The best light is low light. And around here low light tends to be obstructed light. Getting home on any normal day I only ever see the tips of buildings lit – these carnivorous birds* show the usual effect. More typically, there’s nothing lit at all, leaving me stuck with more rooftop silhouettes. But yeah, today I’ve decided to unilaterally deem the block of Warren Street north of Commonwealth to have the best light in Brighton. Four stories, street to roof, 7:30pm, perfect. These guys should give thanks to whatever long-dead** city engineer that decided to bend their road just so.
*yesterday saw a crow eating a squarshed squirrble.
**possibly not dead.
I want to preface this brief video by saying it really doesn’t look like we almost died out at Plum Island today but such is the case. It’s also the case that it’s very difficult to shoot video from a kayak during the most interesting bits of the trip; interestingness of course strongly correlating to the moments where almost dying is imminent. A second lament – I wish I had been able to bring the dog, who is an excellent swimmer. The soundtrack here is ‘Press Play’ by Matt Pelsma. Oh and happy Memorial Day!
I’ve been meaning to watch Bodysong (the Simon Pummell stock footage documentary set to Johnny Greenwood’s score) since I missed it at the MFA a few months ago. Instead it’s been collecting dust with the other sad Netflix rejects. I shouldn’t have waited – this is actually pretty fascinating per initial inclination. Somehow in this short little film they manage to summarize the entirety of human existence – a birth/kids/sex/art/war/religion/death kind of swirly-smorgasbord. Many of the clips are shown in either slow or accelerated motion which is mesmerizing whether source is bizarre or mundane. The first words (actually, more accurately just vocalizations) in the film don’t appear until and hour or so into it, and when they come it’s kind of a shocking transition towards the last more modern third of the film.
Here’s a bit from Pummell FAQ on the team’s filmmaking workflow.
This team produced a massive flow of possible footage. At one point we were running three cutting rooms simultaneously to be able to sort and select from this mass of material. The image overload was sort of exciting and nauseating at the same time – the richness of it and yet the randomness of it. All the time we were looking for the patterns, the hidden signs, the connection with the story.
Each clip in the film has a short backstory described on their website if you’re willing to install Shockwave (which I wasn’t aware still existed). To be honest enjoyed it more when each scene was out of any kind of real historical context – a strength of this film is the lack of voiceover explaining what the heck is going on.
I don’t believe I’ve ever been through Louisville at less that interstate speed on a deadhead cannonball shot from Georgia homeward. If I can swing the logistics that’ll change as Terrastock 7 is being held there this June. Kinski and Bardo Pond will both be playing at their outdoor stage on Saturday June 21st (the full lineup is here). Last year’s highlight (imho) at AS220 was Cul de Sac – it looks like they’re not on the bill this time around.
The highlight of the day (by a long shot) was getting an update on thebabynieces safe arrival in Italy.
All three girls were absolutely perfect. No fussing, no whining, no crying, just splendid. Carried their own backpacks and walked from terminal to terminal, since our stroller sadly got checked. They were amazing. Well, the older two did each throw up once…
I wanted to go back through the pictures I took when I went to Orvieto in 2001 but apparently none of mine were ever transferred from film to computer (I had to swipe this one from one of my Dad’s old backups). A new palindromesque proposal for next winter: A man, a plan, a scanner, a new-old photo collection. Alternatively, will outsource to child labor upon their safe return.
My photographs from SMHB’s graduation activities this weekend were really quite poor due to certain mechanical and motivational constraints. Fortunately my dad posted some good ones today in the MBA tag. And yes, lamentably and predictably we forgot to play the Apples in Stereo song during the shindig. Actually now that I think about it the party as a whole was remarkably music free. Frankly I was suffering from some sort of traumatic stress syndrome from cooking meat so didn’t really notice much beyond that.
Colleen Kinsella of Big Blood is selling some interesting (& fairly affordable) prints on Etsy. Her works are screens and prints of etchings on various materials – you can see more descriptions of the processes she uses on her flickr stream. Also of potential interest, the Big Blood videos we’ve got up here and here.
I didn’t go see Radiohead last night at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in St. Louis. This is my karmic penance for mocking the city’s cultural offerings. But luckily enough, I am going to see Beck, Manu Chao, David Byrne, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, N.E.R.D, Erykah Badu, Iron & Wine, G. Love & Special Sauce, Neko Case, Band of Horses and the Silversun Pickups this September.
Oh, and The Swell Season, Drive-By Truckers and Roky Erickson.
And Del the Funky Homosapien. And The Old 97′s. And José Gonzalez. Now I’m starting to get excited. Come join us in Texas!
Death Cab for Cutie will not be there but if you haven’t heard their new song (I Will Possess Your Heart) it’s worth a listen.
I almost didn’t mind Keyspan. When I would hear them jackhammering away in the morning I could take a perverse pleasure in knowing someone was doing real work. Also, I’ll give them that they managed to not blow up my building. The time they forklifted my car up the street to get at a manhole, making me think I had mistakenly parked in a ditch somewhere? In retrospect that was pretty funny.
But there has been a noticeable increase in disruptive activity throughout Allston since the merger with National Grid. If we need infrastructural improvements, then sure, ok (after all they’ve got to spend that 28% rate increase somewhere). But there ought to be a little more consideration about what tearing up streets does to the neighborhood. I get home today to find that they’re blocking off both sides of Parkvale all the way down to Brighton Ave from 7am to 5pm from now until June 13th. This is unreasonable in a neighborhood without off street parking. Further, putting up these signs today, after the construction has already started and the street itself was blocked in it’s entirely? The City of Boston requires a 48 hour lead time for a Street Occupancy Permit in residential neighborhoods. So National Grid, come on, give us a break. You can dig your holes, but don’t take a full month to do it, or at least give us one side at a time to park on.
The XP SP3 debacle pushed me over the edge. We’re now a 50% Ubuntu household. While I use Linux on web and work servers this is the first time I’ve used something other than Windows or MacOS at home. So far, it’s working pretty well despite my relative cluelessness. Picasa, yes. Plug & play with the TX1? Yes. AVI playback? Yes. WMV? Not quite yet. The main glitch seems to be I’ve lost all audio, though given that all AV production is going through the laptop and the mp3 archive is sitting in a disconnected drive on my desk that’s something I’m willing to live with until I’ve got enough time puzzle this out.
Over in Winter Hill last night playing around with some extended exposures. The basic strategy here is to keep the camera as still as possible while driving past various light sources. Unfortunately I didn’t run into any pursuant cops, firework factory fires or aurora borealis (-es? -i?).
My eyes are completely and permanently screwed from trying to watch a double feature in 1950s 3D. Creature From the Black Lagoon was actually pretty good despite showing the monster entirely too much though It Came From Outer Space made up for it with excess suckitude and double excess Richard Carlson. Though at least he kept his shirt on.
On that note, The New 3D Adventures of Zalandra. It works best at full screen with red/blue glasses and a strong drink or four. Blue goes on the left. Soundtrack is by no one as there is no soundtrack.
Mediafriend’s new album ‘I Don’t Feel Like This Is Happening’ is online for streaming purposes. Were I the type to express strong preferences I’d recommend ‘Flight Risk’ where Chris spins out a slow Pinback-like beat & verbal declining modulation before crunching into a dissonant conclusion. Or if by chance you’re an echoplanar fan you might like to hear the full versions of ‘Love, An Art’ and ‘In Green’, from which parts were excised for use in It’s OK to Be Afraid. I also appropriated the second version of Fragrant Skies for my own self-indulgent purposes a while back, prompting a surprising number of unrelated people to remark to me about what a terribly sad song this is. The Nuno Albuquerque version of this track goes to a calmer, chiller, less emotive place. All in all, worth checking out – a more productive use of your time at work than actual work.
Spent the last full day in STL banging my head on various sharp low-hanging objects at the City Museum. This is a bizarre place, half kinetic sculpture half huge jungle gym half architectural scrapyard. I can’t help but imagine that a large number of children and old people either meet their end or get hopelessly and permanently lost here every year. Below are a few shots from their outdoor 3D maze MonstroCity, constructed from salvaged rusty rebar and grates along with a few discard airplanes and trolly cars, all suspended five stories up. We were there during the day (obviously) but City Museum is open til 1am on the weekends and serves beer. Odds of survival clearly inversely proportionate to alcohol consumed. This place is utterly fantastic. It makes me want to take up welding.
I find myself enjoying the pinnacle of cultural evolution that is STL for a few days. I put a little photoset here that I’ll be adding to as time permits. You’ll notice I’ve purchased a brown STL hat for fandom camouflage purposes but apparently when you cheer for the wrong team every time there’s a bases-clearing double it gives away your true allegiances. Go Cubbies!! (They won 9-3).