The End of eating Everything 
Wangechi Mutu + Santigold

Dizzee Rascal - I Don’t Need a Reason
Dir. Emile Sornin

TAVI VIA JOHN HAMM VIA FRANK OHARA

Like this Internet wormhole path: Scavenging for footage of Frank O’Hara, come across a video of O’Hara reading “Fantasy” in his NYC apartment in 1966 (just a couple months before Fire Island dune buggy death).  Poem ends, up crops the usual patchwork of 12 videos suggested by YouTube for my subsequent viewing pleasure, and among them is vlogger Don Draper AKA unshaven Jon Hamm in a Cardinals Tee at his laptop.  Obvi, I click, and watch Hamm deftly answer ?s from teenage girls looking for relationship advice and insight into the minds of boyz…???  Turns out this is one in a series of “Ask a Grown Man,” whose roster reads as sort of the hipster darlings section of a Who’s Who of TV & Film (Girls' Alex Karpovsky, Sleepwalk With Me's Mike Birbiglia, Community's Danny Pudi, Portlandia's Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Rudd), and a series that originates on the online version of Rookie, a (admittedly awesome) monthly periodical exploring art, fashion, culture, politics, technology, and fiction for teenage girls.  It’s smart, frank, less than two years old, encourages readers to send in artistic photos of flowers in their braces, teaches them about catfishing, provides updates on the international fight for marriage equality, offers salient advice on the pros and cons of sex in high school, was developed in consultation with Ira Glass, and has playlist mix tapes with the Bay City Rollers and the Troggs.  And obviously is edited by Tavi Gevensen (145,000 twitter followers, of which I am now one).  The point of this and the Internet is that all paths lead to Tavi Gevenson, and she will always know more than you about pop culture and having a positive impact.  It had to be you, Tavi.

one of three new perfume commercials for prada by wes anderson and roman coppola starring lea seydoux.  fluffy and fun, probably somewhat phoned in, and walking a razor-fine line between charming and cloying.  as usual, though, we are grateful to wes anderson for showing us great little song, this time a french ditty by jacques dutronc with some great swagger called l’idole

Big Black Delta - Side of the Road

The Oracle Hysterical currently playing at The Stone (John Zorn) on the Lower East Side.  If I weren’t stranded in rural Wisconsin I’d be hitting that up tonight in a second.  Here’s a great arrangement of Joanna Newsom’s “On a Good Day.”  The show at the Stone are song adaptations of grisly Grimm’s fairytales, but whimsical, winsome lyrical song versions, ya know?

After seeing the trailer for this film a couple months ago, the news today that this is a documentary is sending me down the rabbit hole.  So problematic, but in a good way… I think.  All this strange performativity, asking the kids to talk about each other in such staged shots.  But the emotional rawness, the way these kids talk to a camera…  Suggests such a new and different way of relating to cameras and being watched and public/private selves bla bla bla.  And intrigued mostly by my assumption that this was fiction.  

1: I feel I listened to as many songs in childhood as I read stories, but in music I seem to have formed rigid ideas and created defenses around them, whereas when it came to words I never did. This is probably what is meant by that mysterious word “sensibility,” the existence of which so often feels innate.

2: It’s the feeling we get sometimes when we find a diary we wrote, as teenagers, or sit at dinner listening to an old friend tell some story about us of which we have no memory. It’s an everyday sensation for most of us, yet it proves a tricky sort of problem for those people who hope to make art. For though we know and recognize discontinuity in our own lives, when it come to art we are deeply committed to the idea of continuity…
The worst possible thing for an artist is to exist as a feature of somebody else’s epiphany.

—2 quotes from Zadie Smith, in “Some Notes on Attunement,” a beautifully layered essay from last week’s New Yorker (Dec. 17).  The writing, on her evolving relationship with Joni Mitchell’s music, is pleasantly sprawling yet dense.  She leaps around from Mitchell to Wordsworth to Ginsberg to Seneca to Talking Heads to Kierkegaard and back to Mitchell, in an unexpectedly moving reflection on the sometimes overwhelming pressures and limits of cultural knowledge and production, our movement away from the past, and the defenses we build in response to these facts.  Highly recommended, and what should be my motivation to finally finish White Teeth and pay more attention to this brilliant woman.  

I’m finding a lot to love about this music video directed by John Strong for Thee Oh Sees.  The long, uninterrupted tracking shots in the first half of the video and the relatively low number of cuts (until the very end of the video) give the viewer potent and unpredictable shifts in perspective (along with fantastic peripheral detail, like the little girl watching television).  And while the nature of the ending you are being propelled toward slowly dawns on you, all that movement, motion, and lighting leave you with a perfect mixture of anxiety and inevitability to accompany the climax of the video.  Very nicely done.  

But another thing that keeps me coming back to this is the similarity to the bridge and opening of another psychedelia song from the late ’60s by Big Brother and the Holding Company.  Am I the only one who finds the same propulsion in the drums, the same rhythmic repetition in the two-tone base, and the same sonic wail (albeit at a lower frequency) in the guitar?  Once the singing kicks in, the songs fork apart, but the first minute or so of both songs feels so strikingly similar to me. Check it out: Combination of the Two

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