The Modern CAP Band at Northern Lights Lounge

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I finally got out to hear some music again on Thursday, September 19, 2013. I went to the Northern Lights Lounge in midtown Detroit. The place usually has someone who can set up the sound so this is one of the places where the music sounds good or as good as it can depending on the band.

I also did not want to cook dinner and tonight was the half off for all dinner items. I ordered another Reuben asking for it grilled and hoped for a better outcome than the last time.

20130920-211355.jpgit was virtually the same. It is a shame since all the ingredients are good and it is well put together. Again, it was so lightly grilled that it was cool inside. So, I will give up on getting a good grilled Reuben sandwich here.

The Modern CAP Band is a group that is comprised of composers, arrangers and performers. They do a lot of their own arrangements. It is well organized and through the t, each of the musicians was featured at one time or another.
There are nine musicians so they do have a big band sound.

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The front row is Mark Berger( Bari sax), Jimmy Smith( trumpet), Joe O’Mara( alto sax), Jake Shadik(tenor sax), and Daniel Meinecke(keys). The hidden musicians in the back are Skeeto Valdez( drums), Caleb Nelson(gtr) and Mike Palazzolo(bass).
It was a crowded stage and hard to see anything going on in the back row. They did “Venus de Milo”. I am most familiar with the Miles Davis version so it was much different with the big band sound. It was obvious that all the musicians are skilled musicians and the sound was good. They also did a mash up of two swing numbers which sounded better to me probably because it is more what I amused to hearing with that type of band. aAfter one more number, they took a break.

I am trying to expand my listening range and am glad I went.

A Gift From My Mother

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After visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts recently, I realized how enthusiastic I get when I see certain pieces. The one above by Odilon Redon called “Evocation of Butterflies” painted about 1910 is one of the ones I like. It reminds me so much of some of the colors and design elements used in the 1960s. When you see it in person, there are some absolutely brilliant dabs of color that are almost iridescent.

While I was growing up, I’m sure my mother took me to the available art museum and galleries several times a year. When we traveled or went on vacation, we always went to the art museums. I can remember all the talk around me about art. When we walked through a gallery or a museum, she talked about the paintings and the artists.

She also painted as a hobby. There was almost always a painting in progress or some other art project in the house.

I only have one of her paintings (pictured below) and it was not her favorite. When I look at it though, I remember all the time she spent with me looking at art. Taking each piece in, letting my eye wander over the piece and enjoying it so much.

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Detroit Institute of Arts Sunday Afternoon

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Yesterday, Sunday, September 15, 2013, I went to the Detroit Institute of Arts(DIA) to visit some art I hadn’t seen in a while. It was a cool day with drizzly rain. Yard work was not an option. The sky was a mottled grey with occasional bursts of sunlight.

When the Detroit Emergency Financial Manager(EFM) decided on bankruptcy for Detroit, Christies Auction House visited the DIA. I guess it took something like that to make me pay more attention to the treasure I have available to me.

This time I opted for the Dutch Golden Age(17th century) when the Dutch Republic was important in trade, militarily and art. I so enjoy the way they used light in the paintings which was so much like the way the light was playing in the sky outside. We can take photos of the paintings as long as we do not use a flash. The Dutch Golden Age has quite a few galleries. Many of the paintings in the era were secular. It give us a glimpse into some of the ways life was lived in the era.

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The painting above is called Game of Cards (ca. 1660) by Hendrik van der Burch. I noticed this one because then proportions of the children are the same as adults. So, although people tend to think of the era as an almost photographic depiction, it is not. The paint has a Persian rug, a pitcher modeled after Chinese pottery and a map of England. The servant most probably has been brought from Africa. It shows the global nature of Dutch Republic trade.

One of the other things I think of when I think Dutch Golden is landscapes. Possibly, because of the geographic location, the cloud formations can be striking. There were painting of pastures, seas, coastlines and more. Again the use of light to emphasize or illuminate was amazing. I took photos of two landscapes by Jacob Issaksz van Ruisdael. Both are oil paints on oak panels painted mid-17th century.

The first one is just called a”Landscape”( ca. 1646)and is probably what I think of when I think of Dutch landscape. It captures the excitement of the ever changing weather. It may be one of my favorites because I am living in a place with many different kinds of weather. Looking at the painting, you can see that he used so many colors in the sky. I am a cloud watcher and love the sky when it includes reds. According to the museum write up next to the painting, the picture is a snapshot in time and implies the impermanence of life.

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The DIA has some guides to the art posted nest to the picture. They tell the viewer what the various pieces of the pictures mean. If you go to a present day gallery, the viewers sometimes talk about all the symbolism in pieces. I sometimes wonder if the artist was asked.

The next one is titled “The Jewish Cemetery”( ca. 1654). There is a lot of symbolism in this one according to the write up. The clouds imply rain and rebirth. The rainbow hope after a storm. The lighter clouds show the end of the storm as another beacon of hope. The ruins and tombs show impermanence and the inevitability of death. Here light is used to signify hope in the face of mortality. The way the Dutch Golden Age artists use light has always been a joy to my eyes.

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In Rembrandt Harmansz van Rijn’s depiction titled “Christ”(ca.1649), he used a Jewish model which was not usual. He paid attention to historical accuracy when possible. In this painting, there is no obvious external source of light. The light shining from with in the portrait shows compassion. according to the write up.

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There is so much in this section of the DIA that I could not do it justice. It is wonderful to have a museum that always leaves me wanting to come back.

As I was walking out, I heard the Sunday afternoon piano concert in the Kresge Court. I stopped by the DIA Café for lunch before heading home. I got to there 15 minutes before it closed so my selection were limited. The food is usually good so I went with the roast turkey dinner.

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Since it was the end of the day, my plate got loaded. It was fairly good for a meal that had been in a steam table for a couple of hours. Actually, the mixed steamed vegetables were slightly al dente and surprisingly good and I got at least two portions.

After lunch( they were closed by the time I finished, so no doggy bag), I waddled to my car to go home. I had no desire to eat for the rest of the day.

Sunday Morning Breakfast

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This morning, I took the time to do a little breakfast that is more than I usually do. I started the morning with a cup of Sumatra coffee which got me in the mood for a little more.

I fried some Duroc applewood smoked bacon which has a slightly sweet,salty taste. Since it is leaner than the average bacon, the crisp, crunch lasts longer in the mouth. I added a cheese omelet with basil and finished with salsa. I am experimenting with freeze dried basil and have liked it for some things, it works well here and is great when you don’t have fresh basil. For the best effect, it needs both liquid and heat. The basil flavor was there and it looked green and fresh.

You can’t get anything like the picture below which is tomatoes with fresh basil in basalmic vinegar dressing and olive oil.

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Mike Jellick Trio and Dinner

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I usually work on Wednesday and my work was not the best on Wednesday. I had an appointment at 6:00 p.m. She called about 6:15 and said what she had would only take a few minutes and she could be there in five minutes. It took 15 minutes. She arrived with a disordered pile of papers. As she talked about what she wanted, I knew it would 2 hours if she could find the paperwork. I did one minor task and set an appointment for Friday. She took my personal pen because she “sneezed” on it.

So, when I decided to go out for some music and dinner, I was peeved. I got to Northern Lights Lounge well after the first set started. The music was good and this time I looked at the menu. I remember hearing someone say that the chicken strips were really good. So I ordered chicken strips and onion rings.

I closed my eyes, relaxed in my chair and listened. It was pretty much what I liked and expected. The trio was Mike Jellick(keys), Jesse Kramer(dms) and Miles Brown(bass). Mike mentioned that they were trying some new stuff. And there was some experimentation using sounds other than keys on the keyboard. I thought I heard something that sounded like a little funk which was also new.

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My dinner came just as the set ended with “Benny’s Tune”. When my meal was placed in front of me, I noticed the paper was not able to absorb the grease.

20130912-150926.jpg I took my extra napkins and tried to remove as much grease as I could from the chicken strips. I soaked three napkins. The server assured me the onion rings were real onions but had been frozen. The result is that it can reduce an onion ring to a combination of onion mush and a hint of the original ring. Who had recommended the chicken strips? I finally remembered that the person who said they were so good was a guy in the place that had been drinking quite a bit. His eyes were either on the chicken strips or his date’s cleavage. That evening he complimented his date on her dress and the server on the chicken strips.

I stayed for the first number of the second set as my stomach was slowly twisting in protest. The first song was written by Miles Brown and called “Blues for AJ”. I really liked the number and just was not able to enjoy as much as I usually would.

Going home was my best option. Today I feel much better and am back to eating veggies, fruit and the food that makes me feel good.

The Dulcimer Lesson

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I had a dulcimer lesson yesterday. I had just gotten the new winter playlist and have some new songs to learn. I got a grip on two of them during the lesson.

There are times when I think there is no progress. As I thought back, there has been a lots of progress since the beginning. After once our twice through a song yesterday, I was able to play it with my teacher. Granted that it was not as fast as I will have to play it, but I did play it with her. I could hear when my timing was not right yesterday and could not do it at first. My shouter was injured last November and has been holding me back. As the shoulder improves, I may be that my progress will also improve.

So, I have made progress and was being to hard on myself. There are times when I need to reflect back to the beginning of a new activity or change to realize how much has changed ant not be so hard on myself.