Latest Entries
If I Stay All Night and Talk: Conversation as Corrective in Nick Cave and Seán O’Hagan’s “Faith, Hope and Carnage”
Books / Music

If I Stay All Night and Talk: Conversation as Corrective in Nick Cave and Seán O’Hagan’s “Faith, Hope and Carnage”

Does an artist need to believe—or at the very least consider—the existence of God (or the divine, a higher power, or whatever it is you want to call it) in order to create transcendent work? That’s the question I’ve been wrestling with ever since listening to an advanced copy of the audiobook for Nick Cave … Continue reading

What’s So Dangerous About Maia Kobabe’s “Gender Queer”?
America Is Doomed / Books

What’s So Dangerous About Maia Kobabe’s “Gender Queer”?

I’d like to begin with a fact. A simple yet shocking fact. It is this—a floodtide of filth is engulfing our country in the form of obscenity and is threatening to pervert an entire generation of our American children! At least that’s what George Putnam said, finger-wagging in his Middle America-terrorizing introduction to the fear-mongering, … Continue reading

Lipstick-stained Teeth and Americana Altars: Walter Pfeiffer’s Perfect Shots at the Swiss Institute
Art

Lipstick-stained Teeth and Americana Altars: Walter Pfeiffer’s Perfect Shots at the Swiss Institute

Two sultry gazes stare sightlessly from a weathered window or a picture frame as if stolen from the bedroom wall of a fanatical teenage girl in 1955. James Dean and Elvis Presley, icons of mid-20th century rebels without causes. Ripping it up, hip thrusting, jailhouse rocking, Vampira attracting, drag racing, they are double martyrs to … Continue reading

If He Felt He Had To Direct You, Then Direct You Into My Arms: More Items I Would Steal From “Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition”
Art / Books / Music

If He Felt He Had To Direct You, Then Direct You Into My Arms: More Items I Would Steal From “Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition”

In his Last Will and Testament made in 1987, on view in the sprawling exhibition Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition, Nick Cave requested: “…money earned on records, both publishing and record sales, should be used to have and maintain a small but adequate room or rooms that will serve as the “Nick Cave … Continue reading

Man or Myth?: “Stranger Than Kindness” Is a Portrait of Nick Cave through His Many Obsessions and Influences
Art / Books / Music

Man or Myth?: “Stranger Than Kindness” Is a Portrait of Nick Cave through His Many Obsessions and Influences

In the nebulous period of 1983 and 1984 between the drug-fueled dissolution of the trash can-driving, six-inch-gold-blade-slicing, zoo-music-girl-lusting, junkyard royalty The Birthday Party and the official designation of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Nick Cave played a smattering of clubs under a few different titles. There was Nick Cave and the Cavemen, which is … Continue reading

Montreal’s “Barbie Expo” is Kitsch Heaven: A (Mostly) Photo Essay
Camp / Filthy Dreams On Location / Trash

Montreal’s “Barbie Expo” is Kitsch Heaven: A (Mostly) Photo Essay

“I just want to be perfect,” says Karen Carpenter in the recording studio, played by a Barbie doll fashioned by director Todd Haynes in, what I would argue, is still his best film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. Thanks to Haynes’s deranged casting choice, Barbie is a flawless proxy for Karen Carpenter, the wholesome clear-voiced … Continue reading