Archive for the ‘Power Violence’ Category

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Interview with Mia Clark of Art House

May 9, 2007

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I caught up with Mia Clark who is opening a crafty new place called Arthouse. The space is located on 1506 Hendricks Ave, between the Jaxcore Skate Shop and Jackrabbits, in San Marco. The shop isn’t all set up yet, but the opening night is set for Friday, May 25th from 7pm till whenever.

Artists and craftpersons wishing to put things on consignment can contact Mia through the Arthouse myspace page here.

On to the interview…

First off, who are you and what do you do?

My name is Mia Clark. I’m a “Creative” who has been earning a living working as a Librarian for the Jacksonville Public Library’s Main Teen Department. Before moving to Jax around five years ago, I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for nearly ten. One of the most exciting things about living there during that time was experiencing the urban explosion that took place following the 1996 Olympics. Though moving to Jax was quite a culture shock, it has provided me with another opportunity to live in a cultural scene that feels like it is about to burst. Add to that, what’s really exciting to me is that on this go-around, I hope to be more actively involved and to even add to the local flavor.

What kind of things will the store be carrying?

The concept for ArtHouse was inspired by Savannah’s own shopSCAD. Like shopSCAD, ArtHouse is a smallish “gallery store” featuring local art & design objects which will be displayed using a personal collection of vintage and contemporary furnishings and accessories. In this sense, it is not at all like a traditional white-walled gallery space. The shop will carry all sorts of handmade artwork including paper crafts, prints, illustrations, paintings, wall hangings, clothing, purses, jewelry, household goods, you name it. I really don’t want to control the type of artwork that is in the shop, though I do want it to have a certain feel-good quality that adds to the visual poetry. I’m unapologetically interested in creating an atmosphere that reeks creativity and style without too much heavy social commentary. In other words, it’s designed to appeal to all of the senses for the purpose of enjoyment alone.

arthouse2.jpgWhat is you inspiration for this place?

Artists, designers, shops (especially Savannah College of Art & Design’s shopSCAD, Atlanta’s Lakewood Antique Market, Providence, Belvedere, and City Issue, and San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace), magazines (Domino, Fiberarts, Dog Eared), and Art Basel, to name only a few.

What are your short term and long term goals for the space?

On short term basis and for the sake of sanity, I’m referring to ArtHouse as “an expensive hobby” that I hope will be a lot of fun. However, in long term thinking, I’d love for the shop to act as a fair art market that will help to grow the creative community. Add to that, I think it would be really cool if the shop became a recognizable and even sought-after spot on the Jacksonville map. Beyond that, I’d love to even do some Art Consultanting and Styling by placing artwork in living spaces.

Where the shop is located is by a music venue, a music store and a skate shop. How do you feel about the locations neighborhood? Do you forsee opportunities for synergy with these other shops or is the fact that you are surrounded by other small independent businesses enough?

The latter…As far as the location goes, the funny thing is that over a year ago I remember driving by the shop and thinking “That would be a cool space for a shop” before I was aware that I wanted to open one! I love the location, (neighboring Brunet-Garcia, Jack Rabbits, and the San Marco Library), and I think it appears to becoming part of an emerging Jax design district. Add to that, the guys at Jaxcore Skate Shop and the building residents are friendly and supportive. As far as synergy goes, from what I gather, the Jaxcore guys and I are supporting each other through our similar business visions. We both have full-time day jobs with a “hobby shop” on the side. We’re also totally doing business for the love of it and the idea that we would like to blend our personal and business lives into one. In other words, though it may sound crazy from a business perspective, the ultimate goal is not the bottom line. Instead, it is to build an ultimate lifestyle which includes learning how to support ourselves through our passions and creative efforts.

Speak to any problems you think you may encounter with the space. I know that having a full time job and a store can be a challenge. How do you envision dealing with this?

You know, it doesn’t take much mental digging to reveal an ugly list of could-be problems. For starters, everyone knows about the sewer and water drainage problems in the San Marco area. The good news is that the shop sits high and is well insured. Also, most of the art will be off of the floor. So, unless we experience a major act of God, we should be alright. As far as balancing full-time work with the shop goes, I feel that juggling work and grad school for over two years gave me great practice. Only this time around, I’m completely self-directed AND doing what I love. Otherwise, I’m not kidding myself, I know I’m gonna be tired, scared, and excited for who knows how long. The good news is, I think that the outcome will generate energy instead of draining it.

How long have you been involved with the craft / design scene in Jacksonville at large? …and in what capacity?

arthouse1.jpgIt depends on who asks, right? As far as being involved in the local scene goes, I’d say I’ve been holding a fairly low-key position. Still, I’m aware of what’s going on around town and especially downtown at JPL, Art Walk, Burrito Gallery, MOCA, TSI, Opaq, Assemble, CREATEjacksonville, Inertia (of course), and through the Cultural Council, to name a few. I also have a local group of good art-buddies like Marie Myers, Christy Adams, and Caroline Daly. In all honesty, beyond that, I think that if I was more involved, I would never have done this because of being overwhelmed and too afraid to take the risk.

Has working in the library’s Teen department allowed you to merge the crafts community and your library programming? How has these worked out?

Absolutely — Working at the library has allowed me to develop my art & design skills outside of the personal realm. I have had a blast developing and exhibiting programs and media for our department including special projects like “Obsessions & Confessions,” the Post-it walls (pure rip-off, I know), the Eye of Horus, Book Arts, Found Poetry, Poetry Jam, etc. As city people, we also have to market and promote our services. This aspect of the job forced me to learn how to design for public spaces and interests, as well as how to sell our programs. Add to that, when it comes to working with teens, I love their energy & spirit and I’ve enjoyed following trends and basically researching and creating library-related stuff around a lot fun themes.

Assemble is a rather similar craft store in the works. What’s your relationship to them? How do you feel about Assemble? How do you feel your niches will differ?

You know, it’s funny, you sent me Joey and Mackenzie’s info the very same day that I learned about Assemble from their urbanjacksonville.info blog. Actually, I had a nice long phone conversation with them a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t take me long to admit that when I first heard of them I thought “Crap! There’s another like-business opening and its way cooler”. Then I realized that’s silly thinking and I will not buy into some lame idea that we will be competing or that Jacksonville cannot support us both. Add to that, though may be somewhat similar, our market and focus is different. As is, ArtHouse will have some craft works but, it is not exclusively craft and education-oriented…At the end of the conversation, it felt great to know that we really are interested in the same ideas revolving around creating and supporting the creative community in a non-competive form which includes our own businesses. Thanks for the interview and all that you do Josh.

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Interview with Jesse Mangum of The Glow studio

May 6, 2007

The Glow

The Glow is a relatively new studio, and occasional show, space near the corner of Park and King in Riverside, at 2746 Park St. It’s owned and operated by Jesse Mangum, whom I caught up with via email for an interview.  I’m really excited about this new space where local bands can record.
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First off – who are you and what do you do?

I’m a local musician/engineer who is doing everything in his power to bring a sense of community and life to the Jacksonville music scene. It sounds cheesy, I know, but when I think about it, it’s really what I’m trying to do.

Ok so.. does the name of the place have anything to do with The Microphones “The Glow” album?

No, the name of the studio has nothing to do with that album, nor does it have anything to do with the Bonnie Raitt album of the same name! “The Glow” was the end result of a drunken scramble to give the place a suitable name before the grand opening! I had strung up a bunch of those tiny paper ball lanterns in the main room, which gave it a strange “glow” that people kept commenting on… the name just stuck. Meanwhile, if Phil Elvrum want’s to record/perform at The Glow, he’s certainly welcome!

What is your background in both recording music and the music scene at large?

I grew up in a recording studio… literally. My dad (Larry Mangum) was the co-owner of Mangum/Alford Recording Studio (M.A.R.S.) in the 80’s. I remember going there almost every day during my elementary school years. I wasn’t all that interested in the recording process then, but I think the environment rubbed off on me. By age 14 I had a pretty decent project studio set up in my bedroom, and I spent all of my free time working on music… creating sounds… emulating sounds… messing with sequencers and samplers. It never stopped. I still spend every free second reading about/talking about/experimenting with music. I’ve played in a few bands, but I think my career as a performing artist has yet to take flight. Right now I’m focusing on producing/recording other artists/bands.

What are you short and long term goals for this space? Is this something you’ve been wanting to do for a while?

I’ve always wanted to have a place like this; somewhere where I could have all of my gear set up, all of the time… somewhere I could practice drums in the middle of the night without having the neighbors call the cops. Originally, that’s all I was using it for… it was my practice space… my experimental music lab. I had been using the space that way for months before I realized that it could be used for so much more… that there had to be other musicians in town who didn’t have a place to record or experiment or perform. With reasonable effort, I was able to transform my private practice space into a modest-but-presentable studio/performance venue.

The show this Sunday (May 13th – Shawn Lightfoot, The Kettles, Anastasia, Chase Capo) is a benefit for the Humane Society. Are benefit shows, or just show in general, something you plan on doing often? In having this space do you feel a sort of social responisbility? ie. using it, in-part, for the community.

First and foremost, I’m treating the space as a recording studio. Hosting shows there takes a lot out of me… organizing and promoting… reconfiguring the space for “live sound” vs. “recorded sound”… it’s just so much to take on. The post-show cleanup is also a daunting task, and I’m usually left to do it alone… and that’s okay! I don’t mind! But it’s just not something I can do every week, or every month for that matter. Furthermore, studio sessions are starting to run back to back… so it’s rare that I have enough downtime between bands to host a show. I will, however continue to have shows there, and they will generally be to raise money for some cause or event. There will be a fundraiser show for the upcoming Tomato festival toward the end of this month.

In a previous email, you referred to this project as “a modest enterpreneurial venture at best.” Can you explain that a bit more?

The Glow is NOT a state-of-the-art recording studio… there are plenty of those in town, and they do what they do. The Glow is for those people (like myself) who don’t like working on art in the sterile enviroment of a conventional studio; for people who don’t want their recording to sound like everything else. The environment and equipment sub-standard by choice! I can’t stress enough that I’m not looking to compete with other studios… my aesthetics, and those of my clientel, are simply… different.

Black Kids GlowYou recently recorded the new Black Kids material, and are planning on recording the Yusge. These are both your friends bands, no? Are you planning on recording non-friends bands? What problems do you forsee with this? Possibly a lack of bands, or lack of bands wanting to record, in Jacksonville?

Actually I was just really impressed with the Black Kids’ live show… they had some fully realized songs… they were ready to record but hadn’t yet. I didn’t really know anyone in the band at that time. I practically begged them to come record a single at my studio, and they finally did… the end result was the version of “Hurricane Jane” that’s up on their MySpace page. So really, it was me wanting to get involved in something I was genuinely impressed with. It’s pretty much the same withThe Yusge… I met John Paul years ago, but didn’t get to see his band perform until recently. Again, I was truly impressed… I knew they would produce a great recording, so I made them the same offer. Honestly, I hope I can keep working with bands I really believe in… I would like to put 100% into what I do every time, and it’s a lot easier to do that if you respect who you respect what your client is trying to do. I also feel that if I keep delivering a good product, there will never be a shortage of artists/bands wanting to record with me… and there is no shortage of talent in this city… these people just need more exposure.

Do you know people from other studios in town? What sort of relationship do you have with them?

I went to highschool with Izak Leon, one of the owners of San Marco Music. We worked on quite a few projects together back then, and I’ve done some mixing for him over there. I know there are other studios in town, but my approach is far removed from industry standards (no Pro Tools, no Auto-Tune, no acoustical treatment to the recording rooms, etc. – I just don’t believe these things aren’t necessisary for good recordings) so I can’t really compare what I’m doing to what they’re doing. I’m certainly not trying to compete with any other studios… I’m simply trying to do things differently.

What do you think of the Konkurrent “In The Fishtank” series /concept? Is this something you’d be interested in doing?

I think the premise of that project is ingenious… and those are some incredible collaborations! Almost all of those recordings present a sound in which the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. I’m really into musical experimentation, and I think collaborations between artists/bands, especially ones that explore different genres, can do a lot to push musical conventions forward. Ideally, The Glow would be THE haven for such projects in Jacksonville. I’d love to see collaborative efforts between local bands, especilly if their styles are “conflicting.” Maybe Phil Elvrum and Bonnie Raitt could do a record together…

What do you think is the largest factor hurting the Jacksonville music community both introspectively and abroad?

I’m not too concerned with what kind of reputation Jacksonville has in the eyes of the rest of the world right now… it’s still a developing city. I’m not impressed with our city’s history of musical exports, but I’m also thankful that we haven’t been pegged as a “nu-metal” or “southern rock” city.  I wouldn’t mind Jacksonville being the “Noise Music Capital of the South,” and I keep hearing that we have a huge noise scene here, but I can’t seem to find it. I recall one or two “noise festivals” in recent years, and I know of a few local noise bands, but that doesn’t constitute there being a real scene here.

What do you think is the largest factor helping the Jacksonville music community both introspectively and abroad?

There are some really ambitious people in this city right now who are doing a lot to bring about a sense of community in Jacksonville, and what’s so incredible is that they’re all young… 18-20 something’s who are putting together art shows, opening live music venues, and even planning large-scale, all-day festivals. These people are largely
responsible for any sense of a “scene” developing in Jax, and I hope more people, especially those with more resources, catch their fever.

Very awesome.  Thanks  Jesse.You can contact Jesse Via email at theglowstudio@gmail.com

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Catching up with the news, link roundup.

April 3, 2007

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Starbucks downtown? The old library becoming a supermarket? The Times Union silly “beware the 26” junk?  Go to Urbanjacksonville.info

Peyton on NPR’s Week in Review? Carbon Emissions? Boob-eez? Forrest High name change? Go to Folio’s Blog

Insanely awesome information about downtown Jacksonville? Go to Metrojacksonville.com. They are responsible for that street train photo.

That Barack Obama fundraiser that just took place in Jacksonville? Go to this new Jacksonville blog Duvaldemocrats.blogspot.com

And speaking of Barack Obama, a moderately recent thread on Vivalavinyl.org asked the question – how long before some powerviolence band is named Barack Obama?

The answer was mostly addressed by some photoshop wizardry. Charles Bronson, Man is the Bastard, Born Against, Fuck on the Beach, Infest. They all got Obam-inated.
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