Monday, June 26, 2006

The longest day of the year

"Why candles?" objected Daisy frowning. She snapped them out with her fingers. "In two weeks it'll be the longest day of the year." She looked at us all radiantly. "Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it."

When the longest day of the year approaches, I always think about this passage from The Great Gatsby and think to myself 'I will not forget. It will come and I will remember it and say to myself "today is the longest day of the year." ' Yet I always forget. I did this year, just as I have ever year since I read this book in high school.

I really like these few lines from The Great Gatsby because they give Daisy a little substance. Readers often interpret her as flitty and ignorant and clueless. Sometimes she is those things, but so is everyone. Sometimes Daisy is also very intelligent. Everyone forgets the longest day of the year. Just because Daisy forgets, that doesn't make her any different than anyone else.

I have not read the book for a few years and so can't say much more about the subject. But I still think about it every year, at least once a year, when the longest day of the year approaches and then passes without me having remembered to remember it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Everything And Its You In Whose Right Army Place?

Just inside Auditorium Theater, just past all the hopeless hopefuls agitating outside hoping to get in, I start getting really excited. I was excited before, but now I am really really excited. Everyone is milling about, quite calm looking and so I follow their cue. But there is this smokey-ness just adds to the surrealness. Yet, there isn't actually any smoke, it's just the lighting. Even better because I am pretty sure cigarette smoke would have subconsciouslly ruined a teeny bit of the experience for me.

There's time for us to wander too, so we check out the overpriced merch, get a little lost trying to find our seats but get there shortly after the light flicker and are seated before the start.

Come on, come on you think you drive me crazy? The song is so big, the lights are big, the words are big, the music is big and it's all trapped so that it travels from the stage to every person without escaping into the night sky, like at an outdoor concert. The whole concert will stay here in this tiny theater, just for a couple of thousand exclusive ears that don't have to share with thousands and thousands and maybe more thousands more, or for the parking lot or fields all around. And a good song to start too, because it starts with Thom Yorke's almost alone voice and is soon the whole band, and it makes you think yes this is Radiohead but no I can't believe I am here.

The new songs are distinctly theirs, honestly which songs really aren't, but also bring meaning to the word new. Danceable? A good one was the song that started out with Thom playing on the piano and maybe Jonny Greenwood or Ed O'Brien on something, them not fitting together in what they are playing, a little bit uncomfortable to hear, but I think "well that's the point." And it is, at first, but gradually I catch their beats synching and eventually they match beautifully. It's worth the uncomfort because when everything comes together, I appreciate how good it sounds.

The crowd is good, and that is important because it is one thing that makes a concert more than just a band replaying their tracks from an album. It's Exit Music (For a Film), and everyone for the most part is quiet, which adds to the effect because everyone is standing, unmoving and silent and I can see the crowd's silhouette very clearly in the single light that is shining on Thom Yorke and his voice and his guitar. But at The National Anthem, it's completely different, everyone's free to act how they feel at that one part, you know the part. Of course it's louder and more dramatic and much much much better live, also when every single person around you appreciates the louderness and plus dramaticness and liveness of it as well. Also when Thom is dancing on stage. He isn't predetermined like Chris Martin, who I think pratices his arm twirls in the mirror before Coldplay shows? Organic dancing by the spastic frontman can best be appreciated live.

It's over, it's almost over, one encore and then two and I can't believe my luck when things wind down to an end with the same song they closed with last time I saw them in concert, Everything In Its Right Place. Which I guess I'm not that lucky because this song fits great for a closer. Because it starts, they play in the amazing way that Radiohead plays, and Thom loops it on his whatever it's called machine and it's coming to and end so he stands close to the crowd and before he walks off alone, he waves goodbye. Each band member has his own exit and one by one we wave goodbye and cheer, goodbye Jonny, goodbye Phil. Goodbye Colin, goodbye Ed. Goodbye Radiohead, you were great. Everyone's off the and the mixer is still mixing and we're still all standing and thinking how every penny was worth it. Ever and ever and ever and. . . we want you to stay longer and play more for us, but we'll take this because it was pretty damn good.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

interns. a guide.

"Interns, we love you. We've come to depend on you. We want you to be happy with us. Seriously, be honest: Does this shirt make us look fat? Because we have to be honest with each other if we're going to make this relationship work. Also, we should let you know our wants and needs. Yes, diapering is one of them, but we can talk about that later. . . "