Monthly Archives: May 2008

this is not my beautiful house

it’s more of a large (previously-)abandoned building in lower-manhattan, turned into a musical instrument by David Byrne. pretty much, solenoids are used to vibrate different structural elements within the building, and by playing keys on an organ set up in the center of the space, one can actually create music out of the structure itself. being inside when an actual musician is playing is experience I would really like to have.

david byrne’s new band, with architectural solos

playing the building


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corporate post-bankruptcy

interior landscapes of offices after their owners have gone bankrupt.  some of them are starkly tranquil, and could pass as merely an excessively minimalistic office after-hours, but others show evidence of what the photographer terms, “life, interrupted”—a room full of office chairs piled like some bizarre game of tetris, phones lined up neatly along a counter, almost as if they are new and fresh, about to be distributed throughout a budding office space.  the truth is, of course, the exact opposite.

the gallery design is kind of cool too, and uses java rather than flash (this is highly commendable).

phillip toledano: bankrupt

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beirut @ grand regency ballroom

aaaaaaaaaahhh so good. he played everything I hoped he would—nantes, scenic world (with the accordion, part played by violin, so beautiful), brandenburg, and mount wroclai and carousels for the second encore, after a lot of people had left. so yeah, it was incredible. totally worth the 180-mile round trip and being dead tired at work today. PLUS I managed to snag the in-n-out hat he wore for two or three songs, while everyone else was fighting over the set lists that were left on stage. it was still damp with the sweat of zach condon. is that creepy?

the opening acts were good too, the first one was this huge folk ensemble that had the crescendo-laden sound of the arcade fire, and probably the most adorable lead-female-singer-slash-banjo-player ever, except, as brian said, she probably could have used a few drinks before coming on stage, so nervous and tense she looked. they also seriously had a mascot, this short little elfin dude that ran around onstage, totally channeling the music and occasionally would disappear for a second and reappear with a tuba that was literally as big as he was. I later learned from the mandolin player (who was at least six-foot-four—this was a band of disproportions) who was next to us during beirut that his name was Benito. totally fitting.

the second opener, the brunettes, were from new zealand and had great accents, but terrible terrible sound. god knows what was up with the sound techs, but it was a nightmare. they handled it with (mostly) aplomb and their obvious frustration was met with sympathy from the crowd. still, they only played three songs and left in disgust.

but then it was beirut and all was forgotten.

edit: now that people have woken up and uploaded their pictures of the concert to flickr, I have photographic proof of zach’s love for in-n-out, as well as an awesomely serendipitous comment on the post:

pictures (c) flickr user miss elisa


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transatlantic periscope

the “telectroscope,” an art installation by Paul St. George, purports to be, “an extraordinary optical device … installed at both ends [of a transatlantic tunnel] which miraculously allows people to see right through the Earth from London to New York and vice versa,” using a series of mirrors to bounce the image over the three-thousand mile distance.  while it probably uses fiber optics, it’s still a pretty astounding feat, and the ability for spectators to walk up to it and see a live image from the other end is something singular, even in this age of telecommunications saturation.

bbc article (with video)

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urban nesting

I don’t know his reasons, his message, his expectations. all I can say is that this is probably the silliest, freest, just plain coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. the site’s in (dutch?) but click through the pictures and videos. really.


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okay well I’m only two years late on this

but robert polidori’s series of photos documenting the “modern pompeii” of post-Katrina New Orleans is singularly arresting and manages to show a morbid sense of humor through it all—I especially liked the camouflaged buick above, and the optical illusion in “Corner of Law and Egania Streets.”

“After the Flood”
(definitely check out the slideshow)

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well it’s not supertopical anymore but

somebody with a sense of humor and a good grasp of the subprime mortgage fiasco had a good time with this:

just click through the images. I thought it was worthwhile.

oh, and

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