Saturday, January 16, 2010

Active Culture

The Under the Radar Festival invited Balthrop, Alabama and me to play upstairs at the Public Theater's LuEsther Lounge last night. Normally, the LuEsther Lounge is a rehearsal hall and sometimes theatre space where Shakespeare in the Park and other Public Theater plays practice. But for the UTR Festival, the room gets transformed into an after hours party palace.

After the Balthrop set, I stuck around and drew on the big screen during DJ Acidophilus's set as well. DJ Acidophilus is the nom de guerre of Bill Bragin, director of outdoor programming for Lincoln Center and the former director of Joe's Pub. Bill's musical tastes and curiosity are eclectic and relentless in the best way possible. Anyone who follows Bill on Twitter will soon find that he's a man on the constant prowl for something new or the current manifestation of something excellent and established or an idea or notion that swirls the cultures of the many into a new blend, that he's thinking about whatever he's looking at and listening to and that he is always ready to move on to something cooler than whatever it is you're doing.


So, when he asked me to draw while he played, I said I'd love to, because following an idea by Bill Bragin has never steered me wrong.

"Maybe you should give me an idea of a theme or something for the drawing?" I suggested to him earlier in the evening, before we began.

After the briefest moment of thought and flashing a smile he replied, "Just go where the music takes you."

It's that type of thinking that gets a person like Bill Bragin to the places that only a person like Bill Bragin gets to. You could even say that it's a mighty sound philosophy.


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