Museum


10

1. Getting my socks blown off by Yjastros, the Albuquerque-based, internationally acclaimed (and preemenent in America) Flamenco Repertory Company.

Dancing so fierce you'll dream of tigers and pumas.

Dancing so fierce you'll dream of tigers and pumas.

Seriousy, if you ever get the chance to see their artisitc director, Joaquin Encinias, dance, take it. He will mesmerize and enthrall you. And the rest of them won’t exactly fall down on the job, either.

2. Drinking coffee

This is a picture of the interior of my chest.

This is a picture of the interior of my chest.

Dear Satellite and Winnings Coffee Company: You are both welcome for your respective profit margins. It was my pleasure.

3. Going to Austin, TX.

I have no idea who these Hipsters are, but they fairly accuratly depict my feelings about Austin.

I have no idea who these Hipsters are, but they fairly accuratly depict my feelings about Austin.

Highlights include The LBJ Presidential Library and Museum and Redbud Lake.

Lowlights (blacklights?) include Lone Star Beer and The Sun.

4. Doing a lot of Vintage Shopping in Austin, TX.

Me, in my new Vintage Texan duds

Me, in my new Vintage Texan duds

If you go, definetly check out New Bohemia (and adjacent New Brohemia) in the fashionable South Congress neighborhood (also known as SoCo if you’re an alcoholic [read: Texan]), as well as Cream Vintage on Guadalupe St. boarding the Campus of the University of Texas (I am told this stretch of Guadalupe St. is known as “The Drag” by fashionable “Longhorn” students and “Locals”. For what it’s worth, I think “The Drag” is a really poor choice of title for any part of a city that is supposed to have fun things to do on it).

Both establishments (as well as their many fellows) are surprisingly affordable with a smashing selection. Very cool stuff.

5. Being surprised by the existance of something cool in Texas outside of Austin (in Amarillo, of all places).

The 806

The 806

The 806 is, from what I can tell, the only coffee shop/vegetarian eatery in the city of Amarillo. They have really quite fantastic coffee as well as incredibly tolerable food, though my nachos did take about 19 hours to cook. The only knock against this place, really, is that you have to pay for water (sort of understandable, given what West Texas looks like). But overall, a definite gem in the rough. They even have art! On the walls! In West Texas!

6. Not being in Texas.

Overall, I think a positive choice given the alternative.

7.  Watching a lot of Harvey Birdman

Harvey Birdman, in a moment of agony.

Harvey Birdman, in a moment of agony.

Best program on Adult Swim ever. Bar none.

(Except for Cowboy Bebop, of course. Also, Metalocalypse is a close second. A very, very close second.)

[Squidbillies is terrible.]

8. Reading a biography of the 32nd American President.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Nations first "Balla-dent"

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Nations first "Balla-dent"

I continue to chug along of Conrad Black’s exceptional and truly epic Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Champion of Freedom. Weighing in at over 1100 pages, this tomb is one of the most incisive, wide-ranging, detailed and thought provoking Historical works I have ever read. Not only does it provide a vivid portrait of the man himself (both laudatory and critical, in turn), but also the unprecedented events he presided over and confronted, and descriptions of just about every human being ever involved in those events. Fantastic, fantastic stuff.

9. Seeing world renowned improv and sketch comedy in Albuquerque

The Pajama Men

The Pajama Men

The Pajama Men (Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez) have received plaudits from such diverse sources as The Chicago Tribune, The Albuquerque Alibi, The Scotsman (of Edinburgh), and The London Times and awards from just about every fringe festival worth mentioning in the UK, Canada and Australia. And they’re currently premiering a new show, in Albuquerque, at the Q-Staff Theater. Oh, and it’s freaking hilarious.

Check these guys out, they’re gonna be superstars.

10. Watching a lot of Baseball

"Awww, Snap!"

"Awww, Snap!"

Let’s go Red Sox, let’s go.

(I lead a successful life.)

Advertisements

I recently had the opportunity to check out some of the exhibits running at two of the biggest Art Museums here in Boston, most notably “Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice” at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and “Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand” at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Now, I like Renaissance art in general, though at times the emphasis on portrature can become a tad annoying(oh my, the nephew of the Archduke of Milan holding a duck… marvelous!), and the repeted depictions of certian biblical scenes can get a bit tiresome. This exhibit, though, just about floored me.

Tintoretto, Kickin' it like a Gangsta

Tintoretto, Kickin' it like a Gangsta

The first thing I loved was the way that it was designed. Similar paintings by Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese are not only placed side by side so that you can compare their interpretations, but also placed in relation to each other, so that you can see how one particular artist’s conception of a theme evolved. Very cool stuff.

Likewise, the selection is just plain masterful. With such a huge variety of art to pick from, it would be easy to just throw up as many paintings by the artists as the museum could get it’s hands on– but instead, this exhibition was restrained and pointed. Every painting served as a specific and unique element to the exhibition as a whole.

Where the Venitian Renaissance Exhibit wowed me with it’s design and thoughtfulness, the Shepard Fairey just kicked my ass. It’s easy to dismiss Fairey once you’ve seen the 800th or so iteration of the “Obey” theme, but this exhibit (the first ever of his work) showed a depth of interest in style in his prolific career that you miss from the scatter shot stickers, t-shirts and murals that now coat most major American cities.

"War by Numbers"

"War by Numbers"

While it’s hard to pick out any specific piece of his art as a master work or anything like that, what’s clear from this exhibition is that Shepard Fairey has managed to create a phenomenon– even if it is one with out a clear purpose or message. The brilliant thing about him is that he has managed to create a booming voice for himself based on the non-sensical “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” campaign, and it is only lately that he has begun to use that voice to any actual effect. Very, very engaging stuff.

Also worth checking out at the MFA are the exhibits currently running about advertisements from the late 19th Century (I’m a sucker for Art Nouveau) and their Photography galleries… pretty much always. The ICA also has a cool exhibit on experimental situational film running that’s worth looking at, and it’s worth the price of admission alone for their permanent gallery and the fabulous space it’s housed in.

And since I couldn’t be satisfied with just one representative Fairey picture…

"Two Sides of Capitalism: Good" (Not pictured: evil.)

"Two Sides of Capitalism: Good" (Not pictured: evil.)