Monday, February 27, 2006

ART: Marcel Dzama

Currently showing at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, Marcel Dzama creates subtle, beautiful paintings. Mostly done in watercolor, his work is described as "part comic book, part graphic design, part street art" by the San Francisco Chronicle. Again, like the Sam Lopes post, I'm fascinated about how Marcel creates his own reality to tell a story or convey an emotion. The above image (untitled 2003), and a number of others, can be seen at the website for the Richard Heller Gallery.

Friday, February 24, 2006

MUSIC: The Good Fear & White Whale

Guess that you can't mention one band without mentioning the other, as there's some serious cross-talk involved here. F'ing good music, seems like White Whale gets alot of Arcade Fire comparisons, which'll light a couple of you up. The Good Fear are a little more straightforward in my opinion, but with equal intensity. I think that's what links the two bands.... one part fire, one part grit, one part gumption.

Go ahead and check out their MySpace pages.

The Good Fear (MySpace)
White Whale (MySpace)

And for those of you who want to jump straight to the music, here's a few tracks.

::: White Whale - The Admiral (courtesy of Music For Robots)
::: The Good Fear - Outsiders
::: The Good Fear - Blow Away

No album as of yet from White Whale, but you can get The Good Fear's latest ("Keep In Touch") from their website. Order away.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

ART: Rosson Crow

The above image, titled "Confederate Concentric 2004" is courtesy of the artist and the Canada gallery in NYC. Ms. Crow has been generating a shitload of buzz lately, I actually ran across her in an article in Interview magazine..... Still a student I believe, working out of Yale. I like the visual struggle between 2D and 3D. Most artists completely commit one way or another, but she seems to embrace it. I also like her subject matter: historical figures, austere rooms, chairs. It's also worth noting that I'm never a big fan of neon colors in paintings, but she seems to pull it off. High five.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

MUSIC: Desparecidos

Now, I know this is an old album, but it's recently been burning a hole in my brain. For those of you who haven't heard of the Desaparecidos album titled "Read Music Speak Spanish" then you're in for a treat. Released in 2002, we find Conor Oberst fronting this Saddle Creek incarnation...... and what's immediately apparent is how different it is from Oberst's other musical endeavors. Decidedly harder, more political lyrics (than his previous works), and a whole lot of rambunctiousness. Here's the first three tracks from the album. As always, I encourage you to run out and buy this if it suits your fancy.

::: Man and Wife, the Former
::: Manana
::: Greater Omaha


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

ART: Sam Lopes

Where oh where has Sam Lopes gone off to? I kind of think of Sam as the Wes Anderson of the Bay Area art world, as he tends to create small packaged worlds in his pieces. He also has a fantastic website to boot. Actually haven't seen any of his newer stuff, so if anyone has any leads then send them this direction.

Friday, February 17, 2006

MUSIC: Kings of New England

Great band coming out of Arkansas, but if you don't believe me then here's an album review from LocaList Magazine in Little Rock.
Review of Kings of New England's "On The Cusp"

Listen to a couple of the tracks, courtesy of the band's website.

::: Kings Of New England - Woodson Lateral
::: Kings Of New England - Space Is The New Seattle
::: Kings Of New England - Ruined
::: Kings Of New England - The Future Minus
::: Kings Of New England - Are You The Kid?
::: Kings Of New England - Asleep In Wolves Clothing

You can get ordering info ($10) for the CD from the website as well. [Side note: It looks like KONE has decided to call it quits. Blasted. At least we got this hot album out of 'em.]

Thursday, February 16, 2006

ART: Larry Sultan

I'd ran into Sultan's work at an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) about a year ago and his portraits struck me. Admittedly, photogrpahy doesn't always blow my skirt up but there's something about staged portraiture that lights my fire. Alot of his original pieces, like the one seen above (courtesy of the Berkeley Art Museum, exhibition currently going on), he tried to capture the typical American suburban dweller in their natural habitat. He then moved on to a similar, but decidedly more striking subject.

Sultan dived into the suburban sets of the Southern California pornography industry, and the resulting images are an interesting dichotomy of pain and beauty. This series eventually was turned into a book called "The Valley" which I highly recommend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Opener: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

Gotta start somewhere, so it might as well be the bearded wonder himself. This is my favorite trac
k of his, Madeleine-Mary, in two different versions. The live version is from the recently released "Summer in the Southeast" album, while the original is from his "I See a Darkness" cut. Check it out, love it.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (aka Will Oldham, Palace)
::: Madeleine-Mary (live)
::: Madeleine-Mary (album version)

Keep on a-truckin'.