Bits 'n' Pieces: Insanitizers band's new CD a redo

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Felida guitarist and songwriter Conrad Swartz posed an interesting question to himself before putting together his latest album: If university professors can release revisions of their writings, why can't musicians?

It's an especially apt question for Swartz, 66, who along with Tom Robertson, 67, make up the "flamenco rockabilly surf" band The Insanitizers.

That's because Swartz is a retired tenured professor emeritus in psychology from Southern Illinois University.

"As a professor, I see that books, papers, research, pretty much everything gets revised," Swartz said. "So we decided we could do a revision of our first album."

The new release, which came out in late December, is called "Whimsical Surf Version 2."

It's a less harsh but still edgy reconstruction of the first "Whimsical Surf" album that came out in March 2010 when the group was a quartet, he said.

"The new one is smoother and cleaner," Swartz said. "Everything is more distinct."

Swartz and his wife retired to Vancouver because they fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. He found his bandmates for the quartet and duo through Craigslist and Meetup groups, he added.

The duo plans to play next at Vancouver's Everybody's Music at 2312 Main St. in February, although they haven't decided on a specific date yet, he said.

"We dress up to look like that Home Shopping Network guitarist, Esteban," Swartz said.

Their CD is available at the store or online through CD Baby. Visit http://us.myspace.com/insanitizers for more information.

— Sue Vorenberg

Artist shares her 'Petite Pleasures' at Camas gallery

Artist Sue Clancy proudly proclaims the day she and her partner moved to Vancouver as the "awesome day of June 26, 2011," she wrote in an email. Starting today, Clancy can check off another milestone: showcasing her eye-catching artwork in her newly adopted home.

The show, titled "Petite Pleasures," at Second Story Gallery will feature Clancy's paper artwork, with anthropomorphic animals as the subjects. The pieces also incorporate stories or puns into the imagery and titles.

She uses animals as a way to tell human stories. "Since humans could make marks on cave walls we've been drawing animals in an effort to say 'this thought/information/memory is important,'" Clancy wrote, though her animals are just as fun as they are metaphorical.

"The Second Story Gallery exhibit is my introduction to this area and it's my version of the 'shop local' concept," Clancy wrote.

She has shown her work in shows from Wisconsin to Portland, and she looks forward to being an active participant in Clark County's arts. The exhibit will include 20 images and eight handmade books of her paper craft.

"I think of art exhibits as 'novels' or 'essays' and each piece of artwork is a 'chapter' or 'paragraph' within the whole that the viewer assembles in their mind," she wrote.

An Oklahoma native, Clancy's excitement and newcomer view of the Pacific Northwest has fueled her inspiration for her Second Story Gallery show.

"Petite Pleasures" will open with an artist's reception from 5 to 8 tonight and is on display through Jan. 28. at the gallery, in Camas Public Library, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas.

— Ashley Swanson

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.