Via the guardian and their brilliant long read series.
Hats off to you Meghan Daum
#90schicks came in all types and varieties. They could strum a guitar, hum infinite new spiritual platitudes, rock out as riot girrrrls or bring the funk.
Aaliyah arrived in a haze of mystery. She was young, classy and although she didn't have the pipes there was something about her from day one that suggested she was picking up from where janet was gradually leaving off. She had a sultry cool that belied her age and grooves that were just majorly cool thanks in particular to her work with Missy Elliot and Timbaland back when they were well ahead of the curve.
Lots of mystery about underage marriage but her debut Age Ain't Nothing But A Number was a killer start and One In A Million an even greater leap forward.
I think she hit her stride with her self titled album: it was varied and her voice reached its peak there and sadly it was also there that she disappeared into the other world leaving us musing about the mystery of how someone so talented, young and beautiful could be taken from the world so soon. A short life, but at our best you are love.
There seem to be a lot of people who have already fought the fight, but imma continue to fight the fight for this #90schick. Aaliyah.
On repeat# At your best you are loved, aaliyah, back and forth, one in a million
San Lorenzo is the grungy, student filled centre of Rome. Europe's most overpopulated university (La Sapienza) is a stones throw and the area is as proudly Roman as it gets. Lately SL has been the centre of a fair bit of wall art, and currently an international street art show is on in the old, abandoned customs buildings in the rail yards. Under the fly pass. I mean does that sell it enough? Perhaps if a few names are dropped?
Some big names (Lady Aiko amongst them); but for this show, seen the same day I went to MAXXI gave me the feeling that something was missing even if it was entirely visual. it needed sound and life: truth be told I went during the day and was still impressed by the level of some of the works but the empty stages and the makeshift pallets devoid of people made it clear that this is a show to be seen in the company of strangers and in the folds of some raucous music.
More info here:
Thirty years on, the year's musical equivalent of a cabbage patch kid lives on. I don't have a television but it is impossible to avoid these damn reality programs, and damn it, here in Italy the confluence of religion and pop has struck again. Watch Sister Cristina at your own peril. But if you want something virginal that won't ruin your appetite you could do worse than a trick down memory lane with Like a Virgin. No masterpiece, but the catalyst for the making of a superstar. You know, where those ideas of religion and pop merged for the very first time.
I've never been the hugest fan of MAXXI in Rome. Always felt that by the time it arrived it was too late on the scene. Major projects take that much longer to get up and running in the eternal city.
Even now I'm not convinced that MAXXI is a good fit for Rome but having said that, I'm always up to giving it that one extra chance; even if at €11 to enter it is hardly making contemporary art accessible in a city that is plagued by economic problems, and that is indefensible by my books.
With the excuse of catching up with a friend, I visited on Open City Open Museum on Saturday, and by the end, walked away this weekend feeling like this space had done something brave and exciting for the first time. After visiting for four years this was the first time I have left feeling this way.
The first bold decision was to strip the walls and the spaces of all visual art which has often been quite hit and miss. Basically, nothing on the walls, nothing free standing. Anish Kapour's huge piece was one of the few concessions here but seemed to work really well in the context. The context? Just audio speakers and recording Installations that divided up the cavernous spaces and segued into each other.
Open City Open Museum is a truly sonic show that takes over the entire gallery space and resonates through its problematic exhibit spaces. There were a few performance artists in attendance on Saturday, but for me this was mostly an audiary experience with some finer appreciation for the architecture thrown into the mix.
For me the great discovery was Justin Bennett who has two works on show- including The Oracle 2.0 which has been retooled for the Roman audience. Loved it; brought a smile to my face and it was much appreciated by those who I saw sitting around waiting for multiple fortunes to be told. I'm guilty, I did the same thing, waiting to be let in on the secrets of the universe from the wise all knowing voice that, on the top floor of Maxxi is as close to the heavens as one gets and offers up all kinds of practical and impractical advice.
Watch the video interview with Justin recorded at MAXXI and check out the website for more information.
Dave Di Vito
Subscribe to the mailing list for information about upcoming releases and a free excerpt!
Dave Di Vito is a writer, teacher and former curator.He's also the author of the Vinyl Tiger series and Replace The Sky.
For information about upcoming writing projects subscribe to the mailing list.
Dave hates SPAM so he won't trouble you with any of his own. He promises.