I’ve been looking for an opportunity to be part of Outside Voice – Art TV, so I’m happy to have kicked off the collaboration on Saturday with Ron Pippin’s ever-resourceful, ongoing, family-art project. I entertained the troops at Creative Reuse day singing singalong songs to the kids and parents busy with all sorts of projects as part of their open-house for the West Austin Studio Tour.
At the end of two hours of improvising music today, we were tossing out name ideas when Darrel said Amen, Icy Cinema, which is a palindrome. To which I said, Icy Cinema and the three of us looked at each other as if to say, I think that’s it! And so it is, I think we have a name for our Ambient trio.
Here are a number of tracks from our last practice, Feb. 7.
Bryan Stevenson has spent his life giving not just legal aid but himself to otherwise forgotten death-row inmates throughout the deep south. In his understated way, he reveals systematic injustice and dignifies his clients, creating a redemption so powerful that we feel it from just hearing these stories.
Fear and anger are a threat to justice. They can infect a community, a state, or a nation, and make us blind, irrational, and dangerous.
But simply punishing the broken–walking away from them or hiding them from sight–only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.
Captain Kidd, now in his 70s, makes his living traversing post-Civil-War Texas reading newspaper articles to frontier people. When he has to escort a 10-year-old German girl back to her remaining family after having been in Kiowa captivity for most of her life, he seems to be the only one who can usher her precarious life between the two worlds. This vulnerable and unlikely pair proved extremely charming and heartwarming for having helped each other survive the unforgiving prairie
Maybe life is just carrying news. Surviving to carry the news. Maybe we have just one message, and it is delivered to us when we are born and we are never sure what it says; it may have nothing to do with us personally but it must be carried by hand through a life, all the way, and at the end handed over, sealed.
Maile has been watching a new series called Schitt’s Creek starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara and we’ve been obsessed with this scene. Moira is trying out for the Jazzagals and I think she nails it.
There are so many funny nuances to her impromptu performance. My favorite is the song itself – stuck in my head for days – with its perfectly enigmatic, absurd opening line featuring the word Log. Makes me laugh, every time.
There are only a few lines before she’s incoherent, lost in loony scatting. And the whole thing is done with such false-modesty and confidence.
Someone held me on that log, it should have been you
Someone’s arms were big and strooong, it should have been you
I warned you I was lonely, but you didn’t seem to care
no, no, no, [starts scatting]… a woman’s tears… [scat solo]
Someone left me on that log, it should have been you
What is it that is so tender and hilarious about bad singing done with utter conviction?! When it’s not intended as comedy, which is most of the time, we have to not laugh. But here we have full permission and it’s a gloriously guilty pleasure.
It’s also such a pleasure to see Catherine O’Hara doing her amateur auditions again because we are already such fans of Waiting for Guffman, and this audition scene in particular from 20 years ago.
Kirby Jenner makes me laugh really hard. The longer I look the harder I laugh. That’s enough. That mustache, that face, that body… so well played and seamlessly Photoshopped in.
There’s also a great gorilla satire to the hilariously eager and congenitally uncool character he inserts into the life of Kendall Jenner, professional princess reality star. Kirby is Kendall’s fictional twin we never knew she needed until now.
Kirby makes fun of Kardashian culture by impersonating it, inserting his parody persona in the form of a devoted fraternal-twin brother, tagging along on her photo shoots and photobombing her grandiose selfies with his goofy enthusiasm.
Kirby turns Kendall’s epic self-absorption…
… into a grand farce:
He’s usually too enthusiastically enjoying the situation, making an awkward goofy face, sometimes moping or somehow getting it wrong, and often eating a Subway sandwich. He makes Kendall the boring background she is.
He’s frequently in his underwear, like Kendall, exposing all sorts of gendered double-standards with how differently it reads. He’s trying to be like Kendall but it never works, always to comic effect. He just wants her to acknowledge he’s there!
And that’s just the photos. His captions and hashtags add another level of endearingly dumb bragging:
I found Nathanial Russell’s fliers and fake books, clicked around his site and fell in love with his whole aesthetic and ethic, simple drawings, full of ideas, empathetic innocence, absurdity, DIY analog spirit, humor and wit. And he plays guitar and makes lofi accousticy songs! My kind of guy.
The music just below is one one of the recordings I made in Paris, this one of an accordion player on a pedestrian bridge. Hit play now so that the sounds of Paris will accompany you. OK. Can you hear the melancholy French jazz?
Maile and I originally planned to travel to Paris together for our 10th wedding anniversary. Two and a half years later we made it, by ourselves, for a full week. We rented a wonderful loft appartment on AirBnb in the Marais, from which we sauntered out an back every day.
We stayed two blocks from the Pompidou, passing it every day, eating across from it. Here are a few of the outside and then a few of my favorite works inside.
I particularly liked the Gerard Fromanger exhibit, his use of monochrome figures and infographics.
There was so much great street art everywhere, from centuries old sculpture to to stickers, art sellers and graffiti, chalk artists and street musicians. Hardly a block went by that I didn’t notice a gorgeous door. I was always stopping to snap something and then running to catch up with Maile.
Now listen to the slow funky Flamenco sounds of a guitarist echoing in the Subway.
Musée d’Orsay was a pure delight and inspiration. So many beautiful works of art that I’d never seen, and in a beautifully converted old converted train station.
Apparently he is in his 70s, has suffered a stoke and applies painstaking detail despite a limited range of movement. I love these.
When I saw Mark Horst’s style, it reminded me of what I like about Mark Tansey and the fellow whose painting – Chesapeake Birdwatchers – hangs in our room. Figures in the foreground, abstract, minimal background.
From talking with the gallery owner I learned he is a divinity and fine arts grad from Yale who went the art route. Apparently, he changes up his style for each series. This one is from a trip to Injambakkam, India. It looks like he works from photographs.
Here are a few other artist’s work I liked, snapped a pic of around town.