If you do a google image search for “Budweiser cans Hoffman Road” you’ll see I have been covering this story for quite a while. Or do a Budweiser search in the search box on this page. I gathered up these cans today from the troll hangout near where the creek flows under Hoffman Road. We’ve never seen the trolls or the guy that has been habitually throwing these 22 ounce cans in the same spot for six or seven years now. We have a few suspects but we are not ready to name names.
I’m glad I snapped this shot the other day because today because these tall brown weed-like flowers collapsed under the weight of the wet snow. They look like the invasive species variety that now grow in the wetlands around here but these were planted by a gardener.
Everything is changing. Ticks bearing Lyme Disease are now in our area and their season is longer on both ends. Not all these changes are unwelcome. We heard realtor, Mark Siwiec, on the radio today talking about how our recent warm winters have bumped the start of the high season up by almost a month. A hundred years ago upstate New Yorkers were not able to have fresh pineapple for breakfast. But I’m still pulling for a cold winter with piles of fresh snow.
Are boys in the prime of life at fourteen or fifteen? We followed this pack of kids to the park the other day and judging by the way they were laughing and carrying on I would guess so.
Inside the park we hid behind a big tree as they tried to set off this small orange rocket. They failed to get launch so we moved on after a few minutes. We were at least a mile away when we heard a big boom.
We feel as though we have adventurous musical tastes but we are probably just as stuck in our ways as the next guy. I know we are lucky to have the Eastman School of Music in our community and their student run program of modern music, called Ossia, is sensational. Tonight’s performance included five wildly different compositions all expertly performed. And just look at how young these students are. They are seen here performing Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Ten Pieces for Wind Quartet,” my favorite piece of the evening. Peggi’s favorite piece was sung by an operatic, solo soprano.
The most radical piece was Stockhausen’s “Mikrophonie I,” in which two people played a tam tam. Two people played microphones, one on each side of the tam tam, and two people, off stage, ran the filters for the microphones.
They struck and scratched the tam tam with an assortment of things you might find in your kitchen or storage closet and the ever moving, hand-held mics were panned hard left and right. The filtered sound was amplified and sent to the giant speakers that are above the two double door exits. The wide stereo experience was like something off of Led Zeppelin II.
The hardest thing about leaving town or even thinking about leaving town is leaving your pet behind. This condition probably gets worse as you get older. I know I have a hard time falling asleep if our cat isn’t up on the bed. She is always up before us but she lets us sleep until we open our eyes. Once she senses we are awake she meows to be let out while I grab the paper and then she must be fed before I make the coffee we hear about it. I love this routine and I can’t help but think she would be upset if we weren’t here for it to unfold. It would be so much easier if we could travel with our cat.
We had dinner with a couple who were up from upstate (an hour north of the city) and they showed us the “Service Dog” get-up they purchased online. For a hundred and fifty bucks you get this dog vest with pockets for badges and official looking identification. They had just used the badges at a downtown hotel that was not dog friendly. In fact their dog was back in the hotel room while we were dining.
The front side of the card reads “In Accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: This card identifies (so and so) as the rightful owner of the service dog named below” and to protect the company that prints these the the back side makes it clear that the card has nothing to with the Department of Justice.
The glorious color of Fall has peaked. Most of the leaves are brown and under snow now but the late Autumn palette is still in full display. The quantity has been reduced but the appreciation level for what remains has risen. The advance of Winter is a welcome refresher course in minimalism. But first we feast.
We shared Thanksgiving with our friends, Matthew and Louise, in their new home and took turns around the table giving thanks for a few things. Mine were just off the top of my head but I suspect we could have spent the entire meal itemizing our bounty but then we wouldn’t have had time to discuss misogyny in New Zealand or who it was that actually wrote Shakespeare. We were honored to be invited and had no idea Matthew was a gourmet chef so the evening was both a delight and a surprise. The turkey was there but only a minor player in the parade of red pepper soup, roasted brussels sprouts, lemony greens, stuffing with apples, cranberry with ginger, sweet potatoes with melted cheese and tawny port. You know how a drummer sometimes does a quick roll at the conclusion of a song? Well, a bowl of imported English licorice punctuated last night’s performance.
The night before Thanksgiving is usually a good night to play out. People are in town visiting relatives and air is festive but then some people leave town. Margaret Explosion guitar player, Bob Martin, is in Chicago visiting his son and bass clarinetist, Jack Schaefer, is picking his son up at the train station so we may be doing this one as a trio. Not the first time. Somebody say, “bowed bass solo.”
Margaret Explosion – “Earthly Delights” recorded live at the Little Theater Café.
If you want really good cheekbones you have to move a little closer to death. Our painting teacher went into the storeroom during our last class and brought these two guys out for me to look at. I had drawn a woman who he said, “Looks like she has the mumps.” In attempting to describe the outside profile of her face with line I brought them forward, flattening her face and completely neglected to bring her cheeks forward of that. Just look at these eye sockets! The structure of the face is built to accommodate the features. We need to talk about this.
The cold snap changed the color of our giant pumpkin from rusty yellow to a deep orange. I figured we better get it out of our doorway before it thaws so we rolled it into our wheelbarrow and took it across the street to ask our neighbors if we could roll it down the hill behind their house so the deer could have it. Other years we’ve rolled our pumpkins down the hill behind our house but we have a road down there and if they manage to get through the trees they zoom across the road and wind up in the creek. This year’s pumpkin was big enough to take out a car so we rang Rick’s bell. The crazy thing is that when we let it fly it scared the hell out of the three deer that were down there and they hightailed it out of sight.
Rick and Monica asked us if we’d like to come over for dinner and we took them up on that. Eric and Amy were staying with them. Both Eric and Amy are art school veterans so we started the evening looking at my paintings and talking art. I’m thinking of buying one of Eric’s Kodak paintings.
Dinner conversation switched to music as we discussed matters such as whether The Stooges or The Ramones made a bigger impact on music. Eric has a piece in the new Mojo about his upcoming reunion of the Len Bright Combo but he is defiantly moving forward. The Mojo interview contains this killer quote. “It might even sound modern now but in the ‘80s it probably sounded horrible to people because in those days every snare drum hit was an event in itself.” And Amy is at the top of her game. She is a brilliant songwriter. I am a huge fan and am looking forward to her book.
The sculptural qualities of the woods are in full display in the winter months. No foliage to camouflage the interplay of trunk and limb and most dramatically, the fallen trees and limbs, the tangled piles of branches and the wounded trees innocently caught in the path of a dying elder.
Peggi did a series of watercolors of portions of this birch tree. It has giant mushrooms growing on it now and white limbs scattered about. Where other trees lose their bark and dry out before falling, the bark on these trees, the same stuff Native Americans used to waterproof their canoes, seals moisture inside and the trees remain externally graceful even as they decompose inside.
Nod stole the night at the Lou Reed tribute with their cover of “Run, Run, Run.” The trio, with Hugh Edwards on bass replacing Tim Poland for the night, tore it up.
Margaret Explosion rehearsed, via email, the last minute addition of “The Day John Kennedy Died,” the ACC version not Lou’s. We banged out a three song set, “Dreamin’,” “JFK” and “What Goes On,” and then backed D&C music critic, Jeff Spevak, on his version of “The Gift.” Hoping to get some good press for that.
We saw today as our last chance to get the leaves out of our backyard before the snow flew. Our neighbor has a leaf mulcher and plenty of space to pile up a mound of mulch so we raked the piles onto a tarp and hauled the tarp up to the road so he could do his thing with them. The payback comes once the leaves have decomposed when we bring our wheelbarrow down to his place for a load of rich black top soil.
Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby are back in town but this gig is a private one, tonight at Artisan Works. It’s a wedding reception of sorts for someone we don’t know so we’ll miss it.
I’m looking forward to the dark winter months. Time to get get caught up with all my silly projects.
This glorious color in this photo, heightened by the grey skies, was taken only a week ago. The high winds and cold snap have cleared the trees. Our palette has changed again. We have been dealt a new hand.
I’m bummed that Joan Jett got the boot from the South Dakota float in the Macy’s parade when the Cattleman’s Association raised a stink over her vegetarian
Lou Reed Tribute at Skylark Lounge tonight at 8.
Tom Petty is a rock ‘n roll romantic. Free Fallin’ is my favorite of his songs and I’m knocked out by this brilliant new version by Angel Corpus Christi. Angel’s big label record was produced by Craig Leon and featured Herb Albert and the Wrecking Crew’s Hal Blaine. This record sounds even better.
A few weeks back Margaret Explosion recorded a session at Rochester’s Community Access TV station for an upcoming series entitled “Pythod Remix.” The Pythod was Rochester’s premier jazz club in the late fifties and early sixties and the MC for this RCTV series is Jose DeCosta from “Exodus To Jazz.”
Pete LaBonne was in town for the gig and Jack Schaefer is back in the band on bass clarinet so we couldn’t all fit on the sound stage. Pete volunteered to set his piano up off stage. The director asked how long the songs were that we were going to perform and we told him we don’t do songs, we improvise. This caused some confusion so we asked him, “How long do you want us to play?” He said he was trying to put together fifteen minute segments so we offered to do two seven minute songs in that period and damn if we didn’t do that four times in a row.
They set mics up all over the stage and took a number of the instruments live and who knows what their mix will be like. We set our little Zoom up in front of the band and grabbed this live stereo mix. Here’s the song we opened with:
Margaret Explosion – “Passage” from upcoming RCTV Pythod Remix Series.
I awake from a vivid dream last night about an infestation at my parent’s house. My dad had called an expert to analyze the large bugs that were slithering from the mortar joints of his field stone foundation. (My parents actually have a modern concrete block foundation.) The expert had dug down along a portion of the foundation near the front door and we watched as bugs as big as six inches long worked their way out of the motor joints and they then either crawled away or took flight. One was iridescent blue and my dad, a bird and nature enthusiast, identified it as “rare such and such.” He was delighted to have spotted one of these and the blue bug flew toward him and hovered like a hummingbird right in front of his face.
There was a stern woman with the expert, possibly from the health board, and she was taking notes on a clipboard. She used a three word name, derived from Latin, in her confirmation of the infestation. The expert told my dad there was no option other than digging up the entire house and treating the foundation. My dad was trying to digest this when I woke up.
Any day is a good for a walk on the beach. Not just a walk but taking the time to look out to sea. What do you see? Hardly anything but that is so nice. It is art, therapy, massage and religion all rolled into one. This sounds like one of my nephew‘s motivational tweets.
I wish my camera didn’t distort the horizon so much but that is small potatoes.
I apologize for the quality of my photo of Bill Kaiser’s painting, “White Intrusion,” currently on view at the Lucy Burne Gallery in the Creative Workshop of the Memorial Art Gallery. The painting deserves better.
Masterfully simple, it could be described as one color on a white ground, a positive and negative space play, but the title tells you the white is a positive and both colors could be positives. In fact there are three forms involved in this intrusion. The two colors are completely flat but the three forms are multi-dimensional. Bill Kaiser is a woodworker/sculptor/painter and a fellow student in Fred Lipp’s painting class. I find this painting very exciting.
There was a police car running out in front of our house a few days ago but no one was in the car. We spotted the casually dressed cop and two other distraught guys coming out of a neighbor’s back yard. We asked what was going on and they told us there was an injured deer running around and they were trying to do the “humane thing” and put it out of its misery. We asked what had happened to the deer and they said it had been shot with an arrow as part of the bait and shoot program and it got away.
We found deer down in the creek a few years back. It was a buck with a huge rack so we called our neighbor, someone who both feeds the deer and hunts them, not the same deer of course. That would be inhumane, I think. I’m real blurry on this humane thing. Assisted suicide for people is currently inhumane but it is fine for animals. Anyway, we showed this neighbor where the dead deer was and he sawed the rack off its head so he could get both sides of the rack attached to a deer skull cap. And when he rolled the deer over he found an arrow in its side.
Back to the injured deer that is currently on the loose: The hunters signaled it out, shot an arrow at it, injured but didn’t kill the deer and now they want to do the humane thing on it.
In all of New York state there is only one pair of plates with “ART” on them and it is fitting that they would be on a Caddy. Art and money are entwined like never before. Warhol brilliantly blew the lid off this thing a long time ago. Which brings us to Lady Gaga’s new release, “Artpop,” with cover art by Jeff Koons.
There is a direct line from Warhol’s banana art on the Velvet Underground’s first lp to this. This a natural progression but did you ever imagine Lady Gaga covering Sun Ra (or at least getting close enough to the song to split writing credits with him)? Sun Ra will make more money with this song than he made his entire career.
I take one pill a day. I’ve been taking it for so long that I have trouble remembering if I actually took it. I pop it without thinking. My mom has a UTI and and another set of pills to take for it so we stopped by a drugstore today to buy her a “Pill Organizer.” I picked out one that didn’t look too obnoxious and we brought it over to their house.
I could tell as soon as we unwrapped it that it was the wrong one. The containers were colored so you couldn’t see in the chamber when it was closed and it was hard to open. It was laid out as you would expect, Sun. through Sat., but the type was too small and the type on the evening chambers was upside down so if you picked up the container the way my mom did the days of the week would read backwards.
So back to Walgreens where a young girl with blue nail polish cheerfully swapped it out for a large print version that reads up right from one side only, AM and PM laid out in separate chambers Sun. through Sat. in clear plastic with an easy snap latch. Enough of this, “Did I take my pill.”
We helped my dad take his trash out to the curb but before we did he wanted to know what he should do with a shoebox of floppy discs. I was trying to picture if any of our old computers still had a floppy drive. We decided to throw them away but we took one last look at history before we did. Canvas 1.0 from 1991, Hypercard from 1987, Mac Perspective, a program my dad used to design the mural at the UofR Laser Lab, Reunion 1.0. Mac3D, all marvels in their time.