Hi!

It’s Thursday, so a quick recap of the past few days then some hype for the future:

  • Magik Markers on Monday weren’t as bad as everyone keeps saying they were, although they certainly could’ve been more exciting. I suspect with their bass player (who left sometime fairly recently I guess) they would be more cohesive and make more sense. The drummer was sort of boring and off in his own world, and while the guitarist was engaging in a pretty exciting way with her instrument, at points that got a bit tedious as well. But, like I said, not “the worst band ever.” I don’t mind having spent the $7 on that. Also, Harangue was massively tight in their new incarnation — excited about their future.
  • Last night’s avant-garde films at Pitt were really good — all by Matthias Müller. Creepy textures, disturbing repetitions, open chest cavities, etc. But in a beautiful way, I swear.
  • Speaking of which, coming up Saturday is the conference on experimental film in Europe; check out my preview here.
  • Also, Saturday night is Jefferson Presents at Garfield Artworks. Not sure if I’ll feel like going after being at the conference all afternoon, but they’re showing tENT films, so if you’re into that, go!
  • TONIGHT is The One A.M. Radio. Garfield Artworks, 8PM. Be there.

spring cleaning

March 26, 2007

I moved things around a little in the sidebar, deleted a couple dead links, etc.

Also, you’ll see in the “links” category a link to my Google Reader “shared” page — go there if you’re interested in what I’ve read lately, blogwise, that I thought was interesting but perhaps not enough so to make a whole post about. Recommended reading for the bored.

Let me know if anything looks stupid or counterintuitive in the sidebar now. Thanks.

here’s a spring

March 26, 2007

Once again, reader-friend, I’ve done you a disservice, and you deserve my deepest apologies. I failed to warn you of an event I was planning on attending, and it ended up being very enjoyable, and now I’m going to tell you about it in retrospect, and there’s just no way you can go to it now because it’s over.

This was: Madeline, Flotilla Way, Nicole Reynolds, and Some Guy Named Caleb Who Is In Madeline’s Band, this past Saturday night at Earthstone Cafe (nee Cafe Bliss) on Penn Ave.

Madeline is from Athens (Georgia not Greece) and is on Orange Twin, as many good folk are. She sings country-ish songs that are cute and have been hitting the spot with me lately, and has a beautiful voice. I nabbed up her most recent album but haven’t given a close enough listen to offer a full review.

Flotilla Way you may well know, if you’re from this place where I’m from. They’re dear friends who harmonize beautifully, in many senses of the phrase. They sounded very good, though (as often is true) they could perhaps have used a boost in the vocal-levels area. Accentuate the positive, y’know? Regardless, very together, and their songwriting is progressing wonderfully.

Nicole Reynolds is an adorable queer-identifying singer/songwriter with a comforting voice and a gift with words. I would like to sit around a campfire with her. I’m unsure as to whether she’s local; perhaps if someone knows, they can correct me in the comments section.

As regards the rest of my weekend: yesterday, fun brunch with guests, then the opening of windows and doors, some stoop-sitting, a good bit of crosswording, not-dogs, beer, and sleep. I’m itching to get to tennis — it will come true soon. I’m excited about the prospect of moving to a neighborhood with clay courts, but not so excited that they aren’t really maintained anymore.

here’s a thing

March 24, 2007

Ways in which I’m busy soon:

  • Monday night is Magik Markers et al. at Garfield Artworks.
  • Tuesday night is Toumani Diabate‘s Orchestra at the Warhol. Not sure if I’ll make it or not; it’s probably the first thing on my agenda to be cut, but it’ll be really good I’m sure.
  • Wednesday night is avant-garde film at Pitt (the next two weeks are not to be missed, from what I hear) and ALSO Woodlab at MoFo. I’d like to make both, but we’ll see.
  • The One A.M. Radio plays with Sleep Little One Sleep and Lucas Sloppy’s Flying Organ  Thursday at Garfield Artworks. I loved The One A.M. Radio last time they played here, and A Name Writ in Water was my jam during the somewhat rough summer of 2004.

more fodder:

March 20, 2007

When I was sick two weekends ago, I watched a Ted Koppel special on the war on terror that concentrated for a time on a military contractor called Blackwater, USA. You should listen to this NPR report that ran on today’s Fresh Air about Blackwater.

Also, check it out: after a long two months, Bérubé returns to blogging!

nothin’ special

March 20, 2007

Okay, so. Last weekend, I skipped out on a lot of things in order to rest up and chill by myself. It worked out well for me.

  • I rented and watched The Butcher Boy in anticipation of the upcoming Patrick McCabe reading (brief review: stories about psychotic children don’t generally do me that well, but the film itself was well put-together — glad to have watched it, won’t watch it again).
  • I rented and watched Wordplay, which was nice, but I think since I like crosswords a lot, and also I had been anticipating this movie since before it was in the theater and that was almost a year ago probably, I had expectations that were a little too high. There were good parts and boring parts. I enjoyed spotting the guy (Scott) who was the champion on Jeopardy! for a few days last week.
  • I went with the mother to a lecture on crossing the United States by automobile in the 1910’s. It was by a guy who’s written books about the Lincoln Highway and about Zippy-style roadside weirdness. He was fun enough to listen to, and talked about the earliest incarnations of the Lincoln Highway and of Route 66, and the trips rich people made across them. My job is teaching me that there are enough cheap/free lecture type events going on all the time in this town that you can get away with not having the History Channel if you’re just willing to leave the house now and then.
  • Speaking of history and local things and TV, last night was the premiere of the new Rick Sebak special, Underground Pittsburgh, which is about Anti-Flag. Just kidding, it’s about things that are underground, literally: basements, mushroom farms, catacombs underneath Alcosan. My favorite line was from the guy who was down in the “basement kitchen” with his buddy, making sausage (a “sausage party” for literalists), while their wives were upstairs making keilbasa: “Just makin’ sausage. Once a month, once a holiday thing. Just makin’ sausage. Nothin’ special.”

On tap for this week: the McCabe reading, maybe catching Laura Mulvey at Pitt (undecided as to whether adjusting my workday would be worth seeing her talk about a movie I’ve never seen based on a story I’ve never read), looking at another apartment (this is getting to be a routine for me), writing, staving off the scary demons.

One things I’ve neglected to mention over the last few days was the upcoming film adaptation conference at Pitt that I noted a couple months ago. I wrote about it for the paper here. I swear I posted about this this morning but apparently I didn’t.

Now on to important comics stuff: it’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you about Rex Morgan, M.D. and all the Troubles there. Suffice it to say, the strip has taken on the heavy subject of the relation between the state and morality, and the state has sustained a bruising.

It all came to a head the night Elvis showed up at the Morgans’ house to off Niki. Abbie (or “Ginger,” as I like to nostalgically call her) came to the rescue, digging under the fence to get to Elvis and pin him before he could do any harm (since, presumably, it took him hours to stand around outside the house before he got up the nerve to go to work).

After Elvis was apprehended, one of the officers stuck around, and announced that he’d have to be taking Niki away — I mean, his mom’s in the hospital with injuries sustained in a meth lab explosion for cripes’ sake, and the Morgans have to legal rights or responsibilities to him. Can you say CYS? Of course Niki was sad, and of course the Morgans were too. Their ire was nothing, though, in comparison with Abby’s Ginger’s:

We’re faced with the ultimate dilemma, hypothesized about by Kropotkin, Goldman, Wolff and so many others: when the state’s actions lie in direct contrast with what’s morally good and right, what are our rights with regard to resisting the state? Abby Ginger would clearly say that it’s well within our rights to snarl and grrrrowl at the state until it backs off — and in this case it does:

As we speak, another subplot is being hatched, to distract us a bit before the Ruby Ridge part of the story comes down.