just decoration

(doxic nonsense)

foundations

Comments: 0 - Date: June 28th, 2007 - Categories: music, things i say

asa got rach and i tickets to horizion at nytw last night and, aside of getting bumped from row g to row a, it was an evening that sorta made me fall back in love with seeing theatre (not that i’d fallen out with theatre, but i sometimes find it hard to enjoy a performance when i spend most of my waking hours making theatre). it was inventive, interesting, and both smart and clever. i rarely see music worked into straight plays well, much less as effortlessly and intrinsically as these seemingly virtuosic performers wove it into each moment in the show. from an exacting score to naked and honest barbershop quartets to rinde’s heartstopping aria, the whole event woke me up to what i can and should be doing as a sound designer. we don’t have to pander to people to get them into the theatre, and good theatre doesn’t have be to exclusive of a wide audience.

if there were more works like this, i would go to the theatre more often.

as a side note, it looks like it might be turning into the summer of tom waits for me.

and they say cheaters never win

Comments: 0 - Date: June 27th, 2007 - Categories: site-related

so, yes: i cheated. i back-posted the past five or so posts with dates and times that reflect when the pertinent thought was first scribbled down, not when it was typed up and posted. i am deeply sorry if this offends anyone’s archival or historical sensibilities, but it made more sense to me to do it this way.

the back room

Comments: 0 - Date: June 27th, 2007 - Categories: things i say

owen threw steph an entire birthday hooha last weekend, the saturday of which ended with cocktails at the back room, which just might be the best bar ever. tucked downstairs and behind an old school toy store in the east village (across from the sadly vacant tonic), they do up the speakeasy vibe in spades: jazz was playing as we walked in, all cocktails were served in tea cups and beers were served wrapped in plastic bags. the lovely and talented kim (my new favorite cocktail waitress crush) served our progressively larger and more boisterous party with ease and grace, always taking time to perch and explain our unique and custom cocktails to us.

and, oh my lord, these cocktails were, hands down, the finest i’ve ever had. they all seemed to be whiskey based, but with fresh ingredients muddled in to astounding effect: one mixed cucumber, mint and fresh lemon juice; fresh ginger made a number of appearances; a simple mixture of bourbon and a few fresh blackberries surprised us all; but my favorite was the “peach smash,” with fresh muddled peaches and mint shaken with bourbon and prosecco. now, i’m not usually one for cocktails, especially not for fruity ones, but the kind gentleman making these drinks truly deserves the title “mixologist,” and i am not at all ashamed for having enjoyed his work.

the drinks were astounding, the company lively (though i was saddened to learn of steph and owen’s imminent move to chicago), and the service impeccable. nick and i are worried that we might make a habit of this place. fortunately, kim only works saturdays.

laying low

Comments: 0 - Date: June 20th, 2007 - Categories: movies, things i say

the doldrums of the summer find me finally cooling my heels back in new york, recovering from working in two countries and three time zones in the past eight weeks. so i’m camping out at d’s apartment, pulling the dvds off his shelves and watching the featurettes and documentaries, but not the actual films. this has lead to a lot of realizations, the chief of which is “i wanna be ben burtt!” (walter murch is pretty badass too).

yes, i’m finding motivation lacking. this always happens when i burn out and then have time on my hands. at least i finally got my mail set up for ssl correctly (editing the bsd host file in terminal is fun!) (ok, i’m a big ol’ geek), but i’m afraid i’ve also become a bit of a facebook whore, which can’t be seemly of someone not in college.

it has been nice taking time to see some friends, though. an actual sit-down dinner with danielle and brad just to catch up was socially refreshing: just chatting around a couple of pitchers of sangria, no rushing. got to hang with asa for the better chunk of yesterday after a production meeting, chatting away and playing each other music over the house rig at nytw. then em and i met up for afternoon drinks, and dinner at around the clock before heading up to check out her apartment which i hadn’t seen since move in day. as i waited out the rain there, we kept chatting, and i realized that i don’t actually talk to my friends much anymore, certainly not in person.

so i resolve to make plans to actually see my friends more, because i realize i’m kinda a lousy friend.

exact to me

Comments: 0 - Date: June 10th, 2007 - Categories: music, things i say

so i stayed in dc an extra couple of days to see the sea and cake at the black cat last night, as it’s been a long time since i’ve seen them live, and i’ve been obsessed with seeing a show at the black cat since i read about the working holiday bash back when i was a jenny toomey groupie in high school (not that i’ve lost my rockstar-crush on her at all). so, slightly hungover from friday night in baltimore, i headed up to the black cat where some nice lady offered me one of her extra tickets for ten bucks. nice.

i caught most of the opening set by the zincs, who were musically great, but i just couldn’t get into that guy’s voice. great drummer, though. as they packed up, i went over to the merch table to pick up a copy of the sea and cake’s new album and a t-shirt (yes, i’m that guy), which was sold to me by none other than my indie-rock hero archer prewitt. i was kinda embarrassed at being sorta star-struck, and he was appreciative that i had exact change, so i guess it all worked out.

now happily having spent almost 40 bucks on the evening without having bought a drink yet, i resumed my place near the sound console to see loney, dear, who slowly and steadily blew me away. the place was getting packed, and i got irked that no one would quiet down for his quietly fingerpicked opening solo number. when the band joined him, it was like a smaller, sweeter, simpler version of sufjan stevens’ illinoise makers. the audience was invited to sing along, even taught the dead-simple but catchy-as-all-hell nonverbs of “ignorant boy, beautiful girl,” but it was obvious that the crowd was there to see the sea and cake, and not some swedish folk-pop multi-instrumentalist and his backing band. which was a shame, ’cause i kinda fell in love with them, even the chick standing behind the keyboard that i don’t remember her playing, though she had her background singer/tambourine skills finely honed.

as the bands changed over i realized that, though i was standing far enough away to hear everything perfectly, i wasn’t close enough to actually watch my geek-idols play. so, feeling absolutely foolish, i started weaving through the crowd towards somewhere with a better vantage, which i found happily under one of the massive air conditioning ducts. there were a lot of couples there to see the sea and cake, which struck me as odd, since i think of their music as lonely-single-geek music, but maybe that’s because i’m a lonely-single-music geek. and what’s with people calling their friends in the middle of a song and holding the phone out to the stage, then trying to shout a conversation over the music: you can’t be enjoying the music while doing that, and i’m certainly not having a good time with you doing that next to me.

regardless, the sea and cake rocked, of course. i was astounded to see them do a whole set sans synths: just drums, bass and two guitars. now, archer did have a sea of pedals at his disposal, and he even picked up an ebow for a couple of tunes to fake a synth effect, but they did it like a rock and roll band, and did it well. sam led them through a positively blistering “jacking the ball” with his signature scat-yelp, making me wonder if he was looking for a new spin on old material, or if he honestly hated playing what has become a chestnut for them. either way, it was kinda thrilling. eric claridge (didn’t look like how i remember him, but who knows) was a mountain of a god behind that bass, john mcentire was bewitching as always with his mad precision, and sam and archer crooned while climbing all over those guitars effortlessly. the updated/modified versions of old favorites were just as captivating as hearing the new material live, and the encore closer, “do now fairly well,” just floored me. only cats have been playing together for almost 15 years can make music like that.

thoughts on metro transit

Comments: 0 - Date: June 9th, 2007 - Categories: things i say

so riding the dc metro has been oddly nice. first and foremost, there are very handy signs that tell you the estimated arrival of the next train (some london bus stops have this, which is so mind-blowingly useful), and these make me realize that i don’t care all that much about waiting for a train, as long as i know how long i am going to wait. on nights when i used to wait for over an hour to catch the f train back to brooklyn after tech at nytw, had i known i would be waiting 80 minutes for a train, i might have made the informed decision to take a cab, or to try the n/r line. suffice it to say, they can’t move this implementation along fast enough in new york.

the advertisements are strange though: instead of ikea and movies, they advertise tanks and planes. i find it an odd strategy to basically lobby for defense contract dollars by putting up a poster in the subway, but not nearly as disturbing as the ad picturing a little boy wearing a grenade that said something to the effect of “he’s already decided what he’s going to be when he grows up: only your money can stop terrorism…” and i’m not exaggerating all that much.

i can’t help but marvel at the subway stations themselves: huge vaulted tunnels buried surprisingly deep, entirely constructed of pre-fabricated concrete blocks and thus uniform but, hey: they’re air-conditioned, and someone at least thought of lighting when they were built. nice as all of that is (and i bet it’s the first time i’ve wanted to photograph a subway station), i miss the character of the new york subway platforms: the mosaics covered in grime, exposed beams and pillars bathed in harsh, bare light. but i realized that the thing i miss most is watching the smeary stream of graffiti weaving in and out of the darkness as i barrel towards brooklyn on the d or n before popping up to see the statue of liberty between the cables of the manhattan and brooklyn bridges.

ok, so, i miss new york, where there are no carpeted subway cars, so that you may drink coffee your with abandon. c’mon: no coffee for your morning commute? no wonder nothing gets done in this town.

passing friends

Comments: 0 - Date: June 9th, 2007 - Categories: things i say

every time i turn around in dc, i see another random friend: first al from trinity rep, who has since moved to dc as gm at ford’s, shows up at tech; then rob and jessie, also from providence, see me standing outside the theatre checking my voicemail as they drive down the street; then a drive by from wendy from atl as i walk to union station… it’s started getting freaky.

but it’s been great to catch up with friends i expect to see in dc as well. even though suzie was too busy to respond to my email, we bumped into each other at tunnicliff’s one night. i go to go to the outstanding saint ex for dinner with amelia and liz and mike where i fell in love with a fried green tomato blt and caught up with those crazy dance kids. then, after staying in dc longer than planned for tech, i decided to stay through the weekend so i can see the sea and cake at the black cat saturday, since this never ending tech in dc kept me from going to their free show in new york on thursday. so yesterday i made it out to baltimore with amelia to have sushi with ej and their b’more area friends. a viewing of team america projected across the alley from amelia’s roof got cancelled by the rain, but she and i ended up in this fantastic bar around the corner, drinking fine beer and bourbon and solving the problems of the arts in america. no, i swear, we figured it all out…

all this makes me want to take some time off and visit my friends where they live, to catch up, but also to vicariously steal little slices of their lives.