Friday, February 16, 2007

Snow was general

A snow storm caused school to be cancelled on Wednesday, so I had time to write a proposal for the 33 1/3 series of books on rock albums. You can read a list of all the pitches they received; I was one of the three people who made a case for being uniquely qualified to write about Cheap Trick at Budokan.

The same snow storm, a couple New England states higher, caused Feathers to cancel a performance in New York. I wasn’t going to go, but was disappointed nonetheless—the show represented a hope that the band, non-existent for months, might not be done for. Maybe they were relieved—it’s almost always nice when something is cancelled, especially by a natural event (pray that our species is destroyed by a comet and not something we did!) and I imagine it’s annoying when everyone treats you as though you had some generational responsibility to spiritually redeem popular music—maybe I’d crash my motorbike, too. Maybe the cancellation is built into the idea of Feathers: if the whole idea is to make music on a human scale, infinite in creative scope but non-crazy in the circumstances of its production, you’re not going to care whether you succeed as a rock band. Maybe if you really believe in the sound of acoustic instruments, the spirit of group improvisation, the independence of aesthetic experience from commodification, the human voice unamplified, and the creativity of beginners—maybe if you believe in these things, you’ll play a short, perfect set and let it be a single, beautiful event in the history of the universe. Chords make rainbows; melodies grow out of the sentences you sing to yourself when you walk; you don’t need anyone to do it for you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl, this is Ruth speaking! I just wanted to express something, which is that it is so easy to feel battered by life itself when there's weird weather disaster on Valentine's Day that multidimensionally fucks everything up, and I'm really glad you were able to find some meaning in it and to articulate its meaning so beautifully and clearly that I could see it, too. Thank you!

2/18/2007 11:36 AM  

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