Sunday, October 17, 2010

November is a Month of Great Art, Film, T-Shirts, Animation & Music with Andrew Dolan & The Good Sams

Andrew Dolan is a multi-talented artist, illustrator, t-shirt designer, band front man, musician, filmmaker, songwriter and animator. In his just 28 years on the planet, Dolan has pursued his creative side tirelessly literally since birth and now he’s happy to share his music and images with the world once more.
And that’s why Dolan is converting the old post office building in his hometown Moss Landing, Calif. into a performance space and an art gallery called Surf Hound Studios, to display his animation, present a film he’s produced and rock the house with his three-member country/old-time classic band, The Good Sams.
The Good Sams are releasing Dead Sam’s Music Double Feature, their first record on November 20th with a party where half of the $10 door admission will go to Baby Mathew, a local child who has Leukemia.

It’s an exciting time for Dolan for many reasons, he explained. “In a nutshell, I am going public with my art studio! We’re creating a great space for art at the old post office building here in Moss Landing. We’re providing a creative environment for the community to gather and it just so happens to be a working artist space.

Dolan has assembled a very busy schedule of art, film and music in November. “We’ll be hosting an open mic night every Tuesday night in November. On Friday nights we’ll be for screening classic cinema of the cult classic variety. We’ll kick it off starting with Faster Pussy Cat! Kill! Kill! on November 5th and further screenings are yet to be announced. In addition, Surf Hound Studio will also act as a store front for my t-shirt business, which I founded with local artist, surfer and skateboarder Luke Braddock in 2008. We’ll be selling our original Moss Landing t-shirts and other designs of the fashionably progressive sort, as well as limited edition posters, flip books, and a whole lot of Surf Cartoon Art from the animation. And of course The Good Sams will be playing on Nov. 20 at our first record release party. Bring a camera to capture some of the freakish sights, because you’ll have to see them to believe them!”

What was the genesis of his art exhibit, we asked Dolan. “My paintings are essentially large stand ups of characters I created for my animation initially featured on FuelTV,” Dolan said. “My creations, including Bad Bob, The Kook, the Naked Mermaid, the Shark, and the Octopus. Works will include original hand-painted frames from my animation. Also, life-size wood cut outs of the characters in my movie will be on hand. Since before The Good Sams first formed as a band, My main artistic influences have been Jim Phillips, Rick Griffin, R. Crumb, and Dr. Seuss.”

How do you describe the music played by The Good Sams? “The punk thing usually gives old-time music a bad rap,” Dolan explained. “People want to classify it as cow punk, or psychobilly, or something lame. But our punk is in our hearts, so we don’t like it to be categorized. It’s 100% original, but our sound is what we call classic early country. Some folks have said we remind them of Bob Wills, Django, Johnny Cash, Emmett Miller hybrid, and that’s very flattering, of course, to put us in the same sentence with those musical legends. Major contributions on the record came from local top names in bluegrass, including Darryl Cornell (lead guitar) and Peter Hicks (fiddle and mandolin).”

Let’s meet the members of The Good Sams, as described by Dolan:
Andrew Dolan:
“I write the songs. I am 28 now, and I’ve been writing music and lyrics since I was 18. My dad, Phillip Burgess, was an artist and a musician. He wasn’t around while I was growing up. My mom realized quickly that I had the same talent my father possessed, so she always encouraged me to play music. I wasn’t too into it at the time, so I didn’t nurture that part of my art. I think I just wanted to surf all the time at that period in my life. I hadn’t seen my dad for over a decade, until one day when he showed up on our doorstep, bearing hand-carved hope chests. He asked if I had a guitar. I did, an old Gibson that my mom salvaged from a junked car on my grandpa’s junk yard. That guitar has a bunch of names carved into it, and the neck is bent. My father tuned it up, sang, and finger picked the opening lines of Momma Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys. His voice was a sound that I was looking for in my music, and I wanted to sound like my dad from that moment on. I’ve been finger-picking, writing songs, and singing ever since, and that was 10 years ago. I graduated from Cal-State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in May 2010 with a film degree, and the Dead Sams Music was my thesis project.”

Corey Helgeson: “Corey, 26, is our bass player. We knew each other for years because we both surf and live in the same town. We finally discovered that he plays stand up bass, and we both gravitate toward the same old time American music, as well as 80’s punk. We jammed one time to see if it was cool and we’ve been playing original old time music together ever since. Corey makes surfboards for a living and he’s a great member of The Good Sams.”

George Brooks: “He joined the band for Halloween in 2007. George plays a mean peddle steel guitar and we wanted that honky tonk sound for our act, so we’re pleased that we found him. He’s pretty old, I think, uh, sixty or something, but he’s extremely cool and my neighbor.”

Sunshine Jackson: “She’s a great backup singer and a percussionist for the band. She also provided voices for my animation. Sunshine is also a long-time member of a very popular band in Monterey, Calif. called DTR.”

Upcoming important dates for Andrew Dolan and The Good Sams:

Sunday, October 31st
KPIG Radio: 107.5 FM
11 am
The Good Sams will be performing their Halloween song

Friday, November 12th
KZSC Radio: 88.1 FM
8 am

Saturday, November 13th
Moss Landing Chamber Of Commerce
8071 Moss Landing Rd.
Moss Landing, CA 95039
noon-5 pm
The Baby Mathew Event!

Saturday, November 20th
Surf Hound Studios
Old Post Office Building, Moss Landing Strip
7981 Moss Landing Rd.
Moss Landing, CA 95039
6 pm to 9 pm
Admission: $10
$5 of cover goes to Baby Mathew with Leukemia.
Surf Hound Studio's doors are opening on November 2nd.

Saturday, November 20th
Old Post Office Building, Moss Landing Strip
7981 Moss Landing Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039
6 pm-9 pm
Surf Hound Studio
Double Feature Release Party!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

20 Minutes with Martina

I had a chance to talk with Martina Navratilova for 20 minutes the other day to plug an upcoming charity fundraiser starring Martina and Gigi Fernandez. I called her in Paris and at first I thought oops--maybe I caught her on a bad day.

“You’re late,” she said.

(I was exactly one minute late—I forgot to dial the international code. So, I did what I always do—diffuse an awkward moment with some humor)

“I write for a publication called The Marina Times in San Francisco, and my editor told me that if I can get a good interview with you, maybe they can change the name to The Martina Times.”

(She laughed. Whew, I thought)

Q: It seems like you do a ton of fundraising for PETA and so many other organizations. Is it almost like a full-time job?
A: Yes, it could be if I said yes to everything. The key is to say no sometimes because there is only one me and you can only do so much and then I have to pay the rent. I have to pick my spots, so I stick with things that I believe in and work with causes I want to be involved in and that make sense to me.

Q: We recently watched Unmatched, the ESPN 30 30 documentary about your lifelong friendship and rivalry with Chris Evert and it’s a wonderful documentary. Can you think of a rivalry in professional sports that is anything even close to the one that existed for so many years between you and Chrissy?
I can’t think of one. Writers have mentioned Ali and Frazier, but they only fought against each other three times total? Ted Williams and DiMaggio, but they never really faced each other. Palmer and Nicklaus in golf, for instance? I can’t think of one close to what we went through, because we were #1 and #2 in the world and then we would switch, so there isn’t anything else like that, I think.

Q: You had a trainer for a while who told you not to be so chummy with Evert, because she was the enemy, correct?
Yes, Nancy Lieberman was my trainer for a while and she was so competitive that she told me, “Chrissy has something you want and you just can’t be hanging out with her and being all buddy buddy.” And she was wrong about that, but in the end I learned that I did play differently against friends; I was nicer. It was like I didn’t mind losing against my friends. It was telling myself, “Hey, it was Chris who beat me—it’s not that bad.” I needed to get that killer instinct, but I think that Nancy Lieberman took it too far and Chrissy and I were able to find a nice balance eventually. Chris herself had a hard time being close to me, and she had to stop playing doubles with me, because once I started beating her, she didn’t want to hang out with me either. First it came from her and then I started backing off as well. Then we became closer after we quit playing, because then we weren’t competing against each other. Even in the heart of competition, we never lost the empathy and respect that we had for each other.

Q: You were on the reality show, I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here and you lost to somebody named Joe Swash?
Well, I didn’t actually lose. I finished second out of 12 people. There are so many so-called celebrities out there due now to these reality shows. It’s kind of bizarre. Look at this flight attendant who slid out of a plane, now he’s getting his own show. Today, you can be famous just for being famous. It’s called “instant celebrity”. I get calls all the time to be on reality shows, but I haven’t found one I want to do. Dancing with the Stars has been recruiting me, but I can’t do those high heels and I just don’t see myself dressed up like that. It’s just not me. The Apprentice would be fun, but they offered me such little money to be on it. I don’t need to be on TV that bad.

Q: I also read somewhere that you’re a pescatarian, which means you only eat fish for your animal protein?
A: I also eat some meat now, but only very little. I was a total vegetarian for seven years and then I discovered that my body was screaming for animal protein, so I started eating meat, but only as little as possible. Your body chemistry changes as you get older and I want to get back to the point of not eating meat again, but not right now I eat primarily fish. I won’t eat lobster because I’ve seen them alive in the water, and I don’t want to kill them. They have to live so long to get to a decent size and I just feel guilty about it.

Q: Speaking of lobster, you played for the Boston Lobsters, a Women TeamTennis Association team in the ‘70s. Why hasn’t team tennis be a success in this country?
A: Well, I think because people still see tennis as an individual sport. I loved playing on a team and I thought it was good for the spectators to see so many different top players in 1.5 hours. You don’t get to witness that in a standard tournament format. Then, the fans get to see the same players playing week after week, so they build a bond with the members of their team. In a tournament, after two days three quarters of the field is gone, and if you didn’t get tickets to the finals, you’re out of luck. I don’t really know why team tennis hasn’t taken, other than maybe people don’t see tennis as a team sport. I do remember that the money wasn’t that great. I made $60,000 for the season for 40 matches. We were grossly underpaid. Players get more for first round doubles today!

Q: I know you’ve been on The Howard Stern radio show more than once and you’re a good friend with Robin Quivers. Have you gotten heat from your management or from the public for being on that show?
A: Not really. Robin is a friend of mine and I have a standing offer to be on the show. Howard is very respectful of me on the show. He’s very bright and says exactly what he feels. I wasn’t worried, because I knew I could hold my own with him. I respect the man and in many ways, we agree politically.

Q: I read somewhere that a tennis writer chose you as the #2 best tennis women’s player of all time behind Steffi Graff. I found that surprising. Don’t people pretty much consider you as the greatest female tennis player of all time?
Most do, but it will always be debated, just like the debate on the men’s side. Not everyone will love me and that’s just fine. I’m not all concerned about how writers or anyone else sees my career, because I’m happy to have made a living playing the game I love, and that’s enough for me. Awards and recognition are nice, but really in the end, it all about how you acted and what you achieved.

Q: What is your favorite Czech food?
Anything with mushrooms in them is my favorite, especially truffles. White truffles are coming into season right now and I love them.