Brooklyn’s Ivy Meadows — aka Camilla Padgitt-Coles — is one of a growing number of millennial videographers busy blurring the lines between documentary video and artistic collaboration. This “visual dub” of Teengirl Fantasy‘s performance at Panda Bear‘s #neverforget 9/11 show at Governor’s Island is the last in a series of visual interventions beginning with the live spectacle itself. During Teengirl’s performance, Camilla brought out the ole’ smoke machine and projected a 13-minute demo-reel combining footage shot specifically for the event with warped clips from an old nature documentary. Passed through a handful of woozy, candy-colored manipulations in post-production, the raw tape for this live video alternates between the physical presence of Nick Weiss and Logan Takahashi, the demo-reel, and a giant live feed of the musicians performing in real-time. Camilla sums up the surreality of the evening in words: “Panda Bear’s set looked like a fog color explosion. It was crazy because the 9/11 lights were right next to the island. And there were all these little silver spectres floating around in the light… they looked like ghosts.” (more…)
This past Sunday was jam-packed, but I am glad that I got to stop by Newtown Radio for an hour and squeeze some sound files into this most musty and archival of Arthur Radio episodes. Among the transmission’s many mind-warping attributes, DJ Ivy Meadows (Camilla Padgitt-Coles) took a dip into her bottomless vault of spoken text recordings, which includes the sound of Freud’s own voice and a 2003 home recording by the legendary American poet/filmmaker/wanderer Ira Cohen. In the poem “Atlantis Express,” excerpted below, Ira provides as fitting an introduction to the episode as any:
Let’s take a silver train underground
to the back streets of Atlantis
thru the corrugated iron roots &
then to the peak itself, to the
saddle of the last ridge past strewn
finally meandering thru cascading snow
wearing miner’s hats on the perpendicular
dark night &
going up to the edge of the Southern Cross
where we reach at last the pure white
glistening glaciers &
begin to chant over bones in rags
Armless in the sticky substance how could
they ever have had a chance?
Permission will not be required
only poems of blood offered to
the memory of TREE
It is not ice which is eternal
but the fury of the absolute
separating the void from the spirit
uplifting like life when it is used
that is, Radical Love — & again, we
are reduced to living beings
Caught by the instant
we are taken away
We live in the imprint of the flame
& we are helmeted within the internal
where the ray begins its passage
across the indignant sky
Vain clouds uncaring in a tangle of
culminate in the hermaphroditic mirror…
“Arthur Radio Transmission #13: Clouds in the Hermaphroditic Mirror”
Scene 1, Off Air In which DJs Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites arrive at the Newtown Radio studio ready to set up but are hypnotized by a 25-minute bongo-laden siren dirge — Dreamcolour’s “Spiritual Celebration” — at the tail end of Sunday Brunch with Chocolate Bobka. Unbeknownst to them, the song spills fifteen minutes into the beginning of their set.
Scene 2, Aside Meanwhile, Peter Pearson, Derek Muro, and Lorna Krier of Brooklyn’s Love Like Deloreans steal away from their home base — a renovated closet space in Bushwick containing some 20 synthesizers — load half of them into a Volvo station wagon, and appear at the station door, successfully breaking the spell that has been cast over Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites.
Scene 1, On Air Still haunted by the specter of the siren from Act 1, Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites attempt to communicate their experience by layering ambient musics from lands as far and wide as ‘70s Germany, early 21st Century Northampton, and present-day Canada into a single organic continuum.
Scene 2, Aside In which Love Like Deloreans set up all seven of the synthesizers they brought in the drowsy blink of a Sunday afternoon eye, causing Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites to suspect that that they too possess supernatural powers. Love Like Deloreans do their best to assuage their fears, suggesting that they are simply “putting the punk back in punctuality.” Exeunt Chocolate Bobka.
Scene 1, On Air Love Like Deloreans perform the first half of their in-studio. Dancing, Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites attempt to document the event through Blackberry photos, Tweets, and a FlipCam.
Scene 2, On Air Love Like Deloreans pause to participate in an informal Q&A with Visitation Rites, touching upon their origins as a group, their cohabitation of the classical world and Brooklyn DIY, their roots in New York minimalism and Kosmische, and why the best way to listen to their music is while traveling cross-country.
Scene 3, On Air, Love Like Deloreans perform the second half of their in-studio. Dancing resumes. Ivy Meadows films an excerpt of their set through the anamorphic lens of an oddly shaped water bottle, the results of which can be seen below.
Something I’ve discovered in my 25 years on this planet is that when life begins to feel like a tilt-a-whirl that you can’t jump off, contemplating the possibility of life on other planets is a great way to shuttle back down to earth. Case in point: if you take a moment or two out of your day to consider the fact that somewhere, perhaps trillions of light-years away, there is another sentient creature sitting there wondering whether you exist, and if you in turn are thinking about him, then that swiftly approaching tax deadline or drunken romantic mishap really won’t seem all that important. You might even be able to say to yourself that in the grand scheme of things (and I’m talking the REALLY grand scheme of things), they don’t matter at all. After all, we should probably just be grateful that out of all the atoms in the solar system, the atoms inside our bodies just happen to have drifted into this here gravitational orb, and that the planet earth just happens to be endowed with a mysterious thing called life. Whatever that is. If you’d like to try this technique out sometime, Ivy Meadows, Harry Painter, and I recommend Arthur Radio Voyage #7 as a soundtrack. Just remember to bring your space goggles, and maybe some dehydrated ice-cream for a snack.
“Arthur Radio Voyage #7: Alien Receptor” (02.28.10)
Sunday was a very special day for Arthur Radio. We never thought that co-host Hairy Painter would return to Brooklyn after spending a month building Mardi Gras floats and dancing to “sissy bounce” music in Nola, but he surprised us at the station door — out of breath, suitcase in hand — right when we were about to go on. And we never thought we would be able to cram one sound engineer, one baby, five DJs, half a dozen synthesizers, and all six members of Excepter inside the Newtown Radio studio, but somehow we pulled the whole production off without a hitch. Following the release of their new double album Presidence on Paw Tracks last Tuesday, (“Presidence Day observed”), Excepter graced the Arthur airwaves with a set so on point it caused unnoticed seismic shifts beneath a 24-hour techno-rave in Istanbul. Visitation Rites engaged Jon Fell Ryan in a wobbly Q&A, and Ivy Meadows and Hairy Painter piled on layer upon layer of wax ellipses to set the scene… (more…)
Collage: In-studio photo by Anna Gonick and artwork by Wish
Last Sunday, Visitation Rites returned to Arthur Radio to celebrate the astronomical conjunction of the Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, and President’s day, which just so happened be the release date for Excepter‘s almost eponymous new double L.P. Presidence (preview inside). Rather than make love songs the ordre du jour, we thought we would simply regale you with some tunes that have been pulling our heart strings of late. In the second hour, Zeljko McMullen of the music/visual/art collective Shinkoyo, and founder of Brooklyn’s Paris London West Nile DIY performance space, took us a thousand leagues under the sea of pop musical detritus with his electronic solo project, Wish. (more…)
Postcard for Walt Disney’s Tomorrowland Autopia, 1955
Trekking in the January sleet into the far corners of darkest Bushwick has its rewards. Last Sunday, McGregor from Chocolate Bobka and I had the pleasure of doing an hour-long guest spot on Arthur Magazine‘s new weekly emission on Brooklyn’s Newtown Radio, broadcast out of a unexpectedly cozy enclave on the fourth floor of an unmarked industrial warehouse. The subject du jour was Retro-Futuristic Utopias, so I arrived at the studio expecting to pull together a spiel on Walt Disney’s Tomorrowland Autopia, the Ecological Art movement of the late 1960s, and Douglas Trumble’s 1971 science-fiction classic Silent Running. Instead, we ended up spinning some warped 21st century psychedelia, eating cookies courtesy Arthur Radio co-host Harry Painter’s grandma, and dancing like the slow section of a slow school. (more…)