Stranger Than Bushwick

April 17th, 2015 | Print | 0 Comments

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I was at MOCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) Fest last weekend and it was glorious. There were two or three floors of independent comics, a little exhibit of great comic artwork, and a beautiful rooftop where everyone could chill, read, talk, and enjoy the spring. I would’ve loved to just stay there and soak it all in for hours but unfortunately my law school reading doesn’t read itself :( But while I was there I picked up a couple comics, including one that I loved too much to pass up: Jeremy Nguyen‘s Stranger Than Bushwick. (It didn’t hurt that he said I looked like Liev Schreiber, who I think is a super cool actor)

Stranger Than Bushwick is a short, humorous comic of little vignettes depicting life in Bushwick in 2015. So basically, yeah, it’s making fun of hipsters, but it does so from the ground floor of hipsterdom – which is basically what Bushwick is right now – so it’s not just the general stereotypes, but specifically Bushwick hipsters under the microscope. It also pays a lot of attention to the hook up culture in Bushwick, and let’s be honest, that’s what most peeps in their 20s (or early 30s) are most concerned with.

While Nguyen is poking fun at everything from the increasing ‘whiteness’ of the neighbourhood to the never-ending issues around paying rent in New York, he also can’t help but capture some of the beauty of Bushwick life, like the scrappy way in which life functions, especially with regard to parties, dating and art.

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You can see many of Nguyen’s comics here at Bushwick Daily.

Moon King

April 16th, 2015 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

The Woodheads are back.

A little over a week ago, Airick Woodhead, released his second full-length album as Doldrums on Sub Pop. I haven’t made it all the way through that album, The Air Conditioned Nightmare, but the couple songs off it I heard sounded pretty badass. Moon King Daniel Woodhead‘s dream-pop project with Maddy Wilde - also just put out their album Secret Life the other day (the 14th) via Last Gang. Both Torontonian bros (admittedly Airick is based in Montreal these days…) are playing with their respective outfits in New York/Brooklyn this weekend. I’ll be part of the Canadian ex-pat attendance crew at one of those shows, provided I can get a ticket or something.

Also here’s music…

ZOHARA

April 15th, 2015 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

Every now and then something comes out of Tel Aviv to remind the rest of the world that it’s actually a pretty cool place. ZOHARA‘s new indie-electro banger “Bass & Drum” and its hipster-y accompanying video take on that task this week and do a fairly good job.

Mune

April 13th, 2015 | Mp3 Posts | 0 Comments

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Six piece Toronto dream-pop peeps Mune just  unleashed this cool song via Exclaim. It’s off an album called Falling Through that they’re dropping June 6th. Not only is my longtime peer Eytan Tobin a member of the band, but their album was produced by another great Toronto indie scene fixture, Beliefs/Candle Recording‘s Josh Korody. With a cast like that you just can’t go wrong.

Salt Of The Earth

April 7th, 2015 | Film | 0 Comments

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Salt of the Earth is German director Wim Wenders‘ incredible documentary (co-directed with Juliano Ribeiro Selgado) about the life and work of Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Selgado. The film is the first I’ve seen of Wenders’ documentaries. I never knew that Wenders, like fellow German director Werner Herzog, actually directed a lot of documentaries in addition to his fictional feature films. And not only is Wenders similar to Herzog in that respect, but the two seem to share a fascination with those who live their lives close to edge of human experience. In Salt of the Earth, Wenders’ subject Selgado journeys to remote locations in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Siberia and other places, to study humans and animals whose lives radically differ from the most of ours in the West in their constant proximity to nature, death, and suffering.

Selgado was born on a farm near a small town in Brazil. He went to university to become an economist, and while there he became involved in leftist student politics and met Lelia, the woman who would become his future wife. In the late 60s, he and Lelia fled Brazil for Paris, for fear of political oppression. There, Selgado decided to abandon his work as an economist and become a professional photographer. Though he began this career simply by taking pictures of sports stuff and weddings, he soon garnered attention when he travelled to Africa and later South America to photograph the struggles of those living there, including various native communities in the latter.

After many years of travel and work, including photographing the Rwandan Genocide and the burning of the oil fields in Kuwait, Selgado was exhausted from the sheer amount of human suffering he witnessed. On account of a decline in his father’s health, he returned to his family farm in Brazil. There, with his wife and family, he was able to revitalize the forests surrounding it that had been nearly completely destroyed from years of environmental abuse. The effort inspired him to turn to nature photography, in which he found solace and hope for humanity after years of despair as a result of witnessing so many atrocities.

Between the artistry of the photographs, the study of Selgado himself – portrayed as something of an angelic, Buddha-like old man – and the monumental world events he witnessed, all of which are depicted in the film, Salt of the Earth is at once beautiful, tragic, epic and astounding. I’ve never been a big fan of or expert on photography, but I’m not sure anyone could remain unmoved by Selgado’s photographs as shown in the film, with all the stories and commentary that accompany them. And like Selgado himself, the tone of the film is never overbearing, but calm, understated, contemplative, and of great depth.