Artiste, Celebrité, Music

Music: New Order live and my problems with live electronic music

First of all, New Order is one of my favorite and most influential bands of all time. I’m an electro-pop artist (Dennis) and a DJ, and “Bizarre Love Triangle” is one of my favorite songs of all time. ALL TIME. This song is fucking beautiful. This band is fucking beautiful. BUT.

As an an electronic artist myself, it is incredibly difficult to translate the emotion and excitement of electronic music into a live performance setting. As I watched New Order perform one of my fave songs on Jimmy Kimmel Live, I was completely underwhelmed and saddened due to the lack of electronic musical stage translation. New-Order-256e4

I think the lead singer, Bernard Summer, was great vocally; he sounded just like the record did nearly 30 years ago. However, the guy standing in the back of stage perhaps playing a drum machine is the reason this performance wasn’t as good as it could have been. Plus these people are old now. There is something so hard about watching old rock bands perform. I really hate to say it and even admit it to you and myself because these bands are idyllic. But their bodies have grown old. So much of being an alluring artist is a sexual appeal of some sort. Their spirit has changed too. Not worse or better, but different, which naturally causes their performance art to change.

(But then again you can watch modern day Stevie Nicks perform and she still has the passion necessary to keep an audience interested. It’s all a crapshoot.)

I’m not sure how many live DJ sets any of you readers (thank you for reading, i heart you so much) have ever been to. But they are fucking BO-RING. This has nothing to do with the fact that many DJs are SUPER talented DJs and know how to mix some insane, genius-level beats. It has to do with live show translation: it is simply not exciting as an audience member to watch anyone push buttons. (Exception: DJs mixing and pressing buttons for a dance room setting. As openers for other bands DJs tend to always run stale because nobody is drunk and dancing to openers, especially if the set is lacking visual excitement)

This is where electronic bands get into trouble. A drum machine is awesome, but you can’t FEEL a drum machine like you can feel a live drum kit. It gives the audience a mandatory heart beat to the pulse of your music that can’t be recreated through speakers.

Demands of the Modern Audience

Having been to a ton of shows throughout my life and most recently in the Minneapolis area, stage performance is a big part of why many shows are so underwhelming. Where is the creative lighting? Projectors of slideshows put together by the band to represent their aesthetic and therefore their performance art? Anything to keep the audience intrigued?

I don’t know if many artists have gotten the memo, but consumers/audiences are demanding as fuck in this modern age. They want all their senses taken care of. Being a musician isn’t just about making music anymore. You’ve got to give the audience something good to look at, something to feel, something to be, something to strive for. ladygaga-1

Why do you think pop stars dress so wild? That’s how they get attention. Being successful is about how much attention you’re getting. Good, bad; it doesn’t matter. And if that means you have to wear a piece of shit on your face so all the blogs are linking back to poor style choice *AND* your song, so be it. That’s how you get famous. That’s the world we live in now, and it’s not changing anytime soon.

Consumers want to be sold a lifestyle (Ke$ha, The Strokes, Lil Wayne, LMFAO etc.), and if your band- new or old- isn’t able to sell that, then sorry! That’s why you see so many pop stars and celebrities selling fragrances or clothing lines (not to mention the fact that music doesn’t make nearly the kind of money it used to): it’s all about the lifestyle brand. Buy this and be like this person. Buy this and you will be accepted by this group of society. Maybe it sucks, but whatever. That’s life. That’s entertainment. A lot of things suck more than pop artists slingin’ perfume. Its the most cliché shit ever, but LEARN THE FUCKING GAME ALREADY. *drops keyboard and walks off stage*

 

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Artiste

Thomas Kinkade is just like a Spencer’s Gifts. Here’s why.

"Bambi's first year" by Thomas Kinkade. Image via piersidegallery.com

I’ve never really thought much about Thomas Kinkade. It’s a familiar name that people know and probably associate with houses in the snow with carriages and lots of brick. Pleasant-y things, but never an actual portrait that comes to mind because they are all just pleasing enough to passively look at.

As I was looking through his art, I came across these Disney portraits he did. They kind of look like a mix between the beloved cartoon we all grew up with and something you might find at a Spencer’s Gifts. You know, the felt posters that glow in the dark with a lingering incense aroma and the ever present feeling that a 13 year old redheaded boy staring at you. Who knew Spencer’s Gifts and Thomas Kinkade portraits would have so much in common.

RIP TK.

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Activism, Artiste

Tributes for Trayvon Martin

Image via buzzfeed

Brilliant.

C.H. Terrell Academy for Trayvon Martin Augusta, Georgia.

Look at those cute mugs. Image via buzzfeed

Kids stand by Trayvon Martin and ask “Am I next?

What is there to say about this crime? A mistake, or unabashed racism or subcultural xenophobia? It’s fucked up that a kid with a sweatshirt on and some candy looked criminally suspicious to someone else. We all know teens can be horrifying in their own, special ways. But this is not one of those cases. What if this was your child/little brother/student/neighbor/friend? Such a stupid act of judgement turned into a child dying.

We may never know what truly triggered the neighborhood watchman to kill Trayvon Martin. But one thing is for sure: We need to get to know the individuals in our neighborhoods and communities. I mean really, how many of your neighbors do you know? What about a couple of neighborhoods over? What about the ‘kids these days’? (because hanging around kids after becoming an adult is jarring learning experience) What about someone in a different subculture of America?

What I take away from this is that we all need to know each other better. We sit in our homes, on our computers, watching things we want to watch, etc. And while some of us may know that people are people and not stereotypes, there are some people out there that only surround themselves with like-minded folk who are afraid of anyone in a headscarf and apparently black youth buying candy.

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Artiste, Fashion

Fashion: Animal Circles

Animal Circles.

This t-shirt design called “Animal Circles” is my best friend’s independent-designer-boyfriend’s design. For some reason, the little animals remind me of mahjong tile pictures, if the pictures were all of disturbingly cute chubby animals that you just wanna squeeze a little too hard. If you like this design, vote for it at threadless.com so people can revel in its beauty right on their own chests.

Besides, It could be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your boyfriend. Because men love t-shirts and everyone hates those fucking worthless teddy bears in a bag.

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Artiste, This is cool

Artiste: Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang

“Head On”

2006

Deusche Guggenheim

Berlin, Germany

Photo: Patron of the Arts

Cai Guo-Qiang

“Dream”

2002

Shanghai Art Musuem

Shanghai, China

Photo: Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang

“A Winning Gift: Heavy with Wounds”

2001

Palazzo delle Papesse

Siena, Italy

Photo: Cai Guo-Qiang

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Artiste, Love

Artiste: Louise van Terheijden

My first Louise van Terheijden print. Photo: Louise van Terheijden via Etsy

My first Louise van Terheijden print. Photo: Louise van Terheijden via Etsy

Louise van Terheijden is one of my newly discovered favorite favorite favorite artists. Her pieces have a subtle and beautiful personality that she describes as being “colorful, transparent and poetical.” She is from the Netherlands and creates all her pieces in her own studio.

I love all of her work. I asked for one print for Christmas, and my brother gave it to me. It is beautiful. Take a look at her Etsy page. Her personal website goes into more detail about her past work. It’s written in Dutch, but you can still navigate the page and take a nice stroll through her work. It’s worth the temporary language confusion.

If I had no economical restraint, I would buy all of her Etsy prints. Curse you, terrible economy! Pick up a Louise, so we can be art buddies.

Titled "Don't Look Back". Such a beautiful sentiment! Photo: Louise van Terheijden via Etsy

Titled "Don't Look Back". Such a beautiful sentiment. Photo: Louise van Terheijden via Etsy

"Making a Dog", because who doesn't love dogs?! Photo: Louise van Terheijden

"Making a Dog", because who doesn't love dogs?! Photo: Louise van Terheijden

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