Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Oviedo/Gijon (pronounced soft cHE-hon)
Gerry Kaiser (wavelets.com) my very interesting brilliant academic, new friend and catalyst for this impromptu trip met at the airport with our host, Emilio. We have an ocean view from our hotel room. What a treat, especially now living in Austin, I don’t have Ocean views. This small port town feels familiar—the climate and weather reminds me of Mamaroneck meets Wales.
Gerry is here teaching a Mathematical theory 4-day advanced course at the University of Oviedo. Ah, Europe. It’s so nice to be out of the country again. My goal is to go somewhere every year. We meet up with Ari on Saturday in Barcelona.
Before leaving town, two noteworthy events happened—the first was Rebecca Zshozshing my apartment from painting very room, redecorating and organizing it all on a Goodwill/Ikea/Target budget. Excellent work. I have officially moved in and purged all paperwork and memories I’ve been traveling with for 20 + years. I finally got my books out of boxes. I guess I’ll be living on Ford Street for another year…Rebecca made me say so long to my beloved Rocket Dog shoes. Sigh.
The second in event was that Bernie & Saraine—my parents came down for Passover and for the first year ever we 3 experienced a second night Seder. The first was quite big, almost 60 and second a more manageable event with 15 people. We went to the Blanton Museum (free on Thursdays) for an interesting exhibition about the relationship between music/media and architecture called “Birth of Cool” after the 1958 Miles Davis album. We also went to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, ate lunch Mr. Natural, dinner Artz Rib House (good veggie burger for me) and spent a nice morning with Carole & Kerry Price and Carole’s mother, Audrey.
And now back to Spain—
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Well it’s been a month since SXSW, and I’ve just now can say I’m finally decompressed. I have spotty internet connection at home (because I steal it and don’t pay my neighbors), so it’s been slow going uploading all my images on flickr.
My status updates on Facebook (my drug of choice) last month was:” South by Southwest is like a tsunami that comes in takes over Austin”. The entire city capitalizes on it—there’s an influx of people, which gives a shot in the arm to the local economy. These folks are by enlarge early adapters of technology, and (no exaggeration) 90% i-phone/Mac users, and the Austin Convention Center had to add another cell phone tower/power to accommodate this i-population. There were all here. The guy sitting next to me at a gaming panel I had to shoot didn’t just have an i-phone—he works for Apple and creates applications for it.
Much of my personal experience was based upon what my assignments were—be it film premieres, after parties or bands. One night I was planted at a little bar on 6th Street called The Dirty Dog shooting the ASCAP showcase. This was a great just getting a taste of what some new bands were. The headliner (at 1 AM) was an energized young band was out of Seattle called Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.
One day, I saw four films in one day (I Bring What I love, Garbage Dreams, female hip-hop film Say My Name & RIP: A Remix Manifesto)
A distinction in comparison to last year was that I now live in Austin and have a full time job. If was more strategic (hindsight 20/20) I would have taken vacation days so I could have been entirely immersed in SXSW. Instead, I led a double life-with late night assignments and then being at work the next day. I felt like a wind up doll by the end of it all.
Another highlight was the presence of Wavy Gravy in town all week walking his fish with filmmaker, Michelle Esrick (rippleeffectfilms.com) promoting Saint Misbehavin’ a documentary about Wavy Gravy. I was a great feeling looking up into the crowd at Stubbs to see Wavy wearing a tye-died “Keep Austin Weird” shirt during the Gomez/Andrew Bird/Ben Harper show. (Adrew Bird is this picture)
Being a photographer for SXSW, I was taken a back to have someone request to photograph me. Me? I said. She said yes, “You have a great look”—so I guess I do these days with flaming red through out my brown hair.
The last day of the SXSW weekend I went to the pure South Austin hippy music event--Leeann’s monthly Full Moon Bar Yard Dance—and since SXSW was over, and I was off-duty, I wasn’t armed with my camera. I felt naked, suffice to say, I’ll never do that again. I missed shooting this adorable burlesque all-girl Norwegian band each playing multi instruments called Katzenjammer. That is always one of the issues of straddle to experience an event be purely just being or having the more active experience of documenting behind the lens of a camera. I love the experience of of capturing that great moment. It’s a rush!