and this shall be the new portrait

And Glerry Glistmas Gleveryone!  

(this photo was taken by Fiamma and highlights my favorite of my dad's faux-bow-ties)

I am sitting at the computer during my favorite time of day again and writing what-will-most-likely-be the last musing of 2011. I've got the 7am sun rising over the neighbors houses on Adelphi, a hot cup of tea sitting to the right of my laptop which happens to be in the shape of an owl also looking at the 7am sun. I've got some headphones on listening to Jonsi & Alex (which by the way might very well just be my favorite album of 2011). I'm listening with headphones because Fiamma is sound asleep in the other room and I simultaneously want the music loud for my ears and non-existant for hers.... Headphones'll do that. The cats aren't sitting by my desk as usual because they've got a recent perch on top of our trash can looking out the fire-escape window in the mornings. They've got themselves a little routine, a little Tug & Mouse time every morning where they seem to be at total ease within themselves. This small cat-act has been the impetus for my new years resolution. My goal this year is to have some TJ-time twice a day: once when I wake up and once when I get home from work. These times don't need to be long or filled with over-indulgence perse (though I'm not opposed to that). They more just need to serve as some quiet/slow time with myself to recalibrate my mindset. I've found when I can get times like this even if its only for 5 minutes at a time, I'm in a much better mental/emotional place and I have high hopes that I can make it a twice-daily-tradition in 2012.

As for today, I'm in the elongated version of TJ-time as I am on my 2nd of 2 days off this holiday time where I have absolutely no plans and am at home amidst my cats, books and music for an entire day. Now don't get me wrong, I am granted two weeks of vacation every christmas time, it's just that those days are usually full with fun, social times. This year for instance, the first 5 days of vacation were spent at Miner Street Recordings working on the self Titled album FACEBREAKER ~ FACEBREAKER. 

After that I spent a great time with my family over Christmas for a couple days, then back to NYC for one day of work on a Dasani Water Bottle. Tomorrow I'll head off to Cape Cod with Craig Deardorff for an annual New Years Eveing with some friends while Fiamma's off at Ashley Leonard's wedding, but stuck somewhere inbetween all of that I got 2 full days of TJ-time and I love it. In the meantime, however, let's get back to the recording business.....

Here we are, at MINER STREET STUDIO in Philadelphia, PA. Fishtown to be exact.... This picture gives a good sense of the 50-or-so hours spent there just last week. I with my Zeppelin T-shirt sitting on a chair, and Dutch a bit more on-his-feet twiddling with some knobs and such. The back you see on the far right of the image is that of sound engineer Jon Low. He's got himself a blog I believe called HEYJONLOW. This guy's a real nice fella and a great sound scientist to say the least. He really took the raw-material Dutch and I have been working on for 4 years now and shined it up right nice over the course of the week... not to mention also taking this nice shot of our boots:

So now all of the tunes are mixed and ready to send to the Masterer in the beginnings of the New Year, so they're not quiiiiite ready... but I'll give you a little taste HERE and HERE for now. As for the release of this behemoth-19-track-album, we are not going to release a standard vinyl or cd, but rather just a digital download through BANDCAMP. The album will probably be $5 or something, but if you want something tangible to do with yer digital sounds, I am making a book that will act as physical arts you can touch for the album. Dutch and I are both visual guys as well, and love the act of holding something when you buy something... but even us luddites who kept with cd purchasing see it's decline. Our bridge to the completely abstract-world-of-downloads are going to be these art/zine-like-books that will give you all sorts of info about the album as well as tantalize yer eyes with some relative arts. So my guess is you'll get the option to either just download the whole album for $5... but if you wanted the book, its just $5 more and I'll handmake one and send it your way.  Anyways, thats enough about music for now.

Fiamma just woke up and is in the shower, so the day has started. She's gotta get off to work like a regular human being while I sit here playing on the computer all day. Probably looking at books, playing my new guitar. Oh yeah...! I got a new guitar! A 1954 National. The first solid body electric really and it reeally sounds and looks great. Here's a picture:

So anyways, I'll probably also play that today, maybe work on a woodcut of an acorn for Dutch, maybe go for a swim, maybe read my Murakami book or watch the latest Pirates of the Carribean movie with my cats or something.

But there's one last thing I wanted to mention before I head off. That is, I've turned into a novice art collector. I make lotso woodcuts and thus have too much of my own stuff. So I want to give that away as much as possible, but on the flipside of that, I've also started collecting art of artists I like. So far I've got works by:  David Abbott, Na Kim, Jacques Hnizdovsky, The Cannonball Art guys, Fiamma Piacentini, Dutch Huff, Julie Melton, Travis Robertson... and just recently I've added to this collection. I thought I'd share the new acquisitions with you.

The first is a photograph of Louis Armstrong with his trumpet and wife in Egypt. My brother used to print for the New York Times archive at Palm Press and this print was made by him and was my wedding gift. It's very beautiful: 

I also purchased a 3rd Sean Star Wars print from his 52-one-a-week-woodcut series from last year. This particular print was from January 16-22,2011 and I quite like it:

And lastly, Fiamma bought me a beautiful woodcut from a famous early 20th century mexican artist named Gabriel Fernãndez Ledesma. Here's a little iphone pic I took this morning just to show you (please forgive the poor reproductionyness of it):

Anyways, I'm off to celebrate this day of freedom and then head off to The New England coast to celebrate the newest in new years. Here's a shot from last year at the same house I'm going to.

Unfortunately that bear-shaped fella in the middle won't be here this year, but I wish everyone wherever they are, a happiest of New Years Celebrations. Come on in 2012... the water is warm.

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