Follow by Email

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'M DEAD i'm dead, i'm dead....

While googling my name to check if my website is finally launched...
I uncovered a grizzly secret....

I DIED ABOUT 21 YEARS AGO!!

CHECK IT...
Somehow this seems appropriate listening whilest contemplating this unnerving fact:

HERE...

No wondered I am so tired....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011






Sunday the 7th....already a week into the new year...and FINALLY a chance to come up for air after the holidays...I havent really had a moment to myself until now...to plan for the coming year...I EVEN wrote some resolutions down....

I used to dismiss this practice in the past, but I just turned 39 this December, and as I get older I am starting to see the need for SOME sort of plan if only for the illusion of "direction".

(What those resolutions are is really for my sake only, but suffice to say I preferred to address things I wish to DO rather than things I need to STOP doing...)

Last Sunday...after working New years eve and day...I went out to the nearby branch of Powell's bookstore and bought a copy of poems by Charles Simic...a new favorite...it was a crystal clear cold day with an etched blue sky....a good day to bring home some new poetry...

I found this poem in another anthology and hunted down his work....it is very appropriate when contemplating time and a new year...

THE ALTAR

The plastic statue of the Virgin
On top of a bedroom dresser
With a blackened mirror
From a bad-dream grooming salon.

Two pebbles from the grave of a rock star,
A small, grinning wind-up monkey,
A bronze Egyptian coin
And a red movie-ticket stub.

A splotch of sunlight on the framed
Communion photograph of a boy
With the eyes of someone
Who will drown in a lake real soon.

An altar dignifying the god of chance.
What is beautiful, it cautions,
Is found accidentally and not sought after.
What is beautiful is easily lost.

-Charles Simic







Here's hoping we all appreciate what we have, and make things happen in this fresh new year...

Monday, July 19, 2010

100TH POST:up and coming




The beginning of a series a started in NYC but had to scrap
because of my move: some site-specific guerilla art....





...let's just hope this stump stays "in situ" while I slave
away at putting this project together...as it is very
labor intensive.....





I wouldn't have it any other way.....
(I am lookin forward to the sekrit late-night reveal....
..if you behave i might invite you...)

STAY TUNED!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The dust that hides the glow of a rose....








Last weekend I went to a cheapie movie theater and finally saw SHUTTER ISLAND....Definately not the most origional plot for a film....worn slightly thin in parts, but overall a beautiful movie with a pretty stellar cast (Leonardo DiCaprio is pretty impressive with his sustained intensity)....visually beautiful...and with an awesome soundtrack....

I have this thing where from a young age, I HAVE TO stay in the theater until just about the final moments of the credits rolling up the screen...kind of a religious ritual....when you begin to return from the place a film has taken you...like shaking the sleep off ones frame....talking to those beside you about what you've just seen....

Lucky for me I did....For alot of people sprinted for the door the moment the credits appeared...only hearing the opening strains of the final music....a lowing cello....The beginning of MAX RICHTER'S piece "On the Nature of Daylight"....and then a female's voice joins it: the Queen of Blues: DINAH WASHINGTON....and I couldn't move until the final credits rolled by and I could uncover who's haunting voice I was hearing....

Turns out that Dinah Washington's origional version is alot more in keeping with the time when she was alive...She was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in August of 1924...just weeks before Clyde Otis...who was born on September 11th, 1924 in Mississippi...who went to war and later moved to NYC to try his hand at song writing. He ended up writing "This Bitter Earth", which Dinah Washington recorded in 1960, just 3 years before her early death at age 39. She was married eight times (one can easily project all this into her voice as she sings about the hardships of being alive..), and it was her last husband, NFL player Dick Lane, who discovered her dead beside him on December 14th, 1963...she had mixed two different barbituates together in a deadly combination....
It was 3 more years before Max Richter was born in Germany in 1966....who would go on to write On the Nature of Daylight, which would later be remixed with Dinah Washington's voice to create such a beautiful piece that I have already listened to it at least 10-20 times today (and cried just about every time I did...hey, I DID tell you before I am a BIG SAP)....Clyde Otis would go on to live until 2008.

There is something so beautiful to me about the artistic process, and the nature of collaborations as well, that an artist can be years in the grave and continue to live amoung us...literally collaborating with others, inspiring them and pushing their talents higher and higher...that a song writer can write such beautiful words...and a singer can bring them to life...and a composer can lift them even higher...and enrich a film....long after some of those participants have gone from this earth.....you really can live forever inna way....


ON THE NATURE OF DAYLIGHT/THIS BITTER EARTH


for Dinah:


Blessed be the candle that burns half as bright...

For in burning, burns twice as long...

And the brighter light knows only night...

But the lesser may live to glimpse the dawn...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

LONG time gone.....

Someone I knew...long time ago....when I first moved to Seattle almost 20 years ago now...(eek)...played this song for me...and it has HAUNTED me since then....I have always wanted to hear it again....

Tonight upon arriving home from work...I somehow managed to think to look it up correctly...and was able to find this site where I could hear it in it's entirety
for free.....

It is still very bit as beautiful as I remember...

I have to qualify this by saying that I do not care for alot of Irish traditional music...(though I just found out this band is actually from Scotland....perhaps part of why it was so hard to find...? I find it, as a genre, too sentimental...if that means anything...forgive me.....(though I will also say, that WAKING NED DEVINE, the Irish film, has gone A LONG WAY to turning my sentiments on that issue...AN AWESOME FILM...see it right away...)

Anyway....listen to it and judge for yourself...I think this song is utterly beautiful....

THE TANNAHILL WEAVERS: (CULLEN BAY album), Braw Burn the Bridges

(click on "PLAY BUTTON" icon in top left corner, and select "play full song"...you'll need to wait a few secong before prompt will appear...)

Can't understand the lyrics? Read them here...I think I wanna learn these by heart, so I can sing this at the top of my lungs whilst stumbling home drunk in the future: I tend to wanna sing when really ripped at times...)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

all by myself with RACHMININOFF

I have been neglecting my classical music education for a while so I picked
something at random from the library shelves...
2 Russian heavy-hitters...Peter Tchaikovsky and Rachmoninoff....while listening to the 2nd movement of ROCKY'S 2nd piano concerto I was suddenly havin deja vu.... (right at 1 minute and 50 seconds....listen to the reed instrument solo....):

LISTEN TO IT HERE:

And now listen to this.....

SOUND FAMILIAR?


HILARIOUS.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the TRASH heap: POSTSCRIPT





Who knew that on my latest trip to the G-WILL that I would also discover it to be a conduit for soul searching...which is apparently what I have been doing alot of on a subconscious level....

This poem was hiding amoungst the frames on the shelf...and usually I am buying the frames for future art projects...not for what is in the frame...usually cliche or amatuerish...(again, Not being a snob...)...But there is was the DESIDERATA: I had thought it was part of the teachings of some wiseman...Plato, or the writings of some medieval monk....

Turns out it is the work of an attorney turned philosopher from Indiana....written in the 1920s...though ironically, a rumor was widespread that it was discovered in St Pauls Church in Baltimore, Maryland...and had been written anonymously in 1692...around the time the church was founded....not, as in fact the case, by MAX ERHMANN....who knows why this happened....

...but there it was...And I had seen it before...written it down in fact, from some source I had forgotten....I had no idea my soul was in such a quandry, but when I saw it again it was a shock....is if some force had been reading my mind....and knew it was what I was crying out for...it is hanging on the door in my room now...and has been giving me strength for days now....

Goodwill: land of second hand goods, and sustenance of the soul....


DON QUIXOTE

Recently, I saw the movie LATTER DAYS. It is the story of the intersecting of lives of a gay L.A. partyboy and a Utah Mormon missionary on his two-year mission.
Though not 100% perfect, it is a beautiful movie, (and makes me wish that Jaqueline Bisset was my friend)...I feel that gay films are finally becoming contenders in the cinama mainstream (not discounting the earlier HEAD ON and THE SUM OF US to name a few...), and addressing the life of homos in a more balanced light...and can be seen as films and not just GAY films....though of course this is coming from a liberal city-dweller homo....

There is a song strung through the film by the band TOAD THE WET SPROCKET that has completely overtaken me...and I have already listened to it at least 30-40 times....In the mid eighties, as an awkward, shy, dorky, closeted teenager, I was really into the absurdity of Monty Python, and this is perhaps why later, in the early ninties, when I became aware of TOAD that I discounted them (the band's name comes from a Monty Python skit...), assuming it was goofy and dorky, like the kid I wanted so desparately not to be any more....

It has some great lines: "I spend too much time seeking shelter", and "take the darkest hour, break it open...water to repair, what we have broken..". I get the chills just listening to it, and it makes me feel so vulnerable and exposed...naked....to think about things that I have been trying to ignore.. It's a pretty powerful song that can do that...And reminds that the most productive times are when you are forced/force yourself to go places outside your comfort sphere... I can already tell this will be one of those songs 20 years hence that will still be able to root me to the spot when I hear it...

LISTEN FOR YO'SEFF

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

onna GOOD day....onna BAD day....

TWO great songs with simular video concepts...



One for when you KRANKY....

One for when you ready to save the world with yer GROOVINESS....

Monday, April 19, 2010

the TRASH heap







Its natural to establish routines, and rituals...especially when you moved to a new town. It's a way of slowly carving some order outta the big block of chaos it can be....but that's part of the fun...





One of my rituals is my weekly Tuesday visit to the Goodwill in far flung southeast Portland. I jump on the bus and ride out there to poke around, see what I can see, and get a little inspiration from out of the chaos of crap on the shelves.




I love wandering the aisles, scanning the crowded shelves, on the alert for the unique, and unusual...the odd...the priceless (and for such a low price...).

It reminds me constantly of a scene in the movie RETURN TO OZ, when the young Dorothy must wander through the rooms of the Gnome King's underground palace...looking for objects that may be the reincarnations of her friends...recently transformed for the purposes of a cruel game...and hidden
amoungst his formidable tchochke collection: there are amazing things hidden in the vast huddle of detritus, if you only pay attention.

I always manage to find things that leave one marveling:








"WOW, Someone actually thought this thing into existence.."







I have two special weaknesses:

1. Homemade ceramic projects (banished to a goodwill shelf possibly because it's creator was embarassed at their lack of artistic prowess... or the receiver of this piece felt they had held onto it long enough- I am not being snarky or snobby by-the-way..),













2. Fascinating CANDLES: you would not believe the objects out there with a wick spouting off the top....(someday I am going to start a collection, because someone needs to get them all into one room...).









It takes discipline to be focused, and be able to single out objects in the chaos, and yet, remain relaxed at the same time:

concentrating, but out of the corner of one's eye...


I love seeing a mate to a coffee cup or vase, seen (possibly bought) in another store, hundreds, even thousands of miles away in another state...like running into family.








Or the juxtaposing of different lives...different religions brushing up against one another....














...the shelves lined with endless milkglass flower vases send me back in time to catholic grade school...the bouquets of roses in those vases in front of a painted ceramic statue of the virgin mary were in every room...never far from your sight...









There can also be something sad and depressing about it: the unnecessary purchases, the things that MUST be had, only to be discarded. The mementos of trips embarked upon, t-shirts from amusement parks to remember the occasion by only subsequently to realize it ain't really that worth commemorating...
How fickle and frivolous we all are...









POSTSCRIPT: Someone needs to tell where this obcession with owls comes from? Why they are represented in almost every material, and not just from the seventies either...and why they all seem to gather at goodwill...? Does the OWL represent something to the human subconsciousness...?