Gianluca Tramontana, host of RFB's Sitting With Gianluca, (every Wed., 6pm) /https://radiofreebrooklyn.com/show/sitting-with-gianluca/ hangs with Meghan Taylor (lead vocals and Damian Eckstein (bass) of the band GIFTSHOP, while Dr. Lisa takes a vacation. http://www.giftshoptheband.com They are a fabulous and wildly popular band out of Astoria Queens and the music played on this show is not to be missed! Just so nothing is missing, Dr. Lisa prepares a phone interview write-up anyway, which you can read HERE:
PSYCHOLOGICAL INTAKE REPORT from Dr. Lisa for GIFTSHOP, The Band
Giftshop is an accomplished band. They have been around for 12 years, have produced 4 EP albums, available on all streaming platforms as well as some old school vinyl and CDs. They have professional representation and are members of the indie label Tarbeach Records. They have a dedicated following in Astoria, Queens and Manhattan which allows them to choose when and where they will play.
Out of 5 musicians and 1 manager there are 2 married couples, which I feel contributes to the stability of the band.
There is no denying that the band members care for and support each other in an unconditional loving way. I have a sense that all of the band members are highly dedicated to the success and future growth of the band, so much so, that in managing some more personally difficult behaviors, each band member may have an emotional outlet outside of the band, or rely on one person in the band more than the others. Therefore, there are no obvious conflicts within the band.
Creative people listening—please NOTE. This is an excellent dynamic if you have any interest in success and creative development. However, it does not make for a juicy band memoir or obviously salacious radio interview, so I will ask my highly sensitive and talented co-host, Giancarlo to dig deep.
Damian Eckstein: lead grown-up, bassist
His wife, Nicole, band manager, associate grown-up
Meghan Taylor: -band front women. As the face of the band, she carries most of the responsibility for delivering the vibe of the band as well as fan wrangling
Megan is married to the guitarist, Matt Santoro. Though Megan clearly generates a lot of sexual energy on stage, it seems as her and Matt have a relationship that is mature enough to see past this as in any way threatening to their relationship
Nichole Onopiak: Keyboard
Jordan Kramer: Drums
NOTE: Please START AT 5:30sec mark. (There was a small fuckup at the studio)
I don’t usually bring out the word “kvell” in my sessions, but I brought it out about 3 times here. Shona’s work is profound to say the least. She dives into intimacy and the relationship with one’s body and so much more. She is a physically large (by our bullshit society standards) female who was brought up by a perfectly beautiful mother and charismatic father. There are two qualities that Shona has that I posit got her through her growing up to the healing place as a repaired relationship with her family, in a healthy, loving relationship and a soaring career as an artist—the qualities I identify in her are: her talent and connection to art, and her talent and strength in trusting her instincts. And she’s only 28! Her boyfriend, Stuart who is a talented artist as well is on the air with us. To hear about his own personal development within his relationship with Shona is the stuff of romance novels. This discussion moved me on so many levels. More proof that art is indeed healing. More about Shona and her work HERE: https://www.shonamcandrew.com/ Stuart Lantrys work HERE: https://www.instagram.com/stuartlantry/ here:
The first half of this session I spend time with 25 year old artist COLIN RADCLIFFE http://www.colinjradcliffe.com/ who is about to have a solo show at Equity Gallery in Manhattan. I am a huge fan of Colin’s so there is some fawning on my part which he handles well. Colin's work is particularly compelling because the emotional quality is so complex. Here are some adjectives: funny, quirky, weird, gross, beautiful, charming, repulsive, magical, pan-sexual, pan-racial (including/not limited to) races from other planets. His work is developed out of his personal relationships. DO NOT MISS his show!!
Opening Reception for Colin J. Radcliffe’s Left on Read- Thursday, April 18th, 2019, 6- 8 PM http://www.nyartistsequity.org/
NOAH BECKER, accomplished multi-hyphenate painter, writer, saxophonist and founder and editor-in-chief of Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, an online contemporary art magazine. Noah joins us to talk about his series of Artist Parties on the rooftop of the Jane Hotel, sponsored by his magazine. We talk about the history of artist parties in NYC, including the ones from the 80’s-90’s hosted by the late Baird Jones.
More about Baird Jones here: http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/finch/finch2-22-08.asp
More about Noah Becker and Whitehot magazine here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Becker
Kelsey Caine was my guest on the show 11.15.18, but she got to the RFB studio really late cause of a blizzard—we had a brief chat at that time and rescheduled her for today 3.27.19.
Since that November day, Kelsey invented a new a inspired hit, polarizing character, Penis C K. where she… well… see it for yourself here: https://twitter.com/kelsey_caine/status/1035573794516160512?lang=en
Kelsey tells us the story behind Penis C.K., including her experience of buying a “realistic” penis, and the joys and fallout of going on tour with this character. We also learn that Kelsey comes by this hilarious activism honestly as she describes a project she initiated at her old high school in Texas. https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bellaire/news/article/St-Agnes-alumna-pushes-for-sexual-assault-12913306.php
Kelsey’s original Dr. Lisa session from 11.15.18: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/drlisa/episodes/2018-12-23T10_50_45-08_00
This got fucked up—to hear my session with Alessandra Expósito, please start at the 28 minute mark.
Alessandra is a terrific artist and does a lot of work with animal skulls (including chicken skulls!) https://alessandraexposito.com/
She also does therapy on stage, where SHE IS THE PATIENT. She brought her shrink with her so we had a talk with Alessandra as the patient with 2 shrinks: me plus her own personal shrink that she brought along. Fascinating! Besides talking a bit about her work, we find that Alessandra is a bit, well, OCD. Like she showers immediately after every subway ride. I love how she talks about it—it's her quirk and she's ok with it. Not embarrassed, not ashamed, she just simply owning it. And she's had a guy for 8 years that thinks she's adorable (which she is). So here's what I learned for myself — don't try to hide your annoying habits from your partner. You're going to be that way anyway and it's much easier for them if you are ok with your own weirdness. The less defensive and responsible you are about your quirks, the more tolerable you will be to other people.
Rebecca Major is a smart, highly original, shit together artist. Dr. Lisa plumbs her childhood experience of moving at 5 years old with her mother and 10 year old sister from Budapest, Hungary to NYC to live with a prominent, wildly avant-guard theater group, the Squat Theater (active in a large communal setting. Rebecca has since become an accomplished artist and grounded adult, but it couldn’t have been easy. We get a great vision of her experience and some of the effect it’s had on her life.
More about Rebecca and her work here: http://www.rebeccamajor.com/
Learn about the Squat Theatre, an important part of NYC theater history: (From Wikipedia) Squat Theatre (1977–1991) was a Hungarian experimental theatre company from Budapest, which left Hungary for Paris, France, and then New York City, where they built a reputation for experimental theatre.
Originally, the Company was known as Kassák Haz Studió and was located at Uzsoki-utca 57, Budapest). For political and aesthetic reasons the Company emigrated to Paris then to the United States where they arrived in New York City first living at the Hotel Chelsea and then at 256 West 23rd Street where they lived, worked and performed from 1977 to 1985. Several members left Squat Theatre in 1985 when they lost the lease to their space on 23rd Street including Anna Koós, Péter Halász, Eric Daille, and Agnes Santha. The rest of the Company continued until 1991. Squat Theatre's last play was Full Moon Killer, 1991 and performed at The Kitchen in New York City.
The space on 23rd Street had a large window with a street entrance, and spectators sat in the back of the store facing the storefront window and the street beyond. Events took place with the street as backdrop, with the intention of unsettling the events, the relationship among the members of the group, and the audience. This set-up was first used in Rotterdam at 129a Van Oldenbarneveltstraat in the show Pig, Child, Fire! which was commissioned by the Toneelraad Rotterdam.
Five minutes before my show was to go live, I realized my guest wasn’t coming, so I called up my always entertaining friend, artist David Kramer and ragged on him for an hour. If you don’t know how mean I can be, well, listen to this. Kramer more than holds his own while we gossip about the art fairs in town. We find out what David’s working on, his upcoming solo exhibition in June at Front Room and whether or not he has stolen ideas from his 19 year old son, Martin who’s in film school. Here’s an video of David and Martin in therapy with me from 2007 when Martin was 9. Here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B83RKYFUA0g
More about David Kramer and his work here: https://davidkramer5000.com/
Ken Johnson started a project about 5 years ago titled Ball and Cone. http://ballandcone.tumblr.com/ Ball and Cone are simply the life and experiences of an anthropomorphized ball and an anthropomorphized cone duo in a comic style format. Ball and Cone have no sex or human identity, just one eye each, and they are adorably compelling and funny. They are very simple but explore questions and ideas that can be very complex, such as the meaning of existence and what is mirth? BUY THE BOOK here:
It was fascinating to talk with Ken about this work and the more than one thousand of drawings he's done for this project., the role it’s taken on in his daily life (he does about one a day) and the dialogue he has with his followers. I think the biggest surprise to me was to find out his largest audience is children, many from far-flung parts of the globe. The uniqueness in this work is how it can be accessed on the simplest level—drawings that communicate immediately to anyone—and how the ideas explored in these cartoons are also incredibly complex and philosophical-that is if you think about what is going on in the images, besides your initial reaction to its humor. To date Ken has created an in depth Tumblr, a more edited instagram as well as 2 books available on Amazon. Follow Ball and Cone here: https://www.instagram.com/ball_and_cone_/
Ken Johnson was born 1953 in Montclair New Jersey. Johnson is an American art critic. Johnson is a writer for the arts pages of The New York Times, where he covers gallery and museum exhibits. Johnson attended Brown University and State University of New York at Albany, earning a degree in art from the former in 1976 and a master’s degree in studio art, with a concentration in painting, from the latter in 1977.
In his journalism career he has written on contemporary art for several art magazines, newspapers and publications. He published for the Art Review in the New York Times, doing reviews for artists in NYC such as Don Doe and was the art critic for the Boston Globe from 2006-2007.
I am obsessed with the creative process which led me to becoming a fan of Jim Tews’s podcast "Quitting Comedy." http://www.jimtews.com/podcast.html He has great comedians talk about their career and process by starting with the premise : Have you ever thought of quitting comedy?
Comedian Jim Tews learned a lot about discipline from his years in the Coast Guard which turned out instrumental in helping his personal development and managing his creativity productively. In this session with Jim, we learn about his less-than-typical, comedy career journey from being brought up in a blue collar family from Allentown, Pa. and being told by his guidance counselor in high school that he wasn’t “college material” to enlisting in the Coast Guard and making a successful comedy career for himself. It turns out being yelled at constantly is good for any creative career really.
More about Jim here: http://www.jimtews.com/
and here: Jim Tews made his stand-up television debut on Last Comic Standing and was featured in an episode of Louie in 2014. Previously he was one of 2011’s New Faces at Just for Laughs Montreal and has performed in the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, and SF Sketchfest. He recently created/cowrote and starred in The Undone Sweaters web series about a sociophobic Weezer cover band, which was featured on Funny or Die and Nerdist.com. He also created the HBO Labs’s web series The Opener and recently directed a feature length documentary about Cleveland’s independent comedy scene called Make Fun. Felines of New York is his first book, and perhaps his greatest achievement to date.
Rolf Arne Leer had an unusual upbringing which connects him intimately to outsiders.
He is a highly creative, successful, HANDSOME guy who grew up on a farm in Norway that was also a center for mentally ill people. He is the 3rd generation to manage a facility where the working farm provides occupational therapy, housing and medical care for 16 patients at a time. Rolf and his sister were brought up with schizophrenic, bipolar patients, a Down syndrome woman, etc.
Quoted magazine is a glorious coffee table book style magazine that are spectacular profiles of 10 highly individualized New Yorkers, curated by Rolf and his staff. Together with Quoted Magazine’s brand Manager, Megan Davenport, Rolf takes us on a deep dive into his life growing up around the mentally ill as a daily part of life. His genuine love and compassion for these people was actually kinda moving to tears for this hard-boiled shrink that I am. I wish the life Rolf describes were available for all mentally troubled folks everywhere. The final analysis of Rolf, is because he “presents” as so normal and successful he is the ultimate ambassador for outsider humans in this wonderful city, New York, the world Capital of outsiders.