I’ve been on a Motown kick lately, which is probably appropriate given today’s holiday.
It started as an innocent request to Google to play Otis Redding. Then all the flashbacks of listening to the oldies stations in my youth (when this music was only 20-30 years old!) came and made me find a Playlist on Spotify.
About a month ago I quietly started my own WordPress art blog, named appropriately “Drip Torch Studio”. Every day I post a bit of my visual art whether it be paintings or photos.
Fun Fact: Drip Torch Studio came into existence far before Drip Torch Press. But I have put far less energy into it. I intended to create a brand and an image and make loads of money. Sadly this has not happened. Part of my resolution to be more disciplined this year is to put some more energy into it.
Along with the new site, check out my Facebook page here.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy putting it together!
I was sorting out a tub of crusty old stuff the other day and found some of my old cds. What a time capsule!
You know you are “old” when you have to make sure your cd drive is hooked up to the computer. Who listens to cd’s anymore?
So what was I listening to just a few short years ago?
The first oldie I popped in was Carla Werner’s first album “Departure“.
Never heard of her? There’s probably a good reason. Her last album was released in 2009, and it was much better than the first. But not much better. Snooze fest and an anemic voice. What was I thinking back then?
This isn’t a bad song for late 90’s electronica. But they aren’t on Spotify and judging by Google results, they probably aren’t around as a group anymore either. ‘Tis a shame.
Next into my cd drive was The Beatles “Anthology 2”. The middle anthology is personally my favorite. This is definitely the best period of the band. I’m actually quite glad to have found this one.
There was also a Paul McCartney live album, which is pretty meh. I saw him in concert, and after that there are very few good live albums that are worth it. Either be there or be square.
I stopped listening at this point. Sometimes nostalgia is not so fun. It just reminds you of better times or worse times, or just the fact that your taste in music isn’t always the most discerning.
Also in the tub was some Norah Jones, a couple of compilation cd’s from record companies I used to get for free at the local record store, and a random Dave Matthews Band disc that I found in a whole case that some bro had dropped in the university parking lot. Nothing that I still listen to.
If I had continued I would have popped in Lily Allen’s “Alright Still“.
Which is actually my favorite of the bunch…
(except for the Anthology. But that’s not nostalgia, that’s timeless.)
This week instead of analysis, I have a movie recommendation.
Recently we decided to get a Roku box. With a Roku box comes the temptation to watch entirely too much tv. Since it’s located in our bedroom, I tend to use folding laundry as an excuse to catch up on shows. Multi-tasking, go!
Last week, partly out of guilt and partly because I have binge watched every show I am actually interested in (hush), I was trying to make my tv watching more “educational”. To this end I watched a documentary about a photographer, since it was related to art and I could write about it here. Unfortunately, I can’t really recommend it here since the subject matter was a bit risque. And in all reality, as far as documentaries go, it was a bit disappointing.
I can however recommend Cezanne et Moi, which is currently on Netflix. This French film follows the friendship between painter Paul Cezanne (with whom I identify entirely too much for comfort) and writer Emile Zola.
While I am sure it took great artistic license (see what I did there?) in telling the story, it isn’t light and fluffy and filled with positive nonsense. The movie is frequently dark and gritty, much like real life, especially the real lives of starving artists.
Being a movie about two artists, it is well shot in beautiful locations. Being French, it has only the most attractive actors and actresses. Since the dialog is in French, it matters not to English speakers how well they deliver the lines, although Zola’s character seemed a bit stiff and hard to read.
The biggest (only?) problem I had with this movie is that it is entirely in French and subtitled, which makes it a bit difficult to watch while folding laundry!
But if you can watch TV without feeling guilty for not multi-tasking, I highly recommend this for all the art lovers (especially Cezanne) out there.
I used to think of myself as a big big fan of the Impressionists. Van Gogh was one of my earliest experiences with real art. I love Monet, and I have yet to find a Degas that doesn’t draw and keep my attention.
But as I expanded my art appreciation I came to find myself much more attracted to the opposite of the Impressionists, I find more and more that I love the Expressionists.
Is it my personality? The Expressionists were far more concerned with emotional experience than the display of objective reality. As an ENFJ I find my mind concentrates far more on the deeper underlying feelings behind actions and less on the actions themselves.
While I appreciate the work that goes into realism in art, I much more appreciate the art of someone who can evoke feelings, good and bad.
Here are a few of my favorites of this genre:
Franz Marc- Die großen blauen Pferde, The Large Blue Horses (1911)
I have been horribly lax with MAAM’s lately. Working and taking care of five little hooligans doesn’t leave much time for music or art appreciation. But Spotify reminded me that it’s Native American Heritage Month.
I was excited to see these playlists, as I got used to listening to KIYE while in Idaho this summer. This is probably the only station in the world to play pow-wow music, Marty Robbin’s “El Paso“, and an entire album of T-Pain, all in the same hour.
Sadly, when I clicked on the main playlist I was greeted with new aged flute music. While I understand this is certainly a genre produced by many Natives, it certainly didn’t satisfy my desire to hear the good stuff from KIYE. Some of the playlists were slightly better, but here is my version of a Native American Spotify Playlist:
Pretty much anything by them. My favorite thing about them is their ability to place totally modern situations into round dance chants, like in “Facebook Drama”.
My eastern very white upbringing comes out on this one, I actually chuckled a little at the juxtaposition. Growing up on the politically correct East coast, we were taught to be anti-stereotypes to the point of being anti-culture. It was a jarring experience to come out West and see roadside stands selling beads and artworks and run by actual Natives, and even more jarring to hear them actually singing similarly to the “stereotypes” I had been taught to shun in school. Wasn’t this exploitive? Not that this describes all Natives, but the simple fact is that it is deeply intertwined into the culture.
On my very first trip to Northern Idaho in 2013 I actually had a crew boss tell us to turn off KIYE because he thought it might be considered “offensive” by some of the Native firefighter crews. Having worked with several Natives I can assure that crew boss that no, they are not offended.
If you are not stupid (i.e. disrespectful) about it, appreciating a culture for what it puts out on the public airwaves is not offensive at all. As long as you understand that there are in fact differences between tribes of different regions (for instance, teepees were a plains thing, not a SW thing) and don’t make stupid assumptions based on TV or movies you’re not generally going to make anyone mad.
Enough of that political sidetrack. Back to music. There is actually a pretty decent Playlist here of just powwow music. Look around Spotify or just tune in to KIYE or other similar stations online for some more great Native music.