So far, the weather has been many degrees milder this year — literally!
Considering last year was the hottest on record, and 2012 was a scorcher too, I’ll accept a pleasant surprise. It is also raining as I write this, which pleases me too, since April and May were dryer than I like. Northern Utah is lovely when there is rainfall.
Rewinding Back to Front
The workshop in Salt Lake City could have accommodated twice as many students. We covered our basic expenses, and learned a few more things about the vaunted Dance Scene in Salt Lake City, though — one thing being that there are a lot of talented dancers who are seeking larger audiences. We sure had some dynamic individuals in the classes!
It may seem to be a startling thing to report, but I am NOT working with Katie Duck anymore. She did her thing at USCD (well-attended, I am told) and I enjoyed a very pleasant vacation around the San Diego area. I stayed at the historic Lafayette Hotel, where Doris Day used to sing, and heard live music almost every night. Among the fun things I did was attend services at the Self Realization Fellowship, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi) in Encinitas, a bit further north, and toured the grounds of the Retreat/Hermitage, where their guru lived until his inevitable passing in 1952.
I finally visited the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park, where my friend Lennox Tierney is still Head Curator, and called him in Salt Lake City while we cooled off in the teahouse. It was a good thing, too — he cleared the way for us to see an incredible collection of wedding Kimonos in that building behind the Koi Kites (above). There was a Koi Pond in Encinitas too, but they didn’t fly any kites!
While we were out on the weekend, I was having a conversation about the movie 20 Feet From Stardom with a fabulous singer named Janice Edwards. When she mentioned Lynn Mabry, I mentioned how highly she was regarded by P-Funk fans like myself. Turns out that Janice had been a bona fide P-Funk road warrior, singing in Parlet as Janice Evans (YAY!) and was especially featured on the album Play Me or Trade Me. She also sang on the classic Funkadelic song Knee Deep. We laughed for fifteen minutes about sharing George Clinton’s Mothership Connection as a fan and as a pro.
After I flew back to Salt Lake, I almost immediately went to see some talented young dancers in a concert by the Michael Garber Dance Collective at Sugar Space.
My awesomely talented friend Wachira Waigwa-Stone led the live music, and they even showed a video about the company for relief — I’d previously seen this at the Dance Film Festival in Provo, but it was fun to see it again. Guest dancers Melanie and her Body Logic posse sat with me on the upper risers with our eyes and ears on the action throughout the second half. Check out the online review at the website of LoveDanceMore.
My curiosity concerning Sugar Space resulted in the ongoing pleasure of seeing about a baker’s dozen Utah-based dancers performing in a variety of ways in a number of different venues during the late Winter and early Spring of 2014. Man, I really appreciate the privilege of having these experiences!
Overlapping RAW was an interesting event at the Photo Collective on Second South called Museum of Nobody — a wide-open amalgamation of performances and visual installations. It took place over two interesting nights, and involved the amazing improvisational company Porridge for Goldilocks, plus Wachira and a pianist who just kept it rolling along.
That’s me in the corner of the leftmost photo above, shooting at the concave mirror above the space. You can make out foreshortened images of the pianist, Wachira, Megan, Amy, and Monica from a ceiling-eye’s view. Wachira’s band Sugartown Alley was scheduled to play at the Woodshed later, so I went over there to have a listen, but they didn’t start until after I had to leave — I simply get tuckered OUT sometimes.
Catching up on my own projects
I spent a productive week or so putting together a new page on the Cosmic Aeroplane Memorabilia site called Cosmic Roots and Branches — The 9th & 9th Community.
This page describes the transition between the “Hippie Era” of the Sixties and the still-creative Seventies where Alternative Culture became more of a grassroots movement as the Baby Boomers grew older and explored their own likes and dislikes without so much prompting from the Mass Media. It traces the fortunes of the Cosmic Aeroplane’s original neighborhood as it developed into a still-thriving Alternative Business district that continues to be a comfort to the afflicted, and an affliction to the comfortable, in this all-too-conservative town.
After shooting some insane mirage-videos out on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and attending a political demonstration at the City and County Building, camera in hand, I started looking forward to a mellower June.
There is no pain you are receding — a distant ship’s smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves — Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now — the child is grown, the dream is gone …
I have become — comfortably numb
As it was in the beginning …
One thing that gave me a toe hold on sanity during the crazy first week of May was Ladies That Rock at the Woodshed. I needed to do SOMETHING ELSE other than what I was doing during the blur of the workshop, and the first-rate music of MiNX filled the bill perfectly, along with some nice riffology by Shasta and the Second Strings — totally missed Big Wild Wings, the first act, however.
Raffi’s new Stratocaster Big Pink had a case of stage fright or something, because the high strings burst asunder in the middle of a song. Luckily Backup Blackie was ready to go, and Raffi had it rocking the joint in a few bars’ time. Thanks to auxiliary tracks and Ischa’s dazzling showwomanship, few even remembered the change after a few minutes.
Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
REMINDER: Research this prolific author on ERBzine.
And thereby hangs a tale As good luck would have it As merry as the day is long At one fell swoop … (We’re stealing from Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre, like Shakespeare did.)
Read my very personal review of 004’s CD State of Affairs: HERE
Buy one through RAUNCH Records’ Facebook page!