It's 6 pm on a Friday, and happy hour is calling loudly, but we'd be missing out on all kinds of sarcastic bellyaching if we didn't mention Buttercup's CD release show happening Saturday. Check out the poster above for info (admission is $10), and read my review of the new album, scheduled to run in the August 1 issue of the Current, below.
The Weather Here
Like the teacher who can mysteriously silence a class by reducing her voice to a hypnotic whisper, Buttercup’s latest full-length is equal parts quiet and mesmerizing. Get the headphones; this one will bring a party to its knees. Not that finely crafted should-be hits “I Am a Tiger,” with its hand claps and “hey”s, and almost criminally catchy “Betta No Better” would be out of place soundtracking a cookout, but The Weather Here’s first two tracks set the tone for a rainy day sort of album. Opener “It’s in the Way” waxes zen-ish as the titular hook suggests you’re being hampered by “what you hate,” “Consensus Chalice” makes a harried reference to “JFK at the free-throw line,” and both songs are minimalist enough to allow introspection on lead vocalist Erik Sanden’s lyrics, which are delivered soft and deliberate, as if straining his vocal chords might snap them. “Superior” promises a big-rock buildup that never quite materializes from the ether, while “Destiny” dampens lines such as “this diamond is semi-perfect, but this girl is much closer to god” with the reminder “if it feels all right, it still could splinter” and offers only simple acoustic strumming and sporadic glockenspiel for comfort. And I’d suggest the band sell drunkard’s plea “Always Alcohol” to Ryan Adams, but Sanden’s voice manages an emotional immediacy that Adams has only occasionally achieved since Heartbreaker.
You're looking at what I guess you'd call a "press release" from the Elicit Thought Project. This thing weighs like 10 pounds. On the left is what I'm assuming is the front (pictured with a big ass rubber-band ball to show its magnitude) and on the right is the back (pictured with my business card in case there are any sexy ladies reading this) are several pro free speech sentiments written in magic marker. My favorite of these is: "'The worst book is the expurgated book.' — Whitman (possibly a paraphrase, but whatever)"
This reminds me of the old gag about returning those junk mail postage-paid postcards glued to a brick, but Elicit Thoughts got our attention at least. So what do they want?
They've got a petition they'd like you to sign, which reads:
"Imagine sitting at a bus stop that has numerous slots for people to distribute CDs, DVDs, pamphlets, books or places to hang paintings. Imagine sitting at a bus stop where a local artist has exhibited his or her work. Imagine sitting at a bus stop and having pamphlets from various organizations to read. The Elicit Thought Project intends to make all bus stops in San Antonio, TX, communal spaces. We want either permission for everyone to display messages at any bus stop or for bus stops to be altered in a way that each has a bulletin board and that each can be used to facilitate communication--meaning, each bus stop is altered to promote and facilitate the transfer of information. We are also demanding that each bus stop have seating and an overhang. "
Championing bus-stop bulletin boards by sending news outlets spraypainted cabinet doors. I've never heard of someone doing this, I'll say that for it, but the logistics of the thing sound like an absolute nightmare. What do you guys think?
Mostly I'm just sad I didn't think to photograph the beach-ball sized wad of bubble wrap this baby originally came swaddled in. My inner child took one look at all those bubbles and shit himself in excitement. That sounds like a pretty serious medical problem when you think about it, so I'm probably going to take the rest of the day off.
Check out their video, which delves deeper into their underlying philosophy and guerilla attention-grabbing tactics:
Local one-man band Nick "Merykid" Mery will be passing out free copies of his album Merykid: Live @ The Magic Attic at his show tonight (Tuesday, July 28) at the Gatsby. Admission is $5, and Blowing Trees is also scheduled to play.
The flurry of Merykid press releases I've been getting all describe his sound as a combination of "Radiohead and Jason Mraz." To me that's an unappealing matchup I wouldn't want to advertise, similar to a candy commercial describing its product's taste as a combination of "chocolate and being abandoned by your parents at a mall food court," but whatever, Merykid.
Though I can see what the PR is getting at, the Merykid stuff I've heard isn't as bad as the Mraz/Radiohead mashup it's made out to be, but decide for yourself. Watch the video for Merykid's "Clean Freak Ghost" above, then listen to this clip I found of Mraz covering a bunch of shit, most blasphemously "Paranoid Android." And if you like Merykid's hat in the above video, you can download his Corduroy Crown EP, which appears to be an entire concept album about it, for free here.
Mechanicsville_paranoid android (radiohead cover) - Jason Mraz
I've been kinda overfocused on Contemporary Art Month, about which I have more to say. But here's a theatre event happening tomorrow that I think will be absolutely fantastic. If you're at-all interested in acting, you could do no better in this town than collaborating with AtticRep, a troupe who've put on consitently challenging, edgy, intelligent work.
This exceptionally unique night of performance features Gloria Sanchez, who was amazing in "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia" this Spring, Jump-Start's fab S.T. Shimi, and more people of talent and amazingness than you could shake a stick at. You might incorporate stck-shaking into your karaoke routine just to see.
Marisela Barrera, who's hosting the event, sez:
"We’ll have chingos performances, food, and yes-my attack dogs will be in the laundry room and you will be safe! If you are interested in the reading of Lydia-that will in fact start at 9pm with casting on the spot. The read will be about 15-20 minutes of the full-length play. The line-up is *fantastic* and we’re all hoping you will turn out to support. If you get that performance bug after a few “House Delites” you can wow! us with your signature karaoke song."
Also, I talked to Rick Frederick, who confirmed that YES, this reading/casting-on-the-spot is for next season's AtticRep production of Lydia, also that he'll be putting on an excerpt from an upcoming production of Greg Barrios's play IDJ.
Did you notice there will be chalupas, too?
Oh my goodness.
Queen of Hearts, and what's pretty obviously an expanded role for Johnny Depp's Pennywise the Clown Mad Hatter, I'd say the money's pretty even as to whether this will be a harmless but completely unnecessary remake a la Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or an abomination so offensive it causes zombie Lewis Carroll to rise from the depths of Pedophile Hell and seek horrible vengeance on Disney executives. On second thought, why isn't Burton just making a film about that?
Jaume Collet-Serra - Orphan
By Kiko Martinez
San Antonio Current contributing writer
Growing up in Barcelona, filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra always found himself watching the American movies that played at the local theater. “I grew up learning a lot about American culture from the movies I watched,” Collet-Serra told me during a phone interview. “That’s why now I can make American movies for American audiences.”
His love for movies led him to attend film school at Columbia College in Los Angeles in the early 90s. Soon after graduating, Collet-Serra began his career as an editor before moving on to direct music videos and television commercials for companies such as PlayStation, Budweiser, and Verizon.
In 2005, Collet-Serra was given an opportunity to direct his first feature film by producer Joel Silver (The Matrix). The movie, House of Wax, was a remake of the 1953 original of the same name. Two years later, Collet-Serra directed the sequel, Goal II: Living the Dream starring Kuno Becker.
Now, he reunites with producer Silver for the third film of his career, Orphan, which opens in theaters today. The thriller stars Vera Farmiga (The Departed) and Peter Sarsgaard (Kinsey) as Kate and John Coleman, a couple who adopts a 9-year-old girl named Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) and soon discovers she is not as sweet and innocent as she led them to believe.
Was there a particular movie you saw when you were a young boy going into the theater in Barcelona that made you realize you wanted to become a filmmaker?
I don’t know if it was one movie or one filmmaker that inspired me. For me, I was fascinated with the worlds in movies I saw as a kid. I wanted to be a part of it. When I found out I could do it as a job, there was nothing else in the world I wanted to do. After I knew I wanted to be involved in moviemaking, it was all a matter of finding out how to accomplish that goal.
Who inspires you as a filmmaker?
I’m a big fan of Roman Polanski, [Alfred] Hitchcock, and Spanish director Luis Buñuel. I like directors that are very psychological. Buñuel is very surreal. They all have great imagery. Their movies entertain, but at the same time they like to explore the human condition.
I read that the trailer for Orphan had to be changed because viewers complained about one of the lines. (According to reports, Warner Bros. removed the line “It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own” after receiving complaints from adoptive parents and foster care organizations). Do you think that was a reasonable request?
Our goal is to entertain and make movies. Our goal is not to offend anybody. If someone was offended, I think it is reasonable to ask to change one line in the trailer. If it’s in the movie, I’m not going to change something because someone is offended. A trailer is more understandable.
I read that you spent a lot of your childhood in a boarding school, so can you empathize with the character Esther in that you didn’t grow up in a normal home situation?
Definitely. It was something I would have loved to explore more, but unfortunately in this movie the scenes where we see Esther in the orphanage are very short. If we had more time at the beginning, I would have enjoyed exploring aspects from my own personal life. As a child, when you are separated from a normal family environment, it makes you stronger as a person.
What kind of actress were you looking for to play Esther and what did you see in a newcomer like Isabelle Fuhrman to cast her in the role?
We were looking for somebody who was really smart and talented obviously and someone who was believable in the role. That’s what we got with Isabelle. When she read for us, she had strong convictions behind every word she said. That’s very difficult to find in a child. The script asked for a blonde girl. When Isabelle came in she was very different than what we were looking for physically. But we immediately liked her and created the character to fit her. She has great eyes and the way that she looks at you is very interesting and creepy.
Was it difficult to explain the tension you wanted to portray in this film to someone like Isabelle, who can’t even see her own performance at the theater without her parents since it’s rated R?
It isn’t difficult when you break it down in pieces. You still get all the tension, but it’s just make-believe. There are moments in the movie that are scary, but we were just careful and we were in constant communication with her parents and made sure she understood the scenes.
Inca Orange, the latest album from Albuquerque, New Mexico, artist Pollination and the first to be released by SA-based record label Exponential is scheduled for an August 11 drop date, but you can stream it today, for free, right here.
The website describes the album as "a noisy, lush combination of distorted analog synths, frantic drum machine programming, field recordings, blown out guitar walls, and buried found sounds. Often shimmering, sometimes gloomy, delayed guitars give way to giant, wobbly drums in a combination that seems to sometimes walk a fine line between genres."
I don't think you'll quite find all of that in downloadable single "Sinister Skies (Zoomzip Remix)" but you will shimmering synth lines intercut with stuttering percussion and field recordings of conversations snippets and sea birds for an overall effect that's light and breezy without feeling totally insubstantial — equally effective as background noise for the office or chillout music for people who like to mix their electronics with thick clouds of organic smoke.
For more information on Alamo City's Exponential Records, read our feature story here, and check our August 12 issue for a full-on album review.
I'll be flying solo tonight (Thursday) at The Gatsby to check out local indie-rock quartet, July. Judging by a couple tracks on their MySpace, I'd wager we might just see a good ol' emo sing-along 'round a couple campfires. Expect tears (mostly mine). It's a free show, so you don't really have any excuses, do you? Unless you're under 21, then I guess you do.
July goes on at 11:00, but you should definitely get there early for opener Our Sleeping Giant. He'll be going solo as well and should start around 10:15p.m.
The makers of Rock Band have big news recently for people pretending to be rock stars, and even for people who legitimately know how to play musical instruments with like strings and shit. In an effort to delay this post from turning into the sad glimpse into my private life it will inevitably become, we'll start with the news that matters to actual musicians.
Harmonix and MTV Games have announced they'll be releasing a set of software tools enabling musicians to create their own playable tracks to sell on Xbox Live. Unlike the Music Studio feature that comes with Rock Band competitor Guitar Hero: World Tour, Rock Band's creation software will allow you to begin with an actual master recording of your song and use computer software, instead of plastic instruments, to create a Midi map of each instrument. Also, unlike GHWT's free dumping-ground-style GH Tunes, songs made for Rock Band will be sold for real money, so they're going to have to be evaluated for quality and copyright concerns. All you SA bands full of shred-happy guitarists and woodpecker drummers should definitely look into this. The toolkit is reportedly going into Beta testing soon, so go here to get in on the ground floor.
For pretend musicians, Harmonix announced 15 more songs for The Beatles: Rock Band, scheduled for a September 9 release. (Warning, this video is NSFW for Beatles nerds, if they frown on you pooping your pants at your desk.)
The 15 newly announced songs:
Twist And Shout
Do You Want To Know A Secret
Can't Buy Me Love
I Wanna Be Your Man
Eight Days A Week
And Your Bird Can Sing
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
With a Little Help from My Friends
Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows
Dig A Pony
I've Got A Feeling
The previously announced songs, in case you forgot, are: “I Saw Her Standing There,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “I Feel Fine,” “Taxman,” “Day Tripper,” Back In The USSR,” “I Am The Walrus,” “Octopus’s Garden,” “Here Comes The Sun,” and “Get Back.”
The game will feature 45 total songs, Beatles-centric venues such as the Ed Sullivan Show, and the Rooftop Concert, plus Harmonix claims you'll be able to buy all of Abbey Road as downloadable content at launch. "Revolution," "Taxman," and "I Am the Walrus" are awesome, but I'm still waiting for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Helter Skelter," though the odds of me actually being able to play either of those on fake guitar are pretty slim.
Speaking of songs I can't even pretend to play properly. Rock Band recently released a pretty incredible Dead Weather pack for download ($5.49 for all three songs or $1.99 each. The drum part for "Hang you From the Heavens" is the definite highlight. Here's a video of someone killing it on expert drums, something my candy ass won't even attempt, and my kit isn't even held together with duct tape:
Speaking of stuff I can't do, I also recommend Guitar Hero World Tour's recently released pack of live Phish, even though I don't care for the band. It's worth the money just for the guitar solo on "Down With Disease." Once again, heres a video of someone who isn't me nailing it. Unlike most music critics, I'm not a failed and frustrated musician, but a failed and frustrated fake musician. I'm pretty sure that's infinitely more pathetic.
Body of e-mail accompanying this image, received by Gene Elder:
This is a Money Goddess Lakshimi. Pass it to 6 of your good friends, or family and be rich in 4 Days.
Pass it to 12 of your good friends or family and be rich in 2 Days.
I am not joking. You will find an unexpected windfall. If you delete it, you will never know!
SHE WORKS SHE REALLY WORKS
Here's the text of the e-mail Gene Elder sent back:
That's normally how it works these days, but this time there's a few twists. First, you can pay whatever you want (yes, including nothing, you cheap bastard) to download the local band's new self-titled mini-album here. In a really generous move, the band's not setting a minimum price for even the highest quality FLAC and Apple Lossless versions.
Then tomorrow, head to Music Town, where you can hear it again with others (remember going to record stores and listening to music with actual human beings away from your computer?)
To help you decide what you should pay for the album (be generous, it's a doozy), read my review, which will run in next week's current, on newsstands Wednesday:
July’s too early for list-making, but this self-titled EP by Morris Orchids is one of two local albums I’ve heard this year (Girl in a Coma’s Trio B.C. being the other) that should be required listening for anyone bitching about the state of San Antonio’s music scene. This six track album deserves a few listens in fact, because it possesses that nagging instant likeability that tempts you to dismiss it as derivative before you can even name its influences, and it flows so smoothly that at first glance it might be mistaken for fluff.
Opener “Bonnie,” for example , is a layered pastry of handclaps, “oohs” and “ahhs,” rain effects, and nearly any other sunnyside pop trope worth mentioning, but the parts have been assembled into a fresh and dreamy whole. “Eyes” wakes up and begins the daily routine, sipping coffee with a significant other and considering “all the feelings we’ve been faking.” The harmony keyboardist Chris Guerra and guitarists Jaime and Leonard Rader achieve is enough to carry the song and maybe even the album, but it never has to.
“Ink” augments a tropical-tinged vocal line with Anthony Turner’s one man drum circle, while “Vista” culminates Windows-style in a mechanical breakdown, and “Waves” sounds like the premature love child of PAS/CAL and a Faberge egg— too beautiful and fragile for this world. Closer “Static” couldn’t be sweeter and stranger if it’d been composed by Willy Wonka.
By Gilbert Garcia
Today is Aaron Prado’s last day at KRTU, and the SA jazz community will surely feel the loss.
As KRTU music director and host of the station’s daily “Lunch Feature,” Prado has always seemed equal parts radio personality and jazz scholar: someone who could break down the contours of a masterful Ben Webster solo or the historical significance of a particular Sarah Vaughan vocal.
So it’s fitting that the DJ/pianist is leaving San Antonio to do graduate work in NYU’s jazz-studies program. The move coincidentally comes at roughly the same time that popular afternoon DJ Matt Fleeger bolted for Portland, Oregon to become the supervisor of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s jazz station, KMHD. Fleeger left for Portland on Monday, July 13, and he starts work at his new job on Monday. “He’s going to turn that station into KRTU,” Prado says with a laugh, adding that there’s talk of an informal sister-station arrangement that might involve an occasional one-week DJ-exchange arrangement.
Prado’s encyclopedic grasp of the jazz canon elevated an already fine station into a model of its form. He says that from the moment he took over the station’s programming six-and-a-half years ago, he knew that he would one day leave to further his studies. (He hopes to eventually return to Trinity in a teaching capacity.)
“I remember when I first got started with this job, I thought, ‘This is great. I’ll probably stay a year,’ he says. “Then after a year, I was like, ‘Well, we need to really get this thing off the ground. I’ll stay one more year.’ It wasn’t like I always had one foot out the door, but I was kind of always looking to that next thing, and then all of a sudden, we really took off and I thought, ‘I can’t leave now.’"
As Prado approached his 30th birthday (which he celebrated at a July 15 farewell reception thrown for him by KRTU staffers), he sensed that the time had come to do graduate work.
“One of the reasons that I felt like I could leave at this particular moment is we hired [morning DJ] Alfredo Cruz, who’s been on the air in New York and LA, at some of the biggest jazz stations in the world,” Prado says. “He came on initially as a station manager and he gave me some ideas early on about how we could improve and be a little bit more like some the New York and LA stations.
“It became clear that if I stepped out and he stepped in, we wouldn’t miss a beat, because we share a lot of the same ideas about jazz and the quality of the presentation. So we’ve been sitting down and talking and basically the idea is, ‘Don’t change a thing.’”
By Kiko Martinez
San Antonio Current contributing writer
Amaury Nolasco - Prison Break
After four seasons as the character Fernando Sucre on the international hit show Prison Break, actor Amaury Nolasco is ready to move on with his career. Well, almost.
Nolasco, who is of Puerto Rican descent, will play Sucre once more in the TV movie Prison Break: The Final Break, which will air July 21 on Fox. The movie will also be released that same day on DVD and Blu-ray.
If you’re a Prison Break fan who saw the series finale in May, then you know Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), the main protagonist on the show, met his fate in the final episode. Prison Break: The Final Break is set up to fill in the four years leading up to Michael’s death, which are not explained in the finale.
During an interview with me, Nolasco, 38, talked about what he’s heard from fans since Prison Break ended in May and why he thinks his character was spared by writers for the entire series.
It’s been two months since the show’s final episode. I’ve read that some fans are angry that Michael was killed off. Can you give me an example of something you’ve heard about the series finale from a satisfied fan and something you’ve heard from an angry fan?
A lot of people have told me that they cried. It was an emotional ending. You always have a fear that fans are going to say, “What the fuck? That’s not the way we wanted it to end!” I think there were angry fans because those fans didn’t want the show to end. I don’t think they were angry at the way it ended. I think they just wanted it to keep going, which is always very flattering.
Have you seen the petition online? Fans are already petitioning for Fox to bring the show back.
Shut up! Really? (Laughs) I doubt we’ll come back. The show really had to come to an end. When do you say enough is enough? How many prisons are we going to escape from? I would love to tell you, “Yeah, let’s go for another year. Let’s get another check,” but when it starts becoming about the money it’s not fun anymore. This was a show that was groundbreaking. It was a show that kept reinventing itself. It’s a show that I will always be proud of.
Was Prison Break: The Final Break always something producers had in mind?
They always had it in mind to do this special just to explain what happened. It’s funny because I always hear people say that Prison Break got cancelled. We didn’t get cancelled. The show came to an end. It was going to come to an end no matter what.
All this time we’ve been watching Sucre and hoping he would someday reunite with his girlfriend. Now, it’s finally happened. Why do you think your character was spared by the writers after four seasons?
I ask myself that question everyday. I got stabbed. I got shot. I got beat up by men and women. But there was always this bond between Michael and Sucre that people fell in love with. It was this brotherhood that they had. Sucre was one of those characters that you wanted to root for. I honestly am very blessed that they writers saw what the fans wanted. They spared me. They kept me all the way to the end. It was a beautiful life that came full circle.
You must have brought in breakfast to all the writers at the start of every season just to make sure you’re character was going to be okay.
(Laughs) Yeah, I was bribing them! And cleaning their cars! I was running their errands and brownnosing. (Laughs) Nah, it was something that came from the heart. Remember, Sucre was always the one coming up with the comic relief. He was someone that people fell in love with.
Well, I read their going to make a video game version of the show. So, I guess that might be the only way your character will die.
(Laughs) Yeah, but the good thing about that is you can turn the game on and off and start all over again.
We’re just over halfway through the very last July CAM, y’all. Hopefully you’ve been using the New School’s (i.e. advisory board) online calendar, which is absolutely the most helpful CAM calendar ever.
You may also wanna check out Chad Dawkins’ CAM blog, Publicity Stunted, wherein he’s making an honest-to-God attempt to review every last Contemporary Art Month show, to the amusement of his co-art bloggers at Emvergeoning.
At any rate, you’ve still got two weeks to get out there and start sweatin’ to the arties. It won’t kill you. It hasn’t killed me, and I’m made of mostly water vapor and latex.
Stuff I’m looking forward to:
The Artpace 9.02 opening, which is TONIGHT at 6:30, featuring Charlie Morris, Anne Collier, and the lusciously-named Silke Otto-Knapp.
(note: For all you Texas artists, Artpace’s 2011 open call application is due Sept. 4. Check their website, download the thing, and GET TO FUCKING WORK.)
The Unit B opening tomorrow night featuring Gary Sweeney, Alejandro Diaz and Kristy Perez.
Seeing JAMES COBB (!)’s work with George Schroeder, over at George’s gallery.
And yet another cool community-minded thing Cruz Ortis is doing.
NOW FOR BAD PHOTOS!
mesmerizing “Mirror Magic” installation, Hills Snyder’s excellent and expansive “Lonely Are the Brave” show at Blue Star, opening night.
Odie from Buttercup at Blue Star CAM opening
KO’C strings view
Chris Sauter’s funny/poignant/amazing recreation of his Boerne boyhood bedroom.
Sauter’s room: internal Universe.
Sauter’s Time Life books. I always wanted these! “Read the book!”
wall text at Lonely Are the Brave. The worst, worst picture. Can you read that? Wow. I'm awful. Why did I take this?
Nopal arrow; and here I’d like to point out how much this show was enhanced not only by Hills Snyder’s curation and conceptualizing, but by his artistry itself, which struck me in this show as wry, generous, and surprisingly complex. To wit: this nopal arrow.
Beto Gonzales and Julia Barbosa Landois, “Indio Amazonica.” A lightbox at their “Con Ajo y Baroque” show (see my capsule review of Julia in our print version this week). I wish somebody would buy this lightbox for me.
Crowd observing “Light Mural” by Beto Gonzales, a profound and powerful piece. Full disclosure: Beto is my good friend and sometime collaborator. Still and all, that’s an awesome piece. "Con Ajo y Baroque" is a wonderful, challenging, intelligent and passionate show. It is GREAT to see San Anto artists (this goes for the LAtB artists too) really attacking scale in a big way.
“Light Mural” detail
Julia Barbosa Landois sherbet punch
la Julia y la communion (protestante, pero)
"Experimenting Sound" show at Justice Works in the Blue Star Complex. On the right is Adriana Barrios, who runs Justice Works with her partner, Barbara Justice. A great small gallery. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. They did a very complex install for opening weekend, a very intense, diverse show with lots of interesting sound elements.
Experimenting Sound appreciator kids in situ, enjoying Gary Wise’s installation, which was a sort of….urban/suburban dichotomy thing that came alive for me as soon as the kid on the right made himself comfy and read Seventeen magazine. That young man=ART.
small Centurion, performance art, gallery name withheld
Tonight (Thursday, in case you've lost track) — we're fully expecting to get our asses kicked by experimental metal-heads Monkeysoop. The bottom-heavy foursome — that's not a fetish website, BTW; the band features both lead and rhythm bass — will open for Toledo, Ohio's cheerily named Mobile Deathcamp at Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar. Mobile Deathcamp features former GWAR bassist Todd "Beefcake the Mighty" Evans who, in full GWAR costume looks like this:
If that frightens you don't worry. Mobile Deathcamp don't wear costumes, and with the make-up off Evans is less a Beefcake than a big ol' cuddly teddy bear.
Did anybody else just piss themselves a little?
Tickets are $6 for adults, $8 for minors. The doors open at 8pm and Monkeysoop is scheduled to go on around 9:15pm. Check out the show, then read my review next week and point out all the ways in which I'm a total fuckwit. That is if Beefcake Evans doesn't eat all our pancreases first.
Here's Monkeysoop doing some pretty sweet synchronized fingertapping.
As you probably already know, rock duo Druggist is ditching Alamo City for Rice-a-Roni Town. God knows why they'd ditch this storied music mecca — home of Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez, and Ponty Bone — for some podunk upstart famous only for Tony Bennet, and … um … Deion Sanders was a 49er when he released his album Prime Time, so I guess he sort of counts as a famous San Francisco musician, but I digress.
The point is, they sent us a pretty sweet parting gift: A special "Jeremy Martin Edition" of their latest album, The Pile On. Check it out.
What makes this edition so much more specialer than your lame-ass regular edition is this: Back when it debuted in January, I suggested the 19-track Pile On might've been stronger as a 12-song album, so they made exactly that just for me, removing all the songs I complained about, probably in hopes that I'd shut my whiny little bitch-baby mouth. No such luck, guys. That's what they pay me for.
Unfortunately, I can't really test my hypothesis because the (no doubt lovingly) homemade label stuck on the CD made an absolutely horrible noise in my CD drive, and temporarily knee-capped my Itunes (maybe that was their real intent). It's the thought that counts, though, so in honor of their effort, I'd like to reproduce my review of the album, redacting my criticisms of the songs they removed:
The Pile On couldn’t be better named. It contains nineteen songs (one hour and ten minutes total,) each stacked one directly on top of the other with hardly a pause or whole rest in between. The lack of segue between opener “No Touch, Bad Touch” and “Hold on, Son,” which begins loud and sharp while “Bad Touch” is still fading out, is sudden and startling, but these two inorganically-conjoined songs are among the best the band has written.
Blake Cormier’s vocals soar on “No Touch.” “You’re just what you say you are not,” he wails in between keyboard flourishes, as though he’s never been deceived. “Hold on Son,” delivered in Zach Dunlap’s stark, toneless voice, feels painful and immediate, a quarter-life anxiety crisis so personal that Dunlap even names himself in the lyrics. “Our Way out West” hones Cormier’s held notes into hooks and concludes the album’s top-heavy peak.
“On His Way Home” begins a mushy midsection by making an ill-advised mixture of Dunlap’s harsh ‘80’s post-punk vocals delivering stoner philosophy (“you gotta take it slow/ you gotta travel which way the wind blows”) and guest violinist Marcus Rubio’s vaguely fiddlish string arrangement (even hayseedier violins plague “San Francisco”).
a technical standpoint, Cormier’s voice is of better quality, more
forceful and with an actual octave range, though Dunlap’s untrained
flatness is disarming and moving on “Scott Flaskerud,” which
contemplates suicide from a detached third person perspective with
affecting candor over primitive acoustic guitar strumming. And the
tension between their voices is used to incredible effect on “Red
Haired Girl,” where Dunlap’s lead is propelled past a garagey come-on
by Cormier’s dynamic, melodramatic backup vocals. “It Still Hurts”
finds a muddled proto-grunge groove, while “Too Much of My Love,” which
comes in at nine and a half minutes long for some indiscernible reason,
laments the time with family and friends lost in countless rehearsal
hours before drifting into tinkling wind chimes, for the album’s only
true breather. A 12-song album could’ve been stronger, but all that
extra practice is apparently paying off.
The album's a hell of an achievement either way.
Wish Druggist farewell Saturday at the Ten Eleven:
That's what NALIP-SA promises for Friday, July 17, but don't get too excited. Though I offer the same enticements on my birthday party invitations every year, I'm guessing NALIP isn't talking about illegal fireworks and grain-alcohol Jello shots. As you can see on that handy flyer up there, they're talking a Media Explosion, as in all the short (most are between one and five minutes) experimental films you can handle in a three-hour period. The atmosphere at Radius will be more art gallery than film screening (wear comfortable shoes). And as for refreshments, the flyer doesn't specify but I'm guessing something that comes on a toothpick and won't leave you puking and shirtless at the end of the night. We can all go to my place afterward for that.
You're about to leave work, right?
Here's some stuff to do!
(Check our calendar, too, of course)
And apologies for the eclectic formatting.
(comin' right up, in fact!)
1. Just Before The Dawn
They say: "Media Installation by "mothematicians" Matt McLaughlin & Maray McChesney. The mothematicians cordially invite you to our red velvet masquerade, where you will abandon reality, put on a mask and become entranced by an evening of music, dancing and nightmares."
6:00pm - 9:00pm
High Wire Arts Gallery
326 W. Josephine
Friday, July 10, 2009
6:00pm - 10:00pm
326 W. Josephine
San Antonio, TX
6:00pm - 9:00pm
High Wire Arts Gallery
326 W. Josephine
Friday, July 10, 2009
6:00pm - 11:00pm
112 broadway (across from paris hatters)
Friday, July 10, 2009 at 7:00pm
Sunday, August 16, 2009 at 5:00pm
Saturday, July 11, 2009
6:30pm - 10:00pm
1913 S. Flores St
Saturday, July 11, 2009
7:00pm - 10:00pm
1906 building (the mustard colored building on the oldest throughfare in town)
1906 S. Flores
They say: Tickets are $10. Full Bar. Call 210-623-0732 for information and reservations.
Estrada was the winner of the 2008 Best Overall Comedic Performance Award from Slice of Comedy. Lavender Magazine in Minneapolis, Minnesota named him the Best Touring Performance for 2008. The Richmond Times-Dispatch calls him "a master entertainer." NBC News calls him "America's Prince of Pride." Television appearances include "The Graham Norton Effect" (Comedy Central), "30 Rock" (NBC) and was the host of the 19th Annual South Florida GLAAD Media Awards (Bravo).
Saturday, July 11, 2009
8:00pm - 11:00pm
2106 North St. Mary's Street
By Haylley Johnson
Fighting with the speaker at the Taco Cabana drive-thru near my house never gets old for me. It is the same scenario every time I go to buy a breakfast taco – I drive up, I order, and then I try to ask for salsa. The poor guy on the other end asks if I mean hot sauce. “No,” I say, “I want salsa. You know the red stuff with chunks of tomato?” “Ah, pico?” he asks. I sigh . . . “No, I’ll just take some red hot sauce.”
I usually give up in the end and simply ask for the hot sauce (which I always think of as salsa foolishly or not). Recently, though, I’ve been noticing it more in my culinary travels around San Antonio. Hot sauce or salsa? The tomato, pepper, and tomatillo concoctions – freshly-made and chunky – used to be salsa in my mind, but so many San Antonians seem to call that creation hot sauce. To me, hot sauce is the thin, spicy, red or green liquid which contains plenty of vinegar: Tabasco essentially. I needed to get the story straight, and maybe spare the poor man at Taco C.
First stop – the professionals. Elizabeth Kossick, a CIA Chef-Instructor and Latin Cuisines Specialist, seemed confused by my query. In interior Mexico, “salsas can be either green or red. They can be spiced with chilis, or they can be mild,” she says. “You could say salsa picante, but there is no specific term for hot sauce. It is under the umbrella term of salsa, and salsa can be made with anything and everything.”
“You know, I have more background on Mexican food, but what I think hot sauce means in San Antonio is a sauce that contains a vinegar,” fellow instructor and Latin Cuisines Specialist Iliana de la Vega says. “Everyone relates [hot sauce] to bottled ones – Cholula or whatever brand like that.”
That’s what I thought, too – where were the wires crossing? Mary Lou’s Café’s manager, Elena Joch, had a similar answer: “A hot sauce is not salsa. Salsa is a mix with tomato, and hot sauce is more of a liquid.”
Maybe the owner of Chris Madrid’s Nachos and Burgers, Chris Madrid, would know. Madrid’s serves house-made salsa with his famous tostada burger. “Sometimes we just say hot sauce. Sometimes we call it our homemade salsa,” Madrid said. “Years ago, I think when we did tacos and enchiladas, we called it salsa. Now for our burgers, we just call it hot sauce.” But when he looked at his menu, he realized that Chris Madrid’s menu says salsa goes on the tostada burger.
“Salsa’s definition is a sauce, especially a hot sauce containing chilis. It means basically the same thing [as hot sauce],” he said. “All the taco places I go to, I always ask for hot sauce.”
Madrid admitted to me that he had never really realized that there was this discrepancy before I asked him. I racked my brains trying to think of someone who might have noticed it as well. Diana Barrios, the owner of Los Barrios, a long-time San Antonio Tex-Mex establishment, perhaps. “We call it hot sauce for some people and salsa for others. We call it hot sauce because we have a bunch of different salsas that we use for topping different dishes,” she says.
So the different nomenclatures could be a distinction between types of sauces in general – like the sauce that you dip chips in verses the sauce you put on your taco.
“I know exactly what customers want when they ask for either one,” Barrios says. “It is just how people were brought up and what region of the country you are from . . . Some people will ask for cheese sauce, and I’ll say ‘Oh! Queso!’ because here in San Antonio that is the only thing we call it.” Having spent some time living in New England, I know what she means about queso being “cheese sauce,” but different from, say, a European-style “cheese sauce.”
I had to go back to the root of my problem – Taco Cabana – to confirm culture was the cause. Julian Ortiz, a TC manager, thought he knew the reason. “I think that [some employees] consider hot sauce and salsa to be the same, not really knowing the difference, whereas there are people who know the difference between hot sauce and salsa,” he said. “Maybe they weren’t raised with the difference.”
Phew! While I know that many individuals will forever have to succumb and ask for hot sauce at the Taco Cabana drive-thru when what they really mean is salsa, at least it is because of cultural diversity.
You'll recall a few months back SA scooter diva Dawn Brooks was lobbying madly to bring the annual rally to the shores of the (newly expanded) San Antonio River Walk. The result: Done and done! (No confirmation on Pee-wee yet)
Per Ms. Brooks:
Hello All, I am sending out emails letting everyone know we got AmeriVespa 2010 slated for May 27-31, 2010 in San Antonio and the surrounding hill country. Our host hotel will be the El Tropicano(a locally owned franchise of Holiday Inn). The Ne'er Do Wells along with the rally planning committee will be welcoming VCOA's president Bradford Duval to San Antonio in the next few weeks to take a look at the sites, have a few beers and eat some tacos.
We are gonna have an epic rally and I can't wait to share all the details with you.
Thank you so much for your support.
VCOA's Big Adventure
San Antonio, Texas
If you've been gazing enviously at the growing number of local scooters, consider this your nudge. You've got nearly 11 months to get into form. Here's the official Amerivespa FAQ to inspire you.
Mid-morning, it looked like the Current's favorite bubblegum-robotics duo, Hyperbubble, would handily win Best Swag Bag of the day: tube of sunscreen, hot lavender shades, and their brand-new maxi-single "Better Set Your Phasers to Stun". Gilbert Garcia made off with that, so look for commentary soon.
Then a package from Whole Foods arrived with one of those super-cute lunch-size reusable bags we've been coveting (but how many bags in one trunk is justifiable?) stocked with a summer-survival kit: tea-tree ointment, arnica gel, kid-friendly herbal bug repellant, more sunscreen. No music, though.
But I think the message is clear: The Current needs more summer outdoor fun.
In other news, Express-News Editor Bob Rivard is back to his confounding ways, with a column in Sunday's paper about fallen pop star Michael Jackson.
"I'm not indifferent to the talent and legacy of Michael Jackson. 'Thriller' was the first music video that truly mesmerized me, especially viewing it for the first time from a war zone in Central America*," Rivard begins before warning us:
"But don't expect the Express-News to send a reporter to Los Angeles, ground zero for the worldwide outpouring of grief in the wake of Jackson's sudden death at age 50. Don't look for a special section or keepsake poster in the Express-News either.
Even worse than trying to buy a different skin color and, every few years, a new face, Jackson used his fame and wealth to pursue his obsession with young boys."
The message: Jackson was a child molester, and the E-N won't be overlooking that fact in some hysterical hagiography. But, of course, the key word in that second paragraph is "Express-News," which should be interpreted very narrowly. The Express-News faux-alt 210sa printed a Michael Jackson commemorative issue (that's what it said ... on the cover ... admittedly in pale, pale gray letters) last Wednesday with a big (admittedly bad) cover photo of Jackson wearing his signature glittery glove. And here you'll find ... yes, that's a mysa.com (the E-N website) Michael Jackson special section, heavy on the photos, with about a billion links to forums, recollections, etc.
It reminds us of the time way back when the E-N endorsed McCain for President in the fall, and 210sa sold Obama victory T-shirts the following winter. I think there's a new-media lesson here: If you diversify your brand, you can issue empty moral proclamations out of one side of your mouth, and whistle for the masses out of the other.
* I don't know where Gilbert Garcia first saw the 'Thriller' video, but it holds special significance for him, too: It marked the beginning of the end.
By Enrique Lopetegui
“These days, things like NARAS’ latest brouhaha matter only to the bean counters at the –thank Heavens– soon-to-be defunct old-school record companies and old-guard music industry types,” said Emilio Morales, editor of La Banda Elástica, in an email. “I have never met anyone in the Latin alternative scene (and I’ve been around for a while), that has been inclined or swayed to check out a new Latino act (in any category) just because of a Grammy nomination or award.”
The Austin-based Emilio is talking about the decision by NARAS (the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which organizes the Grammy Awards and of which I’m a non-voting member) to merge the Latin Urban and Latin Rock/Alternative categories into a single one, which makes as much sense as installing an ashtray on a motorcycle.
“Thankfully, nowadays, for a vast majority of concert ticket-buyers and new Latin alternative music consumers, a comment on an influential blog or website is more relevant than a Latin Grammy sticker on a CD cover or a top spot on the Billboard charts,” Emilio goes on, adding that “as for the Latin [alternative] bands that have ever won anything or been nominated, it just gives them well-deserved bragging rights but, aside from some welcomed PR attention, everything stays the same afterwards.” (Yeah, go tell Juanes that)
Here’s my complete conversation with Freimuth (my Kamikaze column discusses the topic further on this Wednesday’s edition of the Current).
* * *
Would NARAS ever put, say, Eminem and Bruce Springsteen in the same category?
We already have a rock/gospel category, and Eminem and Bruce can already compete in the Record and Album of the Year categories...
Yes, but the rock/gospel category is under the Gospel umbrella. I mean, would you ever have Eminem and Bruce compete for “Rock/Hip-Hop Album of the Year.” The "Latin Rock, Alternative or Urban Album" category mixes apples and oranges, but I don’t see that in the English categories.
We have Coldplay going against Metallica already. What do they have to do with each other? We don’t have an infinite number of categories and we don’t want to give out 500 Grammys anymore. So we need to merge some things together as best as we possibly can.
Why so much stress on the 25-minimum rule for submissions in each category, in order to be considered for a nomination? That rule has created a lot of problems. Why not just consider the albums on their own merits and choose from what you got, instead of arbitrarily forcing disparate styles together?
The problem is that we want to create a lot more competition. We don’t feel that it’s fair, for example, that one out of every five Latin urban artists would receive a Grammy nomination, whereas one out of every 50 rock artists receives a nomination. We’re trying to make a little more of a leveled playing field. We don’t want to make it that it’s a lot easier to receive a Grammy nomination in a smaller subgenre than it is in the larger categories.
Even at the expense of mixing apples and oranges just because they’re both fruits?
But three years ago they were together in the same category...
That’s true and nobody complained. But it sucked, nevertheless.
That said, you’ll find that in a lot of our categories, like Alternative, you have different styles competing. Alternative rap, alternative R&B, alternative rock, alternative pop, country, jazz, alternative classical... And they’re all competing against each other. In reggae music we have dancehall reggae and roots reggae. A lot of people are very uncomfortable with that, having people with different audiences and different radio stations and venues, and yet they’re still reggae music.
Yes, but somehow, Shabba Ranks vs. Bob Marley sounds less absurd than Daddy Yankee vs. Juanes...
I understand what you are saying, but if you talk to people on the reggae field they would dispute that.
And I would agree with them: I think [dancehall and reggae] deserve their own separate category, which brings me back to my original point: if you have only three submissions in the rock category, what are you going to do? Eliminate rock or send it to another category? Rock is rock and there will always be rock, whether it’s one or a million entries. The same with cumbia and polka. My position is that, if I have the choice of “leveling the field” or having more accurate categories, I choose the latter. And that’s the main difference between the Academy and those who agree with my position.
What about Tropical Latin? One category covers salsa, cumbia, merengue...
Yes, same thing: they should be separate, but again, your point is “how many categories are we going to have...?”
You have to draw the line somewhere. It’s a standing rule that we have: if we don’t have 25 entries, it gets discussed. There were representatives of the Latin music world in the room and they were saying “I think we created this years ago to address what was happening with reggaetón, and [it] just never panned out into enough entries to make enough of a competition.
What’s amazing is that it wasn’t the rock category going into the urban category but the other way around. That would mean that either reggaetón is not as big as one thinks, or that they’re so untogether that they can’t send their submissions, or that they simply don’t give a damn or, as many critics say, NARAS didn’t do enough outreach.
There’s only so much outreach you can do... (laughs) We have limitations in our financial resources. I know the Recording Academy as a whole has made tremendous efforts to outreach to the Latin music community, initially in places like LA, Florida, or New York. It’s a slower process than we’d like it to be, but we’re really trying to reach out as much as we possibly can. On the other side of that, in the past we’ve created a new category based on the argument “if you build it, they will come,” and that really hasn’t worked. We really have to depend on the people caring enough to make the submissions.
But why LARAS (the Latin Recording Academy) doesn’t have those problems? Is their outreach better?
I’m not positive as to why. The only thing I know, even though I’m not involved in LARAS’ work, [is that] a main distinction is that LARAS does accept submissions from outside the States. We only accept releases that are nationally [released and] distributed in the US.
That’s true, that’s true... I also have problems with the privacy rule, because I think if there was open voting people would be more careful as to how to vote. By “open voting” I mean people should be allowed to comment publicly after they vote. Who was in those meetings? All the key members I talked to were shocked to find out about the latest changes.
The names do need to remain confidential, but I will tell you that there were two meetings. The first meeting had our Awards and Nominations Committee, which consists of about 40 people from all over the country and representing all genres, including Latin. The second meeting was our National Board of Trustees, and that also includes representation of the Latin industry.
When did NARAS begin the discussions? It is my understanding that the process of creating or eliminating a category sometimes takes as much as two to three years.
That’s not necessarily true. In this case, the discussions just began early this year. It was based on the low number of entries. Sometimes when a category has a low number of entries the committee would decide to give it another year to see how it does. In this case, with both the Polka and Latin Urban they decided that they did not want further time.
[I wanted to ask “Why?” But I already knew his answer: “You should ask the people who voted, but they won’t tell you because it’s secret”] Besides those meetings, were key members of the Latin urban and rock communities informed that this would happen, or everything started and ended within NARAS?
The latter. We generally try to define ourselves as not driven by what the labels want and what we want to award, but by what the music warrants.
I don’t know... Latin Urban was merged into Latin rock/alternative because they were one entry short (24 instead of 25). And we all know that there’s more Latin urban albums than that. How hard it is to get the one that’s missing? People either don’t care or don’t know how to do [the submissions].
One thing that I think happened is that people would enter something in the Latin Grammys and they think it will automatically be considered for the Grammys as well, when there’s really two separate processes. That is confusing to people in the Latin community.
Anything else you want to add?
The only possibility that people will have of getting this category back is if we suddenly got a flood of submissions within a year or so. It might happen that we get the category back.
If back in the 80s you were that little boy or girl who would dance in the mirror to "Hot Lunch Jam" or "I Sing the Body Electric" from the musical "Fame" or even if today you enjoy throwing on your fluorescent spandex and terrycloth headband and pretend you are Coco while singing "Out on My Own," then be at Six Flag Fiesta Texas on July 18 for the "Fame" National Talent Search. The top ten performers will move on to the semi-finals show the following day, July 19. One finalist will win a trip to Los Angeles to compete in the Finals and a chance to win the Grand Prize, which includes $5,000 and a photo spread in OK! Magazine.
The staff at the Boston Phoenix sure seems to think so. They chose San Antonio's own all-ladyfied power trio as top "new" act in the Lone Star State in their annual Independents Day: Best New Bands in America feature. According to the article, GIAC answers the question, “What would it sound like if Lush caroused with Patsy Cline in a West Texas saloon?”
The Phoenix's taste in Texas music (not to mention their knowledge of state geography) is up for debate — they chose the 13th Floor Elevators and Roy Orbison as Texas' best acts ever — but their choice in last year's poll was kick ass ATX band White Denim, so they obviously know something.
Suck it Austin. Suck it dry.
FIRST ONLINE EDITION
A CurBlog arts round-up column by Sarah Fisch.
Some bad photos, some okay photos, some laughs, some screeds, and some useful information for artists and art-likers.
1. Well, alright, here’s a picture of a dead animal:
What, you don’t like it?
I don’t blame you. Life can be brutal.
This particular dead animal was found by San Antonio artist Danville Chadbourne at the bottom of a vase-like sculpture he’d had in storage for close to twenty years, if memory serves. He found it while reclaiming and restoring pieces from storage for Part I of his career retrospective, held at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center this past spring. I photographed it at his house/studio. He mentioned, maybe joking, doing some art about the critter.
It’s a little bitty ‘possum.
Here it is presented kind of touchingly in an archival way, boxed.
2. Now, then, here’s a photo of the makers of the public art adorning the new Museum Reach extension of the Riverwalk.
From left to right, that’s:
George Schroeder (bridge rail structures TK and stay tuned)
Donald Lipski (F.I.S.H.)
Carlos Cortés (Shade Tree and Grotto)
Bill Fontana (Sonic Passage)
Mark Schlesinger (Under the Over Bridge)
Rolando Briseño (shade structure TK)
Stuart Allen (29° 26’ 00” N / 98° 29’ 07” W and 29° 25’ 57” N / 98° 29’ 13” W)
and Martin Richman (Shimmer Field).
This admittedly unfocused phone photo was taken at the occasion of their SAMA panel discussion (moderated by David Rubin) on opening day of the museum reach. And, okay, it’s blurry as all git-out. I admit to sorta digging the “Last Supper’ steez of this shot though, all those distinguished dudes discussing amongst themselves (and, note, as in the Last Supper, a general dearth of melanin and vaginas.)
Huh—Bill Fontana seems to be in the Jesus position, here. And, like the Biblical Jesus, he didn’t say all that much, but what he did was thoughtful and to the point.
But this photo is like seeing the Last Supper panel as part of the Witness Protection program, each person reduced to broad strokes. But I also enjoy the blurry visual parameters of cel phone camera photography. It’s like early daguerreotype; some details you just have to take on faith, as the camera is not the eye, you know, all that shit.
This is a daguerreotype of some dudes who had nothing to do with the Museum Reach.
Anyhow, the panel discussion was very interesting. Each artist came off as impassioned, thoughtful, and committed to the project and to the city. And it was very cool to see projected slides of the pieces—the Martin Richman slides, in particular, brought the crowd (a surprisingly large one, given that it was a Saturday afternoon) to spontaneous applause.
A Q&A period following brought some interesting queries, including one from a VERY CONCERNED LADY about protecting the artworks from vandalism. At this point, Mike Addkison, the River Foundation’s stellar project manager, got on the mic, explaining that while art placement and materials were designed to protect the art somewhat, graffiti is as old as Pompeii, and preventing it as a human phenomenon may not be feasible, seeing as how San Anto is a living city whose contours and colors change continually.
I asked the panel—specifically, the San Antonians—how it felt to make public art for their hometown. Kind of a corny question, I know, but I’m from here, and I am NOT MADE OF STONE.
George Schroeder’s response was terrific, addressing how exciting it is to participate in public art at a time when San Antonio’s visual arts have evolved so quickly and well, comparing the scene now to ten years ago, and how pleased he is with being a part of something people can enjoy “for at least 500 years,” he said, speaking about his sturdy and gorgeous (and yet-to-be-installed) metal bridge railing structures. YES, HE SAID 500 YEARS, which brought anther spontaneous round of applause from the audience. That was in answer to a question about how long the artist’s works will last, actually, not my question, but still. GEORGE SCHROEDER’S THINKING IN 500-YEAR TERMS. I like it.
Rolando Briseño is also a native San Antonian whose bridge railing adornments have yet to go up. He’s designed shade structures, a real future boon to any future walker under our jacked-up sun, and like Schroeder’s piece, they’re (tentatively) slated to go up this Fall. I will most definitely keep you posted. In talking about what designing public art for his hometown means to him, Rolando Briseño talked about riding his bike on the river’s banks with his cousins, as a kid, and loving the beauty of the WPA-era development, and how tragicomic it felt, years later, that the only news stories you’d hear about the River walk “was when someone got beat up.” It means a lot to him to see the river open up as joyful space. A true native son, he talked about the necessity of shade, and the collective longing to pause, to rest, reflect, hang out, enjoy the river as a living part of the life of the city he loves. He got emotional. So did I, listening.
Carlos Cortés talked about the importance and profundity of family tradition, how creating the grotto and shade tree using techniques he learned at his father’s and great-uncle’s elbows connected past with the future, the intimate and familial with the public, how ingrained public space and the beautifying of it is to him, written as it is into his family’s legacy. He’s not pushing his own kids into it, he said, but who knows?
Also, Mark Schlesinger noted that while he isn’t a native San Antonian, his kid’s growing up here, and related an anecdote about watching his then-tiny son as he laid his face down onto the grass of the Schlesinger family’s first San Antonio front yard. Nice.
A San Antonio family on opening day of the museum reach, post-game, near VFW post.
3. SOME RANDOM PHOTOS
Did you know that the front right passenger seat of every San Antonio VIA bus is dedicated to the memory of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks? Me neither, but it's true. I’ve been riding the bus lately and was very pleased to see this. The only other city with this same tribute is in Washington State, weirdly.
Tattoos on a bartender named Whiskey’s forearms at a bar called The Other Woman. Info on left arm tattoo message here.
Right arm reads (in Latin), "I shall meet death with a calm mind".
A fiver I came across recently, with ‘stache and “Morrissey eyebrows” (description copyright Linda Arredondo) inked in.
Detail. It’s a good look for Abe. I never noticed what a pretty mouth he had.
22’s in front of the Greyhound station.
school bus from Donna, TX, spotted on Broadway. Going…
Remember when it rained?