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If the 1% stifles New York's creative talent, I'm out of here | David Byrne via @guardian
If the 1% stifles New York's creative talent, I'm out of here | David Byrne via @guardian
10 minutes ago
Talking Heads frontman David Byrne thinks that the rich have ruined New York, but is he right? In an editorial for The Guardian, Byrne writes that the city he knew in the 1970s has drastically changed. He says that "this city doesn’t mak...
Talking Heads frontman David Byrne thinks that the rich have ruined New York, but is he right? In an editorial for The Guardian, Byrne writes that the city he knew in the 1970s has drastically changed. He says that "this city doesn’t make things anymore." He claims that, if young creative types aren't allowed to flourish here, the city will become more like Hong Kong or Abu Dhabi, which he claims "don't have culture." He says that "the lure of easy bucks Hoovered this talent and intelligence up" into finance rather than jobs in publishing and the arts. And, for the most part, his heart is in the right place. His argument, however, is a little uneven. In one paragraph he laments that the grittiness and want that characterized the downtown scene in the '70s is no longer: "A culture of arrogance, hubris and winner-take-all was established. It wasn't cool to be poor or struggling." Does that mean he thinks that it was cool or creatively productive to struggle? "Some folks believe that hardship breeds artistic creativity. I don't buy it," he writes. And later, "I don't believe that crime, danger and poverty make for good art." So, no. Bemoaning the gentrification of the Lower East Side and the shopping mall-ification of Times Square is pretty well-trod territory by now, but at least he has a point — the artistic enclaves he used to know have been turned into John Varvatos stores and boutique hotels, and that is unfortunate. But where his argument really falls apart is where he actually starts to blame the wealthy class (of which he admits to being a member) for both their action and inaction. "One would expect that the 1% would have a vested interest in keeping the civic body healthy at least – that they'd want green parks, museums and symphony halls for themselves and their friends, if not everyone," he writes. "Those, indeed, are institutions to which they habitually contribute. But it's like funding your own clubhouse. It doesn't exactly do much for the rest of us or for the general health of the city." So, the rich keep the city healthy by funding public and cultural institutions, but then they also don't? This is just double-speak. Oh, and then there's this gem: "Arriving from overseas, one is immediately struck by the multi-ethnic makeup of New York. Other cities might be cleaner, more efficient or comfortable, but New York is funky, in the original sense of the word – New York smells like sex." Are you really exoticizing the Other? This is problematic, to say the least. And to say that we should "forget about emerging artists, musicians, actors, dancers, writers, journalists and small business people" because of narrowing opportunities for the middle class in this city ignores the very vibrant creative communities springing up outside of Manhattan, for whom struggling is not cool but necessary, because the Chelsea lofts they might've lived in in the 1970s now list for $2.5 million on average and are bought up by people like, well, David Byrne. Here's the thing: This writer is no apologist for the rich and has immense respect for David Byrne. He's knows 77 by heart, he's seen Byrne speak brilliantly on the ways that physical spaces affect creation, and he even had a significant freak-out moment when Byrne sat next to him at the BAM cafe before a performance of Faust. But this is simply troubling. Where did this come from? What, really, is his point? The real problem with this piece is not that Byrne kvetches about problems of which most of us are already aware; it's that he offers exactly zero solutions. "Can New York change its trajectory a little bit, become more inclusive and financially egalitarian? Is that possible?" he asks. OK, so, what's the answer? "If the social and economic situation can be addressed, we're halfway there." Sure, let's just address it. That's what thousands did for days in Zuccotti park, and that worked out swimmingly. We're halfway there. This must be the place. (The Guardian) Photo: Via
about 13 hours ago
Dave, Dave, Dave. Early in this blog's life, when I was still anonymous and it was still funny, I went to an event under the auspices of The New Yorker Festival called "David Byrne Presents: How New Yorkers Ride Bikes:" I nev...
Dave, Dave, Dave. Early in this blog's life, when I was still anonymous and it was still funny, I went to an event under the auspices of The New Yorker Festival called "David Byrne Presents: How New Yorkers Ride Bikes:" I never thought about David Byrne very much before starting this blog. Having assumed my cultural identity in the 1980s I was of course well aware of his music because by then it was everywhere: the radio, MTV, movies like "Down and Out In Beverly Hills" (still one of my favorites), and so on. At the same time, I was too young to have been aware of those vital early days when Talking Heads and Blondie and Television and Patti Smith and whoever else were all underground and playing at CBGB. By the time I was old enough to seek out music by myself (you had to travel to an actual record store back then) those days were long gone. I do remember going to the Tower Records on Broadway in the Village when I was still trying to get a handle on my musical tastes and buying both "True Stories" and "Jealous Again" by Black Flag. While the Black Flag album was already old at that point it spoke to the kid I was very plainly and in a way that "True Stories" simply did not. (I still have the Black Flag record, though I have no idea where "True Stories" went. I'm sure I jettisoned it at some point because it wasn't a "hardcore" record.) Certainly as I got older I became more sophisticated and gained more of an appreciation for David Byrne's place in underground rock music, but I was never, like, deeply into his stuff or anything, mostly because by that point in my life I was way too busy with bikes and work to spend lots and lots of time geeking out over music. And that might have been that, but then I started a bike blog, and suddenly David Byrne was omnipresent. It was 2007. Bike lanes were appearing everywhere. People were gentrifying the fuck out of Brooklyn. It seemed like anyplace the advocates and bike boosters were gathering they were trotting out David Byrne as their celebrity spokesperson. His bike racks began to appear. I'd be riding home from my (then) job in Manhattan to my (then) home in Brooklyn only to encounter mobs of people in Prospect Park taking advantage of the bike valet parking for the David Byrne show at the Bandshell. In my little private world, within the space of about a year, David Byrne had gone from the guy on an LP I discarded in middle school to the very bellwether of New York City cycling and gentrification. And now he wants to leave!?! Nooo!!! At first I worried that it was something I said, and I felt terrible. I realize I've been kind of hard on the guy, but it was all in good fun. Anyway, I can't help it. I've been "bridge and tunnel" (at least until Brooklyn became cool and the phrase lost all meaning) my entire life, so even though I agree with most of his modern urbanist livable streets sentiments I also can't help find his Manhattan-centric lofty loft liberalism amusing from time to time. I mean, I know he doesn't own a car, but has he ever had to schlep the whole family from some transit-starved corner of Queens to visit grandma on Staten Island? Look, I know cars are hopelessly suburban and the suburbs are depressingly American, but what do you expect from me, Dave? I'm a lowbrow. While you were experimenting with "Afro-Cuban, Afro-Hispanic, and Brazilian song styles" I was scrounging rides out to Bay Shore to see Sepultura at Frank Cariola's Sundance. Fortunately though, I don't think I had anything to do with David Byrne's decision, and the immediate cause for his possible departure seems to be that tourists aren't waving to him: Venice is now a case study in the complete transformation of a city (there's public transportation, but no cars). Is it a living city? Is it a fossil? The mayor of Venice recently wrote a letter to the New York Review of Books, arguing that his city is, indeed, a place to live, not simply a the
about 15 hours ago
Vinicius Cantuária and his acoustic, post-electronica quartet – bassist Paul Socolow, trumpeter Michael Leonhart (Steely Dan), legendary drummer Paulo Braga and a rotating crew of Brazilian percussionists  played Sunday night at the Trip...
Vinicius Cantuária and his acoustic, post-electronica quartet – bassist Paul Socolow, trumpeter Michael Leonhart (Steely Dan), legendary drummer Paulo Braga and a rotating crew of Brazilian percussionists  played Sunday night at the Triple Door as the Earshot Jazz Festival 2013 finishes it first week. Cantuária was born in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, and moved to Rio with his family when he was seven. As singer, songwriter, guitarist and percussionist, Cantuária draws from a rich history of Brazilian music. Integrating that with jazz, avant-garde and pop, Cantuária rolls like a rhythmic whisper in the vanguard of soulful collaborations – with jazz and left-field music innovators Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Brian Eno, Bill Frisell. In 2011, he released Lagrimas Mexicanas, the collaborative effort with Frisell. Here is a link to the Earshot Jazz Festival website  schedule for the rest of the Festival. Here is a link to the Earshot Jazz Festival website  schedule for the rest of the Festival.
about 16 hours ago
Hirst Delivers Bronze Babies, Sales Up 15 Percent in 2012-13, and More– Hirst Births Fetus Sculptures in Qatar: On Monday a suite of 14 enormous bronze sculptures by Damien Hirst portraying the growth of a human fetus — culminating in a ...
Hirst Delivers Bronze Babies, Sales Up 15 Percent in 2012-13, and More– Hirst Births Fetus Sculptures in Qatar: On Monday a suite of 14 enormous bronze sculptures by Damien Hirst portraying the growth of a human fetus — culminating in a 46-foot-tall, anatomically accurate statue of a baby boy — were unveiled outside the Sidra Medical and Research Center, a healthcare facility dedicated to women and children in Doha, Qatar. "To have something like this is less daring than having a lot of nudity… There is a verse in the Koran about the miracle of birth," said Sheikha al Mayassa Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, chair of the Qatar Museums Authority. She added,  "although he denies it, I think the baby is really Damien. It looks like him." [NYT] – Contemporary Art Sales Up 15 Percent: Contemporary art sales reached $1.4 billion over the past year, marking a 15 percent increase in sales, according to French company Artprice. This year’s sales also broke the previous record of 979 million euros that was set in 2007-08. "It's proof of the maturity of the contemporary art market which, until recently, was the first to fall in times of crisis," Artprice's president-founder Thierry Ehrmann said. Ehrmann also believes that contemporary art's success rests on its broad appeal. "It speaks to a broader public, it is more accessible, less elitist than modern art." [AFP] – Like a Curator: As part of her ambiguous new "Art for Freedom" project, Madonna will be "live curating" art on Twitter today. Twitter users can send the pop star their artwork, poetry, or Vine videos with the hashtag #artforfreedom and she will respond with feedback on the work. The twitter stunt comes just weeks after her weird performance at Gagosian, in which she launched a 17-minute VICE-produced video and did a cover of Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars." What any of this has to do with "artwork on the topic of social justice" is beyond us. [CNET] – Francis Bacon Buddy's Bro Sold Fakes: David Edwards, the brother of the late John Edwards — a close friend of Francis Bacon, to whom the artist left his estate — has been convicted of selling fake drawings that he claimed were by Bacon to the tune of £1 million. [Telegraph] – Talking Head: "I have no illusions that there was a connection between that city on its knees and a flourishing of creativity; I don’t believe that crime, danger and poverty make for good art," artist and musician David Byrne writes in a piece musing on New York City's fate as a cultural capital. "That’s bullshit. But I also don’t believe that the drop in crime means the city has to be more exclusively for those who have money. Increases in the quality of life should be for all, not just a few." [Creative Time Reports] – On Trial, the Met Trots Out the Numbers: While it waits to hear a judge's decision in a pair of lawsuits claiming its by-donation admission policy is misleading, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that three of its recent exhibitions — "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity," "Punk: Chaos to Couture," and Imran Qureshi's rooftop commission — had generated a whopping $742 million in economic activity for New York City. [NYT, Press release] – The 2013 Carnegie International Prize has been awarded to New York-based painter Nicole Eisenman. [Post-Gazette] – Young collector Eugenio Re Rebaudengo is launching a new online art selling platform called ARTUNER this week. [ARTINFO U.K.] – Artists say the Affordable Healthcare Act makes it easier to pursue a career in art. [Think Progress] ALSO ON ARTINFO Sotheby's Boosts Private S|2 Sales With London Hires, NYC Lalanne Show Pearl Lam Talks Korean Art and Western Colonization at KIAF VIDEO: Paola Pivi Flaunts Neon Bears In Perrotin VIDEO: Nuit Blanche Takes Over the City of Light Rolex Celebrates a Year of Mentoring in the Arts 10 Things to Know About Choosing an Art Adviser Check our blog IN THE AIR for breaking news throughout the day. Published: October 8, 2013
about 20 hours ago
The Talking Heads met in Providence, Rhode Island, but they formed in New York City, and they've always been tightly linked to their adopted home. The new-wave avatars performed at revered New York venue CBGB, as documented in the
The Talking Heads met in Providence, Rhode Island, but they formed in New York City, and they've always been tightly linked to their adopted home. The new-wave avatars performed at revered New York venue CBGB, as documented in the
about 20 hours ago
Men
In "CBGB," Alan Rickman plays Hilly Kristal, the man who founded the legendary New York City punk bar whose stage helped launch The Ramones, Blondie, and the Talking Heads. The film happens to co-star Rupert Grint (as a member of one of ...
In "CBGB," Alan Rickman plays Hilly Kristal, the man who founded the legendary New York City punk bar whose stage helped launch The Ramones, Blondie, and the Talking Heads. The film happens to co-star Rupert Grint (as a member of one of the lesser-known punk bands, The Dead Boys), proof that the "Harry Potter" universe is indeed all-encompassing. We talked to Rickman about his own relationship to punk (distant), how close he stays to his former Hogswarts charges (fairly close), and just what kind of device he'd need for a "Galaxy Quest" sequel. What made you want to take on this part? I thought he was completely fascinating in the sense that he started a club that was supposed to honor country music ["CBGB" stands for "Country, Bluegrass and Blues"], and he never got to play any country music there. Along came punk and he was smart enough and open enough and generous enough to listen to what their point of view was. In fact, he became a kind of father figure to all these wild young things. How did you get into character? Lots of videos you can watch of Hilly and some private ones I was given. I was able to just watch him for hours, really, walking, talking, being. [The real Hilly died in 2007.] Had you ever been to CBGB's? I haven't, except in its new incarnation as John Varvatos. Were you a fan of punk music? Not really, because I was an art student and a drama student in London in the '70s. When you say "punk music," I never thought it included people like David Byrne, but now I know that it does. And also The Police. So I'd have been a bit more down that road than The Dead Boys or Television. So of the punk bands, who's your favorite? Well, I'd say Talking Heads, probably. You had to listen to a lot of The Dead Boys, the band that Hilly produced. What do you think of them? I really enjoyed their music when it was being played live. I think the truth of the matter is, you kind of have to be there in a club, in downtown with 150 other people to get it. It's probably not "sitting in an armchair" music. What was the toughest part of the shoot? To be honest, it was shooting it in Savannah in the summer and it was 90 to 100 degrees and Hilly Kristal always wore flannel shirts. You get to sing briefly in this movie, which I don't think we've seen you do since "Sweeney Todd." Any plans for more singing roles? I don't think you're going to see me headline in Las Vegas. But who knows? Rupert Grint is in this too. And he even drops his pants at one point! How hard do you think it is for actors from the "Harry Potter" films to be seen in different roles? It's as easy or difficult as people make it for them. They're all three of them [Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson] great people and all three of them very talented actors. If people have enough common sense, they'll let them have careers, because, why not? Have you kept up with their films? I look forward to seeing Daniel's new film about Ginsberg and I didn't see Emma's film, what was it called... "The Bling...?" I haven't seen that, but no I stay in touch with them. Rupert is rehearsing a play at the moment so he's going on stage for the first time. Daniel is ever adventurous and Emma's gone back to finishing her degree at Brown. So they're a great threesome. Up next, you're directing your second film, "A Little Chaos," in which you also star as Louis XIV. I've shot it. I'm in the editing room. I've run away from the editing to come and do press for this. What's the tone of that one? It's got its serious side and it's got its funny side. It's all there. It's about a woman landscape gardener, Kate Winslet plays her, who gets a job of designing one of the fountains at Versailles. At the same time, it's not really about history, it's about her and her options. And some it's very funny and some of it's not funny at all. What's changed about movies since you directed your first film, "The Winter Guest," in 1997? I guess moviegoing habits. It's a great deal harder to
about 21 hours ago
Talking Heads frontman threatens to leave the city after being "usurped by the 1 per cent"
Talking Heads frontman threatens to leave the city after being "usurped by the 1 per cent"
about 23 hours ago
Music Daily Chord Three questions for five-year-old Spotify Commentary from The Guardian. Chart shows that music industry is very much alive Post from Washington Post. David Byrne decries impact o...
Music Daily Chord Three questions for five-year-old Spotify Commentary from The Guardian. Chart shows that music industry is very much alive Post from Washington Post. David Byrne decries impact of income inequality on artists in NYC Opinion from...
about 24 hours ago
David Byrne @ Wellmont Theatre in June (more by Greg Cristman) The city is a body and a mind--a physical structure as well as a repository of ideas and information. Knowledge and creativity are resources. If the physical (and financial)...
David Byrne @ Wellmont Theatre in June (more by Greg Cristman) The city is a body and a mind--a physical structure as well as a repository of ideas and information. Knowledge and creativity are resources. If the physical (and financial) parts are functional, then the flow of ideas, creativity and information are facilitated. The city is a fountain that never stops: it generates its energy from the human interactions that take place in it. Unfortunately, we're getting to a point where many of New York's citizens have been excluded from this equation for too long. The physical part of our city--the body--has been improved immeasurably. I'm a huge supporter of the bike lanes and the bike-share program, the new public plazas, the waterfront parks and the functional public transportation system. But the cultural part of the city--the mind--has been usurped by the top 1 percent... ...This real estate situation - a topic New Yorkers love to complain about over dinner - doesn't help the future health of the city. If young, emerging talent of all types can't find a foothold in this city, then it will be a city closer to Hong Kong or Abu Dhabi than to the rich fertile place it has historically been. Those places might have museums, but they don't have culture. Ugh. If New York goes there - more than it already has - I'm leaving.Like most of us who live in NYC, David Byrne has a bit of a love-hate relationship with the city, which he muses on in a new editorial written for Creative Time Reports' Summit Series -- read the whole thing either at The Guardian or Creative Time. Continue reading "David Byrne says, "If the 1% stifles New York's creative talent, I'm out of here"" at brooklynvegan
1 day ago