After photography, printmaking is my second favorite form of art. I came across some work from Inky Lips Letterpress at We Are 1976 in Dallas. They have some great work and do custom printmaking as well.
I had a chance Monday to do a little shopping in Soho. My favorite store, and the only store in which I spent money, was Brooklyn Industries. I got a cool bag and a pair of gray pants...both on sale since I'm no high roller. Check it out.
I spent the weekend in New York. One of my stops was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's impossible to see everything in one shot, which I learned on my first visit a few years ago. This time I hit the sections I wanted to see and kept going. Below are a few of the pieces that jumped out at me this time. I'll post more in the days to come.
In January 1955, celebrated photographer W. Eugene Smith quit his longtime job at Life magazine. In search of greater freedom and artistic license, he accepted a three-week freelance assignment in Pittsburgh that turned into a four-year obsession and, in the end, remained unfinished. In 1957, he moved out of the home he shared with his wife and four children in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, and into a dilapidated, five-story loft building at 821 Sixth Avenue (between 28th and 29th streets) in New York City’s wholesale flower district. The building was a late-night haunt of musicians, including some of the biggest names in jazz—Charles Mingus, Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, and Thelonious Monk among them—and countless fascinating, underground characters. As his epic Pittsburgh project broke down, Smith found solace in the chaotic, somnambulistic world of the loft and its artists. The exhibition evokes the jazz loft through more than 200 images, several hours of audio, and 16mm film footage of Smith working in the loft. Setting the scene is Smith’s gritty photographs of the loft and his pictures of the flower district below his fourth-floor loft window. Viewed alongside his master prints, Smith’s 5x7-inch work prints further indicate the breadth and depth of the loft story. Listening stations give access to remastered selections from Smith’s reel-to-reel tapes, which caught everything from rousing jam sessions to historic radio and TV broadcasts, loft conversations, and street noise. Concerts and other programming will supplement the exhibition experience.
Foreign Born have been around for a few year. Their latest album, Person to Person, dropped last July. This afternoon I stumbled across this remix, done by Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend, of Foreign Born's song "Early Warnings". I liked the original and the remix both, so you can check them out below. Also, watch the music video for the track below as well.
In response to an article that ran in the New York Times on January 1 entitled "Why Twitter Will Endure", George Packer of The New Yorker wrote this brief article on the downfalls of Twitter. I must say that I agree with most everything that Packer writes. It's funny, because I am a consistent Twitter-er, yet I am recognizing more and more the negative effects it and other technology has on my life. Most prominently, I've noticed a rapid decline in my attention span and my incessant need to be mentally/visually stimulated. Packer writes, "Who doesn’t want to be taken out of the boredom or sameness or pain of the present at any given moment? That’s what drugs are for, and that’s why people become addicted to them...Twitter is crack for media addicts. It scares me, not because I’m morally superior to it, but because I don’t think I could handle it. I’m afraid I’d end up letting my son go hungry." His criticism of Twitter has generated quite a response.
Another album I'm excited about - The Morning Benders and their sophomore effort Big Echo, which drops March 9th. I'd never heard them until today, but apparently their 2008 debut was sincerely underrated. The video clip below is a gorgeous piece of music in my opinion. It's worth a watch and a listen.
Download the audio version of this performance here.
He's my friend, but I would like his music even if he wasn't my friend. Ben Rector's latest album, Into The Morning, drops tomorrow. Purchase it at his website or on iTunes. It's worth it. I've already pre-ordered mine.
L.A. based Local Natives are my favorite newcomer to burst onto the scene thus far in 2010. Theirs is sound reminiscent of The Dodos and Fleet Foxes, with a bit of an edge. Gorilla Manor, the band's debut, drops tomorrow. In the meantime, check out two tracks below.
I'm a few days late on this but you should download this weeks Download of the Week on iTunes. It's a new track from Broken Bells, the collaboration between Danger Mouse (of The Grey Album fame) and James Mercer (of The Shins). Or just download it below.
I don't have a Valentine this year, but I got a Valentine anyway. Cassie, who has been killing it with her creativity lately, sent me this lovely little Valentine. I will frame it because it is a legitimate work of art. Go to her blog and prepare to be inspired. Above is this year's Valentine and below is what she sent me last year.
I'm really excited about this band. Mountain Man is the combined efforts of three ladies from Vermont. You can find an incredibly moving performance on Yours Truly (or just watch below) of the band performing acapella. The only place I can find their album is here. It's only $5 and definitely worth it.
Everyday I drive to work, five minutes before I arrive at my desk, I pass a hill on the side of the highway full of beautiful trees. At the top of the hill stands tree barren of leaves surrounded by evergreens. Daily I am struck by the contrast of emptiness in the barren tree to the fulness of the evergreens. Last Saturday I armed myself with my Holga, parked on the side of the highway, and trudged through the snow to take pictures. I'll post a few of my favorites over the next few days.
Over the weekend I watched "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" starring Humphrey Bogart. This 1948 film may fall into the Western genre because of it's Mexican setting and frequent gunplay. Nonetheless, it is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in history (the American Film Institute ranked it #30 on their list of the best films). The 1949 Academy Awards saw "Treasure of Sierra Madre" take home three Oscars (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, and Best Writing in a Screenplay). Beyond the traditional western motif, Bogart and co. offer a compelling look at the effect of greed on the psyche and behavior of humans. It only took one sitting for this to become one of my favorite films. Check it out.
Cassie is a super-hip photography teacher at the Arts Magnet High School in Dallas. She has assigned to her students the task of photographing doors. I'm going to join along, so tomorrow I will begin carrying my Holga with me wherever I go. Here is a picture of a door (it's found in Union Cemetery in Kansas City) I took a few years ago.
As always, this year's Super Bowl brought out the best in advertising companies and their clients - lots of over-the-top hilarity. My favorite, however, went to Google's. It was minimal, classy, and refreshing. To my knowledge, it was the first television ad Google has ever run. Watch below.
Scott Mansfield. Hailing from San Francisco, Mansfield is one of my new favorite landscape photographers. My favorite photographs of his I couldn't find in file format to post, so check out his website for the best of all his pictures. I've also added one of his photos to the title of my blog (which I am more than happy to take down if that is a breach of copyright).
A few live sets worth your attention. Beach House played a few tunes off their new album for Daytrotter. Also, Phoenix played an acoustic set, which included a Bob Dylan cover, for German magazine musikexpress. Follow the links below to download these tracks.