Friday, February 7, 2014

The Dog Who Moaned, Hearing the Violins in Concert

After I re-posted a few days ago the Pere Ubu video of this blog's Theme Song Two from last September's Pere Ubu concert at Rock and Roll Hotel on H St I went to look at upcoming shows at Rock and Roll Hotel. I'm not aching to go to a show, I like going to shows, but mostly I hate hearing afterward of shows I would have gone to had I known. The only band on Rock and Roll Hotel's current calendar that piqued my interest was Shearwater, a band I don't think I've played here - I'll fix that soon, though not today - and I recognized a few bands including Xiu Xiu, a band I've one of those odd relationships: I know of, I don't know about; I like them when I hear them, could hear a song but not know it's them. Two morning's ago Mr Alarum asked me if I'd heard the new Xiu Xiu, it's streaming live, said it's good, it's dark and goth like he likes his Xiu Xiu dark and goth. I said, they're coming to town.

Mr Alarum bought his tickets Wednesday, I bought me and Earthgirl and Planet (who'll be home on Spring Break the night of the show) tickets yesterday. Mr Alarum provided all the songs here but the above, Xiu Xiu's excellent cover of one of probably my most dozen air guitar songs ever. I don't know - I suspect not - that Xiu Xiu/Jamie Stewart will reach the third innermost circle of bands that rotate for one of two open spots on My Sillyass Deserted Island Game, but they are certainly going to get a fair hearing over the next month.

Show's at Rock & Roll Hotel on H between 13th and 14th NE on Friday March 14, dinner and beverages before, location suspected though details TBD. Any Mocomofos, Bawlmers, DCers, and Novas welcome to join us, tickets are General Admission, just buy one, and bring a loved one! if you want. And, please, I welcome suggestions of Xiu Xiu/Jamie Stewart songs, albums, you think worth hearing.

  • Bob Crow descends on London: Every new building project in London now comes with its own cutesy nickname. The Gherkin, the Shard of Glass, the Cheesegrater, the Helter-Skelter. The point isn’t just to endear the new ziggurats of finance capital to the city’s population: all these fanciful geometries exist to hammer in the point that London isn’t really a city any more. It’s a playground. London has more multi-millionaires than any other city on the planet, with well over four thousand individuals worth over $30m. London property is increasingly being used as a global reserve currency; more value is accrued by the average residence than by the average resident. London is an enormous concierge service for the super-rich. There are those that serve the oligarchs directly: the construction workers that raise their speculative investments, the service workers that bring them their meals, the sex workers that soothe their anxieties at the end of the day. There are those workers that help reproduce the labour of these first-order servants from behind the tills at fast food outlets and behind the desks of tube stations. There are cops that keep the streets clear and technicians that keep the water flowing. As it spreads out from the centre of the city its operation becomes ever more abstracted, but the rule is the same: everywhere the fruits of your labour must flow upwards.
  • Geographers and maps: a relationship in trouble.
  • Above found at ::wood s lot:: who's back from his bleggal break (and who you should bookmark and check-in daily).
  • A reminder to please consider throwing the coins in your pocket at Arthur Silber
  • A gorgeously happy nine-line Wallace Stevens poem.
  • In defense of unnecessary words
  • Richard Power's Orfeo reviewed: Throughout his three decade career, with a rare courage and relentlessness, Powers has searched for the right form to tell his characters’ stories while dramatizing the forces of history pressing against them, striving to incorporate essay-like commentary without breaking the fictional dream. While there seems to be near universal acclaim for Powers’s genius, his talent for writing emotionally palpable characters is often questioned: a recent New York Times review even gives a name to his alleged Achilles’s heel, “The Powers’s Problem.” Justified or not, this rap has caused Powers to be pigeonholed as too cerebral, as if his fiction is too smart for its own good. Yes, that's the standard complaint, now a cliche.
  • Koch's Bel Canto.
  • untouchable: you want to read books without this gruesome stuff. books where you don't have to split yourself in the appreciating intellect that abstractly acknowledges the verbal outcome, the so-called artistic achievement and the rest of you that is just plain horrified by the pervasive gruesomeness of it all; a horrifyingness that is aggravated by having to alienate yourself from your feelings in order to be accepted as a thinking person or, the reverse, to acknowledge your feelings and in addition experience apprehension in pointing those things out and also the expectation/fear of some kind of social repercussion because to insist on your right to your very own interpretation against a certain status quo has as consequence social exclusion. this is very clear, your blogular history is full of examples of this [although not recent ones, it seemed to have become somewhat easier to say those sort of things, but is still feels very uncomfortable for you to point out (you feel you can't ignore it either) this stuff and maybe is uncomfortable for readers as well].


Delmore Schwartz

Dogs are Shakespearean, children are strangers.
Let Freud and Wordsworth discuss the child,
Angels and Platonists shall judge the dog,
The running dog, who paused, distending nostrils,
Then barked and wailed; the boy who pinched his sister,   
The little girl who sang the song from Twelfth Night,   
As if she understood the wind and rain,
The dog who moaned, hearing the violins in concert.   
—O I am sad when I see dogs or children!
For they are strangers, they are Shakespearean.

Tell us, Freud, can it be that lovely children   
Have merely ugly dreams of natural functions?   
And you, too, Wordsworth, are children truly   
Clouded with glory, learned in dark Nature?   
The dog in humble inquiry along the ground,   
The child who credits dreams and fears the dark,   
Know more and less than you: they know full well   
Nor dream nor childhood answer questions well:   
You too are strangers, children are Shakespearean.

Regard the child, regard the animal,   
Welcome strangers, but study daily things,   
Knowing that heaven and hell surround us,   
But this, this which we say before we’re sorry,   
This which we live behind our unseen faces,   
Is neither dream, nor childhood, neither   
Myth, nor landscape, final, nor finished,   
For we are incomplete and know no future,   
And we are howling or dancing out our souls   
In beating syllables before the curtain:   
We are Shakespearean, we are strangers.