BAM brings together the acclaimed artist, filmmaker and author Miranda July and actress and young fellow author Lena Dunham to discuss July’s latest work, the debut novel The First Bad Man.
The First Bad Man centers around Cheryl Glickman, a 43-year-old who works at a women's self-defense nonprofit and lives alone. Cheryl's eccentrically ordered world explodes when her bosses selfish, cruel blond bombshell twenty-year-old daughter, Clee, moves into her house for a while. July accompanies the book with an e-shop selling objects which appear in the text.
"Miranda July's ability to pervert norms while embracing what makes us normal is astounding…she will make you laugh, cringe and recognize yourself in a woman you never planned to be," said Lena Dunham.
The discussion will take place tomorrow, Wednesday 28th January from 8PM at the BAM Opera House, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. Buy your tickets here.
It seemed only natural to ask the French composer Koudlam to kick off our TV Takeover for 2015. Africa, Mexico, Spain, France, music, architecture, and art: the multicultural, multidimensional, and multitalented Koudlam combines all these social energies in his electronic, apocalyptic compositions.
His music has been regarded by critics and public alike as "World Music of the Apocalypse." Koudlam (French slang for 'a stab of a knife') appropriates musical codes, embezzling r'n'b, trance, and hardcore techno (his musical roots) to build his own exotic and icy monolith, and once again successfully unites body and mind, dance, and ideas.
The pulsating, symphonic intensity heard in his new album Benidorm Dream, released on Pan European Recordings, energetically conveys the ultra-urbanism of the Spanish Costa Blanca beach town, Benidorm, a pastiche agglomeration with the highest number of skyscrapers per capita in the world, one of which he locked himself into to compose these dramatically charged choruses to the future-present.
Koudlam's visuals have always expanded on themes presented in his music. The videos for for his latest album so far have reaffirmed that most of the cliches about Benidorm are true. See the latest video for the single Benidorm Dream here. Hotels and apartment blocks that rival New York's skyscrapers, endless English bars, cheap restaurants, tacky tourist souvenirs, neon signs and clean beaches. We wanted to know more about Koudlam's influences not only through our interview with him in issue 22 (extract below) but through the TV Takeover. Prepare to find out about his love of dwarfs, minimalist dance, Benidorm storms, Japanese composer Seiji Yokoyama, and wasted youth.
Olivier Zahm - What’s the connection between your musical inspiration and architecture?
Koudlam - I’m inspired by the landscapes that surround me, or the landscapes I seek; those can be tall buildings or temples, scenes of nature, or ruins. The landscapes in which we live shape who we are and also shape my music, of course.
Olivier Zahm - Are there any visual artists, filmmakers, musicians that have influenced this album?
Koudlam - Oh, lots — but none I can think of in particular. Éric Serra, Seiji Yokoyama, Gucci Mane, Jane’s Addiction — that’s a random list of names that comes to me right now. And Apocalypse Now. I have that film running on a permanent loop at my house; the film is a kind of unhealthy background for our lives, but my wife and daughter don’t have a choice — they just have to accept that it’s always there. Sometimes I set off a smoke bomb when I’m in the mood. I like working in the middle of clouds of smoke. There’s an abandoned stadium not far from my house, in Benidorm, and we tested the sound of the album there a lot, often surrounded by smoke.
Olivier Zahm - Are there any political influences?
Koudlam - I haven’t looked at any political events since the end of the Soviet Union; however I do know that things are slowly deteriorating. The future is done from a political standpoint. There is no future for man. Except perhaps in religion. You turn on the TV, and you’re immediately transported into the film Idiocracy; there isn’t even a gap. All of this probably influences my music. I try to open little breaks in the music to invent new creatures repopulating the world with impossible things. In this world, which seeks only to sterilize itself, I invent my own oxygen. I imagine that my music is both a maneuver to sublimate my melancholy and an attempt to invent a new utopia.
Read more of the interview in issue 22, available to buy here.
After nearly 60 years in rock'n'roll the LA music legend Kim Fowley — the songwriter, musician, and producer who was best known as the manager of the Runaways — has passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
PJ Harvey will record the follow-up to her Mercury Prize winning Let England Shake (2011) live to public from January 16th at Somerset House in London. For four weeks the new album will be produced behind a glass window with the intention of the live process becoming a sound sculpture. Visitors will get the chance to follow PJ Harvey with her band and producer Flood and John Parish as they work on different stages of the production. Photo Flo Kohl