C is for Coulton


C is for Coulton-Jonathan Coulton. 
The first time I heard Jonathan Coulton was when my hubby finished playing Portal.  He asked me to come listen to this song that played when you beat the game the song “I’m Still Alive” was humorous and it made me want to know who sang it.  My son was the one who told me who sang the song and got me to listen to his music.  Part geek, part humor and part irony his music made me think of They Might Be Giants a group I loved in the 80’s for their satirical take on things.  Jonathan Coulton did something like I am doing by write and recording a song everyday for a year which if you have a moment I suggest you check out his website to listen and download his music which some he offers for free.  My son is not a big fan of music like I am so when he asked me to listen to him I jumped at the chance to share in this. On Mother’s Day he gave me 5 songs of Jonathan Coulton and I was hooked.  In early 2010 my friend let me know that he was playing a concert at the performing art center she works at so I gave her my credit card number to get us tickets as a late birthday gift to my son.  When we picked up the ticket the night of the concert to our surprise we were sitting front row center stage so close that we could touch him. This delighted my son as we watched him sing as we sung along; I relished the shared experience of watching a performer who in some way brought us together in a mutual love of music.  After the show he came to the lobby to sign autographs and take pictures with his fans, my son grin in the photo tells a story of a moment.  His fans are an array of young geek to older odd balls (me) who sat outside to talk about the newest game systems out, to which politician is running for congress.  Jonathan Coulton bridged a gap between my son and me to a place that I can burn a cd for him to listen to and he does the same.

My art work for C is a college on a canvas I did two one which expresses my son’s geek side with photos of the people that he has meet that are semi-celebrities in his tech world.  I was not happy with how it turned out canvas is something I am just learning to use, so I did another one to reflect the song I choose by placing a girl and boy in frames.  Both canvases reflect the song I choose, the song is called “You Ruined Everything”  Jonathan Colton wrote this song upon hearing he was going to be a father it is a sweet lullaby in an ironic way but it is one of my favorite songs of his.  The video of the song was created by me to reflect the one of the loves of my life my son in it our pictures that were taken at the concert and from our yearly trek to Austin for SXSW Interactive or as I call it Geek Mecca.  So enjoy and come back tomorrow for the letter D and more tales from my musical journey.  

The process for making my son version:
Canvas painted
Colored photo
Black and white photo copied on Velum

Velum placed over colored photo





Son's version
The other one




B is for Bowie

B is for Bowie, David Bowie.  First hearing David Bowie was like a religious experience sneaking into my brother’s room a young child of 9 slowly raising the top of the line record player placing the album on to the turntable, gently placing the needle on to the record I was shaking with excitement.  Placing the headphones over my ears I gently fall back into the bean bag chair with the album cover in my hands looking deeply into the beautiful face of an Androgynous David Bowie as he sings about the journey of an alien rock star.  Bowie was like a demigod to me his voice, the lyric, and his ever present sex appeal made him a star upon my bedroom walls through all of his transformations.  He like Pete Townsend where my heartthrobs their voices touch my very soul making me pick up a pen and paper to write my poetry.  When we got cable in the late 70’s I was able to see him in The Man Who Fell to Earth a movie that introduced me to his talent as an actor, later I would see all his movies in a neighborhood theater in the dark dreaming of his hands touching mine as we walked along the streets of London.  I was blessed twice to see him in concert once when he was touring in 1983 on the Serious Moonlight tour  I was 16 and to this day it is in the top ten list of all time favorite performers to see live.  He was magnetic but most off all his fans it was like the United Nation (something that is still present).  I won tickets to see him again in 1987 Glass Spider Tour again I was blown away.  The man is still as beautiful to me as he was when I was a 9 year old girl sneaking into my brother’s room going on a journey through space and time with Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

For B I used the song Suffragette City from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album since was the first Bowie album I heard.  I had never heard the word Suffragette until this song it made me look it up and research the movement. In a way Bowie was like a history teacher in my youth. I found a picture of Suffragette women using Photoshop I colored it in then using picnik I added a border.  This is a digital image I constructed this is become one of my favorite forms of art.  Again enjoy the video and if you are a Bowie fan I hope it brings back pleasant memories as it does for me. 

Suffragette City
 

Hey man, oh leave me alone you know
Hey man, oh Henry, get off the phone, I gotta
Hey man, I gotta straighten my face
This mellow thighed chick just put my spine out of place

Hey man, my schooldays insane
Hey man, my work's down the drain
Hey man, well she's a total blam-blam
She said she had to squeeze it but she... then she...

(CHORUS)
Oh don't lean on me man, cause you can't afford the ticket
I'm back on Suffragette City
Oh don't lean on me man
Cause you ain't got time to check it
You know my Suffragette City
Is outta sight...she's all right

Hey man, Henry, don't be unkind, go away
Hey man, I can't take you this time, no way
Hey man, droogie don't crash here
There's only room for one and here she comes, here she comes

CHORUS

Oh hit me! 

CHORUS

A Suffragette City, a Suffragette City
I'm back on Suffragette City, I'm back on Suffragette City
Ooo, Sufraggete city, ooo, Suffragette City
Oooh-how, Sufragette City, oooh-how, Sufragette City, oooh-how
Sufragette

Ohhh, Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am!

A Suffragette City, a Suffragette City
  Quite all right
A Suffragette City
  Too fine
A Suffragette City, ooh, a Sufragette City
Oh, my Sufragette City, oh my Suffragette City
Oh, Suffragette
Suffragette!

A is for ABBA


When I first heard Abba in the mid 70’s I was memorized by the sound.  The harmonies, the upbeat rhythm and the stories they told were inspiring to my young feet.  I would take my crochet poncho and make it into my stylish dance skirt, put on my leotards, tights and ballet slippers , turn on my record player and play “Dancing Queen” to my own choreograph.  I did this in the living room which had hardwood floors I would push the coffee table out of the way and dance in front of our huge bay windows.  I can only imagine what the neighbors thought, probably something along the lines of look at that weird child.  So I am starting the month with Abba’s  I am a Marionette, because a lot of times in life we all feel like someone is pulling our strings.

My tag reflects the marionette only this one is free from the strings that bind her.

I AM A MARIONETTE

 
For your listening pleasure here is the song that inspired this tag.  I have also included the lyrics. See you tomorrow for the Letter B. 


"I'm A Marionette"

"You're so free," that's what everybody's telling me
Yet I feel I'm like an outward-bound, pushed around, refugee
Something's wrong, got a feeling that I don't belong
As if I had come from outer space, out of place, like King Kong

I'm a marionette, just a marionette, pull the string
I'm a marionette, everybody's pet, just as long as I sing
I'm a marionette, see my pirouette, round and round
I'm a marionette, I'm a marionette, just a silly old clown

Like a doll, like a puppet with no will at all
And somebody told me how to talk, how to walk, how to fall

Can't complain, I've got no-one but myself to blame
Something's happening I can't control, lost my hold, is it safe?

I'm a marionette, just a marionette, pull the string
I'm a marionette, everybody's pet, just as long as I sing
I'm a marionette, see my pirouette, round and round
I'm a marionette, I'm a marionette, just a silly old clown

"Look this way, just a little smile," is what they say
"You look better on the photograph if you laugh, that's okay"

I'm a marionette, just a marionette, pull the string
I'm a marionette, everybody's pet, just as long as I sing
I'm a marionette, see my pirouette, round and round
I'm a marionette, I'm a marionette, just a silly old clown

"You're so free," that's what everybody's telling me
Yet I feel I'm like an outward-bound, pushed around, refugee

What can Happen in a Year


Not long ago I purchased Noah Scalin’s “A Daily Creativity Journal –Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life.”  This book has been in my messenger bag for month’s egging me on to try it you know you will like it.  With my summer all but a mad house I decided that September would be ideal in tackling this.  So for one year I will try my hand at mixed art every day.  I decided that each month will have a theme to carry out along with my inspiration and maybe a story or two.  I am trying to make a change from in front of the TV to managing my time to involve self growth (if I lose some weight in the time better still.)  My son is taking Photography with a 35 mm film camera this semester and hopefully the levels of Hell in regards to heat will slowly cool so that we can explore the country side near our home.  I can’t wait to take pictures he can only work with black and white (he will learn how to develop it.)  Fun will be had with Photoshop, gimp and other techniques.   Now without further ado……….

For the month of September I have decided my inspiration will be the ABC’s of my musical past.  September for me meant school days a time to wash away the cobwebs of summer to focus on the months of learning ahead.  So ABC’s was the jumping off point, but what kind of ABC’s, what about music I thought it plays a major role in my formative years it was my solace during the rough times and my pleasure during the good. 
Music to me is the sound track to your life all it takes in a few notes of a certain song to push you back into a moment in time, a memory long forgotten.  Growing up my siblings had either moved away or where so much older they didn’t like me playing in their stuff, but on a rare occasion my brother would let me into his room pick out an album and listen with the headphones on.  In this space I heard The Who’s Tommy, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Quadraphenia, and Led Zeppelin.  I was transformed lying on the bean bag chair as Roger Daugherty sang to me about love, loss, and hope or David Bowie taking me on a journey to another realm.  It was here that I saw music as a powerful seducer weaving words to make sense of a feeling or a note that made the hair on your arms raise; it was in this time I learned about my own voice.  For me music was my salvation growing up a place to crawl into when life around me made no sense and shelter from the storm of my own emotions knowing that someone else had been to that place and made it back.   I walked everywhere along with my walkman I would walk for miles listening to mixed tapes imagining that I was in a movie and this song fit into the screen play.  I also pretended that I was a classical trained dancer stuck in an all girls reform school; I would take out my 45 of Styx’s Come Sail Away and proceed to dance in my room.  The catch was that behind the mirror (which I pretended was a two way mirror) Pete Townsend was watching me and talked the Warden into let me out so I could go on tour with the Who as a background dancer.   So each day will be art work representing a letter in the alphabet along with the band and song.  These are some of the bands that made my life a little less lonely and scary.

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