Understanding art: The connection between Theraflu the song and Theraflu the painting

I just spent an hour researching art. I was listening to the new Kanye track “Theraflu” today. I really like it. As I was listening I was inspecting the accompanying album art:

George Condo Theraflu

For the first time I felt like I understood some of the motivation for and meaning behind this series (the same artist painted the accompanying art for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, in case you have been under a really old rock). This is probably long apparent to those more in tune with the art world but I am not one of those people who follow art.

Anyway, hearing the new song, I couldn’t believe how ferocious Kanye sounded. I mean, there isn’t really a new album  announced yet. There is a potential G.O.O.D. Music over-collaborated  album on the way but would that warrant a new piece of artwork that looks this beautiful? It had to be a special song. It is.

“Theraflu” sounds like what I expect the end of the world to sound like. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s futuristic in two different senses of the word, the way the track folds around the following sentences is incredible assuming the rap was written to fold beautifully around those effects. :

In the projects one day to Project Runway
We done heard all that loud-ass talkin’, we used to it”


I read about George Condo and looked at approximately 30 of his paintings. I  loved nearly all of them.

Look at this:

George Condo Jesus

Or this:

I feel like he sees these people in a very, very large way. If you imagine this as a 30 foot painting, it would be huge and scary and overwhelming.

You see actual Theraflu depicted in the artwork for “Theraflu”

George Condo Theraflu

I think of Kanye as huge. The biggest and the greatest musical artist. And, I believe we all believe he also sees himself that way. If you were to see yourself that way, these paintings, where you see everything as larger than life, influenced by the fact that the people you meet are the people at the top of their game, at the peaks of their careers and align yourself with brands that we all consider the most esteemed, then when you have to put a physical dimension on a product, that product is Theraflu and it comes in a small box and you buy it on the corner. And while you had the potential to be  respected in my eyes, the fact that you think you are as good as me means that you have proven yourself to be small. Being small means theraflu can help you.


He can both inspire and embarrass in a single turn of phrase:

So whoever think they words affect me is too stupid
And if you could do it better than me, then you do it

If you actually did things better than I do, like you claim to, you would be larger than life just like I am right now. But, you are not here, so don’t doubt me. I am on top of the world.


Anyhow, you can here the song here.


It’s great that a musical artist can inspire you to seek out fashion, models, painters, and other rappers in one song and historical icons both famous and infamous in another.

He also makes Theraflu relevant to a whole new generation. It really is wild someone can do that, isn’t it?



Dinner with Anna Wintour (Whoa!), racin’ wit’ Anja Rubik (Whoa!)
I told you ma’fuckers it was more than the music
In the projects one day to Project Runway
We done heard all that loud-ass talkin’, we used to it
I’m from where shorties fucked up, double-cupped up
Might even kill somebody and YouTube it
So whoever think they words affect me is too stupid
And if you could do it better than me, then you do it
We flyer than the parakeet, floatin’ wit’ no parachute
Six thousand-dollar pair of shoes, we made it to the Paris news!
Don’t talk about style, ‘cause I embarrass you
Shut the fuck up when you talk to me, for I embarrassed you

Can’t a young nigga get money anymore? (Ahh!)
Tell PETA my mink is draggin’ on the floor (Ahh!)
Can I have a bad bitch wit’out no flaws
Come to meet me wit’out no drawers?

And the whole industry wanna fuck yo’ old chick
Only nigga I got respect for is Wiz
And I’ll admit, I fell in love with Kim (Hunh?)
‘Round the same time she had fell in love wit’ him (Whuh)
Well, that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thing
Lucky I ain’t have Jay drop ‘im from the team (Whuh)
La familia (La familia), Roc Nation (Roc Nation)
We in the buildin’, but still keep it basement (Whoa)
We flyer than the parakeet, floatin’ wit’ no parachute
Six thousand-dollar pair of shoes, I made it to the Paris news!
Don’t talk about style, ‘cause I embarrass you
Shut the fuck up when you talk to me, for I embarrassed you
G.O.O.D. Music, and fresh, we fresh
Anything else, we detest, detest
Bitch-ass niggas got ass and breasts
All that said, lemme ask this quest’

Can’t a young nigga get money anymore? (Ahh!)
Tell PETA my mink is draggin’ on the floor (Ahh!)
Can I have a bad bitch wit’out no flaws
Come to meet me wit’out…

Don’t talk to me ‘bout style, nigga, I’ll ma’fuckin’ embarrass you
Talkin’ ‘bout clothes, I’ll ma’fuckin’ embarrass you
Hollin’ ‘bout some hoes, I’ll ma’fuckin’ embarrass you
Way too cold, I promise you’ll need some Theraflu


(DJ Pharris)
This Chicago, nigga!
Southside, we in this bitch!
Eastside, Crazy, blow that loud!
Low End, 39th, the Ickes!
47th Street, Broadfield Park
79th! Stony Island!
Cape Town, and Wild Hunnids!
This Chi-town!
Dro City! The Village!
Harbee World! O-Block!
64th and Normal!
64th and King Drive, what up!?
83rd! Cottage Grove!
The Gardens!
This Chicago, nigga!
The Dearborns! 55th!
Cabrini Greens! Terror Town!
Westside! Pocket Town! It’s Chicago!
Harcy to the Ida B. Wells!
Lawn City! The Lama! London Town!
Chiraq, Drillinois!
It’s DJ Pharris, fuck around and get embarrassed!

Absolut makes a great commercial

In case you missed this when it aired during 60 Minutes this weekend, check out this great new spot from Absolut.

If you hadn’t noticed, dance music has become pop music. Absolut’s agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, teamed up with Swedish House Mafia. I love this.

While I thought they were announcing another gross, flavored vodka I realize they are simply suggesting the ‘correct’ way to order a grehouynd. The greyhound is one of my favorite drinks but when I’m being picky about vodka I always turn to Ketel One. They do, however, make that drink an alluring color.

James Franco’s ‘My Own Private River’

James Franco Says 'My Own Private River' Probably Won't Be Released On DVD, But He Did Seek Joaquin Phoenix's Approval | The Playlist.

James Franco has edited together un-used footage from Gus Van Sant’s “My Own Private Idaho” to tell a story that follows River Phoenix’s character, Mike, more closely. This sounds like a huge undertaking. Franco went so far as to shoot two earlier script drafts as a way to get a sense of the location and to better understand the characters.

This sounds quite fantastic. James Franco accomplishes a lot!

“I edited the film as I imagined Gus might have if he made ‘My Own Private Idaho’ today,” Franco said. He called ” Idaho” one of his favorite movies and praised River Phoenix’s performance as the late actor’s best. Franco then skittishly explained how he used conversations with Van Sant, with whom he had previously collaborated on “Milk,” to determine how to edit the footage Van Sant didn’t put into the theatrical cut of ‘Idaho.’ “Since Gus likes longer takes now, I tried to match that style,” Franco said, citing newly-retired Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr as a key influence on both Franco’s editing of ‘River’ and Van Sant’s own recent films.

But that’s not all Franco did to get into Van Sant’s head. To get a better idea of what his mentor was thinking, Franco shot 8mm adaptations of two of the three scripts that Van Sant combined to form the one that he eventually used as the basis for “My Own Private Idaho.” To do this, Franco enlisted the help of actor Henry Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s son and the star of Van Sant’s most recent film, “Restless.” Hopper played Phoenix’s role in an adaptation of a script that was also tentatively titled “My Own Private Idaho.” Franco also got character actor Udo Kier, who starred in the original “My Own Private Idaho,” to help film his two 8mm test-run adaptations. “It was fascinating to see him play this role that he played 20 years ago,” Franco confessed. Unfortunately, Kier could only participate in one of the two practice-run 8mm films Franco shot before making “My Own Private River.” “He kept giving us excuses,” Franco laughed, saying that Kier was concerned about learning lines his lines for the upcoming “Scooby Doo 3.”

What is your favorite River Phoenix performance?

Why I do not support Skrillex

He bastardized what was known as dubstep. He has taken the intelligent, nuanced music of artists such as Burial, James Blake and even the xx only to create an ‘American’ version of dubstep that holds little to none of the same strength and soul that defined what was originally known as dubstep.

Perhaps this argument places too much weight on the purity of dubstep as a genre. If Skrillex was not known as ‘a dubstep pioneer,’ would I feel the need to argue why Skrillex is not the pioneering artist some have labeled him?

The answer is yes, I would still feel the same. Skrillex (much more than other breakthrough artists in recent memory) sounds entirely of the moment. The reason I eventually veered away from hardcore as a genre is because I came to understand that hardcore will never have a timeless sound. This makes it forgettable. I find very little satisfaction spending time on music and art that is here today, gone tomorrow and that is what Skrillex represents.

Skrillex is nominated for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammys. Along with The Band Perry, a band I have never heard of; Bon Iver, who put out a sophomore record not nearly as good as his debut (so much for new!); J. Cole, who put out a very mediocre mixtape (in 2010); and Nicki Minaj who put out a very radio friendly and mostly disposable album.

I do not anticipate Skrillex’s music will inspire others to craft better, more timeless and personal music. He is not a pioneer. Interest in his music will wane and he will be known as ‘that guy with the bass drops’ making music that sounds entirely as his music sounds currently. It is disposable.

On top of all this, the goal of the Grammy’s Best New Artist category should be to identify the new artist with the highest potential for long-term success and ability to continually grow and develop into a lasting artist. Skrillex this is not. Admittedly, this year, Skrillex has had a larger impact on music than any other artist in the Best New Artist category. For that reason, I think he is the most deserving of the award, however, I will not be supporting his career.

P.S. In case you were wondering, my pick for Best New Artist of 2011 would be A$AP Rocky.

P.P.S. The only category I have any interest in is best rap album. Kanye should win that by a landslide.

Grab Skrillex jams here.

UPDATE : 11/09/12

I can’t believe I wrote this. I don’t particularly like Skrillex’s music but I support the guy. He does his thing. He’s an original. I don’t like new dubstep but what this movement means is that many people will be influenced to get involved with music in some way. They might pick up an instrument or add more electronic elements to their work. Maybe Skrillex influences the guy who creates the next big thing in music. The world needs more originals.

Simon Killer Review (Sundance 2012) – UPDATE

Sundance 2012 Screenings, Premieres and Reviews

In the Q&A after the screening I asked the director why he wanted to tell this story (because it’s a dark one that really doesn’t have much meaning).

The ‘meaning’ is supposed to be that the protagonist crosses a boundary (by roughing up his last girlfriend, which we learn via her letter to him) and is then unable to get back to the more innocent person he was before. This ends in a slippery slope of increasingly poor decisions.

Except, it really doesn’t. He’s violent. It sounds like he was always violent. In the beginning he is hyper-sexual, then at one point he turns his girl down for sex. Very little character arc. He already had these traits from scene one.

Kudos to Brady Corbet for being able to handle those unending masturbation and sex scenes. That seems tough. I liked his acting as a whole. The main actress, Mati Diop, almost never changed expression or had any intonation in her voice. Flat.

This entire idea about Simon having studied eyes has very little relation to the story but it comes up probably 5 times. It’s a gimmick.

I found the entire film has no arc. The interesting idea would have been to follow this blackmail scam and leave the second Parisian love interest out of the story. Let’s follow Simon’s darkness somewhere new. Or possibly learn more about which people are dark enough to let Simon into their lives and learn the stories of their lives and understand how people so depraved and immoral tend to find each other and how that cycle keeps a constant, dark underbelly to the world.

Obviously these are all just my opinions but my opinion is that ‘shocking,’ sexual films like this have been done so much better; “American Psycho” and “Requiem for a Dream” being two, superior stories and films. “The Talented Mr. Ripley” would be a third.

If they wanted to tell the story of a Joran Van Der Sloot type I think they missed the mark. This film, as-is, will definitely not be winning the Sundance audience award this year. I would start with a severe re-edit. They have what could be an intriguing film on their hands; Someone, somewhere seems to have missed that vision.

On a positive note, great song selections!

Update — here is a much better film writer and his positive take.

I too loved Martha Marcy May Marlene, my favorite film from the 2011 program. Different strokes.

Update 2 — This guy argues that the divisiveness is a positive.

Function Junction has bands for hire

If you are you looking for live entertainment for a special event, Function Junction can help.

Function Junction supplies the finest live entertainment, including DJs for hire, wedding entertainment and a range of live bands to suit every taste and for just about every type of special occasion you can think of.

Whether you prefer to sing along to your favourite tunes with a live cover band, or sample the best in rock and pop then look no further – they can find the band that’s just right for you.

If you are looking to add a unique touch to your wedding, they have a wide selection of wedding bands that will play your favourite tunes and create the perfect ambience for your big day – and, of course, the all-important first dance!

However if you are looking for something a little bit different, why not check out their range of soul, swing, classical and steel bands? function band hire

LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends (Lego Version)

From the director:
“A shot-for-single-shot remake of LCD Soundsystem’s 2007 music video for ‘All My Friends.’ This is part exercise in lip-syncing and digital effects, part tribute to the band that no longer is.

Physical elements shot with a Nikon D50. Compositing and effects done in After Effects CS5. Face designed in Illustrator CS5.

Follow me on twitter @Close_watcher”

Grab the band’s latest “This Is Happening”
This Is Happening Deluxe Edition

Or, grab the album that features “All My Friends,” “Sound of Silver.”Sound of Silver [Vinyl]