Friday, October 11, 2013

Daily Drawing - I'm Drawing Daily... Again

Here are some new daily drawings.

5 October 2013:

6 October 2013:

7 October 2013:

8 October 2013:

9 October 2013:

10 October 2013, I actually titled this one, "Negative Space":

That's all I got for today.

Friday, October 4, 2013

With Pain Comes New Drawings

Here are my latest two drawings - the first one was made on the airplane to London. The second one was made yesterday (because it was the first block of time I had to draw since getting back from London).

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

We ARE Here

Turin Brakes' Olly Knights
16 September 2013
Every once in a while, I have to stop writing about my training and racing to write about my favorite musicians, Turin Brakes. It's not something I WANT to do, it's something I HAVE to do. Their music affects me in a way that it has become impossible for someone to know me and to NOT know about Turin Brakes.

Yes, I understand that music is subjective. My musical taste is not necessarily the same as yours. I get it. But I'm passionate about the music I like (just like I am about triathlon). And isn't that what's great about art? If you don't like it, you don't have to listen to it (or look at it).

What I DO have a problem with is the music "industry," and how we are force-fed music through all channels - radio, tv, internet - and told what is good and what is not good based on some kind of corporate money exchange. In the current radio climate, bands like Turin Brakes suffer greatly because they rarely get airplay - the only way to hear them is via non-traditional channels. And the non-traditional channels have become jam-packed with every single aspiring musician there is. Not that there's anything wrong with that.. it just makes it extremely hard for people to find the music that appeals to them. Thank heavens for services like Spotify in making honest attempts to suggest music similar to what you already like.

But, let me tell you about "this band I like" for one moment. I'll be brief.

Turin Brakes' Gale Paridjanian
16 September 2013
Turin Brakes released a new album on Monday (to be released in the US on October 8). It's their sixth studio album. People are saying (yes, by "people" I mean I read Twitter) it's their best album since their first - the Mercury-Prize-nominated The Optimist Lp. There's a LOT of buzz surrounding it. But my biggest fear is it will never be heard by the people who need to hear it in THIS country. If it makes it to the airwaves, it will be in two places: public radio stations KCRW in Santa Monica and WXPN in Philadelphia. And that's a BIG "if." I am almost positive it won't be heard on my favorite local FM public radio station, The Summit, 91.3 in Akron - or in other local markets --thus banning it to oblivion in the U.S.

So, I'm here to tell you about it.

The album is called "We Were Here." In the words and music, I hear a group of musicians saying to us exactly that: We. Were. Here. We made this. This is US. This is our expression that we offer up to music history in hopes that someone will take notice. It's downright heart-wrenching to hear singer Olly Knights actually sing that phrase in more than one song on the album - especially in the song "No Mercy," one of the most melancholy songs he has ever written.

But, don't get me wrong - Turin Brakes is not a melancholy band. They're full of life, and full of ideas - both musical and visual, and I, for one, never get tired of it. My husband Jim and I have attended many concerts of popular-in-the-UK-but-relatively-unknown-in-the-States bands like Elbow, Travis, and Athlete. We've had the opportunity to meet many of them after gigs -- and, like a broken record, I usually mention Turin Brakes. Wouldn't you know - most of them have the utmost respect for Turin Brakes, using terms like "massive" and "epic." No, I'm not making this up. I've heard it from their own mouths. Turin Brakes is a band that OTHER bands talk about. And I think it has to do with recognition of sheer talent. These guys have it. They deserve to be heard by a wider audience. (Listen to We Were Here online - the whole album is streaming at Paste Magazine.)

I've been lucky to have had the opportunity to see and hear Turin Brakes play on many occasions, both here and in the UK. And, as karma would have it, they played an exclusive gig showcasing the new songs the day after I raced in the London ITU World Championship. Jim and I were also extremely fortunate (and grateful) to have been invited to attend. That night, duo Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian were accompanied by their long-time collaborators, drummer Rob Allum and bassist Eddie Myer. I took some videos just for myself to remember it by, but I wanted to share a couple of them with you - hopefully you will find something you like about them too. (Forgive my crappy video-taping.. there were professionals taping that night also, so my little Panasonic is embarrassing compared to the footage they got - you can see it at

The first one is a showcase of guitarist Gale Paridjanian's "massive" (or is it "epic"?) slide guitar, reminiscent of Pink Floyd - it's called "Blindsided Again":

And this is the song "Stop the World" and it has a really hilarious intro about where the song came from:

Thanks for listening. Or reading.