Blog Archives

Are you ever too old to be creative?

Although it is Friday the thirteenth, this may be an unusually lucky day for me. I’m sitting over in Mellow Moods with John Case (post our 7:30 – 9:00 AM radio show on WSHC) where we are meeting on a proposed revision of Clifford OdetsWaiting for Leftywhich we are framing

CraftWorks

inside the Occupy Movement. With music, yet.

Later this morning I have an appointment at CraftWorks over in Charles Town WV where they are looking for a part-time guy with arts administration experience (like me) who’s willing to be paid for ten hours at a low rate but actually work for twenty or thirty. A retired guys’ dream. I hope I do well at the interview… had a good conversation with their Director yesterday.

A Lubalin Masterpiece

I started getting interested in doing some type-oriented graphic design work, something I haven’t really done since the U-Design years in Hartford. One way to get inspired for that is to ramble through the works of my favorite graphic designer, Herb Lubalin. He’s been dead for three decades now (he died on MY BIRTHDAY, May 24), but many of his designs and logos are still being used and much of his work will live forever.rpiece

Bradley Sanders

I get such a thrill out of seeing what Lubalin did with type (he’s one of the reasons I started designing typefaces in the 80s… Avant Garde kicked me over the edge when I saw what letters could do when they interact.)  I’m going to work on a couple of experimental pieces… one supporting my Saturday show on WSHC… then see if any of the local non-profits are willing to giver me a try.

I saw Bradley Sanders of the Folly when John and I came into the Mood earlier and told him I’d like to learn how to weld. I have some ideas for metal sculpture that I’d like to carry out and Bradley was encouraging. One more thing to keep from the boredom of retirement.


So at 65 I’m getting ready to move ahead.

I hate to have to post this during Zappadan… but Captain Beefheart Died Today.

Don Van Vliet was an American musician and visual artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called The Magic Band, active between 1965 and 1982, with whom he recorded 12 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range, Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with free jazz, avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition.

During his teen years in Lancaster, California, Van Vliet acquired an eclectic musical taste and formed “a mutually useful but volatile” friendship with Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically competed and collaborated. He died after many years suffering from multiple sclerosis. He was 69.

Zappa and Beefheart: Orange Claw Hammer, Live 1975.

Jill Johnston dies at 81…

Jill Johnston, former Dance Critic and Columnist (Lesbian Nation) in the heyday of the Village Voice has died of a stroke in Hartford, CT.

In my New York years, her column was one of my weekly regulars. She was one of the true voices of the New York Avant Garde and was also a great writer.

From the NY Times:

Ms. Johnston started out as a dance critic, but in the pages of The Voice, which hired her in 1959, she embraced the avant-garde as a whole, including happenings and multimedia events.

“I had a forum obviously set up for covering or perpetrating all manner of outrage,” she wrote in a biographical statement on her Web site, jilljohnston.com.

The fact that she was 81 was a big surprise to me… time sure flies.

Quote of the Day

“I’ve reached an age where I’m two generations past when I was considered avant-garde. I went right from avant-garde to being old hat in five minutes, and you start to feel superannuated.“

– Stephen Sondheim in this morning’s NY Times

Oh, how I agree!