If Radiohead were a book, they’d undoubtedly be a literary novel; something lauded by both critics and independent booksellers and, perhaps most importantly, cherished by the type of folks who aren’t afraid of spending time alone, undoubtedly reading literary novels. While there’s (still) something to be said about those who (still) write literary fiction, not to mention folks who (still) find solace in open books, the twain don’t make for a great night out at the arena. Which is to say that Radiohead’s Miami showing would’ve made for great headphone, but it sure didn’t make for great spectacle.
Being one of the world’s Top 3 DJs apparently isn’t enough for Tiësto; nor is cranking out smash tracks with the likes of Steve Aoki, Diplo and Kaskade. Because now the Dutchman has expanded his Club Life brand to include clothing. Yes, the line’s called the CLVB LIFE, and it precedes Tiesto’s own same-named Sirius FM radio station, which launches in early 2012. BlackBook got with the crowd-pleaser and asked him to fill us in.
Can you tell us a bit about the CLVB LIFE line?
Sure, the CLVB LIFE line is a selection of high-end men’s and women’s t-shirts designed for and inspired by the world of electronic music. It is the first line to give the EDM world a voice in the fashion world.
What made you come get into gear?
It is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, especially after having traveled the world on tour and noticed how important style is to my fans. Also, as someone who follows fashion really closely, I was really keen to get creative in that world as well as music.
Where can folks find the threads?
They are available on clublifeclothing.com and at a number of excellent independent retailers throughout the US and Canada, including Atrium, Blooomingdales, Kitson, Simons and quite a few others. It’s great that the line is available initially in these tastemaker retailers.
Any plans to expand that availability even further?
The reaction from retail has been really good, so if we feel like a new shop approaching us is the kind of place where the line would work, then why not! I’d like the line to be as successful as possible.
Isn’t there also a same-named radio station?
Club Life is brand I’ve created which encapsulates a number of elements, from my radio show and podcast, to my touring brand (this year we the Club Life College Invasion tour went to 18 colleges around the US and ended with me playing to 26k in Los Angeles), compilation series and now the CLVB LIFE clothing range. We’ll be adding more sides to Club Life next year.
What else should we know about Tiesto before you go-go?
Well, I’ve had a busy few weeks with the announcement and launch of the clothing line as well as the news that I’m going to be starting my own radio station on Sirius XM in 2012. On the the music front I’ve had a really busy year. To finish it off I’ve just done a remix of the Mission: Impossible theme tune for the new film. With a new album, a second line for CLVB LIFE clothing and much more, 2012 is already looking like my busiest year ever!
Tiësto will perform his new single at the Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Rio premiere, which you can stream here this Wednesday.
Of all the Art Basel action to go down this year, none was more sublime than Moby’s acoustic appearance at Bardot. It wasn’t so much that the joint was packed, mind you (though of course there was that), or that the ticket was one of the hardest to get (though there was that too); it was more that the occasion had an air of utter intimacy nearly impossible to attain in a fair that attracts a hundred-thousand plus. For the chosen few who were lucky enough to make their way through the venue’s door that enchanted evening, the affair will forever be one to remember. That includes Bardot’s owner, Amir Ben-Zion, who is still in some awe over it all.
“Moby was a rare concert,” Ben-Zion says, days after the fact. “You felt like he was performing just for you. It was a smart move for Moby to take advantage of the intimacy of the room. The sound was crisp and meaningful, and the songs that he selected were simply perfect.”
Those songs included a spirited take on Johnny Cash’s immortal “Ring of Fire,” and a stirring rendition of the spiritual mainstay “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?,” which at one particularly poignant point, brought the house down to complete silence. Such a thing happening would be remarkable on any Friday night; that it happened during the mad dash of Basel was a delicious and refreshing surprise.
“He didn’t do what most people would have expected,” Ben-Zion concurs, “but he delivered the kind of evening we all needed. For me it was one of the best moments ever at Bardot; it reminded me why I built the club in the first place.”
Bookending Moby’s magnificent set were two soundslingers of simpatico proportion. The first, Dopestepa, set the stage for the magic; the second, Arthur Baker, brought it all home. Ben-Zion calls both DJ sets “killa.” It’s highly unlikely anyone would disagree.
As you might suspect, landing the man was no easy feat. “We started to “chase” Moby last year, three months prior to Basel 2010,” explains Ben-Zion. “Then Lorraine Lamont of Lola Ink got involved along with our team and the rest as they say is Herstory.”
Lamont also helped secure Saturday night’s smash-and-grab-you. “These kids from Holy Ghost! simply tore the room apart,” says Ben-Zion. “Musically it was a killer night; people just stood there stunned. Imagine Oasis before they were famous… it was that amazing.”
“Lorraine is a force and you want her on your side,” he adds. “She gets things done.”
Moby and Holy Ghost! wrapped a Basel that also featured Macy Gray (who “tore the paper off the walls”) and Neon Indian (“the crowd was high man — in the sky high!”), both of whom turned out exquisite sets specific to Bardot. But Ben-Zion is quick to dispel the notion of utter exclusivity. “We’re just a small bar in the Wynwood man, and we love great music.” Great music indeed.
Photo by Mandon Lovett for Societe Perrier
By now everybody and their brother’s best friend knows Miami and its adjacent Beach is in the midst of another Art Basel. To know that also means to know the ‘hood known as Wynwood, which serves as the heart of Miami’s art scene. At the heart of the heart is the mural-laden wonder called The Wynwood Walls, where 40 of the world’s very best street artists have thrown up their version of the enduring. Ensuring the Walls is as wowful as possible is former Deitch Projects Director of Operations Meghan Coleman, who left New York (where she also co-founded The Hole in order to core Miami. And core Miami she has, and then some.
The brainchild of the ever visionary developer and collector Tony Goldman, who was an early in on the action in both Soho and South Beach, The Walls features works from the wiliest of urban visualists, including Shepard Fairey (who also walled the site’s Wynwood Kitchen and Bar) and Kenny Scharf (who’s brought a bold embellishing to his founding mural), as well as Ron English (who also unleashed his trademark critters) and Futura 2000 (whose place in the genre’s pantheon hasn’t diminished a bit). For this year’s Basel, Goldman and Coleman (who’s actual title is Goldman Properties’ Art Manager), recruited Medvin Sobio of the visual arts collective Viejas Del Mercado, and between the three put together an array as well-rounded as the wild world-at-large.
Among the new crop of keen-eyed ops is the Ukraine’s Interesni Kazki, Mexico’s Sego/Saner/Neuzz, Spain’s Liqen, Portugal’s Vhils, and Brazil’s Nunca. Naturally the U.S. is also well-repped, most notably by L.A.’s Retna (pictured, and this year’s “It” artist who also muralized the Cosmopolitan Vegas parking garage) Brooklyn’s How and Nosm (twins who actually hail from Spain and were reared in Germany). While amped about everyone who made the cut, Coleman is extra-excited to have the brothers on board for Basel.
“The minute I saw the work of How and Nosm I knew it’d be perfect for the Walls,”says Coleman, “so I made they were among the first certainties among our latest additions. We’ve also got them sited outside the Walls, and I’m hearing all kinds of great feedback.”
Having Brooklyn in the proverbial house serves as a nice counter to the number coming from West Coast, where this past summer’s “Art in the Streets” exhibit broke attendance records at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The MOCA show, which was co-curated by Jeffrey Deitch (with Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose), and featured many of the same city faves (i.e. Fairey, Retna), also included San Francisco-staple Barry McGee. Back in ‘09 the Beautiful Losers alum transformed the entire edifice which now houses neighborhood’s Panther Coffee. At the time the building-wide work was one of the first satellite offerings Outside the Walls. Two years later it remains a veritable landmark in epicenter of everything.
Indeed even before their creation, the Walls were too big to contain themselves, and they continue to burst forth and multiply. In addition to the initial off-site slew, there’s now what’s called Wynwood Doors (which could easily be considered Goldman’s portals) and the newly-opened Shop at the Walls (which way last well beyond its pop-up status).
“The Shop features works from all of the muralists,” adds Coleman, “plus prints, photographs, a limited-edition t-shirt series, and the book The Wynwood Walls and Doors. Not everybody can take home an entire building, right?”
Right. But even without the enviable keepsakes, the Wynwood Walls’ experience itself is eminently collectible. Make sure your memory gets served.
Photo by Martha Cooper
This week the onslaught known as Art Basel descends upon Miami Beach and brings with it more coincident action than perhaps any cultural event on Earth. I’m not slingin’ hyperbole either. Between Basel itself (which occupies every un-square foot of the massive Miami Beach Convention Center), and its now neighbor DesignMiami (which has grown into a full moon all its own), to the mainland lineup of satellite fairs such as Scope, Pulse and Art Miami, there will literally be thousands and thousands of works to wow over. Add the local museums and galleries to the equation, and the mural-soaked ‘hood known as Wynwood, and you’ve another good grand to gander at. Of course, what you see is only half of what you can get if you make even a fraction of the parties and other assorted happenings, which are both voluminously numerous and irrepressibly with it.
As always, it’s the convergence of art and happening (and operatives and elements) which makes Basel a real thrill, and one of the most thrilling will undoubtedly be AD Oasis at The Raleigh Hotel. A pop-up showplace hosted by Architectural Digest and realized by New York’s Mark Cunningham Design, ADO will feature works commissioned from Miami’s own Right Angle Studio, who’ve been tapped to create something wondrous out of Sunbrella High Performance Fabrics. To herald the all too promising project, I got with artist/provocateur Nicole Soden, who serves as one third of Right Angle. Here’s what the good gal had to give.
Wanna give us a brief bit about what you’ve got at this year’s Basel?
Yes, It has been a great year for me professionally, I have had the opportunity to work with some extraordinary people and [in this year’s] Basel I have work featured in two great exhibitions. The first of which is at The Raleigh Hotel where me and my partners at Right Angle Studio will be showing nine sculptures as part of a project with Architectural Digest, Sunbrella High Performance Fabrics and the NY-based design firm, Mark Cunningham Interiors. The second of which will be in The Wynwood Arts District as part of a show called ‘Angaelica’. Curated by the LA based cultural maven and filmmaker, Breven Warren.
How’d this all come about?
Like all good things do, I imagine… a lot of hard work, perseverance and a well-developed skill set (haha). The various sculpture and installation projects that my partners and I have worked on in Miami and New York (under Tongue and Groove Custom Fabrications) have earned us a pretty decent reputation. Besides developing our own bodies of work in fine art, we have a pretty steady stream of private commissions that are all referral based.
Who and what exactly is Right Angle?
The team I work with at Right Angle Studios is solid: Monica Travis and I became acquainted in 1993 and have been a driving force and source of inspiration in each other’s lives ever since. We both graduated from the FIU school of Fine Art under the mentorship of master sculptor and metal smith RF Buckley. It was in our time in art school that the dream of Right Angle Studio began. Zusel Escriba became a fixture in the studio in the early 2000s and became the trine for our trinity. The work ethic of those determined and talented women is unrecognizable and they are two of the best build partners I have ever had the chance to collaborate with. Our range is diverse, including works in stainless steel, aluminum, wood, plaster, stone, glass, and found objects. We have a fondness for large scale installation and integrating new media. The nine sculptures for the exhibition at The Raleigh are made of plexiglass and range in size from 3×3 to 8×3, each one is a complex arrangement of shifting geometric forms, illuminated from within and skinned with neutral toned fabrics, compliments of one of our sponsors — Sunbrella. We established ourselves and finally incorporated when we moved into our new warehouse space in the Design District in December 2010. We also just took on a new assistant (Keisha Rae Witherspoon) to help up meet the growing demand for our work. She popped up at one of our Sunday welding workshops and we decided to keep her.
Is this RA’s first full scale foray?
In 2009 Monica and Zusel moved back from a few years in New York just in time for Basel and helped me with the build out of the 5000 square foot space for the inaugural debut of Miami’s Independent Thinkers Art Fair, at which I acted as co-producer and curator. At that time we were showing predominantly as solo artists. By the time 2010 rolled around we were gaining steam and collaborated with the Spanish/Venezuelan tag team software engineers Tecne-collective, as well as Miami ﬁlmmaker D-V8 under the monicker Autopoiesis (from Greek αὐτo- (auto-), meaning "self", and ποίησις (poiesis), meaning "creation, production"), which literally means "self-creation" and expresses a fundamental dialectic between structure, mechanism and function.
We had several pieces on exhibition during last year’s Basel that were similar in nature — large Origami-like, geometric sculptural form with an average size of 10 x 20 feet installed on the walls (interior and exterior) of various buildings. By integrating specialized computer programming, projection mapping and audio reactive technologies, the resulting pieces "RATIONAL SYMMETRY", “Delta-Morph” and “Baby-Morph” were a captivating body of work that was a delight to the eye as well as the ear. “Delta-Morph” was a finalist in the Scope juried exhibition, “RATIONAL SYMMETRY” was set up in Wynwood in conjunction with The Butter Gallery featured at the Panther Coffee site on NW 2nd Avenue, and “Baby-Morph” was shown at Awarehouse. Also last year I was chosen as one of seven female sculptors from an international roster of artists who’s work was featured in the NADA sculpture garden. After the dust settled it was clear to each of us that we needed to lock on to that momentum and set up our dream shop. Which is where we are today.
Story, baby. That’s where we come from, that’s where we’ll go, that’s what we are. It was also both subject and predicate for last Thursday night’s “Evening” at O Cinema. Why? Because the man of the hour has made his name telling story—in film and in fiction and in fact. Hell, when it comes to John Sayles, story is the nothing but.
The evening began with a screening of Sayles’ Amigo, and ended with me interviewing the director before the sold-out house. I say interview, but really it was more akin to me summoning a few sparkable Qs and allowing the story-mad iconoclast to regale the crowd with some elaborate As. I’d say “Jack London," and Sayles would be off on a tour that covered everything from the Klondike to box cars and boxing. I’d mention Gentleman Jim Corbett, and Sayles would come back not just with nuggets of the pugilist’s wild life; he’d link it clear through to the "unforgivably black" world champ Jack Johnson. No matter what I brought up, Sayles saw a way to see, feel, and share its narrative. After a while, it was all I could do to wedge in an occasional “amazing.”
My good pal Irvine Welsh, who’s hard at work on a prequel to his landmark Trainspotting, and who himself is no stranger to story, got word I’d be facing off with Sayles and gave me a nice way to start off the tete-a-tete. "That guy is a true legend and a genius and my ultimate hero in cinema. And I’m not in the slightest bit embarrassed if you tell him that."
Despite being one of the most enthusiastic and supportive creatives I’ve ever met, Welsh doesn’t offer praise without damn good cause. Furthermore, as anyone who’s read any of his books well knows, he’s a formidable talent. For someone of Welsh’s stature to wax so breathlessly is unequivocal proof that Sayles is considered a giant among storytellers. Of course, my fine friend’s worthy words were by no means the first time a mighty mind spilled superlatives over Sayles; they will hardly be the last.
Also in attendance that night at O Cinema was none other William Kennedy, who’s been known to walk a wily narrative beat of his own. The Man from Albany, who was in town for the Miami Book Fair promoting his terrific Chango’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes, had breakfast with Sayles earlier in the day, and it must’ve been some meal. You could say Kennedy’s presence at the screening was kinda like gettin’ the nod from a sage, a remarkable instance by any definition. While Sayles may have been honored (how could he not be?), he also seemed to take it in stride. I’m guessing here, but it’s likely Sayles sees Kennedy as both a peer (as he should), and as another thread in the great big story in the sky.
Like Sayles, who covered the Cuban exile experience in Los Gusanos, and makes it through Cuba in his monumental A Moment in the Sun, Kennedy seems to have a thing for our region. While Chango’s Beads sidles up to Castro, Sayles’ Moment goes all the way back to the Spanish-American War. Both masters have an uncanny knack at making history (read: story) come alive, no matter what the period. And to have been in the room such titans was an honor I’ll be dining out on for some time to come. Then again, it only stands to damn good reason that two storytellers would leave me with such a kickass story to tell.
Photos by Jeffrey Delannoy
The last time BlackBook caught up with Miami’s own David Josef Tamargo, the Urban Hunter was on the trail of South Florida’s mythic and mighty Giant Sloth. Whether the subsequent (and customary) capture and release of the great beast became the catalyst for even bigger game to come is anybody’s guess. What’s certain is that since Tamargo nailed his prey, more and more galleries came calling, in New York, Los Angeles and the MIA. As of this Saturday, the well-armed artist will have his imprint in all three cities, simultaneously.
LA’s poptART came first, as part of Bruce of Los Angeles: Beefcakes and Boundaries, a queer-cult hit that’s got Koreatown all aflutter. Tamargo and his number one co-conspirator, electronic media artist Lindsay Scoggins, both contributed Bruce-tuned pieces to the group exhibit, which runs through the end of the year. As if this wasn’t enough, their showing came almost hot on the heels of Scoggins’ curating of Royal/T’s reeling Party Animals, which saw the art house Bonnie & Clyde and an outlaw contingent of equally-inclined Miamians, such as Otto Von Schirach and TM Sisters included among the likes of Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, KAWS, and Yoshitomo Nara. Combined, the two make for one kickass double-shot no matter what the target.
In New York, the fearless nightsman is one of four Artists on the Prowl at Dino Eli Gallery. Representing, naturally, The Hunter to Gregory de la Haba’s The Wanderer, AdlerA.F.’s The Trash Collector and TMNK, akaNOBODY’s The Street Master, Tamargo’s mark in the just-opened show is about as indelible as his quarry. That is to say, it’s an unequivocal look at the Urban Hunter in all action.
This weekend, which in Miami means Second Saturday, Tamargo’s going completely solo at Product/81 Gallery, perhaps Wynwood’s most supportive art space. The show, simply titled The Urban Hunter, is made possible by FORDISTAScu4tro, a creative arm of the car company created by gallerists Alex Fernandez-Casais & Bíbí Loulou, who, says Tamargo, set aside a generous portion of the the proceeds received from various guerrilla marketing endeavors solely to enable artists to realize their vision.
“Serving as a visual journey into situational fantasy,” state the program notes, “Tamargo uses landscapes to focus on the formation of identity. In his series, a lone man wanders the uninhabited world of present day Miami to reveal secrets lurking in the dead of night.” What said notes only hint at though is the notion that The Urban Hunter is not just pursuing game that’s never before been pursued; he’s boldly treading where no one has ever before tread.
To see a wily and well-armed artist lighting out to uncharted territories is indeed an inspiring sight to behold. My only beef is that with Tamargo gone solo I don’t get the honor of joining another of his adventuresome expeditions. May there be even bigger game to come.
Photo by David Josef Tamargo.
North Americans only have three more chances to bask in TV on the Radio’s Nine Types of Light before the band dives Down Under and (most likely) wraps their 2011 run for good. While Moogfest (with Flaming Lips, Moby, Suicide, Chromeo et al) might sound like the more remarkable of the dates, I’d recommend New Orleans’ Voodoo Experience, where Brooklyn’s finest will stand alongside the likes of The Raconteurs and Fatboy Slim. Why? Well, because The Big Easy is a badass city and TV on the Radio is a badass band.
It’s unquestionably the kinda kickass combination that made TVOTR’s Fillmore Gleason show such as badass affair. Forget the fact that the rouse went down just blocks away from where the models-and-bottles crowd now hangs out, for even South Beach was built upon mean streets (see Scarface), and it only takes a lean outfit like TV on the Radio to remind us that all that glitters wasn’t always gold. There was something strikingly golden about those years though, and I still hold fond memories of its tarnish.
Now I’m not talkin’ about romanticizing our collective checkered past as much I’m insisting we herald its unmitigated reality — the brutal candor of living face-to-face with life itself. That’s the takeaway I get when confronted with the roarful sound of TV on the Radio; a takeaway that was raucously compounded on Tuesday at The Fillmore. Whether they were ripping through post-prog-punk tracks such as “Dancing Choose” and “The Wrong Way”, or the Lodger-era likenesses of “Caffeinated Consciousness” and “Young Liars”, or the intricate sway of “Second Song” and “Staring at the Sun,” there was an undeniable truth to the music. To hear such an honest racket in a town founded upon so much dishonesty is (and was) a remarkable thing indeed.
When TV on the Radio blasted through the shape-shifting “Wolf Like Me” my wild night was made. The brunt force fervor, the rush of blood to the skull, the sheer kick of absolute creation — this is just how the now should be experienced. Thanks fellas, for turning us on full blast.
Face it: Time isn’t on our side. Nobody with any real get-up-and-go has time enough to get it all done. Not really. So what to do? Prioritize, for one thing. Then bust ass. That’s why I found myself out on the street in front of Amnesia on Saturday night chatting with superstar French DJ Joachim Garraud. DJ JG, as I’ll call him, was one of two crowd-wowing headspinners — Bob Sinclar was the other — slated to mark the Ibiza nightspot’s return to South Beach.
Thing is, Bassnectar, Miguel Migs, Matthew Dear, and Little Dragon were also in town that night, and I’d arranged to interview each of them, too. No easy feat, even for someone as relentless as myself. Thank Zeus, JG has the good sense to be in cahoots with Amnesia Marketing Director Gianfranco Dussena, who acts like getting things done is his entire raison d’être.
JG and I had earlier knocked off an email quickie for NBC Miami, so I already knew that he’d been in on the design of Amnesia’s over-the-top light set up, as well as the club’s very own in-house studio (in fact, he was instrumental in its creation). He’d also told me that this Saturday night’s spin would be the first of many more to come. What I couldn’t see in his eyes via email was how downright excited he was about the show he’d put together for Amnesia’s opening weekend, a show that owes as much to prog rock as it does to the pump-and-grind of the Parisian dancefloors where he made his reputation.
Okay, so not quite. But JG tells me his “keytar is the same one used on Pink Floyd’s Animals tour” (“That’s history!”), and that the show’s ultra-vivid visuals track back to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (“my all-time favorite”), right down to its scene-stealing homage. Add the circa-’78 Space Invaders from which Garroud’s “Invasion Tour” gets its name, and you’ve got the kinda fuel that’a powered many an epic spectacle of the era — and then some.
Also fueling things is arch French explicitist Michel Houellebecq, who’s both punned and honored on JG’s “We are back” t-shirts (really). Whether folks get the reference or not is anyone’s guess, but it’s a kick he’s keen enough to put it out there. It’s also encouraging to know there are DJs who are with it enough to allude to low-slung high lit and not let it get in the way of the wow.
Later that night, just as promised, Joachim Garraud swooped down from the skies and transported a packed house of alien-masked dance fans to a place well beyond any ordinary final frontier. From what I hear, a large part of that party still hasn’t returned home. I, for one, can’t wait for the day when they all can meaningfully tell Houellebecq “We are back!”
Photo by Jeffrey Delannoy