some birds are funny when they talk








Stuck in my Head
"Kiss Me Harder" by Bertine Zetlitz
"Hot" by Avril
"Brain Problem Situation" by They Might Be Giants

Now Reading
Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

Recently Finished
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Mad Tony and Me by Carl Hoffman
Sweet Soul Music by Peter Guaralnick
This Must Be The Place: Adventures of Talking Heads in the 20th Century by David Bowman
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Movies Lately
4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts
Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour
2 Days in Paris
United 93
The Savages
The Bourne Ultimatum
Sweeney Todd
The Departed
What Would Jesus Buy?
Ghost World
I'm Not There
She's The Man
Lars and the Real Girl
Romance and Cigarettes
No Country for Old Men
Into the Wild
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
Across the Universe

Shows Lately
Damo Suzuki/Stinking Lizaveta @ Mill Creek
Death and the Maiden @ Curio
Devon Sproule/Carsie Blanton/Devin Greenwood/John Francis @ Tin Angel
Assassins @ The Arden
Oakley Hall and the Teeth @ Johnny Brendas
Isabella and Flamingo/Winnebago and Map Me and Gatz and Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Sonic Dances and Strawberry Farm and The Emperor Jones and No Dice and Hearts of Man and Principles of Uncertainty and Isabella and BATCH and Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre's 20th Century and Car and Sports Trilogy and Explanatorium and Wandering Alice and Must Don't Whip Um and Festival of Lies and A Room of Ones Own and Recitatif @ the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe
Martha Graham Cracker and Eliot Levin and Kilo etc. @ the Fringe Cabaret
Lullatone and Teletextile @ Boulder Coffee [Rochester]
TV Sound @ the M Room
Aretha Franklin @ East Dell, Fairmount Pk.
Romeo + Juliet in Clark Park
Daft Punk @ Red Rocks
Spoon @ Rockefeller Park
Ponytail at Pony Pants' House
Mirah/Benjy Ferree @ the 1UC
Tortoise @ World Cafe Live
Hall & Oates...ish
"Nuclear Dreams" - Mascher Dance Group, x2
The Four of Us @ 1812
Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines by Rainpan whatever
Mascher Dance Group/Nathaniel Bartlett
Cornelius @ TLA
Sloan @ World Cafe
In Fluxxxx
Slavic Soul Party!/Red Heart the Ticker @ I-House
the Fantasticks @ Mum
Peter Bjork + Jorn/Fujiya + Miyagi @ fkaTLA
John Vanderslice @ Johnny Brendas
The Books & Todd Reynolds @ 1UC
Into the Woods @ LPAC
The Fishbowl @ the Frear
Caroline, or, Change @ the Arden
Low & Loney, Dear. @ 1UC

Monday, November 18

what weekend! so full, so full of music. "busy latin jazz rock" and "a secular service" and "the national anthem of jazz." there were five concerts this weekend - i only played in one, but i audienced four others, and how wonderful. even, rather than go into the city for the de chirico talks, which i really would have liked to do, i opted to stay here for brunch, a long practice session (i'm resuscitating the shostakovich concerto which i haven't worked on since high school, and i'm truly amazed at how well it has stuck with me - the second movement is still the most beautiful piece of music ever written, in my opinion,) and listening to some richard wernick (dramatic but difficult-to-engage-with settings of bible, koran, and blake.)

that was saturday - i also had the time to chat with my folks on the phone for a while, and say hello to hannah (in case any others of you are still unsure about this: hannah is my girlfriend, and has been for some time now), but then i had to run off, in black tux jacket, linen slacks and the shirt dan gave me, for to prepare for jazz band concert. a final runthrough was just what i (and the band) needed to finally get a handle on some of those tunes, and i'm sure the big cardboard box full of sesame chicken didn't hurt either. any hey, the concert turned out really well. we played far better than we ever had in rehearsal, i'm sure. i did soloistic things on hip-bop "seven steps," funky "green dolphin street," bolero-ish "lullaby of birdland," "spain." we made noise, and they liked it.

two cups of cider, then i dashed off to haverford with matt and elena (no doubled date) for another concert, with the "cranberries-heavy" mix on the way. though sunday night's was a close second, this show was undoubtedly the most impressive, the most enjoyable, and certainly memorable of the five. you should have been there. happily, by showing up two hours after doors, we only had to wait a half hour (albeit a half hour of mindless sopranino sax/electronics/spoken word mumbo freeform nonsense) for the headliner: marc ribot y los cubanos postizos.

oh man. on our right we had the rhythm section: funky-hatted brad jones with his electric stand-up and big-eyed expressions, plus the brothers rodriguez on traps, timbales and congas (ej, who manned the latter two, made the most effort of anyone to connect with audience - egging on the group of enthusiastic boyz in front of him.) an older organist stared into space and sat almost motionless behind his plastic portable hammond, too quiet but occasionally contributed some glowing notes. and then there was marc. probably the best guitarist i have ever seen. matt ("ungodly," he said) was flipping out, and for once i didn't think he was exaggerating or going overboard (okay, except the "he carries his pedals around in the same bag as me" bit), because i was right there with him, in awe, in ecstasy.

the impossibly infectious rocked-out dance tunes were great ("postizo" appeared early in the set, "jaguey," "el divorcio" and an extended "pa'huele" later), and the whole room was in motion (this was in a part of their carpeted cafeteria). but the true magic came with a lengthy rendition of "aurora en pekín," essentially a long, soft, sultry improvisation by ribot over a slow clave that gradually revealed itself. matt and i were right in front of marc, sharing his moment, and it was truly powerful. matt yelled "shut up" to hush the murmur of crowd noise, and was astoundingly successful except for a drunken idiot yelling from the back of the room - e.j.'s "la boca! callate!" took care of him.

sunday was more sleepily. i woke up at nine but was lulled back by adam wernick's "lullaby" (well, no wonder), so i was a half-hour late for a 10:00 dance rehearsal. flowed through brunch back to my room for wernick+reading+hannah, then met ben in old tarble and underhill to work on a party proposal, eve back here to drive into the city (for concert #4) and back, then sharples again, lang to practice and the last concert, sac meeting, and finally home again.

both of these concerts, like friday's, featured works by george crumb. i didn't care for much else on the program at the seaport museum - barber's 'knoxville' was pleasant but went on too long; wernick's 'kaddish-requiem' demanding and difficult, and not sufficient to keep me awake. crumb's 'night of four moons,' in contrast to friday's 'black angels,' was more engaging live - the deliberate theatricality of gradual exits is quite effective, even though i was too sleepy to get the full effect. it was also quite nice to have a chance to talk to eve, whom i don't know all that well. she is generous and observant.

then, a strikingly original and remarkably enjoyable performance by italian pianist/barone-chum emanuele arciuli, of his many solicited variations on "'round midnight," among them efforts by g. levinson, fred hersch, uri caine, milton babbitt, david crumb, and a nine-part suite by george. though that last was perhaps the most significant portion of the program, i found myself almost constantly intrigued, entranced, and amused by the music. as wide a range of variations as one could expect, with plenty to explore. i hope there's a recording available.

i'm really happy that music is becoming such a big part of my life (again.) not that it isn't always, but i'm starting to feel it belong to me again in a way that it hasn't necessarily lately, or at least some serious music. it's nice to be getting this sense of the scene. i'm really excited about the concerto. well, i love music.

she strips
faster than