Monday, September 29, 2008


Tal Yarden during his presentation at CUNY's Prelude Festival last week.

I know it seems like I've been AWOL of late, but I've just been busy drawing elsewhere for other things.

For example, last week I got to be part of The Prelude Festival. It was kind of an honor to be asked to participate in the Festival and it was pretty inspiring to be around all the artists and academics discussing the state of theatre and performance. Back in grad-school I used to go to conferences like this and get in trouble for sitting in the back, doodling. Now it's not only what I do, but it's cutting edge. It's been a long journey to arrive in the same place.

At any rate, if you'd like to see the drawings from the Festival check them out here. WNYC has something about the event here and there's a great story about just what The Prelude Festival is over here at Time Out New York.

Also, this Friday, join us at The Public Theater for the opening of the Joe's Pub Gallery of my drawings and Kevin Yatarola's photography. We'll be going from 6:30-8:30 and I'm pretty proud of it. I hope you can make it.

Kelly Jones and Mike Viola

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Brazilian

Gilberto Gil at Joe's Pub, drawn during soundcheck yesterday.

Guest Appearance

With Elizabeth and the Catapult at Joe's Pub a few weeks back.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good Sax

It's the tenth anniversary of Joe's Pub and we've been having some amazing shows, shows that are the kind of thing you're only gonna get to see at Joe's Pub, shows that nightly display what an amazing place Joe's Pub continues to be.

For example, last week the alto-sax genius, Lee Konitz, played a set with Ethan Iverson accompanying on piano. It was billed as a concert with conversation, with Iverson asking occasional questions of Konitz who, in his answers about his improvisational methods, seemed content to answer with jokes and shrugs. He's a player and his eloquence flows mostly from his alto sax. That isn't to say he wasn't fascinating to listen to; on the contrary, for I am always most impressed with and moved by artists whose faith in the possibilities of the unknown is their paramount source of inspiration.

At one point, Iverson observed that Konitz had been annointed a "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts. In response Konitz tried to separate himself from the idea of being a "master" of anything. Searching for a word he felt comfortable with, he outright dismissed "master" and shrugged off the idea that he was "eminent."

"Noteworthy," he said simply, "I think I'm noteworthy" and then he played music that had never been played before and will never be heard again.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Harper Simon and Becky Stark during Soundcheck at Joe's Pub, Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Many Faces of Josh

Josh Kaufman, performing with Higgins at their album release party at Soundfix last Friday night.

You can download songs like this over at their site or get the whole album because anything Josh is a part of is gold, gold I tell you. For example, this Saturday he'll be performing with two of his other bands, Rocketship Park and, uhm, Balthrop Alabama as part of the Brooklyn Country Fair, FREE in Prospect Park.

I'm especially excited about this show because it marks the first time in a long while that I get to go to a Balthrop, Alabama show and just watch--it's outside and in broad daylight which makes projecting fancy drawings impossible, so come hang with me in the crowd. There will be free apples and tie-dye contests and pigs roasting on spits except for the pigs roasting on spits part which I just made up. It'll be really fun.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More Doodles Of Birds

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The Luminescent Orchestri at Joe's Pub last week.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Rich Girls

Rich Girls made their Pub debut over the weekend, playing the sort of gentle ballads they are famous for.

It's about time because most everyone who works at Joe's loves this band in a sort of irrational way. Check out their MySpace page for free downloads of their e.p. (Latch-Key Kids and You And What's His Name are two of my favorite songs ever) and sign up for their mailing list if only because the only way off of their mailing list is to send them a note with the heading "Your band sucks." You won't want to unsubscribe, but it's nice to know the option is there.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Happiness in Magazines

While we were out on tour in June, I got a message from story-teller extraordinaire, Greg Walloch, that this Los Angeles-based art magazine called Artillery was doing a story on the New York art world and he wondered if he could interview me for the issue about the work I've been doing at Joe's Pub and as part of Balthrop, Alabama.

This seemed like a good idea because--like most people--I don't get interviewed nearly as much as I should.

The interview turned out right nice and is out now in galleries in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. It is also available on-line. The print version features my first-ever magazine commissions on the cover and interior. The editors thought it would be a good idea to send me to an art gallery here in New York and draw people looking at art, which it turns out, was a particularly fun notion. I spent a couple of days hanging out at the Deitch Galleries in Soho watching people interact with (that is, "look at") a cool installation by the brothers known as Os Gemeos.

Here's the full version of the drawing that ended up on the cover . . .

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Another World

Spent the long weekend up in Canada, swimming and eating and swimming and cooking and swimming and laughing. Watched a couple of sunrises and sunsets without singing selections from Fiddler on the Roof, which is quite the accomplishment.

We watched this political spoof show on Canadian television all about how one of the candidates for high office in this one country South of Canada went and chose a ridiculous running mate for the Fall campaign for Presidency. It was pretty far-fetched, but it made me laugh. There was also this show about a massive storm hitting that same country and it was scary in the build-up, but didn't have much of a finish. It was kind of lame, but I thought it was pretty bold to have a big-budget action flick and then no pay-off.

Canadian television is pretty great.

Pascal watched a lot of this game where folks with rackets smack a ball at each other and kids run to pick the ball up when one of them misses. It was hard to tell which kid won because the announcers only talk about the folks with rackets.

We also watched a couple of episodes of the Muppet Show. They should get Miss Piggy to be the running mate for that crazy political party. She's been to outer space too.