Friday, May 18, 2007

Blog of Our Nights

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art puts on this event called Nights every third Thursday from May to September and Amy and I finally decided we needed to see what all the hoopla was about. (Edhat has photos.) It helped that we won the tickets from KCRW, fully aware of how weird it is for Santa Barbarans to have to call an LA radio station to win tickets to a SB event. Supposedly we were going to be able to "Revel in the spirit of ancient and modern Mexico, inspired by the exhibition Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted," but mostly we got to stand around, look at the people being gorgeous or trying hard to be gorgeous (so often botox and plastic surgery does leave one with a hard look), listen to KCRW DJ Jason Bentley over a really loud sound system (and see him on stage, if we could draw our eyes past the firedancers--this was outside and not in the museum itself so no canvas was threatened), and drink mixed drinks with whacky names like The Sauza® Red Mask Tequila-tini or whatever mine was called, I think it was Picasso's Penis or something (I don't want to know if it was his blue or rose period).

I have to admit these kind of things--Santa Barbara's beautiful looking beautiful for each other--isn't really my cup of martini, even if you get to do it standing next to a Chagall (if you wanted to pick up someone who could be rugged under their Friday night finest even on a Thursday, you could cozy up to them in the Ansel Adams gallery, I guess). When you're married, that kind of thing sort of loses its charge. The kind of fun part is there are arts and crafts stations set up throughout the galleries, so you can make stuff like the still-life folk altar I threw together pictured up top. Maybe it's my generally ornery nature, but making art in groups, dressed up, while drinking, where everyone gets to watch your process and you have to reach over each other's art-in-progress to get the glitter's fun and all, but makes art a parlor game. As parlor games go it's better than Monopoly, but has about as much to do with art as Monopoly has to do with becoming a real estate tycoon.

I know, I know, just relax already and have another $7 cocktail, which isn't a terrible price, but when you spend $25 to get in (we were glad we won our tickets), and the event has alcohol sponsors, I expect something more (at least more food--very paltry presentations, if you ask me). It's the kind of thing the Film Festival pulls off so well, for free, but to a much more exclusive audience. (Although the amount of Film Festival folks wandering around was quite high--guess they're missing the jacked-up party scene.)

Then again, it might be cool to hear someone do a slightly different cover of Jonathan Richman at one of the Nights events:

Some people try to pick up girls
And they get called an asshole
This never happened in front of a Pablo Picasso

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Anonymous James said...

For some reason I can't comment on your Friday Random Ten or Dog Blog Friday Posts so, I'll say it here...

RE: FRI 10, A mere 20 second Calexico Tune? HA! My Calexico tune this week is 30 (count 'em 30) seconds.

RE: Dog Blog Fri, When mine say Home, James, it actually works, even though I know I shouldn't let them use my first name.

3:17 PM  
Blogger George said...

James, sorry about the comment difficulty. The option to leave coments got turned off for those 2 posts somehow, don't know what I did. I fixed it now.

I had a feeling you were going to make a comment about the Mookie photo.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I totally get the comment about the trying-to-be-pretty scene. Last night we were at the Museum of Natural History for an astronomy lecture, and while it was a nerdier affair than what you were at, it still seemed overly stuffy. And the food was *really* terrible. For three sponsors, you think they could have given someone $100 bucks to go to the grocery store and pick up a few vegetable or cheese trays and had better food than they did.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Starshine said...

I couldn't agree more, George, about the admission cost, drinks, food, crowd, volume and er pretense going on at Nights. I'm so relieved to see someone else saying it out loud! (But then, I'm married, too.) Not that I'll never go again. Sometimes I slip in just to remind myself how cool I USED to be ...

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arts 'n' craft stations for grown-ups to make their own art sounds really, really appealing (to me, as one who hasn't gotten her fill of arts 'n' crafts since ... well, probably not ever. And certainly not since becoming a working mom with a rather consuming job). Appealing enough that I might even pop for a babysitter so hubby and I could go hang out and watch the pretty single people try to look pretty for each other, and I get to make a craft project while sipping a grown-up drink. But the description of paying $25 each to get in, a hefty price tag on drinks, scarce hors-d'oeuvres -- as fun as it does sound, I doubt that I want to support "art" that much. I doubt we'd go unless I won tickets, either. Pity, because it really does sound quite fun!

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at Nights also, what a disappointment! The museum turned into an upscale bar? YIKES. It was sooo crowded, when I finally waded through the platforms, highlights, and designer clothes to the food trough I too was taken aback by how little fare was being offered. Wasn't there more last year? The drinks WERE overpriced, my glass of room temp. white wine was half full for $7. Am I being overly pessimisstic? Don't think I will be back. Too bad, could be so different, but I am afraid it is too late.

11:33 AM  

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