One of the beauties of shooting on real film is that you can hold it in your hand. If you could distill into an object the feeling of a long stretch after a hard run, it would be a heavy can of film, cold and dense, sealed tight with lightproof tape. One of the pleasures of cooking, especially a challenging new recipe, is seeing your labor transformed into an item you can consume. I even like mending clothes, to see buttons where they'd been missing before, or a neat row of stitches around a hem, and know I put them there.
I think anyone who writes, or spends their days in some kind of sedentary, mental labor however creative it might be, should take a little time every day to build something. If you can give it away or use it to make someone smile, that's even better.
Andrew Bird was magical. It was the first time I saw him with his band, and they were lovely. He played many of my favorites, including "Plasticities" and "Fake Palindromes," and he introduced "Tables and Chairs" by telling the audience "It's time for snacks," which generally drove the fans ballistic. His demeanor was the same as last time -- very modest, very absorbed in the music, though he complimented the audience several times, which was sweet. The last time I saw him, the crowd was nearly silent through the entire show, except once when someone shouted "I love you Andrew!" to which he responded bashfully, "Aw. Stop."
I had an audio-nerd moment when the band gathered around a single condenser mic for a few folksie songs in the middle of the show. The fuller, richer sound was perfect for the music, as was the sight of the three men gathered together with violin, double bass, and acoustic guitar. Didn't take this video, but it isn't too far from where we were:
Remember to stay up all night sometimes, or at least most of the night, and go to diners, dance in the park on sunny days, wear the crazy pants, and yes, really do stop and smell the flowers as you walk by.
There's always someone doing something interesting musically in Eastern Market. This Sunday, my neighbor Emily and I stopped and listened to two men making soft harmonies on little blocks of wood with metal tabs tacked on -- I don't know what it's called. It sounded like bells and the harmonics of an acoustic guitar, the kind of music that makes your throat tense up as if your voice wants to sing along to the wordless sounds. They were sitting inside a little stall selling knick knacks made from bottle caps next to the man with the graffiti-style paintings.
A few weeks before, Emily and I were drawn toward a haunting, willowy sound near Port City Java, where we listened to Star FK Radium playing under an umbrella outside. They reminded me strongly of Andrew Bird; I'd like to stumble upon them again. They were at Eastern Market today, but I was too late and missed them. DC music fans, support!