Monday, December 21, 2009

Crossing Borders Show Opening January 1st

Crossing Borders, an exhibition featuring Mexican and American artists, opens January 1st at Art & Light.

Art & Light is open on the 1st Friday (6:00 - 9:00 pm) and 1st Saturday (10:00 am - 3:00 pm) and 2nd Saturday (9:00 am - 2:00 pm) of each month.

From the Art & Light Blog:

Wednesday greetings my art-loving friends! I'm taking a quick break today from the holiday chatter to tell you about a & l's exciting January event which will open on Friday, Jan. 1st (yep, New Year's day (night) -- gotta get 2010 kicked off on an artful note. Kellie LeGrande and I have been working on "Crossing Borders" since early summer and I am soooooooo excited that it's finally here. Mark your calendar and I promise to give you a few more sneak peeks between now and then.

Here is my piece, Los Perros de la Plaga. Hope you can make it!

Even More New Work

Been rocking the studio of late. Here is Mau Vais Sang.


More New Work

Here are some new paintings, large and small.

This one is 4 feet by 4 feet.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Other Music Awards of 2009

Favorite Songs of the Year – 2009 (in no particular order)

Islands – The XX (quiet slow burn from an album of quiet slow burns)

1901 – Phoenix (what a single should sound like)

Pieces – Dinosaur Jr. (infectious – thanks J. Mascis!)

Something Is Squeezing My Skull – Morrissey (best album opener of the year)

Think I Need It Too – Echo & the Bunnymen (top single – didn’t hear the album yet)

It’s Not Your Birthday Anymore – Morrissey (my fav Moz song of the decade)

My Lucky Day – Bruce Springsteen (a drive down the road with the sun shining)

60 Ft. Tall – The Dead Weather (New Queen of Rock takes her throne)

Primary Colours – The Horrors (my favorite song of the year)

The First Day of Spring – Noah and the Whale (best breakup song of the decade?)

Marlon JD – MSP (a blast of original punk rock)

Relator – Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johannsson (great lost single from 1958)

Quiet Little Voices - We Were Promised Jetpacks (throaty Scots mean it)

Magnificent – U2 (their best single since Beautiful Day)

Gentle Sons – The Pains of Being Pure At Heart (album closer of the year)

Angela – Jarvis Cocker (mod-rock single sounds like 1965 Kinks)

Daniel – Bat For Lashes (dark and mysterious, better with repeated listens)

I and Love and You – The Avett Brothers (thanks Pete for the head’s up)

Siren Song – Bat For Lashes (I LOVE this record)

Morning Light – Gliss (huge opener from a record that hung in my top ten all year)

Do You Remember – The Horrors (great song from the best album of the year)

Puzzles - The Mary Onettes (gorgeous opener from a gorgeous record)

Treat Me Like Your Mother – The Dead Weather (best rock song of the year)

Aeon – Antony & the Johnsons (the Letterman performance is a must see)

Mind Movies – Daniel Johnston (I love this man)

A Brief History of Love – The Big Pink (heartfelt and beautiful)

Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (nickname nomination: Killer Karen O)

Dust On The Ground - Bombay Bicycle Club (I’d love to hear more from this band)

Single of the Year: Magnificent, U2.
Massive blunder on behalf of U2 to not have selected this as their lead single. I truly believe that if they had, they would have sold millions more copies than they did. Their biggest misstep since the giant lemon.

Runner Up: 1901 – Phoenix.

Album Cover of the Year: Journal For Plague Lovers, Manic Street Preachers.
British artstar Jenny Saville provided the most striking image of the year. Close Runner Up: Years of Refusal, Morrissey.

It seemed like this year was a year of relationships in music. And thusly, relationships are the theme to my lists:

The It’s Not Me, It’s You Award: Breakup of the Year

The Gallagher brothers split. For something that always seemed so inevitable, it felt so shocking when it actually came. Still don’t know how to feel about it.

The I Know You Have A Bad Reputation, But I Love You Anyway Award: Top Five Old Bands I Discovered/Totally Fell In Love With This Year

The Cramps
The Gun Club
Richard Hell & the Voidoids

The I’ll Never Get Over You Award: Oh Richey, Where Art Thou?

The disappearance of Manic Street Preachers lyricist/rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards on February 1, 1995 is truly the greatest mystery in all of rock history. Journal For Plague Lovers, the album MSP recorded with the final lyrics left behind by Richey, proved to be a masterpiece - a fitting exhale for a band (and fans) still holding their breath. A beautiful, complex, and visceral wake. Simply magic.

The Feels Like the First Time Award: Five Old Bands That I’ve Always Loved That I Fell In Love With All Over Again
The Smiths - Complete psycho-over the top love fest with Hatful of Hollow and the bootleg Troy Tate Sessions. Felt all so new again. I feel like I’ve never heard Reel Around The Fountain and Handsome Devil before. Isn’t it thrilling when songs you have heard a million times suddenly evolve in your ears into something new and meaningful? Yeah, me too.

The Jesus & Mary Chain – I have been a fan since my junior year of high school when I bought Stoned & Dethroned from the used CD store on Bay Rd. because Hope Sandoval guested on it. But had Darklands come out this year, it would have been my album of the year, that’s how much I played it. So, so good.

Iggy Pop – The grand old man caught me again, with his twin 1977 masterpieces The Idiot and Lust For Life reaching maximum playtime. Always loved those two albums, but I reached an entirely sublime and intense understanding of The Idiot that I would play on repeat while working in the studio. I always wondered why Ian Curtis killed himself to this record – now I feel the subtle darkness hanging around the edges of each track like Sister Midnight and Gone Blue. Gives me shivers.

The Velvet Underground
– Isn’t it funny when one of your favorite bands of all time, who you have spent years of your life analyzing and obsessing over, suddenly seem fresh and new again?
Is it because you have changed? Perhaps you are in a different physical location - suddenly, unexpectedly, the music changes. Yeah, that was what happened with me and VU this year. Spent most of the summer driving the other members of my studio out with repeated listenings of Sister RaySister Ray and I are fused at this point.

The One That Got Away Award:
If I would have heard Saturdays = Youth by M83 before the deadline last year, it would definitely been in my top five. Oh well.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top Ten Albums of 2009

OK folks, here it is, my Top Ten Albums of 2009.

10. The Mary Onettes, Islands. Reminiscent of all my fave early eighties bands, Echo & the Bunnymen/Cure. Mmmm….so good.

9. The Big Pink, A Brief History of Love. A truly odd record similar to MGMT, with some great singles.

8. The XX, The XX. A latecomer, but what an infecting record. Hypnotic and sexy.

7. Bat For Lashes, Two Suns. Very Kate Bush weirdness. Several phenomenal songs here – Glass, Daniel, Siren Song.

6. U2 – No Line On The Horizon. OK, so not as great as my initial 5-star review, but still pretty excellent.

5. The Dead Weather – Horehound. Rock and roll as it was meant to be. It seems that nobody else does this anymore but Jack. Detroit wins again.

4. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Everytime I played this record it got better with multiple listenings.

3. Morrissey, Years of Refusal. From the spectacular opener Something Is Squeezing My Skull to closer I’m OK By Myself, Moz is settling scores. He appears to get stronger as the years go on.

2. Manic Street Preachers, Journal For Plague Lovers. Terrifying, moving, shockingly original. One of the best records of the decade. Period.

1. The Horrors, Primary Colours. I fell for every track on this record. Epic stuff.

Honorable Mention: Noah & The Whale – The First Days of Spring, Gliss – Devotion Implosion, Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!, Dinosaur Jr. – Farm, Daniel Johnston – Is And Always Was

Totally Geeking Out Over Moleskine Monthly Planner

OK, everyone feel free to totally geek out over the Moleskine Monthly Planner. Holy wow...

London Calling Released 30 Years Ago Today

30 years ago today, The Clash's London Calling was released. London Calling is one of the top ten records ever made, and seems to only gets stronger with every passing year. The album sounds like a greatest hits collection, with every song being perfect.

From Wikipedia:

The album received positive reviews from critics, and has since become widely accepted as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. In 1987, London Calling was ranked number 14 on Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years". Rolling Stone also ranked London Calling at number one on its 1989 list of the 100 Best Albums of the Eighties despite its 1979 release.[37] In 1993, NME ranked the album at number six on its list of The Greatest Albums of the '70s.[38] Vibe magazine included the double album on its list of the 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century.[39] Q magazine ranked London Calling at number four on its 1999 list of the 100 Greatest British Albums,[40] and, in 2002, included the album in its list of the 100 Best Punk Albums.[41]

Robert Christgau described London Calling as "warm, angry, and thoughtful, confident, melodic, and hard-rocking" and called it "the best double-LP since Exile on Main Street".[42] Stephen Erlewine of Allmusic wrote that London Calling was "invigorating, rocking harder and with more purpose than most albums, let alone double albums" and called it "one of the greatest rock & roll albums ever recorded".[43]

Alternative Press included London Calling on its 2001 list of the 10 Essential '80s Albums.[44] Tom Carson of Rolling Stone said it "celebrates the romance of rock & roll rebellion in grand, epic terms"[45] and ranked London Calling number eight on its 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[3] In the same year, Mojo magazine ranked the album at number twenty-two on its Top 50 Punk Albums.[46] London Calling was named album of the year by Stereo Review for 1980.

In 2004, Pitchfork Media reviewer Amanda Petrusich named "London Calling" the album's best song and wrote that "The Clash do not let go; each track builds on the last, pummeling and laughing and slapping us into dumb submission".[47] The website ranked the album at number two on its list of the Top 100 Albums of the 70s,[48] Sal Ciolfi of PopMatters called the album a "big, loud, beautiful collection of hurt, anger, restless thought, and above all hope" and wrote that "if released tomorrow would still seem relevant and vibrant",[49] and the College Music Journal ranked it at number three on its Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1980.[50]

In 2007, London Calling was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, a collection of recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance.[51]

As an illustration of the album's lasting impact, on 2 December 2009 it was featured on the BBC Radio 1 Masterpieces Series, marking it as one of the most influential albums of all time, some thirty years after its original release.

Go out and buy it right now. Seriously, go buy it, not download it. The album cover is one of the top five ever, and the sleeve is classic. A must.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Plague Dogs Exhibit Opens

The 100 Show opened last night, and the house was packed. It is the first time that I've shown a new body of work, Les Chiens de Peste (The Plague Dogs).

I will post a bunch of these pieces very soon, but for now I wanted to post this piece that I traded to my friend Paul Flint.


Music Video of the Week: Primal Scream

In 2001, Brit Indie stalwarts Primal Scream released the spectacular XTRMNTR. This album was a mishmash of Stooges/MC5 raw punk rawk energy mixed with techno-ish, ultra sped up dance beats. Movie samples intersperse the tracks, and a political rhetoric keeps the aggression high at all times. Such a bizarre concept for an album.

Anyway, here is an awesome video for Accelerator from XTRMNTR. Killer stuff, and not for the faint of heart.