The Many Sides to Nowhere: Blurring the lines between music and art

Jim Nowhere is a punk rocker. If you were in a debate club, you’d have an easier time convincing someone you didn’t want to be a lawyer or a politician than poking holes in this fact. Heck, if you were a philosopher, even you would have a lot of trouble refuting how true this is.

Yep, he’s a punk. He’s got a punk rock attitude. He’s got a punk rock band. He’s even got a punk rock name. Even though you can call him a punk, you could also call him an artist, and you could call him a folk singer.

What you couldn’t call him is somebody that likes fitting into neat little categories.

Labels? Who needs ’em?

As Mr. Nowhere says, “I find genres to be limiting for most people, such as they will only listen to a certain brand of music, and not stray much from one thing to the next, even within a “defined genre” of music. I don’t really worry about it myself.”

He ain’t kidding.

Jim Nowhere is in a punk band called Zero Cool. He’s in a noise group called Serf X.  Oh yeah, and he does solo acoustic folk music.

“When I sit down to write a song,” Nowhere relates, “I don’t think about if it will be a solo tune, a ‘Zero Cool’ song, or something that will end up being re-hashed and stretched and toyed with under the ‘Serf X’ brand. I just get an idea for a rif, or a lyric and then expand upon it, play it for those involved, and see how it all develops.”

Luckily, Nowhere has a handy way to describe all these musical directions, in a way that transcends normal labels: “Political,” he says, “would probably be the best way to label my music, as I generally draw inspiration from the world of politics to write songs. Watching the news generally makes me angry, and I’ve found that music is a good place to release that anger, and far more productive then letting it fester inside until i become a bitter old man.

Not limiting himself to musical expression only in…well, music, Nowhere also permeates those sides of his creativity in his paintings. Recently, he finished a 5 piece painting series called “1930s Blues.” The set, influenced by both blues music and abstract art, together complete a story (and the parts of a guitar). The first is “The Singer.” The second, “Guitar Man.” The third, “Crossroads.” The fourth,”Mouth Organ Man.” And the fifth,”Notes.”

This blurring of the lines between music and art comes natural to Nowhere. He asserts: “everything is (or must be somehow) inspired by the things that came before it, and we are at a point in history where we have access to such vast amounts of previous knowledge and works that (I personally) find it hard to not be inspired by the works that have come before, either the wealth of recorded music from the past 100 years, or the well documented history of art be it “Modern” art or before, or this now “post-Modern” era that we appear to be in.”

When asked if he felt like he was crossing any lines between musician and artist, however, Nowhere said, “Not particularly, though the two have often been intertwined in my life, to the extent that they seem to promote each other. Despite the fact that the messages they send are not similar (most of the time).”

Jim Nowhere’s creative output may have many different sides, and go in numerous directions, but at its heart is a common source of inspiration. Now, folks might place various labels on the unique aspects of that motivation as it’s being expressed, but who says you have to pick just one way to go when you’re down at the crossroads?

From June 1st to July 31, Jim will have an art show at Cha Island Tea Co in Edmonton. (10332 81 Ave. NW)

Explore posts in the same categories: Edmonton Music Scene, Music from America's Hat, So Russell...what do you love about music?

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2 Comments on “The Many Sides to Nowhere: Blurring the lines between music and art”

  1. […] Fashion is a Passion, pp. 15-16I, Shithead, pp. 177-181Tyler Butler – Folk vs. Punk vs. Punk Lyndsay Hobbs – The Evolution of Punk The Many Sides to Nowhere: Blurring the lines between music and art  […]

  2. […] Fashion is a Passion, pp. 15-16I, Shithead, pp. 177-181 Tyler Butler – Folk vs. Punk vs. Punk Lyndsay Hobbs – The Evolution of Punk The Many Sides to Nowhere: Blurring the lines between music and art  […]

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