Just the like the chipmunks we gathered the Fall’s bounty for the upcoming winter. We pulled carrots and we promised our neighbor, Leo, that we would make him some carrot juice. He recently had his palette removed and he’s on a liquid diet. We dug up potatoes. We picked the last of the acorn squash. We rounded up the green tomatoes and put them in a paper bag. Our tomatoes had the blight so we pulled the plants out by the roots and put them in the trash. We picked a few heads of purple cabbage and the last of our jalapeño peppers. Peggi already canned seven quarts of jalapeños so we might try freezing these like Tom Kohn does.
And we have our eye on one the pumpkins that Monica grew in the garden. It’s a good size but still dark green. We wore ourselves out putting the garden to bed. I might need an expresso in order to get through tonight’s Margaret Explosion gig.
We played two sets at RoCo last night and spent most of the first set trying figure out what worked best in that lively gallery space. I Sparse worked best and provided at least some definition so we went with that. Director, Bleu Cease, invited us back to play the Members Show Opening so we must have found the sweet spot.
We packed the equipment and headed over to Abilene to catch the last of The Chinchillas set. They sounded great and the place was packed. Club owner, Danny, told us Toots from the Maytals was in there playing pool a few nights ago. The Chinchillas gig was a cd release party but they ran out of cds. You can see the empty plastic bag at their feet in the blowup of this photo. You’ll also notice the lighting rig in the foreground that gave the band that special glow. One of the two outdoor spots was working. Pete, on the left, churns out some great songs and they make this whole thing look effortless. They played some songs from the early eighties (some of these guys were in the Presstones) and finished with a song I’m still singing. “We’re Goin’ To The Liquor Store”.
I’m reading a book by Musa Meyer, Philip Guston’s daughter, called “Night Studio”. Wow. There’s a good chunk of therapy in there. It is impossible to be a great artist and a good father. Philip Guston is no saint unless you redefine “saint”. And I do. Saints, to me, are heroes. They are not all good and that makes them more godlike. Philip Guston is the patron saint of existentialists.
His late paintings are his best. They blow me away. What more could you ask for in a painting? They are meaty as hell, ugly and beautiful at the same time. And heroic. The MAG in Rochester has one of the late paintings called “Reverse”. It’s a painting of the back of a stretched canvas leaning against a wall. There is an incredible sense of form like R. Crumb. Probably a white wall but not in Guston’s hands. This is a whole environment. There’s a bare bulb from his closet childhood and a chain swinging like the light has just been turned on. The confrontation has begun.
This is my favorite painting in the Memorial Art Gallery’s collection and it manages to get better each time I see it. The MAG has put it in the best spot in the whole place. Its almost has its own room. And there is even a bench across from it, not some dumb piece of art but a bench you can sit on. Look for this painting.