Monday, February 19, 2007

Healthy communities sustain a diversity of culture. I realised this morning that my community grounding has been unhealthy of late - until this weekend that is. Being hard up and house bound can be a perpetuating abyss so thank god two events spurred me to lap up some culture. The Fringe festival and the opening of The New Dowse gallery in Lower Hutt.

First, Friday, as part of the Fringe, at the Front Room, was Spartacus R. Their 8 channel octophonic sound extravaganza was something to behold. Experimental, clearly, but that's what these guys do. They held a full house spellbound for an hour or so with a seamless jam session that featured some spectacular bass work from Tim Prebble.

At moments gruelling, but all the time mesmerising - this was aural pleasure at it's most intense. Deep funk grooves held the eye on a combination some amazing guitar work and ridiculously simple hot-plate VJ mastery. This was a seriously great show.

The night ended with an airing of the Flaming Lips Zaireeka. I've been a Lips nut since seeing them at the BDO in 2004. But I don't own Zaireeka. Probably because I don't own four stereos. It was released as a 4cd set in 1997 with the intention that all four cds be played simultaneously. What better opportunity to run Zaireeka than through half of the eight channels set up by the Spartacus R crew.

Most of the punters had shot the gap by the time the channels were in sync, But for the few that remained it was something special. Kinda like having your very own sound studio (and knowing how to use it). I'd never heard Zaireeka before, and was somewhat surprised that it still sounded like the Lips. Coyne's distinctive voice, a typically absurd fibre-optic-jesus-esque story of dog toys, and more - all layered through and around some non worldly sounds. Thank you Spartacus R!

Second off the rank this weekend was Saturday's public opening of the souped up Dowse art gallery in Lower Hutt. It was crawling with people - so not ideal for taking it all in - but a feature is the VUW School of Design exhibition Domestic Futurists. I've gotta get out there and have a proper look, but this is urban sustainability at the cutting edge.

The exhibition poses the question "how will we live and work in 2017?" It's final year masters design student work that has significant industry support. The results are some brilliant efficiency solution prototypes - some of which will no doubt be commercialised. There's energy and water efficiency solutions, appliances, cladding, and a number of gems that combine all three.

I feel suitably re-charged. Especially having experienced the wonder that is Guy and Rosie's bean tortilla's!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yes but what if you are housebound and not in wellington... what then?