Sunday afternoon after my DJ shift I BARTed into the city and walked out to Z Space for the closing of Katrina Rodabaugh'sThe Dresses/Objects Project. Inspired by Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, Rodabaugh printed poems from that anthology onto sheets of fabric and then handed them out to female artists and designers to do with them what they willed. The resulting articles of clothing (mostly dresses) were on display in the gallery interspersed with photographs of dancers actually decked out in said wearable art, with a sewing station tucked into a corner at which Rodabaugh had been constructing one last garment over the course of the show. I'm bummed I missed the opening weekend when there were dance performances set to live music in the gallery, but for the closing party Rodabaugh brought things full circle by inviting three female poets - Lara Durback, Erika Staiti, and Jennifer Manzano - to read their work. Stein's lasting influence ran through the trio's poetry as they wove together images pertaining to women's bodies, women's clothing, and the idea of women's work. And if you looked carefully at the suite of inspriration images Rodabaugh had clothespinned to lines of string on one wall of the gallery you found a small black-and-white postcard of Ms Stein herself.
Kings of Leon played a sold out show at the Warfield tonight, but I was there to see The Stills even though they were just one of the opening acts. Proving once again that there must be something really good in the water up in Montreal, the band took ownership of that stage and never once let the intensity flag during their too-short set. I was even impressed by "Being Here" which on the new album is perhaps a shade too anthem-rock but live was intensely moving. I was crushed they didn't play "Still in Love Song", but it just makes me hope they do their own tour soon where they can play longer than half an hour. Fellow openers We Are Scientists were fun but a little too Brooklyn hipster for my taste, and then Kings of Leon delivered a fully solid set of driving southern-fried rock but their fist-pumping fans drove me fucking nuts.
Earlier in the day I took part in the first-ever SOMA Theatre Crawl, and this local performing arts devotee for one firmly hopes it becomes a regular thing. The group started out at the Boxcar Theatre where we enjoyed a snippet from the company's upcoming original satire Animal Kingdom. From there we walked around the corner to The Garage where we got to see PUS (Performers Under Stress) rehearse two scenes from their world premiere production of Charles Pike's Ghost Train Coming and then a gorgeous performance by Denia Dance, whose members were also featured in photographs by Gregory Bartning in the gallery downstairs. Finally at the Climate Theater we were treated to an excerpt of Tim Barsky's 7 Beggars, an incredible amalgam of storytelling, beatboxing and battle flute. Barsky and percussionist Brandi Brandes totally knocked my socks off, and the only sad thing is that his show closed tonight so you won't get to see it at this time. But the SOMA arts scene is not only thriving but growing by leaps and bounds, so I highly recommend visiting all the sites linked above and keeping an eye out for goings-on in that neighborhood.
Speaking of local talent, I also recommend tomorrow's Capsule Design Festival taking place in Hayes Valley Park. Awesome designers galore. Me, I already did enough damage to my budget while I was killing time in that area today that I dare not go back.
And besides, I'll be DJing: 3 - 6pm PST, Sunday, October 19 KALX Berkeley 90.7fm