Music & Visions – projects selected by Giovanni Papalia + ThePT
Full of wonder, from Penelope’s first acoustic album, Birdboys, Recorded at Dave Wellhausen Studios, by Phillip “Snakefinger” Lithman in 1987 and Kevin Army.
“The first thing you’ll read in any overview of Penelope Houston’s career is that she fronted the seminal San Francisco punk band, The Avengers. While her involvement in that band and the power of the music she helped create with them should never be diminished, it seems odd that the two short years she spent in a band while barely out of her teens could overshadow a long, award-winning career as a pioneering singer-songwriter. Any serious examination of her work should not put the emphasis on the fact that she was in the Avengers, but instead on why she was in the Avengers. Her fearlessness made her willing to take the creative plunge into the nascent and exciting world of punk rock in the late 70’s without much experience as a writer or performer. The subsequent series of battles, successes and disappointments would provide her with the courage to take risks in everything she’s produced since.
In the early 80’s while clusters of bands were peddling a tired rehash of the original punk scene, Penelope had already moved on. After spending time abroad in the wake of the Avengers break-up, Penelope returned to San Francisco with the experimental and singular acoustic styles of artists like Tom Waits and the Violent Femmes pulling her further away from the world of punk and electric rock music. She was also able to access the influence of her youthful fascination with great English folk-rock icons such as Pentangle, Fairport Convention, and The Incredible String Band. As exciting as this progression was for Penelope, she was taking an artistic leap at a time when the music underground was still very guarded and conservative. The folk traditionalists weren’t accepting of her angsty vision of what folk music could be and the alternative clubs weren’t interested in sheltering some quiet folkie with jazz and country flourishes regardless of how much punk attitude Penelope still brought to her music…”
inspiration continues here
For more information on Julie Blackmon’s work, including pricing and availability, please click on one of the provided gallery links, or contact them by email or phone.
Robert Mann Gallery
New York, NY
Catherine Edelman Gallery
G Gibson Gallery
Fahey Klein Gallery
Santa Fe, NM
Robert Klein Gallery
The Phtotographer’s Gallery
+44 20 7087 9300