Goat Farm (337th new thing).

September 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I had never been to the Goat Farm in Atlanta’s Westside area of town. I had also never seen Thurston Moore play. I have seen Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Jim O’Rourke play an awesome live film/soundtrack collaboration called “Perfect Partner” ago in Gateshead, across the river from Newcastle (that was in England, y’all), but no Thurston Moore. I remedied both these lack of firsts on Day Three Hundred Thirty-Seven when Patrick and I headed to the Goat to see Thurston Moore.

The Goat Farm is a creative commune with studios for all kinds of artists.  I did not see any goat, but I did see aged brick buildings clearly used to hold machinery and livestock a hundred years ago. It was night and the darkness seemed to add a mystical aura across the rocky footpaths leading towards the performance space. We passed a small tea shop that housed the only indoor bathroom with a line of people to the door.

We walked on, following our noses to a food truck selling tasty desserts and hot chocolate just outside the entrance to the show. The performance was held in a giant high school gym sized building with broken windows and ivy growing up the sides. It was a pretty fantastic environment. I suppose it would be considered more of an event space (as opposed to venue) considering that the PAs, lights, electricity, and video screen all had to be brought in from outside sources. But it sure did make a gorgeous picture.

Matthew Smith/Shadowboxer Photography

And here is the point where I mention that I really enjoyed the show, despite not being a Sonic Youth fan. Well, not that I’m not a fan, but more that  at the time of the band’s heyday I was dreaming of England and filling my ears with Britpop the likes of Pulp, Blur, and even Oasis. If you want to know what the sound was like, a fortunate soul recorded the entire performance. See all 83 minutes here.

After the show, Patrick and I trudged back to the car which was parked just over the entrance. I laughed to myself as I overheard two hipsters on dates discussing how great the Canon 50mm 1.8 lens was. “It’s not the best, but for $100, it’s the closest thing you can get to a disposable lens. It sucks if you have to replace it, but at least it’s only a hundred bucks.” I mostly laughed because I kind of agree. Does that mean one trip to the Goat Farm and I’ve turned into one?


Long Form Entertainment (336th new thing).

September 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

On Day Three Hundred Thirty-Six I had attended a total of three entry-level improv classes with Automatic, and decided it was time to see their Tuesday night show. It was a different format than the short-form “games” oriented Friday night performance. The show featured a “special guest” who shared stories from his life and then the improvisers took ideas from what was said and created an impromtu show.  This form of improvisational comedy called “Long-Form,” where there may not be a punch line after a few minutes. It was the first time I had seen such a performance.

This Tuesday, the guest was a formerly featured “Worst Cook in America” from some TV reality show. He told a story of being bullied from his childhood and then paused to let the actors take the stage. I think I was expecting a more literal translation of the story, but in fact the actors only took bits and pieces of the narrative and created an entirely new scene. Bits and pieces like the name of the chef’s mom or how the bully of his youth taunted him.  Other events happened in the scene and by the end, it was not too similar to its inspiration.

The short narrator on stage read another excerpt from his papers and then with distress announced to the audience that he had just farted because of nerves. It was awkward, especially since we sat in the front row and I was highly worried the toot was going to be a stinker. Fortunately we all survived and the actors once again took the stage for their loose improvisational interpretation.

We sat through about four reading/performance sections of the show. It wasn’t until the end of the hour that I finally fell into the rhythm of the show. I guess I had walked into the theater expecting the usual improv games and short bursts of energy and it tainted my reception of this version of long form. Or maybe the show just wasn’t that riveting.

Either way, I can now say I have seen long form improv.

Kombucha (335th new thing).

September 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

I may have been a little hungover when I awoke on Day Three Hundred Thirty-Five. After a beer-filled Superbowl watching party, my head was a bit heavy and my stomach queasy. Through the dense fog of regret I figured I could try something new that might actually help my condition. I would drink fermented tea called Kombucha, supposedly blessed by all the hippie gods as something wonderfully awesome for mind and body.

I stopped by the local health food store Sevenanda and looked around for the bottled beverage. I’d heard it was a little fizzy from fermentation, and generally tart. I probably should have fermented my own in advance with mushrooms and bacteria, but it was too late and possibly too risky. So I bought a bottle of the “Organic Raw Kombucha” with enticing descriptors on the label like, “reawaken, rethink, rebirth.” Those are some re-tail savvy words.

I opened the bottle as soon as I got in my car to drive to work and took a long sip. Slightly fizzy, a bit tart, but generally drinkable. I couldn’t wait for all the reenergizing powers of the beverage to kick in.

Unfortunately, the tea was no match for my throbbing head and I can’t say that I felt much of anything. I don’t even know if I expected to in the first place. Like the homeopathic drops of high hopes or the oxygen chamber, maybe this bottled fermented tea acted more as a placebo. Or maybe rehealing myself would take more than twenty ounces of the drink.

So I ate a big bowl of Thai food, and chased ibuprofen with a sprite. I felt better in no time.

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