Friday, May 4, 2018


Chainlinks is here to point you to cool stuff that's currently inspiring our friends and colleagues. Today we have lists from Ego Sensation (White Hills), Alexander Jones (Druse), Genevieve Fernworthy (Tidal Channel, Martin Bisi), and Eric Livinsgton (artist).


1) Gotham

I'm not really a TV watcher but I love this show even though it's on FOX. Great characters, stylish depictions of NYC, beautiful set design and costumes. Really good entertainment. 

2) Showtime Dancers on the NYC Subway

What time is it? Showtime! If you ride the NYC subway you know what I'm talking about. Packs of guys – usually in 3s that do pole/hat dancing routines on the moving train. I love it! I always find it inspiring. I even made a video about it. As a bonus, it's also funny to watch cranky people on the train that get pissed off when the dancers come on. 

3) XTC - Complicated Game

Somehow I only discovered this song recently. It's the kind of song you want to repeat over and over and over...


1) Shallow Rewards 

 Chris Ott is probably my favorite living writer/critical thinker. He got his start working for Pitchfork in their halcyon days and left after developing somewhat of an acrimonious relationship with them and the direction they were heading, to put it mildly. Since then he's been releasing videos on YouTube under the banner Shallow Rewards where he does these brilliant, extensive analyses of everything from the history of Shoegaze to his highly-personal experience going to Lollapalooza in the '90s. It's a wonderful reprieve from the regurgitated, gutless bullshit that passes as music writing these days. 

2) LIZ - Queen of Me

My car's aux jack was broken for a week or two a few months back so I spent a decent amount of time listening to the radio while driving, which I hadn't done for quite some time. I forget where I was going when I first heard this song, but I remember I was listening to the local college radio station (shoutout WITR) and the DJ threw this song on. I was so instantly and obsessively hooked in a way I hadn't been in years. As soon as I parked I listened to it on Spotify about four more times before even getting out of the car. It's really ignited an interest in huge, almost rapturous pop/dance music for me, and I'd love to start making music like this (at least the instrumental portion of it) on my own time at some point. There's just something so unabashedly joyous about it that's infectious to all my overly-emotional sensibilities. The b-side to this single, "Could U Love Me", is also criminally underrated - just pure 00s pop radio bliss.

3) Belladonna of Sadness

I've loved anime since I was about 10 years old but I've always maintained somewhat of an off-and-on relationship with watching it. I'll get really invested for a few months and watch every new show I can find while still finding time to revisit some old favorites (Cyborg 009, Galaxy Express 999, Evangelion, etc.), but then I'll just totally drop off it until something comes around and reignites that passion all over again. The most recent anime to do that was Belladonna of Sadness, an Eiichi Yamamoto film from '73 that might just be one of the most viscerally disturbing things I've seen in my lifetime. Its premise is almost oppressively dark and its underlying message is more than a bit questionable by today's standards, but its psychedelic, mind-bending animation and jazz-freakout soundtrack are what really grabbed me. It's an astonishing work of craftsmanship all around that I can't stop thinking about.  


1) Blue Jazz TV 

Truly a live experience to behold, Blue Jazz TV are Adrian Knight, Max Zuckerman, and David Lackner. A BJTV show will often feature the vocal stylings of Billy G Robinson as seen on this video by Scott Kiernan of ESP-TV. Of my favorite bands in Brooklyn at the minute, they are consistently the top of the list. 

 2) The "Animal" book series by Reaktion Books

I had been slowly making my way through the Kierkegaard canon when I hit a massive detour — this series. There are not many books that are suited for reading at just about any hour, yet this series is a thoughtful cultural history of a given critter and very hard to put down once you’ve begun. Highly recommend the Sheep book! 

 3) "The Farm" by Joan MirĂ³ 

There will forever be a place in my heart for the type of artist that MirĂ³ is. Everything about this painting is so masterfully / phenomenologically executed — the first time I saw it, I spent nearly an hour just staring at the tree.


1) Don't Hug Me I'm Scared

I enjoy listening to procedural and directional videos while I draw... Like, how to build a bomb, or how to perform an invasive surgery. One night, I was listening to one "How to," or another, and this miniseries popped up... I didn't know what to think of it at first, but then as certain strange and apt themes started to show up, I became enamored. Visually, I feel the creators touched a cerebral nerve with their felt puppetry, as the Brothers Quay did with stop motion clay. I think their absurdist humor spliced with children's nursery rhymes is very impactful. Whenever I take on an art project, I try to take whatever message or medium, and make something that doesn't exclude children. I think this series does that with flying colors. Gold star. 

2) Cowspiracy

I know a number of people who were directly involved with the making and promotion of this project. It truly speaks for itself. A lot of people will deny, and try to debunk information that doesn't cater to their needs as it is convenient... BUT, this film, and the people researching such data are the harbingers of a far shittier future to come. Two Gold Stars. 

3) Hex Horizontal

This is some auditory inspiration, from a duo that hails from the city of angels. Sonically, it satiates both my need for dissonance and groove. Many-A-Band try, but fail to walk such a tight rope... Ranging from robust to skeletal, subtle to frenetic, these two noise savants push all the right buttons with only two main instruments. Their LP "Act Natural," was recorded by Steve Albini, and it sounds like two armies of insects marching and going to battle with one another. Three Gold stars. 

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