Tag Archives: nudes
Don’t forget our grand HOWLIN WOLF BIRTHDAY SHOW THURS. JUNE 10 at the CONTINENTAL CLUB in Austin. Details HERE.
Fans of Preservation Hall will dig this new EP just released by the Preservation Hall Hot Four. It’s called “St. Peter St. Serenade” and it includes four cool songs and four videos, including an animated video for St James Infirmary. They do a very hip and weird new arrangement of the song and the video, which you can see here, is a riot. If you dig New Orleans, New Orleans jazz or whatever, I mean, if you just cool, you will dig it. I just bought it on iTunes tonight.
And you must dig, you really must, this animated music video of the great PHJB performing “St. James Infirmary Blues,” the King Britt remix. Click it immediately, OK?
“St. James Infirmary Blues,” animated (youtube)
Driving into Amarillo through a wall of thunderstorms twice as wide as my windshield and almost as dark as my soul, staring out at the endless plains looking like the waves of some stony ocean on a forbidden planet, I felt about as far away from NOLA as possible, but now that I’ve got these tunes for the next leg of my trip, I feel much better.
And yes, he (being me) does still have a bit of time to make his crazy pictures between interviews with attorneys and private eyes and the notorious Fat Cat and an old friend of Stanley the Creeper. Sure. Tomorrow, we find a place that sells scotch whiskey BEFORE we check in at the hotel. Plus, an Apple store, if there’s one between here & there, having left my charger/usb link back in Fort Worth. Have you heard about the giant boxes full of iPhone links and other cell phone deitrus these hotel clerks collect and sell on craigslist? Jesus, you could probably make some money that way. I’m in the wrong racket.
PS: I’ve been focusing on murder ballads, a genre that loosely describes “St. James Infirmary,” in both my club act and in some of my related writing and blogging for the past three or four years. See some of my other posts on the topic here and here.
UPDATE 12.4.12: This is a post from 3 years ago, which has proven to be my most-read post since I started blogging, even topping my post-election 2012 post titled: “How to tell if your mother is on crack” [A: She's unhappy and surprised how the election turned out], which got 815 reads almost immediately. This one got posted on one of those vintage erotica tumblr blogs and really keeps readers coming. I realize it’s not because of my popularity, my writing or songwriting! But seriously, I just now noticed that during one of the technical upgrades, those many photos of Mata Hari I used to have on my Mata Hari blogs got lost in the shuffle. I’m putting them back up. Here’s the first batch.
I was supposed to be somewhere else but my mind started to wander so I wandered off to get some coffee. Really good coffee, as it turned out. A double shot espresso with golden brown crema flecked with tiger tail stripes. Very good, very, very good. You could taste the beans from the ancient valleys of Ethiopia, the cradle of coffee. A pocket full of centuries in every sip. So there were these four girls sitting in the booth across from me and I began to draw. Yes, they wore clothes. Drawing clothes is not one of my specialties.
Three of the girls were busy talking about something they had found on the internet. They all had their laptops. But girl number four was reading a book, of all things. She was the best looking. I kept trying to draw her. None of these pictures look very much like her.
But in a sense, these are all pictures of her, because I was trying, right? I was looking at her, and drawing her, so she’s in there somewhere. Then the fish intruded. No, it wasn’t raining that hard, but there they were. The first one said: Federico. The second one said: Garcia. The third one said: Lorca. Federico Garcia Lorca.
And then SHE shows up. Of all the espresso bars in all the towns in all the world. Mata. Hari. There she is.
I have a thing for Mata Hari. Great story. Her real name was Margaretha Geertruida “Grietje” Zelle. “Mata Hari” means “eye of the sun,” as in sunrise, or whatever you want it to mean. She was a courtesan, a term that has somewhat fallen out of use. Whatta gal. Last spring I rented the Greta Garbo movie, read a play and a novel and a biography of her. I’d love to write a new play about her myself. Maybe I will. This will have to suffice for now. An exotic dancer, a self-made woman who continually reinvented herself, she made Madonna look like a wannabe, an amateur, a piker. She was executed for being a spy October 15, 1917, which will be 92 years ago this week. Coincidentally. Was she really a spy? She was more victim and scapegoat than spy, but she ferried intrigue like George Jones throws off twang. Mostly she was misunderstood. Myth and rumor swirl around her like almost nobody else. People can’t even agree on what she wore to her execution, even though there are photographs. She probably wouldn’t even be famous if not for the Greta Garbo movie, which is mostly made up and a flimsy shadow of the real story.
There are some great pictures of Mata Hari on the Internet. That gal was something else. By the way, she married an abusive jerk in the Dutch army who was posted to the Dutch East Indies, where rumors roiled about her supposed promiscuity and she learned many of her skills in exotica. Just so happens that the Dutch East Indies was one of the very early stops on the migration of the coffee bean from its African birthplace. They got some good coffee there.
Some new pix from the weekend in the new Little Black Book, which is actually red, because Jerry’s was out of the black. As you can see, I’m starting to use some metallic ink, too. So these are a little experimental… wait, strike that, it’s all experimental. Jesus, it’s not like I really know what I’m doing. Ah yes, thank you, Aaron Reed, for buying the date series, pictured below.
What supremely good taste! By the way, I’m a big fan of Aaron’s WaterWilderness blog, and the Abilene Trail Chronicles, too, and when you see his photography, you’ll see why I’m honored that he likes my work.
UPDATE: This post was titled The Bike Wreck because, originally, I posted one of several drawings of that title, depicting a woman wrecking her bicycle. But somehow that drawing disappeared from this post, and I’m having trouble finding the scan. It’s a mystery.
I’m uploading 15 new pen & ink pix from my new little black book, which is actually red. Tragically, I lost my last little black book. It happened last week when I went to Dallas and Fort Worth, so between here and there and in between, who knows? Johnny Reno and Christina put me up for the night and Johnny and I hung out in his studio for a while, but Johnny says no dice, it ain’t nowhere to be found. I expect to see it on ebay soon. Fortunately I had not only scanned all or nearly all of the art inside, but I had removed or pasted over the most embarrassing of the song lyrics I had scribbled in there. Actually, many of these drawings originated in that manner. First, have about four or five espressos (the lever model Pavoni is the one we have; it makes a killer shot), take a walk at the lake and scribble all the new ideas for songs and/or prose in the book. Later, in a more reflective mode, look them over and realize that 90 percent of that was crap. So I sketch in a naked woman over the writing and add color with my Faber Castell Pitt art pens. Or I might paste some other lyrics or clippings or something over the offending lines. Whatever.
When I mention espresso, by the way, I am talking about dark harrar, which comes from Ethiopia, the mother of coffee. Centuries of history in every cup. I only buy my whole beans from Texas Coffee Traders, which imports them and roasts them to perfection.
Now I have these new ones, mostly naked women, from the weekend. Perhaps the rain was partial inspiration. Many more birds on the lake since the rain. Yesterday I spotted one little green heron, one yellow crown night heron, at least ten common egrets and a whopping 15 (yes, fifteen) green parrots. I don’t count the swans, ducks, pigeons or coots, as they’re always there.
Ruta Maya International on South Congress, Thursday Sept. 17, we’ll be having Bohemian Beat Night, with live music, including blues, murder ballads and word jazz. Hip stuff. Young Sam Kanoff, of Austin’s Khabele School, will be joining me on guitar, along with Doug Marcis on drums, Bruce Salmon on bass. My set begins at 9 PM. Around 10:15 or so, Harold McMillan and the Word Jazz Low Stars will do a set with a stunning array of local spoken word artists, including Thom “The World Poet” Moon and Ricardo Acevedo. After 11;30 or so, expect madness. More murder ballads, spoken word, Beat vibes, etc.
Do I have to explain all this? I think not.
Cover is only $5, college students get a discount. Cigars, coffee, beer, wine, espresso, sandwiches, cookes, brownies. What more could you want? Don’t answer that… just come!
It was my old pal and mentor, Ed Ward, who suggested I start an art blog. I always take Ed’s advice seriously because although he hated my band, The Skunks, when he first arrived in Austin as the new music critic for the Austin American Statesman, he also never hesitated (as far as I know) to pay me a compliment when he did like something of mine. That included my fledgling efforts at becoming the rock n’ roll Raymond Chandler, way back in 1983, when we were young & full of beans, instant messaging meant a telegram, tires were square and a rock band was guitar, bass & drums. I think there were still some dinosaurs roaming around hereabouts, too. Oh yeah, and everyone knew that the “M” in MTV stood for “music,” because they had the revolutionary idea of playing MUSIC VIDEOS on TV! Now they’ve become just another lame spigot for shilling crap to buy and reality shows.
The only topic of my first art blog is this: I am starting one. Here are my first entries. And one other thing, if you’d like to buy any, go to the catalogue, pick something out and contact me at jesse(at)jessesublett(dot)com and be sure to put “art inquiry” in the subject line. This phase of drawing began with my little black books, where I usually scribble my first ideas for songs and writing projects. I ended up taking over a set of colored art pens I bought our son for Christmas when he was in his Pokemon phase. But he never used them much. After using them up, I switched over to Faber Castell, which has very rich color. I love Picasso, Joan Miro, Dali. I like women and watermelons, espresso and single malt scotch whiskey and cats. Jazz, playing upright bass, Mose Allison, Julie London, Billie Holiday, Howlin’ Wolf and of course, Tom Waits. Maybe that comes through. Oh yeah, French crime films and almost anything Italian. And who doesn’t like Tex Mex?