Posts Tagged ‘The Kinks’


Had a really good day of painting yesterday and am eager to get back to the easel this morning. I made some changes in my process, altering how and where how I begin painting on a new piece. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but for me, a small alteration like this changes everything about how the painting proceeds. Where it ends up.

In this case, the changes seem as though they unleashed the momentum I have been futilely seeking. Feel like I am close to falling into that deep groove again where the momentum gained from one piece carries you deep into the next. It creates an immersive environment for me, one where ideas and concepts are forming instantaneously, cracking and popping like fireworks inside me.

It’s a good feeling, one on which my creative life depends. And one that I assume will always return even when I am going through periods of inactivity or frustrating and distracted efforts. So far, I have been fortunate and it has returned every time I fully devote my time, effort and focus.

So, this morning excuse me for being short but I know that this feeling can retreat as quickly as it shows up.

I need to get to work. Now.

For this Sunday Morning Music, here’s a classic from The Kinks that was always part of the soundtrack of my life, from the time it was first released in 1970 until now. It’s Lola. The video below features is a new comic book telling of this song and its wonderfully ambiguous wordplay. 

Okay, go to run. This feeling won’t last forever. Enjoy.

Read Full Post »

Celluloid HeroesI have always been a big fan of the movies.  I’ve written here in the past how I will often paint while an old movie plays in the studio, especially some of the older classics that were often based on great ideas and great dialogue.  They are not distracting in most cases and it’s easy to pull thought and emotion from these films that finds its way into my work.  It’s hard to not want to inject more feeling into whatever I am at work on when I listen to some of the lines from The Grapes of Wrath or so many other great films.

Tonight are the Oscars, that night when Hollywood celebrates the past year’s top films.  I have watched faithfully since I was a kid even though recently I seldom have seen many, if any, of the nominees.  It usually takes a year or so after the awards for me to catch up on them and in some cases I lose interest in pursuing them.

Sometimes when I do catch up on them I regret not having gotten to them sooner but often I am glad I waited  because the film just wasn’t that good or simply wasn’t my cup of tea.  But it’s always been like that.  In the heyday of Hollywood they produced more than their share of bad movies.  It’s easy to think otherwise because we see the classics over and over.  A bad movie is a bad movie regardless of the time in which it was made.

But let’s not focus on bad movies.  Let’s hope that there are movies this year and in the future that will inspire and move us.

It seems like every year there is some sort of controversy with the Oscars and this year is no different, with all of the the acting nominees having a decidedly pale complexion.  I don’t have any answers except to say that filmmakers are missing out on a quickly growing demographic by not developing more films that simply tell good stories with people of color in larger roles without resorting to portraying them as gang bangers and drug dealers because that is not the experience of the overwhelming majority of this segment of the population.

It’s up to writers, especially those of color, to create work that goes beyond these stereotypes.  If they can create compelling stories featuring people of color that appeal to the common human experience to which all people can relate, these films will be made.

I believe it can and will be done eventually.

That being said, let’s have a little Sunday Morning music with a Hollywood theme, one of my favorites from one of my favorite bands.  It’s Celluloid Heroes from the Kinks.  Have a great Sunday!


Read Full Post »

august-sander-man-on-street-portraitI was listening this morning to the song 20th Century Man from The Kinks.  Released in 1971 — don’t do the math, it’s a long time ago– it is a song of a man decrying his existence in a time in which he feels he doesn’t fit.  Ray Davies may have felt that he would have been more at home in the 19th century but the odd thing is that the song’s words still fit very well for someone like myself whose life consists of mostly time spent in the 20th century.

Even though we’re well into the 21st century– that new century smell has pretty much worn off by now– I am still basically a 20th century man.

It struck me that the next generation that is quickly coming of age and into their own will be a group born in the 21st century, never experiencing a second in that distant time.  I never gave that a thought before but their time will be spent entirely in a time unlike mine or people of my age.  The 20th century might be just a distant thing to them, a source of old people’s memories and dry historic fact.


And maybe that’s a good thing.  I don’t know.  For as pivotal as the 20th was in so many ways, it was mightily flawed and maybe trying to see the world beyond its lenses will be refreshing.

Hey, let me hope, okay?

So for this Sunday Morning Music here are The Kinks and 20th Century Man.  The accompanying photo which jumped off the screen at me is from the great German photographer August Sander who I will be discussing here in the near future.

Have a great Sunday and enjoy your time in the 21st Century…

Read Full Post »

GC Myers--Fausts Guitar Popular music has played a huge part in storytelling in films and television in recent years.  For example, this past weekend saw the end of the television series Breaking Bad with the final scene of the series having the song Baby Blue from Badfinger playing as it panned up from Walt’s body.  It was an effective use of the song, neatly tying up the series’ theme of the obsession that overwhelmed Walt’s life.  Some have felt that it was even too spot on but I’m not here to debate that.   It just reminded me of some other songs that have been used  to great effect in this  ( Crystal Blue Persuasion will  be  forever linked in my mind to a montage of meth production from  this show) and  other series.

In the Sopranos, which almost always was brilliant in its choice of accompanying music, one of my favorite endings came when Tony Soprano was particularly cruel to his sister, leaving her home and walking down the street as I’m Not Like Everybody Else from the Kinks played.  It just perfectly summed up the scene and Tony’s self-justification for his often horrible behavior.  Just a great scene.

But I think my favorite came in Mad Men, when ad man Don Draper could not understand why his clients, in 1967, so wanted the music of the Beatles for their ads.  It was all just music to him and he felt that any musician could easily put together something similar to the Beatles sound.  The episode ended with Don settling in at home with a drink after putting on the Beatles’ Revolver album on his hi-fi.  The song Tomorrow Never Knows comes up and the  eras suddenly converge for Don, a revelation that the world he knew is changing, moving beyond his control.  It is a beautiful summation of generational change.

Here’s the song with a film that Neil Aspinall put together in developing a third Beatles movie in 1967, which never came about.  The film would have made a wonderful juxtaposition to Don in the show.  The painting at the top is an older piece of mine, Faust’s Guitar.  I did a few versions of this image years ago and it remains a favorite of mine.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: