5.31.2007

SHORT FILM: Drinky Wins A Prize

I found this after searching my footage hoping to make another movie (but pickings have been slim). It's kind of funny, but I think you have to watch it a couple of times. There's a lot going on in this minute and my terrible camerawork doesn't help. The basic plot: Ronson has been drinking. Ronson wins a prize at a fashion show.

5.21.2007

Hm, so what else is new?

A brief rundown on a few things that have gone down in the past couple of weeks...

I recently attended a supper club, which I quite enjoyed. I don't know why I chose this photo to represent the event, I guess I just like how Kari and I are ominously lit. There are plenty of photos here, including one of me looking kind of sick...I also thank Chad (who is the third ominously lit figure in this photo) and Michelle for their hospitality and great food...

Kari, Gina, Paul and I attended a Cincinnati Rollergirls event (as evidenced by our tiny heads in this photo), which was also a lot of fun. Give it up for the Roller Derby Diva, y'all. At 5 foot even she was taking hits with the best of 'em...

I also recently witnessed (along with Kelly, Edmund, Amber and Mike) a comedy show featuring Tabari, which featured a lot amateur comics. That meant at times it was fascinating, other times horrifying. Tabari fared well, though he didn't make it to the next round (he was in the semi-pro competition). I don't have any photographic evidence of this, so I guess we'll just have to stick with the words on this one...

Here are a few of my recent music purchases: Throbbing Gristle (20 Jazz Funk Greats), Dolly Parton (Jolene), Willie Nelson (The Red Headed Stranger), Elliott Smith (New Moon), Klaxons (Myths of the Near Future), Sly and the Family Stone (There's A Riot Goin' On) and Arctic Monkeys (Favourite Worst Nightmare -- highly recommended).

Annnnnnd, just in case you were really curious (and since I don't know embed it on my site yet), here are my current top ten artists on Last.fm:

1. Low
2. Peter Bjorn and John
3. Wu-Tang Clan
4. Elliott Smith
5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
6. J Dilla
7. Lily Allen
8. Beck
9. Bright Eyes
10. Califone

Fascinating. For oh so much more, check out my profile site... yeah! Uh huh. OK, then...

All for now. Some illustrations, Ronson vs. and the secret documents of Ronsonville all coming soon...

5.19.2007

Nashville!

Here I am, performing on stage at the Ryman Auditorium, doing my best Hank Williams impression. Kari says I look like a hillbilly. And so begins our Nashville recap. Here are some of the highlights:

OK, not so much a highlight. We've still got a bit of the trip to go...

Inside our bed and breakfast, the East Park Inn, which I was convinced was pretty much haunted. Here I am, casually reading some ghost stories by the bookcase in our room. If any of the footage turned out, I'll give you a video tour...

An arty view (courtesy of Kari) from the top of Margot, our first meal in town (we're not going to count the Ruby Tuesdays in Elizabethtown). It was actually storming our first night in town and Margot actually started to flood while we were eating there. The food was still great and we managed to time things so that we left right between the massive downpours...

Our first night in town, we stopped off at the current Grand Ole Opry (which is currently located in Opryland, where you can shop at the Opry Mills Mall, catch a film at the Opry 25 or stay overnight at the crazy Opryland Hotel). Yyyyeah. Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and we managed to catch a few of country's legends, including Porter Waggoner (above). That bright blue nudie suit was one the highlights of the evening...

The next day was spent walking around downtown Nashville and going to the Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Here, Kari shares a more tender moment with the audience...

...and here Kari interrupts a moment between Minnie Pearl and Roy Acuff.

A shot at the Hatch Show Print shop.

Finally, the view from Broadway as we were leaving (note the Ernest Tubb Record Shop with the huge sign at the top right corner).

For a quick trip, we packed in a lot and we had a lot of fun. We're considering going back at some point -- I think the Ryman would be an excellent place to see a show and the Opry is actually going to start broadcasting there during the winter months (which would be great, as long as we don't have to see another "blue collar comic").

Thanks for reading! If you want stories, we've got 'em (especially about our B&B)...

5.16.2007

Customer Service: Fast and Convenient

Still waiting on some photos so I can recap the Nashville trip and also need to find some free time to catch up on some other things. In the meantime, if you have questions or are planning your next vacation, the Ronsonville Chamber of Commerce is standing by. The e-mail is at the bottom of my links column.

Operators are not waiting to take your call. But maybe my P.A. will return your e-mails as soon as he's done picking up my dry cleaning...

5.09.2007

Boy Howdy

It's official: This weekend Kari and I are taking an impromptu trip to Nashville, TN, country music capitol of the world (and other crazy things I'm sure). I think if you lined up every Southern U.S. city, I'd say I've been most interested in Tennessee's twin music powers, Nashville (especially after seeing Robert Altman's Nashville late last year) and Memphis (also after seeing a movie, this time Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train several years ago).

I'll save Memphis for another day (it's reeeally far away), but a quick trip out to Nashville should be a good time. We're even heading out to the Grand Ole Opry (pictured above) for a night of good ol' fashioned entertainment. It's not my thing typically, but if you're going to see some old-timey country music, that's the place to do it!

Full report to follow...

5.03.2007

From innocent blogger...

It's all about context, folks. A co-worker recently directed me to CiN Weekly ├╝ber columnist Dear Doug's online archive, where the image of me working on the computer has been recast from innocent blogger to sneaky boyfriend with an online personal ad. Suddenly I seem so sleazy.

Yeesh.

Anyway, while you're checking that out, why don't you send Dear Doug a question! It's easy and fun. I sent him six this afternoon alone (juuuust kidding!).

5.01.2007

Tricked by a hippie

While running out for stamps this morning, I was stopped by an industrious hippie.

"Are you a writer, poet, or artist?" he asked. How did he know?!

I said I was "kind of an artist." From there I was screwed. After an extensive sales set-up, he told me he had this magazine that he would sell me for $5 off the regular price (that's still 10 bucks, folks), but for $20 he could give me the magazine and a CD of some "hot Reggae grooves."

We started walking together a little bit. I didn't feel like shelling out 10 bucks for a xeroxed magazine, but then I started thinking "What have you done for art lately?" and "Art school turncoat!" so I tried to offer him five. He wouldn't have it. Then, I thought about how I never contribute anything to my old art school (because usually I'm flat broke) and how my art skills have been in decline lately. I thought "What's 10 dollars? You owe it to yourself to buy this crappy magazine and feel better about yourself by supporting a grass roots art community!"

So, finally I shelled out 10 bucks for something called "eXpressions Journal" (wha?) that probably cost 25 cents to make. There's not much to it. There's a story about hemp. Their web site can be found here. They could use a designer. Check the crazy dredded dude in a suit and tie. That's accidental art if I've ever seen it.

So there you have it. Ripped off by a hippie because I cared about art.

Yo La Tengo, 4/16, Newport, KY

Alternate title: Why Ronson doesn't review shows or have a career as a music photographer...

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Yo La Tengo show at the Southgate House. YLT is one of my favorite bands and seeing them headline was exciting for me. In fact, minus a couple of songs (We're An American Band, Pablo And Andrea), I heard every song I wanted to hear and I left the show excited to write about every aspect, every detail that might be of interest to anyone.

Then I got busy. I didn't have the photos (they were in my girlfriend's camera) and etc, etc. I finally got the photos this weekend. While they looked good in the camera, they're sort of...lacking in full size and color. OK, they suck. But with a little cutline background, they might be salvaged. Here we go:

This is the best of the bunch (yeah, yeah, I know). This is lead singer/guitarist/organist Ira Kaplan (with the microphone in his face) and James McNew (seated) playing the opening number (Evanescent Psychic Pez Drop - an entertaining rarity).

I think this is a psychedelic version of basically the same image. Or somebody moved. Or I couldn't keep my hand steady. One of those explanations (though I like the psychedelic answer best).

My best action shot of the night, this is Ira breaking out of his "laidback dude" mold and playing guitar like only he can. Of course, it's kind of dark and I had to crop out all the peoples' heads who were in front of me. I'm telling you, if these photos would have been taken by a 5-year-old, they'd be fascinating. They're playing "Sugarcube" or something...

The coolest part about this picture is that there's a creepy shadow of some dude's head in the far left corner (zoom in and check it out!).

None of this really captures how exciting this show was. The Southgate House was packed (especially for a Monday night) and Yo La played at least 15 songs and an extended encore which included James McNew singing an obscure Beach Boys song and Times New Viking (the opening act) joining them for yet another obscure cover.

Yo La Tengo are amazing live because they're aware of how people listen to music and they organize their shows like a mix tape. For example, there's an extended slow break, right before they rip into four of their best pop gems (I Should Have Known Better, Sugarcube, Tom Courtenay and Run Ronnie Run). Their best performance of the night was of a song from their new CD that I wasn't even that crazy about before (The Story of Yo La Tango). Their style is so expansive that they can play six different styles
of music (pop, punk, drone, soul, surf, etc.) in a set, yet they'll all be distinctly Yo La Tengo. They're a rare band for people who are a fan of music in general and not locked in to seeing one style of music. Otherwise, you might get a little bored (or even infuriated) mid-set. But highly recommended, even if these photos don't quite do them justice...