Archive for the rock n roll Category

How to Drain the Life Out of Rock

Posted in film, rock n roll with tags , , on July 12, 2011 by darcyarts

Say you want to put together a rock n roll show and you really want to  drain the life out of every performance. How would you do that?

First, don’t invite Ozzy Osbourne, but more about that later.

Before watching The 25th Anniversary Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Concerts I did not know that this concoction was a Time Life product. Now I understand why the “concert” seemed a nightmare of geezerish reduction.

Problems? The musicians were some of the best of the last century but they were grouped in ways that robbed each person of their uniqueness. The viewer is further punished by the fact that every musician is damned to perform their most insipid or most heavily over-played song. It became a game for me once I realized that was going to be the case.

Wait, Lou Reed will play Sweet Jane. What are they going to do with Patti Smith? Oh, yeah, Bruce Springsteen is there. They will make her play Because the Night. Neither of these are bad songs. The have their charm. The words to Because the Night are ridiculous but when Patti sings she’s all the way there to sell it. If you take the individual artistic integrity away from these songs they suffer.

Bad Editing: The lineup of performers was insane. It made no sense historically, musically or in any other way. The first segment started out with a well-worn Jerry Lee Lewis performing Great Balls of Fire. His feigning of youthful contempt by kicking over the piano bench after his performance did not work. It looked ridiculous. After Jerry Lee threw furniture around, which seemed to take all his strength, of course we move right into Crosby, Stills and Nash performing Woodstock! 

Many performers did not perform their own songs. Musicians of this caliber should be allowed to perform their own songs.

Thank god David Crosby got to do Almost Cut My Hair. David is a golden voiced god in all-too human body. Still the Woodstock/Freak flag emphasis was trite and TimeLife corny.

“Hey, arthritic 60s geezers, ‘member the good ol’ days of rebellion and mayhem? You’ll never have the energy to do that again, but you can buy this shitty trip down memory lane!”

David brought out his favorite Singer, the brilliant, soulful Bonnie Raitt who sang a Jackson Brown song, Love Has No Pride. Hey, Jackson Browne was there! He followed Bonnie and did The Pretender. Not something beautiful and real from his earliest days. No, play something form after he has become cynical and has begun to love that money train.

In keeping up with the California folkish sound, CS&N reassemble and invite James Taylor out. They play Stephen Stills’ Love The One Your With. Then James Taylor leaves. WTF?

Next we switch things up with a photo montage of the early days of the real folk scene in NYC. There is Rambling Jack Elliot,  Dave van Ronk, the young Bob, of course, Jack Kerouac (was he a folk singer?) and that is the perfect segue to . . .

Paul Simon? Okay Paul is from New York. He wrote a lot of wonderful songs was he ever a serious folky? Playing the people music? I don’t think so.

What do they have him play in this spot? You Can Call Me Al! What?

I guess they had to have a sort of bland latin rhythm carry over from Love the One You’re With. Is this Rock n Roll?

Another segment had Stevie Wonder and his band for the night anchor the stage for a couple of guests. It’s really hard to screw up a Stevie Wonder performance. Stevie always sounds great and powerful. How did they throw a wrench in that machine?

They had him perform Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel. They invited a very tired and overweight B.B. King out to do a half-baked, sit down version of The Thrill is Gone. Oh, yeah, and made sure Stevie had to endure technical sound problems.

Smokey Robinson made an appearance with Stevie. He did a beautiful performance of  The Tracks of My Tears. Jeff Beck came out and played some hot guitar with Stevie on Superstition. 

By this time I really couldn’t take anymore. We switched to the second disc looking for rock music. and there was Metallica!!!  It was like a minor, studded miracle.  I am a fan of Metallica in an ironic sort of way. They crack me up and loud bass is a really, really good thing. Kirk Hammett is cool.

Metallica play a song then call out New York’s greatest voice. Lou Reed? I’m so excited. Now things will be alright.

“Dion DiMucci!”

What? He sings The Wanderer. I like Dion. He was cool but how can you even conceive this segue. How? Am I on crack? Are the organizers of this shit on crack?

Lou Reed did come out, eventually, and play Sweet Jane with Metallica as his back up band. There will be no delicious Lou Reed leads.Kurt Hammett’s got the floor. Don’t get me wrong I love Kirk Hammett. Lou wasn’t allowed to sizzle and be Lou. The audience was hungry for Lou’s authenticity, his essence. They didn’t get it in the clips I saw. Wham, Bam, Thank you, Mam. Lou was gone.

Last night I loved Metallica. They got to host Ozzy Osbourne who tried his damnedest to get people excited and on their feet, get up fired up!

“Stand up people!”

There was a lovely medley of Iron Man and Paranoid. Hallelujah.

If you love real music, in its natural state, don’t watch the film The 25th Anniversary Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Concerts.

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. ♥

Freddie’s Face

Posted in constructions, design, dolls, handmade, rock n roll with tags , , on May 11, 2011 by darcyarts

It’s been most of the week that I have been stitching on Freddie’s face. I really wanted the eyes heavily done up with eyeliner, a Freddie in the 70s look, the glam Freddie.

I am hoping to get the planes of his face, the high cheekbones, more accentuated in the final stuffing when I sew the head onto the body.

First the clothes will be made. He’ll be dressed while headless.

The full 70s glam do will be perfected after the head is attached.

I must remind myself that all of my dolls end up looking wide eyes and innocent, cute more that exact replicas. That’s my style, yo.

I’ve been working and not blogging as much. You will soon see the result of my concentrated effort.

Now, for a little silly fun.This mostly purple wad of lint it what happens when you forget to clean the dryer lint trap. I wish I knew how to do felt craft.

Faces Without Hair

Posted in constructions, dolls, handmade, rock n roll with tags , , on April 22, 2011 by darcyarts

They never look as good before they gotten their hair.

Elvis face still needs some shading, maybe a nose line.

I’m putting in the details on the bodies, little nips and tucks.

I like to change up the work day to day. It seems to take me a very long time to get the facial details to my liking and I will be adding or subtracting elements right up until the dolls get into their shipping boxes.

Cutting and styling the fleece hair is by far my favorite part of this process. It makes the face take shape.

It is going to be very interesting to create a protruding Pompadour for big E!

I just love this picture of the hair!! Masterful waves, dude. Surf’s up in Elvis’ do.

Now it is off to the stitching kitchen before the sun is up.

More pix of heads with hair and bodies 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. ♥♥♥