March 9th, 2009


The good things

I'm giving you some short items today, but not as short as Twitter tweets or whatever they're called. I can't do phatic.

* I've had five articles in the last two editions of ID magazine (that's the American magazine International Design, not the British i-D). In the March/April 2009 edition I did the Jerszy Seymour interview, Love in the Time of Agita. "Obsessing over his favorite themes—community, utopia, and goo—Jerszy Seymour prepares to open a few design shows."

* The cover feature on electric bikes by Gordon Kanki Knight says: "Electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, are a hit with the elderly, eco-friendly frugalistas, and commuters who don’t want to break a sweat. A small motor drives one of the wheels, making pedaling up hills and across town a breeze."

* I also did a big (7000 word) Mike Mills interview for 032c which looks likely to be the cover feature on the next edition.

* Yasumasa Yonehara is an art director known in Japan for his slick soft porn mag Smart Girls. He told Mekas recently that he thought American Apparel had totally ripped off his style for their sexy ads, and you can see his point. I notice that the article on NY Art Beat about his recent show was headlined The Tender Pervert. Here's a little film he made in Taiwan of Aki Hoshino:

* And here's a 2001 Hiromix documentary about Kahimi Karie that I hadn't seen before:

* When Alan McGee referred to me on his Twitter feed last week as a "middle-class wanker" I thought I was the sole object of his ire, but apparently not. McGee has also been lashing out at Stephen Fry, Will Self, Simon Price, Richard Branson, the prime minister, the chancellor, and Brian Eno. Not the real Brian Eno, mind, but a Brian Eno fan feed, which, like Don Quixote tilting at a windmill, McGee mistook for the real thing.

The feuds made quite a few headlines, and an annoyed Eno (the real one) issued a terse press release: "I'm not signed up to twitter. Alan Mcgee is arguing with someone, but it isn't me. You might think it boringly bureaucratic to check your facts, but it's nowhere near as boring as the several hundred conversations I'm now going to have with people who will eagerly ask me how the argument I'm not having with Alan Mcgee is going."

* I'm sure we can all calm down if we have a listen to Bakiri No Su, a lovely a capella group from Japan named after the sky spirit that makes rain (which may or may not make them Matsuri-kei). Bakiri No Su play at London's Cafe Oto on April 21st.

* Let's end with a song I love by Talking Heads, The Good Thing, with its uplifting message "I have found the line and its direction is known to me... any intrusion is met with a heart full of the good thing":

I love the Maoist-Protestant austerity of this song, its injunction to "work, work". The 1978 show it's from, captured in appropriately austere black-and-white Portapak video, is a delight. These four New Wave ascetics are tight with purpose.