October 29, 2007
This morning's walk took me up 2nd Avenue to the courhouse. The recently completed renovation of Public Square is quite nice, with the fountains and greenspace.
Downtown Nashville has some beautiful old buildings amidst everything else.
Here's another one (from my afternoon walk, 3rd Avenue):
Late afternoon light:
More tomorrow perhaps.
October 26, 2007
What has the mailperson left for me on the front porch?
Yippee! After a two-month delay, the new Circus Devils record has finally arrived in a super-limited, super-deluxe, 2-LP, heavy-duty gatefold edition. It is a thing of beauty.
First, a quick once-over on the Nitty-Gritty record cleaning machine.
Yes, I vacuum-clean even brand new records. Why? Because even a brand new LP has all kinds of dust, bits of paper, and mold-release compounds all over it which will be permanently ground into the delicate surface by the stylus if they are not immediately removed. In addition, the Nitty-Gritty will eliminate any static-electricity that has built up in the manufacturing and shrink-wrapping processes (which is substantial). Of course, I will not return the freshly cleaned LP into its original, contaminated inner-sleeve. No, it will live from now on in a Mobile Fidelity anti-static, quasi-rice paper sleeve. Yes, I am obsessed.
Now, let's have a listen:
I've been really digging the CD edition (available on Ipecac) for a while now and have come to the conclusion that this is perhaps one of the best records Robert Pollard has ever made (certainly since the demise of Guided By Voices, anyway). I also believe that Pollard's albums are best experienced on vinyl. This is especially true with a sprawling, 32-track epic like Sgt. Disco. Pollard is especially gifted at sequencing an album; each side has a real beginning, middle, and end and this effect is utterly obliterated by the CD's relentless continuity. I also think the LP sounds better - even though I know it was mastered from the same digital source as the CD. Chalk it up to euphonic distortion, I don't care. This record rocks.
Only 470 of these things are available. Get yours before they're gone forever only from Rockathon.
October 25, 2007
Since I quit smoking, I have to make myself take a break from work. When I smoked cigarettes, it was so convenient to just "step out for a smoke" and get little breaks throughout the day (not to mention a little lift from the nicotine infusion). Now, I take 5-15 minute walks around downtown (weather permitting).
Lately, I've decided to take the little Nikon along and maybe document what I see.
Today, I decided to take a walk down by the Cumberland River.
Just across the river is LP Field (formerly Adelphia Stadium), home of the Tennessee Titans (formerly the Houston Oilers). Not caring too much about football, I've never been inside. The funny thing is that I spent my first seven years in Houston, and did go see the Oilers play at the Astrodome at least once. Anyway, "Nashville Stadium" (as I like to call it) might have been a cool venue for a Grateful Dead Concert, but I guess we'll never know.
Looking East...what is that over there?
Alice Aycock's "Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks" has generated some heated controversy here in Nashville. This was my first view of it up close. I'm not sure I love it, but I don't hate it. I applaud any and all efforts towards public funding of artistic and cultural expression, even if I don't personally love each and every such work of art. In the present case, I am willing to reserve judgment and continue to encourage the further development of the riverfront park concept.
OK, back to work.
October 21, 2007
October 20, 2007
Who is A.R. Remis? Is that his/her name? This painting/collage appeared in the alley between 2nd and 3rd Avenues recently. Or did I just notice it? In any event, I have grown quite fond of it.
Nearby, arachnids build homes in every crevice.
Looking towards 3rd Avenue.
October 14, 2007
Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures. I'm still getting used to this new-fangled digital camera doohickey.
It was a beautiful wedding and a very fun night. It was so nice to see so many people I rarely get to see, since we all live in different parts of the country. At least we have the Internet...
Next: Back to San Francisco
The father of the bride, who speaks very little English, composed a toast "with the help of the dictionary" that was as eloquent and moving as any native speaker's. Truly astounding!
Welcome to the family, Michiko!
Next: A Lovely Reception
The first was a Native-American ceremony took place in a round house on the nearby reservation. The guests were driven by schoolbus up an impossibly narrow and windy road, through the primordial redwood forest, to the top of the mountain. It was was a deeply moving ritual, but no photographs were allowed.
Then, everyone loaded onto the schoolbus and headed back down the mountain to the Annapolis Winery for a civil ceremony presided over by David's aunt, our own Judge Judy. The ceremony included a traditional Japanese saki ritual and vows written and composed by the parties.
It was beautiful, happy day.
Congratulations David and Michiko!
Next: Let's Party!
October 13, 2007
These pictures don't really capture what it's like. The water is actually hundreds of feet below us and there is no guard rail and it's the windiest, hilliest road I've ever driven - way more extreme than Route 1 around Big Sur. There were definitely times when I couldn't even look - my focus was on the road right in front of me. Breathtakingly (scarily) beautiful scenery, but I constantly felt like I was about to drive off the edge of the earth. Let's put it this way, it took about three hours to drive eighty-five miles. Intense!
(Photos by Lizzy)
Next: The Sea Ranch
San Francisco is a beautiful city and the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most magnificent of man's creations. It was another gorgeous day and we were on the road.
It was also difficult not to reminisce about Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead what with every street sign a legend: Mill Valley, Mt. Tamalpais, Stinson Beach, Novato, San Rafael. . .
Winterland 12/31/78 is on the stereo, so here we go! Wahoo!
(Photos by Lizzy)
Next: The Long and Winding Road