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Five by Kara Hammond, an artist who showed and worked in New York for many years and recently relocated to South Carolina, where she is teaching. I'm writing an essay about her work and am using the blog as my notepad. Top to bottom (these are her descriptions accompanying the photos she sent--actual titles, dimensions, etc. pending): Airport Roundabout, Boat for Sale, Bozeman Storage Units, Jetpack (In Progress), Tybee Island Toilets. Some earlier writing on the artist is here
"1987" [4.7 MB .mp3
The rhythms in this song consist of sampled (then altered and resequenced) beats from the above drum machine, which was originally manufactured in the titular year. (Just as an aside, as mentioned earlier, this blog has adopted 1987 as its foster year. See past references here
, although one unrelated one came up because 1987 was in the URL for a link.)
Other songs written and posted in July, but not related to 1987:
"Drum Reverie" [mp3 removed]
"Mouse Party" [mp3 removed]
"Audrey Zapp" (lean version) [mp3 removed]
"Nine Inch Bells" [mp3 removed]
"Cryptkicker" [mp3 removed]
My photo of LoVid is used in a brochure for upcoming events at the Kitchen; below is a scanned detail. [Update: the curator, Nick Hallett, says it's a draft and will change considerably.] The image originally appeared here on this blog
as part of its ongoing experiment in citizen journalism and public multitasking.
Steven Spielberg's AI
and Minority Report
were dreadful but War of the Worlds
ain't half bad. It's terse, moves like the wind, and tells its tale almost entirely in pictures, like an old silent film--you could watch it on a plane with no headphones and know exactly what is going on every minute, even if you'd never somehow encountered the Wells story. Critics mostly like this update, but a quick glance through the reviews at rottentomatoes.com pulled up a couple of debatable points:
Spielberg gives his pulp material grandeur because he is an A-list director.
No, he is a pulp director with pretensions to A material, adding films such as Schindler's List, Empire of the Sun,
to his shark and dinosaur canon. WotW
works because it's pure sensationalism. And like the best B-movies, it has that undertow of other stories being told. Like, who is scarier to the children in the movie, the bloodsucking aliens or the angry, controlling absentee dad fate sticks them with after the apocalypse? Or, how close are we to the kind of savagery depicted in the film, where a mob attacks an SUV that is the only set of working wheels on the road?
You won't remember anything in WotW the next day.
Beg to differ--that klaxon horn that heralds the arrival of the alien tripods still has me shivering. Because the movie is a silent film (with explosions) I can replay almost all of it in my mind as a series of images: Cruise struggling to keep his son from chasing the monsters while twenty feet away a well-intentioned couple tries to whisk his daughter away, thinking she's an abandoned child; the guy tearing through the SUV's window glass with his bare hands (but why is he black--pandering to suburban racial angst? Spielberg, meet George Romero); Cruise and Tim Robbins silently fighting over a shotgun while an alien roto-rooter probes the basement where they are hiding; Cruise yelling at his kids again and again.
Michael Atkinson of the Voice
is right that the 9/11 references (e.g., walls dense with flyers describing the missing) are a bit much. And it wouldn't be a Spielberg movie without stuff thrown in for no reason other than to be "cinematic." [Spoilers] For example, people are kept in cages riding under the heads of the towering alien "walkers"; periodically a snake-thing comes out of a rubber anus and grabs a human, presumably for a snack. Yet when it comes time to use human blood as fertilizer for the monsters' crops, the victims are dropped ten stories to the ground, a snake thing comes down and stabs them and sucks their blood ten stories back up into the tripod, where it is then sprayed in a thin mist across the landscape. But why all this dropping and long-distance sucking when the humans are already in cages next to the sprayers? Because a body falling towards the camera from a great height is "visually exciting." In the director's defense, stuff like this also makes the movie more irrationally dreamlike and disturbing.
I wish the New York Times
would interview me about the new policy of random bag frisks by cops in the subway. Most interviewees are saying tired stuff like "I don't like it but I want to feel safe." I'd say "Oh yeah, really fair to give up my civil liberties because Goober and Gomer out there in bumf*ck thought it'd be a good idea to invade Iraq!"
Sorry to my red state friends for these continuing cracks, but I hate your neighbors, the pinhead war supporters.
"Audrey Zapp" [since removed]. Originally posted under the title "Back to Fairfax Circle." That was kind of boring; the new title is still a geographic place name, believe it or not.
I'm also adding the following, which was the original take before I started adding little touches:
"Audrey Zapp (original take)" [since removed]
I may ultimately go with the earlier version [I didn't]--it's more minimal, and I like the cymbal that got buried in all subsequent mixes for some reason. I'm really fighting the battle over whether adding drum rolls, filter sweeps, and a punchier bass line improves the piece or if those are just canned values.
Update, 2009: "Audrey Zapp (Light Industrial Remix)" [4.5 MB .mp3
I love the temporary PATH and subway station in the World Trade Center crater; it's a very open, airy, unpretentious concrete and steel structure--just a functional placeholder till they put in something fancy.
I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I think of another oversized tower on that location, which is the current plan, to help the greedhead owner recoup his losses, I mean, to show America doesn't learn from its construction mistakes, I mean, to show that America stands tall and doesn't cave to terrorists.
New at the temporary transit hub: a glassed-in booth near the entrance to the E train where survivors go into a soundproof chamber and tell their stories into a digital recorder. I kid you not! It's run by some nonprofit called StoryCorps dot whatever and while it is attended by humans, it looks like a glass robo-confessional out of Logan's Run
. On the exterior, near the entrance to the booth, are all the logos of donors, corporate and governmental, that are backing StoryCorps.
Your leaders don't want you suing Saudi Arabia when its boys run wild with planes in this country, but they'll give you a little glass box where you can talk about your troubles.