Wednesday, January 30, 2013

pop video ideas

i was driving around in the car yesterday listening to the radio and "since u been gone" by kelly clarkson came on. naturally, i turned it up really loud because i love that song. i don't know why, but every time i hear that song on the radio i feel good. i'm not joking when i say that i sometimes get goose bumps from it. as this was happening i started to wonder why that is, why of all dumb pop songs, it's that one. is it because there is a weird feedback-y part of it? is there feedback and distorted guitar and big stupid drums in other kelly clarkson songs? i was wondering if when i was younger listening to a lot of aggressive and loud music that some of those sounds got imprinted on my brain and then when kelly clarkson's "since u been gone" co-opted some of those sounds it triggered some endorphin explosion in my spine. when i got home i looked up that video on youtube and... it sucked. i hate that video. it might have ruined the song for me. i won't even link to it on this blog. i realized the magic was in my head and when it took a visual form, it sucked the wind out. you can tell she's faking it, man. and at the end she steals a dumb hat and uses it as a disguise? what a drag. if i had made that video it would have just been slow motion footage of someone stepping on a hamburger and slipping on it, all the ingredients squirting out onto a squirrel's face. or one of those wrecking balls smashing into a building but instead of  a wrecking ball it is a cleverly camouflaged water balloon filled with turquoise paint that explodes into somebody's window, also in slow motion. or simply a dog running in a field, wild and free. except the dog is wearing a top hat and a monocle. but now the kelly clarkson song is ruined for me. but feel free to hit me up for any music video direction needs you might have, as i am full of ideas, musicians (rich only).
here are some sketches of my video ideas in case you have trouble visualizing. maybe you could mke up a song that goes with one of them? perfect.

in brighter news, i am excited for the new devendra banhart record that is coming out because i really like the song below. i also appreciate that the video is just  a picture of a painting. i am a fan of this song and the notes and words used within it.
i am working on some new drawings and i will resume putting pictures of things up here soon after i stop having music thoughts. thank you.

Monday, January 28, 2013

imagined anthems

late last year i worked on the artwork for volume five an ongoing series of compilations of guitar music for the Tompkins Square label. i had freedom to do pretty much whatever i wanted so i did a little photo session in the side yard and then drew some letters and symbols to put on top of the photos. i made the frame from an illustration in a really old book of sheet music. the symbols are based on some images from a chart of hobo symbols from the early part of the century and some of them are made up. that is my girlfriend katie's hand. i tried to use mine but it was too wrinkly and weird. i was going to make all the lettering and writing a metallic gold color, but after a freak out at the printer we decided to keep it simple and go black and white, which i think looks way better anyway. i wanted it to look like it came from the 1870s and the 1970s at the same time. if you see this cd at your store, pick it up because it has some beautiful and messed up guitar music on it. and it is good to have physical things sometimes. below are some images from the packaging, minus liner notes (which are great) and the tracklist but that is easy enough to find if you are looking at this because that means you are on a computer and have the ability to look things like that up. take a look at these things then carry on with your business. 
sometimes you gotta make the things you wanna see. 
i wish i had a poster of this photo with the writing on it, all tattered and on it's way to dust.
this is like, the third best thing i've ever done, this picture.
"you will get cussed out here"
i made this one up but let's say it means "i left you a weird blanket under the porch where the dog lives"

Sunday, January 27, 2013


my friend maggie and i drove to columbus, ohio on friday night to go see bonnie "prince" billy play music.  i'm sure i have mentioned that i recently read "will oldham on bonnie prince billy", the book length interview he did with alan licht that i found very inspiring and soothing. so this was prime time. you know there can be this month-long window when you are really tapping into somebody's songs and that's when you want to see them. and that's what was happening. we ate a bunch of pizza to carb-load for standing around. and i must say that it was incredible. all my jams were played. mr. oldham was in fine spirits, a positive energy was radiated. his cohorts (2) were sympathetic and confident. you know what? this guy knows what's up. he's sending it out and feeling it all at the same time. i want you to share this with me but i am unsure if that is possible. it could be anybody, but at this moment it was bonny billy.

i am just into people taking these things seriously and allowing themselves to feel it. i don't want you to half-ass it, man. i am  a grown man with grown man needs and those needs are to cut the shit and get down to it and show me what it is to be a human in your brain and how does that relate to my brain and body and if that clicks, that's what it is for.

videos are cool but they aren't the same as being i na room with other people. it's a representation, the map is not the territory. maybe you really should start that band or paint that picture or write that book because one day you will be almost dead and you will wish you would have. but don't forget to have fun and laugh at stupid things, because that is what it is all about too.

Friday, January 25, 2013

minutes from the most recent meeting of the national association of moments etcetera

 if you've never experienced luxury, i highly recommend it. it is simply superb.
curb alert: headless armless mannequins

 julius, bright and dark
 i know someone who is a legitimate sandwich artist
 going big
if you knew how awesome this lady is, you would freak.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

frasconi died

we lost a good one a couple weeks ago.
read this: link
i was first shown a frasconi book by a printmaking teacher during a woodcut class. it was the first time i'd seen some work that i connected with in school, at least on a deeper level, and in a way that made me feel that i could do something like that and be happy. through the years he has been a constant touchstone for me and probably the book i've opened the most of all my books. he did things with the wood grain and could draw suns, birds, letters, nets, boats, everything like no other on earth.
he did so many things: prints, books, illustrations, posters, but my favorites have always been his woodcuts of migrating birds. (i am still looking for a good print of one, but i have been sniped on ebay  more than a few times. if anybody has a woodcut they want to sell me, call me.):

i have written about him before, but do yourself a favor and get into it. 
his prints will make your life better.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

hello 2013

hey it's the middle of january, you know what that means:

it's time for a new calendar
 this time we are getting into the right headspace
 we are doing this by putting black and silvery metallic ink on 100 pieces of white paper

 we are doing this by keeping track of the days and looking forward to awesomeness and back with fondness
we are doing this with a new calendar, at the shoppe
 also we are doing this with a tee shirt
 a shirt that you will fill with total awareness and magnificence (yourself)
 follow georgie's example by getting rad with yourself
also available in combo pack. all in the shoppe.
thank you for looking at this. thank you for the support and inspiration.

juke box baby

i have been listening to a lot of music lately but something seems different. i have been drawn to some things i listened to a lot when i was younger with some new old ears. it feels good. these are those things.

i recently found a cassette tape of this at a garage sale. i also recently bought a car that has a cassette tape player in it and i have driven around in the snow listening to this song. the first time i heard this song it was snowing and i was driving to the dentist and i think i was 19. that is a nice memory and i think this song sums up a certain part of my heart and brain in a perfect way. i went to a beck concert in  indianapolis in 1993 with my friend aaron and trumans water and karp opened up.  i remember thinking his bass player was gg allin but it was, in fact, not gg allin. i was much too young to understand what was happening.

i love this song and this record so much and in so many different ways it hurts. this has probably had too much influence on my life than it should. major moments were had to this soundtrack in england, indiana, and oakland. i am very into subjective personal importance. let's talk about it sometime.

just recently got this, but if this was a piece of food it would be burnt wheat toast with strawberry jam. i love it because it's almost terrible but it is actually magnificent. that is the best kind of thing.

i bought this cd before i knew who daniel johnston was and i barely knew who mo tucker was. this is very beautiful and it has been nice to forget about it then rediscover that it exists. postive vibes, man, we need them.

Monday, January 14, 2013

a looking cup

just a thing from a dream that would be cool as a sculpture or a puppet. 
i am finding myself newly inspired and eye-opened after attending the show "riffing myself" by joel hodgson. he created Mystery Science Theater 3000 and his show is about him as a kid, doing magic, doing stand-up, his family, and the creation of that tv show he is most famous for. i've been in touch with  joel a little bit over the past few weeks and he invited me up to chicago to check out his performance. we hung out and talked and he included some of my fliers in the beginning of the show as sort of an opening act and i gotta say, it really blew my mind to see those things in a live show context. a new light shown down in my brain and windows of possibility have had their curtains opened. aside from that, joel's show is really really inspiring in the way that art should be. if he comes to your town you should go and get stoked and inspired and laugh until you almost barf, which i did. not barf, but almost, like really close. that puppet stuff always gets me. so consider this an endorsement: go to joel hodgson's show, look at the youtube videos, watch those episodes of MST3K because all that stuff is great.

Friday, January 11, 2013

2012 reviewed : books

i read a lot of books in 2012 but it's hard for me to remember what exactly because i don't write these things down. i will change that in 2013. i want to remember these things, like my grandmother who used to write down every bird she saw every year. it was her bird blog but it was on her pantry door.
anyway her'es my top three i can remember from 2012;
i really enjoy just about everything this guy writes, but this one really got into the real deal for me. i got it from the library initially but i have since bought my own copy so i can reread it a couple more times. i would never call myself religious or an atheist, but you don't have to be to get into this book. i suggest it for people who are interested in figuring out a meaningful way to live in the world. and what a cover!

i've been into will oldham for a long time just like everybody else but he has always seemed like an aloof asshole. i'm not sure why because i've only ever had maybe one half-interaction with him and he seemed nice enough. that's my fault, i guess. sorry, will oldham. this book is a long form interview about records and being a person who makes things. it's not about him as a celebrity or anything like that. it's more about the process of making music, how and why that is important, vibe setting, the feeling, the vibration and his experiences with those things. highly suggested for people who are making music, drawings, food, whatever. reading this will also make you think you need LP versions of every album this dude has recorded which is not a bad thing. i appreciate it when people talk about the act and process of making things like it's an important thing, which it is.

this came out a long time ago but i have never read it until now. steinbeck cruises around with his poodle and a trailer and has some good conversations, gets lonely, feels like an asshole, gets reflective and sees some of america and doesn't get all romantic and corny about it. or at least not in a bad way because that all gets thrown out the window on day three of a cross country drive, which i did a couple times this year. i felt inspired and alive after reading this book in a nice chopping wood sort of way. you should probably check this out again. remember when i used to be freaked out by poodles, i'm not anymore and this book clinched it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

these are the people in your neighborhood

this is my grandmother and she is one of my favorite people to be around. here we are at the mall cracking on fools. she loves the mall so that's where we go.
 whatever, dog in a bed. but look in the background. that's katie's weird cat that pops up everywhere lurking in the background. it reminds me of the famous "three men and a baby" ghost. look it up, ghosts are real!
 this record is so good and i believe one of the finest works by a human on earth. put it on when you are cooking some pasta or generally down on things and it will make that water boil and show you the light. 
 let julius here be an inspiration to us all. really want something? just put your face in it.
 have you ever seen a more stoked baby? he is pumped on himself. like we all should be, right?
 what's up, ducks. i'm going to give you some corn.
we here at crooked arm HQ wish you a 2013 full of good vibes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

one man mental band

there is no better way to pass time in the winter than looping in the basement. in the spirit of openness, movement, and rhythm i offer this combination of strummed strings and sung words. let us call it "run run to a loving one one" let's thaw out and get down to it, my sweet people. i can't wait for spring or at least no snow. then it will get real. right?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

bh comix

i am making a new year 2013 resolution to be reinvigorated about this blog. i slacked off for a while and it feels un-good. so look forward to more of this crud above. poetry!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

randy thoughts

i have been thinking about randy newman the past couple days. 
i think it's something we should all do every now and then.
how great is this record cover? it's really great.

i wish it was still the early 70s and i could turn on the tv and see both the host of this show talking to me like a normal human and then young randy newman dropping bombs. i'm glad that at the very beginning of this video there is a snippet of jim morrison and the doors. anyone who knows me knows i hate the doors. they are terrible. (except for that song "peace frog" which is pretty good) there are two types of people in this world: jims and randys. ok, that is not true, but if that was true, i would choose  to be a randy. 
check out this shirt i designed and i'm going to sell out of a duffel bag outside the next randy newman concert that happens. this guy loves it. i'm not even going to sell it, i'm going to give it away because if you at that randy newman show you are alright with me, so take a shirt. also on deck is a shirt with jerry seinfeld yelling "newman!" but instead of the television sitcom character it's randy newman sitting at the piano. this will be one of those all-over hologram print t-shirts. that one is for the kids.