Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Artist of the Week

Doug Boehm

Pennsylvania native and Taylor School of Art (Temple University) graduate, Doug Boehm is an amazing illustrator and designer. His work has been shown in group exhibits all over the country, most recently at The Ayden Gallery (British Columbia) and The Good Foot Gallery (Oregon). He considers himself an artist, illustrator, and designer. His illustrations have appeared in Rolling Stone, Time, Playboy, PC Magazine, and many others.

His personal work is so compelling, with the brilliant use of color and the unusual figures (apes, elephants, cat, etc.), that I have posted several of his pieces on this site. His professional work has a more defined style, but his personal touch show through in each piece. The details in the square faces of his creations are numerous, and fascinating to study. The layers of color showing through each painting look almost unfinished, but it only adds to the personality of the piece. If you want to see more of Doug's work, visit his website or flickr page. You can purchase some of his more reasonable priced prints at Thumbtack Press.

Wednesday's Link of the Day

Bootleg legends Divide & Kreate created "The Crush Mix" a few months ago for fellow bootlegger McSleazy's radio show on XFM. This originally aired on September 23rd, 2006, and they are now offering it on their website.

Divide & Kreate - The Crush Mix

Also check out:
Divide & Kreate - Cassie Bear (The Teddybears vs Cassie)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Release Tuesday

The new music just keeps coming...
Music:
1. Lily Allen - Still Alright
The myspace diva has finally made it to the US. This album was a major part of my summer 2006 soundtrack, and should have a major impact in the states. (Ps. She will be on SNL 2/3/07 with the amazing Drew Barrymore, and that is must see TV!)
Everything is Wonderful (mp3)
LDN (mp3)
Smile (Gutta Remix) (mp3)
2. Busdriver - RoadKillOvercoat (mp3)
Underground giant poised for a breakout year.
3. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder (mp3)
This NYC band does not slump on their sophomore release.
4. Youth Group - Casino Twilight Dogs (Find mp3's here)
5. Lavender Diamonds - The Cavalry of Light Ep (mp3) (Reissue)
6. Love of Diagrams - Love of Diagrams Ep (mp3)
7. X-Clan - Return from Mecca (mp3) (Not very good, sorry!)
8. Bracken - We Know About the Need (Find mp3's here)
9. Hella - There's No 666 in Outer Space (Find mp3's here)
10. Beruit - Lon Gisland Ep (mp3)
DVD:
Catch a Fire - Tim Robbins
The Marine - John Cena

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday Morning Mix

This weeks mix was inspired by David Choe's painting "City Girl", and it features some of my favorite female vocalists in music today (Mirah, The Grates, The Blow, Lily Allen, CSS, Headlights, Amy Winehouse, etc.). Check it out.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Coffee Talk

Middle school can be a difficult time for many kids personally, socially, and academically. It is during this time that children become young adults, and it is truly life's first transitional period. Kids can be emotional, cruel, and extremely difficult to handle. School officials across the country have been working on various solutions to the issues facing our nations middle schools, and there are mixed opinions as to the potential results of these options.

The first option is extending elementary school to 8th grade, and allowing the students to stay in a more nurturing environment. A K-8 school would avoid the additional change in surrounding while maintaining the advancing curriculum of a middle school. An article this week in the New York Times tells the story of a frustrated sixth grader visiting his third grade teacher for encouragement during a lunch period. That same article uses the terms nurturing cocoon, and traumatic transitions. However, would this approach make the transition to high more "traumatic"? Would this affect the student's social skills, specifically their ability to communicate with teachers and students on a higher level? This type of format has been adapted in New York, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Kansas City. A recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University shows that this doesn't help the students academically, but I'm not sure if that is the ultimate goal.

The second option is extending high school to include 6th through 12th grades. This approach claims that the students will be more mentally and socially prepared for college, and this will allow them to focus on their life goals earlier then in a typical high school format. The administrators claim that students will thrive among the older role models. Unfortunately, this format has not been widely implemented, and thusly there is not a great deal of statistical data to evaluate. There has been 38 6-12 schools opened in New York City since 2002. Should 6th graders walk the same halls as 12th graders? How will this effect extracurricular activities, will all students have the same opportunities to participate?

Questions:
Does a change need to be made to the middle school format?
Which option seems most beneficial to the students and the teachers involved, and why?
Talk amongst yourselves...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Watch List

This is a new weekly feature that will appear every Saturday Night. There is so much going on in the world these days that my notebook is overflowing with items I want to post. The solution is "The Watch List", here I will briefly share some of the things I've been watching, reading, listening to, and doing over the last week.
Music:
1. The Gigantics - The album Die Already is due this spring, but they won't say what label they are on. However, Aesop Rock & Dj Wicked are involved and that is enough to keep me watching!
2. We All Have Hooks for Hands - Recently signed to Afternoon Records, debut album soon! Who knew they made indie pop in South Dakota.
3. The Moaners - The female version of The Black Keys, new album "Blackwing Yalobusha" in 3/07, recorded at Fat Possum Studio with Jimbo Mathus of Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Reading:
1. The State of the Union Address Transcripts
2. The Words that were used - This tool compares each State of the Union Address and can tell you how many times a specific word is used in each speech. (i.e. Terrorist - 2001 - 1, 2002 - 19, 2003 - 13, 2004 - 14, 2005 - 12, 2006 - 11, and 2007 - 16)
3. Coffee Slows Balding - I simply need to increase my consumption from 12 to 60 cups a day. No Problem.

Buying:
1. Snapple Strawberry White Tea Bags
2. Freight Train Graffiti by Roger Gastman, Darin Rowland, Ian Sattler. (Website)

Getting (Free Stuff!):
1. Ghostly International Free Stickers - I got my stickers this week, and they are worth the $0.78 in postage.

Watching:
1. The Knights of Prosperity - If it weren't for The Office, this would be the funniest show on TV.
2. Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby


Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning have a bowl of Apple Jacks and "Take it Back" to the old school with Madlib.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Band of the Week


Busdriver

Regan Farquhar a.k.a Busdriver was born in Los Angeles and has been rapping since the age of 9. His father, Ralph Farquhar, was the screenwriter of the 1985 film Krush Groove, which was of the first movies about hip hop culture. Busdriver has released four albums to date, and has appeared on tracks with Daedelus, Z-Trip, The Islands, and others. He is known in the media as an "abstract" rapper or experimental/alternative, meaning it is hard to define his flow. In a May 2004 interview, he explains that a lot of the influence on his flow comes from Jazz, and more specifically Jon Hendricks. Hendricks being one the best scat signers of all-time, you can begin to understand his rapid-fire rhythmic flow.

Busdriver's fifth release, his first release on Epitaph Records, is filled with both heavy beats and light acoustic numbers. The beats are incredible and range from hyper electro (almost techno-like) to old school. However, his flow and lyrics are the true draw, and the reason to buy is album when it comes out on the 30th of the month.
I just wanted to let you know, that we did not end up going under contract with the house we were talking about, but when we find one, I will definitely get in contact with you.

Kill Your Employer (live 11/14/06)


Casting Agent and Cowgirls (mp3)
Kill Your Employer (mp3)
The Troglodyte Wins (mp3)
Bonus:
Z-Trip - Take Two Copies ft. Busdriver (mp3)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Writer's Corner

Dorothy Parker

Born in West End, NJ 1893, Dorothy Parker was not respected as a serious author by literary critics during her lifetime despite her public appeal. She is known for her involvement with the Algonquin Round table, a daily gathering of New York writers and performers. She started her career as a editorialist for Vogue Magazine and later worked for the New Yorker as a reviewer of plays, poetry, and fiction. In the 1930's, Parker was affiliated with both the socialist and the fascist movements in America and Europe respectively. This involvement was tracked and document by the FBI. She later moved to Hollywood and proceeded to contribute to 39 movie scripts. When WWII broke out Parker wanted to be a correspondent, but her FBI documented pro-communist views lead to the denial of her passport. During this time she continued to write and publish novels, plays and poetry.
Parker has long been regarded as a period writer, a humorist, etc, but the public appeal is beginning to sway the literary criticism of the work. Her work is filled with humor and abstract wit that can hardly be deemed simple or not literary. Regardless of her professional career or political affiliations, her writing should stand on a different level, and she should be remembered as a brilliant writer.
"A Telephone Call" by Dorothy Parker
To read 193 poems by Dorothy Parker click here. To hear Parker read several of her poems go here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Artist of the Week

Andrew Hem

Born in Cambodia, fled to Los Angeles with his parents at the age of 4 months, Andrew Hem has experienced a lot and is now creating art on a high level. At the age of 12, Andrew began writing graffiti, and learning from some of the best graffiti artists in the area. However, during his last semester at Santa Monica College he discovered the world of possibilities in the area of illustration, and began to create a more serious form of art. It is this broad background that shines through in Hem's work and allows him to be accepted by multiple cultures at the same time.


Hem is currently being shown at the Black Maria Gallery, and will begin a show on February 3rd at J Flynn Gallery (Costa Mesa, CA). To see more of his work visit his website.

Wednesday's Link of the Day


I've been a huge fan of San Francisco's Party Ben for several years, and he continues to create high quality mixes and mashups without fail. He posted his latest masterpiece last week, and it features some of he newest mashups.


"Party Ben Live at Bootie 1/13/07"

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Release Tuesday

This is it, this is the week that I have been waiting for! There are 22 quality releases this week, and others that I won't be mentioning. (artwork by Doug Boehm)

Music:
1. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer? (This will be a top ten release at the end of the year. This is by far their best effort and should not be overlooked!) (mp3)

2. Menomena - Friend and Foe (Great album full of interesting loops and fantastic melodies) (mp3)

3. Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity (Surprisly accessable and very enjoyable) (mp3)

4. The Shins - Wincing The Night Away (Safe and predicable never sounds so good.) (mp3)

5. The Good, The Bad, & The Queen - s/t (Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, and Dangermouse, Can you say supergroup?) (mp3)

6. Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things (Funky grooves!) (mp3)

7. David Vandervelde - The Moonstation House Band (22 year Chicagoan being compared to Bowie and T-Rex, huge hype and solid delivery) (mp3)

8. The Bird and The Bee - s/t (Unusual Blue Note release, but if you listen deeply you can hear some jazz influence.) (mp3)

9. The Broken West - I Can't Go On, I'll Go On (find mp3's here)

10. The Fratellis - Flathead Ep (A favorite of mine from over the summer is finally getting some play in America, and some commercials as well.) (Find mp3's here)

11. The Tiny - Starring: Someone Like You (Bjork meets Psapp) (Stream the album here)

12. Nurse & Soldier - Marginalia (mp3)

13. New Young Pony Club - Ice Cream (Rerelease) (mp3)

14. Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home (Find mp3's here)

15. Chris Garneau - Music for Tourists (Find mp3's here)

16. Animal Collective - People Ep (Find mp3's here)

17. Six Parts Seven - Casually Smashed into Pieces (Find mp3's here)

18. The Earlies - The Enemy Chorus (Find mp3's here)

19. Panda Bear/Excepter - Carrots/KKKKK

20. Rafter - Music for Total Chickens (Find mp3's here)

21. The Berg Sans Nipple - Along the Quai (Soothing interesting melodies, electro-pop) (mp3)

22. Explosions in the Sky - All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone (find mp3's here)

22. Mouthful of Bees - The End (Last but not least, great indie rock from Minnesota) (mp3)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday Morning Mix



The art of taking a common place image or song and transforming it into something completely orginal and interesting is what Ben Frost does, and it is the theme for this weeks mix. I like the concept remixing your life, taking an ordinary life and adding various elements to make it more interesting and complex. Enjoy this weeks mix "Remix My Life".

(Artwork Ben Frost "Join the Dots")

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Coffee Talk

The general public seems to understand symbols before concepts and philosophies. Symbols have long been used to convey ideas, rely messages, and warn of dangers. One of these symbols was recently in the news because a team of highly educated scientists felt the need to alert the public that there is a growing threat of nuclear war. Is this necessary or offensive?

The Doomsday Clock:

Since 1947 the board of director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have maintain the clock from the offices at the University of Chicago. It is interesting to look through the historic reason why the clock has been adjusted, but what is the purpose?

Here is a great graph I found here, and you can find the source data there as well or you can go here to verify the moves.

The point of this symbol is to bring awareness of the many nuclear threats facing our nation, but how much can we value the perception of these threats when communicated by this group of individuals. Is it not our right to evaluate for ourselves the level of threat we are facing?

Talk amongst yourselves...

What is wrong with this picture?

I don't know about you, but what happened to supporting the Presidential office?

I don't agree with everything that every president does, but there comes a point when you just need to support someone because he is your country's leader. Like it or not, he's the one in charge because he's the one that we all voted for and elected. Not every country has the luxury of voting their leaders into office.

So this brings up a couple of questions in my mind...

1.) What kind of person and in what mental state would somebody need to be in to write this in graffiti?

2.) What connections does President Bush even have with a Nazi regime?

3.) What is the purpose of writing something like this?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday Morning Cartoon

As you enjoy your bowl of Wheaties and dream of a Bears victory tomorrow, watch this animated video from Kavinsky.

KAVINSKY - Testarossa Autodrive

Friday, January 19, 2007

Band of the Week


Two Knots is Lots

I've been feeling a little nostalgic lately, longing for my Atari and cheap Radio Shack Casio, and I blame a lot of that on the musicial stylings of Christopher Samms a.k.a. Two Knots is Lots. He has definitly mastered the retro/electro sound, but he does add a modern feel to his compositions. I call them compositions because they are mostly instrumental pieces that weave and dance their way back in time. On August 29th of this past year, Christopher released his second LP "If You're Feeling Real" independently, mostly, on his own through his myspace page. I say mostly because he did have some promotional help from his now label Better Swimmers. According to him he does two things: "I crush beats and put them in soup", and "I churn beats and put the on bread". What more can you want?
Currently, Christopher is preparing to release his third album in March, an EP entitled "Really Yeah", while also working with his girlfriend on a side project called "Mon Talk". The new EP features the new song O Animals, and the entire album can be steamed right now at Tkil's website.
Other songs:
Come Over (mp3)
Rock Steady Talk Steady (mp3)
The Time Travels (mp3)

The Office

"The Return" Season 3 Episode 13

Andy: I forgot to tell you the plan for this Saturday: you, me, bar, beers, buzzed. Wings, shots, drunk. Waitresses, hot. Football, Cornell/Hofstra, slaughter. Then quick nap at my place, and we hit the tiz-own.
Michael: No. I don’t want to do any of that.
Kevin: Oh, hello Oscar. How was your gay-cation?Oscar: That’s very funny.
Kevin: Yeah, I thought of that like two seconds after you left.
Dwight: For your convenience, I’ve broken it down into three parts — professional resume, athletic and special skills resume, and … Dwight Schrute trivia.
Dwight: How would I describe myself? Three words — hardworking, alpha male, jackhammer. Merciless. Insatiable.
Michael: Your gayness does not define you. Your Mexican-ness is what defines you. To me. And I think we should celebrate Oscar’s Mexicanity.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Writer's Corner

Dylan Thomas

Born October 27th, 1914, in Swansea, Wales, Dylan Thomas is primarily known for two things; being Wales' greatest poet and for being an alcoholic. However, it is a common belief that his alcoholism did not influence his writing. His famous quote is "An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do". I'm not sure how someone could claim that did not affect his career, when he died at the age of 39 after collapsing in the White Horse Tavern in Greenwich Village. I suppose his career and his writing are two separate things, but this clearly and eternally ended his career. His writing, however, was truly exceptional, and his impact to the literary world is still felt today. He used such powerful imagery to paint pictures both grim and uplifting, and easily made connections between concepts usually not connected.
Here is a great selection of his work, and here is a nice bio site.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Artist of the Week

Andy Kehoe

Born, raised, and currently living in Pittsburgh, PA, Andy Kehoe eerily strolls along the line between illustrations and art masterpieces. This graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York, claims being just blocks from the World Trade Center on September 11th, has forever changed the course of his creative output. His pieces seem to tell stories when placed side by side, but are also unique and interesting as individual works. Common themes in his work lately, may be seasonal, but are trees of autumn or leafless trees, complex man and animal combination creatures, weapons, death, smoking, and evolution.

Although, he has yet to secure a solo gallery showing (this maybe his year to get one), he has had several group exhibitions over the last four years. His most recent showings were at the Nucleus Gallery (Los Angeles, CA) and at the Black Maria Gallery (Los Angeles, CA). He has an upcoming exhibition with Matt Haber at the Jonathan Levine Gallery (New York) in May 2007.
Visit Andy Kehoe here.

Wednesday's Link of the Day


For those of you who listened to and enjoyed the Inlets song on the sidebar last week, this is for you. Inlets is the work of Sebastian Krueger of My Bright Diamond, and he is offering his debut release Vestibule for free through his label Luv Sounds. It is amazing, check it out!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Release Tuesday

It's starting to pick-up, but next week is going to be huge!

Music:
His name isn't the only comparison that can be made to Casiontone for the Painfully Alone, but that doesn't lessen the quality of this realease. Robintone is from Munich, Germany, and he is offering his first EP for free through Beat is Murder. Click the link above for the zip file or go here for the individual mp3's. Robintone = pathos. pathos galore.
Other Releases:
Shakeyface - Bicycle Day Boogaloo (Reissue) (mp3) (Great down-tempo hip hop)
DVD:
Employee of the Month (Dane Cook, Jessica Simpson)
Gridiron Gang (The Rock, Xzibit)
The Protector (Nothing like a good Kung-fu flick!)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday Morning Mix

This week's mix seemed to fit well with recent bad weather here in the midwest. It features new music from Gruff Rhys, Patrick Wolf, and The Shins, as well as favorites from Page France, Princeton, and Loney, Dear.



(artwork by Andy Kehoe)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Coffee Talk

This seems like a topic that just won't go away, so what should I do, write about it of course. Between Mark McGwire's blatant HOF snub (only 23% of the vote) and the new Barry Bonds amphetamines controversy, I thought it might be good time to examine the current state of baseball.

It is clear to me that power numbers in baseball have increased over the last 20 years. I created this graph, showing the number of players who hit 30 or more home runs each year, with information I found here, and it clearly shows a sharp increase around 1996. However, you have to mention league expansion in 1993 and 1998 when talking about this increase. Here is a great paper by Professor Arthur De Vany, University of California, related to Steroids and Home Runs. In an article, published over the summer on psyorg.com, Charles Yesalis, a Professor of exercise and sports science at Penn State, said that steroids do affect performance of the athlete. Steroids will increase both strength and endurance in athletes of all ages. This is most significant to athletes nearing or over the age of 40 because, according to Yesalis that is when your testosterone levels start to decrease. Many baseball players have admitted taking steroids and have named several other players, and here is a list of players that have already been suspended, so I do not really need to prove that fact today.

My question today focuses more on the importance of and the effect of this proven steroid use in baseball. I understand that these players are breaking records and making unbelievable sums of money, but does that effect change the purpose of the baseball. Historically, there has always been a dark side to baseball (The Black Sox, Rollie Fingers, Pete Rose, etc.), but does that ultimately affect the purpose of the game. What is the purpose of baseball? I have always believed that it is to entertain the fans of the game, and that is also where the majority of income in baseball is generated. If steroids where driving the fan base away then that would be a problem for baseball. However, over the last twenty years, just the opposite has happened. The attendance in baseball has reached an all-time high despite the proven steroid abuse.

Questions:
What is the purpose of the game of baseball?
What is the true effect of steroids on the game of baseball?

Talk amongst yourselves...

Political Spectrum

Everyone always talks about the left, right, conservative, liberal, but what does it mean? What kind of ideas make you one or the other? What does it mean to be libertarian or totalitarian?

The libertarian organization has promoted and distributed the "Nolan Chart." In this quiz and chart there is a list of questions in 3 different spectrums, Economic Rights, Personal Rights, and Political Rights that place you inside the spectrum. This website is where I found the quiz and spectrum.

Here is the quiz:







What is interesting on this site is the discussion on the 9th and 10th amendments to the United States Constitution in which those two amendments basically prevented an authoritarian/populist state. Then discusses the loopholes that allowed the Segregationists to use the 10th amendment as aid to their cause.
There are some discrepancies between people on how good this chart is and there are multiple questions that place you in this chart. Here is a link that has more links to discussion on the topic and questions for the chart.

I hope this provides some enlightenment on the subject of liberal/conservative/libertarian/totalitarian, and where you fit.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning while you consume your box of Cheetah Chomps Cereal enjoy this cartoon directed by Joel Trussell.

Paul Brill - Paris is On (Jason Forrest Remix)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Band of the Week

Patrick Wolf

At the age of 23, Patrick Wolf is preparing to release his third LP, entitled The Magic Position on 2/26/07. That is amazing by itself, but when you add up all the instruments he play (harp, harpsicord, guitar, piano, autoharp, organ, theremin, ukulele, viola, and violin) the word genius comes to mind. He also posses an amazing vocal range, and knack for beat programming.

Patrick had a rough childhood, being bullied and changing schools. He left home at the age of sixteen, and basically became a street performer. He was involved in various muscial projects before being discovered by Kristian Robinson.

The Magic Position is a very intimate journey through the illuminated highs and dark and desperate lows of a young heart. Highlighted with great beats and melodies blending seamlessly with gentle ballads. I've seen his music defined as "folktronica", but that just seems strange. What about IPM (Intelligent Pop Music) maybe? I don't know, listen and decide for yourself...

Accident & Emergency

Overture (mp3)
The Magic Position (mp3)
Accident & Emergency (mp3)
Get Lost (mp3)
Visit Patrick Wolf here.
Pre-order the album here.

The Office

"Traveling Salesman" Season 3 Episode 12

Harvey: I am Harvey, a computer. Jim sucks.
Jim: Zing!
Harvey: Pam, you look very hot today.
Harvey: Me so horny. Me love you long tim.
Pam: Who’s long tim?
Harvey: Me love yoy long time.Jim: Well yoy should bring long tim in one day.
Harvey: Get out of my off-ive.
Harvey: Boobs.

Andy: I really screwed that up. I really Schruted it.
Michael: What?
Andy: Schruted it. It’s just this thing people say around your office all the time. Like when you screw something up in a really irreversible way. You Schruted it. I don’t know where it comes from though. You think it comes from Dwight Schrute?
Michael: I don’t know. Who knows how words are formed.

Michael: “Next up, the super fly Stan lee.”
Stanley: “Pass.”
Michael: “You can’t pass.”
Stanley: “Oh, I’ll take……the kid.”

Ryan: “I was very honored to be his 2nd selection, right after pass.”

Dwight: One of my life goals was to die right here in this desk chair. And today that dream was shattered.

Ryan: Dwight will be missed. Not by me so much…but he will be missed.

Andy: Sebring, by Chrysler. A heck of a motor carriage.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Writer's Corner

Flannery O'Connor

"Does one's integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do?" (from Wise Blood, 1952)

Born March 25, 1925, Savannah, GA, an only child of a Roman Catholic Family, she was raised Catholic and attend a parochial school. It was this religious background (also growing up in the Bible-belt) that was a common theme in her writing through out her short lifetime. An example of this can be found in her first of two novels, "Wise Blood", where a young Hazel Motes attempts to establish "Church Without Christ". The title "Wise Blood" alludes to intuition, and the created church focus on a humanistic reliance of self as opposed to faith in God. It was later made into a movie in 1979.

O'Connor graduated from the University of Iowa with a Masters of Fine Arts in Literature in 1947. She was a major contributor to the Southern Gothic genre of writing and during her career published two novels, thirty-one short stories, and other speeches and letters. Much of her writing focused on the darker or "grotesque" side of southern living. Her finest work can be found in her short stories, where she dissected the southern family and some brutal resolutions to conflicts. She died at the age of 39 of complications from Lupus, the same disease that her father had died of in 1941.

Links:
Stories
Everything That Rises Must Converge
The Coat

Biography

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Artist of the Week

Colin Johnson

"I believe that it's the ability to combine relatively mundane ideas in new and exciting ways thus creating a new language for communicating with the world at large." Johnson on Creativity

Colin Johnson graduated from The Maryland Institute College of Art in 1995 and has been a Freelance Illustrator and Artist for last 12 years. He now lives and works in St. Paul, MN. He has received praise and awards from numerous organizations, including American Illustration. He has done commercial work for Converse, American Airlines, Newsweek and more.

In the last three months Colin has participated in three gallery showings, Renowed Gallery (Portland, OR) in 10/06, DvA Gallery (Chicago, IL) in 11/06, and Feinkunst Kruger Gallery (Hamburg, Germany) 11/06. His next showing will be at The Outer Edge Studio (Monterey, CA) in 2007.

Colin describes his art as "Pop art/Modern Surrealism", and his main focus currently is in themes of "man vs. nature". The images in his pieces blend the two forces, and this effect is accomplished through a collage technique.
Visit Colin at his website or his flickr site for more pictures.
For a great interview Colin did over the summer visit The eXTra finGer.

Wednesday's Link of the Week

This week the Kaiser Chiefs announced the title and release date (2/26/07) of their new LP "Yours Truly, Angry Mob". They also unveiled their new website, and debuted their first single from the album, Ruby, on BBC radio. I'd say it's been a busy week for the boys from leeds. I can't wait to hear the rest!

Ruby (mp3) (courtesy You Ain't No Picasso)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Release Tuesday

One more slow week before things start picking up. I promise!

Music:
Ultramagnetic MC's - The Best Kept Secret
Neko Case - Live from Austin, Texas

DVD:
Crank (Amy Smart)
The Illusionist (Edwar Norton)
The Night Listener (Robin Williams)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Morning Mix

With all of the new music coming out in the next three months, I've put together this mix of "Future Listening". It features new LCD Soundsystem, Deerhoof, Of Montreal, Bloc Party, !!!, Menomena, Arcade Fire, and more...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Coffee Talk

This past week the government of Iraq carried out the death sentence of Sadaam Hussein. There is very little argument that Hussein was a harsh and brutal leader, and that he had commited numerous civil and moral injustices in his lifetime. However, the type of execution and the timing of the execution of Hussein has left me with a few questions. I never thought that I would ever have a feeling of sympathy or compassion for Hussein, but that is almost what I am feeling. It is a questionable government that can evoke that kind of emotional from a public that has been trained to hate Hussein (to put it lightly). I say the type of execution because it was not injection or gas, but it was by hanging. However, when killing someone, no matter what they have done, can you call upon ethics? Is there an ethical way to kill? I guess you could say humane, but what does that mean? I have always thought that each human being has inherent rights, but are those ever trump by our actions? The timing of the execution is another issue. His execution was moved up to apparently correspond with the intense Muslim holiday Eid-al-Adha. Was this to further insult him because the Muslims that carried out the sentence would not want lessen their own holiday, would they?
So many questions, here is the recap:
1. Is there an ethical way to kill someone?
2. Why was Hussein executed during a religious holiday?
Talk Amongst Yourselves...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning while you eat you bowl of Freakies, watch this animated video from the late J Dilla.
Nothing Like This

Friday, January 05, 2007

Band of the Week


Menomena

Formed in Portland, OR in 2003, this trio is poised to be one of the hottest bands of 2007. This month they are releasing their third full length album "Friend & Foe", it is their first album on Barsuk Records. Brent Knopf (Guitar/Vocals/Programming), Danny Seim (Drums/Vocals), and Justin Harris (Sax/Bass/Vocals) provide a full digital rock sound that only be described as indie-rock-downtempo-hip-hop-jazz-pop. The vocals sound similar to TV on the Radio, but more subdued.

Their claim to fame is that the majority of their songs are recorded using a digital loop recorder (DLR or deeler). The process involves recording short instrumental riffs from each individual over a period of time into the deeler and then editing together these little loops at a later time. It is after this that the vocals are added to form the Menomena song. The results of this process give the music an electronic feel, and add some many interesting dimension to their sound. When you listen to their music you can hear all the different loops that they pull from the deeler, and almost see them swirl and blend together with the intelligent lyrics.

Wet and Rusting (live)



Friend & Foe comes out on 1/23/07 on Barsuk Records
Songs:
Muscle n' Flo (mp3)
Wet & Rusting (mp3)
Boyscount'n (mp3)
The Pelican (mp3)
To stream the entire album go here.