Caught in the Net: Capital gains in West's world
Friday 12 March 2010
For one so consumed by good design, Kanye West's pioneering website, kanyeuniversecity.com, had become rather dated looking of late. Last week, Kanye relaunched his web presence with kanyewest.com, and indeed, it's a far prettier and better laid out affair. He's split the site into various areas of specific interest, so now, if don't want to see the pictures he posts of scantily clad women or follow his musings on ergonomic chairs, but do want to see what he has to say about art or fashion, or indeed music, you can do so with greater ease. Kanye was also fond of all caps-based personal rants in the past, and this has been built this into the new site as a knowing aesthetic feature. A recent entry contained such an outpouring, which concluded with this statement (I've removed the excessive capital letters): "The music you turn up loud is your opinion. For most people it's easier to just agree. For me the hardest thing is to 'just' agree and that is what sparks creativitiy. The feeling that something can be better, the feeling that something's missing, the feeling that something's needed."
Walk this way
On 1 March, Nineties alt-rock heroes Pavement launched their long-awaited reunion in New Zealand. On Twitter, novelist and journalist Colson Whitehead aptly labelled the comeback as the "we have (ironic) mortgages now tour". They don't reach the UK until May but in the meantime you can get a taster of what to expect with videos of the tour's first few shows from New Zealand and Australia – the quality varies – bit.ly/bAPZG and bit.ly/bKdsIb. Meanwhile, Pavement guitarist Scott Kannberg aka Spiral Stairs has long kept a blog as a solo artist. Now, with Pavement back in full swing, he's writing and posting photos from behind the scenes – spiralstairsmusic.blogspot.com.
Quest for Twitter glory
Questlove, not content with being the drummer and creative spearhead of The Roots, is also one of the most active musicians on Twitter (@questlove). Lately he's been posting links to MP3s of music he's been enjoying on the site swift.fm, last week including a series of Motown instrumentals that he described as his "prize possessions". There are some great tunes to hear, and it's interesting to see the creative foundations of a fine musician: swift.fm/questlove.
There's something about Murphy
James Murphy, taking time out from making the new LCD Soundsystem LP, knocked out a soundtrack for the forthcoming Ben Stiller/Noah Baumbach film 'Greenberg'. The first track from the drama to do the rounds is "Oh You (Christmas Blues)" and it's an arresting but downbeat effort – hear it at bit.ly/d1hyli. The slow-moving number calls to mind 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band' and a less pompous 'Dark Side of the Moon'.
Swing out, sister
The menacing art-rock of Liars' new album (their fifth) 'Sisterworld' is a fine addition to their always adventurous body of work. The record was released this week and is streaming at myspace. com/liarsliarsliars. Matching the dark sounds is some eerie artwork, a strange website, thesisterworld.com, and an odd video for opening single "Scissor" (bit.ly/aVHpad), all suggesting a lost at sea/deserted island motif. The album comes with a second disc of remixes of the LP by the likes of Thom Yorke, Devendra Banhart and Tunde Adebimpe – hear two of the tracks at bit.ly/93Ncth and bit.ly/9lnEm0. I'll also post a stream of another, Atlas Sound's ambient take on the album's third song, at independent.co.uk/lryan.
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