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Original author: 
Xeni Jardin

A few nights ago, I had the great pleasure of seeing earthy psych-rock songwriter/musician/producer Jonathan Wilson perform live in Los Angeles. Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds turned me on to Wilson a few years back, and we went to the show together.

Here's a soundcloud link where you can check out his work.

"The sonic palette that Wilson and his band draws from includes Pink Floyd, CSNY, Radiohead, Bob Seeger, Dire Straits, The Allman Brothers, The Eagles, Shuggie Otis and so forth, and yes, the musicianship is at that exalted level, too," Metzger writes.

I feel like Wilson is one of those musicians you can't fully appreciate until you see them live. After that show, I'm a trufan.

"Although Jonathan Wilson is a critical darling and has seen his music warmly received in Europe, especially in Great Britain where MOJO, Uncut and the BBC all ranked his Gentle Spirit album in their year end 'Best of' short lists for 2011 just weeks after its release—he was even Uncut’s New Artist of the Year—he is STILL underrated in America to the point of being woefully under-appreciated," writes Metzger. "Seriously America! WTF?"

Metzger is one of the internet's great Rock Snobs, and his writeup of the phenomenal show is spot-on. Throughout most of the relaxed, at-home-among-friends set, Wilson and everyone else remained seated, save for the bass player who seemed so into it that sitting down probably would have caused him physical discomfort. One consistent element in Wilson’s remarkably varied live shows is the palpable level of psychic communication and improvisational interplay that goes on among the band members. These motherfuckers are simultaneously deeply concentrating as well as losing themselves in what they are communally creating. There’s an ecstatic music being made and it was obvious from the band and the string section’s facial expressions that they were all deeply feeling it.

The perspective from the audience? It was like having gold poured into your ears.

I expected a really great show. It was one.

Go read the rest of his review at Dangerous Minds. Metzger rounded up some great videos and a live radio session, too.

Jonathan Wilson on Amazon.com, here's his Facebook.

Poster art by Kii Arens.

    

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Original author: 
Adriana de Barros

Letters in Chalk by Chris Yoon

These are various chalkboard drawings by Chris Yoon, who has worked for clients like stationery representatives Daniel Richards and Mediterranean restaurant Colbeh.

See also: “Messages on Chalkboards,” and “Getting Creative with Chalk.”

Daniel Richards by Chris Yoon

Chalk drawing by Chris Yoon

Colbert by Chris Yoon

Colbeth by Chris Yoon

Photos © Chris Yoon

Via We Love Typography
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Original author: 
Mark Aitken

Video Link

In 2011 I set off with a camera to explore a mental asylum in Mexico run by its own patients. The place is just beyond the last junkyard on the curdled fringe of Juárez, the world’s most violent city. On one level these people shared common purpose in that they dressed each other, cleaned each other, fed each other. But then there were many other levels, many other worlds. The tragicomedy of Beckett was everywhere, I can’t go on, I’ll go on, while the infantile grotesqueness of Jarry’s Ubu Roi was never far away. The more I filmed, the less I understood and the more curious I became.

I met a man called Josué who was managing the asylum. Five years previously he’d lost his mind and the ability to walk but I found him in a reflective mood. He told me his dream. After two visits and many hours of material my editing was frustrated by a desire to present the mystery I’d encountered while needing a story to hang it on. Then Josué’s dream came true. His daughter in LA emailed me to ask what her father was doing in a mental asylum. She’d seen a trailer for the film I’d posted online. She hadn’t seen her father in 22 years and had been told he was dead. Two more visits and I managed to put Josué and his daughter together and filmed the reunion.

The film, titled Dead When I Got Here, is due to be finished later this year and we’ve launched a Kickstarter to help fund its completion.

Below is an exclusive scene for Boing Boing featuring Josué trying to reason with a psychopath, and an excerpt from my diary during the last shoot at the asylum.

Video Link

20th December 2012 - Thursday

I asked Josué how he was feeling. He’s had injections of some potent anti-biotic in his backside and he’s now back on his feet. I know I’m coming down with something and I think I know where I got it from. We talked about the weather and then he mentioned that someone had died last night. Apparently death visits in threes here and this is the third in six days.

The police are called and a group of county officers roll up as if from central casting. There’s a tall one, a short one, a fat one with attitude and a thoughtful one. They’re all tooled up with big black sub-machine guns and I’m waiting for them to tell me to stop filming. The only time they ever come here is when they want to dump some human detritus from the street or when someone dies. Death needs to be defined as suspicious or natural. Suspicious is where these guys come in. Where the natural causes lie here, God only knows.

Eventually, the fat officer wants to know why there’s a camera in his face. I explain with Josué backing me and all is well. They’re giving Josué a hard time about people dying here without having any professionals around to run the place. By professionals I assume they mean people like themselves. They work in a city that records eight murders a day and no one is ever arrested. In El Paso just across the line there was one murder last year. They caught the guy.

Josué lets on to the police that he was nearly dead when he arrived here and there’s no one quite as qualified as himself and everyone else here to run this asylum. People are dying because of the cold. They’re weak. They’re mentally ill. The police take their medicine and listen. It’s a beautiful scene.

We then rush off to find the family of the deceased man. None of their phone numbers worked but Josué eventually found an address. He’s very agitated. We pull off the main road, ask directions and arrive at the colonia and meet the mother. Josué shares the burden and the mother cries. She insists on being taken to the asylum to see her son. On the journey back the dossier on the son shivers on the vibrating dashboard. His photo is reflected in the windscreen as an apparition.

Back at the asylum the woman’s son has already been taken away to the morgue. He had lived here since it opened 17 years ago. I guess that made him some sort of mascot. She walks around the patio and then waits at the gate for a lift home. I film her weeping from some ancient well of hopelessness. She seems to get smaller as the shadows get longer around her.

With the knife-edge desert cold the patients hardly come out of their rooms. I film a scene where a door is opened to the main room inhabited by men. They’re passed bowls of soup and they all clamber at the entrance, grunting and growling and clawing at the food. It looks like they haven’t eaten for days yet I know they’re actually receiving seconds after lunch. I think it’s because they’re always worried that every meal might be their last. No matter how regular the servings, nothing will ever change that memory of hunger.

It’s a great single shot and John on sound was mesmerised. I shoot until the door is closed and locked on them. What I don’t see is the herd of dogs licking up spillage at the foot of the doorway. Shots like these are hypnotic and everything vanishes outside the myopia. How I put a shot like this in the film is another thing. I want to convey my encounter with what I saw and not attempt to explain it. It’s a vision of hunger and how it makes people behave. Or maybe it simply serves as a reminder of our almost indestructible instinct to survive. Yet I suspect it will offend many people who will be outraged at how these people are treated. I also know that they would all be dead if they weren’t in this asylum. There aren’t any other options. The people who will complain about this are telling us that they care. This feeds nothing but their own conscience. It’s as if caring is an end in itself. I think we have a lot to learn from these hungry people.

Dead When I Got Here

    

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Original author: 
Xeni Jardin

James Harbeck created this video to demonstrate various vocalizations that young adults make, to express emotions that are endemic to teens. From an accompanying article at The Week: The next time you find yourself wondering about the highest use of linguistics, or enduring the insulting grunts and groans of petulant adolescents and wondering how such noises could even be described, bring the two worlds together. Clearly, linguistics exists just so we can give a technical description of those hard-to-spell sounds that erupt from callow youths. Here are seven examples (with three bonus variations).     

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Original author: 
Xeni Jardin

"Wishes" appears on the Beach House album Bloom. Music video directed by Eric Wareheim. Ray Wise, who you may recall from Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, stars as the Coach.

* Update: BB contributor Amy Seidenwurm blogged this earlier—I was on the road, and missed it. Worth a second look for those who, like me, didn't catch it the first time around.

    

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Original author: 
Xeni Jardin

The latest CDZA musical experiment: Serenading Tourists on Memorial Day Weekend, from four stories above Mulberry street. Charles Yang on Violin, Michael Thurber on Double Bass, playing a Tarantella and "That's Amore." (Thanks, Joe Sabia!)    

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Original author: 
Xeni Jardin

South African zef side rappers Die Antwoord have teamed up with Los Angeles-based artist Gary Baseman in a new video released today through MOCA TV.

"The Buckingham Warrior, a tale inspired by Gary Baseman's father Ben Baseman who survived the holocaust, fighting the Nazi invasion in Ukraine's birch tree forests for almost 4 years. Baseman and Director David Charles transformed his father's harsh reality into a whimsical story of survival and hope, which was animated by Peter Markowski and scored by South-African duo Die Antwoord.

This video was created on the occasion of the exhibition Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open, organized by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

(from MOCA TV, thanks Souris)    

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Original author: 
Cory Doctorow

Journeyman Pictures' short documentary "Naked Citizens" is an absolutely terrifying and amazing must-see glimpse of the modern security state, and the ways in which it automatically ascribes guilt to people based on algorithmic inferences, and, having done so, conducts such far-reaching surveillance into its victims' lives that the lack of anything incriminating is treated of proof of being a criminal mastermind:

"I woke up to pounding on my door", says Andrej Holm, a sociologist from the Humboldt University. In what felt like a scene from a movie, he was taken from his Berlin home by armed men after a systematic monitoring of his academic research deemed him the probable leader of a militant group. After 30 days in solitary confinement, he was released without charges. Across Western Europe and the USA, surveillance of civilians has become a major business. With one camera for every 14 people in London and drones being used by police to track individuals, the threat of living in a Big Brother state is becoming a reality. At an annual conference of hackers, keynote speaker Jacob Appelbaum asserts, "to be free of suspicion is the most important right to be truly free". But with most people having a limited understanding of this world of cyber surveillance and how to protect ourselves, are our basic freedoms already being lost?

World - Naked Citizens (Thanks, Dan!)     

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