Video Clip of The Week: Youth Worship, “Pink Snow”



All things considered, I am easy to please. Musically, it does not take a lot of bells and whistles to blow my mind. Sometimes all a band needs to do to impress me with its video is to rock hard and throw in some flashing, colored lights, and I’m good. So, I like this band, Youth Worship, and its video for the song “Pink Snow” — which, I admit, the title is what initially piqued my interest. Youth Worship, it is said, was born out of guitarist James Hanna’s desire to play a bunch of power chords through a Marshall stack. Mission accomplished.

To provide a little back story, James started a band called Asobi Seksu back in 2001. He was able to convince Asobi drummer Larry Gorman (Glassjaw, Orange 9mm) to join him in forming Youth Worship, and with the addition of second guitarist Will Donnelly, the NYC-based power trio played their first show in the winter of 2014.

To make an easy comparison, “Pink Snow” reminds me favorably of Deep Purple’s classic ’70s track “Space Truckin,” a song from my youth. I am not sure if it has anything to do with actual pink snow, or if that is some kind of euphemism for drugs, but when a song kicks this much ass, who gives a shit? “Pink Snow” can be found on the group’s recently released, self-titled debut EP (out now on Self Harm Records), but the band just finished recording their first LP (produced and engineered by James) — which features special guest appearances by members of the Japanese noise-rock band Boris, so you know it is going to be pretty crazy. Enjoy!

Youth Worship Band

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Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas from Pepperidge Farm

Harvest Spiced Envelopes
Harvest Spiced Envelopes – Recipe Below!

Hey what’s up. Thanksgiving is less than a week away and you’ve got some cooking to do, I know. You might recall that this past July we ran a sumptuous holiday feast preview, courtesy of our friends at Pepperidge Farm, which you can revisit now to get some awesome recipes as well as ideas on menu planning and decorating. You’re welcome!

One of my favorite Pepperidge Farm products is their puff pastry, which is super versatile, easy to work with and can be used for both savory and sweet creations. Let me share a couple new Dessert recipes that you might like to try out for this holiday season.

Harvest Spiced Envelopes are a tempting dessert features white chocolate, apples, cranberries, cinnamon and walnuts enveloped in puff pastry and baked to a golden brown. The combination of flavors is outrageously delcious!

Ingredients

1 orange
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups diced Gala apples
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 dash salt
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pistachios, toasted
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips

Directions

1.Heat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Finely grate 2 teaspoons zest from the orange.

2.Heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cranberries and cook for 6 minutes or until the apples are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Season with the salt. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the walnuts and orange zest. Let the mixture cool for 30 minutes.

3.Sprinkle the flour on the work surface. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut the pastry into 12 (4×3-inch) rectangles. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.

4.Place about 1 1/2 teaspoons white chocolate chips in the center of each pastry rectangle. Top each with about 1 tablespoon apple mixture. Brush two opposite corners of each pastry with water. Pull one corner up over the filling. Pull the opposite corner up over the filling and tuck it under the pastry, enclosing most of the filling but leaving the ends open. Place the filled pastries on the baking sheets.

5.Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes.

6.Heat the remaining white chocolate chips in a double boiler until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Drizzle the white chocolate over the pastries.

7.Recipe Note: Parchment paper keeps the pastry from sticking to the baking sheet and also makes for easier cleanup. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can spray the baking sheet with cooking spray instead. However, cooking spray may cause the bottoms of the pastries to brown more quickly, so begin checking for doneness 5 minutes early.

8.Flavor Variation: To serve these pastries as a gourmet appetizer, omit the white chocolate and substitute 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced, for the apples.

More information on this and other recipes is available at This Link!

Mini Pumpkin Pie Brulees
Mini Pumpkin Pie Brulees

You will absolutely wow your guests when you serve these Mini Pumpkin Pie Brulees for dessert! Puff pastry cups are filled with a rich pumpkin mixture and baked until golden. Dressed up with a caramelized sugar round, they’re guaranteed to earn rave reviews.

Ingredients

3 egg yolks
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
3 tbsp. granulated sugar

Directions

1.Heat the oven to 400°F. Spray 36 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups with vegetable cooking spray. Beat the egg yolks, pumpkin, heavy cream, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl with a fork or whisk.

2.Sprinkle the flour on the work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut the pastry into 36 (2-inch) squares. Press the pastry squares into 36 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups. Spoon about 1 tablespoon pumpkin mixture into each pastry cup.

3.Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown and the filling is set. Let the pastries cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove the pastries and let cool completely on the wire racks.

4.Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Heat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Create 18 (2-inch) circles of sugar on each baking sheet, using about 1/4 teaspoon sugar for each circle.

5.Bake one baking sheet for 5 minutes or until the sugar circles are bubbly and a deep caramel color. Let the sugar circles cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining baking sheet. Using a small metal spatula, remove the sugar circles from the baking sheets. Press 1 sugar circle at an angle into the top of each pastry.

More information on this and other recipes is available atThis Link! Bon Apetit, Everyone!

Bacon Thing of The Day: United Tastes Of America by Jon Burgerman

United Tastes of America

Artist Statement:

“I decided to make flags for each game of the World Cup I watched this Summer. I wanted to spread my support for different countries and feel more like a global citizen, without any political or geographical ties. That’s the greatest gift football and other sports can offer, they can genuinely bring disparate people together for play.

I re-imagined flags of different countries, adding a playful reference to that country within the design of the flag. America has one of the best flag designs there is, I really love it, and it was a lot of fun to work on. The first edition of this flag was with a burger and fries but the fries didn’t quite look right in red, so I turned them into bacon. Everyone seems to love bacon.” – Jon Burgerman

Buy this print (before it sells out!) at 1 X Run Dot Com!

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Neon Drugs Sign

Jack Pierson Drugs (Pink and Orange)
Photo By Gail

Jack Pierson, Drugs (Pink and Orange), 2000. Neon and Transformer. Photographed at the Leila Heller Gallery on West 57th Street, NYC.

Recommended Viewing: The Circle (Der Kreis)

The Circle Poster

Love doesn’t have to look a certain way, and it is a thoroughly compelling love story that anchors the Gay rights battle at the heart of The Circle, a new German language film from Director Stefan Haupt. In this engaging film that mixes a scripted dramatic narrative (set in 1950s Zurich) with present day documentary interview footage with film’s real-life main characters, The Circle (Der Kreis) is also the name of a gay social organization and the multi-lingual, borderline-homoerotic magazine/newsletter it publishes and distributes to an extensive international list of subscribers.

Although post WWII Switzerland has no laws banning homosexuality, The Circle’s staff members are always careful to avoid excessive censorship by keeping the publication’s nudity “artistically tasteful” and ensuring that any provocative articles are written in a language that the censors don’t speak. It’s obvious from the beginning that The Circle offers an invaluable social outlet and sanctuary for its members; one which they will go to great lengths to preserve and protect.

It’s at one of the organization’s formal dances that reserved Girls School teacher Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbuehler) meets flamboyant drag performer Robi Rapp (Sven Schelker), and Ernst is instantly smitten. While Ernst’s profession and desire to achieve tenure necessitate that he remain closeted to anyone outside of The Circle — including his ultra-repressed parents –Robi is openly gay and very comfortable inside his own skin. Robi has particularly charming relationship with his very warm and accepting mother (played by actress Marianne Sägebrecht ).

As Robi and Ernst’s relationship develops into a committed romance, Ernst becomes more self-confident and accepting of his sexual identity while also growing more passionate toward his involvement with The Circle and the cause of Gay rights.

Robi and Ernst
Sven Schelker and Matthias Hungerbuehler Portray Lovers Robi and Ernst

Both actors are brilliant in their respective roles, sharing a palpable onscreen chemistry that really brings the deeply loving relationship between Ernst and Robi to life; but it isn’t all about romance. When several friends of The Circle fall victim to a series of murders within the gay community, the formerly liberal authorities begin to crack down on suspected same-sex behavior. This leads to The Circle’s regular dances and social events being declared illegal, and police using strong arm tactics to collect the personal details of all members. With the resulting turmoil, the organization becomes impossible to maintain and must be disbanded.

A unique aspect of The Circle’s method of storytelling is the interspersing of documentary interludes, featuring present-day interviews with the real life Ernst and Robi, now in their eighties. Not only are they still happily together but, in 2003, they actually became the first legally married same-sex couple in Switzerland. Friends and family of the couple, as well as former members of The Circle also contribute their personal stories, to create a very satisfying and entertaining movie-going experience. I really loved this film.

The Circle (Der Kreis) – which is the Official submission of Switzerland to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015 – opens in NYC on November 21st and in Los Angeles on December 18th, 2014. Runtime: 102 minutes.

The Worley Gig Gives The Circle Four out of Five Stars

George Condo’s Double Heads, Black Paintings, Abstractions at Skarstedt Gallery

George Condo
All Photos By Gail

My first exposure to George Condo’s highly recognizable style of painting happened when I saw his 2010-2011 exhibit, Mental States, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. I thought the show was pretty cool, but I can totally understand how some might consider his artwork to be an acquired taste.

People who don’t go to art galleries and museums — if they know Condo at all —  probably know him as the artist who took a $40,000 Hermes Birkin Bag that Kanye West bought as a gift for Kim Kardashian and, at West’s request, “ruined” (not my words) it by custom painting a group of nude figures on the bag’s exterior. My feeling on the matter is that if you can afford to buy Birkin Bags, you can afford to have one custom painted by George Condo. Because, why not? Condo has also painted the artwork for a number of West’s CDs. That is nice work if you can get it, I am sure.

If you’re lucky enough to live in NYC, you can see a series of Condo’s new, large canvas paintings over at Skarstedt Gallery right now! The exhibit is entitled Double Heads / Black Paintings / Abstractions, and these paintings were created in 2014 at the artist’s East Hampton studio. Impressive!

George Condo Double Head

Condo’s Double Heads and Black Paintings continue his investigation of the concept of portraiture. In these most recent works, Condo has adopted Harold Rosenberg’s idea of ‘action painting’ —  a term used to describe the performative, often volatile energy exercised by Abstract Expressionist painters like de Kooning and Pollock — to create his own ‘action portraits.’ Through an elaborate process of layering, erasure, and reconstruction, shattered images of faces and bodies emerge from and interact within a field of abstract forms. This makes sense  when you know that Condo, being well versed in art history, often references known artists by adopting their styles and techniques into his work.

George Condo Double Head

Incorporating the use of silver metallic paint in Double Portrait in Grisaille on Silver, 2014, and other works in this series, Condo references Warhol’s silver paintings from the 1960’s such as Double Elvis. After preparing a ground of silver paint on canvas, Condo applies ivory black onto loose sheets of paper, which is then transferred onto the canvasses, giving them the look and surface quality of a screen print. He then creates a schism in this form by subsequently employing the traditional technique of grisaille to draw out the figures by hand.

George Condo Double Head

In creating such large-scale paintings in a very confined studio space, Condo has been forced to work ‘inside’ his paintings, addressing both subject and material at close range — never stepping too far back from the canvas to allow the image in his mind to entirely materialize. Both gestural improvisation and concrete imagery are evident as he forcefully pushes and pulls the paint around the surface of the canvas until a final image emerges, fully formed yet haunted by the process of its becoming. In Beginnings, 2014, a large square format painting, a single eye peers out from the devastation of what at one time might have been a full portrait. This process of addition, subtraction and layering evokes a visceral response to both the handling of paint and the subject of the painting.

George Condo Double Head

Partially obscured by violent brush marks, the likenesses of the figures and characters in Condo’s paintings are integrations of forms that the brushwork fractures. Facial features peek out from underneath fields of color as broad strokes of bold black and white paint shatter the pictorial plane. The simultaneous multiple expressions of his portraits speak to the volatility of human emotions and the unpredictability — even hilarity — of the characters one encounters in urban life.

George Condo Double Head

The abstract works in this exhibition fluctuate between the lyrical and the hysterical, building upon the cacophony of interacting forms for which Condo is known. In Silver Mass, 2014, as well as several other works on view, Condo extends the lineage of his series of abstract ‘expanding canvasses’, which began in the early 1980’s, to invent ever new painterly forms and hints of human expression.

Double Heads / Black Paintings / Abstractions by George Condo will be on view through December 20th, 2014 at Skarstedt Gallery, Located at 550 W. 21st Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

George Condo Signage with Orchid