The Spark for Folk Music

His name is Kristian Matsson. Born in Dalarna, Sweden, he is currently performing as a one-man act under the moniker The Tallest Man On Earth, which, like most folk music dating back to the 60s, creates its sound with simply a voice and some basic instruments. The Tallest Man On Earth, excluding rare piano appearance, generally contains just a guitar as a background. The simplicity was coveted, yet forgotten in recent years in favor of electric power chords that make up the majority of popular music today.

However, Matsson plans to change that soon. His previous album, entitled Shallow Graves, received positive reviews everywhere it was heard; people automatically began comparing his act to Bob Dylan. And rightfully so: his endearing vocals, soothing guitar melodies, and best of all indescribable voice attracts listeners of all tastes.

His newest release The Wild Hunt, set to hit the shelves on April 13th, 2010, is superior to his critically acclaimed Shallow Graves in every way. His sound is more refined, the quality is better produced, and the songwriting has improved vastly. The previous album, at times, strayed from a general idea to the song at hand and simply strummed and sang. This, while acceptable and even welcoming sometimes within the genre, is deserted in favor of masterful, remarkable songs that maintain coherence. Good thing, too, because all ten songs are composed so exceptionally well that any lapse in its forward movement would jeopardize the listener’s attention.

So besides the fact that Matsson’s voice is beautiful, eccentric, and homey, what makes this release so notable? Well, many folk fans, even those passionate to the genre, have been well aware of its deterioration since the 1970s. Folk used to contain such timeless themes and address such prevalent issues, all the while maintaining and unparalleled sense of personality and passion. What happened? When did it get ditched for hair metal and dub-step?

That doesn’t matter now, some would say, after listening to this record. It is sweet, tranquil, and impressionable, all of the vital qualities for this music. The only other recent folk phenomenon, Bon Iver, toured the country in 2007 after his succesful album For Emma, Forever Ago, and he took along with an unknown band that turned heads at the ticket line in confusion. Well, that band, The Tallest Man On Earth, made sure that all Bon Iver fans exiting the venues would eventually address the undeniable quality of the opening singer/songwriter they’d never heard of. Hopefully, they’d rave long enough to wish for his return. Well, he’s returned, with such an incredible album that is should re-popularize an entire genre. 10/10. Get this the day it comes out and not a moment before.

“Kids” gives you a feeling of being young and free like you are running around outside on a very warm Summer day and it makes you want to get up and do a little booty shakin dance. Its cute and innocent but really plays up the lighthearted nature of being a kid. I spontaneously laugh sometimes at myself as I hear this song.

“Electric Feel” has a retro feeling to it on top of it already being sheer genius. I heard this song and seriously felt like I was weird for liking it. I heard it again and didn’t care if I was weird for liking it I knew I just loved it. I think you will feel the same way. I assure you are not weird for liking this song, its just so quirky you can’t help but enjoy it.

My latest obsession has been with Indie Rock. Now those of you who do not listen to Indie Rock must know it either really sucks or its really great! With Indie rock (just like indie movies or indie anything) you are going to have the best of the worst or the best of the best.They master the “indie rock electronica” genre. It is pure Genius!

If there was not such a thing there certainly is now and it has been brought into the mainstream. If you haven’t hear these songs yet you probably will. I predict these to have maximum staying power. Watch out for these guys MGMT, you will be blown away. This is like nothing I have ever heard before and it is sweet in my ears. I hope that we can look forward to their innovative music well into the future. I predict international superstardom…remember this article because I’m just going to smile and say “see I told you so”.


How To Buy Art Supplies in the Store or Online

Maybe buying art supplies can seem like a simple enough task, but there are advantages to educating yourself before going out to drop a bundle of cash on art supplies. Whether you are a professional artist or an art student, consider carefully where you and how you decide to buy art supplies.

Buy Local First

When you can it is best to buy your art supplies from an art supply store in person. This is the best way to really see paper textures, to be able to judge and compare paintbrush sizes or to just do some general comparison of prices and quality. You will also save yourself some money in shipping and handling costs by buying from your local art supply store in person.

Don't Spend a Lot of Money





If you are a beginning artist or art student, don’t spend a lot of money on top quality paint, canvas, brushes or paper. Ideally, one must create a lot of bad art before the good stuff starts. I’m not trying to rain on your artistic parade, but not everything you make is worth keeping. Start with an inexpensive student grade paint and use newsprint to draw on.

Buying Art Supplies Via Internet


If you have to buy art supplies on the internet, let the buyer beware. Typical large art supply stores like Pearl Paint or Dick Blick will have part of your order unavailable or on back order. When the art item comes in they will ship it separately, therefore charging you double on shipping. Art supply stores will not call you to advise you as to whether you want to pay the extra shipping or not. These art supply stores have your credit card number and they’re not afraid to use it. When your internet art supply order is delivered, go through your invoice with a fine-toothed comb. If there are any art supplies on backorder, call the art supply company and cancel the order immediately.

So the first choice in buying art supplies is to go to your local independently owned and operated art supply store. Second choice is the chain art supply store such as Pearl Paint, and third choice is internet art supply buying.

The benefits of buying art supplies online?

There are advantages to buying art supplies via internet. You don’t have to spend gas money to drive to the store, and you can pool orders among several other artists to share the cost of buying paper in bulk, for example.

If there is one particular art supply you are looking for consider using as this search engine related to google will comparison shop for you. Also, consider making a small purchase from an art supply company to test the waters before you call in the big money order.…

Night of the Wolves

Proud and alone stands the wolf
Mournfully he howls at the moon
In reply answers only the night

Like glass, silent is the night
Overhead hangs the full moon
To that moon, howls the wolf

Alone in the sky is the moon
On a dark, eerie night
Alone in that night howls the wolf
Piercing the night, the wolf howls at the moon.

Gently blows the night breeze
It rustles the leaves of the trees
It answers the wolf in its own way

Round glides the wind, every which way
It whispers through the forest and the trees
On a cool autumn night, blows the breeze

To the howl of the wolf bow the trees
They bend in the respect of the old way
Aided by the cool autumn breeze
And the trees find their way in the breeze of the night.

Through the forest, the she wolf runs
Guided by the full moon's light
And the howl of her yonder mate

The wolf awaits the arrival of his mate
Watching out for her in the moon's light
Listening to her steps on the breeze as she runs

She sees him at last in the full moon's light
Noble and proud, there stands her mate
He sees her too and to meet her he runs
Runs the she wolf with her mate in the light of the moon.…

Politics and Music- an Urgent Call for Harmony

Download - Harmony

Since writing this, the ordinance discussed below has been shelved, at least temporarily, thanks to a ground roots campaign that resulted in almost 6000 emails (in just 4 days!) protesting the proposed law. Even so, it could still resurface and be passed at a later date. I would ask that you still read the message below and respond as you see fit.

The Chicago city council is trying to push through an ordinance that would severely restrict the ability of musical groups to be able to play at many, mostly smaller venues, i.e. clubs, bars, restaurants, etc. It’s known as the “Events Promoters” ordinance and will have the effect of seriously diluting the live music scene in the city. The results could be devastating to the local music scene. The new law could apply to a Mozart-playing string quartet as well as a head banger rock band.

It’s a knee jerk reaction to a tragic event several years ago in which a number of people were killed at a nightclub, largely due to overcrowding, hyped up emotions, and panic. The ironic part is that the club had been ordered to close, didn’t, and the powers that be didn’t enforce the order. Consequently, people died, and now a lot of the music in Chicago appears to be on the same path to extinction. There is also some question as to who really benefits from this ordinance, Chicago politics being, well, Chicago politics.

This situation should be of interest to anyone who enjoys and appreciates music and any of the other arts, regardless of where you live. It’s a trite saying, but if it can happen here, it can happen anywhere. It doesn’t matter where your musical tastes lie. If this kind of law is adopted here, who knows what other city (or maybe even state) might try the same thing. It’s not just music, either. This type of law could be enacted to restrict almost any event, cultural or otherwise.

No, I’m not suggesting a huge conspiracy to destroy culture, highbrow or low, but the actions of the Chicago city counsel are a misguided attempt to police and control our access to a very basic invaluable asset – the wonderful majestic power of human creativity.

Time is of the essence in this situation. The council is scheduled to have its final vote on Wednesday, May 14th. It can allways be overturned in the future, be we all know how hard that can be. You can go to to read in more detail about the ordinance, express your opinion, and hopefully stop this insidious and draconian effort to stifle the arts.