Check out this fun sculpture by Joel Morrison! Disco Ball Caught in a Bear Trap (2013) is constructed of Stainless steel and measures 28 x 30 x 36 inches (71.1 x 76.2 x 91.4 cm). Edition of 3. Photographed by me at the Leila Heller Gallery on West 57th Street.
Every winter, world class carvers travel to Ithaca, NY to show off their sculpting skills in a national ice carving event known as Ithaca Ice Wars. Sculptors spend an entire day transforming giant blocks of ice into breathtaking pieces of frozen artwork. You can see how the entire town gets involved in the spirit of finding a way to have a good time while freezing your butt off.
The event at which the above video was filmed took place in late December of 2013. So, while it doesn’t get really freezing in Manhattan until at least January, you can see that folks upstate are already finding ways to turn their suffering into wild adventure at least a month ahead of us.
This looks like an amazing event.
Wow, what could be a more fitting and fantastic tribute to the late great actress, Karen Black (who passed away on August 8th, 2013) than this video of her singing the song “Brighter” accompanied by guitarist Cass McCombs, who’s playing his guitar before a montage of her film clips? Even better, the video was directed by the Black’s husband, director Stephen Eckelberry. Wow.
Eckelberry explains how the video came about. “Cass emailed me in late November 2013 and asked if I would create a music video for ‘Brighter!’ – the song he recorded with Karen in December 2012 – using classic clips from her movies. It struck me as an opportunity to explore a theme that interests me – the relationship of film and memory. We watch a movie and the images from that movie become part of our memory stream.
My own memories of Karen are intertwined with memories of her in films – since I directed several movies she was in – which memory is stronger; Karen during the making the film or what ended up on screen? An image came to me: Cass himself becoming a screen for the projection of images of Karen – as if his memories of her were playing themselves out over his body.”
“Brighter” is featured on McCombs’s latest album, Big Wheel And Others and I think it’s just a fantastic track, and such a nice remembrance of Karen. Enjoy!
Cass McCombs and Karen Black (Image Source)
As the first official snowfall of the season accumulates on the streets of Manhattan, thousands of what I like to call “Frat Santas” have descended on our fair Metropolis to participate in the annual Pub Crawl ritual known euphemistically as SantaCon. Dressed in the manner of Santa Claus (give or take a White Beard of Red Hat) these people have only one goal: to get as wasted as possible while disguised as Jolly Old St. Nick. Be forewarned: As you navigate the sidewalks and gutters, be wary of spontaneously created piles of fresh yellow snow and be extra careful not to slip in the Times Square Eggnog!
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with musician Alex Chilton, but if you’ve heard The Replacements’ song by that same name, then you at least know that children by the millions sing for him and are in love with his songs. And that’s all you really need to know in order to enjoy the sublime documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, a profoundly detailed love letter to the wildly influential, Memphis-based 1970’s power pop band that Chilton co-founded along with guitarist/songwriter Chris Bell, drummer Jody Stephens and bassist Andy Hummel. Directed by Drew DeNicola, Nothing Can Hurt Me is by turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, as band members, journalists, photographers, label employees, family, fans and friends recount their own experiences with and memories of a band whose three albums (#1 Record, Radio City and Third) garnered volumes of critical praise, but whose record label lacked the distribution necessary for Big Star to break commercially. Despite its music being virtually unheard during the band’s existence, Big Star songs deeply influenced bands as diverse as Cheap Trick, The Bangles, REM and The Posies, making them possibly the first cult band, ever.
Like I said, you don’t need to know anything about Big Star or its music to be completely engrossed by the band’s story and be charmed as well as intrigued by its four very talented members, particularly the enigmatic Chilton and the insightful (and still devastatingly handsome) Jody Stephens. The band’s music, as well as Chris Bell’s post-Big Star efforts and Chilton’s many and varied solo projects, are featured prominently in the film, and I can guarantee that if you do not already own Big Star’s catalog you will be downloading it from iTunes directly after watching this film. Like another great music documentary film released in 2012, Jobriath AD, Nothing Can Hurt Me provides a bittersweet hindsight to what went wrong and what might have been done differently. Most importantly, it provides a showcase for music that is timeless, amazing and simply should not remain a well-kept secret.
Adding an additional note of melancholy to the film is the realization that any true Big Star reunion is now impossible, with Stephens being the sole surviving member of the group. Chris Bell joined the 27 Club – the victim of a single-vehicle car cash – in 1978, and both Chilton and Hummel passed away within months of each other in 2010. It’s very likely though that this film will reignite a following and lead to more musicians being influenced by a band that never got to enjoy the fame and fortune they deserved.
Nothing Can Hurt Me is due for release on DVD and Blu-Ray on November 26th, 2013 via Magnolia Home Entertainment. The DVD includes 70 minutes of awesome bonus features, such as Big Star in the Studio, scenes deleted from the theatrical release and bonus chapters on both Chris Bell and Alex Chilton, plus the film’s theatrical trailer. With a suggested retail price of $29.98, Nothing Can Hurt Me is available from Amazon Dot Com at This Link.
The Worley Gig Gives Nothing Can Hurt Me Five out of Five Stars!
Fountain Gallery, part of the Fountain House organization and charity is pleased and excited to share the addition of Soprano’s cast member Federico Castellucio’s work to its 100 artist line-up for its annual benefit auction, Mad About Art, scheduled to take place on Thursday, November 21st, 2013. Castellucio played reoccurring character Furio Giunta, a member of Tony Soprano’s crew who was secretly in love with Carmela Soprano, and was a huge fan favorite. Casteluccio has donated one of his original prints entitled, The Duke and Duchess of North Caldwell – in honor of James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, who are depicted as Duke and Duchess from the original painting Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca, seen below.
This year’s Mad About Art will take place on Thursday, November 21st, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, at Cedar Lake, located at 547 West 26th Street in Manhattan. The event theme is A Black and White Affair, featuring striking black and white décor; with the 500 guests expected to attend requested to wear black and white cocktail attire. One hundred original artworks will be presented at auction to benefit the member-artists of Fountain Gallery, New York City’s premier venue representing artists living with mental illness. Singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega is the special musical guest. This should be an exciting and fun event to support an excellent cause!
Event Chairs are: John P. Casaly, Rick Froio, Carmel and Brett Fromson, Dario Gristina, Leslie Harwood, Rich Hiler, Louis J. Mantia, Bonnie and Frank Pratt, Jerry Schumm, Gabriel Stefania. Ms. Harwood and Messrs. Froio, Gristina and Schumm are past Fountain Gallery honorees.
Individual ticket price is $250. Sponsorship levels range from $500 to $25,000. For tickets and information, contact Robyn Marks at 212-582-0341, Ext. 1288, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.