Sunday, February 22, 2009

Self-Promotion: The FADER #60

The new Spring Style issue of The FADER should be out in newsstands soon and it's a good one. Natasha Khan AKA Bat For Lashes shares cover duties with Beirut, the latter photographed with his cat and the former showing off that she's a free spirit by being all sorts of nekkid (sorry kids, no nips). This issue also marks a personal milestone for me, as it contains my first published writing assignment in the NWSPRNT section. Pick it up and I'll sign it if you want. Or you can just save it and use it as a ticket to ride shotty on whatever sports car I decide to buy when I'm making twenty grand a day making television commercials. Real talk.


Datamoshing: Ye and Chairlift.

The internet has been going apeshit about "datamoshing" since the Chairlift video dropped and even more so with Kanye following suit in less than a week, so it seems almost appropriate that the best way for me to even blog about the damn thing is to get all meta and quote my own Twitter post:

Over two videos in just as many weeks, datamoshing got big and got played. Seems like Ye really reduces the shelf life of non-music shit.

The awkwardly named technique is essentially forced digital compression artifacting and has been around for a few years. The two videos just happen to be attached to two of last year's biggest alt-music acts, which can account for the exaggerated cyber response.

As for my take, I'm not one to hate on dudes for taking avant garde techniques and applying them to commercial work as that's practically been my bread and butter. I do, however, dislike how the effect was pretty much an arbitrary stylistic choice on both videos (Ye's obviously the one that succeeds in using it and overusing it in one fell swoop). To be honest, I'm not sure what song, commercial concept, or narrative could even justify the technique's intentional use, but I'm pretty sure these two songs aren't the ones to do so. And if you want to know, I actually like Chairlift's video more than the Kanye one, despite me being on dude's nuts and him taking the technique to its logical end.

You can watch the videos and read a little more about datamoshing after the jump.

KANYE WEST "Welcome To Heartbreak" Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

Chairlift - "Evident Utensil" Music Video from Data Mosher on Vimeo.

Additional Reading:
A short rundown on the history of datamoshing. A more in-depth article about the making of Kanye's video.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Flying Lotus: "Infinitum"

I caught FlyLo and the rest of the Brainfeeder crew a couple of months ago and I remember dudes talking about how this was the future. I don't disagree, but this new clip adds the argument that dude has his hand on the past and present as well-or maybe his chest like that Donnie Darko dude. Daniel Garcia directed this nice and surreal clip. Oh yeah, the track is nice, too.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Fever Ray

When I Grow Up from Fever Ray on Vimeo.

I've been meaning to listen to the Fever Ray album for a week now and thought it would be a good idea to go through it now that it's all rainy and miserable in Southern California. What a terrible idea. All I want to do now is stay in bed all day with my cat as life passes by outside my window. Admittedly, this is my daily routine, but now that it comes with a terribly awesome soundtrack, it makes me realize how sad and boring I really am. Anyway, the Martin de Thurah-helmed video, "When I Grow Up", just dropped and it's as moody and weird as I expected. If The Knife had tried to do the same thing, I'm sure it would have ended up more like a cover of "Monster Mash" except with white chicks doing body rolls in the background, so thank God that it's for a Fever Ray track instead.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Depreciation Guild

If there's anyone who likes free shit any more than me, I haven't met them. It's even more awesome when said free shit is actually something you would proud of owning the next day. New Shoegaze band The Depreciation Guild made their debut album, In Her Gentle Jaws, available for free on their website, making it the best piece of schwag I've come across in a while. Their album is part-Loveless, part-The Radio Dept. jam session, in the end making it the best new album to listen to in a dark room when you've just spent all of your severance pay on opiates. You can check out the video for my favorite track, "Nautilus" after the jump.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Legion of Disco 2

This is kind of personal for me as Andy Butler's Hercules & Love Affair album is one of the few reasons I survived my long commutes up to this point. Whoever came up with putting Antony over new disco shit is a genius that deserves a pat on the back, so head over to the anniversary party of Shits And Giggles and give him one. Butler is not the only big dog there, as Pat Mahoney of LCD Soundsystem will be doing a set too. The whole thing goes down February 20th-fifteen bucks for presale, twenty at the door gets you in. Bring your cash, leave your leisure suits at home.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Here are the facts: Noah Kalina was awarded Image of The Week honors a couple of cycles ago and now, dude has a magazine coming out. See where I'm going with this, Mulder? There is no greater way for me to justify my delusion of being a tastemaker than putting myself behind the people who are next to blow and judging by how Noah Kalina is both talented and pro-active, the young photographer is an easy bet to make. Kalina Magazine dedicates each issue to a single theme or concept. The first issue, which is now available here, poses the question, "Why Won't You Love Me?". That sounds good and all, but what I need to know is: would dude have blown up without me? I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.


Monday, February 9, 2009


It's crazy to think that corporate sponsorship is the new patronism. It seems like the most interesting live projects these days have come about from corporate dollars. In my opinion, I'm all for it-the more people are exposed to great and/or under-appreciated artists, the better. ArtDontSleep and Mochilla's ongoing collaboration with VTech-makers of shitty, shitty phones-is one of the more ambitious projects I've heard of, as they have curated a composer/arranger series that shines a light on some of the greatest influences of hip-hop's more illustrious beatmakers. While that may sound like a press release for an expensive excuse to mix more cocaine and weed than Rick James, anything that has David Axelrod coming out is fine by me. The series runs from February to April with tickets to all shows available online at TIcketmaster AKA "the bane of my existence".


Mike Mills @ Family Sundays.

I recently went to the Silent Movie Theater to check out Cinefamily's first installment of Family Sundays, their collaboration with the Family bookstore. Family Sundays is a monthly series of film screenings wherein friends of both camps are hand-picked to screen a feature film and several shorts that are important to them and their work. Mike Mills screened the Hungarian New Wave masterpiece, Lovefilm, setting a high bar for everyone else. I'm sure that this won't be too hard to reach as one of the confirmed curators for future installments is fellow Beautiful Loser, Aaron Rose. Should be something worth checking out in the future. Look out for an interview with Mike Mills as well as Family co-owner David Kramer in an upcoming episode of LA Is A Nice Place To Live.