Music Is The Best

There is a really great song I just heard called Ohm by Yo La Tengo. It starts out in a dark place, where “sometimes the bad guys come out on top, sometimes the good guys lose” What follows is current and calamity, you are pulled out in a riptide of depression and the relentless second hand of a clock that sweeps away possibilities. It feels like time and tide are against you, and you can’t even dream without hurting.

Then a ray of light his the side of your face from a distant house, “But nothing ever stays the same” and the comfort that this too shall pass pushes out the despair. A new wave arrives and you stop “resisting the flow” and away you go, towards the light, a vessel of good on a wave of energy.

With a turn of phrase ohm becomes Om, a unit of electrical resistance AND an expression of the infinite. The singer/guitarist Ira Kaplan takes a lead, riding distortion and string bends up and down the neck of his guitar. He is as focused when generating squalls of feedback as he is when he’s singing and playing in melodic harmony. He doesn’t look like he’s trying, he just looks present, like a surfer on a wave.

The song rides to the beach on Ira’s repeated mantra “Resisting the flow”. Resistance is natural, it’s present in the forces that shape the universe, but resisting the flow is a waste of energy, its more effective to go with the flow, onward and forward. The tide is our time, and resistance is riding on, finding joy and being present, “cause this is it for all we know”. So lets go, meet me on the wave!

Ongoing Negotiations” It is a 24″x36″ hand pulled screen print on spray painted aluminum. It is $500. we have several unique variations. You can see a few in the webstore here or all of them here. Email to reserve your copy.

I love to draw on prints, its something I think extends the work past collecting to connecting. I got a really great request that I wanted to share with you, I haven’t asked permission for this, so I’ll leave her name off in case she values her anonymity:

“I grew up in a family with a nomadic thread that wove through their beings. Both my parents were diplomats kids and grew up a little bit of everywhere, then there were a string of work assignments, wars, and political exiles that spread my aunts and other family members even further away. My family is Iraqi, and despite how spread about they are – each has always held close their story of Iraq. It too, alongside that nomadic plot line punctuates their narratives. So, despite having never lived there Iraq features strongly in my own narrative. Stories have such power.

So fast forward to the past decade, where this dream-like narrative of Iraq, one of art, innovation, secular thought, date trees and history is slowly being co opted by a singular hateful narrative. Terrorism, extremism, barbarism – every terrible -ism.

I am often the first Iraqi (and sometimes Arab) that many meet and by my sudden “character introduction” into their own life stories,  I am able to shift that which is so prevalent in the media… and hope that like your beautiful piece, the pieces can be converted into something infinitely more beautiful. How easy it is for bits of stories to be teased apart to change love to hate… how possible it is to do the opposite. Like you’ve drawn – there’s too much to love to hate. Thank you for being a story-teller, and thank you for visualizing that! “

I tried, anyway…