Friday, April 28, 2006

Boycott Da Vinci Code!?

A new "Index Expurgatorius?" If you are a Catholic, you are being urged by the Vatican to boycott the film of the Da Vinci Code...

Click here for the article.

Archbishop Amato claims the book is successful on part due to "the extreme cultural poverty on the part of a good number of the Christian faithful."

Wow. If you are a believer and like the book, you are culturally impoverished. What does that make me, a non-believer who enjoyed the book?

"He [Amato] said that if 'such lies and errors had been directed at the Koran or the Holocaust they would have justly provoked a world uprising...Instead, if they are directed against the Church and Christians, they remain unpunished."

We should be punished!? God, once again, should rain down punishment on us for our ideas?

To Amato: I hope you continue to speak your mind. You show your own ignorance and distance from the idea of the loving God you pretend to believe in. I hope your impoverished words will lead people to freedom from your restrictive ideas.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Can you even believe this is a debate?

Can you even believe this is a debate? The Catholic mucky-mucks discussing whether or not the use of condoms to prevent AIDS is a "lesser evil" than using condoms for birth control...Truly news of the weird....

Click here for the story...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Rare political message from Jeff....

I'm so fed up I had to write. The war, the alienation of the middle east....wasn't about oil and money? Look, while we pay (yesterday, over $3 a gallon at Chevron for me) and even more pointedly: while members of our armed forces die....these guys make even more money than ever. Bush and Cheney have been in bed with these guys all along. I'm not against businesses making money, BUT...really, this is truly ridiculous. Remember who got the contracts. Remember who Cheney worked for...

Haliburton up 33 percent....from: oil!

From the Associated Press

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

More Da Vinci Code....

I sure hope the filmmakers don't publish this disclaimer for the Catholic group Opus Dei.

What's next? Maybe the makers of Wallace and Gromit, out of respect for scientists, should publish a disclaimer in "A Grand Day Out" that the moon is really NOT made out of cheese...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Choir Boys: Eight Days in Chicago-4.12.2006

After another afternoon of teaching, we had our debut at the Empty Bottle, a great, classic, jazz/creative music bar in Chicago. Unfortunately, it lived up to its name, it was somewhat empty...but we had a good gig and made some good music for those that were there...

Choir Boys: Eight Days in Chicago-4.11.2006

Andrew showed up bright and early (5 am!!!!) He wanted to save a night on the hotel...turns out our "patron," Roosevelt University was picking up the bill for all this stuff...he could've got there a day early, and I could've slept in. The raucousness began right away, leading our neighbor to pound the hotel room wall so hard it bent with each pound...

So, believe it or not, we worked while here. Tues-Thursday, we would imporovise and dialogue with students from 12-4pm, then we held a Master Class for grad and undergrad composition majors Thursday evening, which was a blast.

Here Don is regaling us with stories of using decommissioned nosecones of InterContinentalBallisticMissiles as voltage controllers for early synths. For real.

Here is one of the undergrads we worked with, Kaimitsu, who just got accepted to grad school...but I don't remember where...

After the teaching, we had dinner at my favorite diner in the country, The Chicago Diner

and then went and did a live performance on WNUR (Northwestern University Radio)

Mike and Jacob were PHENOMENAL. They did a great job mixing and recording us. That is them in the last pic.

Choir Boys: Eight Days in Chicago-4.8-4.10.2006

I love Chicago! So when my friend Don Malone invited me to come and play his final recital (retiring after THIRTY-One years) and teach some Master Classes, I said, "of course!" Even better, he had me invite the other Choir Boy, Andrew Pask. This would prove to be another epic Choir Boys trip....(BTW, Steuart Liebig and I did some Master Classes and a show there a few years back. That was also a blast.)

Here is a pic of Don driving me from the airport to the hotel in the Loop:

Ah,the beautiful skyline....

and ubiquitous starbucks...

I arrived there a few days before classes (we would teach four) and the performances (five) to hang out with Don and check out the are a few of the reasons I love it....(and look at the weather!)

ARTIST: Alexander Calder
TITLE: "Flamingo"
DATE UNVEILED: October 25, 1974
DESCRIPTION: 53-foot tall red-colored steel stabile
LOCATION: Federal Center Plaza at Dearborn and Adams Streets (Calder's model sits inside the Klucynski Federal Building)

ARTIST: Joan Miro
TITLE: "Chicago" (originally titled "The Sun, the Moon and One Star")
DATE UNVEILED: April 21, 1981
DESCRIPTION: forty-foot tall sculptural representation of a woman with out-stretched arms
LOCATION: Brunswick Plaza on Washington Street (overlooking the Daley Center's Picasso)

ARTIST: Marc Chagall
TITLE: "Four Seasons"
DATE UNVEILED: September 27, 1974
DESCRIPTION: 70 feet long by 14 feet high by 10 feet wide glass-and-stone mural nicknamed "the boxcar mosaic"
LOCATION: First National Plaza (Dearborn and Monroe Streets)

ARTIST: Picasso
TITLE: unnamed (called the “Chicago Picasso”)
DATE UNVEILED: August 15, 1967
DESCRIPTION: 50 feet tall and weighing 162 tons, is made of Corrosive Tensile ("Cor-Ten") steel, the same material used to build the Daley Center.
LOCATION: Chicago's Daley Plaza (a public square on the south side of the Richard J. Daley Center at 50 W Washington Street).

ARTIST: Jean Dubuffet
TITLE: "Monument With Standing Beast"
DATE UNVEILED: November 28, 1984
DESCRIPTION: 29-foot tall, 10-ton white fiberglass monument
LOCATION: James R. Thompson Center (formerly known as the State of Illinois Building)

The Crown Fountain (Click for more info)

Trains everywhere...didn't need to drive much, even for all those trips to Evanston to get Andrew's soprano fixed (twice....)

Here I am by the Biograph, where Dillinger was shot.

Don setting up the studio for our classes and recording sessions...

Nice moog modular....original, built by moog himself....(click)

And some skyline shots, including the water tower, one of the buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire....

Friday, April 14, 2006

More Da Vinci Code...

The brouhaha continues in the Catholic church over the mediocre novel The Da Vinci Code.

I really believe Pope Benedict and his team, if allowed, would go back to banning and burning books...but so would fundamentalists of any ilk. Christian fundamentalists, Muslim fundamentalists...all think they know what is best for us. What hubris. And how destructive to the world. The evil that has been, and continues to be, perpetrated upon the world in the name of fundamentalist religion is overwhelming. And it all starts with an idea that is spoken or written...a novel, a silly little novel in this case. A work of fiction. And they get up in arms. Ridiculous.

For information on the "Index" (The Index of Prohibited Books).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Celebrating 10 years.....

I am celebrating this year. Ten years of being a vegan. Ten years of being crazy for tea. Ten years of making a living as a musician. Ten good years.

Favorite tea quote of the moment.

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world. ~T'ien Yiheng