30 Jan 2015
in Art, Music, Science, Technology, Television
Tags: Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Milk Products Media, Possessed By Paul James, Roku, Sia, Taylor Swift, The Roots Channel, Todd Tue, Vevo
A few months ago I bought my first flatscreen tv. I cancelled the cable subscription, upped the internet juice, and switched to Roku. I cannot recommend it enough. There are bazillions of free channels, and one that I pay a small monthly fee for: The Roots Channel which is the epicenter of music performances, documentaries, lessons, and culture. For pop music videos, there is a great channel called Vevo. I’m catching up on what people are into and it’s fantastic. I am Taylor Swift’s newest fan. Her videos are gorgeous; her music is fun. There are so many great videos with dancing in them, like the new Sia, and it makes me want more dance in our genre.
Director Todd Tue must have been thinking the same thing. His love of color and contrast and dance present this song as it feels, and it’s beautiful. Music, art, dancing, and children are a recipe for my nomination for Video of the Year 2015 (and it’s only January!).
13 Sep 2014
Tags: Bobby Bare, Calamity Cubes, Cracker Swamp Productions, Hillgrass Bluebilly Records, Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band, Left Lane Cruiser, Matt Woods, Muddy Roots, Rachel Brooke, Rachel Kate, Sean Wheeler, Simone Kross, Ten Foot Polecats, Terry Harmonica Bean
The first year we all went to Muddy Roots (2011) will always hold the torch. Every year is different and this year might be my favorite.
I’m running through the highlights in my mind and the list is never-ending…
23 Jun 2014
Tags: Art Institute, Blake Clayton, Blue Ribbon Radio, Calamity Cubes, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, Chicago, Chris Miller, CW Ayon, Dad Horse Experience, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gary Lindsey, Hellbound Glory, Jackson Pollock, Jailhouse Poets, Jashie P., Joe Huber, Kazou Shiraga, Last False Hope, Layla's Bluegrass Inn, Lone Wolf OMB, Matt Woods, Milk Products Media, MoonRunners, Nashvile, online radio show, Outlaw Radio Chicago, Possessed By Paul James, Reggies, Rodin, Tom Waits
The Outlaw Radio: The Compilation Vol. 1 (2009) hit like a sonic boom in this tiny genre of artists. The first riff you hear is Dad Horse Experience’s “Gates of Heaven”. It is song after song of the best of the best. Now, it’s a sold-out festival at Reggies in Chicago. I met Jashie P shortly after the comp release at Layla’s in Nashville at a Hank III show. I thought he was a celebrity with the online radio show, a band, and a mix tape that helped introduce us to a whole new world.
And the festival! It’s another family reunion with great music. It’s fan heaven, I love the feeling of star struck; watching Calamity Cubes walk by will always give me a shiver. The Godfather of the fest this year is Gary Lindsey. The fact that I was surrounded by people who also revere Gary Lindsey is just another cool part of this. If you’re a Tom Waits fan, ask him to tell you the story of how they met. It’s fantastic. More
22 Jan 2014
in Brooklyn, Music
Tags: Adam Kowalski, City Winery, Elektra Records, Hank Williams Sr., Hank's Saloon, Hellbound Glory, Jac Holzman, JD Patch, Jeff Kazee, Jim Morrison, Leon Russell, music, Strand Smokehouse, The Doors
City Winery, January 2014, photo by Grayson Dantzic
In the best beginning of a year I could hope for, I got to watch the artists’ process for a week. Hellbound Glory played a bunch of shows booked near here, and I was happy to host them. I attended two performances and heard Leroy singing this and that off and on. Heaven. More
11 Dec 2013
Untitled, Red, 1968, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
This might be the most disturbing painting I’ve ever seen and I can’t take my eyes off it. From what I gather, Rothko first painted the red series. It was all the passion and fury that red evokes. Before taking his own life, was the black; the eternal void. This was painted after the red, before the black.
09 Dec 2013
in Art, Brooklyn, Music
Tags: Biggie, Carrie May, ChristyFestII, crème de la crème, Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Konrad Wert, Lone Wolf OMB, Olds Sleeper, Possessed By Paul James, Ten Foot Polecats, Valerie June
In tune with the weather, we saw a super storm of fantastic music in 2013. We’re going to be listening to these albums for years to come. I can’t bring myself to put these in order because they mean so many things; they’re not meant to be ranked.
Here are my crème de la crème of 2013:
Ok… there is one in another stratosphere: Possessed by Paul James. This entire album is a journey from the moment you hit play:
Hurricane (track 1) by Possessed by Paul James More
07 Dec 2013
in Philanthropy, Politics
Tags: Mandela, Nelson Mandela
In the late 90s, I was fortunate enough to work with His Excellency Carlos dos Santos, Mozambique’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. At a gathering at his residence, I listened to men talk about a soccer game they went to, where Mandela wore the team shirt and how it changed everything. More