Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Little Mountain Gallery Vs. No Fun City

Vancouver is renowned for being a vibrant, multicultural city but it has also earned the title of 'No Fun City' for good reason. It appears that in order to stay afloat here, the art and music scenes have to fight tooth and nail as The City of Vancouver is slowly but surely doing its best to eradicate them.

If you're attending the Vancouver Art Gallery or venues such as GM Place and willing to pay the guts of $50-100 per ticket for shows run by LiveNation etc then no problem. However City Hall appears hell bent on destroying grassroots, independent venues. Hoko's, Roy G Biv, The Peanut Gallery The Sweatshop, Casa Del Artista and The Emergency Room were just a few of the venues shut down who supported independent local Arts .

Now it has turned its attention to Little Mountain Gallery (LMG). Little Mountain is a small building located on 195 east 26th Avenue, just off Main Street. It was originally built in 1930 and over the past few decades has been home to a garage, a sheet metal shop, a plumbing and heating outlet, a soda pop bottle depot and South Seas Meats Ltd.

The Butchershop Floor and Butchershop Collective (2001 - 2006) saw the little buildings potential and turned the space into an ideal environment for the Arts. Little Mountain Gallery was established April 7th, 2006. LMG was founded with the intent to provide an affordable, open minded, all ages space to support and promote the Arts within the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. The folks that run the space are actively involved in the neighbourhood and sponsor a local little league team.

Last week they were visited by the City Official who deemed them to be operating in violation of their license (they are not zoned or licensed for live performance). LMG was told that the City would be issuing them some sort of notice this week. While it remains unclear what exactly this notice will demand, it is quite likely to be a cease and desist order.

I have been to many, many events here and it's one of my favourite places in the city. I have been introduced to some wonderful people and been exposed to some life changing culture as a result of Little Mountain. I continue to return because i want to support local artists, it has a friendly, safe, open minded atmosphere and i would rather support the gallery and local neighbourhood businesses rather than franchises or corporations . I have never once seen any altercations or negative behaviour amongst those who frequent LMG, which is more than can be said for some of the venues licenced on the likes of Granville Street.

The city of Vancouver has undermined the availability of artistic space for the past decade with draconian enforcement against illegal venues and tough bylaw enforcement for legal spaces. City Hall doesn't seem to grasp the magnitude of their actions: that by closing down venues such as LMG they are killing what makes the city unique and are rapidly turning it into a corporate and gentrified wasteland.

Dustyn Lucas Show at LMG

The volunteers that run LMG have called an emergency meeting with Councilor Heather Deal on Thursday July 29th to try and see what can be done to save the gallery. The plan is to present Ms Deal with as many letters of support as possible from people who use the space and reiterate why Vancouver's art scene cannot afford to lose another venue.

Please take 2 minutes to submit a email/letter addressed to Councilor Deal to littlemountaingallery@gmai
l.com no later than Wednesday July 28th.

Image: Jeff Johnson of Ok Vancouver Ok

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically.
We grow sometimes in one dimension and not in another; unevenly.
We grow partially. We are relative.
We are mature in one realm, childish in another.
The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present.
We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

Anaïs Nin

A gradual realisation that although at times it may feel easier, the worst thing one can do is to stay still and stagnate. In an effort to proceed, there's been lots of reflection and taking stock of what i wish to carry forward and what to leave behind.

8 inches taller and 8 years older, upon our first meeting i had no notion of the impact he would have on my life. A seemingly simple encounter led to someone who became my dear friend, lover, confidant, at times antagonist and in a way, my first real life teacher.

An old soul possessing an army of rubber ducks, an immense artistic talent, a sense of humour that could reduce me to hysterics and despite unbelievable personal challenges, an unwavering interest in people and the world around him.

A day rarely goes by without his influence being felt in some way, shape or form. The list of music, art, literature, design and film that he introduced me to is immense and I am forever indebted to him for introducing me to the likes of:


Jim Woodring.

My love for Jim Woodring’s work has only deepened as it appeals to both the adult and child within. A Seattle based artist and comic book author originally hailing from Southern California; Woodring has produced some pretty surreal work over the years of which 'Frank' is my favourite.

Frank is an undetermined creature who Woodring has described as being a "generic anthropomorph". He inhabits an unusual world called the Unifactor which also features characters such as Pupshaw, Man-hog and Whim. The Frank stories are inherently psychedelic, usually wordless and are either drawn in vivid color or black/white.

Suffice to say that i can't do his work justice with a few words but the following article is a well articulated and comprehensive piece on the world of Frank.

reclaims the spectacle, acting as a cartoon derive, affording us the ability to reimagine and renegotiate the squidgy territory of our childhoods. Children don’t experience the world as an endless reiteration of lovecuddly impressions - the view from their window is as frightening, incandescent and disturbing as our own, if not more so, and the lies we tell to children about winking moons and benevolent suns are lies we tell ourselves. I accept that it’s perfectly natural for us to create the universe in our own image, but *we* are a gazillion times more outlandish and many tentacled than we let on. Woodring knows this, and he steals back the hallucination in order to remind us. No matter how hard we try to package, limit and sanitize the substance of things, both imaginal and otherwise, the universe instinctively tends towards the marvellous, demented, unfathomable and uncaring."

To learn more about Jim Woodring's work:


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Perverted By Language

Approx 240 mg of caffeine imbibed + Mark E. Smith caterwauling =

"I'm Totally Wired.
My Heart and I agree.
My Heart and I agree.
I'm Irate, Peeved, Irate, Peeved,
Irate, Bad State.
Bad State."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


"I love my grey hairs. I've earned each one.”

He sat waiting outside a café whilst thumbing through a book, I rushed flustered and breathless into a firm handshake. A face that threw me for a loop, open and sun speckled, inquisitive blue eyes, greying temples and an easy smile. Gentle voice with umm’s and quiet laughter.

Breeze blowing across the park bench as Canada turned 143. With chai tea warming my palms I stole glances, teeth glimmering as he spoke of Indonesia, language, history, insects, music and life experiences. I felt like a child bestowed with a secret as he showed me a city garden hidden by a thicket of green.

The city splayed as we walked.
13 hours spent spinning stories and revelations regarding lack of inner images.
An insatiable curiosity about the world
A hug farewell.

Never one to leave a sentiment unspoken,
believing honesty to be the only policy .
Over analysing the 'why's' and 'how’s' and 'what’s'.
Walking away disappointed as Ms Emma Goldman returns home.

Vapor Veil

"Conquering the addiction had been an action on the philosophic level, as well as every other. It involved taking hold of the way I imagined time. Instead of picturing the days stretching endlessly ahead, intolerably cigaretteless, I managed to train part of my mind into being in the here and now, where I could make the repeated decision not to smoke.

But I was barely succeeding. I followed people who were smoking in the street to gulp their slipstreams. In cafés and trains I was a keen passive smoker. I was obsessed with having cigarettes in my pocket to finger, so for months I carried a full pack in my pocket, replacing it with another when it became battered and began to leak tobacco."

Nuala O'Faolain (link leads to her searingly honest final interview recorded days prior to her death)

Smoke Art:
Graham Jeffery

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bang Bang Bang

"Feathers, I'm plucking feathers
One by one, by one
No more skylarking, around my head
Your information
But there's no hiding, behind moulting feathers"

Mark Ronson's latest offering has slunk it's way into my brain. 80's. Very 80's. Electro synth squelching. Vocals from Q-Tip. It had also given me a heads up on MNDR (aka Amanda Warner) , an innovative Brooklyn electro geek complete with Deirdre Barlow styling and bad ass vocals. If this anything to go by, the forthcoming album 'The Record Collection' which is due for release in September may be worth a full listen.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


"There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It's a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die."

Excerpt from Gonzo Papers, Vol. 2: Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80s

Thursday, July 08, 2010


2 years on (a mere zygote compared to it's namesake!) and although i may not post as regularly as i would hope, i am grateful for the opportunities, experiences and people that this site has brought into my life.

Thanks to those who read, email, comment and inspire on a daily basis!

Image: KushTush

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


"...stand still and let him go on his way."

Some days i feel like a deranged penguin-going in the opposite direction to most.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Ch' Sh'

Here's to opening and upward

here's to opening and upward, to leaf and to sap
and to your(in my arms flowering so new)
self whose eyes smell of the sound of rain

and here's to silent certainly mountains; and to
a disappearing poet of always, snow
and to morning; and to morning's beautiful friend
twilight(and a first dream called ocean) and

let must or if be damned with whomever's afraid
down with ought with because with every brain
which thinks it thinks,nor dares to feel(but up
with joy; and up with laughing and drunkenness)

here's to one undiscoverable guess
of whose mad skill each world of blood is made
(whose fatal songs are moving in the moon)

E.E Cummings
Image: Sklender

Monday, July 05, 2010

Unforgettable Part 3: Moondog

"Rhythmically I'm in the past.
Melodically and harmonically, I'm in the present or avant-garde"

A familiar face to many on the streets of New York for 30 years Louis Thomas Hardin was known to most as 'Moondog': musician, composer and poet. Born in Kansas in 1916, his interest in music began at an early age. When his missionary family relocated to Wyoming a few years later, Hardin's father brought him to an Araphao dance where he was exposed to Native American rhythms for the first time. Hardin then went on to play drums in high school.

A turning point came at the age of 16: a stick of dynamite that he had found on a railroad track exploded and blinded him in both eyes. He became more immersed in music and began to learn the principles of music. The vast majority of his musical education in aural training and composition was self taught. He also supplemented this with musical theory from braille books.

In 1943 he moved to New York where, for the first few weeks, he played on the street as a way of making money and gaining exposure. He became friendly with composers and musicians such as Charlie Parker, Leonard Bernstein and Benny Goodman. He continued to busk and sell copies of his poetry mostly on 53rd Street and 6th Avenue in order to support himself .

It was around this time that he began to wear distinctive clothing complete with a horned helmet which was inspired by Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. This lead to the nickname 'The Viking of 6th Avenue'. In an 1998 interview he mentioned that "When I first got to New York and I was attending rehearsals of the Philharmonic, they wrote me up as 'a man with the face of Christ.' I put up with that for a few years, getting compared with a monk or Christ, then I said 'that's enough, I don't want that connection. I must do something about my appearance to make it look un-Christian.' At that time, I was studying the Norse and I felt much closer to that than Christianity so I'd do something to make it look more Nordic. That's what was behind it.

Regarding his Viking garb he stated "I do not dress the way I do to attract attention, I attract attention because I dress the way I do."

In the late 1940's he adopted the name 'Moondog' after a hound "who used to howl at the moon more than any dog i knew". A visit to a Sun Dance in Idaho in 1949 put him back in touch with the Native American music he had heard as a child. The strong rhythms of Native music combined with classical and jazz influences and ambient sound became a distinguishing feature of his work. Throughout the 50's and 60's he worked with a number of symphonies, had his work performed by the likes of Janis Joplin and composed music for the Mother Goose album with Julie Andrews and Martin Green.

He also worked with some craftsmen to produce some custom instruments in a search for new sounds.The best known of these are the "Trimba", a triangular percussion instrument and a small triangular-shaped harp known as the "Oo", another which he named the "Ooo-ya-tsu",

Germany was Hardin's next point of call-he moved there in 1974 where he spent the remainder of his life and often described himself as a European in exile. A German named Ilona Goebel helped Hardin set up a primary holding company for his artistic pursuits. He briefly visited America in 1989 for a tribute organised by Philip Glass where Hardin would conduct the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra.

Hardin died in September 1999 at the age of 83, leaving a large body of work and a rich musical legacy behind.

For More Info:

'Moondog, The Viking of 6th Avenue: The Authorized Biography'

1998 Interview with Perfect Sound Forever

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