The FunkZone Podcast with Ted Mills

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Syndication

patricia clarke stuart carey
"Flex" by Patricia Clarke

Two artists explore gender in a multimedia work and gallery show

On today's show I talk with photographer Patricia Clarke and multimedia artist Stuart Carey. Their collaborative show, "Erasing Lines: Chrysalis" opens at SBCAST Decemeber 1 and continues for a month. And it's the opening night, December 1, that you really much catch. That is when Stuart will transform himself into the character Amber, a full drag creation, over several hours in the gallery window facing Garden Street. And then afterwards she will front Stuart's jazz band, the X-Tet.

This is a culmination of work that Patricia and Stuart have been working on for years, with her documentation of Santa Barbara's drag scene. The gallery itself features Stuart's paintings and canvases, along with Patricia's photography, some featuring Stuart in the act of transforming, and some featuring other drag queens in Santa Barbara.

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"Check" by Patricia Clarke features Amber

By the way, Stuart has been a guest once before on the podcast.

This is a shared interview, so we really don't get into it like other interviews, but rest assured, we will have both back on for separate episodes. In the meantime you can find Stuart at stucarey.com and Patricia at patriciahoughtonclarke.com

Direct download: 100_Episode_100__Patricia_Clarke_and_Stuart_Carey.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:09am PDT

Richie DeMaria
Ambient musician and arts writer!

Richie DeMaria is our guest today on the show. He's a local arts writer here for the Santa Barbara Independent and also, much more importantly, he along with his brother are the musicians behind the ambient group Voices of Where, who back in July released Vast, and just a month ago the Live in October e.p. This is moody, tuneing out music, sometimes relaxing, sometimes dark, sometimes with drums, sometimes with vocals. They just played the FunZone, not to be confused with the FunkZone, a local music venue down by the ocean.

Voices of Where Vast
Voices of Where - Vast (2016)

We talk about music, both creating it and writing about it, recording in Finland, being an artist in Santa Barbara, and of course, the election. How could we not?

You can find the music for sale at http://voicesofwhere.bandcamp.com/ and his nature photography on Instagram as richiedemaria.

 

Direct download: 99_Episode_099__Richei_DeMaria.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:34am PDT

Samantha Eve

Executive Director of Out of the Box Theatre!

Samantha Eve is on the show today. Seven years ago she started Out of the Box Theatre Company in Santa Barbara and brought to our town some of the newest and edgiest musicals out there, starting with Reefer Madness and the blood-spattered Evil Dead: The Musical, and more recently with her production of the Heathers and Lizzie, the rock opera based on the infamous Lizzie Borden. She's done it through sheer will power and by surrounding herself with equally driven and talented young artists.

Samantha Eve

I've interviewed her several times for the paper, but this is the first real long-form conversation we've had. That's what this show is about, right? We talk about a lot of things, including her stay in New York City, what's on her wish list to produce, nudity and violence in the theater, whether or not she really should have a pet, and let's not forget her cupcake making skills at her other self-run business, Violette Bakeshop.

Samantha Eve

Lizzie is still up at Center Stage Theater downtown, and runs this Thursday, Nov. 10, thru Sunday, Nov. 13. Shows are at 8 p.m. except for Sunday, which is at 2 p.m. Go to outoftheboxtheatre.org for info and tickets.

Direct download: 98_Episode_98__Samantha_Eve.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 6:53pm PDT

andrearomano
The casting and voice director behind your favorite '90s cartoons and beyond!

Andrea Romano is on the show today, and if you haven't heard of her by name, you will know of the numerous shows she's worked on over the years, casting and directing the voice actors for Batman: The Animated Series, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Pinky and the Brain, Teen Titans, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, Spongebob Squarepants, and so many more it's hard to name them all.

Last year, you might remember, I got to hang out at the International Family film Festival and grabbed an interview with Bill Farmer, and so this year I was down at Raleigh Studios again, and managed to grab an interview with Andrea just before she went on stage to be honored for her work in the animated film business.

As you will hear, Andrea comes loaded with amazing stories of her three decades in the business, but we also got to talk about her life before Hollywood and what might come after she retires. It's a very fast chat, so strap on tight and get ready!

Direct download: 97_Episode_097__Andrea_Romano.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:47pm PDT

Sol Hill

Sol Hill, photographer, painter, installation artist!

Sol Hill is back on the show today. We talked so much last week about his photography that we barely got into his new installation work that I asked for a second interview and got one. We dive deep into our world's current obsession with surveillance and secrecy and then end on a state of the arts in Santa Barbara chat, so stay around for that.

Just like last week you can find him on the web at solhill.com and on Twitter at solhill.

Direct download: 96_Episode_096__Sol_Hill_Part_Two.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:31am PDT

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Direct download: 95_Episode_095__Sol_Hill.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:39pm PDT

Jodie Hollander
Jodie Hollander, poet!

Jodie Hollander is on the show today. She's an American poet whose career really started in the UK, and she's currently staying in Santa Barbara through the good graces of the Morris Squire Foundation. You might remember hearing about them from a few episodes back when I interviewed Kathy Kissik. She had several appearances and readings coming up and we're very lucky she reads some of her works on this show, including My Dark Horses, the title of her upcoming collection.
Jodie Hollander

In this interview we talk about her upbringing, fighting against the trends of poetry, living in the UK, and the preponderance of horses in her works.

You can find her on the web at jodiehollander.com and her books wherever fine poetry is sold.

Direct download: 94_Episode_094__Jodie_Hollander.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:18pm PDT

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Painter of the L.A. Watershed, Devon Tsuno!

Last Friday, Devon Tsuno's show "Los Angeles River: Urban Reclamation" opened at Santa Barbara City College's Atkinson Gallery, and it will be up until December 2.

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Devon is an up and coming Los Angeles- based artist and this one-man show explores the vitality of the Los Angeles River in vibrant, sometimes neon bright canvases that are somewhere between figurative and abstract.

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They're also heavily layered so much the paint looks like cut out paper. Just before the opening, I was able to sit down with Devon and talk to him about this recent work, his life in L.A., and his love of fishing.

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You can find him at devontsunostudio at instagram and at devontsuno.com

Some famous people and Devon's painting
Some famous people and Devon's painting

He also works with the Theodore Payne Foundation, which introduces native plants back into their former areas.

Direct download: 93_Episode_93__Devon_Tsuno.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:48am PDT

Frank Kirk

Magical realist painter Frank Kirk!

 

Painter Frank Kirk is on the show today! For years, since his early retirement, he’s been painting these beautiful, mysterious canvases, a cross between David Lynch and Edward Hopper, and he was just doing them for himself. But Frank Goss of Sullivan Goss gave him a show a year or so ago, and it was a revelation.

Frank Kirk

This was an artist I assumed was from the East Coast (which is kind of correct) and was well known (which was wrong.) Turns out he lives here and after talking with Frank Goss a bit, I was introduced to Frank Kirk and soon, I was heading high up into hills of Santa Barbara to record this interview.

Frank Kirk

This was a cool chat with a guy who for many years worked in the kind of office and time period you see on Mad Men, so I asked a lot about that. There’s plenty in here for you to dig on, and it’s a shorter than usual talk.

Frank Kirk

Frank Kirk is of an older generation, and completely unheard of, but I think he’s a gem. The only real place online to find him is Sullivan Goss’ page for him.

And this podcast.

Frank Kirk

 

Direct download: 92_Episode_092__Frank_Kirk.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:28am PDT

Thaniel Ion Lee

Thaniel Ion Lee, artist!

Today on the show we have artist Thaniel Ion Lee, who hails from Louisville, Kentucky, and who was recently in Santa Barbara for the opening of his show at SBCAST, called New Cosmic Horrors, that shows through the end of September.

Thaniel Ion Lee

These are mind-blowing grotesqueries in black and white, filled with body horror and freaky stuff, and you need to check it out.

Thaniel Ion Lee

He was brought here by Maiza Hixson, and she arranged this sit-down chat in a very echoey room. Maybe you can imagine we're talking in some awesome cave where, I dunno, black magic is performed. That sounds pretty metal.

Thaniel Ion Lee

You can find all his work over at thanielionlee.com

Direct download: 91_Episode_091__Thaniel_Ion_Lee.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:28am PDT

Benjamin Anderson

Today on the show we have painter Benjamin Anderson, whose photo-realist paintings of swimming pools--and objects like cars and planes found underwater in said pools--are unlike any others you've seen.

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He comes from an artistic family, his father Ron and his brother Sean are both painters, his mother Susan is an artist. But Benjamin lives a reclusive life back in the foothills of Carpinteria, and it was only through our mutual friend Julie B. Montgomery that I got to talk to him.

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We had this chat in the three car garage that he has turned into his studio, which he needs because his paintings are often very large. In this talk we chat about influences, the mystery of swimming pools, and growing up surrounded by artists.

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You can find him on the web at http://www.benjaminanderson.com/

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Direct download: 90_Episode_090__Benjamin_Anderson.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:19am PDT

Kathy Kissik
Kathy Kissik at CERN

Photographer and artist!

Today on the show we have Kathy Kissik, photographer and artist, who has a show opening at SBCAST on September 1. Her current work comes out of her residency at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, where she explored the mandala-like structures of the machines that are trying discover the origins of the universe.

Kathy Kissik
Faded Prussian Blue (left) Paris (right)

She's here through the help of Nancy Gifford, who has been a guest on this show, as well as the Morris Squire foundation.

Kathy Kissik
Better Living Through Chemicals

You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathy.kissik

Kathy Kissik
Kathy at the Hadron Collider

 

Direct download: 89_Episode_089__Kathy_Kissik.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:06am PDT

assume vivid astro focus

Today on the show we have Assume Vivid Astro Focus, a two man art team consisting of Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide-Pierson, who currently have a show at MCA called Avalances Volcanos Asteroids Floods, a wall-to-wall retrospective of their work, that runs until the end of 2016.

assume vivid astro focus

I was very fortunate to get a sit down interview with the two guys on the day of their show, which turned out to be a special day for them too: one of the few moments these two have hung out since moving to separate cities years ago. (How do they work together, you ask? You'll find out.)

assume vivid astro focus

You can find them on the web at www.assumevividastrofocus.com and on Instagram under the same name.

assume vivid astro focus

 

Direct download: 88_Episode_088__Assume_Vivid_Astro_Focus.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 2:10am PDT

Gino Perez

Painter, former skater, fashion designer!

Today on the show we have artist Gino Perez. Some of you might know Gino from back in the day when he was a pro skater, but at some point he retired to fully focus on painting and his art.

Gino Perez

He's been showing all over Los Angeles, but this last Thursday was the opening of his show at SBCAST, brought to town because of Susan Tibbles, who also programs the Tennis Club's art shows.

Gino Perez

Just before the opening of the show, we sat down in the gallery space and had a chat. And you'll soon hear how he went from an impoverished upbringing to having two successful careers. He also designs his own clothes, and during our chat was wearing this jaggedy lined black and white suit. Indeed, it was a thing to behold.

Gino Perez

You can find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gino.perez.37

Direct download: 87_Episode_087__Gino_Perez.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT

Jeremy Harper
2016's Official Old Spanish Days Poster Artist!

Today on the show we have plein air painter Jeremy Harper. Jeremy is a part of the Oak Group, Santa Barbara's well known plein air arts group that was founded in 1985 by Ray Strong and Arturo Tello. And he's going to be all over Santa Barbara this week because his painting is being used as the official 2016 poster of Old Spanish Days, aka Fiesta.

Jeremy Harper

When his poster was unveiled back in May at a fundraiser I was covering, I got to meet Jeremy for the first time, and he's a very cool, very unassuming guy and soon I was thinking I gotta get this guy on the show!

Jeremy Harper

So after some back and forths, he invited me to his Montecito studio and we had this great chat which you're about to hear.

Jeremy Harper

Jeremy Harper

Jeremy Harper's website

 

Direct download: 86_Episode_086__Jeremy_Harper.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:07am PDT

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Pointillist abstract painter Kerrie Smith.

Today on the show we have artist Kerrie Smith. As well as being an abstract pointillist painter and working in bold colors and angular designs, she has long been a champion for supporting artists with disabilities, and is the founder and creative director of Art Walk for Kids and Adults in Santa Barbara.

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Light Patterns 8

She is also British and as you'll hear we have a good laugh dueling accents, which seems to happen a lot when I run into people from the old country. So we had a good time sitting outside on a lovely summer's day and recording this conversation.

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Light Patterns 4

 

You can find out all about Kerrie at www.kerriesmith.net and her non-profit at artwalkforkids.org.

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Light Patterns 5

She's also a member of Santa Barbara's Abstract Art Collective, which you can find at, you guessed it, abstractartcollective.com

 

Direct download: 85_Episode_085__Kerrie_Smith.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:12pm PDT

Sara Lytle

Sara Lytle, large scale painter

Today on the show we have artist Sara Lytle. After a long career in the fiber arts she started a late career change into large, bold paintings, some abstract and some cartoonish in their large crow characters. Many of these you can now see in the gallery space called Abolish Blandness she shares at SBCAST on Garden Street with her friend and fellow artist Lynn Cunningham Brown.

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I met Sarah some time ago at an artist talk I hosted at MichaelKate gallery. I've seen her on and off at SBCAST, reached out and suddenly here I was driving up and up into the Riviera until I got to her fabulous house at the tippy top. We recorded this in her massive living room that's filled with art and old hunting trophies and skulls of all kinds. And we were visited by Bob, her little dog who you occasionally hear in the background of this chat.

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You can find a selection of Sara's work at saralytle.com

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Direct download: 84_Episode_084__Sara_Lytle.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 2:11am PDT

Laura Karlin
Photo by George Simian

Choreographer and artistic director of Invertigo Dance Theatre, Laura Karlin!

Today on the show we have choreographer Laura Karlin. Since 2007, she's been the artistic director of Invertigo Dance Theatre in Los Angeles, which is currently touring with After It Happened an intense night of dance set in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event...but with much humor and positivity. She'll be bringing her work to Santa Barbara's The New Vic October 22 and 23.

However, I got a chance to talk to Laura when she was up here on a site visit promoting the company, which Santa Barbara saw the year before with a show called Reeling. Thanks to everybody at the New Vic and for Allison at Ravenscroft PR for making this whole thing happen.

We talk about the current work, her company, her history, and how she started her own company. It's a fun talk.

Mine, a dance film - trailer from Invertigo Dance Theatre on Vimeo.

You can find Invertigo Dance online at www.invertigodance.org

 

Direct download: 83_Episode_083__Laura_Karlin.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:21am PDT

Joan Rosenberg Dent

Santa Barbara's premiere porcelain artist!

Today on the show we have ceramicist Joan Rosenberg Dent, who came to Santa Barbara just over 15 years ago and found the change of scenery and people in our lovely town just what she needed.

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Tenuous Tendrils #2

Her art over the last decade has gone up to a new level, where she's rethought everything about ceramics beyond arts and crafts.

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We Are One

She talks about that process and more in our chat, along with her love for porcelain, how she keeps creative, and how Santa Barbara differs from other cities for art. Suffice it to say, she loves it here.

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Unfoldings

You can find Joan at jrdstudio.artspan.com and on Instagram as joanrosenbergdent

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Jazz #7
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Book of Porcelain Poems
Direct download: 82_Episode_082__Joan_Rosenberg_Dent.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Maiza Hixson
Chance Encounter Specialist!

Today on the show we have Maiza Hixson, a curator and artist who comes to Santa Barbara from working in Delaware, where she helped transform Wilmington's art scene. She creates experiences, she looks at venues that people would not consider a space for art, and transforms them into something new, and that's exactly the kind of energy we need here in Santa Barbara. Currently, she is at SBCAST, where her title is "Chance Encounter Specialist," and she's also Curator of Collections/Visual arts coordinator at the Santa Barbara Arts Commission.

In our chat we talk about what she hopes to bring to Santa Barbara, what she learned about art in Delaware, and how her upbringing affected her views on art. It was a great talk on a sweltering day, but we didn't melt down.

 

Direct download: 81_Episode_081__Maiza_Hixson.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:07am PDT

Michael Long

Assemblage artist, musician, and Knight of the Rondo!

I am very happy to have on the show this week Mr. Michael Long, assemblage artist, musician, and one of the Knights of the Rondo, as he has come to be known in my part of town.

sylvias

I've known him since 2006, when I saw his work in the now-closed Red's, and I used his work in a music video I directed. Both he and The Rondo, which is a sort of studio slash speakeasy, have been a part of my life for four years.

dansk_dream

For those of an artistic mind, I hope where you live you have a Rondo of your own, a very special third place where like-minded friends gather and socialize and talk the night away. On many a Friday night I am there, and if you're one of the lucky ones, you may have stopped by too.

hidden_basement

But Michael Long, who works out of the Rondo along with two other artists, has rarely shown his work…until now. Followers of my Instagram might have noticed I've been putting some of his work up, these Dream Boxes, mini-dioramas of nightmarish rooms from abandoned houses. It's like he'd been sitting on this idea and suddenly BAM all this art just flowed out of the man.

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So finally i had a reason, apart from Mr. Long just being a fascinating man, to sit down and talk with him for the podcast. We talk about his work, The Rondo, growing up in a Jehovah Witness family, and more. We briefly talk about his music too near the end. It's a great conversation, and we had it over great drinks.

Recording at the Rondo

You can find Michael Long's work on Instagram at therondosb and on Soundcloud at rondostudios.

Direct download: 80_080_Michael_Long.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:46pm PDT

Maryln Daggett
Oil painter of large canvases and new Funk Zone resident!

Today on the show we have artist Marlyn Daggett, who just recently moved into a studio space down here in the FunkZone at the M.Cubed gallery at 111 Santa Barbara St. and I've been checking her stuff out in person and online on her Facebook page and on Instagram and we finally sat down for a chat the other day to initially talk about her work, but then to talk about her life. And a good time was had by all!

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Her large oil canvases show a bit of DeKooning, a bit of Basquiat, and a bit of her own history. And even though she doesn't have a show coming up right now, you can stop by her place if the door is open or wait until a FunkZone Art Walk to go see it.

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You can find her at her website and Instagram

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Direct download: 79_Episode_079__Marlyn_Daggett.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:35am PDT

lewisdesoto_landscape

The artist behind Santa Barbara Museum of Art's giant inflatable Buddha installation!

 

Today on the show we have photographer, sculptor, and installation artist Lewis deSoto, who currently is filling up a large part of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art with his inflatable reclining Buddha, entitled "Paranirvana (Self-Portrait)". It has made for some great conversation around town, along with loads of social media presence.

paranirvana

Currently he lives in Napa and New York City, and teaches at San Francisco State, and so landing this very brief interview with him was luck and due to Katrina Carl over at the museum who set it up for me, just before he did a sit down interview with writer Pico Iyer. (Pico, if you're listening, please come on the show!)

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Part of his heritage is the Cahuilla tribe, and we talk about his moments identifying as a Native American, and what that meant. We also talk about religion, death, and much more, you know all the heavy stuff that happens in 20 minutes!

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You can find Lewis at lewisdesoto.net and on instagram. All I have to say about our talk is, I wish it was longer.

 

Direct download: 77_078_Lewis_deSoto.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:17pm PDT

File May 31, 9 53 01 PM

Multi-media artist and instructor!

Today on the show we have artist Rafael Perea de Cabada, who spends part of his time painting, part of his time sculpting, part of his time doing neither in a multi-media kind of way, and part of the time teaching at SBCC. I didn't know that last part until I asked him to be on the show and it turned out he teaches in the same building as me.

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He's been a multidisciplinary artist for many, many years and has also been showing at the Arts Fund of Santa Barbara occassionally, which is where I first talked to him, and from there invited him on the show.

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Now, this is a different interview than most because we really get into ideas of teaching, of art, of inspiration, and though we do touch on his history and his art, we kept getting back to the bigger issues. I have to say, I hope you like this interview, and let me know in the comments on this page if you'd like to hear more shows like this. It's slightly different than the others that's for sure.

object_talk
The sculpture Rafael made during our conversation

You can find him at https://www.facebook.com/rafael.perea.7 and apparently nowhere else. If you're in Santa Barbara, take his course.

Direct download: 77_077_Rafael_Perea_de_Cabada.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:59pm PDT

Fine artist, illustrator and tattoo artist

Today on the show we have artist Danny Meza, who is both an amazing up and coming illustrator, mashing together Japanese and Mexican popular arts in his recent work, but he is the resident tattoo artist in downtown Santa Barbara at 805 Ink…and possibly coming to a tattoo convention near you, so check it out. I first saw Danny's work when I attended open studio at Derek Harrison's place and it turns out they share the same studio, and I really liked his Sinaloa cowboy illustration and we started talking about Japanese woodcut artists we like.

sinaloa cowboy
In process...I've seen the finished work at Danny's!

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One of the many "Dudes" that Meza draws

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For this episode we sat down at that exact same studio and talked about his life, his time in L.A. for design school, where his art comes from, the ins and outs of tattooing, his weekly life painting salons, and more! I hope you enjoy our chat.

You can find him at www.dannymezaart.com or his Facebook.

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Danny Meza's tattoo work

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Direct download: 76_Episode_076_Danny_Meza.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:03am PDT

joseph bottoms center stage
Joseph Bottoms, right, as he appears in Yankee Tavern at Center Stage Theater.


Star of stage and screen, from The Dove and The Black Hole to Yankee Tavern

Today on the show we have actor Joseph Bottoms, best known for starring in television mini-series back in the day like Holocaust, soaps like Days of Our Lives and Santa Barbara, and Disney’s sci-fi film The Black Hole. And he’s still acting, by the way, starring as conspiracy theorist Ray in Steven Dietz’ play Yankee Tavern currently playing here at Center Stage Theater, and the reason I was able to get him to sit down with me for this interview. I went and saw the play last Friday and it a fabulous comedy-thriller based around 9-11 conspiracy theories. And do we get into some of that? Yes we do.

If you are from Santa Barbara, you’ll also know that Joseph is one of the four Bottoms brothers, all of whom got into acting. Timothy was in The Last Picture Show and Sam--who passed away in 2008—-was in Apocalypse Now. His father Bud Bottoms is a sculptor and is best known for the dolphin sculpture at Stearns Wharf, one of the symbols of the city. So man, this is a prominent Santa Barbara family.

This was a fun interview, and I'm sorry if I didn’t get to talking about a certain show or movie, but there’s some good stories in here.

Direct download: 75_Episode_075_Joseph_Bottoms.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:40pm PDT

Phoebe Brunner in studio

Magical realist landscape painter!

Today on the show we have painter Phoebe Brunner, whose most recent series of landscapes are showing at Sullivan Goss through May 29, and if you haven't checked out her magical realist work before, you really must get over there. Now I'm not the biggest fan of landscapes, but in the hands on an artist with an interesting, one could say skewed vision, that's something else entirely.

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Her works have this very weird attention to detail, whether that's in the seeds and flowers flying through the air, or the menace of the dark colors, or her choice of odd locations and hues. I can spot a Brunner work almost immediately when she's in a group show, and it's great in this current exhibition to see all her work together. She definitely has a style that I love, so I sought her out and finally we got to sit down and talk about her work.

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You'll hear in a minute how's she's a Santa Barbaran at heart, and the various artists that have influenced her along the way, along with her need for adrenaline and her various working methods. I enjoyed my chat with her and I think you will too. You can find her on the web at www.phoebebrunner.com. So check her out.

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Direct download: 74_Episode_074_Phoebe_Brunner.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:46pm PDT

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Today on the show we have painter, drummer, and musician CJ Loo, who hails from Malaysia, but has taken up residence in Santa Barbara and is bringing her Chinese brush art to galleries around town, starting with Bella Rosa Gallery, where we first met. She's a tireless promoter of her work and warm and friendly and it wasn't too long until our paths crossed and I knew she had to be a guest on the show. As you're about to hear, she's an amazing world traveler, a great collaborator, and a fantastic multi-tasker.

Unconventional Roots
Unconventional Roots

She just illustrated a book called Holding Demons in Small Jars, written by her friend Jasmine A Kumalah, and you'll want to hie yourself to her website  where you can see a lot more examples of her work. She also has a fantastic blog there.

In this interview we talk about identifying as both Malaysian and Chinese, remixing cultures, benefits of being the oldest child, and what it's like to attend a trance music evening...and not with glowsticks and EDM.

And here's footage of her both drumming and painting:

A few other things mentioned in the interview:
Art without Limits
Art from Scrap
Cheah Thien Soong
Dug Uyesaka
Russell Peters and the standup routine she mentions
UCSB Middle East Ensemble

 

Direct download: 73_Episode_073_Si_Jie_Loo.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:43am PDT

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Two artists together for the first time!

Today on the show we have a live recording from last Friday's opening at MichaelKate Interiors, where I interviewed R. Eddie Hall and Stuart Carey, two very different artists from Carpinteria who curator Jan Ziegler has put together in one show called "Ancient Modern." This is a much shorter podcast than usual because, to paraphrase my theatre director friend Maury, "nobody leaves an art talk saying damn, I wish that was longer." But in this thirty minutes we take in a lot of stuff and learn some things about both these guys, neither of which I've interviewed before.

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Stuart Carey's double sided tapestry, left. Eddie Hall's work, right.

Eddie Hall is a sculptor first, but for this show he's made three dimensional canvases out of papier mache and other materials, but really they look like alien life forms coming off the wall. And Stuart Carey's work is jaggedy and sometimes figurative and reminds me a bit of Louis Wain, the cat painter, if you know who I'm talking about, just without the cats. Both guys are kind of spiritual, and both guys talk about something beyond themselves, and a good time was had by all. On the web page for this podcast you'll see work by both of them.

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Stuart Carey

The show is up through June 5, so if you're in Santa Barbara please come check it out. You can find Stuart's work at stucarey.com and you can find Eddie Hall's on Facebook at Eddie Hall.

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Eddie Hall's "Love" work

Thanks to Jan Ziegler for putting the show together and calling on me to host it.

 

Direct download: 72_072_Live_at_MichaelKate_R._Eddie_Hall_and_Stuart_Carey.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:49pm PDT

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Outdoors writer who likes to go Off the Map and Further Off the Map

Today on the show we have backpacker, environmental educator, and author Bryan Snyder. Bryan recently put out a sequel to his first book of nature and hiking essays Off the Map called, you might have guessed, Further Off the Map, over 50 stories of lighting out for the territories of California, Nevada, Oregon, Montana and more, with stops at Burning Man and then a quick sojourn on the African continent.

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Bryan has a knack for getting into weird situations and scrapes, and that's what makes the book so fun to read. That, and each chapter is very short. I like those kind of books.

I've known him for a while as a member of the Fishbone crowd here in Santa Barbara, and really had no idea that he was a writer until his book came across my desk and I said, hey that name's familiar. So I reached out and pretty soon we arranged for an interview at his place, which just happens to be this red wooden cabin back in the Los Padres national forest. It's like a 30 minute drive "over the mountain" as they say.

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Here's the thing about this episode, and why last week's episode was late. I sat down to edit the show and found that halfway through, for whatever reason, Bryan's microphone crapped out halfway through, leaving him sounding like a Dalek. So two weeks later he graciously had me back to re-record the second half. So thanks again for that, Mr. Snyder, very much appreciated.

Also, if you are a subscriber, and why aren't you, you'll get bonus access to a reading of one of the chapters by Bryan that we recorded especially for this show.

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Those poppies on Figueroa Mountain that I told ya' about.

You can find Bryan on his site here.
And you can find him on Facebook here and Instagram here

Direct download: 71_Episode_071_Bryan_Snyder.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:23pm PDT

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Podcasting brothers with a love/hate relationship to pop culture!

Today on the show we have a two-fer! We have two guests, Scott and Adam Cherry, They're twins, and up until recently, they had a very popular podcast/Youtube show called Barbarian Rage, which was a weekly look at the littler known pieces of pop culture from the '80s and '90s. Back in October they invited me on the show to be a guest for their Halloween episode and I used the opportunity to turn right around and record a show with them.

I've been sitting on this episode for a while. It was in the queue, but only a little while after we recorded it, Adam and Scott put their show to rest. But I knew both had new shows they were working on. And both have started back up.

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Scott has a show called We Watched It For You, Subtitled "A Guide to the Lesser Known Movies of Netflix." Scott and his various co-hosts--sometimes that's Adam, by the way--watch films that you usually scroll past in your Netflix queue. Movies like Roboshark or Zombeavers or Left Behind or Master of Disguise, all get roasted on this show. They're on 11 episodes so far.

Find it on iTunes and support it on Patreon.

Adam now has a show called Questionable Music, where he and his co-host review terrible, awful, dreadful and usually so-bad-it's-good albums. So far there's only two episodes, one on Joe Piscopo's '80s album New Jersey and a really, really terrible looking Ronald McDonald album.

These brothers love, love, love the detritus of American pop culture, and if you like it too, I highly recommend checking them out. They also make toys and other collectibles for adults.

Direct download: 70_Episode_070_Adam_and_Scott_Cherry.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:20pm PDT

parry_lands

Lead singer of Nerf Herder and creator of Song of the Week!

Today on the show we have musician and lead singer of Nerf Herder, Parry Gripp. You may know them from their first hit, Van Halen, from their first album in 1996, back in the day when MTV showed music videos. They’ve got their sixth album, Rockingham out right now, their first in eight years. Here's a track:

But if you have kids, like pre-teens, or maybe you are a kid, you’ll know Parry from the numerous songs he’s written for the Song of the Week site. Songs about cute animal internet memes—he’s got ‘em, he’s immortalized them. Spaghetti cat? Yes. A monkey riding backwards on a pig. Yep. Got that too. And it all started with this ode to waffles:

We’ll talk about how he went from punk to kids music, along with scoring songs for the Disney Channel shows and more. The man is a restless, creative person, and I’ve been wanting to talk to him for ages. But we’ve never really sat down and had this chat, until now.

You can find the band at nerfherder.com and Parry himself at parrygripp.com.
He's also on Instagram and of course on YouTube.

Here's some more of my personal favorite Gripp ditties:

 

Direct download: 69_Episode_069__Parry_Gripp.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:09pm PDT

bailey landscape
Rock Poster Artist, now back from Chicago to bring the art to the Funk Zone!

Today on the show we have poster artist and screenprinter Alana Bailey. Back in February I went to a show at Studio 111 here in the Funk Zone and that’s when I first saw Alana’s work, over 90 rock posters, all screen printed, limited editions. As I say in the interview, seeing these all came from her time in Chicago, it really made me realize how in need of a poster culture is Santa Barbara. And that turns out what Alana Bailey is back in town to do.

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This is early days yet, but we have so many talented artists here, that we could conceivably to do that. And it’s not just up to Alana, it’s up to us out there to get this thing going. What’s the worst that can happen? Rock posters, man!

In this interview we talk about her work, her life in Chicago, what makes a poster culture, her life, her family, and her hopes for our town.

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You can find a little bit of her work at alanabaileybrand.bigcartel.com.

I mention a Periscope broadcast in the interview, but the original link is dead. But I saved it to YouTube.

Mentioned in this interview:
Jay Ryan
Matthew Daley
Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher - Sonnenzimmer Studio
Steve Walters' Screwball Press
The Hideout, Chicago
Peter Power
Mucca Pazza
Flatstock Vol. 1
Gig Posters Volume 2

Direct download: 68_068_Alana_Bailey.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:58pm PDT

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Your host and Anabel Ford in her office

Archeologist who discovered the "forest gardens" of the Maya!

 

Today on the show we have ethnographer and author Anabel Ford, who spends her time between UCSB and El Pilar, and archeological site on the Belize-Guatamala border. El Pilar is an ancient Mayan city, and in 1983 Anabel was the first archeologist to map it. The part that interested me was what she discovered later, and that is this: What we see as jungle was actually very complicated forest gardens.

Now, Anabel has written several books on this, and the most recent is The Maya Forest Garden, that came out last year from Routledge Press. We talk about her discovery, what a forest garden is, her book, how it's under threat from logging, lessons we can learn from the Mayans, and plenty more topics. I know this is kind of a bit outside the "Funk Zone" but I think you're gonna dig it.

Anabel Ford is head of UCSB's Meso American Research Center and if you want to read more on her, check out her page here where you can see photos of the area we're talking about.

Also mentioned in this podcast:
Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources by M. Kat Anderson
Exploring Solutions Past (Anabel Ford is president of this non-profit).

 

Direct download: 67_Episode_067_Anabel_Ford.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:40am PDT

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Curator of UCSB's Special Wax Cylinder and 78 rpm record collections!

My guest for today's show is not an artist, but he's in charge of preserving and curating a bit chunk of the arts. We have David Seubert on the show today, and he is Curator of the performing arts collection at the UCSB library, and is in charge of their massive collection of wax cylinders and 78 records.

David and his department at the UCSB library recently moved into a fancy new building and I got a tour of the new facility. Their are thousands and thousands of records, all cataloged and in nice new sleeves, but more importantly over the years the library has been busily digitizing their collection for all of us with an internet connection to check out. Go to their website to start browsing the collection. Thanks to UCSB library for having me and obviously to David for giving me the full tour. They have art and manuscripts and rare books and so much more. And it is accessible to the general public, so check it out.

In this interview we talk about the collection, about copyright issues, about wax cylinders and how they were sold, along with little big about David himself, like how he parlayed his love of music into this job.

Direct download: 66_Episode_066_David_Seubert.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 7:07pm PDT

Scott_landscape
King of Comedy Tour Promotions and creator of LOLFlix.com!

Today on the show we have Scott Montoya, who I got to interview back in October when he brought the LOL Comedy Festival to town for another year in a row. One of the artists from that fest was a previous guest on the show: Kate Quigley, episode 57, and around the same time is when I talked to Scott.

Scott started his comedy producing career in 2002 with The Original Latin Kings of Comedy, and from there he's produced The Payaso Comedy Slam, The Original Latin Divas of Comedy, Joan Rivers: Don't Start With Me, Andrew Dice Clay: Indestructible, Snoop Dogg Presents the Bad Girls of Comedy, Jay Mohr: Funny For A Girl, Tommy Chong: Comedy at 420, and loads more. He started lolflix Standup Comedy Films in 2012 and then started up LOL Comedy Fest, which brought major stars to Santa Barbara and other cities since 2011, including the very funny Brad Williams. A lot of these shows are streaming so don't just take my word for it.

But we go into his background in this interview and I hope you'll see what it takes to get into event promotion and the circuitous route that he took. You can follow LOLflix at lolflix.com. Thanks to Stephanie Hope for helping set up this interview.

 

Direct download: 65_Episode_065_Scott_Montoya.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:55pm PDT

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The voice of Goofy since 1987 (and many many other cartoons)!

Today on the show we have Bill Farmer, currently best known as the voice of Goofy, that he's been doing since 1987. So if you're a fan--or maybe your kids are--of The Goofy Movie and Goof Troop, well, that's who we're talking to. He also did some of the voices in Space Jam, he voices Secret Squirrel in Harvey Birdman, and Bugs and Daffy on Robot Chicken.

In this interview we talk about how he got into business, the difference between Disney and Warner Bros., how he learns voices and accents, and I try not to crack up because please understand, Bill Farmer in just doing all these voices a few feet away from me.

This interview took place at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles, and I'd like to thank Carol Marshall for making it happen.

You can find Bill Farmer at billfarmer.net and on Twitter as @goofybill

Direct download: 64_064_Bill_Farmer.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 6:50pm PDT

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photo to Paul Wellman


Co-creator of Santa Barbara's New Noise Festival!

Today on the show we have Jeffery Theimer, the man behind our yearly New Noise music festival in Santa Barbara, and I want to point out, the man who helped bring Run the Jewels to town. If you were there, you know how epic that was, one of the best hip-hop acts right now playing the FunkZone.

Over the last few years he's brought to town Massive Attack, Thievery Corporation, Jack Johnson, Fitz & the Tantrums, Black Lips, Ariel Pink, and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and a whole slew of others. If it weren't for him, a lot of us wouldn't have seen these acts.

Santa Barbara's music scene goes around in cycles and for a few years we'll have some really good promoters and bookers bringing amazing acts to town…then they kind of burn out. Or we have a plethora of bands and then suddenly we have none. Or we have a lot of places to go and see music, and then suddenly we don't.

But that's my view. What's Jeffrey's? That's what we get into in this interview, as well as tales of how we got to Santa Barbara from Oklahoma with a side trek to the UK. We also get to hear about the beginning of Pandora.com, the future of the Funk Zone, his first gig, Kids in the Hall, working at BBC Radio One and working for Steve Lamacq, the economics of the promotion business in Santa Barbara, and the effect of the West Beach Festival on events in Santa Barbara.

You can check out New Noise on the web at newnoisesb.com or on Twitter as newnoisesb.

Direct download: 63_063_Jeffrey_Theimer.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 7:09pm PDT

vajra-veil

Lead singer from rock band Vajra

 

Today on the show we have Annamaria Pinna from the rock band Vajra, who were just in town in January playing a gig at Velvet Jones and so I was lucky to get a chance to talk to their lead singer before she and the band left for their gig. In fact, while we chatted, the band was in the room with us, because that's how bands travel. Here is photo proof!

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Annamaria and I recording this episode. We turned off Big Brother. Thanks to Campbell Youngblood Peterson for taking this photo!!

If you follow Vajra's music you know it's hard to pigeonhole, and that's probably why you like them. There's a bit of hard rock, some metal, in there, some goth, but also a lot of Eastern spirituality as well as Eastern drone and Eastern scales.

They are on the web at www.thevajratemple.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as vajratemple. Notice the lack of the definite article, there, by the way.

And a big thanks to Catherine at Electric Sex Enterprises for bringing them to town and setting up this interview.

 

Direct download: 62_062_Annamaria_from_Vajra.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:15am PDT

pickle-recipe

Star of theatre, television, and film for nearly seven decades!

Today on the show we have star of stage and screen big and small, Lynn Cohen, who is currently starring in a comedy film at this year's Santa Barbara International Film Festival, The Pickle Recipe. This is a charming little comedy about an uncle and his nephew trying to get the family recipe for some classic pickles from the one person who knows how they're made, that's right a feisty grandmother played by Lynn Cohen. You'll know her from playing Magda in Sex and the City, and maybe you've seen her in Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery, on on bit parts in Nurse Jackie, or as Mags in the Hunger Games, or as Golda Meir in Spielberg's Munich, or recently in an episode of Master of None. Go to the website for this show, look at her photo and you'll know who we're talking about.

Lynn Cohen Demo Reel from The Pickle Recipe on Vimeo.

But here's the thing too: she's been a fixture of the stage since she was a teenager and had played everything from Ibsen and Shakespeare to Neil Simon to everybody in between.

I apologize for this episode because it's so short and I was given such a small window with Lynn that I'm trying to cram everything in. We could have made this a three-hour episode, really, as she's crossed paths with damn near everybody.

The Pickle Recipe Teaser from sheldon cohn on Vimeo.

In the meantime, go check out thepicklerecipe.com to see this film. It's directed by Michael Manasseri, written by Sheldon Cohn and Gary Wolfson, and also stars John Dore and David Paymer and Eric Edlestein and you will both get a chuckle out of it and want to head immediately afterwards to a deli to get a pastrami on rye, I'm not kidding you. Also, thanks to Carol Green and Kim Dixon for making this happen, and the guys at the Rondo for putting me up.

 

 

Direct download: 61_Episode_061_Lynn_Cohen.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:50am PDT

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Amazing guitarist, singer-songwriter, and mouth-trumpeter!

Today on the show we have jazz guitarist, soul singer, soul songwriter, and mouth trumpeter extraordinare Raul Midon. Raul was in town recently for the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, brought here by UCSB’s Arts&Lectures, and so when I got a chance to sit down with the man and talk about his history and his music, I immediately said yes please. He’s played with Bill Withers, with India Arie, Lizz Right, Richard Bona, and many others. He also got a chance to be produced by the legendary Arif Mardin of Atlantic Records.

I first heard Midon on this viral video of him playing John Coltrane’s "Giant Steps" in all 12 keys on acoustic guitar and with that mouth trumpet accompaniment. It’s really an amazing thing. His most recent album is Don’t Hesitate, on the Artistry Music label.

Here's the dates for Monterey Jazz Festival on tour.

You can find Raul on raulmidon.com and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Soundcloud and on YouTube.

Direct download: 60_Episode_060_Raul_Midon.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:07am PDT

Artist, writer, etc. Jonathan Crow photographed in his Los Angeles, Ca home.
Artist, writer, etc. Jonathan Crow photographed in his Los Angeles, Ca home.

Artist of Veeptopus, who put octopuses on vice presidents' heads, as well as filmmaker and writer!

Today on the show we have artist and fillmmaker and writer Jonathan Crow, who is currently making his name with the success of his Veeptopus series, pen and ink watercolors of every single vice president with an octopus on their head. He was just recently featured on BuzzFeed and also on Huffington Post, and, if you haven’t seen these works, let’s just say you’ll learn a little bit of American history and you’ll learn a little bit of marine biology along the way, and when was the last time you could say that?

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What also makes this episode special, apart from cephalopods, is that Jonathan Crow is one of my dearest and oldest friends, and we’ve kind of shadowed each other creatively since we first met back in Japan, after we had both graduated. We didn’t know each other at first—I was from Santa Barbara, and he was from Boston—but we soon found ourselves in the same circles and we found that we had the same tastes, and not many others did. And so began a friendship that’s lasted to this day. We know where all the bodies are buried after many, many years of debauchery, however we don’t talk about that on the show for legal reasons.

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So expect an interview shot through with reminiscences, especially because when we were recording this, Jon was in the process of moving his family up to Silicon Valley from Los Angeles. We tried to not make it too insider-y for you all and I hope you enjoy it.

You can find Jon’s work at Veeptopus and follow him on twitter at jonccrow. He's also on Etsy. And on Instagram. He's everywhere!

Also! Here's that Russ Meyer film we discuss at length:


But we didn't know at the time it wasn't Russ Meyer's voice, but the incredible John Furlong.

And the trailer to Blind Beast:

And Possession:

Direct download: 59_059_Jonathan_Crow.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:36pm PDT

azeem-ward

Up and coming jazz/classical/hiphop flautist and viral superstar!

Azeem Ward is the unlikeliest of Internet sensations, but the flautist who just graduated UCSB, who plays not just jazz and classical, but hip hop and flute beatboxing, became one last year. His Facebook invite to his senior recital was seized upon by some Internet wag in the UK and suddenly, Mr. Ward had tens of thousands of people RSVP'ing to his show. For a brief moment in May 2015, he was a thing. You may have seen him on Jimmy Kimmel:

But what was he really about, what was his music, and what does he plan to do next? This episode, recorded January 4, 2016, finds out. (Spoiler: he's a thoughtful, soft spoken guy.)

UCSB Amplified: Azeem Ward & Underbelly Pop Up Performance from UC Santa Barbara on Vimeo.

UCSB Amplified: Azeem Ward from UC Santa Barbara on Vimeo.

Azeem is not just a classical flautist, but he's interested in all genres and after our interview was off to play a jazz hip hop set with his DJ, DJ Underbelly. You can find Azeem at azeemward.wordpress.com and on SoundCloud here.

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Direct download: 58_Episode_058_Azeem_Ward.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:12am PDT

katequigley

Stand-up comedian and host of Playboy's Undercover

Kate Quigley is a stand-up comedian and currently host of Playboy TV's Undercover, where she investigates sexual fetishes. We talk about that, her penchant for hanging out, and even performing sets in, bikinis, tips for stand-up, and much more. I want to thank Sindy Godfrey for setting up this interview and the folks at the Lobero for helping set up a room for us to record in. Kate was in town for the LOL Comedy Fest and hers is one of two interviews I managed to get for the FZPodcast.

You can follow Kate on Twitter and Instagram at kateqfunny and check out her website here.

You can also listen to her podcast Date Fails here.

Here's Kate in bikini and having a lovely meal in Chinatown:
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and here's that Miller Lite poster we talk about:

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(wait, which one is she?)

Direct download: 57_Episode_057_Kate_Quigley.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:01pm PDT

neal crosbie landscape
Zen cowboy painter and musician.

So this week I sit down with an hour chat with artist, musician and cartoonist Neal Crosbie. Back when I was a lad, Neal Crosbie had an alternative comic in one of the weekly papers here in Santa Barbara, these odd strips that featured his Coyote character and jokes that weren't jokes, more like Zen koans.

Fast forward many years, and I began to run into Neal's work hanging in places like the Blue Agave, where it felt like the parts of his comic had been exploded onto the canvas. It's like a zen cowboy met up with Paul Klee and jammed together.

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The Walking Around Sutra

He's represented by several national and international galleries, but if you're in Santa Barbara on a Sunday, you can find him at the Cabrillo Blvd. Arts and Crafts walk, which is where I first met him in person and started to set up this interview.

I Think You Already Know What Im Trying to Say
I Think You Already Know What Im Trying to Say

Crosbie is also in a band called Zen Horse Repair along with musician and friend Tom Lackner, among other things. We talk about all sorts of things, and we laugh a lot too. At the moment you can find him at www.facebook.com/neal.crosbie

Artists Named in this Interview:

Limn Gallery
Barry Gordon Gallery
Matt Ubersol and Art Resources
Barry Spacks
Janos Gallery
Tricycle Magazine
Tom Lackner
Kim Cornell
Kenneth Rexroth
Ralph Goings
Cy Twombly
Paul Klee
Pablo Picasso
Georg Baselitz
Jonathan Winters
John Kaneko
Jim Pelleter
John Cage
Shunryū Suzuki
Gary Snyder
Robinson Eikenberry
Bruce Winter
Malcolm Anderson
Joe Woodard
Joe Cardella
Art Life
Jean-Michele Basquiat

 

Direct download: 56_056_Neal_Crosbie.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 6:51pm PDT

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