Resplendant Reflections/Roving Revistas

[ domingo, agosto 17, 2003 ]

About this darkness thing...

I will be brief. I got stranded in Jersey, described by pundit Garrison Keillhor as, "for a New Yorker, a near death experience." Actually a colleague and his household generously gave me harbour in a storm: a mattress on the floor with two amiable Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs to guard me--a nice big slug of wine to calm my noives--I call on Keillhor to revise that statement! The little--er, small but portly--critters, once they decided I was kosher, so to speak, flopped sideways on my toes: you are supposed to then rub they little belllies, esp. between the forefeet. The result is several satified snorts or, if you are really lucky, a small staccato eruption of same.

Friday a friend came into town, despite the Blackout. The fun part was trying to figure out how to pick him up at Penn Station (that is what Yellow Cabs are for, my dear) and then arriving breathless at the Gug[genheim] to see the latest, only to find a red sign: Closed. Due to no AC, gone fishin', due to no AC...all down museum row.

We wound up on the Lincoln Center Plaza doing the Handmade Instruments Show. How nice to see that despite high rents chasing so many artists off the isle, New York still has some boho edge! a mousecage cello, a garden of electronic tubes that hoo-ed melodically when you moved various parts (yours, not its) about them, water drums, a theramin-like set of squares that sounded in time to your hand motions...

The grand finale of this event was Donald Knaack on a rack of junk--old hubcaps, an upended rural tin mailbox, various kinds of plastic tubing, a gutted MAC shell, a conch, traffic signs, crescent wrenches suspended and ordered in decreasing size, rocks, an old gas can, the inevitable 55 gallon drum, old skateboards, diskbrakes... I wasn't entirely sure about how I felt when he played against, presumeably, his own recording of himself; but, as if he knew my doubt, he then banged out a few drumacapellae, then finished up with a "junk jam" consisting of the audience playing found objects in several different rhythms. "I was thinking," says my friend, "I was thinking how we hardly ever do that anymore."

"Mmmm." I am in a reverie of my salad days when folks would drop by and we'd break out the washboard, the guitar, spoons, tin pots and pans, warm up the old vocal cords. We would have been just fine in a blackout. ecoutez!
avapvfopuli [10:07 p. m.]

[ miƩrcoles, agosto 13, 2003 ]

Gregory Hines (1946 - 2003)

I used to see Gregory Hines lurching out from a side street near Sheridan Square, old jacket, jeans, lank and loose, but like all of us, off making his rounds: coffee, a roll, work, whatever else the day held. He never had that hangdog, one-jump-ahead-of-the-parapazzi look, never seemed to be hiding behind his shades--if he was wearing any--he was just going about his business. He'd even smile if you said hello.

I also have a dim memory of that truly dreadful film, White Nights, whose premise, the downing, and likely survival, of a Russian ballet dancer in exile over the then Soviet Union who just happens to bump into a left-wing, tap-dancing fool in exile from the U-S-S, U-SS, A. My first thought was, how could you? But soon the movie didn't matter, for oh, that man could dance! It just fell out of him; that music, that song, whatever drives the body like wind riffling through a willow tree, his body, his beautiful body and soul.

Now, willow, weep; weep for me. avapvfopuli [7:26 p. m.]