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Transitory Triad: Harmonic Alliance art opening

Transitory Triad: Harmonic Alliance art opening
Friday, January 20, 6-8pm
Annesdale Park Gallery
1290 Peabody Avenue

New paintings by Olga King, Kristen Rambo,and Robert King - January 20-February 14, 2017. 

On Friday, January 20, Transitory Triad: Harmonic Alliance will open at Annesdale Park Gallery featuring the works of Olga King, Kristen Rambo, and Robert King. The gallery is located at 1290 Peabody Avenue and the opening will be held from 6 - 8 pm; the show will be on view through February 14.

A native of Moscow, Olga King began drawing as a child. Moving to Memphis over a decade ago, she focused on jewelry making and built a successful business. In recent years, she has re-discovered her talents for drawing and painting. She held a successful show of her paintings in March 2016 at Crosstown. 

Native Memphian Kristen Rambo is a recent graduate of Memphis College of Art and now works in the institution’s alumni office. She continues to paint and has participated in group shows at Crosstown and Trezevant Manor.

Robert King , a native of Memphis now living in Germany, was the subject of a 2009 documentary netting Shooting Robert King which examined his 15 year career as a photojournalist in war zones around the world. In 2014 he co-authored Democratic Desert: The War in Syria and produced an accompanying documentary DVD. More recently Robert King has turned to painting as a creative outlet.

“The three painters' vibrant palettes and fluid forms are distinct and yet complementary,” said guest curator Ken Hall.

A portion of sales from the entire run of the show will benefit Church Health. “Our neighbor down the street, Church Health, offers amazing medical care to some of the neediest in our city; as they prepare to move to Crosstown, I want to show our appreciation, “ said gallery owner David Hasty.

For more information, contact Ken Hall at ken@civicengage.com.

#HereToStay: Art of Resilience


#HereToStay: Art of Resilience
Opening reception Friday, January 13, 6-8pm
On view January 13-27
L Ross Gallery
5040 Sanderlin, Suite 104

This one-of-a-kind event is a collaborative fundraising exhibition in which local artists are coming together to express their support for the immigrant community through their work.A percentage of all artwork sold will benefit the Community Legal Center’s Immigrant Justice Program, Mid-South Immigration Advocates, and Latino Memphis’s Derechos Immigration Program. Money raised will provided matching funds for a grant from the Assisi Foundation enabling the creation of a Joint Immigration Pro Bono Coordinator who will recruit and manage lawyers working with the Mid-South's Immigrant population for the three organizations.

Yancy Villa-Calvo, Belief, acrylic over gold leaf on wood and found objects, 32" x 24"

Duets for Mellotron
(image) One-of-a-kind performance yields haunting new album.

In April, 2016, there was a unique concert at Crosstown Arts. Memphis musicians Robby Grant and Jonathan Kirkscey performed original compositions for two Mellotrons. Why was it unique? "No one has ever done Mellotron duets before because you never have more than one of them in the same place," Kirkscey says.

The Mellotron is a keyboard instrument that is the precursor to the modern sampling synthesizer. "Back in the day, tape technology was the only way to recreate sound," Grant says. "People wanted to recreate a violin or a flute, they basically recorded the A, A#, B, etc. of a flute and put them on a tape."

Pressing a key on the Mellotron activates a tape head that presses against the tape loops to play back the sound. Each of the instrument's 48 keys, therefore, require its own individual 1/8-inch tape, meaning that the mechanism is ungainly and delicate. "They're pretty rare and relatively expensive for an instrument," says Grant.

Winston Eggleston, with whom Grant has been friends since high school, is one of a handful of people worldwide who collect Mellotrons. "We spent time hanging out at his house watching The Song Remains the Same," Grant recalls. "We were synched up musically."

Eggleston has been obsessed with Mellotrons since the Beatles fan discovered that the ethereal intro to "Strawberry Fields" was produced with one. In 2015, Eggleston told Grant he was going to build his own Mellotron, and Grant suggested putting on a house show. "It was really to just show off the instrument."

Grant enlisted his Mouserocket bandmate Kirkscey, a noted cellist and composer, to co-write some songs that would show off the Mellotron's unique sounds and capabilities. "The Mellotron has a symphonic potential that I thought Jonathan would be good at."

Grant and Kirkscey composed nine songs to be performed on a combination of vintage tape-based Mellotrons and the digital emulators created by the Mellotron company. While the analog Mellotrons can only hold three sounds per tape cartridge, the digital versions offer a bank of every sound created for the instruments, including custom tones crafted for Black Sabbath, Tangerine Dream, Yes, and Wilco. Kirkscey says the instruments are idiosyncratic. "The action of the keyboards is not the most desirable. It doesn't feel like a piano or synth. You have to get used to it. Sometimes there will be one note that's horrendously out of tune, while all the other notes are in tune. You can avoid that note, or you can embrace it as an eccentricity. In some of those vocal sounds that are recordings of singers, the singers are ... not good. Their singing was out of tune! There's no amount of tuning that can correct that."

The show took place in the round, with visual effects projected on the walls of Crosstown Arts, created by Eggleston and John Markham, a Californian who learned how to create psychedelic liquid light shows from the people who had created the techniques for Jefferson Airplane in the 1960s. "The question was, how do you do it? Do you do it live, with overhead projectors? I didn't think that was a good idea."

Markham and a crew of editors from Archer Malmo created digitally manipulated HD video of the vintage psychedelic effects to be played along with the music. During the final rehearsals, Grant and Kirkscey modified their compositions. "We were reacting to the visuals," Grant says.

Engineer Kevin Cubbins recorded the weekend of shows at Crosstown Arts, but as the team moved into mix-down mode, tragedy struck. The hard drives and computer equipment containing the recordings were stolen from Cubbins' studio in a series of break-ins. So the team decided to do it all over again. "I felt bad for Kevin, but I wasn't upset at the prospect of re-recording," says Kirkscey. "It's another chance to do it better."

The second takes came from a private session at the Eggleston Artistic Trust, with Kirkscey supervising the recording. "I realize now that trying to do all of it — the show the visuals, and the recording — at once was probably too much," says Grant. "This allowed us to focus on the songs, and focus on the recordings. Jonathan did an incredible job of mixing and editing everything."

The finished album, Duets for Mellotron, is a gorgeous collection of sounds. There are nods to composers like Philip Glass and Brian Eno, but the overall vibe is unique. The album's release on Friday, January 13th will be celebrated with a listening party at Crosstown Arts, beginning at 6 p.m. Grant says there are plans afoot for a second live show once the new Crosstown Arts facility opens in the Concourse building.

New Memphis Music
(image) A look at upcoming releases from the local music scene

Brandon Taylor — Radio Ghost (Madjack Records)

Release Date: Available Now

Mississippi transplant Brandon Taylor camped out at Jack Oblivian's place while recording the album Radio Ghost, but don't expect to hear any garage-rock guitar licks on Taylor's folky debut. Radio Ghost was released last December, a truly dismal month to release new music, so we're going to pretend that Radio Ghost is a 2017 release for Taylor's sake. Recorded at Royal Studios, Taylor has an A-list of guest appearances, including Luther and Cody Dickinson, Shannon McNally, and Boo Mitchell in the producer's chair. The album is available at all local record stores.

Terry Prince and the Principles — You Are Here (self-released)

Release Date: Available Now

Terry Prince and the Principles dropped this four-song EP on the second-to-last day of 2016, and the songs on You Are Here are just as indebted to later-era Lou Reed as they are to "Blue Album"-era Weezer, especially the song "Time Warp at the Drive-in, Part II." The other three songs on You Are Here are just as likely to get stuck in your head. Fun fact: Flyer copy editor Jesse Davis plays guitar and sings in this band.

Valerie June — The Order of Time (Concord Music Group)

Release Date: January 27th, 2017

The first new album from Valerie June in three years drops at the end of this month. After debuting the song "Astral Plane," NPR ran a lengthy interview with June in which she revealed that she originally wrote the song for Massive Attack, and Ann Powers compared June's writing to Alice Walker or Bell Hooks. June will be on tour with Sturgill Simpson and Norah Jones to kick off the year, but hopefully a Memphis date is in the works.

Aquarian Blood — Last Nite in Paradise (Goner Records)

Release Date: February 10th, 2017

The Midtown family-freak band, Aquarian Blood, will release their debut album on Goner Records next month, and if you enjoyed either tape the band has released, or their singles on Goner and Pelican Pow Wow (New Orleans), then this LP is probably already on your radar. If you've missed the band's live show but you're a fan of JB Horrell's previous offerings (Noise Choir, Moving Finger, Reginald), "weird punk" earth-shattering guitar riffs, or megaphones, this is the group for you. The perfect band for inducing an acid flashback. Look for a track premiere via Noisey sometime this week.

Southern Avenue — Southern Avenue (Stax Records, Concord Music Group)

Release Date: February 24th, 2017

Named after the city street that runs from the easternmost city limits all the way to Soulsville, Southern Avenue have been making waves since their formation, and singer Tierinii Jackson graced the cover of our Summer Music Issue last July. Since then, the band landed a deal with Stax, did some extensive touring, and somehow found time to record their debut album. Produced by Kevin Houston (North Mississippi Allstars, Lucero), the 10-track debut from Southern Avenue features guest appearances by Luther Dickinson (do we see a trend developing here?) and Marc Franklin of the Bo-Keys, among others.

Southern Avenue is a band that needs little introduction at this point, but you can expect this album to show Stax fans far and wide that Memphis soul is still very much intact. While the band will do some pretty extensive touring following the release of their new album, they do have two dates at Lafayette's Music Room and the Rum Boogie Café booked early in the year.

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