Thursday, August 28, 2008

Music: Greenlight MSTRKRFT REMIX

Errone already put the Greenlight video up. I tivo'd that joint to play Andre's verse like 8 times. Here's a MSTRKRFT remix of Greenlight. It doesn't highlight Andre like it should but it's still pretty good.

Also, head over here for a pretty good TADT (The American Dream Team) Remix of THAT OPRAH by Swizzy.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Ohhhh man, this is awesome.

By Olle Hemmendorff.


Art: Seher Shah

Seher Shah, alumnus of LaGuardia High School and RISD, came to my attention as the Brooklyn Museum of Art acquired his Jihad Pop Progression #5, Interior Courtyard (2007), a few months ago.

Jihad Pop was a series that developed as he tried to justify his relationship with a non-muslim to his family in New York, New Delhi and Lahore. The visual memory of architecture and the architectural references found within his prints and drawings, courtyards and kaabas, serve to address cultural boundaries to a diasporic man.

A week or so later MOMA purchased Black Star (2007), a series of 12 giclee prints.
Seher is represented by the Bose Pacia gallery here in New York. Here are some other works:


People I Want To Be: Waris Ahluwalia

Dude gets put in movies for being cool. He's in heck of magazines. He's all, like, a socialite. Then, his being a socialite made it easier to design jewelry that doesn't cost much in Jaipur but fetches upwards of $60,000 at the 4 or 5 snobby boutiques that sell them. If any important people out there need a token Indian friend, please holler at the kid. I can make jokes and shit.

I want to be Waris Ahluwalia.

Waris Ahluwalia

Honorable Mention: Vikram Chatwal


Friday, August 22, 2008

Art: Nandalal Bose and the West's Monopoly on Modernism.

The Times published this piece on Nandalal Bose's work. "Word is that contemporary Indian art is the next sensation on the international market. So now's the time to learn something about where it came from..." UGH. Fun's over kids. "what is still probably news to many people: that modernism wasn’t a purely Western product sent out like so many CARE packages to a hungry and waiting world." True, True.

Nandalal Bose's work is being shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibit is entitled "Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose (1882-1966). Bose was a student under Abanindranath Tagore, and eventually taught at Rabindranath Tagore's school in Santiniketan. It was this group of people who developed a modern Indian art accessible to the West but deeply rooted in the history of India.

"Evening", 1941

"Sati", 1943.
"From the official British perspective, India had no living art."
"New Clouds", 1937
"Gandhi March (Bapuji)", 1930. Linocut on paper.

"In 1930, he produced a print in response to Mohandas K. Gandhi’s march to the sea that year protesting the British taxation on salt. The print, a portrait of Gandhi, was an instant hit. Cheap to reproduce, it became the most widely circulated image of the leader of the Indian freedom movement. The two men became friends, political collaborators and spiritual allies. "
"Radha's Longing (Radha's Viraha)", 1936. Tempera on silk.
- This piece is very reminiscent of Mughal miniatures and the earlier Rajput style it incorporated along with the Safavid style. The similarities exist in it's composition, colors, use of trees akin to the Chaurapanchasika style of the Rajput empire, and topic matter of Radha and Krishna. Though, while the colors are similar they're certainly more vibrant. This is also the case for "New Clouds" below.

"Saraswati", 1941.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Poetry: Bushra Rehman

Bushra Rehman is from Queens. NUFF SAID.

Will Heaven look like Zeenat Aman?

My mother used to tape indian movies
illegally all day long
there'd be three or four movies going
two VCRs whirring
getting all technologically horny
with the high-pitched songs
of the young female stars
the lucky ones
who got to dance with Amitabh
Their bodies would be bursting out of their saris
their lips would be all moist and warm
but untouched
and Amitabh would be there all funny
funny with his long long body
and his eyes brown and warm
My mother used to tape Indian movies
illegally all day long
there'd be three or four movies going
two VCRs whirring
their frequencies all turned on
by that subtle pre-orgasmic flurrying
that filled every love sick song
And it filled me
so that even as a child
loving and kissing
were in my dreams
and I could never quite walk
from point A to point B
But would instead jump and bounce
humming something about eyes
looking like oceans or the sea in a storm
And at night before going to sleep
I'd think about the kids
who went to kindergarten with me
and imagine all sorts of adventures
all sorts of dances and songs
But my mother, she's different now
she faces Mecca, not Namak Halal
and although she's still singing
verses from the Quran
It's not the same
there isn't any kind of tingling
in my feet or in my gut
When I go home, I wrap my dupatta around me
my mother hugs me in-between prayers
she doesn't get off her janamaz
But I remember her being different
I remember her smiling or angry
but always something
at least something
that felt like lightning in a storm
That was her before. Now
she's like a volcano rumbling
as she sits there reading namaz
And I wonder if when her spirit passes
when her souls starts and leaves her body
and she goes to that place she'd rather be
Will Muhammed look like Amitabh
or will heaven look like Zeenat Aman?

Corona, Queens

Fitzgerald called Corona the valley of ashes
when the Great Gatsby drove past it, but
we didn’t know about any valley of ashes
because by then it had been topped off by our houses,
the kind made from brick this tan color,
no self-respecting brick would be at all.

We knew Corona,
home of World’s Fair relics
where it felt as if some ancient tribe
of white people had lived there long ago.
It was our own Stonehenge,
our own Easter Island sculptures
made from a time when New York City
and all the country was imagining the world’s future.

Back when the future still seemed exciting and glossy,
like some kind of old stainless steel science fiction movie,
not now when the future seems like the inside of a dark coat sleeve.

We knew Corona,
under the shadow of Shea Stadium
where brown men became famous
and moved to Long Island
where our brothers played baseball
in the tar school yards on the weekends.

Back then, our brothers’ futures
were so open and they were so close,
they all dreamed the same dream together.
That with the crack of a bat
and the pull of their skinny brown legs
they could run away from the smell of garbage,
the fear on the streets,
the boys beating them up
when they came out of the masjid in the evening.

They could hit with that bat
and it would land them
all the way into the safety of Shea Stadium
and then past that,
into the island that was long and rich
where all the baseball stars lived.


Music: Koushik (Ghosh)

I previously posted on Koushik, along with Pyaasa and Atul Dodiya, but I feel like it's not enough. Plus some new songs have leaked. The album is available online at Stones Throw and they'll be dropping the hard copy September 30. You can pre-order it now, and you should.

Koushik Ghosh's music sounds like his labelmates Dilla and Madlib fucking My Bloody Valentine while Phil Spector watches and even directs a little. Hip-hop drums. Shoegaze vocals. 60's-pop inspired music. He released a record that blew my mind a few years back and has remained pretty recluse since. His shit feels like flying out of your window on a warm summer day. And the drums.. the drums.. the drums..

This whole phenomenon of sample-based non-rap music is pretty awesome to me. Anything made by cats that fuck with My Bloody Valentine and the Russian Futurists as much as Paul's Boutique and Dilla are okay in my book. Along with Koushik, who's Be With dropped prior to Person Pitch, I'd toss Panda Bear and El Guincho into this group.

Lying in the Sun, Courtesy of Stones Throw:

Bright and Shining, Courtesy of*:
* Great blog.


Fashion: I stay rockin' that Mishka

Mishka's Fall/Winter 2008 collection, Skyway Trippers, is about to drop!!! Like everything else these cats make, it's clean. There are two denims, the previous Alexei model and the new Boris jean, a slim cut limited denim. There are 60 pairs each of the two colors available on their online store. The new leather jackets are looking fresh too. I'm especially fond of this Nuts & Bolts Work Jacket. Another jacket:

These jeans look clean:

They're previewing a new Fall-1 t-shirt each day on Mishka's blog: Here are the two they've dropped so far.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Art: Judith Supine

Judith Supine recently had an installation, Dirt Mansion, at the English Kills Art Gallery in Brooklyn. I missed it because I'm lazy. He's known for his large pieces, bright colors, and of course, for his street and prankster art. I came across this piece he set adrift in the East River at Wooster Collective, a brilliant source for international street art, which I have added to my blogroll.

Here's a piece from last year:

Also, here's a recent piece found on the streets:

Cool, eh?


Art: Made in Queens

Back in November of 2007, the Times ran a story on Guyanese and Trini kids in Queens that hook up insane sound systems to their bikes.

“It’s really big where I come from in Trinidad,” Mr. Ragbir said. “When I first came to New York, I started with two little speakers. People here thought I was crazy because no one here has really ever seen it, except maybe for some Spanish dudes with a radio strapped to their handlebars.”

These kids are hooking up 5,000 watts and 200-pound sound systems with 50-CD changers on their fucking BMXs. That's real cool until like 200 kids in the neighborhood have these pounding out T-Pain or Soca when you're trying to sleep. Luckily for me, I don't live in Richmond Hills.

Dood Randall Stevens has made a short about these doods, entitled Made in Queens.
Peep the trailer:


Music: Amazing Baby + VodkaTron Party

Amazing Baby is Simon O'Connor (ex-Stylofone, Wes '05 alum), Will Roan (ex-Lions & Tigers), and some other doods. I think Will Berman (ex-Stylofone, Standing Nudes, and MGMT, Wes '04 alum) is meant to play drums but is still on tour with MGMT. They've changed their lineup around a great deal for a young band.

I don't know of many bands that have went from forming to obsessed-over in like 3 months. Amazing Baby is one of these bands. I had the pleasure of witnessing their first show early in May of this year. By June they were profiled in Fader, Spin, Brooklyn Vegan, and RCRD LBL. Go over to their myspace and download all 4 of their songs, Infinite Fucking Cross EP, for free. They're all really good, though after being especially enamored with Supreme Being I'm now especially enamored with Pump Your Breaks and Head Dress. Several drunken sing-alongs have already popped off to Pump Your Breaks:

On to my own shit: Das Racist. We're playing our first NY show at Public Assembly (formerly Galapagos) in Williamsburg. More info to follow but peep the flier:


Friday, August 15, 2008

Art: Ala Ebtekar + Siona Benjamin

Ala Ebtekar is an Iranian-American artist from Berkeley. Her art is highly influenced by Zoroastrian art, Mughal miniatures, and Hip-Hop. War is a frequent motif as well.

Flower # 5, 2002
Watercolor, acrylic, and ink on book page

The Invisible Fold, 2002
Acrylic, Gouache, Watercolor, and Ink on Book Pages
Morning Breeze, 2007
Acrylic, ink and opaque watercolor on book page

Ascension, 2007
Acrylic and ink on book pages mounted on canvas
When I saw Ala's work I remembered another artist I'm extremely fond of, Siona Benjamin. I'm actually shocked I didn't start the blog by posting on her work. Siona's art, like Ala's, is influenced by Mughal miniatures. Though beyond this stylistic foundation, the work is heavily influenced by her interesting background: a Sephardic Jew from India, a land dominated by Hindus and Muslims. There are also elements of Tantric art here. This like my favorite shit. JUST PEEP IT:

These newer pieces are bananas:


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