Bad Rave Flyers is “a blog dedicated to showcasing the worst and most lazy in graphic design for club and rave flyers.” Says the anonymous author:
I spend a lot of time looking at event listings on messageboards. I’ve always been fascinated by how bad most rave & club flyers are, especially ones for events with mostly local DJs. As a testament to this, I’ve decided to compile my favorites into one place.
Indeed, some of these flyers are terrible. But before we go laughing ourselves into a false sense of superiority, it has to be stated that EVERYONE who has been involved in djing or club promoting has at some point created their own bad rave flyer. I still have mine lurking at the back of a closet somewhere. It may not be as bad as these, but consider it a rite of passage every club industry professional must go through.
Scots who rushed to buy it have discovered that their new “smart” gadget can’t understand them. This is true despite the fact that their phones are set to “English (United Kingdom)” under the “language” setting for Siri, which doesn’t seem to take the distinctive Scottish burr into much account.
“What’s the weather like today?” Darren Lillie said hopefully into his iPhone recently here in the Scottish capital, in a demonstration for an American reporter.
Lillie, 25, is Edinburgh born and bred, and his thick accent shows it.
Siri thought for a moment, then decided it best to repeat what it thought it heard.
“What’s available in Labor Day?” it asked.
Lillie shook his head. “I don’t even know what Labor Day is,” he said ruefully to the American, who told him.
In other clips, “Can you dance with me?” gets misinterpreted as “Can you Dutch women?” and the question “How many miles are there in 10 kilometers?” elicits the helpful, if irrelevant, response: “I don’t see any email for yesterday.”
Lillie admits to adjusting his speech patterns to get Siri to understand him.
“I find I speak slower. It’s like when I speak to tourists,” he said to the American reporter, who felt at once both patronized and relieved.
Hardly news, and the kind of story best suited to the “Jings! Crivvens! Help ma boab!” kind of headline, allowing for the usual nationalistic rebuttal, name-checking Edinburgh-born inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell turning in his grave, and the success of such Scots accents as Schir Schean Connery, Ewan MacGregor, Kelly MacDonald, Robert Carlyle, Billy Connolly and Craig Ferguson, mcetc mcetc. But really, it just made me of Stanley Baxter’s excellent Parliamo Glasgow from the 1960s, and this wonderfully apt sketch from present day and the rather splendid Burnistoun.
Production still from “Extracurricular Projective Reconstruction #35,” 2010
Sad news comes in twos today for the art world as the body of prominent LA-based artist Mike Kelley is found in his home by police. Details are scant, but some outlets are reporting the death as a likely suicide. Kelley was 57.
Kelley was found at his home Tuesday and it appeared he had committed suicide, South Pasadena Police Sgt. Robert Bartl said, without providing further information on the artist’s death. An autopsy was pending.
“Kelley’s work in the 1980s was part of how one defined the Los Angeles arts scene. He had a remarkable ability to fuse distinction between fine and popular art in ways that managed to perturb our sense of decorum,” said Stephanie Barron, senior curator of modern art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
A family friend who was concerned about Kelley went to his home and called 911, Bartl said.
The friend told investigators that Kelley had been depressed because he had recently broken up with his girlfriend, but no note was found, Bartl said.
Mike Kelley is best-known for his punk rock-informed work which included large-scale installations and sculptures made from sewing ratty stuffed animals together. One of Kelley’s most famous images is on the cover of Sonic Youth’s Dirty album. He was also a founding member of influential Detroit avant garde rock group Destroy All Monsters in the 1970s.
Before his death, Kelley was in the process of putting together a show for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Mike Kelley’s work will be included in the upcoming 2012 Whitney Biennial out of New York.
The great painter Dorothea Tanning died yesterday in her sleep at the age of 101. Tanning, who was married for thirty years to Surrealist Max Ernst, was herself part of a small cadre of female Surrealists (Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, Kay Sage, Lee Miller, Maya Deren, Remedios Varo, and Leonor Fini) judged by history to be as equally interesting as their male counterparts.
Jerry Saltz, writing about Tanning today on Vulture:
In her memoir, we hear how she and Ernst fell in love while playing chess, how the two of them lived in Arizona before moving to France, of their double wedding with Man Ray and Juliet Browner, of her friendships with Picasso, Breton, Magritte (“sweet”), Duchamp, Tanguy, Truman Capote (“a neat little package of dynamite”), Orson Welles (“scowler”), Joseph Cornell (“the courtly love of the 13th century troubadours”), and how she designed sets and costumes for the great George Balanchine. Noting how pleased she was that Ernst never called her “wife,” she observes, “He was very sorry about that wife thing. I’m very much against the arrangement of procreation, at least for humans. If I could have designed it, it would be a tossup who gets pregnant, the man or woman. Boy, that would end rape for one thing. And ‘woman artist’? Disgusting.” She writes about being alone on a bus in Chicago and deciding, with no plans or place to live, to go on to New York. There she “ate curry powder sandwiches, took Hindu dancing, read the ‘Bhagavad-Gita’ and Emily Dickinson, impartially.” In 1936 she saw the MoMA show “Fantastic, Dada, and Surrealism” and recalled that “here, here in the museum ... are signposts so imperious, so laden, so seductive, and yes, so perverse that … they would possess me utterly.”
The material in this new volume covers an era that sprints from Beat to hippie to punk rather quickly. Some of the recipients of Burroughs’ letters at this time were Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Timothy Leary, Gregory Corso, Billy Burroughs Jr., Paul Bowles, Ian Sommerville, Alexander Trocchi and Brion Gysin.
Here’s one letter, sent to author Norman Mailer. Mailer had written to Burroughs requesting that he join the anti-war tax resistance protest against the Vietnam War.
November 20, 1967
8 Duke Street
As regards the War Tax Protest if I started protesting and refusing to contribute to all the uses of tax money of which I disap prove: Narcotics Department, FBI, CIA, any and all expenditures for nuclear weapons, in fact any expenditures to keep the antiquated idea of a nation on its dying legs, I would wind up refusing to pay one cent of taxes, which would lead to more trouble than I am pre pared to cope with or to put it another way I feel my first duty is to keep myself in an operating condition. In short I sympathize but must abstain.
The cover portrait of Burroughs is a Polaroid shot by Andy Warhol. Below, some undated footage of Burroughs and Warhol dining together sometime in the late 70s, or more likely early 1980s that was used in a BBC documentary about the Chelsea Hotel. The voice heard off-camera belongs to Victor Bockris, author of the classic book With William Burroughs: A Report From the Bunker and Warhol: The Biography.
An accidental Google search (don’t ask) led me to a rather odd subculture/phenomena in Google images: cats and mushrooms. There’re cats pictured with Cremini mushrooms, Porcini, wild mushrooms and even the psychedelic kind. (I’m in no way endorsing ‘shrooming your cat, btw.)
According to an article on NPR’s website titled Mystery Solved: Why Cats Crave Mushrooms, cats are attracted to the glutamate chemical in mushrooms. Vets warn though, cats probably shouldn’t be eating the fungi. Some could poison them.
Music journalist Neil Kulkarni is one of the UK’s premier writers on hip-hop. He writes regularly for the Quietus, and readers of a certain age might recognise his name from the mid-90s, when he wrote about rap, and lots of other music, for Melody Maker.
Kulkarni has recently put together a mixtape of some of his favourite hip-hop tracks from the 90s, which he stresses is “not definitive”. It features music from the well known (Ice Cube, Cypress Hill, Camp Lo, KRS-1) to the more obscure (Cru, E-Bros, Don Jagwarr), and tracks from some of the most respected names of the era (Showbiz & AG, Kwest The Madd Ladd, Gravediggaz, Nas). On his blog he reflects on the artists and the tracks featured with some amusing anecdotes like this one about Jeru The Damaja:
Nastiest fucker I ever interviewed. Straight up racist. Once he figured out I wasn’t black, [he] clammed up, got surly, treated me like I was an idiot. I may have been, but fuck you very much Jeru and thankyouforthemusic, the songs I’m singing.
Shame to hear that Jeru is/was racist, as his tunes still sound great:
Jeru The Damaja “Ya Playin’ Yaself” live @ Rust, October 2010
You can hear ‘90s Hip-Hop Vol 1’ (and download it, once logged in) over at Mixcrate.