Recap: Via Colori (09-M11-5)

As much time as I spent at Via Colori this year, I have to write some kind of a recap. Yes, this will cover both days, and it will get a bit lengthy.

Saturday was the day I was officially scheduled to volunteer. We were instructed that we would be called or e-mailed Thursday night if the rain plan was activated. I didn't, so I assumed (correctly) that plan A, Sam Houston Park, was still in effect. The rain did push back the official start time, such that my original assignment was replaced with setup-type duties. Which, actually, worked out rather well. Turnout for Saturday was rather low due to the weather.

The bands still tried to play as best they could. I think it was a member of Spain Colored Orange that made a crack about being more worried about the equipment than being electrocuted (which I found rather amusing). By 4pm some of the artists who had stuck around were finally beginning work and it actually started looking a bit like a street painting festival. I wrapped up the needed duties at roughly 5:15pm (I had arrived early), hung around a bit, and then headed out. I paid only scant attention to the music (enough to know I either missed the Flying Fish Sailors completely or they never took the stage); I did catch some of Beetle on my way out. I did get to talk to a few people I know as well before I left, and that combined with the work we got done made it feel worthwhile.

Sunday was much better. I arrived at 12:06pm, a few minutes into Runaway Sun's set scheduled to begin at noon, which I am assuming started on time. It was the usual greatness, up until the last song of the set. "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Indeed, these wise words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery were quite thoroughly validated by the impromptu addition of a tambourine part to the last number (Sweetheart) which quite honestly, I found to be an annoyance and unwanted. Hopefully, this mistake won't be repeated at future shows.

I spent most of the time that Grupo KaCha was playing taking pictures of the artists at work. This is not to say that the act was any less worthy, and there were several die-hard fans lined up in front of the stage. What I heard of the band was good and contributed well to the ambience.

Somewhere in here I caught a couple of Elaine Greer's songs on the smaller stage (the Whole Foods Market Cafe Stage).

I paid somewhat closer attention to Wild Moccasins, enough to say with confidence I could probably become a fan of theirs given enough time; at some point I will definitely go see one of their shows again.

The final act was Buxton who I remember vaguely from the Houston Press Music Awards Showcase about a month before I launched this blog. And yes, hindsight really is 20/20, because I wish I had this blog then so I could refer back to my recap now. The rather faint memories of excellence from the first show came back rather quickly. I didn't catch the entire set, but I did pay close attention to the beginning and the end.

After the conclusion of this set, I walked back around and snapped up a few final pictures of the street art before heading back home. I'd just dump the whole lot onto Flickr but I'd like to be selective. Hopefully with the holiday weekend I'll find more free time than usual.

Here's hoping Via Colori is even bigger and better in 2010. I'm already counting down the days.


2009-11-16/22 Weekly LOVIEE

This week, there really is something for almost everyone, or at least I would like to think so given the length which is quite possibly a record. I may even double check, time permitting.

Thanksgiving is approaching, so those of you checking the ongoing LOVIEE to fill in the gaps should double-check that those events are not canceled or rescheduled due to the holidays. If you spot an inaccuracy in something I’ve posted here, by all means, let me know as soon as possible. If I don’t know about a problem, I can’t fix it.

This weekly LOVIEE starts off with the first multi-week event ever to be posted here on Quinn’s Big City. Hopefully, the first of many; in fact, there is an even bigger one just around the corner. It’s a surprise, really.

Beginning Monday 11-16

Stenciling Power, Rice University Media Center, Visual and Dramatic Arts Main Gallery, 6100 Main. Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. A set of multimedia works by Michael Adair-Kriz inspired by two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Santiago, Chile. Exhibit continues through 2009 December 15. 09-SPMAK

Monday 11-16

Artist reception for Matt Adams, Block 7 Wine Company, 720 Shepherd Drive, 5:30-7:30pm. Matt is a full time fine art photographer who also accepts custom imagery assignments. His subject matter is diverse and includes everything from architecture and landscapes to portraiture and abstractions. Complimentary aperitivo snacks will be served in addition to a cash bar with a selection of featured wines. Presented in partnership with Spacetaker. 09-W47-1

Tuesday 11-17

Between the Folds screening at Rice Cinema, Rice University entrance #8 (University Blvd. at Stockton Dr.), 7pm, free admission. Documentary film by filmmaker Vanessa Gould about ten people trying their hand at origami, from artists to physicists. 09-W47-2

Kirtsy Takes A Bow Book Launch, Sterrett Street Studio, 1305 Sterrett Street, 6-9pm. Laura Mayes, the creator and editing author of Kirtsy Takes A Bow along with several contributors will be toasting the arrival of the book. 09-W47-3

Wednesday 11-18

Blaggards at Brian O’Neill’s, 5555 Morningside Dr., no cover, 9:30pm. Houston’s own Irish-infused rock powerhouse is at it again. 09-W47-4

Thursday 11-19

Houston Press Flashback Thursdays: Black Dog (Led Zeppelin tribute band) at Lucky’s, 801 St. Emanuel, 9pm. Free show. 09-W47-5

Cultured Cocktails, Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar, 307 Fairview, 5-10pm. This week it’s for Psophonia Dance Company, who put on a great show called Squeeze back in June which I was fortunate enough to get to see. 09-W47-6

The Ninth Annual “A Night Out”, The Westin Oaks, 5011 Westheimer, 6-9pm. $100. Hosted by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, featuring dinner, a fashion show, boutique shopping, surprise bags, and a raffle ($40/ticket or $100/3 tickets) with prizes including trips, sports packages, and culinary treats. Event will be emceed by Jan Carson. Benefiting the Houston affiliate of Dress For Success, which provides professional attire and career development tools to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women. This looks like an exciting fundraiser event for a truly great cause; I realize it may not fit everyone’s budget, so if you can’t make it yourself, please spread the word to those who can. Ticket purchase/sponsorship inquiries contact: Ray Rivas, 713-276-5508 or 09-W47-7

Friday 11-20

Eight Friends Out Pre-Holiday Social, The Remington, 1919 Briar Oaks Lane, 7-10pm, $12 (free for EFO members). Get ready to chat, mingle, snack on complimentary appetizers, and then dance the night away. All ages welcome. Valet parking available. RSVP at Web site or or 281-870-0827. 09-W47-8

Friday 11-20 and Saturday 11-21

Spacetaker’s 4th Annual Winter Holiday Art Market (WHAM), Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street. Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 11am-8pm, no admission fee. Several local artists will be selling unique, hand-made holiday gifts. Other attractions include live music, DJs, artist demonstrations, and (on Saturday) children’s art activities. 09-W47-9

Saturday 11-21 and Sunday 11-22

Via Colori, Sam Houston Park and the surrounding streets of Allen Parkway and Bagby. Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Free admission. A two-day street painting festival with food, live music, a scavenger hunt, facepainting and more. Benefiting the Center for Hearing and Speech. Join me, it’s going to be a blast! 09-M11-5


Recap: CAF The Lost World + Dengue Fever @ Warehouse Live ((part of) 09-M11-2)

I don’t bother posting a recap unless it’s of substance. However, just this once, I’m offering the one line summary for those who want it: holy cow, this was a great time! Of course there’s a lot more to it than that.

I’m quite unfamiliar with early cinema and was specifically unfamiliar with The Lost World; in fact, this was my first time seeing it. And I’ll be honest, seeing this true masterpiece of the silent movie era did give me pause for thought about the lost art of silent films. I’m not going to spoil the ending in case someone out there has not seen the film before, but I will say it is definitely a surprise worth staying until the end for.

As it happens, this was also my first time setting foot inside Warehouse Live. I was a regular guest at Lucky’s next door back when they had poker games on Tuesday nights (summer to fall 2008), but never seemed to make it to the various shows at Warehouse Live either during or after that time. Until now.

The screening was, if I remember correctly, the 1998 George Eastman House restoration, with a 100 minute running time according to the above-linked IMDb entry. It’s tinted in different colors for some scenes, an effect that makes otherwise bland black-and-white film much more interesting and absorbing. Not to say one could ever fairly call The Lost World bland.

To fill in the silence and add dramatic effect, Dengue Fever played a special set timed to the action of the movie. The absorbing and hypnotic melodies from this six-member Cambodian music powerhouse fit very well with the screenplay. In fact, the music alone was Dengue Fever at their best, judging by the standing ovation at the end. It was unfortunate that I was not in a position to buy the band’s albums on CD; I will definitely snap them up at a later date.

I’ll say it again, once more: holy cow, this was a great time!


October attendance poll

I know it’s mid-November already, but I’ve gotten a nominal amount of feedback for October. This question is for any event posted here, for any time in October (2009-10-01/31), and on any of the LOVIEE features (including ongoing).

I may or may not do these on a regular basis, and of course participation is optional and completely anonymous. I am allowing comments on this post for those interested in an in-depth discussion.