NOAH GUNDERSEN • EMILY WILKENS AUTHOR OF ‘AFRICAN RICE HEART’ • BRYAN JOHN APPLEBY JENNIFER YOUNG + ACE HOTEL SEATTLE • PORTRAIT ARTIST PATRICK TONEY • HAND ME UPS BAINBRIDGE SCREEN PRINT CLASS • ZEITGEIST REVIEWED
EDITOR IN CHIEF
COVER ART Patrick Toney
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Kaylyn Messer Jennifer Young VANJA.
NOAH GUNDERSEN On the return to being solo + his new album â€˜Familyâ€™
Why did you decide to return to being solo? With the help of some very wise people, I came to the simple realization that what I do best is write songs. I wasn't really focusing on that with The Courage. A lot of times I was trying to be someone, doing something, that wasn't natural for me. The Courage was beginning to flounder. A lot of tension under the surface, which came from a lot of different places. So it was really for the best that the band broke up. It all seemed to happen at the right time. That's kind of the condensed version. I'd probably fill up your magazine if I tried to tell the whole story. But ultimately, it was because of songs that I returned to being "Noah Gundersen"
Can you tell us the story or theme behind Family? Where did these songs come from?
Has your writing process changed since being in The Courage and now returning to being solo?
Most of the songs are true stories about my family or have ties to the concept of family in some way or another. So the title is very literal actually. The concept of family is very interesting to me. Everyone is shaped by their family, whether for good or for bad. It just is that way. And I think that can be a very beautiful thing. Then there is the concept of a bigger family, as in the title track. People you are disgusted by and cant stand to be around, they are your family, in some way. It's the idea of global family, but not in the hippy, huggy, way. In the very messy, dysfunctional, painful, beautiful way.
Like I said earlier, its much more song oriented, as opposed to arrangement, though that is something I care about very much. Mainly I've just stopped trying write songs with other people. Democratic writing has never worked for me, which is something I learned with The Courage. So now I just went back to writing songs in my bedroom by myself. Abby comes in usually after the song is mostly formed and we start working on parts. Most of the time she writes them herself, though I occasionally give my input.
Do you have a favorite on the album? Is it the same as your favorite to perform? I would say maybe the song I'm most proud of is Family, though I'm honestly really proud of every song on the album. Family came from a very vulnerable place and I think I communicated that place honestly. I guess Fire is probably my favorite to perform.
greater. That's why I try to stay away from writing love songs. Unless they mean something. Unless they show love as an action, not just a feeling. Those are the songs I want to hear, so those are the songs I want to write.
What was your recording process this time around? We spend just over a week in Dallas, TX with Daniel Mendez, our producer, at his house. Lots of full takes, only one song with a click track. It was actually very relaxing for me. Abby and Daniel spent a lot time working on details with the string arrangements and I trust them both very much, so I was able to sit back for most of those times and just watch them work. When it comes to lyrics, how do you like to write them? Well, I'd like to write them better. I'd like to be more fluid, more direct, more intentional with my words. I feel every word should be important. But other times I feel like just sitting back and letting the stream of consciousness do its work. I'm afraid of being cliche. Especially as a Singer/songwriter, I feel like the danger is much
What guitars are you playing right now & what do you like in a guitar? I'm playing the Martin D-28 Marquis I recently bought. I put a Sunrise soundhole pickup in it. I'm still trying to work out the best tone for live shows. I'm currently leaning towards blending 2 amps together (my '71 Fender Pro Reverb and a '80s Princeton Chorus). So far I've been pretty
happy with that combo. I guess we'll see how it works live. I like a guitar with a good bottom end and a fat neck. The d-28 Marquis has a pretty distinct V shape that I like. I also dig a rosewood back. You have recently been working with the non-profits TWLOHR & ODW, what have you done with each organization and if you are still working with them, in what capacity? I've supported Jamie Tworkowski of TWLOHA at several speaking events around the country. Usually at colleges. I like how they involve music in their organization as more than just back ground noise. They see it as something very important in giving hope. I think that's pretty cool. We've done several events with ODW, from their inaugural gala to a Christmas show I put on to raise money for ODW. Those are some good people. Can you give us an outside big brother perspective on Le Wrens as you've had them open for some of your big draw shows as of late including your album release. They're amazing. I'm actually a little nervous to play after them. They're so pure in their sound, so un-jaded. Its very cool to see. It definitely has an effect on people.
I look forward to watching them grown and helping them along any way that I can. I know you read a lot, from Alan Moore to Steinbeck, what covers are you turning lately? I'm currently reading the third book in Steven King's Dark Town series. Just some fun reading :) What albums are you currently listening too? Neil Young's "Harvest" and "After The Goldrush". The Band "The Band". Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young "So Far". Dawes "Nothing is Wrong". Kevin Long's "Small Town Talk". Bryan John Appleby's "Fire on The Vine".
Are you changing your approach to the music scene & to music as a career with your return to being solo? I'm trying to be more open. Less bitter. Bitterness has never really gotten me anywhere. It really just brought me down and distracted me from what I need to do. So I'm trying to put myself out there more. Get out of my shell, my paradigm. And I'm working on putting my heart into it. All the way. Whatâ€™s next to come? What should we expect from Noah Gundersen? We start working on a full length record with Daniel this fall. Also some tours and regional shows.
With the amount of work that it takes to do music as a career, how do you relax / re-coup / nurture / what do you like to do for fun? haha, I guess that's the big challenge for anyone in this position. The balance is the hardest part. I've been trying to take a walk every evening, just to clear my head. That's been helpful. I don't know man, I feel like I'm always readjusting myself, looking for that balance. As I'm also always recreating myself. But maybe that's how good art is made.
Interview by Tommy Panigot
EMILY WILKENS AFRICAN RICE HEART African Rice Heart is about our good friend Emily Wilkens and her journey as a missionary. We actually just met her while she was on her book tour and connected on so many of the same levels. We sat down with her to ask a few more specific questions. We are absolutely thrilled with what she has done and are super excited about cultivating this relationship.
What inspired you to go on a mission trip? Before going to Chad, I understood poverty as simply “the lack of” what I had. I would read a friend’s blog who was living in Chad and every time I’d read, I’d find myself antsy with Physics, unable to see the value of Speech class. I think some of my initial desire to go came from this idea that being in a place like Chad would make my every action worthwhile, purposeful, and helpful—something I hadn’t felt in the comforts of my college life. But once I was in Chad, I learned that there too I had very complacent days—and on those days, it became evident that purpose cannot be given to you from your surroundings, but must be determined each day within yourself—a choice to serve in all actions no matter the demand, whether it be small or great. I did so much learning, and continue to learn from that experience.
How long did it take you to pick up the language? I went into the experience not knowing any French, and not being able to even pronounce the name of the dialect correctly. So needless to say, my work was cut out for me. I had a French book and did some basic studying when I got there. However I had to swim quick—all work at the hospital was done in French, and my host family spoke no English. After a few months, I was getting a grasp on the basicsand eventually, conversation began to be able to be about thing that mattered. We could always joke though—about boyfriends and cleanliness and cultural differences. We never had a hard time laughing.
What did you eat? We ate many, many things….haha. Chad boasts a main dish called boulle—a big ball of rice with a side-sauce which hunks of the rice can be dipped into. The most traditional sauce, and the one every Chadian woman knows how to make, is called “sauce long” and consists of an extremely slimy texture with a fish base. It’s a rough meal to be honest. We also ate a lot of goat meat. I didn’t mind eating goat by the end. Adjustment and acclimation are two human ->
abilities that I appreciate to a whole new level after being in Chad, and someone told me that we humans, “are stronger than we think…” The children ate fried frogs, roasted mice, and grasshoppers, as well. But rice—it’s the sustaining food. Most families have a rice field or two of their own, and they depend on that harvest to provide for their basic needs. The title of the book, African Rice Heart, was inspired after seeing the process which the rice goes through to become the source of sustenance that it is. The planting, tending, harvesting, tapping, sifting, pounding, washing, and boiling—it’s a process which at one point treats the rice with gentle care and at other times, like during the tapping or pounding stage, the rice is beaten! The extremes of Chad—both the deep-seeded joy of village community and also the heavy weight of sorrow which the hospital so represented, began to affect my heart and perspectives and in the end, I came out changed.
Best "self" experience? I think one of the biggest impactful pieces was getting to be part of a village. A literal village. The village mentality is open and connected. And the hospitality of Chad broke my heart in the best way—the way that breaks it wide open. Jolie, my mother there, was such a good villager. She served people in the smallest yet most consistent ways. Hosting guests, getting me her pillow, heating water for Samedi’s bath, feeding the neighbor’s children. She was such a good villager—a key piece of a community. I think that example is one I hope I can settle into more. In any given moment, in any given situation, we can always strive to be a good villager—be a helpful, self-less, honest, piece of our present place.
Best "serving others" experience? During my last trip to Chad, there were a few times when I’d look around and realize that the kids had not been bathed for days. Children are left to tend to themselves in a family that big, and so, on those days, we’d tell the kids it was time to shower and I’d bribe them by bringing out my shampoo. They’d come running. We’d haul water up from the well and they’d strip down and jump in the big pot. Soon they’d be scrubbed up and clean and the deal was that they were not allowed to lay in the dirt until their body was dry! When I returned to Chad for this second trip, the kids were all healing from a skin infection which had left a couple of them with quite a bit of scarring. Cleanliness is difficult when your home is made of dirt and when you share a floor with chickens and goats and pigs. Two of the three year old brothers, Ugga and Goma, have a rhyme that somebodies mother taught them. It goes, “Mn pulka di, Mn doua di!” which means, “If you don’t bathe, then you don’t eat!” I think it seems to come back to the moments of really being a part of a village that feel like the biggest service I can do at any given time.
One of the most difficult aspects of Chad? The most painful times in Chad came when suffering ran its course—it wasn’t even just the death that became difficult, but it was the suffering. The woman vomiting solo out in the courtyard on her knees, the still borne handed to the grandmother, the trial and error method of regulating insulin for the diabetic; bleach water dressing changes; the lost sense of hope of the woman whose leg was amputated. Those were the most difficult pieces of my experience. I don’t believe that suffering is unique to Chad
though. People suffer so much in the states too. The woman addicted to meth, the father battling cancer, depression robbing someone of joy. While I don’t believe suffering is unique to Chad, it was very overt and I was very close to it, which made it an issue that I dealt with every day. It challenged my relationship to God and my ability to genuinely pray with a trust in his plan. There were many ways in which the suffering of others, wore at my optimism, my hope while I was there.
Why write a book? I wrote almost all of the contents of the book while I was in Chad. It wasn’t until I returned that I began really compiling the stories, putting it together in a progression that would unveil pieces of the experience chapter by chapter. Some pieces in the beginning were as general as “family” or “food” but I wanted to make the point through stories. For example, I wanted to portray the way young girls start shifting into womanhood at such a young ageand so in one chapter, I wrote about the occasi-
ons when we’d bite into a rock when eating our rice, and how embarrassing that was for the sister who had prepared dinner—a shame to her and the family would tease her and tell her she had cooked the rice poorly. I wanted the reader to be able to face issues with me—like the issue of preventable death there in that village, or the issue of clean water. I wanted them to begin to distinguish the two sides of poverty with me—the side that causes people to suffer, and then that other side to poverty which is actually simplicity—a piece that is beautiful. I wanted the reader to be able to go through some of the thought processes that I did—and that meant, letting them step into some of the situations. That meant letting them envision themselves sleeping on a mat with 19 people under the stars. That meant letting them have a malnourished child tied to their back while they give the noon-day meds. I don’t believe I could have done that if I would have written the stories after I returned home. When you feel steeped and soaked in the emotion of an experience, it allows you to write about it with an authenticity that I think is valuable. Often, after writing something out, I’d set my computer or journal down and feel a release—even a greater understanding for what I was feelinglike a therapy sessions out in the desert.
What are you currently up to? In May, I finished a three month book/speaking tour around the country. A good friend of mine and I travelled over 10,000 miles by car sharing a message of “service learning” in schools, churches, thrift stores, retirement homes, and universities—a life altering trip. This summer, I’m working as a water-ski instructor at a kids camp in Idaho. This fall, I hope to start my MFA in Creative Writing.
Read her story & find the book on Amazon
Follow Emily Wilkens at starsgoings.blogspot.com Interview by Mike Young
ACE HOTEL SEATTLE
2423 1ST AVE, SEATTLE, WA. (206) 448-4721
JENNIFER YOUNG jenniferyoungblog.com iartublog.com
To contact Jennifer Young email@example.com
Joe Ruppert - Bass • Kyle Zantos - Banjo, Keys, BGVs, and other • Luke Messimer - Keys, BGVs, other • Cole Mauro- Drums and Percussion
BRYAN JOHN APPLEBY FIRE ON THE VINE B&W photos by Kaylyn Messer
Other photos by NO THEFT
L-R Cole Mauro, Kyle Zantos, Joe Ruppert, Luke Messimer, & Bryan John Appleby
Created by Annie Murphy
When Bryan approached me to do a screen print for him, I thought it would be for a poster. Earlier that day I had stumbled on a layout that screamed BJA, so I jumped at the chance to start solidifying the concept. But when we finally talked I found he wanted a special mini poster printed for those who had pledged a certain level on his kickstarter. I mentioned the poster I had already started creating and offered to do the concept as a print for his merch table. When he saw it, he told me he had been wanting to do something in this style for some time. PERFECT. I told him how LGC had been wanting to go public with the print shop and asked if this could be the first print out of it. Bryan was happy to partner with us and voila, our first step of going public with being an in house print shop was born. -NO THEFT
Written by Will Frei With its tall ceilings, warm wood, and 1940s-style ironwork, Zeitgeist Art and Coffee belongs in a German train station. I start with the space because that’s where this coffeehouse shines. The tables are spaced for privacy, the abundant windows provide for great Jackson St. people watching, and the warm wood paneling is the visual equivalent to a mellow caffeine buzz. The atmosphere gives one a sense of spaciousness in the midst of downtown hustle. The “Art” part of Zeitgeist’s name makes more sense online than in the physical shop, where a single row of photographs did not seem “artier” than pieces displayed in other Seattle coffeehouses. Zeitgeist’s website has an impressive archive of all the art they have shown in-house and informs that the coffeehouse acts as a stop during First Thursday Artwalk. Mark and Michael Klebeck, Joel Radin, and Bryan Yeck founded Zeitgeist in 1998. These four, collectively or individually, have at some point founded or owned Zeitgeist, Top Pot Donuts, Bauhaus Coffee, and Elliot Bay Cafe. Although Top
Pot and Zeitgeist no longer share owners, Top Pot still roasts coffee beans for Zeitgeist, which get delivered twice weekly. This brings us to the product. Let’s start with the let down--the (drip) coffee. It’s basically weak diner-coffee, and it’s the only option besides espresso drinks. Don’t order the coffee. Do order the espresso. It smells like burnt sugar and tastes like honey and tangy tobacco. Delectable. The latte landed right in the middle. Solid, but nothing to write home about. Zeitgeist also sells both its espresso and coffee beans by the pound, and has a menu of sandwiches, salads, and, of course, Top Pot hand-forged donuts. The baristas that served us were like the latte, right in the middle--friendly but not gregarious, knowledge-able but not geeks, skilled but not masters. In fact, I recommend Zeitgeist as a place in the middle, a train station. If you are going to or from a downtown destination and need a space to stop and connect, imbibe, or just relax, try Zeitgeist Art and Coffee.
Would you like Will to review a coffee house in Seattle? E: firstname.lastname@example.org
PATRICK TONEY photos in this section by: VANJA.
Do you have artists you look up to?
What is your approach to doing portraits?
I really look up to my teacher *Harry Ahn. He's an older man with a thick Korean accent. He is a man of few words, but I learned so much just by watching him draw and demonstrate good techniques. I remember the first day I walked into his cluttered studio, I was struck with a deep sense of inspiration to draw and paint.
I take reference photos, draw in pencil, then marker. From there I burn the portrait onto a silk screen and duplicate the image in black ink on manila colored paper.
How did you get started with drawing: I have loved to draw since I was a boy. I remember often asking my brother and my neighbor to draw comics with me during our childhood in Michigan. During classes in high school I drew caricatures of my teachers and friends. I studied advanced drawing under the instruction of Harry Ahn at the collegiate level. And I honed my skills by sketching portraits on the streets of Seattle. What are you currently working on? I'm working on a collection of portraits of musicians from Seattle. As the drummer for Garage Voice, I get to meet and hear a lot of musicians. I use portrait drawing to build those relationships, and to bring attention to quality music that someone might casually overlook. I'm currently working with a great local band called Lower Lights Burning.
Do you have a favorite piece so far? I really like the portraits of Kendra Cox and Meagan Grandall of Lemolo. Photographers Ben Blood and VANJA did a perfect job taking the reference photos, and Claire Beaumont did a beautiful job styling their hair and jewelry. How long does it take you to do a portrait? About 10 -15 hours, start to finish. Is there anyone or a few you want to do a portrait of? Galen Disston of Pickwick, Drew Grow and the Pastors Wives, Damien Jurado and Melodie Knight of Campfire OK.
Contact Patrick Toney for portrait work :
Interview By Tommy Panigot
HAND ME UPS An interview with the Executive Director of Hand Me Ups Kurt Narmore
What is Hand Me Ups? Hand Me Ups is a non-profit organization I founded that provides brand new, totally hip, totally radical clothing to underprivileged youth. How do you do this? Hand Me Ups obtains brand new, unused, unworn clothing from radical brands who share a philanthropic interest. These brands donate their unsold garments that include sendbacks from stores, overstock, misprints, or minor damages (such as wrong thread color) allowing Hand Me Ups to put â€˜em to use by providing to needy kids.
What makes Hand Me Ups different from other non profits that do similar work? What separates Hand Me Ups from the rest of the non-profits is we are cool! Our strategy is simple – obtain the attention and following of a younger crowd, also known as, the Millennium Generation. Young adults are becoming more aware of current events and have found great interest in the well-being of others in their local neighborhood and around the world. Take for instance the Japan relief effort. RVCA, Volcom, Opening Ceremony, and plenty more have all created Japan shirts benefiting the disaster…This is great! It just shows how a younger generation is becoming more involved and I plan to have em involved with the rad movement of Hand Me Ups! So Hand Me Ups is rad? Very! We just wrapped up our second event at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana featuring a special visit by pro surfers Ford Archbold and Kyle Kennelly with a live performance by Gantez Warrior. We even gave away a brand new surfboard to the winner of a dance off between 100 kids that was donated by pro surfer Andrew Doheny! Now if that doesn't sound rad then I don’t know what is! I’ve created an organization where the average person or don-
or will be entertained with how we interact with the kids we visit. Its not just about giving clothes out. We want these kids to remember our visit for the rest of their lives. Stoking them out is our priority. This creates an everlasting impression on these kids. Its not a hand out, it’s a HAND UP!
What is it like to start a non profit? BEST EXPERIENCE EVER! I remember when I was brainstorming the idea with my friends…You have the typical “ahhh I don’t know about that,” but to tell you the truth that is what motivates me the most. I knew I had something when the business plan started to make more and more sense. My model has changed A LOT from the original plan and there was definitely some grey smoke in the air but I managed to clear on through it and keep the company moving forward. There is no better feeling then to see something you work so hard at succeed. And that is exactly what Hand Me Ups is doing.
Tell us about the partnership with the Boys and Girls Club? Our partnership with the Boys and Girls Club is amazing. So far we have had two events in partnership with the national organization. The first was at the Boys and Girls Club of East County San Diego where we had Zachary Wohlman, recipient of one of boxings most coveted amateur awards, the Golden Gloves; speak about his rise in the boxing world, emphasizing integrity and courage. The second event, which we just wrapped up, took place at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana. You can find out more about both of these visits and future visits by checking out our website at handmeups.org.
Do you plan to expand beyond the Boys and Girls Club? Oh of course! Although the BGC is an excellent start to Hand Me Ups career in partnerships, I already have a long list of future collaborations with organizations that can relate to the Hand Me
Ups concept of providing new clothing to underprivileged youth. I plan to take Hand Me Ups to be one of the worldâ€™s largest providers of NEW clothing to needy children, one step at a time.
Me Ups mission can learn more at WWW.HANDMEUPS.ORG, where you can also donate.
sory Board, heâ€™s helped me in countless ways.
Anyone you would like to thank?
Head over to handmeups.org for updates + ways to get involved!
Where can people learn more about Hand Me Ups and where to donate?
First and foremost, GOD. I have had tremendous help from my Board of Directors serving Hand Me Ups in every way possible. But in all reality it has been Warriors of Radness President Rick Klotz, serving on the Hand Me Ups Advi
The wonderful Hand Me Ups website is looking better then ever! Anyone interested in the Hand
Interview By Mike Young
photos in this section by: Tina Frei
SCREEN PRINT CLASS A week ago my friend Tina Frei & I taught a 4 session screen printing class over at the Bainbridge Art store Oil & Water Arts. Each student had to choose 2 of 3 projects to complete, 1) Postcard 2) Poster 3) T-shirt. These following snaps cover our time together. -NO THEFT
COMING OCTOBER ‘11 TO CRU MAGAZINE
This issue explores: Noah Gundersen, Bryan John Appleby, Hand Me Ups, Portrait Artist Patrick Toney, Jennifer Young + Ace Hotel, Bainbridge...