Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Remembering Stonewall

"The Battle of #Stonewall - 1969" 
by Sandow Birk 1999 Oil on Canvas, 96" x 120"
Collection of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA 🏳️‍🌈 πŸ³️‍⚧️🏳️‍⚧️
http://sandowbirk.com/stonewall 🏳️‍🌈 πŸ³️‍⚧️

Suburbia is Subsidized: Here's the Math [ST07]

"Car-dependent suburbia is subsidized by productive urban places. That's why American cities are broke. But how bad is it, and who is subsidizing who? Watch the rest of the Strong Towns series here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... Urban3 is a consulting company that helps cities better understand the economic impact of development. They have worked with many American cities to better understand and visualize the costs of development, and uncover which properties are productive, and which are not. Some municipalities have been willing to share that information, and it has provided a fascinating glimpse into the financial problems caused by sprawling car-centric suburban development. https://www.urbanthree.com/ This video explores some of the cities analyzed by Urban3, and provides some lessons that cities should learn about how to build Strong Towns." Watch this video ad-free on Nebula here: https://nebula.app/videos/notjustbike...

06/28/22 Select Committee Hearing

Monday, June 27, 2022

Olivia Rodrigo - F*** You (feat. Lily Allen) (Glastonbury 2022)

At Glastonbury Olivia Rodrigo brought Lily Allen onstage and spoke out against Friday's horrendous US Supreme Court ruling:

"I'm devastated and terrified that so many women and so many girls are going to die because of this. I wanted to dedicate this next song to the five members of the Supreme Court who have showed us that at the end of the day, they truly don't give a s*** about freedom."

Rodrigo then went on to name the five justices who ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, with Chief Justice John Roberts filing a concurring opinion. 

"This song goes out to the justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh," Olivia Rodrigo said as the crowd roared. "We hate you."

Monday, June 06, 2022

Coldplay & Bruce Springsteen (Dancing In The Dark) - MetLife Stadium 6/5

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Darkness on the Edge of Town - 44 Years Down the Road

 by Gregg Chadwick

44 years ago today, Bruce Springsteen's fourth album Darkness on the Edge of Town was released. The wide open romanticism of Born to Run was missing from this new album. Instead we were greeted with a powerful mix of Steinbeck, Hopper, Woody Guthrie, and Springsteen's unleashed guitar. Bruce's new guitar sound was both lyrical and powerful. I put that sound into my artistic toolbox and pull it out when I need to. In the opening track Badlands, Springsteen howls that "It ain't no sin to be glad your alive." I've held on to that line as a call to action ever since. 

Gregg Chadwick
Love In Vain (Castro - San Francisco)
16"x20"oil on linen 2016

I had just finished my freshman year at UCLA and  this was my first summer on the Monterey Bay in central California. The pace of life was so much slower than Los Angeles or Washington DC and I found time for study and reflection in the hours after my temp job finished. I would go for a run through Point Lobos after work to clear my head and then would sit with East of Eden or The Grapes of Wrath until the sun went down. I would paint late into the night trying to get these new inspirations onto canvas. I had a lot to learn but I was dogged and I let my failures lead me onto new paths. 

Gregg Chadwick
This Machine Kills Fascists - Woody Guthrie
14"x11"oil on linen 2012
Peter Himmelman Collection, Los Angeles

The highways around Monterey were wide open in the late 1970's. Like a character in a Springsteen song I would drive to find out where I was going. Images that still need to be painted flooded in:

Early morning light on farm workers in the fields outside Salinas.
The crumbling docks of Cannery Row seemingly melting in the sea air.
Rows of US soldiers waiting their turn on the target line at Fort Ord.
The seaside chimera of Santa Cruz glowing in the morning fog.

Gregg Chadwick
The Opal's Rim (Point Lobos)
72"x48"oil on linen 1997
Private Collection, Los Angeles

On July 1, 1978, I took Highway 101 up from the Monterey Bay to Berkeley. I met my brother and his future wife Cathy at the edge of the UC campus and we wandered until we found the Berkeley Community Theater. Throughout my high school years in the suburbs of DC, my older brother Kent was studying at UC Davis and I cherished the moments we had together. Each time we reunited seemed like an epiphany. We talked and argued about life, art, politics, poetry, spirituality and music. We had seen a few concerts together on the east coast starting with a J Geils gig in Asbury Park. But neither one of us had seen Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play live. Until that night in Berkeley. 

The concert was a revelation, almost a rock n' roll revival. But there was also an undercurrent of pain and empathy like the Darkness album itself. Springsteen's 1978 guitar improvisation opening to Prove It All Night got us all out of our seats. 

Two songs stood out for me that night. The first was Springsteen's haunting, solo piano version of The Promise which became a sound that I tried to get into my paintings from that day forward. 

The second was Bruce and the E Street Band's electrifying version of Because the Night

I knew that Springsteen had penned Because the Night and then given the not quite finished work to Patti Smith to complete and record. I took that song on as my romantic talisman. Somewhere down the line I knew I would find a partner who would feel the passion from those haunting lines and that searing music just as I did. My wife, MarySue, and I found each other in 2003 and  our friend, the singer/songwriter Kelly Colbert performed a scorchingly hot version of Because the Night at our wedding on 7/7/07.

MarySue and Gregg at Their Wedding  7/7/07
photo by Sabine Pearlman

My artistic landscape was growing in the Summer of 1978 and Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town provided a soundtrack for the film of my life. And most importantly Darkness inspired me to find the stories that I wanted to tell in my art and life.