“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!
Christmas time comes with a lot of baggage for us all. It certainly comes with some for Sufjan Stevens, an amazing artist I’ve admired for quite sometime. I think the hardest thing in the world might be to write a Christmas Carol that won’t drive the masses to insanity when played over and over in malls and commercial enterprises. You see Sufjan is a Christian man who has horrid memories of Christmas, thus he started making a cd a year for his family instead of being present himself. In 2006 a 5 cd pack of Christmas music was release under Asthmatic Kitty Records, those very cd’s for his family from the last five years. The albums include Christmas classics with banjo and new tempos and new songs with myriads of witty and angelic lyrics. Sufjan is genius and is guaranteed to make any Christmas brighter with these, even if it is through blunt truth.
For my Indie contemporaries
I know my last playlist posts have been pretty twangy, and while there is a great amount of twang in me there is an equal amount of grunge, dance mixes, jazz and classical throwdowns. Belle and Sebastian are a superb group. They hale from Scotland and their allegorical pop songs are on my stereo more than most. They are also a band that I feel has embraced the fading art of the album cover. Something I lament greatly.
Check then out: http://www.belleandsebastian.com/
Who wants to go see them on October 20 in Seattle, WA with me??? Just say the word!
These boys sound like home.
The album up for verbal glory on me blog this time around is: Tennessee Pusher (Nettwerk Records). Old Crow Medicine Show released it in 2008 and where as my most favorite song of theirs, Wagon Wheel , is on another album (O.C.M.S., album cover pictured above) Tennessee Pusher is a more cohesive album. It has it all and all of it is in the right order. They start off rocking, take it down a notch, then give you some steam to keep the smooth train running and leave you on a good note (Caroline then end track, a great song if I’ve ever heard one). The album talks about hardships and good times in america hinterlands. They write about life and sing their songs to save their lives with all the passion they’ve got. Methamphetamine is probably my favorite track on the album and as the name implies isn’t any fluffy pop song- “It is going to rock you like a hurricane”.
And in the name of the folk heros never pass a chance up to see them live! Now there would be a show to remember! I mean for Leadbelly’s sake, they have TWO BANJO PLAYERS! Oh, the harmonica. Oh the harmonica!
Check em’ out at their website!
I was at the Old Bus Depo Market on Sunday here in Canberra and bought some wonderful pizza crust then made a great pizza later that night…
More importantly I bought a new CD from a busker on a whim… A very informed whim, this guy is brilliant! If my I Pod had not been stolen and my I-touch lost I would be able to listen to him via headphones. He makes great studio music! Sword and Shield, his latest album is full of creative and surf feel blues tacks. The first track on the disc, Running On, sets the feel for the whole album complete with upbeat whistling and cryptic one liners. “Sometimes life pushes you down until you’re on all fours”. Right you are Kim, right you are.
Music in the studio is so important. I was just visiting the Australian potter Greg Daily’s studio and he said “The most important thing in a studio is a good sound system”! A man after my own heart. Many studios have regulations when it comes to who plays what where. I wish all studios were understanding enough to play music through speakers and not just head phones, but there is a place and time and all with in the studio need to be understanding. I think the majority would like Kim.
P.S. Ipod recovered! I left it in a friend’s car the way to EPIC markets two Saturdays past! It is especially special since it was a gift from my mother and in the back she had engraved…
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.
To go along with this audio here is a picture of me gathering blueberries up north on a rainy foggy day.I work as a fire tower observer for Albert Forestry in Canada on a seasonal basis and a foggy day means a day off. To see pictures of my job visit my personal flickr site.
Swell Season consists of Glen Hansard (a humorous cute Irishman) & Marketa Irglova (A Czechoslovakian with an angelic voice). You may not have heard of them for their band but you may recognize them from the movie Once. Where they play very similar characters to who they really are. Their new album Strict Joy is sweet and powerfulTheir stories are laden with melodious fiddle, fierce guitar and exquisite piano- not to forget the pipes on these two, their voices are remarkable. It is great to hear them creating new music, new enough to intrigue and reminiscent enough to comfort.
Check it out http://www.theswellseason.com/
I got to see these two live at the Sydney Opera house and there is a very accurate review posted on Time Out Sydney http://www.timeoutsydney.com.au/music/event/14136/the-swell-season.aspxy just incase you want more of an eloquent account of the effect these two performers have had here in Oz.
I like to micro manage. I would be a librarian if I wasn’t a potter. Even more so I want this Blog to be interesting and entertaining. For that to happen it needs to be easy to read. To keep myself on spot and posting about a variety of things I think having some categories to post about will be the ticket. Here they are:
Techno-ology: Info on ceramics- definition, technique, history.
In the studio: Updates on studio work pictures and anecdotes posted up all about the secret life of potters, this one in particular.
Montage: A composition of the inspirations of the week. A purely graphic way of sharing snippets of influences.
Issue: Essay like post on a given topic related to ceramics, craft and art available for commenting on and exploration. Dialog in my ceramics discourse is so important and I am excited for the blogs potential in getting talk on the go.
Question: A one liner I want opinions on. ex) How frequently ought I post things up on the practicalpottery blog?
Artist: Other ceramic work featured, a bit about who else is doing what, links to their pages and work.
Porn: Pots I just can’t get enough of. This suggestion was given by my friend Benji when I asked what would keep him interested in my blog. Oddly enough he hit the nail on the head. Blogs need eye candy- appropriate organismically lush pots will be posted!
For the Foodies: Show recipe I’ve cooked in the week and the picture of person enjoying it with beautiful ceramics.
The Review: This section will be me reviewing a publication, exhibition or article.
Bone of Contention: Some times there are issues. Topics I can’t get off my mind. Things that go around and around with no resolve. Some times there are just fragments of things that I need to get out there. This will be the title they fall under.
Playlist: My thoughts on an Album I have been spinning around and around all week. I love music and it consequently in my potting life. It enhances the studio all the time and therefore me. 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.
Any other wants or needs? Please post up what you’d like to have me post up. Some of the categories listed above have been suggestions already. What do you want to read about?