Home

Music in Madison with Ritt and Wilder

Leave a comment

We had so much fun playing for the Hinge release in Virginia and in North Carolina that we did it again!

First things first, though, the violin must be transformed into tip top shape.  Thank goodness Josh Henry, my esteemed bow guy, also doubles as a violin guy.

\

And then we were ready for some action!

Sound check in the street.

Load in and a fabulous bar.  Real drinks and intimate music.  Yes please.

The opener.

Ritt and Wilder pre-fiddle.

It was pretty fun watching, but way more fun playing!

We rocked the house.

And the best part other than performing?  Visiting the Wilder Dietz School of Music!  Walking for hours in Madison (one of the prettiest university towns in the US).  Spending quality time with the extended family of Ritt and Vic.

Monarch Crysalys

My seatmate on the way home was a dog.

Lets do it all again!

Get Hinge here.

 

Roxy Music in Washington

1 Comment

The Roxy Music show in DC was excellent and fun.  St Vincent opened up (and not many of the audience members knew her stuff). We rocked out.  Here are some bits.

We parked at the arena (though it cost some $$$ it was way worth it as we drove directly out in under 2 minutes).  We arrived early enough to buy a very bad gin and tonic from the sports betting center on the corner before the show.

We were in the venue about 30 minutes before the show.  Row 12!

St Vincent played lots of material from her new album.

New York

Only mother fucker in the city…

Slow disco.

 

The stage change took about 25 minutes.  And it was worth the wait.

ROXY MUSIC in the house!

The show began with Avalon interstitial into Re-Make/Re-Model.

 

A guitar solo by Phil Manzanera.

Bryan Ferry was full of energy during this show.

 

Andy Mackay on woodwinds.

The guitar gets wild

While My Heart is Still Beating

Roxy gets psychedelic.

As does Romey!  You go girl.

Many of the interludes were beautiful in just the right Roxy way.

One of our all time favorites To Turn You On


The Main Thing

The crowd was into it. And the visuals were just as much of the experience at the music.  One guy in front of us knew every word of every song.

An all time favorite (though honestly I would rather play this than listen to it), More Than This.

Romey captures some bits.

And a very much great version of Avalon (though, don’t be the asshole who talks over this song).

The Warhol set was awesome

Jealous Guy

Congrats on 50 years of being a band, Roxy Music!  You guys still rock.

 

 

 

Yayoi Kusama at the Hirshhorn with Romey, Bill, Em, John, and Joan

Leave a comment

There were circles. Which is my favorite part.

Romey and Joan arrive

We waited for our timed entry.

And finally it was time.

Then more waiting.

And it was time again.

And then, you guessed it, more waiting!

And it was the last time.

Well worth the wait.  Wow.

Our reality is not quite as…

Palacio de Cristal Madrid: El Retiro

Leave a comment

Crystal Palace they said.  Worth a quick visit.  But wear your sneakers.  We were dressed up for dinner on our last night out.

Wrong shoes and bad art aside, we were glad to walk through the Madrid equivalent of Central Park.

The art inside the palace was awful.  We think it was made by the box head guy below.

Spare no expense!  Use the GOOD duct tape.

Anyway, there were turtles and ducks.

Picasso and Ramen in Barcelona

Leave a comment

The Picasso Museum in Barcelona is an institution and is worth a quick visit.  But if you have been looking at Picasso for years, you won’t find much in the way of major works.  In any case, Barcelona is proud of what it has come to think of as its home town boy.  Lots of early work.

Lots.  Like an entire wall’s worth.

Set in four connected villas, the museum has amassed a very deep (but not very wide) collection.

This blue.

Avant guard in Paris with the Russian ballet.  Picasso was blending fine art, music, and dance in 1909.  (And here we thought we were onto something with Into the Unknown.)

After so much Picasso, Ramen is the answer.

 

Gaudi in Barcelona

Leave a comment

The locals didn’t like it much at first, probably because they were jealous.  They still call it “the quarry” (or la pedrera) because it was so dusty and noisy when it was being constructed.  But Gaudi had a vision.  And now all of Barcelona shares it.

This is not it!

Casa Milà is just up the street from Casa Batlló, which just so happens to be where our perfume shop is located.

We were told to do the night tour at Casa Milà, so we did.  Good advice.  The light and sound show on the roof is cheesy, but moving in a Disney small world kind of way.  But the views of night time Barcelona are worth the walk up with no shenanigans required.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves, though.  Lets go back to the beginning.

We walked one block from our hotel (the Alma) and arrived too early to be let in by ten minutes.  Though the cafe in the building was officially closed, we convinced them into selling us an Aperol spritz or two.

After gulping down our drinks, we wandered into the courtyard to await the guide.

This view reminded Romey of the new building in NY (still closed due to suicide risk).

Color and light for the first floor and the primary residents.

The public clamored to get in.

The servants’ quarters reminded me of the servants’ facilities at Falling Water.

Eventually we climbed the six floors to the attic.

Where we encountered the model of the building we were in (with tiny little us’es taking videos or an even smaller model, and so on).

All squares were run to the right.

Then the roof just after sunset.

With breathtaking views of Barcelona like this, we’re not sure why the light and sound show seemed necessary.  People.

And soon we were back on the ground enjoying a glass of cava.

On the Arts, Queens, and Democracy: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Leave a comment

There is lots of politics pervading the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía which if you think about it is somewhat ironic. I mean, the place itself is named after a queen. And lots of anti-imperial politics pervades (including some well-deserved anti-Americanism). But a queen? What kind of democracy has a monarch? Or still reveres a monarch? Seriously. Those days need to be behind us as a species.

Anyway, the ill-begotten gains of monarchy are at least being spent on art and not on oppression. Or is art just an opiate slightly stronger than religion? These are difficult issues to plumb.

And are they old fashioned or what? No pictures of some of the pictures? Trapped in the past they are. The guernica room is a shrine that should be full of life, not a mausoleum. Spain still seems to have a Franco hangover.

But still, go.  The sound and the fury be damned.

 

The light is excellent.

Shadowplay.

 

 

 

 

Take a green break.

 

 

Watch mute.

 

 

And then coffee.

 

Lets Get COVID in New Hampshire!

1 Comment

We thought we had narrowly escaped COVID with our collective departure from Italy.  But it was not to be.

Everything was looking good, from the could-have-been-worse schlep through the Zurich train station with the enormous guitar case (no carts?!  no humans who help?!), through wine tasting in SwissAir First Class, to smooth arrival in Boston.

My trusty ally and friend Spoolia was there to scoop me.

And driving into Newton it was as if we hadn’t even left Italy!  Heck, dinner even was Italian, but pronounced incorrectly.

Mabel was impressed, and this is a dog not really impressed by much!

So it was off to New Hampshire for some music.  And a side of accidental COVID.

Oopstock has been going strong for 29 years.  Many of the usual folks were in attendance. But get this: there was a professional sound guy, and there were high school kids manning the grill.  Holy cow, so upscale!!

This made my life much easier (not to mention Rhine’s).  Here are my feet on the table where the sound board USED to be positioned way back when I was the sound guy.  The hombre to the right is Steve.  He ran great sound.

The usual instrument pod.

The East German Gold Medal Swim Team Captain.

New blood with high charisma.

Where’s Aubrey did an iteration of the Into the Unknown game.  We all missed Sogol’s dancing.  But here is the picture that April made.

 

The Moose Hut guys also got whacked by COVID.  Chris was down and didn’t make the party.  As a result, a game of musical chairs around who plays what instrument resulted.  Zack played drums?!

Everybody missed Romey.

There was, in deference to Italy, a Negroni session mid-day.

The sun set.  The babies went to bed.

And the bands came out under the actual light show.  FWIW, LED lights still attract shit tons of mosquitos.

Guy Ferrari played some original music.  Tight.

Moose Hut became Moose Nut or maybe Moose Butt.

And then it was the Grayhounds (a quasi-iteration on Splatterfoot with a new guy named Paul whaling on guitar).

Sadly, Rhine was infected the whole time.  He started feeling symptoms Sunday.  And I got it from him.  I am pretty sure this all started with the Italian villa art collective (and I secretly wonder about their self-reported negative test results before our performance).  So many years of top notch risk management come tumbling down when you change your risk stance.  WHOMP.

A view from the stage.  We played electric until 10 then shifted to the campfire where this year’s highlights were a complete treatment of one side of the Pink Floyd Animals record, and a coveted iteration of Hangin.

\

Then it was off to Spain to become a vector.  Unknowingly. Alas.

Special thanks to Spool for making this all possible and to Rhine and April for persisting with the music party even in a summer crammed with art and fun.

 

 

Play for Your Dinner

Leave a comment

The thing about Italians is that they love live music.  And they love Americans too (in spite of our recent proclivities for absolute dumb shit behavior).  Rhine and I took advantage of this by dragging around our instruments and playing for our supper where we ate.

The first great restaurant run happened after our worldwide debut as Into the Unknown in Campiglio Cervo.  The crowd converged and decided we needed a reservation subito subito.

In the end, I was spirited off with Santa Mariela so I could see the restaurant and meet the owners with my own eyes.  That’s because Ruers above Piedicavallo exists past where the road ends.  So you have to walk there once you ditch your car.  Incredible views await.  And the kindest people.

On the same fact finding mission, we also had to make a quick trip to visit Dick (a local Scott of great flare) and his cat, and catch up with pretty much everyone we encountered.  This was fun, but it made us late late late.