Art Beat 2008

Last night, at the behest of a former roommate, I set out to listen to some free music put on by this annual event in Somerville.  Primarily we were there to see Freezepop, a poppy electronic sort of group popular with the young crowd.  I relaized then and there that I am no longer part of the young crowd, but it was still enjoyable.  Freezepop was fun, frolicking, and despite the threat of rain and thunderstorms, generally well attended.  But that was not the only pleasant surprise the night afforded.  The other was, direct from Italy, Rota Temporis.

When you see a stage set with several large drums, one covered in zebra hide and others bearing horns, you expect a certain type of music.  When the band members come out on stage all in leather with long and mangled hair, tattoos, and a sprinkling of cave-man jewelery, your suspicions are almost totally confirmed.  What you don’t expect (especially from obviously mannish Italians) is bagpipes.  Three of them.

Now, I won’t say that I don’t like bagpipes.  I was recently at a lantern festival where a piper played as the lanterns were set out across the water – it was quite beautiful.  However, I expect most bagpipe music to be mournful and, well, Scottish.  I don’t expect Italian metal-looking dudes to be playing them.  Still, the sight of such dudes prancing around with enthusiasm and actually playing a variety of non-repetitive songs on the things is impressive and delightful.  In fact, they were so into it that I was afraid several times that one of the swirling bagpipers was going to conch out the drummer with the horns with some of his pipes.  Pretty intense and moving stuff.  And while some of their attempts to interact with the crowd were hampered by less-than-fluent English, it still got the point across.  By the third or fourth song in, I was really grooving to those pipes, along with the rest of the crowd.

I have yet to find a way to buy their stuff online, and alas, I did not get a CD before they left.  But I will be looking for it.  In the meantime, their Myspace page is here.  Knock yourselves out.

Postscript – found the website!

Stacey, the not-so-delicate flower

What is it with me and blog titles that should be the names of children’s books, anyway?

Mike gave me a present yesterday night.  It arrived on our doorstep sometime during the evening without either of us noticing – he had to wake me up to give it to me.  It’s very pretty, a little unusual, and very, very delicate.  The spring ring clasp itself is about the size of a sesame seed.  Not easy to put on when you can’t really see what you’re doing.  I was afraid to wear it to bed last night, and a little timid about wearing it to work today, though I eventually overcame my fear.

I shared these fears openly with Mike, saying how I might catch the delicate chain on a fence and tear it free from my neck, thus losing his lovely gift.  His response was simple – “Don’t get it caught on a fence.”  For some people, that advice would be easy to follow, but not generally for me.  I am not a accident-prone as I was during adolescence, but I still have stupid things befall me.  I still end up stepping into puddles that are three times as deep as they seem.  I still break things.  I think I’ve dropped and broken three glasses thus far at work in 2008 – there are more that didn’t break.  I am, after all, not really a delicate flower.  I’m more of a hardy rose – trim me back for the winter, but don’t expect to need to take me inside.

How does this all fit in with the new image of the female, and my current exploration of more traditional female roles?  I can do mannish things like build my own house or fix the garbage disposal.  I’m also still a nerd – I like tech stuff and sci fi and I have allergies that make me blow my nose a lot, which is something of a pansy sort of thing.  So maybe that makes me a female-male-female.  I now pay someone to cut my hair and actually style it sometimes and have had my nails done and (GASP) my legs are actually not hairy, in preparation for warmer weather.  Mostly this means I’m spending more time and money on things I didn’t used to bother with.  But maybe these things are also turning me into someone a little more sensible, a little more pretty, and maybe even a little more delicate.