Aw, Hell, it’s already gone.
It’s been six days since my NEA Fellowship wrapped up in Los Angeles with ace program director Sasha Anawalt dancing to U2’s “Beautiful Day” (twice) while making her closing remarks to me and my 22 new best friends from media outlets around the country. The program was a 11-day motion blur spent talking about the nature and purpose of Art, and criticism, with journalists and theatre artists; of sobering reports of arts journalists (including many of the ones in the room) losing their jobs; of experiencing theatre; of being schooled in writing, but also in dancing and acting; of critiquing each other’s written work; of being isolated in a fancy hotel together; eating together; being bussed everywhere together; and of drinking together every night, accumulated sleep-dep and looming deadlines be damned.
We all know I’m not great about updating this blog, but for the next three weeks, you can look for my underachievement to sink to new depths. That’s because you gotta tear down before you can build up, Man! Later today I’m hopping a plane to L.A., where I, along with 22 other arts journalists (pro and semi-) from around the country, will spend two weeks in intensive study with our betters.
Neko Case’s anachronistic beauty might seem ordinary only measured against her elemental, once-in-a-generation set of pipes. At her enjoyable if slightly schizophrenic gig at the 9:30 club last night, That Voice had the capacity crowd on its best behavior. The only people doing much goofing around for the majority of the spectral 85-minute set were 1) Neko Case, campfire noir knockout, and 2) Kelly Hogan, backing vocalist/emcee/hype woman/song introducer. The duo sounds sublime when their banter eventually turns to singing, but there’s still something a little spell-breaking about the fact that Case essentially has her own heckler on the payroll.
“The next song is a spooky song,” she announced before the as-advertised “Prison Girls.”
“Spookier,” Hogan corrected her.
Seeing it probably Saturday. But I already had a good time interviewing director Marcus Kyd (pictured above at left) for my preview for the Paper of Record.