March 13, 2009

Branching Out To Mr. Casanova

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Hello Cornellians — the few of you who are still lingering in the corners of campus, clutching Daily Suns and awaiting the burning of the Dragon while all your friends fly for warmer climes. I hope you are doing well. And that you are being artsy. I had quite an artsy week this week. First, I got all my music back! External hard drive: working. 70 gigs: accessible once more. Then on Sunday, I spent two hours wandering the Johnson Museum, from where I headed directly to Barnes Hall for the iO String Quartet concert (the seven or eight of you who regularly read the Arts section may have seen my review on Monday — the concert was amazing!). I also saw one of the best worst movies I’ve ever seen. And I got into some awesome new music.
Now, I know not all of these are strictly musical but I decided to branch out a little in celebration of Spring Break. (Or whatever). So, first, the Johnson Museum. I admit that I haven’t been there since my one visit freshman year, and before that my elementary school field trip to make African masks and coiled clay men (which I do still own). And I also will admit that I did not go entirely of my own volition this time — I had to find two pieces of work reflecting urban and rural values for a class assignment. But I really, really enjoyed being there. I spent two hours wandering the Museum, and actually wished I could have stayed longer. I had to rush through the last two exhibits to get to the iO concert on time. The Johnson is currently hosting two temporary exhibits — a photography exhibit on the bottom level called Picturing Eden and an aboriginal art collection called Icons of the Desert on the floor above. I highly recommend both.
But to get to the music, since this is 76 Trombones after all. Which I would like to explain quickly, because I have learned recently that most people don’t actually know the reference. 76 trombones is a line from the song, “76 Trombones,” in the musical The Music Man by Meredith Wilson (see the film with Matthew Broderick). “76 trombones led the big parade, with 110 cornets close at hand.” Also, I play the trombone. Now you know.
Since I already reviewed the concert, I’m not going to go much into the particulars of the iO concert, but would like to say that it really was stupendous. Not only did the four play extremely well, but the music that they chose to perform, was of an incredible caliber. The Beethoven opus came from his later body of work, which my father refers to as some of the best pieces of music ever written. The Ravel was the only string quartet ever written by Ravel, an incredibly famous and incredibly lush piece of work. I know classical music is probably not your favorite cup of tea, but the emotion and the direction of this music is literally mind-blowing: it transports you to a new level, a new state of mind. (Yes, I’m a dork. I also enjoy Star Wars, the originals, that is). Check it out. Please.
Now, back to another less musical subject. Casanova with Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller. This is a bad movie. But a great movie, if you know what I mean. And, truthfully, I think it was a bit tongue-in-cheek, i.e. somewhat purposefully bad. I mean really, the movie is supposed to be a comedy, and my friend and I were cracking up the entire time. I highly recommend this as well. (I recommend many things this week). Drink a little, make popcorn, watch the movie. At the very least you can enjoy Heath Ledger as a sexually-licentious medieval Venetian. How can you go wrong?
Finally, I got my music back. And since my boyfriend was here for spring break, he dumped a whole bunch of new music on my recently-restored external hard drive. One of these was the Acorn (whom I love) PLUS Ohbijou. Two awesome Canadian bands in one! The Acorn and Ohbijou in October 2008 released a joint EP, simply entitled Split 12 inch EP in which each band plays the others’ songs. The Acorn plays “Steep” and “Burrows” by Ohbijou, and Ohbijou tries its hand at “Tender Bones” and “Darcy” by the Acorn. And its lots of fun. I (guess what?) highly recommend it. So, ok kids. Enjoy spring break. And check out some of these awesome, artsy recommendations while you’re at it. Cheers!