The life of a shopkeeper can be pretty consuming. When you own your own business, you're never truly "off the clock," - there's always something to be done. But, I've got to tell ya, I wouldn't have it any other way. The last week at Needles+Pens has been a busy one, it went a little like this:
Our hero, Dishwasher Pete came through and did a little reading.
He sold some Dishwasher merch.
He signed some books and took photos with adoring fans. It was great.
Then the very next evening N+P hosted "Ill with the Thrill of the Chase" a solo show by David Benzler. (There's more pics of the show on the N+P site)
Here's David Benzler with Andrew from Adobe Books. You should go to Adobe and buy some books, the place has been a cornerstone of the SF art scene for like 20 years.
Benzler did portraits of friends - Geoff Allen next to his.
Randy Lee aka "Dr. Fireworks" next to his portrait.
Back when N+P was on 14th Street and the Record Collector was next door, I used to hear Randy rapping through the walls over Parliment records that he'd loop or slow down ...it was the greatest thing ever. Dr. Fireworks was his MC name. (...wikee wikee wikee skreetchy scratchy ...fresh rap sound effects)
These girls were stoked...
The next day, I got the hell out of dodge and drove to Oakland.
There was a session at the Kahuna Bowl, Jacob Tillman rules this spot.
This was what I looked like on my second run (this is'nt me, but another casualty) this spot should be called the "Humbler." The deep end is only three feet, but it will serve you. ...ouch my ribs.
While in Oakland, I finally got to check out Pete and Narankar's Gallery.
It looks great, support these nice folks ...because circular energy is real. Seriously, what do you say we keep our money circulating in our own artistic communities...
The shopkeep also likes to go see some rock n roll. Here's Cheveu playing at 21 Grand in Oakland. Guitar, keyboard, and drum machine - that's it. And they're great.
Here's a photo I shot of them in March playing a squat turned art gallery in thier home town of Paris.
A few days later, I got to see another band that I'm totally digging these days The Intelligence. Here's them playing at the Uptown in Oakland.
...Back to the City.
The next day, we got a shipment in of the new Daniel Higgs Book/CD called "Atomic Yggdrasil Tarot." Thrill Jockey, the label that brought you Tortoise and The Sea and Cake put it out...
Higgs is a profound artist to say the least. As the singer and lyricist for the legendary Baltimore based band Lungfish(plus his own solo recordings), Higgs has over 15 full length albums under his belt, not to mention half a dozen books.In addition, he was once recognized as one of the top tattoo artists in the world, which he no longer does ...since throwing his tattoo guns in a river.
The idea is to read the book while the CD drones on in the background.
The music was all recorded in Higgs apartment in Baltimore.
Needles+Pens was fortunate to have had Higgs in an art show last year that was entitled Failed Attempts at Space Travel (the show happened on the 20th anniversary of the Space Shuttle crash of 1986). Higgs played a set the night of the opening. It was a religious experience...
It's published by everyone's favorite limited edition zine-fetish Nieves out of Switzerland. I gotta say, Rose nailed it on this one with an amazing roster of artists: Rita Ackermann, Gee Vaucher, Becca Mann, Daido Moriyama, Raymond Pettibon, Gusmano Cesaretti, Jockum Nordstrom, Ryan McGinley, and Daniel Higgs. I wish i could've seen it in person, here's photos.
(She's the woman responsible for the the look and feel of the O.G. anarcho punk band CRASS)
Jockum Nordstrom...And more, this is a keeper.
There you have it, I'm gonna go ride my bike to the beach now, but first I'd like to leave you with this quote that I read in the Believer yesterday:
"When any group of people persue artistic freedom for it's own sake without thought of reward or backslapping is when people and a place become vital." - Elisa Ambrogio, of the the band Magik Markers.
...Stay vital folks
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