Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Wednesday night at the Brink

I've got a stamp fading off the back of my hand because last night I heard some electronic music at the latest installment of the Other Minds Brink series. It was at the Hemlock Tavern on Polk Street between Post and Sutter in San Francisco.

Tarantism was the first artist to play. They put up Halloween spiderwebbing like a curtain in front of the stage, eliciting some puzzled comments from us who were waiting for the show to start. It turned out the webbing was a screen for a projected video.

There were two performers in Tarantism, and they each wore white gauzy coveralls so that the video projected on the webbing, on them as they played, and on the stage backdrop which made for a neat effect. The keyboardist also had red lights illuminating her hands so you could see her playing.The video was abstract and moved slowly and gracefully during the first half, then the colors turned red, white, and blue for a little bit coinciding with the sounds of electronic screams and bombardment. After that everything got louder and more agitated. The piece went on for about 20 minutes which was just the right length.

I overheard somebody behind me say that she had seen "the guy from Skinny Puppy" use the same webbing thing as a video screen.

Celeste went next. She played four new laptop pieces that I had not heard before. The first featured samples of Rush Limbaugh edited with electronic music, and the overall effect was ironic and comical. I enjoyed hearing him bark like a dog.Her next piece, "Lock Up Your Children", was not comical at all, and incorporated samples of various voices in the debate about the PBS show "Buster" and his visit to a family headed by a lesbian couple. There were some really offensive anti-gay samples in there, for satirical/political effect, the like of which I never hear and they were > really upsetting. That was doubtless the point. The third piece deconstructed and reconstructed a Goddess litany, and I thought it was really really good. It started out with the woman's voice fragmented and repressed, but gradually came together and became understandable, and ended with the woman's voice strong and completely audible. The last piece was instrumental only layering long notes that beat against one another.

I didn't stay for the final act 'cause it was getting a tiny bit late for me but I enjoyed the show a lot. Next time there is a Brink show you oughta go.

We listened to Celeste's CD in the car on the way home. Her piece "Coulter Shock" is on the CD, and after awhile some of us were vibrating, they were so agitated by Ann Coulter's nails-on-a-chalkboard ranting made even more pronounced by Celeste's deconstruction.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I love Tribe. I hate Tribe.

I've been on nearly a year now. I love it and I hate it. It's the ultimate time-sink. It's the best and most counterculture of the Friendster-type thangs. It can be frivolous and useless. It can be substantive and helpful. Why don't you log on, and see what you think after a year?

In other news Celeste is back in town for the summer! She has returned in triumph from Wesleyan as a Master of Arts. She has a gig coming up at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco on June 29th.

She is going to Paris in the fall to do the CCMIX program there. She and her girlfriend Cola are both going. Wouldn't you love to spend a year in Paris with your beloved? Envy all around.

And best of all she is going to sit in on bass in rehearsals of me and the Company. Jim Carr is moving away to Kentucky, which I'm very sad about, as he is a heck of a bass player and I really enjoyed working with him this past year and a half. Celeste is going to join me and Dan later on this month to work on "The Great Highway."