I generally like to take my time with posts on the site, which means that they can take a little longer to get up a lot of the time. I’ll compose my thoughts and arrange everything “just so,” trying to find some new angle, or to focus intently on whatever other bullshit makes me feel like we are contributing something new to the conversation here on the site. I also like to fancy myself an outsider among a lot of the community in the Seattle area, because of my self-imposed reclusiveness, staying home to raise my child, and not mingling much around town, or having much desire to find myself as part of any select group, whatsoever. Well, sometimes things are important and urgent enough to just pull your shit together and try and get the word out. My plate is spilling over right now, but this is one of those times where it’s necessary to put the brakes on everything else and make sure that I’m doing my part, as minor as it may be, to help contribute to an issue that really does affect this community at large; a community that so many of us are apart of, whether we choose to admit it or not, and a community that we might not have even realized that we were a part of with aspects that undeniably affect us all and that we most likely have been taking for granted. Some very archaic and screwball laws on the books here in our state our threatening to cripple so many of the venues that we frequent in town, by retroactively demanding exorbitant fees associated with outdated regulations regarding, of all things, dancing. These laws not only affect your ability to see live music, but the ticket price of seeing that music as well. It all seems pretty fucked up and, if you are someone that cares about this community, or even someone that just cares about yourself, we suggest that you continue to read ahead to figure out the details about what’s really going down and to discover what you, as an individual, can actually do about it. Read the rest of this entry →
The first time that I became aware of former-Virgina/future-Los Angeles/currently New York-based artist, Dave MacDowell must have been through “The Samuel Jackson 5.” That painting was enough to quickly grab my attention and softly nestle itself into my consciousness for good–resurfacing at random, when I’d see anything relating to the foulmouthed Snakes on a Plane protaganist or if I’d ever think about slipping on my sleeveless 1984 Victory Tour sweatshirt. As time went on, the occasional MacDowell piece would drift onto my peripheral radar, through shows like Spoke Art‘s debut Bad Dads exhibit, but it wasn’t until Gallery 1988‘s first comedian-inspired Is This Thing On? group show (January 2011), that I truly accepted that I needed to take notice and log MacDowell‘s name into my permanent memory. While “The Samuel Jackson 5” was impressive in its own right, his “Pryor on Fire” piece presented undeniable proof that the painter was much more than just another “low-brow” one-note, recycling the styles of others, and intent on building a milquetoast career on the backs of simple gimmicks or relying strictly on the occasional pun. The flame-engulfed Richard Pryor-Prince Charming with the black power fist, American flag, and cocaine Mickey Mouse ears in front of the Saltine cracker box backdrop and circled by police officers with their firearms drawn was definitely a standout piece in the show, and it demonstrated a remarkable understanding of composition, color, and depth. The more that you really dig into MacDowell‘s portfolio, the more examples you’re bound to find, adding a striking level of consistency to that skill set. And there are plenty of examples; this guy spits out paintings like junior high wrestling teams spit into Snapple bottles. Read the rest of this entry →
[WARNING: There's a picture of a cock on the album cover. Most likely, NSFW]
We love Death Grips. They’ve even indirectly fucked some shit up for me personally, and I still love them. Tonight they’ve given us yet another reason to get behind them even more–bypassing the label to make sure that their long awaited album isn’t awaited any longer.
Intrigued after coming across their video for “Guillotine (It Goes Yah)“ last year, I immediately downloaded the Ex-Military mixtape for free from their site, ThirdWorlds.net. I then listened to it religiously for the next week, before ever really discovering any substantial information about the group. While an aggressive, tattooed and bearded rapper by the name of MC Ride had become the face of the group, he showed no interest in being it’s voice outside of what he said on the tracks, rejecting nearly every opportunity to discuss the project through interviews. That task was taking on by former Hella member and Death Grips drummer/producer, Zach Hill, who explained their grimy approach and hyper focused intentions in detail, while stating that the group was not just another side project for him (he’s had quite a few simultaneous projects along the way: Marnie Stern, Boredoms, Wavves, etc.), it was the main project for him for now on; everything else would be indefinitely put on hold or ceased permanently. Along with a third member, a producer by the name of Flatlander, the Sacramento trio creates dark, gruff, dystopian music, incorporating audio clips that they self-record throughout their everyday lives, as well as youtube audio samples, and whatever else they have at their disposal or take for their disposal. The vocals are considered to be decidedly hip hop, but it’s fairly difficult to know how to categorize what they create overall. It’s fresh, but raw, primitive, yet futuristic, fractured, but pure focused energy. It moved me enough that I wrote that crazy huge fucking piece analyzing the whole goddam thing, nearly track by track, last year. Read the rest of this entry →
Politics are, more or less, bullshit and a complete sham. If that seems like a bold accusation that shouldn’t be thrown around lightly without any real evidence to support it, how about the fact that the saying, “It’s only politics” even exists, in the first place? The phrase is employed to excuse any number of unethical, morally questionable, downright malicious, slanderous, amateurish, and/or opportunistic maneuvers utilized throughout our governmental system to angle for power and personal agendas, but it has also been adopted for use by private citizens, often in a much less literal sense.
“Sorry about mildly poisoning your cat, so that you had to take time off and then, while you were at the vet, spreading a rumor that you were in rehab, planting that piece in your desk that had a few bodies on it and flooding your browsing history with child porn sites, so that, when you were then off trying to straighten these misunderstandings out with the authorities, I was at work swooping in to claim that promotion that you were slightly more qualified for. It’s only politics. We’re still cool right? It’s basically harmless. You know how this game goes. Marilyn didn’t really leave ‘for good’ did she?”
It’s all just mudslinging and filibusters and semantics, red tape, sexual penetration scandals, corporate lobbying, etc. etc. etc. Far too often the idea of getting ahead means getting ahead of everyone else or, even worse, holding or pushing others back to maintain that divide. Read the rest of this entry →
Prior to October of last year, we had never even heard the name Serge Gay Jr. Since then, we’ve conducted/published an interview (March ’11) with the artist here on the site and I’ve personally purchased 2 of his works (an original piece and a giclee print). The last year has shown itself to be quite successful for Gay, finding him earning a Grammy nomination -shared with director/frequent collaborator, Matt Stawski- for his work on Cee Lo Green‘s “Fuck You” video. As the Bay Area gallery/publishing house, Spoke Art was launching themselves into the art world with their breakthrough Wes Anderson-themed art show, Bad Dads, Serge was catching our attention with his standout contributions to that exhibit. Since then, Gay and Spoke Art have proven to be mutually beneficial to each others success, as the San Francisco-based painter has continued to submit impressive piece after impressive piece to such Spoke Art events as the multiple round (NYC, SF, LA) “Quentin vs. Coen – An art show tribute to the films of Tarantino and the Brothers,” the Pangaea Seed-curated shark exhibit/benefit “Sink Or Swim,” and “Bad Dads II.” This Saturday, the two of them will work together yet again; this time with Serge Gay Jr‘s work finally taking center stage in a solo exhibit of his own. Read the rest of this entry →