Author: Shan

Artist, designer, music freak. www.sistersdissonance.com www.spyked-ink.com

Interview + New Music Alert | Maesmynis

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Maesmynis

By Shan
All photos by Maesmynis

Eight years ago I stumbled upon on a song. It was one of those kinds that, for whatever reason, just hit me right in the gut . . . the kind of song that evokes that unnamed magical feeling when the music becomes bigger than itself and resonates within every cell in your body. As a fellow music addict, I am pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.

The song was “Garden Song” and I found it during one of my frequent visits to the Strummerville (now the Joe Strummer Foundation) website, perusing their DIY section–an early innovation that appeared during the dawn of sites like Soundcloud. Strummerville DIY was their version and allowed visitors to hear a song by some of the selected talent (the stipulation being that the band was unsigned and had no record contract, therefore allowing bands some well-deserved exposure). The band in question in this instance was The Cuban Heels, and it prompted an immediate frantic search for more by them.

The first thing I discovered was there were a couple other bands with the same name, so, taking on the challenge I sampled music of various other origins (nope not that one, no I don’t think they’re from Scotland) and I started to wonder if the search would end there. But then the clouds parted, the sun blared in my eyes and I found a thread of information that lead me to the right place, the Cuban Heels, the ones from Bristol England, and oh shit!, a band that existed until about 3 years prior. It was a posting that then-Heels guitarist Chris Venables had made about the disbandment of the band, and offered to anyone who found his post that was interested, a disc containing all of the music they had recorded, for free. I was bummed to learn that they were no longer an entity, but, what!? I was thrilled to suddenly have hit the lottery with a treasure box of their songs potentially on the horizon.

The short of it is this. Chris did indeed send me a cd, kindly ignoring the fact that the parcel had to be sent overseas to get to me, and The Cuban Heels quickly became one of my favorite bands ever that no longer existed, and I wore–and continue to wear–a hole in that cd from repeat listening (Now that the cd has been converted for my iPhone, I have to stop to ask . . .can you wear a hole in digital music? I think the answer could be yes).

Flash forward to last year when a posting on the Cuban Heels Facebook  page announced a new page to follow. Hmmm? What could this be? Alas! Hark! Yessss! and all those other extreme swearwords of excitement. It was the announcement about the reforming of a new band from the ashes of the Heels . . . Maesymnis had been born! I bought the album as soon as it came out and devoured it, making them one of my all-time favorite bands that are not no longer existing.

To celebrate the music, I got in touch with Chris to work out doing a transcontinental interview, which follows below. Before we get to it, you can check out some of their songs via YouTube, follow them on Facebook (tell them Sis Diss sent you!), and grab some of their music here.

You can check out  The Cuban Heels on Soundcloud, including the now infamous-in-my-book Garden Song.”  I also discovered during the course of writing this article that their SoundCloud is even more evidence of their uncanny ability to ceaselessly and prolifically create beautiful music together. Searching for Garden Song yielded even more magic, as I discovered The Soundcloud now contains even more songs, many, many I have not heard yet myself, that were not part of the cd. I think I’m going to be pretty busy absorbing all these great tunes for the next few months. I suggest you do the same!

Special thanks to Aron, Marcus and Chris for taking time to make this interview possible!

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AA – Aron Attwood
MA – Marcus Attwood
CV – Chris Venables
SD – Shan / SisDiss

SD – You were the Cuban Heels and then you weren’t for a while, and then you became Maesmynis. What where you in between?

AA – Most of us embraced normal life. Being in a band can be a very overwhelming experience. It makes you sort of selfish when you set your mind to a single almost impossible task. Things fall by the wayside, so it was nice to get back to a simple life and interact with friends and family on a more personal level rather than being constantly distracted with other things that seem more important.

I personally had to get as far away as possible for my own sanity so decided to move to Australia for a short while. Unfortunately while I was there I got caught up with EMI Australia through a solo album of mine and I was landed right back to square one. I did a short UK tour when I got back to England with a shit punk rock band called ‪Towers of London. Fun and shit at the same time. It was like going on holiday with complete strangers then finding out you have nothing in common with them.

I ran my own studio for a while, played in a few local bands, one Birmingham band called Liner (with old friend Alex Callaghan) got a songwriting diploma, moved to stroud and am playing in a couple of really fun bands now. I don’t take it all that seriously anymore. I just try to enjoy the moments as they happen. It’s still very difficult to avoid the cycle of excitement and disappointment though. That’s still my biggest work in progress.

MA – So the Cuban heels came to the end of their run but the music continued.  Aron joined Alex in his band ‘Liner’ and started producing other bands as well as developing his own songwriting.  Russ joined Marcus in ‘Transit Cop’ (quickly being promoted from van driver to second guitar) and then later teamed up with Chris to form ‘The Ripleys’.  After ‘ Liner’, Aron and Alex would later form ‘Mule’ with Joel.  Steve and Joel subsequently hooked up with a third party Will to form the power trio ‘ ‪Biff Bang Pow’.

CV – Steve also played in a couple of punk bands ‘Waiting for Taylor’ and ‘Dead Kids’. Working full time to support ourselves whilst being in a full time band on top became overwhelming.  We remained friends and we’ve always loved making music and so that never went away.  What went away was the practicing 3 days a week and gigging 3 times a week that took quite a toll.

SD – How has the lineup changed since the Cuban Heels, and what brought you all back together (perhaps you picked up my mental messages imploring you to)?

AA – I have been working on my psychic abilities and definitely picked up on some encouragement from over the Atlantic. Unfortunately I have also been picking up the shipping forecast and the local police radios.

Seriously though we always jam together whenever we can, and have played together in various line ups. This is the first line up that includes all the former Heels though. Chris and Russ had a band called The Ripleys which I contributed to. Me Joel and Alex had an on off project called Mule. Dan had his one man show The Nine Lives of Henry the Cat on Ice, where he would play prog versions of the damned and sex pistols while being pulled on a sleigh.

Russ getting married brought us all back together though. Rather than a traditional stag do, we decided to get together and have a songwriting weekend instead. All the heels with the addition of my brother Marcus, our school friend Steve and Alex from Liner and Mule. This proved so productive and fun that we did it a few more times. We eventually decided we should properly record some of the mountain of songs we had written and the obvious next step after that was to gig it too.

CV – We’re the same, Joel (Stevens), Russ (Mulligan), Aron, Dan (Wells) and me (Chris) but now have also Al (Callaghan), Marcus, and Steve (Payne).  When it came to one of the ex-heels getting married for a “stag do” we decided to arrange a songwriting weekend for musical friends which included all original heels plus 3 others.  Russ and I were inspired by Karl Coryat and Nicholas Dobson’s The Frustrated Songwriter’s Handbook, in which you are forced to individually write songs for 12 hours straight!  We played around with the format quite a lot to make it more collaborative.

SD – I’ve seen the mini documentary floating around online and your recording space looks idyllic. What was the experience like and what part did it play in influencing your record? How did you find your space?

AA – The first place we got together as the full group was Russ’s stag do. At a house in Wales in a hamlet called Maesmynis. A beautiful, remote country hide-away. We returned back there a second time, but unfortunately the owners sold the property. We convened at Chris’s house in Oxfordshire for another session, then recorded at Steve Winwoods studio near Cheltenham. We have been very lucky to have managed to find very idyllic inspiring spaces to work in. That makes a huge difference.

CV – The video shows two different places.  The place with the beautiful rolling countryside is in a hamlet in central Wales called “Maesmynis”.  It was a cottage we hired for the writing weekend – we chose central Wales primarily because it’s cheap to hire a house in the middle of nowhere with no neighbours (in order that lots of noise can be made) but I also had a slight hankering to pay homage to Led Zep who also retreated to a cottage in Wales to write Led Zep III.

SD – It looks to me like everyone is multi-talented and plays and sings in different configurations. How was it decided for each song who played what? Did everyone have a hand in writing or do you have a principal writer?

AA – Everyone writes, and usually the person who comes up with the vocal idea sings. The songwriting process is an organised game. Generally in the morning everyone finds a quiet spot on their own and writes solo for about an hour. Then we come back and pick a name out of a hat and partner up in pairs. You play what you have to each other. Either a riff, some lyrics, a melody or a complete song, it doesn’t matter. The idea is to just flow and be creative with the prospect of other people adding parts to what you have. There are two very good lead singers in the band who would sometimes be used if we felt the song needed a more solid lead vocal but quite often the person who wrote the vocal would have their own inimitable way of putting the vocal across. Generally I would end up on the drums, and lead guitar would be either Marcus or Chris. Dan is our ‪Garth Hudson and would cover all the keyboards and Steve rolled blunts and made us all laugh. On the whole though anyone could be asked to do pretty much anything so we have probably played in just about every conceivable variation eight people could play in.

CV – The answer to this is hand in hand with the original idea for the songwriting stag do.  30 minutes individually to generate ideas.  Pairs formed by names being drawn out of a hat and another 30 mins to come up with music!  The songs all then generally had a genesis from either one or two people within the group and then were worked to completion by anywhere from one to eight of the members.  To foster the sense of camaraderie and collaboration we decided that songs be credited to all members even though in reality it was usually one or two per song who would be the writers.  There was no principal writer.  All members had a hand in writing at least one of the tunes on the album.  There are 6 different lead vocalists on the record.  Most of the group are competent on a number of different instruments.  Generally when it came to recording everyone played parts in line with what was played during the writing process.  However there were exceptions such as that although 3 or 4 of us are decent on the drums we have a world class drummer in Aron so it didn’t make sense for any of the rest of us to play drums on the recording.

SD – Who are some of your influences (long term growing up type) and who are you listening to these days?

AA – Me and Chris were at primary school together and were into retro music, 60s, 70s etc.  It wasn’t something you talked about openly. I distinctly remember getting some Motown acetate records on a cereal box and dancing around to them at Chris’s and thinking we should be in a band and do this kind of stuff. We went to a few formative gigs together growing up. Reef, ‪Supergrass and a few others. Later on people like ‪the Flaming Lips and Beck.

I have gone through all the major phases since then. A Beatles phase, a bob Marley phase, a Dylan phase. My most recent obsession has been ‪Tom Waits. I have so much admiration for his conviction and craftsmanship. His catalogue is so rich it never fails to inspire me.

CV – Amongst the 8 of us I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t appreciate the 60s and 70s greats; Beatles, Stones, Credence, Bowie.  Outside of that there is quite an eclectic taste within the group taking in punk, soul, DnB, jazz.  For me, when music started becoming important my first heroes were ‪Pearl Jam, Lemonheads, Nirvana, RHCP, Pumpkins, ‪Weezer, REM, ‪Radiohead.  Later Jellyfish, ‪Flaming Lips, ‪Tom Waits, ‪PJ Harvey, ‪Pixies, ‪Fleet Foxes. Most recently been listening to some old jazz blues records; Billie Holliday, ‪Nina Simone, ‪Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grappelli.

SD – If there was one single word to describe what Maesmynis brings to the world, what would it be?

AA – Friendship

CV – Trouble

Shan – Besides the Cuban Heels and Maesmynis, is there any other music out there from any of you that is available online for our readers to seek out?

‘Magic 8 Ball’ – Aron Attwood – available on Spotify/itunes etc.

‪https://open.spotify.com/artist/6FLnXFoCy3bF9l5sHecL8e

‘Nothing like before’ – The Ripleys  (Russ & Chris) – available on Spotify/itunes etc.

‪https://open.spotify.com/artist/3vIi0v6TsyIt7nWzCCN7br

‪https://m.soundcloud.com/steve-payne

All bands mentioned above have have various levels of presence out there on the infoweb.

SD – I know that you ha[d] a gig coming up very soon in Bristol. Barring me finding a teleportation device, will it be recorded so you can share with the rest of the world? And are there any future plans for more music?

CV – With all focus on the logistics of making it right on the night alas the gig wasn’t recorded as such.  However there are some great photos and a couple of short (surprisingly reasonable quality) phone clips to at least give a flavour of the night on the facebook page.

AA – It is very difficult to organise eight busy people to get together for a beer let alone rehearsals and a gig so the prospect of another gig is unlikely but not out of the question. We treated the last gig like a one off but if something seems doable in the future then we would all love to do it.

[SD – dig around for clips of their live show, and also definitely check out their cover of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage from that night!]

SD – If you were each a condiment, topping or spice…what are you in terms of what you bring to the band?

AA – (all the below)

Alex, definitely chilli. He adds heat and spice. His energy is so irrepressible it’s infectious.

Marcus, salt or pepper. You probably want at least a little bit on everything.

Chris, cheesehe’s the topping that everyone loves. Comfort food you couldn’t live without that binds everything together. Until he plays a guitar solo then he’s jalapeño!

Steve, weed browniesvery sweet and makes everyone laugh like children.

Dan, hundreds and thousandshe’s the magic on top of everything. Sprinkling his fairy dust on top.

Russ, mayonnaisecos he’s white and likes chips.

Joel, horseradishcos he likes to go with something beefy.

CV – Aron, poppy seeds–nutty, magic powers, illegal in several countries.

PS
SD – Maesmynis (pronounced ‘Maze-menace’ if you’re in the band, or if you’re Welsh ‘Mice-minnis’) is available on iTunes and Amazon– treat yo’self and go get it!

 

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New Music Alert | Africa Express Presents: The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians & Guests Live Release

New live album release today (now streaming and available via Google play) December 9th, 2016

The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians & Guests
Transgressive Records

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Sisters Dissonance, as you may or may not already know, first became a thing almost 10 years ago when Ady and I combined our travels to see live music performances with our desire to document those experiences and the adventures that occurred along the way. Our driving force is and always has been to make our own fun together.

A beautiful and somewhat unexpected natural byproduct of this thing called Sis Diss, we discovered, has been the human factor. It is the connections we continue to make with people all over the world in the process of our endeavor–the artists and musicians, the fellow fans and music heads, and all of the other people whose orbits have crossed paths with ours one way or another–that is the most rewarding part of Sis Diss of all.

And so, in a world that alarmingly feels like it is becoming more and more closed, increasingly divided and in turmoil, Ady and I strive to find our place among another reality that exists. This is a reality populated with a contingent of human beings around the globe that are steadfast in countering negativity, prejudice and division by purposefully reaching out, by bringing others together, and by working toward breaking down barriers not creating new ones. A reality filled with those who are mindful of their fellow humans. Often music and art is at the center of these efforts. This is the world we at Sis Diss seek to dwell in.

It is this mindset that brings to mind a show we saw last summer, The Orchestra Of Syrian Musicians in London England. No, I was not there in person, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, through a live broadcast on YouTube, I was able to watch virtually with my sister in Philly and my friend Gina in Minneapolis, from my own living room in Cleveland as together we live tweeted and texted during throughout show. We felt part of it. London/Cleveland/Philly/Minneapolis joined in along with the thousands of others across the globe tuned in together, interacting with the folks at Africa Express themselves, who made it feel like a global party. We were there for another beautiful coming together – something that Africa Express has a knack for doing on a grand scale, this time through the collaboration of Syrian musicians and countless others who joined them.

Flash forward to three days ago when I received a message from Africa Express to say that I had won an album from Benin artists Poly-Rhythmo in yet another effort by Africa Express to connect the world through music and spread it to the world. Thrilled to bits to be a recipient, as a rabid fan of music from all over the world thanks to the introduction by a professor in a ethnomusicology class I took in college back in the early 90’s, I anxiously await expanding my musical horizons even more, and I thank Africa Express for the opportunity! I will share my thoughts on that album soon to continue the spiral of positive energy.

This brings me full circle to today, and the point of this post . . . to  continue the reciprocity and join in spreading the musical love as Africa Express celebrate the release day of the resulting album of the The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians and Guests.

Following a series of acclaimed dates in the UK and Europe this summer, Africa Express today announces the release of a live album entitled Africa Express Presents… The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians & Guests. The recordings were made in June when The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, featuring current and former members of the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music, came together for the first time since the conflict in their country flared up five years ago. They were joined by artists from Britain, Syria, Algeria, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Turkey, Tunisia and the United States including Bashy, Bassekou Kouyaté, Bu Kolthoum, Damon Albarn, Eslam Jawaad, Faia Younan, Julia Holter, Malikah, Mounir Troudi, Noura Mint Seymali, Paul Weller, Rachid Taha and Seckou Keita.  

 

Africa Express Presents… The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians & Guests will be available on CD, with a digital download/stream available via Google Play Music beginning today. An LP vinyl edition will follow in 2017.

Full tracklisting here:

1          Intro  – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

2          3azely – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

3          Wild Wood – Paul Weller & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

4          Yah Mahla El Fus’ha – Faia Younan & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

5          Out Of Time – Damon Albarn & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

6          Rakeb 3al Hamra – Mounir Troudi & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

7          Feel You – Julia Holter & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

8          Al Ajaleh – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians feat. Bassekou Kouyaté & Seckou Keita

9          Blackbird – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians feat. Damon Albarn & Paul Weller

10        Old Damascus – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

11        Richa  – Noura Mint Seymali & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

12        White Flag – Damon Albarn & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians feat. Eslam Jawaad, Malikah, Ceza & Bu Kolthoum

13        Ya Rayeh – Rachid Taha & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

14        Oghneyat Men Baladi – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

For more information visit www.africaexpress.co.uk and   www.transgressiverecords.com

https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=Bgn3ryyqz6tx474rjf4tvmwsnym

The full concert from the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre London from June 25, 2016 can be viewed here:

 

 

 

PART 2 of the Portal of Fun aka | Jamie Hewlett’s Suggestionists Exhibition Reception at The Woodward Gallery NYC June 11, 2016

Pt 2: Tarot

{you can read Pt 1 here}

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Before I take you further into the exhibition, I want to give you a little background about what tarot cards mean to my sister and I, who grew up alongside a deck of them. They were our mother’s, and they were soft and well worn. She had a knack for reading them, and her reputation among her friends was that, more often than not, she made accurate predictions while reading the cards. She never read for money, and she never read for strangers. It was a hobby that was rooted in the spiritual and the psychological, and one that caused my sister and I to do some serious deep thinking while growing up. We also learned the ins and outs of every card and the universal symbolism and meanings of each. My favorite was always the Sun.

But all of this begged questions. What was this ability? Was it real? Lucky guesses? What power do the cards have? Do they have any at all? Was it our mom who had an ability, and not the cards? Was she just really good at being in to touch with people? We learned to accept that we would never know the answer to any of these questions, and that was part of the mystique (though, in tune with people? We know the answer to that is a huge YES). Our mom no longer reads tarot cards anymore (though she still has that same deck), but that aspect of growing up had its fair share in developing inquisitive minds for my sister and I. (I should add, I used to try to read the cards, but almost always failed, getting caught up in the literal too much, perhaps. My sister on the other hand seemed to have shared the tarot gene our mom has). It is through this lens of experience that Ady and I moved forward into the gallery to view Jamie Hewlett’s vision of these iconic images. We had already had a chance to investigate L’ Empereur, La Rove du Fortune, Le Maison Dieu, and the unnamed card XIII up close earlier in the day outside Ghost, where the four hung, harbingers of the remaining 18 cards, and couldn’t wait to see the rest.

We poured over them, each one of the Major Arcana as envisioned through the artistic lens of Jamie Hewlett—silly and sinister, thought provoking, demented and giggle inducing, all at once. Ady and I split up and wandered so that we could, at our own pace, investigate the tarot cards, each one paired with a written interpretation in Jamie’s own words, which were every bit a piece of art in their own right. In fact, I enjoyed reading them just as much as I did viewing them. {And fear not, if you weren’t able to make the exhibit, you can happily view all of them up close here via Jamie Hewlett’s The Suggestionists online}

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With a buzz of excitement, as we and countless other fans reveled in the exhibit, Jamie finally arrived, and drifted about freely, spending time talking to his visitors. But eventually the crowd grew so dense that a queue necessarily formed to give everyone a chance to say hello.

While this was happening, we continued to finish looking at the cards and I found it interesting that Ady and I were both most drawn to the same image, La Force (aka Strength)—in part because of the gorgeous illustration of a white-gowned woman in a funky hat (I want one like that!) fearlessly leading an insane looking lion like it is nothing more intimidating than a docile lap dog—but also because of its corresponding interpretive description.

Le Soleil once again was one that I was particularly drawn to, though each card was full of beauty and meaning. Together all 22 cards that adorned the walls of the gallery made for a festive backdrop in which fans of Jamie’s and of Gorillaz were able browse with the artist at close hand.

Before we were able to finally get our chance to say hello, about an hour into the reception there was some stirring and word got round that Damon Albarn would be arriving imminently. Ady stayed in line and I went over to investigate. Sure enough, a few moments later, with a warm greeting by some of his friends and musical cohorts gathered at the front of the gallery, Damon walked in, and suddenly the two geniuses behind Gorillaz, possessors of relentless talent, were there united together celebrating Jamie’s art.

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I got back in line with Ady and this is how it went. The line we were in to speak to Jamie was split in two for a brief moment amidst the chaos of the excitement, and then finally the two joined up to meet with fans together. During this time while waiting, Ady made the acquaintance of a talented local artist, Kid Lew, who we chatted with about the exhibit and Gorillaz. We offered to take one another’s photos when the time came. By the time they reached us in line, Jamie went for a much needed break, which left us to chat with Damon Albarn.

Regular readers of Sisters Dissonance and friends and family will know what this means to me. I really wasn’t sure what I would do or say to make a fool of myself (card 0, Le Mat, anyone?), or if I would faint (I didn’t!) if this day ever came. Instead, somehow it managed to turn out to be one of the best comedic moments I could have ever hoped to share in meeting one of my heroes (which did not happen when I was reduced to a babbling idiot when I met Mick Jones).

It was pushing 90 degrees in NYC, and while the gallery was well air conditioned, the amount of bodies and the extreme humidity combined to raise the temperature inside. When Damon reached Ady and I, he spun around to grab a water from the reception table, confiding in us that he was extremely overheated. Ady instinctively started fanning him with her exhibit postcard, and since it provided relief, he grabbed the card so he could keep cooling himself. Ady, being Ady, playfully grabbed it back and we offered to fan him while he signed, and I joined in doing the same. We proceeded to fan him on both sides and as we talked he signed our Blur NYC tickets from last October (click here for an insane moment via Instagram that Ady caught of “Trimm Trabb” during that show!) that thankfully never made it back out of my wallet.

As we fanned more and more dramatically, as the poetic moment dawned on me, I jokingly exclaimed to him, “I am literally your fan!” seizing the opportunity to make a pun while also finally finding the right words to express what I had wanted to be able to express to him without sounding like a giant dork. To this he stopped short what he was doing, turned to look at me with a huge Damon-toothy grin and repeated bemusedly, “You literally are my fan!” then, further encouraging the silliness asked Ady and I, “…can we do the photo like that? Keep doing the fan thing.” Kid Lew was thankfully snapping away for us during this entire exchange, resulting in this:

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Jamie by this time returned and resumed his position in line, noting that it was the second time we got bumped from talking to him, but the gallery owner needed to move the line to a different location (it continued to grow as time went on) so she kindly grabbed Ady and I and led us, as she was leading Jamie to a new spot.

Finally! It was our turn. Our conversation with Jamie Hewlett was every bit as fun as the last time we crossed paths with him after the Gorillaz Live on Letterman performance back in October of 2010. As before, he was extremely approachable, witty, and the silliness that bleeds through his artwork is no doubt a genuine reflection of the artist.

Ady and I had talked about how much we both enjoyed reading the written portion of the Tarot exhibit as much as we did viewing the artwork, and we told him this. He seemed very pleased that we had taken notice, saying in all sincerity, “Did you like them? I wrote those,”—as if it were possible that we might not have recognized who the brilliant mind behind them could be!

As a fun side note, while I am sure he probably did not recall meeting us before, I mentioned what he had done to us behind our backs when we had our photo taken with him in 2010 {chronicled here in a prior post, Gorillaz Live On Letterman Odyssey, where we believe we can trace the existence of that thing called the Portal of Fun).

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Shan, Jamie, Ady in 2010

so this is what we ended up with this time.

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It was now Kid Lew’s turn to meet the master and Ady took photos while he did, including this photo of his sketchbook which was graced by both Jamie and Damon.

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As the evening wound down and it approached closing time, we stopped went around the corner of the gallery into the final segment of the exhibit, Honey, a series of saucy faux vintage 70’s style back lit posters for imaginary soft core films, complete with fake titles (Honey puns!) and credits.

It was truly amazing to spend an evening stepping into the mind of Jamie Hewlett and celebrating his artwork.

 

{Coda}

At this point, our story continues when our master of fun, Ady, checked her watch and said, it’s 7:40. Without discussion we hightailed outside and into another portal of fun (a taxi cab this time). Within 20 minutes we found ourselves in an entirely different world at an outdoor music festival, heat still pounding and a threat of rain looming in the air. Conor Oberst was on stage with The Felice Brothers at the Northside Festival and we somehow managed to catch the last two songs.

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They left the stage and we wandered for a moment, then decided to explore Brooklyn on foot. If the night was not already jam-packed with excitement and a flurry of getting to meet heroes, as we walked outside the festival gates and around the corner, we walked smack into Conor Oberst. I offered to take a photo of Ady with him, and she said to him just as I was about to take the photo, “We missed your set!” To which he replied, “Aw, shit!” Then I snapped.

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JHSuggestionists043Thank you Woodward Gallery for a wonderful evening and bringing the Suggestionists exhibition to New York City so we could enjoy it and thank you Jamie Hewlett for sharing your talent and creativity with the world. You have a rabid, loyal following and I know we are all waiting eagerly for what is yet to come as we watch hints of Gorillaz 2017 burbling to the surface!

 

{Click here to view full-size images from this post via slideshow}