Friday, August 27, 2004
Thursday, August 26, 2004
[I wonder how many people will link to this post after googling "live girls"...]
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Monday, August 23, 2004
"In the midst of the Presidential election and a potentially divisive political climate, we have an excellent chance to unite the nation and work together to eradicate poverty. Our feeling is that poverty is no one's fault but everyone's fight and, to that end, we encourage the presidential candidates, regardless of party affiliation, to support our rally and agree to convene a White House Conference on American Poverty."
-Derrick Span, national president of Community Action Partnership
Friday, August 20, 2004
- A pre-set slice of vegan carrot cake from Food for Thought, a cute veggie-friendly café housed at the Black Cat. The perfect amount of thinly sliced carrot shreds and a satisfyingly dense batter sandwiched between sweetened-with-sucrose frosting. Combined with a bite of Jon's vegan blueberry pie and a previous experience with their vegan chocolate cake, the carrot concoction convinced me of this place's dessert genius.
- While Yuki is clearly the lead stage presence in Asobi Seksu, I was more intrigued by James Hanna on vocals and guitar and Keith Hopkin on drums (see #3). Hanna's laid-back vocal stylings were used infrequently, but oh so effectively. Plus, the boy looked like he should be rocking out alone in his basement to Black Sabbath rather than almost-fronting a bilingual pop-rock band, which made me smile.
- Keith Hopkin - I've always been fascinated by drummers and Hopkin certainly did not disappoint. He stared at his kit so intently, you'd think he had some sheet music taped to his snare. Also, his arm antics and open-mouthed gleeful expressions reminded me of a high school friend's drumming personality, which was a pleasant memory.
- Cal d'hommage - my favorite member of the underwear-less ensemble. Again prone to hokey, I'm-having-so-much-fun facial expressions, Cal was an entertaining and dynamic guitarist - with a nice striped sailor shirt and impish smile to boot.
- LSC's great cover of "Ces bottes (sont fait pour marcher)" - ["These boots (are made for walking)" for you non-francophiles]. I still have Nancy's voice running through my head.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Luckily, there are some fantastic women cartoonists who are seeking to overcome the masculinist tradition of their profession, including Ann Telnaes, whose works are currently being shown in a Library of Congress exhibit. Some of my favorites in the exhibit:
- Silicone Implants
- The "Partial Birth Abortion" Ban Signing Ceremony
- Good - I See You're Not Using Condoms
- U.S. War Coverage
And especially this one: We Reject Legalizing Same Sex Unions--
Additionally, Telnaes and five other women cartoonists collaborate on Six Chix, a syndicated cartoon for which each woman contributes a strip for her respective day of the week. While some styles and topic areas of several of the cartoonists are certainly more interesting than the others, it is a unique venture nonetheless.
And just for kicks, you can check out the National Cartoonists Society's Women's Cartoon Index.
One last note: Signe Wilkinson, who is not part of Six Chix, is another awesome female political cartoonist and provides some excellent insight and analysis as an interviewee in the Running Mate documentary. She also offers an opinion on the state of women and cartooning here.
So here's a call for any woman with greater artistic skills than my own [which essentially consist of drawing spirals and making collages] to grab some materials and start some paper and ink Bush-bashing.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
I don't know much about photography, but I do know that the recent death of Henri Cartier-Bresson is a loss for all who admire and study art and photography.
Being a sucker for black and white pictures of Paris, I'm drawn to his photos for purely uninformed, basic, aesthetic reasons. Though I am also frequently struck and impressed by the seemingly spontaneous nature of his photos - see "Behind the Gare St. Lazare" below.
Brassaï - at Le Centre Pompidou, a building which is a work of art in its own right. His images, including "Brouillard, Avenue L'Observatoire" [below], simply define Paris at night.
Monday, August 02, 2004
Now, the first time I saw the Soviettes was a month and a half ago at First Ave. in Minneapolis, when my move to DC was impending in a frighteningly in-my-face way. Needless to say, I not only enjoyed their set that night, but they also became one of the symbols of the whole transition thing I was going through. So, the fact that they came to DC to play a show made the nice little circle semi-complete.
Following up an energetic and entertaining set by The Loved Ones [click here for a review of a June show TLO played at Black Cat that suits last night's show to a tee], the Soviettes rocked a small, but devoted, crowd of fans. [Apparently half of whom have lived in Minneapolis at some point, judging from the "woohoo"'s that followed Susy's announcement that they were a band from that city.]
The music was as intensely fun as at the First Ave. show - highlights included my current fave "Matt's Song," as well as some raucus cuts from their new album: "Ten," "Angel A," "Channel X," and "Don't Say No." One of the coolest aspects of this band is that everyone genuinely gets into the act; or, as they say on both full-length CDs, "everybody sings." Some of the songs that induced the greatest amount of floor-stomping and head-shaking were the ones that featured a call-and-response between one band member and the rest. For example, "Ten," which entails most of the band screaming out digits while one singer provides a list of 10 very particular reasons to love someone. And "Pass the Flashlight," which is a classic gals-answering-the-guy tune, was incredibly fun live. The track off of Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1, "Paranoia! Cha-cha-cha," also energized the crowd.
I was so pumped, I bought LP and LP II and have been listening to them all day at work, though at sinfully low volumes so as to not disturb less punk-loving co-workers. The albums are great and contain songs about politics ("There's a Banana in My Ear" and "Winning Is for Losers"), the media ("Channel X" and "The Land of Clear Blue Radio"), and love ("Matt's Song," "Love Song," "Tonight") that are effective and remarkably subtle and un-cheesy. Oh yeah, and super rockin' and fun.
Another positive aspect - all four 'Ettes seemed to be enjoying themselves and played two extra songs to please some rowdy, happy fans. And if you're interested in their bodily reactions to playing such an amped-up set, let's just say there was less need for sweat-wicking than at the First Ave. show, especially Sturgeon, who had redefined the meaning of *sweaty* in Minneapolis on June 13th.
My three housemates enjoyed the show, but I have to admit it was less fun being with folks who had never heard the music before, and at least one of whom is hesitant about listening to anything harder than Sleater-Kinney, than being with a real fan, as was the case with the First Ave. show. Which is why the circle was only semi-completed.
Taking words from "Her Neon Heart":
In the city, people live.
They take in all she has
To give, and breathing
Out they breathe life
In - So the cycle starts
While this is true, it's becoming increasingly clear that each city has its own unique cycle, and seeing a band that hails from one locale won't exactly transport you there. Though you'll come close.
Oh, hey, and while you're in the mood for reading about justice-seekers, check out this article about environmental [in]justice with respect to impoverished neighborhoods.