50 notes in 2010: viv again
October 18, 2010, 7:04 pm
Filed under: 50 notes for 2010

[see last two posts]

… and great words to live by!


50 notes for 2010: off to l.a., 50 self portraits
August 24, 2010, 4:14 am
Filed under: 50 notes for 2010, 50 self portraits

pictomat in l.a.

pictomat will be in los angeles, the city of angeles, and then off to the southwest. yesterday, we got in gear by going to see lucinda williams sing red suns over the pacific ocean. if you want to hear some rightous california music listen to lu sing on her live fillmoore album.

if you want to read about wild days in l.a. in the late 1960’s with jim morrison, sharon tate and roman polanski, nancy reagan, or some of the manson gang, read didion’s book of collected essays “the white album”.

50 notes in 2010: lu rocks roseland, 50 best voices
August 24, 2010, 3:52 am
Filed under: 50 best voices, 50 notes for 2010

lucinda williams, musician. born: lake charles, louisiana (1953)

pictomat started late with ms. williams. bought “car wheels on a gravel road” and it took until the the third buy to fall in with the faithful and see the light: she is the best country/rock artist since … gram parsons. now, that is a compliment.

pictomat does not want to leave out other important female country singers. there is emilylou harris, but emilylou doesn’t write and usually sounds at her best singing harmony (particularly for the late gram). then there is dolly parton, who can both write and sing, but her career is so rocky and tips so frequently into camp. that leaves our other favorite voice, tammy wynette. yet she couldn’t write and was at the mercy of her excellent and usual producer billy sherrill.

what lucinda has is something touching, tough, and deeply personal. she played to a packed crowd at the roseland on sunday. new songs, not many standard hits, and yet she held the crowd rapt with her strong but crackin’ voice. she is so sweet and self-effacing that some of the lyrics come as a surprise. she may fall in with bad boys, but she is gonna let them know where they both stand!

at the showbox in seattle, a little under two years ago, she did a similar set with more of her usual tunes. her band rocks but lucinda hangs back. she rarely moves off of her oriental carpet, hangs on to her hand tooled metal guitar, or the microphone for what we once thought was dear life. but, we were wrong. she has a small but powerful field of gravity and doesn’t move far from the red suns she sings so much about. she is married now, and confessed to still having a few “bad boy” tunes left in her. her marriage seems to have centered her without taking away the cold heat of her jagged vocal cords. she sang “righteously”. that song seems to show what she is all about. a woman who will take chances, but not be taken advantage of.

“you don’t have to prove
your manhood to me constantly
i know you’re the man can’t you see
i love you righteously

why you wanna dis me
after the way you been kissin’ me
after those pretty things you say
and the love we made today

think this through
i laid it down for you everytime
respect me i give you what’s mine
you’re entirely way too fine

flirt with me don’t keep hurtin’ me
don’t cause me pain
be my lover don’t play no game
just play me john coltrane …”

hometown boy m. ward came out for an encore for a duet with lu on “lonesome me”. she had the house in the palm of  her hand and thanked us. we should be thanking her. she really is that good. emmylou said lu is the most under appreciated artist. unloved by nashville, and not thought of as a rocker in hollywood. ms. harris is right and she is both, but remember, she doesn’t use autotune, because she is a real singer with an honest voice. it is so hard to see how people talk up lady gaga, and leave the real pearls in the dust. you can keep your manufactured stars, we will keep real musicians any day!

50 notes for 2010: obama & the mosque, 50 best magazine covers
August 17, 2010, 12:30 am
Filed under: 50 best magazine covers, 50 notes for 2010

new yorker, november 17, 2009. design: bob staake, graphic designer. born: los angeles, california (1957)

pictomat showed a later bob staake cover last month, but figured it was high time to show his best new yorker front sleeve today. why? because, the hope, the excitement, and the glamour of oboma’s election is lying in tatters around us. pictomat feels some to much of the not so recent inflammatory dislike of the man comes down to one thing. pictomat won’t mention it because it is overly obvious.

however, pictomat wants to salute our president for taking a clear stand on the brouhaha surrounding building a mosque near the site of the world trade center in nyc (and that thanks goes you too, mayor bloomberg). what kind of country would this be without our cherished right to belong to any or no religion? and why in the world would it matter where a house of worship was placed?

one second thought, pictomat imagines it would be the same kind of country that lets voters determine the rights of whether people be treated equally and fairly. that, however requires another post.

let’s try and remember why we build memorials to our greatest leaders, and why in november of 2009 that reflecting pool in front of the lincoln memorial looked so peaceful and seemed to represent a nation that had put some the unpleasant parts if its past in the past. let’s see if other leaders can put political expediency behind and sit as tall as that grand man does in his temple in washington d.c.

50 pictomat videos, 50 notes for 2010: pictomat sings, 50 best voices!
August 9, 2010, 4:17 am
Filed under: 50 best voices, 50 notes for 2010, 50 pictomat videos

pictomat sings! the new dylan?

pictomat has the pleasure and honor of presenting a world exclusive music video.

music critics in the u.k. are calling this stripped down version on an old four tops song one of the freshest sounds they’ve heard since … well, since levi stubbs and the tops stepped into motown’s studio “a” in 1967. pictomat was lucky enough to put the track down with the great motown house band led by earl van dyke. that is jamie jamison’s bass you hear leading through the track. the voice? no autotune here! this is one-take-ruder with his narrow one note range. kind of a rap, but with feeling and excellent diction. no melisma here. it is all about feeling without theatrics. pictomat thinks you will hear the pleading, obsessive honesty when you take a listen. it is short. so listen to youTube, offer up your own critique., and comment below.

50 notes for 2010: pictmat & joyce, 50 self portraits
August 6, 2010, 6:17 am
Filed under: 50 notes for 2010, 50 self portraits

pictomat deep into james joyce’s “ulysses”.

more seriously than paul cadmus’s boy, and perhaps not as intent as miss monroe.

50 notes for 2010: cadmus, beefcake & joyce, 50 famous fags
August 5, 2010, 9:45 am
Filed under: 50 famous fags, 50 notes for 2010

“unknown title / (“reading joyce?”) by paul cadmus, artist. born: new york city (1904 – 1999)

cadmus created a stir in 1934 when his work, a w.p.a. painting (that is public money, remember) titled “the fleet’s in!”, a mural with characters of various controversial bents was removed from the corcoran museum in washington d.c. he later said, “as an unknown artist at the time,  i benefited from the censorship controversy – and I am eternally grateful to that offended admiral.”

if this paul cadmus’s model could only keep his eyes on joyce and not at us, he might be more help to pictomat. pictomat is trying to find encouraging ways to get back on track with a summer project, reading “ulysses”.

other photos or whatever of people reading “ulysses”? you? send ’em to pictomat.