For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn't there...

On Friday, February 5th, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) held the opening reception of its spring exhibition: For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there. The party was met with hundreds of guests, food, drinks and live entertainment. Indie band Deastro and special guest Shooting Spires took the stage, adding a local music touch to the celebrations. [http://www.mocadetroit.org/ ]

The Opening:


(Photos Courtesy of MOCAD)

The Exhibition:

When Charles Darwin came up with his Theory of Evolution, he marveled in his own brilliance and tremendous ability to describe the physical world around us. The proof of his work could be seen, quite literally, in the plant and animal species that he studied. He mocked the mathematicians, who are bound by axioms and only able to express the universe in speculative terms, claiming that their search for truth was like that of a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there. Artists, however, seem to have sided with math in this case, embracing speculation and savoring the ethereal. This exhibition speaks to their cause and in an attempt to demystify art they not only allow but encourage curiosity and an almost child-like wonder. The experience of not knowing is crucial, and a sense of unlearning is necessary for the growth of knowledge. This show is dedicated to the playfulness of being in the dark. Much like Socrates, the artist proclaims: “I know that I know nothing.”

A replica of which is now suspended above MOCAD’s front desk, this is Mariana Castillo Deball’s Klein bottle piñata. A Klein bottle, in math, is a non-orientable surface that has no recognizable inner or outer sides, and no boundaries. In other words, it can’t exist in the real world. Yet here it is, a strange principle of geometry and math, turned into one of the most playful structures imaginable: a piñata. But a piñata is good for just one thing of course, and near the end of the exhibition this work of “art” will be filled with candy and smashed to pieces by visiting children at one of MOCAD’s Family Days. I think this represents the message of the show as a whole. Art doesn’t have to be confusing and full of deep meanings. When people enter an art museum, particularly a contemporary art museum, they immediately begin to analyse and dissect the work, always worried about “getting it”. For the blind man… seeks to reverse that urge, and allow visitors to merely enjoy the art, to engage and have fun with not knowing and not understanding. You can search and search for answers and not find anything, but as long as you had fun along the way, who cares?

This is a mixed media installation by Dave Hullfish Bailey: To do with a wide spot along a dusty road crossing a dry channel, between the old end of Old Red and the dead end of the New West (working prototype). Much like the exhibition as a whole, this piece definitely exists to poke fun at itself. Imagine a man travelling through the desert researching the land with his own moving laboratory-library. This portable workstation has everything he would need on such a voyage, all contained within a trailer with a Swiss army knife-like construction of tools and equipment. Yet, this research lab is hopelessly inefficient; it’s absolutely ridiculous. It would never work this way, with odd instruments and structures awkwardly attached and connected to the trailer, a mismatch collection of maps and tables at odd angles, and a truly horrendous method of organizing samples and results. It is a Swiss army knife gone horribly, horribly wrong. Even so, this is the point. Like children playing with Lego blocks, fantastic (but impossible) things can be imagined and built, and there is no other purpose than that.

Matt Mullican’s room is where most of my time was invested during the week of installation. Hundreds of works on paper, ranging from 1971 to 2009, cover three walls from floor to ceiling. It reads like a book across the wall, or perhaps more accurately a mathematical proof on a blackboard. Instead of words and numbers though, images, symbols and ideas dance around the room. Scattered colors and form lead both the eye and the mind down a track of logic and speculation–truly the artist thinking out loud, his thoughts spreading out and blanketing the space.

There are many more incredible pieces in the show, which runs until April 4th (which just so happens to be the day after Hash Bash in Ann Arbor), and I would strongly recommend coming by to check it out. General admission is always free, but donations are gratefully accepted. The museum store is now up and running, too, so there is some really unique merchandise available. There is a lot to see and explore: a man who can never forget things, a pound of strawberries on a wall, and of course, the dark room itself. Other works include a film which follows the long journey of two artists in a rat and bear costume and a board game without any rules but your own. Maybe the most striking, however, is sound piece in which a French artist interviews his cat on topics of art culture. Nothing better represents the exhibition’s theme than his most thought-provoking response:



When Life Gives You Lemons.....

....you find more ridiculous japanese youtube videos


Meftah, Drugstore Remedy, Amateur Anthropologist, Mellows @ Tanya's


The night started out with the funky fat beats of Andrew Meftah. His myspace has a modest collection of spaceage-Dilla-G Funk bangers. Live set was great (the dude has some SICK freestyle chops). FUNKY FRESH

Next was Drugstore Remedy--a psychadelic synth jam outfit. Although the recording quality isn't professional, the myspace has some jams on it to give you a flavor of their style. That being said, the recordings don't hold a candle to their impromptu live set. Can you say FLUID FRESH??

Amateur Anthropologist had a really high energy show! They said this was their first basement party--I'd say it was one of their best performances that I've seen. I still have "The Ocean" stuck in my head. Peep their myspace, get their new album and buy a t-shirt or three! We fucking love these guys. And they really got the place BUMPIN!!!!!

Mellows' played their hearts out. They ended the night perfectly. Check their myspace to grab their free demo EP. They're scheduled to begin recording their first LP next week.


packy out


Smoke Art

Sensitive Light (where the above photos came from) has a great article about the process behind all of this smoke art.  Definitely something I'm interested in trying at some point.  But for a blog post with more pictures on the makings behind the magic check out this post by Bill Van Loo of Chromedecay.

Here are some more photos of smoke art that I found a few months back from Imaginary Foundation:

A full gallery of these lovelies can be found at Mehmet Ozgur's website (the artist/scientist behind these creations).  Ozgur holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and specializes in RF and microwave applications in nanotechnology, but somehow finds the time to create his own unique brand of smoke art, combining thousands of photographs of smoke into montages in a dark room.

As for the makings behind his magic.....you're on your own.


Another New Year Treat

I'm pretty sure that Ronnie was talking about a different measure of time other than lunisolar years. But regardless of your calendar, I hope your celebrations went well.

The Heavy and the Funk

Yooo happy valentines everybody and happy chinese new year and apparently happy Anne Howard Shaw day. In celebration of this crazy day, check out this English Indie Rock band who knows how to funk the fuck out.

Here's the song that was featured in a Kia Sorento commercial.

Here's their newest album...rip it.




Tweaking Trays' very own Subvader just sent us his new mixtape. We're really fucking excited about it, not just because it's fucking sweet and full of bangers, but because this is our first official release from the Tweaking Trays family. Some things he wanted to say about it:
"Even though the tracks aren't all new releases or very eclectic, this is a mix of songs that I love and that fit together pretty musically. I wanted to make something that expressed a lot of the different styles of dance music that I like, so I featured everything from synthpop to dubstep."
Subvader--also known as Peter Wiley--is making his debut on Chicago's Trenchant Recordings. His song "Ya'll Can't Handle Me" will appear on their upcoming digital compilation release. We'll be sure to keep you posted!

Here's the tracklist:
1. Anoraak - Nightdrive With You (Fear of Tigers Remix)
2. Chris Lake - Changes (Dirty South Remix)
3. A1 Bassline - It's Alot
4. Feist - My Moon, My Dub (DZ Remix)
5. Dr. Dre - The Next Episode (feat. Snoop Dogg) (Jay Robinson Clubstep Mix)
6. The Party Squad - Murderer (Diplo & Jayou Remix)
7. Cassius - Youth Speed Trouble Cigarettes (Reset! 'Trouble' Remix)
8. Good Charlotte - Misery (Steve Aoki Remix)
9. South Rakkas Crew - Like U Like
10. Stress x WILDLIFE! - Hood Up (Club Edit)
11. Lykke Li - Little Bit (Villains Remix)
12. The Shoes - People Movin' (LaTourette Remix)
13. Kidda - Strong Together (Heavy Feet Remix)
14. Don Downing - Dreamworld (Nom De Strip 'Tribute To AB DC' Dub)


paaacmaaan OUTTTT! Gonna rock the fuck out to this for the next week...

Happy New Year

They're celebrating the New Year of the Tiger in China bitches. Happy Fuckin New Year. Light some firecrackers and lets party!


DJ Plaidapus / Dné / Explode Into Color / Dosh

Thought I'd give a shot at embedding playlists up on the blog. If you click the share button and select copy link, it should take you to a download link for the playlist as well. Comment below with your thoughts.

DJ Plaidapus - This track was sent to me by a friend recently, a really cool mashup of Animal Collective's Daily Routine with a J-Live track that I don't really recognize. A really great song in its own right (one of my favorites off MPP), remashing it to a 4/4 (the original is 5/4 most of the time but jumps all over throughout) beat just gives it much more accessible groove. DJ Plaidapus is a CT native like myself. The other half of his turntablism duo, Sonic Friction, actually DJ'ed a show my band played in December at a small house party.

Dné - With the past few days having some serious snow here, this is one my
favorite winter songs from last year. I can't tell you how many walks
in the freezing cold snow and wind were turned into something really
beautifully sublime and almost spiritual by songs like this. He's a
folktronic artist, if you will. A simple acoustic guitar riff with some
really beautiful undertones and spliced sample-based percussion that
falls together in and out of place. Somehow it works incredibly well.

Explode Into Colors - As pacman mentioned before, last Sunday he and I went to see this band along with Tyvek at the Yellow Barn across from the YMCA on W Huron. Signed to Ann Arbor's own M'Lady's Records this all girls trio has a sweet catchy sound weaving tribal (i use that word hesitantly, but i think its accurate....) dancey beats in and around delayed vocal goodness. Seems like they toned down the delayed vox a little bit for the recording, but there's still a very unique feel this.

Dosh - A recent find at WCBN from my show last Tuesday. Very cool electroacoustic music. Slightly reminiscent of Four Tet in certain parts but with an overall more breakbeat feel to it.


Major Lazer EP leak!

OHHH MY DIPLOOO!!!!!! I'm going to take a second to masturbate to this image.
thirty seconds of pure infatuation... moving on----->

Okay, so diplo's reggae-child with fellow dj, switch, WILL CONTINUE TO SLAY ZOMBIE-BOMBOCL@TS! Honestly, i thought that the good major might die with 'guns don't kill people...' but looks like I was wrong. I couldn't be happier to learn that indeed, 'Sound of Siren (feat. MIA)' from reggae-dancehall badass Busy Signal's latest mixtape is a preview of what is coming up on Major Lazer's EP (due in APRIL!) [you can confirm this raditatastic claim on maddecent's blog]

And so I begin my countdown until the month of April. Only one and a half months left!!

Please cop Busy Signal's mixtape (if you know what's good for you) by clicking the fucking amazing image below to get you to the mediafire page (then click the download link on that page--for you noobs).

"dey no understand why i put di stacks o money pon mi shlong" - Busy Signal to Pacman in an omegle convo that may have or may have not actually happened.

I highly recommend "Missing You," "Dem Mad," "Picante (DJ WaxFiend RMX)," and "Beep." In "Beep," he rocks out over a SICK reggae anthem of 09 called "Acres" by Capleton. Also features some instrumentals such as "Pon De Floor" and "Forever." All in all, this is one of those mixtapes that's actually worth the 150 MB it takes up on your hard drive.


Rodrigo y Gabriela

tienen un concierto, tambien.

They're playing at Royal Oak Music Theatre on March 6, 2010. You can buy tickets for Killswitch Engage and Rodrigo y Gabriela here. Have fun, kiddos. and remember, McGruff the Crime Dawg says yes to drugs.

Upcoming Concerts yoo

Hell yeah, I know you all love live concerts cuz...well... who doesn't.

This friday at University of Michigan Museum of Art, there will be the Ark's second competition for the year with some very talented local musicians. The address is 525 S. State Street. Ann Arbor, MI.

On February 20, 2010, Killswitch Engage will be playing at the Royal Oak Music Theatre with special guests The Devil Wears Prada and Dark Tranquility. Any metalheads out there should definitely make an attempt to be there. For more info go to romtlive.com or tickets.com. Killswitch puts on a sick live show.

As does the Black Dahlia Murder who will be playing at the Magic Stick on March 24, 2010 with Obscura, Augury and HateSphere. More info at blackirisbooking.com or majesticdetroit.com

Everyone should always seize the opportunity to see bands live before any shit happens such as John Frusciante leaving the Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down breaking up or Avenged Sevenfold's drummer (The Rev, may he rest in peace) dying. Yesterday would have been his 29th birthday.

R.I.P. James Owen Sullivan
"The Rev"
February 9, 1981-December 28, 2009

Also, shout out to the bitch behind me in Taco Bell today. Fuck you.


Is every day arguably worse than the day before?

Bomb the Music Industry! sympathizes with you.

Check out their new 7-song EP released yesterday-

The DIY crew not only recorded their album in 5 days themselves, but they also have self-released it on their critically acclaimed (according to a random sample of wasted punk ass kids shooting their mouths on the internet) and crucially awesome label- QUOTE UNQUOTE!

So enjoy the banalities of adulthood, grab as many Quote Unquote releases as your grubby digital hands can hold, and maybe even throw them a donation. Can you even buy a decent sandwich for that much money?

DISCLAIMER: Bloggers (fictitious or palpable) are not responsible for unexpected amounts of ska present in any of the provided links.