February 27, 2016

Michael Shemchuk paintings @ the Gray Loft Gallery ~ Fragments of Abstraction












 
photos by Styrous®           




 Michael Shemchuk           

            
 




 












 








February 12 ~ March 26, 2016

 


GRAY LOFT GALLERY
2889 Ford Street, third floor
Oakland, California 94601
510.499.3445


DIRECTIONS

Gallery Hours:  
Saturdays 1:00 to 5:00


Styrous® ~ Saturday, February 27, 2016            



February 26, 2016

20,000 Vinyl LPs 52: King Crimson ~ Discipline

                
vinyl LP cover detail
detail photo by Styrous®



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I started the Vinyl LP series because I have a collection of over 20,000 vinyl record albums I am selling; each blog entry is about an album from my collection. Inquire for information here.   

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My first discovery of the English rock band, King Crimson, was with the 1969 album, In the Court of the Crimson King (link below). It was the group that began an awakening for me of the wonders to be found in the progressive rock genre; I wasn't to discover Pink Floyd (link below) until 1971 with their album, Meddle, which sent me on an entirely different trajectory.       



vinyl LP cover
photo by Styrous®



Discipline, released in 1981, featured a transformed group that had elements of the new wave sound being produced at that time. It is the eighth studio album by the band. The image shown on the cover is a Celtic knot design by George Bain and is embossed. Only founder Robert Fripp and later addition Bill Bruford remained from previous incarnations. The rest of the band was Adrian Belew (guitar, lead vocals) and Tony Levin (bass guitar, Chapman Stick, backing vocals). I saw them perform at the Hearst Greek Theater in Berkeley, one of many concerts I have seen there (link below).  


  



vinyl LP cover back
photo by Styrous®



As usual, I have a favorite from the album; Matte Kudasai is it. It is totally unlike the prog-rock King Crimson is known for producing. It starts out slow, dreamy and VERY quietly with the guitar work only Robert Fripp could manage. It has a mellow, gently loping beat that gives a country-western feeling to it with a vocal by Adrian Belew that sounds a little like David Byrne. The vocal is softly syncopated and disjointed but it is introspective, beautiful and reminiscent of the country-western style of the 40's-50's. It would not surprise me if this song was inspiration for the wonderful 1985 ballad by Chris Isaak, Western Stars, from his Silvertone album (link below). If you'd like to listen to Matte while reading the rest of this, click here.   

Matte Kudasai (Japanese: 待って下さい) literally means "please wait". The original release of Discipline featured only one version of Matte Kudasai, with a guitar part by Robert Fripp that was removed from the track on a subsequent release of the album. The latest versions of the album to be released contains both versions of the song – track 3, Matte Kudasai, without Robert Fripp's original guitar part; and track 8, Matte Kudasai (alternative version), with the guitar part included. 



vinyl LP in plastic sleeve
photo by Styrous®



MATTE KUDASAI Lyrics

Still, by the window pane,
Pain, like the rain that's falling.
She waits in the air,
Matte Kudasai.
She sleeps in a chair
In her sad America.

When, when was the night so long,
Long, like the notes I'm sending.
She waits in the air,
Matte Kudasai.
She sleeps in a chair
In her sad America.

She waits in the air,
Matte Kudasai.
She sleeps in a chair
In her sad America.

Songwriters:
Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford, Robert Fripp & Tony Levin





photo by Styrous®






Sheltering Sky is a blend of the gentle, trippy Matte with the progressive rock sound the group was so well-known for. There is a video of the song from The Sheltering Sky, 1982 Tour, on YouTube (link below).         




vinyl LP label detail, side 1
detail photo by Styrous®



Elephant Talk returns to their original prog-rock sound with it's fast bouncey and jittery tempo that moves with the speed of a runaway train. There is a video of them playing the song on the television show, Fridays (link below). The ABC weekly late-night live comedy show showcased the most amazing range of music talent in the world. The program was ABC's attempt to duplicate the success of NBC's Saturday Night Live, which, at the time, was in its fifth and final season featuring the original "Not Ready for Primetime" cast.           



vinyl LP label detail, side 2
detail photo by Styrous®



 Tracklist:

Side 1:

A1 - Elephant Talk - 4:40
A2 - Frame By Frame - 5:05
A3 - Matte Kudasai - 3:46
A4 - Indiscipline - 4:30

Side 2:

B1 - Thela Hun Ginjeet - 6:23
B2 - The Sheltering Sky - 8:19
B3 - Discipline - 5:00

Companies, etc.

Credits:

Barcode and Other Identifiers:

  • Barcode: 0 7599-23629-1
  • Barcode (Scanned): 075992362917
  • Matrix / Runout (Etched Side A, except "EDP" stamped inside oval): BSK-1-3629-E2 -------◁ EDP M1SF1SM2
  • Matrix / Runout (Etched Side B, except "EDP" stamped inside oval): BSK-2-3629-E-1 -------◁ EDP M1SF1SM4
  • Rights Society: BMI
  • Rights Society: ASCAP

Label: Warner Bros. Records ‎– BSK 3629, EG ‎– BSK 3629
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1981
Genre: Rock
Style: Prog Rock




Net links:      
                     
King Crimson ~ In the Court of the Crimson King            
The Hearst Greek Theater performances           
Paul Simon at the Greek Theater             
Chris Isaak ~ Silvertone             
Chris Isaak website            
           
King Crimson on YouTube:         
           
Matte Kudasai              
Elephant Talk (live on Fridays)            
The Sheltering Sky          
                                    
                  
Styrous® ~ Friday, February 26, 2016            


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The Hearst Greek Theater performances









The William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre, known in the San Francisco Bay Area simply as the Greek Theatre, is an 8,500-seat amphitheater owned and operated by the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California, USA. It officially opened on September 24, 1903 with a student production of The Birds by Aristophanes.

The Hearst Greek Theater was built on the site of a rough outdoor bowl already in use as an amphitheater since 1894 known as "Ben Weed's Amphitheater". The project was championed by University of California president Benjamin Ide Wheeler and was the first University building designed by John Galen Howard. Its construction was financed by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, after whom it was named. The design of the theater is based directly on the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus.             


 
photo by Sanfranman59



The Greek Theatre hosts The Berkeley Jazz Festival, pop, rock, and world music concerts, UC Berkeley graduation ceremonies, occasional addresses by noted speakers, and other events. Past speakers have been William Randolph Hearst (of course), President Theodore Roosevelt and the Dalai Lama.

The Greek is my very favorite venue for concerts and performances. The acoustics of the theater are astounding! As there are no walls to bounce the sound around and make it reverberate with extraneous echoes, it is pristine. The down sides of the venue is that it is constructed completely of concrete, including the seating. Oy vey! It is of prime importance that a cushion of some kind MUST be brought along to comfortably enjoy the performance. And on a warm autumn night it is absolutely gorgeous; on a not-so-warm night it is absolutely freezing!   

My first experience with the Greek was a performance of Aida by Verdi. It was in 1958, a terrific year for me (link below), just after the theater had been remodeled. The production was stunning as it featured a VERY young Leontyne Price. She was just starting out on her career; she was young and gorgeous with the voice of an angel combined with that of a valkyrie. She was the ultimate Aida which no one could possibly replace. The production also featured real, live elephants during the Triumphal March; it was quite a spectacle!   

       
photographer unknown



Since 1958 I have had the great fortune to have seen many performers/performances there: Paul Simon (link below), Talking Heads, King Crimson (link below), Laurie Anderson, Bobby McFerrin, B-52s, Harry Belafonte, Neil Diamond and the list goes on and on.   


I can hardly wait for the next event!



William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre       
2001 Gayley Rd   
Berkeley, California 94720          
(510) 642-9988      




Net links:
        
Greek Theater website                       
Harry Belefonte ~ At the Greek Theater               
Van Cliburn & Sputnik ~ 1958          
Neil Diamond ~ Love at the Greek            
Leontyne Price ~ A Christmas Offering            
Paul Simon at the Greek Theater                   





Styrous® ~ Friday, February 26, 2016



February 21, 2016

Peter Dreyfuss sculpture @ the Gray Loft Gallery ~ Fragments of Abstraction
















photos by Styrous®









 























February 12 ~ March 26, 2016 


GRAY LOFT GALLERY
2889 Ford Street, third floor
Oakland, California 94601
510.499.3445


DIRECTIONS

Gallery Hours:  
Saturdays 1:00 to 5:00


Styrous® ~ Sunday, February 21, 2016      



Fragments of Abstraction articles

. Fragments of Abstraction opens at the Gray Loft Gallery 
. Happy birthday, Gray Loft Gallery    
. Peter Dreyfuss sculpture @ the Gray Loft Gallery 
. Michael Shemchuk paintings @ the Gray Loft Gallery      



 
February 12 ~ March 26, 2016


Carol Dalton - paintings 
 Peter Dreyfuss - watercolors & sculpture 
Mark Eanes - paintings
Bruce Pizzichillo - paintings 
Michael Shemchuk - paintings


Gray Loft Gallery calendar
Location/directions



Gray Loft Gallery
2889 Ford Street, #32 
Oakland, CA 94601 
510-499-3445 


Styrous® ~ Sunday, February 21, 2016

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February 16, 2016

20,000 Vinyl LPs 51: Action Jackson & Vanity

Action Jackson soundtrack album 
cover photo by Peter Sorel
Copyright 1988, Lorimar Productions 
photo of album cover by Styrous®



I just discovered Vanity died yesterday. I was saddened to hear the news and began hearing her music in my mind. She only made two albums but she made an impression on me when she was in full swing.  

She was a model before Prince discovered her In 1980 and propelled her into the music scene. She met Prince at the American Music Awards. Prince renamed her Vanity because, he said, he saw his female reflection when he looked at her. She first sang backing vocals for his song Free on his 1982 album, 1999; she reappeared on his 1994 album, Come, in the song, Orgasm. In 1982, she sang on the album, Vanity 6, along with Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie, one of many projects produced by Prince. The hit song from the album was the funky, Nasty Girl, which was composed and written by Prince.   


Action Jackson soundtrack album 
back cover photos by Peter Sorel
Copyright 1988, Lorimar Productions 
photo of album cover by Styrous®


Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid- to late 1960s when African American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B). The word funk initially referred (and still refers) to a strong odor. It is originally derived from Latin "fumigare" (to smoke) via Old French "fungiere" and, in this sense, first documented in English in 1620. In 1784 "funky" meaning "musty" is first documented, which, in turn, led to a sense of "earthy" that was taken up around 1900 in early jazz slang for something deeply or strongly felt. It was a term used in the early sixties by the gay community; it was picked up by funk musicians in the late sixties.    

Due to its explicit lyrics, Nasty Girl met with resistance on mainstream American radio, peaking within the U.S. Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. It did, however, become a sizable hit on U.S. R&B radio and it hit number one on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart for four weeks in November 1982. The song was knocked off the number one position by Prince's 1999. Lead singer Vanity, who later became a Christian preacher, subsequently denounced the song and told members of her congregation who listened to the song to "keep praying for the Holy Spirit"  




Vanity was born Denise Katrina Matthews on January 4, 1959, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Her mother is of Polish descent and was born in Germany and her father was African American. She won the Miss Niagara Hospitality title in 1977 and went on to compete for Miss Canada in 1978.

In 1980, Matthews had a small role in the horror movie Terror Train, which was filmed in Montreal a year earlier. She then went to Toronto to film the lead role in the B-movie, Tanya's Island. At the time of both film roles, she was billed as D.D. Winters. After her music career started, as Vanity she starred in a number of movies, including The Last Dragon, which featured her underground hit 7th Heaven. In 1986 she starred in Never Too Young to Die opposite John Stamos. The film also featured Gene Simmons. She went on to appear in 52 Pick-Up and 1988's Action Jackson, her highest profile role, in which she starred opposite Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, and Sharon Stone.

Action Jackson movie poster



Vanity was linked romantically to Adam Ant and Billy Idol. In 1987, she stated that she and Mötley Crüe bassist, Nikki Sixx, were engaged; she joked that she would become Vanity 6 (Sixx) again.  



Action Jackson
vinyl LP label, side 1
photo by Styrous®


In 1994, Vanity overdosed on crack cocaine and suffered from near-fatal renal failure. She recalled that after being rushed to the hospital, doctors said she had three days to live while on life support. She said that Jesus appeared to her at this time and spoke to her, saying if she promised to give up her Vanity persona, he would save her. When she recovered, she renounced her stage name and career and became a born-again Christian. In 1995, she said, "When I came to the Lord Jesus Christ, I threw out about 1,000 tapes of mine — interviews, every tape, every video. Everything." She stated that she had chosen not to receive any further revenue from her work as Vanity, and cut off all ties with Hollywood and her former life in show business.      

Matthews suffered from sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis, a rare complication of a peritoneal dialysis, and died in a Fremont, California hospital yesterday, February 15, 2016. She was 57.   



Action Jackson
vinyl LP label, side 2
photo by Styrous®



Tracklist:

Side 1:

1 - The Pointer Sisters - He Turned Me Out - written by LeMel Humes, Mary Lee Kortes - Producer: Richard Perry - 4:25
2 - Madame X - Action Jackson - written by Bernadette Cooper - Producer: Bernadette Cooper - 5:01
3 - LeVert - For The Love Of Money - written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff & Anthony Jackson - Producers: Craig Cooper*, Gerald Levert, Marc Gordon - 5:24
4 - Vanity - Undress Me - written by Kim Cage & Jesse Johnson - Producer: Jesse Johnson - 4:10
5 - Herbie Hancock - Building Up "Action Jackson" - written by Herbie Hancock - Producer: Herbie Hancock, Co-producer: Michael Kamen  - 4:05

Side 2:

1 - Sister Sledge - Keeping Good Loving - written & produced by:  Kae Williams Jr., Kathy Sledge, Phillip Lightfoot - 5:24
2 -  Dave Koz & Vanity - Shotgun, Featuring Kareem - written by Autry DeWalt II - Producer: Jeff Lorber - 4:12
3 - Vanity - Faraway Eyes - written by Sue Ann Carwell & Jesse Johnson - Producer: Jesse Johnson - 4:24
4 -  Skyy - Lover's Celebration - Producers: Randy Muller & Solomon Roberts Jr. - 3:46
5 - MC Jam & Pee Wee Jam - Protect And Serve - Producer:  Stevie Salas - 5:05

Notes:
Some covers are gold stamped as promotional.  

Barcode and Other Identifiers:
    Barcode (Scanned): 075679088611  





Net links:
          
Action Jackson cast and crew on IMDb             
Action Jackson info on Forgotten Flix      
review         
Yahoo Obituary           
CNN Obituary        
Rolling Stone Obituary         
Washington Post Obituary     
Variety Obituary        
NY Daily News Obituary           
        
YouTube links:  
         
Vanity - Faraway Eyes     
Vanity - Undress Me        
Vanity 6 - Nasty Girl          
Action Jackson Official Trailer         



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I started the Vinyl LP series because I have a collection of over 20,000 vinyl record albums I am selling; each blog entry is about an album from my collection. Inquire for information here.   

~ ~ ~



Those far away eyes will be missed!


Styrous® ~ Tuesday, February 16, 2016 


February 13, 2016

Happy birthday, Gray Loft Gallery ~ Fragments of Abstraction opening



 February 12 ~ March 26, 2016   


It's hard to believe but it was four years ago that the Gray Loft Gallery opened its door to the world to reveal a universe of astounding art.

In 2012, The Love Show (link below) was the opening exhibition. The amazing thing is no show at the Gray Loft has been like any of the others; each has been totally unique. That's a pretty astounding feat accomplished by gallery owner, Jan Watten, who has an eye for quality and knows how to put the various items together with grace and harmony. It's a good description of an Impresario Extraordinaire.


Fragments of Abstraction opening



photos by Styrous®  














Michael Shemchuk & Minoo Hamzavi










photo by DD Martin




Artists showing:
        
Carol Dalton - paintings 
Peter Dreyfuss - watercolors & sculpture
Mark Eanes - paintings 
Bruce Pizzichillo - paintings
Michael Shemchuk - paintings







The Gray Loft Gallery shows:     

Gray Loft Gallery Inaugural exhibition, "The Love Show       
10 Connect
FROM ONE THING TO ANOTHER ~ The Art of Recycle       
2nd Annual Love Show        
The Big Painting Show          
Three Views ~ Painting, Sculpture & Photography         
Short Stories          
Los Vecinos           
Home ~ A Juried photography show         
Flora & Form           
PROJECT 275            
Inhabiting Space         
There Is a There There           
California Society of Printmakers         
California Society of Printmakers, Part 2            
COMMON GROUND        
ButohPhoto Workshop         
MEMORY SKETCHES           
Nature (re)Defined           
FRAGMENTS OF ABSTRACTION             
       


 
Happy birthday, Gray Loft & congratulations Jan!



 Styrous® ~ Saturday, February 13, 2016


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