Entries tagged with: Ariel Pink

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Grouper
Photo: Grouper @ the Guggenheim in 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)

Tiny Mix Tapes posted their Favorite 50 Music Releases of 2014, and as TMT lists usually are, it's a pretty eccentric one with a lot of stuff that wasn't making everyone's list this year. Sure you've got Grouper, Andy Stott, Sun Kil Moon, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Arca, Pharmakon, Perfume Genius, Ariel Pink, Swans and FKA twigs, but you've also got Ninos Du Brasil, Gem Jones, James Ferraro, Call Super, C L E A N E R S, Kevin Drumm & Jason Lescalleet and more.

Read their entertaining intro and commentary on the albums here, and browse their full list below...

Continue reading "Tiny Mix Tapes' Favorite 50 Music Releases of 2014"

Pitchfork

First tracks, then honorable mentions, and now Pitchfork has put out their Top 50 Albums of 2014. There's nothing entirely out of left field, but there's definitely some surprises here. Taylor Swift, whose album was not reviewed at all (I guess it was a pretty obscure one), comes in at #31 with her album, 1989. Sun Kil Moon, which was the only 2014 album in their Top 10 Albums of the Decade So Far this past August (and seemed like a sure bet for #1) dropped down to #7 and was beaten out by his enemies The War on Drugs. TWOD actually came in at #3 themselves, and the two ahead of them are two you may not have seen coming.

We already knew that Pallbearer, the only Best New Music metal album of 2014, was an honorable mention, which unsurprisingly left zero metal albums on this list. No other BNM album got snubbed (save for a Hyperdub compilation and the Beyonce album, but that was probably because it was technically a 2013 release), and there's not really any glaring omissions in terms of what Pitchfork appeared to champion this year.

See the list for yourself below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2014"

by Bill Pearis

ASDIG
photo: ASDIG @ Baby's All Right in July (more by Amanda Hatfield)

A Sunny Day In Glasgow returned this year with Sea When Absent, arguably their most ambitious record to date, and perhaps their most acclaimed too. The band have just released a remix of album cut "In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry In The Tradition Of Passing)" remixed by their pals Fang Island. He pulls the rhythm section to the fore here, burning off some of the original's haze in the process. (Not that there was anything wrong with that haze!) Stream it below.

As mentioned, Fang Island's Jason Bartell will be touring with ASDIG around the holidays. It turns out this will be in the form of a new duo called Wins which also features Cassandra Jenkins (of Eleanor Friedberger's band). You can stream a song from Wins below. ASDIG and Wins play NYC on December 27 at Rough Trade with Ava Luna on the bill as well. Tickets are still available and if you'd like to go for free, we're also giving away a pair. List of all dates and contest details below.

And finally, A Sunny Day in Glasgow have also given us their Top 10 LPs of 2014 which includes a few familiar faces but some left-field picks as well. Check out their list below...

Continue reading "Jason of Fang Island forms new band Wins, remixed A Sunny Day in Glasgow (stream) who told us their Top 10 of 2014"

Pitchfork

Pitchfork have begun rolling out their year-end coverage, and today they posted their Top 100 Tracks of 2014. Like every year, it's a very diverse list, with songs from Taylor Swift, The New Pornographers, iLoveMakonnen, Protomartyr, Cloud Nothings, Rae Sreummurd, Makthaverskan, Ty Segall, Parquet Courts, Azealia Banks, White Lung, Perfect Pussy, Dej Loaf, Migos, Alvvays, Against Me!, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, Bobby Shmurda, Charli XCX, Grouper, Beyonce, Perfume Genius, Shamir, Michael Jackson, Tinashe and more. And their #1 seems to be the most ubiquitous #1 of 2014.

Check out the full list below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2014"

intro by Bill Pearis

Grooms @ Death by Audio's final show (more by PSquared)
Grooms

Grooms' last live show, the final night of Death by Audio, was a little hard to get into. Their next NYC show should not prove as difficult. They're playing Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Saturday (12/12) with The Teen Age, Glazzies and headliners Celestial Shore. That's a free show where you can maybe get some holiday shopping done (or a round of mini-golf) and you can RSVP to get on the skip-the-line list.

Grooms' next show after this weekend is opening for A Place to Bury Strangers (who also played DbA's final night) at Music Hall of Williamsburg on February 17 (tickets).That serves as a record release show for both APTBS' Transfixiation, and Grooms' Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair which are both out that day. (You can hear "Doctor M" below.) Look for a tour after that, details are still TBA at the moment.

Main man Travis Johnson took time out from practicing for tomorrow's show to give us his Top 10 LPs of 2014, plus a few runners-up, with a little commentary for each. You can read that below...

Continue reading "Grooms tell us their Top 10 LPs of 2014, playing Brooklyn Night Bazaar this weekend, opening for APTBS at MHOW"

PC Music's Hannah Diamond
Hannah Diamond

Gorilla vs Bear posted their lists of their favorite albums (35) and songs (100) of 2014. Though the albums list does have some of the stuff you always see (like The War On Drugs), it's mostly got a lot of unique choices like Recycle Culture, Korallreven, Yumi Zouma, Beverly, Panda Bear's EP and more, and the #1 is pretty unique too. FKA twigs doesn't crack the albums list but she's on the tracks list twice, along with tracks by Tinashe, iLoveMakonnen, Jessica Pratt, Grouper, a Recyle Culture remix of Taylor Swift, and plenty of PC Music representation.

Check out his full lists below...

Continue reading "Gorilla vs Bear's favorite albums & songs of 2014"

FADER

The FADER always has some year-end coverage, but for the past 15 years they didn't publish a ranked year-end list. This year however, they ranked their 116 favorite songs of 2014 (find out why) and it's a diverse list that manages to sing the praises of iLoveMakonnen, Tinashe, Alex G, Florida Georgia Line, Enrique Iglesias, Bleachers, Ricky Eat Acid, YG, Toni Braxton & Babyface, Nothing, Grimes, Parquet Courts, Run the Jewels and Grouper all in the same damn list.

Read more about each choice here and check out the full list below...

Continue reading "The FADER list their favorite tracks of 2014"

Sleaford Mods at their US debut (more by PSquared)
Sleafords

The Guardian has been sloooowwwlllyyyy revealing their Top 40 Albums of 2014, having rolled out the top 10 one by one over the past 10 days. If you've been following along, you probably already guessed their #1 by now, but if not you can browse their full list of 40 below. It's got a lot of this year's list regulars, and like many of the British publications have, it gives some major love to Sleaford Mods (maybe you caught their US debut in NYC?). Also The War On Drugs shuts out Sun Kil Moon once again (they're not #1 but close). Sorry Koz.

Check out the full list below...

Continue reading "The Guardian's Top 40 Albums of 2014"

by Andrew Sacher

FACT

The best-of 2014 albums lists continue with FACT, who always put out an interesting list and this year is no exception. You've got a few of the year-end list regulars like FKA twigs, Angel Olsen, Ariel Pink, Grouper, YG, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib and Shabazz Palaces, but also a handful of obscurer rap, electronic and experimental choices. FACT's list is always a good one to find something you missed during the year that you end up falling in love with, so check it out. Also, it's the first list we've seen where Sun Kil Moon beats The War On Drugs! (who actually aren't on here at all).

Check out their top 50 below. You can read more about it here, and also check out some of their other year end coverage like top tracks, mixtapes, reissues, cassettes, mixes and more.

Continue reading "FACT's Top 50 Albums of 2014"

Burgerama

Man, Burger Records is really feeling the Angus Soundtrack '90s kids lately. First they signed The Muffs and now they've booked Weezer for their fourth Burgerama festival happening March 28-29 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. And that's not their only kinda-crazy booking this year. They've also got Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the current version of Gang of Four, and of course plenty of awesome more expected names like Ty Segall, Black Lips, J Mascis, Ariel Pink, Roky Erickson, King Khan & BBQ Show, FIDLAR, White Fence, together PANGEA, The Queers, The Coathangers, Shannon and the Clams, JEFF the Brotherhood, La Luz, Girl Band and still plenty more as you can see in the full lineup below. Tickets go on sale at 10 AM PST on Friday (12/12).

Continue reading "Weezer, Bone Thugs, Gang of Four, J Mascis, Ty Segall, Black Lips, Ariel Pink & more playing Burgerama Four (lineup)"

SPIN

SPIN returned with their Top Albums of 2014 list today. It's got a lot of the indie albums that usually show up on these lists (Caribou, Future Islands, FKA twigs, Parquet Courts, Cloud Nothings, How to Dress Well, Swans, St. Vincent, Real Estate, etc), a handful of rap albums (YG, Young Thug, Shabazz Palaces, Run the Jewels, Schoolboy Q, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, etc), metal (Pallbearer), punk (Against Me!, Joyce Manor), mainstream pop (Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert), and a couple headscratchers (Betty Who at #11?). You-know-who scores the #1 slot once again here. Check it out for yourself below.

Continue reading "SPIN's Top 50 Albums of 2014"

NME

It's the last week of November and we've hit Best-of List Season. Especially in the UK where we've already seen album lists from Rough Trade, MOJO, Q, and Uncut. Now here's long-running UK weekly NME with their LPs and tracks of the year. Topping the lists are St. Vincent's self-titled album, and Future Islands' omnipresent "Seasons." (Sorry, The War on Drugs, you're slightly lower on the list here.) And just to remind you they are British music magazine, Kasabian figure into both lists. Check out NME's full Top 50 LPs/Tracks of 2014 lists below...

Continue reading "NME's Top 50 albums & tracks of 2014"

Uncut

We're just over a month away from 2015 and those UK year-end lists keep pouring in. Now British music mag Uncut has posted their 75 Best Albums of 2014. Looks like their winner is becoming a popular choice for #1, and the rest of their top 10 is split between real-deal veterans (Leonard Cohen [falling just a tad from his 2012 #1 spot], Robert Plant) and rising newcomers (FKA twigs). Elsewhere the list has a lot of the indie-related albums that keep popping up, a good deal of folk/country, more veteran appearances, and a certain opinionated UK duo who have appeared on every UK list we've seen so far and make their US debut this week.

Check out the full list below...

Continue reading "Uncut's Top 75 Albums of 2014"

Rough Trade NYC on Record Store Day 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
RT

As they usually are, Rough Trade Shops are one of the first this year to post their favorite albums of 2014 list. It's 100 albums long and mostly filled with the bigger indie and indie-related releases of the year, but there's a few surprises in there too. Mark Kozelek will not be happy to see that The War On Drugs placed #2, 8 higher than the Sun Kil Moon record. Mark should be proud that he made the list not once, but TWICE though. His Christmas album landed at #84. Run the Jewels, who are not on it all, have started a "Suck My Dick Rough Trade" chant. Check out their full list below and see more on each album here.

Meanwhile, Rough Trade the NYC venue is open this weekend with Sallie Ford / Crooked Fingers tonight, followed by two shows from The Dream Syndicate.

List below...

Continue reading "Rough Trade's favorite albums of 2014"

PS 22 Chorus w/ Ariel Pink earlier this month (via PS 22 Chorus)
IMAGE

You may remember that Staten Island's famed PS 22 Chorus covered Ariel Pink's song "Round and Round" a few years ago. On a recent trip to NYC to promote his forthcoming album, pom pom, Pink visited the PS 22 Chorus who had worked up some special renditions of a couple of the album's tracks: the lighthearted "Jell-o" (which makes a lot more sense when sung by kids) and the more grim "Picture Me Gone," covering a few blips on the massive spectrum that Pink's music occupies. Check the videos out below.

The chorus members also had the opportunity to ask Pink questions. As a former art teacher, Pink's rapport with the kids was endearing, explaining his writing process, the meanings behind the songs and more. One member even went on to say, "When you're dead, I think that they should call you a legend."

Pink's upcoming tour stops in NYC at Terminal 5 on February 25. Tickets for that show (a much bigger venue than Pink's played here) are still available.

Jack Name, who is touring with Thee Oh Sees even sooner, was added as opener to the Terminal 5 show.

Check out the new videos from PS22, as well as their 2011 cover of "Round And Round," as well as well as Pink's full tour schedule, below...

Continue reading "Ariel Pink visited PS 22 Chorus who covered two songs from his new album (video); Jack Name opening Terminal 5"

IMAGE

Ariel Pink's new album, pom pom, is out November 18 via 4AD and he's just shared a second track from it, "Black Ballerina." It's one of the more curious songs on the LP while still being stick-in-your-head catchy. You can stream it below.

Having debuted many of pom pom's songs at a very late night NYC show recently, Ariel's gearing up for a proper tour in early 2015, including his biggest NYC show yet: Terminal 5 on February 25. Tickets for the T5 show go on sale Friday (10/24) at noon. All dates are listed, along with the new song stream, below...

Continue reading "Ariel Pink shares "Black Ballerina" from new LP, touring in February including show at Terminal 5 (dates)"

by Jessica Pilot

IMAGE
Ariel Pink @ Baby's All Right 10/2/2014 (via @deeaannaaa)
IMAGE

Ariel Pink may have dropped the "Haunted Graffiti" from his name but remains resolutely idiosyncratic on his new double album opus, pom pom. At times chaotic, somehow Ariel pulls it all together in a manner only he would. Fusing what feels like multiple songs together into one coherent thing seems like a huge pain in the ass but here we have Ariel referencing everything from Devo-like lunacy to the drama of King Diamond to the earworm madness of commercial jingles. Some brains just work that way.

Ariel was in NYC earlier this month for a beyond-packed, scene-of-all-scenes, post-midnight show at Baby's All Right. Though Madonna was nowhere to be found, the audience was a crazy who's who of Brooklyn music, best represented by the trio of DJs for the night: Pitchfork's Ryan Schreiber, 285 Kent/Palisades/Webster Hall booker Ric Leichtung and Baby's' own Billy Jones (who was also celebrating a birthday that night). Sky Ferreira, Mac DeMarco, members of Real Estate, John Norris and Marnie the Dog were just a few of the familiar faces who came out to see Mr. Pink and drink Pink Babies at the intimate Williamsburg show. Featuring mostly songs off the new album, the late late late set showed off the breadth of his vision, from the totally out-there "Dinosaur Carebears" to album-closing highlight "Dayzed Inn Daydreams."

Ariel was still or back in NYC because apparently he just visited the kids of PS 22 in Staten Island to play some songs with them (they famously covered him a few years ago). Stay tuned for the video of that to surface.

One day before the Baby's show, BrooklynVegan interviewer Jessica Pilot visited Ariel Pink at his hotel. Here is their conversation...

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Jessica: Are there any stories behind any of the new tracks that you might want to share that might be interesting to tell?

Ariel: You're making me think way too hard already. [laughs] I mean they all have their own stories.

Jessica: Is there one in particular that you think would make a cool story?

Ariel: Let me think about it for a second.

What's your favorite color?

Okay, easy: none. I don't have any favorite colors whatsoever. I've got a really long-winded explanation for it too. I'm colorblind, but that's not the reason. I'm one of the least artistically minded people you've ever met. I have no aesthetical preferences for anything.

Is that true?

It's the truth! Despite my wonderful wardrobe and attire, I actually have zero--it's only because people leave good clothes at my house that are very stylish themselves. I actually don't have a favorite color. I don't think in color.


continued below...

Continue reading "an interview with Ariel Pink (who isn't working with Madonna, played Baby's All Right & with the PS 22 Chorus)"

Ariel Pink

Ariel Pink just released the video for "Put Your Number in My Phone," the first single from his new album pom pom, due November 18 via 4AD. Grant Singer, who's also done videos for Foxygen and Sky Ferreira, directed this one and says "it's a story about friendship and the pursuit of happiness." Check it out below.

Ariel Pink also has live shows scheduled in NYC, London and LA and he's saying he'll be joined by a new 7-piece band. The NYC show happens on October 2 at Baby's All Right. All shows go on sale Friday (9/26) at 9 AM local time. Tickets for Baby's go on sale at this link.

All dates are listed, with the new video, below...

Continue reading "Ariel Pink made a new video, playing shows in NYC, London and LA"

by Bill Pearis

Pom Pom

Ariel Pink is back, no Haunted Graffiti this time, with a new album -- a double titled pom pom -- that hits November 18 via 4AD. You can stream the catchy piece of janglepop that is first single "Put Your Number in My Phone" and check out album art/tracklist in this post.

Meanwhile, Ariel Pink also features on "Tragically Alright," the new single from Ex Cops whose second album will be out in October. You can stream that below. You can catch them on tour this fall with Dum Dum Girls, including their October 30 show at Brooklyn Bowl (tickets).

All Ex Cops dates are listed, along with song stream, Ariel Pink stream, album art and tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Ariel Pink releasing new LP in November (stream a track), collaborated w/ Ex Cops (who're touring w/ Dum Dum Girls)"

by Andrew Sacher

James and Mario in the studio (photo by Heather Harris)
James

The Stooges guitarist James Williamson is releasing a solo album, Re-Licked, features "lesser-known Stooges tracks properly recorded and mixed for the first time" with an impressive list of guest lead singers, including Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees), Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Mario Cuomo (The Orwells), Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream), Ariel Pink and others. James is backed by live Stooges members Steve Mackay, Toby Dammit, and Mike Watt (also of The Minutemen, fIREHOSE, etc) and that dog.'s Petra Haden provides backup vocals. The album's due out on October 29 via Leopard Lady Records. Artwork and tracklist below.

"I'm Sick of You," which has The Orwells' Mario Cuomo on guest vocals, makes its premiere in this post. James says it "was one of the very earliest songs [he] wrote with Iggy back in around late 1970," and that they "played it live at the King's Cross Cinema Show while [they] were in London just before [they] recorded Raw Power." Mario's a good choice, considering Iggy seems like a big influence on him, and he gets his Danzig or his Jim Morrison on a bit for this one too. Check it out below.

The Orwells also have a previously discussed fall tour which hits NYC on October 15 at Irving Plaza. Tickets for that show are still available.

Song stream, LP artwork, tracklist, and another pic from the recording session, below...

Continue reading "James Williamson releasing an LP of re-recorded Stooges rarities w/ guest singers (stream 1 w/ Mario from the Orwells)"

by Andrew Sacher

Pitchfork

Yesterday, Pitchfork posted their top 200 tracks of the decade so far, and today they've listed the top 100 albums to have come out between 2010-2014. There's some surprises on there. For example, I didn't expect to see Bon Iver's self-titled, their #1 album of 2011 and with a score of 9.5, rank as low as #27 on this list. I was also surprised to see Chief Keef make it but not, say, Shabazz Palaces or Schoolboy Q. And there's a few other glaring omissions: nothing by The National? Grizzly Bear? One thing that will surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.

You can check out the full list below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of the Decade So Far (2010-2014)"

P4k

It's not just you: Over the last five years, there's been a seismic shift in the way we engage with music. We tweet, tumbl, stream, and share our favorite songs; we scour dead links and navigate obtrusive pop-ups for the newest mixtapes; we watch our music videos on Youtube and Vevo. We watched the explosion of EDM, the birth of drill, the rise and fall of chillwave. We debated how to pronounce FKA twigs, whether the album was dead, and where Bobby Shmurda's hat went. We met Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Grimes, Jessie Ware, Disclosure, Miguel, and Charli XCX. We saw LCD Soundsystem break up, Neutral Milk Hotel reunite, and My Bloody Valentine release a new album--a shooting star if there ever was one. [Pitchfork]
By the end of this year it will be halfway through the current decade, and to mark that, Pitchfork is posting lists of the best tracks, albums, and videos of the decade so far, this week. Today, they put out their list of the top 200 tracks. Like most of Pitchfork's 'top tracks' lists, it ranges from big names to underdogs in indie, electronic, hip hop and more, plus a few huge radio-pop songs sprinkled in. Can you guess what made #1?

Check out the full list HERE and browse the top 20, below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork's Top 200 Tracks of the Decade So Far (2010-2014)"

DOWNLOAD: Phoenix - SOS In Bel Air (Ariel Pink's Krystal Bamboo Remix) (MP3)

Phoenix @ Barclays Center (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Phoenix

Phoenix, who just announced some North American dates to fill in the gap between Governors Ball in NYC and Bonnaroo in Tennessee, also just released a remix of "SOS in Bel Air" done by wacky Ariel Pink. You can download to "SOS in Bel Air (Ariel Pink's Krystal Bamboo Remix)" above and stream it below. Tour dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Phoenix touring from Governors Ball to Bonnaroo, remixed by Ariel Pink (dates & stream) "

by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher

still from Kevin Drew's "Good Sex" video
Kevin Drew

It's been a while since we've done one of our video roundups, but there were just too many good videos this week to pass up the opportunity. (Plus, in honor of Valentine's Day, there's some v-day-themed ones worked in here.) We already posted a bunch this week, like Little Dragon, Thurston Moore, Metronomy, The Notwist, Thundercat, OFF!, Marissa Nadler, Arctic Monkeys covering The Beatles, Mission of Burma covering The Beatles, Polica, DTCV, La Femme, The Marked Men's return to NYC, and more, yet there were still plenty of cool ones we didn't get to. Check out recent videos from Kevin Drew, The National, Ariel Pink & Jorge Elbrecht, Phantogram, La Dispute, The Front Bottoms, Guided by Voices, Blouse, Chelsea Wolfe, S. Carey, Death Grips, Quilt, Shellshag and Twin Shadow & Samantha Urbani covering The Smiths, below.

Continue reading "v-day video roundup: Kevin Drew, The National, Ariel Pink, La Dispute, GBV, Front Bottoms, Chelsea Wolfe, Blouse & more"

by Lukas Hodge

Cold Cave in Winslow / dancers in Pittsburgh / Cat Power in Barstow
Station To Station - 2013
Station To Station - 2013
Station To Station - 2013

Just after you walk through the front doors of the historic La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona, a news clipping hanging from a bulletin board reads "Another City too Strong to Die". An interesting statement when you think about it due to the fact that it suggests that in all likelihood, this is not a place that's supposed to still exist. It almost advocates feelings that this is a city stuck swimming upstream. The question is raised, what here is worth preserving? If you ask a local, or even just walk a single block through the small downtown area, you'll understand quickly that the hope of this town rests on a song written by Jackson Browne in 1972. Everywhere you go there are signs advertising the town crux: a street corner two blocks from the train station named "Standin' On The Corner" park. Dedicated to one line in a single song, it's surrounded by murals, shops, and even a bronze statue which may or may not be in Jackson Browne's likeness. The song, is of course, "Take It Easy" as performed by The Eagles. And while no other part of this tour really comes close to the level of polarization created by an arena-filling rock band, the story of Winslow works as an effective allegory to sum up the meaning of why myself or anyone rode a customized train disguised as a moving piece of art, complete with recording studio, post-production office, dining hall, and one of Frank Sinatra's private rail cars, from New York to California.

The answer comes from multi-media artist, Doug Aitken, who's devoted his life to the pursuit of collaboration and performance. The "Happenings", as Aitken branded them, were never overwhelming. The numbers were intentionally kept low at each date allowing every participant a feeling of intimacy with each piece of art they encountered, whether it be a stark and awkward Cat Power set in the backyard of a railroad inn, or a UFO high above the California deserts and a Beck set featuring a full choir. This was most noticeable at the Barstow date, a little over one thousand people showed up to the happening within the walls of at least a 4,000 capacity drive-in theater. It's obvious that Aitken's focus was not on attendance and not on outsiders but on bringing together different artistic communities that would almost never normally interact. And hey, a thousand witnesses can't be a bad thing.

Levi's ®, who made the public art project known as Station to Station possible, had their own tents that resembled nomadic sculptures, known as Yurts set up at each date where independent artists and designers could create their own denim products out of locally sourced goods under the "Makers" brand. To quote Maker Laura Sato via an interview with Vice:

The Makers yurt was Levi's® artistic contribution to Station to Station. Levi's® Makers is a collective of artisan's from across the country who sell their handmade goods under the label of Levi's® Makers.

For the majority of the trip, we had four other Makers along with the Levi's® Tailor Shop who had their stations set up in the yurt. Forestbound (one of a kind tote bags made of salvaged materials), Folk Fibers (hand-stitched, natural dyed quilts), Junkyard Jeans (customized chain-stitch embroidery), and Tangleblue Weavers. We also had a few guests along the way for a couple stops; Cobra Rock Boot Co.(handmade boots), Chimayo Weavers, and Teranishi (leather goods).

The yurt really gave us a platform to create and collaborate while allowing the public to observe our process and ask us questions. I've worked for the Levi's® Tailor Shop making handmade goods for almost three years, but when I met my fellow Makers on this trip it really hit me what a special thing I'm a part of. I got to work and become close with some of the most inspiring and talented people, all of us tied together with the common thread of loving to create and work with our hands. There was definitely a special energy inside the yurt.

The yurts which were also traveling with the train and acted as evolving installation pieces. The Nomadic Sculptures range from Carsten Höller's yurt pierced with holes that visitors can throw a Frisbee through, to Liz Glynn's creation of the universe that develops at each stop. At some stops, filmmaker Kenneth Anger screened a film in his Yurt.

Every stop on the trip included a combination of visual arts, installations, and live music, all in a very unforgettable fashion. Some of the Happenings take place inside actual train stations (Chicago, Pittsburgh), while others exist within hubs at the creative centers of communities (Brooklyn, Barstow). How the tour arrives at each stop is the truly unforgettable part. Within each of the nine train cars, each serving a distinct purpose, it was almost impossible to find someone without their face glued to the windows admiring the little seen landscape from up on the rails or with their hands on one of the many interactive tools ("for the modern frontier") made possible by Levi's ®. Included in these was an original 1901 Underwood No. 5 typewriter linked directly to Twitter, a 1939 web-enabled Graflex Speed Graphic still cam for taking Instagram pictures, . and a 1960's Gibson hollow body plugged straight into Soundcloud.

Station To Station - 2013

Aitken has repeatedly begrudged the term "tour" and endorses the idea that the project is an entity which "constantly changes". All posturing aside, whatever you want to call it, it's impressive and ambitious. Each station had a very distinct feel and was drastically different from the happening prior. In Brooklyn, it kicked off in a dark noise-filled soundstage on the river with sets from electronic pioneers Suicide, tour staple No Age, and psychedelic locals Ariel Pink (who performed at multiple dates), as well as a youth marching band from Kansas City. By the time it reached Chicago, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore had joined for his set with drummer John Moloney as Caught On Tape. The Legendary gospel diva Mavis Staples also performed.

Station To Station - 2013

As the train rolled on, it finally made its way to the southwest and, in my opinion, its defining showcases. When the train, decorated in highly visible, flashing, LED lights, pulled up on the beautifully restored grounds of the almost century old La Posada hotel (which was the original Winslow train stop) the traveling event arguably achieved its most characterized evening. Between the location of the stage being only a few feet from the train, and the recently restored Inn doubling as a local art museum, this seemed to be the exact platform from which Levi's ® and Station to Station creator Doug Aitken wished to "make their mark". Jackson Browne tossed out a few classics before finally playing "Take It Easy, which resulted in a fevered reaction from every middle aged resident sitting in their lawn chairs. Another tour favorite was Cold Cave, who in Winslow, played atop an elevated platform overlooking a haystack maze full of puzzled onlookers.

One of the main themes being pushed was that the most important part was not the "happening", but what comes after it. For someone like Doug Aitken who's constantly looking forward to the next collaboration or project, it makes sense that the aim of the entire undertaking was to push imagination into the future while taking educated hints from the past. What better place exists than being in a shuttle riding the exact tracks that helped shape the land moving beneath it?

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You already saw pictures and heard more about the NYC and Pittsburgh stops and saw a set of pictures from Chicago. More pictures and some videos from the train along with the Chicago, IL, Winslow, AZ, and Barstow, CA stops, below...

Continue reading "Doug Aitken & Levi's brought art 'Station to Station', we joined along (pics, review from Chicago, Winslow & Barstow happenings)"

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