Friday, January 30, 2009

Ekoostik Hookah in Louisville, Ky

On Saturday January 17th, Ryan, me, and a big group of friends from Indy headed down to Louisville for The Forecastle Festival. That is a festival that supports local musicians, artists, and gives people who are volunteering their time for a good cause a great place for exposure. The Festival was held in building appropriately called The Green Building. The entire energy system running everything in the building is run on green power. Also, all of the remodeling on the inside of the building has been done with recycled materials. It was a pretty cool place.

The entire group from Indiana was very fortunate in the fact that we were even able to get into the show. I had been in contact with Dave Katz from Ekoostik Hookah several days before the show to find out availability of space for our group, and he knew very little other than the fact that the room they were playing in only held about 150 people. We decided that as long as all of us got there early enough, there should be no reason to worry. We would be there in plenty of time to get tickets (which were not available online or over the phone), and then we could just hang out until Hookah came on.

The show wasn't scheduled to start until 7:00 and Hookah was going on at 9:00. We got there around 3:00 only to find out that the show had sold out a couple weeks prior. (Tickets were available to purchase at a local record store) Dave Katz was pissed when he found out that no one had even informed the band of this. Luckily, the fellow running the show was extremely gracious, and very excited to see so many people from out of town that he put us on the guest list. We still made our $12.00 "donation" to get in, but if it weren't for that situation, we would have driven all the way down there for nothing. I would have been really pissed!!!! After all the names were added to the list, we all set out to explore the town a little.

The guy who put us on the guest list recommended this place called 21c Museum, PROOF on Main Street. All we knew was it was a cool place and to look for the red penguins: It was a very interesting place, and seemed a little uppity for our taste at first. After sitting on some big comfy couches with a glass of wine and a petrified log as a table, Ryan hopped up to explore a little. We had no idea when we walked in how cool this place actually was. From what you could see when you first walked in, it was just a hoity toity restaurant with some nice art hanging on the walls. But no, that doesn't even come close to describing what this place is all about. It was awesome!! Here's the website so you can go explore it yourself:
I will not be able to catch the true exctiement of the place in words. You'll have to see pictures and read for yourself. I did snag a few pictures of exhibition items that were there while we were there. Here are a few:
This is my picture of the ginormous chandelier.
This is THEIR picture and description of the ginormous chandelier.
Located at 21c Museum Hotel; Louisville, Kentucky

Marking the grand opening of 21c Museum Hotel in 2006, the International Contemporary Art Foundation commissioned Werner Reiterer to create an interactive chandelier, Untitled, to be located on the corner of 7th and Main in Downtown Louisville, Ky. It was Reiterer’s first public sculpture in the United States.

The sculpture consists of a brass chandelier connected to a bell located on the reception desk of Proof On Main restaurant. When a visitor to the restaurant rings the bell to call for a table, the chandelier begins to breathe in and out deeply while the lights simultaneously pulsate. This clever disconnect between artwork and unknowing participation by the visitor is one of the many ways the artist explores the notion of rules in art and the way visitors are intended to engage with art. Though the effect of the work is alluring at first, the custom made pole from which the chandelier is suspended is reminiscent of a gallows. This alludes to the macabre in Reiterer’s work, suggesting the Ku Klux Klan, lynch justice and the continuing use of the death penalty in most U.S. states.

The artist Dominic Rouse had a display of his artwork that was extremely eery, but made you very curious nonetheless.

Dominic Rouse (British), Angeline, 2002. Archival Epson Ultrachrome K3 pigment print. Image courtesy of the artist. © Dominic Rouse

In his work, Rouse often treats the the subject as a object of purity, innocence, and perhaps a victim. For Angeline, he has put this blindfolded girl in the desolate backdrop of a hotel in Cambodia as she is ready to step on a piece of broken glass, suggesting tension with an icon of virtue. Taking the title from a John Martin song, Rouse states that the work is a "lament for lost innocence."

Dominic Rouse (British), Dance for no-one, 2001. Archival Epson Ultrachrome K3 pigment ink print. Image courtesy of the artist.© Dominic Rouse

In this surreal image, the artist has stripped the performer of her audience. Rouse was fascinated by the idea that the dancer's formal training always occurs in private and that the profession demands the constant risk of injury. Inspired by a modernization effort from the Catholic church in the sixties, Rouse found the sacred to be inconsistent with this new endeavor to secularize tradition. He attempts to reconcile these two elements with the dancer who, mirroring that sacred world, may "illustrate those acts of kindness, acts of love that go unnoticed."

Felipe Barbosa (Brazilian), Ursa Major (Great Bear), 2006-2007.Teddy bear covered with small explosives. © Felipe BarbosaBarbosa’s work often challenges the meaning of the objects he appropriates by altering their physical compositions and creating unexpected and formally engaging situations. By covering a readymade teddy bear with snaps (novelty firecrackers), the artist has depleted the cuddly and affectionate associations of the bear and make it more volatile and threatening.Similar to Golden Rhino by David Mach, made entirely of live matches (currently installed in Proof), Barbosa shifts the focus from use and intent of an object to its formal qualities - allowing new ideas and associations inherent to the materiality of an object to be more recognized. The materials such as matches and snaps not normally associated with sculpture loose their original function and become purely aesthetic. Sean Bidic (American), In the absence of voyerism #6 and #7,2002-2006. © Sean Bidic

The "Absence of Voyerism" was totally creepy. It was located in the restrooms, and as you can see here, it has little LED screens in the mirror with eyes that continuously move around as if they are watching you. Very disturbing!!
That is just a very small portion of the art we got to see that day. The best part of it was: it was all free to see. There were interactive pieces of art that you could move around with and play with, so we all had a blast in there. You could even carry your drinks around the whole museum....I felt very chic walking around with my wine glass in hand checking out all the art. ;-)
After all our fun at 21C, we headed down to an area called Fourth Street Live. It's basically like a block party all the time. The roads are blocked off to motor vehicles and everyone just hops from bar to bar. There were several places to eat down there and we chose the one simply called "The Pub." It turned out to be a great place for cheap drinks and good food.....just my kind of place. AND the guys who worked in there had to wear kilts. Our bartender, Chip, was a pretty husky fella. He kinda looked like he should have been playing center for a pro football team...until we saw him in the kilt. Then I couldn't help but let my mind wander......"I wonder if he's wearing any underwear"...........It was confirmed later on that he did NOT wear underwear to work!!! Oh Chip!!This is a picture of the whole gang, minus myself. (someone had to take the picture!!) From left to right we have our neighbor Marcus, Ryan from Indy, Kelly Anne, Juanita, Andrew, Dave, my Ryan, Lizz, and Matt.Andrew, Ryan and Marcus found this cool statue down the street from 21c and spent some quality time trying to look intellectual by standing near it.Then Lizz and I jumped in.............

Although the Green Building was pretty cool, the area where they put Ekoostik Hookah to play was not so hot...literally. It was freezing out there. They did have some pretty massive space heaters out there that made it tolerable, and of course, we got warmed up when the band came on. The set up was very similar to a half finished garage. There was an open roof, but it had been covered with plastic bags. Looked like lots of hefties to me. The stage was obviously put up temporarily, and the light show was projected onto the inside of an over-sized garage door. somehow it all worked though.

Talking with the band before they came on, you could tell they were all very frustrated, but once they took the stage, they let all that go and just had fun with it. In fact, I think they got to the point where they just played it out like they were practicing. Not necessarily putting on an official show. Which, for the true Hookah fans, is sometimes even better because you lose sight of that "rock god" way you looked at those guys before. Those situations are my favorite times with the guys because that's when you realize they're just normal people like the rest of us.
There was a pretty good turn out for Hookah's set that night. There were several people who came to the festival just for Hookah. We went into the trip knowing that we were only getting one hour of play time with the band, but it was totally worth it once it was all said and done. Like I said, the band was very laid back and not so serious as usual, so we really had fun with them. Cliffy even covered Tom Waits "Hoist That Rag" again. He's only covered it once, and that was New Year's Eve so I'm hoping this is a regular in the rotation soon. Hearing that song alone was worth the price of admission.

Considering we only had one hour of Hookah, this was one of the most fun times I've had on a road trip to see the band. We actually made time to see a little bit of the city where they were playing instead of leaving at the last minute, getting into town when the doors are opening and leaving as soon as the show's over. that' show we usually do it, so this was really nice for a change. I love Louisville. There always seems to be so much going on down there. I'm ready to go back and spend some time there again soon. Maybe Ryan and I will have to make a quick getaway down there sometime this summer.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Lil Miss No Name

Well, I did it again............
I saw this poor little girl running in the middle of alto road in the snow on my way to work today and just HAD to stop and help her.

With all the snow on the ground, she was blending right into the background as people were flying past her. I don't think most of them saw her. The car in front of me had slowed down and started honking, but it didn't help get her out of the road. I think it just confused her even more. She kept running back and forth in between lanes. By the time I got close to her, I just couldn't take it any more, so I flipped on the flashers and jumped out in the middle of the road with her.

She came right up to me when I got out of the car. She was trembling party from fear, but also from the cold. Bless her little heart....she had ice frozen in between her toenails, so I know she had been out for awhile. I stopped at a couple houses in the general area and asked if anyone recognized her or would claim her, but that didn't happen. Deep down, I'm kind of glad it didn't, because even if she does belong to someone, they weren't taking very good care of her.Of course, it was one of the few days that I was actually running on time to work, and this little doll totally blew that out of the water for me.....I am so bad. But anyway, I turned back around to take her home, called my boss and told him what I was doing ( I don't think he thought it was a very good excuse for being late) When I got home, Ryan came barrelling out of the bedroom wanting to know what all the chaos was about. Our dogs always go nuts when I first bring another animal in the house.As soon as he saw her, he knew. I felt kind of bad because I had to turn around and leave right away to get back to work, but Ryan fell inlove right away, so it was no problem at all. I'm just getting ready to leave work and go back home to see how the day went. Ryan dropped her off at the groomer's to have her bathed and get her nails trimmed, so she has hopefully had a nice day of pampering. We will be trying to find a home for her on our own like we have the last few dogs we have rescued, but if we don't find something within a couple weeks, we will turn her over to the Companion Animal Association. We have just found it easier to place dogs in homes without the huge adoption fees. Of course, we're only providing very basic care for these dogs while we have them. We have not had any costly vet visits with the rescues yet, so we have been fortunate.Once again, I'm throwing a line to everyone who reads this: If you know anyone who might be interested in giving this little girl a new home, please let me know. We think she is a chihuahua and it's a female. That's about all the details I have at this point. I'll know more after tonight.