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by Karen Zarker

3 Dec 2009

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.

by Matthew Fiander

3 Dec 2009

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.

by G. Christopher Williams

3 Dec 2009

The Godfather’s familiar emblem, the hand that holds the puppet strings, signals the clearest interests of what the films and this game explores: how individuals seek and attain power through manipulation and control, albeit largely at the distance afforded the puppeteer, not the puppet.

This series takes the idea of being a professional criminal seriously.  Wedding a meditation on control and the ugly nature of power to the play is a smart way for The Godfather to carve out a niche that truly belongs to itself in a genre known for caving in to conventionality.

by Katharine Wray

3 Dec 2009

A great present for a James Ellroy fan, obviously. But also a good gift idea for any fan of the political-noir genre. Centering on the unrest and upheaval of the late ‘60s, this book ties assassinations, racism, communism, gambling and drugs into a tale and corruption and retribution, and of course, good and evil (classic Ellroy). Bet in about three years you’ll catch the Hollywood version on the big screen, but nothing beats the book.

by Eleanore Catolico

3 Dec 2009

Doesn’t the Old English typeface say it all?  Loaded with pictures of pistols, Lickshot just screams bad ass. Lickshot, New-York based photographer Ben Watts’ photo scrapbook and travel diary, is an ideal stocking stuffer for the provocative-at-heart, not least your kid who just graduated from art school. Watts’ dynamic, renegade photography captures the primal in his subjects; a street theater of gang bangers, skate punks, metal heads, and entertainers including Heath Ledger, Benicio Del Toro, Guy Pearce, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg. The book also features an interview with Watts by Vanity Fair editor Ingrid Sischy that delves into Watts’ biography. These gun photos are in-your-face intense.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Moving Pixels Podcast Discusses 'Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2'

// Moving Pixels

"Our foray into the adventure-game-style version of the Borderlands continues.

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