Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Sporting Life, part one

Bright and early Saturday morning at Floyd for the FA Cup finals (Portsmouth-1 Cardiff-0), and then next door at Chipshop for full English.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Great Curve

David Byrne has a good piece on The New York Times op-ed page today—a remembrance of his friend Robert Rauschenberg, who died this week at age 82: "His openness and way of seeing was contagious and inspired others in their own work — not to imitate and make pseudo-Rauschenbergs, but to see the whole world as a work of art." Musically I'm a David Byrne fan more in theory than in practice, but I have a lot of respect for his overall aesthetic and way of thinking about design and the world. It probably comes as no surprise that I am a huge fan of Rauschenberg, and this is a nice send-off. Read the rest at and check out David Byrne's website here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I'm so bummed, it seems the flash on our camera is broken again. I just had it fixed in January. This proves again that digital technology totally blows. Richard Avedon dragged his Leica through the mud and paddies of Nam but if you so much as poke a digital camera in the wrong place, it just shuts down. Anyway it's going back in the shop asap and the ol' Pacific Standard will be new-photo-free for God knows how long. Here's the last picture I took, of our good buddies Jason and Aoife, at the Cherry Tavern for Jason's birthday party. Happy birthday lil' buddy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Curiouser and Curiouser

It wasn't even very long ago that I posted about The Stranger's In/Visible podcasts, and now I'm doing it again. Still, this one is really good: art critic Jen Graves talks to artist Dario Robleto about his exhibition at Seattle's Charles and Emma Frye Free Public Art Museum, symbolically re-constructing the interesting but seemingly pretty sad life of Emma Frye. The show sounds amazing but Robleto's various digressions (sampling, The Smiths, fandom, the magic of realism), though they take a little patience, are what make the the podcast worthwhile.

Click here to check it out.

Living Free or Dying

My brother just got back from a trip to New Hampshire. He and a bunch of other firefighters hiked up a mountain (6000+ vertical feet) and skied some chutes at the top. Looks pretty nice—here are some pictures.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Respect the Architect

Tom Kundig, of the Seattle architecture firm Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen, has won a Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for architecture. I first became aware of his work a few years ago when The New York Times Magazine featured the Delta Shelter (pictured above, in Mazama, Washington), The Brain (below, in Seattle), and the Ridge House (bottom, in Eastern Washington).

Sometimes artists and architects in the Northwest are so overwhelmed by the beauty of the natural surroundings that elements of nature are included in their work in a far too obvious way. But while Kundig uses materials and shapes that respect their locations, and is clearly influenced by Northwest masters such as Roland Terry, he's not held back by these references—and in fact he uses them as springboards for all kinds of genuine innovation.

Click here to see more of his work.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Say What You Mean

This was the first record I picked up at the flea market yesterday, and I think we can all agree, it's creepy as hell. (Literally as creepy as hell.) They're just coming right out with it, aren't they? It's like "see you when we're dead" but they're all smiles. The music is awful but I had to buy it for the cover.

Same goes for this—had to have it for the cover and the album title—but the music is great too.

The rest were $1 or $2 each, nothing to shout about but some good disco and mild psyche. The big score of the day was probably The Hot Dogs' Say What You Mean, a side project of Terry Manning that came out on Ardent, a division of Stax, in 1973 (click to enlarge the photo above, and you can see it in the middle of the top row). Manning was a prolific engineer, handling the boards for such minor artists as Isaac Hayes, Led Zeppelin, Albert King, and David Porter. I found his first record Home Sweet Home several years ago at the Orcas Island sanitation department's pay-what-you-think-is-fair thrift store, and am still blown away every time I listen to it.

Terry Manning "Savoy Truffle" (Listen to the whole thing but if you can't, skip ahead to around 7:00 for some nice drums)

Home Sweet Home was re-mastered and re-issued a few years ago with an additional track, "One After 909," also a Beatles cover. The story goes that Manning, being on the inside, got hold of a demo version of the song and recorded his bugged-out psychedelic take on it before the Beatles' version came out on Let It Be.

Check for Home Sweet Home at your local record store or order it from