This is essentially a re-write of the post from earlier today.#
It started with a simple visual comparison between a photograph by the LA-based art photographer Sue Hudelson and something newsy online I found about the outfit that the movie star Olivia Wilde wore to a big event in New York. To wit (what should follow are two photos)
If you look carefully you will note that in the first case, from 2006, the subject “Julie” is posed next to a guitar. The image was included in a recent art show about “The Guitar in American Art” — in fact the image dons the cover of the catalog, which is edited or curated by Leo G. Mazow. Just for yucks here also is my photo of the catalog, here at my table, at Coupa in Palo Alto:
I don’t know if that is what the designer calls it, but two writers for The Dartmouth called it a “guitar dress” — their comment is the nidus of this post.
In the first version of this post I was juxtaposing the simple comparison of the two photos with a riff about the names of certain musicians, their stage name compared to their given name or legal name — the connection was that Corey Harris was included in a video series via the Richmond, VA museum that originated the guitar show. That is, Corey demonstrates his technique on guitar but also describes some of his research on the history of the blues music and the history of the guitar. Corey won a MacArthur Genius Grant and has described the link between West Africa, the Caribbean, New Orleans and the geographic influence on music forms like blues, jazz and rock.
Corey Harris, I believe he has changed his legal name to something more aligned with his world-view, perhaps referencing Islam or Rastafarianism.
Meanwhile, I see that Alvin Youngblood Hart is the opening act for a tour by Mike Campbell who was in Tom Petty’s band. They have a sold out show at The Guild in Menlo Park. I know that Hart is actually named Greg. The “Alvin” in his stage name comes from Alvin and The Chipmunks, the popular cartoon characters who, before AI, have an unnatural yet charming vocal tone. AYH played a couple shows in the earlier version of Earthwise Productions. I also wrote a paper about AYH and his song “Manos Arriba Sucker” for a class at Foothill College. The song predicts in some ways the murder of George Floyd. (The song is actually called “Manos Arriba” and includes the lyric “start with the soul” which is the title of his 2000 album). *
I noted that a musician from England named Mark Stewart had died. My former client Stew, also known as Stew Stewart is also known to some as Mark Stewart. His opus “Passing Strange” is being remounted by a local theatre group in Arlington, VA.
Last night at the Guild I saw Young Dubliners the rock band from Ireland. I waited until the Warriors game was over so missed the hit. I was musing that people call the Warriors NBA “The Dubs” — I am promoting a November 11 concert of the same group and wonder about a cheeky yet inefficient poster using Jeff Mullin and the headline YOUNG DUBS PALO ALTO NOVEMBER 11.
That the singer of Young Dubs explained his song about Rwanda^ made me want to book this band for the reunion of the A3M group of activists who cut their teeth protesting the Vietnam War.
Meanwhile back at the ranch with Hans, Bret and Jan, I learned that some Palo Altans are cousins of Ross Bagdasarian and that he had a cameo in Rear Window:
*I’m also reminded that I visited New Orleans in October and took the opportunity to catch up by phone with Mem Shannon, the cab driving bluesman. My trip to New Orleans is also part of the backstory for my upcoming show with James Singleton, the bass player, who appears three shows next month with Will Bernard and, from Chicago, Charles Rumback.
^Quick story: reminds me that on my way to NoName hip hop show at Fox Oakland I met a Rwandan woman who now lives in Belgium, and gave her my plus one. I feel a bit bad because a half hour earlier I promised a ticket to a teacher I had met on the BART.
#this is the 3,525th post I have pounded
Regarding Stew – he seems to be working on a musical movie about the founding of Viagra with Spike Lee. If I read that right – from the New Yorker. And you are right, everything seems oddly connected even as people attempt to disconnect from names.