Friday, February 27, 2009

7digital

I had my first experience with 7digital tonight and absolutely love it. It's not just a music download store, but a great resource for independent artists to get their music directly to fans.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mt. Sims "Grave"

Berlin via LA musician/performance artist Matt Sims released his third Mt. Sims LP Happily Ever After a few months ago on Hungry Eye Records. "Mount" has officially been changed to "Mt." and he now performs as part of a full-time three piece band.

Moving into even darker territory than first flirted with on 2004's Wild Light, the anxiety-laden Gothic/no-wave sound of Happily Ever After couldn't be further from the high-gloss, over-the-top electro-sleaze of his Ultrasex concept album - showing Sims to be a versatile and unpredictable artist. Contributors to the new album include Thomas Stern of Crime and the City Solution and Bryan Black of MOTOR.

Our old friend Echo Danon and Bart Grieb directed the video for the first single Grave, in which Matt seems to be channeling a young Andrew Eldritch! [Warning: the song may get stuck in your head for days.]


Mt. Sims - Grave [2009]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Everything's amazing and nobody's happy."

I love this.
Wasn't familiar with this comedian before. This bit reminds me of Carlin.


Louis C.K. on Late Night with Conan O'Brien

[Better version here - but annoying "embedding disabled". Gah! Oh wait... I think I just missed the whole point...]

DiscError

Currently loving DiscError Recordings.

NME pretty much killed "nu rave" on arrival [and thank goodness] by naming it such. I hope they don't label this gang of bitcrushed drum machine wielding baby-faced East End hooligans "nu industrial" or something similar. I'd like to see them around for a good long time.

This track builds to a hypnotic stormer. Something like The Revolting Cocks meets A Place to Bury Strangers meets Killing Joke...

Micron 63 - Anatomy of No Escape [2008, live]

I think I posted this clip last year. Intense like Suicide, and the lyrics are great.
"Now I got blood in my throat, blood in my throat, blood in my throat..."

ULTERIOR - The Death of Everything [2007]

Also see S.I.N.S for some really cool experimental disco. [Couldn't find a video.] Too eclectic and inventive to be simply "electro house".

Fish FTW?!

tansparent headed pacific barreleye fish

"Oh, hai. Looking at you through the top of my freaking transparent head."

With a head like a fighter-plane cockpit, a Pacific barreleye fish shows off its highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes--topped by green, orblike lenses--in a picture released today but taken in 2004.

The fish, discovered alive in the deep water off California's central coast by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), is the first specimen of its kind to be found with its soft transparent dome intact...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Kills + The Horrors US tour spring 2009

[Woo-hoo!]

Coachella (4.19)
Tucson, AZ Club Congress (4.20)
Boulder, CO Fox Theater (4.22)
Lawrence, KS Bottleneck (4.23)
Austin, TX Emo’s (4.24)
Dallas, TX Granada (4.25)
Atlanta, GA Lenny’s (4.27)
Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle (4.28)
Washington, DC 9:30 Club (4.30)
Philadelphia, PA TLA (5.1)
New York, NY Webster Hall (5.2)
Brooklyn, NY Music Hall Of Williamsburg (5.4)
Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club (5.5)
Montreal, Canada La Tulipe (5.6)
Toronto, Canada Phoenix (5.7)
Detroit, MI Magic Stick (5.8)
Chicago, IL Metro (5.9)
Minneapolis, MN First Ave (5.11)
Seattle, WA Neumo’s (5.15)
Vancouver, Canada Commodore (5.16)
Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom (5.17)
San Francisco, CA The Fillmore (5.19)
Pomona, CA Glass House (5.21)

Fantastic live footage of Faris & co.

The Horrors - Jack the Ripper [2007, live]

Brand spanking new Kills video. Vampires = hot.

The Kills - Black Balloon [2009]

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Mare Street, E8 — Digital Club from Digital Club on Vimeo.

I am loving this Mare Street, E8 animation by Thomas Traum.

Ciao

Ms. Toybreaker and I are off to northern Italy for Carnival and the centennial of Italian Futurism. I may be posting a lot or [more likely] not at all over the next week, so we encourage all our editors to keep people amused. I'm sure we'll have plenty of stories and photos to share next week.

"Beauty, speed and violence!"



all my love,
-Mike

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Interdome

My new internet friend Adam Rothstein runs a blog called Welcome to the Interdome. It's smart and funny and sarcastic and will make your head hurt at times [partly due to the content and partly due to the orange on lavender color scheme] and you should read it.

Happy 200th Charlie and Abe

[rant]Universal Music Group can bite me for disabling embedded YouTube videos by their artists. They deserve a fate worse than General Motors for being so freaking dense. You might make a buck if you let people, you know, see what your artists are up to. Streaming a low res clip to a blog isn't cutting into sales - unless you're a paranoid freak.[/rant]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mobility 2088

Mobility 2088 is a wonderful film produced by Honda which asks leading thinkers about how we'll get around in 80 years. Well worth watching.

[thanks Andrew!]

synth therapy


Kraftwerk - Neon Lights [1975]

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Poverty of Imagination

I've been trying to not post about politics lately, but on the day the US Senate approved spending one gazillion-frillion dollars that doesn't exist to try to fix a problem created by a perverted culture of overextended and mismanaged nonexistent money... it's time to check in with everyone's favorite doom monger/realist, James Howard Kunstler:

Venturing out each day into this land of strip malls, freeways, office parks, and McHousing pods, one can't help but be impressed at how America looks the same as it did a few years ago, while seemingly overnight we have become another country. All the old mechanisms that enabled our way of life are broken, especially endless revolving credit, at every level, from household to business to the banks to the US Treasury...

The attempted re-start of revolving debt consumerism is an exercise in futility. We've reached the limit of being able to create additional debt at any level without causing further damage, additional distortions, and new perversities of economy (and of society, too). We can't raise credit card ceilings for people with no ability make monthly payments. We can't promote more mortgages for people with no income. We can't crank up a home-building industry with our massive inventory of unsold, and over-priced houses built in the wrong places. We can't ramp back up the blue light special shopping fiesta. We can't return to the heyday of Happy Motoring, no matter how many bridges we fix or how many additional ring highways we build around our already-overblown and over-sprawled metroplexes. Mostly, we can't return to the now-complete "growth" cycle of "economic expansion." We're done with all that. History is done with our doing that, for now.

So far -- after two weeks in office -- the Obama team seems bent on a campaign to sustain the unsustainable at all costs, to attempt to do all the impossible things listed above. Mr. Obama is not the only one, of course, who is invoking the quest for renewed "growth." This is a tragic error in collective thinking. What we really face is a comprehensive contraction in our activities, especially the scale of our activities, and the pressing need to readjust the systems of everyday life to a level of decreased complexity...

Washington is evidently seized by panic right now. I don't know anyone who works in the White House, but I must suppose that they have learned in two weeks that these systems are absolutely tanking, that the previous way of life that everybody was so set on not apologizing for has reached the end of the line. We seem to be learning a new and interesting lesson: that even a team that promises change is actually petrified of too much change, especially change that they can't really control.

The argument about "change" during the election was sufficiently vague that no one was really challenged to articulate a future that wasn't, materially, more-of-the-same. I suppose the Obama team may have thought they would only administer it differently than the Bush team -- but basically life in the USA would continue being about all those trips to the mall, and the cubicle jobs to support that, and the family safaris to visit Grandma in Lansing, and the vacations at Sea World, and Skipper's $20,000 college loan, and Dad's yearly junket to Las Vegas, and refinancing the house, and rolling over this loan and that loan... and that has all led to a very dead end in a dark place.

If this nation wants to survive without an intense political convulsion, there's a lot we can do, but none of it is being voiced in any corner of Washington at this time. We have to get off of petro-agriculture and grow our food locally, at a smaller scale, with more people working on it and fewer machines. This is an enormous project, which implies change in everything from property allocation to farming methods to new social relations. But if we don't focus on it right away, a lot of Americans will end up starving, and rather soon. We have to rebuild the railroad system in the US, and electrify it, and make it every bit as good as the system we once had that was the envy of the world. If we don't get started on this right away, we're screwed. We will have tremendous trouble moving people and goods around this continent-sized nation. We have to reactivate our small towns and cities because the metroplexes are going to fail at their current scale of operation. We have to prepare for manufacturing at a much smaller (and local) scale than the scale represented by General Motors.

The political theater of the moment in Washington is not focused on any of this, but on the illusion that we can find new ways of keeping the old ways going. Many observers have noted lately how passive the American public is in the face of their dreadful accelerating losses. It's a tragic mistake to tell them that they can have it all back again. We'll see a striking illustration of "phase change" as the public mood goes from cow-like incomprehension to grizzly bear-like rage. Not only will they discover the impossibility of getting back to where they were, but they will see the panicked actions of Washington drive what remains of our capital resources down a rat hole.

A consensus is firming up on each side of the "stimulus" question, largely along party lines -- simply those who are for it and those who are against it, mostly by degrees. Nobody in either party -- including supposed independents such as Bernie Sanders or John McCain, not to mention President Obama -- has a position for directing public resources and effort at any of the things I mentioned above: future food security, future travel-and-transport security, or the future security of livable, walkable dwelling places based on local networks of economic interdependency. This striking poverty of imagination may lead to change that will tear the nation to pieces.

I, like Kunstler, voted for Obama. I'm thrilled with the new directions in social and science policy, but any rational person would have done the same after the fiasco we just lived through. I'm utterly perplexed that he handed the State Department over to the most hawkish, disgustingly self-serving Democrat this side of Joe Lieberman and even more perplexed that the agent of change is so obsessed with sustaining the unsustainable when it comes to the economy. Instead of reading about FDR's first 100 days, Obama should have been reading about Tyler Durden's first 100 days - and taking careful notes on soap making. That is the change these times require.

This bears repeating [and I'm not fucking kidding.]

Songs About Dancing And Drugs



The new Circlesquare album was released today on Beatport.
It's excellent. Go buy it.

+ While you're at Beatport stimulating the economy, check out Solvent's chart!

OMApocalypse

OMApocalypse

OMApocalypse

You're probably aware that Rem Koolhaas' TVCC building - part of the new China Central Television complex in Beijing was destroyed by fire yesterday.

The surreal and horrific photos of the aftermath above are by Columbia University student Andrew Lih, via Dezeen.
[Thanks to David for the heads-up]

Buying Stock in Patrick Wolf

If there's anything sure about the future of the music business, it's that nobody has come up with one tidy solution to reinvent it. I say "reinvent" rather than "save" because the latter is neither possible or desirable at this point [unless you're EMI or Warner Music Group, but then you're just grasping at the soil which extends six feet up on all sides.] The music industry is in a better position than the banking, manufacturing and housing sectors because at least it understands it needs to reinvent itself. It's not waiting for a trillion dollars [that doesn't exist] from the government in hopes that people will magically start paying $15 for compact disks again and everything will be back to "normal".

"Normal" is over, and good riddance. This is when we see some real creativity - some real 21st century thinking. We're not just seeing new systems for music distribution, but new ways of thinking about how artists connect with people and how we as a society value creative work. Music is becoming more democratic and is one area in which the middle class actually seems to be expanding.

In 2002 Einstürzende Neubauten launched the subscription-based neubauten.org and started work on an album financed primarily by fan patronage. For US$35 supporters received special access to the recording process, exclusive downloads, live discussions with the band and a copy of the physical CD with their name in the credits at the end of the process. On the subsequent tour, Neubauten was one of the first acts to offer CDR recordings of the concert to fans immediately after the show. This early experiment was a radical shift in the artist/fan relationship and good case study for a mid-size act with an established cult following. Fast forward to 2009:

British indie phenomenon Patrick Wolf has started his own label and decided to produce his forthcoming album Battle through a new organization called Bandstocks. Similar to Neubauten's Supporter Project, Bandstocks facilitates fan participation and financial support in the creation of recording projects. Fans and investors literally buy shares of a project and become participants with vested interest in the project's outcome.

"With Bandstocks, artists get a bigger share of the recording income than under any other record deal we know about, while fans, in return for their investment, receive both acknowledgment and a share of the proceeds to reward their commitment.

"As well as providing funding and a smooth administrative framework, Bandstocks also offers a menu of services which include manufacturing and direct selling of premium packages through an online shop, specialist vinyl distribution, digital distribution through all major third party services, manufacture and physical distribution of CDs and other products through our third party partners and online and offline marketing services..."


Patrick Wolf on Bandstocks and his new album "Battle"

I don't think Bandstocks is the silver bullet for the future of the music industry, but it is one more example of creative thinking and a fresh approach to new economic models we'll be seeing more and more of - not just in music, but in all sectors.

More at the Patrick Wolf YouTube channel.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Paul D. Miller, American Futurist in Milano

PDM 500px

Intonarumori
[images via Bruno Argento]

What we have here is a huge sculpture by architect Italo Rota entitled Toy Building N.1, DJ Spooky and recreations of Luigi Russolo's Intonarumori, and it's all part of the centennial celebration of the Founding Manifesto of Futurism and the Made Expo going on right now in Milan.

ItalianFuturism.org says:

TOY BUILDING N.1 was unveiled at 6:30pm on February 3rd in the Piazza Duomo. The sculpture was created by Italo Rota and was coordinated by the Made Expo in collaboration with the Comune di Milano - Assessorato alla Cultura, as well as Federlegno-Arredo and Uncsaal, on the occasion of the centennial of the Founding Manifesto of Futurism. The piece should remain in situ for the exhibtion at the Palazzo Real in June.

Rota was himself inspired by Giacomo Balla’s work from 1915: “Linee di forza del pugno di Boccioni”, as well as other tenants of the Futurist movement. The event was complimented by the sound created by the American artist DJ Spooky, who was inspired by the intonarumori of Luigi Russolo.

Translating from an article, the installation “is an ephemeral building, a large sculpture that when come upon - due to a play of materials, similar colors and mirrored surfaces - symbolically reflects the future of Milan, which may be seen in the new images broken and recomposed continuously, like a big toy theater of the new millennium.”


Ms. Toybreaker and I will be in Milano in two weeks and are very much looking forward to seeing the installation!

800beloved's Bouquet Record Release

It's true. 800beloved's long awaited debut LP Bouquet will be released by our good friends at Moodgadget Records on March 3rd.



A special Valentine's Day Night performance will be held at CPOP Gallery w.s.g. DJs Haute to Death and David Blunk II.

800beloved Record Release Party
CPOP Gallery | 2.14.08 | 9PM
4160 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI

All Hail the Prince of Darkness

Alexander McQueen stole the show in Milan with his Fall '09 men's collection.
We'd expect no less.

Alexander McQueen F/W 2009
[Hey, is that Warren Ellis up front?]

From Style.com:

In naming his latest show "The McQueensberry Rules," Alexander McQueen elided his own name and that of the nineteenth-century aristocrat whose title became synonymous with fair play in the boxing ring. And that set the tone for a parade of glowering tough cookies who looked like they'd stepped straight out of Gangs of New York. Kohl-eyed, clutching their silver-topped canes like cudgels, they stormed down the catwalk in tailored finery. It was a typical McQueen scenario: immaculately realized garments underpinned by a hint of horror movie (a leather butcher's apron transmogrified into Rollerball rig) and the promise of rough sex (muscles that stopped at nothing, for no one)...

Alexander McQueen F/W 2009
[I suppose the leather butcher's apron is to keep the blood off your finery whilst you're smashing some poor bastard's skull in with your silver-tipped cane one rainy night on Crosby Street.]

We'll take one of everything, please.

Light Space Modulator demonstration film


Lazló Moholy Nagy - Light Space Modulator [1922-1930]

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Oded Ezer: Time of the Signs



Oded Ezer creates brilliant Hebrew and Latin typography that make it hard for you to say whether he is still working in typography or already in the realm of art. He is also active in crafting object-related installations and commercial designs. Ezer's work is emotional and powerful. The beauty and distinctiveness of his typographies with their stunning shapes are exceptional in this field. The recipient of numerous design awards, Ezer is not only multitalented and hardworking, but also has fun with what he is doing, thus not drawing a line between work and play. The father of one works in Tel Aviv. When he recently visited Berlin to speak at Typo Berlin Conference, we finally met him face-to-face and talked about his plans, Typosperma at MoMa NY and his filmic hommage to Israeli poet and art critic Hezi Leskle.




Amazing...

Monday, February 02, 2009

New Thomas Truax

Thomas Truax

Mechanical music maker Thomas Truax has a new single out tomorrow, incidentally on the 50th anniversary of Buddy Holly's and Joe Meek's death.

Joe Meek was a fascinating and tragic character, an innovative
London-based hit record producer and one of the first to set up a
genuine home studio. He was an occult enthusiast and participated in
biweekly seances. At one of these he reputedly received a message
predicting the date of his hero Buddy Holly's death: February 3, 1958.

Panicked Meek actively sought out Buddy, and personally delivered a note
to him backstage when Buddy was on tour in the UK. Holly thanked him
politely, and later even laughed about the meeting/warning in a
post-tour interview well after February 3 had passed uneventfully.
However, exactly one year later, the date proved to be tragically
accurate...

The music video by director Andrew Werner was shot through a big Zoetrope - the irregular flickering effect compliments Truax's warbling machine music wonderfully.


Thomas Truax - Joe Meek Warns Buddy Holly [2009]

Also see Thomas interviewed in the debut issue of Steampunk Magazine a couple years back.

Sunday, February 01, 2009




The work of Katie Kirk

(Mike I thought you and B would get a kick out of this)