Links To Other Things, November 2022
Okay, so I’ve never done a linked list kinda thing before, but thought since I’m trying to write more regularly, I’d try it.
Is this something people you might want to read from me? Maybe? It’s me sharing little stories about each link, and hopefully not just saying “check this out.”
Just want to thank everyone who took the time to write and reflect with me on the last piece about Mimi Parker. It is a weird time to be an aging punk.
Emily and I watched this fantastic, short documentary from KCET on the incredible crew of Giant Robot — the magazine, the gallery, and the two wonderful folks I’ve had the pleasure to chat with a few times over the last couple decades.
The influence Giant Robot had on our culture, I think, is incredibly profound. Here’s two kids with a loose idea for zine grow it over time and in the process provide a much needed glimpse into what it means to be Asian in America.
While watching it, we paused it several times to talk about it, both of us remembering different covers or artists they covered. The artists and actors and comedians they worked with is an incredible roster. “I can not believe that Eric rejected James Jean at first.”
I didn’t realize until I watched the documentary that the Daniel Wu byline I use to read was the same Daniel Wu who started one of my favorite “stay up late and watch alone” shows Into The Badlands.
Spoiler alert: The magazine did ended up shutting down, as a lot of good things do, but I had to smile and shed a tear for the final cover, when I saw one of my best friend’s names: Tae Won Yu.
Tae Won Yu
I often describe Tae as “amazingly underrated” and it’s true — he’s one of the most talented people I have ever met. Tae and I got to sit next to each other for years working on album covers, posters and anything designy in our mutual stints in Olympia.
From Built to Spill album covers to Olympia Film Festival posters, and everything in between, we’d create clipping paths in Photoshop and drop .eps files into QuarkXPress. He designed the identity for my now defunct art gallery, Land, and had several shows there. Heck, even his band Kicking Giant did a reunion show there.
Tae has been working at Odd Dot in New York, and a few years back started working on an ambitious sticker book project. It was fun years ago to sleep on the floor of his home-office surrounded by scraps and images and in-progress works.
Now on his third volume, the books really are wonderful. So amazing, in fact, that the New York Public Library is having him for a talk next week. It’s virtual and open to the public, so I recommend checking it out if you’ve got the time.
Related, this article by James Gui popped up in my Bandcamp feed because it mentions one of my all-time-favorites, Versus.
I can’t remember when exactly Tae gave me his copy of the Deep Red CD they did on Teen Beat, but I know I never gave it back.
One day I’m listening to their CDs and the next they are in town and for some reason Richard, at least one of his brothers, Tae, and I and maybe even Nikki McClure played basketball by Tae’s house. I just remember getting sweaty and thinking maybe Richard is rougher than he needs to be on defense.
This amazing band, like Tae, are underrated and have never, I don’t think, gotten the credit or acclaim they deserve. Tae and I worked on the cover for their album Hurrah together and I remember listening to the early cut non-stop for weeks. Richard singing about the Heaven’s Gate Cult is really good (the song is called My Adidas, even though I think they technically were Nikes).
This little piece from James Gui is a wonderful read that mentions them, and is was fascinating to read as a person who thought he kinda “knew all the bands” at the time and find out there were definitely bands even I missed.
I’ve got some theories on why both Tae and Versus and the other Asian-American bands in James’ piece weren’t as popular as other peers, and maybe I’ll write those up some day in the future. I just feel lucky to know Tae and Versus as well as I do.
Hey Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken
Portland's Lloyd Center is a very “dead” kind of mall — over 90% of the shops have closed and all the big names are gone. The Orange Julius still stands, and a new wave of brave folks like Jason from Floating World Comics are moving in, taking advantage of cheap rent and breathing life into the zone.
There's an amazing collection of photos over on flickr of the place in it's heyday.
The Gordon’s Fireplace Shop looks amazing. Meir & Frank’s dining room? Holy Shit. And of course the skating rink was originally outdoors. The whole mall was outdoors. These photos are as close to time travel as we will come.
Also, the song I chose for the title of this section, becomes much different if you think of Lloyd as the mall and not a person someone is falling in love with.
If you are still thinking about Mimi and Alan and Low, you can listen to an endless collection of live shows over at The Internet Archive.
From what I understand they are all band-approved and many are right from the board. Worth a download. I’m downloading some right now.
Thanks as always for reading, and have a good weekend.