[oldie but a goodie: Hipster Olympics!]


What Was the Hipster? An Afternoon Panel. Saturday, April 11, 2009, 2pm – 4pm. The New School University, Theresa Lang Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street (btwn 5th & 6th aves), 2nd floor.

Mark Greif (n+1)
Jace Clayton (dj/Rupture)
Christian Lorentzen (Harper’s)
+ Special Guests TBA

This event is FREE, and promises to be fun. Audience goading heckling participation is strongly encouraged. Format is: Mark, Christian, and myself will each present a 10 minute essay, then we open things up to general debate. The whole shebang will be published in pamplet form later this year.

Who was the turn-of-the-century hipster? Who is free enough of the hipster taint to write the hipster’s history without contempt or nostalgia? If you’re openly excited about a hipster symposium, are you still allowed to attend?

I will be discussing: thick Mexican mustaches, my aversion to hipster antipathy, what lusting after a drug dealer’s 16yr old daughter in the Peruvian jungle has to say about hipsterism, and the internet.


BACK IN BROOKLYN, now neck-deep in an apartment move (same building just upstairs, but the chaos of records books and cables keeps things tricky. I need to sell everything i own on eBay/Craiglist, whittle my life down to 73 vinyl records and USB stick).

I just broke a spiral energy-efficient lightbulb (turns out that the bulb is also shatter-efficient, tiny shards cover my studio floor) which is making it more difficult than I like to get the speakers running so I can blast this lastest jam from dutty fam 77Klash and Matt Shadetek.




77Klash ft. Matt Shadetek – Pressure

The riddim, built by Matt, is called “Car Bomb”. Klash does his thing (no surprise his album will be titled “No Fear”); they’ve got an unreleased heap of this skullcrushery BK bashment wildness.

…One click leads to the next, and before you know it we’re looking at the Fader’s SXSW street fashion shots, the highlight of which is Mannie Fresh rocking a 5-A amaaaazing t-shirt — rich with existential overtones!


[Fader photo]


A ridiculous amount of things are happening in Los Angeles this weekend (so many that I’m afraid I won’t be able to return to Mashti Malone’s for more faludeh & rose saffron ice cream).

In addition to ongoing POSTOPOLISMO, tweeted here , there is a wealth of For Your Art’s LA Art Weekend events. Like Lucky Dragons performing at LACE’s Resonant Forms festival!

plus a handful of art openings such as

Gallery Glue Paper Scissors

and this one

[Carolyn Castaño, Pablo and Virginia]

“These new works depict portraits of the amorous adventures of Latin American guerrillas, drug lords, presidential candidates and beauty queens.”


cumbia is the spice

Apparently at the end of the DUNE series the protagonist (Leo Atreides II) has inhaled so much spice that he’s no longer human or even a mytho-dynast, but has transformed into a huge sandworm (presumably with telepathic powers). The worms are spice, spice is the worm. Dune is a crazy book, I could barely finish it, much less move on to the 5 or 6 other ones.

Point is, if cumbia is the spice i feel i may be approaching sandworm status — a long round in Tepito ‘barrio bravo’ in Mexico City followed by a few pre-Postopolis days in downtown Los Angeles in the shops here. The twin poles of best contemporary cumbia production, in other words…. I’ve been traveling for the last three or four weeks, and look fwd to return home, sit down, and properly listen… Also picked up some great promising books in D.F., but that’s another post.

Last night’s radio show is about 75% cumbia, 10% tribal guarachero, 15% unreleased material from friends…

Here are 3 breakout cumbia tunes from it.

Celso Pina also versioned this one. I can’t resist typing the lyrics in all caps. AMOR! AMOR ROMANTICO! AMOR DE CUMBIA!

[audio:http://lacongona.com/mp3/CHICO CERVANTES – CUMBIA DE LA PAZ.MP3]

Chico Cervantes – Cumbia de la Paz

love the female vox here. bittersweet love tune.


Grupo Adixion – Porque Te vas

[audio:http://lacongona.com/mp3/Bailando Cumbia.mp3]

Grupo Kual – Bailando Cumbia

and this last one, a classic — Manu Chao bit this one hard; those male backing voices actually sound like him singing!

[audio:http://lacongona.com/mp3/AURITA CASTILLO Y SU CONJUNTO – CHAMBACU.MP3]

Aurita Castillo y Su Conjunto – Chambacu



[image from Storefront for Art and Architecture]

Engaging discussion on the role of the vernacular in contemporary architecture and considerations of public vs private space with an eye towards designing for negotiating flows within each… as 80s pop songs from the other side of this design hotel rooftop compete with Yo-Ichiro Hakomori’s voice, each occasionally interrupted by the blocky roar of news helicopters overhead.

Fritz Haeg chronicling the use of his geodesic dome home for an open-ended school. ‘Edible Estates’, we learn, began when he was looking at the 2004 US Presidential election map (blue edges, thick red center) and decided to do something in the center, in Kansas, that could work there and elsewhere. The lawn as a repressive space, a flatterer of architecture it frames. Talk of gardens.

Michael Dear on the Postborder City, fueled by personal vignettes. He drove 4000 miles, journeying along each side of the U.S./Mexico border. Dedication & long-term realness exposure. At some point Nguzu Nguzu arrives with stellar fish tacos. The conversation will have to continue from Dear’s book:

In Latin America, urbanism is also a rejection of discipline, a miracle of order in spite of everything, an uncertain combination of strength and fragility, eating itself from the moment of birth… The availability of physical space is declining because of the demographic explosion of people and poverty; in the social arena, the public and private are merging and, despite everything, they intensify the geography of exclusion and inclusion. Is there is a utopian sentiment, it is that of purchasing power…

… & lots more. come on up!