Archive for:July, 2008

Hieroglyphs: Ponytail at The Knitting Factory, New York, July 22nd

July 25th, 2008

I saw Ponytail at the Knitting Factory on Tuesday. On the way home, I walked into the N/R Canal train station, and saw:

Canal Mosaic

I watched these hieroglyphs, let their untranslatable code broadcast to me, tattoo my brain, ignoring the impulse to make it all mean. They impacted me, in a way I can’t articulate, those blue wriggles, shapes, lines; their motion, design. I stood there a long time, happy.

It was much like what I had just seen onstage at the Knit: Ponytail’s Molly Siegel reveling in pure throated sound — no discernible words, just grinning yowl. Relieving me of the need for mouthed sound to mean, to be locked in language. The band’s restless tumult lodging in a wild knot inside me, unraveling throughout my torso in warm ribbons.

Seeing Ponytail live tosses the reins of reason out of your hands, suspends thought, replaces it with inarticulate joy.

I stood in the pit & let sound & shout dapple me, like I was a giant window collecting thousands of multicolored leaves, asking not to be washed, becoming such wild autumn.

[posted by: C Way at 12:42 PM]

[file under: Music]

Shibukawa Gunma Manhole Poem

July 14th, 2008


Warm Souls Poem

[posted by: C Way at 11:14 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| Ekphrasis]
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Giant Neon Yarn-Boulders: Abe Vigoda & Ponytail at Mercury Lounge, July 13 2008

July 14th, 2008

ponytail    ponytail    ponytail

Four bands played Mercury Lounge last night: War on Drugs, Abe Vigoda, Ponytail, and Titus Andronicus (in that order). One band was just competent, one veered from boring to embarrassing, and the other two made me deeply, ecstatically grateful to have ears & eyes.

I won’t waste much time on the two bands that didn’t much move me (sorry Titus & W.O.D. fans) — the net’s clogged full of enough art-venom and musicblog-spew as it is. If an artist has at least a small talent and some passion, no matter how misguided or tired the product is, least I can do is hold back on snark and say (next to) nothing at all. Let blogo-Sneerers do the rest.

Abe V came on second. I was all grins as the L.A. foursome powered into their set with spiky change-up prunk. Love the delay & reverb on the rhythm guitar, the disjunct & nervy lead lines, the elemental, fragmented imagery & hail of language (“men from the boys I’m a girl I’m a tree”, “hope is a white hand that moves through my body”), and the drumming, the drumming, the drumming. With all the hyper time changes this band puts your ear through, it’s important for them to have someone behind a drumset who can lead the time spasms — and Vigoda’s drummer, Reggie Guerrero, does. He’s the band’s calm, focused storm-eye. Such a kinetic set. Left my ears in static blizzard and my feet sore from bouncing.

Ears & feet got no rest once Ponytail came on. If yr gush-sensitive, stop reading now, since anything I say about this band is going to seem ridiculously hyperbolic unless you’ve seen Molly Siegel, beaming & transported, her face alive with expressions as wild and uninhibited as the band’s raucous-joyous assault — her vocal chords too, swooping all over wordless terrain — and her body facing you in half-crouch stance, mixing challenge & grateful embrace of the band’s sound with arms held out, palms up.

Arms out, palms up. Like she’s offering her band’s galeforce sound out of her body to you in some giant neon yarn-boulder — or summoning the same from the sky to catch. Ponytail made me really fucking glad to be alive. If you want a band to tornado you into exhaustion and then smile really sweetly over your panting body, find these folks in a town near you & come ready to play. You’ll be shaky with wild magic; you’ll be ready to pull teats down from clouds & make them give up their secret mango milk.

Hope is a white hand.
Arms out, palms up.

Hear Ponytail:
Hear Abe Vigoda:
Hear Titus Andronicus:
Hear War on Drugs:

C. Way/ © 2008

[posted by: C Way at 8:16 PM]

[file under: Music]

Stinking Bishop Cheese: The Blessed Bludgeon

July 7th, 2008

Part 1: What Rankled

Stinking Bishop is a soft, creamy cheese from the U.K, made from the milk of Gloucester cattle:

stinking bishop cheese

It is also liquefied death in the nose. Old flyblown duck embryos. Warm hippo eye stuffed with fermented melon rind.

When I was six or seven, while walking to 7-11 to buy candy and Garbage Pail Kids, I decided to take a detour through a gravel ditch running parallel to a newly-built shopping center. Suddenly, before my nostrils had even registered what was happening, I reeled, and I saw at my feet, against the blinding-white sunstruck gravel stones, a pale, wet, hairless flesh-lump.

It was a baby bird. It had fallen from its nest and was boiling under the south Florida summer sun, eyes crammed with crawling things.

What I smelled at that moment — that’s basically what catching a waft of this cheese is like.

Odor aside (if one can, even intellectually, shift aside a sensation as brutish as this cheese’s funk), the taste actually offers layered savor: flan, nuttiness, traces of buttery caramel. My senses were confused trying to match up malevolent odor to nuanced taste. But since my senses like all that jostle, I was happy to be lost in the reek/flavor disconnect.

That pleasure didn’t last long though, as the nose coda hit about 5 seconds after the bite: coming back up through the palate and nostrils, haunting the mouth like a nightmare haunts a freshly awoken mind. It was at this point that the briefly-inviting flavor was totally ambushed by the reek. I put my knife down & left the rest of the wedge I had cut untouched: I’d been bested by the Bishop. My tongue hadn’t lolled in enough gutters to lap up & love curd like this.

I drank some water, I drank some lemonade. I ate some mustard on celery. I ate an orange. I bit into an orange peel.

Five more minutes passed. I glanced back at the Bishop. I got nervous. I fidgeted.

Then, automatically, as if in a trance, I reached over and ate the rest of the cheese in one bite.

Part 2: Why I Stay with Stink

What’s wrong with me? I wondered, as I sat there rolling creamy horror around in my mouth.

 (Read More . . .)

[posted by: C Way at 3:12 PM]

[file under: Culinary Arts]
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