Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Reason #23 why black metal trumps minimal techno any day of the week.

I forgot to post these earlier in the week: photos from this past Wednesday's Dorkwave party are here and here.

Today from Pitchfork: DFA for the holidays and Stephin Merritt to release a collection of his work for theatre in February.

The Magnetic Fields frontman is also reportedly working on a live musical adaptation of Neil Gaiman's children's book Coraline, slated to premiere at St. Anne's Warehouse in late 2006. More info on Merritt's current projects at The House of Tomorrow.

More on the more innovative side of the Detroit rock scene: we caught the debut performance of Marie and Francis last night at Bart's, a cozy breakfast joint/bar, a few blocks from my house in Ferndale Michigan. Marie and Francis is our dear friends Betty Marie Barnes of Saturday Looks Good to Me and Nathaniel F. H. Burgundy of Pas/Cal (with support from Mr. Richard Panic, also of Pas/Cal). Marie and Francis once again proved my long-held theory that natural talent always trumps skill and hard work (not to suggest by any means that the duo do not work their asses off and are not highly skilled musicians,) but you can just smell raw talent, and it stops you dead in your tracks. Betty admitted that this was the first time she had ever played an instrument or one of her own songs in front of an audience, yet the chatty crowd at Bart's fell silent, completely captivated by the beautiful songs that would make the best of songwriters green with envy.

And by the way, DethLab will be playing with Pas/Cal at their Holiday Spectacular next month at the Lager House. Details TBA.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"Let's kill every one we know and hit the open road."

For those not intimately involved in Detroit's small but exceptional post-punk/shoegaze/gawth/new-wave scene, 800 Beloved [formerly inlieof] have three delectably dark and infectious tracks up on their MySpace profile for your downloading pleasure. [Show Me Evil is featured on WDRK episode 5]

Our very own Allen Goodman recently became the newest member of 800 Beloved mastermind Sean Lynch's cast of collaborators. I initially gave Allen a week, but these two are weird enough that I think this might stick.

Ms. Toybreaker and I are hoping to work with Lynchy on some original DethLab tracks once we get some time to actually sit and write some songs. It'll be fun to see how the Peter Hook-esque bass lines in my head work with the ASSio and Screaming Pussy. ;)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Wal-Mart Dance Party. The next Dorkwave? Video included.
Thanks to Guy@PSFK.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Submissions for CAID's juried All Media Show are due by December 4th, 2005. Download form here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The 11-Year Quest to Create Disappearing Colored Bubbles
Chemical burns, ruined clothes, 11 years, half a million dollars—it's not easy to improve the world's most popular toy. Yet the success of one inventor's quest to dye a simple soap bubble may change the way the world uses color.

ed note: if you were having trouble with the MP3 links below a minute ago, they have been fixed. enjoy!

Dorkwave Thanksgiving TONIGHT!

(because it's just not Thanksgiving if you're not hung over.)

blackbx and present:
Les Infants Terribles at Corktown Tavern
1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit
18+ | 10pm-? | FREE

We're currently redoing the whole Dorkwave website, which is why it hasn't been updated recently. Look for lots of new goodness in the coming weeks though. Here is a sampling of a new feature Rob has been working very hard on the past few weeks:

We are pleased to present, for the first time on the internets:


program one, hosted by Rob Theakston: download
program two, hosted by Rob Theakston: download
program three, hosted by Rob Theakston: download
program four, hosted by Michael Doyle: download
program five, hosted by Michael Doyle: download

my faith in car design has recently been restored by a new friends gorgeous new website for his company MOTOR CITY EUROPE (wait for the intro!)

also, im heading back to detroit next week for a month or so before i start my new job after xmas...looking forward to seeing firsthand what i normally only see pictures of on burnlab

Monday, November 21, 2005

ZDNet has some very interesting pictures of Google's new London office.

Looking to make an impression on the neighborhood, Google held a contest, Doodle 4 Google where area school-children send in their interpretation of the Google logo. What was won? Heh, a nice parking spot for Googles PR dept.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

From a European point of view, this has got to be the best pieces of Americana I've seen for a long time. The Economist has a great article on Punkin Chunkin, a "sport" in which one builds air-powered superguns to shoot pumpkins as far as possible.

Quote: "All in all, Punkin Chunkin is a symbol of what makes America great. Only in the richest country on earth could regular guys spend tens of thousands of dollars building a pumpkin gun. Only in a nation with such a fine tradition of inventiveness, not to mention martial prowess, would so many choose to. And only in a land of wide open spaces would they be able to practise their chunkin without killing their neighbours."

Friday, November 18, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Here's a nice article on cerebral cooking.

Does anyone have a bone saw we can borrow for this evening's epicurean adventure? Apparently you can't buy fresh lamb brains anymore (some crap about "mad cow"... whatever...) but you can buy the whole head.

(Yeah, we're just that trendy.)

Flash guru Brendan Dawes shares his Flash 8 fears of a future filled with drop shadows and bevels on his personal blog

He also announces he's going to be writing a new book. His first book since Drag Slide Fade. Expect the way the internet looks to change a little after its release.

Speaking of which, Frieds Of Ed just released a wonderful new book bringing the exciting new possibilities of XML integrated Flash to a larger audience. Which BTW, you can buy on Amazon with Foundation ActionScript Animation for only 52 bucks!

Long live the interweb!

The new $300 video projector from Hasbro might be the coolest "toy" since the PXL-2000.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We interrupt goth week for a little automotive news...

Since there are at least a few Saab enthusiasts on the roll call, this caught my eye.

Rumors have it that Saab might show a small & light two seater coupe concept that would "have the DNA of the Saab Sonett", a small coupe produced by Saab in the mid 60s (available also as a roadster). If the public's reaction is favourable (how could it not be for a small and light coupe with a fuel-efficient 240 hp 2.0 turbo) the Saab Sonett's heir might continue towards production, but nothing is certain.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I may have to change my New Years Eve plans...

Throbbing Gristle will be doing two special performances in Berlin on December 31 and January 1. The NYE event will include the likes of T. Raumschmiere and Thomas Brinkmann, and TG will perform a new live soundtrack for the 1980 film In the Shaddow of the Sun on New Years Day.

You can purchace a gold leafed "UBERTICKET" (packaged in a tin box and red cloth bag) for 300 euros, which includes admission to both live performances, a private viewing of TG's exhibition Industrial Annual Report at Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, an advance copy of TG's brand new studio LP Part Two and other special treats.

If you can't make it to Berlin, the forthcoming album will be available directly from Mute on January 3, and in record stores February.

i would love to get my hands on the video that brought THIS about

Get your black on. It's officially Goth Week in Detroit.

Wednesay, 11.16.05
Front 242
Majestic Theater, Detroit MI
18+ | doors 8pm | $20

Thursday, 11.17.05
[Dethlab closed rehearsal/photo shoot, Eastern Market]

Friday, 11.18.05
Royal Oak Music Theater, Royal Oak MI
all ages | doors 7pm | $40 (almost sold out!)

DETHLAB circa 199-something

Saturday, 11.19.05
Noir Leather presents SIN
Dethlab five hour live(ish)/DJ set
Fetish styling by Wretched Design, Boston MA
Diesel, Hamtramck MI
18+ | 9pm- | $15, $10 w/ creative outfit

Monday, November 14, 2005

Even if it does push a TV at the end, it's still a stunningly beautiful piece of video. Making the rounds on lots of blogs...see the full version here. Nice addition of the Jose Gonzalez track too.

Lots going on out here in La La land, so here's a little update...

First, while this is no longer news to some people, I can now officially announce that I am Managing Editor at URB Magazine. And while I'm still not certain how the whole title hierarchy works in the publishing world (still faking it), I am definately the HHIC (Head Hebrew In Charge). I even get my own office (and it's not in the basement of a nightclub in Hamtramck).

Saw a fantastic band on Saturday night, The Sounds from Sweden. Remember what a great song "Kids in America" is? Imagine a band where every song sounds like that. Their current hit is even called "We're Not Living In American." Swedish new-wave pop it is!

Currently enjoying Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on iTunes. If you've read any hipster music blog this year, you've already heard of them, but the last three songs are pure genius. Like David Byrne fronting Eggs as produced by Robin Gutherie.

Caught Front 242 last week at Avalon. Full disclosure, I've never owned a 242 album, but as is obvious by the company I keep, I've listen to the group a lot over the years. Lemme just say that the show was excellent. So excellent I don't even mind that I paid (gasp!) for a ticket.

Have a bunch more things in the works that I'll be cluing y'all in on real soon. In the mean time, back to the fabulous Hollywood lifesytle.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Does anyone mind if I gloat for just a second

Focus Media releases are now available on iTunes, along with several other digital music distributors. (Tank now, rest to come soon)

Check it out

Which means, you can buy Glee, Ad Nauseam (new review) for like $3.96, which saves you roughly $4.04 if you were to buy it from us or your local record shop. Which, aint a bad deal. You dont really need the real thing anyway, you young hip iPod using emeffer you.

PS: if youre tired of hearing me talk about this tiny record, dont worry, I'm tired of talking about it. I'm half way done with an LP and Jes Kramers album is almost done, so I'll have something new to rant endlessly about. (i have the heart of a used car salesman.... or a souless spammer)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Twice this week Pitchfork impresses me with their writing.

Saying "moustache guy" instead of using someone's name - on purpose - is one of those tiny little strokes of brilliance that just brightens my day to read.

Galliano just gets better all the time.

I'm not much of a fan of the spring fashion season - the casual cuts, pale colors, the light, unstructured fabrics... just not my cup of tea. That's why John Galliano's spring show this week was like a refreshing blast of crisp autumn air ripe with the scent of leaves, grilled meats and the greased wheels of clacking old roller coasters taking one last lap before the first frost. Ahhh...

Aside from some pretty excellent designs, the self-described bad boy of the fashion world presented his collection like a hybrid cabaret show/wedding party, featuring a cast of characters of varying body types and extreme features that would be well suited for a circus film directed by Jean Jeunnet (which, no, is not in the works... as far as I know.)

View the full collection here.

The divine proportion of the ipod (and other things) in case you were interested.

If you can't get tickets to Bauhaus at the Nokia Theatre in NYC tonight, you can still hang out with the boys afterwards at Lit Lounge. Justine D's ongoing Friday dance party AKTION doubles as the official Bauhaus afterparty, with JDH and guest DJs Roy Dank and Mike Simonetti.

Friday, Nov. 11
93 2nd Ave., between 5th and 6th St., NYC
21+ | free | 11pm

Speaking of things dark, spooky and awesome, break out the rubber pants and clear your schedule for next Saturday night. Dethlab is pleased to be DJ'ing Noir Leather's SIN party. We've successfully pissed off Detroit's rock and techno scenes with Dorkwave, and our sights are clearly set on ruffling the goth/industrial scene, and anyone else who could stand to have a little more fun. The kids may or may not recognize anything we play (because we're sure as hell not playing VNV Nation,) but I think (I hope) they'll like it just as much as Boston did a couple months back. If you haven't seen us perform as Dethlab yet, try to imagine something like I Love Lucy meets Blade Runner.

The last time I was involved in a Noir event was ten years ago. It involved grinding metal on stage, electrical tape and said rubber pants. This is going to be fun!

Saturday, Nov. 19
Noir Leather presents SIN
special guest DJ's DETHLAB
Fetish production by Wretched Design, Boston
18+ | 9pm | Diesel | 11425 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck MI
costumes encouraged, $5 off for creativity
flyer here

Our own Mike Servito takes over Oslo [the one in Detroit] this weekend with two distinctive nights of quality programming. First off is METL, an evening of high brow techno and low brow behavior. Then tomorrow is the first installent of SASS, a brand new gay-oriented night "for those sick of hearing bad trance remixes of Cher." Amen.

Friday Nov. 11
djs Mike Servito + Patrick Russell
18+ | $5 | 10pm

Saturday, Nov. 12
Coitus Interruptus presents SASS
djs Nathan Rapport + Mike Servito
18+ | $5 | 10pm

[flyer designs by Bethany]

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The extended Burnlab family gets not one, but three salutations from the Metro Times in their music issue this week:

Best blog that combines Detroit attitude with whack electronics and space-goth fashion

If you want to find out about the fabulous party you missed last weekend, or listen to samples of toy instruments played by Bethany Shorb of God and his Bitches, you should cruise here often. Highlights: a picture of her screaming pussy - actually a Smartronics Animal Quartet piano - and a teaser link to Cyberoptix, which Shorb describes as a "baroque ornamental burnout" custom clothing line ready to launch in 2006.

Best-suited electro new wave


Team Dorkwave's monthly parties are a blur of warm Jager, Georgio Moroder, Saran Wrap hot pants and atrocious dance moves. "Stop the madness!" Corktown Tavern said, and tried to burn itself down. But Dorkwave endured, and continues to endear. They're as cool as Rupert "Stiles" Stylinksi surfing on a van.

Best label-creating genre-bending music that'll never sell north of M-59

Ghostly/Spectral Sound

Sam Valenti IV's empire, made up of gifted misfits like Dykehouse, Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys and Todd Osborn (not to mention international snootlegs Matthew Dear and Tadd Mullinix), is the best thing to happen to regional sonic-pop art since the blistering acid tech-house/abandoned factory scene captured the world's imagination in the 1990s. Stylistically different, but as significant.

p.s.: big thanks to Rob Theakston for a most entertaining Dorkwave Radio studio session last night, and Bethany and I apologize in advance for your hangover.



Art, Democracy and Intellectual Property

Dark Source is a project by Ben Rubin, first installed at the Making Things Public exhibit earlier this year in Karlsruhe Germany.

The artwork presents over 2,000 pages of software code, a printout of 49,609 lines of C++ that constitute version 4.3.1 of the AccuVote-TS source code: the heart of the predominant electronic voting machine in the United States. AccuVote manufacturer Diebold claims the code as intellectual property and a trade secret, thus every single line in the artwork has been blacked out by the artist. The thousands upon thousands of censored lines of code presented in Dark Source raise the important point that the very infrastructure of democracy is a privately owned commercial commodity and secret. Legally, Diebold must be taken on their word that the collective decisions which shape world history are collected and counted fairly and accurately.

The national Warriors Halloween Party photo site will take a bit more time to organize, but the official Detroit photo gallery is now online here.

A few lovely pics from the NYC pary can be found here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Every once in a while Pitchfork's writing is hilarious. (That is, when they're not ripping on your friends or teengae heroes.)

Killswitch: click.

Our good friend Scott is Killswitch's office manager, which we find quite appripote.

(It's the time of day where I start making bad music puns. Stop me.)

Despite the previously noted, much good did come from elections across the United States yesterday, including big wins for Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey and voters in Pennsylvania striking a blow against "intelligent design" (also known as "creationism", or more accurately "we're too lazy to try and understand how the universe works, and those who do are going to hell.") In the heartland however, Kansas further proves Darwin's theories.

I was going to post something about moving back to New York (despite the re-election of their own putz of a mayor,) but this changed my mind.

Four more years of incompetence and abuse of privilege. Good job, Detroit. (It feels like we just went through this in '04...)

Detroitblog predicted how this might happen in yesterday's post. I expect to Rob to offer a post-election assessment after his blood comes down from boil.... though that may take a while.

Also in today's paper: Poll finds 33% of Detroiters want to leave.

This town breeds cynicism like cancer sometimes.

In other election news: my hamlet of Ferndale Michigan, directly adjacent to Detroit, has passed a proposal allowing medicinal use of marijuana, while neighboring Oak Park voted against allowing alcohol sales by the glass. The former is getting a lot of media attention, but has limited real world implications (other than the likelyhood of the neighborhood smelling like hippies,) but the latter is quite significant and unfortunate for one small business:

In Oak Park, voters shot down the proposal, which would have allowed businesses that made 50% of their profits from food sales to sell alcohol. The issue came up last year after the city acquired a portion of Royal Oak Township through a land-and tax-sharing agreement that had businesses with liquor licenses, including a karaoke bar, Royal Kubo, on Greenfield south of I-696. This vote means that Royal Kubo, the only business that still had a license before the election, will lose its liquor license.

Owner Armand Santos said he was surprised by the vote and now plans to move his business to another city.

"Karaoke without alcohol -- it doesn't go hand-in-hand," he said.

"We lost everything. We lost our livelihood."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Bernd & Hilla Becher's exhibition of the Typologies of Industrial Buildings at the Berlin Hamburger Banhhof triggered my case of Stendhal Syndrome.

Trent Reznor documents the wreckage of Katrina.

WWII Maunsell towers.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Most of the Detroit Demolition Crew (1, 2, 3) has returned from New York in one piece (more than we can say for NYC.) Huge, huge congrats to Matt Dear and Ryan Elliott (under the skull) for a smashing success at the Guggenheim, to Jon O for recieving the coveted and very well deserved Ghostly ring, and a very special happy birthday and huge thank you to Sam Valenti IV for a great weekend. I have a ton of work to catch up on now, but Burnlab blogging to resume shortly.

[all photos by Ms. Toybreaker: complete set here.]

Friday, November 04, 2005

Today is the 5th Annual Take a Model Train to Work Day.

[thanks John Balousek!]


A matrix of 930 fluorescent lamps is integrated into the eastern acrylic glass facade of the biomorphic building structure of the new Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria. Through the possibility to individually adjust the lamps’ brightness at an infinite variability with 20 frames/second images, films and animations can be displayed - the Kunsthaus' skin is transformed into a giant low resolution computer display.


NYC will be seeing a small Detroit invasion form the Burnlab/Ghostly camp this weekend. Festivities start tonight, with Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliott performing in The Guggenheim Rotunda:

The Guggenheim and Flavorpill present First Fridays feat. Matthew Dear w/ Ryan Elliott | Fri 11.4 (9pm-1am)

Guggenheim Museum (1071 5th Ave, 212.423.3500) | $15

For round two of Flavorpill's monthly First Fridays at the Guggenheim, we beef up the beats with the one-two punch of Ghostly/Spectral's Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliott. Detroit denizen Dear sheds his current sex-crazed Audion moniker for a deft set of the teutonic-tinged, pixilated pop, and zig-zagging zipper-funk that dominated his accolade-garnering 2003 release Leave Luck to Heaven, while fellow south Michigan boyo Elliott * the mixmaster behind stunning label-sampler Spectral Sound, Vol. 1 * purveys a warm flow of Motor City's finest robo-soul bass lines. So, perk your ears while absorbing 800 breathtaking years of art in the Russia! exhibit, before uncoiling on the atrium's dance floor.

Our old friend Golan Levin is also in town this weekend, performing his brand new multimedia project Scrapple at Monkey Town in Williamsburg.

Two-time Monkey Town alumnus Golan Levin has shown his audiovisual performances and installations all over the world, including exhibitions in the Whitney Biennial, Ars Electronica festival, and a bombed-out palace in Zagreb. For this weekend's four shows, Golan will present a World Premiere of his latest audiovisual performance, "Scrapple".

Acting in the capacity of "guest curator", Golan has also selected a complementary menu of hot new video works by his friends and colleagues -- Hillary Harp and Suzie Silver, Sue Costabile & AGF, Cassandra C. Jones and Tanya Bezreh.

Performances are at 7:30pm and 10:00pm November 4 & 5.
Reservations are suggested. Full info here.

The Cranbrook Architecture Department has a new collective blog portal, with all but two students currently participating. Doug Johnston is also in charge of the new Archinect School Blog for the department. The department is ripping apart a trailer for a mobile project/exhibition space and already has six universities and galleries confirmed to temporarily house the traveling project. Interesting stuff!


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

regarding Josh's previous post: I'd put money on both.

The thing about trainwrecking is nobody cares. (Except for other DJs, but they're probably not out there dancing anyway...)

I wonder if Casey Spooner will say something clever...

...I wonder if i'll trainwreck in front of 1500 people

Image hosted by

how a "top 100" of games not include the freeforall fun of "hungry hungry hippos?". where is the justice??

Subterranean "Mega Flagship" Apple Store on 5th Avenue to open by year's end, featuring a giant glass cube entrance on the plaza of the GM Building. Cool.

Serge Gainsbourg et Brigitte Bardot video de musique!

[via we-make-money-not-art]

...and more killer robots.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Re: Is it okay to say "electroclash" again?

Yes, at least it is in New York

Also gleaned from Max, I LOVE this quote from Casey Spooner:

Nothing is real. The most beautiful things are those efforts of mankind to transform themselves and the world around them into what that want reality to be.

Seriously. Where would we be if we all just accepted who we are in the moment instead of actively being who we are in our grandest dreams and ambitions?

I think maybe everyone needs to read Anthem again. I still don't quite understand how Ayn Rand was embraced by the right, because she is truly the original punk, and I'm sure she would agree that nothing is more "real" than what you make happen.

But don't listen to me - I still believe we will create a race of robots far superior to humans, thus sealing our own demise... but this is not a bad thing, rather a confirmation of our own ingenuity and a humble acceptance of our fleshy weakness.

(Here's proof. More here.)

Not speaking of electroclash (*ahem*,) our friend Max presents his downloads of the month, including Washing Machine is Speaking, my favorite Ellen Allien song ever - which, as you should know, is a bold statement.

The reigning queen of techno producers must have a cooler washing machine than most of us. Or maybe Germans just have a better rapport with their technology. This particular waschmaschine is loaded off-center, creating a syncopated thud beneath the beeps and ticks of its morse-code control pulses. Fuzzed-out gears and drive belts switch on and off as the washer moves relentlessly through its cycle; a high, propulsive melody jangles in during the final spin. A thoroughly cleansing experience.

(There is one person I know who has such a rapport with technology.)

Is it okay to say "electroclash" again?

I'm kinda sick of coming up with a million different ways of not saying "electroclash" when I really mean "electroclash".

Nice site to jar those childhood memories out. Some of the picks are a little questionable: ROM #50? Speak and Spell#23?

We still have a bit of organizing to do, but all the photos from Friday night's Warriors party have been uploaded for your viewing pleasure. Once again, a huge thanks to everyone who lent their skills behind the lens, to Jimmy, Alec and Jon for the excellent musical selections, and everyone for the top notch costume participation!

Jon Dones' photos here

Pam Yung's photos here

and a more comprehensive recap from Bethany here.