Sunday, October 25, 2009

Art Quickie #6 - Karen Sargsyan

Firstly, sorry for the very gray photo. this work is much more vibrant and pretty, but my cell phone is not a good camera. Look here for better pics: Karen Sargsyan or search.

Ambach & Rice is the new hot gallery in town, if you haven't heard. I stopped by with Nicole on Saturday to check out this show Abroad Understanding, by Karen Sargsyan. Very strong show! My first impression of the work was that the figures had a very NW coast Salish and also Inuit feel to them...I thought it likely this was a local, maybe Vancouver artist...however I was off base on that.

Karen hails from Armenia, by way of the Netherlands. His figures tell the story of a usurped king. Clearly borrowing on myth and legend from several sources. Really I didn't get too into the story so much, I just enjoyed the beauty and craftsmanship. Karen is a master of cut paper, a trend in recent contemporary art that is getting more and more sophisticated. I can only imagine the challenges of trying to pack up and ship these fragile creations!

Okay, this is an art quickie, right? So i better cut it off here. However, let me add that A & R are starting off strong in Ballard (they've taken over the OKOK space) and they might be a strong start of making a case for Ballard (and Cap Hill) to become replacements for the Pioneer Square scene, as downtown continues to push galleries further and further away. This show is one of the stronger gallery shows I have seen in recent memory, it's a museum quality exhibition, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out in Ballard.

Monday, October 19, 2009

ElectroPopShoeGazerIndieHipHopRock 1

Am I dying a blogger death by only updating every 3 weeks? Probably. Oh well, who cares.

I keep wanting to steer this blog towards art related subjects only, but I just don't think it will happen, and for now, I'm going to stick with my random eclectic musings on music, film, "culture" and occasionally art. Which pretty much means lots of reviews of music and film. Sorry if that bores y'all! I'll try to get stronger content on here in the future.

Speaking of stronger content, have you seen the latest City Arts Magazine? There's a nice piece in there on Sunny Day Real Estate by yours truly.

One more thing, before I get to my reviews "ElectroPopShoeGazerIndieHipHopRock" is going to be the name of all my music posts, joining Art Quickies and The Current Cinema as repeating columns.

New Built To Spill?!!! How come I didn't know this was happening until I saw the record in the store? Have I lost touch completely? Wait, don't answer that. There is No Enemy is excellent. Easily their best album since Keep It Like A Secret. Doug and the guys seem to have settled comfortable into the organic jam session song writing style that they used exclusively on the last release. This album brings more flowing, nice pretty songs with that strongly familiar BTS sound, but it's tight and strong front to back. It's a mature work from one of the most honest bands working today. 4 Molos

I have to admit that I don't really understand what Islands are all about but they have released one of the catchiest pop indie rock albums of recent memory. I had some of these songs rolling around in my noggin almost immediately after first lesson. The album, in question, is called Vapours and it is very good. It's a bit glam, almost silly, but somehow smart and sentimental too. A couple of misses on the record (like the song with the voice-effect that as Nicole says, only belongs on Daft Punk records) but even the misses are really damn catchy. Something must be in the water in Quebec because Montreal has been one of the best music scenes in the world over the last few years. 3.5 Molos

Local darlings Grand Hallway released their second album Promenade not long ago. Tomo Nakayama is one hell of a song writer. There's no getting around it. Sometimes listening to this band makes me think of a more humble Elton John with quirky orchestral elements. All indie pop sweetness. Love songs. Will bands ever tire of writing love songs? Would any one want them to stop? Likely the answer is no. 3.5 Molos

Kittens and puppies.