Tag Archives: LCD Soundsystem

Tea With Chris: Vote Oulipo

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: Vibe‘s exposé of the venal rap aggregator WorldStarHipHop entertains and depresses at the same time – there are plenty of rich bottom-feeders online, but site founder “Q” must be among the most delusional, attributing his dubious achievement to a mystical revelation. Arianna Huffington would never explain her page views this cynically, though: “9-to-5 people love to see misery. People want to say, ‘I thought I had it bad, but look at these people.’ That’s what sells.”

Florida Republicans love restricting abortion rights, hate unhelpful legislative references to female bodies. So they’ve banned them too. Maybe a GOP representative is vying for Oulipo membership?

Light cones and “quantum financial products.”

Rich Juzwiak reminded me that I really need to read Hot Stuff, Alice Echols’ recent history of disco: “Echols examines gay macho (the 70’s trend that found gay dudes dressing butch to a stereotypical extent) as a mindfuck. Was it a way of balancing society’s expectations with gays’ innate humanity (allowing gayness to be tolerated as long as it wasn’t faggy), or was it more subversive, breaking the association of passivity and femininity with homosexuality, since so many man’s men-seeming dudes were taking it up the butt? Who knows? It’s so complicated! Echols ends the section with a quote from Guy Hocquenghem: ‘Our assholes are revolutionary!’ Yeah, that sounds about right.”

Carl: Margaux didn’t tell us she was working on a book, especially in such an awesome way.

Further afield, it’s sad to see LCD Soundsystem stop (and especially not to see them live this weekend, since I never have), but as Nitsuh Abebe eloquently limns in this New York Magazine piece, they’re doing it to leave the most perfect history behind them. The deftness of that gesture is like everything they have done – working with the ultimately mundane material of scenes and sounds and collector-ness but seeking the exact place in those subjects where they crack and let the whole universe in. Their humour, always double-sided, murmurs, “This would be bullshit, except that it’s my life.” And at that point the specific milieu ceases to matter, because that’s a T-shirt everybody can wear.

In a similar spirit, this is an obvious choice, but there’s nothing gained in clever ways to say goodbye.

Otherwise, if you are in Montreal tonight or any of these places, do whatever you must to catch the current Destroyer tour. (Except try to get in with fake ID when you are actually of age. Events witnessed last night told us that was a dumb idea. Get yourself real ID, okay?) There were people at the show last night who said they came prepared, even wanting, to dislike it, and could not. Freed of the need to play guitar by an eight-piece swirling horns-and-pedals-and-everything band, Dan Bejar becomes a whole other performer – not an extroverted one, quite, but a crooner who exudes relaxation and pleasure in the company of these people and all this sound, not to mention a healthy bang on a tambourine. If he’d done this a decade ago it’s hard to imagine how swish he’d be at it now, but fuck regret, the time has come. Also, the crowd last night was B-A-N-A… y’know what I mean. Gonzo excited. Their ironic moustaches were standing on end. Only one note: Soundmen, please keep keyboardist/vocalist Larissa Loyva’s voice higher in the mix. The duets are important. Not to pick nits. We Destroyer devotees are arrant knaves, all, believe none of us, but go thy ways to a clubbery, posthaste.

Advertisements

Comments Off on Tea With Chris: Vote Oulipo

Filed under carl wilson, chris randle, linkblogging, margaux williamson

Art things I thought about this year, that I can remember today, in order of remembrance.

by Margaux Williamson

1. The best movie I saw that I didn’t write about this year – Rocky

I had never seen any of the Rocky movies. It was recommended to me after a conversation about sports movies with my friend Lucas Rebick. I was surprised at how unfake the aesthetic was. It looked like Philedelphia in 1976.. and kind of like Toronto in 2010. I was surprised at how much I related to it. I related to Rocky and to all of the women he talks to.

“Hey Rocky” the loan shark’s driver hollers out of a car window. “Yeah?” Rocky asks. The loan shark’s driver – “You should take your girl to the zoo. I hear retarded people like the zoo.” Rocky flinches, “Fuck you, man!” Rocky shouts back,  “She ain’t retarded, she’s just shy.”

2. The other best movie I saw this year and didn’t write about – My Man Godfrey


My friend Gracie has a favourite romantic comedy from every decade. My Man Godfrey is her tops for the 30′s (1936).  Carole Lombard plays a rich socialite who falls in love with her butler. It was pretty interesting to see how rich people were portrayed as such silly and thoughtlessly cruel individuals (as in every situation, the beautiful, charming ones escape total condemnation). Rich people have enjoyed a much better and enduring reputation since all the communists were kicked out of Hollywood. It reminded me of how quickly things can change and how very long they can stay the same.

My favourite part came when the family needed to talk about money – the matriarch of the rich family looked horrified and cried  “Money is dreadful! We can’t talk about money, it upsets Carlo!” (Carlo is the artist that they support). At this point Carlo turns away, towards the fire, upset and shuddering like an angel. Luckily, the cheese sandwiches come in just as things are about to get awk-ward.

3. Thick of It

I really couldn’t get enough of this British TV show from 2005 about the inner workings of the modern British Government. Sample text (if I am remembering correctly) – “Terry, do you know why they call him the Fucker?”

“Is it .. is it.. because he’s.. a bit of a fucker?”

4. Work of Art: America’s Next Great Artist and what people wrote about it.

This new reality TV show premiered in the summer. Contestants, from across the U.S., compete in an art competition with a jury of professional critics and artists. It was just like any other reality TV show. It was strange. And people wrote about it.

Art Fag City covered it like white on rice, Lynn Crosbie had some good points for the artists and Jerry Saltz (an art critic who was a judge on the show) wrote an article for each episode after first participating in and then watching the episodes. Jerry Saltz’s articles were, hands down, the best art to come out of the show. The articles were written to an audience that included the show’s participants, viewers and art-insiders. He wrote about the art, judging the art and judging himself judging the art. It was strange and good.

Some art-insider critiques of the show sounded an awful lot like a reversal of the old art-outsider stereotype – “my kid could paint that”. The  equivalent turns out to be –  “my friend down the street from me, in Brooklyn, could paint that a lot better”. Sucks to be on the outside.

Though there didn’t feel like there was too much at stake (America’s next great artist-wise),  the beginning of some hilariously awkward public conversations (involving critics, artists and audience) about what art is felt stupid-smart, meaningful and full of potential.

The only “unreality” part was at the end when there were only three contestants left. One would get the bank and the others nothing. Maybe it’s just my world, but every artist I know would have been more than happy to split a hundred thousand dollars 3 ways and then gone about their business. But I guess reality TV without winners or losers is just the NFB.

5. Websites about videos

I know about these two websites, Ryeberg Curated Video and 2 Pause: Freezing Music Video Culture, because I contributed to them. But they’re both really interesting and I’m sure there’s a lot more of these websites out there – websites that are figuring out how to talk about or organize the massive amounts of videos out there. Ryeberg has contributors write short essays on Youtube videos and 2 Pause collects interesting music videos and puts them into categories like these: Lo/No Budget (that is where I am and this nice one from Antony and Boy George), Netherclips, Stop Motion, Electric Cinema (I didn’t watch them all but found this nice one from Foals and Chris Sweeney) and French Wave. I would like to see the categories that everyone has for their videos.

6. Artists Using and Sharing

I really liked that Erykah Badu made this video by borrowing the idea from Matt and Kim. She credits them in the beginning of the video. The structure of her video is identical, but the feel and meaning are completely different and more to my interests. The borrowing and added art reminds me of this article about Jeff Wall from a while ago.

Olaf Breuning’s work (consisting of performance based art video) has always looked really interesting but I assumed that he, like a lot of artists, didn’t put all of his work on-line. I only just saw one of his videos recently when Jon Davies screened it at the Cinecycle. It was great. Then I went home, looked him up and discovered that all of his videos are available on his website. Thank you Jon Davies for reminding me of Olaf Breuning and thank you Olaf Breuning for sharing. SO much better that way.

7. Moral/ art lessons from popular music videos

LCD Soundsystem and Spike Jonze reminds us that drunk people, whom are often beautiful and fun, can also be really fucking annoying.  The video, featuring the band being abused by people dressed as pandas, is as good as Spike Jonze’s videos always are. And Lady Gaga and Beyoncé remind you again that it’s a bad idea to disrespect the people who serve your food. And Kanye West, who likes a lot of the same things I like ( naked ladies, revolution, ballet, Beyoncé, Takashi Murakami) reminds us to take paintings seriously.

8. Luc Tuyman’s painting Turtle

I really loved this painting this year,  from 2007.

I also really love this painting from Brad Phillips.

9. A brief LIFE OF A CRAPHEAD performance I saw at Double Double Land

The performances from Toronto’s LIFE OF A CRAPHEAD (Amy C. Lam and Jon McCurley)  feel so good on your brain. They go right to the part  that understands but doesn’t share with the other parts of your brain – the parts that could explain what is happening. But then those parts start understanding something else and then, somehow, every part of your brain is being massaged by a fire in-the-know and then it is over. It can feel like good drugs, but really, it’s more like spinach.

10. SUM: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman

David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, wrote this strange book comprised of brief scenarios of the afterlife. More about life than after.

11. Missing Objects

Is it too late for a really, really long Arrested Developement movie?

Also, I would like an audio book of Jack Hitt’s articles. I would buy two. While we wait, we can read his Mighty White of You: Racial preferences color America’s oldest skulls and bones and listen to his Act 5, the 52 minute long audio documentary about a group of prisoners at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center who are rehearsing and staging a production of Hamlet. It’s great.

12. Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

Nice work William Hammond Hall and John McLaren.

Comments Off on Art things I thought about this year, that I can remember today, in order of remembrance.

Filed under margaux williamson, movies, visual art