Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kim Boekbinder's (Im)possible Tour

Kim Boekbinder is an absolutely wonderful New York City artist. Shes under that bright pink mop of hair, I swear. I could write some words about the sort of music she makes or how shiny her outfits are or how cool she is in reaching out to her fans, but all of these things are better shown than explained.

Firstly, her music. Stop reading for a second and click this and listen to a few tracks as you continue reading:

Pretty awesome, right? A supremely talented musician and songwriter, Kim Boekbinder is reinventing the way people get to see her play live. Rather than book a gig and then try desperately (and sometimes without much help) to promote the performance and get people to attend, shes pre-selling the shows through Kickstarter and then tailoring each show of her country-wide tour based on how many people donate which amount of money. This way she can pull on the crowd-sourcing powers of the Internets to both fund and promote her shows. If a ton of people pitch in to attend, she'll play a big venue. If a few people donate a lot in a city, she'll play a small intimate show for them somewhere.

Kim Boekbinder

Shes already done it once in New York City, and it was an absolutely amazing show. As great as the recordings above are, she puts on an amazing show live. The show was in the somewhat stuffy 100 degree workshop of Makerbot, and I hardly noticed. Her performance was so exciting and energetic, I forgot it all. And there was a real sense among the audience that we all really wanted to see her and enjoy it, that we were there for her, which isn't always the case with other kinds of performances. But the way Kim is doing it guarantees that she'll get a crowd that's invested in the show.

(I didn't take many pictures at the show because someone else already was, but I knew when the squeaky alligator got pulled out that I had to get a shot of it. My hand just reflexively went up.)

Now shes expanding that initial idea to a wider tour, with dates stretching all the way from here to Portland. Please check and see if there is a date near you, and pitch in as much as you can to attend. I can't wait to see her play here again in November, and I know I won't be going alone!

Click below for details on shows and what cool swag you can get!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Have a Hope


I Wish For Love and Happiness

I Hope the Tea Party Gets Boiled Over

I Hope That I Am Always As Happy and Carefree As I Like To Be

I Hope To Trust

Hope Posting

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hydraulic Mountains


A step to the left or the right, and the mountains always look different. Go far away, and they become a backdrop. Go close and they seem to loom above you like some sort of overweight deity. Go close enough, to the top, and you can look down and see the world from its perspective. "Stand on the shoulders of giants". Gain perspective.

Mountains Framed

Even the things you move around on the ground in the view of the mountain change the way it looks.

Friday, August 5, 2011

First Crush

First Flight

I wasn't expecting to enjoy the food and drink of Anchorage so much when I was planning my trip. I didn't expect to not like it, but I didn't expect to be floored by it either. But I was summarily put to ground on going to Crush. For how great it is, Crush is settled in an odd place. Set in front of a mall across the street from a Nordstrom, the quality food and drink being served there would feel more at home in downtown New York. That last statement might just be a secret wish that the restaurant were closer to me, thought.

Sheep's Feta Stuffed Dates

Crush offers a wide array of flights - a selection of three wines - that are meant to pair well with different foods. I tried the Pinot noir flight, which had a good mix of light and more complex wines.

My tasting notes: The Franz Keller was like unexpected analingus accompanied by burning pitch on the elbow. The second, the Okanogan, smelled like a respectable old man's smoking jacket and tasted like bark. Which went very well with the figs. The last, the J Vineyards, tasted like and filled me with a feeling of existential doubt.

Baked Mac & Cheese

I'm not the sort of person that usually cares too much about what wine I'm drinking with what food, so I was glad that our server was knowledgeable enough to help plan our meal. Alana (who drank tea) basically picked all of our food and let our server suggest a wine, and all of the pairings felt really good. The baked mac & cheese was really savory and spicy and worked well with the lighter Franz Keller, and the white bean pate worked with pretty much anything. There was nothing on the table that I wouldn't like to have piped directly into my brain.

Truffled White Bean Patte

In all, the meal was pretty surprising, and surprisingly affordable - just 33 dollars before tip.

More surprising food and nature to come.

Flattop Mountain

Flattop View

Just got back from a ten day trip to visit Alana (+Adelyse) and James up in Anchorage. Had what you might refer to in idle conversation as a "good time", but that phrase doesn't do any justice to the things I experienced. It was the first time I've ever seen mountains which was a little shocking at first, having a constant backdrop far in the distance. I imagine it was very much like the experience someone growing up on a farm might have if flung forcefully into Times Square.


It initially felt like I was in a movie set, like you could just reach out and touch the mountains and tip over a very detailed painting. That illusion was shattered pretty quickly when James and I hiked up to the top of Flattop Mountain. I'd never hiked at all. 'Hiking' wasn't even a verb that I could recall ever having used. James was extremely hospitable on the way up, stopping when my lower body threatened to shut down in response to the climb. He'd mentioned before we started that this was the kind of thing that he regularly ran up for exercise, cementing my belief that he was probably some sort of alien or magician.

Flattop View

All the burning and aching on the way up quickly went away - or at least temporarily subsided - when we reached the top. Partly because of the much colder winds at the summit numbed some of the pain, but mostly because of the amazing views of Anchorage and surrounding mountains, which I'm told are also climbable. By people with magical amulets or powers as the result of experiments gone awry, I'm sure.

Guide's Guide

The views were more than worth the climb. Thanks to my guides (both human and animal) on the way up for these photos, and many more that will be coming during the next few weeks.