blog (January, 2002)
Conor gave me the ticket for the Foo Fighters concert, so I told him I enjoyed the show very much, but I lied. I wasn't impressed with the band, the music, the acoustics, the crowd -- anything, really. And there wasn't enough energy to make it exciting. But I enjoyed exploring the inside of the convention center and connecting hotel while Conor waited out back. He was hoping to catch the band as they left, accompanied by some ~18 year-olds sporting t-shirts that hinted they had probably either been to a previous Foo Fighters concert, or been to a store that sold Foo Fighters apparel.
We and the ~18 year-olds were un-forcibly forced to leave the premesis after an hour or so in the cold; told that the band had left immediately following the show.
They were probably about to come out, everyone agreed.
Bastards, everyone agreed.
We caught a cab back to our hostel. The ~18 year-old who caught a drumstick at the end of the show, (to make a pair with the other he had at home,) was not leaving. He was staying. He was going to talk to Dave Grohl.
I'm here at one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world, but unfortunately, my circumstances prevent me from enjoying it as much as I could:
- The big and semi-big names here all go for 25 euros.
- We couldn't find a place in Cork to stay, so we're 35km out, in Kinsale -- a nice town, but the last bus from Cork to Kinsale leaves at 9:45... just as much of the festivities are beginning.
- I've got this danged marathon on Monday, so I have to make sure to get to bed early, and happily watch everyone else have their Guinness.
But it's been fun getting to know the south of Ireland, and I've seen some quite good performers that were on the free circuit today and last night. Tomorrow morning to Dublin, and Monday the big race!
Well, this weekend was somewhat of a bust. I was pretty hyped to go to Creamfields on Saturday, a huge dance music festival near Dublin. An Irish girl from my hostel and I left early on Saturday morning and caught the train to Dublin, then a bus out to Punchestown Racecourse, where the festival was being held. We met up with some of her friends, and wandered from tent to tent, checking out the DJs. Long story short, my friend wandered off ("momentarily") to find another friend we were supposed to meet, and she and I didn't see eachother until we were on the train the next morning. Which would've been fine except for the fact that I was under the funny impression that we should try to meet back up since we weren't sure where we were going to stay that night, and we had come to the show together. Well, anyway, she met up with some other friends and had a blast while I spent a few hours at the Meeting Point, chatting with people. I gave up and salvaged the end of the night, propelled by Seb Fontaine's beats, and found a hostel in Dublin to crash at. I don't mind being ditched so long as I am made aware that I should go fend for myself and not worry that the ditcher is not going to have a place to sleep, and I don't waste quite a few euros and a rare opportunity to see some really good music happening.
Being the third caller to a radio show on WRUW won me two seats at the Dave Douglas New Quintet concert tonight at the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art as part of the Tri-C Jazz Fest. The fivesome was hot as hell, especially not the bassist. Four of the fivesome were hot as hell. I sat on a piece of cloth that pulled tight when the two dual legs of my unbacked chair were unfolded, about 15 feet directly over the saxophone player's head, looking through the railbars that enclosed the opening to the second floor above the stage. The saxophone player's playing was hot as hell. So were the stage lights that were 2 feet in front of me. Find me the setlist -- they hit on something from Birth of the Cool -- which, I can't remember now -- maybe Budo. The rest of the tunes, I think, were originals, except for an arrangement of a Rufus Wainwright tune called Poses. The encore was incredible.
Walked through some of the museum before leaving; some cool pieces -- a lot of minimalist stuff in their current Painting in Zero Degree exhibit. My favorite pieces, besides a bright-orange carpeted floor and wall, were works by this Fabio Kacero fella -- with these deadly designs on rounded-edge metallic-looking wood things. Bwaaah.
Bowie: What shall we be excited about tomorrow?
Moby: To see heaven in a grain of sand and eternity in a wildflower. And 'Cops' on Fox.
Bowie's Questions with Moby's Answers
the conservatives want a seemingly neat and compartmentalised society wherein stable appearances are maintained and archaic cultural archetypes are adhered to religiously. i grew up in a world of rigid cultural archetypes. i grew up with white businessmen going to office buildings while their wives stayed at home and their kids went to school. or, more accurately, i grew up with alcoholic, adulterous businessmen who lived culturally insular lives while their wives took sedatives and smoked cigarettes and vented their frustrations on their kids, and these same kids took reams of drugs, got abortions, drove drunk, and victimised the weaklings. i grew up in what most conservatives would consider a utopia; lots of money, prestige, cultural cohesion, and good conservative values. but their values were in fact aesthetics, and maintaining these aesthetics ruled and ruined their lives. almost everyone in this suburban bourgeoisie system hated their lives, but because they had been brought up to worship these aesthetic myths they felt that to question them was an admission of personal failure.
-- Moby, Cultural Conservativism
Well, it's this late already, and I've already resigned myself to a painful morning and the obligatory afternoon nap, so I'll do a little catching up here.
Planning a 3-day stay in Killington, VT for some heavy-duty skiing in a few weeks. It's not the typical spring break, and I certainly could use some sunlight right now, but it should be pretty unreal. I just have to get myself into skiing shape so that I am not dead by day two.
Saw Carl Cox spin last night at Cleveland's Metropolis. Good show, but I wasted a little too much energy and attention on the two opening DJ's, and half-way through Cox's set, the slowing wheels on my rollerskates led me to seek respite on a couch. I'm not a huge fan of the hard edge of techno, but it is difficult not to be moved by the sheer force and frenzy of Cox machine-gunning pure sound over beats at musical climax.
Carnegie Mellon is comparable to CWRU (my soon-to-be alma mater,) and is our rival, in certain (particularly athletic) veins. CMU has lately been proving itself to me slightly more interesting a place. Check out the curious Skibo Liberation Army, and this article on a CMU art student that has shackled himself to public display, noncommunication, and a lobster suit for the next 3 months.
And as I return to homework, a good reminder in Dave's away message from tonight:
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?
-- Matthew 6:26
It was a long saturday; a few of us just took to some sober appreciation of the altar of entertainment in our suite room tonight. We put on a vinyl copy of Neil Young's Harvest, and I laid floorwise in front of the speakers, eyes closed. I found the other day that I can trigger, or sort of let myself feel, some kind of electric senation course through my body, and so I squeezed this flow on every time my thoughts drifted to it, and tried to slow my heartbeat to match the rhythm of the bass drum.
I think I was very content for those 40 minutes or so, but what good is that now...?
I had plans of working on my Operating Systems assignment tonight to finish it early, but I think those were only made because I wanted something to cover up from myself the fact that I didn't have anything overly social going on tonight. Why am I always trying to trick myself? What a stupid game.
See the lonely boy, out on the weekend
Trying to make it pay.
Can't relate to joy, he tries to speak and
Can't begin to say.
-- Neil Young, Out on the Weekend
Last night the parents took me to see Art Garfunkel perform with the RPO. The average age of the crowd was close to sixty, (the same age as the artist.) I had expected the show to be slightly corny, but it was scarecly more upbeat than a soft-rock radio station, dripping in that melancholic sentimentality people gain when they finally begin realizing they're going to die. What's more, he brough out his wife, a very stiffler's mom-looking lady, and had her do a fairly horrible rendition of Lennon's Imagine. Art still has his strange and beautiful voice, though, and Bridge Over Troubled Water definitely evoked a shiver or two. Aside from a drum solo, however, it was far from most rockin' show I've ever seen.
The audience was the worst part, I guess. It seems that old people thoroughly enjoy clapping and giving standing ovations. I am all for showing a performer appreciation and respect, but there's no reason to applaud when he begins singing a song you know, or mentions the city you live in or person he used to perform with.
I'm just scared that in 30 years my (current) favorite artists will be relegated to playing sappy orchestra shows for binocular-toting women and their bald husbands who come to hear the song they loved half a lifetime ago and sleep through the rest of the concert...