Often using esoteric symbols and astrological references, New York-based artist Frank Haines works in a variety of media, including photography, performance, music, and sculpture. He received his MFA from San Francisco State University and has recently exhibited at MoMA PS1, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna. Frank also performs with Chris Kachulis and Reuben Lorch-Miller as the trio Blanko and Noiry.
Frank Haines, Untitled, 2010. Archival pigment print, 30 x 30”. Edition of 3 + 2 AP. Courtesy of the artist and Lisa Cooley Fine Art.
Julia Sarr Jamois snapped by Candice Lake as part of Vogue Australia’s Paris Fashion Week street style gallery.
Image by Candice Lake.
BCBG Spring 2012
View our lovely (interactive!) map of this election’s 16 battleground states, including demographics. See it here.
Another great newly installed piece on the D-line in Brooklyn is located at Bay 50th Street station where artist Dan Zeller created Internal Connectivity. Known for his obsessive abstract drawings, Zeller addresses the connection between the lives of the people to their urban neighborhood. He studied local satellite imagery and biological systems throughout Brooklyn, and then interpreted into colorful abstract patterns. The piece holds an organic quality that is aided with the medium of glass, as strong light in the station allows the images to be visible from the platform and from blocks away.
Above: Dan Zeller, Internal Connectivity. 2012
The best campaign counter-attack video I HAVE EVER SEEN. Obama 2012
”So we’re going to call their BS when we see it and we need your help to call them on it too and set the record straight. So share this, tweet it, facebook it, I keep hearing about tumblr and whatever that is…please use that too. Thank you.”
-Stephanie Cutter / Deputy Campaign Manager at Obama for America.
And a Tumblr shout-out.
Using that Tumblr thing.
Obama is the coolest politician ever! I just wish he was ruling the UK! Fuq da queen
Dear GOD I HAVE WANTED VIDEOS LIKE THIS TO HAPPEN. I’m so fucking tired of smear campaigns.
‘Cuz if they want to get down and dirty, they fuckin’ with the right ones.
I feel like this campaign is gonna get exciting simply because it looks like the Obama campaign is just not going to put up with any bullshit, nonsense, and outright lies.
Obama’s reelection team is amazeballs.
Drake ft. Rihanna - Take Care
Note: No official video for this so I can’t guarantee the stability of the embed: if this video breaks you can try a Youtube search or your favorite streaming service, wait for it to show up on radio, or buy it I guess.
“i’ve loved and i’ve lost”
Take Care has an interestingly convoluted genesis, even by the standards of modern pop. The Brook Benton-written original from 1959, “I’ll Take Care Of You” as sung by Bobby “Blue” Bland, is all liquid vocals and soft double-bass-and-piano, but that strange, unpredictable electric organ (apparently one of the first used on a blues record) screeching and dancing around amps up the menacing aura that the slow, deliberate pace of blues can so easily engender.
“I’ll Take Care Of You” was a very minor hit in 1960, but progressed to be a minor blues standard, being covered by everyone from Etta James to Elvis Costello. In 2010, next to do so was jazz poet and proto-hip-hop deity Gil Scott-Heron, probably most famous for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. His version was released on his final album I’m New Here, his first recording after a sixteen-year gap, released just fifteen months before his death. Gil Scott-Heron’s take is much more gravelly of course, and the organ’s been traded for pizzicato strings (a downgrade, in my view), but there’s still plenty of sinister overtones, particularly in the extremely sparse percussion, just a single muffled kickdrum that sometimes drops out entirely, like the footsteps of your stalker.
Gil Scott-Heron died in May 2011. Prior to that, though, came We’re New Here, a remix album created by “Jamie xx” of well-regarded-by-indie-types check-out-all-this-space London pop band The xx. The remix proffered there dropped two letters from the title and also essentially all of the original instrumentation, although the descending deep-house-piano loop can’t help but recall the blues piano riffs of Bland’s version. The kickdrum’s moved up a gear, and for the strings we now have a ultro-reverb guitar: prettier but less menacing, it defines the space around Gil’s voice, close in, fluttering, abstract, a tapestry of thought.
The major new addition is a chopped-and-screwed-and-synthed-up bridge, Gil’s odd pronunciation of “eyes” from moments earlier cut out and abstracted until it becomes a sort of tribal chant, over which Gil’s voice is pasted together into a refrain: “don’t. tell me. i don’t care. if you hurt. I don’t. tell you. you don’t care. it feels good.” The true thoughts of the character breaking through? The voiced denial of the woman addressed? The underlying voice the people around us? They way the voice clips around, heard straining through the synths and the “eyes” chants, perhaps argues for the latter, but we have few clues.
All this finally brings us to Drake and Rihanna, and “Take Care”: both cover and sampler of the Jamie xx remix of the Gil-Scott Heron cover of the Bobby “Blue” Bland version of the Brook Benton blues song.
“Take Care” gives us three main changes over Jamie xx. The first is dropping some of the lyrics; the second is giving those existing lyrics mostly to a female vocalist, Rihanna; and the third is an almost entirely de novo Drake contribution of two verses of his smooth-milled half-sung half-rap.
Drake is far from my favourite rap or R&B artist working today - I’ve never cared much for his voice, whose thinness and nasality can easily grate, not helped by his constant whiny self-obsession. Here with his tempo switch-ups and melodic finishes to lines he sounds like, of all people, Craig David. Like Craig David, it is hard to take Drake completely seriously as a white knight savior of women - quite apart from the inherent sexism in that narrative, we know too much about what they’re usually really after.
At bottom this is a song about a man wanting to save a woman, heal her from the loss of some love, and Drake’s lyric runs with that pretty straightforwardly. We get more detail: Rihanna’s character apparently has a poor reputation - “I asked about you and they told me things” - but Drake is keen to stress that he doesn’t care - “what’s a life with no fun” - and that he shares a similarly complex past - “you’ve seen all my mistakes”. In sum I guess Drake gets a pass on the sexual politics today.
Cause that truth hurts and those lies heal
And you can’t sleep thinking that he lies still
So you cry still - Big girls all get a little taste
The verse contains some strong passages: “it’s my birthday I’ll get high if I want to” is amusing if something of a non sequitur - but my favorite is definitely what I’ve quoted above. The play on “lies still” is the key part, but I also like “lies heal” as the counterpart oxymoron to “truth hurts”, and the denial of “big girls don’t cry” is wonderfully phrased.
Even with Drake putting in relatively strong work, though, it’s Rihanna who fascinates. The simple device of putting the original lyrics into the woman’s mouth deeply complicates the narrative. Who is Rihanna singing to? Singing as? Is she singing to Drake’s character, emphasizing the shared qualities of their relationship? Is she inhabiting Drake’s character and singing to the woman? Is she the woman, singing to herself - mouthing along to Drake’s entreaties in agreement, or perhaps just resignation?
Rihanna’s voice is a great gift to ambiguity. The flatness she often achieves can be taken for almost anything: disinterest, numbness, sullenness, caginess, weariness, wariness, opacity. You can pick your own interpretation, perhaps, but there’s definitely a lack of joy at her alleged rescue. Does she anticipate its failure? Is one man more or less like another at this point, the character so numbed to heartbreak?
Perhaps most telling is a modification to the lyric: each Rihanna chorus ends with “I’ve loved and I’ve lost” - the follow-up line “the same as you” excised, as if to deny the connection of shared experience that Drake so stresses. The original aphorism is “better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all”, but one wonders if the Rihanna character agrees. More things can be lost than just a love, after all - you can lose self-respect, your mind, the game, your soul, yourself.
Amidst all this, piano loops start to sound stuck in a vicious cycle, and the chanting sample - explicitly identified as a “they” by Drake - becomes the relentless battering of the indifference and hedonism - “you don’t care. it feels good” - of surrounding culture.
Perhaps the best thing about this song’s many versions is how the title has slowly telescoped down. The words “Take Care” are themselves ambiguous - we take care of each other (compassion), but we also take care crossing the street (caution), and take care of business (execution). If the song has a message, perhaps it is this: we should take care not to let those three become the same.
Thanks to my brother Dan Lawrence for help with the research and my fiancee for help with lyrical interpretation.
Bruno Mars and Joan Smalls Photographed by Peter Lindbergh for the June Issue of Vogue
Such pleasure, would be his beer substance. This also shows how a women can be presented as a trophy. This means like beer, a women is cherished and rubbed down because of their likings.