posted by on 2006.05.30, under Uncategorized

M U S I C A L t u e s d a y s

Musical Tuesdays with Mister Don!!

Singalongs, motion songs, rhythm instruments, marching and dancing for ages 1 to 10.

Time: 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Cost: $5 for one child, $7 for two, $10 for three
Location: Jammin’ Java, Glyndon Shopping Center, 227 Maple Ave. East, Vienna

OK. Just kidding. Yeah, I was supposed to take over MT this week for Tim, and then forgot today was Tuesday because of the long weekend and the fact that I spent yesterday here jumping off a 20 foot cliff into icy water. Not the tall cliff there, the one on the left. I will try the tall one next time perhaps.

SO. For some reason, all this hiking around in the California woods (we were up around 4000-5000 feet in elevation, near Lake Arrowhead) got me to thinking about Appalachian music. Which I can hardly spell, let along describe. Read this here text for a brief history.

Then head over to this page of Old-Time Music Links and check out some of those destinations. I just put on WDVX out of Knoxville, which is currently playing some Banjo accompanied, shape-singer-sounding tracks. The nasally, compressed vocals seem just about right for a lazy tuesdsay morning. This station plays a mix of contemporary bands going old-timey type of music and older recordings from Appalachia.

You can find recordings on the Smithsonian Folkways site here. And here too. Hunt around in there for mp3 tracks too. I didn’t find any yet, but I have to get back to work now.


posted by on 2006.05.25, under Uncategorized

A R C H I T E C T U R A L t h u r s d a y s

As part of our new series of mostly daily informative news items, today I bring you some interesting bits of architecural history. For some reason when thinking about what to post to inaugurate architectural thursday, I kept returning to some photos I took last year at Fort Revere in Hull, MA.

Fort Revere, set into the side of Telegraph Hill in Hull, overlooks Boston Harbor and served to protect the city as both a Civil War and WWI era fortification. While I cannot find much direct information on this particular Fort, it was a part of the defensive system of Harbor-view gun emplacements found all around Boston Harbor.

The mounts for 12″ Disappearing guns are still evident at the site. These large breech-loading rifles were installed as part of the 1885 Endicott upgrade to national defenses. They hid behind the concrete embankment, disguised as a hill when viewed from the sea, and would pop up to fire, then sink back down to reload.

The series of concrete platforms, walls with stairs cut into them, tunnels from one gun location to another, and dark interconnecting rooms that make up this fort are fascinating and even beautiful. I especially like the concrete retained grassy areas surrounding each gun mount – as if some modernist landscaper was on the design staff way back then. The sheer bulk of the concrete, brutality of the site’s function and scarred remains serves to hint at the true purpose of this place – to fire huge holes into oncoming enemy ships. But now, as a ruin and a landscape, it has real beauty that comes from its somewhat mysterious layout and the precisions of its forms.

Some more information I found:

Fort Revere park info

A Brief History of American Seacoast Fortifications

Coast Defense Forts of New England

posted by on 2006.05.24, under Uncategorized

Welcome to the first installment of Artful Wednesdays. (as coined by Jeremy.)
Yes I realize on the west coast it is not quite Wednesday yet (47 more minutes), but I couldn’t wait…

Tonight I enjoyed a lecture at UCLA’s Hammer Museum by Alfredo Jaar. Originally from Chile, he lives and works in NY but produces projects all over the world. Most notable is the Rwanda Project, a series of 20 projects in response to the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the western world’s racist choice to ignore it. The talk was part of an ongoing symposium at UCLA On the Subject of Violence, and Jaar commented that he realized in preparing for this talk that most of his work is about violence, while also recognizing several art historical references in his work. His website has a very nice intro worth watching – an homage to Yves Klein’s Leap Into the Void.

Jaar began as an architect, then switched to filmmaking because architecture depended too much on capital. Then after hearing several filmmakers’ answers to what profession they would have if they were not filmmakers, and 9 out of 10 of them said “architecture” he decided to go back and finish his degree. Eventually he was told that he was an installation artist because he was trying to combine film and architecture.

Like an architect, he approaches every project with a “program” part of which is to create a “powerful balance between information and spectacle.” When asked if he saw a kinship between the failure of both art and journalism to make change he responded that perhaps he was a “frustrated journalist.” Ultimately, he sees himself as both an activist and an artist and said that while growing up in Chile during dictatorship there was no difference between the two practices. “We have no choice but to try and change things.”

Perhaps art reaches too small an audience to truly change things, however Alfredo Jaar’s work is quite extraordinary in its ability to both inform and at least move viewers towards compassion, if not action.

posted by on 2006.05.23, under Uncategorized

Over at Coudal Partners this week and last week, they have a fantastic little game called Booking Bands. Essentially, you mash-up the title of a book with the name of a band, and email it to them so they can post it to their site. For example:

The Things They Might Be Giants Carried


Charlie Daniels and the Chocolate Factory

Unfortunately, they didn’t post any of mine, so I am just going to post ’em here and pat myself on the back for being so witty. But go take a look at Coudal’s page. The list is getting long, and you can help add to it.

The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Diaries

Soon to be a major music video motion picture..

The King Crimson’s Stilts

Dr. Seuss of course. That book is great, I need to get my self a copy. I
remember it being in my doctor’s office waiting room when I was a kid.

Pop Will Eat Shoots and Leaves

Put the comma wherever you like

No Use for The Name of the Rose

The Grateful Dead Sea Scrolls

One Fish, Two Fish, Simply Red Fish, Blue Fish

posted by on 2006.05.22, under Uncategorized

I’ve been more than a little slow on the postings these days, mostly due to a huge deadline at work that is finally past. With that over, I hope to dedicate some of my new free time to an overhaul of the Rise website. I am not sure I will actually follow through with it, but I think its about time for a redesign. There, now that I have posted today, I can go back to playing Shadow of the Colossus on PS2.

posted by on 2006.05.17, under Uncategorized

Somewhat Musical Wednesday

Since Tim our musical director is out with a terrible case of debilitating euphoria this week, I am filling in on the music tip. Trolling the world wide internet, I came across the perfect thing for a nasty week of deadlines and constant rain (though, like me, you may only have one of these conditions – not both): the One Minute Vacation.

“One-minute vacations are unedited recordings of somewhere, somewhen. Sixty seconds of something else. Sixty seconds to be someone else.”

So, sit back, strap on your best hi-fidelity headphones, and take a brief audio-vacation to somewhere else. And if that is not enough, there is an archive of three years worth. That ought to hold you. Vacations provided courtesy of quiet american, which is the website the link travels you to.

posted by on 2006.05.10, under Uncategorized

Lately I have been itching to rent The Towering Inferno (if you were around for the 70’s at all you probably remember it)- but I think I will wait until “WHEN TIME RAN OUT on THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE to THE TOWERING INFERNO because an EARTHQUAKE unleashed THE SWARM on a ROLLERCOASTER near the AIRPORT” comes out. Seen at Coudal, of course.

posted by on 2006.05.09, under Uncategorized

I knew this was coming – or at least I had hoped. Knight Rider is coming to the big screen.. at some unspecified time in the near future. The best TV show of my childood, without a doubt. Perfect for the elementary school boy in you.

posted by on 2006.05.05, under Uncategorized


posted by on 2006.05.04, under Uncategorized

The Morning News, my favorite news source in the morning, has some words of wisdom for those about to graduate. Of course they also apply to those of us who have already graduated, many times over, and are done with that whole thing.

This especially struck home:

“When you go out into the world, remember that you will stumble, you will fall, you will get up, you may fall again—but you will still get up, because you are first a graduate of this University, and second a debtor to Fannie Mae—and you will never be able to afford not to work.”

Too true, dammit, too true.