Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Halloween Head", Ryan Adams

A better contemporary American singer than Ryan Adams? I would love to hear suggestions...

All the best to you and yours...

Halloween Head...


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Ave Maria"

Original IBL art - newspaper and glue, 8.5 x 6 1/8 inches, October 2012.

"Actual Photo"

Original IBL art - newspaper and glue,  9.5 x 7.5 inches, October, 2012.

Brief, Insightful Commentary on the Tigers' Performance Last Night in Game 4 of the World Series

Finally got to see Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture (streaming on NetFlix, recommended by Peeber).  Danielle and I both thought it was quite good.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Brief, Insightful Commentary on the Tigers' Performance Last Night in Game 3 of the World Series

The pitching staff allowed four runs in the last two games - four runs - and the offense responded by scoring zero runs combined.  If the offense is not going to put forth the effort to score any runs, I certainly don't need to put forth the effort to watch the game tonight.  And so I shan't. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Detroit Tigers in the World Series

And, as a fan of the Tigers, I have to say that, as the season progressed, I did not think this was a very likely end result.  Yes, they signed Prince Fielder in the off-season; but, in truth, if not for Victor Martinez's January season-ending injury, they likely would not have gone after Fielder.  Martinez is good for a .300 average, 20 homers and over 100 RBI; Prince hit 30 homers on the nose, batted .300 and had 100 RBI.  So, a substitution of sorts, nothing more.  Now last year the Tigers won 92 games to capture their division, then beat the Yankees in a five game ALDS before losing to Texas in a six game ALCS.  This year it seemed a universal opinion that there were even higher expectations (which, to be fair, at this point they have now achieved) and, so, when things did not appear to be going well, I began to investigate why this year was considered a disappointment, and here's my pre-World Series assessment.

They wound up with 87 or 88 wins in a weak division, so only four or five games off last year's pace.  And, so, what went right? Well, Prince Fielder, of course.  Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown, obviously (he also won the batting title last year).  The emergence of Austin Jackson as a lead off batter, and Andy Dirks as a left-handed hitting corner outfielder who could play full time.  Justin Verlander posted a 2.6 ERA after his 2.4 last year, so all well and good there.  Also, Max Scherzer matured as a starting pitcher and, beginning in July and into September (when he missed some starts with a sore shoulder), he was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.  But that's it, really.  I mean that's all good stuff, sure, but here's what went wrong -

Jackson and Dirks, as good as they were, each missed a month with injuries (kudos to rookie Quintin Berry for being a spark plug of a fill-in; I do want to acknowledge that), and that certainly slowed the offense down to a certain extent. Utility infielders were a nightmare, from Danny Worth to Ramon Santiago to Ryan Rayburn to my beloved Brandon Inge, hitting anywhere from like .075 to .220 on the high side.  The Tigers lead ALL of MLB when it came to hitting into double plays.  The collapse of the bullpen in the second half of the season, including usually reliable set-up man Joaquin Benoit ending the year with this remarkable stat - 15 home runs in like 70 innings (inexcusable!).  Last year, Jose Valverde didn't blow a save which still boggles my mind because, if you watched him perform on a daily basis, and you checked out his stats, you simply wouldn't think it was possible.  This year, Jose was even less pleasant, blowing a save on opening day and then wrapping that up in a nice little bow with his 9th inning meltdowns in the playoffs in both Oakland and New York.  Apparently he had no splitter this year, which leaves him a one pitch kind of a guy - a 92 mph fastball folks can sit on.  Doug Fister, the number 2 starter, was on the DL by the second day of the season, the first of two visits and, when he returned, he was simply not as effective as last year.  Good, he was, yes, but not brilliant.  Shortstop Jhonny Peralta? Hit .270 or so last year with 20 HRs; this year, .240 or so with 10.  Catcher Alex Avila? .285 or so last year with 18 HRs and over 100 RBI, slugged over .500.  This year? Mid .240s with maybe 10 HRs and 50 RBI and a slugging percentage below .400.  Brennan Boesch, the right fielder? Hit .240 with maybe 10 HR after hitting .280 last year with 15 or 16 HRs in an injury-shortened season.  In fact, Boesch was finally benched in September (way too late in my opinion) for an Avisail Garcia/Berry platoon, and was even left off the playoff roster.  The top half of the Tigers' order was fine and dandy all year, the bottom half a catastrophe (at some point I coined the phrase "three runs whether we need them or not" for the offense).  Also, their infield defense is not too great - I think they lead the AL in unearned runs; what pitching staff doesn't swoon along to that stat.

So, again, I didn't imagine they'd make the playoffs, let alone last all that long if they did.  They caught a break to be sure playing in the weakest division; they caught a break when, after trailing the White Sox by three games with two weeks to go, the Southsiders decided to reel off a 1-9 during a ten game stretch.  Against Oakland in the first round of the playoffs they managed to split the first four games even though they scored 11 total runs, 8 of them earned - if Coco Crisp does not drop Miguel Cabrera's very catchable ball in Detroit in Game 2, there might never have been a Game 5 series-clinching masterpiece from Verlander, and it would have been the A's (whom I just love, I have to say) advancing.

And speaking of advancing - yes, the Tigers have good starting pitching, no doubt, and I did like the way Leyland moved away from Benoit and Valverde in the late innings after the latter's 9th inning flame-out in Game 1 vs. the Yankees in the ALCS (Phil Coke pitches in all four games, doesn't allow a run, and records 2 saves - I think he had 1 save all year), but let's take a gander at the Yankees, shall we? Their post-season meltdown began against the Orioles in the previous round, and they had A-Rod, Granderson, Swisher, Cano (Cano!), Chavez - none of these guys hitting at all, and piling up strike out after strike out.  Well, this Yankees' meltdown did not hurt the Tigers' chances one bit is all I'm saying.

At some point in late August I started to think about how much better the Tigers were going to be next year, when Martinez returns and is full time DH, batting behind Fielder.  Pretty fantastic, that.  And some of the younger pitchers getting experience, like Smyly and Albuquerque.  And maybe another arm in the bullpen (definitely another arm in the bullpen - Valverde is a free agent).  And perhaps this kid Garcia, the mini-Miggy, really turning into something - he's only 20, the same age as Cabrera when he came up.  He even looks like Cabrera, and apparently has a chance to be the kind of a player Cabrera is but with speed and better defensively.  (We'll see.)  And I still think that's true, I think they can be better next year, which I'm happy about.  But, you know, that was my August thinkng.  In the meantime -

they are inexplicably in the World Series.  And I'll watch as much a I can, the first two games for sure and see how it goes from there, and I'll keep my expectations low because that seems not unreasonable based on what I watched them do on the field all year.  But if there's a Game 5, or a 6, or a 7, series on the line, and Valverde trots in from the bullpen with a one run lead to "lock it up", it's not impossible it may just be the perfect time to walk the dogs.  You'd hate to miss something brilliant, I get that; but, more than that, you'd hate to see something awful, and I've seen that twice already now in the post-season and didn't enjoy it either time, I have to say...


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Narrators With Whom We May Not Particularly Agree

So, as we move closer and closer - inexorably, one might say - to the appearance of David Allen Coe's Fuck Anita Bryant in these pages (and how that song may or may not break the Civility code here at IBL), I would like to return to an issue broached in the post of 10/16/12: using art to literally say one thing when, in fact, your purpose may well be to get across a point that is quite the opposite.

The first time that I can recall experiencing this (though I would not have known how to talk about it) was at age 12 or 13, when I first heard Elton John's Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player album, which included Texan Love Song.  First, it was scandalous (or would have been considered so by my parents if they'd heard it) and memorable because it used the word "Goddamnit" in the chorus.  But, also, I can remember hearing the song and, knowing enough about Elton John at that time (he was my favorite), thinking to myself, "That doesn't sound like something he might actually believe."  And, of course, he was not the lyricist in those brilliant years (1969 to 1975, let's say), that was Bernie Taupin.

And so Mr. Taupin may well have been personally critical of the type of individual represented here but, rather than sermonize (except, perhaps, in the ironic title), he humanizes, creating an actual character, a narrator with his own belief system: we learn about his point of view, and we learn about some of the reasons he's unhappy and/or suspicious.  In truth, some people could have heard this song like I did, as criticism; others, of course, could have heard it as the straight up truth.  What didn't occur to me until years later was the possibility that it may have been intended to elicit something else, a better understanding of our narrator and why he behaves the way he does.  Now, of course, I attempt to do that same kind of thing in my own writing and art, and to seek out the works of others that will challenge my preconceived notions in as many areas as possible.

I read an interview years ago with Martin Scorsese in which he discussed films like Mean Streets, Taxi Driver and Good Fellas, and he said, in essence, "I don't take sides - I just show.  You are free to make your own decisions."

And, so, Texan Love Song, by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, with lyrics following...

I heard from a friend you`d been messing around
With a cute little thing I`d been dating uptown
Well I don`t know if I like that idea much
Well you`d better stay clear I might start acting rough
You out of town guys sure think you`re real keen
Think all of us boys here are homespun and green
But that`s wrong my friend so get this through your head
We`re tough and we`re Texan with necks good and red

So it`s Ki yi yippie yi yi
You long hairs are sure gonna die
Our American home was clean till you came
And kids still respected the president`s name
And the eagle still flew in the sky
Hearts filled with national pride
Then you came along with your drug-crazy songs
Goddamit you`re all gonna die

How dare you sit there and drink all our beer
Oh it`s made for us workers who sweat spit and swear
The minds of our daughters are poisoned by you
With your communistic politics and them negro blues
Well I`m gonna quit talking and take action now
Run all of you fairies clean out of this town
Oh I`m dog tired of watching you mess up our lives
Spending the summertime naturally high


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Blog Comment I Received This Morning

"I knоw this if off tοpіс but I'm looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get setup? I'm aѕsuming havіng a blog lіke youгѕ would cost a prettу penny? I'm not very internet savvy so I'm not 100% positive. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it Look at my page :: the best sitosterol hair loss on Donald Hall on Becoming Old, New Yorker Issue 1/23/2012"

And to think I was complaining just yesterday that NOBODY comments on my blog! Clearly people are just a little behind because there is so much to digest - this post, for example, is from 2/1/12.

Our friend is right about one thing, though, there is a cost to doing this, no doubt about it...


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Word on Yesterday's Lone Post

 (Take a quick peek at it now, I'll wait...)


So I put that on the blog yesterday afternoon, linked it up to Facebook as I do with 95% of these entries, and within an hour I received this response -

Me no speaka good engrish so you fucka you...I no spel good tu Harhar me go laf mor mak crizy song in hed sing tu me orly

First of all, "me go laf mor mak crizy song in hed sing to me orly" is a pretty good line, I have to admit.  Second, I declined to post the comment under the "control your environment" theory (it was, of course, sent anonymously - the courage that must take.)

And then only this -

I am under no illusions as to how many people read this blog on a regular basis.  But I don't mind, I assumed it would be that way going in.  What does seem interesting to me in this instance is that, within an hour of this going up, I could have a comment back.  In general, I don't get that many comments from people I don't know - maybe ten in over a year.  So who was this, somebody randomly patrolling the internet? Possibly, but those seem like long odds.  Or perhaps somebody saw it on Facebook and doubled back to comment? To me, that seems more likely.  And so but anybody who has bothered to take a look around these pages would, I think, come to understand a few things about the creator and, in theory, would be able to bundle yesterday's entry within a context firmament that would indicate this was likely an attempt at irony (could well be failed attempt, of course).  I heard a quote of Sarah Silverman's once where she said, in essence, "If you want to know who I am, just listen to my act.  I'm the opposite of that."  In truth, I think I've given plenty of clues here as to who I am.

Could somebody still have been offended? Sure.  Could somebody simply have been trying to continue the irony? I guess, but then why not leave a name? So, for those of you who got this far - go ahead, comment away.  I'm not going to take offense, ever.  I'm certainly not going to get in some verbal sparring match.  If you're grumpy with something I put out there, or if you're happy with something, I'd love to hear about it and I'd love to talk about it.  But, in general, I'm going to need a name, or the comment is headed to the electronic dust bin, except for the parts I can use later.


A Death in the Family

It is with great regret I must inform you of the passing of  "Cross", an original piece of IBL art completed in ice and featured in these pages on 9/22/12.  In an attempt to create a second version of said piece, I inadvertently left the freezer door open too long and caused irreparable damage to Our Late Lamented (in happier news, the cookies and cream ice cream sammies were none the worse for wear).  Condolences to all involved, especially the artist...


Monday, October 15, 2012

Study For "Jesus Died So You Could Speak English, Bitch, So Speak Fucking English"

Original IBL art - chalk, glue stick, crayon, felt pen and ink on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 4/29/12.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen!

In stores this Friday, on Atlantic Records,
the debut album from 
Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen
"In the Court of the Crimson Spark:
  the Joni Mitchell Songbook"

Yes, that's right:
Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen! featuring -

The "In the Court of the Crimson King" King Crimson line-up
(sans Pete Sinfield's illumination because, you know, we gots Joni)
  • Michael Giles on percussion
  • Greg Lake on bass
  • Ian McDonald on, in truth, lots of stuff like mellotron and clarinet and sax etc.
  • Robert Fripp on guitar
  • and the legendary Jon Anderson of Yes on vocals
Also featuring special guests -
  • William Shatner with a spoken word/rap interpretation of Stardust
  • Bryan Ferry duet on Big Yellow Taxi

Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen!
On tour this summer at a fine auditorium near you.
(O, Canada!)

Jon Anderson and the Sensitive Gentlemen! -  
Because Joni's a painter now.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars!

In stores this Friday, on Atlantic Records,
the debut, eponymously-titled album from 
Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars
(No, not that John Anderson, the one from Yes!)

Yes, that's right:
Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars! featuring -
  • Vinnie Appice on drums
  • John Wetton on bass
  • Rick Wakeman on keys and synths
  • Steve Hackett on guitar
  • and the legendary Jon Anderson of Yes (!) on vocals
Also featuring special guests -
  • Steve Howe on pedal steel
  • Laurie Anderson on fiddle 
Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars!
On tour this summer performing the Harlan Howard catalogue!
at a fine auditorium near you.

Jon Anderson and His Country All-Stars! -  
Preserving our heritage, because the music matters.


Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion!

In stores this Friday, on Atlantic Records,
the debut, eponymously-titled album from 
Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion!

Yes, that's right:
Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion! featuring -
  • Jeff Porcaro on drums
  • Geddy Lee on bass
  • Jonathan Cain on keys
  • Vivian Campbell on guitar
  • and the legendary Jon Anderson of Yes on vocals
Also featuring special guests -
  • The Michaels Bolton and McDonald on backing vox
  • Kenny G on sax 
Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion!
On tour this summer - look for them in the round!
at a fine auditorium near you.

Jon Anderson's Blues Explosion! - Because the music matters.


Friday, October 12, 2012

"Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me" (Set of Four Coasters)

Original IBL art - crayon, felt pen and lipstick on coaster, each coaster 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 7/3/12.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Set of Four Coasters, Untitled

Original IBL art - felt pen, crayon, chalk and pencil on coaster, each coaster 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 9/30/12.

(Promised to Notty Blue, though he may not know it yet.)

Once again, coasters and cocktail napkins are available and, in the near future, I should MOST DEFINITELY say more about that...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Incorrect Headline Fixed (Walrus Edition)

From the Comcast XFINITY home page, 9/28/12 -
  • Walrus Makes Inappropriate Gesture

Correction from the IBL "Sort 'Em Out Proper-Like Desk" (a division of IBL Media Enterprises) -
  •   Walrus Moves - Humans Attribute Cognition, Intent


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

(Untitled Original IBL Art)

Pencil, felt pen, and crayon on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 9/30/12.

"Maybe I Am the Faggot, America"

Original IBL art - pencil, felt pen, and Beefeater gin on coaster, 3.5 x 3.5 inches, 9/30/12.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Realization You Are Getting Older (Baseball Edition)

The first baseball game I attended was in 1973, the Boston Red Sox at the California Angels.  (I discuss this and provide the box score in these very pages on 2/8/12.)  Leading off and playing second base for the Angels that evening was Sandy Alomar.  Last week, the Cleveland Indians fired their manager, Manny Acta, and appointed an interim manager to guide them through the final six games.  And who was that interim manager? Why, Sandy Alomar Junior, of course...


Thursday, October 4, 2012

And Scene...

I found this Tuesday morning, October 2nd.  I believe our project is now complete.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Miguel Cabrera, American League Triple Crown Winner

Here at Infection By Light we send a special shout-out to the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera for completing the first Triple Crown season (league leader in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in) in Major League Baseball in 45 years (Yastrzemski, Boston, 1967).  Of course, baseball being the oddity that it is, the last Triple Crown before Yas was ... 46 years ago, when Frank Robinson achieved the feat for the Baltimore Orioles (1966).

Also, holy crap - what a year for the Oakland A's.  Did anybody see that division title coming at the expense of the Rangers and the "new-look" Angels? Tigers and the A's square off in the first round of the playoffs starting Saturday, and away we go...


A Taste of the Funny

What did the first drone say to the second drone?

 I don't know, what did the first drone say to the second drone?

"How's about we covertly kill us some Paki civilians!"

(Okay, it's a little oblique, but I still think that on some intuitive, subconscious level the humor gets through.  Though, of course, I've been wrong before...)