3 Cities: 3 Choreographers

I went to Center Stage Theater to review the dance recital “3 Cities: 3 Choreographers” and encountered the choreography of S.B.’s Misa Kelly for I think the first time. What’s even cooler (in lieu of my review that I am still writing as on this post) is that a lot of the work is online. Used to be that dance was impossible to see outside the live experience, but YouTube changed that.

Gypsy Dreams by Misa Kelly. Erika Kloumann danced this tonight instead of Shari Brookler in the video. Same idea though. Music by Iva Bittova.

Nadar Sabe Mi Llama el Agua Fría (Part One)

Nadar Sabe Mi Llama el Agua Fría (Part Two)
This was danced by Kaita Lepore this evening. I don’t know who that is in the vid, but it may be her.

Le Jardin Rouge by Misa Kelly. Anaya Cullen danced tonight instead of Gwenna Devries.

I couldn’t find any vids by choreographer Kerstin Stuart, tho’ I’d love to see her dance with Ana Flecha set to Massive Attack’s Teardrop, which was brilliant. However, I did find the above rehearsal vid of Louie Cornejo’s Weathering. But its’ very hard to see what’s going on and it’s not very representation of the finished piece.
Kelly’s work is great, though. My job is writing about dance…not always the easiest of things.

Colin Hay live at SOhO, 05.22.08

Colin Hay!
Men at Work was the first concert I saw back when I was a wee lad. Tonight at SOhO I got to see Colin Hay play solo and I got a photo with him at the end. Cool! In this setting he’s very funny and tells a lot of amusing anecdotes. For a sample of what that sounds like, check out this mp3 of a TV interview with him on Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope show from ABC Australia.

Set List:
Going Somewhere
What Would Bob Do?
Who Can It Be Now
Melbourne Song
Norwegian Wood
Get Over You
Death Row Conversation
Beautiful World
Looking for Jack
Down Under
Overkill (yes! my favorite!)
Are You Looking at Me?
Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

Only 15 songs, but understand that with all the storytelling, this was a two hour plus concert. If you get a chance to see him play in this kind of setting, I highly recommend it, even if you’re not much of a Men at Work fan.

Welcome back, it’s me.

Dengue Fever live!
Sure have been gone a long time, folks! And I should keep up with posting, after all I have thousands of devoted fans I can’t let down. Well, maybe not thousands, but hundreds. Okay, maybe not hundreds, more like my mom and a few friends. But still I can’t let them down!!
I took Spring Break in Vancouver and Portland and the Canada photos are already up. I’ve been busy writing and teaching.
I’m always nervous to get behind a candidate, but I’ve come around to Obama over the last months. I’ve more and more impressed with his speeches and his attitude. The man seems genuine. I’ve also stood back, impressed, as he’s used every negative moment as a chance to go on the offensive. Last night was the unbelievably shitty and moronic travesty of a debate on ABC. But tonight I saw this footage:

OMG!!! Did you see that? He referenced Jay-Z! To wit:

I’m not saying that I’m voting for Obama because he likes Jay-Z, but this is just to show that he knows some great political Aikido and a reference like this just shows how this is a totally different game we’re in now. This isn’t politics as usual.
Lastly, I went to go see Dengue Fever play SOhO tonight and it was excellent. More photos soon. My friends Sami and Doug were there, along with tons of peeps that I know, so it was a good night out.
Here’s my favorite song from the night, the groovy and hypnotic “Seeing Hands,” which could have gone on 20 more minutes for my taste.

Cornelius! At the Walt Disney Concert Hall!!

Erica and I met Jon and Joan down in L.A. last night for the one-night-only appearance of Cornelius at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. For Jon and myself this was our first time seeing Cornelius since the Fantasma Tour in 1998. For the ladies, it was their first time ever. (CORRECTION: Jon reminds me he saw the band in 2002.) Keigo Oyamada and his band (which includes their smokin’ ace drummer Yuko Araki) dress sharp and produce a tight post-rock that breaks rock and and electronica into small parts and reassembles them into fascinating sculptures. There’s no other artist quite like it, though I would suggest The Books for the cut-up aesthetic and Yo La Tengo for the ability to play in different genres without sounding like parody. Accompanying the group was a video display which was synchronized to the music (or rather, the other way around)–and here I can use the powers of YouTube to present some of my favorites from the night. These aren’t just abstract vids, but crazy animations whose domestic backgrounds mirror Cornelius’ own bedroom aesthetic of music creation. “Fit Song” was incredible on the big screen, especially.
Opening for Cornelius was the two-man DJ operation called Plaid. I don’t know how to categorize their sometimes pounding electronica, as it verged often into the abstract. You wouldn’t be dancing to them. It’s too rhythmically complex to be ambient. It’s Plaid. Their video work behind them was a relief compared to watching two guys at laptops.
Finally, being my first visit to the space, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry, is a truly beautiful thing to be inside. I may have problems with a lot of Gehry’s work, but inside the Hall it feels like being inside a giant wooden cup, vertiginous, and despite our balcony seats, we had a great view of the entire event and felt on top of everything. The acoustics are fabulous, especially for Plaid, as the various frequencies seem to come from different areas of the Hall. The bass was remarkable. The only trouble with Cornelius was moments were so frikkin’ loud that the very high frequencies rose to the top of the hall (wood, you know) and assaulted us. But I think that was the point. Oyamada plays his trusty Theremin and one of his bandmates was sawing away at some unidentified electronic instrument with a bow, producing some otherworldly screeches. And did I mention that the drummer is amazing?
So here’s some video. Fit Song:

Like a Rolling Stone (YouTube can’t do this justice):

Point of View Point:

Drop (Do It Again):


Deadly Bread!

This is such a stupid story, I have to share. Yesterday I was slicing a one-day old baguette from Trader Joe’s for dunking in soup–it was dinner time. I was sawing away at it–it was a bit hard as you might imagine–and my hand slipped and I actually broke skin on the edge of the bread. Thirty seconds later I was bleeding. What the hell??? I have had paper cuts in my time, but never a baguette cut.

Then tonight I was finishing off the same loaf and again sawing away (that final moment of separating base from loaf is the worst and again I slipped and I banged the edge of my thumb on the bread. It gave me a blood blister and before I could even think, even more blood was coming out, all over the knife and of the cutting board.

This has to be the deadliest bread I have ever come across. I’m glad it’s gone.

Movie time!! Nowhereland and Walk Cycle

While I sit and recover from an awful head cold (my second in three weeks after a year of being fine), I’ve uploaded some of my older films. Bet you thought I just made music videos, huh? Anyway, the above film, Walk Cycle, was shot on 16mm and is a little comedy. Don’t skip to the end, just be patient!
The next four (below) contain my entire sci-fi film nowhereland and though I didn’t want to break it up into four bits, YouTube make you do that for longer films. At least I got to choose the end of each “act.”
Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four