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New York City: > Art?

Can you guess which writer of this blog is subject to rather unpleasant mood swings at any given moment?

If you said me, you're correct!

I pulled the last post because it bored me, because sometimes I bore myself, because I Love Music bores me with their endless wheezing about when Pazz & Jop is going to go up so they can respond by posting even more hilarious gifs and cross-referencing past-dated debates about M.I.A. and slagging people who are optimistic about the world.

Anyway, I felt buried last night until I finally decided to see Deerhoof, who grows in my mind with each encounter. A reputable lover of the band gave me some playful criticism earlier that day: "ha i can't believe you go to these shows if you hate the band so much." It's not that I hate The Runners Four, it's that I reached a point where I wasn't really getting it and lost interest in figuring it out. Still, something got me up off the couch to see the show, and night's end, I was glad I had. I especially enjoyed Martha Colburn's films, so much so that I went home and wrote an email to her over her website before actually taking my shoes off. Like Deerhoof, I'd rather meet them halfway than risk them losing something coming over to me, a sentiment the crowd apparently didn't share. Muse on downsides of popularity. Lament the embarrassment of idiocy. Shut up.

Colburn's films, in their best moments, did what the band's music can do to me: rub this weird spot at the base of my skull where insurmountable fear gathers with memories of childhood reflections on sex and death (I sought help as a kid; it didn't help). Saying things are "uncanny" seems like a tired trope, but I think it's in part because either A) so many people are reluctant to even face the shades of those emotions or B) nobody knows how to talk about them because it's difficult to do it without sounding like an ass. Suffice it to say that seeing "Mexuality," a handpainted series of lucha libre wrestlers growing breasts and lactating, animated cocks springing forth from between photographs of female legs, and pinups turning into skeletons activated the same fluidity of feeling and conceptualization that doesn't reflect the wonder of fantasy so much as the frightening aspects of it - when you don't know any better, the shadows of your understanding are more easily filled by fear than comfort. Deerhoof are excellent performers; while I actually liked the material from The Runners Four more last night than I ever have on record, I couldn't help but get the feeling that the band had somehow turned 2D while I was inhaling. "The Last Trumpeter Swan," the 8-minute dirge on Reveille, was the best thing I heard all night, because I got so lost that I hardly noticed the girls brushing past me to get some air during what I guess was "the boring part." The tech guys couldn't figure out how to light them during the song - it's not obvious - everything turned that great crepuscular blue; at the height of noise, I didn't know what I heard, really. Couldn't shut my mouth, hold a thought.


Blogger Brad said...

In theory, though, wouldn't the Pazz and Jop >>>>>>> New Pantheon?

I thought I was watching a Deerhoof video last night, but it turned out to be the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I saw the D a couple summers ago, and they were half out-their-ass rock-dogma wankery, and half freak-out powerhouse. The drummer's seat was, like, two inches above the ground.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Mike Powell said...

Brad, you've been angry lately, and while you wear it well, I think you need some of "the spirit." Come around, I'll show you.

Reading Pazz & Jop was nice because finally, everything was comforting and predictable, so I could focus on the writing - not what was being written about - for the first time in a while.

New Pantheon will be a gas (probably a poisonous one).

8:20 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

I thought Pazz & Jop were just listings?

8:50 PM  
Blogger Mike Powell said...

You really are Canadian, aren't you.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

It's because I left the Stylus boards to spend two hours looking at the differing ideologies within the pro-choice movement. And looking at tarot cards.

The spirit would do me good.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

I really am. We have no truck with your heathen "polls".

11:39 AM  

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