Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Books finished recently

The Marriage Plot - Eugenides
The Third Reich - Bolano

Thoughts to follow

Monday, November 21, 2011

Trampled by Turtles - 9:30 Club - Nov. 18

So I wasn't quite sure what to expect - the reviews out of Newport and Telluride were impressive, but the clips I'd heard online didn't quite blow me away. Showed up a bit early with DK and headed up to the balcony, stage right, and got settled in.

The opener, Johnny Corndawg had quite a look when he took the stage - bright green sweater, tall and lanky, and a voice that shot through generations. Unfortunately the band was just OK - playing a solid two-step rhythm like any Austin dancehall band could, and plenty of the lyrics and songs were cute jokes that never really developed. But oh how Johnny could sing. He did a Hank Jr. cover and sang a few pieces acapella and you could see there was something there under the surface...

Then came the Turtles. Simply sublime. They had an undeniable, unforgettable acoustic energy - and a level of rich songwriting and musical prowess that it was just an honor to be in the same room. Like the White Stripes they're soon going to need a bigger room. And with the upsurge in acoustic music (Avett Bros, Mumford) the wind seems to blowing their way.

So catch them if you can..

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Odd Futurism

Yes. And yes.

A nice (perhaps the best) exploration of the Odd Future phenomenon yet. Bethlehem Shoals in Poetry Magazine comparing Tyler, the Creator et. al. to F.T. Marinetti and the Italian Futurists.

Link here.

At the same time, the sophistication that informs much of OFWGKTA’s output clearly marks them as children of a particular Los Angeles scene. They are, at once, wacky skaters whose antics are solidly in the Big Brother/Jackass tradition, and aesthetic terrorists who know that filth isn’t just fun—it’s also, when employed in the most dispassionate, pastiche-driven way imaginable, its own kind of creative mischief-making. OFWGKTA isn’t looking to shock audiences—they’re out to show off their own desensitization. That explains their seeming indifference to context, or connotation. If you’re second-guessing the level of irony this requires, watch any of the skate videos in which the crew exults over a remarkably ordinary move. This use of language, and visual signs, is both provocatively naive and knowingly subversive. What makes them endlessly fascinating, at once visionary and always somewhat scrambled, is OFWGKTA’s desire to have it both ways.