Friday, May 15, 2009

A Gentle Clinker

Since this blog has no essential purpose of direction, as of yet, I've decided to take my first stab at writing something on here...

I think the original idea of this whole thing was to create a sort of calendar of events for ourselves and for our friends to add to, you know, shows, art openings, all of your average "bullshit" bullshit.

The more I try to come up with ideas as to how to format or even begin to write a blog like that, the less it makes sense to me.

So, maybe we're not throwing that whole idea to the wind entirely.

Maybe I'm just not in the mood today.

In spite of all of this:

Tonight I was deeply physically and emotionally affected by a song I've heard a hundred times or more. I was completely caught off-guard by a melody I could hum on command, but by lyrics I realized I'd never really pieced together.

The song was "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel, but it wasn't the recording from the album of the same title, it was a recording from the last show the band ever played (Auckland, New Zealand, 2001).

I found it here... Neutral Milk Hotel - Final Live Show

It's almost painful to listen to this recording.

It takes place two years after Jeff Mangum went into a reclusive state after his nervous breakdown which he speaks with surprisingly frank openness about between songs of the set---the audience's still, quiet, lack of a reaction adds an air of discomfort to the whole performance... even as Mangum tries to reassure them that it's not a problem for him to talk about it, you can tell there is a new wall placed between himself and the audience that he's playing to that is not easily torn down.

I sat, reading every word of lyrics to each song in the set (mostly because I had nothing better to do) hoping to gain some perspective into Mangum's tragically disoriented mind and to decipher some words I've always missed through layers of fuzz or the distractions of my own surroundings.

It's strange what an accessory music can become--how we move about our lives with a wash of song in background--because, even including in the live setting, it's really only interacting with one of our senses. Live music is not the visual representation of the idea behind the music being played, it's only a physical appearance of it's own creator. Music with any kind of truth or profound meaning behind it can only be taken in when you allow it to enter your visual sense, as well (because we obviously can't taste, smell, or touch the music... though touch would be pretty incredible). You have to let the sound fully encompass you, turn the volume loud enough that the sound is a full envelope around your body... that's the only way to REALLY get it.

I'm not saying anything I'm sure you didn't already know, I'm just giving more perspective as to where my mind was when I heard this song.

Look at that...

Back on subject.

Might as well throw in the lyrics so you don't have to look them up yourself to follow along.

"What a beautiful face

I have found in this place

That is circling all round the sun

What a beautiful dream

That could flash on the screen

In a blink of an eye and be gone from me

Soft and sweet

Let me hold it close and keep it here with me, me

And one day we will die

And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea

But for now we are young

Let us lay in the sun

And count every beautiful thing we can see

Love to be

In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me, me

What a curious life we have found here tonight

There is music that sounds from the street

There are lights in the clouds

Anne's ghost all around

Hear her voice as it's rolling and ringing through me

Soft and sweet

How the notes all bend and reach above the trees, trees

Now how I remember you

How I would push my fingers through

Your mouth to make those muscles move

That made your voice so smooth and sweet

Now we keep where we don't know

All secrets sleep in winters clothes

With one you loved so long ago

Now he don't even know his name

What a beautiful face

I have found in this place

That is circling all round' the sun

And when we meet on a cloud

I'll be laughing out loud

I'll be laughing with everyone I see

Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all"

The finite life we live is so perfectly illustrated in these words.

It's like someone else's dream. 

It's here and it's gone.

It's full of these tiny significant insignificances, these little moments that become fractured pieces of memory getting smaller and more distant with each day we grow older and farther away from them.

It's beautiful, tragic, and terrifying all at once.

I would go on, but I'm just assuming no one read this far.

Expect more existential ramblings in the near future.

I'll try to keep them all tied in with some medium of entertainment as to avoid just soap-boxing the endless array of unanswerable questions that life presents me...