Monday, December 26, 2011

Favorites of the Year: 2011

These are my favorite albums and eps of the year:



1.The War on Drugs, "Slave Ambient"
  • The perfect road trip album. It flows together so naturally- without seeming monochromatic. "Slave Ambient" has real staying power - I imagine I will be playing this album many years from now.


2.Timber Timbre "Creep on Creepin' On"

  • Similar to "Slave Ambient", this album has very well considered transitions from track to track - making a re-listenable, cohesive album overall. A bit of a nod to Nick Cave - but less sinister. It seems like this album did not get the recognition it deserved on other lists this year.


3.Kurt Vile, "Smoke Ring for my Halo"
  • Similar in tone to the War on Drugs (his former band), but a little more laid back. Great lyrics too.


4.James Blake (self titled)
  • Tracks like, "The Wilhelm Scream" are really exceptional, but as an entire album there are tracks that don't grab me in the same way. If I were to make this list in June this year I would have put this at the top, but I've listened to it a bit less over time.
5.Blood Orange, "Coastal Grooves"
  • Chilled out with a bit of an 80s vibe, but still upbeat and even danceable.
6.Julianna Barwick, "The Magic Place"
  • A beautiful layered choral work. Really exceptional.
7.Dirty Beaches, "Badlands" + "Lone Runner"
  • Music for a dimly lit smokey bar in a black and white movie.
8.Pontiak, "Comecrudos" (ep)
  • "Part III" has become our new mountain-driving anthem. Listen below -the first track on my favorite tracks of the year mix.
9.Handsome Furs, "Sound Kapital"
  • A great album to sing along to.
10. M83, "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming"
  • A huge electronically based double album with all kinds of ups and downs. Some songs are pumped up and dancey (as in "hurry up"), others more dreamlike (also like the title of the album implies). Looking forward to their live show in the Spring of 2012.
11. Wye Oak, "Civilian"
  • Definitely one of the best live shows I saw this year.
12. St. Vincent, "Strange Mercy"
  • Edgier and more tense than her previous albums - and much more memorable to me.
13. Austra, "Feel it Break"
  • Very confident and composed performers whose voices are just as powerful live as they are on the album.
14. Jjango Cleefworth Morriconez/Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens, The Poquito Pioneer ep + Highway Driveway ep
  • Two projects by the same Denver-based guy- Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens, who is now going by just Morriconez - sounds like (as he recently put it), "a cloud of dust rollin' across the desert." Looking forward to a full-length in 2012. In the mean time you can get these on bandcamp from the artist for free.
15. Idiot Wind, ep
  • Exceptional singer-songwriter music from Sweden.
Worth mentioning:
  • PJ Harvey, "Let England Shake" (I was late to this one- it's still sinking in)
  • Hard Mix, "Defaults"
  • Chrysta Bell, "This Train" (produced by David Lynch and much better than his own disappointing release this year)
  • Die Jungen, "$", "As Long as You Want", "Just a Dream" eps
  • Liturgy, "Aesthetica"


Wordless/Instrumental:


1. A Winged Victory for the Sullen (self titled)
2. Dustin O'Halloran, "Lumiere"
3. Caretaker, "An Empty Bliss Beyond This World"
4. Black Eagle Child, "Pages on a Plane" + "Lobelia" (you can find my artwork on the "Pages on a Plane" LP)
5. Black Swan, "The Quiet Divide"
6. Field Rotation, "Acoustic Tales"
7. Christina Vantzou, "No. 1"
8. Johann Johannsson, "The Miner's Hymns"
9. Aria Rostami, "Form"
10. Ryonkt, "North Small Town"

Worth Mentioning:
  • Stag Hare, "Spirit Canoes"

Colorado Based bands/artists/performers I enjoyed this year:
Adam Cayton-Holland (comedy)
Jeffery Wentworth Stevens/Morriconez +George and Caplin
Bonnie Gregory/The Horse Latitudes
Candy Claws

Tracks:


Some of the best live shows I saw this year:
Arcade Fire, The War on Drugs, Lovers, Givers, Horse Latitudes, Liturgy, Wye Oak, Dressy Bessy/the Babysitters, Hedia, Adam Cayton-Holland, and Anthony Jeselnik.

My favorite movies of the year:
1. Another Earth
2. Martha Marcy May Marlene
3. Drive
4. Melancholia
5. Tree of Life

Favorites from 2010, 2009 , and 2008.

Friday, December 16, 2011

New music by Ryonkt - album art by me





This new ambient guitar track by ryonkt features a photo as the album art by me. I've been listening to his very soft ambient music since first posting it as a part of my "music for your studio" a couple years ago, so I'm excited to be a small part of it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Two film photos from Rome


Last year at this time, I was finishing up the semester (as I am now) and getting ready for our trip to Rome. Here's a couple of film photos I took while there with my plastic Diana camera.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Painting for Benefit

"Sleeping Elk", Acrylic on Canvas, 11x14", 2011
To be auctioned for Colorado Gives Day tomorrow, December 6th, to benefit Firefly Autism. I will post a link when available. My first elk painting after 5 years in Colorado!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Clyfford Still Museum



This late 1970s work by Clyfford Still was my favorite at the now open Clyfford Still Museum in Denver. The museum is a great addition to the arts here in Denver.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Parking Lot Modern Art

above: Joseph Albers
below: Ikea parking lot (photo by me)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Small Works


Both small paintings are untitled, acrylic on paper - 5x7" - finished this week.

Hike

We took a relatively short hike near Indian Hills / Morrison on Sunday. Great view of Denver from there:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wednesday in Cheesman Park

Recent Inspiration and Denver Updates

My posting has been a lot more sporadic lately, but those of you still checking in should know I haven't abandoned this blog. I'm working on a lot of new paintings (5 in progress right now), preparing for a new job and in general, just juggling my usual balance (or imbalance) of work and art.

My good friend Bill Amundson will be giving a talk at Plus Gallery tomorrow night, November 4th - don't miss it. The talk is at 7, and will definitely be crowded, so I might recommend coming a little and enjoying some beverages sponsored by Colorado Cider Company. It will be entertaining for sure. To prep yourself, check out his recent Untitled Art Show podcast.


Also, this Saturday is Night at the Museums with many local museums participating in free special events and extended hours.

As for recent inspiration:

Kubrick films (recently enjoying the Killing from 1956):

Caspar David Friedrich-esque paintings by Seamus Conley:

"Dusty" 2011 36x60 oil on canvas

Abstraction by Thomas Nozkowski, Zak Prekop (pictured below), Keltie Ferris (of course) and the recent exhibition of Motherwell paintings at the Denver Art Museum.


I've been playing the beautiful choral music of Juliana Barwick in my studio a lot lately:



If that wasn't enough - here's a new mix you can stream;

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sergej Jensen




Recent works by Sergej Jensen - very inspiring lately. See more here and here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spaced Out

There seems to be a real outer-space trend in movies and music lately:


Other Lives, "For 12"


Wolf Parade, "Yulia"


Another Earth


Melancholia


Tree of Life

Denver Nature and Sciene Museum



I took these photos on Monday at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Recent inspiration

Autumn in Colorado.
sono09-field-rec-wrks-025
Field recording.


The music of Arvo Pärt

The Island (2006) directed by Pavel Lungin

"Into Great Silence" by Philip Gröning, 2005 - a documentary about Carthusian monks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Idiot Wind



I just received the Idiot Wind ep in the mail today from Sweden after being told about her music by MoonRiver. I think you will agree that this music is something special.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fern Falls - Photo of the Day

We hiked in the rain up to Fern Falls (pictured) yesterday in Rocky Mountain National Park .

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Photo from Today

I took this from Trial Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park this afternoon. It was a cold afternoon up above tree-line.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Found Photo


Also picked up this little gem at the flea market this weekend - hand tinted.

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