Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tonight was the first engagement party I've been to. It's a small realization that some of my friends are entering a new phase in life. The strange part about growing older is you don't notice until it's happened. All of a sudden you find yourself doing familiar things but then you think back and it all seems so distant and foreign.

And you may ask yourself-well...how did I get here?

What did I think it would be like to have friends get jobs and marry? What did I think it would be like to become an adult? Such a heavy label to wear. It's all happening around me whether I like it or not.

The words that kept popping into my head were "These are the moments that make up our lives." Becoming engaged isn't like high school graduation or a birthday. Those are times that happen upon a person. Asking someone to spend the rest of their lives with you, is an action undertaken by yourself. A decision made alone but reliant on another single person. How scared was my friend before he popped the question? What sick amounts of anxiety threatened to swallow him up?

But it's a silly thing to make living sound so scary. The world keeps moving regardless of whether I like it or not. Best to succumb to the flow.

Same as it ever was... same as it ever was...

Friday, November 11, 2005

It's going to be a rough few years in Cleveland with the Art Museum closed till 2008. Just when I started to appreciate the unique serenity and peace of mind felt after an afternoon in the galleries it is taken away from me. When you go often, the art museum is like visiting old friends. The same qualities that pulled me in are still there but I always find something new, some overlooked nuance.
Always of favorite stop was Smaragd, Red, and Germinating Yellow by Hans Hoffman. The theory behind the painting as I understand it, is that Hoffman placed an acid green yellow square on the canvas as a challenge. From there he worked to neutralize the color. Adding reds, blues and greens so that when the viewer takes in the painting they see the whole canvas at once. Their eyes are not immediately drawn towards the yellow rectangle. The phrase Germinating Yellow implies the painting grew out of the yellow, the rest of the colors a response to that original stain on canvas.
Feeling reminiscent I tracked down a high resolution image of the painting. On impulse I make it my desktop background. As a principal I center the image, shrinking to my screen. The artists original intention is paramount and changing the proportions is sacrilege. However with the Hoffman I'm pulled toward stretching, pulling the image over the monitor. My screen is filled with color from corner to corner. Icons are hastily thrown to the sides and lay on top.
What would Hoffman say at seeing his painting like this? The original hangs vertically but the computer didn't care. In less than a second the painting was converted to landscape, digitally pushed down without remorse by some mathematical formula hiding within the computer. Buried somewhere in billions of 1s and 0s.
But is the same color balance achieved? What was the original reason for aligning the painting vertically to begin with? There is no doubt the work retains beauty in it's new dimensions but is something lost? Although I lie when I say "the work" as all I have is an image, a representation. The painting is what it is and will always be that way as it resides in the physical realm, not the swirling light on my monitor, arbitrary pixels changing at a moments notice.
Looking at the image, I have a postmodern moment. I look at my screen and remember looking at the real Smaragd, Red, and Germinating Yellow, standing with my arms crossed, my weight shifted to my right leg. Gazing I think how the texture is amazing. The paint laid thick on the canvas, each brush stroke a miniature sculpture. As I gaze at the painting tracing the strokes, I'm there with Hoffman in his studio. Watching as he lays on the paint furiously quick, spontaneously switching colors on genius intuition.

Monday, August 29, 2005

In the futurama episode Love and Rocket Fry tries to find the right words for Lela in millions of candy hearts. He's never been able to express how he feels but he says "somewhere among these trillions of hearts those words must already exist." A simple enough gag and it works cause Fry is too dumb to do it himself. On another layer is it a comment on our media saturated society? We are constantly expressing ourselves through other people's art.

It's a thought.

Friday, July 08, 2005

One Armed Man

Last night my dream was quite bizarre. The First thing I can remember is that I was reading the comments in my art history paper. They were much longer than in real life. Pages of them it seemed. Then skip forward to being in Joey's car but it was only vaguely Joey's car. One Armed Man by This Morn Omina was on the radio and a commercial station to boot. I asked Joey "do you remember the first time you heard this song?" There was no response. We pulled into a parking spot at an unnamed restaurant and then I woke up.

If you haven't heard This Morn Omina, they are the powernoise Juno Reactor. Which is to say they play a distorted brand of techno with world music elements. Tribal beats are at the core of many of their songs. One Armed Man is arguably their best song but I when I hear it the most excitement I can muster is a passive sigh. Why? The song has been played to death. How many weeks in a row did I hear it at the Chamber? Too many to fucking count.

I have received a message from subconscious. A message from that great ocean of the mind. It's telling me to listen to the song again as though I had never heard it. I can try but if only it were possible to erase the memory of hearing a song. I would say goodbye to so many songs. So long Wreath of Barbs. What's Beloved? Assemblage 23? Never heard of 'em.

Still, I would keep my memories of One Armed Man. The Saturday's of Heretek and Joey was the best night the Chamber had. It wasn't just DJing skills that made the night great, it was the music. Powernoise had just bust out of the under underground and into the plain old underground that most chamber dwellers are at. I remember with love nights of dancing to Death Time by Converter, Killing You by Manufactura, and anything by SINA. All fucking great. Where was the second wave of great powernoise? Seems like it never came.

SINA became psycho bitch and if you think they're any where near as good as SINA you're lying to yourself. They are the tame commercialization and EBMization of SINA. SINA was an instant classic for using hip hop beat structures with noise implementing. It was original and it was good.

Converter out grew the scene. This was a shame but bound to happen. Scott Sturgis is an artist who is always looking for something new and challenging himself. He developed a vocabulary of noise for his three classic albums. Now just as he left Pain Station he's leaving Converter behind to pursue something new, which I'm sure will also be great.

Manufactura is still around and their second album was good too. But word is he's already pretty jaded. He purposely watered down a few tracks so the kids will like it.

This Morn Omina? I don't really know. A quick google search turn up they have a new one out. I'm actually excited to get it. I'm sure it's pretty good to say the least. Could there be another One Armed Man hiding on this disc? I'll wait and see.

Monday, May 09, 2005

In the Garage

In sixth grade I always loved In the Garage by Weezer. I mean come on Rivers Cuomo mentions his dungeons guide. Now I've gone back to this Weezer CD and can appreciate the simplicity. It's not a song about liking his garage, it's about being an outcast. In high school I was in the eye of the vortex. I listened and only how cool his garage was.

Now I only hear Cuomo's anxiety and anger for being stuck there.

High school was so bizarre. You felt you had to hate something. Everything was something to get upset about. The kids across the lunch room were sons of bitches for trivial reasons. So much angst.
That's how I felt and listening to Weezer I knew they felt the same. It's as comforting now as it was then. Now Weezer has matured. They can no longer have the angst that growing up gives them.
Their new song is about hollywood or some shit. Making fun of rich peoples house is fine and all but harder to identify with. High school is the same for everyone. Go to school everyday and your parents house every night.

How can bands keep the high school magic or making records? We may never know...

Thursday, September 02, 2004

velvet underground

At one point i read an article about the ideal way of playing a video game. well it was really an afterthought but anyways... Today I listened to the Banana album. The quinessential Velvet Underground record and it could be arguably the best rock album ever.

As a man who likes to think he knows anything about rock as a whole, I have come to love the record. Even European Son now has a special place in my heart. Most of the time I listen to it I'm impressed about how ahead of it's time it was. Actually I think more accuratly it would be The Velvet Underground were perfect for their time, in part because they defined it.

Normally I get my music through my car or stereo. It's not audiophile gear but it's not crap. I think it's a fair delivery of the muisc.

I listened to it in my friends dorm on a muggy afternoon on crappy computer speakers. If I was feeling less introspective it might have bugged me but not today. I can't describe the image but I got a new perspective of the album. It wasn't a perect image but it was good.

and in a round about way I want to say that my perspective of media is so radically different from place to place but my mind always manages to put my music or films in the context of my personal situation.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Movies as words: Hmmmmm

Tonight I was talking with Kim and a couple of times i said something to the effect of " oh that's like (insert the name of the most pretensious movie i can think of), because somewhere along the way I decided that was cool. I mean maybe it's not so well thought out. The reason i say things like that is because there must be something in that movie that makes it appealing. If I could find words to describe what I find so pleasing about these scenes people wouldn't need to have seen every Wes Anderson film to have a meaningful conversation with me.

It's a shame to figure this out. I spent so long getting to the point where I could site these references off the top of my head. Now I find out it's a worthless talent. Perhaps in this case the end of the path is the beginning.