Wednesday, March 31, 2010

But there's like stuff there, right, bro?

A few things I'm thinking about right now are:
*Babies Os Mutantes and the great versions of "Baby." Here you go.

*I hate quotes. They're usually so trite and too much a weak attempt at actual wisdom. You can make a small point in a fortune cookie, but the message isn't going to cure your insomnia. It's like putting a McDonald's where Ferrara's was, or something remarkably tasteless like that.
With that in mind, Joseph Campbell quotes are not as good as reading the whole of each of his books, but good ol' Joe really had a way of cutting to the chase.

Here are a few nicely said words by JC (whoa, didn't realize that was coming). They're all about the good stuff, the stuff that makes sense - fear, courage, paths. Super mythical and mystical.

"The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure." (Yes.)
"Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths." (for religious studies and anthro nerds)
"The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe to match your nature with Nature." (Go Inner Mother Earth!)
"You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else's path. You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else's way, you are not going to realize your potential." (to which I quote Queensryche's Silent Lucidity, "Hush now, don't you cry, wipe the teardrop from your eye." Oh, courage.)

*Laf How much I love The Awl, which makes me laugh out loud daily. Alesh wrote a little something about it, and I'm not in the mood to elaborate, except to say that I am very thankful to laugh. Also, as a liker of pretty boys, this was enlightening.

*Dyslexic Heart A guy at the Wilco show was wearing a Paul Westerberg tour tee. I was tickled, because, as you might know, my favorite soundtrack ever (ever) is that of a film called Singles. I also couldn't see when the last Westerberg tour was, but I looked it up, 2005. At first, I wondered - who would go to a Paul Westerberg show in Miami, and they I realized, duh, me and that guy, and maybe a few of you old bags and music nerds (that's right, nerds). Bring it on, Paul.

*Who's going to do gross right now? According to the NYT, Motel 6 is being redone to look like every other crappy boutique hotel in the western world. Where will I enjoy scratchy, puke-stained, velour sheets now? Why are we so intent upon removing all unique personality from corporate America? The point of chains is that they are reliably inferior to local businesses and every time you go into one, you know exactly what to expect, since they never change and all look the same, and that you will not receive the best of anything. I'm disgusted and am never staying at a Motel 6 again, unless it's the cheapest available hole conveniently located off of I-95.

Finally, how great is this webpage? Answer: great.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Do something good, Miami

After I completed my graduate work, I spent a whole lot of time volunteering and looking for a job. It was right after September 11, and there was no work for me anywhere, except at the makeup counter at Bloomingdales. Luckily though, a coworker at Bloomies handed my resume over to her sister who worked at a non-profit, Human Services Coalition (HSC). When I went in for my interview, it turned out a bunch of my anti-war (pro-peace) buddies were either working there or were on the board. “Score!” thought I.

I did end up getting the job and working there for almost three years. I went from being the Kidcare assistant to the policy coordinator, and few other things in between. Although HSC experienced all of the trials of a grassroots non-profit, the organization was always steered in the right direction by the staff and by Executive Director, Daniella Levine.

Daniella made sure that HSC was always a nurturing environment, one that encouraged open-dialogue and growth. All of the stress of working under grants and with the South Florida community were manageable because you always knew that you were working for the most just causes and that you were moving forward and developing as a worker and as an individual.

When I worked at HSC on healthcare policy issues, a bill like the one just signed into law on Tuesday (YAY!) by President Obama was merely a fantastical dream under a double Bush administration (we had one as governor too at that time). Thanks in part to the hard work of people like Daniella and her staff, this dream entered the heads of many other people and finally developed into a reality. I takes a lot of energy to do the right thing and to get others to understand your cause and to support it. HSC values advocacy and action, American values that sometimes become lost in the aftermath of a long, crappy day at work.

Come tonight to HSC’s Open Door – Open House and learn about an organization that has given so much to the South Florida community. Their new offices are located at 1900 Biscayne Blvd, Ste 200, and the reception will take place from 6-9 p.m.

Monday, March 22, 2010

went to Wilco, it was good, bro

I wish I really liked Wilco's music, because then I would have probably lost my shit on Monday night's performance at the Fillmore. It was one of the nicest concerts I've ever been to, considering I didn't know any of the songs (I'm exaggerating, but basically, I'm an embarrassment - I didn't retain any of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot). However, the audience really understood the music and the band in a way I haven't seen at a concert in long time. It was very easy to watch and listen and besides that, there were so many people there. Who knew there were that many Wilco fans in Miami? I mean, everyone knew every word. I think they were bussed in from Broward or Chicago.

I've had Wilco on my ipod for years before recently accepting that I will never listen to them actively and consequently deleting them. I even had their album Mermaid Avenue, which is comprised of unrecorded Woody Guthrie lyrics to which Guthrie's daughter allowed Wilco (and Billy Bragg) to accompany with music.

Of the things that thrilled me, Jeff Tweedy brought this geekly young boy Max on stage and let him sing a song. I got choked up for realz on that one. The kid was just owning the shit out of that stage. Then Tweedy pretended the amps weren't working so he could get his roadie Steve to come up and then everyone sang him a happy birthday. I'm a sucker, I know, but it was very nice. They held an intermission where the band sat down and brought lamps out, moving closer to the audience, adding an intimate touch. They then played audience requests collected before the show, including a Woody Guthrie song (which was THE best part of the performance). A couple of them brought out and played alt-country instruments, including accordion and a banjo (awesome), and even gave out free dinners from Doraku. I kid you not.
Other than all of those treats, they played forever, were goofy and looked like they were having a ton of fun.
What can I say? I'm sold on the band. Now all I have to do is reapply their music to my tired, old ipod and revisit my feelings on it.

I forgot my camera, so I had to use my cell, hence the terrible quality of pictures. This one on the bottom is the boy, Max, on-stage pretending to play to the guitar or really playing, what do I know?

Friday, March 19, 2010

We all have favorites, and here is one of mine

I'm going to say this because I mean it. I don't think Farley Aguilar could possibly make new art that I love more than what he's already produced. He's the tops.

I've been friends with Farley for a long time now, so you might think I'm biased and just blowing smoke up his ass, but if that's what you think, you're wrong. I don't buy things that I can't wear or shit out, but a few years back, I did purchase an amazing small painting from Farley. It's hung right over my bed.

The painting is of a bonfire, and it's small, not much larger than my hand. When I first saw it, it reminded me of a trip I had then recently taken to Maine, where my ex and I caught the final beach bonfire of the season before winter came. It wasn't just my memory that endeared the piece to me, it was the subject too, being both magical and mundane. It's the supernatural in the natural. It is that place where God and man meet; it's religious. The bonfire is much simpler than Farley's larger works, but it retains the same power. Farley captures a big mood in a small space.

I find it difficult to write about art, because maybe I don't have the vocabulary or maybe because I don't want to offend anyone. I always end up sounding stupid or mean, so please take my insecurities into consideration here. When I was twenty, I visited my best friend in Paris and on a day when she was studying, I went to the Musee d'Orsay by myself. The main exhibition featured a Polish painter Jacek Malczewski, whose beautiful (and hard to find on the internet) paintings blew me away with all of their myth, symbolism, fantasy and the potential stories! There were so many stories, I could only begin to get in there and dream them all up. Farley's paintings make me feel the same way, even though the message being expressed by each artist is different (this is where I don't write about symbolism and social politics). They are filled with fear and fantasy. Besides that, they're beautiful, with bold colors and tiny details. His view of the world is one that is enchanting and romantic. It's a world of which I would like to see much, much more.

In one week, Farley's first solo show, Ulf, will be up at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood. Here's a nice review of Farley's work on ArtLurker and here's something I wrote a while back on NBCMiami.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ah, the luck of the 1/8 Irish

You may not be sure what this is, so I'll tell you. It's the banshee from Darby O'Gill and the Little People back again to wish you a very happy St. Patty's Day! Hopefully, you don't run into her tonight.

I am only an eight Irish, and I seem to have some kind of unfortunate luck. Let's hope the luck of your Irish ancestors is a bit better and more understanding.

I'm getting amped for that green beer tonight, since it dulls the pain of the every day, three-leaf clover misery. PS14, or Bar, is opening at 6, good news for the enthusiastic. I will pinch you if you're not wearing green, and you can kiss me 'cause I'm a little bit Irish.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Everclear, bro

There are certain performers whose names or faces or mystiques just stick with you for your whole life, like the two Coreys. For me, one of these people is Art Alexakis of Everclear. I never, ever owned an Everclear album, I don't even know if they produced more than one, though I have this feeling there were many. I think it was his striking white hair and Greek name that keeps him lingering in my pop culture memory. That, and once my former roommate referred to herself as "a scared white boy in a black neighborhood" on my answering machine. You make me laugh; I remember.

I preface with this, because Art'll be performing at the Arsht tonight with another dude with a serious name, Ed Kowalczyk from Live (which I liked in middle school and looked down on in high school) and someone from Six Pence None The Richer (why?).

I know, who cares? I don't. I just wanted an excuse to write about Art Alexakis.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Another one bites the dust, bro

Just 2 nights back at Yakko-San, we were discussing which Corey was cuter, Haim or Feldman. I voted for Haim, because he was my Teen Beat dreamboat, and look, today he's dead.

I couldn't have put it better than The Awl, "Here's a question: why does no one want to live any more?" Alexander McQueen, Corey Haim, Brittney Murphy, all self-inflicted or induced.

2012, friends, that's all I have to say, 2012.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pub Crawl, this time on bikes, and sad Abbey news

This Saturday, I enjoyed the Beer Snob Bicycle Pub Crawl organized by Miami Bike Scene, which involved riding about town grabbing a brewski here and another there. I started at home, with a headache, struggling at 3:30p.m. to get out the door. After entering the daylight, I rode with Nico (above) and Ricky across the Venetian Causeway to Zeke's on Lincoln. There there were tons of bike riders all having a genuinely nice time, sipping beer and shooting the poo. After Zeke's we all headed to The Abbey before going back across the bridge to the the DRB where I ended my bike day while everyone else went on to Titanic. I had a wonderful time and I really hope that the next one comes soon! Thanks for organizing, guys.

On a crap note, it was at The Abbey that a terrible rumor I heard was confirmed. The Abbey is closing. Cry bitches or start a petition or something! The people who bought the building that houses the bar are shutting them down. The Abbey is one of the most non-beachy, pleasant places in Miami. It has character and a nice selection of beer. It's very much worth saving, so think creatively! I encouraged the owner to get some press, so if you write something pass the sad word on and see if it changes anything.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mrs. Ms, bro

This weekend, the lovely Jillian Mayer, dancer, artist, pretty lady, will be performing her very own play, Mrs. Ms, at the Arsht Center. I know you're jealous, because it's pretty rad to have the opportunity to perform at such a sweet venue at the young age that lil' Jillian is, but she's good like that, and you're not (j/k, kinda). The word is that, "Mrs. Ms is a multi-disciplinary experimental work that is a parody on conventional musicals that explores conventional stereotypes about marriage and romantic unions." Thanks to a commission from Miami Light Project, Mayer and two other artists have been able to take part in Here & Now, bringing some seriously promising performing arts to my neighborhood.

I've known Jillian for a long time and so I know that she's one girl that will do it all. She's a break dancer, she does aerial acrobatics and she makes art. WTF? I can barely tie my shoes or braid my hair while listening to music. I'm pretty certain this is going to be a goodie. Here's the New Times notes on the performances. Watch a quick backgrounder on it here.

The first performance is going on right now, but there will be more at 9pm this Friday (tomorrow) and Saturday and one at 4pm on Sunday at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Carnival Studio Theater. It's not free, but it's a world premiere, bitches, so don't be cheap.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thursdays are fun, Saturdays, too.

I wish I had more time to talk a buncha shit about stuff coming up, but guess what? I don't. That's right, I'm busy. I know you're completely shocked, but it does happen sometimes.

I've been looking forward to this Pictureplane performance for a while. I first read about the Terri and Donna Gallery in the Paper Magazine blog. I was like, what, where, Miami? Yes, Miami. Anyway, it's not free, but I'm going to try to make it.

For Saturday, the Beer Snob Pub Crawl will hopefully be warm, dry and still. I am going to do it no matter what, but if I have to ride in the rain or through a tornado or in the freezing cold for some beer, I will, but I won't be happy about it. Be at the Arsht Center at 3:30 or Zekes at 4. If you don't go, you're lame. I mean it.

Yelp has a promotion with super cheap drinks all over town this week. I hope I can make it to one!

For a laugh, check out Kelly Osbourne's new hair being likened to Mrs. Slocombe's from Are You Being Served. I guess it's more an anglophilic giggle. I was thinking she's a little Tavi, but Mrs. Slocombe, oh man, there's nothing funnier than when she talks about her pussy, so I'll go with that likeness.

I also laughed at the misery of the polar bears on the Awl. I feel guilty, but I did it. We're going extinct soon anyway with the shifting of the earth's poles. Thanks alot, Haiti and Chile. Edgar Cayce knew it, and now we do. It's over soon, so try and have some fun.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

From 1972 till today...

Life is cyclical, isn't it?
I know we're out of Vietnam and the Bush era, but this still feels true.
I just know that if the health care bill passes, things will change. I just know it.

Thanks to Amanda and Hillary for the OGWT.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dragulator, bro

Last year if you were anywhere near my apartment mid-week, you would have been dragged (excuse the pun) into a RuPaul ruled world of queeny competition. My former roommate made all guests plop on the couch for a viewing of Drag Race, one of the funniest and quirkiest shows ever on television. It was on that couch that I fell in love with Nina Flowers and all the other gals, with their swaggers, saunters, tucks and 'dos.

I just searched to see if I'd blogged about this before, and I didn't, which is incredible since it was such a huge part of our lives. I have yet to see the new season, but I'm sure it's guaranteed to be hilarious and inspirational. Find your inner drag queen here.