Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Graffiti Wall in Allston!

So, let me say I was completely floored when I was driving down Lincoln St. in Allston (on the other side of the North Harvard bridge), and I saw maybe eight artists working on four or five full-color, heavily-detailed graffiti productions in broad daylight.

Above the text pieces was the mammoth likeness of one Magneto (aka X-Men antagonist -- can you see the outline in the above photo?), and altogether, the work seemed too "edgy" to be commissioned in some sort of urban renewal endeavor or multiculturalist revival project. I figured it must be illegal. But when the vandalism squad showed up in an unmarked car, the awesome dude that organized this display simply showed them a permit from the building owner and the city, proving that in fact this work was commissioned! I was surpised... the art didn't contain any self-aggrandizing message of America's "melting pot" exceptionalism, or any of the "look at how we've overcome the obstacle of diversity and succeeded inspite of it" multi-ethnic mural kind of vibe. It's just sick word art and bad-ass X-men characters. Awesome.

[Cyclops wielding a SmartPhone -- I mean, let's be real, if Cyclops existed, why wouldn't he own a BlackBerry??]

This just goes to show, that if you're dealing with someone who's in a good mood, and you reach out to the proper authorities, you never know what kind of crazy project you could be granted license for. Granted, you could run up against a paranoid city official or endless, stifling beauracracy, but it's always worth a shot. When I asked this guy how he went about acquiring licsensing for the project, he said, "I just asked." So next time you want to throw a block party, or get a liscense for outdoor art, or setup a mini-festival in the park near your house, see what happens if you try and go the legitimate route, and maybe if you ask nicely, some city official will get down and hook you up. You never know.

[Great color scheme. Nice highlights and lighting in general. Tight, decisive lettering, and wonderful detail on the cracks and "blings" in the piece. Big ups BRYER.]

[Also dopeness, very fluid. Nice "chrome" effect with the exaggerated highlighting.]

[Work in progress. It only got better as I kept watching. He threw a bunch of dark reds in the shadows and sharpened up the outside lines.]

[More X-Men paraphernalia, love the Wolverine hands coming out both sides of the piece.]

Most of these pieces were unfinished at the time. I'm gonna head back in a few days and get flicks of all of the finished work. Check for updates.

ALSO, I just confirmed Saturday, August 1st at the Savant Project in Mission Hill with myself, DJ Kat Fyte + my partner in bass, DJ Skunk. We will be spinning Dubstep, B-More, and Electro from 11 to 1AM. It's 18+, there's no cover, and they've got PBR for $1.50 EACH!! Here's a link to a SUPER pop mash-up mix I just recorded today using Ableton Live. We will both be spinning vinyl next Saturday, though. BRING YA DANCIN' SHOOZ

Friday, July 17, 2009

Destroit: Abandonment Tourism

So my wonderful uncle, aka @stonebits, aka the artist / critic / consumer behind the equally wonderful visual culture blog, "On Art" has asked me to accompany him to Detroit while he takes photos of decay, refuse, rot, and char in the many abandoned automotive plants, hospitals, book depositories, and hotels that lie within blocks of Detroit's downtown areas. I am in Detroit now, amazed at the ways in which a booming industrial hub has become abandoned and has been barely maintained despite numerous attempts at urban renewal. And, naturally I feel funny driving a rental car into the ghetto to take pictures of Packard Plants that are literally falling apart.

According to Patrick Austin's flickr page, "Built ~ 1907-1909 and designed by Albert Kahn, this is the first reinforced concrete plant to be built in this country (maybe the first rebar structure in the US of any kind?)."

In addition to these amazing portraits of decay, there's some amazing signature-graf down here, so I figured I would post up some flix of impressive stuff. Expect more at Ferrante's blog within the following weeks.

[a SYN piece see inside the aformentioned Packard Plant]

[WTF factor: Kids (I hope?) decorated this abandoned house with stuffed animals]

[a necessary close-up]

[The largest abandoned building I've ever come across, formerly the Michigan Central Station, saved from demolition just this year by one Detroit resident that sued the city to keep it intact. If you can see the tiny little ants in yellow T-shirts in the bottom right corner, those were restoration volunteers planting green stuff around the entrance. Yesterday they were blasting graffiti (good luck) off of the outside of the building]

[another necessary close-up]

[Hella UniQ skinny-letter style like I've never seen on the East Coast. The rounded ends make them look like fingers forming into awkward gang-signs.]


[Urban spelunking killed the cat.]

So yeah, we're gonna go see Xrin Arms tonight- such perfect timing- at this raver/noise/experimental night... He's apparently playing Providence (DIY, all ages) on the 28th of July, and Boston (rock-club, 21+) on the 29th with support from tekno-noise-glitch locals So_So_Gutter and Encanti!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Seen in Harvard Square

I pass this every day on the way to work and I thought it was cute, so I figured I'd grab a lo-fi photo with my lappy-toppy and post it up. There's not much for interesting graffiti in Harvard Square (aka the shitty, tourist-y sector of Cambridge) but I'll keep my eyes peeled.

ALSO, I was just sent a link to this awesome mix from New York/Budapest based DJ Taliesin, who recently signed on with the Dutty Artz crew, a group of really talented producers, MCs, DJs, and promoters pushing a bass-heavy, "tropical" agenda across the five boroughs.

Taliesin - Definitely Maybe

Colleen- The Happy Sea
8 Ball and MJH- Relax and Take Notes
Sukh Knight - Diesel Not Petrol
Raffertie - AntiSocial (B. Rich Remix)
Lexie Lee- Warlord's Daughter (Paceface and Sticky Rmx)
Joker- Purple City
Trina Ft. Lil Wayne- Dont Trip (Lunice Lazer Rmx)
Fused Forces- Cock Back and Blast
Fused Forces- Footsteps
LionDub and Shadetek Ft. Jahdan- General (Marcus Visionary Rmx)
Timbaland- Pony Inst.
Cardopusher- Lacra
Salem - Trapdoor

It rolls along at 140 beats per minute, incoporating Dubstep and Grime alongside the more mainstream, yet equally sophisticated sounds of Dancehall and Dirty Hip-Hop. The problem with a lot of these Dubstep DJs is that they don't diversify their sound as much as they could, sticking to the esoteric, anti-pop sounds of the UK Underground without taking advantage of all the good American, Carribean, and Latin American sounds that fit so well with them. Taliesin accomplishes this. The mix is here. Definately Yes Maybe.