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Reading

September 30, 2004;/h3>

{     The Drama - Issue Three     }    

It's all about the love, or in the case of The Drama's Issue Three, it's all about the True Love. That vaunted concept, oft discussed and rarely discovered, finds form here in the collaborative interviews and artwork of ten artist/designer "couples". The print-equivalent of your favorite make-out mix-tape, Issue Three delivers the goods in a slick perfect-bound format with a wraparound cover by Salt Tooth Press. The toile-esque French Provincial-style cover design is reason enough to pick this up, but it's the content that keeps you reading, staring, gawking and gaping. The Drama has distinguished itself from the rest of the supreme-zine crop by offering a nearly unapproachable level of quality, a clean and minimal layout, and none of the pretention that is usually associated with the art-magazine medium. It retains a hand-crafted feel, and a very organic personality. This is no slap-dash mish-mash of Today's Hottest Emerging Artists, but rather a very thoughtful and considerate presentation of images, words and styles meant to compliment one another and gel into something a bit more profound.

     » Issue Three of The Drama
     » The Drama Online Store

By Adam in Reading
Film & TV

September 29, 2004;/h3>

{     Star Wars Trilogy     }    

I'd heard about these movies for years, but since I'm so over VHS, I had to wait until they finally came out on DVD to see what the fuss was all about. It was worth the wait! Star Wars is really just a love story at heart. It's basically about these two super-gay robots who are totally into each other, even though they have completely opposite personalities! One robot is all prim and proper (a total "bottom" though) who is extremely cultured, fluent in over six million forms of communication, and totally vain! His lover is a squat little guy who's a real blue-collar Joe- always working on mechanical things, getting all down and dirty, with a real "can-do" attitude and a sense of adventure that his tightly-wound "partner" just can't handle! There's all kinds of DRAMA! going on as these two struggle to express their true feelings for one another and work through their relationship. It all starts when they decide to "get away from it all", and steal an adorably tiny little space-ship so they can hit the beach on Tatooine. The uppity one, C-3PO, is all pissy about the sand getting in his crack, and he's being a real whiny bitch, not willing to take any chances. The short one, R2-D2, is all about experimentation and exploring new things which leads to a HUGE arguement. 3PO's being all conservative and passive, while R2's trying to make things happen in a vigorous youthful way (I know, it's so totally Ben and Michael from Queer As Folk!) and they end up splitting up.

     » Buy it...

Reading

September 28, 2004;/h3>

{     Ray in Reverse by Daniel Wallace     }    

Ray Williams is dead. In heaven, luckily for him, he is a member of the prestigious Last Words group. It seems heaven is jam-packed with self-help groups to help the dead come to terms with their demise and the life that led up to it. Ray's last words weren't all that spectacular, really. They weren't even a full sentence. Then again, Ray didn't lead all that spectacular of a life either.

     » Buy it...

Music

September 27, 2004;/h3>

{     Kings Of Convenience Riot On An Empty Street     }    

I'm a sucker for soft, spacey melodies with lots of vocal harmonizing, so when I first popped in this CD I was instantly satisfied. I've only recently come to know this Norweigan duo from Erlend Oye's solo album "Unrest" and a King's remix album titled "Versus." ROAES is filled with stripped down acoustic guitar sounds and sorrowful violins to poppy, folk-like tunes. It begins with "Homesick," a combination of stripped down guitar and poppy folk and then eases into "Misread" which is a fun track that's almost like a Mambo or Rumba. (I'm not too good at identifying dance music, Bossanova maybe?) The album continues in this way conveying love and lost love, simplicity and warmth. Guest vocalist Leslie Feist (Broken Social Scene) contributes to track five titled "Know-How" and track twelve, "The Build-Up," a personal favorite. "The Build Up" does just that; it starts out with simply a slow, slow acoustic guitar and one voice and then quite effectively adds harmony. But it's not until halfway through the song when Feist comes in solo that I am mesmerized by a voice that's hard to rival in style and beauty. There are very few female vocalists that sound as good as she does on this particular song. This album is A-OK. Contributed by: Stacy Broce

     » ASTRALWERKS.COM

     » Buy it...

Reading

September 26, 2004;/h3>

{     The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami     }    

A missing cat, a dissolved marriage, mysterious telephone calls, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria during World War II, a vivid blue/purple blotch, and some unexplained form of psychic healing are just the beginning. A surreal, dreamlike adventure or a metaphysical mystery novel _The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle_ gently pulls the reader into a world that's a notch to the left of reality as we think of it. When Toru Okada's cat goes missing one summer evening he never believed it would be the beginning of a very strange year. Named after his arch-nemesis, ambitious brother-in-law Noboru Wataya, the cat simply vanished one night. Looking for the cat he encounters a deserted house with a sordid past, a dried-up well, and a philosophical 16-year old girl. Soon afterward his wife Kumiko leaves him with as little explanation as the cat. Solving these mysteries takes Mr. Okada through a strange journey, despite being almost a complete shut-in.

     » Buy it...

Electronics & Gadgets

September 24, 2004;/h3>

{     Tom Bihn - Brain Cell - Laptop Sleeve     }    

I recently received the greatest gift ever given to me- a 12" G4 iBook. High on the iLife, I immediately set out to find a bag or sleeve worthy of my machine. For members of the uber-fetishistic cult of Mac, this is no simple task, and given that I'm rocking the 12-inch I needed something specially fitted. After much looking and debate and research (see below for further comments), I finally found what I was looking for with Tom Bihn. Simply put, the Brain Cell is the finest laptop sleeve I've ever laid hands on. It's slim design and unassuming appearance belie the level of protection it provides your notebook- offering hard-sided sheathing and a unique shock-absorbent suspended insert, this is some serious next-level gear. My iBook fits snugly inside, nestled in the padded folds, safe from scratches, dings, drops, Republicans and other potential evils. The "cereal-box" flap closure seals securely and stays shut, utilizing Velcro-like strips of Applix, so there's no zippers or snaps to rough up your smooth surfaces. The Brain Cell's simple and straight-forward design is almost minimalist; eliminating extraneous bells and whistles in favor of a single flat stretch-mesh pocket on the front, reinforced web-strap handles and sextuple-stitched "D" ring clips for shoulder strap attachment. Six different sizes and six different colors (from Steel to Wasabi) are offered to accomodate any taste or need. It would look equally comfortable at a gallery opening or a WTO protest. I find it's appearance a perfect compliment to the iBook aesthetic, and my wife did not hesitate to describe the Braincell as "sexy", confirming my belief that this product transcends the boundaries of both geek and chic.

     » See the Brain Cell in all its glory
     » Tom Bihn

Music

September 23, 2004;/h3>

{     Diplo "Florida" (Big Dada)     }    

The new rekkid off label Big Dada is none other than DJ and producer Diplo, bringin' it soggy and hot with his first full-length titled "Florida". Many have heard of Diplodocus, primarily for his association with the oh-so-hot-last-week mash-up crew Hollertronix, where he showed off psycho-hot DJ skills with partner in grime Low Budget, mixing whack-ass gems with hot-ass jams to serve you an all-new kind of freshness. Well, now he has struck out on his own, and with "Florida" comes the sweat. Our man Diplo comes from the south, excuse me, The South, creeping thru the swamps of Mississippi and Florida, where he rocked many a party before eventually bringin' it up north (sadly still lower case) to deliver funky riddums of all kinds. This new record naturally throws it all over the place when it comes to style, sounding off with everything from downtempo hip-hop to dancehall to nasty Miami bass, sewn together with heaping helpings of st-st-stuttering beats, almost 'Nawlins horns, weird beeps, field recordings, trippy crunk, the occasional vocal here and there, and a nice batch of backporch swamp love. It's a smart and dark record, but it can still move some butts with it's refined southern hospitality. Cookin'.

     » Out on Big Dada

     » Buy it...

By Garrett in Music
Interviews

{     Interview : Ragnar     }    

Maybe it was growing up in Las Vegas that did it. Dazzled by the glitz, glitter and glamour of Sin City at an early age, it's easy to imagine how images of beautiful women, hard-boiled romance and elements of sophisticated retro-design permanently wormed their way into Brandon Ragnar Johnson's head. What's harder to believe is how well he's able to pull those images from his brain and bring them to voluptuous and stylized life. His work oozes a vibrant sexuality, dripping with noir, and his color-selection sets a distinct mood and tone for each piece. In terms of style and execution, he's one-upped his contemporaries and defined himself as a man apart. His dames are dangerous, every one a heartbreaker- I double-dare you not to fall in love.

Clothing

September 21, 2004;/h3>

{     Buckle shoes by PF Flyers.     }    

pf.jpg I had an MRI today. Inside the tube I had a mirror periscoped view of Dr's looking at me though a window. The thought of looking at people looking at me creeped me out, so I stared at different parts inside the machine. When I took a look in the mirror I saw the most beautiful thing, my feet, because on them were my new PF Flyers Buckle kicks. I felt pretty. My demographic was appealed to by ads that are everywhere right now, drawn by our friend Yumiko Kayukawa. The Buckles fit so flawlessly into the 'I'm beautiful, bleeding, but Mr. Bluebird's still on my shoulder' world of Yumiko's that at first glance you can hardly tell what the ad's for. There are two, the classy brown ones and the more tennis shoe looking black pair, both leather. They are smartly designed, very comfortable, and have delicious buckles as cherries on top. Buckles, you say, those may look too 2050? Well they do, and I love it, but my grandma likes them too, so they must look pretty dang good. Even in a MRI I felt like the star of my own Yumiko painting, I think the doctors behind the window were even peeping my buckles.

     » The PF Flyer's site.

Reading

September 20, 2004;/h3>

{     McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #13 "All Your Favorite Comics"     }    

Having revolutionized sequential art with his ACME Novelty Library, Chris Ware brings the "comic" illustration-format another step closer to literary legitimacy with this superbly edited volume in the ongoing McSweeney's Quarterly Series. Within it's 265 pages one encounters a bounty of obscure, wonderful and necessary serialized artwork, a veritable micro-library of the form. Indeed, it carries all the authority of a textbook- disclosing subject matter that ranges from the sublime to the sophomoric, providing the reader with a true cross-section of contemporary American comics. From Clowes to Crumb, Adrian Tomine to Charles Schulz, this collection indulges both Ware's love of the archaic and his keen eye for the cutting edge. Some of the work presented has been languishing out-of-print, while other pieces highlight exceptional work that has only recently been published. The McSweeney's hardback format lends itself particularly well to Ware's love of embellishment and antiquity, and this volume transcends his usual penchant for exceptional layout and design. Featuring a Ware-designed dust-jacket that unfolds into an enormous newspaper-style poster as well as two mini-comics tucked into the folds of said dust-jacket, you certainly get more than you bargained for with this edition of McSweeney's. It is as handsome as it is profound. Bibliophiles beware- you will covet every page.

     » Purchase from Amazon
     » Visit McSweeney's Online

Music

{     The Fiery Furnaces Blueberry Boat     }    

_Blueberry Boat_ sounds like it might be a concept album, what with the consistent piano-laden musical stylings and the half-sung, half-spoken narrative lyrics. It isn't though, not precisely anyway. _Blueberry Boat_ is a collection of 13 stories, musically presented. Childlike, but not childish, the songs from _Blueberry Boat_ have a sense of wonderment and possibility undimmed by adult cynicism. Gleefully infectious, but nigh-impossible to sing along with while stuck in traffic. A clerk at the record store in which I purchased this album had pasted a sticker on the cover claiming it sounded like a "cast recording from a strange off-Broadway show," though in interviews The Fiery Furnaces quickly cite The Who's _Rael_ and _A Quick One While He's Away_ as their biggest influences. _Blueberry Boat_ is infused with the sort of goofy rock spirit that all but vanished some years ago.

     » Released by Rough Trade
     » The Fiery Furnaces official site

     » Buy it...

Film & TV

September 19, 2004;/h3>

{     Steven Spielberg's "Duel"     }    

duel.jpg The mark of a truly great film is when the audience forgets how flimsy the plot is. At its most basic, Duel is 90 minutes of watching your Dad getting chased by some maniac in a big fucking truck. That’s really all there is to it. There are essentially two characters in the whole thing, one of which has tires. There are no plot twists and there are no surprise endings. One may think that the action involved in telling the story would grow slightly repetitious with such a premise being drawn out to a prolonged duration, thus having a decidedly negative impact on the overall effectiveness of a film cast in the suspense genre. One must also factor in that: (1) the director, a film-school dropout, has never shot a feature-length film before, (2) the film needs to be shot in under 3 weeks, and (3) that it is to air on network television... all of which sums up to triple whammys in the eyes of most. But what makes you so goddamn smart? This is big bucks, bitch. Behind the wheel is Steven Spielberg. Young Steven Spielberg. Back before he made movies about airports, when he liked films involving people getting chased by all types of crazy shit. Movies where people suffer at the hands of some indestructible beast hellbent on eating your soul until some equally-as-crazy motherfucker blows the shit up. Before T-Rex fucked up that dude on the toilet and before Jaws made your little brother afraid to jump into the pool, there was the country fried redneck forefather of all those motherfuckers, Duel. Other than a stolen glance at some fancy boots, you never see the driver…but what you do see is an enormous truck tearing ass down the highway, deadbent on fucking up some asshole in a red sportscar. Fuck E.T. and fuck Tom Hanks looking for his luggage. This is Duel, motherfucker.

     » Steven Spielberg's "Duel" Appreciation Page

Music

September 17, 2004;/h3>

{     The Concretes (Astralwerks)     }    

Upon putting on this record, this Stockholm-based crew will quickly draw images to mind of people in a smoke-filled den, dim lamps barely lighting a room with everyone seated on the floor, each one dressed in white and staring at either their bare feet or their lover's eyes, cigarette in one hand and a cheek in the other. Imagine spending the night with the Velvet Underground and everyone's getting stoned in a room full of pillows and great '60s records. Nico is there, and for some reason she's singing a Supremes song to you whenever you close your eyes, and she's talking about how she's been listening to a lot of Mazzy Star this week. "Great," you say, "but can you bring in the strings?"

     » Sample some free MP3s on their official site...

     » Buy it...

Toys

September 15, 2004;/h3>

{     MECHABOT by Go Hero     }    

MECHABOT has old-school giant-robot cool to spare! This hard-vinyl figure is the first release from US-based Go Hero, a robo-obsessed design studio prepared to unleash their sci-fi meets kaiju vision upon the world. They've distilled the entire history of Japanese pop-robot-culture into a brilliant collector-oriented vinyl figure, creating a piece whose design is strikingly original and yet also the perfect homage to those giant robots who have come before him. MECHABOT is cast in 1/32 scale, standing 8.5 inches tall with 12 points of articulation. His rounded features give him a look that calls to mind classic giant robots such as Mazinga and Shin Getter Robo. The fins that rise from his torso add to the nostalgia, though in a much different way, recalling the grandiose American automobile designs of the 50's. His poseability mimics a kind of "rubber-suit" feel, and it's easy to imagine a six-foot tall version of MECHABOT duking it out with arch-enemy Tentikill in a miniature city-set replete with crumbling buildings and lots of well-orchestrated explosions. Go Hero have conjured an instantly iconic design for their title character- his head sculpt combines a classic boomerang "crown" with deep-set glowing eyes and an intimidatingly expressionless mouthplate. I detect a little Optimus Prime influence, though MECHABOT retains his own immediately identifiable image. His story is similarly unique, and threaded through with diverse influence and inspiration. It's the kind of thing you wouldn't be surprised to see showing up on Saturday morning TV, it's appeal is truly that wide.

     » MECHABOT
     » Go Hero!

By Adam in Toys
Art

{     Two-Faced Posters from UbanMedium     }    

antibush.jpg The nice folk at UrbanMedium have just printed up some great new politically-minded posters that would look great on your walls. They are called the "Two-Faced" series, and are a pair of posters, each two-sided, and each depicting one of our presidential candidates. Amazingly illustrated, one side of the poster has a high-contrast portrait of the candidate in a still-eerie gaze, while the flip-side of the poster is the same image, but with a few surprisingly slight adjustments showing the other more sinister face of that same individual. The thing is, when you order you get both posters, one for Bush and one for Kerry, which you can hang however you desire. What this means is that you can hang one poster on your wall depicting your candidate of choice with his best side forward, and while he may not look exactly like a bucket of rainbows, he'll still look good because he's been printed so well. But then next to that poster you can hang your second print, a skull-faced depiction of that lying piece of shit named Bush, the man I can only guess was squeezed from the diamond-encrusted ass of an oil baron thru the ring of a gold plated toilet seat and into the hands of some kinda decent public speaking coaches. As UrbanMedium themselves put it, the poster series "shows the candidates in stark contrast and even starker similarity. Put 'em up and conform the set to your viewpoint." Well said, and no matter how you hang these posters, just have a well-informed opinion this year and do something to back it up.

     » Check out the posters...
     » ...and be sure you register to vote!

By Garrett in Art
Film & TV

September 14, 2004;/h3>

{     The Fourth World War - Big Noise Films     }    

We've been experiencing a renaissance of documentary film-making as of late, much of it focused on the tumultuous political climate and the atmosphere of terror that have engulfed the first few years of this new millenium. Many of these films and film-makers decry the current administration's use of fear-based propaganda to sway the minds and hearts of the people, yet often they resort to fear as an audience motivator themselves. The Fourth World War avoids succumbing to such temptation, while still clearly outlining the potential dangers of a globalized economy and political terror-tactics it ultimately offers the one thing that so many other recent films in this genre refuse to provide- hope. Whether it's Chiapas-based freedom-fighters, WTO protestors or everyday Argentinians turned revolutionaries, this film highlights the people behind the struggle for human rights and true freedom. Yes, these are bleak times, and the disparity between rich and poor continues to grow- but there are also victories being won against oppression, and we see here that whenever corrupt government tightens it's hold on the people there are those who are willing to stand against it, at any cost. It becomes clear that the true enemy of freedom is complacency.

     » Big Noise / The Fourth World War

By Adam in Film & TV
Interviews

{     Interview : Nate Williams     }    

Nate Williams is an artist whom possesses a style so unique that after having seen his work once, you will instantly recognize it from then on, no silly signature required. It's a style that comes from roots and honesty, from living a rich life and possessing a perspective that most of us do not allow ourselves to have.

The ideas behind Nate's work are both simple and complex, and really of no matter. You see, he bases his work around 3 things, input, output, and reflection, meaning that his art is a direct result of his experiences in life, how they affect him and his surroundings, and then how he can trace those results back to the source. When speaking of his now out-of-print book titled "Hola Amiga", he explained his process as: "In life a lot of the time you have an idea and then you execute it. With Hola Amiga I do the opposite... I execute it and then sometimes successfully track down the idea." Beautiful.

Nate is currently residing in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, and had this to say...

Interviews

{     Interview : Naughty James     }    

I saw a photograph a long while ago that struck a chord with me like few others had. I saw it that day in passing, but sadly did not have the time to investigate in further. I didn't even know who had taken it, but that photo had managed to leave quite a mark somewhere deep in the back of my head. An image burned into my memory that amongst the millions of things I saw each and every day, I would not forget.

It was a photo of a girl on the floor of a kitchen, her clothes missing and and only her legs visible to me, or to the camera rather. It was strange, uneasy, simply really, and it made me feel something; something that wasn't okay. The photo made me think of sex, but nothing erotic was taking place. I saw violence in that scene, but there were no wounds or signs of a struggle. There was a sadness, but no tears. So much was said to me with that image, and while most photographers do away with words and state their ideas using symbols and signs, this photo did even more without even the crutch of symbolism. I had only seen it for a second, but I remembered it often, and I thought of it as something that while it most definitely had a curious beauty, I also kind of wished I could make it go away. Like opening the car door of a horrible traffic accident and seeing something bloody and horrid, and how late at night before you fall asleep it pops in your brain and you shake your head and try to think of something else, something easy. But you can't, because it's there. It's with you.

Fast forward to a time much more recent, when I came upon the portfolio of a certain Naughty James, also known by his mother as Craig Cowling, and lo and behold I had found the photographer. I had found the guilty party, and now I bring him to you...

Interviews

{     Interview : ABOVE     }    

ABOVE is a 23 year old street activist from California. In his short life he has already accomplished more than yer average joe, and has no plans of stopping. His recent tour of 2/3rds of the US, hanging up his arrow mobiles in cities along the way has been getting him attention from unlikely sources (like the San Fransisco Examiner, and the Pittsburgh and Seattle Post newspapers.) He is a man on a mission, and I can say from experience he is also one cool motherfucker too. Looking to take over the world one city at a time, I spoke with ABOVE fresh from his most recent adventures.

Twelves

September 13, 2004;/h3>

{     13 fake fans     }    

Baker's Dozen

1. Ingleburge Humperdinck - Ingleberrys
2. Carnie Wilson - Carnies
3. Nelly - Nellybellys
4. Justen Timberlake - Shiver Me Timbers
5. Soundgarden - Soundgardeners
6. !!! - Chklets
7. Einsterzende Neubauten - Neubots
8. Hank Willams Jr. - Bocefuzzys
9. Kronos Quartet - Quarries
10. Will Smith - Willbutrins
11. Josh Groban - Grobanheads
12. Lydia Lunch - Lunchables
13. John Zorn - kettlezorns

Twelves

{     13 real fans     }    

Baker's Dozen

1. Clay Aiken - The Claynation and Claymates
2. Mariah Carey - Her Little Lambs
3. Tori Amos - Ears with Feet
4. Cliff Richard - Cliffhangers
5. Bruce Springsteen- Tramps
6. Suzanne Vega - Vegans
7. Chaka Khan - Chakaholics
8. Duran Duran - Duranimals
9. Aerosmith - The Blue Army
10. Matthew Sweet - Sweeties
11. Slipknot - Maggots
12. GBV - Postal Blowfish
13. The White Stripes - Candy Cane Children

Reading

{     Lady Friend Magazine     }    

LFpink.jpgLady Friend magazine is equisite in its DIY values.. and its commitment to quality. Even though its mostly made up with contributions by women they are always looking for people to get involved (male and female!) Based out of Chicago and produced in part by the amazing painter Christa Donner, these little treasures are a must have for the Zine collector. Issue seven is out now (the "cute" issue) and at only $3.00 a pop.. you cant lose.

     » Lady Friend Zine Website

Electronics & Gadgets

September 11, 2004;/h3>

{     SoundPads Stick-On Speakers     }    

In recent years there have been a lot of leaps and bounds made in speaker technology, and unless you are a complete audiophile, you must admit that if you were to go out and buy a set of speakers today, you would feel kinda silly getting a pair of those giant boxes that used to be the norm. Most speakers these days are of the bookshelf variety, packing much, much more of a punch than their predecessors, in a much, much smaller package. Thing is, my knowledge of these advances still did not prepare me for the idea that I could eliminate the speaker cabinet altogether, which is exactly what a lesser-known company called Sonic Impact is trying to tell us.

     » Buy it...

Twelves

September 9, 2004;/h3>

{     Forgotten Fast Food Mascots     }    

Taco Bell
The "Yo Quiero" Chihuahua

McDonald's
Speedee
...and from the McDonaldLand posse-
Mayor McCheese
Officer Big Mac
Captain Crook
The Fry Guys

Domino's Pizza
The Noid

Burger King
The Burger King
The Duke of Doubt
Sir Shake-A-Lot
Wizard of Fries

Arby's
The Jamocha Rastafarian

Art

September 8, 2004;/h3>

{     4 Words - David Choong Lee, Damon Soule, NOME and Mars-1     }    

A collaborative effort between four San Francisco artists, 4 Words features two books for the price of one. The first is a 160 page look into the works of the featured artists, a very healthy and well-reproduced retrospective of each individual's work. The second book is a (mostly) blank sketchbook, with a few random pages printed with a sampling of monotone images from each artist. Whether this is your first introduction to some of these names or if you've been hip to them all for years, you won't find a better way to savor and enjoy their work than this. The main volume uses two separate stocks of paper- one heavier medium-gloss stock for full-color plates (which make up the majority of the book) and a lighter cream-colored stock printed with metallic monotone images used to buffer each "chapter". The color transfers are incredible, and the layout offers details of several of the works in a format that remains casual yet studious all at once. Best of all, perhaps, is the lack of accompanying text by either artist or editor- no attempt is made to break down the work, you're free to experience it as-is and draw your own conclusions.

     » David Choong Lee
     » Damon Soule
     » NOME
     » Mars-1
     » Buy 4 Words from justbedesign.com

By Adam in Art
Music

{     Macha: Forget Tomorrow (Jetset)     }    

machaforget.jpg If you can find a hotter set of bandmates (except the one guy with the creepy fu manchu (I don'�t know if he's still in the band), I'd like to be forwarded all press releases, pin-up shots, whatever. I've only been to Athens, Georgia (the current location of Macha) once, and while it was indeed a wild weekend of PBR overindulgence, I lurked around for one thing and one thing only: to catch a glimpse of the McKay brothers. Alas, I was too shy to talk to them, and remained in the shadows of the 40 Watt watching a man dressed in a gorilla suit dance to disco music - but that's another story.

     » Check it at Jetset Records

     » Buy it...

Music

September 7, 2004;/h3>

{     Tanya Donelly - whiskey tango ghosts     }    

I've been listening to this album through a single raspy desktop speaker. It's been whispering to me: An AM-radio love-letter full of softness and subtlety, kinda sad and kinda happy, a little alt-country-inflected balladry and a whole lot of stripped-down acoustic pop. Easy listening indeed. I've had a bit of a modern-rock crush on Donelly's work since first hearing her with Throwing Muses, and later with The Breeders and Belly. This is her third solo release, a follow-up to 2002's overwrought yet still wonderful beautysleep. Almost minimalist by comparison, most of the tracks on whiskey tango ghosts feature a mixture of guitar and piano, and only occasionally a light drum-beat or some other rhythmic accompaniment. This gives the album a very direct and intimate feel- those used to wading through Donelly's densely layered ethereal obscurities should find a it a welcome relief.

     » Read more, check tour dates and buy the album from 4AD

By Adam in Music
Reading

September 4, 2004;/h3>

{     "This Is A Magazine"     }    

Im not easily impressed. There are a million art zines out there, and most are derivative at best. This is a magazine blew me the f*** away when I recieved issues 1-3 in the mail last week. Each issue offers complex printing techniques, and beautifully layered contributions from a large list of talent. All of the work relates to itself by being lovely, and being a part of this wonderfully printed "magazine." Issue 3 comes hard covered and has so many unbeivable printing surprises im sure its making all of its competion scramble to reinvent themselves. You can view a lot of the work online, but its best seen between the covers of this most amazing.. seriously mindblowing art magazine. Pick up all three issues if you can. - Contributed by Dustin Hostetler: DustinAmeryHostetler.com

     » This Is A Magazine

     » Buy it...

Interviews

September 3, 2004;/h3>

{     Interview : Of Montreal     }    

Of Montreal. I shall loudly and without hesitation say right now, yesterday, and tomorrow that they are one of the top pop bands in the land. They make the most dour indie kids dance like toddlers and smile like fools on their non-stop tours, and continue to release irresistible albums overflowing with crazily inventive imagery and sounds upon sounds that mingle everything good from the bands you love (The Beatles! The Kinks! The Beach Boys! and on and on...). Kevin Barnes, OM's lead singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist renaissance guy, answered a few questions for us before their last tour, and if you didn't happen to catch that, they are going on tour again in September in support of their latest album, Satanic Panic in the Attic.

Art

{     Will Travel - New Paintings by Russ Pope - at Foundation Gallery September 3 - October 3     }    

I first remember Russ Pope as founder of Creature, Scarecrow and Small Room back in the day. Lately he's been involved with helping run Black Label Skateboards and with making a name for himself in the world of galleried fine-art. He paints with raw powerful lines full of expression, and his pathos-filled characters carry their ugly on the inside. The new paintings on display for Will Travel project a sense of blurred motion, and the layering of images leads also to a layering of thoughts, actions and themes. The inclusion of text in these works builds upon that, becoming the thougts or voices of each piece, or of the characters depicted in each piece. Sometimes subtle, occasionally beligerent, the text offers visual cues for reading each painting, lest your eyes simply wander aimlessly from image to image. There's a lot to be absorbed here, a complexity belied by the rough nature of the lines and textures Pope creates. Adding to the madness are the presence and placement of Pope's 5-foot tall POP-UP characters, two-dimensional cutouts that stand guard over the gallery. Another excellent curation by Foundation Gallery- see the links below for more information and be sure to attend the opening reception tonight.

     » Foundation Gallery
     » See more of Russ Pope's work

Toys

{     Dinomania: Series 1 (American edition)     }    

Dinosaurs! Like any American male who was once eight-years-old I find it nearly impossible to even think the word without roaring triumphantly, or at the very least grinning uncontrollably. These thunderous and bizarre creatures – far too alien to be from this planet we call Earth, surely – have a way of bringing out the inner second grader in me. Some of my most beloved of childhood memories are of the all-too-infrequent school trips to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh where amongst all the dreadfully boring rocks and local songbirds were the titanic remnants and reconstructions of these beloved long-dead monsters. Suffice to say, Dinomania sufficiently gets my rocks off – or rather my rock-like petrified bones off.

     » Official Dinomania site


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