Welcome back to regular programming here at AFC. I hope you all can look past the blog dust that's been around here for the last week and half. Vacations have a way of being, well, vacations, and as such tend to obstruct activities like sitting in front of a computer for countless hours at a time. Thankfully, I have once again regained my rightful seat on the throne most commonly known as the castered office chair. Surely nothing says lofty perch or position of power better than a swivel feature that brings the full height of a chair to all of 2 feet.
Swivel commentary aside, there are a number things that occurred during our break that deserve some attention, so a little catch up appears to be in order.
- Code Z, an online zine that highlights the work of black artists I profiled briefly about a month ago officially launched on Monday. Thus far their blog has been updated several times daily, and they have a featured article on Wangechi Mutu. My only complaint about this site is that it is unclear what their production schedule is, as there is no mention of what it might be. I don’t actually care what the answer is, I just find attention to these things tends to be legitimizing.
- Jason Laning, the author behind the popular blog Art Soldier has officially declared his blog dead. He’s followed this statement with four subsequent posts, so it would appear the word is being used loosely but you won’t hear any complaints from us on this. The news isn’t exactly shocking since his posting had become pretty infrequent, but it’s still sort of a shame for those who have interest in art blogs, since he was an excellent source of actual content as opposed to link dumps and superficial commentary”¦which ironically would appear to be the mandate of this blog today. Laning has started a new artblog titled Daily reMedia, whereby he digitally manipulates media images to critique the dominant political message presented by mainstream news sources.
- Via Metroblogging: Painter André Ethier is Canadian, and a member of the band The Deadly Snakes. I suppose I can add this garage band to my list of things I don't like about this artist. Don't go on my word though; visit their myspace page, listen to the one track they have up, and decide for yourself. If it sounds a little less than inspiring but you’re not sure why, my good friend and music critic Christopher R. Weingarten cleared this up yesterday in an email, addressing his thoughts directly to the band, “You don’t need to exist since Turbonegro and Guitar Wolf already exist.”
- Speaking of Christopher R. Weingarten, the frequent Village Voice music critic is now the head editor at the new online publication Paper Thin Walls. This site is great news for those of us who read the pompous writers at Pitchfork everyday if for no other reason than there doesn’t seem to be a reasonable alternative. It’s no fun reading reviews by 23 year old contributors who are incapable of citing a musical reference that goes back further than six years, while snidely rating virtually everything a 6 point something out of 10*. While I doubt anyone, much less Weingarten, can truly remove the arrogance of a critic (and quite frankly I'm not sure I'd be all that interested in the results if you could), this site at least takes a stab at some moderation on the “ex-record store asshole turned online music professional” model by providing an mp3 with each single review. Weingarten’s editors notes tell us the tracks are hosted so listeners can decide for themselves if their writers are full of shit. Pitchfork also provides digital sound files for their track review column, but you never really get around the subtext of that site that while the reader is welcome to their own opinions, they are still likely to get it wrong.
*favorite notable exception to this Pitchfork rule: Sonic Youth’s NYC’s Ghosts and Flowers which received 0.0 out of 10.