Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mixed Tape from Hell

This afternoon following a good brunch at Joe's Inn on Shields, Charles and I took a long walk through the Fan. We stopped to smell all of the blooms that were smelling, we talked about the sky, the houses, the decision (for some) to cover the side of their houses in stucco (I'm for it- Charles, usually a naysayer (at first), isn't 100% behind the idea), we yakked about the stained glass in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (again, there's me who says yea, and again, there's Charles with his nay), as well as my latest series of ridiculous photographs (Charles says huh?). All the while I had my eyes to the ground and in the trash cans and found a good amount of booty.

Most of it is pretty standard fare (discarded snapshots) but what's interesting about all of the pictures is that they are all of adolescents. I am accustomed to finding baby pictures, and tons of snaps of reveling college students after what has undoubtedly been a very demanding week of studies. But peeking into (even the photographic version of) adolescence is fascinating.

How long will it be until the lives of these girls resembles the lives of the characters in Mean Girls? When will all the pimples come?

Is she completely in love with this little guy? Or is this the girl he's been asking to go with him for the past six months but because she occupies a social tier a couple above his own, she must ignore her feelings and say no?

And then finally, on the 2100 hundred block of Grove, in the front yard of a house which was on fire a few days ago, I found this tape. It seemed too perfect an accompaniment to the the pictures- too metaphoric for this guy who claims metaphasia on the top of his list of culturally induced illnesses. And that's when I realized that it wasn't their adolescence I was thinking about, it was my own. These kids have little (if any) relationship with analog 1/4 inch tape. But for me, this was the stuff that my adolescence was made of. Tapes like this held my world, and I routinely tried to place my world onto one. The careful crafting of side A (this was the upbeat side) usually an ironic mix and the perfect companion to side B (a lugubrious mix of painfully melodramatic music made by men who wore a lot of make up) this was the side that I really cared about - the side that I was sure contained all the ju ju necessary to communicate just how important the recipient of the tape was. These tapes were my plumage - with this tape they would be allowed to glimpse just how interesting, cute and existential I was. They were (I realize now) mixed tapes from hell- culled songs used to plunge me only deeper into, and act as, the soundtrack for my privileged cafard.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Here's something Kim and I didn't do in NY and really regret: we didn't go see the show at ICP Snap Judgements: New positions in Contemporary Photography.

"Thulani" (2004) by Nontsikelelo "Lolo" Veleko

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Head on a Stick!

This is Tom Condon, one of the VCU photo/film grad students who had their opening this past Friday. That smile is always close to Tom's lips but he and his phellow photo phriends had a lot to smile about this night.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Her Bangs Were Like the Sun

When you are young, you always expect that the world is going to end. And then you get older and the world still chugs along and you are forced to re-evaluate your stance on the apocolypse as well as your own relationship to time and death. You realize that the world will indeed continue, with or without you, and the pictures you see in your head. So you try to understand the pictures instead.
p. 108 of Douglas Coupland's Life After God

Look at Me Looking at Me

Death By Musette (sans Todd but it still counts) was the house band for Horsey's Two Hour Variety Hour tonight. This evenings performance/show went much better than a month ago (much smoother). I am essentially Paul Schaefer and just figured out when there needed to be some music- Horsey even addressed his post monologue, pre-guest banter to me. What's more, the scheduled guests showed up and Horsey had an uncomfortable but ok "conversation" with a professor from VCU who has his degree in Islamic studies and is a Muslim.

George took this picture.

Mermaid Skeletons were the musical guest and were really great- two earnest, funny, young guys singing beautiful, faith-infused songs with hushed guitars and excellent harmonies. Their goodness (or their sincere intention) reminded me of all the good people of Western Maryland who pick up instruments and make music that I listen to: Jon Felton's Soulmobile, Page France, The Lyric Opera... They asked if I'd be interested in doing some recording with them on the cd they are working on. I said yes.

The world is a big exciting place if you allow it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Martin over at Anaba directed me to an upcoming call for entries at local Richmond cum Brooklyn hipsterwares boutique Nonesuch , their website lead me to their links in hopes of finding their designer which led me to this.

Go. Just search for the place to click. Delicious is my favorite path.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Occupational Hazard

That's clay sludge (slip) from a bag of trash that I was hauling to the dumpster this afternoon at work. Despite the inconvenience, I think it was kind of pretty- the light brown of the slip against the dark brown of my pants. If only it had happened yesterday when I had on that blue/gray shirt...

NYC snaps are on the way.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Off to NYC

Tomorrow morning Kim and I are headed to a city where even the buildings are superstars. The plan is to pack a month's worth of activities into four days, we'll see how far we get.

Saturday at 2pm we'll be having a picnic at the Belvedere Castle in Central Park, if you can make it, please come but bring your own food and don't expect us to hang around too long- we have plans to make it to The Main Squeeze before it closes at 6pm.

Talk to you soon...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

That for Which There Will Be No Metadata

Brought to You by the Inverted Numbers 2 and 3

So here we are at The Cornerstone Gallery last Friday. Playing outside of the house is a lot of fun, Todd is much better at it than I am, but fortunately there was a TV directly above Todd's head for me to watch so I was able to keep myself distracted from the throngs of admirers asking us what the secret was to our keeping our hair so dark and greasy.

Friday, April 07, 2006

White Night on Broad Street with Death By Musette

Todd and I (shown here in a holiday promotional with Gustina! Gustina! and Mama Kim) are playing at Cornerstone Gallery tonight during Michael McDevitt's opening. Michael is a painter from Richmond and this is his first solo show so there should be lots of good (albeit nervous) energy.

Also tonight is an opening at VACR of work by Jack Wax (pictured above) and Judith Schaechter. For his largest piece in the show, Jack pieced together hundreds of glass tubes which are strung together with wire and create an oddly stable structure that reminds me of both a tent and a Buckminster Fuller dome gone awry.

Judith's work (the above is not in the show but I had to search around online) is amazing. If you've never seen it, you have the chance to check out ten of her pieces that span from 1996-2003- is this a mini retrospective?

Jack and Judith are also giving a gallery talk Sunday at 2pm.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

November 1, 1992-April 5, 2005

I walked home from work today trying to imagine what it felt like to have Annabelle pull on the leash. I looked at things that I thought she might stop and sniff. I walked behind our old apartment on Grove Avenue and around all of the alleys in the neighborhood. I heard sounds that would have startled her. And finally, I walked much further than her 12 year old self would have liked.

I cannot believe how much I miss my sweet, sweet girl.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Why I Love Spring

Walking home from work today I came upon a number of trash cans brimming with some of the first Spring clean-outs. I could smell the goods as I dug around while Charles tried to get me to pay at least a little bit of attention to a nearby yard flanked by magnolias and a cherry tree.

There were a lot of magazines from the late seventies and early eighties, a few lampshades, a pair of brown leather shoes, a couple bags of screws, and a small box that contained what I imagine were the contents of some recently deceased person's desk drawer (the "main"drawer where pens, paper clips, stamps and a calculator are kept).

This is great because the person (Kim and I think a woman) retrofitted a free calendar with letter tabs to make their own address book.

There were two photographs in the little box. There's this one of a guy in what looks like a church basement (or maybe he owned a restaurant- or maybe this is the kitchen at the old Gandalf's?).

Then there's this one of a couple cutting their wedding cake. Charles and I both thought it looked like they got married at Bryant Park- near the playing fields (but more importantly, near the Meadow). Without a doubt the bridesmaid takes the cake- click on her to get a better look. I've found quite a few wedding pictures, maybe during June I'll do a special found wedding album.

This postcard was also in the box- it is beautiful, reminds me of some of my favorite postcards of hotel dining rooms, and of course I'll never look at a vacuum cleaner the same way now that I've seen Judy's work.

I also found this letter...

It's odd how something from only 23 years ago looks so old- it makes you realize how everything around you, everything you consider current, will in very little time become a nostalgia evoking tchotchke for the next generation.

Bring on the trash of Spring!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Art Schlep

I stayed at the Leo House on 23rd St., where every room has it's very own crucifix.

I went to NYC, Philadelphia and DC last week to pick up Judith Schaecter's work for an exhibit (along w/ VCU prof Jack Wax) that opens at the Visual Arts Center Friday. I made it to MOMA in time to see an excellent pairing of circa 1960's Winogrand and 1990's DeCorcia, the Munch show (I'm sorry but I hear the Smashing Pumpkins when I look at his work- it's so over the top dramatique!), and the exhibit of New Spanish Architecture. The architecture exhibit topped my list for this visit, and while I walked to the subway station below the Citigroup building I wondered how a person ever reigns in their ego after having had a hand in building something so huge- altering such a large part of the world.

MOMA's collection of photography is, needless to say, excellent... and thanks in large part to the much loathed John Szarkowski. Adjacent to the selection of photographs from the museum's permanent collection was a show of Szarkowski's work- straight, black and white, large format, exquisitely printed, modestly sized, prints of barns, farm implements, apple trees, and orchards from upstate New York. Hurrying through his work (and wondering whether I'll one day get to a point where I understand his and Frielander's fascination with photographing brambles in black and white) I thought about how little respect I afforded his images even though just moments before I was staring into the eyes of an Arbus print which, without Szarkowski, I most likely would have never seen.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Byrd Park Find!

Paul and I were walking (and yacking) our way through Byrd Park this afternoon and I mentioned to him that I hadn't found a picture in almost a month, and that I was beginning to worry. About 30 minutes later I found these.