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

Wednesday, March 31

for some reason i've been trying to think about this prince thing in terms of value of experience. ostensibly, watching a concert on a movie screen is "worse" than actually being there. even if you get to be in the second row, right in front of the action, rather than probably way back in the bleachers in some monstrous arena (where your best shot is, in all likelihood, to watch the screens)? even though it's still, somehow, live? what does "live" do for you if you're not actually in the room?

of course the difference in energy is pretty significant - but with the movie theatre you still have the publicness, the social aspect, and the uniqueness of the event; and if it hadn't been eleven pm on a monday night here on the east coast, i bet the whole room would have been on their feet and dancing, in addition to (as we were doing) applauding after every song, clapping and singing along, and loosing shrieks of excitement and longing with every close-up of the unbelievably svelte, young- looking prince flashing a seksy look or dance move (joe and i and a few of the ladies in the front section were up and dancing for the first few songs or so, but then we gave up.)

and the liveness was an important part of that, helping foster an energy that, diffuse as it was, was in some sense genuinely resonating all over the country, at that precise moment. when one of the audience members he'd invited on stage slipped and fell, and prince shrugged at her and cracked "too many trips to the bar" [or, as joe poetically misheard it "better a trip than a fall"] we saw the freshness of utterly unplanned just as the people in l.a. saw it, even if it took gobs of cameras and satellites and who knows what for it to happen.

and even though we weren't there at all, we were right there and involved in what was happening much more in some sense than the people that were. through the invisible apparatus we got close-ups and cuts and pans to exactly where the action was at any moment - and it was huge! this was also of course the most disruptive aspect of the experience, which let us feel like we were there in the moment (one-on-one with just prince, and nobody else) and at the same time didn't let us forget that we were watching slickly simul-edited camera-work.

would it have been easier to insert ourselves if there had been a static, audiences-eye-view camera, stop making sense-style? well, maybe, but for this particular concert that wouldn't have worked: the show was in the round, on a cross-shaped stage in the middle of the arena, with all the musicians (save drums and keyboards) free to strut back and forth along each arm. even the luckies on the floor right up against the stage didn't get to see nearly as much of the concert as we did. and we even got to turn around and look at crowd reactions from time to time.

so although, especially if you discount the price differential (in the realm of $60, give or take a free slipcased promo cd), i'd obviously rather say "i went to a prince concert" than say "i went to a prince concert" and be baldly lying, i'm not sure the issue is as clear-cut as it seems.

by the way, i should mention that the show was phenomenal. not too much spectacle, thankfully minimal spotlighting of the individual musicians (there were a few minutes of gratuitous circular breathing, but that's about it.) just a tight as hell funk band, hit after hit after hit (hard to pick a favorite moment but nothing compares was pretty great), dance moves copped equally from me (sez ben) and james brown.

perfect encore too - five or six solo acoustic numbers, including a hilarious blues and "little red corvette." then "seven" on which the band entered, and we were all singing along in harmony (at least, i was) and closing with "purple rain," a song whose i appeal i really don't understand, but whatever.

[maybe in a little while i'll write about the openers]

electric word, life?