Outside Voice, Saturday Songs

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.

Here’s robot Ron, a cardboard kid cyborg, and they dome they were working on while I was singing.

Robot Ron

Robot kid

Cardboard dome

Icy Cinema: Feb. 7, 2018

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.

March
 March
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Weave
 Weave
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Moroccan Moon
 Moroccan Moon
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Lilybeth's Lament
 Lilybeth's Lament
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Word Sword
 Word Sword
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Crater Cut
 Crater Cut
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International Clash Day 2018: I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.

In honor of #InternationalClashDay I recorded I’m So Bored with the U.S.A. in the stairwell today on my lunch break. Long live The Clash!!!

Jason Molin covers The Clash
I'm So Bored with the U.S.A.
Jason Molin covers The Clash I'm So Bored with the U.S.A.
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I’m So Bored With The U.S.A.

Yankee soldier
He want to shoot some skag
He met it in Cambodia, but now
He can’t afford a bag

Yankee dollar talk
To the dictators of the world
In fact it’s giving orders
An’ they can’t afford to miss a word

I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
But what can I do?

Yankee detectives
Are always on the TV
‘Cause killers in America work
Seven days a week

Never mind the stars and stripes
Let’s print the Watergate Tapes
I’ll salute the New Wave
And I hope nobody escapes

I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
But what can I do?

I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
But what can I do?

I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
But what can I do?

Favorite Books From 2017

Just MercyJust Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

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.

News of the WorldNews of the World by Paulette Jiles

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.

 

Continue reading “Favorite Books From 2017”

Moira’s Audition

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, Photobomb Master

KribyKirby 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…

Kendall Jenner

… into a grand farce:

Kirby Jennar Napoleon

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:

kirbyjenner SO EMBARRASSING… totally thought Kendall said we were going to “mime camp” but I guess she said “voter registration rally.” Lol All good I had fun anyway tho. Ended up using the art of miming to help 20 youngsters register to vote AND taught them about the three branches of government 🙂 #ClassyMime #AlsoMimedAVotingBooth #GotStuckInTheInvisibleVotingBooth #yolo

Thank you, Kirby, for making me laugh so much.

Nathaniel Russell: The Opposite of Lost

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.

Nathaniel Russell art

 

Spring Break in Paris With Maile

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?

accordian player on the Ponte Nuef
accordion player on the Ponte Nuef playing a melancholy Autumn Leaves

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.

I took about 1600 photos with my little Canon G7X and got it down to about 250 favorites shots that I’ve posted as an album on Flickr. See the slideshow at the end of this post. I’ll try to whittle it way down here and tell the story of our trip primarily in pictures and captions.

We arrived on Saturday morning and took the train into the city.
We arrived on Saturday morning and took the train into the city (with Charles Beaver, Anais’s envoy).
Walking from the Metro to find our place we stopped at Le Petite Marcel for lunch.
Walking from the Metro to find our apartment we stopped at Le Petite Marcel for lunch.
The beautiful blue door to the building where we stayed.
the beautiful blue door to the building where we stayed
the reflection of our front building in the shiny black van opposite
the reflection of our front building in the shiny black van opposite
The beautiful classic bicycle that was always locked outside our door
The beautiful classic bicycle that was always locked outside our door

The Pompidou

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.

Pompidou plaza
Pompidou plaza
seven people sitting in front of the Pompidou
seven people sitting in front of the Pompidou
We stayed a few blocks from the Pompidou, a wonderful modern art gallery
my reflection in the window of the line and houses opposite
Man Ray's room of art and beautiful objects
Man Ray’s room of art and beautiful objects
shiny spinning metal shape with divets in a black and white lined box
shiny spinning metal shape with divets in a black and white lined box
Giacometti people
Giacometti people

I particularly liked the Gerard Fromanger exhibit, his use of monochrome figures and infographics.

painting by Gérard Fromanger
painting by Gérard Fromanger
painting by Gérard Fromanger
painting by Gérard Fromanger
Paris skyline
view from the top of the Pompidou; see the Eifell Tower shining it’s spotlight in the distance
we caught these break dancers entertaining the crowd in front of Hôtel de Ville
break dancers entertaining a crowd in front of Hôtel de Ville
break dancer balancing on one hand
break dancer balancing on one hand
Reflection on the front of a bus
reflection on the front of a bus
woman in red hat waiting, man in black coat turning away
waiting for the light to change on a bridge over the Seine
the view through the menu
the view through the menu
Paris swing band on the bridge over the Seine
Paris swing on a bridge over the Seine
colorful juice window
colorful juice window
reflection in car top
reflection in car top
reflection in bus window w driver
reflection in bus window w driver smoking
Maile on the Ponte Nuef overlooking the Siene
Maile on the Ponte Nuef overlooking the Siene
ladies at a cafe
ladies at a cafe
people sitting on the steps leading down to the Seine
people sitting on the steps leading down to the Seine
man running with child
man running with child. one of my favorite moments to capturing, participating in that pure joy.
men in front of a flower shop
men in front of a flower shop
pedicabbies looking left as the man in black walks right
pedicabbies looking left as the man in black walks right
mannequin with reflection of tower and tree
mannequin with reflection of tower and tree
I lived off these lovely fresh baguette sandwiches
I loved lunching on these fresh baguette sandwiches
a perfectly pruned park
a perfectly pruned park
the Mona Lisa hype machine
the Mona Lisa hype machine (I found it hard to appreciate the Louvre)

Street Art

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.

statues throughout the city had been secretly blindfolded in scarlet
statues throughout the city had been secretly blindfolded in scarlet (an art stunt meant to draw attention to the ubiquitous – and easily overlooked – statuary)
chalk drawing on wall
i love this chalk drawing, a face made out of squares, making eyes out of cracks in the wall
vandals with a nice sense of color
wonderful street art everywhere. vandals with a nice sense of color
HUMANITY shakes hands with POWER
HUMANITY shakes hands with POWER
poster of baseball cap
Trust The Classics
turquoise pattern with clothing cutouts
turquoise pattern with clothing cutouts
a cup of shit (by Space Invader, I think)
a cup of shit (by Space Invader, I think

Now listen to the slow funky Flamenco sounds of a guitarist echoing in the Subway.

guitarist in the subway
guitarist in the subway

Musée d’Orsay

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.

painting from the Orsay, Paris

painting in the Orsay

painting at Musee D'Orsay

sculpture at the Orsay

reflections at the Orsay
reflections at the Orsay

Picasso Museum

a window upon rooftops
a window upon rooftops, the distortions of the hand-blown glass making a painting

stone sculpture head

viewer of a Picasso painting

black paintings w names/numbers

Picasso sculpture

Picasso drawing

Picasso painting

And there are so many more I’d like to include. Here is a slideshow of all my favorites:

A Few Favorite Santa Fe Artists

Tim Althauser Painting

Tim Althauser

I’ve been looking for nature motifs for music poster ideas recently, particularly photos of the sky through the trees. In Santa Fe I shot dozens of what I call looking up at trees. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found Tim Althauser’s paintings of looking up at trees at the William and Joseph Gallery.

Apparently he is in his 70s, has suffered a stoke and applies painstaking detail despite a limited range of movement. I love these.

Tim AlthauserTim AlthauserUntitled

Mark Horst

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.

UntitledUntitledUntitled

 Various Artists

Here are a few other artist’s work I liked, snapped a pic of around town.

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