Odetta RIP

“O freedom, O freedom, O freedom over me, And before I’d be a slave, I’d be buried in my grave, And go home to my Lord and be free.”

The New York Timesobituary. The clip above is from a performance of “Waterboy” as excerpted in Scorcese’s No Direction Home.

Hype: Anders Nilsen — Landscapes and Smoke

If you’re in LA you should really, really consider going to Anders Nilsen’s first solo show, which opens at LitteBird Gallery this Saturday. Nilsen himself says that it’s “a bunch of big drawings, a few gouache paintings and a few covers from Big Questions. Included are Batman, Captain America, The Archangel Gabriel, Adam and Eve and an upside down tree. Oh, and Bison Man.” I know I’d go if I were anywhere near.

The show runs between December 6 and January 14, the reception’s on Saturday between 7.00-10.00. Here’s the official flyer:

Hype: Mongo Business — Updated!

Danish cartoonist Ib Kjeldsmark is currently doing a strip called Mongo Business for the bi-weekly branch mag Markedsføring. It’s worth a look — Ib is a great visual stylist the hollowed-out bullshit Buddishm metaphor he makes use of works well for his irreverent anti-authoritarian satire. It’s in Danish, unfortunately, but check it out anyway, for a taste of one of Denmark’s most graphically innovative and generally funny cartoonists.

UPDATE: Mongo Business is now available in English.

Søren’s Goodbye

Our man Frederik Høyer-Chr. was in the place to be at the reception held at historic Copenhagen comics/SF/games store Fantask on the occasion of co-founder Søren Pedersen’s retirement, this past friday. Check out his photos if you weren’t there — or if you were — and especially if you’ve never been. It’s a pretty unique place — the second-oldest of its kind still in existence (the oldest if you consider Lambiek’s short period of closure), and an obvious destination for any SF or comics fan travelling to Copenhagen.

The Listening: Q-Tip

My pet theory about Q-Tip’s solo career for a long time has been that something went awry when his house burned down back in 1998. The trauma of losing his entire record collection to the flames purged the glory that was A Tribe Called Quest from his system and begat the abomination that was Amplified (1999), and his career has been in recovery ever since. Record label limbo did him little good, but spared us the snoozefests that were the unreleased-but-leaked Kamaal the Abstract and Live at the Renaissance. But now he is back with an actual official release full of new songs, The Renaissance, and it’s actually pretty damn good. Who’da thunk it?

RIP MC Breed

Flint, Michigan’s MC Breed passed away due to kidney failure on Saturday. 37 is way too early to go, but at least Breed had a prolific career behind him ensuring he won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Though never much of an innovator, he was nevertheless one of the pioneers of the Midwestern rap scene and recorded quality material on his own, as well as with such luminaries as Tupac, the D.O.C. and Too $hort. He always stuck me as a somewhat derivative MC, delivering a mixture of East Coast-inflected street rhyming and Bay Area/LA type funked out gangsta shit. But he brought to his game a clarity and solidity of flow that made him stand out amongst all the clones.

Rest in peace. At least you got to see the painters preparing to go to work at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Tak, Søren

sp.jpgSøren Pedersen, den ene stifter af tegneserie-, SF- og spilbutikken Fantask gennem noget nær en halv menneskealder, siger nu farvel og tak og trækker sig tilbage. Det er med en blanding af vemod og varme, at undertegnede således må tage afsked med den animerende kraft i butikken, Søren altid har været. Det bliver ikke det samme uden ham, men forretningen er jo for nyligt overladt i Marit Nims kapable hænder, så mon ikke hans ånd fortsat vil være at fornemme der?

Samtidig skal der herfra naturligvis lyde et stort tak og ønsker om alt det bedste til Søren i sit nye liv som liebhaver og levemand!

Folk, der ønsker at udbringe Søren en skål og give ham et varmt håndtryk kan møde op i butikken på fredag, d. 28 mellem 16.00 og 18.30.

Picks of the Week

“Obama’s victory is a sign of history in the triple Kantian sense of signum rememorativum, demonstrativum, prognosticum. A sign in which the memory of the long past of slavery and the struggle for its abolition reverberates; an event which now demonstrates a change; a hope for future achievements. The scepticism displayed behind closed doors even by many worried progressives : what if, in the privacy of the voting booth, the publicly disavowed racism will re-emerge? : was proved wrong. One of the interesting things about Henry Kissinger, the ultimate cynical Realpolitiker, is how utterly wrong most of his predictions were. When news reached the West of the 1991 anti-Gorbachev military coup, for example, Kissinger immediately accepted the new regime as a fact. It collapsed ignominiously three days later. The paradigmatic cynic tells you confidentially: ‘But don’t you see that it is all really about money/power/sex, that professions of principle or value are just empty phrases which count for nothing?’ What the cynics don’t see is their own naivety, the naivety of their cynical wisdom which ignores the power of illusions.”

— Slavoj Žižek

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • London Review of Books: Slavoj Žižek on Obama, the Financial Crisis, Capitalism. The rockstar philosopher provides a humane critical perspective on the financial crisis and demonstrates that even hardened leftists with no illusions can weep at the promise, if not the reality, of the recent American election. Must read.
  • Topspin Media. Ian C. Rogers on the music industry and the transition to digital media. If you’re interested in digital media and how they’re going to affect intellectual property, this is a thoughtful — and hopeful — piece. (Thanks Dirk).
  • New York Times: On the Obama campaign’s use of social networking. While we’re at it, let’s combine the subject matter of the two previous links, shall we? This is a fascinating short piece on the Obama campaign that not only goes some way towards explaining its success, but offers interesting perspectives for the future of the democratic process.
  • Tokion: Panter’s Playhouse. Fine interview with artist and cartoonist Gary Panter, conducted by cartoonist CF. Great for its focus on the artist’s creative processes.
  • Horn Blowing Section: Andreas Gregersen’s Ph.D. Dissertation Approved!

    Today, highly-esteemed friend of the Metabunker, Andreas “Chewie” Gregersen defended his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Copenhagen. Entitled Core Cognition and Embodied Agency in Gaming: Towards a Framework for Analysing Structure and Function of Computer Games, the subject is video and computer games, and the approach employs cognitive theory as well as behavioral and phenomenological philosophy (more here, alas!, only in Danish). The three members of the Dissertation Commitee were all very pleased, so no problems for well-dressed Chewie. Congratulations from the Bunker!