Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Branx is a venue known for a crazy angle on a good show. Nothing is ever typical, and rarely anything mutable. Diamond Tentacles is the same. Doors opened at 9pm, Saturday the 13th. On the small Branx basement stage, Tentacles let out their first Portland show.
Seeing Diamond Tentacles was like being all the magic of being eleven, and all the dark magic. They would be like any Brooklyn psych-rock outfit were it for there additionally unsettling use of humor and generational kitsch. Obsessive over preteen relics and imagery, they transport an audience to a dimension of synth and syndication. Embracing an obvious pop approach, which is more apparent in their more radio-ready dance pieces as $and Dollars and Capri Sons also tells us who they are. Like any vintage dance operation but relentless with trashy, acid-disco ridiculousness.
Tentacles surprised us with however with their jaw-dropping opener. They took a tender approach to ballads that decimated audiences. Opening with the track "Raceme", the crowd's attention is captive. Booming synth suggestive of something ripping off the 'Top Gun' soundtrack, if that were its template. Tentacles in fact is founded in a sort of comfortably old VHS copy. It's beats fragile and mechanical in construction, lyrics of magic and adolescents fall together into something beautiful.
Diamond Tentacles is the face of three very strange and excited young New Yorkers. Two are brothers, Michael and Elliot. They say they grew up middle class and things were fairly quiet. They are responsible for the every oblique, electronic riddle and reference. Their friend Emily Sands is their voice. She is the madness and the mage that excercises thier spells. Hers is the voice that is truest in more dark pop ballads, Braided Moons, Paladin and again Raceme. Her innocent and sincere visitations on new age as vintage is a lovely adhesive in Tentacles.
Then there is the dance. Serious dance. Fried and frantic is Diamond Tentacles strong suit. "Magic Wands" is evil its so infectiously moving. "Party or I'll Fucking Kill You" speaks for itself. We danced and we gasped for air as the Tentacles three controlled every breath with every outrageous number.
See Diamond Tentacles next time. Deal with the brain damage later.

Braided Moons
$and Dollars
Capri Sons

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Least Favorite Songs

Blue October: Say It.
This band is completely ridiculous. The singing style is really grating and the chorus has a really cheesy edit that makes my ears bleed. Their stylist also should sleep with the fishes.

Smash Mouth: All Star
I have always hated this band. It's too happy and 'Broseph" to exist. I also hated Shrek for having it on the soundtrack.

Postal Service: Such Great Heights
That dude from Death Cab for Cutie needs to not sing, write, and especially not make electropop. And there's nothing worse than a crappy song spawning infinitely crappier covers.

Jack Johnson: Good People
Where have all the Good People Gone? Probably to Payless. Put on some shoes. I hate this feel-good hooey.

Katy Perry: I Kissed a girl
Katy Perry has that pseudo alt-pop plague of the 2000s some people might call a vocal style. Her songs are really offensive and juvenile. But she is so damn pretty. I cant stay mad at that.

Who let the Dogs Out: Baha Men
What the hell is this song about. They're a big hit with Pixar, Im certain. Also see Smash Mouth.

Black Eyed Peas: Let's get Retarded/It Started
Im fairly certain this song first existed as "Let's get retarded" and wiki has my back on this. I dont mind offensive music, however when a band is clearly a pop product I do feel they have a responsibility to not be assholes.

BNL: One Week
Im sure it's been more than one week since all of these guys are still virgins.

3 Doors Down: Kryptonite
Annoying voice. Crappy dated video and hair gel. I wager this song's major demographic has strongly considered purchasing GHB or already had the time.

Kelly Clarkson: My Life would Suck without You.
Also see Katy Perry. Call me old fashioned, but I just dont like that tone she takes with "suck".

Favorite Songs

Musette and Drums: Cocteau Twins

>Cocteau Twins is a pretty well known and acknowledged band from the way back 80s. This is my current fave song of theirs. It's intense.

Tropikalia: HK 119
Heidi Kilpeläinen is an shockingly beautiful Finnish woman. As a performance artist and musician she makes herself very scary and genderless. I respect that. This song is a very funny/frightening song about climate change if it were sung by Jessica Rabbit on angeldust.

Tenebrae: John Maus
A very weird song about the crucifixion of you-know-who. It has a really bizarre, sick lo-fi 8track kinda thing going on. At about 3 min 45 secs in the song he does a synth solo that is like a laxative in my brain.

Skin of the Night: M83
This song is real pretty and sexy, sounds a little like a Berlin song. Great lyrics and a nice duet. Leave it to the French.

L'Amour Et La Violence: Sebastian Tellier.
Tellier has a gorgeous voice, plays piano beautifully and looks like a sleazy lounge singer. There is a beautiful vintage electronic build up in the song that makes me sad. :(

Out There on the Ice: Cut/Copy.
Cut/ Copy on the surface has a very campy and fun early 90s dance thing happening. This song reminds me a lot of watching the Winter Games as a child. My mind always drifts to thoughts of of the dynamics of success and failure in my family. And it sounds like a hockey game!

Flourescent Half Dome: Dirty Projectors
This song is really pretty and I like the very visual/abstract nature of the band's lyrical style. This song to me, is that at its pinnacle.

Kingfisher: Joanna Newsom
Ms Newsom if you're nasty. She's my all time 2nd favorite musician. Amazing voice and harp. Her writing and compostion skills, for a lady in her mid 20s is inhuman. Her immaculate lyrics are completely fleshed out and sprawling. This song stands out to me as it is less a narrative of her past, but more how she is uncertain of how that is constructing what will come.

Ancestors: Bjork
This song knocked my socks off in 2003. It features Inuit throat singing by Tanya Tagaq. It communicates a lot of very painful feminine expression very successfully with no language (that I can understand) and is very primitive and beautiful.

The Captain: The Knife
The Knife is completely bad ass. This song reminds me a lot of colonization or the discovery of the New World by way of a really shitty VHS copy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Childhood Home Project.

A rewrite of a phone interview with my mother, Anne Lane.

Owen: Mom, do you like the house you and Papa live in?
Mom: Yes. I wish we could get rid of some your guys' crap and be a little more minimal or something. Im glad we dont have any pets anymore. That makes things easier. The house is nice now, especially since the remodel. But its way too much space without any of you kids here.

O: Why did you and Papa decide to buy this home?
M: We originally intended to have a home built near Potter's Marsh in Anchorage so that we would not need to move out of town. It would be close to your father's work in Anchorage. We were able to have a much larger home built if we moved out of town.

O: What were you most pleased with, in moving into the new house in Palmer?
M: The lot was really nice. We had an acre for a yard. I liked that much of it was 'hay field" so it would take less work to have a vegetable garden. When we moved into this subdivision. There were just a couple families. We felt like we had a lot of space. We had the (Matanuska) river to walk to, and the lake. The Hook's farm was next to our street. It was really quiet.

O: What did you not expect about our new home, or were unhappy with?
M: The house was fine. Your father was unhappy with the commute (to Anchorage). As the subdivision grew, we didn't seem to to fit in with the "snobs". Nathan (brother) would stir a lot of shit in Sky Ranch, and everyone hated the Lanes. Casey (brother) changed a lot in Palmer. His grades went to shit, and he started doing drugs.

O: Mom, can you tell me a "big thing" or important memory related to the house? Something that stands out.
M: You remember Tommy and the gun, right? When Nathan was about 16 if Im right, came home from shooting with Tommy Hooks. That shit Tommy was walking upstairs with his finger on the trigger and the god-damned thing went off. It went through the staircase into the basement stairs. Everyone was always zipping down those stairs, crushing cans or playing in the basement. He could have killed someone. He was such a fuck-up.

O: What was your favorite part of the house?
M: The porch. The back porch. The view of Pioneer Peak, which is now almost completely covered by cottonwoods, and you could see the lake to the North. We had/have the smoker out there, the BBQ. The whole deal.

O: If you could change something about the house, what would you and Papa change?
M: The basement. We always wanted to finish it. We've been trying to clean it out for 20 years, and get rid of all of your guys' crap. (the children). We still have all of your crap from when you moved down to Oregon. When Casey went to jail, we had to put his whole apartment down there. He still hasn't gone through it. It's such a mess!

O: Would you like to stay here, or move out?
M: I could do without the dark in the winter. I really hate it. It's so depressing. We had planned to move down to New Mexico after Papa retired, but he lost so much in the recession. We're happy with the house, but I dont care for this neigborhood anymore. Everyone in Sky Ranch is so crazy. They are always throwing their hands up in the air about something. they're crazy!

O: Do you think the house in Palmer changed us significantly as a family, or shaped us?
M: I dont know. The only thing I think is weird is that everyone has stayed so close, besides you. Your brothers and sisters have all stayed within Palmer or Wasilla. They all seem to be very comfortable in the valley. Nate's expressed leaving state, but he doesn't. I think they still want the option of doing laundry here.

O: Can I have the house when you croak.
M. That's not funny. No.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Public Intervention Art

Pt 1: Salami in the City.
I had this great idea! I think it relates to perhaps Gabriel Orozco in that I simply changed a public space. I took a typical park bench and added a penis dangling off it, fashioned out of masking tape. It's important/applicable being a penis in a non-penisy environment because it also had a great interactive quality, if an participant sat just so, they were then the owner of this very special penis.

Pt 2: Maybe He's Just Not That into Puke.

I think this style is similar to Lilly McElroy's. She seemed to operate her art on acting "inappropriately" in public. A theme i saw throughout her processes was challenging comfort in everyday life. Throwing up in a public park with kids watching and golfers nearby is really foul...and your friend laughing and tapin' it is even more bizarre! The second scene really went off well. I had many more viewers, and felt it was much more of a success. I went for it in a very busy Fred Meyer parking lot and had a lot of viewers. Having very obvious documentation really perplexed my audience.


This gem reminded me of the Erwin Wurm's work. I noticed a theme of combining activity of poses, or just changes of everyday activity to make it notable. On their own neither of these activities would get any attention. Reading and cycling simultaneously is a very unconventional activity.