Layout by Mike Arellano Edited by Iain Oldman
Aaron Moss “Golden Son” Acrylic and Oil on canvas
Photograph by Ben Fraits
Photograph by Ben Fraits
The idea is to choose a random existing holiday each month. Iâ€™ll do a call for interest, then document the activity celebrating the holiday to share it with the world (as far as I can reach).
--Brandy Somers http://www.friendlycitylens.com
We complain about washing dishes but the act itself is merely a few body parts away from a bubble bath. We dread folding laundry but the thought of fresh-out-ofthe-dryer towels comforts us. We pay money to remove scars that are part of a story we are proud to tell. Maybe I was inspired by my family or my past or my friends or by the way I love drowning my over-worked hands into the dishwater…but either way, I’m on a mission to prove that now is beautiful. Right heckin’ now. No frills. No reservations. And because I must remain focused, I created a year-long series. In this series I’ll help someone else bring to life a daily beauty…at least once a month.
For January, I celebrated National Pie Day with local pastry chef, Rachel Herr. I spent one Sunday morning in her home as she concocted a delicious masterpiece in the spotlight of her kitchen window. You can view the post here: http://friendlycitylens.com/2014/01/23/herr-vanilla-pie/
In February, Iâ€™ll be celebrating National Tortilla Chip Day. Follow along and participate, please. Iâ€™d love to get to know you and your daily beauty. Photographs by Brandy Somers http://www.friendlycitylens.com
See more work by Suter, visit: https://www.facebook.com/ArtoftheWindigo
Ashton Hill http://kettleheadart.bravesites.com/
“Rainbow Bear” Oil Painting
Gina Huber http://www.ginahuber.com/
Local Exhibits On display this month | Spitzer Art Center | Culture by Design: The World of the Kanga | Wilson Downtown Gallery | Ragan McManus: re-covered | Arts Council’s Darrin McHone Gallery | Ebenezer: selected works by Jeff Guinn | Blue Nile both upstairs & downstairs | Kappa Pi Art Exhibition | Larkin Arts | Juried show | Ruby’s Lounge at Clementine | Work by Eliza German | The Artful Dodger | Juried Show | Oasis | Straight From the Heart: Jewelry and demos by Jill Weigel
“Mens rea” acrylic on wood
DOCUMENTED Conversations on identity, aesthetics, and art with Andrew Jenner and Paul Somers. Interview by Hermelinda Cortes Hermelinda: Tell me how the concept developed and about the collaborative process of using words and photography Paul: From the time I was 2 to six we lived in Arizona and out my front door was the Santan Indian Reservation. It was also in close proximity to Mexico in a place called Chandler. I didn’t think about it then, but I would see people who were Mexican and people who you knew were Santan and they looked exactly the same. The show, it’s pushing this idea of thinking of Native Americans and people who are strictly Mexican as comparable in terms of their ancestry, but I could say that to a Mexican and they’d be like No. ‘Native American’ is obviously an English term and there are any number of Latinos from a small Indian woman from Oaxaca to a person from Chihuahua with blonde hair and blue eyes. That was part of the reason why there’s no countries listed [in ‘Documented’].
It’s nice for people to go in and mistake the girl in the big photo. A lot of people thought, “oh, she’s Native American,” because of the iconic imagery. She’s actually from Mexico. It’s meant to be perplexing and confusing. Andrew: Paul described the idea to me a while ago and said he was interested in words being a part of it. He talked about what he was thinking and ideas he had for what he was going to photograph. It triggered some thoughts in my head that had to do with identity, but I hadn’t seen the photos yet. It was quite independent. He took the photos, I wrote, then the day that we hung it the big decision was how they would go together. Hermelinda: What writings did it trigger in you after he had talked about the concept and what was your relationship to it? Andrew: It was scary to be a part of it publically. There’s a tendency for people to look at a piece of art, especially when it’s dealing with a theme that’s a political issue that can be controversial, and it can be tempting to feel like there’s a definitive statement being made. People are complicated and issues are complicated. These are things that just came out of
my mind. I don’t feel like they’re making a definitive statement about anything. They’re making personal statements based on my own experiences. Hermelinda: In the show, you all primarily use of the word “Latino.”. After the opening somebody wrote, “Just call them Hispanics instead.” It seemed an attempt at political correctness around “Hispanics,” as a term juxtaposed to the use of “Latino.” Andrew: I think whoever wrote that thought I was really searching in my head for the correct term, and maybe in some ways I am. It was interesting that someone did that. Maybe it was intended to be facetious and maybe a critique in some way of our thought process. Paul: We were trying to create something coherent. Andrew’s
not anything other than Caucasian, and I’m not anything other than Caucasian, so it was important for us to not try and be more than we are. As far as using that term, we kind of had to go with something… Hermelinda: So you all had a discussion about which word to use? Paul: It never seemed to be Hispanic vs. Latino. We struggled a lot through all of the words, which is why in the end there are very few. What we’re doing is featuring iconic things in the show that could be miles or eons apart, but when they’re juxtaposed together it creates some friction or magnetism of other things that create aconsciousness that is different from the one that is presently happening to be. People have these ideas about Latinos and immigration and Native Americans, and what it means to be an American. We could have just made the show about Americans, because these are all American people. Andrew: I think identity is at the heart of what I was writing about and something I’ve thought about in my life a lot. I grew up Mennonite and have this thing about my identity, what other people’s identities are, how they are things that hinder us and help us. So when Paul starts talking about Native Americans, and Latinos, I started thinking, you know, some of these things that I wrote came out of my interest in identity.
Hermelinda: The artist statement said that aesthetics should bring up more questions than answers. Is there a sense that if you shift a perception that it will change something for people’s own expectations of themselves? Or is that not the intent at all? Paul: It’s a struggle to maintain the aesthetic aspects. You have to balance the issue on a pin because one little slip and you’ve landed in talk and rhetoric around immigration, immigration reform, Mexicans, people calling everyone from south of the U.S. border Mexican, a million different things, and it leaves you punch drunk. As an artist, I wanted the show to be something you could walk into without any knowledge of anything and say, this is beautiful. Even with the passport photos it’s difficult to make it much more than it is but that’s the kind of challenge that I like to take aesthetically.
Hermelinda: How did you land on “Documented” as a title? Paul: That came early with another idea of documenting migrant workers. Documented is such a powerful word that at its pinnacle is not the idea of documented/undocumented residence. The word’s meaning is to document, to say this is what was or what is. Obviously, it works well for hitting that political nerve. We want to recognize that because it would be stupid not too, but neither myself nor Andrew are interested in saying what other people should do with their hearts and minds. We gave an artistic talk at the opening where I decided to talk mostly about the technical aspects. Hermelinda: Were people interested in the technical aspects or the concept? Andrew: Being at an art gallery, the type of crowd that that attracts, I think people come to openings and the demographic that is there goes into it understanding that this isn’t meant to be a political statement. Paul: I think they wanted to talk about the cultural aspect, but we wanted to keep the mystery of the show and we wanted folks to have to search through themselves. We weren’t trying to be too descriptive because for us the show was part conceptual and it was a, “what does it mean to you?” type of thing. What I wanted to see at the opening was how people responded to it.
Hermelinda: Viscerally? Paul: Yeah, to bear witness to them getting it or not getting it or getting something else different all together. I got a little of that, but I noticed hesitation and fear, because it was all white people. People were not knowing what to make of what they were looking at. Obviously it was dealing with people who are readily associated with immigration, and documentation, and passports and there’s iconic Native American images. People said, “It looks good. I like it,” and, “Congratulations,” but very few people said “this is an amazing idea.” Andrew: People had asked me about the pictures and, in some ways, it’s even a little confusing to me. I talked about that with Paul. When he described it to me and sent me the artist statement there was one sentence, I can’t remember the wording, but I felt like it was getting too much into a race thing. That wasn’t his intention. That wasn’t my intention… Hermelinda: But in essence the whole thing is about race… it seemed clear that you weren’t trying to make a political statement but it was also bringing up these contentious ideas about race and ethnicity. Do you think they got it? Paul: I think some of them did. I don’t expect everybody to be into that aspect of it. It’s a stretch to ask people to spend time mentally with something, but that’s the process of art and that’s why you make things pretty enough to look at long
enough to have someone’s interior adjusted by the images. It looked beautiful. I liked how the headdresses looked like wings. I had several photos of the headdress in crisper focus, but the softer focus ended up looking good with the sharp arc of face with chin up and full of pride. It took me in. I felt excited about that. For me, it’s a big idea. The show is a recognition that the type of change that is possible goes right through the center of the person by asking them to consider something. For the people that are open to receiving a message like that, it’s cool, but it doesn’t have to be either.
“Genetically Reptile” acrylic on canvas
MIXTAPE PLAYLIST Cloakroom - “Bending”
--Christopher G. Mueller
Indiana’s Cloakroom is made up of three rural factory workers, including Doyle Martin, former member of Grown Ups. Much like the duration of their brand new EP Infinity, “Bending” is rainy-day gloom at it’s finest. From start to finish, this track communicates desperation unlike anything I have heard in quite some time. Combining calm and catchy riffs with bleak, dreary vocal tones, “Bending” is certainly a must for fans of ultra sad tunes.
Cruel Hand - “Heat” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc2XvNHLFsQ
EP Born Into Debt, We All Owe a Death Portland, Maine hardcore outfit, Cruel Hand, have been a mainstay in the hardcore scene for many years now. After separating from their long time label Bridge 9, many expected the band to taper off. This could not be further from reality. The opening song on their latest EP Born Into Debt, We All Owe a Death, “Heat” is the true definition of a “banger”. The opening drumbeat is the perfect intro, and the first riff opens up the record in aggressive fashion. Vocalist Chris Linkovich’s lyrics are both catchy and bitter, an absolute perfect combination in this track. The final riff will have you banging your head, you have my personal guarantee.
Grandview - “The Only Constant” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xaMQGVmHYw
LP Everything Between Paint and a Wall I don’t know where Grandview came from or how they got so damn good without anyone noticing, but they have my attention now. Their debut LP Everything Between Paint and a Wall is one of the most genuine and honest pieces of music I have ever heard. I struggled to pick one song from this incredible record, but “The Only Constant” is a perfect representation of everything Grandview does so well. The song is an example of what the emo/indie genre should be: it captures heartbreak, despair, and the struggle to make an identity for yourself after losing an important part of you. The male/female duet in this track is the icing on the cake.
Mammoth Grinder - “Roperide” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYy9nGpBTlE&feature=kp
LP Underworlds Fans of punk-inspired death metal take notice. Austin, Texas natives Mammoth Grinder are the modern-day incarnate of Entombed. Again, selecting one track from this album was a difficult task, but “Roperide” is a worthy introduction to what Underworlds has to offer. The riffs are sludgy and heavy, and the guitar solo is a perfect compliment to this song. Of all the Mammoth Grinder songs I have heard, “Roperide” stands out as the track that most encourages me to mosh through my bedroom wall.
Self Defense Family Album: Try Me You may have heard of this band as one of their several names: “End of a Year”, “End of a Year Self Defense Family”, and now simply “Self Defense Family” round them out. Their latest release Try Me is impossible to properly describe and requires many listens through to fully digest its contents. This record takes on the emo revival and flips it on its head. Each song seems larger than life, and you find new details with each spin of the record. Fans of bands like Fugazi will find similarities with Self Defense Family, but Try Me brings a brand new element to the table that I have truly never heard before. Complete with two lengthy “monologues” by a former porn star, this record is a curious, peculiar, and an overall incredible experience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv-7wI84wxs
Band: Killing Thing Album: Closed Casket Pittsburgh’s Killing Thing float you into Closed Casket on an airy, melodic guitar riff with faint screams in the background. The album titled track takes up the A side, and the faint, melodic intro cuts into harsh and heavy, discordant, stop/start style metalcore. Guitars and drums churn out precisely planned breakdowns while vocals wail over the stop parts. Flip over to the B side and you have two tracks, “Or King” and “Hark”. Killing Thing wear their influences on their sleeve on side B, while “Closed Casket” has some broader sounds. “Or King” and “Hark” have the Southern fried metalcore feel of bands like Every Time I Die or He Is Legend. Hopefully on the next Killing Thing release, they will continue to expand on the ideas they tapped into on the A side. This will turn Killing Thing into a band more in touch with their own sound, rather than staying content in the vast, rehashed world of “Southern” metalcore. Killing Thing released
their album in November of 2013 on Soft Speak records. Soft Speak Records is in association with Music Gives Back and donates its proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. For more info on Killing Thing and Soft Speak Records, click on the links: http://killingthing.bandcamp.com/ http://softspeakrecords.com/ Band: Yaujta Album: Songs of Descent Grindcore is at the root of Nashvilleâ€™s Yaujta. They eke out 14 songs in just under 40 minutes, but just as you get caught up in the grind, they start throwing curve balls your way. Songs of Descent is a whirlwind of influences. Sometimes slowing things down to a near halt, and sometimes getting weird and riffy, a la noise or post rock. All of this is wrapped up neatly in a tight, blazingly fast package. In a world where most bands are trying to get in touch with that old time music (80s thrash throwback...70s hardrock throwback...Steel Panther trying to revive hair metal, etc), itâ€™s refreshing to hear a band limited by no genre, and in turn, no boundaries.
Songs of Descent comes out on February 11th on Richmondâ€™s Forcefield Records. You can also see Yaujta on tour at these other stops: http://yautja.bandcamp.com/ http://www.forcefieldrecords.org/ February 7 - Harrisonburg @ Crayola House https://www.facebook.com/events/199456240262400 February 8 - Philadelphia @ Wolf Cycles https://www.facebook.com/events/131213927048825/ February 9 - Brooklyn @ Acheron w/Geryon & Psalm Zero https://www.facebook.com/events/423565181108138/ February 10 - Boston @ Roggies https://www.facebook.com/events/205272776335072 February 11 - New Brunswick @ Paradise Lost (House) February 12 - Baltimore @ Ottobar https://www.facebook.com/events/701084496598529 February 13 - Richmond @ V.S.C. https://www.facebook.com/events/1440888962808038 February 14 - Asheville @ Skanktuary w/ King Dirt https://www.facebook.com/events/1455567857996632 February 15 - Atlanta @ WonderRoot https://www.facebook.com/events/1453784344837482 February 16 - Nashville Release Show @ The Stone Fox w/ Ramming Speed https://www.facebook.com/events/702290476482093
Band: Malatese Album: Animal Relief http://malatese.bandcamp.com/ Just viewing the cover art for Malatese’s latest release, you know things are about to get weird. The cover depicts two anonymous faced suit-types clouded by smoke and textures, and this art fits perfectly for the weird, textual sounds that Malatese brins on “Animal Relief” With huge dynamics and drawing influence from all over the punk and alternative world, “Animal Relief” feels different from song to song while still keeping to the overall Malatese sound. Even within songs the dynamic change up from say, a trance noise part to a full on grunged up rager, keeps the tunes fresh and interesting. Add that to the fact that “Animal Relief” is only 5 songs, most of which clock in at under 3 minutes, and you realize the only downside to the EP is that it leaves you wanting more.
UPCOMING EVENTS Photograph by Ben Fraits
02/14 - Hunters, Bleeding Rainbow, Vulgar @ Blue Nile https://www.facebook.com/events/645902338799092/
02/15 - The Smiffs (Smiths cover band) w/ Mirror Kisses w/ Negative Gemini https://www.facebook.com/events/1417071988539339/
02/16 - Mammoth Indigo END OF TOUR
2/18 - BATTLEMASTER, RAMMING SPEED, UNSACRED, HOLY LAND (@Strange Matter) https://www.facebook.com/events/403870866426346/
2/21 - EARTHLING, ORGAN DONOR, CASKET, VOMITING DINOSOURS https://www.facebook.com/events/284005545087054/
2/22 - THRONES OF DECEIT, ROZAMOV, THE OSEDAX, VORATOR (@Strange Matter)
POETRY AND SHORT STORIES There Will Be Snow. -
By Brooke Sayre
When the world stops spinning I’ll stop driving so fast. I’m provoked by the sun when it blinds me. I’m enthralled by the whipping of the shoreline and its salty offenses. I could dare myself to stop bleeding, but it’s human nature to be in this constant and brutal love affair with corruption.
I have this lingering taste of all of our old paint-chipped window sills. The sigh behind the shutting of doors. There was a cloud that we were living in and I was aroused by the whispers in our cracked and youthful lips. Our maniacal joints carried us across centuries. Mountains were moved. Entire days were spent studying how beautiful the weight of the winter chill was. It seeped itself into our muscles. We’d refine it and sip it from cold brown glasses. The clink of a cheers still echoes its way through my head. Blowing fallen leaves across the asphalt. Scuffing our boots on inspirational blood clots. I had stopped to rest my heart on the entrails of a falling city, there’s a certain grit to all of our bones. Casting lines, Tossing nets, You’re the phosphorescence that hooks me.
by, Angela M. Carter
Sir, are you fire? If not, why do you dance with the rubbish-why do you seek only those that ignite you feverishly and ignore those that soothe you? You are what Godâ€™s hands left reluctantly-chromosomes of confusion, someone he couldnâ€™t discard, no matter the consequences, but hoped good would find you. You are a canvas with blinking eyes-no matter where I go they follow me and convince me that I can extinguish the devil within you.
To Heathrow, or Bust
You might as well be dead to me. Gone.
by, Angela M. Carter
Didn’t it all follow you through the air,
What more is out there than what is here?
and travel the ocean’s floor--
wait at the terminal, smirking proudly, wet and dripping, with a sign in hand-WELCOME HOME!!!
Does it still hate me when you are a world away-or has its pulse weakened by the miles? Does it breathe vengeance more steadily, or did it die since you aren’t around to mother it? “I demand you to come home.” I returned years later to “home”, a lost land; forgiveness, or bust.
Memory Chose a Woman’s Body Author: Angela M. Carter Book publication: late May Genre: Poetry/Memoir Publisher: Unbound Content Launch party/event information will be posted on:
Join Angela and many others February 19th, for The Rocktown Poetry Circle at Greenberry’s.
Written by Carl Shapiro
First of all, you of all people should know I’m listening to Tal Farlow. Who is Tal Farlow? I call up the Nihilist. The phone rings eight times until his voice mail picks up. I leave a message telling him that life is too short to not go bowling, that I just watched the “Big Lebowski” and implore him to call me and let me know if he got home alright. Shit, we drank a lot. I bet he slept on the couch at his house. The Persian, the Drummer, the Belle and I are sitting outside on the second story porch at the Castle. It is cold and snowing. Inside a formal is beginning to stumble. Snow begins falling from the sky and we are all watching it silently. The Belle’s breath mixes with the Persian’s; cream against the black-lbackdrop of the sky. The Drummer puts his arm around the Belle while the Persian lights a cigarette, hands it to me and lights one more for himself. The Persian does this without saying anything; while glaring at the falling snow. It is cold outside. The Sky once dropped a loaf of bread into my hands. I stood there, waiting for butter. The Photographer and the Persian are sitting across from me in a dim restaurant. The Persian is telling a story:
“Roommates” acrylic on wood
“Alright <cough>, so last night I stumble into this party on XXYY street. A fashion tragedy of a girl is talking to me about her cats and spills her beer on my jeans. I had enough, so I go home and wash my pants, but I forgot about the Aaron Moss dexies in my pants’ pockets. Forty dollars worth of speed down the drain...”. The Persian sighs, despondent. The Photographer responds, evenly and without looking up from his glass of beer: “ Yeah, but I bet your laundry was finished in a third of the time.” We all laugh hard an the table is shaking because of it. The Photographer gets up and walks to the bathroom while the Persian looks at me soberly: “Will God forgive us for what we’ve done?” “I thought you didn’t believe in God.” I reply, struck by his serious tone. The Persian ignores me and repeats his question: “Will God forgive us for what we have done?” “What have we done that God will not forgive us?” The Photographer returns and tells another joke.
Everyone laughs and feels warm in the company of old friends. We all laughed that night. Ten years ago, the Nihilist and I are walking on the road at a beach campground. We are barefoot and the sand bites our heels. A large disk full of light pierced by a vertical hollow tube descends. It pauses above the tree line with an awful sound. The last thing I remember before I blackout is the Nihilist’s jaw slightly opened. Next, I am running with the Nihilist behind me, I imagine crabs biting my toes to sprint faster. The Nihilist denies that ever happened to this day. Her breath comes in short spurts of smoke from her nostrils as the Writer attempts to hold it in. Finally she lets go, her oversized breasts are heaving as she gasps for air. The acrid scent of marijuana fills my car in a thick fog. I speak up, but only to inform: “You know, you only have to hold it for eight seconds.” The Writer ignores me as she passes me the pipe: “The stars are so big tonight.” I raise a hand and decline: “I don’t smoke pot.” She shrugs her shoulders and rolls down the window. The frigid winter air rushes in. When I return home, my Father will insinuate sexual misconduct (“She was only seventeen!”) and I will insist we went to a diner where we talked until three. The truth lay up at the Quarry.
Two bottles of wine half full with their lesser brothers (the wine glasses) sit on the counter. The Nihilist picks one of the bottles of wine up and begins to swallow and speak simultaneously: “I’ve just got no reason to write. Who’s going to read it?” “I will dude.” (I pick up the other bottle at this pint and while one drinks the other speaks). “But what will I write about? I have nothing interesting to say. I live in fuckin’ Waynesboro!” His voice is dripping with desperation.
“Self-Portrait #2” Acrylic on canvas
“There are plenty of interesting cats in Waynesboro,” I reply as red slides down my chin. “You’re married, you can write about that. Hell, you lived in England for three years, did a shit-ton of drugs with me, were in a rock and roll band. You wrote a bloody youth devotional for Christ’s sake!” “Alright, OK.” the Nihilist trails off, his head bobbing as he sips with brow furrowed, fingers tapping against glass, “But who will read it?” “I will. Hell, we’ll make fifty copies and drop them off somewhere.” The Nihilist empties his bottle as he raises his head: “Alright. On one condition.” I nod. I nod energetically. “You write something too” “OK”
T-BOR’s pickled bananas and prunes
Dictated but not read. --T-BOR
Tired of all those old school pickles out there? Do you find your self sarcasticly thinking? “way to fucking go you put some cucumbers in some dill and vinegar” Well here’s a great way to put some kick into your fucking boring ass pickle life. What you will need. 1 bunch of bananas
3 lbs prunes 1\2 gallon apple cider vinegar 1 lb sugar A hand full of dried juniper berries 5 dried chilli peppers 4 bay leafs 1\2 cup of salt 1\4 gallon of water A clean gallon jar
Combine all ingredients besides bananas and prunes in a large sauce pot. Bring to a simmer on medium heat until all sugar is dissolved. Place prunes and bananas in the jar. Cool liquid till Luke warm and pour over prunes and bananas seal jar and place in refrigerator. In only a few short hours you will be able to enjoy your new found lust for all things pickeld.
Note: author is never to be asked to taste any of his own recipes.
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