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Dibujo Jam at the Casa Presa

18 May

Outside the street is a dead end, killed by a fence closing train tracks on the other side. Parked bicycles fill the front yard of the old-looking eclectic building. Pay thirty pesos argentinos (a few dollars equivalent) at the door of the house and in the next room a bearded man sits nude under a spotlight on a couch with legs crossed and holding an invisible ice-cream cone to his forehead.

The place is Casa Presa, a communal living space a little off the ritzier neighborhood of Belgrano in northern Buenos Aires not far from a warehouse or studio equivalent in Echo Park or Silverlake. The event is held monthly, called Dibujo Jam. In the corner a standup bassist and a drummer improvise abstract jazz.

In the other room a dark-skinned girl holding her head of black hair back and making an imaginary letter in the air with her arms in front of a wall of artist prints. Both spaces are filled by a crowd of people observing silently, drawing and nodding their heads back and forth from paper to subject while a dog wanders sniffing around jealous for attention.

The price of entry pays the models who hold the contorted, daring, and seemingly uncomfortable nude poses for five to ten minutes at a time in a few sessions of about 40 minutes. Then walk through the photo-covered hallway by the line to the bathroom to get to the backyard where a bar serves reasonably cheap beer, wine and fernetcolas and makes pizzas.

Outside in the yard odd tables and chairs sprawl on the lawn, Christmas lights dimly light the space, murals and paintings cover the surrounding. A couple guys hit a steel drum making UFO noises while glasses are tipped and joints passed.

The drawing jam ends and people graze around inside to get a better look at the art and people come out for another beer and a smoke and stick around till the wee hours, finish the booze, pass around some guitars, play some songs, and we take off back to the other side of the city satisfied and well inebriated.

It makes me think, more kids should be doing this in the States. There must be someone doing it somewhere but in my years of hanging out in the Bay Area and LA DIY scene I have yet to witness it outside of University art programs.

Perhaps it`s the idea of standing in the same room as a naked peer that could raise issues. I know laws prohibit bars in LA and SF from showing complete nudity in the same place you serve alcohol, but here we’re not talking about a stripclub, the crowd was young eclectic and eccentric and there was relaxed concentration.

The human body should be appreciated more often in this way outside the classroom and in a relaxed atmosphere. The west coast boasts some of the most open sexual liberty in the world and nude modeling is hardly explicitly sexual. In the live model setting the human body takes another role as an anatomical form to study.

It’s not just for those who draw. I can find it parallelable to those hip house poetry readings slash parties we had around in Berkeley except that it involves the audience in an opposite way. The performance becomes the subject of the crowd’s doings and not the other way around. It’s like everybody is writing poetry where the model is a muse for the audience to create.

I didn’t go with the intention of drawing but the band and the wine put up a good mood. It’s that the live sketch creates something that photographs can’t capture. It raises questions about the difference between a shutter and the eyes, between snapping a moment with a camera and capturing it with your eyes, your hands, and a piece of paper.

Check out Jam de Dibujo at

and Casa Presa at



5 Oct

This may be the event we’ve put most heart into. Rather, it certainly is. It’s happening October 13th and 14th. This mindblower is thrown to the cause of artist Maren Preson’s art-adventure to Buenos Aires, Argentina. If the event turns out to be as swell as we anticipate, the ARTMUSIC CLUSTERFUCK may be an idea to be repeated in the future. To art and all else that is healthily thought-altering.

Enjoy the awesome flyers. The first flyer was drawn by the hand of Maren Preston and then worked on digitally by Daniele Violi.

The second flyer was made by the awesome Sean Vranizan.


Here’s the weekend program:


=============THE PARTY===========

HARDWOOD STUDIOS is hosting an epic fundraiser on October 13th and 14th for artist Maren Preston’s art residency opportunity in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in March of 2013.

We’re calling it ARGENTINA OR BUST, because we’re helping her get there with all our moral support (and some monetary support).

$4-10 Donations will be accepted at the door, if you wish to support the cause of art and music be generous! We’ll still let you in if you’re broke (because we’re that cool and we know that you’re poor as well) just try to bring a couple bucks.

=============THE GALLERY==========

The gallery opens Saturday October 13th at noon till midnight and will also be open Sunday October 14th from noon till about 8pm.

Art will be on display and some will be on SALE with proceeds to the artist. There will be prints, photos, paintings and other art by:

Sean Vranizan:
Elizabeth Hibbard
Maren Preston:
Daniele Violi
Amanda Pence Hopkins
Vivian Fu:
Katie Barretta:
Emily Lalande

Some stuff will be really cheap (like prints and t-shirts) so rack up the change from the couch and you’ll likely go home with something awesome.


Some projections will be held throughout the day, by:

Marina Fini
Jeff Sleeper
Ryan Tekulve


There will also be a MUMMIFIED CAT and a RACCOON UTERUS exhibit, SALVADOR DALI will be there in person, in all the glory of his late mustache phase, to assist in the mind blowing. Pay $3 to see the CAT and RACCOON and you will receive a free drink.

=============THE MUSIC==========

Music will be playing throughout the day. The schedule and description is subject to change, but more or less here goes:

Two Pretty Girls
Kelsey Lynd


Whiskey Pageant


Nouveau Abstruse
Tesla’s Eyeball (MUSIC AND VIDEOART)



Penis Envy
Raijan Fujin


Hardwood Studios
816 27th Avenue
94601 Oakland CA

$4-10 DONATIONS at the DOOR

Contact us at:


Nearly Burned the Place Down

5 Jun

So here’s what happened. We get a call yesterday at around two in the afternoon, someone talking about coming over and dropping off their equipment over at the warehouse. We had no idea who it was or what they were talking about. Apparently a couple bands were in town on tour and looking for a place to play. To make a long story short, a few hundred beers, sixty people, roughly a dozen noise complaints, five people on the boat, four bands, a three person mosh pit, one bonfire, one visit from the cops, three-quarters of a fire extinguisher extinguished, and half a head shaven later, we’re all still alive and sufficiently hung-over. It was a kick-ass party, and all on a day’s whim. So here’s a shout out to the bands that surprised us and rocked out the warehouse last night, you guys brought a liberating variety of sounds, good vibes, and a shit-ton of equipment. Hell yeah.

Also if anyone has any pictures from last night, please please please share them with me! My cameras malfunctioned last night and I have no pics. (You can find my email on the ‘About’ page.)

The first band was a noise-pop rock band from San Francisco, The Tambo Rays. Check out their website where you can find links to their Facebook and Soundcloud. They’re catchy, elaborate, and reverberantly noisy in the good way, as you can hear in their song Itchy Eyes. And there’s also a great music video for their song Dragging Our Bones, elaborate indeed. They’re playing with MEAT MARKET on June 22nd at the RVCA store in the Haight. I’ll be going, as should you.

The second band was a garage rock band formed in Santa Cruz and relocated to Oakland, MEAT MARKET. Check out their Tumblr and listen to their stuff on their Bandcamp page. I’ve seen them play nearly a dozen times and they never get old. I’d put them somewhere near surf rock but, as clearly stated in their song Don’t Surf, they don’t surf. Dirtier, louder, and more umph than a late-60’s psychedelic garage rock revival band, they pack some good punk rock. I eagerly await the day that their fame grows to beat the local carnicerias on the google search results page. Stick with the beat, hang with the meat.

The third band was a glum rock band from Pennsylvania, Viking Moses. They were only a couple songs into their set before they were interrupted by a visit from Oakland PD. I was just coming back from a liquor run when the police arrived so I didn’t even get to hear a single note of their stuff. Hell of a bummer. This is a link to their website but it doesn’t seem to be too current. You can find their more recent stuff if you look up their recent uploads on Youtube. Their older stuff on their Myspace sounds sweet and soft, soothing for melancholic moods. I saw some videos of them playing their last album live and I’d say they’ve been growing rougher, heavier, and bluesier. Gave me a first impression of something like BRMC or Cold War Kids. Pissed they couldn’t play. Sorry guys. They’re on tour now and they’ll be playing in Echo Park on Thursday, so Los Angelinos be sure to go see them.

After the police gave us a warning we closed the garage doors and Teenage Mysticism played a low volume semi-unplugged set without the drums. They’re also from Pennsylvania, are touring with Viking Moses and share elements with them. The sound was very melodic, the mood calm and relaxing. Good tunes for coming off the heavier stuff and to close off the night. A friend of mine said they remind him a little bit of Velvet Undergound but a little less lo fi, sweeter vocals and more constructed. They remind me of a band but I can’t put my finger on which. Listen to them here on their Bandcamp page.

I’ll update the post with pictures as I find them.

For now here’s one from the aftermath of the fire. Bader woke up at five in the morning to the smell of smoke and ran outside to find this mattress on fire. I guess it was a little too close to the smoulders of the dying bonfire. Him and Micky put it out. Then Micky put it out when it caught fire again the second time. Saved our lives twice in one morning. Thanks for reals dudes. I don’t think I would’ve woken up from my drunken sleep if my mattress lit on fire.

Here’s a picture taken by the Tambo Rays