Whistling in the dark

Yaffa Phillips writes sporadically

Archive for March, 2007

Future Paleo

I belong to a flickr group called paleo-future devoted to images of outdated visions of the future. Enjoy this comic of the present as it might be viewed by the future with one of my favorite authors as the punchline. He is a contributer to the awesome boingboing. His novels are below. His law and silly pics here.

Update: Check out Scott Beale / Laughing Squid‘s photo from flickr.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
Authors:Cory Doctorow
Manufacturer:Tor Books
Released:05 December, 2003
A Place So Foreign and Eight More
Authors:Cory Doctorow, Bruce Sterling
Manufacturer:Four Walls Eight Windows
Released:18 August, 2003
Eastern Standard Tribe
Authors:Cory Doctorow
Manufacturer:Tor Books
Released:10 March, 2005
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
Authors:Cory Doctorow
Manufacturer:Tor Books
Released:16 June, 2005
Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present
Authors:Cory Doctorow
Manufacturer:Thunder’s Mouth Press
Released:11 January, 2007
posted by Yaffa in art,internet,technology and have No Comments

Edward Scissorhands

Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands Brochure 1


Saw Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands tonight at BAM. New Adventures was in fine form, the dancers were great and so was the set. The tweaking of the story (adding a prologue) for the stage worked. The town vixen was especially fun.

Read a recent review that questioned the need for the retelling of the film in dance theater form….Lots of fairy tales get retold again and again…there is no reason not to add a modern work to the mix. Definitely a good time. Upcoming dates (in Toronto, St. Paul, MN, Denver and Seattle) can be found here.

Summary of Matthew Bourne’s talk on the 15th can be found at BAMDialogue: Matthew Bourne

posted by Yaffa in New York,theatre and have No Comments

Amazing dessert at Riposo 46

After Inherit the Wind went to this great tiny wine bar with Jason. With a definitely moan (גניחה) -worthy dessert. Bailey’s Irish Cream-flavored cheesecake with homemade whipped cream, chocolate drizzled on the plate beneath with four blackberries placed on the corners. The place is tiny (you might have to wait) and so worth it.

Riposo 46
667 Ninth Ave

posted by Yaffa in food,New York and have No Comments

Inherit the Wind

Inherit the Wind Playbill


Went to see the first preview of Inherit the Wind at the Lyceum Theater. The play is a fictionalized take on the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. A teacher is put on trial for teaching evolution in a science class, contrary to biblical teaching, and a high profile trial with the great legal minds of the day ensues.

It is left in it’s historical context even though very similar issues are still being argued in today’s courtrooms. The Supreme Court just recently ruled it illegal to force the inclusion of Intelligent Design in public school science classrooms as an alternative theory to evolution, ruling it religious in nature rather than scientific and you would probably then have to include the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The play was already really tight. It is a limited 16-week run. Christopher Plummer is amazing. I would watch him reciting the telephone book. I would watch him watch paint dry. He has great lines and is really captivating. He plays the character based on Clarence Darrow.

I find it funny that I already associate Brian Dennehy with two made-for-TV films he did based on real trials. Skokie based on a Free Speech trial. In To Catch a Killer he is scary, evil, serial killing clown John Wayne Gacy. He is also quite strong in Inherit the Wind.

There is a large cast and they are quite talented. Maggie Lacey does a great job as the conflicted Reverend’s daughter who happens to love the defendant. Byron Jennings is very righteous as the Reverend. Assorted townspeaople really add to the atmosphere – and seem like they are having fun.

I did not like Denis O’Hare as E.K. Hornbeck, a big city journalist who comes to town to cover the trial. He has great lines and I don’t enjoy his reading of them.

It is worth the price of admission to watch Christopher Plummer. I had seats in the first row on Stage. It is as though you are part of the jury. You sit facing the rest of the audience so at times you see people’s backs. At the same time tickets are cheap, $36 or so and you can’t get any closer to the actors. I recommend the experience; discounted tickets on the stage are also available at the fantastic Spring Awakening (am ready to see this for the third time, it is in heavy rotation on my iPod.) I am so excited to be seeing Duncan Sheik in May, he is supposed to be singing songs from Spring Awakening in addition to his stuff.

Related media:

Inherit the Wind
Authors:Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee
Manufacturer:Ballantine Books
Released:20 March, 2007
Monkey Business: The True Story Of The Scopes Trial
Authors:Marvin Olasky, John Perry
Manufacturer:B&H Publishing Group
Released:15 May, 2005
Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial And America
Authors:Edward J. Larson
Manufacturer:Basic Books
Released:02 October, 2006
The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and a School Board in Dover, PA
Authors:Gordy Slack
Released:18 May, 2007
The Essential Words and Writings of Clarence Darrow (Modern Library Classics)
Authors:Clarence Darrow, Edward J. Larson
Manufacturer:Modern Library
Released:12 June, 2007
Inherit the Wind
Manufacturer:MGM (Video & DVD)
Released:11 December, 2001
Released:12 February, 2004
To Catch a Killer
Manufacturer:Image Entertainment
Released:21 September, 1999
Spring Awakening (2006 Original Broadway Cast)
Artist:Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater, Skylar Astin, Lilli Cooper, John Gallagher Jr., Gideon Glick, Jonathan Groff, Brian Johnson, Lea Michele, Lauren Pritchard
Manufacturer:Decca Broadway
Released:12 December, 2006
posted by Yaffa in New York,theatre and have Comment (1)

Chris Thile and The Tensions Mountain Boys

Chris Thile and The Tensions Mountain Boys at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall (part of IN YOUR EAR REDUX, a weekend festival curated by John Adams.) were amazing. Chris Eldridge was on Guitar and Vocals, Greg Garrison on Bass, Noam Pikelny on Banjo, Chris Thile on Mandolin and Vocals and Gabe Witcher on Fiddle and Vocals. This was the World Premiere of Chris Thile’s “The Blind Leaving the Blind (in Four Movements)” plus they performed songs off of “How to Grow a Woman from the Ground.” Other reviews are linked from the bluegrass blog. Setlist, some banter and bad photos below:


01. O Santo De Polvora (Milladoiro)
02. Wayside (Back in Time) (Gillian Welch and David Rawlings)
03. Stay Away
04. Blind Leaving the Blind (Four Movements)
05. Recreation of the first time they played it
06. How to Grow a Woman from the Ground (Thomas Anderson Brosseau)
07. The Beekeeper
08. Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground (White Stripes)
09. Watch ‘At Breakdown

Encore 1
10. If The Sea Was Whiskey
11. The Eleventh Reel

Encore 2
12. Ophelia (The Band) (Gabe Witcher, Main Vocals)

Banter before Stay Away:

Thank you.

This is not the regarded Carnegie Hall. This is Zankel Hall.

We’re not nervous in the least and uh and very actually amused that you all decided to show up in nothing but underwear.

Kind of ridiculous though what were you thinking?

We got dressed up. Looking pretty sharp for all of you.

So Ok.

So we started with a song called O Santo De Polvora and despite the title and despite that it was written by a Spanish band called Milladoiro um we kind of feel that it’s fitting to play it on St. Patrick’s Day.

First of all it sounds Celtic. But also because again the title O Santo De Polvora we’re almost sure that it’s a tribute to the great Cubs thirdbaseman Ron Santo and he was a Chicago Cub. Chicago, might be the most Irish of all American cities.

And he played Of course at Wrigley Field, Chicago which had the Ivy League of Green.

And it’s a baseball field so actually there’s a lot of green.

So we feel like that one was completely appropriate.

The song after that less appropriate and we will continue to play less and less appropriate songs and music

That one was called Wayside and the parenthetical title which I mention only because I like saying parenthetical And that is Back in Time. That was written by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.

And Dave, Dave always dresses sharp. So does Gil. He would have shown up in a suit and tie if he were playing.

At this point someone’s program drops from the second balcony up. Chris offers by gesture to throw the used tissue on the stage near him that he has just been using. The offer is declined.

Intro to Blind Leaving the Blind:

Alright, so we’re going to play this piece that I wrote for five of us to play.

Quintet, quintet

A stringed quintet as the preferred term for our instruments and three of us will sing and we’re very very excited.

And it’s in Four Movements. It may sound like six depending on how you count.

There will be three complete stops. During which we’ll tune no doubt. All of us.

See there are two stops where some of us will tune you may think that that’s a new movement.

You would, sitting there in your underwear. We love you people.

That’s what the whole problem is. We love it here.

This song is called

This song?

a nice tune.

a nice tune.

A lttle long, It’s a little long. Really.

We hope you like it.

It’s called the Blind Leaving the Blind.

And it’s in V??

[Lights go blue]

That’s why it’s Carnegie Hall.

There’s a vibe, there’s a vibe if you play in here.

Blue for Bluegrass.

After Playing Blind Leaving the Blind:

CT: Thank you very much.

(From Audience: Thank you. That was nice.)

CT: Ok, we’re gonna do a couple more normal songs now.

CT: Oh dear, I’m not ready to come down yet. Is everything 15 BPMs too fast?

NP: The first time that we tried playing certain sections of this piece It was about a year and a half ago. We got together for about a week. And the first thing we started learning which was the final movement the hardest part. Which I think that’s Chris’s style, of course, to do the hard part first We tried playing that, certain sections of that last movment. After three days of rehearsal in the Living Room in NY about a year and a half ago And I don’t know how we had the idea that we could get through it but we told ourselves we’ve got to just still play it This is the only way we’re gonna get better at it And if anyone makes a mistake It’s no big deal But if you make a mistake that you can’t recover from Just scream out “What?” in the middle of the song And we started the piece And about 40 seconds into it Critter (Chris Eldridge) yelled out Who-What.

CT: We’ll recreate it for you. Ok now And then I was actually so incredibly nervous it really was like 15 beats per minute too fast and we’ll recreate that part as well

[Reenactment of first performance including the yell]

(From audience: We love you critter.)

CT: It was awesome.

He then suggests the recording of that first time should be secret track on the new record with Critter making some extra royalties on it or something.

Beekeeper Intro:

This was the last bit of banter where Noam Pikelny explains where the title for “The Beekeeper” comes from. Not because of the current crisis with bees rather people ask what it’s like to play with Chris Thile all the time and the best way to describe it is that he’s a Musical beekeeper, he gets an idea and then just runs with it and goes crazy messing things around, speeding things up and then telling them where to play it, how fast to play it, play it faster, and then they have the piece. They started rehearsing it and then Gabe came up with an idea, Chris ran with it and came back 15 minutes later and had all these very difficult, very fast parts to play. Musical bees and he told Chris he wouldn’t play it unless he called it The Beekeeper, and a deal was struck.

my flickr: Chris Thile and The Tensions Mountain Boys

Chris Thile and The Tensions Mountain Boys at Carnegie Hall - Blurry Pic of the Band Chris Thile and The Tensions Mountain Boys at Carnegie Hall - Program Listing Chris Thile and The Tensions Mountain Boys at Carnegie Hall - Band Leaving the Stage after Main Set Chris Thile and The Tensions Mountain Boys at Carnegie Hall - Setlist

CDs from amazon:

Punch Brothers

Punch Brothers - Punch

How to Grow a Woman from the Ground

How to Grow a Woman from the Ground

Nickel Creek - Best Of

Nickel Creek - Best Of

posted by Yaffa in music,New York,photography and have No Comments