Party punks with a feminist streak, Purple proudly hail from east Texas — Beaumont, an oil town, to be exact. But you wouldn’t know it based on “Beach Buddy,” one of the highlights off 409, their recently released debut album. The infectious summer anthem, which sounds like The Strokes if they pulled a Ramones and hit up Rockaway Beach, finds drummer and primary vocalist Hanna Brewer trading sweet and sour harmonies with guitarist Taylor Busby over their sandy philandering. … Read More
The ever-expanding city of Austin has become one of the cultural hot spots of the United States, but there’s a small town to the east that has a few claims to fame of its own. Taylor, Texas is known for its historic charm and farming communities, but the hometown of golden-age animator Tex Avery (behind cartoon luminaries like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig) will also soon be known for a cool skatepark.
Our friends at Collectors Weekly tipped us off to a project from Austin photographer Brent Humphreys and graphic artist Chris Bilheimer that will raise money to build a skatepark in the rural Texas town. It also keeps “Avery’s antic spirit alive and well in Taylor.” They’re auctioning off an amazing collection of arty skateboard decks from people like Matt Groening (of The Simpsons fame), Gary Panter (the former Emmy-winning set designer for Pee Wee’s Playhouse), Rob Jones (album artist for bands like the White Stripes), and J.J. Sedelmaier (co-creator of “Saturday TV Funhouse” on SNL). It’s part of a non-profit initiative called Project LOOP (Lessons On and Off the Pavement), which provides kids with “lessons in creativity, exercise, and hard work in a real world experience outside the classroom.” The organization also encourages creative professionals to contribute and give back.
This is an oddly political day, and for that, I apologize. Much to the chagrin of lazy Americans everywhere — but mostly Republicans, heh — the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since 2008. Only 6% of Americans are currently of “unemployed” status. Nearly 248,000 jobs were created last month, too. That’s a lot of jobs. Some would even say that’s close to a quarter-of-a-million jobs. Suddenly it seems like so much more! But then, who wants a “job” job, anyway, when you can spend a month-and-then-some writing while traveling the country on Amtrak? … Read More
Last week, the Texas Department of Transportation ordered the removal of a new large-scale sculpture designed by contemporary artist Richard Phillips for Playboy Enterprises, on the grounds that Playboy had not solicited a permit for a public advertisement. Titled Playboy Marfa, the work sits along a stretch of US Highway 90 outside of Marfa, Texas, and is comprised of a 1972 Dodge Charger sitting on a plinth next to a giant neon rendering of the Playboy logo. … Read More
Olafur Eliasson. Mel Bochner. Lawrence Weiner. Meet polarizing NFL general manager Jerry Jones and 80,000 screaming football fans. We learned this week that the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium, right in the seat of gun-toting, Good Book-thumping, Friday Night Lights-living country, is launching an art program, and a contemporary one at that. Connecting the general public to 14 contemporary artists of museum quality is an inventive idea, sure, but will it work? Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes points out that abstraction in modern art is having a moment: blockbuster exhibitions this fall include Georgia O’Keeffe abstracts at The Whitney, an Arshile Gorky retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a Kandinsky survey at the Guggenheim, and the typically “safe” SFMoMA presents modern paintings from Clyfford Still’s collection. Judge for yourself whether sea change is a-comin’, after the jump.… Read More