Saturday, December 31, 2005

Holy crap! Detroit News Artist of the Week

Happy new year to all! It's ten minutes to midnight, eastern standard time, and I hope nobody is at home in Detroit reading this right now, because you should all be at the Dorkwave New Year's Gala. Myslef and Bethany are currently hanging out in SF with Nix, planning some trouble of our own and waiting for the drunken phone calls from Detroit to start rolling in momentarily.

Part of me would like to be there for Dorkwave tonight, but I wouldn't trade this weekend for anything. Hiking out to the Muir Beach Overlook in 70mph winds, navigating switchbacks and falling rocks (for real) on the Pacific Coastal Highway, followed by an afternoon at the spa, excellent company, excellent food, has been... well, pretty darn excellent. Pictures and details soon.

There's a party tonight. You should come out.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Our very own Rob Theakston gives up the Dorkwave current top five in this week's Metro Times Head Cheese column.

awesome band alert:

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The Heavycoats are making waves across the pond in the UK, and oddly enough...they're american! Be still my heart.

Kindly maniac Ryan Elliott presents his 2005 Top 10:

1. Popnebo/ Faceline/ Anorak Tontrager
2. CloserMusik/ 1,2,3-No Gravity (Ewan Pearson's Acid Mix)/ Out Of The Loop
3. Audion/ Just Fucking/ Spectral
4. Und/ Ambivalente/ Defrag
5. Daso/ T. Anders/ My Best Friend
6. Avus/ Tear/ Klang
7. Solvent/ Think Like Us (Alter Ego rmx.)/ Ghostly
8. Heartthrob/ Golum/ Minus
9. Loco Dice/ Menina Brasileira/ Ovum
10. Wessling & Schrom/ Donauwellen (MANDY rmx.)/ Boxer

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I think I might have just died and found my personal music geek heaven. Minimal Wave is a website and label dedicated to documenting the history of minimal synth, new wave, cold wave, minimal electronik, post punk, proto-industrial and synthpunk music. [Not to be confused with minimal techno] Minimal Wave is a resource and community for both fans of and those curious about bands such as Absolute Body Control, Fiction Technology, Snowy Red, The Neon judgment, Crash Course in Science and the like.

The Minimal Wave record label recently put out their first release, a four track EP of early work by Oppenheimer Analysis, and will soon be offering hand printed t-shirts from contemporary synth heroes 2VM: our old friends Veronica Vasicka and Marc Houle.

+ check ouy the awesome video clips of Liaisons Dangereuese and Snowy Red.

Monday, December 26, 2005

checking out the tom waits vid i came across one from my "man of the year 2005", MF DOOM

best gift i got is Made in Detroit : A South of 8 Mile Memoir, a book by PAUL CLEMENS who, like myself, grew up white in an increasingly black city. so far the book is worth it for its insights on the downfall of the city alone, although its most startling efforts are such frank views as his "having been born with not only the Catholic version of original sin but the white American version of it as well."


(Has it really been that long? Yes.)


celebrating music + drinks + bad behavior

untitled residents: MIKE SERVITO, RYAN ELLIOTT


featuring: LEE CURTISS [live]

Alvin's | 5756 cass ave. | detroit, mi. | 18+ |9p | $5


For those who aren't familiar with what Doc is referencing, there was a grandiose plan to light up the Broderick Tower with thousands and thousands and thousands of feet of christmas lights last year. It was incredibly close to becoming a reality, but there were "issues" with getting power to the 35 story extension cord. Would have been spectacular.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas to all!

DetroitBlog features some shots of holiday decorations from the city's historic neighborhoods, and a recent re-visit to the David Broderick Tower, one of our personal favorites.

+ this isn't exactly new, but if you haven't seen it yet, Tom Waits has a gorgeous video for God's Away on Business. Just the right thing for holiday cheer. (In my house anyway, but Doyles are weird like that.) You can't go wrong with emus.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Some Christmas cheer from out dear friends at Ghostly International, in the form of three free holiday mp3s for you:

Benoit Pioulard

Detroit saturday mornings totally belong to Bethanys hood at the Russell Street Deli

Friday, December 23, 2005

Since we're not doing a Best of 05 feature on Burnlab, below is the list I just submitted for Liz Copeland's excellent site Audio Interference. (Burnlab editors and readers are still more than invited to submit your year end list to the Lab Reort.)


M83 - "Teen Angst" - EMI
Best song for impossibly slow goth dancing with grandiose arm gestures since (everything on) The Cocteau Twins' Heaven or Las Vegas LP.

Vitalic - "My Friend Dario" - Different Recordings
Most likely to induce air guitar playing in your underwear. Genius. Who said Electroclash was dead?

800 Beloved (formerly Inlieuof) - "Galaxies" - unreleased
Milford Michigan based songwriter/funeral director/producer extraordinaire Sean Lynch crafts a post-punk/shoegazer classic here that just sends shivers up your spine.

Pas/Cal - "O Honey We're Ridiculous" - Romantic Air/Le Grand Magistery
From their forthcoming (and LONG awaited) debut LP, this quickly became a personal anthem for Ms. Toybreaker and I. Every word totally hits home - and the fact that it's one the best pop songs ever written doesn't hurt either. I put this on the same level as the best from Pulp, Blur and The Cars. Seriously.

Noise Tank (Loves You) - "Rabbit's Dead, Easter Day" - Focus Media
Noise Tank's obsessive production and clever song writing makes them probably the most promising new band from Detroit this year. Blending such odd influences as His Name is Alive, Aphex Twin and Belle and Sebastian, their "spazz-pop" sound, and lyrics ripe with both teen innocence and sophisticated irony are the right thing, in the right place, at the right time.


Vitalic - "OK Cowboy" - Different Recordings
Hands down. Shove your freedom fries you know where. The French rule.

LCD Soundsystem - "LCD Soundsystem" - DFA
Well worth the wait. Dorkwave's NYC brothers and sisters in arms.

The Neon Judgement - "Box" - PIAS
A sort of reissue, yes, but more relevant that most new music this year... and '05 was a really good year. Box provides a comprehensive view of this much overlooked act that influenced everyone from Front 242 and Sisters of Mercy, to Terrence Fixmer and Chicks on Speed.

We Are Wolves - "Non-Stop Je Te Plie En Deux" - The Mintaka Conspiracy
Just as good as the French, and even weirder, French-Canadians rocked my world this year. Huge thanks to Cowboy Mark for turning me on to these guys. "T.R.O.U.B.L.E." was an instant Dorkwave staple in '05, although I don't think anyone besides Mark really understands just how awesome this record is.

Kill Memory Crash - "American Automatic" - Ghostly International
Ellen Allien - "Thrills" - BPitch Control
Adult. - "Gimme Trouble" - Thrill Jockey
It was impossible to decide between these three for the number five spot, and I didn't want to bore you all with a full top 10. All three artists showed us a much expanded creative realm with this year's releases. Three total must-haves that people will be scratching their heads over for a good while, and putting on their Best of the Decade lists five years from now.


Old favorites, often dismissed for their high cheese-factor, that shaped my world this year:

The Human League - "Together in Electric Dreams"
The theme from the wonderful mid-1980's film Electric Dreams, with an equally wonderful keytar solo, this is the ultimate geek love song. Dethany and I ditched an overcrowded party downtown in favor of Albion/Batcave (NYC's most infamous goth night) this summer, and proceeded to create an interpretive waltz to this track - if memory serves correct - screaming the lyrics at the top of our lungs and falling down repeatedly... um, yeah.

Eurythmics - "Love is a Stranger"
So dirty. So good.

Killing Joke - "Love Like Blood"
If you know DethLab, this is obvious. Toybreaker and I dropped this at the exact moment we busted out the blood filled squirt guns and proceeded to soak each other and everyone within range one fateful evening at Foran's Irish Pub. The rest is history. Mr. Sean Lynch commented, "I ran my ass to church after that night."

Peter Murphy - "I'll Fall With Your Knife"
I've personally criticized the Bauhaus front man for slipping into the realms of "adult contemporary" with some of his solo releases, but cheesy as it is, this track is such a finely crafted anthem, you can't help but to love it.

Smashing Pumpkins - "Wound"
From Mr. Corgan and company's not-so-acclaimed final Pumpkins release. Frankly, I think this one of his best efforts, and some of his strongest song writing to date. The lyrics...ehhh, but the arrangements and chord progressions on this album, this song in particular, are sheer genius. I've actually been dissecting Machina note by note because its just so damn good - if you're thinking about writing some really complex and catchy love anthems. I have to close my eyes and tilt my head back to truly revel in this song, which is not always the wisest thing to do when driving 80 mph on Interstate 75.

When Dethlab finally releases an EP of original songs, is it going to be filled with sappy acoustic-electronic power ballads?! Um... we'll see. I have no idea what the cheese-tastic bass lines and rhythms I've been cobbling together will sound like once we run everything through Toybreaker's circuit-bent laboratory, and Lynchy's Fender Baritone. I'm guessing somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, early Skinny Puppy, and Serge Gainsborough, but there's really no telling at this point.

I'm sure most of our readers have already seen Pitchfork's Year End Round-Up, and have discussed it it death, so little point here... well, except... I was morbidly pleased to see two of my favorite releases on their Worst Releases of 2005 list:

Daft Punk - Technologic
"Daft Punk sounded their potential death knell with the brain-sucking inanity of a Hewlett Packard commercial singing the McDonald's Big Mac theme song. Like watching an ambulance crash into a garbage truck."

M83 - Car Chase Terror!
"The result is something like being punched in the face over and over again, the catastrophically unlistenable pretentious art-house equivalent of a sub-Wyclef hip-hop skit."

Both just got bumped five slots up on my most played list.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Lacie, the harddrive company that almost sent me into fits with the f.a. porsche designed drive has now caused a full on rupture with it's new harddrive design that looks like legos.

They come in white too. I am going to go and justify this to my credit card now.

from around the blogosphere:

Revell TURBO wall art
[via Core77]

Cut and Paste contest results
[via Protein OS]

The Wrong Gallery moves to the Tate
[via Archinect]

James Tichenor
[via Cool Hunting]

Norman Foster to design second tower on WTC site
[via Curbed]

Quick PSA here:

We will not be doing an official Best of '05 feature on Burnlab this year, but I DO welcome all Burnlab contributors to post your reflections on the past year as you see fit in the regular blog format.

Quite simply, I don't have the time to maintain any Burnlab features beyond the Lab Report, and as many of you know, my trusty TiBook suffered a fatal "head crash" just as I was assembling the Best of '04 feature earlier this year, and lost everyone's lists as a result. My sincerest apologies to Chad Clark, Lynnel Herrera, and everyone who put a lot of time and thought into that project. Computers are fragile, and I'm incredibly bad about backing thing up on a regular basis.

One day soon I will indeed update the site to modern blog standards, with RSS and all that stuff people keep asking about. (I still don't know what the hell RSS is or why I should care, but people keep asking... so it's something I should learn about apparently. This site started in 2000, and my web authoring skills are frozen in that time.) In the mean time, the Lab Report remains the lifeblood of this site, and the number one resource for the intersection of art, design, music and culture for way more pepole than I know, and I thank our loyal readers for making this effort all worthwhile. Most importantly, I promise everyone can rely on that service for a good long time from this site. We're not going away anytime soon.

If you're feeling nostalgic, here is the Best of '03 review, which was a very good year in a lot of respects. Personally, '05 kicked '03s ass, but that has everything to do with me finding happiness both personally and professionally, which has everything to do with not having time for anything else. Being in a position where there is zero compromise and nothing but creative and spirtual satisfaction in personal and professional matters is a wondrous, wondrous thing. On that note, I nominate 2005 as the best year ever... so far. We (meaning you, our beloved readers, and us, the beloved editorial staff) have many years ahead to take grand adventures with, question everything, and make the world a much more interesting place. (have I mentined I'm giddy as hell that my first music project, this thing called Dorkwave, is working with Elliott freaking Earls next month?!?!)

'06 is already shaping up to steal the Best Year Evah award.

Happy holidays

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More on the United Artists Building and it's painted windows at the venerable DetroitBlog.

Next step, awnings: "It'll be clean, but it'll still be vacant"

Monday, December 19, 2005

Happy Holidays from Tom Waits and Peter Murphy

(Okay, not totally true, but no less awesome.)

"[Golden Kitsch is] aimed at the subversion of mass media and the emersion of impractical thought into pop-culture. We promote constructive hedonism and the explication of abstract thought."

It is also a wonderfully disturbing and cleverly crude zine in the grand tradition.

The contents of the current issue are not online, but ask around town - these kids can probably hook you up. I made several attempts to transcribe parts of it in a way that would not offend our entire readership and still be funny, but that's just not happening. Next time you see David Blunk though, ask him about falling asleep in the White Castle drive-thru.

Ms. Toybreaker and I are getting far away from the frozen tundra of the midwest for New Year's, but our fellow dorks will be providing Detroit with the most wonderous of celebrations this fair city has seen in generations.

We are proud to present to you the Dorkwave New Year's Eve Gala.

(Big thanks to Doc for the splendid design.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Tonight in Detroit: Our friends at The Undercover Eskimo Collective present spaz-pop-electro-punk icon Mu tonight at Oslo, with the Undercover Eskimo Deejay Tagteam Squad.

1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit
10pm | 18+ | $10

Also tonight: The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit hosts Linen Party, a night of no-wave, italo-disco, 80s garage and more. Featured DJs include greenSKY, Carl Lucas and Scott Zacharias.

5141 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit
11PM | 18+ | $5 donation

If you happen to be in Ann Arbor this evening, you may be interested in the 2005 Zombie Claus meeting at Bab's Underground. (On a somewhat related note, is the best URL ever.)

I had the great pleasure of meeting Squirrel Jeff last night. Squirrel Jeff is a sculpture student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has been been wearing a squirrel suit, foraging for food and living the life of a squirrel for three weeks. Squirrel Jeff used to be Hawaii Jeff. Hawaii Jeff had never seen squirrels before moving to Michigan, and was fascinated by our furry rodent friends. Not everyone is Squirrel Jeff's friend. Bear is mean to Squirrel and steals his food. "Bear is big and strong, but squirrel is fast and cunning," Squirrel Jeff explained during a PowerPoint presentation, never breaking the dead-pan tone of a film-strip narrator... not even when showing the construction paper bear traps he set out for his ursine rival.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Today's re-discovery:

(We're so playing this Saturday.)

Our good friend (and fellow troublemaker) Kendra, based in nyc, will be performing with Traxx this Friday night in Chicago.


10pm - 2am | Lava Lounge | 859 N Damen Ave. | Chicago, IL | 21+ | FREE!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Speaking of Cranbrook (referencing three posts down,) Dorkwave will be performing at the Music Hall in Detroit on Saturday, January 28th, following 2D design artist in residence Elliott Earls' performance of Bull and Wonded Horse, a new multimedia piece Mr. Earls has been develolping over the past year. This will be a preview of Elliott's Capacitor Festival: An Intersection of Art, Music and Technology, to take place in September.

Robotic Drums and Guitar, Interactive digital video, and electronics comingle in a melange of pop songs, spoken word poetry and acoustic music. Elliott will be performing with his new acoustic ensemble "The Venemous Sons of Jonah," creating a strange brew of robotic and completely organic music.

Produced in Association with Cranbrook Academy of Art, the 2006 Capacitor Festival is an evening of performance and installation that focuses on the intersection of visual art, technology and music. Featuring performers and artists at the vanguard of this intersection, the evening explores what happens when the visual arts collide with music.

I'm totally thrilled to be involved in this event for a lot of reasons: one of my most formative experiences as a child was seeing Mummenschanz at the Music Hall, many years later I exchanged correspondence with Elliott when I first moved to NYC, as a fan of his work in Emigre when he still lived in Connecticut and was performing at HERE, a wonderful DIY gallery/performance space in New York, and even later discovered he was neighbors with my lovely partner, who was also brought from CT to Michigan by Cranbrook. An of course, Burnlab has been all about this sort of media collison since it's inception. It's pretty darn cool when everything comes together just so, and the opportunity to do work with people one has the greatest of respect for works out just right.

More details on the the Capacitor Festival soon.

i know....long time no post...i've been busy. it's no excuse, but i hope those of you in nyc can accept this as a small token of my affection.

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The Wired Shop
160 Wooster @ Houston
rsvp here

This Ain't for Everyone.

PAS/CAL is featured on the cover of Real Detroit Weekly today. Casimer talks about the band's obsessive take on everything from writing and recording, to style and artwork, how much he hates summertime, and how people often miss the sinister undertones of their seemingly cheerful music. Real Detroit also has an interview with Sean McCabe, the man behind PAS/CAL's "Baroque Misfit Pop" visual identity. For even more on the band's unique work habits, visit their official blog.

DethLab can hardly wait for this Saturday's Christmas Special at the Lager House. We've been fortunate to play with so many of our favorite artists over the past few months, and we can't think of a better way to celebrate the season than with fellow sinister obsessives PAS/CAL and share gingerbread cookies, hot toddies and some fine music with all our good friends in Detroit.

The studio was extremely fortunate to receive a private tour of Charles and Ray Eames' home and studio by their grandson, Eames Demetrios this past Saturday in California. Some photos of the house here.

The thing that always inspired me most about Charles and Ray was not the fact that they created some of the most important furniture of the 20th century and pioneered processes that would influence how we design well into this century. It was how they applied a holistic, expressive approach to every aspect of their work and lives. They were never afraid to experiment in different medias and disciplines, invented processes along the way, and seemed to take their work and life together as an adventure of their own creation, where anything was possible and everything was extraordinary. It was a real treat to see the tumbleweed the couple had picked up while driving from Cranbrook to Los Angeles on their honeymoon, one of the first of many objects, both precious and everyday, which Charles and Ray collected for inspiration. (Sorry I don't have a pic of the tumbleweed - we weren't supposed to shoot photos inside the house.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Trailer for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, complete with "Power, Corruption & Lies" soundtrack. Nicely done.

The 2005 CAID Actual Size Biennial, Volume 2 exhibition has been extended to December 17, 2005. Gallery hours are Saturday from 12pm to 6pm or by appointment.

Detroit Tall Tales Clock

Monday, December 12, 2005

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Reminder, tonight!
Saturday December 10, 2005
Coitus Interruptus presents: S A S S

Sass December 10 - Back

Sass December 10 - Back

Oslo | 1456 Woodward | Detroit, MI | 18+ | $5 | 10PM-?

Give a Little...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Brand Me


Field Studies in Business Class or When Screaming Babies Grow Up

I'm writing this from an AirBus bound for LAX. Sitting across the aisle are two salesmen for an indeterminable product or service. One is the seasoned account executive, and the other is the hungry young protege. The species in question almost always travels in this formation, but sometimes with a sulky designer sitting back in coach noodling away on a PowerBook and dreading having to share a taxi and pehaps a meal at somewhere nice like Hooters with the two upon arrival. The vast wisdom of the elder (not much older than me, wearing pressed jeans and dock siders) is shared with the apprentice at his side with great enthusiasm and volume - meaning both plentiful and loudly. We have been in the air for approximately two hours, with three to go. In this time, I have been treated to such fine examples of the english language as "six and one half dozen of the other", "on the same page", "at the end of the day", "political capital" and countless other gems. What is most fascinating about this particular breed is their ability to have lengthy conversations entirely strung together by a series of cliches, puns and buzz words from trade journals and business weeklies. There is truly no sentiment which cannot be expressed by cutting and pasting catch phrases, and it is with great mastery that these phrases are assembled into what seem like sentences and delivered with such confidence that one must conclude that deliverer is a great expert on the fascinating matter at hand, whatever that matter may be. The strings of cliches are further punctuated by stating painfully obvious facts as if they are brilliant revelations, precluded by a pause to assure proper attention. It is with much appreciation on my part that the elder speaks at such a volume that not only he can hear how good he sounds, but every single person within ten rows can appreciate his insights and clever anecdotes - which are almost as hilarious as a Family Circus cartoon. ("Ooh, that feisty Not Me is up to it again!") Yes, these are the guys who the ads in the backs of airline magazines for motivational seminars and monogramed dick warmers... oops, I mean Blackberry holders... are written for. I have a ball point pen pressed against my jugular right now, just in case the phrase "think outside the box" is uttered.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Yesterday I had a burrito for lunch.
Tomorrow I will probably have a sandwhich.
Right now I'm drinking generic english breakfast tea.

I'm the best.

Finally a spare moment from deadline heck to report in...

Last Thursday's Loose Tooth offered some extra special Detroit flavor with guest DJs Trent with cease and desist t-shirt barons Randy & Moss.

Get yo asses online and buy a Trent t-shirt from these two. Madatory attire for the next Dorkwave party.

Good pics and wrap-up by the Pink Man himself at the bottom of this link.

Discovered Scottdale, AZ this weekend with it's awesome Shake party, strip clubs and dirt cheap motel suites. Felt extra dorkwave spinning on a beer damaged Gemini turntable with a motor so weak you had to get the platter spinning manually, THEN engage the motor. Still, great party - even if some girl with bangs called me "gay" for playing Janet Jackson. Oh, and Dokken didn't show up, wussies.

Plenty of action this week in LA, perfect for entertaining sir Michael de Dethlab. Loose Tooth offers the URB Holiday Party with guest Princess Superstar and James F!@$%^ Friedman whose Go Commando CD is one of the better mixes you'll score this Xmas.

And all week, Paper Project LA offers hipster aerobics to go along with those art geek cocktail parties and panels.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

And now on to Old Buildings Falling down...

Yesterday the folks I met from had just come from exploring the Studebaker Plant in South Bend, Indiana. They came with some incredible shots - although the architecture looked stunningly similar to Detroit's Packard Plant, what made it appear so strikingly different from the Packard (or any Detroit building for that matter) was how intact the contents of the building were. Little or nothing was scrapped. The dies for car doors were still scattered about. What looked like fields of hundreds (thousands?) of car engines were still intact, in neat rows, fan blades eerily pointing the same direction. Paper ephemera still in boxes, everywhere. Algebraic figures on whiteboards still proclaming their pale red and green calculations.

I had been through Fisher Body 21 last Spring with the rest of the Team Burnlab Alice in Wonderland Absurdists, so this was my second trip to the building. We found the appopriate entrances and stairwells pretty quickly, once somewhat stealthily passing one of the building's winter residents who had quite the little campfire set up. We decided it best to head right up to the uppermost floors to escape the smoke of unknown composition that was lingering around the first and second floors.

fourth floor

sixth floor

Many more and far too long of a post about it here.

While I'm on this obvious darkwave/shoegaze kick for the season, if you're not familiar with Loveliescrushing, imagine if My Bloody Valentine made all the records you really wish they did after Loveless. (Blasphemy! I know, but for real...)

Oh my god, those clips of Blixa for Hornbach are indeed the best thing ever. THE BEST!!! I can't stop watching them over and over. (Two posts down: Click!)

I'll be working out of the Venice office Thursday through Saturday. I'm hoping to make time to meet up with the Burnlab LA crew and some old friends while in town. Unfortunately I won't have my own car, so you'll either have to kick it west side or pick my ass up. :)

Blixa Bargeld is now starring in the Hornbach DIY campaign, this is so much cooler than Homer and NASCAR, darlings of that US home improvement giant. He reads the DIY catalog of the Hornbach Home Improvement Superstore. (2004 Epica award winner.)

More here | here | and here. This is seriously the best thing i've ever seen on the internets. (And the last

Winter music

Is there really any better label to curl up by the fire and watch snow fall to on these dark cold nights, awash with guitar fuzz and dreamy synthesizers than the esteemed 4AD? (Albeit I don't actually have a fireplace, but the thought completes the picture.)

I recently came across this excellent illustrated history of 4AD's first 20 years, complete with Mr. Vaughan Oliver's extraordinary artworks.

For those really wintery evenings though, nothing compares to Lycia's Cold LP. (Yeah, ohmygawth. Sush.)

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Study finds coffee reduces liver risks.

Back before everyone's techno was a series of loops of minimal bloops, there was a small label by the name of Applied Rhythmic Technology (or ART) that quietly released one classic single after another, and helped to reshape the perception of techno as we know it. Spearheaded by Kirk Degiorgio (aka As One, Elegy, etc.) the label would cease production in the mid to late nineties. Many of these records go for a pretty penny on the market today.

Fast forwarding a bit, DeGiorgio and co-conspirator Alex Bond have issued the The Electric Institute; a compilation of both old from the label's original artists and new tracks from artists heavily influenced by them. Easily one of the best electronic music compilations of the year. And to boot, the dude from Coldplay jams with Degiorgio on a few tracks.

Samples can be found here.

Friday, December 02, 2005

MASS Music Dome is a multimedia performance created by MASS Ensemble and o2 Creative Solutions. MASS Ensemble designs and creates innovative architectural scale stringed instruments and kinetic performances, including the Earth Harp. o2 is an experience design firm which combines design, communications and technology to create unique immersive, sensory and interactive experiences.

MASS Music Dome combines the expertise of the two groups to provide a one-of-a-kind performance inside a geodesic dome on the Santa Monica Pier for two weeks, including custom instruments, dance, and integrated visuals which are triggered by the performance itself.

Shows run through this weekend and December 7-11. Tickets and more information available at

This just screams "Rob Theakston".

One of those "Damn, I wish I designed that!" moments.

i'm back in detroit so i cn actually see this: TONI TAKITANI, a film based on a short story by HARUKI MURAKAMI, who's latest novel KAFKA ON THE SHORE has me enthralled as usual.

p.s...anything interesting going on in d-town this weekend??

Mixes mixes mixes abound today.

This one's for my peepz: Pacou recently did a mix featuring the works and remixes of Carl Craig. A nice survey of Carl's career.

Local guys holding it down: Greg Mudge and a tech-house-dub mix from Element 8 that's been getting quite the buzz locally.

While not necessarily my style, Detrot's favorite gun toting DJ Darkcube throws down a set of jungle/d&b/call it what you want. Works really well during those more aggressive workouts and moments of sheer anger towards humanity.Download here.

And finally, for those who still need their mix cravings quenched, Ryan Elliott mixes the back catalog of Minimise's excellent color series.

Detroit: Where our DJs don't suck.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

If you're feeling sinister...

The Second Biennial PAS/CAL Christmastime Special
Saturday, December 17

Pas/Cal (live)
Johnny Headband (live)
DethLab (djs)

Expect plenty of festive decor, Christmas cookies and punch, twinkling lights, jingling bells, musical selections spanning decades upon centuries, the Savory and the Sweet, garnishes, trimmings, presents... and all manner of Hors d'oeuveres.

Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., (Corktown) Detroit, MI
only $6 / doors at 9pm

I was a little surpised when Burgundy asked us to play.
"You know, we play a lot darker than Dorkwave... just don't want any confusion." I said.
"Perfect," Nathaniel replied. "We want sinister."
"Oh, we'll give you sinister." Bethany said with a grin.
And there you have it.

Now, I don't anticipate this being the sort of uber-crunch-o-matik set we'd do for say, Chemlab, but there will be plenty of eeevil. Probably Black Celebration, Pornography sorta stuff. For the holidays. But we'll see how it goes. We can't not play some uber-cheese elektro-rawk and ghey-wave...

And of course we <3 Pas/Cal.

And for those DIY types who need to rock it old school:

Modding an Atari 2600 JOYstick

(Note: equally as not-work-safe)

iBuzz music activated sex toy "plugs into any music player to let you enjoy your music like never before!"

About as work inappropriate as you would think.

[via Core77]

Just how slow are trend-spotters? This week The Zandi Group released their list of top consumer trends for 2006. Topping the list? Taxidermy. (Duh.) Some rather baffling new trends included mid-century modern design, artisan cheeses and indie movies. I'd say something like "thanks for ruining a few of my favorite things," but I just can't picture your average WAL MART shopper munching on $20/lb. cheese in a Jacobsen Egg chair, while watching Peter Greenaway films.

Oh, just wait though. There is a will and a way to dumb down and bastardize everything. I'm sure Michael Graves is already hard at work on some powder blue plastic deer head air fresheners.

To be honest though, I would probably buy that... but definitely not the Quarter Pounder with Manchego and McFrites and Super-Sized Syrah.


For the Goth who has everything

Haikyo Deflation Spiral, an "urban exploration" site which presents itself as an online photo museum. Haikyo means "ruin" in Japanese, and defure is a Japanese-English word suggesting that these buildings are gently "deflating" over time.

HEL LOOKS is selected street fashion from Helsinki, the capital of Finland. The pictures are taken in the streets and clubs of Helsinki from July 2005 onwards. HEL LOOKS is a hobby project of Liisa Jokinen and Sampo Karjalainen. The project is a tribute to Fruits and Street magazines, the pioneers of street fashion photography.

Also check out the totally hot holiday collection from Morphine Generation.

I like the copper screen ink on this tweed jacket.

Check out the Cool Hunting Holiday Gift Guide.

I'm quite fond of the antler table lamp, the John Derian pencil trays, the Sailor Jerry Chucks, and of course, the skull hand towels.

Most poignant throwaway line of the month:

"Detroit ... Do we still need it?"
Stephen Colbert's interview with Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick, 11/30/05

In an obtusely related story, the
Daily Show with Jon Stewart will feature the White Stripes as their first ever musical guest tonight. So now you know that.

Lately, there has been quite a humdrum about Cat Power's cover of The Nerves classic Hanging On The Telephone for some cell phone provider. The link above is an mp3 of the original recording, later re-recorded and made into a hit by Blondie. I still think the original trumps all other versions any day. This was also one of the very early staples of my Les Infants sets at the Peacock.

The Nerves, while only small set of singles, were extremely influential in the power pop sound of the late seventies and early eighties; spawning such groups as The Beat and Plimsouls and influencing a whole generation of other power pop groups and - daresay - many of the pop-punk groups of the late eighties and alterna-nineties.

Composer of everything awesome Ryuichi Sakamoto presents Chain Music; a continuous music project acting as a chain letter from one artist to another protesting the invasion of Iraq. Contributors thus far include include Sakamoto, Towa Tei, Atom Heart, Ryoji Ikeda, Carsten Nicolai, David Sylvian, Mika Vainio (pansonic), Cornelius, Christian Fennesz, Christopher Willits and Taylor Deupree.

Also, check Protest Records for more anti-bush musical goodness from artists such as Cat Power, Jim O'Rourke, The Evens, Sonic Youth and many more.

And closing out today's offering of free modern protest music, Antiopic's Allegorical Power Series features contributions from William Basinski, Freiband, Blevin Blectum and one of AGF's finest moments committed to ones and zeroes.