Here are some of our favorite pictures from last February's First Fridays!
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Hands-on periodic table activities will be presented by members from the Southern California section of the American Chemical Society.
Why did Gandhi hate iodine? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium? How did radium nearly ruin Marie Curie’s reputation? And why did tellurium lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history? The Periodic Table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it’s also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The Disappearing Spoon delves into every single element on the table and explains each one's role in science, money, mythology, war, the arts, medicine, alchemy, and other areas of human history, from the Big Bang through the end of time.[ ]
Sam Kean is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist’s Thumb. His stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, and The New Scientist, and his work has been featured on Radiolab, All Things Considered, and Fresh Air. Visit http://samkean.com.
Dan Deacon is an outstanding composer. He is also an instigator. So while he made his Carnegie Hall debut this year, a few weeks later he was getting 10,000 people to do crazy dances at a massive Occupy Wall Street rally in Union Square. Deacon has always made trailblazing music that moves people to do things they wouldn't normally do. But, on his new album, America, he takes that idea a giant step further.
"I hope the people who take the time to listen to these songs enjoy them," says Deacon, "but I hope that anyone looking for anything beyond that can find inspiration to change the world for the better."
Described most recently as “art-rock installation paratroopers” and “a studied form of New Wave anarchism” by Flash Art, a “Performance Galaxy” by Vanity Fair, “Super hard, incredibly fast and overall inspiring” by Thrasher, “more accessible than other bands of its genre” by the New Yorker, and “the best band ever, straight up” by Tokion, Japanther has always been a band apart, running the gamut from performance art to punk rock and back again. Pushing parties to the limit ("Lincoln Center punk-rock concert turned mini-riot”, New York Post), Japanther returns with Beets, Limes and Rice, a celebration of 10 years in the underground and an ultra-contemporary meditation on catharsis and being in love in a time of darkness. Following on the heels of Rock ‘n’ Roll Ice Cream (2010), Beets, Limes and Rice was again recorded in the hills of Los Angeles with producer Michael Blum, who has worked with Michael Jackson, Madonna (Like a Prayer, Who’s That Girl), Pink Floyd, and Suicidal Tendencies. From Venice Beach to Rockaway Beach, this new album delivers a new urban punk rock dance sound that bursts with California sunshine and amped-up collaborations with Ninjasonik, Erick Lyle, Total Warr and John McIntyr. Beets, Limes and Rice was written in the midst of "It Never Seems to End," an 84-hour performance piece in Vienna, Austria for TBA 21; in Paris, Venice, during cross-country travel from Juarez to Brooklyn to Bellingham, and lots of airports in between.
Japanther is an art project, established by Matt Reilly and Ian Vanek, then students at Pratt Institute. Japanther was featured in the2006 Whitney Biennial and the 2011 Venice Biennale, and has collaborated with a diverse pool of artists such as Gelitin, Penny Rimbaud, Gee Vaucher, Dan Graham, Eileen Myles, Kevin Bouton-Scott, robbinschilds, Dawn Riddle, Claudia Meza, Todd James, Devin Flynn, Ninjasonik, Anita Sparrow and Spankrock. Japanther has made its name with unique performance situations, appearing alongside synchronized swimmers, atop the Williamsburg Bridge, with giant puppets, marionettes and shadow puppets, in the back of a moving truck in Soho, and at shows with giant dinosaurs and BMXers flying off the walls.
Anthony Valadez is a Los Angeles based DJ/Producer and visual artist with residencies at Little Temple, Zanzibar, and previously at the legendary Temple Bar prior to its closure. His latest musical projects include remixes for David Bowie and Ozomatli. He has released two full length albums on the indie label Recordbreakin. He is a resident DJ at Dublab.com and has a regular program on 89.9 FM KCRW & KCRW.com where he mixes future beats, soulful keys, and tomorrows’ samples and sounds.
Kisses is a Los Angeles-based pop project featuring Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson.
The band's sophomore release, Kids In LA, is a departure from the luminosity of their first album, focusing instead on the starker wintertime in Southern California. While The Heart of the Nightlight took listeners on a neon-hued journey through Palm Springs at peak vacation season, Kids In LA inverts that thematic motif, opting to explore the empty and slightly-haunted, off-season of the vacation world. The glimmering parties and easy social experiences of the first album make way for the disquieting stillness and vacuous silences of abandoned beach chairs, covered pools, and peeling wallpaper.
Kids In LA was recorded over a year and a half, and was produced by Saint Etienne's Pete Wiggs and Tim Laracombe. Driven by crisp and thudding drum machines, the record is riddled with the evocative rhythms of late 80s freestyle (Debbie Deb, Lisa Lisa). Paired with lightly-effected guitars and warm analog keyboards, the mood is distinct: cold and anxious, yet rich, inviting, and melodic. Lyrically, the album's theme has not departed from the playful and frothy frivolity of the first record. Kids in LA consists of a loose narrative, which follows teenage friends and classmates in Bel Air, exploring the overblown emotions and distinct chasmic boredom of privileged high schoolers. Their lavish parties and a general disregard for others ultimately leaves our cast of misanthropes in a wash of insular social interactions and hazy banality.