About 8 or 9 years ago, on MySpace, I got to be friendly with Edgar Breau, the singer and guitarist of the legendarily forgotten ’70s Canadian band Simply Saucer. He liked my paintings and told me he’d like to use one for a CD cover for a forthcoming solo recording. I did some sketches and the painting above and Edgar sent me some money, but nothing happened for a few years. In 2012, “Patches of Blue” was released, but without the cover I designed. Some of my sketches were used to decorate the disc itself though. A couple years ago, while cleaning out a drawer, I happened on my cover painting and decided to send it to Edgar, figuring it was doing no one any good sitting in storage. Last week he emailed me to say he’d decided to use it for the remaining stock of “Patches” CDs. You can hear the songs here but if you want to buy one with my cover you’ll need to contact Edgar directly: breauscr (at) hotmail (dot) com.
Last December I heard Gint Aras read from his newly-published novel, The Fugue. I decided to review it for the Tribune but the day after the editor gave me the green light the book’s publisher pulled it from circulation, citing financial insolvency. Luckily, Tortoise Books came to the rescue and the book is available again. Read my review. I also wrote a bit about the new season of “The Americans” for the Reader. Both deal with Eastern Europeans in America, albeit in very different ways.
Saturday I went to hear Ran Blake play at Constellation. His music is a mix of jazz and classical but really is its own animal. He played some standards but even recognizable melodies were mutated to fit his own voice. Blake is 80 years old and needed a walker to get to the piano, but once he hit the keys all frailty flew out the window. Like Mavis Staples last week, Blake made it clear that old age doesn’t have to mean retreat or defeat or diminishment of creative power. They show me reasons to keep going.