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Spring migration II

With sincere apologies to those readers grossed out by the dead blue heron,

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Spring migration

My children found a dead blue heron in the yard last night, folded up and strangely exotic like one of Audubon's paintings. There was no sign of a struggle. It reminded me of something I read about Jean Sibelius. Around the time he was working on his Fifth Symphony, Jean Sibelius watched sixteen swans fly in formation over his home. In his diary, he wrote,

“One of my greatest experiences! Lord God, that beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a gleaming, silver ribbon. . . . That this should have happened to me, who have so long been the outsider.”

He saw them again three days later.

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Random association

I can’t hear the Aram Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance without picturing guys in blue and white outfits zooming across the ice with sticks. In the 1970’s, the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey team ran local TV commercials using the classical warhorse at its rousing theme song. I saw that ad a lot.

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Paris, a moveable feast


According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the Eiffel Tower will be reshaped, altering the skyline of Paris. In time for the structure's 120th anniversary next year, builders will add a bigger viewing platform so more people at one time can go up and look around. The new platform will be attached with a design similar to the way that an aircraft's wings are attached to the fuselage.

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When the past is looped over the present

Each performance space played a significant role in that particular show’s experience. From the cold, grey Austin Music Hall, to the sunny tented patios, and pulsing honky-tonks. The final show I saw was in the quiet sanctuary of a church.

Jacob GoldinJacob Goldin In order to assure a seat for the featured sets later, we needed to wait nearly an hour for the first of three songwriters, Josh Goldin. The doors opened early making the wait pretty painless.

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The Show Is the Rainbow

One half of the Rochester contingent was at the Continental Club in South Austin on Saturday afternoon. It was 90 degrees and sunny. We had walked across the bridge over the Colorado River which runs right through Austin. Not that Colorado River, I was told. Without an atlas handy, I had to believe it to be true.

The line to get in the Continental Club was fairly long. We had probably already missed the Mother Truckers whom I had looked forward to since last year, and Steve Poltz, who I found out later was someone not to miss. Rather than wait in line, we continued walking in the sun.

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Elbow room

Here's your chance to submit your opinion about the seats in Eastman Theatre before major renovations begin this summer. I picked up this flyer in the women's lounge Saturday night.

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Just a Little Lovin'

The Austin Music Hall had great security. Ready for any emergency. They promptly removed the half of turkey club I had saved from earlier that evening. I should have considered throwing it away hours ago.

It was a compromise going to the Austin Music Hall. One thing that makes SXSW special is the small, club venues. The Music Hall (capacity 4,400) is larger, even larger than La Zona Rosa (700) where Van Morrison had played two nights before. It was almost full. Crowds shoulder to shoulder standing on the floor space. We went to the second level to sit on one of the concrete slabs that also serve as stairsshelby lynneshelby lynne.

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Don't Tell My Friends

Known for its great Mexican restaurants and Texas bar-b-ques, Austin also is home to one Disney-like New York Deli. Time and convenience finds me eating a turkey club on rye, deli style. I can’t confess this to anyone.The Leg ManThe Leg Man

(Great connoisseurs of eclectic music also appreciate fine local cuisine. The large bar-b-qued turkey leg, for instance. Rochester's own Richard Storm is such a man.)

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Age Meets Beauty: Songwriters on Parade

It’s a short hike down 6th Street, across town to Waterloo Records. Ninety degrees, sunny. Pass Mother Egan’s Irish Pub, already into Friday’s music at just past noon.

Waterloo hosts multiple bands throughout each festival. My niece Kate’s favorite in 2007 was catching Iggy Pop and the Stooges there in full glory, autograph and all. We were on our way to see Shelby Lynne.

It was forty minutes early. The crowd was active but sparse. Ten minutes later people began staking out their territory and it filled up. I planted myself right in the “S” section. Paul Simon, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra. Plenty to check out while waiting.

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