Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's the sound that brings it back

I know that smell is supposed to be the sense that is most associated with memory. And I agree it is up there. However, for me, music will always transport me to very specific places. Certain songs have an ability to bring me to the spot in the dream that you can never remember when you awake, confused and trying to get back to that moment. Last night, k-os's "Dirty Water" (ignore the homemade video) put me in Nieka's old apartment: smell of claypot chicken, November air, candles, blonde Philly's smile as he sings towards Randy. A moment of peace before things shattered for a while. The pieces have been picked up, rearranged and glued back together with a polymer that seems strong enough. But we all know I hate change, and sometimes I wish to see the original again. Music lets that happen.

I've also always been jealous of musicians because a musical ability allows you to emote when the words are missing. In the heyday of my depression, I wanted to be able to express without having to give words to those thoughts rolling around in my head. I wanted a visceral release. I still do. I'm doing ok, but I feel as if I am struggling for the words. Or more honestly, I am afraid to think too deeply to get the words. It's affecting me. Not writing, even just not writing thoughtful letters or emails, is weighing on me and causing me guilt. But, I'm Catholic, so everything causes me guilt. I just want to feel without analyzation and precision.

Anyway, these are the thoughts that have been bouncing around when I stumbled upon this Wired interview with Oliver Sacks. Thankfully, he has words when I do not. He describes in a way similar to my favorite Conrad quote about the commingling of emotions in the dream-like experience.

"Sacks: Music doesn't represent any tangible, earthly reality. It represents things of the heart, feelings which are beyond description, beyond any experience one has had. The non-representational but indescribably vivid emotional quality is such as to make one think of an immaterial or spiritual world. I dislike both of those words, because for me, the so-called immaterial and spiritual is always vested in the fleshly — in "the holy and glorious flesh," as Dante said.

So if music is not directly representative of the world around us, then what's inspiring it? One has the feeling of the muse, and the muses are heavenly beings. This feeling is very, very strong with Cicoria, the surgeon in my book who was hit by a bolt of lightning. He felt that he was actually tuning in to the music of heaven — that he had God's phone number. I can't avoid that feeling myself when I listen to Mozart. I feel differently about Beethoven. I think of Beethoven as a sweating Prometheus, a terrestrial figure.

I intensely dislike any reference to supernaturalism, but I think there can be profound mystical feelings which do not have to call on fictitious agencies like angels and demons and deities. The whole natural world is bathed in wonder and beauty and mystery. The feeling of the holy, the sacred, the wonderful, the mystical, can be divorced from anything theological, and is conveyed very powerfully in music."

Saturday, September 15, 2007


When looking for a movie to see tonight, I saw this listed:

Dance Party USA (Drama)

edited 9/19:

I find this funny b/c Dance Party USA was an extension of a popular dance show in Philadelphia, that I "appeared"* on in 1986 (in the mall) and in 1987 (on the beach). From Wikipedia:

"Dance Party USA is an American Bandstand style music and dance television program that aired on the USA Network from 1986 to 1992. The program was taped at WGBS's studios in Secane, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Andy Gury was the show's host.

The series was based on a local program on WPHL-TV, Dancin' On Air, which was produced from 1981-1987 by Michael Nise and his father, Frank.

During 1986, the same studio set was used for both Dance Party USA and Dancin' On Air, and both shows were taped / broadcasted live on the same days. As a result, some dancers and guests appeared on both series which caused some confusion for the fans of the shows."

Other items associated with Dance Party USA and Dancin' On Air were Flip Magazine, and a radio show, Talkin' On Air.

More humorous, to me at least, is that girlfriends of mine decided to redo the idea of "bases" by using daytime television. Their argument was that the whole idea of scoring according to baseball was too male-centric. They came up with the daytime line up:

1st = "All My Children"
2nd = "One Life to Live"
3rd = "General Hospital"
homerun - "Dancing on Air"

in restrospect, dancing on air = dance party usa = drama, is probably fairly accurate.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Millions of champagnes

I totally recommend turning 35. Especially if you are friends with the peeps. My birthday week was spectacular. Tom Dugan rang in the new year with me from the east coast via telephone. I got to drink pink bubbly in a lingerie shop with many of my favorite girls as we discovered we had no idea how to buy a bra. I'm currently sporting matching underwear that could cover most of my rent. My beautiful new co-workers at the store, along with the fabulous T2 bought me the best hoodie ever! Luke & the exquisite Nursefusion gave me a wristband for the NW musicfest. Luke and I rocked out to amazing bands that you all must check out as soon as possible. Fist Fite (they threw tubes of glitter at the audience *swoon*), Pseudosix, and the unbelievable Bobby Conn. But wait, there's more! 14 hour champagne brunch! And some well deserved booty throughout the week. I am continually awed at the love and attention I receive. Thank you all so much! I don't know what I did to deserve it, but kick me if I start complaining.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

You don't need to change your shirt, just change your mind

How to explain Tillamook? friends. love. glitter. us magazines. champagne. music.

none of it does it justice.

thanks to randy, mere, MARTIN*, nicole, and most especially ron & nisa for sharing.

turn the volume up and try to imagine listening to this under the stars.

*I apparently love screaming MARTIN when he's spinning. I tried a hundred times to go to bed, but he and Donna kept it kicking and I kept having to come back out and dance. Not complaining, mostly b/c I have no voice...