This week: Richard and guest host Charles King speak with Hardy Fox, from the Cryptic Corporation who acts as the agent of The Residents. The Residents is an American art collective best known for avant-garde music and multimedia works. The first official release under the name of “The Residents” was in 1972, and the group has since released over sixty albums, numerous music videos and short films, three CD-ROM projects, ten DVDs.
They have undertaken seven major world tours and scored multiple films. Pioneers in exploring the potential of CD-ROM and similar technologies, The Residents have won several awards for their multimedia projects. Ralph Records, a record label focusing on avant garde music, was started by The Residents. Throughout the group’s existence, the individual members have ostensibly attempted to operate under anonymity, preferring instead to have attention focused on their art output.
Much outside speculation and rumor has focused on this aspect of the group. In public, the group appears silent and costumed, often wearing eyeball helmets, top hats and tuxedos – a long-lasting costume now recognized as their signature iconography. Their albums generally fall into two categories: deconstructions of Western popular music, or complex conceptual pieces, composed around a theme, theory or plot. They are noted for surrealistic lyrics and sound, and disregard for conventional music composition.
Written and overseen by Meg Onli, our beloved BAS teammate, Black Visual Archive is a terrific new blog/website dedicated to contemporary black and post-black visual culture that launches this week. What’s more, the website is designed by another invaluable BAS colleague, Martine Syms, who as you all know also runs Golden Age. I love the crisp look of this site, and the range of subject matter, which promises to be pop-y, eclectic, smart yet fun, too. Right now, Black Visual Archive has a beautifully written review of Kerry James Marshall’s exhibition catalog Mementos from his 1998 exhibition at the Renaissance Society in Chicago, which looks at the thematic and conceptual implications of the book’s design and content. They’ve also posted on a performance of Nina Simone’s “Feelings” at the Montreau Jazz Festival and the Berry Brother’s Fascination’ Rythym. A brief excerpt from “Kerry James Marshall | Mementos” follows:
Historically, a souvenir painting is a literal interpretation of an event, however, instead of painting the march from Selma to Montgomery or a portrait of the Little Rock Nine, Marshall’s “Souvenir” paintings all depict the interior of a middle-class household. In Souvenir I, (1997) the home becomes sanctified with the souls of black folk who hover above a couch. Their visages, reproduced with screen-prints, which are a sharp contrast to Marshall’s hand, are of deceased men, women and children with angel wings. In gold glitter the phrase “in memory of” is scrawled just below them. Is this our souvenir? The ability to ascend to a higher social status? Are these men and women our post-Movement saints? Powell notes, “one gets the sense that the ‘Souvenir’ paintings have just as much to do with process of memorializing as they do with the ‘idea’ or ‘theme’ of the memorial: painting likeness and building effigies to the one-time mortals-but-now-gods; creating a functioning, commemorative alter in one’s home; and constructing a hierarchy of African-American sainthood.”
There’s much more to come, so check out the site on a regular basis, or subscribe to the RSS feed for more.
Thesixtyone.com was a solution for a specific genre that was and still is quite good and in that vein “We Are Hunted” was created. It attempts to crawl the web for the top 99 relatively new songs that a majority of people are talking about then displays them on the site for your listening pleasure.
It’s not a one stop shop but definitely a nice tool in your music safari arsenal. Enjoy and find that new song for your summer fun or maybe just this weekend.
Right now your doing one of two things probably
- 1. Shoping for beverages for a party
- 2. Looking for music for a party playlist
Well BaS is here to help and even though our tastes run a bit indie-rock and instrumental we can promote the biggest hits of 2009. Luckily someone has done the work for me and remixed the top 25 songs of this year in one song. Yes one song and one music video. Hopefully this will help in your search, if not you can always go with “Blitzkreig Bop” but that’s like black it goes with anything.
I still think “Take Your Shirt Off” by T-Pain is a underrated masterpiece that will be remembered years from now
This week: recent addition to the BAS family Anna Kunz talks to indie rock legend Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Folk Implosion, Sebadoh, Sentridoh, and his own solo work) about the creative process, his music, and other exciting stuff. Lou recently released a spectacular new album out Goodnight Unknown. Richard will kick himself for a long time that he wasn’t there for this interview. Bad at Sports congratulates the Barlow family on the addition of a recent bundle of joy! The baby thing is catching kids, watch out. Before you realize it everyone you know will have a couple ankle biters running around.
Clipped from Wikipedia, and redundant:
Lou Barlow is an American alternative rock singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
A founding member of the groups Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh and The Folk Implosion, Barlow is credited with helping to pioneer the lo-fi style of rock music in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Barlow was born in Dayton, Ohio and was raised in Jackson, Michigan and Westfield, Massachusetts. Read more