You've probably already heard "Erica America," our first taste of Jens Lekman's forthcoming I Know What Love Isn't LP (out 9/4), and you probably noted that it's deeply unsettling and creepy precisely because of the degree to which it also wants to be, and I guess is, smooth and unobtrusive. This contradiction is further intensified in the song's video, which features Mr. Lekman twirling around looking all sad and playing a nylon-stringed acoustic guitar while backed by what appears to be a band consisting of extras from the Juniper Creek compound on Big Love. And because it popped up in the righthand column on YouTube, we will now watch Lekman perform Arthur Russell's "A Little Lost," on a thumb piano.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced plans Tuesday to offer rapid HIV tests at drugstores in 24 cities and rural communities. The government is spending $1.2 million on the project.
The test involves a swab of the inside of the mouth and the results are ready in about 20 minutes. The CDC is already offering the free tests in seven drugstores and plans to expand to more locations this summer.
Health officials estimate that 1.1 million Americans are infected with HIV, but as many as 20 percent of them don't know they carry the virus. [AP]
What a great idea! If this takes off, we can all build a trip to Duane Reade into date night: dinner, drinks, rapid HIV test, a night of straight raw-doggin it. (Just kidding, please never do that.) (This is very cool, though, I hope it happens.)
Congratulations to the feature Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty, and the short film Corks Cattlebron, which we're pleased to announce as the winners of this year's DIY Film Competition. (The feature was chosen by a Northside audience vote; the short was selected by our jury, which included Ryan O'Nan, director of Northside Opening Night film Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best, and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe.) The runners-up were the feature I Don't Want to Kill Myself and the short Love Is Making Its Way Back Home.
Stay tuned for more information about the winning films' upcoming encore screening at the Nitehawk Cinema, scene of their triumph; they'll also receive $500 (for the feature) and $250 (for the short), respectively, as well as some other things that may help with the film, or next year's: $250 from Vimeo and a free year-long Vimeo-Pro account, and an $800 gift certificate to DCTV, for post-production facilities and equipment rentals.
And thanks, everyone, for coming out to the Nitehawk, indieScreen and UnionDocs last week for Northside Film. We hope you saw some great movies; thanks to our very many curatorial partners, there's a good chance you did. If not, then maybe you at least made it out to Thursday night's closing party, and had some booze? In that case, here's something to jog your memory (photos by Devon Banks):
Northside Film Closing Party
We mentioned a thing or two last week about galleries going heavy on group exhibitions come summertime, and about how at times these tendencies can make for some savory exhibitional treats.
Two similarly deep group exhibits opening this week—though not quite the 'gallery roster' genre, given the fonts of their artist lineups and greater conceptual probities—sound very similarly promising. They also dovetail with one another by dint of architectural bases.
Since this is a film about a guy who returns to Buenos Aires, ostensibly to scout out a film project, but really to face down director’s block and try to find an old Argentine girlfriend, and since the film features many local nonactors playing versions of themselves, I should probably start by asking you about your own history in Argentina, the genesis of this project, and how the personnel came together.
Yeah, the movie is definitely very intertwined with my own life and relationship with Buenos Aires. During my junior year at NYU I was really starting to hate film school. Plus, that’s sort of the time when most kids start to freak out about graduation and what their next step is going to be. I was just bummed out in general and wanted to bail on that environment for a while. I convinced the university to grant me an academic leave of absence and signed up for a super generic semester abroad program in Buenos Aires with students from a bunch of different schools all over the country. I was there for five months.
If you’ll allow me, a bit of fan fiction: the members of Built to Spill are hanging around waiting for their mid-afternoon set at Governors Ball to begin, doing whatever it is members of Built to Spill do when they’re hanging around, when Fiona Apple and Beck, who are both playing later in the day, come over and begin talking to them. They’re not shooting the shit, though; they’re talking about their music. Fiona asks Beck, “What did you mean when you sang of a ‘paradise camouflage?” while Doug Martsch flatters Fiona with, “I love the way ‘Fast As You Can’ slows down midway through, only to speed up again.” Soon, Isaac Brock and the rest of Modest Mouse join the conversation, and so begins a 45-minute chat about The Lonesome Crowded West.
“The younger crowds want to go to a newer place, not where mom and dad took them,” says Darren Tristano, an analyst at Technomic.
"C'mon kids, everybody in the car, we're going to Hooters!"—nobody's parents. I understand that, all things considered, there's really nothing inappropriate for children there, but weren't the only food options beer and chicken wings?
The first time I heard your music was via your La Blogotheque Take Away Show, and it was just incredible. How was that experience for you as a rising artist?
Well, It was filmed in September. It felt strangely appropriate to sing that song walking through Paris, I don’t know. It made me have a different connection with that song—the album version is actually a duet with Willy Mason, so that was the first time I played it solo in fact. It was just an amazing day we had in Paris, and consequently now I’m very good friends with the directors and the producers, and actually they did my video for the single “Lost & Found” which is a sort of one-shot thing, so I’m thrilled to know them.
So, as anyone existing out there in the world can tell you, today is totally gross. The air has been doing that dance of sexual tension in between exhausting humidity and a violent thunderstorm. Aaaand...it just broke. This is not a day in which thought can (or should) be successfully provoked. Instead, it's time for passive enjoyment of dreamy things that will wash over and into your sweet, sweat-and-rain-dappled little heads.
We've got a few:
Girl Crisis - "Dance Me to the End of Love"
- Girl Crisis, a Brooklyn-based ladies auxiliary club of notable Super 8 and pop covers enthusiasts that includes members of Chairlift, Class Actress, Au Revoir Simone, Acrylics, and others, has been meeting up to produce eerie, immaculate pop covers for a couple years now, recording them on hazy, heat-warped film reels. Their latest video, premiered today at Stereogum, is of Leonard Cohen's 1985's standout "Dance Me to the End of Love." This thing looks and sounds like the first scene of an old Italian horror movie. Which is working for me at the minute on a very high level today.
So, where did the idea come from?
One of the initial things was that I had just made You Wont Miss Me, which is half inside a character’s head. Shelly Brown is the anchor of the movie, and literally we hear her voiceover within her mind. And I had been living in this person’s head for so long, that I really wanted to make a movie that fractured the perspective among many different characters, where you were aligning yourself with one person and transferring your alliance to a different character, and so the perspective and loyalty of the audience was shifted.
From Fox Searchlight Pictures comes the incredible story of a six-year-old from a defiant bayou community, sustained by an extraordinary imagination and the desire to restore order in the universe.
When I interviewed Alex Ross Perry around last year’s BAMcinemaFest, I told him that “The Color Wheel is the best low-budget film about the reconciliation of a brother and sister since at least Cold Weather.” Now I’ll tell you that The Unspeakable Act is the best Brooklyn-made low-budget film about brother-sister incest since at least The Color Wheel. So, what were you hoping to explore with this central relationship?
There’s a pullquote for you… You know, you do wind up exploring as you develop an idea, but for me the origin of the idea is always some concept that’s exciting or uncanny, something metaphysical and large that you can then play down and cast in mundane terms. The character of the girl was where I started: she’s really an existentialist hero who has her own set of values that weren’t given to her by society, and she never really wavers in that regard. Then, after the initial thrill of conceiving that character, I started to work out a story on the mundane level, and at that stage there was the pleasure of exploring the way families work, and trying to find distinctive patterns that on some level are every family’s pattern. And also I wanted to deal with the way that we grow up and resign ourselves to problems and compromises that we didn’t envision in childhood, which maybe isn’t even a bad thing.
But both entities do have the relatively recent problem of letting their body of work define critical evaluation—perhaps even more so than makes sense, and I'm someone who's all for parsing the ways Adam Sandler's filmography fits together.
In case you missed your chance to show artwork to the masses at Northside Art, or in case you had such a great experience then that you'd like to show it off again, you've an opportunity to do so very soon during the course of a slideshow-accompanied potluck feast.
At Slideluck Northside, which will be held on 19 July at Brooklyn Brewery.
To be eligible to show your work there, you need to be an artist based in Williamsburg or Greenpoint, and you need to get your materials in by Monday, 25 June.
In my defense, it works either way, & I love your stuff...
Ha - never mind, just re-read it properly for the 1st time (LOL)
I know you're an online writer, but you should use 'know' & 'now' properly if…