Thursday, May 27, 2010

5/27 Thursday Thespian

Here's a weekly roundup and some arbitrary thoughts:

- Rehearsed for the big show at Mercury on Tuesday June 1st with the guys. So psyched to whip out the electric on an unsuspecting crowd. I suppose now you're suspecting.

- Played a Cornell Music Showcase @ The Living Room Tuesday night with cellist Ward Williams and guitarist Carl Basler. So nice to hear those string arrangements written over 2 years ago. The other wonderful Cornellian musicians included: Jennie Grauer, Cheryl Engelhardt, The Crooners. Followed by delicious burritos at San Loco (Didn't end up well for some in our party).

- Updated my One-Page with a short bio and quotes

- Enjoyed shows this week by Shwa @ Mercury Lounge, Casey Shea @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 (which is awesome), Wakey Wakey @ Bowery Ballroom, Misty Boyce, Chris Cubeta & The Liars Club @The Living Room, Sarah Renfro & Maz @ Spike Hill

- Saw the movie "The Invention of Lying" with Ricky Gervais. Thought the concept was creative and could have been a really moving, thought-provoking piece, but ended up saccharine crap. Had real potential though.

- If you're in the Park Slope area, we had an amazing culinary evening at the new Thistle Hill on 7th/16th preceded by ridiculous drinks at Beer Table next door. Go to those places.

- In my continuing quest to listen to my ipod alphabetical by album, absorbed the Magnetic Fields "I" and Yo La Tengo's "I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass." I really enjoy the Fields' use of pop melodies with classical instrumentation and Stephen Merit's witty lyrics and deep baritone voice. Though at times the effect can be too much. Can't say enough good things about Yo La Tengo, also don't know how to describe them at all. Pretty amazing record.

- What the hell oil spill. I feel like Obama's not doing enough somehow.

- I guess nobody cares who won American Idol this year.

- Does Bret Michaels really deserve all this new attention? And the SATC movie looks God awful. Why ladies are you buying advanced tix to this with your girlfriends?

- Speaking of not caring, I find myself indifferent about these Facebook privacy issues. Is that really naive?

- News commentators: Just because NYC got the Super Bowl doesn't mean the Jets will be in it. Newsflash, it's been 40 years. Ouch, that stings. Oh and this: "Yeah Bon Jovi is playing like 18 shows at the new Giants Stadium. It's like christening something with a Coors Light" - Carl

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5/19 Wednesday Whispers

Here are a few thoughts this week...

- Was reading Beck's lyrics for Modern Guilt from the album insert, and they're beautifully dark and poetic. But played up against the electronic feel of the music, I feel some of that abstract darkness is lost to his musical eccentricities. Funny thing putting words and music together...

- Also spent time listening to Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home" and Radiohead's "In Rainbows" and random find, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "Howl' And in my quest to listen to all my music alphabetical by album, I listened to U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" which I found surprisingly musically engaging but often lyrically hackneyed.

- If anyone caught Andy Samberg's musical-number video on last week's SNL, it was priceless. Otherwise I thought Tom Petty was disappointing and the episode was generally lousy. I also (apparently alone on this) thought that Bowersox' version of "Maybe I'm Amazed" last night was crappy. Am I a curmudgeon?

- I don't watch Lost, heard it was great but that it all leads to nothing. Is it true??

- Arlen Spector is 80. Was it really worth all the trouble of switching parties to run again and then lose anyway? Move to Florida.

- My thoughts on today's political climate: "Ain't no party like my nanna's tea party." - Flight of the Conchords

- This is really interesting.

- Is BP purposefully trying to look terrible?

- Thanks to those who came out to Bar4 last week, fun show. After 9 months of trying, hello Mercury Lounge!! - June 1st ....And fun hanging for Arthur's birthday at Mission Delores, heading back Saturday to say goodbye to Kailin. By the way, Minneapolis is really cold.

- Gig Report: Thursday night checking Casey Shea @ Rockwood at 8, Shwa @ Mecury at 9, Wakey Wakey @ Bowery Ballroom at 10. Friday night Quintus @ Rockwood at midnight.

- Note to self: Keep better track of where I am in Prospect Park so I don't get lost all the time.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

5/12/10 Wedenesday Wistfulness

Couple of thoughts pop in my head this week:

- Why does May feel like March? I'm cold.

- What the hell Oil Spill?

- Parliamentary elections are confusing.

- Judge Kagan seems like a safe bet. But is this a generation of living too cautiously to get ahead? Maybe I should stop writing a blog then.

- For some reason late 60s/ early 70s classic guitar rock is only now making its way into my life. Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy," The Who's "Who's Next," Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon." Maybe its because I know what it take to make a record now, or maybe because I can call myself a guitar player for the first time, but this is genius stuff.

- TV Shows I'm currently addicted to: 30 Rock, Community (most underrated), Parks & Recreation (2nd most underrated), Modern Family, Classic Albums (VH1 Classic), American Experience (PBS), Always Sunny In Phillly repeats, Betty White SNL, the last 2 episodes of Family Guy

- Finished a bio on Duke Ellington. Interesting how you can be engrossed in reading about someone's music without really hearing any of it. Starting a Springsteen bio now, I have his whole discography.

- Music Nerds: Learning species counterpoint is hard. So are Bach's piano inventions.

- Caught excellent shows by two very good friends at The Living Room this week. Amy Regan and Debbie Miller. Also congrats Matt Robbins on an awesome concert to conclude your piano master at Manhattan School of Music.

- * Danny's Final Thought*

I finally got around to seeing the Coen Brothers movie "A Serious Man." I heard there was some controversy in the Jewish community about its depiction of Jews. There were even some arguments in my own extended family. I tended to stay away from the movie initially because they have a reputation of not being very respectful of their own Jewish upbringing - I of course don't know them personally, and I don't exactly go to synagogue as often as one should, so I found no reason to judge, and I saw it. And I thought it was great.

I felt the heart of the movie was not about Judaism at all, but rather about the lockstep precision, the rut, we can fall into as a daily routine develops. How easy it is to become soulless without even knowing it as we try to reach our daily goals, and time perpetually moves forward. This is what Dark Side of The Moon addresses directly and some of the themes of my new material. The idea of doing nothing, of staying stagnant, is the worst offense there is.

I've been finding lately that the way to stay most in the moment, to really feel things, is to get out of my own head, my predispositions and routines, and be keenly aware of my surroundings. To accept that I'm not in control, and accept the contrasts and consonances around me as beautiful, using my environment to shape me and move me forward. Of course, this is the hardest work, but the most fulfilling. This is what, in my opinion, makes a person serious.

How that relates to the Jewish people is another question entirely, and perhaps this is what the Coen brothers were trying to address (And perhaps why many Jews were up in arms) Either way, these were good questions and it's a good movie.

On that note, stay out of trouble and catch you next week - D