Tag Archives: music

Interview: Jeff Thompson

I did an interview with Jeff Thompson last month, which is up at Curator magazine. Officially he’s the Assistant Professor and Program Director of Visual Art Technology at Stephens Institute of Technology, but what that means is that he’s an artist who prefers to mess around with computer code. He does fascinating work. We talked about abusing Photoshop, Twitter bots, Andy Warhol, and why Nokia will probably never hire him to write a ringtone. Check it out!

art-assign-bot

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I went to SXSW and all I made was this lousy video

I went to the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, TX last week. My expert analysis is that it was a blast (you can probably go elsewhere for longer and better writing about the event). I saw a ton of great music, some of which I captured on my now-long-defunct-but-still-working Flip camera. A lot of the good moments never made it to video: Lucius at the Paste day party, St. Vincent’s suddenly electric stage show, two guys somehow colliding and then hugging while crowd surfing at Grackle, an out-of-town after-hours party DJed by Matthew Dear blanketed in dry ice, all the shows that I missed. Still, here’s a little collection of nuggets – 17 nuggets, to be exact – of some of the shows I enjoyed the most. If you don’t know these artists, you should.

There’s nothing really scientific about it, except I put the stuff I liked most of all towards the beginning. So that’s something. Enjoy!

By the way, if you want to see some of the silly thumbs up/thumbs down video reviews I did at a previous SXSW that the New Yorker actually let us post online, it’s here, and here and a special bonus here

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The 10 best arty and musicky things that happened this year, to the best of my memory

In lieu of separate lists, here is a meta-list of the things I enjoyed the most this year (besides Art Basel, which I just wrote about a few days ago), in no particular order.

1. The skittish, slackerish, stream-of-consciousness Ninetiesish punk of Parquet Courts.

2. The graphic stories of Allie Brosh. She portrays herself as some kind of monster who is a crudely amateurish artist. She is neither.

Brosh

3. This deliciously eye-popping piece of street art from Tristan Eaton in Little Italy, NYC.

jux_tristan_eaton_2

click here to see full list

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Xmas 2013 mixtape: Ho, Ho, Ho, and Ho

See what I did there? I added a fourth Ho just because this is that much better.

2013 xmas

Last year my yearly Christmas music mix – yeah, the outer-space themed one – intentionally jumped the shark. It was fun to make, but kind of an ambitious mess, in the end. But the holidays are not supposed to be that challenging, so this year’s is back to just being fun again. I’m not trying to be eclectic just for it’s own sake here. Whether it’s a soulful doo-wop recording or a batty Major Lazer mashup banger, I want a Christmas song that will stand the test of time, so that this can be listened to now and also in the future. And I’ve got some other unlisted surprises including a Lou Reed greeting from the 80s mixed in here, so play away.

All my previous mixes are here – the 2010 one might be my favorite, with some stuff I snagged before it apparently disappeared forever – and this year’s can be listened to or downloaded below, or direct from Soundcloud. Enjoy, and happy holidays.

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SXSW 2013: what was that again?

I just got back from attending the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, TX once again. My feet are swollen, my ears are ringing, and my stomach just said “go ahead – I dare you to eat another pulled pork taco.” And I want to go back to sleep. But it was all worth it. I got to see long-established artists who I had never seen before (Nick Cave, Kelly Hogan), buzzy up-and-comers who were worth the hype (Rhye, Savages), and I also got to stumble onto previously unheard-of acts that were satisfying (San Cisco, Heliotropes). It’s all about trade-offs. Yeah, I missed a shot to go see Prince and A Tribe Called Quest, but in that time I scurried around to see nine bands at six different venues, and when do you ever get to do that?

For a music fan it’s an embarrassment of riches, really. It’s almost like you don’t even need a guide. You just think of a band you like that put outbabychino
a record in the last year or two and voila! there they are, playing two blocks away. You only have to fight your way through all the “Free Hugs”and the sidewalk drummers and DJ Babychino, supposedly “the world’s youngest DJ” and the DJ who additionally sounds like a fancy coffee drink.

Anyhow, with two thousand bands performing it does become a challenge to figure out who you want to see, and it’s even more of a challenge to figure out who you did see. So I made this list to help me remember.

sxsw2013_bands2

I also took some video, since the Flip camera hasn’t given out on me yet, and put together my own little highlight reel from this year’s experience, below. It’s best viewed eating a pulled pork taco and drinking a Shiner Bock.

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That’s right: Christmas in Space.

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You knew it had to happen at some point right?

I’m a sucker for Christmas music, and I try to upload a mixtape every year with the good and interesting stuff that I’ve found while poking around the internet and the used CD racks. Last year I was amused to find an outer space-themed Christmas record, but once I did, I was not surprised to find lots of other nutty “Christmas in outer space” records, because yeah, the internet. And once I found those I came across a whole galaxy full of low-hanging fruit just there for the taking: Star Wars holiday albums! Star Trek ads! William Shatner! NASA recordings! Spacey electronic music! So yes, I’ve jumped the shark a bit with this mix. It had to be done. But there’s lots of good stuff here, and I did more mixing and editing to make things move along. Give it a shot.

Mixes from previous years can be found and downloaded here.  You can listen to my outer space Christmas below or get it right from Soundcloud.

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“Half robots, half people, all fun”

Tuesday I went to “Krautwerk 1-8: Kraftwerk Covered” at Littlefield in Brooklyn. The show was a “screw you” to the failed MOMA ticketing system that left most fans (this one included) suffering under the spinning pinwheels of internet death, but, because it was put together by the Onion’s Joe Garden and Marianne Ways, it was also a Kraftwerk cover show that didn’t take itself too seriously. Naturally, it was MCed by somebody’s computer speech function, and featured a diverse lineup of talent. I’m really glad I went. Rolling Stone gave it a good writeup, but here is my little teaser video. Can you do a teaser for something that already happened? I think I just did.

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