25.11.06

Culture Vulture, part one

In which our heroine goes to concerts, sees artwork and attends the theatre...

In early October, I learned that Cat Power would be playing at Irving Plaza. Now, usually I don't like to do work-day concerts, but this was an early show and I thought "hey, I can totally do that!" So Thing One and I went off to see her. OGIC and Terry both recommended her music and the albums I'd listened to were pretty good, and after seeing Guns'n'Roses, I figured that I could handle any on-stage meltdowns. Irving Plaza, if you've never been there, is mostly standing room. That's great if you're tall, but I'm not. My view of the stage was obstructed, which was fine while we waited for Cat Power to appear. 10 minutes after the appointed time, a video started. Many were getting a bit edgy after 20 minutes of video... but then the band arrived. Two instrumental songs in, and Cat appeared - arms waving, shuffling, smoking and singing. The Greatest wasn't an album I'd heard (have now!) and the songs on it are pretty good. The concert was pretty good - not good enough for the hippies who kept looking for more movement (and less pantomime), or more rock stuff. Query: if that's what you're looking for, why go to a concert like this? From what I understand, this was a good concert for her, part of a good tour. My recommendation? Go see her if you can.

The next week, I went to see the Festival Chamber Music performance at Merkin Hall. This was a double pleasure: a high school alumnae gathering, coupled with the debut of a new piece by a former student. The first and third pieces were nice, and I've even decided to get a copy of one of them (if you don't know them, please, go listen). The second, by Athena Adamopolous, was... interesting. She said that it was based on her previous summer, influenced by her time in London, Paris and Athens. You know, I could almost hear those disparate parts! There were bits that really (to me) sounded like London and Paris sound; I can only imagine that the other parts were "Athens". Even though this was the second week in a row in which I went to an evening event, I enjoyed myself. Even better? Spending time with school friends and former teachers.

Then it was off to Western Massachusetts and the Eric Carle Museum. LM_NET has been having quiet the discussion about the museum, and all I can say is: what are you fussing over? It's small. It's not got Big Art or pretentions. It's just what it says it is -- a small museum that has one focus, picture book art. The exhibit I dragged Thing Two to was that of 100 years of art related to the Wizard of Oz. Now, I love this series. I have all the Baum texts (but none of the Reilly, Thompson or other continuers). I was a member of the International Wizard of Oz Society for a few years. And this was one of those jewel-like installations: one gallery, with art by Denslow and Neil and others (since the initial books are out of copyright, current luminaries like Sabuda have made free with interpreting the text). The other exhibit, in the other gallery, featured books like Knuffle Bunny coming to life, from original idea to full illustration. Very enjoyable. The next day brought the perfect pancake. What a nice weekend.

Next post... Chicago and beyond...

3 comments:

Sherri said...

I have a Cat Powers CD that I've only given half a listen. I'll haul it out for more consideration now. It must be nice living near actual culture. We have a kind of pseudo culture here, which usually involves donating large sums of money.

Oh, and I tell you this because I am certain if you saw the same thing elsewhere, it would bother you -- last line of the entry, "prefect pancake". Is there such a thing (in which case, explain please) or was it really a perfect pancake afflicted with a twitchy typing finger?

Lazygal said...

No. This is a pancake that supervises other pancakes. ; )

Sherri said...

Ahhh, a very special sort of pancake. I've been trying to get pancakes without actually having to make them myself, but the local pancake place is always packed with the snowbirds on a weekend morning, and it just is not worth the aggrivation. They are there all day, too.

*sigh*