Potpourri of A&E
As superficial and tragic as it is, talented kids drop their instruments for balls as soon as they reach middle school. Baseballs, soccer-balls, and tennis balls all save them from the scarlet letter of band geek. So what do we have to show for it when were all grown up? A bunch of weekend softball players who are more proud of beers ravaged than bases run. Hardly any of us are left with a lick of musical talent.
Thats why when I lived in New Orleans, I was not only surprised, but refreshed in the way they treat their band kids. Bandies are admired, even revered for playing their shiny brass instruments. They are really good too. They cruise through Mardi Gras parades with a back beat, incorporating funk steps into their march. They play traditional music mixed in with contemporary hip-hop, that they must adapt themselves. The little feathers that point out of their hats seem to say move out of my way, or you might get played, rather than kick me.
The attitude is completely different. The music is completely different. Its fun in an uninhibited sort of way. That is why I couldnt miss Dirty Dozen when they came to The Dame last Wednesday. The first time I saw this band they were marching down the middle of my street some random weekday, leading people to a party in my neighborhood. It was straight-up pied piper. People just came out of their houses and followed the music.
Dirty Dozen has an almost hypnotizing effect. Like any good jam band, they can play forever without breaking the sound that brought you to see them in the first place. It is both the build and release of resonance that captures you. Horns are powerful, and can easily overtake your senses. Dont believe me, think about how annoying car alarms are. But instead of making you want to throw a brick through a window, Dirty Dozen makes you want to dance. Everybody danced. Some chicks even danced up onto the stage. And what did the band do? They danced with them, even the dude with the tuba.
They played Bill Withers Lovely Day, and at one point the guy playing the trumpet switched to the fugal horn. This horn is a little bigger than a trumpet and has a very clear strong sound. He held out a note for what seemed like five to ten minutes, a note that would make me lapse into a coma in need of resuscitation. It was so loud it made the rest of the band seem like they were playing on a distant planet. The sound of brass music is great, and should be coveted in a world full of guitars.
There was plenty of brass music during the Fourth of July festivities, mostly patriotic and traditional songs. It was nice to be able to walk around downtown and stumble upon all kinds of entertainment on almost every street corner.
I was really excited to see Grupo Balanca perform Capoeira. Agility and strength were just two of the skills demonstrated in their dance/fight. Its not like a dance off, where, lets say disco dancers take turns showing off their variations of the hustle, etc. It is more of a game, where each of the two dancers/fighters anticipate the others actions and move accordingly. For as difficult as it is, they made it look really easy, spinning cart wheels, doing handstands and landing on the same foot they just kicked with. They were also wearing really cool pants. If anyone knows where I could purchase a pair of those pants, please email me here at Ace.
I also made it down to the parade. I have only one criticism. Painting flames on your corporate vehicle does NOT make it a float. If you want to be in the parade, get some papier mâchè, some helium balloons and a wagon. Dress up in funny costumes, and pass out really good candy (chocolate, not the hard garbage). Then, and only then, will I will respect your business.
This is really important for all of you artists with a mission. The Lexington Arts and Cultural Council has extended their deadlines for their Community Arts Development Grant Applications. Yes, you still have time to put together a proposal for a project that will benefit the Lexington-Fayette County community in the fields of; visual, media, literary and folk arts and also festivals and cultural initiatives for 2004-2005 year. The LACC will be accepting applications from non-profit organizations 501(c)3, committed to providing community focused programs. The support ranges from $500 to $2500 dollars. If you know of something Lexington is missing, please dont hesitate to propose your ideas to a non-profit agency and apply for support. The grant applications are due at the LACC offices by 5:00 July, 30th. It is a great opportunity to take that leap into becoming involved.
For Next Week
Next week we will focusing on community artists, so I wanted to preview some gallery events to get you in the mood. The Intrinsic Gallery will have its grand opening, Friday, July 9th from 6-8pm. They promise a variety of media art with a fresh perspective on contemporary environments and personalities, along with hors d oeuvres. The show will also feature music from the Righteous Heirs Trio. The artists profiled will be Jessica Gosser (concentrating on the personal symbolism of iconic images, ie. Martini olives and handbags), Johnathan Leach (whose work features bold abstractions of modern landscapes) and Paul Nowacki (whose charcoals and paintings commemorate heroes and events important to him). The gallery is located on 178 N. MLK Blvd.
Good Foods Market and Café will be presenting the art of Cliff Sullivan and hosting a reception Saturday, July 10th from 5-7pm. Good Foods is on Southland Dr. For more information call 278-1813.
The weekend looks promising. Get excited and get on out there. n
Check the wiener dog photo I took. Its sick.