Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ohh, my boat is empty

CAETANO VELOSO "Nao Identifica"
CAETANO VELOSO "You Don't Know Me"
These are all songs you've likely heard many dozens of times already. I post them because all I can listen to is Caetano today (and I avoid posting the "Little More Blue" song because it's somehow too obvious.) When you're bummed/ crestfallen/ depressed, there are some singers that you go back to and they just speak right directly to you in a way that seems almost impossible at any other time, I mean when you're not sad. And it feels so totally dramatical and all but... it's like they help to fill a void in your chest while also reminding you so intensely that the void is there. Knowmsayin? My heart is not exactly broken today, but it's definitely in a state of -- well, I'm just letting myself realize that I'm way bummed. It's just so fricking hard to be, like, fully compatible with someone. It is for me, anyway!

This thing I'm trying out of deference to only obliquely refer to (but which is probably not hard to figure out) happened Friday night in San Francisco, just before going to see Jolie Holland play a show at the Great American Music Hall, with the holy-fuck-how-can-this-dude-be-unsigned!! Sean Hayes opening up. Jolie'd been very ill that week and her voice was not all it usually is, but she was able to really pull it off anyway, which is more the mark of a great performer --how you deal with unforseen weirdness and bullshit-- than how you are at your best. Right? Jolie's full band was fucking amazing too. I got some CD-Rs by band members that I'll post from if it's cool with those peeps.

Back in Portland the next night, the brilliant Ben Chasny aka Six Organs of Admittance had a minor freakout onstage after having to follow Rick Bishop at the height of his considerable powers on the solo guitar (dude was at the end of a month-long tour). And while things felt a bit out of control and chaotic onstage, Chasny not only got into his groove by the end of the set but he was really able to channel the frustrations of being (maybe a bit too) drunk and feeling (I'm guessing) a tad unworthy (he spoke onstage of the problems of "following your own personal guitar gods" onstage and then at one point lept dramatically into the air, saying "what's happening?!") into some delirious loops of feedback, voice, and skronky guitar playing that Adam Forkner (who opened the shebang with a pretty, exquisite blues-drone White Rainbow set) wisely categorized as "very Ginn-like."

So, yeah, it was a mess but it was also one of the best shows I've seen Ben give -- that guy really is one of our finest guitarrorists. It's sweet that the zeitgesit has briefly aligned with the sorts of cosmic sound he's capable of. I remember seeing John Fahey in 1984, at a teensy folk club in Ft. Lauderdale I think it was, and there were only like 23 people in the club, almost all old hippies. It's just really rad to see this kind of music get appreciated, though of course a few years from now it'll likely be back to the 23 old hippies again. And you know, there are worse things! Same goes for how I'm feeling today... Speaking of which, I have to write a chapter for the Loveless book, then finish some Amazon reviews, so no more fucking moping today!!! OK.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the caetano mp3s, he really is the best. i really like the way you write about music on this blog - honest, too the point, not layered in self-consciousness, REAL. keep it up!

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you really say "guitarrorists?"

gal costa's version of "empty boat" is so great. so dirty.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Mike McGonigal said...

Yeah I said guitarrorists -- partly as a reference to Terry T's comp. of the same name on Caroline, what, 143 years ago? And mostly just 'cause it was very cheesey to do so.

I'd done my best to avoid being cheesey and/ or sappy throughout the whole post despite it being like about heartache or whatever...

Anyway. Yeah. Gal Costa rules.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anybody have any suggestions for where to start with gal costa? i've never heard her and the discography is intense. thanks!

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

start with the s/t that has "cinema olympia" on it. think it's from '68. the other s/t from that year is good too.

2:02 AM  

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