Something Old(er), Something New(ish)

The juxtaposition of contemporary talent and Old Master works proves to be a smashing success - in the world of fine art and beyond...

Yo-Yo Ma and Andrew Bird: Jam Session (MTV)


Vacation Reading List

TGIF and Happy Gobble Gobble Week! I'll be using my much appreciated time off to catch up on some reading...

Letter to President-Elect Obama: Here's How To Build Your Innovation Dream Team by Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek Online

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (can't wait to see what all the fuss is about!)

The Formula: What if you built a machine to predict hit movies? by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas by Robert Frank (my former ECON 101 professor!)

And maybe I'll actually finish Miranda July's No One Belongs Here More Than You (love the name, not so in love with the book)

Also on deck for the week - Quantum of Solace!


Alternative Forms of Payment

Man tries to pay bill with spider drawing, 9 News, MSN

Thank you, J - Brilliant.

My (Bike) Hero

Difficulty: Ludicrously hard. Kudos to the high school boys with a lot of spare time.


A Rant and a Rave: Social Networks

Social networks are not for me. I can't justify the time and energy spent to connect with and update the many (in some cases, hundreds of) "friends" one accumulates on the Facebooks/Friendsters/MySpaces of the world. Call me lazy. Call me a hater. But if you're my friend, you know my phone number. You know my email address. If you want to invite me to a party, call me. Email me. IM/Chat/Skype me. Hell, Evite me if you must. Mass Facebook invites sort of scream, "I'm having a party and I couldn't give a rats ass who shows up so I'm going to ask every rando I ever met/heard of/haven't seen in 15+ years to make sure the party is bumpin'." That's not particularly inviting. That doesn't make me feel good. Same with photos. If you are my friend and we have exchanged email addresses (albeit an old-school mode of communiqué) then you will likely receive links to my Picasa albums when I've added something that is either directly relevant to you or that you might find interesting for a particular reason. I don't need an arsenal of non-friends checking out my weekend pics, only to forward their unsolicited (and usually irrelevant) comments. That doesn't make me feel good either. That makes me feel slightly violated. Conversely, were I to take advantage of these networks and access the pages and pages of friends-of-friends-of-friends photos, I would probably feel compelled to forward/comment/discuss/judge, then looks who's the stalkerish one now? No thank you. I'll stick to perusing the artsy endeavors of complete strangers on Flickr. They're probably more talented anyway.

This is not to say I can't recognize the merits of these digital communities. True, I'm not entirely comfortable with the fact that someone could theoretically learn volumes before ever meeting me. The Internet has fundamentally altered the dynamic of many first encounters. (ie: a first date used to be a sort of get-to-know-you, first interview type of situation - now, your date probably knows your birthday, favorite foods, pet peeves and relationship history before arriving at your doorstep, leaving you two with a mountain of preconceived notions and not much to learn after all.) But kudos to the clever folk who figured out that zillions of people do want to broadcast their party pics, reconnect with long lost friends and micro-blog their little hearts out to all 416 of their closest acquaintances. That was quite a discovery.

To hear from someone who shares my opinion, check out Jennifer DeLeo's piece, The 10 Most Absurd Social Networks in PC Magazine.


OpenTable, Meet iPhone

OpenTable Reservations Come To The iPhone at TechCrunch

Music, Mapped

Check out your listening history on a spiffy graph at LastGraph.


Classic Collective


A Mixed Bag of Weekend Reading

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling
2008 Harvard University Commencement
June 5, 2008

Brain Sacks Out in Stages by Adam Hinterthuer
Scientific American
November 11, 2008

Why Do You Lie? The Perils of Self-Reporting by Stephen J. Dubner
Freakanomics Blog: The New York Times Online
June 23, 2008

Mixed Results for Contemporary Art Sale at Christie’s by Carol Vogel
The New York Times Online
November 12, 2008

Ten Gurus You Should Know by BJ Fogg
Fortune Magazine
November 13, 2008

Well, Color Me Informed

newsmap brings you the daily news, en colour.

Soundtrack to My Sundance Films

If I were a filmmaker (which I'm not) and my films were of the indie/Sundance genre (pipe dream) and those films needed a soundtrack, I imagine (emphasis on "imagine") they would be something like this...

Film #1

Canary, Liz Phair
Frelen Mas, Annuals
Shabop Shalom, Devendra Banhart
Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?, She & Him
Recent Bedroom, Atlas Sound
Threads, Portishead
Cause = Time (Live at Radio Aligre FM in Paris), Broken Social Scene
Shatter, Liz Phair
Gatekeeper, Feist
Vibrate, Rufus Wainwright
I Have Seen A Light, Destroyer
The Funeral, Band Of Horses
Marathon Not a Sprint, Camera Obscura
We're Leaving, Devotchka
beauty mark, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Re: Stacks, Bon Iver

Film #2
Unattainable, Little Joy
Diving, Evangelicals
Each Year, Ra Ra Riot
Antillas, El Guincho
Touch Me I'm Going To Scream, My Morning Jacket
I'm Making Eyes At You, Black Kids
The Get Go, New Young Pony Club
Way Out There, The Raveonettes
All My Life, DJ Harry
Until The Morning (Rewound by Thievery Corporation), Thieve
no excuses, air france
Definitive Breaks, Phoenix
Detlef Schrempf, Band Of Horses
Lullaby + Exile, M. Ward
How My Heart Behaves, Feist
Into Dust, Mazzy Star
Rivers, Sleeping States
Let Down, Radiohead
The Modern Leper (Live), Frightened Rabbit


A Few Pipe Dreams

My dog, Lucius
Courtesy of Flickr

My home in SF,
My Morris Louis,
Delta Gamma, by Morris Louis, 1960

Pervy Technology

This makes me uncomfortable.

Tuttuki Bako at DesignBoom
This new interactive toy from japan involves sticking your finger in a hole on the side of the box to interact with a virtual environment. Bandai’s new tuttuki bako handheld interactive plaything requires you to twiddle your finger around inside the orifice to play with a variety of virtual characters on an LCD screen on the front of the device.

Tough Cover

Those gals at Go Fug Yourself have done it again... Pure comedy.

(excerpt from the webisode where Heather and Jessica beg readers to let the Brangelina/Aniston heartbreak saga go and move the hell on)

[Aniston] is not helped by the cover quote being taken slightly out of context, but Jennifer is REALLY not being done a solid by the choice of photo. She looks so... tense. And cranky. And like she would rather be stabbing pillows with a pair of scissors than be smiling at the camera right this second... This cold-eyed cover says, "I hate this issue. I don't give a shit about you and your holiday romance or stupid bogus love stories or nice bedrooms. I just want to get the hell off this beach and move to a yurt in Deepest Mongolia because I CANNOT CATCH A BREAK. My friends all allegedly hate that I am dating John Mayer again, I can't sneeze on a dude without someone writing a story about whether I will ever get to use my uterus as a fruit bowl, Angelina won't shut her face, everyone is hell-bent on throwing everything she says back at me, and now apparently I have to FREEZE MYSELF in order to look young? I'M SO SURE. WHERE IS THE F*%&ING GIN?"



hey you (yes you)

A few funny excerpts from Missed Connections...

hey you - m4w (yes you)

Reply to: pers-916473658@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-11-12, 1:06PM PST

why do some women play the hard to get card, when it is obvious they are attracted to the man? i know part of it is to test how far he will go to win her. but she has to draw the line somewhere. at some point, it simply becomes ridiculous. he becomes her tool. he does not like being a tool. is she playing this card in order to hide her actual lack of appeal once he really gets to know her? and is she afraid he will lose interest too quickly once this happens? from the outside, she's one of the cutest creatures that's ever walked the planet in his eyes. but beyond that, there's a vague sense of emptiness. maybe she shouldnt be afraid of showing herself in full. most men would lose interest in the chase, being as long as she's strung it out, before they gain interest in her as a person. give him a chance. balance it out. ok bye.

to my future wife - m4w - 34

Reply to: pers-910057415@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-11-07, 3:16PM PST

what was that? sorry, i wasn't listening.

get over yourself... - w4m - 32 (mission district)

Reply to: pers-917126040@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-11-13, 12:01AM PST

we have a mutual liking for each other. i'm willing to go the distance. you're not.

i'm moving on...

Vena Cava Takes a Wrong Turn...

Am I tripping, or is that a poorly abstracted bush on her dress?
Vena Cava Bonded Print Dress at Oak


A Short Life of Trouble

A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World is art-world guru, curator, activist and rumored Guerrilla Girl Marcia Tucker's memoir. I'm beyond thrilled to read this book - not only because of Ms. Tucker's illustrious career, but because I had the great honor of taking her seminar class in college. By far the best teacher I encountered in my life, Marcia challenged me, inspired me, and ultimately helped me land a museum job and a Master's degree.

When I learned last year that she had lost her battle with cancer, I began researching her career. All too late, it seems. Thankfully her tales have been gathered neatly into 200+ pages; it's sure to be a page-turner / tear-jerker / life-changer...

Review from Publisher's Weekly:
In this insightful and well-crafted memoir, long-time contemporary art curator Tucker (1945-2006) gives readers a backstage account of forty years on the New York and national art scene. A passionate art student, Tucker's career began when she put down the paint brush and dedicated herself to tracking down contemporary art; before long, she would become the first woman curator of The Whitney Museum, before founding and directing The New Museum. Her curatorial history is both humble and sophisticated ("it's one thing to want to create something, another to spend your life interpreting what someone else has made"), as well as vivid, charming and honest, revealing in direct language her reasons for exhibiting Bill Bollinger's giant boulder, pulled whole from the WTC excavation site, or storming out of a class-and her PhD program-after a professor referred to Nancy Graves's realistic, life-size camel sculptures as "novelty art." Aside from meeting some of the most famous artists of our time, from Marcel Duchamp to Bob Dylan, Tucker's personal story involves a tragic family life and years as a starving artist, related poignantly but without pandering. Deftly edited by close friend and artist Lou, this is an arresting tour of a life devoted to new art, with a perfectly charming guide.

Upcoming Shows

A few concerts that I'm already jazzed about... (some more than others)


Nov 20: Vivian Girls at Bottom of the Hill
Nov 21: El Guincho at The Independent
Dec 2: The Sea and Cake at Great American Music Hall
Dec 4: No Age and Titus Andronicus at Rickshaw Stop
Dec 9: Little Joy at Slim's
Dec 12: The Killers at Warfield
Dec 13: Stevie Wonder Tribute at Mighty
Dec 17: Mercury Rev with Duke Spirit at The Independent


Jan 23: Tapes n' Tapes at Great American Music Hall OR The Raveonettes at Bimbo's 365
Feb 4: Nightmares on Wax at The Independent
Mar 12: Cut Copy and Matt + Kim at The Fillmore

Happy Hump Day :)

Courtesy of Flickr


Comedy and Tragedy: Animalia


meet Tragedy...


A Few Good Things and One Bad Thing

A few good things in the aftermath of Obama's victory...

1. Sarah Palin will finally move out of the spotlight and back into her Alaskan snow hut, never to be heard from again.

2. Tina Fey gets to forget that she so closely resembles a complete moron.

3. The rest of the world will stop referring to Americans as a bunch of losers. Well, most of the time.

4. Similarly, I can once again admit to my nationality when traveling overseas.

One bad thing...

Nothing else to bitch about...


She + Him + Bimbo's 365

She + Him performed at Bimbo's Monday night - perhaps the most perfect venue for this particular performance. (picture red velvet drapery and waiters dressed like ship captains so you forget for a moment that you're in North Beach and not on a 1920's cruise ship) This act is delightfully dated - if June Carter Cash or Etta James had a love child with Norman Rockwell, she may have spawned this little duet crew.

M. Ward is an incredible musician that reminded me of all the amazing sounds a guitar can make, which apparently I'd forgotten, as it seems people don't play it correctly anymore... I'm curious to see him solo after watching his skills this time around.

Zooey Deschanel is possibly the most adorable girl on the planet, swaying in her little sunshine yellow chiffon dress, channeling a six year-old ala Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann, but less creepy. Her raspy speaking voice is rich and powerful in song - even better than I could have hoped. She's quite an actress, but a far superior musician. To Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan/Johnny Depp/other actors-trying-to-be-singers-I'm-forgetting... don't quit your day job.

P.S. the new songs are A+... can't wait for Volume 2.

And I thought I was excited about the election...

Election Night Party, Brooklyn, NYC, 2008
(click on image to enlarge)


Vive la Obama!

Just when you thought it wasn't possible to love the man more, he pulled off the most impressive victory speech in the history of the world.

Obama's Victory Speech, with transcript

Yes we can, and yes we did...


Vote, Sucka!

Happy Election Day!!! GOBAMA!!
Post revival: Vote Sucka!


"You Smell Like a Baby Prostitute."

Lykke Li (pronounced like Luka, so I hear) hit the stage at the Independent on Saturday night with a look that was part 80s-revival-meets-indie-rock, part child porn star. (ie: innocent face hiding behind thick black eye makeup, bra showing... you get it)

Aside from her oddly sensual dance moves, the 22 year-old Swedish singer's bizarro erotic performance was very entertaining - not amazing, but totally enjoyable. Perhaps my satisfaction stemmed from low expectations going into the show... two friends who caught her act in New York and DC cautioned me and spoke of their disappointment, agreeing that "this girl desperately wants to be famous." The forewarning was totally accurate. Actually I'll add to the assessment by saying, "this chick definitely wants to be famous and she really loves her own tits."

Check out a video of Lykke here.

The opening act, Friendly Fires, stole the show that night. Their lead singer also had whacked-out dance moves that were more disturbing than cool, but his voice made up for these shortcomings. Too bad the debut cd blows.... doesn't do the live performance justice in the slightest...


What I'm Listening To, archive

  • Again and Again - The Bird & The Bee
  • Shove It - Santogold featuring Spank Rock
  • All My Life- DJ Harry
  • Calabria - Enur
  • Talk Amongst Yourselves - Grand National
  • Grow Up - Metric
  • Opposite Direction - Union of Knives
  • How Soon is Now? - T.A.T.U.
  • Bam Bam - Sister Nancy
  • And Then We Stop Breathing - Princess One Point Five