, and to the ever evolving nature of art itself.”

Photographing the mural has become a project for Ridlon, as it has for many members of Flickr’s street art groups, who scour the streets on an unending treasure hunt for the perfect (or imperfect, which can be just as alluring) stencil or freshly wheatpasted poster. Below, a smattering of Ridlon’s photos, which she’s selling prints of on the website/crafters heaven, Etsy.

Photos by oxymephorous.

We’re also digging this conceptually similar, up-close photo of the Wall in Central Square, snapped by eatskisleep.

And speaking of crafting, knitgirl is injecting originality into Vancouver’s street art scene, one brightly woven cozy at a time. If Banksy spent a few afternoons hanging out with your grandmother, this might be the result, and we totally adore the concept. knitgirl’s works seem to be everywhere – poles, trees, bikes – and it’s making us want to steal the idea, pick up some knitting sticks, and spread the trend to Boston. There’s just something so friendly – not to mention more accessible – about it. Not all street art is so easily likeable – sometimes glaring tags can be offputting. knitgirl’s work is like a friendly reminder that street art can be created in any medium, and in any place. After all, who hates mittens? Photos below.

Photo by Yorri¢k.

Photo by REDRUM (AYS).

Photo by Knightmusik. [Ed. note – We totally want one of these for our bike.]

More knitgirl photos here.

MIA launches clothing line for people with clothes-stealing friends.

Via OTD.

WWD reports today that MIA, who’s been the face of Marc Jacobs as of late (about that, she says in the article: “The whole time I was doing that campaign I was like, ‘Does Marc Jacobs know who I am? He didn’t let me into his parties and stuff six months before.'”), has started her own clothing line.

“‘I have my own label now,” Arulpragasam said, ‘which is the only thing I’ve been wearing recently.’ The eponymous collection (M.I.A., that is), which is repped by London-based publicist Mandi Lennard, included tour bus-friendly items such as bomber jackets, leggings and T-shirts, all done up in the bold hues and graphic prints for which the singer is known. And, aside from reflective glory, buying an Arulpragasam-designed piece affords its owner a little extra sartorial security. Explained the fashionista: ‘With my stuff, because everything’s really bright, if you lose it or someone steals it, you can see it from miles away and you can be like, ‘Oy! Give me my shirt back!’ Talk about bang for your buck.'”

Ooooh. I totally love that. Clothes that are bright so that your asshole friends won’t steal them! And, if I ever decide to start a band and go on a national tour, I won’t be embarrassed by my decidedly lame (and too fancy) tour bus clothes! Seriously, though, I’ve got more faith in threads created by MIA than other celeb clothing lines – anyone from the Hills, I’m looking at you – especially since I’m guessing they’ll be somewhat like the Cassette Playa-designed outfits MIA has rocked in the past (Google Images hasn’t coughed up any sneak previews of the line yet, and MIA’s website of flashing madness doesn’t have anything either). It’s a safe bet, though, that it’ll be at least three time less scary than the prospect of Amy Winehouse’s clothing and cosmetics line.

Thursday mix tape.

Do something good for your ears.

The tracks:

Down in Mexico – The Coasters
French Kicks – Abandon
Lights And Music – Cut Copy
Napolean at Waterloo – White Hinterland
Deep Blue – Ladytron
So Long, Marianne – Leonard Cohen
Silence – Portishead
Free Money – Patti Smith
Excursions Into Oh, A-Oh – Stereolab
Svart Är Himlen – Dungen
Save Me – Aimee Mann
The Village Green Preservation Society – The Kinks
A Song for Liza Minnelli – Man Man
What We All Want – Gang Of Four
Tractor Rape Chain – Guided By Voices
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down – Bob Dylan & The Band
The Cops – Light It Off
The Ting Tings – Great DJ
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Theme – Jon Brion

Download here.