Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Living in Suburban Sprawl

"Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" 
by Arcade Fire

They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock
These days my life, I feel it has no purpose
But late at night the feelings swim to the surface
'Cause on the surface the city lights shine,
They're calling at me, "Come and find your kind."

Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl.
Living in the sprawl,
Dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight.
I need the darkness; someone please cut the lights

We rode our bikes to the nearest park
Sat under the swings and kissed in the dark.
We shield our eyes from the police lights.
We run away, but we don't know why.
Black river, your city lights shine
They're screaming at us, "We don't need your kind."

Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl.
Living in the sprawl,
Dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight.
I need the darkness; someone please cut the lights

They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock.
Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
Can we ever get away from the sprawl?
Living in the sprawl,
Dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight.
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Sonorous Serenade to You My Love

August 7, 2012
The Steve Allen Theater
"Eban Schletter's Fantastical Musicorium"
 Riki Lindhome tereminactically swooned by Mike Phirman

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feed the Birds

Eban Schletter renders "Feed the Birds" on the theremin in tribute to Robert Bernard Sherman (12/19/1925 - 3/5/2012). Schletter is both 'evil' genius (see "Eban Schletter's Witching Hour") and friend of Peter's. His "Fantastical Musicorium" is still in residence at LA's Steve Allen Theater.
Isn't the theremin a fantastical instrument!  Here's Eban, again,  playing the Intermezzo from Pietro Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana".

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reaching Back in order to Move Forward

Williams College step dance team. Sankofa is an Akan (majority tribe in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire) word. It is often symbolized by the Akan bird with its head turned backwards taking an egg off its back and associated with the proverb “take from the past what is good and bring it into the present”.

“When the remains of hundreds of colonial-era Africans were uncovered during a building excavation in Lower Manhattan in 1991, one coffin in particular stood out. Nailed into its wooden lid were iron tacks, 51 of which formed an enigmatic, heart-shaped design. The pattern was soon identified as the sankofa — a symbol printed on funereal garments in West Africa — and it captured the imagination of scholars, preservationists and designers. Ultimately, it was embraced by many African-Americans as a remarkable example of the survival of African customs in the face of violent subjugation in early America.” – NYTimes, 1/26/10

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Listen, Darling

Buzz (doesn't he look absolutely stunned in this scene!) and Pinkie go on the road after Judy (I mean Pinkie) sings "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" in the early scenes of Listen, Darling. She seems so very young and real.  The year of release is 1938 - the same year The Wizard was shot, but I'd rather watch/listen to this wonderful old tear jerker that leaves no emotion hidden behind any curtain.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Different World in Each One's Mind

     "Wildly, like trapped animals, the seven of them made their way forward into the darkness of the living room. Under their feet, the carpet stirred restlessly. They could hear it all around them, the uneasy living presence, rippling and fretting, struggling into irritable animation....
     "On all sides, lamps and books stirred sullenly. Once, Mrs. Pritchet gave a mindless squeak of terror; the cord of the television set had craftily wrapped itself around her ankle. Bill Laws, with a swift yank of his hand, snapped the cord and pulled her loose. Behind them, the severed cord lashed furiously, impotently."
Eye in the Sky, Philip K. Dick

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Alison Bolsom

Alison will be performing this Sunday afternoon (July 29) at Copley Square, 4:45pm, free. It's part of the New England Conservatory's Summer Arts Weekend.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Nitin Sawhney

<param value="config=" name="flashvars"/>

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cristina Cárdenas

We found the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center (ALAC) across from our hotel on E. Adams Street in downtown Pheonix. December will mark its third year of existence. The current exhibit features latina artists (the 2nd Annual Latina Art Exhibit and Festival). We especially liked the work of Cristina Cárdenas featured here in a 2010 interview on Arizona Public Media.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Canine Wisdom

"White Fang's feel of Beauty Smith was bad. From the man's distorted body and twisted mind, in occult ways, like mists rising from malarial marshes, came emanations of the unhealth within. Not by reasoning, not by the five senses alone, but by other and remoter and uncharted senses, came the feeling to White Fang that the man was ominous with evil, pregnant with hurtfulness, and therefore a thing bad, and wisely to be hated."   
White Fang, Jack London 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Abdelmajid Bekkas

More European jazz scene: Moroccan Majid Bekkas (oud and guembri). Moroccan Gnawa music seems to be a mix of Arabic, Sufi, and Sub-Saharan Berber mysticism to which we now add the jazz/blues.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Said Tichiti

Hear more from this Hungarian based jazz ensemble, Tariqa, at

Monday, May 14, 2012

Who killed Amanda Palmer?

Why are fans throwing money at our Lexington raised Dresden doll?*

*Indie artist Amanda Palmer raises $437,000 in 3 Days.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gubble gubble gubble

     "Bending over her he saw her languid, almost rotting beauty fall away. Yellow cracks spread through her teeth, and the teeth split and sank into her gums, which in turn became green and dry like leather, and then she coughed and spat up into his face quantities of dust. The Gubbler had gotten her, he
PKD reading Blade Runner article
Photo courtesy of Philip K. Dick Trust
     "Her eyes fused over, opaque, and from behind one eye the lashes became the furry, probing feet of a thick-haired insect stuck back there wanting to get out. Its tiny pin-head red eye peeped past the loose rim of her unseeing eye, and then withdrew; after that the insect squirmed, making the dead eye of the woman bulge, and then, for an instant, the insect peered through the lens of her eye, looked this way and that, saw him but was unable to make out who or what he was; it could not fully make use of the decayed mechanism behind which it lived....
     "The dead mouth twitched and then from deep inside at the bottom of the pipe which was the throat a voice muttered, 'You weren't fast enough.' And then the head fell off entirely, leaving the white pointed stick-like end of the neck projecting.
Martian Time-Slip, Philip K. Dick

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lullaby for District 12

Deep in the meadow, under the willow
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow
Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes
And when again they open, the sun will rise.

Here it's safe, and here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.

Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, A moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when again it's morning, they'll wash all away.

Here it's safe, and here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Skrillex does Marley

"It's staying true to the Rasta lingo," says Skrillex. "It's got a traditional dub vibe, but it's very dancefloor friendly. It caters to his vocals really well."


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"The darkness placed its arm around her and drew her close." - The Blood Spilt, Åsa Larsson

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Her heart ... was an empty kitchen: floor tile and water pipes and a drainboard with pale scrubbed surfaces, and one abandoned glass on the edge of the sink that nobody cared about." - A Scanner Darkly, Philip K. Dick

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chunky Moves

Chunky Move is at MASS MoCA March 24 & 25.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Flow My Tears - the policeman said

"Flow, My Teares (Lachrimae)"
(John Dowland 1563-1626)

Flow my teares fall from your springs,
Exilde for ever: Let me morne
Where nights black bird hir sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorne.

Downe vaine lights shine you no more,
No nights are dark enough for those
That in dispaire their last fortunes deplore,
Light doth but shame disclose.

Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pittie is fled,
And teares, and sighes, and grones  
My wearie days of all joyes have deprived.

From the highest spire of contentment,
My fortune is throwne,
And feare, and griefe, and paine 
For my deserts, are my hopes since hope is gone.

Hark you shadowes that in darnesse dwell,
Learn to contemne light,
Happy they that in hell
Feele not the worlds despite.

Flow My Tears - The Policeman Said, the novel by Philip K. Dick, refers to this haunting song from long ago and only yesterday (the Sting 2006 recording). By the time the novel's policeman appeals to his tears, they well-up easily enough in the reader. There seems to be reference to Dick's long departed twin sister in this work which, of course, adds to the melancholy.

I particularly like this version of the song because it employs at least rudimentary vocal harmonies rather than being set as a vehicle for countertenor solo.

Lachrimae (the song to which words were later added) is sometimes presented in counterpoint form, but, sadly, not at the same time for voice. I'm just not a period purist in aspiration.

"It is hard to write a beautiful song. It is harder to write several individually beautiful songs that, when sung simultaneously, sound as a more beautiful polyphonic whole. The internal structures that create each of the voices separately must contribute to the emergent structure of the polyphony, which in turn must reinforce and comment on the structures of the individual voices. The way that is accomplished in detail is...'counterpoint'." - John Rahn

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Telephone Call

A Telephone Call is a short film by Melissa Sullivan based on a classic short story by Dorothy Parker. 
     " God, aren't You really going to let him call me? Are You sure, God? Couldn't You please relent? Couldn't You? I don't even ask You to let him telephone me this minute, God; only let him do it in a little while. I'll count five hundred by fives. I'll do it so slowly and so fairly. If he hasn't telephoned then, I'll call him. I will. Oh, please, dear God, dear kind God, my blessed Father in Heaven, let him call before then. Please, God. Please.

      Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twentyfive, thirty, thirty-five.…"

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Dangerous Method

What is Truth? (Ah, sorry, I forgot — there is no such thing in our post-modern age.)

Not an awful lot of Fassbender's bourgois Jung rang true for me, but A Dangerous Method tries, nevertheless, to tell a fascinating story. Freud doesn't come across any better — there's just not much room left for the men.

To me the storytellers and their camera are so fascinated by Sabina Spielrein (as portrayed by Keira Knightley) that they can find no room for any other dynamic characters, not even the likes of real life giants — Jung and Freud.

About the only thing that rang remotely real was Jung's love of sailing. What was there about him that so challenged Freud, that so attracted women? That, apparently, is a different film — certainly not this one.

Delicate Steve - band of the month

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grand Rapids lipdubs its way to fame

My film buff friend, Bob, calls this video, "the most amazing single shot I've ever seen." You may think you've seen this done before, but, as verse after verse of "American Pie" goes by and singer after singer picks up the tune, you begin to say to yourself, "Wow", and, then, you're just left Speachless in Grand Rapids.

The video's Director & Executive Producer, Rob Bliss says, "the Grand Rapids LipDub Video was filmed May 22 [, 2011 for $40,000] with 5,000 people, and involved a major shutdown of downtown Grand Rapids, which was filled with marching bands, parades, weddings, motorcades, bridges on fire, and helicopter take offs. It is the largest and longest LipDub video, to date.

"This video was created as an official response to the Newsweek article calling Grand Rapids a "dying city." We disagreed strongly, and wanted to create a video that encompasses the passion and energy we all feel is growing exponentially, in this great city. We felt Don McLean's "American Pie," a song about death, was in the end, triumphant and filled to the brim with life and hope."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Classical as you don't remember it

Heard the George Hurd Ensemble at the Red Poppy. It's a tiny performance space in San Francisco's Mission district, but the ensemble's music was BIG.  The house was packed and loudly
appreciative as long as the electronic track played along with the "band".

It's the rhythm of the electronics that takes Hurd's music out of the straight classical and makes it special. Sadly, this clip doesn't give you the full sense of the electronica. Maybe fans will grab more of this stuff to share as the ensemble becomes more widely known.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

He gives life!

It may be hard to imagine seeing a horror show with a bunch of people who are howling in laughter, but that's "Re-Animator:The Musical". I saw the show in March, but it refuses to die. Herbert West gives life! ...not merely the semblance of life, as he proves here in a scene that usuals gets an audible gasp from the audience.

And this is just ONE scene. Music Director Peter Adams is no longer playing every night, but even that can't kill this show. There's talk of opening another venue in Chicago, but for now it's all yours LA!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Electronic Music Marathon April 30

At the BEAMS Electronic Music Marathom, Brandeis University, Saturday, April 30, sometime between approximately 7 and 8pm Mari Kimura performs three songs. Her repertoire combines the violin with signal processing, interactive computer, pre-recorded sound, and GuitarBot- a robotic guitar simulator.

Sadly it doesn't appear that the GuitarBot will be coming with her.