January 17, 2007

NOTES ON A SANDAL

I had plans for this morning, yoga class to counterbalance the krispy kreme class I have been regularly attending, but every time Matt tried to wake me up, I told him I would not be going, as I had had bad dreams all night. Once I woke up I explained: I had to re-sleep to cleanse my brain-palate. I had had a terrible dream involving a realtor and accidentally returning my own car to Hertz, and keeping the rental and there was no way I could just get up from that and throw myself into activity.

Last night, I went to see Nora play drums with Bird Names; they opened for Joe Lally solo. Bird Names has a totally different line up everytime I see them, but always sounds the same somehow; fardled proto-punk. V. 1976--pre punk congealing, where all wrongs made great rights. Imagine the Urinals with all the falling apart and sparkle of Sung Tongs. Joe Lally played after and his songs all sound like the song he does on End Hits, if you take out the punch of the chorus. It is hard to watch him lope and improvise with his backing band, with it's trombone and the whole band watching him for cues between strangling delicate notes--because you know him through Fugazi; and once you go Fugazi, it's hard to go back. Nora and Mr. Lally got to talking before the show and she mentioned it was her first time ever playing music on stage (she's a natural with the drums, you'd never know) and he gave her some tips and advice, and also told her that playing on his own, and not playing with Fugazi is like being in a plane crash where he's stranded on a desert island, and he's maimed, but still alive, but only has like, three fingers and his bass intact. I'm not paraphrasing. That's how he put it. And you think it's a bummer that he's not playing in Fugazi?! Anyhow, he started the set with an acapella: "Why do we call it war / when what we mean is "rape and murder"" went the first line. I liked that Mr. Lally just got up there and was all Al-Jazeera-in-yo-face. Of course he did--such is the way of the DC punk.

And more on this later, elsewhere, but: Rob Sheffield's book Love Is A Mixtape is the only book I have read other than the Bangs' anthology and Ellen Willis' Beginning To See The Light, that really gets it right about what life is like when you found your house-of-faith on the bedrock of a record collection; that it is through records and songs that you can understand the world and half-stand to be in it. The book is about other things by way of that, and as SFJ pointed out the day, akin to Didion's latest, topically, but is deeply un-Didion because it has messy feelings and great jokes. Worth the full hardcover price.

Posted by Jessica at January 17, 2007 11:33 AM | TrackBack