Sons of Magdalene
Sons of Magdalene
This summer, LA's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is celebrating the life and work of another LA icon, the late artist Mike Kelley. So incisive and influential is Kelley's body of work that the exhibit takes up the entirety of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, plus a gallery at MOCA Grand Avenue. With a deep and far-ranging oeuvre that takes in media from sculpture to photography to performance, Kelley's contributions to the world of music are sometimes overlooked.
A founding member of Detroit's noise/proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters, a student of Laurie Anderson (at CalArts), and the artist behind Sonic Youth's Dirty album art, Kelley's musical output is proudly positioned in the underground. Amoeba Hollywood sat down with Kelley a few years back to delve into that musical heritage, and to get his thoughts on the movies and music that influence and inspire him as an artist. In this 2010 installment of our Webby award-winning series What's In My Bag?, Kelley runs through his picks, from hallucinatory no-budget schlock horror flicks to classic jazz vocalists.
Zola Jesus – “Dangerous Days”
It’s been three years since Zola Jesus aka Nika Rosa Danilova’s last album of new material, 2011’s terrific Conatus. The first taste of her new album, Taiga (due Oct. 7 on Mute), shifts further away from her early goth-noise material and builds on the more pop-oriented sound she’s shifted toward since the Stridulum EP, singing clearly and boldly over a dance-pop beat but with the same paralyzing strength her voice has always commanded. It’s startlingly different but sure-footed and sounds as brilliant as anything she’s done, leaving us dying to hear the rest of what’s in store with Taiga, which was co-produced in her newly adopted home of L.A. Dean Hurley (who’s worked with David Lynch and Danger Mouse, among others).
LA Font – “Motor Rally”
Ever since I first heard, "Dangling Conversation" and "Old Friends", I've loved Art Garfunkel's confident, husky-angel approach to harmony singing, and earnest, determined songsmith in his lead work with Paul Simon and...him. Not to mention all the hits these gents made, their work is of the highest caliber whenever they step up to the mic. Say what you will about Art, but that guy can SING!
Art's solo career doesn't immediately pop up in most folks' minds as being stellar hit-wise. He did hit a high point in 1979 with "My Little Town" written and featuring Paul Simon on Art's Breakaway album, and Art won a Grammy Award in 1998 for Best Children's Album for Songs From A Parent To A Child.
Art's 1979 LP, Fate For Breakfast (Doubt For Dessert), wasn't destined for any such attention. It was Art's first music release to completely miss any top 40 chart position in the U.S., but here's an interesting sales tidbit: for this LP, the United Kingdom import edition featured another track not on the U.S. version, that was used in the film Watership Down, and stayed on the UK singles chart long enough to be the best selling single in the U/K for 1979!!! Art Garfunkel!! And...the LP went to No. 1 in New Zealand and Holland! Talk about a global marketing kerfuffle!
And, as if with a premonition of sorts for all this, and, in hopes to restart Art's arty-edgy-eclectic credibility, this release would prompt Columbia Records to go all-out on the packaging concept and warrant enough art department budget as to create at least 6 different covers for the initial U.S pressing of the disc! Huh? For Art Garfunkel? Very odd, also, that references to this package usually say "five" different covers were made, but I have found six!!!! Could there be even more?? Click on one of the covers above to see a slide show of the 6 unique covers presently residing inside Amoeba's Vinyl Vault in Hollywood.
Patron saint of quirky, culty contemporary cinema, director/screenwriter Edgar Wright has put a distinctly English spin on the fanboy worlds of zombies, aliens, and comic book heroes. In the mid-'90s Wright got his start working on BBC TV comedies, but it wasn't till his feature film Shaun of the Dead hit theatres in 2004 that he began really making a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic. The hits came in steady succession, with 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2013's The World's End making up the jokingly named Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, a nod to both influential Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy and the British ice cream treat brand Cornetto.
Wright swung by Amoeba Hollywood to share some of his favorite flicks with the What's In My Bag? team. The honor of being Wright's first and only musical pick goes to David Bowie, whose latest album The Next Day, gets a nod. Next up is Guillermo Del Toro's big budget spectacular Pacific Rim, an epic monster movie with amazing special effects--plus brains, beauty, and heart. Later on, he highlights Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, a gem of a film starring the effervescent Greta Gerwig in a black-and-white film about being young, broke, and eternally hopeful in New York City. Next up, Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine's candy-hued fever dream (or is it more of a nightmare?) gets highly recommended. British horror anthology film The Monster Club shows up at the end, leaving viewers with the weird and wonderful proposition of watching Vincent Price try to fit in at a nightclub populated by monsters in extremely cheap-looking Halloween masks. Check it out in the full episode below.