Roundup: Summer Scenes

I've been keeping so busy this summer. I know I've said this before but it's true. I've had two columns published in the paper since my last post, and have started a new blog at work, which you can check out here. Column one was about a local artist and column two is about collaboration and community.

I checked out a production of Macbeth recently. I've really been on a Shakespeare kick. Maybe it has to do with getting older but I feel like I have more patience and understanding now than I did when I had to read it in school. Now I get a stronger sense of the story just from the words (no need for those handy Coles Notes) and am becoming more interested in the universality of the themes. The production of Macbeth I saw was put on the Driftwood Theatre troupe and it placed the story in a post-apocalyptic setting. The costumes were very Mad-Max meets Medieval England.

The witches were terrifying! They were in costumes made with gas masks and army capes and writhed around the stage with a sort of interpretive dance style that was truly mesmerizing. It was a great way to spend a summer evening. Out damn spot! Out I say!

I recently checked out a band called White Mystery. They were a rocking two-piece band from Chicago made up of a ginger-haired brother and sister team. They were pretty bad-ass performers and also super sweet people, which I know because I got to thinking part way through the show of those Airheads White Mystery flavour candy. I spoke to them after the show and it turns out, they are named after said candy. This is good with me, cause boy, do I have a sweet tooth and these are one of my favourites. A worthy namesake I do say.

It has to be tough to me a two-piece band made up of one male and one female these days. The comparisons to the White Stripes are unavoidable. I've recently seen The StandStills perform, who also suffer the comparisons (though, really if you cover Black Betty and play a lot of blues, are the comparisons that unfair?) and opening for White Mystery was a group called Skirt Chasers, also a female/male duo.

I'd have to say White Mystery had the least-comparable-to-the-White-Stripes-thing going on , in spite of the name. Probably because of the female lead vocalist. Ballsy to go with that name though, I still say. Even if their last name really is White. What comes to mind is questions about my own sexism. Would I compare a duo, if male, to the White Stripes? Possibly, if they played a garage blues sound but it is definitely less likely than if one half of the duo is female. I need to knock that off. It's not fair.

In other arts-related news I'm working on a committee that is helping to put together a new awards program called Durham Art of Transition Creative Awards (or DATCAs). It's an interesting project that will honour creative collaboration between the arts and business and it also encourages the development of creativity in the region that I live. You can check out more about that project by visiting the Art of Transition website.

I've been working on some guest blogging for a few other spaces, so stay tuned for posts about that. Speaking of staying tuned, my friend Eddy Earwigg has created a satirical newspaper called The Revision. I may or may not have had something to do with an article or lent my expertise in other areas. Regardless of if I did or not, you should check out the paper, because it is pretty funny and a light summer read.

Other things to check out:
My recent obsession: Naomi Elizabeth , performance artist.
Fashion brand Complex Geometries who make crazy awesome street wear.
Arts blog Hype Lighter.
This song by the White Stripes, because no matter what kind of mood I'm in, this song makes me want to nod my head and bounce my knee.

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