Entry 0060: Last Night Made Beautiful Music Despite the Pain and Devastation

bratmobileep

EP: Throwaway / Words and Smiles Split by Bratmobile and Tiger Trap

1992 Four Letter Words FLW 0008, split

Favorite Track: Throwaway

Louis Langrée, Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, walked pensively on to the stage, his tuxedo fastidiously cleaned and pressed. The special concert was about to start. One City One Symphony is a community-wide project to unite the city and its citizens. This concert was even more important: the theme was Freedom in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment and the legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou. Three of her poems were commissioned to be set to music. This was to be a happy, peaceful evening.

But the night before, 128 people were killed with many others wounded by the senseless violence and destruction. Beirut, Yemen, and Nigeria also suffered terrible tragedies. Louis is from France.

But he did not make the night about his own personal pain and fear. He read his speech as joyous as he could muster with few clipped pauses. This was a moment of bravery that will never be spoken about. Tonight was about unity, peace, love, acceptance. It couldn’t be tainted with political and religion based murder.

The first three pieces were Maya Angelou poems set to music with a powerful voice reading. I, unfortunately, had no time to look in the brochure to discover the name of the reader and my little information hunting has not tracked it down. She, however, was wonderful: a combination of authoritative, sad, stirring, and defiant. Sitting on the third floor balcony, I had a little trouble seeing the left side of the symphony. My eyes mostly focused on Louis this time although the cellos and trumpets stole glances time and again. I wonder if I thought he would break down into tears. Part of why I like going to the symphony is because I stop thinking and just take in the music, let it fill me up, my breathing and occasional seat-twitching becoming synchronous to the rhythm of the orchestra.

During Intermission, I talked to my friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while. There was so much I wanted to talk about, word vomit spilled from my lips, but I don’t even think I heaved a fourth of everything inside my mind. The same thing happened a couple of nights ago at the closing reception of an art exhibit I curated. I had a whole story planned out and then I expressed it in the most condensed format possible as if I was afraid of boring people.

Dvorak’s Symphony no. 9, or the New World Symphony, is one of my favorites, maybe even my second favorite. I have yet to write out and rank all of my favorite classical music pieces so keep in tune with this blog. The fourth movement, of course, is my favorite with its blasting horns reminiscent of battlefields and barbarians and large oarred ships coming in to dock. I wonder how much Howard Shore was influenced by this symphony for his Lord of the Rings soundtrack. The second movement reeks of the Shire and pipeweed.

I was really impressed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. They caught the intensity of the opening and carried that revolution into the new world of the audience’s listening ears. For a moment, I gave birth to something–not the painful rendering of physical child birth, but the quasi-mythical creation of art–as a free association of images of emotions underscored the instrumentation of the orchestra. The flute as the new American wind carrying gunpowder, tobacco, charred buffalo meat, and the folk songs of the Sioux, the Nez Perce, and the Apache. The violin as the heartbreak of miscarriages, disease, war, slavery, and oppression. Whole motifs as the cycle of life and death. By the end, I was standing on my feet clapping. Louis never broke down. I believe in the power that music can heal.

If you have never been to the symphony, this is one to start with.  This Saturday, I will be attending Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet so be prepared for another review.

As far as the Bratmobile/Tiger Trap split is concerned, what a wonderful two songs. I don’t collect classical music on vinyl sadly, so this selection is kind of arbitrary, but it was a neat find at the Northside Record Fair. First, it is a one-sided record, which is really weird to look at because the back is flat and has no grooves. “Throwaway” is an early Bratmobile song, I believe on Pottymouth. Excellent bass line. The Tiger Trap song is a little more conventional but catchy. Good job ladies!

Entry 0059: The Warlock Goes to the Record Fair

wroteforluck

EP: Wrote for Luck by the Happy Mondays

1989 Elektra 0-66714

Favorite Track: Wrote for Luck (Dance Mix)

[An artist is drawing me while I write this: art creating art]

The Warlock was hung over. It was bad. His frontal lobe slide across the plate of his skull like mashed potatoes. Trying to find balance enough to stand, gross liquids sloshed around the inside of his body bag or skin or whatever kids were calling it these days. He should pass out again seeking refuge in the darkness.

But today was the Hellville Record Fair. He had to be there in fifteen minutes to get in early and, hopefully, find the last ten records he needed to complete the Ultimate Collection. This was his name for the silliest of his dreams: collecting all 750 Fall Bikini Division albums, including all fifteen color-variant editions of Grotesque Ocean. He still needed the taupe and neon black editions.

Warlock fumbled into his cape, found his staff behind the loveseat (when has he last sat on that?! when he mouth-kissed the Very Wicked Witch of Philadelphia?) and started down the war-torn road toward Hangman’s Hill, a diverse neighborhood of ghoulies and toad-lovers. The wind was fiery as ever for Wintmmer weather. Smoke drifted from the shriveling grass. A hemlock was on fire in the graveyard, the tongues licking the bottom of low-hanging charcoal clouds. Warlock gather his cape about him and sped up.

The Record Fair was held in the Hellville Town Hall of Mutilation and Torture. It was an inside joke. Everyone who lived in Hellville was mutilated and the Record Fair prices were torture. Warlock met Whiney Wizard taking money at a small brown table with promotional flyers on it.

“How are you doing, Warlock? Yet again trying to find those Fall Bikini Division albums?”

“Oh stop being a ghoulie,” Warlock paid his entrance fee.

“I’m a troll,” Whiney stamped his hand with the branding iron, “Remind me to invite you over to drink scum and look at my goat collection.”

“Maybe after the hellidays.”

There were more vendors this year including a pie-throwing booth. Pies were sacred objects in Hellville and the more thrown, the better their soulless bodies would be devoured by the worms and tombstone roaches. Warlock quickly went to his friend Dirk Deadbread. Just a disappointing collection of that A.D. fad, Gargoyle Pop. At the next booth, he spotted an original pressing of Lady Lazareth’s Space Flight of the Beetlebum but there was an inauspicious hole in the cover. Two booths later and Warlock still had found nothing.

At Bloodorb Records booth, he found a 7-inch split between Fall Bikini Division and The Chocolate Pistols. Almost an hour in, ten pickles to get in, and just one lousy record? thought Warlock bitterly. His hangover was not helping. Each brightly-colored sleeve made his eyes shut and his brain throb. Why did he decided to play the 23 wine bottle challenge last night with the Even More Wicked Witch of Carson City? Now he kind of remembered the last time his sat on his loveseat. Well, sitting isn’t the proper word, but just what is the word for being splayed half on the couch and half inside…

More vendors were piling in with crates, caskets, and weather balloons. Three girls shrieked when one of them found the picture disc of FrankenFabio. Then Warlock saw a punky skeleton of a kid walk by and almost collide with him. In his hands was the taupe version of Grotesque Moon. If Warlock was drunk and not hungover, he would have fought him on the spot. Nobody in Hellville had as many Fall Bikini Division albums as himself. Nobody even liked Fall Bikini Division but himself. Who was this stranger? An outsider? Not too many people Ion Jump to Hellville, let alone for a record fair.

“Hey you! What do you have in your hands?” a gruffy low-lipped, four-eyed bubble of plasmaorgans oozed from a metal mouth, “Are you into that hot glue shit?”

Hot glue was zombie-punk for Hotwave music. Fall Bikini Division were the pioneers of the genre. Lead singer Mark Hanna Curtis penned the term “hot glue” during the after party of their first 7-inch release when s/he disappointed a room full of groupies but not being able to open he/r pants.

Warlock approach the booth. Fourteen crates were crammed with 7-inches, 12-inches, and a couple of those comical 42-inch LaserVinyls that existed when Warlock was a Weelock. He flipped past the dull reggae-baroque hybrid bands and the Vampire Twee until the unholy grail was in his hands before his inebriated brain figured out just what he was holding.

The Neon Black edition of Grotesque Moon. One of five hundred printed. Back on Earth when that was a thing. Warlock wanted to feel more than the screaming of his brain and the dying of his organs for water. Instead he just trembled a bit.

“How much?” He hoped he had enough pickles.

“25.”

Warlock almost said it should be worth a hundred. But, for the first time of the day, his brain worked and he handed over the pickles.

As Warlock was leaving, he saw the punk skeleton again now carrying around the invisible copy of Invisible Hand Steals Your Money. Did he not buy the neon black edition? Does that mean he always owns one? Warlock was befuddled but apathetic enough to crawl back toward his bed.

He would sleep better now.

Entry 0058: The Mating Ritual of Ideas

richardhell

LP: Destiny Street by Richard Hell & the Voidoids

2001 Get Hip Recordings GH-1102

Favorite Track: Downtown at Dawn

Falstaff leapt out of the book and told me: “Take a wife and spank her twice. Once to be naughty and once to be nice.”

I shook my head at the rotund figure before me. That’s the last time I eat paprika before bed, I said to myself. Falstaff must have heard my thoughts though because his nose broke off and became a swallow climbing to the heights of clouds. The rest of him mutated into a ghast, wailing how unfair it is to die off stage.

At least I was late for my date. I made it worse by having difficulty parking my dragon. Rapid Peppermint had clockwork eyes so, some day, I may have to spring for a spanner and give myself an extra hour of sleep. The food was warm and prechewed–the restaurant’s new chef screamed rage boners while he cooked which resulted in him tasting all his food. Rapid fidgeted in her seat, alerting me to her sense of uneasiness with her thoughts.

So it has come to breaking up and death. I figured this would happen in our afterlife but maybe it would be a good thing to get it over with at the present. The sugar in my bloodstream was at an all time high. I could fertilize a whole city park the way I was feeling after Falstaff visited me. His words smelled of strong mead.

“Logic is drinkable,” I told Rapid. Suddenly, I realized that she looked like Lara Logic and I was imitating a Voidoid. No wonder she was explaining the Four Noble Truths with her abacus. Did she have a little sugar in her? Wouldn’t put it past that Falstaff to get in de foot and de count. He showed me his Tinder account right before he stepped back into the book and all Henry the VIII’s wives were smiling to the right.

Rapid said, “I think I might be married.”

Out goes the pepper water from my mouth back to the air and further back into the chef’s armpits. “I thought a pill took you every morning to stop that.”

I meant to say that as a question but it came out accusatory. Don’t blame me, I still had pepper on my tongue.

“Why don’t you get up at five every morning and crawl into that pill, get shook up, and have all your bacon fall out! You are so damned sensitive,” Rapid huffed, “I’m married and now we have to do something about it.”

Now it was she not asking questions but I was rude enough to put that behind me.

“I’d say it was your body, but you are just a dream fragment so you are really just an incredibly tiny piece of someone else’s body.”

“Are you objecting me? I’m immaterial. I’m a concept.”

“Abstractly my point.”

“You still haven’t said if you are aloof to this marriage.”

“Is it too soon to know if it is a tiger or a tomcat?”

Rapid clocked an eye, “You’ve been hanging around that Falstaff again, haven’t you? I told you he was a mice guy.”

“It can’t be too bad either way. We’ll get a lot of government crackers.”

I ordered another flask of staples. They say dreams control you life so you might as well just float in them. But I felt like fixing them in place like lily pads. Once in a while, I have to get up and walk around. Remember reality is false.

“Where are you going?” Rapid pulled me back into the seat. Our knees touched and I remembered the night three week’s ago that lead to this marriage. I hoped Falstaff wasn’t peeking from that book. I really should remove it to the bathroom.

“My apologizes. I listened to gravity again. Look marriage is like postage stamps: you licked them and you stick them and then you mail them away. We used to write each other a lot of letters. We can do this.”

Rapid picked up her fork, “I am married to an imbecile.”

But she said nothing more about it that day and nine months later, we delivered a truck. I didn’t see much of Falstaff after that, but I took his advice…

…but made all the spankings nice.