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Posts Tagged ‘Rolling Stones’

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I showed a work in progress here a couple of weeks ago that featured a cityscape that I compared to a skeleton that spoke to me as I painted, telling me how to flesh it out. Above is a side by side comparison that shows where that skeleton led me.

It was one of those paintings where I find myself constantly trying to restrain myself from going too bright. As noted in recent posts, I am looking for more depth and darkness in the colors I employ right now. But I often still want to go the next higher and brighter tone. Holding back on that impulse is difficult but rewarding in the long run. Even though this is a painting with a lot of color, it is greatly restrained which allows the deeper colors hold court and show through clearly.

I was originally going to call this piece Light on Main Street. It works well but in the end I opted to adopt the title from the classic Rolling Stones album, Exile on Main Street. The reason for this change was that I saw this piece as being the view of the Exile, an important character in my work, standing on the other side of the street.

The Exile sees the blank  and anonymous eyes of the lit buildings. It’s a feeling of alienation that I described in a post last week, Inner City Blue, about another cityscape, where each building seems like its own alien world filled with lives and occurrences about which you know little, if anything.

I think this feeling of being the Exile, a stranger in a strange land, is enhanced by the reddish tones of the sky and the deep gem tones of the distant mountains.

They seem familiar but different somehow.

And it’s that familiar but different feeling that appeals to me. I think it is may be something I actively seek in my work. It might be described as a desire to have you feel the comfort of the familiar while at the same time thinking that there is something different at play.

I really don’t know for sure.

I’ve looked at this piece for a couple of weeks now and I am still taking it in. The fact that it makes me want to continue to do so is a good indicator for my personal judgement of a work. I look forward to continue doing so with this piece.

Hey, since I snagged their title, how about a track from the Stones from Exile on Main Street? Hard to decide which to use with so many great tracks from which to choose. However, I am going with a personal fave, Sweet Virginia, in honor of Virginia’s presidential primary taking place today. Plus, there’s something in it that matches up well with this painting. Can’t put a finger on it but…

Hey, have yourself a good day.

 


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I am running late again so I am going to keep this intro to this week’s Sunday morning music selection short. It’s a great version of the Rolling Stones’ classic Gimme Shelter from 1970 by Merry Clayton.

While most of us have no idea who Merry Clayton is, she is a legendary back up singer, giving strong vocal backing to a host of artists through the decades. She was a Raelette behind Ray Charles and also backed up  such a diverse group of artists such as Pearl Bailey, Burt Bacharach, Tom Jones, Joe Cocker, Linda Ronstadt, Elvis, Carole King, Tori Amos, Neil Young and even Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The most famous story about Merry Clayton revolves around this song, Gimme Shelter. It seems when the Stones were recording it, Mick Jagger thought it would be great to have a strong female voice in its chorus. They called Clayton in the middle of the night and she showed up shortly after, pregnant and in curlers, and knocked out her part in a couple of takes. The ultimate trooper, her chorus became a defining element of the rock classic.

There’s a lot more to read about here incredible, and largely unsung, career, some of it told in 2013 Oscar winning documentary about back up singers, 20 Feet From Stardom. In 2014, Merry Clayton was in a serious car crash and, as a result, had both legs amputated.

The ups and downs of a life.

Here’s her Gimme Shelter. Have a great Sunday.

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Yeah, we all need someone we can bleed on
Yeah but if you want it, well you can bleed on me
Yeah, we all need someone we can bleed on
Yeah yeah and if you want it baby why don’t ya
You can bleed on me
All over, hoo

Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed,1969

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Hey, it’s Labor Day weekend! Let’s celebrate with another mass shooting!

It does fit into the theme of the holiday. It provides work for police, doctors, medics, nurses and rehab workers, not to mention newscasters, lobbyists, and the impotent politicians who will, on script, offer up once more their mantra of thoughts and prayers.

Plenty of work for everybody!

I don’t mean to make light of this event but it seems like we are moving more and more to a world where we will be watching a program one day dedicated to the Shooting of the Week. The scenes from the 1976 movie satire Network where the TV execs gave a weekly show to extremists that featured kidnappings and assassinations seems almost prescient now. Except in the film the radical extremists were based on the Black Panthers and the Symbionese Liberation Army whereas now the crimes are almost solely the province of aggrieved young white men from the conspiratorial edges of the far right.

There’s probably an algorithm out there that could have predicted that we would be at this point, if only we knew what data we should enter into the equation. But I think even a moron can deduce that adding more and more guns into this accounting would not lessen the number of shootings. I don’t think anyone feels any safer now especially when grade school children must face shooter drills and school lockdowns on a regular basis and public officials are advising that everyone learn how to administer first aid to shooting victims because it is not a matter of if but when that they will have to use it.

Like I said, I am not making light of this subject. I am angry at our stupidity and cowardice in facing the problem at hand. Until we decide that we must address this problem that weekly show will soon be on the a TV schedule in the near future. In the meantime, get out your first aid manuals, kids, it’s going to be a bumpy, bloody ride

Here’s this week’s Sunday morning music. It’s the Rolling Stones from 1969 with, most fittingly, Let It Bleed. Try to have a good holiday, folks.

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Can’t get my mind organized this morning, can’t seem to want to focus on any one thing. Had a lot of ideas for the blog but just lacked the desire to follow through so I am just going to play a song this morning accompanied by a tiny painting from back around 1995 called Harlequin. I always smile when I come across this piece.

The song is a favorite of mine, Dead Flowers, from the Rolling Stones and their 1971 album, Sticky Fingers. But the version below is from the late great Townes Van Zandt. I can’t say that it’s better or worse than the Stones version but it’s one that I like very much.

So give a listen and I’ll try to get my act together this morning…

 

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Addams Family DancerI love this little GIF of Wednesday Addams busting out some James Brown-like moves as Lurch looks on.  As we’re approaching Halloween in a few days, it seemed like a fitting accompaniment to this week’s Sunday music.  It also fits the music as well.  I found myself watching her feet intently as the song played and it just seemed to mesh perfectly with the click-clack of the percussion.  You be the judge.

This week’s song is from the Rolling Stones‘ classic 1972 album, Exile on Main Street.  The song is  their enhanced  cover  of the  song,  Shake Your Hips, from bluesman Slim Harpo.  This was not the first time the Stones (along with many other rock bands) had covered a Slim Harpo song.  They did a great version of his I’m a King Bee on their debut LP in 1964.  But in 1972 the Stones were at their peak and this song just became part of who they were, feeling like it was their own work and not a cover.

Anyway, give a listen and keep your eyes on Wednesday’s feet.  Hope this gets your Sunday rocking.  After all, it is, as every rock radio station in the world will remind us, still Rocktober.

Have a great day.

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GC Myers- Time TravelerI finished this new painting, 18″ by 26″  on paper, a few days ago and have been regularly taking it in as it sits in my studio, waiting to be framed for my upcoming show, Traveler, at the Principle Gallery.  I think I am calling this piece Time Traveler but it’s still up in the air as I ponder it for a few more days.

It’s one of a few pieces that will be in this show that are from the Strata series, which are similar to my Archaeology pieces but more focused on the patterns and colors of the underground layers and boulders rather than on artifacts.  I like this mix of the straight representation of the Red Tree in the top half  set against the organic and almost abstract forms of the lower half, giving it a striking visual contrast while still maintaining  harmony.

I normally don’t like to dwell on technique here but  this is also a little technically different from my typical work.  I normally work in one of two ways–in a  reductive manner, where the paint is applied very wet, in puddles,  then removed leaving a transparent and luminous surface or in a more traditional additive manner in which paint is applied in layers building from dark to light.  Usually one one process is used in a piece but the Strata series allows me to easily mix the methods which adds to the visual contrast between the upper and lowers segments.

As I continue to consider this piece, I thought I would play a song this Sunday morning that mentions time.  I thought I would play Time Is On My Side which was a big hit for the Rolling Stones in 1964.  I always assumed it was written by Jagger and Richards but it was actually a cover.  The song was written my Jerry Ragavoy under the pseudonym Norman Meade.  It was first recorded by jazz trombonist Kai Winding in 1963 with the only lyrics being Time is on my side sung by back-up singers Dionne Warwick and Cissy Houston.  It’s an interesting version that I am including below but I really wanted to focus on the version from the Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas, which was released around the same time as the Stones’ version.  It has the added lyrics that most of us know and is just a dynamite performance.

Enjoy and have a great Sunday!

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GC Myers-Apolitical BluesI’ve been getting a small group of work ready for a show that opens next week  in Penn Yan, NY, which sits at the northern end of beautiful Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes.  The Arts Center of Yates County holds several shows a year in their Flick Gallery, which is a beautiful space .on the city’s Main Street.   I have been invited to be a featured artist in their upcoming show, Earthworks, which runs from May 9 to June 16.  Normally, I would not try to fit in a small show only a month before a major exhibit such as next month’s show at the Principle Gallery but after seeing the gallery and speaking with their director, Kris Pearson, I was impressed and decided to try to squeeze it in a crowded schedule.  I also thought it might serve as  nice introduction to people of the region who might not be familiar with my work or with the West End Gallery in Corning, hoping they might travel down for my show there in July.

The show consists of a mix of new and recent pieces that  I feel are representative of my body of work.  There are a couple of Archaeology paintings, a few Red Roofs and my signature Red Tree, of course.  The piece shown here on the left is a small new painting, 2″ by 8″ on paper, that I call Apolitical Blues, after the old Little Feat song of the same name.  It’s a simple blues with very simple lyrics–Well my telephone was ringing /And they told me it was Chairman Mao /I don’t care who it is /I just don’t wanna talk to him now —  but with the state of current politics, the idea of being turned off and tuned out to the noise of it all seemed to fit with the solitary figure in this piece, away from the chaos and constant talk of the world.

Being Sunday morning, it seems appropriate that I share Little Feat‘s song with you.  This is a live version that was recorded at the Rainbow Theatre in London in 1977 for their live album Waiting for Columbus, which is considered by critics as one of the greatest live albums in rock history.  I know that it has been one of my favorites since it came out in 1978, a year before lead singer  Lowell George died.  This version also features famed British guitarist Mick Taylor who had formerly played on some of the Rolling Stones iconic albums of the early 70’s.  It’s a great way to open your eyes on a Sunday morning in May.

Have a great day!

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