hey everyone- if you’re looking for the classic “WORCESTER: PARIS OF THE EIGHTIES” t-shirt, look no further than PARISOFTHEEIGHTIES.COM. holiday shopping made easy!!!
lots of folks have been talking to me about the action figures i made for HBML, so i set up a blog for them: Li’l Champ Toy Blog. i hope you enjoy it! i really enjoy making these toys and it’s nice to have a forum to stretch out about what they might possibly signify. check it out and please network it to your networks (facebook, myspace, friendster, makeoutclub, rec.arts.toys.break.break.break, aol keyword “goblinize”, broom closet BBS, risque fax club, dorm dry-eraseweb, piss tree).
publishers, patrons, wealthy dowagers, cacademics and phudniks, i’m putting together my exhibition schedule for the next three years, but there’s still gaps! so get in touch if you want me to accept your funding!
HBML is closing up shop tomorrow under mysterious circumstances. special thanks mike leslie, nick reville, mike benedetti, the snow ghost, bone zone, kelley parsons, carolynn kriso, colin langenus, carlos gonzales, feedbacula, jay purdy, matt carroll, jjb buckmaster, mike taylor, xander marro, john guida, sam gaskin, holden party reppers featuring andy cary, pat scully & tasty skateboards, chris scully, brian oakley & corleone records, orchard boston, re:generation boston, strange maine, bert centeno jr. & family (excluding dog), gus martinez, ed “could you please move your car or i will have it towed” hyder, seah chickering-burchesky, jeff hartford, dan cashman, george myers, joshua “tumble cat” vrysen, lauren beaudoin, that’s entertainment, cc lowell, cade overton, shane capra, collective a go go, FMLT, distant castle, the wheelchair, jeff soderman, batman plumber, anthony from the video store & friends, jess van winkle & lori, mike taylor the cat, keenan cassidy, rebecca wasiliewski, ben jones, frank jones, james mcshane & kate, jo dery, jean cozzens, cybele collins, matthew thurber, nik perry, scott reber, the shitty kids that stole a jar containing $30 worth of change, mike bell smith, the car that hit the store, DAN WARS, sue blanks, ez bake & metro, matty buttcakes, vaula van, neel young, jenna balestrini, EAB, friendalexis, manioc mansion, jon shirley the prince of worcester, artichoke food coop, gabe rollins, julia king, veronica hebard, andy fish, dennis tyfus, aidan duffy, grace duffy, all duffys & shaeffer-duffys, stone soup, joe degeorge & harry & the potters, lucky fishbeck, GREG GREG, gerg harvester, erik lyle, dominic mallary, brattleboro VT, matty johnson, mickey zacchilli, mickey “DM” o’hara, emma young, muffy brandt, sylvan zimmerman, sword heaven, dan mooradian, john powers, brucie bertleman, ben schechter, chris dooley, billy blue, frostbeard, flo, ashleigh russell, chris hart, joanne hart, joe hart, lydia hart, mary hart, anna louise berendes, tom lewis, matt & quint hallas, the warhol twins, chet williams, crystalline entity, little andrew, marisola xhelili, neil depres, meredith stern, d-bird, everyone at stone soup & the raven freedom school, tina zlody, the pickle barrel, many many more.
ANP quarterly- you never sent us any magazines despite the fact that i gave barr my expired liquor ID card with my mom’s address on it. what’s up with that?
believe it or not new england, it’s finally spring. the past few weeks we’ve had (as noted) pockets of wonderful melty niceness– walking around in a sweatshirt, getting crushes on people, rolling down hills. of course soon after that a bitter wind blows in again and the ground’s all hard again and everything’s snow dusted and looking like a fried dough. well, officially anyway, spring is here, and with it as always, a modicum of rebirth.
to that end, a few words, and if we’re lucky, a song, from the aztec god of spring, “the red smoking mirror”, “the night drinker”: xipe totec, “the flayed one”. he appears here in his traditional aspect– skinless but wrapped in the hides of others. please remember that though sacrifices were definitely made to this princely fellow, it’s not entirely fair to say that he “demanded” sacrifice. although at the same time, not to be a creep, but if, sometime between now and 20 days hence, if you were to get into a mindless scuffle or scrape, if blood were to be drawn or a bruise formed, and you opened the bruise up to let some of the bruise blood come out to show them, as maize seeds lose their outer layer before germination and snakes shed their skin, that would be, uh, honorable.
from the creative team that brought you anger man and the snow ghost community show (the super duffy brothers and mike benedetti).
here’s a little inspiration for your february wednesday 2009:
lots is said about “indie rock”, but now that the majors are all shitting their respective beds (and now that hip hop is the dominant force in music and is more experimental and inclusive than any popular music-thread in history (which is a subject for a different day)), is this even a viable mark anymore? as far as i’m concerned, the important thing right now is “indo rock”, aka rockabilly music of the 1950s and 60s made in the netherlands by people with indonesian roots (though not neccessarily of indonesian descent).
Indorock is a musical genre, originating in the 1950s in the Netherlands and Europe. It is a fusion of Indonesian and Western music, and has roots in Kroncong (Traditional Indonesian Music).
After Indonesian independence on August 17, 1945, many Indo (Dutch-Indonesian) musicians repatriated to the Netherlands. One of the effects of this cultural process was that, in the mid-1950s, an instrumental music genre called Indorock became popular.
The guitar was imported to the Indian archipelago by Portuguese explorers in the 14th century. The traditional Portuguese song styles, saudade and fado, played with guitar accompaniment, later became krontjong music. Krontjong is characterized by guitars which seem to be “talking” to each other.
massive colonial weirdness at play here, but for me the indorock lesson is: take what you want, or think you want, and approach it through what you know. balls→walls, with soft-soled shoes, circumnavigate the instrument, backwards, and you’re in!
i try to watch this video every few weeks.
a big hit in the comics/zine department at HBML has been the first three issues of BULLSHIT FRANK AND GORILLA JOE, a zine by the inimitable MICKEY ZACHILLI. unlike a lot of “independent” comics / zines you find nowadays, this comic is neither a bunch of telephone doodles you’re trying to pass off as spirtuality, or just a non-story about a tiny dude walking around in a weird land. gorilla joe is a beard with sunglasses, and bullshit frank is an excitable nouveau hairstyle with st:tng bumps on his nose. together they form a friendship full of quips and funny ideas, and then there’s another character that is akin to the holy ghost. all of this is drawn in a great scribbly style with screen printed covers (in truly disgusting color combos).
despite the zine format, BSF&GJ is a newspaper-style comic strip- each page is it’s own standalone piece, sometimes playing into a larger narrative, sometimes not. not to be over-analyzing here, but all together, the effect is a good look at a great friendship, told over a long time, in infinitesimal glimpses. and like all good comic strips, there is the wonderful constancy: as dagwood still collides with the mailman, gorilla joe smokes endless cigarettes, bullshit frank continues to low-level pester, and the path of the hurricane can be charted by the location of birdeyes (currently in the kitchen). oh, and even though it’s obnoxious to make references all the time, check out the cameo in that last link by kazuo umezu’s cat-eyed boy, aka the best comic book character ever!!! mickey doesn’t quite go the horror route, but there is a satisfying menace to it all, or animal-like ambivalence.
our pal jenine bressner was recently featured on the “CNN money” webiste, pretty funny if you know her at all. the article’s OK, but the picture (above) is the best, with that “criminal” lighting and clearly communicated apprehension.
jenine is a glass artíste, a craftsperson par excellance, and boy oh boy is she a talker and a hugger and a person who walks up to you and shakes you and you’re like “whoa! ok!”. needless to say, she’s been a big emotional support for us since years ago, and she’s always herself and it always works– GOD BLESS. there’s a decenter interview here, her own webiste is here, and her photostream (with cuter pictures) is here.
yes, vacation is going pretty smooooooth. why there’s me and my biographer loren ptomaine, headed down to the beach! our faces look like that because we just ate lemons.
i’ve been reading a fair amount and trying to get back into a regular drawing habit. plus i’ve been monkeying all around newer england visiting and going to shows, which is rewarding and sometimes challenging but always something to think about. case in point, here’s some video i shot of the great western mass band greyskull, featuring george myers of the breaking world record label (whose releases we proudly stock), jeff “noise nomads” hartford (who had an art show at the store back in 2007 (that is so weird to say), and dan cashman, who has an art show coming up when we reopen in april! power trio!
so, maybe the thing to think about is, what’s happening? what is this caveman noise? let’s consult our old friend and inspiration barnett newman, whose signature motif is all over this confusing clip:
What is the explanation of the seemingly insane drive of man to be painter and poet if it is not an act of defiance against man’s fall and an assertion that they return to the Garden of Eden? For the artists are the first people.
tall order, barn, but OK! punks refuse to rule OK!
many of you have been asking about HBML, questions like “when is HBML open?” and “is HBML still a thing?” and “i went by HBML and it was closed” (which is not a question but oftentimes has an implied “what’s up with that?” tagged on). WELL I’LL TELL YOU. it’s good news.
towards the end of last year we applied for and received a grant to go on a much-deserved vacation for 3 months. in that time we are trying to relax, but also trying to line things up for the whole next year, which is going to be pretty bonkers if even a quarter of the stuff we’re planning (which i kind of want to talk about but shouldn’t) makes it past the woodshop stage. we will reopen on april 1st with splendor and a rededicated whateverness, the store rebuilt and reorganized and powerhousey, real six million dollar man.
the grant in question was from the farmers’ and mechanics’ league trust, a group in worcester that pays a little bit every month into a fund and then meets at the end of the year to figure out what to do with the money. other grant winners this year were the raven free school and the stone soup computer co-op. totally heartwarming and inspiring.
HBML won a BOSTON ART AWARD (which is actually for all of new england except connecticut), for “best installation 2008″. what rules is we didn’t win for any specific installation, we just won for being a weird mess all the time. identify with that!
I have been invited to belgium the spring to show a video and give a lecture on the store at the MUHKA, which is the big museum of modern art in antwerp. i’ve been brushing up on my flemish, but all i know how to say is dirty in a way i don’t entirely understand. i’ll return with a new video in which i get slapped over and over again.
we have hired a grant writer, susan sakesh, who in addition to being awesome and fun to hang around and on top of her game, plays trombone on the last fat day record (which is, sad to say, seemingly the last fat day record). she’s also in that amazing marching band the what cheer brigade.
in conclusion, the store is on vacation, things are going really good. the economy’s down, the community’s up. the technology, the magic, the quantity and quality of people around me who are firing all cylinders and breaking down every wall: these things are all nuts. it’s an exciting time to be an artist / businessman / idea person / anyone!