Wednesday, December 30, 2009

EXPERIENCE

Hope inevitably leads to disappointment.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

SIGNIFICANT LIFE EVENTS OF THE DECADE

It seems that many blogospherical people are making "Best of the Decade" Lists or are, at least, reflecting. Guess I best reflect as well. No "Best Of Music Books Film Etcetera" for me. That. my dear, is so played out and borrrring. This is Robert Dayton's Blogspot. This time it's personal and self-indulgent. Hey, maybe it'll cause you to make your own list. No Best Of for me, either, just significant events, I don't want to fall privy to hierarchical thinking either, let time sort it all out. This list is a good way to get my back, to not to sell myself short, I've done a lot, maybe that's the problem: the world ain't caught up yet, ha. I don't want to get too nostalgic but maybe this 'where I been' will help with the 'where I'm going.' And feel comfortable with 'where I am' but not too comfortable (stay hungry). I've never gotten stuck on the good old days. Ever since I was a boy buying my comic books in the store and a fella in line told me how I better enjoy my life as 'school was the best years of his life.' This scared me. Looking back, I just feel sorry for that guy. There's a lot of people like that.



(pic by Clancy Dennehy)

SIGNIFICANT LIFE EVENTS OF THE DECADE
(done in no chronological order)

-My Dad died, he wasn't my Birth Dad but he was my Dad and though he wasn't talkative, he loved me and had a sense of humour. Went back home to see him a few times thinking it would be the last time, I could have gone a few more. I do my best to make sure to be there for my Mom.

-My brother Perry got married. I have three brothers, no sisters, he may be the only one to get married. And it was while I was there that I saw my Father's grave for the first time five years after he died.

-My cat Flo died. Tumours on the tongue. She was always there for me meowing and sleeping on my chest. A calico cutie.

-I fell in love three times.


-Me and the third love moved to Toronto. Never lived outside of BC before.

-That love moved back to Vancouver. I am still dealing with this and do not have proper perspective. UPDATE:I know as of twenty minutes ago that it is truly over and I best move on, I'm so fucked up and scared at this moment.

-Became disillusioned and feel that I am of no fixed address. I have no home.

-Met a lot of very interesting people at home (ha ha) and abroad in many walks of life, became friends with some. Maintained and treasured many very longterm friendships. Patched some up and made amends with some for mistakes made. And collaborated with some very wonderful and talented people!

-Had dalliances and relations with a LOT of women. I don't regret it but sometimes I was out of line, insecurity and fear of being able to be monogamous played a part. The last half of the decade featured more serious relationships, strengthened by what follows next.

-I stopped drinking. This helped me to get some self-respect and health back as well as to not doing things I'd feel horribly guilty for. Hopefully slowed down self-sabotage as well. I also started eating better, and living in nicer homes (ie. I moved out of an illegal bsmnt suite, a box really, when it flooded and destroyed some rare records).

-Always paid rent on time even when things looked scary.

-Became less judgmental. Thank God, it helped with my bitterness and to see people as people on their own terms.

-Starred in a movie called "Male Fantasy", a part which I think was written for me. It played a lot of festivals, was well regarded and is now out on DVD. It led to getting a great agent and lots of weird commercials and some TV spots.

-Acted in a Manson movie in a role that was written with me in mind. A small role but supported me for a while in Toronto. Now if I could just get an agent here. Movie goes into wide release in a few months.

-Recorded 9 albums.
Released six albums on our own and did well considering!
Four were with Canned Hamm: one was song-and-dance catchy funny synth pop; one was a tribute to that with Destroyer, Mark, New Pornographers and Rodney Graham, Frenzal Rhomb, Neil Hamburger, Bobby Conn, Nardwuar, and more; one was total glossy dance-pop; one was an X mas album; and Big Hamm is a musical genius ready to always look forward and not rest on his legendary laurels.
Two were with July Fourth Toilet: the first was warm charming bent psych pop, the second was hard driving psychedelic biker boogie and eerie soundscapes and ballads that my brother Frank played incredible guitar on with very very talented long-ti,e musical collaborators that are more open-minded than most.
Unreleased albums but should be released and I wish I had the resources and/or finances to make it happen: Points Gray, this may've been started late 90s, formerly called AIDS (way pre-AIDS Wolf), with Dan Bejar and Julian Lawrence, we wanted to do acid downer folk as no one was doing psych-folk at the time, when people started doing psych-folk we were way too damaged melodramatic vanity pressing sounding, ie. not watered down like most of that revival crap and we were individualistic, it did inspire Dan for his This Night album with Destroyer so it had some good effect indirectly and Steve Balogh did a limited CDR release. Hallmark, my melodramatic romantic glitter rock band, I wanted to move beyond the overtly funny but as normal as I was trying to be it still came out odd, recorded at JCDC so it sounds great, interesting dynamic of folks, I really want it to come out, I know at least a couple of us want to tour it. WET DIRT: hard rock Toronto damaged 4 piece band , recorded at 6 Nassau, currently in rough mix stage.

-Toured all over North America a lot as well as Australia in Canned Hamm. Many tours were with Neil Hamburger. One with Bobby Conn. One tour to Montreal was due to Musique Plus popularity for a music video. On one tour Tim and Eric opened with their videos in Philadelphia. One tour in Eastern Canada in the winter almost broke us up. We worked hard and mostly did it ourselves (peers did pitch in and help and support, of course), we were frustrated that it could never break through to the next level , we got a lot of media attention considering that. Is it that we were too funny for music and too musical for comedy or that we reside in Canada? We are still ready and standing by.

-With July Fourth Toilet no two shows were the same and musical styles fluctuated as did personas, see the theme running through my life: CREATIVE RISKS IN EXPRESSION. too many people are too scared to fall flat on their faces, I've done it and I've even been scared to leave the house afterwards but it has to be done to move forward. Sometimes I was tempted to quit completely but that's a confidence thing (and I'm gaining it back dammit).


-Co-created and co-edited a free unique Vancouver monthly newspaper called The Drippy Gazette. It lasted one year but it was then that I knew that what I do (and what many of my peers do) is not of marginal taste or value (many of these peers are getting quite successful). The public loved it, great feedback. But we just couldn't get to that next level, we couldn't get a backer, there was a glass ceiling. It has always been hard to get it to a wider audience and distribution and make some money. I hate being DIY and I notice that time and time again what I do can really reach people but it's the money-holders that never care. Through this newspaper, Julian got a Xeric Grant (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle money) to do a comic book and Lester got a job designing crazy tee shirts for Bang On after I convinced them to buy an ad and to have Lester design it. As well, some of Tommy's restaurant review columns for Drippy ran in the Nog-a-Dod book.

-Wrote a regular column for a free weekly Vancouver paper. Though I wrote it for free, I had carte blanche to take creative risks and reach a lot of readers. When they took my carte blanche away and the editor started treating me poorly, I left- I was writing for free, I didn't need the grief and, besides, writing for free takes work away from other writers as it undervalues them and makes backers think content can be free even though they run ads. Yes, the column gave me a certain cache and an opportunity to say something (creative nonfiction/experimental fiction/music/art/film/comics) and get me girls and guest lists but it also allowed my ego to run rampant and did not really lead to any serious writing opportunities whatsoever- was this because of location or because weeklies are disposable flotsam?

-wrote for numerous other magazines (Roctober, Cinema Sewer) and had some stuff in a cool book on Neglected records. Helped write an unreleased but filmed script and wrote a couple myself, will write more.

-Had art in magazines and Cinema Sewer books and Nog a Dod book. Numerous posters. Was/am in many group art shows. A solo show or two, one at Luckys. In a couple two man art shows with Jean-Paul Langlois. Constantly looking to expand my boundaries technically and otherwise.

-Made a series of self-help booklets.

-Did a lot of hosting as various personas and myself for variety shows that I put on. Also have done plenty of solo performances and story telling/comedy/improv. Lots of DJing as well.

-Started a small company for viral videos. Was careful in finding a tech collaborator but not careful enough as my collaborator fucked it up and essentially fucked over our first client and it was on my shoulders as they trusted me. This made me feel sick to my stomach and I had to walk away from the company.

-Walked away from a couple horrible day jobs that were ruining my quality of life. I've had some pretty awful jobs that required checking my self-respect at the door. I do not regret, however, working on the Downtown East Side, it was a worthy experience! The last few months though were truly awful as I had to work alone and no one should work alone on the DTES: the stress aged me- the age washed away when the job ended, luckily.

-Took training in acting and singing and typing to improve my passions.

-Had sinus surgery to improve my quality of life. Deviated septum. Not a nose job!

-Had the underside of my tongue cut to help with my vocal delivery. I enunciate better now.

-On allergy shots for better clarity of mind, quality of life, and vocal delivery.

-Trying to get out of self (this list isn't helping) and to listen more.

I'm sure there's more. Tell me about your decade.


WHAT'S NEXT?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I CAN'T BELIEVE I ATE THE WHOLE THING





"You're full of yourself."
"You're full of beans."

I used to feel infallible. Now I feel too fallible. Split the difference.

Why is it that when friends start telling me about their interns I want to laugh uproariously?

Want to be my intern? It involves a damp sponge and a high tolerance for Bronson movies. Oh, and you have to tell me I'm a fucking genius and remind me of my accomplishments once every couple of weeks. Oh, and you have to find me that book on meditation I've been looking for. No, I'm not going to read it! I'm going to contemplate it.

Art still up and for sale: Hunter and Cook, Index G, Mercer Union. Beat the rush. Ha! Or donate to your favourite charity, people/animals are struggling worse than some dude with the flu. Achoo.
Gesundheit.

Current favourite song title: "Pity you, Pity Me" by Bill Cole.

If you can't relate to this post, you are too close.

Which do you prefer: piffle or hooey? There's plenty of both to be had. They're in the cupboard.

Recently showed clips of my favourite band, The Bonzo Dog Band, to the funniest man in Toronto (Chris Locke). He got scared after watching it as he loved it and thought that it would cause such an influence on him that his comedy would become less popular (less populist?).
I understand.


Here's Chris:


WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT:

Father to son: "Don't fuck it up."

Mother to daughter: "Don't fuck it up."

Father to daughter: "Don't fuck it up."

Mother to son: "Don't fuck it up."

Monotheistic Patriarchical God to man: "Don't fuck it up."

Monotheistic Matriarchical God to womyn: "Don't fuck it up."

(the word 'womyn' sounds silly, I should use lady, oh geesh, I just fucked it up....)


TANDEM:
"Doc, it hurts here when I laugh and I laugh a lot!"

GOD ADVICE:
If you want to be taken seriously replace the word 'fuck' with that of 'funk.'
Awwwwwww, funk it!

If you don't like what you see here, get the funk out!

(get the funk out, get the funk out)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

GOLD ART/ $50 ART / STAR OF BETHLEHEM WALK OF FAME / X MAS FEELINGS



Wowwww, another busy week! This Thursday nite, Nov 17th I have a piece in the Mercer Union SOLID GOLD annual member's show and sale. Yeah! It's gold themed! My piece also involves felt as self-defence. "Nothing but SOLID GOLD quality works, all priced at $149.99. Watch the gold rush when the sale begins at 8PM. Event hosted by: Bill Clarke GOLD 4 CASH! Line up to get your own little nugget for just $149.99. Cash, visa and cheque accepted for payments. We will wrap the work for you and you can take it away same day!" It's at 1286 Bloor Street West...

Friday nite I deejay a private party, shhhh.

Then that same Friday nite I will be playing The Star of the Walk of Fame of Bethlehem in The XMAS V CHRISTMAS PAGEANT at Double Double Land (209 AUGUSTA DOWN THE ALLEY) where the battle of religious holiday versus secular holiday plays out IN PERSON, before your very eyes. Sherpafeast, Iron Bitchface, Jon McCurley, Ulysses Castellanos, Ajay Mehra AND MORE will cut the wheat from the chaff and get to the bottom of it all!
9 PM

Then Sunday Dec 20th from 1-6 Hunter and Cook is pleased to present FULL SERVICE, an exhibition of drawings and photos by 30 Canadian artists where all pieces are priced at $50 !!! I have a few pieces in this mass cheep-ass X-Mass show and am surrounded by good company with such people as Seth Scriver, Andre Ethier, Jason McLean, Jennifer Murphy, Mark DeLong, David Poolman, Victoria Kent, Mark Connery, Sandy Plotnikoff, Jay Isaac, Shayne Ehman, and more!


And Sunday nite is X MAS FEELINGS. Mannnn, I've saved the heavy hitters for this nite ferrr shurrr.The dissonant electronic SWITCHED ON SANTA album! French Canadian Joyeux Noel Disco! Chipmunk rip-offs! Holiday Glam stompers from WIZZARD and Slade. Stompin Tom's probable autobiographical weeper "An Orphan's X Mas", Wade Denning, master of Halloween sound FX records' wild X Mas sounds. And the capper: Blackie, the cat who Talked- a special single aimed at children with autism. Listen to Blackie who was born on X Mas meow, "I love you." Unsettling.
And, since I helped make an X Mas record myself in the musical act Canned Hamm, I'll be playing some of that, too (still for sale, go to iTunes or CD Baby for Canned Hamm- Sincerely Christmas) !!!!
That's how much I love X Mas music, I even helped make an X Mas album! WOW!!!! Isn't that great? I love you! Lots more!

And, as usual, my Midnight Candlelight recitation which connects with the people! What are recitations? Intense spoken reflections of the soul in a romantic manner. We are here to help you get through this mortal life. NO Cover but the cover of night.
9 PM, The Ossington (61 Ossington)

I'll be wearing a special X Mas outfit!!!!! One of many of course....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ADRIFTER

Time to update, say a tad 'something something' (that's cool kid lingo, which reminds me, lately when I'm going out for a lil derive with an accent on the second e, I've been targeted as 'hipster' by Queen Street drunkards which is funny to me cuz I've been pretty much the same for- ooh, should I age myself?- let's just say double digit years, what I'm saying is that I'm fairly set in my style, not exactly hip or keeping too au courant, tho I am into fashion-vain as all get out and floss regularly- in the sense that designer jeans are an oxymoron to me, but hey, man, if you got a cheque for me, sure, I'm a hipster...while you're at it, there's another word for me, too: it's whore).
Okay, I was just talking 'set in my ways' and, yes, it's good to stay true to your school and I am currently (currently? always) figuring out what to do. The big 'to do.'
Have to remember certain freedoms when frustrated.
No wife, no kids, no mortgage, no pool, no pets. These all make for one big YES of possibilities outside of such shackles.
Yes, there are plenty of loved ones but they are in Saskatoon and Vancouver and I have no desire to do Olympic mascot work at the moment.
Adrift. Adrift.

"I eat because I'm frustrated. And I'm frustrated cuz I can't seem to eat enough."
-Snoopy

I've been jotting down so many ideas for a book lately, mostly pen and ink with some writings, some new, some old, circulating around love and loss.
Fire under ass.
Who to pitch?
A big project may be the way to go. I've made albums, even starred in a movie, but never a book! Hmm......
I got together with two of the funniest lads in TO to plan a project. All I can say is I also need to think another way for this project, in terms of brevity, punchy funny, may have to go through the old files to get started.
And, nope, still no takers on that Canned Hamm Christmas show, what can I say? I'd love to do it and we're well worth it but if they don't want it, they don't want it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Canned Couver X Massing?


My Canned Hamm offer made the Vancouver free weekly The Georgia Straight:
http://www.straight.com/article-274164/vancouver/hamm-hopes-come-home-xmas

Will it happen? I dunno. It's not like we're asking for much, it's not a big cash making proposition, we're worth it, we're a steal for any venue.
What constitutes venue? Well, maybe the numerous big screen TVs aren't bringing in the crowds at your quaint ersatz-Brit pub: we'll change that for one nite only, maybe the Recession has hit your Company X Mas party this X mas: we'll take your minds off it, maybe you've hit your own emotional recession: we'll play your basement (ceilings must be taller than Big Hamm), maybe your school X Mas concert ain't gonna happen cuz the kids don't wanna do it: we'll do it! Whatever!
We've long been D.Y.I. so this is how we have to put it out there (potential managers, call us).
We put on a non-stop entaining show that opens with Christmas morning and ends with a candy cane battle and is full of our own catchy numbers and surprise guests! I miss playing with Big Hamm. It'd be nice to see Vancouver again and have sushi and swimming (I can't swim) in its' mountains.
I know The Couve needs this...but does it want it?
Realistically speaking, I'll most likely be staying in Toronto this X Mas, thank Gawd my pal Angela is inviting me over to hang out with pals as this is an X Mas where I have no girlfriend (aaaargh) and family is far away, these kinds of things make me understand why some people hate X Mas and not just in a Gremlins-style family accident way either. I love Christmas but, let's face it, Christmas can be hard.

Like all the "bitches" (quaint outdated colloquialism) out there I have been watching the popular television program Mad Men, specifically Season Two and, apart from the fitted outfits, it really is an exercise in anti-nostalgia. It makes me glad to be in the time I am in for numerous reasons that I will go into now....naw, I won't. Goodbye.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dancing tonite




This is last minute but will be really neat, I am deejaying tonite (Thursday Dec. 10), party starts at 8 PM goes to 12, 10 bux
960 Queen St W (at Shaw)
It's a fundraiser for a dance piece, but I'll also be accompanied by neat video projections by VJ cine citta so I'll probably play lots synthy upbeat stuff with breakdowns (been meaning to bust out the ZZ Top "Sleeping Bag" extendamix which is insanely wild, could it have influenced Andrew WK?, it's almost all breakdowns)....plus: some X Mas disco!

"...dance, drink, get massaged and buy things in support of BODY CARTOGRAPHY by Cara Spooner/Alicia Grant in collaboration with set designer Simon Rabyniuk and urban theorist Alex Marques. BODY CARTOGRAPHY will present showings to the public as part of Harbourfront centre's HATCH Feb 25 and 27 at 8pm."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BANDS OF BROTHERS



Almost nap time then button show then getting geared for playing all Bee Gees tonite at FEELINGS, so into playing them in a public place hearing it all around in a social setting affecting moods and hopefully turning people on in the process.
I love brother bands. In my collection the artists I have the most records of are by the Bee Gees, the Beach Boys, and Sparks. The connection of blood to make music, it can be very strong. The Gibbs would be walking down the street, one would start singing a line and another would finish: that connection.
My oldest brother Frank turned me on to a lot of music as a boy. It's funny, he's never online so he won't read this, but he once made a tape for me that influenced me sooo much, especially in regards to two songs that I put up there with Cocktails for Two and They're Coming to take Me Away Ha Ha in terms of personal influence. These two songs are Crazy train and Unchained. They have an energy, a crackle, dynamics, personality, performance, production, neat sounds, an immediacy, and a sense of playfulness that I was drawn to (the following are live examples so are missing some of those details but you know what I mean):



I'm sure what drew my brother to it were the guitars (it's Randy Rhoads' birthday today, I should note). My brother is a great hard rock guitarist. After being so involved in the rodeo circuit as a teen, he then grew his hair out and proceeded to practice practice practice the guitar. Then moving to Vancouver and touring touring touring, a van with dirty polaroids stuck everywhere, lotsa stripper girlfriends. A hard rock Stones trib called STIKKY FINGERS- yup, two k's! Another band called Aces High. Vancouver-based Beauty Kills seemed poised to go somewhere, always playing the local metal bar Club Soda, an unknown Alice In Chains even opened for them once.
Eventually he put the guitar away.
Later I'd get him out to play sporadically in July Fourth Toilet.
He started playing again in another band as well.
When July Fourth Toilet started planning our second album I wanted him on it!
I wanted to play with my brother!
Annnd for all his amazing talent, he's never cut a vinyl LP!
Just got a nice review from a reputable psych site in England that spotlights his and Julian's guitar playing on our record!! Yeaahhhh!
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/reviews/Rumbles_November09.htm

Or just read here:
Riding their truck through a cornucopia of styles, the oddly named July Fourth Toilet are a force to be reckoned with on theirs album "Balls Boogie", a disc that has stoned running through its centre, clear as a stick of cannabis flavoured rock. After a ramshackle, but oddly compelling version of "Me and Bobby McGee", the band suddenly shift into hard rock biker boogie mode, as "Hard Working Man" roars out of the speakers, a full on rock guitar solo adding to the wonder, as does a nice change of pace in the middle, bring it on and turn it up. The hard rock then continues with the heavy stomp of "Kentucky Whore", more guitar histrionics included, as the song winds up the energy. Next up, another change of style as the sad country ballad of "Stoned on You" sparks up a fat one, seemingly the story of a man who’s woman has left him, it is a bit of a surprise to find out she is in prison for murdering someone, a nice twist that is complemented by more fine guitar playing and a solid backbeat. Following the tale of "Armwrestle John", more heavy rock with over the top vocals and moody guitar riffs, the first side finished off with the boogie of "Name on the Door", everything turned up nice and loud. So far so good, then you turn the album over to be greeted with "Thanks Drugs" a song that pays homage to recreational drug use, opening with the lines "Been distorting time and space again", the ever versatile guitarist dropping into west coast mode, without missing a beat. After this things get re-wired, the band turning into early Floyd with the psychedelic jam, strange noises, twisted dementia and general sonic weirdness of the next four tracks sounding like nothing on side one, the band proving themselves adept as this side of thing as well. To end, the happiness and joy of "Cute Little Baby" is tempered by a gnawing fear of what the future may hold, ending an album that is schizophrenic, slightly paranoid, happy drunk, stoned and laughing. The makings of a good night perhaps.

(www.julyfourthtoilet.com)


I wish I knew how to post an MP3 to listen to, go to:
www.myspace.com/julyfourthtoilet I guess
And you can order it or find where to buy it here:
http://www.julyfourthtoilet.com/gnome.html
And here's a pic of me and my brother Frank Ackerman playing it:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

BUTTONS AND BEE GEES




Mannn, I just finished making a series of buttons for the button art show happening tomorrow at Index G Gallery (50 Gladstone Avenue) , phewwwww!
I made a looooong manifesto button as well as a series that reads as a sequential comic featuring a dirty hippy asking about love cuz hippies love buttons, man!
The opening looks to be pretty great, too! check this!

"Buttonmania & Hong Kong: Tales of a City (Part I) Opening: Sunday December 6, from 1-6 pm. It is also our first G HUNTING Sunday, so a lot to celebrate! We've invited the husband and wife team Alec and Kali to perform some Mexican folk music. There will be complimentary coffee and cookies for everyone!

Please note that the exhibition Buttonmania will continue through December 27."


So I gotta run and put them up...!
But, first, gotta tell ya that at FEELINGS Sunday nite it's alll Bee Geees!
The Ossington, 9 PM, sunday, 61 ossssingtonne


FEELINGS happens every Sunday but this particular Sunday (Dec 6th) will feature the early works of The Bee Gees which stands for the Brothers Gibb: Barry, Robin, and Maurice. Last month's trib to Scott Walker was too perfect for words and this one will be as well. How could it not be?
We here at FEELINGS love siblings, we have some ourselves, we've even made music with one of our siblings. It's a special bond when that music happens. The Bee Gees knew that. They had a synchronicity of blood which is a big reason why they had such amazing pop song-craft and harmonies.
We'll start the night with some of their early Australian recordings where one can wonder, "Were these songs really made by mere lads, young boys? How could they be so talented?"
Then we'll move into their late 60s British psychedelic-tinged soft orchestral pop gems with some B sides and rarities thrown in.
Wind it all up with the conceptually-flawed masterful red velvet double album Odessa, an album about a sinking ship in the 1800s, and it's perfect for FEELINGS! All aboard!

As usual my Midnight Candlelight recitation which connects[b][/b] with the people! What are recitations? Intense spoken reflections of the soul in a romantic manner. We are here to help you get through this mortal life.

NO Cover but the cover of night.
Bask in them....
FEELINGS

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CANNED HAMM CHRISTMAS

People asking about Canned Hamm X mas show: if someone/thing pays for my return flight to Vancouver, i'd totally do it !!! Big hamm is free after the 20th..
It's not that much cash really and the results you'd get'd be amazing! I mean, we put on a great show!
Just look at this video for one of our songs:


Or check out our album available here (makes a great stocking stuffer):
http://cannedhamm.com/buy.html



Yeah, I really wanna do the Christmas show this year
But it's simple: give us money, we do show etcetera.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

FRI/SAT/SUN/MON!!!!


I been bad, so sorry, life was hectic, life is hectic and occasionally intense. I have not been near you Blog and there's so much I have to say, so much that I've been meaning to say.
In the meanwhile, I will be practicing the art of public speaking over the weekend.
I'm part of some Performance Galore at an event called STOP TALKING 2 which may be like LOOK WHO'S TALKING 2 but without the breeding. Friday, November 27, 9:30pm - 11:15pm at GOOD BLOOD BAD BLOOD, 13 KENSINGTON Avenue (Kensington Market). Thinking I may talk about My Dream Bar at this event...
"But Robert, you don't drink!"
"Ha ha, true and it's all a part of...My Dream Bar..."
I hope you haven't all heard it already....
Thennn the next nite, saturday November 28th, I'll be yammering at this:
!!!!!!!!!
LATE all NIGHT ART PARTY!!

House of Everlasting Super Joy presents a total transformation of our space bringing the demons and deities from our minds to our walls! But not only the walls! The floors! hanging like scurvy dawgs from the ceiling!

The idea is this, the wizards of today will use any media to cast their spells, to cultivate psychic energy. Part of the future wizards job is too expand the capacity for a room full of people to generate positive orgones, thus allowing the audience to feel freer, to think positively in the face of evil, to talk to that girl youve been noticing for a few weeks.

VIDEO PROJECTION BY JOL THOMSON

MURALS DRAWINGS AND PRINTS BY
TOMAS DEL BALSO
DAN ROCCA
Alexandra Mackenzie

INSTALLATION BY
Neelam Kler
Dimitri Karakostas
movie prop installation by exploding motor car!!

PERFORMANCE BY
JON MCurley
Robert Dayton
Alex Coleurs

Tarp Installation by Vanessa Bee Rieger AND David Hanes
There will be refreshments, NEW ORLEANS STYLE RICE AND BEANS!
FUN ALL NIGHT!


Thennnn the next nite at FEELINGS it's a return to MOODS:
Before FEELINGS was MOODS with DJ Body beautiful and Sipreano.
Then DJ Body Beautiful's co-hort Sipreano left and it all changed...but this nite is a return to MOODS with a special post-recitation mini-set by Sip!
We start after bar trivia which ends between 9:30 and 10.
Sip will pop in laaaater. He has something to take care of first.
No cover but the cover of night. Sunday. the Ossington (61 Ossington).

Then Monday the 30th is UNVEILING!!! So excited about this:
"THE UNVEILING"

Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, 10pm (don't be late as we are rarely very tardy)
The Ossington (61 Ossington Ave., Toronto)
Free admission
Followed by a soiree/party
ONE-NIGHT-ONLY!

"Unveiling #2"
Hosts Robert Dayton, Junior, and William A. Davison dramatically unveil the latest and never-before-seen (until this very eve) creation of artist Fiona Smyth, fresh from her intensely stunning show at the INDEXG Gallery (read review here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/the-true-north-plastic-and-dyspeptic/article1336915/ )

This is exciting as Fiona is a major seen and unseen influence on the current widespread drawing front. Fiona will also be selling the second issue of her art mag THE WILDING at this event!

Then they will be auctioning off this masterpiece with minimum bid starting at just 50 dollars !!! A low price for this amazing work by this important artist...

This will be followed by a soiree/party
ONE-NIGHT-ONLY! So if you want to bid and possibly attain this never-before-seen work by a great artist, you best attend! Even if you are broke like us, you do not want to miss this opportunity of UNVEILING....

"The Unveiling" is a new series of one-night-only soirees/exhibitions, held monthly (more or less) in the back room of The Ossington Bar, which playfully reinvent a romantic and antiquated concept - that of a single artist "unveiling" their latest creation for a gathering of colleagues, collectors, critics, and cultural elite. The series is organized and hosted by local artists/curators William A. Davison and Robert Dayton and presented as part of Intervention Mondays.

"It's largely an excuse to have a party once a month. We don't take anything too seriously and we fully recognize the potential for humor in this idea. We want to emphasize the fun factor." says spokesperson and series originator Davison. Indeed, for those who know the work of either Davison or Dayton, a humorous, subversive approach is not at all unexpected. "At the same time," Davison continues, "we have a deep respect for the work we will be presenting and we feel that this series will provide a highly unique, entertaining, and engaging way for some of our favorite artists to show their recent creations."


BIO
Fiona Smyth is a Toronto based artist exploring popular and alternative cultural icons and imagery. Smyth's work probes these timely societal, sometimes intense and always relevant topics with a sense of humour, wonder and catastrophic consequence. She also employs surrealist, abstractionist, spiritual, feminist and pro-sexual strategies to achieve her unique aesthetic. Her use of media also reflects this range of interest by using different formats from which to engage her audience including comics,
illustration, painting, animation, music covers, web-based art and her fabulous murals. Smyth has exhibited in Taichung /Taiwan, Venice/ Lido, Jeollabuk-Do/ South Korea, New York City, Winnipeg and most recently The Parkdale Gyre at INDEXG in Toronto.

For upcoming gigs check www.myspace.com/fionasmyth

And I have to try to get a grant written by Tuesday...oy vey....
How are you?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dr. 14

I wrote this for the paranormal evening that I performed at last week. Here it is for you to read, yes, personal state of mind peers into the frame.

There I was with the renowned ghost hunter Dr. 14. They call him Dr. 14 because he goes one better than 13. Ever go to the 14th floor of an elevator? The people on that floor have a mix of smugness and dread. They’re not 13 but they are. One better.
Dr. 14 and I were on a mission on his floor. He runs all the 14th floors. Not a spiritual advisor. A doctor. A PhD in BOO! Stethoscope to the astral plane. He’s rational.
In fact, when I said, “Look up ahead, Doctor! Follow my nose, it always knows! …Why, I see floating just yonder, yes, it’s ectoplasm! I just know it is!”
He replied, “Dearrrrr boy, that is most certainly not ectoplasm. It’s snot.”
“Snot? Then do you know what that means, Dr. 14? This entire floor is operating as an open system of decongestant! The 14th floor is a sense of release! This is a perfect opportunity to get something off my chest! I have a ghost story that I have been meaning to discuss with you, Dr. 14, but it’s not of the kind you might think. I mean, oh sure, I thought I saw ghosts in the past. I’ve had visions of witch burnings while at a Christian camp. The counselor with the wooden cross necklace even purified the cabin in the name of Jesus Christ for me. I was 13? 14? Ha ha.
But this one’s not like that.”
“No?”
“No. Nor is it about how around the same period while lying in my bed at home I saw a visage pass by my door. A nurse visage dressed in a classic nurse uniform- not like the kind of uniform that my graveyard shift working Mom wore. My mother was a nurse. My Aunt Molly was very religious. She died. We inherited her collectible plate of the Last Supper. The plate broke days before I saw the ghostly night nurse. Midnight nurse. 2 hours later. 14 O’Clock. Was the nurse a sign? What to do? Don’t throw out the broken pieces of the Last supper plate. Put them in a box and save them forever or a long time. That way nothing bad will happen.
No, my ghost story’s not about that.”
“No?”
“No. I don’t want to tell you those kinds of ghost stories, Dr. 14. I want to tell you a personal ghost story. I mean, a story about personal ghosts. Like, how when my love calls me and she’s all happy to talk to me, missing and loving me so much. And I feel so sad and distant. Not like when we were together. But now we’re not. In the here and now, we’re not. She’s a ghost now, she’s not tangible. And she tells me about the job she just landed and her plans with the job for the next eight years on the other side of the country, it’s a big country, vast. I know it’s over. Truly over. I’m supposed to be happy for her landing that job. But she’s gone. A ghost. She moved away from the city we moved to. We discovered the city together and now I am alone in it. Luckily we never lived together because then she'd be more of a ghost in the home. She stayed over a lot and now I wake up alone. Like a ghost in reverse: her side of the bed is no longer sunken in. But I get reminders of places and details: ghosts. I didn’t think this would happen, She’s my greatest love. It’s out of our hands. She’s a ghost. And I have to let go. I guess. Do I? I don’t want to. But it’s painful. This ghost hurts. What should I do, Doc?”
“Those aren’t the kinds of ghosts I hunt, dear boy. You’re on your own. Hand me that flashlight. I need illumination.”
“Uhhh, you’re already holding it, Doc.”
“Right, right.”

Since memory held no weight in Dr. 14’s rule books, we found absolutely nothing that mission.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

POSTER I MADE FOR THE BON




The Bon asked me to make a poster for their Monday nite rock show, yayyyy! Contains a member of The Leather Uppers, a duo that wears scarves. I'm in a duo that wears scarves-Canned Hamm the Big half of which-Big Hamm- also plays in The Evaporators who did a split single with Andrew WK who covers a Leather Uppers song for it: tiny world.
And The Bon have a new single:
http://boppadodown.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 7, 2009

FEELINGS plays all Scott Walker


A friend was surprised that I was playing all Scott Walker this Sunday because he knew I was not in a good state. He's right. I'm not. I am pouring coffee down my gullet hoping it will help. Weekends are the worst because I am more alone than ever with less distractions. Right now, this very moment, is awful, maybe it'll pass, maybe my emotional state is running tandem with the allergies. Has the sadness drifted into depression? Shouldn't I have found a way to not let this happen, to be resilient? I keep asking myself, "What's the use of it all?" Yet there's a part of me that's causing me to go on this blog to promote an event this Sunday. Is survival part of the human virus? The same thing that makes me know this feeling will pass soon, maybe even later today, the same thing that makes me think I need pills again, like the kind I took some years ago? Lots of people take pills. Anyways.
Lots of people listen to Scott Walker. And it can be heavy, but people all sitting in a nice establishment listening to Scott Walker together is a nice thing. Because being alone with one's thoughts can really suck sometimes.

Here's the info:

The Ossington (61 Ossington, Toronto)
Sunday, November 8, 2009- 9 PM Sharp it starts!
With D.J. Body Beautiful and a midnight candlelight night recitation by Robert Dayton, Junior


We here at FEELINGS once heard tell long ago of a magical bar in Frisco that only played Scott Walker. It sounded like heaven to us.
Can't think of a better thing to listen to on a Sunday than Scott. Scott 2. Scott 3. Scott 4. Scott more as we listen in chronological order to this literate acid laced crooner covering Brel and singing of the cinema moving up through the decades to his more recent and challenging work. Listen as his voice actually gets higher as he ages! Why, that's inhuman. No no, it's very human: it's Scott. Tilt your head and drift to the voice of The Electrician as the band comes in. What will this musical climate be? Of Hunter.
Sunday Nov. 8th

Bask in them....
FEELINGS is a special night that happens each and every Sunday where we spin music that you probably won’t normally hear.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

IS ANOTHER WORLD WATCHING?




I'll be telling a non-spooky ghost story amidst people's real-life and intense stories but hey! Like my piece at the Halloween show, my story will be more about real-life sad ghosts....

Thursday, November 5, 2009
7:00pm - 9:00pm
good blood bad blood
13 kensington
Toronto, ON

IN A WORLD WHERE ALL MEN ARE GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN DEAD, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN....

Yuula Benivolski
Hannah Enkel
Jon McCurly
Marc Lalonde
Vanessa Rieger
Anna May Henry
Robert Dayton
Paul Manhas
and David Hanes


SHARE THEIR UNEXPLAINED EXPERIENCES WITH OTHERWORDLY HAPPENINGS.
OOOOooooOOOOO oooooOOOOOOOOOooooo
oooooooOOOOOooh
ya

ok
ALSO there will be music
By:
Maylee Todd
Paul Linklater
Paul Julien-Tanti
and sounds by Alex Mackenzie and Thomas Del Balso


AND we will have BEER and WINE and SNACKS

**there will be a $2 admission fee to help us keep the store going and events happening**

Saturday, October 31, 2009

GHOST HOLE


GHOST HOLE
at the White House...
I have a sad piece in GHOST HOLE tonite, mass Halloween art party installation/performance spooky wild. This piece is a small part but I try to turn ghosts and the metaphysical into the real and emotional. It's orange and black.
I like being part of something at the White House. My oldest brother Frank used to live at a legendary house called The White House in Vancouver when I just moved there from Northern BC. I'd often be put up there to help me get on my feet. It was quite formative. A house of veteran original punk and metal scene people living with guys who designed immaculate costumes for strippers along with Emperors of Gay Pride (they both had tonnes of sequins and boas) and more. Fun parties and a good community. What a house that was, I am still in contact with some of them. This is a different White House but the name makes me happy and they are very spirited doing their own thing as well.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 8 to very late
377 Lansdowne Ave.

The WHITE HOUSE presents:
(((GHOST HOLE)))

From dusk to the witching hour,
a portal will be opened at the white house
for all ghosts and ghouls to investigate.

There will be a battle with demons, a zombie shootout,
a magical doorway, ghost stories, and a horrific sunset. JUST SAYIN

SLIM TWIG
BROKEN TREE FORT
+various performances TBA

NEW Free Drawings #6 will be unleashed!
NEW Halo Halo tape will be released from its mortal coil!

Contributing Artists:
Nicole Torok
Ariel Adele Glenesk
Jonny Wheeldon
Brette Gabel
Katie Bowes
Laura Curley
dAeve Fellows
Brandon Dalmer
Jesjit Gill
Yuula Benivolski
Xenia Benivolski
Vanessa Rieger
Adam Cowan
David Hanes
Julia Dickens
Robert Dayton
Eric Jackson
Laura McCoy
Tarp Ghost
MIDDLESCHOOL
+ more!


Bands start at 10pm.

>BRING YOUR FLASHLIGHT<



This show is also called "DEAD ON THE INSIDE".

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"THE UNVEILING"


"THE UNVEILING"

Monday, Oct. 26, 2009, 10pm (don't be late as we are rarely very tardy)
The Ossington (61 Ossington Street, Toronto)
Free admission

"Unveiling #1"
Hosts Robert Dayton, Junior and William A. Davison dramatically unveil the latest and never-before-seen (until this very eve) creation of artist and musician Drue Langlois!

Then they will be auctioning off this masterpiece with minimum bid starting at just 50 dollars !!! A low price for this amazing work by this important artist...

This will be followed by a soiree/party
ONE-NIGHT-ONLY! So if you want to bid and possibly attain this never-before-seen stunning curiousity, you best attend! Even if you are broke like us, you do not want to miss this opportunity of UNVEILING (and we-as the only eyes besides the artist that have seen this work- guarantee that this work is amazing....)



"The Unveiling" is a new series of one-night-only soirees/exhibitions, held monthly (more or less) in the back room of The Ossington Bar, which playfully reinvent a romantic and antiquated concept - that of a single artist "unveiling" their latest creation for a gathering of colleagues, collectors, critics, and cultural elite. The series is organized and hosted by local artists/curators William A. Davison and Robert Dayton.

The series kicks off on Oct. 26th as "Unveiling #1" presents the latest soft sculpture/doll creation of artist, comics creator, animator, musician and former Royal Art Lodge member Drue Langlois. Please note that the artist will not be present at this unveiling. However, Mr. Langlois has given the organizers explicit instructions on how to present his work, which Messrs. Dayton and Davison will execute in their own inimitable style.

DRUE LANGLOIS ARTIST STATEMENT:
"Compare an early drawing of Goofy (from "Lonesome Ghosts" let’s say) to the dog from "Family Guy". Do you believe that Brian Griffin is a living creature or do you imagine, like I do, a bored person drawing a flat, uninspired drawing on a computer and someone recording dialogue in a sound booth? Since the style is so unconvincing, I wouldn't feel anything if the character was suddenly stabbed by someone. In Lonesome Ghosts, the forms and environments are vividly convincing, so that by the time Goofy sees his rear end and, thinking it is a ghost, shoves a nail into it, you can really feel that he is in a lot of pain.

Pre-70's Disney animation was my first exposure to art at an early age. Goofy's complicated snout (with two chiclet teeth) intrigued me and I worked hard to learn how to draw it. Although not clearly defined in my own mind at the time, I could see that this company's principles on character design (and how important they considered structure to be) were superior to the flat design techniques of other cartoon companies from the 70's onwards.

I have studied the application of form for many years and it makes its’ way into my illustrations and dolls. I am surprised that I do not see it being used by people more often. Flat, decorative character styles in artwork and toy design are stale, like wallpaper. Personally, my eye just passes right over this style, no matter how garish they make the colours.

A love for structural principles is not necessarily a witless nostalgia for a certain time period, they just happened to have been applied more in the past. Realistically sculptured designs and an understanding of perspective appeal to the parts of your mind that want to feel how the parts fit together, or that help you imagine being in the character's environment. These things can be applied to new projects to make people really feel the nail in the ass."


DRUE LANGLOIS BIO:

"I have been making artwork since I was very young, being inspired by pre-70's Disney animation. The cartoons led me to an interest in comic books. Starting off with Disney comics and "Harvey" books like "Spooky, the tuff little ghost", I was eventually drawn more and more toward detail and human characters.

My first art-related job was making cartoons for a local paper when I was 12. Between 1987 and 1995, I started drawing human super-hero stories that were rigid and cluttered at first eventually becoming more graceful. This was soon followed by enrollment in a Fine Arts course at the University of Manitoba (1992-1996). My brother Myles Langlois was experimenting with video during this time period and I started working on those with him.

1995 was the beginning of my musical collaborations with Myles and then, later in the year, with Michael Dumontier. This early lo-fi music, mostly acoustic guitar and singing, was recorded on a dual cassette recorder that could be used to overlap layers of sound.

In early 1996, some University of Manitoba Fine Arts students and I formed a drawing group called the "Royal Art Lodge". We also made a lot of music: Avignon, Albatross, No Pirates, and Eyeball Hurt and the Medicine (later, Double Greeting) were some of the Royal Art Lodge bands that I was involved in.

Eyeball Hurt and the Medicine (my band with Michael Dumontier) started playing shows in 1997 and we wanted to have some attractive band merchandise so we sold our homemade dolls under the band's name. These dolls were based on one that I had made for Michael as a gift in 1994.

The assembly-line style of making Royal Art Lodge drawings helped me to become prolific but the structure of my drawings began to suffer. So, semi-consciously, to ensure that I didn't become too lazy about my principles in form, I started to work on small comic books again in 1999, and independently distributing them under the banner of "Samuel Appleface Comics".

The Samuel Appleface comics, in conjunction with RAL art and music shows in Vancouver, led me to a deep involvement in zine culture for a number of years. Marc Bell, Amy Lockhart, Jason McLean, Broken Pencil Magazine, Robert Dayton, and Dame Darcy were a few of the people I worked with during those years.

Around the same time, I was becoming more successful with my solo art career and was represented by Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. Also, the dolls that Michael and I had been making were selling really well and our band started playing music shows at art gallery openings more often than bars. I switched representation to Katharine Mulherin of Toronto and have had regular shows since then.

In 2003, The Royal Art Lodge had a touring exhibit called "Ask the Dust" that went to New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Middleburg Netherlands, and Seoul Korea. I became more interested in my solo career and left the group around this time, as did Hollie Dzama and Myles Langlois. Simultaneously, Michael and I decided to stop making the "Eyeball Hurt" dolls.

In 2003-04, I continued to have solo exhibitions in Germany, Italy and Canada and I illustrated the comic book miniseries, "Captain Canuck: Unholy War". I had a show at Zeihersmith gallery in New York where I exhibited solo dolls and since then I have been making small batches of them every few months.

In 2005, I formed a new band (after moving to Montreal) called "Bold Saber" and started playing and practicing music more than ever before. In that same year, Riel Langlois and I formed the "Hot Hail Productions" company publishing a compilation of my Protoprize comics. This was followed in 2007 by "Overachiever" and a concluding chapter to the Captain Canuck miniseries.

In 2008 I holed up in Brandon, MB, working at a greenhouse, and studying animation- illustrating webisodes of the animated space opera, "Superspace" for Hot Hail. I moved to Toronto that fall and put on a few Bold Saber shows, as well as one in Chicago to coincide with a large showing of dolls at the "Home gallery".

As of 2009, Hot Hail presents weekly web comics. My newest one is "Pools of Zara", which is an ongoing story presented in a weekly punchline format.


For further information, feel free to contact The Unveiling's hosts William A. Davison and Robert Dayton.

William - davison@recordism.com
Robert - moustachedpainless@yahoo.com

Many thanks to Jubal Brown/Intervention Mondays and The Ossington!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

POST-SICK WET DIRT HALLOW SOUNDS

Hi pals,
Suffered a mild bout of bum-out and cabin fever due to a real bad cold/possible flu. These things always make me see life in more unpleasant tones. I thought that it had led to another sinus infection, luckily my Doc told me to wait-and-see 48 hours before cashing in my scrip of antibiotics, I'm glad he did as I feel lots better today! Yer the best, doc! (too bad he can't cure the sad, it ain't really gone away)
In the midsts of this, WET DIRT recorded an album at 6 Nassau, my voice held out and we were super quick without sacrificing in the performance or production departments: what a studio! It really is a great place in the Market and James is real good engineer! I am loving the sounds of those drums! It sounds wild!
Now if only we could have played a show before Robin jets to Germany indefinitely on November 1st. Sigh....yeah, he's leaving (I love that guy) but the band will continue, trust us...


This Sunday at FEELINGS, Lorenz Peter is my guest, he's the talented cartoonist who also makes sounds for National treasure Corpusse, he also has amazing records! I first met him in the early half of the 90s when he was palling around with the now-deceased singer of The Ugly and that gal from Return To Oz. Me, I am spinning all my Halloween records and I didn't realise that I had so many, besides the usual suspects like The Shaggs and Staked Plain, I'll be spinning a ghost story type LP with strange synth sounds by Gershon Kingsley. As well as some records by Wade Denning, this guy makes the best Halloween-themed long plays as he has the best and most creative effects and production techniques...some records may bleed over into the following week, Nov 1st.
Sunday, Oct. 26, 9 PM, the Ossington (61 Ossington), no cover....

Friday, October 16, 2009

STUDIO VISITS





For those who missed it, here are a couple images from my recent Studio Visits art show - for a full description (ie. artist statement) visit my BIG ART SHOW post a few posts back.

For more images of the show and rather reasonably priced sales, please go to this link:

http://1zero7.bigcartel.com/category/robert-dayton

Saturday, October 10, 2009

the return of...FEELINGS




read on...i will be delving into realms of personal sadness....songs that i send to her that make us both cry over our loss....that said, it's good to be back...

SUNDAYS RESUMING OCT 11th
The Ossington (61 Ossington) 9 to late
With D.J. Body Beautiful and a midnight candlelight night recitation by Robert Dayton, Junior

We have been asked to return from our sojourn. We are rested. During this time of reflecting upon our time of reflection called FEELINGS, we also experienced a sad and deep loss. Come and we will share it with you. every. single. week.

For this holiday Sunday there will be no respite from our pain. I will play some of the songs that make me cry, songs of loss, as well as pre-recorded versions of a ballad or two that I , myself, wrote and sang. Indulge me.
And as usual my Midnight Candlelight recitation which- with the addition of smoke machine and projections- is proving to be a hit with the people! So much so that I even do a 1 AM recitation! What are recitations? Intense spoken reflections of the soul in a romantic manner. We are here to help you get through this mortal life. Both this week's recitations deal with loss. Oh. Is it Thanksgiving? Sorry.

NO Cover. be thankful for that.



Bask in them....
FEELINGS

With DJ Body Beautiful plus guests


FEELINGS is a special night where we spin music that you probably won’t normally hear. A boutique mix of :
ELUSIVE DREAMINGS/PRIVATE PRESSINGS/FREE FORMS/CAN CON CONCRETE/B SIDE EXCURSIONS/ELECTRONIC PRIMITIVA/EMOTIONS/EURO HORRORS/INTENSELY PERSONAL VISIONS/DEEP PSYCH/UN-EASY LISTENINGS AND BALLADS/PRISON SOUNDTRACKS/FANTASTIC JOURNEYS OF WONDER/
ORGAN-ISMS/NEO-BAROQUE
With a midnight candlelight night recitation by Robert Dayton, Junior

This will be ...special.

To Hurting People

Since we are struggling with pain, even at this moment, we have first hand knowledge of what it is like to experience the silence of God. Sometimes the immense loneliness of pain-whether physical, mental or emotional-is completely overwhelming!
As you listen to us spin, let the music wash over your brokenness as great healing waves of God’s merciful love until you hear the music once again.

From our hearts to yours,
D.J. Body Beautiful

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BILLBOARD PROJECT



I had previously mentioned Paul Butler's Billboard Project that Jason Mclean so kindly asked me to be a part of. Jason basically asked me what work of art affected me most/earliest.
My response was put up on a billboard on the side of a convenience store on Queen West.
The pic is tuff to read so this what it said:

As a little boy my Grandmother had a box of comics for all of her grandchildren to dig through. I already loved comics but nothing really stuck out until I grabbed an old, coverless copy of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen no. 143 from the box. I still have it to this day. This comic had everything I could ever want as kid: Superman, classic movie monsters like The Wolfman and Dracula, a green, horned planet, and a flying robot dog- all mashed up into a new forward thinking form. This comic book really excited me. I didn’t even know that it was by Jack Kirby until years later. As a teen I went through a short period of growing pains where I rejected the work of Jack Kirby- I’ve talked to a few Kirby fans that went through this phase. As an adult, I would say that he is my single most influential artist for many reasons. This Jimmy Olsen comic book, like all of his 70s work, has his familiar crackle and bubbling energy. Panels burst like they were three-dimensional. It is distinctively his. Every panel is a work of art that connects to other panels on pages that connect to other pages in sequential stylized flow. And he churned out a few comic books a month while reinventing the form every ten years or so. I once had a dream that I met him.


The comic in question is here:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

THE EAGLE SPREADS ITS' BUTTER

Big art show tonite! Phew! 107 Shaw: Studio Visits.

A tad nervous about this new work.

May I delve into creative process here?
Great.

Around five years ago and/or more, I felt relatively infallible. I was in a band that was teetering on success, a movie I starred in just came out, I had a weekly column, etcetera. Well, the labels never came knocking even with the heaps of press that we received, I left the column out of anger (they didn't pay anyways) and found that after years of writing this thing no other mags/papers/options came knocking cuz it was a silly lil weekly in a silly lil city, and the movie did get me an agent where I'd constantly be competing with others in a large room for a wacky part in a commercial (but when I landed one it was totally fun, I should state for the record amidst this murk that my agent is awesome and he truly believed in me). I was living in a city that grew increasingly uncaring about anyone/anything except a DJ with an iPod. I was bitter and frustrated. And nervous. Oh, and I stopped drinking which showed that my indestructibility was a farce. Introspection. I am fallible. Like everyone else, I am a mere speck. But actions do cause ripples! So I would continue to take risks. And try to be grateful.



A big risk was moving across the country. My girlfriend was moving, too, and I had a small part in a movie for when I arrived.
The bitterness and frustration left with the change of scenery.
However, I was also the new guy in the new city. They mostly knew nothing about my years of output. But they were also pretty welcoming.

On the movie set, I was seriously nervous and second guessing myself every step of the way. This has been the same with my visual art practice. I have been needing serious feedback as I have grown so doubtful. "How's my driving?" Even with maintaining a blog, I know that my ego has shrunk. A bit.
I'd never misconstrue lack of ego with self-pity. Self-pity is just another side of the ego beast.
I've been a critic. When I was 'super-young know-it-all' I would fire off some of the most scathing reviews about the 90s musical dregs. Positive reviews, too. I wanted the writing to crackle and leap off the pages. A coupla months back my band WET DIRT got a review in The Now, one of the three alterna-identi-papers (which to be fair has never been that kind to me and a lot of Torontonians tell me they don't take it seriously) which, to others, read positive but its' flatness got under my skin. I wish that review never happened. It spent a long time focused on my outfit, how I was from Vancouver, it boxed in the bands' sound in an off manner, and briefly stated that my voice didn't blow them away. I fixated on that quick line. I did lunchtime polls with everyone about my voice. I thought that I wasn't keeping my end up in the band. I didn't want to add to the mediocre crap heap. I was seriously considering stopping. After all the years of honing, recording, touring, voice specialists, allergy shots, and exercises I figured it was hopeless. My voice was better than it was three years ago. Still. Not. Good. Enough. Give up.
I was a mess. Two days later I had to take my girlfriend to the hospital and I had to be there for her. And I was. But I felt so depressed and mentally numb. I tried to put my arm around and snap out of it! SNAP OUT OF IT! And I couldn't totally. She confronted me later and I was so upset at me for her, I told her how it was my duty to be there every step of the way-and I was physically- but my head, my friggin head just wouldn't let go! She understood. But that's just another part of ego. This self-absorbed fixation. Self-pity. I'm just a speck. She was pretty good at bringing me out of that self-absorption. It's over now, as she had to leave and I am so sad and adrift, always on the verge of tears with this loss. I don't even want to think about 'the next relationship' as I didn't even want this one to end, nor did I think about it ending but I have to be less self-absorbed in life. People are interesting. Others are interesting. Creative self-expression must be a passionate conduit of deeper things.

I decided to sing some more. I took a step back and realised that I am fine, not technically brilliant but, passionate and emotive. Sure, I can always be better but I have this need to perform for people and to make albums, to craft songs. I need to be entertained and so do a lot of people and there ain't that much musical entertainment out there. Just need to make it shine, work on it. It can be tougher, more of a vaccuum when one is completely D.I.Y. , doubts can set in more; I never asked to be D.I.Y. but occasionally flickers of validity can be seen through the trees. I have to remind myself that some of my favourite things are made with zero backing.

Jay Isaac, bless him, has been one of the people that's helped so much. He booked the band for a show the other week at the Wrong Bar as part of the Hunter and cook mag launch. This show was so unlike that show that got the review, as the room looked and sounded great and people I never met gave good feedback and we affected them. Okay, okay, it's going right, don't give up, don't give up...
(and the movie premiered, someone I deeply respect said something super-nice and honest about my work... don't give up, don't give up)
...now to find the balance. Don't get the cocky walk. If people compliment I can't let it feed the ego, it can't go to the head, it has to go to the spirit. Balance.

I think it's healthy to second guess, that fallibility probably makes for better art. It actually hasn't hindered my craft at all but it has been a bit gut-wrenching at times, more time spent second guessing than making. Granted, going from the gut as pure conduit is great as well. Having both is perfect. Gut-reflection-gut-reflection.

I'm still nervous about these new drawings. That go up tonight.
I took a preliminary sketch to Jay last month and he set me into a good direction, he made me think about where I was taking it. I was so scared that this work would be empty 'art about art.' He told me that art is spiritual. He's right. There is a lot that is so spiritual in the world that doesn't get recognised as such. He gave me the names of some French Symbolists as inspiration and sent me away in a hopeful mood. I saw my work in a new light. I gently coaxed and eased more meaning out of it due to the path Jay sent me on.
I so want to make sure that the art has a positive force to it.
I'm still worried, i mean, my anatomy is fucked, working big again and figurative, taking risks...nerrrrvousssss.

Oh, I will have to dash out of the opening for an hour to catch Destroyer at the Horseshoe, what a busy night, this gives me an excuse to break up the text and post a pic I drew of a project that he, Julian, and I formed ten years ago, we were originally called AIDS and played just one show. We then changed it to the more palatable Points Gray and I hope that one day someone releases our album of acid downer folk damage on wax. Or that i get a sudden windfall to, yes, do it myself.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

ART JAZZED

My friend Anna May has a tee shirt that says Jazz in a bouncy script, it may be for the airline or maybe, just maybe, the album by Queen. Either way, I feel jazzed. Not only is there the big show this Saturday nite Oct 3rd with Jean-Paul Langlois at 107 Shaw that I been working my feelings to the bone for (see previous post for more info)(most of my working energy is spent on self-doubt: I will be sure to make a future post on that) buuuut...I am part of Paul Butler's billboard project! Selected by the great Jason Mclean, I wrote about the art that first moved me (ie. Jack Kirby) to be put on a huge billboard at H & H Variety at 616 Queen Street West ! That's just West of Bathurst and mere blocks from the Studio Visits art show at 107 Shaw that I hope you will all attend!

Here is press release:
For Immediate Release The Other Gallery presents ART MOVES Throughout downtown Toronto’s 24-hour convenience stores Scotiabank Nuit BlancheOctober 3rd, 2009, Sunset to SunriseToronto, ONFor Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, The Other Gallery’s Paul Butler will invite members from the art community to ask someone of their choice to describe a will be displayed in and outside 24-hour convenience store across Toronto’s Maps will be available for pick up at the ZONE A INFO CENTRE, and downloadable on The Other Gallery website, othergallery.com.The “Scotiabank People’s Choice Award” invites audiences to vote for theirfavorite project by visiting scotiabanknuitblanche.ca online. There is also an iPhone application, the “Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Night Navigator,” which provides maps, information, and voting opportunities for the event.For voting purposes, ART MOVES is found under:Zone A Independent Project # 47 Downtown Area.Participants include: AA Bronson asking Matthias Herrmann, Aganetha Dyck / Tricia Sellmer, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir / Gudmundur Oddur Magnússon, Ashley Neese / Marie O Neese, Chen Tamir / Barbara Tamir, Dave Dyment / Paul But-ler, Derek Sullivan / Jessica Bradley, Eleanor Bond / Jason Mclean, Robert Dayton/ Courtney Burke, Erica Eyres / Garnet McCulloch, Euan Macdonald / Pat King, Guy Maddin / Dennis Randolph / Jones Miller, Jennifer Delos Reyes / Laine Gabel, Joe Friday / Monica Keller, Kirsten Stoltmann / Brad Phillips, Kitty Scott / Tom Mc-Donough, Lisa Gabrielle Mark / Channing Hansen, Micah Lexier / Tom Koken, Michael Dumontier / David Fair, Michel de Broin / May Lee, Mitzi Pederson / Lynn Lu, Ruth van Beek / Basje Boer, Paul Butler / Sam Gould, Red 76 / Zefrey Throwell, Richard Boulet / David Boulet, Robin Simpson / Maryse Larivière, Steve Loft / Erin O’Hara, Tatiana Mellema / Mark Clint-berg and Zoe Crosher / Andrew Berardini.Media space courtesy of Adapt Media Inc.Printing courtesy of Eclipse ImagingFor more information contact:Paul Butler647.867.1945othergallery@gmail.com

Sunday, September 27, 2009

STOP TALKING




Tho I am still in midsts of art making for the coming Saturday niiiite , I am performing tonite and it will be up-close and personal! Interactive?
I will be performing a piece that I have never performed before entitled "Your Castle" with an honest preamble about love-loss.

As well as performances by:


ALEX COLEURS
BITA JOUDAKI
REID JENKINS
JOELE WALINGA
PATTY FARIAS
REBECCA FIN
HANNAH HILARY
FILIP ANTON
and
MAYLEE TODD plays the harp

*We will also be selling beer and candy apples.
**The candy apples have razors inside them.
September 27th
Starts Sunday at 9:30pm

It's at Good Blood Bad Blood (13 Kensington), a neat spot.
I think it's PWYC if that.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

BIG ART SHOW! BIG ART SHOW! ONE NITE ONLY! ALL NEW!


STUDIO VISITS by Jean-Paul Langlois and Robert Dayton

...very excited for this....been working hard for it....

JEAN-PAUL LANGLOIS’ STUDIO VISITS

In the winter of 2007, Jean-Paul Langlois bought the cheapest love seat he could find at Ikea for his bachelor apartment in Little Italy. It was tiny and covered with the same unprimed canvas he uses for his paintings. As a lover of food and drink, Langlois knew that sooner or later his love seat would get some kind of stain -- within about a week he discovered he'd spilled about a half a bottle of red wine across it. Annoyed with his recklessness, Langlois started to treat it with absolutely no respect. One of the ways was to start using it as an easel -- he would let paint drip on it and splatter, if he needed to clean paint off a brush he'd wipe it on there -- after a while the accumulation started to look like something. At this point he started deliberately choosing colors for his paintings that would look good on the loveseat. The next logical step was to start using it as the canvas and furniture painting became his chosen medium for Studio Visits.

ROBERT DAYTON’S STUDIO VISITS

Initially confused with the term "Studio Visit", Robert Dayton's thoughts veered to sexual connotations. The whole idea of an art dealer/curator/gallery owner/etcetera as a person of power entering the artist’s space to check out their work seemed to have sexual dimensions to him. And with the possibility of a financial transaction, it seemed like whoring. Dayton proceeded to imagine the artist in the studio without any work up whatsoever. Just the artist stripped completely naked. These large pen and ink and watercolor drawings show various examples of these artists in their respective studios as the looming shadow of the visitor lurks in the foreground. When making the work Dayton detected a less sinister, more metaphysical aspect of these visages entering the artist’s space and began to wonder if the work is the artists themselves preparing to have spirits enter them to better become part of the greater tapestry.

INTERACTIVITY

Both Langlois and Dayton are planning to have their work naturally interact with each other. Sit and immerse. Depictions of artists naked with no work adorn the walls as one sits on actual work. One of Dayton’s text-based works directly comments on one of Jean-Paul’s sofas and the show as a whole.

Then using their DJ personae it's a Studio PARTY! Langlois is DJ P.L.A.N. and Dayton is DJ Body Beautiful who will rock the studio into the wee hours for the show's one night opening which perfectly coincides with Nuite Blanche - October 3rd. When you’re too popped to move, sit on or at the art.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

VISIONS


WHERE"S MY MIND BLOWING ECSTATIC RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE ??????!?????



(damned iconoclasm getting in the way again)

Is this stemming from a sense of entitlement? Am I entitled to have great powers/dieties come shoot the shit with me be it through locust storms, et al?


I read "The Varieties Of Religious Experience" by William James. The metaphysical world is unmapped. He talks of gaining a deeper experience through meditation. Yeah, maybe I need to meditate. Look at what it's done for people like Mike Love of The Beach Boys.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SMALL TOWN

Okay, I have a lot -A LOT- of art to make, noooo time, but I am tired of printing glorified press releases on here, I have stuff to say! It's funny, I was wondering lately exactly why I blogged, haven't I been trying to shun Narcissus since my old zining days (and zines really are not that different from blogs in a quaint way)...but I like writing, I like conveying, I like expressing, I like thinking, I like interacting with people. It's also a good way to keep folks in the loop. That said, I want to build my listening skills because people are interesting. Annnnd (total aside: oh man, I am listening to Max Webster now and it is giving me a total rush cuz I am listening to "Battle Scars" which is the song that they did with Rush) this blog helped to land me an office day job! Yes, they googled my name knowing that I must have a blog, they then read the blog and noticed that I am a real human being with a sense of humour. This job does not relate directly to creative expression or blogging at all, except in terms of getting along with and relating to others. As well, I found this out today: I never check the stats on here but someone from a blog that is listed in my sidebar says that a lot of people visit their blog through mine! NEAT! Well, all those blogs are worth checking out in their own ways so that's great! Keep engaged! I gotta get on this stats thing.


This month has been intense. It will take up a few blog posts to be sure. As well as landing a job and other surprises to be revealed forthcomingly, my brother Perry got married in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. Ever been? No? Don't go. Okay, I am so glad I went to this wedding. I am so proud of him, he's a paramedic, she's a nurse, they save and help lives.

So before we get to the meaningful, let's start with the bad. Nipawin. If you have any ideals about small town living, Saskatchewan in particular, I would like to destroy them. My Mother has lived in many Saskatchewan small towns and she has always felt like the outsider. These towns are insular and xenophobic. Open mouths and closed minds. Nipawin was slightly different in that the mouths were closed as well, yet it truly embodied the worst qualities of small town Saskatchewan (Saskatoon and Regina are cities and are exempted as they are really great places in a lot of ways). I had many conversations with the people of Nipawin, the conversations mostly went just like this:

US (ie. ME): Hi. How are you?

THEM: Good.

(then silence)

They also put meat in their potato salad- and probably everything else! Foraging for food when one don't eat much in the world of meat was difficult. Oh, and they all drink booze, lots of it. So I was double weird to them. But I don't feel weird. They feel weird. And that makes me feel weird.
And they stared- alot! They'd sit together but not welcome others. This was one seriously creepy town.

While there I hit a thrift store and purchased a pristine Jimmy Smith Blue Note jazz Lp and an odd seven inch Joey by The Macklin Allouettes for a dime. Putting it on my turntable I noticed this Made In Saskatchewan single was from the perspective of a baby to its' mother. Nice. Then we get to the third verse:

Someday when we meet
On the far off shore
You will see this child
That you could have bore
And your earthly pleasures will all have passed by
And to God up in heaven
You cannot lie
When he says why you didn't
Let me tell you
Mother oh mother, how I love you


Yup. Xtian anti-Choice spiritual blackmail threats, a ballad that uses Jack T. Chick methods of guilt. Never before has such a soft song induced extreme waves of nausea. I will be spinning this at an inappropriate DJ night. One day I may even get an MP3 converter to post on here! (note: please send me an MP3 converter. Thank you.)

So going to the wedding was a touch difficult. And not just because of drunken uncles with rather Draconian immigration beliefs. Two weeks before, my girlfriend left to go to Vancouver for good, for reasons completely outside of my control. Before she left I brought up marriage. A measure for the women I love most? Marriage never seemed an option for me but it represents-when not used to keep someone in the country or as trade for cattle and property-a furthering of commitment and unity. She still had to go...for good. I've been around. And I can honestly say that I have never been in such honest and compatible love before. I struck gold with this one. And people say that it gets easier as one gets older, that one's heart hardens, and love mellows with age. (though I don't feel old- I feel younger than I did five years ago- but I have lived a little) This past month proves all of those maxims wrong. That's kind of a plus in a way, to know that one can fully love and be joyous at any age and, when things end, can feel things strongly as well (but who knows what the future holds anyways right? Is anything truly over? Especially when neither party wants it to end). I am so sad and feel so helpless. Single life, adrift....

But I was happy for my brother. He seems so in love. And I think that this is a good thing. I wasn't worried about him in the slightest. They get along very well. It was a celebration. He threatened a Shrek-themed wedding. I envisioned him painted green. Alas, this was not so but there was Shrek cake with the Shrek couple on it! I am not a Pixar person so have never seen Shrek but the cake made me smile. And it meant so much to be there for him.

This trip really deepened things for me in terms of family and friends. As well as the fragility of life. The important things. I was able to express to friends of the family, who have been there time and time again for us, just how important they are. The friends who sent fun packages to my dying father to cheer him up. The former youth minister who I found out had met us first as, to quote the min Minister at the time, a family in trauma, a sort-of project for him. Soon he became close to us and vice-versa. When my Dad (my real Dad not my birth dad) came into the picture, he conducted the wedding (my Dad gained a wife and four sons all at once). When my Dad died he conducted the funeral and helped us to remember the man our Dad was. And he was there to conduct my brother's wedding. He also gave me a sketchbook of drawings that I gave him when I was twelve. This was such a meaningful gesture. To see these drawings again years later, to see where I've been and how little I have changed core-wise. I still have trouble drawing feet. I will be posting those drawings soon, by the way!!!
I kept close to my mother, I worry about her.
I danced with my aunt.
I got a better understanding of one of my brothers which was needed. After the wedding festivities ended, we drove to our father's grave together. A cat was lingering around the tombstone. I felt like my Dad was drawing the cat to him. I didn't voice things aloud. A few mutterings. My mother's place was set. "I'll hold the door open for you." That is what my Dad told my Mom and that is what was on the tombstone. He was a good man. When I think of terms of positive impact, of affecting others, of making people less lonely, it is in terms of creative expression but my Dad was not creative or even that talkative. But he immediately transformed five lives (my Mother and brothers and me). I was fucking lucky, man! Reading Michael Moorcock's books on The Multiverse -besides teaching me about the spiritual elements of the vast, nearly unknowable cosmic fabric- helps me to see how things can go very differently at the drop of a hat. If my Mother had never divorced my birth father when I was three, I probably would have put a gun in my mouth when I got older. That man was not good. I was the youngest son, I had the least scars. So lucky that a great man stepped in to raise us, dinner conversations full of snot jokes and laughter.

My mother and I stopped into All Citizens, half an hour from my father's grave, an hour from Saskatoon, which is the neatest shop, a mecca in small town Saskatchewan with an espresso machine, Saskatchewan and international art and crafts, really pleasing decor and live shows. And, yes, they are up for touring acts and consignment. Check it here:
http://www.allcitizens.org/

It made me think again of community, reaching others in a way that does not necessarily relate to the fame game, an honesty.

Nipawin made me think about the open interaction I have on a daily basis in the big city. The city doesn't even feel big, there's enough meaningful interaction to make it seem intimate and to combat the bullshit factor. Cities are said to be cold, any place can be, people are naturally lonely all over but if there are ways to make people feel less lonely it's a good thing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NEW ROCTOBER with DOUG RANDLE


Folks, I'll blog something non-promotional soon but I got a new job, busy and tirrrred. The "Leslie" premiere went super-well tho! It gave me a real boost!
Anyways, I got the new ish of Roctober in the mail! Packed as usual! Super-proud of the Doug Randle interview that I did, he's a very inspiring man with a lot of perspective that made an interesting Can Con soft pop record of pertinent themes. I also reviewed tonnes of awesome comix (a regular thing for me now). This issue has loads of stuff on Sky Saxon, Chicago underground, Nardwuar meets NERD, lots and lots of comix!
Order here:
www.dustygroove.com

Hear a Doug Randle track here:
http://www.lightintheattic.net/releases/dougrandle/