With variation in degrees of shading and texture, the black and white watercolor and graphite pieces by Ottawa's Nimit Malavia seem to be caught in varying degrees of completion. The epic 26 Point Stag, above, seems like a page out of Greek mythology or a fantasy novel, while Arranged, below, bleeds and combines geometries like a page out of a manga or graphic novel. These pieces are showing now at Spoke Art (816 Sutter Street, San Francisco), through April 28th, 2012. See more colorful and poetically romantic images, such as the ones on the bottom of this post, on her website, along with more black and white whimsies.

 

Montreal-based producer, DJ, and electronic musician Michael Silver, also known as CFCF, has recently taken time out from his electronic creations and remix projects to embark on a new creative detour. On his April 2012 mini-LP, Exercises, CFCF stresses the beauty of classical music. Each track on Exercises is titled simply with a number and a one-word description, leaving listeners with the sense that the collection is one of experiments. Visually-evocative and conceptually-rich, Exercises sees Silver connecting his electronic roots wiht a desire to pay homage to musicians like Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian. This interview explores Exercises track-by-track, with insight from CFCF and a complete album stream. Where it is applicable, we have paired the tracks from Exercises with a supplementary influence. We begin with "A Flower Is Not A Flower," from composer Ryuichi Sakamoto's Playing The Piano, the album CFCF credits for sparking his initial interest in this project.

Listening Station Exercises Full Album Stream

Track-By-Track Conceptual Analysis

Exercise #1 (Entry) This marks a beginning, an entrance of sorts to the Exercises album. What got you interested in doing this more structured and piano-driven piece considering so much of your music is electronic-based? It began because I became addicted to Ryuichi Sakamoto's Playing the Piano. It was the soundtrack to my fall and winter, in late 2010 I guess. And from there it went to Chopin's Nocturnes and Glenn Gould and Philip Glass and some of David Borden's piano counterpoint pieces. So I decided to make a version of a track from my EP The River, "It Was Never Meant To Be This Way", that was mainly piano with some kind of reverb-drenched, non-lyrical vocals over it -- moaning I guess. And I cut together some footage from David Cronenberg's Stereo over it, and then it kind of became clear that this was something I wanted to explore a bit further and build a world [out] of. The piano patterns and the harsh lines of the brutalist architecture, and with the songs, [they] kind of fill in some kind of drama. CFCF's "It Was Never Meant To Be This Way (Piano Version)"

 

Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) is upon us again, and we have whittled down their list of 100+ international shorts and full-length films to pick what we have determined to be the best and most interesting of the bunch. Portland International Film Festival 2012 runs from...

September 15th, 2011 - Branx, Portland, OR Suuns -- which, for the confused, and for me prior to MusicFestNW is pronounced "soons" -- play exactly the kind of dark dancey art rock that works for me. The Montreal band's ability to bridge pop and dance...

Compared to other festivals around the world, FYF Fest in Los Angeles is still in its infancy as it celebrated its eighth year this past weekend. However, with 37 bands and 18 comedians spread out on five stages, it is quite the extraordinary kid on the block. Last year the festival received a lot of beef for long lines, water shortages, and overall poor planning. A year can make a big difference and the festival organizers seemed to have learned their lesson as all previous issues were remedied. That left a great line-up of reunited punks, college rock veterans, mid-heavyweight electronic music-makers, and a new graduating class of garage rock to reign over the LA State Historic Park. Although bands like Guided By Voices and The Descendents did a good job at fulfilling nostalgic dreams, it was the bands with an eager spark that really stood out. And extra cool points to FYF for naming the stages after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

September 7th, 2011 - Los Angeles Historic State Park, Los Angeles, CA Photography by Koury Angelo

 

Future Islands

Although its band members have a history in performance art, list Kraftwerk as an influence, and are praised by indie critics, Future Islands are one of those bands that most people might not understand when listening to their record. However, in the live setting, everything becomes clear. It is like an epiphany which reveals to all that Future Islands is a phenomenal band that makes gorgeous music. At 3:35 p.m. it was a really hot part of the day and the tent where Future Islands performed (AKA Splinter's Den) was packed. But it was not just full of people simply trying to escape the heat. On the contrary, the crowd loved Future Islands and were dancing and clapping to the synthy beats and genuine vocals of this Baltimore band. Vocalist Samuel T. Herring bounced around on stage the entire time with an enthralling energy. After playing "Walking Through That Door" and "Tin Man" both off last year's In Evening Air, the crowd could not resist joining the band on stage. Future Islands wins for the most pleasant surprise at FYF Fest.

 

Calgary-based musician Chad VanGaalen is one talented dude, and his artistic skills are just as prominent as his musical skills. How fortuitous that he is in a position to animate a video such as this one, for "Peace Is On The Rise"! What you can...

Directed by Shunji Iwai Canada 2011 The line on Shunji Iwai’s English-language debut, Vampire, is “Don’t worry. The film is really not about vampires,” which is true. There are no mythical shenanigans; no supernatural mystique artificially injected into this story about a serial killer and his travails....