Archive for the music Category

Changing Formats – Vinyl, Tape, Digital

Posted in finds, music, projects, rock n roll, tech with tags , , , on July 2, 2011 by darcyarts

I have always loved music, rock n roll, anything really interesting, sincere, sexy music and a deep appreciation for those who make it.

What I do not like are the regular innovations that give industries new material to pedal. Planned obsolescence –>Yuck.

What was wrong with vinyl? There is nothing like the sound of it pouring through large speakers filling a room. Being bathed in sweet, warm sound had been one of the great pleasures of my life.

In the 80’s,I was forced to move off vinyl and onto cassette tapes. I resisted as long as I could. A turntable and a cassette player were required to hear my complete catalog. Too much stuff.

Yes, records are heavy, they take up space but the art and info is so, so superior. I could whine all day about cha cha cha changes. Sometimes you just have to yield and wait for the creamy versions to return.

Come the late 90s, I’ll admit I was fully committed to the short glorious dawn of Napster.  I was gladly dealing in digital. Yes, I know that musicians sometime lost money but when big changes rumble though your time you gotta hold on tight.

Poverty stricken, then, I drooled at the thought of an endless supply of music.

Finding Napster was just like that scene in the Shirley Temple movie, The Little Princess. A  well-off child is reduced to a tattered, perpetually hungry scullery maid by a cruel boarding school mistress after her father’s apparent death. Shirley is banished to the attic  to live with another  neglected orphan. One Christmas morning they wake to find sumptuous fur-trimmed robes, warm slippers and a table full of beautiful food.

Cesar Romero, playing the handsome, wealthy and empathetic East Indian man  who lives next door to the boarding school,  is their secret benefactor. this picture of Cesar is actually from the film Wee Willie Winkie. He looks as fab as ever.

Napster made me a pirate desperate for treasure. With my measly 56k internet connection it was a full-time enterprise. It was a blessed enterprise, coinciding with my Jeff Buckley mania. I captured so many bootleg shows.  Napster fed my obsessions. Thanks Sean Fanning.

Mountains of  free bread and cheese are manna from heaven to the starving, ill-gotten or not. The question of “how”, “who” is shoved aside until after the goods have been devoured.

“I ain’t no monument to justice.”

Now the magic of technology will allow me to  take hundreds of seldom played cassette tapes and convert them to a digital format. At least I’m hoping so. It was the cheapest solution involving the fewest elements. I’ll probably lose sound quality but  it’s simple and time’s a wasting.

I have so many good things on tape. Now I will be able to put them on CD and play them in the car or in my kitchen work space. All my cassette player/boom box combo have bitten the dust. They were space hogs anyway. Adieu, old technology.

I think I’ll make art out of the old material.


Good Luck Rain

Posted in Art, constructions, design, dolls, handmade, music, projects, rock n roll with tags , , , , , on May 31, 2011 by darcyarts

Good Day, all. The rain continues to fall here in Northern California. It could well be in the high 90s by now so we’re digging the rolling thunder.

I am taking a few minutes here on the blog to share the good news of a rock musician Soft Boy who went all the way!

I must share this picture first. The squirrels have breached the bird dish!!!!!

I should have never, ever, put peanuts in there.

My most recent project, which I was not at liberty to reveal was intended as a gift for beloved New Jersey rocker, Pat DiNizio. Pat has been making great music with his buds in The Smithereens since the 80s. Lately one of his true-musician enterprises has been in home concerts! DiNizio makes house calls.

I was lucky enough to see the Smithereens when they played The Backstage in Seattle. I worked there at the time and they rocked the house! Great energy and really friendly, good guys.

My most faithful patron, JK, took this picture of Pat D. with his newly arrived little Soft Boy Pat DiNizio.

It was Pat’s icon on Facebook over the weekend.This doll was one of those projects that just flowed so smoothly.

All the bumps were external. On the last day, in which I nail down all the little details, I was running short on time (kids, do not procrastinate, even a little). This last-minute work was done with gardeners’ lawn mowers, and gas-powered leaf blowers howling outside my workspace windows. The noise and the exhaust fumes made my head swim but I kept my eyes on the prize. Post office by 5:15 pm or bust!!

Everything went off without a hitch. Blessings were bestowed. The little rocker kept good time.

Freddie Heads South

Posted in constructions, design, dolls, handmade, music, rock n roll with tags , , on May 16, 2011 by darcyarts

Freddie has received his last stitches and will be shipped early this morning.

After a short ride on my fake bike it’s off to the post.

I can hear him singing: “I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride . . .”

Freddie is sporting a sliver satin-esque cat suit. He’s got lovely black locks in a 70s style shag-do.

His big dark ares are sweet and makes you want to hold him close.

I made him a bracelet of purple and silvery blue beads.

I also gave Freddie a bit of chest hair peeking out from his V neck cut on his suit.

I love him. ♥

Mercury Rising

Posted in Art, constructions, design, dolls, gardening, handmade, music, nature with tags , , , on May 5, 2011 by darcyarts

In the first week of May I am deep into contemplating the elements of Freddie Mercury’s face.

While building my last planter boxes and getting the crops in I mulled it over.

The boxes came out very nicely considering I am no monument to exact measuring.

Thank god for my electric drill. It made fastening the wood screws so much easier. One must hove power tools.

Tomatoes are all in. I think the very warm sun overwhelmed a couple of them yesterday. I will drape a thin cloth over the newest transplants today before noon.

The catnip has such large leaves. I know I should crop it. I’m trying to grow a little sunflower just north of the biggest plant and it needs more sun.

Things are looking quite neat on my patio garden. It must be that way. I can see it from the window of my kitchen work space (where we have all the natural light) and I really get distracted when things are messy out there.

Gone are the blue, sun-rotted buckets and now we have nice wooden containers.

I love to build things. I used scrap wood from Home Depot’s shit bin.

They us green spray paint to mark the ends of the reject pieces –bent, ugly, split. I managed to turn those blotches to the inside.

Various 51 cent pieces and one found palette bottom forms the box with the red wave pattern on the side.

The chicken wire is not too pretty but it is essential for keeping out the pesky squirrels. They want to bury their nuts for those cold, blustery, nut-less days to come.

We’re along way off from their return. Happy Springtime is upon us.

Back to Freddie.

I ponder my dolls long and thoroughly in order to get to the point where I can feel it. This must happen before I can see it. It is a little bit mystical but that is the way my mind/brain works.

My eyes see but somewhere inside this machine of  mine emotion, desire and curiosity must come together to coax out a vision.

After the mulling, I do a sketch as a rough guide. I exaggerate the features on the page so I  am easily reminded of what I want to emphasize. Then I draw the face and finally begin to embroider.

Luckily I have lots of music to back to inspire and remind me of a subject’s musical gifts and a deep catalog of Mojo magazines with their plentiful luxe photos.

I’m going to give Freddie Egyptian eyeliner to play up the inner corner of the eye. I’ve been using Prismacolor’s buttery pencils for eyeliner on the dolls. It adds a nice touch. Keith Richards looks smashing in it.

Freddie’s hair will be a long shag or gypsy cut with a short fringe bangs.

I can feel it coming into view. Back with the results soon.

Queen on BOB

Posted in Art, dolls, etsy, handmade, music, projects, radio, rock n roll with tags , , , , on April 4, 2011 by darcyarts

While out running errands recently I tuned in to an FM station with the mild title of BOB FM.

I’d seen a commercial on my television. The mission statement was intriguing.

“BOB plays anything.”

I was please with their initial plays which included Queen. The magnificent Freddie Mercury was in full good voice. It was a sunny, if windy, day. The first in quite a while. BOB played something that added to the pleasure of the first full sun in weeks, the ride to Trader Joe’s and being in the company of my honey, Frank. Good job BOB.

BOB quickly dulled out with the usual radio problem — too many ads! At first they were amusing, sorta of stoner-level humorous but lather them on too thick and it won’t even help that they are funny.

I’ll give BOB, at 107.1  (in norcal), another chance. If I’m on the road in the afternoon and and the NPR stations have switched over to classical (Chico) or a sometimes too-slick, rich-hipster AOR (Ashland).

On that day trip to Trader Joe’s I was stoked to have Queen along for the ride. When we walked up to the entrance Trader Joe was playing Queen on their system.

Sometimes I forget to bring my own music on a drive across town. I may have, in a protective effort, removed the emergency CDs from the car the night before. Dr. John, Gris Gris; David Garza, Euphoria; Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3, Ole Tarantula; Robyn’s Jewels for Sophia; or Queen’s of the Stone Age, Lullabies to Paralyze all back at home sitting on the shelf.

A double blessing of Freddy Mercury just days ago and this morning an inquiry from a beautiful Aussie about a Freddie Mercury Soft Boy doll.

Etsy you are a wonder. I can share my portrait jones with the world! You allow me the most fantastic of opportunities.

Super hot Freddie! Yes. I’d love to be making this very rock n roll portrait doll. ♥♥♥

Truck Noise

Posted in esoterica, music, travel with tags , , , , on February 18, 2011 by darcyarts

It’s the morning after a day of snowfall. It’s still chilly out doors and remanents of white  on remain in patches on the lawn.

Songs from the Sparks album Hello Young Lovers are playing. The music is adding to the oddly surreal mood. It seems somehow to be an odd jerky echo of the DVD I bought yesterday, That’s Entertainment, only the annoying factor is on 11.

Sparks must have been insanely big in Japan. I think I heard Germany laughing in derision.

It all makes about as much sense a road sign I’ve noticed in the last few weeks. There are two. One on Churn Creek Road north of Browning Street and another on Old Alturas Roadnear Old Oregon.

They read “Restrict truck noise , residential area”.

Other than blowing one’s horn what noises do trucks make that the driver could control? I’m stumped. Do trucks sing loudly, fart, bray like donkeys?

Ah, Syd Barrett is now singing. Hurray! Something that makes sense.

They Are Waiting

Posted in Art, constructions, dolls, family, handmade, music, projects with tags , on January 16, 2011 by darcyarts

It’s been a rough week or so. There was murder, death, exploitation, and as usual, the of balance of love, commitment and work.

I’ve been pounded by the waves but I’m up and breathing and thrilled to be making dolls ♥ ♥ ♥

I’m embroidering faces, making heads for Stevie Wonder and Prince dolls.

Another 8 hours today will get me there.

Then the clothes must be tailored. That will be fun and scary as I see Prince in a ruffled shirt.

I love this work.

I received a lovely message from the Etsian who received Mick number 4. She was ecstatic. Her words of praise raised my joy level, high!

Rock on, Mick and Ellen.

I’ve got dolls waiting to be made. My daughter won’t have her Christmas gift until her birthday.

I’m learning about my work year and I think I’ll have to start family handmades in July next time!