The past few days have been welling up with interesting tidbits of creativity. I like that. Something about the spring has prompted me to make new things. I wrote a short story a few days ago... I haven't written fiction in years. I've been painting more. For an entire day I drew Scottish Terriers (photos to come), potentially for letterpress cards.
A.E. and I went to see Noah and the Whale last night at the Empty Bottle. They were just so adorable, and full of cheerful, good energy. There is something about good stage presence and a good rapport with your band members/ the audience that makes a performance just wonderful. You can be a good musician, but without that extra bit of a sense of humor and comfort with yourself, something is lost. I can't get enough of their music videos, either-- very quirky and silly. It seems like they're filming a movie to be released with their next album... ?
I felt the same way seeing Kate Maki on Tuesday with T.M. at Schuba's. (Kate opened for the Great Lake Swimmers, who apparently now have a song on the Honda Insight commericals now, and ALSO apparently are offering their new album on Amazon for THREE DOLLARS... cool). Kate was playing by herself (sitting on the far left corner of the stage, which I liked) because everyone else in the tour group was stuck in Indiana trying to fix a broken axle. She was funny and cute, encouraging audience participation so much that eventually some guy just got up on stage and started drumming on a guitar case to help her with a song. It could have been awkward and weird, because he wasn't very good, but instead it was awesome and the room was filled with camaraderie and good humor.
Maira Kalman has a new prose/ painting piece up on her New York Times blog called And the Pursuit of Happiness. This one's called "May It Please The Court". I love love love her fanciful script, charming portraits, and reverential yet discerning take on American democracy. I didn't know that she had illustrated a new edition of Strunk and White's Elements of Style, but it makes perfect sense. That little gem was first printed in 1959, so it's the 50th anniversary now, which kind of blows my mind. The NYT has a great bit about the anniversary, called "Happy Birthday, Strunk and White!".
I also didn't know how many New Yorker covers Maria Kalman has done! I just saw this one (March 14th, 2005) and gasped because I LOVE IT. The blue noses!!
AND AND AND she did Next Stop Grand Central?!?! That is such a good children's book! I'm so impressed.