July 22, 2013
Dear Family & Friends,
George’s performance on May 21st in Santos Party House in New York City was a huge success. Thank you for those who were able to attend. And, of course, a big shout out to those of you who have shown their love and support by purchasing the “Coming Out” debut album. We deeply appreciate your support.
We’re excited to announce an upcoming event for Cousin George this summer.
A FESTIVAL WITH A PURPOSE
Cousin George will be performing at the Oakaloosa ’13 Music Festival Detroit, on Saturday Juvly 27th at Fort Wayne in Detroit. Cousin George will be opening up for festival features acts that include Girl Talk and Bones, Thugs and Harmony. Oakaloosa is the region’s first fully philanthropic music festival. A percentage of every dollar raised will be put toward the restoration of Historic Fort Wayne.
Oakaloosa is organized and supported by Detroit Sports Zone, Inc., a non-profit group committed to exposing people of all ages to sports, cultural arts, mentoring, life-skill development and character building activities. Additional proceeds from the festival will be used to support the youth sports and mentoring programs provided through Detroit Sports Zone, Inc.
Being a part of Oakaloosa is clear example of Cousin George’s commitment to performing for philanthropic organizations. It is Cousin George’s mission to help raise funds while amplifying awareness for various charitable causes.
The fair starts at noon and Cousin George will perform after 6 pm. For Tickets visit www.oakaloosa.com. We look forward to seeing you at the festival!
May 21, 2013
“Coming Out” Album Launch
I would like to personally invite you to celebrate the release of my debut album,
Some of you may know me from my past, through my work or my travels, others from
my interest in collecting contemporary art. What many of you don’t know is that I am a
singer and songwriter for over 25 years and for the past two, I have been recording
these original tracks in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. The album “Coming Out” is
the first of a series of albums to be released. It is a lyrical journey of occurrences in life:
gains, losses, love, hate, risks, choices that are relatable and my experiences from
living and travelling the globe.
This is my “Coming Out Party” party to re-identify myself as an artist and musician. The
special event will take place on May 21st, 2013 at Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette St,
NYC with Open Bar from 8pm to 11pm.
Under one of my alter-egos, Cousin George, I collaborated with an amazing group of
producers and musicians. The videos that support the music are part of the Coming
Out film series project I am producing with domestic and international artists that
include: Luis Gispert, Kalup Linzy and Nate Lowman, Bottomless Well and Richard
Dupont. Album cover by Jin Meyerson.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you at the launch party.
Cousin George (aka George M. Haddad)
Artwork by Jin Meyerson
Jin Meyerson’s paintings are schizophrenic semi-abstractions based on throwaway images from magazines and other random pieces of visual culture. Although the use of media imagery is common ground for many contemporary painters, Meyerson’s take on the topic is more manic than most; while artists such as Ulrich Lamsfuss, Johannes Kahrs and Gerhard Richter are more concerned with the faithful – almost obsessive – copy, Meyerson’s takes his source material as a sketch which he can distort, tear apart, rearrange and fill with psychedelic color.
Meyerson does not completely destroy or obscure the images, but by the end of his more-or-less unplanned interventions the painting’s origin is severely disguised. Most of Meyerson’s work displays his fascination with moving images, but for him a moment of speed or activity caught on film is not enough; the addition of swirling bands of striking color add to the sense of motion to create something that functions beyond the limits of painting and photography, making the viewer ‘feel’ the energy of the image and invoke the spectacle of real life action when the moment itself is long over
Here goes the content
It took almost 25 years to get the voices out of my head. All I had to do was cut it off.
The beheading was Sean Metelerkamp’s idea (the South African director who filmed Die Antwoord’s now famous “Zef Side” video) – his macabre vision to have my head served on a platter to my lover for the song “Lonely Without You.” I blinked for a second, but the process of marrying my vision and his to create something new and unexpected was worth it. It turns out decapitation is pretty liberating.
Kurt Vonnegut helped me see that. We used to chat on the way home from my old job, me and the great rebel novelist of the 20th century. One afternoon, I told him I’d been composing and singing to myself for decades, but that it’s always been my little secret with the world. But he insisted that it was not only tragic, but morally wrong to not pursue my dreams. He believed it wholeheartedly, and he made me believe.
Kurt passed not long after, and I started learning how to make music my own way. I’m not a guitarist; I don’t play piano. I have zero musical training. But the songs — the voices — have always been in my head, and I’ve never stopped writing. The old ways never worked for me, but that doesn’t matter anymore; we don’t have to be walled in by convention.
I’m a collector. As a rule, we’re not supposed to make art. Worse, I’m a Wall Street refugee, and we’re definitely not supposed to make art. But then, I wasn’t supposed to grow up listening to DEVO and Laurie Anderson either. You start in a blue collar factory town in Connecticut and it’s a big deal if you move to the next village over, forget about to New York City. The point is: the “supposed to’s” are bullshit. What you do is what really f*cking matters anyway.
Take music videos. They bore me (that’s what convention does to you — it makes you boring). So I’m going to do something different. “Coming Out” is about more than just the album, or just an album title. It’s about shedding your comfortable skin and becoming what you’re really meant to be. New York is home to the most exciting artists in the world and they’re coming out with me to explore a new, boundary-crossing medium of music, art and storytelling. Neither I nor Richard Dupont had ever shot a film before, yet we made a video from my song “One Hit Wonder” together, culminating in a beautiful sculpture made from one hit wonders. I’ve also had the intense pleasure of tapping into the massive talents Lius Gispert, Monica Cook, Kalup Linzy, Nate Lowman and several other renegade creative types. When you strike out and leave the familiar behind, real magic happens.
In the last twenty years I’ve lived and worked in over 40 countries, becoming friends with exceptional artists, filmmakers, talented musicians and music-lovers alike – and I’ve been spiritually blown away by how much we all (all people) have in common. Art has that ineffable power to break down the barriers between us, to make us part of this big, weird, essential family. It’s time to stop being secret and silent, and for the voices to be heard.
Let’s all come out … and break out together. Get it on.
Artwork by Till Freiwald
Till Freiwald makes closely observed portrait pictures, watercolors on paper, in two formats: one around 30 by 20 inches and the other around 90 by 60 inches. The view in both sizes is identical: full frontal, with the head cropped at the top of the sheet and the ears just contained within the vertical edges. The smaller are painted from life; the larger are subsequently painted from the artist’s memory. From the small format to the large, little changes other than the scale itself. In any case, presumably the original sessions-the smaller portraits are the result of several sittings-are necessary to the large pictures. Are then the larger portraits necessary to the smaller? The smaller paintings, after all, don’t call out for enlargement; they aren’t so small. At 30 inches high, the heads we meet in them are already well over life-size.
EH Gombrich has written that “style, like any other uniform, is also a mask which hides as much as it reveals.” What Freiwald reveals with the style of these pictures is his literacy in a common idiom, but he also uses style as a cloaking device that allows him to contemplate both a face and its image in uncommon stillness and even more uncommon privacy. The fidelity they suggest is not to the observable world but to an interior repository. The dramatic shift in scale becomes a clue to the viewer of Freiwald’s uncanny inner process. How else would we ever even guess it might exist?
“Out of my Head” by Cousin George
Artwork and animation by Lucas Millard and Kate Stryker of Bottomless Well Films
We first met at the Bushwick Open Studios. Kate and Lucas are up and coming artists, with tremendous talent and potential, coming out of the hipster Brooklyn Art Scene.
Track 1 – Extremes – Lyrics
Track 2 – Immediate Action – Lyrics
Track 3 – One More Chance – Lyrics
Track 4 – Lucky Day – Lyrics
Track 5 – Lonely Without You – Lyrics
Track 6 – Yellow Hair – Lyrics
Track 7 – One Hit Wonder – Lyrics
Track 8 – Over and Over – Lyrics
Track 9 – Advice – Lyrics
Track 10 – Out of My Head – Lyrics
Track 11 – Clouds from the Ground – Lyrics
Track 12 – Coming Out – Lyrics
Track 13 – Advice Remix – Lyrics
Wall Street Refugee Music, LLC