Four Trombones and Madison King

I did not feel like going home after work on Friday so I caught a DART train downtown. Tonight was one of the Arts District’s Block Parties – with a whole bunch of activities going on in and between the three museums along Flora Street. I caught a train quickly and arrived early so I found a bench, sat down with my Kindle, and read while the organizers organized and the crowd slowly began to grow.

Food trucks at the Arts District Block Party. There were two lines like this.

The line of food trucks grows as they pull in and set up.

The Museum Tower Death Ray strikes.

I found a nice shady spot under the cypress trees along Flora and then I was struck by the solar death ray beamed down from the Museum Tower. I swear that thing raises the temperature ten degrees.

I ate some rolls from my favorite sushi food truck and then wandered around a bit, visiting the Nasher. The Nasher isn’t too much fun during these events – an invading horde of families charge down early and take over the whole garden, marking off their own private little Balkan squares of territory with blankets. The adults then plop down and proceed to get hammered on cheap bottles of wine concealed in Crate and Barrel wicker baskets received as gifts while their precious hell-spawn run around screaming and climbing on the Henry Moore sculpture until the museum guards shoo them away.

There was a band and later a movie but the scene was too depressing so I moved on.

I listened to a lecture in the Crow’s Jade Room on meditation and creativity which was interesting.

I headed out into the crowd again and was contemplating giving it all up and catching a train home when a woman walked by that looked familiar. It took a second for me to remember, but the sock-monkey tattoo on her right bicep gave it away – it was Madison King, a singer that I had heard perform at the first Patio Session earlier this year.

She must be scheduled on the outdoor plaza by the Museum of Art. I was up to staying for her performance, so I stuck around. Wandering down there, I found a band setting up. You don’t see this every day… a trombone quartet.

They called themselves The Maniacal 4… and I enjoyed them. Their between-song patter was the worst I have ever heard, but they could play the trombone. They played a number of their own compositions, which were a little sophisticated for that crowd and venue – but they pulled it off.

Then they brought out a rhythm section and launched into playing some 1970’s rock on the trombone. It worked better than it sounds – even though they picked some tunes that should not be brought into the future (Jane by Starship and Carry On my Wayward Son by Kansas… for example). All in all, they were by far the most entertaining trombone quartet I have heard at an Arts District evening show in a while.

It didn’t take them long to pack up and Madison King took over at ten. As before, I enjoyed hearing her and the crowd seemed into it. You can hear some of her work at this site.

I took some photos, but it’s tough under those lighting conditions (it’s way too dark). I have to use long exposures and brace my camera on a wall or something to minimize shaking. White balance is a bitch under the weird lighting color combinations and my camera isn’t as new as it used to be – it isn’t as fast as they make them nowadays. Still, it gives me something to do.