An artist named Josh Dorman emailed me from New York a month or two ago. He told me that he used to listen to music while he worked, but he'd spent the past few months listening to nothing but The Sound of Young America.
Podcasts are popular among those working in visual fields, especially lonely ones where people work solo and crave human voices. I do get an email like this from time to time, and it's always nice to hear. Not usually, though, am I so struck by the work. Dorman's paintings are beautiful, a sort of visual wunderkammer, with archaic illustration aesthetics and painting techniques getting all mixed up with maps and print and gorgeous palettes.
His show, Lost Divers, runs for about another month at Mary Ryan Gallery in New York. They're at 527 W. 26th St., and they're open pretty regular hours. I wish I was in NYC so I could take a look in person.
I hadn't thought of this song in a number of years, till it came up in this AV Club roundup of acts that shoulda been bigger. This is a pretty great track.
Over at my other website, Put This On, we just posted this video. Our intrepid correspondent Dave Hill visited New York Fashion Week, and returned with this fascinating report.
Seriously: you want to watch this.
But who's alive to tell the story to ABC7 news?
Not the seal, that's for sure. HE GOT PUNCHED.
One great song. One great sample. Three fantastic songs.
From the intro of the beautiful "Be Real Black for Me" by Donny Hathaway and past Sound guest Roberta Flack came two of my favorite hip-hop tracks: first M.O.P.'s "World Famous," then Scarface's "My Block."
Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack, "Be Real Black For Me" (1972)
M.O.P. "World Famous" (1996)
Scarface "My Block" (2002)
In light of Soulja Boy's spectacularly ill-considered lyric about the troops, I thought I'd share an old favorite. It's a remix of Crank Dat (Soulja Boy) by our friend Ashkon. Enjoy!
If you're involved in independent media making of any kind, this piece by Cory Doctorow is worth your time. It's about books - Doctorow, if you don't know, is a writer by trade - but it's also about what independent media really means for the creator.
Doctorow asks writers considering self-publishing to ask themselves the question "why should anyone care?" It's an important one, and one that's not asked enough. So often, we get so tied up in our own passions, the ones that drove us to create in the first place, that we forget to consider what our audience might want.
That should be an essential question when you create: how will this excite people enough that they will want it? Want it so much that they'll pay for it, or seek it out when it's inconvenient? Am I, as a creator, willing to pave that road?
So yeah: worth your time.