Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Album review mish-mash no. 3

Here come the warm Jets- Brian Eno

Anyone who appreciates glam must investigate the work of Brian Eno. After leaving glam outfit Roxy Music Eno embarked on his own solo career eventually equaling or eclipsing, depending on who you talk to, Brian Ferry's band.

However, instead of staying within the relatively safe rockabilly sexpot bounds of 70s glam Eno took the drama and aggression of glam to whole new levels, some of them shockingly absurd. Eno even admits that some of the lyrical content on the album means nothing, like in "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch" with boggling lines like "He'll barbeque your kitten".

"Baby's on Fire" is another example of a standout song. The title sounds like the "baby" in question is on a roll or having a great stroke of luck but the lyrics suggest actual immolation, "they said you were hot stuff, and that's what baby's been reduced to". These surreal lyrics are further enhanced by a fantastic Robert Fripp-esque guitar solo and menacing electronic, beeps and boops

Like Devo, much of Eno's work builds on basic pop format and turns it into something subversive and complex. "On some faraway beach" takes a simple but beautiful pop piano arrangement and spins it into a chillingly poignant anti-war ballad.

As one of the world's most iconic concept albums, it is hard to describe ". . .Warm Jets" as anything other than mind-blowing.

Score: absolute perfection, somehow higher than 10/10

Low - David Bowie

"Low" is what happens when glam goes from whimsical to ultra-serious, if even a little sad. While there's always heights and troughs of emotion in most Bowie songs "Low" exposes listeners to a more visceral and vulnerable Bowie.

"Always crashing in the same car" is extremely wistful, even as far as titles go. Bowie seems to bemoan some unnamed tragic mistake. The phased-out guitar bends add an appropriate weeping quality to the song. "Be my wife" is just as sullen. "A New Career In a New Town" is a dark instrumental that eventually builds into brightness, as if Bowie is trying to cheer himself up.

Instrumentals "Art Decade" and "Warszawa" are nothing but dark. "Subterraneans" is desolate as well but has momentary stabs of hope. "What in the world" seems happy but the lyrics point to more yearning and searching for satisfaction. "Sound and Vision" is peppy and catchy and stands out as one of the only gleeful track. For someone looking to move beyond Bowie's radio hits "Low" is perfect. It represents a different side of Bowie than many of us know.

Score: 10/10


The Man Who Sold the World - David Bowie

As any fan knows, Bowie has done through a myriad of different artistic phases and this album represents a short "acid rock" period in his early career. "The Man. . ." is driven mostly by distorted guitars and numerous solos, at least far more than any other album in the Bowie catalog.

"She Shook Me Cold" is a straight blues boogie with a fantastic Jimmy Page worthy guitar solo in the middle. "Saviour Machine" combines the same blues energy with doomy metaphysical lyrics about self-salvation and tweeting synth notes.

Perhaps the darkest song on the record is "Running Gun Blues" and there is no other way to describe the lyrics other than "fucked up" but the delivery is so sarcastic and deadpan that it's amausing. The lyrics tell the story of an AWOL soldier who goes on a killing spree, slaying civilians left and right with a sickening glee but Bowie sings the words with such vim and vigor it's hard not to crack a smile. "It seems the peacefuls stopped the war, left generals squashed and stifled but I'll slip out again tonight because they haven't taken back my rifle"

This album was praised universally when it came out, both in the US and UK. The only "hit" song that came of "The Man. . ." was obviously the title track but there's so much more on this record that warrants listening. People who don't necessarily appreciate glam and gravitate toward harder rock instead might find something new to like in Bowie with this LP.

Score: 9/10

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Interview: Thomas Fec of Tobacco and Black Moth Super Rainbow [FPH repost]

Working in a day-glo palette of bright, analog synths, samples, and surreal vocoder tones Thomas Fec is able to create musical psychedelia sure to shock the even the most adventurous of listeners.

Fec, driving force behind Black Moth Super Rainbow and solo project Tobacco, will be serenading Summer Fest goers on the Budwesier stage at 7 p.m. June 4.

PP: What would you say is different about your role in Tobacco than in BMSR, besides the obvious?

TF: I mean my role is exactly the same but the way I approach it is a bit different. I guess the Black Moth stuff, none of its really normal but- I guess the Tobacco is more of like the stuff I'd be too worried about people getting freaked out by -that I wouldn't do with Black Moth. I did an interview recently where someone called Tobacco my id and I guess that would be the best way to explain it.

PP: I actually just realized today that you did two songs where you collaborated with Beck, what was that like?

TF:There wasn't really a whole lot to it. It was just an email thing. I sent him stuff and he sent stuff back. Yeah, not a whole lot of communication or anything.

PP: Another thing that's kind of fascinated me is how you use all this analog equipment when so many people seem to be avoiding it. Comparing advances that have been made now to back then, do you think you still could have made the same albums 20 years ago?

TF: Not quite. No. Well you say twenty years ago, maybe that. I just have to be a little bit more of a musician. I get lucky and write something quick and then I can play with it in the computer and the sampler. The only difference about if I did this 20 years ago I'd have to know how to play it for the whole length of the song or whatever. There's a lot more shortcuts these days.

PP: Yeah, and that's not a bad thing. That allows you to finish something quicker you have in your mind.

TF: It allows people who are really not talented like myself to do shit and trick people into thinking that I know what I'm doing [laughter].

PP: You could put it that way I guess. I'm kind of a bed room composer and dabble in some stuff similar to what you do but on a much simpler degree. Technology is definitely a help.

What is it like working with the analog technology though, is it real hard to find people to help you out with it and is there still a lot of it around?

TF: I think the analog thing -I think a lot of people assume that that's pure analog but really I'm sitting in a room right now with one, two, three analog synths and I've got a couple of tape echoes. I record everything into a sampler now and really it's just a couple analog keyboards that are the perfect keyboards. It's not as intense as it seems or at least how I made it seem a few years ago. Because I used to record to tape and everything. I don't even remember how long ago, like 8,000 years ago. But now I think if you have the right sampler it sounds better than tape.

FPH: I'll bet it's a bitch recording to tape all the time.

TF: You know it was stupid. I realized I couldn't even get it sound as good as I wanted. It was more of like -I was just trying to be an analog purist just for the sake of being an analog purist. There's some good things about using digital too and using tape is just really limiting and it's not always the best sounding option.

PP: The fact that you use digital and that you've moved on to using more digital things hasn't affected the sound at all in any detrimental way. And it makes perfect sense that you say you still have those three analog synths that sound perfect because there's still that warmth as opposed to people who are using purely digital equipment.

TF: That's really all it is. I could really cut that down to one synth and use that for everything and be totally fine. There's just a big difference between this stuff and the new stuff. Companies like Moog -and I don't want to say just them and single them out because there's a ton of them, they try to tell you like its all analog and that it sounds like the original and it doesn't sound anything like the original. There's no presence to anything these days. I think that's the heart of the sound, the presence. I guess the new synths are warm technically but they sound like they're wrapped in plastic.

PP: Yeah that's a good way to put it. I've played around with lots- I can't really afford anything I want now but any kind of Moog clone I've heard, it never lives up to the few times I've been able to play around with an original one.

TF: Yeah and they do all these tests on them where they compare the straight sine waves or whatever on both of them and it comes out exactly the same but that's not like a relevant test for a synth because it all has to do with the filters and the way all the circuits are reacting. It's just a completely different thing. If you go out and buy a new 3,000 dollar Mini Moog Voyager you'll spend another 6,000 dollars in processing gear just to make it sound like the original. I think that stuff is worthless. They'll sell you on it so hard. They've been spending all these years, trying to tell people that it's just as good if not superior and its just bullshit. You can hear it.

PP: You touched upon it a little before but what's your songwriting process like because maybe there's not actually as much going on as it sounds like but it definitely does sound like it.

TF: There's really no process. It's probably exactly the same as anyone with one keyboard and a drum machine. I don't know. I'll either write a beat or play around with the keyboard until I find something I like and keep layering and layering and strip away all the layers and take away all the bullshit and get it down to the couple of things that might matter.

PP: What's your live setup like? I haven't seen you live yet. Do you tour as just one person or do you bring session musicians on or people from BMSR? It just seems like it would be a daunting thing to do on your own.

TF: We come out as a three piece now -this is for the Houston show, right? They'll be a drummer and another synth player with me.

PP: Yeah because when I think of Tobacco I know it's basically just you and I'm picturing you running around doing all these different things.

TF: No, no. Not at all. Tobacco is more of DJ kind of thing and I guess we're kind of morphing it into a band but this actually going to be one of the last Tobacco shows for a very long time. We're actually going to go back to the Black Moth.

PP: I guess what in the music community today, whether it's fans or execs or other musicians, what annoys you? What are your pet peeves?

TF: Oh man. Everything. [laughter] There's an aspect to everything that annoys me. I started off making music and kind of felt like I was on a deserted island. No one wanted to deal with me, I was just kind on my own and we've gone out into the world and I feel like I want to go back to that desert island again. I think I'm just at that point where I need to hire a manager to deal with everything and I don't need to deal with anyone ever again. It's just too fucking much. I've never had a real manager or anything and I've always had to be involved, like way too involved. Most bands come up and as soon as they get a little bit of buzz, all the vulture managers kind of circle around them and then start taking their money and the kids never know anything. I kind of thought all these bands were assholes for doing that but now I wish I'd kind of done that because I just feel like I know too much. I know the evils of everything.

PP: I had no idea that you guys had no manager. I can totally see why you'd want one though so you could deal with less bullshit and just focus on the music.

TF: You know, I think so many things a manager would just jump on I would just ignore. Like 9 or 10 emails, whether they're good or bad just go straight into my trash. I just don't want to deal with it.

PP: I know it's uncomfortable and no one really likes to do this, but if someone held a gun to your head and said, “place yourself in a genre!” what would you do?

TF: What would I put myself in? Well I guess like what I was saying before, even though I don't agree with it and I don't listen to it and I don't listen to any of that stuff, everyone seems to call it psych music. So if I had a gun to my head I would have to say that because otherwise I just don't know what else I would say.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Album review mish-mash no. 2

In my second installment of mish-mash, I'm continuing to review some of my favorite albums. However, once I get my posting momentum back up I will be reviewing local Houston albums and contemporary national and international releases too.
Cut Copy - Bright Like Neon Love

"Bright. . ." is the Australian electro-rockers' debut album. It came out in 2007 and changed the way I felt about electronic music forever. The band combines guitars, drums, and lush synths seamlessly to create a dream land of electric nostalgia. Production is pushed to its limits to create an enveloping mix of samples and live recording that is almost impossible to distinguish between.

Tracks "That was just a dream" and "Zap Zap" are perfect examples of why the album succeeds. They are played with such glowing warmth and catchy hooks that they could just as easily cause one to dance as daydream.

Score: 10/10


Dead Kennedys - Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death

The Dead Kennedys use an uncanny mix of politics and humor in their music that sometimes makes them hard for newer listeners to fully comprehend. This album is probably the best way to first encounter the band and understand its twofold purpose.

Tracks "Holiday in Cambodia", "Life Sentence", and "California Über Alles" are standard angry punk fare with the signature DK flare. However, there is also lots of room for laughter on the album's truly unique tracks such as "Pull my Strings". In this song Biafra brutally excoriates the rock industry and the lack of rebellion in present day rock and roll with outrageously funny and cutting lyrics like, "Is my cock big enough? Is my brain small enough? For you- to make me -a star."

Other amusing tracks include, "Night of the Living Rednecks", "Short Songs", and "Too Drunk To Fuck". Though the album's true standout track is "Kinky Sex (Makes The World Go Around)" which is really more of a skit than a song. Jello poses as a warhawk trying to sell the US government on the idea of concocting another war to raise the profits of industry. However, despite the serious message and deadpan delivery, the track is actually hilarious.

Score: 10/10

Monday, May 16, 2011

Album review mish-mash no. 1

Alan Vega - Saturn Strip

Brighter and far more quirky than any of his work with Suicide, "Saturn Strip" demonstrates the true versatility of Alan Vega as a solo artist. Suicide's music is painted in shades of black and red, hovering broodingly in the listeners ears. Even happy, harmonic numbers like "Diamonds, fur coats, champagne" are tinged with undertones of darkness.

But Vega's first solo album demonstrates that he is far more than a dirge-singing crooner. Vega combines rockabilly guitars with electro accompaniment to create songs like "Video Babe" which sound more at home at a sock hop than a Suicide album. That being said, most of the other songs are intensely dancey. Even "Goodbye Darling", a song about cutting ties comes off as jubilant.

The last song on the album, "Every1's a winner" seals the tone with a hortatory, pep-talk. It seems like it's loosely based on the "Hot Chocolate" song of the same name but if it is, it's a very liberal interpretation. Vega's version appeared on Jame's Murphy's iTunes celebrity playlist.

Score: 8.5/10

Blue Cheer - Vincebus Eruptum

Although this band was incredibly influential in shaping what lazy people like to call "classic rock" they rarely get a mention. The San Francisco power trio were easily heavier than a single other band from their time other than maybe Deep Purple. In 68 they were playing screaming blues-tinged, proto-metal guitar solos before anyone.

If you only have the time to pick up one of Blue Cheer's albums, "Vincebus Eruptum" would be the one. Probably the most iconic song in the band's repertoire is their ferocious cover of the Eddie Cochran song "Summer Time Blues". The Who's cover, far more lauded and equally as good but for different reasons, debuted in 1970 but was nowhere near as intense.

While bassist Dickie Peters screechy high-pitched vocals definitely shaped the band's sound Leigh Stephens' explosive guitar playing is probably the most exhilarating part of the album. His playing style is raw power. Only once on the album does he tone down his volume, for his bluesy, grooving, rendition of "Rock me Baby".

"Parchment Farm" is the band's strongest number here. It is also perhaps the most proto-metal track. Stephen's guitar playing is allowed to completely overflow the bounds of the songwriting given the song's simple structure. Peter's voice also shines through in this song as he chillingly belts out, "all I did was shoot my wife".

Score: 10/10

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Green River

Besides maybe "Bayou Country", "Green River" would be the best album for prospective CCR fans to start out with. Like "Bayou Country" this album is filled with some of the band's more guitar driven songs and is completely irresistible unless for some unfathomable reason you hate John Fogerty's licks.

The first three songs, "Green River", "Commotion", and "Tombstone Shadow" are non-stop guitar boogies. Then the album progresses into the quiet, calming "wrote a song for everyone" showcasing the other folkier side to the Fogerty coin. The other writing-intensive song on the album is "Lodi" which should grow on the listener despite its lack of guitar work. The lyrics tell of a despondent musician trying to escape the suffocating forces of apathetic listeners and deaf ears.

In addition to the other songs not mentioned there is the immortal "Bad moon rising" which really, CCR fan or not, speaks for itself.

Score: 10/10

Some words from Thurogood Wordsmith

Lyrically-driven, Houston hip-hop artist, Thurogood Wordsmith is active once again after taking a short hiatus. Last week I sat down and asked him a few questions about his past, his present work, and what he has planned for the future.

You can download his first EP, "The Appetizer", for free.

FPH: I heard about you from Mic Skills Mission Control Compilation, tell me what you've done since you've started?

TW: I started rappin' in 2007 and I released some mixtapes and than some mix tap style songs after that. And it was unofficial and self-titled. It was about 12-15 songs and I released about 500 of those. I got some considerable attention off of that and it got me into the rap scene and into knowing other producers, promoters, and writers, things of that nature. So that was kind of my intro and then I just released- it's been a long time since I released something- my EP in November 2010. So in between those times, I've released some songs but I did take a little hiatus and now I'm back and going strong again. I plan on releasing my followup. My EP was “The Appetizer” and that was basically a followup to “Brass Knuckle Sandwich”.

FPH: I've been looking through that EP and playing it online the past couple days and I'm definitely going to buy it-

TW: It's actually free now. I wanted it to be more informal, like leave a tip if you want to leave a tip but through that band camp site more like 'Oh, well I should buy it' and I want people to download it and just have it on their computers and iPods and burn it onto discs. I thought it would be more a leave of a tip kind of deal and it wasn't and that's why it's free now.

FPH: People would pay for it but I think more people will pass it around this way.

TW: Exactly. Right. And I'm still trying to build a buzz you know and you know how everything in the music industry as changed. You have to build a name for yourself and people are going to expect things for free, especially in hip hop.

FPH: I first heard about you on Mic Skills' “Mission Control” Compilation with “Brass knuckle sandwich”. Tell me what you're up to now.

TW: “Brass Knuckle Sandwich” the song, right? Because now I'm doing an album called “Brass Knuckle Sandwich”. That's the idea was born, when I did that Mic Skills song but first I released “The Appetizer”. Now we're moving onto the full course meal, if you will. It will be a full LP.

FPH: I've noticed that you and a lot of recent Houston hip-hop artists have been shying away from using a ridiculous amount of post-production and auto-tuning and stuff like that.

TW: I think that's born out of my taste in music and the producers I work with. I gotta give a lot of credit to James Kelly and we started working together around the same time that “Mission Control” compilation came out. We recorded it and produced “Brass Knuckle Sandwich” out of his house. A few months ago he moved to the Heights into this state of the art studio. It is beautiful. It's the best studio I've seen in Houston. I don't think any other place in Houston can touch it right now.

You know, I thought it was cool when Roger and Zapp did it but it was more like talk box with like a tube in their mouth. Auto-tune is cool I guess. I remember when “I'm in love with stripper” came out I was like, I can see why this is catchy but I don't like to follow trends, I like to be original. Whoever I'm inspired by, I don't want to rip them off I just would rather be inspired and come up with something that can inspire someone else. That's kind of why I stay away from lots of post-production effects, especially vocally. I'm also very lyrcially driven. One of my very favorite artists is Bob Dylan and I couldn't image him with auto-tune on his voice.

FPH: [laughter] He might need it nowadays but-

TW: [laughter] Yeah, a lot of people might not agree with me but he's such a great story teller and his words are always- bring out a lot of vivid imagery to me. That's what I always like.

FPH: I agree and it's really the same for your stuff. It's really the lyrics that carry it.

TW: Right. And James was just getting into hip-hop at the time and him and I got together- I've helped him build a clientele and he's done most of the work but he's worked with a lot of other artists. Mixing and mastering for Hollywood Floss, for The Niceguys, Hashbrown. Actually James is doing the whole EP for The Niceguys comin' up. It's called the “The James Kelly EP” and it's going to be all his production.

“Brass Knuckle Sandwich” is going to be that much better because it's going to be on par- you know what I'm saying? The production's just as good as the lyrics and vice versa. But I think what's wrong with hip-hop- not what's wrong with it I guess, just some of the trends I don't like are that it's become so over-produced and popular rap has just become a money-making machine because it's like I can just picture some cheesy record executive in a leather jacket with some huge production staff. Like a Lou Pearlman kind of guy saying, “Yeah, that's it! We just need to get a fresh-faced kid on it.”

FPH: You're lyrics are normally front and center as opposed to the lyrics and at of your lyrics have the narrative aspect to it. All my favorite hip-hop includes story-telling. Some of it lately has become so repetitive that it's like bad house music- and I like some house too but you can't just trade the story telling in for something else.

TW: Yeah, hip-hop has become so different than what it was been born out of and I try to keep my music as authentic as when hip-hop first came out. I want it to be narritive, a representation of an independent person and artist that's really driven by their music. I'm inspired by making music so I don't want it to sound like a house song that's just a flash-in-the-pan. Like the song “Dream Chaser” off “The Appetizer” that song is probably my biggest story-telling style song. That song is about this chick that used to live next to me in my apartment complex and she was a party girl. She was on some reality show- I think it was “Paris Hilton is my new BFF” and I was kind of like- she was always cool and an attractive young woman. We'd have some drinks and kick it and she'd always have these sugar daddies all over the place and I wouldn't judge her about it. But I always thought I should tell her to be careful even though I never did. But I was coming home one day and there was an ambulance and she was being carried off on a stretcher and I wrote that song right there and it was really about her. I always think of her on that stretcher when I hear that song. But unlike “Dream Chaser” she did end up living through that but when I wrote that I didn't know what was going to happen to her so- you know. I just wrote her off like a soap opera character.

“A.M.” gets the most play off of the stuff on my “Appetizer” EP and I'm gonna shoot a video for it this month so that's probably my freshest song and has the most appeal but I think “Dream Chaser” cuts a little bit deeper. And I think that a lot of hip-hop albums today are missing missing those deep cut tracks and that are just being promoted all the time and are album tracks. They don't need videos necessarily and are the glue that holds the album together.

FPH: Right. It's definitely something that every other genre is experiencing right now as the record industry gets more and more aggressive. There's kind of less of an emphasis on album oriented anything anymore whether it's rock, hip-hop, or even country.

TW: Yeah. These records execs want to sell ringtones instead of albums really.

FPH: What's it like as a white guy doing this? Do you think it's any different?

TW: Um, you know I would know what it's like to be a black guy doing this so- [laughter]

It's fun for me. I think nowadays it's overlooked. I don't think people focus on “Oh, it's a white guy.” People notice it of course but a lot people who haven't seen me live are like, “Oh, you're white?” and I'm like, “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” [laughter] But for me it's fun and it helps me in some ways and it hurts me in some ways. People are always gonna draw the comparison to Eminem and I think that's just what people do when they don't have much knowledge about it. They hear my lyrics and they're like, “Oh! He's lyrical like Eminem,” but you know-

FPH: Which is ridiculous. There's nothing about you that reminds me of Eminem.

TW: when I hear that- I used to hear that a lot more, like I said I started in 07 and now I get way more love. I know I'm better artist now but that's just because of time. I have a good friend, she's an African American female MC and she spits and she's real talented but she kind of faces some of the same stuff that I do. People might look at you and underestimate you but in that underestimation is actually an advantage because you have the element of surprise. They don't expect much so I always win people over. At live shows, it definitely helps.

FPH: Maybe it's not that they're expecting less, but-

TW: I mean there're some whack white rappers and- I mean there's a stigma to a white rapper, like Malibu's Most Wanted. People look at that and some stereotypes exist for a reason.

FPH: Yeah, I know what you mean. Somewhere along the line someone affirmed that stereotype, whether or not it's actually representative.

TW: But there's a lot of dope white MC's nowadays, especially here in Houston. It's always going to be an element to be discussed. I'll never be that guy, the white guy with a chip on my shoulder. Like, “What are you sayin' man?!” I never thought I'd be a rapper. I would have laughed if you told me I was going to be a rapper.

FPH: I just figured I'd ask because I'm sure that enters into it somewhere even though it's obviously irrelevant now.

TW: Yeah. It's a fair question and it's probably be something I'll be answering for my whole career.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Space City Gamelan [FPH REPOST]

There are many kinds of music that conjure images of the celestial: Holst's “The Planets”, Pink Floyd's older music, Tangerine Dream, The Flaming Lips, even Houston's Red Krayola. There seems to be an ineffable thread running through space-influenced music but all of it gives listeners a glimpse of a place few of us will ever get to visit. For those looking to make that musical journey, Houston's Space City Gamelan is a good starting point.

The working definition of a gamelan is an Indonesian orchestra. The original purpose of gamelans, said member Rashida Alisha, was “musical wallpaper for dance and martial arts, ceremonies and puppet shows”. However, Space City Gamelan has repurposed their performances so that the music itself is the main attraction.

But what goes into a gamelan? What does it take be called a gamelan? Alisha said the key instruments for this unique outfit include “a myriad of metallaphones: instruments that resemble xylophones (called sarons), kettle gongs (called bonangs), a kempul (small gong) and the "mama" gong and an instrument called a slenthem; there are also drums, bamboo flutes and an instrument called a gambang (all wooden slats played with 2 mallets). Everything listed here would constitute a bare bones gamelan!”

The group's full name, Space City Gamelan Swara Dewa, means Sound of the Gods. SCG has been together for seven years and includes mostly performers from the US trained in the arcane Indonesian musical style. SCG's music relies primarily on tuned metallic percussion and is far off from any standard western scale. “The instruments were custom made for us in West Java to the specifications of our master teacher, Gatot Winandar. The tuning of the instruments is done when the metal is forged, all according to the characteristics of the gong; based on the sound of the gong, all other (metal) instruments in the gamelan are thus tuned. These instruments can never be swapped out with another gamelan set because the tuning is specific for this set. This set is a 7 tone scale, called pelog in Bahasa. The most wonderful thing is that there really is no standard tuning! In terms of notation, we use numbers,” said Alisha.

SCG performs frequently in Texas and has played along such legends as Houston's own Jandek at SXSW. Their next performance will be an outdoor show at Houston's Mandell Park on March 18. The gamelan will be setting the mood for the screening of a feature-length film about the solar system called “Orbit” courtesy of film-making collectives Rooftop Films and Cinemad. “Orbit” is a compendium of short films that includes artistic representations of each planet (which may or may not include Pluto). “[the film will be] preceded by music that takes the crowd from sunset beyond dusk, when it is dark enough to project on the outdoor screen.” Alisha said.

The event will start at 7 p.m. and will include music, film and guided tours through Meredith Gardens. Attendees are welcomed to bring chairs, blankets and picnic supplies. Black Orbit Cafe will provide refreshments.