Archive for March, 2010

B.A. in Malaise, Expected: The Graduate

Out of the past and my unending resentment of the goddamn Cinema 7 for not playing Hot Tub Time Machine comes this look at The Graduate, which I’ve been forced to conclude is either a film of its time that hasn’t aged well or one I’ve failed to understand, despite my best efforts. It’s hard to tell which, considering the timeliness of my reviewing the film: In less time than I care to admit, I, too, will have returned home to Los Angeles after graduating from a mysterious college on the east coast. Words fail to convey my great hope that I find life after college less disenchanting than does Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), the title character.

The Graduate works best as a portrait of ’60s-era disillusionment, something no character showcases more clearly than Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). We can tell almost instantly, just from the tone of her voice, what she’s up to: First the ride home from Ben, the request that he come inside, have a drink, listen to some music, and answer a series of personal questions. She’s long ago stopped caring about being subtle or preserving appearance; life for her is unfulfilling, and she’s looking for a distraction. We suspect what she’s doing before Ben does, but it’s not until he says something that these suspicions are confirmed—we know, but we don’t. Continue reading

Album Review: Gultskra Artikler – Galaktika

I think the fact that I knew so little about Gultskra Artikler prior to hearing this release contributed heavily to my enjoyment of it. Galaktika seems to work best when free from any prior knowledge of its conception or its creator, turning the whole experience into an intrepid exploration without any preconception of what lies up ahead.

The opening title track begins as a steady ascension away from a world of content. A hovering tremolo glides over deep synth drones that urge Galaktika boldly away from home. A hideous vocal moan breathes unease over the landscape, leading appropriately into the twisted and unsettling environment ahead. Most unnerving about the listening experience is the sense of being lost – once the second piece “Solnce” fades up, Galaktika is quick to whisk you deep into its murky black atmosphere, horrendously claustrophobic and disorientating right up until its closing stages.

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Jakob Kolding

Saturday March 27th, director Ann Goldstein of the Stedelijk Museum opened the exhibition Stakes Is High by young Danish artist Jakob Kolding at SMBA Amsterdam. Since the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, once one of the leading museums in modern art worldwide, has been closed for ‘major restoration’ for years, their project space Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, or SMBA, is as close as you’ll currently get to the Stedelijk’s feel. Where the museum is renowned for its quality collection of classic modern works, the bureau is more of a platform for contemporary art. It has organized exhibitions of Amsterdam-based art in an international context since 1993. Continue reading

Czer (UCA)

Today let’s take a quick look at one of my favorite street artists/graffiti writers: Czer, one of L.A.’s best. Here’s a high quality video brought to us by GraffHead of Czer (UCA) painting one of his awesomely disgusting characters larger than life.

Metal Blade Signs Hammers of Misfortune

Hammers of Misfortune announced today that they have signed with Metal Blade Records. After not really knowing what the label situation with this band was for a while, this comes as a bit of a surprise.

Metal Blade will be re-issuing all four Hammers of Misfortune full-length albums this year with a new studio album to follow in 2011. That means not only can you finally get yourself a copy of The Bastard, but we also get a new Hammers of Misfortune record.

This band has been one of my favorites ever since I first heard The August Engine years ago and I’m happy to see them getting some more exposure because they deserve it more than most bands. Everyone should own every one of their records and it looks like Metal Blade agrees. Maybe if we all complain enough we can get Metal Blade to reissue the Unholy Cadaver demo too!

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New Works from Patrick Martinez

Patrick Martinez is a Los Angeles-based fine artist originally educated on the streets. As a graffiti writer in the early 1990s, he found his love for the creative process and began developing his skills.  After attending Pasadena High School of Visual Arts and Design, he went on to Pasadena Community College. While attending school, and for some time afterward, Martinez worked primarily in the hip-hop community that raised him–he served as Art Director for Concentrated Entertainment for two years, all the while freelancing for other labels such as Stones Throw and Divine Forces.

His own personal work stayed on the back-burner until 2001, when he felt it was time to move forward and got himself into Art Center in Pasadena.  Finally focusing on himself as an artist, he left his final schooling with a BA in Fine Art and found himself working on the things he had always envisioned: showcasing the scenes and people of Los Angeles, giving us examples of the everyday beauty we as Angelinos usually take for granted. Continue reading

Free Winterthrall Show This Easter

What better way to celebrate Easter than a night of free blaspheming?

This Easter, make your way down to The Dragonfly in L.A. at 8pm to see our friends Winterthrall with Exhausted Prayer and It’s Casual!

This show is 21+ (sorry, kids!), so don’t leave your wallet/purse/pants at home. Continue reading

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