Daniel Lanois @ Hudson River Festival

I didn’t know much about this artist until Katherine mentioned the show to me, and boy does she has impeccable taste in music. Daniel Lanois plays pedal steel (a personal favorite) and the guitar equally as good. His songs have an openness about them that borderline ambient. I could see his songs being used for serious and melancholy films. He seems very spiritual but with a very dark past and it emanates through his music. I really enjoyed the textures he created fusing blues, country, and folk music.


MUD tournament

So the team REDRUM asked me to join them for the MUD Ultimate tournament in Madison CT. It would be my first real ‘2-day’ tournament so I was quite excited. The fields were nice and had a beach that we could walk to, which was really good for the sore muscles after each day’s games. Our 1st day was really tough but we wound up getting placed in the upper bracket for the next day. After the 2nd game we realized we’d be going into the finals against a strong team. It was an amazing game a lot of tension throughout. The lead went back and forth but we pulled through with a spectacular closing play and WE WON!! It was an incredible feeling. My first Ultimate tournament and we go all the way. I must really congratulate the team which played extremely well and thanks for letting me tag along.

The Slackers @ Rocks Off Boat Cruise

To celebrate Tom’s birthday we surprised him by showing up on the boat where the Slackers would be playing that evening. The boat set off and took us back and forth along the Hudson River. It was a neat grungy boat and the trip was really nice. The Slackers played 2 upbeat sets inside the main deck. The crowd was fun and the band was energized. Jesse even got one of the band members to wish Tom a happy birthday. It was really neat to have the boat sway back and forth as we danced to the music. Afterwards we tossed a Frisbee back and forth across the West Side Highway. Jesse even through a hammer. Yea, we were drunk.

Femi Kuti, Brazillian Girls @ Central Park Summerstage

I just love New York in the summertime. The heat, the girls in cute skirts, outdoor eating and drinking, and of course the free concerts. This was one of the highlights of Summerstage and my first time seeing Femi Kuti.

This day was hot hot hot. The air was thick and menacing and an impending rain loomed but never came. Lower East Siders The Brazillian Girls opened up and it was my 1st time seeing them as well. They had garnered a lot of hype this year so I was excited to see what they were all about because I really wasn’t impressed with their recordings. And well, the hype is for their live shows, as that’s where the energy and sexiness comes out. Sabina is a great performer and singer. She has a deep warm voice and sings in various languages. Their songs are hard to describe as they go from sleepy summer songs to electro dance jams. When they started to play their song “Pussy, Pussy, Marijuana” the rain finally came down, and it came down hard. The crowd went nuts and it helped everyone cool off. Overall, I enjoyed the mix of live instruments and electronic sounds, but it’s Sabine that ties it altogether.

Femi Kuti up next and we were sure to be in the front row for him. Femi is the son of legendary Nigerian music pioneer Fela Kuti, and he is worthy of following in his footsteps. He’s added another dimension to the music that his father has made famous and popular to the rest of the world. He brought a very large ensemble with him including his dancers that never stopped gyrating. I loved all the polyrhythmic sounds coming from the stage. The mix of jazz, afro beat, and strong lyrics got the whole crowd dancing. Femi was nonstop action. Constantly running back and forth on stage. Singing, playing sax, dancing. He was dripping with sweat and the heat never seemed to affect him. He played for over an hour and a half and wanted to keep going but the Summerstage folks discreetly booted him off. BLAH! During the performance he even brought out his son to play a few songs on his sax. It’s good to know that the legacy and the power of his dad’s music will be continued on.

Dinosaur Jr. @ Central Park Summerstage

I hate paying more than 20 dollars to see a show in NY, let alone an outside concert. But it’s all the original members of Dinosaur Jr. playing together in over 10 years!! One of the most influential bands of the 90’s which propelled music into a new direction and shaped what we’d be listening to in the present day. (And finally got us out of that darn grunge era). I popped in some of their old albums and I was surprised on how well it’s held up.

So I wasn’t too annoyed about the ticket price because Broken Social Scene was opening up and they gave me the best live show of 2004 and I was excited to see them again. So this is where I would comment on their show but I FUCKING MISSED THEM. I couldn’t believe how early they played and I heard they only played for 35 minutes. That’s absurd. I showed up thinking that I timed it just right to catch BSS but instead was arriving at the beginning of Dino. Jr.’s set. Lesson learned. Show up early to Summerstage,

Well, Dinosaur Jr. was amazing. J. Mascis is a guitar god and kinda looked like one with his long white hair. They actually rocked like they were playing 10 years ago. It was funny to see a trio so spread out on the huge stage but I’m guessing from their history with each other it was for the best. I don’t care, as long as Lou Barlow and Mascis were playing together again. They played from all their albums and for nearly 2 hours so it wound up making up for my tardiness.

FlashForward 2005

I was invited to speak at this year’s FlashForward in New York. Our topic was on the need for collaboration in this new era of flash. I presented with Scott Prindle the tech lead at R/GA and I represented the visual department. We stressed that as projects became more complex and with client’s demand for their projects to be more innovative, the union of technology and design was needed to achieve the most efficient and exciting results. The discussion went over very well and many people stayed afterwards to ask more questions.

The event itself was not that impressive. Although I missed many talks because I was swamped at work, the ones I did go to didn’t excite me. The awards ceremony was a let down as well. I felt a lot of the winners didn’t deserve to win and a lot of sites were not represented. Seems like it’s the same people that win every year.