Archive for music

Recovery Story

Posted in family, film with tags , , on July 8, 2009 by darcyarts

Jason Crigler, musician, father, husband, lucky bastard, was the subject of last nights P.O.V. on PBS.

The documentary Life.Support.Music. Was enthralling and a very great lesson in persistance, faith and love. What a beautiful family.

Jason Crigler’s MySpace.

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Late to Erik Satie

Posted in Art, esoterica, music with tags , , , on June 8, 2009 by darcyarts

A space has been opened in my heart/mind for Erik Satie. It is really no more than a curiosity at this point.

This image, of a painting by Santiago Rusinol i Prats, was found at this Italian, music blog.

It was the music that first enchanted. I heard  Satie on a podcast of All Songs Considered. The podcast featured Tom Moon’s 1000 Things to Hear Before You Die.

Eno was inspired by Satie and his writings. Ah ha.

Satie said to Ferdinand Leger:

“You know, there’s a need to create furniture music; that is to say, music that would be a part of the surrounding noises and that would take them into account. I see it as melodious, as masking the clatter of knives and forks without drowning it completely, without imposing itself. It would spare them the usual banalities. Moreover, it would neutralize the street noises that indiscreetly force themselves into the picture.”

* from wind333 blog.

Amazon had Reinbart de Leuuw’s recorded performances of Satie’s early work.

Downloading the MP3s was easier than I had imagined. Dangerously immediate. I now have a 2 CD set of Satie’s piano pieces played at a very smooth and measured pace.

This interest may not blossom into a full on obsession, maybe a mini obsession. I’m prepared to let it get out of hand. Satie, the Taurus, is so it’s very natural for me.

Soon Satie’s A Mammal’s Notebook will be in my hands. I found it at Amazon, too.

I’m not the only one who feels ready to fall under Satie’s spell. If Eno is any example, Satie must be a magnet for brilliant nerds.

I found this visual confession while searching for Satie photos. It’s in yarnivore’s Flickr stream. The painting is by Ramon Casas.

Atomic Cafe 1980

Posted in Art, music, socialization with tags , , on December 21, 2008 by darcyarts

I remembered an amazing stylie-thing from the late 70’s a few days back.

Imagine if this girl has twice as much volume to her hair, it was slightly teased, or ratted on the top and she lost the cliche jewelry and T-shirt image and had a more authentic rock, thrift store aesthetic. Oh, yeah, and imagine she was a screamingly cool Japanese-American waitress in the late 70’s.

Like most I’ve been super busy so I just had to jot myself a note and trust I’d get back to it. Today’s the day.

For the new year 1980, I’d taken a break from San Francisco and returned to the place I was raised — Orange County, CA.

After finding that there was a whole new music scene rising in the wake of punk I had to inform my OC friend that she really out to check out some of the new clubs.

OC was barren. They eventually turned the old rock/funk venue into a punk place but Orange County, probably because of it’s super white faction, was always overly fond of hard core, dumb-ass nazi-punk.

From the southern district we hit the freeway and drove up to LA where some really interesting music was happening. It was still the home of the music industry and common career think, even for alterna-musicians, included the common wisdom that one must move to L.A. to “make it.”

At that time there were quite a few clubs. The Whiskey had not yet become the pay-to-play venue it was during the hair-band days. The still had the best of cutting edge rock and roll –X, the Blasters, Los Lobos — way early.

They weren’t the most happening. I preferred Club 88. I saw good music there. It was small and funky. And my fave three bands — X, the Blasters, Los Lobos — among many others played there. I saw the Meat Puppets there for the first time. They blew my mind and won my heart. 

The Starwood was happening. It was huge and strange. Always seemed a little sleazy in that peculiar wrecked-Hollywood kind of way. DEBAUCHED in a less creative way that other places that were more sincerely devoted to the music. Hey, but what do I know.

I danced there with my friend Melodie to and “X” song  for a few minutes. I looked over and noticed “X” guitarist Billy Zoom was watching us with his bemused space-alien-dairy-boy smile, his large lake blue eyes shining.

I had a wicked crush on him at the time.

All these things are the flora and fauna that spring from the memory I had of the Atomic Cafe

It’s the one in the top photo. Check out this LA, 1980s site.

That memory was of the of the two Japanese-American, goth-punk waitresses that worked there. Follow that link and read a quick bit about the history of this downtown LA landmark.

This is Atomic Nancy probably later in the 80s. The hairdos I remember were extremely long and ratted at the top. It looked fabulous. No bleached or chopped sections but the bangs.

This is the place everyone went to fill their bellies with noodles after the last great show of the night. The place was smoking hot. Punky fliers everywhere, musicians, freaks, artists, the best waitresses and the best music on the juke box. I loved to play “Adult Books” by X. I don’t even think the album “Wild Gift” had been released yet but the atomic Cafe had a pre-release single, a 45 rpm disc in their sound machine. It was a dream.

Must go sew squid then off to the news shack to slap those items on the internets.

Forever Changes

Posted in music, socialization with tags , , , , on November 18, 2008 by darcyarts

“Humans are one big spirit separated into different bodies wandering around a hunk of mud called Earth, and all beings are basically reflections of each other. That’s what my songs are about.”

Arthur Lee said that.

Arthur Lee was a musical genius and according to the thesis-like text by Andrew Hultkrans, a prophet.

“Forever Changes”, about Arthur Lee and Love’s 1967 album, the second book written for Continuum’s 33 1/3 collection is an odd one.

 I read the reader criticism on Amazon before I bought it. Most of it was very good. One review included this:

“This product reads like something someone wrote as a literary disertation for some type of graduate work in music studies.”

This could never be a disertation in music studies but could very well have been written by a serious student of American Studies.

I wasn’t put off by the criticism. I thought to myself “I would love to read a disertation on Forever Changes.”

Hultkrans brings in many interesting references — Marat/Sade and Nathaniel West’s “The Day of the Locust.” He quotes Soren Kierkegaard and Joris-Karl Huysmans but we also get a good picture of Arthur Lee’s experience in LA then and an epilogue that contextualizes his triumphant post-incarceration, turn-of-the-new-century tours of England and elsewhere. Lee often played the entire album with band (Baby Lemonade) and an orchestra. He was greated by appreciative, adoring audiences everywhere her traveled.

I saw the band LOVE in 1968. I didn’t know them then. I was lucky enough to see a reincarnation of Arthur Lee and Love in 1980. I had a friend in a band who often played LA clubs and he knew about the show. The show was upstairs over a bowling alley. Every second of the performance was riveting.

Arthur Lee was not a wastrel. He was very serious about his work and his work was very serious. In the history of 20th Century music this sound is on the top of my list of the best ever and geez, there is a lot of competition. America produced alot of groundbreaking sounds over the course of roughly a hundred years.

I admire and respect Arthur Lee to the very depth of my bone marrow. He came to serve. He was a bodhisattva.

from the book:

“And why is this 58-year-old crazed genius not back in LA eatin’ chicken like a mother fucker and rollin in his caddy (an earlier quote from Arthur about what he could have done after he got our of jail) — ordinary, noble pursuits he is more than entitled to indulge until his dying day? Because, as he claims God came to him back in 1995, before he was sentenced to prison (my note-for allegedly shooting a gun into the air during an argument with a neighbor), and said, enunciating as Arthur does very clearly: ‘Love on Earth must be.’ Apparently, this directive was reiterated several times during Arthur’s imprisonment. Back in the 60s Arthur’s songs came to him in dreams, and he knew then as he knows now that when you get the call you pick up the phone — red or otherwise. And if the call says go out and tell the people, well, then, you go out and tell the people — but quick.

Arthur Lee says of his song ‘Nothing’: ‘This song to means life is short. It’s sort of like Ecclesiastes inthe Bible — meaningless . . .I’ve studied the Bible a lot. I know a man’s words are as deep as the water (my note-Arthur was a Pisces). Even though our lives are so short, we’ve got time to get involved . . .We shall perish, you know? The thing about me . . . the souls goes on . . . I’m doing what I’m doing because I have a lot more work and I chose to do it.” 

There are points at which I wished there was more Arthur and less intellectual speculation in Hultkrans piece BUT Arthur Lee was a brilliant thoughtful, spiritually-motivated man. He was simultaneously inside and outside his time. He was no fool. He was hugely talented. Arthur carried the burden of insight and his intent, he said, was to sing us subversive nursery rhymes that he knew would stick in our heads and maybe change our lives.

For all the accolades and attention that he received in the decade prior to his death from leukemia in 2006.

If you have not heard LOVE go buy Forever Changes, the album, and play it. If it doesn’t catch you on the first listen, spin it five more times. I guarantee it will come out to you in all its glory. Feel Arthur’s heartfelt, artistic intent and give thanks for his having been through this life with us in mind.

Tag Response: 6 Random Things About Me

Posted in Art, dreams, etsy, music with tags , , , , , , , on October 12, 2008 by darcyarts

Here is the latest blog entry from my artist, writer friend Nikki Kallio.

She said: “Last month I was tagged by my friend over at Greg’s Plate to tell you six random things about me and then tag some other bloggers. Well, better late than ‘Screw you! I’m not doing it!’ ”

See Nikki’s interesting half a dozen on her blog Purple Houses.

She ends the blog entry this way: “Let’s see… I’ll tag Nita, Candace, Constance,
Christina, Teri, and Jakob. “

I accept the “6 random things” challenge though I feel, deep down in my soul, that my blog posts have revealed a shite-load of random things about me.

1. Between the ages of 30 and 40 I dyed my hair just about every color in existence. I settled on red before I let it go gray/white. I had black hair for the time it took me to drive to the store and buy bleach. Not a good color for me.

2. My father, who did not raise me, was arrested and made the L.A. newspapers for a drunken, unoriginal threat to kill the president. I am unsure of the time frame. Sometimes radical bullshit backfires.

3. Sometime during elementary school my “friend” Connie Grater told me that boys had periods, too. She said the blood came out of their butts.

4. As a very young child I was afraid of the dog puppet Farfel used in the commercial for Nestle’s Quick. It was the way the large curled mouth clapped shut after Farfel said his one-word line: “Choc-lit!!”

5. I feel the songs of these bands so intensely that it bring tears to my eyes: Queens of the Stone Age (almost anything from Lullabies to Paralyze, especially Tangled Up in Plaid and I Never Came), Love (And More Again and many more), Quicksilver Messenger Service (Mona/Maiden of the Cancer Moon), Jefferson Airplane (Saturday Afternoon, Coming Back to Me), Brian Jonestown Massacre (Space Girl), Tim Buckley (Dream Letter, Sefronia, The Earth is Broken).

6. I believe Turquoise is a color that should be used sparingly.

I won’t be able to tag six others. Gotta go off to to the factory.

The best thing about yesterday, Saturday, was agreeing to a trade with the mighty NB and in a separate realm hearing the phrase “meat bee” repeatedly.

I want to start a comic starring Meat Bees!

This is NB’s one-eyed Jack which I covet.

He has the coolest accessories and personalized art.

He makes cool doggie earrings, too.

Check it out.

I had a dream last night that Rachel Maddow’s girlfriend was trying to tempt me into having a thing with her.

I was horrified at the thought of Rachel’s girlfriend cheating on her and possibly causing Rachel pain.

It was hard to resist the girlfriend, though.

Does that mean my vague lesbian alter-ego is butch?

Later in dreams I discovered these really cool rope swings attached to ceiling beams in a room where I lived. The ropes seems to be attached to a tire or some base and they swung and twirled in a really cool way. I looked up at one point and saw that the ropes grazed an old fashioned ceiling light cover, put little nicks in the edges but I still kept swinging.

Hot Burrito number 1

Posted in dreams, music with tags , , on September 22, 2008 by darcyarts

This is the 35th anniversary of the sad and lonely death of Gram Parsons.

Check out the LA WEEKLY for the tribute show that went down in Joshua Tree.

Trailer for Fallen Angel:

Creative Longing

Posted in Art, dreams, music with tags , , , , , on September 1, 2008 by darcyarts

What I want is to be able to do all the things I have imagined.

That is a big task but I figure if I chip away slowly and stand back to look it over at regular intervals I can keep it going in the way that I want it to go. That’s how I get it on in the micro and the macro.

There is a strength of focus that must be maintained and I pray that I can organize all the visions that materialize.

Snails, squid, sparkles, coffee stains, pillows, clouds, red, red, red, tobacco brown and loaded references to rock, sex and gender twisties. No big-eyed sad little girls! None ever. STOP that stylie thing Now. Really.

I thought last night on my drive home that I would like to do portraits of musicians from the late 70s and 80s. I want to enshrine the lesser known workers in song.

Lux Interior, left, and Poison Ivy, right, of the fabulously skanky Cramps have been together for three decades. They met when one picked the other up hitchhiking back in the day.

The still live together in a campy home full of retro cool things. What a love story, boys and girls.

I first saw the Cramps at the Mabuhay Gardens. Frank and I lived across the street from it in the Golden Eagle Hotel.

Bryan Gregory scared the crap out of me. He was a real Living-Dead looking dude. He died of a heart attack in 2001. Here is his obituary from a British paper.

The Cramps retooled swampy blues by sticking a rockabilly firecracker up its ass thereby inventing Psychobilly. No one did it wilder except the originator. Hasel Atkins.

I would like to do a portrait of D J Bonebrake, drummer for X, one of my favorite bands ever.

I need to get another copy  of the DVD the “X: The Unheard Music.” I waited 20 years for it to come back around in the new format and then it got lent out by youngins. Bugger.

This is a remnant of an X T-shirt I bought at a show in Seattle in 1982.

When the shirt wore out I cut off the logos and sewed them onto another shirt.

I saved the front and back images.

This is X 1982 shirt number 2: