Wed, 30 November 2016
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.
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
Wed, 16 November 2016
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.
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?
Tue, 8 November 2016
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.
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.
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.
Tue, 1 November 2016
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!
Wed, 26 October 2016
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.
Tue, 18 October 2016
Thu, 29 September 2016
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.
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.
Wed, 21 September 2016
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.
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.
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.
He also works with the Theodore Payne Foundation, which introduces native plants back into their former areas.
Wed, 14 September 2016
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.
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.
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 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.
Fri, 9 September 2016
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.
These are mind-blowing grotesqueries in black and white, filled with body horror and freaky stuff, and you need to check it out.
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.
You can find all his work over at thanielionlee.com
Wed, 31 August 2016
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.
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.
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.
You can find him on the web at http://www.benjaminanderson.com/
Wed, 24 August 2016
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.
She's here through the help of Nancy Gifford, who has been a guest on this show, as well as the Morris Squire foundation.
You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathy.kissik
Wed, 17 August 2016
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.
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.)
Tue, 9 August 2016
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.
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.
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.
You can find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gino.perez.37
Wed, 3 August 2016
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.
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!
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.
Tue, 26 July 2016
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.
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.
She's also a member of Santa Barbara's Abstract Art Collective, which you can find at, you guessed it, abstractartcollective.com
Wed, 20 July 2016
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.
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.
You can find a selection of Sara's work at saralytle.com
Wed, 13 July 2016
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.
You can find Invertigo Dance online at www.invertigodance.org
Wed, 6 July 2016
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.
Her art over the last decade has gone up to a new level, where she's rethought everything about ceramics beyond arts and crafts.
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.
Wed, 29 June 2016
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.
Tue, 21 June 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wed, 15 June 2016
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!
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.
Tue, 7 June 2016
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.
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!)
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!
Tue, 31 May 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wed, 25 May 2016
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.
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.
Tue, 17 May 2016
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.
Tue, 10 May 2016
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.
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.
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.
Wed, 4 May 2016
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.
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:
Tue, 26 April 2016
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.
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.
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.
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
Tue, 19 April 2016
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.
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.
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.
Thu, 14 April 2016
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.
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.
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.
Tue, 5 April 2016
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.
Here's some more of my personal favorite Gripp ditties:
Tue, 29 March 2016
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.
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.
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:
Wed, 23 March 2016
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:
Tue, 15 March 2016
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.
Tue, 8 March 2016
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.
Thu, 3 March 2016
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.
Tue, 23 February 2016
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.
Wed, 17 February 2016
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!
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.
And a big thanks to Catherine at Electric Sex Enterprises for bringing them to town and setting up this interview.
Wed, 10 February 2016
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.
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.
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.
Wed, 3 February 2016
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.
Tue, 26 January 2016
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?
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.
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.
Also! Here's that Russ Meyer film we discuss at length:
And the trailer to Blind Beast:
Wed, 20 January 2016
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.)
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.
Tue, 12 January 2016
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 also listen to her podcast Date Fails here.
and here's that Miller Lite poster we talk about:
(wait, which one is she?)
Tue, 5 January 2016
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.
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.
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:
Tue, 29 December 2015
Since 2008, Julie Joyce has been bringing the best in contemporary art to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, while also including Santa Barbara artists in that list.
Under her curation, she's brought the newest and most challenging of examples of contemporary art to the Museum, including group shows like "Labor and Wait" and "Totally '80s" and also introduced Santa Barbara to artists like Yinka Shonibare, Tony de los Reyes, Michelle Stuart, and Charles Garabedian.
We talk about her life story, theories of art, and my personal bugaboo, the turgid miasma of academic art writing.
Tue, 22 December 2015
Realist landscape painter of the Californian desert.
I met Mary-Austin Klein at the Sullivan Goss show "American Details" where I first saw her amazing paintings of places like Mojave, Death Valley, and Palm Springs, where I love to vacation. I recognized those mountains and that light right away before I even looked at the painting titles. We chatted and I invited her on the show.
In this interview we talk about her time at Otis, her work outside painting, her falling in love with the desert, her technique and her routines.
And finally, here's the prop paper as it appeared in that movie:
Tue, 15 December 2015
Since Jonathan Fox took over directorship of Ensemble Theater after the late Robert Grand Weiss' retirement in 2006, he's injected a lot of daring and controversy into Santa Barbara's theater scene. Two years ago he oversaw the company's grand move from the cozy but aging Alhecama Theatre to the lovely remodeled New Vic. That in turn has allowed him to think bigger and bolder, mixing in musicals and huge sets alongside the personal and intimate productions that people associate with the company.
In this hour-long chat we talk about his beginnings, his time working in software development, and whether he's figured out what Santa Barbara audiences really want. There's even an anecdote about meeting Bruce Springsteen.
Tue, 8 December 2015
Creator of Clarissa Explains it All, writer, director, and producer.
It was Mitchell who reached out to me a few months ago, reminding me that in 2013 he had reviewed an art show I had curated at the Arts Fund of Santa Barbara. He had a book he had published and it was then I realized this was the man who ruled many a '90s teens' life with the show he created, Clarissa Explains It All on Nickelodeon.
His new book, Things I Can't Explain: A Clarissa Novel reimagines Clarissa as a 20-something who can no longer explain it all, and must traverse a landscape of modern romance and modern publishing.
We set up this talk in his Santa Barbara home, very close to where I once used to live, among his daughter's paintings and memorabilia from his other shows, specifically Bear in the Big Blue House. But I had read his bio and his IMDB and I knew there was more to him that cool stuff for kids.
In this wide ranging interview we talk about writing teen characters, growing up in Virginia, his stint at Saturday Night Live, and who was scarier to work under, Mike O'donoghue or John Kricfalusi.
If you're listening to this episode on the day we posted it, i.e. OUR SEASON TWO PREMIERE!!! then you will be in time for this Friday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. where I'll be introducing Mitchell at SBCC's FeBland Forum for ClarissaFest, featuring a screening of the show and a Q&A. There will also be an afterparty at ImpactHub, 1117 State St. following the event, from 8 to 11. RSVP at clarissafest.splashthat.com
Tue, 22 September 2015
Another successful Funk Zone Art Walk and another successful talk at MichaelKate!
Jan Ziegler--who you will hear mentioned in the recording--curated this show called Mood Swings featuring three Santa Barbara artists and on Friday night I sat down with two of them, Iben Verstergaard and Tom Post, to talk art. (The third, Rosemary Gelbart, was out of the country.)
Thanks again to MichaelKate for inviting me to host this event! Event photos by Zofia Kowalik.
Mood Swings is up through November 29, 2015 at MichaelKate Interiors.
Thu, 17 September 2015
I met Liv Zutphen back when she showed her art in 2013 as part of a show at MichaelKate. I even reviewed it for the News-Press at the time. She's turned up now and again at Roy Restaurant where her current show hangs, so after talking to her at the end of September's very successful First Thursday Art Walk, I had her come on the show.
We go into how she might be a reincarnation for the Summer of Love, how she gets into the painting mood, and her upcoming (no pun) series on magical penises. What a long, strange trip this interview turned out to be. (Well, not as long as other episodes!)
You can find her art on her Facebook page.
By the way folks, it's OUR FIFTIETH EPISODE. Just wanted to point that out. Onward!
Tue, 8 September 2015
I met Joe Woodard back in the days when I wrote at the Independent. Later he and his group Headless Household would score my second short film Walk Cycle. Since then I'e covered the band on and off as they've gone on long hiatus after long hiatus and then come back with an interesting, left-field album, (yes, including that polka one) with Woodard on silvery jazz guitar, Tom Lackner on drums and electronics, Dick Dunlap on keyboards, and Chris Symer on bass. (And usually a guest singer or two). Now they're back with their latest, Balladismo, a mix of Woodard's melancholic songs and free jazz workouts.
And since I've known him, he's been writing on jazz sax man and Santa Barbara resident Charles Lloyd. That's culminated in the new biography, Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth.
In this interview we get into the making of the book, his own and Santa Barbara's arts history (the two are entwined), the new album, influences, favorite interviews (this one, for sure!), and songwriting.
His website is here, while his label HouseHold.Ink is here.
Wed, 2 September 2015
Santa Barbara's best known architect
A Jeff Shelton building is unmistakable once you know his style. And as he is a Santa Barbara native *and* devoted to only building in his home town, so Santa Barbara is the only place you'll see his curvy, Dr. Seuss-like creations.
The Ablitt House, located right behind State Street's busiest clubs and bars, was the first Shelton building I remember coming across, and once I studied the style--The Gaudi-style roofs, the Escher-like tile work, the wrought iron (made by his brother), the cute and whimsical touches--I began to spot more of his buildings.
The man's studio is tucked away downtown, not far from the Ablitt Building (you can see it from the street), and is as wondrous and colorful as you'd expect, not anybody's cliche'd idea of what an architect's office should look like.
In this hour-long chat, we talk about growing up in Santa Barbara, building codes, what makes our town special, and how he creates. (Shelton sketched and doodled the whole time we talked, and wound up drawing a chicken.)
His website is here.
Tue, 25 August 2015
Multi-media artist and Funk Zone resident!
I met Philip Koplin through Dan Levin, because the two have shared a studio down in the corner of the FunkZone, right next to some dumpsters, in a room that used to be a refrigeration unit, then a wine storage room.
Koplin is an assemblage artist like Levin is, but he also works in monotype, and is the first guy I knew who used Yupo paper, a strange plastic sheet that he's been experimenting with for some time. (He gave me a sheet, I still don't know what to do with it.)
In our limited conversations I knew there was a whole lot more to this artist's life story, so I got to sit down with him one day in a shed at the back of the Green House, the gallery that is co-inhabited by Koplin's wife, Virginia McCracken, along with Erika Carter, Donna Ayscough, and Liz Brady. Thanks to them for giving us space. (Refrigeratir units still have a noisy motor for some reason, so we had to move.)
Koplin talks about his Coney Island upbringing, his adventures on the road and during the Vietnam War, Santa Barbara in the '80s, and how every generation tries to figure out how to help Santa Barbara Artists. It's a great chat with the added bonus of traffic noise nearby and...wait for it...a bird.
As I say in the introduction, you can check out Koplin's work at his upcoming open studio on Sept. 18, 2015 at Koplin/Levin,206 Gray Ave.
He's also on the web here.
Tue, 18 August 2015
Screenwriter, mystery novelist, and co-creator of Where the Bears Are
I met Rick Copp one day when one of my best friends from my high school days came to town to stay. They were friends and Rick had given him a lift up to SB from LA, so the three of us had lunch. Years later, Mr. Copp is a guest on our show, which I recorded while in Palm Springs.
A few years back, Rick and two of his writing/acting buddies got the idea to write a comedy murder mystery featuring their type of man, and so Where the Bears Are came to be. At first shot on a shoestring budget, it's turned into an international success of a web series. It's rude, naughty, camp, and very silly. They are set to premiere Season 4 this coming Sunday, August 23. Here's the trailer (NSFW!)
Rick Copp has been writing for television since he joined the writers room of The Golden Girls at age 24. He went on to co-write The Brady Bunch Movie, as well as many episodes of childrens TV including Teen Titans and Scooby Doo.
This episode has more laughs per minute than a nitrous oxide factory, so please enjoy!
Sun, 9 August 2015
Abstract painter of dots and more!
As you do in Santa Barbara, I was down in the Funk Zone for a series of gallery openings and ran into Giuliana Mottin and her work. An abstract artist who has turned recently to dotted paint canvases, Mottin spends her time between New York and Santa Barbara.
We have a nice long chat about her travels, working on Ridley Scott's Hannibal, and whether gallery representation can work for the up-and-coming artist.
Her website is here.
Wed, 5 August 2015
Santa Barbara's historian
I've interviewed Neal Graffy a few times, most recently for an article about the 90th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Earthquake, so I used that opportunity to invite him on the show. An affable gent, as you will soon here, Graffy's knowledge is encyclopedic about our fair city, and we barely get going when our hour is up.
Graffy has several books available at his site, including Santa Barbara: Then and Now, Historic Santa Barbara, and Street Names of Santa Barbara, all of which are essential if you want to know why our city is the way it is!
His upcoming book is The Great Santa Barbara Earthquake: The Disaster That Built a City, out sometime later this year.
He has another site under his name, which may not be as recently updated, but has different info.
Wed, 29 July 2015
I like Nancy Gifford, and not just because two of my art works are in her private collection, along with works by major Santa Barbara artists. No, it's because she does her damndest to promote art in Santa Barbara and to get people interested in the amazing work being done right under their noses. She's long been a part of the Santa Barbara Arts Fund and has for the last few years curated several shows at Lotusland.
Tue, 21 July 2015
The very arts-friendly mayor of Santa Barbara
We've never had a politician on the podcast...until now! Mayor Schneider has been a strong supporter of the arts in Santa Barbara and I wanted to see if she was amendable to a sit-down chat. So I reached out on Twitter and in about 30 minutes we got the okay. It took a little bit longer than that to set up the actual time, but still, very fast compared to what I thought might happen.
We sat in her City Hall office and had the chat you're about to hear. Our Mayor is originally from New York, and we talk a lot about that. You're in for a treat. And who knows? In a year or so she might be our Representative in Washington.
Wed, 15 July 2015
I met D.A. Metrov when he submitted a work for an art show that is temporarily on hold. The work, though wonderful, didn't really match the theme I was working on, but have since changed anyway. Instead we started chatting on Facebook and the next thing you know we're sitting in his studio in Winchester Canyon and talking art...but as you'll see, to get to that art we take a detour through the New York art world, rooming with future filmmaker Abel Ferrara, and entering the Hollywood machine and exiting a little scathed.
Wed, 8 July 2015
Opening night panel for Body Electric with James Tutwiler, Kimberly Pratt, Karen Zazon, and Ambra Tesora
Yes folks, it's our bi-monthly chat with the artists in the latest show at MichaelKate Interiors, curated by Jess Hinds.
Ambra Tesori was born in Rome, Italy, and after many years turned to vibrant, colorful painting, some of it abstract, some, like this show, nudes.
Tue, 30 June 2015
Artist, painter, instructor, jewelry maker, cool person
This week I sit down with Jill Sattler, a fascinating fixture of Santa Barbara for some time. Here's an except from her bio:
Now that only gives you a rough outline of our conversation, which has more name dropping than when I annually chuck the Yellow Pages in the recycle bin.
You can check out her website here.
Here's a tiny photo of her house, because it's a really magical place:
Tue, 23 June 2015
In our first podcast with live music, we sat down with singer-songwriter Cory Sipper to talk growing up in Santa Barbara, what caused her to get off the music industry merry-go-round for ten years, writing tunes for television, her encounter with rock god Lindsey Buckingham, and what it was like to step back into the studio.
As she explains, she was a bit hoarse after being ill the previous week, but I think she sounded great!
Cory has a show coming up at Hotel Cafe, Friday, July 10. Grab tickets here.
Wed, 17 June 2015
Abstract artist, app maker, co-founder of the Wine Cask, promoter of the Presidio Neighborhood
Hugh Margerum has worn many hats over his lifetime in Santa Barbara and continues to do so. When I first met Hugh it was through the Wine Cask, the restaurant he founded with his brother and is now one of Santa Barbara's longest running gourmet restaurants. It took me a little while though to learn he was also an artist.
In this informative chat, we delve into his mysterious family history, his early years as an artist, working on apps, becoming part of the restaurant business, his recent work promoting the Presidio Neighborhood (where the Wine Cask resides) and much more. Thanks to Hugh for letting me come visit him in his converted garage studio.
You can find more about Hugh's work at his website.
Here's more about the Presidio Neighborhood.
You can get his Tic Tac PhOto app here.
I bet you're also wondering about Margerum wines.
And don't forget the Wine Cask.
Tue, 9 June 2015
I've seen several of Ellen K. Anderson's plays over the years of reviewing theater in Santa Barbara and so have had the chance to interview her many times. She's always engaged in the rights of the oppressed, battling sexism and racism in her thoughtful, but never didactic plays. In her sixties she shows no sign of slowing down and just bubbles over with joie de vivre, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to have her on the show. You'll see she didn't disappoint.
She's written 12 full-length and 6 one-act plays (according to her bio, she may have added more). She's won two Metropolitan Theatre Writing Awards, two INDY awards from the S.B. Independent, got an honorable mention by the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award and Best New Play in the Ninth Annual Washington D.C. Theatre Festival.
She is the artistic director of DRAMATIC WOMEN and was a founding board member of ACCESS THEATRE, a theatre that broke new ground in accessibility in the arts.
When I interviewed her, she was in the middle of the opening run of In the Forest of Detroit, her second Detroit play after Bedtime in Detroit. Other plays include New Amsterdames; Sleeping with Squirrels; Rattling Antlers; Shirtwaist, a musical ghost story; Liz Estrada; Why Mud Flaps?; Bedtime in Montecito, The Ellen & Ellen Show; Holes in Their Soles; A Baby Musical; Hula Whores; Barbed Wire Under Your Armpits; Listen for Wings; A Fine and Private Place; Inflatable Girls and Three Tits.
Tue, 2 June 2015
Julie B Montgomery paints out of a cool studio near the tracks of Carpinteria. (Listen for the train to pass by while we talk!)
A year or so ago, I was part of a group that went on a private studio visit, where I met Julie for the first time and saw her art and nosed through her sketchbooks. Her manipulated acrylic paintings are about subtraction, not addition, and she's developed over 10 years a very identifiable style.
In our conversation we talk about her technique, her childhood, her modeling career, Japan, what she learned from art school, and how she got her art work on shows like Mad Men and Scandal.
She is part of "Impart" at the Santa Barbara Arts Fund through June 20.
Her solo show "Veiled Terrain: A Modern Exploration of Landscape" is currently up at Karpeles Manuscript Library through August 29.
Tue, 26 May 2015
Abstract painter of melting flowers
Jeanne Dentzel currently has her show "Flowers: Seen & Unseen" up at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club. In it she explores the classic still life subject through an abstract painter's eye, trying not to capture reality but to subvert the niceties of flowers and vases. To me, these paintings ride a fine line between ecstasy and nausea.
I sat down for a chat with the Santa Barbara artist to talk about her method, New York art school, and her previous life working at a set designer on many of John Hughes' seminal '80s films: Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and more.
Topics discussed include:
You can find Jeanne Dentzel at her website.
Her show "Flowers: Seen & Unseen" is up at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club until June 5. Website here.
Here's the Pretty in Pink record store set:
Tue, 19 May 2015
Since coming to Santa Barbara by way of Iowa/Portland/Burning Man, Nathan Vonk has advocated for the arts, either in his work at Sullivan Goss gallery, on various arts boards, or by publishing his go-to page on the state of SB, the Santa Barbara Arts Blog.
I've known Nathan and his wife Erin for years, but this is the first time I really sat down and chatted with him. I hope you enjoy!
Topic discussed in this podcast include:
Tue, 12 May 2015
Author of The Mad Crush, about the 1995 zinfandel harvest
In 1995 a college student named Sean Christopher Weir joined the harvest at Saucelito Canyon Vineyards and worked on that year's zinfandel. Bill Greenough, the owner and vintner was an interesting yet reticent man, one who had rediscovered the vineyard after it lay hidden and fallow for decades.
In a Proustian flashback after trying that 1995 vintage nearly 20 years later, Weir turned his memories in a new book, The Mad Crush, all about that magical year and Sean and Bill's relationship. For anyone interested in how wine is made and the resolve it takes to slave away at it day after day, year after year, this is the book.
Chris (as he usually goes by) sat down with the podcast at the Wayfarer Hotel in the Funk Zone for this chat.
Tue, 5 May 2015
Hey folks! They let me back in to record another live podcast at MichaelKate Interiors for "Deep Disguise," a second show of abstract art curated by Jess Hynds. Below is a quick bio of each artist on the podcast and links to their work. The show is up at MichaelKate Interiors, 132 Santa Barbara St. through June 21, 2015.
"Clara Berta is a passionate, award-winning mixed media artist, originally from Hungary. Inspired by her love of nature and the beauty she sees all around, her highly textural abstract works often evoke the deep blues of the ocean she loves, or the golden glow of a Tuscan sunset from her trips to Italy."--from Clara's website.
Shelby Lynn Joyce was born and raised in Norfolk Virginia, relocated to Santa Barbara in July of 2014 after performing and training in dance on the East coast from the age of three.
"I gravitate towards the multi-dimensional colors of the ocean in my works and paint solely with my hands. The connection between me and the canvas is much deeper this way rather than having an extension of my expression through a paintbrush."--from Amber's website
"Kimberly Hahn was raised in California and Texas, and now resides in Santa Barbara, California. She studied at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London, England and the University of Texas, Austin, Texas where she received a BFA."--from Kimberly's website
Wed, 29 April 2015
KTYD DJ and classic rock racounteur
If you do the morning drive in Santa Barbara, then you'll know Lin Aubuchon as the voice of KTYD's morning show. For those out of town KTYD is our city's long-lasting, well-loved classic rock station.
Lin visited the 404 "Studios" for a relaxing sit-down chat about her career and growing up in Santa Barbara, and how she's spent most of her life in radio.
Topics Discussed include:
Tue, 21 April 2015
Owner of Sullivan Goss Gallery
Frank Goss has been a tastemaker in the Santa Barbara arts scene since 1994 after opening his gallery with his wife Patricia Sullivan Goss. This year is one of changes: he's selling the building that hosts the gallery and its adjacent cafe, and keeping the gallery next door. Plus, he is hoping, through Kickstarter to put out a monograph on the artist Ray Strong.
Keeping a gallery going in Santa Barbara is not easy, and so we sat down for a chat about the art scene, commerce, his history, and more.
Topics discussed include:
Tue, 14 April 2015
Santa Barbara's Poet Laureate
Just over a decade ago, the Santa Barbara Arts Commission decided to create its own Poet Laureate position, where one of our city's many poets gets to serve for two years, being called on to create poems for official city functions. Past laureates have included Barry Spacks, Perie Longo, David Starkey, Paul Willis and Chryss Yost. Although she helped create the position, initially Sojourner Kincaid Rolle had no desire to accept the title, but this year, the thirty year citizen of SB decided, what the hey.
This being National Poetry Month, I reached out to Sojourner and asked her to be on the podcast. We found a quiet room at the library and sat down for a freewheeling chat, about her life, her influences, and her work. Oh, and we get her to read four of her poems, including her epic "Black Street." This is a chat full of references, and I've tried to link to as many as possible below.
Topics Discussed include:
Tue, 7 April 2015
Founder of Skateboard magazine and the Santa Barbara Surf Museum, and collector of ephemera
I met Jim O'Mahoney when I wrote an article about a documentary on the Signal Hill Speed Run, and visited him at his museum. I soon got a tour of the residence behind the Museum, where I entered a wonderland of the weirdest stuff I've ever seen. The two museums O'Mahoney runs display only a tiny fraction--like one drawer compared to a house full of cabinets.
Then we got talking about his history and that's where I learned his storied past and how essential he was to skateboarding history. I've invited O'Mahoney to bring some of his collectibles to my "Specimen" show in 2013, and he didn't disappoint. I knew at some point he'd make a great guest on the podcast.
Topic discussed include:
The Surf Museum is located at 16 Helena Ave. #C, Santa Barbara, CA
Tue, 31 March 2015
Continuing our chat with the lingerie-clad vlogging comedians!
Cate's story took up part one of our show and it was hair-raising--drugs, drink, Catholic school, rehab and band management. Now it's Sam's turn to tell her story and at the end, we get to talk to both of them.
They are regular guests on Dr. Susan Block's TV show, NSFW! NSFW! where they are up for damn near anything.
Topics discussed include:
Sam’s story growing up in Tahoe and her family
Here's the band Cate manages (and performs with alongside Sam) the DTease:
Here's the "You'll Never Believe!" video we talk about (NSFW!!)
Direct download: 26_026_Unlicensed_Professionals_Cate_and_Sam_Pt_2.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:00am PDT
Tue, 24 March 2015
Lingerie-clad vlogging comedians!
Cate Imperio and Sam Fairley have a NSFW weekly video series called "Unlicensed Professionals" in which they deliver a barrage of humor, criticism, pet peeves, and observation, all dressed in bra and panties and more (and sometimes less). A year in and they've got their weekly podcast down to a science, tackling
Their persistence has paid off and they're now frequent guests on Dr. Susan Block's Internet TV show, where they are up for damn near anything, but always with sarcastic humor and wit. They DGAF, as the kids say.
Here's a taster:
And here's their 100th episode!
I split this podcast into two parts, the first with Cate and the second with Sam (next week). It was an extra long discussion, and it was a nice dividing line, so be sure to check in next week. As you might guess the conversation is heavily explicit and contains many swears. Put in those earbuds!!
Topics discussed include:
Wed, 18 March 2015
Yarn bombin' artist, entrepreneur, and eternally curious man
Stephen Duneier is not the only Yarnbomber in existence, but he is the first to grab the domain name. "It was a way to deflect attention from myself," he explained in our talk.
For those who were hiking Santa Barbara trails in 2012, you might have heard of the tree or the boulder that was wrapped with yarn. And while Stephen Duneier isn't the first to do this, the photos of his work took off and suddenly people the world over were contacting him with their work, donating work, and more.
The man behind the yarn is equally fascinating. He's a former hedge fund manager who likes to challenge himself, give himself tasks, and learn everything. In this way, he kind of reminds me of people like Tim Ferris, who are obsessed with what they call these days "life hacking." But if you look back in history, you'll find a lot of these autodidacts, who tried to figure out how to learn things quickly, if not adequately. (Leonardo daVinci is one of the most famous.)
In this discussion we go back to 2001, where everything changed for him.
Topics discussed include:
Wed, 4 March 2015
Maria Rendón recently finished her Masters at UCSB and has a new show up at SBCC's Atkinson Gallery to prove it. Called "Missing Rib," it's a collection of her watery acrylic abstracts that float on the paper's surface, and offer ghostly shapes that recall Francis Bacon and maybe a little bit of David Lynch or Picabia. Influenced by the Mexican surrealists, she left Mexico City to study at the Art Center in Pasadena.
Topics discussed include
Meanwhile, I will be moderating the artist talk at MichaelKate, Friday, March 6, called "Psyched Out" where I'll be chatting with Deborah Lee Baker, Joaquin Howard, and Elmira Lilic.
Tue, 24 February 2015
Lead singer of alt-surf band Dante Elephante
Dante Elephante's first e.p. German Aquatics has been out since 2012, and it was this and relentless gigging that got Ruben Zarate and his band the chance to record a full album with Jonathan Rado of Foxygen. That album's in the bag, but the bad is searching for the right outlet to release it. During this limbo time, I sat down with Zarate and talked to him about growing up in Santa Barbara and Goleta and what it's like to be a Santa Barbara in a time where there's still very few places to play.
We recorded this podcast in my living room as his practice room was occupied. It turned out to be a super relaxed talk, and I hope you enjoy it.
Topics discussed include:
Meanwhile, I will be moderating the artist talk at MichaelKate, Friday, March 6, called "Psyched Out" where I'll be chatting with Deborah Lee Baker, Joaquin Howard, and Elmira Lilic.
Tue, 17 February 2015
Howdy folks, our last interview from our time at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival was with screenwriter Bruce Wagner, who was up in SB to talk after a screening of "Maps to the Stars," the new David Cronenberg film.
Icy and disturbing (but also with a hilarious audacity), the film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattison in a story of troubled and famous families in Hollywood. And it all comes from a script Mr. Wagner wrote many years ago.
Bruce Wagner has written novels, directed films, and was responsible for the ABC series "Wild Palms," but as you'll hear, he calls this film the apotheosis of everything he's done. The film comes out February 27, so ya better go check it. Here's a trailer:
Topics discussed include:
The film has an unofficial website. (I could not find an official one.)
Tue, 10 February 2015
USC Grad Sara Joe Wolansky brought her food truck documentary "Wheels: An American Dream" to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and that's where I ran into her. As I'm a bit of a foodie, I checked out the film asap and then asked her to be on the podcast.
Here's the trailer to the film:
Topics discussed include:
Fri, 6 February 2015
If you check out Andrew Napier's IMDB page you'll see that this director has done a lot of everything since following his filmmaking dreams from Wisconsin to Los Angeles. He's written, acted, operated cameras, worked as a director of photography, and just pitched in where he could. He produced the Oscar-winning short film "Curfew," directed by Shaun Christensen, and now delivers this insightful documentary, Mad as Hell, which observes the rise and rise of political junkie and talk show host Cenk Uygur as he goes from a right-wing college student to a left-wing MSNBC host.
The movie is released in theaters today, Feb. 6, and will be coming soon to DVD. Here's the trailer.
Topics discussed include:
Wed, 4 February 2015
Documentary director of "Grasshopper for Grandpa"
When Casey McGarry ran into Three Pickles owner Bob Lovejoy he knew little of Jimmy's Oriental Gardens and the history of Santa Barbara's Chinatown. But after learning the story of this famed watering hole, its closing in 2006 and it's beautiful resurrection, he paused the one doc he was editing and got this short doc together in time to submit it to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Photo by Lori Rielly
For those who loved Jimmy's and who love its new incarnation as the Pickle Room (essentially Jimmy's but with a legal reason not to use the name), this is the doc for you. And for those who don't, it will intrigue you and remind you maybe of your own favorite neighborhood bars. As we all disappear up our own social networking backsides, places like Jimmy's are precious.
Topics discussed include:
Fri, 30 January 2015
Howdy Funky Film Fest Lovin' Folks!
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2015 kicked off this week and I managed to score an interview with the director of opening night film "Desert Dancer" the true story of Afshin Gaffarian, the Iranian man who defied his government and set up an underground dance company. The film stars Reece Ritchie (as Gaffarian), Freida Pinto, and Tom Cullen and is Raymond's feature directing debut. It's a beautiful film made more lovely from the choreography by Akram Khan. It will be released stateside in April by Relativity Media.
Topics discussed include:
Thanks to Andrea Sumpter and Relativity Media for helping set this up.
Tue, 27 January 2015
Jillian McDonald got into horror movies later in life, but after working on video art pieces on Billy Bob Thornton and Brad Pitt, she turned her attention to zombies, just before the undead became "big." She plays with the narrative expectations of horror movies, either delaying, refusing, confusing, or inverting cliches.
Her current touring video installation Valley of the Deer comes from her extended stay at Glenfiddich's art residency program. (Yes, the distillery!) and features figures wearing animal masks looming menacingly in the misty, mystical landscape. Currently at SBCC's Atkinson Gallery, this three monitor, 48 minute piece is odd and hypnotic. It is accompanied in the gallery by her drawings of the film's characters. And by using the Layar app, at various locations around the gallery and certain locations in Santa Barbara, you can see the characters waiting for you in augmented reality.
Valley of the Deer's origins
Ms. McDonald was in Santa Barbara briefly to install and attend the premiere, and thanks to the Atkinson's Sarah Cunningham for setting up this interview. Being a horror film fan and a filmmaker, I had a great amount of fun in this interview.
Outside of Santa Barbara, the show is also on view right now at Montreal's Centre Clark through Feb 21, 2015. It will also be touring to Air Circulation in Buffalo, NY May 16 – June 22 and Waterloo, Ontario later in the year.
Her website is here
Tue, 20 January 2015
Abstract painter and former graphic artist (and hellion!)
Good day, funky peeps! For this episode I sat down in the spacious new studio digs of abstract artist Peggy Ferris, who turned from two decades of graphic design business to focusing on abstract art, both in the hard edge style and gestural abstraction.
In this chat we dug deep into her past and unearthed some groovy stuff.
Peggy's work can be found at her website.
She is currently showing as part of the Abstract 10 group show at MichaelKate Interiors.
Tue, 13 January 2015
Howdy everyfunkybody! On this week's podcast we check in with Crista Dix, who has run the Wall Space Gallery for 10 years, showcasing the best in contemporary photography. As you'll hear, her path to running a gallery was not the straightest of paths, with stops in the theater world and the National Parks Service.
Wall Space Gallery is located in the heart of the FunkZone, in the blocky concrete building that houses both Pali and Anacapa wineries. I have hosted an art talk there--that's when I met Sue Van Horsen for the first time.
For those of you who are photographers and want to hear what is in the mind of a gallery owner when they are looking through your portfolio, this episode is for you!
Topics discussed include:
Wall Space Gallery is here
Tue, 6 January 2015
That's the sound of David J. Diamant making another piece of his unmistakable art. The FunkZone fixture has been a tireless worker and a tireless self-promoter, but his enthusiasm is infectious. Whenever I talk with David, I get excited about art and possibilities and just want to get to work.
In 2013, he briefly joined my table when I was taking part with Jonathan Crow in MCA SB's 24 hour Dusk Til Drawn drawing marathon, and I got to see his technique up close. The pens came out and soon a piece has appeared out of the ether. His bold line and coloring makes his work pop out at various show openings around town, and recently he's been working on cityscapes, using wood and plexiglass to create multiple layers. During FunkZone events, if Diamant doesn't have a show inside a gallery, you can find him setting up shop on an available corner and selling art.
This was one of the first podcasts we recorded, but it's still a good one. Boom! Thanks to Skye Gwilliam for the use of his gallery space.
Tue, 30 December 2014
Today we sit down with a fixture of Santa Barbara's art scene, whether you've seen his brutal but cartoony canvases, gone to his annual Reindeer Art Show, know him for his early '80s band The Tan, or just met him around town.
As of September 2014, he became the head of the Santa Barbara Arts Fund, which helps place teens with mentors from printmaking to sculptors. Brad is a guy who thinks out of the box naturally, being raised by two artists, abstract expressionist Ken Nack and "naive" artist Joan Main. You'll see how he turns the entire interview into a statement of his art in the end...it's clever!
Object of Knowledge, a work by Ken Nack, Brad's father
Tue, 23 December 2014
On today's podcast I sit down with philosopher Tam Hunt to talk about Panpsychism, a school of thought that tries to collect science and spirituality together and find a common ground. When Tam's book "Eco, Ero, Eros" came past my desk I was intrigued for two reasons: he was taking the macro/micro ideas found in Buddhism and linking it to science in fascinating ways, and he had a few things to say about creativity...on a molecular level. I gave him a call and despite neither of us knowing each other, we set up an interview quickly. I hope you enjoy our chat and check out his book.
Topics discussed in this podcast:
I also asked Tam to recommend his top ten favorite books:
Mr. Hunt lives in Santa Barbara and runs Community Renewable Solutions LLC. Let me just cut and paste from his site: "Hunt is an attorney with substantial experience in California regulatory law and policy, specializing in renewable energy and energy efficiency policy. His regulatory work takes him to the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, the California Air Resources Board, and occasionally to Sacramento to watch sausage-making in action. He is also a Lecturer in climate change law and policy and renewable energy law and policy at UC Santa Barbara."
So, yeah, he's doing good work.
By the way, subscribers to the podcast now receive my weekly newsletter "Friday Document Dump" (guess when it comes out!). Blatantly borrowing an idea from another podcaster, I provide 10 links to things I found interesting this week, from essays to artist portfolios, videos and more. Look for it!!
Tue, 16 December 2014
Good day to you all, Funkee Homosapiens!
Dug Uyesaka has been making art in Santa Barbara since the '70s and trained under an impressive roster of instructors during his time at UCSB. A really swell guy to talk to, I've seen Dug out and about in SB since I started hanging around the wine-and-cheese peeps that congregate at art openings, and he's always got time to talk. So that made her perfect podcast invitation material. But because information about him is scant, I used this interview to really unearth his background, and by gum we did!
In this chat we go into a lot of Californian and American history, then wind up talking about art and teaching.
Topics discussed include:
Dug really doesn't have much of a web presence...maybe he'll ask one of his students to bash together a site for him. Hey, it's what we call extra credit in the teaching biz. In the meantime, here's his Facebook page.
Wed, 10 December 2014
Welcome back, Funky people!
Tue, 2 December 2014
Welcome back funkmeisters!
Tue, 25 November 2014
Welcome back funky peeps!
You can also follow me on Twitter
Subscribe to our show on iTunes (still working on this! Both iTunes and Libsyn have not been helpful!)
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Lastly, our theme tune is brought to you by Raw Vegan.
Tue, 18 November 2014
Welcome back Funk Zonerz!
This episode we sit down with beer and brewery columnist Sean Lewis, who not only writes a weekly column for the Santa Barbara News-Press, but has just released a book on microbreweries in America and the people behind the craft, called "We Make Beer" from St. Martin's Press.
I know that I like beer, but apart from that little else, so the book informed me a lot, as did this hour long chat about the writing of his book and Lewis' many thoughts on the craft, the industry, and his cross-country drive that led to his first book agent and deal. It's a chat that's guaranteed to make you thirsty! Santa Barbara has a lot of exciting breweries, and we talk about them too.
Topics discussed include:
* The end of Pabst Blue Ribbon's trendiness
Sean Lewis' book can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C8X0AR0?btkr=1
Tue, 11 November 2014
Welcome back Funketeers! It's hard enough in Santa Barbara to run one restaurant but restauranteur Alvarado Rojas ran up until recently three of Santa Barbara's funnest restaurants: Alcazar on the Mesa, Milk & Honey downtown, and the Bourbon Room out in "No-Leta" the area east of Goleta. The latter he just recently signed over to his partner. All three are warm, cozy gathering places with great cocktails and menus that bop between tapas, hearty main courses, and comfort food like pizza and hamburgers (at Bourbon Room especially.)
In this episode we sat down with Al to talk about his history of creating restaurants in Santa Barbara and his remarkable success rate. After the interview, Al made me a fan-freakin'-tastic duck carnitas slider as a thank you. I can't send that out to our listeners, but I can include his father's recipe for carnitas below.
* A rundown of Al’s current businesses
Tue, 4 November 2014
Howdy, FunkZone Podcast listeners! I'm really excited about this third episode because I got to have a sit down with the wild man of Santa Barbara art, Wallace Piatt. (Pronounced like Hyatt Hotels with a P).
Tue, 28 October 2014
Lindsey Ross began exploring old and alternative methods of photography at Brooks Institute and since then has gone on to focus of the wet collodion process. At the moment she is rockin' the FunkZone at La Chambre Photographique, where she creates modern portraits that look like they come from the mid 19th century. She joins a sub-culture of photographers who choose to leave behind digital and embrace old technologies.
Tue, 21 October 2014