Monday, July 6, 2015

concert and movie

The concert was a solo cello recital from the Silicon Valley Music Festival, which I attended on Thursday, wrote up Friday morning, but the review didn't appear until this afternoon, thank you holiday weekend.

It was held in the large open atrium of an office building downtown, a venue that made me uneasy for its acoustics as soon as I saw it. But it's tolerable for a solo recital, at least, and the location has the great advantage of being right in the middle of downtown and close to most of its best restaurants. I wandered down fairly early for dinner. One thing in particular I wanted to check out: a recent news article on the closing of an outlet of Sonoma Chicken Coop - a once-popular local eatery that seems to be falling on obscurity - linked to the corporate website which listed just one remaining outlet, and it wasn't the one downtown. Had that closed too? I could find no other evidence that it had. So I looked for it on Thursday, and yes, it's still open, with a sign in front saying "New Ownership", so I guess it's spun off, like the LA Good Earths did (which enabled them to last years longer than the main chain). I decided to eat there, partly because they're quick and I was running shorter on time than I wanted, but mostly to check to see if the food was still the same. It was, and that's good.

The movie was Alexander Payne's Nebraska, which I finally got around to watching because I will shortly be in Nebraska, and, it turns out, specifically in the part of Nebraska where most of the movie takes place (around Norfolk). It begins, however, in Billings, Montana, which meant that it began to remind me of Fargo, a movie whose title is cryptic because it mostly takes place in Minnesota. This one turned out to be more connected with the place it's named for. It had a good helping of the dry humor that people are always fantasizing that they see in Fargo, and without any of the gruesomeness, either. Most bloody thing that happens is that Bruce Dern falls down and gets a big cut on the forehead.

The message of this movie seems to be: "Yes, there are good people in Nebraska. But they're kind of drowned out by the other kind." Ah, doesn't that make you eager to go?

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