Much more to come, stay tuned!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Nick LeBlanc shares his written work, thoughts on Identity, and talks arts community in New Bedford, Massachusetts - All in 3-D!

Nick LeBlanc, writer based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and I finally connected for an interview. This was an inspirational conversation for me which sparked a few days of writing and thinking following our talk. 
During this ahttakes episode you'll hear Nick read two of his written pieces, leading to a rich discussion on the topic of identity. Nick also shares some details on his sound collage project album titled MAKE JAZ. Lots of layering of music, and samples featuring some voices you may in fact recognize. (I included a few snippets in this one for ya!)
And closing out the conversation is a celebration of the downtown New Bedford writing and theater community, please stick around for the mention of a some events coming up in the next few weeks. Listen below...(some strong language, just a heads-up.). Thank you Nick!

 Nick LeBlanc in his free-range writing studio

Audio interview: 

LeBlanc's MAKE JAZ on bandcamp: MAKE JAZ

Domesticated Primate on instagram: @domprimpub
Anomaly Poetry on instagram: @anomaly.poetry
The Collective NB on instagram: @thecollectivenb
Gallery X on instagram: @galleryxnb1990
Co-Creative Center on instagram: @cocreativecenter
Seek these out, lots of events in the coming weeks...including Domesticated Primate's call for 'holiday' written pieces!

One of the must experience events, featuring Nick's play FIDO, coming up soon!....

Shout-outs/mentions to Creatives in the community:
Dena Haden
Sarah Mulvey
Andy Tedesco
Joshua Botelho
Kevin Mitchell
Joanna Tomasz
Brandon Cabral

*Please pardon if I missed any.

Mentioned in this episode:
Mary Oliver
Alan Watts
Animal Collective
David Bowie
David Lynch
Bob Dylan
Samuel Beckett
Stephen Nachmanovitch - Free Play
William Stafford - A Ritual to Read to Each Other
Joey Coco Diaz
Terrance McKenna
The Big Lebowski
H.P. Lovecraft
Samuel French

 Thanks for listening!


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Re: Bon Iver | 22, A Million - 1 (Million) Year Later

On the 30th of September 2016 Bon Iver released the 22, A Million album. It seems to have had a lasting impression, especially on my guests, Kate Venturini, and Kevin Fernandes. 

This here post is a follow-up to the 22, A Million discussion I put together last October. 

So we are close to the 1 year mark of the release, how does the album sit with you? Still in rotation? Favorite tracks? 

Take a listen below to hear what Kate, Kevin, and myself have to say about this strange yet beautiful album, one year later. 

I hope you enjoy this, thanks! 

Phillip J. Mellen.

Collage created by Phillip, inspired by the album.

Audio conversations:

 The guests:

Kate Venturini of icky woods

 Kevin Fernandes of Lazertuth

Collage created by Phillip, inspired by the album.

Bon Iver YouTube findings:


Thank you for listening!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Re: Bon Iver | A podcast discussion

Bon Iver has 3 studio albums out: For Emma, Forever Ago - direct, warm, and moody, rustic. Self-titled album - somehow finding the way, green, optimistic though realistic.  
22, A Million - with it's experimental mindfulness. 
Just to say a few words for each. 

So, we are close to the one month mark of the Bon Iver release of 22, A Million. I feel it's settling in nicely. 

The desire to put this podcast episode (audio player below) together was born on September 9th. That was when I sent an email to Kevin inviting him to be on the podcast. He accepted. 

The first chat recording was with Richard on October 8th. Between that I worked on some Bon Iver inspired collages which you can see in this post. These collages were made using paper shapes that were composed on my scanner/printer, no glue, just in the moment and they now only exist in the digital form. They were carefully orchestrated in the placement of the visual elements, textures, and color. Not unlike the audio arrangements found in this new effort by Bon Iver.

The chat with Sabine was the third and final recorded conversation on October 19th.

Then began the final editing. Editing. Editing. And here it is. Here we are.

The ingredients in this podcast:
Responses to the music. 
Insights into what is going on here. 
Some of the backstory. 
Where is this album 22, A Million taking us?
And more. 

So here are the three conversations I had with 3 friends, all in one neat little audio player: 

I feel that 22, A Million is many things, and it changes on me every time I listen to it. Bon Iver's music has been very important to me over the years.

I'm grateful for the listens, so thank you. And I can't thank Sabine, Kevin, and Richard enough. Mainly because they gave me the chance to talk Bon Iver with them, something I have wanted to do in this format for quite some time. Cheers, Phillip J. Mellen.

 Sabine Tress 
Painting website

 Richard Fonseca
Heavy Metal Textbooks blog
Kevin Fernandes

More on Bon Iver:

Daytrotter session from July 21st 2008

Holocene (Satchmode Remix) - Satchmode on Soundcloud

The Blessed, Cursed Life of Bon Iver. article, The New York Times. September 21, 2016

Designing Bon Iver's 22, A Million: An Interview with Eric Timothy Carlson. Walker Art Center. October 3, 2016

YouTube findings:

Drawing to Bon Iver. 22, A Million

In the Studio: Bon Iver. SPIN. August, 11, 2011 

Holocene: How Bon Iver creates a mood. August 18, 2016 





*JUST ADDED to the blog* 

A follow-up episode: Re: Bon Iver | 22, A Million - 1 (Million) Year Later. 

Kevin Fernandes returns, also Kate Venturini joins me to talk about 22, A Million - 1 Year Later.

Join us over at the new post as we talk about our reactions to the album after listening since it was released. Do we feel the same, or different? Stand-out songs? Lyrics? Are all talked about, and more...check out the audio post here: Re: Bon Iver | 22, A Million - 1 (Million) Year Later




Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bon Iver podcast discussion | Coming soon

I'm proud to give a heads-up on the Bon Iver episode now in the editing process. With the coming episode you'll find a discussion on the new album, "22, A Million", and a chat on the previous two albums that are all a part of these conversations.

I have invited three guests to be a part of this and am excited to share their thoughts and reactions on this musical adventure that Bon Iver has logged and shared with their fans, myself included.

Please stay tuned for this. Thanks.

*UPDATE, I posted the Bon Iver episode, here: Re: Bon Iver

some editing notes

collage scan by Phillip J. Mellen, podcast host.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Becca Shaw Glaser shares her poetry, and speaks on activism and Black Lives Matter

Mid Coast Maine poet, artist, and activist Becca Shaw Glaser joins ahttakes for this episode. Becca reads some of her poetry dealing with sexuality, connection and uncertain optimism. She also shares her thoughts on the importance of activism and feeling called to act on pressing issues facing us now, especially the Black Lives Matter movement. Listen below...(some strong language.)

Audio interview (strong language):

Becca Shaw Glaser read her poems as follows:
The Planet of Lost Things
So Humans
Dick Pics


 Mentioned in the interview: 

Anti-Capitalist Love Notes
Karen Finley
Diamanda Galas
Allen Ginsberg
Gil Scott-Heron
Kathy Acker
Jim Crow
Alicia Garza
Idle No More

 All artwork featured on this post done by Becca Shaw Glaser

Selected online published writing by Becca:


Thank you for listening! 


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Richard F Fonseca of Heavy Metal Textbooks

 Remember old-school metal music? Know new metal? 

Richard F Fonseca (based in Massachusetts), of the blog Heavy Metal Textbooks, is the guest on this episode. Rick talks metal, and other heavy music, with me as I sat back (mostly) and got and education on some of the earliest metal bands as well as some current bands that are vigorously keeping the genre alive. 

I was given some listening homework assigned by Rick, prior to our chat, and my personal exploration into harder music left me to realize that there is more than meets the ear. This journey (not the band) led Rick and I to stroll down memory lane a bit, as he and I were art students together many moons ago and had discovered a ton of music in parallel. 

Here is one of the graphics Rick created for the HMT blog:

Rick also talks shop a bit on the mechanics of creating and running the HMT blog. I hope you enjoy this talk on all things heavy music. There’s even some music to give a listen to. Listen below.

Audio chat (some strong language): 

Bands who's music is featured on this episode:

1st: Buddy Revell - out of New Bedford, MA (no longer active, but the music can still be heard loud and clear!)

2nd band: Energy - out of Stoughton, MA, with the acoustic version of their song "The Shadowlands" You can find more music by Energy on their bandcamp site here: Energy bandcamp profile.


3rd up was: Caricature - Boston, MA, with their song "Shadows" You can check out more music by Caricature on their bandcamp site here: Caricature on bandcamp.

And the closer was Buddy Revell. Visit Buddy Revell on bandcamp here: Buddy Revell on bandcamp

Please follow the above bandcamp links and support these solid bands! Many thanks to each outfit for placing a song with ahttakes. Cheers, guys! 


Bands with a mention in the conversation:

Chosen Frozen
Aphex Twin
Sunny Day Real Estate
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
Alice in Chains
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Clint Smith (former lead vocals with Gutlust)
Bon Iver
Volcano Choir
James Blake
Lia Ices
Sharon van Etten
Black Sabbath
Blue Cheer
Led Zeppelin
Judas Priest 
Iron Maiden
Iron Oak
The Hidden
All That Remains
Shadows Fall
Killswitch Engage 
Alanis Morrisette
Zombie Fight
Spectral Tower
Eternal Khan
Eight Bells
Henry Rollins
Buddy Revell

Thanks for listening, and be sure to visit the blog, Heavy Metal Textbooks for more Metal 101. \m/



Friday, August 1, 2014

James Amberley on the spirit of the artist and more

Chicago area painter, James Amberley, talks about the works of Claude Lorraine, Claude Monet, Paul Klee and Willem de Kooning. Listen in as he draws parallels through art history and these figures, via the subject of abstraction, the landscape and back again. Also in the talk is insightful commentary on the artist's spirit found throughout these themes. Listen below.

 Claude Lorraine
View of Delphi with a Procession, 1673 oil on canvas, 101.5 x 127 cm/40 x 50 inches
Art Institute of Chicago

 Claude Monet 
On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt, 1867 oil on canvas, 81.5 x 100.7cm/32 x 40 inches
Art Institute of Chicago

Paul Klee 
In the Style of Kairouan, Transferred to the Moderate, 1914 Watercolour 12.3 x 19.5 cm/5 x 8 inches
Paul Klee Foundation, Kunstmuseum, Berne

 Willem de Kooning 
Park Rosenberg, 1957 oil on canvas, 207.3 x 182.6 cm/82 x 70 inches
Private collection

James Amberley

Audio talk:

Two works by Amberley:

James Amberley
Jardin Verre, 2014 oil on paper, 20.8 x 20.8/8 x 8 inches

James Amberley
Untitled, 2013 oil on paper, 54.5 x 55.2 cm/21 x 21 inches

Other artists etc. mentioned in the talk:

Aldous Huxley
John R. Martin
Marcel Duchamp
Wassily Kandinsky
Kazimir Malevich
Robert Delaunay
George Inness
 Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot