#203: Laszlo Horvath
Laszlo Horvath on Béla Bartók, Running, The Museum of Natural History, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Laszlo Horvath to share a taste of his taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
Laszlo Horvath is an artist, musician, and writer based in New York City. A few months ago I recommended his band, Laszlo And The Hidden Strength, on Perfectly Imperfect and raved about their very special sound and Laszlo’s electric stage presence. Definitely try to catch them live on August 19th! Their next single, “Colleen”, drops on August 19th followed by a full length album, Strange Victory, later this year. Horvath also has a solo album dropping later this month on Primordial Void and in September he’ll be showing some new paintings at the Triest gallery. He’s writing a novella titled The Gigging that has had excerpts published in Heavy Traffic Mag and Forever Mag. Laszlo is a one of a kind talent and person, and lucky for us, he’s here to share a taste of his taste with us.
Without further ado
Laszlo Horvath (instagram)
Whenever I tell my father that I’ve been running around the city he likes to ask me “what are you running from?” He’s totally right. One should consider the deeper implications of their chosen exercise. I’m prone to escapism, and flight from discomfort, and running is like a transfiguration of that impulse. The goal is to get to the point where you feel like you’re running at something or someone instead of from. Hear me out: it’s free, it promotes longevity, it rids one of the wiggles, and it’s like a tour of the city in 2x speed. I encourage running in the street and dodging people and cars.
📚 Barnes & Noble (17th Street)
Had to check if this place was still there as I began writing this because realistically it should be gone; it makes no sense that it’s still around. Used to play hookie from high school and chose to come here for some reason. Unfortunately there’s no longer an Alternative Thinking section that I think a lot of you sickos would be into; David Icke etc. Let’s be honest: public space is dwindling and the polis has to get creative. This place will probably be something else soon so go loiter in it now. The Starbucks on the 3rd floor is a great place to grind.
🇭🇺 Béla Bartók
For some reason this feels like the right context to plug this one. Composer; ethnographer; the pride of the Hungarian people. Kind of a modernist also kind of not. Nobody pays enough attention to Béla. The indisputable classic is String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, shouts out to Max Beirne-Shafer for putting me on to the Julliard String Quartet recording of it from 1950. Great, pithy showcase of his harmonic genius is found in 14 Bagatelles, Op. 6 Sz. 38: No. 4, Grave. Apparently my grandfather studied with him back in the old country. Wild.
His name is Danny Broschowitz; occasionally I see him trawling around in a grey sedan around my neighborhood these days. I met Danny in middle school. He was obsessed with George Clinton and Funkadelic. For what it’s worth he was the first one to show me Death Grips, Frank Zappa, the Fantastic Planet soundtrack and other things that helped me get free when I was like 12. He was into psychedelic music in this very odd, serious way; whereas others are subdued or blissed by psychedelia it seemed to rile him to animus. This song of his is absolutely beyond its time. Also his current band Shawty is very good.
Out of all the anonymous posters crawling around the internet I prefer my good friend @subwaysigns the most. All I’ll betray is his gender. I love his work very much. Following this page is not only a great opportunity to find and purchase some of the finest borrowed nostalgia; it’s also an invaluable archive of New York City’s transit design throughout the ages. Big ups to the homie for monetizing his passion.
🦴 The Museum of Natural History W 81st St
This is probably the best art museum in the city even though its goal is to be plainly didactic and show off some dinosaur bones. Just look at those dioramas. It’s all Off. As my colleague Louis Osmosis might say, it’s giving kunst. Philanthropy chic. I love that some corners of this place haven’t seen any sprucing up since like the 90’s. It feels abandoned and too big for its own good; each section suggests varying degrees of attendance and funding so there’s a weird fragmented feel to walking through the entire museum. Some rooms have flickering lights and are mad dusty. Definitely for fans of Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulations lol! I recommend going in the winter time.
My friends Ben Cohen, Max Beirne-Shafer, and Justin Fossella who comprise my band Laszlo and the Hidden Strength have a label called Cultural Music. I think they only put out their own music. It’s the best thing that’s happening for music right now imo. All three of them are intensely good composers. In an age of incessant ~vibe~ I appreciate the textuality and distinctive narrative leanings of these efforts. Something so…I dunno…cultural about it all.
🗑 Bushwick Noir
No, not the name of some bar or shop. Just a feeling. Sometimes I go to Ridgewood or Bushwick to meet up with friends who live out there as an excuse to clear my head and try something different from the downtown morass. Of course this is just a different mess. But seriously, do any of you go out to Bushwick? I know it gets a lot of flack, but it’s really a strange, ambient and lawless place. In the summer garbage cooks out on the sidewalk in front of newish gentrification hives; empty lots full of tall grass and careening vines; the train rumbles above head on Myrtle, unmoved. Can’t tell if people are going to be dangerous or not; if trust-funded or not. Like some bizarro Hopper painting.
🧙♂️ Vale of Cashmere
This is a semi-secluded place in Prospect Park. Kind of like a secret garden energy. Very special place. I used to go here in high school with friends who lived in the area mostly to smoke weed. A lot of weed-smoking in the city has to do with trying to access some kind of pastoral fantasy in this wacky town. This is exactly that embodied. It’s like a pond overgrown with various plants, and then a strange little lawn adjacent to it, where a lot of dubious characters sort of skitter around in and out of view; it makes it all the more trippy. Still go here when I need a minute. I don’t smoke that much weed any more.
🌀 The Collected Writings of Robert Smithson
This is something the whole family can enjoy. While I’m not really a fan of Rob Smithson’s art (think the spiral jetty film is better than the actual thing, kind of a silly looking creation no?) his writing is really great, sort of reeks of auto-didact vibes but there’s a contagious curiosity to all the shit even if you’re not certain on what he’s talking about. A really fierce intelligence with regards to the imbrication of the anthropocentric landscape, language, and industrial conditions writ large. It’s also just fun. On a sappier level I like reading this stuff because it reminds me to approach everything as a novice. The phrase “ruins in reverse” from A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey (1967) has haunted me for a while now.
Follow Laszlo on Instagram.
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Check out Laszlo and The Hidden Strength on Spotify.
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