Walking through the National Gallery’s exhibit on the Ballets Russes, which employed artists such as Léon Bakst, Natalia Goncharova, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Giorgio de Chirico to design sets and costumes (Coco Chanel also designed some costumes), composers Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, and Erik Satie for the scores, and choreographers included Mikhail Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska, and George Balanchine, revolutionizing ballet at the time (making it more Russian while making it more Avant-garde)—walking through these costumes and video clips of performances, I was reminded of the Leningrad Cowboys.
Check out this cool design project, where a designer hand-lettered the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, similar to the infamous video clip/music video precursor featuring Dylan holding up cards with the lyrics on them, as written by himself, Allen Ginsberg and others.
The designer/artist Leandro Senna says of the project:
Inspired by Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ video, where he flips cards with the lyrics as the song plays, I decided to recreate those cards with handmade type. I ended up doing all the lyrics, and not just some of the words, as Dylan did.
There are 66 cards done in one month during my spare time using only pencil, black tint pens and brushes. The challenge was not to use the computer, no retouching was allowed. Getting a letter wrong meant starting the page over. There are some intentional misspellings and puns on the original song video, so I tried to keep that in a certain way.
Here’s the link to see closeup photos of each individual card, and here’s the link to see the video of these cards flipped through with the song overlaid. Which cards are your favorites?
Powered by the momentum of two recent, critically acclaimed albums, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch the Throne, his collaborative album with Jay-Z, the notorious Kanye West has not rested, and is set to release his latest compilation any day now. If you follow those in the know (read: me) on Twitter, you’ll already have been introduced to some of the leaked lyrics, many of which focus on his impending fatherhood. (In case you’ve been living under a rock, ’Ye and Kim Kardashian are expecting a baby in July.)
Rumors that the new album is titled Her Beautiful Dark Twisted Fetus are unconfirmed, and insiders say it’s more likely that West will go with the title No Work for a Child, a take-off of his infectious hit single (with Jay-Z) “No Church in the Wild.” Indeed, the first lyrics we received were from the new title track, which opens the album with these ambiguous lines: “Lil’ babies with their moms / What’s a mom to a kid? / What’s a kid to applaud? / What’s applause to a non-performer, who don’t perform for anyone? / Will he make it out alive? Alright, alright, no work for a child.”
The structure of these lyrics will sound familiar to any fan of “No Church in the Wild,” and the new song certainly relies heavily on its predecessor, with a few notable exceptions. Soft bongos have replaced the throbbing drums that were the signature of the original, and the opening lines, performed by Frank Ocean on the original track, are, curiously, performed by famed children’s singer Raffi. What West is actually getting at in these opening lines is up for grabs, though it may suggest a certain pressure on his newborn child to perform, only to remind himself (alright, alright) that children can’t be put under the same expectations as megastar rap-gods like himself.
The maturity of these opening lines is almost as impressive as what comes next. Read more »
Jimmy Kimmel, bless his heart, has curated another hilariously awkward snapshot of disturbing human behavior. Following video stunts like asking parents to videotape their children’s reactions to being told their Halloween candy was eaten by Mom & Dad overnight (the kids go apeshit) and then asking parents to “prank” their kids with terrible Christmas gifts, he’s done it again. In the clip below, Kimmel’s show sent a crew to the Coachella music festival to ask attendees their opinions about obscure bands with ridiculous names. The catch? The bands don’t exist– they made ‘em up. So we get to watch ridiculously tanned college kids dressed as hippies wax poetic about how these made up bands are soooo awesome. They’re led to the cliff, of course, but man, do they jump right off. I like the dig at the prevailing know-it-all culture of music lovers, but I also think that this experiment could be staged in all sorts of ways, on all sorts of topics. Seems to me that if you stick a microphone and camera in someone’s face and talk to them as if they’re an expert, they’ll act like an expert, no matter what. And if you don’t believe me, please enjoy watching these Coachella attendees lie their asses off about how much they love those made-up indie bands, speaking with complete confidence and enthusiasm… about bands they’ve never heard about because they don’t exist.
Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside’s new album isn’t out until February 19, but you can listen to the whole thing via The A.V. Club here.
If you dug their previous album, Dirty Radio, as much as I did, you’ll want to head over there and give this a listen.
If you didn’t get a chance to check out their previous work, you can head over to their website and stream their first album in its entirety. To cleanse your palette if you watched more than 45 seconds of the Grammys, start with “I Swear,” the first track on Dirty Radio, in which lead singer rages beautifully: When I turn on the radio/it all sounds the same/what have these people done to music/they just don’t care anymore.
Here’s the video. Enjoy!
Since Cathie posted her pop-lyrically titled piece earlier this week, I’ve had a song stuck in my head, but no, it’s not sung by Carly Rae Jepsen (I just had to look up that name–mostly I know her from an ad I keep seeing on the side of the bus). This is something a nearly-three-year-old friend introduced me to…
(Incidentally, if this kid sees you’ve got cookies, he will ask you to “share it, maybe” with the cutest little expression on his face.)
It’s my birthday and I don’t want to wear a cone hat. It’s my birthday and I don’t want presents. It’s my birthday and I don’t even want to go out drinking. I’m turning 24 today, and I’ve decided that it’s all downhill from here. I used to love celebrating, whether it was for Xmas, my birthday, or just for the hell of it. The magic’s gone, and I fear she left me for a younger man.
If I had a time machine to go back in time and punch one of my past selves in the face with, I think I would travel to my 8th grade promotion ceremony. While the car rentin’, alcohol drinkin’, grad school attendin’ adult I am today laughs at the idea of a half-assed graduation, the 8th grade me almost enjoyed it. Back then, I was fully aware that I wasn’t anywhere near done, that I still had all of high school and college and beyond before I could really feel like I had accomplished anything, but I at least still enjoyed celebrating. That seed of celebratory doubt has since blossomed, but I often wonder what a good punch in the face would have done to stunt its growth.
I picked up an Inlander last week and read through the Gift Guide section, last minute gift ideas for various subcultures/friends. And guess what subculture got a two-page spread? “Gifts for Liberated Potheads.” Ever since weed has been legalized in Washington state, people seem happier, dare I say jollier. So, in the spirit of the holidays, spreading good cheer, and celebrating current events, here is your holiday mixtape for the stoner in your life. Enjoy safely, friends. Happy Holidays. May it be festive, green, and full of joy. Read more »
Juxtaposition has this special place in human existence, finding its home in our cultural and social roots. Take two different things, put them next to each other, and all of a sudden, we can see how they go together. We’re always looking for common ground, and often, our strongest bonds are formed with people whose common ground with us was forged over the juxtaposition of ideals, hobbies, or the wrongly held belief that salmon and mango isn’t the most delicious combination to exist in the history of sushi.
So Dorian, you might say had I slipped a twenty under the table for you to ask me this question, What gives with this shitty music video? Well, good sir/madam/pawn, this song, Everybody That You Love, happens to be a great example of Bomb The Music Industry!’s ability to create beautiful music out of the juxtaposition of chaos and harmony. Bear with me, because if you didn’t like the song to begin with, I hope that by the end of all of this, I can guilt you into agreeing that it’s a good piece of music.
i noticed a curious trend in my itunes library the other day. when it comes to rap, i seem to disproportionately favor white MCs. but here’s my theory: i think it might have less to do with rappers’ skin color & more to do with their lyrics and/or life background. which might be just as bad/the same as being racist, or maybe worse. but i’ll get to that.
let’s start with the observations: even though it’s probably fair to say that the rap universe is dominated by black MCs, white rappers are disproportionately represented in my itunes. i.e., i’ve got plenty of the beasties, el-p, macklemore, atmosphere, sage francis, scroobius pip, etc., but the music from those white artists account for a much higher percentage of total rap tracks than one would expect from, say, a more voracious gormandizer of hip hop. public enemy, kayne west, mos def, talib kweli, jay-z, lupe fiasco, tricky, mad lib, mf doom, ll cool j, etc. are duly represented—but not really in a proportion that’s reflective of black artists’ dominance in this genre. and let’s not even get started on what my itunes “play count” reveals about how much i listen to one vs. the other. to which i gotta say: wtf, jason?