Sunday, September 30, 2012

Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenco

Last night was amazing. I saw Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenco at the Joyce.

Every aspect of the performance was passionate and soulful. The singers were so emotional and gut wrenching, and the dancers, while being impeccably controlled, were wild and pushed to the limit.

There is nothing both so raw and dignified, so virile and vulnerable.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crips and Bloods: Made in America

Crips and Bloods: Made in America is a concise documentary that explores the origins of the gangs in South Central Los Angeles, providing a social history of the violence that has so seriously impacted these communities.

The film includes interviews with former gang members, as well as a lot of footage of South Central during the 60s and 70s, such as the Watts riot. It brings attention to the consequences of social inequality and the larger society's abandonment of minority communities. It makes a clear argument about race and explores the changes in African American communities after the Civil Rights era.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The David Ricard Big Band!

On Monday night I saw the David Ricard Big Band with Lucy Woodward perform at Typhoon in Santa Monica. The music was so exciting and invigorating. New, complex takes on pop music as well as more standard jazz numbers such as Pass the Peas. The 18 piece (?) band was stellar, and was joined with singer Lucy Woodward for about a third of the numbers. Her sultry vocals and energy were fantastic. And band leader David Ricard was funny, gracious and entertaining. A wonderfully energetic evening.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I saw an amazing group show today, Word at Corridor Gallery.

Curated by Meridith McNeal, Word presents the visual work of 17 artists whose images incorporate text, all in unique and magical ways. The pieces all worked exceedingly well with each other and it was a fantastic show. 

All were wonderful, but some standouts: Hawley Hussey's "And all the old romances, retold in exactly the ancient way" -- small shadow boxes with phrases from Treasure Island, and evocative gold paint on the glass; David Camacho's colorful mixed media sculpture boxes, "La Semilla (The Seed)"; Meg Hitchcock-Steger's works (detail pictured) made from letters cut from the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Bible); Sameeh Alderazi's prints depicting ancient poetry; and Guiseppe Di Lelio & Meridith McNeal's collaborative drawings inspired by Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.

Other artists included Dennis Buonagura, John Casey, Cecile Chong, Ernest Concepcion, Carrie Cooperrider, Yolanda Gonzalez, Damond Haynes, Glenn Ligon, Iviva Olenick, Gabriel Pacheco, and Marie Roberts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Willian Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

I just finished watching William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, a documentary about an impassioned, successful, committed, civil rights attorney who ended his career as a criminal defense lawyer on heinous cases. The documentary was made by his daughters who try to piece together his career and make sense of the choices he made toward the end of it.

The footage of the civil rights movement, anti-war protests, Attica riots and massacre, and the Wounded Knee standoff were wonderful, and he emerges as an intense fighter for justice. His daughters don't do a great job explaining his transformation to criminal cases, and I didn't feel I got much insight into it. Except that I think part of it has to do with how the times had changed from the 60s and 70s into the 80s and 90s.

It was rewarding to learn that the rapist in the Central Park jogger case who he defended was years later exonerated. It sort of vindicates Kunstler, and it was a good note to end the documentary on, as if he always had right on his side.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Queer Memoir

Last night I went to a wonderful event at Queers for Economic Justice, Queer Memoir.

This was a reading event featuring several different storytellers, who each told poignant and humorous tales, and each had a unique and charming presentation style.

Readers included Allison Grillo, Andre Azevedo, DW Shanley, Jade Foster, Lenny Zenith, M. Tauret Davis, Sarah Schulman, and Kelli Dunham.

I was moved and entertained by the whole event.