Monday, June 27, 2011

Your Weekly Dose of Dangle

I’ve been working for a big silicon valley client on a project, no, not graphic recording, but a series of two-page comic strips. Anyway, the client is making all the wrong decisions. It started out as a series of slice of life stories about employees having interesting or unusual work-related experiences. Nice idea. But then the client decided it would be better to add some gratuitous superhero characters to the stories. Just superheroes who pop in here and there for no reason. I did one comic with the superheroes included to make the client happy and they came back and said, no, we don’t want the superheroes to be drawn like your cartoons, we want them to be drawn in the superhero style! I sat on that for a little while, wondering how to respond. Then I told them that I can’t draw in the superhero style but if they want to find somebody who can, no problem, I’ll drop the heroes into my cartoons. (obviously by this time I’d given up hope that the final cartoons will be good.)

Should I have been more of a pain in the ass, more of a prima donna? On jobs like this my motto is, “Ours is not to wonder why, ours it but to do or die!”

I’ve had some down time from graphic recording (no work) so I have been working on Unpalleteable. I’ve been writing at least an hour in the morning and sometimes all day. It’s like sticking reeds under my fingernails and scalping myself with a rusty sardine can. Writing sucks! I hate doing it and having to live with my own words, but I really want to finish this book and I want it to be funny and good.

Review of Peter Gabriel at the Greek Theater

Hae and I went to see Peter Gabriel at the Greek Theater. I’m not a Peter Gabriel fan but I’m so goddamned old that I don’t know any new bands and have to go see ones from the 80s that I at least recognize. Peter Gabriel took the stage at exactly eight o’clock while Hae and I were still looking for a parking space on the streets of Berkeley, which is next to impossible among the mad aged hippies everywhere choking the streets with their Volvos and bumpersticker-laden Subarus. Finally we paid the big bucks for event parking and made our way up the hill to the amphitheater. When we entered the Greek Peter Gabriel was singing a melodic ballad with a full orchestra backing him up. I usually find an orchestra for a pop star to be a bit––what word am I looking for––idiotic? And this was no exception. As we found our slab of hard concrete to sit our old asses down on, Gabriel went into another slow dirge, the strings ever so delicately rising and falling in accompaniment with the singing. Then came another slow tune, another, and yet another. There was to be no toe-tapping that evening at the Greek. And Peter Gabriel is completely earnest. He believes that his singing is saving people in Africa and that people should listen to it because it’s very important. At intermission a drunk college student said to his pals, “That was the sleepiest music I’ve ever heard.” He was exactly right. A large panel descended in front of the orchestra and I thought, at least he’ll bring out the band and play a smoking second set (well, at least as smoking a Peter Gabriel gets), but it was not to be. The orchestra played the first tune behind the screen with some translucent effects that were lame. By the end of the concert I was lulled into a stupor as if my whole body had been shot full of novocaine. The only sensation left was the pain my ass felt from the long hours on the concrete slab. Pluses: at least the fog didn’t come in so the temperature remained sufferable.

In a nutshell, I give Peter Gabriel zero stars.

I got tickets to see Iggy and the Stooges for sometime in October. If he comes out with an orchestra I’ll slit my own throat with a sharp piece of a shredded plastic beer cup.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lloyd - nice post, "ha ha" re: Peter G. And go see the Fleshtones!

8:53 PM  
Anonymous karthik said...

I was at that show and have to agree in principle to all your criticism. But, I managed to catch two of the songs on video and in that setting, upon revisitation, I'm moved more.

Simon's Boy in the Bubble w/orch

Reed's Power of the Heart w/orch

your generation of punks just keep chewing, hunh?


on the fence myself


10:02 AM  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...

Well, straighten them out.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Larsen E. Whipsnade said...

Peter Gabriel looks like the 'Monopoly' guy?

I thought he looked like this:

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Tom Hyland said...

Lloyd... sorry about the sorry Gabriel show. He has written some really great tunes, with lots of power and rock, but the man is becoming more and more sanctimonious. That does not make for a butt-rockin' good time, alas.

But I wanted to commiserate with you on the topic of pleasing the art client. I have been designing graphics, logos, and making hand-made signs forever. What never fails to gall me is the customer comes to us because they DON'T have an idea. They don't have the ability. We are the source... and then you show them how it shall be... and they suddenly take over as the maestros and insist upon their own pathetic ideas that only materialized during the few seconds they've been confronted with your artwork.

You are NOT being a prima donna. We should never place our signatures upon a finished item that has been compromised and infected by an outside virus. I remember your Airborne campaign and the angst and disgust it left you with. Stand your ground. Tell these folks they called you because you're THAT good and what you do is what it IS going to look like.

6:05 PM  

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