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Those who came before

I actually had a really good time on Memorial Day Weekend this year, including helping a friend with her labors of love and seeing to my own family’s gravesites on the Upper Avenues of Salt Lake City during an absolutely beautiful day!

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Salt Lake Cemetery — Memorial Day 2014

Like most citizens of the USA, I am from immigrant stock — My mother’s parents came from Norway in the early XX Century, and my grandfather’s mother was born in Scotland in the mid-XIX Century. His grandparents were from both Wales and Scotland. My paternal grandmother’s ancestors came to America from England in the XVII Century, and another line of Swiss and German progenitors arrived in the early 1700′s. (Lived in Pennsylvania, they did, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.) A book called The Rhodes Family In America says I’m related to George Washington by a circuitous genealogy that precedes the Revolution.

If you can believe your eyes …

… then you’re easily fooled. Neil DeGrasse Tyson likes to call optical illusions “brain failures.” The grim, hostile-to-life Bonneville Salt Flats possesses extreme lighting conditions that creates reflections, refractions, and baffling mirages. We are shooting some video out there when we’re able, and capturing some amazing phenomena.

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“Three White Hills” and “Floating Mountain” near Wendover, Utah.

The screen-capture above shows “Floating Mountain” to the right — a thermal layer of rippling air makes people think that there’s a lake surrounding an island in the distance. If they make the blistering hike to the foot of the thing, they’ll just have a big hill to climb. See those white salt mounds on the left? They don’t even exist! The illusion is caused by an upside down mirrored reflection of that distant mountain range “sitting” on a false horizon caused by the same atmospheric turmoil which causes the erroneous impression of distant water. The contrast of light over dark makes it appear as if there are three hummocks made of salt, or something colored white, arising above the ground.

Getting back to where things are green and growing

Utah (Gay) Pride, under the trees at Washington Square, was another wonderful party this year, open to all and sundry. Two of my favorite bands performed for the friendly throngs. Sugartown Alley rocked the Main Stage:

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(L to R) Dimitra Van Leeuwen, Wachira Waigwa-Stone, Sarah MacCombie, and Brenda Hattingh, AKA Sugartown Alley — Photo by M.E.

Sugartown Alley is nothing less than a Soul Band — The beautiful singing of Dimitra (Left) and Brenda (Right) goes right to the human heart as their very first tones sound. Wachira is one of the best musicians I’ve ever heard in my long life, and Sarah solidifies the front line extremely well! You can trace the rootsy influences of Blues, Southwestern, Gospel, and Jazz if you wanna spend time thinking, but I strongly suggest putting that stuff aside when they are onstage and just FEEL.

You knew MiNX was coming next, didn’t you? But DAMN they were GOOD!

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(L) The front line of Sugartown Alley comes ’round the City/County Building to dance to the music of MiNX, alongside Ms. M of Sketch Cabaret; (R) Ischa greets one of her many fans from the KRCL Stage while Raffi  smiles away — Photos by M.E.

As the Coasters used to sing — Baby, that is Rock and Roll!

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MiNX in concert at Utah Pride 2014 — Raffi Shahinian, Green Gibson, and Ischa Bee. (Photo by M.E.)

Now, about the night before

I continue to be an ardent supporter of Ladies That Rock at the venerable Grogan’s A Go Go, uh, Woodshed. June’s event started kind of oddly, with a Colorado band named Zolopht showing up and insisting they’d been previously booked. I missed all that drama, if there WAS any drama, and enjoyed their Reggae-influenced Dance Music. They reminded me of the days when now-famous Jerry Joseph used to gig on State Street with his own Reggae band Little Women. In fact, they used to play less than two blocks away, just below 9th South!

Instead of a musical opener, an athletic group of Pole Performers were originally scheduled in the starting slot. These graceful irrepressible women, and single tough gentleman did their routines during Zolopht’s performance, and uncorked some set pieces with a DJ after that.

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This talented bunch never relinquished Pole Position all night!

After Seattle’s The Monday After went onstage, the swinging action continued above our heads!

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MiNX grooves to the music of The Monday After as acrobats swing on the pole.

The Monday After is a duo consisting of multi-instrumentalist Ced and his beautiful, equally-talented partner named Jazz, who sings like an angel and pulls deep emotion from her electric bass. Like MiNX, the images within their best songs reverberate with listeners who have never heard them before — like me!

It was an exceedingly fun evening — I made an extensive an Facebook Folder with specific images of the bands and polemasters because I couldn’t possibly pile them all into this blogpost gracefully, and I invite my readers to check them out!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153088370025200.1073741835.821600199&type=1

Feel the Heat!

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MiNX seems to be “in the pink” a bit more than usual as they rock the closing spot at the Woodshed for a change — their beach bodies are perfectly appropriate for this time of year, as they continue to make music for ALL seasons — Photo by M.E.

Although MiNX plays acoustic versions of Pink Floyd songs, I’ve never really heard them play this one:

There is no pain, you are receding — a distant ship’s smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves, your lips move, but I can’t hear what you’re saying
When I was a child I had a fever, my hands felt just like two balloons
Now I’ve got that feeling once again, I can’t explain, you would not understand, this is not who I am
I have become — comfortably numb …

As the first weekend of June faded into Monday, I was knocked on my, uh — back by an Influenza from Hell. The high fever and extreme body aches made me incapable of eating or sleeping for four consecutive days. It was everything I could do after the crisis had passed to restock the cupboards and fridge, wash clothes, undertake minimal housework, or otherwise rejoin the living. I required a lot of rest between every halting task too. Thank goodness the weather was unseasonably cool, if fact, we even had snow in the mountains! It’s sobering to think what a summer like last year would have done to me.
I remember suffering an identical Flu in 1981 — you just don’t forget things like this. Luckily, I had the emotional support of friends and family, although nobody had to rescue me with a grocery run or anything like that. For those four days I joked that the only thing that kept me alive was the hope of dying. One of my friends told me that victims were going to the hospital, and I must say the fever was dangerously high, in retrospect. I am a lot better now, but that illness put a crater in my overall health that will take some time to fully restore.

During recovery, I missed seeing my “Porridge for Goldilocks” friends perform at the Rose Wagner theater as Daughters of Mudson — my karma would have been VERY bad if I passed that bug onto anyone else, plus the fevers and chills kept attacking me at random, but I still regretted missing that opportunity.

I had already purchased tickets for Stephen Brown Dance and the fully-fledged version of The Pushers that I had witnessed in development last January, and made it one of my goals to baby myself and see the piece on its final Sunday matinee.

Memorabilia from SB Dance's The Pushers, and my own copy of Patti Smith's Just Kids.

Memorabilia from SB Dance’s The Pushers, and my own copy of Patti Smith’s Just Kids. The dancer featured in the photo is brilliant Christine Hasegawa.

Stephen’s moving monologue about the many friends he knew as a young dancer in New York City who died from the unchecked onslaught of AIDS literally choked me up last winter, because I could make a long list of my own friends who suffered the same fate. The same pain was in June’s concert, but those feelings were leavened with wider variety of images, and a lot of necessary humor.

Well, yeah — I’m glad to say that I was able to see the show, with the help of Mucinex DM, Asprin, Gatorade, and several liters of H2O. My body felt a few minor hot flashes and chills during the performance, but I sat by myself and acquired several quantum levels of positive energy as it unfolded before me. (BTW — my “Porridge” pals were there too and accepted my apologies for missing them. They were expressly pleased to see me on my feet again.)

Horses by the Patti Smith Group was part of the musical score, but I saw the primary common ground between Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which Stephen cited as his inspiration, and The Pushers as being concerned with the successes, failures, aspirations, and anxieties of making one’s way in the world as a young person — and coping with biological development too. The details are far beyond the scope of this little essay, but I’ll mention a well-used mattress, living statues with aggressive attitudes, and a long pole that was cleverly used in a variety of group pieces — said pole being what said Pushers pushed — and pulled, and paraded around with varied clothing and multiple dancers suspended from its length.

The dancing and dancers were superb. Their acting was pretty damn good as well — Annie was poignant and funny, Dani played a hard brittle character that broke late in the show, and Stephen maintained a comedic facade of bewilderment through the whole thing. (Thou shalt not be deceived by yon facade!)
The most pleasant surprise of all was Nathan singing several touching and pertinent songs. I had read his mini-bios on programs over the last couple of years, but his background as a trained musician hadn’t really sunk in to my consciousness because of the sensory glare of his dancing. Hearing him sing was unalloyed joy, and I told him so!

With love we sleep, with doubt, the vicious circle turns and burns
Without you I cannot live, forgive the yearning burning
I believe it’s time to feel be real — so touch me now, touch me now, touch me now
Because the night belongs to lovers, because the night belongs to us …

There’s not much psychic space in this post left over to share my own thoughts about Patti Smith’s memoir of her early life in New York City with Robert Mapplethorpe, but I’ll give it a try. Much of it was warm, intimate, and sharing, which was touching in the extreme.
As the time frame progressed into the early 70′s I was thrilled to again meet up with the Patti Smith I had “known” through the pages of Creem, Crawdaddy, and other examples of the Rock Press out of NYC. She described her brilliant friend Lenny Kaye, another of my favorite writers, and playwright Sam Shepard, whose work I first encountered as a member of the daffy Freak Rock group The Holy Modal Rounders. Oddly enough, she met Shepard in the same context, only personally of course.
I was also proud to see that her poetry was simply first-rate when it first appeared in the pages of Creem, since she was one of my favorite reviewers. Looking back over time, I also could see how we had personality traits in common, like a willingness to collaborate, and the desire to try things that hadn’t been quite done “that way” before, and valuing others who tried untrod paths. When she became famous for her musical work with Lenny Kaye, I stood up for her when it was far from cool in my circle(s) of friends to do so. They sure sang different tunes when Because the Night poured out of every radio in Amerika!
Like Stephen, myself, and many others, she lost some of her best friends in the initial AIDS epidemic, but after continued personal tragedies of her own, she finally published Just Kids, and gave the world a unique view of people and places that our society will never quite see the likes of again.

Full moon rising over Davis County, Utah 2014 -- Photo by M.E.

Full moon rising over Davis County, Utah 2014 — Photo by M.E.

Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
REMINDER: Research this prolific author on ERBzine.

A Princess of Mars ; The Gods of Mars ; Warlord of Mars ;
( 1911 to 1913 — The heart of the Pulp-Classic world of Mars/Barsoom.)

And thereby hangs a tale As good luck would have it As merry as the day is long At one fell swoop … (We’re stealing from Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre, like Shakespeare did.)

Read my very personal review of 004’s CD State of Affairs: HERE
Buy one through RAUNCH Records’ Facebook page!

E-Portfolio for Michael Evans

So far, the weather has been many degrees milder this year — literally!

Considering last year was the hottest on record, and 2012 was a scorcher too, I’ll accept a pleasant surprise. It is also raining as I write this, which pleases me too, since April and May were dryer than I like. Northern Utah is lovely when there is rainfall.

Centerville between rainfalls, Spring 2014 -- Photo by M.E.

Centerville between the rains, Spring 2014 — Photo by M.E.

Rewinding Back to Front

The workshop in Salt Lake City could have accommodated twice as many students. We covered our basic expenses, and learned a few more things about the vaunted Dance Scene in Salt Lake City, though — one thing being that there are a lot of talented dancers who are seeking larger audiences. We sure had some dynamic individuals in the classes!

(L to R) Digital sketch of my friend Amy Feitas during Katie Duck's workshop in Salt Lake City; The Pacific Ocean, as seen  from Encinitas, California May 2014.

(L to R) Digital sketch of my friend Amy during Katie Duck’s workshop in Salt Lake City; The Pacific Ocean, as seen from the gardens of the Self Realization Fellowship’s Hermitage/Retreat in Encinitas, California May 2014.

It may seem to be a startling thing to report, but I am NOT working with Katie Duck anymore. She did her thing at USCD (well-attended, I am told) and I enjoyed a very pleasant vacation around the San Diego area. I stayed at the historic Lafayette Hotel, where Doris Day used to sing, and heard live music almost every night. Among the fun things I did was attend services at the Self Realization Fellowship, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi) in Encinitas, a bit further north, and toured the grounds of the Retreat/Hermitage, where their guru lived until his inevitable passing in 1952.

(L to R) Koi in the pond at the Japanese Friendship Garden; Koi kites on the pole.

(L to R) Koi in the pond at the Japanese Friendship Garden; Koi Kites on the pole.

I finally visited the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park, where my friend Lennox Tierney is still Head Curator, and called him in Salt Lake City while we cooled off in the teahouse. It was a good thing, too — he cleared the way for us to see an incredible collection of wedding Kimonos in that building behind the Koi Kites (above). There was a Koi Pond in Encinitas too, but they didn’t fly any kites!

While we were out on the weekend, I was having a conversation about the movie 20 Feet From Stardom with a fabulous singer named Janice Edwards. When she mentioned Lynn Mabry, I mentioned how highly she was regarded by P-Funk fans like myself. Turns out that Janice had been a bona fide P-Funk road warrior, singing in Parlet as Janice Evans (YAY!) and was especially featured on the album Play Me or Trade Me. She also sang on the classic Funkadelic song Knee Deep. We laughed for fifteen minutes about sharing George Clinton’s Mothership Connection as a fan and as a pro.

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(L to R) The jets fly in and out of San Diego at treetop level; Cartoon versions of Parlets Jeanette Washington, Janice Evans, and Shirley Hayden by my Funky friend Ronald Edwards AKA Stozo The Clown.

After I flew back to Salt Lake, I almost immediately went to see some talented young dancers in a concert by the Michael Garber Dance Collective at Sugar Space.

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Several students from the workshop were in this production too, along with others like Melanie, Serena, Desiree, and Eiby from Body Logic, Samantha Matsukawa, Eliza Tappan, and Emma Wilson.

My awesomely talented friend Wachira Waigwa-Stone led the live music, and they even showed a video about the company for relief — I’d previously seen this at the Dance Film Festival in Provo, but it was fun to see it again. Guest dancers Melanie and her Body Logic posse sat with me on the upper risers with our eyes and ears on the action throughout the second half. Check out the online review at the website of LoveDanceMore.

My curiosity concerning Sugar Space resulted in the ongoing pleasure of seeing about a baker’s dozen Utah-based dancers performing in a variety of ways in a number of different venues during the late Winter and early Spring of 2014. Man, I really appreciate the privilege of having these experiences!

Body Logic at RAW, an Arts showcase, in April 2014 -- Photo by M.E.

Body Logic at RAW, an Arts showcase, held in April 2014 — Photo by M.E.

Overlapping RAW was an interesting event at the Photo Collective on Second South called Museum of Nobody — a wide-open amalgamation of performances and visual installations. It took place over two interesting nights, and involved the amazing improvisational company Porridge for Goldilocks, plus Wachira and a pianist who just kept it rolling along.

Wachira, Megan, Amy, and Monica as Porridge for Goldilocks at the Museum of Nobody -- Photo by M.E.

Wachira, Megan, Amy, and Monica performing as Porridge for Goldilocks at the Museum of Nobody, April 2014 — Photos by M.E.

That’s me in the corner of the leftmost photo above, shooting at the concave mirror above the space. You can make out foreshortened images of the pianist, Wachira, Megan, Amy, and Monica from a ceiling-eye’s view. Wachira’s band Sugartown Alley was scheduled to play at the Woodshed later, so I went over there to have a listen, but they didn’t start until after I had to leave — I simply get tuckered OUT sometimes.

Catching up on my own projects

I spent a productive week or so putting together a new page on the Cosmic Aeroplane Memorabilia site called Cosmic Roots and Branches — The 9th & 9th Community.

Clipping and photo courtesy of Linda Huntington of Mother's Earth Things.

Clipping and photo courtesy of Linda Huntington of Mother’s Earth Things.

This page describes the transition between the “Hippie Era” of the Sixties and the still-creative Seventies where Alternative Culture became more of a grassroots movement as the Baby Boomers grew older and explored their own likes and dislikes without so much prompting from the Mass Media. It traces the fortunes of the Cosmic Aeroplane’s original neighborhood as it developed into a still-thriving Alternative Business district that continues to be a comfort to the afflicted, and an affliction to the comfortable, in this all-too-conservative town.

After shooting some insane mirage-videos out on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and attending a political demonstration at the City and County Building, camera in hand, I started looking forward to a mellower June.

There is no pain you are receding — a distant ship’s smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves — Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, out of the corner of my eye

I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now — the child is grown, the dream is gone …
I have become — comfortably numb


As it was in the beginning …

One thing that gave me a toe hold on sanity during the crazy first week of May was Ladies That Rock at the Woodshed. I needed to do SOMETHING ELSE other than what I was doing during the blur of the workshop, and the first-rate music of MiNX filled the bill perfectly, along with some nice riffology by Shasta and the Second Strings — totally missed Big Wild Wings, the first act, however.

MiNX was doing all ORIGINALS on May 2, 2014 -- Photo by M.E.

MiNX was doing all ORIGINALS on May 2, 2014 — Photo by M.E.

Raffi’s new Stratocaster Big Pink had a case of stage fright or something, because the high strings burst asunder in the middle of a song. Luckily Backup Blackie was ready to go, and Raffi had it rocking the joint in a few bars’ time. Thanks to auxiliary tracks and Ischa’s dazzling showwomanship, few even remembered the change after a few minutes.

Five Saturnian moons, and a section of the rings, thanks to the Cassini spacecraft.

Five Saturnian moons and a section of the rings, as viewed by the Cassini spacecraft.

Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
REMINDER: Research this prolific author on ERBzine.

A Princess of Mars ; The Gods of Mars ; Warlord of Mars ;
( 1911 to 1913 — The heart of the Pulp-Classic world of Mars/Barsoom.)

And thereby hangs a tale As good luck would have it As merry as the day is long At one fell swoop … (We’re stealing from Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre, like Shakespeare did.)

Read my very personal review of 004’s CD State of Affairs: HERE
Buy one through RAUNCH Records’ Facebook page!

E-Portfolio for Michael Evans

Eclipsing Easter

What’s on my mind right now?

Workshops in Salt Lake City and San Diego, starting Friday!

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All readers of this blog are encouraged to attend!

Once the hammer comes down and I’m busy making the work, it’s unlikely I’ll post on this blog again until after my return from the Best Coast, so this one’s going to be fairly long.

Well, what about Easter Weekend !?!?

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(L) MiNX at Comicon 2014 by M.E. — (R) MiNX by One World Media Productions.

I had a fabulous time seeing my friends Ischa Bee and Raffi Shahinian during a beautiful Spring weekend, before the predictable rains and even snows of late April fell. This is the time of year for those life-giving events in the high desert, though!

Before the bunnies besieged us …

Best Dance Concert of the year by RDT!

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(R) Aaron Wood and Sarah Donahue (not pictured) seemed to lead this amazing young ensemble through a delightfully full evening.

Of course, it was also the first “formal” concert of the calendar year that I’ve seen — they’re doing other performances here, there, and everywhere. I wish there was time for a reasonably-long review, but there isn’t. It had everything I love about RDT though — all delivered in four large ensemble pieces. I’ve never had a nicer Easter Basket.

 

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There was some fascinating artwork on the walls of the upper lobby.

RDT has extended the LAND-2-LAND Art Sale to continue through the end of May!

This fund-raising exhibit has some interesting and beautiful items for silent auction — Speaking of which, I donated some of my own digital watercolors to a similar event going on at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana.

Model: Lou Sturm, from photos taken at Porridge For Goldilocks at the Urban Gallery. Postcard-sized image by M.E.

Model: Dancer Lou Sturm, from photos taken at Porridge For Goldilocks at the Urban Arts Gallery. Postcard-sized image by M.E.


Besides paying for Live Music and Theatre, I actually buy artwork made by others as well:

 

Assemblage by the amazing Marcee Blackerby.

Assemblage by the amazing Marcee Blackerby.

Thanks to Willie Littig and other friends for running a sale of this wonderful artist’s work!

Art can express and portray the darkness of our souls, and also the resilience within:

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Program cover for Breaking the Silence, presented at the Ogden Buddhist Temple.

My readers are encouraged to research the dreadful history of our government’s cruel and unnecessary internment of US citizens of Japanese descent in lousy camps during WWII. The author of this reader’s theater play spent her share of meager (and late) compensation money to develop this testament. She was there, as well as a US veteran, survivors from camps in Utah and Wyoming, plus my family’s friend Judge Ray Uno.

(L to R) Cherry Blossoms in the garden of Salt Lake's Buddhist Temple; David Sharp on stage at Nihon Matsuri.

(L to R) Cherry blossoms in the garden of Salt Lake’s Buddhist Temple; David Sharp on stage at Nihon Matsuri — this block of 100 South is renamed Japan Town in honor of the old neighborhood, mostly destroyed to make way for the Salt Palace in 1969.

One of my fellow-inmates from the Art Department at the University of Utah made music for Breaking the Silence, and I saw him play again at the Nihon Matsuri festival. David and I had the great good fortune to study Japanese Art with Monuments Man Lennox Tierney at the U of U. Everyone looked pretty Japanese at the festival under much-needed umbrellas — very practical folks! The weather felt like a vertical flood, but the food and company couldn’t be better!

From the lands that gave us Easter and Passover:

Images from my personal copy of the program and promo material.

Images from my personal copy of the program and promotional material.

I have rarely had the opportunity to be in the same space with objects over 3000 years old, like pottery and chunks of ancient architecture, but the basic humanity of this exhibit moved me deeply. That big round thing holds fragments of the much younger Dead Sea Scrolls, dating from only about 2000 years back, and they themselves are miracles of preservation by neglect and low humidity. They were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
During Pax Romana (the so-called Roman Peace), Palestine was ravaged and extensively depopulated by Vespatian and his son Titus in response to what we now call the Jewish Revolt. These two generals both became Emperors, as did Vespatian’s son Domitian, who was the first Imperator to preside over those infamous mass public murders in the newly-built Colosseum. The last named was clinically insane as well as cruel, and actually participated in the bloodshed, clad as Hercules, until he was assassinated just before the reigns of the Five Good Emperors. You might just guess what I think of all of them, but I’ll agree that all but a very few of those who followed those five were WORSE.

It’s time for some actual FUN!

Record Store Day was more than just shopping. First I started the day RIGHT:

Metro Music Club performing at the finish line of the Salt Lake Marathon.

Metro Music Club performing at the finish line of the Salt Lake Marathon.

Good singing, good playing, and seeing my friend Chris Snarr on the throne (after working at The Bayou until late.) It was wonderful seeing Amber again and meeting their kids Jaron and Amy. This first-rate band plays popular Funk, but MMC’s leader Josslyn writes her own songs, recording under her own name. Metro Music Club is a true gift to our town.

After that, it was off to celebrate some record stores:

James Brown's first recordings with Bootsy and Catfish Collins -- I bought this on vinyl at the Cosmic Aeroplane, and am happy to have a drive copy on CD.

James Brown’s first recordings with Bootsy and Catfish Collins — I bought the original double album on vinyl at the long-gone Cosmic Aeroplane, and am happy to have a drive copy on CD now.

WOW — Vinyl record and turntables were for sale everywhere, at least at Raunch Records and Graywhale! It was nice to talk with some folks from SLUG Magazine and KRCL too. Speaking of Cosmic Aeroplane, follow the link and check out my website about that great store.

The BIG Con:

Do you know how much this wrist band cost? No, it didn't come with a butt band-aid to cover the place where your wallet used to be, either.

Do you know how much this wrist band cost? No — it didn’t come with a butt-band-aid to heal-over the place where your wallet used to be, either.

Actually, nobody is forced to go to these things, and I had a blast!

The Salt Palace featured a row of actors, models, and popular celebrities signing autographs.

The Salt Palace featured a row of actors, models, and popular celebrities signing autographs that stretched almost a fifth of a mile. The Star Trek posse attracted the longest lines. At the moment, these fan-driven events are scheduled every six months.

All I’ll say is that Enterprise captains William Shatner (not pictured) and Patrick Stewart commanded the biggest fees for autographs and photo-ops.

I asked around for my friends (Cosmic) Christian Coleman and Chris Bodily, but had no luck until one of the publishing crew for local Comic Book Hellskate steered me in the correct direction:

(L to R) Cover of Hellskate by Chris Bodily; Flyer for a local Roller Derby event.

(L to R) Cover of Hellskate by Chris Bodily; Flyer for a local Roller Derby event.

I was happy to meet Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and she in turn was delighted to know that I’d been a member of her official Fan Club in the 1980′s.

(L to R) Elvira in character and costume, what there is of it; Cassandra Peterson as she appeared at Comicon. Yeah, I bought these pictures, and we made each other laugh!

(L to R) Elvira in costume, what there is of it; Cassandra Peterson as she appeared at Comicon. Yeah, I bought these pictures, and we made each other laugh!

An important figure in American Art was running a table on the main floor, and you didn’t need to pay anything to talk with him, however I purchased some items, including a new graphic novel featuring Batman:

(L to R) Signed print by Neal Adams; Program notes about this man, who helped raise the quality of the whole Comic Book Genre in the 1960's.

(L to R) Signed print by Neal Adams on my own wall; Program notes about this friendly man, who helped raise the quality of the entire Comic Book Genre in the 1960′s.

Among many subjects, we discussed my early daze at the University of Utah, and how his contemporary work literally “shut up” would-be critics of Comic Books among the academicians around me and my peers. Pictured above are his characterizations of some DC characters that caught my attention on the racks of drug stores at the time — the ultra-dark Spectre and Deadman, plus his elegant version of Batman, who got darker and darker over the years until Frank Miller further revolutionized him in the Dark Knight series.
Adams remembered drawing my friend Tom Fagan, who led an annual Halloween parade in Rutland, Vermont dressed as the Caped Crusader, in one of DC’s comic books. Tom used to visit the very same Salt Palace as a sales representative for Tuttle Books during book fairs, and highly approved of Adams’ work on Fagan’s favorite character!

Mr. Adams was constantly drawing, as he’s been doing since his teenage years. I brought my own materials for resurrected Sketch Cabaret in another part of the building, but didn’t really need them, since they generously supplied a great range of materials for one and all, and some of the finest-looking models on the Wasatch Front. No, I didn’t show anything to Adams, but a few things turned out alright.

(L to R) Un-named model, sketched by M.E as she in turn was drawing a Cosplay lady wielding the frying pan.

(L to R) An un-named Sketch Cabaret model, drawn by M.E. as she in turn was drawing a Cosplay lady wielding her frying pan.

The deciding thing that brought me to Comicon was the return of MiNX as musical stars of Sketch Cabaret, and they made my whole day with their talent and energy. At first they used the red outfits I’d only seen in publicity shots (top of this post), but Ischa changed over to her sculpted costume from the Utah Arts Festival last year.

MiNX inspired the Sketch Cabaret models to MOVE!

MiNX inspired the Sketch Cabaret models to MOVE!

The venue made them turn the volume down for a nearby panel discussion, but the good fun continued anyway! I noticed other ladies around the convention in long red evening dresses, much like Ischa’s first gown, but it seemed to be a coincidence. Neither she nor I knew what character they portrayed. Raffi frankly reminded me of the Easter Bunny with those ears, but I suspect yet another coincidence. That Steampunk image with the duo under a crane atop the steel barrel is more than a few months old.

I’m “Over the Moon” about Katie’s workshop:

Lunar Eclipse of April 14, 2014 as seen from Centerville, Utah just after totality -- Photo by M.E.

Lunar Eclipse of April 14, 2014 as seen from Centerville, Utah just after totality. That star is named Spica, but Mars was also shining brightly a bit higher — Photo by M.E.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
REMINDER: Research this prolific author on ERBzine.

A Princess of Mars ; The Gods of Mars ; Warlord of Mars ;
( 1911 to 1913 — The heart of the Pulp-Classic world of Mars/Barsoom.)

And thereby hangs a tale As good luck would have it As merry as the day is long At one fell swoop … (We’re stealing from Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre, like Shakespeare did.)

Read my very personal review of 004’s CD State of Affairs: HERE
Buy one through RAUNCH Records’ Facebook page!

E-Portfolio for Michael Evans

Coming to America

(L to R) Melvin Fraenk and Katie Duck at OT301 in Amsterdam December 2013.

(L to R) Melvin Fraenk and Katie Duck at OT301 in Amsterdam December 2013.

I have been passing out these postcard sized flyers (above) at various coffee houses around Salt Lake, and speaking with some interesting people in the course of promoting this workshop.

April Showers

Centerville Tulips 2014 -- Photo by M.E.

Centerville Tulips 2014 — Photo by M.E.

The local deer don’t graze under certain bushes, so we have a few bulbs flowering in the neighborhood. There are also Quail and beautiful Goldfinches!

No fools of any month at Ladies That Rock in April 2014

A full set of Acoustic MiNX capped a perfect spring day.

A full set of Acoustic MiNX capped a perfect spring day.

Ladies That Rock was billed as all-acoustic show, a welcome context for MiNX, who have often been at their most elegant and/or raw singing around a wooden guitar. The night began with Spoken Literature and Slam Poetry, with high qualities of performance, literary quality, and intense imagery, informed by Feminism.

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(Top) Stephanie Novack, our MC — When She Speaks I Hear The Revolution.

Notice the poets who are reading — one is using paper, others are using smart phones:

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I can only WISH I knew everybody’s name!

OK — it was a BIG challenge to follow that, no matter who you were!

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(Top) Kelli Moyle had the “star spot,” and worked it until closing time. (Lower Left) Chanda Charmayne played Raffi’s own guitar — lucky lady! (Lower Right) Nirvana Huntington’s amazing voice really RIPPED through the Woodshed.

What about MiNX?

Ischa and Raffi did fine in their acoustic set, but it surprised me that they performed so many songs that they didn’t write. I have heard these so-called “covers” piecemeal since I’ve followed this band, but there were many more than usual in a single offing this Friday night.
Twenty four hours later I was surprised again when they STARTED with an electric set and FINISHED acoustically at another venue.

I ain't crazy, I'm DIFFERENT ... !

I ain’t crazy, I’m DIFFERENT …  at Fatts Grill on Saturday April 5, 2014.

Raffi played a new Fender Stratocaster that night, finished in Hot Rod Pink — and made it ring with great enthusiasm!

Acoutsic MiNX made the crowd cheer with appreciation.

Acoustic MiNX made the crowd cheer with appreciation.

Impressive as full-track electric MiNX was, the audience totally fell in love with their reinterpretations of songs by famous people as sung by Ischa accompanied by Raffi’s hollow-body guitar, through the P.A. system.

Hanging on, in quiet desperation is the English way, the time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say.
Home — home again I like to be here when I can, when I come home cold and tired, it’s good to warm my bones beside the fire.
Far away across the field, the tolling of the iron bell calls the faithful to their knees to hear the softly spoken magic spell …

Day-UM — I’m so glad I was there that night!

Check out MiNX’s original acoustic and electric music at MiNXband.com

More art, but from another time

When I was in elementary school, C.B. DeMille’s biblical epic Ten Commandments impressed moviegoers everywhere, and the production paintings by Arnold Friberg also impressed me and others around Utah, where he’d moved after the movie wrapped up in Los Angeles. Until this year, I’d only seen them as prints, but the actual paintings were put on display by his family in Downtown Salt Lake City.

Sample from my Freiberg portfolio.

Sample from my own Friberg portfolio.

My art teachers at the University of Utah preferred less built-up textures of paint on the canvas, but we still went for anatomy and color in similar ways. Friberg sure liked orange, red, and yellow Cadmiums!

Freiberg portfolio

From my Friberg portfolio

(Below) The Egyptian princess discovers infant Moses in the bulrushes along the Nile River. Nina Foch played said princess in DeMille’s movie, but I swear that the lady in the painting also resembles Anne Baxter.

Freiberg portfolio

From my Friberg portfolio

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Speaking of movies

(L to R) Nortje Kohne and Vilbjorg Broch at Orgelpark.

(L to R) Nortje Kohne and Vilbjorg Broch in performance at Orgelpark.

My own video of Manson II is based upon subjective interpretations of history by the cast, but the improvisatory concert is a piece of history on its own. Watch it HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNWYysB8Q2c

Credits: Katie Duck — Choreographic Score and Direction
Jakob Lekkerkerk — Musical Direction and Church Organs
Alfredo Genovesi, Freak Musbach — Electric Guitars
Nortje Kohne — Viola
Vilbjorg Broch — Soprano
Miri Lee — Patricia Krewinkel
Carla Behal — Leslie Van Houten
Manuela Tessi — Susan Atkins
Alekszander Szivkov — Tex Watson

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Interplanetary Overdrive

Mars and Earth are close, and it is summer in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

The Curiosity team named this place Mount Remarkable.

The Curiosity team named this place Mount Remarkable — photo from the surface of Planet Mars via NASA/JPL/MSSS/Emily Lakdawalla.

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Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
REMINDER: Research this prolific author on ERBzine.

A Princess of Mars ; The Gods of Mars ; Warlord of Mars ;
( 1911 to 1913 — The heart of the Pulp-Classic world of Mars/Barsoom.)

And thereby hangs a tale As good luck would have it As merry as the day is long At one fell swoop … (We’re stealing from Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre, like Shakespeare did.)

Read my very personal review of 004’s CD State of Affairs: HERE
Buy one through RAUNCH Records’ Facebook page!

E-Portfolio for Michael Evans

Of Dance and Video

Poster-sized description of Katie Duck's US Tour 2014

Poster-sized description of Katie Duck’s US Tour 2014

New students are stepping up to dance — May 2014 looks like a good month in Utah and California. Our Salt Lake City studio is located inside the west gate of Downtown Sugar Space, next to their art gallery, running north to south, with a door looking out onto a cute patio between us and the gallery — it has a newly-laid sprung-wooden floor, and all the electricity and sound equipment we need for the workshop.

The Urban Art Gallery, located between the Rio Grande and Union Pacific depot buildings, showed Jimmi Toro’s portraits and innovative paintings on their walls while Porridge for Goldilocks created a series of improvised dances with as many as four musicians playing — led by drummer Wachira Waigwa-Stone. Many of the dancers used bicycles to get around that wet early-spring evening, and arrived in four discernible waves.

(L) Amy Freitas started things off as the first layer began cooking.

(L) Amy Freitas started things off in Wave Number One.

 

Wave Two flowed ashore

Wave Number Two flowed ashore with solos, couples, and group work.

 

Two male dancers made big differences in Wave Number Three.

Two male dancers made big differences in Wave Number Three.

 

Amazing female dancers and a telepathic flautist surfed in for the delightful Wave Number Four.

More amazing female dancers and a telepathic lady flautist surfed on in for sparkling Wave Number Four.

A simple event with a lot of talent on display — the dancers and musicians made art that only existed for the hour they were playing. Congratulations to the Urban Art Gallery for their guts and generosity!

I have been wondering if an audience would watch Dance Films for an hour:

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“Occupation” (Top Left) was shot by my colleague Tanja London — Congratulations to everyone involved with this most pleasant festival in the old wing of the historic Provo Library.

 

On Monday, March 24, 2014 the modest Utah Dance Film Festival showed THREE back-to-back series of short-to-long Dance Films, lasting about an hour each, with 40% to 90% attendance in a comfortable, airy, and classy conference room. This all makes me confident that there ARE audiences for my own movie-length videos like Manson II at Orgelpark 2013:

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(L to R) Alekszander and Noortje in the pipes at Orgelpark.


Watch Manson II at Orgelpark 2013

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I recently saw Cosmos‘ host Neil DeGrasse Tyson speaking about Human Values in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, a building that was one of my haunts when I was a late-teen/twenty-something.

Link to local news coverage/precis of talk.

When Tyson talked about religion suppressing science, and the decline of US leadership in the field, he KNEW where he was and who was in his audience. He also made us laugh most of the time he was onstage.

At least one family took their children right up to Dr. Tyson at the end of Q&A. They exchanged jokes, hugs, pictures, and smiles with one another. I met him separately about an hour later in the autograph line, which wove across three floors and up four flights of stairs. We shared Cosmos stories, like the little cartoon-kid saying “Hell’s Bells” in the animated biography of Edmund Halley. This new series has an irreverent sense of humor quite unlike Sagan’s transcendental style.

Tyson was relaxed and friendly with everyone — initiated conversations and totally enjoyed meeting the wide range of Salt Lakers in that mellow line. Once I got to the top, I made a drawing of him, a sketch of Mickey Mouse’s dog Pluto, and well — got his autograph on a bookplate before I had a chance to finish either one. The line moved fast, once it started.

Since I was one of the last in queue, I stuck around to see how the event would end — finished his sketch-portrait, gave it to him, and enjoyed seeing the way he eagerly spoke to whomever he wanted for as long as the conversations lasted. Dr. Tyson interacted with young and old, smiling and joking all the while.

He handled his official handlers with polite ease — some of the U of U entourage were audibly fuming about playing fourth fiddle — behind line-jumpers and janitors. (Chuckle) Good going, Neil — You might be director at another building in New York, but you were one of us that night!

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Ladies That Rock — February Darks & Lights

My stars — MiNX generously bridged the opening and closing acts with an electrifying concert that relied heavily on the brilliant songs from their MiNX 13 CD.

MiNX in concert at the Woodshed -- Making the wonderful REAL!

MiNX in concert at the Woodshed — Making the wonderful REAL!

Local music legend Allison Martin played a fine piano, and recruited some fine help.

(L and R) Allison Martin with guitarist, and with Juana Ghani.

(L and R) Allison Martin with guest guitarist, and with Juana Ghani.

Juana Ghiani was an experience that went far beyond the bandstand. They have a familial tribal vibe going on that makes a fun atmosphere long before the music starts to play.

Juana Ghani made it a gypsy-good time in the Star Spot at Ladies That Rock.

Juana Ghani made it a gypsy-good time in the “Star Spot” at Ladies That Rock.

Once they get started, the music kicks into dance-time, with clean controlled rhythms and expressive singing. I’ve experienced these same Euro-Folk vibes in France, England, and Holland — with real Gypsies and without, but the inclusiveness and simple fun are impossible to beat. Congratulations to this wonderful group for doing it HERE!

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NASA / JPL / SSI / Animation by Bill Dunford.

NASA / JPL / SSI / Animation by Bill Dunford.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
REMINDER: Research this prolific author on ERBzine.

A Princess of Mars ; The Gods of Mars ; Warlord of Mars ;
( 1911 to 1913 — The heart of the Pulp-Classic world of Mars/Barsoom.)

And thereby hangs a tale As good luck would have it As merry as the day is long At one fell swoop … (We’re stealing from Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre, like Shakespeare did.)

Read my very personal review of 004’s CD State of Affairs: HERE
Buy one through RAUNCH Records’ Facebook page!

E-Portfolio for Michael Evans

March came in like a Kitty-Kat

Ladies That Rock is an inspiring way to start any month:

MiNX starring at Ladies That Rock in the Woodshed, Venture A Go Go, uh -- Grogan's.

MiNX starring at Ladies That Rock in the Woodshed, Venture A Go Go, uh — Grogan’s.

Check out some Summertime Unplugged MiNX at their website — we fans are hearing more brilliant wood-sounds more often these days, I’m happy to say.

I’ve been calling ESX a “Good Time Music” band — their lead singer Crystal makes it happen!

ESX opened the night on March 7, 3014.

ESX opened the night on March 7, 3014. Crystal Pistol – vox, Jordan – guitar, Bones – bass, Li – keys, Maz – drums, August – guitar. They successfully closed the show during the previous winter.

“Wild” times continued with surf music and Magda Vega in the star slot. Robin’s new songs have powerful lyrics with high literary quality and extreme emotionality.

Whomever did the graphics for the Wild Ones and Magda Vega has a great hand. Singer Robin, as drawn by M.E. on the back of her flyer.

(Left) Whomever did the graphics for the Wild Ones and Magda Vega has great hands. (Right) Singer Robin, as drawn by M.E. on the back of one of her flyers.

(Above) Blogmeister Michael ran down two separate battery packs in his camera, and ended up drawing Magda‘s lead singer Robin on the back of 3×5 flyers.

As Raffi Shahinian played his axe, local guitar legend  Aldine Strychnine was on hand to hear every note!

As Raffi Shahinian shredded his fretboard, local Punk Rock guitar legend Aldine Strychnine was on hand to hear every note!

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Modern Dance, Bolshoi Ballet, and the Sugar Space

Many productive hours went by seeing live Dance, both while I edited my Orgelpark movie, and after the film went online. I am burning European and American DVDs right now, and promoting Katie Duck’s workshop in May, which is coming up fast:
katie_flyer0wwwKatie will teach her workshop at Sugar Space’s newly-purchased location on the west side of Downtown Salt Lake City, near Utah State Fair Park. Some people call it the River District, but the Jordan River lies just beyond the Fairpark, a half-mile away. We are a block and a half south of a TRAX train station.
Our dance studio is located inside the west gate of Downtown Sugar Space, next to their art gallery, running north to south with a door looking out onto a cute patio between us and the gallery — it has a newly-laid sprung-wooden floor, and all the electricity and sound equipment we need.

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Complete One-Hour Concert — Manson Two:

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(L to R) Alfredo Genovesi, Nortje Kohne, Jakob Lekkerkerk, Vilbjorg Broch, and Freek Musbach in performance at Orgelpark, Amsterdam.

Magpie in Concert, August 29, 2014

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More dance on video/film — Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet at the Broadway Theater, doing Balanchine’s Jewels.

I’ve attended three Dance concerts at The Sugar Space, and had a good time at each one. The second was my particular favorite, partly because they had live music by a disarmingly gentle band called L’Anarchiste!

Digitally-altered programs by M.E.

Cause A Decision began with a dance video introducing the cast, shot on the foothills above the University of Utah — Digitally-altered programs and CD cover from L’Anarchiste by M.E.

Braving Deep Winter

RDT’s young company are doing extraordinary work.

Digitally-altered souvenirs by M.E.

Digitally-altered souvenirs by M.E.

Before I go see RDT’s LAND performance on April 12, it’s worth saying that LIVELY totally lived up to the title of the concert. The first half relied on a variety of beautiful pieces choreographed by Martina Harris, and climaxed with a highly energetic and moving Bolero by Joanie Smith. I was shaking my head in awe at the interval — they seemed to be passing the INTENSITY bottle around. Everybody was stepping up.
Bill Evans’ epic character dances are among the things that define RDT in my mind, and Jukebox is a fine example of his art. Anybody of any age can learn a lot from Linda C. Smith’s sense of timing, too. The whole second half was a major ride. I braved a snowstorm the next night to personally thank Linda and the company at a reception for doners.

Speaking of navigating snowstorms, I did a similar thing for Stephen Brown, and I’m glad I did:

Drinking at Sundance Film Festival with Stephen Brown Dance.

Drinking at Sundance Film Festival with Stephen Brown Dance.

Because of SB Dance this winter, I’ve heard Vanessa Angulo sing I Put A Spell On You, saw Jenny Larsen dance in the air, heard Totem & Taboo do another concert, watched the dancers “hit the mattresses,” and heard an exceedingly moving narrative from Stephen.

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History Here and Now

I had the great pleasure of doing some more research for my highly-satisfactory Cosmic Aeroplane Memorabilia website.

Starting about 1972, Linda Huntington (below right) of Mother’s Earth Things helped lead a loose collaboration of Alternative shop owners at the Ninth East and Ninth South Community after the Cosmic Aeroplane moved closer to downtown. Linda also fostered the successful Mayfest celebrations at Westminster College. There will be further pictures from those times posted soon.

The original partners of Mother's Earth Things model their stock of beautiful antique dresses at the Cosmic Aeroplane location on South Temple while Cosmic partners Sherm, Jack, and Steve are clad in denim.

The original partners of Mother’s Earth Things model their stock of beautiful antique dresses at Cosmic Aeroplane’s location on South Temple while Cosmic partners Sherm, Jack, and Steve are clad in denims.

I also had the great pleasure of introducing Monuments Men author Robert Edsel to my friend and Asian Art History Professor Lennox Tierney, who served as a Monuments Man in Occupied Japan. We had breakfast at a hotel downtown, and then Mr. Edsel sprung a surprise or two:

(L to R) Dr. Tierney peers at Robert Edsel's book Rescuing Da Vinci.

(L to R) Mr. Edsel’s autograph; Dr. Tierney peers at Robert Edsel’s book Rescuing Da Vinci, which goes into the astounding details of recovering what the Nazis stole in his documentary movie called The Rape of Europa

Mr. Edsel presented Dr. Tierney with a Senatorial Proclamation honoring his service, plus recognition from the Eisenhower Foundation, and an American Flag. Lennox Tierney was previously honored with the title Kensho, Order of the Rising Sun, from Emperor Heisei of Japan.

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Cluros and Thuria, as seen by Curiosity Rover on Planet Mars.

Cluros and Thuria, as seen by Curiosity Rover on Planet Mars.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
REMINDER: Research this prolific author on ERBzine.

A Princess of Mars ; The Gods of Mars ; Warlord of Mars ;
( 1911 to 1913 — The heart of the Pulp-Classic world of Mars/Barsoom.)

And thereby hangs a tale As good luck would have it As merry as the day is long At one fell swoop … (We’re stealing from Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre, like Shakespeare did.)

Read my very personal review of 004’s CD State of Affairs: HERE
Buy one through RAUNCH Records’ Facebook page!

E-Portfolio for Michael Evans

After the Holidays 2013-14

While we await St. Patrick’s Day and a late Easter, the movies have been fun:

My name, Michael Evans, was run before the main features throughout this festival.

My name, Michael Evans, was onscreen preceding main features throughout this “Digital” Festival — along with many other contributors to the Salt Lake Film Society.

2001 Memories: This movie was brand-new when I was 18 years old and has maintained a strong influence on popular culture for many decades. The photography is still very handsome when digitally presented with 21st Century projection equipment on a large screen. When it was new, 2001 was shown in real Cinerama at the huge Villa Theater, which I daresay had a screen that was twice the acreage of the Broadway.

The late Stanley Kubrick told his original version of Odyssey in images most of all, a method which still encourages the minds of his living audiences to make connections. The ultra-black Monolith, or Sentinel joins some far-flung mini-plots together in a de facto narrative that is more subjective than vague. Violence is also a component of the mini-plays: Dawn of Man resolves with newly-enlightened man-apes making tools, weapons, and making war — the primeval bone-weapon is thrown in the air to become — a space-liner. The kitschy Coffee Tea or Me routine, with space travel modeled exactly like the Jet Set Age of the 1960′s, has a good prediction or two — we had picture-phones by 2001 . Unfortunately, rivalries between Russia and the West existed (like in 1968) when I saw this movie in March of 2014.
Kubrick’s characters do a lot of lying in the second act, and there is a lot of official deception. The logos for Pan American and Aeroflot are proudly displayed in the decor of the film, and the plot shifts to Cold War Conspiracies. The episode has more onscreen suspicion than discovery, and there is a militaristic and somewhat threatening attitude rather than a vibe of open-minded investigation, but even though there’s only a few seconds of violence  at the finale — it’s not quite the end of Secret Agent Man.
I’ve accepted this gossamer weblet as satire of a sort — targeted on the idea of how toxic secrets and lies can be. The military goofballs and diplomatic clowns who are somehow in charge of guarding their control over the most important discovery in history just fall down, and out of the story, when the Selenite Sentinel signals Planet Jupiter.
2001′s third act is the famous HAL 9000 sequence — boredom and breakdown. Conflict, treachery, and that dumb-ass diplomat (Secret Agent Man) subverting the computer’s circuits with contradictory orders from the paranoid High Security State he represents. “It’s always human error …” Frankenstein in Space — this act ends in substantial violence. However, there is clever satire in strategic places, like the acrostic relationship(s) between IBM and HAL.
As our sole human survivor approaches the Jovian Monolith, a visual climax that secures this film’s place in history begins. The equations describing Black Holes were just beginning to congeal, but whether Kubrick utilized them or (likely) not in his imagination, this multiple-colored photographic journey is a true milestone in the Art of Moving Pictures. The chateau-like architecture furnishing the Finale was an unexpected touch in a Science Fiction movie at the time, but counterpoints throughout the soundtrack between Waltz King Johann Strauss and Modern Classicist Richard Strauss helped make sense of the context of this scene — the enigmatic coda of the Aging Astronaut & Star Child finishing the film without violence, and with a high ambitious vision, but time moves fast through Monolith Gate, and it is a little unsettling to see the leading man get old and die so quickly!

Arthur C. Clarke wrote a wonderfully-plotted novelization of 2001, with an introduction saying that it was based on “… what I thought Stanley might have meant …” Clarke’s novel 2010: Odyssey Two, written a decade later is all his own, one of his deepest — and both novels are fine literature. The movie version of Two relied on conventional cinematic techniques, was neither a major failure nor major success, wasn’t directed by Kubrick, and is mostly remembered as a footnote to 2001 when it is remembered at all.

S-F fan and screenwriter Harlan Ellison was less than enthusiastic about 2001 during its first release, and spoke of holes big enough to drive …  He had some valid points of contention, but he already had a reputation for contentiousness, and Kubrick’s choice of visuals over words created an apple-and-oranges situation. Stadislav Lem’s great film Solaris later stood as an artistic challenge to Kubrick’s handling of human psychology under the stresses involved with space travel. George Lucas led the way towards quantum changes in movie effects in the next generation of Cinema, but these kinds of things still don’t detract from the accomplishments of 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Past and present, gold records, and gold statues

Redigitization of a photo featuring singers Claudia Linnear, in the flesh, and Judith Hill on the poster for 20 Feet From Stardom.

Redigitization of a photo featuring singers Claudia Linnear, in the flesh, and Judith Hill on the paper poster for 20 Feet From Stardom.

I have been a fan of Darlene Love since I saw her singing regularly on Shindig, a Rock N’ Roll showcase broadcast on primetime TV in the mid-60′s. She led a fabulous trio called the Blossoms and also made innumerable hit records as a studio/backup singer in a golden age of Pop Music. She made a vocal splash on the Oscars a few days ago when 20 Feet From Stardom won an Academy Award for Best Documentary.
Luckily, a local Cinema/Pub hosted a showing of this movie as a benefit for KRCL-FM, and I had a wonderful time seeing and hearing some of the finest singers on the planet and learning a little about their lives.
Merry Clayton of the Raeletts, Claudia Linnear of the Ikettes, the Blossoms singing as the Crystals, and more fabulousness from the Waters Family, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill, and Táta Vega. I also appreciated pointed talk from Patti Austin, Lynn Mabry, and Gloria Jones — all of whom have many, sometimes heartbreaking,  stories they could tell. The arc of Darlene Love’s career took a certain amount of screen time, but the appreciative audience spent many rewarding and revealing moments with Ms’ Fischer, Hill, Clayton, and Linnear as well.

Making My Own Movie:

(R to L) Nortje Kohne and Vilbjorg Broch alongside Jakob Lekkerkerk (useen behind the keyboard) at Orgelpark in Amsterdam 2013.

(R to L) Nortje Kohne and Vilbjorg Broch alongside Jakob Lekkerkerk (useen behind the keyboard) at Orgelpark in Amsterdam 2013. The musicians and the dancers move all over the former church during the concert.

Manson 2 –Improvisatory concert by Magpie at Orgelpark, Amsterdam August 29, 2013

Some of the reasons my name was in the marquee trailer for the This Is Digital Festival was because of my membership in the Salt Lake Film Society, and their Open Screen evenings, when I’ve shown 10 minute segments of my video work documenting the astounding choreography and compositions of Magpie in Holland and the USA. This video is a full hour of INTENSITY.

Credits: Katie Duck — Choreographic Score and Direction
Jakob Lekkerkerk — Musical Direction and Church Organs
Alfredo Genovesi, Freak Musbach — Electric Guitars
Nortje Kohne — Viola
Vilbjorg Broch — Soprano
Miri Lee — Patricia Krewinkel
Carla Behal — Leslie Van Houten
Manuela Tessi — Susan Atkins
Alekszander Szivkov — Tex Watson

Manson 2 utilizes multiple cameras to capture the brilliance of an entire theatrical evening built on improvised music, dancing, and acting. Katie and Jakob create structures that the talented players turn into reality onstage. Their work rivals even the BEST examples of set choreography in skill of execution and artistic richness. One metaphor we use to describe this process is … working in the deep end of the pool.

A Solar eclipse as seen from the surface of Mars by the Curiosity rover -- Phobos does not cover the entire Sun.

A Solar eclipse as seen from the surface of Mars by the Curiosity rover — Phobos does not cover the entire Sun.

That’s enough catching up for now — I will be posting photos of MiNX and their colleagues from Ladies That Rock very soon — maybe as an addition to this chapter, or maybe in a whole other chapter. I’ve also attended several Dance concerts at The Sugar Space, and did more research for my highly-satisfactory Cosmic Aeroplane Memorabilia website.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
REMINDER: Research this prolific author on ERBzine.

A Princess of Mars ; The Gods of Mars ; Warlord of Mars ;
( 1911 to 1913 — The heart of the Pulp-Classic world of Mars/Barsoom.)

And thereby hangs a tale As good luck would have it As merry as the day is long At one fell swoop …
(We’re stealing from Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre, like Shakespeare did.)

Read my very personal review of 004’s CD State of Affairs: HERE
Buy one through RAUNCH Records’ Facebook page!

E-Portfolio for Michael Evans

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