If you live in NYC or are visiting it soon, get to New Museum by the end of the month if you know what's good for ya! Closing January 2nd is this amazing, amazing enveloping psychedelic sculptural Experience, presented by Germany's Carsten Höller (now living and working in Sweden). Where else will you see giant life-size multi-colored hippos? Nowhere. Where else will you be presented with giant tri-shroom composites? Nowhere.
new museum carsten holler This is, according to the New Museum website, "the most comprehensive US exhibition to date of the artist’s engaging work." They continue by saying:
"The current show gathers together a number of the artist’s signature works in an arrangement that transforms the viewer’s experience of time and space. Originally trained as a scientist, Höller is frequently inspired by research and experiments from scientific history and deploys these studies in works that alter the audience’s physical and psychological sensations, inspiring doubt and uncertainty about the world around them. His work often draws on social spaces outside of the museum such as the amusement park, zoo, or playground, but the experiences they provide are always far from our usual expectations of these activities. Höller’s art takes the form of proposals for radical, new ways of living by creating sculptures and diagrams for visionary architecture as well as transportation alternatives, such as his renowned slide installations. These concepts may seem impossible in the present day, but suggest new models for the future."

Xhurch, a repurposed church in North Portland, has decided to take last year's live reenactment of the Nativity one step out of the terrestrial and into a more cosmic direction, with this year's Alien Nativity. See full slideshow of last year's Nativity. Last year's Nativity had the usual characters -- Mary, Joseph,...

When it comes to the very basic language and musical form of Junior Boys' fourth full-length release, It's All True, there is very little obscurity. Clearly, it is an album that only contains words from the English language. Clearly, the music is fairly customary for indie electronic musicians of the Western world. However, a deeper look at the album actually reveals that the songs speak in many different tongues. Whether it is the striking contrast of upbeat electronic music and dark lyrics, which each tell conflicting stories, or the worldly expeditions that were necessary to complete the songs, It's All True turns out to be somewhat of an affirmation of a universal language. Not only did the making of the album cross cultural barriers, but it also explores themes such as, honesty, deceit and authenticity, which have been questioned repeatedly by people over time and around the world in varying ways.

"Selling art doesn't bother me. Making insipid, vacuous art bothers me. The cult of personality bothers me especially because I feel as though I have very little to offer. I'm a bad self-promoter, and I'm constantly reminded of how bad a trait that is for an artist to have. I think that it is sad and frustrating." -- Jeremy Greenspan, of Junior Boys

Conflicting Stories

Though songwriter and vocalist Jeremy Greenspan technically started Junior Boys in 1999 with now former band member Johnny Dark, most people know Junior Boys as Greenspan and engineer Matt Didemus, who entered the picture in 2002. For almost 10 years, Greenspan and Didemus have shown the world that they can make fun tunes with punchy electronics that make listeners want to dance. It's All True is no different. The first – and most immediate – story the album paints is light and upbeat, typical of a dance record. Like opening track "Itchy Fingers," the songs are sultry, enticing, and full of bright keys and wiggling tones. [caption align="alignright" width="215" caption="BUY: F FOR FAKE + IT'S ALL TRUE"]
Artistic Influence:
Orson Welles

F For Fake is loosely a documentary which focuses on Elmyr de Hory's recounting of his career as a professional art forger.

It's All True features three stories about Latin America. 'Bonito the Bull', retitled 'My Friend Bonito', was about a Mexican boy's friendship with a bull; 'The Story of Samba' was centered around Brazil's 1942 Carnaval; 'Four Men On A Raft' was a reenactment of a Time Magazine article about four impoverished Brazilian fisherman who traveled 61 days and 1,650 miles in harsh weather and without navigation instruments.[/caption]

Holocene - Portland, OR - 2011 / November 9 It's been a fascinating and, from a fan's perspective, incredibly fun year for Brooklyn disco-rock revivalists Holy Ghost! The band finally released their anticipated debut album on DFA Records, the label that has essentially raised the band from its infancy to their...

Long Island-based quintet Twin Sister put out two wonderfully dreamy indie pop EPs between 2008 and 2010, and then quietly retreated to the studio, leaving us hanging until this September. Their debut full-length, In Heaven, expands upon their atmospheric sound, giving them room to explore and waver between slower songs...

November 2nd, 2011 - The Casbah - San Diego, CA The crowd at The Casbah seemed to lovingly embrace fem-fueled rock and three-pieces at the tour stop for Shonen Knife and Oakland's Shannon And The Clams. Between all three acts, all with strong female leads, and the customary guitar, bass, and...

On Lo & Behold, Emil & Friends have assembled a pop album the way a mash-up DJ might piece together a mix. By incorporating a wide-reaching mélange of elements, the band has created a playful universe of sound where just about anything they can dream up goes.

 

See all Emil & Friends-related posts From track to track and within each track itself, the possibilities are... unpredictable. "Rain Check," with its groovy basslines and horns, could soundtrack a New York street party in the middle of a summer; "Mask Like Face" begins as a traditional indie pop track but explodes into digitized voice manipulations that cavort with strings and electronic blips. "C.U.P.I.D." rolls with modern hip-hop swagger yet bears proggy guitar breakdowns; "Flashback" starts off peacefully nostalgic but builds into a cheesy '80s guitar solo that disappears just as quickly as it appears. Listen to "Crystal Ball" - DOWNLOAD MP3

 

On a recent trip to New York City, my friend had mentioned that Latin American families seem to bring their children just about everywhere to have a good time. Whether it be in a park at midnight or a used bookstore, it's more the notion of family and celebrating togetherness...

Ambiguity is one of the most powerful tools performers are using to draw us into their work. In the case of Japan's Offsite Dance Project, uncertainty dictated everything the audience did, starting with when we gathered into the Olympic Mills Commerce Center and were unsure of where to look or...