Sunday, December 31, 2006

Burnlab's picks for NYE in NYC:

The Mother of All Parties, featuring Michael T, Justine D and the usual gang + Dethlab's good friend Xris Flam of Byte and Smack, JDH, Mike Simonetti, Lauren Flax and more awesomeness at Rebel (formerly Albion/Batcave.)

Also tonight, RE:UP Magazine & New Release present Ursula 1000, the Machine Punk crew and much, much more at Asterisk in Bushwhik. Oh, and we're told free beer until 8 in the morning.

See you at the above and a very happy 2007!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Three Mile Island Park by the late Disney theme park designer Art Riley.

[via Justin Jorgensen, author of Obscene Interiors]

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I realize the Chris Walken/otter reference may have been slightly esoteric for some.
Below is the context.
Everything should make perfect sense now.

"I don't buy the tomatoes with the stems on them. They don't degrade. They go down the sink and into the water. Then they get lodged in the throats of little otters."
- Christopher Walken

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

For all our New York friends, Bethany and I will be home for our monthly visit in a couple days. Other than a belated Shorb family Christmas and spoiling Mark's cat Otto, we have no plans at all... which is kinda nice. I know you're reading this, so hit me up at!

I'm too old to make party on a Tuesday in the middle of auto show season and 100 other projects on three hours sleep from holiday festivities... but UNTITLED TONIGHT!

Dear, Elliott, Servito, Mudge, Troxler, Crosson
The Shleter, Detroit
10pm | 18+ |$5

Sweet Smelling Surfaces is a net label created by digital artist Tampopo and his bad lieutenant Supakaji. All SSS content is released under a Creative Commons License (which means you can download it and enjoy it for free, so long as you don't sell it or mess with it.) The Figuration Of Trans EP is SSS's newest release, from the over-sexed bad boy of Italian acid-electro Adriano Canzian.

Evil Christmas Carols Volume 1 and Volume 2: your favorite carols played in minor key.

Only one week old, Gibby's Daily Video Blog is shaping up to be one of the greatest treasures on the whole internet. Each post is a carefully selected treat with thoughtful writing that whisks every thirty-ish music lover back to those special moments of discovery.

Bless you, Gibby.

Dorkwave NYE 2006

*whew - flyer hot outta photoshop. click for big version.

The Dorkwave tradition continues this New Years Eve at the Northern Lights Lounge. On top of the usual chaos, there's going to be a free special buffet for those who get there early. So get there early.

It's also my psudo-going away party as I'm moving from Detroit probably forever to San Francisco the very next day. What better note to leave on then me ruining my finest clothes while embarrassing myself with drunkin boisterous belligerence with my closest friends.

I'm going to miss all of you and this city, and I hope to see everyone come out of the woodwork for one last horrah.

Northern Lights Lounge
660 W Baltimore St
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 873-1739

Matt Harding was a developer for Pandemic Studios Australia when a family-oriented game he was working on was scrapped he made the remark that the studio should work on a title that involved "blowing up everything and killing everyone"--needless to say the title was green lighted and it became Destroy All Humans!

Matt left the company and decided to travel the world which he documented with this YouTube.

Extremely inspired! Cheery stuff for the holiday.

If you hadn't noticed, I've been making an effort in recent months to write posts of more editorial substance - in addition to the usual one-liners, personal banter and interesting links. I'm not sure if something triggered nostalgia for my days as editor and publisher of my high school newspaper, or if it's a little voice saying "you're going to be 35 in a couple weeks - get serious!" Either way, I hope the longer, more opinionated posts lean more toward the interesting than the tedious for you.

I've also scaled back on using this blog as a "what's happening" list. I've become less interested in the ephemeral nature of nightlife since the end of summer, and have decided to leave most event postings in the more able and tuned-in hands of Burnlab's thirty other contributors. [Servito, Jon, Liz, Lynnel, etc., this means you!]

On the subject of nightlife, It saddens me to write that Oslo [the one in Detroit] has closed. It may re-open in 2007, but all events scheduled through 2006 [including Dethlab's ninth installment of Sex & Sedition] have been cancelled. Oslo was the very best venue in Detroit for electronic music, bar none. It is a great loss to the community, and I hope dearly they can sort everything out. Meanwhile, Bethany and I have shifted focus from DJ'ing to remixing and recording original material. Santa brought me a beautiful Fender bass guitar for Christmas, which I'm going to need to learn how to play. The last guitar I touched was a six string Les Paul at the age of sixteen, but math dictates this is going to be 33% easier to figure out. Right?...

In other Dethlab news, our next scheduled event in Detroit is Machines That Feel II on April 14th. More details as it fleshes out.

Best wishes and happy holidays from everyone at Burnlab.

Monday, December 25, 2006

When I first moved to New York in 1999 Giulianification was well underway, but the meatpacking district remained lower Manhattan's last bastion of seediness. The Chelsea Market was thriving and bistros were moving in, but it was still commonplace to see junkies and unusually tall prostitutes among the forklifts and animal blood seeping from under steel garage doors. The district has gentrified at break-neck speed over the past seven years, and seems to have tripled in pace since the start of High Line redevelopment. Now home to high design showrooms, countless French restaurants, and [unfortunately] the most grotesque nightlife scene this side of West Hollywood, the old Gansevoort Market area is now only recognizable by the rusty elevated freight line currently being transformed into a 21st century public promenade.

Gentrification is always a mixed bag. It can destroy the character which made a neighborhood intriguing to start with, but it can also bring unexpected benefits and opportunities. This week, Nicolai Ouroussoff ponders both.

We New Yorkers have a morbid fascination with pinpointing the death of a neighborhood scene. You wonder, for example, exactly when the seeds were planted for SoHo's grim destiny as an open-air mall. Was it 1971, when Leo Castelli opened his downtown gallery? The advent of Dean & Deluca's overpriced cheeses? Victoria's Secret underwear displays?

But the artists who bemoaned SoHo's gradual reinvention as a tourist mecca in the 1980s would have been dumbstruck by the pace of gentrification wrought by the High Line, an abandoned stretch of elevated railway tracks that will be transformed into a garden walkway from the meatpacking district to Chelsea.

Even before local activists picked the project's design team, Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, two years ago, developers had begun circling the site like vultures. Today, the High Line risks being devoured by a string of developments, including a dozen or more luxury towers, a new branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art and a Standard Hotel. Already the area is a mix of the fashionable and the tacky, with tourists tottering from boutiques to nightclubs across its cobblestone streets, even as they recoil from the occasional whiff of raw meat.

Not all of these are run-of-the-mill development projects: they include potential designs by renowned talents including Renzo Piano and the Polshek Partnership. And even more promising, a few younger, relatively unknown talents like Neil Denari and Work Architecture are getting the opportunity to design major projects.

But the frenzied activity surrounding the High Line shows how radically the development climate in Manhattan has accelerated. No longer content to allow gentrification to proceed at its own tentative pace, developers now view even the humblest civic undertaking as a potential gold mine. City planners who once had to coax developers to build in rundown neighborhoods are groping for strategies to keep them at bay. Pretty much everyone who has walked the length of the weed-choked High Line agrees that its magic arises largely from its isolation. Carving its way through the urban fabric two to three stories above ground, it is framed mostly by the backs of buildings and billboards, with occasional views opening out to the Hudson or across Manhattan.

read more [NY Times]

James Brown is dead. :(


More on Herr Lang

WWD reports Hemlut Lang is displeased with a New York Times article last month which suggested he was guilty of "corporate insubordination," resisting attempts to add "lucrative accessories and luxury pieces" to his collection and that "unwavering dedication to his creative vision and his distinctive, if uncomfortably masochistic, bondage references will ultimately be recorded as the cause of his failure."

Personally, I think those are very admirable traits and part of why Lang is so awesome as a person and as a designer.

Michael and Nicole Colovos of Habitual will be taking over design at Helmut Lang [the brand] rather than Alexandre Plokhov, as rumored. The Colovos' work is nice and the lines are clean I suppose... hell, let's not beat around the bush: it is boring and comfortable - which undermines everything the brand stood for. What made Helmut Lang [the clothes] so incredible were the subversive and witty details, unexpected material choices and those "distinctive, if uncomfortably masochistic, bondage references." It was a singular, unrelenting creative vision which revolutionized both men's and women's wear in the late 1980s, created a small but extremely dedicated cult of fans, and influenced a whole generation of designers. It was never meant for everyone, but it was absolutely perfect for what it was. If parent company Theory thinks they can offer slouchy, more "accessible" [as Theory's Andrew Rosen puts it] products for a wider customer base, then they have already lost all the brand equity they spent tens of millions of dollars on before the first store even opens.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Next year we're doing ALL our holiday shopping at Necromance in Los Angeles. (Where have you been all my life?)

One of my biggest heroes in the fashion world, Alexandre Plokhov of Cloak has decided to close up shop. The end of Cloak is undoubtedly a great loss to men's fashion, but it may not be that bad after all. A few months ago we posted rumors that Theory, which earlier in the year acquired the rights to the Helmut Lang brand, has been courting Plokhov to head up design at the [formerly] eponymous label. The closing of Cloak could be a sign that things are moving ahead for a re-tooled Helmut Lang, and I couldn't think of anyone better [besides Lang himself] to be at the helm.

Related: fill in your own caption. [I don't need to be captain obvious here...]

link [via Style Forum]

Holiday cheer from Ghostly: download Snow Ogre by PostPrior.

Go Snow Ogre go!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Saying Yes to Mess

It is a truism of American life that we're too darn messy, or we think we are, and we feel really bad about it... this is why sales of home-organizing products, like accordion files and labelmakers and plastic tubs, keep going up and up... but contrarian voices can be heard in the wilderness. An anti-anticlutter movement is afoot, one that says yes to mess and urges you to embrace your disorder. Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat "office landscapes") and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts. It's a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along: really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands.

"It's chasing an illusion to think that any organization - be it a family unit or a corporation - can be completely rid of disorder on any consistent basis," said Jerrold Pollak, a neuropsychologist at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, N.H., whose work involves helping people tolerate the inherent disorder in their lives. "And if it could, should it be? Total organization is a futile attempt to deny and control the unpredictability of life."

In the semiotics of mess, desks may be the richest texts. Messy-desk research borrows from cognitive ergonomics, a field of study dealing with how a work environment supports productivity. Consider that desks, our work landscapes, are stand-ins for our brains, and so the piles we array on them are "cognitive artifacts," or data cues, of our thoughts as we work.

To a professional organizer brandishing colored files and stackable trays, cluttered horizontal surfaces are a horror; to cognitive psychologists like Jay Brand' who works in the Ideation Group of Haworth Inc., the huge office furniture company, their peaks and valleys glow with intellectual intent and showcase a mind whirring away: sorting, linking, producing. (By extension, a clean desk can be seen as a dormant area, an indication that no thought or work is being undertaken.)

-New York Times

[via Archinect]

A nice shot of Bryan Black rocking his Cyberoptix tie + more great photos from the Nitzer Ebb/Fixmer/MOTOR show in Cologne last month here from Black Cat Net.

Moths drink the tears of sleeping birds.

With its tears depleted, crying must be like dry-heaving sorrow for the little feathered ones. Ohmygawth!

[via Toybreaker]

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Despite rumors on the internets, Galapagos Art Space is not closing. (See comment 9 in the link by director Robert Elmes.)

By the way, Galapagos has one of the most awesome mission statements ever:

The most basic function of the arts is to be relevant in the advancement of society.

Galapagos does not accept government grants or public funding of any kind. We believe that if the work we present is strong, communicative, and effective, we will survive.

If we don't produce strong, communicative and effective work then we won't survive - we're not feeding the hungry: we make art. If we can't be grown-up about that and stand up on our own, then we don't think we'd have anything interesting to tell you anyway.

This is New York City. One of the greatest cultural cities to have ever risen; perhaps the greatest. We're not sitting around dreaming of the grant we applied for.

We have our whole lives to live and that is terribly important.

Culture should reflect that clearly.

Related on a personal note: This seems like ages ago due to the extreme ups and downs of the past four years, but it also seems more familiar than it has in a long time. Back in '02 some good friends and colleagues came to see me speak in New York. Through some combination of fate, determination and dumb luck, we now get to make art together every day, which is pretty awesome.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Defiant Architect's Gentler Side

Thomas Mayne may be losing his edge, but only literally - not figuratively. The recently unveiled design for a new tower at La Defense is influenced by "the sensuousness of Paris," and has been likened to a slip draped over a body. "It becomes metabolic, the skin. It moves," Mayne says. Like Mayne's other recent large scale work, the Phare Tower's powerful sense of motion makes its unexpectedly soft forms anything but "blobby".

Resented and admired for a brazen, punk-rock approach to both design and practice, Mayne has always thrived on being the feisty underdog challenging authority and establishment. With a handful of high profile projects and the prestigiouss Pritzker Prize (the architectural equivalent to the Nobel) under his belt, he finds himself in a strange place - a position of authority. He seems to be adjusting well however, and the Phare Tower is proof that not only is he still fighting the good fight, but a 300 meter high, one billion dollar affirmation of everything he has been fighting for.

NY Times slideshow + info and images at ArcSpace

The 10 most dangerous toys of all time [via Core77]

Also see: Lifestyles of the Rich and Fascist

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Burnlab top 10s follow-up a.k.a. why Owen Ashworth is so awesome

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone swept my lists this year with ease and humble grace. Etiquette managed to set itself apart from much more polished releases by fellow favorites Perspects, Circlesquare, The Horrors and The Knife in a way that is intangible and difficult to describe. Ashworth's deceptively simple narratives have an ability to cut right to your heart - I would go as far as to call him the Leonard Cohen of Generation X - and he's just only getting his feet wet. The low-fi arrangements and stories of hipster melodrama could easily be dismissed if they were ironic, but CFTPA's music is absolutely honest, raw and as painful as it is beautiful. Young Shields tore my heart out presented a bevy of personal flaws and insecurities on a platter (thanks,) wrapped in an epic equal only to M83's Teen Angst, but 100X more sincere, and Scattered Pearls is as catchy and smart as anything The Postal Service has ever produced, but again drenched in a purity that puts it on an entirely different level. I was a little skeptical about CFTPA expanding beyond the battery powered keyboards for which the project was named after, but the fleshed-out arrangements on Etiquette only add to the power of the music. Ashworth may be the first of our generation deserving residence alongside Williams, Cave, Waits and Cohen in that fabled tower.

Somebody give Bernard his pants backs.

And the gift of music keeps giving: Gibby's Daily Video Blog

Twelve Seven Days of Dorkwave
Exclusive holiday mixes from Dorkwave just for you.
Collect them all for a limited time only!

Extra special cheers to Rob for managing and to Sneak for hosting.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dear Google,
All I want for Christmas is a search function for YouTube that doesn't suck.

Please Let It Be Whale Vomit...

Dorothy Ferreira of Montauk, New York recently received an intriguing gift from her 82-year-old sister in Waterloo, Iowa: a greenish, waxy blob discovered on the beach in Long Island some 50 years ago. No one has been able to positively identify the object, but it is suspected to be ambergris - an almost mythical substance produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Most commonly used in perfumes, ambergris is also considered an aphrodisiac and is used in homeopathic medicines. It has been mentioned in literature and film from Moby Dick and Don Quixote to Hannibal and an episode of Futurama. Most recently, it was a central element of Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9.

If Ms. Ferreira's object is indeed petrified whale vomit, it may be worth around $18,000. Even so, ambergris is illegal to buy or sell in the United States due to endangered species legislation, and there are only a handful of specialists in the world qualified to identify it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

R.I.P. Ahmet Ertegun, Atlantic Records founder and music visionary.

Despite currently being on a rave hiatus, this is amusing: Ravezooka

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I don't know how much press this got on the other side of the atlantic but Belgium's national news pulled off the biggest dupe since War of the Worlds. Belgium is having very serious problems between their French and Flemish-speaking populations and the fake news flash was meant to bring attention to the very real possibiltiy of a split in the country.

I had a feeling I was going to leave out something really important and obvious on my 2006 Top 10s, and sure enough...

Apologies to our Scottish friends, but Belle and Sebastian have been bumped from the list to make room for I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness. Shame on me for forgetting one of the most amazing records of the year.

To repent for the oversight, links to two of the best music videos of the year: According to Plan and the beautiful wrist slasher The Owl.

Also, file under "where are they now?"/"I'm a complete dumbass for not knowing this", I only recently learned that ILYBICD are produced by Ministry's Paul Barker. (No wonder that bass line on According to Plan sounds familiar - it has Lard all over it.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas is time for free MP3s. Download Christmas Reindeer from The Knife.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Official Space Weather Advisory: Geomagnetic Storm in Progress

A geomagnetic storm began on December 14 at 1416 UTC (9:16 A.M. EST). A solar flare on 13 December at 0240 UTC (12 December, 9:40 P.M. EST) from NOAA Region 930 produced strong radio blackouts (R3) and an associated moderate (S2) solar radiation storm. A large Earth-directed coronal mass ejection was also observed with this event, producing today's geomagnetic storming. Strong to severe (G3 - G4) geomagnetic storming is expected to last through 15 December.

Aside from potentially nasty things like knocking out power grids and communication systems, the storm should provide spectaular northern lights.


Christmas cheer from Circlesquare [free MP3 for a limited time]

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A few weeks ago, clean cut Paris based duo The Penelope[s]' debut LP became the latest addition to the Citizen Records catalog. The Arrogance of Simplicity proudly displays its roots in early 80's new-wave and post-punk [the uber-hooky In a Storm and Sisters of Mercy influenced Skygazing,] while demonstrating the pair's great skill in creating dreamy pop songs [Demian, which sounds a bit like Stereolab remixed by label boss Vitalic] as well as the electro stormers [Teenage Dust] Citizen is best known for. It is at times surprisingly bright and accessible fare from the label which introduced the world to John Lord Fonda, but certainly no less satisfying.

Related: In a Storm video + cover of Alice

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ghostly International and Cyberoptix have teamed up to present the it gift of the season: limited edition hand-screened Ghostly ties in three fabulous flavors available only at Cyberoptix Tie Lab and Buy Ghostly.

If that's not dandy enough for you, (Pas/Cal take note!) Cyberoptix has brand new silk ascots exclusively from the Cyberoptix store and Los Angeles purveyors of awesomeness All Purpose. (Check the All Purpose Blog for lots of awesome.)

Related: Filius Design + Refinery29 article

Speaking of Pas/Cal, RUN out and buy their new EP Dear Sir, featuring Little Red Radio, which earned a top five spot on Burnlab's favorite singles of 2006 and is one of the tightest pop songs I have ever laid ears on. Be it at the deft hands of Mr. Richard Panic or the creepy claws of The Horrors' Spider Webb, the electric organ is hands down instrument of the year.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

From the NY Times Magazine Year In Ideas:

Ambient Addition is the thesis project of MIT Media Lab research assistant Noah Vawter. It is a Walkman which, rather than isolating the user from the outside world, processes the sound of the environment into music... almost like having Matthew Herbert in your pocket. As a result, users become more engaged and aware of their surroundings, "tend to play with objects around them, sing to themselves, and wander toward tempting sound sources." Watch a demonstration clip at Noah's website.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Best of 2006

The year is coming to a close, which means... list time!

I've procrastinated Christmas shopping by getting a jump on the obligatory top tens. Barring anything truly brilliant comes out in the next two weeks, below is the music which moved me most over the past twelve months. As always, all Burnlab editors are encouraged to share their own lists right here.
Happy holidays.

edit: updated with links

Top 10 Albums and EPs 2006
1.) Casiotone For the Painfully Alone - Etiquette - Tomlab
2.) Perspects - Peopleskills - Interdimensional Transmissions
3.) Circlesquare - Fight Sounds - Output Recordings
4.) The Horrors - The Horrors EP - Loog
5.) Mahogany - Connectivity! - Darla
6.) The Nice Device - Let the Nightlife Down - self released
7.) various - Idol Tryouts Two - Ghostly International
8.) Motor - Klunk - Mute
9.) The Knife - Silent Shout - Mute
10.) I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - Fear Is On Our Side - Secretly Canadian
honorable mention) The Gothic Archies - The Tragic Treasury - Nonesuch

Top 10 Pop Singles 2006
1.) Casiotone For the Painfully Alone - Young Shields - Tomlab
2.) The Horrors - Count In Fives - Loog
3.) Circlesquare - Fight Sounds Pt. 1 - Output Recordings
4.) 800beloved - Kiss Me Crooked - self released
5.) Pas/Cal - Little Red Radio - Le Grand Magistery
6.) Mahogany - Supervitesse - Darla
7.) Grinderman - No Pussy Blues - Mute
8.) The Nice Device - Say So Always - self released
9.) Devotchka - The Last Beat of My Heart - Ace Fu
10.) Final Fantasy - The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead (Many Ives Version) - Tomlab
honorable mention) Casiotone For the Painfully Alone - Scattered Pearls - Tomlab

Top 10 Electronic Singles 2006
1.) Kill Memory Crash - Press+Burn - Ghostly International
2.) E-Snacks - Small Favors - unreleased
3.) Perspects - Autobody - Interdimensional Transmissions
4.) Justice - Waters of Nazareth - Ed Banger
5.) The Knife - We Share Our Mothers Health - Mute
6.) Tim Hecker - Chimeras - Kranky
7.) Motor - Black Powder - Mute
8.) Vitalic and Linda Lamb - Bells - Citizen
9.) Audion - Mouth to Mouth - Spectral Sound
10.) Passion Boys - Passion Boys Are Firemans - unreleased
honorable mention) Perspects - The Wake - Interdimensional Transmissions

DataWhat? is recycling their links, but it's okay because we're recycling their recycling... for the holidays: Scared of Santa

Related: Krampus

[Thanks Toybreaker!]

If you're down in Miami Beach for Art Basel, make sure to check out the opening of Arnold Steiner's solo exhibition SUBMECHA tonight at 7th Circuit Studios, just north of the Miami Design District.

Really big flyer with all the infos:

Friday, December 08, 2006

Back in 2000 (the year Burnlab went online,) Gibby Miller introduced Make Out Club, the first online social networking site for "like-minded nerds, loners, indierockers, record collectors, emo kids, video gamers, hardcore kids, and artists through friendship, music, and sometimes even love. Created from a bedroom in Boston by an art school student who worked at a coffee shop, MOC is a labor of love created by and made for the online underground."

The original hipster network (and precursor to Friendster and MySpace) is set to launch an all new design in a few short weeks. Check MOC and for updates.

I'm predicting MOC2 eclipses MySpace in '07.

Take the dense atmospheres of one Christopher Bissonnettee, add a liberal portion of Loveliescrushing, take a walk through a New Orleans cemetery in the rain with Loveless on your Walkman and you may get a glimpse at the lush black cloud of sound called Belong. If you are anywhere near a bottle of whiskey and a pack of rusty razor blades, steer the hell clear! This is absolutely gorgeous, but Jesus...

[thanks Lynchy!]

Related: Drop D (Belong's Turk Dietrich and Telefon Tel Aviv's Josh Eustis)

One for the Christmas list?

CBC reports Montrealer Warren Hill purchased an in-studio acetate of The Velvet Underground and Nico on the street in New York four years ago for seventyfive cents. The one of a kind cutting was recorded in April 1966 at New York's Scepter Studios and features different versions of songs which later appeared on the commercial release in 1967. The item, called "arguably the rarest and most important rock'n'roll and pop-art artifact in the world" is on auction at eBay. Bidding ends tonight and is currently fetching $155,301.

[thanks Chris Bissonnette!]

Related: "taste the whip..." + live clip + Devotchka cover

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This was somehow inevitable: an 8-bit cover of In the Air Tonight.
[Thanks Maxx!]

Speaking of 8-bit, this past Saturday night we received a call from a cowboy around 9:30 PM...
Mark: "Dudes, you have to get down here! I'm raving!"
Bethany: "What?"
Mark: "I'm at a rave. Get down to Nassau Street right away!"

Not having any idea what we're getting into, we cab it down to the financial district and walk into what can only be described as a cross between a Tokyo video arcade and a breakcore party. Covox is jumping around on stage in front of a massive Versa TILE wall, crunching frantic electro-pop out of a Game Boy and distortion pedals. Girls in chunky glasses and boys with scruffy faces bob along with the sort of pure glee you only see at a They Might Be Giants show. It is the Blip Festival - four days of music, multimedia, film and workshops dedicated to 8-bit culture. If we had done any research before heading off to NY we would have known this, but it was so much better to walk in unprepared. Minutes later we run into Devan Simunovich of C-TRL Labs, who is doing live video during Nullsleep's set later in the night. Despite still being tired from staying out way past our bed time the night before, it was a very happy accident to be there and great to see such an ambitious project come off so successfully.

Related: C-TRL Labs featured on Apple Pro

Is the Cool Hunting Gift Guide a tad too cool? Leave it to our good friends at Core77 to dork up the gift guide world with their witty list of 77 Design Gifts Under $77.

The new ICA Boston officially opens to the public this Sunday, December 10. Some of the first interior photos can be found at Archinect and Flickr.

MOTOR has posted a video montage from this past summer's tour. If you look really carefully, Bryan Black is sporting a Cyberoptix tie during King of USA.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fight Club/Dennis The Menace Mash Ups

(I seriously need to read DataWhat? more often.)

We had the pleasure of watching the recent Leonard Cohen documentary/concert film I'm Your Man, featuring the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave and Rufus Wainwright. The film provides very personal insights to Cohen's creative process and extraordinary life. Read an interview with the director Lian Lunson here. A video clip about writing process here and Cave performing Suzanne below:

A few of my favorite things:

Friday night we dined at the Lever House restaurant. Designed in 2003 by Marc Newson and situated in the beautifully restored International Style skyscraper of the same name, it lived up to and exceeded all expectations for both atmosphere and gastronomic interest. We skipped over standard autumn menu favorites like rack of lamb in favor of grilled skate and venison loin - both of which were exquisite. Highest recommendations if you're looking for something special, and arriving early helps ensure a choice booth with a commanding view of the interior. Damien Hirst's towering anatomical bronze Virgin Mother in the courtyard is worth the trip in itself.

The other foodie/design highlight of this past weekend was literally stumbling across Xing. Designed by Dillier+Scofidio protoges Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, the Hell's Kitchen restaurant does contemporary asian cuisine at its very finest. The black truffle and galangal encrusted black cod and perfectly done sea scallops with XO fried rice and spicy avocado puree were heavan, and I will never do creme brulee without ginger now.

Given your firey words I thought youd appreciate this pic Mike... (By the way, this isnt Photoshop or an example of minimal getting so big it has its own chain stores, its actually a supermarket chain in Germany)

In response to Michael's tirade on old Phil Sherburn and minimalism, I too was moved by the Pitchfork article, having spent much time emotionally tormenting myself over nostalgia of the Detroit techno me that once was and the LA me of today. I whole-heartedly agreed with the notion of feeling removed from the 'scene' and therefore losing any sort of connection to the music, to the point of almost questioning my core convictions. How come everyone else seems to be enjoying techno just fine while I am not?

As a sort of penance, I drove immediately to Ameoba Records and purchased my first compact disc in well over a year. It was Fizheuer Zieheuer, the 37 minute Villalobos epic annointed 'Techno Record of the Year' in the article and I proceeded to spend the next half hour driving around downtown Los Angeles (which can feel suprisingly like downtown Detroit) listening to the track. And the verdict? It's fantastic, it's inventive, it's catchy, and it's about 12 minutes too long. I've enjoyed it several more times and am please that's there is still some minimal techno out there that can tickle my fancy.

That said - it's no where near as good as the new LCD Soundsystem album, which leaves me breathless each of the probably 20 times I've listened to it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

We are alas back from NYC (kicking and screaming) to cold, cold Michigan. The stars have been excessively cruel and schizophrenic of late, but I'm happy to report that this past Friday's Guggenheim show was a tremendous success. Sadly Telefon Tel Aviv was grounded in Chicago by winter storms, but luckily our good friend Ryan Elliott was in NYC and filled in like a total pro at the last minute. Despite severe nervousness at the start of the night, I think Friday was the very best set Bethany and I have ever played as Dethlab. Comically fucking up mixes has been a trademark since the days of proto-dorkwave, but there was none of that on Friday. OMG, we actually mixed!?! It is ambitious trying to throw together punk, goth, rock, techno, industrial, garage, pop and electro in a blender - an self-defeatingly difficult style at times - but we gladly bring it on ourselves because we can't stand one sound for more than couple minutes. It was flattering to receive compliments form the East Coast Goth Royalty for playing the Cranes and ADULT., as well as the fist pumping to the likes of Tiefschwarz and Justice. It was also great to slip in Ghostly favorites from Sami Koivikko and Kill Memory Crash our Austrian friends Collapsing New People, Office side project E-Snacks and Bethany's recent track MIR, to very enthusiastic response.

I can't go on enough what an honor it was play at the Gugg, and how much fun we had. There was a lot of dancing... even some outside the DJ booth! ;) Huge THANK YOU to Flavorpill and everyone involved in organizing the event. If there is anything at all I'd like to say is that dance music should always be as fun as what you listen to at home, dancing in your living room in your underwear, completely sober.

edit: There is a fine line between being passionate about your opinions and being a jerk. I seriously need to work on that.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

[this link is dedicated to SV4...]
Sugar Frosted Cereal Museum on Flickr

Jackson Publick, co-creator of The Venture Bros, just announced in his live journal that Season 2 is slated to be released on DVD April 17, 2007!

Not only is there a montage in episode 1 set against "Everybody's Free" by Aquagen (one of the best worst hip-house tracks ever), but in the last episode there's an animated Kung Fu fight between David Bowie and Iggy Pop on top of a jet fighter in flight.

Also of note (if you're really really goth), you might recognize the other co-creator Doc Hammer as Eric Hammer formally of the lush 90's synth band Mors Syphilitica.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

This Friday: Guggenheim Art After Dark with DJs Telefon Tel Aviv and Dethlab.

Flavorpill says:
After a November hiatus, First Fridays returns to the Guggenheim with digital wunderkinder Telefon Tel Aviv. Powell Ohio's Joshua Eustis and Charles Cooper orchestrate a lush score from microbeats, twinkling synths, swelling strings, and the occasional soulful vocal sample that distinguishes their halcyon electronica from glitch-happy IDM. Detroit duo Dethlab put a devilish spin on docile electro tunes with Belgian EBM, French cyberpunk, and the occasional industrial tweak for good measure. While the Midwestern maestros slave over keyboards and mixers, partygoers can tour the museum's Lucio Fontana: Venice/New York exhibition, a comprehensive presentation of the artist's textured works on canvas and sheet metals.

Real Detroit Weekly says:
Congratulations to Dethlab (Michael Doyle and Bethany Shorb) as they have stepped into an art and music nerd's dream: performing at the prestigious Guggenheim Museum in fabulous New York City, opening for Chicago's IDM masterminds Telefon Tel Aviv. "Playing records is not art, but one of many components we use to communicate an idea," Michael said. "We approach it from a totally different angle than most - we deal with themes rather than genres, and put an emphasis on the performance aspect. I think the curators understand and appreciate that. We certainly weren't invited because we're good technical DJs! As visual artists who like to explore all sorts of mediums, there is no greater honor or more humbling venue to be asked to perform." Now what's it gonna take to get this painting by Ron Zakrin on the walls?

Hope to see all our NYC friends there!

Though not new its news to me: the Pope wears Prada. Im not sure if I find that funny or completely disgusting.

On my travels thru myspace i found an a good one, Robert Gomez. Gomez, recent-ish-ly signed to Bella Union, offers some amazingly crafted, brooding, slightly tex-mex flavoured songwriting which remind a bit in tone and execution Lisa Germano´s gorgeous album "Slide"...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Keepin' in evil: Parisian masters of doom disco Black Strobe have launched a new podcast site featuring exclusive mixes by Ivan Smagghe and Arnaud Rebotini, as well as a new version of their single Shining Bright Star for download.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No plans for Thanksgiving Eve? Not feeling like hanging out with a bunch of shiny-shirt douchebags and coked-up skanks at some huge club, risk driving home while the city's finest are on red alert - as if they get commission on DUI's, only to feel like total hell at the biggest family get-together of the year tomorrow? We feel you. Here are a few more low key options in Detroit:

Tamion 12 Inch mastermind and former third head of ADULT. Sam Consiglio is exhibiting new visual work at Motor City Brewing Works. Every Wednesday artist, curator (and my former high school newspaper co-editor) Graem Whyte presents the work of area artists. Sam says, "this show should be of particular interest to fans of: Art, Movies, Music, Theater, Dance, Danzig, Cher, Magic, Muscles, Macho Mints, House, Home Furnishings and Decor, Pictures, Rock-Paper-Scissors, Girls that are Boys and Vise Versa." Well, if that dont' say it...

Afterwards, enjoy some nail-biting tournament bowling at America's oldest active bowling center. We'll be cheering on both the Wayne State University Art and Art History Department and "The Gawth Kids" (not only an apt description but the official name of their team. They happen to be in third place. Who ever said that pasty, gloomy, too-smart-for-their-own-good kids would never be good at sports?)

If that's not enough excitement for you, head over to OSLO for Ass Falcon - the sushi lounge's bi-weekly art opening, featuring the photography of Justin Ames. Our good friends Matt Abbott of CPM, David Blunk of the Undercover Eskimo Collective and Imperial Empire will be "throwing down the wax," as they say. (I don't know who actually says that... somebody... I guess.)

Happy Turkey Day!

Huge congrats to my partner in crime, Bethany Shorb a.k.a. Toybreaker, who's fashion label Cyberoptix has been cited by more than a dozen uber-hip web zines in recent weeks, including Fabulist, Indie Obsession, Bold Swaths, EveryoneForver and NOTCOT, as well as print magazines such as Adorn, and subject of a feature interview in Murketing.

Bethany styled, photographed, and designed much of the garments featured on the cover of this week's Real Detroit and the corresponding fashion spread/photo essay - a dark and whimsical narrative titled "The Big Hunt".

Cyberoptix apparel can be found at a number of boutiques and museum stores around the country, including Sarah Vidosh's brand new store SPY, in the former Zoot's space in Detroit's University/Cultural District. The SPY grand opening is this Saturday from 7pm to midnight. Click here for details.

The current issue of Real Detroit hit news stands today.
No models were hurt (badly) in the process.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Good point, Allen.

For the record, there's nothing ironic about Andrew W.K.

For the record, Tenacious D is neither good or funny.
If you want clever, ironic party music listen to Andrew WK or Electric Six.
Tenacious D is just plain stupid.

(I even left the link off so you don't get mad at me for wasting your time.)

Our good friend Greg Baise has a brand new show on Viva Radio. La Vie C'est Chouette is "an hour of miscellaneous/oddball artifacts, dollar bin dynamite, closet synthpunks, overseas bedroom prog, and twisted candyshop pop."

The program airs every Tuesday from noon to 1pm... which means I'm two hours late posting this, but you can listen to the archive any old time your heart desires.

I bought the brand new sunn O))) vs. Boris album last week, and it's really beautiful. Not exactly the word one would expect to use describing a collaboration between two monstrously heavy metal bands, but indeed the one most apt.

As described by Warpmart: This collaboration between Southern Lord's doom masters, is everything that it promises to be, as Sunn 0))) and Boris conceptualize, write and record together. 'Altar' picks up on the best aspects of both bands and pushes them forward over a series of varied tracks, ranging from the stormy instrumental workout of opener 'Etna', to beautiful, even romantic stuff like the 'Sinking Belle' featuring Boris' female singer Takeshi's delicate, spiritual vocals. Throughout the album, the group employ more electronics, more treatments and a more diverse range of atmospheres to present their vision, and it really works. The standout for me personally is 'Akuma No Kuma', which sounds like Black Sabbath's 'Iron Man should have sounded, as Joe Preston's voice gets vocodered over banks of vintage electronics and bass. It's a killer track, sounding like the futuristic musical equivalent of Mobeius' science-fiction comic that coined the term 'Heavy Metal', psychedelic iron machines tripping through torn metal landscapes. As ever with Southern Lord's output the sleeve is absolutely immaculate, stunningly beautiful, with a full colour book style CD case.

Back in June sunn O))) collaborated with visual artist Banks Violette, who cast Sunn's entire stage set in salt. The band then played live in the basement of the gallery on duplicate gear, hidden from view. More on the installation/performance here, and check Stephen O'Malley's blog here for the latest sunn O))) news and views.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Colonel Sanders Face Seen From Space

It took a team of nearly 50 designers, engineers, architects and other professionals working nearly three months to conceive, create and execute building the world's largest logo. The logo consists of 65,000, one-foot by one-foot painted tile pieces that were assembled like a humongous jigsaw puzzle. It took six days on site to construct the logo, during which time the logo design pieces were kept hidden from airplanes flying overhead.

KFC video: here
related: Mike Meyers

Sunday, November 19, 2006

after buying the latest Method Man album i was hesitant to buy another lifeless, mediocre hip hop album, and especially hesitant to buy the latest from The Roots despite good reviews. I couldn´t handle another painful frat-hop offering like their last, The Tipping Point. But Game Theory is probably the best most concise Roots album yet.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Owen Ashworth's cat Rufus is safe at home. Read.

Master animator and surrealist Jan Svankmajer's latest work Lunacy with Guy Maddin and Isabella Rossellini's new short film My Dad is 100 Years Old at the Detroit Film Theatre tonight and Saturday at 9:30pm.

The latest provocation from surrealist master Jan Svankmajer (LITTLE OTIK) is loosely based on two short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and inspired by the works of the Marquis de Sade. In nineteenth-century France (albeit one full of deliberate anachronisms) a young man, Jean Berlot, is plagued by nightmares in which he is dragged off to a madhouse. On the journey back from his mother's funeral he is invited by a Marquis he meets at lunch to spend the night in his castle. There Berlot witnesses a blasphemous orgy and a 'therapeutic' funeral. Berlot tries to flee but the Marquis insists on helping him conquer his fears and takes his guest to a surrealistic lunatic asylum where the patients have complete freedom and the staff are locked up behind bars. Described by Svankmajer himself in a prologue to the film as a "philosophical horror film," LUNACY combines live action and stop-motion, sex and violence, grand guignol terror and gallows humor, and a lot of animated meat.

if heaven has a ghetto this gift has surely fallen from it:

The New Dance Show (including an ad for Watts Club Mozambique and various appearances by The Count)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Speaking of toys...Dunny Rabbit.

In case you didn't have enough to do this Saturday:

Urban Arts Experiments Vol. 1 (Custom Toy Show)
Glenn Barr, Adam Battestilli, Christina Gibbs, Brandon Garrison, Mark Heggie, Dennis Jones, Nicole MacDonald, Dave Roberts, Shades, Scotty Agee, Jason Shram, Gilda Snowden, Tom Thewes, Ron Zakrin, and Ziam
11-18-06 7-10PM at 2000 Brooklyn, Detroit

Queen of the Underground and Edgewise
Featuring a beauty pagent and more artists than I can name
Hastings Street Ballroom, 715 E. Milwaukee, Detroit
11-18-06 Doors at 9

Mad About Science
2nd Annual Artist's Science Fair @ CAID
11-18-06 Doors at 9

if this isnt a sign of how sick and twisted and sad our society is getting i dont know what is. OJ, you are truely a wretched bastard.

my fantasy of the possibility of seeing "2"-era Led Zeppelin sort of has come true: Wolfmother

I have an excessively long list of "autumn bands", but there is none so perfect for crunchy leaves and hot cocoa (and swirly goth dancing) as The Cranes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This coming Monday at London's legendary TRASH CLUB, Farris Rotter of The Horrors shares the turntables with residents Erol Alkan, Rory Phillips & The Lovely Jonjo. I'd count on hearing some Birthday Party, Jesus and Mary Chain, Wire, Gun Club... in other words: teh awesome.

Coney Island developer to architect: I don't know... just make it crazy! Holographic mermaids, tattooed pachyderms, jack-o-lantern bikinis... hell, throw Batman in there. Crazy! (Not authentic crazy like old Coney Island though... 'friendly crazy.')


Prada Firewood.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

If you haven't purchased Mahogany's new album Connectivity! yet, what the heck are you waiting for?

Elements of Lush, Belle and Sebastian, New Order, and the Cocteau Twins are certainly present, but Connectivity! stands on its own as one of the very finest pieces of work produced by anybody, anywhere, in any year. (Having exceptional artwork and Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie co-produce your album doesn't hurt either...)

XEROX is a new monthly night of electro, cold wave, new romantic, synthpop, minimal elektronik, et al. in Toronto. The brain-child musical super-genius Jason Amm a.k.a. Solvent, the night features Solvent and Will Munroe behind the turntables, and is the successor to Munroe's infamous Peroxide electro/disco/wave parties, which took place at Kensington's Club 56 from 2002-2004.

Expect everything from favorites to rarities, new to old, over a generous range of genres, but don't expect any of it to get lost in the mix. In addition to a vocal disdain for the all-too-often narrowness of "DJ culture", Amm is a fellow hopeless romantic for when "DJs mixed everything, and people danced to everything."

The next edition of XEROX is December 1st at The Beaver: 1192 Queen Street West, recently named best lounge by NOW Magazine.

Friday 17 Nov 2006 | 7:30pm

6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
t: 323.957.1777 | f: 323.957.9025

A screening and discussion of architecture in moving images with Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Ashley Hunt

"What does it mean to say one place looks like another?" Ruth Gilmore asked Ashley Hunt when they were planning this event. Gilmore and Hunt are interested in a repeating image across U.S. cities: the boarding up of tattered homes which causes New Orleans to look like Chicago's South Side which looks like East Baltimore which looks like so much of L.A. They wonder if there is an aesthetics of abandonment which cynically mirrors the architectural homogeneity brought on by globalization, with its big box architectures and silvery-slick exhibition halls.

In response to the current LACE exhibition Alexander Apóstol: Selected Works, Gilmore and Hunt will explore these matters by screening scenes from films and videos that establish architecture and space as social, producing a social gaze which links one place with another and spatial effects to events, struggles and conflict.

About the Participants

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Chair of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where she is also associate professor of ASE and geography. The author of many articles, her new book on California prison expansion, Golden Gulag, is now available. She has published extensively on race, gender, social movements, and incarceration. Ruth is co-founder of the California Prison Moratorium Project and of Critical Resistance. Her long (and somewhat checkered) past includes an NEA/LACE grant in 1986 for a collaborative performance art "opera" called "Shrimps: the mind/body problem". Other honors include the Ralph Santiago Abascal Award for Environmental and Economic Justice, and the James M. Blaut Award for activist scholarship.

Ashley Hunt is a visual artist and reluctant documentarian, whose work centers on issues at the heart of the contemporary American prison industrial complex. Often in dialogue with community organizers and activists, Hunt has produced videos, maps, photos, and sculptures that address the legacies of class and racial inequality, the commercialization of imprisonment, and lately, the violent antagonisms within U.S. society that erupted during the Katrina catastrophe.

For further information visit the website

Painted on Sunday morning. More pics on the O_O Flickr page.

Also here's a nice little O_O video compiled by the folks at Good Magazine:

I'm a huge Boys Next Door fan but was unaware that sweet little teenage Nick Cave and the lads made a music video! I'm still dumbfounded by the very high production quality of the early recordings. How many high school bands sound this good? Anyway, here's the video:

Also (after very, very, very painful editing) I compressed my favorite X songs to fit on a single CD last night for Toybreaker. It was somewhat satisfying that twentyfive of the best songs ever written fit on one disc - the longest being 4:47 and averaging 2:51 - still quite excessive for punk, or any other genre IMO.

If you like Kompakt records played properly [run through an array of super-nasty distortion pedals] check out Justice. As I've said before, minimal compositions work best with maximal sounds, and these Frogs serve up a carefully composed platter of sonic razor blades, broken glass, burnt motor oil and tainted blood. Delicious!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Seasonal Affective Disorder? Case of the Mondays?
Take 500mg of X and wash down with black coffee:

The Wooster Collective is cuarating an installation of sorts at 11 Spring Street - inviting more than twenty artists from around the world to cover the inside and outside of the building between now and the end of the year. Some great photos and more linkage at Gothamist.

Reminder for Detroiters that our friend Walter Wasacz of Paris '68 is DJing at the Majestic Cafe every Saturday.

New poster by Michael Segal.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Rob, of course I know Kenny-Boy "died" - simply having fun fanning the conspiracy flames with a copy-cat scenario for Dick. I doubt seriously any one of them will ever stand trial (even to me a civil case in a German court is very very shaky,) but could see years and years of charges being filed in various courts in various countries which will potentially keep them busy with lawyers or at least severely restrict their ability to travel. After repairing the nation, the most important thing is how this period in history will be recorded and seen by future generations. Nixon's going to look like a saint.

As much as I'd love for your prediction to come true 100% (esp. the President Clark part), there's just one little hitch in the dream: Kenneth Lay died in July of heart failure. So unless it's Zombie Kenneth that's having cocktails, I'm afraid the dream is over.

Also, this case will go nowhere in the International Crminal Court, as the US is protected under what's known as Article 98 agreements. The US has made several deals with other countries providing immunity and prohibiting the surrender of government and military officials to the ICC. However, there ARE countries Rummy COULD travel to which don't acknowledge article 98, but the US is cutting funding at a drastic rate to these places in retribution (see: the majority of South America and a generous portion of Africa).

The Democrats should pay no mind to this, nor try and bring up impeachment proceedings or any other nonsense other than to get this jackass and his thugs out of office and this country back on track. They should also start planning a strategy around their nominee for 2008. Somewhere in a Washington, puppetmaster Karl Rove is already planning his attack to not only take back Congress (which shouldn't be too hard to do if Democrats screw up), but keep his party in the Oval Office for another 4-8 yrs.

But then again, even Freman Hendrix hates me now so what do I know?

To keep this post on the art side of things, here's a quick snapshot of the ICC. Apparently this is only the temporary building and the permanent one should be up and going by 2009.

Justice is off to a quicker start than I had expected: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse

Would the Bush administration have been so concerned about war crimes charges - enough to try and rewrite the Geneva Convetions - if they weren't knowingly violating international law? I don't know if Don, Dick and George will ever end up in jail, but this should be the start of the rest of their lives sucking. Perhaps they should consult O.J.

Oh, and my predictions on how the tribunals will shake down:
Rumsfeld- suicide
Bush - pardoned by president Wesley Clark just before sentencing - has complete breakdown and is checked into a mental hospital
Cheney - dies of a heart attack awaiting trial (a.k.a. drinking cocktails in South America with Ken Lay)

You read it here first.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nick Cave's newest project, Grinderman is "foul-mouthed, noisy, hairy, and damn well old enough to know better." Featuring Bad Seeds Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey and Jim Sclavunos, Grinderman is at the same time tautly minimal and raucously nasty. Listen to their first single at MySpace.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tom Roche - Convergence, Tokyo Japan, 2005; Truss Cafe Chair designed by Scott Klinker.

Context Furniture and aedis design make party tonight, November 9th, at 8pm. Preview the latest in contemporary furniture and digital photography. Food, cocktails and music will also be in attendance.

aedis design, 808 South Old Woodward, Birmingham, MI.

Wii Production Line Footage!

(You know a console launch has a lot of hype behind it when production footage is considered not only newsworthy, but interesting. In other news: Perrin Kaplan is a MILF.)

edit (1:59 PM): The only thing more hilarious than the production line is this line for preorders. Even better: Nintendo is restocking DS Lites in Japan on launch day (for those who don't follow technology trends, Nintendo's DS Lite typically sells out of stock every week--roughly 150,000 units--please see picture below).

1982 Maxell advert featuring Peter Murphy.

Also see Murphy with TV On The Radio and Trent Reznor performing Pere Ubu's Final Solution [thanks JonO] and his totally '80s video for the song.

Just in case this blog is your primary source for world news:
The Associated Press confirms Webb victory in Virginia, giving Democrats a complete sweep of both houses of congress. Sen. George Allen has not conceded, but is 7200 votes behind Webb with all votes tabulated in this last state on the line.

Earlier on Wednesday, President Bush said, "It was a thumping... It's clear the Democrat Party had a good night."

Finally, perhaps, he's starting to act with the humility of a president who lost the popular vote six years ago, only to be appointed to office by a court without the patience or stomach for due process (and maybe realizing that if those voices in his head are indeed God himself, the almighty has been just fucking with him all along...)

So distant seem the days of no war, of no fear, when prosperity was a real potential for all, when religious extremists were a fringe element rather than the ruling class, when all the world loved and admired America, when the president was getting blow-jobs... the seemingly endless glory of the 1990s under a charismatic Rhodes Scholar. We have so much work ahead to dig ourselves out and return to those standards, but at least now there is hope. Hope is something the Bush administration has stripped from the American psyche, and that is their biggest crime. I'm proud to be an American again. We should all be proud.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

News flash: Mac users are liberals.


The other election results are in, and the incumbent terminology wins at Gawker.

(I totally support the winner, but would suggest "ass-clown" as VP.)

Full. Sweep.

Technically Virginia is still up in the air, but with 99.something of the votes counted, Democrat Jim Webb is leading Republican incumbent George "Macaca" Allen by twice the margin Montana was won by.

If you haven't been glued to the news, the Democrats are projected to take a majority of seats in the Senate, confirmed a decisive majority in the House, and now have a nearly 3 to 2 majority in state governor seats.

And like a cherry on top, just moments ago Donald Rumsfeld stepped down as defense secretary.

"You've just resigned as Secretary of Defense. Now what are you going to do?"

"I'm going to my war crimes tribunal!"

Well, one can dream...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ballardian interviews Geoff Manaugh

Over the course of the interview, Simon Sellars and I talk about J.G. Ballard's novels, from Concrete Island to Super-Cannes, The Drowned World to Crash - not to mention High-Rise - and we get there via a look at corporate office parks, Richard Meier, science fiction, Le Corbusier, the Paris riots, Archigram, Norman Foster, Sigmund Freud, sexual deviance, Daniel Craig, gated communities, the Taliban, Victor Gruen, future flooded Londons in the era of nonlinear climate change, Steven Spielberg, sports-car dealerships, Margaret Thatcher's son, public surveillance, Rem Koolhaas... etc.

A great read.

One of the best examples of new media I've seen recently: Second Life Liberation Army. "A national liberation movement working towards establishing citizens rights within Second Life".

And from the realm of traditional media: John Kilduff's 'Portrait of Tyra Banks While Running on a Treadmill'.

John writes:

This painting was done during the taping of the Tyra show (original air date 10-20-2006). I painted Tyra Banks while running on a treadmill.

Time of painting- 02:00

With speeds up to 6 mph.

If anyone is interested, I've uploaded and organized all my photos from CMJ and excursions from New York last week:

Halloween on the Hudson
We spent Devil's Night in my favorite Hudson Valley town Cold Spring, and Halloween afternoon at the Sleepy Hollow cemetery. Stumbling across Russel Wright's home and studio was major treat - only an hour outside of NYC.

The Knife at Webster Hall
Sorry these are pretty blurry - long shutter speeds and light shows don't always play nice. See review three posts down, and video clip seven posts down.

The Horrors and Office at Harmony Palace
Two of my favorite bands and Peter Hook DJing at a Chinese restaurant... NME knows how to throw a party! We were so close to the stage that Faris stood on Toybreaker's shoulder while singing at one point. Knowing they were playing last, Office played an extra-super-rocked-up set. Office also signed a record deal last week. Dreams do come true at CMJ. See Horrors video clip from this show seven posts down, and more photos from Toybreaker here.

The Horrors at Galapagos Art Space
Even better two nights later. I think they were more comfortable, because Faris was jumping all over - as in leaping from the stage to the bar, then off the bar into the crowd. If you know Galapagos, the stage and the bar are not that close together and are both very high. The lads are all super tall though... even without the hair and the heels.

Falling Water
Added an extra day to the trip to tour FLW's masterwork on the way back to Detroit. I should have done this while in design school, but better late than never. No number of photographs come close to experiencing the place in person.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Not only does it look like The Whitney will be building a new gallery space at the base of the High Line, but will be retaining architect Renzo Piano for the new building. Piano's design to expand the museum's Upper East Side digs have been all but scrapped due in large part to zoning and legal battles.

When asked about the new site in the Meatpacking District, Piano replied "I like that place, including the meat smell! It's full of energy."

Read the whole story here, including an interview with Piano.

+ more reason Renzo Piano is possibly the best architect in the world today: "I'm not able to make a scheme unless I am passionate about it, romantic about the scheme in some way... It's not about money, it's about energy and dreams and passion."

An adventurous reader broke into the Beijing Olympic Stadium construction site to snap some pics of Herzog & de Meuron's "bird's nest" at night. View the photos at Archinect.

The building looks even more creepy and beautiful in real life than the creepy and beautiful renderings.

Pitchfork reviews The Knife's first ever US performance, and takes the words right out of my mouth:

"So we're confronted with the reality of one of the best albums of the year, by one of Pitchfork's favorite bands, delivered using tropes that send the authenticity police into fits of rage: lip-synching, silly dancing, cool light show, superclub dance beats. Does that mean the Knife's performance was insincere, or lightweight, or somehow less worthy than that of a band sweating through a set, pounding on their own instruments and pouring their hearts out on the mic? Fuck no. Does it mean that we need to alter our antiquated notions of "worthiness" and "realness" in pop music performance? Fuck yes."

The Knife performance was as much theatre as concert. No one really knows if they were playing anything "live" on stage, but it doesn't matter because they put on an amazing show, and a show is ultimately what I want to see. Unfortunately too few electronic musicians even consider the performance element of a live show. There is nothing more lame than watching a guy in a t-shirt hunched over a laptop playing everything "live". What is the point? Movement, visuals, silly costumes, etc. become more imperative when the music is coming from machines. The very nature of the machines provide an amazing opportunity for artists to be more creative, to add whole new layers of experience for the audience, and to re-examine what a live show can be. It was refreshing and exciting to see The Knife understand this and take it to a level that borders on performance art... performance art that rocks.

Welcome to Seussville + Seuss Taxidermy.

This morning's moment of zen: Peter Lorre soundbank.

Speaking of, we've become very fascinated with cellular memory... perhaps more on the subject later in the week.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Has anyone else noticed that Patrick Wolf is like one of the only people out there doing it right?

Srsly, between him and the Horrors, I'm moving to London.
London's sort of got their Ess together.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Exclusive Burnlab video:
The Knife live at Webster Hall
The Horrors live at Harmony Palace
(The sound clips a bit, but you get the idea.)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mike Patton mentioned on All My Children. WEIRD.

We spent Halloween afternoon at the Old Dutch Burying Ground in Sleepy Hollow, New York. (10 goth points and 50 dork points for taking photos with Washington Irving's tomb!)

Tonight is the Flavorpill party, and tomorrow is The Knife at Webster Hall, followed by The Horrors, Office and (we just learned) Peter Hook DJing at the NME showcase. We also caught Absolute Wilson (see Monday's post,) which is wonderful. I doubt it will hit Detroit screens, but do look for it on HBO and on video when it comes out.

Saturday's party was a bit of a bust due to fire marshall complications. It's a long, very New York story, but we still had a good time, and I hope Brooklyn Sugar can get the politics sorted out, because its a great venue.

Friday, October 27, 2006

We're off to NYC for the week!

Ms. Toybreaker and I will be playing records and judging costumes Saturday [tonight] at the PHONO Halloween Ball.

We're still searching for a couch to crash on for a couple of the days, so please hit me up on the e-mail. We're quiet, don't take up much space, and will buy you dinner. :)

For those in Detroit this Halloween, we highly reccomend the Sass party on Saturday, and the Take Back The Night party on Tuesday. Both at OSLO, which by the way, was awarded the title Best Dance Club by the Metro Times staff and Best Sushi and Best Electronic Music Venue in the readers poll. Congrats!

And one more thing: more photos from the MOCAD opening.

Nice Job.