He was 71 years old. I don’t think his death is particularly tragic (he had a great run, and accomplished things in his life that ordinary mortals could never even dream of), but it’s definitely a loss for the rest of mankind.
Long before there were internet memes, the standard line on the Velvet Underground was that they only sold 10,000 copies of the their first album, but every one of those 10,000 people started a band.
A man could have a worse legacy in life.
And that doesn’t even begin to address his post-Velvets solo career, which was by turns astounding, perplexing, confounding, lifesaving, and mindblowing. I couldn’t even pick a favourite album out of all that gold, much less a favourite song. Through good times and (in particular) bad, he was always there in the 80s and 90s, and in all the years since, his music has never been out of reach.
I’ve been listening to a lot of his music over the past few days, rediscovering some of it (“The Blue Mask”, “The Gun”), and renewing my faith in the ones I’ve always loved (“Coney Island Baby”, “Dirty Blvd.”). One song in particular, from the criminally-underrated New Sensations , was already in heavy rotation on a new playlist of mine, the “2013 Survival Mix”. I even happened to listen to it on Saturday night before I went out to a friend’s Halloween party.
His deadpan delivery always got me, along with the sense that the characters in his songs were all real people (and indeed, a lot of them were. Look up the lyrics to “Walk on the Wild Side” sometime). Plus, that rhythm guitar defined whole genres of music.
At any rate, I’m just glad to have grown up in a world with Lou Reed in it. Oh, and that song I mentioned? It’s “Turn to Me.” Exactly the kind of elegy he deserves.
A new guitar t-shirt for you this week:
Available here in the .
You have seen my 604 skull shirts. They started life as a tattoo design until my buddy Scott suggested putting the art on shirts. Since then quite a few Vancouverites have bought one of these:
Then my brother and I were chatting one night and he suggested doing shirts for people in the Maritimes (AKA, where I was born and raised). Here they are:
You can find ‘em here in my .
First off, thanks to everybody for their patience regarding the Ocean Rain show. We’ve tentatively settled on a date for the opening: Sunday, May 12, and we hope to make the official announcement any day now, once the last few details have been sorted.
And secondly, it’s Tuesday again, so it’s time for a new shirt:
For sale in my RedBubble store .
If you’re on the internet as much as I am, you see a lot of pseudo-profound but ultimately pointless “inspirational” quotes. When I do stumble upon something real, though, I have to share it.
Case in point:
“Authenticity comes from when you leave style behind in pursuit of your own intuition…”
Another Tuesday, another t-shirt. The hardest thing about this week’s post is deciding which new shirt to release; I actually have a bit of a backlog at the moment.
This week’s apparel:
As always, this can be found in my RedBubble store .
And we’re back with another installment of T-Shirt Tuesday. This week’s featured shirt is another design from the upcoming Ocean Rain show, in this case, a new seahorse:
And you can buy it right here .
Hey there. As you may have noticed, weekly t-shirt releases were on hiatus for awhile as we prepped for (and recovered from) Hot Pink .
But now we’re rebooting the t-shirt release program, starting with this octopus from the upcoming Ocean Rain show (more on this at a later date):
You can buy this lovely cephalopod right here in my Redbubble store .
Sixteen years ago this morning, I boarded a plane in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Several hours later I landed at YVR to start a whole new chapter of my life. That night I went out drinking with friends to Luvafair , and I’ve never looked back.
In the years since I’ve built a career and an amazing circle of friends here in Vancouver. I’ve seen things I never would’ve believed when I still lived back East. And this city has become the home I guess I was always looking for. The past few years have been rough, I’m not gonna lie. But would I trade away the bad if it meant losing all the good I’ve experienced here?
Not in a million fucking years. This city made me the man I am today, and I am eternally grateful for that. This is where I was born to be.
I love you, Vancouver.
Continuing with last week’s pin-up girl theme:
This and the shirts from round 24, of course, tie in with my upcoming Hot Pink art show.
And you can find this one here in my RedBubble store .
Without giving any secrets away, I have a new art show happening very soon. And as a teaser, I’m releasing these t-shirts:
You can purchase them .
And… that’s another year almost put to bed. Truth be told, it’s one I’ll be glad to see the ass end of (I briefly considered titling this post “Kiss My Ass 2012″ ).
Definitely a BIG year for me, by any standard, and one of constant change. When we went to bed in the wee hours of January 1st, I had pretty concrete, definite ideas of where 2012 would go. For better or worse, though, very few of those ideas came to fruition.
It’s interesting to view it in comparison with the previous year. 2011 started badly, marked with illness and drama. But every month after that was better than the preceding one, culminating in December – which, despite certain difficulties, was easily the happiest month of my entire life.
Which only made January of 2012 even shittier in comparison, as everything bottomed out on me at once.
By the time that month was over, everything that had been good about December was gone.
And I was done.
Each of the next three months had some further catastrophic event to add to the trauma. But fortunately, lots of work was happening, and my creativity never waned. So I kept painting, kept working, and kept my head above water.
Since then it’s been up and down.
It’s only in the last month or so that things feel like they’re coming together again, and my bruised ego finally put in an appearance again. So let’s focus on that, shall we? Who had the most positive, supportive impact on my life in December?
The roll call, in no particular order:
My family, Cynthia Griffiths, Jocelyn Aspa, Greg Lexiphanic, Brendan Moran, Lori Kittelberg, Pardeep, Ceci Graber, Terry Burns, Louise Perrin, Allison Vincent, Donna-Jay Crowe, Donna Jaggard & Dan Udey, Christine Warner, Lindsay Bayne, Alex Stewart, Dan Parker, Candice Roach, Bryce Pugh, Jewel Staite, Mike Watson, John Watson, George Smeltzer, Amanda West, Jaime Lee Purgavie, Rochele Potter, Andrea Waters, Geoff Seymour, Jennifer Juniper, Lyndsey MacEwen, Cathy Browne, Cindy McShane, Mila Pasco, Felice Lam, Chantal Michaud, Geoff Gauthier, Bon Bahar, Annie Friesen, Lynn McIlwee, Tawna Taylor, Jenn Ashton, Lisa Jarvis, Jackie Teel, Kevin Meyers, Jonny Warkentin, August Wiled, Nicola Proctor, and Victoria Pattison Denault.
I thank you one and all.
Disclaimer: if I missed you, you have my sincerest apologies. And I’ll keep editing names in as they occur to me.