NDIIIPP Special Event: Ian MacKaye - 2013 - LibraryOfCongress Video Description: Groundbreaking singer, songwriter and guitarist Ian MacKaye spoke at the
Library of Congress on personal digital archiving and the need to
educate creators and users in ways to steward our digital cultural
Speaker Biography: As both performer and producer,
MacKaye has documented music coming out of the Washington, D.C.
underground for the past 30 years. MacKaye founded Dischord Records as a
teenager in 1980 with partner Jeff Nelson. Their original intent was
simply to release a single to document their recently defunct band, The
Teen Idles. The label has since gone on to release music from more than
60 bands, with more than 160 albums during the past 25 years. In the
process, the label performed a citizen-archivist role, documenting
Washington-area music in many forms and catalyzing cultural activity and
community-building in the nation's capital and around the world.
Kanye West has plenty of good songs, but the ego has landed once again. To offer up a moldy and cobwebbed phrase, he has made yet another attempt to "push the envelope". He will surely convince his already fans, that he is edgy, and new. He is fully aware that his lyrics are unacceptable, and he has found a way to market it: in other words, it is calculated.
Life affords us many mistakes, and although none of us are perfect, I'd like to think that as we age, we grow. This adult man, who is now a new father to a baby girl, is spewing lyrics that his young one, will some day hear. Being that our culture is indeed seeped in sexism and racism, you never know, she may actually come to embrace what he has laid down for us.
Although it is simple enough to side-step the fact that if that album is not to our liking, there is a much larger issue that cannot be written off.
in a while Kanye West goes ahead and does something that's truly
impressive. You can't always tell this because, for West, there's no
difference between an act of genius and being a genius. For him, genius
doesn't stem from action; genius is an extension of his very state of
His unwavering sense of "complete awesomeness at all times" is
bolstered by a weird feedback loop of celebrities, fans and critics who
hate to love him and love to hate him. Each, however, pumps up his
self-importance to the point where his sixth album, Yeezus -- a
very good, but not great work and one of the few records in recent
history that can actually live up to the claim of being eagerly
anticipated -- is already being proclaimed as a masterpiece, despite its
lack of focus and center.
Musically, Yeezus is an enjoyably-adventurous deconstruction of industrial rock, electronic dance, ragga
and new wave that more than once eschews drums and often pulls in
reggae vocals for ominous effects. (For added measure, there's a snippet
of a chorale on "On Sight" and an outro, provided via sample, by
Hungarian Rock band Omega on "New Slaves.")
The album is short, clocking in at 40 minutes, and only one of its
ten songs is listed as primarily produced by West. Whereas his past
albums have concentrated on radio-friendly melodies, lush production,
arena rap and navel-gazing, Yeezus is stark and minimal and
seems determined to be the music that comes on in sketchy warehouse
parties at about 3 am when your second wave of drugs is wearing off and
you'll try whatever anyone has, because YOLO.
Much like 2008's 808s & Heartbreak, the rapping on Yeezus seems to be an afterthought. (Rick Rubin, who executive-produced the album in the 23rd hour, revealed
that vocals for five songs were laid in two hours before West caught a
flight to Milan.) This is actually a good thing, because as a rapper
West is often silly, sloppy and belabored -- the type of guy that may or
may not be serious when angrily demanding croissants, and doesn't
realize that the 300 were Spartans (not Romans) or that C-Murder came
from the Calliope (not Magnolia) projects. (He also doesn't know who
starred in In Too Deep [Omar Epps, not Mekhi Phifer]). None of
this stops him from rapping with gusto, because even when he gets bested
by guest rappers on his own songs, as on Late Registration's "Gone," he claims his superficial raps as super-official.
Yet the glaring deficiency in West's raps on Yeezus is not
his skillset as much as it is his utter lack of empathy for women as
human beings. So, yeah, the guy with the trophy girlfriend who just gave
birth to his daughter manages to throw a few lines that could be read
as unintentional jabs at Kim Kardashian. On "On Sight," he raps "I know
she like chocolate men/ She got more niggas off than Cochran" which
seems a little too close to home on too many levels.
"I'm In It" manages to spin race and sexism for maximum offensiveness
not once, but twice: "Eating Asian pussy/ All I need was sweet and sour
sauce" and "Black girl sippin' white wine/ Put my fist in her like a
Civil Rights sign." On "Hold My Liquor," he mixes wealth and power with
sex and misogyny proclaiming "One more fuck and I can own ya," after
dismissing that he "smashed your Corolla" while parking his Range
Rover--which is like, whoa dude. No one man should have all that anger.
The two punk-channeling songs he premiered on last month's SNL
performance -- "Black Skinhead" and "New Slaves" -- are the album's most
pointed numbers; they're also the kind of songs crafted to be played
very loudly in order to make white people incredibly uncomfortable.
On the surface that's all bravo because, you know, fuck your
post-racism fallacy. But with Kanye, his rants -- about celebrity, about
art, about race and class -- are always about personal injustices done
to him masquerading as some sort of quest for social reform. He begins
"New Slaves" making allusions to picking cotton and Jim Crow, and if you
imagine listening to "New Slaves" outside of the context of
contemporary Kanye-ism, it sounds like the Last Poets. And the release
of the video -- not through traditional outlets but projected onto
buildings in places like the University of Tucson, Philadelphia's
Franklin Institute, and the heart of Fifth Avenue -- was incredibly
revolutionary. But it was also visual screed against consumerism by the
guy who produces fetish item sneakers and has worshipped at the
storefront of more obscure high-end brands than any rapper ever.
So of course his finger-pointing at the prison industrial complex and
racist attitudes is marred by Kanyecentrism: his response to such harsh
realities is to use his resources to move his family to foreign lands
(because he's fucking rich and fuck the rest of us) and, more tellingly,
to cuckold a powerbroker by taking his wife and ejaculating "on her
Hampton blouse and in her Hampton mouth," because, for Kanye women are
objects and the best way to retaliate against his oppressor is to
violate said oppressor's most prized object. On the one hand, his move
is all about powerlessness exerting power in the face of power; on the
other it's all about his personal sense of satisfaction. Power to the
people? Not so much.
In his attempts to be politically astute, Kanye West falls woefully
short, but music and culture would probably be worse off without him.
The same night that he premiered "New Slaves," Birdman and Rick Ross
dropped a song named "Pop That Pussy" while Plies released a ditty
called "Fucking or What" -- both being the type of lowbrow, ignorant
music that makes you ashamed to say you like rap in mixed company. When
compared to regressive bullshit like that, Yeezus is truly impressive.
This event was recorded at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, on May 19th, 2013.
Hard Art DC 1979 - Lucian Perkins, Alec MacKaye and Henry Rollins - 2013
1979 Lucian Perkins, the future Pulitzer-winning photojournalist, was a
Washington intern and the vibrant D.C. punk-music scene was about to
erupt. Perkins captured the images, and his iconic photos are
complemented with stories on the bands and their shows by punk musician
HBO How and when did you get involved in the story?
Lerner I started in February of last year when pictures of Pussy Riot
started to appear in the London press, just before the cathedral event.
I've spent my life making films about the place where art and politics
meet and immediately was alerted to the potential for this story. Once
they had been arrested, I knew for certain we should be making a film
with these guys.
Max Pozdorovkin I grew up in Moscow and spent a
lot of time there for work. I was always interested in them and Voina,
the other performance group they were in, and their politics and the
art. I was attending the trial and thought it was one of the most
fascinating things I've ever seen. Once we found out a lot of the trial
had been filmed by RIA, the Russian news agency, we made inroads in
getting the material. We realized that the cameramen began rolling
before the trial began, when the women were sitting in separate cells
and speaking to each other. It was such an incredible window, we wanted
to base as much of the film on that as possible.
HBO Was it the cathedral setting or that they were women that touched a nerve?
Pozdorovkin For the people inside the cathedral, the biggest offense
was that they went near the altar. They trespassed where no one, except
the patriarch, is allowed to go.
Mike Lerner That was their aim,
to provoke a reaction. And part of their offense was not only being on
the altar, but with bare arms and exposed flesh.
HBO How did you get their families to participate in the documentary?
Lerner Masha's mother was very reluctant because she had been hounded
by the press in a number of negative pieces about them. Nadia's father
has been very vocal and open. The other two parents are very unused to
being in the public eye. They really wanted to keep a low profile.
Pozdorovkin What's so rich about the parents is how their own
transformations, especially Katia's dad and Masha's mom, say so much
about the story. They weren't really happy that their daughters did what
they did, but seeing how the system overacted, they understood the
point of their daughters were making.
Katia's father, even before
he knew about the film, said to me in the courtroom, "There are two
Russias here and both sides hate one another. They refuse to speak to
and understand one another." There was a great deal of truth in that
sentiment. We really started to think about the film around this idea.
HBO How did the trial play in Russia?
Pozdorovkin It was a huge soap opera and there were protests outside of
the courtroom, people both for and against them. It was like a
miniature of the whole thing. Most Russians still do not like them and
believed they should have been punished. But the consensus is slipping;
people now believe the punishment was too harsh.
HBO So in Russia, are all defendants caged during proceedings?
Lerner It does seem so incredibly medieval, three women in an iron
cage. But they weren't getting special treatment. That is what happens
in a Russian court. For us, it seemed like the perfect metaphor for
Max Pozdorovkin It ties into the idea of a public
spanking. Public disgrace is significant for the film. In formerly
Communist countries, the court system is used to perform these public
punishments. That's why we use the show trial materials from 1937. This
punitive mentality is still there and repellant; the cages, the
aquarium, are testament to that. The only special treatment they got
were vicious dogs to lead them in. Not all prisoners get the dogs.
Mike Lerner Only gangsters and terrorists.
HBO Did Pussy Riot ever expect to become an international story?
Pozdorovkin They had no idea. But they're media performance artists and
they measure success by the degree of provocation. They probably
couldn't believe they could cause so much.
HBO How do Nadia and Masha feel about Katia being out while they're still serving sentences?
Pozdorovkin Katia has worked tirelessly on filing appeals on all sorts
of levels. Both for the original trial, based on improper process, as
well helping with the appeals for early release of the women. In a
guerilla group, there's no benefit to have everyone behind bars.
HBO Since the appeals continue, will you be making updates to the documentary?
Pozdorovkin I think if something extraordinary happened, that would be
cause to go back. But the story is about what these women do in court
during the trial. Read more: http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/puss...
On the first episode of "The Art of
Punk" we dissect the art of the legendary Black Flag. From the iconic
four bars symbols, to the many coveted and collected gig flyers,
singles, and band t-shirts, all depicting the distinctive Indian ink
drawn image and text by artist Raymond Pettibon. We start off in Los
Angeles talking to two founding members singer Keith Morris, and bass
player Chuck Dukowski, about what the scene was like in 1976 - setting
the stage for the band's formation, as well as the bands name, and the
creation of the iconic four bars symbol. Raymond Pettibon talks with us
from his New York art studio. Back in LA we meet with Flea, from the Red
Hot Chili Peppers, about how the art, the music, and that early LA
scene impacted his own life and career. To wrap it all up we sit and
talk at length, with Henry Rollins, at MOCA Grand Ave in Los Angeles,
about all of the above and more.
Created, directed, and
Executive Produced by writer/author of 'Fucked Up + Photocopied', Bryan
Ray Turcotte (Kill Your Idols), and Bo Bushnell (The Western Empire),
The Art Of Punk traces the roots of the punk movement and the artists
behind the iconic logos of punk bands such as: Black Flag (Raymond
Pettibon), The Dead Kennedys (Winston Smith), and Crass (Dave King).
addition to profiling the artists, the series includes intimate
interviews with former band members, notable artists, and celebrities
who have been heavily influenced by the art of punk rock including Jello
Biafra, Tim Biskup, Scott Campbell, Chuck Dukowski, Flea, Steve Olson,
Penny Rimbaud, Henry Rollins, Owen Thornton, and Gee Vaucher.
filmmakers Bryan Ray Turcotte and Bo Bushnell take a unique approach to
exploring the rich histories of these three seminal punk legends by
focusing on the influential imagery and seeking out stories that have
not been told yet through the artwork, which is integral to the
importance and influence of each band.
On June 11, 2013 The Art
Of Punk debuts on MOCAtv with an episode on Raymond Pettibon and the
artwork of Black Flag. The stories behind the art of the Dead Kennedys
will debut on June 18, and June 25 will see the release of the Crass
episode, all of which will be available at: www.youtube.com/MOCAtv
Just purchased this Rosie Doll Face Necklace by JooSweetie on Etsy.
Description from the website: • About 2'' wooden circle, hand painted with acrylic paints and gloss varnish • Rose cabochon embellishment • 20mm plastic beads • 10 mm glass beads • Gold brass bead caps • Gold brass flower connectors w/ tiny rhinestones • Ultra suede backing • Gold tone brass bail and cable chain • About 41 1/2'' in total length with 8'' back hanging
I believe story telling is an art form and blogging is a medium in which to share stories and ideas. Within this blog I hope to cover a spectrum of topics. From the serious to the silly. Here you will read my views and inquiries about subjects such as feminism, other various socio-political issues, psychology, spirituality, sexuality, and general interests such as film, art and music. You will also be exposed to my obsession with cupcakes, tea, books, Hello Kitty, and quirky day to day journeys. I enjoy learning from others as I am constantly attempting to introspect, grow and evolve. During this process I will be jotting down musings on this blog. Pull up a comfy chair and a spot of tea and join me!