On Friday night Zubiate Gallery, located at the headwaters of Broadway, hosted an amazing event. There were things for sale (which people bought), "carrots and wine" (and pastries), some incredibly strong punch (that was more vodka than Red Dye 40), an amazing array of music (The Psychics, Fear Snakeface, and a son of one of the Psychics on acoustic guitar, who is seen taking a photograph) and in general, interesting people all around.
Which made me wonder why similar gatherings are often lame. Joking? There was a room in the back for the kids to hang out. Was that the difference?
The Psychics played a few sets. Many of their songs were Christmas related, which can be heard on a new CD they are selling. Their version of My Favorite Things always impresses me.
I found this brief video of them on Youtube...
The gallery was arranged like a fun house. Lights and wood intermingled at unexpected angles. In addition to Peter Zubiate's furniture there was work by Chris Ake, Cruz Ortiz, Katie Pell, and Separate Form (to name a few.)
An out of focus wide shot which hopefully captures...something.
I at first thought this was by Zubiate, but given the number of people involved in the event, I can't say for sure. Someone else should go back and investigate further.
This seems like a drawing that Cruz Ortiz would have done. There were positioned in a good spot by the bands.
This performance of a John Lennon song brought down the house.
I bought a six pack of the 'Topo Chico' glasses from Sid St. Onge. He cuts the top off of a Topo Chico bottle and polishes the bottom half into a drinking glass. People seem to love them. Perhaps too much. Which leads me to...
The Incident at the Texas T
After time passed at Zubiate's people began to slowly drift across the street to "the people's bar", the Texas T Pub.
Eventually the music got going. There may have been a guitar kicking contest where people did rock jumps off a chair. One Yoga instructor may have even pulled a 'David Lee Roth' moment with a crowd-splitting splits in the middle of the dance floor.
After this died down I was about ready to leave with my Topo Chico glasses, holding them, clutching them to my bosom, or whatever.
But then the scene shifted. Someon grabbed the Topo Chico sixpack and put it back on the long Valhalla-esqe table everyone had been sharing. I was pulled me to the dancefloor.
And who is this person hiding behind the Coors Light sign? A suspect? (Hold that thought.)
The clash of visuals was stunning. A man wearing a white garbage bag seemed to be performing a personal tableau vivant (except of course that he was more likely taking a break from the cold outside) while the dancefloor spilled to the stage behind him.
And then this happened. An accident? Or the perfect distraction!
When I turned back around, the Topo Chico sixpack was gone...
Don't Fear the Snakeface
After a remarkable performance by Fear Snakeface at Zubiate's (in which several people separately came to the shared reaction of...'man, that was just like being at Tacoland!') I caught them again for a Sunday concert series Sid St. Onge has been putting together down in Southtown in the backyard of the Compound. Sid (on the left) writes their songs when he's not cutting Topo Chico glasses. (Notice the synergy of all these different elements coming together: drinking, music, Topo Chico...)
Little was I to know that a "Huggybear" was going to turn state's evidence and give Sid a lead on my Incident at the Texas T.
Warm coffee was graciously provided. What I liked best were the kids doing yardwork while the band played.
That Omega Man Movie With The Prince
The holidays complicated things this Sunday night. Again with a Monday morning off I thought I would try to see a new film. The Paul Thomas Anderson film had yet to open, and to be honest I'm skeptical how Daniel Day is going to affect the film. From the trailer, I sensed another way over the top performance that picked up from where the Gangs of New York somehow left off. Trailers can be wildly misleading I realize, however I am expecting scenes of Catholic guilt and excessive weeping, which doesn't excite me. An interview of him with Terri Gross made the film seem more interesting, but the best of the interview was he talking about working with Robert Altman.
Initial reviews of the Joy Division film didn't initially motivate me. However, after perusing the 'tomatometer' at Rotten Tomatoes, I saw that Control (the Joy Division movie) was getting better reviews than I would have thought after reading an intial bad one. Control is shot in black and white, which might be the best thing it has going for it. After seeing the Bob Dylan implosion, it seems difficult to return to musical biopic scenarios again so quickly. Supposedly it doesn't succumb to biopic convention.
After all the VH1 music documentaries that have been shown over the years, I find it difficult to pay to see something about a band as well documented as the Clash, which is to say Joe Strummer, basically. But for it to be released at this time of year, the distribitors must think highly enough of it. A return to the 'tomatometer' surprised me again with generally positive reviews. But to dislike Joe Strummer is to dislike Willie Nelson or Jesus. No one would want to go on record for that, so again, I waited.
Ultimately, I began to wonder if I even wanted to see a film this week.
All the more unfortunate when I allowed myself to get pulled into the fake dystopic appeal of the new version of Omega Man starring the Fresh Prince. I got what I deserved. Even by trying to attend the last screening on a Sunday night, the theater was overwhelmed with people. Why, I'm not sure. Though I bought a ticket, there were no seats available. People were standing in the aisles (for the Fresh Prince?)
For the first time ever I went back to the box office and got a refund. I was turned away from a film I was embarrassed to see, which was hilarious.
And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio. As always, to be continued...