Brenna Twohy, representing Portland, OR, performs her poem "Fantastic Breasts and Where To Find Them," about Harry Potter, pornography, and non-consent, at the 2014 National Poetry Slam.
Last night, the synthpop band Future Islands (previously on MF) previewed their new LP performing “Seasons (Waiting On You)” on Late Show with David Letterman. Singer Samuel T. Herring’s performance is always something to behold, but his gravely shouts and epic dance moves had a particular effect on Letterman, who seemed even more jazzed than usual.
In an idle moment, you've probably drummed on a desk with your pen. But chances are middle schoolers could show you some skills. Masters like Shane Bang and many less well-known practitioners are pushing the old idea of pen-as-drumstick - Pen Beats, aka Pen Tap - to new heights. [more inside]
Cello Fortress is a unique combination of a game and a live music performance. A cellist defends a fortress by improvising on his cello. Melodies control the guns, dissonant notes activate the flamethrowers. Players from the audience use game controllers to steer their tanks and attack the fortress. The cellist plays live music, while at the same time controlling the game to be a fun challenge for the players. Cello Fortress is an innovative experiment that blends concert and game.
Contact juggling: a championship performance by Yanazo (Akihiro Yanai) at the Japan Juggling Festival 2012 earlier this month - it won first prize; he juggles one, two, and finally three balls by rolling them on his body, occasionally tossing them with his body movements instead of his hands. [more inside]
Nick Cave's Soundsuits: Calling up echoes of wild beasts, Carnival dancers, maskers and shamans, the "soundsuits" made of a wild diversity of materials by visual artist and dancer Nick Cave have life beyond the gallery. They're designed to be used in performances and 'invasions,' creating a sense of mystery, playfulness and joyful moments of community.
What do you do when your viola recital gets interrupted by someone in the audience getting a call on their cellphone? Improvise.
"Things didn’t happen as I imagined. On the one hand, with the situation in Tehran, I expected the police to arrest me. I also thought that the resulting dress wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But it turned out to be more homogenous than I envisaged. Most of the passengers wanted to communicate with me and participate in the project. And I enjoyed this attention and collaboration. The point wasn’t their understanding of the project. I didn’t want anything to be imposed on the audience or participants. I wanted ordinary people to encounter their own personalities without any preconceptions about contemporary art. More than anything, I wanted something to emerge that is shared — between me and everyday metro passengers." The story of fashion student Shirin Abedinirad who conceived and carried out an unusual (and unusually bold) performance art experiment by asking Tehran metro passengers to donate their rubbish to pin on her dress. [more inside]
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth
Style Like U features an exhaustive video archive of people talking about their clothes and history and what personal style means to them and the power of self transformation. [more inside]
Cabaret's Don't Tell Momma performed by a young Judi Dench, or by Molly Ringwald, or Chris Moore, but what would she want with me?
Walking Home: stories from the desert to the Great Lakes. Laura Milkins is walking home. Home is Grand Rapids, Michigan. Laura lives in Tucson, Arizona. That's 2,000 miles (3,219 km), or about 4,473,976 steps. Right now she's in the shoulder of the road somewhere around Holbrook, Arizona. She has a pack on her back, a webcam streaming 24 hours strapped to a sun visor on her head, and hopefully, a place to stay tonight. You can follow her every step of the way, by watching live video broadcast from her hat. Or walk with her. [more inside]
Who is Joe Wall? Why he's an author and ambient electronic musician who works in a clock tower and loves to sing. But most Mefites know him as sonascope, author of many vast and beloved comments. His touching 2004 show, My Fairy Godmothers Smoke Too Much, is available free and complete online. [more inside]
Cee-Lo Green has a message for all of us (NSFW!!) [SLTY]
With the wild success of the Guitar Hero series, using video game controllers shaped like guitars is nothing new. However, the duo at Modal Kombat actually use guitars as video game controllers. They won't reveal all of their tricks, but you can read a bit about their technology here and at this interview with Urban Guitar. The results are awfully impressive. View the original Modal Kombat here, and their newest installment, the admittedly trippy GuitarKart here. via
Jerome Murat A short video of a performance by Jerome Murat that is part Circ du Soliel and one of those human statues you see in Paris, New York and Florence and places like that. Amazing how music and pantomime can be so effective.
Karolina Sobecka has made animations of a running tiger (Wildlife) and violent cartoon hijinks (Chase), which she projects onto city landscapes from a moving car. (Embedded Quicktime.) She's got a site full of her other projects, including a ton of nifty commercial work.
Nam June Paik passed away on Sunday. We'll read educated commentaries in the next few days, but what I most affectionately remember about him is how his work made me laugh happily during the 70s and 80s. A precursor of video art, he was the first to use plugged tv sets as building blocks in the most playful ways. His TV Buddha is arguably an unsurpassed classic (a motionless moving image, an outside observation of an inner meditation, even -why not?- a premonition of a blogger) (this last one is a joke: I told you Paik made me laugh). R.I.P.
Sometimes You Can't Fix You On Your Own. (Quicktime and Windows Media.) If there has ever been doubt about Coldplay's burning ambition to be U2, let it be put to rest.