Vissi d’arte

A bit of a departure, or perhaps an added dimension to a blog entering its seventh month. I wasn’t sure where I was going with this site, initially, other than I had finally felt the importance of music – both live and recorded – back in my life. But life continues to surprise. I spent more time realizing that this weekend; and more time reflecting on the surprising, wonderful life of someone very dear to me who passed away in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Angela Gheorghiu sings the aria “Vissi d’arte” (“I lived for art”) from Puccini’s Tosca. I don’t really know who she is; I have only a vague idea as to what constitutes an aria; and I know Giacomo Puccini and his opera really by name only.

But I expect that to change. To be continued.

Strobe Strobe Strobe: Raveonettes at Bimbo’s

The Raveonettes kicked off their tour in support of Pe’ahi last night at Bimbo’s in North Beach. And they played the hell out of the new album, which was okay by me. It’s my favorite Raves record since Lust Lust Lust.

photo 1 (4)They also burned the hell out of the strobe lights, which was okay by just about everyone in attendance, especially this one dude near us who bore a striking resemblance to Mark Strong. With every pulsing sonic wave, he broke into a arms-flailing, titanic stomp. Like a stone golem performing a raindance.

He also had some pretty interesting crowdshouts.
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Cookies. Still Good.

Earlier this year, I was attending a dry seminar at a bleak airport hotel, and the catered lunch carts rolled into the conference room like a SWAT team response to a hostage crisis. Oh, Subway. And under one of those clear plastic lids, a bowlful of equal parts snickerdoodle and chocolate chip.

“Mm. I haven’t had a cookie in years.” I meant it, too. For reasons I’ve only recently begun analyzing, the cookie has been out of my dessert rotation for some time now.

Another attendee, in front of me in the chow line, without looking in my direction: “They’re still good.”

On last week’s Bandcamp Weekly, Andrew Jervis playfully gave Ben Sterling a hard time for taking five years to release an album following the breakup of Mobius Band.
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Music with Words!

I had to go all the way to LA to see Tomas Barfod.

Last Thursday was my birthday, and as luck would have it Danish DJ Tomas Barfod was booked for Rickshaw Stop’s Popscene. He’s put out one of my favorite albums of the year so far, and I thought it’d be fun to open a new decade surrounded by strobe lights and themed cocktails.

But we really didn’t have our act together, and on Thursday morning neither TicketFly nor WillCall had available tickets.
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Black City Lights – Another Life

After spending all of fifteen minutes on Wikipedia, and stumbling through various links and associated articles, I’ve made the rather bold decision to move Wellington, New Zealand, onto my regularly updated cities-to-visit list. On the surface, I can appreciate its charms, as it seems to bear remarkable similarities to my hometown — from the earthquakes and the weather, to its beautiful oceanside/bayside geography.

black cityBut I wouldn’t have even bothered looking at that Wikipedia page if not for the real source of travelers curiosity. Last month Stars & Letters released the second LP from Wellington’s Black City Lights. Another Life is a gorgeous blend of ghostly synths and vibrant vocals, and it crashes against concrete & glass in no-waves emanating from mid-80’s ripples.

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