That said, I went to a pre-opening dinner at Noodle in Midtown last week. It's a new, inexpensive and delicious Asian noodle restaurant (the original is in Decatur). The chef is an exceptionally friendly man named Lenny, who took his name from the "Laverne & Shirley" character.
I went late and, by chance, the only available seat was at a table with the new restaurant's architects, Cara Cummins and Jose Tavel. They explained how the funky fiber optic lights work (diners who enjoy symbolism with their meals will note that the lights look like noodles). I also learned that, if after an hour of sitting in the restaurant's chairs you find your back hurting, that's too bad because inexpensive restaurants can't have you sitting around all night (not that they'd ever ask you to leave). I sat for over two hours, and my back felt fine. But I should note that I write this column while sitting in a chair salvaged from my neighbor's garbage.
Sinewy, bonny tintamarre: On Friday night, I somehow managed to pry myself away from the Superstation and wander down to The Earl to see the Young Antiques. I arrived in time to catch all of The Rosenbergs' set. None of them are actually named Rosenberg. They did, however, put out a single last year titled "Puff Daddy Isn't Kosher." They describe themselves as power pop in the Posies and Pixies sense. Live, they had a muscular quality reminiscent of '70s prog-rock -- sort of like Rush merged with R.E.M. The bassist counted the intro to one of their songs by yelling, "Uno, dos, quatro!" Just the sort of bad Spanish you'd expect from a Rosenberg.
I stepped outside after the set for some fresh air. Despite the extreme cold, there was a guy sitting outside on a bench reading Vanity Fair. When I asked him why he was sitting out in the cold, he explained that he really likes Vanity Fair. I have the same issue at home, so we talked about it for a while. Then a friend of mine walked up from the Le Tigre show at the Echo Lounge. We all chatted for few minutes, and I got so cold standing there that I decided to skip the Young Antiques and go home, sit by my heater and watch more Superstation. Ricochet is an awful movie.
An exhilarative panoply: I attended the Flashbang 4 animation show at eleven50 last Thursday. It featured 24 short cartoons, music videos and abstracts using Macromedia Flash software. Even though Flash is frequently used to make those annoying website introduction pages with the loud music that announces to your co-workers that you're surfing the Net instead of working, it's still an exciting new art form. It democratizes animation by allowing people to make and distribute sophisticated animations at a very low cost. I suppose it's having the same effect on animation that synthesizers did on music in the 1980s. Just who will become the Rick Astley or Kajagoogoo of Flash animation remains to be seen.
I particularly enjoyed Don Stevens' "See You in Hell," featuring a bunch of cheesy designers spouting schmoozy B.S. marketing jargon like, "We really pushed the conceptual envelope," and "We have a very European approach," before being sucked into hell. I also enjoyed Matthew Hutchinson's "Dusting for Prints," an animated music video featuring sketched cartoon people playing instruments that aren't actually featured in the song. Hutchinson (a frequent contributor to CL's Vibes section) asked me to say that his animation "brought to life a part me I thought was long dead." It didn't, but it was still good.
Pressed curd fest: If you had the good fortune to drive by the Sweet Auburn Curb Market Saturday, you may have noticed the sign for "A Taste of Cheese." It was a cheese tasting put on by the great Italian market inside called Salumeria Taggiasca (that's Italian for "Harry's in a Hurry"). Franco Boeri stood at the table giving out samples and patiently answering questions. "They all have pits; that's how they come," he explained to a woman who sampled the green olives. "It's better," he said to the same woman when she asked about the difference between Italian butter and American butter.
When two postal workers showed up in uniform, a police officer suggested that they might "go postal" if they didn't get some cheese. They all laughed.
Epicene pretense: If you're looking for a multimedia-enhanced spoken-word performance by a group of women ruminating on the parallels between the weather and human consciousness, have I got a show for you. It's called The Weather Equals the World and it's being put on by EstroFest Productions at Art Farm through March 3. My favorite part was Sonia Tetlow's live guitar soundtracking. More plays should do that.
Also quite good was the small photography show in the lobby by Sistagraphy (not to be confused with cystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder). Niya Randall's "Footprints in the Snow" was a particular favorite (and I'm not just saying that because she used to give me free refills at the coffee shop).