Month: March 2019

Trump’s Triangle

We all know that Trump’s idiocy has meaning–the too-long tie, the compressed facial expressions that amount to an imitation of a bullfrog, call it a frown, even the casual gestures as he approaches or departs the press corps. But does he mean it?  Well, yeah, the tie is “slimming,” he says. But me, the secret psychoanalyst, I keep asking, what’s with the triangle he always lowers to his crotch when the photo op occurs, from family portrait to state occasion, like yesterday with the wife of the pretender to the Venezuelan throne?  Thumb to thumb, always, and what, always...

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MADURO’S VENEZUELA

Maduro’s Venezuela Peter Ludlow Over the last few weeks I’ve been surprised and puzzled by some of the social media posts about the situation in Venezuela. People that I ordinarily take to be intelligent have been filling my newsfeed with posts suggesting that somehow Maduro is very popular with the Venezuelan people. What really puzzled me, though, were posts that suggested that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a sell-out because she refused to support Maduro and wanted to not take sides. My view is that AOC is right here: We should not take sides. While I argue below that Maduro’s presidency...

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Shit-Architect / Arquitecto de mierda

  Posting for a 6-month unpaid intern position at the Enric Miralles Foundation, 2013. Source: Arquitectacion blog. According to the source, 247 applicants responded.   [Text originally published in / Texto originalmente publicado en BCN MÉS #73. Versión en castellano sigue a continuación]   Shit-Architect In Manhattan, they say that if you were to throw a stone into a crowd, chances are it would strike a lawyer. In Barcelona, ​​the stone would probably hit an architect. There are almost five thousand registered architects in the Catalan capital, but counting non-registered architects such as yours truly, we probably exceed ten thousand. There is actually a book about Barcelona titled The City of Architects, by Llàtzer Moix (1994). It is true that Barcelona attracts architects like a stable attracts flies. Here you breathe, eat, and shit architecture. There is always an architectural event in this metropolis, which has no less than five schools dedicated to this discipline, along with many foreign schools of architecture running study-abroad programs. In surveys published annually by Barcelona’s tourism agency, “the architecture” is what visitors to this city rate most highly; more than “the culture” or “the people”. Architecture is an entire economic sector in Barcelona. Yet despite the glamour enjoyed by this profession, there is an ugly truth: working conditions are terrible. Working as a freelance without social benefits, earning less than a living wage, putting...

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Red Mass — Kilrush Drive

Red Mass Kilrush Drive No Coast/Label Etiquette Red Mass is Montréal indie hero, Roy Vucino, and his wife and collaborator, Hannah Lewis.  Vucino is kid of a legend around town, having played with Duchess Says in side project, PyPy, as well as with Birds of Paradise (wth Lewis as well), CPC Gangbangs, Les Sexareenos, amongst others.  Kilrush Drive is their latest, released last Friday.  It is a smorgasbord of sound, to say the least.  Produced by Mingo L’Indien from Montréal experimental noise outfit, Les Georges Leningrad (RIP), with some help Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes, and the legendary Martin Bisi, who has worked with everyone from Sonic Youth to Helmet to Swans to Herbie Hancock, this is an astonishing album. Vucino has said that he doesn’t like the sound of his voice on his earlier recordings, telling people to take them to second hand stores.  But here, he is a commanding and powerful presence vocally, sounding like a combination of Andrew Eldritch (Sisters of Mercy), Joe Strummer, and Billy Bragg.  His voice veers from a growl to a deep-throated yell.  He commands attention here.  Across Klrush Drive‘s 11 tracks, we get a steady dose of post-punk, with angular guitars, whilst Lewis brings the atmosphere, reflecting that post-punk aesthetic, via her bass and keyboards, and her voice, which stands in contrast to Vucino’s growl.  The lyrics tend to be reflective...

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The Comet is Coming — Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery

The Comet is Coming Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery Impulse The Comet is Coming play a weird and trippy blend of jazz and electronica, with even some rock in there.  And by electronica, I mean like electronic music of the quieter end of the 1990s, less Chemical Brothers and The Crystal Method and more Ninja Tune’s roster.  All three members go by stage names, Denaogue, Betamax, and King Shabaka.  Shabaka is a towering presence, and plays one mean saxophone.  If he played a guitar instead, The Comet is Coming would be stoner rock. Shabaka is actually Shabaka Hutchings, one of the leading lights of jazz music, and has lended his talents to everyone form Makaya McCraven to Sun Ra.  We’re talking one heavy dude, and a brilliant musician.  Denagogue and Betamax, then, provide the earthly soundtrack to Hutchings’ wanderings. Dan Leavers is the keyboardist, Denagogue, and Max ‘Betamax’ Hallet rounds out the trio on drums. Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery is not just good advice for living, it’s their sophomore album, after releasing Channel the Spirits back in 2016.  It was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, losing out to Skepta’s brilliant Konichawa. Trust… starts off with a nearly five-minute prelude, ‘Because the End is Really the Beginning,’ which is an earthy and eery collection of electronic noises and rolling drums, to the point where it...

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