Women Who Rock: Portraits of Courageous Heroines

Women. Who. Rock.

“McDonnell believes women are increasingly going to control their own music. They will be mistresses of their own destinies, not just be the singers or producers but that they will handle all the aspects of their music making or that when they work with men, they will work as collaborators, not the ‘quintessential Svengali relationship.’”


#AllisonWolfe #ShanaRedmond #JanaMartin #MuktaMohan

#blondieofficial #amy_winehouse_official_







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Paused, American MONUMENT – an Opportunity for Restorative Justice By Melina Paris


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For an artist and educator to pause her own groundbreaking project at a university museum, something had to go terribly wrong.

American MONUMENT pic

The “sound sculpture” of the paused, American MONUMENT. Photo courtesy of Paused blog


The Administration at California State University Long Beach, in September, removed University Art Museum director, Kimberli Meyer from her post mere days before the opening of lauren woods’ American MONUMENT. The artist spells her name in all lower case. This prompted woods to pause the project in protest, which she subsequently announced 30 minutes into its debut.

The act also removed Meyer from helping steward the project she co- created with woods.

American MONUMENT urges consideration of the circumstances under which African Americans have lost their lives to police brutality. It’s a nomadic project that was to be continually expanding. The UAM was to serve as its launch site and steward.

At the heart of American MONUMENT is an interactive sound installation that utilizes sources from open records requests including police reports, court transcripts, witness testimonies and audio files captured by bystanders. Visitors would have been able to pick up the needle on any turntable positioned on multiple stands in the gallery, put it on the record, and activate the “sound sculpture.”

Meyer and woods still want to see the project move forward and woods is intent on that happening at the university. On the American MONUMENT blog, “Paused” woods said the most important reason for wanting to work with Myer and the UAM to launch this work was the context of UAM itself – the university. The artist continued, saying the idea to present this work in a university art museum allowed the intersection of art and cultural production with the thinking and learning community.

“The emerging citizenry from this institution has the potential for great impact and I wanted to build a useful tool with and for them,” woods said.

About a month after the project was paused, RLN spoke to Meyer. She and woods have suggested a plan to CSULB to move forward by creating a parallel museum. The idea developed as woods and Meyer navigated this unexpected situation and considered what it would take to unpause American MONUMENT.

“In many ways, this is not just a territorial situation with lauren pausing the work,” Meyer said. “I (approached) the whole thing like an institutional transformation. This is not just a show. We’re trying to do something on a more structural level.”

They would not move the work at the UAM. It would be unpaused. The MONUMENT was meant to be a process requiring much work and research. Trajectories were going to continue to happen with help of classes and members of the public during the run of the MONUMENT. Meyer explained that could happen, but the parallel museum would bring in its own crew that would immediately have a mission to conduct this anti-racist process. The regular museum can then just go about its business.

Meyer said supporting this kind of work requires a “full throttle commitment, institutionally, to disrupting white supremacy and all that that means.” That did not work when they tried to do this in the regular institution. But with a parallel space the work could actually happen, and at the same time it could provide an alternative structure alongside the UAM. And it could model what institutional transformation could look like.

“It’s an experiment of course,” Meyer said.  “….  it could be used as a trademark or mirror so that the regular institution doesn’t have to question itself by changing itself.”

However, with something right alongside the museum that attempts to question it, the logic goes that there might be learning possibilities between. That relationship could become the foundation for the restorative justice process. It’s conceptual as much as it is physical. In particular, woods and Meyer have provided space for the administration to “pivot” from removing Meyer from her post, to regroup, face the situation and correct it.

“That’s restorative justice,” Meyer said. “We all know this race stuff is hard…. But the only way to get it right is to step up to where we’ve made mistakes and try to learn, to in good faith work together.

She mused on imagining an institution would take it upon themselves to be that reflective and wise, to really try to do the work they say they want to do.

“There’s a lot of words out there but still not enough action from the administration,” Meyer said.

In a video posted on Paused, woods spoke to the opening-day audience about American MONUMENT, noting the use of language in the project.

“There is a narrative that occurs with these cases and the statements by the people who murdered the victims,” she said.

Meyer and woods put a call out for internships for help with the open-records requests and research. Students put this project together utilizing that narrative woods mentioned. They reacted very positively to that process. The respondents were enthusiastic as a team, as were the students of color who worked at the museum.

“They were excited that something was (emerging) that addressed their realities more than things have in the past,” Meyer said. “It’s also something that pains me. It was a real loss. Kids were starting to feel less disenfranchised and more that this … was a part of them.”

In fact, with regard to Meyer’s removal, arts students wrote two open letters to the administration wherein these students actually taught the administration about disenfranchisement and oppression of people of color. Both letters are on the Paused blog.

“I just wish that (the administration) would be open to being teachable because these students are brilliant,” Meyer said.

Meyer noted one of the things that became clear with their research and that woods pointed to is that culture and the law are the same; they inform each other. woods tried to identify places where you could overtly see the longer historical cultural narrative about blackness, for example.

“There are incidents where people were being fed back through the legal system through law enforcement and then it becomes a case law,” Meyer said. “How did these biases and mechanisms start and how was this articulated in real life for people of color? That is something that you can pull out (in) the way that she was handling the cases.”

Each of those turntables that have records on them with the sound pieces were about one specific case. They also had the case materials pulled from the open-records request. Meyer said this was an interesting process because woods was going through and putting in liner notes for each case. Each case actually then had a real material effect. For example, before the district attorney decides if they will press charges, they usually hire use of force experts to write a report and carry out forensic analysis on whether or not the killing was justified. That’s critical because it’s what the police always claim.

“There is a man named Jeffrey Noble who stands out among use-of-force experts,” Myer said. “Because he uses the word victim when he describes the person who is the victim. Everybody else in the reports we read, uses the word suspect. Legally, first of all, these people are not even suspects. They were minding their own business.”

Meyer noted the idea that from a tiny change in language, you could shift from treating someone as a suspect to treating them as a victim when analyzing whether or not a killing was justified is huge. They did close readings of cases and planned to bring people in like Jeffrey Noble. Every one of the cases had a cultural narrative embedded in them that was flawed and that started to break down that space between the law and between culture.

“All of this was an opportunity to get specific (on how) these narratives were enacted,” Meyer said. “That’s where lauren is such a brilliant artist. She comes from journalism and film so she’s very specific on how she looks at mediated narratives and at language.”

With the Tamir Rice case, for instance (the 12 –year-old boy who was killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2014), woods identified the 911 sheet, the location the call came from, and how it eventually got routed to the dispatcher. When the call came in the person said,

“It looks like a kid, it’s probably a toy gun.”

“That then gets routed to the police who finally show up on the scene and it changes to, ‘There’s a black man with a big gun,’” Meyer said. “How does that fatal game of telephone transpire? What’s going on there? Those are the points where lauren shows us there is this human interpretation act that is happening at every single moment.”

Meyer continued that this is also dictated by prejudices we all walk around with, many of which that are actually informed by media, whether it’s a movie or the news or what was said in the paper.

“She was also trying trace that back and look at cases from the 20th century, similar kinds of things, similar kinds of media attention, similar kinds of uses of language,” Meyer said. “That’s (what) we were just starting to really get into and be able to do a deep read. That’s what we were hoping to accomplish so that people would really start to see what’s in play.”

~ woods also spoke about what plans she has for the project at this point.

“This is the thing that many people may not understand,” woods said. “People have said with me pausing everything the students are missing out. I don’t know how to say it differently but the project cannot go on without the person I collaborated with. I don’t live in California and I’m not a resident of CSULB campus.”

What they were launching in September was the beginning of a public collaboration to complete this first iteration of the MONUMENT. They were talking about basic organizing and mobilizing around the issues to generate content that would complete this iteration which would have theoretically been unveiled it this week.

“If this appeals process does not bring Kimberli back, if the university is interested in having their students participate in this project, then they would have to figure out how to bring the people I collaborated with back to steward the MONUMENT,” woods said. “It’s not something that the UAM or the staff there is capable of doing.”

In pausing the production of the MONUMENT woods was trying to put forth a good faith effort that this appeals process would open to fairness, or that dialogue would open up. But “to be honest,” now, from what she knows, woods doesn’t have any faith about that appeals process being anywhere near fair … or dialogical. She knows that it’s not going to go toward reinstating Meyer.

“An appeals process means the parties have to … talk and sort out how we got into this mess,” she said. “It’s to look at not placing fault on one person but look at what places there could have been a better move and solutions and being willing to work on that.”

So far the process has been one sided. wood’s added, because Meyer is an “at will” employee, they don’t have to say anything. So, it’s not really an appeals process.

“I don’t think they’re interested in how they could have done things better,” she said.

The artist’s candidness comes from “being at the end.” She’s lost the optimism around an institution being willing to participate in a process that requires accountability. She doesn’t believe institutions willingly embark on that unless there some sort of legal or financial consequence.

Details: www.americanmonument.blog

REDCAT NOW Fest Brings Raw Beauty to Life


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By Melina Paris, Culture Reporter

Its gaining toward the end of summer which means it’s time for three weeks of the New Original Works Festival at the Roy and Edna Disney/Cal Arts Theater, or REDCAT. Count on seeing innovative multidisciplinary works at the NOW Fest which promote experimentation and discovery.

Art was in motion during the second week of the event, July 26 to 28. Three pieces all based in dance were widely different in approach. Each act paid homage to the individual body and its agency, as opposed to hegemonic representations of the body.

KyungHwa Lee’s Malleable Bodies: Flusser, Plasticity, and the Corset explored the body through forms and technology as different as idealized versions of the body throughout history. Lee used 3-D printing and virtual reality technology, juxtaposed with the human form. Lee’s work considers individual evolution, including themes of gender identity and embodiment through a context of technology.

Six dancers entered in a line, three of each sex dressed in nudes and connected only by their shadow forms and appearance. Classical string music turned somewhat foreboding. The dancer’s images reflected on a screen behind them. Their forms employed this space, intuitively expanding their presence through supple movement.

KyungHwa Lee_ Malleable Bodies_ Flusser, Plasticity, and the Corset

Starting the second act, dancers donned illuminated forms. They appeared in silhouette as a tutu or even butterfly wings. They lit up their respective muscle groups of torso, chest, buttocks, hips, back and thighs and were as beautiful as chandeliers. The Roman statues, David and Venus de Milo appeared on screen in repetition. Different images took shape, icicles, circles and lines all in black and white like an x-ray. Technological sounds of machines, like MRI’s, were audible. This repeated as the dancers moved in concentric circles while on screen, a machine either constructed or deconstructed the buttocks and lower extremities of a female mannequin. It’s black and white footage harkened back to mid-century Twilight Zone. Soon, a parade of digital body forms pictured with pending musculature enhancements to replace their original body forms appeared on screen.

KyungHwa Lee_ Malleable Bodies_ Flusser, Plasticity, and the Corset11

The dancers returned with enhanced muscle groups, just as those visualized forms on their musculature, including ballooning breasts. There was but one dancer left with no enhancements. X-ray images appeared on screen depicting the David and Venus de Milo.

The lyrics to the once again, soothing music sang,

“I want to go somewhere with you, together.

Who are you? Where are you?”

Milka Djordjevich: CORPS

Choreographer, performer and teacher, Djordjevich, is based in Los Angeles. Her work questions preconceived notions of what dance should or should not be. In CORPS, the all-female dancers move as a unit with meditative power. Their dance begins in militaristic momentum. They wore a relaxed uniform of grey sweats, tee shirts and white socked feet. Opening in rhythmic strides back and forth across the stage, their movements soon expanded. Their hands came to shoulder then hip, the other hand to their buttocks or on those of the one next in line. One dancer trailed off then returned to the unit in formation, repeating motions, tossing in a subtle spin.

The CORPS captivated as rhythms and beats percussed them forward, escalating into jazz forms as the music built. Hands waved, shoulders swayed in pas de bourree’s and step ball change’s as two dancers broke off then returned again as one unit.

Milka Djordjevich_ CORPS 7.2018.3

Facing the audience, they extended jazz hands then rhythmically patted their abdomens. The music got funkier and dancers became more free, breaking off on their own. Dancers delineated a line between measured form and into wilder expressions: gyrating and flowing until they resumed again as a unit, holding onto each other and yielding downward. Forced by gravity, they arched back supported by their elbows, on the floor, their knees and eventually whole body swayed. Finally stretched out on the ground, they rolled onto their bellies, arms stretched outwards as they appeared to try to rise, struggling and collapsing again and again.

CORPS was perpetual kinesis rendered from collective feminine power.

 Sebastian Hernandez: Hypanthium

In the opening of Hypanthium, a voice says, “Welcome to the great game. How bad can it get?” The loaded question came alongside film footage of Hernandez, distraught, running in heels on an overpass in Downtown LA., accessorized with long white gloves and purple streamers cascading from their head. There was no telling where they ran to or why but the soundtrack coupled with machinery noises and racing cars told of turmoil.

Experimental in nature, Hypanthium’s movements struggle with notions of sisterhood, space, power and survival amidst memories of ancestral trauma. The piece, named for the part of a flower that holds the nectar, expresses continuous struggle between togetherness and separateness.

Hernandez, in red, Angel Acuna, in white and Autumn Randolph in black, dominated that struggle with sensuality and power. They joined tenderly and parted with strength, each state of being had the same intensity.

Sebastian Hernandez_ Hypanthium 8

The music frequently switched between serene and frenzied, a statement on the varied states of where we reside at any given time and of finding our center. Movements were raw and on que the bass thumped. The dancers either elevated in leaps or entwined together against all else, basked in form, symmetry and athleticism. In a vignette with wooden chairs capable of rocking forward or sideways through their symmetrical construction, the dancers convened, encircled in what could have been a Pow Wow. It had the appearance of an acknowledgement of the past.

Sebastian Hernandez_ Hypanthium 10

A voice speaking prose came through and the dancers wrapped themselves in streamers matching the color of their costumes, collapsing onto the floor. Using box tape, they wrapped their arms and legs. Sitting together and leaning on each other they helped one another cut and chew off their tape as the light dimmed, together.

Anguish & Obsession: An American Love Story


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In Anguish, the model is bound with her hands tied behind her back and blindfolded with police tape. Courtesy photo.

By Melina Paris Contributing Writer

Huss Hardan knew that not everyone was going to find Anguish & Obsession: An American Love Story palatable.huz01

In fact, he even warned potential spectators that the exhibit includes the kind of “mature” content that might make people with milder dispositions uncomfortable.

At the April First Thursday Artwalk in San Pedro, Hardan noticed that a few people walked a few feet into huZ galleries — where the exhibition is on display — then turned around and left. Hardan’s theory is that people with milder dispositions tend to be offended by the political statement and not offended by the nudity.

The images in Anguish & Obsession: An American Love Story express the abuse of power, fetishistic obsessions that some have with firearms, the disastrous consequences of such obsessions and the danger of militarized police.  Hardan believes that some people do not want to acknowledge that bad things happen to people, often because they are in a privileged position. He references a subset of people who tend to be white, wealthier and very isolated. He says they don’t want to know there is political and social strife going on that doesn’t affect them.

“People who actually bother to come to galleries want to see it,” Hardan said. “You always want a reaction but the reaction was, they did not consider the message, read the statement, or ask what it was about.”

The space inside of huZ galleries is open, clean, and black and white. The feel of the exhibit is minimalist, grasping and slightly sterile –that is, until you see the photos. The exhibit is organized as two halves: the left with digital black and white photographs and the right comprised of photographs taken with 15-year-old expired film.

Yellow police tape was woven through the exhibit and each print was displayed in steel frames and hung from silver chains.

He was surprised to get such a positive response, especially from the younger crowd. He expected the split between younger and older to be wider. Anguish and Obsession — An American Love Story is beautiful and disturbing, artistic and inspired, brave and playful, and dangerous and painful.

For the exhibit, Hardan created a hybrid style from Helmut Newton and “Weegee,” a 1930s and 40s photographer named Arthur Fellig. Much of Weegee’s work depicted realistic scenes of crime, injury and death. By tuning his radio to the police frequency, Weegee often arrived at a crime scene ahead of the police. This gave him the nickname after the Quija board, the popular fortune-telling game.

Helmut Newton, a widely imitated photographer, was known for his provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos.

Hardan explained that initiating this hybrid created much more of a high contrast shot so it makes the photographs much more impactful. Subtlety wasn’t the idea here.

The titles of the photographs on the left side also served as thematic concepts: Photograph, Seduction, Obsession, Realization, Anguish andThe Slaughter of the Innocent.

The titles on the right side include: Prelude, The Innocent, the Frenzy, The End of Seduction, Repose and Regret, The Denial Within, Opening Pandora’s Box and The Slaughter of the Innocent.

The focal point of all of the prints is a model of African descent and a military-style automatic assault rifle. The result is an exhibit that intentionally, or not, delves into race, gender and gun politics.

In Seduction and Obsession, Hardan captures beautifully composed photos of the model draped with white linen in bed with a gun. The photos have a high-gloss magazine quality. In Seduction, the model looks quite pleased and in charge, even playful by facing away from the gun, almost as if she is teasing. In Obsession, she looks directly at the gun as one would towards a lover. She and the weapon are both under the sheets, closer.

The Realization and Anguish regret and pain are articulated. It doesn’t feel any more as if the composition is just about the model and the firearm. In Anguish, the model is bound with her hands tied behind her back and blindfolded with police tape. In the final photograph the model appears as if she were fatally shot, as she futilely clutches her stomach to keep from bleeding out.

The exhibit’s right side continues the narrative with the Prelude by starting at the beginning but as a negative photograph. The sheets are black instead of white, with silver edges, as is the gun.

From The Innocent to the End of Seduction, the imagery are slight variations of the exhibit’s left side before ending with a reflection of Slaughter of the Innocent as a negative photograph.

Hardan’s intention in the way he composed his photographs in the exhibit are readily apparent. His juxtaposition of these images are curious. Particularly in the print titled, Repose and Regret.

The artistry of the whole image with two ghost-like forms under the main photo grabs attention, more so than the visually intensified emotional consequences of the photos. It’s easy to become distracted with the beauty and execution of the photograph, instead of the emotional effects it portrays.

Hardan wanted the model for this exhibit to be a black woman. His model was incredible, he said because the photos were shot in the pitch black studio.  First the lights were on to get focus, then with all lights off he took the shot in the dark with a flash.

“It is amazing that her facial expressions are very natural,” Hardan said. “You need someone who is very strong willed for this and very comfortable with themselves. She is not a shy person. You need that to have a message.”

He also chose to have a black model because of the things that are happening to black people. “They are happening far more,” Hardan said. “Abused would be a word, when you just look at things like the incarceration rate, when the crime bills are written specifically to address minority crimes.”

This exhibit is about the obsession of whatever system takes advantage of you. Hardan cites the political system as an example, with incarcerated people losing the right to vote. He wrestled with the fact that a convict served their time, but still serves it — forever. With our incarceration rates, this removes a huge segment of the population. Prisons are for profit. So it’s a business. Then, convicts surely are taken out of the voting pool.

You also see abuse of power when the person seems to be a willing participant. But then, you can see where it turns, the person has been almost suckered in and is then abused. The dynamic changes, they become a victim and they lose their rights.

Hardan’s depictions provide the pieces of the puzzle that is our obsession and its potential effects on us.


Read more at, http://www.randomlengthsnews.com/2016/04/28/anguish-obsession-an-american-love-story/

David Ivar’s Sweet Thursday: A sense of place through past and present


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By Melina Paris, Music Columnist

San Pedro artist David Ivar of the band, Herman Dune will soon release an indie-folk album called, Sweet Thursday, entirely recorded in two days here in town at Ivar’s Santa Cruz Studio.

This is all clear enough but may become puzzling as the multiple expressions of David Ivar are revealed.

David Ivar is a singer, performer and songwriter who has performed under the names Yaya, David Ivar, and Black Yaya. He has been recording since 1999, releasing records and touring the world.

David Ivar is also a visual artist of ink, watercolors, oil, pencils, collage and sculpture. He has shown his work around the world since 2006.

Sweet Thursday’s title comes from the third volume of the Cannery Rowtrilogy by John Steinbeck. Its nine tracks are set for a May 17 release.

Random Lengths News spoke to Ivar about his new record, his affinity for San Pedro and The Grapes of Wrath author.

“Steinbeck is important to me, and even more so since I moved to San Pedro,” Ivar said. “Grapes of Wrath was a shock to me, not only for the sheer beauty of the writing, the fabulous descriptions of California, and the mix of sweet eroticism and spirituality, but also because the characters of Sweet Thursday are full of human emotion, and none of them is greed.”

Ivar continued on about Steinbeck and California:

“People of the hills above Cannery Row don’t care about careers, money, having more things than their neighbors, but want to drink wine, watch the sun rise and make love.

“Living in big cities like Paris and Los Angeles, where life is centered around gathering enough dough to survive, can really make you forget the real joys of existence, and Sweet Thursday is one of these books that are here to remind you what they are (including reading Steinbeck).”

“The similarities with the harbor neighborhood of San Pedro where I live and the Monterey of Cannery Row, as in Steinbeck’s books, because now it is more of a farce really. It really struck me, and I took it as a sign that I had found a home…”

Born and raised in Paris, France, to a Swedish mother and Moroccan father, Ivar came to San Pedro in 2015. To his pleasant surprise he discovered a link to the union. Ivar’s grandfather, from a village in Northern Sweden, was the union representative of the International Steelworkers Union. Ivar was reminded of his grandfather when he learned about Joe Hill (1879 – 1915), the martyred Swedish-American labor activist and songwriter, who joined the Industrial Workers of the World in 1910 and served for several years as the secretary for the San Pedro local. Hill wrote the iconic songs, The Preacher and the Slave and Casey Jones — A Union Scab.”

“When I moved here, literally four blocks from my house is a plaque to Joe Hill,” Ivar said. “My friends who are political got so excited when they saw the plaque. So I started reading about him… I started reading his lyrics and singing his songs. I found, especially when you move to a new town and when you have something that feels familiar, close to your heart, that it’s nice.”

Ivar shot all nine of his videos for Sweet Thursday in San Pedro. Its sound blends folk and alt rock and even a little bit of soul. This French man has created a very American sound on Sweet Thursday. The album is written by Ivar who plays guitar and sings, while Kyle McNeill plays bass and harmonizes and Lewis Pullman plays drums.

Ivar lavishes high praise on his bandmates for the groove they set.

“Nowadays, a lot of people use machines (for) the beat.” Ivar said. “When you don’t do that and you record everything together, it’s really nice to have a good groove coming from the rhythm section. The drummer and the bassist grew up together. They really have something.”

The first track, Oh Sweet Thursday, blends folk by way of vocals and funk, through guitar stylings neatly packaged in a lighthearted rhythm-driven number.

Several of Sweet Thursday’s songs reference local haunts as well as some just across the Vincent Thomas Bridge, which is also the title of their song, Vincent Thomas Blues. It opens with a fast rhythm-and-blues riff that leads into a blues refrain.

Well, I never had a pistol, I never had a knife but I’ve got a killer woman and I trust her with my life.

Love Cat Blues is reminiscent of Johnny Cash, a country ballad with a waltz tempo. It includes only Ivar on guitar with McNeill on upright bass and singing backup.

The album was mostly recorded in single takes. Ivar said he loves recording this way.

“You don’t have anything to do after you’ve recorded,” he said. “When you spend time in a studio, adding arrangements and stuff, you work so much after recording the song, per se, that you can’t even hear the song. When you work too much on the song it’s hard to even listen to it anymore.”

Ivar will release one Sweet Thursday video each Thursday starting April 12.  Every song will debut on a different blog or website, which will have it exclusively for one week. One of the blogs called Folk Radio is out of the United Kingdom. Another one called Psychedelic Baby is by a blogger from Slovenia who writes about the Beat generation. Locally, Evelyn McDonnell will premiere a video on her blog, Populism, April 19.

On April 12, Ivar will begin taking orders for the album, offering vinyl, cassettes and digital downloads. A card with a pin will come with the download and include album information, such as the credits and feature artwork by Ivar.

“These days when someone buys or listens to an album on the computer, they have nothing to hold on to [or] just to flip over and look at,” Ivar said. “For people who know they are not going to listen to a physical album, and that’s most people, this will come with a pin that I designed. It’s cool to have something even though most people tell me there is no need for it.”

Ivar noted the vinyl will be very well made and crafted in Nashville, where he said they still make good sound for records. Ivar designed everything and took great care with details. The record will be made at United Records Pressing, which Ivar said has the most luxurious options because there is still a market in Nashville for reissues of country music or where people are collectors.

“If someone makes the effort, when everything is for free, to actually buy something because they care about it, I as an artist should care at least as much and make something out of it,” Ivar said.

Ivar also created a fanzine he wrote and illustrated. It’s something he does with all of his albums but this one is much bigger, at 48 pages. He will also sell his original illustrations, art and watercolors for the album. But the most coveted items will be three oil paintings in which Ivar is dressed as he is on the album.

Everything will be available for pre-sale through his website, April 12 to May 17, after which only the album will be available.

And about those various names? Ivar came up with the name Herman Dune at age 12, when he read Frank Herbert’s famous science fiction book, Dune. Most people think it’s his name but his name, Ivar, is Swedish and actually pronounced, ‘E-var.’

Yaya came a little bit later. He used to host an open mic, folk music night in Paris and every night played records afterward. He would always open with the Lee Dorsey song, Yaya. So, people started calling him Yaya.

With Black Yaya, Ivar changed the name on one record, wanting to break the continuity of Herman Dune.

“It’s funny because that is the record with the most listens on Spotify,” Ivar said. “It’s just something that I did on the side. I don’t know what it is but maybe it’s part of the creativity and persona that I do the different names.”

To hear David’s music and see his artwork, visit: www.davidivar.com

Read more at www.randomlengthsnews.com