Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Motion Occupies Music: Stevie Wonder

Bits and Pieces:

There are few people I have had the pleasure to meet that have left me awestruck or as most would say star struck. One of these is Stevie Wonder.

I was working at 40 Park Ave. (36th St. and Park) in Suzanne Ciani’s 19th floor apartment studio. We were working on “Velocity of Love.” I think that was the second album we did together. Anyway, Suzanne was always on the cutting edge of procuring the latest electronic musical equipment, mostly through endorsements, whether it be from Roland or Yamaha, or in this case the Synclavier. The average person could identify this piece of equipment’s sound in the opening chords of Michael Jackson’s, “Beat It” (Wish I could insert a snip of it here.)

During the course of what was usually a 14hr weekend workday word came in that Stevie Wonder would be stopping by to check out the Synclav. I was out of my mind. I was going to meet Stevie Wonder!! Holy Shit!!
“Songs in the Key of Life” is still one of my all time favorite albums. Stevie Wonder, a true musical icon.

Sometime in the evening Stevie arrived with his brother and maybe one or two other people. I do not clearly remember. But what I do remember is him sitting down at the keyboard and riffing, going through the sounds and some tech talk as to the possibilities of the gear. Suzanne had the Synclavier print out Stevie’s playing and for one amazing, incredibly awkward moment, she somehow thought that he would be impressed with this printout. Stevie, being funny and gracious took the sheet of music from her and it was not until then that Suzanne realized what a foopah she had made. I watch the whole thing in horror, and could not believe what she was doing. Oh, well.

At some point, I wound up sitting at the dining table talking with him. He lived in Englewood, NJ at that time, and somehow we wound up talking bout Jersey. I had been reading Edgar Cayce, and somehow we got Into talking about Jersey vs. LA and earthquakes, and the fault that runs down the Hudson River, across Manhattan at 14th St. Kinda neat stuff. We were just chillin. Amazing!! What a great night. The only thing is that Suzanne’s camera strangely did not work that night, so there are no pictures. Hmmm, somehow maybe you just don’t have to “see” everything in order to hold on to the experience.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

nalick plus 3

undecided armor makes for unhappy prisoners so we wait wait wait until something miraculous happens, and until then ill be a big big bitch.

cause one bad appearance cancels out all the good ones and meaningless nights somehow define characteristics so unlike you but the pressure of unwanted neighbors in a diner provokes destination awareness and screams.

so we float on like dead fish awaiting their bone pickin' 
like maggots on rye they don't mind sucking your life.
sly messages mold foolery like clay.
we're like gumby.

green and ambitious we break on every bend 
pricking pulling pushing plotting
blotting thoughts to other thoughts inappropriate every time
for sex and curse words hide real brain waves of poverty 
and an emptiness foaming at the mouth.
what do you say when you don't care?

agree agree like nixon on water or bush on war.
just say yes to appease the silly minds floating in alcohol and hands
glued to jelly situations
they're going to slice your finger like Pinocchio's nose
lies make a warm habitat in a cold winter.
so just place your hand here and shoulder there
hush
we'll carry on like everyone's happy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Live Baking

"Live Baking" is a concept created by John, John Mayer.
And since my friends and I couldn't pull it together and we blamed it on the weather,
I've posted my baking results in preparation for xmas eve at the Mathus'.


^ The remaining melted chocolate...soon to be devoured by Brother & Co.


^ Watching the Coconut Indulgences freeze. Recipe courtesy of Emeril.
14 oz. coconut flakes.
5 oz. condensed milk
1 cup powdered sugar.
18 oz. semi-sweet morsels- double boiler.


^ The mess I began to create before knocking over a tray of cookies.
"You are Evil Knievel in the kitchen", my mother.


^ Placing cookies on the baking sheet. Haven't done this in years.


^ Small plate of finished product. 1 of 4 [big plates].

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a court of nine

I recently found this whilst cleaning/sorting through my documents folder.
This piece of courtly literature is from over four years ago, with a group of friends on a random night in Spring.
I am thoroughly amused by the urgency, confusion, and absolute madness that was actually recorded (and taken extremely seriously) during a female sleepover. Note: all of the below did really happen, including the fungus.

Please take a few minutes of your time and enjoy this high school chaos.

re: lauren's court minutes:

Right hand, left…the truth and god…cheese and shitting, with lots of fungus. Court is in session. Thank you…prosecutor, lawyer cobos…grand jury, and me the typist! Sosa…is there something funny? Its serious? Whose house? Relationship? Charges….treason of friendship….girls IN, not out. Section 22. Jail time….10 years? Sosa, whose house> gabra? Relationship?BF. guy or friend? Friend. When u were invited. She asked me for a girl’s night IN. was it N9? Yes. Who is n9. friends except 2. Danielle is fired and daria is away. You are on the brink of being with Danielle. What did you do? What time did you arrive? 8:30-9. who brought yup? Ashley m. we got here, got tammy, got pizza, came upstairs, danced, smoked drank, chillin, I notice Maria is GONE…where did she go? Objection…she was inside. She was dealing with issues with BOYS. She has to answer the question. Chelsea talked to bf. I received texts from Joe. Then Melissa talks to her boy on phone. Jury no questions. Only 10 minutes for Chelsea…and Joe had planned to come over from the beginning. He stayed outside cuz it was late. Tammy escorted outside and then came back in 10 minutes later. That was the LIMIT! Not three hours! That’s longer than a movie. Gabra called to bring u in. blockbuster is not relevant. Nasty things are not good. No nastiness. You are a liar No I’m not. Closing arguments. Then another phone call in the middle of everything. Its been 365 days since ass. Well its been since surfs since a sleep over. Ringing phone. NO PHONES. Court trial in session. ORDER! No…you cannot answer. Instead of sleeping at MY grad party you went with your bf…you have had prior offenses. I remind the court that this is your second time where Lauren Sosa stayed on line talking to rob while we were in the other room, and JOE too while we were waiting. Then when you came back to watch pretty woman…we were asleep. Court will resume in 2 minutes…potty break for the criminal. One minute…GO! Back in session. Lets go…over you time! I need to change…no…no changing…those clothes are evidence. Court is back now! Melinda is up. The cheese bible! Tim out….mom is awake!

Ahh! 3 am! She is pissed says judge gabra! Lauren eats piss pizza. Shh! Raise hand swear for truth and god. Yes I do. Name? Melinda A M. relationship? N9 and friend. Relationship with Lauren. Used to be friend till she ruined night. True! Girl’s night? Prank phone calls talking Ghanem and girls…eating fungus with cheese, cigs and drinks. What about a boy for 3 hours? No…not a girl’s night in. BIG MISTAKE! The accused actions? HORRIBLE…needs to apologize and eat cheese fungus. Step down. Now Ashley mathus. Swear for truth and god. Phone rings again. Relationship? BF what did she want? Girl’s night for n9. haven’t had one in a long ass time. Lauren strips. When you got Sosa…did you think of treason? No. did she mention these plans? No. thank you…step down. Now judge gabra. No swearing. Group pf n9 close? Yes! Would u know the inside jokes? No! its not a game. Laughing Sosa…naughty! N9 best friends? Yes. We are one? Yes. What were words for Sosa? I feel like shit…mean bf…I need support of n9 for girls night in. did Sosa ask how you were? She kissed forehead? When Chelsea and I came in when you were crying did Sosa ask to leave? yes! Should a friend think about foreplay or should she be patient? No! we shake our heads! Did this hurt you? Yes. Thank you…step down. Melissa. Swear truth and god. Right…no left. Yes I swear. Thanks. Name? Melissa a m. nice name. fart. Phone rings AGAIN. More texts! Oh dear. Focus. What do you think of Sosa. Ill willed. I was sitting in the corner with my bf cuz he was upset. Everyone with their bfs stayed in the house and the longest was a half hour…no 3 hours outside! No physical contact with their mate! Except Sosa! You weren’t;/t here! Continue….I could still hear what was going on…she asks for Maria….Joes coming…I need to go outside…she was excited to SNEAK OUT! New point! Loudness gone for 3 hours! Savanna. Was she excited for n9 or Joe? Joe! Gabra has allergies…you wouldn’t know! Last…me…Chelsea. Is sworn in and says yup. Lee Richardson. Did not eat fungus remembers conversations girl bonding points out Lauren dramatically as the only one missing. Lauren thought we were sleeping, order in the court. Maria’s mom will kick our asses. Fungus could have killed us all. All Lauren cared for was easy fun Gaby says Richardson thought she used to be a very good friend till Maria needed us and someone left for 3 hours. Granted some had time for boys but she left for 3 hours didn’t call to check up completely forgot us and Maria’s poor troubles no no not a good friend. Phone keeps ringing,, Maria even got cursed off Maria we are here for u….Chelsea step down. Evidence of pants. Gaby gives to Melissa for judge to see. Evidence A,….Hollister jeans…size 5. wet residue. To the jury…do you see it? Yes! Omg….the judge wants to see do you see Chelsea? Yes. Its WET! Lauren asks to see the evidence. No…it is true! Unless it was pee…which I doubt. As you can smell…it smells like a man. Typist? Like a man!

Closing arguments. Lauren? I know I wasn’t the sweetest. My decision wasn’t thought out well, very selfish, but one thing to the next and time was lost and I told him I had to leave. We kissed. I’m sorry…forgive me! If you were here you would have known that you have no defense. Closing argument…she has committed the biggest act against us (after Danielle). Phone again. As I may bring,,,,sosa stated she lost track of time…for three hours?? I don’t think so. You must have noticed the diff between 3 hours and ten minutes….maybe h=an hour but not three. This was for gabra…and you picked you unholy needs before hers. Do we want this in an n9 member? Nay! Jurors go think of sentence. All stand. I would like to hear conclusion. What do you find her? Melinda? I find her guilty. Ashley? Guilty. Gaby? Guilty. One text to Joe, then no more phone for the night. Hit on bare booty with big mistake. You have to eat Tostitos in fungus cheese. Third. Sosa cannot chill with us…must sleep with tammy and dogs all night…no phone or comp….and if you don’t you are out of N9 and tammy will replace you! Gabra agrees with spanking and with cheese for bringing us together…and you are on probation for an hour with tammy….PROBATION. fine 20,….no….an hour with one text to explain what’s going on and that you cant talk to him for a while…actually ill write it for you and you can read it. When you come back you will realize friendship…then you can tell him goodnight its girls time! Court to a halt…do you accept your penalties? No…only some. Okay half an hour. Okay 20 minutes! Hour with phone….or 20 without. Half hour alone with phone when you get out…no phone the rest of the night. Fine…no more texting. Or 15 minutes alone…one text that’s it. It all includes cheese and spanking. Fine….15 mins in isolation with 2 texts…spanking…and cheese! Continue with spank! Ow…that stung! Now fungus cheese! Now the two texts.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NYC Dance Happenings- Move: The Company

Trap Doors, Who Knew?
By: Ashley L. Mathus

Premiering this week at The Joyce is Western Canada’s popular dance troupe, Move: The Company. Created by young Artistic Director Josh Beamish, Trap Door Party is said to blend “traditional influences of court dancing and classical ballet, with a contemporary approach, this piece is an abstract narrative look at six individuals, as they leave behind all they know to create a utopian society.” The dancers are like chess pieces coming to life as they maneuver inside strict boxes created by Move’s lighting designer. Metaphors for trap doors of conformity within a choking society, the dancers appear stuck; yet they’re keen on finding their way in and through what’s behind their door. Beamish, choosing to quickly flip the lighting schematics, delicately decides how, where, and why the dancers exist within the party of hidden entrapments. The audience, sometimes left in the dark, doesn’t see everything, but what we see is executed brilliantly with sharpness and perfection- bringing utopia one step closer.

Electronic classical music constantly taps the time throughout; a deep tick tock collaborates with Beamish’s vision rather than opposing it. Sudden light changes will ignite rapid floor thrashing; it’s as if we are seeing a board game from above being played out. The dancers are finding their way from start to finish, overturning obstacles with deep lunges, or making decisions by weaving through floor patterns of intricate jerks, yanks, and athletic stubbornness. Flexed feet push away from some unknown force, and heads whip in every direction without hesitation but reveal a tangible angst. Lingering in darkness, the dancer’s ghost like appearances and disappearances creates austere visual effects. Their darkened world is searching for ways to maintain the light, to preserve what is true.

Trap Door Party is premiering December 18th-20th at The Joyce, 175 8th Avenue- and hosting a post-performance discussion on December 19th and 20th at 3pm. Tickets are $22, and $15 for students and seniors. Please visit www.movethecompany.com to explore the company’s history, flux of ideas and inspirations.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

capital

DC grooves


DC friends


Thursday, December 11, 2008

GRAMMY V. SPIN

SPIN Magazine's Top 5 [out of 40] Best Albums of 2008:

#5 Fleet Foxes , Fleet Foxes
#4 Fucked Up, The Chemistry of Common Life
#3 Portishead, Third
#2 Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
#1 TV On the Radio, Dear Science

Grammy Awards 2008- Album of the Year

Coldplay, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Ne-Yo, Year Of The Gentleman
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Twas a fucking good year for music.

whoa

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

el radio

It never ceases to amaze me how lazy the American populous is when it comes to music.
Damn the mainstream for playing into the people who can't research and/or care about the music they supposedly love, and just hear/listen to it when it becomes convenient and cool and popular on radio stations. I just heard Santogold's song, "L.E.S. Artistes" on a radio station in the tri-state area, and hello! that album was released in like May. This radio station can't even be classified under Santogold's genre, indie rock, or other underground shit- it is mainstream and I will retort to whoever decides to question my judgement. Now, everyone loves her. I want everyone to love her, but not because a radio station says it's okay to love her, or whoever else.

Monday, December 8, 2008

NYC Dance Happenings- Misnomer Dance Theater

Misnomer is Leading.
By: Ashley L. Mathus

Misnomer Dance Theater. Enough Said. Founded by Artistic Director, Chris Elam, Misnomer has made a quick and superb name for themselves. The New York Times recently featured Misnomer in their Sunday edition, and crowned them as one of the “Top Ten NYC Dance Performances” of 2006. Chris Elam has most recently directed the music video, “Wanderlust” for Bjork, and is deeply involved with audience engagement concepts, philosophies, and media transformation. Elam is a pioneer for connecting the audience to a choreographer’s work, podcasting and filming excerpts with bits of helpful information for the unknowing eye. This is revolutionary for the dance world, seeing as more often than not, audience’s “don’t get it”, or enjoy a piece without truly knowing why. Elam plans to evolve his concepts and make dance as accessible an art form as music or film. After receiving a grant of just over $1 million from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Elam’s dreams for dance on the web are coming true; as well as his wonderful vision on stage.

Misnomer is premiering their new work, Being Together, at the Joyce SoHo December 4th-7th and 11th-14th. Being Together is hard work and play, a constant motion and ever-changing alteration of space. The company presents three pieces, all of which have common themes of environment, relationships, and “togetherness”. Company members envelope and mold into shapely creatures, balancing with poise and purpose. Abstract choreography still maintains linear concepts and motions, creating awesome levels while incorporating all that’s difficult in people-to-people associations. The second piece, “Rock. Paper. Flock.” is an innovative work that explores Elam’s outside mission. While talking to the audience, live, about his choreographic process, the dancers structurally improvise on his instruction; leaving us with quirky attitudes, fresh gestures, and fearless partnering. Dancers do flock, and separate, and come together again in strange ways- both passive and aggressive. They technically sculpt their own legs and stiffly align their arms while maintaining a free-spirited vibe- like all of this is easy.

Each piece is glorified by the commissioned music; drums and cello’s form to the waves of undulating torsos and tougher-than-tough yoga poses. Knotting together like a marble statues, Misnomer toys with the audience, making us laugh, think, and evolve with them. A company filled with honest and wonderful eccentricities, it is truly a joy to partake.

Please visit misnomer.org to research this wonderful company, be in the know throughout live-feed performances, or read their blog at your pleasure. Also, please visit joyce.org to purchase tickets for “Being Together”. Be together with Misnomer.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wanderlust

Met the choreographer for "Wanderlust" last night, Chris Elam; also the choreographer & Artistic Director of Misnomer Dance Theater. Welcome to the bizarre world of drifting via Björk.



Misnomer company members, Coco Karol and Brynne Billingsley, are the dancers you see wandering in, between, and around Björk. In terms of Misnomer's recent premiere evening-length work, "Being Together", Coco is wonderfully agile, quirky, and intent on making the weird, weirder. I read, from her bio, she has been presented by AUNTS, New York Studio Gallery, and D.U.M.B.O. under the bridge arts festival- an artist in more ways than one. Brynne, in my opinion, was, technically, the best performer last night to grace The Joyce SoHo's stage. She has a quiet attitude and a focused face, standing out for her precision, balance, and poignant demeanor. Unlike Coco's twitchy, minimal hand gestures made noticeable by a tiny (super skinny) body, Brynne's solid frame and stoic personality enabled her to be the strongest ensemble member. More to follow on Misnomer and their off-center yet relatable yet technically superb movement oddities.

NYC Dance Happenings- Cirque Mechanics

A Whacky Factory
By: Ashley L. Mathus

Willy Wonka meets Cirque du Soleil in Birdhouse Factory, a performance by Cirque Mechanics. Watching the production is like being an eleven year old again, walking into a funhouse of trickery and suspense. It’s gymnastics with a 1920s spin. Created by Cirque du Soleil veterans, Birdhouse Factory takes the exciting innovations of machines invented in the early twentieth-century, and fashions an assembly line of circus acts. The set and costumes have a rustic appearance, rewinding the audiences’ memory to simpler days. Dancers, clowns, contortionists, and acrobats swing in an out of dusty silver wheels, weaving the set like a black and white film.

What makes a perfect birdhouse? Well, we think it depends who you ask, though “birdhouses” seem a thing of the past. Cirque Mechanics successfully bridges the gap between past and present, aspiring to pay a tribute to “a time gone by”. New Yorkers will be entranced by Cirque Mechanics’ vision and timely twist on the tight-knit definitions of ‘circus’. The company wields and yields talent into an original art and learning experience. Backhand springs, aerials, parallel bars, and over-sized props stimulate the factory’s energy, thereby initiating excitement in a work environment that is usually monotonous. Dramatic lighting techniques paired with the simplicity of overalls takes away all pretension, a clown instead of an executive approaches technology. The San Francisco Chronicle has said, “A superb integration of circus skills and music, light and choreography…the glory is in the excellence of its performers.” Birdhouse Factory has been traveling the states for some time, and they’re reigning in NYC until December 14th. A fun-loving and exceptional show for children and adults alike!

Please visit newvictory.org for ticket information. The New Victory Theater is located at 209 W. 42nd St., right in the heart of Times Square. Priced at only $15 a seat, we think Cirque Mechanics will fit right into your holiday budget.

NYC Dance Happenings- Bebe Miller Dance Company

It’s Necessary.
By: Ashley L. Mathus

Bessie Award winning choreographer, Bebe Miller, will be touring with her new evening-length work, Necessary Beauty. Believe us, this is obligatory. Coming to New York City November 11th-15th, Dance Theater Workshop will be hosting this extraordinary company. Miller paraphrases Einstein in comparison to her choreography, “The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious”. Six dancers, including Miller, digest what makes what beautiful, exploring literal intricacies of space, time, and emotion. Innovative Miller travels through her world via text and imagery reflecting deep personal recollections. Miller says, “Video and animated imagery will be projected on a series of free standing surfaces along with theater walls and floor, and the sound score will be played live by composer Albert Mathias.”

Following her award-winning piece Landing/Place, Necessary Beauty fragments the dancers agile movement qualities, repelling and engaging Miller’s introverted persona. Necessary Beauty premiered on October 1st in Columbus, Ohio at the The Ohio State University’s Mershon Auditorium stage. Barbara Zuck, of the Columbus Dispatch says, “Like the work overall, the choreography functions on several levels. Miller's style is changed somewhat in this work. Though her signature movement vocabulary is still very much in evidence, it is far less heavy-handed, less brutal than one is accustomed to seeing in her pieces. It is subtle and reserved, lending the piece a look of unaccustomed elegance.”

Dancers free-spirited release and passion enable fluid yet stark choreography. Arms fling and twitch while feet and knees cling to the floor, sturdy in every way possible. Her sectionized choreographic gestures reveal an inner struggle while accurately depicting an order behind the chaos. Miller’s set often changes, open doors imply ideas to the past and future, chairs insinuate some sort of comfort level within a home, and frames are projected, which contain bitter and sweet memories. Spoken text successfully breaks through the congruence of unison, leaving behind a trail of individual beauty. Her world informs ours, and we watch with wonder and awe. She has done it again.

Other notable choreographers perform with Miller, including Kristina Isabelle, director of Kristina Isabelle Dance Company and High Jinks Productions, in Columbus, Ohio; and Kathleen Hermsdorf, choreographer and performer living in San Francisco. Please visit dancetheaterworkshop.org for ticket information or bebemillercompany.org to research the company’s history and their vision for this groundbreaking work.

NYC Dance Happenings- 3LD

Seminal Dogs
By: Ashley L. Mathus

New York City may need a new word for contemporary. The Three Legged Dog Art & Technology Center is a non-profit theater and media group focusing on large-scale installation artwork, experimental staging and performances. Multiple artists of various genres have flocked here to gain audiences, while creatively adapting their work to a pretty damn cool space. Their liberal attitude is inviting and globally raises the bar for multi-media artists.

Walking into this visionary space, one might think of a spaceship, an underground laboratory, or a Disney World ride. But the great this is, it’s all real. The translucent white walls and incongruent angles play tricks on the eyes, making playtime a job anyone would want. Run by the community and artists alike, Three Legged Dog “provides complete production and presentation facilities for emerging and established artists and organizations that create large-scale experimental works, many of which incorporate and create new tools and technologies.” If you are an emerging choreographer, designer, musician, or have an interests in theatrical lighting, sound synthesis, or robotic objects, you might want to check out this downtown gem. Located at 80 Greenwich Street at Rector Street, their re-built location is easily accessible and a trendy enough for a Friday night.

This past summer, BODYART, a city-based dance group performed at 3LD, molded the already intimate studio space by altering choreography to maintain steady dancer-to-dancer relationships. Onlookers stood or sat not a foot away from the tape, which determined performer and audience, enabling unique and relative perspectives from every position. Post-excerpt, one rotated 180° (with a firm hold on that PBR or wine glass) and watched emerging indie rock and folk bands jam. With three studios, ranging in size, stop by 3LD’s next event, October 17th, for a late night dance party, admission after 9PM. All you technology savvy people would love the Troika Ranch MIMA Workshop, happening October 27th-31st. Please check out 3ldnyc.org for more info on upcoming and current residencies, installations, projects, and fun.

NYC Dance Happenings- Rafael Amargo Dance Company

You Love the Drama
By: Ashley L. Mathus

Tempted to stomp your feet towards love triangle fiascos, cliques, or instigating bla-bla-wha…but can’t? Too mature, we know. Flamenco infused, Rafael Amargo Dance Company will dazzle till you drool in the American premiere of Tiempo Muerto. Coming to America just after the Madrid premiere, Rafael Amargo is brewing, squeezing, and exploiting passion with arousing, explosive choreography. Translating to “Dead Time”, the company will probably stall drama-dimensions as gallant pulses, intensity, and clarity entrances you. Flamenco, a Spanish historical and traditional form of music and dance is often characterized by intricate footwork and a bit of, ahem, flare. Amargo’s confidence disperses through boundaries of costumes and space, echoing beyond his heels and toes, telling the floor a story of lust.

Complex rhythms intermixed with an exciting point of view enables Rafael Amargo to be one of the most anticipated choreographers of the 2008 season. Amargo, “critically acclaimed for bringing flamenco into the 21st century”, will not disappoint with late September performances at Town Hall, located at 123 West 43rd Street. Jesús Rafael García Hernández created the dance company in 1997, with the desire and ambition to experiment in new techniques, taking risks with the already dramatic genre. Clever averted eyes, charismatic hand positioning, and knowing smirks instigates the sexiness of this traditional practice. Arms graceful as precious royalty swoosh rapidly down and back up again, dancing like eagles’ wings. As Hernández’s locks whip back and forth, he alters dynamics between musician and performer, tempting the eye to visit both artistic forms simultaneously. He encourages audience participation, similar to a rock star initiating ‘the clap’, acknowledging observation. Barricading forth walls and segregating space is not an option; Hernández enables both down and upstage to be equal, rather than treat the two like separate bubbles.

Only in New York for two days, spare some dough, and parallel tension and passion. Rafael Amargo Dance Company is presenting September 20th at 8 pm and September 21st at 3 pm. Please visit the-townhall-nyc.org for more information. If not, you might have to fly to Europe.

NYC Dance Happenings- Ballet con Breakdancing

Bunheads and B-boys
By: Ashley L. Mathus

Typically, in films dancers are often portrayed within segregated genres of movement. The ballerina is too stiff for the hip-hop teacher, or the modern dancer may appear too free spirited for the strict ballroom duo. However, this is rarely true. Dancers most often are inspired by other genres, and frequently try to manipulate different techniques to fit their own unique style or choreography. Dancers dive into many music styles, experimenting with sound scores and bridging the gap between what one hears and what one sees. To further prove our point we recommend going to Ballerina Who Loves B-boy. Ninety minutes of nonstop pull and push allocate tempered controversy amongst two different dance communities.

The 2007 B-boy World Champions Extreme Crew ignite the stage with Yerkes, Power moves, and Battle Cyphers, complimenting the ballerinas graceful arabesques and port de bras. Hailing from Korea, the production speaks for itself, “The classic art of ballet combined with the hard core street styles of break-dancing is breathtaking to watch on stage…You take these two forms of dance, neither of them more ‘right’ or more ‘focused’ than the other and you collide two opposite worlds of discipline.” Going to the club, you may have already seen a Cypher sans the technical name, but a battle between ballerinas and b-boys is something rare to catch. What’s fantastic is that this production is not dramatized, but brings attention to what young dancers may think while training at a young age, which can sway them to make a choice, rather than embracing both art forms as something to be respected and admired. This live production is better than any film because one can witness the energy and passion live, rather than the diluted screen version.

Preview tickets are only $26.25, which is a great deal compared to the regular prices ranging from $59- $69. Student rush tickets are available, and the production, which runs until December, is located at 37 Arts, 450 West 37th Street. The 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival chose Ballerina Who Loves B-Boy as the show of the year. The tumultuous relationships of both genres might teach you something about cultures we rarely get-to-know from the inside.

NYC Dance Happenings- Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company

BAM- there’s your flavor.
By: Ashley L. Mathus

A tasty borough experience. Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company never cease to impress, and their latest performance series is, of course, wonderful. Bill T. Jones, inspired by a Jane Bowles play, “A Quarreling Pair”, has created an evening-length performance by the same name. Recently performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Avenue) provided the space while Bill T. Jones brought the moves. Jones says of his chosen inspiration, "This short but powerful play has been on my mind for nearly 20 years as I have ruminated on the idea of partnering, onstage and off."

“A Quarreling Pair” brings forth a playful side of the company, mimicking Bowles’ scenes with animated qualities and facial expressions, burlesque attitudes, and comedic, trivial conflicts. Silhouettes of the dancers resonate a 1920 Charlie Chaplin approach to movement, simplifying gestures with a genius orientation to time and over-the-top literal analysis. Trio’s glide across the stage, going go back to basics with eschapes and ragtime leg techniques; while duo’s partner in unison, flipping and turning too fast for average pedestrians. Musical selections gravitate towards an old-time cabaret or saloon, including grand and enthusiastic presentation qualities you would hear at a carnival. The dancers nail double pirouettes and inversions with the precision and clarity Jones’ company is famous for. Gaudy red and yellow costume gowns quickly change to fragmented choreography in underwear and baseball socks, sculpting an enjoyable night of endless surprises. Jones has said, "We want to clown, sing, dance. We want to explore the spirit of vaudeville, even as we keep our eye firmly on the serious dance aesthetic that has shaped the Company." They do just that, taking us back in time, better than any carnival ride.

BAM’s Next Wave Festival features avant garde works, including dance, cinema, art, music, theater, discussions with the artists, and event receptions. To purchase tickets to upcoming dance venues or view their extraordinary lineup of artists, please visit www.bam.org. BAM’s artistic selections have the poof of unexpected surprises, yet always makes sense after the initial shock.

next generation

Zack [my little brother]: Hey Ash, what does M.I.A. look like? I've never seen her.



Voila.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

eleven last day

you were down the shore with me and my family.
everyone was there, but we were eating out for a change.
the restaurant was covered in dark wood and smelled like a damp forest, but the ocean sounds made us realize we were still at the beach. we clinked glasses and shouted over the not so loud music. we clapped and enjoyed each other's company, like we were all childhood friends who had been silent for ten years. what was different about this night? if I had to compare this place to any place, it would be Tuckers- wavering with the flow of the bay, waiters on a ship, glasses always with a comfortable aftertaste of sea salt. You could see sailboats chattering to each other outside the round window by the door- an escape to blue. The people in this local pirate joint felt like outlaws, excited by their own disappearance; but really they're all rich snobs trying to get away from something or someone. they lacked mustaches and cigars and scraggly shirts. here, they were always clean, polite, and ready- but adventurous, so solidified in their nature no one dared to steal their treasure.

the restaurant somehow turned out to be a buffet, but instead of selling salad, they said you could sell whatever they had in stock. as we sat down to eat you stared at me from your little stand, towering over it like a adult who kindly visits lemonade booths in the suburbs. your figure was looming but welcoming, anyone would buy fruits or drinks from you. you had done this before, that was obvious, but why is what I didn't bother to ask.
i wanted you to come dine with my family, but I was also happy you found pleasure in observing from afar.
you wanted to watch and understand without listening. i liked that.

the stands alongside you started to melt together in bland colors- grey, brown, beige- and all I saw was you watching this family, calm because they were down the shore. it made you smile, not because it was something you were missing, you had that family, but because I was living it. Right then, now, see that moment! it was alive for me, something that was rare and raw, but smelled nice, like lavender on dew.
you eventually came over, at the perfect time, of course, and held my hand under the table like you just found me after i had been lost for a week in the dark. your smile was as fresh as morning seashells, and gleamed like the 5am sun. no one noticed but me, and that's all that mattered- it wasn't for anyone else. there was this unspeakable bond that I couldn't shake, nor did I want to. You were effortless in conversation, as if it was your own family, as if you hoped it would be someday. It was nice for you to have some money in your pocket and still be in the warmth of late summer. breezes weren't sharp yet and lifeguards were still on duty. There was an impending time zone in which this would end, but I couldn't figure out when the clock would strike. Not by midnight, I knew that! But maybe in a few days you would slip from my fingers, like you left to early with warning. the warning, though unspoken, was in your smile. you tried not to linger, but the creases alongside your left and right crevice showed a limit. not to be blamed, but just accepting reality as it came. soon enough, the alarm would rise beside us and it would be winter. and we would be alone, without families, without each other. i wasn't mad, how could I be if you were there, I only wished it wouldn't fade. Oh and that I wouldn't remember that smile in the morning! like melted sprinkles, the rainbow was a mess in my hands.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turning Point

As we [I] get older I have to inevitably face events that are bound to happen whether I choose to ignore them of not.
I am talking of marriage.
And my dear friend, Daria DeMarco, who I've known for nine years, is getting married in April 2009.
She will be entering a new faze in her life, full of wonderful experiences and memories, and I will be entering a new faze/fad/facade of my own, better known as: the bridesmaid.

I am thrilled to have been asked to be a part of her wedding, and would'nt have it any other way. I will be preparing and planning with three of my closest friends, and celebrating a momentous occasion with the people I love. As I think about this (because it just happened) I think about where "we" are in our age-defined life, and am I little shaken that I am at the appropriate stage where dress sizes, silver shoe styles, and party gifts really do matter. It isn't going to wait five, ten years; it's happening now. I wonder after this wedding how many other weddings I'll be in, and if I ever choose to get married, when I will pick my beloved bridesmaids. Maybe I thought, when this time hit, I'd be taller, more fully developed, wiser, or had a boyfriend. Maybe I thought I would be living in Boston with my cat and studying in libraries all day with coffee after coffee rhyming with the poetry in front of me. I'm not too sure where I thought I'd be when this cycle began, but I'm me now, and is it enough? Am I where I'm supposed to be? Am I on the right path to getting older, wiser, or richer? Where will I be when another one of my friends gets married? I'm not too sure, but the adventure of guessing can become quite amusing. I'm thrilled Daria is getting married away from home (Jersey) and we all have to fly to Kansas to celebrate. I think location weddings are fantastic, and guilt-free- a.k.a. you don't have to invite everyone you "know" because they live less than ten miles away from you. This extravangaza is also difficult to wrap my head around because it's the first. The first of many happy eves and toasts and messy skirts. It being the first defines a lot without my control, which is fine, but fairly new. Out of college, I am just learning how to control my own path- maybe not control but at least contort the patterns I like. Now, life is happening and I feel like I have to catch up. Like I missed the big secret someone's supposed to tell you post-graduation. What am I missing? Am I missing anything, or is this all anxiety built up around a straggling economy? Questions, ugh. For the time being, I will toast a glass of pinot to Daria, in my kitchen, and smile at the good things to come. Time to plan for the turning point.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Trainspotting

I saw this in a oversized black frame in a friends bathroom last night.
Thought about it over soap, bubbles, and thin paper.
Took little long cause I stared, but loved the attitude that leaked off the paper & through the glass.
Unabashed truths whilst gracing a toilet.
Woke up happy to find it wasn't me being sleepy and sassy; I felt the same energy shedding from these words:

"Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life..."

_Trainspotting, 1996

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday releases

New music yay!!!

The Killers, Day & Age released their 4th studio album today, and it's great. Very reminiscent of their debut Hot Fuss. Have to admit I was a little hesitant to buy because of Flowers' Mormonism and their recent ties to Proposition 8; however, he claimed to be supportive of gay rights, so I hope he wasn't lying. When I listen to this album I wish to be in the southwest, visualizing their desert.

Key Tracks:

# 4 "A Dustland Fairytale"
# 5 "This Is Your Life" (a little U2/The Verve ish)
# 7 "Neon Tiger"
# 10 "Tidal Wave" (iTunes Bonus Track)

Kanye Kanye Kanye is all about the love on 808s & Heartbreak. I guess you're not immune to every emotion. You'll hear a lot of "she (s)" and "love", welcome the new heartbreak kid. Not too bitter, just a little emotional. I love how Mr. West continues to bridge music genre gaps, making everything possible while keeping his listeners tight in his back pocket Marc Jacobs wallet.

Key Tracks:

# 1 "Say You Will"
# 2 "Welcome to Heartbreak (feat. Kid Cudi)"
# 6 "Paranoid (feat. Mr. Hudson)"
# 10 "See You In My Nightmares (feat. Lil Wayne)"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

seven-a theater review

My Favorite Animal
Written by: Tom Sime
Directed by: Phyllis Cicero
The 45th Street Theatre
345 West 45th Street, New York, NY
(212) 352-3101
Review by: Ashley L. Mathus

Categorized as a “romantic comedy”, My Favorite Animal almost climbs that comedic mountain, but descends before we see the view. A cast of six finds themselves betwixt and between genders, trying to find the best possible solution for shaky relationships and whimsical wishes. Randi (Catherine DuBord), “with an I” has had a sex change, not by doctors but an unknown magical force, fulfilling her secret wish. Randi is a gay man who’s attracted to straight men, and is now a female seeking undivided attention from straight men everywhere. DuBord and her new bisexual psychiatrist, Jerry (Matt Lyle), discuss the sex change like a diluted version of “Who’s on first?” The pair opens up a can of worms of gender stereotypes, sexuality preferences, and maturity levels.

The “favorite animal” is man, echoing a primitive nature that every human faces. Though this comedic wish entertains for a while, Randi’s “magical” situation is never explained and half-heartedly resolved. We’re still left to wonder, why? Jerry’s mother, Gail (Sylvia Luedtke), is blunt helicopter parent, barging into Jerry’s office onstage with beer and cheap takeout. All glitz and glam, Luedtke is the best in show, receiving laughs for her motherly-bluntness and pure exasperation.

Eventually the entire cast is clustered in Jerry’s office, pushing the safety walls of a doctor’s lair. Annoying chaos ensues, becoming both humorous and confusing, in their alleged group therapy. Two straight men (a stalker and an overweight hick) unconvincingly try to recover from unrequited love. Fighting over a gun, they’d rather end their own misery than kill each other. My Favorite Animal has an original story line but fails to deliver pure passion for lifestyle choices. The actors’ memorization of dialogue is visible, logic and magic become one, and facial expressions are constantly over-the-top. Gail emerges as a superior psychiatrist, guiding everyone’s emotional guilt in this faux group session. Our laughter is procured from obvious conundrums, and nothing spectacular happens with gender change. We are encouraged to see both the positive and negative sides of altering sexes, but the focus shifts from character to character so fast we don’t have time to digest the amount of individual bedlam.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Historian

Just finished reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.  A huge and epic tale full of vampire lore and history.  Kostova actually uses the historical information on Vlad the Impaler, including his many graves in monasteries, his influence over small plagues in both eastern and western Europe, and his symbol and group Order of the Dragon.  

Kostova addresses her reader before the first chapter suspensefully writing, "In addition to reproducing these sources almost in their entirety."  I'm thinking, what, wait, like this is real?!  Her imagination claims to only have been resorted to "when necessary".  If you ever decide to read this book, you will understand when I say this preface is probably the most suspenseful opening, and therefore suspenseful book I have ever read.  You can gather this book is about vampires, and when someone who graduated from Yale is telling you that this is all real, it's a little surreal.  In the light of day I want to believe, but when it turns dark I'm actually afraid, not to read, but to think farther outside the "imagination" of the spineless novel.  I have been hesitant to engage in further research about her geographical topics because of events in the book (which is a first and something I hope to overcome in a week).  Now, I have never read Bram Stokers, Dracula, but it's on the reading list; and maybe between the few novels I can collect information and do what with it...?  I've read that Kostova imitates key scenes from Stoker's fictional novel, but also uses Vlap Tepes' historical past, enabling her claims to have an odd validity and uncomfortable security blanket.  

The old-fashioned letters, which is the readers main source of information, are more than tempting.  The letters become both our and the main characters guidebook; we are watching the stage from the third tier, and therefore the last to know what happens.  The letters addressed to the "unfortunate successor" or "reader" are romantic and polite, yet full of suspenseful history and accuracy.  These letters make me want to resurrect a pen pal.  The abundance of history in The Historian is, at times, overwhelming; but is worth pursuing.  Kostova makes me question who actually is the historian?  It seems like Vlad tended to chose his victims by knowledgeable profession, i.e. historians, librarians, or anthropologists.  Vlad himself was a historian- so not only do we have this book revolving around Vlad, the historian, but also Elizabeth, her father Paul, Rossi the Oxford adviser and experienced vampire hunter, and her mother Helen.  All of these characters/real people are historians, searching for one thing or person, but using their craft to arrive at successful conclusions.  Not a happy-go-lucky summertime reading book, but definitely a novel worth reading if you've got the time.

Something odd also happened when I grabbed this book from my book shelves (as if Kostova's preface wasn't jarring enough).  I had bought and started reading The Historian in 2005.  I remember the time of year accurately, and had always wanted to return to the book.  As I'm closing in on the last of the preface, I see it is typed and dated January 15, 2008.  Now, this could be an printing error (which I doubt) or Kostova's way of branching out to her "future" readers, which would accurately imply analogies to the books purpose-  how historian's weave their way into the present with their knowledge from the past.  Ramble.  However, what are the chances I pick this book back up in 2008 and finish it in it's entirety?  What are the chances I suddenly am feigning an interest in this sub-culture and decide now would be the best time to learn more?  To further insinuate my freakish point, a book mark fell onto my lap, previously tucked silently away in page twenty-something for over three years.  The book mark was actually a ticket for a ballet in Columbus, OH dated in the faded year 2005.  Wicked.  I don't know, this could be all in my head, but I am going to visit the book store and see if it was a printing or edition typo.  I'd rather it was, to be honest with you.  

I noted some of the locations and scenes that interested me, some of which I marked down for hopeful future travel.  The Historian takes place in four time periods, so I'm sure the names of countries or border lines have probably been changed.  Kostova illustrated a map of Cold War Europe within her hard cover copy, which the reader refers to often.  It is a helpful guide, especially for Americans, who might not be too keen of Transylvania's whereabouts.  

Check out some of favorite destinations in the book :
Above is the Radcliffe Camera, a historical site in Oxford, England.  I hope to visit next time I visit the UK



This is Lake Snagov, you can look it up if you'd like. Romania- an eerie beautiful.


The Danube, Budapest, Hungary. Another place I hope to visit someday.

Each of these locations are some key places for Kostova's story. They continue on, but you should probably read it first.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Physical Thinking

After stumbling upon a new site called Curled Up (With A Good Book), and somewhat falling into a haphazard pattern of locking myself in a specific location for a few hours every day, I have come to realization of a huge change in body patterns within the last two months.  Let me explain.

Reading.  What body language ensues when we read?  How do you fit the mold, literally, of the book that's attached to your fragile hands and fingers?  Per usual, you are curled up and comfortable, working your limbs into a position where you can read, ponder, reflect, and really get into it.  But everyone's definition of "curled up" is different.  My physical diction highly contrasts what I would have been doing with these precious hours a year ago.  Instead of being "curled up", I would have been stretching, bending, flexing, pushing, pulling, forcing, and of course, releasing.  I obviously knew my rigorous daily routine would take a huge shift; however, I am know realizing, I'm still using my body, but curiously in the extreme opposite way.  I'm not talking about lack of exercise or working out, but the thought behind the movements.  The odd extremities of thought, both which are defined by intelligent teachers- whether they be written or dance oriented. 

I am curled into myself. Like a little rubber ball waiting to explode, I curl on my belly, on my back, propped with pillows, and surround myself with the same layers I would as if I'm warming up for Susan Dromisky.  I switch from the fetal position to Alice's sleepy pose as I lose myself in books full of history, metaphors, allegory's and memories.  I am translating someone else's movement; but in my head, and my body responds not like a machine trained to follow, imitate, and feel within limited technical restraints, but like an after thought- something that comes natural in my own environment.  My physicality is just reflecting what's occurring in my head, not what's in the mirror or whoever is in front of the class.  You have to realize, this "training", lovely as it is/was (?) is something that has been ingrained in me since I was barely five years old.  Something I have always done, which is why this simple revelation is jolting.

The environment, what is it?  Clearly, that constitutes some of the meaning behind being "curled up".  If you curl up somewhere, you must be comfortable. The obvious bed, couch, chair, come to mind.  Think about your environment.  Do you listen to music in the background?  Play with your hair?  Doodle between chapters?  Stare at the page after an intense scene?  How many lights of candles do you have on?  Are there people around you, or are you completely secluded- alone in a beautiful way?  I'll tell you my environment...if you care to read on.  

I love quiet; though not always.  I relish the sounds of the city and music in the car is probably one of the most comforting things ever.  I love the sounds of a family member walking up the stairs, or the clanking of spoons against a pan- signaling that dinner is ready.  I love the clacking horses make when they stomp in their cages, silently refusing their habitation.  I crave the sound of waves, and people's loafers on a boardwalk at 5pm.  The sound of music and why I love it would take ages to explain, so I won't go there now...but in a "curled up" mood, quiet is essential.  Coffee shops work, but the background music usually needs to be on low.  I get distracted by the not-so-interesting conversations or sounds of typing next to me.  My quiet usually equates to an empty house or a lonely library corner or someplace propped up on the sand.  The silence is engulfing.  No TV.  No Radio.  No video games.  None of my ITunes playlists.  Why?  I'll start singing or humming and my attention will automatically cheat devotion to the dedication laying open in my palms.  My phone is a annoying distraction, so I'll often shut it off or hide it in the stove.  Too much coffee is bad, cause ADD will unabashedly ensue.  Too much water will cause annoying bathroom breaks.  Airports though, airports are great. They are lonely because everyone is in a transition period, and therefore somewhat alone, even if their family is nearby.  People are in between homes and families and work and play; it all feeds into needing a comfortable spot to curl up, even if comfort becomes a blue germy plastic chair.

There most certainly is a methodical and practical physical response, lying and waiting within the pages.  Whatever I read next will affect my body language, though no one sees it. My body language is privately affected by my emotions, so I can curl up tighter and snuggle to the hope that the heroin will avenge her enemy, or cross my ankles delicately to express joy or happiness for the protagonist who just found the correct key to the mysteries of Romania...or what have you.

Concluding, these thoughts make it apparent I am happy to have the time to be reading for pleasure again.  Though I loved my English major literature, brilliantly glorifying ageless thoughts- I can study and journal about books I want to read right now.  I don't have to wait for the passing of midterms and 10 question quizzes testing me.  I'll test myself, and refer to maps, retrieve the history and logic of an historian/author/creative mastermind behind the text.  

Get curled up, yo.  Tell me where you do it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Ship Is Sinking, again!

Leo and Kate reunite on the big screen in the upcoming film, Revolutionary Road.
In my opinion, these two are two of the best actors of their generation.  I cannot wait to watch their marriage crumble in Sam Mendes' flick.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Kate said:
"I mentioned the script to Leo because we'd always have conversations about interesting things that either one of us has read, and we've just consistently done that over the years.  ...he read it, loved it, and said 'Yes.' 
Leo and I were always aware that if we were to do something together again that there would be a sense of expectation.  It was going to have to be the right thing.  We could see ourselves playing that married couple.  There's an emotional shorthand Leo and I have and a physical ease because we've known each other for so long...Leo and I, you know, are sort of kindred spirits- we're cut from the same cloth"
Oscar win is abuzz for the five time nominated actress.  
Golden.

A Lesson [3]

The Travelers and the Plane Tree

"On a hot summer's day, some travelers, worn out by the heat of the sun, noticed a plane tree and rushed toward it.  Once they arrived, they threw themselves down on the ground and rested in the shade of its wide spreading branches.  As they were lying there, one of the travelers said to the other, 'What a useless tree the plane is.  It bears no fruit, and there's no other way man can put it to use.'
But the plane tree answered them, 'Ungrateful creatures!  At the very moment you're benefiting from my existence, you deride me as if I were good for nothing!' 

Ingratitude is as blind as it is base. "

Aesop's Fables, p 125.

to note...

Does anyone else notice how much Stephenie Meyer uses the word "Chagrin" in her books?  
I tried to ignore it at first, but after reading all the books, Edward's unfinished version, "Midnight Sun", and outtakes on her website, my claim can be verified.  

from Merriam Webster
Chagrin: n
Etymology: French, from chagrin sad
disquietude or distress of mind caused by humiliation, disappointment, or failure.

There's a lot of "disquietude", that being a HUGE and semi-funny controversy of a human and vampire being lovers without the "distress".  Meyer uses the word as a from of speech, action, adjective, and it just keeps popping up!  No hard feelings, just something I picked up on.  It would be her "signature move" if she was a danca.

ramble

[recommended tunage before/during reading: Radiohead-any but I like "Videotape" ]

he was a twelve year old boy stuck in a body of a fifty year old man.  
man, call it what you will, this peter pan lived in a neverland away from responsibility, 
away from the never[s]- minus the lost boys.  
a viking without his ship.  
a nomad without a bear.  
translucent lava. 
he had no friends.
his friend was the bottle, the aluminum, the crinkle of a finished can being discarded on the carpet like some piece of lint.  

don't get me wrong, he had friends throughout his life.  actually he was one of the most charismatic people I've ever met.  people would swoon over his smile and giddy earnestness.  he left people comfortable, trusting, and laughing. people liked him. i compare my humor response to his humor. no one comes close. his jokes could always clear the clouds, pushing aside anger in coveted love and tenderness.  a baby for grins and smirks and he liked spongebob! i didn't think he even knew who spongebob was, but he did. he had like five thousand faces, each one practiced dutifully in the mirror. a patient actor. his dark brown locks wrapped around his triangular jaw and his smile always smelled like Marlboro reds and coffee with a mix of pine.  7/11 was the dominant aroma blend.  black, no additives for the sober Pan.  the pine complimented the often worn flannel jackets and fleeces.  always Patagonia.  his truck smelled like a carpenter on the run.  professional wooden brushes and white buckets clanked against paint cans and tools i had no idea how to use, but i knew they were important.  

there was never a question about high quality.  whether he could afford it or not, most often not, he would buy the most expensive rugs, the most gaudy-Brooklyn lamps, kayaks, and green tents.  his painting was surreal in a holistic way.  colors never ended as if he was painting his imagination, and it was always perfect.  the random pairing of gold and blue was decadent and made me think of cupcakes.  metallic walls and sponges created a home within a home. each room has their own design, vibe, and memory.


there was this time, in both our lives, where we had a blue foldable couch.
this couch came in handy in a lot of ways, mostly my play toy.
i used it to be a waitress, a secretary, a musician, a sleeper, a daughter, a candy-addict.

there was this one time the blue couch formed an obtuse dance hall. i was eating sprinkles out of the plastic Tupperware and he was blasting the opening song from Saved By The Bell. sometimes i poured maple syrup in a porcelain glass cup my grandma had and licked it off the equally tiny delicate silver spoon.  i couldn't keep up with his energy. we totally rocked. as my sugar rush increased, so did his state of mind. colors of candy, drunk rainbow skies. we swirled and dabbled and got yelled at, but we didn't care, we were both kids having fun after school. neither of us had jobs and while he wore green thermals i chose to opt for underwear, in a very innocent way- in the way an eight year old can be innocent and not realize what's happening in reality. my reality was sparkled with red and blue and alliterations with the letter B. B for bud, bitch, bro, beer. not really actually. i'm being a bit harsh. my reality was fantastic, but there was always a looming shadow. we were always trying to prepare to get rained on. there were no forecasters warning us to bring an umbrella. each time was a stab to the heart. each time was equally hard and frustrating and sad. however each recovery was even better. a victory we could relish in. we did relish in. we had to. each reunion smelled ten times better than hospitals and homes for the sick. each time there was a token of some sort, a little prize for waiting. i have them.

he painted stone faces like pirates and old literature masters.  the great hang adjacent to the piano and perpendicular to the dining room table.  he accentuated the brown in the cigar or the forest green of Blackbeard's cap.  he did Mick Jagger impressions to off-set his prior gloominess.  crouching in doorways and again playing escalator games with the blue bendable couch.  

he must've sang jailhouse rock over five hundred times in his life and could not stand for the TV to be lower than what you would hear in a concert arena.  

he sucked sauce like it was going out of style.  not just like the bottomless pit people associate with an empty coke can and a straw, but a loud slurping noise- the most obnoxious yet noticeable sign on the planet.  it tasted good.  we all knew it.  but we rolled our eyes anyway. my dinner table consisted of the game 'eye spy', a great memory. there was always something to be found, discovered, revealed, touched, announced. we were all winners and we all like steak. it made the kitchen a wonderland of hidden treasures. my fairy tale princess attic came to life with smells of pepper, garlic, and tuna. sauces of love. 

we threw the blue couch out. before it all happened. it became old, raggedy, used, dirty, and just unacceptable for living room standards. i don't miss it. rather, i think of it like a pearly gate into an old dimension before life rained a monsoon which will flood at any given moment.

feed me more

"In Radiohead's new video for 'House of Cards', no cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. The video was created entirely with visualizations of that data. "


Sunday, November 9, 2008

NZ- The Jump

When I go to New Zealand, because I will within the next two years, this is what I will do.

You don't have to watch the whole video, but just look at that beautiful location!  So picturesque.  Ah!  Amazing.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Revelry


"I pull my shirt on, walk out the door.  
Drag my feet along the floor.  
Then I see you, you walking cross the campus. 
Cruel professor studying romances."
_Vampire Weekend

A Little Give and Take

This is what being an impulsive person gets you...

I was so excited to buy my midnight movie ticket to the first showing of Twilight, and didn't look at my planner first to double check dates.  What else would I be doing on a Thursday night at 12:01 am now that college is over?  Well, every other Thursday, the answer would be nothing.  But that Thursday, of course, I will be arriving at my alma mater, The Ohio State University.  Probably reliving nights at Oldfields on 4th, maybe accidentally knocking over a few glasses the Stube singing The Who, or warming myself in Anton's bed.  But, being me, I purchased the ticket without looking.  So now I have to forfeit my ticket because I will be two states over in Buckeye territory.  Not that big of a deal, I know.  But to avoid spoilers and radio talk for five days will be a hassle because most likely everyone will be reviewing the movie.  Bullocks.  

I guess Twilight will have to wait till Tuesday for me to critique the squareness of Rob Pattinson's jaw line and his stellar mop of golden-brown hair.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Twilight

I have finished the Twilight series.  Yesterday actually.  Hello Mr. President and world, I've returned a transformed human, pun intended.  Now (predictably if you know me) this has set off a chain reaction, and I will get my hands on all notable vampire books to date.  Up next, The Historian, which I've had but never completed- time to restart that baby.  Afterwards I'm assuming a little Anne Rice, why the hell not?  Even though, oddly enough, she's become a jesus lover and consequently writer.  If I was an oracle twenty years ago I would've called that shiz.  I just find something a bit humorous about a notable vampire novelist abruptly turning to religious memoir writing.  Oh well.

Attention, this may contain SPOILER ALERT, depending on how far I take this.  I'll let you know if that's the way my thoughts are leading.

So, there's a concept in the last novel, Breaking Dawn, that I'm having a long time trying to wrap my head around.  Somewhere in book three, novel four, Bella analyzes (OKAY, IT'S INEVITABLE, SPOILER ALERT!) her new life as a vampire.  Bella says, 

"I was always going to want more.  And the day was never going to end" (p 483).  

This evident concept of forever is majestic, knowing you can "live" forever, but I'm trying to tie that together with: not ever having the need to sleep.  Therefore forever is one long day.  Days and days and days tied together technically, but time is irrelevant when you're not changing/growing.  You never have the need to sleep because, as a vampire, you can't.  Imagine standing in the same two-footed position for a week.  Imagine daydreaming for twelve days without it feeling more than an hour.  My back gets tired after standing at a concert for two hours.  Just imagine never getting tired after exerting yourself running, dancing, working, studying, researching.  Imagine never needing sleep- being exhausted, yes, but not needing to close your eyes and shut up your conscious mind to cure that exhaustion.  Coming home, sitting, collecting thoughts, and subsequently moving on with the one day of your long life. Mmm this concepts makes me wish for non-existent things.

I'm sure there would be times in the philosophical "forever" that one would want to end it- it meaning life.  End the rising of the sun and the moon.  End the death that you witness with mortals/loved ones.  End the change in technology, animals, people, rulers, fashions you see.  Maybe you enjoy the change, but it is not important to you because know there will be more to change in another decade or century.  Also, you don't need the advancement of medicines or technology because you will never die, so you watch and listen to the breath of evolution. Imagine being together with the one you love forever.  Why worry?  There's never a need to stop or hurry or time-manage.  You can take however long you need to learn a new language or instrument or sport and not feel pressure of grasping the rules quickly, because you have all the time in the world, literally.  Who decides when forever ends?  Would forever constitute what happens after our world has vanquished?  Where would you go from there?  Does space count in "forever" terms?  

I have no idea why I am so dumbfounded yet intrigued by this concept.  Of course this is not my first encounter thinking about infinity, but this is the first time I actually care to wonder.  Or maybe it's the first time I've thought of forever in terms of love.  Thinking thinking thinking.  Anyway, go read Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.  It is the next best thing after Harry Potter 1-7.  Thank me or Melinda Mendez when you're done, and then write a letter to Stephenie Meyer thanking her.  

If you need more convincing:
"[Meyer is] the world's most popular vampire novelist since Anne Rice" _Entertainment Weekly
"Move over, Harry Potter" _USA Today
An Amazon Best Book of the Decade...So Far
A New York Times Editor's Choice.

Motion Occupies Music

Assistant Engineer at Automated Sound Studios
1500 Broadway (43rd St)

Used to practice my mixing with the Grateful Dead master tapes for Terrapin Station. Just thinking about that now I realize just how many people had the opportunity to “practice” using Grateful Dead masters? What a hoot.

Automated was brand new beautiful state of the art recording facility in the heart of Times Square. I found out they were staffing the studio from a friend. I was working at Ogilvy and Mather at the time as an AV tech doing casting sessions, and attending NYU part time. To get the job at Automated I had to “try out.” We were trained over the July 4th weekend and then tested. I guess I passed. I was the only female hired along with two males. Vicky Fabry, the head asst. and 3rd engineer, who came from A&R recording, trained us all.

It was Automated where I worked with some of the most amazing musicians and engineers in the world. I was assigned to assist Elliot Scheiner, a guest engineer who was coming to work at Automated for the first time. I was told that the session must run flawlessly. (No pressure.) I was young, shy, but ready to roll. When Elliot showed up he did a monitor check and there I was hearing the latest mixes he had just completed and they were the masters from the soon to be released:

"Aja is an album by the rock band Steely Dan. The album was named after the Korean wife of group co-founder Donald Fagen's friend's brother. Originally released in 1977, it became the group's best-selling album. Topping at #3 on the U.S. charts and #5 in the United Kingdom, it was the band's first platinum album, eventually going platinum twice. In July 1978, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. In 2003, the album was ranked number 145 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The album is considered quite ambitious and sophisticated, and features several leading session musicians. The eight-minute-long title track features complex jazz-based changes and a solo by renowned saxophonist Wayne Shorter, as well as dextrous drumming by Steve Gadd - most notably at the end of the tune.
Aja is also the subject of one of the Classic Albums series of documentaries about the making of famous albums. The documentary includes a song-by-song study of the album (the only omission being "I Got the News," which is played during the closing credits), interviews with Steely Dan co-founders Walter Becker and Fagen (among others) plus new, live-in-studio versions of songs from the album, and the opportunity to hear some of the rejected (and uncredited) guitar solos for "Peg," before Jay Graydon produced the satisfactory take.
The album is also one of the only Steely Dan titles not available in a 5.1 version on any high-resolution audio format. When DTS attempted to make a 5.1 version, it was discovered that the multitrack masters for both "Black Cow" and the title track had gone missing. For this same reason, a multichannel SACD version was cancelled by Universal Music. Donald Fagen has offered a reward for the missing masters or any information that leads to their recovery." (Wikipedia)

M.O.M. 2

Coldplay

Last Monday, before history changed for the better, I was able to see Coldplay in concert.  Coldplay is not a band I would call a favorite, as I had an episode with one of their songs three years ago, and was unable to recover until their recent album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends.  Though, I do love them, maybe just not as much as Radiohead or The Derek Trucks Band.  My mother and I saw Coldplay at the 2003 Grammy Awards in NYC.  At that time A Rush Of Blood To The Head was released, and they played "Clocks" with the New York Phil Harmonic in the background.  That was amazing, but we both craved an entire show of awesomeness.  Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends is different than their other albums, strikingly upbeat, thoughtful in Brian Eno's musical genius-way.  I read multiple music-related articles and seen the brash stance they hold, but after witnessing their performance I can really see and say that they have a wonderful and true band format.  The four artists, Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, and Will Champion share the spotlight, comfortable in their contributions and literal positioning.  Martin, being the multi-faceted artist he is may be at the forefront of defensiveness and controversy, but their efforts are equal. Champion had a solo in the concert, Buckland and Berryman practically moved as much as Martin (as much as you can with a guitar), and their interactive nature heightened the audiences' participation.  Martin's energy was compatible to Thom Yorke's introverted stage presence, gesticulating wildly and looking down as if his brain depended on it.  Martin takes Yorke's dynamic individuality and divides it with ferosh body language, bouncing off the invisible sides of the stage to create a wonder wall for the performers. Martin kicks and spins and delves in extreme yoga poses; hard to miss his bend-ability and flexibility.  Wouldn't you love to be Gwen?

After Duffy woefully sang her thoughts, Coldplay ignited the stage behind a thin black scrim, steadily climaxing with "Life In Technicolor".  This song, though it reminds me of an 80's movie teenage makeout scene, is the perfect anecdote for the awaiting crowd.  The album's artwork filled the backdrop, a ship of trials and tribulations echoing the worlds state of being.  From that point Coldplay just kept going, stretching and twirling for two hours.  "Cemeteries of London", "Lost!", "42", "Lost?", "Lovers In Japan / Reign Of Love", "Yes", "Violet Hill", and "Death And All His Friends" were enigmatic.  You couldn't help but jump and down.  All I really wanted to do was spin in circles alongside Coldplay, a backup dancer just filled with joy.  I wanted to open my arms wide, as if I was having a revelation or seeing some sort of musical god.  Spinning in perfect circles in Edward Cullen's meadow filled with pixie dust and guitars.  Their music made me feel alive.  More alive than I've felt for a long time.  A vibrant alive, a powerful force of energy radiating all over the world, being one with everyone else.  My assigned seat number held back nothing and everyone in the arena was part of one big statement.  A big blob of music rolling swiftly over hills, crossing continent lines, spreading some sort of infectious feeling.

Coldplay played their big hits off X & Y, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, and Parachutes like "Fix You", "Clocks", "Speed of Sound", "Politik", "In My Place", and "The Scientist".  The band came back for one encore, giving us a little more head medicine with "Yellow".  Martin dedicated "The Hardest Part" to Jennifer Hudson's loss, slowing the energy for a bit with a little reflection.  Before he played the piano ballad, he said this was the last dip in the roller coaster, the last slow song before the sidewinders, loops, and drops.  Following the darkened mood the band quickly changed pace with "Viva La Vida", and it took about two seconds for the entire arena to stand on its feet.  I kept thinking about what Madonna said during her concert about standing up while watching her perform.  She's working her ass off, why can't we stand.  Sheesh, it's the LEAST we could do.  Isn't that what a concert is all about, letting lose the frustrations of the day/week/head and just living in the moment.  The song echoed my thoughts perfectly, and I got my own rush of blood to the head.  What's wonderful is that you see how much these artists love to perform, to share their thoughts, to share their energy with us. 

Coldplay actually ran into the audience, up a tier and played "Strawberry Swing" near the mezzanine level.  The people behind them watched anxiously, hoping to be groped by a rockstar.  Mouths agape, we all wished it was us instead.  We would be a better backdrop for this epic band.  Live, Coldplay truly kicks ass.  The set was not too showy but had technical elements that would blow you away.  Besides club lighting pulsing with bass beats, they had mini orbs-which reminded me of Sigur Ros at Bonnaroo- that flashed each member in black and white.  Live editing taking place in a mini globe.  If you watched the orbs long enough the alluring dizziness became live intoxication.  Coldplay announced their obvious liberal political views, and if you weren't a liberal in the audience, you were immediately the elephant in the room- pun intended.  

"Listen as the crowd would sing".  Loud fans weak in the knees with tragic melodies sang with the force of Lady Liberty.  Life was lived on this Monday night at the IZOD center.  The energy is something I put in my pocket, and will unfold when I'm feeling a bit down, remembering the pure joy I felt on this night.  Coldplay IS a musical force to be reckoned with.  They dare you.  

Obama Nation

YES WE DID.


Proud to be an American.
Love those blue states, always coasting with the best.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

From A Distance

"I haven't left my house in days. 
I watch the news channels incessantly. 
All the news stories are about the election; 
all the commercials are for Viagra and Cialis.
Election, erection, election, erection- either way we're getting screwed."
_Bette Midler



Election Day

VOTE. And be happy you did.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Head Cuts

I keep imagining this trailer in my head but to the bridge of Madonna's "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You" when J-Timz is moaning. I see lightening and really quick edits flashing scenes of lust, brawls, a crowd of vampires walking in a slow motion V- like the Armageddon astronauts, and a girl jumping from a cliff. I imagined the cliff jump music video scene before I actually read about it. I like what that says.



I guess my version is not too different.  Less melodramatic, though more suspenseful...maybe.  I'm not sure, maybe mine would be more melodramatic.  I would need to actually create it, review it, critique it.  I think the concept might reveal less, in terms of the attack, but reveal more of the love.  Romeo and Juliet but in black and white, or fire and ice. I agree with the intensity and themes of "forever", but I would want the music to enhance that more than the graphics. I wouldn't want the trailer to start at the beginning of Twilight, but rather someplace in between, leaving the audience guessing between calm and chaos. Not to say I don't like this trailer, I just see the movie being advertised differently...maybe with a little more jaw coverage/camera angles...a little more sexy I guess. Not sexy in an overtly obvious way. Sexy in a love story, edited way. Exhibiting "forever" in inches, or centimeters rather, so to show suspense in the inevitable. Proving agony exists within ecstasy... and danger. Love on location: woods/basements/arms/cars/enemy lines. Provoking questions and pains of "forever" between two different species. Is it possible? How? Why? Who? When? A little big classic thriller a little bit post-modern abstract. Like a fragmented painting. Passion intermixed between the waves of Justin's "Oh's". Each "Oh" defined by a different up or down moment in the film. The down beat would be reason to for the dramatic clip change, guiding the visuals by his misunderstood voice- therefore explaining the struggle for the characters in the book/film. There's something hidden in the secrets of vampire lore that is seductive, and to bring that to the forefront while not giving away the entire plot would be fantastic. Make it different. Fast edits, not a second long, between a dark, motionless screen contrasting against pale skin, red lips & eyes. Imagine that as a preview. I would be intrigued.