January 22nd, 2004


Flickering fresh

I am so impressed with David Crawford's Stop Motion Studies, Flash-animated flickering photo sequences taken on subway trains throughout the world. Crawford has arrived at a balance between still photos and film which by some magic adds up to more than the sum of its (flickering) parts. I linked to these before from iMomus, but some new Tokyo episodes have gone up since then.

Have a listen to these sound clips of songs by Devendra Banhart. The ghost of the young Marc Bolan seems to have passed this way, no? To find an echo of a dead artist in a living one is always a mixed blessing. On the one hand, we welcome a dear ghost back from the dead. On the other hand, both the new artist and the medium itself seem a little more dead than they did before, incapable of doing any more than signposting some lost originality. I don't think I'd be recommending David Crawford as highly if the feeling I got from his pictures was 'Wow, wasn't William Eggleston great?'

That's why I'd prefer -- for the sake of music itself -- to recommend to you an artist who sounds like nobody but himself: Dominique Petitgand. Music has a present after all.

You know, I've just thought of someone else Devendra (21 and as pretty as Jeff Buckley or Vincent Gallo) reminds me of: Cologne's 'krautfolk group' Workshop on Sonig (Sonig and Tomlab -- both German -- are my favourite labels). Workshop singer Kai Althoff, though, also happens to be one of the world's most talented painters. Looking for a photo of him on Sonig's site, I was surprised and pleased to find they'd used a little text from my site about the group.