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Eureka Birds @ Stoop

Last Monday, I got to see my colleague Dan’s band Eureka Birds at CenterStage as part of Baltimore’s legendary Stoop storytelling series.  Eureka Birds, with their ethereal, upbeat sound and occasionally gritty lyrics, were a perfect fit for the evening’s “That’s Incredible” ghostly storytelling theme.  If you missed the evening, last week Baltimore’s NPR rebroadcast the alternately hilarious and surreal story by physicatric nurse Matt Manning.

Eureka Birds are well-versed in this particular combination of lighthearted macabre.  Several tracks off their  albums follow in the long tradition of the American murder song, including “Baby’s Got a Blade,” the first track on their latest album, Strangers.

For those in Baltimore who missed the show last week, Eureka Birds will be at Metro Gallery tonight with She Keeps Bees.  And for everyone else: a few months ago they released a fantastic new video by Dreambear for their track “Fastest.”  Check it out — it really captures the dynamic energy of their latest album.

End-of-Week Reading

by Nozomu Okabe

Photo by Nozomu Okabe

 

For some end-of-week reading…

…an exceptionally terrific piece of flash nonfiction by Kathryn Nuernberger,

laughter, photographed,

how to get kids interested in art,

…and the inimitable Maya Angelou’s talk for Americans for the Arts:

“Our actors and sculptors and painters and writers and poets must be made to know that we appreciate them, that in fact it is their very work which puts starch in our backbones.”

Architecture

David Boyle and architect Michele Bertomen built a light, airy house in Brooklyn out of shipping containers.  This video captures their story — both the difficulties of the approval process and the ingenuity, creativity, and warmth that led to this incredible home.  The resulting space is safe, ecological, and filled with beautiful, authentic decor that reflects the spirit and genuineness of the couple that built it.  Good motivation for this wintery Friday afternoon.

You can read the full article at the Gothamist here.

Take a Breath

Baltimore

When I lived in Baltimore, these two signs were painted on the building directly opposite mine.  The spacing I think is their genius: it takes an extra beat to read them, their form asks that you enact their meaning.  For years, each morning when I left for work, I unpuzzled and repuzzled them.  Take a Breath.  Enjoy the Ride.

Baltimore

Listening Lately: Edith Piaf

Music has been challenging for me recently.  As I go through some significant life changes, I find that a lot of music cuts too close.

I’ve been listening to Edith Piaf a lot though.  There are other singers of her ilk whom I love (Ella Fitzgerald, most notably), but Edith Piaf is the one I’ve been listening to now.  I think it helps that because she sings in French, I can focus just on the movement of her voice — the rich throaty force of it.

Listening to Piaf in my father’s kitchen a couple weeks ago, he mused that it would have been amazing to hear her sing in person.  What a lovely thought.  I imagine her in a nightclub in the 1930s.  That’s where I’d want to hear her.

There, or right here, in the kitchen with my father.