The Vic is normally entertains concert enthusiasts by exploiting the ample open floor space that then tiers upwards toward the sound booth and two bars. Those who prefer their own seat can enjoy views from the venue’s second level auditorium-style seating. But for the contemporary poster child of eclectic-folk, Devendra Banhart, rows of fold-up chairs occupied every inch of floor space. Oh, and no assigned seats. Was this encouraging people to remain seated or was migrating towards the stage ok? Was the performance going to be eerily quiet, just a man and his guitar?
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The Feelies are a band which seem to defy classification even today. Through not being part of any “scene” as such, they followed their own idiosyncratic muses, incorporating influences both typical for alternative bands of their time (Velvet Underground, The Modern Lovers) and atypical (classical minimalism, incorporating found object sounds in their records). Coming out of the suburban village of Haledon, New Jersey in the late 1970s, the band were ensconced with their record collections and jamming with friends in garages, punctuated by occasional trips to the big city to see bands. Without the strictures of a set scene or predefined sound, however, they were able to dip into New York without ever being immersed in it, free to do what they liked, unencumbered by generic expectations or localized trends.
Almost 30 years after their first record (the seminal Crazy Rhythms) was released, the Feelies are, like so many bands of the post-punk era, on the reunion circuit, backed by the reissuing of their first two albums. The crowds they play to are aware of their music through the diversions of the rock canon, through downloading and a general tendency towards retrospection amongst modern music listeners. With the plethora of music easily accessible online, fans are more and more aware of the interrelatedness of music, and the reference points that bands make. If you’re doing it, chances are someone in the past has done it already, whether you know it or not (and the knowingness is quite likely). A current band that makes explicit its debt to its influences from the indie rock canon, Times New Viking, namechecks members of its favorite groups (the Clean, the Fall, Pavement) on its MySpace, as well as referencing Yo La Tengo in a song which sounds very like Yo La Tengo.
Coast to coast, your connoisseur of street art is covered in these two very smart books on the species’ timeless, irrepressible urge to ridicule, shock, provoke, entertain, mock, render beautiful or simply tag I WAS HERE (and if you saw this, you were, too). Graffiti New York claims this is the city where graffiti began. The Romans might say otherwise (heck, cave dwellers might contest the Romans), but in these times, the elevation of simple tagging to a complex art form as represented in New York is respected (by fellow graffiti artists, anyway) worldwide. Graffiti artists themselves, from the streets and from the galleries, lend word to the approximately 1,000 images here, giving context and critique to this most primal of art forms rendered gorgeous.
San Francisco’s Mission District boasts a greater concentration of street art than any other neighborhood in the world. You’ll get a glimpse of this here in over 500 archival and contemporary photographs. Neighborhood native and ‘mural aficionado’, Carlos Santana, provides the introduction to this colorful and at times, moving tour of cultural commentary You’ll see R. Crumb and Diego Rivera depicted here, along with a range of other talented street artists. Last time I was in the Mission District, I stayed in a crappy, pink stucco, roach infested hotel and slept, barely, to the sounds of fighting outside my window. This book makes me want to go back to that neighborhood and stay awhile and walk those streets again, but slowly, as if walking through a museum. Really.
Like so many other canonized rock albums, Bunny Gets Paid doesn’t do all the work. But once you shoulder some of the load, the returns it yields are immeasurable. This is not music that will be understood easily, or even fully, but it is deeply felt. It’s the rare kind of album where you can listen to it 100 times and you might just hear, and feel, 100 different things. There’re signs of blues and Americana and classic rock, but they’re so spare and so deeply embedded in the band’s sound as to be afterthoughts. To try to explain this sound is not only impossible, it is completely unnecessary. There is no other thing to call this music. It is purely Red Red Meat.
// Moving Pixels
"Full Throttle: Remastered is a game made for people who don't mind pixel hunting -- like we used to play.READ the article