Friday, December 26, 2008

Kaliedescope Eyes

My favorite Beatles tunes arranged for a vinyl record:

Side A:
01 Within you and Without You
02 Across the Universe
03 Nowhere Man
04 And Your Bird Can Sing
05 Tomorrow Never Knows

Side B:
01 Blue Jay Way
02 Every Little Thing
03 Words of Love
04 I've Got a Feeling
05 Strawberry Fields Forever
06 Lucy in the Sky

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Harry Callahan exhibit

Harry Callahan: Eleanor
November 7, 2008-February 15, 2009
at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Harry Callahan: Eleanor is an in-depth study of Callahan's most evocative photographs: those of Eleanor Callahan, the photographer's wife of 63 years. Comprising some 80 images, the exhibition focuses on his photographs from the 1940s, 50s and 60s, when Eleanor was one of his primary subjects. The show includes many of the artist's most acclaimed and influential images, the majority of which have not been exhibited in more than 20 years, and several that have never been exhibited before. Organized by the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA).

Museum info

The RISD Museum of Art is showing what may be Harry Callahan's greatest body of work - the wonderful pictures of his wife Eleanor taken over 3 decades. It includes all of his well known images of her, most notably the iconic Eleanor, Chicago 1949, her head emerging from the water with a Mona Lisa-like expression on her face.

Eleanor, Chicago 1949

He's not offering insight into her personality or trying to make a lengthy portrait essay examining her life. Rarely is there any tone of sexuality or examination of what daily life was for her. She is the main element in the compostion. A very specific expression of what was arranged before the camera at a given time. They are at once beautiful, modern and captivating. Perhaps what emotion and expression we get from them comes from within ourselves and what we bring to the experience of seeing these portraits.

Many of the photos haven't been exhibited before. They include both entirely diffent compositions and variations of the well known photos.

Eleanor, New York, 1945

It's fitting that this show is at RISD - he taught there and photographed in the area. Emmet Gowin was one of his students at RISD during 1965-1967 and Callahan's influence is apparent in Gowin's first book that features portraits of his own wife Edith.

This type of exhibit seems to get lost in all the glamour and exitement that museums seem to require in today's world. It is however, a monumental exhibit of a rare body of work. For fans of photography it is a must-see.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Best of 2008

My Top Ten Albums of 2008:

1. Dylan - Tell Tale Signs
By far the most interesting album of the year. It got a lot of play in my house.

2. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
My first experience with THS thanks to Postcard. Not their best but a very exiting record. Their live performance was incredible. My favorite current band.

3. Van Morrison - Keep it Simple
I'm an unapologetic Van fan and this record is among his best of the last ten years. "Behind the Ritual" alone makes this record worthwhile.

4. Gary Louris - Vagabonds
For the first part of the year I thought this would be my number one. A bunch of solid songs.

5. Lucinda Williams - Little Honey
I'd bang her in a heartbeat and I love this record.

6. BB King - One Kind Favor
BB's return to form - his best, most raw, bluesy record in decades. His live shows have sucked recently but this record might make me see him again.

7. Calexico - Carried to Dust
This one, like all of Calexico's records is well played, well written and inspired. I don't think they are capable of making a bad record.

8. Mudcrutch - Mudcrutch
I don't know if Petty could ever be relevant again, but my gut loves this record.

9. Black Angels - Directions to See a Ghost
Psychadelic, eastern influenced, neo-velvet, buzz guitar drone-rock. I'm a sucjker for this shit.

10. Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark
I love the Truckers in spite of the hate of late. Saw them twice this year and would see them anytime. Fuck you haters.


Ryan Adams - Cardinology
Only had this a couple of weeks, not as good as Jacksonville but I'm liking it a lot.

Black Keys - Attack & Release
Just got this. My wife and my dog hate it but me likey. Katz once referred to them as "a couple of guys with a bag of weed". What's not to like about that.

Cat Power - Jukebox
There's some good stuff on this record. And I'd bang her, but it's not enough for a top ten.

Dr. John - City That Care Forgot
Dr. John's records are always worthwhile.

Top Five songs:
1. Van Morrison - Behind the Ritual
2. The Hold Steady - Both Crosses
3. Dylan - Red River Shore
4. Mudcrutch - Crystal River
5. Gary Louris - D.C. Blues
6. Cat Power - I Believe in You
7. Lucinda Williams - Honey Bee
8. The Black Angels - Deer-Ree-Shee
9. Dylan - Duncan & Brady
10. Calexico - Writers Minor Holiday

Best shows:
1. Gary Louris - Somerville Theatre
2. Wild Magnolias - Scullers
3. The Hold Steady - Orpheum
4. Drive By Truckers - Paradise
5. Walter Wolfman Washington - The Maple Lounge
6. Southside Johnnie - Cape Cod Melody Tent
7. Return to Forever - Bayside
8. Allman Bros - Mansfield