Yelle at Art Basel (Art Loves Music concert) – Report from Miami, part two

December 4, 2008 at 11:47 am (art, culture, interesting, Uncategorized) ()


Yelle at Art Basel (Art Loves Music concert)

Originally uploaded by amywilson

Excuse me, what’s the name of this band?
Yelle.
Oh, they’re… French?
Yeah, I think so. Uh huh.
And are they the uh, “headliner” for tonight?
Uh, yeah.

Ok, so, first things first: They weren’t Iggy Pop and the Stooges, nor were they Gang Gang Dance. The audience gathered for Art Loves Music seemed mired in these points, to the extent where people around us seemed entirely engaged at either snickering at the band or repeatedly rolling their eyes (there were a fair amount of dancers around, but it was hard to ignore the naysayers).

But Yelle was actually really good and put on a great performance; soon as I get home, I’m downloading some music from them for sure. It was nice to hear band I wasn’t familiar with, and they certainly seemed up for commanding the stage and doing the gig they were hired for. And probably what annoyed me the absolute most about all this is the voice in my head that just wanted to scream, “People!! Iggy Pop IS NOT COOL!!! Like 30+ years ago he was… now? Not so much! There’s a fucking article on CNN this morning about how cool he is… don’t you understand that that’s the antithesis of cool right there?!?”

Iggy’s performance last year was robotic and lifeless; Yelle’s pop-py, silly, and fun performance was… pop-py, silly, and fun – a nice way to top off the evening. I wanted to be cool and roll my eyes at them too, but I just couldn’t – I genuinely enjoyed them.

Earlier that evening, we checked out the Aqua Miami Beach opening. The fair here looks much more adventurous and interesting than their outpost in Winwood – while I don’t think I’ll be making a return trip to the Winwood version, I’m definitely going back to their version on Collins Ave.

Probably one of our favorite things there was running into artist/poet Zach Houston who sat around, writing poems on demand for donations, right near the hot tub. At first glance, I sort of dismissed Zach (the poetry thing seemed a little cute to me, jaded NYer that I am – you also have to bear in mind that during this week there are an awful lot of artists walking around in weird costumes, doing “performances” that go nowhere, etc.,) but after flipping through a book of his drawings and chatting with him, it became pretty clear to me that he’s really genuine; a good soul with something to say and man, his drawings are great to boot.

So, I requested a poem about Godzilla and got:

the thrill, in
hollywwood [sic] is
made in japans
vast casually
pilfered imagination
amplified made more
powerful by it figures
nuclear detonations
cloud the japanese
mushroom and action
movie consciousness

Not bad for a five minute turnaround. I’m definitely going back to stare at those drawings for a little while longer, though.

Today we’re actually going to look at art, which I’m psyched about. The last two days have been mostly about socializing and getting a lay of the land; today we get down to business.

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