31 January 2007
TV On The Radio Video Premiere/Ugo Rondinone/Parkett Volume 78

1. I can't stop talking about TV On The Radio. A video for Province--from the recently-released, critically acclaimed EP Return To Cookie Mountain--premiered last night on MTV. (Note: If you haven't heard this EP, stop what you're doing immediately, and download it.) This video is visually arresting: simple, stark, in black and white. Also, check this video of a live performance of Wolf Like Me (on Letterman). The lead singer f*%king rocks. Now I'm dying to see them live. Click here for tour dates. And always: become friends with the band on MySpace so you'll be updated on everything they do.

2. Checkout the outdoor sculpture exhibit by Udo Rondinone, air gets into everything even nothing, 2006 and get up girl a sun is running the world, 2006. Sponsored by Creative Time, the exhibit runs from 02.01 thru 04.30.07. "Ugo Rondinone comes to Lower Manhattan with two new 17-foot-tall aluminum sculptures cast from 2,000-year-old olive trees from his parent’s village in Italy. Reflecting on time and displacement, the winter white trees bring his family's roots to our modern metropolis." Checkout this page on CreativeTime's site for more detailed info, this PDF of an article in Men's Vogue, and this interview by Aric Chen on hintmag. And don't forget this bio and pics of Ugo's work on artnet!

3. There's a new issue of one of my favorite magazines, Parkett, out now. "Parkett’s unparalleled explorations and investigations of important international contemporary artists by acclaimed writers and critics continue in vol. 78, featuring Ernesto Neto, Olaf Nicolai and Rebecca Warren." Make sure to click the link for Ernesto Neto. His work is HOT. If you're in New York, you can stop by St Mark's Bookshop to pick it up. If not, you can order it from their site.

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30 January 2007
BASE Album Club Picks 4 January

Super cool Miami store BASE has hooked up this.hearts.on.fire. once again with their Album Club Picks. The picks are a very well-curated set of some of the sexiest, coolest music anywhere. I love it because it's so different from my usual taste and always introduces me to new artists that I might not hear about otherwise. You can listen to samples and buy each album by clicking on the links below.

10. Zoe Johnston (Happenstances) / Zoe Johnston has released a full length of beautifully stripped down selection of acoustic ballads and instrumentals for an ethereal, transcending and rewarding chill out experience.

9. Electracoustic / Beautiful, intimate and affecting music abound on the two disc set, Electracoustic which is packed with the likes of Bonobo, Breaks Co-op, Peter Bjorn and Ms. John Soda and compiled by Chillout maestro Chris Coco.

8. Novalima Afro / Novalima are is a musical collective hailing from the likes of Barcelona, Hong Kong, and London specializing in a certain brand of music called Afro-Peruvian or simply "Afro" resulting in a brighter, more playful and lounge oriented version of Gotan Project.

7. Victor Davies (Hear the Sound) / Victor Davies returns with an excellent collection Brazilian songs with a melting pot of Latin, soul, jazz and acoustic thrown in for a captivating fusion of sounds.

6. Lost Idol (Utters From An Uncluttered Mind) / Psychedelic Cinematic Pop and Late Night Electronics. A Unique sound for sure and brilliantly pulled off by Lost Idol, who is actually DJ James Dean from Brighton.

5. Darkel / The new solo project of Air' JB Dunkel, Darkel, is a CD filled with moody, lush and progressively dark and alternately joyful beats.

4. Zero DB (Bongos, Bleeps & Baselines) / Zero DB have always been known to nu jazz fans but on Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines they truly break out and rock the dance floor by mixing diverse styles electro, breaks and hip hop with jazz an Latin sounds.

3. Bent (Intercept!) / Bent are back. Ditching the chilled out bliss of their previous effort this time around they groove and rock their way through the catchiest bunch of tunes this year.

2. TangoFusionClub / Tangofusionclub is a German dance outfit which takes the sounds of traditional Argentinean Tango and fuses it with modern electronic beats for an electric and energetic set of Latin floor shakers.

1. Keith Jarrett (The Carnegie Hall Concert) / Called one of the best Jazz albums of 2006, Keith Jarrett's Carnegie Hall concert is a showcase of one of the jazz piano greats and master of improvisation.

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29 January 2007
My Top 10 Favorite MySpace Profiles

Because I link to MySpace profiles so often on this site, I decided I'd start a series of Top 10 MySpace Profiles. Check it out!

10. The Arcade Fire / Because I didn't get tix to their NY shows and want to find out where the "secret" NY show will be that week.
9... SUPER SUPER / I've never picked up this mag, but I like really their icon, their name, and who they're friends with.
8... Klaus Nomi / Check this one out for the music and videos. Remember when artists could actually afford to live in NYC?
7... Warboy / I could listen to his music and watch the dancing cat graphic for hours.
6... Forbidden / Because she's supposed to be the most popular person on MySpace, despite the fact that Dane Cook has 500,000 more friends than she does.
5... John Cena / Because he's the only pro wrestler I'm friends with on MySpace or anywhere for that matter.
4... Kuntry Kritters / How can you not love this? People have no food or water in Africa, but we have "sparkly lilac sweater with matching hat" for $60.
3... Amanda Lepore / Because there can only be one self-proclaimed "World's #1 Transsexual" and she gives NY a lot of cred, especially against the assault coming out of London.
2... Your Name Here / If you have a hot MySpace page, drop me a line. I want to check it out.
1... Joy Division / Was there even a doubt in your mind?!

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27 January 2007
Ju$t Click It

I want to make sure you see this video in case you didn't click the link below. It's a video of Cassetteplaya's Fall/Winter 06 collection. It's so hot that I've watched it 5 times in the past 24 hours.

It's raw, frenetic, kinda retarded, low tech, primal, captivating, affectedly unaffected, and just really fucking cool.

Have a look and if you get it, you'll understand what I'm talking about. To me, this is pure artistic expression.

I've also just connected the UK dots: No-one (the London store carrying Stuart Semple's Rebels and Devils line) also carries Cassetteplaya's line, as well as Umbro by Kim Jones, Karen Walker, Laura Lees, PPQ, and Henrik Vibskov

Check it out!

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26 January 2007
Gareth Pugh/Cassetteplaya/M.I.A./Stuart Semple @ No-one

1. He's a hit in London: Gareth Pugh. Says Style.com, "Just when it seemed like the good old days of rebellious British eccentricity were over, along comes a pale youth, late of Central Saint Martins, who stages a fashion carnival for his first solo show. His name is Gareth Pugh, a lad from dour, post-industrial Sunderland, and he sent out a parade of perverse-looking harlequins with pom-pom hairdos, painted faces, and pointy hats." Checkout the full article. His MySpace profile. And images from his Spring/Summer 07 collection.

2. She's a hit in London too: Cassetteplaya. Known for her nu rave off the wall creations, CP adds more life to fashion than anyone currently on scene. If you want a feel for what's going on in London right now (and what it would be like if Bob Marley and the Teletubbies dropped acid and made a video), checkout this link. Become her friend on MySpace. Checkout this bio at her showroom's site, along with pics from her Fall/Winter 2006 collection and more from her Spring/Summer 2007 collection. And don't forget to peep the MySpace profile of her favorite band silverlink.

3. I always think that everyone knows everything I know. Take M.I.A. for instance. Hailing from the UK via Sri Lanka, she took the super indie side of the music scene by storm a few years back with hits Galang and Bucky Done Gun. I'd assume everyone knows who she is, but I bet I'm wrong. Checkout her MySpace profile to listen to these two songs and two versions of a new one, XR2, which I have to say sounds a little bit nu rave. Also checkout this Wikipedia entry for more info. And don't forget this video for Galang and this one for Bucky Done Gun. You'll soon be her newest fan.

4. Last but never least, it's Stuart Semple's new clothing line, Rebels and Devils, about to drop at No-one in East London. "Encased in a heavy wooden crate and opened with the aid of a crowbar, these exquisite hooded garments feature Semple’s beloved heroes and icons: Edie Sedgewick, Allen Ginsberg, Syd Barrett, Aleister Crowley and Hunter S. Thompson." Don't miss it and don't forget to add No-one on MySpace for all the latest updates on their Shoreditch shop.

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26 January 2007
"Promises are shit. Stupid fuckin words." I just remembered how much I love Fugazi.

Side note: And after hearing about Bit Torrent last week from three different people, I finally got around to checking it out. It's better than Limewire, which I was using, as it has no spyware and you can get full albums at once. The interface is a bit weird at first, but it's easy to figure out.

Checkout the Fugazi's profile on Wikipedia. Their name is short for a Vietnam era backronym (look at the Wikipedia profile for definition of this one) that stands for "Fucked Up, Got Ambushed, Zipped In".

Childhood friend of Henry Rollins and DC native Ian McKaye was the ring leader of Fugazi, which he formed after his previous band Minor Threat broke up.

Checkout 365sing for another great bio and for all the lyrics to their songs.

Also checkout a discography, their record label and a 2005 NPR interview.

Songs of note: Repeater, Shut The Door, Promises, and pretty much everything from 13 Songs. It's clearly one of the best albums of all time.

*Note: for any die hard fans of the site will realize this is a repost from October. I'm really busy today so I can't put anything new up until later, but like to keep the content (semi) fresh. I also really love Fugazi.

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25 January 2007
Coachella PreSale Tickets

I just got an email with info on getting tickets for Coachella tomorrow (Thursday, 01.25.07 from 10am til 10pm), which is earlier than they're being offered to general public beginning this coming Saturday.

As you already know, the lineup has been announced. Now it's time to get tickets.

"As a friend of Coachella and Goldenvoice, we are offering you a chance to be among the first to purchase PRESALE tickets for the LIMITED 3-day passes to Coachella."

Also, each person who buys a 3-day pass online will receive a special promo code for a FREE 1-year subscription to SPIN.

This is for 3-day passes only. Cost: $252. Click this link for tix. Use the code word: INDIO.

And remember, there will be no tickets available until 10am Thursday.

Good luck!

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24 January 2007
Ju$t Another Rich Kid Launches Fall/Winter 2007

Ju$t Another Rich Kid will officially launch their Fall/Winter 2007 collection But Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect on 02.02.07 to coincide with the first day of New York's fashion week. The collection is named after the song Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect by indie band The Decemberists, who, by the way, are part of the just announced Coachella lineup.

"Ju$t Another Rich Kid is pleased to announce the launch of the Fall/Winter 2007 collection, featuring our classic, custom-fit men's short-sleeved tees and a new slim-fit, enzyme-washed hooded sweatshirt. A lighter weight fabric coupled with our custom wash gives the tees and hoodies a buttery-soft, broken-in feel from the very first wear."

"The imagery was created around a fictional character, August, who after having dropped out of Cornell's architecture program, moves to Berlin to live off his trust fund. He spends his nights in bars and clubs and his days at home listening to music and sketching. His designs are heavily influenced by: Joy Division, Bauhaus (both the band and the architectural style), Swedish death metal, medical/anatomical illustrations, medieval art and architecture, Greek mythology, illuminated manuscripts, dragons, Edgar Allen Poe, classic comic books, alchemy, Shakespeare, and MC Escher. The styles in this collection reflect this."

The collection is in showrooms now. Checkout the full press release here for further details.

Also, the Spring/Summer 2007 collection Sex.Money.Violence., which includes men's short-sleeved tees and polos, will ship out to stores next week.

For a full list of stockists in your area, checkout this page.

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24 January 2007
Clap Your Hands Say WOW!

There's a secret very inexpensive ($10) show tonight at the Mercury Lounge with super hot Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Get your tix here now!

I saw them last night at Bowery Ballroom and they totally rocked. It took me a minute to get used to it being live and not MP3's, but after a few songs it all came together.

When they played Yellow Country Teeth, the crowd went berserk. It was kinda like when that really cheesey soft rap song everyone knows and loves comes on at a frat party. (Note: I am in NO way implying the song is cheesey or soft or anything but super hot.) I could feel the floor bouncing up and down. Overall, it was an amazing show.

Don't forget to become their friends on MySpace. And to buy their new EP from InSound.

Here's a stream of Satan Said Dance for you to check out. I can't stop playing it. Kinda like when I first heard the White Stripes.

* Update: Minutes after I put this up, there are no tickets left. Incredible.

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23 January 2007
Coachella Has Announced Its 2007 Lineup!!

Finally, Coachella has let the cat out of the bag. The lineup for 2007 has been announced. Tickets go on sale Saturday, 01.27.07 from the Coachella site.

Headlining are: Bjork, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rage Against The Machine. Bjork, I get. Not quite sure about the other two as headliners, I have to say. I mean I love the Chili Peppers and used to like Rage Against The Machine and will definitely go see both, but it's 2007. Are they still really relevant enough for Coachella?!

I'm definitely into having The Jesus And Mary Chain there (and think they would have been a better headliner than RATM), Interpol, The Decemberists, The Arcade Fire, Spankrock, Sonic Youth, as well as one of my old favorites--Blonde Redhead--who I didn't even realize were around any more.

Others in the lineup of note: Air, Gogol Bordello, Klaxons, The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, Regina Spektor, New Pornographers, Peter Bjorn and John, Happy Mondays, Crowded House, Kaiser Chiefs, Richie Hawton, and Ratatat.

Checkout the article on Pitchfork. There's a flyer for the event that lists the full lineup!

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22 January 2007
Terrence Koh @ Printed Matter/Argosy/Mahogany/Brian Eno @ Selfridges

1. One of my favorite stores, Printed Matter, has a limited edition book by one of my favorite artists, Terence Koh, entitled Such Things I Do To Make Myself More Attractive To You. "Each of the edition of 200 consists of a black box containing three booklets resting on a bed of black jellybeans, along with a unique ebony-colored, organically-shaped sculpture of black plaster and black glitter, and a black-on-black colophon card with a unique signed "drawing" on the reverse, individually charred around the edges."

2. If you're in the East Village, stop by Argosy (428 East 9th Street btwn 1/A). It's one of my favorite places to get vintage tees (they have some amazing 70's and 80's rock 'n roll tees), hoodies, polos and other seasonal items. The clothes are top quality and the prices are much lower than other stores of the same calibur in the city. Most tees are under $15, excluding of course the really hot, rare concert tees. Checkout Jargol for more info, as well as this blurb on Music For America.

3. Diana Ross was on Letterman last week promoting her new album, which I don't remember much about. It did, though, make me think of the 70's cult classic she starred in with Billy Dee Williams: Mahogany. It's so 70's. It's so bad, it's good. Checkout the Wikipedia entry for the film, the IMDB page, and this page of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Oh yeah, don't miss this trailer for the film.

4. God father of ambient music Brian Eno is also a painter. Who knew? He has a show coming up in the UK: The Constellations (77 Million Paintings). "creates “visual music” using screens showing constantly evolving paintings. The 77 million paintings are generated from handmade slides, randomly combined by a computer using specially developed software. A soundtrack of interwoven sound accompanies the work. The random nature of The Constellations allows each visitor a unique experience." It will show at Selfridges in London from 01.27 and at The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead from 01.31.07 thru 04.15.07. Checkout this piece on Style.com, Brian Eno's Wikipedia entry, and this info on Selridges' site. Baby's on fire...

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19 January 2007
New Balance Fresh Fish @ Alife Rivington Club

Undoubtedly one of the best sneaker stores in the world, Alife Rivington Club gets all the hottest kicks first and even gets to test trial styles to see how customers react.

Everybody who knows me knows: I'm a sneaker man. I avoid shoes at all times, putting them only when absolutely necessary. That having been said, though, I think the deluge of customs and styles over the last 4-5 years has been a little much. Lots of misses with a few hits now and again.

Every once in a while, though, a style comes out that catches my eye. This time it's the New Balance 1400, Butterfly Fish (shown right) from the Super Team 33 collection.

"Super Team is the name of the elite group of New Balance employees chosen to build the company’s highest end lifestyle collection. The shoes are available in limited quantities to 33 of the world’s top retailers."

Checkout the other two styles: New Balance 1400 Neon Fish and New Balance 1400 Clown Fish. Also, another blog, Random Ramblings, has much more detailed info on the collection with lots of pics.

To request more info on purchasing, stop by the store (158 Rivington Street), call (212.375.8128) or checkout this page.

Oh yeah, don't forget this review of the store on superfuture!

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18 January 2007
The Decemberists Announce Spring US Tour

Checkout the dates on Pitchfork. The band will be touring in support of its recently recently The Crane Wife. You'll see that the New York show is actually in Jersey City. What's up with that?! I thought Bloc Party playing a venue on 177th Street in Manhattan was a bit strange and unnecessarily out of the way, but Jersey City? It's going to be a grumpy ride home on the PATH train that night.

Checkout this song (Yankee Bayonet) from The Crane Wife EP available via stream here.

Also, NPR listener's Top 10 Albums Of 2006 had The Crane Wife in the #1 spot.

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18 January 2007
Top 15 On Lucy's Jukebox

Everyone knows I love Lucy's Pool Bar on Avenue A. The owner, Lucy, a 60-something year old Polish woman who bartends 5 or more nights a week, is one of my favorite people in New York. In addition to a bar top game console with Megatouch's Photohunt--which I'm addicted to--the jukebox at Lucy's rules.

It's an old school East Village mix: classic and punk rock side by side with random stuff like the theme song from Titanic, as well as songs from the likes of Ricky Martin and Cher.

Below are my Top 15 favorite tracks on Lucy's jukebox.

15. Look Sharp! (Joe Jackson)
14. Union Of The Snake (Duran Duran)
13. Salsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel)
12. Every Day Is Like Sunday (Morrissey)
11. Whip It! (Devo)
10. Rape Me (Nirvana)
9... Crazy (Patsy Kline)
8... Bullet The Blue Sky (U2)
7... All Tommorrow's Parties (The Velvet Underground)
6... 52 Girls (B-52's)
5... Ca Plane Pour Moi (Plastic Bertrand)
4... Spoonman (Soundgarden)
3... Cherry Bomb (The Runaways)
2... Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
1... Ballroom Blitz (The Sweet)

Checkout this video on YouTube for the #1 song.

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17 January 2007
Womanizer @ Deitch/Destroyer/Bloc Party Tickets/Nice Collective

1. Deitch has a show up now: Womanizer. Curated by Julie Atlas Muz and Kembra Pfahler (of The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black, pictured right), the show features work by: Muz, Pfahler, the one and only Vaginal Creme Davis, Bambi The Mermaid, Breyer P-Orridge (aka Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV fame), and E.V. Day. Checkout this page for more detailed info. The show runs through 01.27.07 and features "The Womanizer Salon" every Thursday evening.

2. Checkout the MySpace page of Vancouver's Dan Behar aka Destroyer. "If there has been any precedent set or pattern developed over the previous six recordings in the Destroyer canon, its that Bejar holds little regard for convention or expectations. Never one to rest on laurels, each successive Destroyer release always explores new sonic territories and ideas." Also checkout this page on Merge Records. Looks like Destroyer is on tour this spring, but as with all the super cool west coast Canadian bands, they never come to New York. Maybe one day...

3. Don't forget to get tickets for the New York Bloc Party performaces on Ticketmaster. As not everyone is in New York, you can check their site for a full listing of tour dates.

4. Finally, I want to shout out one of my favorite men's clothing lines Nice Collective. Still going strong after 10 years, the designs and tees continue to be super cool and well made. Checkout their site for info on the line, where it's sold, and installations they've worked on. I'd direct link to the sections, but it's a flash site so it's not possible, unfortunately. Their new Seekers Collection is slated to hit stores late January 2007.

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16 January 2007
Clap Your Hands Album Out Now/Gruppo Pizza/Triple Candie/Free Frisbee Project

1. It's finally here: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's new album Some Loud Thunder is available for download starting this afternoon. Check it out! The two already released singles that I've heard, Satan Said Dance and Underwater (You And Me), both rock. If you pre order the CD now, not only do you get the digital version immediately, but you also get a limited edition t-shirt. If you're uncertain, you can also listen to the entire album on MySpace to see if you like it, but do indie rock a favor and buy the album!

2. I went to Pizza Gruppo (186 Avenue B btwn 11/12 Streets) for the first time in a few years last night. I've been on such a ramen kick lately that I've neglected my old haunts for way too long. I was instantly reminded why I love this place: the pizza is unbelievable. I never liked thin crust pizza until I had theirs. Try the Meat Lovers, Fafandone, or create one of your own. And don't forget the salads. They're enormous and delicious. I always finish wanting more. Two favorites: Spinach Salad and Arugula & Bocconcini Salad. Checkout the reviews and their menu on Menupages, as well as this list of the 10 Best Pizza Joints In New York.

3. Checkout this article in the New York Times about New York gallery Triple Candie. They have a show up until Sunday, Lester Hayes, Selected Work 1962-1975, that has an interesting twist. Think JT LeRoy sans blond chick with wig.

4. Last but not least: FREE FRISBEE Poster Project in Los Angeles has an opening this Thursday (01.18.07) at Circus of Books in West Hollywood. A long roster of artists has created posters for the show, including our friend and collaborator Jac Currie from Kickit Fashions. Checkout Andrew Schoultz's entry (pictured right) and their site for more info on the project and the opening.

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15 January 2007
Joy Division Movie Set To Release 03.02.07 in the UK

The US release date has yet to be set, but for those in the UK, Anton Corbijn's film about Joy Division is set to release 03.02.07. For more information, checkout the film's official site and signup for their newsletter to be updated with info as it's released.

Also, become friends with these guys on MySpace for more info. The blurb below is taken from a bulletin they posted recently.

"Directed by Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, Control is set to open in UK cinemas in March, 2 years after its American producers Orian Williams and Tom Eckert first contacted Mojo to discuss their new project. Eckert has spoken about their lengthy effort to get the film off the ground, having optioned the rights to Touching From A Distance in the late 90's. 'I don't think there are many really great stories out there.' said Todd. 'But this is one of them.'"

Checkout the full post on MySpace. You need to be logged in to see this. There's also a more detailed press release here.

The film stars super cool Samantha Morton as Debbie Curtis. Checkout her IMDB page here and her Wikipedia entry for more info. I've never seen a performance by Morton that I haven't liked. She's amazing.

Unfortunately, I can't find a trailer for the film anywhere. If anyone knows of one, drop me a line.

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12 January 2007
FAKE Top 13 List / Bernhard Willhelm

One of my favorite magazines in the world FAKE (out of Spain) has in its current issue Top 10 lists by well-known artists, designers, singers, and others who have graced its pages.

Included are: Adam Dugas; Kirsten Dunst; Björk; Kim Jones, Ju$t Another Rich Kid; Maison Martin Margiela; Helena Christensen; Silvia Prada; Bernhard Willhelm, whose list of 13 appears below.

13. Birds flying towards us and then flying away again
12. The moments between moments, when you're happy
11. Cafes with two guests and a dog
10. Streets made of golden sunlight
9... Meat and dumplings at home
8... The high of sex
7... A lot of money when we earn it, not later when we spend it
6... Art at the moment it's created
5... Something too expensive that we can afford
4... A certain smile
3... Elephant showers
2... Death, as long as we're not dying
1... And you, because you've read this to the bitter end

Stay tuned for more...

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11 January 2007
The Arcade Fire: New Video/MP3s/New York Concert

Checkout the video for the brand new The Arcade Fire song Intervention. It's one of the singles from the soon-to-be-released EP Neon Bible, which is set to release early March in the US.

Checkout their site and the official fansite for more details. You can also get the single on iTunes.

While you're at it checkout these videos on YouTube: Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels); Rebellion (Lies); footage from Conan; Neighborhood "3 (Power Out); killer live footage outside the Union Square subway station featuring a cover of Bizarre Love Triangle.

I wonder if the new Apple TV box will let us watch YouTube videos on our TVs?!? I can't quite figure out if you can only upload media that you've downloaded or if it's a real time link between your PC and the TV. If anyone knows, drop me a line.

I've uploaded the MP3 for the song (Black Wave/Bad Vibrations) that was "accidentally" released by someone at Merge Records recently. Enjoy.

And last but not least: if you're lucky enough to have tickets to any or all of the band's New York shows (02.13 - 02.17.07), I'm jealous. They're playing at The Judson Memorial Church just south of Washington Square Park, which is going to be amazing. Unfortunately, all shows are sold out and the tickets were only $29!

From the looks of things, they're enforcing a strict "anti scalping" policy: tickets are "will call" only and the name on your ID must match that on the tickets in order to get in. I have a feeling laziness will prevail over thoroughness, though, so not to fear.

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11 January 2007
Bikini Kill/Clap Your Hands @ Bowery Ballroom/Broken Social Scene Vids/Antony & The Johnsons Vids/Patty Cheng Video

1. Remember Bikini Kill? The Olympia, WA, Kathleen Hanna-fronted 90's band rocked. Strawberry Julius popped up out of nowhere on my Nano today. It's such a killer song. Also of note: I Like Fucking; Rebel Girl; New Radio; and my all-time fave Bloody Ice Cream. Checkout their Wikipedia entry, this fan site, live Rebel Girl footage from DC (1992), and, last but not least, this interview footage with the band members. So hot.

2. Get your tix for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's upcoming benefit concert at Bowery Ballroom on 01.23.07. Also on the bill, Tiny Masters of Today, Kimya Dawson, and Tamar-kali. Don't miss it!

3. Trolling around YouTube today, I came across videos for some of my favorite Broken Social Scene songs. I've been without cable for so long that I almost forgot about music vidoes, not that I'd suspect any of these would play on MTV or VH1 anyway. Check them out: I'm Still Your Fag; 7/4 Shoreline; Fireyedboy; and this clip when they appeared on Letterman.

4. Then I came upon something that hadn't even occurred to me: Antony & The Johnsons videos!! First and foremost Hope There's Someone (brilliant!); Cripple And The Starfish; You Are My Sister (original); You Are My Sister Live w/ Boy George; and the same song on Letterman. Watching Dave and Antony in the final shot is priceless. Dave seems so sincere, yet so uncomfortable. Also, don't miss this two (1,2) video documentary on the band.

5. Finally, checkout this video featuring an interview with New York artist Patty Chang. It contains excerpts from some of her work, which is great if you haven't had the chance to see any of her performances or videos yet.

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10 January 2007
Aitken @ MOMA/Devendra Banhart Book/Laura Owens @ Gavin Brown/Kiki Smith & Agnes Martin @ Film Forum

1. If you've never heard of Doug Aitken or seen one of his videos, now's the time. Beginning 01.16.07, MOMA and CreativeTime team up with Aitken to present Sleepwalkers. The gigantic, multi screen public video installation will be projected nightly through 02.12.07 on the exterior walls of the museum. The video even has an allstar cast featuring Ryan Donowho, Seu Jorge, Cat Power, Donald Sutherland, and Tilda Swinton. How hot is that?! This one's not to be missed. Checkout CreativeTime's site for more detailed info, a preview, an interview with the artist, and much more.

2. Super cool New York shop No. 6 Store recently began publishing a new series of small books featuring artists and designers they love. First up, Perhaps In Clouded Shrouds, featuring drawings by this.hearts.on.fire. favorite Devendra Banhart, accompanied by poetry by local singer/songwriter Dana Kline. A limited number of 600 were printed and are available at the Little Italy shop, where you can also checkout the artwork by the singer which is currently being displayed in the shop windows.

3. Artworld darling Laura Owens is back at it. This time with a series of new work which is showing at Gavin Brown now through 01.13.07. Checkout Flavorpill for more detailed info on the new work.

4. Film Forum is currently showing two candid portraits of artists at work: Kiki Smith/The Squatting Palace and a rare look into the live of artworld recluse Agnes Martin/With My Back To The World. Checkout the site and trailer for the Kiki Smith movie here. The movies run for a very limited time only (01.10 thru 01.23.07), so get your tickets now.

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10 January 2007
Art-chart Part 2 by Stuart Semple

5. An age old British tradition is Desert Island Discs in which a household name tells you what they could not be stranded on a desert island without. The latest to enter it's hall of fame is gender bender Grayson Perry. Art chart tip - Grayson remember a pot to p!ss in!

4. Everyone's favorite dandies, Gilbert and George unveiled a series of 6 new works, inspiringly titled - Bomb, Bombs, Bomber, Bombers, Bombing, and Terror. No prizes for guessing what they're all about then... Genius!

3. At last the amateur moaning of Stuckist rubbish has been removed from the otherwise glorious restaurant at 43 South Molton. Thanks to a visionary swoop by the liquidators, a bit extreme but we all knew something had to be done.

2. In a momentary flash of genius, Damien Hirst has replaced his iconic shark with... Wait for it! A... SHARK! The only difference is that this one comes with a 1000 year iron clad no rot guarantee. So if it's skin falls off we know where to find you Damien!

1. After making a tit out of himself at the Frieze Art Fair, Dinos Chapman has put his top back on, put the brush of doom down and taken to modeling. Enter the new poster boy for Russian vodka brand Stolichnaya. Are times really that tough?

Send your art-chart tips and suggestions to: artchart@stuartsemple.com

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09 January 2007
Ramen Is The New Chicken Noodle Soup

During my cold/flu episode last week, a friend brought over one of my current favorite dishes to help me lick my sickness: Miso Ramen Soup, aka Ramen Noodles, and not the kind in the packet you used to eat in college. This is real Japanese restaurant made ramen, which I declared is the hip, new chicken noodle soup. Move over Campbell's.

Below is a list of a few places in the East Village I like to get ramen. Check it out!

My favorite: Sapporo East (245 E 10th Street @ 1st Ave). There's something about this place overall that I love. The crowd, the space, the location, the waitstaff, and above everything else: it's the only Japanese restaurant that has beer on tap. You can get Kirin by the glass or the pitcher, which is ideal with ramen.

Across the street and down the block is the famous, famous Momofuku (163 1st Avenue @ 9th Street). Everyone's heard about the lines, the hype, so I won't go into too much detail. Consensus is out: the food is amazing. The drawback: the ramen costs nearly twice as much as anywhere else.

Famous, famous, but not as expensive: Rai Rai Ken (214 E 10th Street between 1st and 2nd). The drawback: a perpetual line. This 14 seater has amazing food, but nearly always a wait, unless you're in the neighborhood for lunch or you order takeout. A bonus: they have a chicken version with no fishcake or seaweed that rocks. My favorite so far. Checkout this NY Mag review.

Last but not least: newcomer Minca (536 E 5th Street between A and B). It's an all ramen joint, is reasonably priced, and doesn't have the insane waits that the other three do. Checkout these reviews on Menu Pages and checkout their menu.

Don't forget: if you're sick and hip, it's ramen, not chicken noodle soup. You're not in Kansas anymore.

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08 January 2007
Happy 60th Birthday David Bowie!

My Top 10 all-time favorite Bowie songs.

10. Let's Dance
9... Blue Jean
8... The Man Who Sold The World
7... Queen Bitch
6... Andy Warhol
5... Suffragette City
4... The Jean Genie
3... Fame
2... Life On Mars
1... Changes

My Top 5 all-time favorite Bowie movies.

5... Labyrinth (1986)
4... The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
3...The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976)
2... The Hunger (1983)
1... Basquiat (1996)

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08 January 2007
Top 10 List / Maison Martin Margiela

One of my favorite magazines in the world FAKE (out of Spain) has in its current issue Top 10 lists by well-known artists, designers, singers, and others who have graced its pages.

Included are: Adam Dugas; Kirsten Dunst; Björk; Kim Jones, Ju$t Another Rich Kid; Maison Martin Margiela; Helena Christensen; Silvia Prada; Bernhard Willhelm; among others.

I am going to post several of these lists over the next few weeks for you to checkout. Some have themes, while others are lists of the 10 most important things for that person.

10. Maison Martin Margiela For Men
9. Goodness
8. Well-being
7. Openness
6. Freedom Of Expression
5. Courage
4. Equality
3. Love
1. Truth

Stay tuned for more...

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07 January 2007
Art-chart Part 1 by Stuart Semple

10. So not to be beaten by the competition UBS stepped up and opened an online art store too. What is the world coming to, they'll be selling us loans down at Larry Go-Go's gaff next!

9. Modern microchips may have enabled us to play The Sims in fabulous 3-D, but they have also enabled architect Zaha Hadid's gnarly drawings to be produced into schematics for actual buildings. The latest in a long line of her victims will be a new Contemporary Art Museum in Sardinia, that looks strangely enough like a melted sardine! Evidence that modern technology is actually taking humanity backwards.

8. Not technically a chart entry, but we promised our mates at the Tate we'd put out a word for them. They've blown the budget on ergonomic chairs for the new café and seem to be 5 million down on a purchase of Turner's Blue Rigi So if we could all dig deep and have a quick whip round I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

7. Our sympathies go out to Russian gallerist, Guelman Marat, who was attacked by a hoard of rampaging skinheads who chucked shoes, chairs and a computer at him! I'm glad the Russian government has taken the initiative to arm gallery-goers. Self defense against suspect works of art and equally suspect dealers should be compulsory worldwide soon... We hope!

6. Deutsche Bank have realized that there's no money in banking so they've launched an online store selling arty stuff... What a lovely idea, it's only a matter of time till you can withdraw a small Emin sketch from an ATM outside an all night liquor store cum kebab emporium.

Send your art-chart tips and suggestions to: artchart@stuartsemple.com

Part 2 coming soon...

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05 January 2007
Down For The Count

I've been laid up since Tuesday with a wicked head cold that has left me unable to work, update my blog, or even eat.

I'm feeling better today thanks to my dear friend Lara, who brought me medicine, juice, and Miso-Ramen Soup from the Japanese place down the block. Hipsters take note: Miso-Ramen is the new, urbane chicken noodle soup.

Rest assured, I'll be back at it again on Monday. Please check back then.

And don't forget to take your vitamins!!

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01 January 2007
The World According To Patti

If I could get tickets today for the 2008 Patti Smith New Year's Eve show, I'd do it right now. Watching her perform at the Bowery Ballroom last night was the best New Year's Eve to date.

I know she's called the poet laureate of punk rock, but after last night's show, I've decided she's no punk rocker at all, but a dying breed of old school New York City hippies. The woman drips with intergrity and sincerity, especially as she repeatedly took on politics and The Bush Administration in between songs.

Interestingly, I've never been to a show where I could sense that everyone in the audience was there because because of their sincere love for the artist. It wasn't crazed obsession like fans of Madonna or Prince, but devotion like the followers of the Dalai Lama or Martin Luther King.

The entire show was broadcast unedited on Sirius. Unfortunately, I can't find an archive of the show on their site but, then again, I'm not quite sure how Sirius works.

Playing along with her were: Lenny Kaye; Tom Verlaine (of Television fame); her son and daughter (I had no clue she had kids); and a two-song intermission by Steve Earle.

In addition to playing Redondo Beach, People Have The Power, Rock N Roll Nigger, and her one chart hit Because The Night, she covered Everybody Hurts by REMand a Stones song that I can't recall right now.

Unless I get invited to a tropical island next year, I know where I'll be on New Year's Eve.

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