Monday, June 25, 2012


For a 6.19.12 photo session for hotshot guitarist James "Apache" Hawkins. The client request was for a classic look, more like 1930s movies with William Powell rather than specifically like 1950s promo a la Chuck Berry. Through collaboration, we both achieved a fine combination of both.

Tech note: the "ghosting," an effect once manipulated in a darkroom by dodging and burning light is not PhotoShop TM, which
I eschew in favor of Lightroom TM anyway for all things photographically digital. It just appeared when I reduced the color saturation quite a bit to imitate 1930s black and white photographs hand-tinted into color images, and when I brought up the blues and greens a tad. I guess I really lit everything correctly, even unbeknownst to us both at the time...

Saturday, June 23, 2012


My friends Crickette and Barbara, some time in the 1970s. We all set up this anti-fashion shot in the non-swimming pool, which was made of Astro-turf in the courtyard of an apartment complex. As a model, Crickette should have been the next Jerry Hall or Marie Helvin. The above image is salvaged from a color Xerox TM.


Once upon a time in the 1980s I drew cartoon illustrations freelance for an insurance company. Above, the businesswoman clearly was over-multitasking, and below, he is in real trouble as he's just hit a teamster and a crazed commuter...
A skateboarding enthusiast excoriated the top drawing for once again blaming his sport unfairly. But this was a product of the 1980s. Today I would have portrayed the harried businesswoman texting while listening to her iPod then walking into a wall...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

JONNEINE ZAPATA intrigues...

In 1988 Brian Eno made an art installation for the Santa Monica Museum of Art that appeared to be white geometric shapes with Christmas tree-colored lights on them amidst a few very large white cubes, all in a darkened room. If that was all you took in at first gaze, that's all you saw. Most visitors left after a perplexed and befuddled minute or two.

However, fans of Eno's music and creative wit could predict there might be more to it. Elaine Drake and I looked around and then sat right down on the large art cubes, post-punks that we both were. Over time, all of the lights slowly changed colors and intensities on the various white cardboard shapes. Many of the subtle light changes turned out to be slow-motion projections from inconspicuous monitors. It was both a serene and stimulating art experience simultaneously.

The above is analogous to taking in singer/songwriter
JONNEINE ZAPATA in her solo artist mode, as Evita Corby, Electric Earl and I did June 18th earlier this week. The Southern California bred (but much traveled) artist eschewed her normal full band template for a residency at Club Los Globos accompanied by a single guitarist.
It was a performance of seemingly quiet intensity with pauses to underscore its strong emotions, just as in real life conversations about disturbing personal problems.

She's been compared to PJ Harvey for equaling her on the catharsis barometer, but if forced I'd hold out more for Martha Davis of The Motels, she of an equally beautiful albeit quite different voice. Like Zapata's admitted influence Nick Cave, there's always some uncomfortably dark truths beneath the outside beauty in both Davis and Zapata, puissant polish masking the interior voltage. Like the Eno art, serene but exciting.

Known for her unblinking thousand yard stare but aimed up close, personal and laser-like (see third photo down from top,) Jonneine becomes so utterly engrossed in her emotions onstage that audiences fall into the same zone like lost but compliantly pleased zombies. All this for a solo voice and single guitar wailing songs of love & dread that most club-goers have never
heard before. As Evita put it, "Jonneine owns the stage."

Video below with clearer sound than fan-shot ones that night...

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MARIJKE KOGER-DUNHAM career retrospective invite

You can take your Peters Max or Blake, your San Francisco nuvo-Art Nouveau Surrealists, this person was THE most influential
psychedelic artist of the 1960s:
Marijke Koger-Dunham.

Sez who? Well, at the time, The Beatles, for whom she developed their entire psychedelic visual oeuvre. And trend-setter-wise, The Beatles WERE the 1960s, much as Louis XIV observed "L'etat? C'est moi." ("I am the state.")

Used to dealing with free-spirits from their own art school years and from their "Savage Young Beatles'" daze performing in Hamburg, Germany, (wherein the local bohos instantaneously clamped onto them--such as Astrid Kirchherr photographing them, Klaus Voorman eventually designing the "Revolver" LP cover,) the Beatles commissioned Marijke and her three confreres, a fine art collective known as The Fool, to retool the former's overdone 'Fab Four' clean-cut look. "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and Apple Boutique with its amazing multi-story, hand-painted murals were but some of the iconic results.

Unlike other names from that era, Marijke has been painting and producing prints of spankin' new fine art in the interim ever since those heady days. Above is the invitation+info to her first career retrospective: y'all come!

Friday, June 15, 2012


Nice people visiting my disabled horse Indy at his boarding stable and playing with canines Karis and Sarahbelle there,
Waddy and Annie Wachtel, owners of their own deerhound pup Calahan. Social animals confab with all pictured below.


My photograph from the 1970s for a Behemoth Festival invitation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

LITTLE CAESAR pre-Euro-tour Blow Out!

Revving up for a June/July 2012 tour of Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium, Little Caesar hit the ground rocking
with an album release party for their newest cd/download
"American Dream," at Brixton's, South Bay CA on June 2nd.

Pictured here from top
Little Caesar are--
Ron Young, lead vocals;
Joey Brasler, guitar, vocals;

Fidel Paniagua,
bass, vocals;
Molinare, guitar, vocals;
Tom Morris, drums

Heroic, sweaty hardrockheavysoul performed with metal-esque power and panache plus intelligent lyrics remains their game, always nailed and delivered live. They're impressively better than their salad days two
decades ago when they outrocked their Golden Era of Hair Metal contemporaries (most of whom wax pitifully in comparison today.) Title track "American Dream" and "Hard Rock Hell" are still looping in my mind. Really great sound on great material...

His own best promoter, Ron Young commented on Little Caesar's storied 23-year roller coaster history in response to Michael Brandvold Marketing's blog/video "Artists You Buy Blindly Because of Devotion – Dropping The Needle Podcast" in his typically enthusiastic while erudite manner:

"For a band like us that had so much hype and promise from some of the most powerful people in the industry, the simple fact that we still get to do it together means riches for us. We never asked for any of that hype…we WERE excited about it, but it was almost secondary. For us, being in a band with other guys that adore music as it’s own entity, was a bond that is priceless.

Some guys go to work and save up to take a fishing trip, or go golfing in an exotic location. We do that with music. We save up and go into a recording studio. The gifts we receive, the deepening of our connection to collectively build sounds, energy and tones is a safari for us. To attempt to create something that moves us in the way that our heroes music moves us, is our muse… and sole reward.

We look at bands that get to make music all the time with envy. What makes their music more profitable than ours? Why can’t we do it? We came so close. Many of our difficulties were based in business, power struggles between giants, some bad series of events that occurred in the narrow window that a band gets
to either perform or be banished to obscurity.

It took me many years to separate commercial success and making credible music. Its very hard for a musician to not place his self worth in unit sales… especially when making music is your life’s blood."

Last but not least, we hear from Loren Molinare, also guitarist/lead vocalist for The Dogs. When complimented on how great both new releases respectively sounded, he replied "Dogs and LC albums in the first half of this year: I am almost feel like
a Mormon, I am married to two hot wives. . ."

You can obtain American Dream by Little Caesar and other worthy, previous releases at their site LINK.

Additional PHOTO OPS: Left, guitar hotshot Gilby Clarke (formerly of Guns N'Roses) played after Little Caesar. Below, Christine and Dire McCain, Editor of Paraphilia Magazine hit the serious moonlight beach showers outside of Brixton's.

Below, someone's audience video from the gig. Not their typical jet-propeled number, but dig that bayou groove!

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Last night Mr. Twister and I were treated to watching a widescreen Blu-Ray of "The Music Man," the greatest musical ever about outright lying and love. Its subversion in same remains far more insidious than that of Brecht-Weill's entire canon because of the star-spangled Americana of "The Music Man's" gift wrapping. Pensives: Robert Preston almost wasn't hired because the studios deemed him too old, unhealthy and uninsurable: after this obvious triumph, he worked continually for another twenty years. Meredith Willson took eight full years writing and refining this musical and it shows: every song's a winner, most of them became classics. The Beatles even recorded "'Till There Was You" on their first American LP (second U.K. LP,) reputedly the demo song that convinced George Martin to take them on. "The Music Man's"'s opening song "Rock Island" was popular music's first rap, date of birth 1958 (those who can, rap along with it. Very doable!) Replaced by Shirley Jones in the film, Preston's first leading lady/Broadway role originator Barbara Cook persevered through bad times and maintains her singing career to this day, recently honored at the Kennedy Center. She even undertook one of my own obsessions, reflection upon long careers in the arts (one's own or that of others) with this incredibly brave duet with her younger self, the two parts recorded fifty years apart:

LINK for Barbara Cook in the original "The Music Man"

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