Other Media: 8 Tracks

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Have you heard of 8 Tracks? Maybe. Maybe not. For those of us who are unable to stream things half the year or those enamoured by the good old record collection and not an internet connection we may be skeptical of this new youtube based music sharing platform. If you find yourself in need of a mix for dishwashing or dancing or writing and lack the time, tunes or initiative to compile your own tuneage this is for you! You can “explore” via tags and keywords. If you need to spruce up what  life with little effort this is for you!

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Plus, let’s be frank. The graphics are pretty entertaining. It brings back memories of when cover art meant something.

What are you doing New Years Eve?

This morning at the gym the classic “What are you doing New Years Eve?” song came across the air waves languid and slow and sure. I love this song. It asks us all to be a little more loving and a little more honest and true and assertive- all wonderful actions to take with us in to the next year. Take your pick below of some of my favorite renditions and  know I wish you a happy and fruitful year to come!


Playlist: Dan Mangan

A friend steered me to this blurb by Dan Mangan (…click to hear just how cute Dan can be, a little promo love letter to you…. how can a fellow blur the lines of love letter and promo!? With all sincerity that is how!) on the CBC “How I write” series… I always wonder how artists collaborate and write and create. Dan was last talked about in my Foodie weekly post for a great video commenting on consumerism today with his song “Sold”. His newest album “Oh Fortune” I own it on vinyl so between my kitchen and my car he is usually singing away throughout my days. It is a great album- great in the in the way that conveys a magnitude of power and rightness. You should listen, everyone would listen to what Dan has to say and how he says it with sweet orchestration and timing. His ideas quoted below on artists are something to remember. I too try to surround myself with interesting experiences and appreciate all the forms Art takes around us. In the dark of the studio after many long hours of toiling away searching for the proportions that will ring true and strong in a pot (the calculation of what will be the twice shrunken proportions of the future after two firings) and after layering slip and images and convoluted ideas of culture and time subtly onto a form and all the chemical calculations and mixings and heating and fusing and turning to stone not just the clay but one’s efforts and ideals it is wise to forget the magnitude or triviality of what one is doing. You see, in reality it is just a little creation that only perhaps the maker can fathom- a pot nothing more, nothing less and in so just as it should be. After all this one could do worse that to go and see a concert or play, another expression of another idea that too is just as important or trivial as we make it. In my world, the importance of art is great. Art is an opera, a novel, a dress, an espresso, a papier-mache dragon, a bowl, a skyscraper- all part of the same idea. What is art in your world?

Here is what Dan has to say about his writing:

“I write slowly, painstakingly so. I edit endlessly, which doesn’t help make it any speedier.

I believe creative people act like sponges – they ingest everything around them all the time and debate, dissect, contemplate, analyze and then figure out exactly how and why it makes them tick. I know this for myself, at least. Every now and then, the sponge gets wrung out, and all their “takes” on all of this data they’ve absorbed get regurgitated back into the world.I try to always have something on the go, even if it’s not much. I also try not to freak out in dryer times. I try to trust that in time, more will come. I try to listen to the world. I try to be open to new ideas about the world. I try to not assume that I’m right. I try to continue to surround myself with interesting experiences, which will, in turn, spur on new creative ideas. I try to listen to good music, watch good films, read good books and go see some theatre or visual art as often as possible.

Whatever art one is making is everything they’ve accumulated to at that moment – it is important at that moment, and if it’s truly insightful, it will be important for a long time.

The death of a good artist is assuming that they’ve figured it out, or that they’re as good as it gets. I believe that the maintenance of a good artist is assuming they know very little – to continually reinvest in their hunger to grow, evolve and improve in their ability to understand the world.”

Here are three videos that exemplify just how adaptable and expressive Dan is.

Playlist: I love music and it consequently is in my potting life. It enhances the studio all the time and therefore my process. It is a bit of my life I would like to share. So I will post up an MP3 from the week, links concerning the band, and a personal review of the album. Likewise with the other review categories.

Remember that all links are ini grey text!

Playlist: Ramblin’ Man & Vinicius

Sometimes in the studio you just need the good old standards to urge you to stay put. Sometimes you need the some new goodies to keep you light on your foot…

I sat down to write a letter and instead found myself describing some pots and a song….

‎…just got back from my radio show and it took a turn for the twang. The whole wintery snowflake filled walk home I’ve had Hank William’s “Rambling’ Man” in my head. In truth, I may have had that song stuck in my head for the last ten yea…rs. Or not stuck in my head per say, just vibrating lightly in my bones at once both the remnants of our communal yesteryear and a cue for the rest of all time ‘s passing. It is haunting and perfect. I am tempted to just play in over and over as I lay to sleep each night and wake each morn. Now, that surely sounds a trifle obsessive but, it is not. I feel like that recording is part of me and of every man. Similar to the feeling of universal understanding on a molecular level that some Neolithic pots evoke. Have you ever encounter one of these things? They strike a stand of DNA and cause a resounding hum, set a helix spinning in a slow endless whirl, like the earth’s endless orbiting of the sun, something beyond time. A resonating ethereal twinge left from when we were all nomads, translated to song.

Playlist: I love music and it consequently is in my potting life. It enhances the studio all the time and therefore my process. It is a bit of my life I would like to share. So I will post up links concerning a band, and a personal review of an album.

Playlist: Chin Up Chin Up

Chin Up Chin Up

“Look beyond the steely skyscrapers jutting into Chicago’s grey sky, past the potholed streets and shadowed alleys, and you might be able to find something beautiful in this scuffed-up metropolis. Something like a cornflower pushing through a cracked sidewalk, struggling its way toward sunshine. Or the sun glinting off choppy lake waves at dusk. Or the sounds of Chin Up Chin Up, whose disarmingly resonant debut album We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers is ready to carry you through autumn and beyond”

Just what I need back in the city ready for the everyday glints of beauty!

Playlist: Canned Heat (The Road Home)

Canned heat and the curvy BC biway? Yes please.

This week Mangoland (my indie rock show) is a good’n you are bound to enjoy. The theme is The Road Home It features Canned Heat (below), Johnny Cash, Old Crow Medicine Show, Led Zeppelin , Ash Grunwald, Amy Milan and Nouvelle Vague to name a few! Download it here. I am home and ready to get back into the studio after the long drive from the flat expanse that is the boreal forest to the staggering peaks of the Rockies and Selkirks I am happy to say the road home was a delightful journey.  Now I have all the joys and tribulations of civilization and the life of a studio potter to contend with. This year will be a ride onto itself!