So Long Robert Rauschenberg

Persimmon, 1964 (Source). I saw this beautiful collage/painting at the SF MOMA in 1999 with my friend Amanda. I never quite forgot it.

Estate, 1963 (Source).

Persimmon Coronation (Runts), 2007 (Source). The fruit revisited. His work in recent years took advantage of lots of white space.

Winter Pool, 1959. One of the few mixed media sculptures I took a photo of at the MOMA in NYC April 2007.

Speaking In Tongues, 1983. Not my favorite TH album cover design (despite the award), but certainly my favorite TH album!

One of my favorite artists passed away last week. Robert Rauschenberg was an artist I was genuinely excited about anywhere his work was exhibited. To me, his work was always alive, vivid, imaginative and exciting.


London We Go Hard

Listening to "Shove It" on Santogold's new album, I am taken back to 2005 when a lot of music fans had an investment in grime and British hip-hop, thinking it would breakthrough to American audiences in no time. I was definitely a believer, completely fascinated by everything I heard from Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Wiley, Lady Sovereign and all the young MC's on Run The Road.

Santogold is from New York, but Switch, a remixer and producer of the track, is British although I don't think he has any ties to the grime scene (M.I.A. is not considered a grime artist). "Shove It" has an East London dub sound that makes you smell the doner kebabs and see the track suits and trainers. I know she's really singing about the pride of poor creatives in NYC, but it drives my imagination. The song overall reminds me of Riko and Target's "Chosen One" from Run The Road.

Spank Rock makes an appearance on the track and for once, he keeps his rhymes relatively clean. He changes his flow on here as well, and I had to check the liner notes to make sure it was him.

Listening to Madonna's Hard Candy where she finally delivers on the promise of a completely disco, dance pop album that Confessions On a Dance Floor was supposed to be, I wonder what the queen of pop could have done by filtering the East London sound.

Hard Candy 's got the beep-beep's and whistles from Donna Summer's "Bad Girl", sweeping strings and lots of funky bass. I'm a fan of "Heartbeat," "Miles Away," and "Beat Goes On," especially when Kanye sings the pre-chorus after doing his rap. "Incredible" brings back her debut album singing voice.

After over a week of listening, I realize Hard Candy doesn't have the return listens of Confessions, the album with "Get Together," one of my favorite Madonna songs of all time. I understand her motives for making the album, but I'm not satisfied.