Monday, March 24, 2014

Music of our time(s)

When I was coming of age, radio was segregated and racist. It was also -- music stations -- in the hands and imagination of the DJ's. So the white DJ's starting playing music they'd heard on black radio. And white kids started to dig that sound. And there was the generation of cross musicians, which was the birth of Rock n' Roll. And it changed everything. While it lasted... before the corporations bought the DJ's and choose what to play and what not to play, there was this explosion of incredible music. Where ten years before, it had been, If I'd know you were comin, Ida baked a cake, and How much is that Doggie, in the window?, There was Revolver, and The Mother's of Invention, and the Incredible String Band, and Jimmy Hendrix, and Country Joe and the Fish, and Gracie Slick and Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison and the Doors... oh, and Motown, and Percy Sledge singin, When a Man Loves a Woman... Now, to find good music, not preprogramed corporate shit, you go to Indy bars. Still there. People still making real music. Just go live. Turn off the radio. Buy the CD's at The Fire. And tell your friends what you heard. ...though, the segregation seems to back full force. Fuckin world we live in.... I don't know... We go'in backwards faster than we go'in forwards.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

#236 Derelict ship on an asphalt sea

12.5x13.5  weathered plywood fragment, roofing paper, coil spring, acrylic on composition board

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

don't matter, it's all gonna be lost....

don't matter/Ginsberg/ it's all of it/gonna be lost. this line from a poem for Amiri Baraka by Diane Di Prima—I feel as something that marks our time. The absolute end of Romanticism. What in Shakespeare was perhaps a trope of sublime irony, had become a defiant refusal that mortality should have the last word. At least speaking for myself, there's no place for poetic hyperbole of the sort that would mask the transience of, not only our individual lives, but our time as a species on this planet. It lurks there as a question. A provocation. What do we make of this... or more to the point, what do we make of what had been so close to the heart of poets and artists for so many generations? Another stage of mourning beyond the death of God. All of it. One of the most intense moments of my life came several days into the Cuban missile crisis. If you didn’t live through that, it would be inconceivable the sense of absolute end-of-world. I had friends who flew to South America because they believed the radiation that would encircle the northern hemisphere might spare them in the south. I went to a faculty recital—a performance of Bach’s unaccompanied sonatas for violin. The hall was almost empty. This too, will be lost, I thought. All of it. The Greek tragedies, the Sistine Chapel… Bach. All of it will be lost. The trope of mortality in art, of Hazlitt’s ‘Fame’… all of it. We had passed through another portal of human consciousness. I was majoring in art. What then was the point? This may have been one of the things that turned me from painting to pottery. Functional pottery. Handcrafted dinner ware. To enrich our daily lives in the here and now. All of it gonna be lost. The things of the world no less our selves. The trope of creative immortality is as dead as the gods.

#49 Forgive us Teddy, for We Have Sinned