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!


It’s Friday

It is the time of week where I begin to look forward to the weekend.  Ok, really I began to look forward to it Tuesday night, but I’m trying to not encourage the more ridiculous side of my nature.  But this particular moment is when I begin to daydream in a constant flow.  I want to just dive into some liquid-blue shimmer of relaxation.  Ah.  I’m ready for retirement.

Unfortunately the only liquid shimmer I will be experiencing this weekend is rain.  Gobs and gobs of it.  Though I don’t know what a gob of rain looks like, I have confidence that I will be able to tell you by Monday.   Thursday had me fooled – it started out miserable and cloudy, and I expected the weekend to be the same.  But then the sun came out, and dried up all the rain.  And Stacey was ready for a nice weekend again.  Alas.  Today is just as dismal as yesterday morning, and I have no hope of it changing this afternoon.

But there are good sides.  Something about rain causing flowers.  I can certainly say it’s doing something for them – the pollen is everywhere.   And the colors are wonderful.  The sky may be dull and cloudy without the stunning texture of storm, but everything else is vivid.  It’s like all-day afternoon light, with rich colors and deeper hues.  I’m sure some more scientific person could tell you why the sun at the angle past noon and the sun reflected and refracting through clouds causes some wavelength change that makes every color more intense.  For myself, I’m just going to delight in what beauty I can get on a damp and wretched day.