lunes, 24 de mayo de 2010

Concert Caveats: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes

May 20. 8:00 p.m. Royce Hall.

Meet Jade.

She was convinced that Alex Ebert was a musical messiah sent down to Earth to purge humankind of all that was sinister and blasphemous in the world and remind them of all that was good and beautiful. Prancing barefoot in a wrinkled white suit, a loose red scarf, and a personifiable shaggy mane, Ebert created no hierarchy within the 10-member folk-rock band Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes. All was one and one was all with this hippie god. And the sentiment of collectivism was not exclusive to the stage: the audience, the staff, the ushers all fell under the unifying spell of musical madness.

She suspected Edward Sharpe appealed to the average college student because in both music and conduct, he exuded the ambiance of sixties counterculture rebellion, which, living in LA, she all knew too well. But who could blame them? They were all dependent children, on the verge of leaving the cuckoo's nest, and what better way to be individuals than by a means of "revolution"? She found this attempt at revolution ironically cyclic. In trying to break away from conventions of their parents, they ended up being thrown into the world of adulthood all the more quickly while all the more ill-equiped. Demonstrating their unsolicited valiance in raunchy and illegal doings were great fun at the moment, but it was short-lived. In the end, the consequences they faced for their endeavors at being unorthodox would become the catalysts to their adulthood and maturity.

In their safe beds and purely rhetorical classroom debates, they said they wanted revolution and change, yet when the time came, who but a few would rush to the front of the line eager to defend their cause? Who but a few would be strong enough to speak out from the safety of their numerous and nameless mob companions? Who, among the mass of college students, regurgitating what they heard on TV and preaching obsolete ideals from history no longer relevant, would be a martyr for egalitarian principles? Not one. The liberal front had become somewhat of a fad. And those who followed wore faux-vintage dresses and tees from Urban Outfitters and bought every single book about journal-keeping or peace on its shelves.

She was reluctant to say more. She loved Edward Sharpe nonetheless. He was the kind of man that made her jump out of her seat to dance while everyone else sat. He was the kind of man that could make every body in the audience of a 1,833-capacity theatre silent with a single request. She hated the idea behind him, but Ebert himself, she could not stop loving.

Hypocrisy is both a vice and a virtue.


jueves, 13 de mayo de 2010

Quail eggs and smelt eggs

Currently listening to Allison Weiss' MGMT cover of Kids. God, I revere the musically talented.

You know when people say, "You just know"? I really hate that. I think it's because I'm deathly afraid that I'll never have that just knowing epiphany. Is it purely emotional? Or is it more holistic than that? ...just knowing is a godforsakenly dangerous concept. It doesn't help that almost knowing or a contrived knowing can be easily mistaken as just knowing, especially since it's so sought-after and romanticized these days. I guess for me, just knowing comes when you aren't looking for it in particular, and when it does happen, it isn't as sensational as you might've imagined...when it's spontaneous, you could say. It's not the moment that matters, it's what happens after that moment that defines it and gives it any significance. The effect, the consequences, the aftermath. Because really, I could give a fuck that Obama was elected president. It's what he accomplishes or screws up after that fateful moment that will give his election any real value.


domingo, 9 de mayo de 2010

Concert Caveats: Henry Lim and his String Quartet

May 8. 8:00 p.m. Powell Library Rotunda. Henry Lim and his String Quartet's composition and performance last night: contrived irony.

It was good, to say the least. Henry Lim and the Camarade Quartet performed every song, in the right order, on the Beatle's White Album. A dashing "venue", warmly lit, with high, decorative ceilings (suitable for acoustics) made me forget I was in the library usually representative of my academic masochism and instead teleported me into a slightly surreal world of sounds. I call this performance as one of "sounds" rather than "music" because in all honesty, it was just that. The string section was beautifully celestial, but the addition of Henry Lim's vocals brought...helter skelter?

With four muse-like girls all dressed in an ethereal white, I expected a serene night of violin and cello playing. The first section that was played I couldn't recognize as a Beatles song, only to realize Henry Lim had composed a short introductory fanfare for himself: he appeared from behind the dark hallway, a stocky bearded Asian man, sporting, get this, all black and a gaudy cowboy hat. Against the angelic ambiance of the pre-Henry Lim appearance, he was kind of a dirty spot on fresh linen -- for lack of a more profound analogy. Aka, a contrived irony. His raw and raspy voice did not hit many of the intended notes, but needless to say, I enjoyed all of the songs (genius of the Beatles: no one can ruin their songs). The string section, including Mr. Lim's own guitar playing, hands down trumped his vocals, although his spastic yelps and occasional jokes during and between songs were a delightful surprise. The audience was ecclectic, filled with both old and young. One thing I always notice during Beatles-revering concerts is that I fall in love with the people who attend. A spiritual unity exists as we all bob our heads and tap our feet just enough to move to the music but not interrupt the informally formal atmosphere of the performance. What can I say? Good music is an invisible black hole that indiscriminately sucks us all in.

All in all, despite Henry Lim's god-like treatment for himself, I applaud his compositions and the string quartet. He was definitely able to vocally pull off some songs, like Dear Prudence and Julia, and the toned-down version of Revolution 9, which I did not expect to be performed at all, was a sweet cherry on top.

martes, 4 de mayo de 2010

Me asustan cosas buenas

Por qué?
1) Alguien me dijo que todas cosas buenas siempre terminan.
2) Buenas cosas pueden hacerse cosas increíbles. Y yo no merezco cosas increíbles.

domingo, 2 de mayo de 2010

5 Shots of Smirnoff

Corrientemente escuchando a Weird Fishes/Arpeggi por Radiohead.

Que tonto! No voy a hacerlo otra vez...supe que me gusta hablar sobre la historia de América cuando tomo alcohol. Tonta, tonta, tonta!

Oligarchic democracy: democracy ruled by the elite; implemented 1880s-1920s in Latin America, at the same time economic liberalism thrived. Dictatorships also existed, but ruled according to the elite; essentially the upper class under the figure of one despot. Goal: centralized power in order to prove to foreign investors that Latin America was worth investing in. COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE. IMPORT-EXPORT ECONOMY.

Populism and co-optative democracy: burgeoned at the time of import-substitution industrialization (1930-1970's). NATIONALISM AND ECLA.

Socialism (1950-1980's): US SCREWS Latin America! Anti-communist, domino effect fear. Cold War. MIERDA. Calm down. US, tu eres 100x mas poderoso que Cuba.

Neoliberalism (1980-now): Back to economic liberalism, under the Washington Consensus. IMF Austere Plan.

PERSPECTIVE. The most important thing to have in life. No drama. No trivialities.

I wanted to buy a Sarte book but I couldn't find it.
So instead, I bought a book about perennial philosophy.
About Western esotericism.
About knowing the unknown.
But how ironic is it
to believe in something
and striving to discover something
that is impossible to understand?
Is it useless?
Is it foolish?
It's the journey that matters
the path
the expedition
not the culmination
To create is to create
To paint is to paint
To live is to live
Not to die

Tell me, is entropy a rule of nature?
Is humanity a Fidel Castro against Batista?
We work for structure, for organization
but disorder is natural
so why not go with the flow?
Why not?
Because we are HUMAN
and we are FLAWED
the best thing to do
is accept
and work to correct these flaws
but ultimately
there is no denial.

sábado, 1 de mayo de 2010

Hoja nueva

Corrientemente escuchando a "Déjalo ser" por los Beatles.

Cuando me encuentro en tiempos difíciles
Madre María viene a mí
Hablando palabras de sabiduría, deja que sea.
Y en mi hora de las tinieblas
Ella está parada justo delante de mí
Hablando palabras de sabiduría, deja que sea.
Déjalo ser, déjalo ser.
Susurra palabras de sabiduría, deja que sea.

Y cuando la gente con el corazón destrozado
Viviendo en el mundo de acuerdo,
Habrá una respuesta, déjalo ser.
Porque aunque ellos puedan ser separados hay
Aún una posibilidad de que vean
Habrá una respuesta, déjalo ser.
Déjalo ser, déjalo ser. sí
Habrá una respuesta, déjalo ser.

Y cuando la noche está nublada,
Todavía hay una luz que brilla sobre mí,
Brilla hasta mañana, déjalo ser.
Me despierto con el sonido de la música
Madre María viene a mí
Hablando palabras de sabiduría, deja que sea.
Déjalo ser, déjalo ser.
Habrá una respuesta, déjalo ser.
Déjalo estar, déjalo estar,
Susurra palabras de sabiduría, deja que sea.

Por lo menos una buen cosa ha venido de la dictadura de Anastasio Somoza. Gracias para destruyendo el país de Nicaragua, déspota, porque si no, no te conocería. Y esto sería una lástima.

Creo que voy a escribir todos los asientos en español, para practicar. Lo siento para ésos que no entienden la lengua. Está bien, mi gramática es probablemente mala de todos modos.