Monday, November 24, 2008

Ravished By Color

I picked up my copy of Air Guitar again recently and have been thoroughly smitten. Dave Hickey's writing is the complete opposite of the dry, pretentious garbage that I've forced myself through way too many times. I love how he weaves his childhood and everyday experiences into the context of what he is writing about. I guess some would call it narcissistic or self-absorbed, but I'm more on the side that this is a more honest way of writing about the experience of art and that a cold and clinical approach kills the work.

In "Pontormo's Rainbow," Hickey talks about being "ravished by color," and how when art abandons color it becomes trapped by language, history and representation. Color, he writes, is "...a respite from language and history," and, in a funny way, it feels like his writing brings color back into the boring black and white realm of art criticism.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mile High Music

Just got back from Taiwan (had a great time). The only thing bad about trips to Taiwan is the long, long flight. But luckily, I brought a ton of new music to listen to on the flights. I also learned that Ulysses is really difficult to read.

One album on constant repeat was Alpinisms, School of Seven Bells's debut LP. Perfect album for that half-asleep, half-awake state I was in for most of the flight. They sound like a cross between Sunny Day in Glasgow and Ladytron -- cool, droning female vocals floating on top of a glimmering backdrop of electropop/rock. Kind of a neo-shoegaze thing going on there, too. Really solid album. Highly recommended.

The other new album I was listening to was Marnie Stern's This Is It & I Am It & You Are It & So Is That & He Is It & She Is It & It Is It & That Is That. Her music sounds like a mix between freak-folk and heavy metal, with a little bit of Hella and Dan Deacon thrown in. Super high energy, funny lyrics, hilarious (and highly technical!) guitar riffs make this album a really fun listen.

These two albums, along with Girl Talk's Feed the Animals and The Fleet Foxes album are my favorites of the year so far.