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Wild Belle Rings Out Seduction Of Casanova At Kimbell

October 15th, 2017 · Tags: Uncategorized

The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth is making me fall in love with my city all over again.  Last night’s Kimbell Fest, put together by the museum, concert experts Fortress Fest and local sponsors was way too cool for people like me to even attend.

But I’ve never let that stop me.  … stayed start to finish anyway.

This time of year Fort Worth may still “enjoy” high temperatures right up to sundown, and then some.  But last night — the eve of today’s cold front and lower temps — was perfect.  If you have not been, The Kimbell facility itself is an art masterpiece — a world renowned architectural gem by the legendary Louis I. Kahn — surrounded by somewhat stark gardens, avant sculptures and a majestic reflecting pool glimmering under the stars between the main structure and its little sister, The Piano Pavilion (named for the architect Renzo Piano) to the immediate west.

The Piano

It was overlooking that reflecting pool that I was fortunate enough to rub shoulders with some of Fort Worth’s most influential, enjoy conversation with a new friend, and watch battery-powered & neon-illuminated modern dancers, twirlers, jugglers and such … all while the entertainment fired up in the background at a stage about 100 yards away.  (It must have been pretty good conversation … I didn’t even check the Wi-Fi network, although I know it is there.)

 

Last’s night festival was in conjunction with the museum’s latest exhibit, Casanova: The Seduction Of Europe.”  The evening was filled with painted masterpieces, a parade of Renaissance-masqued bicycle riders, opera, farcical skits, acrobats and two pretty hip rock bands.  Something for everyone, on a very lovely evening, with mild temps, cool breezes and spotlights flashing on the Will Rogers Tower in the background.

Of particular interest inside the museum — the first known painting of Michelangelo, the somewhat comical or animated demon-filled painting “Torment Of Saint Anthony” … one of the multitudes of paintings in the Kimbell permanent collection (as of 2009).

Torment Of St. Anthony

Ha … but I especially liked a work that will remain nameless.  Visit the museum and ask any docent to show you the “magic foot” painting.  As demonstrated to me last night, if you stand on the right side of the painting, one of the subject’s feet almost appears to be a second-left foot.  But as the viewer walks past the painting, the foot appears to change structure and shape to become “the right foot.”  It is weird and cool and I may have to take up drinking again someday and go check out the visual effect under the influence.

Seduction Of Casanova

Perhaps the time has probably come in my career for me to stop commenting on music, because what is considered to be good and popular today has changed much, much more than my tastes allow me to bend.  However … however, I still enjoyed both Henry The Archer and Wild Belle … especially the latter.  (Special note: Ol’ Hank Arch has a song called “Wi-Fi Pets’ that did not go unnoticed in our research …) So much for what I think … I also noticed the young cool types, and the families spread out on blankets as well also enjoying the scene.

 

 

Check out the sultry vocals of Natalie Bergman, who fronts WB, and the soulful sax of her brother Elliot Bergman on the streaming source of your choice.  As for old-school me, I think I will actually buy some of their tunes today on iTunes … 

Natalie is a bit mysterious on stage, bathed in rich red or blue lighting, appearing somewhat mature and perhaps brazen or sexy lounge singer-like, sauntering in her skin-tight silver metallic pants and long blonde hair.  But, as I learned in seeing her in the “we-sell-vinyl” line after the show, she’s young … in her late 20s.  Put a long, sleek cigarette holder in her hand, and a little more harsh lighting, and she easily could have been some flashback to the 1960s siren era … just biding her time, waiting for her chance to sing a James Bond theme song.  Ha … but like I said, she is young and pretty, but has those stylized pipes that evoke raw sensuality and images of the ghost of go-go past.  (I would love to hear her tear up a cover version of “Gold Finger,” or “These Boots Are Made For Walking” … I digress …)

The band’s music is smooth … maybe a taste of funk at times … an overwhelming dose a baseline, a touch of that … perhaps blue-eyed soul (although I couldn’t make out her eyes) and some nice reggae rhythm chops from time to time.  The roots flava makes sense, given brother Elliot’s formative years at The U. of Michigan, playing a host of instruments in an Afrobeat outfit called NOMO.  At first blush, the band sounded so familiar … I don’t know if maybe I have heard some of their songs featured in movies or tv shows … or perhaps their vibe just channels my inner-martini … but they sounded so familiar … and good.

Stayed until the end, and lined up to see the band, doing what they do — meeting with fans and pushing merchandise in that glamorous rock ’n’ roll lifestyle … a road they have traveled since appearing on Conan back in 2012.

 

 

Lastly … to emphasize and revisit the earlier point about Fort Worth.  What a great show, so easily accessible in Fort Worth’s pristine cultural district … free parking all around … no mass traffic jam, a decent-sized crowd on a Sunday night, but no long lines and no sweaty pushing and shoving to get to the front of the stage … just perfect concertdom on a plush lawn.  Our festival is better than your festival … You know, unless you like overcrowding, attitudes, and essence of too many human.

Know what I sayin?

What Is Burnt Orange & Crimson All Over? Hook ‘Em Sooners

October 13th, 2017 · Tags: Cities · Sports

The Red River Shoot Out! What tradition!  Spectacle.  Pageantry. Spirt. Tailgates.  Obnoxity.* (*Not a word).  Have you been?  If not, picture deafening chaos with 90,000 screaming fans, many drunk, half in burnt orange and half in crimson.  Pretty easy to see where the lines are drawn in the bleachers.  May the best team win.

Special good luck to Texas Tech’s former second- or third-string quarterback.  Anyone else think John Snow of Game Of Thrones is Baker Mayfield and vice versa?  I digress …

So about the orange and the red.  Sometimes the lines blur.  Ha … that is my set up for an old story.  This is a story from The Old Cotton Bowl at Dallas Fair Park … a legendary stadium with no Wi-Fi back then.  (The Wi-Fi is spotty at best these days) … I digress … The actual Cotton Bowl is nothing like the venue for the modern day Cotton Bowl game later in the year at AT&T Cowboys Stadium, a veritable audio visual Wi-Fi nirvana.

Back in the day I was the PR guy for a company that was always out to top its most recent guerrilla marketing stunt. We put together the first USA-wide roadtrip by a blogger.  The company even paid for an advertisement tattooed on some numbskull’s head.  We handed out just about ever branded chotsky known to man — yoyos, slinkies, pens, candles … anything on which the company logo could be branded.  Ha … I think we had t-shirts printed up for about every event known to man.

Well, one year the Red River Shootout became no exception.  Oh we did t-shirts …  As PR guy for the firm, I was sent to the game with The Human Billboard in tow, and was asked to come up with ideas to get more attention.  This is where the line blurs.  The Human Billboard and I carried in a duffel bag half-full of crimson colored t-shirts.  Yes you might have guessed it.  The other half of the duffel was filled with burnt orange t-shirts.

All of the t-shirts had white lettering, and all said the name of my employer and Red River Shootout (not that sissy “Red River Rivalry” PC crap …).  Half the shirts said, “Beat OU!”  Half said, “Beat Texas!” … Ha … the football crazed fans were almost ripping the shirts from our hands when we started passing out the shirts.  The fans didn’t care.  They were in an orange-vs.-crimson frenzy … and they quickly snatched up all the shirts.  Some people just put them on as fast as they could, right over their current shirts.

Few even read the shirts’ messages, just grabbed them up or put them on.

Then slowly we could see the realization and puzzlement* on the faces and we could see our little joke spreading through the stands around us. (* That is a word.)  The red shirts were imprinted with “Beat OU!”   The burnt orange shirts proclaimed, “Beat Texas!

Bass ackwards!

It was quirky and unexpected.  We thought it really funny.  Some of the people were laughing about it too.  Most kind of scratched their heads.  No fights broke out … a good thing. Branding accomplished.

Good luck all … no matter what color. 

Know what I sayin?

@pingwifi On Twitter

October 12th, 2017 · Tags: Uncategorized

Roadtrip? 66 Wi-Fi Hotspots On The Mother Road?

October 5th, 2017 · Tags: Arts

Roadtrip? What Wi-Fi hotspots would you recommend along old #Route66 ?

 

 

 

 

Know what I sayin?

 

 

 

 

Wi-Fi On The Halfshell At Houston’s Captain Tom’s?

October 3rd, 2017 · Tags: Cities · Restaurant · Wi-Fi

 

One of the pitfalls of no longer drinking alcohol is knowing that raw oysters on the halfshell is a dish best served with cold beer. Regardless, give me some crackers, horse radish and red sauce, and I will make it work. 

I’ve had oysters on my mind since I hit Houston last month. For days, I have been seeing this funny little seafood joint … you can’t miss it over on FM 1960.  The building is custom designed to resemble a landlocked shrimp trawler. How clever and nostalgic.  Don’t make ’em like that anymore … not in my part of Texas anyway.

So, I had to check it out, and I had to know if there was Wi-Fi at Captain Tom’s Seafood & Oyster Bar.

A little bit of me was expecting to see Captain Dan and Forest behind the bar … but I secretly hummed “ground control to ‘Captain Tom'” as I entered … I digress …

What a cool place.  I went aboard, opened the door and liked it immediately.  It’s a showpiece of woodwork — a welcoming, full, oval bar running the length of the restaurant, with a bartender shucker inside the the circle.  Everyone was laughing and having fun, slamming down oysters on a workday and rubbing elbows — kind of all hands on deck.  Very intimate.

 

Alas, the main bar was full, so I pulled up a barstool along the wall.  Still very cool — window seats just about 360 degrees around the place — although the outer ring of seating was a bit less social.  It was obvious there were a lot of regulars at the main bar.  No one batted an eye when the bar tender passed to me my food over their heads. I am guessing the place must be a bit of an institution, although it doesn’t look that old.

Yum.  I had a really hot cup of of gumbo, a handful of boiled shrimp and seven oysters for the price of six.  Good looking out, my bruther from another shucker. 

But along with absolutely no pretension, I also detected no Wi-Fi … What?  No Wi-Fi?  Oh well … not much room in close quarters for a laptop anyway … The tabletop was amply supplied with a much needed stack of napkins piled up to my chin and my own personal little vat of fresh horse radish …. and a bottomless basket of saltines.  Nice.

Funny … the same day, I checked out a favorite from my last visit to Houston … Menchies, yogart.  Hmmm … if I were remiss and didn’t say anything about this yogurt shop, would that be un-Menchiable? I digress … Great yogurt … I went with the dulce de leche.  How rich!  But again, no Wi-Fi.  So to those who ask me why the blog reports on places with Wi-Fi — “Wi-Fi is everywhere” … I ran across two great examples of places that are less Wi-Fi inclined.  So … the hunt for wireless treasures continues.

Know what I sayin?

Top Offense, Stingy Defense Battle Under Houston Sun

September 24th, 2017 · Tags: Cities · Sports · Wi-Fi

 

 

Houston versus Texas Tech … a great matchup pretty much ignored by the favor-playing, subjective major media, but #IIWII.  The reality: the most prolific offense in college football was facing a team on a winning streak … a team led by the best defender in the country … a D squad that was giving up only 9 points a game … A game ignored except for someone’s quirky sense of humor — assigning the former, much-maligned, totally unsuccessful Texas Tech replacement coach Tommy Tuberville as a play-by-play announcer.  What were they thinking?

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Houston Dirty Gig Continues … #IIWII … Rap About Nothing

September 17th, 2017 · Tags: Cities · Music · Satire

 

When you were a child, did you know what you wanted to be when you grow up?

I knew what I didn’t want to be at about nine and it involved math.  Ha … I recently figured out that I was good in math back then only when it involved memorization — pluses, minuses, multiplication tables and all of that. Not so much the reasoning, formulated part of math.  Mix in an X or Y variable, and … (as you read this, make that sound effect of a brain exploding).

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A Little Rain, A Little Ride Washes Away The Hate

September 15th, 2017 · Tags: Arts · Cities · Politics

 

Currently, The Dirty Gig has stationed me in Houston, in the wake of one catastrophic storm as a second just had its way with Florida after ravaging all the vacation islands.

We’ve all read so many tragic stories of individuals and even entire families being overtaken when their vehicles failed to negotiate flood waters.  It’s no laughing matter.  It could happen to anyone.

So I am hesitant to retell my recent brush with “turn around, don’t drown” — not wanting to seem callous or flippant toward others whose stories did not have happen endings. But, I vowed to share a few more thoughts from a recent road trip.  Here we go.

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The Eclipse Roadtrip … ‘Totes’ Phenom!

August 24th, 2017 · Tags: Arts · Cities · Wi-Fi

 Sometimes the road trip is all about the destination.  More often, the journey makes the road trip.  Once in a while the road trip is all about the moment.
 
PingWi-Fi and motorcycle just traveled 980 miles to witness two and a half minutes of solar bliss, the eclipse, in the totality belt … or “totes” as my hipster friends might say.
 

Fort To Fort

 
Well, I would say the total eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime moment, but I’ve heard there was one in 1979.  Do you remember that one? (No doubt we would, had there been social media …)  I did not, until I saw vintage clips of the news coverage of that era.  Hmmm … ’79 … I was technically enrolled in college so I am sure there were things more important than an eclipse in my limited world view at the time.  I digress …
 

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Boy Howdy, It Was Glen Campbell On The Jukebox

August 8th, 2017 · Tags: Uncategorized

 

It was about 1972 that my friend took me to the mountains of New Mexico for my first snow skiing trip.  It was the time of my life at that point.  We went to a tiny, family-operated ski resort in Raton Pass, New Mexico.  The ski  instructor taught us how to “snowplow” only and turned us loose.  All day we went up and down the tiny mountain trails. 

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