August 4th, 2004

krazy koati

And the living is easy

The Skitch Henderson concert -- actually The New York Pops -- was held in the PNC Bank Arts Center, which was known as the Garden State Arts Center until about a decade ago when someone decided everything had to be a billboard. It's from the people and the aesthetic sensibility that gave us the Union Toll Plaza. Actually it's reasonably attractive for sculpted concrete; it's basically a V spaceship propped up by a few columns and a curved wall.

The Garden State Arts Center is historically noteworthy as a center for listless middle school field trips, including one that taught me, for reasons I don't understand, to clap with cupped hands. Yesterday gave no clapping lessons, but listened instead to quite nice music. The most bizarre comment overheard: ``That was The William Tell Overture, it wasn't the Lone Ranger theme.'' Guh? (My comment as the song started, which my dad didn't hear but chuckled at anyway: ``Have we returned now to those thrilling days of yesteryear?'')

There was a lot of George Gershwin on the program, and I'll probably have more comments on that in time. And am I way off base, or is the Star Trek ``Amok Time'' fight theme basically Maurice Ravel's Boléro at a quicker pace? And why does a free concert issue tickets? And five dollars for a large soda?

Trivia: The Discovery bridge centrifuge was built by the Vickers Engineering Group, in six months, at a cost of US$300,000. Source: The Making of Kubrick's 2001, Jerome Agel.

Currently Reading: The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, Simon Winchester.