Sunday, January 31, 2010

My first attempt at shooting a music video

James has recently taken up the guitar again.  He's also writing his own songs.  He's become a regular at a few open mic nights in Brooklyn.  As a friend and music lover, I've tried to go to all of his shows.  James played at the Brooklyn Guitar School's showcase on Friday evening and I brought along my point-and-shoot camera and recorded his set.  I also had to hold his guitar at one point, which I believe makes me a roadie.

He opened with The Gaslight Anthem's "Great Expectations."

Next up was his original song, "Children's Crusade." That's me providing the commentary/heckling.

He closed his set with The Killers' "When You Were Young." There's a glitch near the end when my camera stopped recording and I had to restart.  Thanks to the wonders of iWeb I stitched it together.  Now I know that 7 1/2 minutes is my camera's limit for continuous video.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday afternoon at the rock show

If you ride the NYC subway, you've probably seen the ads for the "Who Shot Rock & Roll" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.  It's a collection of photographs of rock musicians from 1955 to the present day.  I live about 15 minutes from the Brooklyn Museum, and the show has been running since October, but it took me until this afternoon to go see it.

I got to the museum around 3 PM to find a huge line snaking through the lobby.  The line moved quickly and I was on my way up to the fifth floor and the exhibit by 3:20.  That's where I ran into the second line for the show itself.  So it's a popular destination right now.  Also, it closes next weekend, so I'm sure the urgency brought out a larger crowd.

The exhibit is arranged by topic: performers before they were famous, private moments, concert photographs, album covers, and videos, to name a few.  Some of my favorite photos were of Jimmy Page with the Yardbirds in 1966, with short hair and a waist-length double-breasted jacket.  Compare that photo to the one around the corner of Page in 1975 on stage with Led Zeppelin, with long flowing hair and his shirt open to the waist.  There's a great photo of Johnny Cash at San Quentin prison, responding to the photographer's request to "take one for the warden!"  I really enjoyed the pictures of the Beatles and Rolling Stones before they were famous, lounging at pubs and backstage.  You can see Jimi Hendrix playing with Wilson Pickett in 1966, then with his own band a year later.  I won't spoil the contrast here but it's striking, almost jarring.  In between the two halls of the exhibit, there's a 15-minute slide show of other rock musicians from the 1960s and 1970s.  There's a photo index on the wall, but if you're of a certain generation it might be more fun to play "name that person."  I can tell you that David Crosby was never a good-looking man. 

There's also a Grace Jones video playing in one of the rooms.  Seeing Grace Jones always reminds me of her turn as a Bond girl in A View To A Kill in 1985.  I have the image of her in bed with an aging Roger Moore burned into my brain.  That movie should have come with a warning.  No twelve-year-old boy needs to see that.

The show runs through next weekend and is absolutely worth the shlep out to Brooklyn.  I didn't have to shlep, but those of you who live in Manhattan should make the trip.  Be prepared for crowds, and for tourists who don't know who Patti Smith or the Sex Pistols are.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Adventures in cooking (a continuing series)

During the NFL playoffs, I like to link my cooking to whoever's playing that day.  Since the first game was Arizona at New Orleans, I went with chicken machaca and Mexican red rice from The Border Cookbook

I went shopping earlier in the day and thought I had all of the ingredients, but the rice recipe called for a mild New Mexican chile powder that I forgot to buy.  It called for a tablespoon of the chile powder so I substituted about 3/4 of a tablespoon of cayenne pepper instead.  While the resulting rice was edible, I think it was a little spicier than the editors intended.  And it made for an eye-watering meal when paired with the chicken dish.

There are some nights I'm glad I only have to cook for myself.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The website project is live

I've been working on a new website project for the past several months.  It's a site about my grandfather, Philip Bramwell Catelinet, and his music and career.  It's a work in progress.  My grandfather's music, papers, letters, and other works are scattered between my father in Maryland and my aunt in Georgia.  I spent part of my holiday vacation in Bowie going through photographs, cataloging old recordings, and reading some of his articles.  Some of the fruits of those labors are available on the site now, and others will be as they become available to me in electronic form.

Please take a look at the site and let me know what you think.  If you have information you would like to add to the site or corrections to anything that's up there now, please let me know.