Moby Offers Unique Observations on Modernism

Living in L.A., the Grammy-nominated musician blogs about finding the architectural gems like in Palm Springs

Moby spoke on Modernism, Palm Springs, L.A. among a host of topics during a Modernism Week event recently at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.

Jim Powers

While walking up Park Avenue in New York City, Moby would look at such modernist icons as the Seagram’s building and be in awe of architect Philip Johnson’s travertine walls.

The same would be true when he looked at the Lever House.

“They were both like my temples," Moby said. “Ornamentation was the devil.”

The Grammy nominated musician’s immersion into modernism has only grown from there. Even after he moved to Los Angeles, Moby (whose real name is Richard Melville Hall) has become as well known for his dance music as the blog he pens on L.A. architecture.

His recent visit to Palm Springs during Modernism Week only solidified his popularity between the two genres. His observations about architecture are both funny and strikingly on target. Part of that comes from recognizing early on that modernism projects pristine and perfection, but often falls short on both counts.

“I think the epiphany I had was when I saw pictures of the Eames house, and I expected it to be clean and austere, and it’s filled with crap,” Moby said. “These are the patron saints of modernism and their house is a disaster.”

In moving to L.A., Moby has used his blog to point out the gems sometimes lost amongst the crap.

“If you are a committed modernist in L.A and you want pristine and perfect buildings, you will blow your brains out because 99 percent of the buildings are disastrous,” he said. “But it’s been the challenge of finding beauty.”

VIDEO: View Moby's takes on Palm Springs, his music and architecture, and that empty room in his L.A. house.



Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Escena Golf Club Offers Room With a View, Combined Living Space

The Panorama Room at Escena Golf Club in Palm Springs combines the living, dining, and kitchen space with breath-taking views of the San Jacinto Mountains.

Top 10 Road Trip Videos in Greater Palm Springs Area

Some of the most unique and interesting places to visit are within an easy drive of the Greater Palm Springs area.

Explore Palm Springs: Beating the Heat Before Air Conditioning

Summers in Palm Springs before air conditioning meant finding creative ways to try and stay cool.

10 Things to Do in Palm Springs This Weekend

Palm Springs Life helps plan out your weekend in Palm Springs and the desert resort cities with concerts, events, restaurants, nightlife, clubs and the world of entertainment only found in the desert.

Desert Staycations

The Palm Springs area is filled with resorts offering packages in the summer months to help people unwind and have fun.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.