Monday, May 12, 2008


Glazed Brick/Letters. Chicago. 845 W. Washington Blvd. May, 2008.

I had the great fortune to travel to Chicago for a few days for a conference. While the conference was on book design and was very informative, interesting, and altogether inspiring, in my off-time I got to hang out with a friend (see the JWLawson link on the sidebar)...and that was even more informative, interesting, and inspiring. We ate some real good food, drank some real cold beer, drove the Chicago streets visiting galleries for art, and all the while having some good chats. I have new records to spin (Washington Phillips and Bottomless Pit) and plans have been hatched for the future. Seeing the variety and quantity of brick in Chicago was inspiring as well, and I am thinking of what I can do with glazed brick and glass block. I want a wall. Now, where to put it?

On the music:
Washington Phillips - "What Are They Doing In Heaven Today" (Mississippi Records). Washington Phillips was a pioneering gospel performer in the 1920s. Phillips recorded just sixteen remarkable songs, some of which amount to highly specific and detailed gospel sermons. The songs, recorded between 1927 and 1929, feature Phillips' voice self-accompanied by an instrument that sounds like a fretless zither. This instrument, which has been variously identified as a Dolceola, a Celestophone, and a Phonoharp (and also is considered by some to be an instrument entirely home-made by Phillips) creates a unique sound on these recordings that makes them immediately recognizable. Phillips died September 20, 1954 in Teague, Texas, at the age of 74. (from Wikipedia).

Bottomless Pit - Silkworm's drummer Michael Dahlquist was killed in a freak car crash in 2005. Bassist Tim Midgett and guitarist Andy Cohen along with Seam's Chris Manfrin and .22's Brian Orchard have returned with a band called Bottomless Pit and a record called Hammer of the Gods. It's a double 12-inch at 45rpm, which they say sounds better. I dunno about that, but it sure is nice, and sounds great regardless of the speed.

Washington Phillips - I Had a Good Father and Mother

Bottomless Pit - Dead Man's Blues

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