Friday Fish Wrap 2.1.19

Five things worth knowing this week

1 –  Superer than a Super Bowl

If Super Bowl Sunday isn’t your cup of tea, here’s a radically different musical experience with some true heavy-hitters — Deep Energy Orchestra, a revolving door of seriously world-class musicians.

Led by bassist/composer Jason Everett (Islander and former Executive Director of Vashon Allied Arts in pre-VCA days), with prog-phenom Trey Gunn (King Crimson) and Indian percussion-master Selvaganesh (John McLaughlin, Masters of Percussion), 7-string violinist Radhiker Iyer and a Seattle-based classical string ensemble, Deep Energy Orchestra released a live recording of phenomenal music in 2018.

Performing Jason’s compelling and eclectic compositions, this group of Indian, Prog Rock, and Classical musicians creates an exotic soundscape that takes listeners on a hypnotic musical journey. Jason creates grooves in odd-meters, making incredibly complex music from a wide array of styles feel both natural and easy.

This video was recorded live at the Jack Straw Cultural Centerin Seattle, WA as part of an Artist Residency award. You’ll see and hear Deep Energy’s virtuosic playing on wildly unusual instruments: tabla, kanjira, a seven-string electric violin, Warr Guitar, and Selvaganesh’s custom drum kit. After watching and listening, imagine getting to see and hear these musicians live in The Kay.

“The progressive rock band, Deep Energy Orchestra is a revolving door of world-class musicians, led by bassist Jason Everett. The latest release from the band titled “Playing With Fire” features the work of Trey Gunn (King Crimson) and Indian percussionist Selvaganesh (Shakti) and was recorded live over a two day period at the Jack Straw Cultural Center. The new release features “The Return,” which highlights Gunn’s new 12-string Warr Guitar, which gives off a piano-like sound.” ~ JP’s Music Blog

“Funky, trippy, soulful and imaginative to the core, it’s a unique blend that flows freely throughout the entire album. Featuring seven brand new tracks all lovingly incorporating vibrant rhythms and endless moments of genuine hipsway, Playing With Fire is, quite easily, one of my Top 5 albums of 2018.” – Anne Carlini

2 – Amazing shows in our gallery

The last week of the month is my least and most favorite.  Watching the art come off the walls, watching it get wrapped, watching it leave the building . . . well it’s sad to the point I feel it physically.

And then the magic begins again!  The walls get patched and painted.  The new art arrives.  Ready hands and clever eyes transmute the show we’ve all been imagining on paper and make it physical, make it real.  It is nothing short of amazing and I’ve watched and been part of this now for the past year.

You can get a tiny glimpse by looking on our website or reading this blog.  But honest to goodness, it’s not even a fraction of what it’s like to stand in front of this work.  The meditative quality of the sweep of the full show and the individual pieces is really remarkable.  And not to put too fine a point on it, the price points on many of the pieces tells me a bunch of this wonderful work is going home with someone.

3 – Sealed with a Kiss

I’ve told this story already . . . in December we were obsessing about how to best use the wonderful Joy & Chai Mann Gift Shop.  The inspiration hit me while touring the wonderful December edition of the VIVAstudio tour . . . Pop-Ups!!!

The first show that went up was Roman Zlobin’s, I Can See Russia From My House. The first person I actually pitched this idea to was Debi Crawford at Quartermaster Press . . . “Would QMP be interested in doing a Valentine’s Day Pop Up?”  A few hours later, the answer was a big fat YES.

And my, oh my, the cards and prints on offer are just too yummy for words.  Your best Valentine will be just that much happier with something from the Sealed with a Kiss Pop-Up.

4 – Our own Rivers and Tides

Andy Goldsworthy fans will grant me this nod and comparison.  One of the many joys of coming to work every day at VCA is peering over the railing at the wonderful work Kathi Ray is doing to transform our open space, bit by bit, into something it has been waiting to become.

Her continued work in and amongst the trees are our own little echo of the fleeting and ephemeral work of Andy Goldsworthy.

You can surf a ton of short videos of his work here. If you’ve never seen his seminal film, Rivers and Tides, here you go.

5 –  We dwell in beauty, we are propelled by love

A bouquet of thanks to island artist Britt Freda who took parts of three days out of her week to hang the amazing shows in our gallery . . . after spending a day some weeks ago working with Lynann Politte to curate.  And to top it off, she has lent us her stunning and profound Artemis, which many of us saw for the first time at last year’s Vashon Summer Arts Fest.  Thank you Britt!!!!


6 – Finally, and this is a sixth thing

I stumbled across Douglas Rushkoff the other day listening to a podcast with Sam Harris.  Mr. Rushkoff is sometimes described as a “media theorist,” perhaps along the lines of Marshall McLuhan (who is almost impossible to read) . . . and has the publishing credentials to go with it.  Books like Be Programed, Present Shock, and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus are all probing and important looks into questions we should all be asking about the extent to which technology is in effect reprogramming us, and how we might reverse the polarity on that proposition.

His latest, Team Human, is in my humble opinion a master work, an anthem/manifesto on reclaiming and reveling in our own agency, social justice, and all the other messy aspects of being human. I count this as one of the most important books I’ve read in the past ten years, and you would be correct in assuming I have read more than a few.  I just bought three more copies at our beloved Vashon Bookshop, and you should too.

While you’re waiting to get your copy, and this is a book you want to own in its analog, physical form, you can get started by listening to the TED talk Rushkoff gave in 2018.  I found it riveting.


Why “Fish Wrap”? Years ago, living in San Francisco, I became a devotee of a legendary journalists named Herb Caen. While he may not have been the first to use the phrase in connection with “yesterday’s news,” he is the one I remember. Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap. Maybe it’s a generational thing. At any rate, we call our Friday wrap up, The Friday Fish Wrap . . . Five things worth knowing about VCA this Friday.

2 replies
  1. Pamela McMahan
    Pamela McMahan says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Just wanted to let you know that I look forward every week to Friday Fish Wrap! You personal perspective on the people who make art happen on Vashon is wonderfully refreshing. And sometimes you delve deeper and farther afield, like this week when you gave us your insights into Douglas Rushkoff and “Team Human.” Thank you! Also, as a Drama Dock board member, I wanted to extend deep appreciation for your great mention of our play which opens at VCA on Feb. 15. Your link to Neal Hefti’s movie score was wonderful – now I have the theme in my head day and night! Merci, Kevin!


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