Friday, February 19, 2010

Meredith Monk-eying Around!

Roar! Tonight was awesome! I went to see Meredith Monk, one of my favorite composers and vocal performers, give a free talk at the New School. She talked about the creative process and her own development as an artist. It was really cool to hear her speak, she also sang a few songs, played a couple pieces on the piano, and showed off some of her video projects.

Here Meredith is talking about what it was like being a blossoming artist living in New York during the 70's. She sure had some crazy stories! Roar!

Here are a series of stills from various video projects Meredith shared with us. The videos were all really wild and combined her love of music, theater, and dancing. It was fascinating to see how she combined all of the these different mediums in her own unique style.

Meredith then sang a bunch of songs. She did this one song where she sang a series of notes while making clicks sounds with her mouth! I had no idea a human could do that! Roar!

Lastly, Meredith played the piano for us. She performed one of my favorite songs, The Tale. It's the story of an old woman who is loosing her life so she sings about all the stuff she still has, like a telephone. "Hello?" It's pretty great!

Roar! Someone left the mic on! Maybe I should give a little performance of my own?! Roar!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Years Theater Spectacular!

Roar! Today was a theater extravaganza! In the morning I met up with my friend Bao Bao at the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center. (The very same place I saw Neil Gaiman recite Peter and the Wolf) They were having a Chinese New Year theater celebration which included bits of Chinese Opera, variety acts, and vocal performances. It was pretty neat! 

Here I am with Bao Bao at the Winter Garden. He was really excited to see the Chinese Opera. Roar! 

Bao Bao got confused and thought the palm trees at the Winter Garden were like bamboo. Boy, was he surprised!

Here is the cast of the Chinese New Year celebration. It sure was a great show. Besides the opera, there was a barber shop quartet, a harmonica player, and an entire dance number based off Kung Fu Panda! Bao Bao really like that one. Roar! 

After the show Bao Bao and I went outside to play in the snow around the World Financial Center. Here is Jeff Koons' "Ballon" statue. It really stood out on a gray day like today.

Bao Bao and I took a photo of our reflection in the sculpture. Woah! It's just like a fun house mirror! Roar!

Later in the evening, I headed up to Judson Memorial Church by Washington Square Park for Bailout Theater. Bailout Theater is the really cool event the church puts on every first and third Wednesday of the month where they serve a free meal and have free entertainment. Tonight they had a play by Johnna Adams called Lickspittles, Buttonholers, and Those Damned, Pernicious Go-Betweens. 

Here is a scene from the play. It was such a cool play. The whole thing was written in rhyming couplets and each character spoke in a different form of poetry. 

The coolest part of Lickspittles, Buttonholers, and Those Damned, Pernicious Go-Betweens was it was directed by John Hurly who directed Hack! for Vampire Cowboys Saturday Night Saloon. It was so cool to meet John, he's a great director and I can't wait to see more things he's working on. Roar!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Silver Apples of the Lunar New Year!

Roar! Today was really cool! Not only was it Valentines day, it was also the Chinese New Year! I had plans go out with Giraffe later in the evening and I was thinking of going to Chinatown earlier in the day but it was really crowded. Instead I headed over to the Wyoming Room in the Lower East Side where one of my favorite electronic music composers was giving a talk.
Here I am outside of the Wyoming Room. I had never been here before, turns out it's a pretty neat little space.
The person giving the talk was Morton Subotnick, one of the pioneers of synthesizer music in the 1960's. He gave a really cool talk about the creation of the Buchla and his goals for the then new medium of electronic music as well as where he thinks things have gone since then.
It was so great to meet Morton Subotnick. He's a really cool guy and even autographed my copy of Silver Apples of the Moon. It's such a great record and represents a landmark in electronic music during the 1960's. Roar!
Here's Subotnick's autograph on the back of Silver Apples of the Moon. He sure looks a lot different from how he did in the 1960's. 

After the lecture I went out for a nice evening with Giraffe. As for the Chinese New Year, there are things going on all week. I think I'll celebrate it then, when things are a little less crowded. Roar!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Double, double T-Rex and trouble!

Roar! Last night was a disappointing evening. I went to this D.I.Y. performance of Macbeth that was taking place in my neighborhood of Bushwick. It seemed like a really cool idea, people would show up, scripts would be passed out, and everyone would just go for it. Unfortunately, once everyone got there the people in charge decided there needed to be a meeting, and lights needed to be hung, and scenery set up. Suddenly this make-shift, D.I.Y. performance of Macbeth had turned into a serious production!
Oh, what could have been! Here I am playing one of the witches in Macbeth. If only I could have brewed a spell to make the play start faster! Maybe the play really is cursed?! Roar!
The ad for the play said there would be snacks but all they had were these Black Licorice Scottie Dogs. I better hide a few in my hat just in case! Oh no, where did my hat go?!
Here I am just sitting around waiting for the the play to start. I ended up being there for more than two hours and the play was nowhere close to starting. I think everyone forgot just how long a play Macbeth actually is. I decided to call it a night and head home. I don't know if the play ever actually happened but I think if Shakespeare had been there to see what they tried to do with this production he might say that, "They had no spur, to prick the sides of their intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself and falls on the other." Roar...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Empire in Mind!

Roar! Today was such a cool day! At La Poisson Rouge there was a free show where a group of German electronic musicians were performing a live score to Andy Warhol's Empire. The musicians included Jan Jelinek, Hanno Leichtmann and Andrew Pekler. They all played together as a group and what resulted was a truly unique score for the movie.  
Here I am at La Poisson Rouge. Why is it always so dark in clubs? I could barely see my claws in front of my face!
The musicians are all hunkered down in darkness over their various synthesizers and drums and pedals. It was so neat to watch them create such cool music! Roar!
A scene from Any Warhol's Empire.
After the show I was feeling really inspired so I went outside in the cold to look at the Empire State Building in person. I think maybe it's time for a sequel! Roar!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy P-Rex Day!

Roar! On February 2nd there is an old T-Rex family tradition going back millions of years that predicts the weather for the next 6 weeks. So this morning I got up and headed to the roof see what the weather was like. 
The sun was trying to peek its way through a cloudy sky. Looks like I won't be seeing my shadow today!
Yup, definitely no shadow today. That means spring is on the way! I decided I should go out have some fun. What would my great great grandfather, Punxsutawney-Rex, have done on a day like today?
Why, old P-Rex would have gone to his favorite steak house in the city, Gage & Tollner! I decided to head over to Fulton Mall to check it out. 
Woah, it turns out the building that was originally the Gage & Tollner Steak House is now an Arby's. Apparently things got really rocky for G&T in the mid 1990's and they had to close. Then a T.G.I.Fridays came in but that closed in 2007. Now it's an Arby's. They've gone from crinolines to curly fries! I'm just glad there is still a restaurant here.
The inside of the Arby's is really nice. Since this was once New York City's oldest restaurant the building is a historical landmark. Arby's renovation of the interior had to be approved by a landmark committee. As a result all the original wood trim, gas light fixtures, and plaster walls are still intact. While old P-Rex would probably be sad he can't get a steak here anymore, I'm sure he'd be glad to know it's still the same old place inside. Roar! 
I got two Beef n' Cheddar sandwiches! They were really tasty and filling, P-Rex would have loved them.  Today turned out to be a fun and interesting day full of restaurant history! Roar!