Motomichi Nakamura

Motomichi -- cool name, eh?
Sorry ... I digress. Motomichi Nakamura is a Brooklyn-based Japanese artist. He has a really cool website that you should all check out. He specializes in VJ work, but he has done normal art stuff as well. I don't think I've ever seen his stuff on TV, but apparently he has created Flash animations for MTV2 and some other companies. I would love to see his work in the RHIZOME exhibit, now showing at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC.
But I can't.
Big surprise.
Whatever ...

I checked out his T-Shirts, and they are pretty cool. Also in his shop is a DVD of some of his work. Definitely worth checking out. Get it and tell me if it's any good ...
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WK Interact

I really don't know too much about French street/urban artists. I think that the Space Invader guy is from France, but other than that, I'm totally clueless. So it was good for me to run into some work by WK Interact, another French artist.
Now, granted, WK Interact (he does not like to use his real name), moved from France to NYC about 10 years ago, but I think he still counts as a French artist.
He works primarilly with stencils and spray paint (I think), but his stuff is generally really cool! And maybe he'll go somewhere ... he's already done stuff for Adidas and Dr. Martens ... who knows ...

Lastly, he has a new book, called WKInteract: Exterior - Interior Act 2 , that is supposed to be really great. And hey, it's over 200 pages, so you probably can't go wrong, judging by how good of an artist WK Interact is.
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Now That's What I Call Indie Covers!

Woo! This is cool! A fellow blogger is working on making a 40-song compilation of indie covers. That is, a comp featuring really cool indie bands covering their favorite (?) songs. Vol. 1, which you can download here, is sehr gut. It features (my favorite) the Unicorns, Rilo Kiley, their fellow Omahaians (is that the word for it), Tily and the Wall, and David Byrne! So far, I have only gotten through about half of the thing, but I like it a lot. Cool idea.
Now, keep in mind, these are all pre-recorded covers. Like, none of them were created specifically for this compilation, but I still like the idea. The Flaming Lips doing Queen?! Ya can't lose.

Speaking of comps, Bloc Party is preparing an August release of remixes which looks pretty cool. You can download some of the tracks here. I dig.
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After gaining some serious street cred (the Black Album and production credits on the new Gorillaz album), Danger Mouse is back. This time he's working with rap mainstay MF Doom (Viktor Vaughn) to create DangerDoom. I'm sure you can all figure out exactlly what it is. Well, I just ran into a copy of it, and I am digging it most bodaciously. Check out some news concerning the official release etc. at the website. I think that the real disc will come out in October, but for now, you can pretty easily find the stolen one.

Two of this generation's most respected hip-hop artists, Danger Mouse and MF DOOM, have come together to produce DANGERDOOM: The Mouse and the Mask, an album inspired by Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's popular late-night animation network. The album, set to debut in October 2005, will be released on Epitaph Records, in association with Adult Swim. The album will contain character voices and skits from Adult Swim's most popular original shows, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021 and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

Danger Mouse is recognized as one of music's most innovative artists and producers. Danger Mouse's The Grey Album, an ingenious re-production of Jay-Z's Black Album with the Beatles' White Album, was named the Album-of-the-Year in 2004 by Entertainment Weekly and catapulted him into the international spotlight. Danger Mouse recently produced Gorillaz Demon Days album, which has sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide in it's initial first weeks of release. His next project is Gnarls Barkley, a collaboration with music's flamboyant, one-of-a-kind force of nature, Cee-Lo.

After a five-year hiatus that ended in 1998, Daniel Dumile, a former member of KMD, emerged as MF DOOM, a persona inspired by the comic supervillain Dr. Doom, and released the critically praised albums Operation: Doomsday and Mmm...Food. DOOM also released one of 2004's most acclaimed albums, Madvillain (featured in Spin, Rolling Stone, Vibe, The New Yorker, etc), under the same name and Venomous Villain under the name Victor Vaughn. He has been involved in a number of collaborations with the industry's finest and has a project with Ghostface Killah (Wu-Tang Clan) in the works.

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Artist Update

Alright ... first off, sorry for the delays in posting. I'm in Cape Cod right now for family stuff, and I do not have fast and easy internet access all the time.
So, today's post is kind of a overview of some artists that I have recently come across and that I find to be pretty good and creative.
First there is Joseph Ari Aloi, or JK5. I like his work because it is very crowded and busy, and lots of detail (my favorite). There is a very urban edge to it ... very skateboarder-ish or something. Good stuff.
Next there is Andrew Guenther, whose work is more traditional technique-wise, but also very edgy. And creepy ... like, there is one piece that he did called Eat Vomit. That kind of thing. But I like how he uses traditional (and therefore seemingly boring) materials, like watercolors and normal brushes.

Lastly, there is Rostarr, a pretty abstract graphic designer and artist. Very colorful, very bold and bright, and also pretty detailed. I also like this stuff. Apparently, he did some 3D works too.
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Bottom of the Hudson

bottom of the hudson
Instead of seeing New Wave revival bands popping up all over the place (Franz Ferdinand, the Killers, the Stills ... ), Power-Pop groups are becoming more common. My new favorite such band is Bottom of the Hudson. Great hooks, fun lyrics, good song length, etc. This band's got it down pretty well.
They just released a new EP called Holiday Machine, which you can buy along with the Omaha Record (their debut album) at Absolutely Kosher Records.
Listen to Holiday Machine and Riot Act (both songs are from the new Holiday Machine CDEP).

Other miscellaneous information ...
Uh, the group is from Charlottesville, and I think that's where they get their folky edge. For a pop band, they have a very loose feel ... sort of Pavement-inspired or something. I like.
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no business
Instead of a normal post, I will create a fake conversation concerning Negativland -- a really cool old band, with a new release.
"Okay -- I just heard this wacked out band!"
"Oh yeah? What iz they called, boy?"
"Negativland. They have a new disc out called No Business, but they have been around since 1979!"
"Holy Mother! I never heard of them, but they're 26 years old. What are they like?"
"Well ... they are like the Books before the Books existed. And like the Books, but on acid. They make some of the most bizarre cut-and-paste music I have ever heard. The groups just messed around with random recording equpiment all day long, and I think that's why they have such a unique sound."
"That sounds cool."
"Yeah. Oh, and they are from Berkeley."

Right, so that was lightweight lame. The new album is, again, called No Business, and is actually pretty accessible for such a strange style of music. But my favorite album of theirs is Escape From Noise.
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Eyes Wide Apart

paige pooler
I feel that it is about time that I give props to fellow bloggers of mine again. So, Paige Pooler is an artist from LA, who, aside from having a real page, also has recently set up a blog!
And it is a nice little blog: Ms. Pooler makes one new illustration every Friday. Her style is nice as well ... kind of retro, and very vibrant. It reminds me a bit of Seonna Hong and Tim Biskup's artwork.

Which reminds me ... Biskup has a new book, called The Jackson 500, which is a another gigantic collection of the artist's illustrations and paintings.
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For all you Pitchforkmedia readers, the Wilderness self-titled debut album is nothing new, since they reviewed it several weeks back. But I have finally gotten through the disk several times, and I trully enjoyed it!
The drumming I think is really cool. It sounds very primitive and simple, yet the rhythms used are pretty complex, which adds a whole different layer to the music. Kind of Joy Division sounding drumming ...
The vocals are also very unique. Not really shouting, not really singing.
The album also has a shoegaze gloss over it. Very atmospheric, very eerie. Apparently, the band has been together for 10 years, so maybe that is why they have their distinct sound down pat.

Check out Arkless. The record was released on Jagjaguwar Records, which is just a great record label in general, so you all should check the rest of their catalogue out as well as look into Wilderness!
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AJ Fosik

braggin party
As many of you know, every once in a while, I come upon a young artist that I like a lot. And I always feel compelled to write about it here. For no real reason. Maybe it is because I really want to "be in charge," and this is my way of doing it. Okay, so I won't psychoanalyze this feature of my character, but I will tell you about the artist.
His name is AJ Fosik (*ooooooh ... aaaaaah*), and he creates these really unique folk-inspired wood sculptures. Like, I do not really know what the Native Americans were making back in their day (and I think totem poles are a stereotype, so I won't go there), but when I see AJ Fosik's stuff, I kind of think Native American traditional art.
Especially since they all have "found objects" in them (or a lot of them at least). Like, one of them has a gun in it, so that makes me think that maybe it's an Indian commenting on how the gun has destroyed his culture. Or something.
You get the point.
Check his stuff out at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery.

No one is allowed to buy the bear since I want it. Sorry. Some of it looks pretty satanic, eh? Eh?
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Google Earth

google earth
What are the guys at Google thinking exactlly? I understand why they integrated a directory, calculator, dictionary, measurement converter, and forecast and directions services into the simple search engine, but now they have made Google Earth!? Basically (yes, I installed the free software, and have been playing with it for quite some time now), the program lets you zoom in on any location on the planet. No, really. For example, I was able to pinpoint my house. Also, the service will flag places such as bars, hotels, hospitals, etc. Good for a little bit of fun, but, uh ... wait -- there has to be some other reason ...

And this version is only "beta" ... what's next!? Ah! I'm overwhelmed!
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Royksopp - The Understanding

the understanding
So I didn't get too into German music while I was in Germany, but I did listen to my fair share of German and other European bands. I know that Royksopp is plenty well known in America, and they have released several albums on this side of the Atlantic, but I am really digging their newest record, the Understanding. The Norweigen duo is great at churning out chill down-tempo atmospheric music. The album is their most successful, because, for me at least, I always felt like the Understanding was what they were shooting for with their previous releases. They always wanted this sound, and now they finally achieved it! Good job guys! Their video for "Remind Me" is fantastic. It makes me miss Germany, but I don't really know why ...

Buy the Understand right here, at City16. Definitely worth it, I must say ...
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Man, this is hard. Getting back into blogging. I was a bad blogger. Sorry all.
Anyway, here's my first music tip since returning from my short hiatus.
There is this great new Stones Throw artist called Koushik. The label would imply that Koushik is a rapper, but instead, he is sort of like Four Tet in that he does lots of free jazz/folktronic stuff, with a nod to hip hop production. Really great stuff. Be With is his first full length album, but he did several 7"s and 12"s before the newest LP was released (including a Madvillain remixes album with Four Tet!)
I always love to see record labels, like Stones Throw, that are usually associated with a specific sound or style go another direction every once in a while, and reach out to other audiences.

Download Battle Rhymes for Battle Times, one of the best songs on the album.
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