In a time of digital hyperacceleration and an ever-shifting technocultural landscape, we encounter an influx of trends, microgenres, and fads. But how do we talk about music when so much of what we listen to now feels so transitory and historically inconsequential? Marvin Lin, editor-in-chief of Tiny Mix Tapes, explores our critical voice in the face of such expiring aesthetics.
The Synaesthetic World of Aki Onda
The Green Room
The sound art of “accidental musician” Aki Onda has multiple parallels to the works of artists and thinkers outside of the world of music. Onda’s fascination with the Walkman and its ability to rebroadcast “private soundscapes into a shared public space” brings to mind the three-dimensional assemblages of Robert Rauschenberg, as well as the theoretical concepts of musicologist Shuhei Hosokawa.
Burn the Maps
Art of the Rural’s founder on artists using digital space to redraw a geography of the cultural center
No !%@#s Given
“The web is where the exceptional force the hands of the famed and established to recognize they’ve been pushing things forward, without their blessing or awareness,” writes Andrew Flanagan of thestand4rd, the St. Paul independent hip hop/R&B quartet that has thrust itself into the limelight—even attracting the attention of Kanye West—in the 11 months since uploading its first single on SoundCloud.
Art News from Elsewhere
The Library of Congress is adding 25 more recordings to its archive, something it’s done annually since 2000. The “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” new works including Radiohead’s OK Computer, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and Joan Baez.
Art News from Elsewhere
“Here we were at this festival devoted to supposedly the hippest things in music, at this night devoted to one of the most blogged-about music collectives of the past year, where just about the least-cool song on earth had been turned into a touchstone.”
Five Decades, Six Galaxies, and Counting: The AACM at 50
Musical revolutions tend to have a spontaneous outlier quality about them, writes Greg Tate. Fifty years ago in Chicago, far from the Manhattan clubs that drew jazz luminaries like John Coltrane, Sun Ra, and Ornette Coleman, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was born. Since then the group has carried “freedom swang” around the globe and, through a new wave of visionaries, into the future.
Visceral Live Therapy: A Babes in Toyland Comeback
Paul M. Davis
“I said I’d never, ever do a reunion,” guitarist and singer Kat Bjelland told Rolling Stone recently. And yet this June, after a 14-year hiatus, her seminal punk band Babes in Toyland is returning to the city of its inception to play Rock the Garden 2015. Paul M. Davis looks at the obstacles the band overcame to get here and the “visceral live therapy”—in Bjelland’s words—the reunion represents.
Rock the Garden: 30 Facts about the 2015 Lineup
Modest Mouse’s UFO encounter. Belle & Sebastian’s children’s-hospital cover of “Don’t Stop Believing.” Babes in Toyland’s friendship with Cindy Sherman. thestand4rd’s Kanye connection. In announcing the Rock the Garden lineup we embraced the festival’s garden locale and did some digging. Here’s the full roster for 2015’s two-day festival, along with all the weird, wonderful facts we’ve unearthed.