Factory Floor at The Independent (San Francisco, 17 April 2014)
photo by SWTCH
It was an awesome show full of energy by the English DFA group Factory Floor. The drummer was an absolute animal.
Here is one of my favourite tracks of theirs, "Work Out":http://youtu.be/q2oE6l_I_8w
And another, "How You Say" (Daniel Avery remix):http://youtu.be/l-X0mIGpQuc

Factory Floor at The Independent (San Francisco, 17 April 2014)

photo by SWTCH

It was an awesome show full of energy by the English DFA group Factory Floor. The drummer was an absolute animal.

Here is one of my favourite tracks of theirs, "Work Out":
http://youtu.be/q2oE6l_I_8w

And another, "How You Say" (Daniel Avery remix):
http://youtu.be/l-X0mIGpQuc

You Were That Guy: Things I Used To Be (that involved Depeche Mode and Silversun Pickups)

It’s impossible to quantify the effect one individual has on another. Friends influence friends; sons and daughters consciously accept or reject the tastes of their parents. Sometimes an influence is someone quite distant, maybe a celebrity from across the pond, or a famous writer who lived decades ago.

As time goes on, old friends and acquaintances weave in and out of our lives. Revisiting these people, either in one’s mind or by a chance public encounter, can bring back a rush of memories as well as surprising discoveries about the effects you had on each other.

Before I tell two brief stories, it’s important to note the following:

“I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.”

-       Joan Didion, on a keeping a notebook: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/19/joan-didion-on-keeping-a-notebook/

A few years ago, after I’d graduated college and moved back home, I ran into many old friends from back in the day. One night I was out having dinner with my pops. Across the restaurant I noticed a girl (woman) I hadn’t seen since high school. I walked over to her and her dad and said hi.

We talked about our mutual friends, photography, life in general. She didn’t give away many details about her work or life, or if she had any plans or work at all. She always did hold her cards close to her bosom. Out of nowhere, the topic of music arose.

“You’re the one who got me into the Silversun Pickups,” she said.

“Me?” I responded, incredulous.

“Oh yeah. I remember you were all about them. You were like, The Silversun Pickups Kid.”

She always did have a dry tone. Sensing hyperbole I responded only with, “Hmm, interesting. I don’t remember being such a big fan.” I remember really enjoying their first album Carnavas, but not to the point of going out of my way to spread the word. My close friends may object to my recollection, but this is how my fallible memory currently remembers it.

When conversations of chance encounters like these run smoothly, with the lubrication of sexual attraction and/or genuine interest, they can end on a high note. This conversation, with, its, staccato, rhythm, did not end that way; I’d heard this girl had professed her love to our mutual friend who is a girl (so there was nothing sexual here, though back in the day I thought she was cute) while her lack of details and mention of The Silversun Pickups Kid rubbed me the wrong way.

I sensed her prickly demeanor. There was no exchange of contact information, and I rejoined my pops at the booth.

image

^ Silversun Pickup’s Carnavas (2006). I remember last hearing this album one sunny day in my freshman year of college, in 2007.

Story #2

Two days after the Silversun Pickups debacle, I ran into an old pal from high school. That night he was to host a bonfire at Ocean Beach. He offered to pick me up that evening and take me to the beach in his camper van.

He too had gone away to college, but at a place with a libertarian attitude. While he drove he told me stories of his time away. At a red light he hung a u-turn even though the sign said “NO U-TURN” and the light was red. Shortly after, he referred to a minority by using a phrase that is no longer considered PC.

As we merged onto the highway, he turned up the stereo’s volume. With sunglasses on he turned to me and asked, “Remember this?”

“Yeah,” I yelled. It was a song from Depeche Mode’s 2005 album Playing the Angel.

image

^ Depeche Mode’s Playing the Angel (2005)

“You got me into Depeche Mode,” he said. “This album was the first electronic album I liked. Now I LOVE EDM.”

“Cool,” I said. I didn’t remember telling him about Depeche Mode or much music in general.

“By the way, after the bonfire, we’re gonna go to a dubstep club in SOMA. You down?”

“Sure,” I said. This was all a bit to take in, as it was a weekday evening. The red sun was low in the sky as we crossed the Golden Gate, and I thought about how it’s important to take adventures once in a while.

Never say ‘no’ to adventures. Always say ‘yes’, otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.

 - Ian Fleming

The next day I was very tired and hungover at work. I’d gotten home safe and sound at three in the morning.

I’d meant to write this article after work that day, but I am handicapped by laziness and sometimes a lack of direction. Recently I started re-reading Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time which has spurred me to reflect on the way my own memory works. (One of the themes of the novel is to examine the way we remember things.) When you try really hard, you can dredge up some interesting stuff out of the sediment of your mind.

image

 ^ Marcel Proust

I’ll end this little essay with a little word of advice that is obvious to those who live it, and poppycock to those who don’t:

It’s important to monitor the people who have an effect on you. Keep yourself close with friends whose opinions you respect (but you don’t have to agree with them) and sources of information that promote lucid, constructive thinking. For example, if you feed yourself with liberal doses of The Huffington Post or heaping slices of Fox News, just make sure you remember to take what these sources say with a grain of salt. If you have a friend who hates a band because her ex-boyfriend loved that band, then keep that in mind the next time you listen to their music.

It’s easy to see how we can have an immediate impact on others, but it’s very hard to tell how your words and actions ripple into the future (a la Butterfly Effect, but in that case Ashton could figure out the effects quite easily.) Be sure to be a healthy skeptic with an open mind and a positive attitude. That’s the least we can do in case we ever influence a friend, acquaintance, or stranger.

fin

The Little Bugger from photographer Juergen Teller’s book Pictures and Text (Steidtl, 2012)
Passage accompanying the photo:

I had the pleasure of visiting Björk and her son in September 1993 in Iceland. As soon as I saw him, I was fascinated by how similar they looked. Björk was an excellent host, cooked at her home and showed me around. Of course we went to the Blue Lagoon where we made this picture. We were all in the water, and a second after I took this photo, the boy splashed my camera full of water. There’s tons of salt in those hot springs, so I wasn’t too happy about it. But I knew I had a good picture, and forgave him pretty quickly.


See more photos and text from the book here (includes shots with The Governator, OJ, and more):
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/9795601/The-stories-behind-Juergen-Tellers-best-shots.html
Find the book at your local library:
http://www.worldcat.org/title/pictures-and-text/oclc/810101388&referer=brief_results

The Little Bugger from photographer Juergen Teller’s book Pictures and Text (Steidtl, 2012)

Passage accompanying the photo:

I had the pleasure of visiting Björk and her son in September 1993 in Iceland. As soon as I saw him, I was fascinated by how similar they looked. Björk was an excellent host, cooked at her home and showed me around. Of course we went to the Blue Lagoon where we made this picture. We were all in the water, and a second after I took this photo, the boy splashed my camera full of water. There’s tons of salt in those hot springs, so I wasn’t too happy about it. But I knew I had a good picture, and forgave him pretty quickly.

See more photos and text from the book here (includes shots with The Governator, OJ, and more):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/9795601/The-stories-behind-Juergen-Tellers-best-shots.html

Find the book at your local library:

http://www.worldcat.org/title/pictures-and-text/oclc/810101388&referer=brief_results

"Pier Paolo Pasolini Biopic to Begin Filming With Willem Dafoe"

Hollywood Reporter article here:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/pier-paolo-pasolini-biopic-begin-673206

Courtney Barnett – “Lance Jr.

I saw Courtney Barnett last month at the Rickshaw Stop as part of the San Francisco Noise Pop Festival. What a great show it was. She is going to get real famous real quick methinks.

Her lyrics are top-notch. Check out the lyrics to “Lance Jr.” according to Barnett’s website:

I masturbated to the songs you wrote
Resuscitated all of my hopes
It felt wrong but it didn’t take too long
Much appreciated are your songs.

Doesn’t mean I like you man
It just helps me get to sleep
And it’s cheaper than Temazepam.

I under-estimated your intelligence
A little bit of weed mixed with some sentiment
Over-rated films marked ‘XXX’
Come on play it with some tenderness.

How about that.

(Source: Spotify)

The Wolf of Wall Street Chest Thump Mix by Eclectic Method

Watch Mr. Alright Alright sing a pump-up dance about money. A classic scene.

Video/article found at the AV Club:

http://www.avclub.com/article/matthew-mcconaugheys-wolf-wall-street-chest-thump—202112

Katy B – “5 AM”

Here’s a club banger with a great chorus, propulsive energy, and big production from British singer Katy B. I posted a great remix of her track “Crying for No Reason” a few weeks back.

From the album Little Red (2014)

(Source: Spotify)

"All my wristwatches have stopped working.
But I wear them anyway.”
 – swtchster.

"All my wristwatches have stopped working.

But I wear them anyway.”

– swtchster.

"So Virginia Woolf walks into a bar … "
 - a joke I made up

"So Virginia Woolf walks into a bar … "

 - a joke I made up

Album preview for Julian Casablancas + The Voidz

found on Deerwaves: http://deerwaves.com/news/julian-casablancas-the-voidz-album-preview-video

This is a hell of an album cover for Warpaint’s self-titled LP (2014)
Photography by Chris Cunningham

This is a hell of an album cover for Warpaint’s self-titled LP (2014)

Photography by Chris Cunningham

Lady Gaga ft. R Kelly – “Do What U Want
I wonder, what do feminists think of this song? Is it empowering, being the one in control, saying “Do what you want!”? Or is one being submissive and fearful, letting R Kelly do what he wants to her body? (We all know where that “golden” opportunity leads)

#imgonnapissonyou

link to the classic: Chappelle’s Show – “Piss on You (R Kelly cover)”

"Drip drip drip … pee on you."

Altair Nouveau – “Space Fortress” (2009)

DFA act Altair Nouveau delivers some synth-on-synth-on-synth action in the electronic “Space Fortress.” This style of song is one that doesn’t have clear verses and choruses; it just ebbs and flows as it pleases.

I found this track in DFA member Nancy Whang’s Beats in Space dj set:

http://www.beatsinspace.net/playlists/604

(Source: Spotify)

An Excerpt from the Novel “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”

Whenever I lost a baby tooth, the tooth fairy used to leave me DVDs. My first three were A Hard Day’s Night, Funny Face, and That’s Entertainment. Then, for my left front tooth, the tooth fairy left me Xanadu, which became my favorite movie of all time. The best part was the final number in the brand-new roller disco, which was all shiny chrome with polished wood, curved velvet seats and walls made of shag carpet.

Told from the point of view of the narrator Bee, who is Bernadette’s daughter. (p. 264 in the hardcover edition)

Author Maria Semple used to write for Arrested Development. Where’d You Go, Bernadette skewers the west coast middle-upper class but remains lighthearted, clever, and entertaining while peppering in lots of Beatles and music references. Also, I love the character of Bernadette; I kind of relate to her though I am a bro and nowhere near as famous as she is.

Semple, Maria. Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel. New York: Little, Brown and, 2012. 264. Print.

(photo of the book taken from nytimes.com)

Find this book at your local library:

http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/756585911

Hell of an album cover for Spanish pop-rockrrr Julio de la Rosa’s Pequeños Trastornos sin Importancia (2013)

Hell of an album cover for Spanish pop-rockrrr Julio de la Rosa’s Pequeños Trastornos sin Importancia (2013)