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Call for Entries – Concert Photos and Poster & Album Art Show (U.Oregon)

23rd Apr 13 (Tue) Leave a comment

Sorry for the late announcement, as the deadline approaches… but…

305799_157326424436555_477574662_nConcert Images – Call for Entries:

Seeking photography that features live music performance, musicians, music festivals or concerts for exhibit in the Aperture Gallery located in the Erb Memorial Union at the University of Oregon.

The exhibit, which runs 5/8/2013 – 5/19/2013, will coincide with the Willamette Valley Music Festival May 11, 2013.

Please submit up to five (5) .jpg images, with original dimensions, for consideration to gallery@uoregon.edu by 4/25/2013.

430229_157326417769889_1337631221_nPoster and Album Art Show – Call for Entries:
West Coast Gig – Independent Music Poster and Album Art Exhibition 5/10 – 5/22

Seeking independent album art and concert posters from west coast bands, promoters or venues from 1990 and later for an exhibit at the Buzz Coffeehouse Gallery in the Erb Memorial Union at the University of Oregon.

Please submit pdf or jpg images of posters, with original dimensions, to gallery@uoregon.edu by 4/25/2013

Accepted works will be reproduced and installed by the UO Cultural Forum during the Willamette Valley Music Festival May 11, 2013, in the Buzz Pub Stage Area.

The exhibit will run 5/10/2013 – 5/22/2013

~Dan – np: Tom WaitsRain Dogs
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs

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Chali 2Na – “Against the Current” & future PledgeMusic (12/12/12)

5th Dec 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Chali 2Na - Against the Current

Jurassic 5 baritone Chali 2Na has a few solo albums to his name, but this next project, as hinted back last winter, is about to see the light of day.  We finally have a video for “Against the Current“…

And a week from now (on 12/12/12), his PledgeMusic drive will go into effect.

As excited as I am to tell you about it, I admit humbly that it’s going to take me some time (and some help) to get this thing assembled the way I intend it for you. So as a snack before the meal, I came up with a way to reward y’all for getting involved and being a part of it from the jump. Starting 12.12.12 (next Wednesday to be exact) I’m going to begin releasing a series of EPs along the way until the book is ready to ship. The first installment of the series, from this project I labeled, “Against The Current” will be a sample of the four that will follow. The most enjoyable thing about my music career for me personally, has been collaborating with Artists from many different walks of life, and even places of the World. And I’ve been influenced by so many different types of music, that with this project I’m actually going in on a couple of them. The 2nd EP will be heavily influenced by Electronic and Dub-Step music. I’m also finishing up one that’s Caribbean influenced and another one I’m going to record exclusively with my live band. And the last one will be a true vintage Hip Hop record, even-though I know that’s not exactly what Hip Hop sounds like in current day. Hence the name of the Project.

Keep in the loop on his PledgeMusic page:
http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/chali2na

~Dan – np: Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold (Songs For Christmas) Vol. IX: Let It Snow!

Sean Avery ~ animal sculptures from shattered CDs

25th Feb 12 (Sat) Leave a comment

Australian artist Sean Avery created these animal sculptures that uses old CDs…

He chops up the discs and turns them into whimsical animal sculptures. Some of his pieces use circuit boards, chips, and other recycled computer parts.

Avery states, “I blend many different man made materials together to make them appear strangely organic, with a distinct sense of movement.

Gorgeous work, if you ask me!  View more at: http://seaneavery.com/

~Dan – np: John ZornMadness, Love and Mysticism

Mandala (a musical palindrome) by Daniel Starr-Tambor

27th Jan 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

File this under math music… maybe not as odd/arty as John Cage’s Slow Music project, but still a bit ethereal…

Mandala (a musical palindrome) by Daniel Starr-Tambor

With more than 62 vigintillion individual notes, “Mandala” is the longest palindrome in existence. Composed using the first nine partials of the Natural Harmonic Series repeating at the accelerated tempos of our solar system, Mandala would continue without repetition for over 532.25 septendecillion years. In homage to “Art of the Fugue” by J.S. Bach, “Mandala” has been crafted to include the “musical signature” of its author: the stereo imaging is arranged to reflect the exact position of the solar system at the moment of his birth, from the perspective of the Sun as it faces the constellation Libra, so that each note chronicles his birthday on every planet.

Have a great weekend!

~Dan – np: Damien JuradoMaraqopa

REVIEW: Cirque du Soleil (Zumanity & O), Penn & Teller, and Criss Angel (Las Vegas, NV – 1/17-21/11)

24th Jan 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

I was in Las Vegas last week for a conference/convention… no, not the AVN/Adult Entertainment Expo – that was just “serendipity“… outside of seeing the random porn star walking around a hotel lobby (like Dana DeArmond, Belladonna, and some others that “a friend” told me about…), I didn’t take in that frivolity.

Some excellent Las Vegas shows were taken in, though… and here is my mega, 4-part review

First up was the Cirque du Soleil show BeLIEVE from Criss Angel on Tuesday night (1/17).   I’ll say it now, that I’ve been a fan of Criss Angel before most of you had even heard of him (long before the TV show, long before “the Loyal” were dreamed up).  I’m not trying to gain “street cred,” but merely setting up a background for my ultimate opinion on the show…

I got into Criss Angel via his first album, Angel Dust’s 1998 debut Musical Conjurings from the World of Illusion – which was a collaboration between Criss Angel (on vocals) and hard-industrial artist Circle of Dust (music).  The album was later re-branded as a Criss Angel release called System 1 (nixing the Angel Dust moniker).  Klayton (Scott Albert aka Circle of Dust aka Celldweller) was still involved in the System 2 & 3 in the trilogy (and even in Criss’ Mindfreak Broadway show and the A&E Mindfreak TV series), but it definitely became more of a Criss Angel project, and less of a Circle of Dust/Celldweller project.  That’s all fine and good.  It became what Criss was… a loud, audacious rocker magician.  There’s a place for everything in this world of entertainment.

I was curious when I heard a few years ago that he was pairing with Circue du Soleil.  I love Cirque shows; so I thought it’d be a given show to see.  Well, Cirque still has its name associated with the BeLIEve show, but apparently toned down the acrobatic/dance/surreal aspects of the show, as it was distracting from the magic side.  What was left was more resembling the A&E Mindfreak show set on a stage… it wasn’t very Cirque-y anymore, but that was probably a-OK with me.

My thoughts… the “clowns” were only “meh.”  The set design was gorgeous.  Some of my favorite tricks were the metamorphosis, dove tricks, and swallowing razor blades and a string only to pull them out on the string (HOW!?).   The Celldweller score was great, the pyro was flashy/bodacious.  It does come off as a bit cheesy/corny/”metal,” but that’s part of what Criss Angel’s always been; so that wasn’t a shock.  One thing I will say, though, on this night’s performance, it did seem like there were too many similar tricks (teleportation/metamorphosis).  Yeah, sure, it’s cool… but how many times do I need to see Criss or one of his characters show up somewhere unexpected?

Bottom Line for Criss Angel’s Believe: I enjoyed it.  Drop the price $20, and I’d like it more.  3.5 of 5 stars.

BeLIEve snippets*
*- much of this show has been somewhat “de-Cirque’d” as it were.
the above was not what was presented when I saw it.
Criss Angel/Cirque website

On Wednesday (1/18), I decided to follow Criss with some more magic.  This had to be Penn & TellerThe hour prior to show was featuring the Mike Jones Duo (Mike on piano, and Penn on upright bass).  I’m a fan of Penn Jillette via his skepticism slant, his Crackle show, his Penn Point show, his book (God No!), and their recent Discovery show P&T Tell a LieI’ve yet to see the Bullshit series on Showtime (but I will!), but what I had seen via short internet clips – I knew I’d like.

Prior to the show on Wednesday, they invited everyone in the audience to come check out the big wooden box on stage and sign an envelope.  The box was solid, no false bottom / trap door that I could see.  The opening of the box was facing the crowd, and when the show started, Penn came out, shut the door, and only moments later Teller showed up inside the box.  WTF!?

Some of my favorite tricks were cell fish, metal detector, slight of hand, ball and string, phony psychics (with the audience signed envelope), helium, the ring trick with Grace, sawing woman in half (better than Criss Angel), goldfish/coins, cow barn camera, nail gun (wow! Penn’s memory!), American flag burning, flower shadow, and the magic bullet.

OK, those were basically all of the tricks.  There were honestly no slow parts.  I found it all profoundly interesting and genuinely entertaining.  Some tricks, I had an idea how they were done.  Other tricks were simply feats of the mind.  And some tricks are still driving me mad…

Bottom Line for Penn & Teller: If you love magic, go see this show.  Utterly brilliant.  They tip their hand a bit, but still mess with you.  4.5 of 5 stars.  I would see this again, without flinching.

the official P&T trailer
ignore the cheesy music (by Rio), this show rocked
Penn & Teller website

Friday night (1/20), it was date night… the sensual Cirque du Soleil show Zumanity.  This is the “sensual side” of Cirque du Soleil.  No, it was the HOT side.  We had 2nd row seats… luckily we escaped the torment of the Cirque “clowns” (barely).

The show started out with a beautiful wind dance mixed with an African dance.  The first bit of acrobatics was with a pool performance (see to the right) by two gorgeous beauties.  Up next was quite amazing… a hula hoop woman who did amazing work on stage, then hula hooped in the air, then hula hooped in the air while doing contortions, and then hula hooped about 20-30 hoops at one time in the air.  Her school girl outfit didn’t hurt either.

There were many aerial artists – all amazing, all sexy… even a “little person” aerial ropes artist.  There was a pole dancer; an extreme balance guy; a sensual balancing couple; a 2-man cage fight over a girl that turned into a lurid, long homo-erotic kiss (saw it coming a mile away, but it was hot); the rose guy’s striptease that worked the crowd into a frenzy; an amazing contortionist; some great audience participation with the clowns in between set changes; an S&M metal hoop guy (blindfolded during parts of his act); and the show culminated in a sexy bath dance number.

Bottom Line for Zumanity: Ya hozna!  Hot, sexy, and amazing Cirque acrobatics.  4.75 of 5 stars.  I would see this again, without flinching.  This is what a Cirque show in Sin City should be!  Pay extra and get a good seat – yum!

the official Zumanity trailer
fairly representative of the show
Cirque du Soleil / Zumanity website

The final show of the Vegas week was the water-borne Cirque du Soleil show O on Saturday (1/21).   The $70 million dollar pool/theatre was quite amazing.  The show was full of some pretty stunning feats – aerial acrobats, outrageous acrobatic diving, floor work with the raising and lowering underwater set, the usual Cirque clowns, a swinging balance girl… but it was all held together by a very confusing/odd storyline (more confusing and odd than other Cirque shows I’ve seen).

The most amazing feats were definitely the diving numbers and the balancing swing woman.  The other acrobatics were made a little bit more interesting than other normal Cirque shows simply due to the water element.  We even had one visible mistake (an acrobat fell off the aerial boat), but they swam to safety and rejoined the crew later.

Bottom Line for O: Pricier than the rest – I left confused but magically entertained.  4 of 5 stars.

the official O trailer
fairly representative of the show
Cirque du Soleil / O website

Best show: Zumanity, with P&T close behind.  If you compared the budgets of both shows, P&T’s was more economical from both an artist creation and audience wallet perspective (high quality entertainment, with a lot of thought and not a lot of exorbitant, unnecessary cash outlay).

Most Frivolous Vegas-y show: O for sheer audacity of grandeur.  BeLIEve for sheer audacity of ego.

Next time I go to Vegas, I’d take in Zumanity and Penn & Teller again in a heartbeat.  I’d also plan to save time for Mystère and – the other non-band-oriented Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas.  I might go see the Beatles’ Cirque show (LOVE), but I am not as keen on the Elvis one (Viva).

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaZoot Allures

MTA Music by Alexander Chen

14th Dec 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

This falls under a fun experiment in music… Alexander Chen turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the NYC Mass Transit Authority’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in real-time by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.

http://www.mta.me/

Related, here’s a the London tube map created by Kyle Bean in colorful (colourful) drinking straws…

click for more

~Dan – np: Florence + the MachineCeremonials

REVIEW: Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal @ Matt Arena (Eugene, OR – 11/15/11)

16th Nov 11 (Wed) 1 comment

I love shows by Cirque du Soleil.  I also dig some Michael Jackson’s music.  A perfect combination?

The short of it: No, not a perfect combination in my opinion.

The stage set-up, lights and costumes, dancers, live band mixed with Michael Jackson vocal tracks was TOP NOTCH.

The usual acrobatics from a Cirque du Soleil show were a bit toned down.  Well, more than a bit… A LOT.  The intro spray can skit was great, the few aerial artists were awesome, the pole dancer was awesome (but seemingly out-of-place), and the dancing overall was awesome.  One of the dancers was one-legged… wild stuff.

But… I don’t think people tend to go to Cirque shows for “dancing.”

They played a great mix of MJ’s music.  The live band was top notch, though sometimes a bit over the top with the crazy rocking (it just seemed out-of-place).

My bottom line opinion: I had fun, but I think if you’re a Michael Jackson fan and have some money to blow… go for it.  If you’re more of a Cirque fan, I’d recommend saving your money for one of their other terrific shows.  For me, it was more of a “price tag” thing.  With that being said, I understand the price tag based on the number of people & sets involved.  I just don’t think the pay-off was up to past Cirque experiences.

~Dan – np: Chali 2Na – Fish Outta Water

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