Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Favorite Things

So yeah, I am behind on the updates here. Rest assured dear reader, I promise I am having an ungodly good time. Last Friday, in fact, a friend swooped me up to the tippy-top of Portland, known as Council Crest. I had no idea that is was up there, or that it is so close to my house, or that if you stand in the middle of the circular platform and your friend whispers "Millennium Crystal" in your ear, that everything reverberates and echoes in a very specific way. So now I know. And if the lights of Portland are twinkling down the hill just so, then you really believe that there is a millennium crystal laying about somewhere up on the hill. There used to be an amusement park up there way back in the day.

The next day I went to a Portland/Amsterdam printing event and then an epic hike on foot way up the hill above my house and discovered fancy Portland Heights, which I did not know existed. I eventually found Council Crest again.

Sons of an Illustrious Father - Born Too Late

Sunday, October 25, 2009

That's What I Heard

Saw the Gossip the other night and it was like a big gay homecoming dance. I have zero time to blog right now my lovelies. See entry below about suggestive photo arrays. Dig?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Upon having gotten down and stayed down...

Last night I saw Thao and the Get Down Stay Down play at the Doug Fir. My is that a great band. And Thao is such and effortless guitar player. She does all of this complicated, emotional playing and it just pours out of her hands like nothing. Its like she's not even paying attention, because she's busy singing and doing this little dance, and it is just about the most entertainment that I can stand. Certainly a feast for a measly Wednesday night in Portland. So the band is in the middle of a busy busy busy tour and they may be coming to a venue near you, in which case you should make a point to go.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down - When We Swam


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Send coffee.

It is going to be one of those go-to-work-in-the-dark/come-home-in-the-dark kinds of work weeks.

Woven Bones - If You're Gold I'm Gone


Sunday, October 18, 2009


But I don't even like clowns. Not even a little bit. And despite this, I went to something called Circus Artemis with a friend last night and found myself actually chuckling at the clowns and the comedic acrobats and so forth. It was an all-female circus performance, totally packed, and held in an industrial warehouse with huge ceilings. There were a lot of trapeze acts but the most impressive thing I saw was a woman who hoisted herself around on a platform with posts on it, sort of like a pommel horse without the horse. She was incredibly strong and at the end, shot a bow and arrow with her feet while doing a handstand on top of the posts. Hard to explain, amazing to see. I hope they take their show in the road. Wow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


This is what I am doing right now, except it is raining and gray in Portland, and the show is in a dirty dark dive bar at 3pm in the afternoon. Everything else is exactly as you see it here:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Art in Chelsea

On tuesday I walked around Chelsea looking at a whole lot of art. And the winners are:

1. For worst pictures to see after lunch, the award goes to Manabu Yamanaka! (Applause). His work supposedly deals with his Buddhism, according to the flyer at Stux Gallery. The flyer also emphasized that Yamanaka does not digitally manipulate his photos. This made the work more unnerving to look at. Mr. Stefan Stux was there giving a gallery lecture and answered a question for a tour group, explaining that these works were so disturbing as to not be commercially viable. And he obviously loves this photographer and you could tell by the way he talked about it.

2. Best use of 2x4s and romex and particle board goes to Maya Lin. Give it up for Maya! Her show at Pace Wildenstein had three different landscape sculptures and geez, what can I say. Her work is really simple and really startling at the same time.

3. The award for the most jarring commentary on the horror of misogyny goes to Kara Walker for her piece about a 13 year old Somali girl who was stoned to death for being raped. Turns out that Artforum wrote something about it, which I would rather have you read yourself instead of going through the trauma of detailing this intense and scary piece of art. Glad I saw it. Can't stop thinking about it. Ready to stop now.

4. And best drug addled free love retrospective goes to Dennis Hopper for his black and white photographs from the 1960s and 70s of all manner of counterculture fun. I was struck by how many interesting men he happened to be friends with to photograph and how soulful and stunning they looked through his viewfinder. Not sure how free the love was, but he sure knew how to make a fella gaze into his camera.

Monday, October 12, 2009


So here's what I can report: it's open house weekend at a lot of the New York landmarks, just in time for my visit. And so I went up to the Apollo Theater for a look around. The historian for the theater was there and gave a lecture all about the background, what Amateur Night is all about (since 1934!) and all the famous performers who have graced the stage. I got to rub the lucky stump, which is like the blarney stone of soul music.

I also did some shopping, and thank you, I talked myself out of getting the purple skinny jeans. Bought some great shoes instead. Had dinner at Bar Boulud. Walked and walked and walked. Checked out the Highline, which is a park built on an old elevated railroad track. It offers a comprehensive view of the meatpacking district, which is no longer the gritty foul smelling puddle that I remember from my stint living here in the early 90's. And today, I get to go up to Inwood to see my friend's cafe. Less blogging, more travel, starting now...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Suggestive Photo Arrays

I have spent the better part of the last two days writing a motion to suppress an "improperly suggestive photo array." That is actually not as pornographic as one might think. In a nutshell, it is the problem that witnesses have picking out the right criminal from a photo line up when they say they think the guy had a mohawk, and then they are shown a photographic array with six mugshots that includes only one guy with a mohawk. The other five guys have other haircuts. So that's suggestive because it prompts the witness to pick the guy with the mohawk based on that distinguishing feature rather than whether she can actually identify and distinguish the face of the person she saw. That's unconstitutional, a violation of due process, and in English: Unfair. There are a lot of false identifications made using this method such as problems with witnesses who feel compelled to make a choice among the six pictures in the array even if they aren't sure. And the problems are greater when you have something akin to the one-mohawk-issue. Anyways, that's what I'm working on.

Pictures of Matchstick Men - Camper Van Beethoven

The Evidence, The Proof - The Movers and Shakers



I am on a cooking tear and have the following revelation to report: making vegetable stock is the best thing ever and it is delicious. I think Mark Bittman is kind of snobbish or something, or maybe I am sore about him slagging on the Portland food scene when he visited recently. But in any case, I very generally (not really) followed his simple vegetable stock recipe and I now I have an unexpected zeal for this humble liquid. Here's what I did:

Vegetable Stock

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, roughly cubed
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 peeled cloves garlic
10 or 20 flat-leaf parsley leaves and stems
Kosher Salt and pepper
6 cups of water

1. So I put everything except the parsley onto a baking sheet. I drizzled it all with the olive oil. I put the veggies into the oven on high heat for about 20 minutes until it was getting a little browned and carmelized on the edges of the carrots.

2. I took the veggies out of the oven and dumped them into a stock pot. Added the water, added the parsley, added 6 cups water and some pepper.

3. Brought it to a boil and then simmered for about 45 minutes.

4. I strained off the soggy vegetables and Ta-Da! Amazingly tasty!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

and also there is Rat Tail to consider

Found a new Canadian band from Canada. Rat Tail!!!! They drone along in a way that I like.

Keeper - Rat Tail

Update: I found Rat Tail on which is out of California and muses on good music, among other things.


sweet sixteen

Sweet Sixteen - Think About Life This song is stuck in my head. That is all.