Art October 11, 2008 By J. Fiber

j fiber Earth by J. Fiberearthby title Earth by J. Fiber

The collaborative drawing project by JANE FINE and JAMES ESBER, J. Fiber, reconciles the struggle of the creative process with the duality of the self and the decisions that must follow. Featured in Issue 20, J. Fiber is risky reality, a dripping world undulating with booted appendages thwarting attempts to distinguish human orifices from artillery openings. Fine’s work has been presented in solo shows at the Bernard Toale Gallery in Boston and AR/Contemporary in Milan, and she has held a residency at Paris’ Yaddo. Esber received the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in 2002 and 2008, and recently had solo exhibitions at Pierogi in Booklyn, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC, and the PPOW in NY.

Music October 11, 2008 By Alexis Swerdloff
girl Girl Talk
Photography by Alexander Wagner

girl tite Girl Talk

Somewhere in the middle of Louisiana, en route to a show in Baton Rouge, Greg Gillis, the 26-year-old mash-up master behind the one-man party band Girl Talk, is listening intently to the local rock radio station — in other words, he’s working. “’These Dreams’ by Heart just came on,” Gillis says. “That song has a great instrumental breakdown — I really think I need to get into that.” The Heart classic would feel right at home among the 500-odd songs Gillis has sampled on his 2006 break-out, Night Ripper and on the recently released follow-up, Feed the Animals. Picking up where mash-up pioneer Danger Mouse left off, Gillis creates complex dance anthems that sound a bit like a Now That’s What I Call Music album on steroids. By frenetically sampling pieces of current top-40 pop and hip-hop with ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s classics (along with some insider hipster fare like the Unicorns and Of Montreal), Gillis re-contextualizes the songs involved, creating beats that are both brand-new and really, really danceable, all the while boldly layering where no sound collagist has gone before. We’re talking about a man who thought to mash-up MIA’s “Boys” with The Cranberries’ “Dreams”.

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Music October 10, 2008 By Hannah Lack
stereolab Stereolab
Illustration by Marie Bliss Delpy

sterolav title Stereolab

They name songs after 1960s dentistry equipment. Their first video employed ‘self-hypnosis’. Their merchandise includes yo-yo’s and jigsaw puzzles and they have had a long and well-documented love affair with vintage gear. In 1991, the year Tim Gane & Lætitia Sadier kick-started an eccentric Anglo-French musical experiment, few would have gambled it would last eighteen years. But “The Groop” also known as Stereolab has survived divorce and the death of a founding member to emerge stronger than ever, all the while retaining their status as bona fide outsiders. An encyclopedic knowledge of music from krautrockers Neu! to Mexican lounger Esquivel! remains stitched to their sleeves, and they blend apparently anachronistic sounds and musical eras into a formula all their own — breezy Motorik beats on the surface, with Brian Wilson-like attention to detail bubbling underneath.
      With the release of Chemical Chords, the band have notched up their eleventh album to date. Unlike the eighteen-minute guitar drone of one of their earliest releases, Jenny Ondioline, this latest batch of dense, pop-infused tunes barely scratch the three-minute mark, and were inspired, according to their composer Tim Gane, by Motown drumming and ‘60s girl groups. As you might expect however, laconic French chanteuse and pioneer of librarian chic Lætitia Sadier isn’t about to be swooning over boys on motorbikes or prom night dresses.


Art, Features October 9, 2008 By Thomas Beale
swoon Swoon
Photography by Thomas Beale

swoon title Swoon

A Child overlooking the Hudson River at the right time and place during the late summer of 2008, may catch a sight that to most eyes will appear, at least for an instant, as either enigma or hallucination. Seven boats, crafted from scrap wood, metal, foam, barrels, bottlecaps, fabric, and a host of attendant detritus are due to leave port from Troy, New York in mid-August and arrive in New York City during the fi rst week of September. Titled Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, the craft resemble less boats or cities than fantastical hybridizations of tree houses and shantytowns, playgrounds mixed with refugee rafts — Miyazaki-like contraptions woven together from bits and pieces of a known world, though seeming to arrive from some imagined past and headed fully prepared toward an uncertain future. Swimming Cities is the vision of Swoon, a 30-year-old artist who first came to attention nearly four years ago for her ambitious, expertly skilled prints and cut-paper portraits that she was pasting on derelict walls and construction sites around New York City. The simultaneous beauty and ephemerality of her work — the focus apparent not only in her attention to detail in the portraits themselves, but also in their contextual placement — brought her wide acclaim and quickly set her apart in the genre of “street art”. In 2005, Swoon made her New York gallery debut with an installation at the infl uential downtown gallery Deitch Projects.

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Fashion October 8, 2008 By Hilary Walsh

or2 Omahrya & Rebecca


Features October 8, 2008 By Ali Naderzad
braga Alice
Alice Braga photographed in New York City by Christian Witkin. Grey Wool Jersey Kerrigan

braga title Alice

This year at Cannes everybody wanted to see the new Fernando Meirelles film called Blindness. I should know, I half-patiently waited in line on the last day of the festival after missing an earlier screening because it got too crowded. It was then that I rediscovered Alice Braga on screen, the sultry vagabond from Lower City (2005) whose youngish good looks instantly turned the dangerous boys of City of God (2002) into oafes. Braga’s characters belie half-undisclosable truths that are ready to boil over. But in real life she’ll likely confront you with a disarming combination of buoyancy and coyness.

We spoke on the phone while she was in Sao Paulo, taking a break from too much traveling and not enough time out. But then, Sao Paulo wasn’t exactly conceived for relaxing. The sprawling metropolis pulsates night and day. And it happens to be the home of Meirelles, the director who put resurgent Brazilian cinema on the map and with whom Braga has been acquainted since City of God. Braga told me about her first steps in the film business and that funny Canadian band she’s been listening to
named Metric.

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Art, Features October 6, 2008 By Bharat Sikka

Highway, Delhi–Gurgaon

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Features October 5, 2008 By Anthony Smith
bush Bush is over
Illustration by Peter Karpick

bush title Bush is over

God bless term limits…. After suffering through eight long years of incomprehensibly disastrous leadership by George W. and his bloodthirsty hoard of flying monkeys, it’s hard to believe that we’ve finally made it to a point where we can see a glimmer of political light at the end of the deep, dark tunnel that the regime has bored through our frontal lobes. Of course, we still don’t know for certain whether that glimmering light is the glow of a new day dawning or the diesel-fired headlamps of an oncoming republican campaign bus, but we do know that even a head-on collision with the Straight Talk Express is likely to be far less disastrous than the global carnage we’ve seen as the result of eight years of “Compassionate Conservatism”. At the very least, soon we won’t have to care about anything George W. Bush says or does ever again and that gives us all something remarkable to celebrate. Then we, as a culture, can do what we do best… we can relegate him to the historical obscurity that he so richly deserves and ignore him until he dies and is resurrected as a Republican Saint. Perchance then to be lifted out of our willful forgetfulness just long enough to honor our solemn vow to one day urinate upon his grave.

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Music October 4, 2008 By Lora Kolodny
deerhoof Deerhoof
Kill Rock Stars

deerhoof title Deerhoof

With their latest LP venerable experimentalists Deerhoof reheat the brilliant recipe from last year’s breakthrough Friend Opportunity: classic meets indie rock, east vs. west, soft-loud dynamics, and complicated rhythmic work. The lyrics, however, span a topical and bilingual range surpassing their previous efforts, including the all Japanese-language opener and a two-part narrative (“Don’t Get Born” and “Fresh Born”) wherein a baby worries about its lack of planning. Satomi Matzusaki’s off-kilter vocals sound sturdier than ever throughout, and the gently destroyed closer “Jagged Fruit” stuns, with drummer Greg Saunier’s nuanced cymbal shivers creating electrical currents between guitar and bass before exploding.

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Features October 4, 2008 By Sonaar Luthra

Illustration by Tracy Robinson