A modest, marginally biased effort at musical essays. It's nice!
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write about this subject. It is 100% relevant to this website AND i’m actually a part of it.
My first week in New Orleans, Jane took me to the Jonathan Ferrara gallery where we spoke to Matthew about anything he knew of going on that I could possibly get involved with. After hearing this he told me I could intern at NYC-based artist Ted Riederer’s new show opening in the city. The position was basically handed to me on a silver platter without me doing much of anything and I can guarantee nothing will ever fall into my lap as easily, ever again.
Walking into the situation I was sort of expecting it to be your basic contemporary art show with a cohesive body of work hanging on the walls, but Never Records was about 1,000 times more geared towards my long term interests and plans, and i’ll never be able to wrap my head around working for it.
Originating in New York, Never Records is an ongoing and traveling art installation by Ted Riederer. The first show started in 2010, and since then has traveled to Liverpool, London, and Northern Island. As Ted would say, it’s a love letter to the record store, and his way of paying homage to the atmosphere he grew up in.
How it works:
For this particular branch of the show, Jonathan (of the Ferrara gallery), provided Ted with the open loft, and Ted transforms the empty space into an art installation designed to look like a record store. He posts want ads for local musicians and spoken artists to come into the gallery/store, where he records them in the back, like a recording studio, and cuts their song to vinyl, ON SITE. After they finish recording the track, he uses homemade equipment and we burn two copies of the actual song onto a vinyl record. One copy goes to the musicians for them to keep and the other goes in the record bins, in the gallery, for people to browse through when they come into the gallery.
The concept behind the show is to prove to the masses that vinyl is NOT, after all, a dead medium, and if anything, the original format of music interacting with it’s listener, which I find completely true. It has so much more intimacy then clicking on a Wav file on the internet, and the tactile nature involved with placing the record on the player makes the experience that much more personal. None of the records are for sale, because Ted wants to take the money out of the project, and focus on creating the community environment that comes within a record store.
I personally love this concept and wish I were capable of thinking of anything as original and sweet. Ted, by the way, totally rules and is more or less a teenager in a 42-year old’s body. Most of my time is spent helping him re-wrap microphone wires, getting him coffee, asking him if he forgot to eat today, talking about music, and getting beers for him and the bands. Last week while recording he dumped some scotch in a plastic coffee cup and passed it around. His knowledge of music would shame this blog, and you can tell he grew up heavily influenced by underground punk music. Arturo Vega designed the logo for the show and Riederer’s silly attitude reminds me of Jay in many ways and I wish they could have met.
The closing weekend of the show starts this Friday where there will be a film showing at 841 Carondelet and I strongly advise any New Orleaneans to come out for it! Abita also sponsered the show so there will be plenty of beer if nothing else stands out at you. When Never Records leaves here it’s next destination is expected to be Mexico City. I’m a bit sad it has to end and will miss my artist friend/boss. Check out the show’s Facebook page and it’s website. I promise it’s worth it