Monday, July 03, 2006

from carlsbad

from the home office in carlsbad, california...

first, a slight retraction of my original assessment of san clemente: if you get off the el camino real and go down to the waterfront (which i wouldve if it were not for the fact that the morning clouds had burned off and the afternoon sun was pounding down on me unremittingly) you get quite a different picture. no light industry and surf board shops here, but lovely beachfront property bordering on the super opulent.

i gained this newfound view of san clemente on the train ride back from LA to carlsbad with mark and lorraine (which of course passed right by the capistrano beach house) after an evening and a day in LA, with catherine as our host and reading organizer. upon arrival friday we went to her and ron's place in the west adams neighborhood (lafayette park i think? basically near crenshaw and venice), stopped by the la brea tarpits (lorraine has photos i'll link to once they're up), back to her place for a quick early dinner, then off to beyond baroque where a small but warm and enthusiastic group greated us. was very happy to see logan after probably some 4 or 5 years, well-situated as is he at chapman college in orange, CA. also great to meet stan and fred and mark and pablo among others. BB has a great treasure trove of chapbooks and publications that readers have donated throughout the years, and i was able to pick up some books that i surely would not have been able to get elsewhere (including something special for you kap if yr tuning into this). then for drinks and mexican food at some nearby establishments and back home.

saturday we had a lovely home-cooked breakfast with ron and catherine and poe, then off to amoeba music where, under a group-imposed time constraint, i still managed to snag some great CDs. (and a good thing i was nuder a constraint cuz i may not have gotten outta there alive otherwise.) here's the quick version of what i emailed rod, bill and kevin regardnig the purchases:

william parker in order to survive - compassion seizes bed-stuy (homestead) - 1995 quartet w/ rob brown, cooper-moore and susie ibarra, it's hot

roy campbell pyramid trio - ancestral homeland (no more records) - 1998 session with william parker and zen matsuura on drums (it's hot: never heard of him before but he's hot: never underestimate the unknown japanese percussionist!)

byard lancaster - it's not up to us (vortex reissue on water) - 1968 quintet session w/sonny sharrock, all pretty mellow or much more than you'd think given the lineup (reviewed here)

paul rutherford - chicago 2002 (emanem) - all from the empty bottle, half-hour solo piece plus 3 tracks (46 minutes) of a septet featuring jeb bishop, lol coxhill, mats gustafsson, fred lonberg-holm, kent kessler and kjell nordeson

bill dixon - collection (cadence 2CD set) - according to dixon's website this was an unauthorized CD reissue of a 2LP vinly set that cadence jazz records did, music for solo trumpet recorded 1971-1976.

frode gjerstad trio - last first (falcata-galia) - a label and recording i've never heard of before, but the trio includes oyvind storesund (bass, never heard of him) and pall nilssen-love, 60 minute studio recording from 1999 and figuring that this is not much of a gamble.

sun ra - fate in a pleasant mood / when sun comes out (evidence)
sun ra - other planes of there (evidence)
sun ra - cymbals and crystal spears, the great lost sun ra albums (evidence 2CD)
the first disc couples his last chicago session (1960/61) with one of his first NYC sessions (1962/63), the second is from 1964 and features (on the title track) one of his sole efforts at a thru-composed piece, and the third set is from 1973 when impulse bailed on its promise to issue new sun ra recordings done in quadrophonic sound. these pretty much fill out my collection of evidence sun ra reissues, the only ones i'm lacking being the solo LP (monorails and satellites), the greatest hits CD, and the only remaining one that i should get (sound sun pleasure plus sun ra's first seven sides)
aside from the sun ra it turned out to be a very visionfestival-related set of purchases, everyone (except gjerstad) having played at it (or, in the case of lancaster, scheduled to) the other week.

anyway from amoeba we went to the museum of contemporary art to see the robert rauschenberg "combines" exhibit, which was just smashing. can't even really elaborate, but let's just say that this was a late 1950s early 1960s dada-inspired effort to break down boundaries between painting and sculpture, with rauschenberg incorporating various found objects into and onto and out of the surface of the painting itself. as with any kind of collagist art, the selection of materials is always the most fascinating thing: why pants pockets, bird feathers for example. and then to decide what if any commentary is being made by the choice of materials, the titles of the individual pieces, etc. wish i could go back and see this many times.

also on display was an excellent lorna simpson show. she uses images (still photos and video) and text to explore the many interesting facets of personal and social relationships, gender and race. i found i did not have the time or patience to linger over the video installations and texts they way i would've liked to, but still the overall impression i got was a very favroable one, and again i wish i could revisit this exhibit.

from there it was back to the train, and after a delayed journey we finally arrived in carlsbad and did dinner at the local burger joint. carlsbad is a very cute beach town, with some nice restaurants and hotels but without overdoing it in terms of opulence of beachy kitsch. sunday we had a leisurely morning and spent the afternoon with joe and sarah safdie at their home ni the pacific beach neighborhood of san diego, about a half hour's drive south of here. (again, photos will go up once lorraine's uploaded them). i've known joe by email for a number of years now and it's always nice to fnially put a face and a person to the email address. we had a lovely lunch and conversation with them before a quick drive to kate sessions park for a lovely view of san diego. the evening back in carlsbad consisted of various carryout dinners on the patio with tunes and drinks.

today looks like another leisurely morning at home, some music sharing, perhaps a trip to the beach, dinner out, and otherwise low-key enjoyment of the company of friends before heading back to DC and preparing to depart for the UK...

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