and Kari On with … Fool’s Gold

Interview, Soundtrek, TK:ATL

So, this aKO … installment shines the spotlight on a former-and-forever favorite band du jour: Fool’s Gold. I had the pleasure of interviewing lead singer, Luke Top, for TITLE Magazine back in the day – so figured, why not get reintroduced for the first time. #exactly

title5coverCheck out the feature piece at TITLE‘s MagCloud … and a behind-the-script, best of the rest that didn’t make the pages, below the jump – enjoi

title5fginterview

Scene Canvassing: Oli Holmes’ “… Downtime,” “Paper Graffiti”

art, TK:LA, Vinyl Cut Prose

Oli Holmes is an artist by medium of craft installation and illustration, global citizen by way of Sydney #auslandwizardry and sheer creative by destined decree. Behind the monkier of Electric Puppet, Holmes crafts miniature masterpieces, subtle second glances, and pop portraitures with a fresh perspective.

oliholmes

I love that with Oli’s work, the world is his coloring book, the sidewalk is his sandbox studio.

epft

Decennium Spin: “The College Dropout,” Kanye West

Soundtrek, TK:LA, Vinyl Cut Prose

“Through the wire, to the limit to the wall, for a chance to be with you, I’d gladly risk it all…”

#dropthuglife

screen-shot-2014-02-09-at-11-50-12-pm

Junior year of high school, despite – and, in a contrarian way, due to – the re-election of George W. Bush, 2004 was an amazing year in an equally-understated way. Off the heels of Jay-Z’s blueprint, in the slightly distant midst of red-crossed cameras, stood the gifted present of a re-educated maestro, the Don in pink Polo: Kanye West.

Kanye West's Performance at the Canal Room

Ten years ago today, pre-Yeezus walked onto the scene a solo rapper; through the wires, past the slow jamz, West set his own blueprint for fame’s new workout plan.

81qy4v1qzvl-_sx482_-e1533399765659

Now Prosing: “Gondola Crimewave,” Night Surgeon

Soundtrek, TK:LA, Vinyl Cut Prose

Love, this

in so many ways…

Night Surgeon’s Gondola Crimewave EP is slated for a March 2014 release, but I was given an early appointment to sample the latest from Portland’s sonic doctors. Needless to say, if the ailment is color-by-numbers iPop – today’s prescription is two GCs and a midnight call.

#POPCANONS The Anatomical Zeitgeist No. 8, Est. 2013

Soundtrek, Vinyl Cut Prose

Here’s a little story that I made up, so let’s make believe: four years ago I had a party that was too much fun for me…

– “I’ve Just Begun (Having My Fun)

#basically

Back in 2009, I had a little fun drafting up my list of the top twelve Pop artists from the first decade of the millennium (I get bored, it happens). I made up a little narrative of the icons that lived the blueprint for a global lifestyle – more than a genre, an ongoing epic poem defining the general public of that elusive scene, scape, soundtrack we like to call Pop. I was fresh out of undergrad; but forever a 90s kid caught in the nostalgia of homecoming kings, queens, and courts, naturally I paired off the lords and ladies of the said vanity fair, in a fitting hommage to the heralded pantheon of celebrity (which is effectually no more than a glamorized high school) #youcantsitwithus Five coupled jesters of the court, a pair of regal deities, and a pair of honorable mentions (because it’s America – so as long as you’re the best loser, there’s space for you on the podium – but don’t get crazy).

The list went a little something like this…

Vinyl Cut Prose: Britney Jean

Soundtrek, TK:LA, Vinyl Cut Prose

I’ve spent the past two years since Femme Fatale mastering the art and science of global media and communication with Britney as my canon. I don’t really need to prove anything, and apparently neither does she; because Britney Jean founds and finds itself in that, it breathes … I appreciate Britney Jean.

Holding the thread close to a dream, while intelligence becomes the steal
For what if gold, showed token sold, while manners abright and rightfully bold
Make a wish, a princess dream, unfold the map, a small lil bean
To vanish the air and trace out the new, so scared to love, so soon who knew
Beautiful voice creeps in my head, only one person person can wear this red
Traces behavior, young and small; I see land, I must fall

 – Britney Jean

43308-57pocg1.jpg

Linger in the legacy… intelligence as the steal is Britney Jean – no, she is not Gaga, nor Madonna, nor is hers the aspired claim on their cerebral domain, that knowledge which detaches one from visceral humanity… that spark to light the first morning star. Yet, only one can wear the red, the Scarlet Letter Britney dons instead… And so seeing land, she must fall; that grounding rooting the human and iconic plight – from dust we came and to dust we return, no matter how high the peak flight.

131101-britney-spears-musical

This is the record of someone who’s already been where you want her to stay, but that’s the point – you can’t evolve, and still return to that place unchanged. But you’ll never see it that way, because you’re not she.

Revealing itself much like a sunset over the Hollywood Hills we have an aural venture through lightly hued layers of majestic technicolor faded, ascending as a systematic rise within the naturally spectacular, muted neon chromatic escalating to the heavens, forever rooted in the Canyon, steady upon the capitalized moniker of America’s finest institution – studio stardom.

Crate Dig: My First Blog Post #ever #kindof

Soundtrek, TK:DC, Vinyl Mind Flow

Stumbled across my now-defunct first blog from back in 2007 #thatyear and in the past six years… not much has changed at all… what can I say?

For the sake of morbid curiosity… from October 2007… my first blog post… #itsadoosie #notheresnopictures

swiper sighs manifesto

So until I figure out this whole music blog thing i’ll just blog about pop culture, pseudo-politics, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, ology … the usual and of course media/entertainment which includes music, movies, tv a bit, books, or whatever suits my fancy.

Ummmm as for the music scene right now – it’s lacking in the mainstream. American Top 40 isn’t a good representation of music, the Top 40 should be indicative of the culture. The top 40 is watered down everything, even pop is watered down. Say what you will about Britney, Christina, N Sync, and Backstreet – but they were Pop: down to the core. They were catchy and they got into your head. They were like Saccharin; they were too sweet, and it was so synthetic, but they were devoured by the masses. You could not deny the sheer “Pop” of it.

BlinkkBeats: “Work BxxCH,” Britney Spears

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

Everything was worth it. Everything is worth it. Everything will be exponentially more worth it in increasing measure as the cycles continue – if, you, work bxxch #BRITNEYTAUGHTUSALL

#nowgettowork

BlinkkIt:

Please believe this could be a dissertation #ohwait #hadbeendonethat #twice #becauseitsjustthatnice

Brass tacks: It’s fun. Remixable. Killer hooks. Understandable fodder. Strong focus on the beat, pulse, and bombast Britney claims her role as integrated pneuma, as opposed to overt lyrical / verbal navigator.

I make the governor / Call me the governor

… supports said dissertation #busherayouthsubculturecelebrityicon, and thesis #welcometopostpopmusicentertainmentculture quite nicely. I approve and appreciate.

SIDENOTE: ( I’m not a youth subculture celebrity icon of an era ushered in by an incumbent governor president-elect – but if I were, I would probably hook it with: “I make the governor call me the governor” – I approve, I appreciate, I acknowledge that if ifs and ands were pots and pans there’d be no #WORK for tinkers’ hands… #luckyguesses #Y2Kforeveryall)

SnappIt:

If, you, want, that life – the glass house, the fame balls, the applause, the roar, the 20/20 experience, the carte blanche to go rogue, the holy grail, the crucifixion, the revolutionary rebirth, the ability to make them go berzerk in a breath,  that ticket to kiss land – you, betta, werk.

VMA Day 2013 – Four Butterflies to Watch #heylookamonarch

Soundtrek

Honeymoon isn’t even the furthest stretch of one’s falsified imagination when it comes to the Video Music Awards since 2010 #generous This year, I …. okay, I don’t actually know half of the nominees, and I might not have heard of 75% of the songs, but I can pick up a pattern from a mile away #universallaw #fortherecord

No one can predict the future, but we can recognize the present – and that’s good enough for me. Four butterflies to keep an eye on when watching the monarchy tonight… #theeverythingelse

1.) [T]he renaissance of Pop Art and a Warholian world of blurred lines between reality and fantasy”

Sedgwick Germanotta

[T]angent. Point is: Edie said of herself something that resonates so deeply with GaGa tonight, “if you just listened to what I had to say it was sane, but if you just looked at me you wouldn’t bother to listen. And none of them did. God it was a nightmare.” There isn’t that futility with GaGa, but the nightmare is quite apparent. Performance artists live their art — completely. The world is their canvas — truly. Where the art succeeds, the artist suffers, but it is for the sake of art — even if only for art’s sake.

2013:

2.) Jimmy Timberlake 

SnappScenes: Lady Gaga, “Applause”

A.V Hub, Soundtrek, TK:LA, Vinyl Mind Flow

I live for the applause, applause, applause – I live for the applause-plause, live for the applause #paws

screen-shot-2013-08-22-at-7-36-10-pm

What I loved about Alejandro

This is the drop after the first waves and floods: I’m not here to talk about her facial features, or how to convert atheists into believers; I’m just saying that somewhere in the midst of a[n] indie short film, and a scene-by-scene homage to immaculate conceptions – and collections – lies a near perfect Pop music video period. Is pastiche supposed to be coherent? It is now – let’s delve.

What was lambasted in Born This Way

I don’t know where to begin or end with this one… and I suppose that’s the best way to be – as there is no beginning or end to the perpetual renaissance What artists do wrong is they lie, what critics do wrong is they try; I’m not going to try and pretend I know every conceptual reference here, nor analyze from a detached place of fault-and-fact finding – this isn’t about Pop cheat sheets and checklists… I’m just going to riff on what I know for me, and what I see

What lingered along the fringes of Scheiße

Lady Gaga broke her notoriously extended hiatus, premiering her first mastered piece of “new music” … Those two years of antagonizing anticipation culminated into the club-pulsing climax … Forget the fact that this may or may not be what you wanted to hear from someone about whom you may or may not give a scheiße – ether that; from start to finish, career and current track, no one – no one female Pop body – can produce: produce, what Gaga can. Line after line, time after time: perfection – the wait is always worth it.

There’s the flawlessly deft production we’ve come to expect from the Haus mother … stratospheric synth, deep bass, smooth distortion, uncannily human reverb pulsing the cacophony. Gaga lends her voice as an added layer, as much a part of the score as the bevy of inanimate instruments behind her

screen-shot-2013-08-22-at-7-36-35-pm

Lady Gaga has solidified her sonic aesthetic and social impact – and they are one in the same. If the backbeat pulses harder than my own heartbeat, why not dance together? This is cold technology and hot harmonies, sheer energy, factory fashion, raw humanity, grime, graffiti, and glitterbombs; this is stream-of-consciousness that doesn’t make sense now, but will before the rest of the globe makes sense of itself: this is 31st Century schizo world – welcome Haume.

screen-shot-2013-08-22-at-7-37-35-pm-1.png
Is what lays the foundation for “Applause:” The pulse as nothing more, and never anything less, than the traverse between polarity

– once you know the system’s rhythm, all that’s left to do is choreograph the rendevous #multiversallyspeaking

#snappit

Lyrically Speaking: “Get Lucky” ft. Pharrell – Daft Punk

SnapTrakks

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

***

(Verse 1)
Like the legend of the phoenix

01_britney_spears

All ends with beginnings

titanic

What keeps the planet spinning
The force from the beginning

(Prechorus)
We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

(Chorus)
She’s up all night ’til the sun

s4u

I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

sparkle

We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky (x4)

Ms. Education – Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:LA

mlh-ns-cm

neurotic-society

We’re living in a joke time, metaphorical coke time
Commerce and guru men, run the whole world man
Broke world and debauchery, old world brutality
Cold world kills softly
Whole world works savagely
Greedy men and pride fiends program TV screens
Quick-scam and drag queens
Real life blast fiends
Think twice this past dream

Keep Calm and Kari On with… Zedd

Interview, TK:LA

“Opening skies with broken keys…” By now this young maestro’s hands have been heard around the world and weberverse; from Holy Ship to Ultra, Born This Way Ball to Poseidon Tour, Zedd’s fingers have fueled quite the spectral pulse. What about the mind behind the music, though? What makes Zedd’s metronome tick, and what cultivates a sound so kaleidoscopic? Leave it to the prodigy priest of EDM himself, preaching nightly behind pierced lips atop DJ booth pulpits, to clarify the scape of this spectrum we call the contemporary music scene.

Clarity

Me: Who/what/when/where/how is Zedd? … In 59 characters or less.

Zedd: Zedd is musical soul-bacon.

Sounds of the Mayan 2012: Five Albums That Existed This Year – Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1

Soundtrek, Vinyl Cut Prose

So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever  conceived in the spirit of music.

Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Frank caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…

Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1 – Lupe Fiasco

LFFAL2

Lupe is to the educated, the other culture connoisseurs, those presently existing from an existential perspective, what Kendrick became for those who don’t have the time, patience, attention span, or concern for anything external of the mainstream myopic. Fiasco is the good wiz in a mad capital to Lamar’s maad citied good kid. Food and Liquor 2 is the gospel opus, this Great American Rap Album is Part 1 is a raptrospective on the imperial collapse of a nation unchained in a state of voluntary mass surveilled servitude. If this black everything is too long winded, too creatively intertwined between vocabulary and vernacular, too scriptural with slang, too substantial for contemporary tastemakers’ slacker style – that’s the point. Much like Lauryn sitting atop her hill – Lupe’s distance from the nucleus of now is what grants inevitable goodness: Fiasco’s Tiresian opus remains forever sitting mad pretty.

Sounds of the Mayan 2012: Five Albums That Existed This Year – 1991 EP

Soundtrek, Vinyl Cut Prose

So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever conceived in the spirit of music.

Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Frank caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…

1991 EP – Azealia Banks

Azealia-Banks-1991

This debut EP is Banks’ foray into the music industry by being in its entirety what every great pop album captures with their tracklist: four successive opening tracks riding in like the horsemen of the apocalypse – square up. Azealia Banks hearkens to a more boldly beautiful time… a more vamped and vogued era, a most smooth new jack swelter, zoot suited synth and burgundy sugar bass. Brazen hooks spring from the mouth of Manhattan’s newest underground monarch, Kombucha punchlines break the rich beats, and track names like “1991” and “212” bring to the fore some voodoo kind of mathemagical to the mainstream. New York comes to life in a most clear 20/20 hindsight within Banks’ sonic bacchanalia. It is the cultivated synthesis of electronic music, subterranean subculture, and signature borough flow that crowns Azealia N.Y.’s most high chosen.

Sounds of the Mayan 2012: Five Albums That Existed This Year – Trilogy

Soundtrek, Vinyl Cut Prose

So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever  conceived in the spirit of music.

Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Franked caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…

Trilogy – The Weeknd

The-Weeknd-Trilogy-630x630

After the party is the after-party and after the after is the hangover… a house of balloons bacchanalia, lifted nocturnal Thursday smolder exploding before sunrise’s echoed silence. The Weeknd’s major label release captured the entirety of an amnesiatic culture’s underground. Monstrous melodies and ominous epiphanies linger through a three act hip-hoperatic. It is so beastly and so beautiful, so filthy, so rich.

Sounds of the Mayan 2012: Five Albums That Existed This Year – Music 4 TNGRS

Soundtrek

So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever  conceived in the spirit of music.

Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Franked caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…

Music 4 TNGRS – Chester French

CFIT

Beyond the prominent production, the ever-enveloping electronic environment, it is the enduring lyrics that take us back to the playground. Some songs are like long-lost love notes, retrieved from a time capsule beneath the sandbox, or somewhere under a tree in the quad. Other songs take it back to the cyber sandbox of whichever social network was your shelter, reading along like a comment your present-day self would leave your former self. That’s what I dig most about the album. It doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. It is a 2012 LP of the mixtape you would have made for your Post-9/11-But-Pre-Katrina-So-There’s-Still-Hope self, about yourself, now. I also like it because … I’m a TNGR and it’s my kind of music.

Sounds of the Mayan 2012: Five Albums That Existed This Year – MDNA

Soundtrek

So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever  conceived in the spirit of music.

Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Franked caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…

MDNA – Madonna

MDNfAce

This was easily some of Madonna’s best work to date – contextually – period. Although sonic cohesion and precision ebb and flow within the confines of Madge’s contemporary discography, MDNA solidified a mood and melody for the Monarch’s tumultuous mindset. Ciccone grabbed the circuit and spun it up proper, regardless of all analog static enveloping the release. Best friends, boyfriends, and rhythmic revelations in tow – Madge dropped a bomb, aurally addicting, introspectively intriguing, albeit misguided at times, but always spectacular – MDNA what a mighty majestic show.

Five Takes on Dave (1920-2012)

Soundtrek

a8d03d53-c5c6-42bd-90fc-c0ff524eda61

Dave Brubeck, 1920-2012

For as long as I’ve been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me … Frankly, labels bore me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legendary beyond compare, brilliant beyond boundaries… five takes on the many shades of Brubeck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Rondo a la Turk” – Time Out, 1959

Brubeck heard this unusual rhythm performed by Turkish musicians on the street. Upon asking the musicians where they got the rhythm, one replied This rhythm is to us, what the blues is to you.” Hence the title Blue Rondo à la Turk.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castilian Drums” featuring Joe Morello (Live) – Live at Carnegie Hall, 1963

Keep Calm and Kari On … with Chester French

Interview, TK:LDN

Skin… is a many layered thing; it is artistic, it is cultural, it is biological, it rests on the fragile fringe of one’s inner and outer space… not to be melodramatic, but we consider it an overlooked focus – an abstract opus – of cultural connective tissue.

So, for Art Nouveau’s Skin issue, we chose a duo who connected all of those elements in a most masterful manner: Chester French – black tears, faced fears, a pair so open-minded about the lovable future that their well-endowed brains have descended upon every listener’s ears. We had a chat with Max and D.A. to get an inside look at how they view those elements that make the epidermis so oddly endearing.

zzcfphoto1

When we come into this world, our skin is supple and soft, that unhindered remnant of divine design. For artists like Chester French, the first album is of that same fresh design. The label signs you because of that new-new you bring to this world. Musicians wear that skin like a manifestation of the self. Unlike the child though, an artist can craft their own primary skin; now more than ever though, it is getting harder to make that sonic aesthetic a signature different than all others.

KE: How important is it to build your own sonic aesthetic through your music, and what do you think your skin is in the industry?

CF: I think – to answer the first part of the question – I think for us it’s kind of important to try and carve out what is our territory creatively in terms of what we want to make and how we want it to sound. I think there’s so much music and so many people in music feel like they have to constantly be following, either super-new trends or really established ideas about how music should sound at a given moment. For us it’s way more important to find a sound that’s unique to us, than it is to “fit in” to any group, necessarily…

KE: Basically, my thing is this: skin is functional and fashionable. It is the first line of defense, but musically it is that very foundation of artistic identity which requires the greatest defense of all.

It’s one thing to look good, a freshman feat that Love the Future achieved, but it’s another entirely to make that good look last: enter Music 4 TNGRS.

KE: What is a TNGR, and what is this music you’re making for them from this standpoint?

The Re-Branding of America: Kid and Sean Pen a PSA…

TK:LA

Fellow Americans, it is with the utmost pride and sincerity that I present this recording, as a living testament and recollection of history in the making during our generation.

Let me tell you dudes what I do to protect this: I shoot at you actors like movie directors [laughing] This ain’t a movie dog

Kid Rock and Sean Penn would like to borrow a moment of your time and illustrate the grave importance of overlooking the narcissism of minor superficial demographic differences in light of the larger union we share as an American people… that while the differences we hold as private citizens are what made this country great, it is the collective freedom granted to the public which defines those who call the United States home… celebrities: because they’re just like U.S.

The Re-Branding of America: On the curious case of Mitt & Paris’ Publicized Privacy

TK:LA

“Mitt Romney” and “Paris Hilton” are going hard-press-in-the-paint right now. Note the quotations, because when it comes to celebrity and public figuration: there’s the brand, and then there’s the (wo)man… here, beyond the (yet-to-be-determined) human factor behind the individuals, their enterprises are functioning like well-oiled machines.

It’s kind of like best week ever, right?

Paris is a mistress of the mishap-turned-publicity-masterpiece, Romney is not far behind in his ability to grab headlines with oddly well-staged gaffes.

The past week has seen both go viral with unsurprisingly on-par brand pushes: Romney doesn’t care about untaxed people, and Paris “Puddle of AIDS” Hilton thinks gays are gross… in other news: citizen paparazzi caught The Cookie Monster smuggling Snickerdoodles packaged as Sprouts’ Summer Squash into his Sesame Street penthouse…

So how does one figure these “mishaps” and “private conversations” gone public play as brand determinants and not character detriments… let’s delve a bit #itsaprocess

Quick and Dirty: Pre-VMA 2012 #andanotherthing

Uncategorized

This year has been quite a year… Diesel like 90s WWF Denim – needless to say the VMA have been millions of miles away from my spectral proximity: that said, it’s in my blood… no matter how few nominees I know, no matter how irrelevant the proceedings, no matter how cruxed upon pop cultural cannibalism – a festival of juggernauted feasting upon the legends and legacy of old – I will always have an opinion, and the VMA will always have a story and a place in contemporary culture. Though I know a record low number of nominees this year – and hold an even more subterranean affinity, or regard at all, for the nominees of which I do have some cognizance – this year is epic and masterful for so many subtle reasons: the first and last, the alpha and omega of which revolve around this year’s pulse player – The Bajan Queen of Body Parts: Rihanna.

VMA are obviously critical this year though… I’d wager to guess the biggest point is the revisitation of 2007. #neverforget

Vinyl Cut Prose: “National Anthem,” Lana del Rey

A.V Hub, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

Nouveau riche in thé vintage frame. The forever first lady and the one time flame. The brunette bombshell and the trap star, lost and found in the endless hyperreel… Because the spectacle said so – when the young culture is American culture, and Lana’s lyrics drown out Key’s ode to Lady Liberty… Where standing wealth disappears beneath the facade of runaway riches. Where race fades in the place of the envy, the currency, the one, the only, the greenface. Where Cognac and Cuban cigars line the seersuckered pockets of star-spangled bangers… Here in this place in time, suspended in the gilded gift of the omnipresent: the market is the new monarchy, fame is the new family, pledge allegiance to the powers that be: Marilana Yolonassis and A$AP “Call Me More Like Dom” F. Kennedy

SnappScenes: “Shot You Down” – Florrie

A.V Hub, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

This is just… quite good really – in, many many ways; albeit, many simplistic ways, but simplistic ways necessary in an otherwise unnecessarily muddled music scene… Check out Florrie’s latest: “Shot You Down”

Nice progression, smooth – milk smooth #isthataphrase – bass riding through the track. I’m obviously a fiend for most electro-acoustic hybrids – by that I mean, any melodic melange capable of bringing out the best of synthesized effects in tandem with (not drowning out or exploitatively distorting #notinthegooddistortionway acoustic instrumentation) and the soul of live instruments. I’m even more fiendish for that most tangible and raw of instruments – los tambores, le batterie, الطبول, Gǔ, – the drums.

Unofficial Best of London’s LoveBox 2012 Festival – Sunday Set

Soundtrek, Uncategorized

Historically, music festivals like Woodstock and Glastonbury were created to celebrate idealism (one ‘ism that we agree is worth buying into). Lovebox is no different. Add to this idealism the inclusiveness that you find on the best dancefloors and the diversity you find on our capital’s streets and you have the beginnings of a manifesto for a world-class festival in a world-class city.

Ten years old Lovebox has grown up quickly to become the biggest party on East London’s summer calendar and with every year it takes another step forward.

Sunday is a freewheeling, groundbreaking, no-holds-barred party, pulling together elements of the fiercest all-night parties, ballrooms, gay discos, supper clubs, cabarets and bingo-halls and mixing it with recycled couture, the hottest emergent artists and, of course, outrageous acts to create a totally unique hedonistic all-dayer which is most definitely Out & Out Fierce…

Out and Out … and out, and out, and out #ofcontrol

Unofficial Best of London’s LoveBox Festival 2012 – Saturday Set

Soundtrek

Historically, music festivals like Woodstock and Glastonbury were created to celebrate idealism (one ‘ism that we agree is worth buying into). Lovebox is no different. Add to this idealism the inclusiveness that you find on the best dancefloors and the diversity you find on our capital’s streets and you have the beginnings of a manifesto for a world-class festival in a world-class city.

Ten years old Lovebox has grown up quickly to become the biggest party on East London’s summer calendar and with every year it takes another step forward.

Saturday follows the tried and tested Lovebox model of curating a heady mix of international megastars, pop-cult legends, hipper than thou rockers and underground club collectives. Heart and soul, rock and roll.

Unofficial… because the view from the crowd puts you right in the pit #orsomethingtothateffect

Stooshe, Sabre, Sande, and Kelis… Girl Pop that won’t give you cavities, rough-around-the-edges neo-soul crooner with a tinge of Legend tone on the tongue, the heavenly neuroscience student whose rhythm transcends the merely cerebral – and, of course, the acapella milkshake distributor #bawsey

BlinkkStreet: Mint Street Park, London SE1

TK:LA

I’ve come to love London a bit more each day. Coming from America, there’s a certain history to the Anglophilic streets that eludes most Stateside cities. Regardless of how wonderful and fresh the new, now, next – it’s the pastiche of the past and gifted present which makes those certain renowned locales truly worthy of any world citizen’s presence. London is one of those cities that appears to be a living, breathing convergence of old, now, and new. I love New York, I live New York to this day – but there’s something about London… the subtle signatures of the city scape that make it impossible to turn away.

Take South London. It’s a far cry from the casual cosmopolitan Notting Hill of the North. It’s nowhere near as “Yeah, we go to Manero’s – we know Manero. No – there’s no Manero,” as East London’s Shoreditch, Hoxton, or Dalston. I don’t exactly know what entails West London, but South London is clearly not the prime locale for fifth terminals, premiere football leagues, or posh pads. This is why I love South London – SE1 Sowfeese to be exact. It’s a neighborhood: we’ve got Morley’s Chicken and Chips #backbypopulardemand, we’ve got pachyderms and palaces, we’ve got Waterloo, Southbank, and Borough High, we’ve got the BFI Imax – which is basically a cinema in the sky.

Here’s a view of bits and pieces of the nooks and niches that make London a makeshift home for me.

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First up: Mint Street Park, and some eponymously fresh playground art…

The Re-Branding of America: Fame, it is the New Black

TK:LDN, Vinyl Mind Flow

Fame… and it goes a little something like this

… and it smells a little something like cette

How to Make it in Famerica

 

FAME, as compounded by Lady Gaga:

Tears of Belladonna: One part government hooker #tearsontap, one part femme fatale #looselytranslated, one part Donna sans the Ma #bellathemonsterball, consummated in a nocturnal matrimony #nightshade and equally beautiful death #jumpingoutthewindow, wrapped in the skin of the most Luciferian fruit #suchaholyfood

Atropa belladonna or Atropa bella-donna, commonly known as BelladonnaDevil’s BerriesDeath Cherries or Deadly Nightshade, is a perennialherbaceous plant in the family Solanaceae, native to EuropeNorth Africa, and Western Asia. The foliage and berries are extremely toxic, containing tropane alkaloids. These toxins include scopolamine and hyoscyamine which cause a bizarre delirium and hallucinations, and are also used as pharmaceutical anticholinergics. The drug atropine is derived from the plant.

Biorhythmic: Music 4 TNGRS – Chester French

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

This album cover is the story… of a girl named Sally TNGR; and this album is the electro-acoustic soundtrack of her self, and her TNG scene, from her highschool suitors. Music 4 TNGRSRequiem for the Teenage Dream, courtesy of Generation Adamant Abbreviated Extended Adolescence.

m4t cover

Ah, Chester French… one part Milwaukee-bred, lead singer and songwriter David-Andrew “But You Can Call Me D.A.” Wallach, one part Boston-born-bred-and-boarded multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Max Drummey. Named after Daniel Chester French, the band doesn’t veer far from their namesake’s affinity for sculpting. Though, where Daniel carved stone, this duo dwells more in the place of subcultural sculpting through soundtracking the scene of the twenty-something teen.

Welcome, TNGRS. Not quite teenagers, not quite teens, never a tween, TNGRS are a specific demographic. We have self-esteem, Chester French knows this; thus is likely why the opening track on M4TNGRS is entitled: “Next Big Thing.” You have to believe in you, or no one else will.

The eleven-track collection is a reflection of this generation, that demographic caught beneath the gifted curse of being able to know everything, without direction on how to make proper sense of anything – drowning in information, starving for knowledge.  Yet and still, as products of this abbreviated era, Wallach and Drummey managed to soundtrack said uncertainty with a near-perfect identity LP for those twenteenagers in search of the throne.

This is The Story… of a Cover Girl Named Sally TNGR

TK:LDN

Alright, alright, alright – we’ve done this before… Well, not we, but me. So, don’t be scared – I’ve done this before. Gotta love album art, right? When it’s done right at least, which is the least you could ask from a generation of kids who make gifs and Photoshop tricks all day. Alas, today’s album art is… quite atrocious by-and-large. Anyhaps, when given the opportunity, I like to give stories to album covers – because a) why not (b) the picture itself already gave me the first thousand words, I’m just grabbing the baton (c) stop asking moot questions – the cover’s going to get creatively deconstructed. That said, Chester French is coming out with a new album #huzzah Yep, that Chester French #kanyeshrugsandsomeblackgirllove … connecting the dots… they dropped the album cover … connecting the dots … here goes the Blinkk:

This is the story… of a girl named Sally. Uh-oh, D.A. didn’t take you to prom… Max left you alone at the football field underneath the bleachers… The world has gone topsy-turvy. You’re any kid from Everytown, USA. You remember when you were a teen and the internet was awesome. You lived outside; it was boring, but it was okay – because you had a place where you were your projection: XangaLiveJournal, and MySpace were your digital protection. You “got” the net before the net got you. You were the future – the digital Magellan. You beat Y2K. You found some bootstraps and pulled yourself up. Maybe you blogged and grassrooted your way to Harvard. It was 2005 and you were on the fast track to the American Dream. You were going to be the next Elle Woods. You hung with guys that had the spirit of the Winklevosses and the style of a young Zuckerberg. You Photshopped and ProToolsed your way into the creative world. You became “somebody” on YouTube. You were going to be the one. Then, you realized – so was everybody else.

Cowboy Boots on the Sunset Strip, Chop the Roof Off the German Whip… Party in the U.S.A.

Soundtrek

Quick little playlist to pulse the summer pavement… like when Blow Pops met the blacktop, or Hov met Hannah Montana #andajayzsongwason

IMG_8169

Cowboy boots on the Sunset Strip, drop the roof off the German whip… fringe element patriots don’t need you or your brand new Benz, or your bourgie friends… numb to love, blinded by diamonds… from Parisian royalty to glitterbombed PWT, these stars’ scars stay shining… plummeting to new depths of depravity, fame is the new america… classless, priceless, from the brink of Bed Stuy to the belly of the map, a playlist fit for Plymouth Roc, a bacchanalian beat for Benedict Arnold #whentheunitedwentcrack

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hopped off the plane at L.A.X.
With a dream and my cardigan…

Night in the Sweyepe: Talk in Colour, Floripa, Shoreditch, UK

Live, Soundtrek, TK:LDN

The Sirens: Talk in Colour (Chris Bangs – Cello and electronics, Dave Oliver – Drums, Kat Arney – Harp, Mary Erskine – Vocals and keyboards, Nick Siddall – Guitar)

The Stump: With a growing reputation for blistering live shows combining dirty bass lines with impressive musicianship, Talk In Colour launched their new album, Colliderscope, with a party at Floripa in east London on Wednesday 23rd May. By turns dark then uplifting, slipping effortlessly between pure instrumentals and vocal driven tracks, Talk In Colour defy easy categorisation. It’s no surprise that the band cite influences as far ranging as Lamb, Battles, The XX and Berlin-era Bowie, with a nod to Afrobeat and Alice Coltrane along the way. Together, the band blends electronic and organic instrumentation into a blistering aesthetic.

The Scene: When East London met fogo de chao – not the churrascaria, but the fire on the ground: Floripa…

On the curious case of celebrity and contemporary culture…

TK:LA

Celebrity serves the purpose of highlighting otherwise opaque social relations, conflicts, concerns, and realities. That which is the fueling, seemingly banal everyday existence of the masses doesn’t manifest itself into anything of social significance until an icon framed to represent and vividly portray the beautiful burden of an attributed demographic brings it into public discourse.

The celebrity brings with it an entire economy. It is the commodity, the product and property of a corporate entity, a media monarch within the greater sphere of private ownership of a public institution – a public figure within capitalist society. Money, power, and reference run through iconographies.

Equally, celebrity brings with it an entire ideology. It is the character, the product and property of a ruling class. It may reinforce, resist, reject, or repudiate the standing social order. It is also the product and property of the masses from which it emerged, and which it directly influences and impacts – it is the manipulated mouthpiece of an increasingly superficially divided monoculture.

Collectively, the celebrity is the glue which holds together the real and ideal, the producer and the product, the dominant and resistant, the private and the public.

The celebrity sphere is a stage; lone figures act as pieces of a not so much puzzle as a chess board – white/black, soldier/sovereign, pawns and monarchs as symbols of the social classes to which they have the role of playing dual servants: as owners and as slaves.

What celebrities do are not personal acts, they are public displays of hidden banal behaviors. Epithets, for instance, are contemporary conversation pieces, slander is the modern standard language. What was a moot point, what was an actively apathetically accepted atrocity, and debatable defamation pulsed postmodern society in the form of language – that most vulgar, the vernacular.

SnappScenes: “No Church in the Wild,” The Throne

A.V Hub, TK:LDN, Vinyl Cut Prose

The Throne… Black Jesus walks in the wild… Where there is no church, just a primal society of spectacular sinners in the magnificent monde a la mode… Amen fashion… London is looting, Paris is burning, New York is occupied, victors are vilified, and the beasts are the beautiful beacons of a new world… Postcolonial cultural institutions, Neo-capitalism beneath the civilly disobedient liberated lady, soundtracks run through the veins and veneer of a blind Justice Judy… Mitochondrial thieves, sons of Reagan’s mythological Welfare Queens, tears on the mausoleum floor, lies on the lips of a priest… Faustus grants voices, viles of victorious libations, and a hand to grasp to the thug’s prayers reached…. Human beings to a mob, what’s a mob to a king, what’s a king to a god, what’s a god to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything… #preach

December 22, 2011

Lyrically Speaking: “Baptized in Blacklight” – Kenna

Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… why critique that which has achieved perfection at its own masterful conception… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

Lyrically Speaking: Stevie Wonder – “Living for the City”

Soundtrek

Good music speaks volumes… linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

A boy is born in hard time Mississippi
Surrounded by four walls that ain’t so pretty
His parents give him love and affection
To keep him strong moving in the right direction
Living just enough, just enough for the city…

Night in the Sweyepe: fIN at Bush Hall, London, UK

Live, Soundtrek, TK:LDN

The Sires: fiN (Jonny Garner – guitar, Simon Harding – drums, Luke Joyce – vocals, Kerry Lambert – bass)

The Stump: fiN played London’s Bush Hall Wednesday for the release of new single ‘Twenty Three/Eve’ on 16th April on Artisan Records. Debut single ‘The Artisan’, an almost entirely instrumental track which blends the epic darkness of Radiohead and the rock frenzy of Foo Fighters, brought fiN early adopters and began their quick succession of sell-out live shows. Second single ‘Rapture/Everybody Dies Alone’ followed earning the band glowing reviews and a packed out single launch at The Borderline.

The Scene: fiN navigted somewhere between the English Channel and the Pacific Ocean – possibly Route 66. Wednesday night in Shephard’s Bush LDR-esque oversaturated vintage Golden State reels bathed the porcelain walls of Bush Hall’s Victorian backing. Beneath chandeliers and a disco ball, heavy rich drums and lingering electric riffs drowned the tailored crowd in deliciously dense melodic metallic sound. fiN doesn’t have a bad side, or a bad angle. and they look like they sound – a meticulously motley crew of rocker types – grungy beach types, devil-may-care band with a James Dean-esque frontman donning Uncle Jesse hair #wontbehave

https://i2.wp.com/www.thecouchsessions.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/finbush.jpg

The Sound: There’s endless love coasting along relentless rock hearkening to a freshly aged sound as golden as the beaches liberating the backdrop. Then there’s the depths as the waves crash along the proverbial shore. Pieces of the gig draw me back to Atlanta backwoods drives… damp pine-filled aromas lingering along with the beautifully ominous sounds of The Deftones… Ivory vapors of sound as tangible as the aural White Pony was eargasmic. Ever the crowd-pleasers and cognizant audiophiles, fiN covered The Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.” “This is not my beautiful house,” vocals faded as the tone turned nostalgic from the vantage of a frontman living out every boy’s dream of being a rockstar. Childhood videos replaced Sixties propaganda films, pinup Hollywood captures, and black-and-white media clips that would make even Bernays and McLuhan blush at their own brainchildren come to life. Ushering out the political with the personal past, the aural artisans displayed a return to individuality over industry, within some capacity. “You don’t know yourself, lucky you…” closing mullings from maestros projecting shadows of a nostalgia never known, perhaps a most fitting foothold for a British Indie band on the brink.

There’s a touch of Fool’s Gold in between the Let’s-Muse-About-When-Radiohead-Fought-Foo sounds, glossed with a definite sense of Pop-Rock Yellowcard/Sum-41 feel, with some strong Alien Ant Farm undertones – an easily familiarizing American sound for an English band.

They dig their fans. They have the look. They’re kind of like if Skrillex met Lana del Ray.

Watch This Space: When “Life is Wasted on the Living” played out to archived clips of everyone from Richard Pryor and Freddie Mercury, to Princess Diana and Winston Churchill… As Joyce stood in an image not unlike Peter Petrelli – beyond pixie blonde bombshells, social architects, and Dean the Causeless Rebel himself – the crowd too believed, for a second, that we can all be rockstars; we can all be heroes.

Why New Blood, Why Now? Nine Minutes with Morgan Spurlock

Interview, TK:LDN

2012-04-24-a179

As a bit of a Pop fiend, it was a pleasure to discuss New Blood with Morgan Spurlock; as a bit of a Pop theorist, it’s something of a marvel to ponder the nine-minute manifesto… 

Why New Blood, why now?

I don’t know if it was a question of now, or if I just felt like there was a need to show – I feel like there’s still this shifty new movement in the art space where the people who kind of launched this whole “low brow” art movement, this street art movement are now inspiring this whole new generation of artists; y’know these new kinds of Pop graffiti artists who are kind of coming up in their wake, and I find that to be really fascinating. You gotta think it wasn’t that long ago when low brow art and street art was being relegated to the lowest smallest of the fringe galleries, to now where these paintings are being put up in the cornerstones of the modern art movement. So I think to see where that ripple effect is continuing to affect, not only our generation, but the next generation of artists is really inspiring.

TrapperKeeper: Danger produces dark ages; Danja produces requiems and renaissances

TK:LA

Danger produces dark ages; Danja produces requiems and renaissances. #blackoutsandbadgirls

Danja’s tracks open from a place of uncertainty, but an acceptance at whatever is to come. Everything builds: the bass drop’s density, the synth pitches, the hi-hat tisk, the snare pops, but more importantly: Danja’s slurred, suggestive coercions. From 2007-2012 here are seven of Art Nouveau‘s favorite Danja tracks.

TrapperKeeper: MDNA – Madonna

Soundtrek

MDNA… the last time I wrote those letters in said sequence was, well, four years ago when I was at AU studying Advanced Bio; proper Madonna album debut… the last time I sat down to indulge in one of those was, well, four years ago when I was in life living Advanced Pop. Those were different days, simpler days. Days where Hard Candy was a passable stab at soundtracking Pop’s sticky-and-sweet soul, until a few years later when we’re in the midst of the reality that it was more a passable set of fillings in the cavity-laden mouth of Mod Pop.

M-D-N-A… the last time I chanted those letters in said sequence was but a few moments ago when Pure Pop emerged from the cultural tar pits of Detroit born-and-bred, Euro wed-and-bedded electronic sublime filth that is “I’m Addicted” – that is the cosmic bass stealth anthem from the primary piece of modern Pop’s genome: M.D.N.A.