Tags: film critic, indie, movie, music, San Francisco
I spent Saturday afternoon at The Opera Plaza Cinema watching Only Lovers Left Alive, exactly where I had wanted to see the movie when I first heard about it. While the film does have a very 90’s feel – Jarmusch, vampires, Tilda Swinton, a soundtrack of moody, heavy guitar, it did not allow me to time warp back to 1995 as I had hoped: Indie Movie Time Machine. You can travel back in time, but only while the movie is playing. No, I didn’t get that experience. Instead I felt anchored to my present reality, one in which I’m rather busy with my family and new music and the slightest attempt at starting my own business. It’s nice to be so connected to my current life, but I do enjoy getting lost in a good movie and I’m afraid this one just wasn’t powerful enough to make that happen.
When it was over, my fellow film goers agreed it was visually beautiful, but slow-paced, with moments of dry humor. It seemed to me that seventy percent of the main characters’ dialogue consisted of historical and scientific facts, a constant reminder of the ages and information the vampires had witnessed and absorbed in their long lives.
“Do you think it was written that way out of sarcasm or irony?” asked one of the women in our group. “I mean they were such snobs. Was he making a point about snobbery?” I’ll go with that. Perhaps the point is that the thinking-man’s vampire will become turgid, not with blood but knowledge that, while impressive, can become just as much a crutch as violence or melodrama when used so extensively. Or perhaps I’m the real snob here. . . But then, Tom Hiddleston.
Meanwhile, back in my everyday life, I’m excited to be part of KnightressM1’s upcoming show at the Milk Bar in San Francisco on June 5th. Violinist/vocalist Emily Palen is the creative force behind KnightressM1, and she is one of those rare people with a direct connection to the music god(dess). I first saw and heard Emily at The Red Devil Lounge with the band, Dolorata and she has since gone on to play and record with many groups in the Bay Area as well as the Foo Fighters. The music I’m helping her bring to the stage is more electronica influenced than the music she regularly performs with her power trio. It’s beautiful and compelling and I was immediately drawn to it. It’s also subtly complex and nuanced. It is definitely challenging me in regards to knowledge of my gear, Ableton Live, as well as my musicianship.
Here’s a song we will be performing on June 5th. Enjoy!
Tags: anxiety, failure, greif, hope, life, loss, writing
I’ve been meaning to write.
I’ve been meaning to write about pain and loss and grief and the importance of finding small joys. I’ve been meaning to write about uncertainty and inevitability, the uncomfortable position of navigating a friend’s mourning process in hopes of offering solace and support, and the even more difficult conversations you have with people for whom hope is not an option, but neither is defeat.
I’ve been meaning to write about my own anxiety and the endless one-note symphony of my creative failure. I’ve been meaning to write about the hard, dull thud in one’s soul when, just for a moment, you catch of glimpse of your place in the universe. I’ve been meaning to write about fear – fear of having traveled the wrong path for too long, the fear of aging and the unspoken powers of youth. I’ve been meaning to write about the inequities of physical beauty, and raw, tangible talent versus much-practiced, lesser abilities.
But when I sit down to arrange any of this in a reasonable, logical fashion I get stuck on how unreasonable and illogical it all is. And I feel helpless. I cannot give myself the attributes I do not possess and I cannot change the circumstances of those I see around me. And really, they aren’t in the same realm are they? Absolute loss and misguided expectations are two different aspects of the hard parts of life.
And so I haven’t written at all because I don’t know what to say.
I tell myself to keep seeking out the small joys – dancing in the living room with my kids, singing in the car, enjoying that first cup of coffee in the morning. I tell myself that as long as I’m alive and healthy with a roof over my head I can still work out the feelings of inadequacy and failure. I tell myself that the time to save face and hold back is over. There’s nothing to save; let people look and laugh or look and admire or ignore it all. But there really is nothing to be saved for later.
Give it all now. Give it all you’ve got.
I mess around like this all the time but rarely bother to record it. I’m not sure when I filmed this. Based on the length of my hair, probably a year or so ago.
For the gear heads:Korg Kaossilator Pro for drums, Moog Little Phatty run through a TC Electronics delay, Yamaha CS2x and a loop pedal.
Hope you enjoy it!
Tags: acoustic music, Karina Denike, Lily Taylor, live music, live performance, original
I do not have a direct line to the music god(dess), but I am lucky enough to be acquainted with some who do. Karina Denike and Lily Taylor are two exceptionally talented people who create amazing music and perform it effortlessly. While they are both strong solo performers, together they create something absolutely magical.
My personal footnote – Karina Denike is an excellent vocal teacher who coached me through all the recording sessions of my solo CD. Lily Taylor does amazing things with a keyboard, a loop pedal and effects pedals and inspired me to experiment with a similar set up that eventually lead to my own solo performance set. Guitarist, James Frazier, is also an audio engineer and helped me out a great deal on the final production of my solo CD.
Life, I understand you perfectly
in that you make no sense
Those brightly colored
moments of joy exploding against
the grey, solid, structure of every-day
before sliding sluggishly
into the mundane
feels like you
are egging me