Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bill's last night...

Bassist Bill Keefe (of the Vibro Champs) is leaving the Twin Cities -- packing up and moving to Switzerland. He played his last gig at Lee's last night -- with the Al Subola Quartet. A good crowd was there to give Bill a solid send off -- and to celebrate bartender George's birthday! I must admit that these aren't the greatest pictures, but they're what I got....

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Return of life drawing....

Another Monday night session -- male model this time. I'd drawn this fellow before at a life drawing co-op I used to attend a few years back. Here are my one minute gestures and a twenty minute pose.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Even more life drawing

Another Monday night session at MCAD. Repeat of the model from a couple weeks ago. These are pencil on newsprint -- 5 and 15 minute sketches.

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Andy's Automatics

Here's one great roots country band -- Andy's Automatics -- straight out of Osh Kosh. I make sure to see them any time they come to town -- and give them my highest recommendation. These pics are from a recent gig at the Narrows North. Check out some music samples here:

Convergence / Hot Rod Hearse

My pal (and Batman collaborator) Chris Jones helps run a Twin Cities-based science fiction convention called Convergence -- and produces a huge amount of art for the event. Here's a shot of just one banner featuring "Connie," the mascot of the show.

One of my favorite local bands played the opening night dance -- here's Hot Rod Hearse rockin' the house. Sorry I didn't get any decent pics of the big fleshy headed monsters who were sometimes roaming around on stage during the performance!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Beatty's Miniature Sideshow and Odditorium: part one

I'm in the process of sculpting a series of carnival sideshow figures -- human "freaks" and "gaffed" display items. Here are pictures of the prototype sculptures - done in polymer clay and Castilene (sculpting wax). Figues include a tattooed man, a fat lady, a "pickled punk" and a mummified mermaid. These will be cast in "cold-cast bronze" (a resin with bronze powder added to the mix). Finished versions will first be displayed as part of the upcoming MCAD faculty art show. I will eventually be adding more figures to the line up and offering a limited number of castings for sale. Comments welcome.

More pics will be added when the finished versions are done -- and when further prototypes are sculpted.

The tattooed man was sculpted in polymer clay -- baked -- and then the tattoos drawn on the figure in ink. After that, they were scribed into the surface with a needle -- an elaborate process!

The "pickled punk" is sculpted in Castilene -- here are pics of it in and out of the jar in which it will be displayed.

Mummified Mermaid -- also in Castilene -- based on an actual carnival sideshow prop manufactured by the Nelson Supply Co.

Inspired by various carnival sideshow "fat ladies" -- this is a polymer clay prototype.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

More life drawing

Once again, I managed to find the time at attend the Monday night (7-9) life drawing session at MCAD. Here are some of the results -- graphite on newsprint -- poses ranging from two minute warm-ups to 15 minutes. Leave a comment and let me know what you think of 'em!

Twin Cities music

One of the reasons I love living in the Twin Cities is its vibrant music scene. There's not a night of the week that I can't go see some great live music -- often for little or no cover charge. Two bands I've seen a lot lately are pictured here.

Memphis and the Meantimes (John Hiatt fans will get the refererence) play most every Sunday night at the Minnesota Music Cafe in St. Paul. It's an "all star" band that features Mick Sterling (vocals), Tony Sims (vocals & guitar - missing the night this pic was taken), Lisa Wenger (vocals), Dan Neale (guitar), John Wright (bass), Lisi Wright (fiddle), Dave Burkart (guitar), Peter Guertin (piano) and Bobby Vandell (drums). Song choices are mostly roots country, with a lot of Sun Records artists thrown into the mix -- if you like Carl Perkins, Wanda Jackson, Roy Orbison and such, you'll like this. They get an early start (7:30-ish) and when done, a few band members stick around for an open mic set by the bar. All in all, a great night of music for a five buck cover. If you go see 'em, request that Dan sings "Hot Rod Lincoln."
More info:

Monday nights find The Roe Family Singers at the 331 Club in "Nordeast" Minneapolis. A formerly notorious biker bar, the 331 has been refurbished and remade into a classy nightspot with music darn near every night -- and no cover charge. The Roe family (only two of 'em are really family -- it just sounds good as a band name) have been playing Mondays there for two years solid. Starting around 9:00 and ending at 10:30, it's a sweet, short musical set -- and a great way to cap off a Monday night, even if you have to work in the morning. This bluegrass/folk/jug/roots country band has a set list that includes numbers by The Carter Family and Hank Sr. -- so if that's your thing, you'll like this crew. The "family" varies week to week -- they recently lost their broom player (yes, broom player!) -- and guitarist Dan Gaarder and saw player (yes, saw player!) Adam Wirtzfeld were missing the night this pic was taken. More here:

Sunday, July 1, 2007

3-D strip tease!

Here are a few pics of the unique 3-D shadow strip tease that is Stan the 3-D Man's contribution to Le Cirque Rouge's burlesque show. Another great bit of entertainment courtesy of Lee's Liquor Lounge. Grab a pair of red/green 3-D glasses (red lens over left eye, green on right) from one of your 3-D comic books (you do own a few 3-D comics. right...?) and dig the 3-D effect. "Ooh -- they jump right out at you.... whoooooo!" (Gosh, I miss Count Floyd....). For more info: Burlesque: 3-D: Lee's:

Vibro Champs

Twin Cities rockabilly legends, the Vibro Champs played several reunion gigs at Lee's Liquor Lounge recently. Last night's show included the premiere of a music video and documentary made with the help of the friendly folks at MCAD. Here are a few pics of the band. For more info, check 'em out on MySpace: .

Blast from the past

On my recent trip home, I discovered this blast from the past, still on display in the window of downtown business K&D Clothiers -- a decal I designed for my high school back in 1976! Yikes!

Comics authors at MCAD

Thursday evening MCAD and Rain Taxi magazine hosted a lecture/Q&A with authors Douglas Wolk and Austin Grossman. Wolk is the author of "Reading Comics," an insightful look at the current state of the comics medium. Grossman's book is "Soon I Will Be Invincible," a witty literary take on the superhero genre. Both authors were interviewed by MCAD instructor (and comic book artist/inker) Barb Schulz (see pic -- from L to R: Grossman, Schulz, Wolk). The event was well attended, with several Twin Cities cartoonists (Zak Sally, Zander Cannon) among the crowd.