Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Music for Art: Pilgrimage

The process for my current series of paintings and drawings has included commissioning three of my favorite ambient musicians to score the as-yet-to-be-determined exhibition. These four movements are their generous contributions. I'm honored to work with such talented musicians. They created these works in New York, Brazil, and Italy - all to musically describe a "pilgrimage". I intend to have these sounds playing in the space that the work will be shown in and as an accompaniment to the book and/or catalog. Enjoy. My sincerest thanks to Black Swan, Gimu, and the Volume Settings Folder.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Favorites of the Year: 2012

These are my favorite albums and eps of the year:

1. Sharon Van Etten, "Tramp"
  • An incredible album from start to finish - very strong and sharp lyrically. We had the pleasure of seeing her in Boulder earlier this year (video from that show above) and she was excellent. I really can't recommend this album enough. Interestingly, she toured with War on Drugs in the past (my favorite album of last year), and will be on tour with Nick Cave this spring. 

2.St. Vincent, "Krokodil" 7"
  • This two song Record Store Day 7" record was a thrilling surprise from St. Vincent. Well, it was was somewhat of a surprise - there were videos of her melting faces by covering the Big Black tune, "Kerosene" before the seven inch - but I still did not expect the heaviness of these two tracks. It is likely that fans of her earlier, sweeter albums may not be as excited about these metal-leaning developments but I love it. I think I also put this record so high on my list because of how much fun I've had collecting vinyl this year - and this was a special Record Store Day purchase.

3. Damien Jurado, "Maraqopa"
  • I've listened to his music with varying interest for upwards of a decade now. Many of his previous records are melancholic, but this one and the last one stand out because they are more upbeat. He is working with Richard Swift on this album -who also does really great solo records, played with Starflyer 59, produced the new Jessie Baylin, and is currently with the Shins. At Jurado's concert in Denver earlier this year (reviewed here), he closed the show by saying, "“I’m moving on. I’m turning a new leaf. I like playing these acoustic songs and all but I don’t want to be sad anymore." That was a surprising and refreshing thing to hear from Jurado - and it was evident in the fact that he played very few songs from his previous records. After listening to "Museum of Flight" (hear it above), I pre-ordered the album and I've listened to it consistently all year.

4.Jessie Baylin, "Little Spark"
  • Another album produced by Richard Swift (see above) -a fun 60s-ish pop record. These are well written and sincere songs.

5.Frank Ocean, "channel Orange"
  • Yeah, this is a pretty mainstream album (recently: six Grammy nominations for Ocean), but the good songs on this album are emotionally intense and dynamic. I think it would be a lot better album as a whole if he had left off all of the filler skits - whittle it down to ten strong tracks and this would be a really solid record. Check out the great Bennie and the Jets piano bounce on "Super Rich Kids" above.
6.David Byrne & St. Vincent, "Love this Giant"
  • St. Vincent's second time on my shortlist - this time with David Byrne (Talking Heads). "Love this Giant" is a really energetic and rhythmic album full of colorful horn sections.
7.Grimes, "Visions"
  • Synth, pop, pixie-like vocals and a touch of Enya's atmosphere - there's been plenty said about Grimes this year, so I'll keep it short.
8.Purity Ring, "Shrines"
  • I don't know how much I'll listen to this album a few years from now (I'm also looking at you Sleigh Bells) -but right now it sounds pretty great. I'm excited about all of the music Purity Ring seems to be inspring as well.
9. A$AP Rocky, "Live Love A$AP" mixtape
  • Not every track on this mixtape works, but there are a few killer tunes -especially the ones with Clams Casino beats.
10. JD McPherson, "Signs and Signifiers"
  • Excellent retro Rock N' Roll - super fun.
Worth mentioning:
  • Perfume Genius, "Put Your Back N 2 It" 
  • Missy Elliott put finally put out two new tracks - but they're not her best
  • Haim
  • Pontiak, "Echo Ono"
  • First Aid Kit
  • Andy Stott

1. Black Swan, "Aeterna", "Heaven" - I'm so happy to have my art on the cover of this great music
2. Biosphere, "L'incoronazione di Poppea"
3. M. Sage, "Chautauqua", "Into the World" EP, "Lux Collapsing"
4. Gimu, "A Silent Stroll on Sombre St."
5. Brambles, "Charcoal"
6. 36, "Lithea"
7. Jacaszek, "Glimmer"
8. Guilty Ghosts, "Veils" (a couple of vocal tracks)
9. Caretaker, "Patience (after Sebald)"
10. Journey of Mind, "Oil Burner"

Colorado Based bands/artists/performers I enjoyed this year:
Adam Cayton-Holland (comedy)
Jeffery Wentworth Stevens/Morriconez +George and Caplin
M. Sage
Tollund Men
Perry Weissman 3
The Babysitters
The Congress

Tracks: here's a playlist of some of my favorite tracks from 2012 - you can stream the whole mix:

Some of the best live shows I saw this year:
Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten, Damien Jurado, Murder by Death, Crushed Out

Favorites from 2011, 2010, 2009 , and 2008.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012


Andrew Speer, "Confluence,"at Pattern Shop Studio, opening First Friday December 7th.

and in Fort Collins:

more info here and the Patient Sounds website - M. Sage has been one of my favorite ambient musicians of late, so this is highly recommended.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Work by CT Nelson

CT Nelson, "Yesterday is Tomorrowland", Oil on Canvas, 48x60"

Excellent new work by my friend and neighbor CT. It reminded me of the "Light of God" from an interesting article on art and drone technology:

The Light of God

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Wind-down

An atmospheric mix of "trap"/remix, and sampled r&b tunes with a touch of chillwave - music Enya might listen to if she was into Lil Wayne. Lots of tunes by Purity Ring. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Wind-down

Mellow shoe-gaze influenced rock - for fans of Atlas Sound and some of the quieter sides of Lower Dens and Real Estate.

Finnish musician Olli Aarni's new album of "decayed pop tunes" (Avant Archive). Strange and familiar at the same time. While less song-based and more instrumental - his last album on this label was exceptional. Recommended.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Print

This is a proof I made last week - keep an eye out for variations of this and other new prints on etsy soon.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday Wind-down

Shamantis - nice electronic ambient- synthy and spaced out -you can listen and/or download the whole album for free.

Keeping with the very minimal theme - enjoy this very spare neo-classical album by Endless Melancholy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Photo of the Day: Clyfford Still

detail of a Clyfford Still painting at the museum

Choral tape loop

sampled from slowed down home recordings on 78s and a field recording from St. John's in Denver

Monday, November 19, 2012

From the collection: Ravi Zupa

Two Ravi Zupa small works we have in our collection. 

Three by Ben Kehoe

Spiritual Reconnaissance
"Spiritual Reconnaissance" by Ben Kehoe

An Element Unprepared For
"An Element Unprepared For" by Ben Kehoe

So Long Ramshackle Security
"So Long Ramshackle Security" by Ben Kehoe

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Wind-down

A very patient, calm, hazy composition made up of tape loops by M.Mucci. As the reviewer at scrapyard forecast writes, "The work washes bleary melodies and lush textures over the listener, while ebbing, flowing, and changing almost without notice over an hour." 

The Volume Settings Folder takes the listener on a journey with Ivan Hoe and Other Tales. 

and for something a bit more conventional - here's a new Bobby Womack song - old soul with a modern spin.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


 Brancusi at the Philadelphia Ar Museum (photo by me)
Sleeping muse — Brancusi — 1908 (photo by me)
Robert Longo, Untitled (After C.B.), 2006. Graphite on paper.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Skyfall Art

The new James Bond film, Skyfall was probably the best Bond film I've seen in a long time. It was fun, self-conscious about it's own Bond movie conventions (with lines like, "somebody usually dies"), and probably more more beautifully filmed than any Bond film in recent memory. The dramatic lighting of the final showdown reminded me of some of the incredible shots in Apocalypse Now. For that matter - they also reminded me of Turner's paintings. This painting "The Fighting Temeraire" by J.M.W. Turner makes an appearance in the Skyfall scene pictured above:

There's also an incredible Friedrich-esque Scottish landscape in the film:

Caspar David Friedrich, "Evening Landscape with Two Men", 1830

My own photo of the Scottish highlands from August, 2012:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Colorado Wolverine

M56, the juvenile wolverine tagged in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo., in April of 2009 and believed to have walked to Colorado soon after, still is ranging in Northern Colorado. Here he eyes a photographer on April 22, 2012 near Guanella Pass. (Cameron Miller, special to The Denver Post - follow link to see more of his work and support this photographer)

This morning's Denver Post has an interesting article about the first wolverine seen in Colorado for 90 years - called M56. According to the article at the Post, only 250 wolverines are estimated to exist in the lower 48 states. There are talks of re-introduction of the species into Colorado - with hold ups from various "shareholders" (skiing, mining, etc). Like many people, I love a good underdog or lone-wolf story - I think that's part of the lure of the West. In 2008 I wrote about a possible wolf in Rocky Mountain National Park and this story of M56 closely relates - both in the rarity of the species in Colorado and the talk of possible re-introduction. For more information, check out the Wolverine Blog.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues

New Print

I've been experimenting with dry-point etchings with my drawing class. This is my first go of it - 4x6" image size - based on a painting I made earlier this year. You can buy one from the small edition at my Etsy shop for $25 with shipping in the US.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A few more from Ravi Zupa

Ravi Zupa's show at Black Book Gallery right now is excellent - don't miss it. If you are in Denver, you need to see this show. 

Ravi Zupa | Kitchen Stuff | Watercolor, colored ink, colored pencil, India ink, graphite, silkscreen, collaged paper, etching and traffic cone relief printing on wood panel | 24 x 32 Inches

Ravi Zupa | Feed, Stifle | Watercolor, colored ink, colored pencil, India ink, graphite, silkscreen, collaged paper, etching and traffic cone relief printing on wood panel | 24 x 32 Inches

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Wind-Down

Winding down seems especially relevant post-election. These picks are all over the board - starting with Tollund Men who do very grainy noise rock - from Denver.

Yume uses a great sample from Cassie's "Me&U" for this chilled out single (free download)

and lastly - Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" re-composed by Max Richter

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Painting of the Day: Matthijs Maris

Matthijs Maris, Head of a Girl, 1888, Oil on Canvas (at the Philadelphia Museum of Art - photo by me)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Seeing someone you don't know... again

Skip to 1:24 :

“Have you ever seen somebody that you don’t know, again? You know, like someone who’s a total stranger but they keep popping up once and a while? Like God is running out of extras in the movie of your life or something? Starting to reuse people.” - Louis C.K.

This keeps happening to me.


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