The most vivid artwork I’ve ever seen was a series of blank frames.
The first time I walked into the Dutch Room at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, I was gobsmacked. This room was the site of the most notorious art heist in history, where thirty-three years ago, two thieves disguised as police officers broke into the museum and stole half a billion dollars worth of masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Degas. I’ve never witnessed such a visceral display of the absence of art.
For those who don’t know my name is Alex Black, but I go by many names. I’m Alex Black. I’m Flash The Stampede. I’m Johnny Louisville. Hence the The Man With Three Faces moniker. When I practice martial arts I’m Three Chāoláng (超狼) LOL. My main creative persona is Alex Black, however. I’m an artist in every sense of the word. A dreamer, hard worker, flamboyant, charismatic, experimental. I’m gorgeous, and one of the most dopest people walking this planet. I’m one of one, I do what I want, when I want & how I want which confuses people.
I’ve said this somewhere else but people see a 6’5 dude from Brooklyn, muscular, with an androgynous pretty boy style, constantly rocking something flamboyant. They’ll see this dude pull up in a streetwear brand from London, or maybe he’s rocking some vintage designer clothes from the 80s and 90s, mixing it with crazy footwear and eyeliner. An eccentric human being, but his talent and charisma is undeniable. That’s who Alex Black is.
Some of my favorite moments and memories consist of being out on the road wearing a hat over greasy hair and some of the same travel clothes for days. Stepping out of the van barefoot to see the sights, the wind blowing my clothes as I look out over the expanses, I feel free of earthly possessions, free of the need to control how I look and feel, and free of the expectations of the outside world. Truly anonymous in a hat, I travel from town to town in and out of diners and cafes with my face slightly obscured. I’m just a traveler blowing through, never promising anything to anyone. I’m a transient presence for a moment and then I’m gone.
The different settings for my latest album, Desert Cities – Part One, span from Denver to Seoul. Track three, Brooklyn, is a love song for the gritty and enigmatic Bushwick neighborhood and track four, Coming Home, rides the metro north to Midtown where home is not a place but a person (and a lovely oasis at that). Track two, Lost in Seoul, reflects on the foreign shores of South Korea, “the crowded streets, the angry East Sea, don’t mind if I belong here for a while.”
Only track one, Hold out Thirst, mentions a dry, barren, lifeless, sandy desert. Its brief and stark first refrain, “I went to the desert and held out my thirst,” captured something much bigger in me when I first listened back to the completed album. The desert, in this case, is where one goes to reflect deeply, to test themselves against the elements, physically and emotionally and to experience thirst as a fundamental sensation of life, to feel acutely alive. The remainder of the album (part two included, TBR Fall 2019) is born of this same desire.
In the beginning, a rock appeared in the firmament, and on that rock a fissure did form. An old man with youthful eyes looked upon this rock and said, “I shall call you ‘Shredrock.'” And upon receiving the reverberations of his utterance, the rock burst forth a great explosion, showering the old man with mystical properties, endowing him with the wisdom of old age and the vigor of youth. And when the phenomenon did cease, the rock told the man, “I shall call you ‘Grampfather.'”
On June 11, Peter Bark released “Nightwalk” on Bandcamp. The hip-hop sound designer and beatmaker already filled the dozen with his newest album. While Peter likes to keep his music alias separated from his real life, he gives some insight on his musical travels in this interview executed by email.
Wisconsin Brothers Robert and David Perlick-Molinari, better known as French Horn Rebellion, would like to help you start your week strong. In collaboration with disco producers Patawawa, they have created the perfect soundtrack for a Monday morning ride to work.
While Gangstagrass have a new single out and are preparing a live album, they released their last studio album American Music almost three years ago. Never the less, their mix of Bluegrass and Hip-Hop hasn’t lost its freshness a bit in those years.