Saturday, July 05, 2008

Opening Today at the Julie Nester Gallery: Moving Pictures

Santa Monica artists Gregg Chadwick and Gerard Bourgeois will be exhibiting their artwork at the Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, Utah in the exhibition Moving Pictures.

The Julie Nester Gallery, named by Salt Lake Magazine as "the best gallery in Utah", celebrates its new gallery location with a group exhibition. The inaugural show features new work from each of the gallery's 35 national artists.

Gregg Chadwick
The Sound of Silk (detail) 2008

Greg Marshall in the Park Record writes:

"Since opening in 2004, the Julie Nester Gallery has specialized in contemporary art and represents mid-career and nationally recognized artists. 'We're focusing on bringing art that's never been seen in Utah. The size of the gallery gives art room to breathe', Nester said. The gallery departs from the mountain motif popular in many galleries in Park City. 'I would say it's a different level of sophistication. Some of the work here can be a little more difficult, a little more challenging.' "

Moving Pictures opens Saturday July 5, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition runs from July 5th-July 29th, 2008.

(The gallery also will host a champagne and caviar event on Sunday, July 13, as part of the Park City Food and Wine Festival.)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Rachid Taha Live in Los Angeles on July 12, 2008

Rachid Taha's version of the Clash's Rock el Casbah

Rachid Taha plays live in Los Angeles on July 12, 2008 as part of the free Grand Performances Series at California Plaza. The event starts at 8pm.

(Rachid Taha will also play the next afternoon at Stern Grove in San Francisco)

On 7/13/05 I wrote:

“Unity is a universal message.”
Rachid Taha

Backstage at a Clash concert in the early '80's, the young French-Algerian singer Rachid Taha pressed a demo tape of his own mix of punk, rock and middle eastern music into Joe Strummer's hands. Rachid Taha didn't hear back from the Clash. But shortly after their backstage meeting, the Clash's "Rock the Casbah" made it onto vinyl. The song could have been written by Taha. “I like Joe Strummer. We have the same obsession - freedom,” says Rachid. When he heard of Strummer's recent death, Taha recorded his own version of the Clash song: "Rock el Casbah" as a tribute.

Watching video clips during the first Iraq War, Taha heard the Clash song blared by US troops during the short engagement with Iraqi forces. – “I wanted to show that this is not a war song, but much more a peaceful song.”

Rachid Taha’s "Rock El Casbah", sung in Arabic, is a sly cover of the Clash classic and provides a nice entree into the power, intelligence and humor of his own music. Rachid Taha's stance against racism, hypocrisy and nostalgic ghetto complacency, have earned him a fearsome reputation in France, North Africa and the Arabic world.

A cultural figure with powerful views on racism and injustices in French society, his music reflects these tensions and has, in Brian Eno’s words, an energy and confidence arising out of his belief that music can still change the world.

Says Rachid: “I’m a proletarian, I’m of the people… so I’m protesting. For me the music’s a protest. So all my songs are like this because I wanted to stop making metaphors. I said it’s time to speak out now.”

Medina Memories
Gregg Chadwick
"Medina Memories"
38"x38" oil on linen 1992-2005

Rachid Taha quoted by BBC's 'The World':

"When I hear George Bush, and when I hear Osama bin Laden, I hear two bedouin nomads. The only difference he says, is that one of them is from the desert of Texas and drives an SUV, and the other is from the desert of Saudi Arabia and rides a dromedary." Taha says Bush and bin Laden come from similar well-heeled backgrounds. And both, he says, use a similar fundamentalist rhetoric.

Taha's "Rock el Casbah" is on "Tekitoi" (Who Are You?), Rachid's first album after the September 11 attacks.The title track is sung as a dialogue between a young Frenchman and a young Algerian. They ask each other “Who are you?” This question, Taha says, “is part of the healing process. If you start to recognize that we are the same, then you don’t want to do something bad to someone else.”

Rachid Taha: Barra Barra

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

"Did you hear the cops finally busted Madam Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they do..."

"Back in the day when I was a fixture on the Asbury Park boardwalk, I'd often stop and talk to Madam Marie as she sat on her folding chair outside the Temple of Knowledge. I'd sit across from her on the metal guard rail bordering the beach, and watched as she led the day trippers into the small back room where she would unlock a few of the mysteries of their future. She always told me mine looked pretty good - she was right. The world has lost enough mystery as it is - we need our fortunetellers. We send our condolences out to her family who've carried on her tradition. Over here on E Street, we will miss her."
--Bruce Springsteen

More at:
Madam Marie
Daniel Wolff's Excellent Book: 4th of July, Asbury Park: A History of the Promised Land
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