Kriston Capps

Kriston Capps
Kriston Capps is a staff writer for CityLab covering housing, architecture, and politics. He previously worked as a senior editor for Architect magazine. More +
  • Carlo Allegri / Reuters

    To Buy a House, Go to College

    A bachelor’s degree is not a requirement for homeownership, but it is starting to look like one.

  • Track of the Day: 'Anyhow, I Love You'

    Guy Clark, one of the finest songwriters in Texas country history and a Nashville legend, has died. A Grammy Award–winning artist, Clark wrote songs that were recorded by Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and many other country-western stars. Among his 13 studio albums were scores of outlaw hits, including “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train.”

    My very favorite Guy Clark song is a ballad that he recorded in 1976 with Emmylou Harris and Waylon Jennings. (By pedigree alone, it’s got to be good.) “Anyhow, I Love You” is that rare love song that’s salty, not sweet. It captures such urgent emotion without a hint of cliche, pretense, or even much romance—“anyhow, I love you,” as in “anyhow, that’s all I’ve got to say.”

    I wish I had a dime for every bad time
    But the bad times always seem to keep the change
    You been all alone so you know what I'm sayin'
    So when all you can recall is the pain

    Just you wait until tomorrow when you wake up with me
    At your side and find I haven't lied about nothin'
    I wouldn't trade a tree for the way I feel about you
    In the mornin', anyhow I love you

    Everyday it gets just a little bit better
    And half the gettin' there is knowin' where I been before
    I'm sure you understand 'cause I ain't your first man
    So when you feel like runnin' for the back door, don't

    Just you wait until tomorrow when you wake up with me
    At your side and find I haven't lied about nothin'
    I wouldn't trade a tree for the way I feel about you
    In the mornin', anyhow I love you

    Clark was 74.

    (Track of the Day archive here. Submit via hello@)

  • You Aren't Crazy: The New Mother Jones Logo Is Changing Colors

    This morning, Mother Jones unveiled new designs for both the magazine and website to celebrate the publication’s 40th anniversary. In a note introducing the changes, editor Clara Jeffrey says her coworkers are “obsessed with our new favorite color, orange.”

    My first response to the new look was an unbroken string of applause emoji.

    My second take was self doubt. Is that ... is that what orange looks like?

    Toward the top of the graphic, sure. As a University of Texas alum, I’d recognize burnt orange anywhere. I’m comfortable declaring part of the new logo to be burnt orange or Longhorn-adjacent. Hook ‘em, Mother Jones!

    But the bottom of this logo treatment is far from the comforting colors of campus, instead awash in grapefruit hues. Adrienne shared the same reaction—at least, the part about seeing a gradient that changes from orange to pink. And we weren’t alone.

    “If you hadn’t told me some people see a wash, it probably would have looked all one color—orange—to me,” texted a friend, a painting professor I consulted, fearing that others might see a white-and-gold logo.

    But nope. No need to consult color theory. No need to dredge up traumatic memories. This Mother Jones sample is no illusion. Using highly sophisticated forensic analysis tools going well beyond the droplet function in Paintbrush, I deduced two distinct tones, with totally different hashtags and coordinates:

    Now, orange you glad I asked?
    *closes tab*
    *deletes account*

  • Track of the Day: 'Daydreaming'

    When Radiohead set out to disappear completely last weekend, deleting every post from their Twitter and Facebook accounts, they left their YouTube page untouched. Probably smart: “Lotus Flower,” a single from the band’s last album, 2011’s The King of Limbs, has wracked up 36 million views.

    The video for “Burn the Witch,” the single that Radiohead dropped on Monday, is already doing numbers. “Daydreaming” may do even better. The video, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and posted today, captures the bleak unease of the song exactly:

    The video follows pale king Thom Yorke as he walks through a series of inter-connected hallways, corridors, and tunnels. He appears to be lost but not aimless, the world around him oblivious to his existence—an anxiety particular to Radiohead’s catalog. He passes through one door after another: from kitchen to hospital to prison to library and other magically linked spaces. “Dreamers, they never learn/ They never learn,” Yorke sings.

    The psychic distress mounts as the song builds, until in the end Yorke passes through a utility stairwell door to a snowy landscape. He trudges through the drift until he finds what he was looking for (maybe?): a cave carved out of the ice, a fire burning inside the cave. The sounds that finish the song are too strange to describe, but Genius says that it’s York chanting “Evol ym dnouf ev’I”—I’ve found my love, backwards and all chopped and screwed.

    This isn’t PTA’s first collaboration with Radiohead: Jonny Greenwood, the group’s mop-headed multi-instrumentalist, has composed the soundtracks for several of the director’s films, including There Will Be Blood and Inherent Vice. Last year, Anderson released Junun, a rockumentary that followed Greenwood to India, where he recorded an album of the same name with Israeli composer Shy Ben Tzur, producer Nigel Godrich, and an ensemble called Rajasthan Express.

    More videos may be on the way: Radiohead’s latest and as-yet-untitled album comes out on Sunday.

    (Track of the Day archive here. Submit via hello@)

  • Andrew Innerarity / Reuters

    Remembering Zaha Hadid

    For better and for worse, she was the world’s first female starchitect.

  • Why Is the Smithsonian Still Standing Behind Bill Cosby? Cont'd

    Over the weekend, The New York Times ran an extensive preview of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is taking shape on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Although the museum won’t open its doors to the public for another six months, its curators’ decisions are already raising eyebrows. Another Times story examines the new museum’s plans to recognize Bill Cosby, entertainer and alleged serial rapist, for his contributions to the culture, without mentioning the accusations against him.

    When it comes to Cosby, the Smithsonian Institution suffers from a serious blindspot.

  • Archives of American Art

    Is the Government Wasting a Fortune on Art?

    Jason Chaffetz is on a mission to find out.

  • Rick Wilking / Reuters

    A Second Chance for an Old Road-Sign Font

    Goodbye to Clearview, hello (again) to Highway Gothic.

  • Track of the Day: 'Hello' (cover)

    Is Adele a snooze? Maybe! Is she music’s Donald Trump? That seems harsh. She may be deep in her feels on “Hello,” but it’s a dynamic song with more emotional range than gray. See what it sounds like in the hands of a decidedly not-glum act—D.C.’s Backyard Band:

    This cover falls squarely within the delightful go-go tradition of bands covering overwrought ballads by mainstream pop stars. I’m thinking of “Pieces of Me,” an Ashlee Simpson single that peaked briefly in 2004 before settling into used-bin obscurity. Rare Essence topped D.C. radio charts in 2012 with a redeeming cover. The song belongs to them now.

  • Why Is the Smithsonian Still Standing Behind Bill Cosby?

    Bill Cosby will be arraigned today over a 2004 charge for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home near Philadelphia. This is the first criminal charge that the comedian and TV star will face, after similar accusations from nearly three dozen women.

    That’s twice as many as a year ago, when Cosby’s career began to fall apart. Since then, networks stopped airing reruns of The Cosby Show, his agency dropped him, and venues around the country canceled his comedy tour appearances.

    All along, though, one major cultural organization has stood by Cosby’s side: the Smithsonian Institution. Cosby’s art collection remains on display at the National Museum of African Art in an exhibition, “Conversations,” that the comedian and his wife Camille helped fund. This is a problem, as I wrote in November 2014:

  • Greenland Travel / Flickr

    Some Swedish People Built a Hotel Out of Solid Ice

    “The most important aspect is to keep your feet and head warm, so woolly socks and a hat is crucial.”

  • DBOX / Eric Parry Architects

    London’s Surprisingly Graceful New Skyscraper, Revealed

    The upcoming 1 Undershaft tower won’t look like the Gherkin, the Cheesegrater, or the Walkie-Talkie buildings. In fact, it’s kind of modest.

  • Pascal Rossignol / Reuters

    What Social Media Got Wrong About the Paris Attacks

    False reports and hoaxes spread rapidly in the chaos following multiple shootings and explosions in France on Friday.

  • AP

    What the Paris Attacks Mean for Europe’s Free Borders

    Following Friday’s shootings and explosions, the country has reimposed border controls. This is normal security protocol, but also a worrying sign for the future.

  • The Art Institute of Chicago

    Why Absolutely Everyone Hates Renoir

    The protestors in Boston who declared even God despises the maligned Impressionist might be on to something.

  • Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

    Kansas City, Powerhouse of American Architecture

    Some of the country’s most interesting buildings are being created in the midwest.

  • Shutterstock

    Millennials Not Leaving The Nest Raises Alarms

    Economists, sociologists, and parents are starting to worry about a generation that won't form households.

  • Ai Weiwei / Flickr

    Ai Weiwei’s 600 Days of Flowers

    For almost two years, the Chinese artist and dissident has been cataloguing his inability to leave the country with bouquets. But the protest ended Wednesday with the return of his passport.

  • Bluewater Productions

    Rand Paul, Superhero

    The Kentucky senator takes a star turn in a series of comic-book biographies of the 2016 presidential contenders.

  • Ike Edeani

    The Great Pyramid of Manhattan

    A new kind of high-rise on the West Side