Monthly Archives: July 2008

Clambering on the Bandwagon

If you haven’t yet caught the awesome that is Dr. Horrible, do so soon, because it starts costing money on the 20th. I’m a sucker for smart humor and musicals, and Joss Whedon cranks up the goofy to eleven and has Mal Reynolds and Doogie Howser take it into the stratosphere.

(Or, well, actually, it’s probably OK to wait. I mean, it’s sufficiently brilliant that I’ll likely lay down some iTunes cash at some point in order to be able to watch it again. But go, now, look.)

Fifth of July

I took the train into Manhattan yesterday and spent as fine a day as I’ve had in NYC in a long, long time.

It began inauspiciously, though, with the called-for rain starting almost immediately as my companion and I set out up Lexington Avenue. I’d brought along a $2 umbrella from a previous soaked visit to Brooklyn, but it wasn’t cutting it for the two of us, so I’m now the owner of two cheap disposable umbrellas. (::shrugs::) We meandered over and to and through Central Park and wound up at SummerStage in time for a set by Apollo Heights, who — for all the Cocteau Twins Mos Def TV on the Radio hype and indie music journalism love — completely sucked live. I mean, I get what they’re trying to do, and think it’s cool — wall of guitars meets soul-style vocal harmonies, or what some folks are calling shoegaze-derived Afrogaze — but the way they did it in performance was crappy piercing painful feedback for feedback’s sake and sounded nothing like their studio singles. In terms of musical genre, they’re loose cousins to TV on the Radio, who I like a lot, but with less polished vocals, and a guitar sound that can probably trace its lineage back through (very) early Catherine Wheel and Jesus and Mary Chain to the live portion of Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma. But still: when there’s no music happening between songs and you, Danny Chavis, are working to maintain that sustained painful nothing-but-feedback squeal for the umpteenth time and a substantial portion of your tiny audience is facing you with their fingers in their ears, it might be time to take the hint: dude, you’re just being a dick. They’re critical darlings, but their live chops and production are far from up to their studio sound — and that’s why they opened.

Fortunately, they opened for a far, far better band:

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Independence Day 2008

I put the flag out this morning, and watched the parade this afternoon. Apparently, Highland Falls has a brass marching band of big guys in black and yellow bowling shirts who do a great ragtime version of “Oh, Susannah,” and the village fire department has a dress uniform (white gloves, brass buttons, brimmed pillbox caps) and a bagpipe player. Who knew?

church_street_july_4

The neighborhood kids have been having fun with their rockets and mortars (no, not those neighborhood kids) this afternoon, and I’m getting ready to take Zeugma up on the roof with me to watch the village fireworks. (Tink doesn’t like the noise, and will likely open the kitchen cabinet and hide in the large saucepan.) Tomorrow — well, tomorrow promises to be interesting. I’m heading into the city with a friend, and am excited about the trip’s prospects. More soon.