Saturday, June 30, 2007

Brad Walker: Welcome to the Symmetry

Brad Walker (do a Google image search-- there are lots of Brad Walkers out there) has been up to his old hi-jinks and has some interesting things for you to check out. The first is his most recent album. He records under the moniker Some Monastery and the new album is by far the most mature, and cohesive record so far. This is also the 16th album in 6 years so there's a lot to compare it to, and there's been a lot in terms of varying quality over the years.

On the album's page on his website (which has a beautiful flash animation of images similar to the cover), Brad writes that the album was influenced by Thurston Moore's solo album "Psychic Hearts" and you can hear it in the tunings for the songs and in the tone of instrumentation. Brad also channels Kim Gordon quite a bit on this album and knowing that he is one of the rare male rockers who listens to more music made by women than men, this makes sense and makes the music that much more appealing. With that said, the songs are idiosyncratic enough to not be a complete rip-off of Moore's album and works as more of an homage. Brad has always been up front about his influences (2005's Plagiarism et al. is a covers record) and this helps in a world of people trying to convince you that they are the real deal, tres unique, that on the day they were born the mould was broken and the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true.

Brad's lyrics have always been a good mystery. Reading them over them while listening, I wonder who this person is that wrote this music. Each album is a glimpse into the interior world of someone I know really well. With this said, WTtS is more straight forward than past albums. On the track "Lazy Polymer" he sings in a mumble-y whisper rap:
when I saw you last you were jottin' down notes
about your do's and don'ts and that's such a joke
why finish what you start just to say
that you've finished what you've started
And on the high-hat driven (it's kind of like punk disco!) and meta "Monsoon Season", the protagonist is wishing they could confront someone directly, wishing that he could just speak his mind instead of following the protocol of the public sphere, and being limited by their timidity:
I'd like to be brutally honest
at every second of every waking moment
but I am afraid that it would all be too real
but wouldn't it be nice to be so lucky free
The album has 10 tracks and as seems to be the trend these days, is short and sweet. It clocks in at only 34 minutes-- the right amount of time to make me want more. I'm not sure how you buy the album but you can contact him at or wait until the album is on iTunes where it should be shortly. For now you can go here and listen to samples.

So, if that weren't enough, Brad also has an online zine that he makes called Majuscle. His most recent issue is called A Mess of Pictures and is outtakes from his family's photo albums. For the zine he paired seemingly unrelated images together. It's an interesting example of the filler that is probably in most albums.

And finally, Brad is also the artist with whom I'm doing a yearlong project called SAMETIME 7:15 with.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Good Week

1. The Bopst Show celebrated it's 5th anniversary at Millie's this past Sunday with excellent food, bands and people. The line up was BBQ pork, chili, collards, corn, rolls, cole slaw... the Two Man Gentleman Band (old-timey), The Session Rockers (Dub Reggae band from Hampton), Kim, Michelle, Geoff, Ward, Lisa, Chris and many people I don't know but whom I recognize from other events there. Amazing as always. Bopst knows how to deliver and was in fine form. More of his radio personality came through than he usually allows in person and while he gave away CDs he espoused truths that are daily squashed beneath the grinding gears of corporate radio. As he says on his show, the Bopst show is musical penicillin in a world trying to give you audio syphilis. If you're still not listening, you're still not getting it.

Listen here between 1-4pm Monday-Friday.

There a couple of good articles about the anniversary here and here. Read this one first, Bopst wrote it.

2. This building near the corner of Meadow and Broad, across from Pleasants Hardware and Sauer's has been tagged with another super soaker tag (I'm guessing that's what people use to do this.) Crazy huge meaninglessness that nonetheless does not make me feel completely despondent. If you work really hard you can make wolf86! sound like Wolfowitz and you can think that this is some clever commentary on the fallen (yet not sufficiently shamed) World Bank President.

3. Dinner with a group of artists, one of whom has an installation in the lobby of the Hirshorn right now.

4. And finally, I head to DC tomorrow to begin installing my work for SiteProjects DC. I'm really looking forward to it, and will post many pictures here when I return. If you can make it to the opening on Friday it's being held at the Black Cat (on 14th Street) and runs from 7-9. The curator is doing a Site Tour at 8. See you there?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Rockin' the Chocolate City

Anonymous III opens tomorrow night at Flashpoint Gallery at 916 G Street NW, Washington DC, 20001. As mentioned in the previous post, there were 10 curators who each chose 9 artists to be involved in the show. Go here for a list of artist/curators and wonder why Martin Bromirski isn't on this list. My curator (benefactor?) was Travis Fullerton... (it's good to have friends in high places) and now that he's a full-timer at the VMFA I imagine I'll be getting a call from John Ravenal any day now.

Here's the piece I submitted. It's an excerpt from mine and Brad's project SAMETIME -- it's sexy and I paid a shit-ton to have it framed because I think the project (and Brad) is/are amazing and that the work deserves it. I work a gruelling 40+ hours per week and there have to be many good things that come out of that. The piece is wheat pasted thermal prints on paper and represents three days of the project. On the back of the piece is a key that includes the dates, captions, and author of each image. Like on the website, Brad's images are on the left and mine are on the right.

It's an interesting mix of artists and I'm disappointed that I'll miss the opening but I have my reasons... here's the main one:

I'm in another WPA/C organized show this month called SiteProjects DC. I'm installing a 25 foot, 200 image, wheat-pasted piece called For the Lack of Words on a building at 14th and T street in NW DC. It should be good. I'm headed to DC in the middle of next week to install my work and will stay there until Saturday. There's an opening for the installation at the Black Cat from 7-9 and Welmoed Laanstra, the curator, is giving a walking tour of the installation from 8-9. Here's a picture of the site, pre-Michael:

I'll be sure to post a post-Michael picture. Welmoed Laanstra, is an independent DC based curator who was responsible for bringing Yoko Ono to DC for her Imagine Peace project a couple of months ago. I did a reactionary piece called Imagine Piece. Maybe I'll post it when I have the time. Working with Welmoed has been good- she's down to earth, generous, and practical.

Here's the other reason I'm not going to the opening:

Not to be too macabre, but I have a serious fear of being killed in a car accident and have been drving on I-95 too often these days. I know I'm not the only one, but I'm continually imagining my death when I'm on the highway. There's only so much I can take.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Here's What I Think Brave and Smart Looks Like:

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., June 3 — Jack Kevorkian, the former pathologist once known as Doctor Death, says he will never again counsel a terminally ill person on how to die. But eight years behind bars and a strict list of promises to gain parole have done nothing to mellow the blunt, passionate, combative advocate for physician-assisted suicide.

...“I said I won’t do it again,” he said, “and it’s not even worth doing again by me because it’d be counterproductive to what I’m fighting for. It’s up to others. If you people don’t want that right, then don’t do it. Then let your government trample all over you. If you don’t want to do it, it’s all right by me, but you don’t get me talking about it and going back to that thing called prison.”

Entire article here.