Wednesday, April 27, 2005

bob the builder

me & bobby

so a little pictorial update on my workings in the studio. this photo set is brought to you by the steady hand of our very own mr maust. i really dig being in the studio, going to be spending lots of time over there, so i am glad i enjoy it. in fact i am heading over there in a few. not going to comment on the photos, it doesn't matter if you know what's going on with my show or not, just some fun images for everyone to see what's he building in there...

frame & studio

frame detail

oh yeah, and you are all slacking in the comments!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


NPR has a two part series airing this week in connection with the release of springsteen's latest album 'devils & dust'.

"At this point, a lot of [my music] traces back to gospel roots... I was drawn to music that addressed the spirit, probably because my own needed to be addressed," Springsteen told Renee Montagne during a recent interview in Asbury Park, N.J.


you can check out half of the interview here {the rest airs tomorrow} and there's some links to listen to a couple of tracks {quicktime} recorded just for this interview, and a couple of full length tracks from the new album that came out today. right there under the title you can click the 'listen' tab and here the entire interview that aired today {way longer than the text included on the page}. hopefully i will pick up the record soon, and give you guys a full review.

Monday, April 25, 2005

drunks, pelts, and scratched heads


been spending a lot of time over in the studio. i try to spend at least two to three hours over there every day.

amanda and i looked at a really nice place to live yesterday down the block, and on the same side of the street as the manor. all the same beautiful woodwork, hard wood floors and everything, but in primo shape. it's the entire first floor of the house, and it's a couple hundred cheaper than our current rent. the one catch is that we wouldn't be able to have any pets, not even outside. so that rules out keeping any of our newborn kittens, and emma as well. i love emma a lot. she is a great great cat, and it makes me sad to even think about giving her up, but this place is so super nice. if we did get it, the plan is to give away the kittens, which wont be hard, and then take emma to amanda's grandparent's farm north of bakersfield.

we're both so sick and tired of our stupid, loud, obnoxious, drunken neighbors. last night, while i was eating dinner and watching a movie with amanda and maust, the big drunk one comes and bangs on my door. i answer to find him heavily intoxicated, as per usual, and asking a favor {as he does nearly daily}.

big drunk: "hey man. hey uhhh...."

me: " hey what's up, can i help you with something?"

bd: "um yeah, hey. um.. jake and i can't pick him up."

me: "excuse me?"

bd: " yeah, uh, we need help carrying our friend."

me: " you need me to help you what?"

bd: "my friend is really big."

me: " i'm not really sure what you're asking me..."

bd: " my friend is big, and we need to get him out of the car."

me: "what happened, is he hurt?"

bd: "no we're all really drunk, and he's too big for me and jake to carry."

me: "man, i'm eating dinner with some friends right now..."

bd: "so yeah if you could follow me..."

me: "i'm actually busy right now, i can't help you."

bd: "it's okay, im a really sorry. we're still neighbors okay? thanks for helping me hang up my woof."

me: "yeah we are, no problem..."

bd: "i promise"

me : *sound of locking door*

i won't even go into too much detail about the wolf thing, or as bd likes to say, "woof". some people feel the need to pay $500 for a very large wolf pelt to hang on their wall with one borrowed nail and hammer, and others don't.

i really hope we get that other place. please be praying for us.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

keys to communication


so i went out and finally caught up with the information age... i bought myself a typewriter. man is this thing sweet. i have been whipping off letters to friends, writing 'to do' lists, and all sorts of things with this little baby. it's almost identical to the one above, but there's one button different on mine. the colors and trim are exactly the same though.

i like typing. with a computer, you actually have to tell it to print something, well the typewriter is smart enough that it just goes and does it while you are working. pretty smart little guy, but then again, he's much older and therefore wiser than my iBook.

a couple of days ago, i thought it would be funny to update my blog from my newest old thing. so i sat down and did my best. needless to say it's much more awesome in person, but i thought it was so funny, i ought to share it here for you guys.


if you want to read it, just email me and i will send you a full-res copy of it. it's pretty funny.

i have been thinking about the ways that people correspond with one another. before blogs, there were chain letters that groups of friends would send around to one another. each person would add to it, personal news and interesting tidbits, as it passed from one person to the next. maybe that's sort of what we are doing here. people that are far apart, and busy enough to make talking on the phone or in person all the time inconvenient, finding a way to communicate. so i'm still posting here as usual, but don't be surprised to find an old school blog entry showing up in a hand typed envelope, falling through that drafty mail-slot in your front door.

Friday, April 15, 2005

attack of paypal

so as i talked about earlier, i have set up some buttons on the right side of the screen where you can donate money towards my artmaking. my work isn't really going to be sellable at this point becasue it's too frickin big for anyone to actually keep. so if you want to support a local artist, and help me to not feel so bad about whoring out my art here on my blog, plop down a couple bucks. i really appreciate all you guys, no matter if you donate or not. more updates to come on my show, but the date is for sure the last week of may. location TBA


To make sure things are clear here, i'm not asking people to donate money to actually creat the work for my show. I have some extra money from school that i will be using for my materials, etc. the budget is fairly tight, but it will be close to enough. the paypal thing is a way for people to support the work from the show if they want to. i am going to make a special effort to creat work for those who do decide to donate. this work will correspond to the work from the show, but won't actually be included in the show. each piece will be created by me to suit the individual donor(s). so it's an exclusive thing made for you by me as a special thank you! thanks guys, i hope this clears anything up =)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

an evening with the boss

the boss

so off and on throughout the ages {or at least since like high school, like} i have taken my fair share of ribbing for being a fan of the boss. currently favored by adult contemporary{super scary GIS} listeners and radio stations, save for what critics are calling the indie-rock darling of his catalogue 'nebraska', bruce is as-of-late rarely paid more than lip service. we all know he's fantastic. we all thought it was awesome in high fidelity when rob had him appear in his room as if by rock-n-roll magic. so my question, why aren't we listening to more of this guys' stuff? granted, im sure the 'the rising' isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea, but who can front on 'born to run'?

so tonight i have been sitting here for the last couple of hours, intermittently typing this, surfing the web, reading, actually purchasing an original 'nebraska' on vinyl for $7 with shipping in M- condition, but not a moment has passed when the glory filled strains of the 'born in the u.s.a.' album haven't been filling my ears. it has honestly been years since i have listened to this disc, and it's about time i got back to it.

'born' was the cross over album for the boss. seven singles from this album reached the top ten charts. pretty incredible for a guy who started out as a neo-bohemian dylan wanna be splitting his time between the shore and the village. that sounded kinda bad, i'm glad he was like that. i kinda wish he was still like that now.

it's hard to believe, but what he was wearing back then is a lot better than how he and the e street band look nowadays. {except max weinberg and his fine suits!} bruce and the boys used to look so cool.

there are truly some sonic gems on this disc. my classic favorites include 'born in the u.s.a.' - 'no surrender' - 'dancing in the dark' & 'my hometown'. then there is the one that has risen above the rest for me, 'I'm on fire'. there are ladies that read this blog, so i won't repeat the lyrics here, because they are just too damned good. but ya know.... if you were the type of person to go looking for them, i bet you could find them ----> * {although i think they are much better with the music}

upon a fresh listen however, there is a new and vibrant track that is standing head and shoulders above the rest. 'downbound train'. if you have this record, cd, 8-track, CD-ROMs, whatever, put it in and listen to it. first verse;

i had a job, i had a girl
i had something going, mister,
in this world
i got laid off down at the lumber yard
our love went bad, times got hard
now i work down at the car wash
where all it ever does is rain
don't you feel like you're a rider
on a downbound train

the song only gets better from here. i always feel like a cad when i write out lyrics to share. i might as well scrawl out a string of treble clef notation to try and make a point. springsteen songs, like those of a few others, often add up to more than the sum of their parts.

'downbound train' has philip glass elements, as does 'i'm on fire', that are particularly interesting to think about in that context. muted, strungout, single note synth solos that float through and permeate the tracks with a dreamscape quality. these are elements i might have appreciated 15 years ago listening to this album over and over again with my mom, but these are things i did not understand. i knew 'born in the u.s.a' was not a 'patriotic' song in the sense that most people thought it was. i can remember laughing as politicians tried to hijack the song as a frenzy building polito-anthem. the thing about it though, is that there is hardly a moment in this song where we find contempt from the narrator towards the country itself, merely his circumstances and treatment in it. it doesn't get more patriotic than that if you really think about it. this is what mattered to me listening to it then, and it still does today, but i can dig deeper now, and it's exciting.

there are times as an artist that i don't think that i can create in the same way that bruce captured on nebraska, ghost of tom joad, darkness on the edge of town and so on. not that there is a lack of personal anguish or knowledge to inform the process, but a reluctance to shun emotional junk for concept. then a thought struck me just now while i was outside for a smoke, and it came from a place i wouldn't have gone to look for anything; the song 'this little light of mine'.

it's not alright for me to just keep my life to myself. i've got to share it, the hard stuff, the happy, the sad. excluding emotion and relatable human experience for a purely aesthetic art form isn't what i want. springsteen has managed to combine craft, emotionally accessible subject matter, elements of truth, and solid musicianship to create some amazing albums that by far allow him to transcend 'adult contemporary'. in the same way i feel obligated to let God shine though my work. when it's accessible to others, is when it can be the most effective.

"Until I realized that rock music was my connection to the rest of the human race, I felt like I was dying, for some reason, and I didn't know why."

-the boss

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year's horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

-- James Wright


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

vinyl in wonderland


so i finally sold one of my records on gemm! some guy in france decided to pick up a nice old copy of 'alice in wonderland'. im stoked. check out gemm it's awesome.

hot wax

so i decided, along with amanda, that we could celebrate a little in light of her new job. so i got to pick out some albums that i have been wanting to get for a while. yesterday i was hanging out with MB for a while and we cruised to lovells and penny lane here in whittier. lovells was kinda weird because this guy andy who works there, a nice kid most of the time, was fighting with his girlfriend over the phone. there were several hang ups, slamming the phone down, general kicking of all the boxes behind the counter, and awkward glances between matt and myself. i had picked out a couple of things, but i put them down and we got out of there fast.

so we cruised down to penny lane, which i generally hate going into. they have a fairly decent, if not usually damaged, section of vinyl. i picked up blood and chocolate still sealed for eight bucks, and this classic by our good friend dmh for two bucks. mb picked up a copy of pussy cats by nilsson and lennon that he has been looking at for a couple of months too. all in all decent picks.

i also ordered a couple of discs through gemm that i have been wanting to add to the collection. i got rum sodomy and the lash by the pogues, this years model by elvis costello, an original pressing of jamc's psycho candy, and finally after searching for an original pressing that i could afford, a green label warner brother's pressing of astral weeks by van morrison.

im really pleased with my picks, and i can't wait to lay them down onto the deck and enjoy their sonic goodness filtering into my ears here in the living room, or outside with my sweet sweet headphones. i would love to hear what you guys think of my choices, what i should get next, reviews or whatever. leave em in the comments section jack.

Monday, April 11, 2005

expecto patronum!


i am a pop corn eating machine. i can eat bags and bags and bags of it. yummy yummy yummy! last night i had a couple of bags and watched happy potter and the prisoner of azkaban. in the movie he does this awesome conjuring spell for a patronus. you can check out the pick above for what this looks like. every witch or wizards patronus takes on a different form. harry's happens to be in the form of a stag. you can't really see it at all in the picture above, but it's freakin rad. my friends know that i think deer, and particularly stags are cool. i have been planning on including some mounted deer heads in my upcoming art show, but at this point it's too cost prohibitive. they are going to turn up in my work at some point though, so be on the look out. as far as an update on the show, i start building this week, and im really looking forward to it.

going to be another busy week for me. doing some fun stuff though, so that's cool. i found a really nice original pressing of psycho candy by jamc for sale on gemm for six bucks, so i am looking forward to getting that in the mail before friday. i used to have it on cd, but it got snagged in the great cd theft about a year ago. bummer. anyway i am trying to reload my collection, so as time goes by i will pick up more of the discs that i lost.

im listening to the decemberists 'sporting life' right now and it kicks ass. also playing a lot in the rotation is 'love in a trash can' by the raveonettes. i saw these guys open up for stereo total with maust a couple of years back and really liked em. i thought they were a nice mix of jamc and some chris isaak style guitars. yummy in my ears. anyway i gotta go get the oil changed in the mustang for amanda now.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

down there by the train

amanda started riding the train to work today. i dropped her off at the norwalk/santa fe springs station this morning, and i will pick her up when she arrives there again tonight at about 6pm.

i like trains a lot. i am really glad that she is able to use it to get to work. i am hoping that this will make a big difference in her stress level, and will help her not to be so tired when she gets home at the end of her work day. she is the type of girl that needs a lot of sleep, especially if she's tired or stressed out. if riding the train helps her to be more awake at the end of the day when she gets home, so we can spend more time together, that will be fantastic.

then there is the whole gas factor. i paid $2.51 a gallon for gas last night. this sucks, and i don't really see it getting better any time soon. living in california, with it's specific seasonal gas refining requirements doesn't help the cost either. when you have to use a gas that is refined differently from the rest of the country, you can see how that would effect the price that you pay. i was talking to sycz last night about gas, and the least ammount we have ever paid per gallon. he remembers paying $.99 a gallon in high school. im thinking that it was the same time that i was paying $.79 a gallon in oregon. oh those were the days.

i had a sweet '78 chevy suburban with a bored out 350, four barrel edlebrock carb, hooker headers, and a nice big k&n air filter. the block had been painted a bubble gum pink at some point, and the screen on the air filter was selected to match it. it was a nice counterpoint to the two-tone baby blue and white paint of the body. sitting nice and low, with gas shocks, and two wheel drive, my ride screamed through the s-curves on the way to carl's jr everyday at lunch. i routinely edged out sweet '60's firebirds, riced-out hondas and a couple of nice little mustangs and camaros. i was the king of the road. i was always glad for the cheap gas prices because this thing ripped through the remains of several hundred dinosuars during it's life with me. the gas tank held 40 gallons, and was still a bitch to fill, even at those prices.

i don't think i will ever forget the day it blew up though. after all the times of racing through the streets, the time on the freeway getting her up to 130mph, and the countless runs to the donut store i had made during school, i never thought it would come down to this. big motors, especially when bored out, running a sweet cam, and generally being kicked around by a teenager tend to burn some oil on a regular basis. i knew this full well. my mom was always on me to check my oil. top it off, have it changed. i did this, though not as often as i should have. all this wear and tear took it's toll on my motor. one sunny thursday afternoon, driving north on the freeway to a swim meet my lifter started to click a little. my oil was getting low. i was late and pushing the car a little too much. the ticking continued to get worse. i slowed down a bit, but it didn't matter. soon enough, clickclickclickCLICKKNOCKKNOCNKKNOCK... BANG! and it was the end. unbeknownest to me, my rear main seal had blown, and my oil was spread over the last three or four miles of freeway, drip by drip, until there wasn't any left in my pan. that last bang had been the intense heat finally winning over the last dying drips of lubrication in my motor, and cracking the block.

these were the days before i had a cell phone, years away at this point, so i had to hitch hike to a pay phone. my mom was pissed. i was really sad. somehow, in a feat never to be duplicated again, i got my dad to buy me another car a couple of weeks later. i drove it until my junior year in college. i blew that one up too, and i sold it. the left over hulk of my beautiful suburban sat in the parking lot of my uncle's shop until i traded it to my dad so that he would buy me a computer. i sold that computer the same week that i sold my mitsubishi. i used the money from the car and the computer and bought a ticket to alaska. most of you know how that worked out.

Monday, April 04, 2005


so i was doing some research, but i couldn't seem to find the part about a time for blogging. sorry about the updates, or lack thereof. at least when we see each other friends, we will have something to talk about you haven't already read. {i know you like that idea drew}

so not too much new with me. im back to school this week. i could use some prayer for that, passing my classes and all that especially. i am starting work on my show, and on the suggestion mighty gloyd {come on without, come on within} i am pondering setting up a link to paypal so that anyone who wants to donate to my show fund could do so. my stuff at my show is going to be huge, and not the sort of art that anyone that i know would buy. so maybe rather than saving cash to buy a little piece of my creative juices, you could ponder putting it toward the creation of something beautiful, but too rather large, and expensive to hang in your living room. i'm hoping to have this up this week. so mattyB, maybe you could email me on how to do that, to maybe save me a little time? you know i get by with a little help from my friends.

oh and since i'm tired, and couldn't work em in there because i am lazy:
i would like to say hi to dmh and sycz and miller