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Keep on Rockin’

Just so my readers know that it is really ME writing this, let’s start with the MiNX concert last Saturday night:

Raffi and Ischa finishing up their set with the challenging finale of Together/Forever.

Raffi and Ischa finishing up their set singing and playing the challenging finale of Together/Forever while the film illuminates the big screen in center stage.

The event was part of a contest run by local newspaper City Weekly, focused on the “Best of Utah Music” — the top ten vote-getters are doing two weekends of play-offs with further votes from (generally rabid) fans on site and a mysterious panel of judges. MiNX had the best visual presentation by far — besides the extended clip from Together/Forever, they showed stills and segments from other colorful videos as they chose some of their best electric songs. Raffi plunked his magic twanger with skill and ease while Ischa’s voice made the rafters ring at the 50 West Broadway club. Their material is so good and so varied that they could have chosen two or three sets of other songs, but they chose well.

“Ladies That Rock” allies Big Wild Wings followed MiNX.

(Left) Big Wild Wings, led by Lyndsi Austin; (Right) Christina Manteris of Merchant Royal on a whole different night.

(Left) Big Wild Wings, led by Lyndsi Austin; (Right) Christina Manteris of Merchant Royal on a whole different night. (see below)

I’ve had a difficult time characterizing Big Wild Wings’ music — it is heavy, moody, and delightfully dissonant, but Dan Gentry came up with an excellent phrase — “Dream Pop,” which works for me. They were joined by Klaus, superb cellist from The Femme Medea too — last time I saw him with Big Wild Wings was at the Urban Lounge before my Amsterdam trip. However the stars of THAT night were Merchant Royal, led by my friend Christina Manteris. They caused the place to shake from floor to ceiling with a set of thunderous original songs. At the climax, the roar and stomping of the appreciative crowd sounded just like the din I heard after Lady Gaga finished performing Bad Romance last summer. (“What is that beautiful sound?!?” Gaga exclaimed.)

Amsterdam, Fools, and Fun

I used my airplane ticket for the ill-fated summer dance workshop to publish my book in Amsterdam, Holland. It was time to commit the story to print anyway, but I’d let the previous three summers distract me. Thanks to Melkweg veteran Suzette Bronkhorst, we were able to schedule a presentation at the American Book Center’s monthly Meet My Book and get a reception hall at the nearby ABC Treehouse that same Sunday night. Suzette prepared an awe-inspiring spread of finger-food and wine. My only cost was the food, and I covered that with book sales.

(L to R) Meet My Book poster with me and a Festival of Fool's hat covering my dome; The front cover of my book -- logo by Gielijn Escher.

(L to R) “Meet My Book” poster in the window of the American Book Center in Amsterdam, with me, five o’clock shadow, and a Festival of Fool’s hat covering my dome; Front cover of the book — logo by Gielijn Escher.

Mid-winter in Amsterdam tends to be dark drizzly and cold — folks were ready for a party devoted to summer and fun, though, and the turn-out was amazing! I had been in town a week or so before, working with the printer and seeing friends, but the big day was hilariously successful. The subject material is funny on its own, and I just let the details get their own laughs as I told them with a big smile on my face. I put a few posters of my own around Amsterdam — at Rastaman Bo Hauk’s shoemaker shop in the West, at De Schaum near Dam Square, and at the Bulldog in Leidseplein. I’m glad to say that my audience had people of every age showing up to hear about Fools and our Festival.

Between the tasks of preparation, there were some incredible nights of music in and around that wonderful city!

Tobie, Gunga, Jan, and Michiel in concert on Bicker's Island, Amsterdam.

Tobie plays clarinet plus sax, Gunga plays drums and odd objects, Jan plays bass, composes, and arranges, while Michiel plays piano on Bickerstraat, Amsterdam.

Behind Haarlemmerweg are a couple of small islands that were once devoted to ship warehouses. Modern ships passing through those deep channels flood the sidewalks and overwhelm the four and five story buildings, so there are fewer ships and more apartments. I once had a studio on Bicker’s Island, and saw a concert around the corner from the old place, featuring my friend Alan (Gunga) Purves on drums and three other incredible players making music that was so solid you felt like you could cut a piece out of the air and take it home.

That’s Entertainment — FUNKY Entertainment!

Seven Eleven in concert at De Melkweg

Seven Eleven in concert at De Melkweg. Fine singing, outstanding solos, and a bass player who makes his Starburst instument ROAR — like Bootsy Collins does with his own Starburst. They feature show dancers while the audience shakes it down too!

I used to work regularly at De Melkweg (Milky Way) in Amsterdam when I lived there umpteen years ago, and it is always a pleasure to go see shows in what was once called the Theaterzaal. This year, my friend Marcel Visser of the Parliament/Funkadelic network invited me to a concert by his friends Seven Eleven, a first-rate Funk band, who are celebrating their 35th year. The joint looks a bit different, but I had no trouble seeing outlines of my former hangout despite several remodeling projects over the years. The audience was full of beautiful ladies who came to DANCE, and the men joined in the fun without too much reticence. Thanks Marcel!

For sheer beauty though …

Yanna, Chris, and Ernst at the Red Cinema on Haarlemmersplein in Amsterdam.

Yanna, Chris, and Ernst at the Red Cinema (Roode Bioscoop) on Haarlemmersplein in Amsterdam.

Yanna is Ernst Reijseger’s daughter and attends theater school as an actress. She has a wonderfully musical voice however, and this occasion was one of the first times she ever sang in public with her famous father. Also on the program was a poet, and a fine Amsterdam actor who was our MC.

Harme, Ernst, and Mola in concert at Beauforthuis, near Austerlitz, Holland.

Harman, Ernst, and Mola onstage at Beauforthuis, near Austerlitz, Utrecht, Holland.

Ernst and I hadn’t met since we were on the road together in the late 1970’s. Our meeting was warm, friendly, and we jabbered on and on, trying to catch up after 38 years. Thanks to Facebook and Email, though, we had been in contact since 2010. He drove me out to the countryside beyond Amsterdam for a concert at a church with his favorite trio — named Reijseger, Fraanje, Sylla. They’ve released a new CD and played the whole thing during the course of the evening.

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Reijseger, Fraanje, and Sylla in concert at Beuforthuis

Their music is impossible to categorize, but I invite everyone to listen:

Elena by Reijseger, Harmen, and Sylla

The generosity of my old friend exceeded my ability to thank him — Harman drove me back to my neighborhood in Amsterdam the night before my book launch. I almost could have flown, since I felt as if I was walking on air.

Local Color — Dutch Stairs

Second flight of four

Second flight of four flights at mi casa — (Left) Looking up; (Right) Looking down.

Amsterdam is fairly vertical, as far as living space goes, and I’ve always been amazed at how ultra-vertical their stairs can get. Spirals are common, but sufficient room for the soles of your shoes sure can be rare in the historic neighborhoods. Preparation was important when I left my room for business or pleasure — going back for one or two items was a chore when I had to face four flights of ladder-like steps. I was smart enough to bring a rope to aid me in hauling my luggage up to the attic, and it was equally excellent when the time came to leave. In between I made a few mistakes in planning, but luckily there were no major problems with my wheels, except that my right knee complained sometimes, on the streets or hiking up the steps.

My favorite picture from the “Big Day”

Elvis and I at Meet My Book

Elvis and I at “Meet My Book” (look at the magazine rack behind me at the left) — I am not a comedian, nor do I play one on TV, but the audience laughed and laughed hard during my presentation. The book is a Valentine to the people and city of Amsterdam — it was even published on February 14, 2015 !!

At the moment, The Great Salt Lake Mime Saga and Amsterdam’s Festival of Fools is available via Print On Demand at the American Book Center in Amsterdam and Den Haag — but a USA edition is forthcoming, along with another book launch and copies placed in retail bookstores. The book ties into my previous web pages about this continent-spanning story, but emphasizes the Festival of Fools and ends when the festival ends.

See ALL the Festival of Fools programs HERE

Astronomy Domine

Saturn and its moon Dionne from the Cassini orbiter.

Partial Saturn and its moon Dionne from the Cassini orbiter.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

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 Early Modern gossip and literature, 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

The Great Salt Lake Mime Saga and Amsterdam’s Festival of Fools

My illustrated history book -- front cover by Geilijn Escher.

My pretty little history book — front cover by Geilijn Escher.

My online memoir about the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe existed only as patterns of electrons on computers in undisclosed locations throughout the world, but is now in the publishing process. Galleys are circulating among my friends, and I’m printing some more proof copies before I head to Amsterdam to oversee the First Edition, and do a book signing at the American Book Center and Treehouse on February 15, 2015. The official publishing date will be February 14, since this illustrated history acts as a Valentine to the City of Amsterdam.

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The Last Days of the Montana Mobile

My 1992 Toyota 4-Runner had enough mileage to say that it had “been to the moon and back.”

Final autumn for the Montana Mobile.

The Montana Mobile’s Final Autumn.

My mechanic is an honest man and told me: “It’s wore out — get it off the road!” When an early cold snap hit in October 2014, the old vehicle got sluggish and we all knew the end was near. Finding a new vehicle became a high priority and a stroke of good luck blessed my search, so I went to Southern Utah in my new car to celebrate, along with my friend Matthew Child from the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe. His contributions to the book mentioned above are immeasurably important. I spent some time on the journey writing about the late Montana Mobile, but all those words will need to wait for another post.

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Calling Out All Around The World! They’re Dancing On The Streets …

Hey Mister Tambourine Man, play a song for me -- Samantha and Elizabeth flank a film clip from 1965 as they prepare for their next dance.

Hey Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me — Samantha and Elizabeth flank a film clip of Dylan from 1965 at the beginning of their duet.

I’m always ready to see a Dance Concert, but I’ve seen very few concerts where the elements came together so organically as they did for Dylan Dances — presented on pavement on historic old Edison Street in Downtown Salt Lake City. The quality of Bob Dylan’s songs has motivated several generations to reach for their own dreams, and it was so amazing to see and hear them in this unpretentious space with so many skillful dancers, and a small cluster of acoustic musicians. A good friend of mine from a professional Modern Dance company cannily summed things up: “It was PERFECT!”

Last spring I was drinking coffee at the mellow Cafe on 1st Avenue and heard about a program called LoveDanceMore that presented regular Dance performances in Salt Lake City’s distinctive Masonic Temple, about one measured mile east from another temple on a street named South Temple. I got my first chance to see one of their “Works In Progress” on a luscious September evening. One thing I can say is everyone seemed to be solidly ready, despite the tentative title. It was a wonderful night, bracketed by my two favorite pieces — a fiercely ironic work of movement and acting mixed with Tammy Wynette’s Country-paean Stand By Your Man, and an awe-inspiring improvisation by clarinetist Emma and Amy Freitas of Porridge for Goldilocks. I saw my first-ever set pieces by the Porridge gang, with Brooklyn Draper in extended sections. There was more, and everybody’s standards were set high. Congratulations to Amy Falls and Ashley Anderson for running such a nice event — I saw more concerts in this space, coincidentally a short walk from the Cafe on First, and came away with a big smile on my face. Once they start again this spring, I’m planning on smiling some more.

A Portal onto Utah’s Repertory Dance Theater — plus other body-movers and booty-shakers.

Graphic derived from my program for Portal.

Graphic adapted from my program for “Portal.”

I saw the gorgeous By The Snake ensemble dance again, with some modifications, at RDT’s “Portal” concert in October. It moved me equally as much as when they invited me in the summer. PLUS there was over an hour of RDT’s magnificent performers and choreography to boot. The graphic above features my friend Tyler Orcutt sailing high in the air, plus my friend Efren Corado Garcia at the right. Guess which one said that Dylan Dances was perfect? I ain’t gonna say, so you’ll just have to guess.

I spent another extremely pleasant evening watching the Panama Dance and Cultural Exchange in the Tanner Dance Building, which now covers my old Soccer field east of Milton Bennion Hall — had some fun on the grass there after my first residence in Europe was over and I was finishing my degree. Besides the excellent Porridge for Panama improvisation by the Goldilocks gang, there were some brilliant pieces by others from the awesomely talented pool of dancers and choreographers in Salt Lake & Vicinity. Speaking of Porridge, they tend to be HOT — I’ve gleefully watched members of this unbound body of body-artists doing great work at Salt Lake Community College, the Utah Arts Festival, Sugar Space, and even Sketch Cabaret! One spin-off company calls their group Triptych Figures, and do some challenging pieces in challenging places.

A Strange Beast ’tis true …

Speaking of challenges, SB Dance continues to present performances that go deep into human hearts and minds. Stephen Brown jokes about changing the name of the company to Strange Beast Dance, but he might be serious too. All I know is that their Halloween concert shook me to my soul. As I listened to the beautiful singer work without a microphone, accompanied by acoustic piano, that piece took me on a metaphorical ride which made me grip my seat for dear life. I was SO glad when I knew it was over, but I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

Graphic composed from personal programs and memorabilia from SB Dance.

Graphic composed from programs and memorabilia acquired from SB Dance.

SB Dance’s fund-raiser Wine Theater Food was TOTALLY WTF — the food was excellent, can’t speak to the quality of the wine because I don’t drink when going out*, but the theater was over the top. The designated announcer, Senator Jim Dabakis, is one of the few Democratic politicians left in Utah and seemed to relish helping an Alternative art organization. As one may guess from the program above, the humor could get pretty down low, but everyone was in that kinda mood. A short section from last summers “Pushers” was thrilling, but the level of WTF Humor dropped back down to curbside again with a gut-busting fragment from a past/future production that dipped into Hot Yoga and Country Music. One of the plentiful napkins dried my tears from laughing.
One other thing helped elevate the evening — an aerial harness, earlier used in a brilliant acrobatic sequence. During the last DJ set, Stephen and Technical Director Liz set it back up and a number of brave individuals tried their best to bounce and fly while strapped into the rigging. I had been saying my goodbyes, but couldn’t leave while this goofiness continued. Stephen Brown took a final long spin in the thing, reacting to various dares from the rowdy throng. Dancer Jenny Larson had performed (wonderfully) at last year’s WTF in a similar harness, and we both laughed, or raised our eyebrows, at the WTF-ness of the whole playground scene. Ms. Larson is well aware of the strains that the apparatus puts on a human body. Congrats to all pros and civilians who made the night so much fun!

*I made an exception after Cannibal, A Love Story — really needed a glass of Champagne to calm the neurons exploding in my brain. TD Liz and I were shooting the bull when Stephen ran up to her and said “OMG we’re outta booze!” so there is no reason to think my need to decompress from that journey into the depths was unique.

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Speaking of Champagne

MiNX in concert at Alleged Club on New Year's Eve 2014-2015

MiNX in concert at Alleged Club on New Year’s Eve 2014-2015

The band MiNX has been an inspiration and a half to me during the labor of editing my book. Not only have they released three CDs in less than two years, but they made a long-form Music Video — call it a movie if you will. Ischa and Raffi went even further by performing the whole thing LIVE around Northern Utah. They set up a spring-bar screen and go to work, singing and playing as the film Together/Forever unfolds. I’m calling it a Rock Opera and highly encourage THE WORLD to see and hear it — Ischa’s writing and ever-evolving singing touches my heart, as anybody who reads this blog knows already. It is an intense and exciting experience beyond Rock Opera or Film on their own.

Together/Forever on YouTube (NOTE: It starts silently, and resembles a silent film in many intentional ways.)

Time to Duck Out …

Comet "Rubber Duckie" made news when the European Space Agency put a satellite around this distant celestial body.

Comet “Rubber Duckie” made news when the European Space Agency put a satellite around this distant celestial body in 2014.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

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 Early Modern gossip and literature, 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

There happens to be TWO Fourths of July in Utah

And they’re both about parades and fireworks. One is conventional Independence Day Weekend, and then there are twenty days until Pioneer Day, which celebrates the arrival of the founders in this area from the U.S.A. It also once meant over three weeks of fireworks, but urban sprawl and common sense has slowed down casual use of these hazardous pyrotechnics.

Biplane spewing smoke over Bountiful, Utah just before Pioneer Day festivities -- photo by M.E.

Stunt biplane spewing rings of smoke over Bountiful, Utah before Pioneer Day festivities — photo by M.E.

It was a coincidence, but as the air began to clear from black powder residue, the northwestern winds brought in long trails of forest fire smoke that afflicted the valleys of the entire West between the Rockies and the Sierras/Cascades.

USA! USA! USA! — The 4th of July is ON!

MiNX were the gracious hosts of Ladies That Rock on the 4th of July.

MiNX were the gracious hosts of Ladies That Rock on July 4, 2014.

Oops! There were only two bands at Ladies That Rock at the Woodshed (Grogan’s Venture Inn A Go Go) and I was late for MiNX. The second group, party band ESX played their last show that night, so although the music was wonderful, there was something that felt different. Crystal the leader said that she planned to be singing at her own funeral, though, and that cheered me up immensely. (I asked her to send me an invitation.)

July 24 — “Pie & Beer Day” and Pioneer Day too!

When I was growing up in Salt Lake City, the big Pioneer Day Parade was a highlight of the summers — often hot miserable summers. I have been in these parades associated with floats and wagons, sold popsicles as a vendor (didn’t take long to sell EVERYTHING), suffered on the sidewalks watching the thing, and even ran some road races along the parade route, which sounds crazy now, but at least they were over before the heat got intense.

This year, KRCL-FM did a fund-raising event at an establishment called The Beer Bar that emphasized matching specialty beers with various flavors of pie. It was called “Pie & Beer Day” in honor of the regional holiday. It was well after the parade, so I went down to help out my old radio station.

Composite photo of the Beer Bar's interior and the old Guthrie Bicycle Shop building across the street. I had a studio there for awhile, and know people who still rent spaces.

Composite graphic of the Beer Bar’s interior and the old Guthrie Bicycle Shop across the street. I had an artist studio upstairs for awhile, and know people who still rent spaces in that historic building.

It was very successful, despite the surprising number of folks who jammed the place, and waited in Hammer of Hell heat to get inside. What made it work so well was simply the general good nature I associate with KRCL’s staff and fans — people came prepared to laugh and relax. I’ve since read that the term “Pie & Beer Day” wasn’t exactly a fresh idea, but it was new to me, and I enjoyed the silly fun.

Valley air getting you down? Go to the mountains!

Silver Lake at Brighton -- Photo by M.E.

Silver Lake at the Brighton Resort — Photo by M.E.

Although there’s an investment in gasoline, journeys to the cool green mountains above the crowded Wasatch Front are always worth it for the lungs, heart, and relief of big-city stress.

Mule Deer yearling at Silver Lake -- Photo by M.E.

Mule Deer yearling at Silver Lake — Photo by M.E.

The wildlife coexists with human beings quite well in Big Cottonwood Canyon — congratulations to whomever has done the hard work of making it happen that way.

A spontaneous invitation to an RDT preview:

RDT at the Utah Arts Festival 2014 -- Photo by M.E.

RDT in performance at the Utah Arts Festival 2014 — Photo by M.E.

I was aware of a crowd-sourcing project that RDT was conducting to aid aspects of their Fall Concert — the choreographers utilized a methodology called GAGA in their classes and onstage work. It had nothing to do with Stephanie (Lady Gaga) Germanotta, but when I reserved a ticket for Gaga’s upcoming show, I thought of RDT and donated to them right afterward. In a very generous gesture, they invited me to see a preview of By The Snake from the upcoming concert in October on July 25.

What I saw started as three separate duets that became pieces with the three unchanged couples dancing almost as three entities with three identities, separate from the young dancers who performed those intricate and beautiful duets with extraordinary focus and precision. Six people onstage, and as many as nine personalities at times. The big bonus was a “finale” that read more like a sextet rather than multiple couples, but it was so intricate, I could have guessed wrong. The energy of the dancers radiated like shining stars throughout the whole concert, which it was — a whole concert.

Whatever GAGA means in the context of Ojad’s and Noa’s teaching, it was electrifying for those talented dancers that day! Three of them were totally new acquaintances to me, I was on nodding terms with two others, and was mighty proud of my recently-met friend Efren, whose long duets with Ursula kept me riveted throughout the concert. I have been SO fortunate this last season to see young dancers like Efren and Tyler do such brilliant work in RDT, and fine practitioners in other groups around Salt Lake — like SB Dance and the Porridge for Goldilocks gang. I surely would have missed some or all of this artistry if I hadn’t done my research for the workshop last May. This was also the second time this year I’ve been blessed to see a Dance preview!

The concert was held on Linda C. Smith’s birthday — In the past, I’ve praised her ability to bring out the best, in people and in our culture, and I’ll likely do it again in the future. I’m also going to praise her right now for making possible the chrysolite of wonder that I saw on that Friday afternoon.

Saturn's moons Mimas (Death Star) and Pandora, as seen from above the rings by Cassini orbiter -- NASA photo.

Saturn’s moons Mimas (Death Star) and Pandora, as seen from above the rings by the Cassini orbiter — NASA photo.

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Coming up in my NEXT post …

MiNX at The Woodshed July 4, 2014 -- Photo by M.E.

MiNX at The Woodshed July 4, 2014 — Photo by M.E.

I may have some catching up to do this week, but at least I’m not goofing off in Amsterdam. (I’ll goof off there later.)
————————————————————————————————————————————————-

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

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 directly 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.

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

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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