4. West Virginia
6. North Carolina
8. South Carolina
Perhaps you would enjoy watching the video of Superwolf (Oldham and Sweeney)'s "I Gave You". If you would, click here. I suggest that you will not be disappointed, unless you are predisposed to think that a good music video must have high production values.
Download the PDF here.
I have absolutely no idea who originally did this or I would give credit; I found it on gravestmor. So anyways if you spend much time doing construction details you might find this funny. If not, probably not.
In honor of Pitchfork's yearly record reviews, I am inaugurating another new feature (why I keeping adding when I can't keep up with the old ones, I don't know -- went skiing last weekend and Thursday Triumph or Travesty went out the window; should be back this week). Anyways, this feature will be occuring once per year; I will select Pitchfork's worst record review of the year and present it for your, well, not exactly illumination, but something. Entertainment, perhaps.
As anyone who reads the "New York Times" of Pop Music (I quote as my source for this claim Josiah Roe) frequently knows, sometimes the writing on that website is bad. Really bad. In fact, it can actually be harmful to your health to read the content of some of the record reviews (especially the hip hop; I think their official editorial policy on hip hop reviews is "We're white and wouldn't know anything about it anyways so we'll just let it slide"). So it was a bit of a challenge to pick just one shining example of pure idiocy, but I think I found a real gem for you. Unfortunately, this 'gem' dates to 2004. Some of you may think that this might invalidate it for consideration in the worst record reviews of 2005, but, since this is the first year I've done this, I think its just fine. And if it bugs you you can pretend the title of this entry is Worst Record Review of March 22, 2004-Late December 2005 (No, Walter, you're not wrong...). Anyways, this is just such a pure example of High School Creative Writing Class moronicity that I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't bring it to your attention:
March 22, 2004: Bonnie Prince Billy, "Greatest Palace Music"
There was a bit of controversy around this album. See, Bonnie Princy Billy plays some crazy indie country with a great lo-fi sound, and he's been bringing it like that for years, and all of the sudden he decides he's going to cover himself (or his previous incarnation, Palace/Palace Music/Palace Brothers), and he puts up a poll on the internet and the public picks their favorites and he goes into the studio to record them... and slobers Nashville-style country sheen all-over his beautiful lo-fi gems. What is the indie public to make of it? Can it be that Oldham actually likes the way these songs sound? Doesn't he know that his genius is only acceptable if it is recorded in such a way to put off a fair percentage of the listening public? Guess not. You know, it almost sounds like he enjoys the songs. And singing them. Hmmm.
But, fortunately for you and me, Pitchfork saw through the music to the performance art. THEY could see that the music was obviously a big middle-finger extended from Oldham to his fans.
Please. Worst. Album. Review. Ever.
If you follow the US National Team at all, you might be interested in this, which is Clint Dempsey's myspace page. Clint Dempsey, for the uninitiated, is a defensive midfielder/striker (yes its a bit of an unusual combination) for the New England Revolution of MLS. He's had a few (mostly unsuccessful) caps for the US National Team, but a lot of people tip him for big things. He's
awkward, gangly HOTT, and can actually bust out some decent dribbles, which is something the US has lacked for, umm, as long as we've been around (Clint's on the right in the picture, getting a hug from man-mountain Oguchi Onyewu). So Clint's myspace features the song "Don't Tread" which this rural Texas boy put together with some producer I've never heard of. I suppose its not awful, but I wouldn't exactly buy an album, either. Goes along with the whole Nike "Don't Tread on Me" campaign, which is pretty well done if you ask me. (Here's another link to part of the Nike soccer thing). Maybe sometime I'll put up a link to the Nike "Americans don't play soccer" video if I get a chance.
Sorry folks, but I have a somewhat important paper due on Tuesday that I started yesterday, so Thursday Triumph or Travesty will be a bit short and a bit off topic this week. I suppose I should start by mentioning that last week's received 1 comment and 0 votes, so there will be no up or down for it. Oh well.
Today's subject is the suburbs of Mexico City, or, Suburbia as Abstract Art. Perhaps you enjoy the suburb you live in (if you live in one), blissfully unaware (or just dismissive) of your savage critics. Perhaps you are one of the savage critics. Or perhaps you fall somewhere in between (keep in mind, though, that moderation will not be tolerated during Thursday Triumph or Travesty). Regardless, though, of your estimation of the suburbs you've lived in (unless you've lived in one of these), you surely will not expect the sublime regularity of these suburbs in Ixtapaluca:
(image is from photos taken by a helicopter pilot who shuttles the rich around in Mexico City)
One of the hot debates in historic preservation (What? You doubt the heat?) these days centers around the question of when a historic site or building has reached a point at which we can say "Stop! It should be preserved exactly as it is." The question is made quite tricky for a number of reasons, such as the historic evidence we have of sites which were vastly improved through changes made decades or even centuries after the original site was completed (see the Piazza San Marco in Venice). Another sticky point is the possibility that some sites should not be preserved at all, as discussed in this interesting article from Slate, "Rot in Peace" (the point of this entry is that you should read this article). I certainly don't have the same degree of sympathy she esposes for Camilo Josť Vergara's ideas for the center of Detroit (which I think are ridiculous and awful), but she makes some interesting points (and pictures are worth seeing).
(So its Friday... and I'm a bit late.) The pre-Thanksgiving Travesty or Triumph (Bomarzo, which you can view by scrolling down a wee) netted only one vote, for Triumph; I was a bit surprised that there was only one vote, as I thought it could easily go either way, but perhaps you (loyal reader) were taking a pre-Thanksgiving break from the internet. If you were, I commend you. (Aside: Are you new to Thursday Travesty or Triumph? Read about it here and feel free to comment or not comment)
I'm keeping Thursday Travesty or Triumph short this week, but I think that's in the spirit of this week's design, Ryoan-Ji. I think your opinion on it will probably depend on what you think of minimalism.
That's the basic composition of Ryoan-Ji. Ryoan-Ji is generally considered the most famous Zen Buddhist garden in Japan. It was built during the Muromachi period, probably in the late 1480s; however, there is some dispute as to whether its original design was as austere as its current incarnation. Some hold that it originally included plantings (I've heard that cherry trees are the most likely original plantings, but that's hearsay), but most people agree that the current incarnation is a more pure expression of the principles of Muromachi period Zen design than any imaginable version including plantings. I suppose it could probably be considered a good example of how things can improve over time even as the original design is lost.
The garden is composed of raked gravel and fifteen moss-covered boulders, arranged so that, from any given point within the garden space, at least one boulder is always hidden from view. The are is approximately thirty by eighty feet; it is located on the south side of a Buddhist temple. On the north side of the garden is a long veranda from which the garden is viewed, while the walls on the other sides frame the borrowed views of surrounding landscape (which are probably a large part of why the austerity of the gravelscape is successful -- if you think it is successful).
The extended entry contains several more images of Ryoan-Ji.
Here you see visitors (Westerners!) sitting in the veranda.