Monday, April 30, 2012

Into The Abyss

About to embark on a Heavy Metal Date to Seattle. The things I do for love. These guys will be performing:

Hmmm. I predict epic people watching at this event. Hessian Obsession style! Will report later on the male-to-female ratio of the crowd. Educated guess: 9 to 1. But I could be wrong..

These men will also be performing. JT is so excited he is going to wear his thrifted Opeth sweatshirt!

Post-Metal Recap: I did not follow the dress code! You are supposed to wear a black hoodie w/ black band t-shirt peeking out to what we will now classify as an 'adult metal' show. I wore a bright red jacket. Totally NOT COOL! The male-to-female ratio seemed a little closer to 19 to 1. Yet there were no 'bro' vibes, such as at the Slayer show I saw a while back. A very polite audience. The sound was terrible, but the venue was nothing more than a glorified airplane hangar, so that was to be expected. Not to be expected, however, was the volume of the show. So quiet! 'Casino Level', as we call it around here. You could comfortably chat to your neighbor while someone was shredding their guitar onstage. Weird! Also.. apologies to the Swedish band Ghost, but I honestly thought they were playing Duran Duran's 'Rio' for a moment, which was confusing with all the dark robes and face paint and whatnot. Points for theatrics and costumes and incense, but dudes.. you gotta up the metal if you want to be ghoulishly frightening! Then Mastodon played for an hour and it was 'good', I just got bored. I think when you're playing 120 downstrokes per minute or whatever, it impedes your stage presence somehow. SO it was especially surprising to me when the final band, Sweden's (again! the swedes with their polished impeccable shit. i'm a swede, i need more of that discipline) Opeth actually held my attention. They are really good! What made them rule, most of all, was the singer/guitarist. Not only did he wear a KISS t-shirt, he was ridiculously polite and funny and charismatic and self-depricating, and stopped between each song to take on one or all of those characteristics instead of just blasting through the set. MEHHHHHTALLLLLLLLLL!

oh -- also the drummer of Opeth was a shirtless flaxen-haired unicorn, which only added to the unexpected awesomeness.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

¡Cuidado! ¡Topas!

Dreaming of the Yucatan, where many things look like this:

Or this:

Where cemeteries are cheery..

.. and tooth pulling is cheap:

Mr. Cats lives here.

And magicians haunt pyramids. 

All the Mayan villages with their dogs and topas and cenotes and sweet ladies who try to understand our broken espanol..

.. each one specializing in hamacas, zapatos, or guayabreras. The hamacas are my favorite. Oh Tixkokob! Oh Valladolid! Oh tacos de pavo and Xtabentun... dreaming again. Tip: this is a great book to read while traveling in Mexico.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


You guys, my birthday is coming up this year! Usually I say 'your presence is my presents' (wha-whaaaa), but this time I want A Gift:

Its the MINT twin to my SG!! 1985, 'polaris white' (which mysteriously changes to butter yellow if you sweat enough on it). For sale in Gig Harbor, only an hour away!! Damn you, craigslist. And, seriously, its $1150? Wow. I've never spent over $500 on any instrument (except for that ill-fated experiment with a Gibson Les Paul Jr, what a bad idea). And why would I want the EXACT SAME (except: my crazy hardshell Terminator 2 case is red inside) GUITAR? Because I break strings like its going out of style, and switching out mid-song to the same samey would be the best. Its one in the morning and I am obsessing on this guitar. Goodnight!

4/29 ed. note: looks like one of you bought it for me! THANK YOU. I can hardly wait for September.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Talkin' 'Bout the Taurus

One of the most exciting things to happen to me in a long, long time has occured!! I am dabbling in gouache! Today, for the first time. I've been painting in acrylic forever but finally decided to experiment. The results are thus:

I picked up an old, neat book about matadors at the library book sale today, and used it as inspiration for this exercise. Black gouache on watercolor paper.. so fun to actually draw with a paintbrush instead of blocking in sections of colors for hours and hours! This was accomplished in one little afternoon! Now, it is rough.. my drawing skills are pretty withered and getting used to a new medium is challenging (how do you fix mistakes w/ gouache??). I also have a really hard time staying away from color, so I decided to see if you can paint acrylic over gouache (yes you can!). I feel like the possibilities are limitless. I'm so excited to have given it a whirl. The only questions I have are: how to eliminate drag on the brush without losing the opacity of the paint? I suppose the answer is using a smooth surface, like illustration board. Hopefully more gouachey good times to come!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grey Skies Again and Always

If you play all three of these songs at once, it kind-of sounds like how I feel today. A little restless. And its pouring outside.

I was actually searching for The Bats 'The Black and the Blue' for the middle slot, but couldn't find it online. The Go-Betweens will have to do. I love that Bats song though.. perfect for today. Maybe I need to double up on my Vitamin D intake?

Also my website is down for a few days while I switch servers.. hopefully back up soon with some much needed updates!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ink + Paper

I've been busy lately. Today is Attack The Garden day, yesterday was Mt. Good Times, and Sunday was the Giant Gathering of Print Nerds. In Tacoma, at the radical King's Books!

Gargantuan amazing hand-carved linoleum blocks being inked in the sunshine:


Local high school kids carved this one:

Crazy. And here's how it works:

That's right. A STEAMROLLER. Genius!

I'd love to do this in Olympia. There's a new cycle of State Arts Grants I'm looking into. I want to drive the steamroller! Apparently you don't need any fancy licensing. Though I think a jumpsuit and special hat should be required. And a cigar to chomp.

This has nothing to do with printmaking or steamrollers. But my old friend Dale just wrote it, and though I've heard the story many times, he manages to re-tell it with even more hilarity. Because he's British? Anyhow, its a great read.

ed. note: will someone PLEASE TEACH ME TO SEW and I will make us these incredible matching outfits.

Monday, April 23, 2012

We Mountaineeeeer

Sometimes (when the skies finally stop raining and raining and raining for 9 months straight) I feel like I need to pinch myself.. I live in paradise. Northwest paradise, specifically. Puget Sound/Salish Sea paradise.. Cascade Mountains in one direction, Olympics in the other. This is just a few hours away:

Mt. Rainier! 14,000 odd feet of majestic tectonic beauty. And today, an unbelievable 75-degree April day, seemed like a good time to put on these:

And channel my inner mountain goat.

Paradise! Hiked up, slid/stumbled down. I'm sunburnt and happy. This is the best song about mountaineering, ever!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Now I Want A Donut

I have a new guitar hero. Her name is Marissa Paternoster. She plays in the band Screaming Females. They shredded the downtown Olympia library last night!

Our library is sooooo cool. Seriously! Punk shows at libraries rule because you can multi-task:

Quote of the night: "There's a lot of B.O. in here" -- J. Trosper.

Difficult Emotions. Sometimes I have those!

OH, and I have a tip for all you long hairs out there.. behold the HAIR DONUT! There is an old (clean) sock up in there! Genius. Here is something for you to play while you transform your raggedy hair into a beautiful perfect donut.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Roman Enterprise

One of the best parts of printmaking: need something? a big arrow perhaps?? you can make it! As long as you have a scrap of linoleum and a little patience, you can build anything you desire.

Here's how the 4-color jam turned out:

Fortes fortuna adjuvat. But looking at the proof I made (below), I wonder if simplicity is always best? I have little self-control when it comes to 'less is more'. Need to work on that.

In any case, I'll be hanging out at Kings Books in Tacoma tomorrow for the Printmaking Nerd Convention Wayzgoose affair! These suckers will be available for a modest fee. And Kyle will be there with the amazing Type Truck.. check out her adventures here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Gimme My Line Breaks You

Yesterday I showed up for Western Hymn practice (at 11 AM!!) and opened my case to find.. a guitar. What! This is what happens when you ask me to come to your house and play loud music in the morning. I will bring the wrong instrument. Luckily we share the basement with Survival Knife, and so I borrowed lovely Meg's super fancy Rickenbacker bass. These are things I quickly learned:

1. A real bass is very heavy.
2. A real bass sounds very good. Very 'bass-y'.
3. My bandmates would now like me to invest in some new equipment.

I've been borrowing JT's Univox Hi-Flyer 3/4-scale bass for the last couple of years. I love it! Plays just like a guitar, but with bigger strings. Perfect for my small, small hands. This was the bass that JT used in the Young Ginns!! But yeah, its kind-of a toy instrument. Which is part of the reason I love it.

So, Universe: I'm going to throw out to your infinite reaches that I am in the market for a bass, short-scale preferred. One that is neither too fancy nor too crappy, and preferably one with a lot of physical dings and whatnot. Can I be specific and ask for a Mustang?

...and apparently in honor of 4/20, the blogspot technicians decided to get ripped and write a new format that blows. It won't recognize my html line breaks, which is why everything in the post is all squished together. Aesthetic apologies to all.

ed note: just figured it out. pthbbbt, computers!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Man, I am really starting to freak out about this Surf Aid benefit! Its getting SERIOUS. The artists involved seem to be famous professional surfboard painters, and then there's little old me. Luckily, my awesome pal Mike C. hooked it up with local shaper Paul Jensen, he makes beautiful wooden surfboards. Museum quality!

I don't have a plan. Yet. I've been interviewing my northwest surf friends to see what they would want on a board. Definitely not a gaggle of baby Great Whites.

What else is newish? More wine from the delicious Deux Punx winos! These two paintings are for the 2012 summer release of the DP Grenache and Viognier. Excited to see the final results! Now: band practice and more letterpress action. Report to be filed later..

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Youth Gets Wasted

I did it, I carved the teapot!

And I only cut myself once, miraculously. Besides breaking and misplacing things, I often slice my fingers open with various implements. Usually the night before a show, on my left index finger. This time on my left thumb, and I only have practice tomorrow! Hooray.

And look, my friend J. Hukee came to print today! We talked about my 20-year-old self's idea regarding 'tea cozy punks'. My youthful disdain for wholesome, craft-making, tea drinking fellow Olympians. BEFORE THE INTERNET it seemed like factions and sub-factions of punks were heavily divided in our little town, or at least to my naive way of seeing things. Drink tea? Boring! Drink coffee! Drink whiskey!

Finished the Runaways print. Tackling the 4-color jobby tomorrow.. off to find the chamomile now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Black Arts, Part II

Not a bad day to spend in dusty crusty Community Print, writing things backwards with wooden blocks. Not bad at all.

Spellcheck! Writing backwards is harder than you might think.

Mixing up ridiculously bright ink colors (subtlety has never been my strength)..

..and getting my hands all dirty. I love tactile activities.

(that's part one of a four-color jam. Found a giant stack of nice chipboard). Here is the lair:

Criminally under-used, but that's ok with me. I like to work alone.

Drawers and drawers and drawers of magic!

Working on some more Song Lyrics prints too.. and I haven't forgotten about the Tea Time With Henry project; I can't find my linoleum carving tool. Besides breaking things, I misplace everything all the time. A real absent-minded professor.

ed. note: The above type set using an uncouth method known simply as 'jazz style'.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Occupy Chair: Day 98

Its raining today.

Olive is still on her chair. Holding strong for the Occupy movement. Today, as per every day, she dreams of gravy being poured freely onto other foods. Cheeseburgers, sure. Why not?

Soundtrack for gravy dreams.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Black Arts

A few years ago I had a vivid and hilarious dream: I was swimming at the local college pool with Henry Rollins. Just treading water, shooting the shit. I asked him what he'd been up to lately, and I got a very specific answer.

'I'm working on a kids' show for the Disney Channel. Its called Tea Time with Henry'. What do you do on the show? 'Just have a kid on, drink tea, talk about stuff'. Sounded very Dick Cavett to me, and the set I imagined was simple: Henry Rollins, muscle-y and pumped, perched on a tiny child-size chair, legs crossed, sipping chamomile with a youngster, talking quite seriously about life and its infinite joys/disappointments.

I keep meaning to letterpress this vision, and it looks like this is the week to do it. Wayzgoose is on the horizon! A pink teapot (must subvert hyper-masculinity) linocut w/ Black Flag bars, and lyrics to Rise Above printed on the second pass? I can do that.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


OH THANK GOD. There's a book for that!

Flexible integration.

As a small tot I had an imaginary friend named Shadow. No joke. I can only imagine what Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung would have to say about this. Shadow was a shaggy black-and-speckled 70's bathmat type of thingy. If it was a holiday and we had company over, I would drape him over my little arm and show him off, but with a shyness. 'Do you want to pet Shadow?'. My parents let me pick out a kitten soon after this phase.

Shadow met his demise somewhere around my 3rd year on earth; my brother threw up on him during a nasty bout of childhood flu.

Friday, April 13, 2012

You Live Where?

When I first moved to Los Angeles I had a small breakdown. Laying face-down on a bed in the San Fernando Valley, walls painted a specific shade of green that always made it feel like I was drowning in a giant bowl of guacamole, I cried just a bit for the Northwest. To be more specific, I was laying face down crying just a bit for the Northwest in Sun Valley, California.. a desolate, lonesome place located between the northern reaches of Burbank and the southern crawl of Pacoima. Cradled in the armpit of I-5 and the 170. Sun Valley is most famous for having the highest concentration of wrecking yards west of the Mississippi. There's an asphalt factory too.

Vulcan Materials! Thank you, magic google image-search oracle.

Things changed. I found the red line train to downtown -- beautiful, crumbling, fucked up and strange downtown Los Angeles (populated with the most alarming army of drug addicts I'd ever encountered, night-of-the-living-dead-style). Spent a lot of time there. Pershing Square stop, three block walk (sometimes in combat mode - arms across chest, no eye contact) to Spring St, up to the 11th floor of the old bank building. Paint paint paint, run over to the magical Central Library, free day at MOCA, weird coffee/poetry place in the alley, discount electronics everywhere. My mom got most excited about the stores that sold 'pimp suits' when she visited.

And MY FRIENDS! Legions of quality folks, doing interesting things, and really going for it. Sam, for instance! Living out in Pomona with one of my favorite people, the subversive and talented Tara Tavi (lady of the chinese hammer dulcimer). Luckily, a lot of these friends take time to visit Kamilche, and Sam will be here soon on his book tour. I read on his blog that he missed out on some casino time recently. We can change that. See you soon Sam, and I promise not to door-ding your car this time!

ed. note: much gratitude to Dave Stone for making the move possible. I ended up loving the Valley in so many ways.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I've been dreaming about painting hyenas lately. Prehistoric dogs in general. African Wild Dogs, dingos.. solitary pack animals. And so it kind-of blew my mind yesterday when Slim asked me, without knowledge of these dreams, to paint him one of these wildehonds. For the tattoo. Bonkers. The unified field was apparently in full effect! Specific imagery being lobbed back and forth between us without permission, or speech. I love this.

Yesterday's jam. Organic Vermillion/Pthalo Turquoise/Ivory Black/Titanium White. Cadmium Yellow Deep in there somewhere too.

Working on ths coyote exercise, which has morphed, I think, into a red fox. Not sure yet. But I do always paint the eyes first, that way its as if I'm working as part of a team. If that makes sense.

To the studio!