Skyline Painting Gallery Show

NYC Downtown Skyline collaborative painting at Fountain Gallery NYC, opening reception, September 15, 2006.
Steve "p0ps" Harlow and Ruth Parson show the results of ten months of Sunday painting. The collaborative painting is exhibited in a group show at the Ninth Avenue gallery. The painting receives a warm welcome from West Side gallery goers. Several friends send their compliments and well wishes to Ruth, who was at a conference in Utah, unable to attend the opening.

More information on the painting at

Format: AAC Stereo (L R) 22.050 kHz Apple MPEG4
Frame Rate: 12fps
Data Size: 26.48 MB
Data Rate 1010.36 kbits/sec
Duration: 03:39:66
Dimensions: 320 x 240



Charlie Hunter Trio – Mutant Axe

Charlie Hunter has this eccentric modified guitar and an amazing way of playing it. He’s put eight-strings on it and covers both the bass and melody lines, like he has three hands. Guitar players are wowed by the axe and the technique. Milo Miles, writing for does a good job of covering Hunter in Riffs from a Mutant Axe.

For the non-playing listeners, the Trio’s inventiveness comes through. This is hard-edged bebop musicality, the type of jazz that pop music fans can’t stand. About 50 years ago, Chuck Berry in his timeless hit “Rock ‘n Roll Music” stated pop music’s critique, “Got nothing against modern jazz, ’til they play it too darned fast, and loose the beauty of the melody, til it sounds like just like a symphony.” That’s why Chuck and most of the world likes “Rock ‘n Roll Music… it has a back beat you just can’t loose it”.

Interesting that Chuck slags symphonic music along with “modern” jazz. “Loosing it” is the issue. Eighty years ago it was Ella Fitzgerald fronting the Chick Webb band, the real Kings of Swing who stated, “Don’t give me no symphony … give me a swing song and let me dance!”

The issue with her and with Chuck and with most people is that they want music to clearly indicate the response it desires. If it’s dance music, it should compel them to dance, fast or slow. But what do you do with sit-down music?

Symphonic music and bebop jazz have a similar response problem — you’re suppose to follow it and marvel at it. Sometimes you just might not be up for it. I imagine most people, most of the time, are thinking about something else when appearing to be immersed in these two musical forms.

With live symphonic music, you’re dressed up, sitting down in a large respectful audience, watching the string player’s bows go up and down, the conductors arms wave. Hopefully you’re remembering meaningful life moments, perhaps triggered by the music’s emotional cues, but I suspect many thoughts are more strategic, did I confirm the after-concert arrangements? did I give the baby-sitter my cell phone number? Is my cell phone really turned off? Will I have to get gas after? Will so and so be there? I’ve got a mess to clean up when I get back to the office. When’s this going to end?

In the old bebop days, at a beat club, you’d smoke to the music, you’d bob your head up and down, move from table to table, shouting in friend’s ears, go out in the back alley to get high, admire pretty girls or laugh at jerky guys, catch the eye of the waitress for a refill on your drink. You might think of the right words to describe the performance of each player, maybe shout encouragingly during a soloist’s chorus, maybe feel so charged up by the “too darned fast” rhythms that you think about splashing paint on canvas and become a popular artist.

Nowadays, in a Jazz club, you can’t smoke, you can’t afford to drink more than the required minimum, you’re packed in so tight, you really can’t move around, no one wants to get high, no one cares about descriptions of jazz performances and you know you’re not going to get anywhere by splashing paint. You sit sipping the melting ice from the bottom of what’s left of your drink. You can watch the musicians, but they’re usually sweating, grimacing, not much to look at and if you shout out, you might get bounced.

In the early ’90s San Francisco, a young hipster crowd shuffled between Charlie Hunter Trio at Elbow Room and Braun Fellinis at The Kennel Club. For an old guy, it was a curious delight, an actual revival of bebop, with young players and audience, just as the original bebop days of the early ’50s, dressed in black, smoking, chatting, sitting with bobbing heads in front of powerful young players squeaking, squawking over drums of fury.

While both trios’ saxophonists — David Boyce in the Braun Fellinis and Dave Ellis in Charlie Hunter Trio — reached back for Sonny Rollins, the trios, did what jazz players always do, they absorbed and re-interrupted elements of current pop music transmuting them into the Jazz stream. For these trios, for the ’90s, the pop elements were Hip Hop, Nirvana and Jam Band Rock.

Members of the Charlie Hunter Trio and the the Braun Fellinis spent time in groups organized by Michael Frante. Braun Fellini’s leader and drummer, Kevin Cearns was in Frante’s Beatnigs, Charlie Hunter and saxophonist, Dave Ellis were with Frante’s Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy. Dave Ellis did a jam band rock tour with Bob Weir ‘s Ratdog.

Charlie Hunter Trio now comes to New York, not as young turks playing to newly minted jazz hipsters, the’re now solid, mid-career jazz artists and as such, appearing twice a night before mature jazz afficiandos at New York’s Jazz Standard, on East 27th, September 7 – 10th.

Here’s two MP3s by the Charlie Hunter Trio:

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Painting NYC Downtown Skyline, part 4

Steve “p0ps” Harlow and Ruth Parson complete their collaborative oil painting depicting the Downtown NYC view from their Lower East Side (LES) studio window. This completes the four part video series. This painting project is more completely described here.

iPod u?

iPod, do you?
Originally uploaded by Carlos Noboro.

Let me tell you about lala, the CD trading service. You register with them, put up a list of CDs you’re willing to trade, a list of CDs you want and they hook you up, send you mailing kits, tell you who wants what, you get a CD from your want list for every CD on your “have” list that you successfully mail to the person they arrange for you to send it to. They charge you about $1.50 for each trade, depending on whether you do or don’t send the cover art. It’s relatively easy and cheap to have your mailbox fill up with CDs you want.

After an initial burst of lala-ing, I’ve settled into a rhythm I can sustain while keeping up with the rest of my much-too-busy life. That is, I only trade 5 CDs per week. Each Sunday morning, I sit down and go through the possible trades. I’m prioritizing CD requests for ones I still have in jewel boxes, so that I can lighten my load by throwing away those awful, awful things. The CDs I’ve received in lala trades, I’m keeping, with the cover art, in paper CD sleeves — this really cuts down on the shelf space. Of course, I’m playing the music thru iTunes, so I’m never searching for or fumbling with the actual discs. If I could eventually be without any discs, that would be great, but for now, I’m happy with just getting rid of the jewel boxes, a step in the right direction. In this transitionary period, CDs, especially those traded in lala, are still my best access to the music I want.

I’m saving all the cover art because lala people seem to like them and I want to be a nice guy. But, really, except for the ones like Lucinda Williams and Bebel Gilberto that mention my son’s name, I rarely read them — the pictures and text is way too small to be any fun at all. If all that “art” could be available as PDFs on the web, that would suit my purposes much better.

So, here I am, in NYC, addressing the lala envelopes to faraway places, thinking about what life might be like there. What kind of trees? Do they have hills? Where do they swim? What do they see while listening? Some addresses are familiar, places I’ve lived, like San Francisco, Dallas, Downey, Petaluma, Portland — some addresses are places I’ve traveled through Winnemacca, Maplewood, Kansas City, Pocetello, Iowa City — many addresses are to places I’ve never heard of. I’m sending my beloved music to people I’d like to know, but probably won’t. I wish I coud do more than 5 per week, but just doing that takes a hour and I’ve got other things to do.

I’m loving the music I’m getting. My want list is filled with music I’ve missed and new albums I find out about.

To learn about new music on CD, for me, nothing beats Pandora, THE music discovery service. If you want, put this RSS feed into your reader (I suggest Google Reader) and you’ll have immediate access to the “Stations” I’ve set up. Or you could click on the links below if one of the stations seem interesting to you:

  • Lola Beltran Radio for the classic Mexican Ranchera and Norteno music I heard as a kid in the ’50s in South Gate, California (South East LA) and grew to love as I got older.
  • Hank Williams Radio for the totally rockin’ Honky Tonk music that I’ve heard on car radios and drank beer to in bars across the nation. White man’s blues, sometimes comic, often sappy, but always human, danceable and still my favorite music to sing along to.
  • The Girl From Ipanema Radio for Bossa Nova, Brazilian Jazz, Electronica and Samba, music I’ve learned to love through help from my son, who, as a high school Metal musican, discovered that Bossa Nova used the same cord progressions and melodic constructions as the Death Metal he played, only played soft and quiet.
  • Wu-Tang Clan Radio for the ’90s Hip Hop sound centered on RZA. Again it was my son who helped me appreciate this genre with its complex beats, brilliant sampling and spitting, horror narratives. True Americana with world-shattering influence.
  • Iggy Pop Radio for ’70s post-glam, pre-Punk, American-in-Europe rock centered on the Ig, including, Bowie, Lou Reed, Nick Cave and others that might sound like that. Ragged, noisy, dark and despite itself, joyful.
  • Toots & The Maytals Radio for classic ’60s & ’70s Jamaican pop dance music. This is my latest Pandora station, I haven’t developed it as much as the others, but I’m going for all the wonderful Jamaican music I didn’t hear when I was listening to heavy Ganga-Rasta stuff. Toots is the center of this because when my iTunes collection shuffles to one of his cuts, it always sounds great and makes me happy.

Of course, as much as I would love all ya’ll to dig the music on my stations, the true joy of Pandora is to make your own stations.

Pandora is a perfect companion to lala, you’ll find many, many artists and albums to fill out your want list (as if you needed more!).

Ok, ciao4now. I must work on my other “web properties”:

  • – Steve Harlow and Ruth Parson make Art
  • p0ps blog – art, tech, life
  • p0ps vlog – p0ps video – all the clips I’ve got time to publish
  • afterSonoma – afterSonoma – writer, Mary Burns and artist, Steve Harlow blog about life since they last saw each other in 1970 Sonoma County.
  • p0ps on vox – getting started on Six Apart’s newest blog system. I like it.
  • p0psharlow – just another ugly mySpace page. I’m trying to find to time to do something with it.
  • on ourmedia – my page on the Global Home for Grassroots Media, subscribe to “” as a channel in Democracy Player – Your internet television has arrived.
  • p0ps on digg – once in a while I have time to digg.
  • p0ps – if I ever bookmark anything, I do it here.
  • p0ps on yelp – Even though I live in NYC, I seldom go out, but when I do and I want to write about it, I do it here.

There’s more, but these are the ones I remember.

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like wha i need is another blog i jus wanna git a new wp download cuz i kant login to my company blog shoodnt b workin from home on company stuff anyway but its a blog its the fun part of work hey maybe jason c will pay me to blog wha bowt t jas u need a bunch of kool kats to blog 4 u dont cha

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