Saturday, June 15, 2013

Taking it to the Streets: Part III


I am not really into the club scene.  I don't drink.  I don't smoke (admittedly, not a hindrance here since they outlawed smoking in public places a few months back).  I don't really dance unless the music involves tabla, mizmar, oud, and/or Arabic lyrics.  And - let me be totally and completely blunt - I don't particularly care for what music becomes at the hands of your typical DJ.  There are exceptions, of course.  Let's say you dropped me at one of the DJ parties at Katharos.  I'd be okay with that.  Bronte has excellent taste and her lounge attracts talent (also, I'd listen to the worst off-key warbling to be back in Greece, eating her cooking!)  But on the whole, give me a good book and a warm blanket rather than punish me with hours of loud, repetitive "music."

However, I decided that I was going to see this street art festival thing through, even if Wednesday's field trip didn't turn out the way I was hoping.  Yesterday Geek and I went to the kick-off party for the public part of the festival with a DJ party at iLoft.  There have been workshops taking place there all week as well, including DJ workshops by l'Homme's brother, DJ No Breakfast (ooh, look at my journalistic integrity, there...bringing attention to the fact that I kind of know someone and may have personal bias!  I almost feel like a real writer!)

For once this year, I didn't take pictures, other than the one above of some of the new art decorating the walls of iLoft.  I know the limitations of my phone's camera - there is not much use posting blurry photos of a club.  I could describe iLoft to you, but you'd need to be a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (if you ARE, think of the Bronze).  As for the music, I really kind of liked it.  It was not deafening - Geek and I could actually talk while we were there.  It had a good beat.  I could recognize parts of some of the music, but it was not so repetitive that I wanted to beat my head against a wall.  Is that considered good for a DJ party?  Well, how the hell should I know - I began with the admission that it's not really my scene, didn't I?  But when we left around midnight, it was because I was about to turn into a pumpkin (it was an emotional last day at school and I couldn't sleep in this morning because we went out to Gachuurt with Five for the last time today), and not because it sucked.  I actually enjoyed it a lot.
Today was the main event at the Children's Park.  After getting back from Gachuurt I met up with Domestic Goddess and Fire Marshall at the Black Market (easier said than done!) and we walked over to check things out.  In spite of liking the music last night we skipped straight over to the art part.  Fire Marshall likes street art as much as I do, and was thrilled to tell me he'd found a new Renard this afternoon.  He also agreed that the best street art is site-specific.  This piece of sticker art was probably my favorite, because it worked with what was already there.
After having a good look around, we met their spawn and Five at Gyengbokgung for dinner.  En route, Fire Marshall showed me the new Renard he'd found, and I got to see this one as well.  I mentioned that I'd never seen so much street art in an Asian city, especially considering Ulaanbaatar is NOT that big.  The closest thing was the murals near M50 in Shanghai, and that's gallery central (I should write about that sometime.  Maybe I can do that for one of my flashback ghost blogs).  They told me that last year was different - there wasn't as much to see.  When I told them that this was the second year for Tatym, we realized that made a lot of sense.  This year's festival has already had its impact on the city at large - walking down the plaza between the Beatles monument and the Circus, we saw where someone had stickered the barriers with some of the stickers my students were given on Wednesday.  I hope next year makes the third year...but my students will have to go experience it on their own.

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