Tour de Kyoto

Bicycle culture is on the increase around the world; the number of related events, projects and collaborations seems to be growing every day. It’s good to see that the Paper Sky Bicycle Club is continuing to expand on their series of talks and events with their annual Tour de Kyoto in the old capital, Japan’s most bike-friendly city.

The event took place over ten days during the Golden Week holiday with the simple idea of bringing Japanese local culture and people together through cycling. The first stage began with a ride around the city, taking in beautiful temples and parks and a climb up the steepest hill in Kyoto. The day ended at one of the last remaining running water …read on

, 29 July 2011

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omar Almufti photographer

Rusko at Terminal 5 NYC

Damn, Rusko showed up at Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen last week and tore the roof off the joint. The sold-out venue was literally shaking when I walked in and his set hadn’t even started yet. When he did hit the stage, it was straight to business, as he rinsed one bass-heavy, dubbed-out banger after another. The building felt like it was about to collapse at this point, the crowd was fucking mesmerized and even the venue staff had that look on their faces like, “Woah, who the fuck is this guy?”

Rusko’s set is a physical experience, pushing the affects of bass frequencies on the human body in a way that is truly mind-blowing. Touching on classic dub, drum and …read on

, 04 May 2011

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omar Almufti photographer

Grails at The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY

Portland-based rock outfit Grails hit up the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn last week about halfway into their tour in support of the band’s recent release Deep Politics. As casually as these guys might touch the stage and dig in to their set, beers cracked, seeming as chilling as they would be if the show was in someone’s backyard, the energy of the music they put forth is staggering.

As the set progressed it became pretty clear that these dudes are extremely well-practiced, multi-modal musicians, as instruments and drumsticks change hands and each member is given the space to explore some sounds with the variety of tools available. This was a heavy session, refined instrumentation delivered carefully with a fresh psychedelic interpretation, referencing the library music era from which the recent project takes some of its influence.

, 04 May 2011

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The gig felt like several gigs in one. You were never quite sure if you were watching an indie or a dance band. It was different measures of both at different times. You were either dancing to overwhelming, ethereal bleeps in a techno-like bop or gazing at your shoes in an indie-type swagger.

The endless comparisons to other bands, such as Klaxons, Friendly Fires, Bloc Party, Orbital, M83 goes on and on but for some reason never quite hit the mark. Delphic are tipped as the next big band and are currently described as the new sound of Manchester. “Like New …read on

, 06 February 2010

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Kevin Wilkins photographer

SEASONAL IMPRESSION

It’s cross season in Nebraska—and everywhere else, I imagine—and contrary to popular marketing and myth, it doesn’t mean it’s time to glue tubulars, or drill dismounts, or hup hup some run-ups.

Cross season in Nebraska means I’m going to hit some hidden gravel, some dry grass, some rolly pine needles in an off-camber turn and my front wheel’s going to wash. And since I’ve gotten out of it nine times out of every ten, I’m going to pretend it’s not happening, hang on a little tighter, and hope for the lucky hook up.

Too much pressure, not enough rubber, or whatever the case, it’s cross season in Nebraska and that means I’m picking myself up off the ground, emptying my levers that …read on

, 30 September 2009

In his directorial debut, Moon (2009), Duncan Jones—son of David Bowie—creatively recycles elements from a bygone era of sci-fi. Pieces from films past include a resurrection of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) in the moon base’s in-house computer GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey), a nod to the hallucinations of Steven Soderburgh’s Solaris (2002), and a similar use of the memory implants from Blade Runner (1982). Also like Solaris, Moon is more concerned with inner space than outer space (and Clint Mansell’s score recalls Cliff Martinez’s best work). Sam Rockwell plays the lead astronaut in a role written specifically for him by Jones. If this movie doesn’t finally make the underrated Rockwell an A-lister then I am no longer qualified to write about movies. If you like the pre-CGI “golden age” of science fiction, Moon is your next destination.

, 22 August 2009

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What else is there to say? Slayer is the best metal band on the planet. Period. They’ve been burning it down for almost thirty years and if you haven’t seen them play live, you must. They’re currently destroying the country with a million other metal bands on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival tour (which I caught last week in San Antonio, Texas) but with Slayer on the bill, no one else matters—and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

, 20 August 2009

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Asian-American pop culture magazine Giant Robot has a few stores dotted around the US, and their LA store, GR2, is having a special weekend art show and sale, entitled “Junk in the Trunk”. They’ve asked a long list of decent artists to contribute pieces of their art, old or new, with the stipulation that they be reasonably priced. You could even try to bargain with artists at the reception Saturday evening.

The next day they’ll also host a yard sale of all sorts of media, clothing, collectable toys and other stuff from the GR basement.

, 05 August 2009

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Sonic Youth Live by Rodger Bridges

Rodger Bridges photographer

ETERNAL YOUTH

Typically, if a band has been together for a quarter century or more, they stay famous based on their legacy. Most of their fans go to see them to hear “the old stuff.” Not so with Sonic Youth. Their latest, The Eternal (Matador, 2009) is as consistent and challenging as anything in their burgeoning catalog.

Now a five-piece—bass player Mark Ibold of Pavement and Free Kitten fame, who’s toured with Sonic Youth for the past few years, officially joined on this record—their live show is as blissful and blistering as it’s ever been. I saw them again recently at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama. This time out, they ripped through most of the new record and a handful of tracks from …read on

, 20 July 2009

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