Today's take on the Community Function is via late 19th century France & The New Yorker. The title was "Van Gogh's Ear: The Christmas Eve that changed modern art." In fact, though, the piece is about the isolation & collaboration & community artists have saught, lost & found in our modern era.


Aaron Cometbus is not my Hero (singular) because I don't have those anymore. But he is one of my heroes (plural).


A nice brief quote about the working methods of lifestyle designer & style guru Todd Oldham's studio. (No relation to Will Oldham that I know of.) "In a way, Oldham is creating an artistic commune, surrounding himself with like-minded enthusiasts, whether they be staffers or the artists whose work he promotes.


A longing goodbye to 2009, the year I acknowledged the greatness of Nick Cave. (Not that Nick Cave, though it's also the year I fell in love with doubling.) Below is the video clip for what may be Cave's greatest song "Into My Arms." Try listening to it and not misting up.


A year ago I was flying around India. It's fair to say it turned my head inside out the most it'd been since a trip to Japan about ten years earlier. It's hard to explain the culture shock such trips summon, which is why I found this video of Derek Sivers' 3-minute talk from TED India so welcome.


Will Oldham compiled a list of his favorite music of 2009 for the current issue of Artforum. The best part was his introduction.


I'll admit it. I get off on death. Skeletons. X'd eyes.

No, not the phenomenon itself, but certainly the aftermath -- the way it makes you consider what comes ahead and what came before. It's not a kink but a forced form of contemplation.


All over the land you can hear hipsters saying, "You've got hip-hop in my indie rock," and all over the hip-hop nation, they are saying in return "You've got indie rock in my hip-hop." I've been meaning to write a bold, brilliant essayistic statement about this phenomenon.


Up this past weekend at Financial Times went this excellent sit down with U2's manager Paul McGuinness. His views & his evident self-satisfaction are likely to be polarizing. Here's some sample Tweets which prove my point.


Two bits of hip-hop/r&b media have come to my attention in the last few days.


Alec Hanley Bemis's picture
Alec Hanley Bemis

Alec Hanley Bemis lives in Brooklyn, NY but spends a lot of time in California. He obtained his B.A. in History from Yale University. His writing has appeared in LA Weekly, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Spin, AsthmaticKitty.com, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. In 2001, he co-founded Brassland, a record label that documents the work of a growing community of musicians, including The National and Nico Muhly. Currently he continues to run Brassland, consults for the UK-based music company All Tomorrow's Parties, co-manages The Dirty Projectors, and acts as general manager at Cantaloupe Music. In the past, he has taught in New York University's graduate journalism program, produced projects for the new media-design firm, Funny Garbage, and written for Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve.