Sunday, March 23, 2008

Post Number 100

I am sitting on the deck. The sun brazenly kissing my shoulders: a lover's tongue not felt in months. Jill Scott she sings. I am eating someone else's soup. It is a Sunday that I have come to love. The waking up and reading plays. Talking of potential. Certainly to migrate to these wooden slats. Hot sun. The sky remains clear even when I take off my glasses: something perpetual. No confusion. I am perplexed by the nature of my stomach the passed few days. Perhaps the memory, residual like soap scum in the bottom of the bath, of many Easter's ago. The disbelief as "no" soaked in fibers. The emptiness of those doorways open for someone who wasn't me. But each house had that extra place set. And the David's in my life dying without asking me first. Learning to comfort myself. No one else there to lend me their sleeves on which to blow my nose. Maybe it is that. But I don't think so. There is something restless in me. Looking around corners. Looking around blank stares, and empty hallways of this country's mind. Not even sure what to think about something that sounds like a gunshot. Squealing wheels. Want instead to turn away and try to feel a different reality. Jill Scott speaks of backs and shoulders that once used to turn her on. Earlier there was a torture circus show. And a script that to this day creeps into our minds. "This is this," it says clearly and blatantly, "this is exactly this." Do we recognize it? Do we turn around? Do we change? And this butterfly movement beneath my belly button. Is it asking for a phone call that isn't there? Is it missing those shoulders, that back- those men for whom Jill Scott composes ridiculously satisfying songs- for they are all of ours as well as hers- that's why we listen so intently.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

i want jib kidder

I miss the music scene in Ann Arbor. I miss it a lot. The WCBN shows, the Halfass shows, the Totally Awesome House, Kelly Jean Caldwell, Jib Kidder, Patrick Elkins, The Ameoba Kids, Pussy Pirates, Chris Bathgate, etc, etc.

In the midst of my musical desert island where I have only a hand full of old CDs salvaged from the tool shed in Cleveland, I want to mostly to listen to music made by people I know and whose projects I can get excited about. Remember back in the day when that friend would give you that CD of that band that you hadn't heard about yet and it totally opened up all of these possibilities and it just felt so exciting? I guess it doesn't actually have to be local artists. I felt that way the first time I heard Elliott Smith or The Shins or The Notwist. It's just that the last time I felt that excited it was about these Ann Arbor projects. There seemed to be a soul in that music that echoed the feeling of finding something in common with another person. You know? Hearing a song and being like "wow, that's exactly the way I was thinking about it!" I'm not necessarily saying that "mainstream" music is shit...I don't think that at all. But, take for example the new Modest Mouse CD. It's good and all, but does it hit you the same way their music did when you first heard The Moon and Antarctica on that road trip to Chicago? Ok...well maybe it does, but it doesn't hit me that way....I just find it kind of boring. I want to listen to something that gets me excited again.

I know it's out there it's just harder to find in San Francisco when there's so much more to choose from. In the Midwest there's really only so much to do, you know? You either stay in and drink or put on your leg warmers, face the snowstorm, and go to the Blind Pig to hear Bear Mountain Picnic. And maybe, on the other side of town there was also a Slam going on, but probably not. Here there are at least a dozen of events that you could go to in a night and unless you happen to know someone who knows Kemo Sabe or Lord Loves a Working Man, you'll probably just go to see Arcade Fire again because you missed them last month when they were here but two months ago their show totally rocked. Not that having options is a bad thing. I like options. I like them a lot. Yay options! But things seem more glam here..not as gritty and personal and exciting and I'm rambling now and not making much sense. I now take my leave.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

"Loth to irk in Horne's hall hat holding the seeker stood"

I am officially half way through my trek through Ulysses. Perhaps trek is the wrong word for it has such negative implications. Rather, my time with Mr. Bloom and Dedalus is spent rather pleasantly. I coast through the vines of confused thought and language, bounce off of round metaphors and try not to get too tangled when the web of Joyce's trap closes around my ankles. Which is to say that I may not get most of what I'm reading but have been determined from the beginning to keep reading at any cost. Not to re-read or return to confusing passages only because that means I'll never finish! I have visions of me waste deep in beautiful cluttered sentences and every time I reach my hand out to grab one, it disintegrates in my hand and I spend the rest of my life never knowing what is being said around me. So...yeah. It's beautiful and great and all that stuff that everyone says and I'd like very much to talk with someone who's read it (after I've finished reading it) so they can tell me what I was missing.

I had a completely Troupe-less day yesterday which was BEAUTIFUL. How nice it is to not think about work for an entire day. On top of that I got to read The Fixer, by Joe Sacco (thank you Mollo), by the bay after my painting class. I napped. And then DanDan and I drank milkshakes (insert Daniel Plainview impersonation here) and went to see Iron and the Albatross and Two Foot Yard at Yerba Buena. Both are for sure must-sees. Iron and the Albatross made me want to make a movie just so their music could be in it. Two Foot Yard literally knocked my socks off with their haunting and yet somehow uplifting harmonies.

It's really awesome seeing women musicians kicking ass. I don't mean this in a ball-breaking feminist way. Only that almost all musicians are men. And I love music and I love men so that's great. But I also love women and feel that we must be missing out on something by not having them around us and our ears more often. Two Foot Yard was basically the case in point for me with regards to that idea. The two main women were an amazing force to be reckoned with. Gorgeous and deep, emotional, kind, insistent, and really fucking good musicians.

Now to enjoy more of the sunshine that we have in our day today.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

don't let me down

Oh San Francisco, you done it again. Sly fox of a city that you are. Just when things start to slide downward, you pick us all back up, strap us to your back and start doing some crazy shit like we're riding Falkor and the wind is pushing back our hair. (which reminds me- I wonder how those dogs are doing....still wandering the river banks in Grass Valley no doubt.)

Today was, as last Sunday was, pretty fucking good. Began with reading Commedia Dell'Arte plays (always a good way to ring in the Lord's day of rest) and ending with homemade macaroni and cheese and (hopefully) an early to bed time. In between there was:

1) moving that last of it out of the troupe ( why is there still so much crap under those cubbies?)

2) eating salad and olives and talking with Dr. X about the magic of The Sunny Sunday and all the places where we liked spending them (like most of our conversations Dr. X's locations were all in Spain and Scotland whereas mine were talking about that one bar, Dominick's, by the law quad...not nearly as magical but, hey, that's what happens when you don't live in Europe, right?)

3) running into Shikki and Char and finally meeting up in Dolores Park where....

4) ...we met up with Dan Dan and Meg and we sat around, drinking beer and whiskey, fiddling around here and there with Dan Dan's guitar (I meant it by the way when I said I want a copy of you singing that Feist song. I think Dr. X would agree.)

5) there was a competing group of guitar-wielding individuals of whom we a little bit envious because they had two or three guitars and they were singing louder than us. Then, miracle of miracles, a delegate found their way to us suggesting that we combine our musical powers and be as one. So we did. And we were. And by the time the sun had long slipped away past Hipster Hill there were tons of us sitting around the circle singing The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac and Joni Mitchel and Janis Joplin. It felt really fucking good. Not nearly as good in the re-telling but I know that the whole world understands that feeling of smiling at a stranger and knowing you're singing the same song.

The delegate kept saying how this was "the New San Francisco" which made me think about how, in general, our generation seems to feel a bit lost. A little too isolated with our i-Pods and laptops and while I'm not saying get rid of them, I'm also saying that we're too reliant on that thing that our parents were able to come up with. Constantly settling back and living off of the laurels of our countries now old and now subverted cultural revolution and feeling good closing ourselves off from the possibility of a new one. So I agree. This is the start of the New San Francisco. And hopefully the new everything. Hopefully our generation is starting to get sick of it. And let themselves be sucked into some silly music circle and see what it feels like to do something different.

ps: here's the myspace page of one of the guitar-wielding bunch. I'm all for supporting local bands...even if none of them do house shows. (but a house show please)