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Picasso and Ramen in Barcelona

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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.

 

How many paradises are there, anyway? A visit to Terzo Paradiso in Biella, Italia

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You might die, but if anything is noted as the cause of death, it will be loneliness.

There are no people doing art or even visiting Terzo Paradiso unless you count our unruly bunch.  Here’s what we saw (and what we did).

First we explored random spaces.

And then we found some art to see (but only after getting lucky).

After a short nap in the hammocks near the circles, we found the projector and those glowy rocks from Land of the Lost.

There were no Sleestaks. So here are two for good measure.  They covet the glowy rocks.

There was dirt.

There was also very silly science.  But it was arty.

Not surprisingly, the room was better than the dirt.

Watch this video. Really.

Rhine took pics too.  It was hard not to.

We got lucky and found another human who told us how to cross the highway, go down the stairs and find even more art.  Or rather more art places with not much art.  Something like that.

Rhine woke up from his long nap, dreaming of Sleestaks and late 1970s TV.

The space rang a long cool echo of lost civilizations and the empty planet to come.

So there was dance.

And reflection

We climbed back down to reality using a ladder that was too short to reach the sky.

And then we left.

 

Metallica in Germany

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What do you do when you land in Germany?  The answer involves a Camaro and the Autobahn and Metallica.

Markus’s airport car service

 

After a quick shower to wash off the metal tube, it’s time for the first Radler.  A slippery slope to lots of beer.  It is, after all, Germany.

The download festival.  Here we come.

 

The duck is your co-pilot

 

Cider for the win

 

In the van things are serious

 

The weather GOOD

 

The weather BAD

 

duckface

After a bunch of beers (who is counting?), we wound our way over a 5km spiral into the venue.  Germans are a very orderly bunch.  Bt who thought up this entrance and exit plan?

MOO.

 

Sabaton from Sweden

 

Rock and roll

 

What?!

 

My crowd.  What an unruly, fantastic bunch.

There was beer

 

Did I mention the part about the beer?

 

We pushed off the rain through sheer psychic magic, but it was only delayed.

Nap time for the American

Five Finger Death Punch

You may start with five fingers, but you will end up with four.

Finally, Metallica

Are you feeling good?  Yes, we are.

Some guitar for you.

Rocker

 

Nothing else matters in this crowd of strangers.  Metalheads are a welcoming bunch.

I am not alone.

My first metal show was the best one ever.

Music Mode: Ritt and Wilder Release Hinge (with some fiddle)

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My music has been on a COVID hiatus for way too long — only the occasional rain in the desert with Rhine or a Bitter Liberal or two.  Fortunately, along came Ritt Deitz who just released a new album and did a four show tour to promote its release.  Buy a copy of Hinge here.

 

 

I played two of the shows with Ritt and his son, multi-instrumentalist and talented child Wilder.  The shows were great.  Here are some bits.

Wilder Deitz plays mandolin

The DC date was actually in Vienna at Diego Ruiz’s house.

The lineup (near the end anyway)

An excellent place to play a house concert.  Great people.

All temporary of course.  As we are not of this world.

Cocktails by Bill Shepardson.  Where did that doctor’s bag come from?

Wilder Deitz plays piano

 

No, mandolin. Wilder plays mandolin.

The feet

Wilder plays guitar

 

 

No wait, it’s piano that Wilder plays.

 

Some other fiddler

I did play, honest.  But nobody was there to record said playing.  He said he played. He played.

Sing it.

 

Then it was on to Wilmington, NC for a Sunday evening performance (close enough to the Stick to merit a long drive).

 

Feet up between sets

The venue was a fiddle shop of the highest caliber. Ronald Sachs for the win.

Who needs people?  Music is enough.  Right?  Yes?  Music is enough?

Nope.  The people add the magic.  Connect.

The mosquito green room.

On the stage again.  The music was even better.

 

These people charge the batteries. Thank you, people.

Sing it.

 

Then it was over.  More please.

Like a puppy on the beach.

 

Fin.

 

 

All’s Well at the Whitney Biennial

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What do you do when you’re in NYC with friends just for fun?  Well, for one thing you go to the Whitney Biennial (which you get to by walking down the High Line…but that’s another story).  The Whitney has become my favorite museum in the city.  The Biennial was interesting, but not really much more interesting than the usual stuff on display at the Whitney.  Of course, the usual stuff is usually great.

The top floor of the Biennial is downright anxiety inducing.

Are we living in a computer simulation?  Don’t ask Dave.

Fortunately, things are brighter in the sunshine.

Romey romes the Whitney

 

Out back

 

Little Island

For more see A Little Island Off the Big Island

A crow for Emily

A plastic shower in the Whitney. NPS does not approve.

 

Picasso Perfection at the Phillips Collection

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The Phillips Collection remains one of my favorite art museums.  The incredible level of curation at the new Picasso exhibit shows why.  Great combinations in addition to world class art.  Top notch.

For those who know their picasso, this is early stuff, basically 1901-1904 (including the blue period).

We went to the show as a last birthday present of the 38th year.  Thanks Romey. What an excellent present, art with the ones you love.

PICASSO

 

 

NOT PICASSO

 

 

My favorite painting at the Phillips.

In a new spot.

After art, we were hoping to have brunch at the Bistrot Du Coin, but once again the google hours were wrong.  Fortunately, there was La Tomate to fill in admirably.  We had lots of cacio et pepe.  Ahhhh.

Man Ray RVA: Such Gossip

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The Man Ray exhibit in Richmond is well worth a visit, especially when you surround yourself with friends.  Romey set up this visit to the VMFA with Stan.  Gorgeous pictures, interesting technique, and oh the gossip!

There were the famous.

picasso

The dead.

Dead Proust

The musical.

Stravinsky

The queer.

Barbette

Some film (with a modern soundtrack by Paul Mercer called Emak-bakia)

 

 

 

 

 

Some high art.

With new techniques.

The silly.

Duchamp

 

Nobody in particular

Memories. memories. memo. mem. me.

 

Memories were invoked

POW

 

Wow

 

Woo

Tell no one

Love and beauty.

 

 

“Post-pandemic” Solstice Fire 2021

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The weather was iffy with heavy rain to come.  But the night started out beautifully enough as the tiki torches were lit.  And we were off on the experimental solstice fire on xmas edition.

 

The afternoon was balmy at 65 degrees

Who ordered this crazy weather?  This has to be the warmest winter solstice on record.

The scene

 

Tikis wink on

The highlight of this year’s fire was a set of busted up instruments that Josh brought out.  We used a 3/4 size bass (well, what used to be one anyway) to light the fire.

 

 

The logs this year were immense as the ash tree that once held the treehouse came down over the summer.  One or two of the giant logs still remain.

 

The lighting.

Turn the sun!

 

Meanwhile back in the barn, the super dangerous Boilo was out and the keg was tapped.  The food was plentiful and included both shrimp and carrot cake.

All’s well in the party barn

 

 

 

 

We started into a wobbly rendition of “let it snow” and the torrential rain pushed us first under the tarp and then up into the barn.  Where we proceeded to play even more xmas music in sing-along mode and drink way too much boilo.

Things get a little hazy after that.  But the sun has turned, so we got our main job accomplished.

 

 

Two days later, the fire is still smoking.   Thanks to all who came.

Up the Gondola in Bergen

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The morning started with a quick visit to pick up some pottery cups we couldn’t leave Norway without.  We were driving in a Leaf.

The cups in question

 

The artist in question

 

The leaf

After a circuitous meandering walk, we made it to the gondola, and up we went.  The gondola has been newly renovated.

Gondola

 

Up we go

 

Masked of course

 

Sunset coming soon

Photo op at the top

 

The couple

Hot chocolate behind you