Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Present : 2009 Song Mix

My narrative medium is the mix!
I have divided it into three parts for download frustration (and also because they're about CD length)(and to minimize damage if I have to take anything down). Each has a bit of art. The art dividers are the download links. Songs with links are to videos, when the video improves the song even more. 8tracks mixes (also imbedded below)1, 2, 3. Naturally, you will pick and choose amongst them, so I've tried to cluster by genre and mood, somewhat. Apply your favorite mapping; I like future/present/past.


1 Bad Romance Lady GaGa The Fame Monster 4:57
2 Fixin To Thrill Dragonette Fixin To Thrill 4:08
3 I Feel Cream Peaches I Feel Cream 4:33
4 Actor Out Of Work St. Vincent Actor 2:15
5 Turn It on Franz Ferdinand Tonight Franz Ferdinand 2:21
6 Games For Days Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper 3:57
7 1901 Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix 3:18
8 Sweetheart Micachu Jewellery 0:53
9 Michael Telepathe Dance Mother 4:15
10 All The Kings Men Wild Beasts Two Dancers 4:00
11 Little Secrets Passion Pit Manners 3:59 (their videos are making me like them even better)
12 Zero Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz! 4:26
13 Glass Bat For Lashes Two Suns 4:33
14 Hell Tegan & Sara Sainthood 3:25 (Amanda Palmer Karaoke Verite)
15 Idiot Heart Sunset Rubdown Dragonslayer 6:09
16 Psychic City YACHT See Mystery Lights 5:09
17 New In Town Little Boots Hands 3:19
18 Summertime Clothes Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion 4:32
19 Daylight Outro Mix Matt & Kim Grand 3:11
20 Moonson Delorean Ayrton Senna EP 3:45

21 M Telefon Tel Aviv Immolate Yourself 3:42
22 Tricky Tricky Röyksopp Junior 5:59
23 The Fear Lily Allen It's Not Me, It's You 3:26
24 Dominos The Big Pink A Brief History Of Love 3:46
25 One Day The Juan MacLean The Future Will Come 4:17
26 Bulletproof La Roux 3:27
27 2012 Gossip Music For Men 3:50
28 Break Up Girls! The Raveonettes In And Out Of Control 4:00
29 The End Vivian Girls Everything Goes Wrong 3:16
30 Hot Song Talk Normal Sugarland 4:06
31 Wet Hair Japandroids Post-Nothing (Promo) 3:12
32 So Bored Wavves Wavvves 3:14
33 The Turn Around The Oh Sees Help 1:03
34 Keep Me In Dark The Fiery Furnaces I'm Going Away 4:04
35 Shelter The xx xx 4:30
36 Stillness Is the Move The Dirty Projectors Bitte Orca 5:14
37 Real Live Flesh Tune-Yards Bird-Brains 3:33

38 People Got a Lotta Nerve Neko Case Middle Cyclone 2:34
39 The Forest Mirah (A)Spera 3:30
40 Avalanches Jordaan Mason And The Horse Museum Divorce Lawyers I Shaved My Head 2:18
41 Hands Like Roots The Builders And The Butchers Salvation Is A Deep Dark Well 2:18
42 See The Leaves The Flaming Lips Embryonic 4:24
43 Easy Thao with the Get Down Stay Down Know Better Learn Faster 3:37
44 Dog Days Are Over Florence And The Machine Lungs 4:16
45 The Wooden Chair Jenny Wilson Hardships! 3:15
46 Gimme Sympathy Metric Fantasies 3:55
47 Sylvia The Antlers Hospice 5:25
48 Triangle Walks Fever Ray Fever Ray 4:23 (really hard to pick a favorite song. This video looks like her live show.)
49 Bloody Palms Phantogram Eyelid Movies 3:32
50 Fake Out Bear In Heaven Beast Rest Forth Mouth 3:14
51 Trace A Line Au Revoir Simone Still Night, Still Light 3:58
52 On Rose Walk, Insomniac Why? Eskimo Snow 2:08
53 It's All Good Bob Dylan Together Through Life 5:28

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Janet's Favorite Albums of 2009

Subject to editing and the addition of 10 more albums.

30. The Gossip - Music For Men
29. Phantogram - Eyelid Movies
28. Dragonette - Fixin to Thrill
27. The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
26. The Oh Sees - Help
25. Jenny Wilson - Hardships!
24. Bear in Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth
23. Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Know Better Learn Faster
22. The Antlers - Hospice
21. the xx - xx

20. Royksopp - Junior

19. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

18. tUnE-yArDs - Bird-Brains

a.k.a. Merrill Garber with a ukelele and a laptop.

17. Micachu and the Shapes- Jewellery

Young experimentalists to keep an ear on.

16. Telepathe - Dance Mother
Experimental female electronica duo. Very Brooklyn. Looking forward to their future.

So Fine video
I liked the pink dead rat they had as the cover when it leaked. Ah well.

15. St. Vincent - Actor Out Of Work

Like the other Bush-descendant, a giant leap on the sophomore album. Actor Out Of Work, Marrow.

14. Passion Pit - Manners

All-male dance pop with falsettos and beards. To Kingdom Come! is not the song we thought it was

13. La Roux

Sharp retro-synthpop. If their videos keep improving does that mean their budget's increasing? Of course. In For The Kill, Bulletproof, I'm Not Your Toy.

12. Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away

They've taken their own premise in yet another weird direction - less produced, more accessible, and resembling live blues-pop, it's not their strongest, but there's something perfectly deadpan about it. Even in the Rain.

11. Yacht - See Mystery Lights

Listen to these fucking hipsters. Summer Song.

10. Little Boots - Hands

Victoria Heskel is a vulnerably pretty, slightly awkward music nerd who makes energetic catchy spacey electro-dance-pop. She also has a good buzz management system and shares my aesthetic. The album kind of drifts overly cheesy toward the end. New In Town video hobo, gangbanger and whore minstrelry for the times. Other videos try to avoid boots herself dancing. What is a laser harp? It's a harp, made of laser.

9. Vivian Girls - Everything Goes Wrong

I like almost every song. Maybe I'm naive and just like songs about boys by girls and nice simple chords. Maybe I wouldn't like it if it didn't roar with distortion. Maybe I'll be deaf enough to like Times New Viking soon.
Moped Girls I had not seen before. When I'm Gone.

8. The Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

Yeah, but who didn't list them this year? Stillness is the Move: llama wanker, wanker llama

7. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer

This band is better than Spencer Krug's other band[s]. Proggy. Ambitious. Fantastical. Fun. And this is the album that makes it better. They don't make videos, but the do play Nightingale/December Song live (with an obscene number of drummers).

6. Bat for Lashes - Two Suns

Huge conceptual and technical leap forward from her debut. She is a worthy Pakistani-British successor to Kate Bush. Daniel, Pearl's Dream (Lynchy!), Sleep Alone.

5. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone

The impression I get of this is that it's one great and one okay EP with a lot of filler, scrambled together. It could lose the covers and the crickets. Then I realized that's still half an hour of better music than anything else ever.
People Got A Lotta Nerve video based on Julie Morstad's drawings. If I listen to this too much I cry. Onward.

4. Fever Ray s/t

(probably the 3rd best album cover, isn't this an odd pattern?)
Truly a grower, and a profoundly lonely album, by Karin Dreijer-Andersson, a.k.a. the female sibling of The Knife. Her increasing influence on that band's sound is evident in the similarity between Fever Ray and Silent Shout. Her and her cohorts are as weird as they want to be, coldly maintaining their performance of electronic shamanism in natural virtuality. When I Grow Up, Seven.

3. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Natch. Also, second best cover. Shut up, I like crawly op-art.

2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
Also wins "best album cover". Decade-defining art-rock trio does electropop. So some of them might be dicks.

Video for "heads will roll" featuring two of 2009's other memes, a werewolf Michael Jackson.

1. Metric - Fantasies

If you're gonna self-release an album, it's good if it's your best, and there's still plenty of budget, and a whole series of Buenos Aires street art by Hollwood Cambodia for each song. Here's the video for"Gimme Sympathy" in which members of the band switch within, seemingly, the same shot.
Emily Haines is also in this excellent video for "Games For Days" with Julian Plenti / Paul Banks of Interpol.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Two Days in Miami

Back in October, Steve Cannon called me up at work and told me he wanted to send me to Art Basel Miami. I had no idea what form that would take, and said as much, and then didn't fully take him up on the offer until three weeks beforehand. Since I figured I didn't have a gallery to show with, I figured I'd do a curatorial wander, make connections, and plan for future visits, or not.

What allowed Steve to send me down was, in fact, the sale of the David Hammons installation that is truly incomplete without him. The original buyer, Jeanne Greenberg, gave him a percentage of the proceeds. Jeanne's gallery, and the gallery of another of Steve's art patrons, Jack Tilton, would be showing there, which is also, probably, how he heard about it. On Thursday, stopping by Salon 94's booth, I didn't know if I wanted to remind its proprietor that her largesse sent artists to hound her. I suppose it's better to be briefly bothered by artists than aggressively pursued by the sort of charity organizations that spend all your money to get more of your money.
Anyway, consider this a ninja gonzo report. During and after the trip I read Sarah Thornton's 7 Days in the Art World, which colored my perceptions a bit and turned up the dial on my five different kinds of status anxiety (as artist, as dealer, as curator, as some kind of reporter, as politically aware, or rather not very) with its outsider viewpoint. In her chapter on art fairs she quotes John Baldessari saying that an artist at an art fair is like a child walking in on his parents fucking. It's more like a child walking in oh her father making sausage with a high-class escort. Also the sausage is made of poor people. Then the father says "I'M DOING THIS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEN THOUSAND OVEREDUCATED SIBLINGS", and then your older brother gets to give the escort a wedgie. Where was I?
On a plane, sitting next to Rickshaw Spiderman, who called everyone he didn't like a "nitwit" on the phone. I did my best to make it onto his nitwit list. We shared a cab driven by a Jamaican woman who didn't know where anything was. I stayed with someone I may or may not have ever met before, besides on Facebook, who moved down there from NYC to earn scary money through one of those companies that advertises skin cream and tooth whitener on the internet.
I was frozen for an hour or two Wednesday morning, and not just because of the air conditioning. Ha ha. Whoa, deja vu. Eventually I headed over to the mainland on a city bus. I sat next to a couple of dudes who were supposed to help install David Lynch's show at O.H.W.O.W. and tried to pretend I didn't exist, and then tried to lose me. Then I went to Pulse Art Fair being set up nearby at the Ice Palace film studio. Ninja'd in there very easily, wandered around avoiding dealers and their minions setting up (although it's likely most wouldn't have cared). It was probably the best fair there.
By ninja what I mean is that if you're dressed well enough, as long as you're neither giving or getting money out of this superfair, you are invisible. Thornton's first chapter does not state, but implies, genders to buying and selling art, amongst collectors. By extension, everyone selling their labor is in a femme role, and the few buyers are the only butches. So perhaps it's a very dystopian gender structure. Androgyne symbiotes like myself may still be in the majority.
I walked up Miami and ran into a warehouse that Brooklyn's Pierogi had rented out. They had a pretty terrific show there, with some rooms dedicated to individual artists and larger rooms with multiple pieces, working well with the space. It had a recurring Urban Studies feel. I know I'm being unspecific about things I like and specific about things I don't like. Good people, anyway.
Next were the conjoined twins of Scope Art Fair and the Asia Art Fair. Together they were nearly as large and busier than Art Basel. I believe I overheard a few collectors enthusing about seeking out Asian art specifically, in the manner of stock traders. BUY. I like Scope because they had an opening party while I was there with free rum and Cuban food.

I knew there was another party at Art Miami but I did not make it in time. I'm not sure what sidelined me - I was supposed to meet my host back in South Beach for dinner, and there were yet more galleries along the way. There were at least three satellite fairs I missed (Red Dot, Aqua, Nada). Art Miami kind of felt like the resold art that only a collector could love.
It took me two hours to get back to South Beach because they'd stopped running shuttles, all the cabs seemed to be taken, and the bus I needed left from and dropped me off half a mile north of both my origin and destination. But I took the opportunity to walk along the boardwalk and take a dip in the ocean. I ran into a couple art pro girls with a joint and they didn't share. Bitches.
We had dinner at a Peruvian diner, where I discovered that the very best Telenovela is Victorinos. Then caught the end of the Ebony Bones concert on the beach, and found that alcohol increases in price over the course of the day. We managed to join one of those outnumber-the-guard sneak-ins to some swanky hotel's party where Santigold was playing. The chess pieces in the hotel's lounge could not play traditional chess, but we imagined some kind of Democratic Chess with too many pawns and only bishops and knights. The goal could be to kill one's own bishops.
Thursday I figured would be a rushed day, taking in all of Art Basel and the remaining fairs. It turned out to be pretty leisurely. Sneaking in was easy through the front and not so easy through the back, I discovered after returning from a two-mojito lunch. Basel was clearly on a grander scale but, as many have been saying this year, quantity beat quality. Still, there was plenty worth seeing in person, like Evan Penny's hyperreal optically stretched sculptures.

I could sense that this was a deliberately staged battle in the class war, and that a reaction to the sorts of parties that are more work than work was coming, but possibly only in the form of more parties.

I didn't take note of who made this. Oops.

As an artist, especially one traveling as someone else's ends, I am declaring this whole thing's teleology (art itself) unsacred. No, I do not have to report on the art. At least not yet. I have a pile of cards. I'm sorting through them. Looking at all the websites induces nearly as much aesthetic fatigue as the fairs, and makes me glad I went only as long as I knew I would be able to.