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On the Street



First Friday came again.  I vowed to navigate First Friday differently this time.  I'm not sure what I intended to differently exactly.  Perhaps hang with the guy who sells turkey legs?

I began at Beethoven's, which is different than beginning there.  Complete paradigm shift.  
Slab Cinema showed a few classic Christmas themed silent films accompanied by live music from Mombassa Code.



A cymbal for the drums is ever slightly visible over there on the right.



Though it may look like Billy Bob is hiding behind this frumpy looking Bad Santa, this is actually quite vintage, though no less odd.



At the same time this band was finishing setting up at the pizza parlor by El Mirador.  I came in time for noodling and tuning.



I was about to stick around and see what they were all about but then I got a phone call and was requested to show up at Bluestar, which is a grand way of rephrasing, 'where the hell are you?'

So for the moment I had to eat my words and pass up the turkey leg stand and other similar tents.



On the way to Bluestar I ran across this band getting loud on the corner at 1302 S. Alamo.



The Flesh Merchants.  I ran a myspace search and came up with this link.  They embrace the porn/raunch aesthetic in all its rock and roll manifestations.

For a dialectical jump cut I went inside Bluestar and came across...



...this show at Cactus Bra, the New Elders of Zion.  

After listening to the Flesh Merchants before seeing this show, the intentions of this show didn't immediately seem apparent.  I wondered what other viewers would think of the show.  Would its fictional nature be understood?  That, I suppose, is the richness of First Friday.



"...areas like Gaza and Iraq."  For some reason that line amused me.



The posters were effective.   I'm still mulling over my impressions of the show.  I understand the directness of the words to make the point clear through hyperbole.  Gray areas could lead to unintended critiques. However I'm not sure how this show creates a complex dialogue or does more than preach to the converted. It would be interesting to hear the artist speak.

From Cactus Bra I meandered over to the Blue Star main gallery for another dialectical shift.  



"...depicting scenarios which undo the images of Islamic stereotypes represented through the narrow focus of the daily media."

Soody took a different approach, to say the least.




This is only a microscopic view of a much larger piece.



The photographic elements personalized the overall work.



A little blurry on my part, but that is to be expected.  



To the left I found these large pieces of work...



...and this woman reading more.

And to the left of these pieces I came across this hilarious foto of local artist Gary Sweeney.



Interpretations of propaganda seemed to be the informal theme for the night.



This piece put a smile on my face though I'm not sure why.



The night for me ended at Salon Mijango's for the Neoaztlan iParty.  This was still early, as evidenced by the amount of food remaining.  

I listened to a few ipod sets and then headed home into the wind.  The rain was a few days away though it seemed closer.

Riding on Broadway I came across the mythical backwards riding bicyclist again.  As I was told, he was seen riding in circles in the Jack and the Box parking lot.  I tried to compliment him on his ridiculous style. He was too busy trying to get me to buy calendars and something that sounded a lot like "faulk movies."

Good times, indeed.

I Was There

Sunday night ended with a viewing of the Todd Haynes movie about Bob Dylan called I'm Not There.

The movie was better than I expected.  The stream of conscious narrative flow didn't bother me.  The use of  5 or 6 different actors playing different versions/ages of Dylan gave Haynes a multitude of options, and as most have previously commented, this approach helped him explode the tired biopic formula.

How this came across as narrative filmmaking progress is the best part of this approach. On a different note, this seemed to be much more a product of 80s image politics that morphed into 90s semiotics, a field that Haynes studied.  That thought came later and didn't bother me in the least from enjoying the film.  Still, it made me think of the film as dated more than it being anything new, but that's getting picky.

And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio.  As always, to be continued...

Posted by Mark Jones on 12/14/2007
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