smoke signals - flashing mirrors - messages in bottles - carrier pigeons - flags in the air - hoofbeats on the ground

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Drakkar Sauna @ Empty Bottle

Recently we visited the Empty Bottle to bare witness to a Drakkar Sauna show and oh so glad I was to do so. First and foremost we must mention the opening bands as they were quite delightful.
Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons

How blues like and jazzy to the ear this all was. The dank surroundings of the Empty Bottles venue made their music so much more exquisite. Indulge me for a moment: slinking along the steps with a beer in one hand a cigarette in the other hearing gentle intermingling harmonies and watching the accordion breathing with the lyrics, it was all a perfect scene.

Melissa had this to say about it: "I want to make paintings that are like clarinets in dirty bars."

Romping along after to get the blood flowing and make our ears perk came...
Barely American

And it was at this point that the sounds of what I could only describe as Irish punk-esque feelings with some rock-a-billy and a whole lot of loudness came striking off the stage. Fantastic characterization. "Unexpected" would be the word I'd choose to watching their performance, maybe even tagging on "pleasantly" before it.

Then at long last, rolling in around 11:45 on a cold Sunday night in Chicago came the taut harmonic two-stepping tunes of Mr. Jeff A. Stolz and Wallace J. Cochran from Lawrence, Kansas.
Better known to us here as:
Drakkar Sauna

They are a riot. Literally speaking their own language through song and through speech. Their stage routine encourages others to emulate their process laughingly knowing all the while it cannot be attained by anyone other then these two. Each song is succinct, impressively punctual with each note and each key. The likes of which continues to resonate well after you've left the venue. These are musicians who love their craft requiring nothing more then four instruments, guitars, tambourine (tied to foot), the harmophone (basically a small piano that plays like a harmonica) and their incredibly skilled and disciplined vocal cords. If you have a chance to pick up one of their albums, see them in concert, or read some of their work. I highly recommend it. For all those back home tunes folk that cant get enough of two steppin, this is a true treasure.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Hey Joe,

Here's something fun i found at school tonight.

Appears to be some fancy automobile made of mostly chicken wire and tin foil.


No signage or signature of the maker(s).
More pics in my flickr

Monday, January 22, 2007

CC7: Hungarians, Sculptist Extraordinaire, & Yarnies

Hello and welcome to the blog entry for Canned Culture, Episode 7. Whoopding and whoop de do.

And here we go with it all...

First off, melissa is sporting a very fetching Scroat Belly T-shirt in this show. Check out the band here.

We are very excited to continue bringing you some of the best of the best of artists names that you should become familar with. These individuals are literally breaking the mold and paving a brand new path for all of us.

With so many wonders to choose from...lets get started.

Nimrod Antal's Kontroll

This film recommended to me by a Mr. Matt Runyen

Id like to use my own words but this wonderful review says it all, so Ill leave the words to Ms. Ella Taylor from the L.A. Weekly:

Kontroll, a Hungarian quasi-thriller of considerable gloomy charm, won the Prix de la Jeunesse Award at Cannes last year, and it’s easy to see why. Set entirely in the depths of the Budapest subway system — at no point in its 106-minute running time do we see the light of day — the movie combines high-speed rail chases and schoolboy prankishness with the kind of romantic alienation that many young people wear with their basic black and assume will see them through the rest of their lives.

Writer-director Nimród Antal, still in his early 30s, lived in Los Angeles long enough to acquire a slight Tarantino swagger. But then he went home to study filmmaking, and his movie is unmistakably European in style — Tarkovsky, by way of the Kaurismäkis, with a dab of Jim Jarmusch. The plot, such as it is, centers on a group of ticket inspectors, a wan, lethargic breed apparently much reviled by Budapest commuters. At their helm is Bulcsú (Sándor Csányi), a moody young refugee from a better life aboveground with the hollow-eyed good looks of a young Paul Henreid.

Though he manages to keep his little band of losers together despite bullying from management, competition from a rival group of inspectors and intermittent provocations by a fleet-footed teenage stowaway, Bulcsú appears to have given up on life. To make matters worse, he’s haunted by a mysterious hooded figure who creeps up behind commuters and pushes them into the path of oncoming trains. Then comes love, and hope, in a form only an Eastern European surrealist could conjure up, that of an exquisite woman in a teddy-bear costume with a ludicrously padded rear end.

Kontroll is goofy, smart and beguiling, and it whips up an almost unbearable luster from its grimy subterranean labyrinth — a gorgeously lit image of Bulcsú sitting disconsolate atop a huge vent in the tunnel is unforgettably wistful. What the movie lacks is a point, unless you count Bulcsú’s rote existential quest. But Nimród Attal has time on his side, and we should expect to see much more, and much better, from this talented young filmmaker.

And here's the trailer: Kontroll Trailer
Leah Brown

What can I begin to say about the wonderful Ms. Leah Brown that has not already been said. Well....I bet we can think of an entire days worth of words, non-stop to say about this incredible sculptist as she continues to develop and evolve her craft. Leah is a resident artist at the Hub-Bub Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

She has a weath of venues and installations on her resume and is currently doing some more really great things. Though I should just let her tell you about that herself. Below is and extra portion to the interview held with Leah Brown featured in our latest episode.

Below are the specifics on the date, time, local of the Scarecrow Wedding if your lucky enough to live near this area of even within a 10 hour radius, hiking down there and taking a gander might be worth your while.

The Scarecrow Wedding will be up at the Cottonwoods Trail in Spartanburg, SC, during the month of February. Reception is Saturday, Feb. 10th from 3-5. Champagne and Wedding cake will be served. Free and open to the public.

As well as her:

Exit Show from the Hub-Bub.Com Artist in Residence Program will be held the last week in March through the 3rd week in April at the Showroom Gallery in Spartanburg, SC. Opening Reception TBA. Gallery hours are Mon-Fri 9-5.
I know I am going to try and make a detour to this amazing opportunity to work as part of Suzan Lori-Parks nation wide tour piece.

Also I'm building an installation to be used as the stage set for 2 weeks of the production of Suzan-Lori Parks project, 365 days/365 plays. The plays are are weeks 22 (April 9-15) and 24 (April 23-29) and are a part of a national project where a different play is performed every day for a year in theaters around the country. This is in association with Woffard College and will be located at The Showroom Gallery in Spartanburg, SC.

All of this and more can be seen here at: Hub-Bub

Amber A.K.A. Applefaerie

Until a few months ago, when Melissa introduced me to the DIY revolution, I had no idea people still spun their own yarn. The concept was a bit astonishing as it is no simple task and the art is intricately detailed. If anyone loves taking ideas and concepts, scenes and seasons, food and poetry - and turning it into tangible thread-like material to be knit/crocheted/worked into anything the fiber-lover's heart desires, it is Applefaerie.
However, it is one thing to be told this and quite another to see for yourself.

Be sure to check out her Etsy account here: Applefaeri

e Yarn

And do not miss the extended version of the process (the kind of wonder journey you'd take with Mr. Rogers to the crayon factory) at her Flickr here: Extended Collection

At some point I seem to remember babbling about one of my super fav shows, CROMARTIE HIGHSCHOOL!

Which was recently made into a great -live action- movie. I rented it from Blockbuster, and Netflix has it too. In short, there's a pretty simple plot: straight-edge kid winds up at the worst, delinquent-filled highschool in Japan. It's the hillarious characters, events, and strange philisophical ramblings (not to mention the gorilla, hard gay, and robots) that make this Top Shelf anime IMHO. (And the art is great too, btw.) The live action movie captures all of this with spot-on casting and a ridiculous script. Do NOT forget to check out the special features. There's a bit with the strange 'pooh' guys that can't be missed. And if anyone finds the theme song from the show in cell-phone-downloadable format, email me! ;p

Join us on and check out some of these here folks' pages as well to find out more about the individual, what makes them tick, what makes them smile, and such. That's all for this month. Take care kids.