Wednesday, March 15, 2017

BUREAU of Arts and Culture Magazine The SOUTH USA Edition presents FICTION Excerpt "RIDE" from "THEY Call IT The CITY of ANGELS," Plus Danny LYON Photography, Plus HANK WILLIAMS,The BORDER Report from Mexico by J. A. TRILIEGI and The FREE Arts Magazine by Download...


Each Chapter of SEASON Two was Written in a Twenty - Four Hour Period without Notes Consecutively in The Summer of 2014. We are reprinting the work now, in Support of Our IRISH Friends and Harley Davidson Riders around The World. As a Journalist, an Activist, an Individual American Citizen, my Power is limited, but as a Novelist, there are No LIMITS, No OBSTACLES, No WALLS and anything is possible. Until WE ACHIEVE OUR GOALS of UNITY : Here is My Contribution. In Return, I suggest, You The Reader, find a New Way to express your views and create your future. Scroll for INTERVIEWS, Articles + Free download Links to BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE Magazine. Contact Magazine through email : 

R   I   D   E  

Charles had gained some serious peace of mind in the past decade out on the road, along the highways, in the parking lots and alleys and subways and parks and open spaces where homeless people are known to dwell. His health had faltered a bit, he wasn't as young as he once was, but neither was anybody else. He had missed out on a lot, some of it was well worth missing and some of it was a lost treasure: watching Cally grow up into a woman for instance.  No amount of effort would make a difference there, except to be present now that he had returned, and that he did. 

The long lost tradition of Charles making breakfast for anyone and everyone in the house had returned. In the old days, Charles the Roady was also Charles the Chef. He had been minding his own business one early morning up in Northern California during one of those big monster festival tours with ten different bands : The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Cream, The Band and a bunch of early blues bands from The South, John Lee Hooker and all of that. Charles got up to make breakfast for himself and suddenly, Dylan walked into the kitchen for a glass of milk, he asked Charles what he was making and said that sounded good, could he have some, then Robbie from The Band heard Dylan playing with his harmonica and he became hungry too, all of the sudden, Charles is making omelets for Jerry Garcia, poached eggs for John Lee Hooker, hashed browns for Cream's drummer, how could he turn them down ? He was the roadie who had quickly become much more than that. When they discovered his drawings on little pieces of scrap paper, he designed album covers, tattoos, and began his art career. The big breakthrough album being his cover for Janis Live. Since then, Charles had become the family chef and his breakfasts were epic. He learned how to cook for an entire band, their crew, the girlfriends, groupies and sometimes even the teamsters, depending on where and when the tour was happening. So, when life off the road became a normal activity, Charles cooked breakfast. Upon his return home, that role was quickly expected and he fulfilled it. 


"The fact that he took the fall and saved a multi - million dollar tour, some years back, had put him in a heroic category to much of Rock & Roll's real true royalty: Dylan, Jagger, Bowie, they all knew Charles. When he dropped out no one thought about it more than once, the drop out rate for members of the rock and roll underground was in the majority, thats what makes those still in the game so valuable to begin with."

For Moon it was buck-wheat pancakes with blueberries and Cinnamon. For Cally and her new girl friend,  who went by the initials 'J.D.' and had just moved into Grandma's room with Cally, so they could save money for their new salon, it was yogurt topped with berries on wrapped crepes with cream cheese and maple syrup, for Maggie, his estranged wife, it was a no nonsense cafe throwback: two eggs over easy, toast with jam. But this toast was made from fresh bread and the jam crushed from fresh organic berries. Even the most basic stuff was made special in Charles' kitchen. Mickey was not a morning person and often missed out on all the illustrious A.M. activity. Charles was often back to bed after serving everyone, he tended to be a nite owl, so his morning cooking sessions were usually after staying up all night, in the old days with the band and now simply reflecting on life, or a long walk or maybe reading an old paperback all night. He was happy to be home, back in Venice, where he was loved, respected and admired by most.  If anyone had asked him where he had been all those years, why he went homeless and what was it like to be back, there is a good chance he would not have an answer readily available. It wasn't really a drug drop out or a financial fallout or even a relationship failure, with Charles' situation it was more about the big f*ck you. It was a simple : I quit. 

And what a perfect time to do so, especially for a counter culture guy like Charles, he had practically missed the entire nineteen - eighties. The music, the fashion, the values were in complete opposition of every thing he and his generation had stood for, everything they had rebelled against and much of the artifice that his parents had presented resurfaced and was celebrated: materialism and the all mighty dollar. Charles had  experienced the 1950's as a boy and besides rock & roll and motorcycles, he hadn't much use for the rest of it. When he first started drifting into homelessness, he had been touring with a band in Amsterdam and the lead singer had become such an asshole that Charles simply walked. One of those Rock & Roll Revival show Tours with seven bands in seven different countries within seven days, it was, by then, a joke, he noticed that the whole scene had become a parody of itself and he couldn't stand to see it slowly die, so he walked. He bummed around Europe for a while. Word got out that Charles had quit and he was eventually approached by some of his old partners who set up a post office box for him in several different locations. He was in good standing, had delivered on many occasions whatever was promised and more. He took an early retirement is how they put it whenever discussing Charles. 

The fact that he took the fall and saved a multi million dollar tour some years back had put him in a heroic category to much of Rock & Roll's real true royalty: Dylan, Jagger, Bowie, they all knew Charles. When he dropped out no one thought about it more than once, the drop out rate for members of the rock and roll underground was in the majority, thats what makes those still in the game so valuable to begin with. Back at home, he was missed mostly by his son Mickey, though his constant life on the road had helped take out the sting. The thing about Charles was that his presence was strongly felt wherever he was and upon his return from any such tour, a sort of St. Nicholas type of ritual would ensue. He would bring back outrageous objects of all sorts. Often at the end of a tour,  someone like Dylan would say, "Hey Charles, lets go to Turkey, I know a place in Instabul that has the best steam bathes in the world, we can scrape this tour off and get back to our lives, how 'bout it ?" or Jagger would invite him to India and so by the time Charles got back home, he would walk in with strange artifacts for everyone at home, exotic dresses and shoes for his wife Maggie, whom he always referred to as Sally. He brought home all sorts of games and foreign pastimes like backgammon and musical instruments from Australia. Once he even brought Cally a Shetland pony after having toured with Dylan and The Rolling Thunder Revue, she was five years old and ecstatic. Charles had always been magic to Cally, a ghostly figure of a man, an earthy, bearded, father time type who seemed to show up at the most opportune times in her life, gone enough to not be authoritarian and present enough to be the kind of father she could talk to about anything. 

"Once he even brought Cally a Shetland pony after having toured with Dylan and The Rolling Thunder Revue, she was five years old and ecstatic. Charles had always been magic to Cally, a ghostly figure of a man, an earthy, bearded, father time type who seemed to show up at the most opportune times in her life, gone enough to not be authoritarian and present enough to be the kind of father she could talk to about anything."

So when he returned, they immediately discussed her latest plans to create the hair salon for 'girls who like girls' and he agreed to help her establish the place. Cally was a gorgeous redhead with long legs and a sharp nose, like Charles' mother. Her girl friend was chocolate brown,with big green eyes: both were girly girls. Charles had simply asked, "So, Girls huh ?", "Yep" she replied and that was that, he said no more. Charles had been born in the Midwest, he was a country boy, hadn't seen much of America before he did a tour in Vietnam. Thats where he got turned on to music and drugs and life on the road. He was the perfect Roadie, due to his experiences overseas. When he came back, music was the very thing that had helped him survive and he wanted to be around it as much as possible. Had he been a writer or a musician himself, because of his situation, there is no doubt that he could have been another Doctor John or ZZ Top or Country Joe, but he was a Roadie and a damn good one at that.  Maggie or 'Sally' as Charles like to call her had always been an independent person. They had what people call an open relationship that had gone along with their lifestyle in the early days. Traveling with high profile personalities had a heightened reality that they were both well aware of before they even entered into their lives together, so there was none of that, learn as you go stuff, they knew what could happen on tour and they accepted that whole heartedly. They both had a keen awareness that none of what they were doing was going to last, and they looked at one another as a place to go once it all ended,  They had the kids and the house and that was the anchor. 

When Charles disappeared, went AWOL, Maggie seemed to take it in stride, on the one hand, he had not been pronounced dead, on the other hand, he had not resurfaced with anyone else, he was missing in action, so she filled her time with  others and kept up her usual intense work schedule working with bands and raising the kids, caring for her mother and the bookstore. When Charles returned, Maggie was glad he had not died somewhere, but mad as hell that he had not attempted to communicate during those past years. The doctors said that he was healthy, but may have experienced some kind of medical condition they were calling Post Traumatic Stress, from his several years of sleeplessness, his prior drug use, coupled with his traumatic experience decades earlier in Vietnam. "Bullshit, That's a bunch of bullshit.", she was pissed. When Maggie complained about Charles not raising the kids, Mickey and Moon just looked at one another, Mick felt that he had raised himself and they both knew that their time with little sister Cally was practically like an Uncle and Aunt. But after a while, the complaining stopped and seeing the kids in the kitchen with their dad was always a good thing. 

When Charles agreed to help the girls build out the Salon, Maggie completely loosened up and finally felt that he was stepping up. She looked at him sitting at the table, his full set of longish hair slicked back wet, streaks of grey in between the light brown and reddish tone. His long beard and mustache, recently trimmed by their daughter, "Damn that man looks good", she thought to herself. Ten years on the streets and he came back trimmer and more peaceful than he had been before. She couldn't understand how he could do that ? The guys she had been seeing had been gaining weight, losing their sense of self, they were more like boys than men. Charles was a solid gentlemen type, old school mid west country boy with a barrel chest and a solid, healthy laugh that shook the beams. She knew then that no matter what, she had chosen the right man to love, even if he had been gone all that time, he was a real man, he was sensitive and brash at the same time, had all those rebellious qualities wrapped inside a warmth and gentleness that she had always loved and admired in men. He had pissed off all the right people through the years, people Maggie knew were phonies, fakes, fools. She had never let any man cook her breakfast except Charles and as she got to the bottom of the steps she ordered her usual, "Two Eggs, Toast and Jam. Sir." 

"Charles was a solid gentlemen type, old school mid west country boy with a barrel chest and a solid, healthy laugh that shook the beams. She knew then that no matter what, she had chosen the right man to love, even if he had been gone all that time, he was a real man, he was sensitive and brash at the same time, had all those rebellious qualities wrapped inside a warmth and gentleness that she had always loved and admired in men. "

Cally and J.D. had been dating for almost a year before they decided to move in together. Having tested the waters on their own, they were now living with the family to save money for the salon. When Charles asked Cally what the initials J.D. stood for, she said, "Jezebel De Simone, but don't call her that. She hates it."  "When I was a kid, J.D. meant Juvenile Delinquent."  Cally just smirked and rolled her eyes. Sometimes she called him Charles. "Charles, when you were a kid, if you brought home J.D. and claimed she was your new girlfriend, what would have happened ?"  He just looked at her and smiled. "Well, my parents would have flipped their lids, but all my buddies would have been jealous. Don't forget that the year you were born, your mother and I were on Tour with Mick Jagger and Ike and Tina Turner, your mother and I didn't have to march on Washington, we were on the front lines presenting mixed race musical groups all along. We took some heat for that on the streets and at the record companies, everybody freaked when that happened and then suddenly, it was normal.", he sat quiet for a minute, "The day that Frank Sinatra claimed that the only genius in out Industry was Ray Charles was a day I will never forget. I don't know why but, that just meant something to us in rock & roll."  Cally just looked at him and smiled quietly. They talked about the salon and Cally explained that because it was a hair and nail Salon geared towards girls who dig girls that they had decided on a discreet location that was not on the main thorough fair, sort of like a private club or a speakeasy, it was once a garage for cars, but had all the right codes and was just around the corner from a popular bar where a lot of the girls frequented. Instead of a big front window, they decided on skylights and privacy for clientele, "Not every girl who digs girls is 'Out' if you know what I mean?" Charles countered, "Hey your pretty hip for the daughter of a bunch of white, jive - ass - hippies."   "I'm serious, we have a great location and I want you and Mickey to help us put in a bunch of little sinks and we want to buy some vintage barber chairs from the 1930s' and have them redone. This is gonna be cool, it'll be a family business that you will see a return on." Just then, J.D. walked in like a cat at dinner. 


"So whats going on here ?" Cally replied, "My Dad was just saying that he thought you were a delinquent and that Jezebel is beautiful name and you should go by 'Jezz', he said its got a nice ring to it. Did you know that Charles here and Tina Turner had a thing going back in the day ?"  Charles just sat quiet enjoying his daughters repartee. J.D. looked at the two and saw the resemblance in the eyes, nose and lips, she walked up to Charles and said, "I love this daughter of yours and I want to thank you for creating her as beautiful as you did." She kissed him on the cheek and then she took Cally's hand and led her upstairs. Charles cracked a knowing smile and laughed to himself. Charles looked at The Bike in Mickey's shop out back and  realized that he hadn't ridden a motorcycle in several years, he sat on the bike, turned the key, started the ignition, kicked the lever twice, on the third time it turned over, that unmistakably all American, one of a kind rumble created only by a Harley. The smell of gasoline and the vibrato, got to him, he pushed forward the stand and the bike was now on its wheels, he revved the motor, it was a beautiful and familiar sound, he put the machine into gear and turned his wrist a quarter of an inch and the bike began to move forward. Charles took a ride. In the old days, Charles and his Biker pals had routes they frequented with stops along the way.  Biker bars, biker friendly cafes, he had about a dozen spots that he had known through the years in Southern California that were part of the ride, but most of them were Sunday biker type of places and today was a week day. 

"The smell of gasoline and the vibrato, got to him, he pushed forward the stand and the bike was now on its wheels, he revved the motor, it was a beautiful and familiar sound, he put the machine into gear and turned his wrist a quarter of an inch and the bike began to move forward. Charles took a ride."

He hopped on the freeway and ripped East going way above the speed limit, this bike was fast, he was proud of Mickey for learning so well. When he got downtown he exited and headed east on Third, went over the bridge and parked it in front of a place that was once called Cisco's. It was an old bar and cafe with a dance floor in the back. An old factory lunch place back in the forties and through the years had different owners, but had often kept the same workers who were locals. Charles  pulled up and the place was empty, he let the motor cool, ordered a beer and sat listening to the old time jukebox. The Television was on and a newscaster was reporting from a helicopter high above the city, people were protesting and it had the look of a situation in development as opposed to one that was ending. Charles had been to Vietnam, he could surmise pretty well what a building tension looked like from a helicopter, he could see when one group was outnumbering another, he could pinpoint a soldier in distress and he didn't like what he was seeing at all. If this was a live telecast, than Charles knew that L.A. was in for some real war. He got back on the bike and instinctively drove into the shit, as they use to call it. He took the back way South and then headed West along the streets and noticed that, here and there, little skirmishes were popping up, a trashcan on fire here or a car on fire there, isolated events, it was evening now and as he entered the hot spot, he could see a small lady in front of her shop, swinging what looked like a harpoon at a crowd of people in a circular motion, as he drove up closer it appeared that the crowd had already ransacked the shoe store down the way and had decided to take her place next. It was an ugly scene. 

"Charles took the chain from the back of the bike, and swung it three hundred and sixty degrees above his head with his left hand and with his right, he drove the cycle in circles around the woman, an impossibly beautiful act, he went from doing circles to figure eights and then larger circles until the entire lot had been cleared and the crowd cooled out ..."

Charles had seen this kind of thing before, a group of people harassing a single individual, not only in Vietnam, but also at concerts, he had been at Altamont when a group of people that he knew turned on a few individuals and things went bad, people died. When it was all over the band got in a helicopter and everyone else was stuck on the ground. He saw that happen more than once overseas and now he was seeing at home. Something in Charles went from curiosity to combat in a matter of seconds. He drove the bike into up into crowd, who were really just everyday people simply pushed to the limit with poverty and injustice and had decided somebody had to pay. The brave little woman with the harpoon, was startled, then she realized what Charles was actually doing and suddenly, she stood erect, defiant even. Charles took the chain from the back of the bike, and swung it three hundred and sixty degrees above his head with his left hand and with his right, he drove the cycle in circles around the woman, an impossibly beautiful act, he went from doing circles to figure eights and then larger circles until the entire lot had been cleared and the crowd cooled out, realizing there was another store up the block that was unprotected. When he made sure the lady was ok, and the storefront secure, he drove off up the street to another situation.  If the news helicopter had not caught the entire episode on television and aired it live for all the world to see than Mickey and his friends, Moon and Maggie, Cally and Jezz would never have known. Charles returned home and by the time he drove the bike up into the yard, the word had already gotten out, for the first time in his life the decorated soldier from Venice Beach California received a heroes welcome. And from the look on Maggie's face, it appeared that he was about to ride again.

Originally Published at BUREAU of Arts and Culture Sites in: New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Santa Barbara and The Bureau International Literary Site On August 4 2014 Written by The Bureau Editor Joshua Triliegi. Each Chapter is  improvised  within a 24 Hour period. 



There are many America's. Even today, somewhere, out there, is an America, that nobody knows about. Danny Lyon turned his camera toward an America that was purely alternative, now commonly called, "The Counter Culture."  It is the 'Other,' America. The polar opposite to Mister Walt Disney's version. These are working class people, The Boys on the front steps, Mom and the kids posing on dad's delivery truck, Bikers out for a Sunday ride, Teenagers with ducktail hair-do's, tattoos and smeared lipstick stains: This is the Other America, The  "R - E - A - L,"  America. A parallel Body of Photographs, to what upscale painters, in the early art days of New York City, branded, "The AshCan School." Artists unafraid to paint real life subjects, streets, alleyways and the working class. 

Image: Danny Lyon.  "Crossing the Ohio River,"  Louisville, 1966. Vintage gelatin silver print. 20.3 x 31.8 cm 
(8 x 12 1/2 in.).  Silverman Museum Collection.  © Danny Lyon,  courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

"Danny Lyon's subjects are somewhat surprised that he is even interested, he's got their trust, and within that simple curiosity, that insight, they stare directly at the viewer, as they did with Mr. Lyon, and in doing so, they reveal something about who we are, where we've been and maybe, where we're headed."

image; Danny Lyon, "Maricopa County, Arizona," 1977. Vintage gelatin silver print. 22.8 x 33.5 cm 
(9 x 13 3/16 in.). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Danny Lyon's subjects are somewhat surprised that he is even interested, he's got their trust, and within that simple curiosity, that insight, they stare directly at the viewer, as they did with Mr. Lyon, and in doing so, they reveal something about who we are, where we've been and maybe, where we're headed. The subjects are mostly working class and poor kids, the girls' smoke cigarettes, the boys where hand-me-downs, scuffed tennis shoes, they are handsome, tough, and some times, they are downright beautiful, in their innocence, their simpleness and ultimately, in their youth, that fleeting summer moment when everything is a mystery and sometimes, when those mysteries are revealed too soon. Lyon's subjects have a rough road ahead of them, the nostalgia factor is minus just a few levels, due to these  obvious aspects, though the cultural value of the images are a few levels higher, for the very same reasons. In today's world, we call it, "Street Cred's,"  back when Mr. Lyon captured these early images, It was simply : Real Life. His Work is currently Touring in Museums Around The USA.




Part One in a Series of Reports from The BORDERS by J. A. TRILIEGI  2017

All along the border, double fences topped with barbed wire, trail across the land like so many scars on the flesh of a beaten horse. Humans of all shape and size, age and color, wander on either side, like ants, gathering bits of this and that, simply to survive.  The border itself is well fortified. Giant steel posts thrust upwards in a multiple vertical fashion, cold, grey, metal, blocks of concrete and men with guns, stand on either side, they are doing time, they are doing their job, they are taking orders, by a government, by a policy and by a code of service, which may very well, hurt their families, their future and themselves. As for international relations, well, "We The People …," have got some real work to do. 

Rain trickles down, unlike finances, in abundance, on both sides of the border. Drops of  h2o feel the same from either side. This reporter walks across the great divide, entering simply to see, to observe, to experience and to meet the people of Mexico, or at least, the people of Baja California, which is not exactly, 'M - e - x - i - c - o,' in the same way that, Ellis island, is not exactly, 'A - m - e - r - i - c - a.'  And yet, there they are, offering this gringo a taxi ride to and fro. I am on a budget, no publisher or editor or local or national or international publisher would sponsor this sojourn, so I have travelled by bus, a simple twenty dollars from Downtown Los Angeles into Baja, and another 200 pesos, which is ten dollars, gets me into the tourist port town of Ensenada. A destination for the Princess Cruises. In olden day, frat boys, surfers, and tourists of all types descended upon this lovely destination in search of debauchery, coastal beauty and artifacts such as clothes, furniture, objects of value, offered, for much less than anywhere else. Decades of taking have left its mark on this locale, and yet, the new world, the world of technology. the world of commercial enterprise, the world of modern banking has emerged, and stands side by side with the ancient  world, we have mythologized about this great land, the land of the Maya and the Spanish Conquistador, mixed, long ago, to create this special race of people, we know as Mexicans and their country: Mexico. History tells us of a country that once sprawled much further north, into the continent that we, as Americans, now inhabit, California, Arizona New Mexico, Texas, etc…  The Southwest border states, where, we are now told, that a wall, will be built. As we drive south, over the first hurdle of hills into Ensenada, I can see a double fence, so high, that my eyes have trouble actually measuring its vertical height. Were I forced to estimate, I would guess that the swirling, jagged, barbed wire top sits at least some twenty or so feet in height ? As we drive up and over, I recall the early days of visits to Mexico, taking this same route, with my father, to see the bullfights, with my friends to Surf the coast, and as an artist, simply in search of something different in culture, lifestyle and respite. Since that time, I have been told, by my government, by my friends and by highly propagandized stories of struggle, anguish and fear of overlords, that this place is not safe to visit. 

The Western Coast and indeed, the California route from North to South, has a beauty, that is unrivaled and Baja California is no exception. Choose  any one mile section of Carmel or Big Sur or Malibu or Baja, and, you will find, they are identical. The earth, the flower, the fauna, the water, the light are all the same. Green valleys peppered with long stretches of two lane highways, merge into gold, rust and creme colored edges that jut downward into rocky cliffs, bays, full with blue, turquoise and white topped waves that careen into the coastal edge. I am on a tourist bus, for the first time in my life. I focus on the coast, as my fellow passengers watch some such film being projected on a television screen, mounted high above their heads. American actors faces dubbed into spanish incongruously describe a false drama that does not relate to the landscape of the earth, the coast, the real beauty of a continent that we share with others. We share this continent with more than one country, that is clear to me, the politics of borders and policies and current views, are not at all as clear as the very FACT, that We share this continent with others. 

The tour bus pulls into Ensenada proper, and already I can see a great indian past, the textures of Baja Mexico, are not at all unlike those of Rome or Tokyo or Bangladesh, the history is evident. The street corners, bus stop benches, and even the surface of the streets themselves speak to the viewer, "Where have you been and where are you going ?" I have no answer. I am seeking simply to see what is here now, and what I see are thousands of people walking to and from their homes, their jobs, their responsibilities to whomever and wherever and whatever. Then it comes to me, "Why I am here?"  Some time ago, I jokingly told a group of Mexican maids that if Mr. Donald Trump becomes the President of the United States of America, that I will be in Mexico on the day that this incident occurs, and so, I kept my promise, for in less than a day, this man will become the next President of our great country. 

Besides occupying my time as a Journalist of some fledgling notoriety, I also write literature of a varying style and length: Screenplays, Short Stories and a Novel, so far.  It comes to mind that many in the industry including, Matthew McConaghy, Matt Damon and Ryan Gosling, all very white men of some talent, are married to women with descendants of the latin variety, men whom derive from Texas, from Boston from Canada. A symbol of the sharing of this continent, we call, America. And still we are told that a wall will be built: A Wall. A fence guards against entry, a wall blocks ones view, in obscuring views, perception and reality can be manipulated, like blinders, does this new government wish to obscure our views of one another ? To block our vision ?  To control our vista's as well as our Visa's ? It appears so. The Great Wall of China, The Berlin Wall, Pink Floyd's song lyrics from 'The Wall,' explains something about this policy, that most likely, a scared white man in power is, "… Just Another Brick in The WALL."  

Like much of America, during the banking bailouts, some eight years ago, Mexico too has been pervaded by a proliferation of Banks. All over Mexico, young upwardly mobile individuals have been employed by this new modern system of checking and deposits, transfers and exchanges. A map of Mexico displays and amazingly flourishing economy of some sort, while on a near by television screen, an attractive young lady speaks excitingly about the new opportunities and services offered by this new technological wonder of modernity. Though this particular town has always had its own economy, and, long before these new technological advances gave them surveillance, invasions of privacy and the desecration of  anonymity, this little town had and still retains the old ways of knowing who is here, what they have with them and where they are going, with whom and why. The gained or earned - through - experience, survival skills, of any port or pirate town that, for over a hundred years, has found ways to survive its visitors, its inhabitants and even, it's conquistadors. In this particular case, the Indian past, sits side by side the technological future,  old world and new world meet, they make eye contact, they understand one another, they may even assist one another. 

Pacific Coast Highway is not Malibu, just as Santa Monica is not Los Angeles and Big Sur is not Northern California. Suffice it to say, that the Coastal Section of Ensenada is not Baja California, by any means. And certainly Baja as a whole, is not at all a representation of Mexico, though, it is safe to say, if you speak to individuals, a bank teller, a bus driver, a casual man or woman on the street, you are indeed talking to a real Mexican, with real human concerns about a very real world that they are living in. I check into my hotel, the room is roughly 12 US dollars and some change, laundry is washed, dried and folded just across the way for under a dollar, fresh food at the local market is priced as such that I find myself giving bags I have purchased for mine own, to those I meet along the way. The first evening passes quickly, rain whips through the town, the streets flooded with over a foot of water in the lower regions.

Inauguration day arrives without much fanfare here, the television in the hotel lobby displays little about Mr Trump. I am beginning to realize that, the populist of Mexico have already been prepared for this new leader, they understand that American Presidents and most likely all leaders of major powers in the world, then and now, are what they are, a symbol, a face, or, if we search for the latin derivative source: simply a Facade. One need only walk a mile or so east, to find that Mexico, is not unlike any other place in the California's. Middle class neighborhoods lined with houses on either side, one and a half cars per home, some folks living at a higher elevation in the upper middle class areas and those whom own businesses, land and expanses of property of all variety. It is much like any place in the world, some people have money and some people do not. We have heard the new American Presidents criticism's over the past year regarding this country,  its people,  its past, it's problems. Something comes to mind, as I walk through town, a question arises, " Does any Country in the world send us their best ?" and conversely, "Do we send any other country our best ?"  Australia's history tells a story of disbanded and exported individuals whose personal history was somewhat sorted, at least by its own monarchy's point of view, and yet, they seem to have created a land of promise, fortitude and originality, and within that,  ab-origin-ality too.  Yes, this is digressive, but worthy of note, very worthy. 

My clothing is soaked, from top to bottom. I carry my possessions over the shoulder. I am in a country that is not my own. I have little finances, neither a job, nor, a relative in town. I do not speak the language fluently. In essence, for this brief moment in time:  I am a Mexican in America. Now I am beginning to understand the beauty, the stoic and sometimes exhilarating aspects of searching to find something more. In this case, I am seeking to learn more about the border, it's realities, it's myths and it's challenges, while many of those among me, are looking for, a better job, some more income, possibly an opportunity, wether imagined or real. I drop off my clothes at the laundry. By the time I pick them up, an hour or so later, several locals are sitting on a couch, watching the television, which displays Mr. Donald Trump uttering the words, "…So help me God." Within a week, he has ordered the building of a wall, the closing of EPA protections and reopening an Oil Pipeline straight through America. My clothes are clean, my conscious is clear and my country is in trouble.  












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HANK 'King' Williams is possibly the most prolific songwriter that America has ever created. He had a rough childhood, he wandered about, learned to play the guitar from an African American local blues singer, whom became a good friend, back in those days, that was sorta taboo. So, it makes sense that his son, and his grandson, are rebel souls to the end. Hank I, Hank II and Hank III have seriously royal credibility with the American Spirit, which also means, they don't give a shit, what you think of 'em, but, they do hope you like the songs. Today, we pay our respects to Country's  Greatest  Singer - Songwriter, The One and Only :  Mister Hank Williams.

Good writers often come from tragic situations, that's just the way it often is folks. That is not to say that, a good life will make you a bad writer, but, lets face it, sorrow is one heaping ingredient for good lyrics, good storytelling and the will to tell it like it is. Hank Williams came from deep poverty, and that led to many, 'first hand,' experiences. His father had worked as an engineer for the railroads, was a Mason, had served in World War I, fell from a truck, and was later hospitalized for long periods of time, leaving the young boy to find his way, elsewhere in the community. The family lived throughout the Southern region of Alabama and eventually settled in Greenville and later, Montgomery. Young Hiram, who later changed his name to 'Hank,' received his first guitar and began taking informal lesson from the local blues man, Rufus "Tee-Tot" Payne. Hank never did learn to read music, which delayed some progress with the formal gentry of Country Music's Grand Ole Opry and the entire Nashville crowd. It is often stated that his drinking and wildcatting with the ladies held up some progress in this regard, though, to study his lyrics, there is a good chance that the mix of religious references and wild lifestyle choices, within the subjects of his songs, was enough to bother some. In one phrase, he'll mention, 'The Lord,' and in the next, he confesses to having, 'The Honky - Tonk Blues.'  In Hank Williams' life, there is,  the official story, there is, the gossip's story and then there is, the real story. Somewhere among the three is the truth. His mother's boarding house, while father is away, was ripe for conjecture, Lots of people, coming and going, made little time for young Hank to gain a mother's love. Hank was starved for attention, and eventually, through singing and songwriting, he got more than he may have been able to handle.  As a performer, Hank had dazzle, he was real folk and his lyrics were basic, though, he was no, 'simple man.' According to interviews, his hero, Roy Acuff, told him, "You have a million-dollar talent, son, but a ten-cent brain," referring to Williams hard living, hard driving and hard drinking lifestyle. Acuff could never know that what drove Williams to drink and take pain killers was a sickness that derived from a spinal disease, that eventually led to a major operation, fusing the young singer-songwriter's discs together. Besides the fact that Hank had survived a broken home as well as a childhood during the Great Depression, with no father in sight for eight formative years, the boy had found his way, without formal training, a natural.  

Musical Mandala Wallpaper Designed by Jon Sherman / ©FlavorPaper at

Hank is barely fourteen years of age and he's already penned a tune entitled, "The WPA Blues." He receives fifteen dollars, a first prize in a local contest at the Empire Theatre, buys a Silvertone guitar, which he plays incessantly, along the sidewalks of town, and eventually, receives a radio spot, which leads to a regular bi-weekly showcase. At sixteen years of age, Hank drops out of school to work full time, with his new band, The Drifting Cowboys. He tours extensively throughout the South, which includes movie houses and honky-tonks in Georgia and Florida. The band was managed by his mother and Hank continued the radio show when not on tour. Because of the need for playing new songs every week, his output is prodigious. By 1945, at twenty-three years of age, Hank Williams publishes a songbook of lyrics to ten of his best tunes, which led to a recording contract with Fred Rose and eventually, he garnered the attention of MGM records, breaking through the Country Western gatekeepers with the money making hits, "Lovesick Blues," and "Move It on Over." By 1949, Hank finally graced the stage of The Grand Ole Opry, receiving more encores than any other performer ever, he was only twenty-seven years old.   

"I'm a rollin' stone all alone and lost
               For a life of sin I have paid the cost
                          When I pass by all the people say
                                   Just another guy on the lost highway"

- Hank Williams / Lost Highway Lyrics

That same year, he travelled to England and Germany, wrote seven hit tunes and birthed his only son. The family move to Louisiana, which led to East Coast exposure via The Louisiana Hayride Show and tours in Eastern Texas guaranteed him a place in Country Westerns most important states and national Radio Exposure propelled Hank Williams into a category that is, to this day, untouchable. Hank created a completely alternative character for his more religious, storytelling style, by the name of, "Luke The Drifter." It was the equivalent of a popular writer, publishing stories under another name, Hank was brand savvy, and it worked. The real problem with all of this, 'Success,' was that young Hank Williams, who was really just a very down home fella, who enjoyed hunting, who loved fishing, enjoyed drinking and was bent on loving and living, was working himself to death. By 1952, he had done just that, leaving the planet, at twenty-nine years of age. Hank Williams had written, recorded, broadcast and performed, well over a hundred songs, throughout his entire life, not to mention his many collaborations and other writers work. 

Musical Mandala Wallpaper Designed by Jon Sherman / ©FlavorPaper at

Hank's legacy continues through his son, Hank Junior, and his grandson, Hank III. Each are equally rebellious, full of American grit, each songwriters, each performers, each willing to fight to retain the legacy that belongs to only them. Both have friendships and affiliations that will indeed bother somebody, somewhere in this world. Hank Junior has spoken his mind on various occasions and even lost an important commercial contract, due to politics. Well, fuck politics. The Hank Williams Family is pure American musical royalty. If there had never been a friendship between Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, who knows what may have happened to the divisions in this country all those years ago ? American Music is meant to be the place where we all meet in the middle, a sacred spot, the location where we Americans are allowed to say and do anything we damn well please.  

"A prodigal son once strayed from his father
                    To travel a land of hunger and pain
                          And now I can see the end of my journey
                                                   I'm going to Heaven again"

- Hank Williams / The Prodigal Son

Hank Junior describes approaching his inheritance, in this way, "So you're a little bitty boy, that can barley touch the keys of your father's piano, ya know, and, my gosh, you're a little over three when he passes away…  You get a little older, heres Jerry Lee Lewis, heres Ray Charles, heres Fats Domino, heres Carl Perkins. I better know how to play some instruments. Because, they all had number one [ hits ] with one of daddy's songs… Joe Stafford, Perry Como, Tony Bennet, and believe me, the list goes on, all the way to [ today ].  So, here I am in this wonderful situation. Then people say, 'Just do your father's stuff, just imitate,' I'm not gonna do that. It's wonderful to have an American Anthem. Daddy had several of them, I'm lucky, Ive had a couple of them."  Hank Junior has inherited some of his father's tragedy as well as his talent. Back in the day, Hank Junior fell down a mountaintop, splitting his face in two. It took seventeen operations to put him back together. Years after the accident, and his subsequent recovery, Hank Junior explains, "When I woke up, theres June Carter and Johnny Cash, their there. They covered eighteen hundred miles… in the middle of nowhere, to be there. They were really, really, really, special. How could it get any better than that ? June Carter and Johnny Cash … ?  Thats America !  I'm all about America, Baby.  I'm all about it" 

Musical Mandala Wallpaper Designed by Jon Sherman / ©FlavorPaper at

On The subject of songwriting, Hank Junior explains it, plain and clear, "I don't go to writing sessions with five other people. A writing session ? You mean you all are all going to get together and write ? Uh, I don't think so. That ain't how I do it. I am a Williams, ya know." His son, Hank III, is equally as outspoken and conscious of the family traditions, maybe even more rebellious. Hank III pulls no punches. He has opened concerts for Public Enemy, gigged with David Allen Coe, Johnny Paycheck and George Jones, to name a few, and explains his philosophy in these words, "I'm not into pop country, Im not into looking pretty, Im not into shaking my ass, and worrying about the bottom dollar, Im just into playing music."  On Songwriting, "We just do what we do… We don't write songs for the radio… We write 'em for us."  When his father Hank Junior was recently asked what makes a good song, he pondered the question a moment, then replied, "Good is Good, wether Its Rap or Bluegrass or …"  he holds up his hands a second, mimicking a classical quotation, then continues with the final punctuation of the word that has defined his life since before birth: "…Country." As his song states: "A Country Boy will Survive."

 "When tears come down
                              Like falling rain
                                           You'll toss around
                                                          And call my name"

- Hank Williams /  Your Cheatin' Heart  

Hank III was raised by his mother, discovered the music on his own, finding energy in the rock music of Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, at nine years old. He sites Henry Rollins of Black Flag and bands such as Public Enemy as influences, though, he also has credentials with some of the more open minded Country folk, and has been embraced by The New Outlaw set, which once included The Late Great Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and of course, his grandfather, who, it could be argued, accidentally started the movement long ago. There may even be a verifiable link between what Hank Williams did, 'energy-wise,' and what led to Elvis Presley's Rock and Roll Revolution, which brings us back to Bob Dylan, who too, was inspired by the King's charisma. So then, what is Country music and who owns the right to claim it as their own? As far as this writer is concerned, The Hank Williams Family, is front and center. Hank III, while offering his many musical influences, broke it down, in this fashion, on stage, to a live audience, just before introducing his set of new music, "If You Don't Think This is Fucking Country, Right There Is The Door…" As far as we could tell, nobody used the exit. That is why, on this day, we Honor Hank Williams I, II  and  III. For surely, if there ever were, an American Country-Western Royal Family : They Be IT.

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WELCOME To THE NEWEST Literary 2016 SPECIAL Edition of BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE MAGAZINE. EXCLUSIVE  LITERARY  INTERVIEW  with NOVELIST :Irvine WELSH,  This New 299 Page Edition Contains The BUREAU ICON Essay on : John STEINBECK, The BUREAU GUEST Visual Artist New YORK City PAINTER:Nathan WALSH Cinema: AMERICAN Director  Hal ASHBY & The CLASSIC FILM "BEING THERE," ART Reviews: Emilie CLARK . Michael KAGAN . The Max GINSBURG LECTURE . San FRANCISCO : Photographs  Roman VISHNIAC . Bill GRAHAM at The CJM The SouthWest Photographic Essay Winner Rich HELMER 

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                                                                                                    By Joshua A. TRILIEGI 

Question : What is it,  that makes a good writer ?  There are over a million answers to that question, simply ask a million writers. Each have their own rules, codes and exercises. John Updike adhered to writing three pages a day, before lunch. Charles Bukowski enjoyed a nice bottle of wine and the peaceful patter of classical music, deep into the night. According to John Steinbeck, in his Nobel Prize winning speech, there are many things a writer cannot think, be or do, to be considered, one of the gang. 1-You may not be Exclusive. 2-You may not be Separate. 3-You may not lack passion.  A good many people write books about people who have written books. John Steinbeck, to my knowledge, never did such a thing. He did not have to do such a thing. Riding on the backs of previous authors, telling the reader what this means, what that means, defining the minds of the young, before they even have time to decide what they think for themselves. We, here, at BUREAU of Arts and Culture do not suggest that you buy any books by people who write books about people who write books. As long as you can read the author directly, there is no reason whatsoever to buy a book by someone else. John Steinbeck's Literary work is often challenging. Either for it's length such as, "East of Eden." Or for it's tragic consequence, as in "The Pearl," and "Of Mice and Men." Other times, for its sheer breadth of reality, as in his masterpiece, "The Grapes of Wrath." John Steinbeck probably worked harder than most do at his craft. He also had a deep concern for everyday people. At the same time, Steinbeck was willing to look back and admit, that, whatever his views had been, during a particular time and place, the ideas that may have shaped his books, that many of those views had changed on reflection. The books remained the same, the man, did not. 

 "I hold that a writer who 
                  does not passionately believe 
                         in the perfectibility of man, 
                             has no dedication nor any 
                                 membership in literature."  

- John Steinbeck

Since we are a generation very influenced by Cinema, many of us have seen The Films and we now implore you to, pick a favorite, and read the book. East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, to name a few. John Steinbeck's best works come from reality, the people he met, the jobs he endured, the folks he interviewed, the wars he witnessed, the losses he experienced and above all, the empathy he owned. Quoting from his speech of 1962, "I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man, has no dedication nor any membership in literature." The first of several declarations that were meant to knock you, the reader, on your ass. By this time, he is a championship fighter, with about two dozen works of importance under his belt. And  ,only four more years of life on this planet. But don't despair dear readers, no one need mourn the death of John Steinbeck.  Men such as he, do not die, they do not wither, they do not drift aimlessly across the plains of this great nation, they do not sit like so many monuments across the deserts of this beautiful planet, nor do they flash and blink and rust and corrode, like some long lost forgotten neon sign on a lonely stretch of highway, like just so much dust, in the wind, scattered here and there. Men such as he, are noble, they transcend the critics, they overshadow the cowards, they eclipse the fakes and they inspire the weak, the broken, the battered, the downtrodden and the forgotten. As he stated so concisely, over sixty years ago, "I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession and in the great and good men who have practiced it through the ages." I could not have said it better. That is why, on this day, we honor and celebrate, the greatness that is, was and will always be : John Steinbeck. 



"It’s hard to think about, but by the time I die, if I make it another twenty years, wouldn’t it be wonderful to stand out here, hidden from view, in this big jungle of bushes and wildflowers?  That’s my idea of, a nice thing."

                                                                                              - Jim HARRISON 1986 

Jim Harrison is not dead. He is simply, hidden from view, in a big jungle of bushes and wildflowers, where he came from to begin with. The American Author, originally from Michigan, but eventually adopted, around the world, is not the type of guy who will die. He will not go softly into the night, nor will he squeak and moan under the wheels of a government tractor. Jim Harrison is currently soaring high above the river of life, that uncontrollable force of nature, that can sometimes be damned, but never controlled. 

Jim Harrison came from a family that adored and revered Literature: "My Family were obsessive readers…" The famous story goes, that, at a dinner table discussion, his family were talking about Norman Mailer's first success on the world stage and his book, entitled, " The Naked and The Dead, " young Jim responded to the conversation with the quick and curious question, "Does it have Illustrations ?" Laughter ensued and the beginning of his particularly curious, yet grounded, stoic, although humorous, celebratory whilst at the same time cautionary literary style is born.  He explains years later that, "So much of my material comes from generalized wandering around the U.S. Travel, and walking, I never get an idea standing still."  Jim Harrison was first published as a poet in national magazines such as NATION and POETRY and later by Denise Nembertoff at W.W. Norton in the 1960s Harrison wrote the now classic Book, "Legends of the FALL," in nine days, and later changed only a single word. When pondering that experience, decades later, he could not remember what Word had been changed. 

The author of thirty some books of Prose and Poetry, often written concurrently, had a deep understanding of the process of writing, of nature, of tribal law and of humanity at large, was truly the best teacher to writers, although, he found it impossible to do so officially.  Having once tried to teach at Stoneybrook, with the likes of fellow writers such as the great Philip Roth, Harrison did not have the temperament.  He ultimately did not believe in many of the College programs and famously railed against the, 'safety,' and 'comfort,' of the Universities.  

Harrison was a fan of Katherine Ann Porter early on and found great strides in short novels throughout his entire career. " I don't like needless expansiveness," he exclaimed. While the Publisher's often thought that if many of his novellas had been longer, he may have become a wealthier writer. Though Harrison preferred a dense, short form style, as opposed to the long-winded form, and felt that it gave his audience room to participate in the reading.  "I don't know where, 'The Voice,' ever comes from, Ya Know ? Every book is quite different, but maybe not stylistically," he pondered over a glass of red wine some years ago.  Harrison was revered in France, had nine best seller's there, and had grown up with good french literature: Flaubert, Baudelaire, Maupassant. Some had been passed down from his father's library, others having discovered early on in high school. When asked by fledgling writers what was the secret to good writing ? Jim often replied, "You have to give your entire life to it." After years of Book Touring, that often included 23 cities in 29 days with 30 interviews a week, he gave that part of the business up. Explaining, "I like what Miles Davis said: 'It's All In my MUSIC. What Do I have To Say About IT?'   

Jim Harrison enjoyed medium sized cities such as Seattle, which he likened to, "San Francisco back in Nineteen Sixty-Eight," he also admired Minneapolis and Chicago. Harrison thought that young men and women should see and live in the big cities like New York City and Los Angeles, early on in life, but that nature was where, 'ITS' at. He often quoted author's philosophy's first hand.  The French Poet,  Rene Char, speaking to the mysteries of writing with the Muse, "You have to be there, when the bread comes from the oven." Jim Harrison's influences are vast and varied, he preferred Faulkner over Hemingway, read French, Chinese, Zen and Native Literature, all the while, he wrote American stories that were translated into International languages of all sorts. He loved the works of his friends and fellow writers such as Ford and Matthiessen as much as he revered and honored Herman Melville and Walt Whitman. When it came to writers who happened to be women, Jim Harrison explains,  "I don’t think of women novelists, but writers. Who do I read when they have something coming out ?  Denise Levertov, Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Wakoski, Renata Adler, Alison Lurie, Toni Morrison, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ellen Gilchrist, Anne Tyler, Adrienne Rich, Rebecca Newth, Rosellen Brown, Gretel Ehrlich, Annie Dillard, Susan Sontag. Those come immediately to mind. Also Margaret Atwood. " 

The beauty of Jim Harrison is that he is the tough guy who is not an asshole. He is the rugged individualist who has deep knowledge of the tribe. He is a man, with all his flaws and desires, yet openly honors and reveres women. He is a learned seeker of knowledge yet shuns formal education and its weaknesses. Jim Harrison is that great and original writer who reveres others who have walked the path. As he explains about Henry MILLER, " Miller was Very Valuable to Me… a Force in nature, Extremely Powerful."   Harrison goes onto explain that he and Miller subscribed to the patterns of napping and refreshing the muse several times a day, through sleep. Something they probably don't teach in College. 

Harrison's mother, many years later, while close to death, took him aside and, giving him a compliment, in the great Swedish style, that was her way, "You made quite a Living out of your Fibs…" Speaking to her son's career and notoriety as a Novelist and fiction writer. His grandfather had emigrated in the 1880s from Sweden, to become a cowboy and settled on farming. While many other writers would seek false knowledge from Native American ways, practices and adornments, Harrison did nothing of the sort. He understood early on that Experience and Voluntary Energy donated by The Author, were truly the only way to true experience, that can later be reflected upon, and offered to the reader. 

Harrison railed against false new age practices that appropriated exercises from native tribes and he understood clearly, that there was no such thing as a Native American belief system, there were Hundreds of Tribes, each with a name, each with a language, each with an originality. That is one of the reasons why the Lakota and other tribal members respect  Jim Harrison. He spoke directly to animals and nature, and in turn, animals and nature, spoke to him. "You have to EARN Knowledge from Nature and it's Ancient culture's," he explained, time and time again, "You can't get more out of nature, than you bring to it yourself." Jim Harrison's time in nature brought him closer to the fine arts, "The more time I spend in Nature, The More I like Mozart… Shakespeare… Stravinsky…"  How could a man so deeply ingrained in Native American ways, also love and be loved by European Culture ? Because, we as writers, bring who our ancestors are, without denial of our roots, and along the journey, we also learn about those who once walked, where we walk, and in doing so, we bridge the gap, between past and present, between truth and fiction, between poetry and politics. Jim Harrison did just that. He did it with humbleness, with style and with bravado. His work is bigger on the page, than it is in real life and so, he avoids the celebrity personality that sometimes dogs other writers of his stature, Charles Bukowski for instance.

In his admiration for writers who could speak about everything, all  at once, Jim Harrison admired Saul Bellow and went onto explain, "The most sophisticated people are the most primitive, they release their energy in such a way … like Picasso and Matisse, very basic people, with an enormously profound esthetic sense," he added, "I basically write for esthetic reasons."

aesthetic | esˈTHetik | (also esthetic )  adjective
concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty: the pictures give great aesthetic pleasure. • giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty; of pleasing appearance. noun [ in sing. ] • a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement: the Cubist aesthetic. DERIVATIVES : aesthetically |-ik(ə)lē|adverb [ as submodifier ] : an aesthetically pleasing color combination/ ORIGIN late 18th cent. (in the sense ‘relating to perception by the senses’): from Greek aisthētikos, from aisthēta ‘perceptible things,’ from aisthesthai ‘perceive.’ The sense ‘concerned with beauty’ was coined in German in the mid 18th cent. and adopted into English in the early 19th cent., but its use was controversial until late in the century.

This is why, I Exclaim to you, on this day, that,  Jim Harrison is Not Dead,  he is quite simply, "… hidden from view, in a big jungle of bushes and wildflowers," where he came from to begin with. And,  I ask you, with the life you are now living, the way you are now thinking, the things you are now seeing, the way you are now walking, Are You Dead ? If so, Please purchase a Book by my Father in Literature and Life,  The Great, But Never Late: Mister Jim HARRISON.



Interview with Authors Road : 

Extended Jim Harrison Film project 1993 :

Conversations with Jim Harrison: 

Jim Harrison Reading Poetry on The LAKOTA:

French TV Interview 2011 with Jim Harrison:

BOOKS By Jim Harrison :

Joe FASSLER The By HEART Series at AT The ATLANTIC 2014 : 


Tom BISSELL at OUTSIDE Live Bravely 2011: 

Alexander ALTER at The Wall Street JOURNAL  2009: 

Jim HARRISON 1964 -2008 Bibliography from The NEBRASKA PRESS 2009: 

Jim HARRISON Interview With Alden MUDGE at BOOKPAGE 2002 : 

Jim Harrison's Top Ten For Readers: 
Courtesy of 

1. The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1872). Dostoevsky’s signature theme —the future of morality and the human soul in a Godless world —takes flight in this harrowing portrait of revolutionary terrorists who have surrendered their humanity to their ideals. The political satire throbs with urgency, but Dostoevsky raises this work to the level of art through rich characterizations of his combative principals: the well-meaning, ineffectual philosophical theorist Stepan Verkhovensky; his true-believing, monomaniacal son Peter; the conflicted, ” serf Shatov; and two vivid embodiments of good and evil —saintly Bishop Tikhon and urbane, satanic Nicolas Stavrogin.

2. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27). It’s about time. No, really. This seven-volume, three-thousand-page work is only superficially a mordant critique of French (mostly high) society in the belle époque. Both as author and as “Marcel,” the first-person narrator whose childhood memories are evoked by a crumbling madeleine cookie, Proust asks some of the same questions Einstein did about our notions of time and memory. As we follow the affairs, the badinage, and the betrayals of dozens of characters over the years, time is the highway and memory the driver.

3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847). The author’s only novel, published a year before her death, centers on the doomed love between Heathcliff, a tormented orphan, and Catherine Earnshaw, his benefactor’s vain and willful daughter. Passion brings them together, but class differences, and the bitterness it inspires, keeps them apart and continues to take its toll on the next generation. Wuthering Heights tells you why they say that love hurts.

4. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851). This sweeping saga of obsession, vanity, and vengeance at sea can be read as a harrowing parable, a gripping adventure story, or a semiscientific chronicle of the whaling industry. No matter, the book rewards patient readers with some of fiction’s most memorable characters, from mad Captain Ahab to the titular white whale that crippled him, from the honorable pagan Queequeg to our insightful narrator/surrogate (“Call me”) Ishmael, to that hell-bent vessel itself, the Pequod.

5. Ulysses by James Joyce (1922). Filled with convoluted plotting, scrambled syntax, puns, neologisms, and arcane mythological allusions, Ulysses recounts the misadventures of schlubby Dublin advertising salesman Leopold Bloom on a single day, June 16, 1904. As Everyman Bloom and a host of other characters act out, on a banal and quotidian scale, the major episodes of Homer’s ­Odyssey —including encounters with modern-day sirens and a Cyclops —Joyce’s bawdy mock-epic suggests the improbability, perhaps even the pointlessness, of heroism in the modern age.

6. Independent People by Halldór Laxness (1934). The Icelandic Nobel laureate’s best novel is a chronicle of endurance and survival, whose stubborn protagonist Bjartür “of Summerhouses” is a sheepherder at odds with inclement weather, poverty, society in particular and authority in general, and his own estranged family. Laxness unflinchingly dramatizes Bjartür’s unloving, combative relationships with his step-daughter Asta and frail son Nonni (a possible authorial surrogate)—yet finds the perverse heroism in this bad shepherd’s compulsive pursuit of freedom (from even the Irish sorcerer who had cursed his land). This is an antihero for whom readers will find themselves cheering.

7. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (1936). Weaving mythic tales of biblical urgency with the experimental techniques of high modernism, Faulkner bridged the past and future. This is the story of Thomas Sutpen, a rough-hewn striver who came to Mississippi in 1833 with a gang of wild slaves from Haiti to build a dynasty. Almost in reach, his dream is undone by plagues of biblical (and Faulknerian) proportions: racism, incest, war, fratricide, pride, and jealousy. Through the use of multiple narrators, Faulkner turns this gripping Yoknapatawpha saga into a profound and dazzling meditation on truth, memory, history, and literature itself.

8. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967). Widely considered the most popular work in Spanish since Don Quixote, this novel —part fantasy, part social history of Colombia — sparked fiction’s “Latin boom” and the popularization of magic realism. Over a century that seems to move backward and forward simultaneously, the forgotten and offhandedly magical village of Macondo — home to a Faulknerian plethora of incest, floods, massacres, civil wars, dreamers, prudes, and prostitutes — loses its Edenic innocence as it is increasingly exposed to civilization.

9. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (1934). Banned in America for twenty-seven years because it was considered obscene, this autobiographical novel describes the author’s hand-to-mouth existence in Paris during the early 1930s. A later inspiration to the Beat generation, Miller offers various philosophical interludes expressing his joy in life, hostility to social convention, and reverence for women and sex, which he describes with abandon.

10. The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942). The opening lines—“Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday. I can’t be sure”—epitomize Camus’s celebrated notions of “the absurd.” His narrator, Meursault, a wretched little Algerian clerk sentenced to death for the murder, feels nothing: no remorse, love, guilt, grief, or hope. But he’s not a sociopath; he’s just honest. An embodiment of existential philosophy, he believes in no higher power and accepts that we are born only to die. Our only choice is to act “as if” life has meaning and thereby gain some freedom.

Jim HARRISON On Poetry and the Writing Of: 

Jim Harrison: "A poem’s rhythm shouldn’t read like the ticking of a box. But people thought Longfellow would be good for teaching children English, so people push that piece of shit on their kids even now. Good poetry’s appeal is more mysterious. I can remember whole lines of Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake, just because of the beauty of Joyce’s use of language. Roethke’s the same way. These lines stick with you for aesthetic reasons. It’s like you remember songs. You recreate their music in your mind. " 


In a life properly lived, you’re a river. You touch things lightly or deeply; you move along because life herself moves, and you can’t stop it; you can’t figure out a banal game plan applicable to all situations; you just have to go with the “beingness” of life, as Rilke would have it. In Sundog, Strang says a dam doesn’t stop a river, it just controls the flow. Technically speaking, you can’t stop one at all.

Jim HARRISON on So-Called Regional Writing: 

"What I hate about this notion of regionalism in literature is that there’s no such thing as regional literature. There might be literature with a pronounced regional flavor, but it’s either literature on aesthetic grounds or it’s not literature." 

Jim HARRISON on Meeting Jack NICHOLSON: 

"… I met Jack Nicholson on the set of McGuane’s movie, The Missouri Breaks. We got talking and he asked me if I had one of my novels with me, and I had one, I think it was Wolf. He read it and enjoyed it. He told me that if I ever got an idea for him, to call him up. Well, I never have any of those ideas. I wasn’t even sure what he meant. I think he said later that I was the only one he ever told that to who never called. A year afterwards, I was out in L.A. and he called up and asked me to go to a movie. It was really pleasant, and I was impressed with his interest in every art form. It was right after Cuckoo’s Nest and all these people tried to swarm all over him after the movie. Anyway, later he heard I was broke and he thought it was unseemly. So he rigged up a deal so that I could finish the book I had started, which was Legends of the Fall." 

Jim HARRISON on Writers that happen to be Women: 

"I don’t think of women novelists but writers. Who do I read when they have something coming out? Denise Levertov, Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Wakoski, Renata Adler, Alison Lurie, Toni Morrison, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ellen Gilchrist, Anne Tyler, Adrienne Rich, Rebecca Newth, Rosellen Brown, Gretel Ehrlich, Annie Dillard, Susan Sontag. Those come immediately to mind. Also Margaret Atwood. "

Jim HARRISON on The INDIANS and South American Tribes: 

"They [ The Press] don’t even know that those countries down there think of themselves as separate entities. They keep referring to “Central America.” Well, try passing that off on the Panamanians, the Costa Ricans, the El Salvadorans. It’s amazing to me, for instance, how few people know anything about nineteenth-century American history. They don’t know what happened to the hundred civilizations represented by the American Indian. That’s shocking. I’m dealing with that in this book. To me, the Indians are our curse on the house of Atreus. They’re our doom. The way we killed them is also what’s killing us now. Greed. Greed. It’s totally an Old Testament notion but absolutely true. Greed is killing the soul-life of the nation. You can see it all around you. It’s destroying what’s left of our physical beauty, it’s polluting the country, it’s making us more Germanic and warlike and stupid. "

Jim HARRISON on Belonging :

"I feel as foreign as Geronimo at the New York World’s Fair at the turn of the century…The most solid effect of the deaths that I could touch upon was that I must answer to what I thought of as my calling since nothing else on earth had any solidity.”  



To remember you’re alive
visit the cemetery of your father
at noon after you’ve made love
and are still wrapped in a mammalian
odor that you are forced to cherish.

Under each stone is someone’s inevitable
surprise, the unexpected death
of their biology that struggled hard, as it must.
Now to home without looking back,
enough is enough.

En route buy the best wine
you can afford and a dozen stiff brooms.
Have a few swallows then throw the furniture
out the window and begin sweeping.
Sweep until the walls are
bare of paint and at your feet sweep
until the floor disappears. 

Finish the wine in this field of air, 
return to the cemetery
in evening and wind through the stones
a slow dance of your name visible only to birds.

Copper Canyon Press, 2011, 

Buy His Most recent Work at COPPER CANYON PRESS :

Rich Helmer lives and works in Arizona. His Photographs have been exhibited at The Vision Gallery in Chandler, Arizona and showcased in Publications: ShutterBug,Arizona Highway and Landscape Photography. Rich is a Musician as well as The BUREAU of Arts and Culture's Winning Photographer for BUREAU Magazines,"My HOMETOWN," National Photographic Essay Contest 2016 Edition.

 ©Rich Helmer

Rich Helmer lives and works in Arizona. His Photographs have been exhibited at The Vision Gallery in Chandler, Arizona and showcased in Publications: ShutterBug,Arizona Highway and Landscape Photography. Rich is a Musician as well as The BUREAU of Arts and Culture's Winning Photographer for BUREAU Magazines,"My HOMETOWN,"  National Photographic Essay Contest 2016 Edition.

FILM : IMAX n Tempe  
 COFFEE : Dutch Brothers in Gilbert 
CAMERA SHOP : Tempe Camera  

BEST MUSIC VENUE: The Fox Theater in Tucson  

ART VENUE: Vision Gallery in Chandler, Arizona  

BOOKSTORE : Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona   



Somewhere between the very concise, concrete and physical realities of time and place in locales like San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and the Ideas of a Utopian Eye of the Mind, The Painter, Nathan Walsh has produced a series of large scale, time intensive works that equal, in counterpart, in scope, and in end result, the works of a master Novelist, Filmmaker or Architect. Nathan Walsh, is setting the bar, so high, on the painters of his generation, and those who actually have, and will, in the future, participate in this publication, that we here, are now becoming concerned for everyone else. The scale, the vision, the intricacy, the colors, the patterns, the schematics and the overall attention to detail is, absolutely, some of the best artwork we have ever seen:  Now, Before and Since. His draftsmanship skills are up there with the best of the architects: Frank Lloyd Wright. His paranormal and somewhat panoramic views of intricate cityscapes rival the classicist photographers: Edward Steichen. His vibrant and variable color choices are as good or better than some of the best comic illustrators alive: Daniel Clowes.

Nathan Walsh is doing something quite different, at a magnitude and an altitude of dizzying heights. That all said, the works are mature, whilst still being fun. They are pleasing without losing anything to  complexity. They are light sensitive, while still achieving refracted objects in detail. And all the while, they are somehow mathematic, without lacking the very soul contained within all truly great art. The entire body of work contains a strange balance between the sober documentation of an actual reality and an impressionistic and stylized view of a world interpreted by a rather scientific minded work-a-day, no nonsense technician. These days, in the so-called, 'Modern Art World,' becoming a house hold name, often registers automatically, due to a happenstance moment in time or place. A sex tape is revealed, an actor turns artist, a war between two parties creates a stir, an artist pushes a political or allegoric analogy, or the big end all, an artist dies, at the hands of themselves or someone else. The media or the name gallery, or the collector, rushes in and, 'Boom,' fame is bestowed upon and forever tied to the art, the artist and the story therein. Nathan Walsh is going about his business in a manner, a style, a breadth, and a fidelity to excellence, based on his own vision and expectation, that, whether any of the usual art world accidents ever do, or do not occur, he is assured a future. And we here, are proud to have him, in the present,  front and center,  our Guest Artist for this,  our Newest Edition.   

 CHICAGO IN THE RAIN  [ Drawing ]     Nathan WALSH   BUREAU Guest Artist SPRING LITERARY  

Joshua TRILIEGI : Photography plays some key role in your style, could you discuss how you utilize the Images from photographs ?

Nathan WALSH : Whilst my paintings are very much the product of studio activity they are also closely associated to the experience of being at a particular location for a period of time. They make direct reference to photography and the photorealist movement of the 1970s. Photography does play an important role in my process but not to a point where I am dependent on it. On a practical level, it is the most effective way of gathering a large amount of raw material when I am visiting a new country or city.

However Instead of a painted photographic record or recreation of my memories of the location, my work exhibits an independent logic and exists solely on its own terms. It's aim is not to mimic our own world and the laws within it but to suggest a different world with it's own parameters. Like a lucid dream or hallucination it aims to describe this world with a precision and clarity equal to photography.     [ cont - ] 


Nathan WALSH : [ - cont  ] To be fully appreciated the first and perhaps most inventive generation of photorealist artists need to be viewed in real life. I think part of the problem with the work that has succeeded it or been inspired by it has been based on viewing it in reproduction. For example Richard Estes and John Salt were painters first and foremost, the strength of their work rooted partially in the personal exploration of methods and materials. Their work is dependent on expressive mark making and creative thinking, too close an adherence to photography or digital imagery I believe can lead to overly mechanical and artificial outcomes. When I make work I understand that the success of a particular painting will be dependent on my decisions not the solutions a camera or software package might offer me. The more it becomes about my decisions the more it moves away from objective reality, not perhaps where it becomes dreamlike but certainly the best work I’ve made has a hallucinatory quality. Most art movements start out as radical but over time become increasingly conservative. If Hyper / Photorealism is to remain interesting, then its practitioners must find ways of extending its parameters in new and unexpected ways, technical proficiency is a given and not enough to mark an artist out as significant. It will be interesting to see where this new exploration leads us, there are certainly signs over the past couple of years that some artists are making leaps forward.

Nathan WALSH in Studio Creating Drawing 59Th Street    BUREAU Guest Artist SPRING LITERARY

Joshua TRILIEGI : Your paintings shift between exacting photorealism and abstract animation, explain how you, 'design,' an image.

Nathan WALSH : People often assume my work is an accurate description or document of a specific location or recreation of a view. In actuality this is very far from the case, all pictorial elements are subject to change whether it be their inclusion or omission from a painting or their relative size or position within the composition. So in essence they are an abstraction from reality, I pick and chose what information to leave in and what to leave out. As you have noted this leads to an extended or heightened sense of the world we live in, different views get combined together, colours become accentuated and the paint itself as physical material is explored. I still want the viewer to be convinced by this new world and imagine they could inhabit it but fundamentally its a construct based on my decisions. In the future I can imagine this being extended further leading to the work becoming increasingly divorced from our own world. 

Nathan WALSH  59Th Street      BUREAU Guest Artist SPRING LITERARY

Joshua TRILIEGI : The drawings that prep each painting, to me, are artworks unto themselves, its really an amazing process, share that early work with readers. 

Nathan WALSH : Experiencing the city as a human being is an immersive experience. I wanted to find a way of translating that experience in a convincing way which removed the detachment involved using a camera. My approach to drawing explores this is hopefully sympathetic to this idea, allowing the viewer to see not just what's in front of them but whats around them. 

Drawing allows me to make human pictorial decisions instead of relying on the mechanical eye of a camera or software package. This process is open ended and changes from one painting to the next. Whilst I employ a variety of perspectival strategies, these methods are not fixed or rigid in their application. Working with a box of pencils and an eraser I will start by establishing an horizon line on which I will place vanishing points to construct simple linear shapes which become subdivided into more complex arrangements. By using simple mathematical ratios I can begin to describe concrete form within my picture plane. Over a period of time I will draw and redraw buildings, manipulating their height, width or nature in relation to other pictorial elements. By introducing spatial recession to these elements I aim to present a world the viewer can enter into and move around.


Joshua TRILIEGI : The size of your landscapes are rather healthy, is this due to the amount of visual information you wish to provide ? Explain scale and perspective, in your work.

Nathan WALSH : My paintings are large because I want the viewer to relate to them in a physical way. I want them to function almost as alternative realities where whoever is stood in front of them feels they can almost enter into the world I’ve created. There is a huge amount of visual information contained within the paintings but hopefully there is also space and air for that information to be read effectively. I try to use perspective in a creative and fluid manner. I don't follow any particular strategy nor concern myself too much with making something that is mathematically correct. I combine and use traditional techniques with digital software in an attempt find new ways of describing space. Each new drawing or painting I make is a development from the last, in an attempt to make more complex and convincing scenes based on the world we live in. As an artist I use perspective simply as a tool to be played with not something to stick rigidly too at the expense of pictorial invention.


Joshua TRILIEGI :  Lets discuss time and investment in each painting. Walk us through the process of  your Painting entitled: TransAmerica .  

Nathan WALSH : In 2011, I made a three week trip from the West to East Coast of America, which included 4 days in San Francisco. Before I visit a city I tend not have a clear idea of what I’d like to paint, I just tend to amble around, very much like a Flaneur waiting for something to connect with. When I do find something of interest I’ll take numerous photographs of a location and normally a series of thumbnail drawings in a sketchbook. Back in the UK I will sift though the raw material I’ve collected and make a series of postcard sized drawings which suggest potential paintings. I pin these to the studio wall and live with them for a while, most get rejected but whichever one I eventually chose must have the most visual potential to make a dynamic full scale painting. Once I’ve decided on the size of the painting I start to draw elements in a fairly loose and organic way.   [ cont - ] 


Nathan WALSH : [ - cont ]  This drawing stage can take up to a month for a large painting, In some ways it could be argued as the most creative part of my activity. Once complete I brush over a glaze of oil paint and begin blocking areas of colour with heavily diluted washes of paint. Over the subsequent months paint layers are built up and sanded away. The goal is not to mimic the flatness of a static photograph but to make reference to a rich linage of European and American painting, seeing my work up close reveals a personal system of mark making and investigation of the physical properties of oil paint. Surface and texture has becoming increasingly important to me, finding new ways of applying and manipulating paint leads to richer and unexpected outcomes. 

‘Transamerica' Is a reflected view of a San Francisco street seen through a Chinese gift shop. Instead of a real reflection I have 'sandwiched' together photographs taken in front of me with shots taken directly behind. By describing a series of layers of information some opaque, others translucent the intention is to suggest a heightened reality, one we could not experience in the real world.


Nathan WALSH : [ - cont ]  I like the idea of dipping into the resources and technology that are available in a fluid and open ended way. The ‘Transamerica’ was a composite of information, part photographic, part observational drawing,  part vector based artwork that I’d downloaded then mapped to my preparatory drawing.  Many of the objects including the Chinese Dolls in the foreground were bought in the UK and painted from life in the studio. Using Don Eddy and Tom Blackwell’s window paintings of the 1970’s as a point of departure the painting became a palimpsest of cobbled together information.  The challenge then of course is get these different types of information to function together in a coherent way. Whilst in essence the painting is a fantasy my aim was still to make it a believable one.

The methods that I’m adopting are in part a conscious attempt at avoiding the numerous pitfalls open to contemporary realist painters.  Instead of employing a ‘catch-all’ strategy for making work I’m accessing different approaches in an attempt to reveal new ways of depicting the world.


Joshua TRILIEGI :  Where did you go to school and how did that particular experience make up who you are as an artist, site influences. 

Nathan WALSH : I followed a fairly typical art education in the UK, an interest in art at school led to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at University. I studied drawing, painting, printmaking and typography all of which have left a mark on my current activity. People often assume that I’ve had some formal architectural training but this isn’t the case. Whilst realist painting is not particularly popular in the UK ,I was fortunate on my Masters degree to be taught by two exceptional realist painters, one of whom, Clive Head I have remained in dialogue with till today. Head is one of the most significant contemporary figurative painters and his works and writing have been a significant influence on me.

Joshua TRILIEGI :  Do you actually use projection when creating the original impetus, if so explain, if not explain ?

Nathan WALSH : No, freehand drawing is fundamental to all of my work allowing me to take full ownership of  photographic material. Rejecting the mechanical transfer of imagery forces me to construct each object from scratch and allows for a fluid and inventive approach. Fixing pictorial elements to separate vanishing points allows the construction of a space independent of both reality and any photographic record of the scene. A shifting horizon line allows to viewer to look up and down into the space, and question their position in relation to the scene. I have nothing against the use of projection as part of an artists methodology, but for me its a limiting activity and would lead to predictable results.


Joshua TRILIEGI : Can you recall an early painting influence, visit to a Museum, art book, etc ?

Nathan WALSH : I started collected art related books as a student. This has served as daily form a of inspiration and guidance for my own practice. Looking at significant artists and paintings of the past can often be intimidating but can also suggest ways forward. My inspirations are numerous and varied from Piranesi’s engravings to the decorative tiles of William De Morgan. What connects all of these interests is a strong sense of structure and pattern. Most of the artists and designers I admire had or have a rigorous approach to composition and commitment to process perhaps more than outcome. I often think my own work as “sampling” these inspiring figures, whether it be the palette of Bonnard or the dynamism of a Bernice Abbott photograph. 

I also have quite a close network of artist friends which serve as quite a supportive network whether that be through email dialogue or visiting each others studios or exhibitions. Painting by its nature is as a solitary activity so the sharing of ideas and experiences with other like minded individuals is often a healthy exercise.

Nathan WALSH     DETAIL of  Drawing for  Z BAR  BUREAU Guest Artist SPRING LITERARY

Joshua TRILIEGI :  Does music or literature or film help you in your process, if so please site examples ? 

Nathan WALSH : Film is probably the most important of the three in terms of an influence on my studio life. I’m not that interested in narrative, more visual language and spectacle. To give you a taste here’s a list of films that I’ve connected with: Alphaville, Koyaanisqatsi, Bladerunner, Man with a Movie Camera, Inception, 2001: A Space Oddyssey, Metropolis, Stalker, Solaris, Brazil, Her, The Seventh Seal, The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari, Synecdoche New York, The Holy Mountain, The Master, Videodrome. 


Joshua TRILIEGI : What drives you to commit to each painting and then to actually persevere ?  

Nathan WALSH : I believe some people are born with a desire to respond to their environment by making things. This might be a piece of furniture or jet engine, but the initial impulse is the same. I’m not sure I ever made a conscious decision to try and become a full time artist, but I certainly had a desire to develop and improve the paintings I was drawn to make. The notion of improvement is essential to my activity in that its very difficult to justify spending time on something which I already know how to do. Although many artists have a successful formula for making work the idea of doing the same thing over and over again doesn’t appeal to me. I’m excited to see how far ideas can be explored and how I can find more elegant and complex solutions to visual problems. The paintings are very labour intensive and dependant on their size and complexity I might only make two large works a year. Sometimes I’ll make a smaller work but I find myself drawn to making increasingly larger and more complex work. I usually paint six days a week but often that can turn into seven as one week blurs into the next. My day follows a fairly fixed pattern. I leave the house at 7am and arrive at the studio for 7.30. After cleaning my palette from the day before I start painting at 8 o’clock. I’ll work through till 12, go and have lunch then return for 1. I’ll normally work till 6pm but the afternoon painting session always seems tougher than the morning. This daily ritual is crucial for the work to progress in any reasonable fashion. Painting full time is rarely a physical job but a long day of concentration often leaves you exhausted. There are many potential distractions but in time you learn to ignore them and focus on the ever present problems of painting.

Bernarducci Meisel Gallery  
37 W 57th St #3, New York, NY 10019 

THE BUREAU GUEST ARTIST : NATHAN WALSH is Represented in New York City By The Bernarducci Meisel Gallery at 37 West 57 Street at 5th Avenue  A long established crossroads of the art world. The focus is the presentation of the finest contemporary realist art including established and emerging artists of the genre. Since the Gallery's inception, our artists have exhibited both nationally and internationally and their work has been included in important museum surveys and featured in solo museum exhibitions. In 2010 the Gallery expanded from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet at 37 West 57 where we now occupy the entire third floor. In addition to greater visibility, this larger space gives us the ability to present more comprehensive exhibitions, now and in the years to come. Our goal is to provide the foremost opportunity for the world's leading realist painters and sculptors.

                 The Artist : 

THIS  PAGE DISPLAYS A FEW SAMPLES FROM THE ACTUAL 299 PAGE MAGAZINE WHICH IS AVAILABLE AS A FREE DOWNLOAD at The Link Below, Simply, Tap the Link and Download The Hi Resolution Version NOW. It may take a Few Minutes, Though well worth The WAIT: 

By  J.  A.  TRILIEGI   for  BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE  Magazine

Long before Brooklyn based painter, Michael Kagan was born, in 1980, the   television told us, through original airings and constant re-runs, that,"Space," was, "The Final Frontier …" Man's obsession with the machinery of morrow and yore have always played a key role in the arts and in history, be it mythological or otherwise.  When Louis and Clark set out to document The America's, they utilized a simple vessel, armed with paper, pencils, pigments. We see their journey through maps, through drawings and documentation. 

Man's journey to the moon, utilizing a much more complicated device, is a touch more challenging in it's documentation. The power of images on reflection are often uber-fascinating to those of us un-born during the battles. A good many of us have seen how a canoe floats upon a body of water, carrying people and parcels, to and fro. Water, fire, air and earth are trustworthy elements, difficult to deny.  Add to that, Gravity, and you know exactly which side is up. In Space, that particular aspect of register is denied and so we must constantly ask ourselves: Where are we and which side is up ? It is one thing to hurl an object through space, it is another altogether, to land it properly, be it on the side of a flowing river, or on a far off, distant planet. 

Now, Michael Kagan has taken the stuff of young men's obsessive imagery of a popular variety, Astronauts, Race Car Drivers, Cock Pits and The Concord Mountain, to encapsulate some idea of reaching the top. His oil on linen, application and techniques are laden with a fine art style, loosely and abundantly applied brush strokes that create a final result which, in scale and in form, are indeed impressive. The full size painting, entitled,"There Is No End," which measures 96" x 72", serves as the  frontispiece of a recent exhibit, his second one man show at the Joshua Liner gallery in New York City. . Kagan, who is in his mid thirties, has already worked with the Smithsonian, collaborated with cultural mastermind Pharrell Williams and received recent large scale commissions: he is headed toward the top. Of course, for those who race the cars, drive the planes, climb the mountains, there indeed, is and End. Just as every writer, eventually meets the bottom of the page: Happy Landing.   

Michael KAGAN : Lights OUT  / Paintings Recently Exhibited at  The Joshua LINER Art Gallery
540 W. 28th Street  NY, NY 10001 /   Tuesday – Saturday 11 am - 6 pm  /  


It is rare, in today's modern art world, to view an artist's work, that is new and refreshing, stimulating and advanced by the works of scientist's from the 1800's.  Emilie Clark has been creating a refreshing series of watercolors over that past few years that have caught our eye. A balanced mix of botany, zoology and eco - friendly feminism that carries none of the dogmatic baggage that often aligns itself with movements, theories and schools of thought.  The works are detailed like lovingly woven tapestries of an overgrowth of ideology that reminds one of the great garden of life itself. The artist explains, "I wanted the drawings to feel like one was within the composting process - the process that is so eloquently spoken about in Walt Whitman's, "This Compost," - "Such Sweet Things are Made of Such Corruptions," and indeed, the goal has been achieved. As if we have walked in the forest, among the fallen leaves, the wandering rivers edge, within the mud and guts of life's true force, during a torrid rainstorm, and suddenly, the sun begins to part through the clouds, the birds and other creatures emerge and quite miraculously reveal a fecundity abound.       

" If air, water and food are what biologically 
              make up the earth's household, one is faced 
                                     with the overwhelming reality that 
                                                        that is literally everything. " 

                                                                                                             - Emilie CLARK / Artist

Culling inspiration from Martha Ann Maxwell, the first female field naturalist, vegetarian and taxidermist, has empowered and informed the visual style of the watercolors, as well as the various installation works that often accompany Ms. Clark's exhibitions. All of this background information is well and good, but, more to the point, the artworks themselves actually transcend all of the education. Too often, we are either dealing with, an artist with a whole gang of education and not enough technique, or a great efficiency and mastery of form, and a lack of honest knowledge. In this case, the stimulus does not override the end product, and for that, we need be grateful to this great body of work and the artist. The artwork itself also begs a much larger and more important question: Who actually created all of this gorgeous grandeur, this magnificent madness of life ?  And if Women are the only human beings actually entrusted to carry the children into this world: Plant, Animal, Mineral and Human, than why is God, if there is one, always called a HE ? Ms. Clark's bewitching works have me thinking otherwise, neither bothered nor bewildered: simply blown away.  


The American Film Director, Hal Ashby, created a series of groundbreaking and wholly original, cinematic gems, throughout his life. Each are deeply rooted in a darkly humanist, yet extremely touching mode of thinking. Since that time, few directors have ever been able to emulate, let alone imitate his contribution. Born on a farm, in Ogden, Utah, to a father who refused to modernize the family business, leading to financial disaster and eventually suicide. In 1941, at twelve years of age, young Hal Ashby is scarred deeply by his fathers death. Americans enter into World War II and young Hal identifies the war machine with the loss of his father. He will forever become a peace activist, the rest of his life. Hal works his way up from office boy at Universal Studios to Apprentice Editor at Republic Pictures, to Assistant Editor for some of the Best directors in the business, including, George Stevens and William Wyler. In those days, not unlike these days, one had to choose projects that might help one rise to position. Ashby had to quit working for Steven's, in the middle of a production of, "The Greatest Story Ever Told," released in 1965, to take over on a new project for Wyler, and the rest is history. Hal became Chief Editor, which led to an Oscar Award by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 1965 for, "In The Heat of The Night," starring Sidney Poitier, directed By Norman Jewison, with a highly sensitive, race related screenplay. One can imagine George Steven's reaction, as Hal Ashby, his former assistant editor, received the Academy Award for work as Lead Editor the same year Steven's four and a half hour epic project was released. Ashby's collaboration with Jewison eventually leads to a directorial debut, five years later, with, 'The Landlord.'  A comedy about a wealthy young white boy, thrust into owning and managing an apartment building, in the heart of New York Cities urban life, during the rise of black power groups, such as The Black Panthers. The film stars a young, wide eyed, Beau Bridges and is available for viewing on you tube, in its entirety. A hilarious, and most likely, self referential project, possibly describing Ashby's own journey from farm to city, from innocence to experience, from Utah to Hollywood : The Truly, 'Cultural Education,' that no simple degree from any major or minor university can ever hope to provide

Throughout the decade of the 1970s, Hal Ashby will create a hand full of films that break genres, make genres, and in general, piss off the critics and win over a youth culture that will eventually become the group of people, here in America, that are now in their sixties. Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Coming Home, Shampoo, Bound For Glory and to this writers mind, his masterpiece, entitled, "BEING THERE". Starring Peter Sellars, as described by David A. Cook, "An idiot savant gardener, whose knowledge of the world comes exclusively from television." During the same year that films such as, "The Jerk," with Steve Martin, Woody Allen's, "Manhattan," Monty Python's, "Life of Brian," and more serious toned projects like, "Apocalypse Now,"  "Norma Rae," and, "The China Syndrome," are released, Hal Ashby's North Star productions releases: BEING THERE. Another notable film, in that year of 1979, one that actually gains momentum from Ashby's style and tone, would be the fabulous look at life on the road as a rock and roll singer with Bette Midler's debut film, "The Rose," possibly, and still to this day, one of the greatest and most authentic takes on The Rock and Roll Lifestyle, which Ashby had also experienced first hand, while creating a Documentary on The Rolling Stones. Ashby did not just document, he actually lived the lifestyle and, it is reported, that he overdosed while doing so. He should not be judged too harshly in this regard. Laurel Canyon, where he resided, was a seriously saturated scene of hipsters, of a wide variety. Ashby had been very good friends with Jack Nicholson since their days at Metro in the mid fifties. He lived next to Carol King, just across from Spielberg and around the corner from Fleetwood Mac and Alice Cooper. Hal's producer Charles Mulvehill, is actually referenced in the Nicholson, Classic Film Chinatown, directed by Roman Polanski and produced by Robert Evans. These were heady times in Hollywood and the power base, the political expression and the artistic purity has never been so intertwined, before or since that time. Warren Beatty may not have ever directed the epic production of REDS, had it not been for Hal Ashby, and their work on SHAMPOO. Hal Ashby made directing films look easy, I can assure the reader that, directing a major motion picture, is Anything Except: EASY.

The most important aspect of filmmaking is collaboration and Hal Ashby, over his entire career worked with six of the best Cinematographers in the business, including : John Alonzo in Harold and Maude, Gordon Willis in The Landlord, Michael Chapman in The Last Detail, Haskell Wexler in both, Bound For Glory and Coming Home and finally, Caleb Deschanel in Being There. All six went on to make a roster of classic films and many still around, doing the best work in the business. During the filming of Coming Home with Jane Fonda, Bruce Dern and Jon Voight, Haskel Wexler's son, who had been working in the sound department, expressed his concerns about Mr. Ashby's direction, to his father. According to Peter Biskind, in his classic book, "Easy Riders and Raging Bulls," Wexler's son told Haskel that, "Were in big trouble," describing the now classic scene where Jon Voight, a returned and handicapped Vietnam Veteran talks to a young group of students about joining the armed forces. "It just doesn't work," he explained, describing the days shoot, Hal, it appeared, simply allowed Jon to ramble on, allowed for improvisation and it seemed muddled. Haskel Wexler, knowing very well that Ashby, having once been one of the best film editors in the business, would simply make it happen, in the editing, responded accordingly, "Give it a chance, you know the way Hal is in the editing room," Sure enough, he put a great scene together, and to quote Biskind, "… Probably won Jon [ Voight ] the Oscar." It is rumored that, the film, "Being There," may have actually been taken away from Hal Ashby, halfway or three quarters of the way through the production, either due to his health, or due to other power scrambling reasons. Because of the connection between actor Peter Sellers, who also worked very closely with Stanley Kubrick, it is said, among Hollywood circles, that Kubrick may have stepped into the production, and or had a hand in somehow assisting the production along. These facts are difficult to verify, but definitely worth noting. Especially since Mr. Kubrick, who worked closely with NASA, and is indeed credited with assisting the United States Government of the late Nineteen Sixties, with propagating and creating a vision of a moon landing that has, to this day, been questioned and denied, in circles of science and theory, as much as Global Warming is today. In many power circles, the deaths of Hal Ashby, Stanley Kubrick and the writer of "Being There," Novelist Jerzy Kosinski, have been pondered, questioned and theorized.  Jack Nicholson would go on to work for Kubrick the following year in, "The Shining," and did not at all enjoy the process. When asked what it was like to work for Kubrick ? In his trademark style and grin, Jack famously paused, then wryly remarked that, working with Stanley Kubrick, "Brings New Meaning To The Word : M-e-t-i-c-u-l-o-u-s."  

The Shining Film Production itself, according to film analysts and theorists, is a project which is supposedly packed with coded messages of a wide variety,  and, on second look, there are many. Rubric's constant references to his involvement with the controversy surrounding his relationship with NASA and the original filming of his classic space film, "2001 : A Space Odyssey," loosely based on the book by Arthur C. Clark, are peppered throughout, "The Shining". The young boy, haunted by ghosts, wears a NASA space ship on his sweater. Thus symbolizing Rubric's history with the space myth, that he may have helped to propagandize. Kubrick, who had risen from Life Magazine photographer to someone who had been used by the power base to create an image that would eventually end up on the cover of LIFE, The Special Edition, with Buzz Aldrin and the phrase in bold capitals: To The Moon and Back. The few astronauts who have been given a chance to speak on the matter, have too, recently made statements that appear to be coded with regret and inference to the possibility that something, indeed was not correct about the journey and or the official story. The only image in US history that has been scrutinized more than the Life Cover Image is the Other LIFE Cover of the false shadowed image of John F. Kennedy's so - called lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. In, "The Shining," the two girls haunting the young boy in the hallway are meant to represent two particular sides of a single event, the real story and the official story, the elevator representing the spaceship. Since our publication also celebrates great photographers, this would also be a good time to credit Diane Arbus, whose original series on Twins obviously inspired Stanley Kubrick. In  "2001: A Space Odyssey," The astronaut is forced to fight with the machine, after several of his space mates have died, his main goal is to turn off the machine, which is named, HAL. It has been stated that Kubrick had originally meant to utilize the initials from the leading technology company of the time, IBM, and transformed or coded those initials by simply adjusting each letter, one step closer to their previous letter in the alphabet, thus I becomes H, B becomes A, and M becomes L, I-B-M turns into H-A-L. Though, those who like to consider circles of power, have made intimations of another variety concerning Kubrick, who had moved to the Empire of England, and his relation and or ideas about Ashby, who was a stone cold American liberal, with his heart firmly rooted in humanist, films, ideas and causes. Throughout his lifetime, Hal Ashby stood strong for values of freedom of expression, and was always on the side of the underdog, politically speaking. Hal Ashby had met with Cesar Chavez, he had attended Martin Luther King's funeral and upon receiving his Oscar, simply wished for peace to prevail and walked off with a Thank You.  

The reader should re-look at the afore mentioned films and decide for yourself, if indeed, Stanley Kubrick attempted to share with the viewer, his personal history. It should be noted that filmmakers of this period, were very aware of each others work, and Nicholson's scene, early on, in "The Shining," where he sits in the office, discussing the new job opportunity, is a replica of his scene, entering the insane asylum, in his award winning film, "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." Possibly Kubrick's in joke, that this particular production, was going to drive the actors crazy, and on reflection, many did feel that Kubrick's methods were unsound. Speaking of films of the year Nineteen Seventy-Nine and unsound method's, is, "Apocalypse Now," referencing anything in this regard when Willard, played by Martin Sheen, explains to his fellow marines, describing Marlon Brando's dictatorially position in the jungles of Vietnam, "…Method ? I don't see any Method At All ?"  

"… No matter the darkness of their lives, 
            no matter the times they endured, 
                  the ways in which they lived or the 
                            power circles they travelled in, 
                               we as purveyors of fine culture, 
                                                 must honor those works."

It is well known that Coppola needed Brando's participation and ended up paying out an exorbitant daily rate, for what had been an unprepared performance.  It should also be recognized that both Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Altman, two of the strongest directors to emerge from the 1970s, were ten years younger than Hal Ashby and according to writer Joe McBride, "Ashby deserves to be ranked with [ them ]." We agree. However and whatever the facts may be, the films and works of art these men made, no matter the darkness of their lives, no matter the times they endured, the ways in which they lived or the power circles they travelled in, we as purveyors of fine culture, must honor those works. And so today, on the eve of a national election, we take another look at Mr. Hal Ashby's political fairy tale,  "BEING THERE." 


The first words spoken by a human being in the film production of, "Being There," are whispered by a black maid, into the ears of our hero: Chance. Played brilliantly by actor Peter Sellers. "He's dead Chance, the old man's dead…" She delivers the line like the blues singer, Nina Simone, whispering in the show tune, 'Pirate Jenny,' that a death has occurred, over night, and nothing will ever be the same again. "What are you going to do now, " she asks Chance ?  And his simple reply, "I'm going to work in the garden." And thus begins the strange, fairy tale-like journey, from the hermetically sealed life of a simple, child-like man, once cloistered in the small garden of a private home in Washington D.C. for all of his known life, now released into the world, simply by accident, or so it would seem. 

"Chance's Journey Takes us Deep Into the 
     Worlds of   Symbolic Power, the Influential 
            Halls of Government  and Quite Possibly 
                                    into the Presidency of  The USA."

Chance's journey takes us deep into the worlds of symbolic power, the influential halls of government and quite possibly into the Presidency of  The USA. Louise the maid continues, "You ought to find yourself a lady, Chance…  You always gonna be a little boy ain't you ? "  As the body of The Old Man is carried out on a stretcher, the maid, who has taken care of Chance all his life, says good — bye, she appears surprised that he has no ability to express his feelings, regarding her leaving, or the old man's death. As the body is carried out, she insists on leaving before the remains of her employer does, and, her parting comment, while looking at the body, covered by a white sheet, "… He used to be a big man, suppose he waisted away to nothin'." As she walks out the front door, leaving Chance alone, in the home, for the first time in his life. 

Televisions surround the entire home, one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, even a television in the garden. Chance consistently mimics the activities that he views on the little television box of images with and endless barrage of gestures, sayings and rituals. If the lady in tights exercises, than Chance exercises.  If the driver of an old horse and buggy tips his hat, than Chance too, tips his hat. If the president shakes hands by holding both hands to a guest, than Chance too uses both hands.*  In the scene following Louise and the Old Man's exit, two lawyers, using their own key, a man and a woman, enter into the Old Man's home, unbeknownst to Chance, who sits quietly, watching television, as he has most likely done for the past few decades, untouched by the outside world. 

"Chance will utilize an activity, a phrase, a ritual, 
        a gesture, a term, and it shall be interpreted 
                                in a much wider variety of  ways, 
                                               than he may have intended."

They introduce themselves as the Old Man's lawyers, his estate is to be settled.  "Were with Franklin-Jennings and Rogers, the firm handling the estate." Chance answers, very casually, "Hello… I'm Chance the gardener." And indeed, he takes their hands, as he saw The president do, and greets them accordingly. They are both taken aback by the gesture. This will be the first of many such incidents throughout the film. Chance will utilize an activity, a phrase, a ritual, a gesture, a term, and it shall be interpreted in a much wider variety of ways, than he may have intended. Chance is an open slate for the projection of the beholders perceptions, experience or intentions, be them good, bad or indifferent.  And throughout the journey, he meets them all. 

*A historical note, Writer David A. Cook, describing the film and its context, reminds us that in the 1970s the average viewer watched seven hours a day of television, the public dilemma was so pervasive that the problems of American's addiction to watching television had actually been debated throughout the very halls of public policy. To use a phrase that was commonly blasted across advertising billboards during that time, "We've Come A Long Way Baby." These days, in 2016, those in power, actually hope we all just sit on our asses and watch television. The populist's participation in the Nineteen Sixties scared the hell out of those in government, and these days, they are indeed pleasantly satisfied that a good majority of Americans care more about awards shows, sports games and the private lives of entertainers, than protesting an issue, voting and getting directly involved in local, state and national dissertations in USA.

The male lawyer, Thomas, who is obviously perturbed by the presence of an unexpected individual, eventually loses his patients, "All kidding aside, Mr. Chance, may I ask what you are doing here?"  Chance, in all his simple and honest, open faced sincerity responds, quite simply, "I live here." Thomas, looking over his papers replies, "There is no mention of a gardener… Just how long have you been living here, Mr. Chance?" Now the female lawyer, Miss Hayes, has become intrigued by the situation.  "Ever since I can remember," Chance explains, "Since I was a child. I have always worked in the garden."   "Than You really are a gardener," She delves? "Yes," Chance replies. By this time, Thomas, is visually flustered, "We will need some proof of you having lived resided here, Mr. Chance."  He smiles, "You have me, I am here. What more proof do you need," Chance asks? Their conversation eventually reveals that not only has Chance never driven a car, he has actually never been allowed outside the house. He is the symbol of a baby having not been born yet, a pure product, educated almost entirely by television, with the exception of a few servants and the occasional visitor. He has no identification, he has no bank account, he does not exist on paper. The repartee continues in this vein until, eventually Chance understands that he must leave home. 

" My Plans are to Work in My Garden."
                                                 - Chance The Gardener / Being There   

When asked, what he will do, what his 'Plans,' are ? Chance answers with the only plans he has ever had, the only thing he knows, "My plans are to work in my garden." There is a deep and arching idea of the existence of god throughout the film. The use of the music, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra," also utilized in, "2001: A Space Odyssey," is used again here, but this time, the very urban and hip version.  On the one hand, this film attempts to level the playing field, at the same time, it's direct use of the most basic and oldest power symbols, poke fun at both the populist and the politicians alike. As Chance enters into society, he speaks to the locals about tending the garden. A group of young urban kids, threaten him, he senses the danger, yet does not panic. He see's a women who looks like Louise and asks her for lunch. Eventually, Chance gets distracted by his own image on a television that sits in the window of a store front, while he attempts to cross the street, he is pinned between a limousine backing up and a parked car. Formally dressed, in the old man's suit, hat and umbrella, and, taken for a Washington DC gentlemen of power and stature, he is invited inside the limo, so a doctor can check his leg, and thus begins the journey, into the houses of power.  And at this juncture dear reader, I leave you wondering what happens next. In hopes that you will watch this fine piece of Cinema as soon as possible. As well as any film by director Hal Ashby.

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In The Studio, at The Table, and On The Road with This Maine Family Band

BUREAU :  What is the impetus, would you say, for writing a song ?

Luke: I like to think of the song itself as the impetus, or some part of that song. It can be a melody, a line, a title, a feeling or even a broader concept. When you're lucky an idea will stick with you, and start to snowball inside your head and you have no choice but to see it through, and hold on for the ride. These are the dust-like particles that artists, of any medium I think, seem to pluck right out of the air. The seeds of creativity. The songs don't come from a writer but through a writer, because all inspiration ultimately comes from something outside of ourselves. We are all filters for reality, whatever our medium of choice may be. The driving force behind any song, then, is to get it out of your own head. To finish it. It's kind of an irrational need that artistic minds share. Say there's a particular metaphoric line that gets stuck in your head like a grain of sand in an oyster. It rolls around and around in your head, getting bigger and growing layers, smoothing itself out until it's finished. They're not all pearls either, but I guess the pearl isn't the point so long as the grain of sand is gone. The real joy for myself comes from moving on to the next idea before it flutters away.

BUREAU :  Give us an example of a song you have written  and describe the real life circumstances, event and happenstance that inspired that tune ?   

Luke:  "Late Night In Austin" (, released as the first track on our 2015 release "Lights Along The River" is a song that blended experience and imagination. In March of 2013 we made our first trip out to Texas. SXSW was happening, and Texas being the heart and soul of so many of our musical heroes, it was a big deal for us to be there. We were at the Continental Club on a night off, a room which we would be honored to play on later tours, to see James Mcmurtry play a solo set in the Gallery upstairs. The first lines of "Late Night In Austin" are "One late night in Austin, saw an old man dancing by himself. He was drunk half to death, and I knew just how he felt." The tiny old man wore a battered fedora, a dirty suit but a suit none the less, and a pair of shiny dancing shoes. He was there to use them. It was like being in a movie, watching this odd and obviously very imbibed man spin, slide, and swing his arms around on a dance floor all of his own. The packed room became even more dense as the crowd parted before him. He mouthed the words to the songs, although he obviously didn't know them, and at times clenched his eyes closed, opened his mouth and silently screamed at the ceiling as if his performance was causing him pain. McMurtry is one of the greatest songwriters alive today, in my opinion, but after that night the image of the old gentleman was what had seared itself into my brain. It wasn't until 2 years later, on our 3rd trip to Texas I believe, that the song was finally given life. In 2 years I hadn't been able to shake the images of that night, and it was time to write it down. The second verse is more of a generalization, a sweeping idea of what Austin during SXSW feels like. Music everywhere, bands and fans, parties and high hopes. Some triumphs and some regrets I would have to imagine. The first verse brings me back to a specific moment, while the second conjures a general familiar feeling for me. I like being able to put these two different kinds of thought processes together.

BUREAU :  Once a song has been put on paper, walk us through the process of bringing those words to your Band members  ?

Luke : The process for each song is different, just as the process for every writer is different. As I said before, a song for me can grow out of a line, a melody, or a concept. Nearly all of my songs are brought to the band as a skeleton, or a shell, and I rely heavily on the guys in this band to make it a TMBB song. I think we're lucky to be in a group that works this way. We often come into rehearsal and say, "who's got secret songs? Who's got something new?" And often times that will lead to something more tangible by the end of the day. Maybe the most important step is bringing the idea to the stage, and letting it make it's final evolution in front of a crowd. One thing we take a lot of pride in is the live show, and that to me ultimately shows what the song was meant to become.

BUREAU :  How long have you or your bandmates been writing original works and explain how The Band was originally formed ?

Luke:  The Mallett Brothers Band began in late 2009, and we drew from every corner of the Portland Maine scene. Myself, Nick Leen and Nate Soule had recently come out of another project together, but it was the arrival of my brother Will to Portland that lit the fire. We had some song ideas, we had a vague direction we wanted to head stylistically, and we had no idea that this would become a driving force in our lives. Wally Wenzel and drummer Brian Higgins, who had also worked together on other projects, came into the picture shortly there after and from the very first rehearsal we were all hooked. There was a certain chemistry, and a sense of how much fun we could have immediately. Our first time on stage together cemented the deal. Though the line-up has changed over the last six years, the electrifying feeling of being on stage together hasn't changed a bit. As it stands today on stage you will see myself and my brother Will on most lead vocals and guitar, Nick Leen on bass and good vibes, Wally Wenzel on dobro telecaster and vocals, Adam Cogswell on drums, and Andrew Martelle on fiddle and mandolin. "Lights Along The River" also featured our childhood friend and Nashville native Matt Mills on pedal steele, banjo, guitar and vocals, as well as me and Will's little sister Molly on vocals and even our father (and intimidating songwriting magician himself) David Mallett, who just released his 17th studio album this month. We strive above all things to enjoy this thing that we have given ourselves completely over to. When you invest nearly all of your time, energy, heart and soul in something you better have fun while doing it. "Too much fun" has become our mantra.

BUREAU :  Discuss the new music, the new tour and what has inspired the latest batch of songs. 

Luke : While "Lights" was a collection of songs pulled largely from the road, the next project we have our eyes on will be a collection of Maine logging, fishing, and trapping songs from the 1800's. Will discovered a book in our mother's library of all these forgotten folk tunes from the very woods that we grew up in, and we've been setting the words to our own music. History is important to us, our home state of Maine is very important to us, and this next project combines these things with the music that is so important to us. A few of these have been working their way onto the setlist as of late, and the feeling of bringing these forgotten words back to life is amazing. We're excited to continue making music that captivates us as well as fans. No definite release plans as of yet. Look for some of these new tunes on the stage. Tour is never ending. 

Contributing Editor Alex Harris recounts his early years as a fledgling photographer, remembering his experiences in North Carolina in The 1970s, purging his influences and discovering the process leading to  his own Visual Style. He is a Guggenheim fellow & currently a Teacher at  Duke University.

image: ©Alex Harris Rubenstein Photography Gallery Duke University through  June 26th, 2016

In the fall of 1971, I was just out of college and beginning my second education as a photographer. For one year, I traveled throughout North Carolina with my Nikon camera and Tri-X film. I had an assignment from the newly formed public policy program at Duke University to photograph substandard housing and living conditions in the state. This was an opportunity for a young, Atlanta-born southerner to become aware of something about the South beyond the suburbs by looking in depth at one southern state, by meeting, photographing, and getting to know people in their homes and dwellings, and at work in the fields.  Every photographer hopes to create a distinctive body of work, no matter at what stage in a career, to discover a way of seeing and photographing that is uniquely his or her own.  But none of us can avoid the pictures we carry with us in our minds from photographers who have come before. As I wandered around North Carolina, I was fortunate to have good influences.  On Wolf Mountain near the Tennessee border, Dorothea Lange’s driver “Ditched, Stalled and Stranded” in the San Joaquin Valley of California in 1935 appeared to me in form of a young man posing on the hood of his jeep. His home had burned down the week before.  A group of migrant workers throwing horseshoes on a summer evening after picking potatoes near the Carolina coast might have stepped off the joyful pages of Eudora Welty’s 1930’s Mississippi in One Time One Place. Not far from that game of horseshoes, I found Robert Frank’s Beaufort, South Carolina jukebox from The Americans. But instead of Robert Frank’s child on the floor, a young man peered in the open window just as I took the picture. The day I framed the tired, lined face of a Sampson County field worker staring back at me below the brim of his upturned cap, Walker Evans was looking over my shoulder. And who would have guessed Gary Winogrand’s street smarts would come in very handy as I photographed farmers at an auction in Sampson County in the summer of 1972. Later that summer I made a photograph I can’t trace to anyone else. The house was wood framed, dirty white wall boards, patched vinyl chair, refrigerator with door ajar and guts displayed, oil stained porch floor – the whole structure, past its prime, held up by cinder blocks, stones, and a few rough sawn beams. 

image: ©Alex Harris Rubenstein Photography Gallery Duke University through  June 26th, 2016

The young lady couldn’t have been more than eighteen years old, nineteen tops, brown hair, square jaw, clear skin, in a long, daisy-patterned cotton dress, cat-eye glasses and sandals. She listened patiently, holding her toddler boy – the youngest of three children – on her hip, as I explained why I was there.  “I am working on this project, making photographs of the kinds of houses a lot of people in North Carolina have to live in…”  While I spoke she glanced back at her house and at her other son and daughter playing with the dogs by the wide-open front door. She seemed to be considering if she lived in the kind of run-down house I was describing. When I paused she looked back at me, eyes squinting in the noon North Carolina sun, and said, “Ok if you want to take pictures, go ahead.” So I did. I took a few shots that went nowhere. I had been counting on the family to stay close together there on the porch, but after a few minutes, the other children wandered inside and even the dogs abandoned the scene. At the time, I didn’t have much experience as a photographer, but I knew when the pictures weren’t going to get any better. I thanked the young woman and said goodbye. As she turned, still holding her son, I lifted my camera and made one more exposure. This one is like a dream. It’s a southern dream any of us could have. It is the bare bones of a story we can only imagine. A woman of indeterminate age strides towards an open door. She walks with purpose and grace – left foot forward and poised above the floor, her child hidden from view but there in her tight embrace. She is our mother, perhaps the Madonna protecting the child that will one day save us all. But for now she is walking past a large spray-painted letter, a black cursive R. R for Reap, Rejoice, or Repent? Below that R, an old brown chair radiates so much personality its three buttons form the eyes and nose of a face, with a dark smiling mouth in shadow below. A benevolent God in disguise? Perhaps that was R for Rapture? She is walking from light into near darkness. Three strides beyond is second door where we see framed dog, a junked car, and part of a tree shading a dazzlingly bright yard. From light to darkness and back into the light. This is my own moment; perhaps the first time my camera pointed me towards thrilling possibilities of photography to connect with our unconscious minds, to suggest knowledge beyond words. For the last four decades I’ve searched for these moments, never anticipating when they might materialize, the kinds of rare moments that appear only in photographs or in dreams. 

bureau of arts and culture magazine edited by joshua a. triliegi, bureau of arts and culture contributing photographers: norman seef, melissa ann pinney, kwame brathwaite, art shay, laura stevens, craig reilly, walter rothwell, sandy skoglund, rich helmer, stephen sommerstein, herb ritts, jack english, alex harris, gered mankowitz, bohnchang koo, natsumi hayashi, raymond depardon, t. enami, dennis stock, dina litovsky, guillermo cervera, moises saman, cathleen naundorf, terry richardson, phil stern, dennis morris, henry diltz, steve schapiro, yousuf karsh, ellen von unwerth, william claxton, robin holland, andrew moore, james gabbard, mary ellen mark, john robert rowlands, brian duffy, robert frank, jon lewis, john weston, sven hans, david levinthal, joshua white, brian forrest, lorna stovall, elliott erwitt, rene burri, susan wright, david leventhal, peter van agtmael, mathilde grafström , steve coleman 

bureau of arts and culture contributing guest artists: erik olson, christopher stott, irby pace, max ginsburg, nathan walsh, jon swihart, f. scott hess, ho ryon lee, andy moses, kahn & selesnick, jules engel, patrick lee, david palumbo, tom gregg, tony fitzpatrick, gary lang, fabrizio casetta, dj hall, david febland, eric zener, seeroon yeretzian, dawn jackson, charles dickson, ernesto delaloza, diana wong, gustavo godoy, john weston, kris kuksi, bomonster, hiroshi ariyama, linda stark, kota ezawa, russell nachman, katsushika hokusai. xuan chen 

bureau of arts and culture special thanks: little tokyo los angeles, marcos lutyens, random house, knopf publishing, columbia university, joyce carol oates, sean connery, seattle art museum, whitney museum, irvine welsh, andy warhol foundation, city lights bookstore, joan schulze, nymoma, cantor arts center, stanford university, pace/macgill gallery, national gallery of art, georgia o'keefe museum of art, fresno art museum, fine arts center colorado springs, duke university, the broad la, phoenix art museum, wadsworth atheneum museum of art, art institute of chicago, museum of fine arts boston, crystal bridges, united artists, spot photo works, museum of fine art huston texas, gallerie urbane, mary boone gallery, pace gallery, asian art museum, magnum photo, chicago museum of contemporary art, fahey/ klein gallery, tobey c. moss gallery, sandra gehring gallery, george billis gallery, martin - gropius - bau berlin, san jose museum of art, downtown records, koplin del rio, robert berman, american film institute, sfmoma, photo la, jewish contemporary museum, yale collection rare books, richard levy.