Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Angel

It's out.

Like the balding old groupie I am, I waited up past midnight to see if Playing the Angel would pop up for sale on iTunes. Sure enough, it did. And what a surprise! Instead of continuing on the heavy sounds of Violator, Sounds of Faith and Devotion, Ultra (especially), and Exciter, this one is a clear throw-back to the eighties, sound-wise. Even the melodies have a distinct playful dance quality to them, though the lyrics remain somewhat melancholy (ooh, terrible...). Now I just can't wait to see them. Live. In New York City. Madison Square Garden. Front row balcony. December 7. With my wife, and my other best friend. Sweet.

While I was waiting for that Angel to appear, I ran across an old acquaintance. Fiona Apple. Do you remember her? She released a couple of albums in the late nineties. Good ones. Decent ones. This one blows them away. Although not as arresting as Norah Jones, for example, Fiona does have one of those voices that has that dark, velvety feel to them. And this time the sound is honed. Focused. Refined, bassy, strong. Most of time, at least. Needless to say, this is now on the iPod.

And finally, at long last I remembered to pull down some songs from the The Life Aquatic soundtrack. There are, plain and simple, elements of my life that have been lacking the appropriate accompaniment, and that music is on this soundtrack, namely in a couple of Seu Jorge's portugese Bowie covers, and a couple of Mark Mothersbough's quirky tracks. I mean, someone earnestly singing Life on Mars?, in portugese, with just an acoustic guitar. What can be more disarming? By the way, check out Seu's album Cru while you're at it. That one has a couple of seriously good tracks on it. The real Brazil.


I should probably go to bed now.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Life as omelette

More of the same, I guess.

To live is to dip your finger into that pool of screeching noise. There, you have but the faintest control. Over anything. Even yourself. And your own feelings. The concussing, violent amalgam of hope, and despair, and all their cousins, will become deafening. But at any one moment you can pull back. Unplug.

Calm the tremors. Cut the sound. Take that needle of your emotions. Stop them from turning round and round. Ease down your eyelids, and enjoy the silence.

It is too much to take, anyway. Nobody can live non-stop forever. You need a vacation from life, every now and then.

After all, we are only human.


Sunday, October 16, 2005


I have been reliving the horrific experience of my life these last few days. Not literally, and this time not by watching my wife in peril, but a dear, dear friend of mine.

The similarities are chilling. She, too, experienced a sudden and massive bleeding, which threw her over to a place where she felt it was touch-and-go for a while. The episode was powerful enough to evoke contemplations of what were to happen if she would die. How the scariness of it came in retrospect. And then the gratitude for just being alive, apart from everything else.

This girl is one of those precious few people who are already filled with joie de vivre, and thankful for being able to enjoy it. She was therefore in no need of such a wakeup-call, and I dearly hope that she will not receive more of them.

It may be just that it has been a while since we last met, or maybe just the shock of this happening, but I am really longing to see her again. Or perhaps this just caused a 'disturbance in the Force', seeing how I had sent her an e-mail, telling her that I was missing her, just hours before learning what had happened.

My wife will every now and then comment on how we all are really much more connected than we think. I usually shrug off those comments.

But not tonight.