The Clara String Quartet, the Buffalo chamber music group that played Nietzsche's last week, wasn't as out of place in a rock bar as you'd think. The concert began with long sound checks, just like pop concerts. And violinist Amy Glidden proved she spoke bar language. Thin as a rock star in jeans and heels, she explained the difficulties of a Ravel piece. "There are all these really complicated French instructions," she said. Then she grinned, "But now we can play it really, really well." The quartet is named for 19th century pianist Clara Schumann. The musicians joked, though, that they had considered another prominent 1800s musician, Fanny Mendelssohn, precocious sister of Felix. It didn't work out, they giggled. "We couldn't be the Fannys."
Kevin Hardwick's radio show "Hardline" aired for the first time in its two-hour format on Sunday morning, and this being Buffalo, it addressed a hot topic: which Mass the show's participants had attended. One had hit St. Edmund's. Another, St. Louis. Buzz noticed the conversation because, at the time, we were scouring www.masstimes.org for our own options. What a site! If you're in Baghdad and need to get to Mass, look for the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception at Karrada Al Sharkia, 10-40. There's a German town called Dudenhofen (we freely translate that as "Dude's court") with a church called St. Gangolf. It's almost like "Lord of the Rings"! And speaking of Germany, the town Dortmund-Bodelschwingh lists a church called "Disaster of St. Mary." Disaster of online translation, is more like it.
We hear from them daily. Their voices will not be silenced. Folks will not let us rest, until we point out the similarities between local legislator Lynn Marinelli and Felicity Huffman, the actress from "Desperate Housewives." Now that we see the two side by side, we agree. What's the difference between Western New Yorkers and Hollywood? A few hundred dollars' worth of haircut, is all.
The iron chef
He wanted a rest. He's getting a rest. So we wonder: What is Kuni, who got burned out and closed his Elmwood sushi place, doing now? Let's guess. He skips stones with burned-out Mastman's owner Jack Shapiro. He goes to Tsunami and makes the puffer fish in the aquarium puff up with fear. (We hear the poor puffer did that the other day. We figure Kuni must have walked in.) He does his friends a favor by julienning their bank statements. He uses his knives to work on his new hobby, origami. He goes out to eat at Shogun -- let someone else slice that salmon! He puts balls of rice in his mouth, poses at the mirror and recites: "I could have been a contender." Either that, or he's done what all retired folks are supposed to do -- he simply goes fishing.
The art of celebrity worship reached a new low with Syracuse University booking Billy Joel to address its 2006 commencement. "We welcome his vision and his commentary about the society in which our graduates will be leaders," Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor said in a statement quoted in The News. Cheer up, Syracuse. You didn't start this fire. ... How balmy, to see folks golfing on a January day in Delaware Park. And our daffodils are now three inches tall.
"Y'know I tell her I love her/She calls me a liar/Gives me dirty looks/Sends me off to the washer and dryer..."
-- Blues on the sound system at Tsunami