M i l M a n i a
The Official Newsletter of WWW.ARTISTINSANE.COM
Thanks for reading this issue of Mil Mania! And, remember, this is a work in progress, subject to many and varied changes — all adding up to a new and improved publication...so I hope! Please drop me a line to let me know what you think, including any and all suggestions. Thank you!!!
All Content © Mil Scott www.artistinsane.com
Welcome To The April
Issue of Mil Mania!
Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2006
As noted in the December edition of Mil Mania, I will continue to include news in every issue to keep readers up to date on the latest happenings with the three acts most prominently featured on www.artistinsane.com. In addition, for each issue I will also choose one additional artist — in some cases a new discovery I’ve recently made, in others an individual or group whose work I’ve long appreciated — to make a one-time appearance here. And, of course, as with all aspects of Mil Mania, feel free to offer suggestions.
This month’s featured artist:
The Goo Goo Dolls —
It may seem odd that
For more info, visit www.googoodolls.com.
Third Eye Blind news as it pertains to Mil Mania continues to evolve and change even as actual news of the band itself since last month stays pretty much the same. To clarify, I noted in the March issue that StephanJenkins.com was closing its doors...but now it seems Jen has experienced a slight change of heart (a good thing, in my opinion). The latest update declares the site “on sabbatical until a new album is released”. In the meantime, my 3eb bio is to be added to what is currently “The Place” for Third Eye Blind info fan discussion, etc... The Village Churchyard. What’s more, Adam (the site’s administrator) has enlisted me to write individual bios for each of the band’s members, past and present. Watch for updates on when these are completed and will be published to TVCY.
Also, Third Eye Blind has embarked on a brief spring tour with dates in TX, the West Indies and PA — including a 4/29 date in Villanova. My attendance at this is uncertain at present (as only very limited ticket info has been made available thus far). Of course, if I do, I’ll share my review in May’s “Music Mayhem”.
Brian Fitzpatrick has been very quiet of late...I’ve heard no news since his St. Paddy’s Day appearance at The Underpass, but will be sure to keep you informed if additional info or show dates come up prior to the next issue of Mil Mania.
Michael McDermott returned to Philadelphia’s World Café Live for a brief opening set recently. You can check back here for a full review with photos, which I will be adding to the host of McDermott related material on artistinsane.com in the days ahead.
In the meantime, you can view video clips of an interview and two songs from a recent appearance on a local Chicago television show:
Lastly, it was announced at the aforementioned Philly show that the tentative release date for Michael’s new acoustic album is sometime in July. Let’s hope there are no further delays and we all get to hear some wonderful new music from this tremendous talent SOON!
Ravings of a
This column corresponds with the Mad Ravings On section of www.artistinsane.com, and is dedicated to selected reviews of movies, television and books… most of which are unlikely to represent “the latest” in any of these categories, but rather a random selection that represents a new and/or noteworthy discovery to me.
With the movie adaptation of The DaVinci Code opening next month I thought it an appropriate time to discuss this best-selling book — and the (to me, anyway) truly brow-furrowing enigma of its “numerical” success.
P.S. To read my full review of The Da Vinci Code, click here. (Yes, believe it or not, there’s more!)
(If you haven’t met me yet, you might want to
Well, here I am again to share a few thoughts and observations from the perspective of a rodent single mom. And, finally, I have my first real questions from readers who have written with messages for me since last month’s column. Needless to say, I was very excited to receive them — after all, how can I “madvise” if I have no one asking me about things that “madden” them? So, thanks very much for each of those, and, of course, please keep them coming!
To get down to business, then, the first inquiry comes in three parts and solicits what I see as my…
“Favorite book? Favorite character in a movie? Biggest injustice [against my species]?”
“Anon Y Mous”
I’ve had to think quite a while about the first two of those as I don’t read or watch movies all that much since my rat eyesight isn’t nearly as sharp as my other senses. I do occasionally enjoy a good audiobook, however, and sometimes listen to the dialogue when mom holds me on her lap while watching movies and TV herself.
“Here's my question for the wise rat-ess: ‘We humans calls philandering men “rats”. Do you find this offensive? And do you have a name for the philandering males among your species? And lastly, in your vast experience, have you ever known a philandering rat to change his spots?’ ”
"Marking Time in Mayhem"
Well, “Marking Time”, I have to say I love that you recognize the unfairness of that appellation — and I suspect it was a human (i.e. male of your species) who first started this ugly name-calling thing to make his kind seem less awful than they truly are. After all, an intelligent understanding hu-woman who’s done a bit of research might quickly learn (as you obviously have) just how warm, friendly and devoted rats (of either sex) can be, and far too many might subsequently transfer our cuddly appeal onto the offending human if she indeed started seeing him as one of us. She might even therefore mistakenly forgive this “dumb animal” for being such a jerk (a universal term of derision for our species as well as yours).
Thanks for asking. And, I hope that helps!
(by... Molly, of course!)
You didn’t really think I could let a holiday go by without showing off Molly’s latest acquisition of celebratory attire?!?
A Very Special Installment of “Temporary Insanity”
In A Nutshell
“We always love those who admire us, but we do not always love those whom we admire.”
Francois de la Rouchfoucald
As noted in the in-
enforce a creative
The review section features a topic many of you are probably familiar with — and given a projected blockbuster starring Tom Hanks is soon to be released based on it, if you’re not you most likely will be soon. By now I’m sure you’ve realized, however, that I seldom allow popularity (or a lack thereof, for that matter) to dictate my own taste, and it’s probably among the less surprising aspects of this month’s Mil Mania that my thoughts on the matter are less enthusiastic than those of most readers. But, as a firm believer there’s nothing wrong with healthy debate and respectful disagreement, all I ask is that you consider my points with an open mind and subsequently make up your own.
Lastly, thanks as always for your feedback and suggestions...speaking of which my favorite literary rodent sends thanks as well. “She” received her first “real” questions from readers soliciting her “madvice” and has embraced this challenge with admirable alacrity. I hope you enjoy what “she’s” comes up with to inform and entertain you.
May the lovely spring weather brighten your spirits, and allow you much time for relaxation, reflection — and reading!
Happy Easter! Happy Spring!
Writings From The Asylum
Josh wakes up slowly, and willing his uncooperative eyes to focus, at last realizes he’s on the couch amidst a sea of Sam Adams bottles and an empty fifth of Jack Daniels he doesn’t even recall opening. Rubbing his temples in an effort to dull the pounding they can ill contain, he quickly doubts the wisdom of trying to stand, but manages to make his way to the bathroom and splash several handfuls of water onto his burning face.
Catching sight of his reflection in the mirror, and noting the hair from the side he’d slept on plastered against his skull, he reaches for a towel, then ducks to douse his entire head under the faucet – still sufficiently unsteady on his feet to inspire a moment of panic that he might not make it back up for air. Had anyone ever drowned in their own sink, he wondered idly, finally cutting off the warm flow and rubbing the towel briskly back and forth in a motion not unlike that of a dog shaking itself dry.
Feeling far from recovered but somewhat refreshed, he goes to the dresser to pull out some clean clothes. Donning them carelessly, he heads back to the living room, where he grabs a hat and his keys before walking out the door.
The night is brisk and he pulls the hat more closely to his head, at the same time flipping up the collar of his shirt as he continues walking along the deserted street. With no real destination in mind, he hears the same verse of a song he can’t quite place playing over and over in his head like a whispering phantom close enough to threaten danger but always just out beyond the reach of catching to conquer.
“What time is it?” he wonders suddenly, noting the odd phenomenon of lights being switched off in every window he passes, leaving each to eerily stare out into the night like another newly discovered bruise on a losing fighter. Moving on, he goes by a block of closed shops, hurrying his steps ever so slightly at the entrances to the alleyways between. Finally, he reaches a stretch of buildings forming an apartment complex and sees a figure seated, smoking, on the concrete steps of one. About to walk by without glancing in or breaking stride, he is surprised to hear a voice call out his name, and turns in puzzlement to find himself face to face again with Allison.
“You live here?” he asks in confusion, then responds to her look of pained impatience with an embarrassed, “Duh…yeah, I know. I was here once with Julie…”
Allison merely nods in mid-drag on her cigarette, finally letting out the smoke in a long slow breath, her eyes narrowed pensively.
“So, what are you doing wandering the streets alone in the middle of the night? People get killed that way, you know.”
“Yeah, I know….I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know what I’m doing. I just needed some air – or…something.”
Another nod from Allison. Another long puff of smoke.
“You wanna come upstairs?” she asks at last. “Have a drink – or…something?”
Still feeling strangely confused and a bit muddled from the evening’s alcohol consumption, Josh hesitates, winning another strange look from Allison.
“Yeah, okay,” he says suddenly, in a tone of firm decision. “Sure.”
Allison stands back and points to the open door. “Lead the way.”
Josh enters the building, again tugging automatically on his hat and collar as if to ward off a ghostly chill. Allison points him to the stairs and he listens to the hollow knell of his footfalls as he climbs the steep flight to the second floor. At the landing, Allison steps in front of him, pulling a set of keys from her pocket as she approaches the first door on their left.
Unlocking the main knob and then the deadbolt, she at last swings the door open and again motions Josh inside. Heading for a small bar area on one side of the room, she asks if he wants a drink, and starts pouring a small glass of whiskey for herself.
“Yeah, okay,” he says again, and looks around the apartment as she reaches for a second glass and begins to fill it, too. Noticing a collection of photos on a nearby wall, he walks over to check them out, and is quickly surprised to find Julie smiling back at him in a shot of her and Allison in their waitress uniforms, apparently taken during a break during one of their joint shifts at the diner.
Turning away from the photo and the myriad of less happy images it triggers to start clicking off in his brain like an unending clip of bullets, he finds Allison standing behind him, and accepts the glass she offers with a terse nod of thanks.
Far too quickly tossing back its contents, he draws a sharp breath to counter the stinging sensation as the burning liquid makes it way down his throat and chest to the pit of his stomach. Feeling a sudden return of his earlier nausea, he puts a hand to his forehead and sinks to his haunches to prevent passing out on the worn hardwood floor.
Laying a hand on his back, Allison kneels beside him and leans in close.
“Are you okay,” she asks anxiously. “You want to lie down…?”
His head spinning, her voice seems to echo from a thousand miles away. Peering into the three heads he sees before him, he suddenly reaches for the middle one and pulls her to his mouth, crushing his lips against hers, which answer equally before she starts to rise and guide him toward the bedroom, unbuttoning her oversized flannel shirt along the way. Josh follows, tugging at her body, eager for a much needed release of his pent up tensions.
They make their way together to the bed, roughly tearing away pieces of clothing until, naked, they rise and fall in a perfect rhythm of animal instinct, wordlessly catapulting toward an oblivion of twisted bliss and an end of pain, losing all sense of each other and themselves in the all consuming vortex of the moment.
Spent at last, Josh rolls away and lies still on his side for several minutes facing the wall as the sound of his labored breathing gradually subsides. Realizing at last he hears no such sounds from behind, he slowly turns to see if Allison has already fallen asleep, to instead find her lying on her back, both eyes wide open. Shivering with a sudden chill, his heart starts racing as it becomes evident she’s not breathing, and he quickly presses an ear to her chest in panicked hope. Hearing nothing, he at last looks in horror toward her face once more – a horror that takes on a new hue when the face blindly staring back at him is no longer Allison’s, but Julie’s.
His own heart pounding out of his chest, Josh woke up slowly and willing his uncooperative eyes to focus, at last realized he was on the couch amidst a sea of Sam Adams bottles and an empty fifth of Jack Daniels he didn’t even recall opening.
If this was what sleep was going to be like from here on out, he thought while rubbing his temples in an attempt to dull the pounding they could ill contain, he’d take the insomnia – at least until it managed to kill him.
As introduced in the first issue of Mil Mania, this column presents the latest chapter in the prose “prequel” to my screenplay, Taking the Fall. While the script picks up four years after the suicide of the main character (Joshua Gray)’s girlfriend, the novel begins with that act itself, and the portion shared here continues to document events taking place in the days after the funeral...
As promised in this issue’s intro, here I have an exclusive interview with the mother of insane artists...or, at least, the mother of this “artistinsane”. And, while the term “art” clearly covers a wide spectrum of disciplines, Corrine’s is of a very traditional variety — oil painting.
Here are a few of her thoughts on this topic, followed by a link to a sampling of her works (and additional thoughts as they pertain to each of the pieces shown).
It’s indeed a privilege to share here with you a little bit about one of my — indeed lifelong — favorite artists….and so, I hereby present to you...Corrine.
Mil: How did you get started in painting, and why?
Corrine: My mother had an uncle who was an artist, and we had several of his works, which I admired from childhood [displayed throughout our house]. The desire was always there to someday be able to paint. One day my mother and I visited a cousin of my father’s who had beautiful paintings in her rooms — which she had painted herself, and which I couldn’t stop admiring. I told her how much I had always wanted to paint, too. At this she said she attended weekly lessons at the home of a lady nearby, and that if I would like to be included she would call to see if I could attend as well. Of course, I said, “yes”. And, of course, I was thrilled when she did so immediately, and was told it would be fine if I joined in...
It’s hard to believe this was over 30 years ago.
Mil: Who are a few of your favorite artists? And how (if at all) have these inspired you/influenced your own work?
Corrine: I enjoy seeing all of the periods from the masters to the present. I feel that when a picture grabs my attention there is usually something there that I can learn from. I do love many of the “impressionists”, such as Renoir, Monet and Frederick Childe Hassam. The faces and figures that Renoir painted are so indescribably lovely, and Monet’s water scenes show such light that they seem to dance with beauty. I especially like Hassam’s oils depicting street scenes of Paris and New York City. His oil on canvas of “Late Afternoon Winter, New York, 1900” blurs the buildings to such an extent one can feel the atmospheric condition very clearly.
Mil: Is there a reason you’ve worked primarily in oils? And, what other media have you explored (Watercolor? Charcoal? Pastels? Any Others?)?
Corrine: I prefer oils because I love their texture and “blendability”, and feel they give a rich, warm appearance. I have also done dog portraits in pencil which I liked a lot...it’s interesting to work with lines and shading.
Mil: You seem to favor landscapes as subject matter. Why? What other subjects do you find of interest?
Corrine: I enjoy painting landscapes — especially old weathered buildings, mills, dirt country roads, and water. Scenes like this, I feel, make one have a peaceful feeling contrary to the hectic times we live in today. I also like to paint miniatures. One of my favorite pieces is a portrait of a handsome Shetland Sheepdog of mine from years ago, painted on slate.
Mil: Do you have favorite “tools of the trade”? (i.e. specific brushes, palette knife, turpentine vs. stand oil, etc.?)
Corrine: The majority of my paintings were done with turpentine because I liked the flatter appearance. On very large pictures which had trees I often painted the trees with a palette knife for added texture.
Mil: Do you have certain colors you use more prominently than others?
Corrine: “Payne’s Grey” and “Sap Green”
Mil: Did you find painting particularly enjoyable? Laborious? Did you more enjoy the process or the end result?
Corrine: Painting was tremendously enjoyable. I had good lighting for this in the kitchen, and I would forget the time when I painted at night. Needless to say, I loved every minute of the process because it was totally relaxing. And, when it was completed it was nice to feel accomplishment.
Mil: Are there subjects and techniques you’d still like to explore or paintings you’d approach differently in hindsight?
Corrine: I would like to do more portrait painting one day...I think this would be fascinating. This would include both people and animals.
Mil: What other forms of art do you enjoy or would you like to try (photography, music, crafts, sculpture, etc.)?
Corrine: I enjoy photography and do this...minimally. Many times I wish I excelled at this. I so admire the photography of Ansel Adams. I very much enjoy taking nature pictures, and have taken many in the past...continue to in the present.
Mil: Do you feel painting is a chapter in your life that is simply closed...i.e. do you feel you’ve “finished” all you hoped to achieve with it? Or, is it something you might like to explore further one day?
Corrine: Unfortunately, for quite a few years it seemed there just wasn’t time to continue with my painting, but I have missed it immensely. Constantly I see places and things that I know would be nice to paint. I take pictures quite often and keep them in my collection for future works. I realize how sad it is that the time lost can’t be reclaimed, but I have a tremendous desire to start again...and before long I will be burning the midnight oil with a canvas in front of me!
Mil: Name five favorites among your paintings and explain a bit why each qualifies as a favorite.
[This question is answered via the notes accompanying each painting on the page linked at the end of this interview...and, of course, you’ll see there are more than five included!]
Mil: What one word or phrase do you feel best sums up your work?
Corrine: I believe the phrase that best sums up my work has to be: “I did my best, but my best is yet to come.”
Mil: That sounds good to me! Thanks, Mom.
Click here to see photos of Corrine’s work, and read a bit about each.
The Leap to Limbo (tentative title),
If you enjoy perusing this issue and are not already a subscriber to Mil Mania, SIGN UP HERE. Everyone is welcome and ALL readers are appreciated!!!
P.S. You can also read all back issues by visiting the sign-up page and clicking on the appropriate month’s link.