2 People, 2 Mediums

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Nick Veasey calls himself an “X-Ray Photographer.”  He has shots ranging from bulldozers and motorcycles, to his enormousely compiled shots of a 747.  He shoots underwear, dolls, animals, and insects, while shooting some films along the way.  Check out his website, many of you will recognize his work.  If you have not decided what to get me for Christmas yet, I would suggest his latest book. You can buy it here or write him here:

right arrow To buy A Decade in X-ray contact:
The Photographers Gallery Bookshop
+44 (0) 207 831 177 ext 227 and 228
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Our next artist is consistantly featured in The New Yorker Magazine and The New York Times.  His name is
C H R I S T O P H   N I E M A N N.  He recently had a funny piece about coffee here, and his other work, including his recent book about little Lin and her dragon friend, that gives children a playful introduction to Chinese characters (Hint: This would be a great gift for me too, even though Im not a little kid, most of us are when it comes to Cinese characters).  Browse his website, get to know him, write him, talk to him, pick his brain. I know I will. Enjoy.
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BY THE WAY, if you like what you see, check out Jason Hartsell at abstracthuman.com  –  Ill give you more on him later.  He is on his way to the top.
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Song of the Year?

My generation has their own Sonic Youth meets Pavement, with a sexier than early Kim Deal chick rocking on guitar, incredibly talented group of individuals called Deerhunter.  This may make the top of the concert list for the year and certainly up for best song.  Yo Malkmus and Moore, listen up, its finally happening.

Only when I dream but there some way out
You learn to talk, you learn to shout
Fo   cus on depth that was never there
A lemonade what you can’t repain

Nothing ever happened to me
Nothing ever happened to me
Nothing ever happened to me
Life jus  t passing, flash right thru me

See                                    thru the wind to awakened stream
Adj ust yr ey  es to the state of things
Focus on depths that was never there
Nothing’s easy nothing’s fair

Nothing ever happened to me
Nothing ever happened to me
Nothing ever happened to me
Life just passing, flash right thru me

I never, saw it coming
waiting for something, for nothing
I never,

saw it coming
waiting for something, for nothing

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The Day I Cried

On August 7, 2006 I was released from the hospital diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Some call itthe good cancer, and Curb Your Enthusiasm has a great episode about this.  I just went on a three day rollercoaster ride without a safety harness.  I knew I was sick but was not yetcertain if I was going to live to see some of the things I have seen today.  I was scared.  I did not want to die.

So many thoughts entered my head that weekend.  I laid awake at night with my headphones on listening to the saddest songs I knew, trying to let go, letting my guard down, craving a moist pillowcase from a shower of tears.  I could not let go.  What was I afraid of?  Was I scared to show weakness to those around me?  I just wanted to cry and feel human.

Monday afternoon, as I packed my things and slowly made my way to the car, I just couldnt keep it in any longer.  I was in the car with my dad, conversing without listening, just looking around at the things I have passed by for so many years without really knowing what it was I was seeing.  A sad silence came upon us.  I cannot imagine what my dad was going through.  HIs first-born son may or may not live to give him a grandchild or pass on the family name.  We may not go to another concert or enjoy many more meals.  We crossed the Glenn Jackson Bridge into Vancouver on a perfect summer day.  The reflection of the sun sparkled on the Persian blue waters of the Columbia, sail boats afloat without the worry of disease or death.

The Marching Bands of Manhattan began playing on the radio.  I turned the volume up and was lost in dreams of the afterlife, seeing all the things I never got see in life flash before my eyes.  I saw my family, my wife, my kids, my future, and my friends.  We were all happy and in love with life.  It was on this two mile strecth of bridge that I first felt that I was going to die.  I heard the lyrics laid over the harmony of the song and the tears finally rolled down.  I hid behind my sunglasses, staring out the window, wiping any sniffles away on my sleeve, and feeling a sense of reincarnation at the moment.  This couldnt be all life was going to give me.  With the last words and the final touch of the piano, I felt an immediate warmth come over me.  There was too much to live for.  Fuck cancer and fuck this disease.  Let’s dance.  Keep it coming, Im here to stay.

If I could open my arms
And span the length of the isle of Manhattan,
I’d bring it to where you are
Making a lake of the East River and Hudson
If I could open my mouth
Wide enough for a marching band to march out
They would make your name sing
And bend through alleys and bounce off all the buildings.

I wish we could open our eyes
To see in all directions at the same time
Oh what a beautiful view
If you were never aware of what was around you
And it is true what you said
That I live like a hermit in my own head
But when the sun shines again
I’ll pull the curtains and blinds to let the light in.

Sorrow drips into your heart through a pinhole
Just like a faucet that leaks and there is comfort in the sound
But while you debate half empty or half full
It slowly rises, your love is gonna drown

Your love is gonna drown
Your love is gonna…

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Orgasm Face

I was shopping for my weekly groceries.  Usually I picked up the same items: eggs, milk, bread, etc.  As I waited in line I glanced at the items surrounding the register and came across a beautiful set of tits.  I say tits because I really dont have much respect for Jessica Simpson, and she has big tits.  It may be immature and crass, but what else is really going to get many men to look at Cosmo Magazine.  I glanced past left tit to see an interestingly large font with the word orgasm in it.

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“Your Orgasm Face, what he’s thinking when he sees it.” 

I found this so hysterical.  I sat there in line, not reading the article, but thinking of all those orgasm faces I have seen.  Some have been frightening and others pure entertainment.  There have only been two that have mutually been enjoyed.

Now obviously I cannot use names for the sake of some of the readers but I can surely describe to you some of the faces I have encountered.

The Snarling Orgasm Face – This one is quite frightening.  One girl I dated happened to love oral more than anything in the world.  Now sadly this did not include the idea or thought of giving me oral, but simply taking it and avoiding blowjobs at any or all costs.  I recall glancing up at her orgasm face and wondering what the fuck was going on up there.  She would clinch her teeth and make this snarl that was quite honestly one of the least sexy and unattractive things I have ever seen in a woman.

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The Girl Who Laughs/Moans Orgasm Face – Fuck this.  Any time she laughs I wonder if I am doing something wrong or if she is just fucking nuts.  Usually she is just fucking nuts.  It starts out with little moans and then a giggle, followed by a moaning laugh and silence.  It is so confusing and leaves me wondering what the fuck was so funny because Im not laughing.

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The Crazy Screaming Bitch That Wakes Your Neighbors Orgasm Face – This one may be a wild ride but god forbid you have thin walls and neighbors that wake up early.  I had a girl over at my place once and had warned her that my neighbor’s head is literally on the other side of that drywall.  That did not stop her from letting him know she was having sex.  I got the half nod of approval, half nod dont let it fucking happen again from my neighbor that next morning.  It wasnt her fault, she just cant help but let it all loose.  God damn is it hard to concentrate…it does make you feel like a fucking well-endowed man though.

screaming_womansmall1The Passionate Orgasm Face – This one is great.  She moans as the sex intensifies.  You can feel her thoughts with her moans and her warm breath on your neck and shoulders.  These are the girls that curse a lot and say your name as they are about to orgasm.  They love sex and make you love it even more.

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The Girl Who Bites Her Lower Lip Orgasm Face – This is my favorite one.  I once had love with a girl that loved me than I could ever ask for and I pushed her away.  Not a day goes by that I dont wish I could have another chance with her, learning from my mistakes over the years.  She was an amazing person and a better lover.  She understood what sex was supposed to be not just for her, but for the two of you as one. God damn.

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Best Song You’ve Never Heard

I hope, God I hope, Sparta and Mars Volta reunite and play shows once again.  Enjoy.

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Dubai, Inc.

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I am preparing a report on the urban biome that is Dubai.  I am fascinated with the way the UAE works and all that is happening within this small desert nation.  We see the wealth and pleasure offered by this emirate, but we don’t see what happens behind the scenes.  Is Sheikh Mohammed doing the right thing or is he controlled by powerful mega-corporations influencing his mind and pockets?  Here is a link to an NPR story last week and a video showing how Dubai works.

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Filed under Biomes, Engineering, Travel, Urbanism, Videoz

Top 10 Albums

 

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10) MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

This was many of our soundtracks through 2008.  Whether you heard them in movies, commercials, or live, you left wishing you were alive in the 60s to witness the real thing.  Young guys making an old sound and doing it really well.

my picks: weekend wars, pieces of what

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9) Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs

Why is this on the list?  The same reason Coldplay made the list. Production and potential.  Gibbard is an amazing poet and indie love song genius.  Where the credit really goes is to Chris Walla.  Walla is a pacific northwest indie band version of Johnny Greenwood.  Greenwood has the advantages of being in the biggest best band in the world, but Walla has taken DCFC to festival main stage spotlight, while maintaing focus on incredible sound and engineering.  Put Greenwood and Walla in a room and the two may never rejoin their bands.  They could engineer every great album for the next 30 years.  Hopefully they do it in Portland and they do it for me.

my picks: bixby canyon bridge, i will possess your heart

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8) Deerhunter – Microcastles

This might be the best show of 2008.  Still have about a dozen shows left but these guys are certainly at the top of the list.  They dont just sound good, they sound smart.  Listen to this Sonic Youth meets Brian Eno, Pavement meets b-side Nirvana, and just fucking try to create something this good.

my picks: nothing ever happened (over and over and over and over again….amazing piece of music)

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7) Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords

Bret and Jermaine keep it coming.  We have all heard their songs.  We have all seen their show.  Yet another subpop fucking goldmine. Season 2 starts in January.

my picks: the most beautiful girl (in the room), a kiss is not a contract, bowie

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6) Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

Eat your heart out Jim James. Robin Pecknold is sure to collaborate with M. Ward, James, and Oberst in the near future.  He fits the bill and will only take the subpop label to new levels.

my picks: white winter hymnal, your protector

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5) Beck – Modern Guilt

It’s been hard for Beck to grow since he came out of the gates running.  He has been far ahead of his game for so long.  Now that he is slowing down and stepping backwards, we get to hear what Beck has waited so many years to give us, the basics.

my picks: gamma ray, chemtrails

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4) TV On The Radio – Dear Science

Find something else this loud and good and I will take them off the list.

my picks: halfway home, lover’s day

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3) NIN – The Slip

Trent Reznor is an icon in the modern industrial music world.  He thrives for new sound and incredible production.  His shows are powerful and his presence more so.  He has created rock anthems for years, screaming of animal fucking and depression, he will always give his fans more.  One of the best live shows you will see.  

my picks: Echoplex, Head Down, 1,000,000

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2) Wolf Parade – Mount Zoomer

Wolf Parade is the band I continually heard when entering coffee shops, music stores, and bars.  I always left wondering what the fuck it was I was listening to.  What Wolf Parade offers is a sense of curiosity and surprise.  An extra note here, a double up on the high hat there, each song progressively lightens up my life.  The first album I listened to upon moving into my new place was their Apologies album.  I hadnt set up my speakers, didnt have internet, and was left to enjoy my vinyl.  Wolf Parade delivers a solid sound that you can never get sick of.  They also have one of the best album covers of the year, serious, how tacky and awesome is Mount Zoomer!

my picks:  language city, call it a ritual

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1) The Helio SequenceKeep Your Eyes Ahead

This album has taken this Portland duo to the next level.  Summers song writing fit the NW INdie mold, and Weikel’s drumming is the best of the top 10 albums.  It takes the knowledge of knowing that this band is only two people to really appreciate them.  LIttering Portland with shows for the last nine years, fans got sick of the same sound over the course of their albums.  The sound was fun and consistent but overdone on almost every track.  Keep Your Eyes Ahead has made them Sub Pop sweethearts.  Enjoy.

my picks:  Lately, Keep Your Eyes Ahead, Hallelujah 

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Honorable mention- Cloudcult, Atmosphere, She & Him and Coldplay

Cloudcult self produces and creates a unique uplifting sound.  Atmosphere is the best hip hop act out there.  Ironically both Cloud Cult and Atmosphere live only miles from one another in Minneapolis.  She & Him makes me want to hold my sweetheart close at my prom in the 50s.  Coldplay almost went from honorable mention to number one on the list.  The album overall is awful.  There is no hit single like Yellow, no beauty of Green Eyes, no rock ballads that X&Y give, and sadly, just disappoints.  But, it’s Chris martin and although this may be their worst album release to date, it was produced by Brian Eno and the production is amazing.  The sad thing is, when overproduced, good luck recreating that live.  Hopefully this downfall in their sequence of success will give us a follow up that will be that of OK Computer and Joshua Tree.  Fingers crossed.

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