Michael Garfield's Love Without End Tour Newsletter: January 2010

19 January 2010

The Avery Archives & No Painting Left Behind

> Music

Michael Garfield - The Avery Archives (Live, 2010 01 14)

To whet your appetite for my gig at Quixote's next week (see below) I present to you The Avery Archives – highlights from my two-hour solo acoustic concert at Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado on 14 January 2010. (It's a pay-what-you-want, no minimum situation here.)

This collection/abbreviation eschews my typical focus on flashy guitar work to emphasize a decade of solid songwriting. Included here are the first decent live recordings of older ballads like "Ruin" and "Don't Fret" and anthems like "Sweeping The Tide" and "In Zero With Grace," as well as "The Cyclist" (previously unreleased, with a studio version coming soon) and two new improvised loopscapes ("It Passed Right Over Us" and "Victory Roses").

Many thanks to everyone who came out to support me (i.e., drink and play board games) and to Avery Brewing for their generous contracts and excellent beer...

This album is dedicated to Nicole Taylor.

> Gigs

28 January (Thursday) – Denver
Zach Deputy & Michael Garfield at Quixote's True Blue
A night of live-looping guitar mayhem! This is the best music gig I've landed in almost a year – opening for the unfairly talented Zach Deputy, whose one-man funk looping project is an irresistibly danceable party-in-a-box. Playing in support of Zach is really going to up the ante for my set – he's a fantastic singer and songwriter as well as an inspiring lead guitar player. Zach's chops put Keller to shame, but not too many people have heard of him yet here in Colorado. So if there were ever one of my shows to attend, this is the one! Not to mention, I want to show the guys at Quixote's just how many friends I have...so haul it out next week and let's all get down together!
(Get the details and RSVP at the facebook event page.)

30 January (Saturday) – Denver
Live Painting @ Sound/Mind Presents: Crystallize
This might be the first legitimate psytrance throwdown in Denver, ever. I'm pretty excited to paint for the nation-wide line-up of deep and fluid electronic producers – especially since this event space is brand new and will be thoroughly decked out in gorgeous winter-themed installation artwork and an extensive gallery courtesy of Zach Emmendorfer and yours truly. Get yourself ready for a truly beautiful all-night affair...
(Get the details and RSVP at the facebook event page.)

> Imagery

If It's Depth You Want
2009 12 14 & 2010 01 11,12 Toad Tavern & studio
(Coales Whalen, Angie Stevens)
20"x30" - paint markers on masonite
original & signed 11"x17" prints available

I always spend a lot of time looking at the painting I just took home with the worried parental look that says, "Is this job ever done?" A lot of the quicker paintings I do end up boring a hole into my brain until I have to spend a few days giving them their needed final layers, and this one is the textbook example. After starting it up at Tommypalooza back in December, I figured I'd bring it to another concert to finish; but it was stubbornly resistant to more live painting. And so it got some serious studio treatment. Count the layers: a field of reddish trees; a galactic whorl of glowing glassy transparency; helical seaweed-like striving fronds; and the clusters of bubbles they're herding. If it's depth you want, it's depth you'll get.

This painting is dedicated to Tommy Nahulu, whose party it was that day (and still is, only now out in Hawai'i). I haven't forgotten to pay you a visit, Tommy!

Closed Kaleidoscope Eyes
2008 11 06 & 2010 01 15 Beta & Cervantes
(James Zabiela & Octopus Nebula, David Seied, DJ Chordata)
18"x24" - paint markers on masonite
original & signed 11"x17" prints available

This painting sat stagnating in limbo for over a year, officially completed but irritatingly spare:

For a few months, it hung on display at the now-extinct Fat Cat Sake Bar in Boulder, and when they closed they didn't bother to inform me that they had left my paintings with the shop next door. So for a few months, this one was not just annoying, but also officially missing. Eventually the new restaurant was able to track it down for me...and then synchronicity had it that I left my prepared board at home one night, and this was the only unfinished painting in my portfolio. I'll save the heady exploration of this one for the time-lapse movie I filmed while working on it (coming soon). Suffice it to say for now that I was honored to have two artists come up to me that night and thank me for capturing that which continues to elude them: namely, the swirling forms they see with their eyes closed.

PS, Octopus Nebula kicked everyone's asses that night. They're getting so good. This painting is dedicated to them.

Gate Crashers
2010 01 16 BMoCA (Fresh2Death, H1N1, DJ Grabass, Elephant Art Jam)
20"x30" - paint markers on masonite
original & signed 11"x17" prints available

Boulder art reps CoLab West (and here's their facebook group) threw their debutante's ball last Saturday night and it was awesome. Painting upstairs in the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art during a raging party was cool enough (except for the floating floor, which meant that my easel was bouncing up and down with the crowd all night), but I also happened to be surrounded by amazing local art (including live...chalking? by Patrick Beery) the likes of which would never normally be found in such a high-culture setting. I was delighted to be introduced to the music of the H1N1 jazz/rock/fusion ensemble, and the open bar didn't hurt. It really felt like the kids had taken over the school. CoLab West is going to be where it's at for Boulder artists, so go introduce yourself and let's get started!

As for the painting...well, variations on a theme by Islam. It reminds me of the semi-permeable membrane around every cell, the molecular version of a border crossing. Again, for whatever reason jpg rendering is killing the hot pinks in my photos, so this one isn't quite as vivacious as it should be. Nonetheless, here's to all of us recognizing this picture as a portrait of us: all together in a web of jewels.

This painting is dedicated to Alex Levis, the mastermind behind CoLab West, who inspires me profoundly with his passionate but no-nonsense commitment to helping artists make a living by doing what they love.

13 January 2010

First Paintings of 2010 & New Essays on Live Art/Music

> Imagery (full gallery here)
custom ukulele case
2009 01 04 - 07 Studio
opaque pens on fabric
signed 11"x17" prints available ($20)

My second custom instrument case, this one for my own new ukulele. A very loose map of the platonic cosmos, with the squirming organic world below and the harmonic perfection of luminous number above. A closer look at the background-to-foreground layout, though, shows the clear night sky behind the writhing fern-tentacles – in other words, the deepest and shallowest layers of the painting are right next to one another. Call it a visual pun on the ukulele's strange tuning, which puts high and low strings side by side. Or let it be a statement on finding the divine not in transcendental realms, but by looking "through" our own asymmetrical bodies.

This painting is dedicated to my ukulele, with whom many lovely world-encircling nondual anthems will soon be written...

2009 01 08,09,10 - Hodi's Half Note & Studio
(Chris Berry Trio w/ Michael Kang)
20"x30" – opaque pens on masonite
original available
signed 11"17" prints also available ($20)

For some reason, rendering my photograph of this painting dimmed its hallucinatory neon color scheme. And it definitely is one of the most over-the-top images that ever squoze through me – appropriate, considering I started it on my 26th birthday, on a live-painting-adventure-slash-gift-to-myself. For how many people have told me my work reminds them of various psychedelic mindspaces, I don't usually see it...but after sitting down with it for a few days and going absolutely NUTS on detail work, I definitely understand. That first layer is made of two three-iteration gold fractals, and the little dots around the eight-pointed stars – if you click on the pic for a detailed view – they sometimes move like the blinking lights on a marquee. Mad props to Chris Berry Trio and Michael Kang, by the way, for providing a feel-good soundtrack to this piece's formative hours.

This painting is dedicated to Chris Berry, who can not only rock the mbira like a champion but also (and more importantly) gets down into the crowd to sing for part of every show – because he studied music in Africa, where they don't have our ludicrous boundary between "musicians" and "the rest of us."

> Writing
"Best Seat In The House" (H+ Magazine) – I speculate on what the live music experience might look like in five years, given radical advances in telepresencing technology. Psychic prescience, or ignorant nonsense? You decide – plenty of space in the comments for thoughtful discussion.

"Live Art Is Nonsense" (D/Visible Magazine) – Part five in my series on painting while dancing, in which I argue that the term "live art" is utterly useless because all art is alive...and then explain what really sets so-called "live art" apart from everything else.

"Review: EOTO's Fire The Lazers!!!" (Colorado Music Board) – The only even-handed review in existence of improvised-live-electronic duo EOTO's new album. Not exactly unbiased, but equivocal...and thorough.

> Upcoming Gigs
By no means a comprehensive list, but here are the high-quality gigs coming up soon. Check out the facebook invites and hopefully I'll see you out there:

2009.1.14 – Solo Acoustic Set @ Avery Brewing Company, 5:00 - 7:30 PM, Boulder CO
A race between their great beer and my shredding to see which will melt your face first. I got this booked at the last minute and apologize for getting notice out so late...if you miss it, hit me up and I'll send you the recordings!

2009.1.16 – Live Art @ ELEV8, BMOCA, Boulder CO
CoLab West is taking over the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art to put on a real rager...open bar, music by Fresh2Death & members of Elephant Revival, live painting by me and Patrick Beery, open bar, open bar...tell them I sent you at the door and your $10 ticket magically becomes a $5 ticket.

2009.1.22&23 – Live Art @ Mimosa/Eskmo/Samples, New Orleans & Lake Charles LA
They're flying me out as billed eye candy for these two delicious nights in the Bayou...if you know anybody out that way, raise the alarms!

2009.1.30 – Live Art @ Sound-Mind Crystallize, Denver CO
This is going to be an amazing event with two psy-trance stages, plenty of installation art, and a beautiful winter theme. New venue in Denver.

2009.2.18 – Solo Acoustic Set @ The New Quixotes (formerly Owsley's), The Mile High Luau, Denver CO
Reprise performance with the wonderful Mile High Sound Movement for this wonderful Hawai'i-themed evening of diverse music including everything from instrumental jazz to hip hop live electronica.

> Press
I'm featured Colorado Music Buzz's January "Up-and-Coming" section. A flattering, if frustratingly nonspecific, article...there's little of substance about my actual work, but author Charlotte Fritz kindly says of me and my music: "Show me someone who believes they have an original idea, and I will invite them to meet Michael Garfield."

11 January 2010

Painting While Dancing, Part 5: Live Art Is Nonsense

Setting up an easel at concerts and inviting people to watch as you paint (or sculpt, or arrange flowers, or whatever art form you do that is more typically hidden from prospective audiences) is…different.
Most art forms are kept hidden in the studio until some dramatic Moment Of Unveiling. Instead, the transparency of performance makes this strange behavior distinct enough to deserve a name that will set it apart in people’s minds from the rituals and religions of conventional studio art. Process becomes an obvious, living part of the piece. Journey and destination take on new meanings. Since music, dance, and theater evolved in context as public entertainment or ritual, they belong in a separate category (especially those composed beforehand). In fact, it is the very change of context that makes something like performance painting strange in the first place.

People have taken to calling this kind of thing “live art.” It is probably better than nothing; but insofar as it is used to realistically distinguish one kind of creative expression from the rest, “live art” is nonsense.

For one thing, all artwork is part of what biologist Richard Dawkins calls “the extended phenotype.” Just as the spider’s web is as much an extension of its own genetic code as the spider itself, the artifacts and implements of art are part of the artist’s own breathing body. (It is, after all, called “a body of work.” If you think this kind of literalism is a stretch, try taking scissors to someone’s latest opus. They’ll act like you’re about to amputate a limb. As for tools, recent neurological research demonstrates that after just a few minutes using a hammer, our brains remap our bodies to include it as part of our arm. The brush or violin or laptop is, in some unutterably strange but natural way and in spite of modernist notions to the contrary, a cherished organ of the artist. Humans are cybernetic creatures, self-modification ubiquitous among us.

As linguistic beings, we are constantly in the game of renegotiating this self/other boundary. We supplement ourselves with expression-augmenting toys; hang names and titles on them like we are decorating a Christmas tree; plant flags in the ancient, wild terrain of the body and claim it for the egoic waking state (although clearly selves change over time…we hang onto our story of continuity in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary).

Take this other-as-self line of reasoning far enough, though, and you end up in a world that is entirely alive and looking back at you from everything. All perception is focused by history, all thought is woven of language, and we all only see mind in all directions, only feel mind in all directions. It isn’t the best argument for why “live art” is a nonsense term.

Therefore also consider that we are all witness to, and the declared actor responsible for, many of the things we do. Not even most, but many, and motivation is a very real dimension of any creative act. Who are we trying to talk to? In the act of art, especially in the flow states common to total participation, a deeper eye is watching. Audience feedback still informs the piece, because every work of art is a performance, even if it is for an audience of one. Even if we think we are only playing to satisfy the compulsions of our chattering minds, awareness itself is the substance of our perceptions and the basis of even our lowliest attempts.

Some people get religious about it, building churches and the like. Throughout history, it seems, the greatest works are those made from an awareness of the wider mind that watches. In that kind of harmonious duality, the uncharacterizable observer can not really be called “alive,” and so the job goes to the artwork.

Again, that kind of absolute statement gets us nowhere; so let’s add a dimension.

Every work of art – not just music and dance, but also architecture, painting, poetry, sushi – is created in and through time, something that grows and changes, moves and breathes on its journey to completion. No matter how well planned, all art has improvisation at its heart, and is thereby connected to the same creative force pulsing through the quivering leaves and darting fish. The product is inextricable from the process. Some art forms emphasize this; Zen calligraphy and expressionist paintings are especially transparent about it.

Among so-called “live artists,” however, the evolutionary nature of art is key. For those who make visual art a public performance, the focus is on reflecting, not necessarily capturing, the energies of a specific moment. Live painter Norton Wisdom, who has been in the game longer than anyone, works on a plastic sheet he wipes clean after every show. Others continually paint over the same canvases. Just like more conventionally-defined life forms, some paintings leave fossils and others vanish into the stream of time.

(Written for d/visible magazine.)

03 January 2010

Album Review: EOTO's Fire The Lazers!!!

When I starting keeping an ear and eye to EOTO two years ago, I had no prior experience with the duo's wildly different band-of-origin, The String Cheese Incident. I knew nothing about these guys, actually, except that they were trying something that combined live instrumentation with software audio looping technology to create improvised electronic music – and that, as a looping musician uninterested in retreading someone else's creative terrain, I would do well to pay attention.

And at first, I was mightily unimpressed. Without the starry eye of a rabid Cheese fan, I saw no reason to privilege this project with the benefit of a doubt. What I saw was one guy admirably drumming his ass off and the other guy just goofing around – no matter what a monster musician Michael Travis was in his other ensembles, here he was just twiddling knobs, more stage presence than virtuosity. When I saw them for the first time at Wakarusa Festival in 2007, I waited fifteen minutes for him to pick up the guitar, and then he put it back on the stand after looping a positively uninspiring two-note diddy that didn't take long to start drilling into my brain. Jason Hann's drumming was stamina-licious, but didn't hold my attention for long. I didn't understand the hype.

How things have changed.

What at one point a was loosey-goosey garage jam of a psytrance outfit has hit the books and the road hard, executing heroic workaholic tours and internalizing the diverse idioms of the world's finest electronic musicians. When these guys aren't practicing, they're asleep, and it shows. Jason Hann has significantly stepped up his game, wresting the King Kong Drummer title from KJ Sawka and Zach Velmer of STS9 by learning a veritable zoo of beats. And Michael Travis is now back-of-hand familiar with the synthesizers and looping programs that define their sound. Together, the two exercise a telepathic sensitivity to the energies of their audiences, uncanny in their capacity to know just when to remix the beat or kick up the intensity, drop out one theme or introduce the next.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, because I know these guys, and I call myself a fan; but it used to be that I was only in EOTO's scene because they had a crowd that liked to watch me paint at their shows. Now, I hold these guys in high respect. I look up to them not only as musicians but as working musicians, people who are constantly challenging themselves to grow and learn, experiment and play, with fair dues paid to what they don't know and a sharp eye to the road ahead.

And in this shift, I've gotten kind of attached. Emotionally invested. I'm not a big sports fan, but I imagine this is what it feels like – when they execute a sterling endgame play, I'm out of my seat and in the air whooping; when I see them slump back toward autopilot mode I'm waving my fist because damnit I know you can do better!

So I'm of two minds about their latest studio release, Fire The Lazers!!!

In one respect, it's the most intense and apocalyptic of the three albums so far – and that feels right, given that their name is an acronym for End Of Time Observatory. There was always something dark and tremendous I wanted them to capture and now they've not only netted it; they've tamed it and bred it into something even more monstrous and awesome. Dubstep and glitch hop have been good to these guys; they know how to ride the scene. I'm amazed that what is in essence a live instudio concert, produced in exactly the same fashion as their live shows and edited only for length, manages to evoke such grandiosity with only two guys. Tone choice is perfect. The mix is crystal clear. And it should not go unsaid that the album's design is pretty classy, perfectly branded with tongue-in-cheek 1950's comic space adventure art and even a trippy lenticular insert. (Although, as an aside: It's not a "hologram," guys. They're two totally different technologies; please stop muddying the waters of lexical precision.) It's one of the most epic sets I have ever heard from these guys, if I block out 2008's Halloween show in Lawrence, KS.

But I'm not too happy with what they've left behind in the process. In spite of its faults, early EOTO managed to balance their darkness with something sparkling and transcendental. No matter how much I felt sucked into the maw of Kronos by their explorations, there was a happy subcurrent, something I came to associate with the influence of Pleiadians and Buddhas they wore on their sleeve. If I suspended disbelief, I could damn near believe this duo was a conduit for divine energies, holding down some seriously sacred vibes while still getting me deeper in my own embodied groove. Plus, I got spoiled: I caught Travis actually wail on that guitar once or twice, saw what he's capable of with a fretboard. I saw the fruit of this holy union between laptops and a live band that reached heights that, with all due respect, groups like STS9 and Boombox would never dare to go. They stirred me into ecstasy with that stuff. And it's painfully missing from Fire The Lazers!!!, which seems a bit more wrapped up in the concept and cool, the groovy club dimension, something...kind of...smug.

In all fairness, I do occasionally see the contours of a gothic cathedral traced in the terrible majesty this album evokes, like in its chill-inducing first track, "Flying Red." But it's never long before those arches disappear into the murky fog of what other listeners would describe with words like "nasty," "sick," and "dirty."

Not to mention, grit aside, the fact that the studio presents a unique opportunity for a band like this to do something truly different, something impossible in their live shows, to stir it up with more sophisticated and fantastic arrangements, inconvenient instruments, and freaky post-production magic tricks. And they blew that one completely.

It isn't easy to be notorious badasses and still keep it fresh; you're constantly at risk of alienating your audiences (no pun intended). And so I'm finally giving these guys the benefit of a doubt. I'm willing to believe that I'll look back on this as EOTO's Dark Night of the Soul, their fling with the Dark Side, where there are no guitars and the shimmering depth is momentarily replaced by some kind of sexy-but-nasty postmodern chic. In fact, I'm almost certain, knowing these guys, that they're probably already kind of embarrassed with this stuff. That the last few months since their last studio sessions have seen a resurrection after their three days underground, a glorious and newly-integrated resurgence I can't wait to hear on the next album.

In the meantime, I love EOTO and what they do enough to tell you that Fire The Lazers!!! is worth a spin. It's a perfect album for certain situations – mostly the kind in which you want to be turned on and spooked out at the same time: autumn midnight drives, deliciously dark psychedelic forays, edgy sex and its neon club seductions. It has kind of a David Lynch-directs-Tron vibe, which is great, and certainly close to what they had intended. And it's light years ahead of their earlier live sets.

But I know they're going to read this review. And I hope they take it as a friendly challenge to bring back the divine intergalactic exultation I fell in love with. Crop circles, after all, aren't made with lazers.

(Written for Colorado Music Board.)

02 January 2010

Bounteous Harvest From STS9's NYE Run (Plus, The Future of Live Music, EOTO Album Review, & More)

> Imagery

STS9 NYE Twenty Ten Concert Poster
2009 12 28 & 29 Studio & Newman Opera Hall
(STS9 Acoustic Show "Axe The Cables")

18"x24" – paint pens and spraypaint on masonite
*some* signed & numbered 11"x17" prints (series of 75) available ($20)
original painting also available

It's a dirty little secret that I was never that big of a STS9 fan. I like my music adventurous, and their tightly coordinated sets, stemming from a tribe philosophy that refuses any one member their moment in the spotlight, never quite took the leap of faith I wanted. And as much as I admire their forays into electronica, I didn't much care for the gangster flavor that turn brought to the music and the scene. But I was definitely curious when I heard that they'd be playing their first-ever acoustic show in Denver...and positively psyched when a friend of mine offered me a ticket to the sold-out show. And I have to say, it was a classy, tasteful, well-orchestrated affair: University of Denver's opera house, dress-to-impress, ushers and everything, an understated light show, grand piano/vibes/harmonium...I mean, wow. I felt swept up in something wonderful.

It'll probably be a while still before I actually get to paint onstage for these guys, but in the meantime I was able to sneak this half-finished painting in with me to the show and the ushers didn't seem to mind that I finished it from my seat, using my necklace LED for light in the dark theater. Major props to Kevin Odenedo for inspiring me to paint "guerrilla style" with no concern for how official I'd be...and equal props to Jordan Burghardt for pulling through with the ticket and the opportunity.

I've been getting more into typography of late, trying to find a way to use the elements of my previous paintings to design cool new word art. For this piece I wanted it all to be perfectly symmetrical and read "STS9 NYE Twenty Ten" the same back and forward, but couldn't get the second "S" to not look like an "F." So it's an ambigram from the waist down. Eye in the middle, the still watching center; hourglass above, the anticipation and fatedness; wings below, holding the whole thing up.

This is the first limited edition concert poster print I've ever made, and I still have a few left if you're looking for a way to commemorate that excellent event.

2009 12 29 Gothic Theatre
(Bluetech Live Band, Emancipator, Flying Lotus, Martyn)

20"x30" – paint pens and spraypaint on masonite
signed 11"x17" prints available ($20) – original also available

Nuisances often yield new creative depths. In the case of this painting, running out of the gold spraypaint I used for the background was seriously annoying – I was standing in my friend's freezing driveway trying to cover this board in an even layer of gold and the empty can was sputtering as my hands and faze turned to ice. But the end result was a glorious patina that this photo doesn't really do justice, a lively surface that vaulted my painting out of the realm of psychedelic kitsch and into the "Restoration Hardware" market. Suddenly I had a painting someone like my dad might buy for his house, even though I'm sure there are still plenty of undergraduate trippers who'd hang it in their "Zen Room." (I say this with the greatest affection for both types...)

And holy macaroni, was this ever an epic event. Without any question, Euphonic Conceptions' Denver STS9 afterparties were the best shows they've ever put on (at least, among those that I've attended). There were about a dozen live painters there, ultrasexy dancers, a flippin' RAINBOW LASER...and I had a cozy little spot up in the balcony of the Gothic Theatre, IN the visionary art gallery, where I had not only a great view of the show, but a chill escape for everyone who was temporarily bushed from the raging dance floor.

I'm sure that you've noticed by now how most of my work has some lofty spiritual concept behind it. Transcending and including earlier work like "Order Under Chaos," this painting alludes not only to the deeper symmetry (here, a crystal field of breathing octagons) behind the flowing energy of manifestation (those paisleys), but also how one person's view of the transcendental is "colored" differently than the next's. Adherents to the so-called "Perennial Philosophy" beneath all of the world's religions argue that everyone worships the save God; but the fact remains that every wisdom tradition offers something unique to the banquet of faith, a valuable and distinct perspective on that-which-transcends-all-perspectives. And, intuiting this, we bare ourselves and reach for one another, a cosmic game of show-and-tell that some people have taken to calling "integral spirituality." This is that.

Roaring In The New Year
2009 12 31 & 2010 01 01 Gothic Theatre & Zach's House
(The Glitch Mob, Tipper, Mimosa, David Seied)

18"x24" - paint pens and spraypaint on masonite
signed 11"x17" prints available ($20) - original also available

Kind of a self-portrait. I was working the raffle booth for Collective Conscious at the December 30 STS9 show and got to the afterparty late, so I had to come up with something I could whip out quick, and there isn't anything quicker for me than a good old Tyrannosaurus.

Early on I decided that my New Year's Resolution for 2010 would be to dedicate every creative act to someone or something – to recognize my life as a sacrifice to the world (where "sacrifice" is taken literally to mean "the work of making sacred," just as "artifice" means "a creation of intentional design"); to connect my energies and intentions to something greater than my own satisfaction-in-self-expression; to give an additional layer of depth to everything I do, and to keep myself in a spirit of joyful service.

2009 was a difficult year. I spent most of it sleeping on people's couches and floors, broke, jobless, watching my family struggle with health problems and legal bullshit, and struggling myself to maintain a dear but seemingly star-crossed relationship. At the same time, 2009 was a year of profound growth and positive change. I rediscovered my purpose, inspired thousands of people, and learned the difference between false security and real stability, how to navigate the tides of life with a little more grace and equanimity.

So when it came time to dedicate this last painting of 2009/first painting of 2010, I chose to send it out to that rebellious, rambunctious, primal force that T. rex symbolizes for me and so many other people. Like a coyote howling at the Moon, half sorrow and half exultation, the letting go of what was and the celebration of what is coming, a pure and unselfconscious emotional release directed skyward into the shining heavens (and the heavens were shining, a blue moon and partial lunar eclipse on the 31st). Some of each: the lizard and the angel, the red of destruction and the green of growth. Thank you, 2009. Let's get it on, 2010!

My dear friend Marieam Shohadaee took some great pictures of me at work on this painting, which you can find on my Facebook art page.

(full gallery at tinyurl.com/mgpaintings)

> Writing

"Best Seat In The House: You're Virtually There" (H+ Magazine) – What are concerts going to look like in five years? I follow the last few years' of development in music technology to where the lines converge: on a radically different experience for live music fans. What did I get right, or wrong? You won't know for a while, but in the meantime you can leave your own vision of the future of live music in the comments section.

"Album Review: EOTO's Fire The Lazers!!!" (Colorado Music Board) – EOTO's latest studio album is deliciously dark and sexy, but I miss the radiance that suffused some of their earlier work.

"Stuart Davis Sings The B Side's Swan Song" (Colorado Music Board) – Boulder "punk monk" Stuart Davis, one of my major inspirations, just played his final show at Boulder's finest small venue (now-extinct). The show in review.

"The Mile High Sound Movement Throws Down" (Colorado Music Board) – I recently had the luxury of painting and playing as a member of a positively awesome music and art collective emerging out of Denver's hybrid electronic/hip hop/jam scene. The show in review.