Saturday, May 31, 2008

Two Music Stores in Wisconsin

Reeds in My Saxophone Case

While in California recently, I bought a new box of alto saxophone reeds because I wanted new reeds to play my sax. So this afternoon, I cleaned out my saxophone case. I kept all of the reeds still in boxes but threw away used and loose reeds in order to make sure I wasn't reusing old reeds. It's been awhile since I've played my sax. Here are the reeds that were in my case:

If you play a reed instrument, what kind of reeds do you use?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Products I Love XXV

At work, I just got a FreeAgent Go external hard drive from Seagate. It's the sexiest hard drive I've ever seen. Cost effective at $85 for 160GB -- it goes up to 250GB for $130 -- the drive is a sumptious chocolate brown and about as big as a wallet.

Memory is cheap. And it'll get cheaper.

Monday, May 05, 2008

On Europa

Last night, I went to a punk-rock show at Europa, a venue in Greenpoint that walks the line between European dance club and music club. The catalyst was a Rocks Off show featuring the Bouncing Souls. I hadn't gone to a punk show for awhile, and I hadn't gone to Europa, so this was the trigger I needed to step out.

Only thing was, I bought the ticket months ago. And when the show rolled around, it wasn't that convenient -- I was leaving the next day for a trip -- and while I bought only one ticket thinking C. wouldn't be into it, I would've preferred going with friends. So I lingered until I realized that one of the opening acts, Tim Barry, was the Tim Barry who fronted Avail.

So I hauled my sorry arse out of my productivity-ridden, rainy-day apartment and into the streets to catch the set by Barry, as well as the tail end of the set by Gaslight Anthem. I bought the new Gaslight Anthem 7-inch, as well as Barry's LP, and I was pleased to see a booth for Microcosm Publishing, from which I bought several zines.

Truth be told, I left soon after the Bouncing Souls started, but I'm sure they played a solid show. Barry makes me miss Joe Kendrick, so hello, man. Not sure I need Jersey core, but that Tim Barry's all right.

On the Physics of the Impossible

Friday night, C. and I took in a talk by the theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. It was held at the Community Church of New York under the auspices of the Open Center, and it was basically a book signing you paid to go to. Tickets cost $20. The book cost extra.

Kaku, cofounder of string field theory, has a new book out that looks at the scientific underpinnings of concepts like invisibility, teleportation, ray guns, telepathy and mind reading, starships, robots, and time travel.

The talk was heavy on the jokes and use of video -- Kaku hosted a BBC TV show scheduled to hit the states next year -- and light on the science, but there were still some interesting bits. Not only did Kaku hold up some solid examples stemming from actual scientific research, but he walked through various levels of impossibility and types of civilizations that might or might not be more or less likely to embrace potential possibiities.

Part of me wants to think that Kaku has moved from representing a pop scientist to being a new age geek, which possesses a different degree of credulity. But another part of me wants to see the talks behind the talk to better understand the science behind the speculation.

This is popsci, not scifi, and that's an important difference.

On People Movers

I flew into SFO today. Tom and I rode the people mover to the rental car center after I claimed my suitcase.

Watch this while listening to the song by Servotron. It'll be a kick!

(If the video's not ready now, it will be soon.)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

On Beatiful Losers

Last week, thanks to the generosity of Shane Gill and Pitch Control PR, C. and I took in a screening of Beautiful Losers, a wonderful doc about the art scene surrounding the Alleged Gallery in New York.

No, that's not it. Beautiful Losers is a film about a group of artists, some of whom had some connection with Alleged, a gallery I never had the pleasure of visiting, but which was quite important, even inspiring a book. No, that's not quite right, the movie is about a group of artists who participated in a traveling exhibition show (with accompanying catalog) that captured the ideas and ideals of a small part of a generation.

No, that's wrong, too. Beautiful Losers is a film about art. Period. Yes, it's about skateboarding (Ed Templeton) and stencils (Shepard Fairey), love (Mike McGee) and loss (Margaret Kilgallen), New York (Stephen Powers) and LA (where much of the art found its largest audience). It's about record covers and suburbia, friendship and community, self-exploration and -discovery.

Some parts work better than others. Overall, the movie is an excellent documentation of a specific time in art, blending past and present well. At times, the film feels long, and some parts -- such as those including Harmony Korine -- feel somewhat out of place. But if you're into the kind of art featured in Giant Robot and Juxtapoz magazines -- and even if you're not -- it's a must see.

The movie makes me want to carry a Sharpie at all times. That's not a bad thing.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

List of Three Men

  • Mass Giorgini
  • Kevin Army
  • Bill Stephenson

Wait for Trains

Shay used to wait for trains. Or rather, trains would wait for Shay.

It took him a year to realize it, but Shay never arrived at the Irving Park Road train station and stood waiting for a train to arrive.

No. He would either arrive at a station just as a train was arriving, or -- if he had perhaps arrived at the Ravenswood station just before a train arrived, which was rare -- the train would approach him, aligning itself so its doors lined up exactly with the frame of his body, doors sliding apart as though to apologize for the delay and to caress him until he have in to its ministrations. "It's OK. I'm still your train. Step inside. Come on. What are you waiting for?"

Needless to say, Shay didn't notice this. To him, he merely arrived just as trains arrived, making his way through the turnstiles and through the arriving commuters just before the doors closed. The proceedings had no sense of fortune, no sense of mystery.