I don't do drugs. I am drugs.
— Salvador Dali
Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.
— Samuel Johnson
The man who backbites an absent friend; nay, who does not stand up for him when another blames him; the man who angles for bursts of laughter and for the repute of a wit; who can invent what he never saw; who cannot keep a secret—that man is black at heart: mark and avoid him.
Who you are moment to moment is just a story.
— Chuck Palahniuk
Friday Overture: Don't You Wish You Were A Fisherman
This is a small painting that Buffalo artist Jackie Felix gave me a few years ago. When Hallwalls was still in the Tri-Main building, I spent a considerable number of hours in Jackie's studio, chatting about her work or whatever. She always had pages and images from magazines pinned up as potential reference points for future works and I guess on successive visits, I kept ogling this one magazine image of a girl standing in profile and one day Jackie bequeathed me this painting featuring said magazine gal. It's a small work but one of those cherished artworks because it was painted to suit, so to speak. I never asked Jackie what exactly it meant. Apparently, I want to be someone's dog. But don't we all.
I'm hardly alone in Western New York in feeling deep sadness at the news of Jackie's passing last weekend. And it would be paltry of me to try to express what that passing meant, in a community where many, many people knew Jackie far longer than I. No doubt there are a few great Jackie Felix anecdotes floating around out there and no doubt we will hear some of them Saturday, November 7 @ 10:30 am at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, where there will be a memorial held in her honor. Standing room only, to be sure.
Jackie was no longer a young woman, but she died young. I'm certain, had you asked her, she would say that she was smarter, more creative, and more adventurous in spirit than when she was younger. I can recall her bluntly telling me of her regret that she came to art and her artistic self later in life. She remained prolific to the very end and never stopped working for very long. Everytime I spoke with her the past few years, she was anxious and itching to get back to the studio.
She was nobody's fool. She was discerning in her artistic eye and it took a lot to impress her. So when she thought a certain art was great, you knew that opinion never came easy and hence it seemed to hold deeper weight. If she might occasionally seem irrascible or cranky, those moments were far outnumbered by the times I heard that unfiltered laugh—she didn't waste a laugh anymore than a compliment, so you always knew it was real.
I'm at a loss to say more. I remember Jackie telling me how she lived in an apartment upstairs from James Dean in the 1950s and that he seemed nice but shy. I remember her unfiltered assessments of the local art community when I first moved here and was figuring out the terrain. And I remember her telling me, more than once, that if I let a girl into the passenger seat of my car and said girl leaned over to unlock the driver's side door, that girl might be a keeper.
exhibitions continuing through Oct 23
gallery hours: Tues to Fri 11am to 6pm, Sat 11am to 2pm
LEWIS COLBURN: Interregnum
Mucho kudos to AJ Fries and Katie Gaudy for knocking out the stupendous backdrop painting.
Lewis Colburn Homepage
Colin Dabkowski Buff News.
ALISON S.M. KOBAYASHI: Videos
Mucho kudos to Carolyn Tennant for curating and Alison for creating a new Buffalo-centric work for this exhibition.
Alison Kobayashi Homepage
TONIGHT 8pm @ Hallwalls
Cruel and Unusual
"Benefit for Buffalo Queer and Trans Prison Solidarity Project Prisons decide where to place inmates based on their genitalia, not their gender identity, often denying medical and psychological treatment. Cruel and Unusual (2006, 66 minutes) asks if the punishment for their crime is indeed cruel and unusual? Shot over three years, this documentary challenges our ideas about gender and justice. Benefit for Buffalo Queer and Trans Prison Solidarity Project, a new organization committed to education about our prison systems and how they affect the LGBTQI community. Meetings are Tuesday at 5pm at 14 Allen St; for more info email: Buffaloqtpsp@gmail.com"
@ Hallwalls Sat, Sept 26, 8pm
@ Hallwalls Sun, Sept 27, 8pm
Antero Winds Homepage
Buffalo News Mary Kunz Goldman
@ Hallwalls Mon, Sept 28, 7pm
Buffalo Sound Painting Ensemble
"Using Soundpainting, a gestural language used to conduct musicians, actors, dancers and visual artists, the Buffalo Sound Painting Ensemble will spontaneously create a performance-event based on texts that explore aural hallucinations, religion, Utopianism and their relationships to American culture. The ensemble will attempt to inhabit the psychic, physical and linguistic grammar of hallucinatory experience, exploring its relationship to personal epiphany and how those experiences contribute to the creation of religion and order in an otherwise chaotic reality."
@ Hallwalls Tues, Sept 29, 8pm
Evan Parker/Ned Rothenberg Duo
@ Hallwalls Wed, Sept 30, 7pm
Just Browsing & Irreplaceable
"Just Browsing (2009, 33 min., color) is a film about the local independent bookstore, Talking Leaves ... Books, and some of the used bookstores in Buffalo, NY. Local, independent bookstores everywhere face an extremely difficult challenge from increasing competition with the big chain and online bookstores; the bad economy in Buffalo magnifies those challenges. This film documents how people in the local bookstores think of the book business and their role in the local community....Irreplaceable (2009, 24 min., color) is a film about the independent record store, New World Record, in Buffalo, NY. New World Record's owner, Govindan Kartha, decided in early 2008 to close after twenty-four-years serving the music community in Buffalo, in part because of the dramatic changes in the music industry with the advent of the internet and the downloading phenomenon. This film documents the store's closing weeks, while showing us Govindan and his store's way of spreading the love of music and recognizing his and the store's contributions to the local music lovers in Buffalo."
October 20 in the Ninth Ward @ Babeville
Hallwalls Call For Kitchens & Bathrooms
• Tom Hughes at the Castellani Museum op Sun, Sept 27, 2-4pm (thru Jan 17)
• Warren Quigley @ York Quay Gallery (Toronto) op Fri, Sept 25, 6-10pm (thru Nov 8)
• Ingrid Calame @ Albright Knox Art Gallery op Fri, Sept 25, 5-10pm (thru Feb 28)
• Lin Xia Jiang @ Villa Maria College op Fri, Sept 25, 5-7pm (thru Oct 30)
• Nancy Helfer, Rosemarie Cardosa, Cindy O'Mara, Marjorie Norton, Mary Jane Luce, Lorna Berlin, Linda Schutter, Mary Whitcomb, Paulette Jurek, Paulette Krakowski, Eileen MacNamara, Cherie St. Pierre, Joan Hambleton, Helen Rogers Russell, Norine Spurling @ IMpact Artists Gallery op Fri, Sept 25 (thru Oct 2)
Victoria Ciostek op TONIGHT
@ Grant Street Gallery (beside Sweetness 7) 7-10pm
Ingrid Calame: Step On A Crack
@ Albright op TONIGHT 5-10pm (thru Feb 28)
College Street Gallery 12th Anniversary Party Fri, Oct 2
Michael Mulley writes: "Not many people noticed when a tiny gallery opened at 82 College Street in October 1997 and I'm sure the people who did know figured it would be one of many short-lived artist run spaces in Buffalo that would eventually be gone. After all, the people who exhibited there were not famous, many of them had never shown their work before. They were not the "connected' people that had shows in fancy galleries that sold their work for thousands. They were what I later discovered only the "tip of the iceberg" of creative people in Buffalo. Every month there was a new show and the people came out to see what was going on in the little space on College Street. From October 1997 through June 1998 the gallery hosted nine exhibits, featuring nearly 30 artists. There was no real hierarchy, often first timers work was hung next to more seasoned artists. When the gallery moved to the front of the building (244 Allen Street) in June 1998 the tradition of giving people an place to show their work continued. I often commented to people "...you'll never get a show that easy again..." Never was the saying "If you build it, they will come " more true, because they did, month after month, year after year talented people of every imaginable ilk came to my door portfolio in hand. As I begin this, my 12th year on Allen Street I have seen the neighborhood transform into a bonafide Arts destination with a dozen galleries and artist's spaces the one thing that hasn't changed... every month there's a new exhibit at College Street Gallery. Please join me on Friday, October 2, 8-10pm for a celebration of the people, the art they make and the space they have chosen to share it with you."
The Private Collection of Charles Rand Penney: A Public Show and Sale
ONE DAY ONLY Sun, Oct 4, 1-6pm, Buffalo/Niagara Marriott Hotel, Ballroom 5, 1340 Millersport HIghway, Amherst, NY
20th Century Finest
Artvoice Gerald Mead
Scott Bye, Doug Bauer @ NCCC
op Thurs, Oct 8, 5-8pm (thru Nov 14)
artists' talks Thurs, Oct 22, 1-2pm
• Ricardo Miranda Zuñiga, Charmaine Wheatley, WNY Books Arts Collaborative @ Buffalo Arts Studio thru Oct 31
• Dennis Maher, Julian Montague, JM Reed @ Artspace thru Oct 19
• Brian Kavanaugh @ Artspace thru Oct 19
• Megan Roberts Ghirardo and Raymond Ghirardo @ squeaky Wheel thru Oct 9
• Millie Chen, Warren Quigley @ Big Orbit thru Nov 14
• Jason Daquino @ Karpeles (220 North) thru Sept 30
• Suzete Martins @ WNED Horizons Gallery thru Oct 9
• Kara Daving @ Nichols School thru Nov 3
• Diane Baker @ CG Jung Center thru Dec 14
• Joe Bochynski @ Sugar City thru Oct 2
• Ani Hoover @ Studio Hart thru Oct 10
• Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society @ Art Dialogue thru Oct 2
• Ilania Kaplan @ Betty's thru Nov 15< • Gary Wolfe, Dorothy Fitzgerald @ Carnegie Art Center thru Oct 31 • Writing Pictures: Art/Text Works from the collection of Gerald Mead incl. Charles Agel, Cory Arcangel, Peter Arvidson, Michael Basinski, Joel Brenden, AnJanette Brush, Charles Burchfield, Daniel Calleri, Nancy Dwyer, Frank Eckmair, Derek Gabryszak, Bonnie Gordon, Anthony Peter Gorny, Megan Greene, Courtney Grim, Abbey Hendrickson, Tom Hughes, Richard Huntington, Jim Jipson, Kevin Charles Kline, Jody LaFond, Robert Lax, Nina Leo, Rosemary Lyons, William Maggio, Ellen Markel, Scott McCarney, Kelly McFadden, Steve Miller, Anne Muntges, Gary Nickard, Kevin Noble, Russell Ram, Ad Reinhardt, Barbara Rowe, Robert D. Schroeck, Bruce Shanks, Jeff Sherven, Lawrence Slezak, Craig Smith, Heather Wetzel and Joseph Whalen @ WNY Book Arts Center thru Oct 3 • Conversation Pieces w/ Alexis Bhagat, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Mariam Ghani, Guerrillagirlsbroadband, Sharon Hayes, Incubate/Material Exhchange/Adam Bobbette, Nina Leo & Stefani Bardin, Carlos Motta, Oliver Ressler, Stephanie Rothernberg @ CEPA thru Dec 19
• Idols and Eye Candy: Fall Exhibit and Sale @ Starlight Studio thru Oct 30
• Mark Lavatelli, Robert Schultz @ Burchfield Nature & Art Center thru Nov 14
• Diane Baker @ CG Jung Center (408 Franklin) thru Oct 17
• JA Mach @ Artsphere op Fri, Sept 11, 6:30-9pm thru Oct 10
• Heather Cox @ Nina Freudenheim thru Oct 14
• Bruce Adams, Mary Begley, Viktoria Ciostek, Elisabeth Emery, AJ Fries, Ani Hoover, Susan Lakin, Catherine Linder Spencer, Sarah Mottalini, Elizabeth Switzer, Kurt Treeby, Adam Weekley @ Indigo thru Oct 10
• Ani Hoover @ Fosdick-Nelson Gallery (Alfred) thru Oct 18
• Stephen Marc @ UB Art Gallery thru Oct 17
• former Hallwalls intern Jacob Kassay @ Nicole Klagsbrun (NYC) thru Oct 31
• Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society @ Art Dialogue thru Oct 2
• Mark McLoughlin @ AKAG Education Corridor thru Sept 27
• Jennifer Seth-Cimini @ The Winery At Marjim Manor (7171 E. Lake Road, Appleton) thru Nov 11
• Priscilla Bowen, George Grace, Margaret Hart, Kathy McDonnell, Todd Overturf, George Palmer @ Kenan Center thru Oct 11 Buffalo News
• Wall Rockets: Contemporary Artists & Ed Ruscha @ Albright thru Oct 25
• Barbara Rowe At NCCC thru Oct 3
• Diane Baker at The Mansion on Delaware (indefinitely)
"Nowhere is the creative jolt that accompanies fall more evident than on the jumping visual arts scene, which at the moment is so jam-packed with intriguing shows, projects and collaborative ventures that even the most dedicated gallerygoer would be hard-pressed to catch them all before they close. But that shouldn't stop you from trying."
Buffalo News Dabkowski
"I would rather get my cultural bones from this great Robert Frank movie than view all the redundant and thematically pointless and essentially lifeless Kandinskys and O'Keeffe's on view in New York at the moment."
"The outback dust storm has swept across eastern Australia, shrouding Sydney in a dramatic red glow."
"This spoof bears the headline WE'RE SCREWED so, naturally, the fakeness of the paper will probably escape detection, even among discerning employees of the New York Post..."
“She is a successful poseur who came from nothing and blasted her way into society and celebrity, tapping into desires that are far more than sartorial.”
NY Times La Ferla
"Dawson, known as 'Topher,' is a modest fellow, expert at befriending law enforcement officers, getting behind police lines and lingering for hours to photograph the presence of the absence of something."
"The controversial design is intended to save space and money and could see 50 per cent more passengers packed on to each plane."
"Their records from the 1950’s, which used special effects often intended to highlight the sound capabilities of hi-fi systems, earned them a new generation of fans in the 1990’s who embraced them as seminal figures of the space-age bachelor-pad genre, also known as space-age pop."
NY Times obit
"Their sound may have been commercial and safe, but early on their politics were somewhat risky for a group courting a mass audience. Like Mr. Yarrow and Mr. Stookey, Ms. Travers was outspoken in her support for the civil-rights and antiwar movements, in sharp contrast to clean-cut folk groups like the Kingston Trio, which avoided making political statements."
NY Times obit
"As the egomaniacal Haven Hamilton in Robert Altman's Nashville, Mr. Gibson showed that he could do more than sketch comedy. His performance as an evil-tempered superpatriot earned him the National Society of Film Critics’ award for best supporting actor."
NY Times obit
Great opening to a great film, song written and performed by Henry Gibson
“Totally zonked, and all the dope scraped or sniffed clean from the tiny cellophane bags, I can see the Cloisters with its million in medieval art out the bedroom window. I got to go in and puke. I just want to be pure.”
I saw Jim Carroll read once, at an 80th birthday celebration for William Burroughs at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto in the mid 80s. Burroughs, by the way, was fucking spectacular, this frail man with the scary voice sitting at a wooden desk on stage, reading laconically from his works. We were all smitten. Opening for Burroughs that evening were John Giorno and Jim Carroll. Giorno I don't remember much at all, except that his reading was energetic and muscular. But Jim Carroll's trembling voice, that skinny pre-heroin chic look, and those stupendous words. I always loved Carroll's poetry, but much preferred his fluid, rapturous prose. What I actually always remembered most about Carroll (whether reading his work or hearing him read it) was how hysterically funny he was. No one has ever deigned to call him a humorist, but it's not an inappropriate tag. Amid all the rhapsodizing about heroin, the harrowing description of its effects (not to mention the behavior it leads one to, in order to feed the monkey), Carroll's humor was always incisive and laugh out loud funny. More than anything else, his sense of humor always seemed to me the element that deepened the humanist breadth of his work. Way to be, Jim.
NY Times obit
Something I listened to this week...
(1969) Deceptively simple jazz/pop, perhaps closer to Ramsey Lewis—harkening back to the earlier part of the decade, than serving as any harbinger of the funk to come—but Ramsey Lewis was pretty great so that's hardly a dis. On the one hand, I would prefer more funk, less jazz. On the other hand, I've listened to this record a lot.
(1974) In our era of mp3 vs vinyl, compression vs. dynamic range, etc, I listened to the Somewhat Scuffed Yardsale Edition of the album and it still sounded great. Always will.
(1979) The Residents: Eskimo...This is one of the most out-there of Residents' albums, which is a bit of ridiculous statement if you know the band, but it's less musical and more of a sonic landscape. They are, for me, a perpetual touchstone of a group, to whom I return regularly, as I do Sonic Youth and The Fall. You must love the iconoclasts in this world or else, mark my words, you are wasting some of your affections.
(1980) The commercial aspect of the album is that the band essentially cut 40 songs, 20 per side, with one verse and one chorus each. Which is about as overtly commercial as the band would ever get. Perhaps the safest Residents' album to put of for someone with no prior knowledge, it's a perpetually engaging album. I can't conceive of someone liking county fairs, sporting events, or unconventional sex acts and not getting some measure of satisfaction from this album. I listened to it while moving furniture and rearranging boxes and books and I'll be damned if it didn't also have a real whistle-while-you-work vibe about it.
Lest you believe The Residents are some novelty band, they have, since 1974, released over 50 albums and continue to work. PBS needs to do an American Masters special on these guys. Learn more about these great artists of the late 20th and early 20th century at The Residents Official Web Site.
(2005) I have a young gal friend who adores Gwen Stefani but had NO IDEA who Sinead O'Connor even was....well, time to go to school. Sinead O'Connor, for anyone else who doesn't already know, is one of the finest singers of my lifetime certainly. Not just because she has an ethereal, perfect voice, but she has ALWAYS known what to do with it. She came to fame when she recorded the Prince song Nothing Compares 2 U, which IS a spectacular peformance, then she arrived at the nadir of notoriety and cultural contempt on October 3, 1992 when she performed on Saturday Night Live.
During an acappella version of Bob Marley's "War," she altered the lyric "racism" to "child abuse" and then presented for the cameras a picture of Pope John Paul ii while singing the lyric "evil." When the song concluded, she looked directly in the camera, said "Fight the real enemy," tearing up said picture and throwing it at the camera. No applause. Fade to commercial. By far, the bravest, most badass moment in the entire history of the show. In recent years, it has become much more fashionable and popular to deride the Catholic Church's abomidable history of child abuse and cover-up, but in 1992? Very few people had the cohones to confront the issue back then, save the little Irish waif. It makes something like the Sex Pistols saying "fucker" and "fucking rotter" of live British tv seem little more than truculent, adolescent farts. Watch it for yourself here.
Whoever thought of pairing O'Connor's spectacular voice with hardcore reggae classics produced by Sly and Robbie (who double as the rhythm section on the album) deserves a medal of some kind, as it's an inspired notion. A friend of mine told me he listened to this album non-stop for three months and I can easily see why. Spectacular music and a spectacular voice that's not trying to hard to impress, just inhabiting the perfect space in the sound. Utterly hypnotic. I had to keep replaying her version of Lee Perry's "Vampire" because once I was done with the album, the song just stayed locked in my head so I decided it was best to keep listening. Best you do too.
(How much do I REALLY like this album? Well, just writing about it got me all worked up again, so I am pressing PLAY again...NOW!)
(1992) Jah Jah not your speed? How about an album of standards—Black Coffee, Why Don't You Do Right?, Don't Cry For Me Argentina....I recall this record coming out not long after the SNL controversy, so I always thought the title of the album was appropriately cheeky. Not as well-received critically as some of her other albums, but I've always really liked it a lot. Never one to use her voice to demonstrate unnecessary vocal gymnastics, Sinead always understood the strength of restraint and how that, handled well, always amplifies a vocal performance. See her performance of Pink Floyd's Mother as solid proof of that. Am I Not Your Girl? is the polar opposite of Throw Down Your Arms, but together they are compelling bookends to an argument in favor of the greatness that is Sinead.
Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow's hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.
— Charles Dickens