aku-aku: v.. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a "walking" fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
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new york
Posted by dav at 2004 April 11 11:13 AM
File under: Music

When Mie scheduled her trip to Tokyo I decided to use the time apart to visit my friends in New York. I've been here since Tuesday and I'm leaving this evening. It's been a good trip, although I didn't get to see as many friends as I hoped since it is not really a vacation as I was still working (via Internet) each day and this was a busy week (including an crisis-conrol trip that required me to buy business-appropriate clothing and take a last minute Amtrak train to Deleware).

Some of the highlights:

  • NonsenseNYC. I quickly grew bored with the typical various neighborhood bar-hopping activities. I've been here plenty of times, having grown up on the east coast, and the thrill of checking out the East Village scene or whatnot barely registers anymore. One of the things I love about San Francisco is the thriving bohemian arts scene which overflows with burlesque troupes, robot mayhem, unusual musical acts and culture jamming happenings. The authoritative public aggregration of info on these events in the Bay Area is the squidlist. When I looked for a NYC equivalent at the beginning of the week I came up empty handed, but eventually I found Nonsense NYC which is exactly what I was looking for and is even hosted by San Francisco's laughing squid service. Unfortunately they only post event listings once per week and apparently there were problems getting this weeks issue out, so it wasn't too much help on this trip.
  • Before I found NonsenseNYC, I was on irc #infoanarchy bitching about how lame Manhattan was when Schuyler popped in and asked if I was going to that night's dorkbot meeting in San Francisco. "I can't, I'm in Manhattan," I replied. Schuyler suggested that the NYC Dorkbot meeting might be the same night. Sure enough it -was-, and it started two hours ago. I decided to go anyway and hopefully find some after-party. A quick cab ride later I walked into the near-empty venue where the organizers were starting to fold up the chairs. No luck on finding an after-party but they suggested we check out a circuit bending event going on all week called Bent.
  • Bent. When I found a copy of the prior week's NonsenseNYC issue the next night, Bent was also mentioned there. On Saturday afternoon we checked it out. We walked in and were immediately immersed in a cacophony of bleeps and bloops coming from disassembled electronic toys that were undergoing open heart surgery under the care of alligator clip and multimeter wielding participants of a hands on circuit bending workshop.

    Downstairs artists were setting up ins
    tallations of interactive electronic music artworks which included an eight key dot-matrix printer instrument, a live worm controlled sonic sculpture and a hacked furby orchestra. This was more my style. Manhattan I apologize for calling you lame. Here's some AVI movies from the event: Thomas playing the dot matrix printer, Worm Jamming, Sonic Harware Hackers.
  • Match. I took in my first Broadway play. We got halfprice tickets through TKTS, which turned out to be fantastic seats (4th row center). The play stars Frank Langella whom I am not terribly familiar with, but I thought he gave a wonderful performance, as did Jane Adams. Frank Liotta (of Goodfellas, etc) was the big name draw I suppose, but I thought he paled in comparison to the other two, especially Langella.
  • Mie Japanese Restaurant. I had to visit the restaurant named Mie. The proprietor was a very friendly man who told us that the restaurant has been there since a woman named Mie opened it in 1965. He got a good laugh out of my Soseki Natsume tshirt and chided me for not remembering to mix soy sauce in with my maguro natto appetizer.
  • Game. On Saturday night I hung out in Brooklyn and caught an incredible hip hop band called G*A*M*E at the Stinger Club. When we got to the entrance of the club, a punkish hardrock jam was shaking down the walls. Alan said to the doorman "I thought this was a hip hop night" and the doorman replied "this is hip hop." Five bucks later I was watching a drealocked lead guitarist wail out a chunky solo while the lead vocalist laid out raps that were as much Henry Rollins as Ice-T. It was an intense performance; I like where hip hop is going and I'll definitely keep an eye out for a Bay Area appearance by this group. A woman (whom we had met earlier at a different bar in Williamsburg and Alan insists was an off duty stripper, because he can tell these things) was taking photos of the band. Hopefully these will make it online at some point.
  • I only took a smattering of photos, they're online here. There's also a QTVR panorama of the view from Danzig's balcony here.

This is my last day here, I've got an 8PM flight home. Mie is probably landing in SFO as I type this, and I'm looking forward to getting together to tell our travel stories. We've talked before about how when we finally start our globe-trekking travels together, we'll sometimes split off onto individual sub-journies and meet up a week later at some new town to share our personal experiences. I suppose this is our first trial run for that activity.


you & mie make such a great couple - you ROCK! i think it's great you saw Match; you're too young to be familiar with Frank Langella, but i've always thought he was underappreciated. he's very low profile when he's not working. i love nyc, but SF must be unique. their demos are always better than anywhere else's. welcome home!

Posted by: jean on April 11, 2004 12:17 PM

Looks like a blast. Great QTVR of Danzig's balcony; what an apartment. I sure hope I can nail a decent gig there for the summer, but that may be doubtful.

But listen, friend: the Supreme Master From The East can always recognize an off-duty stripper when he sees one. Forget that at your peril.

Posted by: Sean on April 11, 2004 10:57 PM

You live in NYC, Jean? Thanks for the compliments, btw.

Sean. You should really try to make a NYC summer happen!

Posted by: Dav on April 12, 2004 04:29 PM

more dotmatrix music:

Saw a performance of this about 4 years ago. Was awesome. :)

Posted by: Boris Anthony on April 14, 2004 08:01 AM

ah me brother Dav, great to see ya. yeah, GAME is like a chilled out Rage of soulness w/a nice electronic vibe. good front man, like Zach, too.

ex-stripper, not off-duty. in her time she was good, though.

Posted by: alan on April 14, 2004 09:51 AM


Love the QTVR. Could you let me know how you do that? I"d really like to give it a try... Was great to see you!

Posted by: Thomas on May 2, 2004 10:08 AM

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