I like Zaha Hadid´s architecture as pure form and sculpture. Since she is rather popular and sticks to her style, which is a mixture of sci-fi art-nouveau, abstract sculpturing and some echoes of Le Corbusier, she is obviously hated by many.
Maybe that´s why she recently scored lots of commissions by smaller German and Austrian cities, who are not exactly known for their international architecture to build something, anything for them. So, Zaha Hadid´s forms decended on small tram-stations in Innsbruck, where she also designed a beautiful new Ski-Jump tower (very first pic).
Fire stations, a science center and a building for BMW were built in Germany. Now it´s off to Dubai, the oasis of architects, where you should´t be caught dead without at least two spectacular projects "opening sometime around 2010".
As I said before, I am much more interested in Hadid´s work as sculptor and commercial furniture designer. Her "VorteXX Chandelier" (what a wonderfully silly name) needs to find a place in my new apartment (although at first I need to find out where to get it and how to pay for it).
From tomorrow, November 1st, the Sonnabend Gallery in NYC is opening a show with installations, Hadid has been working on for some of her international projects.
These giant, amorphous convulsions of plastex are exactly my kind of thing. Huge forms that seem to flow from the ceiling, organisms that form at the edges of time and consciousness, only to freeze into a senseless and beautiful statue of externalised, forced use. Yes, you can sit on it or use it as a desk in your opera house, as the pic below shows.
Since I am not "on the market" for a very long time, I am not exactly up-to-date with all the dating- and hook-up sites that are out there.
In the summer I came across this astonishingly bizarre collection of mostly German exhibits which were handpicked from the net.
A few weeks later I was re-blogged (on a different subject) by Justinspace who has actually published a book about this very subject. His Obscene Interiors gracefully whites out all the pictured cave dwellers. This way, the pictures look more like unpaid Diane Arbus photographs. Interestingly, the white outlines of the erased subjects are still giving away a lot about the person without distracting too much from the interiors.
All in all the shocks in "Obscene Interiors" are mild compared to the next purveyor of interior decline: Lurid Digs!
Be warned before you click on the link: This website goes to places where you hopefully never have to go yourself! There is nothing hidden or pixelled. If you have a job that doesn´t have you sitting all alone with your back to the wall in a basement room, you probably shouldn´t go there during office hours.
The pics I chose to show here are actually the only ones that appear to be relatively harmless (minus one). Some of the others will have you rolling and gagging on the floor (like this one):
Watch closely if you can. The devil is in the details (and Detail dons a ratty blond wig)
Each picture is cleverly discussed by the staff and tagged with great titles. A bunch of regulars add some funny and bitchy comments. But where to start with material like this?
The camouflage couch. Click to see it
This one is really interesting! The colour, the motive, the strangeness. Many of the commenters are wondering if the room is in America or in Europe. My first association was the "Bowman room" from "2001" and two comments share this idea. One even claims its from the perspective of the monolith!
Of course it is a bit questionable to re-distribute these pictures without blurring (at least) the faces, even if the owner put them up on a hook-up site in the first place. I am also against "watermarking" pictures which are not your own and posting them on a clearly commercial site. But anyway you look at it: Some of these photos are the funniest you might have seen and they are an amazing display of life, honesty, loneliness and horniness.
Why watch old, Japanese movie trailers and commercials? Because -thanks to Youtube- we can!
One of these faces doesn´t belong here:
It´s Marilyn, of course.
This is Ex-Bond girl Mie Hama, who was a major star in Japanese cinema of the 60s and 70s. Internationally known for her role as Kissy Suzuki in "You only live twice", she was also seen in many Toho-monster movies and in the Crazy Cats-comedies. In this commercial she flips a pancake and twists many, many levers.
Legend has it, that Mie threatened to commit ritual suicide when the Bond-producers threatened to replace her, because of her bad english! Who knows what she did to get this job.
Speaking of Mie Hama and the Crazy Cats. For obvious reasons, this musical comedy act is totally unknown outside of Japan. Our loss!
These cats were at least as much fun as the Rat-Pack!
The trailer for their "Las Vegas, free for all" is totally amazing. It looks like a mix of "Oceans Eleven", "It´s a mad...world", "Viva Las Vegas" and 1000 beach-blanket flicks. Oh, The Peanuts (and a stylish Pan-Am bag) are also making an appearance:
Bathing culture is as Japanese as it gets, and this spot is probably only a little bit alien to us gaijin. In Japan, sumo-sized men in tiny bathtubs are as common as an Godzilla attack:
Yellow Magic Orchestra. Always selling out:
James Coburn, who went from manliest man alive to a man who looks like an old lesbian, is selling out too in one of the countless "japander"-commercials for Lark Cigarettes.
For more (much more) American celebrities "japandering" their faces for Japanese products and lots of yen, visit the amazing Japander.com. It´s a great A-Z library of first-class prostitution.
Which brings us to Andy Warhol! We all know the spot Andy did for TDK, but did you know that he also did one for Quicksilver? No? Well...see for yourself:
(genius and kirei!)
Today, German news-magazine "Der Spiegel" re-visits it´s cover motive from February 2002. Back then the title read "The Bush-warriors - America´s Crusade against evil".
Today´s title: "The Bush-warriors - End of the performance".
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I fear that we will have to wait for the final numbers until the DVD has been released.
A treat for a golden late october afternoon. Incredibly beautiful photography by very talented Will Govus. Set to the opening track of Johann Johannsson´s new, upcoming album "Fordlandia". (It starts out very quiet, be patient...but it´s worth it)
I can´t think of many places, which haunt me like Pacific Ocean Park. Of course, I have never been there. The year I was born, 10.000 kilometres away, Neptune closed his lair forever. The remains of P.O.P lay dormant for years. A playground for the salty waves, beach-bums, film/tv-crews and arsonists, turned into a surreal and dangerous netherworld on rotting stilts.
The photopraphs above were taken by Nick DeWolf in 1958.
P.O.P. part 2 - TV days and part 3 - In ruins
The Black Dog of today is really different from the Black Dog Productions of the nineties.
With the Plaid-boys moving out and the brothers Dust moving in, the trio has actively changed from being an enigmatic, mysterious entity to an omnipresent band of blokes next door. Instead of being reclusive, they now post in many forums and tell everybody what they are up to.
This change has also affected their music. While their latest release "Radio Scarecrow" is not exactly an "open" and "easy" album, it is far away from the milestone of imagination that was "Spanners". But the Black Dog wants to look ahead, it doesn´t want dig out the same old bones over and over again.
Anyway, when it comes to old bones from other dogs, the Black Dogs likes to dig deep. RA - Resident Advisor asked The Black Dog to do one of their famous podcasts and the dog decided to mix-up a full hour of Underground Resistance.
The legendary Detroit label that was always interested in being a collective of free, radical cells who cared about their music and an activist attitude, rather than adapting to various fashions and gimmicks. "The other side of bling" UR had this very gritty, urban, political attitude, while Black Dog were more escapists who disappeared behind a quasi-alien/ancient mysticism. But despite these differences, both projects have much in common as innovators and creators of incredibly advanced and forward thinking, electronic music.
The 60 minute mix is a great trip through the UR-catalogue. Over the course of two weeks, the Black Dog mixed and spliced the mix into its final form while trying to fit in all their personal favourites without losing form and flow.
It´s a great mix of energetic, electrifying techno that is never abrasive or stupid. It does get a bit mental towards the end, but that is exactly the point. N0?!
The story of Clint Eastwood´s upcoming "Gran Torino" sounds a bit "meh", but isn´t it a fantastic poster?!
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Read more about him and the "meh"-story in USA Today.
The video of the Pet Shop Boys/Sam Taylor-Wood cover of "I´m in love with a German filmstar", which I posted about here can now be seen in all it´s amazing glory. Don´t blink or you might miss a piece of the action!
Boy, did they give the song the "Rent/Love comes quickly/Dreaming of the Queen"-Treatment.
Also of note: The single will be released on Kompakt at the end of october. Remixes will be provided by the usual Kompakt-suspects. I guess having a song called "minimal" and loading it to the hilt with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anne Dudley, opened the doors to the Cologne-based label.
An ear piercing, alarm-clock-sound makes you listen up. There is no chance to avoid it. Beep, beep, beep, beep! The sound goes on relentlessly. Meanwhile a deep, riddim-like bassline brings some focus and a rhythm-guitar tries to carve out the music that waits to shine through the mayhem.
And then the voice comes in: Like a demented choir-boy, torn between poetic purity and furious anger, it shouts, sings and wails against this wall of sound with manic energy. Kodak Ghosts Run Amok!
Eyeless In Gaza were at the forefront of a new wave of british "post-punk"-bands who were still in school when punk happened. Their first single "Kodak Ghosts Run Amok" was an unconventional wake-up call and a big "fuck-you" against punk, which mostly turned into stale rock by the early 1980s.
With their 1982 release of "Drumming the beating heart", the duo of Martyn Bates and Peter Becker had formed their sound to a minimal, pastoral, quasi-folk with an experimental attitude.
Bates´ voice and his delivery is at times quite close to Billie MacKenzie, but EIG never intended to go all out with polished and sparkling pop-productions.
Their sound, despite all the melodic richness and overflowing emotions, was always sparse, raw and overwhelmingly powerful. It is no secret that Björk was clearly influenced by the EIG-Sound.
Often seen as the "perfect 4-AD band" (they never released anything on the label), Eyeless in Gaza managed to create a sound that was totally their own. At times annoying and too obscure, they should be applauded for their vision and talent. Posing in churches, playing church organ and exploring religious influences, led to filing the band in the gothic-drawer. A drawer which is bursting at the seems with bands that don´t belong there.
After 1987, Becker and Bates put the band on hold and released several solo albums and took part in multiple collaborations. Since reforming in the 90s they kept on recording and releasing albums on a sporadic scale.
In 2006 they released "Summer Salt and Subway Sun", which is easily one of their best efforts since "Drumming the beating heart" and the fan-favourite "Pale hands I loved so well". Exploring the "idea of cities as new, blank texts – contrasted with the kind of sense of alienation and loss evoked in such works as J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island.” (Martyn Bates)
There was always a strong ballardian sub-context in the work of Eyeless in Gaza and I think it is great that they are further exploring these ideas and that they are still capable of creating exciting and fresh music.
The completed "Summer Salt & Subway Sun" works as a kind of survival or synthesis of these ideas – and also as an illustration of Eyeless In Gaza as ‘studio animal’, contrasted with their (newly re-discovered) life as a regularly gigging band.
EIG will perform in Berlin on the first of November and I could kick myself that I am out of town on this day.
Meanwhile their former label "Cherry Red" finally released the EIG back-catalogue on remastered CDs.
In July, the band re-visited the "Summer Salt and Subway Sun"- album with the release of a limited 3-CD box, which contains 2 new Cds.
Right now, the Cds are also available via their
website, which is highly recommended.
I actually planned to stay away from posting anything concerning the upcoming American election. After all, I am not a voter, not an American and absolutely nothing of intelligence on the subject remains to be said or unsaid.
I have to admit that I thought about posting a link to the mindboggling Mexican midget playing Sarah Palin (or Sharia Plan, as somebody has anagrammed her name).
I also liked the vintage Batobama-Poster with Biden as Robin and McCain-Palin as Joker and Catwoman. But I thought that this was only fleeting internet fodder, and there was no need for me to distribute it any further.
Today I saw this amazingly re-dubbed Golden Girls sketch and I couldn´t stop giggling. I also wondered that only 32.000 people had seen it during the last five weeks and so I decided that it could easily have two more views generated by me.
Watch it, it is a very creative and well done media manipulation. I dare to call it genius.
Finding these yummy and creatively coloured scans from vintage cook-books over at Doc Marvy had me wondering what went wrong with the international cookbook scene between 1950 and 1970. Those green and yellow-ish arrays of everything that is unhealthy (yes, even broccoli and tomatoes look very sinister here) are exactly the same colour in my mother´s german cookbooks from the mid-sixties.
What happened here? Did people back then think that these hideous things in the most unnatural colours were actually appetizing and healthy? The fifties saw the most lavish colour photography, but somehow things seemed to turn sour afterwards. Maybe the new found fascination for artificial and frozen food changed peoples perception of the way food was actually supposed to look?
Make sure to read the hilarious text in the original post and be prepared that this was only an appetizer.
You should click the pix to supersize them.