7 Sep 03 - caught Grace Chung singing and scatting at the annual Adams Morgan festival in DC. I thought she sounded the best on the piece, "Centerpiece", by Harry "Sweets" Edison and Jon Hendricks (lyrics). She looked smashing in a short, brightly colored dress with her long, tanned limbs extending.
14 Sep 2003 - UMBC, Sonic Circuits concert... electroacoustic music...
I was tired, so it was hard to sustain my interest. The first piece was the best. It was a recorded collage of processed text and sounds. I think there wasn't anything live and improvised about it, in contrast to the rest of the performances.
13 October - I'm currently writing this from Baker Library at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. This weekend, I've been visiting eastern central Vermont, what locals refer to as the Upper Valley. The Valley is short for Connecticut River Valley, which forms a border between Vermont and New Hampshire.
24 October - Recent articles in Washington Post about the DC NPR news/talk station, WAMU (88.5 FM) are interesting in light of the turmoil in recent years at DC's WPFW (89.3 FM) and other Pacifica stations (NY, Berkeley, LA, and Houston).
It boils down to this -- when new management decides to become more "corporate" (I use that term loosely) and tries to appeal to a more upscale (i.e., richer) audience (and advertisers/underwiters) and make organizational and schedule changes to focus, streamline, and dictate policy, they will encounter resistance.
Not all change is for the better. On the other hand, keeping the status quo may ignore a shifting environment.
Public and community radio have a different relationship to listeners and volunteers, than commercial broadcasting.
...and while on the topic of DC radio, let me mention a Sunday public affairs program on stations owned by Clear Channel.
It's called "Asian American Dialogue". It's a segment of an hour-long "DC Weekly" program. AAD focuses on API community issues. It airs every fourth Sunday at the following times and frequencies:
7 a.m. 101.1 FM
7 p.m. 1560 AM
9 p.m. 960 AM
25 October - Susie Ibarra Trio, Kreeger bldg., American Univ., DC
26 Oct. - Of A Revolution (O.A.R.), Chuck Levin music festival, Wheaton, MD... I was disappointed by this rock band, which has an Asian member. The reason is they only play 3 or 4 chords with little melodic interest... lead guitarist is Asian. He sounds okay. Think his name is Richard On.
30 Oct. - Music From China, Coolidge aud., Library of Congress, DC... Audience was an older crowd. Not sure if there was anyone under the age of 30 (or even 40).
7 Nov. - I caught this new semi-improv trio from NY, called Children's Museum at the Sangha Cafe in Takoma Park, Maryland. Individually, they're pretty strong musicians. Yet, when they played together, it didn't seem that one dominated or overshadowed another. The group consists of Shu-ni Tsou on bamboo flutes (some with membranes), Tatsuya Nakatani on percussion, and Loren Dempster on cello. They played a suite of structured pieces for each half of the program. Inbetween the pieces, they would improvise. Given that this was their first tour, it's not unexpected that there were some gaps or rough spots during their performance. Yet, there were also moments of creative cohesion. One effect that I liked was when Nakatani would bow a brass bowl, while Tsou was blowing a flute and Dempster was bowing his cello. Nakatani seemed to bridge his partners, in that his bowing would match Dempster's bowing, while the high, ringing pitch of the bowl matched the flute's pitch. Tsou's visual allure was an added bonus to the performance. She was sheathed in a tight, light cotton dress (that looked like t-shirt material), underwhich she wore a t-shirt. The dress had some sort of decorative design on it that reminded me of a Taiwanese aboriginal motif. She cut quite a voluptuous figure, which no doubt led to her being surrounded by male fans after the show.
8 Nov. - Drum:kan from Tokyo, a rock trio on tour with Elliott (a dissolving band from Louisville). Ottobar, Baltimore. Drum:kan only played 3 songs, but they sounded pretty good. They didn't speak much English, but I managed to find out, later, that they've been around for 7 years.
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