July 31, 2008

The Summer Of Jeope

Today in the cafeteria at work I procured and ate the first taco of my entire life. I am 32 years old. And it was good – but not great – so I'm left uncertain if I will ever have one again.

This summer is going swimmingly.

July 20, 2008

154: Photomiscellanea VI

Top row (left to right): precious golden gummi, a suggestive (at least to Dave) lady-slipper macro, the quintessential prairie cowboy-with-sunset capture. Middle row (left to right): new evergreen growth macro, a leg-banded yellow warbler, abandoned farmstead interior. Bottom row (left to right): abandoned farmstead exterior (four-photo stitched panorama), Kerry's feet in smoke-obscured evening light.

a.k.a. Jeope's Annual Summertime Shutdownagain, I find it difficult to muster posts for this site when the weather is the way it is – despite the cooler-than-usual summer, the added rain and added-added mosquitoes. So, I offer you this grid of recent unblogged photos, a gentle push to my Flickr page where most of these have already been posted and written about – and a reminder to remember me and my humble site when I return.

You've been a great audience! Try the veal!

July 15, 2008

153: Folk 'Em If You Got 'Em

Behold, a six-pack of Canadians.Top row (left to right): Rebekah Higgs, John K. Samson of The Weakerthans, Basia Bulat. Bottom row (left to right): Joey Burns of Calexico (said he was born Canadian, who am I to disagree), Kathleen Edwards, Andrew Whiteman of Apostle of Hustle.

The 2008 Winnipeg Folk Festival expanded on a reputation for bringing the world to our door, outpost that we are, all tucked away up here in the dead-center of the continent. While the virtues of the festival itself continue to be debated as it grows ever larger, more popular and businesslike, it still cannot be ignored as the province's premier annual event for area music-lovers. This year more than most, I was able to get a sense of the festival's something-for-everyone credo – on the same weekend, followers of afro-beat, jug-blowing bluegrass, Word-spreading gospel and – here's where I get excited – a satiating mix of Canuck (and elsewhere) indie rock, could all locate their niche and contently co-exist.

On the evening main stage, genres meet and, on occasion, awkwardly connect (example: Thursday's opening set included, in order, Côte d'Ivoire singer Dobet Gnahoré, The Weakerthans and multi-culti feelgood hero Michael Franti). On the daytime stages however, themes can be hammered out and attendees can get their niche-y fixes. Among personal highlights were glimpses (or more) of...
  • Geoff Berner’s Thursday evening accordion-led ballad The Dead Children Were Worth It, hilariously skewing the bloated Vancouver Olympics. His subsequent knock on fest sponsor Volkswagen was even better.
  • Kathleen Edwards, whose lyrics can lift your spirit one moment, then crush your head in a kung-fu grip the next. Her mainstage rendition of Back To Me and a playful version of The Cheapest Key were dazzling.
  • Friday’s “I Hate Tucson” afternoon show, with Hayden, Calexico and The Weakerthans merging talents, often backing on each other’s songs. Calexico’s brass brought extra oomph to the Weakerthans’ Pamphleteer, and their own simmering build-up on Corona was pretty awesome in its own right.
  • Basia Bulat and The Apostle of Hustle – seeing both up close for the first time, finally putting faces to the names.
  • Ray Davies, despite seeming a touch cantankerous and primadonna, provided as good a weekend capper as any by obliging fans to a sing-along of Lola.
(Unfortunately, Saturday was a complete washout, a rarely-witnessed summer trifecta of cold, wind and rain that kept me housebound – yeah I'm a wus, but you shoulda seen it).

The more I get a handle on my camera, the more I can appreciate the access that can be had at the festival. My best shots above, plus a few more, can be viewed here on my Flickr home base.

July 08, 2008

152: Go Suck A Lemon

... is what this mosquito was dared to do – and in honour of Illustration
Friday's current theme of sour, I present to you the toe-curling results.

My original concept was of a trio of raucous mossies egging a compadre on to suck the lemon – a type of hazing ritual – but I found the three of them together quickly becoming an indistinct tangle of probosci and bug legs. So for the sake of simplicity, I put my efforts into boiling the sketch down to a single dim-witted, unfortunate critter. And then even moreso by removing the lemon altogether and opting for a piece a touch more 't-shirty' overall.

This illustration was crafted near-completely digitally, with the exception of the original mosquito doodle in pen. The typeface used is Rockwell Extra Bold, and the background texture was gleaned from Crumble Crackle Burn: 120 Stunning Textures for Design & Illustration (pick up a copy – I'm in it!). Click here for a larger, detailed view.