Pitchfork Bestows an 8.2 Rating on Shabazz Palaces’ Lese Majesty: Today on Pitchfork, critic Craig Jenkins lavished praise on Seattle hiphop innovators Shabazz Palaces’ new album, Lese Majesty. “Similar to recent albums by the Roots and Common, Lese Majesty is an Armageddon-esque suicide mission to crash into rap's consciousness in hopes of tipping it away from a dangerous path…. The soul of Shabazz Palaces is pairing next-gen sounds with classic brass-tacks show-and-prove emceeing, and Lese Majesty tugs those extremes as far as they've ever been pulled,” he sagely observed. However, the worthy review was marred by the omission of Stranger Genius candidate Erik Blood’s role in the record’s spaced-out, psychedelic production (not to diminish Tendai Maraire’s contributions, which Jenkins acknowledges). Sub Pop releases Lese Majesty tomorrow. Get it.
How Embarrassing for Seattle's Museums: Thanks to a new donation of art to Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center, Stanford now holds the largest collection of works on the West Coast by the late, great Jacob Lawrence—even though he lived in Seattle for 30 years, and died here. It's not even that big a collection!: The Cantor is getting 5 paintings, 11 drawings, 9 prints, and one illustrated book by Lawrence. SAM spokeswoman Wendy Malloy confirmed that SAM has only 2 paintings, 4 drawings/watercolors, and 15 prints by Lawrence; while the Henry Art Gallery, according to spokeswoman Dana Van Nest, owns just 1 of his paintings and 9 of his prints. (The Frye Art Museum does not own any works by Lawrence.) Drowning in our tears, we also can't forget SAM's failure to buy Lawrence's stellar 1946 painting The Lovers, which was on loan for years to SAM from Mrs. Harpo Marx (Susan Fleming Marx).
The Christly Way to Fake Best-Seller Status: Remember when the news broke that Mars Hill paid an advertising firm to land Pastor Mark Driscoll's book Real Marriage on the New York Times best-seller chart? Remember how everyone at Mars Hill was feigning humility when they got caught? Warren Throckmorton at Patheos noticed a Mars Hill spokesperson named Justin Dean crowing about the best-seller placement in his bio at a scary site called Innovate4Jesus. Sounds like humility only goes so far.
Getting into the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations!: Okay, so it's not the front page of the New York Times that has a new essay about the photography of Seattle artist Eirik Johnson, it's the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations. But if you ask us, that's kind of cooler, and the essay, on Johnson's series of images of the changing Pacific Northwest, is terrific in its glorious nerdiness. This is Johnson's knockout photograph of a defunct drive-in called the Starlite in Roseburg, Oregon:
- Eirik Johnson, Starlite Drive-in, Roseburg, Oregon (2006).
The social relationists have a beautiful reading of the image, and it starts like this: "The screen no longer plays movies; it only reflects light from I-5 and shows the shadows of trees and electric wires. But these reflections indicate three possible futures for this abandoned space, three possible endings of the cinematic plot arc of the photograph." Social relationists FTW!
Nobody Is Applying for This Free Money: So get on it. "As part of the City of Seattle's equity work in addressing public safety, the Office of Arts & Culture is seeking to fund 6 to 10 projects through its smART Ventures program that use the arts to address safety and non-violence within our communities during the months of August through November 2014. Individuals, arts organizations and community groups will be eligible to apply for $500 of funding. Youth are especially encouraged to apply. Applications for this unique opportunity should be submitted between July 8 through August 31, 2014. If interested, contact program manager Jenny Crooks, 206.684.7084 before starting your application."
Have You Caressed Your Sofa Lately? This furniture that looks and feels and smells like human flesh is very popular.
A Murakami Sneak Preview: Slate has debuted a small passage from Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Haruki Murakami's upcoming novel. If you're as excited to read this as we are, you should save the date for Elliott Bay Book Company's midnight Murakami madness sale, which happens late in the evening on Monday, August 11.
Let's Replace the Handshake with the Fist Bump: Says some weird guy on the internet.
Trailer Park: Trailers for the newest installments in the Hunger Games and Hobbit franchises were released today. With Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore, the Hunger Games trailer wins the battle for our attention by a mile.