Thursday, May 27, 2010

Marina Abramovic's Chair Live-Tweeting MoMA Performance!

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Marina Abramovic's much-mediated performance at MoMA, The Artist Is Present, ends on Monday, so today's (not officially affiliated) new Twitter performance @MarinasChair started tweeting just in time. It's gross, it's snarky, and about as funny as a performance art prop could be, really.

Marina Abramovichs chair Twitter


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South Williamsburg Community Groups Want to Build Park Over BQE

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 1:34 PM

BQE platform for park
According to the Brooklyn Paper, two South Williamsburg community groups, St. Nicks Alliance and El Puente, are sponsoring a $100,000 feasibility study for the construction of a platform over the BQE trench between South 3rd and South 5th Streets that would create space for a public park. The link would connect Rodney Street on the east side of the highway to Marcy Avenue on the west, and more than double the size of nearby Rodney Park, which includes tennis and basketball courts, between South 4th and Broadway. Of course, where exactly the city will get the money to do this is unclear—to give you an idea, a much more ambitious plan to build a platform over the West Side Rail Yards in Manhattan, for instance, will cost over $1 billion—but the area could definitely do with more green space. Somebody should keep track of all the money the city ends up spending to undo the mess it helped Robert Moses make. (Streetsblog)

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TrustoCorp Makes Debt Memorial in Most Mall-Like Section of Soho

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Trustocorp debt memorial in Soho
Remember when we told you that Soho was getting good again? Here's further proof that it's not all touristy big box madness down there, or rather, that the touristy big box madness is self-destructing: those street art pranksters TrustoCorp were in the area overnight, and just posted pictures of their latest installation at the corner of Prince and Broadway to their Facebook page, a memorial to a fictional woman's credit card debt (pictured). The text on the sign above the ghost bike-styled shopping cart, since the pic isn't great, reads: "R.I.D., Anita B. Frank, who maxed out her last credit card on this corner. You will be in our thoughts. Rest in Debt." Don't feed the beast, feed the hipsters.

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Watch Vampire Weekend's "Holiday" Video, Wonder How Long It Will Be Before Urban Outfitters Starts Selling Powdered Wigs

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Is it ok if I let this one go without commentary? Yeah? Thanks.

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Greenpeace Wants Your Help Rebranding BP

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Greenpeace BP logos

In a publicity stunt/smear campaign last week, some dudes from Greenpeace climbed the facade of BP's London headquarters to replace their slick flag with this one, thereby launching an open design competition to create a new BP logo as part of a campaign about the company's plans to start investing in tar sands and continue similarly environmentally costly operations like, oh, say, offshore drilling. All of which is to say that there's already a 200 submissions-strong Flickr photo set of alternate, oily BP logos, some of which (pictured) are outstanding. (TheDailyWhat)

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Deitch Projects Closes Saturday; Here's a Slideshow of 14 Years of Murals

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Since the announcement that Jeffrey Deitch would take over as director of L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art, we've been wondering just what impact the closing of his Soho gallery, Deitch Projects, would have on the 'hood, and the New York art world more generally. Here's one thing we'll really miss, especially amidst all the advertising in Soho: the murals and installations that Deitch artists regularly created on the gallery's façades. Here, then, culled from the gallery website, are all the Deitch Projects façades from 1996 to the most recent, following the death of Dash Snow in 2008.

The Deitch Projects Façades
The Deitch Projects Façades The Deitch Projects Façades The Deitch Projects Façades The Deitch Projects Façades The Deitch Projects Façades The Deitch Projects Façades The Deitch Projects Façades The Deitch Projects Façades

The Deitch Projects Façades

Soho's gallery Deitch Projects closes on May 29, 2010, after letting artists use its buildings as murals and installations for 14 years.

By Benjamin Sutton

Click to View 12 slides

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Oh Look: John Prine and Jim James Perform Together on Letterman

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 11:11 AM

I've already spoken at length about my fondness for John Prine, so I'll keep this brief: He stopped by Letterman last night for a performance of "All the Best," featuring My Morning Jacket's Jim James (currently going by his idiotic pseudonym Yim Yames), who recorded the song for Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows, the John Prine tribute album coming out on June 22nd. It happens to be my favorite Prine song, which also makes it one of my top favorite songs ever, and it sounds great here: Prine doing the understated, near-spoken thing his post-surgery voice demands of him these days, while James provides an explicit interpretation of the implicitly emotional original. Take special note of the lines, "Well I got no hate, and I got no pride, well I've got so much love that I cannot hide," and then repeat them to yourself over and over again all day every day for the rest of your life.

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Watch Big Boi's "Shutterbug" Music Video

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Yesterday B.o.B released his photography-themed video, and today another ATLien drops visuals for a camera-related song: Big Boi's "Shutterbug", the very promising first single off Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, which comes out July 6. It's more Tron than Blow-Up, though, from the glowing neon suits to the luminescent car. There's also his band of puppets and that part where Big Boi's head turns into a Rolodex. Not sure what to make of all that; dope track though. (Complex)

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Arcade Fire Release New Single, Announce Release Date for Full Length

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 10:15 AM

You already know this, but I fear I'll have my blogging license revoked if I don't mention it: MP3s of the Arcade Fire's brand new double A-side single hit the internet late yesterday afternoon, after the songs were played on BBC Radio 1. The tense, jumpy "Month of May" is the obvious winner here—it's unfathomable how good it's going to feel in a live setting, when everyone sings along: "Some things are pure and some things are right, but the kids are still standing with their arms folded tight/So young, so young, so much pain for someone so young/Well I know it's heavy, I know it ain't light, but how you gonna lift it with your arms folded tight?" The full-length, available for pre-order here, is called The Suburbs and it's out on August 3rd, but you already knew that, too.

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Downtown Whitney Breaking Ground in 2011, Met Will (Likely) Take Over Uptown Building

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Whitney Museum lot
As mentioned last week, the Whitney's board of directors voted on Tuesday to approve the construction of their new Renzo Piano-designed building at the southern tip of the High Line. ArtInfo reports that activity at the site on the corner of Washington and Gansevoort Streets (pictured) should get underway in May 2011, with the new location opening in 2015.

At that time, it's looking increasingly likely that the Whitney will completely vacate its inverted cement bunker on Madison Avenue and lease those galleries to the Metropolitan Museum. ArtInfo's secret informant puts it dramatically: “Met curators are having a food fight about who is going to get more space and where,” they view this deal “as a once in a lifetime chance to get more space.” Let the great museum gallery food fight of 2015 begin!

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American Idol Recap: Aw, Good Job America

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Still gonna keep trotting out that tired old trope about how it's a singing competition and not a popularity contest? For the second year in a row—and possibly the third, but, in truth, the Davids were a toss-up in most ways—the contestant with the better voice lost to the contestant that was more likable. First it was the sweet, tween- and mom-friendly Kris Allen using a $2.50 voice and a million dollar smile to take down the far more talented but ostensibly dangerous and challenging (gay) Adam Lambert. And now we get Lee Dewyze, the impossibly unassuming midwesterner (who the producers loved to remind us was working at a paint shop before coming on Idol, as if all the other contestants were high-powered lawyers or something) whose vocal capacities are solid but limited and whose genre of choice has remained vague—something between David Cook-style alt-rock and dorm-room troubadour stuff—taking down the most fully developed performer that show's ever seen, in Crystal Bowersox. Her voice is superior and her style is more carefully honed, but as I said yesterday, it worked against her, making it seem like she didn't really need the show. Eventually this, (along with some dialed-in performances toward the end of the season, rubbed people the wrong way.

And I'm perfectly fine with the idea of American Idol as a popularity contest. That's what it's always been, really, and that's what all pop music has always been—there's a reason technical virtuosity doesn't always equal success: we like a good story, we like obvious shortcomings, we like over-the-top humility and a generally pleasant demeanor. Lee had all those things, Crystal only the first two. It wasn't enough, and it never should have been.

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Reporter Compares Poor Black People to Animals (Incendiary Headlines 101)

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 8:48 AM

oil spill
Sorry, really I am. I know the first half of that headline was a cheap, provocative construction (which is why I neutered it with the parenthetical), but when USA Today writer(s)—yeah, it took three of them for this—ask "Is Oil Spill Becoming Obama's Katrina?" I really just want to smash and kill. The media. Figuratively.

So, here's how I see it:

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The New Kings of Leon Album is Going to be "Beach-y"

Posted by on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 5:02 PM

I just came across this NME news item where the band's drummer, Nathan Followill, describes their new material, which is being recorded right here in New York, as "beach-y." I'm hoping this to means they sound like Knight School now, but I also came across this question, from user nicolex0, on the always helpful Yahoo Answers.

hey guys. i can't seem to find that many good, modern beach-y songs, all i keep finding is older music, like kokomo by the beach boys. don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the classics, but does anybody know any really good, modern vacation/beach/summer songs? gracias :)

The best answer? Courtesy of someone who goes by the name sodiumbong? Here you go:

Continue reading »

Awesome: Camera Obscura Set to Play Brooklyn Flea

Posted by on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Well, the only way this could be any better is if it were at the outdoor location, but still: On June 6th, from 2-4pm, Camera Obscura will set up shop for an "Ice Cream Social" at the Brooklyn Flea, at One Hanson Place in Fort Greene. They'll have their own table, where they'll sell records and t-shirts and a bunch of other stuff, including "some items created especially for this event." Then there's the ice cream stuff. Blue Marble will be on hand, and they've created a special, Camera Obscura-themed flavor, "The Sweetest Cream," in honor of the band's song "The Sweetest Thing."

And if that's not enough (if that is enough, you are super weird), the band will be performing live as well. It'll be the first time there's ever been live music at the Flea, so go forth, everyone, and make history. Adorable, adorable history.

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Watch B.o.B's Sexy Photo Shoot "Camera" Music Video

Posted by on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Before B.o.B's major label debut, B.o.B Presents: 
The Adventures of Bobby Ray, there was the spectacular split personality mixtape B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray (download), which included the upbeat vanity narrative "Camera." Now, for no apparent reason, here's an official Blow-Up-ish video for the track, with no B.o.B appearance but lots and lots of sexy models modeling sexily. It's the essence of "rap video." (NahRight)

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A Manhole Just Exploded Outside Our Office in Dumbo

Posted by on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Dumbo manhole explosion

Brownstoner's got more photos, but basically, yeah, at the corner of Washington and Water, just two blocks from L Mag HQ, two manholes exploded about fifteen minutes ago. It apparently had to do with construction, transformers and terrorists Decepticons. Con Ed's on the scene, and nobody is hurt.

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Frightened Rabbit Play "Nothing Like You" on Fallon

Posted by on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 3:23 PM

I've always thought of Frightened Rabbit as the Scottish version of Kings of Leon, meaning I always sense a certain off-putting self-assuredness in them—like if they do wind up playing arenas, they'll think, "Well, duh, of course," rather than "Holy shit, this is crazy!" It's a gut thing, and I could easily convinced otherwise. In fact, their performance of "Nothing Like You" on Fallon last night may have done just that. As Ms. Suarez over at Stereogum pointed out, they tweeted about how nervous they were, which is sweet, and also it's a really good song that's reminding me how awesome The Long Winters were. So, hmm. Frightened Rabbit, eh? I think I like them now.

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Gentrification Much? Williamburg Hipsters Move 100 Miles Up the Hudson Valley

Posted by on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 2:51 PM

market market
Wow, talk about gentrification. This Times piece tells us the story of tiny Rosendale, New York, one of countless small Hudson Valley towns left economically depressed by the departure of industry (in this case, a cement plant). Well, as has often happened with economically depressed, former industrial locales across the First World, pioneering creative types have arrived, looking for space and light and affordability. And honestly, it sounds pretty good to me (well, except for the guy who commutes to the city by bus).

Continue reading »

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Boston Gallery Moving to LES, Bringing Mysterious "Boston Artists" Along

Posted by on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Judi Rottenberg Gallery
With the Lower East Side gallery scene in full boom, it's even attracting out-of-towners: Lindsay Pollock reports that Boston's Judi Rottenberg Gallery (pictured) will close next month, six months shy of its 40th anniversary, and its director, Kristen Dodge, and manager, Patton Hindle, will be taking many of its artists to a new space on the LES called Dodge Gallery that will open in September. Dodge told the New England Journal of Aesthetic Research: “The core of the roster will be Boston artists who are exhibiting in New York for the first time.” And actually, browsing the gallery's artist list, that's quite promising. Looks like one of those walk-up buildings on Essex or Allen might make them feel most at home.

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Hey, You Guys, Have You Heard About the Baby Reindeer Who Was Saved By Mouth to Mouth?

Posted by on Wed, May 26, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Snow White the Baby Reindeer
  • "I kissed a man."
Oh golly. THIS IS JUST SO ADORABLE. A little bitty baby reindeer (pronounce "waindeer") was given mouth-to-mouth by a rollercoaster repairman at an English theme park (god, what a gorgeous sentence). The regular animal OB-GYN was away or something, so park engineer Chris Walker got the call because of his previous experience with livestock. Said Walker:

I rushed over to find the calf lying on the grass lifeless, she had a very weak heartbeat and was not breathing, I checked her airway was clear, rubbed her briskly to stimulate the heart and gave her a couple of breaths in her mouth - as soon as I was confident that she was breathing I left her to bond with her mother.

The baby deer has since been named Snow White. Now I'm going to drink some rye and read J.G. Ballard.

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