Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tomorrow Tomorrow and Tomorrow

The entire festival operates within a very distinct, slightly Marxist, class system, which can best be described by watching P Didddy walk down Main Street at four in the afternoon. As P Diddy (ruling class) walks down Main Street, he is surrounded by an entourage made up of about half a dozen people, probably stylists and PR folks (managers of production). While fans (consumers of the spectacle) crowd around him, stealing shots with their digital cameras, a Utah street cleaner (the proletariat) is standing by, to assure that P Diddy’s floor length white coat (the fetish of object, the commodity) remains spotless. The street seems to hold its silence in reverence of the hip-hop star, who is the only one making a sound as he deals with a very important phone call.

(Finish it.)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It Was A Pleasure Thing

In Sleepwalkers, multimedia artist Doug Aitken projects his story of unrelated urban dwellers onto the circumference of MoMA, directly reflecting city life onto the city itself. As a nighttime, outdoor installation, Sleepwalkers follows five, ordinary characters over the span of five hours as they complete their nocturnal jobs.

In order to get the full effect of the exhibit, audience members must circumnavigate the museum’s exteriors, using the facade as an eight part movie screen. For an added bonus, film afficionados are encouraged to call a California hotline for artist commentary.

The film stars, among others, Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, as a postal worker, Donald Sutherland, as a businessman, and Tilda Swinton, as a corporate paper-pusher. It’s not so much the occupations of the characters that audience members will relate to, but rather their bustling, somewhat isolated, journeys throughout the city.

Anyone who lives in New York thrives on the energy and drive that this city provides on a daily, and nightly, basis. It’s the travel time on the trains, the human interactions on the streets, and the endless narrative of lively appetite that provide the true pulse of this city, which is captured perfectly in Aitken’s exhibit.

To watch Sleepwalkers at night, alongside your fellow citizens, lends to the experience an eery sense of solidarity. Likewise, while it would be pretty awesome to provide your own music montage, via an iPod, it is strongly suggested to watch the film with only the soundtrack of the city in the background.

In real time, passing taxi cabs, tourists, police sirens, and even homeless people, provide an ultimate feel of realism to the film, giving it the tone of a documentary. Aitken’s stunning cinematography, however, coupled with the task of forcing your imagination to believe that Chan Marshall could ever be a postal worker, make this film a feature.

At such a grandiose scale, the pixels of the film blend into the buildings on which it is projected, entering into a dialogue with the architecture. Unlike in a regular movie theater – which seems so provincial after watching Sleepwalkers – the audience is not forced to remain static. As one commentator notes, on the six minute phone message, “we become the coeditors of the film by choosing what we see.”

Upon leaving the exhibition, it’s difficult to discern which parts of the journey home are actually yours and which scenes belong to Sleepwalkers. It’s precisely this cinematic daze that the unfinished scenes embody in large scale form. Every interaction of life in a metropolis is part of a broken narrative. As you circle around MoMA, the characters above you are also walking around the city; it is the story of ourselves, and our city, being told to us.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Girl's Distracted

We made stellar use of the MTA system last weekend. Along the F line, we went to Coney Island and DUMBO, my favorite afternoon combo, then back through Manhattan, for Thai food and another UCB show, and back out to Park Slope, for some Bocce ball, and there were several other stops along the way, but I can't remember at this point.

I do remember two nights of dancing. There was one night at the Royal Oak, where you're out of luck if you lose a friend with dark brown hair and side swept bangs, because everyone in the joint has dark brown hair and side swept bangs, which is plainly frustrating. The second night was spent at Bembe, which is a sure bet for real dancing -- especially if you like being one of the only white people in a Latin music dance club -- although I couldn't tell you how to get there if my life depended on it.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Better Shred Than Dead


Here, I wrote this 'lil listing for flavorpill NYC, and I strongly suggest checking that show out if you like funny theater.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mined Expanders

Now this is kinda cool. An entire novel written only in text messages, a text of texts, only the Finnish! To maintain accuracy, the texts are “rife with grammatical errors and abbreviations commonly used in regular SMS traffic,” which is quite clever, if you can stomach it for 332 pages.

I often wonder what it would be like to receive a text message from a novelist like, say, Dickens, who was always using technology to push literature forward:
“Electric comm will nevr b a sub 4 the face of some1 who w/ their soul encourges anothr persn 2 b brave & tru.”

Monday, January 15, 2007

Eight Miles High

Friday was yet another Seattle reunion and one more Finger on the Pulse party, where I discovered reason number 57 why I prefer going out in Brooklyn to Manhattan: people talk about Proust on the dance floor. Saturday, we went to the Natural History Museum to see some dinos then hopped a tram to, of all places, Roosevelt Island, where we saw abandoned buildings and a whole slew of freaks mixing with sunny retirees. That's my kind of weekend.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Penduli Pendulum

So my old friend, Arthur, is one of those rare know-it-all's who really does know it all. You can ask him anything about anything and he knows the answer. And not only will he know the answer, but he will also deliver to you a thirty minute discourse on the topic at hand.

After deciding to put all of his know-it-allness to good use, Arthur launched an online magazine called Califerne. I know it's not the sharpest-looking website around, which I've told Arthur to his face, but it's a start.

To help him out with his online endeavor, I refashioned an old blahg entry into an actual article. It's covers Mudede's film about the guy who dies after having sex with a horse. Now titled ZOO, the film will premiere at the Sundance film festival next weekend, where yours truly will be in attendance with yet another dynamic old pal, Miss Katrina Price. More details to follow.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Transparent Things

I'm sorry, music industry, I take back what I said about you being an unbearable shit-storm. You see, that was before I listened to the Burial album and now, well, now I love you again.
After hearing a good friend harp on about this album for the past five months, I finally decided to download some of the artist's stuff. And now I need to extend that apology to my friend, whose taste I should always trust and never, ever doubt again. Everybody should have at least three such friends.
So taken was I with the few songs I downloaded, that I went to this store where they sell CD's and I bought the entire thing. That's right, for the first time in almost two years, I actually bought a CD. A whole CD, paid in cash.
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this album. Technically, it's labeled dub music and, normally, I don't touch the stuff. But it just sounds so new. And by new, I mean I've never heard anything like it before, which is the only way to get oneself out of a music funk.
You, dear reader, must listen to this album in its entirety and you must listen to it at night, preferably while walking around the city.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sugar Turns to Alcohol

Last Friday, there was a going away party at Heathers, on 13th, my lovely roommate's show, at the less than lovely Don Hill's, and the Pull-Out Method, where we danced and danced and danced until one of those early hours of the morning.

Because Sunday was another day's work at the soup kitchen, Saturday was an early night. We braved the crowds at the Brooklyn Art Museum to see The Muppets Take Manhattan, which, at this point, feels a little too much like art imitating life.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Whole World Went

Last night, after some falafel drama, we saw White Magic at the Mercury Lounge and it was sooooo good. In fact, every Drag City show I've ever seen has been sooooo good. Despite their latest release, which everybody slammed, I've been dying to see White Magic for quite some time now. They opened with a cover of a Karen Dalton song, "Katie Cruel," which I never would have picked up on had I not raided my mother's old folk vinyl collection last month. The frontwoman has this Grace Slick/ Nico act going on and the band as a whole beats most of the boring shit-storm that's coming out of the music industry right now.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Weasels Ripped My Flesh

There are mice in my apartment and I have not taken too kindly to them, surprise, surprise. Upon seeing one of the rodents last night, as it scurried across thkitchen floor, I screamed like a girl who does not like mice would scream - panning out from my apartment, to Manhattan, to New York, to the United States, to planet Earth, and, finally, the Universe.

As part of my charmed life, I have never before lived among rodents, at least not to the best of my knowledge. My old roommate, Anne (the wedding planner), smiled at me once -- revealing a mouth full of at least four more teeth than the average person is born with -- closely resembling a rat. I’ve gone camping before, for a few days at a time, and I’ve kept company with boys whose bathrooms I was reluctant to step foot in, but I have never actually lived with mice.

Yet that is what my current roommate is telling me to do: live with the mice. My roommate, the guardian angel of Craigslist, with her rent-stabilized apartment and a work schedule that contrasts perfectly with mine, is apparently an expert mouse catcher. Yes, she trapped and slaughtered thirteen of the assholes last winter.


And it’s safe to assume that they’ll be back this winter. Mice are dumb, as everyone I called in my panic was quick to tell me, “Mice are more afraid of you than you are of them.” I guess. But they are smart enough to come in for the winter, where warmth and food awaits them. What I don’t get, though, is why, in the middle of this global warming fit, are they still occupying my pantry? I guess it’s biological or lunar or something.

They’re fast, too, unlike their counterparts in the rodent kingdom, the rat. When I see a rat on the subway tracks, I don’t really mind. Rats move at a much more slovenly pace, because they are cunning and therefore fearless, giving you time to avert your eyes. I also know that there is no way in hell a rat can get into my apartment, right? Right? But these mice, these mice move at lightening speed, and they start to get to you. I’ll be sitting at the kitchen/ dining room table, and out of the corner of my eye, I see something dart across the floor, but was it a mouse or just my imagination?

So we took all of the dried goods out of the pantry/coat closet and set up a series of traps. We’ve caught three so far, three mice that were running around my kitchen that is only eight feet from my room, which contains my bed, where I rest my head at night. As my roommate describes it, you get to know the different personality types of the mice. Some of them just go for the food, while others like to dig through the trash. Yeah, like they’re goddamn Disney characters.

Enough of that, though, I just want to buy a snake and be rid of the whole ordeal.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Distant Lights

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cowgirl in The Sand


So I went home for the extended holiday break where I watched countless episodes of Jeopardy with my grandmother. My grandmother has reached that fragile stage in her life wherein she can answer almost every question on that show, yet finds it trying to remember what time the show appears each night or, for that matter, what channel she should navigate to on the remote control.

Anyway, there was one episode that featured the category 'American Cities'. It was in the beginning of the thirty minute segment, so the contestants were quick with their buzzers, cocky in their braininess and greedy with the idea of securing an added Christmas bonus.

One competitor, a professor in a checkered button down shirt, from somewhere in the Midwest, declared "I'll take 'American Cities' for $200, Alex."

And Alex Tribec, who never seems to age at all, recited the following clue:

"They say that if you can make it in this American city, you can make it anywhere."

Without giving it a second thought, the professor pounced on his buzzer and answered:

"What is Phoenix!"