Artscape is the ultimate choose your own adventure; and yet one must also accept the fact that it isn’t possible to experience everything it has to offer, even if one is able to attend all three days of the festival. I like to have a loose plan that includes: supporting any friend who is performing or exhibiting, hearing at least one of the headline musical acts, seeing as many movies as possible, avoiding standing in any line longer than five deep, dipping into the major cultural institutions in the area, all while also leaving enough time to explore the continual wackiness along the streets.
I kicked things off on Friday with a great film at the Charles called Girl Walk All Day, which highlighted several dancers playing around New York City, while Girl Talk pulled out every sample trick they could muster (and muster he did!) for the soundtrack [Here’s the website which includes both the trailer and the full film: http://girlwalkallday.com]. Afterwards, I met up with a few friends at Club Charles and then popped over to the Windup Space to support the Baltimore Boom Bap Society (Max Beats & Wendel Patrick), as well as, Femi the DriFish & The Out Of Water eXperience. I expect great things of these guys in the coming years (find them on the facebook)!
On Saturday, I went to see Color Wheel. Don’t. I had high hopes and was in desperate need of a comedy. [SPOILER ALERT!] Although I did laugh out loud a few times, when the ‘intimacy of siblings’ became incestuous, I simply became uncomfortable. If that was the point, then well done. Otherwise, there are better ways to spend your money. Afterwards, I had crepes with a tranny visiting from Iceland (literally), and cruised through the art cars – including a banana mobile (which my photog friend captured perfectly as a man walked by with a banana in his back pocket!) – and listened to a bit of Lucy Stone out of Philly. Later on, I returned to see Clutch with my sister and eleven year old niece. This is a band that my niece heard as an infant, and so it was funny to hear her say with surprise, “I know this song,” as we watched the mosh pit grow below us. For those who don’t know the home grown ‘growler’ band, here’s more on them: http://pro-rock.com/index.cfm?page=Bio
On Sunday, I returned yet again to the Charles, and this time managed to see the Maryland Film Festival’s short documentaries. They included, in my order of preference: Necking, by Lindsay Lindenbaum, which is a lovely collection of interviews with folks in their 80s and 90s who have also managed to remain happily married for most of their lives. Wilbert & Vern, by Kenneth Price, which highlights a wonderful friendship between two old-timey fellows. One of the guys is blind and well mannered, while the other is able bodied, wily, and crude. A perfect match. Come on Down and Pick Me Up by Jonathan Bougher and Nicholas Corrao, as well as, The Meaning of Robots by Matt Lenski, simply weren’t my favorites. Then, over at the Maryland Institute College of Art, I enjoyed this year’s Sondheim prize semi finalists (as I always do), and got to hear my friend and her choir sing a few of Bach’s Cantatas. My neighbors and friends from Pellinore Press were also selling their amazing creations in the lobby’s art market. Check them out in a video we did together, here:
Overall it was a great weekend. Every year is different, and yet some things are joyfully the same. This year’s fun was had despite the rain, and instead of the usual intense heat! I recommend biking to the event or taking public transit so as to avoid the parking madness and the hefty parking fines you’ll get after parking in a crosswalk (watched it go down y’all). See you next year Artscape.
PS: Just found out more about that amazing work made out of shipping pallets, peep this if you wondered too: http://inhabitat.com/roadhouse-is-a-student-made-music-venue-made-from-hundreds-of-shipping-pallets/