Thursday, July 29, 2010

Broken Records

The guys at URDB were on Jimmy Fallon last night but on Tuesday, they returned to Joe's Pub, bringing all their eager friends from behind the scenes of late night television to reap glory and satisfaction out of the act of achieving what has never been achieved. Like setting the record for the most fart sounds made on an Iphone while Sarah Palin's Going Rogue audio book plays. Or drawing the most covergirls from Us Weekly while singing the chorus of Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind in Pig Latin.

What can I say? Some people are born great. Some people achieve greatness. And some people have greatness thrust upon them.

And some folks, it might be said, just want to have fun.

By the way, every month, the URDB and I auction off my show drawing to raise money for worthy endeavors. This month, the drawing was sold to benefit the New York Special Olympics.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Do You Realize?

After ten eventful days on the road with Balthrop, Alabama, you'd think the first thing I'd want to do after getting home from tour would be to climb in bed for a week or so. Instead, I showered, shaved, threw my things in the closet and headed over to The Flaming Lips show at Summerstage. Titus and Douglas Sneade joined me, so I'm not the only lunatic in the group.

Soon after arriving, I was hustled in to Wayne Coyne's dressing room while the artist formerly known as Tofuhut conducted a ten minute interview with the head Lip while I drew. When asked what city parks meant to him, Mr. Coyne scrambled to answer, observing that Oklahoma was pretty much one big park. That said, he added, his specific memories of parks mostly involved tripping, smoking weed and a profound youthful encounter with a badly injured man at the site of a car wreck. How this information will be turned in to a promo for Central Park remains to be seen, but it was deeply honest and offered graciously.

About the show, there is not much I can say. I had the extreme privilege of sitting in the pit between the crowd and the band, so I was fairly close to a great deal of unadulterated joy on every side. If you've heard simply that a Flaming Lips show is a good time, you might well be taken aback by the explosion of weird beauty the band delivers.

As for me, last night was hands down the best way to spend the final night of the best tour I've ever been on and I only wish the rest of the town had gotten to come along.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Higher Def

John Ivy and I made this video for Sxip Shirey's Brooklyn Bridge Song. I drew it and came up with the basic notion and John animated it and came up with notions I never dreamed of--to go with Sxip's beautiful little tune, from his forthcoming CD, Sonic New York (Aimee Curl shares vocals on the song).

I approached the New York Times with the project when the video was about two-thirds of the way finished and they liked it enough to include the finished version on their Opinionator blog about a month back. Because of the vast amount of material the Times presents and keeps available in their archive, they compressed the file we gave them (which had already been compressed before they got it) and, regrettably, some of the detail was lost. That was a drag, but we were very grateful for the exposure and support. There is no better professional satisfaction I have experienced than seeing my work appear in the Times and I look forward to working with them any time they'll have me. But I really wanted folks to see the cleaner, less compressed master.

And now, the Times has kindly allowed us to post the video ourselves over on our various YouTube channels, and so Brooklyn Bridge Song gets another debut.

If you like it, share it. We're very proud of the collaboration and are currently at work on a follow up or two). Stay tuned for more details!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just Drawn That Way

Harvey Pekar, 1939-2010. I'm glad I got to draw him at least once while he was alive. I'm especially grateful that it was for such an amazing project.