tirado/thrown


Late Winter Video: Waiting for the Gift of Sound and Vision

Here at tirado/thrown, we heartily anticipate the end of the winter.  With the clear light and the cold air, we’re slowly attempting to shed the frozen snow that stubbornly sticks to the ground here in Boston (but not before the upcoming Agamben post, though).

The Sea and Cake’s cover of David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision” is the perfect song for this time of year.  They take on Bowie with a blast of cold Chicago air and fashion a tempered interpretation that does not threaten the original version’s excitement and buoyancy.

In an issue of loud paper a number of years ago, The Sea and Cake’s lead singer Sam Prekop professed his love for the work of Mies Van Der Rohe.  Lines, glass, light, and steel, Van Der Rohe’s architecture trades in the very basic terms of experience and dwelling. 

It’s not entirely surprising then, that the video above marshals high-modern experimental animation to offer a visual expereince well-coordinated with a song that is about experience, broadly conceived: wonder, awakening, anticipation, becoming alive, the senses sparkening and opening to the world.  The above video is vitalism wrapped in the guise of a collected, though vibrant, formalism.  Here’s to ushering the end of Winter.

UPDATE: A far better version of the video is up on Pitchfork.tv, which I recommend over the video I posted above.

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Work Cloud

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The image above is from artist Micheal Lewy’s City of Work tumblr.  (His website is well worth paying a visit.)  It caught my attention in light of some reflections at ICite that I’ve been following at a distance concerning the phenomena of word clouds and their relation to language, poetry, politics, psyche, and symbolic efficiency.  It started with this post, and has so far continued here and here.  Juxtaposing the blog posts and Lewy’s work raised more questions than answers.

First, some questions regarding the relationship of Lewy’s piece to language, its social use, and the piece’s orientation as an artwork.  If, as ICite argues, word clouds flatten sense and the possibilities of meaning (through ‘marking a moment’, or being a form of secondary orality, a trace of chatter, or a positionless marker of intensity, etc.), does Lewy’s rendering of office lingo serve to pit this terminology against itself?   In effect, the piece seems to expose the terminology’s flatness, its lack of tonality, and its reliance on the frequency and intensity of its use in our working lives.  Could it be argued that Lewy’s piece is a parody of technical applications of language upon the seemingly neutral language of work?

A second group of questions arise with respect to discourse, psyche, ontology, and politics.  Is workplace jargon an apparatus of master discourse reliant upon biopolitical coersion to acheive its politcal-economic ends?  Does it not reveal that the language of work is not merely natural, but vulnerable to a decline in symbolic efficiency? 

It would seem that Lewy’s ‘work cloud’ brings to sharper relief the contingent properties of social relations, capitalism included.



Last Week’s Links: January 5-10, 2009
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What follows is the first shot at what is largely an attempt at offering frequent updates on some of the more interesting links making their way to the tirado/thrown desk.  Any suggestions for good links come to mind?  Please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Image: Screenshot of zigzagphilosophy.com, (2009).  Digital work by Angelo Plessas, found at Rhizome.



2008 Music Wrap Up

 

With the year quickly coming to a close, here’s tirado/thrown’s list of albums/songs/tracks that made their way into regular listening rotation over the last year.  While most of the titles below were released in 2008, your dear author/editor cannot pretend to scoop up new records and love them as quickly as a number of people picking up records and writing about them.  At times, he wishes he were so adventurous.  Be that as it may, the list follows:

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  • Crystal Castles, Self-Titled, Last Gang Records: A record of 8-bit-inspired madness teetering at the point where self-control and its loss become difficult to distinguish.  It is music to the tune of neurons alternately seizing up and firing at various intensities, making shards and blobs of circuitry-toned noise for your pleasure.

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  • Anavan, Self-Titled, GSL: Manic, tight, post-punk.  Danceable and disciplined, this record will mercilessly cut you right down the middle.

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  • TV on the Radio, Dear Science, Interscope: As close to a perfect album as you can get.  Just. Go. Listen.

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  • El Guincho, Alegranza, Young Turks/XL Recordings: Dense, infectious, rhythmic loops of joy.

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  • Las Malas Amistades, Jardin Interior, Psychopath Records: The record (and band) I’ve been waiting for to offer Latin America’s response to Sebadoh’s Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock.  Not quite new, but it was a 2008 discovery here at tirado/thrown.

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  • Nobody, Presents Blank Blue: Western Water Music, Vol. 3, Ubiquity Records: Lush, slow burning, deep grooves from L.A.  Oftentimes Nobody’s psychedelic arrangements move the music along like fog moving at the boundary between air and water, smoother and cooler than an iced bong hit.  

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  • Chico Sonido, Various Mixes, available at www.chicosonido.com:  Outstanding mixes of vintage Latino tracks that just teem with soul.  He’s an outstanding selector, and part 2 of a set he recorded for dublab in 2006 is proof.  Finding records under pyramids indeed.

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  • Various Artists, The Roots of Chicha, Barbes Records: Irresistible late 60’s cumbia drenched in reverb-laced guitars.  Inspired by the wave of psychedelic cumbia rocking South America (esp. Zizek) as of late, I somehow managed to come across this ancestral document.

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  • School of Seven Bells, Alpinisms, Ghostly Records:  Most of what I read about them invokes the term shoegaze or dreampop, which I find a pretty lazy analogy.  Said genres don’t carry a groove or run vocals the way SVIIB’s Alpinisms does deftly mixing the sonic landscapes of Spiritualized and rhythms of late 80s freestyle to entirely original results:  earnest, serious, groove-laden, and striving for a level of feeling in songwriting that treads perilous musical territory and comes away glowing.

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  • Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Daytrotter Sessions, Available here.  There’s a fragility and vulnerability in Robinson’s voice and songwriting that is just arresting.  The four songs featured on the Daytrotter sessions are rather magnificent in themselves as well-performed pieces of rock.

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  • Baltimoroder/Die Young, Cat/Back Around, Dopamine Records: A slick but downright grimy track coming from Boston’s finest DJ, Baltimoroder.  It’s much like something you’ll hear him spinning during peak dancing time at one of the many nights he’s a part of.   

A few more records from this year were in the running, but in the name of a measure of integrity, they’re excluded them from the list since said author/editor hasn’t listened to them. They are worth mentioning as records that are eagerly awaiting listening:

  • Flying Lotus, Los Angeles, Reset, 1983, Warp Records/Plug Research
  • Abe Vigoda, Skeleton, Post-Present Medium
  • Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Self-Titled, Say Hey Records

I’ll leave with a little piece of pre-holiday cheer that came my way from tirado/thrown favorite Caro at Sound Taste.  It’s Gael Garcia Bernal getting his norteño on in with a rendition of, well, you’ll recognize it, by you know who, as part of an upcoming film, Rudo y Cursi.  Judging from the trailer, the song gets its work in. Were I Bun E. Carlos, I would be impressed.



Žižek on Violence (Video)
October 5, 2008, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Žižek on Violence (Video)

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Quote of the Day: Facticity as Mutual Abandonment

Recently-minted U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, from a July 17 New York Times article:

“I realized that whatever we do or don’t do, we’re utterly exposed.”

At first blush, any one who’s read Jean-Luc Nancy’s work on being-with or his ontology of plural sinularity will at the level of basic philosophy some resonance in Ryan’s words. But Ryan’s economy of expression at once withholds itself and leaves itself open to questions and amplifications. ‘Exposed’: to what, or two whom? To things, to people, to beings, to a beyond, or being wherever we are? If there’s any suitable supplement to Ryan’s utterance of resignation, it can perhaps be that exposure itself is the basic human fact placing us with relation to many others, be the people, ourselves, or objects.



Week in Review: Among Other Things, Writing is Difficult

A quick survey of items summoning bits of time and attention over the last week: