Tag Archives: photography

Tea With Chris: The Poet is a Drag

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

Carl: I should have mentioned here that I was speaking at this play about Celine Dion, celebrity, self-sacrifice and child abuse last week. However, it’s not too late for those in Toronto to see this fascinating staging of Bliss, by the Quebec playwright Olivier Choinière, translated by Caryl Churchill. I really do recommend it – as The Globe and Mail said, “A disturbing tale about the powerless and the power of love.” Meanwhile, back in Quebec, Choinière has been up to more mischief, which I would call a very exciting bit of parasitic meta-theatre, but which his unwitting and unwilling collaborator called “theatrical rape.” What do you think?

The complicated matter of being the Other Seeger. And that’s even only superficially getting into the contradictions of class and slumming and noblesse oblige.

Here’s a nice account of that Pop Conference thing Chris & I were at last week.

Finally, if that’s just too much human business for you, turn instead to the ursine peoples: 1. Bear on trial. 2. Bear gettin jiggy.

Chris: Speaking of the Pop Conference, reading Jonathan Bogart’s paper about “Urban Romanticism in Latin American Music Between the Wars” may make you wish you’d been there (the panel, the gathering, the city).

Speaking of New York, Edith Zimmerman interviewed one of its great adoptees, Eileen Myles: “To decide to do ‘this’ as a living is to invite barbs that generally pile up around gender and power. The poet is a fag, the poet is a drag, the poet is righteous. But really I think people resent our freedom. Our choice to keep doing something they may have done badly when they were younger and were full of feeling and to keep doing something that supposedly anyone can do – making something out of something as practical and mundane as language is to brand oneself as a lifelong fool rather than merely a fool in her youth. People feel sad about what they disavowed to become who they are now.”

Speaking of people who made art in the 1970s, my friend Sarah Nicole Prickett uses Cindy Sherman’s big Guggenheim retrospective as an opportunity to consider Francesca Woodman’s photographs, mercurial identity as survival strategy and why it will “never not be physiologically and psychologically harder to be female.”

Not speaking at all, just pressing a drum machine into the robotically funky patterns of ’80s Prince, look at the debut jam by aforementioned Korean/Chinese boy band EXO.

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Tea With Chris: Folksy Chap Schtick

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: My friend Maura Johnston started a new, much-needed Tumblr, though she may need an assistant to keep up with all of the potential posts: Gazing Males.

The headline is an example of botched search engine optimization inadvertently echoing somebody’s cranky granddad, and I’m not even sure why this slideshow appeared in Business Insider at all, but who cares? 25 photos from 1980s New York.

The levels of simultaneous wordplay here kind of resemble those cross-section diagrams I learned about medieval castles from.

Only a few days left to help support the next Best Music Writing anthology (reserving a future copy in the process) and fight the scourge of bad criticism everywhere!

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Tea With Chris: The Trivialities of Haters

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:

Carl: While I make some fun of reunion tours and the like in my piece on the oxymoron of Gen X nostalgia in the NY Times Magazine this weekend, it’s not always a lazy, narcissistic or greedy thing for an artist or a group of artists to revisit their past work. For example, in the Summerworks theatre festival this month, Toronto-based company Small Wooden Shoe is remounting its first-ever show, called Perhaps in a Hundred Years, created six years ago. (Disclaimer: I’ve recently become a member of SWS’s board.)

They have a few reasons: First, they like it, and hardly anyone saw the show at the time, so now that they have a bigger reputation, they’d like to give it the exposure. Second, and more intriguingly, they wondered what it would be like to revisit the people they were then – to re-enact a show that was not-so-veiledly about their relationships and situations at the time, when all those relationships and situations have changed. They say it’s now “a period piece, only the period is 2005.” And third, that’s particularly funny because the show is science-fiction, ostensibly about the future. So is it then a period piece about the future, or is it the future now?

I’ve yet to see it but I’ve seen these three performers in many other contexts and they are always charming and brain-tickling, and sometimes quite a bit more. Here is a little promotional video.

It would have been hard to enjoy this interview with David Lynch very much more. It still doesn’t make me sure I want to listen to his first album of original music. But I would listen to him talk about the weather forever.

We recently celebrated Marshall McLuhan’s 100th birthday (what? you didn’t celebrate?). He would have enjoyed this story about telegraph operators texting, essentially, in 1890.

But the most beautiful and affecting thing I’ve seen this week was this gallery by photographer James Mollison (drawn from his new book), depicting “Where Children Sleep” – children from all over the world, from the spoiled-princess or chillingly unchildishly minimalist bedrooms of affluent American kids to an eight-year-old in Cambodia who lives in a dump. I could say more but it is better just to look. Look and see, see, see.

Chris: This month, New York’s Film Forum is finishing up its Essential Pre-Code series – that is, a series of hard-to-find movies released before the mid-’30s, when the Hays Code forced Hollywood to hide its racy red light beneath a bushel. Tragically, I’m not in New York, but at least I can read a critics’ guide and fantasize.

Any ’90s nostalgia on my part is kinda ersatz, but this single I found via the Singles Jukebox is doing the trick. Of course a drum solo known as the Amen break would eventually be resurrected.

Margaux: I saw and loved Werner Herzog’s 3-d feature “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”. I went to see it again the following week because I couldn’t think of what would be better to see. There was a really nice article about it by Larry Rohter in the New York Times.If you love (or are amused by) Werner Herzog, this is him at his best, if Werner Herzog drives you crazy, Werner Herzog will drive you crazy here.

Speaking of love and hate, I read a recent feature on Miranda July that discussed the intense love and intense hate directed at the artist and filmmaker. I read the article because I am looking forward to seeing July’s second feature which is not in theatres yet. The article was fair and nice, but the writer and even Miranda July herself seemed overly preoccupied about people hating July’s “preciousness” and “perceived hipster tendencies”. It’s awful to be hated by strangers but anyone who made such a pleasurable and meaningful first feature shouldn’t worry so much about the trivialities of haters – or at least the critics defending them shouldn’t try to patiently explain it away. I would have much preferred to read more about the depth in her work rather than a tepid defense of her most negatively targeted qualities. Enough of the world will find July’s movies and wait eagerly for each new feature – hopefully of which there will be many.

I’ve been listening to two songs this week. The last episode of HBO’s True Blood put my favourite Neko Case song to good use: making us feel drunken empathy for those mean old vampires who lost love, and glad for those mean old vampires who found it.

The other song on repeat is by Loudain Wainright III – his beautiful “ I Saw Your Name in the Paper”. I think he wrote the song in 1971 (maybe for Liza Minnelli?). He wrote it before he had children, but re releasing it on a 2008 album with two famous children out there in the world was a ballsy move. I love nothing more than when someone casts themselves, very subtly, as a villain in their own work – without sneaking in a wink or qualifiers to the audience. It can be more interesting to not know the creator’s intentions. It’s an honest position for a normal human and often a more useful and humorous one than singing about all the other hateful creatures out there.

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