Kanye West – Amazing

April 29, 2009

Call Kanye what you will, but dude consistently comes out with dope music videos. The production is usually tight and they’re always very well conceptualized aesthetically. Ego/megalomaniacal tendencies aside, the guy has style and taste. His latest video for “Amazing” is just another example. Directed by Hype Williams, this one is shot on location in Hawaii and depicts some pretty breathtaking landscape. To be honest, I think the song is kind of wack, but the video more than makes up for it. Plus it reminds me of my buddy who recently moved out to Hawaii in perhaps the greatest pseudo-impulse decision ever made. Props Tim. Can you see your house in this one?

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radio-raheemNPR’s All Things Considered recently ran an awesome “Eulogy For The Boombox” piece. Read/listen HERE. Whattup Radio Raheem?! Makes me want to re-up my search on eBay that I abandoned a while back. Party on the rooftop.

holzer_homepageI can’t lie. The first time I heard about Jenny Holzer was in a recent piece in the New York Times about Shephard Fairey, referencing Holzer as an influence in Fairey’s own [formerly] subversive/pseudo-guerilla artwork. The article stuck with me A) because it all but blasted Fairey for his recent commercial work for Bloomingdales and Saks, which seems to wholly contradict the message in his art (I agree, c’mon homie) and B) because I had seen Holzer’s name all over subway ads for her current Whitney exhibition that caught my eye.

Upon further research, I learned that Holzer has become well-known for her use of words and phrases in public spaces as a means to present a message or evoke response. She has become perhaps best known for her ongoing work Truisms. Her latest exhibition at the Whitney, PROTECT PROTECT, encompasses much of her work from the 90s, and according to the Whitney is her most comprehensive exhibition in fifteen years. I think it looks pretty rad and definitely look forward to checking it out. It’s up until May 31.

2009_04_white9Over the weekend, the Public Ad Campaign organized teams of people to whitewash illegal outdoor billboards in Manhattan. You know all those atrocious sticky poster things pasted on street-level spaces everywhere? Apparently most of them are illegal, so the Public Ad Campaign teamed with a whole host of artists to make them look cool. Pretty good idea if you ask me. Check out more of the work over at Wooster Collective.

One Shining Moment

April 11, 2009

“One Shining Moment” has got to be the corniest, most melodramatic song on the planet. You can basically smell the cheese coming off of it. But you know what? I’ll be damned if I’m not staying up until 12:30AM after the NCAA Championship to watch the montage of highlights and emotional moments of March Madness that accompanies Luther Vandross’ serenade. It’s magical. If there’s a better sport than college basketball, someone please let me know.

Mimicking Birds

April 11, 2009

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You know what you should do right now? Head over to RCRD LBL and download “Burning Stars” by Mimicking Birds. Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse has started a record label called Glacial Pace and made this Northwest folk trio his first signing. If you listen, you’ll understand why. It’s a rainy day here in NYC right now, and this song feels really appropriate for some reason. Now I’m going to pull the covers over my head.

Eastbound & Down

April 7, 2009

eastbound_and_down_bbqAs Bill Shakespeare once said, “Heavy lies the head that wears the crown.” As recently as 2006, HBO was in the drivers seat: “The Sopranos” was still going strong, “The Wire” (aka G.S.O.A.T., the Greatest Show of All Time) was killing it and Vinny Chase was still relatively tolerable. Fast forward three years—Tony Soprano got wacked, “The Wire” is history, “Entourage” is only worth watching for the occasional boob and the potential savior, “Flight of the Concords” has taken a significant nose dive in its sophomore season. Furthermore, pitiful attempts at signature series like “John From Cincinnati” and “True Blood” were the equivalent of audio-visual vomit.

Kind of funny that it took a bigoted, vulgar, overweight redneck to make the channel interesting again. “Eastbound & Down” is/was one of the most original shows on television and represented a pretty big risk for HBO. There are no immediately bankable stars (Will Ferrell is an E.P. and makes a couple of cameos), the language is atrocious and the main character is utterly loathesome. Yet each episode of the 6-part miniseries has a dynamic story arch and is packed with instantly quotable dialogue. Kenny Powers is the epitome of an anti-hero, but as the season progresses, the viewer cannot help but feel sorry for the asshole and ultimately empathize and root for him. With his role as Powers, Danny McBride has proven himself a rising comedic talent and one to watch. I honestly hope that HBO doesn’t screw this one up by banking on the show’s increased popularity by dragging it on for a second season. It ended perfectly. But then again, I hope the network proves me wrong. Now that “Eastbound & Down” and NCAA basketball are over, what the hell am I to watch? Better warm up the Netflix…