[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 6 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Monday, November 5th, 2007|
|slaughtering pigs with the Luminescent Orchestrii
The Luminescent Orchestrii is touring in Vermont
"You can stay at our place after the gig but we got some pig stuff to do in the morning" Amos tells us. What he doesn't tell us till we get there is that "pig stuff" is shooting two porkers in the head early in the morning. BANG BANG, then taking the shovel tractor, lifting them up by chains, dipping them in water heated in an oil drum with a fire underneath so it's easy to scrape off the skin, then they are cut them up into food. The removal of the internal organs is swift and efficient. The whole system of the animal comes out as one intact engine. The friends come over, it's a family event.
The night before I sit with Amos and drink hard cider and moonshine. Wonderful. His wife has made amazing saurkraut. Which we eat with delicious homemade bread and butter. We also eat homemade miso, also wonderful, not very salty and unblended so there is still visible rice in it. (you add "inoculated" rice to beans to make it) I realize that what you get in the stores is not saurkraut. Saurkraut is amazing because it is a fermented food. It is alive when you eat it. Like yogurt. The stuff in the store is dead, boiled, pickled with vinegar and chemicals and dead. Just like in France I come face to face with the fact that what we are offered to eat in this country is a tragedy.
"He lives in a mansion" Sarah tells me.
A mansion? When we pull up in the dark after the gig, I see a little low farm house, nestled in the hills of Vermont. It doesn't look very large. Only once inside and being toured around the cold house do I realize it is indeed very large. It is long and has little apartment areas. It was a boarding house in in the 30's, 40's and 50's for young men who needed to learn to chop wood, garden and work along with learning latin and the classics. It was the feeling of Amos' grandfather that city boys where getting to soft and needed to work the land along with their learning. Now two people live there Amos and his pregnant wife Lana. Ths house sprawls and stretches, part of it was built in the 1700s. It is beautiful, there is a waterfall right near the house. It falls down a slanted cliff face, pooling a bowl halfway down and then pooling again at the bottom. It seems magic and unreal and all two real. The house is filled with ancient books, bibles, latin readers, classics and french picture magazines.This will be an incredible place for a child to grow into.
Amos used to the be the guitarist for the mad old time fiddle player John Specker. Who somehow puts sex drugs and hip wiggling into old time fiddle playing. http://www.funkyside.com/johnspecker
|Thursday, July 19th, 2007|
I am in France with Luminescent Orchestrii.
"Why are you eating steak when you could have duck hearts!?"
a French man asks me.
This was not a question I knew how to answer.
He gave me half of his duck hearts.
They were delicious.
|Tuesday, June 5th, 2007|
|a weekend in NYC
5 performances in three days. Last weekend was the latest installment of Sxip's Hour of Charm at Joe's Pub with many stand out performances and the thrilling contortion butoh of Johnathan Nosan. Who pretty much freaked the whole audience out by completely bending his body into unreal shapes all the while keeping himself from bursting into laughter or tears. You couldn't tell and the effect was very exhilarating and disturbing.
But this last weekend I find myself with the Luminescent Orchestrii one hour north of NYC, with the traffic it took two hours, sweating in the heat of a grade school auditorium. 30 children are dressed as mermaids, sea monsters and fisherman doing a play about a mermaid and her human husband, their multitude of children, a lost tail, and here we are playing the music, making sound effects and ending the whole event with "Neptune's Daughter" one of our current "hits" and the reason partially we got the gig. That was a rehearsal on Friday and two shows on Sunday. On Saturday I trudged up to 28th street and 6th to watch the rehearsal of of a modern dance piece by Heidi Latsky featuring a Lawrence Carter-Long who is disabled and walks with difficulty but runs easier than we walks. The piece is tricky because you don't want it to be overly sentimental, it need to convey the strength and individual nature of the performer and not "Oh look at the crippled guy". It's been interesting and in order to ready myself Heidi introduced me to a piece of music I now love Gavin Bryars's The Sinking of the Titanic. Wonderful, smart, deep and wonderful. Then I am at NYC's last regular and expansive underground party RUBULAD. The place has never looked better, art hangs everywhere, hanging from the ceilings like origami vines...actually some of it may have been origami vines. Ververitsi a new Balkan brass band plays and they are just lovely. Then Adam Matta and I hit the stage and proceed to do the best dance set of my life. For those of you who don't know, Adam Matta is an incredible human beat box that I love playing with. We did a deep house number with me playing double harmonicas through bull horns and Adam just laid it down hard. People loved it..and THEN after wandering about the party for a bit. WHY ARE WE BUILDING SUCH A BIG SHIP? hit the stage. my god I love this band. From New Orleans. Accordion, a ton of horns, stand up bass and back up singers, great song writing. orchestral, punk and New Orleans all at the same time. fun fun fun. good good good good. find these folks on myspace. Go find them playing you will be so happy. I also performed twice in a puppet show the Saint Annes Warehouse with my friend and one of my favorite puppeteers Erin Orr working on a puppet show that she and Rima Fand, friend and band member have been working on. The show is based on the poetry of Spanish poet Lorca, which Rima is rather obsessed with. The show is wonderful, the music is divine, really. I am making the sound effects, when Don Cristaballs heart gets shoved back into his chest I make a sound that sounds like bone being drilled by a bit with an actual drill grinding into a plastic bottle. We all go to eat afterwards at Superfine under the bridge. So that is NYC in a weekend. 5 performances (two at the school, two at saint annes, one at rubulad) and two rehearsals.
|Saturday, March 10th, 2007|
|the cloud club
The Cloud Club, the home of Amanda of the Dresden Dolls, an organized clutter, a forest of books, posters, ancient spinning wheels, the voices of old ghosts forced out from yuppie developments in the surrounding area, moved in, sleeping in the walls, lending a spiritual warmths, a hidden charge in the sinus like a battery. It was evoked, this house, not so much built but evoked in the 1960s, We sleep around the house. The two art girls spooning in geodesic glass cloud dome, one is spring wire the other a filament of colored tissues, the gay thin gay boy who oozes his english-ness like a good smelling cologne sleeps slinked on a crooked couch that would break the back of most men, It is an ancient awkward piece of furniture bent from years of use, designed for ladies to sip tea on , "I'll sleep fine" He tells me." I am use to sleep on top of a grand piano." Sarah who was a drunken rose the night before and Benji who always has a sweet parallel song unheard to everyone, says they both can share the closet with a bed in it. I am on the floor waking to stand next to the heater's blaze. In order to get to the geodesic star dome you must climb a knotted trunk bequethed with antlers. Amanda's bedroom has a full sized grand piano. In the morning I awake to the propietor of the house coming in. I immediately recognize him to be a ships captain with white beard. He is checking the heat in every room to make sure everyone is warm. Buildings are ships that need to be constantlly nurtured and and repaired just to stay still. That is what we want from buildings yes? Their stillness. We trust them to be unchanging. We nurture them into stillness. Still, the building is never finished. In the room below the store dome are organic plaster forms folding into a room, a window in front of the fire place looks down into the kitchen below, there is an ancient piano once owned by a Chinese show girl and objects, chimes, candelabras, and books at every finger teach. "He sees the building as a ship that IS going to take-off someday." Amanda tells me the next day. Out of the corner of my eye a small blue sparks shiver down the wall, I hear all the pianos and electric keyboards settle slightly in all the rooms with a hum.
Pa's Lounge is an empty rumpus room, obviously a working class bar that has found a way to sustain by allowing shows in its adjacent room. Boston is a hard market for venues. The club owner is blunt and a hard kidder, an east coaster, he likes us. There has apparently been only one other band he has left the door open between the bar and club. Baby Dee has played here which is amazing, I only imagine her playing in places with velvet curtains and waiters with white gloves, though I've never seen her play at places like this. Everyone dances for Luminescent Orchestrii an awkward and beautiful hora, Amanda eggs them on dancing. She sings "Sweet Dreams" with us holding the mic out to the audience to sing along. We tear through our our new Macadonian tune and everyone dances dances. Brian and I feed each other beats and find our way in and out of half realized arrangements.
Amanda has a dream about a cult, in which middle class families strip naked and put their feet together in a circle, igniting a flame where they would burn their sins and regrets.
There is an order to house. There is smallest bit of gold attached to every object I finally notice, it is very tiny, almost too tiny to see, on the lower right hand corner of every object. You might mistake it for for a piece of glitter. On books, on shoes, a towel, a bit of soap, I almost dig it out with my fingernail but, well, it's not my house. It could be pyrite or maybe it is glitter, but it even at these small sizes it has a suggestion of weight, that anchors it and everything down.
"Imagine the house lifting, you'll know it's about to go, for the gold glitter in the air, a sparkling dust releasing the house into the heavens."
"I stole the corner stone of your book collection, took my days to figure it out. Now their is uneasy reading in the library.
I stole a handful of hands, small hands, that could fit into my big hand, they grasped and would not let go, it was much more trouble than it was worth.
I stole reading glasses which, not designed for my eyes made everything impossible to read. Except billboards so I walked along the highway and did just that.
I stole the right to steal a stone then to hide it in my palm like a funny trick. This made the trick trite and so made the trick at first akward then awful to do, but I did it anyway because I had gone to all the trouble."
|Monday, January 16th, 2006|
aka The Zlatne Uste Festival. http://www.goldenfest.zlatneuste.org
Mark your calenders for next year. The night after Vule's party We go to Goldengfest. Oh my god, it is amazing. It was way up in the 200 hundreds at The Good Shepard School. 50 Balkgan, Greek, Turkish ect...musical acts on three stages... huge circle dances, kids, food, beer, ethnic grandmas, people, punks, people and amazing music. Zlatne Uste is the premier Balkan brass band in NYC. They've been doing this party yearly for 21 years. Unbelievable.
I end up dancing deliriously with Larisa to Romashka, my favorite NYC Russian gypsy party band. Their singer Inna announces her engagement to the violinist.
There isn't a drop of irony in the house, we eat our fill, dance to exaustion, have long intense conversations and get laid.
|Sunday, January 15th, 2006|
Yow! You know when Bugs Bunny slugs down a shot of something from a bottle marked XXX, his face gurns sideways, he coughs and his eyeballs roll like winning slots, mouth opens and he deposits his soul into his lap.. I'm drinking a shot of Slivovitza, the plum moon shine of Eastern Europe. I was contacted by a friend and told to go to asterisk, the underground rock n' roll party space in Brooklyn and Serbian Chef Vule would be throwing a Serbian New Years party. So me lovely and talented Larisa and I gussied up and here we are.
Now the first time I had Slovitza was the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where I was performing with the pyro-technic clown troupe The Daredevil opera Company. I has hanging out with this Serbian girl I saw performing at a show. One of the members of her company gave me a shot of something and I thought "My god my tongue has literally become numb". Serbian Girl is later baffled that I don't want second helpings of food. "The men in my country eat..allot." She is further baffled when I do the dishes.
Here at New Years, Vule is happily wielding a machete. He's hacking apart a whole pig that he has deep fried into edible chunks, amid a field of absolutely delicious Serbian delicacies. There is cheese, sausage, fresh bread, pepper spread, egg plant spread, nuts. There is even something like my Albanian Grandmother's "Peta", which is a dish somewhat like spinacopita, made of leaves of dough butter, egg and cheese. Yum.
A little muscular pit bull is running around and being fed hunks of pork by everyone. The friend who told me about the party is eyeing the basoon player who is jamming with the sax player, and two percussionists from The Hungry March band. She is single for the first time in 8 years and really wants a basoon lesson suddenly. We are all dancing. (except of course the hipsters who stand on the side lines looking like nervous kids at a junior high school dance). Her friends come across as these amazing crazy sexy librarians.
Later I am talking with the cymbal player's boyfriend... "You!" I say. "You are going out with Lucky!"
"What?" he says.
"Don't you know that your girlfriend is known as "Lucky" among the Burning Man people. She's got a reputation that if you get your hair cut from her, you'll get "Lucky" that night."
"Maybe" he says." That's why she refuses to cut my hair!"