AJ Samuels? The name rings a bell. And whilst we are still thinking about if he might be an American actor or a British novelist, the Electronic Beats magazine proves us all wrong. AJ Samuels is the tattoo-heavy chief copy editor and contributing author of EB’s highly collectible quarterly, since April 2011. The Massachusetts native’s heart beats for his microphone collection, political correctness and the psych-goes-art rock of the legendary Shimmy Disc-band Bongwater. Plus AJ likes to count, too. Here you go…
1 memorable line in a film or song:
“ ‘Remember when…’ is the lowest form of conversation” – Tony Soprano, The Sopranos, Season 6, Episode 3 (“Remember when”)
2 decisions I regret:
Selling my entire baseball card collection for ten bucks.
Telling Carolyn B. she was too fat to skate in tenth grade.
3 people that should collaborate:
Ann Magnuson, Sonic Boom, Paul Westerberg
4 things I haven’t done yet:
Not eat meat for longer than a week
Do the perp walk
5 things I used to believe:
All fish is healthy.
Athens is a safe city.
There is but one God and his name is John Lydon.
6 hours ago . . .
. . . I ate lunch with Chris Bohn.
7 days I barely remember:
I don’t think there are a string of seven consecutive days I can remember.
After 8 p.m. . . .
. . . is shellfish time.
My 9 lives . . .
10 years since 9/11 . . .
Every metropolis has its heydey, when the arts and music converge and creative forces go into overdrive. For Paris it was the 1920s. The ’70s and ’80s were huge for New York, whose Lower East Side area – in spite of (or thanks to) the adverse economic conditions the city was facing at that time – transformed into an arts and music incubator that gave rise to several pop-cultural phenomena including punk, hip hop, disco, graffiti and the edgy No Wave scene.
Artists freely mingled with musicians, which often lead to various ad hoc collaborations and plenty of hobnobbery and the customary debauchery. The Prague-based American filmmaker and photographer Robert Carrithers witnessed one of the most fruitful creative periods in the history of art and music, and is here to tell the story. “It was like one big creative laboratory where we all encouraged each other to develop our talents and have fun doing it,” says Robert who would do his bar shift dressed up as a priest. “Many people who were able to experiment in the ‘80s New York clubs Club 57, Mudd Club, Danceteria etc. And then they went out into the world and actually changed world culture. I lived around the corner from Club 57 on 10th street between 2nd and 1st Avenue. It was very close. It was like my club house for creativity around the corner and it certainly was nice and easy to walk home after one debauched night followed by another… I am happy that I was there in New York at that special time and place. It is something that will never leave me and it will always be a part of me.”
His photographs of Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Harring, Ann Magnuson, Paul Nolan Smith or Gudrun Gut will be projected on Wednesday 10 August at the Prague Fotograf gallery.