Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year From Aesthetes Anonymous

I hope everyone has as fun and sexy a New Year as Vincent Cassel and his lovely wife Monica Belluci are clearly having. Here’s a quick little song that might help spark that mood.

See you all in the New Year!

Nicola Conte – Jet Sounds

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christopher Walken's True Romance Monologue [Watch]

So I finally got around to watching True Romance the other day – only about 17 years too late – and holy crap what a fantastic movie. What really caught my attention was Christopher Walken’s unbelievable monologue, which is saying a lot considering the exceptional acting of Gary Oldman and Patricia Arquette.

In particular, his introductory remarks to Dennis Hopper are absurdly good. His delivery is flawless. Full of confidence, swagger, and restrained malice, it’s hard to think of another scene that contains as much understated violence as this.

Plus, let’s not forget Tarantino’s amazing writing: “I'm the anti-christ. You get me in the vendetta kinda mood, you tell the angels in heaven you've never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you. My name is Vincent Cacardia, I work as counsel for Mister Blue Lou Boyle.”

Enough from me, check out the clip below.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Danny MacAskill – Way Back Home

I’m not a huge fan of BMX riding, but this video has certainly changed my mind. Way Back Home follows Danny MacAskill as he travels around the world. Starting from Edinburgh, MacAskill rides on everything imaginable before eventually returning to his hometown Dunvegan, in the isle of Skye.

Insane riding is a given, but it’s the breath taking sceneries that they’ve chosen to showcase his uncanny abilities that make this a stand out. Set against violent seas on rocky shores, massive industrial hydroelectric dams, beautiful sunsets on vast open prairies, or old English castles, MacAskill turns everything into his playground. Rather than the sterile obstacle course park settings, MacAskill creatively uses his natural surroundings as ramps, jumps, and landings.

I’m not too familiar with riding, but my god there literally is no limit to what he does as he defies gravity. He can leap from building to building like urban parkour, climb steep slopes while doing 360’s, or balance his bike on precarious ledges while doing wheelies and spinning around before leaping at least 20 feet to the ground below.

This may be the best 7 minutes and 43 seconds you can spend today.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Leo Fuchs and Hollywood Royalty

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday break. For a quick post today, check out this amazing gallery of Leo Fuchs prints.

Richard Lawson of Gawker, has assembled an impressive collection of Leo Fuchs photos featuring Sean Connery, Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, and Shirley MacClaine among others. He’s caught them in candid moments that reveal something about their persona behind the lens as well as in staged settings where their power, grace, and strangely alluring presence is on full display.

As an added bonus these prints are in extremely high resolution without water marks, so I would highly recommend saving them.

Check out the full collection, but in the mean time here are a few of my favorites.

Sean Connery

Marlon Brando

Shirley MacClaine and her daughter

(This just melted my heart -- I want a future where I can see scenes like this occurring with the love of my life and my daughter every day.)
Cary Grant

Gina Lollobrigida

Rock Hudson and Doris Day

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Phoenix Foundation – Pot

I just recently stumbled across this stunning song and the equally engrossing music video for The Phoenix Foundation’s “Pot,” the lead single from their fourth album, Buffalo, released earlier this year.

The soft winding guitar melodies, the quiet rhythm, and the lovely vocal harmonies make an idyllic combination. It’s the perfect backdrop for a light breezy summer day spent among blinding sunshine, Technicolor hued flowers, and absurdly blue skies. Even though it’s winter and the wind is howling outside, somehow I still find this song perfect.

The Phoenix Foundation, an exuberant six piece band from Wellington, has been churning out upbeat songs since 1997. I’m sad that I’ve only recently heard of them, as their songs put an ever widening smile on my face.

Be sure to check out the video below, it’s a surprisingly cinematic black and white montage of endless patterns and movement that is really quite cinematic.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

AA Loves: Demon’s Claws

If you haven’t heard of Montreal’s Demon Claws yet you have been seriously missing out.

Their sound hits you like a night of raucous revelry fueled with homemade moonshine. It’s raw garage rock n’ roll mixed with a bit of 60’s rockabilly, throw in some twang and a 36 pack of cheap beer and yee-haw you got yourself Demon Claws.

They will rot your brain and set your stomach on fire like cheap whiskey, but it sure as hell feels good.

Vocalist Jeff Clark has the weird creepiness, twang, and howl in his voice of a deranged bard as he sits around the campfire telling stories of his adventures as he hitches his way across the heartland of Depression-era America.

These self-described “liars and scumbacks” have been pounding out bar room brawling music since 2004. Be sure to pick up their recently released second LP The Defrosting of…, the follow up to their foot stomping beer throwing 2007 album Satan’s Little Pet Pig.

Take a few slugs from a bottle of whiskey, turn up your speakers, and listen—it doesn’t matter if you’re at your desk at work this is how their music needs to be enjoyed for full effect.

Demon’s Claws – Hunting on the 49

Demon’s Claws – How the West Was Won

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

AA Blog Crush: The Second 10K

I recently came across one of the most arresting photo blogs I’ve seen in a long time.

The Second 10K doesn’t need much introduction, so I’ll simply say that its curator has fantastic taste in images. The title is a little play on legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson’s quote “the first 10,000 photos are always your worst.”

Here are a few of my favorites, but be sure to head over to see the rest for yourself. It’s worth the few minutes of your time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

AA's Top Ten of 2010

Let’s just get right into it. Here are my 10 favorite albums of 2010.

#10 Of Montreal – False Priest

The of Montreal gang is back and funkier than ever. They’ve infused their quirky sound with pure sex in a manner that only those arty rockers could do. I suppose hanging out with the Wondaland Arts Society and listening to a lot of Parliament was largely responsible for the new sound.

# 9 Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

While sticking to their experimental dreamy sound, Halcyon Digest is the clearest indication that Deerhunter has solidifed their own unique sound. Gone are the aimless clouds of noise that obscured some of their last album, and instead a coherent haze of noise has emerged. More aptly their unique style of coherent chaotic soundscapes has emerged, and it’s damn good.

#8 Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

I’m a bit shocked that this hasn’t been on more people’s lists this year. I’ve always been a tremendous fan of Broken Social Scene, so I suppose it comes as no surprise that their new album made my list. Their sound is always incredibly expansive, intricate, and elaborate, although that’s hardly surprising considering the bevy of talented musicians that are in the band. The album hangs together well, and their tendency to wander and compact a million different ideas into one song has been further refined as they string together a series of cohesive songs.

#7 Beach House – Teen Dream

While much more accessible than their previous albums, Teen Dream still has all the abstract and moody elements that made me fall in love with Beach House initially. The dark sensuous vocals, the dreamy organs, and the swirling guitars make for some pretty soothing yet melancholy music.

#6 The Pass – Burst

As I mentioned in a recent post, The Pass makes some of the most fun and danceable music that I’ve heard in a long time. Throwing this album on always makes a spontaneous dance party wherever you are.

#5 NYC UFO's – Newer Stations

Raw garage rock with a New York sound that sounds like The Strokes from a bunch of up and coming youngsters dropping their first album. ‘Nuff said.

#4 The Morning Benders - Big Echo

Their march to ever greater musical stardom continues on unimpeded. Who would have thought that the sleepy hills of Berkeley would produce such awesomely inspired music. Big Echo is an amazing follow up to their first album that establishes the Morning Benders’ own unique sound, shows their increasing maturity, and puts them on the path to ever greater heights.

#3 Shout Out Louds - Work

There’s just something about these Swedes that I love. They have this infectious sound that always puts a massive smile on my face. What better reason for liking an album a lot?

#2 The Black Keys – Brothers

Few good bands have that vintage pure rock and roll sound these days, but album after album The Black Keys have managed to keep their edge. In large part, it’s due to the fact that they understand that rock n’ roll evolved from the blues. So I suppose it’s no surprise that on Brothers, they take their explorations of the underpinnings of rock even further by delving into Mo-Town soul and doo wop to find an even more inspired sound.

#1 Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

While Arcade Fire’s new album being at the top of lists is getting to become a cliché, the hype is deserved. This was the album that I most eagerly looked forward to all year, and the album actually lived up to their inflated reputation.

Thoughtful, mature, and hauntingly good, they continue to grapple with serious issues moving beyond youthful angst and rebellion to a quiet understanding of their new lives. Moreover, their anthemic rock is absurdly catchy and always emotionally raw. The crack in Win Butler’s voice is no longer as melancholy as it once was, but it’s still equally as powerful and earnest.

I mean seriously, it’s pretty damn hard not to like such a genuinely nice band.

Monday, December 20, 2010

AA’s Favorite New Artists of 2010

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite artists that have emerged on the scene in 2010. Most of them have only recently dropped their first EP’s or are currently at work on that first EP after a few acclaimed singles, so these artists have a lot of potential ahead of them. I would definitely keep your eyes on these bands, as I expect fabulous music from all of them in 2011.

Big Deal

Quiet, minimal, and deliriously beautiful, Big Deal proves that you really don’t need anything more than two guitars and two voices to make some gorgeous music. With only a few songs under their belts, the comparisons to the XX have been more than forthcoming but deservedly so.

This young British duo just dropped their first 7” with only 300 printed each these are certainly rare and have a great personal touch with hand drawn sleeves.


big deal

Myspace Music Videos

Voxhaul Broadcast

While not exactly new for 2010, Voxhaul Broadcast is certainly one of my favorite emerging bands of the year. With Voxhaul Broadcast it’s pure ol’ fashioned California rock n’ roll at its best. With a sound drenched in sun, surf, and reverb along with a voice that evokes sleepy reminiscence, this is without a doubt a band that I can listen to no matter what mood I’m in.

After dropping their first EP Rotten Apples in 2008, they’ve steadily released smashing singles and EPs. Their first album is scheduled to be released in 2011, and I’m eagerly awaiting it.

Living Days

Living Days encapsulates the frenetic energy of New York in exuberant 80’s New Wave Synth pop. Their sound is raw fun mixed with vocals that drip with sex wrapped in frenzied energy. Plus, vocalist Stephonik Youth is fascinating in every sense of the word and has an amazing voice that matches the androgynous nature of her name.

A comment on their YouTube page best sums up my feelings for this band, “Holy shit, I am so fucking happy this band exists!”

Be sure to check out their debut EP Make Out Room, Vol. 1 out now.

The Cracks

With The Cracks, it’s all about raw hell fire and rambunctious rock steeped in the traditions of the American South.

So far they’ve only got four songs officially out, and it seems that they’ve certainly followed the platitude of quality over quantity. The lead track Caroline certainly gives a good indication of what they’re all about.

The Wild Mercury Sound

I can unequivocally say that no song more than Chemistry by The Wild Mercury Sound has captured my attention so fully this year. For that simple reason alone, I’m a complete supporter of this band, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that they are no stranger to this blog.

They’ve been busy recording songs in the studio and hard at work on releasing an EP, so be sure to keep an eye out for these insanely talented Brits.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Miniature Tigers and Freelance Whales @ Webster Hall, NYC 12/15

Photo Credit: Kyle Dean Reinford
Note: I was lame and left my camera at home again so this is actually a frame from their show at Webster Hall last year. I know, I really need to bring my camera with me.

On a frigid New York night, days before the holiday break, Miniature Tigers and Freelance Whales, two fun and whimsical animal themed bands, took to the stage for their final shows of the year. The energy, excitement, and frustration of their 6 week long tour came to a head as both bands let loose all their emotions for the crowd in noticeably cathartic performances.

The decaying yet resilient venue of Webster Hall served as the perfect analog for the tour weary bands, while showing a bit of wear and tear they both put on stellar performances. To be quite honest, it was the best show that I had seen all year and that is making a pretty bold statement. Given the particularly frigid temperatures, the crowd was phenomenal too as only enthused fans showed up making a good show even better with their raw energy.

Miniature Tigers took to the stage first with a blend of familiar songs from their previous album as well as newer ones from their most recent album “Fortress.” Their quirky lyrics, awkward moments, and endearing sound was on full display on classics like Cannibal Queen, Dino Damage, and Last Night’s Fake Blood as well as newer jams like Gold Skull, Japanese Woman in My Closet, and Dark Tower. Of particular note was an amazing cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire,” in which Miniature Tigers entirely transformed this classic with their fun and whimsical sound into something entirely their own.

Their charmingly unpolished energy immediately garnered them the love of the audience. For instance, lead singer, Charlie Brand repeatedly asked the crowd, “How are you doing?” before becoming bashfully aware that he was becoming repetitive in a charismatic moment of self awareness. Needless to say, it was fun and genuine Indie rock at its best without any pretence. To put their show over the edge, the Miniature Tigers were so effusive and glowing with their thankfulness of touring with the Freelance Whales that they eventually invited them on to stage to help them play a song. The sight of 4 people standing around a drum set while at least three others jammed along on tambourines was amazing!

After such a fun and energetic set, it was a painfully long wait for the Freelance Whales to begin. It also didn’t help that they needed to set up so many different instruments for this talented multi-instrumental band. But regardless the wait was worthwhile as the Freelance Whales delivered a spectacular performance with their swirling multi-faceted sound filled with their mysterious dream like lyrics, complex soundscapes, and sincerely haunting harmonies. Of particular note was the always endearing “Ghosting,” the high octane of “Generator Second Floor,” and the whimsical “Kilojoules.”

To commemorate their long tour dominated by freezing temperatures, the Freelance Whales debuted a a beautiful and contemplative song written solely about the freezing temperatures. The band also played a second new song putting the crowd into overdrive with their intricate winding melodies, multi-layered harmonies, and the steady pounding of the bass drum. If these two new songs are any indication of things to come, and I assume they are, their new album will be every bit amazing as their debut LP.

In a moment of foreshadowing, Freelance Whales warned the audience that they would be on hiatus for some time so that they could take a break and write new material, hardly surprising given the fact that they have been touring nearly non-stop since the release of their first album in 2008. Although, I see that they've schedule a show at the Vivo Wine bar on January 9th already.

Not to be outdone by the Miniature Tigers, the Freelance Whales were equally glowing in their praise of their tour mates repeatedly thanking them and showering them with compliments. At the peak of the performance they, too, invited the Miniature Tigers on to an already crowded stage to perform with them. Seeing 4 people crowded around a drum added so much indescribable energy to the stage -- really a performance to remember.

Their mutual respect for each other as musicians was clear, and to be able to participate as audience members in this mutual band love fest was a privledge. It really seemed as if this tour were a match made in heaven as both bands fit together perfectly with their blend of whimsical charm, adoring lyrics, and high energy.

If this review seems far too in praise of them, I guess it’s because I find it hard to find fault with two bands that have such good genuinely kind energy about them, especially when they put on such charming performances.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

AA’s Frivolous Wants: Moleskin Kindle Case

While I don’t own a Kindle, this sleek new Moleskine Kindle case makes me want to buy one so I can justify getting this case.

With the simple elegance of the classic Moleskine notebooks, it comes as no surprise that by applying their beautiful aesthetic they’ve created a gorgeous blend of old and new technology.

Situated in an iconic Moleskine cover is a compartment for your sleek kindle where it is cradled by 4 elastic straps and smooth suede lining to prevent any scratches. On the other side is a sleek journalist style notepad which allows you to easily jot down any notes that you might have.

Each notebook comes with two pads of paper with blank unlined ivory paper.

On a side note, it seems that my love for Moleskine notebooks is mild compared to those of others. I stumbled across websites like this one dedicated purely to “hacking” Moleskine notebooks to create iPod cases, PDA’s, and other handy dandy tricks and tips.

Available on Amazon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Japanese Post-War Photography

Eikoh Hosoe

After my recent post on Watanabe Katsumi, I’ve become fascinated with exploring Post-War Japanese photography futher.

Looking at the historical context of this movement, one can really begin to understand what it was they were seeking to capture or at least what inspired them. In the aftermath of World War II as Japan struggled to overcome its physical, emotional, and national scars, these photographers sought to create a new visual language and attempted to grapple with their country’s grave problems.

Aside from Watanabe Katsumi, standouts include Eikoh Hosoe, Shigeru Tamura, Kikuji Kawada, Daido Moriyama, and Shomei Tomatsu. Playing with abstract angles, focus, and in general a rougher approach to photography, these artists have created some really amazing stuff.

Last year, the SF MOMA, the largest holder of Japanese photography in the US, held it’s fantastic exhibit The Provoke ERA: Postwar Japanese Photography. Unfortunately, I was stuck in dreary in DC and missed the whole thing, but based on the sample photos it seemed to be quite the amazing collection. Senior curator of photography at the SF MOMA, Sandra Phillips, fairly much sums up my interest in this particular style and time period:

“I’m interested in it for two reasons: it has the archival memorializing street photography does, and it’s archival memorializing that’s taking place in one of the most critical periods of Japanese history—that time from1945 to roughly the late 1960s, when the American presence was felt first in a terrifying way, and then later in a very different way during the occupation. And all of that was experienced and taken in by these photographers. I think Daido Moriyama was seven or eight years old when they dropped the bomb. He was young, but he was of consciousness when that happened.”


                                                     Shomei Tomatsu

Masahisa Fukase

Kikuji Kawada

Eikoh Hosoe

                                               Nobuyoshi Araki

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

5 Best Dance Songs of 2010

I suppose, it’s that time of year to begin casting retrospective glances on everything we’ve done. But rather than taking a moment to reflect on my actions and become a better person, I will instead focus on all the great music that came out this year.

So here is the first of several forthcoming lists. To start your day off right, here are my 5 favorite songs that will instantly start a dance party wherever you are.

The Wombats - Tokyo

I say this song and the video pretty much sum up a typical debaucherous night out, that is if you’re a pagan beast and still worship Bacchus and pray on an altar of cocaine.

Hesta Prynn - Can We Go Wrong

With explosive guitar riffs, aggressive synths, and a blissed out voice begging you to go wrong and get self-destructive, this song has party all over it.

Duck Sauce - Barbara Streisand

A song about Babs mixed by Armand Van Helden and A-Trak? What is there not to love about it? This song has me loving Barbara Streisand more than a gay man. On a side note, it seems that they’ve been able to pack in every single musician of note in New York into their video. It’s kind of absurd.

Strange Talk - Climbing Walls

The scary thing is that this is only a demo track. I’m not sure my legs or brain will be able to handle the earth shattering, mind blowing magnitude of their soon to be released EP. Like Cut Copy, these Aussies have an insane talent for making some damn catchy music.

Chromeo - Night by Night

The video alone is worth the price of admission. Now if only I could learn to dance like that. One day…sigh

Monday, December 13, 2010

AA Loves: Tame Impala

Tame Impala has been all the rage on my playlists of late. With their rugged bouncy lo-fi jangle reminiscent of Beck circa Odelay, this quartet from Perth is continuing proof of the insanely talented and thriving Australian Indie scene.

Their first LP Innerspeaker has that same acid fueled psychedelic tongue in cheek playfulness that made Beck a mainstay on my favorite artists list.

For a quick taste, check out “Half Full Glass of Wine” below as well as the amazing video for “Solitude is Bliss.”

Be sure to check out their album out on Modular now and if you’re on the West Coast you’re in luck as they’re just wrapping their US tour, so hurry to buy tickets while you can (remaining tour dates below).

Tame Impala – Half Glass Full of Wine

Tame Impala – Solitude is Bliss

12/13 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
12/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex

Friday, December 10, 2010

New York Times Magazine - Actors Acting [Watch]

If you have a minute check out the New York Times Magazine’s amazing segment Actors Acting

The New York Times assembled 14 of the best actors around and produced a fabulous series of short films depicting classic characters, situations, and tropes that have been used since the beginning of film. With no sound, context, and minimal camera movement, these black and white shorts are amazing masterpieces in conveying narrative and emotion.

Directed by Solve Sundsbo and with music by Owen Pallett, this is a pure throwback to a silent era of film where story was told solely through physical movements ranging from subtle facial tics to full blown grand physical movements.

Particular standouts include Michael Douglas playing a brooding diabolical genius or some dark moody poet out of an Edgar Allen Poe horror show; Natalie Portman’s turn as a tired and jaded socialite or jazz crooner at the end of a long night; Jennifer Lawrence as the unfortunate victim of something terrible in a Hitchcock style masterpiece; James Franco as a hapless lover practicing in front of a mirror before he asks a girl to the movies; and Javier Bardem as an incredibly upset man waiting for his dinner.

I will also say this, there is a reason why Tilda Swinton’s short is saved for last. I mean WOW, you’ve got to see it for yourself.

Head over here to enjoy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

AA Loves: James and Evander

As a Bay Area native myself, I’m always happy to hear from artists from the Bay. So when I got an email from James & Evander, entitled “Greetings from Oakland,” I knew I was in for a treat.

The sounds of their dreamy electro synth pop have been airily floating from my speakers for the past several days. Imagine a less aggressive version of Crystal Castles, but equally as Atari video game inspired. It’s not so much the pulse pounding epileptic fit kind of video game as it is the relaxed exploration of strange new worlds kind. Perhaps, it’s best summed up in their own words as "weed-wave electro-pop."

Check out their recently released EP Sunlight and Circuitry, available on their Bandcamp now. Following the Radiohead model, they’ve offered up their EP for free, however if you’re feeling generous you may pay as much as you like.

Particular favorites of mine include “Turtle Two” and “Smoke This Glove.” While it may appear outwardly calm, just lurking below the surface of “Turtle Two” is a violent undertow that sucks you under in a tranquil yet deadly swirl of synth laden melodies. On “Smoke This Glove,” it’s all about a slow methodical mellow vibe that speaks of a languid curiosity and exploratory inquisitiveness of someone high enough, as the title says, to smoke this glove.

Listen to the album below, and be sure to head to their Bandcamp to get your copy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

AA Loves: The Pass

The Pass is kind of the most danceable band that I’ve heard in a while and that’s a pretty big statement to make.

If pure exuberant good times fun could be packaged into a band, it would be The Pass.Kind of like Passion Pit, but not – it’s just damn good indie electro pop.

They dropped their debut LP “Burst” at the end of September, so be sure to pick that up.

Stream the album below, or head over HERE to pick up your copy. Also don’t forget to check out the amazing video for “Vultures” and “Treatment of the Sun” below.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AA’s Frivolous Wants: Vinyl Clocks

Check out these amazing clocks made from old records.
Estonian designer Pavel Sidorenko, has cut old records into various shapes like people, penguins, pianos, or even city scapes, to inject a little life into your wall.

The only downside is that you’ll have to pay in euros and extra on shipping if you don’t live in Estonia, but I’d say that these are pretty damn worthwhile.

Check them out here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

AA Loves: Childhood

Check out London based Childhood’s latest single “Blue Velvet.”

Delicious light pop melodies unfold slowly over undulating guitar chords, while a soft voice coos. The perfect sounds for a lazy summer day as you trail your fingers in the water and watch its wake slowly ripple outwards.

Now that the first snows have hit NY, the retro guitars and echo-laden vocals are perfect for helping shut out the cold of winter.

Enjoy. Oh and don’t forget to listen to “Paper Waves” below.”

Childhood - Blue Velvet by Apathetic Arousal

Childhood - Paper Wave by neumagazine

Friday, December 3, 2010

Griffintown Interrupted: Half Life

So a good buddy of mine just sent me this fantastic architecture project that he’s been working on. He’s entered a competition to help revitalize Griffintown, one of Montreal’s earliest industrial neighborhoods, and he needs your vote.

While this could be seen as a shameless plug – which it is – it’s also a fantastic idea and the competition itself is really quite thought provoking in terms of how we imagine our urban space.

Taking a unique approach, this community has created an international ideas competition to help create temporary structures.Griffintown is undergoing some growing pains where sleek high rise condos are being built in the midst of old low level industrial buildings and empty lots that house artist studios. Naturally, not everyone is in love with the Wave of the Future while others find this opposition a nuisance.

Eschewing these two sides altogether, “Griffintown Interrupted proposes a third focus for the debate: neither past (restoration) nor future (redevelopment), but present. How can short term projects expand the existing community?” There are five sites that are up for grabs, and participants submitted a plan that details how the site will be disassembled, dehabilitated, and eventually disappear at the end of the short lease.

My buddy’s project, “Half Life” focuses on the old Police Station which currently houses a theatre company as well as many of the town’s ghosts. With such a macabre history and drama literally unfolding inside, there’s so much potential in this project.

He and his partner have turned the demolition of the building into an interactive performance piece. The inhabitants interact with the building as it is destroyed, while the building interacts with its surrounding environment and the changing seasons. The building is slowly destroyed in stages that correspond with the seasons, as the actors continue to host plays for the next 6 months in the decaying husk of the building, “an unorthodox and visceral” venue. All the while, the decay of the building itself offers up a theatrical performance in itself.

To borrow their phrase, “the theatre of demolition begins.”

Check out their project HERE and be sure to vote for it. Oh and don’t forget to tell all your friends.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Beady Eye – I Bring The Light

In case you guys missed it. Oasis is back…kind of. Several members of Oasis Liam Gallagher, Andy Bell, Gem Archer, and Chris Sharrock – basically everyone but Noel Gallagher – have gotten together to form Beady Eye.

After the whole Oasis/Gallagher brother implosion last year, Liam is back with a band that’s “bigger than Oasis.” According to him, “it's proper rock'n'roll," and that "Oasis was a pop band compared to what we're doing."

In reality, they’re not all that different from Oasis. Although, there are some noticeable differences. The energy is a bit more raw and draws heavily from the swinging psychedelic pop of the 1960’s. They’ve also got some snazzy new haircuts, back up vocals, and a lot of the old angsty shit-head edge back in Liam’s voice.

Within days of announcing their first European tour, tickets have sold out. With this much attention, it might even catch the eye of Noel, who is apparently taking a break from music and "doing nappies and all that malarkey.” But Liam is confident that Noel will return, perhaps to Beady Eye or Oasis. In an earlier interview, Liam simply stated "Noel will come crawling back very fucking soon."

In the meantime, check out their first single “I Bring the Light Below.”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

AA Loves: She Keeps Bees

Every now and then you come across a band that has such an emotionally raw sound that it just knocks the wind out of you. She Keeps Bees is definitely one of those bands.

Despite what you might think from the name, they are a bluesy rock duo based in Brooklyn that is somewhere between the Kills, The White Stripes, Howling Wolf, and Cat Power.

Heavily rooted in blues, it’s got a gritty feel that is loud and raw garage rock at its best. With a voice like Debbie Harry if she were the daughter of a poor southern sharecropper, Jessica Larrabee sings and plays guitar while Andy LaPlant beats time on the drums.

Larrabee’s voice adds a bold intensity to their sound, as she sings with such unadultered dark sensuous emotion. What’s more impressive is that all of their records have been recorded and produced by themselves at home.

Check out New Seed from their 7” release SKB-005.

Find more artists like she keeps bees at Myspace Music

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

AA Loves: Gruff Rhys

Check out Gruff Rhys’ “Shark Ridden Waters” from his forthcoming album “Hotel Shampoo.”

Shark Ridden Waters is a whirl of a time machine that brings you back to the psychedelic grooves of 60’s pop. With his angelic voice, smooth guitar riffs, and the sounds of the beach, surrender to the acid fueled visions of free love, happiness, and sexy times.

Interestingly enough, his upcoming album is named for his manical habit for collecting mini shampoo bottles and other single use toiletry items from hotels. According to Gruff, “I hoarded these objects in a rush of mild kleptomania. Every room in my house began to amass these plastic bottles and various, hotel-related things from every continent on earth (except Antarctica). Having never kept a journal these items have become like diary entries, triggering memories of all those buildings and random people I've met and inspiring some of the songs on the album.”

This album then is “an act of revenge against the colonisation of our house, I vowed to build a hotel out of the items and sleep in it. The resulting Hotel Shampoo creation serves as a monument to the waste that’s produced in our disposable age and to catalogue my transient existence.”

To coincide with the announcement of his latest album, he recently unveiled an art installation that he created using all of the various items he had collected while on tour staying in hotels. Check out the video here.

Listen below and head over HERE for a free download.

Also, be sure to check out the recently released video below. It’s a quirky spy story that’s definitely worth a few minutes of your day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball

I just recently came across these photos of Truman Capote’s lavish Black and White Masquerade Ball at the Plaza Hotel in 1966. It looks like the star studded attendees are having a fun sexy time at the "party of the century."

I must say that I am heartened by the fact that even Frank Sinatra in a tuxedo with Mia Farrow on his arm, can’t wear a mask without looking silly.

Have a gander at the photos as Truman Capote certainly assembled an impressive guest list of classy folks including William F. Buckley, Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow, Candace Bergen, Henry Ford II, and Lee Radziwill.

Damn. They sure knew how to party in style. What a startling juxtapsition from the images of today's partys with folks taking shots off the stomach of an STD riddled female vying for attention from the muscle bound bros chanting "chug, chug, chug" as they shotgun Natty Ice in public.