This mixtape will be perfect for:
A. preparing yourself for anything
C. rest & relaxation
D. looking back on things
E. laughing at the past
Take THIS. May it serve you well.
This year's Magic City Art Connection festival truly kicked my ass.
First of all, there was the stress of not knowing if the forecasted weather would even allow any of us to have a festival ... by Thursday the weather genies were hinting that Friday and Sunday would be okay, but that Saturday would not only be 100% rain-soaked, we were to also expect insane thunderstorms, damaging winds, hail and tornadoes! Whoopee!!!
Well, the weekend started & Friday went off without a hitch ... I even did better than most Fridays past, probably because a lot of folks went ahead and came to the festival that day instead of Saturday, afraid of the wet weather ahead ... I was especially excited because Thursday when I was setting my tent up (Doug Baulos generously let me use his tent sides ... thanks Doug!), a photographer from the Birmingham News snapped my picture and it ended up getting in the paper Friday morning ... what's funny is that while I was busy setting up, he asked me where I'm from and I answered "Mobile" ... so in the piece it says "Paul Wilm of Mobile" making it sound like I still live there, even though I've now lived in Birmingham for nearly 12 years ... haha
Aaaaanywaaay, all excitement and happiness ended abruptly with the dawning of Saturday ...
Vero called me as I was having coffee at Bottletree that morning to tell me that Kevin Camp had been by Linn Park and needed to inform me that the roof of my tent was "totally full of water" and I should go by there as soon as possible ...
here we go!
I should have taken a photo of it, but at the time I was too panicky to even think ... Kevin was very correct ... from the inside of the tent, the roof looked like 2 enormous white tits, slowly dripping rain onto all of the paintings inside ... I wiped off the paintings (no real damage done!), quickly drove home and got a ladder and a bucket, drove back to the park and proceeded to bail out all of the water with the rain pouring down all around me ... Kevin arrived soon after with some long poles and metal clamps and we then made the tent roof more like a circus tent with a lot more slants, which remedied the problem ... 3 cheers for Kevin Camp!!!
So that was Saturday
Sunday was an entirely different monster ... a monster made of WIND
The night before I had a splendid time at Keith Goodwin's birthday party and awoke Sunday morning to happily discover rain-free blue cloudless skies above ... It seemed like the day was going to be smooth sailing all the way ... or so I thought ...
I can't really name the reason for this, but somehow where I was located in the park (basically between 2 trees) became something like a crazy wind tunnel that day ... Enormous and powerful gusts of wind would suddenly and unexpectedly blow through my tent and shockingly knock down the doors that I had set up to display all of my paintings ... I had everything tied down with twine, but apparently the string was no match with Nature's mighty gusts ... the display doors came crashing down, the paintings would topple all over eachother, then I'd have to pick everything up, rehang it and ... it would then happen all over again ... CRASH!!!
I have to say that I am truly grateful to my fellow artists who were in the neighboring tents around me and to all of my friends there who just happened to be visiting me when all of this insanity began ... They all rushed to my rescue and helped with picking up the fallen doors and paintings, bringing me bungee cords to help secure everything better and beer to calm my nerves!
After everything fell down the 2nd time, I hurriedly put the back wall of the tent back up (I normally display everything with all of the tent walls down) to try and block some of the blasts, but somehow that in itself strangely started causing the entire tent to lift up, like Dorothy's house when the tornado came ... It was actually frightening how strong these winds were! I started hardcore freaking out ... I felt like I couldn't take anymore ...
Amazingly, there was only ONE painting casualty:
So after the tent was lifted off the ground for the 2nd or 3rd time, I finally decided that the tent just needed to be taken down altogether ... I didn't know how I would display my paintings, or if the possibility of sales would be doomed, I just knew I couldn't take the falling and crashing another second ...
Here are some photos of how everything was set up before we took the tent down:
It was either Laura's or Nancy's or Lucy's idea, but someone suggested that I take the doors and lay them on their sides like little roofs and just present the paintings on them like that ... at that point, I was so stunned & traumatized by everything that I just half-consciously agreed ...
Here's some photos of the new spontaneous (and very tentless) set up:
To my overwhelming astonishment, it was at this point that my paintings started selling like hotcakes! Somehow people were far more intrigued by the new arrangement, perhaps because either it was so different from everyone else's display or maybe because they weren't intimidated by the idea of having to enter a tent and they could just walk around freely and view it all in the open air ... I have no idea, but it was totally a mixed blessing! A happy accident!
I started to view the whole experience like this: maybe the universe decided to test me, saying "Paul, let's see just how flexible you are ... let's see how you do with this challenge." Then the tent came down, and the new set up happened and the universe said "Paul, you handled that very well ... accept this award of increased sales!"
Speaking of awards, this was also the 1st year I've done Magic City Art Connection when I've actually won an award ... I won the "Al.com Award Of Merit" and a check for $100 ... Hell yes! :
All-in-all, it was one hell of a festival and needless to say, I'm so very glad that it's all over and I actually reaped many benefits from the experience ... oh yeah, Aimee Elizabeth Simonton created my artist statement (in the above photo) for me ... cheers, Aimee!!!
I feel a bit winded (!) now after explaining all of that, so I'll keep my video comments on the brief side ... Once again, there are a ton of em
The kids literally take over in this one by The Morning Benders:
I never in my life thought that Devendra Banhart would cut his hair this short ... He and A.A. Bondy could be twins now:
I absolutely love the repetition of this one by the xx:
This video by How To Dress Well is simply beautiful ... I especially dig the transitions and editing:
Uh oh ... I need to warn you about this next one by M.I.A. ... It is extremely violent, strange and utterly disturbing ... but VERY original, I must add:
Hahaha!!! Here's a new version of Hell: to be trapped in a windowless, doorless cell with nothing but this video for eternity:
If that wasn't bad enough, Maz sent me this "remix" of Hell via facebook ... ENJOY!!! muahahahahahahaha!!! :
Finally, we have a really laughably cheap classic by The Penetrators: