Thursday, August 17, 2006

Aye, There's The Rubdown

The Wolf Parade show was a bust. Do you think that "bust" is a positive? Let's ignore the obvious one there, please. I'm thinking of To The Moon Or. And Monday night's show at The Starlite didn't go near the White Lady. In fact, you would have thought there was a lunar eclipse. Listen, it was a great set, the sound was good, all the right notes, chords, strings, golden striking of golden guitars. Doors opened at eight. We were there at nine. Carey Mercer's band opened pretty much at eleven. And the Parade didn't hit the stage until midnight. What? Was this a New Year's show? This is not some big stadium concert here, this isn't a once-in-a-lifetime set, what is the fricking deal? Godsake, it was a Monday night! Get on the stage already! Let me put it this way: between the time the doors opened and the first band went on, I could have gone to dinner and watched a movie. Between the doors and Wolf Parade, I could have eaten dinner, watched a movie, gone bowling and STILL been back in time to watch the Parade set up. The music was great, but the show bit it big. Big big bitingness. I've got no use for you, bad show.

"Click Click Click Click" + Bishop Allen We all know the deal by now. One a month, right? To me, however, there was nothing coming close to their earlier efforts. Not in terms of matching up music and words. "Little Black Ache" is something else, after all, perfection of harmony and earnestness. "Things Are What You Make Of Them" still remains my favourite, but barely, barely, because "Click" in the same room as "Things" is like your two best friends at the table having two different conversations and you don't know who to pay attention to the most. Right now, I'm paying more attention to the newest friend.

The rest of the band cutting in at 1:04 is what makes this song, but 1:38 is just beautiful, too, like opening a dark cuboard, warm. Oh, 2:18, did you think I had forgotten you, no, you're the best—no, not the best, but equally elegant. This song deserves to be heard everywhere.

Foucault's Pendulum + Umberto Eco Posit: I read Eco's The Name Of The Rose. Exposit: I own a Penguin softcover of Eco's The Island Of The Day Before and a hardcover copy of his Foucault's Pendulum. Conclusion: Because I own copies of Island and Foucault, I refuse to buy Eco's Baudolino or The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana

Umberto Eco's passion for creating lists, if hindsight is anything to go by (and if not, what is?) was pretty much beaten into a corner by the powerful pyramidical plot structure of his first novel, The Name Of The Rose. Everything in that novel, and there is a LOT, is directed toward the conclusion of the story. Rightfully so, since the story is a mystery, unabashedly of the detective genre. I mean, the investigating monk is called William of Baskerville, for crying out loud. Eco not only pays his literary debts, he revels in the paying. But he revels in lists even more. And not one of Eco's novels, not since Rose, has had the neccessary structure to smooth down his hydra-headed digressions. I am on page 291 of Foucault's Pendulum, and I am bored stiff. Nothing has happened. The narrator, in a musuem which houses the titular subject, is recalling how he arrived in his hiding place. He's written a dissertation on the Knights Templar, apparently graduated from university, gone to Brazil and encountered voodoo, and is back in Italy working for a publishing house which wishes to start up a line of books pandering to an audience interested in the occult and conspiracies. Two hundred and ninety-one pages of interminable itemization of the occult and quasi-occult, but where is the plot? This book is the worst, Jerry, simply the worst.

No comments: