playlist 03.24.12- hypnotic lo-fi for a rainy afternoon

This show featured a cameo from Kellie of “Kellie’s Pop Rocks” infamy… short film project (shot during this set) in the works!  Simultaneous filming, radio broadcasting, blogging… tech-obsessed multitasking reminiscent of Portlandia sketch “Technology Loop”. At least these laid-back shoegaze-inspired tracks provided warmth on such a drizzly day. 

HORRORS sea within a sea- primary colours

DAVID BOWIE oh! you pretty things- hunky dory

Back cover of Bowie's 1971 EP "Hunky Dory"

WILD BEASTS bed of nails- smother Wild Beasts are coming to the Indy on April 19… tickets still available! 

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS windstorm- disconnect from desire

BEACH HOUSE 10 mile stereo- teen dream

Beach House has a new song, titled “Myth”Exciting to see how they will follow their breakthrough 2010 release, Teen Dream!

THE SOFT MOON circles- the soft moon Watch this video if you dare… hypnotic video heavily inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s 1926 film Anemic Cinema.

THE ANTLERS french exit- burst apart

PILL WONDER restless- under peoples win Shoegaze-y Seattle band I stumbled upon via Spotify last night- I like this minimal video!

VELVET UNDERGROUND i found a reason- loaded

LEADBELLY black betty The original.

BLOUSE time travel- blouse

Check out the Yours Truly session of Blouse’s performance of “Time Travel” at Cafe Du Nord in SF on January 19th!  A perfectly subterranean, cobweb-infested setting for this darkly enchanting track.

BONOBO stay the same (mark prichard remix)- black sands remixed

ISLANDS never go solo- a sleep & a forgetting

BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW forever heavy- dandelion gum

YOUTH LAGOON cannons- year of hibernation

DR DOG that old black hole- be the void

HORRORS still life- skying

The "six-foot ectomorph" Nico (as described by Chuck Klosterman in his book, 'Killing Yourself to Live')


Creators Project SF eliminates the boundaries of art, music, technology

Disclaimer: I feel that I am playing INTO THE SYSTEM by even writing this post… the whole #creators phenom is a fantastic product placement marketing scheme for Intel and Vice, aligning their brands with a particularly desirable demographic (presumably affluent, tech-savvy urbanities). Nothing is really free, and by participating in an event like this (and by broadcasting your participation via Twitter, blogs, etc), you are providing advertising gold.

But you know what? They did a damn good job. If they decide to spend big bucks on an event that fosters creativity, innovation, imagination… there are worse values to promote. I appreciated the level of intellectual curiosity present at the Creators Project, the sense of elevated discourse, the   understanding of the immediate, integrated nature of technology in our lives. Rather than separating “new media” as its own unique entity outside of everyday life, the event featured an acutely realistic  perspective on the nature of human interaction in 2012.

James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem/ DFA Records), the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and Squarepusher were the headliners in the solid line-up, also featuring Shabazz Palaces, the Antlers, the Hundred in the Hands, and Zola Jesus.

Nancy Whang, Patrick Mahoney, and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem

In 2011 the Creators Project toured to New York, Beijing, London, Paris, Lyon, Sao Paulo and Seoul, and this weekend’s SF exhibit was the first full-blown West Coast festival. The Creator’s Project made its first splash at Coachella 2011 during Arcade Fire’s headlining Saturday set, with director Chris Milk’s interactive piece, “Summer Into Dusk”. I found Arcade Fire’s set undoubtedly one of the highlights of Coachella, an emotive experience that exemplified the collective euphoria that festivals strive to achieve. Take a look at this behind-the-scenes documentary about the preparation of “Summer Into Dusk” on Chris Milk’s site, really fascinating.

This was by far the most polite, mild-mannered free music event I have ever been to. Patient cueing for drinks, clean, well-stocked bathrooms, indoor heat-lamps… what is this! It seemed to  be a fusion of the soft-spoken, negative-space art world with the unabashed psychedelia of Outside Lands, with just a touch of Burning Man whimsy thrown in. By making the Creators Project a free event (with pre-registration RSVP required), it minimized the classism that accompanies most major festivals ($400 Coachella ticket, I’m lookin’ at you).

Now, onto the exhibits! Stand-out piece by far was “Origin,” aka THE CUBE (shown above). This 40 foot by 40 foot aluminum structure entranced festival-goers long into the night… best viewed while laying down inside of the structure, providing full sensory immersion.

Loved “Meditation” by Minha Yang… feel the power!

“Strata #4” by Quayola was a soothing, engaging, fascinating integration of “old-world” and computer-based art.

Still attempting to process “Life on Mars (Revisited)” by David Bowie, Mick Rock, and Barney Clay. Another exhibit viewed while laying down on pillows, highly recommend! (Photo by MTV, as they did not allow photography inside of the exhibit).

The Antlers were one of my favorite sets– dreamy,  atmospheric soundscapes. And that falsetto, whew, spine-tingling! Playing “French Exit” from 2011’s Burst Apart on repeat.
Chris Milk returned with “The Treasury of Sanctuary” — a massive interactive instillation with definite Black Swan vibes.
All in all, a really cool experience, check it out this weekend at Fort Mason if you have the opportunity! Exhibits open to the public until 9 pm Sunday night.

the place where you go to listen

Excerpt from “Song of the Earth: The Arctic Sound of John Luther Adams.” Alex Ross, The Rest Is Noise. Originally published in The New Yorker, 2008. 

At The Museum of the North, the composer John Luther Adams has created a sound-and-light instillation called The Place Where You Go To Listen— a kind of infinite musical work that is controlled by natural events occurring in real time. The mechanism of The Place translates raw data into music: information from seismological, meterological, and geomagnetic stations in various parts of Alaska is fed into a computer and transformed into a luminous field of electronic sound.

The Place occupies a small white-walled room on the museum’s second floor. You sit on a bench before five glass panels, which change color according to the time of day and the season.

What you notice first is a dense, organlike sonority; the notes follow the contour of the natural harmonic series– the rainbow of overtones that emnate from a vibrating string– and have the brightness of music in a major key. The moon is audible as a narrow sliver of noise. Pulsating patterns in the bass are activated by small earthquakes and other seismic events around Alaska. And shimmering sounds in the highest registers are tied to the fluctuations in the magnetic field that cause the Northern Lights.

For  stellar audio of Adams’ complex, ambient compositions, check out his website and listen to his pieces, which he describes as “electro-acoustic soundscapes.”  Here’s a video of The Place in action (albeit with subpar sound quality):

Adams describes The Place in his own words:

“I knew that I wanted to hear the unheard, that I wanted to somehow transpose the music that is just beyond the reach of our ears into audible vibrations. I knew that it had to be its own space. And I knew that it had to be real– that I couldn’t fake this, that nothing could be recorded. It had to have the ring of truth.

“Actually my original conception for The Place was truly grandiose. I thought that it might be a piece that could be realized at any location on the earth, and that each location would have its unique sonic signature. That idea– tuning the whole world– stayed with me for a long time. But at some point I realized that I was tuning it so that this place, this room, on this hill, looking out over the Alaska Range, was the sweetest-sounding spot on Earth.”

The composer and artist, John Luther Adams

The composer and artist, John Luther Adams

playlist 03.10.12- avant-garde pop

This week was a particularly eclectic set, an electronic amalgam of ambient, trip-hop, experimental influences. The only constant was a break from the traditional song structure while maintaining a sense of melodic listenability.  A level of weird, the beauty of the mysterious undiscovered. The patron saints of this show were Can, Stereolab, and Radiohead… our sonic guides!

STEREOLAB cybele’s reverie- emperor tomato ketchup

BONOBO kiara (cosmin TRG remix)- black sands remixed (Remixed album released on February 21st, check out Bonobo’s site and give it a listen! Excellent new takes on a fantastic album. )

KRAFTWERK tour de france- tour de france

CAN oh yeah- tago mago

BORN RUFFIANS i need a life (four tet remix)- dj-kicks

FOUR TET angel echoes (jon hopkins remix)- angel echoes +remixes

RADIOHEAD lotus flower (sbtrkt rmx)- TKOL RMX 1234567

GRIMES oblivion- visions

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG paradisco- stage whisper

VITALIC poison lips

Congrats Nick on winning tickets to Vitalic at 103 Harriet!!!!

BLOUSE they always fly away- blouse

BJORK all is full of love- homogenic

APHEX TWIN tha- selected ambient works

BRIAN ENO deep blue day- apollo (atmospheric, dreamy, exactly what a deep blue day feels like)

BURIAL archangel- untrue

PICTURE PLANE gang signs- dark rift

PANTHA DU PRINCE stick to my side four tet remix

STEREOLAB metronomic underground- emperor tomato ketchup

RADIOHEAD electioneering- ok computer

PORTISHEAD roads- dummy

MASSIVE ATTACK  paradise circus (gui borratto remix)- heliogold (wonderful fan vid featuring footage from jean cocteau’s film “blood of a poet”)