Monday, January 14, 2013

MIKE TAYLOR - Top Ten of 2012

   I was trying to think back to when I met Mike and I'm pretty sure that we were in jail with our hands cuffed behind our backs. I remember not being able to shake his hand. Since then, we've ran into each other many times over the years and have been bad pen pals (usually my fault). There's never enough time for the two of us to really catch up and, more often than not, we are in a loud place where it's hard to have a conversation. I have given him shit in the past for taking the punk scene for granted and selling his artwork to sub-par publications that are not worthy of his massive talents, but it's only because I have truckloads of respect for him. He knows what he's doing. His art and music have been consistently thorough and thought out for the past-however-many-years (let's say 20). You may have seen him touring Europe playing 8 minute sets with PALATKA, You may have not seen him playing in FLAWS. He's also been working on his zines Scenery and Late Era Clash for years now. He's also an amazing artist and you can find his work at....well,,,,,his website doesn't work anymore. Open your eyes and look for it.


Not in order...
 Loom of Ruin, Sam McPheeters
       Sam finally finished a novel. No one at this point should be surprised by his solid prose, his penchant for surrealist slapstick, or his knack for sliding deftly between expectations. I was, however, slightly surprised he wrote an action novel.

      LUNGFISH, maybe more than any band in underground rock, is a real love/hate proposition. So for those in the former camp, a “new” LP comprised of demos from the Necrophones LP. I could write a page on this record, and I did in 2000, when it was released, for a magazine no longer with us. Suffice to say that ACR functions well as its own entry in the canon.This kind of music is not currently being made, nor will it ever be again, because that's why bands are important. They do what only they can do. For better or worse.

Both Flesh and Not, David Foster Wallace
    A posthumous release of essays, weighing in heavily on tennis and philosophy, with equal interest and emphasis. 323 pages. If you're not a reader of DFW, I'd recommend starting with Oblivion, the collection of 3 short stories, then A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, a collection of essays. If you don't like either of those, quit. If you do, you'll find the rest no problem.

NEON PISS/NUCLEAR SPRING live at Death By Audio, Brooklyn
     We all probably go to punk shows, and if you're over a certain age, there's little to say about it. Either you find the experience necessary as an element of our community, you go to drink and/or feel/be young, or you're lonely, or a friend is in one of the bands. These are all valid reasons. But at this show (which I attended for a combination of all reasons above), I got in the pit. Thank you to both bands.

 HYSTERICS/ INSCHOOL live in Brooklyn
       HYSTERICS, of Olympia, Washington, appear to be 4 very young women seeming very agitated. They sound like, oh, Negative FX. They played with Grad School weirdos INSCHOOL (whose lyrics seem to reflect more on hate than study), who don't rage, per se, but definitely fester. Once again, as an older punk, shows get more special for me. I don't go to waste time, but to spend it. This evening was time well spent in a loft roughly the size of a truck stop bathroom.

Dal Tokyo collection, Gary Panter 
    This, Panter's long running strip, takes place on a different planet, but it's half-Dallas, half-Tokyo. Starts off pretty straight sci-fi ripper, then mutates into stream of consciousness free jazz. The work spans almost 30 years, so all the best Panter b/w technique is in here, from the famous broken line to the Durer landscape chaos . This is Gary's world, we just live here.

 Chris Johanson, “Windows” at Mitchell, Innes-Nash/Gelitin's “The Fall Show” at Greene-Naftali 
     I was fortunate enough to meet up with my good friend Erick at the opening of Chris Johanson's recent major New York show, “Windows”. It was great. The crowd was equal parts art choodlers and ex-punks, academics and closet freaks. The show itself is a further step down CJ's road to the deskilled gesture. What makes him different from the biters and dilettantes, though, is the solid concept and the empathy of perceiving slivers of peoples' lives through windows of the vertical card catalogs of the urban landscape. From that show, we went just next door after hearing that the Austrian collective Gelitin was inaugurating the gallery season at Greene-Naftali. These four have been showing internationally since the mid 90s, but they've still not lost their sense of humor and recklessness. Indeed, “The Fall Show” was a drunken melee of sculptures rigged with foot switches that would violently tilt the surface of the pedestal, throwing the sculptures to the floor. Everyone loved it.

Last issue of Slice Harvester
    ...and with this, issue #7, Colin concludes his quest to sample a slice at every slice-serving pizzeria on Manhattan. It's a great idea for so many reasons, surely, not the least of which being, who else do you know is a pizza expert in that way? Nobody, that's who. But the reason this zine gets top-ten status, is that more so than the prior 6 issues, it's a real, honest-to-goodness punk zine. Colin uses his digressions from the topic at hand to address in a real-talk way all the important parts of counterculture that can't be overshadowed by incessant critique of conflicting music business models: life in the patriarchy, the government's abuses of authority in the name of profit, and the ever expanding role of capitalist oligarchy in our personal lives. But it's never heavy handed,, unlike my description of it! SH is always funny and always compelling.

 The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, 2012
     The ever-expanding nerd circuit delivers the goods, every single year. When you're in Brooklyn, go to Desert Island on Metropolitan for comics. I'd like to think we're all trying to destroy the singular profitability of collector and curator dictated fine art.

 Chris Corsano/Bill Orcutt live at Roulette, Brooklyn
    They played solo sets, and then got gnarly together. Orcutt started acoustic, and just ruled. He sat down, crossed his legs, and was fairly polite, but when he began, I thought of HARRY PUSSY. And he manages to summon that kind of energy all by himself. Corsano is, at this point, kind of unimpeachable and beyond description. He's the golden boy of free noise, and he did his thing well. But, as with all free music: to true believers, gold; to the uninitiated or skeptical, garbage.

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