Friday, February 29, 2008

Reeling in the Rain with MGMT and Yeasayer

by Danny Fasold

It’s one of those piss-poor rainy nights, practically a deluge of January water droplets pelting our bodies as they wrap around the building, and as usual, scarcely anyone has an umbrella. After all, this is Los Angeles. Rain is practically a myth. But not right now. Right now we’re all soaked from our heads to our shoulders and wishing rain truly was a myth. But no matter. We’re almost inside—we’re almost there!
Such is the atmosphere at the Echoplex as I’m waiting in line to see MGMT and Yeasayer, two up-and-coming rock bands from Brooklyn whose buzz has vibrated the blogospheres more and more lately. I’m only faintly familiar with both of them, but hey, it’s a Saturday night in L.A. and music just seems like such a happening escape from the rain right now, so here I am, all umbrella-less and wet and ready to rock.
When my small retinue and I finally make it inside, the opening act of the night—some raucous indie band whose name I never do learn—is finishing up. I like them well enough. As the band clears the stage, we make our way to the bar for refreshments. By the time we’re finishing our beers, Yeasayer is ready to go on and it’s "let the games begin."
I like Yeasayer right off the bat. What makes them so endearing, besides their music, is the fact that they don’t seem to give a flying fuck about what their audience thinks of them. Their game is head-trips. Under their presence, you will be teased, prodded and toyed with. Never is this more apparent than when lead singer Chris Keating—who plays the smug Brooklyn-boy hipster look to a tee—asks the crowd with a shit-eating grin, "So, how many wannabe actors are here tonight?" The crowd’s response? A couple of scores of boos and one guy with a buzz-cut standing just three feet away from me saying (and I kid you not), "That’s me you’re talking about—look at me! You’re not looking at me!"
As far as their music went—well—that part rocked. Something along the lines of Beach Boys meets Kraftwerk meets a whole lotta soul, their songs were every inch as psychedelic and vibrant as music should be. But the real highlight of the set came when Keating hurled a maraca into the audience at the end one of his songs, inadvertently blasting some poor girl square in the head. Minutes later, the sound guy interrupts the band mid-song to alert the band of their folly.
"Is she dead," asks a wide-eyed Keating.
"What?!" shouts somebody from the back.
"No, really," Keating says. "We’re serious. Is she dead?"
"No, man. How the fuck are you going to say something like that?! What’s wrong with you?!"
Moments later, the guys in front of me (which include the aforementioned buzz-cut-sporting wannabe actor) proceed to hurl a mix of insults and water bottles at the band. For a moment, I’m practically expecting a Brian Jonestown kind of scenario to go down, bar brawls and kicked-in teeth and all, but the tension finally eases up after Yeasayer starts playing again, and slowly, the guys in front of me disperse.
Yeasayer shuffle off at the end of their set uttering whole-hearted apologies, their singer wearing the same look on his face that you’d see on some pre-pubescent punk who’s just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and a half hour later, MGMT takes to the stage.
Now here was a whole other beast entirely. Like Yeasayer, MGMT’s game is psychedelia, but their songs are more inclusive, tinged with that bubbly sort of feel-good sunshine rhythm that you can’t help but dance to. And sure enough, everyone does just that. Next to me, the large, oafish looking guy who wouldn’t know a beat from his left foot—even he’s swaying to the disco light come the house-party beats of "Time to Pretend," easily the band’s most radio-friendly gemstone to date.
Songs like "Future Reflections" and "4th Dimensional Transition" pulsate like they were birthed on the dark side of the moon, a sound that’s only lime-lighted by singer/guitarist Andrew Van Wyngarden’s quivering Wayne Coyne-like falsetto. At the end of their set, Wyngarden and his partner-in-crime, Ben Goldwasser (who’s clad in black leotard pants, a wife beater and a rockin’ sweatband—work-out style, baby!) bust out their Karaoke party tricks to their dance-anthem "Kids" while the rest of the band takes a backseat.
"We want to party with you all tonight," says a starry-eyed Wyngarden at the apex of the song.
As my friends and I venture out of the club and back into the rain, I hear a girl near the bar exclaim excitedly to anyone listening, "Those guys are going to be huge!" And though I’m usually a rather contentious guy, especially when it comes to all things music, in this case I happen to agree. We want to party with you too, MGMT.

Funny as Hell interview with the up and coming band Gay Blades

Check out this excellent profile/interview of the totally awesome band Gay Blades! They're not signed yet, but they will be, so go see them at DC9 on March 5th and get yourself some street cred fool!

Check it out on urbancode's blog The DC Show Hopper at

Courtesy of Eyeball Records and the Gay Blades

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Marsha Mateyka Gallery opens its Spring season with drawings by Nancy Wolf

Dragons Adrift: The New Chinese Landscape"
Recent drawings by Nancy Wolf
March 7 – April 19, 2008
Reception for the artist: March 8, 4:00 to 6:00 pm
Opening to the public: March 7, First Friday, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
The Marsha Mateyka Gallery opens its spring season with an exhibition of recent drawings by New York artist, Nancy Wolf. Titled "Dragons Adrift: The New Chinese Landscape" this is the artist's seventh solo exhibition at the gallery.
In this new series, the rush to modernize, which threatens to destroy much of China's historic architecture and cultural traditions, is depicted In Nancy Wolf's precise graphite drawings through juxtapositions of the old and the new. An example of the impact of modernization on Chinese society is shown in the image above. In this drawing, a lyrical scene after the painter Li Shida is destroyed with its bisection by a gigantic contemporary housing project.
Nancy Wolf's drawings are museum collections including the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Image: "Gazing from a Mountain Pavilion" ( after Li Shida ), 2003, pencil on paper, 23 ¼ x 14 inches.

Marsha Mateyka Gallery
2012 R St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
202 328-0088; fax: 202 332-0520

ARTOMATIC announcement

There is an announcement impending about the latest ARTOMATIC venue, perhaps as soon as the beginning of next week! Stay tuned

Just a few more hours to vote!

Our Poll, Does DC need an arts advocacy organization closes soon. Vote now!
The question was born out of an earlier post positing the viewpoint that DC (as in other cities) could use an artist-based organization that would lobby local government agencies and other entities on behalf of the arts community. Some of the issues that could be brought up are issues concerning dwindling artist studio space, affordable housing for artists, insurance, health care, the Artist's deduction bill, and other professional and quality of life issues. What are your thoughts?

Check out our two NEW blogs!

We have two new blogs up today, A SAINTED View, a globetrotters eclectic two cents from back street galleries to the sets of straight to DVD movies (along with an occasional self-serving plug) , and ArtWhino on urbancode, bringing you the freshest work from the underground art scene worldwide.


Check them out and, hey!...if you'd like to be considered for an urbancode blog of your own drop us a line and pitch us your concept. We'd love to hear from you. Just write us at

We're getting heavier traffic here every day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A REMINDER: Tonight Wednesday Feb. 27 6:30!

How Contemporary Art is Being Influenced by the Urban Experience

An evening with Sara and Marc Schiller, New York curators and founders of the Wooster Collective.

6:30 - 8:00 pm

Katzen Center at American University, Abramson Family Recital Hall
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
See Map

Admission is free and open to the public
Please RSVP to (202) 234-7103 or INFO@WPADC.ORG

At District Fine Arts...

Tall Tales and High Tea
with Elliott Negin and Alter Ego Groover Cleveland

Saturday March 8th 2 pm to 4 pm
District Fine Arts
1639 Wisconsin Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Hours: 11 am - 6:30 pm, Tuesday - Saturday
After hours by appointment

In conjunction with the exhibit, "Alter Ego," District Fine Arts in Georgetown will host an art talk on Saturday, March 8, from 2 pm to 4 pm, with award-winning illustrator and graphic designer Elliott Negin and his alter ego, Groover Cleveland. Along with the talk, the gallery will serve tea and other refreshments.

The exhibit, which features Negin's drawings and Cleveland's paintings and prints, runs until April 5.

Negin's illustrations have appeared the Atlantic Monthly, Boston Globe, New York Times, People, Sports Illustrated, Washington Post and other publications. Cleveland exhibited his neo-Pop paintings in a number of group shows in Washington in the early to mid-1990s and received favorable critical mention, but this is the first time he has shown his work since then.

A former Washington City Paper art critic, Negin will discuss a range of topics, including the historical roots of the work, the current status of illustration, and the meaning of life.

Urge Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Artist Deduction Bill

and, thanks for sending that along Brian!

This artist deduction bill (S.548) would give artists the right to deduct
the fair market value of their work when donating it to a charity. We artists are always asked to donate work to one charitable cause or the other for fundraising purposes, and we're glad to help out these good causes.

But when our work is auctioned, the buyer gets the benefit of being allowed to deduct their contribution above the market value, whereas the contributing artists and artisans can only deduct the amount of the material costs of creating their work (the cost of paint, canvas, clay, paper...)!

This bill is non-partisan and fair. If you can support it, please click on this link and simply by typing in your zip code a letter of support will be sent to your particular senators and congressmen.

This link will take you to the site

Monday, February 25, 2008

If you missed the opening you can still catch the show!

The show's opening was SWAMPED!
Mark Planisek and 39 other artists
February 22, 2008 through April 6, 2008

The 6th and final peace show at the original Warehouse location before it closes on 7th Street 40 artists show painting, installation, photography, sculpture, video. Earlier Peace shows at Warehouse: * Faces of Iraq 2003 * Propaganda of War 2003 * War or Peace 2004 * Where's the Peace 2005 * Shock and Awe 2006

1017-21 7th Street, NW
See Map
Info: 202-783-3933 / /

The DelRay Artisans Call for Entries!

THE SHOW: The Spirit of Del Ray, March 7-30. Help to celebrate the Town of Potomac Centennial with original painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, fiber arts, ceramics, and mixed medium artwork capturing the Spirit of Del Ray.


Visit for a “Call for Entries” form.


Sunday March 2 3:00 PM5:00 PM Art drop off
Monday March 3 6:00 PM8:00 PM Art drop off

Friday, February 22, 2008

Not too late to catch this Sweet Show!

The Graphic Beauty of the Contemporary Rock Poster

John Foster, Participating Artist and Vice President of Fuszion Collaborative

Gallery Talk/Lecture
The Art Gallery, 2202 Art-Sociology Building, University of Maryland
Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 3:00pm

John Foster will present a gallery talk/lecture on the history of rock posters, discussing several works in the exhibition, past and contemporary styles, and sources of inspiration. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Art Gallery will be closed the week of March 17-22, in observance of the University of Maryland spring break closing.

The Art Gallery is excited to present an exhibition that showcases the cutting edge experimentation taking place in silk-screened rock posters right now. Sweet: The Graphic Beauty of the Contemporary Rock Poster features twenty-eight of the leading artists/groups of silk-screened contemporary rock posters, on view Wednesday, February 6 through Saturday, March 29, 2008. Artist Jesse LeDoux creates a site-specific installation, Masters of Balance, in the back gallery that displays the versatility of the screen printing technique, and artist Tim Gough creates unique signage for the exhibition utilizing silk-screening and other media applied directly to the walls.

Image courtesy The Art Gallery, University of Maryland

A discussion on "Art's Different Perspectives"

Featured Panelists

Paul Richard
Senior Art Critic, Washington Post

Mr. Lou Stovall
Master Printmaker/Artist

Mrs. Paula Sanderlin Dorosti
Director of Visual Arts for the DC Public Schools

Art Panel Discussion
Feb. 23, 2008
Saturday 3pm-5pm

$15 for adults
$5 for children 7 and under

Tea will be served at 3:00 pm

RSVP by Wednesday
202-842-0233 church office

Second Baptist Church of Washington
816 Third St., NW
Washington, DC 20001

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


An Evening with Marc and Sara Schiller

Washington, DC – February 2008 – The Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) is pleased to announce “From the Streets to the Gallery: How Contemporary Art is Being Influenced by the Urban Experience” – an evening Marc and Sara Schiller, NY–based curators and founders of the Wooster Collective -- to be held Wednesday, February 27, 2008 from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm at the Katzen Arts Center at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

WHAT: Lecture: Marc and Sara Schiller, “From the Streets to the Gallery: How
Contemporary Art is Being Influenced by the Urban Experience”

WHEN: Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 6:30PM - 8:00PM

WHERE: Katzen Arts Center, Ensemble Room, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC

RSVP: RSVP required: / 202.234.7103

Monday, February 18, 2008


A Mix of Notable and Emerging Artists in a New Venue / Press Preview Details

Washington, DC – February 2008 – The Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) announces the 27th Annual Art Auction Gala to be held Friday, March 7, 2008 from 7:00 pm until midnight at the Katzen Arts Center at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. This noted event has grown in recognition and reputation as Washington’s most interesting and exciting arts celebration.

The 2008 WPA Art Auction Gala is a full evening of activities that include a cocktail reception, seated dinner, a silent auction of more than 130 original works of art, and a party. Held in the rotunda of the Katzen Arts Center at American University, this event draws burgeoning young collectors, art enthusiasts, established and emerging artists, as well as leaders from the regional corporate, social and cultural communities. Artists selected for the exhibit this year include painters, sculptors, illustrators, photographers and street artists, from greater Washington, DC, New York, Philadelphia, Australia, Italy, and Russia.

Friday, February 8, 2008

What would you like to see in an arts magazine

In Urbancode's never ending quest to give you the magazine that YOU want, we are soliciting your opinion. What would you like to see within the pages of Urbancode? Leave your comments here, and thanks!

Monday, February 4, 2008 home page shows have begun! is creating a new online exhibition space. All members are invited to submit their images. If you're not a member yet, sign up! Hey it's FREE!'s upcoming exhibit will involve photography, the theme will be released soon. Until then, they are releasing this call for entry. If you would like to be considered for the show, please upload your photographic art to your personal gallery.

If you are interested in helping curate the show, keep an eye on their forum, because we'll start a thread in the next few days inviting folks to make their suggestions!

This is a ground breaking event inviting folks to work together to publicly curate a show! Upload your art now!

If you are reading this from one of urbancode's blogs outside of DC...hey, this is for you too. Sign up at and get your images in!

P.S. Their server bill is due soon, so if you'd like to support, now's a good time. Become or renew your patron membership. Find details here:

Joan Belmar & Kari Minnick at the NEW Aaron Gallery

The Aaron Gallery on Connecticut Avenue is in new hands and they are looking to make a few changes in format. Check out the show of works by Joan Belmar and Kari Minnick.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Flynntoon opening

The show of Mike Flynn's cartoons was a lot of fun. The 'toons looked great and they're super funny. If you get a chance, check out this Baltimore "institution's" very funny cartoons at Read Street books and see why he's called Baltimore's best cartoonist. 229 Read Street in Baltimore.