four flavors of update
All equally important, you see.
1) Maya Gurantz has a rant about Thing in Theater that, if you have any particular fondness for any particular medium, you should go read. Three paragraphs from it:
Now that I think about it, Thing = RADIANT ENGAGEMENT THAT COMES FROM THE ARTIST'S DESIRE TO COMMUNICATE/INTERROGATE USING THE MEDIUM OF LIVE PERFORMANCE. Isn't that the bare-assed minimum we should be able to expect from theater? If a play can't even hit that, what's the goddamn point?
It isn't a genre problem. It's a problem throughout the American theater. I see it in the so-called "avant garde"/"experimental". I see it on Broadway, in the regional theaters, in the universities, in fringe fests and amphitheaters, in community-based theater, political theater, revivals, Shakespeare plays, musicals, performance art, "physical" theater, theater created with Viewpoints and Strassberg and Stanislavski and a hope and a prayer. A void of Thing. A huge gaping hole lack of Thing.
Yet, it has become so rare for a theater production to have Thing, that even when a play is flawed or intellectually lazy, or has an inconsistent script, or is politically meh, or makes artistic choices that I think aren't very interesting, I will forgive it. I will forgive all for Thing. Jesus, it has become a luxury to be able to even have that kind of conversation about a play.
You can redefine Thing for pop music or comics or whatever you like, and I might at some point. But yes; I don't think I have much time any more for stuff that's not radiantly engaged.
1) Seven Soldiers of Victory #1 is everything I wanted it to be. I think the whole Seven Soldiers project, as weirdly flawed as it is, is probably my favorite superhero comics work of the last 15 years or so. That's the two-line version; a much, much longer version is in the works, but if you want to read a kickass action-adventure story about human psychological and cultural evolution, go start with Volume 1 of the collections (SS #1 is actually the final installment; don't even think about starting there). It has Thing to spare.
1) DJ'ed last night for the first time in a while, at the hipster miniature-golf tournament/gallery show at Holocene, and had a blast. The DJs on before me were a very nice couple who impressed me some newish remix of Can's "I Want More"; I was followed by none other than Dave Allen. I love Portland. Brat that I am, I ended my set with "Damaged Miracle,", a Gang of 4/Coco mashup. Best response: lots of people shaking it to Dinosaur's "Kiss Me Again (Version)." Weirdest response: somebody telling me he thought Dunya Yusin's vocal on Byrne & Eno's "Regiment" sounded like Edie Brickell. Great response gone sour: the kickline that started for Sheena Easton's "Morning Train" accidentally kicking the table with the turntables on it...
1) I believe I mentioned a few weeks ago that Sharon Mesmer has a blog. Sharon Mesmer now has a newer blog.