Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Happiness, for once, has come unearned. Without disease, without lies, without a plan. It feels like a miracle, and it is purer than anything I’ve ever felt. Sorrow binds — at once lending more compassion than can be explained and more passion than is fathomable. It is measured in sighs and weighted in reciprocity.
"You could still be,
what you want to,
What you said you were,
when I met you."
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Monday, August 12, 2013
"[I]t is the haunted premises of longing that the true love song inhabits. It is a howl in the void, for Love and for comfort… It is the cry of one chained to the earth, to the ordinary and to the mundane, craving flight; a flight into inspiration and imagination and divinity...
The love song is a sad song; it is the sound of sorrow itself. We all experience within us what the Portugese call Suadade, which translates as an inexplicable sense of longing, an unnamed and enigmatic yearning of the soul…
In his brilliant lecture entitled “The Theory and Function of Duende” Frederico Garcia Lorca attempts to shed some light on the eerie and inexplicable sadness that lives in the heart of certain works of art. “All that has dark sound has duende”, he says, “that mysterious power that everyone feels but no philosopher can explain.” In contemporary rock music, the area in which I operate, music seems less inclined to have its soul, restless and quivering, the sadness that Lorca talks about. Excitement, often; anger, sometimes: but true sadness, rarely. Bob Dylan has always had it. Leonard Cohen deals specifically in it. It pursues Van Morrison like a black dog and though he tries to he cannot escape it. Tom Waits and Neil Young can summon it. It haunts Polly Harvey. My friend and Dirty 3 have it by the bucket load. The band Spiritualised are excited by it. Tindersticks desperately want it, but all in all it would appear that duende is too fragile to survive the brutality of technology and the ever increasing acceleration of the music industry. Perhaps there is just no money in sadness, no dollars in duende. Sadness or duende needs space to breathe. Melancholy hates haste and floats in silence. It must be handled with care.
All love songs must contain duende. For the love song is never truly happy. It must first embrace the potential for pain. Those songs that speak of love without having within in their lines an ache or a sigh are not love songs at all but rather Hate Songs disguised as love songs, and are not to be trusted. These songs deny us our humanness and our God-given right to be sad and the air-waves are littered with them. The love song must resonate with the susurration of sorrow, the tintinnabulation of grief. The writer who refuses to explore the darker regions of the heart will never be able to write convincingly about the wonder, the magic and the joy of love for just as goodness cannot be trusted unless it has breathed the same air as evil – the enduring metaphor of Christ crucified between two criminals comes to mind here – so within the fabric of the love song, within its melody, its lyric, one must sense an acknowledgement of its capacity for suffering.”
-from Nick Cave’s lecture on a love song.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
This past weekend, Mumford & Sons released a new music video for their song "Hopeless Wanderer" from their album Babel. In said video, four comedians—Jason Sudeikis, Ed Helms, Jason Bateman, and Will Forte—dress up like hobo folk singers draped in banjos, acoustic guitars, and drum kits and, for the lack of a better description, rock the fuck out. At one point, Bateman plays the banjo like a finger picking fiend and smashes it like he's in Spinal Tap. Sudeikis has a mental breakdown and falls to his knees while soloing with a drum strapped to his back. All four sit and play their instruments on a boat in the middle of a lake. Forte starts to cry (and Bateman tastes his tears). Forte and Bateman also make out.
The video itself is, of course, very funny. And why wouldn't it be? These four dudes are some of the funniest working comedians today, and watching them rock out in an over-the-top manner is guaranteed to be hilarious. Will Forte's beard is just fake enough. Helms' tears are just real enough. The lighting is just Valencia-y enough. The video presents a self-aware and ironic portrait of Mumford & Sons, and it shows that these guys get it. They know that Marcus Mumford looks like a clerk in the Oregon Trail games and that banjos are inherently goofy and vests are "quirky," which in this case is kind of a stand-in for "stupid" and their folk-stompy style has become so common that it's practically a cliché. They understand! Get it?! Do we get that they get it?
Sunday, August 4, 2013
"You are calm and reposed
Let your beauty unfold
Pale white, like the skin stretched over your bones
Spring keeps you ever close
You are second-hand smoke
You are so fragile and thin, standing trial for your sins
Holding on to yourself the best you can
You are the smell before rain
You are the blood in my veins."