November 15, 2009

Party Barge.

It appears the music video for the Silver Jew's song Party Barge was deleted from youtube. I heartily recommend purchasing this worthy album for yourself. Here is a thoughtful review of the Silver Jew's album Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, which includes the song Party Barge:

November 4, 2009

Girl with a Camera.

For this post I will borrow words from someone much more eloquent than I. Aidan Hartley, a frontline reporter who covered the atrocities of 1990s Africa, wrote a book called The Zanzibar Chest. A truly captivating book. He writes:

I often wondered why this girl with her necklace of cameras and rucksack had abandoned America so young to come to my home to take photographs. She came from a family of preachers and eye doctors and somehow this ancestry seemed to combine in a young woman who captured with her lens images that told stories of good and evil. I remembered that in Africa some tribes used to believe that a camera is a box with which to capture souls.

Remembering Lizzie's life as a photographer, I am reminded of how "dark" is an epithet that completely fails to describe Africa. Africa is bathed in light, and it's the mornings you recall more than the nights with their noises and vague fears. Lizzie chased the light, rising before dawn, waiting for sunrise, capturing color and shadow, black faces with their depth and warmth, trapping the crescendo of light on film before watching heat leach out all the hues and contrasts, the would become two-dimensional, and faces turn black, blinded by the sun. Long before noon Lizzie used to come back to find me wherever I was and rest until the sun sank; color returned and she went off to capture images of the fading day. At evening, the light had such depth that one could observe the incredible detail of things, as if the continent was made of liquid glass. It peaked, then she put away her camera and settled down to watch as the orange ball of the sun melted into the horizon; all sense of space and distance vanished in seconds. In East Africa darkness falls like a black velvet curtain, and almost before you can adjust you look up to see the moon and wheel of constellations.

Sweaty hands.

I just passed a man in the street carefully inspecting and scrutinizing his hand. It was only upon passing him and glancing in the direction of his hand that I understood what he was attempting. He was trying to make out a phone number he had written on his hand for later use.

Note to self: Do not write notes to self on sweaty hands in hot and humid African climate.

November 3, 2009

Sleepless and Showerless in Moshi.

On my last night in Moshi, I was awoken to the sound of rain clamoring on the rooftop and the torrential sound of water cascading off the rooftop. For that night, I remained sleepless in Moshi.

It seems the rain disturbed more than my personal nighttime pattern, as I was greeted the next morning to this guy seeking refuge from the rain in my shower. He won, I went showerless in Moshi.

Interestingly, this validated my decision to embrace the practical functionality of the mosquito net provided to me in my room. Strange Victory.

Primary Colors.