Media Picks

Some new art and music suggestions in addition to “Rock ‘n’ Revolution”

Top on MTV News reporter Farai Chideya’s list of recommendations is one artist you won’t hear on MTV:

Brett Cook-Dizney, whose artwork is being shown in New York City and in street exhibitions across the U.S. Cook-Dizney uses spray paint to render the faces of children, politicians, and homeless Americans, often layering them over billboards to provide ironic counterpoint to the advertising. In one image, a black child and a white child share a slice of watermelon. In another, he uses the nursery rhyme “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down” with portraits of the Republican elite.

“[Cook-Dizney’s work] is the visual equivalent of rap songs that layer biting lyrics over a soothing, familiar backbeat,” says Chideya. “Some listeners will hear nothing but sound and fury; others, conversely, will be content to bob their heads, barely cognizant of the controversial message within. The lucky ones of us will be able to listen to–or in the case of Cook-Dizney’s work, see–both layers at once, the aesthetic and the message, the bitter and the sweet.”

Chideya also recommends:

Noise Addict’s “Meet the Real You” (Grand Royal): Ben Lee, Noise Addict’s 17-year-old front man, is an angst-ridden Australian teenager. Take the song “16.” “I’m so maaaad,” Lee screams. Pause. “I thought my life would be like a John Hughes film.” Didn’t we all?

“Rude Hieroglyphics” (Rykodisc): Singer/screamer/performance artist Lydia Lunch joins Exene Cervenka of the group “X” on this wide-ranging, topical, spoken-word recording. They riff on the O.J. Simpson trial and slash at societal pressures on women–some sample lyrics: “You think you’re gonna kick a hole in the glass ceiling with glass slippers? Throw away those magazines.”

(See also the MoJo Wire’s own top 20 political songs.)


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