/photog

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“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
Working towards that number changes the way you see the world. Living in this crowded-crumbling, sexy-scary, crazy-noisy, feast-of-vision city surely helps a bit. Keep your eyes peeled and trigger-finger ready.

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/literati

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“When I was your age television was called books!” Peter Faulk neatly sums up the written word’s apparent fall from grace. Yes, the telly has of late been dating smarter girls. But there’s more than one way to peel a couch potato. Turn it off and turn the page.

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/sound + vision

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“A film is more like music than like fiction.”
Indeed, they are birds of a feather– a murder of crows pecking away at yoga, politics and walks in the park to carve out a life of blurred vision, tinitus and narrow cultural vocabulary. That’s the way, uh huh, I like it.

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/ the daily muse

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Gin and Gaudi: Barcelona, Spain 2012


All photos © maunet.com. Shot with the Nikon D300S and the iPhone 4s + SnapSeed

Hola chicos, today we’re gonna show and tell a bit about the amazing city of Barcelona, home to the great kooky architect Gaudi, mouth-watering Iberian ham, charmingly lisped accents and the strangely mixed gin and tonic. Rach and I spent six days traipsing around this beautiful city, taking in an abundance of architecture, shopping, eating and drinking. We slept little and walked much, making our way through most of the city’s barrios, each more charming than the next.

With jet-lag buzzing in my ears as I write  this, it’s hard to sum up our stay in a few short words, so I’ll spare you all the clever prose and let the pictures speak for themselves. Yes, it’s a hefty slideshow, but well worth your gander, if I do say so myself. Enjoy!

Start the slideshow…

  1. Thursday 09.27.2012 | 3:11 EST

    Michele says:

    Ah, thank you for the visual tour of that stunning city! So many the architectural and culinary delights to enjoy…

  2. Monday 09.24.2012 | 8:52 EST

    Tara says:

    These are incredibly beautiful photographs! I was blown away…

Found Art: Dylan Day Happenstance

Bob Sylan's Nashville Skyline Sidewalk ArtiPhone 4GS + Snapseed, © maunet.com

As happens every couple of years, I’m back on a Dylan kick. Yesterday I spent the better half of a slow work day listening to a shuffle of 38 records as I waited patiently for UPS to deliver my newest vinyl acquisition, a 180-gram copy of Dylan’s 1968′s country-rock classic, John Wesley Harding.

Around lunch time, over a shredded chicken and chipotle mayonnaise sandwich, I popped in the DVD extras to the fascinating pseudo biopic I’m Not There and listened to Todd Haynes explain his brilliant approach to accounting for the life of a man as confounding as he is remarkable. Soon thereafter, the UPS man rang my bell to deliver the aforementioned piece of vinyl. Score. I placed it on the turntable and cranked it up.

At the close of business I readied myself for a trip to the city, iPod strapped and queued to a mobile shuffle of the bard’s sizable discography. MetroCard in hand, “Tombstone Blues” in my ears, I walked down the subway stars to the F train. Looking down I found this – good old Bob, a rare Nashville Skyline smile on his face as he tipped his hat to me from the concrete filth of the subway stairs. Hi Bob, nice hat!

In honor of this happy little happenstance, here’s Nashville Skyline’s “Peggy Day” for your own little Dylan fix. While you’re listening, I’ll be waiting for yet another Dylan delivery, this time a copy of Clinton Heylin’s celebrated 800-page tome, Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades. When it comes to Robert Zimmerman, hey, there’s no end to what you may learn about the man…

“Peggy Day” | Bob Dylan | Nashville Skyline | 1969

  1. Wednesday 04.18.2012 | 1:47 EST

    melania says:

    He is astonishingly amazing. I LOVE him and consider him the greatest musical genius besides the classical composers. It’s funny to hear this song, he is rather kermit like but it works. Time Out of Mind was my intro to him and then I worked my way back. How much more heartbreaking yet inspiring can you get? “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” gets me every single time. If you haven’t, catch him live. He is beyond cool.

  2. Wednesday 04.18.2012 | 12:59 EST

    Tonna says:

    So glad you got your groove back. XXOO

Published, Sort Of: NYC At Your Feet

NYC At Your Feet Maunet

Well, after talking about it for 10 years, the deed is done.

NYC At Your Feet’s first galley proof arrived at my doorstep yesterday, and thanks to the fine folks at Blurb.com, I must say it looks great.

For those of you not familiar with the project, the book is a collection of from-the-hip, below the waist photo treats chronicling the chosen footwear of our fellow New Yorkers. From the introduction:

The idea for this book began taking shape in October 1999 upon moving to New York City,
a town renowned equally for it’s eclectic style and harshness of character.

A place where, generally, we don’t make eye contact.

Sitting in a subway car, we follow protocol. Hunched against the winter wind,
our gaze drops to the ground beneath our feet. Our field of vision is self-limited
to that narrow frame between the pockmarked sidewalk and the waistlines of
our fellow New Yorkers. Through this lens we gather our first concrete observations,
draw initial conclusions about the kind of person passing by us might be.
Where they dine. Where they dance. Where they work and play.

NYC At Your Feet is on sale here:

The book is a 100 page, perfect-bound hardback printed on premium luster paper.
I make no profit from sales, sa
ve the satisfaction of knowing
this labor of love has fallen into someone’s appreciative hands.

You can preview the book below, as well as pass on facebook comments to all your friends :)

  1. Tuesday 01.17.2012 | 11:01 EST

    Rockpants says:

    Awesome!!! Why, pray tell do you make no profit from the sales? Who’m I giving my money to? I suppose the publisher. Okay.

Photog: Viva Central Mexico!


iPhone 4S + CameraBag & CameraPlus

A 30-minute taxi cab. A five-hour flight to Mexico City. A three-hour bus ride to Queretaro. A one-hour car ride to San Miguel De Allende. Finally I arrive at my destination in Central Mexico, an old artists colony known for its narrow, hilly cobble stone streets and colorful ancient architecture. A couple of other day trips to Guanajuato and Los Posos complete the trip, then I turn back around and do that 14-hour trip back to Brooklyn, exhausted but exhilarated by the lively Mexican culture, delicious food and unparalleled hospitality.

I left my heavy Nikon rig at home (who wants to lug that around for 14 hours) and took only my iPhone and Canon G11. Guess what, I left the G11 at our beautiful house in SMA the whole time, opting for iPhone + on-board camera apps to capture the stunning scenery we were treated to throughout our 4-day trip.

So here it is, a sample of Central Mexico as seen through the iPhone 4S.

+ Start Slideshow

And, you can watch this darlin’ video of baby billygoats:

  1. Thursday 01.05.2012 | 8:59 EST

    epd says:

    I hate to admit that the herd of goats kind of scared me a bit. Another animal group to add to my phobias I guess.

Music: Best of 2011. Sort Of

Best of 2011. Sort Of.

OK, so most year-end lists enumerate curators choices for the best musical efforts released in the current year, this being 2011, in case you’d lost track. Maunet’s list is a little different. It does include some records I thought represented the best of this year’s musical offerings. But to be quite honest, one look at my iTunes library revealed that I had not acquired all that many records released in 2011. Not to mention that all the vinyl I bought this year was primarily composed of classic records from the 60′s through the 90′s. Call me behind the times. An old fogey. Or, as I would prefer, discerning.

So with this in mind, my year-end list includes past artists or records that I’ve re-discovered or obsessed over during the course of the year. Some are relatively new artists from this decade, others hearken back to the days of yore. In all cases, their awesomeness goes undiluted by the passing of time. So, ordered by play count, check it:

M83

maunet-m83-2011

Despite the fact that I didn’t get turned on to this band until November of this year, it tops the play count list. That should tell you something. Three of M83′s records have been on repeat for weeks now. It’s driving my girlfriend crazy, but I can’t help it. More here.

Radiohead

maunet-radiohead-2011

After some repeated listening, I reluctantly got to like this year’s The King Of Limbs. But really, it’s been all about the other three records pictured above. Thy’re so dark  and sexy and alive you just can’t put ‘em down. Bottom line, this band is one of the best of the best and warrants repeated listening no matter what year it is.

Pains of Being Pure At Heart

maunet-pains-belong-2011

Teenage Dream Pop delight. Dashes of My Bloody Valentine, sprinkles of 80′s pop, Belong is perfect for driving with the top down. And if you’re wooing a girl, it’s a nice, innocent way to get things started…

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

maunet-brmc-2011

I’d forgotten just how fucking good these guys are. Dark rock a little this side of Jesus and Mary Chain, great for midnight strolls through dark alleys.

The National

maunet-the-national-2011

Between the Expanded Edition of High Violet and the release of two singles this year supporting a movie (“Think You Can Wait”, Win Win) and a video game, of all things, (“Exile,Vilify”, Portal 2) this band continues to stay in heavy rotation after years of wearing their records down to the nub.

Bon Iver

maunet-bon-iver-2011

Delicate, gorgeous, sublime. If this list was not ordered by play count, methinks this self-titled effort would top the list for best record of 2011. In fact, I’m disinclined to believe my LastFM scrobble count on this one, cause I spun this constantly since it’s release date. And have you seen this guy live? Jesus H.

The Rolling Stones

maunet-stones-2011

As with The Beatles, I re-discover this band every few years or so. You just can’t argue with it. Hands down one of the best bands of all time. My interest was re-piqued this time by the release of the Deluxe Edition of Exile On Main Street, not to mention recently acquired virgin vinyl copies of the meat of the Stone’s order: Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Beggars Banquet. This time around I finally saw the genius of Keith Richards. Such a rock star, a complete and utter madman; yet when it comes to the music, disarmingly earnest and truly delighted by his job. A sweetheart of sorts. He kills without showboating, his riffs deceptively simple and full of soul. Yes, I kinda fell in love with the man this year, crags and all. Watch Gimme Shelter, Let’s Spend the Night Together, Stones In Exile and Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones! for affirmation of this guy’s utter charm and musicality.

S. Carey

maunet-s-carey-2011

As drummer for Bon Iver, S. Carey applies a tasteful percussionist’s hand to a band that is primarily known for it’s acoustic leanings. But on his debut solo outing, he applies a musicologists magic to All We Grow, a gorgeous record teeming with majestic textures and complex rhythmic structures. It’s a soundtrack to a lover’s dream and well worth repeated listenings as it seeps into your subconscious, leaving you melancholy, joyful and fully alive.

Black Mountain

maunet-black-mountain-2011

In its simplest terms, this band ROCKS. Steeped in psychedelic blues-rock of the 60′s and 70′s, this Canadian collective mines the best of Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, spewing a barrage of  rock and rollin bad-assness. Long live rock.

Black Angels

maunet-black-angels-2011

Seems I’m into bands with Black in their monikers. This particular brand of black is dry and muscular, piquant and dark as a blood orange. The Black Angels are an inarguably contemporary band, yet deeply rooted in late 60′s bombastic blues-rock (Monks, Black Sabbath); minimal basement dinge (Velvet Underground, The Stooges); and post-hippie psychedelic wash (Spacemen 3). While the first record, Passover, looms a little darker, their third effort, Phosphene Dream, has the band fascinated with the poppier side of the 60′s, making noisy nods to The Beatles, The Kinks and the Beach Boys. And that’s never a bad thing.

The Antlers

maunet-antlers-2011

The Antler’s second record had a lot to live up to after the mesmerizing, wrenching 2009 debut Hospice. Happily, their sophomore effort doesn’t disappoint. Lyrically, the record sounds like a natural extension of the first–more songs of loss, distrust and heart-break. But while Hospice held us close in the trenches of human loss, Burst Apart employs new electronic textures that make it seem a little less of this world, more so a claustrophobic concoction of dreamy landscapes that bring to life all our most hidden fears and desires.

Pink Mountaintops

maunet-pink-mountain-tops-2011

Pink Mountaintops are the sexier, dirtier sister of Black Mountain. Decidedly influenced by the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, the Tops rejoice in noisy DIY ditties of dancing, drugs, sex, and rock and roll. And who the hell don’t love that?

The Psychedelic Furs

maunet-psychedelic-furs-2011

I’ve been listening to these guys since high school–back in my time, “Pretty In Pink” was the pean to the unapproachable pretty girl sitting next to you in classs. But during the period when the Furs were at their most contemporary, I never delved deep into their catalog, satisfied with owning only All of This and Nothing, a collection of their poppier, prettier tracks. But this year I sat down and really dug into the first three records to discover that these guys are the quintessential post-punk band. Raw and growly, the Furs’ early material is so full of energy it’ll sock and spin you ’round like a boxer bent on knocking you down. And much to my surprise, these records still manage to sound contemporary after all these years. So don’t feel bad if you come across these guys late in the game. As they say,  ”the first in her line is the last to remember her name…”

Kurt Vile

maunet-kurt-vile-2011

Earlier this year the short 30-minute haunt of God Is Saying This To You stayed on repeat morning, noon and night. It’s the perfect record for a crisp autumn night spent alone on the veranda, sipping bourbon, smoking yourself daft, haunted by the specter of lost loves and friends forgotten. Imagine a gathering of Bert Jansch, Neil Young and Bon Iver plucking out ghostly strains haunting dark country woods. Naturally I had to go out and get everything this young troubadour from Pittsburgh has to offer, and none of it disappoints. Vile explores noisier territory on Constant Hitmaker and Childish Prodigy, then settles into a more unified approach on 2011′s Smoke Ring for My Halo. Take the whole ouvre as a whole and you’ve got one hell of a collection songs.

The War On Drugs

maunet-the-war-on-drugs-2011

A Kurt Vile side project, The War On Drugs cook up a unique concoction of ambient Americana. Between Vile’s high register and a wash of distorted keyboards you’ll find songs suitable for a country stomp on the surface of the moon.

Secret Machines

maunet-secret-machines-2011

Now Here Is Nowhere was the shit back in 2004. The band made a daringly cool move: basing the entire recording session for this album around the sound of a booming kick drum. Boy did it pack a wallop. But then, like so many other over-hyped bands of the oughts, they lost direction and petered out. But that don’t mean this record doesn’t hold up. Laden with strains of Pink Floyd, Can, Zeppelin and a smattering of shoegazing influences, this record deserves another listen now that the smoke has cleared and the dust has begun to settle.

Liz Phair

maunet-exhile-on-guyville-2011

I bought Exile in Guyville the day it came out in June of 1993. As we all know, it changed the way chick-rock could sound, eschewing the politically correct laments of contemporaries like the sickeningly earnest Sarah McLaughlin, instead presenting us with a sexually forward, personally confrontational take on male/female relationships. What a refreshing record it was then, with immaculately clean and simple production and pitch-perfect songs. Well, this year I purchased a 180-gram vinyl edition of this classic and got hooked once again. We may not all be at the age where we can still fuck and run, but it’s nice to reminisce, no?

Gonzales

maunet-gonzales-solo-piano-2011

Ever wished there was a contemporary equivalent to Chopin’s Nocturnes? A less brainy/new-agey version of Erik Satie? Just short, simple, melodic, often romantic and lonely piano vignettes best for early morning, late evening or rainy days? Basically any time you’re prone to sad-bastard music and the beautiful tinkle of piano keys. Well, if Chopin were to come back to life as a hipster Canadian plunking out perfect piano ditties tinged with Spanish and Hungarian influences, Solo Piano would be the record he’d make next. Friend Kevin Brady puts it in its simplest terms: “This is one of the most beautiful records I’ve ever heard.” I’m pretty sure he’s not overstating.

Explosions In The Sky

maunet-explosions-in-the-sky-2011

in 2011, EITS released Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. As a huge fan of this band, I was left a little underwhelmed by that particular record. It just doesn’t compare to the masterpiece that is The Earth is Not A Cold Dead Place, a tuneful, joyous, bombastic, majestic record that makes post-rock contemporaries Mogwai sound like they’re tone deaf. And by the way, if you’re a fan of the television series Friday Night Lights, Explosions tracks are featured all over it…

Alexander “Skip” Spence

maunet-alexander-skip-spence-oar-2011

One of the great “lost” psychedelic records of the late 60′s, Oar is the creation of Alexander Spence, most famous for co-founding Moby Grape and for drumming with early incarnations of  Jefferson Airplane. Between that, drugging and going more than slightly mad, Skip made a kooky, woozy, haunting record reminiscent of Syd Barret and Electric Ladyland-era Hendrix. Lower the lights, spark up, relax and enjoy, man!

OK Go

maunet-ok-go-2011

Shamelessly, these guys pilfer and plagiarize Prince’s mid-period discography, early Arcade Fire and just about any Brooklyn-born dance-rock band you can think of—to very satisfying success. Their first two efforts were actually insipid little indie rock records, bleh. But I fell prey to this record’s “Baby I’m A Star” collection of falsetto-laced pop-dance hooks soaked in drums-and-bubblegum beauty. Bump and grind, kiddies!

 

 

 

  1. Tuesday 12.20.2011 | 4:36 EST

    Rockpants says:

    I love the spirit of this list. And loving Rob’s list! EMA – yes! Golly, I have a lot of listening to do.

  2. Saturday 12.17.2011 | 8:41 EST

    krebby says:

    What!? No mention of the historic Lou Reed + Metallica teamup?!? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/lulu-metallica-lou-reed_n_1069221.html

  3. Wednesday 12.14.2011 | 2:50 EST

    Rob says:

    My Best of (what was actually released in) 2011 (according to my phone, of all things):
    Apocalypse, Bill Callahan; Biophilia; Bjork; Bloodless Coup, Bell X1; Bon Iver, Bon Iver; Days, Real Estate; Demolished Thoughts, Thurston Moore; Enough Thunder, James Blake; Hardcore Will Never Die, Mogwai; Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes; Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, M83; Last Summer, Eleanor Friedberger; Let England Shake, PJ Harvey; Lifes Rich Pageant (Deluxe Edition), R.E.M.; Mirror Traffic, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks; New Brigade, Ice Age; Parallax, Atlas Sound; Past Life of Martyred Saints, EMA; The People’s Key, Bright Eyes; Slave Ambient, The War on Drugs; Smoke Ring for My Halo, Kurt Vile; Suck It and See, Arctic Monkeys; The Whole Love, Wilco; Wit’s End, Cass McCombs

Weather Report: Warm, Wet + Red

weather-maple-leaves-maunet

“Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” | White Stripes | White Blood Cells | 2001

Unseasonably warm in Brooklyn, but soggy as a toddler’s britches. Leaves are falling all around, splashing the dirty ground with the last colorful droppings from trees soon to be bare as bones.

Don’t let this warm day fool you. Old Man Winter hides around the corner, shaking his staff, ready to blow his cold, wet breath across our city streets. Arm yourself to fight the winter blues with windmill strokes and weathered wails, so get your punk rock on.

  1. Tuesday 11.29.2011 | 9:17 EST

    Brian B says:

    I would adore to walk in the winter cold as the pavement sings with my boot walking steps.

  2. Tuesday 11.29.2011 | 4:20 EST

    Dr. Richards says:

    Or buy cheap tickets to Myrtle Beach.

    1. Tuesday 11.29.2011 | 4:21 EST

      chairmanmau says:

      would that i could, sir Keith!

Awash In Synth:
M83′s 80′s Dreampop

M83 Hurry Up We're Dreaming M83 Saturday = Youth

“Midnight City” | M83 | Hurry Up We’re Dreaming | 2011

Whether or not you are of that generation that grew up with the cheesy synth and ray-gun drums of 80′s pop, it’s an unshakable fact that those very sounds are the perfect dream-pop background for songs of youthful longing. Making out in the back of cars, waiting for dark to descend, with it’s promise of shelter from the prying eyes of parents that be.

Hailing from France and making records since the mid-oughts, M83 has recently released Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, a double-LP awash in all possible 80′s production cliches, managing to make a perfect record for staring at the stars, pining for a lost love or hoping for your next romance to gel. This and their previous record, Saturday = Youth are rife with John Hughes romanticism (I’m 15 years old/ And I feel it’s already too late to live/ Don’t you?”). Both records owe much to O.M.D., Howard Jones and late-period Simple Minds. Indeed, the cover for S=Y features a phalanx of “stylish” pubescent youth seemingly intent on convening a French session of The Breakfast Club. And yet, the songs’ retro-contemporary stylings make them prime candidates for a place on a Sofia Coppola soundtrack.

Upon first listen you can’t but cringe at all the sonic cliche’s thrown at you. But leave’em on repeat for a day and you’ll come to realize how deftly crafted these records are, succeeding in turning cliches into fresh sounds that lift the spirit above the irony of middle age hispter posing. No matter what age you may be, the band’s dreamy epics are vividly alive with all things young, the perfect records on which to hang all your hopes and dreams.

“Kim & Jessie” | M83 | Saturday = Youth | 2008

  1. Tuesday 11.29.2011 | 9:24 EST

    Rockpants says:

    LOVE this. It’s so nice to have an excuse to listen to this :)

  2. Tuesday 11.15.2011 | 3:14 EST

    krebby says:

    Kim & Jessie, right on! “Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?”

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