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Best Of 2012, Guest Editors: Rebecca Gates On Riding A Bicycle At Night

As 2012 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Gates: This year started off with a bicycle ride at night. After welcoming 2012 with Laura Veirs and her Two Beers Veirs combo (including the requisite amount of stellar guest stars), a couple of us took a meandering and spirited ride home. I think those first few hours of a year can set the tone for the next 12 months. It’s about as superstitious as I get. I try to spend them well.

One of my cycling routes home points directly west and over the last few months on clear nights I’ve enjoyed a guiding light western sky full of Venus and Jupiter. Anywhere, the combination of almost silence, almost still, the sound of the tires and an expanse of stars or a low-slung canopy of clouds is always soothing, slow or fast.

Use lights, and if you can, wear white.

Video after the jump.

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Best Of 2012, Guest Editors: Rebecca Gates On At Last The Nation Is Getting “Soul!”

As 2012 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Gates: There are many others who can speak to the moment in history when Soul! originated better than I, and there’s great documentation here. I first saw it years ago at a film screening in Portland. Video archivist David Peck chose to include a few episodes as part of a program of music videos and films he’d compiled from his collection. (There was an amazing clip of the Flying Burrito Brothers singing on a boat in sailor suits that I’ve not seen since.) He showed the episode with Al Green singing “Tired Of Being Alone,” and I simultaneously teared up, sat slack jawed and felt I should immediately marry somebody, anybody. Let’s get this right. Right? Love and happiness.

Soul! had incredible production quality (both visual and sonic), astonishing set design, on point booking and smart talk. And it wasn’t only music; there’s an episode of women’s poetry that is mind crushing. Nikki Giovanni interviewed Muhammad Ali, Max Roach and Co. performed M’Boom (!!) and on and on. Completely, insanely inspirational.

“The entertainment-variety-talk show was not only a vehicle to promote black artistry, community and culture, but also a platform for political expression and the fight for social justice. It showcased classic live musical performances from funk, soul, jazz and world musicians, but had in-depth, extraordinary interviews with political, sports, literary figures and more. It was the first program on WNET/Thirteen to be recorded on the then-new technology of videotape.”

Video after the jump.

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Best Of 2012, Guest Editors: Rebecca Gates On Mitch Hedberg

As 2012 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

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Gates: Aviator shades, rumpled suit, tennis shoes, off kilter, musing perfection. In my dreams, there’s a Bob Newhart and Mitch Hedberg round table where stilted verbal grace abounds.

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From The Desk Of Rebecca Gates: Jimmy Giuffre

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Gates: “My favorite things” of music is too hard; there’s too much. After four years without my records, I’ve recently had access to them again, and it’s as if an elephant or giraffe, nay a rhinoceros, moved into the house. There are too many favorites. I could fill up gigabytes, petabytes with song, music, band and show recs. I will cop to Jimmy Giuffre though. Western Suite is a top-10 desert island disc. I can listen to it endlessly for hours. He was my entry into liking clarinet, which I had condemned to a vocabulary of squanks and squeaks a la grade-school band or energetic hijinx stepping-out show music. Subtle, lyrical, he was often in the company of Jim Hall, one of my favourite guitarists.

See also: The Jimmy Giuffre 3, Music For People, Birds, Butterflies And Mosquitos, The Life Of A Trio.

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From The Desk Of Rebecca Gates: Riding A Bicycle At Night

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Gates: This year started off with a bicycle ride at night. After welcoming 2012 with Laura Veirs and her Two Beers Veirs combo (including the requisite amount of stellar guest stars), a couple of us took a meandering and spirited ride home. I think those first few hours of a year can set the tone for the next 12 months. It’s about as superstitious as I get. I try to spend them well.

One of my cycling routes home points directly west and over the last few months on clear nights I’ve enjoyed a guiding light western sky full of Venus and Jupiter. Anywhere, the combination of almost silence, almost still, the sound of the tires and an expanse of stars or a low-slung canopy of clouds is always soothing, slow or fast.

Use lights, and if you can, wear white.

Video after the jump.

Read More »

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From The Desk Of Rebecca Gates: Elaine May

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Gates: I want to know more
#trustanddaring

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From The Desk Of Rebecca Gates: Magazine Articles

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Gates: There are a few magazine articles I return to again and again. I’m not sure why, but I do, as if they are songs. One is “Jesus Plus Mothing” by Jeff Sharlet, Harpers, March 2003. Another is “Notes From The War Room” by Terry Southern, Grand Street, issue #49. And a third is a profile of Mike Nichols by John Lahr called “Making it Real,” New Yorker, Feb. 21, 2000.

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From The Desk Of Rebecca Gates: Swimming Pools Around The World

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Gates: A 50-meter swimming pool is a treat anytime, especially when traveling. On offer is meditative repetition and specific, reassuring sounds of water, muted voices and echoes. Each rise or twist for breath offers a snapshot view recorded and ready for recall. I prefer outdoor swims—Interlaken (the Alps), Adelaide (perfect light and florescent buoys), Balmorhea (West Texas bluffs and migrating birds)—but indoors is just fine: Melbourne (sweeping window views), Paris (wild tile patterns), Pasadena and Basel (specific geometries of poolside buildings).

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From The Desk Of Rebecca Gates: At Last The Nation Is Getting “Soul!”

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Gates: There are many others who can speak to the moment in history when Soul! originated better than I, and there’s great documentation here. I first saw it years ago at a film screening in Portland. Video archivist David Peck chose to include a few episodes as part of a program of music videos and films he’d compiled from his collection. (There was an amazing clip of the Flying Burrito Brothers singing on a boat in sailor suits that I’ve not seen since.) He showed the episode with Al Green singing “Tired Of Being Alone,” and I simultaneously teared up, sat slack jawed and felt I should immediately marry somebody, anybody. Let’s get this right. Right? Love and happiness.

Soul! had incredible production quality (both visual and sonic), astonishing set design, on point booking and smart talk. And it wasn’t only music; there’s an episode of women’s poetry that is mind crushing. Nikki Giovanni interviewed Muhammad Ali, Max Roach and Co. performed M’Boom (!!) and on and on. Completely, insanely inspirational.

“The entertainment-variety-talk show was not only a vehicle to promote black artistry, community and culture, but also a platform for political expression and the fight for social justice. It showcased classic live musical performances from funk, soul, jazz and world musicians, but had in-depth, extraordinary interviews with political, sports, literary figures and more. It was the first program on WNET/Thirteen to be recorded on the then-new technology of videotape.”

Video after the jump.

Read More »

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From The Desk Of Rebecca Gates: Stylish Shoes I Can Walk In

More than 10 years have passed since Rebecca Gates put out her solo debut, Ruby Series. The former member of the Spinanes mostly shifted her energy to other projects: coordinating and managing exhibitions for museums, lecturing at arts centers, composing music for dance and film, participating in performance pieces and stylizing photos for magazines. She also did some bookkeeping, retreated to Rhode Island and helped friends build a movie theater. But as time and money allowed, she also popped back into studios to put together her follow-up, The Float (12XU). Gates will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.

Gates: I love to walk. One of the perks of traveling as much as I sometimes do is having the time to walk through strange cities, favorite cities, new and old woods. If I’m home and heading out to trail, it’s my running shoes or sturdy hikers. But in an urban setting, and trying to pack light, it’s more of a crapshoot. Though I’m tall, I like a little heel, preferably square, and though I like a heel, I like those long promenades. Posh-Becks-Super-Wedges, Sun King “inspired” pointillist heels crossed with Greco Roman complicated lacing? Fuck off. I know I complained about consumer culture, but I do believe a nominal amount of well-designed items can make for better work, and offer the small pleasure of a well-lived day.

I have a long-running, mostly good-natured disagreement with my friend, the artist Storm Tharp. I say men have better clothing options than women, and he heartily disagrees. Our argument extends to shoes, though I believe I stand victorious when it comes to shoes, because men have an unlimited choice of good-looking styles that allow them to walk for miles. (And no, I’m not talking Tevas.) So when I find a good pair of shoes I can wear with a dress or pants, that make me feel like I’m a lady and are comfortable enough to live a real life in, I’m in heaven.

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