Try reading...

"A good folk song is easy to learn and hard to forget. Its melody is brief, its chorus repeats, its rhymes lead from line to line like the base pairs in a chain of DNA. A folk song is a meme, an evolutionary biologist might say--–the cultural version of a gene. It passes from generation to generation, evolving as it goes, till every clumsy or extraeous line is stripped away....You only have to hear it a few times to know it by heart"

Burkhard Bilger
The Last Verse: Is there any folk music still out there?
The New Yorker
April 28, 2008

I cracked open the New Yorker last night (it promised to be good with a cute illustration by William Steig on the cover (see left) to find this wonderful article which I am chugging my way through about folk music, it's origins, John and Alan Lomax, and it's migration to the current day. The current Old Time music as defined by the musicians I know is a definite descendant of this tradition--albeit one step away as some of it is interpreted with a new twist--or maybe it is as grandchildren are different from their grandparents but carry the same genes but different histories. I am thrilled with this piece as it is rich and a primer on how this american tradition got from here to there and some of the personalities and people studded in the mix. The Lomax father and son were predecessors of Peter Hoover(who is a Tburger and Godfather to many of the musicians here on our little plateau) and group of field recorders in the Lomax spirit, the men who went into the hollers of Virginia, West Virginia and other parts south in the mid fifties and sixties to record musicians and their music. These closets of recordings are now being opened and pressed into CDs now that it is cheap and easy to do so--and you can get snippets and buy collections from their site>>. Now how does this tie us closer and closer to our local music. Well, because even some of the newer recordings being pressed are recordings made in the eighties by none other than the Chicken Chokers. And now, the Chokers are new and revived--so the energy is around moving the music and attracting old and new friends. Thus, my interest as it is what is old is made new. The clothes of the ancestors worn by the children with great style and panache without forgetting aspects of the past but styled to be "now". I guess this is the context of the americana illustrations I would like to work on for my dream project for my first week at the University of Hartford's MFA illustration contact period in July.

As an aside, Mr. Bilger, the author has written on spiritualism, Lilydale and all sorts of other terrific and quirky things (I searched him on the New Yorker site). I think he is a kindred spirit. I need to read more of his stuff.

More later>>

Waiting for rain

Today is a day that induces a zombie-like stupor, where the only thing that makes sense is to sleep, and sleep and when you wake, you will yourself back to that place of slumber. Stunning, warm,humid air is bringing the scent of the lilac tree under K's window and filling the second floor of the Luckystone with a heavy,sweet memory of spring. The clouds are filled with possible rain. The sky and water are the same pearly grey color--when you squint, it blends with lighter grey blue landmasses bearly visable within the pearly greyness.

Chicken Chokers
on the radio this morning. Saw Chad of the Chokers yesterday. He was beaming over his pleasure with the new album and the possiblities. It was so sweet he came by just to share his happiness. I know in my bones they will be in a good place with this album. To reiterate my offer: THE FIRST TEN READERS WHO SEND ME THEIR EMAIL/AND SNAIL MAIL WILL BE THE RECIPIENTS OF THE NEW CHICKEN CHOKERS '07 CD! Enter soon and I will throw in a handful of my new promo postcards for your use and delight.

Gotta go. The paper awaits.

New Hobby: Self Promotion

In this weeks fun, I have been uploading new pix to the iSpot and to Portfolios.comand hopefully some graphic design stuff (see link at the top right of the page). I am a chimp at The Little Chimp Society a blog/tabloid chock full of images, interviews etc. I have been lazy (admittedly) and put some pix up yesterday and one today. I went back today and saw the image above with my "High on Life" image initially sketched for the Chicken Chokers (not quite what they were looking for). One above the fold with the skull, the other below the fold, in white, the paperwhite narcissis.Isn't this cool? Kick in the boo-tay for me to do a little more of this in different places as it might have a little splashback!

Spoke briefly with John Thompson from SU. We are going to have Gary Kelley for a week this summer and the other a graphic designer/illustrator, Whitney Sherman who John is very excited about.Right now my posture is to lie quietly and hope no one notices I am still breathing.

shhhh. I am.

Self Promotion Part One

Got 8 postcards out to PSPrint. Broken order. Some the 500 qty. Some in smaller batches. Plan is to make little decks of them with clear envelopes and nice little notes with a business card (going to be crack and peel) to send out to galleries around here (Ithaca, Tburg, Corning, Skaneateles, Cazenovia, Cooperstown, Rochester) and some in Florida (Key West, Miami) to see if we can get a little traction with the bird pix.Just requested an application to see if I can join the State of the Art Gallery in move more locally.

Also, just "did" the newest Choker's CD and sleeve graphics which will hopefully move to the website "look and feel", a tee shirt and the appropriate band offerings/needs. Have worked it out with them to buy 100 CDs from them to send to existing clients along with the postcard collection to say "Hey!" and point out that this monkey can make pictures too. When I get them, I will offer 10 CDs to the first ten requests outside of the Tburg/Ithaca area to get the Chokers to the wider world. Requesters know that they are really fun and --but if old time music isn't your thing...then maybe this is the place you can start!

The chicken(above) is featured promenantly on the soon to be released CD.

still here

This little drawing was inspired by a sign on a ladies room door at a cuban restaurant in Miami. There was a little man too. Am cranking a few of these out...they are cute. Love the blockiness and the vienese style flowers match up surprisingly well.

Had a nice meeting with a client today--introducing her to a longterm friend and printer friend--and has a nice lunch together too. Big plus meeting.

Tip of the Day:

If you are someone who has been holding off having postcards printed (of work, of pictures, of family shots) cause ponying up the $100 +/- was just a whisker too much...this one is for you!! PS Print has until the 30th, 500 full color (4c/1c) over 1 color for about $60 (with shipping!!)Go here>> I am sizing a bunch like crazy--and need to get a business card too. Have finally run out of my small stack.

Finishing up graphics for the new cd from the Chicken Chokers "007". The Chokers are reconvening after many years apart with great style and confidence that time and experience bring. You can hear a few cuts from "007" at their MySpace. They are going to the Blue Heron Festival and GrassRoots Festival this summer. I hope to get a handful of cds and send them as a nice nice to my clients (with my chicken!!). The whole choker thing feels very energetic and new...and ready to launch. Might happen. I hope so. More later.