Well, as it turns out we weren’t able to get into the Block Party. By the time we got there, there were lines around the block just to get tickets. Neither of us felt much like waiting in line for an hour or two, only to be told that they were sold out when we reached the front. Next year, we buy advance tickets (which we’d sorta thought of doing this year, but one thought drives out another and… well, you know).
Instead, we saw this great film called Crossing the Bridge – The Sound of Istanbul. If you’re here in town I suggest you haul ass over to the Northwest Film Forum (apparently the only place we see movies anymore) before Thursday, which is the last day it’s scheduled to play.
The documentary follows Einstürzende Neubauten bassist Alexander Hacke as he records local musicians in and around Istanbul. It’s always interesting when different cultures rub up against each other and cross-pollinate. Istanbul is uniquely positioned for such cultural exchange, being a part of both the East and the West. There’s some seriously jaw-dropping stuff in this film – “psychedelic belly dance” by Baba Zula, hip hop by Ceza, techno-dervish by Mercan Dede, Kurdish folk music by the breathtaking Aynur (no shit; I never use the term “breathtaking, but it fits her performance), Canadian folksinger Brenna MacCrimmon bringing forgotten Turkish songs of the 50’s and 60’s back to life, street musicians, and on and on. We rushed home and ordered the soundtrack as soon as we could.