Art May 30, 2008 By Aurel Schmidt

aurel Earthby Aurel Schmidtaurel title Earthby Aurel Schmidt

Revered for her moving and surprisingly beautiful take on the scatological, AUREL SCHMIDT is one of today’s hottest young artists. Born in Kamloops, Canada, Aurel lives and works between Vancouver and New York City. Her passion for upsetting conventional ideas of art has evolved significantly beyond her attempts in high school to offend her art teacher. Now she’s armed with a self-taught intensive art history education and enviable hyper-realistic drawing abilities. Dutch still-life/landscapes and “all of the garbage, rats, and decayed stuff” on the streets of NYC inspire Aurel’s painstakingly detailed psychedelic compositions. For Issue 19’s Earth By, Aurel submitted an earlier work, titled The End. We first featured her in PLANET° in spring 2007.

Features May 27, 2008 By Jeremiah Kipp
korine Harmony Korine
Photography by Ari Marcopoulos

korine title Harmony Korine

Best known, perhaps, as the writer of Kids and director of Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy, indie filmmaker Harmony Korine first turned heads in the ’90s with his wildly expressionistic style. Collage-like in their execution, the latter two films were portraits of alienated youth and, at the same time, absurd and hilarious comedies about the lives of outsiders. Odd bits include a man wrestling a chair to the ground, a boy in pink bunny ears playing the accordion in an empty bathroom stall, and Werner Herzog as a domineering patriarch expounding on the merits of Dirty Harry. Some found the films indulgent; others found them poetic and beautiful. Either way, it’s clear that they were at least original.
     After dropping off the map for several years, art-house darling Korine is back with a new feature called Mister Lonely, which follows the adventures of a Michael Jackson impersonator, played by Diego Luna. While performing at an old-folks home in Paris, he encounters a woman resembling Marilyn Monroe, played by Samantha Morton. The two run away to the highlands of Scotland to join a commune of impersonators, including ones who portray Charlie Chaplin (Denis Lavant), the Queen (Anita Pallenberg), the Pope (James Fox), and Little Red Riding Hood (Rachel Simon, a.k.a. Mrs. Korine). Meanwhile there’s a subplot that involves nuns skydiving over the jungles of Latin America.

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Tom Waits, 1992. Bleddyn Butcher/Rex USA

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Music May 24, 2008 By Aimee Fountain
angels The Black Angels
Light in the Attic Records

angels title The Black Angels

While Black Angels surely fall into the psychedelic-rock category, the opening track on their sophomore album previews a versatility that’s not often heard in an age of genre-conscious throwbacks that are too often easily pigeonholed. Though the band is named after a Velvet Underground song, Directions To See A Ghost belongs more among Earthless, Joy Division, and the Doors — a (perhaps unimaginable) combination that really is superb. Droning bass, guitar, and macabre vocals are complimented paradoxically by structured drums, some peppy tambourine, and a dash of sitar, making this Austin quintets’ latest trip a standout from its myriad peers.

london London Now

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Music May 23, 2008 By Aimee Fountain
green Al Green
Blue Note Records

al title Al Green

Al Green’s Lay It Down is an eleven-song sermon, preaching love without sounding preachy. While resurrecting his signature old-school R&B sound marked by joyful horns, quiet beats, and his wide-ranging but always smooth vocals, Green has injected a bit of hip-hop swagger into his latest album. This is due, no doubt, to slick co-production by the Roots’ ?uestlove Thompson and James Poyser. The best moments of Lay It Down achieve a seamless mix of classic and current by sharing the vocal limelight with co-conspirators and fans including John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Anthony Hamilton. Unquestionably, Green still has more love to spread.

Greenspace May 22, 2008 By Tara Ramroop

greenowl Green Music?greenowl title Green Music?

Musicians including Ben Brewer, Feist, and The Citizens Band are putting their money where their mouths are with respect to making the music industry a greener place to be. And they’re doing so (perhaps ingeniously) by using music as a gateway for youth interested in helping the environment. Green Owl, a new label out of New York City run by Brewer, fellow Appletrees member Ellenike Abreu, and Steven Clicken, released its first LP, The Green Owl Comp in April. The two-disc CD/DVD is a benefit record for the Energy Action Coalition, a nonprofit that supports the youth clean-energy movement. All proceeds will go to the coalition.

Music May 21, 2008 By Marisa Olson
dance Gang Gang Dance
Photography by Noel Spirandelli

dance title1 Gang Gang Dance

New York-based experimental band Gang Gang Dance are often described as “neo-primitive” or “neo-tribal”, but then again, so was starkly edged modern art. These descriptors apply only insofar as the band’s music can be trance-inducing. Indeed, despite the fact that members Lizzi Bougatsos, Brian DeGraw, Tim Dewitt, Josh Diamond, and Nathan Maddox have all the loud beats of a rock and roll band and all the good looks expected of rock stars, there’s something about watching them that makes the eyes roll back and the mind glaze over.
     Though make no mistake, they are not the live equivalent of your high school rave mix. Theirs is a trance for the robot set: for people on the go in a high-tech society, to whom the electronic drone that envelops lead singer Lizzi Bougatsos’ voice is a natural language. These are people who can’t help but connect to and be lulled by the band’s aggressive mixing and their stroboscopic waxing and waning of reverb that works like the blades of a fan spinning so fast as to give the illusion of stasis. Each of the group’s more highly orchestrated song elements tends to be punctuated by these cascading jam breaks.

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Design May 20, 2008 By Valerie Palmer
ford Ford Brady
Photography Courtesy of FordBrady

ford title Ford Brady

Osisu’s Chairwalker looks like it’s poised for a stealthy exit. With none of its legs at 90-degree angles, it looks like a chair in motion — ready to escape the awkward party or boring meeting. A few years ago, bicyclist and co-founder of VeloAsia Willard Ford had just finished leading a cycling tour through Vietnam and was killing some time in Bangkok when he first set eyes on Osisu’s masterpiece. “I wondered why I had never seen this in the States,” he explains, and in one glance, the idea for the FordBrady Gallery was born.
     Upon his return to Los Angeles, Ford enlisted his longtime friend John Brady, and by 2006, the gallery was showcasing some of the most innovative contemporary furniture designers from around the world. Boasting a roster of acclaimed and emerging designers such as the U.K.’s Angus Hutcheson, Thailand’s Chlaphun Chulanond, and Switzerland’s Greenform collective, the gallery takes a global approach to the world of interiors. Ford and Brady travel to Asia at least twice a year and regularly comb the US, Europe, and South America for new work. With one eye on craftsmanship and the other on sustainability, good design is a language we can all understand.

santogold1 Santogold
Photography by Zach Gold

santogold title1 Santogold

For those in the know, Santogold is already here, already it. This summer, with her first full-length album on the way, she’s poised to take over America with her genre-smashing sound. Santi White is a bridge. She mediates the space between commercial pop and underground art. She partakes in the party scene but critiques it as well. She’s a practitioner of musical alchemy, spinning punk, dancehall, rap, and electroclash into sonic gold. Santi White is culture-clash, a walking, breathing, singing, and dancing mash-up of personalities and musical preferences. Even her stage name crosses the bizarre boundaries of late-night TV, bombastic jewelry, and wrestlers from a planet called Zoran.
     The first time we tried to interview the artist formally known as Santogold, on a Saturday morning in Miami, she forgot. And so, we waited a few hours. We hold no grudge, for this seems to be her nature. Santogold is no morning lark. But she’s no night owl either. “I was supposed to do a show at two in the morning,” she sleepily says, referring to a party thrown the previous night by DJ-cum-friend Diplo at Miami’s Winter Music Conference. “But instead I was asleep. I tried to but I couldn’t do it. I’m not really a late-night person. I don’t even know if my voice works at two in the morning.” Maybe there is some noontime avian option, for it is in such midway, transitional spaces that Santogold shines.

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