08 October 2010

Devendra, Devendra!

photo by: Joshua Brasted

Us folks here in New Orleans were lucky enough last night to spend an evening with Devendra Banhart and his lovely band the Grogs. The band stopped in to perform at the House of Blues before making their way to Texas, where they will play several more shows before ending their North American tour on Sunday at Austin City Limits.  Despite his fancy new record deal with Warner Bros., who released his latest studio album, What Will We Be, about this time last year, Devendra is still the fun folk freak I’ve been dying to see for years.

Banhart received a warm welcome when he made his first appearance on stage looking somewhat austere in a plaid shirt, tie, leather jacket, and glasses. The band opened with an older favorite, “Long Haired Child,” and then played what I believe to be one of the better tracks on the newest album, “Baby.”

The crowd got some personal time with Devendra about half way through the set when the supporting members of the band retired back stage so that he could play several songs alone. The first solo track performed was “Little Yellow Spider,” one of Devendra’s many venerations to both animals and nature. Before the bands reemergence from back stage Banhart played one of my all time personal favorites, “The Body Breaks,” and I can’t help but noting here that this beautiful piece was the high light of the entire evening for me, because I had successfully requested it from the crowd; admit it people, we all love when that happens…

Other high points of the show included forceful performances of both “Seahorse,” from Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, and “Rats,” an anthem particularly reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, from the latest album What Will We Be.  The final high light of the show came, of course, with the encore when Banhart and company played a song I’m sure everyone had been waiting to hear all night: “I Feel Just Like a Child.”

Following the show Devendra left plenty of time to meet and talk with fans and he’s just as nice as anyone could ever imagine him. I was lucky enough later to spend a bit of time with two of Banharts band mates, Noah Georgeson, who produced two of Devendra’s previous albums, and who has one of his own entitled Find Shelter, and Gregory Rogove, Devendra’s collaborator in the 2008 album Surfing, released under the moniker Megapuss. These were two of the nicest and humble musicians I could’ve hoped to spend time with. When asked about their experience performing last night, they had only one complaint: that the crowd seemed a bit awkward at times. Now, before anyone gets upset, we can take a bit of constructive criticism New Orleans. Let us always remember our southern hospitality when bands this talented and personable visit our wonderful city.    

If there are any of you out there afraid that just because he cut all his hair off and stood up straight that he isn’t the same eccentric he was, let me be the first to quell those doubts; he’s just as freaky as ever and it sounds oh so good.

If you don’t believe me, see for yourself:

photo by: Joshua Brasted

Noah Georgeson
photo by: Joshua Brasted

photo by: Joshua Brasted
For more pictures from the show, visit Joshua's flickr!!!! 

06 October 2010

Brian Eno - 2 Forms of Anger

This new track, taken from electronic music all-star Brian Eno's forthcoming album Small Craft on a Milk Sea, is a gloomy and twisted masterpiece that lives up to it's title. The first couple of minutes implement minimalist techniques and contain various dark samples and dry electric guitar riffs that steadily build up to a full-fledged rock eruption making this track truly what it claims to be: 2 Forms of Anger.
Small Craft of a Milk Sea drops 11/02/10 on Warp Records

Brian Eno - 2 Forms Of Anger (taken from Small Craft On A Milk Sea) by Warp Records


04 October 2010

First Post, Stripsters!

Art/official is a group of New Orleans friends and students dedicated to
exploring and sharing our findings within the aesthetic world of art. Such
findings, contained within this website include, but are not limited to
visual art, music, and literature.

As avid lovers of art and music, we are also interested in providing
public spaces throughout the city of New Orleans for others to enjoy and
discover things previously unmapped within this city we all love so much.
Collectively, we have recognized the opportunity we share to lead and
establish a new sub-culture that is currently and generally unfamiliar to
our city, and this is our first step.

Past influences throughout our lives have inexplicably led us to one
another and as a consequence have encouraged us to collaborate in the
mission of sharing and inspiring others. A brief list of our influences
include: furry animals, dancing, guitars, that one movie about a dog that learns to
play basketball, disco, animal collective, sharing music, sharing other
things, pangloss, the national, band of bees, philosophy,trust, ben
harper, paolo coelho, story of the eye, kerouac, emerson and thoreau,
beer, wine, and wiskey, candlelit dinners, families, friends, sunglasses,
the ocean, full-frontal female nudity, insight, john goodman, the earth,
the universe, self-awareness, nature, knowledge, and compassion for all living

If there are gods, they favor us.

Check out this first playlist and check back sooooon!

Clive Tanaka y su Orquesta- Neu Chicago
Deerhunter - He Would Have Laughed
White Arrows - Coming or Going (RAC Remix)
Best Coast - Crazy For You
Julian Lynch - Just Enough
Breakbot - Baby I'm Yours
Panda Bear - Slow Motion
Women - Eyesore
Everything Everything - MY KZ, UR BF (Grum Remix)
Harlem - Gay Human Bones