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Today’s entry makes the final sketch/song for this year long project. As I thought about how I’d like to end, I wanted to leave everyone with something not only incredibly personal, but something to make you think about everyone around you.
We all have people in our lives that have influenced us more than they could ever know, and unfortunately more often than not we forget to tell them how important they are before they’re gone. The song “Hear You Me” by Jimmy Eat World is a touching song full of regret for not thanking the people around us.
I broke all of my rules for this final sketch.
I used references.
I spent more than an hour sketching.
I didn’t include the name of the song.
And I even did 2 sketches instead of one.
The first sketch is of one of the greatest ladies I’ve ever had the opportunity to know, Pauline Dobbs, my grandmother on my dad’s side. (Though we called her Mema.) I don’t think I ever saw her without a smile on her face, and that’s because I think she truly lived life the way she wanted. Whether she was gardening, making her famous Peach Ice Cream (which has been lost with her passing), reading, or just doing what she did best, listening, she was truly the happiest person I know. I hope that as I get older, I’m able to experience just an inkling of the joy she seemed to surround herself with every day. I miss you Mema.
The second sketch is of a person, who I considered my best friend for the first 14 years of my life, Eugene Runnells, my grandfather on my mom’s side. (Though we called him Pop.) I used to spend a few weeks every summer staying with my mom’s parents in Mississippi, and I truly think that was the moment I looked forward to every year. Pop always had stuff planned, but more importantly he spent time with me and my cousins making us laugh. I still have the Mr. Yuck faces that he cut out of the newspaper and sent to me, because I was such a picky eater as a kid. My mom recently showed me a photo that Pop and Mema Runnells took with a message for me. “Archie & Edith, April 9, 1978 – Tad, my hair was too short, so I had to put my flower in my belly button.” He had the biggest heart out of anyone I’ve known, and I hope that one day I can give half as much to the world as he did. My biggest regret is that the last time I saw him that he took the blame for me accidentally throwing away my 5th retainer at McDonald’s. He told my parents that he had rushed me. I was ever able to thank him. Pop I’m sorry, and I miss you more than anyone knows.
So, please listen to the song, and more importantly tell the important people in your lives how much they mean to you.
Thanks to everyone who has supported this project over the last year. Stay tuned as I begin wrapping up the poster and shirt prints of the poll winners to find out how you can get one. Also, I’m going to be developing the sketch of the day project into a book tentatively titled “Synesthesia” with additional goodies, finished art and stories.
I’m not the biggest fan of guitar, especially acoustic, but I’m absolutely amazed by the sounds that Rodrigo y Gabriela are able to make. I don’t think I’d be overstating their talent when I say that they may both be the most talented guitarists and possibly the best musicians that I’ve ever heard. Their sound pulls in the influences of flamenco and classical guitar, but the speed and technicality at which they play is other-worldly. Throw in the fact that they both are able to drum, hammer and tap the percussive backing to their songs all while hitting a million clean notes in one beat, and you have the ingredients for possibly the coolest video and audio presentation ever. They are currently touring in support of their new album. Though they aren’t coming to Dallas, I’m thinking about driving to Austin or San Antonio just to see them live. To put that in perspective, I have never driven more than an hour to see a band.
A couple of weeks ago I did a song for Blakroc, The Black Keys hip-hop outfit. I was surprised that I hadn’t done a sketch for The Black Keys yet. If you aren’t familiar with them, their sound reminds me a bit of Jimi Hendrix with a heavily distorted blues sound and songs that typically deal with heart break and messed up relationships. They just released a new album that is supposed to be incredible. I haven’t heard the whole thing yet, but the bits I’ve heard are awesome. I guess I’ll be purchasing that album soon.
Troubled Hubble is a great indie rock band that has some of the funniest titles and themes of songs much like Minus the Bear, though they sound nothing alike. Troubled Hubble reminds me of a poppier version of Primus. I felt it was appropriate to take a literal approach to their song about passionate canoeing.
Sleigh Bells is an awesome new act from New York that is loud, distorted and a blast to listen to. I believe they are electronic, but the distorted sounds remind me of many early eighties punk bands which is probably why I like them so much. The album is on its way to my house as I write this. I think it was just released last month, though the band has amassed a huge following in the last year, particularly at SxSW. I hear elements of M.I.A.‘s influence in some of the material particularly the song “Rill Rill” which I almost did a sketch of.
I remember describing Deerhoof to my wife as a blend of the best parts of Sonic Youth, Mice Parade and Cibo Matto. Knowing that she likes all of these bands a lot, I told her that she’d love Deerhoof. The CD is on the way, so we’ll see how she feels. They’ve been on my list of must buy albums for about 3 years now, so I felt it was time to make the commitment and actually own an album by Deerhoof. I love the fact that they are able to take loud and raw sounds and intermingle them with open spaces and somewhat airy vocals. “Siriustar” in particular sounds like it could fall apart at any moment, which is what makes it so endearing to listen to.
Bettye Swann rereleased an album of songs recorded from 1968-1970. I first heard of her on a special episode of All Songs Considered earlier this year which featured great break up songs. Her soulful voice and honest delivery of “(My Heart Is) Closed For The Season” made me instantly fall in love with her sound. The album is full of some of the saddest and best R&B songs I’ve heard in a long time. The liner notes inside the album tell about how Bettye got sick of the games and mistreatment that she endured during her long career. Basically, she wasn’t happy with what she did, so she left the business, and disappeared completely. The person who recompiled the songs was able to find her, and had a couple of phone conversations. She lives in Las Vegas and works with children with educational problems. He said she couldn’t sound happier. It’s a shame that the music industry treated such a gifted singer so bad, but ultimately she’s doing what she truly loves now.
It’s official! I’ve finalized the artwork to be used on posters & shirts for Cityview. Look for them at Cityview’s upcoming shows, and buy a couple for family and friends. They’re a great band, and you should get in on the early merchandise. It’s going become a collector’s item when they break big in the national market. Plus, who hasn’t owned an abused teddy bear. The shirts will be printed on a nice creme color shirt.
Here’s what the final poster art looks like.
The Fate Lions are a great new Fort Worth band that I would classify as indie pop. There songs are reminiscent of Fountains of Wayne, The Deathray Davies and Dressy Bessy with catchy hooks, infectious melodies and vocals that make you want to sing along. I haven’t seen them live yet, but I hope to soon. I predict that they will be a huge national act in the next 2 years.