Posted on: August 16th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Another month is upon us and another third Thursday of the month for that matter. Yesterday was our Canoga Park Art Walk (or Third Thursdays as we hold it in the summers on the third Thursday of every month) and it was my distinct honor and pleasure to shed my sales hat and put on the sound guy hat. Since this event is completely organized by volunteers, there were little options more fitting than I due to owning and operating all my own gear AND because my day job is about 5 minutes away from the event. As a result, my trustee partner in crime, Mr. Stag and I quickly left the comfortable zen of selling gymnastics, commercial , and dance accessories for the brutal assault that is stage management and audio engineering.
Something that would’ve been handy (besides a better power amp as the one I brought blew out two songs into our last artist) would be some anti-fatigue mats. After carefully crafting a well balance sonic presentation for our audience, I still had to stay put (as any good engineer would) and monitor levels, check for noise (there was plenty) and enjoy the fumes right next to the generator. All the while managing the set times, kicking overzealous bands off stage, and partying it up with the resident DJ Phitoe. If anyone is local to the San Fernando Valley, Third Thursdays happens next on Aug 5th. Come by and pay me a visit. I won’t bite… hard. And I’ll be sure to bring me my marble fatigue mat this time.
Posted on: June 25th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Vanity. Satan’s favorite sin. Well, at least in Al Pacino’s depiction of the devil. I don’t know why I found myself thinking about this other than the fact that I watched The Devil’s Advocate earlier this week. The movie is a solid 7.5 in my opinion. A perfect touch of Clinton-era cheese while people still had this post 80′s excess fascination with the ‘devil-lawyer’ archetype. Yes, lawyers are evil (no exceptions), but my point is that I came to very particular and nuanced conclusions about something while I was watching this film 16 years after it’s release:
a) Keanu is not a terrible actor.
b) I love Charlize Theron. Like… a lot.
c) I love Al Pacino. (there’s a reason he sits atop my cubicle screaming at me at the horror of seeing his anti-christ son commit suicide instead of serving him).
The real meat and potatoes, though, is that this whole experience left me thinking about another Al Pacino classic, Carlito’s Way! An undeniable classic tale of redemption with a tragic turn for the protagonist. I mean, the movie starts where it ends and you STILL hope and are even made to feel like things might work out. But anyway, the point is that in that movie, there is ONE brief scene where Carlito (Pacino), having just been released from prison, follows his old flame to a dance class. There, for a quick second, BAM, a ballet barre! And it all comes full circle. Maybe a shot of glassless mirrors too. I don’t know. The thing is that the more I thought about it, I thought that maybe my love and affinity for movies has just been a subconscious pre-conditioning to me learning all about dance accessories, commercial/industrial products, and exercise mats. I’ll be scouring my favorite movies looking for all these things I’ve missed before. Luckily with the power of HD Blu-Ray remasters, I might even see a MatsMatsMats.com label somewhere.