Saturday, March 31, 2007

After Hours

Keren Ann, Keren Ann,
Metro Blue/Blue Note [5/8/07]

A moodier, more enigmatic enterprise than Nolita (2004),
her first self-titled effort witnesses Keren Ann branching out. As accomplished as her last album may have been, it was remarkably similar to Not Going
Anywhere (2003). The artist now takes a leap into the unknown.

This isn't to suggest that Keren Ann is unfocused, but rather that she's moving away from jazz, folk, and chanson-oriented forms into less predictable territory. Her remarkable voice remains essentially unchanged, but there are some neat sonic surprises, like buzzing drums and echo effects. That said, she does give the impression of an amplified Billie Holiday on "It Ain't No Crime," which sounds like the theme to a future David Lynch film.

The record, as a whole, isn't as strange as my description suggests, just louder and less tradition-minded than before. I don't think old fans will be disappointed, since it's more of a stylistic shift than a radical departure. If anything, I predict it'll increase her fanbase.



For those who aren't familiar, Keren Ann Ziedel hails from France. The singer/songwriter released two French-language recordings, La Biographie de Luka Philipsen (2000) and La Disparition (2002), before she began attracting attention Stateside, resulting in a domestic record contract. Like Not Going Anywhere, Keren Ann is in English (Nolita features four numbers in French).

For the sake of comparison, I revisited her French recordings. In the aftermath, she's really learned to maximize her vocal potential. Too often on La Disparition ("The Disappearance"), Keren Ann sings at the top of her range. She never loses pitch, but there's a sense she's trying to be something she's not...or hiding from who she is. The effect is vulnerable and naïve—not necessarily negative qualities, but it feels like she's selling herself short. She's since down-shifted an octave, resulting in a smoother, more solid sound, while remaining as understated as ever.

On the new record, Keren
Ann projects a greater
degree of confidence in herself, not just as a musician, but as a person. Her first
three were collaborations
with arranger/composer Benjamin Biolay, but she's been on her own since Nolita.

Biolay, who has since settled down with actress Chiara Mastroianni, continues to live and work in France (he and Keren Ann were once an item), but she has moved on. Biolay's music remains resolutely French—and I'm not complaining—while
Keren Ann's is neither wholly French nor American. Similarly,
her cultural roots are Dutch, Russian, Israeli, and Indonesian.
She isn't obviously drawing from those cultures, but I suspect they've helped to make what she does so hard to classify.

Not Going Anywhere, which features some of her most adventurous songwriting, remains my favorite, but Keren Ann represents her strongest vocal work, while successfully shaking up a formula that might otherwise have started to grow stale. I've played it three times now, and the more I listen, the more I like it—always a good sign. It's easily one of the best of the year.



Endnote: Keren Ann has made no secret of her affection for the Velvet Underground and Tom Waits, and album number five is where those influences really come into play. The quasi-instrumental "Caspian" is co-written by Iceland's Bardi Johannsson (Bang Gang), with whom she collaborated as Lady & Bird. The links above will take you to my AMG and Amazon reviews. I've also written about her for Tablet. Keren Ann plays Seattle's Triple Door on 6/13. For more information, please see her official site. Images from her MySpace Page and the unnoficial Keren Ann site.

Friday, March 30, 2007

A Master of the
Mixed Message

Here's a review I wrote for Resonance, before finding
out that another writer
beat me to it. Suffice to say,
I liked the film, he didn't.

MUTUAL APPRECIATION (Image Entertainment)

At first glance, Andrew Bujalski's post-collegiate comedy looks like prime Cassavetes or Godard. Like his esteemed predecessors, the Harvard grad shoots on film and edits by hand. But his black and white follow-up to Funny Ha Ha (2003) isn't a tribute to the art house cinema of the 1960s. Bujalski's got his own thing going on.

The loose-limbed story revolves around Alan (Bishop Allen's Justin Rice), an indie rocker who moves from Boston to New York, in the process falling for his best friend's girl (Rachel Clift). What's a stoop-shouldered, fuzzy-haired hipster to do?

In Bujalski's world, the dialogue's the thing. Alan and his pals drink and dance around their feelings. They aren't as political as Godard's people or as crazed as Cassavetes', but their shambling digressions and fumblings at intimacy make them just as funny as Woody Allen's New Yorkers—but more heartbreakingly real.



Endnote: The title of this post comes from Dennis Lim's New York Times review. After writing about Mutual Appreciation for Siffblog, I tracked down Funny Ha Ha, which I like almost as much. The two films look different, but feel similar. Bujalski next appears in Joe Swanberg's Hannah Takes the Stairs, which premiered at SXSW earlier this year. Images from the archives.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sketches of the Southwest

Tuatara, East of
the Sun, Fast Horse
Recordings [6/12/07]

"Musically, the Sun songs are more masculine, with a kind
of High Plains Drifter/Spanish troubadour quality. The Moon songs are more groovy and feminine, but definitely just as powerful..."
-- Barrett Martin (Tuatara)


*****

Tuatara's fifth full-length feels a lot like a compilation.
And I don't mean that as criticism. It's simply a more
fitting description than the misleading “supergroup.”

The compilation designation comes about because the ever-changing line-up was all-instrumental before they added vocals to their arsenal. This time around, duties are shared between Scott McCaughey (the Minus Five), Gary Louris and Mark Olson (the Jayhawks, below), Jessy Greene (the Geraldine Fibbers), Dean Wareham (Luna), Mark Eitzel (American Music Club), Gina Sala, Coleman Barks, Victoria Williams, and John Wesley Harding.

If I wanted to get completist about it, I could add that McCaughey is also from the Young Fresh Fellows and REM and that Wareham is also from Galaxie 500 and Dean and Britta. And that's just to start. Altogether these players have been in dozens of bands.

I'm not familiar with Sala or Barks (Sufi Poet), who reminds me of Billy Bob Thornton—he speaks rather than sings—but
I am acquainted with Harding and Williams (Olson's wife) through their solo work.

Other guests include Ottmar Liebert on guitar ("The Spaniard"
and "Bones, Blood and Skin") and Iraq's Rahim Alhaj on oud
("A Spark in the Wind"), while Tuatara's core members—this
time around—include drummer Martin (Skinyard, the Screaming Trees, Mad Season), guitarists McCaughey and Peter Buck (REM), bass player Kevin Hudson, and trumpet player Dave Carter.

A lot of these artists have ties to the Northwest, but this album has more of a contemplative Southwestern feel, akin to Giant Sand or Calexico. Before checking the credits, I actually confused Louris for Calexico's John Convertino (Louris sings on "The Spaniard," "Madrigal," and "Love Is"). The impressionistic gold and orange cover art only serves to reinforce the impression. Then again, Martin, the driving force behind Tuatara/Fast Horse Recordings, transferred his operations from Seattle to Taos some time ago.

If you're interested in any of these musicians, especially
the Jayhawks or Calexico [right], East of the Sun is worth a listen. To sample the entire album, please click here. Companion recording West of the Moon is set to
be released later this year.



Endnote: To sample tracks from previous efforts, along with solo albums from Martin and Alhaj, click here. Images from Fast Horse Recordings and the AMG. Note that the Tuatara portrait isn't a current one, since Justin Harwood and Steve Berlin aren't part of the latest incarnation (that's Martin on the far left). Incidentally, I once met the Jayhawks backstage before a Seattle show with Soul Asylum. They seemed like really nice guys—Soul Asylum, too.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

They're in Parties

The Death of a Party,
The Rise and Fall of Scarlet City, Double Negative Records [5/22/07]

*****


The band's jerky rhythms and popish punk
hooks recall first-gen punks the Buzzcocks and
the Clash. And it conjures up the kind of dark
and paranoid imagery that had post-punks
of that era reaching for the black eyeliner...
-- Bill Picture, San Francisco Chronicle



The minute I popped this debut disc into the player, my first thought was, "Hey, it's a British Strokes!" And that's ironic, since the Death of a Party are neither Britons nor New Yorkers. Rather, the quartet hails, as Journey once put it, from the city by the Bay. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether that means San Francisco or Oakland (some biographies cite one, some cite the other).

But that was just the first song, "Coronation Under Scarlet Seas."
As the CD continued to play, the Strokes disappeared from view. Singer/keyboard player Gareth Phillip Nicholas conveys greater urgency than Julian Casablancas. The latter has a pleasant enough voice, but he always sounds bored. Nicholas is a more excitable boy, especially when he screams, which is often. In those instances, he could give Richard Hell a run for the money.

So, you've got some Strokes, some Voidoids, and some Stranglers–at least on "The Fucking Ocean," which calls "Golden Brown" to mind–and the occasional ba-ba-bas and doo-doo-doos are a nice touch. As aggressive as the music may be, especially Adam Michael Beck's guitar playing and Patrick Lynch's drumming, this foursome always sounds like they're having fun.

At its worst, The Rise and Fall of Scarlet City, which follows
The Shame of the Sweet EP (2005), is a little samey, but there
are far worse problems to plague a band. A lack of variety is something they can always correct if the raw ingredients are in place, and they are, which bodes well for the Death of a Party.



Note: Images from the Death of a Party website
(Irja Elisa Tannlund and Rachel Corr credited).

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Step Into the Light

The Clientele, God
Save the Clientele,
Merge [5/8/07]

The Violet Hour (2003) was my first introduction to London’s Clientele. I was instantly smitten. Next I picked up the Suburban Light collection (2001), but took a pass on Strange Geometry (2005). They were starting to sound like a traditional pop band. Before that, the trio, now a quartet with the addition of the lovely Mel Draisey, had been vaguer, hazier—jazzier. There was something effervescent, yet mysterious about their sound. Like another instrument, songwriter/guitarist Alasdair MacLean’s vocals were mixed into the music, an effect I've always found appealing. It brings to mind Spirit of Eden Talk Talk or one of
the early Creation bands—Felt or Biff Bang Pow, perhaps.

But on their sophomore outing, MacLean had moved closer to the forefront. Not that I don't enjoy his breezy utterings, but I liked it better when I could only make out snatches of lyrics. It's like eavesdropping on an intriguing conversation. Now I can hear words more distinctly. This works fine for folk-oriented pop, but
with dream-pop bands—Lush, Galaxie 500, etc.—I prefer more translucent vocals. What makes them so "dreamy" isn't just the pleasant tone, but the fact that, as if in a dream, everything
doesn't make sense. I don't want everything to make sense.



That said, the whispering on “The Dance of the Hours” almost seems like a preemptive response to my concerns. In this
case, the music is louder than the vocals, and the vocals are indistinguishable. I haven’t decided whether or not it’s my favorite song on the album, but it does prove that the band realizes exquisite musicianship is one of their biggest strengths.

Like their two previous records, God Save the Clientele is perfectly charming. There’s nothing obviously “wrong” with it (although I feel the pedal steel is overused throughout). A less cynical observer would say the foursome is simply growing and maturing, and that along with greater confidence comes the desire to make themselves heard more clearly. I’m sure that’s true, actually, and it’s not as if they’ve become loud or bombastic. The Clientele remain as subtle and tasteful as ever, but the more they reveal, the less interesting they become. I miss the mystery.

Mostly, I wish this were the first Clientele record I had ever heard. If so, I might love it. Whenever I listen to a new album—or watch a new movie—I try to be as objective as possible. I realize my conclusions are bound to be subjective, but at least I try to remove all preconceptions from my mind before pressing play. In this case, my bias is that I know what the first Clientele album sounds like, and I love it. And I like this recording just fine, but in comparison, it's hard to love.

In the end, you can pretend the past doesn't exist, and attempt evaluate a work of art—of commerce—as if it sprang from thin air, but the attachment to original impressions is often too strong to deny. And I'm not sure it should be—denied, that is. As for God Save the Clientele, I can heartily recommend it to dream-pop adherents near and wide. I just can't recommend it to myself.



Endote: I predict critics will proclaim this the best Clientele record yet, precisely because of the increased clarity. As McLean states, "The ghosts, half-light and uncertainties remain, but I sense a newfound optimism in the music. Perhaps born of new love? Definitely a new era for the Clientele." The more I listen, the more it grows on me. A year from now, I may well join the chorus.
But I'm not there yet... The band plays Seattle's Crocodile Café
on 5/28/07. Click here to hear them live on KEXP (11/26/05)
and here to stream songs from their Merge recordings. Images from the official Clientele website and their MySpace Page.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Smiles All Around

Labi Siffre, Remember
My Song, EMI [1975]

it’s entertainment.
that means we the audience
shouldn’t have to make an effort. you artists should
do everything for us.
you’re the whores and
we’re paying for you to suck our dicks and lick
our clits so cut the crap about challenging our
purseptions [sic] and get on with it.
-- Labi Siffre, "the contempt is mutual" (2006)

*****

Several weeks ago, I sang the praises of Bill Withers,
circa 1971-75. On these shores, British singer/songwriter
Labi Siffre (born 1945) isn't as well known, but his sixth
full-length, Remember My Song, would probably appeal to
many of the same people who appreciate the American artist.

It isn't that Siffre sounds like Withers, but that he launched his career around the same time and draws from many of the same stylistic sources, like blues and soul. Both men also share a relaxed singing style. Siffre's voice is higher and more vibrato-laden, but it isn't a world away, despite his Anglo origins and a greater interest in dance music, specifically disco strings.

Note, for instance, the cover photo. The image Siffre projects is the opposite of his African-American counterpart. This is a sophisticated, sharp-dressed gent who's seen the world. Withers, a former country boy, projects a "regular guy" look with jeans, T-shirts, and outdoor settings. Musically, Siffre also incorporates international touches, like reggae and calypso (he's of Barbadian, Nigerian, and Belgian descent). Like Withers, though, he has a way with the funk jam. Both "I Got the" and "The Vulture" could light up a dance floor just as much now as they did in the 1970s.

If you're familiar with Eminem, you've already heard "I Got the,” even if you didn't know you had, since Dr. Dre famously sampled it for "My Name Is" (1999's Slim Shady LP). Siffre, an openly gay man, has a lot to say about this. As he states in the liner notes:

I've read several inaccurate reports about that song so I will clarify.
1) I wrote it (including the bass riff)
2) When asked to give permission for the sample to be

used, I requested changes because I thought some of
the lyric was lazy writing. Attacking two of the usual
scapegoats, women and gays, is lazy writing.

Had it been original work, I would have noted it as the

common currency of badly written rap (bitches, hoes 'n'
fags) and got on with my stuff. But I don't want my work
to be used that way. They made the changes. I gave my permission. It was a success. Smiles all around. End of story.



These comments are edited from a longer statement. In the
notes, Siffre also provides an abbreviated autobiography. It's fascinating—he's fascinating. That said, I'm not sure how much bearing any of it has on Remember My Song. In 1999, Siffre traded his 30-year recording career for a full-time calling as poet, author, and civil rights activist. The more you read about the man,
the more tempting it is to retroactively apply these facts to his music, but all I have to go by is this album, and I don't hear any
of those things—which doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Of course, I can't speak for Siffre's other records, because I haven't heard them (there are at least nine others). Nor am I suggesting that Remember My Song doesn't come from the heart. It sounds like it does, but this isn't a protest album. There's nothing obviously angry about it. It's commercial—but in the best
sense of the word. It's well sung, well played, well produced.

Along with Withers, Siffre recalls '70s icons Harry Nilsson and Cat Stevens (see "Another Year"). Would he mind being compared to such pasty chaps? For the most part, he cites black influences, but there are a few exceptions, like Tony Bennett's "One for My Baby (and One For the Road)." In the notes, Siffre says he was "ambushed" by the song at 12 and spun the single "repeatedly for days." Also, in an interview with Argotist Online, he name checks John Lennon, Randy Newman, and, yes, Nilsson [above left], so I suspect he'd be okay with it.

Here's a list of the artists he discovered between 13 and 17:

Monk, Miles, Mingus, Mel Tormé, Cannonball Adderly, Little Richard, Roland Kirk, the MJQ, Chico Hamilton, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Art Tatum, Errol Garner, Gabor Szabo, Wes Montgomery, Ahmad Jamal, Coltrane, Ella, Jim Hall, Bo Diddley, Art Farmer, Fats Domino, Archie Shepp, Sidney Bechet, Getz 'n' Sauter, Cecil Tayor, Joe Pass and T-Bone Walker, Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons, Muddy Waters, Sonny Rollins, Lightnin' Hopkins, Hawk, the Duke, the Count, the Earl, Rabbit, Bird, Dizzy, Lady Day, Betty Carter, Eric Dolphy, Satchmo, Jimmy Reed, Ben Webster, Stuff Smith 'n' more 'n' more 'n' more 'n' more...

Suffice to say, Siffre is one tasteful motherfucker. And he's fierce. I wouldn't mess with this cat. As he mentions in his autobiography, he was beat up a lot while growing up: by teachers, students—even his own father. He learned early on to hit back. He also says he knew he was gay from the age of four. As he puts it, "Looking up from the rug in the front room he sees a guy ten years older than he and falls helplessly in hope. The ache in the belly that means you're either in love, in trouble, or both." In other words, Labi Siffre was Labi Siffre from the word go.

His music may have echoes of other artists, but the
more you learn about Siffre, the more you realize he’s a
complete, unapologetic individual. A one-of-a-kind—a
lover and a fighter, an aesthete and a badass. His song
deserves to be remembered indeed. And cherished.

*****

When i want adult entertainment -
serious, intelligent, incisive drama
addressing the depth and breadth of
the human condition
i watch “South Park”, “The Simpsons”

or “Family Guy”.

For comedy, i watch the news;
‘specially items on

“The War On Drugs” or “The War On Terror”.
These be funniest of all.
-- Labi Siffre, "Ratings" (2006)



Endnote: Click here for Labi Siffre's blog, Into the Light,
from whence these poems and the final image originate. Other pics from The Good News, Amazon, and the archives. Fun facts: Siffre has been with his partner, Peter Lloyd, since 1964 (their union was legally recognized in 2004) and Kenny Rogers has covered his Ivor Novello Award-winning song "So Strong (Something Inside)." Also, according to Wikipedia, Siffre has toured with Ike & Tina Turner, the Hollies, Chicago, the Carpenters, the Supremes,
and Olivia Newton John. Like I said: one-of-a-kind.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

One Good Turn
Deserves Another

Before Dunedin's the Chills (1980-), there was Auckland's Split Enz (1972-1985).

Perhaps I should have said,
in my previous post, that New Zealand neophytes should begin with them. I still think the former's "Pink Frost" is as fine a place to start as any, but the
'Enz released a number of great new wave numbers, like "I Got
You,"
"Message to My Girl," and "Six Months in a Leaky Boat."

On the track below, possibly my favorite, Neil Finn [second from left] sings lead, instead of brother Tim [center], and anticipates
his more radio-ready work with Crowded House (1985-1996).



Split Enz - One Step Ahead (1981)



Endnote: A few YouTube users have noted that this video,
and other versions posted to the site, seems sped up. They're right. Not sure what's up with that, but Neil's voice isn't as high
on record. Still, it sounds good to me. Image from the AMG.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I thought I
was dreaming...

I recently asked a friend, who's around my age, if he'd ever heard "Pink Frost," and he said no. Then I asked if he'd ever heard anything by the Chills. No again. I was shocked. Back in the 1980s, the Chills were one of the key bands among the college radio/fanzine set. Though they never had the same sort of breakthrough, they inspired as much affection as Robyn Hitchcock or IRS-era REM.

So, I asked if he'd ever heard fellow New Zealanders the Verlaines or the Bats. No and no. (I was working at Cellophane Square the day Kurt Cobain and his retinue came in and purchased the latter's acclaimed Law of Things.) I could've asked about the Clean or the Tall Dwarfs, but I didn't see the point. For whatever reason, he wasn't listening to the noise from NZ at the height of its glory. I also could've asked if he'd ever heard Split Enz/Crowded House, and I'm certain he'd have said yes, but then they made more of a splash on commercial radio and MTV.

The experience served as a reminder that you sometimes have to re-align yourself with your friends and associates to ensure that you're speaking the same language. It's easy to assume your peers grew up with similar stuff, and it can come as a surprise to discover that they didn't. If they did, you can take advantage of a form of critical shorthand. You go to a show, turn to your companion, and say, "Gee, these guys sound a lot like the Verlaines," and they know exactly what you mean (even if they don't agree). Same goes for records, movies, books, etc. When you take the expected commonalities away, you have to work a lot harder to describe things and to make connections between them.



The cool part about a lack of shared experiences is that you get
the opportunity to introduce your friends to things they might really enjoy. The not-so-cool part is that I'm at an age where I
like to reminisce from time to time. Increasingly, I'm finding
that I don't have a lot of friends with which to do that. At least
not when it comes to some of my favorite artists from the 1980s.

Which brings me back to the Chills and the video for "Pink Frost." Unlike the Shins, it may not change your life, but they came first (dammit!), and if you'd like to learn more about the pleasures of New Zealand pop, I can't think of a better place to start.


The Chills - Pink Frost (1984)



Endnote: Chills and Verlaines images from the AMG, video from YouTube. For more from the Chills, I'd recommend the singles collection Kaleidoscope World (1986). As for their Dunedin neighbors in the Verlaines, I'd recommend Bird Dog (1987). Unfortunately, both releases appear to be out of print.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

This Is Your Brain on...

Aa, GAaME,
Gigantic Music


The kindsa sounds that young people should
be making and enjoying in bistros from here to
Kalamazoo
...and it sounds quite pleasing!
-- Thurston Moore, Arthur Magazine




The name is pronounced "BIG A little a." On their first full-length, this Brooklyn quartet creates an art punk-meets-no wave noise that owes a greater debt to tribal and industrial traditions than to trip-hop, dubstep, or whatever the kids are dancing to these days.

In other words, GAaME is more Animal Collective than Scissor Sisters. I also detect delectable traces of the Pop Group and Savage Republic. Maybe it's because I don't usually like what passes for modern dance music, but I dig the whispering, the chanting, the woozy bursts of brass, the low-frequency washes of synth, and the three percussionists pounding out jungle beats.

Somehow, Aa manages to be both calming and energizing. Recommended for schizophrenics and wannabe-schizophrenics. They're like a Class A narcotic without all those nasty side effects.



Note: Image from Sleeep.com, video from YouTube.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Star Fruits Surf Rider

These are the reviews
and other assignments
I'm working on this month.

Amazon CDs:
Dolores O'Riordan -
Are You Listening?
(first solo release from the Cranberries frontwoman).

Amazon DVDs: Gomez - Five Men in a Hut: Singles (click here for my review of How We Operate), Dark Circle (Sundance Grand Prize winner about the nuclear industry), Dreamland (low-budget sci-fi), An Unreasonable Man (profile of Ralph "Spoiler" Nader), Hacking Democracy, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman [three-disc set] (it was a pleasure to revisit this subversive serial--Louise Lasser is amazing), and 7th Heaven - The Fourth Season
[six-disc set] (click here for my reviews of one and three).

Amazon Theatricals: Starter for 10 (college comedy with James McAvoy) and First Snow (thriller with Guy Pearce).

Resonance: The Arctic
Monkeys - Favourite Worst
Nightmare
(louder, but less
interesting), Clap Your Hands
Say Yeah - Some Loud Thun-
der
(better than expected),
Grinderman - self-titled (Nick
Cave's new garage group), Noisettes - What's the
Time
Mr. Wolf
, and Other Men - Wake Up Swimming (Pinback
side project). Also, Björk - Volta and Cornelius - Sensuous
(maybe). Plus, a preview of the Scott Walker doc 30 Century
Man, an interview with the director (Stephen Kijak, Cinemania),
and DVD reviews of Radio On (expressionistic road movie with
music from Bowie, Kraftwerk, etc.), El Aura (see below), and
Mutual Appreciation
(click here for my Siffblog review).

Whoo! The marriage, it's beautiful. You gotta hear it!
A lot of people think it's weird her working with me, but
I think it's how she sings on top of my beats that make it.
-- Tim "Timbaland" Mosley on working with Björk



Seattle International Film Festival: I'm writing for the program guide, which is always a pleasure (I started doing so in 2002). Since SIFF won't be announcing their slate until May, I can't mention which films I've seen, but I've watched six so far, and look forward to seeing many more within the next month.

Seattle Sound: Wax Tailor - Hope and Sorrow.
Click here for my review of the first Wax Tailor CD.










Siffblog: El Aura (the final film from Fabián Bielinsky of
Nine Queens fame) and No Restraint (documentary about
the making of Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9).



Note: Images of Cornelius, AKA Keigo Oyamada, from the AMG. There's a good chance I won't actually get to review the CD, but I'm always happy to give Oyamada some virtual ink (I reviewed Point for Tablet). Björk (Drawing Restraint 9) image from the archives.