Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Inspired by a Christmas book I got from my sweetheart on Noah Webster, an American lexicographer, textbook pioneer, English spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author. He has been called the "Father of American Scholarship and Education" and well known for the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Fisk was born in the hamlet of Pownal, Vermont in the township of Bennington on April Fool's Day. After a brief period in school, he ran away in 1850 and joined Van Amberg's Mammoth Circus & Menagerie. Later, he became a hotel waiter, and finally adopted the business of his father, a peddler. He applied what he learned in the circus to his peddling and grew his father's business. He then became a salesman for Jordan Marsh, a Boston dry goods firm. A failure as a salesman, he was sent to Washington, D.C., in 1861 to sell textiles to the government. By his shrewd dealing in army contracts during the Civil War, and, by some accounts, cotton smuggling across enemy lines (in which he enlisted the help of his father), he accumulated considerable wealth, which he soon lost in speculation.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
One of the grandfathers of American Country music, Carson Robison started out as a trick whistler who could whistle two tunes at one time. He went on to make the landmark recording of "The Wreck of the Old '97" b/w "Prisoner's Song" (1924), widely regarded as country music's first million-seller. There is a great article on him in the September issue of my favorite magazine, the Old Time Herald.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Yes, that charmingly disheveled U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the Independent Socialist of Vermont is leading a one man filibuster against the odious and Dickensian Obama-GOP tax cut deal. He has been going strong since 10 am eastern time. Watch live footage here or here. Here is his website if you want to give him a donation or ask him a question.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Inspired by the amazing new(ish) book Ultimate Sacrifice. I have read many books on the JFK assassination, including Six Seconds in Dallas and Jim Mars' Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. This book is the best and most comprehensive in terms of background involving Cuba and the Mafia, mainly because of the wealth of documents that were only declassified within the last 10 years. It basically posits the theory that three southern mafia bosses infiltrated the Kennedy brothers plot to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba. Once involved in this plan, these Mafia bosses used their usual hit tactics: moving vehicle, a communist patsy, and CIA/FBI connections to secure a government cover-up-therefore keeping there own nefarious, clandestine plans secret by way of a sort of governmental blackmail/embarrassment. I can't recommend the book enough.
Soundtrack is Son House performing his salute President Kennedy.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This was done by myself and Amanda Moore for STG presents. The whole thing is based on the poster designed and illustrated by the talented Amanda Moore.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Soundtrack provided by the uncomparable Mike Seeger from his 1966 Folkways album Tipple, Loom & Rail. The song is called Miner's Blues and was originally recorded by the Great Frank Hutchison on September 11th, 19 and 28 for the Okeh record label. Album given to me by Davey O'Houlihan.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I just got my new tools from McClain's and some resingrave given to me by Russ Weicking for learning how to woodcut. Russ also let me try out his tools last weekend so I knew which ones I liked. Thanks again Russ! The Spitstickers are my favorite. The amount of detail you can get is amazing compared with the linoleum. I am going to illustrate a Russian Folk Tale as my first experiment in wood engraving.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
I made this animation for the Moondoggies for their song Empress of the North. The album is called Tidelands and comes out October 13th.
If anyone is interested, I am selling individual frames from the animation- each one is hand watercolored. Thanks go to everyone who helped out- Amanda Moore, Adam Powers, Kent Colony, and my parents Brian and Laurel Christie!
Friday, October 01, 2010
My animation will be playing OCTOBER 2, SATURDAY AT 7PM at the Northwest Film Forum with a bunch of other animations. You can order tickets in advance here.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
My contribution to the Rain City Engravers 2011 Calendar. Printed with the help of Russ Weicking & Laura Fox, proprietors of Mallemok Press. It was printed on a Vandercook which, many years ago printed newspapers. Thanks again guys!
Soundtrack provided by the great Larry Hanks singing an ancient cautionary tale called Tobacco.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
I contributed a linocut illustration of the late, great poet, publisher and Fugs co-founder Tuli Kupferberg. Every issue of Yeti has been amazing and this one (#9) is no exception. It features a great interview with Alasdair Roberts, Bruce Conner, Indian music scholar VAK Ranga Rao, Maryanne Amacher, hilarious etched comics and a great soundtrack/cd comp with Rev. Lonnie Farris and an outtake from the debut album from the the late, great Bobby Charles
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Cuz I'm in it! You can buy it at the store or read it here. These were two of the pictures not used by the magazine. Photos were taken by the amazing printmaker and wet plate photographer Daniel Carrillo. Here is his camera Daisy:
Friday, August 27, 2010
House of David was (still is?) a religious commune located in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It was founded by King Ben Purnell and his wife Mary with about 200 followers in 1903. King Ben claimed to be Jesus Christ's younger brother and the Seventh Messenger from God. To join the sect, you had to give over all your possessions to King Ben and renounce alcohol, tobacco, meat, violence, shaving, hair cutting and sex. But King Ben could have sex with your wife and your daughter when she turned 14. This last part is what brought King Ben down. He was brought up on charges and forced to hide in the underground caverns beneath one of his mansions. He was eventually caught in his bed with some under aged girls. He died before his trail concluded.
House of David at one time operated and owned a zoo, the largest fruit market in the world, farms, their own island, a hospital, factories, an Oldsmobile dealership, a theme park, a night club and a motor inn to name a few. They invented the waffle cone, the first cross-propeller system for cruise ships, powdered space meals for NASA, and the first bowling alley Pinnsetter. However, House of David is more famous for it's baseball team (see this old Sports Illustrated article), which traveled around and even hired ringers like Babe Ruth and Satchel Paige, who of course, had to wear fake beards and wigs so as not to give away their ringer status.
But most interestingly, House of David had a top notch Jazz Band, that's how I found out about them. I was perusing a Jazz book I had found and saw an entire band of bearded guys. No known recordings of them exist, but a song called House of David Blues does. Some members even made their own instruments! Here is a great article with photos and video and here is the House of David Museum website, lest you think I made all this up.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Born in Ohio in 1829, George Devol ran away from home and hired on as a cabin boy on a riverboat heading south. At the outbreak of the Mexican-American War in 1846, Devol took a steamboat to the Rio Grande to join the American troops in battle. However, while on the ship, an older gambler taught young George how to cheat at cards. Instead of going into battle with the American troops George ended up making $2,700 off of them and returned to New Orleans with his winnings.
In fights, Devol preferred headbutting, however, he kept a pistol called Betsy Jane for backup.
Devol's servant, Pinckney Pinchback learned his employer's tricks and became so good at gambling and winning, he quit his employ with Devol, entered politics and was elected Governor of Louisiana and in so doing, became the first non-white Governor in U.S. History.
Devol died penniless in Arkansas in 1903.
Soundtrack provided by The Holy Modal Rounders, Bound To Lose (taken from the old tune Walking Boss).
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Inspired by a photograph in the book Monte Cristo by Philip R. Woodhouse. The book was recently given to me by Ed Miller and it is a fantastic account of the town-plus its got a ton of great drawings, maps and photographs.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Chris Knutsen was a harp guitar, harp mandolin, ukulele, and steel guitar maker in Port Townsend, WA between the years of 1887 and 1900. He was at the forefront of harp guitar making at that time and later became a pioneer in Hawaiian steel guitars, even influencing Weissenborn and his design of Hawaiin guitars(famously played by Fahey and Bob Brozman as well as others with deep pockets). While in Port Townsend, the lovely and talented Amanda Moore found a little pamphlet on Mr. Knutsen for me- she already knew of my abiding love and respect for harp guitars- but little did we know harp ukuleles and harp mandolins were being made by Mr. Knutsen as well. Soundtrack is Bob Brozman doing New Vine Street Blues from Hello Central...Give me Dr. Jazz (1985)- an album that features a harp guitar prominently on it's cover.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Fire, Fire is playing at the Northwest Film Forum this week and new post at American Standard Time and trailer for new animation
Fire, Fire I Heard the Cry is playing this week at the Northwest Film Forum with the film Bass Akwards by Linas Phillips. Also, my first post on KEXP DJ and all around nice guy, Greg Vandy's blog, American Standard Time is up- go check it out. Also, here is the trailer for my next animation The Man Who Shot The Man Who Shot Lincoln (it's about Boston Corbett) Original score composed by Spencer Thun.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Inspired by three books I am reading at the moment- Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez, Tracks Across America, and American Railroads. Oliver Evans was an American inventor who pushed for railroads and steam engine carriages in America as early as the 1700's. He was also the inventor of the Oruktor Amphibilos, the world's first self powered amphibious vehicle.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The Ainu are an indigenous ethnic group of Japan and Russia. They are believed to have settled on Hokkaido before the Japanese and have what can be described as Caucasian features, including facial and body hair. They play a stringed instrument called the Tonkori that sounds mysterious and lovely.