Archive for February, 2015

Playlist: iTunes shuffle, 2/8/15

February 9, 2015

Jimmy_Webb_-_Suspending_Disbelief
“Sandy Cove,”
Jimmy Webb
“Cruel,” St. Vincent
“Dancehall Domine,” the New Pornographers
“Stars,” the XX
“When Your Lover Is Gone,” Helen Merrill
“Almost Real,” Kelli O’Hara (The Bridges of Madison County OCR)
“Did You Ever See a Dream Walking,” Sunny Gale
“I Can Do Better than That,” Sherie Rene Scott (The Last Five Years OCR)
“Just a Ride,” the Virginmarys
“Sleeping,” Steve Kazee (Once OCR)
“b,” iamamiwhoami
“Vlan Vlan Vlan,” Panda Valium
“The Time (Dirty Bit),” Black Eyed Peas
“Save Me,” Ryan Adams
Panis et Circensis,” Tha Boogie
“Some Nights,” fun.
“Always Starting Over,” Idina Menzel (If/Then OCR)
“Here Lies Love,” Diana Krall
“I’m Afraid of Japan,” Final Fantasy
“Hell No,” Ron Basejam
“The World Inside a Frame,” Stephen Pasquale (The Bridges of Madison County OCR)
“Strange Mercy,” St. Vincent

bridges ocr

In this week’s New Yorker

February 8, 2015

Before the moment passes and a new issue arrives, I want to nominate last week’s New Yorker as one of the “must-reads” in the pile that stacks up in house. The high-quality contents include:

  • new fiction, “Sweetness,” by Toni Morrison, intently focused on a black mother’s obsession with her daughter’s darker skin and what that will mean for her in the world (presumably an excerpt from her forthcoming novel God Help the Child);
  • “Lottery Tickets,” Elizabeth Alexander’s wrenching Personal History essay dealing which what happened when her husband dropped dead of a heart attack;
  • Rebecca Mead’s profile of Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose musical Hamilton at the Public Theater has gotten unusually good word-of-mouth in advance of its opening February 17;
  • Alice Gregory’s moving and instructional tech-focused article (“R U There?”) about how crisis counseling via text message has turned out to be surprisingly effective; and
  • best of all, “The Trip Treatment,” very very interesting article by Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma and other books, mostly about food) about about clinical research into using psilocybin to treat patients with depression, anxiety, and terminal illnesses.

    trip treatment illo

Photo diary: Casa de las Ranas in La Cieneguita

February 8, 2015

A tip from our mutual friend Stephen Silha led to visiting Casa de las Ranas (House of Frogs), the compound presided over by Radical Faerie outsider artist Anado McLauchlin. He lives and works in a small town just outside San Miguel de Allende. Every building on the property — the studio where he works, the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery where he shows his work and that of others, the house where he lives with his husband Richard Schultz, even the public toilet (speaking of Going to The Chapel) — is covered top to bottom, inside and out, with colorful mosaics and found-object collages. The work is fun, witty, open-hearted, sacred, and beautiful, as naive as Howard Finster and as sophisticated as Lucas Samaras. We took the tour with two young Frenchmen and a woman from Guadalajara, just a few days before the gallery premiered “Conversations in Vision: A Two-Man Show,” featuring one room of work by Anado and one room completely revisioned, repainted, and inhabited by a young Mexican artist named Agustin Santoyo.

(click photos to enlarge)

the front gate

the front gate

Anado and Richard

Anado and Richard

The Gate to Nowhere (a few yards away from The Gate to Now Here)

The Gate to Nowhere (a few yards away from The Gate to Now Here)

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery (named after Anado's beloved father)

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery (named after Anado’s beloved father)

Andy's favorite work of Anado's in the show is the free-standing figure known as "Suerte (Luck)"

Andy’s favorite work of Anado’s in the show is the free-standing figure known as “Suerte (Luck)”

my favorite was "Preacherman"

my favorite was “Preacherman”

Agustin was just finishing the custom-painted backgrounds for his artwork

Agustin was just finishing the custom-painted backgrounds for his artwork

the snazziest outhouse in the universe

the snazziest outhouse in the universe

a smaller gallery displays older works such as "Be a Fool Unto Thyself"

a smaller gallery displays older works such as “Be a Fool Unto Thyself”

their home is a trip

their home is a trip

check out the kitchen

check out the kitchen

work-in-progress: along the garden wall, Anado is creating a long mosaic mural based on the Tarot deck

work-in-progress: along the garden wall, Anado is creating a long mosaic mural based on the Tarot deck

Anado used to live in the East Village, and within five minutes we'd identified at least five mutual friends -- O Teeny-Tiny World!

Anado used to live in the East Village, and within five minutes we’d identified at least five mutual friends — O Teeny-Tiny World!

Photo diary: San Miguel de Allende (part 1)

February 8, 2015

(click photos to enlarge)

1-29 SMDA park bench
1-29 doorway 281-29 paroquilla1-29 don't forget the 431-29 public laundry basins1-29 typical topiary1-29 yellow red blue window1-29 tacos for lunch tentenpie1-29 fat mermaid trio1-29 smda living room

Quote of the day: LAUGHTER

February 8, 2015

LAUGHTER

“My Father Laughing in the Chicago Theater”

His heavy body would double itself forward
At the waist, swell, and come heaving around
To slam at his seatback, making the screws groan
And squawk down half the row as it went tilting
Under my mother and me, under whoever
Was out of luck on the other side of him.
Like a boxer slipping punches, he’d lift his elbows
To flail and jerk, and his wide-open mouth
Would boom out four deep haaa’s to the end of his breath.

He was laughing at Burns and Allen or Jack Benny
In person or at his limitless engagement
With Groucho, Chico, and Harpo. While my mother
Sat there between us, gazing at the stage
And chuckling placidly, I watched with amazement
The spectacle of a helpless father, unmanned,
Disarmed by laughter. The tears would dribble
From under his bifocals, as real as sweat.
He would gape and gag, go limp, and spring back to life.

I would laugh too, but partly at him, afraid
Of becoming him. He could scowl anywhere,
Be solemn or blank in church or going to work,
Turn grim with a cold chisel, or he could smile
At babies or football games, but he only laughed
There in that theater. And up the aisle
And through the lobby to the parking lot
And all the way home, I’d see the glow on his cheeks
Fade to the usual hectic steelmill sunburn.

–David Wagoner

david wagoner poet

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