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Monthly Archives: November 2009

many years ago in an apartment in the fremont neighborhood of seattle, rachelle and i discovered the tribe. some random cable channel played it for about a year or so. the tribe was a kids show from new zeland about a world where all the adults have died and the kids have to rebuild the society. lucky for them there was no shortage of hair dye, make up or styling products.

the opening credits

the shows topics covered all your typical after school topics drugs, stealing, teen rape and pregnancy. they also dealt with cults for a whole season, something all youths need to be warned of. most of the series is set in a mall that the kids squat in. almost everything about this show is so bad it’s good.

every now and then i think about the tribe and want to see it again, preferably from the beginning. someday, maybe i’ll get my chance.

Orphee

i’m ashamed to say that i have never been to the opera before seeing philip glass’s orphee last week. the opera just always seemed out of reach, so i never looked into it. when i saw that the portland opera was going to be doing one of glass’s operas, i decided it was time. and thankfully i knew who to ask to accompany me, the only other person i know that likes philip glass, morgan’s brother don. don also got us some great seats for a really good price. now the opera doesn’t seem so out of reach anymore.

this is what philip glass’s website says about orphee.

Based on Cocteau’s fascinating retelling of the Orpheus myth, Orphée, the first opera of Philip Glass’ Cocteau Trilogy, is an extended parable on the life of an artist, a poet harassed and misunderstood by peers. His success leads to the ridicule by fellow poets, ending in a creatively crippling isolation. With a renewed apprehension of his own mortality, Orphee regains his emotional strength, enabling him to ignore the trials of ordinary life, freeing him to be a poet. The poets Orphee and Cegeste, Euridice, and a mysterious Princess interact within the worlds of the living and the dead, existing in that mysterious realm that separates the two worlds. Love triumphs and thus returns Orphee and Euridice to mortal life, with no remaining consciousness of their unusual time spent between “the worlds”. The Princess has violated the laws of life and death one time too many and is banished into oblivion.

the music was pure philip glass, small repetitive tonal circles culminating in beautiful glissades mixed with delicate percussion, and intricately subtle piano work. the libretto for the opera was lifted right from cocteau’s screenplay. since i don’t have a lot of experience with opera i can’t really critique the performances.  i do think that this was far from traditional opera, it seemed more like performance art. every movement and motion of the cast was choreographed, people popped in and out of the stage saying cryptic messages, and endless interpretations of the symbolism are probable. the set was also one of the characters, with two sides a mirror images. the use of mirrors and mirror imagery was the most striking part of the production, they were the portal between the worlds. watching orphee was reminiscent of watching movies of the french new wave. orphee grabs the audiences attention and doesn’t let go. i was moved by the performance, but over a week later i’m still not sure how, i still need more time with it.

one of the few bands that morgan and agree on is broadcast. to me they are one of the most interesting groups around today. they have a style and sonic structure that i appreciate. they draw influences from all over, library and field recording, vintage electronica, and sixties krautrock to name a few. i’ve seen them live several times so i knew this was a show not to skip, and i wanted to make sure morgan got a chance to finally see the. the sixties log cabiny basement of the doug fir was the perfect venue.

the reviews of show’s i’ve been reading have said that the openers kind of stole broadcast’s thunder, i didn’t find that the case. the selmanaires played first and then were the back-up band for atlas sound. i thought they were both fine, just a tad boring and not my kind of music. i don’t think they were a good choice for opening for broadcast, at least not at this point in their career. atlas sound’s set did have two good surprises, first trish (from broadcast) came out and sang with them, then for the last song laetitia sadier (from stereolab) joined them. these guest vocals brought some energy, something atlas sound didn’t have.

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broadcast’s current direction is into a more sonic collage territory, a lot less structured and groovy than their previous sounds. they opened the show with a twenty-minute noisy psych-out jam, that wouldn’t have been out-of-place as a soundtrack to a party at andy warhol’s factory.

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after the sound piece they moved into a mix of the poppier early songs and the collage sounds off the recent release, broadcast and the focus group investigate the witch cults of radio age. there was definitely a contrast between the two styles, but they melded well. i love the new direction, it is exciting to see them being fearless.

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trish and james helmed two tables of mixing boards, samplers, a laptop,  and a  moog or korg (sorry don’t remember which). a couple of times trish picked up a small string instrument, i have no clue what it was though.

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i could tell that something was bothering them about the show, probably something to do with the sound on their end, but that didn’t stop them. by the time broadcast’s set was over, i was so impressed. while a totally different experience than the other times i saw them, it was still broadcast, and it’s inspiring to see a group make music that come off as being part of them.

here’s excerpts from a recent wire interview with broadcast, it’s excellent an read.

years ago josh gave me a copy of the raincoats 1979 debut album. i was immediately enthralled by it and had one of those “why have i never listened to them before?” moments. the raincoats are right up my post-punk alley, i quickly acquired as much of their material i could.

despite them being somewhat active in recent years i had written off my chances of every seeing them live. when i heard that the raincoats were coming to portland as one of the four planned u.s. shows i was a little dumbfounded. also, i couldn’t believe that they were going to be playing a tiny venue, holocene.

the current line up of the raincoats is remarkably close to the original.  the original raincoats,  ana da silva (vocals and guitar) and  gina birch (bass and vocals), were joined by anne wood (violin) around 1996. they have gone through a string of drummers and for this tour it was vice cooler, who did an excellent job.the raincoats (15)not surprisingly the set list was mainly off their first couple of albums, and a couple from the most recent (1996’s looking in the shadows ). they knew what people wanted to hear and they delivered. the songs still  sound just as fresh and relevant today, not showing their 20+ years of age at all.the raincoats (60)the women of the raincoats were so glad to be playing, telling stories and thanking everyone multiple times.the raincoats (21)they were frenetic whilst playing, lots of jumping, rocking and dancing. they showed no sign of fatigue, i think they could have played all night.the raincoats (29) i was eagerly waiting for this, i had such high hopes for it and wasn’t let down. they played a high energy, fast paced set, at times i couldn’t believe they are pushing 50.the raincoats (51)i’m so glad that the raincoats came to town, and hope to see them again someday. as a bonus i scored a limited edition show poster that is totally frameworthy, thankfully morgan agrees, so look for it on our walls in the future.

this was my first show with my new camera that i am still figuring out how to use properly, so far i love it, i just need to master it.

the other night i was organizing the photos on the computer and came across these pictures of salad rolls i made for my friend nick’s birthday party. i meant to post them earlier, but they got lost and forgotten.

i haven’t done a lot of big cooking projects since moving into this apartment. as you can see i don’t have a lot of work space. it took me a while to get this mise en place ready and set up in a fashion that would work.

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you’ll notice that the cutting board is a bit unstable, making the rolling a bit precarious. thankfully once everything is cut, the rest goes rather quickly.

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one of the bothersome things about salad rolls is the dip, i wanted to get the dip into the roll without much dripping or oozing.  i made soba noodle salad with a heavy dose of peanut dressing to replace the plain bean thread noodles normally used.

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it was a very successful plan, and they came out beautifully, no side of dipping sauce required.

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this was only my second or third time making salad rolls, i forget how easy it can be, and people are always impressed.

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hip hop rival  m.c.s and their entourages are the subject of the fictional a hip hop story, more west side story than romeo and juliet, there is an ill-fated romance involved. i really have mixed feeling about this book. i thought the idea was good and the characters are believable. heru ptah has a good message, and i was a bit surprised by the ending. the issues are in the storytelling, the writing isn’t strong enough and the plot development was often too simple or cliched. i wanted it to be a bit edgier, as much as i hate to say it. good book, just flawed.