Letter 15: April 26, 2022

annette lemieux

Since I first introduced my need to discover a larger sphere of cultural topics, I’ve been considering on which to handle. I used to be at all times into the music of my time, particularly experimental voices and kinds as they got here to me by mates and thru standard media like magazines, radio, and MTV. I used to be an avid follower of the present “120 Minutes” that aired each Sunday night time at Midnight from 1986 (the 12 months I graduated from highschool) till 2000, after I had stopped watching MTV as a result of most of its unique programming has been changed by so-called Actuality TV. Faculty was a fantastic place to come across new music, or individuals who felt passionately about a few of the bands I already knew, having a extra in-depth involvement with their music and cult of persona. My faculty additionally ran a tiny little radio station, with a sign barely sturdy sufficient to move past the gates of the faculty, however everybody we knew was listening. It was simple to get on the schedule. The fellows who ran the station had been all in bands and so had further data to share. Stuff I had not often ever heard of. But it surely opened my eyes to a lot. XTC, Pixies, Smiths, Pleasure Division, all of the 4AD Information bands like Throwing Muses and Clan of Xymox. Reggae. Ska. Punk. Like I mentioned, a few of the identical, however way more in-depth, way more of a shared group of values by music, particularly by musicians. My faculty was north of Boston, and Boston had a music scene of its personal, the place sure traits that will by no means take maintain in New York had absolute traction. Issues like Ska. Sure blends of up to date Punk. My favourite place to take a look at new music was Newbury Comics in Harvard Sq., which was situated on this mini-mall referred to as The Storage, which additionally housed my favourite cafe, The Espresso Connection, which served Curried Rooster Salad and big salads and huge French Press pots of espresso. One might hang around endlessly and eat and browse. They even let one graduate scholar maintain his books on one desk after closing. He regarded like he was busy with the longest of all dissertations, stretching into infinity. Newbury Comics was launched to me by an older scholar who was obsessive about the bands I talked about right here, it wasn’t an enormous retailer, however the choice was solidly New Wave, Punk, Ska, and so on. They offered enormous posters of the bands, and had a DJ sales space the place you can request that they play a file you wished to purchase. It was a fantastic place to see who your friends had been in the identical music scene. It’s since moved to a streetside location.  

Arcade Hearth. Courtesy The New York Instances 2022

Lately I’m very actively exploring as many bands as doable. By means of Spotify I’ve entry to an limitless observe of them. I at present have 435 pages adopted. This may increasingly appear extreme, nevertheless it has to cowl all my musical pursuits. I like Various, Blues, Jazz, Classical, Punk, Steel, Flamenco, the record goes on and on. I’ve rediscovered the bands of my youth of their up to date guises, and previous bands I by no means knew as a result of I needed to know somebody who owned their data or heard them at some membership. I keep in mind after I used to hang around at an area cafe, and no matter music I heard there with any regularity, I ended up shopping for the CD to hear at residence. Typically a sure music can be so standard that it could be taking part in wherever I went. It might seep into my consciousness. I might stay up for listening to it once more. Now I solely have to open the app and press play.

Present obsessions embody The Idles, Arcade Fire, and 9 Inch Nails. Additionally a number of Jazz like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Singer/ Songwriters like Mark Geary, who I knew within the late Eighties when he was a younger waiter at Cafe Orlin within the East Village. Additionally latest music from previous favourite bands The Pixies, Depeche Mode, Killing Joke, and extra. I promise to enter depth extra in future posts.  


Some present exhibits I wished to suggest embody a conceptual photographer and a painter utilizing scrims and printmaking impressions to complement the gestural course of. Although I normally restrict my suggestions to underknown artists it’s with some pleasure that I just lately found new work on view by Annette Lemieux, an artist whose work has been difficult assumed perceptions for many years. Her present solo exhibition at Mitchell Innes & Nash, 534 W twenty sixth St, is on view by Might 27, 2022. The opposite is Stephen Maine at Hionas Gallery, 94 Walker St, on view by Might 7, 2022. Final however on no account least I wished to plug a that present I’m internet hosting on my web site Gibson Contemporary for a gifted artist it’s best to know extra about. “World Views” presents a sequence of work by Sheila Lanham which might be culled from antiquated encyclopedias, whose various but badly printed photos impressed these surreal masterworks. On view by 10 pm on Might 10, 2022.

stephen maine

See you again right here quickly with new essays! AND new letters each two weeks!

David Gibson