matociquala: (ace the wonder dog)
I am a sucker for the "Love song to my dog" subgenre of popular music.

Let me play you a few...

Norah Jones: Man of the Hour


Led Zeppelin: Bron-Y-Aur Stomp


Jane Siberry: Everything Reminds Me of My Dog


And for balanced representation, a Jethro Tull song about one of Ian Anderson's (many) cats...
The Mouse Police Never Sleeps


Ain't no companion like a blue-eyed merle.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take my best friend for a walk...
matociquala: (bad girls marlene make my day)
So, I'm reasonably confident that the Police's "Every Breath You Take" is a savvy enough song to know just how deeply sophipathological it is. I'm pretty confident about Blondie's "One Way Or Another." (Still amuses me that the first couple of seasons of Farscape use a modified but identifiable version of the riff in the theme. Because yeah.) 

And I know Sarah McLachlan's "Possession" does, because she wrote it that way on purpose.

I'm willing to give unreliable narrators a lot of benefit of the doubt, and people in art do not exist to be role models.

Dido's "White Flag," on the other hand...

I'm pretty sure this song does not know how fucked up it is. I'm just saying. And I'm pretty sure the object of the song needs a restraining order.



...It is pretty, though.
matociquala: (lion in winter broken because you're bri)
This is the song that the title of the previous post came from, since several people were intrigued.

Her voice has elements of Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega to my ear.

Antje Duvekot, "Phoenix," two versions:





I am your daughter carved out of your stone
I'm the seed that you dropped I'm the marrow of your bone
and I am the one who asked no questions
Designed to love you unconditional

I sprouted my shoots and I waited for your hands
and I laid down my roots but the summer came and went
and I looked to the sun, longed to feel your touch
But you knew nothing of unconditional love

And I rose up like a phoenix rose up from your ash
You just turned your back and I'll never understand
Though I had no armor you just let me go
Into the night to battle with your ghosts

If I could go back there I'd be my own angel
She won't buy you a mockingbird, she's incapable
So hush little baby and close your tired eyes
There are no answers so hush now hushabye

And I rose up like a phoenix rose up from your ash
You just turned your back and I'll never understand
Though I had no armor you just let me go
Into the night to battle with your ghosts

So I gathered up my sorrows and I took them on my tongue
and sang them 'til the morning When the sun came in so strong
I sang them 'til the daybreak and that's how I became strong
matociquala: (bad girls  mae west)


What is this, 1964? (I looked it up: 1997. Just very intentionally retro.)

It has fucking breakdancing, people.

And Dame Shirley Bassey.

Listen to it.
matociquala: (criminal minds jj and prentiss shirt)


In honor of Valentine's Day, Vienna Teng's song "City Hall," the action of which happens to take place on one certain February 14th.

Worth your time, even if you hate the holiday.
matociquala: (can't sleep books will eat me)
I just got my contributor's copy of Digital Rapture, which reprints my story "The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe."



Isn't it pretty? It's edited by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly, and the ToC is kind of amazing--stories of the singularity ranging from Frederik Pohl's "Day Million" to "The Server and the Dragon" by Hannu Rajaniemi.

So I'm a little goggle-eyed over the awesome.

But I also wanted to bring you a Gregory Alan Isakov song I like, because of reasons.



There. Don't you feel better now?
matociquala: (phil ochs troubador)
This is where I was last night:





Patrick Watson was there too and likewise awesome, but youtube fails me.
matociquala: (phil ochs troubador)
via Fran Wilde:

matociquala: (criminal minds reid bitchy)
Last night, took a break from packing to jaunt up to Northampton and see Mr. Andrew Bird performing with Martin Dosh. It was, as usual, a very good time. And Bird told a funny story about working on the new Muppet Movie that I am way to frazzled to recollect sufficiently to relate back to you. But it involved Kermit in a Hugh Hefner mansion in Malibu, in his retirement, wandering around in his bathrobe.

Bird's concerts are the perfect storm of gentle nerdiness--and sometimes he'll stop himself in the middle of a song--"wait!"--and try something different, or correct an error, which gives the whole proceedings a general air of sitting around in the living room noodling with nerdy musical friends.

Also, his lyrics are brilliant. He's prone to weird curious articulate impressionistic little songs about toxic relationships considered through a convoluted metaphor (the Singularity, a mah-jong game, the Enigma machine) or about neurology and/or existential despair ("A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left" is the only song of which I am aware about tardive dyskinesia; "Imitosis" is about... well, how science proves that you can never actually know anything or anyone, including yourself.)

There was a lot of new material, including a followup/self-response to "The Naming of Things" entitled "Lazy Projector," which concerns itself with the selective nature of memory. I think I love it.



I've learned that I'm kind of sad that I'm going to be at WFC for Halloween. The new house is on the town green, and apparently the town buses in school kids from all over the district to trick or treat the neighborhood.

The turnout is so big that the town gives away supplemental candy to neighborhood homes to help meet demand.

Oh man.

Tomorrow is move day. I am strung out, overwhelmed, and exhausted, and please don't ask me to make any decisions about anything for the next month.

Now I have to go pack the dishes. Once I eat some protein. Breakfast tomorrow will be had in a cafe, oh yes.
matociquala: (rengeek fucking silence)
Another thousand words on Shattered Pillars today, despite personal obligations involving my best friend and his birthday cake. Not a banner day for The Discipline, but it could, quite frankly, have been a lot worse.

I now have a tenth of a book, at a projected/contracted 500 pages/120K, as I am halfway down page 52. Actual, palpable progress. I have also broken 10,000 MicroSoft words. Which are not quite like real words.

Tomorrow, more work.

Right now, via [livejournal.com profile] kafkonia, a newish She Wants Revenge video, which is--after the nature of She Wants Revenge--both curiously derivative of 80's gothy alt music (Joy Division, Bauhaus, Peter Murphy &c.) and also uncannily sexy and even more uncannily creepy.



I noticed that the Male Gaze in this one was probably a serial killer around the fifty second mark, personally....
matociquala: (phil ochs troubador)


Good morning, Internets!

Time to go run around the town.

And once I was eleven
And once I was just atoms
And once I was a hilltop in Rome...
matociquala: (david bowie black tie - sosostris2012)



For a while, I have been of the opinion that this is the official theme song for thems as is Right On The Internet.

Today, it also occurs to me that it's the official theme song for all that shit the bad brain chemicals want to tell you.

Sing it, sister.
matociquala: (david bowie black tie - sosostris2012)



For a while, I have been of the opinion that this is the official theme song for thems as is Right On The Internet.

Today, it also occurs to me that it's the official theme song for all that shit the bad brain chemicals want to tell you.

Sing it, sister.
matociquala: (0.o)


Pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?
matociquala: (criminal minds garcia the love)
This requires some backstory.

When [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange and I arrived in Stockholm, almost the first thing we spotted was a concert poster for Gogol Bordello--appearing that night at 8 at Stockholm's amusement park on Scansen. It was about 7 pm when we realized we could try to go--but what with running around finding an ATM, figuring out the transit system, the fact that we hadn't eaten anything, etc--well, we decided to go out for pizza instead.

And before we got here, Amanda discovered that System of a Down was playing in Sweden last Friday. Unfortunately, all the way across the country. And during the con. So that didn't work out either.

Ah, but then yesterday she spotted a poster for Flogging Molly at the same amusement park. And by now, we've got the transit system figured out. And I had 500 kroner left, which was about enough to cover the tickets and ice cream. And needed to be spent anyway, right?

So we decided we'd go get some dinner at that pub we found and adored yesterday, and then go see Flogging Molly, by dog.

Except as we were walking across the bridge from the T station to the pub (Stockholm is a series of islands in the Baltic Sea) we noticed that the inlet below us was getting choppy in the wind. And no sooner had we descended into the depths of JT's when the bartender (her name is Mia, and she's amazing, and has fantastic taste in music, by the way--today's selection was a mix of Great Guitar Solos Since 1950-ish including Dire Straits, Chuck Berry, Jethro Tull, lots of Hendrix, and early Deep Purple) came running over and said, "You have to come up the stairs and look at this storm!"

Reader, there was lightning and thunder. And hail. And when I say thunder, we could hear it in the vault with the music cranked.

I should mention here that [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange has a music travel curse. Any time she's traveling and discovers a desirable concert where she will be, something will happen to keep her away from the concert. I have seen this happen with Das Ich in New York.

Well, we decided we'd check again after dinner, and if it looked like it might let up, we'd go to the concert. And if not, we'd have another beer.

But an hour and a half and some elk burgers later it was lovely out, so we settled up and got back on the T.

Of course, we had scarcely bought our tickets and our ice cream and found the stage when another storm blew in and it started to rain again.

Reader, our raincoats are packed. Our flight is at 8 am tomorrow.

We got wet. Really wet. At least there was no hail this time.

And then the band came on, and Dave King gave a brief pogoing lesson for the newbies on the ground (the crowd was tight. I think it was a safety precaution.) and there was music, and we were wet, and it was loud and good, and the storm blew over, and the sun came out, and a fucking gorgeous seven-band rainbow filled up the sky, and there were crowdsurfers and drunken assholes and lots of happy goths and punks and singing and fist waving and bouncing in place, and even a mosh pit, though mostly not near us. And Swedish music fans are adorable and still do the rock and roll horns unironically.

Hail:
2011 06 21 Stockholm and Flogging Molly 007

Ice cream:
2011 06 21 Stockholm and Flogging Molly 034

Wet fans are wet:
2011 06 21 Stockholm and Flogging Molly 041

Crowdsurfer:
2011 06 21 Stockholm and Flogging Molly 077

Adorable Celtic punk band:

2011 06 21 Stockholm and Flogging Molly 070 2011 06 21 Stockholm and Flogging Molly 068

View from a pogo:
2011 06 21 Stockholm and Flogging Molly 057

And so the curse was lifted:

2011 06 21 Stockholm and Flogging Molly 051

Alas, they're Danskos, not Pogos, and boy my feet hurt. I wish I'd been wearing my Docs, but they're packed, and no power on earth can make me unzip that suitcase until I am at home.

Good night, Stockholm, on the night when you have no night. Thanks for everything: you are a beautiful and generous city, full of amazing things.

2011 06 21 Stockholm and Flogging Molly 088
matociquala: (new england bare trees winter manchester)
This never stops cracking my shit up:

matociquala: (spies avengers steed and peel needed)
I went to church tonight.

This is not a usual occupation for me, but this was a special occasion. You see, Pete Seeger was being appreciated at the Cross Street AME Zion Church in Middletown, and it seemed like a good thing to do.

Some of you have probably figured out that Pete holds a special place in my heart. The title of "Gone to Flowers" is a clue, after all. The first concert I ever attended was Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie at Tanglewood, and I have very vague memories of it, but apparently I was captivated. (I was... probably three years old?)

Anyway, Pete is 91 now. He performed a few songs, and told a few stories (I say "performed:" he led the sing-along), and more of his songs/songs he popularized were performed by various choirs. My favorite was "Guantanamara" as performed by Connecticut's Only Mariachi Band, Fiesta del Norte, which included possibly the world's only mariachi alto sax, as played by young Ivan Hernandez.

Pete Seeger is a personal hero of mine: he seems to have developed a reputation as Mostly Harmless in his old age, but this is a man who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, who was sentenced to ten years in jail for refusing to testify before Congress, and who was once stoned for daring to appear in concert with Paul Robeson. He's an environmentalist, a human rights activist, and a goddamned commie.

I'd say he's a living legend and a national treasure, but that would be damning with faint praise.

Pete Seeger is a human treasure.

He also has the gift of being able to give strength to others.

I haven't been feeling so great lately, honestly. It's been a bad few years in some ways, and a bad couple of days, and I've been feeling like I do more harm than good. Not for lack of trying, maybe, but because the problem with the real Omelas is that you can't walk away from it. It's everywhere: it's no so easy to avoid.

And let's face it: the last decade or so has not been real encouraging.

But Pete made me feel like not just as if I shouldn't quit trying, but as if it were actually worthwhile to keep up the fight.

I drove home in the blowing rain, listening to Matt Nathanson and trying not to cry so hard I couldn't keep driving.

Sometimes you need to be in a room with somebody who actually has changed the world more with a song than most people could with an army to be reminded that it is important to keep trying. It is important to keep trying.

The work is not upon us to complete, but that isn't exactly a goddamned excuse, now is it?

Oh here, Pete says it better:



matociquala: (spies i spy ispy)
"Frontmen had big egos and was always crazy and aggravating. I just never thought that was a good idea."

Dr. John profiled on NPR. Worth waiting for the audio, if it's not up yet.

Teacup today: green tapestry-lookin' one.
Tea today: Upton's Russian Caravan.

Daily Commute March 9 2011 004  Daily Commute March 9 2011 003

Off to practice those barre chords.
matociquala: (spies mfu geekier than the average spy)
Happy Carl Sagan's Birthday (Observed), everybody.



Is it silly that that makes me a little weepy?

So far today I have cleaned the entire house, made cheesecake brownies ([livejournal.com profile] standuponit's recipe), grocery shopped, mulled some apple cider, and fed the robot so it will make me bread.

Now I'm going to go watch some TV and try to write a scene of "Uniform." This evening, I'll have friends and relatives around for a post-Halloween, post-Guy-Fawkes day, Carl Sagan's Birthday (observed) party, and then tomorrow I have a jukido event (my new motto: "Don't ask me. I'm a white belt.") so if things are quiet around here, well. Regular service will resume on Monday, I guess.

If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.
matociquala: (david bowie realism _ truepenny)
So I was reading this *. And listening to Radio Paradise. Which, just as I was finishing, kicked up this. Creepy and synchronistic, yes. Perhaps even serendipitous.

I gotta say, suddenly I like Mick Jagger a bunch more than I ever did before.

"It is not correspondingly apprehended that he replaced the heroin comprehensively with liquor."

Damn, that's a fine and arresting sentence. That's craft. Even if it's Bill Wyman (no, the other one) impersonating Mick Jagger.

And I know just what he means, in the end, about the terror that your best work is behind you. If ever an artist didn't suffer from that one, I never heard from 'em--unless that artist suffers from the fear that she will never create anything marvellous, and never has.

Some of us get both. And the angst is not lessened at all by the understanding that this driving force in our lives is essentially ephemeral and probably of as much lasting impact as a hot fudge sundae. But then, maybe I'm wrong. Because art is not just a first world problem. Art is not something that stops when you don't have enough to eat. (I've been there.)

Art may in some ways be a primary function of the human psyche. And that, right there--if anything comes close to making me believe in the divine, the immanent, the ineffable--that would be it. That people who have been dead for a thousand years still have the power to offer us, today, comfort and insight and grace. That humans on the other side of the world have the power to reach out and explain themselves to anyone who will pause and listen.

That's kind of something. If anything is anything at all.


*via [livejournal.com profile] rezendi's twitter feed

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