Friday, November 04, 2005

Understand Me, The Real Moby Dick Is In The "Extracts"

All the leaves are brown—and the sky is gray. I built a model ship and called it Jonas-In-The-Whale. It floats in the reservoir down by the train tracks. You know, I never understood why the preacher liked the cold. My fingers freeze in the wind, and the water's whiter than chalk. I must think of compelling conversation for my novel-in-writing. I think quite hard about the details of the plot. I like the name Ascher. I like the name Pandulf. It sounds like the weather, stern grim-gray weather. Or a bull-headed man in a cheap Italian movie. Dammit.

Rosé wine isn't half bad. Did I mention I like you? This week end should be good. Yes, SOx4! First time seeing them live. I like to paint watercolours. Listen, Listening and Reading will be reversed from now on.

Now, sure, I hear you, Edmonton will never be New York (I'm talking music here), it will never be Chicago or LA. We're not Vancouver yet, or Montreal, or Toronto, but, scenesters, this is definitely your city. Off the top of my head, we've got Twin Fangs, Cadence Weapon, to the teeth/to the hilt, The Wet Secrets, The Wolfnote, 7 And 7 Is, Storyboard, The Subatomics, Five O'Clock Charlie, Screwtape Lewis, The Fabulous Bee Feeders, Close Your Eyes & Think Of Cities, Shout Out Out Out Out, The Mark Birtles Project, The Vertical Struts, Dietzche V. And The Abominable Snowman, Frosted Tipz, Sara Davies, The All-Purpose Voltage Heroes, Eyes Full Of Stars, Murder City Sparrows, Souljah Fyah, The Maykings, Whitey Houston and this list is too long already. Corb Lund is in there somewhere, too. I'm claiming Corb Lund. This week end should be good, since Nik Kozub (I've heard rumours that his actual name is Dodie Rosenzweig) is returning to Edmonton for a little SOx4 action at The Plant. The headliner is Luke Doucet—did *Sixeyes have something on him?—plus The Fembots, but for me it will be Shout Out Out Out Out, with a heavy dance slash electroclash buzz that is amazing. SOx4 is like club or house, but darker w/o being industrial. There's something British in there somewhere. Outside of Cadence Weapon or maybe APVH, he's probably this city's best bet for breaking nationwide.

Listening: Certain sounds always please me. A clear roar, if that makes any sense, always works. Dense dance with building catchy riffs always beats me. Complicated lyrics and clear voices, love them. So little music I do not like. Musicians turn me off, not music. I saw this billboard plastered across some bus this morning—"Supernatural. It's like your worst nightmare . . . but with hot guys." Wait a minute. THAT IS MY WORST NIGHTMARE. See what I mean? The show could be good, but it's pushing me away when it's concentrating on the actors. Same with la musique. Taking a risk when you turn the person into the brand. I keep trying to like U2, I really do. But everytime I hear "Sunday Bloody Sunday" or "Vertigo", I see Bono' smug face, bad hair and those sunglasses. God, those sunglasses! Exclamation point! And again! But worst of all, those politics, Bone-man, those politics. I know Bono's not stupid, but why is he such an ass? Sometimes, it's better not to know. That's why God invented obscurity. A place reserved for a lot of talented musicians and people who were going to kill themselves anyway. People like Jon-Rae & The River, who, yes, I've written about elsewhere, but it's time I wrote about them/him again. See, I know just about zip about Jon-Rae, and that's okay. He might be a jerk (he sounds like he'd be an obnoxious drunk), he might be a racist, he might be that guy who slept with your wife, heck, he might even vote Liberal! But all that's good, cause I don't know it, and I can concentrate on the music. You like Okkervil River? You like the shouty parts of Wolf Parade? You like emo, but you want it in a brown-bottle, and honey mixed with the bitter? Trust me, you like Jon-Rae & The River. You know what? He used to live in Edmonton! He/they/it released a cd on Permafrost called "Old Songs For the New Town". That's a pedestrian pencil-gray title for a brilliant release. There's this one song (it's a medley, I guess), and it's for you if you're feeling hopeless, and also if you're feeling great, you wheatabix-eater! Top of the muffin to you! "Goodbye/nickle + dime/waste of time" + Jon-Rae & The River

Reading: I started reading Moby-Dick again. I haven't gotten past the "Extracts" section at the beginning. "Some say the whale can't open his mouth, but that is a fable."—isn't that the Arcade Fire motto or something?—anyway, it's a great line, just sitting there, buried in the intro to the actual novel. I don't expect anyone to actually ready Moby on my recc, but why not check out the link to the set-list before the story? Here's the reason why you should do this: the entire soundtrack to this novel, if I may say so, is listed in these opening credits. You've got character and theme and that pale ambitious monster outlined in a bunch of quotations pulled from old and new world-lit like you never knew was out there. Plus, you can say things like, "I really admire Melville's influence in modern poetry as practiced by independent musicians like Win Butler". Of course, I'll punch you if I hear you, or, more probably, sneer at you behind your back. Well, but let's face it, my sneer has lost most of it's hooded-cobra power lately, and you can pretty much disregard it. So, for curiousity, check out the "Etymology" and "Extracts" in Moby-Dick + Herman Melville

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