Federation Blowout

Friday, April 24, 2009 | |

This is gonna be f*cking bananas! Happy Anniversary to Max and Kenny! Check out the newly relaunched FederationSound.com and their weekly podcast. More Fiyah!

Cupid's Chariot is a Yellow Cab

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After a late night of hobnobbing with our community's finest, 2 airkisses and a hug later, I hopped a cab outside of the NDA party at SubMercer. The warm night had everyone in a good mood and I got into an easy conversation with the cabbie, Ahmed Ibrahim. With a conspicuous "No Autographs" sign taped to the back of the plastic divider, I wasn't quite sure what I was in for. Friendly and warm, he notified me that I was in the presence of a celebrity. He handed over a stack of laminated articles dating back to 2005—turns out I was taking a ride in cupid's chariot! Mr. Ahmed has been setting up his passengers on dates since 2005, an idea that came to him after a distraught and tearful passenger challenged him to find her a boyfriend. After some easy banter—he's attending two weddings this summer (one in Monaco, both passenger success stories), he recently returned from Hollywood where his agent from William Morris has him ready to ink a film deal and we're both residents of the great planet of Brooklyn—we got to talking about his formula for success. "It's just a feeling," he explained. No arrows or fairy dust. A nice conversation and a $15 meter ride later, he gave me my change and his email and encouraged me to google him and think about his offer to include me in his database of eligible New Yorkers. Warm New York City nights and a chance run-in with Cupid remind me to remember the magic in every day encounters! Check out his story here and here.

Spring!! Mushrooms in Film

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The weather is glorious in New York and that means backyard barbecues, lazy weekends in the park, and mischievous adventures. To inspire our inner psychonaut, the HSNY is holding a great film screening next Thursday.

The Horticultural Society of New York presents

MUSHROOMS - 16mm Film Screening & Reception
Thursday, April 30th, from 7:00 to 9:00pm
Featuring films by:
Bruce Conner (Looking for Mushrooms, 1967)
Jonas Mekas (Award Presentation to Andy Warhol, 1964)
Harry E. Smith (Early Abstractions #1-5, 7, 10, 1939)
Jud Yalkut (John Cage Mushroom Hunting in Stony Point, 1973)

The Horticultural Society of New York
148 W 37th Street, 13th Floor

Under the Brooklyn Bridge

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From the good people at the Storefront for Art and Architecture
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Dust La Rock @ Christopher Henry

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Last Night Dust La Rock had an epic opening at the Christopher Henry Gallery! A great mix of faces old and new came out to support the artist whose work has graced album covers, party flyers and magazine spreads, he is currently the creative director for Nick Catchdubs and A-Trak's Fool's Gold records. Check some images of his work below.

Ateliers Ruby x Maison Martin Margiela

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Parisian designer Jérôme Coste founded Ruby to solve the conundrum of being both safe and sexy. His beautifully crafted retro-chic cycling helmets use a carbon shell that is borrowed from aerospace technology with a signature ruby red nappa lambskin lining inside. For their third collaboration from the "Signature" collection, Coste teamed up with avantgarde fashion darling Maison Martin Margiela to celebrate the Antwerp line's 20th Anniversary. Margiela and his colleagues at 163 Rue St-Maur took the program title literally and each person placed his signature on the helmet to create a collective work. This limited edition collection will be sold at Colette.

Maya Lin Makes Waves at Storm King

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What could be better than communing with nature and art. One of my favorite art spaces, Storm King Art Center in the Hudson Valley is now open to visitors for their 2009 season. With over 500 acres of fields and woodlands, this is a perfect space to interact with some of the greats of postwar sculpture. Artists like Richard Serra, Nam June Paik, Isamu Noguchi, and Louise Borgeois have work on the property.

Ive been waiting all winter to check out Maya Lin's Wavefields. The work is inspired by the tidal waves and currents and each wave measures 305 and 368 feet in length and, with the grasses, rises to a height of between ten and fifteen feet. I can't wait to walk through and experience such a monumental work in such a unique and serene environment. Check out a great video interview with the artist here. The exhibition opens up on May 9th.

Enter the 37th Chamber

Thursday, April 23, 2009 | |

When Brooklyn-favorites El Michael Affairs went on tour with the Wu-Tang Clan in 2006 it was a strange but beautiful love affair between the live music soul/funk band and the legendary Staten Island crew.

Today, the lovechild from this collaboration is out for the world to admire. Enter the 37th Chamber is a full-on instrumental interpretation of classic Wu-Tang tracks. The album is out on Truth and Soul Records, the independent label run by the guys behind El Michaels Affair. Besides their own projects, they're home to the Phenomenal Handclap Band, a great catalog of funk/soul compilations (featuring art direction from Rostarr), and responsible for reviving the career of soul crooner Lee Fields who is dropping his first album on the label this June 2nd!! Check out the video below of "Bring the Ruckus"!

Cinema Village East

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Love Noise Chinese Indie Rock

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | |

Photo by Ellis Scott

I just returned from a 10-day "Joy Luck Club" trip to China and during my last pitstop in Shanghai I dropped in to say hello to my homegirl Stephanie who is a recent transplant from New York. She's been kicking ass at Converse's newly opened Chinese offices and her first project out the door is fantastic!

Converse China is supporting the burgeoning independent music scene in China through a compilation album and documentary film that follows Maybe Mars artists PK14 and Queen Sea Big Shark on a 2-week roadtrip through China. Shot by documentary filmmaker Liu Feng during last year's Olympic Games in Beijing, the film follows the two acts as they play sold out shows in five Chinese cities—Beijing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Changsha, Wuhan, and Xian. Check out the Love Noise microsite to listen to the compilation and watch clips of the documentary.

Join or Die

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Join Or Die, 2008. Oil on canvas, 18x24 inches.

Justine Lai says, FUCK THE MAN! In the artist's Join or Die series, she paints herself having sex with the US Presidents in chronological order.

Artist Statement:
I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution; by inserting myself in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal. I use this intimacy to subvert authority, but it demands that I make myself vulnerable along with the Presidents. A power lies in rendering these patriarchal figures the possible object of shame, ridicule and desire, but it is a power that is constantly negotiated.

Happy Earth Day

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Happy Earth Day!

Photographer Alex Brown posted a nice typographic/photo series from a trip to Tulum, Mexico reminding us to think about Mother Earth and the larger impact of our consumption problem.

Artist Statement:

Each year around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced and 10% of this ends up in the ocean. Right now there is a million pound mass of garbage bigger than Texas accumulating in the Pacific between California and Hawaii known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. To highlight this growing problem of marine pollution, these letters were made from actual trash collected on a small stretch of beach in Tulum, Mexico

W4 Street Jam

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Gangja Chunes with DDS

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 | |

My favorite Downtown Soundsystem celebrated the holiday the right way with a special all ganja chune selection. I listen to Deadly Dragon's East Village Radio show every week and you should too. Download the podcast here and check out the video for the view from the East Village booth below.