Thursday, December 30, 2010

Amoeba Records

Record Shopping!

I bought CDs today because I am sick of having everything on vinyl and unable to upload onto my ipod.  I got some weird ones, and ones I used to have.  The Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy (awesome), Iggy Pop Lust For Life (I totally love "The Passenger",  Pylon Gyrate (These guys are amazing!  I heard them at Issues), The Clash Sandinista (I know, it's a weird choice, but I love them and am really into the odd parts in Combat Rock lately), Echo and the Bunnymen Crocodiles (their first one), and Sonic Youth Daydream Nation (I'm like the only person on Earth who never got into Sonic Youth, but I think I'm going to like this one).

Despite a cash shortage, today I went to my favorite record store, Amoeba Records, in Berkeley.  I have been really feeling a serious music shortage.  It makes me sort of old fashioned, but checking out music online seems so lacking and insufficient in the proper tactile details.  I want the thing, that I can hold, and use and play in my car or on my turntable.  After a futile attempt the other day to find stuff on itunes, discovering new music was proving daunting since I am shut off from the MTV circuit;  everything seems so happy and twee or Lady Gaga.  I have been asking myself, where are the melancholy or angry new bands?  What's my problem, and why can't I ever find anything to listen to?

So, I went to the same Berkeley stop for my music fix that I have been going to since I was a teenager.  When I was old enough to drive, Berkeley was the destination of choice for our weekend adventures from Nevada City for a few reasons; with Gilman's venue open to all ages, and the sublime combination of vintage, record, and book stores all upon Telegraph's filthy and thrilling street, we made the pilgrimage as often as possible.  And, since this was back in the days before the internet's blazing trail, I had to stock up on anything musical or fashionable I could find.  

Those days are long gone but it's always weird to drive down the street to what seems like a far away destination; Amoeba is still there, and still carries all kinds of rare things I've come to expect.  As I leafed through the piles of plastic today, I thought about all the changes I've gone through and how my musical taste has somewhat evolved but in many ways stayed the same.  I still own many of the records I have purchased over my lifetime, mostly from Amoeba.  My hair and fashion has definitely evolved, and move after move I have slowly sloughed off most excess belongings, but I still have my records to remind me of how it all used to be.  

The beginning:  Yes, I shaved my head my Senior year.  It was an unfortunate decision.  My transition into anything cool came with Fugazi and everything else on the skate style mixed tape my friend, Camille, made for me.

I can't even tell you how many '90s photos I have of me hanging out like this in diners with people in cardigans.  Jets to Brazil (and Jawbreaker, of course) was my Bay Area pop-punk-indie fetish for years.

It happened one day:  I made friends with people who liked Crass and other crusty bands, and I got bi-hawks, but I was a nerd punk at heart.  The Misfits were the perfect accompaniment to my Thundercats sweatshirt style.  This, my friend, Casey, can attest to.

I had an all-girl band and an unfortunate rockabilly phase for awhile.  The band, however, was cool and we played funster girl stuff like we were Joan Jett and the Go-Go's.

I met a cute boy and dyed my hair black.  I also fell in love with Elvis Costello.

My BF, Mandy, and I, have been through equal numbers of hair transformations and musical choices together.  We listened to The Faint all the way down to LA on one adventure and hearing them always reminds me of driving through stinking cow fields.

My boyfriend and I stayed together through all kinds of changes, probably partially thanks to our mutual love for Nick

Art school dorkery begins, with the pains of growing out more black hair and an introduction to the amazing voice of Chan Marshall as Cat Power.

The end of school marked the end of an era.  Hipster hair and the Scottish-dance-goth of Sons and Daughters sums it up.

 I might not look like it, but guess what? I'm a goth! I finally embraced it, and my friend, Hilary, accepts it.  Bauhaus's single, "Bela Lugosi's Dead", has one of the best intros ever.

Now, as we move into the present, my face tells you a bit about what grad school is like.  The Cult is fucking cool and keeps me sane.

 And here we are, in the Now.  I found one amazing new band to add to the mix:  Gang Gang Dance is ridiculously weird and awesome.

Here's to more good albums and silly haircuts.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Remember Her?

A while ago I did a special class project in a window of Community Thrift on Valencia in San Francisco in which we were asked to take things from the thrift store and create a window display.  Since I had been making paper models of headdresses, I decided to make a three dimensional version out of all the shiny Christmas materials in the store.  The result was this mannequin in all her scarlet glory, but after sitting in my studio for a few months, I started to question what the hell to do with her.  The answer was simple.  Smash her.  

(Click on pic for larger images)

 My friend Courtney came to help.

If you love the sound of shattering glass, Christmas ornaments are a wonderful example.

All done.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Two Mission Openings: Southern Exposure and Triple Base Gallery

 I am a little behind in posting these two shows I saw in December, with the end of the semester and Christmas taking a big bite out of my time.  Both are shows already through, but here are some pictures!

Southern Exposure's annual juried exhibition, "Boom", was chalk full of recent or current CCA grads and buddies.  Congrats to the participants; I was told over 700 people applied for the show, leaving only a seven percent chance of getting in!

 The scene at Southern Exposure

 Hilary Pecis and a Boom-themed explosion digital collage 

 Noah Krell's video piece in which he convinces a girl to drag him up a steep hill

Mark Benson and his sculptural piece, "Oversight (Undershirts)" (you can't see the red sock from here)
Carlos Ramirez's ceramic sculpture based on Mario Brothers' game pieces

Lindsey Lyons and her linen painting of floor detritus

Some of the artists/intellectuals:  Noah Krell, Julie Henson, Mark Benson, and bud Mark Taylor

Next up was the annual Holiday party and Flat File show, "Out of the Flat Files", at Triple Base Gallery.  I was part of the show, too, but I didn't take a photo...

The scene at Triple Base, with an extra wall for even more viewing at the event
This guy is amazing!  Edmund Wyss only does machinery- mostly cameras.  This is a photo realistic gouache painting

Gallery Co-Director, Dina Pugh, in the back room with Christmas goodies made from scratch
A Rachel Kaye drawing wall

Rachel Foster's tricky screenprint

Bryson Gill and Jay Nelson

I found some favorite girls outside.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New work!

"Burning Down the World I", 2010

Check out the rest of my upcoming group show at Marx and Zavattero gallery here.  There will be a special preview for the show tomorrow, December 23, and the opening will be January 8.

Happy Holidays!  Love, Serena

Monday, December 13, 2010

Group Show: Winter Group Exhibition at Mark Wolfe Contemporary

Winter Group Exhibition at Mark Wolfe Contemporary, San Francisco (until January 28) 
curated by Ryan Martin

My friend, Marissa, and I went downtown to check out the new show at Mark Wolfe Contemporary, featuring our friends at CCA and curated by Ryan Martin, who I know from my days as an undergrad.  Before we even arrived at the gallery, we had a fun time frolicking around in the financial district of San Francisco, which is a little farther away from our usual haunts.  It was cool to check out some nooks and crannies of the city where the buildings seem so close together they form secret passages.  We also found some ridiculous sculptures outside a unmarked corporate building, and as we jumped around taking pictures we heard a booming security voice in a loudspeaker call out, "Please do not touch the sculptures".  Geez, killjoys.

Here we are at Mark Wolfe.  That blurry figure is curator Ryan Martin.

Bronze cast sculpture by Elizabeth Dorbad

 Paintings by Jake Ziemann

 Painting by Jennine Scarboro

 Painting by undergraduate Jane Kim

One more by Jake Ziemann

Congrats to everyone in the show!