Thursday, October 27, 2011


Browsing through the magazines up at Elliot Bay Book Company, I was delighted to see DJ/Rupture on the cover of The Wire. I discovered Rupture via “Mudd Up” the phenomenal radio show he hosts every Monday on WFMU. Mudd Up is must listening, either live or via podcast, for the remarkable way it creates beautiful and unexpected mixes with music that ranges from the danceable to the international to the experimental to the outlandish. In scope and attitude, the show really stands out.

Turns out he's also a hell of a writer and thinker. As his real world alter ego, Jace Clayton, he maintains a killer blog, also called Mudd Up, was part of a 2010 panel investigating the rise and fall of the contemporary hipster, has been anthologized by no less an editor than Greil Marcus, and has a book of contemporary music culture coming out from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Read. Watch. Listen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I've been hooked on this simple but devilishly addictive YouTube toy that is better experienced than explained. It does amazing things with videos like this classic performance by Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street, makes these great Norman Maclaren films even trippier, and also somehow manages to improve upon the already hypnotizing video for Beyonce’s Countdown. Do check it out. And be sure to hit the "flux" button.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mourir Auprès de Toi

Watch this fun new animated video called Mourir Auprès de Toi, set in the after hours world of the legendary Shakespeare & Co. bookstore in Paris. The stop-motion short is a collaboration between director Spike Jonze and the French designer Olympia Le-Tan.

Unfortunately, the video can't be embedded, but you can watch it to your heart's content right here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

United Monster's Syndicate

Paul Gasoi is the quintessential painter-as-mad scientist. His work represents an endless series of experiments, using all manner of materials - from standard oil paints and ink pens to postage stamps, comic books and found objects, all the way to mosses, ferns, and animal bones. Rather than use these materials to reflect the world around him, Paul turns his talents inward to create an ever-evolving map of his inner states. His work has toured around the world, and is part of the permanent collection at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

After spending two decades in Seattle, Gasoi hopped on a boat in the late 2000's and took up residence among the cypresses and blackberry brambles of Vashon Island. The fertile island landscape has been good to his imagination, and Gasoi's work has become as fantastic and organic as ever.

Paul returns to Seattle for a rare appearance and show at an exotic salon-style event titled “United Monster's Syndicate.” This is a one day only event taking place this Friday, October 22nd from noon to the Underground Events Center in Belltown.

United Monster promises to be a rare showing of a vast array of the artist's old and new works, with opportunities to acquire original paintings, purchase limited edition prints of his selected works, and join Paul for a shot of absinthe - or something even stronger.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Under a Certain Little Star

In honor of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a poem by Wislawa Szymborska.

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity in case I'm mistaken.
Don't be angry, happiness, that I take you for my own.
May the dead forgive me that their memory's but a flicker.
My apologies to time for the quantity of world overlooked per second.
My apologies to an old love for treating a new one as the first.
Forgive me, far-off wars, for carrying my flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
My apologies for the minuet record, to those calling out from the abyss.
My apologies to those in train stations for sleeping soundly at five in the morning.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing sometimes.
Pardon me, deserts, for not rushing in with a spoonful of water.
And you, O hawk, the same bird for years in the same cage,
staring, motionless, always at the same spot,
absolve me even if you happen to be stuffed.
My apologies to the tree felled for four table legs.
My apologies to large questions for small answers.
Truth, do not pay me too much attention.
Solemnity, be magnanimous toward me.
Bear with me, O mystery of being, for pulling threads from your veil.
Soul, don't blame me that I've got you so seldom.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere.
My apologies to all for not knowing how to be every man and woman.
I know that as long as I live nothing can excuse me,
since I am my own obstacle.
Do not hold it against me, O speech, that I borrow weighty words,
and then labor to make them light.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

ROA in The Gambia

Belgian street artist ROA is in Gambia of all places, doing some astoundingly beautiful work. You must see this.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Craig Thompson

Cartoonist Craig Thompson garnered widespread acclaim for his beautiful graphic novel Blankets, perhaps one of the best comics of the past decade. Six years later, Thompson has come out with his second book, Habibi, an apocalyptic love story between a prostitute and a eunuch, set in a strangely idealized Oriental landscape. It is a beautiful looking book - rich with intricate line work and lush textures, conjuring the sense of an exotic fairy tale. I haven't read it yet, but the book has already received heaps of strong reviews, and it would not surprise me if Thompson's 2nd book becomes a classic as a par with his first. Craig Thompson is in Seattle tomorrow, October 5th, speaking at the Seattle Public Library main branch and signing copies of his new book. The event is co-produced by Fantagraphics Bookstore and the Seattle Public Library Foundation, and admission is free. Thompson, based n Portland OR, recently gave a short interview to Portland Monthly mag. You can read it right here.