Late March NYC Weekender
March 27, 2008, 12:26 am
Filed under: art, Music, Rock | Tags: , , , , ,

Light Cycle Explosion

There are times when there’s enough available time to squeeze in a quick weekend jaunt. In this case, circumstances are such that a quick 36-hour trip to New York City is materializing. Since I’m expecting to arrive at around 3:30 or 4:00 on Saturday afternoon, I have to be hasty as to reach my first destination before it closes. And the weekend should be pretty busy from there. Some things I’m eager to check out on my short trip:

  • Anavan at Glasslands. L.A.-based Anavan counts among its members long-time KXLU DJ Bret Berg, whose rather quiet disposition contains a volatile admixture of near-mawkish camp and a keen ear for post-punk. His radio show Egg City is no longer, but he’s been actively nurturing his audiophilia at his blog, aptly titled Egg City Radio. Anavan’s music comes from a home-grown part of the L.A. underground that began sinking roots after the demise of Jabberjaw in the late 90s and found a home in places like the Smell.  Anavan channel the spirits of bands like Chicka-Chicka, the Fall, and Blank-Wave Arcade-era Faint and allow the dirty pop to follow as a result.
  • An evening and morning in Bushwick: That means staying with friends and visiting the panaderia to get a stash of pan dulce for the ride home and maybe, just maybe, grabbing some fruta, limon, y chile in the vicinity of Maria Hernandez park, where there’s likely to be plenty of activity on a late Sunday morning.
  • Cai Guo-Qiang- I Want to Believe at the Guggenheim: Since missing his show at MassMoCA in 2005, it’s been a priority to catch any exhibition of his that’s possible to attend. Luckily enough, this retrospective of his work is a great chance to take in a good sampling of his extensive and intricate body of work. Far better videos and samples of his various works than the one narrated by bloviating Guggenheim muckety-mucks can be found on his website, which contains a pretty comprehensive catalog of his projects.
  • The 2008 Whitney Biennial: There’s a chance I won’t make it, but it’s worth an attempt, mostly to see what people in the art world seem to be excited about in American contemporary art. Exposure to overwhelming amounts of work serve less to get me caught up than to realize the possibility that contemporary art is less about trends than to perpetually experience oneself as a beginner with limited opportunities to find a point of entry. L.A. seems to have some solid representation in the exhibition, with names like the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, Daniel Joseph Martinez, and Mario Ybarra Jr. included in the artist roster.

    All in all, it’s an art-intensive trip with possible fodder for future posts. I’m open to suggestions for a good place to eat lunch on the Upper East side between the Guggenheim and the Whitney on Sunday, or dinner between Chelsea and Brooklyn.

    Image Credit: Cai Guo-Qiang, Light Cycle: Explosion Project for Central Park, Central Park, New York, USA, 2003. Original location: www.caiguoqiang.com