Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Novelty, Brush Play, & Frolicking At The Last Hurrah

29 April 2009

Novelty, Brush Play, & Frolicking At The Last Hurrah

> Music

I can't remember the last time I was so excited about prematurely showing off new material...but my newest tune, "You Don't Have To Move," is in many respects the proof of principle for my fantasy of weaving guitar tapping/percussion, live looping, singing, mystical poetry, and electronic delay effects into a single piece of music. This new video shows a song still slightly wobbly on its feet but – to my knowledge – totally unprecedented in the entire universe of human music. That's right:


You can download the mp3 for free at myspace.com/michaelgarfield.

> Imagery

available - 2009 04 17 Sail Inn (Delta Nove) - 16"x24"
I finally broke down and bought some paint brushes, along with a weird, flexible paint chisel called a Colour Shaper that doesn't hold paint but simply pushes it around. Finally expending my sole can of white spray paint and dabbling with the Colour Shaper, I laid down a verdant background for this piece before Delta Nove's recent show at the Sail Inn. Their manager BJ Cochran was cool enough to hook me up with opening slots for them during their two AZ dates as well, although having me play my music before a garage funk band turned out to be a comically awkward mismatch. The above image is what happens when I drink and paint. Gin and tonic, in case you were wondering.

available - 2009 04 18 Orpheum Theatre (Delta Nove, The Brothers Gow) - 15"x30"
I had the honor of opening the very last concert at this historic and beautiful venue in Flagstaff before painting for "D-No" and local badasses The Brothers Gow. For the first time ever I actually used a foam brush during the actual show to apply deep and luxurious gold columns to either side of this chakra column, then layered new metallic pens on top of that before my teal pen exploded everywhere, ruining my composition. With most of the show already over, I had to totally re-envision the painting and ended up with the spinal column peeking out through the gate of vegetation. It ended up working, I think...I'm all for layers. This piece was especially difficult to photograph because of the multiple different metallic paints...

available - 2009 04 20 Goathead Saloon (Great American Taxi) - 16"x24"
Oh man, Vince Herman and his band were a pretty perfect group to be painting for on 4/20. Their song catalog is one ode to toking after another. In spite of the limited lyrical repertoire, those guys can really jam...which made working on this piece a lot of fun. I had prepped it by laying down the metallic gold and white tentacles first, giving them shape and detail and context over the course of the night. I had originally intended them to be ferns...yes, some ferns are gold. Or at least appear to be. As it came out, though, I like what this painting doesn't show as much as what it does.

available - 2009 04 24 Mondrian Hotel (Pere La Chaise) - 16"x24"
For the first time ever I used the fat-tipped black marker as an eraser early on in the composition of this one, and consequently the bottom half is matte black but the top half is glossy black. Hard to tell from the photo but in person the effect is bizarre. I had the 4/17 Delta Nove painting displayed immediately adjacent to the canvas this night, and this painting records another first: the first time I carried the design of one painting directly into another, like bookends. Of course, after an evening of improvisation the resemblance is a lot looser than it was at the start. There's a strange transformation in the triptych of this piece, in the passage from the rising elements below into the bubbles above. What is happening behind those rows of hexagons? Are we looking at one layer, or several?

> Press
I've been getting a modest amount of positive press recently.

Tyler Groover at Austin music blog TwoGroove.com had some very nice things to say (including that he's trying to rally people to get me to move to Austin).

Trevor Harden selected my electronic track "...And The World Rushes In" for a recent weekly feature on his music and spirituality website, RockOm.net – for which I provided a tidy explanatory blurb that in which I linked nondual philosophy with found sound percussive textures.

Art Nouveau Magazine out of Atlanta gave me a nice little spread in their reader's art section.

And the Scottsdale Chronicle published a very...um, factual feature on me – that diced what I thought was a very engaging 45-minute interview into incomprehensible fragments, but hey. At least now everybody knows I have an imaginary friend (?).

> Links

If I don't tell everybody about this stuff, it's going to drive me crazy. Here are some news items I think everybody should know. Hopefully you agree.

60 Minutes just did a segment on cold fusion entitled "More Than Junk Science." They took a look at this supposedly discredited branch of energy research and found that in fact, there are over a dozen independent research labs all over the world that have succeeded in creating room-temperature tabletop nuclear reactions. I can't stress the importance of this enough...we're talking about not just the end of oil, but the end of ANY energy monopoly, here. Not nuclear reactors. Not hydrogen fuel cells. Once this technology finally gets out in force, everything we know is going to change, completely. Strangely enough, CBS yanked this video soon after posting it...but due to public outrage they got it back online. Goes to show you that the age of trying to hide such important technological progress from the public is (almost) over.

Kamal Meattle of Delhi, pollution capitol of the universe, has found the "Three Essential Houseplants For Clean Indoor Air." Turns out that with just these three easily-acquired species you can seal yourself in a bubble and get by just fine, breathing clean and fresh plant exhaust.

Stuart Brown studies play for a living and has made a great case for "Why Play Is Vital – No Matter What Your Age." If this video doesn't convince you to approach your life differently, you're already as good as dead.

And this is so true it hurts, so thank God it's hilarious: "Everything's Amazing And Nobody's Happy" – Louis CK on Conan O'Brien, bemoaning how kids these days are spoiled by convenience, completely oblivious to the miracles of modern technology.