This weekend was much more recreational than many I've spent lately (others having been filled with freelance work; this one was only about one-third full). On Friday night, Rose and I went to a party at Erin's hotel room (she frequently comes to NYC on business), and then on Saturday morning I grabbed a quick breakfast with Erin on my way to do said freelance work at the Cargo office (the manuscripts I was working on were huge, and I didn't feel like dragging them home). I know spending five hours on Saturday copyediting doesn't sound very recreational at all (and isn't), but I was getting it all out of the way so I didn't have to think about any of it for the rest of the weekend.
When I wrapped up for the afternoon, Rose prodded me to continue my quest for more-interestingly-colored pants; I've been wanting something besides blue jeans and black and brown khakis, and, you know, most stores do not believe men want anything besides those colors (and they are probably largely correct). On the way to see "Curse of the Were-Rabbit", we had looked in a Banana Republic and asked a saleswoman, so, we're looking for jeans or maybe corduroys, but in nonstandard colors, do you have anything like that? And she said, well, we have more pants downstairs, and we do have some colored corduroys, like, oh...brown. (She may have said "taupe", I'm not certain.) And so I said, no, colors, like they have in the rainbow, and she gave a bit of a shrug and was like, yeah...we don't have those. But she suggested I try Daffy's, which turned out to be a good tip (purple corduroys!); after Daffy's we checked Eddie Bauer, where I found a dusty pinkish-purple pair of girl jeans that fit me (I am a size 12, apparently), although the jeans have no pockets. Or, rather, they have pockets, but they are like an inch deep and thus entirely useless. Rose "volunteered" (a certain amount of puppy-dog eyes on my part was involved) to give them real pockets.
That evening, I had free tickets (won from Flavorpill) to see Dungen at Bowery Ballroom. James got the extra freebie -- I owed him a ticket after he gave me a spare to Tegan and Sara -- and his wife Tate and her friend Amy bought tickets as well, although Amy wasn't feeling well and had to leave before Dungen came on, which was too bad, because opening act Everlasting Boogie (aka The Blues Riff That Never Ever Stops) was not really a justification for attending. They took a while to set up (I pointed out the the boogie couldn't end if it never started), but then they did get to the boogie, jamming out loudly over a single chord progression for a long long time; after what I would estimate was about eight minutes of solos, the frontman leaned his wall of hair toward the mike and grunted a guttural "Ye-ah!" He sang sometimes, mostly using a Tuvan throat-singing style, which was sort of interesting. Honestly, after about 30 minutes of the ongoing boogie assault, I was kind of going with it, feeling like it was hypnotic in a good way...but I passed through that and went back to being tired of it a few minutes later. They played for about an hour, in which time they played four songs. Or at least they paused for applause four times. I suspect their fan base includes a high percentage of potheads.
Much better was the unannounced extra opening act that preceded them, Mia Doi Todd. She was Dungen's guitar tech, and I guess they told her she should play a few numbers for the handful of people that were dotting the room at 9:30. Anyway, I thought she was fab; she channeled Joni Mitchell for about four songs (without making me feel like she was just an imitator), and I was totally sold. I bought both of the CDs she had at the merch table and will probably end up buying more, knowing me.
As for Dungen, one reason I was interested in seeing them (apart from the fact that I like their music, duh) was that I wanted to if they could manage to translate the sound of their impossibly well-produced CD to the stage. And the answer was, well, no, they couldn't, quite. I enjoyed their performance quite a bit and the energy of their I-am-Jon-Anderson-reincarnate singer/songwriter (as well as his peerless thrashing of his long hair to the beat) was something to behold...but really I'm just as happy to listen to them on CD.
On Sunday, I joined Rose and our friend Cindy for a trip up to Rhinebeck for the Sheep and Wool Festival. Sadly, I missed the dogs-catching-frisbees and dogs-herding-sheep exhibitions (something to look forward to next year), but I had a fine time checking out llamas and sheep and angora rabbits nonetheless. GOD HOW I WANTED ONE OF THE ANGORA RABBITS. They were selling them for thirty dollars! Thirty! Christ! But our cat Twyla would terrorize a rabbit, I feel certain. Sigh.
Apart from yarn shopping (I was there in my capacity as color consultant, helping Rose pick yarns for a couple projects she had in mind), we bought fabric for a tie for me, wines from three New York wineries, some cheese, and snacked on and off throughout the day: candy apples, pumpkin cheesecake, and lamb -- which is, yes, slightly weird to eat when you are sitting next to a tent of bleating sheep, but what the hell man, it was delicious. (Although not everyone agreed that it was delicious; a guy near us complained to his friend that he thought his sandwich was "a little disappointing, actually." Rose looked him over and decided he was the sort of person who was probably disappointed a lot of the time. And his wife looked a little collagen-enhanced, which gave us even more fodder for speculating on their life.) And the weather was fucking gorgeous, especially in contrast to the preceding two million days of rain in a row. Overall, pretty darn fun.
Finally, I've started a new book -- Crossworld, by Marc Romano, which some of my fellow puzzle people have liked, and others have found thoroughly annoying. We got a promotional copy here at Cargo (although why it is signed to "Rose Marie" with love and affection I could not say), and I have been reading it, intending to review it here. I can say that I am falling quite securely in the "this book is annoying" camp; I started out by dog-earing pages on which I had written notes, but soon enough I realized I was writing notes on just about every page, so there was no point. So anyway, that'll be coming soon, only at Heaneylands near you.Posted by Francis at 01:14 PM