i’ve always loved abandoned buildings. even when i was really little i loved buildings when they were left alone, succumbing to entropy. then, as i got older, i started breaking into abandoned buildings just to see what they were like.
normally, to state the obvious, you find abandoned buildings in remote, desolate, and out of the way parts of the world (like, by way of example, the salton sea). but in l.a you find abandoned buildings right in the middle of the city. which might not speak to well to the financial health and well being of the city, but i love abandoned buildings so i don’t think too hard and long about what they represent other than strangeness and beauty.
this particular abandoned gas station is remarkable as it’s also architecturally significant. a perfect little jewel box of an art deco or moderne gas station. i still feel strange writing ‘moderne’ but apparently it was a real thing.
in any case, here’s a beautiful abandoned gas station. maybe somehow it will remain a beautiful abandoned gas station, further succumb to entropy, and not get turned into something terrible.
here’s the info for my next art/photo show… pictures i’ve taken of the apocalypse and the post-apocalyptice cult of the innocents.
Project Gallery, 1553 N. Cahuenga Blvd. LA 90028
friday february 21st - march 30th, 2014
"most cults are pre-apocalyptic, anticipating a benign or malignant impending apocalypse. but, as we all know, the apocalypse started a few years ago. ‘innocents’ is a look at the unfolding apocalypse itself, as well as the cult of innocents that arose in it’s wake."
hopefully see you soon,
i haven’t put up an architecture update in a couple of weeks… i’m sorry. mea culpa.
todays’ house is the derby house, built in glendale by lloyd wright, frank’s son. per usual i could only take pictures from the street, as the creepy architectural voyeur stalker that i happen to be.
i’m not sure i would want to live in one of lloyd or frank’s mayan spaceships, but i’m amazed and happy that they exist. they’re like an obscure architectural/design cul de sac that showed up in the 20th century and pretty quickly disappeared. an odd side bar of heavily ornamented modernism, usually looking like a bunker built by mayans or aztecs visiting from a very distant galaxy. but it’s hard to not be impressed and amazed by the inventiveness and the oddness and the uniqueness of these bunkers.
oh, also, completely unrelated, i’m having an art opening at project gallery on cahuenga, if you’d like to come by. the show will be up from this friday for about 5 or 6 weeks. it’s all pictures of the apocalypse and the post-apocalyptic cult of the innocents.
i’ve put some other pictures up here.
hopefully see you soon,
happy december 25th (or 26th, as i’m sending this on the 25th and i assume it won’t reach you until the 26th. or 27th. i feel like i’m sending a letter).
i hope that you had and are having a really nice holiday time (based on whatever holidays you choose to observe / celebrate / indulge in / excoriate / ignore / etc).
i know this can be a hard and lonely time for some people, so if this is a hard and lonely time for you please take care of yourself and please know that you’re not alone.
i spent the day by myself, hiking around l.a in the unnaturally warm l.a weather (it was around 85 degrees f. today, which is warm even for l.a in december). and at the end of the day i climbed up to a ridge in griffith park and took this picture of l.a (and, to state the obvious, i wasn’t eaten by one of our mountain lions. yet).
to put it in size perspective, this picture probably represents around 1/1000th of l.a county. it’s big.
again, i hope you had and are having a wonderful holiday, and please reach out to someone if you’re feeling especially sad or lonely this time of year.
today i’m putting up pictures of one of the most famous and beloved modern houses in l.a, the lovell house.
i’m not quite sure what to say about it, as it’s a legendary house and acres of accolades have been, justifiably, heaped on it over the years. so what i can say, in my simplistic way, is that it’s amazing and perfect. see, that’s high brow architecture criticism.
ok, it also fits perfectly and idiosyncratically in it’s environment, it probably is bright and filled with light (remember: i’m a creepy architecture stalker and i generally take pictures of things from the street), and it employed building techniques that hitherto hadn’t been used in domestic/residential architecture.
oh, and it was in the movie ‘beginners’, which is one of my favorite movies of the last 10 years.
i love how it sits as a collection of rectilinear boxes and lines in the middle of an overgrown l.a griffith park environment. i’m not sure who lives here, but they’re lucky.
so, on october 2nd, 3rd, and 4th i’m playing 3 shows at the fonda theater, here in glamorous (ahem) hollywood.
these 3 shows will be the sum total of the shows i’ll be playing as the world tour for ‘innocents’. meaning: the entire world tour for ‘innocents’ will consist of 3 shows at a theater in my neighborhood.
so. some people had been asking:
why the fonda?
why only 3 shows?
well, ‘why the fonda?’ here’s my list:
- it’s filled with the most amazing hieronymous bosch frescoes (as you can see in the pictures). i don’t know who painted them or when, but they’re huge and amazing and remind me of when i was 7 or 8 years old and first saw ‘the garden of earthly delights’ and thought to myself ‘wha..?’ i still believe that hieronymous bosch must’ve had an extra gland in his brain, most likely producing vast amounts of dmt.
- it’s a goldilocks theater, meaning it’s big enough for good production but small enough so that everyone in the theater can see the stage and the performers.
- the people who run it are very nice and interesting.
- according to google maps it’s 1.4 miles from my house, so i plan on walking there for every date of the 3 day world tour.
- it’s a building that just feels filled with strange l.a history. almost every inch of it comes with a ‘i wonder what happened here?’ narrative attached.
- it’s not new. l.a is filled with amazing old theaters, and i fully believe that they need to be preserved and supported. it seems criminal to me that people are building new theaters in l.a when there are countless old theaters that are architecturally significant and amazing and falling into disrepair. so, musicians and audiences: support old theaters.
- it’s in hollywood. and i’m fascinated with and baffled by hollywood and all of it’s weirdness and faded glamour and random cheapness and byzantine degeneracy and surprising old beauty.
and why only 3 shows?
simply: so that i can spend more time at home in my studio working on music. when i go on tour i sit around a lot (cars, airports, hotels, etc), and when i sit around i can’t spend my time making music. and pretty much all i want to do in life is stay home and make music. so, thus: a 3 date world tour.
at some point i might do real world touring again, but for now i hope to spend as much time as possible at home in my studio working on music, and i can’t do that when i’m traveling all the time.
i hope that doesn’t sound too selfish, but i fully believe that life is short and should ideally be spent doing what you love. and, simply, i love being in my studio working on music. and i can’t do that when i go on tour (as i have a studio filled with weird, old equipment that is temperamental and doesn’t like to travel..).
ok, so here are pictures of the fonda. i hope you like the gigant-o hieronymous bosch frescoes as much as i do.
and hopefully see you soon.
p.s-i’m including a picture of the ‘gregory peck’ star out front. technically it’s not architecture or a part of the theater, but gregory peck is one of my favorite people/actors, so i thought i’d include his star. i guess it’s vaguely ironic that he’s one of my favorite actors, as he did try to kill my namesake in ‘moby dick’.
to be very clear, i dont’ know what this is.
ok, i take that back. i do know what this is. it’s a big black floating metal box sitting in the middle of a forest. to be more specifically clear: i don’t know why it exists.
i has no windows, nor does it have any plumbing or electricity. which leads me to the only rational conclusion one can come to when confronted with a big black metal box in the middle of the woods. which is: it’s an alien observation pod. or condo.
but regardless of it’s intended or unintended utility i posit that it’s great architecture. i mean, if i were an architect (which, clearly, i’m not) i would look at this big black metal box in the woods and say to myself, ‘who, that’s cool’.
and i imagine many architects strive to make buildings and structures that are, simply, weird and cool. which seems like a noble and valid pursuit. i mean, of course architecture ideally would involve the creation of spaces that serve real world purposes and have nice quotidian functionality. but some architecture can also aspire to just be odd and interesting and cool. like this big black accidental box in the woods.
oh, i looked around for alien footprints but found none. but, of course, aliens are clever and would probably not leave obvious footprints. and/or they were hovering over the ground.&nb ssp;or both. i saw no hovering foot prints either. but to be honest, i don’t know what hovering foot prints would actually look like.
ok, i confess that i generally tend to take pictures of: old houses and weird houses and houses that are kind of falling down and houses that are succumbing to entropy.
today’s house is neither old nor weird nor falling down nor succumbing to entropy. i see it almost every day, as it’s in my neighborhood, and even though i see it every day it invariably strikes me in that it’s a fairly rare example of good, new, tasteful, and relatively site sensitive architecture.
it was designed by francois perrin, who is a french architect living and working in l.a.
personally, and subjectively, i love how it’s restrained and sculptural, and how it subtly references a lot of iconic l.a mid-century case study houses.
it’s also a really deft example of employing materials that might not always be thought of as cohabitating benignly (like cement and wood) in a very challenging location (a hill-side with an 80 degree slope). and no, i’m not being paid to write advertorial for this house, i just think it’s really tasteful and great, and stands in stark contrast to the thousands of beige crap-shacks being erected by rapacious developers.
thanks, and have a nice weekend.