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Live

April 30, 2005;/h3>

{     Autechre show, Eindhoven NL     }    

Kickin' it with some friends at the Effenaar venue in Eindhoven, Holland, pretty psyched about the show. A beer, a joint, just in the way the average concert would start. My friend filled me in with the latest news from some heads that saw them the night before in Antwerp. Supposedly I should be getting ready for the most fantastic, innovative, forward thinking, musical experience I've ever had. Well, nonchalance came, went, and excitement continued.

     » Autechre at Warp
     » Good Autechre interview at BBC

Art

April 27, 2005;/h3>

{     Die Kase Hause     }    

The loose collective known as Die Kase Hause has really turned it up to "11" as of late: Following an incredible group show at Columbus, Ohio's Mahan gallery last summer and a recent re-launch of their website, the boys of DKH are now set to display a 7' x 13.5 foot collaborative printed mural at the VERSION>05 NFO EXPO in Chicago. The mural is just the first of many events in store for this rag-tag band of art-ninjas; with several solo shows in the works amongst the various members and talk of another full-scale group show, the Die Kase Hause is primed to explode in '05.

     » Die Kase Hause
     » Sneak peek of the collaborative mural
     » Version>05 INVICIBLE DESIRE NFO EXPO

Toys

April 25, 2005;/h3>

{     David Horvath - Noupa 3-inch     }    

Character design seems to come as naturally to David Horvath as breathing or pooping do to the rest of us. Everything he touches becomes infused with an irrepressible cuteness and cartoonish charm. For those not hip to the Noupa story, check the Crown Dozen interview at left for more info. (In a nutshell- Noupa is a garbageman who has fallen in love with the leader of a resistance movement opposing a nihilistic robot-army intent on taking over the world. Or something like that.) Noupa 3" figures are finally becoming affordably available in the US, in randomly assorted blind-packaging. I've got to give props to Ningyoushi's Workshop for once again offering the lowest price on these hard to find imports. Produced by Hong Kong-based Flying Cat, there are 16 different designs in the series, and rumors are flying about potential variants. At $6 a piece this is a great way to take home some Horvath love.

     » Buy from Ningyoushi's Workshop

By Adam in Toys
Reviews

{     Bora Yoon- Proscenium     }    

If you enjoy music that is wordy, confessional, and altogether poetic then you need not look any further. Bora Yoon is a NY singer-songwriter who pens thought provoking lyrics set to jazz influenced folk. Proscenium (describing the two-dimensional plane that separates the offstage world from the onstage) draws inspiration from artists such as Ani Difranco, Beth Gibbons and Joni Mitchell and is filled with great storytelling set to seductive guitar and piano melodies that grow on you with time. Bora didn�t win the John Lennon songwriting contest (for the song �All Day Through the Rain�) or the Billboard song contest (for the song �Poetry vs. Coincidence) for nothing. This is the second solo album from a remarkable talent with a true gift for wordplay. - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at Caffeine-Headache.net.

     » listen
     » buy

Twelves

April 21, 2005;/h3>

{     Graphically Delicious     }    

Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron - Daniel Clowes
Swamp Thing Vols. 1-6 - Alan Moore and various artists
Nocturnals - Dan Brereton
The Complete Madman Comics Vols. 1-10 - Mike Allred
Doom Patrol "Crawling From the Wreckage" and "The Painting That Ate Paris" - Grant Morrison and various artists
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth - Chris Ware
Hard Boiled - Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow
Princess Mermaid - Junko Mizuno
The Inhumans - Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee
X-Force Vol.1 & 2 and X-Statix Vols. 1-4 - Peter Milligan and Mike Allred
Kingdom Come - Mark Waid and Alex Ross
Powers Vols. 1-8 - Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Avon Oeming


I know I'm leaving off some classics- (Watchmen, Preacher, Sin City, etc.) but those titles get plenty of play as it is.

Music

April 20, 2005;/h3>

{     Kanda - All the Good Meetings are Taken     }    

When it comes to laptop-sugar-pop, nobody does it sweeter than Kanda. All the Good Meetings are Taken has me feelin' diabetic- it's a 25 minute mainline dose of lo-fi indie-electro-rock fructose. The chirpy "They'll Need Cocaine" is the track that will likely get the most immediate attention, if not for it's catchy title alone than certainly for it's powdered-sugar beats and addictive chorus. To get the full Kanda experience though, you're going to have to dial up one of this album's more rockin' tunes- I suggest "White Pants" or the lead-in "Arctic". There's a nice balance struck here between saccharine synthetic beats and garagey melodic guitar, a balance that mimics the contrast between the duo's alternating vocals. Akina Kawauchi's voice is a cotton-candy counterpoint to Arland Nicewander's caramel-toned delivery, and whether they're trading off mid-song or every other track, you never lose sight of the interplay between the two. Threaded through all of this are melodies that range from bittersweet to blatantly new-wave, each track delivers a different flavored confection. We're also treated to varying instrumentation; from the organic warmth of the violin to cool synth tones, keyboard blips to toy glockenspiel tinkles- it's a delightfully mixed-bag affair.

     » Buy it from Darla Records
     » kandapop.com
     » Bop Tart Records

By Adam in Music
Music

April 19, 2005;/h3>

{     Edan - Beauty and the Beat     }    

lewis007.jpg Low End Theory. It Takes a Nation of Millions. Funcrusher Plus. Each of these classic albums represent a paradigm shift in hip hop where the form is approached from a new direction, yielding a solid organic work of substance, void of flavor-of-the-week trends and here today, giggidy gone tomorrow gimmickry. While forever changing musical landscapes, these albums also serve to pinpoint the exact time when each of these respective artists went from good to great. Beauty and the Beat, the latest album from Boston renaissance man Edan Portnoy, is one of those albums that comes along and straight bumrushes the competition. Simultaneously monopolizing your box and testing your friends patience, this is that album that makes you run back inside to grab from the stereo, the one that gets you excited about music again, leaving you geeked and goosebumped.

     » the Home of the Humble Magnificent

Music

April 18, 2005;/h3>

{     Feist - Let It Die     }    

Leslie Feist could easily have coasted on indie-pedigree alone through this sophomore solo-effort; as a former member of Broken Social Scene, and occasional chanteuse for fem-rap superstar Peaches, the Kings of Convenience, and trip-hopper Gonzales, she's got cred to burn. Maybe that's why Let It Die is such a revelation. Instead of falling back on her better-knowns, Feist steps forward with a strong mix of influence and diversity of sound, culminating in an album that is entirely her own. There's lounge (Leisure Suite), jaunty French cabaret (L'Amour Ne Dure Pas Toujours), a disco cover-tune (Inside and Out), and some utterly brilliant folk-pop (Mushaboom). It's as though we were perched quietly atop the toilet as Feist showered, listening intently as she crooned out her secret favorite songs with the kind of confidence reserved exclusively for shower-stall performances. These intimate glimpses are not without their tenative moments, but when Feist is shy it's only all the more fetching.

     » listentofeist.com

Reviews

April 15, 2005;/h3>

{     Grave of the Fireflies     }    

grave.jpg If you haven�t yet viewed this 1988 film you are missing a true classic. Isao Takahata creates visual poetry in this realistic drama of two children struggling to survive as they lose contact with their mother while their village is constantly being bombed during World War II. The youngsters Seita and sister Setsuko eventually find an aunt to take them in, but after being constantly berated the two decide to flea. This somber tale is like no other anime film and demonstrates the potential of anime as a serious art-form. This film is based off Nosaka Akiyuki's semi-autobiographical novel and produced by Studio Ghibli head Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Monoke, My Neighbor Totoro). Fans of Miyazaki should seek this one out immediately. This is like an "Angela's Ashes" set to animation, do yourself a favor and buy this now! - Written by Jay, read more of his reviews at Caffeine-Headache.net.

     » buy here

Film & TV

April 13, 2005;/h3>

{     How's Your News?     }    

_How's Your News?_ is the story of a half-dozen retarded people driving across the country in a RV conducting interviews for a fake news program. If that sounds positively tard-splotational you might be in for a bit of a shock. What sounds like the setup for a crude joke turns out to be one of the most heartwarming movies I've ever seen.

     » How's Your News official website
     » How's Your News on This American Life

     » Buy it...

Reviews

April 11, 2005;/h3>

{     Bob Dylan- Chronicles Vol.1     }    

Dylan.jpg I guess it should really come as no big surprise that Bob Dylan�s new memoir (much like his music) is riveting and full of insight and depth. Chronicles Vol.1 begins with Dylan�s move from Minnesota to Greenwich Village circa 1960 and brings to life all the influential books he discovered, the establishments he frequented and the people he met. Greenwich Village comes alive through the pages as Dylan reflects on poignant moments in his life and encounters with people whom he found inspiration in (i.e. Thelonious Monk, Gorgeous George, Jack Dempsey, and Frank Sinatra Jr.). Something else worth mentioning is the rustic lingo he uses, phrases like �scallywag�, �roustabout�, and �phoney baloney� are the sort of down home style Bob writes in. Dylan comments on the sorry state of radio (...some things never change). �I still kept turning the radio on. probably more out of mindless habit than anything else. Sadly whatever it played reflected nothing but milk and sugar and not the real Jekyll and Hyde themes of the times. The 'On The Road', 'Howl', and 'Gasoline' street ideologies that were signaling a new type of human existence weren�t there, but how could you have expected it to be? 45 records were incapable of it.�

     » Buy here

Twelves

April 10, 2005;/h3>

{     "It's a Fact." (2 of 2)     }    

7. After months of arguing on set, Kirk Douglas remarked at the premiere of Spartacus, "That Stanley Kubrick is one talented shit."
8. Peter Lorre couldn't whistle.
9. Charlie Chaplin once anonymously entered a Charlie Chaplin Impersonator Contest; he placed third.
10. Spanish-English translation of the word 'Menudo'= 'often; slight'.
11. Pissed off at a "Mr. Smith" recording session, ODB grabbed LL's gold record off a studio wall and pissed on it.
12. Lenny Bruce was arrested for obscenity in Chicago, 1962. Only one person stood up to protest, resulting in the night's second arrest. It was George Carlin.

Twelves

April 8, 2005;/h3>

{     "It's a Fact." (1 of 2)     }    

1. John Goodman had to lose weight to play Babe Ruth.
2. Since Desperate Living, every female lead in a John Waters film has started crying after seeing their wardrobe for the first time.
3. Years apart, Mama Cass and Keith Moon died in the same London flat, on the exact same bed.
4. Disney's Tomorrowland was designed by refugee Nazi scientists.
5. Beck's grandfather, Al Hansen, was the first to find Andy Warhol after he got shot; he also recommended to Lou Reed that he name his band 'the Velvet Underground'.
6. It's impossible to consume four saltine crackers in 60 seconds.


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