Music January 31, 2012 By Lily Moayeri

1 agt THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOURtitle 11 THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR

You may recognize this Danish group’s songs before you know who is performing them. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s “Around The Bend” has blasted repeatedly on iPod Touch commercials, and their music has turned up on television programs such as Mad Men. On their second album, Out Of Frequency, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s squeaky-voiced, arms-in-the-air combination of ‘60s pseudo psychedelia, indie immediacy, and big band brassiness pervades. Vocalist Mette Lindberg’s flowing locks are the physical embodiment of the group’s sound, which on tracks such as “Heart Attack” is at its fizzy, bubble pop, ebullient height. Solidifying the physical with the aural, Lindberg’s layered frocks match the many layers in Asteroids’ music. Case in point, on “Ghost On My Head” horn honks, handclaps, and massive percussion are in perfect matching band harmony. Producer and songwriter Lars Iversen hits his effervescent peak on “Fantasy Friend Forever” where organ swirls top off what is already a stew chockfull of funk flavor. Our Of Frequency dares you not to move.

filler29 THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR

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Books, Design January 30, 2012 By Nalina Moses

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RENDERING RED Voiture Minimum, 1936, by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. Virtual reconstruction by Antonio Amado Lorenzo.

filler29 Voiture Minimumvm title Voiture Minimum

Like movie stars who really want to direct, there were modern architects who really wanted to design cars. For early twentieth-century designers the automobile was much more than a vehicle; it was a powerful symbol of mobility, technology and progress. Walter Gropius and Adolf Loos both designed automobiles, and Le Corbusier’s design for a car called Voiture Minimum is documented in a new book of the same name. The narrative is less about the technicalities of automotive design, though, than about the great architect’s ambitions to build a car that embodied the ideas about space and form expressed so powerfully in his buildings. Le Corbusier designed Voiture Minimum with his cousin, architect Pierre Jeanneret, in 1936 as an entry to a competition sponsored by the French car manufacturer’s consortium SIA (Societe des Ingenieurs de l’Automobile). The competition guidelines didn’t govern style, but only specified the vehicle’s exterior dimensions, motor power, and retail price. Le Corbusier and Jeanneret put a great deal of effort into their design and, after it was submitted to SIA, approached different manufacturers and engineers to help put the model into production. While Le Corbusier built hundreds of structures throughout the world during his lifetime, he wasn’t able to build this car. All that remain of the project are pencil sketches and technical drawings, which historians have used to construct physical and computer models.

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Art, Events, Music January 24, 2012 By Jennifer Pappas

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All Photographs by Bruno Hadjadj. COUPLE AT CBGB SILVERPRINT EDITION OF 5

title cbgb CBGB
From 1973 to 2006 CBGB was the unofficial home of underground rock in New York City. The seemingly harmless acronym (which erroneously stands for Country, Bluegrass and Blues) was a symbol, the barometer of counterculture, a landmark of irreverence, and the Studio 54 of punk music. More importantly, CBGB set the tone for a new era of rock. The fabled club gave raw, untested bands like the Ramones, Misfits, Patti Smith, The Cramps, Television, Blondie and Talking Heads their start. Initially intended to feature the type of music for which it was named, CBGB became synonymous with the American punk movement and hardcore punk scene instead. Though the club sometimes moonlighted as a record store, or performance space/art gallery, the music always came first. Over the years, CBGB grew its rabidly loyal fan base, became more adept at blurring boundaries and unearthing talent, and changed the current of American punk rock as we know it.
     On October 15, 2006, CBGB shuttered its doors for good. Patti Smith, Blondie, Bad Brains, and The Dictators were among some of the last performers to grace the stage, leaving hordes of fans, journalists, and musicians with something to blog about for years to come.

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Art, Greenspace January 23, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

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Bao Steel #8, Shanghai , 2005 Edward Burtynsky Photography

title80 Industrial Revelation
Think of the seven manmade wonders of the world, the list that originally included the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes. Each creation was magnificent in its own way – each a monument to the uniquely human capacity we have to alter the land around us at an astonishing scale.
     Now consider the photographs of Edward Burtynsky and the entirely different form of sweeping change they document. Whereas the pyramids at Giza are a celebrated symbol of the engineering feats of an ancient era, Burtynsky shows us the large-scale constructions of today, like the mounds of coal that power China’s Bao Steel factory outside of Shanghai. In contrast to those earlier pyramids, there’s a less exalted feeling conveyed by the sooty heaps that feed the burgeoning Chinese city’s relentless appetite for construction materials. The picture casts some doubt on the glory of our achievements, given the ecological price revealed. Yet the impact of such a representation is likely more complex.
     The photographer tells PLANET that the motivation behind his work is in large part to shed new light on our perceptions of the ever-changing places we inhabit: “I’m interested in how the medium of photography can help us see the world anew – to take the perceived ‘mundane world’ and move it into forms that challenge conventional notions of our world and landscape,” he says.

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Art, travel January 20, 2012 By Chloe Eichler

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All Images by Karen Knorr. A PLACE LIKE AMRAVATI. UDAIPUR CITY PALACE.

filler29 Karen Knorr title79 Karen Knorr

Karen Knorr has built a career out of examining our most opulent places: châteax, English gentlemen’s clubs, grand museums, and her own lavish childhood home. Knorr details the beauty of the finest architecture and ornament, but luxuriating in the grandeur isn’t the point. Knorr fills her rooms with occupants that belie the established respectability and dominance of such seats of power. Tweed-clad men representing the English landed gentry stand idle on their rolling grounds, at a loss amidst so much wilderness. A naked woman lounges on a museum floor, daring tourists to find her naked body obscene among its million painted counterparts. Lately, Knorr has been using animals as the unlikely inhabitants of castles and academies. Using a time-consuming digital process she calls “photoweaving,” Knorr slips giraffes and leopards into the elite’s most carefully molded, supposedly controlled interiors, rendering centuries-old monuments to human hierarchy instantly ephemeral. Though her work was initially grounded in her European roots, she carries her concerns overseas in her latest series, India Song. Knorr spoke with us from outside of Hampi, in southwest India.

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Music January 16, 2012 By Thomas Beckwith

eos 1 The Weekndweeknd title The Weeknd
On the first two entries in his mixtape trilogy, the native Torontoan Abel Tesfaye turned the meaning of R & B on its head. In place of the easy nostrums and tear-the-house-down melismas given precedence by his forebears, Tesfaye wrote confessions of his menace, letting anyone who dared to think well of his lifestyle understand how degraded it can be. His capstone, Echoes of Silence, is the trilogy’s dark apotheosis – at times, you wonder if songs like “Initiation” are grounds for criminal charges. Lyrics like “I love it when your eyes are red” and “You probably went and fucked the world” betray his true intentions, while the work of his producer, Illangelo, obscures them with somnolent synth lines. It’s tempting to label him the Antichrist of R & B, but that undersells his accomplishment. As a heretic of modern nightlife, The Weeknd is making his own genre.

Architecture January 13, 2012 By Nalina Moses

CaixaForum, Madrid, Spain, 2008.  By Herzog and de Meuron.

CaixaForum, Madrid, Spain, 2008. By Herzog and de Meuron.

title78 old buildings, new designs
There’s a kind of architecture that’s all about being a good neighbor, slipping into its surroundings without making a fuss. And there’s a kind of architecture that’s all about going right ahead and doing whatever it wants to do, without regard to what’s already there. The smart, contemporary addition and renovation projects highlighted in the book Old Buildings, New Designs chart a course between these two extremes. While they honor the character and proportions of the older structures they’re enhancing, they’re built with unapologetically contemporary materials and forms. Instead of a nostalgia for historic styles or a fervor for futuristic ones, they find drama in the rich, raw contrast between old and new constructions.
     Preserving and renovating old buildings has become an increasingly popular strategy. Building owners have limited funds for construction, designers are more interested in historic preservation and material conservation, and, globally, populations are migrating from rural communities to cities. So designing functional, attention-grabbing additions has become an important field of architecture and urban planning. In the projects featured in the book, sometimes a new interior is carved into the shell of existing structure, and sometimes an entirely new structure is built alongside the existing one.

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Greenspace, film January 9, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

"Protester" by T.J. Watt, Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

Protester by T.J. Watt, Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

title77 Is Anyone Listening?
When injustice occurs, is there anyone there to notice? That’s the question at the center of Marshall Curry’s documentary “If a Tree Falls,” in relation both to devastation to the environment that goes on unabated in the face of peaceful protest and to the terror prosecution of a generally mild-mannered man with a secret past involvement in acts of arson meant to put a dramatic end to that ecological harm. Curry, an Academy Award-nominated director, follows the story of Daniel McGowan, now serving a seven-year prison sentence for his actions as a member of the radical Earth Liberation Front, which was once branded by the Justice Department as the nation’s greatest domestic terrorism threat. But the filmmaker tells PLANET that if audiences bring an open mind to his latest film, (which itself has been shortlisted for this year’s Oscars), they’ll hear arguments about a conflict more nuanced than it might appear on its surface.
     “At the height of the movement, people had very heated passions,” Curry said in an interview, discussing the militant environmental activism that manifest itself in the mid-90’s.“ But I think in retrospect, whether it was members of the Earth Liberation Front like Daniel or whether it was the prosecutor who put them in prison, they ultimately saw the complexity in that story, and that’s what our goal was in making the film, to capture some of that complexity.”

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Art January 6, 2012 By Aiya Ono

Doug Rickard #41.779976, Chicago, IL. 2007, 2011 © Doug Rickard, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

Doug Rickard #41.779976, Chicago, IL. 2007, 2011 © Doug Rickard, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

filler29 Doug Rickard Documenting Americatitle76 Doug Rickard Documenting America
Creating a benchmark in the history of documentary photography, Doug Rickard uncovers marginalized sections of the U.S. where promises of the American dream have ended as mere illusion. Appropriately titled A New American Picture, the captivating images reproduced from Google Maps’ Street View portray the lives of Americans in which unemployment is excruciatingly high and the standard of living is shockingly low. Beyond its initial function of mapping America, Google Maps inadvertently reveals the dire situation of the 99%. 
     A stark contrast to Robert Frank’s lonesome yet bustling America in the late 1950’s, the figures in Rickard’s work are in destitute conditions. You won’t find the young and the beautiful smoking cigarettes or couples cuddling in slick Buicks on these streets. Since Frank documented the country post-World War II, photographers have traveled the nation to preserve its idiosyncrasies. Rickard, on the other hand, documents the nation’s most underprivileged areas from the comfort of his own home. Carefully choosing angles on Street View, Rickard composed all images by photographing his computer screen with a digital SLR camera. Inevitably, Rickard’s work raises issues on surveillance, privacy, and the increasingly intrusive world the advancement of technology has created. This discussion, just like the use of Street View for art, has organically surfaced beyond Rickard’s original intention. With these fascinating images, Rickard has changed the history of documenting America and simultaneously captured the zeitgeist of our nation today.

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