Everyone's President

Everyone’s President

There is something to be said for relatability in a politician. Even Franklin Roosevelt, whose background was as firmly patrician as that of any US president, managed through the medium of fireside chats delivered over the radio to convince Americans the he understood their situation and cared about their fate. More»

Same As It Ever Is

Same As It Ever Is

The crowd at Club Congress is sparse. A few true believers and some people who are only here because they happened to be here already. My friend and I don’t fall into either category. I told him we had to see this show because it’s important, because I respect tradition, because it’s Dead Moon. They’re setting up right in front of us, out on the floor. More»

Weak and Stable

Weak and Stable

It’s hard to keep up with all the screw-ups and psychodramas of the Conservative government these days. You’re afraid you’ll miss one if you as much as blink. More»

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Fragments From the Faultline 2 02

Fragments From the Faultline 2 02

For ten years, San Francisco’s Asphodel label was America’s premiere experimental music imprint. Trafficking in everything from turntablist 12″s by the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Mixmaster Mike’s legendary Anti-Theft Device LP, DJ Spooky’s best full-length, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, musique concrète by Iannis Xenakis (Persepolis,) minimal techno dub from Berlin masters Rhythm and Sound, and symphonies made out of midi-controlled dot matrix printers, Asphodel was it. More»

Interview with Juliano Mer-Khamis

Interview with Juliano Mer-Khamis

Despite his appearances over the last two decades in some of Israel’s most critically-acclaimed features, Juliano Mer-Khamis’s name is not immediately recognised by most film buffs. One of Israel’s most talented actors, Mer-Khamis made global headlines because of his death, rather than his artistry. More»

Heard It All Before?

Heard It All Before?

The day before the official release of the Fleet Foxes’ sophomore album Helplessness Blues, I was intently listening to NPR’s label-sanctioned stream when my twelve-year-old daughter broke in: “I really like this.” More»

A Pyrrhic Victory

A Pyrrhic Victory

It is no surprise that the assassination of Osama bin Laden has brought a wave of celebration in the United States. I, however, found my sentiments best expressed by 9/11 survivor Harry Waizer:

“If this means there is one less death in the future, then I’m glad for that,” said Mr. Waizer, who was in an elevator riding to work in the north tower when the plane struck the building. He made it down the stairs, but suffered third-degree burns. More»

Welcome to Calais

Welcome to Calais

Last winter, I drove from Berlin to London. Waiting in Calais to take the Channel Tunnel train to the UK, I took a dozen pictures of asylum seeker-related graffiti. My own family was displaced internally, within France, during WWII, so I connected with the graffiti a little more personally than usual. “Droits humains?” (Human rights?) Downtown, November 25th.

A Diamond in the Wreckage

A Diamond in the Wreckage

This piece, part of the Copper Belt Project, is the third in a series — listed here — exploring the forgotten people and places of an iconic American landscape scarred by a history of economic and environmental violence. More»

Ambient Means Subtle

Ambient Means Subtle

Most mornings I wake up in my personal panopticon and set myself to making quiet guitar, tape or music box pieces over coffee.  This collection includes some such pieces encompassing the past year or so.
More»

The Impure Left

The Impure Left

April 18-24, 2011 was Digital Detox Week, conceived and encouraged by Adbusters, along with other campaigns (i.e. Buy Nothing Day, Blackspot shoes) to “reclaim our mental and physical environments.” I’ve always been impressed by the magazine’s design-savvy ads, whose sleek look share in the aesthetics of their corporate equivalent, the presumed enemy. More»

The Other Italy

The Other Italy

Italy is renown for its political posters. Marxist, nationalist, racist, multicultural. Every city is its own open-air art gallery. Aside from “schiave” (slave), this poster shouldn’t require much translation. Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Turin. April, 2011.

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

This poster is currently plastered on roadside rest areas throughout the state of Texas, which is big enough to enclose a good deal of Europe and therefore an object of dread for many long-distance drivers. More»

America as Obstacle

America as Obstacle

Daniel Levy is one of the most respected Israeli peace advocates in the United States. Best known for his role as a senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin, Levy was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Taba Summit with the Palestinians in January 2001, and of the negotiating team for the “Oslo 2” Agreement from May to September 1995, under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. More»

Amongst the Thugs

Amongst the Thugs

Arizona’s extreme right deludes itself that it occupies a central place in American politics. However, there is a difference between being influential, and throwing legislative temper tantrums that gain global notice.  Its leading political figures have become internationally scorned, which doesn’t trouble them, and does not harm their electability either.  The disjunction between local and external opinion is a matter of local pride, an insularity characteristic of oppressive governments in many areas beyond the American Southwest. More»