Tuesday, October 21, 2014

should have done this long ago

I deleted all the silly novelty brushes from Illustrator and loaded better ones. Here’s a pencil sketch:

image by David Rhoden

Posted by David Rhoden on 10/21 at 10:54 PM

been off the radar

As Howlin’ Wolf says, “Work done got hard.” I’ll be making stuff again soon enough.

The following sentiment is not aimed at anybody in particular:
image by David Rhoden

Posted by David Rhoden on 10/21 at 07:47 PM

Thursday, October 16, 2014

guest post from Sally (okay, it’s just about Sally)

Sally can neither speak nor write but she lives an active life just the same.

I do believe she encountered a possum last night on her evening walk. I was in the shower when I heard the howling. I don’t think she got in a fight, though. When she got back in the house she had a “nope” look on her face.

She caught a gecko on Sunday and has been tormenting it on and off since. I don’t know how it survived, but I found it this morning behind the commode, looking dejected. I herded it into a box and put it outside, where it didn’t move. It was about fifty degrees so maybe it was too cold to skitter. Hopefully it has warmed up by now. I will miss the feisty little thing. Every day I’ve been surprised by it’s continued lifespan. I think Sally finally got tired of playing with it.

In other Sally news, she has been sleeping on the bed under the covers which is darn cute until you accidentally kick her.

Posted by David Rhoden on 10/16 at 12:13 PM

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

why I think I (kind of) like Sun Kil Moon

I was pretty fascinated with the new Sun Kil Moon album, Benji. It’s hard to describe what I liked about it; musically it doesn’t impress me though it sounds okay, and I was never a big fan of Mark Kozelek’s previous band (despite having built a website for them, thanks to my old Sub Pop contact; like all my cool bands I did sites for—never met ‘em.). I think I figured it out though: it’s like calypso.

Calypso is an easy genre to miss the interesting side of. It mostly sounds like party music. Though sometimes it’s quite pretty, other times it’s jolly, almost silly sounding. But what makes the genre great are its limitations, and great calypsos are the ones that work best in them.

First, they describe a true story. If a calypso is about a cricket match, and a lot of them are, you can bet it will describe the batting order. There’s a great African calypso called “Lumumba Calypso”; it’s cheerful sounding but it’s basically a three-minute news report about a presidential assassination. Benji is the same way (in that it’s true; it’s not about an assassination). The songs seem to have gone to great lengths to sound and feel true, with verifiable details. Two songs are about relatives accidentally immolating themselves by tossing aerosol cans in fires, which apparently really did happen.

Second, and related; they often have to squeeze in syllables and unlikely words to make rhymes. Actually, “Lumumba Calypso” doesn’t much bother with rhymes, that’s what’s so weird about it, because it sounds like it is going to rhyme, and you tilt your head when it doesn’t. But the really good Lord Kitchener and Lord Invader calypsos really use the vocabulary, and they rhyme, so you hear unexpected things in the service of the rhyme. Kozelek does this too. Like here, from a song called “Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes”:

Gonna spend time with my girl, make a record this summer
Fix my kitchen up and hire a plumber
The headlines change so rapidly
Then I came to the studio to work on something pretty

And I saw the news on James Gandolfini
While I was eating ramen and drinking green tea
The Sopranos guy died at 51
That’s the same age as the guy who’s coming to play drums

it’s the same effect: he packs the syllables when he needs to, and doesn’t when he doesn’t. It’s a cool effect.

And is that why it’s funny when Kozelek rhymes things with “Panera Bread” (he does it twice on the record)?

Anyway, here’s some Sun Kil Moon and some calypso to listen to (this is the particular calypso that made me notice the similarity, from a wonderful 2LP import I got at Domino Sound a day or two before I left New Orleans, called London Is The Place For Me).

Sun Kil Moon, “Jim Wise”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2MTuMFQEFk

Lord Kitchener, “My Landlady”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tQrZRyyP9k

And since I teased you, here’s “Lumumba Calypso”: why can’t CNN be more like this?

E.C.Arinze & His Music (v. Godwin Omobuwa), “Lumumba Calypso” (from the wonderful compilation Money No Be Sand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud3pydioRpU

Posted by David Rhoden on 10/15 at 10:57 PM

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

He is a rock god.

image by David Rhoden

Posted by David Rhoden on 10/14 at 10:00 PM
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