Pluck those strings
October 2, 2012 7:26 AM   Subscribe

This winners for the MacArthur Awards have been announced , and among the fellows is Chris Thile. posted by Wolfster (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Denied yet again.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:36 AM on October 2, 2012 [6 favorites]

1. I saw Nickel Creek at Newport some years back. Their set was cut short because everyone was running late. They finished their set by playing at the bus queue line, entertaining dozens of waiting passengers close up.

2. One of my all-time favorite liner notes:
"Chris Thile uses Gibson and Dudenbostal mandolins, Flatiron Bouzoukis, Rane electronics, Trace Elliot amplifiers,
and Butterfly Table Tennis equipment."
posted by MtDewd at 7:42 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Junot Diaz was selected and everyone is focusing on Thile? There is no justice in the world.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:45 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I didn't even know Nickelback had a mandolin player.
posted by rusty at 7:49 AM on October 2, 2012 [12 favorites]

I saw that Natalie Almada won and I thought "who?" and then I looked at what she had done. She's the director of El Velador, one of the most fascinating movies I have seen in a long while. It is sort of a documentary. It shows the life of a night watchman at a cemetery. Not just any cemetery but one that is renowned as the one where the major Mexican drug cartel leaders bury their dead.

There's a scene in the movie where we are in the night watchman's shack. In the distance we can hear the sounds of a fiesta in the cemetery in honor of a recently deceased. You can hear gunshots and music. He is the night watchman of Hell.
posted by vacapinta at 7:56 AM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

That Tiny Desk Concert clip is fantastic....
posted by HuronBob at 7:58 AM on October 2, 2012

Ooh, can we crowdsource links to cool stuff from all the fellows? I'm off to work, but that'd be wonderful.
posted by mediareport at 8:06 AM on October 2, 2012

If you're interested in the MacArthur winners generally: pbs story and article on a Chicagoan
posted by ejaned8 at 8:10 AM on October 2, 2012

To those who are enjoying the Tiny Desk link and want to hear more from them, the album you're looking for is "The Goat Rodeo Sessions" and it's fantastic.
posted by rollbiz at 8:18 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

"The fox went out on a chilly night..." -- vintage Nickel Creek.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:31 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

My mother once bought a Nickelback CD thinking it was Nickel Creek. I'm sure you can guess her reaction.
posted by marginaliana at 8:35 AM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

See also his excellent 2003 album of Mandolin/Mandola/Mandocello duets with Mike Marshall, Into the Cauldron... (for example, What a Blast!)
posted by usonian at 8:59 AM on October 2, 2012

Uta Barth is one of those artist artists, but I think is important because she is working out what the formal implicaitons of the medium what an image looks like as opposed to what the image means--and does this without getting caught up in the recent technology wars. I find her work beautiful, small, very careful, and exhausting--mostly blurred interiors. There is an arguement that they could be considered painterly, and a connection to Nothern domestic scenes from the 16th and 19th centuries, but it's an idea i haven't quite decided on.

It's also interesting to note that she did important formative work in LA--and so might be connected to an LA pictorial scene that begins with Balderessi and Ruscha, rather than Prince or Sherman.

some images here, here here.

here is an essay about the work, that i thought was smart, and has a copy of Ground 34, which i love unabashedly.

It's interesting that she got it, because there is a tradition of the MacArthur's giving awards to artists who are important, and late career but may be pushed into wider awareness--Robert Irwin in 1984, Richard Benson in 1986, Bill Viola and Martin Puryer in 1989, Robert Blackburn in 1992, Kara Walker in 1997, Janine Antioni in 1998, Elizabeth Murrary in 1999, etc.

(Cindy Sherman might be the only time where they were playing catchup)

I wasn't sure if this was the MacArthur thread or the Nickel Creek thread, so delete as well.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:00 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here is a brief interview with Chris and Junot on CBS.
posted by gilrain at 9:15 AM on October 2, 2012

How typical. if I had stuck around when I saw the new 5 minute edit window instead of jumping over to the MetaTalk to see what that was all about, I might have caught and fixed my second link in time:

What a Blast!
posted by usonian at 9:16 AM on October 2, 2012

My mother once bought a Nickelback CD thinking it was Nickel Creek. I'm sure you can guess her reaction.

I hope she kept it, in case she has to induce vomiting again.
posted by tommasz at 9:18 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

The mandocello seems kind of rare. This is now the only place, outside the liner credits to "Heavy Weather", that I have ever heard mention of one.
posted by thelonius at 10:08 AM on October 2, 2012

Four people in the Boston area are 2012 MacArthur Fellows: Junot Diaz, MIT writing professor and novelist (discussed above); Raj Chetty, a Harvard economist who focuses on public policy; Benjamin Warf, a pediatric neurosurgeon; and Benoit Rolland, who makes bows for stringed instruments. (The first link in this comment is largely focused on Rolland's work, including his development of a carbon fiber bow.)
posted by catlet at 10:26 AM on October 2, 2012

You definitely don't see many mandocellos in the wild these days... new or used, they're expensive and in a weird niche, since nobody composes music for them anymore and bluegrass/Americana purists are so averse from deviating even slightly from established norms of instrumentation.

Another good instrumental "whole mandolin family" album with mandola and mandocello (not sure about mandobass) is Norman and Nancy's Blake's Natasha's Waltz.
posted by usonian at 10:41 AM on October 2, 2012

Here's a mandobass (and mandola).
posted by MtDewd at 2:46 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Arrrgh! I've met Maurice Lim Miller, but for the life of me I don't remember where! This was before he had his organization.

Damn, this is going to drive me nuts. I just remember that he was a really nice, smiley guy.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 6:29 PM on October 2, 2012

Wired has a great interview with Junot Diaz.

Also: Geeking out with Junot Diaz
posted by Zed at 11:25 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

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