Monthly Archives: March 2009

PRE POSTOPOLIS INFO

Postopolis will be streaming online as well (panoptipostopolismo!)

It begins in two hours. Here’s a complete SCHEDULE of the week’s speakers

Location of the event will take place at The Standard Downtown LA. The following lineup of speakers for Postopolis! LA was curated by the authors of the six host blogs.

TUESDAY 31

05:00 : Fritz Haeg Artist and Writer
05:40 : Patrick Keller Architect and Principal, Fabric
06:20 : Yo-Ichiro Hakomori Architect and Principal, wHY Architecture
07:00 : BREAK
07:20 : Dwayne Oyler Architect and Principal, Oyler Wu Collaborative
08:00 : Michael Dear Professor of Geography, USC
08:40 : Jeffrey Inaba Architect and Principal, Inaba Projects
09:20 : BREAK

The evening will end with brief back-to-back presentations by the organizers and host blogs:
09:40 : Joseph Grima Storefront for Art and Architecture / Bettina Korek ForYourArt
10:00 : Geoff Manaugh BLDGBLOG / David Basulto Plataforma Arquitectura / Bryan Finoki Subtopia
10:20 : Jace Clayton mudd up! / Dan Hill City of Sound / Régine Debatty we make money not art
10:40 : OPEN QUESTIONS

WEDNESDAY 1
05:00 : Mary-Ann Ray Architect, Writer, and Principal, Studio Works Architects
05:40 : David Gissen Theorist and Historian, CCA
06:20 : Whitney Sander Architect and Principal, Sander Architects
07:00 : BREAK
07:20 : Sarah Johnston & Mark Lee Architects and Principals, Johnston MarkLee
08:00 : Robert Miles Kemp Designer and Principal, Variate Labs
08:40 : Freya Bardell & Brian Howe Principals, Greenmeme
09:20 : BREAK
09:40 : Ted Kane Architect and Writer
10:00 : Stephanie Smith Founder, Ecoshack

THURSDAY 2
05:00 : Austin Kelly Principal, XTEN Architecture
05:40 : Orhan Ayyüce Architect, Blogger, and Senior Editor, Archinect
06:20 : Ava Bromberg Just Space(s)
07:00 : BREAK
07:20 : Ben Cerveny Strategic and Conceptual Advisor, Stamen Design
08:00 : Steve Roden Musician and Artist
08:40 : Gary Dauphin Writer and Critic
09:20 : BREAK
09:40 : Benjamin Ball & Gaston Nogues Architects and Founding Partners, Ball-Nogues Studio
10:00 : Mike the Poet Poet and Writer

FRIDAY 3
05:00 : Michael Downing LAPD
05:40 : Bryan Boyer Organizer, Helsinki Design Lab 2010
06:20 : Ari Kletzky Founder, Islands of LA
07:00 : BREAK
07:20 : Eric Rodenbeck Founder, Stamen Design
08:00 : Matthew Coolidge Director, Center for Land Use Interpretation
08:40 : Christopher Hawthorne Architecture Critic, Los Angeles Times
09:20 : BREAK
09:40 : David Burns, Austin Young & Matias Viegener Founders, fallen fruit
10:00 : Ken Ehrlich Artist and Writer

SATURDAY 4
04:20 : Benjamin Bratton Architect and Theorist
05:00 : Christian Moeller Artist
05:40 : Sean Dockray / Dan Goods / Daniel Rehn / Jay Yan
06:20 : Media Panel (Architect’s Newspaper, Curbed LA, Alissa Walker, Greg J. Smith, Christina Ulke)
07:00 : Photography Panel (Catherine Ledner, Misha Gravenor, Dave Lauridsen, Tom Fowlks, Gregg Segal)
07:20 : BREAK
08:00 : Paul Petrunia Founder, Archinect School Bloggers Panel
08:40 : Magazine Panel Sam Grawe DWELL, Zach Frechette GOOD & t.b.d
09:20 : CLOSING PARTY

& some more useful news::::

“The venue, as many of you will already know, is the Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles – but after 9:00pm each night, we will begin moving down from the roof deck to a conference room on the 2nd floor. To get there, just go up the escalator in the lobby… and it’s right there. Note that that is only after 9pm.

On Friday and Saturday, meanwhile, after 7pm, the Standard will begin charging $20 admission to their roof deck – leading to the unfortunate need to recommend that if you are coming on Friday or Saturday, then either show up before 7pm to avoid the $20 charge or after 9pm, to join us for free on the second floor (up the escalator on the right). Yes, it’s weird… and out of our control.

Finally, consider bringing a picnic blanket for the rooftop events, simply as something to sit on – and bring a coat! Or someone to hug. It could definitely get a bit chilly up there.

For those of you not in Los Angeles, or simply hoping to watch things from home, a live web feed of the proceedings will also be available through the Storefront website and ForYourArt. And we’ve now got a public Flickr pool through which we can all share images of the event. Reminders and such like will be coming up as things proceed! Hope to see many of you soon. “

LA DAY & NIGHT

I can’t believe I’m A) back in America B) back in LA and C) still awake.

But all these things seem to be true.

Postopolis kicks off today, and tonite I’m playing WILDNESS. BOTH EVENTS ARE FREE, LA.

Today’s ‘Postopolis pick’ is Fritz “Edible Estates” Haeg, who will be our very first speaker, at 5pm. Fritz’s long story made frightfully short: imagine if American lawns were transformed into food-bearing community gardens?

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him & more… to come.

Then from 10pm-2am. join us @ Wildness! myself, Tammie Brown, and the Wildness crew @ SILVER PLATTER 2700 W. 7TH. They say: “Wildness is a self sustaining event. our mission is to invent new ways of visualizing, physically experiencing, and talking about complex identity politics that surround our queer lived experience through late night art-making and party having.” free forever libre para siempre

WILD03-31-09

POSTOPOLIS LOS ANGELES

a quick reminder: starting next Tuesday…

Join us (6 bloggers on a roof) in Los Angeles for a series of discussions, interviews, slideshows, panels, talks, and presentations about architecture, landscape, urbanism, art and space. Speaker schedule now online!

all events are FREE and open to the public, happening of the roofdeck of the Standard hotel in downtown LA.

Picture 1

Picture 2

I’m still caught in the delicious whirlwind of Mexico City but expect multiple Postopolis posts (live blogging, a city made of blog posts) next week, no doubt interspersed with recollections of Mexico and bucketloads of music I’m discovering here.

Is there an English word for nostalgia for a place or situation which you haven’t yet left? Some language must have a word for that…

A MOVER EL BOTE

you’ve got 2 options tonite, Americans.

Mexico D.F.: El Hijo de la Cumbia, Rupture, & Andy Moor DJing! last minute fiesta total.

mx party

NYC. Brooklyn, New York Tropical with special guest vocalists Esau Mwamwaya (The Very Best/Radioclit) and La Yegros (Buenos Aires),. alongside Matt Shadetek, Uproot Andy, Kingdom, Geko Jones. info.

MEXICO CITY SOUNDTRACK

This Thursday Andy Moor & I will provide live soundtrack/accompaniment to:

Manifiesto DF. Films by Jem Cohen.
Salón Juárez, Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco.
Flores Magon 1, Colonia Nonoalco – Tlatelolco. México DF.
26 march 21:30hrs. 150 pesos

sections of the film(s) will also be accompanied by Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), and T Griffin, and Sonido Changorama.

mx

Como resultado de la residencia artística de Jem Cohen en la ciudad de México, se proyectará el retrato fílmico de nuestra ciudad realizado por este singular cineasta. Dj Rupture, Guy Picciotto (Fugazzi), T. Griffin, Andy Moor (The Ex) y Sonido Changorama, se encargarán de musicalizar en vivo dicha proyección.

ANTICIPATORY MIXING

This month I am spending more time in transit (airplane, bus, taxi, car, subway) or waiting for transit than in my apartment… Nettle @ Brandeis was a blast — a very full schedule too. Bostonist review of live show .

threefifthsofnettle

[three fifths of Nettle @ an impromptu concert, from W&W flickr]

Filastine, who joined us on percussion, plays in Boston tonite. Free!

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thanks to all who ordered K-K-Kumbia. there’s been a bit of a lag, but CDs will be sent off today if they havent already gone out.

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& elsewhere, my dutty associates have been upping mixes nonstop, all in prep for a party we are throwing with weekend. I’ll be in D.F. but the rest of the gang is uniting @ Glasslands in Williamsburg for:

and here are the various mixes, all of these DJs will be @ the Dutty ARtz party this friday:

Matt Shadetek – Get Drunk & Lose Your Phone

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Kingdom – mix 4 Lower End Spasm

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Geko Jones – La Nueva Guaracha

GET MAD GET CRAZY

in more uplifting news, Ghislain Poirier unveiled a new video for his Soca EP (which I describe in my Mondomix top 10). Directed by Gabriel Poirier-Galarneau, this video is composed of over 12,000 still shots of Montreal. I love the silent airhorn moment, although the entire video is impressive, great narrative & visual execution. City portrait on fast fwd, tropical bounce cut with snow-covered streets:


[ GPG : GHISLAIN POIRIER – GET CRAZY feat MR. SLAUGHTER ]

from Gabriel Poirier-Galarneau on Vimeo.

Track : GET CRAZY feat MR. SLAUGHTER
Artist : GHISLAIN POIRIER [http://ghislainpoirier.com]
Label : NINJA TUNE [http://ninjatune.com]
Director : GABRIEL POIRIER-GALARNEAU [http://gabrielpg.com]

CHARLES HOLGATE AND THE PUBLICITY GAME

This post originally went live on January 19th. Soonafter Charles Holgate called me up (for the 1st time!), requesting that I take it down for two reasons: 1. because I had mistakenly referred to him as an employee of Sarah Lockhart’s Ammunition dubstep conglomerate (rather than an independent publicist who works with them) and 2., because he wanted to ‘keep working the release’. Charles gave me a list of 9 “confirmed press” spots where it was to be reviewed, and told me to give him 2 weeks, during which time he would make good. He suggested that if I didn’t see proof of his work in that time, I could put the post back up. I gladly agreed.

At one point in the conversation, he said that Uproot had been received with apathy. I said “Fine! The UK is a weird market. But why can’t you produce any evidence, even a single email from a journalist in support of that story?” Charles’s response was incredible: he told me that each January he deletes all of his emails from the previous year. (akin to: the dog ate my homework)

Over the next few days, I was contacted by about half a dozen UK music writers, all saying some version of “I regularly get calls/emails from Charles and he never once mentioned Uproot .”

This confirmed my worst suspicions, but I still wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Instead of the 2 weeks he asked for, I’ve given him 7…

Unfortunately, the same process has repeated itself. I’ve sent Holgate multiple emails asking for any update on the “confirmed press” (if it was confirmed in mid-January, how come it’s not in print by mid-March?). I was repeatedly told by Charles that I’d get an update “tomorrow”.

After a few weeks of ‘tomorrow’ (well over the 2 week deadline he set for himself) and honoring our verbal agreement— here is the original post, edited to reflect his status as an independent publicist.

_________

I’d like to explain how Charles Holgate aka MC Nomad, an independent publicist best known for his work representing the Tempa/Rinse FM/FWD conglomerate, stole several thousand dollars — not from me, but from the artists I used on Uproot and the label it was released on. But before we get to that, we need to take a quick look at the publicity business.

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With all the talk about declining record sales and the near-terminal state of the music industry model as we knew it in the 90s, people rarely mention the role of publicists. Like live shows, the work of the publicists will endure even as CD sales plummet.

It’s possible – but highly difficult – to land record reviews in significant media outlets without a publicist acting as intermediary. Music PR fees vary widely – from $1000 to upwards of $5000 a month – and there’s usually a 2 month minimum. (You can, essentially, pay your way onto major TV appearances such as the David Letterman show. But those fees only make sense if you’ve got a decent product, massive fan base, great distribution, a tour to cross-promote, etc.)

That said, the work of a publicist is fairly hard to pin down. They talk to writers and editors – via email, phonecalls, drinks after work, bumping into them at shows, etc. Publicists get music writers hyped about the album, detailing its importance/awesomeness while suggesting ways it can be covered in the writer’s publication(s). They coordinate interviews. Publicists are sensitive to the marketability of any given release and tailor the campaign around that. Usually PR companies give the record label mailing address and the label does the physical mailout. One pays the publicists to follow up: “have you received the package? what did you think?…”

In a perfect world, a publicist is a cool person who helps translate the musician’s vision to the public. Their fees pays for themselves via increased CD sales, and everybody’s happy. This is often the case! In an imperfect world you get Holgate… wait, it almost never gets that bad. (More on this in a bit)

Hiring a professional publicist is a virtual necessity for any release’s visibility. But their work is intangible — How do you quantify buzz? And a publicist’s role in raising it? The only time I got reviewed in VIBE was with Gold Teeth Thief, a mix CD that was barely buyable. Lord knows I’ve never had a publicist or manager.

CHARLES HOLGATE: BAD AMMUNITION

Only three titles from my entire discography have been serviced by a publicity firm: Minesweeper Suite, Special Gunpowder, and now Uproot. For the recent CD, the label (the Agriculture) hired online PR in America (note: they didn’t do print media PR). In the UK, they hired a person named Charles Holgate. Dubstep fans may know Charles from his appearances as MC Nomad.

charles holgate mc nomad

[Tempa/FWD/RinseFM publicist Charles Holgate]

After he agreed to work for the Agriculture, Charles informed them that he was leaving Zzzonked (a PR firm) to go solo, focusing on publicity for dubstep’s cross-platform monopoly: Ammunition / FWD / Rinse FM. The first two are run by Sarah Lockhart. Ammunition is the parent company of several dubstep record labels: Tempa, Soulja, Road, Vehicle, Shelflife, Texture, Lifestyle, and Bingo. FWD has long been promoted as the dubstep night, offering the canonical dubstep experience. (Yes kids, the ‘underground’ London dubstep scene is a carefully controlled, heavily centralized machine). Rinse FM is a London pirate station. Charles and Sarah work with Rinse FM in its attempt to ‘go legit’ and enter the commercial radio market. Charles assured the Agriculture that everything would be fine despite his sudden move.

I met Charles Holgate aka MC Nomad in London this July. We ate pasta and discussed Uproot. He seemed professional. I went away content. Then Charles disappeared. After being paid-in-full for his services and and receiving the promo CDs, he simply stopped returning our emails. Complete silence. (During an album’s promotional campaign, it’s normal to have at least several email interchanges with the publicist each week).

I began to worry – not a single sign of interest had come from the UK. This is highly unusual. The UK boasts what is probably the world’s highest per-capita number of electronic music fans. (Perhaps it’s John Peel’s legacy.) I was getting interview requests from the Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico – yet nothing at all from the UK. In early October Charles Holgate broke his silence, promising a “full update” in a few days. Nothing arrived. In early November Charles Holgate promised a “full update” in a few days. Nothing arrived. No response to emails, no returning phone calls. It was obvious we’d been had, but I hoped he was honest enough to explain why, and either start working or give back the remaining copies.

I decided to give him a call on December 17th. Connection! Once he heard it was me, Charles began stammering… He told me he had received 100 copies (the label had sent him 200-300 CDs). He kept stammering. He promised to email an update by 1pm the next day. Nothing arrived. Two weeks ago Holgate sent us the long-awaited “update” (only 6 months late!) in which he took responsibility for the Pitchfork review and two mentions (not reviews) on UK websites that I’m in direct contact with. Charles blamed his lack of results on end-of-year holidays (remember, we started working with him in July). He apologized. He promised weekly updates. Since then, nothing.

charles holgate MC Nomad1

[MC Nomad on the mic]

I’m outing Charles Holgate because I don’t want this to happen to any other labels or artists. It’s more severe than the typical lazy publicist or unpromotable release. If he hadn’t been stammering like a fool when I asked him what was going on, I might’ve given Charles the benefit of the doubt. Why? Because this is the first time I’ve been dicked over in the music business. In general, the independent music scene is very self-supportive and honest and open-minded.

For the record, this was not my money spent — I mean stolen. I received a flat producer’s fee for Uproot– any profits made are to be split 50/50 between the record label and the artists on the mix.

So yes, a publicist who works with Ammunition/FWD/Rinse FM torpedoed the project in the UK. I have no reason to believe that Ammunition knew about Holgate’s activities; I mention Ammunition because most know him for his work representing them (and as MC Nomad on Rinse FM, etc). By snatching the label’s money and several hundred of its CDs in exchange for silence and inept lies, Charles Holgate has robbed the artists on Uproot and the label that was cool enough to release it in the first place (most labels hate mix CDs since the licensing is expensive and requires a mountain of paperwork).

Instead of UK publicity paying for itself via increased sales/visibility, there is a big black hole. ‘MC Nomad’ buried Uproot! (the irony is not lost on me.) Usually UK distros will send a few copies to key media sources, but since Charles Holgate was contracted to do just that, the distro didn’t perform their standard basic mail-out. Result: few or no UK media sources received the mix.

If you are in the UK, I suggest that you ask him for a copy. Charles Holgate should have several hundred Uproots occupying space in his London flat.

STRAND + MONDOMIX CHART

quick reminder that I’ll be speaking alongside Jedediah Purdy @ the Strand tonite, in a discussion moderated by Mark Grief, editor of n+1. Says Mark: “Audience participation is very much invited. Do you want to know why it’s better for Jace to deliberately hand his music over to bootleggers with names like ‘Vampiros’ than go through record distributors? Or why Jed, liberal stalwart, seems in his new book to be telling everybody to go read Edmund Burke and Adam Smith?

Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway at 12th Street, THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 7 PM.

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And the kind folks at Mondomix asked me to put together a chart of current global hotness. They found some nice youtubery to accompany my writeup as well..

LANGSTON RUPTURE

THEY ASKED ME AT THE PTA
IS IT TRUE THAT NEGROES——?
I SAID, ASK YOUR MAMA.

aym logo

a few weeks ago, WNYC invited me to make a piece responding to one of the 12 ‘chapters’ from Langston Hughes fantastic 1961 poem, Ask Your Mama. I’m a fan of his work, so it was an honor to step inside his words. I chose part 8: “Is it True?”, a powerful piece about Moe Asch & Alan Lomax & unknowability & suburbia, among other things…

The results can be heard streaming here, and will be broadcast on WNYC 93.9fm today and tomorrow, along with an interview (in which I make the claim that Ask your mama? is the central question of black existence).

Ask Your Mama (also check Horn of Plenty performed by Beans)

part 8 poem text

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