Deth P. Sun @ Giant Robot

August 27, 2008

Last Saturday, a few friends and I went to check out Deth P. Sun’s installation at the Giant Robot gallery on 9th and A (at the behest of Soybomb of course). Though I recognized Sun’s work, I had never known the Oakland-based artist by name. The pieces on display were primarily painted wood panels of varying sizes and prominently featured Sun’s signature feline character, often wandering through treacherous landscapes. I might just be insane, but his art reminded me somewhat of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, if only Peter Rabbit took acid and got lost in the woods. Nevertheless, it was pretty cool stuff and several of the pieces probably made statements that I’m too dumb to comprehend. Peep Deth P. Sun’s website HERE.

At the very least, go check out the Giant Robot store next to the gallery. They have some sweet posters, books, toys and prints, and one item in particular that shall remain nameless because I still might go back and get it. The t-shirts are cool as well, I’ve bought two in separate visits this week.

I’ve been posting more about music recently than I had intended, but what the hell…you stick with what you know (or enjoy), right? This song by LCD Soundsystem isn’t anything new, it’s just an amazing song that I’ve listened to consistently for the past six months or so and jammed out to walking home from work tonight. There’s one line in particular that strikes a chord with me every time I hear it. When James Murphy sings, “You spend the first five years trying to get with the plan/and the next five years trying to be with your friends again” I can’t help but think he’s speaking to people my age trying to figure out what the shit they want to do with their lives. This song makes me feel nostalgic, but I’m not really sure what for. I hate to heap my twentysomething awkwardness upon you, but what the hell…you stick with what you know, right? Damn I want to see them live.

“All My Friends”

Not to be outdone by my counterpart in adding value to this blog, I would like to announce that I just implemented e-mail functionality to! Oh, I know, my socks flew off too. A few days ago, I was goofing around on gmail and found a great little link regarding setting mail servers for domains. After a few confused attempts, I sent and received my first e-mail from

Now you wondering, what does this really change about vanillabomb? And I’ll be truthful, it doesn’t change anything except that I find it cool to be able to send mail with the handle “”

Below are the e-mails for both vanillahead and I. Definitely send us emails about comments, concerns, or whatever you have on your mind. It would be great to hear from you.

Resto Leon

August 27, 2008

So my 25th birthday came and went with little fanfare. Not that I expected a blowout, after all my it was a Monday and I’m 25. As my cohort Soybomb so deftly put it, birthdays are only cool until you turn 21. Although I admit, it would’ve been pretty glorious to rip 25 shots in celebration of my status as a legal car-renter. But being that I’m not one for huge parties anyways, all I wanted was a low-key dinner with my good friends.

I’m a big French bistro fan and despite the indecisive nature of our crew, we picked Resto Leon (thanks Fresh) a small place on 12th between 1st and 2nd. It’s a dimly lit, unassuming place, complete with a sidewalk patio. The mood inside was definitely mellow and the staff anything but pretentious. My friends and I were impressed by the menu which, while simple, offered something for everyone. Several kids swore by the salmon tartar and my roommate all but licked the bottom of his bowl of corn soup. I got what I had my mind set on from the jump, possibly my favorite meal, steak frites. It didn’t disappoint and the portions were more than enough. Of course someone ratted out that we were there for a birthday and the staff came charging out singing with a chocolate souffle in tow. Dank.

If I were to pinpoint one aspect that could’ve been a tad better, it would be the music. I’m probably more picky than most on this front, but the sounds fluctuated in both volume and genre. When we first arrived, the tunes floated from downtempo electronic, reggae and soul, which was perfect. But as the night progressed, the music strayed towards louder dance and disco tunes, which seemed out of place in such a chill spot. I think the staff noticed the incongruence and switched back to the earlier theme. All in all, I had a great time and wouldn’t have a birthday any other way. As for the menu, it’s reasonably priced…although I couldn’t really tell you cause I didn’t pay, ya heard? Thanks guys! You suckaaaaas. Ha.

I’ve written in the past about all the great free music NYC has to offer and this past Friday was yet another prime example. To start the night, my buddy Kure—from We Kure Burns fame—and I caught Grand Archives’ set at the South Street Seaport. For those unfamiliar, Grand Archives is a Seattle-based band started by Mat Brooke, formerly of Band of Horses, and signed to Sub Pop. Though not wholly unlike his former band, Brooke’s new outfit places a greater emphasis on vocal harmonies and leans more towards pop-rock than alt-country. On Friday, the tunes, primarily drawn from Grand Archives’ self-titled debut, were the perfect accompaniment to the backdrop of the Seaport. There are few places I’d rather see a show on a chill Friday evening. Check out the video for “Miniature Birds” below. The llamas are sweet, but the little kid kinda creeps me out.

After Grand Archives finished up, we hustled out to Brooklyn to see Professor Murder play for free at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. I had seen Professor Murder once before when they opened up for Matt and Kim at the Bowery and have wanted to see them again ever since. The scene at the Music Hall couldn’t have been more different than that at the Seaport. A cool breeze and blissfully spaced out heads were traded for a thumping bassline and hipsters abiding by an implied dress code. After mediocre sets by Pink Skull and Free Blood, Professor Murder (three excellent names by the way), set it off with their electronic post-punk. When I think of P-Murder, I think percussion out the ass with a healthy dose of cowbell. If you don’t feel like moving, you’re comatose. When they launched into “Free Stress Test,” kids started bouncing of the walls. I’ve included the best video of the song I could find below. Overall it was a great night of music and all I paid for was Budweiser.

“Miniature Birds”

“Free Stress Test”

Blackalicious is sweet and I wish I had the energy to write about the Cali-based duo in depth. This track, appropriately titled “Sleep” from their acclaimed 1999 full-length debut Nia, just about sums up how I feel right now: exhausted. Good times this weekend.

So tomorrow’s Friday…

August 22, 2008

Tomorrow’s Friday. This Xbox commercial, probably my favorite commercial of all time, embodies the spirit of Friday’s to a capital T. What makes you feel more like a kid than a massive water balloon fight? I say nothing. AND the soundtrack to the ad is “Teddy Bear’s Picnic,” a song that I loved as a little kid, and for which I even had the record. A subtle detail to notice: the sound effects of the bursting balloons are bullets and explosives. Tricky.

More Santogold

August 21, 2008

Santogold’s self-titled debut is, without a doubt, in my top five releases of the year so far. Lately my favorites on the album have been “I’m a Lady” and “Lights Out,” purely pop-rock tracks that serve as a welcome juxtaposition to songs like spastic party starter “Creator,” or punk-tinged ska cut “Say Aha.” Basically both tracks put me in a good mood every time I listen to them. And when, at the beginning of the second verse of “I’m a Lady,” Santogold coos “Oo ooo you look so pretty…you look so sweet,” I can’t help but smile. Weird. Peep the videos below (the video for “I’m a Lady” is a magically strange fan vid).

I also recommend checking out the recent Santogold/Diplo mixtape which features some solid remixes—including a mash-up of “Lights Out” and Panda Bear’s “Comfy in Nautica”—as well as some old school punk, hip hop and rub-a-dub/rude boi reggae songs. You can download it HERE. Mad decent.

“I’m a Lady”

“Lights Out”


August 20, 2008

One of the best things about living with roommates is the spontaneous pseudo-intellectual conversations that spring up at the oddest times (typically after 10PM on a work night). Tonight my roommate and I launched into one such conversation that evolved, as most do, out of bitching about work and how we’d rather not go anymore. After complaining for a few minutes, we typically move on to hypothetical situations that would enable us to do something way cooler. Of course these hypotheticals get more and more ridiculous…case in point, one such scenario revolved around what it would take for us to sell magazines out of those little steel huts in the subway every single day for one year with no salary. The verdict: a year of free travel and grad school on the house (we’re such little bitches aren’t we?) There are too many others to recount.

Well, tonight’s conversation focused on why we get stressed out about work at our age when we have such little responsibility? We’re 24 and 25 years old living in the best city in the world, why on earth would we be stressed? My buddy then made a pretty astute judgment. With little responsibility comes a lot of uncertainty. Uncertainty is stressful. A lot of the decisions we make at this age could have a potentially lasting impact and we want to make sure we’re making good decisions. Yet with each major decision comes more certainty, and with it, more responsibility. Pretty scary, eh? We’re going to look back a couple years from now and long for days like these. I totally realize that this is a privileged viewpoint and we’re lucky to even think about these things, but shit, let’s all grab a pint, take a deep breath and soak it all in while we can. Damn, that’s so cliche, but fuck it.

Beautiful Losers

August 20, 2008

I’ve been unable to post for the last few days due a breakdown in our internet thanks to the yellow bellied scoundrels at Time Warner. That is until I realized that my work laptop detects connections from lands far, far away. So here I am stealing internet, transmitting via guerrilla blogfare.

I’m not quite sure where exactly I first stumbled upon Beautiful Losers, but as soon as I chanced on it, I was intrigued. The film—directed by Aaron Rose, founder of NYC’s now defunct Alleged Gallery—documents the rise of a D.I.Y. art movement in the early ’90s that revolved around the urban aesthetic of street art, graffiti, skateboarding and underground music. Anyone that reads this blog regularly (all four of you) know that this is right up my alley. And when I learned that the film focuses on artists that I respect and admire: Harmony Korine, Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee and others, I knew I had to see it. Lucky for me, the film began its general theatrical release right here at the IFC Center at W4 St.

I must say that leaving the theater I was not at all disappointed. First, it was interesting to hear first-person accounts from each artist explaining their initial engagement in the D.I.Y. scene. Most began with an early self-derived perception of outsider status, or being different from the other kids in the cafeteria. Of course these claims are validated through quirky, often hilarious anecdotes from each artist. In one particularly memorable scene, Harmony Korine tells a little girl that a friend of his was once decapitated in the very park in which she was playing, to which she responds, “Cool!” It’s actually hard to tell if he’s serious.

Beautiful Losers was also worthwhile as it exposed me to several artists with whom I wasn’t very familiar. I learned about the work of Mike Mills who has designed dope album covers for Sonic Youth, Beck and the Beastie Boys, Margaret Kilgallen, whose San Francisco-based folk art I recognized and Chris Johanson, who sports a massive beard and is just plain nuts.

I also appreciated the fact that the film didn’t raise any negative sentiment for artists applying their work for commercial purposes. So often today artists are accused of selling out and alienating their core audience, the audience that was there during the come up. If an artist has the opportunity to project his or her vision on a larger scale without compromising their creative integrity, he or she should be encouraged, not chastised. Specifically, the film touched on graphic designer Geoff McFetridge who has spearheaded cool ass campaigns for Pepsi and done collaborations with sneaker companies.

There were only a couple aspects that detracted from the film for me: In my opinion, the cutaway shots of the artwork were often too quick and sporadic. I understand that a film has to move, but there were times that I wanted a few more seconds to take it all in. I also thought the unfortunate death of Margaret Kilgallen was touched upon very abruptly and disrupted the flow of the film somewhat towards the end.

All in all however, Beautiful Losers is the type of film that lights a creative fire under your ass and makes you wonder why you ever stopped taking art lessons in seventh grade. It reminds you why you enjoyed drawing and making things…because it was stimulating and fucking fun. Excuse me while I go tag my bedroom wall.