Monthly Archives: July 2010

clear summer

July 15, 2010
By
summer sounds

listen to the summer we recommend  listening with headphones and a cold beer The summer is making me happy and in the winter I’m counting sound to make me feel better so… the sound of summer… That’s yummy.

Read more »

a polyamorous performance piece

July 15, 2010
By
Polyamory_large

We all have mornings when we wake up and the lover next to us seems like a stranger. Early hours when last nights actions hang heavy or fall flat in the room. Those kinds of mornings happen to me a lot, more than most people actually.  It’s not because I don’t care deeply about my sexual partners, but because I have chosen a polyamorous lifestyle. On those days, I look over at the pillow next to me and feel awkward, a bit too wild, a bit too unhinged. When I finally excuse myself, something we all try and maneuver gracefully, I return home. Not to an empty house but to a primary partner, my primary partner. And although we have an open relationship, one founded in trust and respect, I am torn between my performance in the moment and the one I embodied so fully the night before. I feel both entitled and taken apart by my experience with another lover. These feelings and situations have been prevalent in my life since I began pondering/practicing/performing polyamory. While it’s becoming more common  (they even have a polyamory awareness and acceptance ribbon campaign) it still remains an experimental and radical form of [...]

Read more »

listen to this\/\/a performance exercise

July 14, 2010
By
this is where the music comes from

Performance art is bad when artifice takes precedence over the performance. At best it’s kitchy and at worsts it’s a waste of everyone’s time.  Artifice: a manufactured thing. Performance implies a body, moving and engaged. The thing made should not come before the body, the thing making. The general (the body) should always come before the descriptive. Otherwise the audience is left bored or confused. Previously I talked about the importance of sight and perception in creating/experiencing performance. As someone who sings like an amputee, I often run the risk of forgetting my voice and relying on other media to express what I want the audience to experience. I remedy this by recording sounds with my pen. It usually looks something like this: (tilt head at a 45 degree angle and shake slightly and sporadically) ker-ush-sehkrgsh kerkirkersh That was the sound that my feet make as they climb up a rocky path. That’s my sound of summer.  Now, if we listen at any given moment of our day, we will find an endless number of sounds, all of which can be recreated more or less accurately using only our body. However, this requires a great deal of commitment and concentration. [...]

Read more »

summer sounds\/\/bark bark bark

July 14, 2010
By
Meh, you're okay, Bruiser.

First, let’s exercise our vocabulary muscle, the third most important muscle of all*. “Noisome” is a booby-trapped word. It doesn’t mean “noisy” for that’s how it ensnares the amateur wordsmiths who would deign to misuse it. Much like “crapulence” has nothing to do with actual crap. And much like crapulence**, the definition is much more satisfying. Noisome = noxious, offensive, most often pertaining to smell. Of course, noisy and noisome can be intertwined. Think greasy farts ricocheting off a hard plastic surface.  I call those “crowd-pleasers.” Anyway, now that I’ve covered my fart quota, let’s get down to business: dogs in film.  There’s a better segue somewhere*** but we must charge ahead onward forward, like a shark that hunts other sharks. Bulb-nosed early screen actor W.C. Fields once opined: “Never work with animals or children.” Sage advice because both are furry, short-legged scene-stealers. They’re shortcuts to the audience’s empathy, there to generate the “ha-ha” or the “aww” moment without any real work. Lazy lazy. But effective. Ignoring starring roles, cinema canines typically fill two roles: joke-fodder and heartstring-tugger.  In I Love You, Man, Jason Segel’s pooch pops up to generate two weak chuckles: his resemblance to his namesake, Anwar Sadat, [...]

Read more »

in the background

July 13, 2010
By
The most grievous offender, Thomas Kinkade.

Every night at the restaurant where I work I dread the same moment.  It occurs when the dinner crowd arrives and the ambient music switches from mellow indie rock to Brazilian music.  I desperately hope that tonight, this one night, the manager will forget to make the change.  I could even deal with Iron and Wine–SPEAK UP, sir.  Anything worth singing is worth singing louder than that–over the Brazilian tripe.  Not that it’s especially bad music.  It’s just so dreadfully innocuous.  And it is for this reason that management has decided it is the perfect “background music.” Where did this concept come from, that some songs are worthy of our utmost attention and others simply serve to fill in the silences while we chew?  I ask this from the perspective of a busser, a member of the background myself, expected to smile but not to talk.  What do we ask for in our backgrounds?  And I refer here not only to music, but to art, décor, etc.  (I have some experience in this area from my one-day stint selling hotel art door-to-door).  Obviously, the quality of a background is not strained, there are no wild guitar solos or daring splashes [...]

Read more »

summer sounds in winter grass

July 13, 2010
By
tallis in the tall grass

December 12th, 2005 I found Thomas Tallis in the dried winter grass today, a 40-voice motet devoid of chlorophyll, building a glass cathedral of its own. I have never put my hope in any other but in you, O God of Israel, who can show both anger and graciousness, and who absolves all the sins of suffering man. Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, be mindful of our lowliness.

Read more »

monk vs. thoreau

July 12, 2010
By
Fall

I have to state from the beginning of Thoreau week that I have a prejudice against Henry D. Said prejudice has its roots in a coffee shop, where a frightening man with no short-term memory – because of drugs, you understand, and not any Memento-like head injury – repeatedly and on several occasions insisted that I take a day trip with him to see Walden. Walden, man, Walden is amazing! And Thoreau, man, he knows. I don’t go to that coffee shop anymore. As for Walden: I’m sure it will keep getting pushed down my to-read list until I’m fifty-seven and say to myself: “You’ve come this far without it!” and finally cross it off. I hope to be ferrying people across a river by then anyway. But since it’s Thoreau week, and the specific theme is “To listen with one ear to each summer sound,” I am going to be an unapologetic naturalist and choose Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring, which I wanted to bring to you in any case, because you’re lovely and you deserve it. Written and directed by Ki-duk Kim, made in South Korea, it’s a film about an ancient Buddhist monk (played by Oh Young-Soo) [...]

Read more »

this week on the avant guardian\/\/to listen with one ear to each summer sound

July 12, 2010
By
486px-Henry_David_Thoreau

Friends — They are like air bubbles on water, hastening to flow together. History tells of Orestes and Pylades, Damon and Pythias, but why should not we put to shame those old reserved worthies by a community of such? Constantly, as it were through a remote skylight, I have glimpses of a serene friendship-land, and know the better why brooks murmur and violets grow. This conjunction of souls, like waves which met and break, subsides also backward over things, and gives all a fresh aspect. I would live henceforth with some gentle soul such a life as may be conceived, double for variety, single for harmony — two, only that we might admire at our oneness — one, because indivisible. Such community to be a pledge of holy living. How could aught unworthy be admitted into our society? To listen with one ear to each summer sound, to behold with one eye each summer scene, our visual rays so to meet and mingle with the object as to be one bent and doubled; with two tongues to be wearied, and thought to spring ceaselessly from a double fountain. -Henry David Thoreau (b. July 12, 1817)

Read more »

sub-entry 15> episode 8.08 \/\/ on substances from which the world is not made

July 11, 2010
By
sub-entry 15> episode 8.08 \/\/ on substances from which the world is not made

As you know well by now, my line of work and my way of life are one and the same – almost every aspect of my day revolves around my job. That’s alright with me, though, cause it’s this job that keeps me moving, keeps me breathing the life of the city. Nonetheless, it’s not often that I end up in a “normal” situation – and to tell the truth, these kinds of situations feel anything but “normal” to me. But walking out of the gorgeous Strand Theater in the 1920s with a pretty girl on my arm definitely had its appeal.

Read more »

the k team presents\/\/kapeesh

July 10, 2010
By
Photograph by Kathryn O'Shields-Blackman, 2008

A little known fact is that The Godfather taught The K Team most of what we know about making knuckle sammiches.

Read more »