Monday, December 31, 2007

Sprinkled with Almonds

Marc Almond has put up a couple of new tracks on his MySpace website. One in particular which I like is Smoke and Mirrors. An electro-disco track which will be released by the band Starcluster on January 14th. It might be available on iTunes. Doesn't state. The two other tracks will be released by Punx Soundcheck (Saint Now) which he's previously done work with and a track for a tribute album for the film maker Kenneth Anger (The Devil in Disguise). More to come as Marc will start work on his new album to be released in 2009. More info on his official website.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 in doodles

Back in June, I started posting some doodles that I'd been making with those yellow post-it pads. I found myself from time to time just doodling around at my desk and I decided to just put them up. I got some nice responses, so I figured I'd make it a regular thing. So for Inspire Me Thursday's prompt, I'm putting up a collection of them. Thanks for checking it out and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays. Enjoy the yule log!

I wanted to share a gift with you that a dear friend of mine got for me. It's called "COSMOS - A FIELD GUIDE." by Giles Sparrow. I love it! It's a giant book of the most fascinating pictures and descriptions of every object in our universe. So far as we have been able to photograph. Stars, galaxies, planets, etc. Perfect for coffee table, so I should get a coffee table. In fact, the book is so big, if it had legs, it would BE a coffee table. Where's Kramer when you need him?


I cast on today to work on yet another hat from the book 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. This time I chose the "Lattice Basket Cap." Worked in the same fashion as "In Between Seasons Cap" where you knit up the band for 20", seam it and then pick up stitches to work the crown. I'm just about to decrease for the crown. It's working up nicely with Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Worsted in color Prairie Fire. The hat will go to the Shining Star who gave me the book mentioned above for Christmas along with the previous cap I finished.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Between Seasons Cap - Done.

I just finished the cap. I'm pleased with it. But, I don't know if it's me or the instructions were wrong, left and right twist stitches seem to all lean to the right. Eh.. I won't mention it to the recipient, maybe she won't notice. :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My yoga

I'm currently working on making a hat for a friend from a book I recently purchased while at Border's the other day. 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. They are mostly accessories which usually take just one skein to make anyway so it's basically a book of patterns for socks, mittens, hats and baby items and the like. So I decided on the "Between Seasons Hat" pattern which wants you to knit the cable band first, seam it and then pick up stitches for the rest of the hat. So far, I've finished the band. I'm making mine out of Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece on size 6 needles.

I've also finished up a pair of toasty socks to wear around the apartment. They are knitted tightly on size 3 needles to make it wear longer. They're great in Paton's Classic Worsted Weight wool.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our favorite 80s duo return!

The fantastic 80s music will never die. And one of the best 80s duos of all time are returning with their re-issues of their only two albums, Upstairs at Eric's and You and Me Both. Under their original name of Yazoo. Not sure if Sideline is 100% on their report of them actually touring, but it will be a total kick in the rubber parts if they do tour!

There's not much on their site right now, but you can check out their MySpace page. The link can be found at their site. I'm sure that anyone in their 30s and 40s that hit the clubs back in the 80s danced their asses off to such great dance tracks as Don't Go and Situation. I think we were all pretty lucky that we were just the right age to enjoy all this music when it was new. Not only the synth only bands, but also some really great guitar and mixed bands like New Order.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Siouxsie Live on Jools.

Siouxsie is making her rounds with the release of her new album Mantaray. I really love this album and here's a little taste of some YouTube finds of her recent appearance on Later With Jools Holland, which is pretty cool Brit. show (if your favorite artist is on). She looks flawless!

Here she's performing the classic Banshees, Spellbound.

Interview with Jools.

Into A Swan from the same show.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dragon Scales ATC

It looks like dragon scales to me. So that's what I'll call this piece.

Recently I went to the art store and saw watercolor postcards so I figured this would be great to make Artist Trading Cards. So I took out my watercolor set today and brushed away on the background colors and took out my sharpie and made the scales. This will be going out to Steve over at Go Flying Turtle. I had stated previously that I was going to send him an ATC for trade based on the doodles that I was doing. Sorry it took so long!

This was the inspiration from a previous post it.

I thought about blacking in like above. But the way the background colors were showing through looked pretty cool so I didn't.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Post-It Doodles No. 9 and wintery goodness

Doodles! And in color. I usually go with a black Sharpie, but I wanted to use red & blue today.

I'm enjoying the wintery coolness already. I don't know what it is about the cold that makes me feel more alive than in the heat. The heat just exhausts me and I'm always irritated and annoyed by it. But in winter, there's something about having to keep yourself warm. It's comforting to me. Warm beverages, woolly socks and the hissing of the radiator. Waking up to the sounds of snow shoveling (my delight but not the shoveler). Also, the silence that the snow brings during the evening hours. Did you too hear angel choirs while reading this? Speaking of which, I shall be at a church tonight listening to a friend who is in one of those GLBT choirs.

Another old winter friend is usually hovering over us in the clear evening sky. It's name is Orion and is very prominent in the winter sky. A favorite among sky watchers. It is named Orion The Hunter but has also many other names by many other cultures. It looks kind of like an hourglass with a belt in the middle (the three stars). It is said, the three pyramids of ancient Egypt were modeled after Orion's belt. A good binocular can reveal many things within. I no longer have a telescope and NYC has too many lights to observe. But there are many deep sky objects to be found in Orion's constellation. Namely the Horsehead Nebula (pictured).

Anyway, I've linked to the wiki page so you can read up all about it.

Wintery melodies (80s off course). They are not winter themed songs but they always remind me of winter.

Ultravox - White China
The Armoury Show - Castles in Spain
Echo & The Bunnymen - Seven Seas
Visage - Mind of a Toy
Duran Duran - Planet Earth
Eurythmics - 1984
Depeche Mode - Master & Servant
The Cure - Let's Go To Bed
Depeche Mode - the "Black Celebration" album
Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas
Howard Jones (HoJo) - What Is Love
Erasure - Crackers International (Ok this is winter themed!)

Not so 80s...

Erasure - Breath of Life
Pet Shop Boys - The "Very" Album
Several clubsy songs and all that techno craziness during the early 90s.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

V on Ice

This picture was from about two years ago. But it's where I ended up last night with a couple of friends. Yesterday was one of those days where you leave the apartment during the early hours and not come back till after midnight. I started by going to the theater to see a friend perform on stage at a kid's show which was OK. I mean it was for kids but fun to watch all the same. My friend did quite well. We sat through it twice! Two hour show each.

Between shows, we went for a quick bite. After the second showing, we headed uptown to a friend's apartment and then headed for some Italian food. Nice place, can't remember the name but will come back to whenever in the area.

After dinner, we took a cab over to central park and headed for the ice skating rink. At first, I thought about how much a fool I was going to make of myself cause I've never ice skated before. And I didn't want to embarrass my friends either. But I went anyway and guess what? I only fell once! I started off pretty slow and kept near the wall of the rink but I was able to glide along most of the time. It was when my friend held my hand and we headed off near the center of the rink that I took that fall. The other thing is that the skates do not come in 1/2 sizes and even going up a size, the skates seem to be pretty tight. I have wide feet. So if I'm ever to skate again and feel comfortable, I'd have to buy my own skates. Well, I tried something new and after taking pictures of people skating, I can say that I have actually done it. So after the skating, we went over to a coffee shop to meet a couple of friends and hung out there for a while then headed home.

And I finished the scarf! Since the fabric came out pretty thick and it's kind of wide, I didn't feel it necessary to make it so long. Just long enough to wrap around the neck once.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Bourgeoisie and The Rebel

While at Dan's blog, I came across this meme and thought about doing it, since it's about music I think it would be fun to do. No tagging here. So I hope you like.

1. What is the first music album you remember owning?

I think it was The Sound of Music. As a child, I really liked the songs and I remember my father giving me a tape of the album which I remember listening to a lot.

2. If not the same, what is the first music album you purchased for yourself?

Definitely Blondie's Parallel Lines. I think I was 12 years old at the time and it was right around the time their Eat To The Beat album was coming out. This was the beginning of my obsession with all things Deborah. Ever since the first time I saw her on Solid Gold 79. And it wasn't a live appearance or anything. It was the video to Heart of Glass. I was transfixed on her beauty and voice. I think Blondie was at No. 10 with HOG and Rod Stewart winning the No. 1 song with Do Ya Think I'm Sexy.

3. What artist currently occupies the most space either in terms of shelf space or megabytes on your hard drive?

I think maybe there are three artists fighting for the top one in this category. It's either Depeche Mode, The Smiths/Morrissey or Soft Cell/Marc Almond. I can't say which but all three take quite a bit of space.

4. How many different types of music media (vinyl, cassette, CD, etc) have you owned in your lifetime?

I had quite a collection of vinyl during my time. During the time of the walkman, I even would purchase tapes of vinyls I already had so that I would have a perfect copy for my walkman instead of a second generation recording of the vinyl. Even when CDs were beginning to dominate, I still purchased vinyls. Way into the mid 90s - until I had no choice but to switch all to CDs. But now, not a lot of the precious vinyl recordings have made it into CD land so thanks to the interweb and those wonderful bloggers who take the time to convert some of their vinyls to mp3s so that we can enjoy them again. If I had all my vinyl with me, I'd be doing the same.

5. Who or what has had the biggest effect on your music taste?

What I heard growing up at home is exactly the opposite of what my taste in music was/is. I mean, I grew up with the sounds of Pink Floyd, The Doors, heavy metal music, southern and classic rock. AC DC, Led Zeppelin, The Who and the like. Sometimes there would be a little something like The Clash or The Ramones and David Bowie but not much to completely effect my taste in music. I had no influence from anyone over the music I chose to listen to. It was completely mine. And I didn't have any friends either so there weren't any to effect me. I started out with Blondie and then went into New Wave, New Romantic, mostly Brit Pop. I think I became more open minded this way and to this day my music taste varies so widely. To the point that some people are rather surprised that I would listen to some type of artist and another so completely different from the other.

6. How do you currently prefer to listen to music?

I am most comfortable listening to my music by headphones alone. When I lived at home, I couldn't listen to my music through loudspeakers because of the prejudice over the music I listened to. It was almost shameful in a way! Like I was listening to forbidden music. So I had to keep it to myself and wear my headphones throughout. I usually had to make tapes of the vinyls and listen to my music through the walkman or tape player through headphones. I really wasn't allowed to use the stereo system for a long time! So these days, it's just my headphones either connected to my iPod or computer.

7. In terms of music memorabilia, what is your most prized possession?

I have quite a few vinyls that I think are collectible. Some special 7" releases like Marc Almond's Tears Run Rings single which came in a box with two post cards and a badge.

Once after an Erasure concert I ran to meet Vince Clarke who autographed my Circus record. And I have an autographed Siouxsie & The Banshees album. And just recently, my friend over at Middle Eight sent my a 7" vinyl promotional single of Siouxsie's Into A Swan which I will consider a collectible! Thanks, XO!

8. Have you ever “swapped headsets” with a complete stranger (meaning have you ever unplugged the earphones from your listening device and plugged them into someone else’s player and had them do the same)? If yes, what did they play for you?


9. Have you ever been completely obsessed with a particular artist? Who and to what level did your fandom go?

As I wrote before I was completely obsessed with all things Debbie Harry. So I would get my hands on any magazine or any article that had Debbie in it. By the time I got around to writing a letter and joining a fan club, the letter was sent back because the club was no longer in operation. Oh well. But during my second wave, I was obsessed with anything Depeche Mode. I always impatiently waited for the next single or album to come out by them. And I think at 18, spending $40 on a bootleg of one of their concerts on vinyl is something only an obsessed fan would do.

10. What is the farthest you’ve ever traveled for a concert?

During the 90s a friend of mine who had moved to Georgia once called to tell me that Depeche Mode was coming to play there and that if he bought a ticket, would I come to see it with him? Hell yes! I went and saw them there in Atlanta during the Violator tour. They were playing in a new venue, I forget what it was called but it was a great show. And I remember it was a double whammy cause Nitzer Ebb was opening the show. I had a pretty good time in Atlanta that time and seeing DM there with my friend topped it big time.

11. Who have you seen in concert the most?

Hands down, it would have to be Depeche Mode. I have seen all their shows since they began touring the States. Since 1985 and still going!

If you happen to do this meme, please let me know. I'd love to check it out.

Friday, November 23, 2007

My So Called Scarf

So I'm making a scarf.
More like Your So Called Scarf.
It's *not* for me. So I'm hoping the recipient will like it. It's very soft and fluffy. Will definitely keep you warm and has a generous width. The yarn is from Paton's called SWS. Which stands for Soy Wool Stripes. Very cushy, fuzzy and soft. Knit on size 11 needles.

the title is actually the name of a free pattern which can be found on this blog.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Wonder of You

Just thought I'd share this with you.

Take care.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Post-it Doodles No. 8

Randomy thingies

You know, I really had such high hopes in Dave's new album "Hourglass." After hearing Kingdom, I was all hyped-up for a nice pseudo Depeche Mode album. But I think I'm in the majority when I say that the album has only 3 good tracks that deserve mention. Saw Something, Kingdom and maybe for some Deeper & Deeper.

I can't believe it's already November. May the gods of the universe stop the time so I can just catch up. I'm just a country mile behind the rest of the world.

Can things get any more dramatic? I'm keeping quiet so as not to disturb the flow of Positive Thinking that so many are fond of (but in reality doesn't really work). Oh what a horrible thing to say on such a day as Friday. And it's only noon.

It's kind of insane at the moment. But no complaints or anything. The holidays are fast approaching and there's much to complain then.

I've been wanting to do some art work and some music, but no muse whatsoever. And I had bought so many supplies during summer convinced that I was going make it flow. But I just can't force it. As for the music, well my keyboard isn't working properly. I have to find a place that can repair Roland synths. Some of the keys are not making sounds and the button for changing patches is not working. Like I have to press it many times to get to the next patch. So I'm getting pretty discouraged. I like the Roland sounds, but I may just get one of those 25 key controllers by M-Audio or something. They've got some nice ones

Like this one:

The good thing with this one as with many keyboard controllers is that you can assign drum samples to the pads (or any sample actually). This sells for under $200. What do you think? It's perfect if you don't want to use a lot of space. You can have your laptop (containing your favorite DAW, like Live or Logic) on your desk and sit the controller either in front or next to it and voila! a Studio.
Well, that's all I got for now. Time for lunch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Live from the Frankenstein Ballroom - Morrissey 10/23/07

Actually, more like Hammerstein Ballroom. But you know Morrissey. And why am I using the famous "Salford Lads" picture instead of something more current from Moz? Because if you had bought the "Queen is Dead" album which had a gatefold sleeve, and opened it up, you would see this same picture. The same album containing the picture which contained the single "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" which he performed last night to the delight of many an old Smiths fans. One song in particular "Stretch Out And Wait" had transformed me back to those days in the mid 80s. A young V not going to school, but dreaming on the streets of New York City, walking in the rain listening to said songs.

As one commenter (Macker) stated taken from the Brooklyn Vegan Site:

"Being at a Morrissey concert is like playing 'this is your life' - each song brings me back to a specific time in my life and last night it was fun to go back to being 16... "

Other Smiths songs included:

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
Death Of A Disco Dancer
How Soon Is Now?

Early Moz solo fans would have enjoyed:

The Loop
Sister, I'm a Poet
Billy Budd
Jack The Ripper
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?

And most recent ones:

Iris Blood, English Heart
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
First Of The Gang To Die

And the only song he sang from Ringleader: Dear God, Please Help Me

New York Dolls Cover: Human Being

New Songs: All You Need Is Me, I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris, That's How People Grow Up, One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell.

It would have been ideal for me to just give you the one setlist, but this isn't an ideal world.

And would you believe I was not about to go to this show? I got up yesterday morning and felt the beginning of headaches and figured it was going to last me the whole day. The mood shifted to me not wanting to take part in this show. I reasoned that I had seen Morrissey in Atlantic City only a few months ago. But an exchange of E-mails from one Celibate to another convinced me that I should indeed go. I'm so glad I did. The setlist was entirely different from the one in Atlantic City so it felt like a completely new show. The audience was better and so was the venue. As always, Moz shows get so much more exciting towards the end of the show as die-hard fans try to outmanoeuvre the security guards and try to make it on stage. I always want to cheer them on. You can't beat all this entertainment for just under $25.

Here are pictures of the show from some Flckr site.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Devenir gris

Midge Ure singing his version of Fade to Grey live in 2002.
Interesting to note that this tune was written by Billie Curie at a time when he was with the Gary Numan band. I wonder how it would have sounded like if Gary sang it. But it ended up on the debut Visage album sung by Steve Strange. I think it's one of those timeless classics that screams London of the early 80s.

I don't know whatever happened to the new Visage that was supposed to starting making some new music. But there is a page at MySpace of Visage MarkII (badly put together). There you can hear the new version of Fade to Grey which is nicely done.

Original video:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Before nightfall

"we should be drenched in wonders, but still we should have wonder left for the thing my companion, with his scientific training, would no doubt be the first to see. He would glance up, with that proprietary eye of the man who knows his constellations down to the little Greek letters. I imagine his exclamation. He would at first doubt his eyes. I should inquire the cause of his consternation, and it would be hard to explain. He would ask me with a certain singularity of manner for "Orion," and I should not find him; for the Great Bear, and it would have vanished. "Where?" I should ask, and "where?" seeking among that scattered starriness, and slowly I should acquire the wonder that possessed him.

Then, for the first time, perhaps, we should realise from this unfamiliar heaven that not the world had changed, but ourselves - that we had come into the uttermost deeps of space."

HG Wells - "A Modern Utopia"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Day at the MET - Warning lots of pictures

It's been a while since I've been at the MET. So I took some time off to catch up and see some art. Here are some pictures. Seems like the pictures taken at higher resolution do not seem to come out well. So here are some that I think came out OK. The Rembrandt galleries were excellent! But they didn't allow any picture taking at those galleries. Most of these are Greek, Roman, Medieval and Pop.