Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend in New York

So this past weekend was really weird in New York. Friday night, it poured down rain, Saturday was beautiful, Sunday it poured down rain. I thought it was supposed to be April showers bring May flowers, not May brings Noah's ark.

On Friday, I went to my dance class because I had skipped last week to go to the Met museum. I managed to survive, even though I had to quickly learn the routine that everyone else had learned last week. I even managed to make it through dancing the routine twice with our instructor who is wicked good. I mean seriously good. All the instructors at Dancesport are professionals and have been dancing since they were in utero, they could all be on Dancing with the Stars, that's how good they are. And we were dancing the cha-cha which is normally a really fast dance, but Werner slowed down the music a tad for us.

Afterwards, I headed up to Lincoln Center to see Duel in the Sun, also known as Lust in the Dust or Hump at the Stump. It's a movie from the late 1940's starring Jennifer Jones, and Gregory Peck. The actors in this movie are so over the top, you can practically see the pieces of scenery in their teeth. I was also fascinated by how much make-up Jennifer Jones was wearing to be playing Pearl Chavez, who is half-Indian (you never do find out what tribe her mother is from, it doesn't really matter). This stuff must have been troweled on, and her red lipstick. Gregory Peck comes off a lot better than she does in the film. He played Lewt McCanles, the bad boy in the family. You can tell he's having a great deal of fun, while JJ is trying gamely to play a sexpot, a role that didn't come naturally to her. Ava Gardner would have been much better in the film, but it was produced by David O. Selznick who was JJ's lover and later husband, who wanted to make a Gone With The Wind type epic for her.

Saturday, I went to see this really groovy group at The Philoctetes Center called the Wingdale Community Singers (that's them in the picture). The guy in the hat is Rick Moody who wrote the novel the Ice Storm which was made into a film about six or seven years ago with Katie Holmes and Toby McGuire. The music is sort of alt-country, folk, with tinges of rock. Very cool. Of course, I had to purchase about 5 CD's to give to friends. I have a habit of buying multiple copies of something if I think my friends will like it.

THE WINGDALES COMMUNITY SINGERS. The Wingdale Community Singers play folk music that could have been written any time in the last sixty years. It's Old Time, it's High Modernist, it's experimental, it's resistant to interpretation, it's funny sometimes, it's full of dread other times. One aspect remains throughout: there's a lot of singing. And a lot of harmony. With Rick Moody (acoustic guitar, vocals) Hannah Marcus (acoustic guitar, piano, fiddle, vocals). David Grubbs (electric guitar, vocals). Nina Katchadourian (acoustic guitar, accordion, recorder, tomato, vocals).

I'm planning a field trip to see them play in Brooklyn in June which sounds strange since Brooklyn is part of New York, but to us Manhattanites, its like traveling to another state. You have to take the F train, which I like to call the Forever train because that is how long it takes for one to arrive. It should be fun. I have about people on the wagon so far.



Megan Frampton said...


David Grubbs was in Squirrel Bait and Bastro, two seminal American punk rock bands. Apparently he's played with the Boredoms, too, an insanely noisy Japanese band.

Anyway, I guess old punk rockers don't die. Kinda cool.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

The band is really good. They're playing in Brooklyn in June, and I'm planning a field trip to see them.

Thanks for the intel about David Grubbs.