Archive for ‘Music’
This past summer, on the 4th of July weekend, I was again at High Sierra Music Festival up in Quincy, CA. It’s a beautiful area of California that reminds me a lot of Northern Vermont – rolling hills, farmlands, vast skies. It’s just that the trees are twice as tall and the environs just a bit more permissible. In any case, I returned there again this year and brought with me some big banners for the main stage. The banners were each one half of the painting Birth of a Star (Link) and were printed on speaker mesh so that they wouldn’t impede on the sound and so the wind could adequately blow through them. I was really stoked to be able to add to this really awesome festival. It’s been going on for 21 years and has such a friendly open vibe and is a ton of fun.
Some of the musical highlights included:
- The Warren Haynes Band: I saw him play years ago with Gov’t Mule. I was never much into the heavy southern rock thing of Gov’t Mule but this band: it’s smoking. With it’s nod towards funk and soul and Warren’s ripping guitar work, it was pretty quite stellar. Really: it cut right through me and was a phenomenal show.
- Los Amigos Invisibles: Last I saw these guys was somewhere in Massachusetts about 10 years ago. I first became aware of them via their Arepa 3000 album which was produced by David Byrne (an estimable and respectable figure). They’re non-stop funky wildness and were a perfect late afternoon fun time.
- Scott Law and Materialized: I think I’ve heard of these guys. In any case: psychedelic electric funky jazz rock funk stuff. Good times!
- Chris Robinson Band: I saw the Black Crowes for the first time the year before at High Sierra and they put on an incredibly soulful and heartfelt show. Chris’ band follows in that with a bit more improvisation and a lot of love. It was raw, solid, and honest.
There was a whole lot of other music in there too, some of which was truly awesome. I love music and I love to dance and find that, in those rhythms and patterns, the high and lows, I can lose myself in it and find so much inspiration that is later expressed through my artwork. In any case, I’m grateful for a chance to play up in the mountains with such stellar company.
I also want to extend my thanks and gratitude to Lisa Brown, ambiance crew coordinator, and Adam Roberts of Summit Art Licensing for helping to make this all happen. Really: truly grateful for your patience and willingness to move forwards and make it happen.
The recent full moon found me out in the desert with a family of friends I’ve been dancing with for the past 10 years. Years ago, in my early 20′s, I was out in California for the second time ever. I met a girl on the Venice Beach who suggested I come check out a weekly event at a club in Santa Monica: $2 Tuesdays (it’s still 2 bucks but held elsewhere). So I went and, from there, found myself on my way out to the desert for a Full Moon Gathering. Years later, through ups and downs, travels and life, people and places and things, I still find myself having as much fun as ever (if not more because I’m older, wiser, smarter, lighter….) under the same moon at the same time of the year with many of the same friends dancing to the crazy funky tribal techno everything all at once. Through it all this tight knit family has become such a lovely mirror of friends who dance and live and cry and love with one another. There are potlucks and baby showers and weddings and wakes and dinner parties and dance parties and cake parties. Honesty and heartache and laughter and ecstatic oneness. The earth keeps revolving around the sun and the moon keeps revolving around the earth and we keep showing up to do that sacred funky holy crazy lovely wild dance thing that we do, celebrating life.
That said and as an introduction to Moontribe for those of you who might not have heard of it, this past full moon found us once again… out in it. Surrounded by sloping mountains capped with snow, a winding river, a vastness, an epic sunrise. For this community of friends, loved ones, and people I’ve not met yet, I designed a dj booth/altar and built it with the help of some smart and gung-ho friends. Here are some pictures…
(By the way: this was Moontribe’s 18-year anniversary. That’s 18 year of not for profit non-promoted electronic music gatherings in Southern California. “not for profit” means that no one gets paid and we are all in it for the love. The DJs, the artists, the organizers… It really is all about the love.)
Live in Love.
I know it’s a ways off but I recently created a commissioned painting for this flyer and event, held in San Francisco on July 25th, 2010. Featuring the music of a collective of musicians from Hamsa Lila, Beats Antique and others, some great DJs and my artwork and some live painting, it’ll be a fun time. O yeah, it’s in honor of the (semi-controversially important) Mayan Day out of Time. One way or another, it’s a fun time… Come check it out. 800 tickets available…
For more information and tickets go HERE.
I’ve been working with Conscious Alliance for quite a while now producing a poster or two per year for them. Conscious Alliance gives the posters away for donations of food or money at various events and shows they attend. The donations go towards needy families across the country. They do some really great work.
Here is the poster that will be printed for the Sound Tribe Sector Nine shows this coming August in Chicago. The image is a detail of the painting entitled “Gratitude” which can be seen here.
While we’re at it, here is a poster I made for them for an event just about a year previous… at least, according to the dates on both posters. This one was made for the August 2009 STS9 shows in Georgia. This one used the painting “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” from the Evolution Series
Sitting high up in these bleachers, high above the the sweating drinking raging crowds with their glowsticks and pumping fists, all pressed against one another with others lying on the wet and muddied ground, the scent of beer, pizza, bodies all intermingling – high above it was good. it gave me a chance to enjoy the simple perspective of the music as the rainbow colored lights swooped over the crowds.
Hey man, i turned to adam, theses seats are pretty good.
He pointed to my wristband. They’re for people who know people.
I had made it for the last night of Phish’ s two nights . They’d played on Friday night, Bruce Springsteen played on Saturday night and now, Sunday night they were back on stage. Violet had come to see the first hour of the show then split off to take care of our vending booth and I was there to enjoy my turn. Phish had played some classics through the first set that I missed. As soon as I showed up tho, they crashed down the ending of Antelope and invited out Bruce Springsteen. I’m no fan of the guy, it’s no secret. They ended their set with Glory Days, rocking it out. Maybe it was good and there was likely some rocking stuff in there. But it just wasn’tt part of my vibe…. Then there was a long long set break and, upon their return… they meandered through some noodley crap (except for Number Line, not a terrible song).
What is this crap? I asked Adam.
It’s Phish, he replied, a tad annoyed. When did you stop listening to them anyhow?
i never listen to anything after 1997, I replied, over the music, except one song – First Tube.
They morphed into Prince Caspian…. I recall that, ten years earlier, when this stuff had started coming on more in their sets, I’d been sitting down with my friends bemoaning this, at the time. new direction for the music.
Then, suddenly, they lifted themselves up out of that meandering pit and played First Tube one of the songs on my list that i wanted to see – a freaking great rocking song – and I was reminded why I love this band and, also, how they inspired my artwork with Trey’s laser bam intense guitar. But that was the last song of the set – sort of an ‘o yeah, we sorta can rock too’. After a quick break there was a Suzy Greenberg into Tweezer Reprise encore and it was over.
I decided that the Phish I knew back in 1995 was never the Phish I’d get to see again. I mean, they’re good musicians and, when they stick to their pre-97 stuff, they are pretty great. But I’m not a rock’n'roll guy and, typically, I don’t really dig jam bands much anymore – but I do like Phish as they’ve always had something for me – at least those old shows that i like to listen to. When I listen to rock – it’s spaced in between lots of other stuff and, typically, it’s really just a pretty small selection – the classics like Pink Floyd, a little Jimi Hendrix, a select few from Cream and the Rolling Stones… but then anything new is more in the guise of what might be called Alternative, Indie Rock, whatever… and in there is a lot of LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead, Spoon, the Pixies and, somewhere between the two genres, a lot of Talking Heads.
Alas, Adam reminded me that i was there, ultimately, to share my artwork. We had a vending booth that was bedecked in red and copper satins, red velvet, some brownish fabric walls and my artwork hanging all over – prints of the Evolution and Illumination series’, and some others. People loved it. So many people riding the stories of the paintings and their colors and lines higher and higher… That was rewarding and a good time. We met lots of great people, had lots of inspiring conversations, etc… It was a lot of work, a lot of fun, not too much mud… And now, at last, it’s over and we can get back to California where we have all sorts of things planned for the next month. We only do one or two festivals a year and this one seems to’ve been it. If we’re going to choose one, we hope for it to be a good one – a big one with a wide cross section of people and if you happen to’ve been there and we happened to’ve met – then thanks for adding to a great experience!
December 21, 8PM – Winter Solstice
Studio Isis, Los Angeles, CA
Join Us for a night of Art, Wine, Cheese, and Music at Studio Isis in Los Angeles
Art and Decor by TenThousandVisions
- TREAVOR – Moontribe / Desert Dwellers
- BRAD – Moontribe
- BEN ANNAND – Moontribe / Tropical
- SUN – Space Station 3
- MAGGIE – Moontribe Family
- DELA – Moontribe Family
- PETEY – Moontribe Family / Technique
Admission is FREE before 10pm/$20 after.
Studio Isis – 610 Isis Avenue Inglewood CA 90301 MAP
January 3, 2008 – The Temple of Visions @ The Hive Gallery, Downtown Los Angeles, CA
this morning we listen to
broad sounds which
have the entire universe wrapped up
long luscious beats and glitchy bitsy bleeps
inbetween vocality ariaticy and internality
unwinding and winding up
in the place of warm space
where we can
to all the sweet energies i sometimes
find myself missing
heart warm true voice
mind wide open sigh
breathing in and out
how much longer til i die?
if i don’t get my work done in time
then is there space?
and if i run out of space
what is the saving grace:
that all that really mattered
was the vibration
Once i was out at a full moon gathering. it was fall, september, 2004 to be exact. It was early morning. I was totally getting down to something, i don’t remember who. the sun was getting ready to rise, the mountains surrounding were painted in sweet colors of desert dawn and this dude comes up, prancing and weird around me, and says “yo, c’mon, hit me, man.” and i am jarred out of my beatmatched reverie- “huh?!” and he is like bouncing around in front of me with this jacket on and looking like adam horowitz when he was in “roadside prophets”. skinny kind of kid who is looking like a frantic dog jumping around in front of me, “c’mon, man, c’mon, let’s fight. don’tchu wanna? c’mon man! we’ll just go over there and fucking go at it!”
“what are you talking about?” and i am still trying to get down.
“”c’mon, yeah! hit me! c’mon, man in the face!”
i’m like: have i seen this in some movie? is this a dream sequence? this is weeeeeiiiirrrrrrrdddddd. “look man,” i say, “i will you do you an even bigger favor- i won’t hit you. you’ll go chill out and be thankful to me in the end.” i’m laughing and i know that doesn’t help things at all.
“c’,mon man! fucking hit me! you afraid?! c’mooooon!” and he is bouncing around in front of me like a short and skinny speed freak white kid in a puffy jacket and the beats are funky and i’m trying to dance and this dude is trying to get me to hit him.
So i never hit him and seem to defuse the situation with my lightness and his inability to ever find any way for himself to hook me into his game and he kind of prances off and i’m left in this really weird state of mind floating between absurdity and lightness.
a little bit later i am talking with violet telling her about this weird stuff that this dude was saying to me. she doesn’t believe me. “he is right behind me, right now, this very moment!” i say, because he just happens to be right behind me, in kind of a wandering daze.
“there’s no one there, michael,” she says, peering over my shoulder.
and i turn and there isn’t! just a buncha kids dancing! what the fuck! am i hallucinating!? but i saw it happen! he was right there!
but later i do see him, skulking about in a beat up white tshirt, eyes a little glazed, looking kind of hot, all intention forgotten…
so if this was you, maybe you wanna consider the drugs you take and the methods of your interactions, the intentions by which you lead your life and the reasons you do what you do.
if this wasn’t you then always keep an eye out for people, send them some love cause not everyone feels it like you do- some people just want some attention, some just want some love but they will never admit it.
some people really might need a good slap in the face but i am not gonna give it to them- especially if i am dancing to some funky ass sunrise set and the sky is lightening and my mind and heart are bursting…