Duck of the Week: Josephine the paraphraser

Like a duck on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

-Leonard Cohen


Fennesz, Eagle Rock Community Center, 9/29

I went to the Eagle Rock Community Center last week to see Fennesz.  Well, actually Fennesz was opening up for Animal Collective’s Deakin, but I didn’t stick around for that.  Even for $15 it was worth it, considering how little good experimental or ambient electronic music comes around.  The space was quite weird…well not weird for a community center at all, but weird for a concert.  It was a large, church-like hall with fairly bad acoustics.  Still, it was not too croweded and nice to be an electronic show, so I was happy.  Before Fennesz were two bands, one of which was completely forgettable, and the other was called “Prince Rama,” and was sort of like a UCSB psychadelic White Mice (only because they had knob-turning guy as an essential component, not because they were (intentionally) in costume).  Anyway, I took video of most the Fennesz show.  It was about what I expected, a bit less melodic than the one album I have (Endless Summer), and with less structure.  That being said, his use of the guitar really complements the more noise-oriented aspects of the music, without being contrived.  The whole set had quite a calming effect on me.  I don’t go to shows often, but would if I could see more stuff like this.

(I didn’t think to tape the whole thing until the second clip, and so there’s a gap between the first and second.  Also I ran out of space on my camera, but the end of the fourth clip is more or less the end of the show)

Huntington Library

Went to the Huntington Library with my friend Vicki, the day after my birthday.  It was a great day, quite sunny and hot, and I had been meaning to go the gardens at the Huntington for a while.  The images (hopefully) speak for themselves:

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The gardens were wonderful, though they had no ducks (or turtles, as far as I could tell).  They were a little more…formal than the Arboreteum, which I went to a couple months ago.  More manicured, and themed (‘Japanese,’ ‘Rose,’ etc).  The best actually was the desert garden, in which all desert plants were put together in a somewhat un-desert like space (as far as I know, anyway).  Lots of interesting plants there; it was also very hot.  There were other animals such as Koi, as you see.  At one point some kids (i.e. their parents) started feeding the koi, which stared off quite an entertaining frenzy:

Inside, apart from their usual exhibit (Gutenberg bible, etc etc), they had an exhibit on the science history.  I remember seeing as an undergrad an early copy of Copernicus’ de revolutionibus, and opening it up to the page with the picture of the sun at the center of the solar system, and being really impressed.  The Huntington had that book, along with Kepler, Galileo, Brahe, Newton, really everyone.  It was pretty interesting.  They had a row of copies of Origin of the Species from various editions and in various languages; if we were allowed to take pictures you would see that this was quite interesting.  They had a section on medicine which I actually liked, and also had a very edifying section on the history and ‘evolution,’ if you will, of animal depiction.  Two favorites ended up being Konrad Gesner and Edward Topsell.  Then I got a bird calendar at the store.  I’m thinking of buying a membership if they close down echo park lake, but the lack of ducks makes me hesitate.  Also the Arboreteum is only $40 for a year.  I will keep you updated on my decision in this regard, as I’m sure it is fascinating.

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