over the past two months lots has happened in the positive negativity world. we have moved back to seattle ending our three-year stint in portland. the move happened so quick that we are still processing it. life hasn’t stopped during the time of our transition, i’ve been to many shows, seen a couple of theater events, bought new music, and was reading up a storm during my alone time in portland. my better half was up here in seattle settling in to his new job. i moved up about two weeks ago, and started my new job a couple of days later. unpacking has been slow since we’re both working and having a lot of “happy to be back in seattle” gatherings with friends. there are only a few boxes left and a bookcase to put together.
a couple of weeks ago i was trolling netflix for musicals when i found the apple. here’s netflix’s description.
two canadians, alphie and bibi , fight the leaders of a future dystopia (set, interestingly enough, in the now-distant past of 1994) when they test their fate at the worldvision song festival. their sweet and smart lyrics earn them the admiration of many, but corporate giant Boogalow International Music pushes for another team to win. when BIM offers them a contract, however, the pair wonders whether the gift is really a trap.
i immediatly added it to my queue and bumped it to the top. it’s not on the watch it now, so i had to wait a bit. i watched it last night, my mind was blown. the version of 1994 in the movie is hysterical; pointy shoulder pads on everyone, tiny domes on cars, and record companies run the world. the music is disco, glam and new wave influenced and the production numbers could’t sparkle more. here are some of the performances.
the competition for a record contract.
what the world looks like after the contract is signed.
a soft reggae ditty about how to manipulate the public to create a pop sensation.
can’t recommend enough.
in a different post i said musicals couldn’t be all bad. i was wrong.
jane a theater company put on a production of sondheim’s company. it was terrible, just terrible. they were all oversinging when not being drowned out by the orchestra. they were all overacting on a terribly designed stage with horrible lighting. we walked out at intermission. that is all.
still playing catch up, i can’t believe it’s been three weeks since i went to see erase errata and the again reformed team dresch. i was really excited for this show i just knew it was going to a lot of fun. erase errata i’ve seen four or five times and always had a great time. years ago i saw team dresch and remember them being awesome. i had faith that even though neither of them have been particularly active for the last couple of years, they would be in solid form.
i like rotture as a venue. it’s a good size and has a good outside balcony (usually full of smokers). i was glad to see that they raised the stage, seeing was a problem sometimes. the crowd was elated and possibly one of the friendliest crowds i’ve experienced since moving to portland. the first two bands were good and well received, but i can’t remember a thing about them.
when erase errata came on it was just like old times again. the reason i love erase errata is because they have a sound and spirit that is akin to the great post punk/no wave bands; the pop group, the slits, the index (who are really proto and way ahead of their time), come on, devo, the raincoats. it’s a sound i’ve always connected to. erase errata played kind of a greatest hits show, energy was high, and they sounded as tight as ever. it was one their best shows i’ve seen. i really got my twitch on, and so did beth ditto, who was standing next to me. sadly there were no new songs or promise of a new album.
team dresch had been in the crowd all night so it wasn’t a big deal when they took the stage no one paid attention until they started playing. they also stuck to the greatest hits format, and the crowd knew every word. my favorite songs were alway the kaia ones, so i was glad that i was standing next to her. they rocked it like it was still 1997. some of the women in the crowd were so excited they took there shirts off and i got to see boobies for the first time in a while. including those of jenny hoyston, the lead singer of erase errrata, she had replaced beth ditto next to me.
when the show ended, sometime after one a.m., i was in such a great mood that i had a very enjoyable bike ride home.
mama i’m swollen, curisve’s first album in a couple of years, suffers from the same problem that its predecessor (happy hollow) had. it’s just not that original or memorable. in the early 2000’s they released a string of fantastic albums, domestica, burst and bloom and the ugly organ. each album was different, building off each other, they defined a cursive sound (loud, angular, post punk). they weren’t afraid to experiment and expand their sound. this album seems to revert back to a sound they had in the pre-domestica days. i fear that cursive is in a rut, and doesn’t know where to go.
part of me wants to blame the good life, tim kasher’s more indie rock side project. i never got into any of the good life’s albums, despite kasher’s brilliant songwriting. i found them not at all interesting, too strait forward.for a while he bounced between the two groups, he gave up the good life shortly after cursive released happy hollow, but the damage was done.
mama i’m swollen is not a bad album, on shuffle it fits nicely in the the cursive catalogue. kasher’s songwriting is still excellent, the personal is still his strong point. he even touches on how he is at a good point in life and has nothing to write about. the musicianship is solid even with the muddy production and levels that seem wrong to me. still, several of the songs, “i couldn’t love you anymore”, “let me up” and “we’re going to hell”, give me hope that they can get it together and still produce another great album.
the second edition of jamie stewart’s monthly series arrived a couple of weeks ago, i needed a good amount of time to digest this one. this is a different experience than the previous one, which seemed to be mostly comprised of acoustic samples. this disc seems to be more like vinyl collage work, in the vein of christian marclay, with a large portion of the material coming from recordings of organs and sound effects. i thought that his last edition was about the silence, this one is more about the size of the sound. the last track is a sixteen minute battle between silence and organ blasts. it would be a great installation piece, it calls for loud amplification and good acoustics.