Did I Just Say Execrable?

I've a writing for hire gig I really should be attending to, but I'm a great procrastinator. I'll find a way to put off anything. And here I am, putting of a writing task … by writing.

Tonight I took in a free screening of a new Sigur Ros documentary. It was advertised at 1100 Broadway — at the intersection of Broadway and Jones. Now, the only place I know in that area is an old building which houses an antique shop and the studios of several artists. This is the building where a large shell of a space was used for a NALIP video slam. The acoustics were execrable.

Anyway, I drove down to Alamo Heights and picked up Alston. And when we rolled up to the building at 1100 Broadway, it was, as I feared, the same space of the NALIP event. We had arrived early, as the advert had requested. But there were hardly any people there. In fact, the folks putting on the event (and I'm still a bit unclear on who was running things) were still moving a projector screen around, trying to find the perfect spot. As people slowly showed up, we all waited outside on the sidewalk. Alston drew my attention to the screen. It was a wide roll of paper (like a photographer's backdrop) suspended from a couple of light stands. Seemed low-tech, yet smart enough. Alston wondered if they were going to bring in chairs. I said I thought not.

Eventually we were led inside and people began sitting orderly on the floor in front of the screen. They made sure to consolidate space in case more people showed up. But the man who seemed to be running the event pointed out that most of us would have to move, because we were in the way of the video projector.

I turned around. Surely the projector was high enough over our heads on that folding table behind us. There was the DVD player, a little mix board attached to the portable 2 speaker PA system, and … and I saw no projector. That's when I realized it was on the floor under the table. I've never seen a projector set up on the floor. The people spread out, creating a little corridor down the middle. Alston wisely decided to relocate. I followed. We had originally positioned ourselves on the inside wall, thus trapping ourselves in case we decided to flee. We moved to the wall with the most empty space — the best escape route.

The acoustics weren't so bad during the music sections (most of the film). Yes, there was plenty of hot reverb, but that was mostly lost in Sigur Ros' signature sound — loads of sustained mournful chords and the occasional warm reverb of feedback. But when we'd get a break to listen to members of the band speak, they were completely incomprehensible. They all spoke English, and I don't believe their accents were all that thick. It was that damn cement floor and plaster walls and ceiling.

I'm not a huge Sigur Ros fan. Their music is a bit too pretty for me. It fits certain moods, but still, for some reason, their music just doesn't speak to me. I like it when I hear it. I like being around it. However, I do not seek it out.

But, because their sound is so cinematographic, it worked beautifully as the background score to this lush film. The images were stunning. I'm not surprised to find Iceland a photogenic country, but the team who put this film together had a great aesthetic sense of light, composition, and texture.

The premise of this band documentary is that Sigur Ros, after their years of success, decided to give back to their home country of Iceland. They put together a series of free concerts spread out to small towns throughout the island during the summer.

It's so sad that these socialist utopias in north-western Europe have such cold weather, or I'd've expatriated myself abroad yesterday. And so, for the time being, I hang out here. I saw a man tonight, as we left the movie, riding a bike. He wore short-shorts (which did not flatter his physique) and a sleeveless t-shirt (so, god knows where he was keeping his cigarettes) — and he seemed quite comfortable. I won't say it's balmy tonight, but it ain't cold.


Tomorrow, around noon, Carlos will be paying me a visit. He wants to use my place as a location for a scene in a short film he's doing.

I just don't have the energy to clean this place up. But I'll guess I'll drag my ass from bed tomorrow and throw everything into the bedroom and hope he doesn't need to make with too much set design.

And now I really need to get to work on my writing assignment.


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