January 15, 2010
Switch is DJing at Webster Hall tonight.
» Switch – A Bit Patchy (6:31) – 9.9MB mp3 @ 212kbps (embedded music player in the near future)
I doubt I’ll make it over there, since I was actually thinking about heading to Bruar Falls after the openings tonight, but who knows…
Girls & Boys is (are?) bringing some more noteworthy acts to Webster Hall over the next few weeks. The graphic design is painfully uninspired, but that’s not the reason why people go to these things.
I wonder if Vitalic is any good live. I just downloaded the new album; haven’t listened to it yet, but I like the album art:
Brooklyn Vegan has more concert listings as always.
January 13, 2010
Even more assorted links. Info at the bottom (after the jump).
January 8, 2010
I’ve been following Tomokazu Matsuyama for almost a year now, ever since he was featured on the cover of Antenna magazine (PDF) in anticipation of a solo show at Joshua Liner Gallery last March. He’s back on the radar for a group show at the same gallery (opening this Saturday), as well as an upcoming solo show at San Francisco’s Frey Norris Gallery in February.
Matsuyama fuses an overtly traditional Japanese style with a contemporary graffiti- and comic-inspired aesthetic, featuring highly stylized figures rendered as flattened forms filled with seemingly arbitrary patterns. He has appropriated the color field to constitute pseudo-woodcut figures (or perhaps vice versa) in a supersaturated patchwork, recklessly cutting and pasting fauvist and abstract expressionist tropes into interlocking shapes. The result is visually stunning with obvious reference points while remaining accessible, if not altogether pop—his arsenal of patterns includes ben-day dots, stripes (à la Stella and jungle cats alike), and plaid, not to mention organic splatters—which belies the autobiographical subtext of confusion over cultural identity and the sense of displacement.
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December 17, 2009
DJ Craze is playing a free show at Punk tonight. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t heard much of his stuff—I’m downloading his Fabriclive mix as I write this—but his reputation precedes him. (If nothing else, he keeps good company: A-Trak can do no wrong these days and I used to see Klever regularly around ATL.)
I hope I can make it out there.
The Opposite House
The Village at Sanlitun
Thursday, December 17th
December 12, 2009
Tonight at Jonathan LeVine Gallery
A notable double bill opening in Chelsea tonight. I’ll have to check it out when I get back to NYC.
And There Was War in Heaven
Jonathan LeVine Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10011
December 12, 2009–January 9, 2010
Opening reception 7-9PM
Source: Jonathan LeVine Gallery via Arrested Motion
December 2, 2009
You lucky proto-dancepunk/ambient punk/noise-pop fans in NYC can preview the Liars’ new album (slated for a March release) with the band in the MPD tonight:
Liars Sisterworld listening party
415 W 13th St
New York, NY 10014
Wednesday, December 2nd
7PM – 10PM
RSVP (required) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 21, 2009
or, Music Teaches Me How to Live My Life
One of my primary concerns about leaving Brooklyn, indie rock epicenter of the world, for the relatively conservative environs of Beijing was that I would be subjecting myself to the padded walls of my existing mp3 collection while the Western world partook in the likes of new Jay-Z remixes, Lil Wayne mixtapes, Yeasayer singles, etc., etc. This, clearly, has not been the case: while Piratebay, Blogspot and WordPress are strictly off-limits, any number of other services can more or less fill this void with the mellifluous sounds of The xx and Au Revoir Simone. (I even picked up Chinese copies of the new Basement Jaxx and Calvin Harris albums at a record store.)
P.K.14 by Matthew Niederhauser via NY Times; click to see the whole slideshow.
About three weeks ago, an errant search on Hype Machine led to a fateful click on a link to the subtly-named blog “Fuck Bad Music”. I didn’t find the track I was looking for, but I did discover that one of FBM’s contributors, as far as I can tell, shares my situation: an American (from Portland, OR) who recently landed in Beijing. In her quest to conquer the Beijing rock scene, she finds her way to its latest, greatest outpost: D-22. The name was somewhat familiar from nightlife listings, but I finally got around to checking it out only after reading her review.
While Angel takes comfort in the familiarity of the small-ish venue, I am at a loss for an analog in New York: D-22 is slightly too big to fit the bill as a Lower East Side hotspot and slightly too nice—in that tacky Chinese way—to come off as a word-of-mouth Brooklyn ‘space’. To be fair, D-22 could definitely pass for an East Atlanta haunt: the venue attracts a regular (if somewhat scant) mix of bona fide Beijing hipsters, Azn bros, fangirls and a fair proportion of curious expats, despite (or due to?) the fact that the unassuming storefront is tucked away in a strip mall several miles from the city center.
As for the music itself, Chinese rock music is highly (and inevitably) derivative of Western rock music. Still, increasing recognition has substantiated the emergence of a Chinese sound. I had actually downloaded a couple of Hang On The Box and P.K.14 albums a few years back, when I first heard that the Chinese had taken to rock ‘n’ roll, but (if you’ll excuse the forthcoming pretension), as an amateur anthropologist, I believe in collecting ethnographic data before passing judgment—in other words, actually experiencing the subculture.
Matthew Niederhauser again; I will echo Angel's praise for his work.
An initial survey of D-22 suggested that the nascent scene might better be described as pubescent, given the prevalent 90′s alt-rock influence. Any given song might—at best—sound like the band had just discovered Weezer; uninspired Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots or Red Hot Chili Peppers imitations were more common. In retrospect, this was actually a good sign, as it suggested that every subgenre of guitar-based music might see some play in Beijing.
Indeed, subsequent visits have attested the breadth of the Beijing’s punk rock underbelly, and I must admit, to Angel’s point, that I’m about ready to call D-22 home. (Almost literally: the venue happens to be just under a kilometer from where I’m staying. At an average of 30RMB [$4.50] per show, I really have no excuse not to become a fixture at the end of D-22′s bar.)
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