re:verse : “The Siege of the Warwick”

Pop Culture, TK:LA

I guess I should call this, “The Siege of The Warwick…”

but, left alone with a substantial supply of speed I forgot that I was heavily addicted to barbiturates and I started having strange compulsive behavior.

This was after I was done, well, I was shooting up every half hour, every twenty minutes on the half hour, thinking with each fresh shot I’d knock this nonsense out of my system, this physical disability I began to notice, namely convulsions, which lasted eight hours, during which I entertained myself while hanging on to, head down, hanging on to the bathroom sink, with my hind foot stomped against the drawer, trying to hold myself steady enough so I wouldn’t crack my stupid skull open.

Fifteen Minute Transcription: Cheek to Cheek – Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett

Anthropopogy // Culture, Deconstruction, Soundtrek, TK:LA, Vinyl Mind Flow

Cheek to Cheek is an aural alloy of the most masterful. Elements converge in a record album of jazz standards and one-take suzies, tears and tempos, fine-tuned fibres of the greatest art form to emerge from this American soil… classical and contemporary pillars found a musical canon of the most necessary, that which maintains the known order between high art and popular culture by collaboration and hybrid creation… in its pairing of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, the immense everything of said reality (think about it, think harder) Cheek to Cheek is ARTPOP, Vol. II.

http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/ladygaga/images/8/8a/Cheek_to_Cheek_Standard_Edition_artwork.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140818233605

If, IF I were to blinkk this I’d probably say… don’t rush it, let it linger and waft along those invisible currents only the audible architects can manage to manipulate with their coursing lyrics and lifted crescendos…

For a girl who doesn’t wear pants, who dons only the holiest of stockings… and for a gentleman who watches an industry of beat-backed four-letter woes, where he once wailed infinite rhythms of legendary prose – anything goes. What’s old is new, and what’s new is never lost, just hidden beneath the aura of pop culture:

[Tony Bennett:]
The world has gone mad today
And good’s bad today

[Lady Gaga:]
And day’s night today
And black’s white today

[Tony Bennett:]
When most guys today that women prize today

[Lady Gaga:]
Are just silly gigolos

Heaven… I’m in Heaven… rocket number nine blast off to the planet: Heaven. Upon the melodious manifesto of eponymous nomination, one must step back from the phonograph and ask themselves: “What is an artRAVE, really and truly, beyond a neon-flashed, adrenaline-fueled speakeasy of the cheekiest nature? Boy…” When was the last time you saw divinely choreographed dialogues between musically-driven facades and figures… dancing and bad romancing in the elevated state of sonic sublime…

It was at this point in time when I pressed pause and decided, this is not a blinkk… I cannot contain the breadth of this “beat.” So, I tried something new… I riffed for a few… fifteen to be generally exact… because, well, this is The Fame… part forever and always.

On the curious case of celebrity and contemporary culture…

Pop Culture, TrapperKeeper

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.

The Re-Branding of America: Memorial Day 2009

re:brand

So, apparently we’re in a recession (I don’t know personally, but  can only deduce from what I’ve overheard at Starbuck’s and seen on Trending Topics). People don’t generally buy up a whole bunch of stuff in this kind of economic climate. But it’s summer and that means if people are going to spend, they’re going to spend on food — per usual — of the cookout persuasion. Looking at some ads though, it looks like logic isn’t enough to sell even the basics anymore. While advertising is far from bar-none ethics and honesty, sometimes a lie is just a lie. I’m not naive but I had to call foul on these two ads — just in time for your Memorial Day get togethers

First: Sprite.

The Quarter: Title Mag

re:brand, TrapperKeeper

The kid’s alright … Title Magazine Editor-in-Chief Catherine Bui stopped by the Motel to let us in on her latest work:


The Quarter is a fourth of a dollar and the Fourth Estate went from promoting public opinion to profiting the private sector – but a quarter is still a fourth and it’s always a pleasant surprise to see the vanity press resurfacing. Now, the point, over at MdM a visitor sent a link to their magazine – and I had to pass it along. So, here is an introduction to Title Magazine

At it’s core, Title Magazine is an independent culture magazine on the upstart. For it’s first issue, I was blown away at the clean design, and diversity of artwork and editorials. If only I had this kind of get-up-and-go as a teenager – or a young adult at that.

Catherine Bui has her finger on the pulse. For a junior in high school this is an excellent example of how to present oneself as an asset to the cultural online media community. Title is a portfolio of visual and editorial pieces. Moreover, it displays a strong grasp of the digital sphere to produce an original online magazine of this caliber. Beyond the personal positioning though, Title is just a great publication for the culture and arts crowds.


I anticipate great things from Catherine & Co. A personal favorite within the inaugural issue was this foray into “Underexposed Photographer,” Nick Asokan‘s work.


In my day, we had school newspapers; obviously, times have changed. It’s great to see pockets of passion within the next generation of journalists and future media figures.


Title Magazine is an example of positive perpetuation: Bui’s initiative is the kind that makes you, too, want to “Follow your dream.”


Watch this space

Distriction: DC HIV/AIDS Rates Surpass West Africa

Politics, TK:DC, TrapperKeeper

Because it’s not just a third-world problem, it’s a problem on Third and Maryland Ave too


More imperative — but innately intertwined — with the “Anti-Journalism” movement is the need to debunk the (mediated) HIV/AIDS mythologies within the U.S. For example: toting Africa as the world’s AIDS haven. HIV/AIDS — like hunger, like poverty, like inadequate education — does not stop at our doorstep. The sooner we come to terms with social pandemics — and take accountability and ownership of them as our own — the sooner we can solve the problem.

As the Obama Administration aims to reconnect the U.S. with our international partners, it is key that we as Americans look – beyond politics, to people — at shared experiences between ourselves and our fellow global citizens – flaws and all.

Hopefully, this sparks an expansion initiative for the Project Red – whose brilliant campaign stimulates charity, capitalism, and consumption … all in one! The brand’s mission to “fight AIDS in Africa,” would provide worlds of support – literally – to fight the AIDS within the U.S. as well. Even a campaign to establish sub-projects — country/region specific extensions within the larger “Project Red” umbrella – would present the gravity in sheer breadth of the social crisis, but more so the solidarity behind the solution.

Watch this space