"Twenty years ago, the Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante sat in my sky blue Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, about ten inches away from me, and told me:
'Las canciones populares han reemplazado la poesía en este siglo.' Popular songs have taken the place of poetry in this century. He was dead serious.
I agree. And this is why I play my stereo as loudly as possible."
[an excerpt from Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire.]
I had looked forward to this concert for two months or maybe my whole life. Would I have liked them when I was younger? It's almost necessary I should be alive and listening to music now and this band be around and playing now.
In The Great's class on Wednesday he brought to our attention the album cover of Who's Next (The Who).
Yes. It is how it looks, they just peed on that monument. A large cement block in a slag heap. A monument to a destructive materialistic world and they peed on it.
In their song Won't get fooled again there's that long sequence of repetitive synthesizerness that pushes out a little too long but then is broken by a human cry.
Outside in line we had waited in a construction zone surrounded by unknown chums in long tunics, leggings, and thrift-store jackets. Girls who style their hair to look as though they've chopped it all off in chunky desperation and boys who style their hair to look as though it's never been chopped.
The first opening band came up. A boy with his synthesizer and a girl with her jazzercise. I danced. And despite the fact that I couldn't quit beaming excitement I notice her face is lined. Is she youthful? Stage make-up? No one understood a word jazzercise girl was singing. I remembered a time when I went to a local venue with a couple of boys and as we leaned against the brick inside wall we mainly watched the crowd that watched the band. A band of boys in glitter and wings, a dress and jeans, four-eyed glasses. The only thing we could make out that glitter king said was "Something bad is going to happen tonight."
What's the story behind her? Graceful dance moves. Lines on her face that don't laugh. Look at it, it's a perfect film in a box. Expressionism. Flat foundation and prettied eyes. Hair sprayed into school girl curled ponytail. A Ralph Lauren Polo sweater. Exaggerated grace.
So I've got a built in Brechtian filter from all of these classes I've been taking.
Architecture In Helsinki was almost enough to turn me into bobby-socks with a Beatles poster except that I like to dance in my own little world. I did however try to profess my love to them between sets, but as my voice is a bit whispery none of this carried the five feet over speakers and amps to the band. AIH doesn't even specifically sound superb live. The harmonious levels are much more mastered on an album. It's the spirit not the law. And I love the spirit. I love the boy in red jeans standing on tiptoe playing the trumpet.
Onion-cutting dishwasher patted me on the back today.