Artist Combined Graphic Art & Music June 22, 2017 – The world today is celebrating German-born artist Oskar Fischinger who combined synchronized animation and music, and was a Maestro who went on to become involved in many great works such as Disney’s “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. The Telegraph has a good piece up about this remarkable individual, and…
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Chicago Rapper “Chance the Rapper” Attacks Film With Tweets DEC 9, 2015 – Spike Lee’s new movie “Chi-Raq” about gun violence in America, based on the old Greek play Lysistrata where the women hold back sex to try and end the Peloponnesian War, is creating quite a buzz and even a feud between the director Spike…
Shocking Photographs Meant to Create Empathy MAY 23, 2015 – A provocative and moving photography exhibit by artist Tyler Shields is creating a lot of buzz, and the images really cause one to have a lot of feelings. His exhibit “Historical Fiction” swaps people and puts them in different places, such as an African-American hanging…
FEB 26, 2014 – Chinese activist-artist-musician Ai Weiwei will be bringing his new activist-art exhibit, "Ai Weiwei: According to What?" from April 18 through August 10, 2014 to the Brooklyn Museum. His exhibit will speak out about his illegal incarceration by the Chinese authorities for 81 harsh days with six iron boxes, and other pieces not seen in North America, and some pieces have never been seen before. Read more about the exhibit on the Brooklyn Museum website here. (photo credit: Hafenbar/CC)
OCT 28, 2013 – The musical world is in shock and in mourning, as we woke up to the sad news that one of music's biggest pioneers, Lou Reed, has died. He stayed strong till the last moments, even doing Tai Chi about an hour before he passed. I blogged about him last May when Lou underwent a liver transplant, and he was working hard on his rehab program saying on his website he is "bigger and stronger" than ever. Unfortunately though, he passed away at his home in Southampton, New York over the weekend, and numerous tributes to Lou Reed via Twitter poured out from musicians. Lou had a huge impact on the musical scene and the world.
My first contact with a Lou Reed was indirect. It was 1973, and I was about 10, and the rock band Brownsville Station had a song on their "Yeah" album I thought was one of the coolest rock guitar rhythms ever; that song was Sweet Jane. (Here is the Brownsville Station version I grew up on) Later when I was in my teens, my sister put on a Velvet Underground album that had the man who wrote that song in it, and I was floored. Pure musical genius, very original and creative; the music I heard coming out from those speakers inspired me and many other musicians to pick up the guitar and start a rock band. There is the famous quote from Brian Eno of where he comments on the first Velvet Underground only selling 30,000 copies to which Eno replied, "I think everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band". Count me in that crowd.
Probably the most hard hit musician was his band mate in Velvet Underground, John Cale. In a statement on his Facebook page Cale says, "The news I feared most, pales in comparison to the lump in my throat and the hollow in my stomach. Two kids have a chance meeting and 47 years later we fight and love the same way – losing either one is incomprehensible. No replacement value, no digital or virtual fill…broken now, for all time. Unlike so many with similar stories – we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse. The laughs we shared just a few weeks ago, will forever remind me of all that was good between us." Watch a video below of Lou with Velvet Underground live playing one of the badass rock rhythm guitar riffs ever, Sweet Jane, and read more about the creative musical genius that had a huge impact on the rock scene on his Wikipedia page here and I recommend this NY Times article about Lou's career and passing here. JTMP joins in the mourning of Reed's passing, and also join the celebration of the musical genius he brought to the world. We will miss you Lou! (Photo credit: Marcelo Costa/CC)
SEP 12, 2013 – JTMP is a strong supporter of new and fairer forms of capitalism, and we strongly support cooperatives and employee-owned businesses like Publix; and we ran across a great project going on with online retailer Aplomb we just had to tell you about. They have turned their website into a forum where people exchange ideas about important issues and build up votes to use as currency. Art work is inspired, and that art is then put on their t-shirts that the "Creative Conspiracy", as they call themselves, can buy with their accumulated activist work credit they have done online.
JTMP caught up with Ryan from Aplomb in an email interview, and he was nice enough to tell us about how it all began. Ryan explained to JTMP that Aplomb started back in 2006 with his observation on how little you could pay artists in the t-shirt apparel business, and he also felt other injustices within the apparel industry were happening. Their "streetwear brand" t-shirt apparel business would pay as little as $200 for the artist's work, and didn't even have to give them credit. He says in the interview, "Something that stuck out was how ridiculous 'lifestyle' brands were. It was crazy that people would actually pay or buy into someone's lifestyle. That is when the epiphany started." Ryan then went on to say, "I would get people involved in the brand, use their ideas to provide significant meaning in the products we sold instead of promoting another 'lifestyle'. I would pay artists fairly and promote them along with the people's ideas instead of ourselves. In an industry that promotes the promotion of self we knew we had the opportunity to change things by putting the fans and the artists first."
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SEP 12, 2013 – A new play called "Woody Sez", portraying the music and activism of the legendary activist-musician Woody Guthrie, is being put on by the Cleveland Play House. It is directed by Nick Corley and David M. Lutken, and features all his great songs such as "This Land is Your Land", "The Ballad of Tom Joad", and "Bound For Glory" to name just a few. To read a review on the production, as well as an interview with the director Nick Corley and more information about the show, check out News-Herald.com here.
AUG 27, 2013 – Despite the massive unrest currently in Egypt, the Hayy Music Festival that features women Arab singers, poets, puppeteers and more, was held on July 18 through August 2, 2013 by Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy (Cultural Resource); a Cairo-based non-profit encouraging diversity and cultural exchange between Arab countries. This year's festival featured women singers from many different countries; such as Morocco, Algeria, Iran, Tunisia, Syria, Spain and more. They sang Palestinian folk songs, classical Arab music and even some pop and rock. Read about all these exciting women singers and the festival on Ahram.org here, and also check out the Al-Mawred's website here. Watch this great music video and awesome song "You" from one of the performers, Moroccan Khansa Batma " below with Unia. Watch the video all the way to the end! Great ending!
FEB 1, 2012 – A group of 10 socially-conscious artists inside Syria are using art to help Syrians cope with the violent and hard struggle they are going through in trying to secure a democratic government and push for more freedoms, and they call for President Assad to step down. They use puppets and humor, and videos on the Internet, which allows them a little anonymity to avoid detection and arrest by Assad's security forces. Watch a video of one of the puppet shows below, and there is a great story with awesome pictures over at MSNBC.com here.
Occuprint is a new website that puts on display artwork inspired by the Occupy Movement, showing the various common threads running through the new movement. A few of the commonalities are anger at the greed of Wall Street and banks, and frustration of the disproportionate access to our elected officials and economic opportunities between the 1% and the 99%. The Citizens United ruling, which gave corporations the same rights as people, is also present on many of the posters, urging citizens (real people) to wake up, get motivated, and get out to fight for their rights.
To view the great artwork click here.