The FunkZone Podcast with Ted Mills







October 2015
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Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Contemporary Art Curator

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.

You can follow the museum at and they're on Twitter and Instagram as sbmuseart

Artists mentioned:
Peter Halley
Yinka Shonibare
Charles Garabedian
Pacific Standard Time Show
Labor and Wait
Mark Rothko
Caspar David Friedrich
Dorothy Goldeen
Nam June Paik
Christo and Jeanne Claude
Adam Ross (Julie's husband)
Randy Summer
Francois Pinault
Josh Smith
Damien Hirst
Wim Delvoye
James Franco
Dave Hickey
Susan Larson
Stephen Greenblatt: Resonance and Wonder
Jean Baudrillard
Michel Foucault
William Gibson
Nathan Hayden
Eric Beltz
Keith Puccinelli
Dane Goodman
Joan Tanner
Hank Pitcher
Dan Connally
Richard Ross
Sommer Roman Sheffield
Robert Wechsler
Cayetano Ferrer

Direct download: 55_Episode_55_Julie_Joyce.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 7:58pm PDT

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.

Clouds over Eastern Mojave


saline valley palm springs death valley
Saline Valley, Palm Springs, Death Valley

And finally, here's the prop paper as it appeared in that movie:

Caption reads: "Lovely Mary picking the best of the crop for her friends. Mary also bakes the best pumpkin pies in our community." (Note it's the "Premiere Issue").

Artists and books mentioned in this interview:

Frank Romero
Robert Irwin
Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees
Kathleen Klein-Wakefield
Bruce Richard
Jeffrey Vallance's Blinky the Hen
Robin Vaccarino
The Wonder Valley Fight Song by I See Hawks in L.A.
Sue Greenwood Gallery
Darlene Campbell
William Wendt
Edgar Payne

Mary-Austin Klein's website is here. The Sullivan Goss exhibit is here. Her Facebook is here. And her Instagram is here.


Direct download: 54_054_Mary-Austin_Klein.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 5:52pm PDT

Jonathan fox
Executive Director of Ensemble Theatre Company, Santa Barbara's resident professional company.

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.

If you have not seen a show at The New Vic, you can check out Ensemble's current and upcoming seasons here. Or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram

Direct download: 53_Episode_053_Jonathan_Fox.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:12pm PDT


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.

Above: One of Mitchell's early video works, Cleavage.

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

Mitchell has a website here, and a Twitter and an Instagram.

Direct download: 52_Episode_052__Mitchell_Kriegman.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 5:14pm PDT

A live chat with painters Iben Vestergaard and Tom Post

Another successful Funk Zone Art Walk and another successful talk at MichaelKate!

Serious listening pose!!
Iben Vestergaard

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.) 

Vestergaard used a type of medium called silicate paint, which was not designed for painting canvases, but houses. She gets some very etherial looks from it, which need to be seen in person. They sort of glow.

Tom Post creates earthy abstracts that flirt wtih representation and--whether he knows it--speaks of his Texas upbringing. Post's pre-art career is interesting and briefly get into this.

Here are websites for all three artists:

Iben Vestergaard

Tom Post

Rosemarie Gebhart

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.

Direct download: 51_051_Live_at_MichaelKate_091815.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:31pm PDT

Los Angeles-based abstract painter and friend of Santa Barbara

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.

Magician's Hat

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!)

fragmented clown

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!

Direct download: 50_050_Liv_Zutphen.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 2:13am PDT

joe woodard, on 'roots on the rails' train, 1-15-11, 2  (photo, Peggy Grossman) (low res)
Santa Barbara's arts journalist and avant jazz guitarist


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.

joe mug (kim reierson)

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.


Direct download: 49_049_Joe_Woodard.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:51pm PDT

shelton plaza

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 Ablitt House

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.

Photo by Paul Wellman

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.

Direct download: 48_Episoe_048__Jeff_Shelton.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:02am PDT

phil and me
Philip and me in the shed!

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. 

monotype on Yupo

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.)

conte crayon on paper

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.)

pencil on paper

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.

montreal c. 1970
An example of Koplin's street photography: Montreal c. 1970

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.

Direct download: 47_047_Philip_Koplin.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:34pm PDT


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.

And!!! He also writes murder mysteries either under his own name of with his sister, under the name Lee Hollis.

This episode has more laughs per minute than a nitrous oxide factory, so please enjoy!

His website is here.


Direct download: 46_046_Rick_Copp.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:19pm PDT


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.



Direct download: 45_045_Giuliana_Mottin.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:24am PDT


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 NowHistoric 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!

historicsantabarbara    graffy_street

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.

Direct download: 44_044_Neal_Graffy.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:34am PDT

Nancy Gifford with her Lament Piece
Artist, art collector, art curator

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.
We agreed to sit down to continue a conversation we've been having over the last year about art in Santa Barbara and that turned into a biographical interview and that turned into other thoughts on art. It's a good, long chat.
Her site is here.

Direct download: 43_043_Nancy_Gifford.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 2:01am PDT

heleneschneider landscape

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.

The Mayor has her own City website here, and her Twitter is here.


Direct download: 42_042_Mayor_Helene_Schneider.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 7:06pm PDT

Artist, screenwriter, and author

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.


You can find Metrov in several places on the web: His webpage. His Vimeo Page. His Instagram. His Facebook.


Direct download: 41_041_DA_Metrov.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:27am PDT

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.

James Tutwiler

James Tutwiler lives in L.A. after retiring from the gallery world. He has this website but not much else. The above photo is the only one I could find of him, btw.

In Perfect Health
In Perfect Health

Kimberly Pratt

Kimberly Pratt
paints in acrylic but with other media, including resin, glass and metal. From her statement:
"My work is mixed media painted, mostly acrylic, though currently I am working to add digital paintings. The paintings are highly textural with deep cuts and multiple raised surfaces. I especially enjoy the "magic" aspects of kiln fired glass, of raku, and other similar media... where you work and then you watch things come into your work without personal intent."


Her website is here

Karen Zazon

Karen Zazon used to be known as Karen Pendergrass, just in case some people are looking for her under that name. She had many nudes and figure studies in the show:

Her website is here

Ambra Tesori


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.

Her website is here.

Direct download: 40_040_Live_at_Michael_Kate_07.03.15.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:16am PDT

(59) Profile Pictures

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:

Jill Sattler is a free-lance photodramatist and painter in Santa Barbara, California. She is an honor graduate of Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. As a portrait photographer she specializes in “atmospheric” photographs and special effects...Jill Sattler has had the privilege to photograph the internationally acclaimed ceramicist Beatrice Wood, Chantal of “Good Morning America” and her dog Mollie, actresses Sandy Duncan, Betty White, as well as Susan and Jeff Bridges, Christopher Reeve, and Santa Barbara writers Jane and Robert Easton...Her jewelry has appeared in Vanity Fair, Ladies’ Home Journal, Memories Magazine (front cover), Los Angeles Magazine, Santa Barbara Magazine, Montecito Magazine, Style 1900 Magazine, as well as the Los Angeles Times and other publications. Jill has the honor of having more than 100 of her photographs on permanent exhibit at UCLA Medical Arts Center in Los Angeles.

Halcyon. Oil on canvas.

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.

Blue Ridge. Oil on canvas.

You can check out her website here.

Here's a tiny photo of her house, because it's a really magical place:


Direct download: 39_039_Jill_Sattler.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:56pm PDT

The Santa Barbara singer-songwriter returns after 10 years with a brand new album.

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.

Check out her album on Spotify and (our favorite option) on BandCamp.

Her site is here.

Direct download: 38_038_Cory_Sipper.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:35pm PDT

Photo ©The Independent and most probably Paul Wellman

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.

Hugh playing tic-tac-toe with Dan Levin, who really needs to be on the podcast!!!

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.

Direct download: 37_037_Hugh_Margerum.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:35am PDT

Playwright and co-founder of Dramatic Women and ACCESS Theatre

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.

Direct download: 36_Ellen_K_Anderson.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:41pm PDT

Abstract painter and fine artist

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.

Her website is here.


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.

Direct download: 35_035_Julie_B_Montgomery.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 7:44pm PDT

Jeanne Dentzel

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:
Her journey into and out of abstract art
Her family and her home life growing up
The Rapala Lure
Nancy Carlson, her high school friend
Moving to New York and Williamsburg
Moving from painting into set design
Meeting Howie Deutch and working on "Pretty in Pink"
How she met her husband, David Dentzel, of the carousel family
"You don't need to be the starving artist"
The end of the mural economy
The curation of this show by Susan Tibbles

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:

Direct download: 34_034_Jeanne_Dentzel.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:55pm PDT

Creator of the Santa Barbara Arts Blog

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:
Why aren’t 1st Thursdays not that interesting at the moment?
On the other hand, then benefit of 1st Thursdays
Why he started the SB Arts Blog
The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative and the new Community Arts Workshop on Ortega St.
The 3 best things about art in Santa Barbara
That disappointing article on the FunkZone in the Times
Plans for the FunkZone
The 3 worst things about art in Santa Barbara
Do we have visionaries in town?
The mural on the side of the Indigo by Yunhee Min
Growing up in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and his early experience of art
Portland, OR and Brighton, UK
A detour to Burning Man and the Clandestine camp
(Here’s that building block work I mention)
Building up creative capital in Santa Barbara
How Nathan is *not* an artist
His favorite artists in Santa Barbara

Artists and curators mentioned:

Tanner Goldbeck
Joe Shea
Julie Joyce
Larry Feinberg
Karen Sinsheimer
Colin Fraser Gray
David Flores
David Hickey
Monsters of Folk
Allan Linder
Danny Meza
Inge Guzyte
Ethan Turpin and John Smith
Zacarias Paul
Ray Strong

Direct download: 33_033_Nathan_Vonk.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:37pm PDT

Photo by Kaori Funahashi
Photo by Kaori Funahashi

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.


The origins of the writing of the book
His writing career vs his writing degree
Getting his writing muscles retrained
Growing up in "wine country" when it was just "country"
The magic of agriculture
Is there a "type" of winemaker?
The Mountain Drive scene in the '60s
How vineyard living changed his "latitude"
His favorite wines (apart from Saucelito Canyon)
The pleasures and pitfalls of self-publishing

Buy The Mad Crush here.
The website is here too.

Direct download: 32_032_Sean_Christopher_Weir.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:15pm PDT

Live podcast with artists Clara Berta, Shelby Lynn Joyce, Amber Goldhammer, Kimberly Hahn

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

"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

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.

Amber Goldhammer

"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

"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

Index Card Still Life 01

Direct download: 31_031_Live_at_Michael_Kate.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 8:11pm PDT


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:
Her new syndicated show with Steve Traxler
The status of classic rock in Santa Barbara
J.R. Richards of DishwallaSoul Majestic
Her favorite rock band
Meeting David Crosby
Some stories about La Super Rica
Growing up in Santa Barbara
Her original name and where it came from
Her Mom's record collection
Her first 45 and album
Her first job…at a radio station
Her first husband Remi Aubuchon
Living in Las Vegas
Working for EAT'M music conference
The lifestyle difference between Las Vegas and Santa Barbara
Is there a playlist at KTYD and/or Clear Channel?
Why is Bob Marley the only reggae artist on KTYD?
A classic rock song even Lin is tired with
Problems with music venues in town
Will there be classic rock acts in the future?

Check out Lin's new syndicated show Under the Covers Radio and of course give props to KTYD


Direct download: 30_030_Lin_Aubuchon.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:16am PDT


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:
Dave Hickey's art critique and the current state of the art business
Government funding of the arts back in the day
The business of running an art gallery
How he quickly learned hard lessons when opening his first gallery
His "welcome" to Santa Barbara from the owner of the Earthling
What kind of people buy art generally, and who buys art in Santa Barbara
How Montecito views Santa Barbara
The crossover of the non-profit and profit gallery worlds
The art coming out of our colleges
Who can afford to make art and live as an artist
Frank's college background, and his dad's career in jet propulsion
His engineering background
A childhood memory of art and Rodin
The rise and fall of printmaking and selling
More ruminations on contemporary art
The taste of Santa Barbara and why we're still perplexed by abstract art
Will Santa Barbarans buy art made by Santa Barbarans in Santa Barbara?
Goss' favorite non-living Santa Barbara artists: Thomas Moran, Edward Potthast
Ray Strong and Sullivan Goss' Kickstarter
The future for art in Santa Barbara

You can find Sullivan Goss online, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Direct download: 29_029_Frank_Goss.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:08pm PDT

Lucky Penny Poets at "Indies First Storytime Day" in Santa Barbara


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:
What happens in Santa Barbara when you become a Poet Laureate
Working with youth in Santa Barbara
How rap has helped poetry
Tupak Shakur's The Rose that Grew from Concrete
A theory of creeks and young people
Her job at the New York Public Library and getting involved in the Civil Rights Movement
Where she was when MLK was assassinated and the play that came out of it
Where she learned poetry and what it took to get her to write her first mature poem
Nikki Giovanni
Her activist lineage
Her problems with Allen Ginsberg and her answer to Howl: "Black Street"
Her influences
William Stafford, her mentor
Quincy Troupe
Langston Hughes "A Negro Speaks of Rivers"
Her routines and how she writes

You can find some of her books here
And her Facebook is here

Direct download: 28_028_Sojourner_Kincaid_Rolle.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:41pm PDT


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:
A quick audio tour of just one room in O'Mahoney's place
"Progress" in the FunkZone
Growing up in Long Beach
His dad, Jacques O'Mahoney (The Range Rider, Yancy Derringer)
Lili St. Cyr
His Mom's modeling school
His first skateboard
The big evolutionary leap in skateboarding: 1974
Starting Skateboard Magazine, setting up the U.S. Skateboard Association
How Santa Barbara was the first venue for skateboard racing and freestyle
How David Frost led to the Signal Hill Speed Run
The first editorial board of Skateboard Magazine
Why did Santa Barbara birth skateboarding?
Mt. Baldy
The first wave of skate parks
Hangglider Magazine and his hanggliding accident
A brief story of the hangglider accident in Santa Barbara
How the USSA spread worldwide
The Signal Hill Speed Run
How Jim Fitzpatrick made skate parks viable again
Big Wheels and this video
Living in Mammoth and the first snowboards
How he got into collecting and antique store ownership
Moving to Santa Barbara
Starting the Surf Museum and the goodies inside
Traveling the world (twice) when he was a kid
His friendship with Jimmy Buffet
His skater friends
What rock stars actually skate?
The future of the FunkZone
What's his favorite object in his collection?
His role model

The Surf Museum is located at 16 Helena Ave. #C, Santa Barbara, CA
And online here.

Direct download: 27_Episode_27_Jim_OMahoney.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:01pm PDT


Continuing our chat with the lingerie-clad vlogging comedians!

Last week, we began our chat with Cate Imperio and Sam Fairley aka the brains and the bras behind "Unlicensed Professionals" their rude, nearly nude, and boundary pushing weekly video show.

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.

You can follow their exploits over at Electric SEX Enterprises on Vimeo.

Topics discussed include:

Sam’s story growing up in Tahoe and her family
A brief mention of Reno by way of Burning Man
The Reno zoo, which sounds really depressing
Sam’s Catholic School experience
How Sam got to Santa Barbara
Why male roommates are better than girls
All about scabies
Cate and Sam's dynamics
The DTease and how Cate wound up managing them
How the DTease may turn you into an erotic animal
Erotic awakening vs. UCSB's hookup culture
Crying 4 Kafka and how Cate and Sam got on Susan Block's show
Is it porn or is it art?
Going to the Adult Video Convention in Vegas and what they learned
Their AVN shwag
The upcoming year and new projects
Their boundaries and what they wouldn't do

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!!)

Find Unlicensed Professionals on the Web, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube


Direct download: 26_026_Unlicensed_Professionals_Cate_and_Sam_Pt_2.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:00am PDT


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
sex, sexuality, hyena mating, drawing with your butt, and other freaky topics like the Golden Globes.

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:

Unlicensed Professionals: 1 Year Anniversary Show from Electric SEX Enterprises on Vimeo.

And here's their 100th episode!

Unlicensed Professionals: 1 Year Anniversary Show from Electric SEX Enterprises on Vimeo.

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:
Their first podcast
The problem with dressing as a guy
How the two met
The weirdest reactions to their act
Making fun of gluten free trends
Cate growing up in Long Island
How she maneuvered Catholic School
Cate’s family history and long convoluted drug history
Her very brief time in New Orleans
Pot smoking in NYC compared to Santa Barbara
How Cate finally quit drugs
Her “Bjork Swan” phase

Find Unlicensed Professionals on the Web, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube

Direct download: 25_25_Cate_and_Sam_Unlicensed_Professionals.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:46pm PDT

The Yarnbomber at Lizard's Mouth in the Santa Ynez Mountains

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:
How the iPod changed Steve's life into "living life deliberately"
How Steve learned German intensively
Setting resolutions and being naturally curious
How to use peer pressure
Breaking through the mystique level
Learning racing under Skip Barber
Bija - the seed of future results
Breaking down your goals into small tasks
2007 - a year hiking every single trail in Santa Barbara
2009 - Reading 50 books in a year
Christopher McDougall's "Born to Run" and going barefoot
"Mindful hiking"
The best hiking trail in Santa Barbara
2012 - Learning 12 new things; and 12 charitable things
Learning unicylcing and then...knitting
Steve's first yarnbomb
Woza Moya from South Africa
Crochet Grenade
Being called an artist and what it means
How and why artists devalue themselves
How yarn bombing adds value
The future of the "Alien Campsite"
Growing up from Long Island to Florida to Santa Barbara
Where he learned his entrepreneurial spirit
His other life as a economic newsletter writer/former hedge fund manager
Plans for this year and beyond
"You need to produce" and how not to waste time

You can follow Yarnbomber on his site or his Facebook or his Twitter

Direct download: 24_024_The_Yarnbomber.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:20am PDT


A live version of the FZ podcast at the Psyched opening

Howdy folks! Having presided over a few art talks recently at MichaelKate Interiors--a swanky furniture store in the heart of the FunkZone that also puts on art shows--I asked to turn the last one into a live podcast. The intro you hear is the usual, but the recording happened Friday, March 6, 2015 at the store, sitting on comfy couches with the three artists in the show: Deborah Lee Baker, Joaquin Howard, and Elmira Lilic.

The show, "Psyched" was curated by Jess Hinds, who, like Ms. Lilic is/was a model, and that's how they met. All three artists are from L.A., and are tied to Ms. Lilic in a professional way...working in the same building. That's how it happens, folks! One day you're checking mail in the break room and the next you are hanging your work 90 minutes to the north.

Here's a brief bio/description of each artist, but for the full deal, listen to the podcast!

lilic 2 lilic

Elmiria Lilic works at the non-profit Playground of Dreams, paints and sells her cards on Etsy.

dlbaker  dlbaker2

Deborah Lee Baker has a PhD in Counseling Psychology and you can check out her paintings here.

howard  unnamed

Joaquin Howard is a painter, songwriter, novelist, chef, photographer, actor, podcaster, jewelry maker and other things as well. He has a site here and a Soundcloud and Instagram.

Direct download: 23_023_Live_at_MichaelKate_March_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:57pm PDT

Fine artist and former graphic designer

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
Missing Rib - the new show and the reference
Working with watery acrylic
That fine line beyond representational art
What to do with people's interpretations
Her childhood as a young existentialist
The influence of Remedios Varo
Her transition to graphic designer, "a thinking illustrator"
What's the division between graphic design and fine art?
The process of unlearning and turning off parts of the mind
Her working process
"I'm always in the middle of something"

Other people and things mentioned
Matt Mahurin
Phil Hayes
Dwight Harmon
Joel Nakamura
Gilles Deleuze on Francis Bacon
Nicola Tyson
Félix González-Torres

Missing Rib is up through March 27, 2015, at the Atkinson Gallery.

She has a website here and her graphic design work is here.

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.

Direct download: 22_Maria_Rendon.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:08am PDT


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:
Listening to the new album and what they listened to when recording
Growing up in Santa Barbara and Goleta
His first riff and his first band
The IV scene: Hairbrain Scheme, Springtime is Wartime, OSO
What playing football taught or did not teach him
"Everybody in Dante is into sports" and why that's rare-ish
The benefits of getting your band from Craigslist
Music influences
The problems of playing around Santa Barbara and IV
The origin of the band name
What he writes and about where (hint: carbon monoxide)
The recording of the first e.p.
Touring and songwriting for others
Lessons learned from booking your own tour
How social media is working for the band
Ruben's favorite albums
Geekin' out about Warbler Records

Dante Elephante will be opening for Gardens & Villa at SOhO on April 2.
(We hope to get them on the podcast soon!).

Go buy Dante Elephante's music here and join their Facebook here.
Also they have a Twitter.

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.

Direct download: 21_021_Ruben_Zarate.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:54pm PDT

bruce wagner
Novelist and screenwriter of David Cronenberg's new film Maps to the Stars
(Photo by Ricardo DeAratanha from the LA Times)

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:
Maps to the Stars festival path
Bruce's relationship with David Cronenberg
How the movie is not a satire on Hollywood
Fire and water as symbols in the film
"My books are all about extremes."
Looking for love in all the wrong places
Buddhism and the problem of fame
Amending Andy Warhol's "15 minutes" quote
ISIS, pride and terrorism
How Cronenberg is a "writer's dream"
What Cronenberg added to the script and the amazing casting
The history of the Paul Eluard poem used in the film
How writers can't escape certain ideas through their career

The film has an unofficial website. (I could not find an official one.)

Direct download: 20_20_Bruce_Wagner_1.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 8:51pm PDT

sara joe headshot
Documentary filmmaker and food truck aficianado

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:

Wheels: An American Dream Trailer from Sara Joe Wolansky on Vimeo.

Topics discussed include:
Have we reached peak Food Truck?
Are Food Trucks a "white people" thing?
Mariscos Jalisco
Wolanksy's resume, including USC and Harvard
Finding subjects through Kickstarter
Farmer's Belly
Her crew and how few you need to shoot
Favors are the currency at USC
Finding Lawrence Fama from Tapa Boy Truck
Why to never start a foodtruck in the fall
A critique of Chef and foodtruck reality vs. Hollywood
Stalking Roy Choi of Kogi Truck
Are food trucks a L.A. tradition?
Are there British food trucks?
What would Sara Joe's food truck be like?
The food truck porn shoot

Films and trucks mentioned in passing:
Montage of Heck
The Queen of Versailles
Real Girl's Kitchen
Vchos Truck
Cousins Maine Lobster
Steel City Sandwich
Flying Pig Cafe

Direct download: 19_019_Sara_Joe_Wolansky.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 7:47pm PDT

Documentary director and former Young Turk Andrew Napier

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.

You can also buy it on iTunes!

Topics discussed include:
A quick history of Cenk Uygur, the birth of online video and the YouTube revolution
Andrew Napier's life in Mauston, Wisconsin
His first movie at 8 years old: "Sledge"
How documentary filmmaking is like solving a puzzle
Leaving UW Madison and coming to L.A.
Meeting Tarantino and P.A.'ing on Inglorious Basterds, and a few anecdotes about DiCaprio
Getting on the Young Turks and creating his own job position
How people not believing in you can sometimes be helpful
What he learned from working at MSNBC and corporate news
What happens when you criticize the system
The amount of footage Napier got to work with in the editing room
The infamous "shut up" footage
Cenk Uygur's "three acts"
"Liberals can be douchebags too"
Sports and the history of the ball--Napier's upcoming doc "Bounce"
How football mirrors Manifest Destiny
Want to become an expert? Make a documentary
What to expect in the Mad As Hell DVD release
Napier's full plate, but how working on other films helps objectivity
Cenk Ugyer's feedback on the film, and what he criticized

Andrew Napier is on Twitter and on Vimeo

Direct download: 18_018_Andrew_Napier.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 4:56pm PDT

CaseyMcGarry-2 copy

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.
"Grasshopper for Grandpa" plays Feb. 5 an 6, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido as part of SBIFF's Short Santa Barbara Docs sidebar.

Topics discussed include:
How Casey got involved with the story of Jimmy's
The disappearance of neighborhood bars and possible reasons
Meeting the main players, Bob Lovejoy of Three Pickles, the Chung family, and Willie the bartender
shaping the documentary in editing and landing jazz man Nate Birkey
Remodeling the bar
Scenes that are missing from the documentary
Jimmy's at the Historical Trust
Casey's film and music background
His first film, a skate film
His "embarrassing" second film
His current documentary on his father's jam band and putting aside dreams
His favorite films including In a Dream

Direct download: 17_Episode_017_Casey_McGarrey.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:14am PDT

Director of "Desert Dancer"

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.
We sat down for a chat at the El Encanto hotel in a private room full of wine and Dom Perignon (we didn't drink any, thanks!)

Topics discussed include:
The quick Desert Dancer pitch
How producing a film can also prep you for directing a film
Bringing Philip Ridley back out of retirement
How avoiding the British Gas Board led to a job in cinema in Pinewood Studios
Richard's early homemade movies
Working with Richard Attenborough and Anthony Hopkins on Shadowlands
Working with Jon Croker on the script and meeting Afshin Ghaffarian
How instinct works better than storyboarding and blocking
His loathing for shooting on digital and how film increases the stakes
Shooting in Morocco and Paris and London
Getting extras from Twitter
Working with Akram Khan and how Khan's own story mirrors the film's message
Ideas about capturing dance on film
Landing Reese Ritchie for the lead role
Shooting a test film in Jordan and a tale of intolerance
The Sisyphean struggle of making a film
How funding came from a former Russian dancer and Florida's
Richard's next film, Freetown and the story of David Richards
Keeping Sierra Leone on the radar after ebola

The trailer for Desert Dancer

Thanks to Andrea Sumpter and Relativity Media for helping set this up.

Direct download: 16_Episode_016_Richard_Raymond.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:34pm PDT

Glenfiddich-Artists in Residence-2012-JillianMacDonald-valley-of-the-deer-still-4-001
Multi-media artist and horror film fan

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.

Topics discussed:

Valley of the Deer's origins
The best length for video art
Working with the Layar app
The non-influence of You're Next
The influence of Scottish legends
Justin Bieber, and the cutlure of awareness
Narrative structure of post-'80s horror
Growing up in Edmonton and living in Winnipeg
Winnipeg's Gothic sensibility
Reading Stephen King novels as a kid
A very scary-sounding babysitter job
Turning to art in high school
How storage space can determine the art you make
One of her early New York works involving clothing
Her "zombie makeup" piece
Why zombies are the most horrific mythology
"Field of the Dead" and "The Scream" and "Zombie Loop"
Slow zombies > fast zombies
Horror movies in the cinema vs at home
The Walking Dead comic vs. TV show
Future work, turning away from monsters
The Blair Witch Project
Primal horror in the woods and her live performance in Sweden
Lilith Performance Studio
Haunted houses and paying to be kidnapped
Dressing up as a zombie
Would she ever make a feature

Films referenced:
You're Next
The Wicker Man
Kill List
A Field in England
The Shining
Night of the Living Dead
Wolf Creek
Children of the Corn
The Blair Witch Project


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.


Valley of the Deer is up through February 20, 2015 and admission is free.

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.

Valley of the Deer from Jillian McDonald on Vimeo.

Her website is here

Direct download: 15_Episode_015_Jillian_McDonald.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 2:56pm PDT

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 2.30.32 PM

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.

Topics include:
Peggy's new studio
How she starts (and finishes) a series
Her time at Art Center Pasadena and at the Royal Academy at the Hague
Being the only American at the Royal Academy
Living with Transcendental Meditators
Meditation as "recovery" from making art
Holland's policy of paying artists
The influence of pop artist Richard Smith
Working in Graphic Design and dealing with clients
Peggy Ferris' father's wanderlust and living in Long Island as a kid
Coming back to West Hollywood and becoming a "hellion"
Her time at UCSB
How a Wacom tablet and a tennis injury got her back into fine art
Adjusting her expectations to the reality of being an artist
How Santa Barbara is not a great town to sell art, but a great town for the artist lifestyle
The beginning of the Abstract 10
The next series?


Peggy's work can be found at her website.

She is currently showing as part of the Abstract 10 group show at MichaelKate Interiors.


Direct download: 14_014_Peggy_Ferris.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:23pm PDT

Owner and curator of Wall Space Gallery

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:
How a degree in geology led to photography
Working at Glazer's Camera in Seattle
Being the first Democrat in her family and life "behind the Orange Curtain"
Growing up in theater
Life in San Francisco in the early '80s and a list of bands Crista saw (so jealous!!)
Becoming an earthquake chaser and loving "road cuts"
Giving up photography to curate photographers
Opening the gallery in 2005
How portfolio reviews are like speed-dating
Portfolio review techniques
The cusp of the digital revolution
Moving to Santa Barbara and then to the Funk Zone
Where Santa Barbara photographers fit into WallSpace's mission
Straddling commercial and art photography
How to figure out where you fit in the world of photography
The necessity of an artist statement
The necessity of naming your influences

Artists mentioned include:
Louviere and Vanessa
Alex Prager
Rineke Dijkstra
Mitch Dobrowner
Deborah Bay
Charles Grogg
Maxine Helfman
Barbara Parmet
Christa Blackwood

Wall Space Gallery is here

Direct download: Episode_13_Crista_Dix.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:23pm PDT

Photo by David Pricco


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.


David’s family tree
How being positive is a conscious decision
Influences: Scott Anderson and Dan Longfellow
“Self-directed work teams” and corporate consulting
"Capitalism is awesome"
Getting the most out of Santa Barbara
Where David’s style came from
Waiting for the Muse
MCA SB’s 24 Drawing Marathon and Jonathan Crow’s Veeptopus
Why doing a series is important
Growing up in Montecito and Tony Askew
Singing in Canticle and how Phyllis Zimmerman influenced his art
Communication theory and how it pertains to art
Simple advice for the artist
Why bartending is the best job in the world
Thoughts on the FunkZone
The new plexiglass work

david j diamant nagatemple7web

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.

David has a website here and a YouTube account here.

A little video that shows David's art and others in the FunkZone.

Direct download: 012_David_J_Diamant.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:20pm PDT