Originally uploaded by madabandon.
Today the sky has that awful color, whitish-yellow-gray, that is the sure sign of choking humidity and bad ozone levels. Thus I feel a little less guilty about skipping my morning swim and staying inside. I took this picture on Sunday in Williamsburg while waiting to get into the concert. I don't know why the sky turns this color, but can only assume that it is due to a large amount of air pollution. Yuck. Also yuck are the hideous cheap-looking condo buildings that are being slapped up around the park. I don't know who is going to buy them now that the hedge funds will start falling like flies. And all that floor-to-ceiling glass, while perhaps enticing, must be awful to actually live with.
The concert on Sunday was interesting. McCarren Pool is a huge city pool, in disrepair, that now is used to hold big party-like events. The crowd was mostly Williamsburg "hipsters" in all their glory, their resurrected 1980s fashions alternately charming and horrifying me, who remembers when these items (OP corduroy shorts, big aviator glasses, Ray-Ban Wayfarers) were ugly the first time around. There were also little families, thirty-something parents with young children in tow; also yuppies slumming, and a fair amount of Eurotrash (some of whom cut the line right behind me and then stood feverishly smoking and speaking sneeringly in French). Inside there were big fans in front of these water machines that cooled the crowd. The sun was blistering hot, but I tried to stay in the shade. Blonde Redhead is an ok band. They are at their best when Kazu is singing; she has an eerie bodiless voice that works well. But when the guy sings they just sound like another dark alternative band, nondescript. There is no bassist; the bass parts are prerecorded, which I find artistically lame. I saw my friend G working and messaged him and we went to the VIP area which was full of people looking self-important with clipboards and two-way radios things.
The first band was really bizarre. I'm From Barcelona is a huge group of Swedes, all of whom--or certainly some of whom--are actual "musicians." They sing anthems, bright and poppy, with singalong refrains and lyrics. Every song they sang was in the same key. The sheer number of people on stage projects a happy atmosphere. It seems to be a trend, started perhaps by The Arcade Fire, to have lots of people on stage even when they are actually musically extraneous. But I remember Stereolab did this years ago. But in their case everyone on stage was actually doing something musically essential. I'm From Barcelona would do well to write some songs in keys other than F major. I thought I would lose my mind after awhile, but I was having too much fun watching all the people around me.
Note: one thing I find I truly can't stand lately is the smell/presence of cigarette smoke. When people around me were smoking I thought I was going to puke. The smell and the heaviness are noxious. And this from one who was for years a die-hard smoker.