Sunday, March 10, 2013


I’m not afraid to admit: art doesn’t always make sense to me. When attending a showing or looking at a display, sometimes it takes effort, but eventually I'll find something to appreciate. Sometimes it takes absolutely no effort and I fall in love with a piece the instant I see it.

Terrain was unfortunately neither of those for me this year.

A bigger space, more artists and less than a handful of things that stood out in the least. One showing that did catch my attention happened to be named “Ape Sh!t Show” very aptly fitting in retrospect. I personally felt the show overall was much too dark and bland- the type of art that’s trying too hard to be art- like the punk kid trying on 14 different outfits to make sure he’s punk enough. The night was a long boring blur featuring an overpowering lack of color, hope, inspiration and originality on the whole. The show was a tremendous let down in the broadest level.

The third floor featured the same slit-your-wrist bad poetry that can be heard at any gathering of more than two angst ridden teenagers anywhere about town, a live drawing demonstration (which I never did see actually happen), a smattering of blase' photography and, shoved in a neglected back corner, the few truly creative submissions: short films. The second floor featured a grey-scale rainbow of art work and photography that reached an over-saturated common theme of "uniquely different" several years ago and the first floor featured one band after another of the same post-Nirvana unintelligible garage band noise that Spokane refuses to break away from. At the end of the night the only thing I was excited about was getting home to take my shoes off.

On a more specific level, there were a few pieces that did catch my attention and showed a little bit of flavor- the above mentioned Ape Sh!t Show being one of them. One fun, vibrant bright spot in the night, the four piece Ape Sh!t photos taken around downtown superimposed a King Kong sized ape enjoying a brew atop the Steam Plant, window shopping in the third floor windows of River Park Square, taking in the sights from the Parkade, etc. Aside from the whimsy, the photos layering caught my eye, made me wonder how they pieced together the art work to make the pictures look real; unless they actually were and I missed the news clip about a giant ape in an awesome 70’s jacket running around downtown. The set was unique, different and colorful in a room full of bland.

Another piece that caught my attention was an installment piece by Brent Schneider of six skate decks assembled together painted candy colored blue, red and green with three old school Nintendo 8-bit black/grey pictures made out of keyboard keys: a Nintendo controller, Mario jumping, and a Mario mushroom. Being a child of 80’s it was a cool nostalgic piece to look at. Beyond nostalgia, the work that went into making the pictures out of various colors of keyboard keys was flat out impressive.

A brilliant Dr. Seuss-ish knife sharpener/whisk machine and two great short films round out all the art that caught my attention. Five pieces (sets) in a three story art exhibit; more than slightly disappointing.

I will point out again though: art is subjective and a different experience for every person. Terrain's show this year wasn’t my thing. It’s ok and it happens sometimes. Some days you want to take everything home, some days you can't understand why anyone would take any of it home. The majority of people loved the show, many pieces of art had sold stickers, the bands, I'm sure, all garnered new followers. The event on a whole, while not my particular cup of tea this go round, was well organized, well attended, and did not lack at all in the number of submissions and participants. It's great to see an event that opens its doors for so many artists to have a chance to be on display in Spokane. Terrain is a much needed and much appreciated yearly event that should be on everyone's calendar simply for the experience.

As important as it is to open your mind to art, it is equally important to be able to say sometimes it’s just not your taste. That is the beautiful thing about art- there are so many different types, levels, styles and colors, there’s always more to see and another opportunity to find something you love. Last year was an unforgettable experience for some people, this year may have been for others. Maybe next year will be mine.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Last summer, late one afternoon, I got a call from one of my bosses: "What are you doing tonight? There's a band in town you should hear..."

Della Mae, in town to visit family before heading over to Seattle for a show, had happened to stop by Coeur Coffee, a shop my boss had heard me mention a few times. A few hours later a back room was cleared out, instruments were brought in, and Della Mae put on an impromptu concert for family, friends, and a few random people (like me).
I walked in to the coffee shop that night 100% blind knowing only the name of the band- no clue what kind of music, instruments, any idea what to expect.

Completely unplugged, completely on the fly, Della Mae BLEW. ME. AWAY.

Five young ladies- Kimber Lukider on fiddle, Celia Woodsmith on guitar and lead vocals, Courtney Hartman on guitar, Shelby Means on bass, and Jenni Lyn Garnder on mandolin- they are a POWERHOUSE of bluegrass music.

There's a certain pure, unaltered power that raw music carries with it away from recording studios, amplifiers, stages. Della Mae that night moved me to tears, smiles, pure musical enjoyment listening to their set. From very powerful traditional bluegrass hymns to their saucy honky-tonk songs these girls know their instruments, know their voices and their talent is undeniable. They blended together anywhere from 2-5 part vocal harmonies, all the different instruments, spot on rhythms, all on the fly. Undoubtedly there are countless hours of practice and hashing things out behind the scenes that go into a sound that well put together (especially unplugged), but these gals made it look seamless and simple.

Kimber Ludiker, a Spokane native, pulled the band together searching from coast to coast for the best female players. To say she was successful is a huge understatement- these gals are PHENOMENAL; they have an impressive list of accolades, awards, and industry supporters growing every day.

Since leaving Spokane last summer they have been going non-stop playing bluegrass festivals across North America as well as being selected to play as part of a 42 day State Department Exchange at US Embassy's across the globe (you can find video clips of them playing in all different countries on their web site)- no small feat.

They will be back in Spokane February 27th for a concert- trust when I say regardless what label of music you like, you do NOT want to miss them playing. YES, it's bluegrass. YES, I understand not everyone likes "country." If you like good music, good vocals and appreciate damn good talent, then you shouldn't miss them.

I can't say how much I truly ADORE Della Mae- their CD is almost worn out from dancing to it in the kitchen and singing along in my car. GO, SEE THEM (and help kick cancer's ass at the same time), download their music, check them out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

two penny post

If you've read my other blog Brain Vomit (shameless plug) then you're well aware of my all out in the open writing style- I'll carry that over here but maybe slightly cleaned up and with proper punctuation and all that boring stuff.

two penny post will be the home for all my opinions on books, music, bands, movies, events about town, ANYTHING I feel like voicing my opinion on.

I'm not associated to anyone, don't report to anyone, my opinions are entirely my own. Good and bad about that: NO filter. I don't have to worry about offending anyone, editing, filtering, any of that crap. I get to say what I want, how I want. Bad: well, there's not really a bad other than the fact that probably only 10 people will ever read this and the WHOLE WORLD deserves to be subjected to my opinions. It's not narcissistic if it's true.

What qualifications do you have to write?

I learned how to put a pencil to paper at an early age and can spell most words correctly. Do I need anything more?

Why should I read your opinions?

Because I'm honest. Whether you agree or disagree I'll make sure to say WHY I like (don't like) something and give you a few points to ponder. GUARANTEE not everyone will agree with my opinions. I actually LIKE that. Tell me why I'm wrong. Tell me what I missed (just say it nicely).

Some people may think I'm a total crack pot with no taste. This is quite possibly very true. Still going to write in case other crack pots with no taste want to know what's good or not. Don't like it? Don't read it. Simple as that.

Why two penny post?

A penny for your thoughts, my two cents, you get the idea. According to wiki (which is NEVER wrong): "There is also some belief that the idiom may have its origins in the early cost of postage in England, the "twopenny post", where two pennies was the normal charge of sending a letter containing one's words and thoughts or feelings to someone."

One standing promise: I'm not right, I'm not wrong, I'm simply opinionated. Every post will be unfiltered, honest, straight from me. My thoughts for you, two penny post.



#1: I AM NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANYONE. I'm not paid to write this, I'm not hired by bands, authors, events coordinators. I'm not trying to promote any one specific person, place or thing. This is me, attending random events, listening bands, reading books, looking at art, ONLY ME.

#2: I've been known to curse a little in my writing. Ok, more than a little. FINE. I drop the f-bomb in every way, shape, and description as needed. It happens. If you don't like it, don't read it. No, I'm not undereducated. Yes, I know there are probably other words that could get the same point across. It's simply the way I write.

#3: If you happen to like what I wrote, that's great. If you happen to disagree with me, that's great too. The only thing I require is that if there is a comment you'd like to leave, BE CIVILIZED. I will moderate comments if they are violent, offensive, slanderous, or just plain rude. I will do my best to provide honest opinions in the most healthy way. I WILL NOT BLATANTLY ATTACK ANYONE, I request the same in return.