(Note: This was originally published in Kotori Magazine in 2008) The first real internet generation is all growz up. They find themselves at a point where society has no choice but to accept what they have to offer.
UCLA's Hammer Museum finds itself in a position to merge popular culture with aspects of the global subculture in such a way that presents both of them as indispensible parts of each other. They’ve tapped into this age of edge by truly 'seeking' out quality rather than simply 'settling' for what we're commonly given. To find such notable aspects of our future culture, one has no choice but to cut up the cookie cutter and relish in the surprising satisfaction that comes with the process of discovery.
Dig into the underground.
With their Conversations at the Hammer Museum series, which take place in the museum's airy and sunny courtyard, the museum’s goal is to 'pair creative thinkers from a range of disciplines for engaging provocative discussions of culture, science, and the arts.' Furthermore, 'the conversations are meant to be organic and spontaneous.'
Judging from their first session…they're onto something here. Who better to usher in the series than Brian Burton and Jason Bentley, two men who have benefited quite tremendously from the globalization of information?
Brian Burton is best known as DJ Danger Mouse. He’s the guy who, just two years ago, mixed together Jay-Z's Black Album and The Beatles' White Album into The Grey Album. This not only garnered unprecedented attention from fans, but more importantly from those who despised what he did…copyright attorneys. To their dismay and surprise, it all helped cement his position as a personified ‘hero’ and today one of the most sought after producers in the hip-hop world.
Since then, he has been nominated for a Grammy for his production work on The Gorillaz’s Demon Days, has further proved his eccentric tastes by joining legendary emcee MF Doom in last year’s Danger Doom, and most recently, has lit up the global charts with his work with former Goodie Mobster Cee-Lo in this year’s insanely acclaimed Gnarls Barkley. Mention the track “Crazy” to 10 people and you’ll get 12 favorable responses.
He joins founder of Quango Records and KCRW and KROQ DJ Jason Bentley (who has also served as music supervisor for countless films including The Matrix) in this fine summer afternoon conversation covering everything from music to film to cartoons and beyond.
(This was originally published in Kotori Magazine, a print magazine I founded and ran in the mid-2000s)