Saturday, June 25, 2005

Working Backwards

Like stepping out into a hot, damp, humid dog’s mouth, Manhattan today.

A trip to Coney Island to dip into minor league ball of the Cyclones. Minor league games are always worth the price of admission for the between-innings humliat-a-thons. Hapless members of the crowd dragged out, made to run around blindfold, get poked by sticks, chase teasing cheerleaders, answer daft questions, speed-eat lard pie, that kinda thing. These people never seem to make the most of their moment. For the blindfolded run at a cheerleader, I would have deliberately run as fast as I could out to rightfield, arms-a-flailing, screaming, to run headfirst into the homerun wall, beating it with my fists, yelling "will it never end? will it never end?" rather than the confused, gentle, disinterested amble of our man of the night...All good fun though, and in the name of winning a sponsor’s “special prize” for the price of repeatedly mentioning the sponsor’s name. The game itself was surprisingly entertaining, complete with fielding bloops and whiffs, and 8000 Brooklynites not only showed up, but stayed until the final pitch (and, indeed, beyond, for the rather limp fireworks display). Great location, just off the promenade reeking of ocean waters, to watch a ball game on a balmy Friday night. We’ll be back.

I’m not going to rant about a stolen bike – the message is clear enough elsewhere. The part-reason for loss was hearing David Sedaris, a clever, witty little git, in the flesh in an achingly-packed Strand bookshop. His new, more profane and vicious prose is well up there if what he read is anything to go by. Could barely see the bloke through the crush, but glimpses hint that he’s uglier than his press photos suggest – why society now deems it vital that we see author’s faces anyway is a mystery to me – cover photos’re a waste of ink imho (but then, here’s me tripping off to see these people read live, so hypocrite I be.)

The last long, joyful journey on the lost vehicle was all the way along and across the East River to Prospect Park to catch the Met opera. Not being much of an opera fan, I was surprisingly impressed by the performance, maybe spiced by the outdoor, summer evening setting. Grand stuff and amazing just how well the acoustics were delivered. The ride back, under full, fat moon, was a keeper, culminating in crossing a twinkling Brooklyn Bridge and speeding back up the river to Yorkville beside swirling waters and sparkling metropolis. Smar’ innit.

Musically, things are in remission, but summer and the summercity never did stimulate the moosak glands that much. Few ideas are brewing and motivation to complete the latest ‘long-player’ will gradually build. Anyroad, ambient sound is being collected prolifically again thanx to a replacement machine from Chumplick.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

birdw0rking again

I know, I know, neglected birdw0rdspace, but hell, spring sprang, summer sneaking in, and who wants to spend hours infront of a screen when there’s frolics to be had in stretched-out evenings? (Then again, Brendadadadadada told me off and demanded birds verbiage, so a token offering :)

I stand (OK, sit) amazed at the propensity of freebie outdoor events going on here in nyaark this summer. Al fresco music all over the shop, free flicks, mad actors wandering across Central Park performing Shakespeare, and festivals a go-go. Just trying to map out what’s where when and what to squeeze in is a challenge. While the crowds often must be fought, much of what’s going on is worth that small hassle. Will snap & leave notes on what we get along to, assuming I’m not too distracted.

One recent cultural highlight has to be the live performance by the Philip Glass Ensemble of Powaqqatsi – a screening of the film to their performance added so much to both. The way both the music and images build, ebb, flow, and reach harmony is awesome. I definitely didn’t get that that strongly when watching the movie alone.

Another, er, ‘cultural’ event, was the arrival of Ingerlund stateside for the first time in yonks. A trip to Chicago, to be surrounded by Stateside Whites fans, was ace in particular.

Latest Flickr revelation is the GeoTagging feature: spatially referencing photos to where they were taken via Googlemap. A great little toy and ‘tis fun to see who you rub shuttershoulders with geographically.

On the birdw0rks front, a somewhat-forced attempted at ambient repetitiveness squeezed out of my string fingers not too long ago.