Category - Digest
I have been an outlaw
All my grown up life
Just ask my former in-laws
Just ask my former wife…
– Dana Cooper and Pierce Pettis, My Life of Crime (Spotify)
Who Are You?
That’s the question that I keep wanting to ask – of the people who are receiving the infrequently delivered “Weekly Digest” from my website, CohesionArts.
I wonder because I’m sorta starting it up again… it’s been dormant for the better part of a year. And longer than that, really. It’s been quiet since I went into creative seclusion three years ago.
Despite my seemingly massive ego and out of control narcissism (it’s right there in the interogatories for the divorce, so it must be true, right?) I’m a lousy self promoter.
For a long time, I carried a business card that said that I am a “Writer / Photographer / Musician / Artist* – follow that asterisk to the bottom of the card and it reads “and I’m going to keep telling that lie until it comes true…”
Everybody laughs at that line. And yeah, it’s intended as a joke. But it’s not nearly as funny as it is true.
CohesionArts.com is the website where I gather what remains of my creative energy these days. A couple of years ago I devised an automated routine that rounds up whatever I’ve posted to the site for a week and publishes it to a mailing list of a few hundred subscribers under the guise of a “Weekly Digest.”
Two weeks ago, a Weekly Digest went out before I even realized that I’d reactivated the protocols. When I looked at the records, I discovered that was the first issue since November of last year.
In the meantime, I managed to finalize the divorce that had been pending for almost a year, the genesis of which goes back more than three years (or 7, depending on which point of demarcation you choose…).
Right away about a half dozen people unsubscribed the list.
Which has me wondering about the few hundred people who remain. That would be, umm… you, whoever might be reading this.
This is the first time I’ve addressed this list directly.
Because I wonder… who are you?
My best guess is that you are one of the people who have purchased something from my wall at the Erabellum Gallery at the Arcade in downtown Nashville, where I stand in front of some of my photography once a month. I do it mostly for the ego gratification. I like it when people walk up and look at the images and ask “Are you the artist?” To which I gleefully reply, “Well, if you thin this is art then… yeah, I’m the artist!”
When people do purchase something, I will ask for their email address. That’s how I got yours, and why you are getting the “Weekly Digest.” And I think that at some point I might use this list to, you know, actually market things to people. Did I mention that I’m a lousy self promoter? I’m working with my therapist on that….😜
So that’s what this is and why you’re getting it, and if in fact you’re reading this, I’d like to hear from you. Just a quick note to email@example.com to say hello, maybe let me know if you remember how or where we met and if you’ve got one of my photos hanging on a wall somewhere in your domicile.
Hallelujah, LensBaby has finally produced a selective-focus lenses with a focal length that works with my #Olympus OM-D cameras! .
I loved my Lensbaby back before 2012, when I was shooting Nikon DSLRs. I loved the way it could take an otherwise ordinary image and make it impressionistic by blurring and flaring the edges of the frame. Some of my favorite photos from that period were made with a Lensbaby. .
But once I switched to the Olympus Micro-FourThirds format, the Lensbabies became problematic. They made a lens with an M4/3 mount, but the with the smaller sensors the focal length was effectively doubled, and it just didn’t work as well as it did with a larger sensor. .
A couple of weeks ago I discovered that Lensbaby is now offering the SOL-22, which maths out to something much closer to a “normal” (44mm equivalent) focal length, which works great with my cameras. .
So behold my neighbor Jack’s 1970s vintage Corvette. I’ve walked past Jack’s house hundreds of times… we’ve been neighbors for like 20 years, but this was the first time I stopped and talked with him, and he let me shoot a few frames of his #hotrod. . .
I heard this quote listening to “Reckless Daughter,” a biography of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe. Arthur Krazman is cited as one of Joni’s early influences, an English teacher who recognized her talent and encouraged her to dig deeper. The quote – or the idea of it – supposedly originated with Frederich Nietzsche, but I could not find that reference. So Krazman gets the credit for this one.
H/T @AmySpeace for recommending the book. .
Performing a benefit concert for the Bells Bend Corridor at Sulphur Dell Farms in Scottsdale, aka the Last Vestige of Old Nashville (off the Ashland City Hwy, Rt 12, btw Briley Parkway and Ashland City).
The View from the Zafu
So, since the… umm… Great Reckoning… one of the things I’ve done is clear out the space at the back of the house that we used to call “The Consuhvatorah” (think Burl Ives in “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”) and am now using as a “studio.” ‘Ex’ got all the furniture, I got an empty space with a view. I pulled the carpet and replaced it with hardwood, and the only “furniture” is a circular area rug and a zafu/zabuton combination. I sit on those cushions and play my old Gibson guitar (1966 J-50 – a vintage guitar that I bought brand new), and noticed my reflection in the late-afternoon sun yesterday so grabbed this “selfie.”
I am also going to use the space as a photo studio so that I can start practicing portraiture. The big picture window is perfect for natural light, and yesterday I had curtains installed so I can control the lighting even more. Anybody need a headshot or portrait?
This is one of my favorite shots from the second (annual?) Guitar Mash at City Winery Nasvhille on May 11, 2019. Also dubbed “The Urban Campfire,” this event encourages the audience to bring their instruments and play along with the artists on stage. The house band is led by Mark Stewart (musical director for Paul Simon) and Nashville’s own Jerry Douglas, International Dobro Maester Extraordinaire. The lineup also included, in addition to Gretchen, Amythyst Kia, Nicole Atkins, some guy named Jason (Isbell) and some other guy named Buddy (Miller). I’ll post some more pix this week.
One more from the “Turquoise Takeover” this past Monday night, with several buildings downtown lit up in honor of the American Lung Association. This is the 4th Avenue side of the Bridgestone Arena. I don’t think the scooter is using Bridgestone tires, but you never know…
…at City Winery, Nashville – May 16, 2019
David Crosby has always been one of my favorites from the Classic Rock Era (aka “my youth”). Maybe cause our voices are in a similar high-tenor range, and I have learned to play several of his songs over the years. Or maybe because the Jefferson Airplane version of “Wooden Ships” – which Crosby co-wrote with Stephen Stills and the Airplane’s Paul Kantner – lives prominently on my “All Time Top 5” songs playlist.
Apart from the fact that it’s amazing he’s still alive (he has too much in common with Keith Richard), he continues to be a stellar writer and performer. At age 77 (!) David Crosby’s voice is every bit as clear, bright, and crystalline now as it was 50 years ago.
He has been touring of late in support of his 2017 album “Sky Trails.” Last night was the second time I’ve seen him on this tour. The first time was in December 2017 at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame (my new favorite venue in Nashville).
Last night he returned to City Winery to play to a very enthusiastic (admittedly, mostly Boomer) crowd. He does an outstanding job of mixing his back catalog with the more recent material, making “nostalgia” seem “current” in the mix. I was particularly pleased to hear him perform “The Lee Shore,” which has only ever been released on the CSN&Y concert double LP, “Four Way Street.” That song was a favorite back in my own sailing days, when I lived in Hawaii in the 1980s.
After the encore (“…everybody sing: ‘Four dead in O-hi-o…’”) I thought about the extraordinary legacy that David Crosby has created since The Byrds released “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1965. Besides The Byrds, he played with Buffalo Springfield in their waning days; Crosby Stills and Nash (with or without Young) was a staple of the era; and I’ve always considered his first solo release, “If I Could Only Remember My Name” one of the most sonically layered and textured vocal works of that or any era. I’ll put a link to that release on my website.
As we were leaving, I turned to my date and said “ya know, I never did get to see Paul McCartney, but this is pretty close….” In his own way, David Crosby has been every bit as lasting and influential as any Beatle.
Nerves of Steel At Work
After the GuitarMash at City Winery, we were treated to an after party at Gruhn Guitars, one or the premier vintage guitar dealers in the whole world. Most of the festivities were held in the main showroom of Gruhn’s three-story location on 8th Avenue, on the outskirts of downtown Nashville, but the real treat was getting a chance to go up to the second and third floors.
On the second floor – that’s where the really expensive stuff is on display. From the $5-10,000 guitars on the ground floor, now we’re looking at $25,000 and higher instruments. I’ll post a photo later of me playing a $55,000 1940s D28.
The real treat was getting a tour of the workshop on the third floor, led by Greg Voros,. the Repair Department Manager. Here, Greg is explaining how the neck of a vintage Martin – in this case a 1940 D-45 worth something in the neighborhood of half a million dollars – is “re-set.” After nearly 80 years, the neck has to be removed through a very delicate process. One false move, Greg explains, and the value of the instrument can plunge by as much as $150,000.
Clearly not a job for the faint of heart.