‘Tis Autumn

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RIP Summer 2013. You sure gave me hell.

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Chico Hamilton Quintet — Blue Sands

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More majesty from the youtubes…

Among other sensations, I’m simply humbled by such flights of beauty and imagination. I’ve long loved the recorded version of this composition on Pacific Jazz (w/ Jim Hall on guitar), but to discover this live performance with John Pisano in 1958 is really a thrill.

I love the audience shots, too; a real class bunch. Man, Americans really used to have it. 

Thank you Mr. Hamilton (and a happy early birthday).

Sideshow

Sculpture is an art form I’ve wanted to foray into for a long time now — taking some of my illustrations and realizing them in full dimension. Unfortunately, it’s an ambition that’s so far remained impeded by a life of constant upheaval and spatial constraints. Patricia Knop’s work has captivated me for years. Whenever I look at it, it never fails to reposition the flames from the back burners squarely under my backside, and I start thinking to myself how I really need to get my hands in some mud before the arthritis sets in!

I first discovered Mrs. Knop’s unique talent after buying some old press clippings from the late sixties of Zalman King, whose early acting career I was jonesing on at the time (I even commissioned a woman to recreate for me one of the sweaters his character wore in The Ski Bum). One of the spreads among this collection of clippings included an interview from 1971 with Zalman and his lifelong companion/wife, Patricia Knop, accompanied by photos of Patricia’s life-size sculptures. I instantly went ape for her work, especially when I discovered that she was a completely self-taught artist. The sinewy, diaphanous quality of her renderings continues to arouse sensations in me that no other sculptor’s work ever has. (I also consider her and Zalman one of the coolest artist couples that ever there was; you can readily perceive how they both cared for and believed in one another.)

Knop’s emphasis on hands, feet and hair is something I very much share in with my own work. Creating on such a scale is something I can only dream of, however. It’s a gutty statement in and of itself, especially since her pieces were HUGE from the start. Most pieces I’ve created over the years have tended toward the diminutive. I want very much to get away from that.

Besides inspiring me as an artist, Knop’s works also compel me to want to transcend the bounds of tense and space; they remind me not to let myself get too swept off course by the here ‘n’ now and all the bad winds that wicked and selfish people wantonly fart into my sails. Again, maybe it’s the sheer size of her pieces that inspires me to think bigger and soar beyond all of the noise. For after all the inevitable hardships she’s no doubt endured throughout her own long lifetime — including the loss early last year of her husband to cancer — here remains this woman’s magnificent sculptures, towering almost defiantly in the face of the base and the mundane, and indeed, even time itself…yeah…

From May 20 through June 20, 2013, Trigg Ison Fine Art will present “Patricia Knop: SIDESHOW – Paintings and Sculpture 1968-2013.” The exhibition will unveil a comprehensive look at the prolific career of Patricia Knop featuring sculpture and paintings never before seen by the public.

I’m hoping to get out to this event myself. If you’re reading this and are in the downtown LA area, do yourself a favor and check it out, (and then write me and tell me what you thought!).

I Am…The Covered Man…

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I keep coming back to this damn clip. It makes me happy, and also slightly uncomfortable. Kinda brings to mind the serial killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown, in perhaps mellower, more soulful times…before she broke his heart…before life was such a task.

towndreadedLife is such a task!..

Maybe it’s just the clunky edit, but I’m still not sure what to make of the message in the lyrics.

Meanwhile, imagine how much cooler Starksy and Hutch woulda been…or un-cooler…

Exactly Like You

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Some fine medicine for the doldrums here…John Lawlor’s tenor guitar playing is just so unique and sublime that it makes me want to run a lap around the world.

There is just nothing not to like here: I love Lawlor’s chording technique and tone; I love his great hair; his snazzy all-American kitchen; his bashful chuckle before he begins the tune…the whole thing just makes me happy.

A little research reveals little about the man himself. Not a showy guy in the least, Lawlor, who is totally self-taught, hid himself and his amazing gift away after gigging around with his brother throughout the 70’s. Apparently it was only at the behest of a friend that Lawlor allowed himself to be recorded and uploaded to Youtube. I’m really grateful that friends like that are out there in the world.

I’d very much like to see Mr. Lawlor lay down some tracks for a proper recording. If anyone out there knows John or can help make that happen, please do get in touch. (I am serious.)

 

HT: TK Smith