Thursday, August 28, 2008

I've often lost myself in my search for that burn that keeps everything awake. - LORCA

Beck is back. Back within my scope, I should say. For the rest of his followers he'd never left exactly, just fading in periodically on a fresh sound wave.

We'd been on about a four year hiatus. I pulled away around the release of Mutations...feeling dissuaded by his acoustic turn. And, at the time, two of my favorite songs on Midnite Vultures--"Nicotine and Gravy" and "Peaches and Cream"-- were tracks that I'd shared with my late mother, therefore listening to them or HIM for that matter provoked memory and undercover grief. During these four years, snippets from Sea Change floated in and out of my landscape, but I completely missed Guero; the mixer upper album, Guerolito; The Information; and Timebomb. Modern Guilt is his latest, and after listening to some layered parts of the Danger Mouse produced album, I immediately decided to RETURN. I began to track his journey through his previous work.

Beck Hanson was an early influence on my identity and expression--existing as almost a muse during my formative years. I remember my sister relishing in my interest/infatuation for the little gyrating maestro, turning the volume up during award show performances and purchasing a copy of Odelay for me.

I began to rummage through my CD collection and found a copy of Sea Change.

Lonesome Tears - Beck

He seemed to be following me around. At a bar the other night, "Missing" off of Guero managed to distract me from an entire conversation. Stuck in my ancient ways, I purchased the album from Virgin Megastore and am a confirmed believer that he is one of my generation's pop COMPOSERs. The arrangement of each track is nuanced and layered with several thoughts and directions, resulting in provocative fluidity. It is clear, based on his ease with multiple instruments and his eclectic production teams - Dust Brothers, Danger Mouse along with Beastie Boys and Jack White contributions-- that he's versatile and ever evolving. Beck manages to be a true chameleon-- without having a bought and sold sound. Genuine pop is manufactured and mass produced, however definitive pop is malleable, possessing many faces. Madonna represents this aesthetically, and Beck, musically.

Broken Drum - Beck

I had difficulty finding a rip of "Missing" with its omniscient and repetitive strings, but the ballad "Broken Drum" is a worthy example, with its forlorn and quiet piano background.

And here we are in 2008 with Modern Guilt, and Beck nearing 40. It is a heavy title for an album from Beck. Not that I hadn't seen a darker side, hence "Lonesome Tears" above, but homey isn't usually this direct. Social responsibility should be heightened now that even the ultimate in my generation's abstract emblem musician will declare it in his album's title.

I will continue to revel in Guero for some days and venture onward to Modern Guilt soon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

OMNI-JAVA Benefit!


When: Wednesday August 27th, 8pm

The Women’s Interart Annex
500 West 52nd St. @10th Ave. buzzer 2W, 2nd floor
New York

In an effort to raise money for The Impulse Initiative’s upcoming production of "Sonnets for an Old Century," The Impulse Initiative and Omni Java have joined forces to host an impromptu night of theatre, dance, music and spoken word. Every penny counts, so bring your piggy banks!

Join us on Wednesday, August 27th at 8pm for pre-performance cocktails and snacks. Stick around after the show and help us celebrate our final evening in our beloved Womens’ Interart Annex rehearsal space.

The Impulse Initiative and Omni Java Present a Special Benefit Open Mic Night!!!

*Please bear with us as is under slight construction ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

...but by all means, DON'T publicize me!

I am not naive enough to believe that I'm the only one concerned about this, but Peter Fuss' latest dig doesn't do much to comfort me either. And, I'm usually down with rebel art.

For more Peter Fuss, go here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


On Thursday, I had enough available time to meander around my neighborhood. I went to the bank, had a cheeseburger, and visited a small optical joint to price eye exams. The staff of women were sterile and off-putting, but I still scheduled an appointment for an exam for the following Friday. I continued my curious stroll, did some window shopping, and found myself in another optical spot with a cheaper deal and friendlier people. My vulnerable stasis that afternoon allowed me to be coaxed right into the eccentric optometrist's chair. He was a delight. Erratic conversations about poetry, colleges, and my eyes. A writer himself, when I told him that I'd only begun writing mature poetry last year, it provoked a discussion of the journey of writers and the art form of prose and how's it's a bit of battle to allow oneself to truly create a rhythmic voice. Being a writer all of my life, I'd always found poetry to be slightly insurmountable. Concerning expression, he said, "The configuration of our psychosis needs this outlet, otherwise you would produce angst. A-N-G-S-T." He spelled it.

At the start of our conversation, he informed me that I don't blink fully. He said that based on their size and shape, rarely do my eyes completely close during the blink reflex. Thus, explaining my regularly dry eyes and why I absently tend to sleep with them partially open. Based on these facts, my eyes never really close.

My eyes are always open.

That is, I could see the end of my entanglement, but I chose to ignore the knot.