Congrats to Texas's homegrown Glasstire, and founder Rainey Knudson -- National Arts Journalism Program members and alumni of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Arts Journalism Institutes awarded it the top, $7,500 prize in a national survey of initiatives. Finalists were featured at the summit earlier this month. Interactive digital magazine FLYP took second, and San Francisco Classical Voice takes home $2,500 for third. Glasstire is powered primarily by artists and curators, including SA's own Ben Judson (an occasional Current contributor and a co-founder of emvergeoning.com) and video collective The Prime Eights.
Tonight, we're heading out to see local death metal thrashers Necurat (Romanian for "dirty soul" according to the always reliable urbandictionary.com) play White Rabbit's Night of Horror. The last time we saw them, lead guitarist Jesse Molov displayed some pretty impressive soloing skills (bonus points for vocalist Matt the Impaler's windmilling his hair so expertly; see the video above). Admission is $8 (all ages), and the doors open at 7p.m. Check out the flyer below:
Everyone, meet lala, if you haven't already. Sign up is free, and you can listen to any of their vast collection of albums once. I thought we'd use lala as a way to share and discuss some of our favorite albums, and since it's nearly Halloween, what better way to start than with the Misfits? Actually, I really wanted to start with Nick Cave's incredible and creepy Murder Ballads, but lala doesn't have it. Instead, we're going with Walk Among Us, technically the Misfits full-length debut, though they recorded a couple of other albums that would be released later first. For introduction purposes, it might be more appropriate to post Collection 2 because it includes their two essential "Halloween" songs and more songs from throughout their early, real career (they continue to tour without lead singer Glenn Danzig) but I like the songs on this album better. Also, if you're new to the Misfits, and not a pouty-faced teenager, 20 songs of their blend of proto-speed-metal and comic-book gore is probably a little much for one sitting.
But don't let the fear of turning into a goth kid stop you from checking out how insectoid nightmare "20 Eyes" plays like Kafka's Metamorphosis on an amphetamine rush. "I Turned Into a Martian" is a less successful exploration of the alienation themes from "Teenagers From Mars" (found on their first Collection), but the (pretty obvious) metaphor doesn't matter as much as the anger in Danzig's voice. "Hatebreeders," on the other hand ponders the handed-down legacy of intolerance over a beat encouraging you to jump around punching strangers in the face.
"Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?" isn't so much creepy as it is an indicator that no matter how unhinged they sounded in the studio, the Misfits must've been a lot rougher live. "Night of the Living Dead," "Skulls," and "Astro Zombies" are great examples of the Misfits' most memorable trick — disguising death and dismemberment in a catchy golden-age rock 'n' roll beat. Somehow the Buddy Holly through a blown speaker bounce of "Zombies" softens the blow of Danzig's vow to "exterminate the whole human race." You've got the Misfits, to blame for a million shitty psychobilly bands, but it's amazing to me how well the originals still hold up.
It's also interesting to note that despite the Misfits reputation for violent and Satanic lyrics (other songs on other albums, JFK attack "Bullet" for example, are more gruesome) only two songs — "Mommy," with its oedipal strangeness, and "Skulls," from the point of view of a murderer collecting children's heads — feature violence that's anything but cartoonishly exaggerated. Decide for yourself below though, and let me know what other albums you'd like to talk about.
You don't have to like him. You don't have to respect him. But you really can't argue with the price. Download Weezy F. Baby's newest mixtape, No Ceilings, for free at Nah Right, and let us know what you think in the comments section below. I'm a definite fan of Drought 3 but I haven't heard this and won't vouch for it. No Ceilings features Wayne rapping over the beat of Dallas's Dorrough Music's "Ice Cream Paint Job" and a Lady Gaga riff called "Poke Her Face," so this wil probably either be really weird and awesome or completely godawful. Let's find out together, shall we?
The reloaded Spurs took the court last night with a familiar
starting lineup that included All-Stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Michael
Finley, along with sharpshooter Matt Bonner and newcomer Richard Jefferson.
Facing Chris Paul and his upstart Hornets,
The curious presence of Bonner and Finley in the starting five, however, took me back to a conversation I had during last season’s playoffs with Graydon Gordian, who along with Timothy Varner runs 48 Minutes of Hell, easily the most on-point Spurs blog on the net. Prior to the Spurs-Mavs series, I asked Graydon if he thought a team with Bonner and Finley in the starting five could ever win a championship. After some shared laughter this is how he replied.
“I don’t think that this is the start of another championship run,” said Graydon. “Maybe I’m wrong. But no there never will be a team, and not because Michael Finley and Matt Bonner aren’t up to snuff but because Michael Finley will be gone in the next couple of years. Matt Bonner’s a hard player to talk about because in some ways you look at the guy and you feel that he seems so limited in so many ways. I see why Pop has gained more trust in him. He is making his shots and has continued to do it all season. On the defensive end of the ball he’s making stronger rotations. He’s not a great defender by any means but he’s certainly improved in that area. Pop has always been a guy who likes to go with balance, who likes to have not necessarily his five best players as starters. He likes to mix and match so that they play well for a full 48 minutes so in some ways that’s why Matt Bonner is out there.”
So don’t fret Spurs fans. Another thing about Pop is that he values “corporate knowledge” of the team’s system above all, so other players will crack the starting lineup in due time. He’s also won a few NBA championships along the way.
It's recently been called to my attention that maybe some of you would like to rip me a new asshole over my calendar pick this week, and haven't been able to. Our website isn't designed to accept comments in the Calendar section (honest, check it our for yourself), and I'm pretty sure it has never really come up before. But you can't taunt someone and not give them the chance to talk shit of their own. We're schoolyard bullies but we like to think we're, like, fair-minded (also good-looking but still approachable) bullies, so I'm reposting this week's pick here. Comment away:
Welcome, Backbeat Magazine, to San Antonio’s high-stakes local-music-coverage game. Folks will call us competitors, but we say you’re really more like our brother in this unforgiving wilderness of cover bands, too-loud sound mixes, and hurtful, hurtful internet comments. You’re a brother we feel a strong sense of rivalry with, perhaps, but still a brother, and when it really counts, a brother we will not hesitate to tear apart with our big scary teeth the second we catch you so much as looking like you might be thinking about encroaching on San Antonio. You hear that splashing sound, Backbeat? That’s us, marking our territory. Our hair is hackled; now back away slowly before we rip your face off. All those local bands, the ones you’ve got playing your release party across three venues for the low, low cost of $6 per person — Hyperbubble (above), Viet-Ruse, Education, not to mention the newly reunited Kylie Factor, Losing Streak, and the Martyrs? Those bands are our bands. Find your own city or WE WILL CRUSH YOU. Good luck and godspeed, fellow music scribes! If you need us, we’ll be at Limelight, peeing on Buttercup. $6, 8:30pm Sat, Oct 31, Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar, 1033 Ave. B; The Ten Eleven, 1011 Ave. B; and SWC Lounge, 1210 E. Elmira, myspace.com/backbeatzine. — Jeremy Martin
Rhonda Kuhlman, wizardess of recycled finery and indie-arts booster nonpareil, has a short write-up in our main Día de los Muertos article, here.
But in soliciting quotes from her friends, I got some lovely ones that, unfortunately, we didn't have time or space for, but that I'd like to be out where folks can read them.
I get some mighty strange e-mails. I've decided to start sharing them with y'all.
Here's one. Boldface is emphasis mine, with my comments in parentheses and italics.
VOLUME IThe Knork
Knork Flatware was a sponsor and was used at this year's Wolfgang Puck American Wine and Food Festival in Los Angeles. And will be a sponsor at the New World Wine Food Fest in San Antonio – November 10-15. We are finding that many culinary/catering events see Knork as a value to their participating chefs to know ahead of time that they can offer a wider variety of food items not just finger foods. And former Top Cheftestant Stefan Richter’s new restaurant Stefan’s at LA Farm in Santa Monica is using the full line Knork Flatware. And former Top Chef-testant Richard Blais is using it as well at FLiP the Burger Boutique in Atlanta. (Dude! I wouldn't put anything past Stefan, but I'm a little surprised at Richard).
Flatware hasn’t changed much in the past one thousand
years, neither in design nor function. Until now. (What about the bendy straw? ...Not flatware, you say? What about...well, shit. She may have a point, there.)
Knork has been featured (Not "the Knork" or "knorks," but "knork," as though it's a one-word celebrity, like Madonna, or Seal. or Bjork! Bjork, meet Knork.Or would you, Bjork, prefer a spork?) on the Food Network’s Unwrapped, Rachael Ray touted Knork as her new fave thing, been featured in DailyCandy and Thrillist and on the Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.
Can I send you a few samples?"Dine on the Cutting-Edge" (<--their tagline, apparently. I see no need for that hyphen. Much like I see no need for a dangerous, knife-usurping "fork plus." I may, however, need samples. Who's with me?)
(Ruler Why Recordings)
Before the beat for “Method Man” kicks in on Enter the Wu-Tang, Raekwon and Method Man trade some cartoonishly violent but NSFW torture threats:
|Hip-Hop News - Wu-Tang Torture|
Hey there, y'all. I done got two copies of the new Toby Keith album, American Ride in the mail, and considering even watching the above video for the lead single, which sounds something like a Glenn Beck stand-up routine you can line-dance to, made me simultaneously put a red-white-and-blue shotgun in my mouth and send my sister a racy Facebook message, I sure as tarnation ain't gonna listen to the rest of it.
So once again, you guys get the chance to win shit I don't want. To get your hands on a copy of TK's latest, just submit an essay of any length in the comments section below on one of the following topics:
-Why the Dixie Chicks must never, ever be forgiven.
-Why "putting a boot in your ass" has been "the American way" since the days of Benjamin Franklin.
-How to make three teeth look like six.
-How many beers you have to buy a horse to get it back to your double-wide.
-Charlie Daniels/Sarah Palin slash fiction. (Please do not submit this for the love of God.)
-Why Toby Keith is a pretty talented singer-songwriter who forever alienated liberal music critics with that ridiculous 9/11 song, and has now become a parody of himself by appealing to the worst aspects of his fanbase.
You can also submit an essay on any other topic of your choosing, just to prove to us elitist assholes that TK fans can actually write complete sentences.
The winner will be chosen Friday October 23, in honor of Gummo Marx's birthday.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRYAN RINDFUSS
For years, I had been hearing about the countless tented fields that make up the Round Top Antiques Fair, but I never seemed to be able to get organized in time to go. On more than one occasion, I felt like I had totally missed the boat when I saw friends returning from “shopping the show” with carloads full of French antiques and jewelry to hoard or resell. This year, my pal Danny Spear, owner of the Land of Was Antiques, made sure I got the memo, telling me, “You have to see what happens in Warrenton on the last Thursday of the show. It’s called Prom. It’s like early Halloween in the middle of nowhere.”
The Round Top Antiques fair (which encompasses the towns of Round Top, Carmine, Shelby, Fayetteville, and Warrenton) is basically the South by Southwest of the antiques world, complete with “No Vacancy” signs, people sleeping three-to-a-bed, dirt roads gridlocked with SUVs, and that priceless combination of muddy shoes, sleep-deprived faces, and a feeling of excited curiosity brought on by the invasion of thousands of fascinating out-of-town characters. In other words, if you sleep too late or turn in too early, you’re sure to miss something of vital importance.
As instructed, I arrived at Marburger Farms just as the tents were closing on the last Thursday of the show. Fortunately, I managed to slip through the fence into Tent G’s “Material Recovery” booth, which had been rented by my friends Clare Watters and Martha Henry (as a design team of sorts, they recover vintage furniture with embroidered Uzbekistani textiles called “Suzanis”). I immediately headed for Tent D to find Danny and make plans for Prom. We agreed to meet in Warrenton around 9 p.m.
Marburger’s extremely organized tents are famous for power-shopping Houston divas in search of the perfect diamond, and serious conversations about 18th- versus 19th-century antiques. While there, I overheard sound bytes like “He has no idea how much she spends, and they’re his credit cards!” And, “She wants 18th, but she can barely afford 19th!” Fabulosity, Texas-style. Over in Warrenton on the other hand, the word “junk” is treated with love and respect and “dead people’s stuff” is a popular topic of conversation - it’s also the name of a booth. More inevitable eavesdropping provided, “She told me I’m not selling well because my merchandise is stale. And I did have a lot of this junk last season, but someone will die soon — that’s something you can always count on.”
I talked Clare into assisting me in my mission to solve the mystery of Prom. Arriving in the parking lot of Warrenton’s Zapp Hall, which houses more than 100 dealers and a beer garden operated by Royer’s Café (undoubtedly Round Top’s coolest restaurant), we were relieved to see that there were, in fact, a number of people dressed in wacky outfits – folks in angel wings, Venetian Carnevale masks, tutus, and towering wigs were all headed toward the sound of live music.
Once inside the compound of makeshift tents and permanent barn-like structures, we spotted Courtney Fakhreddine and Trista Stallings looking very camera-ready in bustiers, petticoats, and gobs of jewelry, sending text messages from an iron café table. Their look brought to mind Madonna’s early years, only instead of spiked ankle boots, they were wearing the hand-painted cowboy variety.
Denton-based costume designers Phillip Howard and Judy Smith, went for a visually stimulating contrast with their outfits – he channeled a cigar-store Indian, while she looked as if she were headed for a tea party circa 1905. When I asked if they would be selling any of their costumes at the show, Smith answered, “No, we are merely spenders of money.” After about an hour of people-watching and beer-drinking, Danny appeared. “Did I lie?” he asked me with a big grin, “Isn’t it fabulous?” Indeed it was.
We noticed a trio dressed as what Danny described as “saloon girls,” carrying parasols to shield them from the moonlight. Gabrielle Dennis, Gemi Bordelon, and Ginny Gremillion turned out to be the perfect dates for Prom. “Come take our picture in the outhouse!” they demanded. There was a line of characters waiting to pose in the Junk Gypsies’ outhouse, which had been decorated with a disco ball for the evening. Speaking to these darling Louisiana girls, I learned that the Junk Gypsies basically invented the concept of Prom in Warrenton (the full name for the biannual party is “Junk-O-Rama Prom”).
Noticing the large quantity of top-notch party dresses being sold at the antiques fair, the Junk Gypsies (Janie Sikes and her two daughters Amie and Jolie) were inspired, and the trio devised a clever plan to repurpose them. “We just wanted to give them a reason to be worn again,” Jolie said of the frocks. “I mean, they’re beautiful, and most of them were only worn once, it’s such a shame.” I was in awe of her empathy for these gowns, and absolutely love the idea that a costume party was created to stroke the egos of the forgotten prom dresses of Central Texas (and it’s a fabulous example of recycling).
While some partyers were on a whole retro-Vegas-inspired trip (there were seven men dressed as identical Elvises that I didn’t bother approaching), or looked like Mardi-Gras had exploded all over them, the Junk Gypsies seem to have inspired a distinct dress code I can only describe as “Cyndi Lauper makes a guest appearance on Bonanza.”
At 11 o’clock, the party was still raging, with a band playing “Footloose” to a bouncing crowd in costumes that were beginning to unravel. Reviewing the pictures, I felt we had collected enough visual proof of this “only-in-Texas” affair, so we called it a night.
Day two was beautiful, a perfect day for wandering the fields, taking pictures, and talking to people without buying much. I dropped $40 on salvaged carnival ephemera, and $25 on a green Herman Miller chair. I met the “Chandelier Queen” of Atlanta, who (according to her) is “very sought after,” but let me photograph an area of her booth that wouldn’t give away too many of her design secrets.
A booth called “Skip 2 My Lu” that sells cleverly reconfigured vintage jewelry looked like a collision of candy-colored jewels and weathered history books. All the necklaces were elegantly pinned onto mounted vintage photographs.
Jan Orr-Harter, of Hot Tamale Antiques, color-coded poppy paintings, rugs, and textiles, to create an ambience reminiscent of an artist’s barn, complete with hay on the ground.
Robin Brown, a Hill Country-based artist, took the idea of temporary space to the next level, with settees for her clients to lounge on and Victoriana elements adorning every inch of her booth. A constant influx of women tried on bohemian outfits from her clothing label, Magnolia Pearl. From a distance, the whole scene looked like a rose-tinted Stevie Nicks album cover.
Day three produced a grey sky that made vendors anxious about the always important last day of the show (most dealers drop their prices and successfully lighten their return loads). No one looked prepared when the torrential rain began around Noon. “Did somebody order hay?” I heard more than once as ranch hands dumped bails of it into rivers of rain that were creeping in from both sides of the tent. Rain also found its way in from overhead, somehow (I watched a crystal vase magically fill).
Danny’s booth was somewhat of a disaster by Saturday evening, so I stuck around to lend a hand, unpinning an ancient tapestry from a temporary wall while teetering on a ladder, which was not so firmly planted in a puddle of water and muddy hay.
“Last year, it was the wind. One of the tents lifted off of its poles and flew into the fields, trapping two people when it landed- they had to be cut out of it.” Danny insisted. “But this feels like the worst.” Just then, we heard a loud “pop” as a soaked power strip killed the lights in a row of antique sconces.
With wine in plastic cups, wet clothes, and sudden fear in everyone’s eyes, I began to feel like we were aboard a sinking sailboat decorated with European antiques. “Get the jewelry and let’s get the Hell out of here,” was our cue that Danny’s most vulnerable treasures were safely wrapped in plastic and it was time to head to “Julie’s Jewels,” a miniature horse farm in Carmine, where I was lucky enough to be invited to wait out the storm.
Driving back to SA the following morning, the sky suffered from an identity crisis. Halfway home, my truck started to look clean again, and the whole South-by-Southwest feeling returned. I was completely exhausted and sad that everything was over, but had new numbers in my phone, new toys to play with, and a whole new list of things to laugh about. I’m definitely going back.
— Bryan Rindfuss
Gene Elder at the HAPPY Foundation Archive, November 2008. Photo by Justin Parr.
Gene's also an incisive and entertaining interviewer on the art front. This is, I believe, the second of his series of "Chartreuse Couch" interviews I've run on CurBlog--the first one was with Chris Forbrich, Council hopeful and political up-and-comer.
Gene Elder's an institution, y'all. Hell--he's even in this week's QueQue.
I've tried to reproduce his unique e-mail formatting for the title, here, let's see how it pans out.
Oh, and if you'd like to be added to Gene Elder's e-mail list, or if you have something to contribute to the LGBT Archive, you can contact Gene at firstname.lastname@example.org
View Of Reality From A Chartreuse Couc
Gene: Ansen! How nice to have you here today. You have just opened an exhibit at the Land Heritage Institute. This requires some explanation. Describe this to us.
Ansen: My only instructions were that the piece had to be about the land and that it had to contain photography. With those wide-open parameters in mind, Penny Boyer, Michael Mehl and I went scouting around looking for a location and a project.
Gene: They are lit from behind, and I didn't see any electricity.
Editor's Note: The LHI is sponsoring a field trip this weekend to see the "living museum!" You can check here for more info and to register, it's an amazing event with great speakers, transport provided from Blue Star, and it's TOTALLY FREE:http://landheritageinstitute.org/2009ARTSCI/2009_LHI_Art-Sci_Symposium.html
Also, here's a review of the LHI/Ansen Seale's installation at emvergeoning, written by Ben Judson.
A couple more beautiful Seale corn images, with thanks to him for letting me use them here:
By Enrique Lopetegui
If you don’t know Os Mutantes (oz-moo-TOHN-cheese), do me a favor: go to Austin’s La Zona Rosa on Sunday, October 18, at 9 pm. Buy the ticket now, going to gettix.com. Trust me. I know, it's in Austin. But go.
If you know Os Mutantes, you don’t need me to tell you who they are.
“For years, it was the only thing I listened to,” said Beck, who dedicated a song (‘Tropicália’) and named an album (Mutations) after them. Kurt Cobain reportedly (and unsuccessfully) begged them to open for Nirvana in Brazil, and David Byrne (another big fan) released the first-ever Mutantes compilation in 1999 (Everything Is Possible! The Best of Os Mutantes, in Luaka Bop). That compilation was followed by Tecnicolor, a an all-English album recorded in 1970, lost, found in 1994, and finally released in 2000 by Universal.
The influential band (which mixes psychedelia, rock, bossa, forró and whatever else happens to be in their heads) has just released Haih or Amortecedor (co-written with the great Tom Zé), their first studio album in 35 years, and are kicking ass nationwide (last I checked, the old farts were number one in the CMJ charts, but who cares).
Sergio Dias (vocals, guitar) is the only founding member to be in Austin, and Dinho Leme (who joined in 1971) will be at the drums. Most of the others joined in 2006, the year the band revived (Os Mutantes had a first run in 1968-78): Bia Mendes (vocals), Henrique Peters (keyboards), Fabio Recco (keyboards), Vinicius Junqueira (bass), and Vitor Trida (flute, guitar).
On September 17, the Current spoke on the phone to founder Dias, who was in Henderson, Nevada.
"Save the boobies!" is the battle cry tonight at the 1011 for the Rockin' for Racks Breast Cancer Benefit Show. I'll be out there around 9:30 to see local folk/indie act Lonely Horse. I haven't heard anything around town that sounds terribly comparable to what they're doing, which according to their myspace is "Native American story music." I don't really know what that means, but I'm excited all the same.
Kuno Becker - From Mexico with Love
By Kiko Martinez
San Antonio Current contributing writer
After four years of running up and down soccer fields for the Goal! trilogy, actor Kuno Becker, 31, exchanges his cleats for a pair of gloves in From Mexico with Love. In the film, Becker plays Hector Villa, a young Mexican immigrant who gets into the boxing ring to support his family and prove to everyone that he has what it takes to win.
Were you much of a boxing fan before taking on this role in From Mexico with Love?
Well, I like Mixed Martial Arts. I followed a little bit of boxing, but it wasn’t like I’ve been following it since I was a kid. I check out as much boxing as I can. But, you know, this isn’t a movie just for boxing fans. At the end of the day, a lot of people are going to be able to relate to it in different ways.
Compare the physicality of boxing to other sports you’ve played like soccer in the Goal! trilogy.
It’s a lot tougher to play soccer and make it look believable. But in boxing, it was easier for me. I got injured a lot more in the soccer world. In soccer, I pulled muscles. I thought boxing was going to be tougher. During the fighting sequences everyone would get a little bit hurt, but it wasn’t a big thing. It was a lot of fun.
What kind of training regiment did you have to go through for this movie?
I had to train for two and a half months. It was pretty tough. I had to gain weight and look a little bit more physical. I had to learn how to punch and make it believable.
Your director Jimmy Nickerson has a background in stunt work. Were you able to go a couple of rounds with him?
Yeah, 100 percent. He actually invented a device for the camera that you can actually hit. The way he shot the fighting sequences and with his background coordinating fights was really important for us.
What did you learn about boxing that you didn’t know before you started shooting?
When you punch somebody in the ring, you have to use your whole body. I learned that it’s more about technique than physical strength.
What was it about a character like Hector Villa that made you want to take it on?
I wanted to take it because I thought the script was a lot of fun. It has a lot of great moments. I thought it was funny and entertaining and emotional and inspiring. That’s what I loved about the project. Also, what I loved about the script was that it was a simple story about a simple guy that was fighting for honor and his love.
In the poster for the movie you’re pictured with one boxing glove with the American flag and one with the Mexican flag. Why is this important to show?
I think it’s important because there is a issue about immigration that is happening now. It’s part of society. The movie isn’t about that but it is used as a dramatic vehicle for the story. The cultural relationship between hard-working immigrants and society is important.
So, does fighting in this movie signify more than just boxing to you?
Yeah, he’s fighting for his people, his love, his father, for himself.
What have you fought for in your own life?
I’ve fought for getting better characters and working in this business, which is crazy. I’ve been fortunate to work in this business, but at the end of the day you’re always fighting for something.
How do you think you’d do as an amateur boxer now that you have some experience?
Oh, I’d get knocked out in a second. (Laughs) You never know. If acting doesn’t work out for me, I’m going to have to do something else.
If you’ve spotted the posters about town, you might be curious about the five-part musical lecture series entitled Geniuses of the American Musical Theatre, now lighting up the Josephine Theater on select Mondays. Co-presented by Herb Keyser and Bett Butler, Geniuses complements Keyser’s recently published history of musical theater, and features biographies interspersed with musical selections from an individual artist’s career: from Harold Arlen and Cole Porter through Stephen Sondheim and Lloyd Webber.
I was only able to catch the first part of Monday’s one-two punch of Berlin and Gershwin, but the lengthy first act—about 75 minutes, before an intermission—allows, I think, a fairly accurate assessment of the series’ strengths and weaknesses. First, the strengths: Keyser obviously adores musical theater—he’d give show queens anywhere a run for their money—and his folksy enthusiasm and astounding memory absolutely command respect. Largely recalling his lecture while seated on a stool, Keyser traces Berlin’s life story from in utero to in uniform, while hitting every one of Berlin’s various tragedies and triumphs. (It’s a lot like a Public Television special in that respect.) The evening is punctuated at crucial narrative intervals by Butler’s exquisite piano playing and singing: she’s the real thing, and I could have listened all evening to her stylings and her voice.
The series, however, desperately requires the vision (and strong hand) of a stage director. Keyser’s text, while amusing, is also resolutely, even monotonously linear: Berlin’s story in particular needs a ruthless editor and a greater sense of shape. (There’s almost no sense of argument, here: Keyser is happy to allow incongruous details to jostle against each other uncomfortably. For instance, after a virtual hagiography of Berlin, we discover, to our surprise, that Berlin was also a drug-addled, irascible paranoiac. How did this happen, we want to know? Few answers are forthcoming.) In fact, while Keyser’s lecture (and occasional, exuberant singing) could be profitably shortened, Butler’s interludes could be greatly expanded: it was frustrating to hear only bits and pieces of selected songs rather than full verses and choruses. Geniuses are geniuses, in part, because of their superb sense of form and architecture, and one can’t really appreciate the skill of a tunesmith without hearing the whole tune. In the case of Berlin, there’s also the composer’s astounding facility with countermelody, and I wish that this aspect of the composer’s work had received greater attention: “Play a Simple Melody” is, after all, a model of its type.
Monday’s audience—composed largely of members of San Antonio’s more mature community—obviously enjoyed hearing songs and patter from early and mid-century, and there’s something to be said for the pleasures of nostalgia: I don’t deny it. But I think the series would be only improved by less talk, more song. Especially when you’ve a chanteuse the caliber of Bett Butler on stage, it’s criminal not to employ her as much as possible: her voice is like the sun in the morning, and the moon at night.
-- Thomas Jenkins, a Current theatre critic.
October 8th at 9PM Celia
the Queen by
Joe Cardona Celia
is a loving look at the amazing life and legacy of a woman whose voice
symbolized the soul of a nation and captured the hearts of fans worldwide.
Erupting onto the Cuban music scene as the lead singer for La Sonora Matancera, Celia Cruz broke
down barriers of racism and sexism. With the powerful weapon of her voice and
the warm tolerance of her heart, Celia soon became all things to all people. The
film shows the diversity of the people whose lives she touched, from stars like
Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia, and Wyclef Jean to ordinary people all over the world
who loved not only her music but her incredible spirit. A
co-presentation with National Black Programming Consortium.
October 8th at 10PM Antonia Pantoja: ¡Presente! by Lillian Jimenez Antonia
tells the story of educator/organizer Antonia Pantoja, founder of the New
York-based advocacy organization, Aspira. A passionate, indomitable
leader, Pantoja worked with Puerto Rican "immigrant-citizens" to fight against
second-class citizenship and to secure a bilingual voice. Through
passionate personal testimony, never-before-seen home movies, archival footage,
and the work of visual artist Juan Sanchez, the feisty Antonia Pantoja guides us
through the Puerto Rican community's struggles and triumphs. Thursday,
October 15, 2009 at 9PM Bracero
Patrick Mullins Bracero
explores the personal experiences of five former “guest workers” in the
controversial U.S.-Mexican bracero
program, which granted temporary work contracts to several million Mexican
laborers between 1942 and 1964. Their stories are interwoven and illustrated
with archival materials, creating a composite narrative of the “bracero”
experience. Interviews with other
participants in the program assess its effectiveness and lasting impact. These
discussions mirror and inform current debates about immigration and the role of
imported labor in our economic development. Thursday,
October 15, 2009 at 10PM The
Golden Age by
Phil Tuckett The
documents a season in the life of the Golden Age League, a soccer league in
Corona Park, Queens, New
York. Not just any soccer league, the highly competitive
Golden Age League is made up of middle-aged former World Cup players from mostly
Central and South America. With muscles
creaking, hairlines receding, and waistlines expanding, these incredibly skilled
players compete at a level never before documented. During the week, these men
are window washers, traders, and electricians -- but the weekend is theirs, and
the passion for the game remains. Thursday,
October 22, 2009 at 9PM Special
16, Héctor Salgado was arrested and tortured by Pinochet's forces. By 20, Héctor
was without a country, living in exile in the U.S. Special Circumstances follows Héctor as
he returns to Chile almost 30 years later, camera in hand, to confront the
perpetrators and his former captors, looking for answers and justice. In the
process, the film takes an unflinching look at U.S. foreign policy in Latin America in the '70s
and the legacy of Pinochet with which Chile still struggles
October 22, 2009 at 10PM Tito
Puente: The King of Latin Music by
all the musicians who have contributed to the popularity of Latin music, none is
more recognized than the man known simply as “The King,” Tito Puente. His family, friends and colleagues all
pay homage here: Bill Cosby, Marc Anthony, Armand Assante, Geraldo Rivera, Jimmy
Smits, Paquito D’Rivera and many more. The life of this influential bandleader,
percussionist and composer – and one of the most charismatic performers of all
time – is recalled through archival footage and interviews as well as excerpts
from one of his last concerts. Thursday,
October 29, 2009 at 9PM Soy
Mitch Teplitsky Soy
tells the story of two women raised in different worlds: an immigrant folk
dancer from the Andes, and a modern dancer from Queens, NY, who return to
Peru to reconnect with their
culture. After 15 years in
Nelida Silva returns to fulfill a lifelong dream and host the fiesta patronal — a celebration of
dance, music, and rituals from Incan times. Meanwhile Cynthia Paniagua, a dancer
raised in Queens, embarks on her own journey, determined to "quench a burning
desire to know the real Peru, to unearth the mystery of the
dances." Soy Andina is an exuberant
cross-cultural road trip, yet its theme is universal: a yearning for roots and
connection in turbulent times. Thursday,
October 29, 2009 at 10PM Dream
August 1994, more than 30,000 Cubans attempted to leave the island by sea. Two
writers, friends since adolescence, are faced with a choice: continue struggling
with the hardships of the island or brave the open water on a homemade raft.
Ernesto Santana chooses Cuba; Jorge Mota, chooses the sea.
This is the story of their struggles, their successes and the friendship that
binds them across the distance, from Chicago to
KLRN's series Voces, a "showcase of documentaries celebrating the rich diversity of Latino life" begins tonight with Celia the Queen, a bio on legendary Cuban singer Celia Cruz (as seen in the video above) featuring interviews with varied musicians, from David Byrne to Wyclef Jean to Pitbull, detailing Cruz's impact and influence, beginning at 9 p.m. Followed at 10 p.m. by Antonia Pantoja ¡Presente! a doc detailing the Puerto Rican activist's founding of NYC advocacy group Aspira. Voces will air Thursday nights through the end of October in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month.
Check out the rest of the schedule below.
Thursday, October 8th at 9PM
Celia the Queen by Joe Cardona
Celia the Queen is a loving look at the amazing life and legacy of a woman whose voice symbolized the soul of a nation and captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Erupting onto the Cuban music scene as the lead singer for La Sonora Matancera, Celia Cruz broke down barriers of racism and sexism. With the powerful weapon of her voice and the warm tolerance of her heart, Celia soon became all things to all people. The film shows the diversity of the people whose lives she touched, from stars like Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia, and Wyclef Jean to ordinary people all over the world who loved not only her music but her incredible spirit. A co-presentation with National Black Programming Consortium.
Thursday, October 8th at 10PM
Antonia Pantoja: ¡Presente! by Lillian Jimenez
Antonia Pantoja: ¡Presente! tells the story of educator/organizer Antonia Pantoja, founder of the New York-based advocacy organization, Aspira. A passionate, indomitable leader, Pantoja worked with Puerto Rican "immigrant-citizens" to fight against second-class citizenship and to secure a bilingual voice. Through passionate personal testimony, never-before-seen home movies, archival footage, and the work of visual artist Juan Sanchez, the feisty Antonia Pantoja guides us through the Puerto Rican community's struggles and triumphs.
Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 9PM
Bracero Stories by Patrick Mullins
Bracero Stories explores the personal experiences of five former “guest workers” in the controversial U.S.-Mexican bracero program, which granted temporary work contracts to several million Mexican laborers between 1942 and 1964. Their stories are interwoven and illustrated with archival materials, creating a composite narrative of the “bracero” experience. Interviews with other participants in the program assess its effectiveness and lasting impact. These discussions mirror and inform current debates about immigration and the role of imported labor in our economic development.
Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 10PM
The Golden Age by Phil Tuckett
The Golden Age documents a season in the life of the Golden Age League, a soccer league in Corona Park, Queens, New York. Not just any soccer league, the highly competitive Golden Age League is made up of middle-aged former World Cup players from mostly Central and South America. With muscles creaking, hairlines receding, and waistlines expanding, these incredibly skilled players compete at a level never before documented. During the week, these men are window washers, traders, and electricians -- but the weekend is theirs, and the passion for the game remains.
Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 9PM
Special Circumstances by Marianne Teleki
At 16, Héctor Salgado was arrested and tortured by Pinochet's forces. By 20, Héctor was without a country, living in exile in the U.S. Special Circumstances follows Héctor as he returns to Chile almost 30 years later, camera in hand, to confront the perpetrators and his former captors, looking for answers and justice. In the process, the film takes an unflinching look at U.S. foreign policy in Latin America in the '70s and the legacy of Pinochet with which Chile still struggles today.
Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 10PM
Tito Puente: The King of Latin Music by George Rivera
Of all the musicians who have contributed to the popularity of Latin music, none is more recognized than the man known simply as “The King,” Tito Puente. His family, friends and colleagues all pay homage here: Bill Cosby, Marc Anthony, Armand Assante, Geraldo Rivera, Jimmy Smits, Paquito D’Rivera and many more. The life of this influential bandleader, percussionist and composer – and one of the most charismatic performers of all time – is recalled through archival footage and interviews as well as excerpts from one of his last concerts.
Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 9PM
Soy Andina by Mitch Teplitsky
Soy Andina tells the story of two women raised in different worlds: an immigrant folk dancer from the Andes, and a modern dancer from Queens, NY, who return to Peru to reconnect with their culture. After 15 years in New York, Nelida Silva returns to fulfill a lifelong dream and host the fiesta patronal — a celebration of dance, music, and rituals from Incan times. Meanwhile Cynthia Paniagua, a dancer raised in Queens, embarks on her own journey, determined to "quench a burning desire to know the real Peru, to unearth the mystery of the dances." Soy Andina is an exuberant cross-cultural road trip, yet its theme is universal: a yearning for roots and connection in turbulent times.
Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 10PM
Dream Havana by Gary Marks
In August 1994, more than 30,000 Cubans attempted to leave the island by sea. Two writers, friends since adolescence, are faced with a choice: continue struggling with the hardships of the island or brave the open water on a homemade raft. Ernesto Santana chooses Cuba; Jorge Mota, chooses the sea. This is the story of their struggles, their successes and the friendship that binds them across the distance, from Chicago to Havana.
I'm thinking of changing the name of Artifacts to "Aartvark." What do y'all think?
More importantly, SMART Fair is this Saturday. Here's my column about it:
Hey, who cares if the pointy-headed four-eyes over at Dailybeast.com ranked the Alamo City 53rd out of 55 in its list of “America’s Smartest Cities?” The Beast don’t know us like that, y’all (the accompanying photo to San Antonio’s rather snarked-out entry features a cadre of Battle of the Alamo re-enactors, btw— hardly representative of our most innovative thinkers, verdad?) We’re a helluva lot more intellectually gifted than we look. San Antonio might not boast as many graduate degree-holders as Louisville, Kentucky (?!) or as many bookstores as Seattle, but hell, that’s not because we’re dumb. IT’S BECAUSE WE’RE POOR. Artifacts’d like to see those snooty types from Cambridge, MA assemble a Fiesta float out of detergent bottles, tissue paper and white-out, or throw an entire kid’s birthday party for under fifty bucks. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: rasquache is an exalted form of genius. And speaking of kids and parties, prove the naysayers wrong by heading to the S.M.A.R.T Fair this Saturday, where all day long, there’ll be food, drinks, art on display, and amazing creative activities for the whole family. The proceeds from this brainy artsy-smartsy cranium-a-thon will go to support Supporting Multiple Arts Resources Together, which provides numerous art-educational outreach programs, mentorships by local working artists, mural projects, and exhibition possibilities for our young creative hopefuls all year long. An ART city is a SMART city, and San Antonio’s got incredible potential as a center of challenging thought and action. Let’s fund art development, folks; later we’ll work on the bookstores.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
1 PM - 9:00 PM
1906 S. Flores
Listen, hams and jamónitas: are the actorly among y'all aware of the innovative and high-quality work being done by the Attic Rep Theatre?
You should be!
They put on consistently outstanding, unflinchingly challenging theatrical productions-- American classic True West, Edward Albee's The Goat or Who is Sylvia, this summer's Blackbird, Pinter's One For the Road, Lincolnesque, y más.
Well, they're gearing up for their 2009-2010 season, and they're holding auditions. If you're an actor in San Antonio, interested in thought-provoking, contemporary works of dramatic literature, and aren't afraid to take a chance, I URGE you to peruse this press release and try out for something.
YOU could share the stage with San Anto acting luminaries like Andrew Thornton, Gloria Sanchez, Rick Frederick, and Tim Hedgepeth!
YOU could have a professional review of your performance! (See links to Current reviews, above).
YOU could participate in the ever-growing theatrical world of San Antonio! Seriously, there's better and better work, all the time.
Consider it. Press release follows.
AtticRep is looking to cast their next three shows for their 2009-2010 Season.
Auditions: October 25, 2009, 6-10pm
Callbacks: October 26 and 27, 7-10pm
Please email us at email@example.com or call us at 210-999-8524 for an appointment time.
Please prepare one, one minute monologue.
Forum Theatre Project: One Love and Marriage
Show Dates: March 11-13, 2010
The Forum Project will gather actual stories and viewpoints centered around the subject of same sex marriage. Looking for a diverse ensemble of actors interested in exploring the topic through improvisation, experimentation and dialogue.
Auditions will include a brief interview and Callbacks will include group improvisation exercises.
Slasher by Allison Moore
Show dates: May 12-30, 2010
SHEENA McKINNEY 21, girl-next-door kind of pretty. Not book-smart, but a survivor.
HILDY McKINNEY 15, Sheena‘s little sister. Smarter than Sheena, but less capable in a crisis.
FRANCES McKINNEY 40-50, their mother. Angry, thwarted feminist with a questionable disability. Gets around her house with the aid of a li‘l rascal scooter. Loud.
MARC HUNTER 35-40, a D-list director and recovering alcoholic and sex addict. Tells everyone he‘s younger than he is.
JODY JOSHI 23, an undergrad film school dude. Capable, knows his stuff, but kind of a kiss-ass.
CHRISTI GARCIA 23-30, Assistant Director of the Holy Shepherd Justice League. Very put together, as if she‘s always ready to make a statement on camera. Not to be underestimated. This actor will also play other smaller roles, including attractive young women who are killed in various ways, a car hop, and a radio announcer.
Callbacks will include cold readings from the script.
Breakfast Club Crew (in the video above) and
I know it seems early to start thinking about Luminaria, but start thinking about Luminaria, you artists. Only 29 days 'til deadline. Luminaria will now be a major CAM
event (CAM's moving to March, remember?), so the opportunities and potential audience
are bigger than ever.
See press release below, and good luck.
CALL TO ARTISTS
Luminaria: Arts Night in San Antonio 2010
SAN ANTONIO—Calling all artists! The 3rd annual Luminaria: Arts Night in San Antonio is March 13, 2010, 6 p.m.-midnight, and participation applications for individual artists and groups will be available on the Luminaria website, www.luminariaSA.org, September 20, 2009. The deadline for submitting applications is 5 p.m. CST on October 31, 2009.
Luminaria: Arts Night in San Antonio spotlights San Antonio’s cultural assets for local citizens and visitors alike and is made possible through the generosity of artists, arts organizations, volunteers and public and private donations. It is free of charge and showcases all art forms in an outdoor setting and inside various venues downtown. Because of the hundreds of artists working together, Luminaria expands opportunities for teamwork, for creative collaboration and for cross-disciplinary innovation.
The award-winning Luminaria: Arts Night in San Antonio will be in downtown San Antonio on Alamo St. between Market and Durango, including the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, HemisFair Park and La Villita. This celebration of San Antonio’s artists, musicians, performers and cultural organizations is the only one of its kind in the entire state of Texas and was inspired by similar celebrations in Chicago, Paris, Rome and Madrid.
For more information call 210.207.6960 or visit www.luminariaSA.org.
Texas's homegrown arts-crit site Glasstire is one of five finalists in a national competition for nothing less than the future of the medium (check it out; that's not much in the way of hyperbole). Here's the press release; more soon. The first, second, and third-place winners will be announced October 30.
LIVE TODAY: The National Summit on Arts Journalism
explores future of cultural reporting
Outstanding examples of entrepreneurial cultural journalism
competing for $15,000 in prize money
LOS ANGELES, October 2, 2009 – Today an ambitious, first-of-its-kind National Summit on Arts Journalism takes place 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (PDT) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. The summit will be streamed live at www.najp.org/summit and simulcast at 17 satellite locations around the world (listed below).
Conceived as a primarily online event, the summit is designed to promote discussion and draw attention to issues facing journalists and arts administrators, who are reinventing the coverage of arts and culture. As traditional media declines in the wake of the digital media explosion and as business models are reassessed, the summit presents and examines some of the most innovative thinking about arts journalism and its future.
Five project finalists have been chosen from among 109 submissions across North America in response to an open call earlier this summer for the best examples of entrepreneurial cultural journalism. In addition to demonstrations of these experimental projects, the day’s agenda includes moderated discussions and video seminars on the future directions of arts administration and arts journalism.
The summit’s online audience will be able to interact with speakers at the summit through Twitter, live online chatting and blogging. Viewers are being asked to post video responses on the summit’s YouTube channel, and elements of the online discussion will be part of the conversation on stage at USC Annenberg.
“This is a real experiment for us,” says Douglas McLennan, who co-directs the event with USC Annenberg journalism professor Sasha Anawalt. “We figured if we were going to be talking about new ways of covering the arts, we ought to be trying new ways of conducting this conversation. There’s a lot of energy going in to reinventing arts journalism right now and we wanted to find ways of showcasing some of that creativity.”
“This summit is a new dynamic way to bring together remarkable and important creators, journalists and ideas,” Anawalt says. “This includes everybody – those who submitted a journalism project for consideration, the presenters and speakers on stage, and anyone else who enters the summit’s virtual space curious to survey national arts journalism territory.”
The summit is produced by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and the National Arts Journalism Program (NAJP) with significant support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Competition heralds innovative arts journalism projects
Of the 109 submissions to the open call for projects demonstrating entrepreneurial cultural journalism, ten examples will be highlighted with video presentations on the day of the summit. Five of these ten are finalists in a competition to find the best use of new technology in the exploration of arts journalism. Each of the finalists have already earned $2,000, and the first-, second- and third-prize winners will split $15,000 in prize money courtesy of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Online voting for the winning project will take place October 2–23 by members of the NAJP and alumni of the four NEA Arts Journalism Institutes fellowship programs –American University (visual arts), Columbia University (classical music and opera), the American Dance Festival at Duke University (dance) and USC Annenberg School for Communication (theater and musical theater). The winners will be announced October 30.
The five finalists are:
Presented at the summit by Juan Devis, artist and producer
KCET, Los Angeles
Departures is an experiment in nonlinear community storytelling in the form of a multimedia Web site. The video is shot by KCET producers and students from partner schools in the neighborhoods, and users experience projects through multiple entry points and navigation pathways on the site. Departures suggests a different way of telling the stories of cultures that haven’t found a voice in traditional journalism. Artist Juan Devis has developed an interactive form of journalism that captures the diversity of life in neighborhoods.
Presented at the summit by Mark Mangan, CEO
New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Chicago
Flavorpill is a 21st-century version of the city guide, sorting through hundreds of events each week to make a case for the 25 events in each city its writers believe are worthy of attention. Flavorpill started as an e-mail publisher and has grown to thousands of subscribers and millions of dollars in annual revenues. Revenue comes from advertising, but Flavorpill has also developed an unusual business model allowing venues to set up their own pages on the Web site and write about their own events alongside the site’s own editorial staff.
Presented at the summit by Jim Gaines, editor-in-chief
FLYP is an independent media startup trying to reinvent the magazine online, not just by posting print/image/sound/video content to a Web site, but by rethinking what digital storytelling and the next-generation magazine might become. FLYP’s origins are anchored in the physicality of the traditional magazine. Text is important, but image, sound, and video also take turns in the lead. FLYP demonstrates that a general-culture publication can be a compelling window on culture. Its editor, Jim Gaines, was formerly chief editor of People, Life and Time magazines.
Presented at the summit by Rainey Knudson, founder
Glasstire is a Web site about visual art in Texas. The site is not a comprehensive report on the visual arts, but as critics have always done, Glasstire argues for a way of seeing art in a region that is different from art made elsewhere. Glasstire is almost nine years old, operates as a nonprofit, and has developed a core of 35-40 writers around the state, all of whom are paid for their work. Knudson says the site is stable and self-sustaining, with traffic continuing to increase. This is a model for arts journalism that should be replicated in other states.
5) San Francisco Classical Voice
Presented at the summit by Patty Gessner, executive producer
San Francisco Classical Voice was created in 1998 when prominent classical music journalist Robert Commanday feared that cutbacks in newspaper coverage would hurt the local classical music scene. His Web site offering comprehensive local coverage has become the go-to resource for finding out about artists, organizations and events. The site’s professional writers include a mix of expert academics, journalists and artists. The site is a nonprofit, self-sustained by local donations from foundations, corporations and individuals, and by selling ads and memberships.