Thursday, July 28, 2011

This Is a Public Service Announcement

PSA that evidently has been running on television in Scotland.

I dare say this falls into the category of "Things the Scottish are doing right."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Posted in Michael Stipe's tumblog:


So, there you have it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Down by the River

Specifically, at the plaza outside the Winter Garden just behind the World Trade Center site, one of the venues of the River to River festival.

They had a great day of movement theater a couple weekends ago. The first of three acts was a singular dance ensemble from Australia called "Strange Fruit." While that name conjures dreadful acts from the American South as hauntingly related by Billie Holiday, this was, well, not that.

This was a troupe of three dancers who climbed atop 15-foot posts in colorful corsets, dramatic headdresses, pantaloons and stockings.

Then they hoisted up giant hoop skirts that Scarlet O'Hara could only have dreamed of.

The dancers struck poses and fixed the audience with expressions alternating among coy, coquettish and seductive.

And then, it got weird.

They dipped and swayed and swerved and defied both gravity and reason, at a pace somewhere between outer space and flying trapeze. Very dreamlike, very surreal.

I got some video that gives a sense of the act in motion, but technical difficulties prevent me from posting it (for now, anyway... Anybody know how to synch a Samsung Galaxy S loaded with Froyo to a Mac? I can't believe that that language makes sense to me. And it's annoying that knowing what it means doesn't help me solve the problem. Another chapter in the seemingly endless saga of upgrade frustration. But I digress.)

The rest of the performance was fab too - Michael Moschen up close and juggling-historical, and the Streb company performing Human Fountain, their interpretation of dancing waters brought to life with bodies, scaffold and some big ass mats. The River to River people encouraged us to grab footage (and if I had a better memory I'd know what hashtag to use when Tweeting about it), and I'll share what I got when I'm able to load the video.

OH! And while I'm still in the neighborhood of the subject of dramatic clothing: go see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met before it closes. The crowd is insane, but it's totally, completely, 100% worth it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Songs about History

And while we're on the subject of videos, did you chance to catch this gem last night? Or on the interwebs. Very much worth a look and listen.

Gotta love the Roots. It's the law.

Oh, and you'll want to go see the Tribe Called Quest documentary, Beats, Rhymes and Life. I mean, unless you're opposed to music. And fun.

Paris through a Window

Or a lens.

My friend over at Bionic Grin just had a little spell of Parisophilia, and by coincidence I came across a few viddies we took there last fall. Here are a couple from our first day there.

The first one shows the end of the demo we encountered upon our arrival:

And this shorter one was from close to the end of the evening on our walk home.

Nothing particularly special about either of them other than the memories. It's worth mentioning that in both cases the music you hear is live ambient sound, not something added afterward. Hope they feed the artiste within...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ai Weiwei

You've been following the Ai Weiwei story, right? Artist and dissident in China, detained under conditions somewhere between house arrest and imprisonment this spring, recently released (well, sort of; he's still under surveillance and under indictment and can't leave the country without permission) but under a gag order.

The news today is that Ai has accepted a lecturing post in Berlin. He'll go there if he can, but it depends on the Chinese officials permitting him to, unless he goes the full-on refugee/expat route and defects under cover of darkness or something. Which would be pretty out of character, I think.

Meanwhile here are some shots of Ai's beautiful sculpture series of the Chinese Zodiac figures that is by the fountain at the Plaza.

Here's to bold artists everywhere.