Archive for April, 2010

Winterthrall/Ludicra Live in L.A. Tonight!

Sorry for the short notice, but I guess we kind of covered that in this post, and really, you should already know about this. So, for those of you who don’t know and those who need reminding, Winterthrall are playing at the Sabor Lounge tonight with Ludicra!

Joining Winterthrall on stage tonight will be our good friend Janis Tanaka (ex-Hammers of Misfortune) who’ll be lending her voice to the epic Stormraven track, “V”.

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The Lull

As you’ve no doubt noticed, we’ve been kind of lagging on our posts as of late. One thing came up after another and, well, we kind of got distracted. But we’re back now, and things are looking good–soon we’ll be back to our usual barrage of posts regarding things that don’t suck.

We apologize for the lack of updates, and we’d like to thank all of you for being patient with us.

Things may have been slow here on the site, but we haven’t forgotten about the Crossing, or you. We’ve been working hard on some very exciting new projects to make the Crossing even better. We’ll be putting our money where our collective mouth is and giving back to the creative community instead of just critiquing it.

Get ready for some big surprises. Think vinyl, think concerts, think the Crossing made flesh.

Goings On About Town (UPDATE: Event Coverage)

There are two really amazing events going on this weekend, both of which I would recommend. If you play your cards right, it shouldn’t cost more than fifteen bucks to attend both–talk about a recession-buster.

Harry Kim’s Dirty Hands, about the life and art of David Choe, will be showing from tomorrow, April 30th, through May 6th. They even have special early bird prices to save you even more dough. You can check out the film’s trailer here and follow this link to find out when and where it will be shown near you. It’s being put on by Upper Playground, so there should be a lot of other fun to be had in addition to the film.

Also not to be missed is a solo show by Kopye. His art can be seen primarily in the streets of his native Los Angeles as well as freight trains traveling through the U.S. and Canada. Now you’ll be able to see it up close and in a more relaxed environment. The event is being held this Saturday, May 1st at a DBRLA. For more info I would recommend going here. Continue reading

Featured Artist: Walter Kitundu

A few weeks back, I wrote a piece about sound sculptor Gerhard Trimpin, after which I went on a sort of hunt for other sound sculptors/artists and found quit a few, none of whom stood out to me all that much. This morning, however, I happened to come across Walter Kitundu–funny how the stumbling is normally where the gems are found.

An artist is the brain of  the individual more than the tools he uses or even the creations he shares. Kitundu is a perfect representation of that: he is an amazing thinker. I often tell people drooling over my camera equipment while out shooting events that the camera isn’t what’s important: I could be using a one-time-use camera and, in the end, you would never know the difference. What really matters, artists like Kitundu show us, is knowing your craft like second nature. Continue reading

Ordinary People: Kick-Ass

We learn everything we need to know about Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), soon to be known as Kick-Ass, in his opening monologue: he is a teenager remarkable only in how unremarkable he is; a bit on the nerdy side, he’s got two friends funnier than he is (though even more forgettable) and an unrequited crush on a girl named Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca). To put it in his words, “I just existed.” Unfortunately, I tend to agree: Dave does little over the next two hours to distinguish himself, the end result being a movie whose unanchored violence leaves us at sea in terms of whether what we’re watching is meant to be taken with an open mind or a grain of salt. Such is the world of Kick-Ass.

One of the film’s most glaring flaws is that it isn’t consistent with its own logic. The first fifteen minutes are devoted almost entirely to subverting the superhero myth by establishing how painfully normal both its world and its protagonist are, only to abandon that angle half an hour later. What makes Dave unique, we’re led to believe, is that he has no superpowers of any kind; he isn’t bitten by a spider, privy to a vast fortune, or even out for revenge: he’s just a skinny kid who wants to help people. Problem is, Dave gets stabbed and run over the first time he puts his plan to action (note: this is one of the most realistic scenes in the movie), which necessitates that a series of metal plates be infused with his bones. Needless to say, this heightens his pain threshold considerably. This hiccup in logic would be less of an issue if it ended up affecting the plot much, but it doesn’t. Instead, it invites an immediate comparison to Wolverine (something Dave himself happily acknowledges) and contradicts the movie’s own premise that Dave is fundamentally different from other superheroes when, in truth, there’s little setting him apart from someone like Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne: like them, his heroism lies in his moral fiber and the choices he makes. Everything else—their costumes, abilities, and catchphrases—is just an embellishment. That Kick-Ass attempts to reinvent the superhero genre while misunderstanding one of its central tenets is a bit troubling. Continue reading

David Choe: Nothing to Declare (UPDATE)

One of my favorite artists in the world, David Choe, has been working his ass off to fill the 8,000 square-foot space that is Lazarides Gallery for his upcoming show, Nothing to Declare, opening the 23rd of this month. If you’re not already familiar with his work, or his incredibly interesting life for that matter, take a look at the trailer for the film Dirty Hands, spotlighting Choe here.

Choe is a true inspiration to me and I’m sure many others. In my opinion, his work is more a documentation of an event or emotion he may have been going through while creating it, not just some cool idea for an image or message he may or may not be trying to convey. There is such raw energy in his pieces; watching footage of him paint drives me to run outside and start getting some work done myself. Choe is a master of the creative mindset, showing his skill in any medium–from spray paint, oils, and watercolor all the way down to his own blood and urine. The following is a statement from the artist regarding the works for his forth coming show: Continue reading

Sky High Murals

Today we take a look at a dying art form: hand-painted ads. If you’re someone who has any kind of opinion about the advertisements you see everyday, this might throw you for a loop. These guys are amazing. Working in New York, flying high over the traffic, they hand-paint huge custom murals for ad agencies. I have to say, I’d much rather have these any day over those invasive vinyl building wraps, or illegally-installed billboards. The men you watch in this short film, sponsored by Stella Artois for some reason, may be the last in the business.

Not only a surprisingly informative little twelve-and-a-half-minute film, it’s shot beautifully and available in a reasonably high-def setting. Enough of my buttering up, let’s get to the film. I give you: Up There

EP Review: Skullflower/White Medal – Split

The Skullflower contribution to this split won’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Matthew Bower’s recent output. “Great Hunter” is streams upon streams of noise, shouting down a crackling melody that just barely scrapes the surface of audibility – kind of like someone taking a dirty, bludgeoning axe to The Angelic Process. It’s riddled with the same grimy catharsis as his latest album – Strange Keys to Untune Gods’ Firmament – and makes for equally as relentless and exhausting listening as that LP.

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Album Review: Baby Dee – A Book of Songs for Anne Marie

A Book of Songs for Anne Marie isn’t technically a new album – the more avid of Dee fans may have even owned a copy of this from as early as 2004, when it was first issued on David Tibet’s Durtro label. However, this initial release was limited to a mere 150 copies and recorded briskly once through on the piano; the fact that A Book Of Songs… has now been granted a more thorough recording process and distribution means that it’s more than justified to refer to this as its first proper release.

Considering that these songs are amongst her most beautiful compositions in years, why they’ve been allowed to lie dormant for so long is mighty puzzling. The more theatrical execution of 2008’s Safe Inside the Day has been discarded in favour of the dainty romance that dominated her earlier output, with gorgeous chord cycles that loop endlessly and weave and entwine with the strings and woodwind that drift alongside. Dee’s voice has never felt more at home, rising into heartfelt climax and falling back into barely-whispered murmurs in response to every dynamic flex the tracks throw out. She is in phenomenal form here.

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HVW8 presents : Disaster (UPDATE: event coverage)

This Friday, April 9th, The HVW8 Production House presents Disaster. The event is in celebration of the launch of Heel Bruise, the last of the Disaster Magazine publications, and will feature new works by Lance Mountain, Skypage, and Thomas Yu, as well as a book signing. The first few people to grab the book will also receive a Disaster t-shirt, so early arrival is suggested.

Lance, a world-class skateboarder and artist, will be spinning the night’s tunes in addition to showing his work. This is an event that sounds like a lot of fun–I’m sure there will be many other notable artists and skaters, and the fact that it’s sponsored soley by Pabst leads me to believe there might be free beer. Free beer, free admission, and amazing artwork: I don’t know why anyone would stay home that night.

The following is the official statement from HVW8:
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