Friday, July 30, 2010

Illustration Friday - Artificial

Picture 101
Originally uploaded by danguerra444
I suppose artificial intelligence can lead to artificial emotions and afflictions.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Illustration Friday - Double

Originally uploaded by danguerra444
"Make mine a double!" - Another illustration for Alehouse Press of the 21 Club in New York City.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Illustration Friday - Diary

Originally uploaded by danguerra444
This is the cover illustration for Alehouse Press, 2009 edition. Emily Dickinson was said to have kept many diaries, but I don't think any of them were published. :o)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beyond the Lighted Stage

'All the world's indeed a stage

and we are merely players,

performers and portrayers.

Each another's audience

beyond the lighted stage.'

Those are some of the lyrics to 'Limelight,' a song by one of my favorite bands, Rush. Written by Neil Peart, about his discomfort with fame. Always a bit of an enigma, the three members always kept a low profile, until recently when a documentary film about the band was released. Needless to say, I was riveted for two hours. They have been a favorite band of mine since the 70's, up there in the musical pantheon with Yes. Though the genre is 'rock', their music goes way beyond that. Yes is like looking at a gorgeous painting that explodes with color. Rush is like a magnificent building or edifice, an architectural wonder.

What Rush fans had been waiting for all these years has finally happened, a serious film that accurately details the background of the band and their rise from obscurity in Toronto to, as Geddy Lee says, "not mainstream, but OUR stream..." Everything is covered, the early years with drummer John Rutsey (someone who up until now was just a name and a photo on their first album, but seeing and hearing him made me appreciate his early contributions to the band), their struggle for a recording contract, relentless touring in the 70's, the triumphant release of their '2112' album that gave them their independence, all the way to Neil's tragic loss of his daughter and wife that nearly ended the band.

There are many interviews from other musicians who you wouldn't think of as Rush fans, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Gene Simmons, etc...Rush are often called "musician's musicians," meaning they are appreciated and respected by other musicians because of their devotion to the craft of playing extremely well...if you play guitar, bass, or drums, or even if you don't, it's almost impossible to listen to Rush without walking away with some measure of respect for their skill and precision. Add to that the erudition of their songs, the lyrics especially. Neil is very well-read and has a penchant for science fiction, philosophical, and literary themes. And it's true, as a teen, his lyrics spoke to me personally as it did with many others. Their songs weren't just about 'cars and chicks'...

When the ebbing tide retreats

along the rocky shoreline

it leaves a trail of tidal pools

in a short-lived galaxy.

Each microcosmic planet

a complete society,

all the busy little creatures

chasing out their destinies.

Living in the pools

they soon forget about the sea....

Always uncomfortable with fame, refusing interviews, ducking away from fans, it was refreshing to see Neil open up a bit in this documentary. But most of all, it was fascinating to see them offstage, as regular guys. There is a genuine humor and a brotherly warmth among the three of them. It was very much like visiting old friends.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Illustration Friday - Giant

Originally uploaded by danguerra444
In 'This is the Modern World' I included a giant statue of David with a Playboy model amid chaos.