The pen is mightier, you heard it here first. Swede Hannah Muller over at Myltan is sketching up some lightly-hued lovelies to feast your eyes upon. Inspired by editorials and models, her work has the fleeting, impermanent feel of a rough sketch mixed with the lasting quality of a photograph. Love it.
I don't believe this sentiment was publicly circulated last summer around the time Coldplay's Viva la Vida dropped, but I was resolutely meh about the whole thing. The reasons were many, and honestly, I hardly even remember what they were (probably some amalgamation of "You're just too big for your britches, Mr. Martin" and "'Those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head' do not qualify as coherent lyrics, dude,"). The point is, Tyler prodded me a few times to give the album a chance and so I finally - begrudgingly - did, finding a few gems amongst the drivel.
Martin & Crew basically dropped off the radar shortly thereafter (I seem to remember being sucked into a massive black hole called "Fleet Foxes"), and I haven't thought of them since.
Until, that is, the other day, when "Lost!" was playing somewhere in the distance, and I felt an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for the summertime. I'm talking a bish-slap in the face: warm weather, windows down, swilling beer and swimming and wearing sunglasses. A summertime slap. And then it dawned on me: Despite my lukewarm feelings toward Viva la Vida, the album had managed to worm its way into my subconscious as the album of Summer 2008. "Strawberry Swing" is to last summer as AC's "Summertime Clothes" will very likely be to Summer 2009, and I truly can't fault Coldplay for that. Because when I hear that album now, instead of feeling meh about the whole affair, I only feel excitement and anticipation for what this coming summer holds.
You win this round, Coldplay.
Dear Summer Music Festivals,
A word with you, if I may?
I just need a quick reality check and I was hoping you could help me out. SMF, what year is it, exactly? It's not that I am aiming for some kind of Lost-esque mindtrap with my inquiry but the thing is...I feel like a Dharma refugee stuck in a time loop that's forever circling the early-to-mid nineties. It is 2009, isn't it?
Forgive my confusion, but all this timewarp mumbo jumbo is giving me a nosebleed. Is it, or is it not a new millennium? For heaven's sake, even Douglas Coupland managed to transcend the generational pull that made him famous. I'd hoped that we as a culture had managed to move on from partying like it's ________ (insert 90's reference here). But apparently this summer has proven me very, very wrong.
I'm all for nostalgia, but don't you think you're beating a dead horse with this?
In case you fell asleep for the better portion of the early 2000's, the repeat offenders here are Beastie Boys, Jane's Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Phish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Incubus, and Tool. Correct me if I'm wrong (again), but a healthy portion of these bands haven't released anything within the past year, if not anything remotely important within the last decade. Am I right?
Trent Reznor & Crew have been consistent in their efforts at least, but The Red Hot Chili Peppers haven't released anything since 2006, with their more popular efforts releasing in 1991 (Blood Sugar Sex Magik) and 1999 (Californication). The same goes for Incubus, Tool, & Pearl Jam. Though the Beastie Boys have an upcoming release this year, the bulk of their musical contributions were also released in the 90's ('92, '94, and '98 respectively). We haven't heard from Jane's Addiction since 2003, and aside from a release in '07, The Smashing Pumpkins haven't been active since 2000.
So what gives? Why are we so dead set on celebrating a decade whose musical contributions birthed the modern Bro?
I was looking forward to attending at least one of the festivals this summer, but with no big payoff at the end of the day (anyone remember Radiohead last year?) and a slew of bands throughout the day that - though excellent - I've already seen in LA this year, I think I'm going to have to sit this one out. Call me an aging hipster cynic, but all's I'm gonna say about the whole kerfuffle is:
Standing in line to see the show tonight,
and there's a light on, heavy glow
By the way I tried to say
I'd be there
I'm home sick today, but I thought I'd post a few of these long-overdue pictures from the birthday festivities (mine and Janelle's) two weeks ago. It was a day-long picnic in the front yard, complete with hookah, homemade beer and macaróns, and a lot of good friends. So far, year 26 holds a lot of promise.
I was filming the garage to see if I could capture some of the sound that was coming from within when the following dialogue happened:
And so concludes the second annual Fauxchella Music Festival, this time hosted in a lovely enclave of El Segundo. To the mellifluous tune of planes propelling toward 30,000 feet, we gathered our wits, our instruments, and our nearest and dearest for a weekend of musical fusion, copious amounts of beer, and only one (minor-ish) injury (how's your head, Barr?).
I've been effusive about Fauxchella in the past, and this year's installment was no exception. The name of the game is collaboration, casting a focus on the community-oriented aspect of creating music rather than crafting pitch-perfect tunes. Those who choose to attend Fauxchella (and the invitation is always open-ended) go with the intent to participate in something greater than themselves - musical fusion at its best. This year, a whole slew of other instruments joined the usual cadre of guitars for a sound that was eclectic and experimental. The whole point, I suppose, is to make joyful noise together, to eat meals together, to spend a weekend creating something new together. All of which culminated in a huge dance party wherein I'm happy to report that, unlike last year, my small but effective arsenal of dance moves contained no major mistakes or regrets.
So to those who showed up for Fauxchella 2009, thanks for being great. It was a pleasure making music with you.
Fauxchella1 from Laurel Dailey on Vimeo.
And here's a video of my contribution to the weekend. We call ourselves Peter & The Frampton Five.
A friend of mine, Brett McCracken, writes for Relevant Magazine on occasion, and has an article in the summer issue titled "The Rise of the Ironic Class." A few weeks ago, Brett asked if he could interview me as part of his research for the article. This idea, of course, was brilliant because 1) who loves being a talking head more than me? (Answer: No one.) and 2) the interview took place at Disneyland, which is my favorite place to be, therefore securing a slew of quotable nuggets from yours truly. I'm fairly certain there were a couple of instances where I saw Brett's thumb creeping toward the "stop" button on his tape recorder while I prattled on about "culture" and "pop" and "pop culture," but his politeness as the interviewer got the better of him. Thanks for your patience, B.
Click here to read the article (which brilliantly penned by Mr. McCracken, whose name I think I've exhaustively plumbed for differing iterations, save for any references to B-Mac or Mackie, but I promise I'll never go there. Ever). And click here to read Brett's totally cool and awesome and insightful blog.