Archive for 2008

On Drawing

November 30th, 2008

Advice to my friend Jess on drawing and sketching:

* Draw like you sing — from your gut, freely. Just let the hand guide the pen wherever the spirit wants. Let loose with line and form until recognizable Things emerge — or not. And be content even when they do not.

* Color opens up worlds. It blesses line and form. It makes so much possible. Big bold color, like a voice filling up a silent room.

* Draw what you can draw well when you feel stuck. For instance, I can only draw faces and bodies. And rooms. Everything else is very hard for me. So when I get stuck, I just draw what I know over and over, ignoring narrative or theme or logic.

* Let feeling over-ride logic … this will free your pen. If you draw an arm or eye strangely, don’t judge it; Let it flow. It’s a clue that what you’re feeling inside wants to come out through that bent, long mutant arm or bizarro, wonky eye.

* Try out, sometimes, thicker pens & even ink & brush drawing. This will help you sing your line out more clearly and the boldness imparted makes your expression all the more uncompromising.

* Be content with doodles, scribbles and repetitive shapes if that’s what your heart and head needs at the time. Unless you’re staggeringly gifted, 90% of what you draw isn’t meant to be seen — it’s just for you and your own soul.

* Draw for yourself, to amuse yourself, first and foremost. If others take pleasure in your work, so much the better. But look at that as a bonus and not an end to what you do.

   
C. Way/ SnailCrow.com © 2008

[posted by: C Way at 2:36 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| non-fiction & essays]
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Lick My Legs – PJ Harvey Video

August 19th, 2008

Nothing given here
except spit and hot breath;
the cup of heart entirely
emptied,
flung:

   


   
   
   

I like how the mouth dips,
half-ventriloquisting,
to one side.

[posted by: C Way at 8:43 AM]

[file under: Music]
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Hieroglyphs: Ponytail at The Knitting Factory, New York, July 22nd

July 25th, 2008

I saw Ponytail at the Knitting Factory on Tuesday. On the way home, I walked into the N/R Canal train station, and saw:

Canal Mosaic
   

I watched these hieroglyphs, let their untranslatable code broadcast to me, tattoo my brain, ignoring the impulse to make it all mean. They impacted me, in a way I can’t articulate, those blue wriggles, shapes, lines; their motion, design. I stood there a long time, happy.

It was much like what I had just seen onstage at the Knit: Ponytail’s Molly Siegel reveling in pure throated sound — no discernible words, just grinning yowl. Relieving me of the need for mouthed sound to mean, to be locked in language. The band’s restless tumult lodging in a wild knot inside me, unraveling throughout my torso in warm ribbons.

Seeing Ponytail live tosses the reins of reason out of your hands, suspends thought, replaces it with inarticulate joy.

I stood in the pit & let sound & shout dapple me, like I was a giant window collecting thousands of multicolored leaves, asking not to be washed, becoming such wild autumn.

[posted by: C Way at 12:42 PM]

[file under: Music]
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Shibukawa Gunma Manhole Poem

July 14th, 2008

Shibukawa
   

Warm Souls Poem

[posted by: C Way at 11:14 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| Ekphrasis]
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Giant Neon Yarn-Boulders: Abe Vigoda & Ponytail at Mercury Lounge, July 13 2008

July 14th, 2008

ponytail    ponytail    ponytail
   

Four bands played Mercury Lounge last night: War on Drugs, Abe Vigoda, Ponytail, and Titus Andronicus (in that order). One band was just competent, one veered from boring to embarrassing, and the other two made me deeply, ecstatically grateful to have ears & eyes.

I won’t waste much time on the two bands that didn’t much move me (sorry Titus & W.O.D. fans) — the net’s clogged full of enough art-venom and musicblog-spew as it is. If an artist has at least a small talent and some passion, no matter how misguided or tired the product is, least I can do is hold back on snark and say (next to) nothing at all. Let blogo-Sneerers do the rest.

Abe V came on second. I was all grins as the L.A. foursome powered into their set with spiky change-up prunk. Love the delay & reverb on the rhythm guitar, the disjunct & nervy lead lines, the elemental, fragmented imagery & hail of language (“men from the boys I’m a girl I’m a tree”, “hope is a white hand that moves through my body”), and the drumming, the drumming, the drumming. With all the hyper time changes this band puts your ear through, it’s important for them to have someone behind a drumset who can lead the time spasms — and Vigoda’s drummer, Reggie Guerrero, does. He’s the band’s calm, focused storm-eye. Such a kinetic set. Left my ears in static blizzard and my feet sore from bouncing.

Ears & feet got no rest once Ponytail came on. If yr gush-sensitive, stop reading now, since anything I say about this band is going to seem ridiculously hyperbolic unless you’ve seen Molly Siegel, beaming & transported, her face alive with expressions as wild and uninhibited as the band’s raucous-joyous assault — her vocal chords too, swooping all over wordless terrain — and her body facing you in half-crouch stance, mixing challenge & grateful embrace of the band’s sound with arms held out, palms up.

Arms out, palms up. Like she’s offering her band’s galeforce sound out of her body to you in some giant neon yarn-boulder — or summoning the same from the sky to catch. Ponytail made me really fucking glad to be alive. If you want a band to tornado you into exhaustion and then smile really sweetly over your panting body, find these folks in a town near you & come ready to play. You’ll be shaky with wild magic; you’ll be ready to pull teats down from clouds & make them give up their secret mango milk.

Hope is a white hand.
Arms out, palms up.
   

Hear Ponytail: www.myspace.com/jreamteam
Hear Abe Vigoda: www.myspace.com/abevigoda
Hear Titus Andronicus: www.myspace.com/titusandronicus
Hear War on Drugs: www.myspace.com/thewarondrugs

   
C. Way/ SnailCrow.com © 2008

[posted by: C Way at 8:16 PM]

[file under: Music]
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