Concert Review: Women’s Looping Festival

The concert started at 7:00, which is a sucky time, because you don’t really have time to eat before then on a weekday. So imagine my surprise when, after paying the $7 admission, I saw the buffet. The concert came with food. There was a lot of meat, but also salad and hummus, the vegan standby. It was pretty good. There was alos a bar where one could purchase alchoholic beverages (probably non alchoholic ones too) and bring them into the show.
So I got to the show on time, but got distracted by the food and missed part of the first act. The music was in a long skinny room, with the stage along a long wall. It’s an intimate setting, but there was a pretty good group of people there. The first woman was mostly doing stuff with prerecorded tracks and echo/delay fx. She was talking about her cats and then about Saddam Hussein (she was pro-peace). She had some peaking problems with the mic and hasn’t quite figured everything out yet. Later I heard her say that it was her first show. So it was great for a first show. I think she was called Audio Goddess.
The second woman did world music stuff. She sang some traditional folk songs, harmonizing with her own voice through looping. She’s still learning the technology, and was explaining about how she has slightly changed her vocal technique. She has not yet found her voice for looping, but is very promising. Her music was entertaining and good. She had slight timing problems, but they’ll smooth out as she figures out the technology more. And I doubt non-musicican types heard any timing problems or anytthing at all beyond a good set. She was Unity Nguyen.
The next act was into ambient. She had a ton of percussion equipment, but mostly used her voice. Since she was ambient, her work was very static and I foudn my mind wandering, so I don’t know if she used any of her equipment or not, except I saw her bowing a cymbal. I think she could have used some more resin on the bow. She was heavy into echo fx and apparently didn’t turn down her percussion mic when she was recording vocals, since she ended up with a recording of her voice making a snare drum hum. I was too far away to see, so there may not have been a snare drum, and it certainly could have been on purpose. She did two or three songs. They kind of sounded the same to me. She has a CD out. I was not super-impressed, but my companion thought she was great. Ambient is not my favorite genre to lsiten to, but I can be fun to create. Some of her stuff sounded like it was decaying as it looped (that’s a good thing) and making space for her new tracks. That’s a cool fx (is it effect or affect?). Her name was Dark Muse.
The next person did some very light elevator techno with electric guitar over it and spoken words, but I think her mic was turned off. This was either her fault or a poor sound check. She used a e-bow thing for the guitar. So did the person previous to her. It seems to be the thing for ambient people. She also did some straight guitar stuff. She was heavy into fx. One of her synths seemed to be a guitar synth, so it made it more difficult to tell exactly what she was playing when, although certainly the sound is the most important thing. She has some wacky controller that worked like a theramin. It was set up to play discreete notes (for instance, through the guuitar synth) instead of continiuosly varying a frequency, like a regular theremin. Her work was also very static, but the songs sounded different. She travelled from someplace far, like Boulder, to play in San Jose. I think she’s blind. Her name was CQ.
Finally, Amy X Neuburg, the headliner came on. Amy X is a master of the technology. Her timing is perfect, the knows how to use a microphone and her songs are all different from each other and entertaining. Also, she has a mastery of her voice and has a wide range of pitch and style. She has a lot of experince using her set up and has a lot of practice. Her songs were often funny. They were very multilayerd. They were also multi-parted, so she would start with one theme, leave it and then come back to it. She had one song about her Neuroses that listed things she forgot to do and included “Oh no, I forgot to have children.” She laos talked about going to the grocery store at 3:00 AM while stoned and how messy her apartment was. It was the best song of the set, although the others were good. At the end, she received a standing ovation, so she came back to end with a song called Finnish, which was in Finnish.
Amy X is really in a different league than the other artists, but I think it’s a good idea to have people of varrying success and ability play the same show. Punk rock shows do this all the time, where they put on inexperienced bands, who may need more practice but show promise, on first and close with a great act who plays with mastery. New music shows (or “festivals”) typically instead borrow from the classical tradition where people of equal talent are grouped together. So an artist’s first show might have only freinds and family present. With the punk rock/San Jose Museum model, the person playing her fiorst show had a crowd of 40 people or more. Also, people can trickle in through out the evening and know that the best is on last. More new music shows ought to be run this way. Also, maybe because it was in San Jose and culture there is sparse, it was a really well-attnded show. the same show in the City or the East Bay would have had far fewer people in attendance.
Anyway, I was wondering how to send a tape to the organizer when he came on stage and announced the next festival, which he would be performing at, playing day-glo green plastic. Everyone around me (who had been to Woodstockhausen) gasped. Woodstockhausen people are everywhere!
Media reference:

Christi has left me her laptop, so I am lying in bed and updating my blog. I used to day dream about doing things like this. I have Christi’s previous castoff laptop as my very own now, so I could do it, but that one has a terrible keyboard. Also, it got upgraded until it was too slow, so I’s need to back up to System 8 to get decent performance out of it. Anyway, with Christi’s shiny new not-yet-over-upgraded laptop, I can lie in bed with a good keyboard and slack away, totally prone. Not totally, prone cuz then i couldn’t see the keyboard, and i’m not any sort of touch typist, especially with these nice but tiny keys. I’ve got her laptop so I can try out her score notation software. You enter in notes into whatever type of score you’ve picked up (I’ve got a percussion score open) and then you can play them back and hear a good midi rendition of the instruments you’ve chosen. I know, welcome to the 1980s, this is not a new thing. But it’s new to me. First of all, the MIDI sounds actually sound good. Secondly, I never quite got my notation software working. It’s mostly designed for people who want to do MIDI pop songs, so it uses that piano roll method of showing notes and if you get into score mode, it’s a pain to edit the notes. And it’s more designed for people to play something into the program then painstakingly type in each note. But Siebelus is aimed at composers. It’s aimed at composers who want to spend a lot of money and then only be able to install on one computer. So this is Christi’s software on her computer and not mine. Also, it’s got the best splash screen of any program. I like to start and restart the program so I can hear the violin line do that great tension/resolving thing. yikes.

Christi is gone and I am all alone until Sunday night. If I was smarter, this could have been better planned. We could have gone to see my mom in the morning today and then again sunday evening (after leaving a bit early) and I would have just taken my regular day off and instead I will be all by lonesome. Christi’s grandpa has suffered some sort of major medical event. One moment he was talking to matthew, the next he was on the ground, sweaty and cold with no discernable breathing or pulse. Matthew called 911 and attempted to fake CPR. (hey people: go take a CPR class. Your work may offer them for free. And if you’re not working, well then you have time. It doesn’t take that long to learn and it’s clearly a valuable skill.) Anyway, due to Matt’s fast acting, Grandpa was transported to the hospital and revived. Last I heard he was complaining that he was in the hospital. One second he’s talking to Matthew, next thing you know he’s in the hospital. Why did they do that? He whines a lot about disruptions to his schedule. So he sounds ok, but I don’t know. Christi was on the way to Riverside to visit Tiffany, but now she’s going on to San Bernadino to see her grandpa too. Hopefully she will call with updates as to his health. I’m all out of my own grandparents (lately not doing so well with parents either), so I made an agreement to borrow Christi’s. I’m not in favor of this death thing. I’d like to speak to the manager. Somebody better tell me what’s going on with Grandpa. Christi’s cousins all beleive him to be immortal as he seems so old and yet also seems to be as healthy as a mule. We’ll see. Last time I saw him, he seemed to be as stubborn as a mule. He had a hernia operation only a couple days ago, which this seems like it’s related to (at least to me) and I think that operation wouldn’t have been done unless he was pretty healthy going into it or the hernia was really really bad. Anyway, I should head south. Last couple times I saw my mom, she was doing terribly, but my brother came wich is a minor miracle, I guess. Today I am wasting massive amounts of water on my little container garden. some of plants have started looking yellowish, maybe because they’re at the end of their lifecycle, but they are suppossed to flower more before they go. I have a brown thumb. Not good with plants, animals or people.

I heard a shout down the hallway, “Resistance is futile! You will be assimilated!”
“My god, is it the borg?” I asked.
“No, my darling,” Shiela said, trying to assuage me, “it’s the new homeland security forces working with the INS to process green card applicants.”
“How archaic!” I looked around, “We must have made the wrong turn and gotten into the federal building.”
“Oh no, my darling,” she said in a voice that filled me with apprehension, “they work everywhere.”
Shelia could stand to be more articulate at times, but she does know what’s going on and besides that, she dresses up my arm very nicely. I motioned that we should duck into a sidehallway. There are some standing warrants for my arrest and an aprehension was not on my agenda for the day.
“We should move from here, my darling.” shelia whispered in my ear. I misread her ardor and kissed her passionately, when I was suddenly assialed from behind. I was out faster than an incandescent lightbulb in a power surge, but apparently Selia put up quite a fight. I came to in a bare concrete room with a bare lightbulb overhead, the very image of asperity, but there was more in store.
“where am I?” I asked, before I got my bearings.
“Ah,” an unknown voice said, “your antipathy toward the law finally caught up with you, Mr. Anderson.”
I sat up. “Look, you’ve got the wrong guy. I’m not even a guy. I’m just Jane Smith, like it says on my drivers liscence.”
“One of you many aliases, Mr Anderson.” the voice spat out with heavy antagonism. I could just make out the speaker standing in the shadows of the room.
“Where’s Shelia?” I demanded.
A shadow next to the speaker moved suddenly and he collapsed to the ground. shelia stepped out of the shadows.
“What took you so long?” I asked as she took my cuffs off
“I was waiting for you to inquire after me.”
I assayed myself, checking for injury. “That’s a pretty arbitrary time to come to the rescue.”
“I had to make sure they didn’t assimilate you. The door is this way.”
As I wondered what was going on, she led me out into an utterly arid desert. Fortunately there was a dune buggy parked there, because it would be a long, waterless walk otherwise.
“Can you explain what’s going on? just start from the top.” I said after we hotwired the buggy and started acorss the sands.
She was driving so she gestured towards her purse. Inside was a document, whose edges were handpainted with intriquite arabesque but whose content was utterly arid.
“It’s all in there.” she said.
I read the whole thing. “My god!” I said, “this sinister plot must be stopped!”
Shelia handed me my revolver.

The 15 GRE Words of the Day

  1. antagonism (noun) Hostility, conflict, opposition. Witnesses at Columbine high School spoke of a lingering antagonism between nerds and jocks. antagonistic (adjective), antagonize (verb).
  2. antipathy (noun) A long-held feeling of dislike or aversion. Jazz musicians often have an antipathy for country music. Do country musicians have similar feelings about jazz?
  3. apprehension (noun) A feeling of fear or foreboding; an arrest. The apprehension was noticiable in the line of students waiting to take the GRE.   I was surprised to turn on Cops and see an apprehension of Jim. Why didn’t he get his face fuzzed out? apprehend (verb).
  4. arabesque (noun) Intricate decorative patterns involving intertwining lines and sometimes incorporating flowers, animals and fruits. The dominant art-form in the middle east has long been caligraphy and due to prosperity in the region, for a long time, everything was inscribed. So you can go through the British Museum and see mosaics covered with arabesque, surrounding religious quotations.
  5. arbitrary (adjective) Based on random or merely personal preference. the highschool dresscode, which banned camoflague patterns and jeans of certain colors, was widely considered by the students to be fully arbitrary
  6. archaic (adjective) Old-fashioned, obsolete. For years, macintosh users bragged that their GUI replaced the archaic command-line system used by DOS users. Now they brag about their BSD-based system with it’s terminal windows. archaism (noun).
  7. ardor (noun) A strong feeling of passion, energy or zeal. The “primative” ardor that Stravinsky poured into Rite of Spring was so strong and unexpected by his contemporaries, that a riot broke out after just the first movement during the first performance. (true story). ardent (adjective)
  8. arid (adjective) Very dry; boring and meaningless. Visitors to Death Valley are advised to take a few gallons of water apiece so they can survive the arid conditions.   Only after everyone listening to me excitely talking about the Hundred Years War fell asleep, did I realize that some might find French military history to be an arid subject. aridity (noun)
  9. articulate (adjective) To express oneself clearly and effectively. After listening to the republicrats speak, it’s exciting to listen to someone as articulate as Nader and that green guy whose running for govenor who everyone should vote for because he’s soooo much better than Davis or Simon.
  10. asperity (noun) Harshness, severity. Pelican bay prison is built on the insane idea that the way to lower recidivism rates is to treat the prisoners with asperity, instead of preparing them to return to the community.
  11. assail (verb) To attack with blows or words. when Ari Fleisher attemtped to state Bush’s war plans, he was assailed by thinking people in the audience. assailant (noun).
  12. assay (verb) To analyze for particular components; to determine weight, quality, etc We assayed spam and discovered that it does contain meat products, epsecially from the snout region.
  13. assimilate (verb) To absorb into a system or culture. A goal of Ellis Island was to convince immigrants to Americanize their names and ideas so they would more quickly assimilate into mainstream culture.
  14. assimilated (adjective) The decendants of Irish immigrants have fully assimilated into mainstream white society, but, because of the legacy of slavery and lingering racism, the decendants of African immigrants have not assimilated to the same degree.
  15. assuage (verb) To easy, to pacify. Hearing that her brother was fine after surgery did not assuage Katie, only seeing him awake and talking did.

My mission: agitation. I’ve sworn alliegance to a secret organization, dedicated to anarchy. Using an alias, I travel to strange locations and stir up animosity against the ruling powers. Such animosity is always present, so I just need to amplify it to reolutionary levels. I’m like a modern-Che (or perhaps I’m aggrandizing myself). Fighting the power means bringing about a crisis quickly. Governments want to keep power and they will allocate funds for aid to do that, as little as possible, so they can create the illusion of ameliorating the problem. My pseudo-communist mission may sound like an anachronism to the upper classes, but it is not. the poor have no real affinity for the rich. they pretned to respect you, but it is merely an affectation. Right now, class uprising is thought of, by some, as an anomaly. They are wrong, it is the natural order of things. The mission of my adversaries, such as the world bank, is to prevent that. Thus they offer their loans, wich nations can only amortize while their GDP is eaten alive by debt paid to the first world. Some members of my group want to destroy the rich, others just want to amalgamate them with the rest of the world. some of us believe that the survival skills of the well-heeled are such that both amount to the same thing….

The 15 GRE Words of the Day

16. affected (adjective) false, artificial.
80’s radio djs used to speak in an affected british accent. affect (verb), affectation (noun)
17. affinity (noun) A feeling of shared attraction, kinship, a
When Christi and I feel in love, we marvled over our affinity for John Cage,
Riot Grrl and our RA.

18. aggrandize (verb) To make bigger or greater; to inflate.
When he was mayor of New York, Ed Kotch was renowned for aggrandizing his
accomplishments and stroling through city events shouting “How’m I doing?”
aggrandizement (noun)

19. agitation (noun) A disturbance; a disturbig feeling of upheavel and
The campus took away the microphones from the radical groups because they
feared student agitation.
agitated (adjective), agitate (verb)

20. alias (noun) An assumed name.
Don’t reveal my identity to the spies! Call me by my alias, “sloshie.”

21. allegiance (noun) Loyalty or devotion shown to one’s government or
to a s person, group or cause.
I pledge allegiance to my christi and to the sidewalk on which she

22. allocate (verb) to apportion for a specific purpose, to distribute.
If you want to buy a fabcy new RAID array, you’re going to have to
allocate some funds out of your general budget.
allocation (noun)

23. amalgamate (verb) to blend thoroughly.
The reason the white south wanted to maintain segregation, especially in
schools, was because they feared amalgamation. Intermarriage would
destroy their very wonderful paleness for future generations.
amalgamation (noun)

24. ameliorate (verb) to make something better or more tolerable.
Perhaps we can ameliorate the condition of Vanessa’s Tofu Suprise through
the juditious addition of soy sauce.
amelioration (noun)

25. amortize (verb) to pay off or reduce a debt gradually throught
periodic payments.
In the interest rate is low, it might be a good idea to amortize our
morgage instead of paying it off as fast as we can.

26. amplify (verb) to enlarge, expand or increase.
When you asked me to amplify the music, i wrote a second movement, not
knowing you just wanted me to make it louder. oops.
amplification (noun)

27. anachronistic (adjective) out of the proper time.
The knight at the ren-faire was wearing keds, which is totally an
anachronism, cuz it’s not like keds were invented yet when there were
knights. of course, somebody running around now dressed in armor is kind
of anachronistic anyway. Maybe he belongs to the society for creative
anachronism (noun)

28. anarchy (noun) abscence of law or order.
anarchists are kind of silly, because they don’t want chaos or actual
anarchy, they want people to form allegiances voluntarily.
anarchic (adjective)

29. animosity (noun) hostility, resentment.
Roz could no longer contain her animosity towards Xena and so after a
minute of sniffing noses, she returned to growling obnoxiously.

30. anomaly (noun) something different or irregular.
we noticed an anomoly on the scan, so we’re going to have to do a biopsy
to make sure it’s not cancer.
anomalous (adjective)

Esperanto class was bursting at the seams! We are going to move to a bigger classroom. (no, i am not making this up.) But there is still room for you! Yes, there is. Tuesday night 7:30 – 9:30 enhanced with kekstempo – cookie break time! keksoj = cookies. See, now you’ve learned one useful word, there’s no reason not to show up.
Speaking of Esperanto, I’ve been thinking more about Christi’s silent movie idea. Phillip Glass does a lot of movie composing for old movies, but the one’s i’ve seen have all been movies with sound and subtitles. Opera singers sing the lines of the speakers in the movie. so he just plays the movie with the sound turned off. and then I thought of the perfect movie to do that to: Incubus! no, don’t leave! William Shatner, when interviewed about his role in Incubus, consistently describes the script as “operatic.” He says it deals starkly between good and evil – like an opera would. the movie is, as i’m sure you know, the only full-length movie shot entirely in Esperanto. And it doesn’t have much dialog. the dialog it does have is very easy. There are long sequences with pretty pictures where no one speaks. (these are the best part of the film.) those sections could be filled with musical interlude. Also, the movie has very few speaking parts. There’s that guy who only lasts for one scene, Kia, her sister, Marco, his sister and the incubus, and I’m not sure if the incubus even speaks. so we could get away with a mezo-soprano (I don’t like high sopranos so much), an alto and a tenor. Maybe a second male part, maybe not. If we got a second male part, there could be cool chorus-y suff when the evil minons file in at the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, there are problematic elements in the movie. It would take a bit of snipping. For all of it’s operaticness (as perceived by Shatner), it’s still an icky horror movie. There are only two scenes that really ought to go. there’s the one where the evil minions tear off Marco’s sister’s clothes and the incubus lurches in with his bad teeth. (well, it is an icky horror movie and we’re going to cut that scene.) and of course, the scene in the end with the goat. I think we could have Kia and Marco running towards the church and then have her crawl in, harmed, and never explain what happened. Or, we could just have the incubus show up to get her and cut before he turns into a goat. Really, this film does have all the great aspects of opera. Think Don Giovanni with it’s graveyards and people eating corpses and satanic figures rising from the dead. Think of that and thenk really low budjet, with only three singers, no sets aside from a screen and projector and a small pit orchestra. Additionally, this is an act we could take on the road. People would come see it because it might sound interesting, but think of all the esperantists who want to see what on earth an opera based on Incubus would be like. see! this is a great idea!

Today is the first day of Esperanto class. Yes, this means summer is finally over. I left for my mom’s house really early, so I don’t have 15 GRE words for today, but they will resume tomorrow along with the 5 esperanto root words of the day. If I learn 20 new words a day, in two languages, soon i’ll be the best spoken person on earth. (note to self: there must be a more multi-sylabled way to say that…)
I woke up in a bad mood because I couldn’t remeber what “abjure” meant. But now I feel happier.
My mom is popular. Twof reinds came earlier and two more are on the way. That’s all god. She’s also happy. I’m not paying attention to her right now because I am updating my blog. Bad daughter! No bisquit!

Although he appeared to affable, he was in fact, an adversary. Thus it was not an abberation when he attempted to abscond with all my allies. But he was not as adroit as I. He did not abbrade me, I merely hatched a plan to bring my allies back to me and abrogate their allegiance to him. They would abjure their connection to him when they learned that I had the better taste in art! Yes, I am an aesthete. true, he may donate to the opera and he has slowly, through accretion built up something of an art collection, but he will be exposed as a fraud and my allies will return. a while ago, he purchased some sculptures, he thought as an adjunct to the rest of his art collection, which was mostly paintings at that point. but the sculptures were tacky! Tasteless! ugly! The acted to adulterate his collection, not enhance it. I learned that he foolishly planned to have a prty in his new scultpure garden, a party that would surely be abbreviated when the guests caught sight of his ghastly collection. And then, their allegiance to him would be abridged. My allies would return to a true lover of art and music. But what are these allies worth? I foundmyself questioning. Afterall, if their gatherings with me could be held in abeyance due to their loyalty to one so utterly tacky, tasteless boorish, boring and completly un-affable as this adversary, what do I need them for? so I abandoned my plans and set out in search of new freinds.