Andrew Hultkrans

Tales from the Crypto

Andrew Hultkrans on Best of Enemies

July 2015

POLITICAL PARTY TIME in America has rarely been more riotous than during the 1968 presidential nominating conventions. The stakes—Vietnam, civil rights, the sexual revolution, the counterculture vs. the as yet unnamed “silent majority… READ ON


Struth Be Told

Thomas Struth at Live from the NYPL

December 2014 NEW YORK

LIKE KRAFTWERK, those other celebrated sons of 1970s Düsseldorf, Thomas Struth embodies remote, dispassionate stillness. From his rigorously symmetrical street scenes, often devoid of people or motion, to his striking, clinical family … READ ON


Empire State of Mind

“The Return of Schizo-Culture” at MoMA PS1

November 2014 NEW YORK

“MEDIOCRITY IS THE NEW BLACK, PEOPLE!” Bemoaning New York’s postmillennial makeover as a “luxury vitrine for the rest of the world,” as Semiotext(e) founder Sylvère Lotringer put it earlier in the day, Penny Arcade exhorted the … READ ON


Coming Up Roses

Andrew Hultkrans on the Elliott Smith documentary Heaven Adores You

July 2014

“BEHIND THE EYES of the Oregon girls it was raining again in Portland,” Nelson Algren wrote in his 1956 novel A Walk on the Wild Side. “Somehow it was always raining behind the eyes of Oregon girls.” And so it always seemed to be for… READ ON


Born To Lose

Andrew Hultkrans on Looking for Johnny

May 2014

“BEST REVERSE Keith Richards I’ve ever seen.” This is how Television’s Richard Lloyd, who knows something about the subject, describes the inverse trajectories of junk and (in)fame lived out by doomed New York Dolls/Heartbreakers … READ ON


Main Street

The opening of “City as Canvas”

February 2014 NEW YORK

GROWING UP in New York City during the 1970s and ’80s, I assumed that subway cars would always be psychedelic—rolling metal loaves with multihued fluorescent frosting, brightening grim tunnels and el tracks with every color of the spectrum.… READ ON


Paramount Importance

Exploring Paramount Records at the New York Public Library

November 2013 NEW YORK

IT’S AN OLD AMERICAN STORY, perhaps the story, at least in terms of our popular music heritage: Black-owned record label (Black Swan) is bought by white-owned record label (Paramount), which records and markets black music to black people… READ ON


Hall of FAME

Andrew Hultkrans on Muscle Shoals

September 2013

“THE RIVER THAT SINGS” was the name given to the stretch of the Tennessee River running through Muscle Shoals, Alabama, by its original Native American residents, who believed that a spectral young woman lived in the river and sang songs… READ ON


For the Record

The Afrika Bambaataa vinyl archive at Gavin Brown

July 2013 NEW YORK

LIKE SUN RA, George Clinton, and Lee “Scratch” Perry, hip-hop originator and DJ Afrika Bambaataa is a “brother from another planet” whose retrofuturist aesthetics conflate Garveyite motherland-yearning and outer-space science fiction.… READ ON


Star Crossed

Andrew Hultkrans on Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

July 2013

IT CAME FROM MEMPHIS… but it wasn’t blues, rockabilly, or soul. It was, in some ways, a second coming of the Beatles, though without sales or notoriety. It was a 1972 album called #1 Record by a band dubbed Big Star, names at first hopeful… READ ON