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No Picture

Posted By Jaime Gassmann
02.19.2012

I spent a long weekend in Memphis. I enjoyed myself. But I found it a bit painful to be a tourista on Beale Street. I darkened no doors. I took no pictures. I tried to pretend the Hard Rock Cafe wasn’t there. I tried to walk quickly past the place playing 1990s Lenny Kravitz at a volume that eclipsed the 12-bar blues being played live next door. The change from black neighborhood to tourist mecca is the subject of books, a Joni Mitchell song (Furry Sings the Blues), and this blog post.

Rather than record the neon-lit gaudy re-imagining of the authentic with my cheap digital camera, I give you a sedate historic photo.


Beale Street, 1974

In 2012, what I saw glaring at me up and down that block was nothing particularly new. Simply the co-optation and gentrification of vibrant (and often oppressed) subcultures for profit. And I was the target audience.

We are nostalgic for a singular time and place.
We hope for redux. A thing brought back or restored.
We get simulacrum. A superficial representation. Or more precisely (see Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation), a copy with no original.

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Posted by Jaime Gassmann in Music, Photography, Uncategorized | No Comments »

David Lynch’s Taste in Music

Posted By Jaime Gassmann
01.06.2012

Deep, dark filmmaker David Lynch released an album of music that’s, well, experimental and moody, as you might expect. Watch a clip of him in the studio masterminding Crazy Clown Time.

I found this nugget of behind-the-scenes coolness while looking into the band Zola Jesus, who are gaining a lot of momentum lately. Lynch remixed the song In Your Nature from their album Conatus (listen).

Turns out, Lynch listens to a lot of strong female vocalists. Obviously Nika Roza Danilova, the Russian-American lead for Zola Jesus. He tweets his appreciation for Lissie. And, get this, Karen O does vocals on the opening track to Crazy Clown Time: Pinky’s Dream.

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Posted by Jaime Gassmann in Cinema, Music | 1 Comment »

Stepping Off into UI for Albums

Posted By Jaime Gassmann
10.27.2011

Björk, that ethereal sprite whose music is sometimes capable of piercing both souls and galvanized steel, brings us something relatively new. Her album Biophilia is best experienced as an iPad app.

It creates an imaginary galaxy that houses ten other apps in its song-constellations. The user can view musical notation, play games that correspond to the theme and composition of each song, and in many cases manipulate the tablet to manipulate the very sounds that create the music. The power to call forth (and save) new versions of her songs exists in the tilt of your device and the swipe of your fingertips.

At Alupa Creative, we are often concerned with user interface (UI). It’s inspiring to see artists (Björk and Scott Snibbe) team up across media to connect … well, I’ll just leave the description to the two simple triumvirates found in the introduction on bjork.com:

nature music technology

listen learn create

Amen.

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Posted by Jaime Gassmann in Music | No Comments »

at the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell

Posted By Jaime Gassmann
07.01.2009

ac_dasracist

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This Das Racist song will get in your head and do all sorts of insidious things. Not because it’s bad, but because it makes brilliant use of two of the most crucial creative weapons: repetition and variations on a theme.

In an excellent Village Voice interview, the rap duo decree, “My top five favorite poetic devices of all time are repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, and repetition.” By merely repeating a word, such as repetition, each iteration takes on renewed intensity and a slightly different meaning. Texts that seek great depth often rely on this mechanism. Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for instance: “To die, to sleep; / To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; / For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…”

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Posted by Jaime Gassmann in Music | 1 Comment »