That multi-talented artist from Los Angeles named Leon Else is at it again, melting hearts and moving my feet with his 80′s inspired synthpop. The singer songwriter and musician, who’s also a dancer (as we’ve seen in his videos in the past), blasts us with a warm current of neon synths and radiant beats by way of What I Won’t Do, produced by The Futuristics and co-written with long-time collaborator Joshua “JT” Thompson and Jasper Leaks. What I Won’t Do is the latest single to be released from Leon Else’s upcoming debut EP, out this summer via What Are We Doing / Interscope. The EP will feature songs imbued with 80′s nostalgia and awash in big, irresistible melodies.
As a guest artist, I was commisionned by Canadian cable and phone company Videotron to document the whole process of creating an exclusive and free show featuring Montreal duo Milk And Bone. I could do whatever I wanted, a compete creative carte blanche.
The name “Hatsune Miku” translates to “first sound from the future” not only because she’s a futuristic posthuman pop idol android by lore, but because she’s also a framework for artistic expression that promotes individuality so the voices of creative young people can become the first sound from the future. Her voice is our voice.
“Beatriz at Dinner” / U.S.A. (Director: Miguel Arteta, Screenwriter: Mike White) — Beatriz, an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a health practitioner. Doug Strutt is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same. Cast: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow. World Premiere
“Before I Fall” / U.S.A. (Director: Ry Russo-Young, Screenwriter: Maria Maggenti) — Samantha Kingston has everything. Then, everything changes. After one fateful night, she wakes up with no future at all. Trapped into reliving the same day over and over, she begins to question just how perfect her life really was. Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Elena Kampouris, Diego Boneta. World Premiere
“The Big Sick” / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Showalter, Screenwriters: Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani) — Based on the real-life courtship: Pakistan-born comedian Kumail and grad student Emily fall in love, but they struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail must navigate the crisis with her parents and the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher. World Premiere
“Call Me by Your Name” / Italy, France (Director: Luca Guadagnino, Screenwriters: James Ivory, Luca Guadagnino) — The sensitive and cultivated Elio, only child of the American-Italian-French Perlman family, is facing another lazy summer at his parents’ villa in the beautiful and languid Italian countryside when Oliver, an academic who has come to help with Elio’s father’s research, arrives. Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois. World Premiere
“The Discovery” / U.S.A. (Director: Charlie McDowell, Screenwriters: Charlie McDowell, Justin Lader) — In a world where the afterlife has just been scientifically proven—resulting in millions of people taking their own lives to “get there”—comes this love story. Cast: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough, Ron Canada. World Premiere
“Fun Mom Dinner” / U.S.A. (Director: Alethea Jones, Screenwriter: Julie Rudd) — Four women, whose kids attend the same preschool class, get together for a “fun mom dinner.” When the night takes an unexpected turn, these unlikely new friends realize they have more in common than just marriage and motherhood. Together, they reclaim a piece of the women they used to be. Cast: Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Bridget Everett, Molly Shannon, Adam Scott, Adam Levine. World Premiere
“The Incredible Jessica James” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jim Strouse) — Jessica James, an aspiring NYC playwright, is struggling to get over a recent breakup. She sees a light at the end of the tunnel when she meets the recently divorced Boone. Together, they discover how to make it through the tough times while realizing they like each other—a lot. Cast: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Keith Stanfield, Noël Wells. World Premiere. CLOSING NIGHT FILM
“The Last Word” / U.S.A. (Director: Mark Pellington, Screenwriter: Stuart Ross Fink) — Harriett is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth, resulting in a life-altering friendship. Cast: Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Heche, Thomas Sadoski, Philip Baker Hall. World Premiere
“Manifesto” / Germany (Director and screenwriter: Julian Rosefeldt) — Can history’s art manifestos apply to contemporary society? An homage to the twentieth century’s most impassioned artistic statements and innovators, from Futurists and Dadaists to Pop Art, Fluxus, Lars von Trier and Jim Jarmusch, this series of reenactments performed by Cate Blanchett explores these declarations’ performative components and political significance. Cast: Cate Blanchett. World Premiere
“Mudbound” / U.S.A. (Director: Dee Rees, Screenwriters: Virgil Williams, Dee Rees, Hillary Jordan) — In the post– World War II South, two families are pitted against a barbaric social hierarchy and an unrelenting landscape as they simultaneously fight the battle at home and the battle abroad. This epic pioneer story is about friendship, heritage and the unending struggle for and against the land. Cast: Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Jonathan Banks. World Premiere
“The Polka King” / U.S.A. (Director: Maya Forbes, Screenwriters: Maya Forbes, Wally Wolodarsky) — Based on the remarkable true story of the world’s only known Polka Ponzi scheme, this mix of comedy and tragedy is about Jan Lewan, a polish immigrant who believed in the American Dream. But with big dreams came big mistakes for the man who became the “King of Pennsylvania Polka.” Cast: Jack Black, Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, J.B. Smoove. World Premiere
“Rebel in the Rye” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Danny Strong) — This portrait of the life and mind of reclusive author J.D. Salinger goes from the bloody front lines of World War II to his early rejections and the PTSD-fueled writer’s block that led to his iconic novel, The Catcher in the Rye. Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Spacey, Sarah Paulson, Zoey Deutch, Hope Davis, Victor Garber. World Premiere
“Rememory” / U.S.A., Canada (Director: Mark Palansky, Screenwriters: Michael Vukadinovich, Mark Palansky) — A famed inventor found dead. A machine that can record people’s memories. A man haunted by the past. This noir mystery explores the ways in which memory defines the present. Cast: Peter Dinklage, Julia Ormond, Martin Donovan, Anton Yelchin, Henry Ian Cusick, Evelyne Brochu. World Premiere
“Sidney Hall” / U.S.A. (Director: Shawn Christensen, Screenwriters: Shawn Christensen, Jason Dolan) — Over the course of 12 years, and three stages of life, Sidney Hall falls in love, writes the book of a generation and then disappears without a trace. Cast: Logan Lerman, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Monaghan, Nathan Lane, Margaret Qualley. World Premiere
“Where is Kyra?” / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Dosunmu, Screenwriters: Andrew Dosunmu, Darci Picoult) — Pushed to the brink after losing her job, a woman struggles to survive. As the months pass and her troubles deepen, she embarks on a perilous and mysterious journey that threatens to usurp her life. Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland. World Premiere
“Wilson” / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Johnson, Screenwriter: Daniel Clowes) — Wilson, a lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged misanthrope, reunites with his estranged wife and gets a shot at happiness when he learns he has a teenage daughter he has never met. In his uniquely outrageous and slightly twisted way, he sets out to connect with her. Cast: Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Judy Greer. World Premiere
“Wind River” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Taylor Sheridan) — An FBI agent teams with the town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation. Cast: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Jon Bernthal. World Premiere
The Brat Pop Sounds and Futuristic Disco Western Style of HOLYCHILD
To see more of HOLYCHILD’s photos, check out @holychild on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.
New music genres are usually a) ephemeral, and/or b) hilariously desperate. But once in a while a group comes along and introduces one with a snazzy name and a little bit of substance. Take HOLYCHILD (@holychild), who affectionately call their songs brat pop.
“It’s essentially sarcastic pop music, which is talking about the role of genders in our culture, and our culture’s obsession with fame, beauty, money, age, youth and health,” says lead singer Liz Nistico.
Hey, if you’re going to give your songs a never-before-heard description you might as well make it catchy. That’s the way Liz is approaching the group’s style too, referring to their current look as “futuristic disco western.”
“I didn’t really grow up with that much money, and my mom always said, ‘It’s not what you wear; it’s how you wear it,’” says Liz. “Things will come in and out of our lives, and it’s just like, ‘All right, how are we going to put this together and make it look cool?’”
That works just as well for Louie Diller, the group’s other half.
“Liz is our de facto stylist,” he says. “She collabs with a couple stylists in L.A., and the three of them just kill it. I mean, it’s so nice to have ‘em because I just sit there and they just hand me the coolest f—ing clothes in the world and tell me to wear ‘em. And I happily oblige.”
5 Amazing Photos Showcasing South Korea's "City of the Future" Songdo
Songdo, South Korea, is being hailed as one of the next cities of humanity, the “City of the Future”. The name, which means “Island of Pine Trees”, is one of the smartest cities in the world, with high-tech gadgets and utilities that most cities can’t dream of achieving.
Check out this list of “5 Amazing Photos Showcasing South Korea’s "City of the Future” Songdo"
[SOME OF MY FAVORITE MEDIA I CAN REMEMBER ENCOUNTERING IN 2013 (MOSTLY RELEASED BUT NOT NECESSARILY RELEASED IN 2013)]
Timmy Reed’s Tell God I Don’t Exist - Like several writers I read today, Timmy Reed appeared to me through Facebook. His writing includes bizarre otherworldy situations taking place on earth; apocalyptic atmospheres where subtle tenderness exists; our new technology juxtaposed against things more primitive; surreal images in mundane costumes. His terse sentences hauntingly make you laugh.
Tao Lin’s Taipei - The sentences in this book are intricately woven, the figurative language keen & crystallized, the emotional risk seemingly larger than in his previous work, the quotable passages ubiquitous.
Scott McClanahan’s Crapalachia & Hill William - Scott continues to write material that doesn’t give a damn about shattering our precious tunnels through which we look at the world. He’s courageous, honest, & fearless toward making emotive stories that entertain, challenge, & scare us.
Marshall McLuhan - Having died in 1980, a ~decade before the Internet started pervading our culture at large, McLuhan had been studying media for over 20 years & contributed several insightful ideas about it, like ‘The Global Village’, 'The Medium is the Message,’ & 'Hot’ & 'Cool’ media. With the advent of the electronic world, he imagined us (re)entering into a ~tribal, 'acoustic’ atmosphere where the 'audience’ is now 'content’/active participant. He paid keen attention to the shift from 'print’ to digital culture, & his notions make even more sense when applied to the Internet when applied to the media he explicitly discussed! He didn’t even get a chance to see the Internet.
Rachel (Pattycake) Bell’s The Islamic Takeover of 2013 - This is one of my favorite ebooks. It’s unique, vulnerable, well put together, presenting an artful & emotional documentation of a romantic relationship founded on the Internet.
Victor (Kool AD) Vazquez’s The Joke Book - Kool AD’s one of my favorite writers, so I was doubly excited to hear he’s enthusiastic about some of my favorite writers & had linked up with Sorry House to release a (chap)book. The book, like his raps, is smart, hilarious, hip, & deceptively political.
Sam Pink’s Rontel - I get excited to read any Sam Pink book. This one takes place mainly in the narrator’s head as he wanders around Chicago. However, being in Sam Pink’s head is never boring & always brutally honest.
Steve Roggenbuck’s If You Don’t Love the Moon Your An Asshole - Steve has accumulated more haters this year, it seems, & several of those haters seem to somewhat ignore his poetry. Sure, he doesn’t follow traditional/expected models, but he doesn’t want to! That’s what makes his poetry exciting. In this, like much of his other work, he blends absurd humor, overt optimism, autobiographical minimalism, & visually-stimulating aesthetics.
The Puffy Chair (A Duplass Brothers Film) - Ever seen any 'Mumblecore’ films? If not, this is a good place to start. If so & haven’t seen this one, get it! It’s funny, irreverent, & tender.
Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections - Jung was an amazingly weird dude. His ideas are original & inspiring, & although he’s very 'spiritual,’ he’s not afraid to get dark. Most of his books contain ~scientific/psychological language, but this one is more straight-up autobiography. He wrote it pretty much on his deathbed.
John Berger’s Ways of Seeing - A lucid study of culturally conditioned ways of seeing, including an intriguing study of the presentation of women’s nudes throughout the history of western art.
The Century of the Self (Documentary) - This doc taught me that Freud had an American nephew (Edward Bernays) who ~stole Freud’s ideas for the purpose of manipulative advertising. Advertising as we know it would not be the same without him - as it tries to convince us that what we want is what we need.
Religious Girls - My friend Nathan Springer introduced me to these dudes, on the night they were to play at an art gallery in Oakland (with Mount Eerie!). Their music’s manic energy will break your head open.
Lizzy Yzzil’s Poems Vol. 1 - Lizzy sent me a pdf of her book & I wrote a review for it that says this: “some dude told me a long time ago that when he’s reading something he wants to feel like the writer/speaker/narrator is a ‘captain’ he trusts & wants to follow / seems kind of cheesy but i see what he means & if we use that ‘lens’ here i feel like lizzy is a good captn / the way she breaks her lines & allows some lines to run longer, making each stanza kind of snaky & it seems (i don’t know if this is intentional but it feels intentional) like she uses the linebreaks/silence/empty space to establish the ‘breath’, which works quite well i feel. Her poems, though sophisticated, are very relatable.
LIT ON LIT VOLUMES 2 & 3 - Nathan Springer curates these mixtapes that you can access for free on soundcloud & whose cassettes you can order for 5 bucks. They involve writers sending Nathan audio of them reading & Nathan often puts sounds/music behind the recordings.
What Would I Say - This website creates mashup sentences based on your previous Facebook postings. Genius.
Heiko Julien’s I Am Ready to Die a Violent Death - Despite his sometimes problematic statements, Heiko is one of my favorite writers. I foresee myself reading this book at least once a year for many years to come.
Martin Buber’s I and Thou - I’ve had this book on my shelf for years but didn’t read it till this year. Sometimes I read esoteric books, & this I’d say is very esoteric. It’s fantastic though! Seems like one of its main theses, or the one that stayed with me, is the significance/necessity of interaction/interdependence/other people.
Joseph Campbell’s The Way of Myth - This too has been on my shelf for years. I’ve read some of his other books but had not read this one. This is my favorite. I’ve read it at least twice this year. It makes me feel fired up about living. It makes me want to identify with the force that makes grass grow back when we cut it.
Edward Mullany’s Figures For An Apocalypse - Like his last book, although this one does include some longer pieces, primarily consists of very brief, lean poems in which each line questions itself. His poems make me think 'somber humor’.
Kelly Schirmann’s image-poems - Check out her tumblr, you freaks! She’s one of the most interesting artist poets out right now.
Spring Breakers Soundtrack - The songs that Cliff Martinez & Skrillex have collaboratively designed are beautiful.
Blue Hawaii’s Untogether (album) - This album reminds me of deep blue water. I turn it up on my colossal speakers in my living room & let the thick bassy slow dancy ambience fill up my whole body.
Drake’s Nothing Was the Same - No matter how ridiculous Drake’s lyrics get, I always love 40’s beats & Drake’s delivery & wordplay.
Kurt Vile’s Walkin on a Pretty Daze - His nonchalantly-delivered vocals & hazy aesthetic never fail to hook me. I’ve been listening to this album regularly since its release in April.
Baths’ Obsidian - Baths is one of my favorite contemporary artists, although I don’t enjoy this album quite as much as his first one. I especially like he bridges the gap between futuristic beat music & experimental pop vocals. If you like him & are not aware of these, check out his side project Geotic & his previous moniker [Post-foetus].
Foxygen’s We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic - Their throwback sound & playful lyrics strike me as bold & refreshing, & I look forward to watching them grow in the future.
Father John Misty’s Fear Fun - "Oh pour me another drink / And punch me in the face / You can call me Nancy.”
Birdtapes - Check them out on Soundcloud!
Different Sleep - I’ve listened to this guy’s music maybe more than any other person’s music this year.
James Ferraro - Lofi 'internet rapper’ who makes me laugh & makes me feel like I’m in an attic feeling emo.
All of Fanzine’s & Dazed Articles that involved 'Alt Lit’ - I especially like reading articles by Crispin Best & Janey Smith.
Ashley Obscura’s How to be a Rainbow - I love the minimal cosmic nature of Ashley’s macros.
John Mortara’s Cutty Spot Interview - I love all of the cutty spot video response interviews, but I find myself periodically watching John’s - it feels like a poem or something to me.
Nosaj Thing ft. Toro y Moi - TRY - Listen to this REALLY loud on some potent speakers, REPEATEDLY.
All of Stephen Michael McDowell’s & Chris Dankland’s Internet Activity! Chris Dankland hustles hard on keeping up with poetry/lit coming out of the internet culture(s). Stephen’s keen insight/articulation never fails to impress/engage me. Check out his MAMMAL project.
Austin Islam’s 'A Tumblr Note’ on Everyday Genius - All of the videos everyday genius put up during this time were great. For some reason Austin’s made me feel the most.
Pop Serial 4 - There are like 35 writers in this, some of whom are my favorite around. Plus one of Heiko’s ebooks serves as the final piece. I like how STDierks released each person’s work gradually day by day.
Carolyn DeCarlo & Jackson Nieuwland’s Twilight Zone - Jackson & Carolyn always take risks & are fresh & unique because of that. I love many of the poems in this ebook & enjoy the clever interaction it demands from the reader.
Everything from NAP - I enjoy all things Chad Redden.
The Advent of Narrator - The ambient & beautiful sounds from scott irvine, nicholas lowery & nathan springer.
All Things Hunter Payne - “We will still have people who continue to write manuscripts that are turned into printed books that will be sold in bookstores, but a new kind of writer or literary artist is going to emerge (and already has been emerging), and what this type of person produces will be interesting too. I see these people constructing themselves more as ‘personae’ than as ‘authors’, but I don’t mean ‘personae’ in an easy way, or in a pejorative sense. I mean it in the sense that the careers these people will construct for themselves will arrive through a kind of eccentric mastery of several different avenues of internet media.” - Edward Mullany
Diane Marie’s No Man’s Land is an Island - love this little ebook! especially how she plays with space on the page.
Caleb Hildenbrandt’s I Say These Things to You - These are definitely some of my favorite macros I encountered this year.
All things Michael Hessel-Mial - from his macros to his critical commentary to his curating of INTERNET POETRY, MHM’s work is always something I look forward to.
All things Bob Schofield! - Bob is by far one of my favorite living artist writers that I’ve met on the internet (& in general).
James Ganas’ & Penny Goring’s Work - two of my favorite, along with kelly schirmann, in the game of pairing visual w/ text.
Mia Wyatt’s Instagram - Mia is a friend of mine & her photos are fantastic. She also makes incredible paintings - I’m trying to convince her to make her own art website.
Anhvu Buchanan’s The Disordered - ‘it’s like music in that it creates a rhythm, patterns of repeated images / ideas, & the reader can tune into it & they pick up on it pretty quick i think […] & as you go i can start varying the pattern & plugging things in & switching things around […] on the one hand the reader’s expectations are met, but then on the other hand their expectations are confounded […] because I’m altering the pattern in this way that is surprising. they’re always a little off-footing, but they kind of know what is going on. that is ideal’ - these words from Bob Schofield serve as an apt description of Anhvu’s book to me.
Everything PLAIN WRAP - plain wrap press has built its pervading presence on the internet this year. Not only does it put out great books that look beautiful, it created an online lit mag this year, as well as a 'trailer park’ dedicated to showcasing interesting book trailers.
I Love You, Before Long I Die - As Boost House’s first physical book release, this book contains lines, fragments, stanzas, & whole poems selected by Steve Roggenbuck. For those of you who, like me, already love Whitman, this book packages some Whitman’s most exciting work conveniently into one location. For those of you who are not very familiar with Whitman, this book serves as an effective introduction.
Carrie Lorig’s NODS - Carrie’s poetry is excitingly playful. This book plays with form, surprising imagery/turns of phrase, & (ir)reverence. As Evan Bryson says about nods, “This fluctuation in scale, its insistence on rhyming physically and materially disparate forces, of objects, of states, cores out an ordinary-seeming enough romance of dissapointment and confusion, of miscommunication, into an aria of lacerative twangs, an epic of geologic rumbles.”