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Morning, y’all! 1.) Jerry Fuchs, drummer in many, many bands, fell down a goddamn elevator shaft yesterday and died. His amazing drumming will be missed. 2.) Anybody watch the season finale of Mad Men? I have yet to watch a single episode of that show, but I hear last night was a doozie! Feel free to spoil shit in the comments, if you feel so inclined. The lunacy and brilliance of James “Mij” Cameron, 50 Cent‘s scent, Malcolm X‘s bisexuality, the highest paying job any deadhead could ever expect, and “The Top 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World,” after the jump.
– Did not know this: Malcolm X went both ways, but Civil Rights advocates do not like to talk about it. Why? Maybe because “Malcolm X’s bisexuality is more than just a question of truth and historical fact. There has never been any black person of similar global prominence and recognition who has been publicly known to be gay or bisexual.” (Also: This is from the Guardian; shouldn’t an American have written this first?)
– Who doesn’t love Terminator I-VI? Who didn’t love Titanic, at least the first time through, when that big boat snapping in half was enough to take your breath away? Better question: Who will love Avatar and how will it fare? It cost a fortune to make and FOX is already strategizing ways to keep from closing up shop, should it suck. After reading Dana Goodyear‘s profile of James Cameron in the New Yorker, I have much hope for this movie, even though watching Up in 3D gave me a massive headache. Money quote: “It’s all just an excuse to do helicopters versus pterodactyls,” [Cameron] said.
– “Power by 50” is the new cologne from rapper 50 Cent, reports Creative Loafing alumnus-turned-NPR wunderkind Brian Reed. If you have ever terrorized the perfume counter at the mall, as I have, you will not find this surprising. What I didn’t know, however, is that the New York Times has a scent critic. This is morbid, I know, but will Chandler Burr end up on the “essential” list when the NYT has to cut 100 people by the end of the year? Burr thinks Britney’s perfume is better than Britney’s music; this amateur scent critic agrees.
– Apparently, the art world has both powerful people and powerless people; why else would Hyperallergic have made a list about the people who have it the worst? My favorite is number 12, which is actually an entire nation of people, because it makes fun of Damien Hirst, who is the kind of person that freaks out over pencils: “The faceless miners in Sierra Leone who procured the 8,601 diamonds for Damien Hirst’s sparkling skull—they may fear for their lives every day as they work in hazardous work conditions and subsist on less than 1% of the value of a pencil in a Hirst installation, but they sleep well at night knowing that a silly sculpture that represents the pinnacle of the latest gilded age exists.” Read the whole list at Hyperallergic and feel better about your own shit-stained perch on the socioeconomic ladder.
– CALLING ALL DEADHEADS: If you bathe regularly and can sit still for eight hours straight without having a flashback and/or licking a coworker’s feet, there might be a job for you in California: “The University Library of the University of California, Santa Cruz, seeks an enterprising, creative, and service-oriented archivist to join the staff of Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) as Archivist for the Grateful Dead Archive.” The gig pays pretty well, too: “$52,860 to $68,892 USD Per Year.”
– EMI is really wising up to the impending creative destruction of the record industry, and has decided to make concert bootlegs a thing of the past in an effort to stay relevant. From WIRED’s Eliot Van Buskirk: “Showgoers can buy professionally recorded concerts as they exit a venue on USB stick, CD, DVD or as a digital delivery. While by no means the first, EMI launched a major initiative in this area Wednesday: Abbey Road Live, which builds on the legacy of Live Here Now, which was launched by EMI’s Mute Records label in 2004, and forms the core of EMI’s nearly-real-time live music sales program.” Is this as fun as surfing around message boards, begging for links to megaupload while people half your age force you to answer trivia in order to verify that you are not a narc? Probably. Then again, those USB sticks costs money, which is the whole problem with the recording industry: paying for things.
– Every Time I Die, Buffalo’s hirsute hard-rockers, are famous for lots of things: Being on Guitar Hero, hating the cops, hating each other, and being able to spit huge loogies up in the air and catch them. Turns out, lead singer Keith Buckley is also a pretty good writer of personal narrative-ocumentaries. This one, in which he talks about riding a Harley up and down the Cali coast, is well-paced, touching, and all about the joy of the bike. Buckley is no Robert Pirsig, but I highly recommend you spend six minutes of you day listening to this anyway.
– In time for the 10th anniversary release of Fight Club, the New York Times‘ Dennis Lim explores the movie’s cult following, as well as the millennium anxieties that almost kept the movie from seeing the light of day. Money quote: “‘People get scared, not just of violence and mortality, but viewers are terrified of how they can no longer relate to the evolving culture,’ Mr. Palahniuk said.”
Got a suggestion for a future Arts Desk roundup? Post it in the comments or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow me on twitter!