On Monday night (my sense of time is pretty warped these days), I schlepped down to the Bell House in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn for an Imagine Science Film Festival event. The night's program began with the results of the Dance Your Ph.D. contest. Dancing scientists, how do they work? My favorite video in this portion of the program was “Selection of a DNA aptamer for homocysteine using Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment.” This portion of the program was followed by a two-song set by Neuroscientist/Rockers The Amygdaloids, and a screening of the video for the song Mind Over Matter (featuring Rosanne Cash!), directed by Imagine Science Film Festival originator and all-around genius Dr. Alexis Gambis:
The video was followed by several shorts, my favorites being ugly/cute animated science-fantasy Skhizein, which (being filmed in black and white and dealing with a distortion of reality) reminded me of a 1920's Expressionistic film (or maybe that was the effect of a few Allagash Whites) and Fried Egg Jelly, a cute cartoon from the wonderful Creaturecast website which details the relationship of jellyfish Phacellophora camtschatica and its crustaceous symbionts.
The real revelation of the night was a performance by the instantly likeable band Balún. Formerly of San Juan, Puerto Rico, but now living in Greenpoint, the band combines lush "wall of sound" pop with traditional folk instruments and 8-bit noodling, making for a pretty (though not twee- their last song featured a full-on aural assault which tempered the sweetness of the melody) and idiosyncratic soundscape. The band is adorable- they look like they should be grading blue books, and their lead singer/multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón reminds me of an accordion-slinging, Boricua version of
Velma (I don't know whether I am pleased or terrified that there is such a thing as "Scoobypedia"):
There's a rather lengthy live video, of the band, although the sound quality is not up to snuff. As I said, they were instantly likeable, and I wish them a long, successful career.