Friday, June 30, 2017

Lando Chill Speaks Truth at the Boy Who Spoke to the Wind Album Release Show at Presidio San Agustín del Tucson

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 4:23 PM

Lando Chill performs at his album release show for his sophomore album The Boy Who Spoke to the Wind in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday, June 24. - BRIEANA SEALY
  • Brieana Sealy
  • Lando Chill performs at his album release show for his sophomore album The Boy Who Spoke to the Wind in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday, June 24.


"There's a reason why we don't have a stage, there's a reason why there's 360 degrees of movement, there's a reason why we're eye-level. It's cause we are all the same." Lando Chill spoke slowly to the crowd so that they absorbed every word.

Lando Chill and Altrice hosted an album release show for his sophomore album The Boy Who Spoke to the Wind Saturday, June 24. Chill addressed imperfections of humanity by weaving it into his poetry and songs. Chill spoke on the issues like oppression of people of color, women empowerment and his experiences as a young black man. 

Altrice opened the show nodding to pop hip-hop rulers like Kendrick Lamar and Bryson Tiller, and mixed high-distortion vocal samples and with mellow sounds. People head-nodded to the beats as they strolled in.

Then it was time to Chill: "I want to you to be with me as I am with you." The audience crowded around the floor of lights. Chill Looked into every eye looking at him.  His state-of-mind shifted song to song, and he raised his fist and howled at the top of his lugs in frustration during one song, then serenaded and danced into tranquility in the next. Chill shared experiences and epiphanies, particularly those that lead to the making of his album:

"We were in Madera Canyon creating music. In the morning I went up to the mountain 'cause I had to check my twitter. So I would get up before everyone else and climb this mountain every morning. It was how I got reception, but one morning I realized that I actually went up on this mountain blocking myself from what was really important. The bugs were buzzing and the wind was blowing and the birds were chirping and nature was doing its thing. Of course that is what it does everyday but you see today is special, that day was special, everyday is special. There is an awareness we have when we realize we are one with everything around us. In that moment I realized I was one with the wind, the mountains, the leaves, the bugs, and the birds on that hot morning. I sat down with my copy of The Alchemist, and I wrote. I wrote my own story, my own personal legend, my own path. In writing that, I ended up writing The Boy Who Spoke to the Wind."

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Huppenthal, History and Ethnic Studies

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 3:45 PM

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The Mexican American Studies trial is a trip down memory lane for me, especially with former Education Superintendent John Huppenthal on the stand. Back when he was using his two aliases, Thucydides and Falcon 9, to comment on blogs across the state, my posts were on the receiving end of much of his anonymous wit, wisdom and, well, idiocy. After all, I write mostly about education, and dozens of my posts were about TUSD's Mexican American Studies battles, so it was natural for his alter egos to defend his corporeal self against what I was writing.

I looked back through some of my old posts and came across something I wrote in 2010 when Huppenthal first ran for superintendent. He was in Tucson for a candidates' forum, and I was there with my recorder. One of his favorite subjects on the stump was the evils of the Mexican American Studies program, a topic he inherited from his predecessor Tom Horne. Huppenthal talked about his experience sitting in on an MAS class.
"My first-hand classroom encounter clearly revealed an unbalanced, politicized and historically inaccurate view of American History being taught."
He said he was upset that MAS classes gave students a distorted view of people like Ben Franklin, who was condemned for owning slaves. Then he gave his own rendition of Franklin's bio, one of those classic Huppenthal fact-and-fiction tossed salads I read so often in his blog commentaries.
"Ben Franklin . . . was the president of the Abolitionist Society in Pennsylvania, he led the fight against the slave trade, successfully stopping the slave trade. He freed all of his own slaves, and not only freed them but gave them positions of responsibility so that they could grow into leaders."
Huppenthal's depiction of Franklin revealed his own unbalanced, politicized, historically inaccurate view of history. I'm sure he derived a great deal of satisfaction from his portrayal of Franklin. It was history told by winners for historical winners like himself. Bits and pieces of his thought stream are accurate. Franklin was the president of Pennsylvania's Abolitionist Society (he was 82 at the time), but that was years after the state ended its slave trade. Franklin freed his slaves, but he kept them and profited from their labor for years after he took up the abolitionist cause. As for giving them "positions of responsibility so that they could grow into leaders," well, Franklin advocated for education of black people. He believed they had as much intellectual potential as whites. But so far as I can tell, Huppenthal's protestation that Franklin gave his ex-slaves positions of responsibility so they would grow into leaders is his own construct designed to transform Franklin into the untarnished, heroic Founding Father Huppental wants him to be.

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Artist Richard Zelens Stages Open Studio and Sale at His Home This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 10:04 AM

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Expressionist painter Richard Zelens has been showing his colorful works in many galleries of late. He had a lovely sky-and-mountain piece in the Day for Night show up at Tohono Chul this past winter and he’s turned into a regular at Raices Taller and Contreras. In fact, right now he’s working on several small pieces for Tropical Heat Wave, the August show at Contreras. Back in 2011, he made it into the prestigious Arizona Biennial at the Tucson Museum of Art.

“I seem to be known for my luxurious florals,” says Zelens, a former professional dancer with American Ballet Theatre in New York City. “But some friends consider my portraits and esoteric (work) the most interesting. Then there is my addiction to pinching pots.”

Not to mention his painted silks. (Last year he published a book on his silk art.)

Right about now, we could use his charming “Monsoon Serenade,” a painting show at Raices last summer that had two benevolent rain gods throwing lightning bolts to the parched desert and blowing dark rain clouds across the mountains.

Local art lovers can get a look at the whole of the current Zelens oeuvre at a two-day open studio and sale he’s hosting at his house and studio this holiday weekend. Located west of the Humane Society, south of the Rillito, and a stone’s throw from an industrial zone, Zelens’ yard is a spacious surprise, as colorful and as eccentric as his paintings. Full of plants and patio chairs and piles of tiles and painted cloth drying on clotheslines, the place is an artwork in its own right. Inside, the house is equally colorful, with big, bright paintings taking over entire rooms.

Zelens’ two-day studio sale opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2, and continues into the afternoon both days. The address is 3250 E. Kleindale Road., Tucson, 85716. Phone is 301-9057. Call if you’re arriving late in the day.

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Quick Bites: Red, White and Bases Loaded

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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What’s more American than baseball, beer and fireworks? This Tuesday, July 4, head on down to the Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium—2500 E. Ajo Way—and enjoy an all American evening of giveaways, games, family activities, music, food and fireworks.

Join in celebrating the United State’s 241st birthday, in conjunction with the Tucson Saguaro’s second annual 4th of July Diamonds in the Sky Celebration. The evening will kick off at 6 p.m. with a game between the Tucson Saguaros and Monterey Amberjacks, followed by a 30-minute fireworks show after the game. During the game, there will be face painting, jumping castles and an obstacle course set up for the kids. Food specials include $1 hot dogs and beer to pair.

General admission tickets are $4, and children 5 and under enter for free.

Staff Pick

PCC Theatre Arts - Popol Vuh: The Story of Seven Macaw

. November 9-19 in the Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre (Thu.-Sat. at 7:30 p.m., Sun.… More

@ Pima Community College Center for the Arts Thursdays, Sundays, 2-4 p.m. and Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Continues through Nov. 19 2202 W. Anklam Road.

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