the soft compulsion of constant consumption training

12 notes &

During the Beatles’ first US visit, Paul constantly listened to a transistor radio made to look like a Pepsi vending machine.

During the Beatles’ first US visit, Paul constantly listened to a transistor radio made to look like a Pepsi vending machine.

Filed under doritos sxsw14

19 notes &

Hip-Hop Listening Parties Are Corny and Corporate | VICE United States

Events like listening parties only bring into sharp relief the fact that the vast majority of cultural criticism has always been done at the whim of public relations schedules. Pop criticism started at the Voice in the 1960s, and was quickly enveloped by the public relations arms of record companies, who plied Christgau and Goldstein et al with free product timed to publicity cycles, in exchange for reviews, most of which were then folded directly back into publicity efforts. One of the things Devon Powers wrote so well about is how Christgau turned the glut of product into a writing style that merged grad-student meta-commentary with supermarket lists, while Goldstein bailed completely, fooled by the ostensibly revolutionary appeal of the burgeoning Bay Area counterculture as the real alternative.

Promo mailouts and interview availabilities organize critics’ relationships and opinions about musical product in a temporal sense, while listening parties simply add a spatial dimension to the relationship. There have been thousands of brilliant essays and reviews written about music over the past half-century, but to contend (as this article obliquely does) that such relationships are new in any real sense is to miss the larger picture. Listening sessions in 2014 are simply branded “experiences” of new music, reflecting the general push of all advertising in that direction over the past couple decades. They allow PR organizations and their advertising funders to exert (symbolic) control over the critic’s report, while funneling exposure and access to brand managers.

Also, Vice needs to hire a copy editor. That article is a mess.

33 notes &

Danah Boyd has made her latest book available as a free PDF


I know a lot of people following me will be excited by this. (I am also excited by this.)

(Source: culturecabin)

22 notes &


Meet the team: Amy Auscherman

Title: Archives Assistant

How I got here: I am a life-long Indiana resident and began at the IMA as an intern in the Stout Reference Library in 2011. My educational background includes a BA in Art History and I’m currently finishing my Masters of Library Science at Indiana University Bloomington. There I have focused my studies on special collections libraries. Before coming to the IMA, I worked for four years at the Lilly Library, IU’s rare book and manuscript library, and handled everything from artist’s books by Max Ernst to locks of Sylvia Plath’s hair. My love and knowledge of modern architecture and design, paired with my experience in special collections, prepared me for this current dream job.

Documenting Modern Living duties: Scanning Miller House and Garden Collection material; metadata entry into Archon; main contributor to Tumblr.

Favorite MHGC find: Some of the material I find most interesting in the Miller House and Garden collection  is related to projects that were never realized, or that ended up completely different than the original proposal. The hand-painted board by Alexander Girard (pictured above) was presented as a design option for the kitchen rug, but was rejected by Xenia Miller. The geometric design Girard originally proposed is vastly different than the cool-colored, more abstract design that ended up living on the kitchen floor. We haven’t properly photographed the item yet, but wanted to share this sneak-peek detail shot of the board.

Best thing about my job: I love that I’ve been able to work solely with this incredibly rich collection. The best part has been sharing with others, via this blog, the amazing material that, until this digitization project, was only enjoyed by a handful of people. Another huge job perk is being able to walk around the IMA’s galleries and campus during my lunch breaks.

Favorite item in the IMA collection: It’s hard to choose, but I often find myself visiting Fernand Léger’s Man and Woman.

When I’m not working, I’m probably doing this: Scouring a library book sale or used book shop, looking for books with covers designed by my favorite mid-century graphic designers.

Follow Amy Auscherman on Twitter @acid_free

Hey everyone, this is my hot girlfriend talking about her job.

32 notes &

Pop songs are a set of tools used by many hands, as well as artistic statements made by a few, and instinctively I care more about the first. But these two sides are still connected by money, which makes “separating the art from the artist” a glib default position. So “I Believe I Can Fly”’s genuine power as a redemption song – it’s the most convincing self-help song I can think of – makes a lot of cash for a man who may well be irredeemable. And this is the tension “I Believe I Can Fly” can’t resolve and never addresses. Reaching out to a higher power is only the first step in the classical recovery process, which is designed to lead not just to personal change, but to restitution. So you can fly. Now what?

R. KELLY – “I Believe I Can Fly” | FreakyTrigger

Great piece by Tom over at Popular.

(via markrichardson)

Tom Ewing is one of the top 5 (3?) music writers of all time.

(via markrichardson)

8 notes &

Favorite songs of 2014, and maybe more than half of them have been officially released! If I had to pick a top 3 it’d be “Going Out,” “Out of the Black,” and “Passing Out Pieces,” the latter easily the best song Mac DeMarco’s done yet. And listen to that Notwist song! Who knew!?

Easy favorite LP is Hospitality, though (full disclosure, she’s a friend and I have no objectivity) White Hinterland’s LP is tremendous. Surprised at how much I like the Beck LP, because I’ve listened to Sea Change about 2 times since 2002. +/- is still awesome, so are Dum Dum Girls.

6 notes &

Wurlitzer Jukebox’s 1949 promotional materials weren’t exactly beating around the bush.

Wurlitzer Jukebox’s 1949 promotional materials weren’t exactly beating around the bush.

47 notes &

The cultural industries do have the power constantly to rework and reshape what they represent; and, by repetition and selection, to impose and implant such definitions of ourselves as fit more easily the descriptions of the dominant or preferred culture. This is what the concentration of cultural power—the means of culture-making in the heads of the few—actually means. These definitions don’t have the power to occupy our minds; they don’t function on us as if we are blank screens. But they do occupy and rework the interior contradictions of feeling and perception in the dominated classes; they do find or clear a space of recognition in those who respond to them. Cultural domination has real effects—even if these are neither all-powerful nor all-inclusive.

Stuart Hall, “Notes on Deconstructing the Popular.”

Stuart Hall is essential.