Welcome to the February edition of the andrewhersey.com updates! Each month I bring you new art, new links, new music, new happy wonders to make your life a little brighter. Below are some new additions for this month. Click on each image to see more.
From the Reveries photo series:
"There Are So Many Stories You'll Never Even Hear"
One of several new figure drawings:
"Traveling a Midwest Backroad; Alice Takes Photographs"
I'm taking photographs of an Indiana cornfield, with a run-down equipment shed nestled in the back against the woods.
I'm taking photographs of the way light surrenders to the inevitability of November.
I'm taking photographs of the time and place I want to be kissing your shoulder blade.
I'm taking photographs of how, ninety-seven times out of a hundred, people get exactly what they expect.
I'm taking photographs of all of the ways that fog makes my life better.
I'm taking photographs of you.
A new entry from the journal:
In spite of numerous warnings, here we are.
See work in person:
"The Best of My Tactile Dreams"
(Second Place Overall)
is in the Simply Photography 2021 exhibition at Art Works in Richmond, Virginia
January 22 - February 19, 2021
is in the 6th Regional Juried Photography Exhibition at the Rehoboth Art League in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
February 12 - March 7, 2021
This month's music playlist again features a healthy variety of styles and genres, curated for your enjoyment by my girlfriend and me.
Notes (Quotes from song lyrics or artists themselves):
"Last night while you were sleeping I heard you say "Oh Ronny", when you know my name, when you know my name, when you know my name is Donny"
"I Believe to My Soul" is a Ray Charles song. Yes, "Ray" rhymes with "say", while "Donny"... ummm... doesn't. But with a badass horn section like this, we'll cut Donny Hathaway some slack here.
"Singing into the belly of a whale, Leviathan's ribs, a drowning jail. The desert at the bottom of the sea, the devil with his finger on the scale"
Jeffrey Foucault is back in the playlist this month with this wonderful track from 2011's album of the same name. I love the review of the album in The Telegraph (UK) that noted: "John Updike once wrote of a character who was like an open window through which the rain poured. Foucault's album captures that poignancy."
"If I thought about it long enough I just might make some kind of move, watchful lies are too hard on the soul"
Jolie Holland is such a creative force, I will gladly follow her wherever she wants to go. From their 2017 release Wildflower Blues, she and fellow Be Good Tanya Samantha Parton cover the famous Townes Van Zandt song.
"Remember the first time we slept together, you said it felt like when you learned to float"
The Handsome Family combine goofy eccentricity with genuine thoughtfulness. If you don't know them, I hope you will give them a listen. Here's a wonderful live version of this track.
"There will be nothing left if this madness runs its course except the gleaming buildings to the sky, with solitude unknown and every friendly word, with the sound of feet as the old world shuffles by"
Michael Chapman's lumbering vocals, dancing with violin and cello, make this 50-year-old track as relevant today as when it was recorded.
"And you said that I could stay here, open my chest for just you to see, all these acres of quiet fires, that are burning down in me"
Centralia, Pennsylvania was a town that literally burned to death from underneath itself, going from over a thousand residents to 62 in ten years (and down to five in 2017), because of a fire in an underground coal mine. The town was eventually condemned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1992, and even lost their ZIP code in 2002. Jeffrey Martin takes the story of that town and gives us one of the saddest and truest songs I've ever heard. This one makes me feel things.
"Dead Sea as barren as a stutter and colored laughter, I don't trouble nobody, nobody troubles my body after"
Asheville's Moses Sumney brings us a minimal little jewel! The video is kind of the same way. He's not here to overwhelm you, he just leaves you full of atmosphere...
"Think about now with my legs wrapped around you, how many times before have you seen me run?"
This bright little pop number speaks to Laura Marling's lyrical talents, but maybe overshadows the sheer talent of her voice. It's a great smart song, but given the choice, I'll probably opt for a more minimal Laura.
"Every body seems to know what they're comin' here for, they seem to know what they're after. No but there ain't no chicken pot pie that is worth the time, so I gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now"
I love writing up these little notes. I mean, sure, making this whole playlist is really fun: finding new music, living with it for a while, then the process of deciding which songs to include each month has been a highlight (and positive distraction) of these last 8 months. But in the process of finding more info about each artist and song, sometimes I find wonderful treasures. Like I said about Laura Marling, you might find a version of a song you like more than the original, or in the case of Handmade Moments, the duo of Anna Moss and Joel Ludford, sometimes you start with a fun and joyful little song, then find something even more fun and joyful, that you didn't even know you were looking for. Keep looking, and you might find something even funner and joyfuller than that!
"Tap your boots, dandelion time, toot that flute, dandelion time"
What is it with these Swedish artists who sound like they can't possibly be Swedish? First Aid Kit sounds like two old ladies from Arkansas, and Daniel Norgren might be fresh out of a Mississippi juke joint.
"Don't cry to me, don't cry to me no more"
Most people (myself included) first heard of Marc Ribot as Tom Waits' guitarist and collaborator, and you can't listen to this cut and not feel at home in Waits's music. But his musical career is varied and diverse, and his collaboration here with Los Cubanos is good evidence of that. So let's shimmy off to a slow Cuban beat, and see you next month!
Also updated are Eleven Appreciations from January