Thursday, June 25, 2015

Seers - Quit Me

When in relationship I'm not much of a:
"What are we going to do today, dear?"
"But I've got nothing to wear!!" person.
In that regard, I'm more like my cat:

If I like you
I'll let you share my space
I'll let you do your stuff
and will go about doing mine
and then, once in a while (and sometimes in lots and lots of quite short whiles), I'll come to see how you are doing and show how am I
thus creating an opportunity for us to play.

Playing is good. I like to play.

All things considered this could qualify as quite unobtrusive relationship style
but, considering small quantity of mind readers among us,
it can also be interpreted as uninvolved
and so it often is.

Seers promo picture from Soundcloud.

About a month ago
I stumbled upon a wonderful song - Quit Me by Seers - while browsing my favorite music portal Stereofox "wares"
and I fell paralyzed by its beauty.
I played it a hundred times, immediately, on the spot,
and then I went and searched the interwebs for more detail;
I found Seers soundcloud page
but lyrics were nowhere to be found (!).
So I used Seers Facebook page reference to contact the band and ask them kindly for lyrics
since I'm a stickler for checking out if I hear them correctly
and they were so kind to provide me with them.

I intended to write about the song here but the song is so awesome
and so intimately visual
I just could not choose the words to describe this vast emotion storm it causes inside me.

Until now.

Let me usher you in.

The lights are low,
the static air, the sudden silence
tones that say it all,
a tendency to slow your breathing
before you take it in
and no-one knows 'cos no-one's noticed
but i notice it all

I love how this song is smartly designed. I love gentle, reverberating strings before it begins, exposing the setting. I love the sound of inhaling with "before you take it in" and the slight sadness in the vocal while saying "I notice it all" - like a butterfly taking off from a flower and then flying over a wonderful, terrifying yet beautiful, chasm that opens with this sudden revelation.

and when you're sleeping
i see this honesty
it says you'll quit me
says you'll go one day
and yet this feeling:
the sweet uncertainty
it's got this beauty

I love how this realization - "You'll quit me" - is spread out before us; the gradual recognition of the signs of relationship end and also recognition of uncertainty of that situation; one that does not always consist only of temporal uncertainty but frequently is also ingrained with knowledge that by changing the circumstance we change the outcomes. And that also comes with a price.

the music ends
and with it went a stolen moment
scent that lingers on,
intoxicates so unfamiliar
suddenly sparks it off
and they all know 'cos they're all watching
us dance into the smoke

I love how this part melds together the personal (private, let's say) and inescapable environmental
(public, social) and mimics the muddled picture we get while lurking into somebody's private life. It is so easy to pass judgement on somebody else's life since to all not directly involved relationship dissolutions are just scenes, like from a movie, with fake smoke and invisible = unexisting parts.

yeah when you're sleeping,
your body's honesty
it says you'll quit me
says you'll go one day
and yet this feeling
the sweet uncertainty
it's got this beauty

I love how in this last part they sing first the first chorus, the one with "i see this honesty" and then the second one: "your body's honesty" so it will not be unsaid, unacknowledged (!), where this realization comes from. And although sleeping body might seem an unreliable witness it is easy to see that this picture is just a beautiful, poetic synecdoche of a totality of quitting partner's behavior.

Sometimes we realize following a relationship that the other party has just slept right through it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rodin @ Art Pavilion in Zagreb

I do not see myself as stingy
but I’m definitely not a squanderer.
It may seem from my lavish lifestyle here on the blog that I easily part with money when tickets are in question
 - and also there’s that notion of spending on experience vs. spending on stuff -
but the narrative usually goes like this:
there is no amount too small not to ask myself: “Do you really need that?” over it.

So, there is Rodin exhibition in Art Pavilion in Zagreb.

Even though there is "NO photos" policy I sneaked one from the bag. Hence, blurred.

I enjoy seeing a nice art show
and I also enjoy sharing that experience with friends
so when I spoke about seeing the show
my friend immediately jumped on a wagon
and when she does very often this is a done deal so I always take good care NOT to lay out my plans prematurely.

But even so, when we arrived to Art pavilion last Saturday and were confronted with being able to see the entire showroom in one line of sight on one side,
and price of 50 kn (approx. 7.5$) on the other
my determination to see the show became week at the knees
and I asked myself: ”Do you really need this?”
and the answer was: "Yes, yes I do. I really do need to take this time to see this stuff in perspective and I am willing to give this dough to make it happen."

So I coughed up some minks for my ticked and we went in.

This was one extremely well thought out and presented show.
In the beginning there was this digest of information
in chronological order
but also in very layman-audience-friendly order
with not many academic references
and A LOT of real life references
putting his life and his work into perspective
thus making us empathize with the artist and see him as a fellow human being.

After reading this panel I went around and paid a short visit to all the works there
and there weren’t many
but they were chosen with care,
especially care to see the details from his biography on the wall made into metal and stone.

What I loved most:

Busts of his two lady friends
- Camille Claudel and Rose Beuret -
presented one next to the other.
It is not difficult to imagine one being attracted to same face at two different ages - all at once.

“I am beautiful” statue.
Strength, passion, attractiveness and juxtaposition of sexuality and emotion.

Balzac - nude study with protruding belly 
(Nude Study of Balzac (Type C))
This is such a wonderful piece I cannot begin to describe it.
Maybe it is best said that it was extremely hard for me not to grab this perfect, virile,
muscular yet also indulgent but cheek.
I think this nude embodies all that Rodin’s art was/still is;
a provocation at first glance but actually celebration of earthly beauty.
I can imagine the artist pondering over lunch
or some other seemingly insignificant time of daily existence
some elbow or but cheek or spine ridge
from his mind into reality.


Exhibition is open until September 20th. Go see it.

Update 25Jan2017:
Until  some new Zagreb exhibition here is one lovely link with additional resources on Rodin's bio, works and up-to-date Rodin exhibition listings. Check it out!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Withered Hand and Woodpidgeon @ Attack! 03Jun2015

My workday on Wednesday, June 3rd was truly horrible
and it ended with teleconference full of bad news and fuckups.
At 5 o’clock in the afternoon
when I was leaving for home I was spent and annoyed and my head was buzzing with cusswords.
I waited for a friend to come down since we carpool home
and I sat into my car
- it was a giant toaster white from the heat -
the sun was rich and beautiful yellow sunny side up egg in the sky
and we drove to town on the side of the street where there are no poppies to please me.

I thought; ”Even though paid in blood, finding a babysitter so I can go to Zur party tonight will be all for nothing - ‘cause there is no way I could recuperate by 9 pm to enjoy the gig.”

But we drove
and we chatted
and we laughed some
and I came home, made and ate simple but truly inspired dinner (who knew adding crushed sour cream & onion potato chips could improve mixed beans, proteins and veg salad so much!?)
and had a short nap.

When I woke up, just half an hour later, there was a cat on my chest and he was purring so much he woke me up.
We played a bit and cleaned the house some and I went for my (surprisingly early) evening run,
came home, showered and dressed and jumped back into the car.

There was blood moon hanging on the horizon.
Evening was young and promising and it smelled sweetly of linden trees and unsuspecting vice.

I love Attack! commons.
I love the air of relaxation permeating the area and  whole this squat/diy/upcycle idea the residents are living so vibrantly.
As I came in I bumped into a friend
so we hugged and we spoke and I bought ticket and a drink
(never did a beer taste so appropriate than right then)
and evening was rolling out beautifully.

Then, there was Woodpidgeon on stage:

Mark Anderew Hamilton of Woodpidgeon performing at Attack!

I have listened to Woodpidgeon's music before, but not lately (I realized fuzzily how long it has been while commenting something to a friend)
but this guy (Mark Andrew Hamilton) is so endearing and so awesome that once the gig started it all came back, even the songs that I heard for the first time.
Very unpretentious, styled more like a tourist then an indie hipster musician he was both magnificent and completely adorable.
With excellent “bedside manner” when treating his audience he came across as smart, kind, mindful and a true artist.
His comments and ideas were transparent and diplomatic
and I truly enjoyed hearing him speak just as much I enjoyed hearing him sing/perform.

He said he does not write songs about politics and he sang a song he wrote disappointed that Canada decided to bomb Syria.
He was adamant that violence is wrong and then played Death by Ninja:

"I went to Ninja school
To learn how to murder you
With just one little punch"

There was an awesome intro he told us
to get us to sing with him
and I’m sure he told the intro thousand times already
but it was so great it will not grow old even with million more repetitions.

He did some magic with various doohickeys and doodahs he had in front of him on the floor
so he was singing and making samples and playing them and all at once and right in front of us
and I was smitten and amazed
and it was completely unexpected and fresh and great (even though I’m no stranger to delaying and pedals and beatboxing).
Later on he was standing outside in the commons talking with a friend
and their body language was so honest and so revealing
there has to be a great guy in there, behind those vigilant and intelligent eyes.

Little after Woodpidgeon had finished Withered Hand took center stage…

Withered Hand at Attack!

.. And I’m of mixed emotions (and impressions) of this gig.
Maybe the expectations got the best of me.
Withered Hand’s music, at least what I heard from it on the albums, just seemed more polished to me (then Woodpidgeon’s)
and I thought it will sound different live.
And it did.
But I was untouched.

It was well presented, and the guy was appropriately styled and in good spirits, and there seems to have been a lot of his ecstatic fans there
and I too felt a fan when he said:

"We're only on tour together for second time now... but that's only because I hate leaving my house so much"

and songs sounded well…

 I remember hearing Horseshoe and it did sound great live, and I’m listening to it now writing this and it truly is a great song...
But, at the same time,
It is like a magnificent ornate dagger someone is attacking you with
and you’re so frightened blood drains out of your heart
just to realize in the end that it is a switchblade mechanism, a theater prop -
one that retracts back into the handle when pressed against something so not to draw blood.

I've listened to a couple of songs and have tried to participate
but to no avail
so I got out, back into commons, where I conversed a little and rested my sore hip
(that was inflamed for past two weeks)
and got kissed by a guy who asked me to roll him a cigarette and was utterly pleased with results.

It was an excellent evening out, unexpected and highly pleasing, and Zur collective had closed one more season with awesome gig and a party.

*This concert review also available on portal here