Morning songsI spent about two and a half hours this morning listening to birdsong while watching the shadows of clouds pass over my neighbors' yards.
This was the best investment of time I have made all week.
posted by Arlene (Beth)11:08 AM
Friday, June 12, 2009
Not quite silver liningThe heavy overcast of recent days isn't all bad. On the way home from picking up my new glasses Thursday night, I looked down Sloat toward the Farallones, which were beautifully back lit. The sea was teal-gray, the sky was dark gray, and the long, thin rectangle of sky was a warm, baby-aspirin orange. It positively glowed.
I almost shook the girl beside me to make her look.
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sub-mothra class space floraSpring in the day, winter in the night...
[mural detail from Cunningham Place, off Valencia, in San Francisco]
I've been the worst fair-weather cyclist lately. I fantasize about biking, but ever since that hail storm on the Tierra Bella years ago, I just haven't had much enthusiasm for inclement weather. Even though the hail made INCREDIBLE sounds on my helmet. (It didn't make up for the STING of hail.) I know we need the rain. I know I need to bike. I just don't think of these ideas as compatible at the moment.
I posted a few photos of details of fuzzy protea up at Facebook (no login required). Just a few. They are from the UC Santa Cruz Botanical Garden, which is spectacular. I could spend many weeks of my life filling all of my memory cards and shooting very fine grain film there... The collections from South Africa and Australia are impressive. I am saving New Zealand for next time.
Now is a great time there for the 'smaller' (sub-mothra class) protea (some of the larger ones have already bloomed out) and banksia.
Closer to home, it is clear that the seasons are changing. The pink plum blossoms came and went; the cherry blossoms are out in force, and the white plums are barely making an appearance before they are hidden by fresh green leaves... My habits remain thrown off from recent life changes, as I haven't documented any signs of spring's arrival photographically. Not even CAMELLIAS. And you know how I am about camellias.
Gestalt Haus (my favorite cafe turned into my next favorite cafe turned into a German bar featuring beer I actually like and VEGAN sausages) removed most of the bike racks. I don't know what that is about. The weissbier is still perfect, however.
I caught a good show last week at Cafe du Nord (cafedunord.com). It featured the Catholic Comb, Gliss, and the Prids (all three on myspace.com). While there isn't much point in YOU, dear reader, having a myspace page, it certainly is a handy place for a band to have a page, as music is one of the few forms of content that is effectively being facilitated... I pre-screened all three bands through CdN's links, which sold me on the show.
The show was really enjoyable: the audience was enthusiastic (there was even relatively gentle MOSHING during the Prids' set), and the music was... Well, now that I'm ancient, I'm catching more and more nuances of earlier sounds, of bands from the early 80s, influences I wouldn't necessarily expect in bands with members who weren't alive in the early 1980s. Each band had different early 80s influences, but they were certainly there. New music with old sounds. (All sounds are old, in some ways...)
In William Gibson's book Spook Country, the heroine had once been in a cult band, and is surprised in her fictional now at the increasingly atemporal nature of music consumption, of how people who were too young to have heard her band when they were touring initially are being introduced to her band so long after they folded, of how she was picking up new fans years later... Perhaps some of the sounds I enjoyed in the pre-digital age are finding their ways into young, musical ears and out through their shiny new amps.
I don't write about music often, so I'll just say that I will listen to all three of these bands again, and I hope to see them again live. Their sounds were like nostalgia, without the tedium of actual nostalgia.
This is an endorsement. No, really. I'm listening to Gliss as I type this. Though any and all incoherence is solely my own.
I've already come up with 13 more bands that I've seen live that belong on my 'bands I've seen live list,' and am hoping to have a few more revelations. Especially about who opened at some of those Sleater Kinney shows (other than Quasi and the Quails, and the A-- Set, who dawdled forever and thus earned my loathing), and for Elliot Smith.
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:24 PM