Melody Gin - courtesy LA Times Isn't it funny how you can go for days and days without a single interesting activity and then all of a sudden there's a massive deluge of stuff to do every night for weeks on end?! Well that's what's been happening here lately, and I think it started with that trip to the opera... (wow, who knew a trip to the opera could do such a thing!) There's way too much to detail here, so I'll just hit the highlights. After the opera, we spent several nights viewing films outdoors, 2 of which were at Hollywood Forever, where we picnicked and watched Hitchcock's "To Catch A Thief" one night and Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" the next... it was so much fun...
Grace Kelly & Cary Grant in "To Catch A Thief" (as projected on an outdoor wall) ...and then the next thing I knew... it was my birthday!
On the big day I had lunch at Chateau Marmont, which is now sort of a tradition, followed by an exciting day filled with good friends and happy celebrations. I did the LACMA art walk at the Craft and Folk Art Museum on Saturday where I met some really cool fellow artists and crafters, and had just an all around great day. And on Sunday, some friends threw me a birthday party... and what a party it was! Actually, it was a party for me, but it was also a Dewanatron show (slash) magic act (slash) interactive post-it-note-art-experience, complete with champagne flavored cake. wow. And the whole shindig was covered by NYLON and the LA Times...
Brian Dewan, Rob Zabrecky, Tim Maloney - courtesy LA Times (and check out that spoon art!) Me, Rebecca Tull - courtesy LA Times Brian Dewan, Me, Leon Dewan - courtesy Mark Blackwell Syd Lynch - courtesy LA Times Lisa Bae & friend- courtesy LA Times Cake! - courtesy LA Times It's about now, I imagine, that you've started wondering about the
Dewanatron... a remarkable invention that you need to experience in person to
order to fully appreciate. Since we can't really do
that here, I've posted the Times article below, which describes its
eloquence and uniqueness quite nicely.
Continuing the fun, the next day we had a SpoonFed
Art photo shoot, so look for some new photos with a lovely
new model and a new website design, all coming soon. And to wrap up the extended SpoonFed Art/birthday/Dewanatron weekend, we
watched "Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey", an interesting little documentary about the inventor of the first electronic synthesiser instrument...
Last week was full of great adventures too, including an enchanting evening of magic and cabaret with my friend Rob Zabrecky, Handsome Jack, Derek DelGaudio and the incredibly lovely and talented Lindsay Benner. It was my first time seeing Lindsay, and I was thoroughly thrilled... she was amazing. I was also lucky enough to be invited to a little comedy club located in an alley in Santa Moncia where I saw my friend (and former SpoonFed Art model) Pamela Walt perform stand-up for the very first time... and she was great! It most definitely takes talent and lots of guts to do stand-up, and Pamela has both - (way to go Pam!!!)
And so, after all of that, the NYLON Magazine party is tonight in Hollywood. And there's even more coming up this week. Whew... when it rains, it pours!
*Shine on, Dewanatron*
By Dean Kuipers, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 1, 2009
If you've got a melody gin, it only takes two little musical tones to
make a song, a really good party, or even a strange and ever-changing
career as a musician. Sunday night at Ghettogloss gallery in Silver
Lake, the duo known as Dewanatron made a rare appearance with their
handmade instruments, pulled together a bunch of L.A.-based musicians
and a birthday cake, and left the local hip-oisie gaping in wonder.
"Much like a cotton gin weaves together strands to make cloth, the
melody gin weaves together a melody," explained Leon Dewan in between
sets. One half of Dewanatron, Leon makes the "guts" of their handmade
analogue electronic instruments, while his cousin Brian Dewan makes the
cabinets. Leon's father was an inventor and worked with high-voltage
equipment. "It's better to work with low-voltage, solid-state parts,"
nodded Leon, "and not risk death every day."
The Dewans' melody gins come in various sizes and shapes – some, like
the Dual Primate Console, are too big to transport easily. Others are
gallery installations or meant to hang on walls, where they generate
tones on their own. Leon explained that the particular gin he was
playing that night, which was about the size of an old reel-to-reel
tape machine, generated sets of two toggling tones – up to sixteen
total – that could then be modified with banks of knobs and dampening
At full roar, the Dewanatron experience howled and warbled with
demented mid-1960s fervor, all simple rhythms laced up with complex and
freakish electronic wails, a retrofuturistic journey to the reinvention
of the synthesizer.
The Dewans were joined by screenwriter Mark Blackwell on guitar;
filmmaker Paul Yates on his own Dewan-built melody gin; bassist Jim
Robbins; Drivin' n Cryin' drummer Jeff Sullivan; Tim Maloney on
incidental violin, trumpet and guitar; plus other folks on electric
dulcimers and found percussion, and Tommy Jordan banging spoons all
over the place.
Spoons, in fact, were the motif of the evening, with silver spoons
arranged on the walls, as the night also celebrated the birthday of
Spoonfed Art proprietor Karin Collins. Her jewelry, based on spoons (www.spoonfedart.com),
has been featured in about a zillion publications including Nylon,
Health, Jane and L.A. Weekly, and is available at the Ghettogloss
Magician Rob Zabrecky, formerly in Silver Lake band Possum Dixon, even
kicked the night off with a card trick and some illusions. Which were
really good and worked even in lights so dim you could hardly see. What
more do you want from a Sunday night?
Last night, after lunch and a fun afternoon with the lovely Marisa, I met up with some friends at the Magic Castle to see the shows, which were supposed to be extra special and amazing this week... and they were! There were two female magicians, which is quite rare... one was even from Budapest, Hungary, birthplace of Houdini! But my favorite part was the marionettes... (if you're scrolling down, be careful... )
Ahh! Some clowns arescary, but his little fellow wasn't at all... he was just happily entertaining (even though the photo is a bit creepy!). The puppeteer was Scott Land, and if you've ever seen a puppet blow up a balloon, you know it's quite something to see! This little clown was so shy and sweet... he blew up a little yellow balloon and was having such fun with it... until it popped! It was such a great show, and so inspiring... each little tiny movement created the personality of the character, and the construction of the marionettes was really amazing. Stop by his website and take a peek... they each take about 4 months to make and they're all handmade by Mr. Land... (photo: thepuppetman.com)