04 - Do You Hear What I Hear from http://burlveneer.vox.com/
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
04 - Do You Hear What I Hear from http://burlveneer.vox.com/
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
We each were handed a program and prayer book for the ceremony. Pierce was a bit befuddled by the book, not knowing that it starts at the "back" and goes in the opposite direction of a standard English book. As he sat there struggling with it, I whispered to him "Manga style," and he got it instantly. A piece of knowledge of one foreign culture helped him grasp another one in no time; I couldn't have planned a better demonstration of the importance of knowledge and understanding.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
And now I must be off to Syracuse to see the Chicago Afrobeat Project at Funk'n'Waffles!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I said, is it loud enough for you?! This narrow tie of intensely-colored barkcloth comes from Virgin Island Ties, probably of 1960s vintage. I wore it in honor of the Dalai Lama speaking at Cornell today. Well, actually, I did wear the tie today, and the Dalai Lama did speak at Cornell today, but the two events are unrelated. However, the tie is just as colorful as the Wheel of Life sand mandala that the Namgyal monks constructed at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum in honor of the Dalai Lama's arrival.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tjapaltjarri's art gained enormous popularity and he was ultimately awarded the Order of Australia.
In the late 1950s he was employed, along with his older brother Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri and other Aborigines, to assist in the construction of Papunya settlement. This was the last Aboriginal settlement built under the Menzies Liberal government’s racist assimilation policy. According to the government, Aborigines were not ready to live as “white Australians” and had to be re-educated. This meant removing them from tribal lands and herding them into settlements.
In 1971, Geoffrey Bardon, a young teacher, arrived at Papunya. Bardon, who later described the settlement as “an unsewered, undrained, garbage-strewn death camp in all but name,” won the respect of the older men and encouraged them to paint their ancestral stories. In contrast to Namatjira’s realistic watercolours, Bardon supplied them acrylic paint and discouraged references to Western images. This approach help give birth to the unique Papunya Tula style, which is an abstract representation of tribal myths and legends that is derived from traditional ceremonial designs.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Over on the music blog: Zillatron, Flight of the Conchords, Simon Shaheen, and more.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
In the meantime I've started a new blog devoted to music, on Vox. I hope you will visit it and hear something you like.
The patterns I've displayed here are but a blip compared to the patterns displayed at the print & pattern blog, a veritable orgy of fantastic graphics. Visit it frequently for an awesome design fix. And for neckties in particular, Mike and Will's excellent tie blogs continue unabated. Carry on, gentlemen!
I won't say goodbye, because I still have a few hundred unblogged neckties; even if I don't wear them I may get around to posting pictures of them sometime. So I'll sign off for now with "Until we meet again..."
Saturday, May 12, 2007
The past weekend was quite eventful: on the first day of the semiannual Friends of the Library Book Sale (with its own dedicated building, no less) I spent a couple happy hours perusing the shelves, and ended up with a stack of modern art books and a few novels, all on the cheap. Then on Sunday I finally got to try out my new cordless electric lawnmower. From studying product reviews on the web, I understand that the biggest problem with most cordless mowers is that they just aren't powerful enough to be practical. One reviewer noted that when he modded his Black and Decker mower from 24 volts to 36, it worked just fine. I took the easier route and found a 36-volt mower on eBay. It's by MPL and it cost about 40% less than the Black and Decker. It does weigh 90 pounds, and the body is made of resin rather than steel, but it's much quieter than a gas mower, it doesn't shake my arms, it cuts my grass, and it holds a charge long enough to mow the whole lawn. Hurray for eBay! I closed out the weekend by taking the kids to Cornell for the outdoor World Percussion Festival, with performances by several student percussion groups: the Percussion Ensemble, the World Drum and Dance Ensemble (with distinguished guest Bernard Woma of Ghana; and the women of the group wore skirts with amazing patterns!), the Steel Band (with their own distinguished guest Liam Teague, of Trinidad via Northern Illinois University), the Boogie Band, and the "Inline" Band (I think), a non-marching subset of the marching band. The high point was when Bernard Woma got the whole crowd up and dancing, his energy was infectious!
This tie is now off to Mississippi, to one of my former eBay customers. He just outbid me on several lots of vintage ties (which reminds me of a story, for another entry), but we worked out a swap for some of the duplicates. Thanks, Blake!
Friday, May 04, 2007
(Patter lifted from Kenny Craig, Matt Lucas's stage hypnotist character from Little Britain. A new Little Britain series is in development for HBO's fall season! Yippee! I might have to get HBO for that.)
Over the weekend we took the new Veneer family minivan (a Nissan Quest, surely the most stylish of all minivans and a vast improvement over our lumbering old Plymouth Grand Voyager) to Corning for a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass. What a fascinating array of historical glass, art glass, and practical glass exhibits! The paperweight exhibit includes Josh Simpson's record-setting hundred-pound Megaplanet. (An eighty-pound Megaplanet is available for purchase in the museum store for $44,000.) The intensity of color and sinuous shapes that can be achieved in glass are remarkable, but I think I will leave the crafts that involve melting glass to the pros.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
We had another musical weekend: I took the kids to see The All-American Rejects at Cornell. Their brand of melodramatic pop-rock is perfect for teens and tweens (and college students too, apparently), though the lead singer's "clever bad-boy" persona is rather grating, and not clever. (He must have just learned two cuss words, which he used in every sentence between songs. Ooh, naughty!) But the kids enjoyed it, and they were thrilled to hear one of their favorite songs live ("Move Along", saved for the encore). (Q: What's the cheapest way to get an encore? A: Don't play your biggest hit during the regular set.)
But it wasn't all tedium for me: second opening act OK Go was quite enjoyable, with catchier hooks, genuine cleverness, and a kickin' ELO cover ("Dont Bring Me Down"). But the best thing about them is their dress schtick: they wear neckties!* Gnarly, vintage neckties. (Not only that, in their video for "Here It Goes Again"--one of the best low-budget videos ever, and YouTube's Most Creative Video of 2006--lead singer Damian Kulash wears red pants, just like mine!) I've ordered a CD for family listening pleasure and I hereby grant OK Go the Burl Veneer Seal of Approval.
(First opening band The Whigs might have been good; I couldn't tell from the muddy sound in the cavernous gymnasium. But they wear some old-fashioned ties on their website, so they must be all right.)
* Actually we were pretty far back, I don't know if they all wore ties for the show but Damian definitely did. That's still cool.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
And now for some necktie news: for aficionados of 8-bit computing, gaming, and music, there is now an "8-bit necktie" from ThinkGeek. Originally conceived as an April Fool's Joke, the delightfully lo-res cravat is now in production as something you can actually buy and wear. Eight bits is enough! (Thanks to my brother for bringing this to my attention.)
Mrs. V. and I have been watching Action!, the short-lived comedy on FX that starred Jay Mohr as a hilariously slimy movie producer, Peter Dragon. In the episode "Mr. Dragon Goes to Washington" there are some tasty textiles on display, if only briefly: in one scene a waitress sports a Gene Meyer tie, and in another Illeana Douglas appears in a Pucci shawl. Maybe one day I will figure out how to do screen grabs of .avi's and post them here.
Before the nor'easter bore down on Sunday night, the past weekend was quite musical. Arrived in downtown Ithaca to go to a record and CD show, I stumbled upon the spring concert of the Cornell Big Red Marching Band ("the only real marching band in the Ivy League") outdoors at the Ithaca Commons. I couldn't pass that up, so I stayed and listened to high-octane renditions of "Carry On, Wayward Son" (a Guitar Hero II favorite), "The Rockford Files", "Jungle Love" (Steve Miller, not The Time), and a slew of more traditional material. I love the pounding beats and cadences and brassy energy of marching bands. For a few months at the University of Maryland, my office was right across the street from the band practice grounds; it was almost exciting to work on databases with the band cheering me on.
And then on Sunday, I took the kids to see Alash, the Tuvan throat-singing ensemble. It is incredible to hear tuneful whistling over a bass drone and to realize that it's just one guy making all those sounds at once with his vocal chords! Put four of them together and you get a strange, rich soundscape like nothing else on Earth (outside of Tuva) (and Mongolia, and Tibet). That reminds me, I still don't have any music by Albert Mangelsdorff, polyphonic trombone master; I must get on that...
Friday, April 13, 2007
Trendy Man: Mr. Melon [Dangerfield], your wife was just showing us her Klimt.Heh-heh. (Exchange lifted from imdb.com.) Unfortunately the joke doesn't really refer to Klimt's art at all, it just uses his name for funny effect, and as such could work for any number of artists (an exercise I will leave to the reader). So maybe it's really more of a "gag" than a proper joke. If you've heard a proper Klimt joke, by all means please post it in a comment.
Thornton Melon: You too, huh? She's shown it to everybody.
Trendy Man: Well, she's very proud of it.
Thornton Melon: I'm proud of mine too. I don't go waving it around at parties, though.
Trendy Man: It's an exceptional painting.
Thornton Melon: Oh, the painting.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
But speaking of Katamari Damacy: he probably doesn't know it, but Italian artist Franco Costa has created pretty nice approximations of Katamari Damacy-world in some of his serigraphs.
And if you can't get enough of "Kuru Kuru Rock" from We ♥ Katamari, check out "UMA" from OOIOO's latest album.
Finally, here are some links back to previous blog entries with other inadvertently Katamari-related ties :
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I have finally listened to The Decemberists' The Crane Wife to see what all the fuss is about, and I think I can sum it up in an equation: (Al Stewart - lovely voice - sincerity) * (The Divine Comedy - lovely voice - arch sense of humor) + art-rock fluorishes = The Decemberists. Or, alternatively, Robyn Hitchcock - mad vision = The Decemberists. Yet for all the minuses, I think they will bear at least one more listen.
Monday, April 02, 2007
I took the kids to see The Fault Line tonight, Ithaca's own "vocal rock band" (i.e. an amplified a capella quintet with a couple guys doing "bass" and "drums" and occasionally "electric guitar"). They did a fun mix of oldies, classic rock, 80s cheese, and more recent rock hits (most notably Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl") with some pretty wild arrangements. Not my normal syle, but they were a lot of fun, and they should be showing up on NBC's America's Got Talent in the near future.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Another tie blog is online! It's actually more than that--The Great Coat and Tie Experiment is concerned with the whole coat/tie/shirt gestalt. Blogger "Coat and Tie" posts a daily photo of his V-Zone*, exploring the natty effects of different combinations of colors, fabrics, patterns, and textures. (I am particularly interested in seeing what he does with striped shirts, as I have never had much luck with them.)
Is there any band hotter than the Klaxons right now? I don't think so!
* Thanks to K.N.O.T. for the vintage ad!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Spring has sprung again, it seems, and maybe this time it will stick. And I am ready, having unpacked the cream of my necktie hoard and hung them up for easy selection.
Just for fun, here is a picture of ice-encrusted trees at Beebe Lake falls just last week:
Today their bare limbs gleamed in the afternoon sun, so surely winter must be behind us now (I try to convince myself).
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Our neighbors warned us that winter was not over, and sure enough, on Friday we got six more inches of snow, then another six on Saturday. Sunday was lovely, however, with a crystal-clear sky and temperatures just warm enough to melt the snow off the roads. So we took a drive up the west shore of Cayuga Lake, whose waters were an amazingly intense blue-green, and ended up in Trumansburg for dinner at the Woodland Roadhouse. They advertise "good eats," and on that they certainly delivered: I had the tequila-marinated brisket, while the rest of the family shared a "trash-can combo:" ribs, chicken, and pork barbecue served on a trash can lid! (Inverted, on a special stand.) I ate so much I had to take a nap. The Roadhouse will definitely become a semi-regular Veneer family dining spot.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Catching up on the comments that accumulated on the blog while I was tieless, I see there is some good news. Back in September, 2005, I posted a tie by New Orleans artist Grace Newburger to the blog, in which I wondered how she had made it through Hurricane Katrina. A recent blog visitor supplied this update:
"As a personal friend of Grace, I can tell you that they suffered some damage at the studio, however, nothing quite so devastating as the city of New Orleans itself. Grace is well and safe, and working on new paintings."
Yippee! Grace has a website on which she displays her incredibly vibrant art in several media, and sells some too.
So how have I spent all my time that I used to spend blogging? Reading (Glen Hirshberg, Rachel Ingalls, Mark Samuels, Kim Newman, Cory Doctorow), trolling eBay for woodcuts and serigraphs, listening to scads of music samples on emusic (the absolute best source for music downloads), improving our new house, watching the 2005 series of Doctor Who, playing Guitar Hero (I and II), remixing Duncan Sheik, and learning stained glass work at Serviente Glass Studios with my son. In other words, never a dull moment!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Do you wish you could listen to old video game music instead of "real" music? If so, then check out the treasure trove of new music on old machines at 8bitpeoples.com, most available as free .mp3 downloads!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
My family rang in the New Year with an Ithaca tradition of recent vintage: watching the lights in the Ithaca College towers change from "06" to "07". Best of all, we can see it from our living room!