Friday, November 23, 2007


Los Angeles County Museum of Art-Probably my favorite, most likely since my brother lives at Redondo Beach and I’m in the area periodically, so get to experience this top flight museum on a repeated basis. A really good museum is a continuing source of amusement and illumination. For example, I’d never been into the Americana style much, until I saw a full size Thomas Hart Benton and immediately...false distinctions disappeared and a sense of wonder filtered through.

I think it is that type of experience that helps us to maintain an open-eyed, child-like view of the world and keeps things interesting. I'm reminded of the first time my kids saw a work (in the LACMA again) that really shocked and impressed them. After being herded through every museum I could find on our travels and them more or less trying to appreciate (in a slack-jawed , glassy eyed kind of way) what they were seeing, their reaction to Bill Viola’s ‘Slowly Turning Narrative’ was deeply satisfying as I could see that all the time and effort had not been wasted. They spoke about the piece for days afterwards and have gladly gone without complaint on every museum jaunt since.

Slowly Turing Narrative, description from the web site: A large screen mounted on a floor-to-ceiling shaft is constantly rotating at the center of the room. An image of the artist's face in black-and-white is projected from one side, accompanied by a voice reciting a long list of individual states of being and actions in a repetitive, rhythmic chant. Color images of childhood memories, accidents, and medical operations are projected from the other side, with accompanying sounds. One side of the screen is mirrored, and it reflects the viewer's own image as well as the projected images which travel across the walls of the room as the screen turns, creating a swirling vortex of images in the space

Brendan and Kerry: in the garden on the way to the Japanese pavilion. On this visit they were showing Japanese ‘imaginings’ of the tiger. This collection of yamato-e (scroll style) paintings were done in the mid 1800s. What made this showing remarkable was that at the time, the Japanese had never seen one of these creatures live, they only knew them through their skins. They knew tigers were large, ferocious creatures but had to fill in the rest. So, all of the depictions are unique, capturing on the one hand an essence of the tiger and on the other this mythic imagining of what the tiger is…fascinating.

Monday, November 19, 2007

old pals

Me and The Gav (left).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Newman Lake: Another tree bites the dust-damn! This one had been dead for some time but I thought to leave it in place as habitat-oh well.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


In the forests around Newman Lake there aren’t many broadleaf trees so you don’t see a lot of leaves swirling around, but you do get this, a conifer (tamarack or western larch) that loses it ‘needles’ and creates this fantastic golden brown carpet on the forest floor. This effect is only around for a few weeks and then it’s gone…

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Baby you can drive my car…

Yeah, yeah, yeah…this is the best Beatles compilation, ever…EVER! I should know, I’ve tried and my amateurish foray into a decent Beatles song cycle has finally been put to rest by this…yes…masterpiece. Access to the master tapes and original producer (the producers’ dad, George Martin) plus two years of labor probably helped a bit.

Some people don’t like it as it represents a significant remix or revision of the Beatles work and so is seen as sacrilegious, kind of like trying to improve upon the Koran. I think that's silly-what I know is that the last listen I had of Help! via CD sounded like crap, like it was recorded in 1965 or something. I don’t know how Mr. Giles Martin did it, but everything on this CD sounds as if were recorded yesterday--a huge achievement, highly recommended.

P.S. OK-so I've listened to this hear and there and while it has all the notable tunes it's missing my personal favorite 'Everbody's Got Something to Hide (Except Me and My Monkey), even so I still give it very hgh marks.