Remixes by Glowbug, Stephen Coleman, and Daniel Finfer.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the Do Lab’s quintessential audio-visual-experience, Lightning In A Bottle. And having just come from Coachella’s desert wasteland, I have to say it was quite refreshing. Situated in a cooler environment (Temecula is technically cooler than Indio, look it up) and on a gorgeous lake, LIB already has a few things going for it. And without the draw of major-label acts like Coachella, the general admission noise-floor is considerably lower, and more manageable.
The actual venue size is not only smaller and easier to navigate, but security is mild, and the general mood is pleasant and carefree. Attendance capped out at around 13,000 (approximately), making it a fraction of the size. Complaints, while there, were few. Upon arrival to the ticket-booth at a local community college, the lines were unfathomably long due to an internet error that prevented staff from scanning tickets at a reasonable rate.
Highlights included seeing Purity Ring, Tycho, and Nicholas Jaar from literally the front row – as the crowds are sparse and it is easy to simply walk up to the gate with ease, even in the middle of a set.
At Coachella, you’ll be trapped top-side while pissing into empty beer cans for 3 hours.
Yeah, there was a full-blown water-park.
While Lightning In A Bottle goes through growing pains, and the zeitgeist of the music festival shifts its tastes from gigantic, stressful festivals to smaller, more manageable realms; they can be rest assured I will be a repeat customer to see where the movement leads.
Ancient Lasers is the collected effort of Daniel Finfer and Daniel Anderson.
We also got to work with one of the internet’s most transcendent artists – Petra Cortright.
Petra Cortright is either very ahead of her time, or very behind. Or both. Her art pieces usually use some combination of Netscape-era GIF’s, glittery-cheesy-glitched-out-graphics and Myspace=ishASCII fonts. Her YouTube channel is a hot mess of post-human exhibition- complete with bizarre video plugins, presets, and maybe its imovie after effects. It’s kinda like one of those webcam girl pop-up-ads, if it was live-streaming from a bizarre, fucked-out future where America Online and the Super Nintendo are still the coolest dudes in the room:
As we were wrapping up the Ancient Lasers album, I started looking for images similar to her glitch-mountains, which had always fascinated me – since around 2007 – when most of the songs for this record were penned. Like a nature photographer hiking through the uncanny valley, pieces like the one below remind me of some dicked-up digital program.. trying to remember what real life was like way back when:
Somewhere deep inside Google Image Search and FFFFound, I realized that she’s probably not dead yet and that I could just have her create a new one. I decided to send her a picture of Mount Baker, in Bellingham, WA. Primarily because both myself, and Daniel Anderson spent the majority of our lives in the place; but also because I use to stare at this mountain from our farm growing up:
Underneath the gaze of this mountain, the chain of events that led me to discovering my musical ability at age 17 transpired. That’s right, folks! I didn’t know what the hell I was going to do with my life until one summer, when I was bored and downloaded Fruity Loops from Limewire. I had always been able to play songs on the radio by ear via keyboard, and had taken orchestra in elementary school (where I played violin and a hilariously giant upright bass), but had never thought about making music. After a few days, it kind of just clicked – pre-Music, I had wanted to be an author and wrote a lot of Sci-Fi stories – and was usually the best in my art class (no offense, Ferndale, but there wasn’t much competition).
I had just transferred to a “hippy high school”:
So my brother had given me a copy of The Downward Spiral to take on the trip. Now, this was destined to be a pretty terrible trip. Something about all my teachers being permanently happy was cool, fine, alright im learning about nanotechnology and resource-based economies; and the combination of listening to lyrics like “God is dead, no one cares; if there is a hell, I’ll see you there” while sitting in a circle of kids burning sage and banging on guitars/djimbe’s was pretty fucking rad.
Anyways, I’m in a shitty tent, alone in a new, weird school, and godam im tired, maybe ill pull out this huge blue sony discman n listen to nin cuz mike said it’s be coool…..
What thaua fuaaak? Music made by machines? A concept album about a lonely human fighting against it? Battling with the inherent lack of meaning that is OUR reality? Thanks, Trent.
Yet it wasn’t until I happened to look at the album liner notes (back when they were paper) and seeing “Pretty Much Everything By Trent Reznor” all over the place that I realized that with a computer, you don’t need to have a band.
You can just be the band.
Once I got home after somehow not killing myself, I heard about The Postal Service – mainly because one of the dudes was Ben Gibbard, who was a Bellingham local. It was a snow day at Whatcom Community College, and we were shoe-sledding down an icy hill on Indian St. because that’s what you do in Bellingham in September of 2003. My friend knew some guy that lived nearby, so we all went to warm up. Keep in mind, this was probably 6 months before Give Up had been released nationally.
The moment I heard The Postal Service in that kid’s house, I realized that not only was electronic music becoming popular with kids that used to talk shit about me listening to Daft Punk’s Discovery in high school (because this weird video game music will never be cool); but that someone from Bellingham, Washington, had made an album that was suddenly gaining mainstream attention. I was there, folks, and it was weird watching The Postal Service go from local heroes to being the band I turn off in the car because I’ve heard Such Great Heights 749,999 times this week on 107.7 The End.
Which brings it all back circle.
One day two kids from Bellingham named, quite eerily, Michael Harris and Daniel Anderson (My brother’s name is Michael and my middle name is Harris), won the EMP SoundOff! competition and were being played on 107.7. My sister heard Idiot Pilot – To Buy A Gun – Strange We Should Meet Here and came home yabbing about it to me, saying “its like gonna be ur fav band cuz NIN and Postal Service”.
I listened to “Strange We Should Meet Here” a few times through, and then read somewhere on Myspace that the album was made on Fruity Loops.
*Queue the sound of something clicking at 450 bpm*
See you later, Chihuahua’s Mexican Restaurant (their actual website).
That very month, I moved to Los Angeles to work on music (in between a few expensive and extremely inconvenient trips to Santa Clara University for some weird networking thing called “college”).
Idiot Pilot had just released Tail Of A Jet Black Swan. I saw a post from Daniel Anderson one day asking if anyone wanted a remix done. Coincidentally, I had just finished an album I am still proud of, Post Human Era – To Build A Fire, with my producing mentor Brian Delizza. I had taken a few guitar lessons from Daniel in Bellingham the summer before, and decided to not be a bitch and send him a few songs. He sent me back a remix of Building The Machine:
Needless to say, I was pretty stoked; and asked him if he wanted to do, like, 13 more, start a new band, and oh yeah here’s Petra’s album cover:
“To See As Artists See” Showcases America’s Modern Art Masters
The Tampa Museum of Art is pleased to present “To See As Artists See: American Art From The Phillips Collection”, which displays 107 important American paintings from The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. For this exhibition, curators selected works from the 1850s through 1960s that showcase the full breadth of its American art collection.
Geniuses of American painting in the exhibition include Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Rockwell Kent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Grandma Moses, Jacob Lawrence, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, and Mark Rothko. Each of these artists were visionaries in their own right, and deserve an entire museum unto themselves. This is a unique chance to see a comprehensive retrospective of America’s Modern Art movement spanning 1850’s.
The modern theme of “To See As Artists See” feels appropriately situated inside Stanley Saitowitz’s new and modern design for the Tampa Museum of Art – which critics have named an “electronic jewelbox sitting on a glass pedestal.” It would make sense Tampa’s most recognizable building on the outside now features equally recognizable paintings on the inside. But some would argue that the building alone is worth the trip, with its exotic use of 14,000 color-changing LED’s wrapping the outside walls. The building was named winner of the American Architecture Award by Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, and it is no surprise. One of the most striking features of the Tampa Museum of Art is that it sits on the edge of the Hillsborough River, across from many viewpoints where its design and glow can be enjoyed reflecting off the water’s surface. One of these vantage points is Plant Park, where you might enjoy a picnic dinner on a lazy evening.
Come see for yourself, and come inside to check out “To See as Artists See: American Art From The Phillips Collection” Exhibition through April 28th.
From Indiewire – “I’m always trying to push myself and I try to do it with my studio albums, and now this is a new adventure, so I’m going to push myself even harder, and try to surprise people and move people with my music,” M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez told us last year when we reported he was going to score Joseph Kosinski‘s “Oblivion.” “My vision is really to have a combination of very electronic moments, very M83, and sometimes merge into something more soundtrack-y.” And it sounds like he’s more than succeeded.
The first track from upcoming soundtrack has arrived and yes, it sounds like M83 and yes, that means it sounds awesome. The sci-fi flick starring Tom Cruise is already shaping up to be something pretty ambitious and it certainly has the music to match, and for M83’s first blockbuster scoring outing, he’s been assisted by “TRON: Uprising” and “The Raid” composer Joseph Trapanese. M83 has also cut a new song featuring Norwegian singer Susanne Sundfør that will appear on the soundtrack when it’s released on April 9th.
The raw excitement of planetary exploration is captured at Celebrate Curiosity, with over 1000 of your fellow explorers, friends, party goers, celebrities, scientists, artists, and space enthusiasts. Join us, as we take a thrilling dive into discovering the possibilities at the cosmic frontier in style!
Our Martian Party kicks off after the first day of Planetfest and spans two floors for an out-of-this world experience! As you mingle with your friends and make new ones along the way, keep your eyes peeled back for space industry persons of interest from Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and NASA. During the course of the evening, catch sightings and conversations from the most interesting Space Entrepreneurs, Sci-fi Authors, Screen Stars, and Personalities.
Bill Nye the Science Guy at BlackStarr’s Yuri’s Night, April 2012
What to expect at Celebrate Curiosity:
- Customized t-shirts printed while you wait
- Interactive galactic art by Andrea Lofthouse, NASA JPL’s Dan Goods, and others
- CEO of The Planetary Society, Bill Nye the Science Guy, SpaceX’s Elon Musk, and hosts breakout talks
- Short speaker sessions from prolific space advocates!
- Enjoy tasty Martian treats and cosmic drink specials
- Interactive video games from GameDesk
- Gorgeous Spacecraft models displayed for your enjoyment
- Giveaways from the Planetary Society
- Get dazzled with spaced out music spun by Ancient Lasers and our Suprise Guest DJ
- Dance to the undulating cosmic lights of the Jellypuss
- Adorn yourself with a selection of complimentary blinky lights and glowey things
- Witness live art in the making, interstellar wall projections, and adult games
- Intergalactic Girls passing out Space Swag from the likes of SpaceX, NASA, and more
- Delicious Astronaut Icecream and Space food Sticks from Funky Foods
- Amazing lightshows with some far-out Tesla Coils!
- LED Hula Artists!
Don’t forget to show off your Martian themed apparal by taking pictures at one of our two sassy souvenir photo booths