Kenny Wesley probably isn't a name you're familiar with, unless you're a die-hard “So You Think You Can Dance” fan. However, with his debut album The Real Thing, Wesley has immediately established himself as a serious -and seriously fun- artist who's looking to bring funk back.
Welsey influences are undeniable – half the tracks on this album sound like great 70s funk, in the vein of Parliament or the Jacksons, with a heaping helping of current-day synthesizers on top. Wesley shines on these tracks, such as Real Thing and Taffy, with some down-and-dirty fuzz guitar riffs and hot drumming that make head-bobbing a virtual necessity.
Since college, I have maintained a shoe box filled with scraps of paper, clippings, polaroids, found objects, cartoons, but mostly hastily scrawled lyrics all assembled during phases of living in St. Cloud, MN; Merida, Mexico; Hamburg, Germany; and Switzerland. After having settled in California, I began to mine the box for songs to complete and discovered that the easy part is the hook, the gotcha line – and the hard part is crafting a song that sticks together and keeps the audience interested and if possible off guard.
I like to kick off my sets with a few humorous songs, so the audience is expecting another chuckler when I hit them over the head with darkness. It’s like a day in a life, right? That beer truck is barreling around the corner and you’re not looking both ways. I guess it’s an easy jump from emoting on stage to emoting in front of a camera and crew and I find that acting sharpens my sensitivity to the power of the single well placed word or phrase, or phrasing, intonation, emphasis.
As an indie performer, I play wherever I can except open mics. I figure, if I have to wait around all night to play one, maybe two songs to disinterested fellow musicians, I would just as soon spend the time practicing, writing, and often, playing in the subway stations of San Francisco, where you can play for hours, for hundreds of people, and maybe scoop up $20 or $30 bucks. Plus, magical things happen in the subway.
Recently a younger guy approached me with a guitar, which he did not unpack, but asked what kind of non-originals I play he might know. We settled on Leonard Cohen and he harmonized with me on “Tonight Will Be Fine” and “Hallelujah”. We had built up quite a crowd, but just as suddenly, he grabbed his guitar and said he was off to fight the Keystone Pipeline.
The other day I was playing an up-tempo tune during rush hour, and the station janitor came over and started tapping his broomstick against an advertising stand to provide percussion. A few weeks ago a woman approached me after a show in Winona, MN, and introduced herself as a poetry teacher, and said she loved my lyrics. Or the two women who told me my song “Baby you Can Do Me No Wrong” reminded them of their sister, who at age 40 or so had kinda given up on finding a partner and then some guy appeared on the scene who waits on her hand and foot and treats her like a princess.
Stuff I never envisioned writing the songs, but if you play in public friendly venues you can get that kind of magical interaction that keeps me doing it.
The Asia Society Hong Kong Center is currently presenting No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia,from October 30, 2013, to February 16, 2014. This is an outstanding touring exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, featuring recent work by 13 artists from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. No Country presents some of the most interesting artists in South and Southeast Asia today. All works have been newly acquired for the Guggenheim’s collection under the auspices of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund.
Banksy hits the nail on the head with this piece. There is graffiti all over New York but you generally don't see crowds gathered around it snapping photos, or building owners slapping plexiglas over top to protect it from other taggers. When Banksy's name is attached, it becomes profound. Not because of his fame, or because of his Bruce Wayne style anonymity… but because it actually is profound.
During the month of October, the undercover artist is attempting to mount a city-wide New York show called "Better Out Than In", complete with museum style audio tours of the work, facilitated through toll-free phone numbers next to the pieces. The profundity comes from shifting the point of view folks have about stuff they normally ignore. And not getting caught.
Walk The Line, an exceptional way to experience New York City. An elevated green park with a sense of rear window curiosity. High Line Park is open from 7 am to 10 pm year 'round, featuring unique characteristics throughout the four seasons with the natural changing landscape and events. Surrounded by the wildflowers and green foliage, the pathway meanders alongside the buildings, intimate park benches and inviting seating steps providing plenty of resting spots. The cityscape unfolding among the brilliant design structures, integrated seamlessly with the urban setting. A hideaway above the street traffic with amazing views from dusk to dawn, it is equally magical for tourists and residents alike.
Great female-fronted rock acts don't come along too often, and the good ones tend to be remembered. Corrin Campbell and The Election, who're already being compared to Heart and Evanescence, may have what it takes to make that grade... at least for people who like fun, slightly proggy rock that shows off its 70s and 80s roots while remaining proudly indie.
Corrin Campbell and The Election are really Campbell plus husband\drummer\co-songwriter Tony Corbett, along with occasional friends roped into the mix here and there. Husband\wife teams aren't unheard of in rock, but they're rare. Campbell makes them rarer still by being an active duty Army officer who makes music in her spare time.
Beethoven, Nam Jun Paik, Claus Nomi, and the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade walk into a bar...
Traditionalists may be aghast but they won't stop the current wave of operatic reinvention. A month after Lincoln Center got it's socks rocked by a Chinese opera with live-action stunts and Pink Floyd style projections (Monkey: Journey To The West), the Edinburgh Festival filled every seat to Opera de Lyon's extreme production of Fidelio.
With his intriguing staging of Beethoven's only opera, Seattle artist Gary Hill literally turns operatic segues into Segways. In addition to performers on gyroscopic transporters, he incorporates huge video projections and effects, Nomi-esque costumes, and an overlay of science fiction poetry. Yes, opera is moving forward - and sideways, and backwards and maybe even pulling a few donuts in the parking lot.
`Round wins again... this year we were honored with the 2013 Creativity International Silver Award for complete magazine design. In 2011 `Round Magazine won the Gold Award for the same category.
Creativity International Awards is one of the most prestigious and longest running independent international advertising and graphic design competitions. Established in conjunction with Art Direction Magazine in 1970, Creativity International Awards produced one of the first books to showcase leading edge design from the US and around the world. Creativity International Awards conducts two competitions every year: Media & Interactive in January and Print & Packaging in June.