Check out artist Lisa Cogdon’s new project The Reconstructionists.
Much like human infants, songbirds learn to communicate by imitating other members of their species. In a way, the songs these birds learn to sing are positive externalities. Imagine if their predecessors expected royalties….
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Yesterday Tim Kreider beautifully summed up what Ray Bradbury taught us all about surviving the dystopian future he was prescient enough to foresee:
Arm yourself with books. Assassinate your television. Go for walks, and talk with your neighbors. Cherish beauty; defend it with your life.
While being an avid Bradbury reader didn’t make it any easier to figure out Fahrenheit 451 back in the day (seriously, that shit was hard), his books helped me understand human nature. I’ll always be grateful for that. Rest in peace, Ray.
No, this story isn’t about coping with a mid-life crisis — it’s about savoring the daily grind. It’s also an intoxicating blend of art and copy. All of which makes for a peculiar tale that celebrates the creativity of one of the finest design shops in the land. So happy fortieth, Pentagram. Here’s to many more. *clink*
Stan from Mad Men was right: there’s always a million bands who sound like that. Hence DDB London, as if inspired by Lady Lazarus herself, goes elsewhere to score Beach House-y music for its VW Polo “Dad” ad when they can’t get the real thing. Ah, the adolescent joy of this industry.
Once upon a time in the nineties, I found a Folk Implosion guitar pick in my Doritos. The pick itself wasn’t just bright orange and Dorito-shaped: it was splattered with the same kaleidoscopic mix of psychedelic purples and greens found in the Natural One video (way to be on-brand, dudes).
This alt-crackerjack prize stood for everything I hated about Lou Barlow’s Kids-fueled success in particular (damn you, Larry Clark) and the mainstreaming of indie rock in general. while I’d already begun ignoring Sebadoh long before opening that fateful bag of chips, it vacuum-packed my hate for sellouts.
It’s true: I was once an old-school music snob. Every time then-obscure bands like Sebadoh or even the Frogs got signed, my interest in them (especially in their post-hype output) began to wane. As a struggling writer-painter-musician-bartender-waiter-dabbler-jackass, I was convinced the value of art was born of struggle. No struggle, no value. Cut and dried.
Then I decided to make a career out of selling things for a living. Now, looking back, I tip my hat to Lou, Larry and Frito-Lay for their admirable co-branding efforts. Pretty much nothing about art is clear cut, and the struggle to create it — regardless of what inspires it — doesn’t end with a taste of success.
To that end, I see that old attitude of mine as a selfish one. Yes “authenticity” is important, but obsessing over it obscures the fact that artists without salaries or insurance need our support in order to succeed over the course of their (hopefully) long lives. It also gets in the way of discovering and enjoying good stuff. Plus, it’s no fun.
We all buy and sell things for a living. And if we enjoy the fruits of other people’s creative labor, we are their patrons. As such, we should invest in them — and we should do it over the long haul. It’s easier than ever for us to give the artists we believe in the support they deserve. Which, to paraphrase one of the best bands ever, is only what we should have done in the first place.
To me, people are people. Places are not (neither are companies). But as far as contrived social media campaigns go, Iceland as the weird-friend-you-never-see-but-can’t-get-out-of-your-mind is actually a pretty spot-on personification of the place.
I can only speak from my own experience in Bjork’s homeland. My father, my brother and I spent ten strange and unforgettable days there in 2004. Every time we get together, we reminisce fondly and talk about returning someday. Request pending.