The Old Normal

Amazing Grace in Olney Hymns

I was annoyed Tuesday when the Biden-Harris tribute to the 400,000 fallen included that old, mm…, warhorse “Amazing Grace.” I muttered to my wife Andrea Carney, “Well, as long as they don’t trot out ‘Hallelujah’…,” which of course they did. “Amazing Grace” showed up time and again during the inaugural spectacle. Continue reading “The Old Normal”

Portrait of Rudy Perez 4: Lingering in Spaces

Still from Stations

I do what I do because
that’s what I do, and if
I didn’t do it who would?

— Rudy Perez

In talking with Rudy Perez about his career’s performances over the last nine months (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I noticed how many took place in art spaces. Of course, by the time I met Rudy in 1980, performances—dance and otherwise—were often hosted by galleries—large and small, for-profit and non. What follows are reminiscences of such productions during the years before I left Los Angeles for Denver in 2005, including bits from our conversations earlier this month. Continue reading “Portrait of Rudy Perez 4: Lingering in Spaces”

Le plus grand zombie is US

Zombie wallpaper

Pardon merci, je suis le grand zombie
I’m just not human tonight

— Mekons, “Big Zombie”

I haven’t thought about anthropologist Wade Davis much since his 1985 nonfiction book The Serpent and the Rainbow was turned into what I thought was an icky film by Wes Craven in 1988.1 In L.A. I had a habit of picking up review copies and other first editions at Cosmopolitan Book Shop, where I got Davis’s book. I always had good luck there. Continue reading “Le plus grand zombie is US”

Islands Past: Future Islands’ “Thrill”

Future Islands "Thrill" still

I remember seeing the band Future Islands on a late night show, except that I rarely watch network television. It must have been their “Seasons (Waiting On You)” from Letterman’s Late Show in 2014 before Colbert took over. I thought, “Joe Cocker lives.” And I swear I recall telling my wife Andrea about lead singer Sam Herring: “He looks like he’s about to pee his pants.” That was then. Continue reading “Islands Past: Future Islands’ “Thrill””