7.2.08 | Words, Sounds & Pictures
It's the audiences i can't stand. And yet without them, my favourite band would have nothing to bounce off, to focus on. Hardened fanatics always calling out for their favourite songs, and laughing pointlessly at the focus of our adulation and love on the stage as he tells yet another bad joke inbetween the most heart-breaking, achingly beautiful descriptions and vivid dissections of all human joy and misery.
Ir's been a good few years since i first saw American Music Club, but the image holds clear in my mind, even now. I saw them on my own. As usual, my friends mistrusting my love for a band they've almost completely been unaware of. One still won't forgive me for playing him Daniel johnston all night long. Lol at Carl.
Standing solitary amongst strangers, while this man, Mark Eitzel, suffering from a heavy cold, practically destroyed his voice for us, as he lets it soar, losing himself in his songs, letting us all feel some cathartic release from our own troubles. The first half of the show was loud howling, defiant rock, angry and bruised and hurting from a world that felt unbelievably cruel. The second half is ultimately the Mark Eitzel solo love-in. You can't help your jaw dropping in amazement at his tenderness and grief. An audience utterly enraptured by what they are experiencing, I hear people in tears, breaking down in public and unashamed or too overwhelmed by a recognition of their own sorry lives. Then the song ends and he breaks the spell with a truly terribly joke or anecdote, before doing it all over again in another equally perfect paean to love, loss and alcoholism. I've never seen any performance that has even come near to this kind of breath-taking live ragged perfect glory.
So anyway, they have a new album out... i'm hoping they're still lush...
Then there's From Russia at the Royal Academy in London. Which is probably one of the greatest groupings of arts masterpieces in the world at present, and unlikely to be repeated for decades. So go see it... if only for the wild and primal painting by Matisse above, which is just fucking lush and grrlorious. here's some writing about it, which i rather enjoyed