I really like Darnielle's quote, as transcribed by Carl, about Get Lonely: "A lot of people are calling it a 'breakup' album. Well, I guess you could say that, but what some of the people in these songs are breaking up with is Almighty God. Or their own DNA." Boy howdy, is it ever; I'll tell you this -- I've had a lot of trouble listening to Get Lonely. The spackle on the new, improved version of myself that I've been building for the past few years isn't dry yet. I still might crack under the pressure. Or, to quote The Format: "When I said, 'I hate what i've become,' I lied, I hated who I was..." Yeah, I've made some big changes.
I did spend one night sprawled on the floor listening to it a few times -- the intimate immediacy of the songs burrowing into the dark corners that I've been hiding from everyone. It's problematic, I don't know what to do with those feelings, other than to hold them up and examine them and hopefully find comfort in someone or something that's not self-destructive. Needless to say, I'm a little panicked about the live experience of the record -- I am the girl, after all, who had to go hyperventilate in the bathroom after the last time I saw Xiu Xiu. Sometimes a really fucking good show renders me an open, gaping wound of confused emotions. You know how it is. Yeah?
I am not one for a large amount of self-reflection, but it's been weighing on me heavily since that night that I've been single for over a year. (Sorry if you've heard this story before...) In August 2005, I trashed and burned a relationship of nearly four years that was extremely serious, except for the fact that I was so emotionally detatched from my boyfriend that it was like I wasn't really there. You know, that kind of serious. People under the age of like 22, or who've never stayed in a relationship about 3 and a half years (or more) past its expiration date won't know what I mean by this -- but maybe the rest of you will. It's been weird, being a single girl again -- I haven't been on a date, but I'm not really the dating type. I've hit on a few people, with mixed results, and vice versa. But what it comes down to is that I've been distinctly, pointedly unavailable in the romance arena for the past year. And the past year has been all about me, and working things out for myself. And really, the process is hardly over. In fact, I suppose this is just the tip of the iceburg, because I can only just now talk about some of this stuff. (I'm kind of weird and reticent like a dude in that regard...) I can only hope that I continue to grow and change and learn more amazing things about myself for the rest of my life at the same rate that I have since I moved out of the evil apartment of doom I shared with my boyfriend and into my airy little retreat that's mine alone. That, my friends, is a lifestyle choice worth making.
And I don't even really think I'm looking to get in a relationship anytime soon, but I'm starting to warm up to the idea -- whereas in the winter and spring and most of the summer, I absolutely dreaded the thought. And for some reason, I've been hooked on listening to these songs lately. Perhaps as a primer of what to long for, and what to avoid.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Modern Romance
TV on the Radio -- Modern Romance
Bloc Party -- This Modern Love
Last night I stopped in at Half-Price to shed some excess material goods, and managed to come out with a bunch of records and a few books. The prizes were two out-of-print Christina Stead titles and some amazing albums, including Deaf School's English Boys, Working Girls. Googling around, I found out a lot about the band in this article about Suggs (the lead singer of Madness), as he married Deaf School singer Bette Bright.
One of my other interesting finds was an EP (After Hours) from a band called Velveteen, which was basically Sal Maida (who played bass for Sparks and Roxy Music in the late 70's) and Lisa Burns and a bunch of session musicians. It's a perfect, danceable little New Wave gem in kind of in vein of Rachel Sweet and The Pretenders, but a little darker. I had no idea what the album would sound like when I picked it up, but the visual cues and the copyright date gave me a pretty good idea. I'm glad it was a good find; Sal currently plays bass for Cracker, and Lisa has a solo album and they have a band called New Randy, a bizzare, rootsy country project. Talk about longevity!
(Oddly enough, before I did all this research, I described Deaf School to Pinkie as sounding like the perfect cross between Roxy Music and Sparks -- very 1978. What a weird coincidence.)
That's all from here for now. Come see A Featherweight Burden and The Black tomorrow night at Mohawk ($5); Pompeii (not as previously noted, Cue -- that would be kind of impossible with Colin playing in his other band!) play Trophy's, M. Ward is at the Parish with Portastatic, and Dr. Octagon is in the Emo's Lounge. We might pop by the Cinema Texas shidig tonight, also at Mohawk: Yellow Fever, Best Fwends and Cry Blood Apache play; Ramesh and Chris man the turntables. The Gossip, Mika Miko, and Swan Island play Emo's; Rogue Wave are also in town @ the Parish. Though, damn, wish I was in NYC so I could see Flin Flon, The Ballet, and Puddin' Tang at the Cake Shop tonight. The past pedigree of those bands alone makes my head spin.
Flashback: One year ago, Tulsa. Cain's Ballroom, possibly the best rock show of the year, and a surprise at the hotel elevators. (Bedhead is way cute and is surprisingly indicative of real humanity.) Cat-calling over ripping guitar solos. PBRs in an empty bar and 4:20 Pizza delivered to the room and impossibly distinguished night auditors and hot Okies in eyeliner. It was a good night, and believe me when I tell you we looked fiiiiine.