Scene Report: Art In The Streets at MOCA~Part 2: More Flicks

Part One: Bam!

Art In The Streets, Geffen Comtemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA, 7/9/11

Steel reeling from this show.  Been having dizzy spells ever since.  It was a lot to take in at one time.  I lost a bunch of photos (47 to be exact) in the transfer from camera to storage space.  Good stuff too.  Oh well, I'm over it...sorta.  If New York gets their shit together, I'll go over there and check it out again. 


Record Review: Backslider/Nimbus Terrifix split

Various Artists-Backslider & Nimbus Terrifix split (Give Praise Records)
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank

The vinyl comes in a deep shade of purple with specs of other colors marbleized in.  The album artwork—a Pusshead-inspired drawing of a hand with eyes and a teeth—elicits nostalgia for a bygone era: ‘80s Thrasher Magazine, Metallica before the black album, Vision Street Wear, and hangover-curing breakfast burritos. 
...read the entire review here.


2011 Mid-Year Best-Of: Albums

Top 5 Albums of 2011 So Far
An Excerpt Form 2011 Mid-Year Review
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank

Beastie Boys-Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
Old-School hip-hop…scratch that, rap music resurfacing at a time when contemporary hip-hop is in dire need of actual rappers. Complete with all the obscure cultural references (Kenny Rogers Roasters, André Leon Telly, Jerome Crooks, Splenda, etc.) and witty humor you’ve come to expect from the Beasties. Sample Adrock lyric—“The proof is in the pudding/And the pudding is in my pants/You’ve heard me rap/Now watch me dance.”

Mauser-End Of The Line
Out of Gainsville, FL comes a band of punks whom seem hellbent on injecting a much needed shot of adrenaline into D-beat. This 7”—a superbly executed raw and noisy affair—affirms there is still plenty of originality left in the genre. That being said; those who fell in love with the self-titled EP by Japan’s Mörpheme would be equally as enamored with this record.

Sims-Bad Time Zoo
More than a half-decade since the release of his debut album, the veteran Minneapolis MC returns with venomous tongue-lashings directed at both the over-caffeinated, plugged-in, self-serving masses and the man in the mirror—all laid upon some of the most innovative and hard-hitting beats this side of the Mississippi, courtesy of fellow Doomtree member, Lazerbeak.

Cülo-Toxic Vision
Five songs of angry hardcore punk rock, brought by four white dudes from the suburbs, whose band name means “butthole” in Spanish. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Random Axe-Random Axe
A project several years in the making Random Axe finally surfaces to much deserved fanfare. Random Axe is an all-star trio consisting of Guilty Simpson, Sean Price and Black Milk—three men who have earned their stripes in the fiercely independent hip-hop underworld. On their self-titled debut Simpson and Price lay down verses of gritty street life on top of Milk’s electrified boom-bap—resulting in a product worthy of the anticipatory timline.

Read our entire 2011 Mid-Year Review on Scene Point Blank.


2011 Mid-Year Best-Of: Slept On in 2010

Top 5 Records We Slept On And Missed in 2010
An Excerpt from 2011 Mid-Year Review
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank.

Ghostface Killah-Apollo Kids
Dropping in right at the end of the year (released on 12/21), Ghost returns with an album of bangers not heard since 2006's Fishscale—gritty, graphic, passionate, and, well, real. Guest spots from a bevy of storytellers, including Busta Rhymes, The Game, Redman, and fellow Wu members and affiliates, matched with soul and funk-sampling production from the likes of Jake One, Yakub, Pete Rock and others make for an undeniably true hip-hop album. Standout tracks are “In the Park”—a back-in-the-day jam that features the Roots’ Black Thought spitting rhymes harder than you’d think he’s capable of—and “How You Like Me Baby”—which has one of the best Ghost choruses since Fishscale’s “Be Easy.”

Kylesa-Spiral Shadow
Another late year release (10/25); Spiral Shadow shows Kylesa picking up where they left off on Static Tensions—continuing to shed the crust-tinged edges of their past; delving further into progressive and psychedelic areas. This is the third and cleanest-sounding Kylesa record that has been produced in-house by guitarist Phillip Cope. While an emphasis on flawless production often times produces disappointing results in the world of sludge and doom, it’s a totally natural progression for Kylesa. And if you have any doubts as to whether they can still bring the lumber, one listen to this record will prove otherwise. Aside from including Kylesa’s most palatable song to date— “Don’t Look Back”—Spiral Shadow is quite the thunderous project; thanks in large part to the dual drum attack of Carl McGinley and Tyler Newberry.

Men’s Interest-More War
Shaun Dean, of Cold Sweat and Repercussions fame, returns fronting a new band—the menacing Men’s Interest. More War is somewhat mysterious, as there are no song titles—just numbers, and very little information other than the name of the band and the title of the record. Dean’s vocals are more penetrating and maniacal than ever before—imagine GG Allin and H.R. tongue-kissing each other, with melted cheese stuck in their throats. If that description makes you feel queasy you might want to take an antacid before listening to the record because it doesn’t get any less forbidding. More War is seven songs of raw, noisy hardcore that will leave you feeling sketched out yet yearning for more—the vinyl equivalent of methamphetamine.

OFF!-First Four EPs
A hardcore punk rock supergroup of sorts, OFF! Features members of Red Kross, Burning Brides and Rocket From The Crypt, fronted by former Black Flag/Circle Jerks front man and current punk historian/know-it-all, Keith Morris. With no song clocking over the minute and a half mark, Morris has never sounded more urgent, and dare I say, youthful. The production of these songs strikes a perfect balance between old and new—the guitars are clean and loud, but Morris’ vocals are allowed to crack and pop the microphone in a way that recalls the raw energy of early Black Flag. First Four EPs is just that—a collection of four different EPs. They come nicely packaged, complete with artwork courtesy of Raymond Pettibone, who is responsible for creating much of the iconic imagery of the era of hardcore that the members of OFF! first cut their chops in.

Out of Boston, MA comes yet another bad-ass hardcore band. Short, fast, loud, heavy, raw, noisy, ripping, raging, yada-yada, you know the drill—there are only so many ways to describe this stuff; all of them fitting for this six-song demo by Unperson. Their tunes are quick, fevering jaunts, done in less than a minute, with vocals that are more shouty than they are screamy. Think female-fronted Capitalist Casualties or Dropdead. If you look up “hardcore demo tape” in the encyclopedia, you’d find this. By the time you read this Unperson may have disbanded. But fret not; Krystina and another member are in a band called Curmudgeon, which is in the same vein, and have already released a demo.

Please continue to Scene Point Blank to read the rest of our 2011 Mid-Year Review feature.


Record Review: Random Axe

Random Axe-Self Titled (Duckdown)
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank.

As the record progresses it becomes clear Guilty Simpson— although the lesser known of the two MCs— is the star of this show. In terms of scope, his topical range reaches further and wider, while Sean Price seems to suffer from an apparent lack of subject matter. Most famously known as a member of the Boot Camp Click, Price is the most gangsterish of the crew and he makes no bones about it. Although his delivery is effective, he doesn’t offer up much other than gun-clap raps. In “Monster Babies” he spits, “I am the pick of the litter/You are the bitch the gets hit and starts snitchin’ on Twitter/Tweedledee-Tweedledumb niggas/When you see P you better have your gun, Nigga.”  ...continue reading after the jump to SPB.


Scene Report: Art In The Streets at MOCA

Art In The Streets, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA, 7/9/11

From the MOCA website: "Art in the Streets is the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art...the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the global movement it has become today...paintings, mixed media sculptures, and interactive installations...will emphasize Los Angeles's role in the evolution of graffiti and street art, with special sections dedicated to seminal local movements such as cholo graffiti and Dogtown skateboard culture. A comprehensive timeline illustrated with artwork, photos, video, and ephemera will provide a historical context for the work."

From the first time I heard about this, I knew there was no way I was going to miss this show. Words can't describe how much stuff is up in here.  Just amazing.  It's like, everything I love about...I don't know...life.  All in one place at one time.  I can't imagine the amount of work that went into putting this together.  Every time I turn the corner, there is something new--something or someone I recognize, some artifact from my youth, something I've only heard about or seen in magazines.  Its like constantly trying to catch your breath but never being able to.  The poor GF is dizzy within' minutes of being in here and it's going to take hours to get through.  There is literally no escape from the imagery--explosions of color, dirt, grime, sound, words, debauchery, etc.  It's swirling all around us. Haze's original sketch of the Beastie Boys Check Your Head logo, Jaime Reid's original Sex Pistols collages, Jean-Michel Basquiat, cholo lettering, Neckface, Craig Stecyk's Dogtown photos, Fab Five Freddy, Bozo Texino, Dash Snow, Rammellzee, Terry Richardson photos from his punk rock teens, Raymond Pettibone, Thrasher Magazine, Estivan Oriel, motorcycle gangs, Banksy, Fairy, McGhee, Os Gemeos...ugh, too many to name.  It's fucking U N B E L I E V A B L E!  Seriously.  I'm having a hard time comprehending it all.

We are being mind-fucked to death so hard that we are coming back to life...

Here's a few thirty some photos so far, but this won't be the last you'll see of Art In The Streets on HDD...

Art In The Streets, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, LA, CA, 7/9/11